The Pony-Show Interview

Nobody likes interviewing: fact. It’s awful. You have to dress up in a suit and talk about how great you are for an hour and carry on about why you’d be perfect for a job that you don’t even *really* know you want… because as much as you’re lying your face off about how great you are, the employers are probably lying theirs off about how great the job is. It’s horrible. It’s not fun- period, end of story.

Know what else isn’t fun? Interviewing people. How the hell am I supposed to know in an hour if you’re a good catch? It’s like marrying someone after going on one speed-date with him. The whole thing is just awful.
A while ago, I wrote a post about the time I bombed an interview. You can read it here if you’re interested and need a self-esteem pick me up. Turns out, that wasn’t the last interview I would bomb….

Amy and I are co-managers of a department, so we co-interview for new candidates. We did a couple together and they went really well. Amy said to me, “I like doing interviews together. We always have the same questions, the same answers to their questions and it saves the person from having to repeat themselves. Plus, it’s more fun with a different energy when we’re together.”

Today, a nice young lady came in to interview for the job. She did all the right things and we were really impressed. We try to be ourselves in interviews and give the job-seeker a relatively normal glimpse into how casual our work environment is and how we operate. Everything went fine and we asked some good questions and were impressed with her answers. At the end of the interview, I was wrapping things up and concluded with:

(What my brain thought I was saying): As you can probably tell, we’re pretty casual here. We work really hard but we aren’t a stuffy company and we know it’s important to have a lot of fun when you’re at work. We want to find someone who’s a good fit for our culture and I hope you felt that in talking to us.

Somewhere the message got lost in translation from my brain to my mouth and this is what came out instead: (Hands gesturing around wildly) “Sorry for the pony show –“ (Cut myself off hysterically laugh/cackling as I realized that was NOT what I meant to say…)

I STG I actually said the words “pony show” IN. AN. INTERVIEW. And with NO CONTEXT!!

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I don’t know why I said that. I didn’t MEAN to say that- it doesn’t even make sense! The other day, Amy said “What’s up with this crazy pony show” and for some reason I’ve been laughing to myself about it ever since, and have been dying to use it. OBVIOUSLY time to use it WASN’T at the end of an interview, tourettes-style.

Thankfully the girl just laughed and said, “No, I think you guys are great- I think you’re funny.”
While I feebly attempted to pull myself together and pathetically explain my very strange outburst, I glanced over at Amy who was just staring back at me with wide eyes and her mouth gaping. Somehow we made a break and thanked the girl for coming in and as we left the conference room, Amy burst out laughing. “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT BACK THERE?” She asked, half horrified, half laughing.

“I don’t know!! I really don’t know what is wrong with me?!” I responded as we walked by one of our co-worker’s desks.

“What happened?” our co-worker asked.

“Oh my god- I just BOMBED that interview,” I told her.

She looked at me, confused, “Huh? How did YOU bomb an interview? I mean I know you can bomb an interview for a job you’re trying to get but how do you bomb one that you’re conducting?”

As I tried to explain what happened, Amy corrected me- “It’s not just that you said ‘pony show’ it’s that you realized how ridiculous it was and hysterically started laughing and none of it made any sense.”

If this girl takes the job, at least we’ll know she’s fully equipped for the insanity that is bound to ensue.

And THAT, my friends, is how you bomb an interview.

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Thanks for reading! ~Tracy

Are You A Keeper or a Tosser?

My mom likes stuff.  She’s a bit of a collector.  She’s not like “Hoarders: Buried Alive” yet or anything.  Maybe more of the “Borderline Hoarder: Might Be Buried Some Day So Keep Checking on Me” variety.

Mom has had stuff stashed away for the grandkids since before there was an inkling that there might be grandkids. Also if the end of the world comes, my parents will be the last ones living because they have a bunker in their basement with canned food that could keep them going for years.

My sister, on the other hand, is a tosser. She throws everything away. She places zero sentimental value on anything and therefore things that are not necessary for everyday use she considers to be clutter.

Mandy has always been like that.  When were kids, Mandy and I shared a room. I remember one day we were cleaning out our closets.  I held up a sweater one of my mom’s friends had knitted me a few years ago.  Since she had made one for Mandy too, I turned to her for advice. “Ugh.  I feel so bad.  Obviously this sweater took a lot of time to make.  It’s really nicely made but let’s be honest, I’m never going to wear it.  But I feel horrible giving it away.  What should I do?” I asked my sister who was throwing things into the “giveaway” bag at lightening speed.

She momentarily looked up from her “tossing.”

“Are you kidding me?” she snorted.  “I got rid of that thing like two days after we got it.  Yeah, it was a nice gesture but it’s ugly.  I can’t believe you still have it!” She shook her head as she went back to her sorting.

I probably kept the sweater for another year or so before I finally got rid of it.  That pretty much sums us all up. Mom keeps things, Mandy throws everything away, and I’m somewhere in between.

What’s hilarious is watching my niece deal with living in a Throw-Away house.  She’s 4 and by now she’s figured out that things in her house “disappear” unexpectedly. Mandy said sometimes she sneaks things over to Grammy’s for safekeeping because she’s also figured out nothing disappears at Grammy’s house.

