#4 and #7: Starting C25K after a year and a half off.

MY BOOOOONES HUUUUURT!!!!

Yesterday, I hopped on the treadmill for the first time since I got pregnant.

I used to love working out. To feel my lungs fill to the brim with air, to feel every single muscle in my body work, and to relish that perfect ache for a few days after, reminding me of the hard work I’d done.

But holy hell, I am OUT OF SHAPE in a way that I have NEVER been before. The first day of Couch to 5k has never been difficult for me. Typically I huff and puff a little, and inevitably sweat my way through it, but this time, my lungs were wholly unprepared for it. My creaky skeleton had done nothing since the birth of my child to prepare for anything but cuddling and picking up/putting down/carrying an infant.

It was a shit show.

But I made it through Day 1. I huffed and puffed and wheezed my way through Katy Perry’s “Peacock” and Foo Fighter’s “Low”. I guzzled water and whined and moaned after I was done. My hips crackled the entire time, as they’d endured more trauma than the rest of my body when pushing out my baby daughter.

But I felt more alive than I’ve felt since that morning in April of last year when every ounce of my strength and endurance delivered my sweet girl.

Today is my next day of my first week. I’m hoping to finish this challenge by the time my very darling friend from Mississippi comes to visit in May, and we can run some sort of race together with our babies, who are a mere 6 days apart in age.

Wish me luck… My creaky bones are going to need it.

#1 and #2: Pixies, Piercings, and Murphy’s Law.

The kick-off to my goal completion has begun!

I already had a head start when I cut off about eight inches off my hair and dyed it. It was a bit of a disappointment at first, as it was a yellow/grey color, and was a little bit choppy. But I knew it would take some fiddling to decide how I ultimately wanted it to be.

Hair1

Notice that crap on my shoulder? It’s spit up. My life is glamorous.

After getting this cut, I’d discussed with the original stylist that I’d like to go a very light, almost platinum blonde. She said that it would need to happen in multiple processes, and having experience going white blonde from my high school years, I knew this to be true.

A couple weeks later, I go in for my second process. During the few weeks between, I notice that the hair is unevenly cut, and am very nervous about the color. So back at the salon, I ask the hairdresser to even out the length and go platinum.

During the visit, she asks me about five times if I want to go purple, purple-y, purple-ish… And each time I reply that it’s not at all what I want at the moment. No. No thanks. I appreciate the offer… How many times can I say this?

I end up with a hack job of a haircut and purple-blue-yellow-white hair.

I’m not joking.

After fiddling around with it, I asked a friend who happened to also work at the salon and had seen my hair get done if she could try to help me to fix it. I scheduled an appointment with her just to fix the cut, as the color had been washing out a little. She agreed.

Went to the salon, and my friend did a great job. She tightened it up, and refused to let me pay for it. She also offered to fix the color, but I wanted to see if it would wash out even further, since I was terrified of trying to bleach my hair again!

It didn’t wash out.

So finally today, I went back and let my friend fix the color. It went from that wild white-blue-purple-piss in the snow yellow-blonde to a lovely rose-gold blonde. (I reserve the right to change the cut and color… Once you snip to a pixie, you can see it a myriad of different ways!)

pixieupdate
One down, twenty nine to go!

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That fun hairstylist friend? I told her about my 30 before 30, and that I wanted to get a nose piercing. She wanted to get one, too, so we figured we’d go and do it together. I was going to tackle number two!

Despite her suggestion to go to a local and reputable piercing parlor, I suggested going to a local tattoo parlor instead, as my hubs was going to be in class earlier, and she was going to be working until the piercing place was closed. *Red Flag*. So we met up at the tattoo parlor, and both of us were nervous nellies.

We go into the parlor, and I’m fairly certain we both felt a swell of nerves. There was a drunk dude getting a huge pocket watch tattooed on his side, a gaggle of girls sitting on a couch, looking at a cell phone together, and death metal playing.

While we are both cool girls, we are NOT death metal girls.

