Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Love/Hate Wednesday


The Piano Guys

One day, while meandering about the internet as I am occasionally wont to do, I stumbled across this:

(As usual, if the link doesn't work, you can go here .)

And I LOVED it.

So, here's the thing. Seven hundred and twelve years ago, when I was in high school, I was a band geek. You probably could have guessed that about me, but here I am, taking the guesswork right out of it for you. There it is. BAND GEEK. I was a band officer. I LETTERED in band.

Are you getting the hint here?

Not only was I a terminal band nerd, I was a band nerd who played an excessively nerdy instrument:

The bass clarinet.

Now you might be wondering to yourself, Self, what is it like playing the bass clarinet? This is only MY perspective, mind you, but here were the three most challenging things about playing the bass clarinet:

1) explaining to people that you played the bass clarinet.

2) sustaining single notes for a REALLLLLLLLLY long time. Like, forever. Like 112 measures of one note. A REALLY long time.

3) Sitting next to this guy, David Ouellette, for two years in band. Because he was -- and probably still is -- a GENIUS. He played the bassoon (and, like, every other instrument ever. PERFECTLY, I might add), we sat in the odd instrument section (with the french horns and the oboes) and he was brilliant. BRILLIANT. And also terrifying as a result. I sat next to him for two solid years and I don't think he ever learned my name. He certainly didn't ever SAY my name and I was MUCH too afraid of him to ever speak with him. So basically, it was two years of learning to exhale very slowly (but forcefully) while sitting next to someone who I am pretty sure did not know I existed (and this was in high school, when there were days when I wasn't altogether certain that I existed) except for when I played something slightly incorrectly, which would then result in the tiniest whiff of disapproval, which was CRUSHING because ... well, did I mention the brilliant? But then he graduated -- he was two years ahead of me -- and after that, I only had the first two items on this list to contend with.

(Dear David, in the HIGHLY unlikely event that you're reading this -- and why would you be, since you had no idea who I was -- I have since forgiven you for making me feel like an idiot every day for two years. Mostly. Well, okay, kind of no, but I realize that it wasn't ON PURPOSE that you were smarter than everyone else. Hugs, Danielle)

Anyway. Because I am a Band Geek, I love it whenever someone is able to take his or her Band Geekness and turn it into a career.

Which is what the Piano Guys have done. And -- they're SO GOOD. This is the music I listen to when I'm stressed out at work and need a little extra help finding my happy place.You should check them out here.


Scraping noises.

Scraping noises of any kind. Not just the usual "nails on a blackboard" (although DEAR GOD, that's the worst) but also --

scraping frost off a windshield
the sound of a shovel against tar or concrete
the sound of utensils scraping across the bottom of a pan

I don't know what it is about that noise that makes me feel like someone is trying to STEAL MY SOUL, I just know that I hate it.

So, to recap:

Love: The Piano Guys
Hate: Scraping Noises

Next week -- Cheezits and overly ridiculous packaging

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reasonably Mouthy

A friend of mine recently described herself as being "reasonably mouthy," which is the sort of description I love. I think she meant that she was "somewhat mouthy" or "mouthy within the realms of reasonable-ness -- not excessively mouthy" but I did not ask her.

I rolled the phrase around in my brain for a little bit, and then decided that I loved it for another reason entirely, and that I think of myself as reasonably mouthy because a) I am reasonable -- I like to argue from a place of rationality and b) I am mouthy -- I have an almost pathological need to stand up for philosophies and politics and justice as needed (and I've noticed that it's almost always needed).

As the election cycle dwindles, I'm more convinced that we are a nation being dominated by the unreasonably mouthy -- individuals who come from places devoid of rational thought, but who cannot seem to stop talking regardless of that fact -- and that, as it turns out, the more unreasonable the mouth, the more air time and play it gets. This might make good tv, but it makes lousy politics. It also serves to silence quieter, more rational arguments -- perhaps that is the intention. By listening only to the loudest voices, we discourage the rest of the voices who feel as though they will never be heard, as though there is no point to speaking at all, and as such allow our political process to be dominated by an extreme few who don't necessarily represent the beliefs of their parties or their constituents.

I believe that saying that this is not okay might be one of the grosser understatements that I have ever made.

As a reasonably mouthy person, I do know that I have a tendency to stomp all over places where angels fear to tread, mostly because I have noticed this: the places where we most need rational discourse are also most often the places where we have the least of it, and when we shy away from having rational conversations about controversial topics, we do nothing but ensure that they will continue to be both controversial and unresolved. I feel as though in order to come to a place of understanding and, when possible, compromise, we need the reasonably mouthy -- people who are not afraid to start or continue real conversations about those issues, so that we can unpack them, examine them, and move forward as a society.

