A Letter to Facebook About Inspirational Quotes

Dear Facebook,

A lot of people on Facebook like to post inspirational quotes, usually in the form of a picture with words on it. I call these “picturewords.” (Yes, I’m in marketing.) And I have many dear friends who post these inspirational quotes, people that I think very highly of. But they are not for me. In fact, I hate them with the flaming intensity of all of the volcanoes on Earth erupting at once.

Fake Maya Angelou Quote

I saw one the other day that said, “More important advice than ‘Do what you are passionate about’ is ‘Be passionate about what you do.” And if you have any idea what the fuck that means, you need to stop smoking the drugs.

Facebook, I’d like to suggest some possible improvements to your software that I think will help everyone, but mostly me.

For starters, I think there should be a “Non-Inspirational Mode” for people who are either already plenty inspired or so jaded and cynical that no joy can penetrate their cold, dead hearts. Doesn’t that sound nice?

I think there should also be a “Political Rage Mode” where only infuriatingly inaccurate political posts show up in your newsfeed. You should be able to whip that one up over the weekend as it will very closely resemble exactly what we have right the fuck now.

As a counterbalance to that, you could have “Well-Reasoned Political Arguments Mode” which would take everyone about 4 seconds per day to get through – a real time-saver.

And who knows, maybe you could even experiment with a “VIP Stalking” mode where you actually show people what’s happening in the lives of those important to them, instead of showing your former coworker’s third cousin’s niece’s quinceneara. Congrats, Maria – whoever you are.

But first, let’s see what we can do about all those inspirational quotes. Because the next time I see a Maya Angelou quote next to a black-and-white photo of her facial profile, I’m going to put my fist through a goddamned cinder block wall.

Yours truly,


A Letter to My Cat, Who Left a Dead Cricket in My Shoe

Dear Cat Who Left a Dead Cricket in My Shoe,

Sleeping like the cricket she killed

Fuckin’ murderer.

First of all, thank you. I know how much effort it must have taken to play with that cricket for 6 hours before it gave up and finally died of sheer exhaustion.

And then you very thoughtfully put that dead cricket in my shoe, which I found out about with my foot! The resulting surge in my blood pressure was just what I needed to fully awaken and attack the day!

I’d also like to thank you on behalf of my kids. I think they learned a valuable life lesson by watching their mother involuntarily hurl a shoe across the room while yelling ‘WHAT IS THAT?!?!?!?!?” I don’t know what that lesson is, but I have every confidence that their future therapist can help them work that out.

Since you are a cat, I can only guess at the sentiment behind this little treasure, but I’m thinking it’s something like:

  1. I love you, and to prove it, here is this dead thing!
  2. That which has brought me pleasure I now bequeath to you, upside-down and motionless in your shoe.
  3. I am prepared to murder on your behalf.

Any one of these is a lovely sentiment on its own, but I like to think you meant them all. In the future though, should you murder anything on my behalf, I’m going to request that instead of relocating the deceased to my footwear that you simply hide it where I’ll never, ever find it. I’ll just assume that you’re continuing to slay insects on a regular basis, and we can just have an unspoken agreement about that. Sound good?

Muchas gracias,

Grossed Out

A Letter to Everyone About My New Year’s Resolution

Call me when you learn how to play "Jolene", Heidi.

Call me when you learn how to play “Jolene”, Heidi.

Dear Everyone,

I weigh more than I did when I got pregnant either time. If I time-traveled and showed my current belly to my abs-of-steel 24-year-old former self, she’d be pretty freaked out. I was pretty freaked out about it! Some days I still am.

This is the time of the year when we resolve to lose weight and exercise a whole bunch and morph into a bunch of goddamn supermodels FINALLY. I’m telling you right now: not going to happen for me. I am not going to look like Heidi Klum come summertime, primarily because I do not have plans this year to grow a foot taller or get a spray tan. (And my German is nicht sehr gut.) I will not be “rocking a bikini” on the beach. (Still not sure how one “rocks” skimpy clothing; I’ve only been able to do it with a cherry red Fender Squier.) I’m not going to, through hard work and sweat and dedication and sheer grit, lose twenty pounds and look like my old self again.