A young, bearded fella comes up front to ask what we need. We both answer that we want our noses pierced. He ushers us back to a piercing table, where he pats the seat, and my hairstylist friend hops up. I know she’s nervous, as I’m pretty sure she was shaking a bit before heading back in the first place, and the piercer draws a spot on her nose where he’s going to pierce, and gets her okay to pierce there. He then starts chatting with her about where she works, what she does, how business is going… And I watch him take a ginormous needle out and grease it up with A&D. She can’t watch. He sticks a little metal tube up her nose, and shoves the needle through. She blinks a couple of involuntary tears away, takes a deep breath, and is a general badass. He hooks a screw-shaped stud in her nose, and gives her a post-piercing care paper detailing how to clean it out.

After peering over at her copy, I see special suggestions for a Prince Albert piercing. No idea what that is. After a quick Google search, I now know what a Prince Albert piercing is. OUCH.

It’s my turn. My heart is racing. I hop my short tush up on the table, and he picks a spot to pierce. I agree. Since I’d seen it all go down with my friend, I know what’s about to happen. No numbing. Just a huge needle. I breathe in and out a few big breaths, and try to get the feeling back into my numb fingers and toes. He sticks the metal tube up my nose, and I know the needle is coming. Then there is localized fire. But I notice his face is getting serious. He’s lost hold of the needle on the other side of the piercing, effectively closing the hole.

He tries to force the screw-shaped piercing into the hole he’s lost, since the needle went all the way through. No dice. My eyes are watering, I can’t breathe, and it’s constant fiery pain. “Sorry, hun. I lost the hole, and the piercing won’t go through. I’ll have to pierce again in the same hole. It should only be a pinch this time. This happens like, once every five piercings or so.”

This is NOT what happened to my cute hairdresser friend. My nose is on fire, I can’t see from involuntary tears, and he wants to do both the piercing and the screw stud again?!

I agree. He pierces. It hurts worse this time. The digging of the screw-shaped stud into my thrice-penetrated piercing feels like the needle is going under my fingernail. But finally, it’s done. He shows me the stud in the mirror, and I agree that, yes, it is a nose piercing. I get my own post-piercing care paper, pay the man generously, despite his folly, (or maybe my own?), and hightail it out of there.

I get home, dry my eyes, and take a photo…

nosepiercing

My nose was red. My eyes were red. I was sore.

But, could this be the end of the nose piercing saga? Oh no. Because Murphy’s Law.

Because there was such a big hole from the needle going in twice, the stud moved around a LOT. When washing it with soap in the shower this week, it popped right out.

I had no idea that nose piercings close within minutes if they’re not yet healed.

I tried to put it back in to no avail. It was NOT going through.

I went to the local piercing establishment that my hairdresser friend suggested in the first place and asked if they could help. She shuddered when I told her that he’d stuck the needle through the same site twice, and said that the hole was already mostly closed, and that by policy, she never pierces through the same site twice. It’ll be completely healed in two weeks, she said, and to come back and have it done again.

So, ladies and gentlemen, when I go back in another couple of weeks, I will have had my nose pierced three times in a couple months.

Can I at least cross it off my list? I hope it counts. I’m counting it for now, because otherwise… Ouch. OUch. OUCh. OUCH.

That’s it for now! Not sure what will come next, but if it is anything like the above misadventures, it’s at least going to be worth telling about!

Two down, twenty eight to go!

30 Before 30: One year, 30 goals, and hopefully, a new woman.

Do you ever feel that “less than fresh” feeling?

I’m not talking about your downstairs, ladies and gents. My soul feels all crusty. I feel like I need an existential exfoliation.

Tomorrow, I’ll be turning twenty nine. While quite a few of my friends have already hit the dirty thirty milestone, mine is just on the horizon.

From what I can see, it looks good. Really good. It seems like once you hit that age, a calm washes over you. You know who you are, more than you ever did in your twenties. You have more self-love instead of self-loathing. And while you might not have everything you thought you would by that age, you’re surprisingly okay with that, and at least you’re working towards something.

