A little negativity for this lovely Christmas day...

It's been a lovely holiday this year. Perfect, really. So imagine my disgust when we turn on the TV tonight to see what specials may be on that Audrey would like and we find "Horton Hears a Who," otherwise known as my second least favorite movie of all time ("Michael" is the worst). This movie throws me into a feminist tizzy. For some reason, the filmmakers decided to add their own new subplot, where Mayor Who has 96 spirited little girls and one socially-challenged little boy. Despite the enthusiasm and clear talent of his girls, he only focuses on his son as his potential successor. I can't help but think that Seuss himself would be disgusted by this addition to his story, especially considering his liberal views. "A person's a person, no matter how small." Um, not according to the filmmakers.

Thanks. I had to get that off my chest. I hope everyone has had a safe, warm, lovely holiday!


I need a cute boy...

...to dance with to this song! Audrey is a pretty good dance partner, but...

Nickelback / Instagram parody

If you're not already a fan of collegehumor.com, you will be after watching this.

Nickelback / Instagram parody

Sorry, can't get it to embed. It's worth the click!


A guaranteed laugh for Bloomingtonians

Do it. I promise you will not regret it.

Not moving to NOLA, but definitely moving on

So, I have successfully survived my October breakdown. In hindsight, it wasn't really that bad. It never is. Just a few bad days. But during...it was horrible. There are times when the demands of single motherhood (without close family around) just push me from the positive to the negative side of my bi-polar disorder. It's generally a 98%/2% situation, but that 2% can be pretty heavy. I can't help but wonder what life would be like with my mother around. I mean, she was a early childhood education EXPERT. For reals.

I saw my therapist last week. I only see her about twice a year. I tend to call her when things get rough, but her schedule is so tight that I usually don't get in for two weeks. By then, I am pretty well through the rough patch and back on track. She said something interesting to me though...she said these twice-a-year bouts (is that spelled right?) of depression usually lead to a fairly transformative life experience for me. Interesting.

Holla to my friends and family once again. Man, I seriously don't know how I got so lucky. My dad, sis, and group of girlfriends immediately rally and help me get back on track. They offer to babysit, bring food, etc. Thank you, my amazing friends. I love you more than I could ever say.

One last thing...I ALMOST survived this election cycle without talking politics with anyone. I avoided regular TV and social media during this election cycle because it just gets me upset. I did end of having a rather civilized exchange with my conservative BFF. I think it's safe to say we're never going to think the same way politically, but we do on so many other levels. I love you, girl. You're wrong, but I love you. Haha.

YAY for Obama!

Much love!


Hey you, out there, I am thinking about you...

It's been a rough two weeks. When my kiddo gets sick, it becomes a two-week ordeal. She's sick for several days, then I am sick for several days, and then it takes several days to get back on schedule (this includes tantrums galore from her and total apathy from me). The worst part about it is feeling so alone in all of it. I have amazing friends and family, but the kind of help I need in these situations is beyond a two-hour reprieve. It's hard to explain. I know tons and tons of other single parents that can handle this flawlessly, but it knocks me down every time. So, I might move to NOLA...but that's a story for another day.

As I was/am wallowing in my despair, I was reminded of a good friend of mine who truly has it rough. I can't imagine how alone he feels at times. Those times when everyone is working on their own lives. Sometimes you need someone to reach out to you, but without there being a reason. Like, out of nowhere, you know? I'm thinking of you...and there is no "event" that is making me think of you. It's just a random afternoon at work and I am thinking of you. And loving you. And praying for you.


Cookie Friday

Friday is my cookie day. I get a M&M cookie with my bagel and diet coke in the a.m. Today, I had candy instead. Dove dark chocolates to be exact. Here's some candy for your Friday. You're welcome.


WTF, Rhianna?

Rhianna, where are your best bitches? Amy, Seja, Jen, Wendy, Lisa, and Sarah would tie me down before they'd ever let me near a guy who beat on me (which has never happened, thankfully). And I'd do the same for them.

Ladies, if your guy lies, cheats, or beats on you, he WILL do it again. 100%. Get help right away.


Props to Louis Vuitton

This is so amazing. Louis Vuitton is using Larissa Latynina in their new print advertisement. She was a gymnast for the Soviet Union in the 1950s-60s, and she won 18 Olympic medals. Michael Phelps beat her "most Olympic medals won" record last week. Latynina wanted to present Phelps with his 19th medal (the one that made him surpass her), but the International Olympic Committee wouldn't have it...which is beyond lame. Glad to see she's being honored regardless. 

