Monday, July 30, 2012

Where in the World Am I?

So you probably noticed I missed a couple of days worth of posts. (Or maybe you didn’t. Selfishly, I would LIKE to be missed when I’m not posting, but I know that the reality is not that you are waiting for these missives with baited breath, hanging on my every word and run on sentence.) If you did notice – well, I missed you too! If you didn’t … I love you anyway.

Here’s the deal: I am sick. I have ear infections in both ears, which is RIDICULOUS for a 36 year old, but there you have it. I don’t know how long I’ve had them, though, because my ears don’t hurt, which is usually how I know I have an ear infection. This time, I just thought I was tired and mildly dehydrated until I lost the ability to stand and or move my head without the whole room whooshing around like a roller coaster.

I love whooshing roller coasters.

I do not love whooshing rooms.

It was a problem.

So I went to the doc, who looked in my ears and said this:

“Dear God, doesn’t that HURT? These ears are a MESS.”

“They don’t hurt.”

“They should hurt,” he said, and made the squinchy face that always says to me, “Oh man, this is not good.”

Three different pill bottles and two trips to the pharmacy later, here I am. Not allowed to drive. Not able to stay awake. (Like mono! Only completely different!) And of course, staring down a week filled with 12 hour days. Because life is fun like that.

Which is all the long way of saying – there won’t be a post every day this week, either. But next week I should be completely better and life will soon return to what passes for normal in this casa. And I will tell you about the best three words in English, the roofer guys, the new transgressions of the storm troopers, Hopkins the frog, and the pros and cons of living near the woods (AKA the night my house did NOT smell like cupcakes).

Until then,

(A dizzier than usual) Danielle

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Cupcake Scented Budget

I’ve been trying to save money, so I took a look at my expenses and made some cuts.

I stopped getting manicures and pedicures. This made me sad, but I realized that I can paint my own nails. Even though they don’t look as nice when I do them myself, and even though it’s glorious to have someone pamper you a little bit at the end of a stressful day. “No more,” I said sternly, and stopped.

I began looking at what I was buying at the grocery store. Did I NEED a name brand? I could totally buy store brands – I mean, let’s face it, dried elbow macaroni is dried elbow macaroni. Oh sure, the fancy imported elbow macaroni is TEXTURED – but did that matter when I was making American Chop Suey? It did not.

I started cooking again, rather than relying on prepared foods or eating out. Cheaper! Healthier!

I stopped buying wine. (Oh wine. I miss you.)


I drew the line at stopping my obsession with Yankee Candle.

Here’s why:

Inevitably, when people enter my home, they say one of the following:


2)      Your house is so CLEAN.

3)      It smells AWESOME in here.

It does smell awesome in here. Right now? It smells like cupcakes. Vanilla ones.

I didn’t bake cupcakes.

I did, however, plug in my Yankee Candle wall scented oil things in my bathroom and office.

These things are not cheap. They’re $14.99 for two. They last about a month, and then they’ll need to be replaced. I can’t give them up, though. I just CAN’T.

First of all – who doesn’t love it when their house smells like CUPCAKES? (Or apples, or lavender, or whatever smell I’m currently using?) Cupcakes are awesome.

Cupcakes also smell a LOT better than a litter box. Now, granted, my cat’s litter box doesn’t have the chance to get super stinky as I only have one cat, and I clean the litter box every day. (Sometimes twice, because I’m obsessive compulsive and, well, why not?) But still. NO ONE WANTS TO SMELL THAT. EVER. Especially me, since the litter box is in my office and, well, stinky litter box is no one’s idea of a good time. Especially when cupcakes is an alternative smell. I’m going with the cupcakes.

Second of all – it’s an apartment. Apartments are prone to funky smells. Whenever someone down the hall cooks bacon – or the people across the way make spaghetti sauce? I know, because I can smell it. I don’t mind the smell of bacon in the hallway, but I do mind it in my house when I know for a fact there’s no actual bacon to be had. (Okay, there are no cupcakes either. But I would rather smell cupcakes in my house than someone else’s bacon.)

Third of all – candles would be cheaper, but I can’t really do open flame in here, what with Her Goofiness, queen of the litter box, blundering about as she normally does. I don’t need her or anything else to be catching on fire; she’s just the type to singe her whiskers, or tail, or whatnot on a candle flame.

And my house? Smells delicious.

I guess that’s the trick to budgeting, and it’s probably one I should have figured out before now, but better late than never. You decide what you can live without – manis, pedis, pampering – and what you can’t – a home that smells glorious. Then you make the choices of what to spend and when to spend it.