When I was out visiting them last, we took my niece Kailee to the grocery store.  She ogled over a Princess Ariel Pez dispenser and my sister told her if she was good the entire time- no whining!- she could keep it.  On her best behavior, she got to take Ariel home.  The next day, I saw her frantically rifling through a drawer in the kitchen.

“Kailee, whatcha looking for?” I asked.

“My Ariel! I can’t find my Ariel. Someone must have throwed it away,” she sighed.

I chuckled, “Oh yeah, who would do that?”

“I don’t know,” she shrugged her shoulders.

HAHAAH I don’t know what’s funnier: that she has figured out and accepted that shit just disappears….OR that she has no idea who the “someone” is and it hasn’t occurred to her it’s her own mother and finds it totally acceptable that “someone” creeps into her house throwing her crap away. Ahhaha

So Mandy made a deal with her. Kailee has a nightstand with two drawers and anything that she wants to keep in them,  Mandy promised won’t get thrown away.   I love looking in Kailee’s drawers to see what treasures she’s deemed worthy of protecting.  All her special things get put in there for safekeeping against “someone” throwing them away.

Last time I peeked in there, she had stashed these little plastic animals that I had given her and a couple of other things and I was so giddy that she had wanted to spare her presents from Auntie from disappearing.

I keep laughing at Mandy that Kailee is a hoarder in the making because she’s going to grow up wanting to keep everything in retaliation to the tossing. Who knows what will really happen, in the meantime it’s hilarious to keep tabs on her treasures drawers.

What about you? Are you a keeper or a tosser?


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Kailee’s Junk Drawer

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 Thanks for reading! ~Tracy


A Letter to Bam

One of my best friends lost a parent to cancer today and my heart hearts for her loss and my heart hurts because I knew her and loved her too. She was a wonderful, dynamic and loving person and I am happy she doesn’t have to bear the burden of fighting anymore. I know I will hear her laughter forever in my memories.

Here is a letter I wrote to her a while back. I am posting it here because I don’t know what else to do.
This is not my usual post and I promise my next one will be more upbeat. But today, I will mourn the loss of a wonderful lady, and I will pay tribute to her in the only way I know how.

As I sit here trying to find the words, I wonder what you would say to someone who was sick. I wonder if you would feel the anger I am feeling now, the rage at the unjust. I wonder if you would punch your pillow with tears falling down your face, crying, “Why?” over and over again. I wonder how you would handle hearing a loved one was facing cancer. I wonder this because you are the person others try to emulate. You are the person we all want to be like. You always just know. You know how to say the right words, you know how to find comfort in times that feel helpless. You know how to be positive and graceful and kind when all the rest of us feel that positivity and grace and kindness have escaped us.
I am not sure, because I have not perfected the art of living the way you have, but I think that you would tell me to put the rage and anger aside and express kindness and love. I think you would tell me to pray- however it is that I pray, whether it be to God or to a different power, for hope and for calm. I think you would tell me that anger isn’t a productive emotion and you would tell me to speak with words of love.
You may not have any idea how often I think about you- how being around you and Cap forever changed my outlook on life. You have such a fabulous energy about you, such a wonderful and sincere charisma. You have always exuded an aura that anything getting in the way of what you wanted was a joke. Not in an arrogant way- and I’m not saying that things came easy! I know you’ve worked hard. You just calmly DON’T ACCEPT that something isn’t going to happen. You believe in paving your OWN path and you just find a way to make it work— sure, you hit hiccups along the way, but you embrace those as just little pit-stops on the path to where you want to wind up.
And you LAUGH! When things go wrong, you LAUGH! I can hear your laugh now. You have this way of lighting up the room when you laugh. You don’t have a wimpy laugh, you have a bubbled up from the belly laugh that can only come from someone who has learned to enjoy life in such a way that a laugh isn’t just a way of expressing that something is funny. Your laugh is a piece of your soul escaping your lips and touching the people around you.
I remember in college, Jess invited me to go skiing with you guys. My immediate reaction was to politely decline. There were a million reasons not to go: First, I had never been skiing. Imagine! Growing up in New Hampshire and I had never been on a ski lift! I was a struggling college kid, I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t have the gear…the list of reasons not to go- and my list of fears- was a mile long. “Pfff! Of course you’ll come with us! Don’t worry about that stuff!” you said. So we piled into the car and you had gear for me and we drove up to the mountain. Remember how we loved that Macy Gray song, “I Try”? We sang on the top of our lungs, “I try to say goodbye and I choke. Try to walk away and I stumble. Though I try to hide, it’s clear…My world crumbles when you are not near” over and over and over again. I remember the feeling I had when I finally made my way down the Bunny Trail- I did it!! I really did it! I remember thinking, I really need to say “Pfff!!” more often to things that scared me.
Bam, no matter what happens with this cancer and how it tries to get you down, please know that YOU will always have the last laugh. I know this is so because your laugh has already touched everyone you’ve ever met and it’s become a part of us too. Whenever I have a moment where I have to remind myself to be brave in the face of fear, whenever I ask myself, “What would Bam do?” (which is often!), I know that you’ve already beat being sick. You’ve kicked cancer’s ass because cancer will NEVER be able to take away all the people you’ve touched just by being you.

