Growing Up Is Hard To Do

I like to remember myself as a cool teenager. Someone obsessed with pursuing her own individuality, intentionally pursuant of the unpopular choice, and undeterred by her peers.

But the reality was that I was an insecure kid like anyone else. I had my heart constantly broken, cared deeply about others’ perceptions of me, went through bouts of eating disorders and depression, and fought like hell to maintain my own sense of self despite being pummeled daily with religious tyranny, racist and homophobic slurs, self-segregation, and classism.

I vividly remember being told 2 months into arriving in 8th grade in my new, rural hometown, “You’re moving really fast. You’re already on the B list. Me and Crystal, we’re A list. You might be like us one day.”

This literally happened.

My response?

“That’s cool. I think I’m fine on the B list.”

I had frequent religious arguments with a crush on the bus; the first of many internal romantic struggles in wondering to my diary, “Why do I like this guy who’s so combative? There is literally nothing we share a belief on.” And that’s how I learned my first adult lesson in relationships. Also, years later, turns out he was gay.

I remember chatting with a new friend as she covertly whispered, “See that girl? She just had a baby by a black guy.”

I conspiratorially leaned against her ear to reply, “It must suck to have a baby at 16, but I don’t care what color it is.”

I used to journey to Atlanta with my friends to perform in Rocky Horror as Columbia on Friday nights. I learned swing dancing and recited the movie line for line, expression for expression. I somehow managed to convince a bunch of kids from the Baptist church that transvestites were cool.

And yet, I couldn’t convert a whole town. I couldn’t change a city’s way of thought. So as soon as I possibly could (about a year after the picture of me with pink hair next to Grandma was taken), I left it–and them. And I haven’t looked back.

Washington, I’ll never love you or remember you fondly. Sorry. But maybe we’ll both find some solace in the fact that opposites sometimes just aren’t meant to attract.

And as further comfort, maybe you were gay all along.

Grandma and me - I think I was 15. Note the home dye pink hair.
Grandma and me – I think I was 15. Note the home dye pink hair.
photo 4 (1)
Grandma’s friend David was a Lounge Lizard
photo 3 (2)
I was Riff Raff the Halloween of my 15th year.
Maybe my favorite picture ever of my BFF Katie. Good times.
Maybe my favorite picture ever of my BFF Katie. Good times.

So I’m 90 Years Old

We can cross “tangible skill” off the Bucket List, because I officially know how to be a 90 year old woman.

Over the last week, I’ve learned how to knit and make candles – in fact, here’s Todd enjoying the lovely lavender-scented one I created earlier in the week.

The cat adds to the beautiful "old lady" vibe I'm going for.
The cat adds to the beautiful “old lady” vibe I’m going for.

I’ve also been keeping up with my guitar lessons, but I definitely wouldn’t claim to have mastered any part of those yet.

This week has been great – helping with a lot of business wins, settling into my role, seeing friends, and continuing to explore my personal journey into unknown territory. Feeling happier, healthier, and more fulfilled every day. I just still miss my old work buds like crazy. A Friday isn’t a Friday without Dave’s Casual Friday t-shirt, or Black Cock with the creative team (calm down, it’s a liquor I bought in Thailand).

In any case, my new hobbies should help me make a dent in all this insane debt we’ve incurred over the last few months. Between the scooter, a new bed set, and my surgery… shit ain’t cheap.

Oh dear. Now I really may be a 90 year old woman.


Shuffle Off To Buffalo

There’s no better place in the world than Buffalo, NY.

Okay, that’s a complete lie, but there is something quaint about it.

I visited Buffalo this past weekend to see my mom’s idyllic hometown, East Aurora, which I’d only ever heard about in stories. It was exactly as she described, and so little had changed in 50 years: cute shops, a Main Street that caters to bikes, children running around and everyone just generally feeling safe. It was like I’d stepped into a Beverly Cleary novel.

I also met some distant cousins I had no idea existed: nieces of my grandmother’s, and one of their sons. I think, if I’m not mistaken, that makes the ladies first cousins once removed and the guy a second cousin, but I don’t know anything other than that I could legally marry any of them and our kids probably wouldn’t end up super deformed. Which is good news, because my second cousin is 22 and super cute. What? Don’t judge.

It was wonderful bonding with my family, and also seeing my brother, who normally lives in Philadelphia. I do feel like I’m getting just a hair closer with all of them, and that feels good. Especially because when you’re not feeling 100%, there’s nothing like having family around to restore your spirits and remind you that you’re awesome. And life is short, so you’ve gotta love on your family while you can.

My grandmother is going downhill mentally, but it’s clearly been a wonderful experience for her to see her old town and some of her old friends. She may not be able to understand us every time what kind of pizza she wants (she just smiles at us blankly), but she does remember Vidler’s 5 & 10, and that’s a win in my book. Even if she did buy a child’s sheriff hat there and elect to wear it around all day.


You Say You Want a Revolution

Well, you know.

Not much progress of late on the bucket list. There’s been a lot of wound-licking and life transitions that have gotten in the way of my goals, but it hasn’t stopped me from pursuing the first steps of them.

I’m also creeping along in my #HandstandsAcrossAmerica mission – I’m at 3 states now. The cross country trip should help knock quite a few off.