I’m really excited to get to that point, but I feel like there are a few things I need to get out of the way beforehand. Hence the existential exfoliation. The soul crusties. I feel like if I were a ghost, I’d have unresolved issues. Me and my twenties have unfinished business.

There are things that I really wanted to have done by this age. They feel like they have a timeline. Things that might not be acceptable in your 30’s, things that I want to say I did before I turned 30, or just things that I’ve wanted to do that I’m afraid I’ll never do if I don’t give myself some kind of due date.

So I made a list. Over some time, I’ve been adding different things I really wanted to do to it, combing over it a few times, and editing here and there. Some items are serious, some are goofy, and completing the list will probably take some serious effort on my part. But I have no doubt that I’ll have a blast! I have one year to complete this list, and document along the way. I am seriously stoked.

Without further ado… My 30 Before 30 List.

  1. Cut my hair into a blonde pixie.
  2. Get my nose pierced.
  3. Get a tattoo.
  4. Run a 5k.
  5. Record a song.
  6. Buy a car.
  7. Lose 30 pounds.
  8. Buy 5 pairs of pants and have them tailored.
  9. Attend a Zumba class for a month.
  10. Unplug for one week (including smartphone, television, and computer).
  11. Attend one Unitarian Universalist service.
  12. Attend a rock concert with my husband.
  13. Sing Karaoke with my sisters in a bar.
  14. Complete the 7 day Marriage Challenge.
  15. Learn to play 5 songs on the guitar.
  16. Figure out my sewing machine, and sew a quilt.
  17. Have a proper bra fitting.
  18. Learn how to can fruits and veggies.
  19. Grow an herb garden.
  20. Pay off my credit cards.
  21. Ditch people and things (emotional and physical clutter) that don’t contribute to my happiness.
  22. Take one photo of myself each day for 30 days. (Self love project.)
  23. Give up dining out for 30 days.
  24. Visit a psychic.
  25. Master Julia Child’s croissant recipe from scratch.
  26. Get family photos taken.
  27. Learn 10 yoga poses by heart.
  28. For 30 days, take a walk every morning that ends in the 10 yoga poses.
  29. Take a vacation with my husband.
  30. Finish the Top 60 books on “The 100 Favorite Novels of Librarians” list.

—————————————————————————————

There ‘ya have it. I’ll be popping in with progress on certain ones that will take time, like the books, the herb garden, the weight loss, and paying off my debt. I’ve started an Instagram account just for this countdown, which should be fun. And goofy. And non-crusty.

I don’t want this year to transform me; I want it to bring the me that has always been there out into the open, and for me to embrace her with open arms instead of hide her inside. Instead of my thirties being something I dread, it will be like a new journey with an old friend. And *that’s* something I can look forward to.

Don’t be a Jerk: This, and my other 5 Don’ts in how to deal with customer support.

I haven’t really gone into my line of work at all on this blog, and it’s for a reason.

I hate it.

I mean, I love my coworkers, my boss, and for a college dropout, I make enough money to get by… But for the past 5 years, I’ve been cussed at, screamed at, cried at, and verbally abused over the phone….. all for trying to help people with their issues.

This post will ultimately serve two purposes: to give myself an opportunity to vent, and to teach those of you who are working with customer service how to get what you need without gettin’ scrappy.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Rule #1: Don’t be a Mush-Mouth.

I don’t care if in a normal conversation, you are either barely audible or can break the sound barrier. On the phone, for someone to be able to hear you, you need to speak at a normal decibel level, and speak clearly and relatively slowly.

There are so many people I talk to on a regular basis who are talking just fast enough for you to understand them, but not slow enough that there’s a lull in conversation. How am I supposed to help you if you won’t give me the opportunity to do so? Then, when they decide they’re done talking, you hear, “HELLOOOOOO? Is anybody THERE?!”