Kindness with a Side of Cheese

Last night we had a happy hour in our office after work.  We brought in some beer and wine and had Mexican catered in.  Everyone was chatting and hanging out, and as the crowd dwindled, the few of us who were left started in on cleanup duty. 

“What are we going to do with all this leftover food?” someone asked.

I surveyed the table: large tin containers of tortillas, beans, rice, guacamole, salsa and all the fixings remained untouched. 

“Tracy, you could drop it off to your friends in Tent City downtown on your way home?” Sonja suggested.

That was very nice of Sonja, considering she’s terrified of my transient neighbors….

We all agreed it was a good idea, and we packaged everything up to bring down to my car.  Each of us had our arms full with trays of food. I drove down to a part of town where I know a lot of homeless people hang out.   Parking near a group of people on the street, I got out of my car and asked, “Are you guys hungry?”

“Yes!!” They exclaimed excitedly.

“Great- I’ve got some Mexican food here,” I told them as I began unloading the trays of food onto the street.   Each of them was grabbing a tray for him or herself and I kept yelling, “SHARE!! YOU GOTTA SHARE!!” as I brought more food out of my car.

All of a sudden this guy came out of nowhere and yanked a bag of tortilla chips out of my hand.  He was dangerously close to being in violation of my personal space. “What kind of chips are these?” he barked.

“Umm… I don’t know? I assume they’re tortilla…” I said as I turned around to get a tray from the car.

I guess that answer wasn’t good enough because he took the bag and shook it in my face, yelling “I NEED YOU TO OPEN THIS BAG. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF CHIPS THESE ARE!!!” He demanded.

“Okay, okay!” I shook my head as I opened the bag for him. “Yep, just as I suspected. Tortilla.”

He wordlessly yanked the bag back and scampered off.

Just as I was finishing unloading my car of its Mexican food contents, the chip guy came back. 


Now listen, if he had asked for anything else other than cheese, I might have gotten annoyed or thought he was being ungrateful.  But homeboy had a point; if there’s anything to get disgruntled about it would be not having cheese for your tacos. 

“It’s right there!” I laughed and pointed at a tray of shredded cheese.


Aside from the chips and cheese guy, they all showered me with Thank you’s and God bless you’s while they excitedly assembled  tacos on the street.  I think one guy peed himself in glee right there on his tent when he saw me break out the churros.

It felt good to do randomly do something nice for others, and I told Sonja that when I got home.

“Really? That’s awesome. It almost makes me wish I was there….watching from the safety of my car.” She replied.

Hahaha Okay so maybe up close and personal action with transients isn’t your thing—and that’s okay.  But whatever it is you’re comfortable with, go randomly do something nice for someone this weekend.  I promise it will make you feel good. 

But don’t forget the cheese!!  


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 Thanks for reading! ~Tracy


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The Idiot Samaritan

I was running around like a madman last week doing last-minute errands getting ready for a trip to visit my family: gifts for the kids, picking up a few mini-toiletries at Target, etc etc.  Then I stopped into an Asian place for some to-go food to bring home to eat while I packed. So I was sitting there waiting for my order and minding my own business when in walks some dude. He asks the counter girl if she knows if there is a car parts shop nearby.  He was speaking very slowly and deliberately and with an accent.  I couldn’t place the accent- German or Russian maybe…Hebrew? . I’m not so great at identifying accents. Or understanding them. Anyway it was very obvious that English was not his first language. So the girl tells him there’s nothing really around and then she says, “Oh wait!  Why don’t you just go across the street to Target and buy the jumper cables and then return them?”

Now here’s the part where I should have kept my head down, waited for my food and left to go finish packing and get on with my day. It was already close to 9pm and I was exhausted. But nooooooooo dumb old Tracy can’t keep her mouth shut. “Wait, is that all you need? Jumper cables?” I asked the German Russian Hebrew man. “I mean, I have jumper cables. I don’t know how to USE them but I’ve got ‘em and you’re welcome to them.”

Outside I marched to where the Russian’s girlfriend was waiting and I happened to be parked right next to them, so that was handy. I dug the cables out of my trunk and handed them to the guy. He looked at me blankly.

“Um so yeah, so like I said I really don’t know HOW to use these things but umm….here you go,” I said as I held them out to him.

“Um yes, I do not really know how to use?” He said back to me timidly.

“Okay well, that sucks. See ya later, buddy! Good luck!” I said and I took my jumper cables and got back in my car and drove off to pack.

Of course that’s not true. Because I’m a big fat idiot.

“Okay, well….let’s YouTube it!” I exclaimed as I got my phone out and shook my head as I prepared to get electrocuted and/or blow my car up.

No lie, this guy was more useless than I was under the hood. And that’s saying something considering I barely know how to open my hood.  I’m not saying because he is a dude that he should know more than I do about cars- that would be sexist.  I’m saying everyone should.  Guys, girls, monkeys…because I’m that inept.  So it was alarming when I was the one taking the bull by the horns on his dead battery.

