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Birthday bonuses

I neglected to mention that about a week ago, Licorice and I had our birthdays. (Hers is the day after mine, according to the rescue from which she came, and also karmic math equations wherein your birthday + a dog’s birthday the very next day = The One True Dog.) It’s hard for me to verbalize why my attitude towards my own birthday these days is pretty unenthusiastic. It likely has something to do with the speed of time passing, the unexpected loops life has thrown our way the last couple of years, and gravity. (Mostly that last one.) Regardless of the cause, my excitement for marking another year of my life is hovering somewhere between “NO” and “whatever.”

On my birthday morning I woke up to a very excited family, a pile of small wooden boxes, and a weird paper thing. Following instructions from Otto, I eventually assembled this tableau:


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If my GPS could talk

This morning Chickadee had an appointment at Emory for chapter 593 in Mystery Rash: Where Is It Now, And Which Med Student Hasn’t Seen It Yet?, and because getting into Atlanta on a weekday is always an enormous clusterfuck, we left nearly three hours before her scheduled arrival to be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN of getting there on time.

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha. My optimism! It never fails to slay me.

There’s this whole time window calculation with heading into the city, too, where if your appointment is too early you get stuck in rush hour GOING, but if it’s too late you get stuck in rush hour coming BACK, and then there’s this whoooole fuzzy gray area where you’re likely to catch the tail end of rush hour no matter what you do, and so leaving at this time is functionally the same as leaving half an hour earlier, blah blah blah blah. I thought I had it figured out, is my point.

But I was wrong, because: Rain. RAIN! OH NOES! Quick, everyone veer off the road! Still: THREE HOURS. For a drive that should take 90 minutes, tops. What could possibly go wrong? (more…)

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Things I do when I should be working

The thing about working from home is that—while those of you working in offices may recognize when you’re wasting work time via, say, watching cat videos online—my time slippage is a lot more insidious than it used to be. That goes double now that we’re back to school, because hey, sometimes Monkey really needs me to help him with his work, y’know?

There’s too many possible rabbit holes in my day, here. Because Monkey really needs me to help him with his work and THEN he has to show me this new thing in Minecraft OR he can’t find a syllabus and so I HAVE to orchestrate a clean-up mission. OR it occurs to me that I should probably get dinner started and then it seems like a GREAT time to try a new recipe even though I have a million things I really ought to be doing, instead.

[Sidebar: Remember the whole "Oh, hey, SURPRISE! Chickie has ADHD!" thing? I'm now reading Smart But Scattered Teens and... holy Chickadee. Holy Monkey. HOLY ME. I can't decide whether to be pleased with myself for not being a hot mess 100% of the time or aggravated that I still wander off when I see something shiny to this day. Executive dysfunction: A family affair!] (more…)

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It turns out that being a grownup is a grind

I spent most of the last week trying really hard not to whine about not feeling well, because there is little more annoying than listening to a grown-ass adult complain because she has the sniffles. But I didn’t feeeeeeeel goooooooood and that was HARD. Because of the sniffling. And the feeling yucky. And wah wah wah. The truth is that I always get sick after I travel, and that was WEEKS AGO, now, and instead of getting full-blown, plague-level sick right away, I was just kind of stuck in this Victorian-fainting-couch level of feeling unwell for weeks, not getting better, but not really getting worse, either. Basically I had a cold.

And then last Friday I woke up with an awful earache, because I am three. Naturally I handled this situation with maturity and aplomb, which is to say that I stayed in my pajamas for two days, whining about how I AM TOO OLD FOR AN EAR INFECTION. I also took a lot of drugs (legal ones; nothing fun) and ate all the vitamin C in the world and drank a lot of water. I bemoaned my fate as The First Person Ever With The Cold That Would Never Go Away. And then yesterday I woke up feeling fine.

I should’ve been elated, but instead I was 1) slightly embarrassed by all the carrying on I’d been doing and 2) annoyed that this meant I no longer had an excuse to avoid being productive. (more…)

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My own series of bumper stickers

As an added bonus to my usual case of return-from-flying-the-friendly-skies-in-a-giant-germ-filled-metal-tube plague, both kids appear to have… something… as well. As in, they were sick before I got home, so I didn’t give it to them. No one is deathly ill, we’re all just ill-ish (is that a thing? I feel like if I were cooler, ill-ish would actually be a compliment, no?) and grumpy and SUPER FUN TO BE AROUND. Also, shut up and stop looking at me.

Needless to say, this has made that whole getting-back-into-the-swing-of-things endeavor even more painful than anticipated. Because what now? We’re out of milk? And you can’t have cereal because there’s no milk? Why don’t YOU go to the store for more milk? The fact that you’re not old enough to drive is not an excuse. Wait, you ARE old enough to drive, but your meaniepants parents won’t let you get your learner’s permit? It’s probably because they want you to die alone, carless, and without any milk. Clearly.

A couple of days ago Monkey started the day by flinging himself down on the floor of my room while I was in the shower, and when I emerged he told me he felt “really sick.” I assumed he was dying, but it turns out he just has sniffles and was really sleepy. Still! Points for identifying feeling yucky! (more…)

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Oh, how I wish I could draw

While everyone else in the world is returning from BlogHer and waxing poetic about the people and the city and the knowledge and the experience, I am just wishing I had some—any, really—artistic ability. The two things I wish to share with you really require visual aids, but lord knows I can’t even draw a straight line. So instead I will have to try that whole PAINT THE PICTURE WITH WORDS thing even though I suspect it will be insufficient.