“Uhhh…. Mubish Moubith? With a ‘b’ or a ‘d’?”

Yes, person, I am here. I have manners, and don’t want to interrupt you. That’s what polite human beings do; they wait their turn. If you would’ve given me an opportunity during your monologue on how horrible tech support is to talk to you, I might have resolved your issue already, and you wouldn’t have to be on the phone with me any longer.

Oh, and don’t be mean to people from India. I have heard so many Indians speak with complete clarity, and waaaaay more Americans who have no sense of how to speak to another human on the phone.

(P.P.S: Don’t call tech support/phone support while you’re on speaker phone. You won’t be able to understand us, and there’s NO way we’ll be able to understand you.)

Rule #2: Don’t get nasty.

 Here’s a list of things I have never done to you:

-Pushed you into a puddle of mud.
-Snagged your cab.
-Cut in your line.
-Punched your face.
-Made your kid cry.
-Stole your lunch money.

Why are you so MEAN? What have I done to you in your lifetime besides attempt to assist you? Dude. Seriously. Quit being so mean to people who are just trying to help you, and make a living doing so.

I’m pretty well convinced that people who do this know that the person on the other side of the line can’t defend themselves, and need to feel powerful; they had a crappy day, so they want to make someone else feel crappy without any consequences.

“I HATE YOU, AND I HATE YOUR ASS FACE!!!”- CSC

Bad juju, mang. What goes around comes around. And what you do to someone who is essentially defenseless speaks volumes about your character.

Rule #3: Don’t make it personal.

I have lost count of how many people make their computer/tech/application issues into something I personally did as a vendetta against them.

Example:

Caller: “I logged into the application today, and EVERYTHING is different! YOU changed it   overnight without telling me!!!!!”

This Moi: “No, sir, there were no system changes last night.”

Caller: “Don’t get that attitude with ME! I KNOW what I’m doing. Why did YOU change it?!”

“I need a break.”

I personally have very little to do with anything besides picking up the phone when it rings, and helping you with the basics. I highly doubt that I personally sneaked into the back end of the application last night, and wrote a bunch of new code…. JUST to screw up your day. Please stop blaming me for your lack of understanding.

Or…. try something new and inventive…. ASK FOR HELP.

Rule #4: Don’t make your lack of preparation into my emergency.

Oh, the classic story of procrastination.

Someone has to have something done at some sort of deadline, and they’ve waited until the last minute to complete it. Naturally, as Murphy’s Law has shown us time and again, what could go wrong, DOES go wrong.

That’s why SMART people get things done with plenty of time to spare.

So when Murphy’s Law takes action, it’s suddenly MY fault.

“I HAVE to get this done by the end of the day, and the website is not WORKING! Are you going to fix it? Tell me when it’s going to be done, because this is an EMERGENCY.”

What this person will be doing 5 minutes after this phone call.

Really? An EMERGENCY?! I’d hate to think of your “emergency” going up against a TRUE emergency, and your issue getting dealt with long before theirs because you said so.

Can I teach you something today? Emergency ≠ Inconvenience, just like Building Explosion ≠ Getting a 1st Degree burn.

I wish I could give each caller four opportunities for an “emergency” for the duration of their employment. They would be much more picky about when they throw out that word.

And lastly…..

Rule # 5: Don’t get emotional.

There was once a woman who couldn’t view her personal medical results in an application I dealt with. This was because her doctors at her clinic hadn’t uploaded them yet.

She screamed. She cussed. She called me a “Good Little Nazi”, doing whatever the “system” told me to do.

And then she burst into tears, and hung up the phone.

I totally understand her being upset, particularly if they were the results of a serious nature. I am a sympathetic individual, and I will put up with a lot.  But hearing a grown woman OR man(which is significantly weirder…. coming from experience….) cry over the phone is the single most awkward situation in which I’ve ever found myself.

That’s only because I’ve never tried *this* before.

