This T-Shirt Is My Jam

I’ve found the perfect top to pair with my daily uniform of yoga pants and/or jeans:


I took a multitude of personality tests during the course of a particular psychology class in college. In my opinion, the best is the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. (Don’t be fooled by all those imitation quizzes on Facebook.) 

Myers-Briggs is based on the work of Carl Jung, who once was a student of Freud. Like all theories of personality, Myers-Briggs has its flaws, but I’ve taken the test once every five years and the results have been pretty consistent since I first took the test in 1997.

I’m an ISTJ, and the initials stand for Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging. I want to expand a little bit on that first word, because I know I’m strange and it goes a long way in explaining my behavior. 

I’ve been diagnosed with generalized anxiety and therapy helped, but I don’t do well while socializing in large groups, usually more than 10 people, even if they’re relatives. I do the “Irish exit” or “Italian exit” or whatever you call it when  you feel the overwhelming need to leave immediately without telling people goodbye.

I’m friends with extroverts and they never fail to amaze me. They are outgoing and great with small talk; they aren’t intimidated by a bunch of strangers. I feel comfortable talking to a stranger if said person is wearing a Phillies shirt. But once someone in a Phillies shirt said the only reason he was wearing it was because it was laundry day and I just said “OK” in a small voice and sweated profusely. And waited for a meteor to strike.

Alcohol helps, but I can’t tolerate it any more, and when I do get tipsy, the day afterward I obsess about what I said to the point of considering a neighborhood-wide apology tour until my husband tells me to please calm down.

The t-shirt above perfectly encapsulates what I feel in most social situations with groups of people. If you’re an introvert, you’re not alone and you can pull an Irish exit on me anytime. I don’t need to be a stop on your apology tour. If you’re an extrovert, I wish I could be more like you and feel more comfortable at parties, happy hours and barbecues. Please just understand it takes a lot of my mental energy to attend those functions, and when I leave it’s not a reflection on you. I just have to restore that energy.

This T-Shirt Is My Jam

My Children Brought the Drama to the Polling Place

I’ve brought my daughter and son with me to vote as far back as I can remember, and I vote in every election I can. After all, a whole lot of people went to a whole lot of trouble to ensure that I can vote. When my son was very young, he got his bs and vs confused, so he thought we were going to a lake instead of fulfilling my civic obligation.

Our polling place is our local firehouse, and the workers are so kind. Last November, they created a computer program for kids to use while the adults are voting; the children get to vote for their favorite cartoon animal. Because my daughter has an away softball game after school that will involve me traveling during rush hour to a town 20 minutes away while constantly feeding weather updates to said daughter (it’s April in Pennsylvania; thunderstorms are pretty common), I decided to bring them with me before school.

Luckily, there was no line, and once my son determined that no one had any candy for him, he made a beeline to the computer with the kids’ game on it, waving off all attempts by the dear poll workers trying to explain how it worked. I finished up my ballot pretty quickly (I have to color in squares like I’m taking a standardized test) and after it was scanned in and I got my confirmation, I noticed there was some action near the kids’ computer. By now my daughter was voting and my son was entertaining young and old with a soulful rendition of “Red Solo Cup.” My daughter loudly complained and my son rejoined with a j’accuse! of his own: he claimed his sister rushed him through his vote, which wasn’t recorded and she merely changed his answers to hers and then submitted her ballot.

I usually get a picture of us outside the polling place, but they weren’t talking to each other at that point and my son decided to steal candy from the people waiting outside the entrance. That started a whole new fight and my lecture on voter intimidation was NOT appreciated by either party. There were tears. I gave out strikes. At least we didn’t miss the bus.

Anyway, I voted, and despite this morning’s shenanigans, I’m always grateful for the right and opportunity to do so.

My Children Brought the Drama to the Polling Place

This Is Not a Drill: Mr. Morton Is Headed to the Disabled List

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I have pretty spectacular resolve when it comes to taking a joke and trying to make it last for an extended period of time, but even I can’t come up with enough verses of a Schoolhouse Rock parody to stretch out the three outs of baseball Mr. Morton pitched last night before he collapsed while running to first on a routine bunt. He had to be carried off the field. (Please don’t make this an argument into bringing the designated hitter into the National League.)

