My cousin, Marilyn Monroe, once said, “It is better to be absolutely ridiculous than to be absolutely boring.”
Even before I knew that I was related to Marilyn, or that she ever said this, I shared the sentiment. My life has been ridiculous. Still, I have few regrets.
First things first: Don’t trust me with your feelings.
Fair warning: I sometimes make fun of people. Mostly myself, because my predicaments were hilarious. Laughter is the best medicine. But sometimes I get after someone else. If you’re easily offended, you will wanna get out of here. Now. Run, Barry, Run. If you’re a feminist, you are going to hate me. I am not a feminist, not even close. In fact, I am not overly passionate about anything. I like middle ground. That said, this whole 52 Stories project is gutting me. I am learning so much about myself just by writing the 52 Short Stories & some subjects are going to come out very blunt (if only to reduce word count because I can get carried away with my writing). I won’t stop & add explanations or apologetics often. I am bound to offend, eventually. I will do my best not to. I am thick skinned & tolerant, but I know not everyone is. Just because I offend someone doesn’t mean I don’t care about them. It means I am an idiot. That I failed to find a way to write something out any better than I did, probably because of my own ignorance about a certain aspect of a subject. I don’t know EVERYTHING as it IS. I just know it as I see it & that comes from personal life experience.
About the Writer
I grew up in Lodi, Ca & Stockton, Ca area mostly but I spent some time in Red Bluff, Ca & a couple surrounding cities as well.
I answer to just about anything.
I am a 30something mother (step & biological).
In Summary, these are the evolving things I know (or hear about) my current self…
I am a football mom. I am a business owner. I am a genealogist. I am a photographer. I am a writer. I am a dancer. I am an Aikido student. I am a gamer. I am a shapeshifter. I am never the same person you saw the time before. I am who I need to be each day & that is often decided on the fly while I am stumbling down the stairs with one shoe on & offering $2 to any child who finds the other shoe by the time I get to my car.
I am not particularly emotional so I don’t need or use sappy words, I don’t cry or get offended easily. I didn’t even cry at Steel Magnolias, that’s how unemotional I can choose to be. This doesn’t mean I don’t care about people or things.
I am independent & not clingy. I can & do go on long trips by myself, even to dangerous places. I go great lengths to prove that I don’t need anybody for anything. This is probably a negative trait, so I am not bragging, just stating fact as it’s been observed.
There are not many things I couldn’t live without, I am not a Material Girl. I would never pay more than $100 for any clothing article. On that vein, I don’t wear clothes with brands plastered all over the butt or any other part that is obnoxiously visible.
I don’t care much for make up, blingy jewelry is not really my thing either & I will take rubies over diamonds any day of the week (sorry Marilyn). When I got married, I wanted to remove all the diamonds from my rings & replace them with rubies (both cheaper AND prettier).
I don’t feel like I have to look my most beautiful all the time so I never say, “hows my butt look?” as I am genuinely unconcerned about it; if I want an ugly haircut or purple extensions, I am OK with being less beautiful for the time period I’m into said things.
I drive a hybrid vehicle ONLY because it’s an Escalade & 4×4 so it can do everything I need it to do, pull my boat or trailer etc. I would rather be driving a Camaro. I wish I drove a hybrid for more noble reasons.
When I drive, I turn my stereo all the way up. If you don’t like it, don’t get in. I also dance in my seat while listening to my loud music if I’m in the car too long. This embarrasses my kids, and sometimes me too (but usually later, not right then because… living in the moment).
I don’t listen to ALL types of music, if I can’t hear the guitar, turn it off! There is no better way to get rid of me than to play awful music with no guitar.
My camera is my favorite toy. Aside from that, my gadgets i.e. iphone, tablet.
I am better at Photoshop than I admit.
Yosemite is my favorite place, as long as I am by myself. When my kids are there, I am overcome by motherly feelings of concern for their well being & less able to be one with “my church”.
I would do anything for my boys, except get them where they gotta go on time.
I don’t go all out for holidays, in fact I could live without all but Christmas (Also to note: I play Christmas music before Thanksgiving).
I love to cook, particularly grill. I eat whatever I want, even sugar. My fav dish is steak & baked potatoes with buttery asparagus. REAL BUTTER!
