Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Both occupants lying in bed fiddling around on their phones—

Bed Side A: Throw pillows can be so expensive! Guess what a throw pillow costs.

Bed Side B: Uh, $25.

Bed Side A: Did you say $45? 

Bed Side B: No, $25. 

Bed Side A: Well if you’d said $45 you’d be closer. It’s ridiculous. I mean, the pillow I’m looking at right now is $71! For an 18x18 pillow! 

Bed Side B: I sure hope you’re shopping for pillows for this bed. We don’t have enough.

(The bed has six throw pillows, Dear Reader. Bed Side B is employing a vital element of compelling communication: sarcasm.)

Bed Side A: I guess if that is the throw pillow of your dreams $71 wouldn’t seem like a crazy price.

Bed Side B: I’d say if someone’s dreaming about throw pillows they’ve got problems. 

Bed Side A: [Silence.] 

I have absolutely dreamed up my ideal throw pillow and then gone hunting for it. 

House decorating stuff is a predominant hobby these days, and since Jim’s hobby is spoiling me, I’ve got carte blanche in making the house look however I want. Gotta say though that I value Jim’s opinion. We both lean toward a similar aesthetic, and he never had an opportunity before to learn that he’s got nice taste. (Especially in second wives.)

My latest Jim-supported acquisition is a hot pink velvet armchair for the guest room. Sometimes I go and open the door just to look at it. Then I sigh.

On a dog note, Sophie and I are the same person. We both have bad knees. We’re pint-sized. We don’t appreciate being woken up. We struggle some with our figures. We love to eat.

Today when I got home at 4:45PM from class I gave the canine children their second feeding. Sophie starts whining around 4:30AM for breakfast and 4:30PM for dinner. She was therefore starving to total and complete death. I was abusing her. Little bit of food for Gus. Little bit for doll. And whoops! I accidentally spilled some of Gus’ portion into their water bowl. Rather than cleaning it out I left it to see what would happen and went to go make my own dinner—a truly majestic melange of green lentils, pomegranate seeds, feta (always feta), Persian cukes, edamame, purple cabbage, and a splash of pomegranate vinegar.

They ate and then Gus joined me in the kitchen. Sophie did what she always does and stayed in the laundry room to lick Gus’s bowl for crumb ghosts. And then never came to the kitchen to beg for cucumbers as she always does. The laundry room—where their bowls are—looked as I’d expected: floor covered with water, Sophie’s face drenched, every last food morsel in the water bowl gone. Baby’d been bobbing for kibble. 

If a garbage can is too heavy for her, she gets Gus to knock it over. The bottom two shelves in the pantry are all kitchen paraphernalia and no food at all. It wasn't always that way. Coming home to raw potatoes with one or two bites taken out strewn across the living room and bags of almonds emptied and ripped to shreds, we learned the hard way and rather slowly actually. Those two have gotten into chocolate cake, loaves of bread, boxes of cereal, anything really. And I know it’s all her. Gus wasn’t like this before we moved in. He was a good boy. She’s the instigator and she corrupted him to use as her pawn. 

My ultrasonic jewelry cleaner scares the hell out of that little dog. If we turn it on downstairs, she’ll be under the bed upstairs for the next five hours. If we turn it on upstairs, she hide under the deck out back. So I’m considering just keeping it running all the time in the pantry and see if that takes care of her human-food binging. It’d be nice if that worked on me as well. 

Gus on the other hand has a whole-hearted passion for poo. And he doesn’t discriminate. Small. Large. Wet. Old. Coyote. He loves all of it equally and on our walks he must stop to smell every. single. piece of shit. And all the things that might be shit. Thus by then end of our simple mile-and-a-half morning march I hate his guts. (No advice on how to fix it please. This is one of those times where a girl is just bitching and not interested in a solution. Thanks anyhow.)

And now a brief bit on Bro-Ga. I just got home from teaching it at Midtown Community Yoga. Yoga for bros, for dames—for anyone who wants to do yoga a lot or a little. What's raddest about it is that there's a different teacher every week. So the people that come weekly get a sampling of all sorts. To me that's the genius part. Also, they have beer after. Whatever works, yo. I don't care what gets you in the room—just get there.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


I should be asleep right now. Or at least trying to be asleep. As it is I haven’t yet washed my face or taken out my contacts or downed my sleeping vitamins or taken my antidepressant. Oh, wait–are you so new around here that you didn’t know that I knock back some Wellbutrin XL every night? Even though I’m a yoga teacher and I’m supposed to keep my body pure and devoid of—gasp—chemicals? Yeah, bitches, I take a drug despite eating righter than I let on, doing boatloads of yoga, and even teaching that mind/body nonsense. I’m quite proud of it too. Proud because it’s damned responsible self care to down those lil’ white pills daily. Harp on me about it. I want you to. Because I will take down your self-righteous and potentially undereducated ass. (Huh, didn’t know ’til just now that I am feeling really feisty.)

Anyhow, I ain't sleeping but I should be. My hair needs to be washed, I haven't packed yet, and early tomorrow Jim and I are boarding an airplane, since, unlike the paranoid and pretentious disaster of a human being I was married to during my genius years, James isn’t afraid to fly. The handsome mister and I are heading to Los Angeles for a couple days. Day one is for hanging with Internet Jessica, Internet Jeff, and The Boy. And Day two is for going to a taping of So You Think You Can Dance. Because Jim is really damned in love with me and knows how to make magic. While I'm not the fangirl type, I love Cat Deely with all my heart. I shall not seek to, like, interact with her, seeing as I’m afraid of everything. But I get to witness my fave show go down. More than enough.

Instead of even trying to snooze I’m enjoying the sound of cute Jim snore and Sophie sleep-moan, listening to Chopped, and thinking these thoughts—

• You can’t wear heels or open-toed shoes to SYTYCD. So it was very nice of Jim to rush me to the Rack tonight for some pointy-toed flats that will work with my orange dress.

