I spend my friday nights

At fencing. Not me doing the fencing. The kid is doing the fencing. She wants me to sit here for two hours while she does the fencing and I comply. I’m a mom.

Mark gets me dinner. Take out. He brings it here and I eat and go on Pinterest.

Do I think that there might be more to life? Sometimes I do. I don’t know what. It’s not healthy to always be wanting something else. I like to look at real estate in New Zealand but it is very unlikely that I’ll ever live in New Zealand despite it being beautiful and progressive and free of nuclear bombs.

Life Stories: In 1989

I went to high school. My hair was long and sort of blonde, but mostly brown. Once I was a blonde and it was hard to let this go. I mean, my hair was part of my identity and I had always been a long blonde haired girl. Ponytails. Pigtails. Braids. Buns for dance recitals.

In Junior High in the late 80s girls were doing stupid things to their hair. They were getting bad perms and curling their bangs and teasing them into strange shapes and holding it all into place with Aqua Net. My friends got perms and curled their bangs and they wore Coca-Cola shirts and acid washed jeans. I wanted to look like the models in the Esprit Catalog. I wanted to look cool and arty. I wanted to be a Benneton ad. I did not want to get a perm and tease my hair. It was a weird time being this person I was. This person who wore Converse high tops and owned a pair of fake John Lennon glasses. This person who wanted to hang with the skater boys and listen to the Violent Femmes and not a person who spent a lot of time in front of the mirror or wore a lot of make up or listened to Bon Jovi.

Which isn’t to say I was better. It’s just that I felt like I was in the wrong place.

At the end of Junior High I had a sort of boyfriend named Tom. I liked him because he was a skater boy. The skater boy I really, really liked had moved away after 7th grade. Off to San Diego. Tom was quiet and shy and mostly unknown to me. He liked the band Heart. I didn’t. We didn’t have a lot in common. He wanted to kiss me and I was too afraid. By the end of the summer I had a friend break it off for me because I was a coward and because I liked someone else and though that someone else just had to like me to. That didn’t happen. Instead I was just a never been kissed coward.

I went to high school and I liked boys but I was invisible to them. Maybe because I didn’t have perms and teased hair and lots of make up. Maybe because I wore vintage cardigans and chunky shoes. Maybe because I was afraid of them and they knew it.

I wasn’t unpopular. But I wasn’t popular. I didn’t play sports or cheer or go to parties. My jam was being in plays and seeing movies. Everyone would have told you that I was nice. Those who knew me well might have said I was funny. I thought I was pretty enough, but no one invited me to the Homecoming Dance and I didn’t have any make out sessions and I spent quite a large number of weekend nights by myself.

My friends couldn’t understand why I didn’t flirt or show an interest in boys with muscle cars or at least be less innocent and afraid and timid.

Timid is a good word for how I was.

I look back now and think of course it had to be the way it was. It always has to be the way it was so you can get to where you are. Which is wiser and smarter and a person with stories to tell and a person who understands loneliness and outsiderness and longing. But then, it was hard. It was lonely.

Freshman year. It felt like I never had enough clothes. Sometimes I wore my sister’s stuff. She was a Senior. Although she had a different sense of style than I did.

I played a mentally disabled woman in the school play. I had two lines. I joined the Student Council. Choir scared the crap out of me because although I loved singing I didn’t know how to read music and the choir director was terrifying and I was starting to suspect that I didn’t really know how to sing.

The boy I liked was a Junior. He was smart and he was funny and sort of preppy and definitely not at all interested in me.

I had braces and I didn’t know what to do with my long, straight not blonde enough hair.

My eyebrows were dark and thick.

Math was too hard and made me cry.

I watched a lot of Ken Russell movies because they were the only arty, foreign films our local video store had.

When I graduated from high school I was going to head off to New York or California and study filmmaking.

I never tried very hard at my homework, but I managed.

Lunch was a terrifying experience.

Does this sound like a sad tale? It wasn’t all bad. Fun times were had. My best friend at the time was an older girl named Christina. She loved poetry and difficult fiction. She was smarter and wiser. But she had low self esteem and let guys walk all over her. We laughed and she drove me around town sometimes on Friday nights. She worked at the local movie theater and after hours we would eat the candy and look for loose change on the theater floors. My first time getting drunk (or buzzed, I suppose) was on wine coolers at a party her brother had at her house. Being buzzed gave me permission to act crazy and tell everyone jokes and not be afraid. An older boy kept telling me how pretty I was but I blew him off. He didn’t seem straight, anyway. Though at the time I could have hardly verbalized that suspicion.

The school newspaper was my favorite thing. Since movies were everything to me, I asked to be the film critic. U2’s documentary, Rattle & Hum, earned rave reviews from me. U2 was my favorite. The Joshua Tree changed me. Bono was my god.

Winona Ryder came on the seen with adorable, short hair. I cut my hair, too.

Everything is Terrible

I can’t escape the bad news. Also, I don’t really try very hard. Anytime I’m on Facebook I’m bound to hear about the dog meat festival in China or the latest terrible thing that is an effect of climate change or pesticide use. People being terrible to people. People being terrible to animals. People being terrible to the earth. People are terrible. There are too many of us. It’s all going to crap.

So, yeah, I hope the good people and the smart people can figure it out before it is really too late. Maybe it all already too late. Maybe my child is going to grow up to something scary. Like famine and storms and World War 3.

What’s to be done? How do we keep keeping on? Tell me what to do, Jerry Garcia?

