Monthly Archives: March 2011

Deep Thoughts About Running, While Running

So running is probably the most meditative thing I do regularly, since yoga takes too much time away from my relatively intense training (running, Spin class, weight lifting) and actual meditating seems kind of intimidating. And also takes too much time without producing some kind of tangible results or allowing me to meet some goal. I have a hard time devoting time to working out if I don’t feel like I’m challenging myself and getting fitter. I’m weirdly competitive with myself.

So anyway, during my long Sunday run yesterday I was thinking. I always think when I run, except for when I’m not thinking at all, just existing, and running, which is so much better anyway, but yesterday I was thinking while running ABOUT running. And the things that are the most amazing about it.

1. Running forces you (or gives you an excuse to) be outside at times of day and in weather conditions you otherwise would never be outside. Or at least I wouldn’t. I like being outside, but come 7 pm on a 40 degree windy March day, most of the sane and non-homeless are inside, drinking beer and watching movies or sports, or at friends’ or families’ houses, or cozy at home with that whole Sunday afternoon feeling. I would be, too, if I weren’t running. Which means I’m in the woods, around a lake, running through my local downtown, through trails, seeing sunsets, crossing normally choked roads that are eerily silent and empty, like something calmly apocalyptic had happened. The world was basically mine.

I’m sure those early morning runners experience this all the time: that rush of being somewhere, some time for all intents and purposes you shouldn’t. It’s like cheating at life. It’s amazing.

2. Running produces deep thoughts. Or solutions to problems you’ve been mulling around in your brain unsuccessfully. It’s like “sleeping on it” except you are “running on it.” Euraka moments, sudden flashes of resolve over some difficult task you had to undertake but didn’t feel capable of, until it suddenly hits you, mid-stride: “Oh, okay. I can do that. I can do this. I can do that.”

Deep thoughts about the world and your place in it. Perspective on the big picture.

3. The state of running, while sometimes making you more aware of reality like in the example above, can also take you into alternate reality. Sometimes I feel like I’ve left my life and entered some Jungian UR-life, where I join all humans who have ever run, for fun, to chase game, to escape predators, to run. I get this feeling in the woods a lot. It’s like I’m doing something I was meant to do, all along, over history and milleniums and species. I run.

I hate when people assume I run because I want to lose weight, or train for a specific race, or make a certain time. I run because of all the reasons above, and so many more. I love running. I run slow and I was not a natural athlete growing up. I taught myself to love to run. I think anyone can.

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Teen Mom 2.2: Warm and Fuzzies. And Jo.

It’s okay: I’m only 9 episodes behind. That’s about the same number of years these girls are both ahead of and behind their peers at this point. Ahead in reproduction, marriage, divorce and financial worries, behind in degrees and proms attended. It’s complicated, all this.

Madwoman in the Basement. “Even though Jo broke up with me, he’s letting me haunt the attic and scare his new young governess.”

So I think Jo officially is the worst ever. Here is an image that demonstrates how he makes the world feel:

It’s kind of sad that he cares how wet from his baby’s bathing suit his jeans get. He doesn’t hate Kailyn yet. But we all know what a season of Teen Mom can bring.

So let’s talk Teen Mom chain retail store employee rebound dating. I’m pretty sure Amber taught us well about the dangers of pedophile Walmart ex-con stockboys. But Kailyn needs to think carefully about some of the things her new date Jordan is saying here:

“I had an enjoyable day…I slept in.” Remember Maci’s ex Ryan? The chronic fatigue syndrome baby daddy? Congenital laziness and basic no-goodness is one of the classic Teen Mom romantic interest pitfalls, Kailyn. Do your homework. While you’re stuck in the basement. You have time.

“I like everything you bring to the table. Buffalo wings. Celery sticks. Omelettes. Children.” Nothing really to be learned from this one. I just thought it was funny.

Really, Jordan wasn’t that bad. But Kailyn’s bar is pretty low, having been set at “doesn’t want me to go away.” Poor Kailyn. That’s the basic message from her mom and Jo alike: go away, now. Preferably somewhere subterranean.

This was funny:

It was the appropriate reaction to that Stuart Smalley statement “we need to work on our communication skills.” So maybe Jo is an astute cultural critic, when all along I thought he was just a fugly loser who lives in a faux-stone facade McMansion.

I’m kind of attracted to this guy because I met him, he talked to me, he was kind of tall, kind of goofy-looking, and kind of dumb. Kind of.

