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Mt. Monadnock


Dear Mother Shaffer,

In case you forgot, you haven’t been to the gym in over a year.  Maybe longer.  And no, walking the dog once a week around the neighborhood does not constitute sufficient aerobic exercise. Neither does running up the stairs in your home once a day.

So, the next time you think you can climb a mountain 2 hours to the top and another 2 hours to the bottom at a moment’s notice–think again.

You are out of shape. You can’t suddenly get in shape on the day you decide to hike with the family. In fact, you may very well die if you do it that way. Or wet yourself. Or fall on your face. Or cry like a baby. Did you even read the sign??!!

Remember how your heart felt like it was going to pound out of your chest about 1/2 hour into the 2 hour assent? And your daughter gave you that “what’s your problem?” look because she just couldn’t fathom anyone getting winded that quickly?

Well, I’m writing this note so you don’t forget it. So you’ll get off your ass and go for a run once in a while. Or maybe a gym. Or something. So we don’t have to re-live this embarrassment again.


The smarter, healthier, better version of you

Enbrel injection

Good times

I wrote this a few months ago when I was feeling like shit. And for some reason, I was too proud to post it.

I’m better now and less proud, so I’m posting it to remind myself: this too shall pass.

As I’ve written about before (a couple times actually), I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about nine years ago. I spent the first two of those years in a lot of pain and wondering what the hell was wrong with me.

While various doctors worked to find me an actual diagnosis, I popped a lot of pills that didn’t help my pain very much (nor did they have any narcotic effect, so they weren’t any fun either).  But they did do other weird things to my body–like making my hair fall out. And making me fat.

One doctor thought I had Lupus. Another RA. I picked the RA guy and he started me on Enbrel. Awesome, right? Well..

Enbrel isn’t a pill you can pop. It’s an injectable  medication. Which means, I got to mix my meds, fill a syringe and stab myself with a needle 2x a week. I got to keep a sharps container in my office closet. And I got to walk on an airplane with my needles in my carry on and my doctor’s note in my hand.

It was awesome.

Lucky for me, I actually got better. A lot better. I could walk again. I could chew food again. I could hold a book and I could even sign my name again. It was really awesome.

In the years that have passed since my two years of unbelievable agony, I have still had pain now and then. But nothing like it used to be. I haven’t taken Enbrel in years and my rheumatologist has declared me his first “cure” eva.

The rub?

I still have rheumatoid arthritis.

I’m tired a lot. My joints hurt a lot.

And no one knows.

No one can see it.

And I just deal. I just muddle through. And I get really annoyed and frustrated and even angry  sometimes.

And people probably just think I’m being a bitch. Or that I’m lazy.

But, I’m not really. I’m just in pain and I’m tired and I hurt.

And it sucks.

Kiss my ass

Hello everyone. Yes, apparently I decided to take the summer off from my blog. Can’t say that was by design or anything, but hey, you get what you pay for.

To catch you up on my life, it’s been a busy, yet uneventful summer. My daughter is 10 and is asking for a cell phone. My dog still follows me everywhere and eats the occasional shoe. And my husband longs to booze it up like we did when we were 20, but he mostly ends up having one drink and falling asleep.

All-in-all, our current lame-ass, boring life is a nice change from other times in our lives of late. I realize that every life has challenges and our bad times certainly could have been worse, but still–they totally sucked at the time.

Most recently, late 2007-late 2009 is what I now refer to as the era of Total Crazy Shit Happening. Read the rest of this entry »

How are you not getting this?

After 37 years of life on this earth, it occurred to me that others may not get what I’m thinking. I spend a lot of time in my head and I’m always surprised to learn that you all aren’t in there with me.  Seriously, you seem so real…

Here’s a handy guide on how to read my thoughts:

1. Silence: This is my normal mode of being. If I’m quiet, I am thinking about things to say, but you aren’t responding to this, so I’m letting them go. Or, we are having a great conversation in my head. Keep it up.

2. Stabbing you with my eyes. This may accompany some eye-rolling, but you have to be very observant to catch it. Either way, I pretty much want to hurt you. Stop doing whatever you are doing or face my wrath.

3. The walk away. This usually means, your conversation sucks and I’m resisting the urge to vomit on you. Or I had to go pee.

4. Look of disbelief. This is my, “you better check yourself because I can’t friggin’ believe you can’t hear what I’m thinking right now” look. I’m really pissed off and you need to search yourself for clues as to why that is and how you can fix it.

