Window War I

Recently there’s been debate and strong feelings about reclining your seat on an airplane. I would agree that a Full Recline is aggressive. I do, however, believe you are entitled to put your seat back to at least the 90 degree position. Am I the only one who feels like you are forced into a sustained abdominal crunch with my seat in its “upright” position?

But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about today. My pressing issue is a real life Axis and Allies. A fight to retain my rightful territory. My personal Manifest Destiny. 

Windows on an airplane are not spaced in line with your rows. I think once upon a time they probably were, but now with rows so close together even my 5ft, one and 1/4 inch frame feels smushed. Yes the 1/4 inch matters. 

Now you get 1+ window per seat. The “+” is the issue. 

When we boarded the flight this morning to take Riley to Michigan (insert sobs here), the view from my window was such:

As we waited on the tarmac deep in conversation, troops were apparently moved into position. When I turned my gaze back to this glorious morning I was met with this:

Oh hell no. 

I conferred with my generals. Usually they try to pacify me. Make me try peaceful protest. Seek Congressional approval and all. This time I had surprising support for my campaign. 

The 5 star felt I was squarely on their 30 yard line and could easily move into the red zone with a seat recline. The 4 star was more reticent and was concerned about retaliation. After all they had been speaking Russian. 

I’m in no emotional state to be fucked with so zzziiipppp; up went the window shade. Ahhhh, so much better. 

We took off on time and headed out over the Pacific Ocean, the new day’s sun gleaming over empty beaches.  As we made a sweeping turn back towards the east a hand reached forward PAST my seat back and shut the shade. 

Woman, you are going to long for Putin oppression if this goes on. 

I turned around, flipped the shade back up, glared at the woman… and then weakly mumbled something about being claustrophobic. 

First of all, not true. Second of all, what a sniveling, pathetic thing to say. Forgive me. I’m clearly in a vulnerable state with the changes afoot. 

The win is so much less satisfying having compromised my methods. Perhaps I’ll redeem me to myself but shutting the shades upon landing. 

xo, Kimby

Another Mass Shooting, Another Rant: Gilroy

Calling for gun control after every mass shooting is the equivalent of demanding pools be drained after every drowning.

The weapon was purchased legally and the shooter was dead within minutes because of the quick response of on-duty police.

Do I believe in common sense gun laws? ABSOLUTELY!! But this is a crisis of mental health and disenfranchisement.

I am so sick and tired of people/politicians and their respective rallying cries. Our society is unraveling. People and ideas are being forced to the extreme for the sake of votes and power. And no one really has the balls to identify the true problems and work on the difficult answers. Spoiler Alert: it doesn’t involve free college or illegal immigration.

We, as a society, are failing at our most basic level; creating community. From tiny family unit to basic human interaction with the people who share your city.

I am saddened by the propagation of hate and I am terrified by its outcome. I am exhausted by the redirection of personal responsibility to media and politicians and wide sweeping generalizations of groups.

I have no answers or stirring conclusion beyond teach your children to swim (metaphorically). Thanks for reading.

PS Sadly this is the fourth time I have written about mass shootings. Feel free to check out

Thank You For Your Service

Gun Control, Abortion, Freedom of Speech, Oh My!

Bullets and Sudafed

Objects In The Mirror Are Actually As Large As They Appear

Dear American Retailers,

I will do anything to avoid walking into a mall. Truthfully, I will do anything to avoid leaving my house. So I do a lot of shopping online. To clarify, I do a lot of ordering online of items I know are absolute necessities because shopping is a waste of time and money.

This week I ordered khaki pants from Gap. One boy needed the same size. Apparently the gaping hole on his ass that he had scotch taped was “out of uniform”. The other boy has grown and wanted a waist size one inch larger. Easy peasy.

The pants arrived and they are HUGE. Tell me how the same size of the same pant from a company like Gap could be off that much. I’ll tell you how. Vanity sizing. It’s got to be because orphaned Chinese peasant children can definitely measure.

