Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

Which political issue do you care about most?


I’m scared at how pissed-off everyone seems to be.

All of this political venting has made it worse. I’d like to sit Donald Trump and his supporters in our old time-out chair. Can you see it? The Donald in the baby chair?

As much as I might disagree with his stance on:


Religious freedom.

Racial intolerance.


LGTBQ rights.

Baskin-Robbins’ Flavor of the Month.

I support his right to an opinion.

But not his bad manners.

Or those supporters who think his behavior is an acceptable way to behave.


Put Your Hands Up and Step Away From the Keyboard

Yesterday was one of the those days my mama warned me about. The morning started with Bacon summoning me to the kitchen.

IMG_2461“This thing won’t turn.” He pointed to the lower shelf of the Lazy Susan in our corner cabinet. He tried to spin it. Grinding noises ensued.

I emptied the shelf, crawled on the floor, and lifted the discus-shaped platform. Nothing looked wrong, but it was hard to tell, laying on my back with my arms over my head staring into a corner. I lowered the shelf slowly. “Call Chris.”

The kitchen was renovated 18 months ago by a contractor so nice, that when we called to report the problem, he jumped into his truck and came right over. Chris opened the cabinet door, touched a finger to the shelf and turned it like Dumbledore. “Looks like you didn’t open the cabinet door wide enough.”

We said our thank yous and I’m sorries for wasting your time. He didn’t charge us for the service call, but he had a dumbest client story to tell for the ages.

Scorched by idiocy, I sat down to do something that filled me with confidence. I wrote an email to the summer swim team about the upcoming season. I clicked send. After Apple Mail’s whoosh delivered the message to 250 addresses, I saw the math error in the fees, the contact list with an address I shouldn’t have used, and the calendar screw up. In an effort to make things clear, I confused everyone.

IMG_2462My snafus moved on to higher stakes. I poked around on WordPress, trying to choose a theme for the swim team’s blog. When my finger lingered too long in one place on my laptop’s touch pad, wham! I accidentally changed the theme for Crisply Spoken. My widgets were buried. My Gravatar was gone. Pinterest. Twitter. Goodreads. Kaput. I spent the next four hours attempting to rediscover fire.

At midnight I crawled into bed with thoughts racing, cursing my stupidity. An hour later I was still awake. I hadn’t suffered enough, yet. I still hadn’t created the swim team blog. On my laptop, I clicked on “Add a New Blog” at the top of WordPress stats page. I entered the name and pushed submit. The rainbow-colored dot of fate rotated on my screen like my kitchen’s lazy susan. I waited.

A few minutes later, Crisply Spoken’s page reappeared. Blank. No new blog. No old blog. I stabbed at the keyboard. Nada. Frantic, I typed the problem into the questionnaire on the support page. I felt foolish. Sweaty. Sleepy. Scared. “Why the hell am I out of bed in the middle of the night sabotaging seven years of blog posts?” I opened the blog on my smart phone. Nothing. On the kids’ computer. No dice. Back on my laptop, a tiny box appeared mid screen. “Please restart your computer to load Norton Anti-Virus updates.”

After the restart, Crisply Spoken, all of Crisply Spoken, graced the screen. I shut her down and went back to bed.

I hope you like the blog’s new look. Sometimes a gift comes out of our darkest desperation, but I’d rather do my Spring cleaning without the angst. On the upside, I didn’t work on my novel at all yesterday. Thank God.

The Anniversaries of Very Bad Days

IMG_2365Beware the Ides of March (March 15). Remember the Alamo (March 6). The Day That Will Live in Infamy (December 7). The worst day in modern history is recognized only by the date (September 11). I understand why we memorialize tragedy on the calendar. Remembering the date helps us to remember who we lost.

But what about personal losses? Specifically, why am I compelled to remember every bad thing that ever happened to me whenever I glance at my telephone?

  • The day of the car wreck? CHECK
  • The broken leg? CHECK
  • The divorce? CHECK

These dates aren’t worth memorializing, so why can’t I forget?

A scientist would say, it’s a survival mechanism to protect us during our next altercation with a saber-toothed tiger.

A historian would say, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

A masochist would say, bring it on and lean into it, or as that troubadour John Cougar Mellencamp sang, “Hurt so good.”

Oprah would say in her column “This I Know for Sure,” I more than the sum of my scars.

Disney Princess Elsa would belt above a full orchestra, “Let it go.”

But I can’t.

Maybe those dates are woven into the person I’ve become. They’re a reminder. I survived in spite of myself.

Burglarized: The Sign Says So


The house is about three blocks from mine. When I first saw the sign, I did a double take. Why? Is the homeowner being conscientious, alerting his neighbors? Or is he mad that they didn’t try to protect his house? Is he wrecking property values by advertising a robbery?

Bacon suggested that the real sign was stolen, so the homeowner made another one from scraps in the garage.

Burglarized? That’s a word with a lot of letters. Why not robbed? Looted? Pillaged, plundered, or sacked? OK, so it’s a 60s ranch with clerestory windows. Not likely to be the target of Blackbeard, or Attila the Hun, or NFL great Lawrence Taylor. I’ll toss my thesaurus away now.

Whatever the reason, the sign got my attention. I’m locking the door behind me.