by Jen Logan | May 1, 2023 | Uncategorized
I woke up sobbing this morning like a little girl. It took me a minute to wake up and realize that I was a little girl and I was crying because I was talking to myself. It’s something I tell clients to do a lot when we are talking about trauma they went through as a child. I do it to myself when I think about the mistakes I made as an awkward adolescent, too immature to make better choices and too out of place to find proper guidance. I think it’s because I took my daughter to see Bikini Kill last week who took the time between songs to talk a little about what it’s like to be a woman, what it was like to be a female band in the punk scene in the 90s and how we can be better to each other today and make all people feel safe and at home at punk shows. It got me thinking about just how unsafe I felt so often at shows as a teenager, afraid of getting punched in the head, too close to the pit at a hardcore show, or having some guy think it was okay to stick his hand up my shorts while I was on top of the crowd.
I love being able to take my kid to shows like that so she can see women like Kathleen Hanna on stage, so incredibly comfortable in her own skin, doing what she was put on this earth to do. I love watching this woman dance and then describe her own dance moves as “the cringy mom” knowing that my daughter is standing next to me soaking it all in while some of her classmates are passing around a video of her in cosplay calling it “cringy”. Ironically enough, I was driving my daughter to school the next day telling her all about what the punk shows were like for me as a young female and how to defend against a crotch grab while crowd surfing at the same time the rest of my daughter’s classmates were being told that one of the girls was not coming back to school for the rest of the year. The classmate was a friend of my daughter’s until very recently when she started being mean, lashing out at friends for her own inner wounds. Later, while my daughter was showing me the texts from her classmates speculating about the reasons this girl won’t be returning to school, all I could think about was how grateful I was for the education I was able to give my kid the previous night in being okay with who you are. I was grateful that my daughter knows that validation needs to come from within, not from her peers, or boys, or even her parents.
I watch my tween navigate the world being a little different than her counterparts and I think about how much different I was than my classmates at that age. I think about how I gravitated to the other girls that didn’t really fit in and how I was the girl who welcomed them knowing what it was like to be the new kid and I watch my daughter do the same thing. I also watch as the new girls start to fit in a little bit, as they gravitate away from my kid, sometimes becoming the same girls that pass around videos of my daughter in cosplay trying to secure their place in the popular group by being a mean girl. And when I see it, I silently thank my dad for being the parent he was and reminding me that fitting in is never the most important thing in life. I thank my mom for teaching me that kindness is a greater quality than leadership. And I thank women like Kathleen Hanna, Kim Gordon, Aimee Interrupter and Alison Mosshart for being role models for me and my kiddo navigating our way through the world of Kardashians.
*I wrote this post listening to some of my favorite Riot Grrrls Bratmobile.
by Jen Logan | Apr 13, 2023 | Being Awesome, Parenting, Screwing Things Up
Way back in November 2022, I won an overnight stay at a waterpark and promptly forgot about it because it was Christmas. When I found the envelope again I remembered that I had just assumed that it would be a trip for me, my husband, my kid and my parents because it was an overnight stay for a family and 5 waterpark passes, and we have been there together already. Plus, I’m a little co-dependent and bring my parents everywhere, like every normal 50 year old woman does, right? I think my parents probably assumed the same thing because my Mom seemed a little surprised when I told her I was going to take my daughter and two of her friends for a girls weekend after my husband prompted me to do so. It was a fun time and I got to see how three tween girls interact with each other when being partially supervised by the mom who was trying to hop on the floating lily pads with nobody noticing and going down the slides first to make sure they were “safe” for the girls. Nobody drowned, nobody got sick, and we were not asked to leave after I let the girls fly an airplane through the lobby, so I chalked up the trip as a success. I also need to send thank you notes to the girls’ moms who actually entrusted their kids to me for a weekend, because they have in fact spent time with me, and know what a risk that was.