Please, for all parties involved…. don’t cry into the phone, unless it’s your relative, your best friend, or your psychic. Both you AND I will feel awkward afterwards, and it won’t help me to resolve your issue any faster. However, it WILL increase the chances of me sitting there, uncomfortably silent, waiting for you to blow your nose and get it together.

But the worst is when people get “emotional”…. and swing the other direction.

Cynicism, name-calling, fury, sadness, despair…. they are all ways to make the person on the other line feel horrible. When someone goes off on a tangent regarding deep emotional issues, there’s only one thing to do: sit there, uncomfortably silent, waiting for you to get it together.

So whether or not you decide to be angry, sad, furious, or you’re just a sociopath, please remember that I’m trying to remain a professional on the other line. I’m NOT your bff, your counselor, or your psychic…. I’m here to help you with your computer. Please don’t make this weird for the both of us.

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So! You are now well equipped to call tech support. Congratulations! And please…. at least be nice to whoever is on the line when you call. They probably have taken a dump truckload of crap already today; they def don’t need it from someone else.

His Story

Hi.

My name is Colin. I belong to the talented, beautiful, brave woman that runs things around here.

You know her as Aubrey.

I know her as the love of my life, my best friend, my partner-in-crime (isn’t it funny that the hyphens there make you read that faster? Like partnerincrime?), and the best part of any of my days. While you get to address her by her name, I get the pleasure of using varied monikers that have sentimental attachment to them, such as babe, honey, sweetness, sexy lady, wifey, my love… you get the picture. In fact, those names are so commonplace that when I call her Aubrey, she responds with a confused face, and then proclaims, “That sounds weird. Don’t call me that.” I do this when I need to get her attention away from things like the supernaturally good looks of the Winchester brothers.

I know exactly what she sees in them.

She is exceedingly sneaky (read: buys gifts as if trained by ninjas), kind, joyful, generous, considerate, witty, sympathetic, sweet, selfless, smells nice… She’s an amazing cook, and she’s always whipping up some delicious baked good; the entirety of which she intends for me (or our bachelor coworkers) to eat.

"Should I make more for the boys?"

We were talking the other day, and she couldn’t remember the last time she thought of what she, alone, wanted. Which is not to say that she doesn’t know what she wants, but she takes everyone else’s desires into account before she thinks of her own.

Aubrey has been an adult for a long time. Her parents and siblings depended on her a lot when she was younger and living at home. They all still depend on her, but it’s less practical (chauffeuring, helping mom and dad manage the kids), and more emotional. She is an elder of sorts within her family, with her sisters, brother, and even her parents coming to her to talk things out, get advice, and make decisions. Basically, she’s the Dalai Lama of her clan.

"This guy knows."

If Aubrey is anything, she is a nurturer. A caregiver. She is as self-sacrificial a lady as I have ever known. She is a tremendous source of confidence, reassurance, and encouragement. I am sublimely fortunate to bask in the warming glow of her limitless, effortless, unconditional love.

There is one word to encapsulate all of these traits.

Motherly.

But because of the events of the last two years, even writing that word feels like a slap across the face. Worse, it feels like slapping Aubrey across the face. Because she IS a mother. Born and bred, she’s a mother. The fact that we haven’t had kids doesn’t change that. That would be like saying that Superman isn’t Superman when he’s not wearing his costume.

"I am SO not Superman."

It’s a ridiculous premise, because a) he’s ALWAYS wearing his costume under his Clark Kent garb, and b) the costume is not what makes him Superman.

I’ve derailed a bit.

Aubrey has been asking me to write a guest post for as long as she’s had this blog, because she says that of the many women out there that have PCOS, there are only a small portion that write about what it’s like to experience it.

Trench Journalism of PCOS, as it were.

Of the few women that do write about it, she hasn’t seen any accounts from the men’s side. At first, focusing on how PCOS affects the man seemed equivalent to asking how British mice felt during the Blitz.

"Well, this sucks."

Yes, things did suck for those mice. But when compared to the roughly 40,000 civilian lives that were lost during that operation, the fate of actively exterminated pests probably wasn’t very high on anyone’s checklist.