It kind of sucks, but them’s the breaks. There is a silver lining to everything, after all. No wine means fewer calories imbibed. No manis and pedis means not having to rush to a salon appointment after work, and less gas used. Less eating out means more time spent in the kitchen, which I actually enjoy. All good things in the end.

So I spend the cash at Yankee Candle, my house still smells yummy, and I’m coming out ahead.

I’m a cupcake scented winner in the end.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bubble, Bubble

I don’t often feel old, but I think I must be getting old. Here’s how I know: I’m having what can only be called “product grief”.

This is Avon’s fault, by the way.

Here’s what happened: I am a girl (albeit, apparently, an OLD one) who loves a bubble bath. Oh boy, do I ever.  I always have, beginning when I was a wee lass who had a giraffe back scrubber (I believe my nana gave it to me) and a bottle of Avon’s Soft Pink bubble bath.

Here’s what I loved about that bubble bath: EVERYTHING.

It smelled like heaven. It foamed up beautifully. It wasn’t drying or itchy. It was heaven in a bottle. Oh, and it was pink.

Best. Stuff. Ever.

As an adult, I still loved it. I would go a couple of years without it and then I would buy it in bulk and enjoy its sudsy goodness. Because I’d been using it so long, the smell triggered very specific reactions in my soul – it smelled of joy, giggles, childhood. (I would also occasionally regret the loss of the giraffe back scrubber, because it was awesome.)

Avon … I can’t even believe I’m typing this … DISCONTINUED MY BUBBLE BATH.

I feel so robbed. Cheated even. Like they stole my childhood. What else are they going to ruin? Fie on you, Avon! You have stolen my bubble bath dreams and left me to soak in paltry substitutions from Bath and Body Works or the Skankatorium known as Victoria’s Secret!

I have outlived my bubble bath. This is so wrong. SO WRONG.

I feel so old.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Muy Caliente!

It’s when the cat starts to mope about that I start to feel badly. She’s been wandering around the house, draping herself meltingly over the edges of things like she’s a clock in a Dali painting, and occasionally giving out a resigned, “Mew.” She looks at me with imploring eyes when I pass on my way to the kitchen to stick my head in the freezer for a few blessed, chilly seconds, as if to say: “IT’S HOT IN HERE. AND I’M FLUFFY. AND IT’S HOT.”

Because she is. And it is.

The air conditioner is broken again.

The first time I found that my air conditioner had essentially peed all over my wall, I was shocked and horrified. Thoughts of black mold – this is how it starts, oh yes it is, with damp carpeting and walls – scampered gaily through my paranoid brain. I had a vision of my house as a biohazard, with men in protective suits coming to take everything away, a la ET.

This, of course, did not happen. Instead, I mopped up the water and maintenance came and did some maintenance-y things to the air conditioner and assured me that it would be fine.

It was fine for about a week.

And then it was very much NOT fine. Once again, my air conditioner leaked water all down the wall. Into the carpet. Onto the entertainment center. Water, water, everywhere. I shut it off. My apartment immediately skyrocketed to a temperature that could only be described as stifling.

Whatever, I thought. I don’t NEED an air conditioner. I grew up in MAINE. With no air conditioner at all. AND BEARS. I’m totally fine. I’ll get some fans and it will be fine!

And it was fine.

Well, mostly.

Okay, it sucked.  It was hot. I mean, probably not as hot as, say, the surface of the sun, but hot. The temperature at two o’clock was 100 degrees on the deck, and 86 degrees in my house. For the record, this is when you want your house – and your home office -- to be EIGHTY SIX degrees: NEVER.

But we got through it. The cat hid on top of the cupboards, in a dark corner. I sweated grimly.

The maintenance guy came back and drilled a hole in the a/c. To help it to drain on the outside. “That’ll do her,” he said.

After he left, I looked at the air conditioner.

It looked at me.

“You know I don’t trust you,” I said to it, and walked away.  I don’t need the a/c, I reasoned. I’ll just use the fan on it. There’s no water involved with the fan. It’s FINE.

It is, of course, fine to use just the fan.

I should probably mention here that I have a full western exposure on my delightful corner unit. I get full sun – unrelenting, baking, crisping sun – all afternoon. In the winter, this is cause for joy, celebration, and naps where I stretch out full length on the carpet and bask in the sunshine.

In the summer, it generally means that I don’t ever have to turn the lights on in my house in the afternoon or evening because it’s bright like Vegas.

Oh, and it means my place is an oven.

