Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 20 and 18. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

How Many More?



My daughter walked out of school last Thursday with a good many of her classmates. They walked out to honor the 17 students and educators who died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. I'm sure many students at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County, Maryland also walked out to honor those fallen folks. And now, less than a week after that peaceful walkout, there is another school shooting. This one at that very school.

How many more?

This Saturday we will march in Washington DC along with hundreds of thousands of others who are sick to death of school shootings and gun violence.

As a parent, I absolutely cannot begin to imagine what those parents are feeling at this moment. I have a knot in my stomach just trying to imagine what it would be like to hear that there was a shooting at my kid's school. The uncertainty until a parent gets proof of life from their child, that time must be extreme agony.

How many thoughts and prayers does this country have left?

18 and I were interviewed last night for a podcast  by my friend Mike who runs Papa Does Preach for his new podcast, DadAF. He wanted to talk to her about her experiences with the walk out last week and how it affected her. She spoke about how she stood in solidarity with those school shooting victims and how we need to bring about change. And now this.

How many more??

I am sickened.

I hate to even think this, but will it take a gunman going into the school of a congressman's or a senator's child or even the school where the president's son goes before something is done??? You'd think after last summer's shooting at the congressional softball game that action would be taken, but no. More children have to die because no one will do anything to prevent guns from getting into the hands of children or angry people with an ax to grind. WHAT. MORE. WILL. IT. TAKE??

ENOUGH!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Colonoscopy. A story of hope, and poop. Mostly poop.



The day before:

8:00 a.m. The liquid diet day begins. I suck on a delicious orange popsicle while feeding the dogs, and I'm actually a little jealous that they are eating solid food. Not saying I want to eat dog food, just saying the orange popsicle left a little to be desired.

11:00 a.m. The caffeine-deprived headache has taken hold and I'm squinting at everything. You'd think I was sitting on the sun with how much I'm squinting. I miss coffee. Also, I'm cold.

12:00 p.m. I have just taken the recommended 4 laxative pills. My guess is, the fun should begin any minute now. I have knocked back 2 cups of beef broth that my boss made for me because she loves me. It was like manna from the gods. I chased that with a cup of pineapple jello. I'm not ready to gnaw on anyone's arm just yet. But it's early.

3:00 p.m. The stomach gods have awakened from their slumber. No movement yet but they must be in a meeting. Getting loud in there.

4:00 p.m. Just made my Miralax/Gatorade cocktail and I get to drink 8 ounces of this delicacy every 15 minutes for the next 2 hours. Jealous yet?

5:15 p.m. Nothing happening so far. I'm starting to wonder if I should be worried.

5:50 p.m. Houston, we have movement........

6:48 p.m. Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln.

7:04 p.m. I'm reminded of a story my old college roommate told me. She went to high school with a girl who tried to lose weight by eating Ex-Lax (old chocolate laxatives for you kids). One day she was in the locker room after gym class and she sneezed and shit herself.  I laughed when she told me that.

I'm not laughing now.

7:12 p.m.  poop
8:29 p.m.  poop
9:04 p.m.  more poop....... lather, rinse, repeat. Also, I'm starving.

10:45 p.m. I try to go to sleep and manage to successfully not shit my pajamas.

C-Day:

1:30 a.m. Back on the toilet

1:35 a.m. Back to sleep, still no pants pooping

5:30 a.m. My alarm goes off and it's time to drink my Magnesium Citrate which, at 5:30 in the morning, tastes twice as bad as it would have if I was drinking it at noon.

6:45 a.m. My alarm goes off again to make sure 18 gets off to school

6:46 a.m. poop

6:50 a.m. Back to sleep for 45 minutes

7:35 a.m. poop.

7:40 a.m. Have the pleasure of watching my husband drink coffee. Drool a lot. Then poop.

7:45 a.m. poop. Shower. poop.

