All posts by Becca

Macro Vs Micro Parenting

I work with a lot of really smart people, people that seem to know a lot of things about a lot of things, and recently after desperately trying to understand an article I was cataloging I asked one of our economists about it, he looked at me and said “oh, I have no idea, that’s microeconomics and I study macro”.

Huh, isn’t that nice to be able to segregate your focus on one smaller portion of something- kinda like going to the hair dresser and being told, “oh you want bangs, you gotta talk to the front of the head girl – I only handle what’s in the back.”

Anyway, this entire exchange made me start thinking about micro vs macro parenting (go with me on this). I’m constantly struggling between trying to be a good disciplinarian and trying to compensate extra love for the relative cruelty of the world at large.

Micro parenting looks at the day to day – did you eat your vegetables? Did you clean your room? Should you be allowed to go to the pool if you talk back to your mom?

The microparent operates like parents from generations past, no lip, no excuses – direct punishment, direct reward. Do something wrong and there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Macro parenting looks at the bigger picture – how can we forgo an afternoon of fun when terrible things could happen at any moment? Why say no to going to the beach when the climate crises tells us there won’t be a beach there for much longer? Why am I worried about your room being clean when Donald Trump might be our next president!

Macroparents watch a lot of news and can’t help but see the world around them in future terms, they may also read a lot of post apocalyptic literature. Macro parents weigh the severity of their children’s wrongdoing against societies wrongdoings.

Which approach is better, who knows? Can we achieve a balance and not completely screw yo our kids, who knows? What’s the point of this post, who knows? Where do I work – at a shoe store.

End of the School Year Update

Lucy finished kindergarten this week. Right now she is obsessed with Barbies, her favorite game to play with them is ‘wedding’. She has one Ken doll and one wedding dress and she rotates between the Barbie dolls that get to marry him – the rest of them dress up and solemnly attend the ceremony. Her favorite name right now is ‘Emily’ and all of her Barbies are named Emily- as are most of her stuffed animals, it gets really confusing sometimes.

She constantly asks me to tell her all of the stories that I remember from my childhood, we talk about them over and over, she knows them so well that sometimes I ask her to tell me stories from my childhood. When I refuse to keep telling these same tales over and over again she peppers me with details about my wedding.

She is super particular about the clothes that she wears, so much so that we have screaming arguments about it. As I write this she is wearing her dance leotard, just the leotard. She didn’t like dance class but man, she really loves that leotard.

Another one of her favorite games is playing dog – we pretend that she is a little puppy (named Emily – of course) stuck at a pet store run by an evil man and I come along and rescue her, she is too expensive for me to buy so I steal her and take her home with me (to my apartment where I have neither a husband nor any children) and I become her mother and love her endlessly. She can play this game for hours. We usually play it when we are taking a shower together in the evening – I get her to let me wash her hair by telling her that if I get her fur really clean the mean pet store owner won’t recognize her.

Her best school friends this year are Gracie, Milayna & Josie. Her favorite non-school friends are Angelina, Lizzy & Norah. She is in love with babies and dotes over her ‘little cousins’ – Charlie, Nora & Ellie Bea.

Lucy has gotten really good at reading and can read entire books that are first grade level – but she still prefers for me to read to her. At night we are in the middle of a ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ which she really likes – her other favorite is Beverly Cleary, anything with Ramona in it.

She is a terrible eater and somedays I’m not even sure how she stays alive, breakfast is a constant struggle unless I give her pancakes, but I limit those to 2-3 days a week which means 4-5 days a week I threaten her to choke down one hardboiled egg – on average one bite of food during breakfast takes about 12 minutes. Breakfast can last for a REALLY long time. For lunch her Dad packs her a well-rounded lunch with fresh fruit, a sandwich, cheese, some kind of fun snack (popcorn or pirate booty) and yogurt. She generally come home with 98% of what he’s packed her, sometimes there is a bite taken out of the sandwich – sometimes it doesn’t look like she opened her lunch bag at all. Dinner is pretty much a repeat of breakfast. Both her Dad and I try to be patient but it doesn’t always work – she’s still alive though so sometimes I wonder if we should just stop worrying about it so much, I do make sure she gets a multivitamin every day.

Lucy is in love with Marley and Spalding (most of the time) and they love her too, the second her door opens in the morning both of them (who just seconds before could have been in a deep sleep) will jump up and run upstairs to greet her, she usually rewards them by picking Spalding up by his neck and jumping on to Marley’s back. We have the most patient animals I have ever met.

Lucy also really likes being a good helper and few things make her happier than letting her help me in the kitchen – last week we made two dozen cupcakes for a school party, I let her ice all of them and by the time she was done she had giggled so hard that she had icing all over her face and half way to her elbow, it took an hour to clean up the kitchen after but it was well worth it.

She is very devoted to her stuffed animals, her ‘stuffies’ she cannot go to sleep unless they are all in bed with her – this means that 45 stuffed animals take up about 75% of the full size bed that she has and she curls up around them in the remaining 25%.

Lucy is very sensitive and gets very upset when she gets in trouble, sometimes when she does something wrong, even before I say anything to her she will hang her head and go up to her room to cry, sometimes I have to stop myself from apologizing to her when she breaks a rule.

She has no concept of money and will gladly give it all away if someone asks for it -we haven’t started giving her an allowance but it will be coming shortly and once that starts she will need to start using her own money if she wants something.

She loves riding her bike and wearing red lipstick – when she grows up she wants to be a teacher and play the violin.

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Where Did I Go Wrong?

I love nature and being outside, I grew up largely unsupervised in the safety of a giant backyard – I climbed trees and harvested caterpillars. I never wore shoes and threw temper tantrums if anyone tried to take a brush to my hair.

I think I always assumed this was a kid thing – that all children responded the same way to the freedom of the outdoors, I found out just recently that I was wrong.

A few days ago I decided to take Lucy to a remote arboretum for a lunchtime picnic. I packed a nice spread, a blanket, plenty of lemonade and headed out close to noon. We were the only car in the parking lot and as soon as Lucy realized we were alone she clung to me like the entire place was crawling with hidden serial killers.  I could barely walk with her hanging on to me but I directed her in to the woods and assured her that we were safe and there was no cause for worry. Nothing I could say would relieve her anxiety. We didn’t go far into the woods, when I suggested that we find a nice shady spot to put down our blanket, I got her to sit down…reluctantly.

The space we had chosen was under a maple tree across a ravine from a giant rhododendron. A rhododendron that was home to several birds. Birds that kept making noise. It was 20 minutes of “what was that?!?” “Did you hear that?!?” “Mom! What’s out there!?!” The answer to all of which was, “That was a bird Lucy”. She was clearly not enjoying herself and at one point told me “Nature makes me nervous – I don’t think I’m an outside sort of person Mom” Huh. Okay.

After she was ‘done’ eating she told me she had to use the bathroom and I decided it was time that she learned to squat under a maple tree like God intended – I mean how did she get to be five and never pee outside? I feel like I failed as a parent.

After she successfully relieved herself she was insistent that we get back to ‘civilization’ I offered her a bag of Doritos (Lucy will do anything for Doritos!) to stay a little while longer and explore, but she looked at me with big round teary eyes and said “Please, please Mom I can’t take this anymore.”

I took pity on her and we left, and headed to the mall where according to her she felt the “most safe”.

