the funny thing about vaginas
Humor, Parenting

The Funny Thing About Vaginas

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I’m calling it here and now: 2016 is the Year of the Vagina.

We are in a post-modern vag-world now, y’all. Our nether region, once taboo in mainstream media, has become a pretty much daily staple, thanks to celebs like Kim Kardashian, whose Constagrammed cooze and serial spreading for mags is surely an inspiration to us all and Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s opened our eyes to the Mugworth V-Steam (“an energetic release — not just a steam douche…”) as a the “it” girl of spa treatments and homemade lube alike.

Although these bold illustrations surely indicate that penis envy is out, cooter coveting is in, the vaginal tipping point for me is the idea that periods are FINALLY FUNNY.

In one night I caught up on the Season 3 finale of Broad City and a recent episode (#4) of Inside Amy Schumer, and found a wealth of menstrual material.

First off, Broad City’s finale about BBFs Abbi and Ilana heading to Israel on a “Birthmark” (riff on Birthright) trip had a hashtag that said it all — #therewillbebLOOd. (Periods aside, there was a freakin’ hysterical joke about the “mohel chai” club, too.)  The two-part finale was essentially a running gag about menstruation that started with Ilana going through security wearing a Shark Tank-worthy innovation: period-stained pants that kept drug-sniffing dogs from finding the weed she was smuggling in her vagina, and ended with her fashioning a homemade tampon for Abbi from a pita and various other, uhm, inventive materials that was mistaken for a bomb.

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oldchella to the cut hell no we wont go
Humor

From Oldchella to “The Cut” – Hell No, We Won’t Go… Or Will We?

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The last couple of weeks have been a blur as I’ve been down the rabbit hole with a sick child.

If you’re a parent, or even have a pet you adore, you know how that illness sitch goes: routines be damned, time stands still and you shore up in your nest, focusing all your healing energy on your baby.

When you emerge, it’s like leaving a movie theater after watching a traumatizing film, say about evil clowns or demonic puppets — you blink your eyes, attempting to focus as bright light shocks your system.

Try as you may, it’s nearly impossible to shake off that unnerving feeling that nothing is the same and nobody is safe.

And then I turned on the radio for the first time in a couple of weeks, and the first word I heard confirmed my worse fears… it was… OLDCHELLA.

Talk about shuffling off this mortal coil — in bedroom slippers and a drool-stained robe to the strains of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

If you don’t know what “Oldchella” is (because your kid is sicker than mine or you’re technically dead), it’s a megaconcert to be put on by Coachella producer Goldenvoice over two weekends, October 7-9, 2016 and October 14-16, 2016 featuring classic rock giants (dinosaurs?) The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters and The Who. The average age of the rockers is 71.7; at a price tag of around a grand, you better hope you get some sort of AARP discount or maybe they take Medicare?

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when moms take baby steps
Parenting

When Moms Take Baby Steps

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Last weekend I went to my first baby shower in many moons…. ever since I said “goodnight moon” to breeding some 15 years ago.

The mom-to-be is in her ninth month; as I watched her drape tiny onesies, precious caps, baby gangstah hoodies, miniature t-shirts and wee shorts over her built-in clothes rack belly, I couldn’t help but let out a few involuntary gasps.

Not because the of wardrobe — although who knew that giraffes were the gender-neutral IT creature of the infant set nowadays? — but because of all the amazing things my mommy-to-be friend has to look forward to:

  • That feeling you get when you hold that previous tiny bundle in your hands for the first time and are hit by a zillion pound realization that NOTHING will ever be the same.
  • The first feeding, when “doing what comes natural” and breastfeeding is actually not all that natural, it turns out. Nor is almost anything maternal that you thought you knew. Much like Jon Snow, your little Wildling is proof positive that you know nothing.
  • Being annoyed in the hospital by the nurses waking you once or twice during the night to feed your newborn… only to realize once you get home that was the last good night’s sleep you had… ever again. Or at least it’ll feel that way.
  • Getting into a routine with the baby, which not only takes time but is also at the expense of all other routines — work, “alone time” with your partner, hanging out with your friends, your personal hygiene regime, your workouts, getting back into your non-maternity wear and well, everything.
  • Projectile poop. It’s a rite of passage, y’all.
  • The feeling that the only book you’ll finish reading ever again is the aforementioned Good Night, Moon. Even Dr. Seuss feels like heavy lifting in the early days. And forget that stack of magazines, newspapers and your own books, too. Your “mommy brain” is a combo platter of sleep deprivation, abject terror from looking up everything in the What to Expect… books and hormones. For all those aspiring dictators out there, if you could bottle the essence of mommy brain, you would NEVER be challenged because nobody would ever be able to read, think or effectively function other than burping, changing diapers, rocking and pacing around in circles with the ultimate goal of getting to nap time.

