My mom started chemotherapy this week after being diagnosed with breast cancer about 2 months ago. In true mom fashion, she did not let this stop her earnest use of the #100happydays hashtag. After two successful boob-removing surgeries she is technically is cancer free, and I naively thought this meant everything would resume as normal. My mom could have cancer for a few weeks, and then that would be it. But she needed chemo as much as I needed to blame the hashtag for giving her cancer.
Until this past year, I had more experienced with existential crises than real ones. My family lives in Chicago and is very close, even closer after an unrelated family emergency in March. You could say it’s been a bad year for Vinos. When they told me about my mom, I thought of myself as a victim. My poor family and I just can’t get out of the wringer. I’m dramatic and used to dealing with bad news by blowing out of proportion. The way to do this with information that’s already terrible is to personalize it. Poor me.
The real crisis is that I have to grow up. Many people at my age have been rocked out of their coddling from either parents or circumstances. If you’re like myself, you’ve been babied in both areas. While it feels great and comes from the best intentions, it does nothing to help in dealing with my reality. My reality is that falling apart and shutting down is my default position and that does not serve me. It’s not easy being the oldest baby in Brooklyn.
I am not a victim and neither is my mom. To put into perspective how common breast cancer is, when my mom found out she had to get chemo she said, “I’m excited to go to the drag queen store downtown. My cancer gals said they have the good wigs.”
These are friends she’s had for over 10 years that just so happen to have gone through the same thing. It’s a bummer that breast cancer is kind of a right of passage, but it’s nice that she’s not alone. My mom can breathe bubbly, silly life into the most somber circumstances. She doesn’t deserve cancer, but I’m sure there’s a community of cancer survivors that deserves someone like her.
When I was a teenager I’d think, “When I grow up I’m going to get my parents to smoke weed with me.” I thought it would be this fun, cool thing and not something prescribed post chemo. To me that’s funny, sad, and ultimately ok because it has to be. I’m settling into the idea that things are going to happen to my parents regardless of how I feel about it. I try to remember all the times she’s surprised me we her strength. Here’s how tough my mom is:
1) She almost died of encephalitis when she was a child and lives with brain damage that’s barely distinguishable through her poise.
2) She once made a Chili’s waiter cry.
3) She’ll ask for a bite of your candy bar and then eat all of it.
4) She stood up for me to a close family member when something I wrote about sex on the Internet that offended them.
5) She caught my friends and I drinking in the basement as teenagers, she pulled out a secret cigarette, lit it in the house and declared, “I smoke when I’m stressed.” Then she forgot to take one drag before it burnt out because she was too busy yelling at us.
6) One time she chased a big, scary guy with her car into a parking lot and made him apologize for calling her a bitch.
I’ve been guilty of describing my mom as overly sensitive, needy, annoying, and all those immature adjectives to describe a woman who loves you more than anything. But she has that super human mom strength that will unapologetically cry during a manipulative commercial and then lift up a car. I like to believe that the positive prognosis of breast cancer is solely a result of mom strength.
I used to make fun of my mom for how protective she is of her parents. Even when after getting diagnosed, she buttered them up by taking them to “Motown: The Musical” before breaking news. In a strange Berry Gordy -breast cancer bait and switch, my mom was still trying to make it easier on her family.
I’ve often told my mom to stop sheltering her parents. That they’re adults who have been through it all, and can handle more than she thinks. And now I have to take my own advice. Cancer can take as much of her boobs and hair as it wants. She’s got this and I’ve never been more proud of her.
Ok seriously. How bitchy is it that “micropenis” is an actual medical term?
Doctor: I’m sorry sir, you have a micropenis.
Man: And you have a fucked up sense of bedside manner.
Every year during March Madness it’s breaking news that dudes get more vasectomies leading up to the tournament. A Cleveland in clinic reported a 50% rise in the procedure and some super cool urologists have even offered coupons for pizza and other game watching perks. I wrote some coupons for them.
I wrote about Dad Boyfriends for MTV. Check it out here!
… AND lived to write about it for MTV. Check it out here. Love and share.
A recent set I did at The Creek and The Cave Live! Thanks for watching! Filmed by Lyra Smith, hosted/produced by Peggy
Sunday night marked the 10th annual Puppy Bowl. If being so ugly it’s cute was competitive for canines, this would their Olympics. Failing to grow into their looks before being shot into the public eye by their stage doggie mommies (jk, they’re from shelters), these pups might be babes one day. But for now these ugly ducklings run the risk of growing into uglier ducks. See for yourself.
