Short Letters to Random People

30 11 2010

Dear House,

I regret to inform you that your TV show is no longer my favorite.  Since I was diagnosed with Lupus, that show got a little too real.  Now I listen to Castle as I fall asleep because it’s just as entertaining and it will never happen.  Seriously.  It would take David Baldacci getting writer’s block, and deciding to drop in and follow me around being a stay-at-home-mom. He could make stupid comments while I make parenting look sexy and cool and once an episode come up with some spectacular solution.  David Baldacci once answered my question on a LibraryThing forum and did it without any mockery or stupidity, so I can’t say I see this ever happening.

I will still watch and enjoy your show but you will no longer be top billing in the part of my brain that dishes out pop culture references to serious situations.


Dear Dr. Cuddy,

In the season finale of Season 6 and AGAIN in the first few episodes of season 7, you told House that you being in love with him had nothing to do with wanting him to change.   He told you that you’d eventually start being pissed off at the things he’s ALWAYS done – like lying to you about a patient – and you said “nuh uh, won’t happen.”  Now, you’re pissed at him for doing exactly the same thing he did in every single fucking episode in the last 6 seasons.  If you really don’t want to care about him doing what he does, only assign him patients you hate.  Then if they die from some stupid treatment that will spike your BP, you can at least be comforted in the fact that they are DEAD.

Or whip out the ole “really long consent form” for all his future patients.  “By signing this you agree that you’re about to be treated by a mad genius.  You agree not to sue him or his employers for any retarded, unethical, experimental, insane, and unrecommended treatment.”  You’re smart enough to get what you both want.  It’s just going to take some creativity.


Dear “As Seen on TV” Toy ads,

Thank you so much for teaching my kids the art of creating stupid jingles.  In response, I have taught them about the psychology behind advertising.  At least now they know not to sing me the little tune and beg for something at the low, low price of $59.99 for 2 packs of glorified play-do unless they really want to hear Mommy rant for hours.


Dear Girls,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately.  I know I don’t want you to ever read this because no one should have to carry this with them, but I can’t hold it inside me.  If you ever do find my blog, this is at least an honest recollection from a woman who loves you.

I replaced the last pictures we had of you with more recent pictures of our forever children.  For some reason, God had different paths planned for us and we were only together for a short time.  I spent and I spend a lot of time mad at Him for what happened.  It’s odd to me that I still love you the same amount as I do the children who live in my house.  With them, they get older and smarter.  They make mistakes and grow.  They get more and more like us.  They have opinions – rather loud ones – and desires and needs.

With you, all I ever got was a few months and some pictures to remember you by.  I remember you as 5 and 7 year olds but 4 years and an entirely new family have come for both of us.  With them, I was handed their novel.  With you, I was only given a few short chapters.  I’d like to read more and know more, but it’s best not to pester the author while the story is in progress.  In another 10 or 15 years, hopefully I can learn the rest.

I still have the pictures on the computer I use most often.  Every file I pull up, I see your pictures.  I’m learning to let go – quietly and slowly – but I haven’t made it to the point of putting your photos on an external drive yet.


Dear my fashion sense,

Are you done with your little vacation yet?  I know I spend most of my time in sweat pants and a tank top but I’m ready for that to change!  Do you know that lately I started throwing out DSW catalogs before even looking at them?  Why?  Because there’s no point in buying shoes when I have a closet full that I don’t wear.

Do you hear me?  I rationalized NOT BUYING SHOES.  I’m going insane without you.  I haven’t had a haircut in months.  MONTHS!  I want to start a blog for fashion choices for people with neurological disabilities (or fibromyalgia or anything that comes with dysautonomia or allodynia.)  I can’t do that when my uniform includes navy blue sweat pants, black knee socks, and a crazy colored tank.

Fashion sense, you better get your ass back here RIGHT NOW.  Put down the tropical drink, put on some clothes and clock back in.  You’ve got work to do!


To my children –

Effective immediately, I’m spraying you with Lysol the instant you get in the car after school.  You end up with a virus and get sick for a day or two.  I get the virus and the Lupus tries to eat my face off.

I have been on antibiotics for 10 days now and have 4 more to go.  I taste onions constantly.  Look, even the baby knows “don’t talk to Mommy until she’s had a cup of coffee.”   You try drinking coffee in the morning when all you taste is onion.