8:15 a.m. On the road to Winchester for the big event! I manage to make the entire trip without pooping myself. BONUS!

9:30 a.m. I am called back, registered, checked in, given my beautiful designer hospital gown, got my IV, signed my life away and was called a 'young healthy gal' by the anesthesiologist who couldn't have been more than 33. Apparently 50 is the new 70. Who knew?

10:13 a.m. I am wheeled back to the scope room and get to meet the doctor who is also from Philly. We discuss the Eagles (who I haven't really followed since they signed convicted dog-killer and general jackass Michael Vick). We also discuss the 1980 Phillies team. I roll over onto my left side, and watch the young anesthesiologist shoot me full of the same drugs that Michael Jackson was addicted to. (I was told that fact by no less than 4 staff members. Had I known this, I would've worn my one silver glove). I remember nothing after watching the drugs go in.

11:05 a.m. I am gently roused from my nap by the lovely nurse who put in my IV. She and my husband are both laughing because apparently when I was first coming out of the anesthesia, I dropped the F bomb. Hubby said I said something like "Fucking Phillies" which makes no sense because I LOVE the Phillies. I blame the drugs and the young anesthesiologist. Maybe I MEANT to say "Phucking Phillies" which is much nicer.

11:40 a.m. Back in the car for the drive home. I want to eat ALL the foods. All of them.

Present time:  My butt hurts. A lot. But my colon is as clean as a whistle. I don't have to do this again for another 10 years.

On a serious note....

I have a friend who passed away 11 years ago from cancer. She battled colon cancer twice in her 30's and the third time she just couldn't beat it. If you have a history of colon cancer in your family, DO NOT WAIT. Go get your colonoscopy. Yes it's a pain in the ass (LITERALLY) but it's so worth it to get yourself checked and make sure you're clean.

One last thing. If this post made you laugh you should definitely check out my friend Foxy Wine Pocket's post about her own colonoscopy.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Almost Empty Nest.........

Hey Snarklings. Experts say Friday is the worst day to post a new blog. I don't know why, that's just what "they" say. Whoever "they" are, they can kiss my butt. It's so rare that I get an original idea for a blog post, that when I get one, I have to run with it, regardless of what day of the week it is, regardless of what "they" say.



As I write this post, we are a mere 2 months from my youngest daughter's high school graduation. Those of you who have been with me for a long time may remember the last time I went through a high school graduation. You may also recall that sales of Kleenex tissues spiked dramatically during that time period. You see, I was coming off of an addiction to Effexor, a really strong anti-depressant that I didn't actually realize I was addicted to until I tried to wean myself off.

Holy shit, you guys.

I cried for weeks over every. single. thing. It was embarrassing. Even my closest friends questioned the decision to quit the anti-depressant so close to this monumental life-changing experience. Probably not my best call.

I was interviewed by Prevention magazine in 2016 about my experiences stepping down and eventually quitting Effexor, and that interview has been making the rounds again lately. I received a Facebook message out of the blue from someone, a total stranger, who read that interview and asked me for some advice on getting off the anti-depressant. "Will I ever feel better?" she asked. And I'm happy to say YES. YES you WILL feel better. It won't happen overnight. But it WILL happen.

Which brings me to today. We are nearing the finishing line, folks. 18 is graduating! 18 got the gown for her senior prom. 18 has been accepted to college and will be in the band once again with her big sister. And guess what! I haven't cried yet. Well, that's not necessarily true. I have teared up thinking about the 'lasts'. I chaperoned the 'last' Christmas parade in which the high school band marched. I chaperoned the 'final' band competition at the state capital and yes, I was weepy. My eyes filled up. However, it's not the 'body racked with heavy, wet, snotty sobbing' kind of crying that I went through 3 years ago. When 20 graduated high school in 2015, I was an emotional train wreck, I think we can all agree on that. But I'm not sure how much of that was truly me being sad that my first-born baby girl was growing up and leaving, or how much of it had to do with the side effects of the drug leaving my body.