Within 24 hours of our return, my parents informed me that their basement was flooded. I’m fairly certain they were trying to make their own water park to get the girls to come play at their house. Or maybe the universe was just trying to make sure I keep taking my parents with me everywhere I go, like every other normal 50 year old woman. Either way, it was a mess that needed my attention (co-dependency and all). I promptly pulled my husband out of his office to run over and help (unprepared and overdressed), and as usual he asked questions like “have you contacted the insurance company?” and “have you taken photos and called a restoration service?” while I took off my shoes and headed for the Beatles albums on the lower bookshelves. My Dad was of course MIA throughout this process picking up supplies at the other house where flooding occurs regularly, since it’s on a lake. He called a plumber to fix the sump pump and went straight for the power tools for the inevitable clean-up. Within an hour my husband had helped my Mom make phone calls, I had soaked my socks and pants while determining that a drain was not working and we had 3 shop vacs ready to pick up whatever water the plumbers couldn’t remove.
It’s now a full week later and the basement is mostly dry, the carpet is gone and the Old Man has cut out half of the walls after returning with a carload of power tools from the lake house. What I have found most interesting about the whole thing is that my Mom’s first text to me included “I guess God is telling me something” in reference to her tendency to save things. I would have expected her to be more upset, and apparently she knows even God is like “hey, lady, do you really need to save the program from your daughter’s 4th grade play?!?” I have for years made fun of my mother and called her a hoarder, but I have to say, going through some of the old things in the basement has been enlightening. My parents had an entire rubbermade storage bin full of photo slides from the 70s and what appears to be a bin stolen from the Post Office full of empty binders. Of the 27 plastic storage totes full of holiday décor, they only lost one, and it was for Thanksgiving which was fine since nobody has time to notice if there are turkey shaped dishes holding my Mom’s once a year greatest ever stuffing in the universe.
As my parents worked their way from corner to corner of the basement, they have rediscovered items I’m sure they haven’t thought of for years. And some of these items have made their way back to my house. I’m fairly certain that my child has the hoarder gene after she returned home with a poly mailer full of my high school papers and a grocery bag of beanie babies. But the best item was a picture of me at the age of two. The Old Man discovered it while cutting paneling out from around a built in bookcase full of an encyclopedia set from 1982 and bobbleheads of the Russian Five. Apparently in the seventies and eighties, artists just hung out at malls selling portraits, and my dad was the guy that stopped to have me sit for them, on a fairly regular basis, because they have a few of these framed masterpieces in their collection from various ages. The weird thing is the face on the child in this portrait is not even me, it’s so clearly my daughter at the age of two. I have a picture that her father took for her two year photo-shoot with the exact same face sitting on the bookcase in my bedroom.
I’m not sure if it was worth the thousands of dollars in damage for my daughter to see, but when I saw the portrait of myself and my daughter’s face appeared, I cried like either one of those two year olds would if you grabbed their favorite stuffed animal. I was looking at the little girl that was so well-loved that her parents stopped in the middle of a mall for an hour to capture her face every chance they got and seeing the face of another little girl with half of her bedroom on the living room floor after her parents tried for an hour to get a smile while cutting teeth. I’m grateful that my Dad always made the effort to capture those moments on film and canvas the same way my husband does now, and I’m grateful that my mom saves it all, even if it takes multiple houses to store the memories. I haven’t opened the poly mailer from high school and I don’t know if I want to at this point. I might just sneak it into one of the color coded plastic storage totes I keep by year of my daughter’s steps through life for her to find years down the line when she comes to rescue me when my basement floods. I just have to make sure to keep it away from my practical husband who brings the industrial sized fan to dry out the carpet because he is the guy who keeps asking me why I am saving the proof that she at some point thought I was superwoman, as evidenced by a first grade art project. Just when I was convinced I am turning into my Dad, the universe comes along and shows me I might just turn into my Mom too.
**I would like to say I wrote this while listening to the Beatles, but I am a riot girl at heart…. please read while listening to the one and only Bikini Kill
by Jen Logan | Feb 6, 2023 | Lemonade out of Lemons, Life
My last computer was a Dell and it lasted me almost 10 years. Recently, my husband decided he was sick of hearing me whine about how bulky it was and how my camera was fuzzy, so he bought me a brand spanking new HP. It lasted not quite five months. Last month, the machine revolted and started operating on it’s own. The mouse took over and started randomly opening windows and menus. I couldn’t even check my e-mail without the window resizing and task bars popping open all over the screen. The thing was possessed.
My husband repeatedly made adjustments, installed updates and did whatever other techy things he does to my devices when I complain. But a few weeks later, the computer was still acting like a rebellious teenager. He finally contacted HP support for assistance and this is where the wheels completely fell off the bus.
