.How to be your best Self.

People think being the best you is this long, epic journey of self-discovery, hard work and healthy living. But really, it is as easy as forming key habits and really sticking to them. Here are a few tips on how to be the best you while exerting little to no effort. Just follow them with a grain of sarcasm, obviously.

A healthy start.

I know you love to wake up at 8 a.m., but exercise is more important than you realize. A quick workout in the morning will make all the difference. 4.20 a.m. won’t feel as early as you think. Knock that back ten minutes (what’s ten minutes?) to meditate and you will be shocked at the sense of calm that pervades your day. Also, it couldn’t hurt to do a little journaling. People so underestimate the value of taking 15 minutes to write down their intentions for the day. If you really want to set yourself up for success, give yourself another 30 to make a quick smoothie (I know the easiest recipe) and toss some stuff into a crockpot for dinner later. I swear it’s so simple you could do it with your eyes closed. So maybe make it 3 a.m. It will feel like nothing.

A productive day.

Keeping your energy up at work is really as easy as standing up to stretch for a couple of minutes once or twice per hour. It’s second nature to me now, you should try it! You’ll feel your blood flowing more easily right away. It’s also good to bring little baggies of nuts and chopped-up veggies to snack on. This only takes five minutes of prep in the morning – forgot to mention that one! But trust, with emails pouring in all day, the last thing you’ll want to feel is sluggish. By the way – the key to keeping your inbox in order is to literally just deal with every email as it comes. Don’t let them pile up! I know you get hundreds a day, but each one realistically only takes a minute or two. That’s only around 400 minutes of emailing if you think about it.

Your lunch break is a great time to tackle personal to-dos, like writing thank-you notes for anything nice anyone does for you. Or prepare handwritten, crafted birthday invitations for your child’s party. They are such a quick, thoughtful way to prove you’re a nice person with your shit together, you know? It’s also a great time to go for a walk. Stretch those legs, you deserve it! While you’re at it, maybe give your mom or distant relative a buzz. Keeping in touch with those you care about is probably more important than anything. Nurture those relationships. It’s as easy as picking up the phone whenever you have a free two minutes.

A rejuvenating evening.

On your way home, pop by the grocery store for more smoothie, snack and crockpot ingredients. You should keep your fridge stocked at all times. When you finally get home, give yourself time to unwind. How good does that crockpot smell? Scarf this down (but really chew and taste the food — slowing down while eating is key to feeling satisfied) because you’re going to want to throw in your laundry before it gets too late. Those gym clothes don’t wash themselves, am I right? It only takes a few minutes spread out across two hours. While that’s running, give your bathroom a quick wipe down. Clean your bathroom every day and you never have to clean your bathroom, right? It only takes 10 minutes and you’ll thank yourself later. So easy.

Nighttime is for you. Practice a hobby or learn a new skill! Life is not all about work. All it takes is a little dedication – 30 minutes a day – and you’ll be doing your future self an unbelievable service. Fulfilment is about discipline and scheduling if you think about it. Then hop in the shower and treat yourself to a hair mask. Do this once a day and your hair will never be the same, not kidding. While that sits (it should take an hour, but you don’t have to do a thing, it does all the work for you!), plan your outfit for tomorrow. It’s so much easier to make these kinds of decisions at night. It will really only take you ten minutes, I swear, and your morning tomorrow will be a real breeze.

After you’ve grocery shopped, quickly cleaned, popped in some laundry, jumped in the shower, thrown on a face and hair mask, taken a minute to plan your outfit, practised your hobby for a bit, done some easy meal planning for tomorrow, meditated again, journaled about gratitude and full-body dry brushing, make sure to power down your phone and computer. No screens before bed! This is a no-brainer. Make sure you’ve done absolutely everything before you do so. All this should allow you to hit the hay around 1 a.m., which gives you a solid three hours of sleep until you have to wake up. You’re going to feel amazing! I promise.

.It is What it is.