It's really hard for me to say which it was, but back then I was overwhelmed with all the feelings. I was happy for my graduate, excited for her new journey, sad for me that she was leaving me, sad for her sister who was losing her best friend to a campus of 30,000. I was grieving a loss. All of those feelings mixed with the side effects of detoxing truly made me feeling like some sort of psycho.

But my head is clear now. My baby is graduating and I'm not going to lie: I'm sad. I'm sad because my nest will soon be empty, I won't be chaperoning anymore band trips, nor will I be spending anymore nights in the cabin at band camp (okay maybe I'm NOT really all that sad about that). But I'm emotionally ready to handle it. I feel so much stronger now. These experiences have made me stronger, and while they sucked while I was dealing with them, I feel like I have come out on the other side better for having gone through it.

I will add one thing: you may want to disregard that last paragraph on the day that I drop 18 off at college in August. Make no mistake. I will be a sobbing, snotty mess that day. My nest will be empty then, and I think I'm allowed to be emotional then. But I now know that I can and will get through it.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hit By a Mack Truck of a Memory....

Have you ever been hit by a freight train? A Mack truck? It happened to me last weekend.




I went out for a run because I'm training for what originally was supposed to be a half marathon. However, due to lack of proper training and a nagging knee injury, I'm only training for a 10k now. Totally not the point, but let's just say I was out there getting it done.  While I was out schlepping along, I was thinking that this time last year I was winding down my training for the Freedom's Run full marathon. Thoughts began to wander and I ended up thinking about the day after last year's marathon when I got the call that my mom had been found in her apartment after a fall.

That call and the ensuing week that followed left me reeling. I literally packed and hauled ass to New Jersey and spent the week either with my mom at the nursing home, at city hall cutting through bureaucratic bullshit or cleaning out her apartment. I was literally running on adrenaline and had little time to think about anything but making sure my mom was cared for, both at the time and for the future. She could no longer live on her own, so we needed to make sure her Medicaid application was complete and submitted so that she could remain at the nursing home which was providing her with amazing care.

While at her apartment, my brother and I boxed up all non-perishable foods and donated them to the little food bank her apartment building had. We bagged up most of her clothes and donated those to the mission or Goodwill. We got rid of a lot of stuff that didn't have sentimental meaning and kept more that did. And I cleaned out her linen closet.

Flash forward to last weekend. I was finished my run and ready to grab a shower. It had been a really busy week at Casa Snarkfest with little time for house cleaning or laundry, and so we were running low on towels in our linen closet. I reached the top of the closet, way in the back and found a towel that really didn't look familiar. But it was a towel and I was really smelly, so I brought it into the bathroom and started the shower. It was then that the Mack truck blazed through the bathroom and hit me at 80 mph.

I held that towel up to my face and breathed in the smell of my mom's apartment and I began to cry hard, ugly tears. I never liked the smell of that apartment. Technically, it wasn't the apartment, it was her whole floor that had a distinctive smell, a smell I hadn't taken in in a year, but one that brought me right back to her apartment, sitting in her living room with her watching the Phillies lose. Eating pizza with her. Listening to her coughing the awful, heartbreaking cough that COPD brings. And laughing. There was always so much joy and laughter with my mom. She was hilarious and had no filter. God I miss her. And until that moment in my bathroom I didn't realize just how much I missed that apartment and those memories.

I called my girls upstairs and told them to smell the towel and tell me the first thing that came to mind. Both looked at me like I had 6 heads but they did as I asked and both immediately said "MOM-MOM'S APARTMENT".

That towel is now in the hamper, ready to be washed. Part of me can't wait for it to be clean, but there's a little part of me, way down deep inside, that really hopes that smell doesn't get washed away. Maybe some day. But not yet.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Water Ice and Gravy....