Because, at the end of the day, what we need IS real conversation, not shouting matches where the loudest person wins, and not conversations where those of differing opinions are dismissed as evil. We also need to understand -- especially as a society that prides itself on freedom of religion -- that we need to stop using religion as a key element in public political discourse because, though we are all citizens of this nation and therefore subject to its laws and civil liberties, we are not all praying to or obeying the same notion of God. I know that the statement that religion has no place in reasonable mouthiness might be offensive to some people, but I would say -- again, with reason -- that if you would not like to be made subject to the rules and regulations of someone else's religion, you should reconsider before you legally subject them to the rules and regulations of your own -- because to do so would not be reasonable; I've noticed that few productive political conversations take place after God is introduced into them, if only because then the conversation is about religious beliefs, and who's are better, and who's are more valid, rather that whatever the original subject was.

I also understand that the previous paragraph falls into the category of stomping where angels fear to tread. Don't say I didn't warn you.

I feel as though reasonable mouthiness is required in order to make this a country that actually provides both liberty and justice for all. Not just for people of the correct background, with the correct religion, the correct level of education, the correct work ethic, number of children, amount in their bank account. For ALL. That's you and me and the guy over there. That's those who pray in a mosque and those who pray in cathedrals and those who pray in the woods. It's the people who shout their beliefs -- but it's also the rest of us. There are more of us than there are of them.

We should all be reasonably mouthy.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Coffee: A Love Story

Last week, my coffee pot ... expired.

This was an unexpected event, because this coffee maker is newish -- about a year old -- and had no business giving up the ghost at this point. ESPECIALLY on a morning.

A Friday morning.

After a very long week.

When I realized what was happening -- that there was no coffee to be had, senorita, so sorry -- I stoically put on a brave face and thought "Who cares? I don't need coffee!" and continued my day in a stalwart fashion.

Wait, no. That's not at all what happened.

Here's what happened: I cleaned up the mess that had been created by my previous attempt to make coffee, reloaded the machine, and tried again, thinking that it may have been a weird coffee related glitch. While it "brewed" (translation: completely failed to brew) I stood at the counter, fingers crossed, possibly whimpering slightly.

No dice.

I cleaned up the SECOND mess that was made by the coffee pot and sat down on the kitchen floor, and did a crisis assessment. The first thing I realized was that I couldn't complete a crisis assessment without coffee.

The second thing I realized was that I was sitting on the floor, when there were perfectly functional chairs nearby.

The third thing was that this was going to be a LONG day. Oh so long.

I stood up. I made myself a cup of tea.

A word about tea: I enjoy tea. It's delicious and comforting. However. Coffee it ain't.

I sipped the tea. The tea seemed to speak to me. "It'll be okay," it said. "I'll hang out with you today. Go put on a sweater and go to work. We'll ease into the day."

Which, really, is the difference between tea and coffee. Tea wants to give you a hug. Coffee wants to kick you in the ass and get you going.

I WANT that.

Moreover, I NEED that in my mornings. I require a good hearty jolt to the system that forces all systems to set on go. I have to be able to charge through my mornings like a MACHINE, one that runs on french roast and sarcasm. If this is not written into my job description, it should be.

I drank the tea. "See? Don't you feel better?"

I felt -- something. To be honest, I felt like nothing would be more fabulous than putting on my pajamas and curling right back up into bed, which was kind of the opposite of what I needed to be doing. But I didn't want to hurt the tea's feelings.

"I'm GREAT," I said. "Let's GOOOOO!"

Here's the thing: I don't know when coffee became a staple of my day. I didn't grow up drinking it. My dad drinks instant coffee, and let me tell you, if your only exposure to coffee is INSTANT coffee? You don't exactly grow up thinking it's God's favoured beverage. It smells great, but it tastes like filtered mud.

At some point -- perhaps in high school, but I really don't know -- I had REAL coffee. And quickly came to depend on it as the jump start to my every day. I drank it by the pot full through college. I can't really talk about how much coffee I consumed daily throughout graduate school and my first years of teaching, but it was ...

... well ...

... let's just say it was a lot. A LOT a lot. Probably enough for six or seven people, I don't really know. As you can probably imagine, those years are a bit of a blur. A warm, coffee scented, deliciously hyper blur.

I took my tea into my office and sat down at the computer. I was ready to go, I decided. I was ready to DO THIS.

There was just one thing I had to do first:

I ordered another coffee pot.

The tea looked slightly offended. "It's not you," I said quietly. "It's ME. I like you? But ... I can't live without the coffee."

