Patchwork of Crazy

I just have so many thoughts right now that I don’t even know what to say. There are just so many things right now. All of the things. And most of them will not be shared here.

Have you guys been on Hinge? It seems kind of extra. And I feel like their algorithm may be broken. Like, how could they think I would possibly hit that? Multiply that by about a thousand and that has been my experience. I had to make age a deal breaker because I was getting boys in their 20s all in my Likes; children really. I may be old but I guess I still have options.

Then I have an ex sliding into my DMs like…

Photo by Lukasz Dziegel on

…and I literally cannot even. Just no. I mean maybe. But no.

Yesterday morning, I had a dream that I designed a pair of Louis Vuitton boots. UGLY Louis Vuitton boots (which would obviously never happen in real life). They were a patchwork of the OG LV monogram and the new styles with the metal LV embellishment in kind of a Wellington style. Hideous! Forget the websites that tell you what it means if you dream about X. It means LV has been blowing up my Insta with some new styles and maybe I’m a little conflicted about them.

Last night, I spent hours searching old newspapers to figure out why one of my 2nd great-grandfathers died in an insane asylum and the answer was much sadder and more mundane than I expected. He had a heatstroke incident that caused brain damage. That’s it. He was only about 26 years old, had just built a nice new house, acquired a new milk wagon, had a wife and kids, and BLAM. He was institutionalized for the rest of his life.

I’ve begun the General Society of Mayflower Descendants application process. The first seven generations have already been proven so I just have to link up to the middle. This is a priority for me right now because I need to have my membership squared away for 2020, which will be the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing. My plan is to go to Massachusetts next year for the celebrations so I can party like it’s 1620. Just kidding. If I tried to do that, I would 100% be executed for witchcraft.

Also, I’m dress shopping for DAR’s Continental Congress in DC this summer. Do you know how difficult it is to shop for floor length gowns when you’re 61 inches tall? Most of these dresses are at least 61 inches long. Can you imagine me telling a seamstress she needs to cut off a foot of fabric? Don’t even get me started on the white gloves. I know my grandmother tried to teach me some manners but it obviously didn’t take.

It has just been a whole basketful of crazy lately. Mercury is supposed to be in retrograde until today so let’s put away the clown car and stuff the crazy back in the box.

5 Reasons Your Diet is Stupid

Diets are stupid and destined to fail. All of them. Yes, yours too.

I don’t want to get too science-y and should tell you upfront I’m not an expert and am not giving advice (if that is illegal without a license in your jurisdiction). I was a sports medicine major a million years ago before I dropped out of college and I did learn a few things about nutrition but I forgot all of those things. This is all from decades of experience. So here’s why your diet is stupid:

  1. You keep denying math. Math is real, people. It rules the world and it ruins your diet. I read an article somewhere the other day about how keeping track of calories consumed vs calories burned is irrelevant. Bullshit. Your mom is irrelevant. Use a calorie counting app religiously and you will see results. I like MyFitnessPal the best and have been using it for years. In addition to calories, it helps you track your nutrition so you can avoid empty calories that make you want to gnaw off your own arm.
  2. You keep depriving yourself. Stop doing that. You’re making yourself miserable and that makes all the people around you miserable. I refuse to give up the things I love. I drink beer nearly every day (not that light garbage either) and I eat ice cream regularly. I pay close attention to portion sizes, though, and spent about $10 on a digital kitchen scale that is worth its weight in gold. Get one with a tare weight button that zeroes out so you can keep adding ingredients to your container.
  3. You keep skipping meals/snacks. I eat a Pure Protein bar nearly every morning that contains 19 grams of protein. It’s the only way I can make it until lunch without turning into Aretha Franklin. Then I have a snack (usually a Luna Bar) at that mid-afternoon hangry time. That will keep my blood sugar level until dinner so I don’t overeat. Then, depending on whether I chose to have one beer or two, I may have a snack after dinner. It could be ice cream or chips or a cookie. I don’t go over my daily calorie budget, though, (see #1) unless it’s a designated cheat day.
  4. You keep thinking this is only temporary. We’ve all done that thing where we hit our goal weight and then go crazy. That’s why we have jeans in five different sizes. It’s expensive; knock it off. Once you hit your goal weight, you have to maintain it. If you eat Taco Bell for a week when your parents visit (don’t ask), get right back into your routine when they leave. Don’t think if you blow your calorie budget for a holiday weekend that everything is ruined so you should just eat all of the things. That would be like splurging on a Louis Vuitton purse and then deciding to buy a car because you ruined your finances.
  5. You keep being unrealistic. Don’t set some unhealthy and unattainable goal. You don’t want your breath to stink or your hair to fall out. You certainly don’t want to pass out at the dog park because you aren’t giving your body enough fuel. Focus on slow, steady, and healthy progress. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has an incredible calculator that I have used many times to set my daily calorie budgets based on whether I need to reach a goal weight or maintain my current weight.