So I relented in my distrust of the a/c unit. Mostly because it’s one thing for me to be hot, tired, and cranky, but another thing entirely for my ridiculously spoiled pet to be sad about it. I’ll just turn it on for a couple of hours in the afternoon, I decided. It’ll be okay.



Once again, my incredibly incontinent air conditioner has let go allllll down the inside wall.

And now? NOW I AM ANGRY.

And sweaty.

And suspicious.

They’re coming to fix it again. But this air conditioner has ISSUES. I think we’ve moved past mere tinkering. I think I need an appliance whisperer. If anyone can tell me where to find one, I’d really appreciate it. But he’s going to need to bring a fan.

It’s a little steamy in here.

What You Leave Behind

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that sanctions were handed down to Penn State in the wake of the Freeh report that indicates a massive failure by the school’s athletic program to protect children from child predator and pedophile Jerry Sandusky.

The NCAA sanctions are not what I mean to talk about right now.

What I do think merits discussion is the removal of Joe Paterno’s statue from outside the football stadium, which has caused some dismayed outcry from current students and alumni because, they say, Coach Paterno was a great man, and his legacy does not deserve to be tarnished in this way.

To which I can only say: Excuse me, but WHAT?

Let’s talk about that legacy:

Award winning, nationally recognized football program? Yep.

Contributed mad cash to the school, and got the library named after him? Okay.

Looked the other way and failed to report the fact that one of his staff members was a rapist of little boys? That’s what the Freeh report indicates. When a so called great man looks the other way and fails to protect children? That becomes his legacy.

Removing a statue of  Joe Paterno from the campus does not tarnish Coach Paterno’s legacy. He did that all by himself.  Excellence in football, while admirable, does not override failure to protect children by allowing a pedophile license to prey on them.

Of course, this is part of the problem with the way in which we idealize sports in America, isn’t it? We overlook. We forgive. Because winning is the thing. Scoring is the thing. Excellence on the field is the thing. Being an exemplary playmaker is often valued over being an exemplary human being.  So it’s deemed disrespectful by Paterno supporters – who loved what he did on the field, who worship exemplary playmaking – to remove his statue. His sins of omission, his failure to report, are dismissed with “Removing the statue will not help his victims.”

Oh, but I think it will. I think that when the statue was removed from the Penn State campus, it sent a clear message to the victims. It said that silence is not okay. It said that as an institution, Penn State will not condone or continue to revere a man who could have stepped in and failed to do so.

It’s Monday. Make a difference. Make it by speaking. Making it by writing. Make it by failing to stay silent when you see something wrong, when you notice someone being mistreated or abused, when you have the chance to correct an injustice.  Make your legacy an excellent one.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Funday?

I really think this says it all:

Happy Friday, y'all.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Boss

There are days when it’s awesome to be Boss of Everybody. Those days usually include handing out bonuses, and announcing new clients and hiring new staff.

There are also days when it sucks out loud. When you have to let someone go, or announce an unpopular policy, or when you have been specifically instructed by someone else – like, say, YOUR boss (because generally, even Boss of Everybody has a boss) – not to answer certain questions at this time.

As the saying goes, however, it is what it is. You have to take the good with the bad and hope that it balances out.

It usually does.

Sometimes, though, it doesn’t.  And sometimes,  you can’t hand out as much good stuff as you want to, and then people forget there was EVER any good stuff, and start to think of you as the source of the suckage.

I’m okay with this.  I’ve gotten used to it and generally just think of it as part of the job – because that’s what it is. A job. It’s not what defines me as a person; I learned the hard way when I stopped teaching that wrapping your identity into your career is kind of a bad plan, and have held onto the notion of separation of career and self pretty carefully since then. My job is not me, though I do tend to have a bossy personality. I am not my job.

This is not to say that there are not days when I don’t take job related things personally. While I can externalize my job related functions as “just work, not me” I am also human.  I’m a human who, actually, works quite hard to make sure that when all of my team comes to work tomorrow, they still have a work to come to. I want them to be happy to come here – that I don’t always succeed at that is something I acknowledge; I also know that I’ll do whatever I can to get them what they want, but that sometimes I fail at that as well because, well … you know how the song goes.

It shouldn’t be personal. But sometimes it becomes personal.