I will choose the zoo over a romantic walk along the beach. Romantic walk in the zoo might work, if I get to pause the romance while in the monkey section.
I will choose a bonfire at the dead end of a road over any restaurant except for Cool Hand Luke’s.
I don’t use profanity, I guess because habits bother me. I like to be in control & not driven by habits, and cursing becomes habit. It also makes one sound as though they don’t know any proper descriptive words. I know lots of words & I use them to communicate clearly, and to humiliate myself with on occasion. Good thing I get over that pretty quick. I do not mind if others use profanity, it is not offensive, but I do assume they are having cognitive trouble finding the appropriate word & are using fillers out of desperation.
Sometimes I am too honest & I am an oversharer. I forget the part about how I am supposed to be concerned about judgy people reading my blogs.
That’s about all the important stuff, I think.
About my former, younger self…
I have been a consistent pain in the ass since the day I was born.
To summarize my life experience: I didn’t have parents around, but I didn’t really think it was as big of a deal as everyone else did.
I spent most of my youth in a dojo. A neighbor owned it & I could go for free, so I did. I got really good at Aikido & earned money by teaching other students, so I was never broke. When I ran out of money, I found someone who I could sell extra lessons to. I was always slinging my talents. Wanna learn to breakdance? $20 and I will teach you to spin on your head (I would learn that night & teach them tomorrow). When I wasn’t at the dojo or hustling my skills, I was hanging out with my girl friends. I had the best girl friends when I was little. I had the best boy friends after I wasn’t so little. By default I was ridiculously friendly, the girl who hung out with everybody at school. One day I would be at the table with the jocks, clowning around… the next day I would be in “the commons” hall with the nerds. Another day I would walk out to smokers corner & goof off with the kids who smoked things. I also tried to smoke things but I hated smoky things so that was not my fav place, although they were my favorite people. I had drama class friends & band geeks. I was no discriminator of social cliques. It was so important to me to know everybody, everywhere. I didn’t consciously know that about myself but looking back, obviously I loved knowing everybody while not being known well by anybody. I said my default was friendly, but that should not be taken to mean that I was always friendly. I had my moments of madness.
I was a clown from Jr High on, I was never serious about anything. I didn’t play sports, I was too likely to lose my crap & ruin everybody’s fun. I know that because I did try softball once & that is exactly what happened. I chose to practice channeling this part of me better when the dojo I went to merged (or lost all of its students to) into the Lion’s Den. It became a place where they taught what we now know as MMA. It was owned by Ken Shamrock, who was not famous at the time but certainly is now. Side story that’s gonna get moved to a different page later because a 52 Stories project question asks about this: I became totally infatuated with him. It was a silly teenage crush, I loved his muscles & badassery. For a minute, I wouldn’t date any boys because I was hoping he would eventually figure out that I was not a little girl (even though I was) & maybe say a few inappropriate words to me. He said regular words to me often, but overall I don’t think he even knew I was alive, so I grew past that, obviously, as affection from this man was lacking completely. He was more interested in making sure I was willing to kill if I had to. I was 117 pounds soak & wet, adorable, & eventually guys my own age caught my interest & I was over it & Ken went and became what you know of him today. The Godfather of MMA. (awkward thing: I tweeted him last year & I swear he seemed to have no idea who I was & may have been pretending to remember me… hmph. The nerve.) Obviously, since I am still talking about it, perhaps I am not over it. Pride is a fickle thing.
I did everything they told me girls don’t do. I first did it on purpose, then I realized I actually enjoyed it so it worked out. Skateboards, muscle cars, shot guns, yes please.
Just out of high school, my plan was to go to Hollywood, because why not? I was going to be… something. I didn’t care what, I figured I’d choose once I got there. I was great in drama class as long as the role was funny, so chances are, if I had pursued that, I would have been an actress in silly movies. I was a great liar. I practiced it just because I wanted to see how convincing I could be. Usually I would tell the truth afterwards, depending on whether it was necessary. It was funny because my close friends totally saw through it but I could easily hoodwink those who didn’t know my true nature. Mostly when I did it, it was to cheer up a friend. “Want me to go lie to somebody & make them believe something ridiculous, will that make you happy again?” And I would. And they’d laugh. If we had cell phone cameras in those days we’d have slayed YouTube. So, if that is any indication, I could have owned at Hollywooding.