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The Ven Diagram of my Life Just Got a Little Bit Closer

There was a time in my life when I was always the last to leave a party, you know in my early twenties when I habitually woke up the next morning wondering if I needed to make new friends or if it was okay to check my voicemail. It wasn’t irresponsibility but a need to live every day like it was my last. I had some existential crises when I was a freshman in college wherein this became my mantra and I took it literally – why go to Psychology? If this really is my last day I’ll be so pissed that I went to class… This literal reasoning was a large part of my withdrawal from college, subsequent move to the west coast and well pretty much the next seven years.

And there ensued almost a decade of poor decision making and short term goals whose failure was easily justified away.

I’m not saying that everything that happened in my twenties was bad or unscrupulous but I sure am glad that the internet wasn’t widespread in the 90’s and that Facebook didn’t exist, there was good and there was bad and there were a lot of parties wherein I was the last to leave.

In my thirties I unintentionally became responsible and started making a concerted effort to NOT be the last person at the party. In my forties I spend most of my evenings in yoga pants, preferring to spend my free time with my family and close friends, I enjoy afternoon wine and being in bed by 11:00. Maybe I’m old but I’m past the point of trying to impress anyone and I have to get up early in the morning.

Last weekend I was invited to a ‘swanky cocktail party’ and I hesitated slightly about even going when I found out it started at 7:00. Started at 7:00, also it was at my gym, my gym where people see me nearly every day sweaty in a sports bra. I’m okay spending the morning without make up, sweaty with these people because the only way they exist in my world is inside this gym. I wasn’t thrilled integrating any of these people into my world as people and not just ‘gym people’. But I figured it was fine because I’m not 20 anymore and the plan was to have a drink or two, be home by 9:00 continuing to keep my ‘life’ and my ‘gym life’ separate.

The best laid plans and all that…

There were two problems with this plan 1.) Stacy and 2.) my inability to make small talk with people I don’t really know without 750ml of wine inside me. The evening began slow and at some point got WAY out of control. Stacy whom I love dearly is much more the devil on my shoulder than the angel on the other side, she is… an instigator. When I suggested that perhaps we shouldn’t be the last to leave the party she just laughed at me and suggested that I start sobering up by drinking a light beer. I drank like 6 light beers before we were finally ushered out and the lights were shut off behind us.

At this point it was clearly not the end of the evening but the start of round two – we headed to a local dive bar where I had on good authority heard you could get drafts of Yeungling for $2.00.

So the evening digressed into a messy, incoherent haze of stale beer and cigarette smoke. But that’s not the point of this post. Is there a point? Why yes there is!

The point is that after a rough Sunday where I nearly threw up at a 6 years olds birthday party I had to show up Monday morning and face the ‘gym people’ as people who now knew whatever the hell I decided to divulge after a box of wine and a twelve pack of miller lite – it’s been two days and I haven’t managed to make eye contact with any of them.

Because Home Goods is a black hole of things I really want but don’t truly need

Things I meant to do during my stint on unemployment:

  • Go to the dermatologist
  • Organize the laundry room
  • Teach the dog to walk on a leash without pulling
  • Learn new healthy dinner recipes my whole family would love

Things I actually did do while on unemployment:

  • Find good people who were willing and able to drink wine with me at noon
  • Institute mandatory cuddle time for the first 15 minutes after coming home from kindergarten
  • Learn how to do Romanian deadlifts with a 45-pound kettle bell
  • Vacuum so much I actually broke the vacuum cleaner

Things I feel like I would do if I didn’t ever have to go back to work:

  • Become an alcoholic
  • Barricade myself in the office and write a novel I would be too terrified to actually share with anyone and would only be discovered after my death with a lot of tear stains and spelling errors
  • Committ our wifi pssword to memmory
  • Empty the litter box more often (this ones questionable, I might just teach the cat to use the toilet)

Things I’m looking forward to about going back to work:

  • Less pressure to have a clean house
  • Actually having a reason to drink in the evening
  • Not having to avoid eye contact with people who commiserate with me about how hard their jobs are
  • Less free time to spend at Home Goods

 

Updates From the Couchside – Final Edition

I’ve written before about my struggles with being a grown up. Lord knows I certainly do not feel like one, I drop Lucy off at Kindergarten and I half expect to get yelled at as I’m leaving the school for ducking out of class.

This post will mark the end of my couchside chats- I officially got “the call” yesterday and will be starting a new career next Tuesday. Ugh, I’m not really sure I’m ready to go back to work – I’ve gotten quite used to being at home, making sure that we don’t all drown in dog hair and we don’t eat popcorn for dinner. I’m going to have to open my side of the closet for the first time in 3 months and put on something office-worthy.

I am still working out and now that I’m being held accountable to what I eat and how much I drink I found there is a direct correlation between the amount of wine I imbibe and how often I write these posts – I was doing a lot of writing (and drinking!) prior to my initiation into fit tribe, now that I spend my days sober I fell less inclined to be creative, once the other day I found myself doing push-ups on the stairs. Push-ups in the middle of the day with no one towering over me threatening me with heavy blunt force objects. WTF is happening to me? I need to figure out how to channel my inner Hemmingway without doing it through booze and general poor decision making.

There’s been a lot of adult-ish family drama going on, nothing makes you feel more mature than fighting with your siblings about important things. It seemed so much easier to settle disputes when we were younger and could just pin each other to the floor until someone yelled uncle or cried so loud that our Mother stepped in.

And that my friends is how I’m playing the grown up this week – not drinking, going to work and dealing with situations that I’m ill equipped to handle. Someone pass the wine…

 

 

Updates from the Couchside, Vol. V

I’m still waiting for a start date for the job I supposedly landed.  I say supposedly because they called me some time ago and said, “Hi, we’d like to offer you a job” and I said, “Great!” and then they said, “Ok, we’ll be in touch, don’t call us we’ll call you…” and now it’s been about two and a half weeks. I hope they call soon; I bought new shoes so I need an office to wear them to.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how can fit “going into work” in my surprisingly busy unemployed schedule. Seriously, I have learned to fill up my days without wasting time watching TV or napping. Sure there is the occasional afternoon where I enjoy a cocktail at 3:00pm but for the most part I’m pretty productive.

I have continued to work out every morning and I’ve even managed to do a burpee or two but I still hate them, oh how I hate them.  I’ve even lost a couple pounds but in the true spirit of self-destructiveness I am planning a weekend getaway this weekend where I’ll probably undue almost all of the work that I have made. Do what you know, you know?

I’ve learned how to make quinoa, I’m pretty sure this means I’m a hipster now. I should probably look into getting new frames for my glasses.

Wherein I talk about exercise. Yes, exercise.

Six days ago I decided to sign up for a 14-day trial at a local fit tribe center, not a gym but one of those places where they only have group classes closely monitored by personal trainers, the kind of gym where it’s impossible to phone it in. Unlike the last time I joined a gym and I just spent my lunch hours watching Sex and the City while I walked on the tread mill for 30 minutes, barely ever breaking a sweat. No, this place makes me sweaty and doesn’t allow me to sit down when I get tired.

It’s the perfect kick in the ass I need to get myself back into my jeans, not my skinny jeans, I mean back in my jeans period. Apparently two months of sitting at my kitchen table sending out resumes has made me even more flabby and out of shape that I normally am, and quite frankly that’s really saying something.

So, I went every day this past week. Every day! Two mornings I was even awake and dressed at 5:30 to attend the 6:00 class. Anyone who knows me knows that this is unusual behavior. Usually the only time I’m up that early is to either go to the airport or because I drank too much the night before and forgot to take water to bed with me.