And on those days? Being Boss of Everybody is a drag.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

When You Care Enough To Send The Very Best (UPDATED)

I’m thinking of writing a letter to someone I used to know, but I don’t think Hallmark or anyone else makes a card that says on the outside:  I’m sorry that you were kind of a douchebag. On the inside it could say: But I’m mostly kind of over it.*

Lest you think this is another “oh poor me, I get into bad relationships” post (Do I write enough of those to warrant such a response? Gracious, but I hope not!) I will tell you this: the person who would be receiving this letter was not someone with whom I was involved, but WAS someone I trusted. Apparently, that was a mistake. So maybe the card should really say: Boy, you pulled the wool over MY eyes! Way to go! And there could be a picture of a sheep, looking, well, sheepish. **

I haven’t talked to this person in about a year, although s/he told me the last time we talked that my friendship was really an important thing in his/her life and that s/he would call me “Soon. VERY soon.” Which turned out to be never, and which was probably for the best because not long after that conversation, I discovered that my “friend” was really a sneaky, sneaky liar. SO SNEAKY. SO, erm, LIAR-Y. So I would probably also need a card that has a picture of 1960s era Sean Connery on it that says Did you expect me to tell the truth?  on the outside and on the inside it could have a grinning man in a fez*** and say No, Mr Bond, I expect you to LIE. Because that would be awesome and, also, Sean Connery.

Greeting card companies really need to branch out more. There’s a whole bitter barn that could be filled with sentiment and postage stamps and written communication and stuff, because I can’t be the only person who wants to say this to someone: What you did hurt me and you were kind of an ass about it and I know you know I know you lied to me and when you said you were my friend I believed you and the whole thing made me feel stupid because I trusted you when I clearly should not have, but I hope that you are somehow happy now and, maybe, don’t do anything like this ever again. And I forgive you, even though you didn’t ask for it.

I’d buy that card.

And maybe I’d work up the courage to send it.

Because cats make the BEST villians. (Thanks for the photo, Tim Pratt!)
*someone should make this card. I’m just saying

**As opposed to the multiple other facial expressions sheep can make with their little lamb-y faces

***I don’t know why a fez equals Bond villain to me. Whatever.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I Approve

I was always a good girl. The girl who didn’t have a curfew because her parents knew she wouldn’t be up to anything (and I wasn’t). The girl who followed the rules. The one who never had a detention, who studied in study hall, who didn’t skip class or show up late, who would be mortified if she was accidentally rude to an adult and went to church on Sundays because she was supposed to.

But none of these things were the result of being a naturally good girl, I don’t think. They were more a result of wanting recognition. If there was a gold star available, I wanted to earn it. If there was an A to be had, I wanted to get it. If there was an adult in the room who could give me an “atta girl”, then I wanted to hear it.

I’ve spent my whole life seeking approval. I think some of us are just hardwired that way. It’s not about wanting people to like me – though I will admit, I do want them to – but it’s about feeling okay.  When I was in school, doing well equalled approval, so that’s what I did. At work, promotion and responsibility seemed to equal approval, so I have always worked ridiculously long hours and tried to get ahead. If I’m succeeding in some way – academically or professionally – I must be okay, right?


Or, no.

Because it’s a problem, when you need someone else to stamp a gold star on your forehead. It’s a problem when you realize that you don’t know what you think about your own life without someone else telling you that it’s either acceptable or not. You can’t rely on everyone else in the world for your own validation.

You need to be able to validate yourself.

This had never occurred to me.

I did and do realize that not everyone in the world needs to acknowledge my genius (hahahaha) and that not everyone will shower me with adoration or even like me. I don’t need either of those things to happen, but until the other day, it had honestly NEVER dawned on me that I also could be the person who decided if I’m okay or not. I had no idea that I could place my own personal stamp of approval on who I am and how I choose to live.

I have spent many months, though, working on something, and waiting for someone to tell me I was doing well. The other day I was looking at this enormous mess of a project, and I realized: No one is going to tell me this is awesome, even though it is and I know it. (It IS. And I do.)

So, I wondered, if I already know it’s awesome, then who cares? Does it matter?

The question freaked me out. The part of my brain that wishes it was still possible to measure success with a bubble sheet and a nicely sharpened number two pencil was like, “HECK YES IT MATTERS!”

But the rest of me – which, fortunately, has progressed past my junior year in high school – was like, “Wait. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all.”

I don’t know if I will ever FULLY give up wanting approval. Maybe, as a somewhat social creature, that’s not possible. However, I do know this: allowing myself to be the author of validation in my own life? Has already made me a different person. A better person. A happier person.

Today, I give myself a gold star.

And a smiley face too.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Some Good (and the best) A-Ha Moments

I had a busy weekend, y’all. A busy, brilliant summer weekend filled with busy, brilliant summer things. Which of course means that today I am TIRED and mildly sunburned.