Vanity sizing is bullshit. You are making my life a living hell. I order. I print return labels. I take packages to UPS. I wait on exchanges.

This isn’t a one-off mistake either. As an example, I recently ordered a pair of pants that were a double zero and I had to return them because I was swimming in them.  A DOUBLE ZERO! I know that Martha in Missouri is thrilled that she fits in the 00, but I’m here to tell you, Martha, you still have a fat ass even if the slutty store I ordered from says you don’t.

It’s time to stop lying to the public. Any increase in sales you are seeing are offset by my returns costs.

xo, Moi

Root, Root, Root For The…Wait, How Much?

I do love baseball and I consider myself a Dodger fan but it’s become increasingly difficult to root, root, root for the home team. Yes, the World Series was exciting last year and there were moments that I thought we’d pull it out. It was the most emotionally fulfilled I had felt by the boys in blue in a long time. But truth be told, I’ve felt abandoned since Time Warner refused to let Direct TV air the games. Not allowing us access to Vin Scully’s last seasons was unconscionable.

Peanuts, Get Your Peanuts

At some point I must have signed up to receive emails from the Dodgers. As I cleaned out my Inbox this evening, I was drawn to an offer for tickets this weekend. Granted we are in 2nd to last place in the NL West playing the last place team in the division this Memorial Day Weekend, but what the hell. I thought a Sunday lunch of Dodger Dogs, beer and the crummy substitution for what used to be the delectable Carnation Chocolate Malt sounded delicious. The biggest boy is working, the middle guy is off to Magic Mountain, so a Sunday at the ballpark for the daddy, little guy and me sounded peaceful, nostalgic and comforting.

How Much?

[Insert sound of screeching brakes here]. $1,550. For three tickets. To watch a shitty team play a shittier team.

Now I realize that I left the little box that says “best tickets available” checked but I am now offended and praying for a sink hole to open up under Chavez Ravine. Maybe you could have sold those rights to Direct TV even if it was less than your original asking price to offset costs. These prices are usury! I could almost understand it if you were recouping the cost of a new state of the art stadium but Dodger Stadium is the third oldest stadium in MLB (IMHO, it’s perfect). So how about cutting us a deal? How about making family fun family affordable?

Access Denied

Vin Scully called the very last NBC Game of the Week that aired October 9, 1989. At the close of the broadcast he had this to say: “It’s a passing of a great American tradition. It is sad. I really and truly feel that. It will leave a vast window, to use a Washington word, where people will not get Major League Baseball and I think that’s a tragedy.”

Putting MLB out of reach of the masses is a tragedy. I think maybe I’m done. Too rich for my blood. I’m not Major League, I’m bush league and proud of it.

So, this is a former Dodger fan wishing you a pleasant good evening, wherever you are.

An All-Star Baseball Team For 6 Year Olds, WTF?

The permission slip came home about 3 weeks ago. Sign here if you’d like your son considered for the All Star Team. THE 6 YEAR OLD ALL STAR TEAM!

We declined to return the form for two reasons. First and most importantly, our son doesn’t love baseball. He complains about having to go to practice. At first I used to drag him because “you’ve made a commitment to a team”. I stopped forcing him to go when he reminded me I didn’t even ask him if he wanted to play, I just signed him up. Well played, Son.

The second reason we didn’t sign and return is because this isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve played All-Star and Summer Ball. We’ve disrupted family plans, sweated our asses off in bumblefuck locales, and contended with heat stroke and repetitive injuries. And that was for a kid that LOVED the game. The kid that cried when he made his first All-Star Team (that league didn’t field a team until 10 years old) and we told him he couldn’t play because he had to go to Italy for a pre-planned family vacation. And I mean SOBBED. Because he had to go to ITALY.

Today I got a call from the little person’s coach. They’ve gotten lots of signups but not from kids that “should really be All-Stars”. The league “loves” our son. His words, not mine. Any chance he’ll play?