“I’ve learned to value failed conversations, missed connections, confusions. What remains is what’s unsaid, what’s underneath. Understanding on another level of being.” – Anna Kamienska

It is what it is. This statement could simply define our collective malaise. Lately, I have been catching this phrase uttered repeatedly. Another pandemic lockdown: it is what it is. A breakup: it is what it is. A missed deadline: it is what it is. No sex: it is what it is. Lost keys: it is what it is. The 3-G rule at work: it is what it is. New Corona rules and regulations: it is what it f***ing is.

Sometimes there is an optimism to these words. It is what it is, and I can find a way to tolerate the circumstances and work with what it is. Then there is a shrug of resignation, it is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it, nothing to work with. Both lenses hold a truth, but where the former offers acceptance, the latter brings an abandonment of hope.

Perhaps, I abandon hope as a way to protect myself. When things are difficult, uncertain, and weird, my responses get hard, rigid, and defensive. So, if it is what it is, how do I “dance” with what is?

I begin to find something to value in the circumstance, in this mess, I can sometimes find something miraculous. If I cannot find something to value, maybe I am stuck in some weird mindset. Maybe I am trying to change things, trying to dissect things, trying to win at things. But in the trying, I often muddy the water that is best cleared by leaving things alone.

To me, it becomes a dance between taking responsibility for what I can control and find value within it, and leaving alone what I cannot. That is perhaps the difficulty. I keep splashing about because I don’t want to lose something, be it an expectation, be it an opportunity, be it hope. But finding a way to be okay with whatever it is becomes about accepting loss.

Are you still with me? I hope you are.

One of my favourite poems is One Art by Elizabeth Bishop, a prompt to ‘lose something every day.’ This is a practice because I don’t want to lose things. I want to hold on tight. I don’t want to accept it is what it is, because then I lose what it is not. But as Bishop opens the poem, ‘The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.’

“And so it goes….” – Kurt Vonnegut

Sometimes how it goes feels like a deluge of loss. Lost keys, lost love, lost experiences. But perhaps that deluge is leading us to something and helping to soften us into the dance. As Anne Lamott wrote, “When a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born—and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.”

Sometimes, this distraction allows me to step back and see what THIS really is. To uncover what I might have been long ignoring, to extract the reality from a fantasy, to hold the good bits and the not so good bits. Sometimes, this distraction is teaching me to hold things lightly. To learn a bit, to laugh a bit, to let it go. Sometimes, this distraction is showing me what I really need.

Sometimes, this distraction is teaching me to brace uncertainty with love, rather than resistance. Then I tell myself that it all may look like a wreck, but I go at it like it is a new opportunity, a new challenge. And I bring love to it all. Any disaster I can survive is an improvement in my character, my stature, and my life.

“Every storm runs out of rain” – Maya Angelou

I don’t know when I will meet another storm. That is the basic truth of life. It is unfair and it doesn’t make sense. But if I can bring love to the moment, maybe in time I won’t mind so much, or at least find myself caring about certain issues less. I just don’t mind that much anymore what happens and this way what is can be what it is. From my side, there is no resistance (doesn’t get me anywhere anyway), aversion, gasping or chasing around in a spinning wheel. This does not mean I become passive. It simply is what it is, this is what I need, I don’t mind what happens are all forms of acceptance that allows me to greet my wants, goals and desires and work toward them, without worrying about how something will turn out.

So, to sum this all up. You worry and resist, you grasp, but it will be what it will be whether you worry, resist or grasp. You can sometimes lower your expectations to ensure you aren’t hurt by whatever it will be, but you can still encounter hurt. It is what it is. Whether I lose something, whether someone is disappointed in us, whether something turns out differently from how I expected. All I can do is keep going with what is, finding the love in it, accepting and soften. So my sharp edges don’t wind up being death by a thousand cuts but I can mould to what is, instead. After all, it is what it is, and it is also this. The surprise phone call from a friend, this memory, this person who loves you, your kid(s) who love(s) you, this smile, this idea. Just look around at everything beautiful in your day. Take it all with you – what it is, what it is not, what you have lost, what you have gained, what you are waiting for, what has arrived. And then just dance with it all.

Mom, how did I get into your belly?

