We Have to Get Naked

Dear PDV readers, I turned 40 this month! And for that I get a mammogram. In honor of getting to be a part of this wonderful rite of passage into awkward adulthood, I’m rerunning an oldie but a goodie (much like me) from my former blog Childhood Relived

I have a question that’s been gnawing at me for nearly 25 years. It relates to something that really traumatized me as a kid.  Continue reading

Oh Brother, Who Art Thou?

Justine_and_Jason_Bateman1Today I invite you to saunter on over to Tue/Night, where I’ve published an article about one of my favorite people on earth, who happens to be the person on earth I have the most complicated relationship with, who happens to be a dead ringer for Bradley Cooper, who makes me laugh so hard I pee my pants yet makes me crazy with his political beliefs.

My brother.

There Will Be Blood

PsychoAllow me to set the stage for a recent Day in the Life story that occurred last week.

This took place during my “family vacation” – if by “family” you mean “lots of people crammed in one van,” if by “vacation” you mean “lots of people crammed in one van moving from one geographic location to another geographic location.” But call it what you like.

We were staying at a cabin on a lake near Minneapolis and decide to drive into the city to visit old and new friends. These old and new friends don’t know one another. But we typically like to make things more convenient for us them by awkwardly forcing everyone in a room together. One stop shop, if you will.

The Cast:

  • One family of four:  mom, dad, two young kids.
  • One family of five:  mom, dad, three young kids.
  • One male friend. Single by choice. Childless by choice. Works as senior event planner for fancy art museum. Will thus be called fancy friend going forward. Knows a living room couch’s proper ratio of down-filled pillow to carefully-placed Egyptian cotton throw blanket. Gets extra descriptors here in case automatic response to reading “childless by choice” is “well…but maybe someday.” Let’s just shut that right down.

Continue reading

Manufacturing Courage: Or, That Time a Bull Shark Almost Devoured My Kid

Unless you’re living under Donald Trump’s combover, you probably saw this week’s big story about a South African surfer who barely survived a shark attack. Twitter blew up, experts experted all over the morning news shows, and I experienced a little something called déjà vu, because four months ago, my five-year-old son was THISCLOSE to being an amuse-bouche for a bull shark.

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How could a guy named Mick Fanning NOT become a professional surfer?

As I sat sipping wine on the deck of a rented Florida beach house (thanks, mom) my son frolicked in the late afternoon surf with his cousins. I kept a casual eye on passing dolphins and talked politics with my aunts and uncles.

(Note: earlier that day, while lounging in the sun, I’d speculated about how I’d act if I saw a shark approaching one of my relatives. In my daydream, I was super heroic… sprinting in the sea, launching my sizable self–fists flying–straight at the shark, and then cradling the victim in my arms as I strode onto the beach, level-headed and calm as I shouted for assistance.) Continue reading

The Taxonomy of Naps: A Lab Report by Dru

Glow wormIntroduction
Accepting as a given that a majority of parents of young children are frequently sleep-deprived and therefore trudging through daily life in a haze that sounds like Curious George babble and smells like strawberry applesauce, this researcher set forth to assess and categorize optimal napping circumstances for said parents, so as to enable occasional (and unfortunately brief) respite from the chaos.

Materials
Bed or other soft-ish surface
Solitude – optional
Knock-off memory foam mattress topper – optional
Pajamas – optional
White noise machine or one of those soothing classical music-playing seahorse toys – optional
Bag of Target brand caramel cashew trail mix to snack on pre-nap – optional but recommended   Continue reading