Kailyn’s going to get put into the doghouse. As a residential solution. It’s okay, though. She can pretend she’s living in an eco-friendly tiny house.

Yes, having your live-in (sort of) baby daddy drive you to meet another guy with your baby is interesting. It’s 2011. Families are patchworks of weirdness and stuff, right?

Facebook status strategy. Nice. Kailyn is breaking up with 3 people at once, here. That’s tough.

Why can’t Kailyn live with her mom again?

Chelsea. Uh-oh. There’s trouble in domestic partnership paradise. Chelsea’s roommate is rubbing salt in the early parenting wound: Megan asks “how should I do my hair? Should I arrange it into a side ponytail of pure youthful frittering? Should I take off on an impromptu vacation to Cancun to get braided by the locals since I can, childless and young, do so at will?”

“I won’t talk to him. I will see if he talks to me.” Is that actually possible? Can someone talk to you without you talking to them in return? Is that what the teens call “texting”?

Oh my god, I so don’t care about Chelsea. With her convertible VW bug and rent-free crash pad and tiger stripes, and lame-o drama about balancing homework and tanning, and her sad man-child sociopathic ex-boyfriend. Wait, on second thought, bring back the sad man-child sociopathic ex-boyfriend. That’s drama I can invest in.

Oh, Chelsea’s parents. Methinks you arrived at this silly state of affairs by doing Chelsea’s science projects for her for 10 years, never letting her spend a second in the SUV without a TV screen in front of her face, never letting her go anywhere besides the mall without a helmet on, and generally being the worst example of the over-indulgent yet totally lacking in imparting life skills parents that America proudly trafficks in. Someone call Lenore Skenazy, Tiger Mom, and someone’s old cranky grandma from Germany. They can instruct Chelsea’s dad on the proper response to a whine from your dissipated late-stage teenager to help her with her homework.

Note: the answer is “no,” not what he actually said, which was “okay, dear.”

“But Daddy, how could I ever work at McDonald’s when I’ve become accustomed to a house and late model luxury car of my very own at such a tender age?”

Daddy? [Echoing silence.]

I love how Chelsea’s roommate is acting like Freddy Kreuger, Gaddafi and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed are all about the burst in the door, when they are waiting for Adam to arrive.

Ewww. Grossness.

He seems like he has 0%  interest in his daughter and 1% interest in Chelsea and 67% interest in appearing on television.

Leah. My personal favorite Teen Mom flavor at this point.

No way. There’s no way the sounds I just heard had intelligible meaning in standard American English.

I’m surprised Ali’s leg development didn’t get noticed along the way at all by doctors or even at birth. When my daughter was born, she was a little tight in the hips and they spent hours checking her out and even referred us to a pediatric specialist, who found nothing wrong. But they were very, very cautious, maybe even overly so. I think with twins risks are higher, since they can be more cramped in utero, so I’m surprised it wasn’t caught. Early bracing or physical therapy is key in leg or hip things for babies.

No one noticed anything at any of her pediatrician check-ups? At that point, they are probably there every month or so. Shows how mothers often have the best instincts about things being wrong. I love Leah at this point. She’s like the Maci Maci thought she was. I’d really like to see Corey and Leah together by the end of this season. Hopefully he can get over his whole wounded manhood hurt puppy deal. I know that’s a tall order at age 18 or 19. She can become a nurse, he can be whatever the hell he is, and they can be the cutest little Appalachian family ever. Don’t mountain people get married and do everything really young anyway? [JUST KIDDING about the whole regional prejudices, etc. Not kidding about all the other prejudices, though.]

I’m glad someone is going to the doctor with Leah. Bringing a baby for tests is the worst. C’mon Corey! I was liking you. Stay with me, here.

Why do all these babies get juice in a bottle?

That doctor really, really, really needs to work on his bedside manner, especially when dealing with the parent of an infant with a possible serious health problem. Holy crap. He was bad. Poor baby Ali and Leah.

Jenelle. Saving the best for last.

Isn’t this such a fitting intro image for Jenelle and her life?

Wow. The editors certainly have a lot to say about Jenny.

“I have my own ways of raising my child.” Well, that’s definitely true.

So Jenelle now lives in an active meth lab. Please note the ease and familiarity with which her “friend” speaks about the perils of court-appointed legal representation.

This kid knows from legal representation.