Ten minutes later, we had figured out how to prop both hoods up.  I had the YouTube playing on the first “How to jump start a car” video that had come up and was using my flashlight app to identify where the battery was.  Just as I was about to stick the red clamp onto the engine, a man and a woman wearing hairnets approached our vehicles. 

These two nice people had been summoned from in the kitchen to come help the dopes out in the parking lot.  The hair-netted woman started speaking very fast in Spanish to the hair-netted man.  Please don’t ask why the cooks at Pei Wei Asian Diner were Mexican.  This is Southern California and Mexicans can do anything. They are like Superheroes.

The Russian guy pointed at his girlfriend.  The girlfriend started speaking Spanish back to the hairnet lady.  The guy in the hairnet started yelling in Spanish too. The Mexican man was then shouting orders at the Mexican woman who had identified that the Russian’s girlfriend also spoke Spanish.  The three of them went back and forth for a bit. The Russian and I just stuck our thumbs up our asses because we were the only two who didn’t know what was going on.

Through all the shouting, they finally figured out how to hook up the correct clamps to the correct parts of the battery.  The cooks went back inside and I sat outside while the battery charged. As I sat there, alone in the dark, it suddenly occurred to me how utterly ridiculous this whole thing was. I was either being Punk’d or I was about to become an after-school special on why you shouldn’t talk to strangers, especially those you didn’t understand.  (I have a tendency to think I’m always going to get murdered, which is odd for a person who is always stopping to help strangers…)

In the end, their battery wouldn’t charge so the whole debacle was a waste.  But, the moral of the story is….oh, Hell there is no moral. I just like to think there was some nice happy ending twist I could put on the whole thing. Next time someone needs help with their car, I’m handing them the number to AAA before my chow mein gets cold.

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 Thanks for reading! ~Tracy



I Still Just Want to Be in a Book

You guys!!! I don’t know if you heard (if you didn’t, you need to think about getting your ears checked because I’ve been screeching about this pretty loudly….), but I’m going to be in a BOOK! It’s the follow up to  I Just Want to Pee Alone (2012) which is closing in on 30,000 copies sold and is the gold standard among self published anthologies. The sequel is called I STILL Just Want to Pee Alone and it’s full of stories by kick-ass bloggers who contributed stories about motherhood and being a woman.  I wrote a story about a day with my niece, which will be featured alongside the essays of some very talented writers.

Thank you so much to all of you who have supported me and who follow me.  I know sometimes I’m not around to hang out with my friends and you all probably think when I say I’m home “writing” that I’m holed up with a bag of Cheetos watching Law & Order, but as you can see – I’m in a BOOK and so I really have been busy writing!  I’m so excited to see my name in print….I wasn’t really expecting my first “real” publication to involve a toilet seat on the cover but ya know, life’s funny like that sometimes.

The book is due to come out at the end of March, but here’s a sneak peek at the cover and the lineup of all-star contributors.

I STill Just Want to Pee Alone best selling book People I want to punch in the throatContributors:

Jen Mann of People I Want to Punch in the Throat

Bethany Kriger Thies of Bad Parenting Moments

Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying

Alyson Herzig of The Shitastrophy

JD Bailey of Honest Mom

Kathryn Leehane of Foxy Wine Pocket

Suzanne Fleet of Toulouse and Tonic

Nicole Leigh Shaw of Nicole Leigh Shaw, Tyop Aretist

Meredith Spidel of The Mom of the Year

Rebecca Gallagher of Frugalista Blog

Rita Templeton of Fighting off Frumpy

Darcy Perdu of So Then Stories

Christine Burke of Keeper of The Fruit Loops

Amy Flory of Funny Is Family

Robyn Welling of Hollow Tree Ventures

Sarah del Rio of est. 1975

Amanda Mushro of Questionable Choices in Parenting

Jennifer Hicks of Real Life Parenting

Courtney Fitzgerald of Our Small Moments

Lola Lolita of Sammiches and Psych Meds

Victoria Fedden of Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds

Keesha Beckford of Mom’s New Stage

Stacia Ellermeier of Dried-on Milk

Ashley Allen of Big Top Family

Meredith Bland of Pile of Babies

Harmony Hobbs of Modern Mommy Madness

Janel Mills of 649.133: Girls, the Care and Maintenance Of

Kim Forde of The Fordeville Diaries

Stacey Gill of One Funny Motha

Beth Caldwell of The Cult of Perfect Motherhood

Sarah Cottrell of Housewife Plus

Michelle Back of Mommy Back Talk

Tracy Sano of Tracy on the Rocks  <—-THAT’S ME!!!!

Linda Roy of elleroy was here

Michelle Poston Combs of Rubber Shoes In Hell

Susan Lee Maccarelli of Pecked To Death By Chickens

Vicki Lesage of Life, Love, and Sarcasm in Paris

Kris Amels of Why, Mommy?

Mackenzie Cheeseman of Is there cheese in it?