5. The eye twitch. You’ve touched upon a subject that makes me very uncomfortable. It is advisable you move on or you’ll lose me.

6. The snicker. You funny. You may continue to amuse me.

7. Listening. I find you interesting. Keep talking.

8. The look away. I’m resisting the urge to assert my superiority. Think about what you are saying and choose your next words carefully. Now is a good time to ask for my expert opinion.

9. Come hither. If you aren’t feelin’ it, you ain’t gettin’ it. Now whose fault is that?

10. Sleeping. Many of my best conversations happen while I am asleep. If you visit me in my sleep, make sure you are amazing so that I respect and admire you when I wake up.

VIPs demand respect

OK, I know I am a terrible, terrible person for not posting more often, but you must know that as is the case with all terrible people, I am also a very important person.  And the responsibility that comes with being important means that I can’t possibly be expected to produce an endless amount of material for you to read whenever you want without a great deal of whining and complaining first.

I do think about all of you often–my forever faithful–and I feel your withdrawal symptoms as if they were my own. But apparently, I don’t care enough to actually write more posts, so your just going to have to stop judging me and get used to  it.

It’s nothing personal. I’m just such a big VIP now, that I run a little behind now and then.

Yeah, that’s right. I said VIP.  As in: Very Incompetent Plagiarizer.

Sadly, I have to write my own shit.

And it kind of sucks sometimes, because it takes time. To think and to write. It takes a lot of freakin time. PLUS I do other stuff other than write. My days are an endless barrage of to-dos.  Obligations. Affairs. People to piss off. Family to let down. It never ends.

So, you can see being a VIP is tough.  I can’t just spit out new posts every day. I need time. Space. Peace.

And that’s never going to happen. So here we are. An endless supply of sporadic posts in our future.

Happy Valentines' Day--JERK!

I apologize in advance to those who are shocked by this news. I know it’s probably considered more appropriate to keep this type of information to yourself for a awhile before telling friends, family, co-workers and complete strangers. But we live in a time where nothing is sacred. Everyone knows everyone’s business. So, I figure. Let’s just get it out there and live with the consequences.

I didn’t want it to end this way–given our lengthy history. We met in college–nearly 20 years ago. I was naive and eager to find a partner who was willing to accept me for me–despite my humble beginnings as a waitress.

We had what I thought was a strong mutual respect for each other in the beginning. And I stuck with him through thick and thin. I trusted him despite signs that his ego was growing out of control and I had ignored his many indiscretions. Read the rest of this entry »

Back off, mister. I'm not in the mood.

When I started writing this blog, I didn’t think it through all that much. I mean, I had read a bunch of blogs, I had some post ideas and I knew a few social media tricks to generate some traffic to my blog. And, yeah, I like to write.

So, I jumped.

But after doing it for more than a year, I sometimes find myself crumbling under the pressure–the pressure to put out. And frankly, I’m not always in the mood. Read the rest of this entry »

Seeing is Believing

I wondered if this would be the year that Santa would stop bringing us presents–so I could finally get the credit I deserve for all my hard work and thoughtfulness–but, so far, the lie lives on.

I’m not sure if I should be impressed with my ability to perpetuate the ridiculous lie with total seriousness. Or disappointed that my daughter is so gullible that she’ll believe anything I tell her.

Let’s go with my incredible lying skills.  I’ve always been an impressive liar. Deny. Deny. Deny. Do it with conviction. Cover your tracks.

When it comes to Christmas though, I go above and beyond my normal untruthfulness to what some might categorize as full-blown paranoia. You be the judge: Read the rest of this entry »

For those of you who don’t know: I got a job!

No wait. That’s not right.

I got THE job! Read the rest of this entry »

What  am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? I’ll give you a hint–it’s not my family or friends. Or freedom or liberty. It’s the low points in life that really define who we are and I’m thankful for them…now.

I’m thankful for:

1. Adopting a puppy when I was still a sophomore in college and living in an on-campus  dorm. Otherwise, I never would have met my husband.

2. Getting fired from my waitressing job and going on vacation to Mexico the same week with less than $50 in my pocket. The first time I realized that I could face adversity head on and still have a good time.

3. Knowing what it’s like to live in chronic, daily, debilitating pain. Without it, I may have missed what is really important in my life.

4. Losing my job and my health insurance. I might have never fully understood what a life saver unemployment is OR one of the major problems with our health care system.

5. Starting this blog as a constructive outlet for my frustration with the world around me. Without it, I may have had to kill several annoying people in my life. Read the rest of this entry »