The State of Things

I try to keep it light-ish (or at least politically neutral, although anyone who knows me in real life knows I’m a liberal pansy so whatever) around here but also this is where I go to word-vomit my feeeelllinnnggsss so here we go.

I’m legitimately terrified about the state of our nation right now. Finding a balance between staying informed but also taking a break from the news so that I don’t lose my shit is going to be key here. Ed took me away for my birthday last weekend and while I’d check my phone for directions to a restaurant I’d sneak a peek at the news pouring in. “Oh, the ACLU is blocking the ban. Make a left here to get to the champagne tasting room.” It was jarring and weird for both of us. The good news is that being in a state of abject terror distracted me from the fact that I turned 39 on Sunday (hold me).

So I’m doing what I can, where I can. I’ve set up monthly donations to Planned Parenthood and IRC. I need to budget in the ACLU there somewhere. When I was a starving student I remember a volunteer coordinator reminding me that if I didn’t have money time can be just as valuable, so it’s time to identify where I can give that, too. Thanks to My Civic Workout I receive a handy email each day to give me one action item to make my voice heard, often with a recommended script so there’s basically no excuse not to do something. It still feels Sisyphean in nature and like I could always be doing more. I also remind myself that I still need to go to work to get the paycheck that allows me to donate to the organizations I support, and that I’m not going to save the world by angrily re-Tweeting instead of having dinner with my dad. Not that I’m giving myself a hall pass from participating in civic life, oh no: I plan to recruit my family into this, too.

I promise to try to get back to the content you know and love: product reviews, dick jokes, and stories about a time when I acted like a complete moron (so, any given day). But I may indulge a little ranting (or, basic signal boosting of things that are of interest and concern to me) here and there. Hopefully a little of both will provide relief in this weird, uncertain time.

Self-care Sunday

Gearing up for the first full week at work in what feels like forever coupled with rain and wind storms makes it easy to cocoon and nest.

  • Ran a 5k: My first San Francisco race! Between the lightning and broken branches I doubt I’ll forget it. My first memory of San Francisco was when we met up with my dad after one of his races so it was exciting to get to experience that for myself.
  • Brunch and mimosa: See above.
  • Facial: I love running outside but my skin takes some abuse from the wind and cold.
  • Bubble bath: The eucalyptus bubbles instantly make my legs feel better.
  • Pajamas fresh out of the dryer: Yes.

Here’s to setting goals and making things happen!

Self-care Sunday (on a Monday)

Not that anyone asked, but I think I cracked the code on a nice little self-care routine to ease back into work after a glorious 10 days off. This may become my new Sunday routine because I need a way to shake off the Sunday night blues.

  • Quick (2 miles) run outside: I have a race in a few days and this is part of the training plan, so I’ll adjust my mileage as needed. And hopefully sleep better.
  • Face mask: winter is murder on my skin so I’m doing everything I can to keep it happy. Plus I look insane and like to startle Ed.
  • Wash makeup brushes: in addition to being a key piece in not being gross, this will also keep my skin looking good. Win-win.
  • Deep condition hair and cuticles: OK, clearly a big part of this routine is appearance-based but it makes me feel better, OK?
  • Brooklyn 99 and The State marathons on Hulu: Self-explanatory if you know me at all.

Feel free to adapt any of these for your own purposes. Happy New Year! Take time to take care of yourself.

These Are the Daves I Know

Quick aside: I have been coughing like Doc Holliday for about a week and instead of trying to “tough it out” I went to the doctor today like an adult and got a prescription and here’s hoping I actually get some rest. I feel completely fine except for this loud, hacky cough but man I could use some sleep because I am starting to look rough.

Anyway. *Claps Briskly*

We’ve been living here for two years and people keep asking if we’ve made friends with the neighbors. And the quick answer is no. We just don’t see people enough to feel like offering an invitation to socialize on purpose (as opposed to basic elevator chit-chat) with anyone. Plus, I am always afraid that I come across as desperate or weird or clingy when making new friends because I get all excited like a puppy. But that hasn’t stopped me from making up little stories and nicknames for the people I encounter most frequently. So without further ado, here are the Daves I know.*

  1. Cute Chiropractor Next Door: Sort of a bro-y guy who is very friendly and has a really nice girlfriend and a teeny-tiny dog who Molly has tried to befriend but the dog is not having it. They seem like a nice couple and he always holds the elevator door for me, and I think they wouldn’t be totally weirded out if we asked them to hang out or had a doggy playdate. But he reminds me of the guys I always had crushes on who would flirt with me but then make out with one of my friends and thank me for introducing them.
  2. Hot Dad: No idea if this guy is actually a dad, but he’s preppy and handsome and a little older and seems like he has nice dishes and matching towels and doesn’t wear too much cologne so yeah OK he’s what you might call “Christen’s type” I guess if we’re putting labels on things. I have a weird not-crush on him where I get bashful when we ride the elevator together but also, you know, HAPPILY MARRIED over here. He always says hi to Molly which I find endearing.
  3. Perfect Family: The dad is very tall and always dressed in tech exec chic (blazer, nice jeans, good shoes) and the mom is very petite and always in head-to-toe Lulu Lemon and the baby is adorable and never makes a single sound. They seem really happy and into the kid and always offer to ride a different elevator so the stroller doesn’t crowd us, but I always insist we can scoot over. I kind of love them.
  4. Loud Family: A single mom with three kids (two girls and a boy) who you can hear coming from a mile away. They are just so loud at all times. The boy is fond of making fart noises in the elevator and I have to fight back laughter every single time.
  5. Date or Daughter Couple Down the Hall: She’s not insanely young, but the guy looks a lot older than she is. The first time I saw them together I quickly assumed she was his daughter and then some body language cues quickly clued me in that that was not the case. He’s always wearing a t-shirt and cargo shorts while she dresses really cute and I can’t tell if he’s clueless or just thinks he’ll look more youthful if he dresses like a 14 year-old boy but it isn’t working. Anyway, they always seem really happy so that’s cool.

