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Archive for the tag “Postaday2011”

A Drinking Problem

No, I don’t have one. Not drinking is my problem. Abstaining from alcohol or not being fully committed to gettin slizzard seems to be less socially acceptable than being a raging alcoholic.  Why is that?

The last time I drank a lot of alcohol was three years ago about a month before I met my husband. This is what it looked like:

At a Tarts and Vicars party. Hence the schoolgirl prostitute outfit and the bewildered priest.

Shortly after the tragedy of my lollipop’s stick going limp I basically passed out in a beanbag chair and a Frag Doll and a Cavegirl put me to bed. There was vomiting. I had a great time at that party, and in this rare instance the fun I had was greater than the pain that ensued.

I don’t have any family history of alcoholism. I have CERTAINLY done some drinking in my life (as many of you who have met me at E3, GDC and PAX can attest to) and don’t discourage those around me from drinking. I just don’t do it any more, and I’ll tell you why:

  1. I have three children. Someone needs to be responsible for them and that someone should not be drunk.
  2. I have a perfect driving record. I have had parking tickets and have been pulled over for expired tabs or a bad taillight, but I have never done anything sketchy behind the wheel. I don’t think a DUI would be a good way to pop the cherry on my record.
  3. The pros and cons don’t balance out. I don’t enjoy the feeling of being tipsy or ‘relaxed’ enough to cancel out the hangover.
  4. Alcohol doesn’t like me. I don’t know if it’s being out of practice, getting older, or maybe a mild allergy, but I go from buzzed to hungover in about 30 minutes. Not worth it.

Logical, yeah?  So why am I, and other people who just aren’t into drinking social pariahs? It has held me back in my social life and especially my career. If you enjoy imbibing I’m sure you’ve had the sort of conversation like this: “Yeah it turns out s/he doesn’t really drink. So *that’s* a lot of fun [sarcasm]”. So, coworkers or clients that don’t fully commit to drinking are less desirable than the ones who like to knock a few back at happy hour and REALLY tie one on during business trips, trade shows etc.?  Why is that? Do the drinkers fear the light or non-drinkers will judge them? In my experience it’s the other way around. Drinking is the acceptable norm, and not drinking is the anomaly. You can get away with it if you’re a recovering alcoholic, Mormon, Muslim, or pregnant. Otherwise… there is something wrong with you (and in three of those four cases, people don’t want to party with you anyway. Unfair, but true).

I understand the need to socialize with colleagues. It shows you’re a good sport and a team player and can cut loose. But if you don’t have a ‘good reason’ to order a Diet Coke instead of a beer you are suspect. A spy, a stick in the mud, or just plain weird.

This seems fucked up to me. Does a person have to drink to be successful? It appears that way. Is it just in the quasi-entertainment industry in which I’ve found myself? Is it worse in music and film? Do you have to do coke (or be a recovering addict) to get ahead? Should I and other abstainers have to drink to advance our careers? Is this high school?

So, drinkers who mistrust non-drinkers: what’s the deal with that? Abstainers: Does this ring true for you too?




Book Review: The Infinities – John Banville

The InfinitiesThe”>”>The Infinities by John”>”>John Banville

My rating: 5″>″>5 of 5 stars

View”>”>View all my reviews

I’m trying out this cut-paste review thing from GoodReads. I absolutely loved this book. I’ve read John Banville in his Benjamin Black guise (Christine Falls, The Lemur, The Silver Swan, Elegy for April) and love that Irish noir detective stuff. The books he writes under his own name are… I’m actually at a loss for words. The writing is a revelation, and it’s not one of those fuck you this is literature you’re not supposed to ENJOY it books. It’s enjoyable and funny and compelling and while you’re enjoying the story you have to stop and just go holy shit that was an amazing paragraph.

Read all of his books. He’s brilliant.

Nope, not it.

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Here’s why my house is a disaster: There is always something more pressing than cleaning. For instance, this weekend I planned to get some major spring cleaning done (at least as much as the baby would allow), but then a project came in late Friday that has consumed my weekend. This is my job; I can’t tell a VP ‘Sorry, but I need to do the laundry and my bathtub needs scrubbing’, and this project has a Monday deadline. Since I have meetings and calls all day Monday for another project, this one has to be done by tonight.

So. The spring cleaning must be delayed. Will I get anything done during the week? Ha. Next weekend? Perhaps!

Drop the chocolate chips, soldier!