Stop snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory by being a dumbass. Stop paying attention to whether eggs are great for you or will kill you tomorrow because some study said something. Channel your inner grandmother and eat a balanced diet. And always remember that beer has food value but food has no beer value. Unless it’s that bitter IPA crap that I’m convinced is a prank on hipsters who think they’re drinking something really amazing that no one else has discovered but the reason no one else has discovered it is because it tastes like a bag of ass.

Showers with Spiders

I generally have nothing against spiders. Unless we’re talking about the dangerous varieties, I am fine with gently relocating them outdoors where they belong so they can get on with their lives. Anyone who has done this, however, knows it can be a time consuming endeavor. It apparently isn’t their nature to be cooperative.

The first spider I saw in my master bathroom this morning was up high on the wall above the shower. I don’t wake up early enough to deal with these types of things before work so I decided it would just have to stay there for three reasons:

  1. It wasn’t moving.
  2. I’m a borderline midget.
  3. I wasn’t messing with a step stool before coffee.

I saw the second spider at eye-level on a different wall while brushing teeth. I considered letting it go but it was behaving erratically so I killed and flushed it. I couldn’t risk the two of them channeling their inner coyotes and circling me for the kill. It was self-defense.

I decided to be brave and just keep an eye on the shower spider because I really did have to get ready for work. Once I entered the shower, he tried to go to the ceiling but was dangling from one leg like he was playing Die Hard and not very well, I might add. He returned to the wall and kept losing his step. I wondered if he was injured and our inevitable confrontation would be a mercy killing.

I barely took my eyes off him and then he disappeared before my very eyes. I checked my hair but felt nothing unusual and thought he ended up on the ledge at the top of the shower surround. I finally saw him on the shelf by my hair mask. He then moved to the shower wall and began moving toward me.

At this point, I was washing my hair and ended up with shampoo in my eye because I couldn’t very well stop watching the little bastard. He backtracked and then fell onto the floor of the shower. I quickly rinsed off and decided I would dry off, grab some toilet paper, and end this little dance. Unfortunately, I pulled the towel bar off the wall and it came crashing onto the floor of my shower. So then I had a spider and a towel bar keeping me company. He seemed too stunned to move.

Shower spider’s life was then ended without further incident. There are a few key takeaways here but the important thing is bug spray exists and is currently being stored in my garage. Jesus Christ…if my house had stairs, I would be dead by now.

Pregnant and on Probation in 1922: Part III

Parts I and II of this series can be found here and here.

The probation officer in Wichita who signed the Final Order For Dependent And Neglected Child which removed my grandfather from his mother’s custody appears to have been a man named Treadwell Cooper Coffman. In addition to being a probation officer, he was appointed Superintendent of the Christian Service League covering Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas effective August 1, 1922. Coffman continued his role as a probation officer while working for CSL and successfully petitioned the court to remove my grandfather from his mother’s custody just four months later. CSL then assumed responsibility for finding a suitable home for my grandfather, who was two months old at the time.