The “support specialist” informed him that he would need to jump through approximately 843 hoops before they would take over and fix their defective computer. He proceeded to jump through every hoop, including a factory reset of the computer, at which point the computer was worse than it was prior to him contacting support. He couldn’t even get to a start screen after the “support specialist’s” expert assistance. When my husband asked if he could drop it off at one of their many authorized repair centers near us he was informed that he would need to ship the computer to Texas for repair (because that makes sense). He was told that a box would be shipped to us and it would take about 3 weeks to complete the repair. A day later I received an e-mail that a box was being shipped via FedEx to:
11500-11598 JENNY DR
FARMBROOK DR. TROY,
WARREN MI 48093
That is not even an address. The middle line is part of my address, but two cities are listed and apparently HP expected FedEx to knock on a lot of doors on Jenny Dr. to find the right house. They may as well have listed my address as the blue house on the corner in a suburb north of Detroit. I received a call from FedEx 4 days later (HP guaranteed overnight delivery) stating that the package could not be delivered as addressed. No shit. When I spoke with someone at FedEx he actually said “that’s not an address, there are two cities listed”. I think the range of street numbers looked more like a sign in a hotel than a home address.
After finding out that they tried to ship an empty box to the wrong address even though I corrected them in two separate e-mails, I was finally fed up enough to call HP myself. And when I did, I understood why this was such a nightmare. Their customer service department is run by idiots. Not just run of the mill idiots, but full-fledged morons. It’s almost impossible to get an answer and when you do, it completely contradicts what the last person said. I talked to three people and each one had a different answer for why the unit had to be shipped to Texas. I was finally instructed to take it to a local repair center by Idiot #3 and given a repair ticket number. When I talked to Idiot #3’s supervisor, I was informed that I should wait for the box to ship it to Texas and that I should call FedEx to find the missing box myself. He said there were no authorized repair centers in my area.
The best conversation I had was with “John” from the Complaint Escalation Department, apparently located somewhere close to New Dehli. His title was pretty appropriate since he certainly escalated my complaints. He told me that the guy who gave me the local repair shop information told me where to bring it but that didn’t mean HP would be paying for it. He sounded like a con man trying to find the loophole to get out of taking responsibility as he told me I didn’t ask if I would have to pay for the repair myself if I used one of the authorized repair centers listed on their own website. He said for them to cover the cost I would have to get a quote and call him back to request a payment from HP that only he could approve. That is the worst pick up line I have ever had used on me. He actually said “we can’t just give you an unlimited budget!” as if he was doing me a favor. I could hear his smile through the phone when he said that of course his colleague could give me the name of a repair shop but that didn’t mean it would be covered under the warranty and that only repairs made in Texas were covered. I’ll bet he was wearing a cowboy hat when he said it too. When I finally asked for his supervisor I was put on hold while he ate lunch and went to the bathroom before being told that his supervisor would call me back. When I asked for the supervisor’s contact number he said he would love to give it to me but he didn’t have it. I’m not sure if this was another pick up line or not…
Since the time I got off the phone with “John” I have talked to two FedEx employees and the repair shop and all of these people have been helpful and friendly. The repair company seemed to have a lot of experience with HP and knew they were dealing with morons. They even said that the parts would take a little longer to arrive since they were dealing with HP. At first I thought maybe I was just being a Karen about the situation asking to talk to the manager repeatedly, until I talked to actual customer service representatives who understood that the title of their job meant to assist customers. I’m fairly certain every person we talked to at HP was under the impression they had no obligation or inclination to help us resolve an issue that was due to them selling us a defective computer. It was like dealing with the government.
When “John’s” supervisor finally called me back she immediately tried to place the blame for the delivery on FedEx. I explained that I had an e-mail from HP which listed the wonky address. She tried making excuses for why I got different information from different customer service representatives. I asked if their policies changed hourly or why their employees did not know their own policies. She tried to disregard “John’s” rudeness as a communication problem. I told her that it was clear that he did not like my tone and was attempting to put me in my place. She made excuses for all of their mistakes and justified their abysmal customer service while telling me it was “my right” to have repairs performed on their defective merchandise at my own cost. At the end of the call she thanked me for my loyalty and I asked what the hell script she was reading from because I was not a loyal customer in any way. I also told her that I really didn’t need to hear her say she was sorry that I was experiencing this issue repeatedly. I needed her to do her job and resolve my problem. At the end of the call she said as a one time courtesy she would do me a favor and extend my warranty for one year. At that I laughed and said it was not a courtesy or a favor and that I would be selling the computer as soon as it was repaired.
