“Maybe all we can hope to do is end up with the right regrets.”
I started this blog in 2004 while navigating the rubble of a divorce, single parenting, unemployment, and a whole boatload of squelched hopes and expectations about my life and who I want to be when I grow up. A lot of things have changed since then; most of them for the better. (I don’t have as many “how exactly did I get here?” sorts of moments as I used to, for example, but they do still creep up on me now and again.) I’m living a life I never planned for but now cannot imagine being any other way. And yes—after all these years—I’m still writing my way through it, laughing at myself as much as possible, trying to make sure that I end up with only the right regrets.
In 2007 I remarried, to the handsome and wonderful—albeit geeky and pseudonymous—Otto. Darling Otto is now featured heavily here on the blog (with his own category and everything), because I can think of nothing that is a greater testament to either the power of love or the totality of earnest repression than daring to remarry after a messy divorce. Fortunately, Otto and I have known each other since our sophomore year of college, so he already knew I’m neurotic and I already knew he likes bad jokes. We’re hopeful. Besides, we’ve already made it a baker’s dozen of years (go Otto! you’re my longest-running husband!), he always does the dishes, and the kids seem to like him. I plan to keep him around.
The writing thing seems to have worked out for me; after having worked as a nanny, software engineer, technical writer, mortgage broker, and marketing drone, I’ve finally found the job I don’t hate! I’m a freelance writer full-time, now, so you should feel free to hire me and give me lots of money at your earliest convenience. Also, I love your shoes and your hair is looking particularly shiny today.
Turn-ons, in no particular order: Chocolate, sleeping, books, hyperbole, big words, being right, being told I’m pretty, bargains, homegrown tomatoes, fabulous shoes, emotions, clean sheets, geeks, kissing, kissing geeks, democracy, really good coffee, worthy causes, a clean house, and a dry basement.
Turn-offs, in no particular order: Rudeness, stupidity, lack of table manners, dishonesty, houses painted colors houses ought not to be painted, being cold, indifference, paying full price, lousy drivers, eating things that are still alive, abysmal spelling and/or grammar, inappropriate neediness, unresolved childhood issues, and sandals worn with socks (particularly in winter).
Now you know it all. I’m not really all that complicated. Shut up.
Kids Semi-Adults Spawn
What can I say about my offspring? They are the most fantastic, fascinating, hilarious, aggravating people I know. When I started writing here, they were 4 and 6. Now I’m supposed to believe they’re grown-ups, which is just pure crazypants malarkey. If you read my archives, you’ll come to know and adore them and also wonder when they stopped being children. But here’s a snapshot of the wonderful weirdos they’ve become.
Chickadee is 23 (!!!) years old. She loves all things band (marching/pep/etc.), ukulele, gel pens, combat boots, Tumblr, TikTok, tasteless jokes, rainbows, Netflix, relentless ‘gramming, bossing others around, and
being away at Tinytown College (not its real name) where she stays up all night, eats nothing but candy, and maybe sometimes goes to class she has now graduated from Tinytown College and is—as the kids say—hotter by one degree. Her favorite hobbies are telling you why you are the way that you are because of your Enneagram and explaining why you are wrong (and selfies, preferably with jazz hands). She can make me laugh so hard it hurts. I am not allowed to follow her finsta, but she shows me the posts there, sometimes, anyway. The bottom line for her is a lot like the old poem about the little girl who had a little curl… when she’s good, she’s very, very good. When she’s bad? Take cover. A heartfelt hug from her is a soothing balm for whatever ails you, though that happens a lot less than I would like because she now lives 1,000 miles away from us with her amazing girlfriend, Sunny, and their cats. They subsist on love and Whataburger, mostly.
Monkey is 21 (!!!!) years old. He is the quintessential younger sibling: enduring his sister’s ministrations with patience and goodwill 99% of the time. (Beware the remaining 1%.) His loves are RPGs in all their many forms, Pokemon hunting, math, programming, being right, inventing things, terrible puns, Homestuck and Order of the Stick (neither of which I understand), and referring to his beard as his “mighty man hairs.” Monkey is a lot like a Great Dane puppy; lots of love, lots of tripping on himself, and a certain bewildered oblivion about both of these things. Since graduating from high school, Monkey has been doing a decent life impersonation of Goldilocks, minus the “finding the one that’s just right” part. As such we tasked him with finding his joy rather than doing what he suspects he “should,” and this was scary for all of us. But it was good, too. He is, finally, back in college full-time (and it does seem right this time). His dimples may well be responsible for the melting of the polar ice caps, and his kindness is unmatched.
Licorice isn’t actually human, but don’t tell her that. She’s a shih tzu/poodle mix we adopted from a local rescue group in September of 2009. She is spoiled rotten and I am overly attached to her, and the rest of the family is similarly smitten so I am excused for talking to her in the world’s most obnoxious who’s-my-widdle-baby voice. Licorice enjoys long naps, performing emergency squeakerectomies on her toys, fruit of all kinds, popcorn, sneezing on command, chasing the “giant chickens” down by the pond, and writing bad poetry.
Duncan Donut joined the family in November of 2013. A shih tzu/lhasa apso mix with a mournful howl who turned out to have a host of health problems and—surprise!—is almost completely blind, there are a hundred reasons why adopting Duncan was a terrible idea. There’s just one reason why it was perfect: We love him. And he seems to fit in with our motley crew just fine. Duncan enjoys throwing a ball for himself, drinking too much water too fast and yakking it back up, snoring loudly, trying to communicate with us in Wookiee, and barking at Licorice until she chases him. [Side note: In October of 2019, Duncan was diagnosed with “severe and life-ending pulmonary hypertension,” and we were told he would likely die within months, if not weeks. He is still alive. He sleeps a lot and barks whenever he’s not asleep, but we’ll take it.]