The new pot is supposed to come this week. I'm pretty sure I can hang on until then. In the meantime, the convenience store down the street is becoming VERY USED to seeing me.

"MORE coffee?" the clerk asks in disbelief. "REALLY?"

She has NO idea.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Randoms


"No, see, Halloween doesn't count. It's like Vegas. What happens on Halloween STAYS on Halloween. That's why it's awesome."

"I cannot find the flaw in your logic, though I have tried. That's ..."

"Brilliant? I KNOW."


"Your sister is supposed to call me from the airport tonight while she's waiting for her connecting flight home."

"Oh, she had a frustrating morning. She's probably going to tell you about how she left her phone in the car."


"Oh. Yeah. No, she's not going to be calling you."


"What are you even going to be for Halloween?"

"Actually, probably the same thing as last year."

"Isn't that cheating?"

"I think of it more as a contemporary commentary on the current socio-economic uncertainty that's facing this great nation."

"Sooooo you're too broke to buy a new costume."

"Do you KNOW how much I paid for the boots for last year's costume? I'm wearing 'em every year for the rest of my life. I'd wear them EVERY DAY. Except, you know, they're whore-y."


"Hey. You know what I learned about cast iron pans today?"

"What's that?"

"The HANDLES get hot."

"Oh boy..."

"It wasn't a lesson my brain grasped QUICKLY either. Apparently I needed to learn it seven or eight times before it REALLY sank in."


"Here's your pepper spray."

"It's purple. AWWWWWW you got me girly pepper spray! This says, 'I will kick your ass, but I will do so in a ladylike fashion.'"

"Yeah. Could you try not to shoot yourself with it this time?"

"I will do my best, but I make no promises."

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday that included the following snippet:

“I think she’s definitely, you know, less … crazy.”

“I don’t know how good that is, though, because less crazy isn’t the same as NOT crazy. It’s like the lesser of two evils – less evil is STILL evil. Less crazy is still crazy.”

“You may have a point.”

I should say here that I use the word crazy with some care. When I speak or write about mental illness, I call it what it is: illness. If I have the name – anorexia, body dysmorphia, depression, whatever – I use the name without judgement. I would not call someone with mental illness crazy.

I would call someone who declares that she doesn’t believe in provable facts a little crazy.

For example, if you told me that you didn’t believe in gravity? I might begin to define you as crazy. Because, science.

I would also call someone who sees life as an obstacle course that must be carefully constructed for other people crazy.

Say we were having dinner. And you asked me what I thought that you should order. So I said, “The fish here is excellent” and you say “WRONG ANSWER” because you really want meatloaf, and then you go on a long explanation of the virtues of meatloaf versus fish? That’s crazy, and I will also never have dinner with you again.

Or, equally fun, say you asked me “Yellie, if you wanted to buy shoes, where would you go?” and I reply, quite naturally, “A shoe store,” and you said “NO. NO ONE BUYS SHOES AT A SHOESTORE. THAT IS WRONG.”

That’s crazy.

So the person my friend and I were discussing? On a scale of one to ten? Was an eleven, but now she’s down to, say … a nine point five. Which is an improvement, but still?


Which I will admit to sometimes being – well, a little beneficial. It’s definitely inspired my creativity, because every time she asks me a question, I try to think of some answer other than the expected one. This occasionally works. So if she said, “What do you think I should buy, a Smart Car or a Fiat,” I might reply: “A bicycle! They don’t require gas, they’re easy to park, and you don’t have to insure it!” and have that be … perhaps not the right answer, but one that is somehow acceptable.

I am also forced to confront my own willingness to believe facts and statistics, because she will look at years of carefully compiled data that shows provable trends and declare that she doesn’t believe any of it. This frequently throws me for a loop, but also makes me look at information more closely and ask questions.  That’s not a terrible thing.

So sometimes – sometimes – the crazy is helpful or a little entertaining.

Mostly, it’s exhausting and annoying. Because – how do you not believe in GRAVITY?! WHY would you make everyone you know guess what you’re thinking all of the time? Why WOULDN’T you buy shoes at a shoe store?

Because I’ll tell you what: it’s starting to make me crazy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Love/Hate Wednesday

Welcome to Love/Hate Wednesday! These two items will probably not be in any way connected to each other because my brain is kind of random. Oh wait, you knew that. Okay then.


Getting letters and notes in the mail.

I used to be a prolific letter writer. Now I'm a so-so letter writer, with a few notable exceptions. But OH, there is something about opening your mailbox and seeing your name handwritten on an envelope, isn't there? It's GLORIOUS.