But how we mice and men feel, and how these trials impact us is interesting and important to Aubrey.

Again, here she is, dealing with some of the weightiest issues she’s ever had… thinking about others.

I have been reticent to divulge my feelings on this whole ordeal, if for no other reason than I don’t want to compound the hopelessness that rears its ugly head every time another month falls off the calendar with no measurable progress. Aubrey explained that without any feedback from my end, positive or negative, it makes her feel like she’s in this by herself.

Which is absolutely inexcusable.

She’s not in this by herself. We face everything else as a couple, a pair, a team; why wouldn’t we face this extremely intimate issue together?

"We prefer to think of it as 'Our Nausea.'"

So here I am, to discuss PCOS from the male side. Or at least, my side.

First of all, I feel guilt. I don’t know why. I’m not Dr. Doom, and I didn’t point any kind of radioactive/genetically altered/cosmic ray-filled weapon at my wife. But I still feel responsible in some way. Like maybe I could have done something to prevent this.

Then I realize, no. No. There’s nothing you could have done to prevent this. There have been complications with her cycles, hormones, and insulin resistance for a long time. Nobody did this on purpose, sometimes crappy things just happen. Then I feel helpless.

Helpless is where I live.

If PCOS were a state, Helpless would be my city. I would live on Helpless Avenue, read the Helpless Times, and drink milk from the Helpless Dairy.

During one discussion with Aubrey, to describe how I felt, I used the term “impotent.” She looked at me and said, “Well, at least you’re not actually impotent,” implying that she was. I think I died a little when that happened. Not because I felt like it was a dig at me, or even thought she was mad at me. It pained me to see her reaction to that word. That reaction taught me precisely how much she blames herself for our situation.

To be clear, I do not blame my wife at all.

That’s why it is so hard to watch her blame herself. That’s where part of the helplessness seeps in. There’s not anything I can do or say to make her stop feeling the way she feels. To ease the burden that she heaps upon herself. When she’s low, the best I feel like I can do is hold her and tell her I love her.

So by this point, I feel useless on two levels: 1) I can’t do anything to change the state of her physical condition, and 2) I can’t do anything to change the state of her emotional condition.

"So I hit him in the shoe with my face."

Okay. Let’s see… Guilt, helplessness… Oh yeah. The pure frustration of the process.

The first doctor we saw was, in my opinion, disinterested and not very forthcoming with information. There were tests that have only recently taken place that we should have had performed at the onset of our consultations.

There was the Metformin, which is supposed to help women that suffer from PCOS, and it helped Aubrey in some ways, but not the ways we were hoping for. There were also side effects (or maybe just effects) that were unpleasant. This was also when blood draws were almost weekly. If you haven’t caught this from previous entries of hers, Aubrey no likey needles. So that became a struggle all by itself.

Then there was what I’ll refer to as The Progesterone Tribulation.

Heavy doses of hormones to help Aubrey’s ovulation. This isn’t a widely-used or effectively proven process, but we were hopeful. There were a lot of doses. Each took a bigger toll than the last. It was bad enough at one point that we both considered scrapping this whole deal. If it was this bad, and ineffective, maybe we didn’t want to continue down this road to the possible horrors that awaited us.

When Dr. #1 left the practice suddenly, our second doctor lent some credence to our misgivings about her. The second doctor was much more direct with information, which was important to Aubrey, and put me at ease. However, our time with her was cut short, when after prescribing the highest amount of Clomid she was comfortable with, there was no change. She referred us to the specialist we’re currently seeing at Vanderbilt, and we both liked this guy right off the bat.

And although we like this new doc, and we remain hopeful that we’ll see progress, this makes the third doctor we’ve seen. I realize as I type this that three doctors in two years doesn’t sound like a lot, and it probably isn’t, but as we eliminate possibilities, the road we travel is getting narrower and narrower. And in a way, it seems like we revisit the same things. Which makes me feel like Sisyphus, wondering if we’ll have to keep pushing this same boulder up this same hill over, and over, and over.