• All my problems could be solved if I’d just internally rotate my hips. That’s how insignificant my problems are.

• Everyone has a mirror face. Turns out mine is the same as my disappointed face.

• I love animals. I wish them long, healthy, happy, happy lives. 'Cept when they interrupt my sleep; then I feel differently. At 6AM some months ago a bird was pecking at the eaves outside our room. Jim was already up and downstairs, so I texted him, There is a bird outside our window. Please go kill it. I can’t be held responsible for the things I wrote when Woody Woodpecker stole my sleep. 

• Sponge Bob is not, in fact, a kitchen sponge that got chucked in the sea as debris and came alive. He is a sea sponge that just looks suspiciously like dish-washing sponges. Cameron teaches me the important things.

• I do not talk in my sleep. Except this one time Jim told me I said, “You can’t play with that in here. You have to take it outside.” So when he sleep-talks he says he loves me and that he’s proud to be my husband. He’s even said, “You’re just so delicious.” (What?) But when I talk in my sleep I reveal my full crossover into stepmotherhood in a house where fireworks are standard, waterfights common, raw eggs used for revenge, and where, for fun, we put children in human-sized hamster balls—in which, guys, they could, like, die if we don’t let them out (so I made sure that when they got those for Christmas they got pocket knives too).

• A couple weeks ago I decided that since I took six years of French in high school and college it's ridiculous that I don't speak any French. I'm therefore fixing that. My first few lessons made sure that I know how to say “I understand a little French not very well” and “Do you want to come have a drink at my house?”

• The Tory Birch fragrance smells like CK One. It smells like 1994.

• When your secondary degree is in writing don’t ever use the casual phrase, “I could write a book on—” such as, “I could write a book on how no housekeeper in the world is worse at making beds than ours is.” Because people will say, “Okay, do it.”


Bonus: a couple more shots from the family shoot we did with Ash a few months ago—

I call this one “I Swear He Likes Me Back”:

And this one “Frame that Shit Stat”:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Cat, Meg, Lo, Whit, Hay, Mal
These—these are my bitches, my broads, the dames I adore, mes soeurs, my sissies. For the first time in more than a year all six of us were in the same place.

I’m just home from a week in the ‘Tah where I got to see Mally’s new house, buy my nieces with $54 worth of candy, eat Whit’s stupid-good buttermilk cake, visit Cat’s new saloon, talk my parents’ ears off, go up American Fork Canyon with Amber, laugh so hard with Haley and Caitlyn that I couldn’t get my eyes to open properly, drag race on State Street, drop in at Lo’s new apartment, envy Ashley’s charming pad, and teach some yoga to my ma’s church gals. All the things: I checked them off my list.

On Monday I subbed a yoga class wherein a student inadvertently guilted me into, at the very least, slapping together this post. She is a literature teacher at the university. We got to talking Englishy things, and based on the kinds of questions I was asking about her job she queried, “So did you go to UNR or something?” I ended up confessing that I, in fact, have a Masters degree in writing. Of all things.

“Do you still write?” she asked me. (That hateful little shit.)

“Uh, well . . . ” and when a sentence starts out ruefully with an Uh, well you don’t need to hear the rest, for it certainly conveys a big fat Of course not.

The question irked me. Do you still write? Still? Did I ever? And is that a thing that you just up and stop doing? Evidently, yes. But here’s the thing, yeah, I did feel a certain amount of guilt when I answered that no, I don’t write really at all ever (except in my head which I actually do count just a little bit, because, and few non-writers know this, when a writer is sitting staring out a window, they’re actually working), but the guilt didn’t overwhelm me because that’s just not where I am in my life right now. And that is fine. I’m hoping that the copious amount of time I spent writing for school is kinda banked somewhere and when I seek to dust it off it won’t be totally worthless. But for now, in this meantime, however long I choose it lasts, I’m writing rarely and that is okey dokey.

As a nonfiction writer I’m living now what I’ll write later. I spend my time teaching yoga, doing yoga, enjoying the effing hell out of my a-damn-dorable, doting husband, being spoiled, growing my hair, and playing house (read: buying shit with which I decorate and redecorate the abode, a spectacular and spectacularly expensive hobby that my indulgent darling indulges).

I saw a post on Humans of New York a bit ago where the dude's quote was something like, “I’m taking a break from setting goals right now.” I’m doing that! I’m surely goal-oriented and I can’t successfully live any one day without a list of what I need to get done, but the big goals, the lofty things—I can’t believe I’m saying this—right now I don’t need them.

I want to be a better yoga teacher than I am now and that takes two main things: practicing my yoga and practicing my teaching. So I take and I teach as often as I can. And I want to be the best wife I can be because the man I’m married to merits all I am plus some.

Day in and out I can’t understand why Jim thinks I deserve all the good he is and does. But here he is being all amazing and shit every day, loving me even when I’m wholly unlovable. The man’s a certifiable lunatic who wakes to spoil me. And don’t misunderstand, unabashedly, I love it.

Any sentence I begin with, “Jim do you think we could—” or “Jim, let’s—”“ or “Jim, I think I want—” he immediately interrupts with, “Yes,” “Okay,” “Sure.” without even hearing what I’m asking. I have to be careful what I mention interests me; he’ll get it, make it happen, shift the moon and hand me the sun.

Honestly, I don’t talk about a lot of that amazing stuff because my friends get nauseous and jealous, and it makes the two of us loathsome and incomprehensible. It’s a small price for a life that’s pretty damn perfect. [Insert your—totally understandable—eye roll here.] So while life is real and has its inconveniences, you could be safe in saying that we’re still in that delirious newlywed phase. I mean, guys, I just heard him start his ear-splitting snoring in the other room and it made me smile. Cuuute

Friday, August 14, 2015


I haven’t practiced Bikram for the last two days. Don’t fall out of your chair—I did a double on Tuesday and I’m doing a double today. The world hasn’t split at the seams. I’m still certifiably bananas.

