Friday, March 30, 2012

Just Grit Your Teeth and Smile

I’m all angst-y and stuff right now, because I. Am. FRUSTRATED.  Here’s the problem: ever have a person – or people – in your life who think that they TOTALLY know how something works, but – oh hey! – they don’t? Not even a little? But they’re in some kind of position that demands respect, so you can’t just smack them on the back of the head* and then say, pointedly, “I need you to LISTEN to me right now, because I can do this in my sleep. I KNOW HOW THIS WORKS.” In fact, due to your respective positions in life, you really can’t say anything at all, so you grit your teeth and try to smile and then do whatever you were told to do, even though you know – YOU KNOW! – that it’s not correct?

Did I mention that’s it’s frustrating?

The part of my brain that tries to be enlightened thinks “Well, perhaps the universe is trying to teach you patience,” but I have to tell you – that’s not my favorite part of my brain, because it annoys me.** I mean, enlightenment is probably great, but I don’t see how doing something wrong ON PURPOSE, because someone told you to, is really a lesson in anything productive. Because, eventually, someone with MORE perspective and authority is going to realize and point out “Hey, that’s not the right way to do that,” and at that point, I’m just going to have to say, “You are correct” and try really hard not to push anyone under the bus, even though my “pushing someone under the bus” fingers are itching to do it.


Is there a nice way to tell someone that he is incorrect? That she is walking down the wrong path? I’m thinking … not really.  Any way I try to articulate it sounds TERRIBLE and, also, kind of snarky and know-it-all-y. While I recognize my character flaws of being bossy and stubborn are very real, I also know that when it comes to this particular thing, I am something of an expert – having my experience discounted because I’m younger or whatever is a bit bothersome,*** and finding myself without the ability to say “These assumptions are incorrect” and be heard is driving me crazy.****

Ah well. We’re heading into the weekend and I hope that you, Dear Reader, are doing so without angst or frustration, and that your days are happy and filled with laughter.

*Not that smacking anyone in the head is ever really appropriate. Unless you’re Gibbs.

**What? You don’t prefer one part of your brain over the other?!

***Hello, understatement

**** Or, you know, crazier than I already was, which was … crazy.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Working 9 to 5 (or, like, 6 to 5:30 ... or 6 ... or sometimes 7)

People keep asking me how it is that I’m able to work from home, and they generally don’t mean it as in “How did you get a job that allowed you to work from home”? * They generally mean: how are you able to be in your house all day, and yet also get work done?

Well, let me tell you:

It’s not for everyone.

So, in case you’re wondering to yourself, “Self, would I be able to work from home everyday?” (and why do you continually refer to yourself in the third person ?That’s weird), here are some questions you will need to ponder.

1.       Are you very VERY comfortable being alone most of the time? If you can’t stand the sound of your own voice, if you’re super social, if you need to have people to talk to during the course of the day? You might not want to work from home, where you can go for long stretches without talking to anyone other than yourself – unless, of course, your job requires that you spend a lot of time on the phone, in which case you will spend all day talking to people who may or may not be completely irritating you, at which point you will find that you have no one to decompress to, except for your cat, who probably doesn’t care.

If you’re a very social individual, working from home can be an exercise in torment and isolation. You might want to keep that office job.

2.       Are you okay with the fact that you don’t have a support team? When I worked out of the home, there were things like supply closets and IT support and accounting. When you work from home, there is no fun closet that is kept stocked with supplies like printer ink and paper… YOU have to go to get those things. Out of pens? Sucks to be you! That ink cartridge finally gave out? Guess you’d better get to Staples, because you’re going to need ink.  Is your computer acting weird? Internet being funky? Have you downloaded a virus? Did I mention that you don’t have an IT team?  Suck it up, Buttercup, because you’re going to have to sort this one out on your own.  Need a purchase order or something? Hope you can wait a few days, because you can’t just walk down the hall and ask for one. It’s going to take a while for anyone to get back to you with that – unless, of course, you’re working from home for your own business, in which case you get to figure out the financial implications of your order and then go from there.

If you need stuff now, immediately, and you need other folks to get it for you? Yeah. You need to drive to work.

3.       Can you concentrate if you don’t have a visible supervisor? Some people need the pressure of knowing someone is looking over their shoulder. Some people don’t. The ones who do sometimes go off the deep end when Big Bro is not keeping an eye on them and then find other, non-work things to take up quite a bit of their time while their work piles up … and up … and up … and goes unattended. This is bad.

If you need someone to keep an eye on you, you might want to work someplace where that can happen.

4.       Can you channel your ADD in productive ways? If you can use your attention related quirks to help you to multitask and work on 18 projects at once, Yay! You can work from home! If you can’t, and find that it makes you wander around your house, doing different, non-work things? You can’t work from home.

See, the thing about working at home is that it is work. In fact, it might be MORE work than working in an office, because in an office, there is a clear delineation: That’s where you work. Home is where you live. When you live AND work at home, you have the constant knowledge that your work is there, just behind that door. It’s easier to start work early and leave late when you know you don’t have a commute, when you know that you won’t be able to relax while that project is still sitting there, lurking,  chortling evilly in the dark. It’s harder to relax. (It’s also harder to justify a sick day when you’re already in your jammies. I’m just saying.

