Category Archives: No-Take-Backs

Karma Comes For Us All


I wholeheartedly believe in Karma. She comes in different forms and typically when least expected, but the bottom line is that she always comes…

Clifford and I were taking a brief reprieve from school for a weekend in Atlanta. Apparently, we had committed ourselves to a double date with Cliff’s friend Tim and a girl he was seeing at the time. This was a rare phenomenon for several reasons.  One of them being that Clifford was the one who agreed to a social gathering with friends. The second being that Clifford was going on a date in any capacity whatsoever. The third was that I was the one of our twosome that didn’t want to go (no offense, Tim) as double dates just never appealed to me. There’s always that something awkward about them that has left me easily declining future offers through the years.

Regardless, there Clifford and I sat on a Saturday night at an Outback Steakhouse in the suburbs of Atlanta waiting for Tim and his girl to arrive. Being the daughter of my father, I made sure we were there 15 minutes early (because if we were going to do this, we were going to do it right). They actually gave us a table, even though there was quite a demand, because our friend and his date would soon be there.

Our waiter was a younger guy, probably around our age. He wasn’t the friendliest but he wasn’t a jerk either. He brought us our complimentary bread and our cold cokes and continued to replenish and refill them as the evening wore on (which was quite a while as Tim and his date weren’t there). They were running late. That said, this was the era before everyone could contact anyone at the drop of a hat via mobile phones and the like, so Clifford and I had no idea where they were or what was keeping them. Were they going to be just ten minutes late? Fifteen, perhaps? Were they coming at all? The age before Wi-Fi and cellular plans was like one giant guessing game. And as the ones waiting, where exactly do you draw that line?

Our waiter slowly became irritable, subtly-not-so-subtly prodding us to order or pay for the drinks and get the hell out of Dodge. We were not insensitive to his plight. He was a waiter at an Outback on a Saturday night. He could probably turn the table two or three times in the amount of time we ended up being there that evening, but faux pas like that should be remedied when it comes to the tip, acknowledging with your wallet that your wait staff’s time is valuable and that you understand it is their living. However, it should not be remedied by a waiter turned asshole trying to kick you to the curb sooner than you’d like.

45 minutes later (60 minutes if you count the 15 we were there in advance), and maybe 6 or 7 Coca-Colas down the hatch, Tim and his date walked through the door. By this point, our waiter was slamming down the 5th loaf of courtesy bread and freshly refilled glasses while glaring at us with the heat of a thousand suns. In short, he was acting the douche.

Of course, Tim was extremely apologetic to us and to the waiter as well. He and his girl made their menu choices as quickly as possible to get things moving. As the dinner progressed, the waiter became more hostile and aggressive (pretty sure he spat in our food). We weren’t going to complain or engage the management, though, because it simply wasn’t worth the energy or our breath. Negativity and opposition such as that rarely is.

While ignoring the waiter, and trying to enjoy our meal, we swapped college stories and made small awkward talk. Clifford, all the while, began shifting in his seat uncomfortably. This continued till our dinner neared its end, as indicated by the bill being handed to us while still eating our steaks. That’s when he leaned over to me and whispered he was off to the restroom but he’d be right back. Famous last words.

So I sat there, by myself, making small awkward talk with Tim and a strange girl I’d never met, because it was a double date … and we continued to make small awkward talk and continued to make small awkward talk because Clifford still hadn’t returned.

Over 20 minutes later, our waiter now officially Lucifer in the flesh, Clifford unsteadily emerged from the men’s room with his hand on his stomach, trying to act as nonchalant as possible while gracelessly making his way back to our table.

He reached us, leaned in and said in his deep South African accent, “We need to go. Like we need to go now.”

I looked at him questioningly as did Tim’s date. Tim made some witty remark about leaving so soon which prompted Clifford to repeat,” We need to go. I’m serious,” as he looked distractedly back towards the bathroom and then back to me, a bit of panic and a desperate plea in his eyes.

Suspect, I cautiously asked, “Why?…”

He took a deep breath, uttered a heavy sigh and reluctantly said, “I just had a case of the green apple splatters…I pity the person who goes in there after me. It’s bad. It’s SO bad. We need to leave the money and go.”

As he divulged his reasons for leaving, Tim, Tim’s date, and I all turned our heads and followed Clifford’s line of sight to the bathroom door. The next thing we saw was our douchebag waiter walking in…

I was reminded of that moment through the events of this last week. Sometimes you’re going to be the guy that can’t help inappropriately dumping in public, and sometimes you’re going to be the guy who can help being a disrespectful douche. Karma knows the difference and she comes for us all.