And my New Year’s Resolution is to not feel bad about any of it. I’ve tried feeling bad about it, EXTENSIVELY, and frankly, it’s boring. I do not have the abs of a twenty-year-old. I have the abs of a thirty-three-year-old mother of two who has a mortgage. Wah. I tried to think of what my life would be like if I did have rock-solid abs again – I could wear whatever I want! Yes, but would I be DOING what I want? Turns out, abs are not a necessary thing for me to have what I want out of life, which is fun and sleep and making things. And a yacht. You can have all kinds of flab, and they’ll still let you buy a yacht! If you want someone with abs to be on your yacht, you just hire some backup dancers!

All that to say I have big plans for this year, none of which involve me feeling bad about my abs. My abs made two ENTIRE PEOPLE, one of whom can KINDA READ. They made shoulder blades! They made something that can ask you for crackers! And so they deserve to be in whatever shape they feel like. Does this mean I’m going to just eat pizza and drink beer and never exercise? No; there will also be pasta and Pinot Grigio involved. I’m kidding; I’m going to try and scale back on meat and potatoes and up on vegetables. That’s about it. I’m not going to turn down nachos and then spend a week longing for nachos until I finally say fuck it and go get the damn nachos. Nachos are a present to us from the Universe and deserve their proper reverence. But in between nachos, there will be broccoli and stuff. I can do that.

And I want to exercise where I can, but mostly because it makes me feel better and gives me time to listen to podcasts. And because being aware of your body and feeling IN your body (instead of in your head, which is where I spend 95% of my time) helps you feel more present I guess.

Whatever your New Year’s Resolution, I hope it goes well. And if it doesn’t, I hope you can be nice enough to say to yourself, “It’s just some nachos and not some kind of statement about who I am as a person. My success or failure as a human being does not ride on whether or not I have these nachos.”

It rides on whether or not you have a yacht.

Happy Boating,


PS – We all agree that I should start a Mexican restaurant on a boat called “Yachtchos,” right? Great, just checking.

A Letter to the People Who Think There’s a War on Christmas

Dear People Who Think There’s a War on Christmas,

Christmas Tree

You’re right.

It’s been so hard to keep silent all this time, but I can’t do it any longer; my conscience won’t allow it. I am the former secretary for an organization called the Federation Against Christmas Time (FACT). My role was to schedule appointments, take meeting notes, and keep plenty of pens on hand. What follows is a transcript from one of FACT’s meetings that shows just how vast the conspiracy is against Christmas.

Harry Reid: Alright everyone, thanks for being here today. Um, Vladimir, can I get you to put a shirt on, buddy?

Vladimir Putin: No.

Harry Reid: Alright, fair enough. So let’s dive right in and start brainstorming some ideas on how to destroy Christmas.

Nancy Pelosi: Before we get started, is Fidel going to be able to make it?

Harry Reid: Nah, we can’t get the hologram thingy to work.

Nancy Pelosi: Ah, OK. Bummer.

Harry Reid: So, who’s got an idea?

Bashar Al-Assad: OK, I’ve got one. I think we should start secretly getting stores to put out their Christmas stuff earlier and earlier every year. Like, all the decorations should go up AT THE SAME TIME that the Halloween decorations are already up.

(group murmurs excitedly)

Nancy Pelosi: Oh I love that. That’s some next-level shit right there, Bashar.

Harry Reid: I like it too. OK, we’ll write that one down in the “Yes” column. Any others to discuss?

Kim Jong-Un: Oh, um, OK, what if we made sure that every commercial aired from October to the end of the year featured jingling bells or Christmas music or big red bows or Christmas lights or Santa Claus or, you know, just SOMETHING having to do with Christmas, so it’s just like this massive onslaught of Christmas advertising pounding you in the face?

Harry Reid: Isn’t that kind of helping to promote Christmas? Maybe even over-promoting it?

Kim Jong-Un: EXACTLY.

Harry Reid: OK, still not sure I 100% understand that one, but it’s easy enough to do, so let’s take it. Moving on. Who else?

Michael Moore: I have the perfect idea.

Nancy Pelosi: You always do, Michael.

Michael Moore: So you know how there’s Christmas but there’s also other stuff around Christmas? Like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and New Year’s and the winter solstice or whatever? What if we encouraged people to start saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” to like, include the other holidays?

(The room falls into stunned silence. Vladimir Putin slowly rises from his chair and begins a slow clap. The others join in until it becomes a regular clap, then thunderous applause. Everyone else stands up too.)