How am I able to work from home?  It’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone. You kind of have to be super focused, kind of antisocial, and determined.  (It helps if you’re prone to getting into car accidents, so the temptation of getting an out of the house job isn’t, actually, very tempting at all; it also helps if you already have a tendency to talk to yourself and or the cat out loud, because you’ll probably be doing that a lot.)

I like it. Mostly.

But that’s just me. 

*Answer: COMPLETELY by accident.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bloody Hell

I got my nose pierced over the weekend, which is a blog post all by itself, but the better part of the story is that my cat thinks that “nose ring” equals “Something on my mom’s face that I should probably try to bite.” Obviously, our opinions on this matter differ greatly.

So if you don’t mind, I’m going to have to keep this short while I try to staunch the (mild) bleeding. (It’s not that bad, really. It’s just kind of yucky.)

Later, gators.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lame. Lamer. Lamest.

There's this person I sort of know who I'm pretty sure has been placed on this earth as an example of how I never want to behave.

Because s/he's so cool. How cool? The coolest. And s/he wants to make sure that you realize it. And make note of it. You'll never be as cool as her/him.

This bugs me.

Not because I think I'm cool -- I'm not cool. I've never been cool. I'm awkward, and not the adorable Zooey Deschanel kind. Just the awkward kind. It doesn't bother me, as a rule, because I've had thirty six years to deal with my social clunkiness and feeling like everyone else got the "this is how to act/dress/speak/whatever" memo and I didn't.

Except that, with the vantage point of those thirty six years, I also know this: there isn't a memo.

We're all just sort of scraping by with our own uncoolness. Some of us have an extra sprinkling of it. Some of us just have a little bit. It might be well hidden, but it's usually there, under the surface, worried over and waiting to be found.

I'd rather be completely accepting of myself and my dorkiness, my flawed and sometimes rather obnoxious self, my discomfort with some social situations, than be someone who walks about practically yelling "LOOK AT ME I'M COOL."

Because that's kind of NOT cool. It's kind of sad. And even though I know that, on some level, it comes from a deeper, more insecure place, it still bothers me. Because I want to give this person a hug and tell her/him that we're all just kind of big idiots, hanging around and hoping no one really notices how lame we are.

I don't think it would be appreciated, though.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Make a Difference Monday: Kickstarter

Make A Difference Monday is for, you know, suggesting different causes/issues/stuff  and ways you (yes, you!) might be able to make a difference if you so choose.

I know that my kinds of causes are not always EVERYONE’S kinds of causes. I know because, well, sometimes I get emails. And sometimes people tell me directly that I am woefully misguided. I’m usually fine with this – we’re all different, and that’s awesome, so whatever.

Having said that, let me tell you about Kickstarter. I was introduced to Kickstarter by my friend Ben. Ben is planning to make a documentary. About human trafficking.  (Want to know more? Check it out here:

Kickstarter is a way for people to get projects – like Ben’s -- funded.

As I see it, this is a cool thing.  Because there are a million and twelve (probably more, I stopped counting at a million and twelve, though) ways in which we can all touch each other’s lives, but Kickstarter can help you to help someone else to fulfill a dream.

And helping people to fulfill dreams?

I’m pretty sure that makes a difference.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Friday and It's all A-Sparkle

It’s Friday, thank the sweet baby Jesus. Between being sick and and covering for someone at work and then having it suddenly be 80 gajillion degrees in New Hampshire IN MARCH and staying up all night to read the entire Hunger Games series, I am one tired bunny.

How tired? Here’s how tired: I just realized that I’m covered in red glitter, which is WEIRD. Because I don’t have anything red or glittery kicking around the house. While I like being sparkly, I am also a big fan of knowing where said sparkle came from.  So I have glitter hands  -- which might be the DISCO version of jazz hands – for no apparent reason.


Oh well.

Since it’s Friday, I should probably play the “what’s on my desk” game, because Friday is usually “clean this place up” day.  Let’s see… I’ve got:

Tea that Shilo gave me

A weather station

Cuticle oil

Puffy sock monkey stickers

A note on how to care for a ring

Screen/glasses cleaner

Several sheets of paper with notes scribbled on them, none of which are exceptionally legible, and one of which only says “Hashbrowns?”;  I don’t know what this was about, and I DEFINITELY wonder about the punctuation.  Hashbrowns go without saying, whatever the reason. DO NOT QUESTION THE HASHBROWN.

A coaster

A clipboard

One of those old school rulers that folds up on itself. This belongs in my tool box, but it lives on my desk because … well, I don’t know why. It’s fun to play with.

A Kohl’s flyer and coupons.

Yankee Candle oil refills

Highlighters in every colour of the rainbow – literally, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. In that order. Why? Why not?

A pen

Two pink paperclips

A box of tissues

This is of course when I point an accusing, glittery finger at myself: Self, I say, your desk is a MESS.

I consider having a diva moment – glitterfingers seem to justify it – where I flounce off and announce “I can’t work in this CHAOS! I’m LEAVING!” but there’s no one to appreciate the flouncing, and I’d have to clean it later anyway. It’s not like there’s a cleaning crew in here. It’s just me.

Me and my tired, shiny fingers.

I think I’ll add a cup of coffee to the mix and see what happens.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How Do These Conversations Even Happen?

“You know how sometimes you do something perfectly normal but then you make some kind of emotional leap regarding it and it makes you completely crazy?”