Remember This



World Series 2016 – The Cubs Win!


The Cubs won the World Series. Yes, just take a moment for that beautiful sentence to sink in… even though you’ve probably read that headline hundreds of times today. The Cubs won the World Series. This was one of the best World Series ever played, my friends, and if you’re reading this post, it means you lived through one of the most extraordinary moments in baseball history.

The Cubs’ story is a well-known one. They are the underdogs of the sports world. Even though some seasons were better than others, for over a hundred years this is a team that just can’t make winning stick. They have been the butt of jokes since before I was born. They have become synonymous with a “snowball’s chance”, their reputation preceding them with dedicated corners of the internet reminding us of how incompetent they are. Here are just a few gems from (case in point)


Creative Acronyms for C.U.B.S

Did you know that CUBS is an acronym?

Completely Useless by September

Could U Beat Somebody

Could you be suckier?

Completely Useless By Spring

Champions Until Baseball Starts

Can Usually Be Swept

Choke Under Baseball Stress

Chicago’s Underachieving Baseball Squad

Constantly Using Bad Strategy

Completely Underachieving Baseball Scrubs



Even Cubs fans own what the Cubbies are – historic chokers that inevitably muck up everything. But I’ll say this – they are deeply devoted fans with the blindest of faith. No pink hats here. When it comes to being a Cubs fan, it is all or nothing.  Their mantra has always been “this is our year”, and after 108 long ones, it finally is.

Everyone loves an underdog story. Look at Hoosiers. Time and time again, we root for those who have only a “snowball’s chance”. Why? Maybe we see a modicum (or a mound) of ourselves in the little guys that deserve their due. The 2016 World Series was no exception. It offered fans of the Cubs, of the Indians, of baseball, of sports, and of life everything one could ask for in a show-stopping, heartwrenching seven game stretch that had us nail biting on the edge of our seats. This series seriously had it all… fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles… ok, well 9 out of 10 ain’t bad.

From trailing the Indians 3-1 in the series, to a first ever Game 7 leadoff home run, to a brief four-run lead, to a tie game, to a 10th inning and to a 17-minute rain delay in addition to all of the little personal victories and team moments for the Cubs and the Indians, the 113th World Series Game 7 was one of the greatest games ever played. It was a privilege to watch because it was more than baseball.

The Indians gave it their all, but I am so beyond thrilled for my Cubbies. For a season, a series, a night, they brought a joy to the world that’s been missing of late. Political, religious, and social differences were set aside while people came together worldwide and basked in the glow of the team-that-never-would finally winning the World Series. Sure, today’s a new day, but we had that moment together, guys, and it was glorious.

Go Cubbies Go!



A Real Fan


Being a fan means something. It gives you purpose. It fills a hole in your heart that you can’t explain. It offers an outlet for your passions to be released. Being a part of a fandom? Well, that can make you feel right at home. A fandom is like a family. There will be different levels of involvement. Some only show up for the main events, while others show up at everything. Some will irritate you and some will become closer than you could ever imagine. Some are sane, but there’s always those nutters like your old Aunt Alma who’ve cornered the market on crazy. Regardless, through thick and thin, if you’re a fan, you are not alone.

I, myself, have been a fan of many things through the years. Being a fan of anything can be as exhilarating and joyous as it can be frustrating, tiresome, and depressing (any Cubs fan will confirm this is true). Being a fan is also an investment. Whether it’s time or finances being sacrificed for the love of the game, television show, fictional character, political ideal, etc., one’s energy is being spent in the form of unadulterated devotion. This is meaningful. THIS is a big deal. However, after watching my Twitter timeline implode like Donald Trump during this week’s debate, I question what being a fan is really all about.

There are those that go with the flow, and then there are those that go bat-shit-crazy too far. i.e. The Steve Bartman Incident. The abuse he endured was unacceptable. Sure, I wanted to ring his neck like the rest of them, but that feeling eventually went away… after a few years (no really, I’m not bitter).

So here’s the issue – no matter how die-hard you adore whatever it is you adore, there are boundaries, but where is that line? Social media has allowed us to band together more easily. No more waiting for tailgates or water cooler moments with our nearest and dearest to share our excitement. Just last night I was following the Cubs versus Dodgers NCLS Game 5 on my Twitter feed and though I couldn’t be at the game, the interactions online made me feel like I was still a part of things. I could share similar sentiments with fans 3000 miles away, and when the Cubs clinched the win, I was jumping up in down along with every other Cubbies lover there is. It was glorious.