Since I haven’t done hot for a couple days, I’m sore. (I did do a few vinyasa classes.) Heat is magnificent stuff. It makes me more pliable, and it doesn’t leave me sore. When I practiced just power yoga for the first five years of my yoga life I was sore every single day. And happy about it. When I teach a particularly stretchy class I’ll tell the room, Hey when you get up tomorrow morning and your body hurts, don’t blame me. You did this. It’s your achievement. Be proud of it. And for those first five yoga years I was just that: proud of my soreness because I earned it. I must say though that I don’t miss daily muscular backlash. A Bikram practice has its own ball of inconveniences but daily soreness isn’t one.

Laundry is though. With Bikram yoga in my day-to-day, laundry is a significant part of my practice. Team, I am disgusting. Like, really gross. Many of my hot yoga friends wash their sweaty gear as soon as they get home. Me? I drape the sopping towel and mat and top and shorts over a drying rack in the garage. I let it all pile up for a week or so, then I drag it all off of the rack and wash it. Laundry every day? Yoga is supposed to make my life better not way worse. No matter how small the load, laundry every day is way worse.

But! However! I was totally jazzed to do laundry on Wednesday because I was running out of yoga clothes. Which is not actually the truth, for my yoga wardrobe is like a girl's big butt—it would be impolite to discuss its size in public—but my favorite yoga leggings were dirty so I was basically deprived and had absolutely nothing to wear. See, the washing machine broke. It gave up its greasy ghost. So in an act of sheer grownupness I ordered us new ones. I did comparisons on Consumer Reports, read reviews online, double and triple checked the measurements Jim gave me, prioritized features, and selected a darling set of Whirlpool helpers. Even Jim said yesterday that they’re cute.

The set arrived on Wednesday which means that there were a good two weeks worth of leggings, tanks, sports bras, sweat towels, shower towels, shorts and Bikram tops queued for their close up. Guys when I practice, I practice. There’s no lazing about on my mat. I leave it all on the field. I don't sweat as much as I want to, but I do sweat plenty. Therefore when you've got that much yoga gear waiting to be laundered, you have a seriously malodorous mountain of performance-grade fabric positively ruining the garage. See? Disgusting.

Now everything is clean and smelling friendly and ready to get drenched with drop after drop of straight up effort.

Have I bored you with all this yoga blather? I’ve bored myself. It happens. A few weeks ago I was with Cameron in the yoga room before teaching my class, pretending to help him clean the room after he just taught, and I sprawled across the podium and said, “I hate yoga. It’s the worst.” I think he understood. There has been a class or two where we’ve done our namaste at the end and bowed and under my breath I've said, “I effing hate this shit.” Yoga. Of all things. Not every hit can be a homer, Dear Reader. But that’s only 5% of my yoga life.

The rest of the time I do love it. I often close class by telling students that if they have questions afterward not to hesitate asking, ‘cause yoga is my favortie thing to talk about. (That’s almost true. Jim is actually my favorite thing to talk about, but the world at large is fed up with hearing about how adorable he is and how much he spoils me and how much fun we have together. Ah, the life of a trophy wife . . . ) But sometimes. Sometimes I’m just so sick of yoga.

When I start talking with Jim about my day I feel bad that three-quarters of what I have to offer him has to do with yoga—where I took class, who taught, where I taught class, and how I managed to sorta blow it yet again. As an example, in a class yesterday I called a student a jackass. Yup. It was appropriate given the environment, and I’d do it again exactly the same way, but I would say that as a yoga teacher it's generally frowned up on to call your students names.

It can be dangerous to make your hobby your job. Adding money into the equation will alway suck out some of the fun. It was certainly that way with my art, and check out just how much of it I do now. Near to none. In my situation I had to choose: art or money? Consciously or not, I chose money. I did big print sales; I did logo after logo, but the pressure of working with clients and feeling like I ought to be turning a profit nullified the enjoyment in the activitiy. 

But here I don’t think that I did a dumb thing in making my hobby my hobby “job,” because I really do love it and there is so much to still learn. I’ve always been geared to teach so it’s a reasonable step in the evolution of my personal practice. And more than that, it’s not about the money. If you are in yoga for the money, well, you’re not good at making life choices. Because of Jim I don’t have to think about that element; it’s a thing for which I’m neverendingly grateful.

Did you see that? You see what I did there? I slid in a little Jim-is-perfect factoid and you hardly knew what was happening to you. A splash of ninja boastage. I'd say stay tuned for more if you aren't gagging yet. 'Cause that man's adorable quotient is always on the rise.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Danielle, this one’s for you. We've never met, but Whit said that according to your reading of my blog the Ellikers are still in Hawaii. Good point. That would be one long-ass vacation. Though Josie was pissed we had to come home at all, I was thrilled to be back in Sparks. I like my real life. I prefer it to vacation. Probably because my real life includes vacation.

While we didn’t end up getting to skydive in Hawaii like we wanted—apparently skydiving companies have ditched the Big Island (something to do with cost)—we did go on a helicopter tour and saw lava. We did go to a black sand beach. We did go swim with dolphins. Well, Jim and the kids did; my leave-the-animals alone self sat in the boat and got knee-weakeningly seasick. We did climb rad trees. We did hike around and see waterfalls. We did strip off our clothes and jump off rocks into a pool of water that very well could have but kindly didn’t gift us leptospirosis. Don’t worry, we didn’t strip off all our clothes; we were in our underwear. Which, yes, yes, itself actually is cause for concern.