Tracy DeBlois of Orange & Silver

There’s No Crying In Yoga

I hate doing yoga. Well, that’s not entirely true…I really just hate doing things that I’m not good at, and I’m not good at yoga.  So I guess it IS entirely true. If I ever suddenly get good at yoga, I won’t hate it. ‘Cept I know I’m not going to get better unless I do it more. And so the cycle goes. In the meantime: I hate yoga.

My friend Julianne teaches yoga and after a year of her nagging me nicely asking me if I wanted to attend her class, I caved.  I brushed the thick layer of dust off my yoga mat that I had bought for boot camp several years ago and put my yoga face on.  (I don’t know what my yoga face is, but it’s probably one that looks like I am in a lot of pain…)  

 “How hard could it be, it’s a bunch of stretches and stuff.  You got this.” I gave myself a little pep talk before entering the room for my very first class. And the first half of the class was pretty easy to follow along minus the weird names of the poses. “Downhill dogs,” “Turtle touches,” “Shackanag-what?”

About halfway through the class, I really started to sweat. This stretching shit was NOT easy!! Then, we had to do all kinds of balance stuff and things started to heat up.  I am not really what anyone would call “coordinated.”  The expression, “Bull in a chinashop” could have been coined by someone watching me try to be graceful.  I am like Chris Farley on crack at all times- a jerky, jumpy ball of nerves and energy with virtually no control over my motions.

As I attempted not to fall over like a tree being attacked by a chainsaw, yelling “TIMMMMBBEERRRRR” on my way down, I started to really get frustrated.  “This is BULLSHIT!” I thought. “Yoga is all about using your own body weight. This is SO UNFAIR. Of course it’s easy for those skinny broads, because I have way more body weight than they do!!!!” But, I persevered.

The next pose was some body contortion of sorts and I found myself bent over with my head between my legs.  I glanced over at my right ankle. Then my left.  WHAT IN THE ACTUAL  HELL had become of my ankles? I had KANKLES! They were so fat and enormous and awful.  How had I gotten so out of shape? “You are a fat cow, Tracy. Nobody else here has kankles!!”

That’s when I stopped being able to tell the difference between sweat dripping down my face and the tears.  The more I teary I became, the more my nose started to run.  Soon, I was a teary, sweaty, snotty Gumby-resembling disaster, twisted and bent in all kinds of positions that didn’t feel natural.  Screw this.

Into the bathroom I marched, ready to beak up with yoga before it could break up with me. That’s a strategy that hasn’t exactly fared well in the past but there’s a first time for everything. As I splashed water on my face, I glanced at my reflection in the mirror. Big mistake. I was a red, blotchy mixture of cry-baby face and blood pumping from the exhaustion of an out-of-shaper trying to move muscles I had forgotten existed.  I blew my nose and took a deep breath and evaluated the wreck staring back at me.

I took a good hard look and I decided I need to have a tough conversation with myself.

“Tracy, if you want to see change, you have to do something different. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.”

“Yeah, but it’s HARD!!!!” I whined.

“Of course it’s hard.  It’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.  The hard…is what makes it great.”

“I mean are you serious right now? You’re giving me a pep talk using Jimmy Dugan lines from ‘A League of Their Own’?” I snorted.

“Umm, technically you’re giving you a pep talk using Jimmy Dugan lines but whatever, yeah I mean it’s a good movie and you have to admit…he’s got a point.” I said to myself.

Myself was not impressed.

“Pff. If you were going to use a Jimmy Dugan line, I think ‘There’s no CRYING in yoga!!’ Would have been a lot more effective and witty.  You know Tom Hanks gets  that high- pitched voice and he’s all, ‘There’s no CRYING—‘”

“YEAH I GET IT- I’ve seen the movie too…But look at me!! I wasn’t cut out for this! I’m a mess!”

“True. You are a mess. But seriously, you’re not a quitter.  Just go back in there. And hurry up! People are going to think you’re taking a dump in here if you stay much longer…”

“Well, what if I just don’t go back in? Huh? Then nobody will think I’m taking a DUMP- they’ll just think I LEFT! Because that’s what I’m doing. I’m leaving. So there, dummy!”

“Oh yeah, DUMMY- well how you gonna get home? You left your purse with your KEYS in the yoga room….idiot.”

“Ugh. I am an idiot. You’re right, I have to go back in. Crap.”

“HA!! I’m totally right. I’m always right. And you took so long now they’re really going to think you’re taking a dump!”

“I’m not taking a dump! And shauddup because you are me so they’re going to think both of us were taking a dump and….gah! I need to get back in there before someone walks in here and catches me talking to myself and has me locked up!”

And so I went back to the class. And you know what, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, I’ve been back to yoga several times since…and I’m kinda starting to like it even though I still suck at it.  But you know what? I haven’t teared up or left the class mid-way since, so…#babysteps.

So the moral of the story is, start what you finish- it doesn’t matter if the only reason is because you left your car keys where you started. And try things that are hard- change is hard, but you gotta put yourself out there and give it a go, even if it’s uncomfortable. And lastly, don’t talk to yourself out loud in public.  Because it’s weird yo. And not everyone will understand.

