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It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I would like to write a post that’s all about gratitude, and really getting into the spirit of the holiday, but before I can nod out into a tryptophan and red wine induced haze, I can’t help but wonder:

WTF, world?

The recent attacks in Paris, which left 129 dead and 433 wounded, were horrific on so many levels, but in particular because these heinous acts were aimed at people who were just going about their normal lives: eating, drinking, going to a concert, heading to a sports stadium to watch a France-Germany soccer match, walking down the bloody street.

Preceding that were the suicide bombings in Lebanon, where a pair of terrorists killed 43 and wounded 239 others in the Bourj al-Barajneh district in southern Beirut. This got less press, possibly because of the perception that Beirut is constantly under siege (for the record, it’s not — its civil war ended in 1990). While France got Facebook’s kick ass feature Safety Check activatedwhich allows people in a crisis area to check in and swiftly let their friends know they’re OK, Beirut didn’t have it available. read more

Hey Guys:

Just wanted to give you all a reality check. Cuz you know what GenX sez — reality bites, and actually, I feel like lately it’s taking a big ol’ chunk out of my ’80s peeps.

You know us — we’re the latchkey generation. The losers that are said to be the first bunch ‘o chumps to have less wealth than our parents. The measly 50 million or so that are bookended by “The Greatest Generation” (Baby Boomers, approximately 80 million) and the talk of the town, the Millennials (approximately 78 million).

You’d think we’d be used to being left out and kicked to the curb, but I’m here to tell you it’s not so bitch’in to be the butt of everyone’s jokes.

Take for example this past Halloween; I figured I’d see a lot of funny/pretty/scary costumes — you know, the Michael Myers, the Disney princesses, the Caitlyns, and so on.

But in the mix, I saw an interesting trend from the silly side of the holiday spectrum: a full-on explosion of ’80s sorts, including a big-haired club girl with crispy mall bangs, a “let’s get physical” lycra-clad workout chick, a Guns N’Roses Slash here and actually there. read more

Hey all my bitches of a certain age — do you know what the Girl Code is?

Aside from being a very popular MTV series where funny ass X-chromosomal beings share their views of the “rules” of sisterhood, it’s also generally the female morays we all know in our heart of hearts but maybe don’t speak of all the time.

To give you some examples from the Urban Dictionary (a less raunchy, more garden variety kinda deal) Girl Code includes things like:

– If you change boyfriends so fast they rarely achieve name status, a man must be around for at least six weeks before you make your friends bother to learn his first name. Until such time, he should be referred to as “The boy” or “That guy.”

– You are to never diss a friend’s boyfriend except to agree lightly or nod when she says he’s being an asshole. In most cases it is easier to nod. Exception: If a guy cheated or dumped your friend it is exceptional for you to claim he isn’t good enough, and that she deserves better as well as reminding her that he was an asshole anyway. read more

I’m working on a new document for our country, and I’m going to call it, “The Declaration of Interdependence.”

Forget the current Declaration of Independence. I mean, let’s get real, people — the pursuit of happiness is a thing of the past.

But the pursuit of perfection? In a way that is seen and “liked” by everyone else? Now that is 100% our national M.O. nowadays.

Don’t agree? Witness the proliferation of perfect as illustrated by our online profiles. Perfect selfies, perfect pets, perfect children, perfect meals, perfect vacations, perfect humor, and so on.

Now, dig deep and think about the lengths you’ve gone to in projecting a perfect existence.

Want me to go first?

My friend once threw a perfectly fabulous party. Then someone snapped a perfectly staged photo, where everyone looked, well, perfect… and I was the only that blinked. And also had a perfectly protruding belly roll. Plus a perfectly captured double chin.

I was mortified when the picture began to spread far and wide on social media. read more

I adore the Foo Fighters, so a few months ago when my husband told me we could check them out at a corporate event in NorCal, I jumped at the offer. I’ve loved these cats, and particularly lead singer Dave Grohl, for twenty years now.

Then Dave fell off the stage in Sweden, dislocating his ankle and breaking his leg, then famously finished the concert before heading off to surgery. Talk about there goes my hero…!

I wasn’t too worried that they wouldn’t play the gig — hell, Dave wrote an open letter to fans immediately afterward promising to “… do everything I can to come back and give you a night to remember for the rest of your lives AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.” But having seen the Foos earlier this year perform for Dave’s birthday in an epic, nearly four-hour concert with incredible guests as diverse as Paul Stanley, Perry Farrell, Alice Cooper, Lemmy Kilmister, Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Trombone Shorty and David Lee Roth(!), I figured it would be hard to top. read more

We live in a time when there is a lot of talk about feeling blessed — just troll a Twitter or Facebook feed or two and notice how many of us are #blessed.

