A Handmaid’s Tale Anxiety

I just completed the first 5 episodes of Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale, which has been adapted into a television series on Hulu. OMG! It stressed the hell out of me. I haven’t sleep in 3 days.

I have had latent anxiety for many years about the possibility of the US being overtaken by a bunch of religious extremists and A Handmaid’s Tale exacerbated that anxiety, big time. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good dystopian story. Loved The Hunger Games. Loved The Maze Runner. Loved The Giver. But this one was way too real, way too relevant.

I think I may just try to go back to worrying about salad bars and porcelain dolls. That was a far easier life.

PS: If you would like hear me talk about my fear of salad bars and porcelain dolls, you can always find me on my podcast or on my website, and feel free to share your stories of what you’re afraid of…

Podcast:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/terrifyingly-beautiful/id1227826319

Website:

https://www.terrifyinglybeautiful.com

 

I’m Launching a Podcast!

I’ve had wicked writer’s block in my attempt to complete book 2. So how did I deal with it? I created a podcast with my best friend, Kevin.

It’s called Terrifyingly Beautiful. Check us out on iTunes. Here’s a description:

Join two self-proclaimed “anxiety experts” and best friends, David Robert and Kevin O’Connell, as each week they pop open a bottle of wine and share hilarious stories about the stuff that keeps them up at night. Spoiler alert: It’s everything. Will they be able to help each other navigate their fears? Probably not but you’ll die laughing as they try.

iTunes link is below. And please if you have a spare moment, click Subscribe, download episodes and feel free to leave a review.  We would be tickled to death. I’ll be posting here as well. Have a wonderful week ahead!!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/terrifyingly-beautiful/id1227826319

I’m Back!!

Hey Everyone,

Well, it certainly has been some time since my last blog entry. I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I have been focused on my second book. It’s turning out to be far more challenging than I had thought. My first book, Wanderlush, literally fell out of my head and into a 179-page glossy soft cover. The second book is proving to be a tad more stubborn. It has anchored itself to the inside of my brain and refuses to budge. I’ve written roughly 1o0 words in the past three months. At this rate I’ll be 90 when the damn books is published.

I’ve been keeping up with everyone’s blogs and many have been sources of inspiration and entertainment so thank you. Any advice you can give to help me move this book along would be GREATLY appreciated!

I’ll be posting more frequently now that I have fully accepted my writer’s block. Boy do I have some stories to share:)

 

The Difference Between Copying and Printing

copiers

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had to print several documents from a USB drive so I googled “local print shop” and found a store close to my home. Rather than reveal the store name, I’ll instead offer up that it rhymes with poopy-S.

Me: Hi, I need to print a few documents. Are these printers self-service?

Clerk: You’re making copies?

Me: No, I’m looking to print some documents.

Clerk: Okay, so you’ll need a key to access our copy machines.

Whatever, I thought. The clerk hands me a small box that looked like a harmonica.

Me: What’s this for?

Clerk: It’s a copy counter. You insert it into the copy machine and it counts the number of copies.

Me: I’m not making copies. Will it also count the printed pages?

Clerk: We’re talking about the same thing.

Me: I guess I’m just used to other print shops where you can use a credit card at the actual machine to print documents. It’s self service.

Clerk: Yeah.

I insert the box into the machine and then begin my search for the USB port. No luck.

Me: Where’s this machine’s USB port?

Clerk: It doesn’t have one.

I should have known. Any copy/printer that is the same color as the kitchen appliances my parents had when I was growing up was likely a bad sign.

Me: So, this machine doesn’t allow printing?

Clerk: Sure it does.

Me: I thought we were talking about the same thing? And your front window has a huge sign that says you’re a full service print shop.

Clerk: We are. You place your documents into the feeder and it prints a copy for you.

Me: That’s copying, not printing.

Clerk: Why are you so combative, Dude?

Me: I’m not combative. It’s just that printers were invented in like 1899 and here we are in 2016 and you’re clueless about the difference between printing and copying.

Clerk walks over to my machine and lifts the top cover.

Clerk: Watch.

He places his hand on the glass surface and presses Start. The machine lights up and a bright blue bar scrolls across the glass. A second later a sheet of paper emerges from the side of the machine. The clerk grabs the paper and holds it up.

Clerk: See. I just printed a copy of my hand.

Me: That’s still copying, not printing. You know what. It’s okay. I’ll just find another way to do this.

Clerk: So, you’re giving up?

Me: To be honest I sort of gave up when you handed me the harmonica.

Clerk: What’s a harmon–

Me: Yes! I’m giving up. Have a wonderful life. Good-bye.