The list could easily go on, but the point is this: the initiation into motherhood has NOTHING to do with taking baby steps. It is all about a magnificent yet terrifying leap from the Mountain of Self into a deep, endless Sea of We. (Sea of Wee?)

For the first few years, things are a total blur. For example, one time in a total sleep deprived haze at a kiddie concert in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, I can remember begging my mother-in-law to promise me that things would get easier.

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bitchin_suburbia_how_not_to_be_invisible
Bitch’in Life

How Not to Be Invisible

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Ever feel like a ghost before your time?

You come home from grocery shopping with three bags on either arm, fumble for your keys, loudly shove them in the lock, stagger through the front door to the kitchen… only to realize that every member of your family is sitting in the family room, in technology-induced trances, and not a single soul even glances your way as you slam the bags on the counter.

Or maybe it’s a girls night out — you head to the local watering hole, saddle up to the bar… and watch, for 20 minutes or more, as the bartender serves everyone else (from cute 20-something girls to bros and even men of a certain age that look like good tippers) BUT you.

Perhaps you catch the eye of someone you know from PTA or somewhere else where being visible gives your kid a boost (so you hope/pray/guess) — and then that person plays the “You see me, but I don’t see you game” and looks right through you.

While you might feel invisible, the reason these things happen is easy to see:

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prince tribute
My Bitches, Pop Culture

So This is What It Sounds Like When Doves Cry: Remembering Prince

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Oh my bitches, we’ve gotta broken heart again — don’t we?

First Bowie, now Prince. I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that it’s been a devastating few months for humankind.

These artists changed the landscape, the style, the conversation, the sentiment and the funk.

Permanently, and hallefuckingluyah for that.

I could spout a ton of information about Prince Rogers Nelson, aka Prince, aka The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, but of course we can get detailed bios and intimate details of the storied life of the legendary performer elsewhere.

Here on Bitch’in Suburbia, as we gather together to get through this thing called life, I’m going to share a few memories of and thoughts about Prince in hopes that you’ll do the same in the comments.

Those of us GenXers that were in high school or college got turnt on by Price through Purple Rain — the movie and the soundtrack.

For me, the film came out the summer between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. Of life’s many transitions, that one was a real doozy. Knowing I wasn’t a child anymore, but not necessarily ready to stand on my own two feet, I could TOTALLY relate to Prince’s character, “The Kid,” who was also a crazy jumble of angst and drama as he attempted to break free of his familial bonds, while also trying to be a star and score a hot bae to boot.

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what you gain from losing it
Bitch’in Life

What You Gain from Losing It

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Ever shopped at Trader Joe’s on a Sunday morning?

I’m sorry — did I say TRADER JOE’S?

I meant RAGER JOE’S, which is what I call it the second I pull into the parking lot and realize that the person who designed their goddamn tiny-ass parking lots probably also devises evil Halloween corn mazes in his or her spare time for shits ‘n giggles.

For the record, I HATE Halloween corn mazes. They’re right up there with puppets, clowns, carnies and Victorian dolls in terms of fear and loathing.

The saddest part about this particular Sunday morning excursion is that it came on the heels of a perfectly delightful group meditation session.

Astute readers of this here blog know that I’ve been working with some pent up aggression of late. Trying hard to stop being so damn scrappy, letting go of grudges and generally doing the work to get centered and be a happier, healthier human being.

I didn’t lose it immediately — in fact, the second I walked in the store and heard the soothing strains of Hall & Oates, I took a deep healing breath and let it out while sniffing a few melons, which always calms me down.