There's also something about buying cards and stationary that makes me happy -- oooooh, or MAKING my own cards and stationary. That's awesome too, though occasionally overly ambitious. (But SO fabulous. I exchange correspondence now and again with a gentleman and I nearly always make the cards and stationary. Because ... well, because.)

I know what you're thinking: why go to the time and expense? Email is SO much faster. And cheaper -- do you know how much a stamp costs these days? You have a point, I suppose -- if economy and efficiency are the guiding forces in your life. However, I don't think anyone ever sighed over a keepsake box full of printed out EMAILS, or got a little sentimental over an internet chat that she once had with her mum, or had the ritual burning of text messages after a relationship went bad.

GEEK ALERT: one of the first forms of popular novels was the epistolary novel, which was written as a collection of letters by or between fictional characters. SWOOOOOOONNNNN.

Do yourself a favour -- get some paper. Get a pen. Write someone you think is fabulous a message. Slip it in the mail -- even if it's someone you LIVE with. It will be awesome.


Eating meals at my desk.

For the somethingth day in a row, I have eaten breakfast and dinner at my desk. I have been taking NAPS during lunch, because a) I work at home and I can and b) I'm tired from working so many hours that I find it absolutely possible to eat breakfast and dinner at my desk.

Here's why I hate this -- it's SO MESSY. Crumby potentially sticky messiness. And since, as I mentioned, I work from home, there's no office cleaning crew. (However, this does possibly also mean that I have the cleanest office kitchen, fridge, and microwave EVER.*) There's just me, an Electolux, and a cat who thinks said Electrolux is the DEVIL.

Good times.

Seriously, though, I've been trying to eat mindfully, and eating mindfully and working at the same time is -- well, I'm not going to use the word "impossible" here because I don't suppose it IS impossible, but it is very very challenging, and not the fun kind of challenge, but the "how-much-have-I-eaten-I-didn't-notice-because-that-spreadsheet-sidetracked-me-oh-crap-I-am-SO-FULL-DARNITTHISISWHATI'MSUPPOSEDTOBEFOCUSINGONWHENIEAT!"** kind.

I hate eating at my desk. I like eating at a proper table. With candles. And wine. And hopefully without having to shoo the cat away from my plate or the candles (or, hell, the wine).

To wrap it up:

I love getting mail/ I hate eating at my desk.

Next Week: The Piano Guys/Scraping Noises

*Bonus thing I love: the Oxford Comma. Boooyah.

**Translation: Darn it, this is what I'm supposed to be focusing on when I eat!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yesterday's Post, Explained (Sort Of)

Let's talk for a moment about seals.

A seal on land is a graceless thing. Adorable, but not agile, trying to flipper and squirm its way back into the water. Once there, it becomes an acrobat. Graceful, speedy, amazing.

I often feel as though the best thing about the internet is that it helps some of us who are like seals. In person, I feel bumbling and awkward. When I can write, however, I feel less goofy and stupid and more like the person I am all the time inside my head. She just doesn't get to come out and play in public.

One of my best friends and I were talking recently about children who are a little socially awkward, and how that translates into adulthood. She had seen a piece on Steven Spielberg where he discussed being bullied and being unpopular when he was a child. "I know you felt out of place," she said, "but when we were kids you always had us." It's true -- I had her and some other friends then and I have them now; they're wonderful.

I know it's not their fault I spend most of my time feeling like an alien. It's mine. It's brain chemistry and environment and about a million other things, all of which combined make me feel like an idiot nearly all of the time.

But not when I write.

For me, this space -- and emails, and letters, and any time I string letters together into a series of words and sentences and paragraphs -- is my most natural habitat. It's where I stop feeling like an idiot and start making sense of the world. It's where I don't fumble about to try to say what I mean, because I know what I mean and I know how I want to say it. Even when what I want to say is difficult, or when it's something I wouldn't talk about over coffee, I can write about it.

So I do.

When I first began blogging, back in about 2005 (on another platform entirely), I was with someone who thought that it was an incredibly stupid thing to do. Of course, that person didn't really enjoy it when I expressed myself at any moment, ever -- most of what I said or did or thought was stupid at that point -- and after a while, I let it go because it was easier to stop writing then it was to fight about it.

I don't think it's really a coincidence that I became greatly depressed shortly after.

I also don't think it's a coincidence that when I got ready to change my life again -- to uproot myself and relocate again -- that I started writing again. It was time for me to stop being quiet. It was time to rejoin the rest of the world. So there we were. And if I heard a voice in my head, a mean and cranky one, saying to me, "Why would you waste your time on this?" I was able to reply, quite firmly: "Shut up."