*I get that song stuck in my head roughly twice a month. Canadian sketch comedy bits from the 90’s for the win!

The Rotten Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree

I spent last Thursday-Sunday in Chico to help my mom out after her shoulder surgery. The procedure itself went very well and her surgeon (who’s really cute so I’m glad I wore a dress and touched up my lip gloss) is happy about how she’s healing and said it went better than he expected. As much as I’d prefer to visit my parents under less-stressful circumstances, it was nice to get some alone time with them. I mean, I love that Ed gets along well with them and he’s clearly the son-in-law of their dreams, but there was something comforting about being our little three-person comedy troupe like when I was a kid. It didn’t take long for us to slip into old inside jokes and dated pop culture references. And my mom was in rare form, offering up some choice quotes.


  • “You look like a Mexican wrestler.” – Upon seeing me in a Tony Moly sheet mask
  • “Look, I’m a known entity so fuck you if you don’t like me.” – In response to peer feedback at work
  • Dave: “What if use some Grecian formula?” Mom: “What if I Grecian divorce you?”
  • “Is he/she a millenial? I fucking hate millenials.” – In response to me telling a story about anyone remotely annoying
  • “Are you wearing sunscreen every day? You’re starting to look wrinkled.” – First thing in the goddamn morning, thanks

I really don’t have a point here other than documenting this for any future competency hearings and also to let you all know where I get this sunny disposition from.

Thank You for Voting This Blog as Your Preferred Choice for Dated Pop Culture References

  • In looking for a new show to fill the Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley holes in our sad life, Ed and I decided to check out The West Wing on Netflix since I like to be roughly 15 years behind the times. I can’t believe I wasn’t more into this show when it first aired since the cast is primarily old white guys aka my personal kryptonite. It holds up well in some ways, but it’s fascinating to watch anything political through a pre-9/11 lens now. Anyway, Allison Janney is a national treasure and I am currently doodling “Christen + Leo McGarry 4ever” in the margins of my algebra book.
  • I worked from home today and while the break from real pants, makeup, and contact lenses is lovely and I am absolutely an introvert I do not like the isolation. Molly is also clearly annoyed with me since I didn’t play with her and she doesn’t have free reign of the couches. However, I had an entire pot of coffee to myself and no one has thrown a dart at my head so it’s not all terrible.
  • Last Wednesday I had my engagement and wedding ring sawed off of my red, swollen finger in the (nicest, cleanest, most efficient) emergency room. No idea what the hell happened to said finger, but the initial thought is a potential allergy to white gold. Sorry, Ed, we’re gonna need to go platinum. Doctor’s orders! Also, not my problem if I get hit on all the time now (since that’s just a constant worry up in here). I keep making jokes like this to him because I am racked with guilt and feel sad and shitty and like this is why I can’t have nice things.
  • My mom is having shoulder surgery at the end of July so I’ll head up a couple of weeks later to offer some relief to Dave and take her to a post-op appointment since she can’t drive for 8 weeks. For anyone who has met my mom, you know that she is not terribly patient, nor is she fond of relying on people (GEE I WONDER WHERE I GET IT FROM) so she should be at peak prickliness by the time I arrive. She joked that it will be a crappy remake of Driving Miss Daisy but I think we have potential to go full-tilt Grey Gardens. Minus the hoarding and stray animals, of course. I need to remember to pack my leotards and scarves to really get into it.
  • I think we should go to Mexico for Thanksgiving. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “You are model children and we respect your choices” and 10 being “WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?” how do you think our respective parents will take it?


What If They Have Test Anxiety?

This morning I had blood drawn as part of some tests my new doctor ordered just to get a baseline on my health and make sure all systems are functioning. The orders on the labs for today called for an Ovarian Assessment Report, which makes it sound like we’re trying to figure out if they qualify for AP Calculus or something. I have been endlessly amused by this and sure hope they’re good enough to get into a state school.

To add insult to injury (the injury being the fact that I had a NEEDLE in my arm and got a lecture from the phlebotomist that I shouldn’t be afraid of my own blood which is NOT HELPFUL and also I’m 38 so let go of the hope that you’re going to change me, OK?) I couldn’t get the bandage off my arm and had to enlist a very nice coworker to rip it off so now the entire office heard me scream and then burst into hysterical, embarrassed laughter. It’s only Wednesday but I feel like I’ve really given it my all this week in terms of behaving like a toddler.