Vladimir Putin: That is GENIUS, Michael. We take away their ability to even wish each other a Merry Christmas and force them to say Happy Holidays. That’s incredible. I’m about to call up those Nobel people and tell them to give you some kind of medal for being a total badass!

Michael Moore: Oh, well no, we don’t FORCE anyone to say Happy Holidays – they can still say Merry Christmas if they want to, but we just gently suggest that there are other holidays too and that it might be more expedient to say “Happy Holidays” and quickly acknowledge them all instead of saying “Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa” and all that stuff.

Vladimir Putin: Oh really? I was hoping this was going to be more of a locking people up for no good reason kind of a thing –

Harry Reid: I think it’s terrific. Let’s get started on that right away. OK everyone, sounds like we have a lot of work to do. I’ll get Moammar to start working on the plans and we’ll check back in next week. And can somebody check on the hologram thingy?

It’s my fervent hope that releasing this transcript can help to save Christmas from the vast conspiracy against it. With so many forces working to bring Christmas down, it’s a wonder we still are able to put up Christmas trees and make Christmas cookies and contribute to a massive retail economy and trample each other to death trying to get the latest Elmo incarnation at midnight on Thanksgiving and go to our children’s Christmas pageants and get government holidays off for Christmas to spend time with our families and go to our church’s Christmas concert and hear the story of Jesus’s birth and see the manger scene in people’s front yards and in live nativity scenes and generally be able to freely celebrate the holiday however we wish with no fear whatsoever of any sort of reprisals or repercussions to our jobs or health or safety or family AT ALL.

Your humble servant,

Hey Bashar, What Brings You Here?

A Letter to People Freaking Out About Ebola

Dear People Freaking Out About Ebola,

Ebola VirusThere have now been TWO people in Dallas who have had ebola. And yet, everyone is telling you to quit freaking out, that there’s nothing to worry about. Well I’m going to tell you what no one else will:

You have every right to be petrified.

It’s true – there’s a lot of misinformation out there. So let’s cut through the falsehoods and make a true, honest list of all the ways you can get ebola:

  1. If you enter the DFW airport, you are definitely getting ebola.
  2. If your plane flies over Dallas on its way to somewhere else, you can absolutely get ebola.
  3. If your sister is from Dallas, you are both at high risk for ebola.
  4. If you live anywhere in the Dallas suburbs, your chances of contracting ebola are somewhere around 98%.
  5. If you’ve ever taken public transportation in Fort Worth with someone who looked a little peaked, you already have ebola.
  6. If you’ve ever rooted for the Dallas Cowboys, you are chock full of ebola.
  7. If you’ve ever shaken hands with Mark Cuban, you’ve practically taken a bath in ebola soup.

By now you’re probably pretty sure that you’re at a very high risk for contracting ebola. You’re right. So what can you do to protect yourself? Here are some important steps to take that will almost certainly save your life:

  1. If you see an ebola patient, DO NOT LICK THEM. Do not lick any of their stuff either. You may want to change your whole policy on licking things until this mess dies down.
  2. It’s hard for a regular person to obtain a proper biohazard suit, but you can get the job done with a paint mask, a couple of ponchos and some duct tape. With the proper modifications, a beekeeper’s suit might also work.
  3. Don’t breathe air with other people. Ebola is not airborne, but that shouldn’t stop you from being extra cautious about what you’re breathing.
  4. Wear two pairs of rubber gloves on your hands at all times and wrap your feet in Saran Wrap. You may want to put a little lotion on them first – that’ll really help seal in the moisture. (This is a special “bonus tip” as it will also improve the texture of your feet.)

Just because a scary thing is happening nowhere near you to no one you’ve ever met or had contact with doesn’t mean you’re not at risk of imminent death. Ignore the naysayers and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself – better safe than ebola’ed.

Yours truly,

The Media

A Letter To Everyone Defending The Musical Choices In My Workout Mix

Dear Everyone,

I know you have questions when you take a look at my workout mix, so I’d like to take this opportunity to address your questions:

1. There’s a hell of a lot of Jay-Z and Beyonce here, no?

Yes, yes there is. Because it is Sasha Fierce! No, it’s because they make music that      makes me want to move around a lot more than I normally do. So that makes sense, right? If the goal is to exercise?