But I had some “a-ha” moments (sweet baby Jesus cast in plaster in someone’s garden, did I just use that phrase?) and I thought I would share them with you.  That’s what I’m here for.

#1. I learned important stuff in college. However, pouring my own beer from a tap was NOT ONE OF THEM. Batting my eyelashes and getting someone ELSE to get me a beer, however? I had that down right away, but that’s not very girl power of me. So I made someone (Hi Russ!) show me how to do it this weekend.  And, like changing a tire, now I can say I know how. (And then I will probably still get someone else to do it for me but YAY KNOWLEDGE.)

#2. Additional important lessons gained in college that I didn’t get credit for, but greatly appreciate now:

                *how to dance without spilling a beer

                * how to walk without spilling a beer

*how to play it off if you DO spill your beer

                *how to properly drink and enjoy beer


#3.  The exposed back of your neck is a body part you will probably never think of until you forget to put sunscreen on it and burn the bejeezus out of it. At that point, it will become the bane of your existence.

#4. When suddenly forced to realize that a handsome HANDSOME famous person is standing less than five feet away (HELLO GAVIN ROSSDALE), it is entirely possible to lose one’s ability to speak or formulate coherent thoughts and, perhaps, breathlessly utter something like this “OmygodIdon’tevenhuhwhatzit?”

#5.  Beach sand is the most insidious substance on the planet.  That is all.

#6. Watching someone having a REALLY great time? Will cause you to have a great time. Even if what is causing the “I’m having so much fun right now SQUEEEEEEE!” is not something you would normally want to do… and sometimes especially then.

#7.  Define joy on your own terms. If other people don’t get it? Whatever.  Their standards do not have to be your standards.

#8. Some places are fabulous. Some places are sketchy. Some places are fabulous BECAUSE they are sketchy and reassure you that, though you may not be the poster child for well adjusted, you are doing just fiiiiiiine.

#9.  If you can’t change it, stop worrying about it. Really. STOP. Right now. If necessary, please use the skills detailed in #1 and obtain a beverage. It might help you to chill.

#10. Your friends are your family. You should give them lots of hugs. If you don’t particularly enjoy being hugged, then just tell them that you love them now and again. (If you’re a guy, do whatever the guy equivalent of this is, since a lot of you aren’t all WHEEE FEELINGS  -- and yes, I know, I stereotyped – but if you are the Feelings-y sort, then an I love you would be awesome, unless you’re a hugger in which case, hugs are also a good plan.)
#11: The best A-Ha moment EVER: (embed fail?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Festive Friday

It’s Friday in the summertime, which is generally awesome as I’m a lucky soul and don’t have to work this weekend, but it’s also ridiculously hot, which I’m not enjoying. I have learned something about myself, which is this: I don’t LIKE to be hot. Granted, I don’t like to be cold, either, but when you’re cold, you can drink toasty beverages, curl up in warm, fuzzy sweaters and blankies, and get your toesies cozied up in thick socks. (I’m thinking “thick socks” might be one of the loveliest combinations of words I know, actually.) When you’re hot? Well, you can get naked if you’re in a place where nudity is appropriate, but you’re still gonna be hot. There’s not a lot you can do, even WITH air conditioning, fans, and frosty beverages.

I don’t like being hot, but I do like summer, with the outdoor parties and concerts and beachiness and general cavorting, because I have always been a girl who likes to put on a long dress and some flip flops and cavort like mad.  (I’m also a big fan of autumnal cavorting – crisp air! Pretty leaves! Romping about!)

So basically this post, dear reader, is to wish you a happy Friday, a lovely weekend, and much, MUCH festive cavorting. 

Stay cool!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Adventures in ... Everything.

Some days just don’t start out well.

For example, you turn off your air conditioner only to find that it’s been draining inside the house for you don’t know how long, and then you remember that you’re still out of coffee and Diet Coke, and then you ALSO remember that later today? You’re going to have to let someone know that s/he no longer has a job, and you have three conference calls on top of that, and life, it would seem, is not all rainbows and unicorns.

On those days, you should really try not to panic.

Because the truth of the matter is this: You will scrounge up some caffeine. (Hey, there’s a k-cup hiding behind the cereal! WHERE DID YOU COME FROM, MY BEAUTY!) The maintenance guys – who MIGHT be named Darryl and Darrell, I’m just saying – will come for the air conditioner. They will compliment your hand-me-down chairs (seriously, everyone loves those damn chairs. They might get their own blog!) and fix the AC and in general, be so nice and funny and New England-y that you will want to hug them. (But you shouldn’t, because Darryl gets flustered and Darrell will just pat you on the back nervously and want to escape.) You will help someone to find a new career path and be gentle and kind when s/he is upset and crying. You will survive your conference calls with humour and grace and some know how.