Mmmm that sounds tasty, doesn't it? I'm guessing that unless you're from Philly or South Jersey you're looking at this blog post and wondering what the hell that crazy Snarkfest chick is talking about. And that's exactly how some of my closest friends look at me (all the time). 

Last weekend I met up with a good friend in the grocery store while I was buying a frozen dessert. We went back to my house (where her son was hanging out with my 17) and as I was unpacking said frozen dessert I said (in my most hospitable way) "would you guys like some water ice?"

Water ice. Not ice water. Never ice water.
Both mother and son looked at me 'that way' and slowly cocked their heads to the side like confused puppies. Mom said "I'll have some ice with water if that's what you're talking about" to which I replied "ok but do you want some water ice too?"

I had completely baffled them both. You see, I'm from Philly. And in Philly, the term 'water ice' actually means 'Italian ice' (which is stupid and a little racist if you ask me. Why do Italians get the credit for this amazing frozen deliciousness? Anyway I digress).  By water ice, they thought I meant a glass of ice water. What I actually meant was dessert. I ended up serving one ice water and one water ice. Go figure.

Later that weekend I had the same exchange with 19's boyfriend who thought I had completely lost the plot. It was only after I pulled out the Urban Dictionary that he REALLY found my argument invalid.  It was only after I hit up The Google that he relented and admitted that (maybe, possibly) I wasn't crazy. I'm not crazy. I'm from Philly. There's a difference. 

Another bone of contention comes between my husband and me. While he did have my back about water ice (because we lived for a long time in South Jersey and he ate more than his fair share of water ice), he can't wrap his brain around what I call the stuff you put over spaghetti. In Philly we call it 'gravy'.  Apparently everywhere else that sane people live, they call it 'sauce'. Bah. Whatever. To we who eat spaghetti in Philly it's gravy and when I make a pot of spaghetti, I always make a big pot of "spaghetti gravy" and he always mocks me for it. (Make no mistake, he'll eat the hell out of it).

I can't help what I know. I know gravy and that's what I grew up calling it. I know water ice. I know hoagies (not sliders, not grinders and while I did get used to calling them subs because that's the South Jersey term for them, they'll always be hoagies to me). I know Jimmies (not sprinkles, that's just stupid).  I know MAC machines. I mentioned to 17 that I had to go hit MAC the other day and she gave me that very same "I have no idea what you're talking about" look that I get a lot. 

Jimmies. Always Jimmies. Never sprinkles.
I know Mummers. Mummers, so I've learned, aren't the same everywhere. In Philly they are New Year's Day costumed revelers. In other places, they are not. Don't ask me what they ARE in other places because I don't care enough to find out.

I know scrapple. Yeah, I'm well aware what's in scrapple. It's the stuff that is just too disgusting to put in hot dogs, but you can bet your ass I'd beat up a nun for a plate of scrapple. No lie. 

So I know what I know because I was raised to know these things. Just because I call things something different than you do, it doesn't make me wrong. It doesn't make you wrong either. That's the beauty of who we are. We are all different and that's completely fine. It would be pretty boring if we all called everything the same thing. If we did that, life would be mundane and I would not have material to mock others (you know, those sauce eating Italian ice connoisseurs). 

What are some things that are differently named from where you live?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Been A Long Time.....

.....since I wrote a blog. Actually it's been ages since I've had an original thought. I'm sure that's become obvious to you folks, since you keep getting older blog posts showing up in your email if you're subscribed. If you're not, I promise, I'll work on having an original thought or two before the end of this year.

My friend Phil from The Regular Guy NYC actually asked me if I was still blogging, as did my friend Mike from Papa Does Preach. Yeah, in my head I do still blog. It's getting words from my brain to this page that has proven difficult,  but I'm going to give it my best shot.

Things have been kind of crazy in my corner of the world lately. 19 has gone back to WVU for the start of her junior year. JUNIOR. What the hell? One of my most read pieces, Roots and Wings, still resonates with me and with many other parents, and I'll be going through this process not once but twice next year when 17 turns 18 and goes off to college.