2. Living in the 1990’s much?

Yes, those were my “formative years,” so the music from that period is referenced heavily here. Get off your high horse.

3. And Linkin Park has made an appearance somehow?

Let me be clear: I hate Linkin Park. They have made one song that I love (which is here) and hundreds of others that I absolutely detest. So quit being a judgypants about it.

4. Kris Kross?!?

They make me want to jump, jump.

5. Really?


6. REALLY?!?!?!?

Listen, those little thirteen-year-olds could spit rhymes, yo. Respect.

7. So you secretly have horrible taste in music?


There, that should clear that up. Get the workout mix here and start secretly enjoying the horrible, horrible music that I am using to improve myself. :)

Buenos Noches!

It’s Not That Bad, Is It?

A Letter to the Members of My Household

Dear Members of My Household,

While Daddy is out of town, I’d like for us all to think of ourselves as a team, a team that works together instead of what you all are doing, which is scattering in all directions to make mischief. To that end, I have enacted some new rules:

  1. Cats – while there is one adult human in charge of the two of you plus a teething toddler with an ear infection, neither of you is allowed to barf on any furniture in the middle of the night. This does not help with the morning routine.
  2. And while we’re at it, at least 50% of this domicile is covered in tile flooring. For the love of all that is good in the world, if you have to barf, BARF ON THE GODDAMN TILE. Honestly.
  3. Tiny Human: While I adore you all the way down to my tiniest pinky toe, I cannot simultaneously carry you around while making your lunch, making my lunch, loading the car, brushing my teeth or putting my pants on. You’re a seventeen-month-old toddler – grow up already.
  4. Also, while I am not carrying you around, you should not take the opportunity to screech at the cats and chase them. The cats do not like this. Remember: you’re on the same team, but it’s not a soccer team!
  5. And speaking of running, when you climb up on the couch and sprint across it while giggling hysterically, I have to keep coming over and peeling you off of the couch and barricading the couch and scolding you while you giggle some more and trying to get you to play with another toy, no, a TOY, not the kitties, don’t chase the kitties and IT SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS LONG TO MAKE A SANDWICH, KIDDO.
  6. Your organic carrot/parsnip/apple fruit pouch is for nutrition, not decoration. “Orange Splat” is not the décor theme that has been chosen for this room. (And neither is “Rampant Cat Barf,” kitties.)
  7. Everyone is limited to 0 temper tantrums per day unless they’re over 5 feet tall. So simmer yourselves down, shorties.
  8. No one is allowed to come down with any other illnesses. I’ve got a toddler on 2 medicines and 2 cats on 3 medicines. If any of you come down with anything else, there’s a good chance you’ll all end up accidentally on birth control pills while I’m treating ear mites I don’t have.
  9. Wine: Thank you. For everything.
  10. Daddy/Husband: We love you. We miss you. We have never appreciated you more than we do right now. And rest assured that when I’m getting that pedicure this weekend, I’m going to be appreciating the shit out of you the whole time.

This should help streamline some things. Now let’s pull together for the sake of Mama’s sanity!

Yo Mama

A Letter To People Who Throw Weddings For Their Dogs

Dear People Who Throw Weddings For Their Dogs,

With all that’s going on in the world, I think it’s astonishing that you’ve chosen to throw a wedding for your dogs. So they can get married. You know, like they’ve been wanting to do for so long now…..?

And to the people who say spending thousands of dollars on a wedding ceremony for two creatures who would rather be gnawing on your Nikes is ridiculous, I say, “Hello! Let’s exchange phone numbers and hang out, for we are like-minded individuals!”

And to the people who say, “How come gay people can’t get married but dogs can?” I say, “We meet again! Seriously, we should vacation in the Bahamas together! We have so much in common!”

And to the movers and shakers of the doggie formalwear, doggie wedding cake, and doggie wedding planning industries, I say, “How did you arrive at this career choice? What sort of placement tests did you take? What color is your parachute? But also: WHAT?!?”

And to my fellow brothers & sisters in humanity, I ask, “So we’re really doing this kind of thing then? Should we skip ahead to the apocalypse now, or do we want to futz around with canine nuptials for a bit longer?”

And to my bartender, I say, “Yes, I shall indeed require another margarita.”

Yours Truly,

(Banging head gently against tabletop)