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 Thanks for reading! ~Tracy

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Doin’ the No-Pants Dance

I was having a little bit of trouble coming up with new writing topics, so I asked my followers on Facebook for help.  I asked for 3 words- they could be themed or completely unrelated words- and I would commit to using the 3 words with the most “likes” as a writing prompt for my next post. I received some very creative answers…some of them actually frightened me and I prayed they would not get voted in.  In the end, the phrase with the most votes was “hotel room eavesdropping.” Hmmmm.

I know a lot of people have funny stories about the things they have “overheard” (intentionally or not) during a hotel stay.  I wracked my brain for a hotel eavesdropping story.  I’ve come up short.  I think the reason I don’t have any good eavesdropping stories is because I’m usually involved in the shenanigans that are being eavesdropped on.  I am not a very good bystander.  I often find myself in the heart of the action, whether I like it or not. 

One such story involves a hotel stay many years ago.  I was working at the Marriott so I had booked a couple of rooms using my employee discount for a friend’s 21st birthday outing in Boston.  Like many 21st birthday celebrations, our night ended in complete chaos.  A bunch of screechy girls and a few of their boyfriends sprinkled in, had gone out for a night on the town.  We came back to the hotel hot messes, of course.  A trail of pink boa feathers led to our rooms.  Loud laughter and drunken debauchery filled the air.

It’s all a little blurry (not just from the cheap beer but it was also over ten years ago and my old-lady memory can’t recall the all the details)  but at one point, a few of us had wandered into one of the rooms where a girl happened to be with her boyfriend during a bit of a private moment.  Of course, we didn’t have the good sense to leave when we realized what was going on and just made ourselves comfortable through fits of giggles.  A few minutes later, a loud knock was heard at the door.  I walked over and looked through the peephole.  Not surprisingly, Hotel Security was standing on the other side of the door.

“Oh my GAWD!” I hissed.  “The room is under MY name.  Somebody help me. Someone talk to him, I can’t talk to him!” I freaked out. “Please!! One of you talk to him and get this under control.”

“Okay,” said the girl of the interrupted horizontal tango couple who had been barged in on.  “I’ll talk to him. But I don’t have any pants.  Give me your pants.” If sacrificing my pants was what I had to do to get out of dealing with the security man, sacrificing my pants is what I would do. I jerked  my pants off and handed them to my friend, who yanked them up, opened the door, looked at the Security man and said, “I don’t know these people!”, as she pushed past him and ran down the hall, leaving me stunned and pantless.  This wasn’t my room.  I didn’t have any PANTS.  The security man stood there waiting.

So, I wandered over to the door and mustered up as much confidence and self-respect as one could who was answering the door with no pants on in the middle of the night.  “Um. Hi.”

“Miss, is this your hotel room?” he asked stone-faced.

“Um. Yes, well sorta. I mean…this is not the room that I am staying in. Otherwise, you know, I would have put a pair of pants on after mine got hijacked. But technically these rooms are in my name, yes.”

The man glared at me. “We have gotten several noise complaints from these rooms.  I need you guys to keep it down- starting NOW!!”

“Yessir,” I sheepishly apologized and promised I would get everyone under control.

I closed the door behind me, mortified.

“What the HELL! I can’t believe I just had to deal with that- and PANTSLESS! You guys are the worst. Tell everyone to shut up.  I’m going to wait a minute so the security guy leaves and then I’m going to back to my room. Everyone just go to sleep!” I scolded them, furious that I had to take the heat for the group.

I waited a few minutes and then cracked the door open. I stuck my head out and scampered down the hall as fast as I could with my naked booty bobbing behind me. I glanced behind me just quickly enough to see that the security man was still walking the halls, arms folded and watching my half-naked trot back to my room.  Great.

My next shift at work, I got pulled aside by my boss. “Tracy, I don’t know what happened during your stay at the Boston property- and I don’t want to know.  The General Manager got a letter from them and they are NOT happy with the way a Marriott employee represented this hotel.  I suggest you write a letter to their GM, and to ours apologizing- and please make sure that you NEVER allow your guests to act that way in our hotels again.”  I nodded, humiliated. 

“Oh and Tracy?” she smirked.   “Thanks for wearing pants to work today.”


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 Thanks for reading! ~Tracy

A Very Chucky Christmas

My younger brother Jimmy was terrified of Chucky when he was a kid…except at first we didn’t know it was Chucky that he was afraid of because he would just run around the house in petrified hysterics crying, “The doll!! The doll!!”  I don’t know when he watched Child’s Play, but from the minute he did, that scary Chucky doll had scarred him for the rest of his life.

Being the oldest of four and more mature than my siblings, I would often have to intervene during feuds.  My other brother and sister would antagonize him about Chucky and whenever they were mad at him, they’d tell him that Chucky lived in the basement. I would of course come to his rescue.

“Jimmy, calm down. Calm down.  It’s okay, they’re just picking on you.  There’s no such thing as Chucky. He’s not real, Jimmy. The doll isn’t real.  It’s okay,”  I’d soothingly reassure him.

I was always there for him….until he would do something to tick me off and my maturity went out the window and I turned on him.
“Jimmy, if you do that one more time, Chucky’s going to GET YOU!” I’d threaten him.