However, social media is a fickle thing and a double edged sword. Though it’s expanded our connections beyond our backyard, it’s also taken those (sometimes quite volatile and inappropriate) conversations, once limited to your best friends or close colleagues, and allowed those thoughts to be plastered across the web for anyone to see.

I’m all for being honest, but there is such a thing as being polite. There’s decorum. There’s a general respect we should have for one another that seemingly disintegrates online. My timeline was imploding over rumors about a storyline that may or may not happen on my current favorite show (Arrow). Did Ithe rumors excite me? No. Is that how I want my favorite story to be told? No. However, I am a fan, so I won’t just give up on it. At the end of the day, that show has endeared itself to me and has me wanting the best for it and those that make it happen. That said, I’ve witnessed “fans” taking to their keyboards demanding resignations from the writers, calling for boycotts of the show, threatening the producers, applauding lower ratings and essentially giving the fandom a bad name. Remember how I said fandom is like family? Well these “fans” are like the red-headed step children in revolt. One of my biggest pet peeves is a vocal minority presumptively speaking for the whole.

Those “fans” aren’t fans in my eyes. I wouldn’t consider them pink hats, either. Take it from someone who’s team hasn’t won a World Series in 108 years … patience is a virtue. Sometimes you just have to have faith. It can’t always be pennant wins and rainbows. Sometimes it’s sucking it up for the love of the game and holding out hope that the best is yet to come. Did I want to cry in a corner when Joey was with Dawson instead of Pacey? YES. Was I disappointed Mad Men never killed Betty? YES. Do I want to pull my hair out every time Michigan loses to Ohio State? YES. But such is fan life, right? It’s not taking the smack talk I shared with my bestie over beers and publicly ridiculing those that I claim to love with it. Some conversations should be kept behind closed doors. You’re in it for the long haul or you’re not. That’s what being a real fan should be. Just because there’s a platform which allows easy engagement, doesn’t mean you should always engage. Sure, knee-jerk reactions come with the territory, but hurling insults at your favorites and decreeing “being done” isn’t. Don’t kill the fandom vibe by being the drunk idiot uncle everyone hates. Walk away. It’s ok, though I can’t say you’ll be missed.


The Meaning Of Life

A guy I know said to me today: Hey, Lib. You have a graduate degree, right?

Me: Yes, I do.

Guy: So, what is the meaning of life?

Me: I just turned 37 and have no idea.

Guy: So you’re telling me your liberal arts education didn’t teach you what the meaning of life is?

Me: No. Sadly, existentialism costs another 20k.


Food for thought.


Politics – A Soap Box Production

Danger Header

Ahh, debate season is upon us. So is the season of ignorance and vitriol. My social media timelines have been bursting with blind hate, uninformed opinions and narrow-minded beliefs. It’s reminded me of how desperately we need to educate ourselves  before November 8th. This is not a new soap box for me, but it’s an important one which is why I find myself standing on it once again. If you are someone who hates all Democrats or someone who hates all Republicans, this is not the post for you. Sadly, you are part of the problem if not THE problem, but nothing I write is going to neither register nor open your mind to anything beyond your preconceived political views, so step away. Scoot. Move along to your Huffington Post, CNN, Fox News and Drudge Report sites and don’t forget to wear those beloved blinders while you’re there. For everyone else, you may want to move along, too, but if you’d like to read a train wreck in the making, by all means, continue forth.

I am going to start by sharing one simple fact that I’d like you to keep in mind. I DO NOT like Donald Trump OR Hillary Clinton. I’ve said it before, but felt the statement needed reiteration. I’d write it louder for those in the back, but that’s really just an all-caps catastrophe in an article such as this. I say this because I don’t want what I’m about to write to be misconstrued or, worse yet, completely dismissed because you think I’m voting one way or another and I’m just preaching my political agenda to you. I’m not. Preaching that is.

Moving on … when I was 18, I was probably one of the most enthusiastic 18 year olds there could be filling out my voter registration card. Being able to vote, having a say in our government, was EVERYTHING to me. I’d comb the periodical section in the library (remember preriodicals? because there was no Google) so I’d know what was going on in the country and beyond. I’d watch the few news channels we had back in the day, though they were just as slanted and bias then as they are now. I even campaigned for a local councilman. I was a teenager, but I owned the rights I’ve been granted as a US citizen. I was also very much Republican.

Then college happened.

