State of the Union

27 Going on 28: Return of EMO (A Grl’s Survival Guide)

fullsizerender1When I was in my early 20’s-

It took multiple glasses of wine & several episodes of The Hills to prepare me for the fresh hell that was going out on a Saturday night… which I’d feel obligated to do after a day of hiding out & eating eclectically (Ramen, canned beans, & Peanut Butter Puffins, anyone?) just b/c I didn’t want to go out, not even to buy groceries, b/c I just couldn’t deal w/ anyone.

So. Emo.

I remember telling myself, someday, I’ll be 28 &-

By the time I’m 28, I’ll be doing yoga every day.

&- By the time I’m 28, I won’t do that thing where I pick at my nail polish in the car when it starts to chip… & then store the shavings in my cup holders… & leave them there for weeks.

B/c- By the time, I’m 28, I’ll be perfect.

It was always just far enough away…

Until last year…

When I turned 28


It was my first difficult birthday, but not for the reasons I might have come up with in my early 20’s. I don’t do yoga every day, but I have a gym membership that gets semi-regular use. I still pick at my nail polish, but there are currently no traces of it in my car. I’m far from perfect, but I’m happy with the choices I’ve made.

To my surprise, the MAJOR FEELZ that came up before my birthday had nothing to do with regretting not going to grad school or being upset that I still don’t own that dream pick-up. Instead, it had everything to do with saying good-bye to my early 20’s. Despite, the fact that I am arguably more perfect (& far less humble) now. 🙂

As a survivor-

I bring you this guide to Surviving:

27 Going on 28: Return of EMO


Step 1: Turn & Face the Music (It’s where you’ll find your mantra.)

Every Emo phase has a soundtrack & mine started w/ this Chainsmokers’ song-

I cranked this song up the first time I heard it on the radio… & then every time after that. My husband was sick of it before I even realized I was going through a thing- a thing that I didn’t even know was a thingCloser is a cautionary tale about back-sliding w/ an ex-


But what it’s really about is masking one’s hurt & celebrating questionable decisions…

What’s more early 20’s than that?

Once you have your ‘OMG MY EARLY 20’s ARE BEHIND ME’ moment. You’re ready to go Full Emo.

tuws8g2-1465765220That’s right. Dust off that old Death Cab album.

Find the music that was once both the truest & most embarrassing thing about you…

For me, it’s that Good Ol’ Country Music

& Miranda Lambert‘s latest album, ‘The Weight of These Wings,’ couldn’t have dropped at a better time… I found the root of angst I was feeling & the mantra that would get me through in the divinely emo song, ‘Runnin’ Just in Case’-

‘Happiness ain’t prison
But there’s freedom in a broken heart.’

giphy-3.gifWhile I never questioned my happiness, I did question whether or not it was something I deserved & could maintain &


Could I be happy & still be me?

I’d reached Full Emo.

Step 2: Burn, Baby, Burn.

Once you reach Full Emo, sh*t is going to come up & nobody can plunge your sh*t but you.

Do what you gotta do, but after you do-

Let It Burn.

This is my way of saying that while Aroldis Chapman, currently 28, was helping the Cubs win the World Series, I was creating a now-deleted Word document titled ‘Poems to Keep the Angst Alive.’ This resulted in 0 successful poems, but I still kept my favorite:

‘In the same building where we met, 

Well after you’d left me there,

A teacher told me I had to make my own black

(He also told me I couldn’t paint.)’


…I know I know better & that’s the thing about getting older-

You start to understand what your black is made of.


Chances are you’re at least a little familiar with the sh*t that’s coming up, because it’s old sh*t. So, go ahead, write that letter to your ex or to your dead-beat dad, but after you do-

In the words of Bowie:

“The moment you know you know you know.”


Trust me, you know.

Step 3: Won’t You Please, Please Help Me? (Open up the doors!)


In my early 20’s, I probably wouldn’t have responded to a girlfriend’s “Happy Birthday! How are you?” text with an emotionally honest answer, but, at 28, I did.

To my surprise, she showed up where I work with flowers & an invitation to grab cocktails the following night.

After the tears have dried, it’s time for a drink… with a girlfriend who has been through what you’re going through.


We met up & I told her about Miranda Lambert’s latest album, about all the looking back I’d been doing, about the blackness, & also about how mortifying it was to see clearly the selfishness I displayed in my youth& she totally got it.

It started to dawn on me that with age also comes the perspective necessary to helping both yourself & others.

Over the course of the evening, we talked about our exes, what we put our mothers through, & the importance of forgiving our younger selves

Which I thought I’d done until

I confessed to essentially ghosting all my exes from my early 20’s, because I was too scared to either respond or reach out.

“Why? What are you afraid might happen?”

I laughed, “Nothing!” It was that simple & easy & true. The fear was not coming from me as a 28 year old woman. It was coming from the grl I was in my early 20’s, stubbornly holding on to her feelings of guilt.


(Burning sh*t is easy, but guilt tends to linger.)

Step 4: Give Yourself Permission (to give 0 f*cks.)

“I think you have to give yourself permission to do what you want,” she said.


For the first time, I really understood what that meant.


When I really removed guilt & fear from the equation, I was left with 0 desire to re-connect with those who I once felt I ‘owed’ it to &, ironically, it made me feel 5 years younger. 😉

I was also able to make a couple new friends, but it took burning the letters/deleting the doc to open the door.

I came away with a sense of clarity-

Turning 28 was about saying goodbye to my early 20’s. That meant honoring my past, esp. the darkest parts, & then finally letting go of some of my old sh*t.


Being 28 is about what I do with the empowerment that comes from really knowing myself. That means being the one to validate my own decisions & forgive my own mistakes.