I need some of those lazy ass Keebler elves to come clean up. This would help me out, and also reduce the cookies in the world that contribute to the American childhood obesity problem, which is a pet cause of our First Lady. In fact, I think an Executive Order is necessary here and that President Obama should order those elves–as their Commander in Chief– to put down the cookie dough and grab a mop. And they should bring Snap Crackle and Pop with them!

There’s Nothing Awesome About Charlie Sheen

Besides the fact that he’s batshit crazy and self-destructive, let’s talk about the people he hurts. Namely, women. He ‘accidentally’ shot his ex-fiancee in the arm. He threatened his most recent wife with a knife to the throat. His fits of rage cause New York hookers to cower in closets.

This guy is “awesome”?  Beating and threatening women is cool? Using illegal drugs is rad? Surrounding yourself with hookers for decades is worthy of envy?

All of these things are reprehensible and illegal. Why isn’t this asshole locked up?  Instead we get stuff like this:

Are you kidding me?

Does this man have a mother?

After the Quake

It’s been ten years since the Nisqually Earthquake. Aka that big ass quake that broke the Viaduct and busted a lot of old brick shit in Pioneer Square. Aka the scariest day of my life.

It was a normal day at work. I was a copywriter at Sierra On-Line and the creative team (8 zillion designer dudes plus me) was in a conference room on the 4th floor on a conf call with some coworkers in San Francisco. The building shook once, hard. I thought it was a sonic boom. Then shit started to shake, we ducked under the heavy table and our Creative Director –a real doucheball– hollers into the speakerphone “uh, guyths, we’re having an earthquake”. But of course the line had gone dead and the power had gone out.

We’d had mild quakes before, but just when this one should have been winding down, it went into overdrive and shook harder.

They say that Post Traumatic Stress is triggered when you believe your life is in danger. Doesn’t matter if it’s a fact; you just have to believe it. At that moment the thought that I would never see my children again pushed me over the edge. I didn’t scream or flail. I stayed relatively calm. But for the next month or so, I startled easily, cried for no reason, and had panic attacks.

It was the most frightened I have ever been, and I have experienced some scary shit in my life including my daughter going missing after school one day, being robbed at gunpoint, and a sexual assault on the subway.

So, on this ten year anniversary, I’d like to say “Fuck you, Nisqually.”

The Calculus of Family

There are a lot of people in my family. I mean a LOT. My parents started out with two kids, completely average. They divorced and both remarried, but didn’t have any more children. No “second batch” if you will.  Fast forward a large number of years and you have some pretty impressive and/or alarming numbers:

I have three children and two step-children (that I’ve never met).

My husband has three children, two step-children, and an ex-stepchild. (Do you divorce step-children when you divorce a spouse? I don’t know.)

My son has no full siblings, but he has two half sisters that he lives with and with whom his relationship is anything but “half”. He also has a half brother and half sister that he’s never met and most likely never will. Oh yeah, and a step brother and step sister he hasn’t met yet.

My daughter has no full siblings, but three half-sibs: two brothers and a sister. She’s also got a step-brother and step-sister she’s never met.

My youngest daughter has two half sisters and two half brothers. Are my son’s half siblings any relation to her? How about my older daughter’s newborn half-brother? Anything besides her half-sister’s half-brother? Sissy’s Daddy’s new baby?

My husband has a full sister, two half-sisters, three step sisters and a step brother. When my mom remarried, I gained a step sister and a step brother. I never met the step brother, and now that my mom is widowed, are they still related to me in any way?

Come to think of it my dad’s new wife has a daughter in Thailand. Who has a baby. So I guess I have a Thai step sister and niece?

It all looks so Jerry Springer when I write it out, but my family is not comprised of bed-hopping hillbilly cousin-humpers. All it takes is a divorce and a remarriage to start the exponential expansion of halfs and steps. And what of half-siblings? For example my son has a half-sister who lives across the country and he’ll probably never meet her. The only connection he has to her is they share a father. But he has two half-sisters that he lives with and who he held within hours of their birth. Who he fights with and plays with and loves. Should both kinds of sisters be deemed ‘half’?

If blood is so important what of adoption? I wasn’t married to my son’s father, but when he was three years old I married a man with whom I had a daughter and who adopted my boy. For all practical and emotional purposes they are father and son. So. My ex-husband and his new wife had a baby boy this week. This infant has zero blood connection to my son. Does my son have a baby brother? Or does he have nothing?

This is one twisty twirling family tree. I kinda want to diagram it all, but am also afraid to!

[Editor’s note: I don’t actually know what calculus is. I just like the sound of it.]