Rewind, if you will, to your early college days as a late teen finding your way in the world. Remember your obstinacy. Recall how you knew everything about anything and no one could sway you from that stone cold death grip you had on your beliefs, political or otherwise.   Now imagine me, same age and attitude, stepping foot onto my college campus, an art school no less, with thousands of other kids the same age with the same attitude. Now imagine me as the lone Republican (other than hot soccer Steve who was most definitely conservative during orientation, but certainly didn’t stay that way) in a sea of hormonal, rebellious and rather obtuse individuals, promoting their individuality through every nose ring, combat boot or strand of blue hair. These were kids (yes, kids, because that’s exactly what we were) that had yet to be truly jaded, but whose air was comprised of judgment and cynicism. They were artists which meant being free-spirited, progressive and challenging to “the man” that kept us down (though who “the man” was, was clearly up for debate). Most importantly to this flock of fresh-faced Goth-eyed adolescents, being an artist meant being a liberal. Even though they would have hated the label because in addition to being anti-establishment, they were also anti-label (though in trying to be as anti-label as possible, they in fact became an actual label).

Regardless, I was alone in my conservative political fervor, so I kept my mouth shut. I wasn’t going to be changing minds any time soon, just like they wouldn’t be changing mine. Oh how stupid kids can be …

Fast forward to American Government, a mandatory course that everyone had to take. Secretly I was super excited about the class. I knew I was going to have to deal with a fair share of Republican bashing, but as Ronald Reagan once said, “If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.” So I kept my chin up and took in everything I could, including the oft baseless hate being churned out like an Iowan’s butter. At some point, the prof finally had us take the test. You know the test – the one where you find out where you fall on the liberal/conservative spectrum of life. Are you a Democrat or a Republican? Of course we already knew exactly what we were. We were kids. We knew everything.  So after answering a myriad of questions regarding our thoughts about policy, tariffs, and social programs, we turned in our sheets and waited till the next class to see in what box we’d officially be placed.

My classmates were taking bets by the next day on which of the class would be the most liberal and taking great pride in the fact it could be them. Not only was our professor going to hand us our scores which indicated where we landed on the chart, but he was also going to share the results on the overhead projector for the entire class to see.

So there it was, I was about to be outed in front of the whole class as one of the racist Bible-thumping Republican fools that shouldn’t be allowed a vote according to my zealously liberal course mates. I was fairly certain no one knew the secret I’d been hiding for the better part of nine weeks, but you have to understand, the Republican or just general conservative bashing I’d endured, and which the professor eagerly supported (totally bias man) for the majority of the class was pretty brutal, so I wasn’t exactly eager for my results to be blasted on a silver screen for my fellow students’ amusement. I was going to be the lone little dot on the far far Right while a cluster of dots would be making something akin to a large ink blob on the Left …

But of course that’s not what happened.

EVERYONE IN THE CLASS EXCEPT ME had their dots on the Right side of the chart. MY dot was smack dab in the freaking middle. And NO ONE was Left of me. I was the most liberal in a class of professed liberals. I, the Ronald Reagan loving girl from a Red State was the Left. Everyone else was the Right. Yours truly was DEAD CENTER. Put that in pot pipe and smoke it you wannabe liberal labelers. Oh how there was an uproar. The students were livid. The results were wrong, there was no way they, the progressive majority, could possibly agree with the Right on anything, let alone agree enough to be considered conservative in their political leanings. It was glorious.

Now, I can chalk their rage and lack of brain to mouth filter back then up to youthful ignorance. BECAUSE THEY WERE KIDS. We all perceive the world differently at that age and know very little of it. But I’m about to be 37 years old and I see people who should know better still labeling like a machine, casting hate and making assumptions about people with unadulterated vehemence . I see people, who in one breath, say we need to be inclusive of all races and religions and in another breath claim anyone who votes this one way is a racist or a xenophobe. For the record, I see these people on BOTH sides; no party is immune.

Why, as a society, are we like this? What happened to amiable adult discourse? I enjoy amiable adult discourse, it’s just hard to find these days as people continue to label like The Breakfast Club. Has John Hughes taught us nothing?

Is it asking too much that maybe we don’t vote off of our preconceived notions? Maybe we don’t hate people because they disagree with us? Maybe we don’t back a candidate based off of who wore it best? Or maybe we try some adulting by educating ourselves about the issues from multiple authorities instead of using clichéd sound bites and 140 character headlines as news sources to formulate our opinions… I’m just spit-balling here.

