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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,
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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The Antpocalypse

I remember when I first moved to Georgia and became acquainted with the fresh hell that is the palmetto bug (motto: we’re too genteel to admit we’re roaches!), at some point as I sat huddled in a corner, rocking back and forth and trying to find my happy place, I had this vaguely reassuring thought about how “at least they don’t have those awful little house ants.”

You know the ones I’m talking about, right? Every summer in New England, there would be a beautiful morning when you would wake up, listen to the birds chirping, go downstairs, and discover that your entire kitchen was now covered in ants. And let’s not even talk about that time when I was in grad school in California and I’d come home after a long day, flopped down on the couch with a box of Cheerios, and was on maybe my third or fourth handful when I discovered the entire box was FILLED WITH ANTS. (I am involuntarily writhing in disgust, just remembering it.) Palmetto bugs are at least easy to spot and completely unapologetic about how gross they are. Plus they tend to travel alone. But those tiny ants are all DUDES, PARTY THIS WAY, I FOUND A CRUMB! And suddenly you’re tracing the ant railroad from your kitchen counter, up the wall, along the ceiling, around the corner, and out the door.

But at least here in the south we have a Bug Guy, so no biggie, right? Uh, right. Except for the part where he’s not like Batman or anything, and after I make the HELP, WE’RE DROWNING IN ANTS phone call, we still have to wait a day for him to come spray (again). (more…)

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Thoughts about pools (and other things)

I’m doing an experiment this summer, though saying it like that makes it sound like I’m being all official and science-y, when in reality I am just trying to embrace my inner sloth. Here it is: I’m trying not to work on the weekends. WEIRD, RIGHT?? I tend to suffer from a common affliction called “freelance creep;” sure, I sleep a little later on the weekends, but I find myself using those weekend days to catch up on things I somehow didn’t finish during the week. It sounds innocuous, but then I find myself sitting at the computer for hours and I hear that just walking away from work for a day or two at a time is healthy or something. So I’ve been taking the weekends off and I’m sure my productivity is down (minus) but overall my give-a-crap is up (plus!) so I’m calling it a win.

This means I get up on Monday morning feeling vaguely hungover. It’s not alcohol, it’s all that FREEDOM. An entire two days filled with WHATEVER. Crazy, man. Fortunately, this gives me all sorts of time to think about STUFF and THINGS and then I can come back and share all of those revelations with you. I know, you’re thrilled. Try to contain your excitement. Or at least save it for the weekend when you’re not supposed to be working. (You’re welcome!) (more…)

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Insomnia logic

3:01 AM: Huh. I appear to be awake.
3:03 AM: I’m still awake. Do I have to pee? Maybe I have to pee. I think I have to pee. But if I get up, then I’ll never fall asleep again.
3:05 AM: I probably don’t really have to pee. If I just lie here quietly I’m sure I’ll fall back asleep.
3:10 AM: Do I have to pee?
3:15 AM: Does Otto snore this loud all the time and usually I’m asleep, or am I awake because JESUS CHRIST I AM SLEEPING WITH A LAWN MOWER?
3:16 AM: He’s adorable when he’s snoring, though.
3:17 AM: Do I have to pee?
3:18 AM: No, sure, fine, just keep on peacefully sleeping while I stare at the ceiling. THANKS, HONEY. At least one of us is sleeping! (more…)

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Backyard metaphors

Hey, how about we don’t talk about that thing. Or that other thing, either. Okay! Great!

I’ve been spending a lot of time with my vegetables. Quality time, you understand. I pull grass up out of the boxes a blade or two at a time and marvel at the plants that flourish seemingly in spite of me and try to coax the puny ones back to vigor. It’s very soothing.

In the meantime, I can’t help but notice how beautiful our big oak out back looks when reflected in the swampy murk that is currently the pool:

If I were a deeper person I’d probably make a comment about seeing beauty even in what’s broken, but because I’m not, I’ll just say that allegedly the pool guys are coming tomorrow. We’ll see.

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Remember when Georgia was in a drought? And whenever it rained, people all but danced in the streets? Good times, man. Good times.

Er, technically we are still in a drought. I don’t know who decides this or how they determine that we are no longer… ummm… drought-y, but TECHNICALLY we are still in a drought. Even though it’s been raining for upwards of a month, now. (It has not really been raining for a month. I mean, it has, but not continually. It just feels that way.) (Are you there, God? It’s me, Mir. I would like my hair to stop being the size and style of a full-grown poodle perched atop my head, now, please.)