If you still miss your early 20’s after reading this-

 An episode or two of The Hills (or The Bachelor) ought to bring the emo (& the horror) back into your life (shout out to Rachel, 31!)


Also, Bachelor Fantasy Leagues are a thinggg!



28 & Gr8,

Your Grl On Base.

Fantasy, State of the Union

Mistakes Were Made – #2016

2016 contained so many endings that now that it has finally ended,

I still can’t believe it.

There’s been a lot of denial,
(I just started a 1,000 piece puzzle consisting of mostly foliage.)
But that, too, must end soon.
…I think a lot of us are in the same boat.


What now?


For me, that means going back to where I left off here @ Grl On Base & piecing together the personally significant moments that happened as what started off as a downright promising year finally came to an end…

We start,

In classic 2016 fashion,

With a tragic boating accident


The death of José Fernández.

(Remember that?)

The death of José Fernández was my first ‘Is this real life?’ moment of 2016.

I mean-

Fernández defected from Cuba.
It took four attempts.
He spent a year in Cuban prison for attempting to leave.
On his fourth & final attempt, a wave carried someone overboard & Fernández jumped in after them-
I dove to help a person not thinking who that person was. Imagine when I realized it was my own mother. If that does not leave a mark on you for the rest of your life, I don’t know what will.’
The 15-year-old Fernandez swam through the waves with Maritza clinging to his back and they reached the boat some 15 minutes later.”

That’s insane.

Then came the headlines-
Marlins ace Fernandez dies in boating accident
Jose Fernandez had cocaine, alcohol in system during fatal boat crash
Unable to fully process the reality of the situation,
The day after his death, I made a mistake-

A #BigSexy mistake…

I left Bartolo Colón in against the Marlins.

(2.1 IP, 27.00 ERA, 3.43 WHIP-

Not an ideal way to start the final week of Fantasy.)

I realized I would need to make some big moves if I really wanted to take it to Crabtree, my year-long nemesis, the one week it really mattered.


This was the end


The Wave* was coming.

(The Wave* is an easy listening radio station & what Crabtree took to calling the sizeable group of solid pitchers he had starting toward the end of the week. He liked it so much he changed his team name to ‘94.7 The Wave.’ Diabolical.)
What happened next might best be described by one whose eloquence certainly rivals that of T.S. Eliot-

Gwen Stefani,

In her 2004 anthem, ‘Hollaback Girl.’


Few times I’ve been around that track
So it’s not just gonna happen like that
‘Cause I ain’t no hollaback grl
I ain’t no hollaback grl
A couple days later, at 2 AM, it dawned on me-
Fantasy was ending & therefore nothing (& no one) was precious any more (except for Manny & MadBum, my two Keepers. ❤ )
Dramatic? Yes. But also effective.


Crabtree was all in on The Wave. He even had a wave patch picked out for our league trophy jacket.
In the meantime, I started building shelter with walls made out of innings pitched (144.2 was the final count) & sandbags full of the best available streaming options.



This my sh*t, this my sh*t. This my sh*t, This my sh*t. This my…

It still came down to a good ol’ fashioned Sunday Showdown,

So that’s right dude, meet me at the bleachers
No principals, no student-teachers
Both of us wanna be the winner, but there can only be oooone

The O’s were looking to lock up their place in the AL Wild Card Game & I was playing for all the marbles,

So I’m gonna fight, gonna give it my all
Gonna make you fall, gonna sock it to ya


On Oct. 2nd 2016,

NO mistakes were made.



That’s right.
I’m the last one standing
Another one bites the dust.

…I won.

The O’s won-

It was a perfect day of perfect streaming.

Perfect Streaming.gif

Yes, the O’s would go on to loose the Wild Card Game in extra innings without using Britton, MLB’s best closer.
Yes, Trevor Bauer CUT HIS FINGER ON A DRONE & had to leave a playoff game b/c it wouldn’t stop bleeding.
Yes, I tried getting into football, b/c, hey LA has a team again & Goff is pretty cute…


Yes, Trump would wind up getting elected into office.

Yes, many more mistakes were made.

So many, in fact,

That come UFC 207-
The worst case scenario is sort of what I’d come to expect,

But I am a sucker for a comeback


& a really great hat…

What I didn’t expect was Cody Freakin’ Garbrandt.

Freakin Garbrandt.gif

In an epic 5 round fight that looked like it might have been 1/3 well-timed voguing,

Cody made UFC 207 his own Oct. 2nd 2016


Beat Dominick Cruz, becoming the new UFC bantamweight champ,







Perfect eyebrows aside, it was just an exemplary display of what sport is all about-
Exactly what’s possible when adequate training, full commitment, & a little bit of trash-talk are combined.

Garbrandt Voguing.gif

So beautiful…

Ronda’s fight was the opposite.

It was like she’d manifested her own worst fears…

It was 2016’s final sucker-punch


It kinda broke my heart.

There’s a lot of speculation that she’ll retire now & a lot of people are weighing in with their opinions.

My feeling is-

Regardless, Ronda was the one who made it possible for women to headline a major UFC PPV event.
Now, Amanda Nunes, the first openly gay champion in UFC history, has defended her belt against THE Ronda Rousey (w/ a classic, old-school Ronda quick-finish, no less.)

That’s MMA herstory & both women have their place.

Should Ronda continue her story in the UFC?
I don’t know, but I liked what Jon Jones had to say-



What Trump had to say is a reminder why we all have to keep fighting in 2017…


But first, I’m going to finish that puzzle


Leave this here:


…Just b/c it’s 2017 doesn’t mean we can’t try


Live every day like it’s

Oct. 2nd 2016


Party like it’s 2004…

(39 days till pitchers & catchers report!)



Your Grl On Base