 

What is Black Tar Mexican Heroin?

blacktarheroin

I attended a party last night and one of the people in the group I was chatting with asked the question, “what is the scariest thing you’ve experienced?” Several people described near-miss car accidents while another talked about a recent skydiving trip.

When the question came to me I decided to share a story of an event from the previous summer. Shortly after the July 4th holiday, I joined several friends on a road trip to New Hampshire for a weekend of camping. One afternoon we came up with the idea to drive to a local watering hole to swim. I piled into the front passenger seat of my friend’s Nissan Altima, while his younger brother hopped into the back seat. Our destination was less than 10 miles from our campsite and as we approached the halfway point my friend, the driver, noticed a young guy hitchhiking just ahead of us. My friend pulled the car over and offered to give the guy a ride. The man graciously accepted and he jumped into the open back seat.

The man, early 20s, clean cut, seemed nice enough. We engaged in the obligatory small talk. Where was he going? How long had he been on the road? He had just finished answering the latter question when my friend noticed flashing lights in the rearview mirror.

“Shit, it’s the cops,” he said.

My friend pulled the car onto the shoulder and we waited patiently for the policeman to approach the car.

“License and registration, please.”

“Can I ask what we’re being pulled over for?” my friend asked.

“I thought I saw open containers in the car.”

The cop stared at my friend’s license for a moment and then shifted his glare first to me then to the back seat.

“Can you all exit the vehicle and join me at the back of the car.” This was not so much a question as it was a polite order.

The four of us assembled at the back of the car and lined up shoulder to shoulder. Our backs faced the ravine.

“Before I search the car is there anything I need to be aware of. If you’re honest, I’ll be lenient.”

The officer stared at my friend first. My friend shook his head. The officer turned his attention to my friend’s brother. He, too, shook his head, as did I when the officer stood in front of me and asked the same question. Then the officer stepped to his right and faced our guest, the hitchhiker.

“And you? Do you have anything you want to bring to my attention before I search the car?”

The stranger looked down briefly and then raised his head and locked eyes with the officer.

“Okay. When you go through my bag in the back seat you will find something.”

My stomach sank. What the fuck?

I turned my head and glared at the young man.

“And I know your first reaction will be to assume it’s Mexican black tar heroin but it’s just regular hashish.”

My knees buckled. Vision blurred. Next thing I know I’m tumbling backward down into the ravine. As my limp body rolled down the gravel embankment all I could think of was how my tiny frame wouldn’t stand a chance in jail. I’d be someone’s bitch by the end of the first day. I’d likely get nicknamed Muffin or Baby Boy. I’m not even that limber anymore. I’m totally screwed.

Mexican black tar heroin? Are you fucking kidding me?

When I came to, I could see the officer and my companions staring down the ravine.

“Oooouch,” I gasped.

It took several minutes for the officer and my friend to release me from the grip of a thorn bush and haul me back onto the shoulder. I think the officer felt as though he put enough fear in me. He confiscated the bag and let us go. I couldn’t believe it. But let me tell you, those few minutes when my body was bouncing down that ravine were likely the most terrifying thus far.

What is your scariest moment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best Way to Shop for the Holidays

 

Christmas TreeI recently visited a candle factory that also housed an expansive Christmas village. In the center of the village was a 30-foot Christmas tree that rotated slowly while holiday music played overhead.

The tree was surrounded by a ring of low shelves that held snow globes, ornaments and candles among other things.

I spotted an intriguing ornament dangling from one the tree’s branches and I wanted to get a closer look. I approached the wall of shelves and stood on my tiptoes in an attempt to touch the ornament, which I could now tell was a tiny Cardinal in a nest made of hay. Well, my wool sweater got snagged on the branch. I tried to not panic as the tree pulled me to my left as it turned on its axis.

At first I though I might be able to break free by tugging my wrist down. Nope. Didn’t work. I tried a harder jerk. Now I was caught on the branch in two places. At the wrist and the elbow. And the tree seemed to pick up speed.

There I was, strolling along with the tree, my right arm stretched high above. As the tree was about halfway through a complete turn, I noticed a store clerk on a ladder immediately in front of the shelves. He appeared to be adding ornaments to the tree.

Me: Look out! Coming through.

Clerk: Are you okay, sir?

Me: Oh yes, I just seem to be stuck to the tree. I’ll get myself free here shortly.

Clerk: That looks uncomfortable.

Me: Well, at least I’m moving forward.

[I had to scale the ladder in order to get around him.]

Clerk: I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the tree changes direction every 6 minutes.

 

Me: How long until it-

[The tree slowed and then started to turn in the opposite direction.]

Me: Really?

Clerk: I’ll grab some scissors. Hold on. We’ll make this as discreet as possible.

[He moved the ladder of of the way. All of the sudden the music stopped and a woman’s voice filled the room via the loud speaker.]