Anyway. Clearly I do not want us to still be in a drought. But the constant rain is making EVERYONE cranky. It’s gray and cold and damp and gross outside. It was spring for a single, pollen-infused week and then it was summer for two days, and it’s been Whoops Are You Sure You Didn’t Accidentally Move To Seattle ever since. It’s unnerving for those of us who were primed to be bitching about how hot it is, by now. It is too cold and disgusting out for people to bless your heart, people! This is a true southern CRISIS. (more…)

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Because, that’s why

“I’ll take Mir and Otto’s Adventures in Home Ownership for $200, Alex.”

“And the answer is: No.”

“I’m… sorry? That’s the whole answer?”

“Yes. The answer is No.”

“Okay. Um… what is Can we ever do a single, simple project around here without it turning into a complete clusterfuck?

“Correct! On the board!”

“Yeah, screw you, Alex. Screw you AND your stupid board.”

So, um, I’ve decided to believe that the universe decided I really needed a distraction right about now. It’s a gift, really. The gift of dumbfuckery, right here in our yard. WE ARE SO LUCKY, because trust me, it’s been a distraction. Yay? (more…)

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It pays to Discover (again)

Otto and I were having some quality time on the couch last night, by which I mean that we were each sitting there on our respective laptops while half web-surfing and half watching the news because WOW, the news last night, yeesh. Typical Friday night, in other words. (Uh, except for the fugitive in a boat part. That was not typical, just the part where we were on the couch. Obviously.)


I don’t remember when I was doing online. Probably I was on Facebook; more specifically, probably I was on Facebook playing Scrabble. (According to Monkey, that’s all I ever do, you know.) But Otto, he was on a mission.

See, years of my influence have corrupted Otto, and the man who used to be able to say, “I want/need Item X, therefore I will go buy Item X,” and then simply make a purchase, can no longer do that. No, thanks to me, now half the time he agonizes over whether or not he REALLY needs Item X, and then even if he decides he DOES, he then comparison shops for it online for hours or days or weeks before purchase. I AM SO PROUD. Anyway, that’s what Otto was doing. He was shopping for… something. (more…)

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New things, old things

New thing: Hey, uh, lollipops and unicorns to everyone who welcomed my debut on Alpha Mom so warmly yesterday. I was hoping for a modest showing and apparently there are a lot more marching band devotees out there than I realized. (As in, the word “viral” was used and I had a giddy moment of amazement.) It was a lovely, lovely way to start off a new gig, although I am kind of having palpitations over what I can write about next week that won’t seem like a letdown, in comparison. Maybe I’ll have to attend the Incendiary School Of Post Writing so favored by a number of outlets and follow up the whole “Yay, marching band” post with something along the lines of “I let my teens smoke dope at the kitchen table, where I can supervise their tweaking” just to spark some conversation.

(Kidding, of course! I loathe smoking. I told them they would have to stick to heroin, but you know how Chickie feels about needles, so I dunno. We’re at an impasse.)

Old thing: Years of gardening and I am totally an old hand at the basics, now. Yep. I mean, I saw that some fire ants had invaded one of my boxes, and cool as a cucumber, I was out there with the diatomaceous earth to take care of them. I was not so cool or cucumber-like when I stepped too close and ended up with a Croc (shut up, I only wear them to garden) full of bitey ants. And yes, this happens to me at least once a season. Um. Yay for getting it out of the way early, this year? Also: OUCH. (more…)

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Various wondrous things

Okay, “wondrous” might be overselling it a bit. There are varying degrees of wondrous. Like, there’s a whole spectrum of interesting that spans all the way from “truly wondrous” on down to “WTFness.” And I will leave it to you to place the following along that continuum as needed.

[Sidebar: Let us pause for a moment to acknowledge that anything you hear from me today or for the next several weeks will be completely allergy-addled. I woke up this morning and had to chisel my face open. For a few minutes I thought maybe I had pinkeye, but no, it's just regular ol' allergies. I guess. Everything and everyone I love is currently coated in a thin layer of yellow grit, and my eyes---long my favorite facial feature---are buried somewhere behind the crusty, puffy skin that has conveniently swollen to twice its normal eyebag size all the way to HOLY HELL WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR FACE. The pollen is taking over the woooooorlllld! And I am very cranky about it.]

Anyway. Wondrous. Wondrous! Yes, the miracles of ordinary life keep bowling me over. Allow me to knock you down with them as well. Don’t worry, there’s a nice soft pollen-drift right behind you to cushion your fall. (more…)

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