The other day, I was putting my almost eight-year-old son to bed, when he turned to me and asked…

“When I grow up, will I have a chin?!

At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about, but then I realized that he knows many men with beards, so he thought his chin would disappear. I explained that he could have a beard or no beard, and either way, he would still have a chin.

I thought my work there was done and was about to head to the living room to read, but his follow-up question was…

“How did I get in your belly?”

Big questions, little man!

Back when I was seven and heard on the school bus about the shocking mechanics of baby-making, I hurried home to ask my mom, and I remember sitting in our cozy kitchen as she told us matter-of-factly how it all worked. And gave us books about this topic to read.

So, I looked around for a few books for Joel, and here’s what I found…

The Baby Tree. This is a beautiful, charming book about a little boy, whose parents reveal over breakfast that they’re expecting another baby. The boy wonders where the baby will come from, and proceeds to ask his babysitter, teacher, mail carrier, and grandpa. They all give him different answers, and when he finally asks his parents, they tell him directly and truthfully (and somewhat abstractly:). It’s really sweet, and I love that the final page of the book addresses more in-depth questions — about adoption, same-sex parents, etc.

Ages 4-8: It’s Not the Stork!
Ages 8-10: It’s So Amazing!
Ages 10 and up: It’s Perfectly Normal

These three books by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley are WONDERFUL. They talk about bodies, sex, birth, adoption, different types of families — and for teenagers, puberty, contraception, homosexuality, masturbation, you name it. The books are very open and accepting of kids’ questions and feelings while writing with a warm, direct tone.

Pamela Druckerman wrote a New York Times essay about the inspiring Dutch approach to teaching kids about sex:

Apparently, the Dutch are at the forefront of sex education, and they have little trouble broaching the topic. Parents in the Netherlands have lots of casual age-appropriate talks about sex with their kids, over many years, beginning when children are small.

“If we start with sexuality education when children are teenagers, or even just before they start with any interest in sexuality, I think you are too late,” says Sanderijn van der Doef, a psychologist…“As soon as children have questions, they have the interest, and then they have the right to get a correct answer.”

Dr. Van der Doef says parents should give simple, clear responses. If the child has more questions, he’ll ask. Once he’s 3 or 4, “You can start to explain, in a very simple way, that Mommy has a little egg in her belly, Daddy has very small sperms in his body, and when the sperms meet the egg, a baby grows in the belly of the mother.” Three-year-olds rarely ask how the sperm and egg meet. If they do, “then you have a very smart child at that age, and that means that child needs to have an answer,” she adds.

What about you? Have your little dudes asked about where babies come from? What did you tell them? How did your parents tell you? I’d love to hear… and no, I am not pregnant.

Child or Ghost?

This goes out to all my friends with kids or to prepare the ones who are expecting. This is all valuable information I wish I would have known earlier (and would have still gotten pregnant because I would have told everyone that I will do things differently).

Shoes you placed neatly on the shoe rack in the front hall mysteriously appear in the bathtub, stuffed in the soil of a potted plant, or in the drawer underneath the oven.

Answer: Child

Shoes you placed neatly in the shoe rack are mysteriously full of wet sand.

Answer: Most likely child, but could go either way.

Shoes you placed neatly mysteriously turn to piles of wet sand the instant you touch them. But then, seconds later, they appear as they were, and you aren’t sure if it happened at all.

Answer: The ghost.

You hear lout moans coming from somewhere in your house late into the night.

Answer: Could be either.

You hear loud moans coming from somewhere in your house late into the night, the haunting lull of ocean waves, and the faint hum of a sea shanty.

Answer: Still could be either. Who knows what song they teach them in school.

You hear loud moans coming from somewhere in your house late into the night, the haunting lull of ocean waves, the faint hum of sea shanty, and the voice of a woman calling, “Cornelius, will you ever return from the sea?”

Answer: At this point, probably some sea ghost.

You turn away for one second, and when you turn back around, the figure of a person about to throw themselves off the balcony appears out of the corner of your eye.

Answer: Honestly, could be either.