Dunno where Ben and Jim were at the time, but Dustin, Josie and I were scrambling around some rocks at Rainbow Falls and saw teenagers jumping off lil’ 20-foot cliffs. Dustin was like, Oh, I’m doing this, which was convenient for him seeing as he was the one of us three wearing a swimsuit. He jumped. He climbed back up. He said it was fun. Josie and I were jealous. Josie and I were not at all sure what to do. Do we jump in our clothes? Do we go in our underwear? Oh dammit, I guess we do. Before stripping down to my stepkid-scaring lacy underthings I looked at them both and said, “As your technical stepmother, I apologize.” 

That same afternoon Josie and I brilliantly decided to trek down what has to be the, like, at least fourth steepest road in America, and when it occurred to us collectively that the further we walked down the further we’d have to walk back up we turned around took the hardest walk of our lives back to the Waikoloa overlook parking lot. We side-stepped with jazz hands. We walked up backwards. We bear-crawled on our hands and feet. At one point Josie started hallucinating fauna. Guys, we almost died basically. 

Since we survived I can say it was a good trip. It wasn’t where this spoiled white lady would have chosen to go, but Jim brought me a fresh-squeezed beet juice every morning from the nearby shop and I got to go to Bikram four times. Homegirl got what she “needed.” She can label the vacation Good.

Shit’s happening, Dear Reader. At this moment I’m writing from the Palms Place in Vegas. Jim had to come see his people down here and I came along so we could make a weekend of it. Sweet Cameron covered my Saturday class. Dunno what we’d do without that lil' nugget of a yogi; he’s also caring for the doggies seeing as—wait for it—Dustin moved out yesterday. Tomorrow, the boy is starting the next leg of his flight schooling in Utah. Yes, spreading wings. Only literally. Therefore better than everyone else.

So yoga. Last week I taught seven classes. Between Bikram and Power I probably took nine, but I don't so much tally that anymore. Teaching seven is the most I’ve done in a week so far. I know I’m a decent teacher. But I’m a new teacher. It’s gonna take forever to just graze good. A bit ago I passed the little 100-class milestone and it still feels like every class is my first.

One night last week when I got home from Bikram—as sexily sweaty as ever—Jim and Ben were watching Star Wars Episode II. I sat and we watched for a while, me answering Ben’s questions here and there because I was raised by a legit Star Wars nerd, and then Dustin got home and went we full out, talking technology, story line, comparing to LOTR. At one point I looked at Jim and said, “Your family is a bunch of geeks.” His lack of pride was confusing. 

Hey, so Jim took me by a camping ground last Saturday. (Had to retrieve a trailer. Don’t confuse yourself thinking I was actually camping.) It was nothing like what I expected. The campground was basically a big parking lot winding through the forest where people sit around all day and tell their kids to go play with sticks. Our neighbors at home aren’t as close as these camp sites were. I thought you went camping to, like, get away from it all or something? Apparently it’s actually just congregating closer with people you don’t know and coming to terms with being filthy. ’Til now my reason for not camping was that it was outdoors. But my relationship with outside has been improving of late. Now my primary reason for not camping is that it looks stupefyingly boring and if I want to get uncomfortably close with other stinky humans I can just go to Bikram. Which I do every day. So it’s as if I camp every day. I’m a camper. 

Monday, June 15, 2015


I went to Bikram. It’s the thing I want out of every vacation and holiday—get me to a studio—and it just so happens that there is a studio ten minutes from where we are staying. And it opened three days ago. So they were thrilled to have me. Because I was one of two students in class. They need bodies in there. And I will be getting my body back there a couple more times before we head home. Good thing I brought one whole yoga outfit with me. (It's my tried-and-true tactic of ensuring that I'll go to class more than once. Murphy's.)

After yoga I learned how to make an origami bow. Like to put on a package. One of Jim’s Facebook people posted a video on how to make a darling bow out of paper, he showed me the video, I produced origami paper out of thin air and now have a new skill. Quick, give me a gift to wrap and decorate.

The kids met a turtle today. We went to this one beach—drive three or four miles, turn left, drive a mile or so and turn right when you see mailbox 56, park at a 45-degree angle next to the rock wall, walk past the dumpster, and then turn to your left—in hopes of spotting things with flippers and shells, and a friendly local fella was like, “Hey, there’s a turtle that lives in this little cove. Here, have some fish, shake it in the water, and he’ll come over to eat it. You can pet him.” So the fam did just that. And I realized why the turtles in Finding Nemo are so chill. Because sea turtles are chill. This’n mosied over, snacked on white fish, nibbled Dustin’s toes, let the kids stroke his head and shell, and then the reptilian dude floated away.

Also, we saw lava goats.

On our drive home we came to the conclusion that dinner would happen at the Tommy Bahama restaurant.

“Do we have to, like, dress up?” Josie asked.

“We better not ‘cause I didn’t bring anything decent,” I replied.

“I just need to put on some real shorts,” Jim said.

“I’d like to put on some underwear,” Dustin added.

[Insert jolly laugh track.]

“Is anyone in this car wearing underwear?” Jim asked.


So we got back to the house and everyone ditched their swimwear, added underwear, redressed, and we walked to the restaurant.

When I went to the restroom before dessert I discovered that my underwear were on backwards. I didn’t fix them.

Dessert was everything. I do mean everything. Our waiter brought out the dessert tray and described all of it in such a way that we had to order one of each. Chocolate this. Chocolate that. Key lime pie. Butterscotch pudding. Pina colada something. Pineapple creme brûlée. All five of us are going to look stunning in swimsuits tomorrow with our bellies poking out all malnourished-Somalian-kid style.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


I am elevating my feet. Ankles seem to puff when on a plane for seven and a half hours. Aloha Hawaii. Since we’ve been up since 1AM Hawaii time, Jim is trying to snare a little bit of sleep before the ever-persuasive Josie ropes him into going over to the pool for an evening swim. We got her three-and-a-half new swimsuits, a few sun dresses, a Mraz hat, snazzy shades, and a terrific spray tan, so she’s equipped to enjoy an Instagram-worthy vacation. 