So I really feel like I’ve thrown myself into this whole exercise thing and the problem is that I haven’t lost any weight. Sure there was the day that I came home from the class so hungry that I ate an entire bag of Cadbury mini eggs while I waited for the cheese on my sandwich to melt but come on a pound or two would be super motivational now. You know?

For this reason, I’ve gotten pretty discouraged, honestly just getting up at 5:30 let alone doing anything I think deserves a reward in itself. But I did feel somewhat vindicated yesterday while we were cooling down in class I was able to do a push up. This might not seem remarkable but the last time I remember being able to do a push up I’m pretty sure I was in junior high. And not only that, I did the first one so successfully that I tried it again – I did four more before it was time to move on to burpees, which I can’t do – burpees are ridiculous.

By next Friday I better be able to do a burpee – or five.

excerise

Updates from the Couchside, Vol IV

Yesterday I scheduled a mammogram, for myself  (not as a favor to my grandmother or anything),  it’s weird to be this old. Last night I had dinner with someone 30 years older than I am, she told me I didn’t know anything, that I was just a baby. I sure hope she’s right – in 30 years I hope to know a whole lot more than I know now. Also, I suppose I’ll have 30 more mammograms under my belt, or boobs I guess. I don’t know a lot about what’s involved but I’m pretty sure it focuses on the boobs.

Also, yesterday I may or may not have received a job offer, I got an email that seems very positive but I won’t get excited about anything until I have an offer letter in my hand, signed by somebody with a real pen and everything. If anyone is still hoping to offer me large sums of money to stay at home and continue my couchside updates – now is the time to contact me.

Today I attempted to change our beds over from winter to summer mode (duvets replaced by freshly laundered bed spreads). I spent 4 hours this morning tearing the house apart for the sheets for Lucy’s bed – you know the requisite white ones with the tiny pink roses on them. How can I lose an entire set of sheets? It’s not like I take them out for drives or anything, I’m pretty sure I never left them at chick fil a. I finally gave up and went out and bought new sheets (spending money like I really did get the job… seems like an excellent way to jinx myself)*. I have the new sheets in the washer right now and I’m just sitting here waiting for the old ones to surface – I feel like this should happen before the sun sets tonight.

It was supposed to rain today, like rain rain – I sent Lucy to school this morning in rain boots, a raincoat, carrying an umbrella… The sun has been out since lunch time and not a single drop has fallen – I’m going to start dressing her like this everyday!

*As does just writing about it here

Updates from the Couchside, vol III

Spring is sprung-ing all over the place up in here. There are crocuses in the yard and buds on the trees and it’s not even the ides of March yet. I am thrilled and I’m thrilled that daylight savings time is back and once again the clock in my bathroom is set to the correct time. I know a lot of people moan and groan about losing an hour of sleep, but I say to those people, “shut the hell up, it’s going to be light until after 7:00 tonight!” And besides you aren’t really losing an hour, your just finally giving it back for the extra hour you got back in November.

I took a new pair of jeans I bought last week to the cleaners to get hemmed today, I know this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it kind of is. I’ve never ‘altered’ a pair of pants. I mean generally speaking I don’t usually spend more than $19.99 on any one item of clothing, doesn’t seem worth it to have them tailored just for me. I went and just got them measured feeling incredibly decadent and frivolous and after getting my slip I discovered it only cost $14.00. Fourteen dollars! not have to walk on the hems of my pants! Holy shit, I should have been doing his for years…

This past weekend I threw myself a birthday party which was (as the kids say) off the hook (do kids say that?) and with it came birthday cake. I don’t actually have any recollection of eating the cake at my party- it was served late at night after a copious amount of alcohol, but photographic evidence shows that I did indeed try it. This morning I had a piece for breakfast – is there anything better than birthday cake and coffee first thing in the morning? I don’t think so; it also aligns perfectly with my ‘getting-in-shape-for-spring-break’ initiative that I keep talking about. Honestly I don’t know how anyone is supposed to slim down when there is so much cake in the world.

Hello Spring!
Hello Spring!

 

Tough(ish) Love

As a parent I can’t help but wonder how much I am screwing up my kid. I think the art of child raising is a lot like the old time travel conundrum* you know where you have to decide if going back to change the outcome of an event makes it better or something else worse.

When I first got laid off I thought ‘oh, I’ll save so much money and just pull her out of aftercare’ and then I thought, ‘ooh, I don’t know – is that going to be better or worse for her?’ Not often, are the kids in daycare buying her ice cream just because she sat still during an eye exam, not often do they let her pick out something from the Disney store because she managed to not wonder off in Target while they were shopping. They don’t scoop her up from every scratch and bruise and kiss it and tell her everything is ok – they punch her in the arm and tell her to suck it up.

Sometimes I think she really should be punched in the arm and told to suck it up, you know because life is hard and because she is my daughter she’s probably going to fall down a lot. But I can’t be the one to do that, it’s just not in my DNA, I have a crazy strong maternal instinct to protect her and assure her that everything is going to be okay.

Maybe I’m really doing her a favor by not subjecting her to too much of me – everyone knows I’m better in small doses.

Not today though, today I’m picking her up from school and letting her pick out a new shower curtain, you know, because she was tired of the old one…

*Might not be old or even a conundrum

 

Updates from the Couchside, vol II

I have been spending a considerable amount of time watching the election coverage on TV, much more than the FDA would recommend (I’m guessing). Probably more than some professional political analysts have been.  It has turned me into the person that yells at their television. I’m not proud of this, I’m just telling you that if you happen to walk by my house in the middle of the day and hear yelling just keep walking.

I’m starting to lose hope that HGTV is going to call and offer my the 2016 HGTV dream home, I wonder if I should write some sort of essay to them “Why I would like the HGTV dream home” in 500 words or less.  I’m sure they would appreciate getting mail from me, I mean – who wouldn’t?

Wednesday I went sandal shopping for Lucy because its nearly springtime, and today it snowed and I guess it’s my fault. Sorry y’all. (I just said y’all).

Spring break is quickly approaching and that means bathing suit time. Bathing suit time in March seems UNFAIR. My soft Pillsbury dough body isn’t ready for this, in order to do something about it I’ve been sitting around thinking about how I should do something about.

That , my friends, is that.

dough boy
This is a real image I stole off the internet

 

A Case for the Uniform

Yesterday was my first post-layoff job interview. The email confirmation I received from them gave me the time and address of the meeting as well as reminder that it is a ‘casual office’.

Hm, this means I can’t wear a suit. But how casual is casual? I assumed that they would be in jeans, but I can’t wear jeans. Maybe black pants? Ok, except that my black pants need to be ironed and I don’t do that very well.

Ok, so a dress, but which one? A ‘casual’ dress? Those make me look like I’m headed to a party or out for date night. A business dress? It’s practically the same as a suit but without the jacket.

Ugh! Why are you messing with my head! I tried on 7 dresses and one skirt, two different colored tights and three pair of shoes.

In the end I had about 2 and a half minutes to get out of the house and grabbed the first dress I had tried on, threw on my coat and tried not to obsess over it.

My meeting was with two women both in jeans, I confessed that I had changed about 5 times to be casual but not too casual and they also confessed that they were pretty dressed up, but they didn’t want to dress up too much because they had told me they were casual.

If I get this job, I’m pretty sure it will be because of our shared fixation on fashion. This seems like as a good a reason to hire me as any, right?