You turn away for one second, and when you turn back around, the figure of a person wearing a long, lace gown and a mourning veil about to throw themselves off the balcony appears out of the corner of your eye.

Answer: Well, that’s the ghost for sure.

You turn away for one second, and when you turn back around, the figure of a person wearing absolutely nothing about to throw themselves off the balcony appear out o the corner of your eyes. How did they manage to get their pants and diaper off? And are they holding your cell phone?

Answer: Child

Suddenly without warning, your pets look around in fear as if they sense a presence coming near them.

Answer: Child

Suddenly without warning, your pets look around in fear as if they sense a presence coming near them, and a disembodied voice whispers, “I vowed never to love again after the cruel sea took Cornelius. Cats became my only companion.”

Answer: Definitely the ghost.

Fruit in your house keeps going bad for no reason.

Answer: Definitely the child if you have a picky eater like I do.

Fruit in your house keeps going bad because you have found 22 blueberries stuffed inside the compartment of a toy garbage truck, a clementine tucked into a doll bed, and half a banana you forgot at the bottom of the diaper bag for the last two weeks.

Answer: Child

You feel sudden ice chill down your body while sitting on the couch.

Answer: Ghost. Or, actually both.

You feel a warm stream go down your body while sitting on the couch.

Answer: Unfortunately, that’s a child with no diaper on.

You enter your kitchen and find all the cabinets thrown open, the drawers pulled out, one of the stove burners on, and the strong smell of saltwater and cod lingering in the air.

Answer: Ghost – no, wait, still the child. He found the cat food container, and how on earth did he manage to open it?

Your lights are always flickering on and off.

Answer: Child who found out about the light switch.

Your lights are always flickering on and off. Projected on your living room wall, you see the silhouette of a schooner slowly sinking into the icy depths of the Norths Atlantic.

Answer: Ghost, and it insists on haunting this house, can it at least make itself useful and clean up all of that sea salt?

You are welcome. If you have any questions regarding how to raise a child, don’t ask me. Then again, most of my friends joked around and gave my son three months with me as a mom. And he will be eight years old next month! Ha! I guess I am doing something right 🙂

.FFP2 Masks and Vaccination Terror when all I want is to Slap the “Experts”.

Me: Where should we eat?

A: I’m happy to go anywhere! Really. I’m easy. I don’t care where we go. Any restaurant you have in mind? Do we need to get tested? Masks? Which kind? One vaccine? Two? Booster shot? Download the app? Social distancing?

Me: Who cares. I’ll go to literally any restaurant in town. Any neighborhood that’s more convenient for you? Any kind of food you’re craving?

A: Nothing in particular. Do you have dietary restrictions?

Me: No, I can eat literally anything. And I’m happy to do it! I can reach inside a trash can, pull out the first thing my hand clutches, and take a big bite of whatever it happens to be, no problem! Are there cuisines we should avoid?

A: No, I enjoy eating every cuisine from every region of every country in the world. At this point, if there were a restaurant that served poison, I would gleefully meet you there if we don’t need a PCR test and 1G, 2G or some other bullshit. Are you in the mood for something specific? Tacos, sushi, pasta — they are all equally appealing. I don’t have a PCR test though. Do you have a specific restaurant in mind that serves tacos, sushi, or pasta? It sounds like you might be thinking of a specific restaurant. I remain 100 percent neutral in the restaurant selection process. I’m just so chill and easygoing that I could genuinely go anywhere. I just need to get the PCR test first. And the antibody test. And a new mask.

Me: Same here. These days, I am equally chill and easygoing. You could take me to a restaurant where the waiters slap you in the face. You could take me to a restaurant that only serves ice cream cones children dropped on the ground. You could take me to a restaurant that’s on Mars and I’d never see my family ever again. Let’s eat at DONTGETTHEJAB. I read great reviews and the food is supposed to be incredible.

A: Is that the restaurant close to where you live? I think they have the 2G or 1G rule now. But you can get in without anything if you whistle the first and last name of the waiter with the dark hair.