Poor Coach. There isn’t enough body armor in the world to protect him from the verbal onslaught that ensued. And I like this guy.

My points are as follows:

  1. Criteria for a “good” 6 year old is that he has the most basic of skills. He can throw to a target, catch a ball and make contact at bat. In reality, only about 15% of each roster has these skills. At this age, the divide between those that can and those that can’t is quite apparent. So yeah, it’s exciting as hell when something baseball-ish actually happens. Spoiler alert: those capabilities will even out over the next 2 years.
  2. It’s about to get hot. Africa hot. Small bodies are not well designed to regulate their core temperatures. Putting them in long double ply pants, suffocating polyester jerseys, oh and hats, out on a dusty field that radiates heat is probably not endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  3. They just played 3 months of baseball. That feels like a lifetime to a 6 year old. Extending the season is a recipe for burnout.
  4. It was mentioned that this is supposed to be a reward for the better players. Hey guys, that’s what the “game balls” were for. Let’s call it a season and move on to lounging by the pool.
  5. This is about parental bragging rights and nothing more.

The league offering the program and the parents participating are fueling our sports obsessed culture to the detriment of our children. I can find no redeeming quality to tacking on an All-Star tournament for this age group. Disagree with me? I’d love to hear you give me a good reason that isn’t really a cover for your ego.

Bullets and Sudafed

I originally wrote a post about gun violence on my personal Facebook page May 28, 2014. Recently I had been thinking about republishing this post on my blog now that I am, you know, a writer. I was waiting for a time when gun violence was not the topic in the news in the hopes of sidestepping the “now is the time for prayer, not gun debate” that follows every mass and school shooting. But in light of TWO school shootings yesterday, (cough) BULLSHIT.

I HAD TO LOOK UP WHICH SHOOTING TO WHICH I WAS RESPONDING!!!! There have been so many, I couldn’t pinpoint which one had set me off.

I could have reworked this entry and just published it anew. But I think it more powerful for you to see NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Well, except maybe one thing. The gun lobby is winning; I see my own reactions to gun violence waning in disgust and sadness.

2012, I remember having to pull my car over and call my husband when I heard about Newton. Tears streamed down my face as a force of fear and sorrow pierced through every fiber of my heart like I’ve never felt. Babies. Someone’s baby. My elementary school aged babies. At risk.

Two years later, the event that precipitated this entry was the shooting in Isla Vista. A catastrophic disruption in the lives of carefree students roaming the neighborhood of UCSB where my husband once cavorted. Babies. Someone’s baby. My babies, someday. At risk.

And now, Vegas, or the shootings yesterday, I feel numb. A resignation that it can happen anywhere, to anyone. BECAUSE WE HAVE DONE NOTHING. We have allowed our politicians to ignore the issue, instead allowing ourselves to be distracted by the scandal of the day. Sure, I’m concerned about Russian intervention in elections, but not as concerned as I am about the safety and well being of my babies. And yours.

So I resubmit to you: Bullets and Sudafed

Every few weeks I have a pang as I drop off my children at school. Is this the last time I’ll see you? Is that the last “I love you” you’ll hear from me? For a fleeting moment, I worry if gun violence will steal away the most precious things I have. How can we be living in a society like this?

I am angry and distraught.

I am disgusted.

I am an allergy sufferer.

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 was included in the Patriot Bill signed by President George Bush, Republican, on March 9, 2006. When I go to the pharmacy, I have to swipe my driver’s license. The DEA tracks my purchase of psuedoephedrine and limits the amount I can buy monthly. In order to comply with the law, retailers are required to keep my personal information for at least two years after my purchase.

From the FDA website: The side effects, which arise from the use and abuse of methamphetamine, include irritability, nervousness, insomnia, nausea, depression, and brain damage.

And the side effects from the use and abuse of bullets?