Footnote to this story: Last night I had a dream that I got this job and showed up this first day in a t-shirt, just a t-shirt, no pants, no underwear. It was not a long t-shirt. No one seemed to notice.

tshirt

Why Facebook is an Asshole

Remember when Facebook was a fun and entertaining place where you could log in and see pictures of your high school classmates, find out who just had a baby or who didn’t and spent their Christmas break in Hawaii?

Yeah I remember that Facebook, before I had a smart phone and I would log in one time a day and oh and ah over baby and/or puppy pictures and feel pretty good that even in my most introverted moods I was still connecting with humanity and hadn’t yet completely fallen off the grid.

Slowey and with what seems like ever increasing frequency my feed has become a virtual marketplace. Honestly, if RoseGal offers to send me a seemingly beautiful ball gown made out of 14 carat gold for  $1.75 in USD one more time I’m going to scream. This shit drives me crazy, I don’t go on to Facebook to shop, I go on it to stalk old boyfriends and research potential dog walkers.

But the sponsored ads are just a small part of the problem, inspirational quotes and inspiring message also drive me nuts. Honestly WordPorn mostly just makes me feel like my relationships aren’t deep enough or spiritual enough. Instead of making me feel better most often these quotes just make me feel more shallow and superficial. Thanks to Facebook I now know that I am not living up to my potential. Awesome.

But what I hate more than anything else that happens on the internet (yes, that’s the ENTIRE internet) is when photos/ articles of sick and dying children pop up and I’m told that if I don’t repost or like it than I’m a terrible person. Yesterday I was happily scrolling through ads for Wayfair.com and Oil of Olay and I came across a picture of a girl about Lucy’s age with a giant tumor in her chest and under it is large letters were “IF YOU SCROLL PAST THIS YOU ARE HEARTLESS”. OMG – Facebook? Why? First of all, I can’t possibly read articles about sick children, I don’t think any Mother can. Things like this ruin my entire day – just seeing headlines of things like this ruin my whole day.

So here’s the deal Facebook – I can’t save every starving animal, I can’t cure all of the sick children out there. Not sharing all of these stories, doesn’t make me heartless it makes me aware that my friends also don’t want to feel your passive aggressive guilt trip. We ALL know that terrible things are happening in the world, but there are terrible things happening in our own lives and our own communities and I think we all try very hard to help solve the problems we can and help the people we know, but to make us feel bad about things we can’t help makes you heartless not me and not my friends.

Despite all of this I still log in about 14,867 times a day (don’t judge me, I don’t have a job) its my link to the world outside my living room. If only I had enough technical skills to create some kind of anti-facebook where there would be rules about this sort of thing.

Rant over.

Now Seems Like a Perfect Time to Have Mid-Life Crises

I’ve been unemployed for six days now  and I’ve spent the majority of those days wondering aimlessly through out my house doing laundry and taking antibiotics to get rid of the massive sinus infection that I have. (Try not to be jealous my life is GLAMOROUS).

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do, but every time I broach that subject my brain kinda shuts down a little, like it changes the station and there’s nothing but static up there, I keep asking it questions and all I get is some kind of emergency feed back loop.

Yesterday I had a job interview. Today I can’t seem to do anything more than play Words With Friends and doodle. I’m wondering if this is a downward trajectory where 4 days from now I’m laying in the fetal position, drinking gin through a straw on the floor of my shower or if it’s some kind of yo-yo and tomorrow I’ll actually fold the laundry and type up a list of references.

I kind of hope its the later but the former does take a lot of pressure off me to accomplish anything, just once I would like someone to utter the words, “Becca… she insisted on getting out of bed today.”

Stay tuned.

 

Update from the Couchside  

The upside of being unemployed:

  • Acme at 8:00 on Tuesday morning is a beautiful place, only old people and stock boys. You can be in and out in 20 minutes without once ever waiting in line.
  • Unlimited internet trolling time
  • No need to wear anything but yoga pants
  • 3:00 Happy hour
  • Relaxed grooming requirements

 

The downside of being unemployed:

  • No one is around to stop you from making an entire batch of blueberry pancakes and then eating them all yourself while you watch an uninterrupted stream of house hunter episodes on HGTV.
  • Unlimited internet trolling time
  • Trying to figure out how to reprogram the digital thermostat so that it’s not 55 degrees in the house during the day.
  • No good reason not to take every single facebook quiz that pops up on your feed.

What’s that sound? Oh, The cookie crumbling…

So… I lost my job on Friday. Well maybe not lost – I know where it is, it’s just not mine anymore. This is the second time I’ve been laid off and I have to tell you it doesn’t do anything good for one’s self esteem. But I get it, really I do, I might not be a CPA but even I know if you have more debits than you have credits than you are in the red and it’s hard to pay people when you’re in the red.

To answer all of your burning questions regarding this situation here’s a mock interview I just conducted with myself:

Interviewer: So you just lost your job, how do you feel?

Me: Meh, I think working is over rated. Sure it gives you money to buy thigs like food and wine and stuff but as a concept working is total bullshit.

Interviewer: What are you plans now?

Me: Well, without the daily pressure of going to a job I’ll probably just hang out – you know, do things I’ve been meaning to do like wash the inside of the refrigerator – those glass shelves get really dirty!

Interviewer: Do you have a long term plan?

Me: I don’t understand that last question.

Interviewer (getting frustrated): Let’s switch topics do you have anything that you would like to say to the people/person that laid you off.

Me: Oh yes – I do! So glad you asked this question. I have three pieces of advice for woman the who just canned me – 1.) Next time if you know you are going to let someone go don’t harass them to complete their yearly self-evaluation form that you know you are never going to read. 2.) If the person you are letting go takes the train home try and coordinate the firing with their train schedule, otherwise that poor person is just sitting underground for over an hour trying to text all of her friends with a really weak cell phone signal. And finally don’t try to hug that person as they are leaving the office, no one wants your hugs.

Interviewer: Anything else to add?

Me: Nope that about sums it up.

Interviewer:  Can we get serious about where you want to go from here?

Me: Well, it’s 5:30 am Sunday morning, where do I want to from here? Mostly I’m going to head to the kitchen and heat up some of yesterday’s coffee.

Interviewer: You are very exasperating.

Me: Is that a question?

Interviewer: Can you share with me one of your goals now that you have all of his free time.

Me: I can share one with you. Are you asking me if I will share one with you? Sorry, honestly I don’t know why I’m being so hostile you seem like a very nice person. But truthfully I don’t know, I think that spending more time with my child and husband is certainly a goal – but at some point that’s going to get old for all of us. So I’ll probably have to like get a job or something.

Interviewer: What kind of job do you see yourself getting?

Me: I don’t really know – I seem to be pretty good at this interviewing thing. Maybe I can just pretend to interview people from around the world and write a book about it. You know something like “fake interviews about real things”

Interviewer: Huh. I’m not really sure what to say.

Me: Say you’ll buy a copy.

The interview really went downhill from there.

As usual I have no good way to end this post. I guess what I’m trying to say is I’ll be around if anyone needs a reliable daytime drinking buddy.

I Really Hope I’m Not the Only One

This week I am learning all about depreciation schedules and vacation accruals and so many accounting things that make me want to run my hands through my hair and put my head down on my desk. I don’t think there’s anything that makes you feel more adult than trying to manage an audit (Maybe performing surgery, I imagine doctors feel very adult all the time, but as anyone who has seen me handle a butter knife before knows I was never cut out to be a doctor) Also, I’m not really good at adulting either (about as good as I am with knives). I have a tenuous grasp (at best) on what I’m supposed to know as it relates to my professional career. And as a Mom I just fake that I know what I’m doing and stay grateful that Lucy is still too young to have caught on.