When our girl Jo found out that we would be going to Hawaii her first response was, I need to lay out and get a tan. Enter sun-phobic stepmoster Megan. Nuh-no, pretty girl. If you promise not to lay out I’ll buy you a helluva tan. So last night America’s most delightful 13-year-old came to my 8:30PM Warm & Mellow yoga class and then we zipped over to Bronze de Beaut for a 10pm tanning appt. Lil’ home skillet bronzed like a pro. We got home at 11 or so. And it’s not like we got any sleep to speak of. Ellikers be bushed, yo. I’m pretty sure Dustin’s passed out in his room too.

While we’re here fingers crossed that said snoozing pilot will be able to fly us over to Maui or something. Because he flies planes. When we were on our flight from LAX to Kona today and the captain got on the intercom and told us his name I turned to Jo and said, “Oh my gosh, someday we will be on a plane and we will hear, ‘This is your captain, Dustin Elliker.’ How cool will that be?” Really effing cool, Dear Reader. He’s extraordinary and getting to witness it is a pleasure. 

Speaking of pleasures . . . let’s see here, what kind of spoiled white chick/kept wife shit have I been up to lately? Ah, outdoor furniture. Our house—gotta level with you, saying “our” like that that still makes me a bit uncomfortable—has a rather terrific and sizable deck. Guys, it needed to be furnished. So I did the research. I did the measuring. I coordinated the colors. And we are gonna have a nice, livable outdoor space come end of next week. So when you come to visit we’ll go out back and sit a bit. I will feed you a salad of herbs and kale that I’ve got growing in containers near the lawn. That is if I don’t kill the darling gifted kale seedlings. Cameron is staying with our puppy babies and plants while we’re on vacation and, like the good Bikram teacher that he is, is ensuring optimal hydration in his charges.

Hey, so a few weeks ago we had Ashley Thalman herself fly out to Sparks to shoot some family photos. Jim’s got new office space and it needs updated family art. A sliver of a sliver of my personal favorites:

I'll sprinkle in more here and there later on.

Hey also, if you’re looking to rent a house in Spanish Springs, I’ve got one available as of this week. 2400 square feet. Two stories. Four bedrooms. Two and a half baths. A kitchen with two ovens that I miss. Two-car garage with one of those weird long bays that people think makes it a three-car garage. And I think by now all the my-two-faced-asshat-husband-isn’t-just-an-unsuccessful-and-lazy-failure-but-also-a-cheating-lowlife taint has leaked out of the walls. A fresh coat of paint and a whoa!-I-dodged-a-bullet-there! realization'll do that.

Friday, May 15, 2015


One year ago today, after my 10AM yoga class, Jim surprised me at the studio with a giant Diet Dr. Pepper. Three and a half hours later in our backyard I wore a dress I'll never need again and became his wife. Then our family and best people ate lemon cake. Then we all went to the go-kart place for our inevitably unique “reception.” A kick-off that aptly indicated what we were in for.

We've been married one year. In my life, I've never been happier. I've never been more spoiled, more loved, or more in love. I still think that everything he does is adorable. As an example, Jim has a habit of leaving his chewing gum on his bedside table at night. When I zip past and snap it up to toss in the trash I think, “He’s so cute.” But I'm right. I mean, gawsh—

Mid-morning on Wednesday I took a call from a third-party company that Sanofi hired to do my exit interview. Was the company compliant? Would you work for Sanofi again? Why did you leave? Are you currently employed? And then the interviewer paused and said, “Do you mind my asking what you’re doing now?” “I left the industry,” I told him, “I’m teaching yoga.” He laughed and commented on the significant departure from my previous life. “Why did you choose that?” he asked. “It makes me happy.

At that moment I was perched on the edge of the kitchen table facing the backyard. I had the sliding doors open a few inches because I’d just come in from checking on my herbs and before that I’d been taking our chubby puppies for their daily march. As I answered his questions I thought, “Sheesh. This is a good life.” I’m grateful to Jim. Jim is grateful to me. I thank him often for convincing me to quit. He thanks me often for quitting. And he’s glad that my time plugging away in the workforce granted me a perspective that can appreciate what it takes to support a family. I don't take what he does for granted. He makes success seem like a foregone conclusion and hard work look easy. But it isn’t and I know that and it makes me all the more thankful for what life my sweetheart enables.

I do house stuff—laundry, grocery shopping, morning tidying after everyone’s left, bringing in the milk, writing the check to the housekeeper—but I also get to do things beyond what I could when pedaling drugs. On Tuesday I had time to make a four-layer cake. (Ended up decent but not better than that. I’m learning.) Yesterday I took three yoga classes—one for strength, one for sanity, and one to check out a new local studio. In between I got a facial. I drink more water. I eat more vegetables. Guys, I’m just happier. 

But here’s the thing—while my job got to a point where it was making me white-collar cross and that was beginning to bleed into my personal life, my personal life was already splendid. This husband I have can’t be real. When I get jealous of someone—like, oh they have such a great body or they are so pretty or smart or all the other shit we think—I scuttle my envy by thinking, Yeah, but they don’t have Jim. I actually think that. And it actually makes me feel better.

I’m so taken with this man's quirks. He leaves me love notes on 3x5 cards ‘cause they’re what’s handy. His favorite part of our Playboy Mansion experience was the technology of the hyper-cool MirMir photo booth; that’s the thing he can’t stop talking about. He sees cheese and crackers as an acceptable dinner. He always gets the same smoothie at Jamba juice but orders it as, “Give me whatever has the most pineapple in it.” He thinks water is disgusting. He falls asleep listening to The Office. And while everyone thinks my husband is funny, no one thinks Jim is funnier than Jim does. 