Also featured last in this lovely video tribute of the top ten most successful Soviet gymnasts of all time.



Olympic Women's Gymnastics: Predictions and More

What you need to know about the Olympic Gymnastics competition:

1. The preliminary competition is on Sunday. From the prelims, the top 8 teams qualify to finals, top 8 gymnasts in each event qualify to event finals, and top 24 gymnasts to all around finals. For individual finals, there is a two-per-country rule. So even though the USA will have three gymnasts in the top 24, only the top two will qualifiy.

2. What's a good score? All of the events are scored slightly differently, but a good rule of thumb is anything in the 15 range is good; above a 15.5 is excellent.

3. The USA is the favorite to win. They the won last year's world championships by a LANDSLIDE. Having said that, the USA won worlds the year before the Olympics in 2004 and 2008, and then went on to take silver at the Olympics. If they hit, the USA will win, but it will be very close if Russia and Romania also hit. China could factor in too, but only if they're flawless.

4. NBC's Olympic commentators are 75% idiot, 25% right. Take anything they say that's extreme with a grain of salt.

5. Larrisa Iordache, Romania's star, is apparently suffering foot pain and will not compete all around. If they're pulling a fast one, which wouldn't be a surprise, and she competes all around, she'll be a threat. Also, if she competes they will challenge for gold in the team finals.

6. Catalina Ponor from Romania (triple gold medalist in 2004) has made a comeback and is killing it. She's known for wearing way-too-high-cut leos (seriously, gross) and always hitting beam. I can't stand her b/c on her constant arm flailing, spastic back arching, and karate chop things with her arms, but I am impressed with her comeback.

6. Why didn't Nastia make it? Nastia started her comeback about 6 months too late. She just wasn't ready.

7. Why didn't Shawn make it? Although she retired due to a "knee injury", she really deep down knew she wouldn't make the team. Her strengths/weaknesses didn't "fit" the team. They needed someone who could score high on bars; she can't. Her vault used to be a huge asset, but now there are three USA gymnasts who do it better than she. In other words, she's not good enough.

8. I despise Marta Karolyi as the team coordinator. She's has way too power and has a habit of over-training, physically and mentally, the gymnasts. Many think she is the reason we are so successful, whereas I think it's because of the influx of amazing coaches from abroad, specifically China and the former Soviet Union. Only one of the our the US girls is coached by an American. She gets the credit that rightfully belongs to the girls' personal coaches. I will give her credit for implementing the monthly team camp approach, although I think it should be bi-monthly.


Team Prediction                                    My Ideal Team Podium
1. USA                                                   1. USA
2. Russia                                                2. Russia
3. Romania                                            3. Great Britain

All Around Prediction                           My Ideal All Around 
1. Jordyn Weiber (USA)                        1. Gabby Douglas (USA)
2. Viktoria Komova (RUS)                    2. Jordyn Weiber (USA)
3. Gabby Douglas (USA)                       3. Vika Komova (RUS)

Vault Prediction                                    My Ideal Vault Podium
1. McKayla Maroney (USA)                1. McKayla Maroney (USA)
2. Sandra Izbasa (ROM)                        2. Oksana Chusovitina (GER)
3. Oksana Chusovitina (GER)              3. Sandra Izbasa (ROM)  

Bars Prediction                                      My Ideal Bars Podium
1. Viktoria Komova (RUS)                   1. Beth Tweddle (GB)
2. Aliya Mustafina (RUS)                     2. Viktoria Komova (RUS)
3. Beth Tweddle (GB)                           3. He Kexin (CHINA)

Beam Prediction                                    My Ideal Beam Podium
1. Larissa Iordache (ROM)                    1. Viktoria Komova (RUS)  
2. Catalina Ponor (ROM)                      2. Nastia Grishina (RUS)
3. Sui Lu (China)                                   3. Kyla Ross (USA)

Floor Prediction                                     My Ideal Floor Podium
1. Sandra Izbasa (ROM)                        1. Nastia Grishina (RUS)
2. Jordyn Weiber (USA)                        2. Ksenia Afanasyava (RUS)
3. Aly Raisman (USA)                           3. Victoria Moors (CAN)


Olympic Games: Gymnastics

I am working on creating a "preview" of sorts for the gymnastics competition at the Olympics. It will include who you need to know, what you need to know, and predictions.

