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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,
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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