“But, Tracy…” he quivered, “ You said there’s no such thing as Chucky!!”  Well shoot now I felt bad.  I didn’t want the kid to wind up in extra therapy over ME.

“You’re right Jimmy.  There’s no such thing as Chucky.” I paused… “But Chucky’s cousin?? Oh he’s real.  He’s really real. And he lives behind your BED!!”

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MOM!!!!” he would run off screeching.

To this day I don’t think that my brother Jim will go down to my parents’ basement unescorted, even though it isn’t scary anymore because they’re finished it and because he’s 29 and doesn’t “really” believe in Chucky anymore.  There’s something to be said for a childhood fear of a killer doll that’s haunted you for so long it’s seeped into your bones and become a part of you.

After my mom’s mom passed away, we inherited way too much of my grandmother’s crap- as my dad liked to remind us- and some of that crap involved some very creepy Christmas decorations.  You know how some people like to go with a traditional look with their decorations and some people like more modern and others prefer sophisticated? I have to believe after seeing my grandmother’s collection of Christmas décor that she was going for the “Scare the fuck out of anyone who sees it” look.  Seriously, she had all these really weird-scary decorations- and my mom took them all like we wanted to make creepy-scary OUR tradition or something.

Being that it’s Christmas time as I’m writing this, I asked my dad if he could send me a few pictures of their inherited décor so I could show you what I am talking about.  Since I started blogging, Dad doesn’t ask questions when I ask him for random pictures of things around the house, he just does it.

So when I asked him for a few pictures of the creepy Christmas decorations, I thought he could easily snap a few since they’d be out.  He hesitantly confessed to me that they had become humbugs and since none of the kids lived there anymore, they hadn’t put out anything Christmas-y this year.
“Oh bummer. I really was hoping you could grab a few shots of the creepy Christmas stuff.  I need it for a blog…no big deal. So how was your day?” I texted him.

Dad disappeared for a few minutes and then I got a text back from him “Does this work?”

Christmas decorations

HA! I can’t believe my dad went rifling through all the boxed away Christmas stuff just to get me a picture.  What a good father. “Yeah, Dad. The Mr. and Mrs. Claus are tacky, not scary, but that gnome is perfect!”
Dad tells me the Santa Frog should work well too because….well, it’s a freaking Santa Frog.  Dad was busy trying to convince me that the Santa Frog was plenty scary and then I remembered something very important. Don’t tell MOM! Mom always finds out about my blog antics and I didn’t want him getting in trouble.

Funny Text from Dad

Ooops! Sorry, Dad!
ANYWAY, so back to my story: picture THIS guy but WAY, WAY scarier:

Creepy Christmas Gnome

Mom had inherited from Grandma THE scariest of all, 3 foot tall life-sized Chucky Christmas gnome.  You could plug Chucky in and he’d move from side to side with this evil little grin.   He was most certainly possessed.  Once I laid eyes on him, I knew he must serve a purpose for the better good of torturing Jimmy.

After I moved away to California, I would come home for visits and barely say hello to my parents before racing down to the basement to dig him up and hide him on Jimmy for him to find when he least expected it and scare the living daylights out of him.
Jim would go into the bathroom to take a shower and run out screaming.  My mom would just look at me as I giggled and shake her head. “Not the SHOWER, Tracy?!”

Jimmy would retaliate by sneaking Chucky into my bed as a surprise creepy snuggle partner.

It became a race for who could get to Chucky the fastest.

In the closet, the kitchen pantry, his feet sticking out from under the desk, there Chucky would be. There were no limits to where Chucky would be hiding when I came home for a visit.

The Chucky Doll got passed back and forth and he became less of a scary doll and more of a fun prank between bother and sister.
After one such trip back east, I was unpacking my suitcase when I got home and what I found made me laugh and laugh: Jimmy hadn’t been able to fit the real Chucky into my suitcase but he had found a Mini-version in Grandma’s never-ending supply of weird-ass Christmas trolls and stuffed him in with my belongings.

The years went by and eventually the Chucky doll prank got forgotten.  Last time I went looking for him, Mom said he got ruined in a basement flood or something and that Chucky was finally really dead.
Recently, I came home from work and I noticed my roommate Hannah had done some holiday decorating.  She must have come across the little Mini- Chucky that got sent home with me that one year and put him out on display with all of our beautiful Christmas décor.  She knew it would make me smile to randomly see Chucky siting on our TV stand just like all the times I had bumped into him in the shower, in the pantry and under my covers.
Some people like their traditional Christmas décor. Some people like sophisticated. I like those things too- But there’s a part of me that will always love our “Creepy Christmas” tradition because it reminds me of laughing my ass off with my crazy, silly brother who’s probably sucking his thumb in the corner right now after seeing these Chucky-like images from the basement.

What are YOUR Christmas traditions?

You Smell like Beef and Cheese you don't smell like Santa

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I’m Thankful for Marjorie This Thanksgiving

My younger brother is in the Navy and stationed in a desolate (that’s my word- his are “armpit of America, horrible wasteland”, etc etc you get the picture) part of California.  He was supposed to come down to San Diego to spend his first California Thanksgiving with his big sis and our cousins.