1. Though the winner of the Puppy Bowl, Loren won the genetic lottery equivalent of the lottery burning your house down. This Brittany spaniel mix has one oversized eye and the charm of a happy hobo.
2. At 12 weeks, Ginger is not a total uggo. Still, she is the first dog in canine history that would look better with eyebrows.
3. Danny was entered into the puppy bowl for his own protection, being too ugly for shelters, suburbia, and the wild. A Papillon mix, there are a papillion reasons to be turned off by this guy (not a real number).
4. You can tell Ullie isn’t a rat because of all the shaking. This Chihuahua dachshund mix fits nicely in your purse and your nightmares.
5. Nice ears, asshole.
6. Meet Aurora. If you’ve met a Dalmatian, Cruella Deville probably seems like a misunderstood gal. These butterfaced beasts are the worst. Known for being smart, yet anxious and occasionally aggressive, would you want to hang out with a biting Woody Allen that pooped outside?
7. At 14 weeks, Bach could grow into his giant head and grow out of looking so much like Little Richard. Maybe it’ll happen some day. Until then, we can love everything about this little guy, but his face.
Plenty of ladies love football, but your girl is not one of them. That’s fine. If attraction was only based on shared interests, you’d be dating your dad. It is still in your best interests to include her in the big game, if only to sell it as a fart fueled date night. Prepping her for the Super Bowl is so simple even a guy can do it. I’ve got you covered.
Glossary of Terms
Touchdown: When everyone is yelling and some are happy about it.
Fumble: Dropping the ball, or the relationship equivalent to forgetting an anniversary.
End Zone: Where you score, the home base, or vagina if you prefer.
Snap: She’s heard it as “hike.”
Punt: A kick but no one is holding it. Also, an opportunity to say “samezies.”
Sack: The play dies before it really begins. Footbortion never caught on.
Each team is trying to gain yards, amounting to different opportunities to score touchdowns for 6 points, one and two-point conversions post touchdown, and field goals for 3 points. This can be broken down much like the Weight Watchers Point System - the less points you have the more everything sucks.
Teams have four attempts to gain 10 yards, each called a down. They almost always kick at the 4th down, for a field goal or to turn the ball over. Downs are just chances. Like with girlfriends, they say you get four chances when you really get three or less if she’s intercepted.
Known for choking in last year’s Super Bowl and getting blown out in big games, the Denver Broncos are like horses – they haven’t been seen the same since John Elway. Despite the affection for felon players, a 2010 first-round draft pick of Tim Tebow will likely ruin their street cred forever.
The Seahawks are seen as a team of rising young stars with a pension for playing dirty. Having never won a Super Bowl, their fan base is excitably tacky. A couple of fans went as far as to name their daughter after the Seahawks cheering section, “Cyndee Leigh 12th Mann.” She’s going to be the coolest stripper ever. This is a match up between the man you’d bring home to your parents who can’t fight, and the guy who’s always looking for one.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has played consistently for years, but has been criticized for big losses. Desirable without landing a big win since 2006, he is the Jennifer Aniston of the NFL. Since divorcing Brad Pitt in 2005, her big win has become a baby. Plus, they are both super old.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is a young star who’s exceeded expectations. Though you haven’t seen his boobs enough, he is following in the footsteps of Lena Dunham. Named the starting QB in his rookie season, his first year gained him as much attention Judd Apatow’s naked protégé. And like Dunham, some question if Wilson has the chops to deliver long term.
With a career of ups and downs, Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton is on the upswing. After recovering from a career threatening eye injury, his game changing sack against the New England Patriots solidified a comeback comparable to Britney Spears. It’s Pot Roast, bitch.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is known for his highly publicized hot head behavior. Much like Kanye West, his bravado is widely commented and criticized while his work is loved. Ultimately it is just the persona people hate, and he is actually brilliant.
The golden rule of watching The Super Bowl is that you don’t talk about not understanding The Super Bowl. What makes football great is that you don’t need to know every nuance to enjoy watching it. So have some fun with your little tight end, and touch her butt while saying that. You can’t control if your team wins, but don’t take a loss as a boyfriend.
Excuses are like assholes, everyone’s got one and the odds are, someone is trying to break into yours. As strong women living in the fast paced world, it’s often we forget to arm ourselves with concrete reasons to get out of things. Don’t worry, Lyra Smith and Lauren Vino have got you covered with “Why Not?” a comedic guide to simply saying “There’s no way I’m doing that.”