A reality of our society is that the government is constantly tracking and compiling information on its citizens. Why can’t we enact legislation that puts the same controls on bullets that we do on allergy medication? In all of these mass shootings, a stockpile of ammunition is uncovered. Forget about the types of weapons people feel they have a right to own. Let’s track the sale of bullets. Perhaps the ATF would be interested in investigating an individual who is buying large amounts of ammunition?

I am sick and tired of hearing 2nd Amendment defenders cry about their personal liberties. I guess none of them are allergy sufferers.

 

 

I’ve Got Gas

Nothing fun comes in the mail anymore. I know this and yet I wait with anticipation every day. I can tell from the envelope it’s garbage but I open it anyway, mostly because I compulsively shred anything with my name or address on it.

On this day, I open a letter from SoCalGas and am greeted by “Congratulations, you’ve been selected to receive a Home Energy Report”. There’s pretty graphs and numbers so I’m sucked in. And now I want to kill someone.

An aside: You should know that I am highly competitive. Some losers would even say to a fault.

The conclusion of SoCalGas is that my household uses 27% more natural gas than my neighbors. I am now having a tantrum in an empty house as I read the report and accompanying FAQ’s. Oh it’s on, Motherfuckers.

Here’s a sampling of the FAQ’s and my official response:

Who are my neighbors? How did you choose the homes used in my neighborhood comparison? According to SoCalGas, my energy use is being compared to 100 neighbors whose “characteristics” lead to similar energy needs.

Let me explain a little something to you about suburban Los Angeles and the consequences of housing density. If you circle the closest 100 houses around me you will include in that sampling crack houses, drug rehabs, unlicensed retirement homes where seniors are abandoned to Filipino gangs and multi million dollar estates. Not exactly a scientifically sound control group.

Also my neighbors aren’t cooking at home on average 5 out of 7 nights. I don’t do it because I loooove to cook but because it’s a fucking fortune to take a family of 5 out to dinner.

And I’m not talking microwave and serve, but possibly all 5 gas burners going most nights because I was brainwashed by my mother to believe that dinner is protein, vegetable, starch and salad. Boy do I have fond memories of the complete meals my live-in housekeeper prepared and cleaned up.

What is the purpose of the program? Why was I selected to be a part of the program?The Home Energy Reports program is supposedly designed to provide more information about my energy use so I can make informed choices and save money. SoCalGas contends that I was randomly selected.

You basically just admitted I was targeted because SoCalGas finds my consumption excessive. You think you can shame me into using less gas? If I was at 27% overage this reporting period, you can bet I’m shooting for 30% next time.

How do my efficient neighbors use considerable less energy than me?Efficient households take a variety of steps to reduce energy, which may include using a programmable thermostat, running full loads in the dishwasher, washer and dryer and taking shorter showers.

We’re gonna have to break this down one at time:

Um, “efficient” and considerable”? Nice use of qualifiers. Judgmental much?

Using a programmable thermostat: I’ve got one of those and it’s particularly helpful in dealing with climate change. It has this handy feature where I can run the air conditioner during the day when it’s 100 fucking degrees on Thanksgiving and then automatically flip the heater on at night when the weather decides that it is in fact November.

Running full loads in the dishwasher, washer and dryer: There are 5 people in this house and 3 of them eat 15 meals a day, never drink out of a glass twice and crap up anything they’ve been wearing for 5 minutes. I AM running full loads. Just multiple times a day.

Taking shorter showers: I have two teenage boys and god bless them for their discretion. It’s a small price to pay for longer showers. If I demanded shorter showers, I’d have to invest in a black light. I’d have more loads of laundry to do, all requiring hot water provided by my gas tankless, and I’d be running the dryer twice. On high.

There is an option to opt out of this program but now I’m on a personal mission of unrestrained consumption. It’s a frigid 59 degrees tonight and you can bet I’ll light the gas fireplace in my bedroom while I wash up. Cutting off my nose to spite my face? Hardly, I’m hedging with gas futures.