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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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English is stupid and I require supervision

Hello! I know, I started writing weekly(ish) again and then I didn’t write last week, disappointing my legions of fans (read: my father). I apologize. In my defense, our washing machine died, because of course it did! And then I had to deal with that! And that meant I also had to admit that sometimes I don’t do my laundry for weeks on end (pro tip: have lots of socks and underwear, and you too can be incredibly lazy). It stands to reason that the washing machine would croak on the very day I realized my hamper was overflowing and I was nearly out of underwear.

So, last week I was busy doing exciting things like… washing my underwear BY HAND like some kind of peasant. And researching washing machines. And buying a new washing machine, and deciding we should swap the positioning of the washer and dryer, and then panicking that I’d bought the WRONG washing machine, and THEN trying to figure out the new machine, and trying to move the dryer back into the laundry nook and hook it up all on my own as a lovely surprise for Otto. Great idea, yes? He works so hard. But this led to the not-even-a-little-surprising scenario whereby I ended up sending him a string of indignant texts about how the dryer vent extension was too long but once I took it off, the vent line was just a smidge too short, and so I cut the extension piece (hey, all those years of watching This Old House with him have paid off) and had spent an hour trying to refit it and the main vent line together and I give up, everything is terrible, both pieces are both mangled beyond recognition and still don’t fit together, I HATE EVERYTHING, I’m going to rehearsal, Godspeed.

It was fixed when I got home. God bless Otto. (more…)

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So many rabbit holes

There are approximately eight gazillion things I should be doing this week, so naturally I have accomplished none of them and now I am using what little time I have left before heading out to Tinytown to deliver a bunch of stuff to my oldest tonight to blog instead of work. Because blogging brings in the big bucks!! Oh, wait…. (Did you know I actually used to make money doing this? I don’t anymore, but once upon a time it was in fact lucrative to overshare on the Internet. It probably still is for people who have business plans and long-range goals and strategic partnerships, whereas I just have A Lot Of Feelings™ and spend about half of every day looking at my dogs and demanding to know which one of them smells bad.)

Speaking of the dogs, they are responsible for one of today’s rabbit holes. They’re not just smelly (seriously, between the yeasty ears and I-ate-something-dead breath, it’s a VERY good thing they’re cute), they’re also getting kind of old. Licorice still acts like a puppy, but Duncan is moving slower, no longer jumps up or down on furniture (preferring, instead, to stare at the couch and bark until you lift him up), etc. And I gave him a bath and washed his bed this weekend, and then I washed the pad in the crate the dogs share when we’re out, so somehow I got it into my head that the crate needs a better/thicker pad in there. I want the dogs to be comfortable. Easy enough, right? I’ll just go look online and find something and… (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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