The first thing I need to tell you about is how excited I get when I go somewhere that requires pretty shoes. We all know I like pretty shoes, yes? And yet here at home I mostly wear… no shoes at all. (I’m a conundrum, inside an enigma, wrapped up in lazy.) I do have a few (ahem) pairs of good-looking fancy-schmancy heels, though, and I love wearing them when the opportunity presents itself. I brought two pairs of platform heels and commenced wearing them.

I looked great. (Also: modest!) Let’s face it, everyone looks good with their feet bent in such a way that the attached calves look thinner and stronger and also somewhat magical for continuing to work given the angle of the ankle. Whatever. (more…)

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Bad blogger! No cookie!

I’ve been neglecting you. I’m sorry. I’ve been busy getting myself out the door to BlogHer, which (apparently) involves things like buying groceries and remembering while grabbing milk that I haven’t packed any socks, and then chanting “socks, socks, socks” under my breath all the way home, where I then throw socks into my suitcase and resume normal life. An hour later I’m all “EYELINER!” like the fate of the world depends on it, and I totally sat up in the middle of the night certain that I’d forgotten to put my hair goop into an airline-approved-size container.

In other words, it’s hard being me. (Not really. But I think it’s hard to live with me, when I’m in squirrel mode like this.) (Or always, whatever.)

Anyhoo. Off to Chicago I go. If you’re attending BlogHer, PLEASE come say hello, and if you’re so inclined, I’m speaking tomorrow morning as part of the “What You Learn When You Speak Out” session, in which I will be singing the praises of all of YOU (see also: Tamponapalooza.) I’m also one of this year’s Voices Of The Year honorees, and so will be trying to act casual at the VOTY session. I hope to meet some (more) of you.

Also, whatever I forgot to pack, I’m sure I’m going to remember it right after I board the plane.

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Decidedly un-hermit-like

Wooooo, I’m a social butterfly! (Now everyone who actually knows me gets to laugh and laugh and laugh.)

Okay; fine. Maybe I’m not a true social butterfly, but I am pretending to be one, and I haven’t had a nervous breakdown yet, so I guess it’s working. It’s true that I have somehow developed an enormous cold sore inside my upper lip (sexxxxxxxay, though invisible to anyone who isn’t inside my mouth) (you do not belong inside my mouth) which I am 99.9% certain is from the STRESS of being AROUND OTHER PEOPLE, but to non-hermit-y people this may sound ridiculous. I can assure you that it isn’t, though, because I am just that delicate of a delicate flower and this is the sort of thing that happens to my delicate self in response to normal life events. It is SUPER FUN being me.

It started last week with a girls’ night out dinner, which was long overdue and great fun. We talked and laughed and ate lots of delicious food and had a blast. That’s not stressful, right? Except then a few days later we had a houseful of people. (more…)

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Things we brought back

I miss Otto’s mother the most when we’re getting ready to go camping or when we’ve just returned. Otto loves to recount stories of his youth, when his father wound his way around the country to various military bases on short assignments, and the family would pack up the station wagon and the Prowler camping trailer and spend their time at nearby campgrounds while his dad was working. Otto and his next-in-line brother have fond memories of these trips. Otto’s mother HATED them, not the least of which, I suppose, because she was spending an entire summer trapped in a small space with small children while her husband was almost never around.

As a result, while she was still alive, any time we were preparing to camp, she would demand that Otto put me on the phone. Then she would grill me about whether I REALLY wanted to go. She would assure me that Otto could handle it if I told him I didn’t want to. In a conspiratorial tone, she would tell me that there was no shame in admitting I hate camping and asking my husband not to make us do it. Those talks always made me feel a little sad for her, that in a different era she hadn’t felt like she could put her foot down with her husband, but they also always amused me and made me feel loved, that she was so concerned about MY feelings, Otto’s be damned. I think she never quite believed me when I told her I enjoyed our trips.

Surveying the carnage from this trip, I’m beginning to understand why this was so incomprehensible to her. (more…)

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Beauty for the delicate flower

I don’t really wear makeup. This is because:
1) I work from home, and prefer hiding in my office to interacting with people,
and
2) I am exceedingly lazy.

On a day when I’m working from home (most weekdays) or just puttering around the house (most weekends), I wear jeans and t-shirts and my hair is unruly and wet all day and I wear my glasses and the only thing that goes on my face is maybe a little moisturizer. Fancy!

On a day when I have to do Official Work Things Among People, I wear pretty clothes and expensive shoes and I straighten my hair and make it SUPER SHINY and put in my contacts and put on makeup.

Basically, I’m Batman. But, you know, like the Batman of freelancers. No one would ever see flip-flop-wearing, crazy-haired, naked-face me at the supermarket and suspect that I clean up to look like a reasonable professional. I mean, I guess I could look that put together all the time, but, uh, see item 2 above.

Given this information, a Beauty Crisis sounds unlikely, and yet… I have them every couple of years. I’m having one RIGHT NOW. (more…)

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