I am a giant faker, but I don’t think this comes as much of a surprise to those close to me. I don’t think anyone has ever uttered the words “Let’s go ask Becca, she really has her shit together.” And you know what, I am totally okay with that. There are people that are expected to know things and be in charge and then there are those of us whose parents are just glad that our decisions in our early 20’s didn’t land us in some sex trafficking fiasco.

Sometimes I get home from work at night so bewildered by what is going on that I have trouble processing Lucy’s Kindergarten homework, “if you have three friends on the playground and two more show up how many friends do you have to play with” whoa, back up a minute how did you get to the playground?

This makes me wonder how many of us just wonder around all day, going through the motions of adulting hoping that no one calls on us to explain the reasoning for what we are doing. In my dealings with humanity in general, I imagine that this is most of us – glassy eyed, questioning how we got so far in life without falling down a well or accidently ingesting something that poisons us.

It makes me a little sad that our civilization has evolved in to a place where most of us are too scared, anxious or reticent to be the silly, light hearted, playful people really want to be, at least until we get home at night and change into our sweat pants and allow the real us to come out.

Maybe instead of adding rules to the handbook of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles we should use our collective efforts to build some kind of giant adult size bouncy house where we can spend our days having fun and connecting with each other the right way.

We only live once people, go forth and build that bouncy house.

 

 

A Message for the Future Me

I can’t wait for Lucy to start giving herself a bath – I want to put that out in to the Universe (in print) because I know there will come a day when I am old(er) and nostalgic and I’ll turn to someone near me (perhaps a stranger on the bus) and lament about how I miss when my daughter was young and I bathed her. But for the record, it’s hard. First, bath time is 8:00pm, by 8:00pm I have been awake for 14 hours – 10 of those hours were at work or trying to get to work, an hour was spent trying to coerce Lucy in to doing 15 minutes of homework, an hour was spent prepping and/or cleaning up a semi-wholesome meal. Bottom line is by 8:00 I am tired. TIRED.

So I’m tired and Lucy’s hair is about 3 ½ feet long and needs to be washed well, conditioned copiously and brushed out – she doesn’t like water in her face and I need to use professional hair products so when shampoo accidently seeps in to her eyes she reacts as if it were bees and not Paul Mitchell’s moisturizing serum. She doesn’t like to wash herself, she’d much prefer that I act as her handmaiden and do it for her – same with her teeth, so when I insist she does it herself she cries. She is also tired so she can cry really easily and for long, extended periods of time… this goes on seemingly FOREVER.

By the time she is clean and ready to get out she no longer wants to get out she wants to play in her dirty, soapy bathwater and will only remove herself when I promise her a good story time that I’m frankly, a little too tired to read.

She’ll get out of the tub and instantly be FREEZING TO DEATH, she will overdramatically fall into the fetal position on her bedroom floor and not move to help you dry her or dress her but the second she is warm and dressed she will suddenly be FULL of energy and will jump on the bed repeatedly until you have to yell and threaten to take something away from her for her to calm down.

She will want to snuggle while you read which is great except that her hair is still very wet and she will ensure that whatever you are wearing will get very wet too, she will only half pay attention to you as she asks every 15 seconds for you to hand her the milk that she refuses to hold on to but needs placed on her dresser after every swallow.

After the required two chapters of reading she will once again get very weepy and insist that you sleep with her, that she misses you and that she can’t POSSIBLY FALL ASLEEP without you. At which time you will firmly but gently extricate yourself from her bed feeling shitty that you don’t spend enough time with her but also very very ready to go downstairs and drink the glass of wine you poured for yourself that is waiting on the kitchen counter.

You spend 5 minutes reconnecting with your husband before you both fall into a semiconscious stupor and turn on mindless TV until you are too tired to drink anymore wine and you’ll head upstairs and check in on Lucy who is snuggled and cute and quietly snoring or muttering to herself and your heart will melt and you will almost bring yourself to tears because you feel like you are not doing enough, not there enough for her, you will brush her hair out of her face and kiss her on the forehead and try very hard not to think of the 5,673,128,789 ways that life can hurt her and you will want to keep her young and protected forever. You will feel this way for about 24 hours until its bath time again and you are tired and her hair is dirty and all you want to do is relax.

2015: A Year in Books

I know you have all been anxiously awaiting my fourth annual book review. And here is it, unfortunately my attention span has been severally restricted either because of binge watching The Walking Dead or the general stress and anxiety of dealing with an aged and ailing father, but whatever the reason this years list seems shorter than it should be:

1

Memoirs of An Imaginary Friend

This was a weird book and when I started it I didn’t think I could get in to it but it turned out to be very endearing and in the end I was moved by this crazy made-up relationship.

2

Mom’s Who Drink And Swear

No, I didn’t write this book, but I probably could have. These are essays of a, well a Mom who likes to drink and swear, some of them are super funny and others not so much. I really really enjoyed about half of this book.

3

Unbroken

This was a fantastic read, a true and amazing story well told that became a complete page turner. I really liked it but felt that the last quarter of the book was rushed through.

4

The Slow Regard for Silent Things

Patrick Rothhfuss is a literary genius and reading him makes me understand Kathy Bates character in Misery. If I knew where he lived I’d be there with a sledge hammer getting him to write the 3rd book in his Kingkiller trilogy… Anywho, this was a weird little book and I loved it.

5

A Secret History

Not my favorite book. I really expected more from the author of The Goldfinch but I generally don’t get in to murder mysteries and this was no exception. The book started off with a confession of how this murder took place and then the rest of the book explained the events leading up to it – I couldn’t relate to the characters or sympathize with their situation.

6

Blood of Dragons

The 4th and final book in Ronib Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles. I love Robin Hobb and can’t wait to read her newest trilogy. This book was good (as all her books are) but this series of hers was not my favorite.

7

All The Light We Cannot See

This was an amazing book, when I started it I just assumed it would be sad at the end so I called my sister (who had just finished it) to see if I was going to need tissues and she told me “You will cry not because the ending is sad but because the book is over and you will still want to keep reading it” and she was right. Go read it now.

8

A Canticle for Liebowitz

In my hunt for weirdly obscure science fiction I found this book that had been a #1 bestseller in the 60’s. I loved this book, it is a mind trip and as relevant today as it was 57 years ago when it was written.

9

God, if you’re Not up There

Darryl Hammond autobiography is dark and upsetting. This is a book that a co-worker loaned to me and I’m still not entirely sure why. Darryl has lead an impossibly hard life and every time something good happened to him there was an opposite reaction that was even worse. This book depressed the hell out of me.

10

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Meh. I generally really enjoy everything that Neil Gaiman touches (his Sandman series literally BLEW MY MIND). And while I enjoyed this little book it was definitely not my favorite of his.

27

The Marriage Plot

Not as good as Middlesex but still readable.

11

The Martian

This book is dry and scientific and still very enjoyable, a veritable page turner it gave me nightmares about being alone in space but overall very entertaining.

12

Unabrow

Definitely the best essayist I read all year. Una LaMarche is super funny and self deprecating; I will try and read more of her.

13

Swan Thieves

Ugh. This book is BIG and mediocre and took forever to get through. It was recommended to me because I really liked The Goldfinch but this tome fell far short of the magnificence that Donna Tartt created.

 14

Station Eleven

One of my favorite books of the year. This is a post apocalyptic story (right up my alley) that takes place 20-25 years after the fall of civilization, it was so well done and so engaging I did not want it to end.