Frustration. Helplessness. Guilt. All feeding on each other, running a rut in my mind.

"Are you tired? 'Cause you been running through my mind allllllll day."

We have talked about how this will all be worth it to hold our baby in our arms, and see our ridiculously curly hair mashed together on that poor child’s head. How I will melt and give my daughter whatever she wants. How Aubrey will want our boys to get in trouble, get dirty, get dangerous.

We’ve also talked about how it’s possible that we may never have biological children. We decided we will try to adopt, foster, and if those don’t work out, we’ll jut spoil the crap out of the kids that are already in our lives. Our nephews, nieces, and friends’ kids that we love to pieces.

Hey, that rhymed. I am a poet and did not realize.

Ultimately, I married my wife because I love her, I can’t live without her, and I want to grow old with her. Yes, this has been a trying time in our life, and we’ve each had our own hardest moments. But we’re still here. We still laugh, we still enjoy hearing good news about others that have struggled with fertility issues, and we still try.

Children would be awesome, but being with my wife is already awesome. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thrilled and grateful to be married to the amazing woman who said “I do” almost five years ago, children or no children.

Things will be hard.

Things will hurt.

Things will go on.

You still live.

You still love.

You still hope.

Media: How music and movie quotes are my preferred form of communication.

Do you ever have a moment where your own words seem to fail you, and you wish you could just communicate with a song, or with a scene from a movie?

Yeah, well…. I sort of do that, anyway.

It all began as a child. My Dad worked in various roles for a large Midwestern chain of video stores when I was growing up, and we were always getting “screeners” in the mail; distributors wanted the company my Dad worked for to buy a bunch of copies of their movie, so they sent them free copies before they were released.

Lucky me.

Usually, they were crappy movies that needed plugging. Like, my Dad never got things like Jurassic Park, Titanic, Home Alone, or Disney movies, since none of them needed to be pushed hard by their distributors. People would most likely buy those movies in mass quantities for their video stores, because people would rent them in droves.

I ended up seeing a lot of movies I probably shouldn’t have at that age, but, I think, are now a solid part of how I relate to the world. The same goes for music, though.

I was raised on MTV. I would come home from school, and I couldn’t wait to see what was on BuzzKill. I couldn’t wait to watch Daria, and even mores so, I couldn’t get enough MUSIC. I loved Mariah Carey, Aerosmith, Boyz II Men, Green Day, the Smashing Pumpkins, Salt n Pepa, Oasis, Alanis Morissette……I even had one of those music subscriptions, where you bought one CD, and they sent you fifty gazillion more for a cheaper price. I still have my “The Cardigans” cd…. I also still have “Tails” by Lisa Loeb.

Media taught me how to feel. I remember wondering why I wanted to cry when I heard “Your House” by Alanis Morissette for the first time. Why am I so sad? Why do I feel physical pain when I hear this song? I wasn’t sad and hurting a moment ago, and now, I feel like I’ve been grounded for a month and punched in the stomach! Around this same time, I saw “The Lion King” in the movie theater, and it was the first time I remember sobbing when seeing a movie.

Fortunately, as I grew up, I started using my media to my own benefit. I use it as a way of communicating with my family, friends, and the outside world.

One of the earliest memories I have of this being true was getting “Scream” as a screener. The dialogue in that movie was so “smart” for the teenagers that were lucky enough to be its vessel. (Little did I know, that’s just the way Kevin Williamson is when writing for teens.) I remember spouting the lines from that movie with my sister, without really thinking about it.

Example?

“It’s called TACT, you —-rag!”

“Did you really put her liver in the mailbox? Because I heard they found her liver in the mailbox next to her spleen and her pancreas.”

I really think that started it all.

As a freshman in High School, I remember perfecting my Austin Powers/Dr. Evil impression, and making people laugh, complete with flailed pinky and evil laugh. (If I could go back and correct my outfits/behavior/awkwardness, I don’t think I would…. I’m a dork, and I’m okay with it.)