First, however, I want to post some videos about how gymnastics SHOULD look (IMHO). Note: vault and bars will be pretty good at this Olympics; beam and floor - yuck, no innovation.


Luckily the best vault of all time should happen at this Olympics. Unless she's injured (which is entirely possible with Marta Karolyi leading the team), she will get gold.

McKayla Maroney - USA - 2012


Bars should always be innovative, with good form, straight body lines, and good swing. Luckily, like vault, we have the potential to see some amazing bar routines during THIS Olympics.

Svetlana Khorkina - Russia - 2000

Beth Tweddle - 2011 - Best UK gymnast of all time - Will compete this year!

He Kexin - China - 2009
She may have been underage in 2008. She'll be at this Olympics too,
but many think it is unlikely she'll hit this well again:


Beam is horrible right now due to the code of points. It is just trick-trick-trick. No artistry. There are bonus points for weird connections, which has led gymnasts to string together many mediocre skills instead of the big, innovated skills. You really won't see anything much like these...with amazing tricks, beautiful dance, perfect extension, and handstand work!

Olessia Dudnik - USSR - 1989

Yang Bo - China - 1989


Floor is HORRIBLE right now. There are too many requirements and artistry is almost nonexistent.You will see NOTHING like these.  

Cheng Fei - 2004 - China

Tatiana Groshkova - USSR - 1989

Penn State Punishment

Thank you to the NCAA for handing out an appropriate punishment to PSU:
$60 million fine; money goes to child sex abuse awareness
4-year bowl game ban
Scholarship reductions
All wins from 1998-2011 vacated
5 years probation

Now, if only we could get the Catholic Church to reprimand its child abusers. The NCAA has MUCH higher standards for its coaches than the church does for its priests. Hmmmm.



"Those killed in Aurora represent less than half a day's quota of annual gun deaths in the US. Today is the rule, disguised as the exception." - Mark Harris, saying it like it is.


Sandusky Case

So the Freeh report is out. I have only read snippets, but this is my first reaction:

Do you think this would have (or could have) happened if a woman was knowledgeable? Doubtful. 

Each and every one of these people should be in jail. They are accomplices to abuse, which makes them abusers.


Nectarine update

I had a good one. Life is good again.

Audrey sillies

Blogged, so I remember them.


She announced she needed to use the restroom during dinner and asked to be excused. When I said yes, she asked me to "save her place." I did. (There are only two of us).

Audrey just put her toy phone (the old school one that you can drag- pictured below) in timeout for being too loud. They are very loud.


My Girls

Had such a lovely time with these girls last weekend (we missed you, Jen!). I am going to scan some of the girls' weekends photos from when we first started getting together. We look like babies. Chubby cheeks and all :).


Isn't it ironic?

Dontcha think? Mitch Daniels, new prez of Purdue.

Move over "Buffy" and "Freaks and Geeks"

I have a new favorite teen show and it's soooo good!!! It's from Australia and it's called, "Dance Academy." Yes, a teen show about ballet. I'm in heaven! Plus, the characters are amazing and the writers actually have the teens confront their issues rather than deal with them in the usual cliche ways. Check it:

On a brighter, more colorful note...

I love this book that I bought for my artist-friend's baby-to-be:


Thoughts and Prayers Today

For Seja, who is in surgery now (non life threatening).
For Max, who just got out of surgery (non life threatening). It went well.
For Chad, for his second chemo treatment (of the summer- not ever, unfortunately).

Why me?

Seriously, why am I so lucky? This is what happened to me over the weekend:

1. My sis and bro-in-law treated Audrey and me to a night at the Great Wolf Lodge in Ohio. It is a hotel with an awesome water park. They then babysat Audrey overnight on Saturday so I could have a girls' night with my BFFs (sans Jen, unfortunately) on Saturday in Indy.
2. While I was in Ohio, Seja and Joe came into my house (they have a key) and painted my living room, dining room, and hallway while I was away. Yes, you read that right. Too amazing for words. And, it looks awesome.
3. Wendy and Alex treated us to a night at the new JW Marriott in Indy for girls' night.

