Browsing Tag

getting my groove back

Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life

How to Hit the Reset Button


This morning when I logged into my email, there was no mail.

More concisely, when I tried to click on anything in my inbox, I got the message, “Mail is taking too long to load. Try again.”

Repeated attempts yielded nothing, until finally, “An unexpected problem has occurred. Performing your action again in a few moments will probably solve the problem. If it persists, we suggest you close this window and re-launch.”

Easier said than done, Big Brother — as if I have a few moments to leisurely await your re-entry!

Our computer culture means that we’re on call 24/7, linked into an endless loop of connection by emails, text messages, voicemails, Facetimes, Skype calls, and IM’s. I stare at some screen or another from sunrise to sundown, and what I see in sharp pixel relief is literally my lifeline — to work, to the village that supports every aspect of my family, and even to my social life.

Meanwhile, I barely can eek out a sentence in real time, but give me 140 characters and an emoticon or two, and I’m pithy, witty, and articulate. read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Pop Culture

7 Ways Old School Beats Being a Young Fool


Maybe it’s me, but lately I’ve noticed a lot of guff from pop culture’s most notable hipstersnappers on the subject of girls of a certain age.

For example, on New Girl where the medium age of the characters is infantile, there was a whole plot line around how a 45-year old boss was forcibly retired before age-related health ailments compromised her ability to be a work whore (oops, sorry, horse). And on The Mindy Project, when Mindy is invited on a tropical getaway in January by her new beau, she riffs on the agony of “wearing a skirted bathing suit like a woman who gave up on life!”

For the record, my creaky knees do not keep me from going anywhere, and fast (probably because I wear sensible shoes with orthotic inserts), and my skirted black tankini would make a woman of any age look adorkable and sexy(ish), 12 months a year… especially if the poolside admirers aren’t wearing their prescription glasses.

And not that People magazine is a bastion of youth, but I took particular offense at the line of questioning in the Michelle Obama interview for her 50th birthday. Among the probing and meaningful gems were, “When do you think, ‘I’m getting old?’,” “Do you have a philosophy on plastic surgery, Botox, fillers?” and “Anything you won’t wear anymore? Do you ask, ‘Is this age-appropriate?'” read more

Bitch’in Life, Pop Culture

Your Bitch’in Playlist to Get Sh*t Done


One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. ~ Bob Marley

Without music, life would be a mistake. ~ Nietzsche

No pain, no mistakes, no gain. Fuck it; I’ll take music for 500, Bob.  ~ Bitch’in Suburbia

If there’s anything that your Bitch, Bob Marley, and Nietzsche can all agree upon is the importance of music as a tool for better living through grooviness.

Witness, for example, a recent post-party cleanup on New Year’s eve. The classic rock portion of the playlist came on starting with Gimme Shelter, and the motley lot of us flew into a tidying frenzy. Scorecese couldn’t have orchestrated it better — up to and including air guitar from the lone guy in the group with the rest of us rockin’ a bad Merry Clayton falsetto. Rape and murder might be just a shot away, but a clean kitchen is at your fingertips when you crank up the Stones.

Now, think about working out. I’m a big spin class girl, and a lame playlist is like listening to baseball stats during sex. A kick ass track or two or six, however, can help you lose five pounds like that — all in sweat. (For my local LA peeps, try TC’s class at Blazing Saddles. Just sayin’.) read more

Bitch’in Life

The One Resolution To Keep


2014 is here, and we’re about a thimble-deep into the freshness of it all.

Did you make some kick-ass resolutions?

Are you already feeling the shift like a giant tidal wave of determination sending you careening towards momentous achievements?

Or are you like the rest of us who’ve already recognized that the moment of reckoning is seldom done with a deviled egg in one hand and a flute of champagne in the other (or whatever you were indulging in on New Year’s Eve)?

In fact, the older I get, the more annoyed I get with the idea of a year.

Once upon a time, 365 days felt almost endless.

And in that span, we accomplished massive things: first we graduated from being a newborn blob to crawling or even walking. Then we started to learn a foreign language, with a sizable store of vocabulary by the end of that next year. We grew teeth, lost them, and then grew them again. We got taller, gained weight, and watched our bodies morph into their adult forms.

School was also a great way to feel a sense of accomplishment, as we went through the grades, starting with counting on fingers and ending with calculus (or at least Algebra II). The school calendar also helped chunk out the year into  a progression of accomplishments: first there were concentrated blocks of time (quarters or semesters), where we got fed a ton of new information. Then there were scheduled vacations to help us recover from such intense work — winter, spring. And best of all, a longer summer (which for many of us meant camp!). read more

my happy place
Bitch’in Life

What to Do When Misery Is Your Happy Place


I know that “selfie” is the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year, but what’s the expression of the year?

We are Bitch’in Suburbia (me, my bitch) have taken an impromptu vote and decided that “happy place” wins by a landslide.

Cuz who doesn’t love a happy place?

Just last week alone, I saw it all over Facebook, showing up in some of the most beautiful places: toasting a 20th anniversary in Cabo, at a sleepaway camp for grown-ups, and on a beach at sunset.

Just staring at other people’s happy places made me feel all fetal-positiony inside.

In fact, I am a sucker for the whole happy industry complex. A few of my BBF’s and I picked up The Happiness Project last year, and if it wasn’t for my total inability to keep to my to do’s (I prefer a Fuckit List), I would’ve aced that thing.