He teaches me things. On a drive from Los Angeles to San Diego he taught me about handicapping and how sports betting works. He taught me the difference between welding and soldering. I now know a bit about what’s going on in my car when I turn on the A/C. I’ve learned exactly why Teslas are inconceivably bitchin’. And I’ve independently come to the conclusion that unions are, like, the third worse thing ever. 

He is the most fun person I know. That anyone knows. His hobby is spoiling the hell out of his kids. (We’re trying to balance that out with foreign things like “discipline” and “responsibility.”) He’s down to go anywhere or do anything. He likes desserts enough that when we were in Vegas at Rose Rabbit Lie and he ordered the entire dessert menu so we could try everything. He took me to “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” and then the following morning we went to breakfast with Bill Kurtis. He is constantly bringing home new remote-controlled gadgets and has lately been playing remote-controlled battling tanks with Benjamin. People, there’s a professional-grade ice shaver in the garage. He buys me feta cheese in bulk. We did the VIP tour in Disneyland.

Read: fun. 

He knows that the thing I want out of every trip we take is to find a yoga studio. (Right after our breakfast with Bill he dropped me off at the Funky Door while he went to a job site.) He came with me to class in Milan. A couple weeks ago he practiced with me at a Bikram studio in North Hollywood where the room’s temperature read 110 degrees Fahrenheit before class got started. He’s a guy who’s in it for the experience even when that experience is sweaty and inconvenient. 

We have a trip to Hawaii with the kids planned for next month. If you know me much you know that Hawaii isn’t so much my bag. I went there for college. The novelty wore off. I loved my education but learned that island fever is real. Also, I’m the color of printer paper and avoid the sun like it’s cyanide. After Jim booked the plane tickets I told him, “I love you so much that I’ll go to Hawaii with you.” His reply: “Have you ever gone somewhere with me and not had fun?” Of course not. Naturally it’ll be a blast. Wherever he is is where I want to be. Always.

Also I’ll get to see his exquisite legs in shorts. I never get sick of that.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


What day is it? I figured out that it’s Sunday but it’s not all that strange for me to lately have no idea as to the day of the week. This is my post-drugs life.

I just checked into our hotel in San Diego. Jim has meetings for the next couple days. I tagged along. Because my life is unduly splendid and I’m gleefully—yet gratefully—spoiled. We drove in from L.A. where we stayed for the last two days. We were at the Mondrian on Sunset Boulevard and I specify where so if you are in West Hollywood and looking for a pool area with nonstop really damn loud music where you can surround yourself with impossibly beautiful people who certainly don’t have jobs—and that token pensioner who wore dress pants to the pool—Skybar at the Mondrian is a suitable option.

We flew down to L.A. for a weekend of partying at both ends of the spectrum. Friday night was at the Playboy Mansion. Saturday: a benefit for a Catholic organization. Same shoes. Very not the same dress.

Allow me to disappoint you and say that our Playboy Mansion night was PG-13. You want to know if we saw boobs. We did not. It wasn’t that kind of night. We did see barely-dressed-and-dead-in-the-eyes young ladies gyrating on huge lucite cubes but not too much more racy stuff than that. We were at the event by way of one of Jim’s entrepreneur organizations so while I wouldn’t deign to call it classy, the gathering could have been much trashier. I mean, at one point there was a parrot on my shoulder. I’ll say this though: if you have the hypothetical opportunity to get a lil’ frisky with your person in the Playboy Grotto you’d be a dummy not to take it. I’m no hypothetical dummy.

Our Saturday event was a benefit for St. Anne’s, a social services agency in Los Angeles. My Jessica friend co-chaired the board that put together the event, and since we were in town we got to go. The thing went off without a hitch—I mean, of course; it’s Jessica we’re talking about here—and four killer brownies consumed to the tune of conversation with one of my besties sealed the evening as ideal and the weekend as perfect.   

On Friday morning when I was jamming shit into my suitcase I said to Jim, “It will seem like I’ve packed the entire bathroom because I have. I have no idea what all I’m going to need for this weekend, so I’m bringing everything.”

“No big thing,” he said, “The life of a trophy wife requires a lot of luggage. You’re getting whisked from party to party.”

Trophy wife. Sheesh. This guy.

But until I can figure out what the hell I am now, we’ll enjoy the kick of going with that tongue-in-cheek title. See, you go to enough events where there are folk you don’t know and you’ll get asked frequently to label yourself and then suddenly a merry soiree morphs into an existential mess. Yes, what even am I? Well, at this point, hungry. Once done with post this I’m gonna mow down a Trader Joe’s hummus wrap. But in, like, life, what’s my title? What do I identify with? Ask me that common, “And what do you do?” and you’ll get met with incertitude. I was a drug rep for a decade but I’m not that anymore. I’m a yoga teacher? I’m strongly considering making something of my Masters in writing? I’ve designed things but I sort of don’t want to do that anymore? I do laundry on Mondays and shop for groceries on Thursdays? I’m obsessing over slimming down our dogs? It’s all true but it doesn’t fit under a simple title. “Drug rep.” was an easy answer. That activity took the most of my time. But now, while my day is so full I can’t figure out how I ever had time for the drug career and at the end of the day I wonder if I sat down for even fifteen minutes, there isn’t a thing that takes the most time. I get to divide it out more evenly and do all those things on my own timetable.

Thus it is best to meet “And what do you do?” with “Whatever I want.” All hail Jim.

