Something something metaphor

I go thrifting on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes I’m looking for something specific (e.g.: lo, I have partaken of too much ice cream, and require new pants), sometimes I’m just looking. [Sidebar/shameless plug: I’m finally putting some of this thrifting to good use by selling stuff on Poshmark. Here’s my closet, and if you’re new to Poshmark and put wantnotdotnet as your invite code, you get $5 of credit and so do I.] Usually I just look at clothes and shoes, but sometimes I look at other things.

Anyway. A while back I was doing my regular Goodwill rounds and I found a wicker planter shaped like an elephant. It was adorable and I immediately knew I needed to buy it, not just because it was 99 cents, but because Chickadee loves all things elephant and she lives in an apartment now and I think there is no better “You’re a grown-ass adult” marker than someone giving you a plant with the tacit understanding that you’re capable of keeping it alive. (Once upon a time a friend gave me a nice plant on Chickie’s first birthday, telling me that now that I’d kept a baby alive for an entire year, she was sure I could take care of this violet. It took a while, but I did indeed kill it. I mean, not on purpose. But. Let’s not dwell on it, I guess.)

I must’ve found the planter after move-in, because it became one of those things I hid in my closet while I tried to figure out what would be the Right Plant for it, and planned to give it to Chickie at Christmas. (more…)

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So those things happened

And now it’s 2019. Remember all of those years when Otto and I approached the new year swearing that 20whateverwascoming was gonna be “our year” finally? We don’t do that, anymore. As we approached 2019, Otto turned to me one evening and said, “2022! That’s definitely going to be our year.” At first I was horrified, and then I couldn’t stop laughing, and Otto grinned and said, “At least I can still make you laugh.” It’s a good thing we don’t need a special year for that.

I know the last post was a big ol’ wall of catch-up. On Christmas one of the gifts I unwrapped was a pen and a journal, and Otto hastened to explain that it was symbolic—I could use them if I wished, or write online, or whatever suited me best, but that he hoped I would return to writing regularly because he misses it and he thinks I miss it, too. My handwriting is nearly illegible, you know, so HERE I AM.

Understand, too, that on that same Christmas morning I unwrapped this gem of a gift, lovingly pre-ordered for me by my oldest, because I am unable to pass one of those giant tube guys out in the world without shrieking OH ME TOO and doing a terrible impression of their flailing and flapping. I like to think of my blogging as the perfect intersection of these two perfect gifts: I flail, and I write, and somehow it’s a decent representation of my inner workings, ridiculous though it all may be. (more…)

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Pretend this is our belated holiday card

Dear Everyone,

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Festive Festivus! Joyous Kwanzaa! Happy Freakin’ New Year (please dear baby Jesus let 2019 be less of a dumpster fire than 2018, amen)! Or enjoy grumpy Grinch-ing. Whatever. You pick. I just wanted to wish you and yours a bounty of whatever floats your boat during this ridiculous season of both joy and frustration, generosity and over-commercialism, gratitude and guilt. Or maybe that’s just me. Again: whatever the season means to you, hooray! Enjoy it.

This letter is both overdue and far less interesting than you probably suspect. 2018 has been a long year and yes, sure, we haven’t actually sent out a proper holiday card with pictures of the children and a newsy “here’s what’s happening in our lives” letter for many, many years, but perhaps it’s time to try to return to that tradition at last. Dressing up the kids in matching sweaters and making them pose for photos until one or both of them was in tears used to be a regular feature of my holiday preparation. Somehow in the trials of A Life Not Going According To Plan this tradition fell away, and I regret that. This year I have succumbed to good old fashioning Baking Therapy (would you like a cookie? a cheesecake? a gluten-free pumpkin bread French toast? TWELVE DOZEN COOKIES, PLEASE, TAKE THEM!), and it just feels like a good time to get back to basics.

Fortunately, I did lose my mind a little bit this month and so I’m well-prepared to show off my babies in festive holiday style. I mean, sure, they’re no longer BABY babies, but they’ll always be my babies. And did they bicker while I snapped pictures? Yeah, they did. Did they complain, fall over in exaggerated displays of displeasure and bonelessness, and was there some epic eye-rolling? Of course. DID I GET A GODDAMN HALLMARK MOMENT ANYWAY BECAUSE I SNAPPED ONE HUNDRED TERRIBLE PICTURES? Yes, I think I did. Hopefully it makes up for the letter because they’re pretty cute. (more…)

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Hurricane, redux

I recently received a kind but somewhat plaintive “If you’re never going to write again could you at least TELL us” message and then I felt guilty because guilt is my go-to emotion. (My second go-to emotion is anger, which is a real treat for those around me, lemme tell you.) I never INTEND to stop writing. I just… don’t… for a while… and then inertia kicks in, and before I know it, months have passed. I do miss the days when my children were small and cherubic and uncomplicated and everything out of their mouths was entertaining and I had endless blog material simply from the day-to-day insanity of trying to keep a couple of tiny terrorists alive. (I mean, just to be clear, not just because it provided blog fodder, but because life was so much simpler back then. You know, back when I believed life made sense and if I was a good parent my children would grow up to be happy and healthy and productive. HAHAHAHA.)

Now life is more like… well, on the same day that one (theoretically adult) kid tells me what an unbearably shitty parent I am, the other (also theoretically adult) kid texts me this from across the room with a complete deadpan face and I’m still trying to figure out why:

Sooooo. Yeah. Life is ridiculous, yes? I think it is. It’s the only excuse I can offer. Also, we keep having hurricanes. (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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*bong*

It’s been a long summer. It’s kind of continuing to be a long summer, for a billion reasons, and some of those reasons are boring and mundane, and others are heartbreaking and too hard to talk about, and still others just leave me feeling like a broken record. (Someday when we look back, will we refer to 2018 as The Year America Became A Flaming Dumpster Fire, or does that designation rightfully belong to 2016, with 2018 being more like The Year It Became Clear That Actually Women’s Rights CAN Go Backwards or The Year We All Really Realized We Were Not Overreacting, Everything Truly Is Awful? There are just so many choices.)

Now, listen, don’t panic. (I AM PANICKING ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE! YOU RELAX! HAVE A SNACK! WHAT DO YOU MEAN I’M YELLING? HAVE ANOTHER SNACK!) I’m fine. Everyone’s fine. My family is ridiculously privileged to have each other and enough money to cover the things we need and the color of skin deemed pleasing by fascists and all of that. I am just feeling… sad. I’m sad about a lot of things, big and small and in-between. Sometimes that sadness careens into anger or does a wheelie and veers off into despair, but mostly it’s just a big, enveloping Sad.

That’s not what I wanted to write about, though. That’s just a little preamble. I wanted to write about the *bong* that woke me up last night, because the last thing I thought once I was finally dropping back off to sleep was “This would be an excellent, non-offensive, universally-relatable thing I could write about probably if I wanted to.” So. Here we are!

I am not sleeping particularly well these days (QUELLE SURPRISE). So when my sleep is interrupted, I am cranky. (Lies. I am always cranky.) And then I got woken up. By some sort of weird *bong* noise. (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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(more…)

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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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