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how to use yes as your ultimate kickstarter
Bitch’in Life

6 Ways to Use YES as Your Ultimate Kickstarter

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It’s got just three little letters, but infinite potential when it comes to opening doors and inviting in opportunities for growth and change.

While it may not be easy to lead with, once you spit it out, you are on the path.

It works best on its own, no buts about it.

It is, by definition, a positive response that can only lead to great results. Even if the outcome is not what you wanted or expected, you are better for just taking that first step from resistance to acceptance.

Behold, the awesome power of YES.

via GIPHY

Here’s the thing about yes, though. NO is a much safer bet much of the time. (And definitely when it’s used as a 4-letter word. I’ll totally say YES to saying NO when someone else is forcing his/her will upon you in an uncomfortable or dangerous way.)

But in the day-to-day, no is usually about grabbing the easy way out. Cuts off the risk, saves you from spinning wheels, protects you from possible rejection.

Be honest — and feel free to say NO to this — is that REALLY how you want to live your life?

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the 4-letter word you must teach your kids
BIS Sez, Parenting

The 4-Letter Word You Must Teach Your Kids

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As y’all know, I’m not afraid of chucking a few 4-letter words out there in my blog.

But today I’m going some place different — it’s dark, it’s scary, and it’s not often the subject of an otherwise (relatively) lighthearted “mom” blog like Bitch’in Suburbia.

And that is exactly why I am going there:

Because I am a mother.

Because I am a woman.

Because I stand with Kesha, whose case against Dr. Luke will go well into 2017 if not beyond.
kesha on rape facebook

Because I am still outraged about UVA rape case, which thanks to horrendous reporting and a gross, potential “catfishing” scenario at its core, now makes it much harder for women to come forward AND be believed when they claim that they have been sexually assaulted or raped.

And while there is an endless amount of more becauses, I’ll go right to the one that makes it personal: Because I am a victim.

Which I was reminded of when I made a video recently for a contest aimed at igniting the conversation about feminism called #TheFWord, sponsored by SheKnows Media and the Ms. Foundation.

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bitch'in suburbia f words
Bitch’in Life, Humor, My Bitches

50 of My Favorite F Words

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I love the F word.

In fact, I love all words that start with F.

Well, mostly all of them. I am very honestly working on the word “fifty,” which has been a hard one to allow to roll off the tip of my tongue and embrace with my whole heart. But after today, I feel like I can drop that load and move on to more important things, like cracking the code for world peace or meditating on the meaning of life.

For now, though, an exercise in F words feels like a positive distraction and a fun little listicle that I’d love you to join in on (so comment below). For the record, here are my fifty favorite F words, in no real order:

50) Fascination: I find that fascination is an excellent distraction. Once you hook onto something interesting that captures your attention and piques your curiosity, it’s much more likely you’ll finish the task at hand. Or at least have a chance at grabbing a little passion for what you’re doing.

49) Father: While I’m not so happy with the frequency my dad kicks my butt in Words with Friends, I am happy to know that his genetics allow me to pay that butt kicking forward. Also, I will always be my dad’s little girl, and that is the ultimate safety net and blessing.

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secrets of sisterhood
Bitch’in Life, My Bitches

7 Stunning, Sacred Secrets of Sisterhood

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There is a ’hood where we women all live.

When things are going well, it’s normally an easy destination; a comfortable place to plop down, pour a cup of tea or glass of wine or a couple of fingers of whiskey, and let it all hang out. The perfect place to pitch a tent and stay for a while. (Which is exactly why I — and maybe you, too — will always be a camper =)

Other times it’s a safe space; a haven for us to flee to when times are rough.

And there are also those times when we discover that not everyone is such a good neighbor in the sister ’hood. But I’m not so interested in heading down that dark alley — at least not in today’s post.

Last week I had an amazing experience of joining a brand, spankin’ new BBF (Best Bitch Forever) to celebrate her birthday with a weekend away. Not only did I NOT know her so well, but she also brought along another half dozen women whom I’d never met, either.

The differences in our ages spanned as much as a couple of decades; we hailed from divergent places, had diverse life situations, interests, values, spiritual beliefs and orientations.

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