Speaker: Happy Holidays. Please join us in the village center in front of the Christmas tree for a special performance by the Valley Volunteer Carolers. They’ll be singing some of your favorite holiday songs while you enjoy complimentary apple cider and cookies. At that moment, like 30 fucking carolers entered the room and gathered at the base of the tree – opposite of where I was – although I was on my way toward them as the tree pulled me along.]

Me: Oops. Coming through. Sorry. Just finishing my last lap. [As I pass behind the group of carolers (backward by the way), I whisper.] It’s the Santa stroll. I’ll be out of your way in a minute.

[I am not kidding when I tell you that there must have been 150 shoppers gathered in the room waiting to enjoy the show. The carolers break out into a version of Frosty the Snowman. As I turned the corner so that I was on the opposite side of the carolers, I panicked. I noticed a Frosty snow globe so I grabbed it. As I passed behind the carolers, I raised the snow globe over my head. I thought I could at least try to pretend I was part of the act. This sequence repeated itself for about 5 spins. During one pass I held up a life sized Elf on the Shelf. On another, I rang a handful of silver bells. I even lifted a Menorah at one point. On one of the final turns while the carolers were singing Mary Did You Know, I wore a giant white angel on my head. Ugh. Finally, the clerk was back.]

Clerk: Okay the tree is going to slow down now and spin in the opposite direction. That’s when I’ll try to cut you free.

Me: Okay I hope it’s soon. I ran out of props.

[The tree slows down and the clerk jumps into action. He snipped and cut and asked me to pull my arm down. I did. Still stuck. The tree started to spin again.]

Clerk: Take the sweater off! I’ll help.

[He lifts the waist of my brown sweater up over my head. I slip my left arm out of the sleeve but my right arm wouldn’t release. Now the sweater was over my head.]

Me: This is your idea of discreet?

Clerk: I think I’m stuck now.

Me: You’re kidding, right?

Clerk: I wish I was. And we’re now turning toward the carolers.

Me: I can’t see anything. This is all you, buddy.

[The carolers were now belting out a jolly version of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. The clerk grabbed a set of reindeer antler candle holders and slapped them onto my head. He was already wearing a Santa hat.]

Clerk: Ho. Ho. Ho. Merry Christmas!

[I was hunched over. Arm in the air. brown sweater pulled over my head. Wearing antlers. Behind me was the clerk in a Santa hat. Ho Ho Ho’ing. I can only imagine we looked like a Thrift-store version of Old Saint Nick and his favorite reindeer. Luckily, the weight of the reindeer antlers was just enough to snag me free. The clerk escorted me directly into the “employees only” room where I completed my panic attack and put my sweater on the proper way. I’ll never go shopping again.]

 

 

 

 

 

Someone thinks I’m epically awesome

And no, I didn’t pay them to say that.

epic_award

The equally awesome Sandra from What Sandra Thinks seems to think I’m awesome. Thanks, Sandra!

This is cool recognition because it’s, well, epic.

PS: I categorized this post under Random Crap but this is by no means crap. I think I may need a category for awesome awards?!!

The Award Rules:

1. I know you are Awesome, tell us why.
2. You are my friends and tell us about others.
3. Be creative. It’s alright if you can’t be.
4. I give no questions to be fully answered but let yourself go here. Thank you.

Here we go…

1. I can’t give any reasons why I think I’m awesome because most of the time I think I’m a complete goofball. So unless you think goofballs are awesome, I’m just a plain ole nut. However, I can provide a ton of reasons why I think I’m fun to hang out with. Here’s three of them: Wine. Laughter. Loyalty.

2. There are so many wicked awesome blogs out there and to name them all would be impossible. I will, however, give a shoutout to some new blogs I’ve discovered that are well worth your attention.

No Love for Fatties

Ben’s Bitter Blog

The Shameful Sheep

3. Creativity comes hard for me. So I get involved in a lot of things to see what sparks an idea. Recently, I’ve been training my dogs to catch soft chewy treats in their mouth. Training is not going so well. Here’s a video clip of Wiki trying to catch the treat…in slow motion.

4. I love to make people laugh. I also love to laugh. I sometimes get laughing so hard I can’t stop and it’s usually at the worst moments, such as a funeral, performance review or the doctor’s office. I love our two dogs. I’m an introvert. I’m married to an extrovert. An extrovert who thinks introverts are exhausted extroverts. I hate to cook and do dishes so we go out to eat. A lot We always sit at the bar. My go-to drink is red wine but I can be talked into a Ketel One martini, up, with a twist. I love to travel. The more exotic, the better. I’m driven. I usually take on way too much and then lose my mind trying to meet all of the deadlines. And most importantly, I’m grateful for everything I have in my life.