I was also invited to be a “Happify Pioneer.” Happify is a new social network that offers its members activities and games to train their brain and build skills for lasting happiness. I had no idea what that means but it sounds awesome, so I signed up immediately… and then never created my account. read more

F*ckit List
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life

What’s on Your F*ckit List?


If you’re like me, you are a person of many lists.

To do lists, grocery lists, reminder lists, books I should read lists… the list goes on and on.

It’s gotten to a point where not only do I ignore my lists, but I even forget to look at the bright pink Post-it notes I put on actual items to remind me to complete at least one damn task. Ever.

This could continue perhaps to infinity if I didn’t have a moment to think. But lately with two children traveling in opposite directions, I now have several hours a day in my car to mull over all the things I need to do.

The meditative schlep-o-rama recently led me to this epiphany: nothing on any of my lists is anything I actually want to do.

This breakthrough came as I listened to a strange brew of podcasts over the last few weeks. Much like eating a chili dog before you fall asleep, consuming zesty podcasts like comedian/philosopher Marc Maron’s WTF and my BBF Koren Motekaitis’ How She Really Does It has given me a bad case of heart-yearn. read more

Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life

Does This New Technology Make Me Look Old?


I upgraded my iPhone to the new operating system — iOS7 — and it was like putting a bikini on my middle-aged body.

Sexy in theory… but in practice, not a pretty sight.

And by sight, I am being literal here: I can’t see a goddamn thing. The thin and sleek typography fades into the translucent nothingness, a bunch of my apps have gone all wonky and grayed out, and if I accidentally touch something the wrong way, it darts away into oblivion.

When the thing went off during my spin class, I realized that my phone was now also a freakin’ lightsaber. You would think extreme brightness would help my fading eyesight, but it had the opposite effect: it utterly blinded me. Well, not just me — 25 sweaty, angry people who were enjoying the Zen of the dimly lit, hypnotic workout until iPhone interruptus.

You don’t have to own an iPhone to know that the rapid pace of changing technology has a way of making you want to curl up in one of those motorized chairs that whisk old people up stairs and never come back down from your attic full of simpler times. read more

The Joy of Elective Surgery (stunt abs not included)
Bitch’in Life

The Joy of Elective Surgery


Let me start by saying it was never about wearing a bikini ever again.

While some go boldly and electively under the knife for, say, bigger, more uplifted boobs, a flatter tummy, or a more bodacious back, I am not that woman. Not that I wouldn’t want any or all of those things, but seriously — who in real life has time for that?

That’s what I told myself anyways, when the doctor said that almost unnoticeable bulge in my belly button was a hernia, and I should really get it fixed.

And that was over a year ago.

What made me change my mind and decide it was time? It certainly wasn’t a little twinge of pain here and there, nor was it the alarming rate that the hernia expanded like a little balloon, turning my former innie belly button into a sprawling outtie.

Parenthood is a battlefield, and while we rush the kiddies to the doc at the first sniffle, we tend to limp, hunch, and shuffle our way through our own aches and pains in order to keep the daily drill running like clockwork. One chink in the armor, and we just know the whole damn infantry will fall to pieces. read more

Bitch’in Life, My Bitches

How to Have It All


I love women.

Because only a woman, in all her multi-tasking glory, would believe that we can have it all. That we should have it all. Big jobs — hell, big careers — perfect homes, brilliant children, happy marriages, wrinkle-free faces, thin thighs, well-groomed and exceptionally well-trained pets; organic, homeopathic, BPA-free better living through less chemicals (or more, depending on who you are and how you roll).

And we Gen-Xers have certainly elevated the practice of allowing life to should all over us to a fine art. First, according to a recent New York Times article by Judith Warner, “The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In,” a big chunk of us X-chromosomal beings took a powder round about the turn of the millennium and at the height of our early careers to raise kids.

I was no exception: that face-first nosedive from chief ass kisser to chief ass wiper was jarring, to say the least. And yet, I’ve always known that was a privilege, and so my early mantra (often uttered through gritted teeth), “I wouldn’t change it for the world,” has become a simple, true fact. read more

Best o’ the Bitch, My Bitches

Why Women Need Best Friends Forever


I’m always fully aware of how much I appreciate my friends, but there’s something about summer that really sends that sentiment home.

My theory is that it’s the automatic pull to slow down and hang out; as a kid, whether you went to camp or stayed home, friendships were cemented poolside, lakeside, in bunks, plopped down in front of the TV, at the ice cream stand, in backyards, and on beaches — all of the places we went when the school year receded and time to bond was left in its wake.

Now that I’m a grown-up, the urgency to connect with my BBFs (Best Bitches Forever) comes from a slightly different place: stress. Making time to catch up with friends — which definitely is more possible in the summer months — is just what the doctor ordered to take life down a notch.

And by “just what the doctor ordered,” I am being literal: there is a ton of clinical research supporting the idea that gals need pals. A landmark study by Laura Klein and Shelley Taylor revealed that women are “hard-wired for friendship” as a hormonal response to stress: when the anxiety-causing cocktail of cortisol and epinephrine kicks in, our lady hormones (particularly oxytocin, but also reproductive ones, too) rush to the rescue…. and create the common female stress response of “tending and befriending.” Men, on the other hand, with their dinky doses of oxytocin, have the opposite response: they tend to escape stressful situations by fighting back or shutting down. read more