Last night I got a panicked call from him that he can’t leave when he thought he would be able to on Wednesday and he wouldn’t be able to make the train I booked him. He SAID it was because something changed with his schedule but he might just be a big dingbat and didn’t really check when he could leave. Who knows? I wasn’t mad, that runs in the family….(Sheepishly pointing at myself….)

“No problem, Bobby. You’ve come to the right place.  Big sis here misses her planes all the time, I’m sure we can find you a later train.”

With a huge sigh of relief, we hung up and tonight I set about the task of changing the ticket.

I went online. Yep, there was a later time alright. But all the later times were either sold out or marked “UNABLE TO BOOK.”

$^%@^%$!%@^ (That’s me yelling all kinds of sweary words at my computer.)

Now I start freaking out.

Kid’s going to be stuck eating a Subway footlong on Thanksgiving.  I can’t let this happen.  He needs to be with his FAMILY.

So I called up the reservation desk, and I yelled at the automated lady Judy for a while.  “What’s your confirmation number?” She asked.

“D5CA72″ I said slowly.

“Okay. So that’s B like Boy, 5-“

I cut her off, “NO! D!! D like DOG!!”

“I don’t think I understand you,” Captain Obvious Judy tells me. “Let’s try again. Say slowly the first 3 letters or numbers of your reservation.”

In the most articulate way I can, I slllooowwlllly and very carefully pronounced, “DDDddddddEEEEE, 5, C”

“Okay, let’s review. So the first 3 letters and numbers of your reservation are E like Eric-“

“NO!!!” I shouted. This bitch Judy was really starting to piss me off.  I felt like she was messing with me and trying to make me feel like I have a speech impediment.


I think Judy finally realized that we had come to the end of our reservation road together.

“Okay, I don’t think I understand.  I’ll transfer you to a specialist.”

“Gee, thanks Judy.” I grumbled.

Judy promptly put me on hold and I began to pace.  Suddenly the Subway sandwich I had been picturing him eating on Turkey Day had now turned into a bowl of gruel as he sat cowering the corner of his prison cell of a barrack.

Finally after what felt like an eternity, a woman greeted me.  “Hi, I’m Marjorie.  How can I help you?”

“MARJORIE!!” I frantically cried into the phone. “Marjorie, I booked a ticket for my brother to come down here for Thanksgiving and he can’t come on the train I booked because he’s in the Navy and they changed his schedule and I tried to change it online but all the trains say they’re sold out or unable to book and he’s going to be eating gruel and Judy didn’t understand when I was saying D and….” Out of breath, I trailed off. “Marjorie, can you help me?”

Well little Miss Marjorie click clacked away on her computer.

“What’s your reservation number?” She asked me.

“D. Like Dog.” In anticipation I waited for her to ask me if I had said, G or B or C or any other letter in the alphabet.  But she didn’t.

“Uh- huh and then what?” She asked.  I read off the rest of the reservation number to her. My heart was still beating as she pulled up his schedule. What if they were all sold out? What if there were no more seats or what if I had been a cheapskate and bought the kind of ticket that can’t be changed?

“Well, I can go ahead and change that for you! Did you want to book him in Coach or Business class?” She asked.

“Huh? Oh, well I originally booked it on Coach. I don’t care if you tie him to the roof if you just get him down here!” I offered hopefully.

She laughed, “No need for that.  I went ahead and changed that for you. Oh, but I’m sorry I can’t give you the AAA discount you used because it’s less than the 3 day change window.”

“That’s okay!!” I said gleefully. “I don’t need the discount!!”

“Oh wait, did you say he was military?”

“Yes! He’s Navy.”

“Active duty?” She asked.


“Oh well then I’ll go ahead and book it with his military discount. So you’ll see a refund for $4.50 on your credit card.”

“MARJORIE!! Oh THANK YOU, Marjorie!!” I was nearly in tears.

“I’m so glad I could help. I went ahead and emailed you the new itinerary. Is there anything else I can do for you tonight?”

I paused for a minute. “Well. Did you say there was a Business Class seat available? Would you mind looking up the price difference for me?” I asked her.

“Of course, it’s $19 to upgrade the longest leg of his trip. Did you want to do that?’

“For $19, yes, let’s do that!”

“Okay Tracy, so I emailed you the newest itinerary. Is there anything else at all I can do for you?”

“Marjorie, you just saved one Navy fella from getting his neck wrung by his sister.  So let’s review, I nearly had a heart attack but for less than $15 more he got the ticket he needed AND he gets to ride Business Class? So I essentially just rewarded him for putting me through this.  Is that about right?”

Marjorie laughed, “Yes, ma’am – I think you summed it up!”

“Well, Marjorie, I am so happy you could help me and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!”

“You as well, Ms. Sano.”

So there you have it.  I am thankful that my brother doesn’t have to eat porridge in a cold cell alone on Thanksgiving.  Even more so, I am thankful for real live people like Marjorie who are kind and helpful.

Unlike that dumb bitch Judy!

What are YOU thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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