Me: Yep. Do you want to try that one? Sounds good.

A: Let’s do it. I am clay at the hands of your restaurant choices. I yield to your dining whims. Mold me. I am yours.

Me: Are we still talking about food? Hey, have you heard about the Mu Mutation of the Corona virus? It is supposed to be incredibly dangerous and contagious. No vaccine on this planet can help you with that shit. But, another lockdown will make things better and will give the experts and scientists time to invent another vaccine quickly. With this one you will be okay until it is time for the 56th mutation of the virus and lockdown 29. But you will get a free bratwurst. This is all insane and makes no sense to me anymore.

A: I am so confused by all this as well. This is way too complicated for my delicate brain. So FFP2 masks again now? This is ridiculous. I want to curl up in fetal position and cry myself to sleep. There is no end to this. Am I depressed?

Me: Should we just go to that spot we always go to? That Asian restaurant?

A: That place sucks.

Me: Hey, you know what? Let’s cook at my place.

A: Great. Like usual. I love how you cook. I will bring the wine.

Me: Sounds great. Come on over. No mask or tests required.

.This much I believe.

I believe the better the friend, the messier my house will be when she/he leaves.

I believe in listening to a taxi driver (in Vienna) tell me about his runaway daughter, four ex-wives, getting punched in the face last night, and being shot at on three separate occasions, in the time it takes to take me home.

I believe in what goes around comes around, reincarnation, and time travel. And Spiderman.

I believe there should be etiquette manuals called “Don’t wear fishnets stockings to a funeral”.

I believe in a Pulitzer Prize for swearing.

I believe in my brother who can fly a plane to get himself, my son and I safely from Vienna to Bavaria. I will take a parachute though. And a bat-suit for my son…. because it looks cool when we are all going down. 🙂

I believe that my brother will get super pissed about this but we will try to smuggle it on board. And of course we will cheat on the weight scale…..

I believe that instead of the superpower of flight or invisibility, I would like the ability to pick a ripe pear or honey melon.

I believe in buying the next size up because I was not put on this earth to fit into or restrain the largeness of my life.

Nor was I put on this earth to scroll my birth year like a Price is Right wheel, or remember what it was like to be your age.

No, I don’t want to talk to you on the phone while you talk to the barista; or text you when I get there; or wait for you on the corner that’s near there because I am not a prostitute.

I don’t want to grab anything by the horns, or keep it real.

I believe that nothing ages you more than shushing a room.

I believe in myself. I believe I should have put this first on the list.

I believe in a barfing cat home alarm instead of a barking dog.

I believe in emojis like peaches, the eyeroll one, the swear one, and the palm against forehead.

I believe in hole-punching divorce papers to make confetti.

I believe the new corona book clubs are robotic floor cleaner races (all fully vaccinated of course because of the terribly dangerous Delta mutation…… #eyerollemoji)

I believe in being positive and that mood swings suck.

I believe in the magic of lifelong friends.

I believe in Karma.

I believe that someone who takes a (not in a funny way) full Silence of the Lambs Anthony-Hopkins-through-the-psych-ward-looking-glass look at me is weird.

I believe in getting comfortable at Media Markt and play Nintendo Switch with my son for one hour without buying anything. They (covid-related) removed the massage chairs, goddammit. The little pleasures…..

I believe in playing chess with my son (for hours) without getting too angry when he beats me again.

I believe in a good old prank.

I believe in laughing when others are crying.

I believe in backup plans.

I believe in great sex but have you ever been relieved by a colleague at work and were able to go home?

I believe in fair treatment. Deep down, this must exist.

I believe I can sense certain patterns, selections, or promotions.

I believe in being a grown-ass lady.

I believe in having bad habits.

I believe that young kids are exposed too much to the internet. It is a consuming black hole and parents need to pay attention to this.

I believe that anyone who gives forcefully expressive advice about marriage is heading straight to the divorce court. Marriage is about the dance you do together but so many people are disappointed they are not in a lifelong happy relationship. There is no such thing. There are ups and downs. This is called life.

I believe in making people happy, in telling stories and making people laugh.