“You mean like how I can’t eat a couple of Twizzlers, but must eat the whole package and then, in a fit of ‘ohmygod I am so fat’ insanity I then go on a crazy, eating everything in the house fit that ends in hooking up with Ben and Jerry?”

“Just like that.”

“Yeah. What set you off?”


“You know you can’t have those in the house. They make you insane.”

“I know. I KNOW. But  I keep thinking I can be normal with them. I’m an ADULT. I keep thinking, that surely, this time will be different. THIS time, I can have them in the house without eating a whole box. I CAN.”

“You CAN’T.”


“So let me guess: some sort of tv marathon was involved?”

“Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.”

“That’s … not even right.”

“I know, everything looks so yummy. So I was hungry. And the Cheezits were CALLING to me.”



“You can’t buy those anymore.”

“I know. And you’re banned from Twizzlers, because I know you only mentioned them because you went crazy on the Twizzler goodness. What started that?”


“Twilight. Twizzlers. I see that.”

“First I’m all, why am I even WATCHING this? And then I’m all, they’re all so YOUNG. And then…”



“I hear ya.”

“We need to stop the insanity.”

“But how?”

“Well, grasshopper … I actually have NO idea.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I was wandering about the house last night when the power suddenly went out. This might not have been remarkable, except for the fact that there was nothing to indicate that the power SHOULD have gone out – there was no loud crash or bang,  the skies were clear, it wasn’t stormy … nothing. Just one moment, electricity! And the next moment? TOTAL DARKNESS.

It was weird. And also, very dark.

I was rummaging about for my trusty flashlight when I thought: This? Is how the zombie apocalypse starts.

And then I thought: I am SO NOT PREPARED for this.

Because, really, I’m not. Once upon a time, I was involved with someone who became a Prepper. You know, one of those people who stockpiles food and weapons and money (although what the money is for, I’m not quite certain) and who is building a bunker in the backyard in event of some sort of cataclysmic event? Yeah. He went all Prepper on me AFTER we broke up, and in the interest of looking out for my well being, used to send me updates and recommendations for things I should probably put in the bunker I was definitely NOT building.

It was … interesting.

But as I stood in my house, the power out in my entire complex, the night filled with the sounds of … well, the river and birds and the murmurs of my fellow people who had no power, and the sight of flashlight beams cutting across the parking lot, I became very creeped out. (I should probably cool it with trying to catch up with The Walking Dead, honestly.)

And then I started thinking: in the event of an actual apocalypse, zombie or otherwise, what kind of supplies should I have?

So let me present to you: Danielle’s List of Zombie Apocalypse Supplies

1.       Beer. Also, books on how to brew your own beer, for when I run out of beer (which will eventually happen). Why? Two reasons: A) The reality is that I’m not going to be one of the people who lasts for a SUPER long time as zombies shuffle after me, trying to eat my brainz, because I’m not a fast runner, so I might as well enjoy the time I have left and B) beer makes everything better. Plus, in a pinch, a bottle of beer can double as a weapon. So, yeah. Beer.

2.       A Swiss Army Knife. The big one, with all of the tools. I really think this requires no additional explanation. (Also, if anyone’s wondering what to get me for Christmas? I REALLY want one of these.)

3.       Deodorant. And a tootbrush. Because after a couple of weeks with no power, no water, and sweaty running from zombies, cleanliness might be one of the few things that allow other non-zombies to distinguish me from the legions of flesh eating undead. (I’m not very graceful, so my running? Looks kind of like shuffling. I’d rather not take a bullet – or hatchet or whatever – just because I’m clumsy. So if I look and smell UNzombieriffic, that should help. I hope. Of course, this could also backfire horribly and make me more appealing to the zombies because I’ll smell like minty fresh goodness and pacific breezes. Which is why #1 is so important.)

4.       Neosporin. I feel like this will be important to have, because you don’t want any cuts or nicks to be exposed to zombie germs, do you? I submit you do NOT. Also, band aids. Perhaps an ace bandage or two. Just in case.

5.       I recognize that some sort of weapon (you know, other than a beer bottle) would probably be handy here. However, I don’t know what kind. I’m thinking a firearm of some sort, because you don’t want to have to get up close and personal so a bladed weapon is out, unless you have a good throwing arm and I kind of don’t, and a chainsaw or something is messy and requires gas, which might be in short supply, but a gun needs bullets and eventually they’ll run out. Ideally, a really good slingshot might work because ammo for slingshots is EVERYWHERE, but again, with the aim and stuff. So apparently, I won’t HAVE a weapon. I’ll just be the good smelling chick with the beer and the first aid supplies AKA the first one to succumb to the zombies.

At any rate, we were NOT having a zombie attack last night – thankfully, the power came back on after three hours. All was well. No emergency preparations needed.

But I am thinking of stocking up on beer. Just in case.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I have the flu. Which, yuck, but which has also made me realize that my body has clever ways of telling me "hey, smartie pants, better hunker down in your pjs."

For example

1: wanting to hunker down in my pjs.

2: looking in the mirror and thinking, "whatever, no one cares."

3: suddenly realizing that broth is delicious. Soooo yummy. So comforting. So ... Easy to digest.

4: falling asleep on the couch during lunch.

5: being full-on jealous of my cat's ability to sleep all day, whenever and wherever.

6: thinking that the bathroom floor would be a great place for a nap.