So here we are, 487 posts later. I've had people I don't know very well (and some I don't know at all) approach me and tell me they like what I'm doing here (which is both mildy terrifying and incredibly amazing). I've received emails and comments of support. I've been published.

Seriously, you guys. It's been awesome.

So, yesterday's post.

I was approached by a network that expressed interest in what I'm doing here. Which is fabulous, but if you've been reading, you know that I haven't done particularly well with the blogging networks. (Translation: I'm never going to make any money off this, which is fine.) They asked for some information, I provided it, blah blah blah. And ...

... well, you know the rest.

When I said that I didn't know what I was going to do next? I'd been tossing around the idea for about a week (after the "this is not happening" revelation) -- to maybe slow down and refocus on other things. Like, oh hey, the novel, which has been sitting ignored. Or putting together some short stories. Or ... you know, something else.

I have realized, however, that I don't want to do those other things. (Well, the novel(s) do need some love, that's true.) What I most like doing is this. Engaging with people, even in a small way, on a daily basis.

Because this is where I feel the most comfortable. This is where I get to play. So if it's all the same to everyone? I'm staying right here.

Thanks for hanging around.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Dream Deferred -- UPDATED

The other night I realized that something I’ve been wanting to happen? Is NEVER going to happen.
“But it COULD,” insisted the part of my brain that is eternally cheerful. The rest of my brain looked at her, blinked, and then decided that Ms Chipper needed to be buried under at least one pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
When I emerged from my ice cream coma, a bit hazy and sick-feeling, she was still there though a bit frost-bitten and subdued. I dragged myself into the bathroom and took another Lactaid. Then I looked myself in the eye.
“Look,” I said to myself. “This is just stupid.”
It IS stupid.
I mean, at some point, you have to stop believing in Santa Claus, right? You have to let go of some of the magic. You have to understand that no one is coming down the chimney.
You have to know that the phone is not going to ring. No letters will be received. No electronic voice is going to announce "You've Got Mail!"*
Your doorbell is not going to ring.
Hope may be the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, but eventually that little bird is going to die if there's nothing to feed it with, Ms Chipper and her "No, it could TOTALLY happen" personality notwithstanding.
I gave myself a week to get over it, and now that's done.
I just wish I knew what to do next.


I just reread this post, and I want to make some clarifications here, so that we're all on the same page (or at least in the same book).

1) This is not about any one PERSON making me sad. There have been people who have made me sad. I deal with them directly as a rule -- and THEN I write about it. This is not that.

2) I still believe in fairy tale endings. And romance. And stuff. I got a lot of private messages about believing in love -- and then I realized -- ohhhhhhh this sounds like THAT. Y'all, this is NOT that. No one has broken my heart. In fact, my heart is trucking along just as hopefully as ever.

3) I firmly believe that I am a human weeble. As in, you can knock me sideways, but I'm bouncing right back up. My biggest issue right now is not knowing which direction to point my weeble-face in, but you know what? That's okay too.

4)I'll get it figured out. That's what I do. I just needed a moment. But thanks to everyone who checked in -- you're the best.
*Which was the BEST part of AOL, no? How awesome was THAT?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Not a Friday Random

Hey, y'all.

I just realized that yesterday was my two year anniversary of moving into my place in Dover.  Which is CRAZY. How have two years passed? How have I been back nearly as long as I was gone for?

Time, as it turns out, is one sneaky MoFo.

Being back in the town of my birth (it's true! I have the certificate to prove it) has been the best thing that could have happened to me. I reconnected with old friends and have made new friends. I am geographically very far from my biological family, but I have made a family here.

And so to all of you, old friends and new and everyone in between, I say thank you.

I would also give you a hug. Which is kind of amazing when you consider that I don't necessarily like hugs -- the fact that I am comfortable enough to hug each and every one of you (if only for a few seconds) means I love you. In case you didn't know.

Especially you, dear readers. Especially you.

Here's to another fabulous year.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sluts, Shame, and Not Being Silent

Let’s talk for a moment about shame. And sexuality. And gender. And … politics.

(Roll up your sleeves, kids, because we’re about to do some work.)

Remember when Rush Limbaugh – that fine example of humanity and rational thought – called Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute for wanting to have affordable access to birth control?

I was livid. And wrote a post about it in which I flipped out and spent many paragraphs writing about some women needing birth control – specifically the pill – for things other than actual birth control, and how what Rush Limbaugh said wasn’t okay, and blah blah blah.

I wholeheartedly maintain that Rush Limbaugh is a vile, blathering hatemonger and that he has no business calling Sandra Fluke a prostitute or demeaning her.