The only solution is to stop exposing your mother to germs and I’ve caught you little shits licking tables in fast food restaurants.  I KNOW I’m nuts so I can only imagine what disgusting things the little shits who do not have me as a mom do.  Those kids are sharing their germs with you and I don’t want them.


Dear Levenger,

Stop sending me two catalogs several times a month that have the same beautiful, lustworthy items in them.  Once a month, I get to drool over your leather goodies.  After that you’re just rubbing my nose in the fact that I’m too poor to buy them!  I already send you way too much money for Circa supplies – but now I get to cry a little inside when I see the Bomber Jacket leather card wallet that matches my Bomber Jacket leather Circa cover.  It’s the only thing that makes me want to replace my red leather card wallet that I bought 4 years ago.    The red leather wallet that goes everywhere with me.  The red leather wallet that I bought a matching clutch for so I could tote my lipstick and perfume along with my personalized note cards.

I really love you, Levenger.  I love how Mr. Leveen replies to posts online and writes a thoughtful blog.  I love your customer service.  I grudgingly understand how you’ve had to adapt some of your products to Apple’s tomfoolery.  But please stop taunting me!



With all the love in the world, Cyndi



Dress for the Job You Want

13 08 2010

This article about dressing as smart as you are popped up on my Google Reader this morning.  At first, I thought “hey, that’s a really good bit of advice for the world!”  I believe quite a few people don’t reach their full potential because of the way they act or dress.  There is a decorum, a standard, that even non-conformists need to meet (even if it’s in some weird, quirky way) to push ahead in the “real world.”

I posted it to my facebook page and continued to get the kids ready for school.

In the car while dropping them off I started having a different thought.  This is great advice for people of average or below-average intelligence or potential.

It’s probably even good advice for people of above-average intelligence.  However, once someone’s into the bona fide genius range… I think this is a very bad idea.

I’m going to give you a pop culture reference, then my history, then another pop culture reference.  Maybe by then I’ll be able to do this topic justice.

Bones S01 E12 – The Superhero in the Alley is about a teenager who was found murdered while dressed up in an “identity” costume based on a comic book.  The episode is about gleaning information from the stories the boy wrote.

Zack: No.  They’re quite interesting, the graphic novels especially.

Bones: After you have cleaned the bones look for scoring on the occipital condyle and the inferior nuclein.

Zack: They are basically the retelling of the Greek myths with all superhero’s standing in for Hercules, half god, half human.

Bones: Okay be very careful here.  X-rays shows fragmentation of the cervical vertebrae consistent with sharp force trauma.

Zack: Invulnerability, super strength, heightened senses, telekinesis….I’d love to have some of those powers.

Bones: Why?

Zack: I…I don’t really know. Is it not desired?

Bones: Why fantasize? You’re smart.

Zack: In some ways my intelligence is a handicap. For one thing I’m weird. For another I tend to make people feel stupid and they resent me for it.

Bones: I suspect it’s the same for super powers. The victim was stabbed here at the base of the spine.  The spinal cord was severed.  That’s what killed him.

Zack: I’ll clean the bones and try to match a weapon to the damage done.

Bones: Which will make you a real hero in the real world.

When I was born, my mother was a meteorologist in the Navy and my dad was a meteorologist for the Air Force.  I’m from a mixed marriage of the “smart” branches of the military.  Around the time I was 3 and my brother was born, my parents resigned and we moved up here to GA.

Talking about the military service and the things they had seen and learned was almost constant.  I knew about clouds and weather systems as early as I can remember.  My dad believed that there were no limits on what a child could learn, so he taught me my ABC’s by the time I was 2 and I could read at a 3rd grade level by the time I was 4.

Before school, I thought this was a totally normal thing.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that being smart – and not just over-achieving smart – made me a social outcast.  By the time I was in 1st grade, I was in the gifted programs learning problem solving skills and Greek and Latin.  The program overlapped recess so I had very few friends and very few people I could relate to.  Those I was on level with were almost placed into competition with me.

By the time I was in high school, it wasn’t only a competition, but all out war.  In middle school I had learned how to hedge and deliberately started missing classes and doing things wrong.  I got my first B in 6th grade on purpose.  I never got lower than a B until I was in Calc III in college and got a C.

Re-reading this, it looks like bragging, but it’s not.  It’s just context.

Junior year of high school, the military started dropping in to recruit and to try and get us to take the ASVAB.  I wanted to.  I tested well.  It was another opportunity for me to shine brighter than the other stars at the school.

My parents flat out refused to let me take it.