Honestly, this whole legal battle? I feel like this is really not the best use of a legal system. I mean, this should be something they deal with domestically. But maybe I’m some cranky old person who doesn’t really frequent family court. Batty Nana is getting a bit evil, here. “Mwahaha! I have money to pay a lawyer and you, unemployed and homeless 17-year-old troubled girl, don’t! I win!!!” Cackle. Maybe she’s taking the lesson to be learned as far as it needs to go to penetrate Jenelle’s cloudy (stoned) brain?

Is it outdoor poverty clutter or a form of camping?

So no lawyers out there see Jenelle as a worthy pro-bono case?

Jenelle calls Batty Nana’s bluff. Reminds me of Intervention on A&E…”I won’t go to rehab, I won’t go, I won’t…what? You won’t give me money anymore? Okay, I’m there.”

I don’t know if Jenelle will ever be more respectable to anyone, but maybe she could be more respectful.

Glad Batty let her come home.

Let’s all be friends for a minute here. Well, everyone except Jo.


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Teen Mom 2.1: “Nothin’ Worse Can Happen, Ma!” and Other Famous Last Words

I know I’m sinfully late with this recap. But better late than never. Just like Gary Shirley, hitting the gym “hardcore.”

Let’s get right into it.

I’m Leah. Corey is her baby daddy and he is continuing in the esteemed mush mouth footprints (mouth-prints?) of such other Tennessee Teen Mom luminaries as Ryan, Maci’s baby daddy. You won’t be able to understand the bulk of his utterances.

So Leah’s autobiography posits cheating on her teen boyfriend with another teen boy as her main life mistake?

I submit the following photo evidence of a way, way graver mistake.

Aleeah. And her twin is named Ali. Maybe she’s positioning them for a preteen television sitcom career?

Nice, the powers that be at MTV have heard my complaining about impenetrable dialects!

Normally I find it offensive when English speakers are subtitled. Not this time, baby. I want to follow dialogue.

When the hell did Madonna piercings and lower Madonna piercings, or whatever Leah has on her sub-lip-fat area is called, reach into the heartland of America, through the byways of Appalachia and become a routine accessory of our young people? Where was I, grad school, working, and having a baby, that I missed this?

Poor little girls, dressed as weird old lady bathroom Christmas toilet paper doilies.

I feel bad Corey didn’t come to her graduation. I get the sense it means a lot to these people. I didn’t even go to my own graduation, but I’m practicing empathy, here.

Okay, all done.

Something about fried chicken does say “come home to me, baby.” Not even kidding. It’s like page 1 in the Feed Your Wayward Man Cookbook. The Velveeta macaroni and cheese says “stay awhile.”

In Tennesee-man-boy-patois “my bed’s been hurtin’ my back” apparently means “I want to start sleeping in your bed, instead, on a permanent basis,” which in turn means “let’s get back into a monogamous romantic relationship.” I’m learning so much; it’s like the WPA Appalachian folklore recordings all over again.

Come back, Corey! You’re so educational. And cute when you cry.

I’m Kailyn. Now you know there’s no chance she’d give her child a normally-spelled name, since her name has an intrusive /y/.

Oh, wait, she named her son Isaac, complete with biblically orthodox spelling. Maybe Kailyn will surprise me.

Jo’s family’s McMansion is strange. Also strange is Kailyn’s totally unemotional response to their “break-up.”

Okay, so Suzi, the mom, is really out to lunch.

At the diner.

Isaac’s paternal grandmother is the youngest-looking grandma ever. Whether she achieved this through repeated generations of early motherhood or superior genes is not important. What’s important is that she will get to be a great-great-grandma-GILF. A GGGILF if you’re counting.

Okay, it’s really weird that Kailyn is moving to the basement of her baby-in-laws’ house. It’s like the crazy woman in the attic in Victorian literature. Except it’s the baby momma in the basement.

“She did it to herself”? Whoa there Jo. That’s some sick shit right there. He’s quickly turning into the most unlikeable baby daddy of the whole season. And he’s the only baby daddy on the show.

I don’t even like the looks of him. And his lack of facial animation. He alternates between smirks and scowls.

“I’m already going out with a guy I met at Sports Authority” is the new…you know. Dressing alike breeds affection. And absence makes the heart grow fonder, as poor Kailyn’s mama is wont to say. Now go away.

They are like Mao’s Youth Army, having children for the motherland and working the fields sneaker stockrooms.

I’m Chelsea. She’s tan and the one with the “good support system.”

So rather than the bad-family-lost-highway to teen motherhood, she took the scenic, good-family-that-set-no-limits-and-spoiled-me route.

