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Win some, lose some (paint some, replace some)

Oh my goodness, it’s been a week. Or two weeks. I’m not even sure. It all starts to blend together, you know?

When last we spoke, I was enthusiastically embarking upon Project Rainbow, or—more specifically—the “simple” task of repainting the rockers from our front porch with some actual rainbows, and although it was slow going I knew I would triumph and be pleased. Well. At this point in time I definitely AM pleased, and one out of two isn’t bad, right? I mean, look, they came out pretty okay:

rainbow rocking chairs (more…)

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More rainbows, less BS

I once worked a temp job for a small organization where I handled the copyediting for their newsletter, and I quickly learned that my boss’ biggest pet peeve was the correct (or, I guess more to the point, often incorrect) usage of “less” vs. “fewer.” I already had a college degree and was dismayed to discover no one had ever explained the difference to me, but explain she did, and I have never forgotten. You use “less” if it’s not a thing you would quantify by number. You use “fewer” if the item in question is something you can (or, more importantly, logically would) count. At some point in her teenagerhood, I explained this differentiation to Chickadee (no doubt after she used the wrong word in a paper), sure she—like me, so many years prior—would experience it as a lightbulb moment and never get it wrong again.

She listened and nodded and thought about it for a moment. A sly smile twitched up the corners of her mouth, and she looked me in the eye and said, “Fewer sand.” Her argument was that you COULD, theoretically, count grains of sand. But of course you do not. Should not. (Would not, Crazypants.) Still, to this day, if she feels an urge to yank my chain, a cheerful trilling of “FEWER SAAAAAND!” can be heard.

So. Perhaps you can count bullshit, somehow, but that would be crazy. Less bullshit it is. This is my mantra for now: More rainbows and less bullshit. I am doing my best to make this a reality these days. (more…)

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Our healthcare dollars at work

Before I begin, let me just say 1) I didn’t mean to leave you hanging on that last post, I swear, and 2) THANK YOU for all the nice comments and emails. February/March (Farch, as one commenter called it, which I shall use forevermore) is hard on a lot of us, huh? I’m really glad it’s almost April. Also I am (finally) feeling somewhat better, so do not fret.

But that is not why I am here today. OH HO HO HO, no. I am here today to tell you the story of why for-profit health insurance companies do not work and why when politicians start wringing their hands about how EXPENSIVE universal healthcare will be, I have vivid fantasies of setting living, breathing humans on fire. Also—in case you don’t live in Georgia or follow the news—I find it beyond ironic (like, we need a new word that means mega-ironic, please) that the state legislature here has just passed a so-called “heartbeat bill” aimed at criminalizing all abortion, because they care so damn much about LIFE, but in the meantime, everything I’m about to tell you is just fine and dandy by them because it’s not pertaining to a fetus, just my 20-year-old daughter.

Related: My favorite thing about me is how calm and collected and not at all hyberbole-prone I am in the face of dumbfuckery. (more…)

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English is stupid and I require supervision

Hello! I know, I started writing weekly(ish) again and then I didn’t write last week, disappointing my legions of fans (read: my father). I apologize. In my defense, our washing machine died, because of course it did! And then I had to deal with that! And that meant I also had to admit that sometimes I don’t do my laundry for weeks on end (pro tip: have lots of socks and underwear, and you too can be incredibly lazy). It stands to reason that the washing machine would croak on the very day I realized my hamper was overflowing and I was nearly out of underwear.

So, last week I was busy doing exciting things like… washing my underwear BY HAND like some kind of peasant. And researching washing machines. And buying a new washing machine, and deciding we should swap the positioning of the washer and dryer, and then panicking that I’d bought the WRONG washing machine, and THEN trying to figure out the new machine, and trying to move the dryer back into the laundry nook and hook it up all on my own as a lovely surprise for Otto. Great idea, yes? He works so hard. But this led to the not-even-a-little-surprising scenario whereby I ended up sending him a string of indignant texts about how the dryer vent extension was too long but once I took it off, the vent line was just a smidge too short, and so I cut the extension piece (hey, all those years of watching This Old House with him have paid off) and had spent an hour trying to refit it and the main vent line together and I give up, everything is terrible, both pieces are both mangled beyond recognition and still don’t fit together, I HATE EVERYTHING, I’m going to rehearsal, Godspeed.