God help me.

Anyway, we've had some highs and some lows at Casa Snarkfest over the past year. I'm not going to lie, my mom's death has had a tremendous impact on pretty much everything.  In the 9 months since she died, the blog has pretty much gone by the wayside. I'm hoping to turn that around but I'm going to need help. What do you want to read from me?  You're probably sick of me going on and on about my pretend boyfriend Mike Rowe.  I don't want to cry the blues about both my girls going off to college next year. I could just post pictures of puppies and kittens but that's been done. Recipes? Beauty and fashion? (hold on a sec....

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

Ok I'm back now.

So you tell me, what would you like to see on the blog. I'm taking requests. Suggest some ideas and maybe it will knock something loose in my noggin. Until then, here's a kitten for your viewing pleasure.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

I Cried This Morning...

If you've been following my blog for the past few weeks, you'll remember that I'm nuts. Well, technically not 'nuts' per se, but coming off of an anti-depressant addiction I wasn't aware of has left me with emotions scattered all over the place. Like, seriously.

For example, last night 17 was looking at a video on the Book of the Faces, and when I asked her what it was, she told me it was a deaf woman hearing her husband's voice for the first time.

MUSH. <--------- That's what I turned to upon viewing the video.

This morning I had my tunes playing while I was getting ready for work, and John Denver came on, crooning his beautiful ballad "Country Roads". Shut up, I like John Denver, don't you judge me.

Anyway, I'm not sure if it's because WVU was crushed last night by Kentucky and knocked out of March Madness, or the fact that my baby will be a freshman there this fall, but my eyes welled up with tears and I cried. I told myself through my tears that I was being an idiot. I didn't argue with myself, I know better. I'll lose, every time.



But I cried this morning. I cried because it's a pretty song. I cried because my baby is leaving home in less than 6 months. I cried because my emotions are completely fucked up because of the anti-depressants. Am I depressed? No, I don't think I am. Am I an emotional train wreck? No doubt in my mind that yes, I am. I have tears in my eyes just writing this.

Last week, we went to the state capitol  for our high school's symphonic honor band performance. Both of my girls  are in that band and they overwhelm me with their talents. During their last song of the performance, Angels in the Architecture, I cried like a freaking lunatic. I cried at the beauty of the music, the difficulty of the 15 minute piece, the solos that my trumpet playing senior had. I cried knowing that this is her last year playing in this award winning band, a band that changed who she is and contributed to making her a confident young adult. The difference from who she was 4 years ago to who she's become is startling (in a good way) and I cried at how proud of her I am, proud of both my daughters.

The band director asked if anyone had taken any pictures during that performance. I didn't even try, because I was such a mess that you'd need a Dramamine to view them, they'd be so badly out of focus from my ridiculous crying ass.

When I think about her graduation in just over 2 months, I cry. I can't even begin to imagine what I'm going to be like on that day, but here's a tip: BUY STOCK IN KLEENEX. Trust me, you won't regret it. My baby will be playing alongside her big sister in the symphonic band's final performance of the year, and it will be the last time both my girls will play together in the same band. And yes, I'm crying again as I am writing that sentence. DAMN YOU EFFEXOR!

Make no mistake, I was a crying fool long before the anti-depressants and probably a crying fool while on them. But now that I'm off, Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph, I'm a thousand times more emotional than I've ever been.

I cried this morning. I will cry again soon, of that I have no doubt. It's gotta be normal, right? The emotional wreck that I've become is a side effect of leaving the meds behind, I know that. But I also know that I'm not alone. I received so many comments on my Mamalode piece letting me know that I am in good company, and for that company I am ever grateful. If you are trying to overcome an addiction, whether it's one you knew you had or you had no clue, YOU TOO are NOT ALONE. Come sit by me and we'll cry together. And we'll get through it. Together.