The ignorance is too much. The intolerance is too much. The HYPOCRISY is too much. Please. Don’t. Be. Part. Of. The. Problem. Look at the issues, look at the platforms, and look at the local elections because that’s really the most important part of it, my friends (for those who are still willing to be my friends after reading this ridiculously long diatribe). You don’t have to agree with someone if they have a differing point of view, it’s what makes us unique. Also, don’t hate them, either. You’re better than that. We all are. If this election doesn’t go your way, suck it up and see how else you can help change the world.


Not The Way My Friday Was Supposed To Go


It has been a day. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen hints about the shittiness of this day as it unfolded in real time, but 140 characters does not allow me to fully convey the depths of frustration, despair, and anguish I’ve endured. Today is Friday. I wanted to write a fun blog post, leading you into the weekend with a smile on your face and a happiness in your heart that can sometimes only happen on a Friday. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Instead, you can read me rant about passive aggressive martyrdom, missing DMVs, button-pushing husbands, bad hair days, alternators meeting their end, and GPS coordinates gone wrong.

But I hate to do that to you. Why add negativity to the world? Bottle that shit up I say, put on a brave face, and move forward. We should be sharing love and positivity and hoping it spreads like wildfire. Yeah, my day didn’t go as planned. And yeah, I may have had a couple of mini meltdowns witnessed (and possibly caused) by Clifford, but the bottom line is, that in the grand scheme of life, things could always be worse, and many someones out there have had much worse days than mine. My day can be cured with a glass bottle of wine and Nutella. Not everyone can say the same.

Try to focus on the things that matter this weekend. The big picture type stuff that gets hidden beneath the pile of our dirty laundry life. Appreciate what you have and be sure to send love to those who matter to you.  Because life is short. 




A Conversation With Clifford III

jean shorts

Sometimes Clifford is so precious, I want to put him in my pocket and take him with me everywhere.

Today, on the phone, Clifford was downtown trying to find parking near Piedmont Park. The people watching had him a bit off-kilter…

Clifford: What the fuck? Who the hell would cut their shorts so short their pockets are hang out?

Me: They likely didn’t cut them like that, sweetie. You buy them like that these days. It’s an acutal thing.

Clifford: What the hell?!!!

Me: Yes. In fact, they are probably designer.

Clifford: So you’re telling me that someone paid a lot of money for shorts with pockets hanging out of them on purpose?

Me: Yes, basically, yeah.

Clifford: No wonder we are so fucking screwed. We have idiots who are stupid enough to pay for designer shorts with pockets hanging out of them responsible for Clinton or Trump becoming the next president.  What the fuck is this world coming to?


Fantasy Football Almost Burned Down My House

Fantasy Football

I almost burned down the house thanks to Fantasy Football. Seriously, though. It happened on Monday. I had heated some oil on the stove to cook some frozen French fries for Clifford’s dinner. It was fast and easy and if you haven’t been paying attention, I’m not exactly Julia Childs here, so whatever.

When the oil was hot enough, I threw in the fries. I put the lid on and walked into the living room to grab my phone. Little Sis called right when I went to pick it up. We got whatever pleasantries needed out of the way and then we got down to business -Fantasy Football.

Our draft is Sunday, you see. We have 14 in our league this year which means we’re going to need to go deep. And as far as players go, they’re already dropping like flies. We started going through possibilities and strategies, the pros and cons of various players, our always in-sync thoughts on Tom Brady, team names, etc. You get the drill. The next thing I know I see smoke billowing out of the kitchen in a dark dense wave. I pause, staring at the smoke. I’ve never seen that much in an enclosed area in my life. Continue reading


WANTED: Podcast Recommendations


Lately, I’ve been absorbed by podcasts. Am I the last one to board this ship? Likely. I’m typically the last person to join any party.  It was nearly two years ago, I believe, when I was somehow introduced to Aisha Tyler’s Girl On Guy. I can’t recall which interview it was that caught me, but what sold me was Tyler hosting. I love Aisha Tyler. To me, she is one of the best examples of an artist with strong business acumen (a rare combination) putting herself out there, never satisfied, always pushing to improve, to do more and be more. She is a modern Renaissance being pouring her creativity into multiple projects across various industries. Just because one is an artist, doesn’t mean he or she is limited to creating one type of thing. It doesn’t mean their enthusiasm for producing work is narrow or finite. She explores and experiments and evolves and that is what being an artist is.  As a fellow creative, I admire that. It’s not as easy as it looks. And to be an artist with an entrepreneurial spirit to boot , well, that interests me because the two don’t typically go hand in hand. Continue reading