Why?  They didn’t want me to be on record as acing the test.  They said if I did the military would never stop coming after me.  I would never have my own life.  I would be nothing more than a tool.

That stuck with me because I realized how true it was.  That I needed to recognize my potential for MYSELF but I didn’t need that information to be part of the public record.  It worked out ok professionally for me as well because the idea of a “computer guru” was main-stream.  You know – the guy in the office who can get away with wearing capri pants and hasn’t shaved in 3 years but is still tolerated and exalted because of his abilities.

I never wanted to be in management or have the responsibility of other people.  I wanted to solve problems.  Finding answers that no one had thought of before gave me a deep satisfaction and that’s what I wanted to do.  Dressing to my intelligence wasn’t only impossible, it would have made me an outcast.  I didn’t want to be set apart.  I wanted to be A part.

From House S03 E07 – Son of a Coma Guy.  House is answering a question about why he became a doctor instead of going into research or some other field that didn’t have to do with people.

HOUSE: When I was fourteen, my father was stationed in Japan. I went rock-climbing with this kid from school. He fell, got injured and I had to bring him to the hospital. We came in through the wrong entrance, passed this guy in the hall. It was a janitor. Friend came down with an infection and doctors didn’t know what to do. So they brought in the janitor. He was a doctor and a buraku; one of Japan’s untouchables. His ancestors had been slaughterers, gravediggers. And this guy knew that he wasn’t accepted by the staff, didn’t even try, didn’t dress well, he didn’t pretend to be one of them. The people around that place, they didn’t think that he had anything they wanted, except when they needed him. Because he was right; which meant that nothing else mattered, they had to listen to him.

So what do I think of all of this?  What is my opinion in a tl;dr paragraph?

Find out what you want in life and live to THAT standard.  If you have to inflate your abilities, do it with every tool available.  If you have to deflate or hide your abilities, do what makes you happy and then decide that the rest can go to hell by itself.  Take ownership of your life and live it deliberately and mindfully.

the saggy pants debate

15 04 2010

I figured I’d take part in the saggy pants debate being I live in the land of crunk.  Everyone’s heard the strange topics on culture, race, maturity, independence, fashion, blah blah blah blah blah. Scenester, hipster, gangsta, whatever… pants sagging is EVERYWHERE.

I am also a citizen of the internet.

And on the internet we have a few rules (other than the 40 or so posted ones – I’ll list them as a footnote.)

In internet-land, if you fail hard enough, you win.

Immaturity is encouraged.

Everything is more awesome when a girl does it.

In my own personal addition, I’d like to point out that if guys had cooler drawers, the sagging may be that much more awesome.    Let me demonstrate with a couple of pictures:

In this picture, we see that girls do it better.  Girls have more awesome undie options.  And while totally immature, I wouldn’t mind my dad seeing it at all.

(It also demonstrates that I got my ass gene from my dad, but that’s another post.)

In the close-up, another point is made.  Wearing an elastic band around the broad part of your ass isn’t that comfortable.  This is also my FAVE pair of pants and I don’t need my XL ass gene stretching out the waist, so after this demonstration, I pulled my pants back up.

My vote?  Pull your pants up unless you have totally awesome boyshorts on.  Then, take pictures, and THEN pull your pants up.

For the curious, here’s the rest of the rules of the internet:

the last few days in pictures

16 03 2010

The egg ended up being infertile, so I removed it this morning.  I think they knew it when it was tossed from the nest and Pete is already building a new nest.

The birds have returned en masse to our yard.  Not only has the rain pulled all the worms to the surface, the trees are budding and we keep seed out year round.  This is the tree in our front yard.

Friday I kidnapped Dad from work and took him to lunch.  This is Friday’s outfit and makeup…

Shirt is a printed tissue top I got from the Target clearance rack.  I wore it over a gray tank so it wasn’t so sheer.  The black pants are Victoria Secret yoga leggings and really do push you in and lift up the booty.  Dad said “you look skinny today!”  The guys out and about seemed to approve too. 😉

Shock & Roxy

27 02 2010

I got Timbaland’s new album Shock Value II and it’s a very well made album.  You know that when Timbaland puts his name on something you don’t have to say “I like that track but…”  The bass doesn’t hit too hard, but it’s not too soft either.  The vocals are clear and no matter how fast the song is going, you can hear the lyrics.