I got it wrong in my response.

The issue isn’t that some people take birth control pills for reasons other than, well, controlling birth. The issue is that people – women – should have control over their bodies and, by extension, their sexuality, and they should not be shamed for it. PERIOD. The end.

I’m 36 years old. If I want to take birth control so that I don’t get pregnant, I shouldn’t have to APOLOGIZE for it. I shouldn’t feel like I have to justify it with other medical issues that make being on the pill more or less desirable, and I shouldn’t have to feel like I have to hide behind those other benefits to being on the pill when I make an argument that birth control – like all other medicines – should be affordable.

Why am I talking about this now?

It’s on my mind because of a murder. A student at a local university was recently killed during what investigators believe was a sex act that may or may not have been consensual. Her body has not yet been found.

The media, of course, is all over this. It was one story when she was killed. The fact that she might have been killed during 50 Shades of Grey sex? It’s like gasoline on a fire.

And then someone said, “No one forced her to have sex with him.”

Which was kind of like taking a very big jab right at my flip-out button. Because, you see,  it’s unclear at this time as to whether or not this was consensual. Maybe he DID force her to have sex with him.

But maybe he didn’t. Maybe it was entirely consensual.

Please clarify for me when hooking up with someone gave them the right to kill you. I MISSED THAT MEMO, Y’ALL.

I may be completely incorrect here – I’m sure one or two of you will let me know – but I’m FAIRLY certain that if a man was killed by a woman during a sex act with said woman and his bodily summarily disposed of someplace, no one would be saying “Well, no one FORCED him to have sex with her.” Instead, the female killer would be viewed as predatory, possibly deranged ; since killing someone during sex is deviant behaviour, that would be a rational response.

Flip the genders back around though, and it becomes not about the fact that this guy killed her, but a question as to what she was doing there.  As though it’s not the violence that we should question, but her ability to exert her own sexual autonomy.

We don’t, as a society, seem to have these discussions about male sexuality. Actually, let me be clear. We don’t have these discussions about the sexuality of heterosexual males. There is no equivalent to Rush Limbaugh slut-calling Sandra Fluke for advocating affordable birth control. I see no one telling straight adult men that they have no business dressing a certain way, walking alone at night, having a drink with someone they just met. I don’t see a man getting killed during sex and then having his character dissected by the media and community.

It’s highly problematic to me that the notion that women would take control of their bodies makes them objects of derision and ridicule while, at the same time, women who find their bodies violated are deemed the authors of their own pain and torment. How is it that it is 2012 and our culture cannot accept that women have a right to own their sexuality, and a right to exercise control over their reproductive present and future?  What’s with the notion that a woman should not have sex unless it’s for procreation (which denies any kind of sexuality or sexual drive and makes women little more than broodmares) and yet also blaming her for  being so sexually tempting and aggressive that if she is a victim of a sexual crime than she is also clearly the perpetrator of said crime (which promotes the idea that women are inherently sexual)?  

The part of all this that REALLY bothers me, though, is how ingrained it is. I think of myself as thoughtful, as liberated, as a feminist. Yet when I went after Rush Limbaugh in the wake of the Sandra Fluke comments, I missed the point. The point isn’t simply that women need affordable medical care for all kinds of conditions.

The point is women taking control of their bodies and sexuality is not shameful.

That’s the point.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Home. Work.

There are very few things that send me over the edge faster than the following:

“Oh my GAWD, you work from home? You must get sooooo much done around the house!”




“So you work like, what, three or four hours a day?”


“That would be awesome if you had kids. You wouldn’t even need daycare.”

Can we just discuss this for a minute?

Yes, I do get things done around the house. AFTER or BEFORE work. Because during work hours? I’m WORKING. If you worked in an office building, would you be able to stop what you were doing to clean your kitchen? No? Me either, even though technically the kitchen is only a few rooms over.

Yes, I shower. I get dressed too. One, because I like to be clean and fresh-smelling. Two, because working from home doesn’t mean becoming a slovenly lump of humanity. Thanks though.

No, I don’t work three or four hours a day. I work more like eleven to twelve hours a day, because it’s right there. I am also on call during evenings, on weekends, and on vacations. I can’t walk away from my office. I don’t have a commute during which to unwind.  I just have a room, a computer, and a smart phone. They’re always there. I work more hours working at home than I would if I worked off site.

I wouldn’t need daycare? Are you crazy? Would you bring your children to your office and try to have meetings and conference calls with clients every day? I don’t have children, but if I did? I would ABSOLUTELY need daycare. In fact, for my employees who have children at home? Daycare is pretty much required.

