Lance Armstrong, I’m Not

Getting older ain’t easy. I’ll be 34 in exactly two months, which will plant me firmly in my mid thirties. I’m not much of a fan of the getting older thing, so I’d probably feel iffy about this if not for the fact that a) I get to go on a cruise with only my husband a week later and b) my husband will turn 40 a month after my birthday. Taking pleasure in the misery of others is always helpful.

A few years ago, shortly after turning 29, I started going through my third-life crisis.

I’m not sure why I thought turning a year older would make things vastly different, considering that my idea of fun was staying at home on the weekends, hanging out with my family, and playing video games or watching Netflix. Who was I kidding? I may not have been old in years, but I was definitely old in spirit. These were things my husband pointed out, but why let things like reason and logic get in the way of a good crisis, amirite?

So, I decided to live it up that year, have fun, and party like it was 1999 (even though I only 15 then and didn’t do anything that remotely resembled partying in 1999). In case you’re thinking that “party like it was 1999” meant going to clubs (something I’ve also never done, because of being a senior citizen in spirit) and other wild things, what it really meant was that we invited a few friends over once or twice a month when Little Man was spending the night at his grandparents. We would have a few mixed drinks while playing board games or watching football games. That’s a good way to live it up, right?

Another thing I planned to do during that little crisis period was get healthier. Because lamely partying like it’s 1999 and getting healthy go hand in hand.

I made a few changes. I started tracking my calories. I used sugar-free mixers. And I bought a bike. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 13, but I decided that I was going to ride around my neighborhood, get some exercise, lose some weight, and eventually become one of those people who wear tight shorts and annoys the piss out of drivers by riding in the middle of the road.

“That’s a horrible idea,” my husband told me after I informed him of my plans. “Can’t you just ride your exercise bike so you won’t get hurt?” (I have a reputation for being clumsy as hell and have the history of broken bones, scars, and sprains to prove it.)

“No! I want to be out on the open road!”

After much discussion, I got my way, which I expected; I’ve only not gotten my way two times with my husband, and that’s when I wanted to buy a crossbow and buy a foosball coffee table. (For the record, I got my way on the second one a few years later.) He wasn’t happy about it, but we made the bike purchase anyway, with the condition that I wear a helmet, which I thought was lame given my age. (Yet another reason I’m an idiot.)

This is what I bought:

(Okay, that picture doesn’t really do it justice. Here is a picture of what the one I bought looked like, if you want to see the real deal. If you’re thinking that this isn’t the type of bike one would be riding on the open road and possibly on bike trails in the mountains, then you would be right.)

My first attempt on the bike didn’t go so well. More than 15 years and bunches of pounds later didn’t help matters much, so I wobbled down the end of our short road and came back. I was done for the day.

“I think we should just take that thing back,” my husband told me. “This is not going to end well.”

Ha. What did he know?

As it turns out, a lot.

The next day was Saturday, and we were having a small get-together. We had several friends over, got super wild and played Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, and had a few drinks. (Those of us feeling rather depressed over getting old might have had more than a few.) Around 2 AM, I was feeling a bit crowded since people still hadn’t left, so I went outside to sit on the porch for a bit to get some space. As I was sitting there, I spied my bike at the end of the porch, in all of its beautiful teal and white glory.

Ride me, it beckoned.

It was like I was Frodo and it was the One Ring — I was drawn to it. The next thing I knew, I was riding down my driveway and down my road (which I must add is partially a gravel circle with not a lot of houses and next to no traffic, so you don’t think I was a complete idiot). My plan was to ride to the corner and come back.

I was doing great. If only my husband could see me now! Nary a wobble in sight.


And then, right as I was about to turn into our driveway and make my triumphant return, I lost my balance. I put my foot out to steady myself, except for my foot landed on some loose gravel, causing my ankle to turn in, and I heard a “snap.”

That hurt. A lot. And there was no one around to help me up. I sat there at the edge of the driveway for a few minutes and finally forced myself up and hobbled up the driveway and inside the house.

My husband gave me one look when I came in and knew exactly what had happened.

“You didn’t.”

“I did.”

“And you didn’t even wear your helmet,” he said, which he knew because it was sitting on the end table.

The next morning, my ankle was swollen to the size of a softball, so we went to the orthopedic urgent care where the doctor told me that I likely had grade 3 ankle sprain and would need to wear a walking boot and then do physical therapy. That was a fun way to spend part of my third-life crisis.

I learned a valuable lesson that night — don’t exercise, which was a lesson I should’ve learned the time I tried to use an exercise ball.

Dumbest/silliest thing you did in a third or mid life crisis, if you had one?

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Force Sun Ray Attack

My husband and I went away this past weekend to celebrate our upcoming anniversary. The anniversary isn’t for a few more days, but we’ll be going on our family vacation right after our anniversary and didn’t want to do that much driving back to back. After much talk, we ended up going to Myrtle Beach, which is also where we’re going for our vacation — clearly we aren’t “variety is the spice of life” people.