This album is basically the reason I don’t like live shows.  It’s more fun to listen to perfected music than brave crowds to see a personality.  (Disclaimer: this is coming from the OCD geek girl who has been to maybe 5 live shows ever.)  This will definitely be one of the albums that gets rocked in both cars and on my main PC.

Tonight I will dream that TFK gets Timba to produce a track.   They need a little more rap in their rap core style.  Then somehow the Classic Crime would show up for some studio time, Skillet would come up with the video ideas, and Anberlin would show the folks what a live show is about.

Let’s all pretend there is a well written transition between topics right here.  Alright, thanks baby.

I tested out splitting up my dose of OCD meds and it seemed ok.  I normally take them at night because they make me VERY loopy but around lunch the next day I’ve been hitting a hard spot.  I tried half a dose last night and half when I woke up this morning.  It was ok and I seem to have skipped the hard spot.  I’ll keep on trying probably through the next week and see how it does.

Since I was feeling good, we got dressed to do lunch and Wal-Mart.  I thought I was going to need to stay in-house since this experiment and planned on a Goodwill day.  We got some stuff cleaned out but never got to the actual store.  We met up with my sister and her baby (he’s 3) and we terrorized Wal-Mart for a little bit.

One thing’s for sure – if we looked like a field trip, we were repping the short bus.  That’s what happens when you get 4 genius children together.  They turn into retards.  At least they’re happy.

They took turns crawling up into my lap and going “X. Y.  Why does it say XY?  That’s not a word, Mommy/Auntie Cyndi.”  Eventually they’d zip my jacket up and go “OH, IT SAYS ROXY!!!!”


I was super cute today, so I skipped out and handed Shaun the camera and made him take super-model pictures of me.

Looking at the pictures, I feel like I need to work on my abs.  I know that’s crazy but it’s my version of body-hate.  Girls, if you feel like your body ain’t bangin’ then you just tell yourself to STFU and rock what you got.  It’s because you can put pictures of your so-called “soft spot” on the internet and most bitches who look will be thinking “damn, that girl’s got it.”

I should be more worried that I’m wearing a ninja shirt when I’m firmly on the pirate side.  Human rights, huh?  Ok, where’s my lesbian recruiter badge?  I just had it a minute ago.  Besides, ninjas everywhere are mad about my shirt because no self-respecting ninja would be caught in a hot pink body suit.  Damn.

Case in point (about body image – not pirate vs. ninja): my mom swam competitively like her entire life and so did her sister.  You could stand them next to each other and see two of the world’s hardest, strongest bodies even 30 years later.  Neither of them is happy with their body and my mom freaks out if she goes over 135.  The woman is 5’9″ and absolutely fucking crazy!

Today I got rid of a whole bunch of size 2 clothes that I wore a few years back.  I’m short so it’s not like a size 2 was unhealthy, but I’m a 6 now and that’s not unhealthy either.  I just can’t believe it took me YEARS to let go of those clothes that don’t fit.  Some things can’t be measured in numbers (the analyst in me hates this) and how your body looks and feels is one of those.

I’m pretty sure that feeling bad about your body comes standard with ovaries.  My little tiny self has a stained glass light bulb for the lamp next to my bed for getting freaky.  Why?  I’m fucking crazy.  I’ve been married to my man for almost 11 years and been with him since I was 15.  I still worry about what he’s thinking.  (Although the most a man is thinking when his woman is nekkid and getting closer is “dammit, YES!”)

Back on topic, Cyndi.  Come on girl, we just care about the clothes!

The hat is Roxy (my fave hat, btw) and the jacket is obviously Roxy.  The jeans are my favorite beat up Hydraulics and the tee came from a 2 for $20 deal at Kohl’s.  The hat matches my camo and hot pink bikini (Kenneth Cole Reaction) and my pink Skull Candy headphones. My hat also has a dime pocket on the side and I’m not telling my kids (or my mom) that it’s for anything other than a coin.  Ever.

See a trend?

I did choose to wear my brown Pumas.  I have hot pink Rocket Dog boots but I decided not to spend all my flashy at Wally World.

The OCD in me wants to buy some Rocket Fish product now so I can have a Rocket Fish logo near my Rocket Dog sticker that came with the boots.  (Levenger and Woot – you owe me some fucking stickers!  Those are logos I’d stick to the back of my truck!)

Just to piss off the fashionistas at Wal-Mart and McDonald’s (hold on, I’m choking on my Diet Coke) I carried my red leather purse with my hot pink fabulousness.  It’s Asiatic rhinoceros hide or some shit and I’ve carried it on and off for years.  It just happened to be the one I toted yesterday so it went with me today too.