I ended up meeting my husband and it kinda snuffed out any plans of fortune & fame that I had. Whaddya gonna do? I am a lousy wife & he probably hates me. But, he seems to stick around. 20 years so far. I don’t have much more to say about that or marriage.
Psychology was my major in college. I love humans. We’re a beautiful disaster. I first thought I might be a therapist for recovering celebrities, then realized I could never be behind a desk at anyone’s service so, I then didn’t know what the heck I was gonna do with that. Fast forward, and I use psychology all the time in all of my jobs & hobbies.
My first REAL job was at a glass plant. I made very large plates of glass for the very tall buildings you see all over L.A. I was promoted quickly to a lead position & given a crew of humans who came to adore me but, I had a special bond with the robots. I personified them & understood them better than anybody else did. When they were throwing glass around, I could make them stop by pushing all the right buttons even if at first I didn’t know what the problem was, it just came to me quicker than it did to others. I loved that job. Glass is amazing, the whole process is amazing. Here’s a summary, very summarized! https://youtu.be/PSurxsGQL90
Then I was sucked into the insurance industry right around 9/11. I worked for Allstate & even though I was in Ca, I had to handle the NY issues because the Ca call center was the backup for NY. Obviously they were all busy being blown up, so I was again promoted very quickly & found myself front & center handling the hard conversations that were making a mess out of everybody else. It is in my nature to remove myself from the trauma of a situation & handle it from outside of myself. That’s handy in insurance. I am still tangled up in the insurance industry, but I own my own agency which currently my husband manages because I am on medical leave & refusing to admit that my headaches are under control because it means I have to work again & I don’t wanna. That’s why I can write this whole thing for my descendants. I basically just handed all my files to him one day & came home. It was the first time I had ever stopped & reflected on what I did with the last 20 years of my life. And, it was because my blood pressure was out of control & doctor said we had a big problem I needed to deal with, and I nearly died because I wouldn’t. So I did, & I am fine. Edit: OK, I did die. I am trying to be totally honest, so, I did die. Twice. But I am not writing about that on this page. And no, I didn’t see any white lights or hear any angels telling me it was not my time yet.
At the beginning of my marriage I didn’t want any kids, but then decided maybe just 1. Then 3 years later decided maybe another to see if I could get a girl, didn’t happen. Then 3 more years later I found myself nursing a 3rd baby boy. I LOVED being a mother. 4 years later, I found myself nursing a 4th baby boy. By now my body was so done with that. I would have had 10 kids if I could have.
The best part about me is that I am a mother…
I have been the best mom I can be, but I tend to fail at what most moms are good at: timeliness, laundry, packing lunches, throwing birthday parties, balancing dietary needs, clipping fingernails & reminding them to floss & take showers. I am fantastic in all the areas most moms are terrible at: Sparring with my kids, building jungle gyms (yes from scratch, I use a drill & a skill saw perfectly) playing video games, road trips, game nights, comicons, convincing them there’s nothing they can’t do, letting them listen to Blue Collar comedy, & helping them get out of taking ridiculous tests that do not benefit them in any way. I make teachers cry when I throw an hours worth of their assigned homework away each day, particularly when we have better things to do. I remind principals that they aren’t the boss of my family. I make sure by boys know that the world revolves around them, that they can change that world any time they want to. I remind them that they get what they put in, so it could end up being a very empty, sad world. I hope this is some form of supermom-ishness.
That’s it in a nutshell. If you are so inclined, you’re welcome to entertain yourself with my 52 Stories Geni project but, the stories are not carefully filtered. They’re best enjoyed long after I die. And I keep deleting things I have 2nd thoughts about, then I decide to put them back in with less detail. I’ve rearranged pages & changed names to protect the innocent, it’s just a work in progress. It’s been therapeutic. I didn’t know I needed writers therapy, but it’s been interesting for me. Welcome to my jungle. I hope you find what you need here whether its genealogy or just a good laugh at the ridiculous nature that was my younger self. I was full of… I don’t know what. I have no idea. I am peeling back the layers to find out.