Coffman’s background was in education and law. He was admitted to the Kansas State Bar in 1892 and a large chunk of his career was spent in Southwest Kansas, which was my backyard. He was Superintendent of Public Schools in Garden City at one point and then held the same position for Clay County, Kansas public schools. He was also elected Haskell County Attorney at one point but resigned that position to return to education. After moving to Wichita, he was appointed Juvenile Officer in December of 1920.

Coffman apparently took his job quite seriously quite quickly because the January 23, 1921 edition of the Wichita Beacon reported he was “keeping four delinquent boys at his own home for want of a better place to send them.” Coffman then began aggressively advocating for an approximately 50-acre farm on which boys could become rehabilitated. In February of 1921, Sedgwick County Commissioners formally approved his home to be used indefinitely to house delinquent boys and I found several newspaper records of he and his wife being compensated for their efforts. This was all while Coffman was actively employed as a probation officer.

Am I the only one seeing a conflict of interests? Remember he was also appointed Superintendent of the CSL in August of 1922. So by that point, he was a probation officer operating his own home for delinquents AND he oversaw an adoption agency. Maybe nothing untoward was occurring but the League of Women Voters took issue with the arrangement and organized a letter writing campaign to encourage his resignation from at least one post.

In the November 16, 1922 edition of the Wichita Daily Eagle, Frances Graves of the League of Women Voters accused Coffman of the following misconduct: “He placed a young girl, ward of the Christian Service League in the detention home for delinquent boys. He placed three boys, wards of the Christian Service League in the detention home for delinquent boys. These three boys had not been adjudged delinquent by the juvenile court and indeed had not at any time been accused of delinquency.” Coffman was quoted in the same story as stating he “was ready and willing to resign his position as superintendent of the Christian Service League. He declared he was holding the job against his own wishes.” Wait, what? The guy was only three months into the job. I did more searching and found he had actually tendered his resignation from that position back in October of 1922 and then told CSL he really meant it in January of 1923, at which time a new superintendent was appointed.

Coffman was still listed as a probation officer in June of 1923 but that is the last mention of him in Wichita newspapers after a couple years of him being quoted on a very regular basis. The Emporia Weekly Gazette reported on March 11, 1926 that he had continued his work as a probation officer and housed delinquent boys in his home until his death the prior month. Cooper died February 26, 1926 at age 57.

I found no other mention of a young girl being temporarily placed in the home for delinquent boys so it is unclear whether that allegation had merit. I am also unclear about how my great-grandmother came to meet Mr. Coffman. I have located no newspaper accounts of her being arrested. Due to his multiple levels of involvement with law enforcement and the adoption agency, I’m not even sure if he was her probation officer. That certainly makes me wonder why the paperwork listed that occupation if he was not acting in that capacity in this instance. Every answer I find raises a dozen more questions.

Dog Mom AF

Dogs are vile and disgusting creatures, not to mention expensive. I refuse to consider the tens of thousands of dollars I have spent on vet bills due to accidents, illnesses, and escalated arguments because I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. My mother has accused me of being a helicopter parent. Frankly, I don’t even know how to respond to that. Like, should I be proud or insulted? My dogs have quite a bit of freedom to do their own thing within the suburban confines but I do check for eye boogers on the regular.

A while back, I was in my master bathroom doing things one does in ones master bathroom when I heard a God-awful yelp. I have never felt so helpless in my entire life. I mean, normally when someone yelps I can immediately leap into action and help them! But there I was living out my first-world nightmare.

By the time I was able to investigate, everyone was fine. I inspected every paw, every dewclaw, every ear, and every rear. I checked the entire house for blood. Nothing was amiss. I checked the backyard and found the same. Both dogs acted like that wail from the bowels of Hell had not occurred and I was obviously a deranged lunatic. I demanded to know how they could be so calm when my heart rate was at emergency status. Instead of answers, I received kisses…which are basically the same thing.

Pregnant and on Probation in 1922: Part II

Part I of this series can be found here.

It’s weird to write about failure but here we are, in a way. As of today, I have no idea why my great-grandmother was on probation in 1922. I don’t know how she met my great-grandfather or why she lost track of him. What I do know is that Ancestry has been pestering the hell out of me about my DNA matches.

