The 7 Things

In an effort to remind myself what it’s like to socialize, I was revisiting an episode from This American Life that was published by Sarah Koenig years ago that discusses proper conversation etiquette (I think this was pre-Serial).  Sarah’s mother, who is British, had a French friend with a strict set of rules when it came to etiquette and spent much of Sarah’s youth instilling in her a list of 7 topics that should just be off the table when it comes to socializing.

They are:

  1. How you slept
  2. Your period
  3. Your diet
  4. How you feel
  5. What you dreamed about last night
  6. Money
  7. Route talk (what route you took to get to where you are)

The reason you don’t discuss these things is because nobody cares. Which is…correct.

And yet somehow, I came to realize, if my friends and I didn’t talk about these things, the only thing that would be left is….maybe our kids (which will inevitably lead to #s1, 3 and/or 4). Like, this list pretty much encompasses the entirety of what our daily Marco Polo discussions include. (Except for #5, and I break the rules all the time on #5.  Because unlike everyone else, my dreams are fascinating.)

Also, clearly whoever made this list has never spent time in LA.

But seriously, when you are coming out of a year shut inside, with no shared experiences with anyone other than close family, WHAT DO YOU TALK ABOUT??? (Besides podcasts and books and shows that your friends should watch, which….I am so guilty of and part of me feels should be included on this list.)



Staying at home has turned me into a connoisseur of political podcasts. I think because at times being home can seem isolating, I feel an almost compulsive need to stay in touch with what is happening in the world.

But two weeks ago I hit an inflection point. Domestic politics got too depressing, I had to take a break. Even the best true crime podcast couldn’t lift me up.

I needed something trivial, innocuous. A brief mental break from all the ugly stuff going on. And this is what I found:

American Fiasco
I binge-listened to this podcast on the drive to Palm Springs last weekend. It’s the story of the US Men’s National soccer team from 1994 to the disastrous 1998 World Cup. While I did play soccer once upon a time long ago, I am not a die hard soccer fan. I probably couldn’t tell you the name of a single guy who plays on any team in the US (aside from David Beckham, but he has to be retired by now…right? I mean the Spice Girls broke up in like 1998.) But this story is less about the sport and more about the soap opera that was the Men’s National Team during that period. I mean, the DRAMA. Also, it’s hosted by Roger Bennett of Men In Blazers (a great podcast for real soccer fans), who has a fantastic accent and is just wonderful on all fronts. It’s seriously so good.

The Rewatchables
From The Ringer podcasts, this is basically a bunch of film nerds sitting around going over the most rewatchable movies ever made. The films they discuss range from critically acclaimed to awesomely bad (criteria that make a movie rewatchable is NOT the same as what makes a movie Oscar material. Though there is definitely some overlap). Lighthearted. So fun.

Forever 35
This podcast is two 30-something women talking about serums and drugstore mascara. So far from anything heavy. So refreshing.

Keep It
I get excited every week when I see a new Keep It in my feed. I’ve been listening to this podcast since the first episode and it has yet to disappoint. This pop-culture podcast is part of the Crooked Media world, so it definitely veers into the political, but the hosts are great and it’s just really enjoyable.

photo via

This Year


No, but seriously.  I’ve been taking an exceptional number walks.  It’s a problem.

file_000-31i baked this cake for my friend’s birthday, then ate the entire thing by myself

One thing that really isn’t helping is the fact that my sister is literally posting pictures of her abs on social media.  Because she has abs to post, not a doughy mid-section mass.

I know, the holidays, self-discipline, blah blah.  But let’s be real.  I blame Trump.

IMG_20160610_121839there used to be 5 of those on there

Or *blamed* Trump.  Then I saw this:


Because everything else wasn’t enough.

And I realized, there is just no fighting it.  This year is unstoppable. Resistance is futile.

2016, you win.  I surrender.  Bring on the bonbons.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


The past few weeks have been wonderful and ugly.  In my little bubble things have been pretty smooth and happy, while so much of the rest of the world has not.  Cue a lot of emotional confusion.  Gratitude and guilt.  Joy and horror.  Hope and helplessness. The dissonance is awkward and uncomfortable.

Things felt weird.  I wasn’t sure how to start up a dumb blog again.

And then last night our close friend invited us to dinner at a a beautiful country club where carolers dressed in A Christmas Carol garb wandered around from table to table singing.

c313c63f2e92cd1af7d8689534cb360cgeorge c. scott’s a christmas carol

It was such a treat.  The food was amazing, the kids were dazzled.  We basked in the holiday cheer.  Both kids fell asleep in the car on the way home and we tucked them into bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.

Then 4am HH woke up yelling that her tummy hurt.  On the way to the toilet she threw up all over the bathroom floor.

This wasn’t my first rodeo.  I sprinted out of the bathroom to find a hair elastic.  On the way back in I saw her basically submerge her head — long, luscious hair first — into the toilet bowl as she was retching.  And in that moment of panic I didn’t watch where I was going, stepped in the puddle of puke on the floor, slipped, and pulled a groin muscle.

So why don’t we start there.