It was fixed when I got home. God bless Otto. (more…)

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So many rabbit holes

There are approximately eight gazillion things I should be doing this week, so naturally I have accomplished none of them and now I am using what little time I have left before heading out to Tinytown to deliver a bunch of stuff to my oldest tonight to blog instead of work. Because blogging brings in the big bucks!! Oh, wait…. (Did you know I actually used to make money doing this? I don’t anymore, but once upon a time it was in fact lucrative to overshare on the Internet. It probably still is for people who have business plans and long-range goals and strategic partnerships, whereas I just have A Lot Of Feelings™ and spend about half of every day looking at my dogs and demanding to know which one of them smells bad.)

Speaking of the dogs, they are responsible for one of today’s rabbit holes. They’re not just smelly (seriously, between the yeasty ears and I-ate-something-dead breath, it’s a VERY good thing they’re cute), they’re also getting kind of old. Licorice still acts like a puppy, but Duncan is moving slower, no longer jumps up or down on furniture (preferring, instead, to stare at the couch and bark until you lift him up), etc. And I gave him a bath and washed his bed this weekend, and then I washed the pad in the crate the dogs share when we’re out, so somehow I got it into my head that the crate needs a better/thicker pad in there. I want the dogs to be comfortable. Easy enough, right? I’ll just go look online and find something and… (more…)

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Or: Summer’s Almost Over And All I Have To Show For It Is A This Eye Twitch.

Or: My Children Came Home From College And All I Know For Sure Is That There Are Now Cheese Stick Wrappers In Weird Places All Over My House.

Or: Summer’s Almost Over But My Saltiness Shall Go On Forever.

So HEY, remember how I mentioned that this summer has completely and totally sucked and most of it I can’t even talk about but long story summed up, I strongly suspect I was a serial killer in a former life, and am now karma’s bitch? No? Well, I did. And I do. And we’re just a few weeks away from school starting back up, so I thought a Summer Summary (say it five times fast!) might be in order. Because misery loves company, and I remain hopeful that said company will sometimes show up with chocolate.

Without further ado, here are the things you probably didn’t care about at all that have been the hallmarks of my personal summer of 2018: (more…)

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Happy second GET OUT birthday!

Once upon a time, a long long (longlonglongLONG) time ago, I started a blog shortly after my firstborn turned six. At the time she had buckteeth and dark blonde hair and little blue glasses, and she often glared at me and said I DON’T LIKE YOU when I displeased her. This week that same sassypants turned TWENTY, only now her teeth look great and her hair is currently… um… strawberry blond with pink tips, I think… and she has a little opal nose stud instead of glasses (not to help her see… oh, you know what I mean) and nearly all of her texts to me start out I LOVE YOU but also I get I HATE IT WHEN YOU’RE RIGHT sometimes, and I screen-cap it every time because it delights me.

We thought eighteen was a big deal, but she seems to be taking twenty much harder. “Now I REALLY have to be an adult,” she kept saying, like the Adulthood Police might pull up on her at the park and be all, “Ma’am, excuse me, but aren’t you a little too old to be riding on that playground equipment? Can I see some ID, please, and can you tell me when you last filed your own taxes?” I always found it hilarious when my father would say things about how he knows I’m an adult but he always thinks of me as a kid, but now I get it. Twenty is still a toddler. Twenty is playing grownup and hoping no one notices.

Just as the last birthday before you leave for college is the GET OUT birthday, the birthday before you move into your first apartment is a similar—and yet unique—extravaganza. (more…)

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Recentish

I am positively CRUSHING 2018, in case you were wondering. Why, I made a new vision board on January 1st—as I’ve done for the past howevermany years—and I finally took down last year’s board and hung the new one this week. In April. LOOK AT ME GO. (Okay, in my defense: It has to be sealed with some spray stuff and I couldn’t find my old can of it, or maybe I’d used up the old can, I don’t know, and then I didn’t buy any until my 57 trips to the Big Home Improvement Store during Dressergate, and then I had to find the Command Strips, and… yeah, okay. That’s not really a defense.)