30. Climb a mountain.

29. Run a 10k.

28. Nail a handstand in yoga.

27. Get spiritual.


26. Learn a language.

25. Master a skill.

24. Read some books that actually mean something.

23. Develop some knowledge about cars.


22. Visit Thailand.

21. Take a trip with my Dad.

20. See a Wonder of the World.

19. Take a cross-country road trip with Brandon.


18. Volunteer regularly somewhere for at least 6 months.

17. Turn off the T.V. for a week.

16. Finish my book.


15. Invest in 5 diversified stocks.

14. Build retirement fund.

13. Own a second home.


12. Get closer with my sister.

11. Go on a walk at least once a week with Brandon.

10. Try something more sexually adventurous than usual.

9. Be a good in-law.

8. Send a real letter to a friend every month for a year.


7. Zip line.

6. Participate in a big cultural event like a music festival or Oktoberfest.

5. Swim with a shark. Or at least sting rays.

4. Learn to surf. Or at least try.

3. Be personally responsible for winning a big piece of business.

2. Perform in a play or musical.


1. Learn to be happy just as I am.



I got really mad a few weeks back when someone told me to “stop being such a girl.” Looking back, I’m not sure whether I was more offended by the implication that I was weak or that somehow girls were an inferior sex, but nevertheless, hell hath no fury like me scorned.

What does it mean to be a girl? Well, it means a hell of a lot.

It means growing and bearing children, dealing with a monthly hell akin to witnessing a the murder of your own organs, managing your hormones and being expected to expertly manage the hormones of others.

But more than the physical, it means living in a world that has always viewed you as the Worst Half, as the loser. Being successful, even in industries that embrace women, is always done in spite of gender and not irrelevant of it. We couldn’t vote until outrageously recently, have limited ability to secure leadership positions, and still get paid less than men (at an unnamed job, I was paid half of what someone managing significantly less than I was, and performed his job objectively worse, even after I negotiated several raises).

Being a girl also implies that you’re weak, don’t deserve to have feelings, and should ignore how you’re treated. The strong are those that ignore their humanity and embrace the cold reality that life isn’t fair. They are the ones who manage without emotion and bump along in some sort of psychopathic stride. They are out for #1 and are calculating in their approach to life. Well, sorry if it “makes me a girl,” but I am one, and given the alternative, I’d prefer to be.

As women, we are ridiculed, catcalled, treated as disposable, and objectified from ages as young as 7 or 8. We are constantly measured by our appearances as the sole metric for our value, and to stand up for ourselves paints us as bitches. The world has dramatically changed since the 1950s when women were expected to stay home and cook, but we’ve reached a new stage of sexism that’s almost too sinister and silent to claim as real, which makes it all the more dangerous. Now there’s just this underlying hum that peppers every meeting or relationship, the eerie sense that you’re being viewed as not good enough, and the creeping sensation that you notice it only because you’re crazy or too sensitive.

Girls, we have the capability of being so powerful, but we give our power away because we’re afraid of what the alternative looks like. We are quiet when we know better, we stay at jobs that treat us as “less than,” we stay in relationships that are damaging and abusive, we elect not to raise our hands because of the looks we might get.

I know we’ve all heard about “leaning in,” and that’s important. But you know what? We shouldn’t have to lean. We should be standing in the middle of the conversation and contributing everything we’re capable of. When someone tells us to stop acting like a girl, we should be responding that we’re acting like a human, and welcome to the fucking race. Because speaking as someone who has never let her gender get in the way of her success, I’m still impacted every day by the veil society has draped over my face.

And I’m taking it the fuck off.


Training Dayz

training day

What a whirlwind couple days! The sales team came into the office for lots of training, and I sat in. Couple that with the late dinner, heated conversations, and too much wine last night, and I’m spent.

Meanwhile, things are good. I’m settling in around here and sounding moderately intelligent. People are friendly and I even got to play a pick-up game of basketball in our desk area. Yes, we were using footballs as basketballs, and yes, that did affect our shooting ability, but at least we were all at similar skill levels.

To make things even better, I just said “Rad” to a sales guy, as I’ve been trying to bring that word back for a solid 6 months, and he responded with this picture:


These might be my people here.


Office Tour

Ask and you shall receive.

For those curious folk, I took a photo tour of my office today. Shockingly, not that many new coworkers were willing to create the stock photo feel I was going for on the tour, but my bud Kevin was nice enough to at least give me one pose.

I still need to get pictures of the nap pods, but I think you’ll still get a good sense of my new digs from these pics.

Kevin, thinking.
Jedi Academy
Jedi Academy
Golf, anyone?
Golf, anyone?

Forecasting Trends

Work out while you work.
Work out while you work.

View from the hall

Engineers hard at work
Engineers hard at work
Break for a little Chess
Break for a little Chess
Grab a seat at one of the many kitchen areas

photo 3 (3)

photo 4 (3)

Or, just hang at your desk for lunch – like Jen.

photo 4 (4)

photo 3

photo 3 (5)

I don't know where this came from, but it's the view from my desk all day.
I don’t know where this came from, but it’s the view from my desk all day.

photo 2 (1)

Another breakout room
Another breakout room
And me with coffee in said breakout room
And me with coffee in said breakout room
Swing, swing
Swing, swing
Game room! What?!
Game room! What?!
Get fit
Get fit
Working hard, hardly working
Working hard, hardly working
Conference breakout room
Conference breakout room
Another breakout area
Another breakout area
Not SURE what this is about, but its' interesting looking.
Not SURE what this is about, but it’s interesting looking.
Andddd that's it.
Andddd that’s it.

I’ll go back and update this more with a little description, but for now, enjoy the pics!


How To Cheer Yourself Up

I went to the movies to see Ted 2 today – a nice, lighthearted comedy.

All showings were canceled – I guess something was wrong with the projector. The only other movie coming up was Amy – about Amy Winehouse.

There’s nothing like a 2-hour biopic about a depressed, heroin-addicted, bulimic singer to really lift your spirits.

Great music, though!




Successfully talked a client out of a campaign today. #Winning!


Slightly more relevant background: that offering didn’t make sense for them, so we suggested they go the direction of another of our products. But I prefer to advertise it as my first of many failures.