I don’t know why people think that working from home isn’t work, or is less work, or is not important work. I don’t know why people think that because I don’t get into a car every day and drive someplace I must have a cushy job where I just kind of cruise along, eating ice cream and watching tv in my pjs.


And the next person who makes me get on this soapbox? Is probably going to wish they hadn’t.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Totally Think I Should Be Able To Declare My Cat as a Dependent* (and Four Other Things In My Noggin Right Now)

One: I have friends who don’t refer to their pets as their children, which I guess makes sense because pets are critters and not, you know, folks, but… I totally think of my cat as my kid, but one who never outgrows her shoes for the umpteenth time in a year and who won’t have to take the SAT. Part of that is being Crazy Cat Lady, but the other part is that she doesn’t have anyone else. She’s a smallish being who relies on me for the basics – shelter, food, comfort – and who trusts me to make sure that her life is awesome, and in return? She makes my life awesome.

So yeah, she’s kind of like my child.

I should be able to declare her on my taxes, right?

Two: I have some other friends who are all about The Secret. Alllllll about it. One of them (if you think it’s you, by the way? It’s probably not…) recently said that I should tell the Universe what kind of partner I would be looking for, should I be looking for one. So here’s my letter to the Universe, for your reading amusement:

                Dear Universe,

                                If you were, perhaps, thinking of sending a Partner of the Romantic variety in my general direction, I have some requests. Are you taking requests? If you’re not, I can probably come back later. I don’t mean to bother you. (THIS IS NOT HOW THE SECRET WORKS, said my friend. Just TELL the Universe what you want!) Oh, wait, my bossy friends say that you ARE taking requests. Okay. Well, this seems weird – a partner is not a pizza, and picking out traits like toppings seems kind of whacked, but this is what I’d like: someone who thinks smart is fabulous. Who isn’t threatened by smart. Who thinks I’m pretty even when I’m making cranky faces. Who isn’t inclined to mock my lack of common sense or my ability to get lost. Someone who thinks singing along with the radio is always okay, and who doesn’t make fun of my voice or my love of James Taylor. I’d like a partner who understands that I don’t want to be rescued, but who thinks that cheering me on while I figure my stuff out is entirely appropriate and fun. Who likes to curl up and watch movies, but doesn’t get mad when my arm falls asleep and I ruin the moment by doing the “OH GOD MY CIRCULATION” dance and who thinks that reading a lot is possibly the sexiest thing ever and who likes to cook and who thinks that picnics are fun and that personal space is never overrated and who is cool with sometimes being silent and sometimes laughing like a deranged lunatic. Oh, and who likes to travel, but who gets that sometimes travelling stresses me out.  Do you have one of those?

                                One more thing: this person needs to love cats. A LOT.

                                                                Thanks a bunch,


(and here’s what my friend said: You are a LUNATIC. But your list is cute.)

Three: My houseguests have come and gone. If they had wanted to stay, I would have slept on an air mattress FOREVER. I’m just saying.

Four: I am trying to get myself to eat more salads, if only because my friend V brought over the most delicious salad dressing ever and I need to have something to pour it on. I’m bad about salads, because they have a really short shelf life, and if you’ve ever opened a container of salad that has given up on healthy and lovely and become badass and stinky, you know why I shy away from the salad-y goodness.

But, you know, you have to try.

Here’s what my salad contains: some kind of leafy greens, tomato, cuke, bleu cheese, hardboiled eggs, sunflower seeds, marinated mushrooms. Okay, so maybe it’s not the healthiest salad ever, but I’m TRYING. Shouldn’t trying count for something?


Darn it.

Five: People continually surprise me, and not always in good ways (though, also? Not always in bad ways). The above four points are in my head, I suspect, as a means of distracting me from this one. But I’ll sort through it. This is what I do!

*I’m kidding. Mostly.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Babies, Showers, and Beer

I went to the best baby shower ever yesterday.

First, it was at a pub. If you’ve never considered having a baby shower someplace where beer is readily available? YOU SHOULD CONSIDER IT.

Second, it was co-ed. There were many menfolk there, and they were all kind of excited to be included in what is normally a women-only occasion.

Third, there were no games. No one had to smell a melted candy bar nestled into a diaper or look at it to try to determine what it was* or any such nonsense. No games of any kind.

Fourth, the gifts were brought unwrapped. This was awesome for me, as I’m the world’s worst wrapper, but it was also environmentally friendly – no wasted paper! – and it meant we didn’t all have to sit around and stare at my pregnant friend while she unwrapped presents, and then make the appropriate cooing noises.