7: thinking that the office desk would be a great place for a nap.

8: dreaming about taking a nap while, in fact, napping.

9: losing your train of thought while writing a list and finding yourself unable to finish said list.

Anyway. I'm off to drink some more broth. Try not to be jealous.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oh Look, A Post.

Make a Difference Monday is being postponed until Tuesday because I CONTROL THE FLOW OF TIME. No, not really. It’s really because I need to find out a little bit more about how the thing I want to talk about this week works.  You’re probably all crushed right now because you count on me to help you to change the world (or something?) but, sorry, that won’t happen until tomorrow.

In the meantime,  some letters that I’d like to send to various entities.

Dear Threadless T Shirt People,

For the love of all that is holy, please please PLEASE stop tempting me with $10 tshirts.  PLEASE.  I already have too many tshirts, and I’m trying to save money, and yet you keep emailing me tormenting emails filled with gloriousness that I am desperate to own and wear on my person. I keep unsubscribing, and yet, like a clever clothing pusher, you keep showing up with geekery that I MUST HAVE I MUST. I’m begging you – let me go!

Dear Client Who Is Driving Me Mental,

I know you think that you are the ONLY person I work with. But you’re not.  I know you don’t care, but you’re making me more insane than I already was, which is saying something, but not something GOOD.

Dear Girl in the Common Who Clearly Doesn’t Know How To Throw A Frisbee,

Listen, I’m no athlete. I may, actually, be a bit of a princess. But watching you play Frisbee with your boyfriend is an embarrassment to women EVERYWHERE. And the way you giggle and simper every time you throw it (and I’m using that term VERY loosely) is not cute, it’s obnoxious, because the notion of “being too girly to properly throw a Frisbee” is, frankly, just lame.   

Dear Chinese Food Delivery Guy,

You are like a superhero.  One who brings deliciousness directly to my hard to find doorstep. I’m sorry more people don’t tip you well, because they totally should… and if they’re NOT going to tip you, they are clearly not worthy beneficiaries of your egg roll bearing goodness, and should be forced to wander, hungry and tired, through the mall on Black Friday. Or something equally dire. Because you're AWESOME.

Dear Cute Guy I’m Too Intimidated To Speak To,

Yeah, I’m also too intimidated to write to you, even as a joke. Nevermind.

Dear Everyone Who Has Ever Had to Deal With Me,

I’m trying to cut back on the following: swearing, being obnoxious, interrupting, and … no, that’s about it for the moment.  If any of the previous items have offended you, I’m sorry. I KNOW they’re not good habits. Also, be aware that “cutting back” doesn’t mean “Stopping”. It just means doing it LESS. (I should also work on the whole “using all caps for emphasis” but whatever, baby steps people. Baby steps)

Friday, March 16, 2012

"Just Find Your Happy Place", My Ass

Seriously, y’all, sometimes I think the ‘verse is just MESSING with me.

Because I just barely manage to cling by my fingernails to the edge of my zen – ZENNNNN I AM CALLLMMMM EVERYTHING’S GOOOOOODDDDD – and then I read something like this:

A thoughtful, sensitive male Wisconsin legislator has proclaimed that he is against divorce under all circumstances — even spousal abuse. And he's got a message to all those ladies out there getting the shit beaten out of them by their husbands: remember the good times, back before things took an abusive turn, and maybe you'll fall in love again. There, isn't that better? Now, chin up, and go back out into that awful marriage of yours like a champ.” (The entire article? It’s here:

And of course, that’s about when I lose my mind.

I actually keep re-starting this paragraph, because my ability to be articulate about this particular topic is greatly impacted by my immediate emotional response. So instead of trying to say something, let me paint you a picture:

Imagine, if you will, being in your car, driving to your house, and knowing that somewhere, at some point in your day, you did something wrong. Maybe you were joking with a co-worker of the opposite sex, maybe you dared to use the shared debit card to put gas in your car or get lunch, maybe you have the wrong outfit on or the house isn’t clean enough or you planned to make the wrong thing for dinner. Maybe it’s not even something you did – maybe it’s something that your partner imagined that you did, or – EXTRA FUN – it’s something s/he DREAMED you did and needs to punish you for in real life, because apparently YOU are responsible for the things that happened in his/her subconscious. Imagine going through this every day. Imagine living every day in a world where your home is not a haven, it’s just a place where you are emotionally and physically held hostage every time you return. Where you can’t speak your mind. Where you’re not allowed to have friends or go out or make plans. Where you’re not allowed access to your own paychecks “for your own good” and where nothing you do is ever right or good enough and your attitude is continually corrected or, as your partner says “adjusted”.

Now imagine finding the strength to tell someone. And then having that someone tell you that you just need to be stronger and remember the good times -- you know, the times when you were treated like a king or a queen, so that you’d get lured INTO this situation. The time when your emotions were being manipulated by a champ so you’d enter into a relationship that would eventually close around you like a box you couldn’t escape. That was AWESOME! So the next time you’re being used as a physical and emotional punching bag, you hold on to THAT.