In other news, I can’t stop eating mini heath bars. They are the most addictive of addictive candies.

And I start a newish job on Monday. So life is changing. It’s a good job. Full time therapist. Salaried. My own office.

I’m still writing books that may never get published.

The cat is old.

The dog is a character.

The kid is growing up. Almost done with elementary school. How did this happen?

I find more gray hairs every day.

Really looking forward to the new season of Hannibal.

Current Obsessions

Indie Rock women

A certain spicy vegetarian ramen (I get packets and packets)

Laffy Taffy

Fixer Upper on HGTV

wearing nightgowns over pajama pants

sleeping more than I should

Thoughts I Had While Under Nitrous At The Dentist

Is this Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam? I wonder if I’m acting the way I think I’m acting. Are they laughing at me? I like this Phil Collins song. Phil Collins is seriously underrated. Why are there so many holes in these stupid, ugly drop down ceilings? I wish Kelly Clarkson hadn’t shaved the side of her head. That look is so done. I wonder if I’m opening my mouth wide enough. Should I close it more? I don’t want to look like I fish. I bet these sunglasses make me look like I’m in an Ocean Pacific ad. My neck is so tense. I’m totally going to have a headache later.

Midwest woman meets sunshine state

I knew this already, but Florida is weird. I could not be a full time Floridian. First, there is too much sun. And people. And people with terrible fashion choices. Really, too much of the wrong kind of action.

I don’t mind warming up a bit and it is nice to see the ocean, of course. But I’m not a theme park person, as was made clear to me today as we attempted a Universal Studios adventure. We are not an amusement park friendly family. We are like vampires at a beach party. Where is the shade? It is too hot. Get out of my way. And why do people insist on carrying around all these minion plushies? I need my Starbucks. And I’m not a beach person. Not for more than a short stroll in foggy, overcast weather. And I don’t want to get on any kind of board. Nor do I care for neon.

Tomorrow we will find seashells and see some wildlife. I do like the birds.

Soon there will be flowers

There will be flowers blossoming on trees. I can’t remember when that happens. May? Finally, it is March. Spring is almost here. Of course there still could be a blizzard in April. Prince knows what he is talking about. But still, tulips will appear soon.

But today was kinda warmish and I felt a little more alive (after the morning headache went away–I blame Daylight Savings Time). I was inspired to make a playlist of my favorite 80’s songs. Blondie, Big Country, INXS, and Howard Jones made the list. Plus a few (or dozen) more I’m too embarrassed to mention. Fine, there might be some George Michael. And Corey Hart. (and Cutting Crew. shhhh.)


I think February is getting me down. I’m not really against winter but I have to admit there may be a little seasonal affective disorder going on. I just don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to wear anything that isn’t super comfy. I don’t want to deal with dinner. I really don’t want to do all the paperwork I really need to do. Really, really. I want to be in bed, under the covers, napping. Maybe reading. I wouldn’t turn down deliveries of tea and cookies.

No one is bringing me tea and cookies.

I also don’t have a television in the bedroom so Netflix binging in bed is out.

Is that Midwives show any good?

I have watched at least half the British crime dramas listed on my Netflix recommends page. The kid and I are halfway through season four of Gilmore Girls. We haven’t met Logan yet. I wonder what she’ll think of Logan. She hasn’t come out and said it, but I think she’s a Jess girl.

I keep pretending that maybe I’ll lose weight just by wanting to. FYI, this hasn’t worked for the 20 or so years I have tried it.


alison and kimWhen my sister and I were small.

I don’t think we got a long very much at any point in our childhood, but I was still glad she was around. She was always taking care of animals. She nursed found baby birds who had been left or orphaned. She built little homes out of cardboard boxes for neighborhood strays. She took charge of the care of our hamsters and our dog.

I was the comedian. And the one that didn’t get in trouble. I was the lazier one, the dreamer, the antiestablishment, the good girl with a rebel heart. My sister had boyfriends and paramours. She was disciplined. She had jobs and friends she went to parties with. She knew how to do her hair and make up. She didn’t like school, but she was smart and organized and focused on the things she loved. She knew how to decorate her room. I was a hodge podge. I still don’t know how to do my makeup. I didn’t date. I didn’t keep jobs. I liked school, but didn’t worry about being the best. I wanted to get away and make movies and live in big cities. She wanted to get married. She wanted to have animals. We are very different. And yet we share something alike in our core. Some understanding of the world and each other. And we both crush on English guys. And I know she’ll have my back.

She lives far away. And should anything happen to my husband and I, it is she who will take care of my kid. And my dog.

being cultured

I’ve told my daughter we are going to memorize a poem. Seems like a good thing to do. I like the idea of knowing a poem by heart. I’ve chosen William Butler Yeats first sonnet to Helen which apparently is also known as When You are Old. Mostly because I like the line, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you. Because Pilgrim Soul!

We are also watching all the seasons of Gilmore Girls and laughing a lot about Kirk. This is culture, too.

And she is still obsessed with drawing dragons. Right now she has many pieces under a dancing dragons series. In color! With markers. Orange and green. Orange is always nice.

Today was full of snow. I did some shoveling. It was mostly pre-shoveling for my husband’s more productive shoveling. No one left the house. There were unfulfilled plans to go sledding. School has been cancelled tomorrow. It will be a good day for sleeping in. More Gilmore Girls. Poem memorizing. Dragon drawings. I’ll try and fail to catch up on paperwork, no doubt. Snow, Yeats, Stars Hollow, and naps.


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