Hotel Hell

I will not name the hotel I stayed in last night; not because they failed in any way, but because I am afraid of reprisals from them. A lifetime ban for instance.

This weekend I wanted to do something special for the kids. Saturday night I took the older two (19 and 15) to PUSAfest at the Showbox. A night out without the baby was something we all needed, and we’ve been waiting a long time to have a chance to see Presidents of the United States of America. It was a great show. Presidents always are fun. I know most nerds have loved him long time, but I fell a little in love with Jonathan Coulton Saturday night. Funny songs aside, he has a surprisingly lovely singing voice. I just have one quibble with Saturday’s show. If you are a band I have never heard of, and are rather crappy and give off a vibe I can only describe as “mormon” AND you are standing between me and a couple of GOOD bands: Don’t play 12 fucking songs. Don’t inflict your not horrid, but sonically identical songs and your forced and insipid stage banter on my ears.

Sunday night was for just the girls. My two daughters and I spent the night at a very nice hotel in Downtown Seattle. We chose this venue because there was a fireplace in the room and a giant clawfooted tub. It was a great room. There was nothing wrong with the room, the hotel, or the staff. I could have done without the latenight unce unce unce from the wedding reception. But.

Here’s what went wrong in chronological order.

  • The baby puked on her jammies and the bed. The king-size we were all sharing.
  • The baby then threw an F4 on the Fujita scale shitfit when I tried to put her in the bathtub. Sorry, neighbors.
  • My older daughter spent the next 7 hours coughing and blowing her nose.
  • I brought about a dozen diapers to the hotel, and the baby and her green, noxious, watery poo steadily depleted the supply.
  • The baby woke up and stayed up between 3 and 5 am. This required a purchase of a 4 dollar episode of Mickey Mouse Club.
  • Breakfast arrived at 7:45. It was yummy, but the frequent diaper changes for one daughter and the mountain of snotty Kleenex from the other put a serious damper on my appetite. Neither of my girls felt like eating.
  • Then, poop. Poop on the bed. The baby’s product had breached the diaper.
  • Then, screaming. The screams of an angry toddler who does not want to be in the shower. Sorry again, neighbors.

The plan today was to check out of the hotel at noon and spend the day at the Aquarium and Pike Place Market. By 10am I was down to one diaper and had reached the end of my rope.

We checked out, went home and went to bed.

The pricetag for spending 17 hours in a hellstorm of shit and snot and vomit? 550 bucks.

Children’s Shows That Should Die in a Fire


Children love this big purple dude inexplicably. Until they get to Kindergarten. Then they come home from school and solemnly announce that “Barney sucks.” No shit.

Not only is Barney a prancing dimwit, but the child actors are bottom of the barrel in looks and talent. I have personally endured more than my share of Barney over the last two decades. I deserve a Purple Heart for having my sanity continuously fragged by idiocy.

Sometime between Kid 2 and Kid 3 Barney got a new voice, his treehouse lair was replaced with a caboose, and someone new joined the family of dinosaurs: an orange turd named Riff. Riff is so obnoxious he makes BJ and Baby Bop look like a think tank. And really? BJ? Did they name him that to give the parents a giggle, or are the producers clueless? Baby Bop and BJ sound like the itinerary for a nooner.

Wonder Pets

Just fucking creepy. The reanimated corpses of a duckling, a hamster and a guinea pig sing and do stuff. The duck has a speech impediment. Heartwarming? Maybe if you’re into taxidermy.


A bald kid is a whiney bitch and his mother fails to beat him. So he has cancer (that’s why he’s Charlie Brown bald, yes?), are manners verboten in the oncology wing?

Max and Ruby

Poorly-drawn and apparently orphaned rabbits chill in the backyard. Ruby can’t have any fun because she always has to watch her little brother.

What is the name of the show with the dude from Dee-Lite, a studded dildo, a dewdrop and a robotic weird thing? I hate it.

I think these shows are made by people that hate children and want to prevent people from having any more of them,

And the Oscar goes to…

I have no idea. I’ve only seen a couple of the nominated films. But, if perchance one day I am nominated for Best Original Screenplay? This is what I’m wearing:

I'd like to thank Darwin...

How many of you have planned an Oscar acceptance speech just in case one day you need one? Or at least considered who you would thank; besides The Academy of course?

I have a short list of those I’d thank. Besides my family of course, I’d thank my third grade teacher Jean Rogel who was the first person to ever tell me I should be a writer. And Bruce Springsteen for inspiration (and hopefully that would score me some backstage access).


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