From that point on, I have such vivid memories of meeting new friends based on their interests and ability to quote things I loved. My group of friends later in High School were proficient in quoting Dumb and Dumber, which, obviously, was a necessity.

When I met my husband, I knew he was “The One” for SO many reasons….. but one of them was his wide-ranging love of Media. He could not only quote SO many movies, but he used those quotes to explain his feelings in certain situations so I cold understand them better.

“Husband always had a way of explainin’ thangs in a way I could understayund theyum.”

Also heard in the Hammond house: "I must'a drank me about 15 Docta Peppas."

Ahem.

I know when he’s trying to really communicate with me when he starts a sentence in the following fashion: “It’s like, in (Movie Title), when (Character) says……”. It’s perfection. As long as you know the movie, you can understand the feeling.

In no particular order, here are a bunch of quotes that are used in everyday Hammond life:

1. Flames….. on the side of my face….. HEAVING breaths…..

One of our fave movies in the Hammond house is Clue, featuring a group of actors and actresses that understand subtle comedy. When we’re explaining how furious we were, the above quote always feels right.

2. Anything from “That Thing You Do”.

Some examples?

A man in a REALLY NICE camper wants to put our SONG on the RADIO! Gimme a pen…. I’m signing, you’re signing, we’re ALL signing!

Preeeeeeesidential flashcards?”

 The ONEders!”
“It looks like the O-N-Eeders.”
“No, the ONEders!!”
“Got it, looks like the Oneeders.

There is always a quote from this movie that is applicable to everyday life.

3. “We’ve got NO FOOD….. We’ve got NO JOBS….. Our pet’s HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!!!

C’mon. I’m sure most of you say this at your house all the time. If you’re not sure where this quote comes from, I’m not sure about our potential for friendship.

4. Anything from “Super Troopers”.

I’ve you’ve missed this movie, you’ve missed it all. Such gems as, “MOVE THAT GIGANTIC COTTON CANDY!” and the entire “Shenanigans” conversation are readily available in many Hammond conversations. I haven’t laughed as hard watching a movie since seeing Dumb and Dumber in the movie theater as a kid.

Also…. seriously? The “snozzberries” kid is married to Christina Hendricks?! I have no idea how that happened.

5. Most Christopher Guest movies.

We love Christopher Guest. We love “Best in Show”, “Waiting For Guffman”, “A Mighty Wind”…. and my husband loves “This is Spinal Tap”.

Some faves?

And I’ll tell you why I can’t put up with you people: because you’re BASTARD people! That’s what you are! You’re just bastard people! And I’m goin’ home and I’m gonna… I’m gonna BITE MY PILLOW, is what I’m gonna do! ” – Waiting for Guffman

Well, you OBVIOUSLY don’t know my DOG!” – Best in Show

Don’t leave them cold and damp! Use our buttocks straps and penis clamp! Suuuuure flo, Suuuuure flo.” – A Mighty Wind

(I’m not sure why I always sing that….. maybe because the melody is catchy? Sure. Let’s go with that.)

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Those are just off the top of my head.

Remember when we made Mix Tapes? When that was considered to be the ultimate form of communication?

And, I mean, it used to be HARD to make a mix tape. You’d have to record each song on cassette tape perfectly. You’d write down the songs first, to make sure that you get that *perfect* order to things. Then laboriously record each one, making sure to have an appropriate break between songs, and that each side of the tape had enough space to record exactly what you needed.

When all was said and done, if you were like me, you had something that really echoed what you felt inside.

That was another thing that made me fall in love with my husband. His ability to make a PHENOMENAL “mix tape”, even if it was in the form of a CD instead of a cassette. Each song would just feed the next, and could make me feel almost anything at all. (I love him. Just a side note.)

What quotes get thrown around in your house? What movies and music do you use to communicate, when your own words seem to fail?