Emma and Audrey getting ready to swim:

Audrey with a character from the Great Wolf Lodge:


Kids' Meals

Just returned from Qdoba where I ordered a kid meal for myself. A naked burrito, side of chips, and a drink for $4.50! A regular sized burrito costs $6 (not including chips + soda)!

Whenever I order things like burritos, I always ask for a small portion anyway. Seeing a huge bowl stuffed with food just grosses me out. I usually can't even eat half of it. Oh, and I don't do leftovers (unless it's pasta). When I place my order, I always say something like this: "just a tiny bit of beans, doubt she'll eat them anyway." They think I am referring to a kid, but I am really referring to me. Dishonest? Yes. As dishonest as most corporations? No.


I think I am back...

After a self-imposed 6-month break from most social media, I have decided to return to my blog. My reasons:

1. It's therapy and we all know I need that.
2. No one really reads it, so I can be all know-it-all and not feel bad about it.
3. The ten people who do read it are family and best friends. They want to see pics and updates of Audrey. Plus, they love me despite #2.

p.s. I quit FB and think my happiness has grown immensely. I still can't figure out why it has such a negative impact on me. I think it's a combo of people's political opinions pissing me off + subconscious jealousy about things I am pretty sure I don't want anyway. I am still on Twitter, but only for gymnastics reasons.

I'm telling you: no FB, cable, magazines, pinterest, mainstream radio, etc = happiness! :)


Taking a break...

Taking a blog break for the next week...headed to New Orleans to visit daddy (hers, not mine)!

We're taking Audrey to the Barkus Mardi Gras parade. How cute! And we are going to eat a whole king cake by ourselves.



Susan G. Komen has reversed their decision and will now continue to save women's lives! Thanks to everyone who made Susan G. Komen re-gain focus on saving women from breast cancer!

Something You Should Know About Kids...

...before having them: kids are so slowwww. At everything.

Whoa. How Timely.

I hate to criticize charities, but you have to wonder about a charity that eliminates funding for their very own cause. 


Denounce Susan G. Komen's Decision to Defund Planned Parenthood

It's estimated that Planned Parenthood actually prevents over 220,000 abortions a year with its contraception and reproductive services. Defunding Planned Parenthood = increase in abortions + STDs + cancer + more female deaths. This is a war against women. 

Email your local Susan G Komen chapter. Southern Indiana = wvracecure@aol.com. 
Email suggestion if you don't have time to write one yourself:

To my local chapter of Susan G. Komen,

I urge you to please reverse your decision to defund Planned Parenthood. Susan G. Komen is above all else an organization dedicated to women. Your decision will have a severe and negative effect for many of our sisters. Support women AND the fight against breast cancer by reversing your decision.


Oh, and my daughter is a prodigy!

This morning one of my daughter's teachers told me she made a snowflake and that she was very impressed by her folding ability. Her other teacher, who is Japanese, told me the same thing and said somewhat jokingly that Audrey might enjoy origami.

Mama's translation: My daughter is a genius! She's going to take the origami world by storm!

I'm not going to jump in front of a bus after all.

Forty-eight hours ago, I was about ready to throw myself in front of a bus. I was sick and my little one was being what can only be described as a brat. I was at a lost. What am I doing wrong? I discipline her. She does timeout. All that stuff. But I forgot. I forgot that just when you're preparing to jump in front of that bus, things miraculously do a 180. I told Audrey we needed to take a bath, which lately has been the equivalent of getting shots in her mind. Out of nowhere, she replied, "Ok, Mommy, I understand." That was followed by these:

1. While playing animal bingo last night she said, "good job, Mommy," when I won rather than Ahhhh and Noooo and Waaaa. P.S. this isn't a game you can let someone win, because I totally would have done that for my own sanity.

2. During the same game, she said, "Mommy, I like your stripes (on my shirt). And your lips." Huh???

3. This morning on the way to school, she politely asked (may I please!!!) for her favorite song, "The Snow," which is otherwise known as Coldplay's "Paradise." Out of nowhere, she says, "here's the piano." She said it when the piano kicked in!!! What??? That's not so much behavioral, but it impressed me.

4. A few minutes ago, after dinner, she asked, "may I please be excused?" Umm, yeah. And here's a bag of candy bars.

She's been a totally different child. And, in addition...