Because the truth is that, no matter how you react? The things that happened – out of coffee, broken AC, calls, job woes – are GOING to happen. So you can rail against them – OH THE HUMANITY!!! – or you can run with them. It’s either an obstacle course or an adventure. You can pick. It’s not always EASY to choose wisely, but that doesn’t make it less of a choice.

Today may have started poorly.

But it’s been an adventure.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Because I’ve totally been procrastinating on the laundry* I’ve cycled through all of the skirts I usually wear and have had to resort to “Where did this skirt even COME FROM?”** and “Oh hey, this fits and it’s CLEAN."

Which is how I came to be wearing a skirt – from WalMart, left over from my teaching days – and a silk Isaac Mizrahi top.

Let me tell you something about this top:

I got it as a HUGE bargain.

It’s silk (did I mention that it’s silk? Delicious, glorious, cool silk?)

It’s orange and magenta.

And I’ve never worn it.

I’ve had this stupid shirt for … let’s pause for some math … SIX YEARS. In that time, Isaac Mizrahi has taken over QVC, eaten 9487987987 meals on Iron Chef, and probably done some other things. I love the shirt. It’s beautiful. It’s well crafted.

And I’m a little afraid of it.

Because this shirt is fancy? But I’m NOT fancy. Which is why I own a 100% polyester skirt from WalMart (or, likely, more than one such skirt), why most of my furniture is also from WalMart (or, you know, Target, WalMart’s slightly more wealthy cousin), why most of the “art” in my apartment is comprised of photos I took and then framed myself. I’m not fancy. Other people are fancy.

I’m faking it.

I’m … faux fancy.

I’m comfortable with my faux fanciness. I know too many people who are ashamed to be the kid who bought her back-to-school clothes on layaway – at Kmart. I’m not that person. The chairs in my living room (the super comfy, fabulous ones) are third hand, I think, and I’ve been carting them around since 1999 … they were not new then (but they probably had less cat hair on them when I got them), but I still love them. What I’m trying to say is this: I’m REALLY not fancy.

But this shirt is kind of fancy.  So I’ve kept it, hanging very orange-ly in the closet. Sometimes I take it out and hold it against me and then think, Um, maybe … no.

Today, though, after digging out my pretty “House of WalMart” skirt, I thought “My fancy shirt would match that", and then immediately thought “I don’t WEAR the fancy shirt.”

“But it’s ORANGE,” whined the part of my brain that acts like a seven year old. “And we LOVE orange. And it’s so sofffffffttttt and pretttttty we wanna wear it!”

I put it on.

It is soft, I thought. And pretty.

That was kind of when I realized that the above are why I’ve avoided the shirt – it’s fancy, and soft, and pretty, and I don’t think of myself as any of those things.  (Well, occasionally I do think of myself as being bright orange, but not in a Jersey Shore way.) I felt like I didn’t deserve the fancy shirt.

“SCREW THAT,” I said out loud, and then began to laugh.

So: WalMart skirt. Fancy shirt. Bare feet, of course.

I might never be fancy.

But I have fabulous down. 

*Laundry blindness. IT’S A THING.

** WalMart.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oh Nose!

I have more than one post for my nicely pierced nose.

I have the one I wear every day – the fancy one! – that is my favorite. It’s 14 karat gold and has a blue opal in it. It’s pretty, but it does kind of ask you to look at it – and when you do, you’ll say, “ooooh, that’s PRETTY!” because everyone does.

It’s that pretty.

However, it’s not ideal for ALL situations because of the “Hi, Look At ME!” factor. So when I want to be more, er, subtle, I swap it out for something smaller. Something more office appropriate, if a post jammed through a nostril could ever be thought office appropriate. 

When I had to go to visit a client, that’s what I did: took out the daily “I’m SO FAAAAHBULOUS” post, set it aside carefully in an envelope, where it would not get lost, and slipped in a tiny silver post with a tiny silver ball at the end of it. Conservative, part of my brain said approvingly. Boooorinnnnng, said the other part of my brain.

And off I went. In my pencil skirt and jacket and blouse and heels, ready to do my best “Wheee, I’m a responsible adult” impersonation with a client.

