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A little less funny, now

Haha, remember how a couple of weeks ago I was all WOOOO CORONAVIRUS I’M DISTRACTING MYSELF? Welp. I’ve now been “socially distant” for eight days (not that I’m counting…) and as of yesterday we’ve gone from “social distancing” to “mandatory shelter-in-place” so hooboy, I do like hanging at home, but I don’t so much like the whole feeling-like-if-I-don’t-we-all-die version of it. We now have local friends who are sick and waiting on the results of their COVID-19 tests. Shit, as they say, is getting real. 0/10, would not recommend.

In the meantime, two out of four members of Casa Mir are becoming noticeably twitchy as a result of not being allowed to be with other people (one because of extroversion, one because we are The Worst™), and the Internet speed in our neighborhood has slowed to a crawl because everyone is home and binging Netflix. Although I’m home more often than not, even I find myself fantasizing about, oh, I don’t know, going to the thrift store just to poke around. (The good old days! A couple of weeks ago!) We have been getting outside to walk most days, but it’s also Pollen Season so that presents its own challenges.

I am still attempting to distract myself, but these efforts are now taking on a noticeably different format than before. (more…)

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Things to do during a pandemic

Apparently we’re all supposed to be panicking about coronavirus and stockpiling supplies for the inevitable quarantine we’ll all be under in very short order. As I already buy toilet paper by the case because I’m cheap, and because I’m asthmatic but also sort of a hermit, I find that freaking out about our eventual mass demise isn’t occupying nearly enough of my time. Instead I am forced to burn daylight in other ways, which is fine because I like to consider myself a multitasker. These diversions may not work for you, but I share because I care. Use or don’t. All I can tell you is that it’s keeping me pretty busy.

Presented in no particular order, What I’ve Been Doing Lately Instead Of Waiting To Get Sick And Die:

Freaking out about politics. That’s a good one for taking up a huge chunk of time. Because HOLY CRAP. I don’t know if I’m going to catch coronavirus or not but I strongly suspect this election cycle is going to kill me, either way. I have a lot of opinions here but I am tired so let’s just leave it at that. I suspect most of you can figure out how I’m feeling. (more…)

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1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a worm war

I think I mentioned that Chickadee moved back home with allllll her stuff, and the idea is that she’s taking this semester she should’ve still been in school to kind of decompress and tend to her health (HAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA because 20-somethings are notorious for taking good care of themselves, amirite?) and figure out what’s next, and then around May or maybe before (she said, trying not to sound too eager), she’ll move back out to another apartment, taking all of this stuff with her. We’d cleaned out the attic, some, but let’s just say that organization is not my darling daughter’s strong suit, and as a result, her entire bedroom is filled with various boxes and bins and her closet is a hazard zone and she regularly has to go into the attic for something we stored which she needs, etc.

This is all fine, by the way. First world problems, for sure. It will all get sorted. Eventually.

Approximately once a day when I’m feeling content and loving, I offer to help her go through her stacks and piles and get organized, and every time she tells me “later” or “tomorrow” or “not yet.” (Conversely, approximately three times a day when she’s driving me nuts, I ask when she’s moving out.) And so here we are, nearly two months after graduation, and everything is still a huge mess and I don’t know about you, but I am TOTALLY SHOCKED by this state of affairs. (more…)

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The little blue car that could(n’t)

I just went back in my archives to see if I ever wrote about getting a new car a few years back, and apparently I did not. It was Chickadee’s senior year of high school, and there was a lot of other stuff going on, and also I vaguely remember my ex making a snarky comment about it to me (which immediately sent me into a reflexive shame spiral of “I don’t deserve nice things” because a traumatized brain is a complex and stupid thing), and so somehow, I never talked about it, I think. But: just before Christmas of 2015, Trixie, my trusty old Corolla, became Chickadee’s very own car, while I became the proud new owner of a Prius C (the smaller Prius; and the salesguy kept saying “People think it stands for Compact but it stands for City!” to the point where Otto and I said that to each other for a solid year before it stopped being funny) we named Gemma. Gemma is a perky little blue car that fulfilled all of my hippie liberal dreams to the point where I couldn’t believe it didn’t come with a bonus bag of ethically-sourced granola and a hemp shopping bag in which to carry it.