Prior to our Saturday event, the evening included a spell of panic when I got out of the shower, coated my wet hair with styling goo and subsequently discovered that our room didn’t have a blow dryer. My call to housekeeping didn’t procure one fast enough. So I perched on a chair overlooking the hip AF pool area and fretted that my hair product was going to dry hard and my hair would be weighed down and I’d have to shower all over again to start fresh and we just didn’t have time for that nonsense. Jim phoned housekeeping and said that, yeah, that blow dryer that the lady just called about, we need it immediately. As in now. As in where the hell is that thing and if they don’t get it up here pronto he’ll have to call back every 90 seconds until they get his wife her damn blow dryer before her—[totally justifed]—distress triggers an arrhythmia. Dryer was delivered. Tragedy was assuaged. Absurdly cute and catering husband gets the credit for my satisfactory hair night.

JiMegan: blissfully making friends and family gag and roll their eyes since 2013. 

On the home front, I keep asking Josie when she’s gonna suck. She’s a teenager. 13. As her “stepmother”—as a human, really—I’m supposed to find her incredibly annoying. Can’t. She’s delightful and a piece of really good cake. A sentence not uncommon—from either party—in JiMegan conversations, “How freaking great is Josie?” Very.

Monday, April 20, 2015


• Sometimes I play messenger at home. The other night I told Josie, “Hey, public service announcement: if you don’t get on top of your laundry your dad is gonna lose his shit.”

• Apparently my hair color has been hiding my dosha. Last Tuesday a student said that since he can now see my roots it all makes more sense—my dark hair was misleading, and now that he can tell that my hair is actually lighter and more consistent with my complexion it's evident that I’m a Vata. (Prayer hands and a bow if that made sense to you.) My actual concern here: you are examining my roots? Wednesday’s hair appointment couldn’t have been more welcome. Evidently it’s time to schedule them even closer together.

• I got a food dehydrator that hasn’t stopped humming since I took it out of the box. Kale, apples, potatoes, pineapple, and bananas over the weekend. Next up, mushrooms and tomatoes. I’m a dehydration pro in the hot yoga room and will be in the kitchen too.

• Dustin’s greeting to me lately: “How’s retirement?” Lotta yoga. I “retired” a week ago. I took class and taught Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. So retirement looks an awful lot like pre-retirement just without a day job that was, quite honestly, making me miserable. Now I have a flexible schedule. Get it? Flexible? Yoga? Oh forget it.

I legally changed my name to Romo-Elliker. Megan Romo-Elliker. Up until now my hyphenation has been informal. But it’s official. (Fish fish, Tanya.)

• Benjamin’s sweats were getting short so Jim dropped in at Old Navy and snapped up a few more pair. Problem is, he got Mediums and those were the size of the ones that are too short. So I exchanged ‘em for Large. Ben tried on the new sweats and they were way too big. “Medium is too small,” I said, “And Large is too large.” “Too bad there’s not an Extra Medium,” he replied.

• Vanilla almond butter.

• When talking with a friend about how she plans to one day live off the grid, to give up internet and phones, my immediate response was, “But how will you go online to order your life from Amazon?”

• The other night I was chatting with a fellow Juice Boxer and he asked after Jim. “Where’s that adoring husband of yours?” I told him that Jim works out every weekday at 5AM so I don’t expect him to come to late classes. “He loves you,” he told me. “I know,” I replied. “I can tell when he looks at you. I saw you look at him and him look at you and I thought, ‘That man has a twinkle in his eye!’ You guys look so in love.” Aw. We are. It makes people nauseous.

• Last week I met the fluffiest Bernese Mountain Dog in America. Her name is Maya and she is as big as me.

• My Lola sister came in for the weekend and left yesterday. She was here to hang. We dehydrated things. She took my vinyasa class. (Which I totally crushed, by the way. Afterward a student told me that because of my enthusiasm he tries things that he otherwise wouldn't and he's loving it.) She, Jim, and Dustin went to the GSR and played poker. She came with us to Ichibahn to celebrate Dustin and Nathaniel’s birthdays. She helped me transfer all the stuff out of my soon-to-be-gone work car into our other car. It was relaxing yet productive and completely delightful.

• Convenient how Jim already had a car for me. Forward thinker that he is, he got the thing last year with this very scenario in mind. Wife may quit job. Will then need own car. This car can be that. He’ll drive his truck and I’ll take the little car. Done and done.

• I've got some kind of yoga-clothes disconnect going on in my brain. On Thursday I forgot to put something to wear in my yoga bag, so I used the back-up clothes that I keep in my car. On Friday I forgot my yoga bag altogether and I hadn't replaced my back ups so I borrowed clothes. And yesterday after class I was nearly home when I got a text telling me that I left the bag of my sweaty shorts and top in the dressing room. I wonder what fun apparel screw up awaits me today.

• I wrote “mushroom fluff” instead of “marshmallow fluff” on my grocery list. My subconscious wants me to make nasty smores.

• Some evenings I ask Jim, “Do know what happens tomorrow?” “What?” “Breakfast!” I rise to eat.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Growing up we sixchix had our classic movies, the ones where my sisters and I still know all the words. On an afternoon in Italy while her kid napped, Mal and I found ourselves at the dining table pounding Jelly Bellies and singing every word to “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast as if we’d watched that show yesterday and like we were six-year-olds.

While on my way to a drug lunch in South Lake Tahoe earlier this week I called my sister Whit. As soon as she answered I said, “Help me. This will sound weird.”


“There’s this movie. And there are two guys and they are talking. I know this sounds stupid.”

“I’m with you.”

“And one sings, ‘I—I quit. I quit. I quit. I quit, Mr. . . . ’ First, what the hell movie is that and second what’s the name of the Mr.?”

“That’s an easy one,” she replied, It’s That Thing You Do and it’s ‘I quit, Mr. White.’ You should have known that. It’s a Peterson classic. I think you’re getting Alzheimers in your old age.”

