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Never ever ready

So this is not a fun post, but I do promise one little funny bit before it ends, if you’ll hang in there with me. Okay? Okay.

Six years ago we added Duncan to our family, and he has been an inordinate pain in our collective backsides ever since. He was older than we were told, he was sicker than we were told, and while I firmly believe I could pick Licorice up and twist her into a pretzel without so much as a single growl from her, Duncan has never, ever hesitated to show you displeasure with his (freakishly strong) teeth, and in the first two days he lived with us, he’d bitten three out of four family members hard enough to draw blood. He has allergies. His skin is sensitive. He’s hypoglycemic and prone to growths and no, I absolutely will NOT add up what this dog has cost us over the years because it defies my frugal sensibilities, defies any logic whatsoever. This damn dog has been sick and/or worrisome for most of the time we’ve owned him and just a few months ago capped it off with a you-could’ve-bought-a-car-instead level stay at the local vet hospital.

Through it all, I’ve said he was on borrowed time. I said I’d be happy with whatever time he has left, because he was, after all, our undead zombie dog, the dog who came to us having had a hard life, but learning the magic of being spoiled rotten, and whatever we could give him, however happy we could make him in whatever time he had, that would be enough. But I’m a liar. (more…)

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All things baffled and borkening

Yesterday the temperature hit the high 50s here, and there was much rejoicing. This has been the longest, hottest summer I can remember, and allllll through September we joked about how fall would be arriving ANY DAY NOW, and yet the next day the heat index would crack three digits, and that sucked, sure, but when it was still happening the first week of October, well, then it’s just ridiculous. But yesterday—glorious, cool, wonderful yesterday—when we got up, it was actually cool outside. I don’t think it went over about 72 all day.

Today it will be over 80, but RIGHTTHISSECOND it’s only 62 degrees—sweater weather!!—and I’m wearing jeans, because fall is here now. Damnit. IT IS. I am clinging to that as comfort.

So much has happened since I was last here! (Not really.) And so many people have given me so much grief for being absent during that time (DAD)! It’s just that it’s so hard to type anything coherent while shouting insults at my dog. Uhhh… I guess I should probably explain that. (more…)

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How to spend all your money without really trying

Whoops, I left another one of those long gaps, huh? I didn’t mean to. I’ve just been so busy crying, you see. [Sidebar: EVERYTHING IS FINE. It’s so fine, it’s all-caps fine. I have to keep reminding myself of this. EVERYTHING IS FINE.]

When I last left you, my awesome rainbow chairs were finished, but also so was our fridge. I was trying to just go with it, you know? Because the rainbow rockers truly are awesome. (In fact, they’re so awesome, recently a gruff, busy-on-his-cell-phone UPS man embodying every stereotype you might imagine came up the walkway, saw the chairs, and when I greeted him at the door, grinned and said, “Those chairs are AMAZING.” God bless you, UPS man. You are, as the kids say, lit.) And the new fridge is lovely, what with its ability to keep food cold and everything. So it’s all really fine and my particular mental illness about spending large amounts of money would just have to cool it, because everything was fine.

And then Chickadee came home for a few days so that I could shuttle her back and forth to some specialist appointments in Atlanta (because parenting doesn’t end at 21, especially if your supposedly-adult child is afraid to drive in the city), and THAT was all fine, except for the pretzels. (more…)

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This post is covered in pollen

Hello! Sorry it’s been so long. In my defense, I was busy dying. I mean, OKAY, not DYING dying, just dying a little bit. Dying in the “dear God, I have woken up with a massive headache every day this week” and the “do I have a cold? a sinus infection? BUBONIC PLAGUE IN MY NOSE??” sense, which is to say: it’s springtime in the south! The whole world is covered in a grainy yellow coating, my eyes are itchy, etc. Everyone is making the same joke about how meth dealers are trying to turn their product back into Sudafed, and we all laugh every single time, because what else can you do?

Well, I guess you can wash your car a couple of times and switch allergy meds. I mean, that’s what I did. Not telling YOU what to do, of course, but I seem to have lived. So far.

Before I dive into all the RIVETING new news (yes, truly, my life is a wonderland of excitement, I know), I did want to follow up on a few previous items just in case anyone cares. And even if you don’t! Don’t like it? Fine. Go sit on the porch until you’re covered in pollen. (Don’t worry, you’ll only be out there about 10 minutes, I promise.) (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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You’re gonna be so sorry you asked

Hey, Mir, how’s your week been?

OH WELL I HOPE YOU HAVE SOME TIME TO SPEND! Pull up a chair! Grab a cup of tea, and maybe a few benzodiazepines. Whatever.

Let’s start last Saturday, because why not? Monkey has had a cold which has morphed into a sinus infection, and Otto has remained healthy because 1) Otto never gets sick and 2) Otto is rarely actually home, and I spent most of my spare time since the first sniffle washing my hands every ten seconds. Because I would NOT get sick, damnit! I have no time! And this time, I would escape it! So:

SATURDAY
Otto and I puttered around the house for a while, and then headed out to run various errands. I enjoy forcing Otto to do things like go to the supermarket with me, because then we can engage in romantic activities like arguing over what kind of lettuce to buy. It’s an exercise in resilience. We hit the drug store, big box home improvement store, two different grocery stores, and concluded our fascinating afternoon with actual plans for me to cook an Actual Planned Meal™ the next night, so that was my reward for standing my ground about the unacceptability of Iceberg. Also, we picked up a giant take-n-bake pizza so that Otto and Monkey could have an easy meal after I headed out to work at the theater that night. (more…)

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A very special love language

Obviously my husband is a very special person TO ME, but in 2018 he became a lot more important to a bunch of other people as well, people like his boss and several boards of various Important Things, and so it seemed like he was busy or just plain not here for large segments of the year. Well, 2019 would be different, of course, because he’s really going to pull back on the travel this year. He said. And he meant it, I’m sure. That was the intention. Otto has very good intentions. (Also, he’s cute. And recently our dishwasher drain clogged up somehow and he fixed it like some sort of home repair wizard, so there are many reasons I keep him around, you see.)

You know where this is going, right? And so we made it, oh, I don’t know… I think FIFTEEN WHOLE DAYS into the year before he had to fly across the country for the better part of a week. He assured me it would be a quick and painless trip. Of course, no sooner had he left than another emergency trip to someplace else was needed directly upon his return, so he came home for a day and then left again. And then came home again.

I mean, at least he comes back, right? And I would never try to make him feel bad about ABANDONING ME, because I’m a grown-ass adult and I don’t need a man. But I do miss him when he’s gone. Kind of a lot. (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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