They all end up at the same place, though: the rest stop Roy Rogers known as Teen Mom. (That’s the exit before the US Weekly cover story beauty salon).

Not even an apartment, this girl gets? A nice house? For her baby to have diaper blow-outs in, and for her to chill bachelorette girl-pad style? So teen motherhood is like getting into a good university where your parents pay for nice off-campus housing for you and your buddies?

Why is Chelsea acting like she’s never seen a baby before, much less cared for one? Why is her hair the meeting place of two different ethnicities of hair colors?

So roommate Megan is actually a “roommate”? As in, undercover same-sex domestic life partner? Awesome. And a Teen Mom first. Aubree has two moms. And two e’s in her name. Maybe she can loan one to “Jo.”

I would love to see the make-up and hair product shelves in this house. Between Chelsea and her domestic partner, I bet it rivals Jenelle’s jean shorts collection.

Ahh, time for a little Island World Italian cuisine. And stuff.

Her date is kind of cute, though, if a bit challenged at dating.

Don’t worry, Chelsea, as Dad says, “it’s never too late.” Even at the advanced age of 17. Thanks, Dad!

Look, the diary graphics people made a funny about Chelsea’s Ann-Margret meets raccoon eye makeup application.

What’s up? I’m Jenelle. I can’t really be expected to say anything as un-badass as “hi” or “hello,” can I? I’m Jenelle, mothas, and I know you’ve been waiting for me.

Yes, yes, I have.  Jace’s father dropped off the planet, onto another planet called Juvenile Drug Detention Center-alpha 4987, perhaps? We know it exists because astronomers can measure the gravitational pull it exerts on a nearby star. Scientists speculate its atmosphere is made up of marijuana and methamphetamines, a perfect cocktail for Teen Mom baby daddy lifeforms. When beings from this alternate-reality multi-dimension string world enter our world, with only 4-dimensions, we can only see them as 3-d male models in China.

Back on Earth, Jenelle is a one-time beach bunny who manages a delicate balance of excellent baby-care and social engagements.

Anyway back on Earth Earth, Jace is now 9 months old and ready to begin his free state-offered Early Intervention testing.

I’m glad to see Jenelle is kind of pretty in her own trashtastic way, because she’s my doppelganger, dammit! I feel proud. Somebody get this girl a recording contract. She can be the new Ke$sha.

Somebody explain Batty Nana’s accent to me. She’s North Carolinian, by way of France, but has a wicked Boston accent? Is she Cajun?

Baby Jace is cute. New Baby Leah?

Oh no. Here it comes. The moment a Teen Mom leaves a baby in a bathtub.

Glossed over? Are angry commenters up in arms? Not really? Did I miss something? Is leaving the baby in the bath while you leave the room not the cardinal sin of baby safety it used to be?

Wait, why is Jace in day care? So Jenelle can make YouTube videos while her mom goes to work? And where is this bar that they went to and drank and rode bulls? An underage club with virgin drinks?

So Jenelle’s obviously not a Dr. Sears attachment-mama acolyte, but Batty Nana is making it worse and not letting her do anything so she can complain more. And make more empty threats. 1-2-3-bing-bing!

I knew texting was interfering with a lot of things in our modern culture, like business meetings, junior high classes, and awkward conversations during elevator rides, but I didn’t know it was actually interrupting parenthood. Leave it to Jenelle to be an early adopter.

Jenelle can never pick what Jace wears, because when she does, uh?

He gets a one-shoulder look. Very Ke$sha.

Okay, so why do these babies have like the most minimal bedtime routine ever? They just get plopped in their crib and just go to sleep with no crying, no fuss, no bottles, no stories, no infant protestations? Is that the whole good-baby-by-neglect parenting technique I never mastered? Or am I just unlucky?

It’s crucial the baby gets off to bed early so mom and grandma can have a rip-roaring balls to the wall brawl.

I feel like this is the appropriate time to ask that eternal Teen Mom question, “Where is her dad?”  With “her” referring to Jenelle this time.

Speaking of facial piercings, this next chap (lady?) looks like he (she?) might be sporting some huge versions of those really ugly lip pimples that turn white. You know you know what I mean.


“It’s a police!”  And Jenelle’s about to add an order of protection to her stack of nifty paperwork!

Gotta love the “you must be a bad mom because look how I turned out!” defense. It’s like calling your own son an SOB.

Ciao, bellas. Until next time. Watch out for crabs, and all the rest. And cops, if you’re Jenelle. Or Jenelle’s doppelganger. Gotta run (from a police)!

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