Here, the clip she sent me as follow-up:

Why did I call her to ask about the movie? Well, I quit.

I had slivers of that flick clip knocking around in my noggin because I was thinking about quitting my drug job.

I got hired into drugs a month before I turned 23. In two weeks I turn 33. For this venture, a decade was enough. I've sold 15 different drugs for 12 different disease states. I’m done.

Jim has been encouraging me for months to leave pharmaceutical pedaling and pursue stuff I love. My drug job has had benefits galore, and though there have been lots of things to appreciate about it, this career wasn’t what I chose for myself. It was what funded the other choices, and with my marital situation what it was, that job was what I had to do not what I wanted to do. Instead, the three “jobs” I did choose for myself—art, words, and yoga—traditionally have the lowest fiscal yield in the history of ever.

But Jim says he wants to support me in doing what I love, and because, well, I tend to be pretty good at whatever I do and I’m a dedicated little thing, he knows it’s not like once I leave pharma I’ll be sitting at home wearing Old Navy flannel pajama pants and watching Netflix all day. No, instead I’ve got lots of plans, things I’ve been wanting to do and trying to do but haven’t been able to ‘cause the day job was really effing demanding.

So add Exceedingly Supportive to Jim’s ever-lengthening list of perfect traits. You wanna write, Megan? Stay home and write! You wanna learn how to be a better yoga teacher and then teach the hell out of yoga? Do that. Make pretty pictures. Wear jeans and flats. Screw pharma. Go be you.

As the option has become more realistic to me I’ve worried some about what this does to my lil’ identity. In talking to my dad about moving on from the drug years I asked—honestly starting to tear up—“But if I’m not this, what am I?” I’m the things I’ve always been, just without the inhibition of the pharma career. Jim is enabling me to be what I want. He just gifted me 40-some-odd more hours in my week. As if I wasn’t in silly in love with the guy already.

I’m also looking forward to being able to be more available to him and the kidlings. Honestly, I haven’t had time for a damn thing that wasn’t work or yoga. Some days I would leave at 8AM and get home at 10:30PM. Now I can work on the food situation around here, organize more, and slim down our fat, fat dogs. (Enough already with being so bashful about Gus’s sausage middle and the fact that we can’t find his ribs whenever I take him to the vet. Poor boy.)

It’s all a little bit scary and a lot bit exciting. But as excited as I am I think Jim is twice as thrilled. Homeboy loves that I quit. Pharma schmarma.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


I am in a hotel in Modesto, CA. They have hotels here. Which surprised me because I can’t figure out why anyone would visit. (My regrets tendered to Modesto residents.) For me the reason to be here is a two-day meeting. A make-up meeting. My company just launched a new drug (read: big deal) and I missed the gigantic launch meeting week before last. So: here now.

I missed the meeting because I was in Italy doing vacation things with my person. Jim and I left on a Saturday and returned the following Saturday. We landed in Milan and started the trip with a few days in an airbnb flat in with my sister, Mally, and her guys, Husband Nick and Child Sy. One of the days Jim and Nick went over to Switzerland to ski the Matterhorn. (Fancy, yes. They did not, however, get to ride the roller coaster through the famed peak and zip by the abominable snowman, therefore the day trip was only so-so.) Then Nick and Mal and kid left for their home in Belgium and Jim and I rented a car and headed three hours thataway to Venice. We stayed on Lido. We stayed in Venice. We stopped in Verona. We went back to Milan. We flew home.

JiMegan's Italy-visitor activities look like this—taking a shady taxi ride to our flat, a drive during which I passed out and Jim planned out how he was gonna save our lives when this driver pulled over to kill him and sell me into forced prostitution. Forget entirely about changing to an international cell plan before leaving the U.S. and finding ourselves without a way to get into our Milan home when we arrive. Walk to a studio to take a couple Bikram classes. Stroll to the Duomo in Milan where outside the cathedral Jim and Nick tell me that its ground floor houses a sit-down McDonald’s and, appalled, I believe them for a second. (They really rode the lie off the rails though when they said that it also had Europe’s only Chick-fil-A.) Completely melt the insides of my flat iron by plugging it into a 220V outlet without an adapter. Get me a new flat iron. Hit up a rad modern art museum in Venice. Wander into an art gallery where upon entering I immediately start making bets with myself as to how long until Jim nudges the art installation with his toe to see if it is secured to the ground. (I love that he loves to see how things work.) Trace our way through Verona looking for more above-average gelato.

Also, we got lost. We got stuck on Lido at 1AM and decided to just stay there for the night. Thus on one night of our trip we two had three hotel rooms: the flat in Milan that we’d rented for the week, a pre-paid hotel in Venice, and a hotel in Lido with Italy’s most delightful hotel clerk, Paulo.

A lil’ adventure made itself into a memory.

And of course we did what you do when you go on vacation of any kind really: sleep more than usual and eat too much. This body will be on its way back to my normal size for the next two weeks. Ah, discipline. (Frown.)

The trip wasn’t structured. It was unhurried. It was out of the country, so aside from the moments of WiFi here and there, I was cut-off from my at-home communications. Perhaps that was the best part—being away from everything with my husband. Because that was what I liked best, I’d really have been happy to vacation pretty much anywhere. I go places to be with my people. I got to spend a couple days with Mallory and her family. I got to bum around with my husband. The environment was unique and compelling, but being with my people is the reason to go. Friends ask, “Did you see this? . . . Did you go there? . . . Did you shop?” Yes, sort of, and not really. Because neither Jim nor I care all that much for what tour books call highlights. He’s the highlight. I’m the highlight. Our people are the highlight.

On our drive back to Milan Jim told me that I’m “a good little traveler,” a compliment that made me feel spectacular since doesn’t the stress of travel so often bring out the worst in people? It’s true I think, but see, Jim brings out the best in me.