15

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

Meh. I liked this book, I didn’t love it – it was pure ridiculousness which I knew it would be from the outset but not as well done as I would have liked.

16

People are Unappealing, even me

A funny and endearing memoir that I would recommend again and again.

17

The Never Ending Story

Who knew the movie was only the first 25% of the story? I really enjoyed reading this book – it was full of imagination and new and interesting ideas, I am looking forward to reading it to Lucy when she is a little bit older.

18

Picking Up

Who knew that a story about collecting garbage could be so interesting? I really enjoyed this book.

19

Lucky Us

I have no memory of this book – but it’s on my list and in my “read it” pile so I know I must have. I just looked it up online and it seems familiar – clearly not a memorable story although it won a lot of acclaim. Huh.

20

RailSea

Another sci-fi book – this one was pretty bizarre and I was rushing through it to be done with it and move on to something else when a surprise twist at the end made it almost worth the read. Almost.

21

Feeling Sorry for Celia

A cute, coming of age novel, I liked it but didn’t love it.

22Furiously Happy

Oh, Jenny Lawson… I love her and everything that she produces, this book did not disappoint it was hysterically funny and tragically awful all at the same time. Everyone should read this book.

23

The Samurai and the Tea

An interesting, little, self published book about the history of Christianity in Japan. I learned a lot of history I was unaware of but was constantly distracted by the typeface and poor editing.

24

This Where I Leave You

I honestly thought this book would be funnier. I saw the movie before I read the book and the screenplay definitely lightened things up. The book I found a little disheartening – this dysfunctional family trying to keep their lives and relationships intact.

25

The Legend of Colton H. Bryant

Not a book I probably would have picked up except that it was written by Alexandra Fuller (I will read ANYTHING of hers). I didn’t realize that this was a true story until the very last page. I don’t know if it would have changed my opinion if I had known from the beginning. I liked this book but found it slow and… sluggish.

26

You Deserve a Drink

Another book of essays from a woman who drinks a lot (do you see a theme here?). This was a gift and was 50% really funny.

How to Fix the World with Kittens and Beer

The fact is there is nothing good to read on the internet. Seriously, I scroll though blog after blog on wordpress and you know what I find? A lot of political ranting, some uber feminist babbling followed by more political ranting. Sometimes there is a side note in there about environmental ruin and the destruction of life on earth as we know it.

This makes me feel personally responsible for bringing joy and light to my fellow human beings, which is hard because I’m not really full of joy and light, mostly because so many things piss me off.

Also, why do we need so many blog posts about politics and the environment? Seriously, if you have been alive for… (I’m guessing) 20 years and have paid attention to anything than you already know that we, as a species, are ruining everything and that we cannot collectively elect a leader that makes anyone happy. I don’t really see the point in belaboring these facts by blogging about them. That is what the news is for. Want to see how terrible everything is? Turn on CNN.

I know I’m coming across and trite and glib but fo’ real – in a world of mass shootings and terror extremists what we really need to do it shut the fuck up and stop feeding in to it. We need more pictures of kittens, we need more stories of families and communities coming together for something good (like beer).

We should all go out right now and buy some random person a beer and hear their story and if we all did that everyday than we’d all be happier and probably 15 pounds heavier and have lost our job because I’m writing this at 8:42 in the morning. But honestly people, if your job doesn’t support you buying strangers beer before breakfast than you need to rethink your job.

I have no proper ending to this post; here is a picture of a cute kitten:

kitten

Suburbia, Salad Gravy and Sister Cousins

I’ve lived a lot of places, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of everywhere. On the edge of the pacific ocean, once in the back of a Ford Gran Torino station wagon (still roomier than some of my apartments).  When my husband and I made the decision to leave our quiet corner of the city and move to the suburbs the idea was fraught with many unknowns but the biggest question we asked ourselves was “are the sort of people that can make friends in a mild manner neighborhood of the suburbs?”

No, we are not the kind of people able to make friends with mild manner suburban neighbors.

Fortunately for us we haven’t encountered any mild manner suburban neighbors.  Two years into our tenure in the burbs and I have discovered these common misconceptions:

  • Walking your dog after work is really just an excuse to initiate an impromptu happy hour, “Hey, how was your day? Want a beer, I have one here in my pocket.” “Oh, this? No this coffee cup is full of Chardonnay…”
  •  It’s cool if everyone has access to your house. “Oh you need honey, sure I’m not home but just let yourself in, it’s in the pantry. Use the big one, not the small organic kind – see you later. I’ll stop by with a cup of chardonnay!”
  • You need to get something done, just invite all the neighborhood kids over. Nothing gives you free time like having your kid engaged in play with other kids. Need to make dinner? Write a blog post? Go to the bathroom by yourself? Just call your neighbors!

~

A few weeks ago I had to suit up, stay late at work and attend a board meeting for my job.  The meeting went late and dinner was ordered. A LOT of dinner, so much so that by the time I left there was an entire catering tray of salad that was never even opened.

I took the salad and an unopened container of balsamic vinaigrette dressing and on my way home dropped it off to a pregnant homeless woman who I knew would be sitting outside of the WaWa on the way back to my car.

I presented her with the salad and she seemed very grateful and then I brought out the dressing and she said, “What the hell is that? Gravy!?!” and I said “Yup, it’s the latest thing, salad gravy and it’s delicious!”

~

Also a  few weeks ago one of my best friends (Jess) adopted a baby girl. It’s a huge deal that has been years in the making and I couldn’t be happier for them. Lucy has followed the development and the idea of adoption with equal parts fascination and confusion.

A few days after getting the baby, I was putting Lucy to bed at night and she asked if I could please give her a sister, I explained (for the eleventy hundredth time) that simply wasn’t going to happen and she responded by asking if her cousin Emmy could come live with us and be her sister. I told her that I would ask Emmy’s Mom but I was pretty sure that the answer would be “no.” Lucy asked why and I responded with, “Because people don’t just give away their kids honey”. She looked at my and stated very matter of factly, “well, that women did for Jess.”

Touché Lucy, touché.

 

From the mouths of babes

Awesome things that Lucy has said lately:

Upon learning that I don’t know how to iron: “What do you mean you don’t know how? Just watch what Daddy does and do that”

Upon seeing a street vacuum cleaner for the first time picking up trash on the sidewalks: “Hey Mom you should get that for your car”

Upon being sent the wrong phone cover case from Amazon: “Don’t be mad Mom, you get what you get and you don’t get upset”

Upon hearing new toys signing along with Doc McStuffins: “Mom, how can the brand new toys possibly know the words to all of these songs?”

Upon learning of the birth of a good friend’s new baby: “Aw, she’s going to be a cutie pie and I’m going to make her my cousin and love her forever.”

Upon waking up at 2:00am and walking in to my bedroom: “Mommy, I miss you when I’m sleeping”

 

What not to get me for Christmas

The last post that I wrote really got me to thinking about things that I hate. Not regular things like terrorism or cancer or trying to call your insurance company to get conformation about what your policy covers (that shit is terrible). I mean the seemingly everyday things that most normal people have no problem with. Here are my top choices in no particular order:

SOUP: Why do people consider soup food? To me soup is just a hot beverage, and if I want a hot beverage I’ll drink coffee thank you very much. But seriously, there are millions of people out there that “eat” soup as a meal. Personally I like to chew my meals and if I’m going to invest in the calories (and some soups are calorie laden) I want to chew them. I know most of you are thinking, what about when you are sick? No, not even then, the entire point of getting sick is to lose weight (Isn’t it?) so why fill up on stupid empty soup calories? East some dry toast, go back to bed and when you are better you can have some coffee (coffee= warm caffeinated soup in a cup!)