I have never loved a car like I love Gemma. We have a very special relationship. (Not that special, ya perv. Sheesh.) (more…)

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Baked halfway into a coma already

Hello, and happy cooking frenzy before Thanksgiving! Just to give you an idea of how I’m doing: a few minutes ago the husband and I were having a positively RIVETING conversation about how to reconfigure our dining room to fit the approximately eight billion (slight exaggeration) people showing up here tomorrow, and upon its conclusion I headed back into the kitchen and took a deep swig of my coffee. Except I am lying; that’s not what happened. What actually happened was that I brought the coffee cup up to my mouth and TRIED to take a deep swig of my coffee, and instead I poured coffee all over my face, my shirt, and the floor.

So everything is right on schedule, in other words. May I offer you a Shout wipe? They’re good for coffee stains. Ask me how I know!

I have been cooking in stages all week, as I usually do on the run-up to Thanksgiving. Our guests are also bringing food, but Thanksgiving is Otto’s favorite holiday in the whole world, and Otto is nothing if not someone who loves tradition. So it’s all good and well that other foods are coming, we have to have certain foods without which Thanksgiving would be woefully incomplete and wrong and bad and possibly create a wormhole in the space-time continuum which results in all the Puritans being sent back to England. Or something. This means a week of prep for me, oddly enough. (Otto is in charge of the turkey. That’s a big job, of course. But I am in charge of everything else.) (more…)

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If you give a Mir a basement

If you give a Mir a house with a basement, eventually the basement will experience catastrophic flooding, and everything will be terrible, and she will be sad and rent a dumpster and throw away tons and tons of ruined things.

If she throws away tons of stuff, you’d think it would be easy the next year to pack up what’s left and move 1,000 miles away, but—amazingly—she still has a ton of stuff and it takes forever.

If it takes forever, once she moves she will actually be relieved to end up buying a house which has no basement at all, because no basement means she cannot 1) fill it with stuff or 2) experience any sort of flooding.

If she doesn’t have a basement, she’ll just fill up the attic! And the spare closets in her son’s room! And the regular closets! And also the master bedroom! (more…)

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Back and even productive

My favorite thing to do after a trip—by which I mean, the thing I most often do just because I am a poor planner and also lazy—is to come home and swear at least twice a day that I’m going to unpack in just a little bit. I mean, I don’t want to brag, or anything, but I have been known to leave my suitcase in the corner of the room, untouched, for up to a month. And really, I thought that was what would happen this time, too. Somehow, though, I was both so buoyed from our trip AND so excited to return home to my dogs and my own bed (is there anything better than that first night back in your own comfy bed after being away?) that I came down with a bad case of Adultitis.

Digression: We had boarded the dogs along our route, so after packing up a gajillion things into our car yesterday morning (that’s only a slight exaggeration, as we’re the only ones close enough to drive this time, which meant we had all the food leftovers, and also somehow quite a lot of booze), we needed to kill a little time between rental checkout and pickup time at the kennel. We drove to an adjoining town where there is a 100% gluten-free crêperie and I capped off the five pounds I gained last week (not even kidding, also don’t even care because #worthit) in style. Then we headed homeward, stopping to get the dogs.

Licorice, as per usual, lost her goddamn tiny walnut-sized mind because CLEARLY we had abandoned her and were never coming back, yet here we were and OMGSOEXCITING and there was a lot of barking and prancing and licking. Duncan, on the other hand, was all “Oh, hey” nonchalance, which I suppose I’ll take over what happened at drop-off, which… involved a mop. Ahem. (more…)

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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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