If the client was surprised at my (relative) youth and appearance, she didn’t mention it, bless her heart. We had a lovely meeting, though I did get totally lost on the way to her office and finally had to call from a Dunkin Donuts parking lot and beg for request some assistance.

When I got home (which I managed to do without getting lost) I transformed back into my regular schleppy self. Fancy skirt replaced by floor length skirt. Heels kicked off. Blouse replaced by tshirt. Contact lenses quickly ditched.

And to complete the reversion back to home office diva, I popped out the “I’m a serious grown up” nose ring and then quickly replaced my favorite post.

At least, that’s what was SUPPOSED to happen.

In reality, here’s what happened: the changing of the clothes? Successful. Losing the shoes? Awesome. Yanking out the contacts? Fine and dandy.

I took the plain post out of my nose.

I took up the envelope where my fabulous post was hanging out.

I opened the envelope.

And then heard what can only be described as “bounce, bounce, tink” as the post fell OUT of the envelope and went flying to … somewhere.

Now, in case you don’t realize it, a post for your nostril? Is MUCH smaller than, say, a stud earring. They’re fairly wee. Which means that if one goes flying out of an envelope and lands on a mass of beige carpet, it quickly becomes INVISIBLE.

This, of course, SUCKS.

I stared at the floor in horror. Nothing sparkled back up at me. I got down on my hands and knees and searched. Nothing. No blue opal. No fun, glimmery post.

I realized that I could just call the game and put one of my boring posts in. But I didn’t WANT to. I wanted my fun post back. I WANTED TO HAVE BLUE SPARKLY GOODNESS HUGGING MY NOSTRIL!

I got the flashlight and I went back in, cursing myself for being clumsy and I ran the light over the floor, hoping to see a bit of shine.

When I directed the beam under the dresser, I found that, apparently, my cat has been using that area as a treasure chest, because I found:

8 sparkle balls

1 catnip mouse

3 hair elastics (I don’t even know where she FOUND those)

4 socks, none of which matched each other, but which had been stolen from the laundry by the basket bandit

But no nose ring.

I thought I might cry. I kind of wanted to, if I’m to be truthful, but since lately my default for stressful situations has been to burst into tears, I fought it. NO ONE LIKES A CRIER, I said sternly as I gathered up the sparkle balls and assorted other nonsense that Rhiannon has been stashing under the dresser. This is NOT a big deal.

And then I saw it, gleaming weakly by my foot.

My post.

“Oh thank the sweet baby Jesus!” I said as I snatched it up.  A quick dash to the bathroom and a soak in rubbing alcohol and it was ready to be jammed back into my nose, where it belongs.

I looked back in the mirror and smiled. Sometimes it takes so very little to make me happy.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Not So Sharply Dressed Woman

This week, I have to do something that I rarely, if ever, have to do at my job:

Look like someone who knows what she’s doing.

This, as you can imagine, is stressing me out. Because while I frequently DO know what I’m doing, I also frequently look – um, not the most professional – while I’m doing it.

As an example? Today I wore soccer shorts and a tank top to work. HAWT, right?  (and a baseball cap because I’m waaay overtired and my hair is doing something so atrocious that I can’t even look at it, but not so atrocious that I can be bothered to FIX it. I’m not going anywhere today, so who cares?)

But my (somewhat religious, somewhat conservative) boss is flying into town and we need to meet with a new client.

I met this man once, about five years ago? When I had really long hair and weighed about 50 pounds more and definitely didn’t have a nose ring. I can’t remember what he looks like, but even if he DOES remember what I looked like? I don’t look like that anymore.

This is either going to be awesome or a complete disaster.

The thing that sticks in my head, though, is that I’m good at what I do. So if I present myself competently and appropriately (like, not in soccer shorts, although since I have to drive over an hour to get to said client, the shorts would be SUPER comfy) I should totally be fine, right?

I’m driving myself crazy. I have worked in an office! I know how to be professional! I used to LOVE wearing fancy shoes!

I’m keeping my soccer shorts and flip flops in the car and changing on the way home.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday. Silly. Happy.

I feel like today DEMANDS some silliness.

So I bring you this:

(or if the embed doesn't work)

You're welcome.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Getting By With a Little (Or a Lot of ) Help from My Friends

First, let me thank everyone who stuck with me while I was in the process of having a meltdown earlier this week.  Sorry about that.

Second, let me say this – it never fails to amaze me how people will reach a hand out to you if you are only brave and honest enough to admit that you need help.

