“Maybe all we can hope to do is end up with the right regrets.”
I started this blog in 2004 while navigating the rubble of a divorce, single parenting, unemployment, and a whole boatload of squelched hopes and expectations about my life and who I want to be when I grow up. A lot of things have changed since then; most of them for the better. (I don’t have as many “how exactly did I get here?” sorts of moments as I used to, for example, but they do still creep up on me now and again.) I’m living a life I never planned for but now cannot imagine being any other way. And yes—after all these years—I’m still writing my way through it, laughing at myself as much as possible, trying to make sure that I end up with only the right regrets.
In 2007 I remarried, to the handsome and wonderful—albeit geeky and pseudonymous—Otto. Darling Otto is now featured heavily here on the blog (with his own category and everything), because I can think of nothing that is a greater testament to either the power of love or the totality of earnest repression than daring to remarry after a messy divorce. Fortunately, Otto and I have known each other since our sophomore year of college, and he already knows I’m neurotic and I already know he likes bad jokes. We’re hopeful. Besides, he always does the dishes and the kids seem to like him, so I plan to keep him around.
The writing thing seems to have worked out for me; after having worked as a nanny, software engineer, technical writer, mortgage broker, and marketing drone, I’ve finally found the job I don’t hate! I’m a freelance writer full-time, now, so you should feel free to hire me and give me lots of money at your earliest convenience. Also, I love your shoes and your hair is looking particularly shiny today.
Turn-ons: Chocolate, sleeping, books, hyperbole, big words, being right, being told I’m pretty, bargains, organic milk, fabulous shoes, emotions, clean sheets, geeks, kissing, kissing geeks, really good coffee, worthy causes, a clean house, and a dry basement.
Turn-offs: Rudeness, stupidity, lack of table manners, dishonesty, houses painted colors houses ought not to be painted, being cold, indifference, paying full price, lousy drivers, eating things that are still alive, abysmal spelling and/or grammar, inappropriate neediness, unresolved childhood issues, and sandals worn with socks (particularly in winter).
Now you know it all. I’m not really all that complicated. Shut up.
Kids Semi-Adults Spawn
What can I say about my kids? They are the most fantastic, wonderful, fascinating, aggravating people I know. When I started writing here, they were 4 and 6. Now I’m supposed to believe they’re grown-ups, which is just pure crazypants malarkey. If you read my archives, you’ll come to know and adore them and also wonder when they stopped being children. But here’s your crib sheet.
Chickadee is 19 (!!!) years old. She loves marching band, ukulele, gel pens, combat boots, Tumblr, tasteless jokes, relentless Snapchatting, bossing others around, and being away at college where she stays up all night, eats nothing but candy, and maybe sometimes goes to class. Her favorite hobbies are arguing and crafting (and selfies, preferably with jazz hands). She can make me laugh so hard it hurts. I am not allowed to follow her finsta, but she shows me the posts there, sometimes, anyway. The bottom line for her is a lot like the old poem about the little girl who had a little curl… when she’s good, she’s very, very good. When she’s bad? Take cover. A heartfelt hug from her is a soothing balm for whatever ails you.
Monkey is 17.5 (!!!!) years old. He is the quintessential younger sibling—enduring his sister’s ministrations with patience and goodwill 99% of the time. (Beware the remaining 1%.) His loves are RPGs in all their many forms, Minecraft, math, being right, inventing things, terrible puns, Homestuck and Order of the Stick (neither of which I understand), and wedging himself into small spaces for fun. Monkey is a lot like a Great Dane puppy; lots of love, lots of tripping on himself, and a certain bewildered oblivion about both of these things. Currently he is suffering from a debilitating case of senioritis, and if you have a few minutes (read: couple of hours) he would love to tell you why high school is the worst and moving on to Giant Nerd University (not its real name) is going to be like Disney World and Heaven wrapped up together in ribbons and bows made of his favorite derivatives. His dimples may well be responsible for the melting of the polar ice caps.
Licorice isn’t actually human, but don’t tell her that. She’s a shih tzu/poodle mix we adopted from a local rescue group in September of 2009. She is spoiled rotten and I am overly attached to her, and the rest of the family is similarly smitten so I am excused for talking to her in the world’s most obnoxious who’s-my-widdle-baby voice. Licorice enjoys long naps, performing emergency squeakerectomies on her toys, fruit of all kinds, popcorn, chasing the “giant chickens” down by the pond, and writing bad poetry.
Duncan Donut joined the family in November of 2013. A shih tzu/lhasa apso mix with a mournful howl who turned out to have a host of health problems and—surprise!—is almost completely blind, there are a hundred reasons why adopting Duncan was a terrible idea. There’s just one reason why it was perfect: We love him. And he seems to fit in with our motley crew just fine. Duncan enjoys throwing a ball for himself, drinking too much water too fast and yakking it back up, snoring loudly, trying to communicate with us in Wookiee, and barking at Licorice until she chases him.