He told the media that his leg felt like it was dead. Either he takes his preparation for the sixth series of Games of Thrones way too seriously or he has a strained left hamstring.

His replacement in the rotation could be Mr. Adam Morgan, who could be a very tempting replacement for Charlie in the Schoolhouse Rock song, but (to me), it was so much funnier with Charlie because his last name is actually Morton.

In other news, the offense erupted last night and the Phils are at .500, better than two teams in their own division. The starting pitching actually has been pretty good overall; I don’t have to reach for any antacids until the bullpen comes in, usually.

I’m not used to being this out of sorts after a Phillies win, to be quite honest.

This Is Not a Drill: Mr. Morton Is Headed to the Disabled List

A Word or Three About Prince

Prince was almost beyond description and yet utterly American. He transcended musical genres and even gender; he was a consummate musician and unabashed showman. He was a (teeny tiny) straight black man from Minnesota who basically took over popular music 30 years ago. More prolific than Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and Madonna–and with a storied vault that promises even more unreleased material–he influenced everyone from R & B artists to mainstream icons. He was ferociously protective about his work in terms of his relationships with producers and record labels, but was unfailingly generous with fellow artists, everyone from Stevie Knicks to Erykah Badu. His style was impossible to pinpoint but unmistakably his own.

What I admire most about Prince was that he didn’t care what people thought of him. He was unrepentant and unremorseful. He changed his name to a symbol; he went public with his battles against his record companies.

Not a lot of his work is online (again, he was pretty adamant about that), but here are some videos I’ve been watching on repeat since I learned about his death.

Here he is showing a bunch of white men, every single one of them a rock legend in his own right, how to shred a guitar on a George Harrison cover:

 

Arguably the best Superbowl halftime show ever, with nothing but a backing band, two backup dancers, electric guitars and a do rag during a torrential downpour:

And finally, celebrating the beauty of all women:

A Word or Three About Prince

The Show Was Wildly Different From the Book and Still Rocked: Syfy’s The Magicians

My favorite winter show definitely is Syfy’s  Magicians.

Big caveat here: I loved the series of books it is based on by Lev Grossman. Having read  and thoroughly enjoyed the books, I wasn’t too perturbed by the first couple episodes of the show, which were bumpy and must have been confusing for people unfamiliar with the plot and characters of the show; it seemed like it was made for fans of the books. But eventually it came into its own, and I never doubt anything from the network that brought me my beloved Battlestar Galactica.

Some quibbles I have:

  • Characters. The only actors who remotely resembled the original characters from the book were Quentin, Eliot and Julia. Penny was supposed to be an unattractive jerk and Alice a small, waiflike creature who wasn’t that pretty. I give you Penny, who immediately catapulted into Online Offal’s Harem of Pretend Boyfriends:

 

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And Alice, whose glasses apparently are supposed to make her ugly:

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Here is the Alice from the Magicians wiki, and how I basically imagined her while reading the books:

 

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  • Plot. The books are about a group of people who get into Brakebills, a prestigious graduate school for magic. The main character, Quentin Coldwater, is a whiny, morose, self-centered guy who has been obsessed with magic from a young age by obsessively reading a series of books about a magical place called Fillory. Long story short, Fillory is real and Quentin and his friends are recruited to help save it from a monster called The Beast. Quentin is in love with lifelong friend Julia, who did not get into Brakebills but ends up helping Quentin and co. on his quest. All of that basically holds true, but there are extra characters on the show, and Julia’s story is told in tandem with Quentin’s (In the series, Julia does not become a major character until the second novel). It works. My biggest gripe is about Brakebills South, which is a branch of the school located in Antarctica run by an antisocial, alcoholic professor. In the books, the friends don’t get here until the third year, and it’s a grueling experience, but they become experts in magic because there literally is nothing else to do in Antarctica. In fact, all of the spells they’re learning and classes they’re taking are glossed over, and the books go into great detail about how grueling everything is, but it’s where Quentin realizes he’s happy.
  • Gratuitous scenes. Penny appears in a private fantasy of Quentin’s, and Alice and Julia are making out, and Quentin’s dressed like Indiana Jones. There’s no point to it, and it’s just one big cliche. The characters swear (eff words are bleeped out), and that was kind of inauthentic as well. However, there was a threesome and a graphic rape scene that the writers included that were essential to the plot. The rape scene was the biggest issue I had with the book, but the threesome was essential to the story, and they treated it well.