1. Today the doctor confirmed I am not dying after all.

2. I got an amazing phone call from an amazing best friend about an amazing possible opportunity.

Just remember, just when you think you're about to lose it, your 180 is probably right around the corner.



I never thought I'd be immune to it...until I met my husband. Soulmates, completely in love with each other, best friends. I cannot begin to explain in words the love I had for Dan. Pure bliss. Dan was always on my side. I grieve that feeling every day of my life.

I react to people's inquiries about my divorce in the same way I react to the inquiries of my brother's death. When I'm feeling brave and honest, I just come out and say it: my ex-husband is gay and my brother committed suicide. You don't have to ask the questions that are in your mind. I have the same questions. And like you, I don't have the answers. Didn't you know? Did you notice in your intimate life? Was your brother depressed? He seemed so together, why did he do it? The answers are always the same: no and I don't know. The answers will never change...although I don't mind people asking like I used to when I would be embarrassed to answer. These days I don't have the energy to be embarrassed and I refuse to taint my wonderful memories by being embarrassed.

I truly don't believe love like the love I had with Dan exists for me in the future. It's impossible. It's not that I'm cynical or a nonbeliever (which often times I am). It's just that I know I will never be in that place in my life again...so much hope, such delight in becoming myself with someone I love at my side, loving so much it hurt. Dan will always be my soulmate. There may be another, there may not. If there's one thing I know, it's that you have no idea what your future holds.


In loving memory...

Of my older brother, Jeff. He passed away in 1991, here in Bloomington. A few memories for today (1/6), which would be his 40th birthday:

1. I remember girls from his high school trying to get information about him from me....Does he like someone? What his favorite band? Lots of girls crushing on him.

2. Regarding #1, I do remember Jeff loved U2, REM, the Sex Pistols, and The Smiths.

3. Jeff was super smart (valedictorian) and super athletic (state champion runner and a triathlete), but he taught us that these traits pale by comparison to personality and character.

4. Once I complained to my mom about Jeff and Lisa (sis) being so smart (A+ students / me - B+ student). My mom said, "that's ok, Jackie...you're very social and that's just as important." Then she and I laughed.

5. He was a maniac on the trampoline.

6. I was mad at him once and I wanted to call him a mean name. I called him "jerky juroo" (sp??). The mean name stuck, but mainly as a joke to make fun of me.

7. The last time I saw Jeff was when he and Lisa came to Indianapolis for the last night of the 1991 World Gymnastics Championships. Mom and I had gone for the whole week and they came up from Bloomington. Best week of my life for so many reasons.

8. He and Lisa took Seja and me to see "Truth or Dare." It was a late show, and Seja and I both fell asleep.

9. He used to refer to the bump in the road between our neighborhood and the adjacent neighborhood as "the $100,000 bump." $300,000 was more like it though :).

10. He and Lisa "saved" me from falling into a 15-foot hole when we went sledding.

Many people wonder what Jeff would be doing today with all of his talents. I don't. I don't care. I just want his presence.


pointless / unnecessary tidbit about dresses

I was wasn't really a "girly girl" when I was a child, but I had my phases. One phase was when I lived in Salt Lake City and the neighbor girls did beauty pageants. I begged my mom to let me do them too, but she wouldn't let me (thankfully). I dreamed of wearing a drop-waist dress and ballet flats like Pollyanna wore. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a full-length photo, but this is the gist:

Audrey loves to wear dresses. I would love to buy her the below drop-waist dresses. They are too cute. However, they are $$$ and there is no way I'm spending more than $10 on a dress for a three-year-old.

ps Something about the term "girly-girl" rubs me the wrong way. What does it even mean? What makes a girl girly? I looked it up here. Interesting.

Destination: Iceland

Just a few reasons I must go to Iceland...

Northern Lights

Gullfoss / Golden Falls

The Church of Hallgrimur

The Blue Lagoon

Resident Badass: Bjork

Her old band, The Sugarcubes

Sigur Ros 
(one of my fav songs ever: "Staralfur" / not official vid)

Johanna Siguroardotti:
Kickass female prime minister
Advocate for women's equality
First openly gay head of state

And, of course: these images in Bon Iver's "Holocene" vid

Happy New Year!

Happy 2012! I hereby predict the world will NOT end in 2012. I keep predicting the non-ending of the world and I never seem to get any credit for it.