I am not going to talk about how I’ve felt like I’m going to barf for three days straight, because I know I am far from alone in this.  Go visit your Facebook feed if you need confirmation.

But I am going to say one thing.  Because it’s hard to say nothing.

In 2014 I started working with a community organization that provided resources to victims of domestic violence.  It is an organization that, like most in this field, struggles with funding and relies heavily on volunteers.

I met really wonderful people, it gave me perspective…I genuinely loved it.

But it was a volunteer position, and when baby #2 came along and I started to wear thin I backed off. I started going less often, and I’ve spent the past year waffling on whether or not I have it in me to go back now and give them my time.  I know they need people like me to stick around if they want to keep providing services to their clients and I care about what they are doing, but finding and paying a babysitter, making the drive…it was just, like, a lot of hassle.

The first thing I did Wednesday morning was email the volunteer coordinator and get my name back on the schedule.  Because now, I really fucking care.

Yes, I cared before.  I cared about the Syrian refugee crisis and judicial reform and the degradation of the environment and women’s health.  I would donate when I felt like it, occasionally post something on social media, didn’t hesitate to state my opinion when asked.

But in so many ways my daily life did not reflect the values that I know, deep down, are important.   Blogs on my RSS feed about political oppression and violence and humanity and science and the environment have, for years, been skipped over for celebrity gossip sites.  I slacked on local elections and community activism.  I wasn’t completely inactive, but I often avoided things that were uncomfortable or inconvenient because I felt as though my community would pick up the slack.

I no longer feel that way.

The morning after, a friend from grad school called me.  After about 15 minutes of extended silences broken with “…I don’t…I just….I don’t even know…”s, he started telling me about how he had started to try to find tiny crumbs of good that could potentially come from this.

Like…the peaceful transfer of power.  The class Democratic leadership has demonstrated in the light of such a devastating loss, indicating that maybe our political discourse hasn’t degenerated to the extent that all the campaigning and debates would have led us to believe.  Things like that.

But for so many people, this election feels like a true tragedy.  A broken heart.  The pit in your stomach, the absence of a way out.  It’s all you can think about, and there is nothing you can do. The feeling is familiar and horrible.

It is possible that recommitting myself to an organization focused on women’s issues and marginalized groups is just a defense mechanism for the moment, a distraction. Something that will fade as the shock wears off and this new reality becomes normalized.

Or maybe it marks a bigger change.

There are many, many people out there who devote their lives to making the world a better place.  People who put their health and safety at risk, make careers out of working for a cause with no thought to any sort of personal gain or glory.  People who make these things a priority.  Who have been able to maintain their focus on issues that are crucial to the community, who have been able to see that none of these liberties or freedoms or services that are paramount to maintaining a free society were ever a given, or are ever permanent.

…and there are people like me who are comfortable, who believed the country was moving in a certain direction, and who became complacent.

This is a stark reminder that when it comes to values and laws that we hold dear we not only can act, we need to.  And not just during elections or times of crisis.  Even when things seem good, seem to be moving the right direction, we need to pay attention.  We need to talk to each other.  We need to work.  Not your friends, not your neighbors.  You.



We are responsible.

So maybe this is a crumb.  Maybe this will jolt us back into realizing that what we do day to day matters.  Maybe we will become more engaged.  Maybe engagement will lead to a more solid foundation upon which our collective goals, as a nation, can be built.  Maybe, ultimately, it will make for a better future.


It’s not much, but right now so many of us are searching for anything.  A crumb will have to do.

Guess who’s back…Back again…


If there are two things I love they are sugar and Trader Joe’s impenitent attitude towards knockoffs.  (These things aren’t even that delicious, but I could easily eat 1500 calories of them within an hour.  And sometimes I do.  Accidentally.  Like today.)

…which in no way segues into bringing the blog back to life!  Welcome back friends!  It feels good to be here.

It’s been a rough few years for Rambulatory, there were periods of time where I seriously considered abandoning it altogether.  But I think we may be on the upswing.  So for those die hard fans out there (hi mom and dad!), hold on to your butts.

Basic updates:

Threenager with lots of unsolicited opinions:


…and climbing:file_000-5

Not as hilarious as he seems to think it is.

This is largely why things have been quiet.  Similar to my Target trips, I don’t know how many updates like this any given person wants to hear.  But we’re going to give it a shot.

We all (surprise!) got sick last week, and I’m still fighting to breathe through my nose, but still on for the race this weekend.  My running has been inconsistent if nothing else.  So that should be pretty.  Good news is it’s a.) not the full marathon, and b.) my aunt and friend will be joining me (my friend actually doing the full…because I told her I was doing it and then bailed…because apparently that’s the kind of friend I am) on the run!  Misery loves company–I mean strength in numbers.



Me: That isn’t how you ask, you can be nicer.
Paul: Should we give her milk or maybe some I-C-E-C-R-E-A-M?
Me: I really don’t think she needs–


Paul: How does she know that????
Me: I have no idea.
Paul: She is so smart!!!  HH, how do you spell ice cream?
HH: (confidently) One, two.