These are only quibbles. I thought the cast, even with all the extra characters, were great. I loved the set design and the costumes. I’m behind on Grantchester and Better Call Saul but I always made a point to watch Magicians almost immediately. I don’t know if the writers loved the books as much as I did, but for all the care and attention that went into the final product, I’d argue they were the books’ biggest fans.

In other news, ORPHAN BLACK HAS RETURNED! I’ll write more later in the season.

 

The Show Was Wildly Different From the Book and Still Rocked: Syfy’s The Magicians

Mr. Morton Takes on the Nats (Spoiler: SUCK IT, PAPELBON)

Again, set to the tune of Schoolhouse Rock classic Mister Morton.450203.jpg

It’s another start for Charlie Morton
Mister Morton is who?
A pitcher who was tested by the Washington Nats
So let’s see, how did he do?
Mister Morton walked up to the mound
Mister Morton walked
Mister Morton talked to his catcher
Mister Morton talked
(Hello, Chooch, you look good)
Mister Morton was ready
Mister Morton was

Mister Morton is the pitcher of the ballgame
And he kept it close for us

Mister Morton struck out six
Mister Morton struck
Mister Morton scattered four hits
His ERA didn’t go up
Mister Morton was confident
Mister Morton was

Mister Morton is the pitcher of the ballgame
And he kept it close for us

The game was going smoothly
Though the Phils lost the last two games
And the starting pitchers got hit big time
But this time though
Mister Morton held on
And got a win against Prince Papelbon

Mister Morton stayed until the sixth
Mister Morton stayed
Mister Morton gave up a run
Mister Morton was frayed
Mister Morton was very tired
Mister Morton was

Mister Morton is the pitcher of the ballgame
And he kept it close for us

The inning ended
Neris arrived
The bullpen got right through
(Come on guys- come on!)
The game was finally completed when
Galvis doubled off Papelbon in inning 10

Mister Morton threw 80 pitches
Mister Morton threw
Mister Morton’s fastball was up to 97
And his ERA is under 4
Mister Morton was a happy man
He remembered how to pitch well again

Mister Morton left the ballgame
Mister Morton left
Mister Morton stretched as it went to extra innings
Mister Morton stretched
Mister Morton was tired
Mister Morton was
Until Freddy Galvis came to the plate
The Phils have feasted on Pap since he was traded
Now Mister Morton is determined
And the rest of the Phillies are too

They’re still at home tonight
Let’s see what Thor will do

Mr. Morton Takes on the Nats (Spoiler: SUCK IT, PAPELBON)

I’m the Mayor of Sunburn City

Because I live in Pennsylvania, I get to experience all four seasons. At this time of year, all of those seasons tend to occur in the span of a week. We had about three inches of snow last Saturday, and yesterday, just seven days later, felt like summer by mid-afternoon.

I’m extremely pale and since I had a pre-pre-cancerous mole removed (in three to five years it would have been pre-cancerous) I’ve been religious about sunscreen. I wear SPF 35 on my face every day and I use the same sunscreen as my kids (SPF 50+) elsewhere. I wear sunglasses. I try to be in the shade.  Yesterday in the afternoon, I applied sunscreen before visiting my friend’s house, and was under an umbrella for a few hours, yet still ended up sporting this:

  
I took the photo a full 24 hours after getting the burn and it’s still got a dull ache. I average about one pretty bad burn a year, but it’s usually when I’m on vacation. I’ve gotten burned on cloudy days, in the ocean, in the snow on a sunny day, in the car during road trips, playing softball after work, you name it. 

Here’s hoping this is the last I experience of this foolishness this year.

I’m the Mayor of Sunburn City