I also informed her that my husband ran right out and bought me a brand new Dell the minute he heard this repair would take a lifetime to complete. You may fool us once, but never again. While waiting on hold multiple times to speak with several “supervisors” I came up with the real meaning of HP…. Highly Problematic. I have to say, I love my new computer and it is everything my HP was not. Most importantly, it works!
*I wrote this piece while listening to the angriest man in punk rock – Mr. Henry Rollins. Thanks for keeping me focused Hank. It’s been a week!
by Jen Logan | Nov 1, 2022 | Life, Screwing Things Up
I have a serious sweet tooth. Anyone who knows me, knows I cannot pass up anything sprinkled, drizzled or dipped. I also am known for doing everything a little bigger than necessary. I earned the nickname “double scoop” when my entire family went out for ice cream and instead of getting one scoop the size of my head, like everyone else, I opted for two scoops and proceeded to consume both quicker than anyone else finished their single serving. I should probably be ashamed, but it takes more than one of the seven deadly sins to instill that feeling in me.
One of the areas where I have always been a little extra is gifting sweets to others. For several years I gave boxes of Godiva chocolate to everyone for Christmas from our cleaning lady to my family. I bought so many little gold boxes that Godiva started sending me a corporate catalog. When I finally moved on to another obsession for gifting, Godiva customer service began calling me about my “corporate” account. It took several phone calls for them to understand that I was not in fact a business purchasing for multiple locations, but a married mom from the Midwest with a serious sweet tooth. I told them I had developed diabetes and requested they close my account. I still buy quite a bit of chocolate, but now mostly from local shops.
Imagine my surprise when I opened the mail yesterday to find a check from Godiva. Apparently there was a class action lawsuit at some point and I was in said class. I have received a few checks over the years like this, normally in the range of a few bucks. Imagine my surprise to find a check for close to $50. My first thought was now I had a reason to buy the sixth pair of Vans that arrived along with the check in today’s mail. My second thought was how much chocolate had I had to have bought over the years to earn such a substantial piece of the class action suit. I wish I could say that this thought brought about a little embarrassment, but alas, it did not. Sometimes Double Scoop just has to have a few thousand boxes of truffles apparently.
*Some good Halloween music to eat all my kid’s candy before she gets home from school today…
by Jen Logan | Sep 14, 2022 | Being Awesome, Punk Rock
My mom took my kid shopping a month ago and tried to buy her a Bob Marley sweatshirt. My daughter thought about it for a second and said she couldn’t wear it since she couldn’t name three Bob Marley songs. Some parents have rules about playing with matches and screen time. We have rules about what bands you can sport on your chest. Most of my daughter’s band shirts have either come directly from concerts or from me and I have always only bought her shirts of bands she actually knows well. This goes back to her first band T at age two. At the time she liked three bands so I had the choice between Black Flag, Devo and Sublime. She attended her first concert at age three and picked up a Vampire Weekend tank top that she still have stuffed in a drawer somewhere, and she has had at least a half dozen shirts from her favorite band, the Interrupters who she has seen every time they have come through Detroit. I distinctly remember her walking through the gates at Disney World and the age of three wearing a KISS shirt and schooling the attendant when he questioned her knowledge of the band. And that guy is exactly why she has to know and love a band before she can wear their merch.
I have come to realize I may have created a monster. Within the first two days of school she had questioned each of her friends about band shirts they were wearing. Only one of the girls (a Green Day fan) could name three songs from the bands they advertised on their chests. After the first day of field hockey practice she jumped in the car and proclaimed a girl on the team was wearing a Rolling Stones shirt and she knew the girl didn’t even know who the band was. It made sense to me after seeing an advertisement for a trendy store that sells old punk band shirts on their website. I had to explain to my kiddo that she might see a variety of classmates walking around in Pink Floyd shirts because they liked the logo. I told her that she can’t get in everyone’s face yelling “name three songs!!” or her friends will think she’s an asshole. She responded with “well, you do that” and I think we both see that I proved my point…
*Listening to a music snob while writing about a music snob might be music snobbery at it’s finest…