I have so many DNA matches, Ancestry won’t even tell me how many I have. Is it like that for everyone? All it will tell me is that I have 1,000+ matches who are fourth cousins or closer. I’m an only child so that kind of blows my mind. What’s even crazier is I have close matches who are related to me through four different relatives who are not related to one another. That’s another story for another day.

Anyway, Ancestry kept insisting this woman named Ancke Unrauen from Prussia was my fifth great-grandmother. I’m fairly certain I have identified my great-grandmother’s family but I’m not exactly sure which male line she is from because everyone gave their kids the same damned names for several generations. I had made some assumptions but I didn’t want to waste too much time on a theory.

One day, I decided to go full-on CSI and link some DNA matches to my family tree. Ancestry told me I have 12 DNA matches linking me to Ancke from four separate males lines. I spent an entire day piecing that all together. We’re talking about fifth cousins thrice removed! I don’t even know what that means at this point except that I’m related to Mennonite farmers and I now have 1,550 people in my family tree.

I believe I have identified some second cousins who live about two hours from my hometown. I have their names, addresses, and phone numbers. But how does one actually go there? Do you send a letter? I’ve left posts on the relevant genealogy message boards with probing questions and have received no replies so far. I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid family so I have no idea how this is supposed to work.

There’s a small town in Kansas with a museum that probably holds quite a few answers. I suppose I could call them and start asking awkward questions. It’s strange though; everyone involved in this has died so why is it even awkward for me? I think the whole thing must have been scandalous given the time period so will the current Mennonite community even be willing to discuss it? I once did skip-tracing for a collection agency so it’s not like I’ve never had someone hang up on me. This shouldn’t be a big deal.

I feel like I should start soliciting volunteers. I’ll give you GPS coordinates and a list of questions. Someone can take the churches. Someone can take the museum. Someone can call the cousins. I’ll drink two beers and call you in the morning. Who’s in?!?

All you have to do is not be crazy

Back in the MySpace days, I blogged about News & Politics nearly nonstop. I mean, I took a break each week for Buddha Mama’s Sex Blog Thursday topic but mostly, I was all about whatever crazy ish was in the news. Remember “First!” and “Balls!” So stupid.

I am a Twitter addict. Yes, it’s a cesspool. Yes, it’s unhealthy. But I freaking love it. I love watching people argue over boring policy positions in one tweet and then post adorable dog pics in the next. I love how many people have Twitter parents (@benshapiro / @neontaster and @senatorshoshana / @RadioFreeTom are my favorites). I especially love how journalists and politicians access their audiences directly…yes, even THAT one.

If you use Twitter, you are familiar with the quote retweet. A common quote is “All they have to do is not be crazy.” It’s kind of like “You only had one job.” The obvious problem with all of this is crazy sells. People on the Left and the Right are so damned eager to grab a rising star and use them as the face of their movement. That reminds me of another common Twitter quote: “Grifters gonna grift.”

When people start attracting attention, that flips the crazy switch. They quickly realize they have to give their audience MOAR MUHTERIAL or people will tune out. The Left shifts farther to the left and the Right shifts farther to the right. Those of us who just keep saying the things we have always said are left wondering WTF just happened.

I’m old enough to remember when Republicans and Democrats mostly wanted the same things and their disagreement was generally about the best way to achieve those things. Bipartisanship was to be celebrated rather than condemned. Now, the opposition is the ENEMY WHICH MUST BE DEFEATED. Just like “First!” or “Balls!”, it’s all very stupid. It’s also why I’ve tried to avoid writing about it because can’t we just have one thing that isn’t political?

I’ve had enough of the crazy but I have a feeling we’re just getting started. What’s next? A cage match rather than a roll call vote? A Bachelor-style show for Senate elections in which they compete each week for a yellow rose to symbolize freedom? Senate rejects then turn around and have their own show to run for the House? My brain hurts.

Can we talk for a minute about unenumerated rights and that raw, hot originalism? I’m ready for some boring policy documents. Who’s with me?

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