Okay. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system… There’s been a lot of really extreme legislation and political expression lately, and I haven’t responded to it all here because I’m not really a political blogger (just, you know, sometimes) but it seems like, in the interest of achieving some sort of "nirvana" that clings desperately to an ideal that not everyone shares, values which are of a particular religious bent, and a  reality which very few people I know actually live in,  punishing laws and dangerously narrow views  are being tossed around in an effort to make us “better” people. You know, the kind who don’t need or use contraception, because none of us are having sex and we ALLLLL want to have children. Lots of them. And the kind who don’t get divorced, even though our partners may or may not kill us just for the hell of it. And if we DO stay with that partner, we’d best plan on having children, because even in committed relationships, contraception is WRONG, right?

(Pardon me, as I pause to whack my head against my desk in frustration.)

Look, I don’t understand a lot of things, but I especially don’t understand why anyone thinks it’s okay to abuse another human being … or why some ridiculous, moralizing JACKASS would tell someone who’s being abused that it’s her or his job just to suck it up and deal.

Because, friends, if you are being abused, it is NOT your moral obligation to stay.

You NEED to leave. You NEED to get help. And you NEED to know that your life and your body belong to you and no one, ever, is allowed to make you feel as though they do not.


Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to trade this soapbox for some zen.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday? Friday? Who Even Knows?

So I was sitting here trying to remember what it was that I had totally forgotten to do this morning and then I thought, “Oh, yeah, I need to post to my blog” and THEN I realized that in addition to forgetting to post, I had ALSO forgotten to write today’s post (which I usually do the day before but apparently, since I spent all day yesterday thinking it was Thursday when it was really only Wednesday the part of my brain that remembers to write a blog post was non functioning). Which is making me feel panicky and crazed because, even though this blogging thing is not a PAID gig or anything (I only wish I knew how to make that work … anyone?) and no one’s going to show up on my doorstep with a pitchfork to wave threateningly at me if I don’t post, I’ve sort of committed to posting on a daily basis. Except not the weekend because on the weekend I try not to be on the computer so much, you know? It’s sort of like a computer break, the weekend, but for the fact that I have a smartphone and can essentially be online everywhere. EVERYWHERE. So I guess the weekend isn’t really a computer break as much as an “I don’t want to sit in my office on a Saturday” break, which is fine, but which doesn’t QUITE solve the problem of forgetting to write a post yesterday. And let’s face it too, yesterday’s post kind of sucked, because it’s been a shitty week and I’m tired and out of gas. Like, literally, at lunch I need to go to the gas station because the car, it is hungry, but also metaphorically or whatever.  Fried, empty, tired,  in need of a long nap. My friends have suggested meditation. And medication. Or a delicious blend of both but really, who has the time for either of those things? So basically, blog friends, this should really serve as an apology for kind of but not really forgetting about you for a day and neglecting you horribly. Well, maybe “horribly” is an exaggeration. Maybe “not really neglecting you but having a moment in which my paying job was sort of a priority, what with needing to pay the bills and stuff” – you understand that right? Because you’re not selfish, and you don’t want Beansie and I to be homeless, or to turn out like the wayward chicks in that Pat Benatar video – the one where she runs away from home and then is dressed in sassy rags at a bar and has to shimmy dance at someone who I’m pretty sure is a pimp with a gold tooth, but who finds the shimmy dance TOTALLY SCARY and then flees, leaving the other homeless hookers and Pat to be free and to go home? No one wants that. Especially since Beansie isn’t such a great dancer, you know what I’m saying?  So anyway, sorry about the posting kerfluffle and I’ll try to be better about remembering stuff like what day it is and needing to post. (Is it Friday yet? For reals, yo.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Name Is Caine -- Horatio Caine

Dear David Caruso,

You’re awesome.

I don’t know WHY you’re awesome, exactly.  But lately I’ve become mildly (read: COMPLETELY) obsessed with reruns of CSI: Miami and I find myself irresistibly drawn to you and your deadpan delivery. I love your dark suits, your sunglasses, your flaming red hair (which, by the way: do you have a colourist? Because it seems like by now you should totally be greyish. S/he is doing a great job, if you do), and your sensitive yet manly portrayal of Horatio Caine.  (Also, kudos to you for reading a script that called for your character to be named Horatio and thinking, “I can make that work.” Because, really.)

I can’t stop watching you. I mean,  I should probably confess here that you’re no Mark Harmon, who will remain my first true love (okay, my second true love. My FIRST true love was Tom Selleck, because … well, have you ever watched Magnum PI? For real) but there’s something about your squinty face (it’s the Miami sun, right? Maybe you should wear your sunglasses more often?) that I find adorable and inexplicably compelling.   

I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the red hair and the Miami scenery. Maybe it’s all of the geekery (some of which is horribly inaccurate, but I forgive you) and the science-y terms. Maybe it’s the restrained (barely) badassery. Maybe it’s the Who screaming out the theme song at the beginning of the show.

Maybe it’s because you seem to have studied at the Shatner School of Weird Line Delivery? (I loved him too, once upon a time. KHAAAAAAAANNNN!)

I don’t even CARE.

Whatever it is, it’s awesome. And watchable. And strangely attractive.


See you on A&E!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why Do You Do What You Do?

My friend Jen (Hi Jen!) is a teacher (yay, teachers!) and she is working on a career unit, so she posed the question on Facebook: Why do you do what you do?

Which got me thinking.

I mean, at this point, I’m on my third career path (well, fourth, if you count retail, which you probably should because I can sell a sweater or fold a pair of jeans like a flipping CHAMP) and I sort of stumbled into it. And by sort of I mean “Someone called me out of the blue and offered me a job with this company and I didn’t have anything better to do since I had decided to move to North Carolina so I took it with the idea that if I didn’t like it I’d totally quit and do something else, because I’m flakey like that.”