Ladies, spend your money on a quality bag instead of looking for labels.  Those sales at Wilson’s Leather aren’t a joke.  Go in and find a sturdy bag with sturdy hardware and check for a quality lining.  It’ll make you happy a lot longer than a LV dongle on the zipper would.

Now here’s my normal disclaimer in closing:  I carried a diaper bag with an Andy Warhol print of a .38 pistol on it.  I have a tattoo that says ARSON and I describe my job to strangers as “hacker.”  I’m a great example of swagger. Maybe not such a great example of how to be a stylish adult. But, girls, let me tell you – you get more views if you piss people off.  It works online and off.  You want to blend in or you want to say “I just confused the FUCK out of that girl!”

Know the difference, baby.  Know the difference.

DIY fur coat repair

26 02 2010

Here’s my disclaimer:  If it’s a real expensive coat, you may want to consult a professional.  This one my sister got from Goodwill so I wasn’t about to find a fur specialist when I had teh Google at my fingertips.  Besides, I fix everything myself.  It’s the best part of being a geek!

Here is the finished result.  This coat started out as a relatively inexpensive rabbit fur coat made in China.  It’s jacket length and zips up the front.  It’s still incredibly warm (wearing it makes you wish for fur blankets on your bed.)

The problem:

When my sister gave it to me, it had a panel of fur that had separated from the inside seaming and was just flopping about.  Go ahead.  Look real close and see if you can tell which panel it was.

If you had the coat on, it was the middle front panel to the left of the zipper.

I started looking very closely at the inside to see what had happened to make it separate from it’s neighbors.  Rabbit is a very thin material so machine sewing and serging like was used on this coat is very ineffective.  Like I said – it’s a cheap coat made from sub-prime furs, but still, you can’t beat finding something like this at Goodwill.

The leather side of the fur had torn away from the serged edge and would not hold any sort of stitching.  Every time I even got close to it with a needle, it would rip again.

The solution:

Very carefully, I used Steam-a-Seam and a piece of hemming lace to strengthen the leather.  This is the part that was tricky.  I couldn’t touch the iron to the leather without singing the fur or scorching the leather.  Logically, I didn’t think steam itself would hurt it and I needed just enough to set the glue on the steam-a-seam.  I had Shaun hold it open with the lace in place and I blew steam at it holding the iron about 2 inches away from the leather.  I repeated this until it seemed like the glue had set the lace into place. (If you don’t have a man with tough man hands, then find an assistant with gloves.)

Next I let it dry and cool for a couple of hours to make sure the glue and lace were nice and secure.  After it was, I was ready to sew.

I got a very thin, short needle and some coat grade thread in a khaki color.  All the fur on the top panel, I pushed up.  The fur on the bottom, I pressed down so I was only getting the leather with its lace backing into the stitch.  Then I pretended I was a doctor suturing a wound.  (Or an upholstery repair-person working with very delicate fabric.)

The trick was to make sure the lace held the stitching and not the leather.  In total, I used about 6 “suture” style stitches in a 6 inch area.  After I was sure the stitching would hold, I brushed the fur back into place and pulled out the camera!

I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out!  I’ve worn it several times since then and it still seems as strong as the day I worked on it so hopefully it will stay.  I have not found a single person yet who can tell just from looking that it ever needed repair.

Here are some close-ups:

Bathroom Fashion

25 02 2010

I had to take a picture of myself to show off what I wore to a parent/teacher conference.  Normally the school sees me in jeans, tank top, hoodie, and hat.  Why?  Because that’s how I roll.

I figured I should look like something other than an almost 30 geek and put on some real clothes.  I do actually own clothes – lots of them!

Anyways, back on the topic of being taken seriously.  I normally could give a fuck what people think of what I’m capable of but at the school, I’ve found that I can’t get shit done unless I look a little less casual.  This is one of my signature looks from when I had a job.  I have no proof though… so here is my someone blurry, myspace styled, self-portrait of Millennial Momma.

The jacket is Ann Taylor (navy blue with light blue pinstripes), the shirt is a hot pink and silver t-shirt I think I got from Charlotte Russe and the jeans are my most worn pair of Hydraulics.  It’s hard to see but I’m wearing a silver necklace that my sister made.

Hopefully I’ll have more of these in the near future.  Maybe they’ll even be in focus!