VESTS: I hate vests, and I don’t mean the kind that men (and sometimes women) wear under a nicely tailored three piece suit. No, I’m referring here to vests that people wear to keep themselves warm, fleece or down vests, anything meant as “outerwear”. First they just look stupid, they made you bulky in the places you don’t want to be bulky. But besides being aesthetically unpleasing they are also useless. Physiologically speaking* when a person gets cold they feel it most in their extremities, don’t your fingers gets cold before your boobs? Why wear a garment that is only going to keep your boobs warm, not your hands, and as a bonus make you look fat in the process? Vests, I hate you, get sleeves and turn yourself into a coat.

THE MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY LINCOLN COMMERCIALS: Not only is this like the definition of pretentious actor buyout, but the sound of his voice makes me illogically angry. Also his face, there is something super irritating about his smug stupid face. When his commercials come on I feel a deep seated rage well up from somewhere deep inside me, I can’t explain it, this is just the way it is. Matthew Mcconaughey, you are right it isn’t about hugging trees, it’s about getting you off of my TV. Also your last name is ridiculously hard to spell. Go away.

How is this cool?
How is this cool?
  • I am not a doctor, I’m really not even sure what physiologically means

Wherein I Seem Angry for no Reason

WTF is up with Fall? And by that I mean when did the season of autumn become an event? Did I miss something? My daughter has had her face painted EVERY weekend since Labor Day.

When I was a kid we each got a pumpkin for carving, we hung some Indian corn on our door, we spent one day trick or treating and then we hunkered down and waited for Christmas. Now it seems that suddenly the entire months of September, October and November have become a giant pumpkin eating hayride of harvest festivities.

And what really makes me stay up at night* is what came first, did I miss some kind of universal change in humanity when sometime in the mid aughts everyone woke up craving pumpkin flavored pastries and the opportunity to pick their own apples? Or did one group of farmers accidently plant so many pumpkins** one year that they were forced to conspire with bakeries and Starbucks across the country to get rid of their product?

Either way it happened I am fascinated by it and how everyone seems to be on board. Nary a weekend has gone by where someone hasn’t texted me with “you want to go pick some apples on Saturday?” and the thing is I like to go apple picking, I like being out in an orchard when the trees are turning and the smell of apple ciders in the air and all of that, but it’s really easy to pick apples ( I mean on a small scale, I certainly wouldn’t want to do it for a living) while meandering down rows of loaded apple trees dropping those within easy arms reach inside of a paper Trader Joe’s bag I can gather enough apples to get my family of three through the winter in about 10-15 minutes. So why do I need to go apple picking every single weekend? Maybe I can set up some kind of 2nd run apple stand for people who are too lazy to get in their cars and drive to an orchard to lift up their arms? I don’t know maybe I’m on to something here, but I feel like the people who invented grocery stores might have already figured out this business model.

Also, while we are on the subject of seasonal festivals, why just fall? Why not have spring festivals and summer festivals and maybe one smack dab in the middle of Winter, I feel like that would really help people get through February if the entire month was devoted to “Mid Winter Fiesta!” we could use the old apples that never gotten eat from all of the apple picking in fall to make mulled apple cider, or maybe we could just throw them at snowmen as we primal scream to let out our frustration that its only fucking February (with sparklers, cause nothing says Mid Winter Fiesta like apple chucking and sparklers).

*This is a lie, nothing keeps me up at night (except maybe an ill timed double espresso) I’m so tired that by 10:00 rolls around I couldn’t stay awake even if the house caught on fire and I was forced to leave. I’d probably just stay in bed shouting “tell me family I love them!”

** This is easier than you would think. Watermelon and pumpkin vines look a lot alike. This past spring I planted both of them in my garden and around the first of August my husband excitedly told me one day that our first watermelon was growing big and nearly ready to be picked. A few weeks later he picked and (fortunately) before cutting into it examined the underside and realized that it was orange, it wasn’t a watermelon at all but a not-yet-ripe pumpkin. See, if it can happen to us it can happen to anyone.

Sometimes its hard to tell
Watermelon Pumpkin

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Weeknight Dinners

I was on the train yesterday and witnessed a heated discussion between what I believe to be a Jehovah’s Witness and some seemingly random Christian fellow, their conversation went like this:

JW: “Well, what do you think Jesus’s role was?”

SRCF: “He was a great teacher”

JW: “Teacher huh? TEACHER? Not the SON OF GOD? Or the MESSIAH?”

SRCF: “Why are you getting so upset?

JW:” Because you don’t know ANYTHING! Teacher my ass!”

At which point it was time for me to get off the train. I seriously considered staying on to see how this played out, but it was the end of the day and the 30 minute walk it would have taken to get home from the next stop simply didn’t seem worth it.

Does anyone else find this puzzling the sheer vehemence of the Jehovah’s Witness and the comparison between Jesus being a good teacher and her ass? I have known several Jehovah’s Witnesses in my lifetime and I have always found them to be rather calm and soothing people

I guess sometimes you’ve just got to spend a lot of time on a crowded suburban rail line to find out what’s what – yo.

~

I don’t cook a lot, a few years ago my husband simply took over the duty as house chef (I pretend to think that this was more to give me a break rather than to not have to eat my cooking any longer). But sometimes I still manage to throw a meal together, a meal that doesn’t consist of hot dogs and tater tots.

Usually when I do this I try to prepare the entire meal in as few dishes as possible. If doable I only use one dish, I just throw many things into a skillet; add some wine for it to cook in and viola. I do this not because I am lazy but to make clean up easier for my husband, cause I’m a giver.

When I make these ‘skillet’ concoctions Lucy always wants to know what it is so I name them all “Mommy’s dinner surprise”.

These dinners come in many different forms with many different flavors; it’s like a little food surprise after a long day at school or work.

Last night I got a text from my husband before I even left work telling me to not worry about dinner because he was going to take care of it.

I said, “are you sure? I could make another surprise?” His response, “Oh sweetie, we don’t have enough hot sauce left to get through another dinner surprise…”

And that, my friends, is how you get out of cooking dinner for your family.

skillet meal

 

This one is ALL over the place

Hey, it’s that time again where I have to pay for another year of my domain name and therefore begin to feel guilty about spending that money on something I’m barely using.

For those of you who know me well I think you’ll excuse my absences on this website, there’s been a lot of shit going down recently. For those of you who don’t know me well – you should call more and then you’d totally get it. And for you random people in Germany that follow me to either help improve your English (not the best platform, btw, my grammar is terrible) or are attempting to live vicariously through an American suburbanite (again, not the best platform, you should really find someone able to stay up past 9:30 in the evening and actually you know, does stuff). You Germans just have to trust that there is a lot of shit going down, shit that I’m not going to post on the internets.

See, the last paragraph was an English teacher’s worst nightmare (I do not think a comma means what you think it means) excerpts from The Syntax Princess Bride – you know the movie where Buttercup and Wesley fall in love over perfect sentence structure… ah, I love that movie.

Oh my god, what am I writing about?