That was five years ago.

I’m still here. Only now I run the joint from the comfort of my home. Whee!

So why DO I do what I do? (That sentence makes me giggle because it sounds like scatting.)

(and also, what DO I do? You might be asking.)

For the record, my company does inspections for banks and insurance companies. What I personally do is oversee the whole kit and kaboodle. The subcontractors, the office staff, the clients, the company owners, you name a piece of the pie and I have my finger in it.

I often think of the whole mess like this: It’s an orchestra. I conduct it. Which means that sometimes I have to have heated, serious conversations with individual members or sections, and sometimes I just need to watch and listen while they do their thing. It also means that I know that I’m also watched, that people take their cues from me, and so I have to be on top of where we’re going and what happens next.

Why do I do it?

I never meant to fetch up here, to be honest, so the “Why do you do it” question is an interesting one for me. I was a planner – as in, you form a life plan and you follow it and there you are and that’s that – but I discovered that defining yourself by a plan can be an intensely bad idea, because some plans will just kind of explode on you and then you’re left with no plan and so sense of who you are anymore.

Which kind of sucks.

Jen, however, is awesome, and a serious question requires a serious answer, so here it is: I do what I do because, in this role, I feel like I’m allowed and encouraged to be the best version of myself. I keep learning and growing and finding new things to study and understand. (And I get to be a little bossy. And I get to work from home. And they PAY me for it! Can you even believe it?)

Ten years ago, if you’d asked me what I would be doing, I wouldn’t have said this.

But I love it. Even when it’s making me crazy, I love it. Even when I’m tired or stressed or cranky. It’s hard work and it’s demanding and every day there’s a problem to solve and, for some reason, that mostly makes me really happy. (And even when it doesn’t, I know that eventually? It will again.)

My name is Danielle. I run operations for a company based out of Utah. And I do it because I love it.

Why do you do what you do?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Make A Difference Monday: The Trevor Project

When you're a kid, you don't know that bullies are ignorant.

You don't know that a bully sees someone who is amazing, different and free and feels like they need to build a cage of hurtful words and actions around you so that you are trapped, diminished, and small.

You don't know that they deserve no power over you, that they are weak and you are marvelous and strong.

You only know that they are hurting you. And the longer the bullying goes on, the more painful and frightening daily existence becomes. The more isolated and despairing you become -- unless, that is, you have somewhere to turn.

I support the Trevor project. It saves lives.

Maybe you want to support it too.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mirror, Mirror

So if you’ve been reading my ramblings for a while (and if you have, OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU FOR CONTINUING TO PUT UP WITH THIS NONSENSE), then you’ve probably noticed that I have some, shall we say, body image problems.

For example, I’m famous for seeing an image of my body and HATING it.

Of not wanting to have my picture taken because I might look fat.

Of not allowing myself to eat this or that (or, famously, at all) because I might get fat/get fatter/ stay fat.

I don’t even own a full length mirror because, as a rule, I don’t even want to see myself.

So yeah, maybe a body image problem. Or two hundred. Or whatever. I’m not counting.

But the thing about having body image issues (or body dysmorphia, as the cool kids call it) is this: It’s EXHAUSTING.

And eventually it gets old.

I mean, at some point, you get tired of worrying and wondering about your weight every damn day. I think that, for some of us, it’s an easy cycle to get into, but it’s hard to break because you don’t know HOW to break it, because you hear ALL THE TIME that thin equals beautiful and skinny equals sexy and this magazine is pushing this diet and this infomercial is pushing that diet and  you need to stop eating carbs or eat only carbs or I don’t even freaking know and for the love of baby Jesus could we please stop because I can’t take another day of hating my body.

This post? Is not about hating my body.

It’s about learning to love it. All of a sudden. With no warning or planning.

Now, granted, I should probably confess here that I’ve been on the above merry-go-round for, um, let’s see, I’m 36, so … 36 years.  From the moment I can remember having actual thoughts until yesterday. Which is a really long time to keep doing something that makes you ultra-miserable, don’t you think? I should also confess that, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little … flighty, my dad would say.

Which I’m pretty sure means: Prone to doing bizarre things for no real reason.

I’m cool with it.

Anyway. I got it into my head earlier this week that my hair would be really fun to make crazy and spikey and weird. With product, so it would stay that way.  And then, because I’m a dork, I posted a picture of it on facebook.

People LOVED it.

Which, honestly, stressed me out. Because it was weird, the hair. It doesn’t … shall we say … blend. It’s red and sticking up every which way.

Did I mention that people loved it? They loved it.

“It doesn’t look like me,” I thought a couple of times.

Then I realized: Yes, it does.

It looks like the me that I could ALLOW myself to be. It looks like the me that I want to be. Fierce. Kind of whacked. Fun. Not afraid and not uncomfortable in her skin.

And that was when my brain made a huge, 36 years overdue, cognitive leap. What if, it suggested, hesitantly, I didn’t limit my “looking with new eyes” just to my hair?

What if I extended that to my entire self?

What would happen?

Here’s what happened.

I’m not the tiniest person you’ll ever meet. I’m not the biggest. I’m not the curviest and I’m not the least curvy. You’ll meet people who are more athletic and people who are less athletic and people who are sexier and people who aren’t as sexy.