I believe being really connected to another person is as good as it gets. Candlelight… sex, all the good stuff.

I believe in love. It does exist.

.Considering the Alternatives – The Book.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

can I please have your attention for this public service announcement: I did it again. My fourth book has been published.

What the book is about: 

Like my previous books, I have written essays on my life in general, about simplifying, about being a single-mom and how tough it can be at times, how not to kill your kids, and about how to create a life I am passionate about. You will find inspiration, (mental) health tips, and how to be a better version of yourself. This time, more focus is placed on surviving the Corona-pandemic in a fun way because let’s just be honest here: Enough with it already.

What I hope to achieve with my book is that you get comfortable, enjoy a glass of wine, send your kid(s) to bed, and read my book in silence and peace. I hope it will transfer you into a relaxed, thought-provoking, or inspirational mode, make you reflect, and most importantly think. Always think outside the box.

I really want to thank my family, friends, blog readers, and the support I have gotten to make this happen. I will have book signings coming up in Vienna at independent bookstores. Announcements and dates will be shared on this website.

Order your copy here, here, or in any bookstore.  

Thank you for reading my stuff. <3

.They Can Say No.

Just ask for a promotion! What’s the worst that can happen? They say no? And your already fragile self-esteem is irreparably damaged? It’s really not that big of a deal.

Oh, shit! I am sorry to hear you didn’t get the promotion. I wouldn’t feel awkward about it. You were leaning in, after all. Well, if you are not comfortable sitting next to the guy who denied you that promotion, just ask for a different office. The worst they can say is no!

Okay, I really had no idea they set up a desk for you in the basement now. At least rats don’t talk, right? Why don’t you ask if they will bring in an exterminator?Worst-case-scenario, they say no.

You got fired??? For asking if you could get an exterminator? That’s so odd. Maybe they were just looking for a reason to fire you. Were you otherwise bad at your job? You should ask if it’s actually because you are a woman. What’s the worst that can happen if you ask? They say no?

If you really think you got fired unlawfully, hire a lawyer! At least, call one and ask if they will take on your case. There is really no risk to that whatsoever; they will probably offer a free trial, even ! Get it – trial – like, for lawyers? Besides, if you tell them the truth, the worst they can say is no.

Okay, I did not know they would bill you 15,000 Euro for an hour consult with a lawyer. My bad. Hope it was helpful, at least. Can you ask for a refund? They might laugh at you, but still worth trying.

Your parents will be sympathetic about you needing to borrow money right now. You are their daughter. Ask for what you want! Take control of your own destiny! Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, the worst that can happen is the stars say no…..

Damn, I didn’t realise your parents would write you out of their will if you asked for money one more time. That seems harsh but fair. No, I have never borrowed money from my parents. “Borrowing” is when you pay them back, right?

Okay, so if I am understanding things correctly, you are now 40,000 Euro in debt? Why don’t you ask the credit company for, like, an extension? That’s normal, I think. I used to get them all the time for papers in college. The worst they can say is no!

I knew the would say yes! Sorry about eh 67% interest rate. It could be worse. Like imagine if it were 69% – LOL 69.

You seem really stressed about money. Have you tried therapy for your anxiety? I will send you a link. Just ask if they have room for one more patient! The worst they can say is no. No offence, but you literally have nothing to lose.

Oh, wow. I did not realise that link I sent was actually a scam. Well, on the bright side, you are already in so much debt that a little more doesn’t really matter, does it?

I know you can make back the money you owe! Just ask for your old job back! Tell them you were so silly for asking for a promotion to begin with, and now you are (much) older and wiser. And the worst they can say is no, isn’t it?

Yay! They hired you back at 70% of your old salary! Now you really understand the wage gap between men and women. Congratulations! And by my calculations, you should be out of debt by the year 2174. Maybe they will let you off easy if you die before then, though – just ask.

Wait, you want me to give you a ride to work? Because the bank repossessed your car? It s a really bad time for me – I am three weeks away from getting my period. Ugh, please don’t put me in a position where I have to say no. I hate that.