I have many annoying habits (ask my husband!) One of them is that I leave half drunken (dranken?) cups of water/coffee/wine laying all over the house, so many in fact that sometimes I run an entire dishwasher load of nothing more than found glasses. But sometimes I never even drink them, sometimes I will pour a cup of coffee and heat it up in the microwave only to find it hours (days?) later sitting there neglected, probably scared of the dark and wondering how long it will be before it gets to hang out with its coffee cup friends again. Sometimes if I remember how long it had been since I first attempted to heat up that cup of coffee I will do it again, the chances of me drinking it improve with each consecutive reheat. Something like first attempt = 30% success rate, 2nd attempt = 50% success rate, 3rd (and always final attempt) = 90% success rate. Typically if I have vested enough time to reheat the coffee three times than it’s almost a guarantee that I really need/want it and I’m probably standing right next to the microwave tapping my foot doing my best Homer Simpson impression – “30 seconds! But I’m tired now!”

This cycle of incomplete tasking extends to other things as well, take laundry for instance – I’m not sure how I’m expected to NOT ignore clothes that are two flights of stairs down in a dark subterranean room. Sure if I’m doing multiple loads and there is a waiting line of laundry to get in to the dryer than I‘m all about getting it out of there but the last load? That can sit for up to six days before its time to start the process all over again.

All of this might seem like incoherent babbling but I’m getting to my point and that is that the coffee and the laundry are like a metaphor for this website, I click out of this website to browse Etsy or buy bulk pig ears on Amazon and next thing you know 10-15 days later I do a search for how to remove unknown sticky craft supplies from my daughters school uniform and Google brings up stickjamhands.com and viola it’s like opening up the dryer… What I need is some sort of annoying dinging reminder.

Actually what I need is pie, pie and coffee. I should go check the microwave…

 

Anniversary Gifts, Kindergarten Woes and Mental Health Disorders

Last weekend marked my seventh wedding anniversary – yes, for those of you reading that attended this social event of the season it was seven years ago we made you drive down a long windy dirt road in the middle of nowhere Maine. For seven years my husband has had the privilege of putting up with me every day. Traditionally the seventh anniversary is copper… ugh copper. To begin with I am a terrible gift giver (honestly, terrible) but throw a material like copper at me and I might as well just write you a check and call it a day.

I would like to offer up this suggestion – let’s update the traditional wedding anniversary gift schedule – instead of paper, wood, iron, copper route I would like to suggest something a little more modern (go with me on this):

Year One:  “The Princess Bride” theme anniversary – anything remotely related to the movie (or book) will do.

Year Two: bathroom renovations, for this anniversary you will need to call a contractor to install a double sink in your en suite (or build you one if it doesn’t already exist)

Year Three: Separate vacations, for your third year you are both allowed to take a long 4 day weekend away from eachother.

Year Four: Weekly cleaning services. For the fourth year, you pull together all of your gift giving resources and sink that money into someone who will clean your house for you.

Year Five: “The Star Wars” anniversary, anything remotely related to any of the movies (the ORIGINAL three) will do

Year Six: If you have children your sixth anniversary present should be sending them to their grandparents for a week. One whole week – kid free – happy anniversary.

Year Seven: King size bed.

Year Eight: Job switch – for your eighth anniversary each of you gets to spend one day at the others job, this way you can FINALLY understand all the venting at the end of the day

Year Nine: craft projects – for your ninth anniversary you both get to graphically show your love using nothing more than macaroni noodles, cardboard, glue and glitter.

Year Ten: Diamonds, diamonds for everyone.

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Next week my little baby girl will start kindergarten and I’m all flummoxed by this, how did it happen? Did we enter some kind of wormhole? Did I waste her early childhood by forcing her to hang out with disinterested daycare workers? How do we build a time machine and go back in time?

Lucy is ambivalent about the whole thing, she’s worried more that she has to wear a uniform than she is about attending ‘big girl’ school, she excited that she gets and iPad and that her friend Grace is going to be in her class but I guess that is the difference between someone standing on the precipice of something as opposed to someone looking back at it from the other side. I am excited for her and the experiences and adventures that she will have the older she gets, I am also terrified of said experiences that she will have. Ugh, parenting.

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Sometimes when I am bored at work* and think that I should spend more time writing on my blog (only I can’t because of the stupid ridiculously high firewall in my office) I read other people’s blogs instead – clearly the agency I work for is cool with me spending my days reading about other people’s experiences on Tinder (Oh my god – check that out) or stay at home parenting. But through all of my time reading pieces of other people’s lives I can’t help but notice that there is a high rate of serious depression going on with bloggers around the world. I notice that some of my favorite writers are always saying things like “I was in a funk last week” or “I was too depressed to get off the couch”. Now, don’t get me wrong depression is a terrible thing and those that struggle with it really struggle with it but it makes me realize that it is yet another barrier to me never quitting my day job to become a famous writer. Yes, that’s right to get what I really want from life I need to suffer from a debilitating psychiatric disease. If only I had to struggle to get out of bed every day and cope with my life… if only.

 

It’s sad really, I have so much potential.

 

*If we work together – I’ve never been bored at work, ever.

 

 

Newsletter: Year 5

Today Lucy turned 5. I am shocked that this happened, I feel like 5 is a serious turning point, gone is my baby girl and in her place is a grown up opinionated child- ready to start kindergarten in a few weeks and then, next stop… college? Fortunatly I am still her best friend (or is it Daddy?) Here she is for the past three years:

Happy Birthday to my favorite sassy little munchkin:

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Apparently it’s called Solipsism

Oh look – I have a blog! I’d like to say that I haven’t been around because I’ve been diligently and single mindedly focused on my soon to be published book, but this would be a giant lie. The reason I haven’t been around is due entirely to laziness and procrastination, two areas I excel in above most others… Couple this with the fact that I can’t get to this website through my new employers firewall and it spells disaster for getting anything done.

So… how are you?

I’m good. I recently I attended a professional baseball game something I enjoy going to every five to seven years mostly to sit in the sun and drink ridiculously overpriced  beer, but also to keep me humble. Let me back up…. You see I have always imagined that despite physics and science in general that the universe and most everything in it has pretty much revolved around me. Well, that makes me sound like an asshole, let me start over – as a kid I assumed that everything that went on around me was somewhat holographic and since I was the only thing I knew to be 100% without-a-doubt real than I must exist in the center of my own universe. (I was a very philosophical preschooler). Unaware that Descartes formulated this same thought in the 15th century* I thought I was remarkably ahead of my time.

For most of the time this theory holds true – how do I know that people and events actually exist when I’m not there to observe them? I’ve always been present at everything I’ve witnessed. This isn’t a ruling manifesto of my life – it’s just something that helps especially in face of tragic events, I can somehow deal with thousands of people dying in earthquakes half a world away from me because there is a part of me that doesn’t really believe that they exist at all.

But my theory gets pretty debunked when I’m at baseball games. My baseball game attention span is approximately 3 minutes 17 seconds long. After that I have to scan the crowd for people I know, post selfies on facebook or go find the ladies room to make way for more ridiculously overpriced beer. But you know what’s amazing? When I’m in line for the ladies room and out of sight of the game, it still continues to play, people still cheer and boo and points are scored or not scored as the case may be. It amazes me every time that the players know how to keep going even when my mind isn’t focused on them.

Baseball games remind me of the time I was (probably) about 12 or 13 and home sick from school and I turned on the TV only to see Sesame street and I thought, “how is this still on, I stopped watching this years ago…” huh.

So, if you random internet reader, are anything like me (the master of your own unique universe) I would highly recommend an outing to an event that are not that interested in (this works well for all professional sports, as well as parades or Operas) to keep yourself in perspective.

You’re welcome.

*I actually just learned that this is true, thanks Internets for no longer making me feel alone.