One thing that you should know about me is that I’m pretty white. Casper looks like he’s been hitting up the tanning bed compared to me. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but trust me — the non-freckled over parts of my body definitely have a ghastly pallor. It probably goes without saying that I burn very easily. Sunscreen, cover-ups or t-shirts, and shade are absolute musts for me at the beach if I don’t want to be slathering bottle after bottle of aloe vera gel all over my body later. (The shade is also a must if I want to hang out on the beach for more than 15 minutes without feeling like I’m going to puke — I don’t do heat very well, which can be rough living in the South.)

You’d think that between the umbrella, cover-up, and dusting of sunscreen so thick that other people gagged when they passed by the fog, that I’d finish the beach day unscathed. But, much like my ovaries, the sun hates me and was determined to find a way to mark me.

See all that lovely shade? Not pictured is the sunscreen fog, which I made sure to apply routinely. Also not pictured is my husband with the darker skin that doesn’t burn (not that I’m jealous), because I’m lazy and didn’t want to draw two people.

Those preventative measures were no match for the sun.

Forget force lightning attacks — we now have force sun ray strikes.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and clearly the Evil Kool-Aid Man sun was dead set on getting at me.

Technically the burn is on the inside of my left leg (which is even more in the shade), but that wouldn’t show up so good on the drawing, so artistic license and all that.

First things first — that isn’t much of a burn. I’ll acknowledge that straightaway. It stung like hell in the hot tub, but that’s about it. So, as someone who has had severe sunburns in the past, I know that I made out pretty good on this beach trip. But that’s not really the point. The point is — look at it. That leg was under the umbrella and multiple coats of sunscreen. Yet the sun worked its mojo and gave me that odd burn that looks like I’d broken out into hives or something. This is what happens nearly every time I go to the beach — lots of skin safety measures taken and lots of funky, splotchy burns.

All the sun silliness aside, we had a wonderful and relaxing time. It was nice experiencing what the beach could be like without two kids who are determined to stuff sand in your mouth and complain about the salt in the ocean water nonstop. I’m mostly kidding — I know we’ll have a wonderful time with the kids next week — but it was nice to get a break.

Did y’all have a nice weekend? 

#AtoZChallenge: V is for Vader

It’s no secret that the people in the Dorky household have quite a love for Star Wars. I remember the first time I watched Star Wars — when I was 20 — with the guy I was dating who would later go on to be my husband. I was in hysterics over the special effects (we watched an old VHS copy that hadn’t been remastered), and didn’t care too much for the whole space thing at first. (Despite my fascination with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, I’m not generally a fan of the sci-fi or fantasy genres.)

But, that changed, and I became enthralled by the story. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve watched various episodes since then, but it’s been a lot. Naturally, we passed this love on to the kids.

Little Man got his first light saber when he was three. We had banned guns, but thought the light saber would be fine. As it turns out, being cracked across one’s knuckles with a light saber does a bit more damage (hello, burst blood vessels) than a toy gun. (Except for the time I shot my husband in the eye with a Nerf gun, anyway.) We let him watch bits and pieces of the Star Wars movies around that time, and Little Man quickly became obsessed with Darth Vader, but later moved to Luke, and now has focused his interest on Princess Leia. Cough, almost tween, cough. Baby Girl also loves Star Wars. I have an adorable video of her when the opening crawl comes on and she starts shouting “Star Wars! It’s Star Wars!” and dancing. She’s also pretty good with a light saber.

For today’s doodles, I’m going to share a couple of things that the kids have said.

Right, the heat from the food was exactly like that.

Baby Girl’s love for Darth Vader isn’t as great as her love for Batman, but it’s still up there. You can sometimes hear her marching around the house humming Imperial March, and she goes all fangirl whenever Vader appears on the screen.

One day she’ll figure out that things don’t usually end well when that red light saber appears.

Are you a Star Wars fan? Which movie was your favorite?

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Should’ve Bought The Bread And Milk

The last time the weatherman called for snow, we expected to wake up to a few inches. Instead, there was nothing. Later that morning, we got the smallest of dustings, but that was it. We were pretty disappointed, but not surprised, since in SC, winter isn’t winter so much as it is fall-spring-summer, with a handful of days cold enough to wear a fleece jacket and maybe a day or two where it’s so cold that school is called off. It’s all over the place.

The weatherman has been talking about snow this week, but my part of SC wasn’t expected to get more than a dusting if we were lucky. I didn’t think too much about it because of last time. So, I didn’t join the horde of people at Walmart going on a bread and milk run last night. Nor did I buy booze.

And then I woke up to this.

We’ve gotten about four inches so far, which is the equivalent to 18 inches elsewhere, so boom.

And, as the picture shows, it was mid-70s earlier in the week and now it’s Snowmageddon!

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