The hanging of my New Year’s Plan (such as it is, in collage form) promptly during the first week of April was perhaps a perfect metaphor for the overcrowding and disorganization in my life of late, so I started making some hard decisions, too. For example: Easter was this past Sunday, so this should be the week I plant my garden. But after a survey of my current life circumstances and the dozen projects I have yet to complete, as well as a quick review of how much I hate tomato-thieving squirrels, for the first year in a decade, I’ve decided not to put in a vegetable garden. Instead, I signed us up for a CSA, like the crunchy hippie I aspire to be. I mean, the cost is probably about the same, but this way I get more variety, less work, and 100% fewer tomatoes pilfered by overgrown rodents. Plus we watch a lot of Chopped and so I’m looking forward to opening a week’s haul and going GOOD LORD WHAT IS THAT HOW DO I COOK IT OR IS IT HERE TO EAT ME. Adventure!

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DIYDon’ts and other spare time disasters

Hello! My father—you know, that guy you know as Mir’s Dad—was here to see the play (which was, I think, pretty much a success despite some, er, challenges), and during that time he asked when I was going to blog again, and I was all, “Dude, I am BUSY, with this SHOW and STUFF” and he let it go. But then he called me last week and toward the end of the call he said, “Well, that’s all. Just checking in. Also you do know you need to blog at least occasionally so I have something to read, right?” He wasn’t much for guilt trips when I was growing up, but geez, he’s making up for lost time now.

Hi, Dad! Here I am! Still without any earth-shattering news or happenings, but when has that ever stopped me?

When we last left off talking about The Children (subtitle: But They’re Adults Now And That’s Pretty Weird), the spring semester was just beginning. Off they went, like autonomous adult-like beings, and then I disappeared and never updated. Tralala! I mean, oops. They were just home for spring break, sort of. Both of them were only here for a few days, because apparently they have LIVES and OTHER THINGS TO DO and whatnot. Details. But the point here is that I blinked and the semester is suddenly half over, and—come closer, I don’t want to say it too loudly—everyone seems okay. Good, even. Good-ish, certainly. There’s no denying that after close to 20 (!!!) years of centering my life on these two knuckleheads, I’m now free to take an enormous chunk of my time and energy and place it elsewhere.

It’s incredibly freeing. I feel AMAZING!

Haaaaaaaaahahahahaha, just kidding. It’s terrifying. I have taken up other things to ruin now that my offspring have escaped. (more…)

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Tech Week

Or, Snot: The Opera.

Or, Tell Me Again Why I Thought I Liked Doing Theater?

Or, My Children Moved Out And All I Got Was The Plague (Twice).

Or, Someone Hates Me And It’s Hurting My Delicate Feelings.

Good morning! Gosh, this is early for me to be blogging. (As in, early in the day. I realize I disappeared for a month, again.) But WHY NOT, I say, because I am 1) awake and 2) far too cranky to do anything else. I’ve already gotten out of bed, made myself some tea, irrigated my nasal passages with saline (sexxxxxy), taken some of the good, meth-making kind of decongestant where you have to go to the pharmacy and hand over your license and a bag of magic beans, and whined to my husband about how much I hate everything. Now I’m here to share it all with the world. LUCKY YOU!

First things first: The children are both away at college and doing well, by which I mean that both of them are still alive. Both of them would like me to leave them alone, except of course for the twenty times each day they contact me to ask such burning questions as “should I take Advil for a stomachache?” (answer: no, do not do that, are you kidding me right now) and “do I own a three-hole punch?” (answer: I don’t think so, but what a great opportunity to talk to some of those other humanoids living in that large building with you as you try to locate one, P.S. it might be time to stop asking me what may or may not be in your room). They came home last weekend to hassle the dogs and complain that there’s no food in the house, and I assume that if I had been home at all to spend any time with them, that would’ve been nice. Maybe next time. (more…)

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