I don’t have to be any of those people. Because I see now that all I need to be – all I ever needed to be – was THIS size, THIS curvy, THIS level of athletic, THIS sexy. This. All of this, right now. Just me.

Some people will get it. Some people won’t. I don’t need to appeal to everyone. Not anymore.

All this from a hair moment? You might be asking.

Well, yes.

But it’s FABULOUS hair.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Mostly unedited transcript of an online conversation with one of my favorite people. (Names have been changed to protect the (sorta) innocent)

 Me: So can I tell you what I'm obsessed with now without you judging, since it's partly your fault?

Micki: oh? blaming me, not sure i like this

Me: Well, it IS your fault

Micki: ok....tell me

Me: Pinnacle Cake Flavoured Vodka.



Me: That tastes like CAKE.


Micki: i KNOW! i saw it!

Me: So if I mixed it with CHOCOLATE vodka I'd have ... whispers ... CHOCOLATE CAKE FLAVOURED DRINKIE POOS.

I think I just died a little bit. FROM JOY.

Micki: omg oh. my, god! why didnt i think of that!!

i see a trip to the liquor store in my future

i wonder if Raspberry would be like....raspberry cake?

Me: And they also have ... I'm not even ready for this shit ... COOKIE DOUGH.

Cookie dough.

Are they trying to KILL me?

  Micki: omg no no no!! raspberry AND chocolate AND cake!! omg i just drooled a little bit on my  keyboard!

Me: WHY, Pinnacle? Why must you tempt me with all of this tasty goodness?

Micki: and top it with....whipped cream pinnacle

we could get tipsy just talking about it

Me: I think I'm drunk RIGHT NOW.

Micki: if you're not you should be. just talking about it.

(I'd prefer if you'd blame Tracie? she started the whole Pinnacle thing)

Me: Because seriously, CAKE? I want to bathe in it. I want a jaccuzi filled with it. I want the fountains at the Bellagio to be filled with it so that it can dance to Frank Sinatra standards and fill the air with boozey cakey goodness.

I can't blame Tracie because she didn't bring it into my life. YOU did.

Micki: oh. literally. that's right. I forgot.

well for something THIS good, I'll take the blame

Me: I used to have to have cake and cocktails separately. But no more.

Now I can MULTITASK. And I'm not sure that's a good thing.

But I'm obsessed with it. And it's your fault. So I had to share.

Micki: appreciate you just dumping blame on me, thank you.  I am PROUD of your Pinnacle obsession. PROUD of it!

Me: I'm just noticing now that they also have one that tastes like those cinnamon fireballs that used to be in penny candy bins ... are there still penny candy bins? Does knowing about penny candy make me old? ... I don't know how I feel about that. I think that might be gross.

But cake is never gross.

Have you ever heard anyone say "That cake is gross"? No, you haven't. I'm just saying.

Micki: I don't think they do and surely you can' t be old enough to remember them! you're barely old enough to drink! no the cinnamon is not good. Or so I've heard.

Me: Bleah.

So I'm thinking I'm going to use my evil genius -- which came up with the dizzy izze* -- to make a cupcake martini.

You're welcome.

Micki: I had issues when I saw it, thinking "Cake?  Vodka? all in one?  Noooooo...that can't be good" Clearly, I was mistaken

oh. and you will share that recipe with me. you know you will

Me: There will be sprinkles involved. As a rimmer for the glass. And cake vodka

Micki: oh yea, chocolate rimmer

 Me: I was thinking rainbow, actually. Because ... PRETTY!!!!

Micki: yes pretty but CHOCOLATE CAKE

Me: but you would use chocolate to get 'em to stick.

Micki: ohhhhhhhhhhh omg GENIUS!!

Me: I try.

Micki: you might have just surpassed genius

I try to use my powers for good. BECAUSE I CARE.

* A dizzy izze is made as follows (and these are estimates. Do I look like I measure? Because I don't)
2 parts izze raspberry beverage
1 part chocolate vodka
1 part pineapple juice
Some pineapple chunks (you could freeze them first, and then they're like pineapple ice cubes.
Put in martini glass. Tastes like a banana split. SO DELICIOUS. So there you are.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Personal Trainer? Not Quite

I’ve been working out. Here’s what I think about working out:

I don’t love it.

I DO it.

But I don’t love it.

Which isn’t to say that I’m completely lazy. There are activities I enjoy. I like to hike, for example. I like to swim. I like to play golf.

Working out? Eh, not so much.

But I’m DOING it. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the eventual promise of a slightly smaller ass.

AND, I might add, the workout program that I am following is HARD.  Sensible (resistance training, cardio, and flexibility training in circuits), but really difficult.

The thing about working out is this: after a challenging workout, I never think  “Oh man, I’m SO sad that I just did that!”  Your brain, apparently, is wired to make you experience post work out euphoria. Like, “ooooh, I’m so happy I did that! I feel GREAT! I think I’ll go drink a gallon of water and eat healthy food! WHEEEE!”

Fortunately (or not, depending) this mood will pass and then chocolate resumes its rightful place in your noggin as an essential food group.

But anyway. The working out.

Have I mentioned that I have a cat?

Have I mentioned that the cat is VERY INTERESTED in whatever I’m doing at any given time?