It shouldn’t be so hard to admit when you’re struggling. I don’t know who decided that the noble thing to do is to suffer in silence, but I think we should find that person and write him or her a strongly worded letter, because this notion is highly mistaken. It’s not noble to suffer. And the people who love you? Will never thank you for keeping them out of your life, for shutting them out of your hurting, for not allowing them to support you in the way that they want you to do BECAUSE they love you.

That’s how love works.

Why this should be so freaking complicated, I have NO idea.

But it is.

Or it is for me, anyway.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks here. So finally, last week, I started reaching out – not because I wanted to, with my ridiculous inability not to be stubborn – but because I was starting to be afraid of what would happen if I didn’t.

My friends – bless them – reached back.

In small ways. In great big honking ones.  In “let’s sit down and talk” ways, in emails (LOTS of them), by riding to the rescue “let me help you to restructure your health insurance” ways, in “I’m coming over tomorrow” ways,  in “I know someone who can help you with this” ways, in “You don’t have to carry this all by yourself” ways.

I don’t think that there are enough words to say thank you to every single person who helped hold me up over the last week, but I hope that everyone – every single person – knows that, thanks to you, my heart is so very full, and that all of the things that were weighing me down? The ones I’m still carrying are lighter and manageable.

In the words of Abby Sciuto, “I am hugging you all. In my mind.” And if I can manage it, it will be in person as well.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Y’all are the BEST.

Hugs – great big ones –


Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Oh hey, guess who totally lost it today and couldn’t find it long enough to post?

This kid.

I would like my reasons to be glamorous and exciting, but they’re not. They’re all “cold medicine, busy getting reamed out at work, trying to do fourteen things at once” reasons. I feel like today – the last week, the last month – has been like the worst snow cone you ever had in your life: all snow, no flavor. Just a cone full of cold that is melting and dripping onto your hand, giving you a small patch of hypothermia, except of course that it’s a metaphorical cone and it’s dripping into my sad little excuse for a heart.

Ah, imagery.

You don’t really want to hear about it and I don’t really want to talk about it and also? I just sneezed fourteen times in a row, which is worth noting in the “I feel YUCKY, where’s my blankey” column of stuff that’s making me feel cranky.

“I’ve been in a weird headspace,” I said recently to a friend. “I know,” she said. “You’ve been… quiet.”

Now that headspace is wrapped in headcold. Which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but doesn’t make one dance about the room in a chipper fashion.

And dancing is usually one of my favourite things.

Perhaps tomorrow will allow for some dancing. Or, you know, perhaps not. I’ll have to let you know.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cough, Sniffle, Wheeze

I have a bit of a cold.

I think I probably should have seen this happening when I was standing at the Hampton Beach Casino Saturday night, sweating like a farm animal (it had to be 110 degrees in there, I am not kidding) and singing along with the entire crowd while Collective Soul sang “Run” (and as a side note, is there anything more lovely than being at a show and singing along with a crowd, all of whom love whatever is being sung just as much as you do? I LOVE THOSE MOMENTS. They make me want to hug everyone) and feeling overtired but also very happy and noticing that between the sweatiness and the happiness there might have been a tiny throat tickle, the one that signals an impending cold.

“Huh,” observed the part of my brain that was not occupied with trying not to die of dehydration or singing with a zillion merry (and some very drunk) strangers. “Might want to get some water or something.”

I did.

And then I slept in until 9 AM on Sunday. Let me tell you the last time I slept until 9 AM:

I don’t think I’ve EVER slept until 9. I usually don’t sleep past seven, not even on weekends or when I’m on vacation. I am an Early Nerd from back in the day.

I had sexy Demi Moore voice in the morning, too. I have to say, if there’s something about being under the weather that I enjoy? It’s the smoky husky voice. Because I sound like a 16 year old otherwise. My vocal chords, they are YOUTHFUL.

But not when I’m sick. Then I get to sound like a sex kitten (meeeeeowwww!).


I’m indulging this cold a bit because I want it to take a hike. Jammies, tea, popsicles, whatever. Do your thing and go away, cold. I’ve got ginger ale and I’m not afraid to USE it.

This does remind me, however, of the most craptastic summer ever. When I was a kid (and I don’t remember how old I was for this – I seem to have blocked out some of the details), one HIGHLY memorable summer in Casa de Hayes, we rolled like this:

I got pneumonia (IN THE SUMMER. Can you believe it?)

My SISTER got pneumonia.

My MOM got pneumonia.

And then my dad had knee surgery.


After you’ve had pneumonia in July, a little cold seems kind of like a relaxing, albeit sneezy, few days.

No worries.

Plus, ginger ale is DELICIOUS. So there’s that.