Holy humble-brag aside, it’s not hard to find reasons to be grateful. In our 24/7 news cycle, in between a headline about who that Kardashian is zooming or dating or whatevering now, there’s a ton of other far more horrendous news to process. Dead children washed up on the shore, the horrible refuse of the search for refuge. Civil wars, famine, drought, senseless acts of violence, and other tales of loss and devastation.

But counting your blessings against the backdrop of someone else’s misfortune isn’t exactly the way to intimately embrace in a deep and meaningful way all you have to be grateful for in your own life.

While I’m sure there are some people that can actually get a contact buzz from hearing bad news about good people, for me it’s not a natural leap all the way to how blessed I am personally. My go-to place when others are troubled is empathy, and that is a dark space on the level with them, not way up in the lightness of blessings. read more

September 11, 2001, I was doing what all young mothers do.

Separating from my child for the very first time.

Not that we were never apart. Hell, I was a working mom, so there were plenty of times when I saw my son for only minutes a day, as I often left before he was up and got home shortly before his bedtime.

But this was different. This time he was leaving the nest for his first day of preschool. He was only two and a half, but with a six-month-old baby at home and us considering a cross-country move, I needed a few waking hours to deal.

Dropping him off at his brand new preschool was the hardest thing I’d ever done.

Or so I thought.

As I left his school, a man stopped me and said, “I just heard the craziest thing. A plane flew into the World Trade Center.”

Before I could respond, he added, “Wait, what did I just say to you?” The man looked sincerely befuddled, with the same expression on his face as you have when you wake up from a nightmare.

I repeated the horrible thing he said, and he replied, “No, not one plane. Two planes.” read more

Hey kids — it’s that time of year: More pencils, more books, and presumably more teachers’ dirty looks. But then again, who could blame them? In a world of Common Core, overly involved parents, undersized budgets, tests to teach to, and a lack of necessary tools (especially time and trust, not to mention those new fangled devices called computers), it’s impossible not to look at least a little pissed off.  Lucky for everyone, your friendly neighborhood Bitch’in Suburbia has the cheat sheet ready with all the snappy answers you need for your back to school questions. Just raise your hand and read on…

Dear Bitch’in Suburbia,

I have this recurring nightmare: I’m in a classroom, and the teacher hands out a test. Everyone around me dives right in, but I can’t read the words. Then the bell rings, and I’m still not done. I wake up every morning in a sweat, and I barely have the energy to get my kids off to school. What do you think it means? read more

Up until a few days ago, I had a rule I lived by: You can’t go home again. (Thomas Wolfe, although lots of people have the same thought: for example a more contemporary comment on nostalgia: “Don’t let the past remind us of what we are not now,” from the CSN classic, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.”)

To me, sentimentality can be a sappy pit of self-indulgent goo. I’m not normally one to throw down a #tbt — when I pull up old photos of places I’ve haunted over the decades and the old friends I used to frequent them with, I feel like I run the risk of hitting the sorrow rather than the sweet spot… and so it’s not necessarily something I want to do, say, every single Thursday.

Coming from someone whose weekly blogging is often fueled by remember when’s, I know this sounds like a bunch of hooey. But lots of creative peeps like to pull their inspiration from feelings of loneliness, melancholy, and depression. To me, the deep abyss of longing and loss serves as an endlessly abundant well of material. read more

This is the summer of what Time magazine called, “The Transgender Tipping Point.”

I for one am relieved. When Caitlyn Jenner received her ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award and at the outset said — “Picking out this outfit — okay, girls, I get it! You got to get the shoes, the hair, the makeup, the whole process. It was exhausting. And next, the fashion police — please be kind on me. I’m new at this.” — it’s like Yaass Caitlyn! Sing it, sister!

Let me just say for the record that Cait looks amazing and is so well put together that I’m both in awe and also jealous. Picking out killer ensembles, rocking, and then walking around in heels, and staying coiffed with perfect makeup is totally overwhelming to me and something I’ve never quite been able to master.

But have always appreciated.

This sentiment is echoed by Jill Soloway, the brilliant creator of Transparent — which if you haven’t watched it yet, don’t walk; run (hopefully not in a pair of stilettos!) and binge on the 11-Emmy-Award-nominee immediately. In an interview with Elle, Soloway said, “How do you figure out what to wear every day? Do you go through feelings of, like, I don’t know how butch to dress, or how femme, or how ladylike, or how much makeup to wear, or how to be fancy?” read more