And have I mentioned that every time I’m doing something that involves sitting or reclining on the floor, she needs to be on my person?

So. Yeah. Imagine, if you will, the following.

Pushups. With a cat on your back.

Bench press. With a cat on your stomach.

Sit ups. With a cat on your face,

Lateral press. With a cat eating your hair.

Because working out by itself isn’t sweaty and tormenting enough.

Oh well, it’s extra resistance, right?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Finding Your Way

So after a hectic day in which I discussed my menstrual cycle with the internet (fun!) and then had a crazy work afternoon (Whee!) and realized that I couldn’t do my planned workout because the muscles I pulled in my ribs when I tried not to fall off a chair while hanging curtains were making breathing painful, so I could pretty much forget about resistance training (sweet!) I managed to get into an ,um, tiff with someone I love dearly (awesome!).

Monday: 4

Danielle: 0

The thing is … the only thing that’s really bothering me, because all of the other things are managed, can be managed, will be managed … is the last one. The tiff-y one.   Because, you see, it’s about family. Maybe not the family that I was born into (though we certainly have our moments as well), but the family I have constructed for myself, the way we all do.

The problem and the joy of family is that, at the end of the day, they’re there.  So sometimes we’re more blunt with them, less studied and more honest.  Weirdly, because we love them, we say things to them that we wouldn’t say to other people;  we actually might be more concerned with the feelings of people we care less about, because … well, they’re not a member of the tribe.  You wouldn’t say: “You need to stop beating yourself up, because it’s not worth it,” to someone random, but you might say it to family. You wouldn’t take honesty to a level where you make someone cry if you don’t care for them deeply, want to help them through and over and around whatever patch of quicksand they are stuck in.  

Ah, but we also can fight with family in a way that we fight with no one else, right? Because we also know which buttons to push. When family says something that touches a nerve or that we don’t want to (or aren’t ready to) hear, we know exactly which arrow to pull out of the quiver and, at the same time, precisely where to aim. 

The older I get, the more I understand that family relationships – both biological and created – are a series of navigations. Sometimes, I think, you can rely on tried and true maps, the paths that have always worked for you, the compass rose that points the way. Other times? You have to chuck all of it and use the stars as your guide, slowly feeling your way to where you are getting to.  And it is, after all, about feeling. It’s about love, at the end of it: love is the basis for every journey families take. The easy ones and the difficult ones. It’s what starts them and what finishes them.

Even when someone has said something regrettable.

Even when someone else reacts in pointed self defence.

Even when the words come out the wrong way.

Make A Difference Monday: Use Your Voice. Use It Now (Or "I Might Be a Whore, But Rush Limbaugh is an Ass"

This is not the usual Make a Difference Monday post.

I didn’t say anything about the “If you’re on birth control you’re obviously a whore” debacle earlier because I had a rare encounter with a personal boundary, which happens so infrequently that when I do bump into a stray “Are you SURE you want to go there?” thought that I feel like I need to really unpack what is making me feel like something might be off limits.

I thought about it.

And then I decided that, uncomfortable as it might be, I’m going there.

As you probably know by now, Rush Limbaugh denounced a law student who had to audacity to speak on a matter of public policy regarding birth control as a whore. A prostitute. And then said that, if birth control is subsidized, she owes him sex tapes so he can see the sex he’s paying for.*

Here’s the thing about the birth control pill: yes, it’s a contraceptive. It also, fortunately for me and many other women, has other medical uses.

For example.

I have been on the pill since I was in my teens. And it’s not because I’m a whore, thanks, but because my body doesn’t seem to be able to regulate my menstrual cycle. (This is the TMI portion of this … I’ll get through it fast. Sorry, Mom.) What does that mean? It means, basically, that if I’m not on the pill? I have my period every other week.

You have never witnessed the kind of PMS this can cause. In fact, I don’t even think it can be described as PMS... it’s more like “Batshit crazy”. As in, in addition to becoming ridiculously anemic, exhausted, and miserable? I’m also insane. Not the fun kind.

So, the Pill.

But that makes me a whore, right? Being on the Pill? Thinking the Pill should be covered by insurance – no matter where I work – makes me a whore.  It would probably be better for me to have to shell out the costs of the Pill out of pocket (and it’s expensive, I’ll have you know) than it would be for my medical needs to be covered. And I guess that if I just couldn’t afford it, I’d have to suffer the consequences of having my period 15 days of out 30.  Right?
Here’s the Make a Difference part: The Constitution of this great country guarantees free speech.  (This blog is brought to you by the Constitution. Yay!)

As such? You can say whatever you want.

And you can ALSO be held accountable for it.

If you believe that people should be held accountable for the things that they say, then stand up and hold them accountable. If you think that what Rush Limbaugh said was inflammatory, inappropriate, and just plain mean, CALL HIM ON IT. (As of this writing, seven of his sponsors have pulled out of his show due to public pressure and outcry.)**

Do NOT, ever, stand silently when someone says something that you find hateful. Do NOT allow people to get away with something that you believe to be wrong. You don’t have to be equally inflammatory or hateful. You can be respectful, polite, and kind.

You just cannot be silent.

Silence is not how a difference is made.

*I have WAY simplified this issue because I don’t want to rehash the whole thing, but there’s a much better article here:

** You can complain about Mr Limbaugh if you want -- this website lists sponsors, and his employer: