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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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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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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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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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