.Apologies.

When I lived in Canada I learned that Canadians apologise for everything. All the time. It is weird to me because Germans are so different. But it triggered this article. Here are some things I heard on a daily basis:

Sorry, I have a question.

Sorry, I am sorry. (Whenever I stood in front of a shelf in a store and couldn’t make a decision but someone wanted to get by)

Sorry, oh, you must be the new client! I am sorry, I am a police officer, not the receptionist. I feel terrible for misleading you, but I cannot get you coffee or give you a foot massage while you wait.

Sorry, but I can never express how I really feel at this place.

Sorry for clocking in three minutes late. I had to drop of my son at school, but then he puked Cocoa Puffs all over my shirts and- I know, I should have just told him not to get sick! It was completely in my control, and I have no excuse. Please don’t fire me.

Sorry about my naturally screechy voice. Feel free to plug your ears whenever I am talking!

Sorry, but from now on you have to address me as Mr. X and not Mrs. Y anymore. Things change. This is the 21st century.

Sorry, I am binary now. I will have my breast surgically removed so nobody knows that I am a woman.

Sorry for my resting bitch face. I know my serious expression is no fun for you to look at. Yes, you are right, I should smile more! Thank you for the advice, male stranger at work.

Sorry I am not wearing makeup today. I look like a total swamp creature. Anyway, ready for this half-marathon on your lunch break?

Hey, sorry to ask, but is this bus seat taken? Also, I apologise that my nine-months-pregnant-with-triplets belly is taking up so much room. Actually, I will just stand. It is fine!

Sorry, can you please stop yelling at me and tell me in a normal tone what I did wrong? Yelling means, you cannot express yourself in a civilised matter.

Sorry, for not realising you are a man.

Sorry, for not realising you are a woman.

Sorry, for not realising you want to be called raccoon.

Sorry, for being the reason the world is coming to an end and another lockdown in around the corner.

Sorry, but this doesn’t make sense to me at all. Why should I stand on a duct-taped cross?

Sorry, that I caught you cheating on me, but its much worse for you because your new girlfriend is screaming at you for cheating.

I am sorry, but I am breaking up with you. I am sorry for ending things now, the moment I realised I no longer loved you, instead of stringing you along just to avoid hurting your feelings.

Sorry, I am not interested in you, creepy guy at Billa – I am in a relationship. Yes, you are absolutely right! I am a nasty person for politely turning you down when I clearly should have prioritised your fragile ego. Let me just break up with my boyfriend real quick, and then you can put your sweaty hands wherever you want.

So sorry, construction workers. As much as I would like to stay and bask in your heartfelt whistling and sexual comments, I really must get going. Apologies if I also involuntarily make a face – you are just being nice, and I cannot take a “nice” compliment about my breasts.

Sorry cabdriver, but me telling you my name does not mean you will get a blow-job.

Sorry, I know it’s really stupid, but can you walk me to my car? Actually, I don’t want to inconvenience you. It’s only 11 pm – I can walk back to the sketchy parking garage by myself.

Sorry, but can you please stop texting and following me? This is creepy.

I am sorry, I should have been more clear last night. Obviously, saying “no” over and over really means “yes”. It is all my fault anyway.

Sorry for apologising so much!

.3D Titanic Movie.

I recently watched Titanic with my son and he loved it. I don’t remember a lot of specifics about watching Titanic in theatres in 1997, but I was 16 years old, which means my two biggest concerns were a) locating romance, and 2) not dying in a nautical catastrophe. If you haven’t seen Titanic yet, I will enlighten you. Titanic is three hours and 14 minutes long, which, fun fact, is longer than the actual sinking process of the Titanic. I learned this valuable fact when I visited the Titanic exhibit in New York. Isn’t it kinda ballsy to assume people will watch your movie for three hours and 14 minutes? Especially when everybody already knows exactly what happens in the end? Anyway, here is what happens:

