Category Archives: Videos

Getting Over Under-Sharing

I love the NPR show, The Moth.  People share true stories from their lives in front of an audience.  For the past two years, I have been trying to emulate this show in my living room by hosting small groups of friends who share their stories.  Stories are one of my favorite things, and these parties are something I cherish.  I am so grateful for the friends I have made (and the ones I’ve gotten to know better) and the stories they’ve shared.

My most recent “party” happened at the end of December.  There were nineteen of us total including, for the first time, my parents.  I was anxious about the event — inviting my parents into my friend circle caused my sister to say, “What were you thinking??!!”  I was also anxious about the story I planned to tell.  While I usually aim to make my friends laugh, the story I felt compelled to share is not a particularly funny one.

It is a story about closing up, closing off, keeping secrets.  In order to continue my process of being a more open, honest person who shares what is going on in her life, I am posting my story here, too.  Well that, that, and narcism.  Cheers to over-sharing and watching myself do it!

Mosa — December 2012 — Developing an Ending from boobjuice on Vimeo.


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Parenting Tip of the Day:

When you’re toddler asks you to, “Dance with your eyes closed,” make sure to sneak a peek every now and then, or you’ll miss out on her doing the same:


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November is nearly half over.  That means, depending on my interpretation of the metaphorical liquid in the glass that either, I have completed almost half a month of blogging on a daily basis, or I have yet to complete about half a month of blogging on a daily basis in order to fulfill the self-imposed NaBloPoMo challenge.

In looking at the liquid  line today, trying not to pass judgement on my glass’s fullness or emptiness, I still found myself fresh out of things to write about.  Some folks seeking guidance might consult the tea leaves or the tarot cards or the shrink.  I turned, as I often do when I need an answer, to the Child.  She has told me which shoes to wear, what color toothbrush to pick, and whether we should buy apples or pears. (In case you were wondering, according to her, we should buy both apples and pears.)

“What should I write about today?”

“You should write about Evelyn!”

Fair enough.  She was right about the apples and pears.  I ought to listen to her wisdom.

Evelyn is my two-and-a-half year-old’s imaginary friend — nay, sister.  She showed up a couple of months ago after D’s father played this song for her:

I don’t think the Child has seen the video, at least not on my watch. She’s just listened to the song like forty-seven-million times. It was this song that finally taught me how make a song loop on my iPod (I know, I am practically a Luddite).

Evelyn is a very welcome addition to our family.  Knowing full well that it is highly unlikely that my daughter will have a real sister anytime soon (if ever), I am grateful for her ability to find her own substitute.  And while Evelyn does occasionally use waaaaaaay too much toilet paper, and need to be reminded that the cats like “gentle touches,” she brings us all far more joy than suffering (It is wild how much alike sisters can be).

Here is the story of Evelyn as told by her adoring sister:

Maybe tomorrow, if I am still stuck on what to write, I will see if Evelyn has any ideas. I think she might be almost as creative as her sister.

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Do What I Say, Don’t Say What I Say!

I have been reduced to spelling.  I spell s-h-i-t and b-i-t-c-h.  I also spell p-o-p-s-i-c-l-e-s.  The Creature hears all these days, and what she hears comes spilling directly out of her cute little mouth, sometimes when I least expect it.  Like today, when her dad was animatedly expressing valid annoyance, she said, “Well, Dada, I know you are frustrated, but…”

My mother and I coined the phrase “the mommy nod” to describe the head bobbing that ensues before my child utters one of her mommy-like phrases such as, “I Know you really like counting, but now is not the time for counting.”  She has become quite an impersonation artist — I am not sure yet how thrilled I am that I am the primary subject of her “art.”

It is her near-constant mimicry that has forced me to question whether some substitutes for swear words are really any better than the words themselves.  “Crap,” for example, is a shitty swear word.  I learned this the other day, after I edited my “shit” down to a “crap,” and then was subjected to a barrage of “Cap! Cap! We live in a cappy city!” (“R’s” are not her strong suit).  Bursting forth from the lips of my toddler, crap sounded like a really cappy alternative.

You’d think I’d have figured out that crappy substitutes for swears in front of children don’t really work when my poor, sad, embarrassed mommy ears heard my precious Creature utter the phrase, “That’s effing ridiculous!”  Why did I think for a moment that “effing” was any better without the other letters following it?

All this to say, that the fact that “content in” = “content out” is really hitting home these days.  With this in mind, I am letting my subscription to satellite radio lapse, lest I accidentally develop an affinity for Howard Stern and am subsequently forced to hear his effing words rebroadcast by my cherubic toddler.

I am putting us both on a steady diet of NPR.  Listening to the radio will prevent me from talking (and thus being mimicked), and it will give her a whole new cast of characters to draw from in her budding career as a celebrity impersonator.

Here are the results thus far:

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Caught in the Middle

Today’s episode of This American Life was all about middle school.  I guess when I went, it was still called junior high, but it is the same thing: a holding cell for those caught in the purgatory between childhood and teenagedom; a frothing pit of hormones and spitballs, and insults and zit pus.  I survived.  And if you’re reading this, I suppose you did, too.  Congratulations!

As much as I loathed my junior high experience, and thought I might not live through it, now that I am twenty-plus years safely on the other side, I am beginning to delight in looking back.  It’s sort of like recounting a horror movie after you are safely tucked into your own bed, free from danger, even fictional danger.

A few months ago, my parents delivered to me my junior high school journal and several pounds — literally pounds — of notes that were passed to me within the walls of Walter Reed Junior High.

In keeping with Ira Glass’s theme for this week’s This American Life, I thought now might be as good a time as any to share my first efforts at chronicling these tender years in my own life.  I am posting my efforts here.  So far, I have recorded two of my journal entries, each read verbatim exactly twenty-two years after it was originally written.  Umm, yeah.  More to come soon, as I delve into the enormous stash of notes that I’ve not laid eyes upon in two decades, draw them from the plastic sack at random, and read them aloud.

In the meantime, here’s what Ira and his talented crew have to say about middle school:

Episode #449: Middle School
And here’s my latest offering from the land of junior high, or middle school as it’s called these days:


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Healthy Diet

I have heard before that the best way for a parent to lose weight is just to do everything her child does. Tiny humans burn mega calories, and simply by trying to keep up with them, theoretically, we could do the same. But exercise is challenging. It makes you sweat and stuff. Gross.

The problem of maintaining a girlish figure is further compounded by the food our children practically force us to eat — peanut butter and jelly sandwich-rinds and leftover mac’n’cheese do not a thin mom make.

Leave it to my daughter to lead the way in demonstrating an effective and easy way to lose weight through diet alone. At this rate, my mom jeans will be baggy in no time! Behold, the Dyslexic Diet:

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NPR: What Women Really Want

Thankfully, NPR plays some crappy shows sometimes.  Otherwise, I would never turn the damn thing off.  Tavis Smiley assaults my ears every now and again, and I have to switch to KFOG, or silence.

Yesterday, I was listening to The Sound of Young America.  I don’t generally like that show too darn much, but yesterday the guest host was talking to Robert Popper, creator of Look Around You.  It is because of this innovative and informative show (Look Around You), that I have learned about some amazing new technology.

I had been thinking about getting a MacBook or iPad, but I have now found the computer that meets my needs perfectly.  Thank goodness for NPR bringing me stories of cutting edge technology.  Brilliant!  Mmmm…. peppermint!

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