It starts out on a modern-times submarine. Bill Paxton is snooping around on the ocean floor trying to find a big necklace. His character is clearly James Cameron’s idea of what a cool person is like. He does stuff like wear male earrings and says “sayonara” in a sarcastic voice. Bill Paxton finds the old safe in the ocean, expecting it to be full of Titanic jewels, but instead it’s just an old painting of some boobs. Total rip-off! OR IS IT? Stay with me. An old lady recognises her boob-painting on the news and goes to visit Bill Paxton on his rock and roll treasure boat, where the make her watch a graphic reenactment of the Titanic sinking. I believe they were thinking: Hey grandma, fuck your PTSD. Then she tells her story. Which is not pertinent to treasure-hunting while Bill Paxton gets clearly annoyed. I mean, unless you mean three hours of nonsense, garbage, terror, death, and to figure out that the best parties are always in 3rd class.

Turns out, that old lady used to be Kate Winslet (hot), and one time she rode a big boat named Titanic. But she wasn’t too happy about it! She said, “It was the ship of dreams to everyone else. To me it was a slave ship, taking me back to America in chains.” Yes. Sure. Because imprisonment, rape, and unpaid forced labor are just like having to marry Billy Zane and live in a fur-lined gold palace for literally ever. Also, it’s 1912 right now, which means that real slavery has only been over for like….. 40 years? Maybe a little too soon for the slavery metaphors? She continues: “I saw my whole life as if I’d already lived it, an endless parade of parties and cotillions, yachts, and polo matches. Always the same narrow people, the same mindless chatter. I felt like I was standing at a great precipice, with no one to pull me back, no one who cared, or even noticed.” Nobody notices me! Everyone is so fake! As you can see, Kate Winslet’s life is just like slavery. She decides to kill herself immediately so she doesn’t have to face another terrible, terrible dinner with the 1st class peeps. Luckily, along comes Leonardo who rescues her from suicide and she repays him by letting her entire family treat him like human shit for the last few days of his life. Then they fall in love.

Leo shows up at a fancy dinner even though he is poor and Kate Winslet’s mom hates him: “My mother looked at him like an insect. A dangerous insect that must be squished quickly.” After dinner, Leo says, “Time for me to go row with the other slaves!” In an act of defiance, Kate sneaks downstairs to party with the simple folk. And it was the best party eeeeever. Okay. Next there is a whole bunch of boring stuff like the Celine Dion part (“I am flyyyyying!”), the boob-sketching part, and the banging in that tiny car part.

Then they drive the ship into the big iceberg. Kate and Leonardo run around the boat in circles for a long time holding hands. All she really does is yell about how no one can tell her what to do and then just does whatever Leo tells her to do. Fabrizio (Leo’s friend, who is Italian) shows up to tell them that they are fucked because all the lifeboats are gone: “The boats-a! They’re all-a gone!” “Where’s your life jacket, Fabrizio?” Leonardo asks. “Ees-a okay!” says Fabrizio, “I’ve-a got this-a beeg ravioli! Abbondanza!” Then he drowns (oops).

Fortunately for Kate, Leo turns out to be the world’s expert in surviving ocean liner disasters offering genius advice like, “We have to stay on the ship as long as possible!” Eventually, they end up in the ocean, where Kate sits on a board and cries. Leo makes ONE attempt to get on the board with her, but falls off, so he decides to just die instead. Kate is sad and gets rescued. He could have fit on that damn board. Easily.

Finally, even though the old lady knew Bill Paxton was searching for the necklace, and he patiently listened to her stupid story she goes and drops it into the ocean at the end!!!!! Like, seriously, old lady? First, you suck. Second of all, that necklace belongs in a museum. Third of all, you suck. I wish Bill Paxton would drop YOU into the ocean at the end. Then, to wrap things up, there’s a dream sequence where the ghosts of Kate and Leo walk down the Titanic’s grand staircase and everyone on earth applauds for no reason.

So, here, now you have it. You don’t need to watch the movie in 3D. Unless you do want to watch a 3.5-hour story of terror and death with a plastic cage and a mask strapped to your face the entire time. F… you, Corona. Or, you did like the original Titanic, but wish you could also have a throbbing headache? Okay, then go nuts.