You might be a person who enjoys a traditional baby shower. If so, trust me, you’ll probably have plenty more of them to go to, so you don’t have to worry about the above party model breaking the mold. But please, oh please, listen to me when I tell you WHY this was extra awesome:

I am a single woman. For a while I was a married woman. I don’t, and never will, have children. HOWEVER. This has never prevented the Baby Shower Quiz: “Ooooh, are you jealous of Mom to Be?” (No.) “Don’t YOU have children yet?” (Nope.) “Are you trying?” (Did this person just seriously ask me about my sex life? NOT COOL, Aunt Mary!) “You know, dear, you’re not getting any younger!” (I am, actually – due to an accident in a physics lab, I am aging in reverse. Don’t tell anyone.) “Oh, you’re” (whispers) “divorced? Don’t worry dear, the right man will come along soon. And you can always adopt.” (I was thinking I’d actually get 17 more cats instead. Way more fun, and no college tuition to worry about.)

Here’s how many times I was asked any of the above at the Best Baby Shower Ever:

Zero. None. Nada.

Instead? I got to hang out with good friends, one of whom I had not seen in years (Shout out to Marcia!) and enjoy the visible enjoyment of my pregnant buddies, who were happy to be surrounded by people who loved them – and who also were having more fun because WE were having fun.

I normally hate baby showers. But this? Was a really lovely way to spend an afternoon.

So my next friend to have a baby better watch out – because this is one idea I’m totally stealing.


*This is a real shower game. I am not making it up. But I wish I was.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pythagoreas and The Post It

When I was walking into my building yesterday I noticed a yellow post it note on the ground. It was folded in half, smooshed up against the steps, and covered with mathematical equations.

My first thought was: "Who does calculus on a post it note?"

My second thought was an immediate answer to my previous thought: "A mad scientist."

So. Clearly, there is a mad scientist living somewhere in my building. Here's how I KNOW it's a mad scientist and not, say a math major from UNH living downstairs -- the equations were done in PEN. Not pencil.

Only someone who is completely insane works out equations in PEN.

In addition, these were written out neatly on a post-it, as though someone had been sitting in a coffee shop and was suddenly inspired by the mathematical formula that would be needed to, say, perfect time travel. "This coffee is delicious, omnomnom  BY JOVE! If you take the Pythagorean theorem and combine it with the Fignagle Principle and divide that whole thing by Q (Q of course being the entire 3rd season of the Simpsons minus the appearance of SideShow Bob!) -- you could ACTUALLY power a flux capacitor OR a Tardis. OR BOTH. I MUST work this out immediately!" (Rummages through bag, comes up with a pen and a post it.) "Behold, for I shall make history. OR IS THAT UNMAKE IT BWAHHAHHAH!"

The only problem with this scheme, of course, is that my local, absent minded mad scientist didn't take good care of her formula, for she dropped the post it on the way into the building.

And now I have it.

If only I were better at math.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, AND Happy...

.. 4 out of 7 of Snow White's little buddies ain't bad.

So, I have houseguests, which is AWESOME.

And I've been sleeping on an air mattress for several days, which is ...

... well, it's better than sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor. So that's something. The air mattress is actually quite comfortable. It's also queen sized, so I have plenty of room to do what I always do on air mattresses, which is curl into a little ball in the center of them and wrap myself in blankets, so that I resemble a caterpillar that will eventually metamorph into a beeeyooootiful butterfly.

Except, of course, that when I emerge from my blanket-y cocoon, I will be a disheveled, disoriented, bed-headed human who tries to get up without falling down (not possible) and then galumphs into the kitchen in search of coffee.

To be honest, I need coffee in order to be able to coordinate my limbs enough to be able to get up off the air mattress in order to get coffee. How's that for a conundrum? (I have yet to be able to convince anyone to bring me coffee in bed so that I can wake up enough to get up without falling down. Air mattresses are very bounce-house-esque, are they not? There's a lot of flailing involved.)

I should also mention that my air mattress is on the floor in my office. For the record (and as hard as this is to believe) I don't normally sleep in my office. (Though, now that I think about it, I do work, eat, watch tv, and read in there. I might as well add sleeping to the list!) However, since my houseguests have my bedroom, the air mattress is in the office. This is what my brain does every time I wake up and look around in the night:


Yep. It's a moment of complete, adrenaline high inducing panic followed by recognition: "Oh yeah, I'm on the floor in the office." Unfortunately, I have to wait for the fight or flight response to fade before I can curl back into the blankie pile and go back to sleep.

I'm a little dopey as a result of being tired. Also a little grumpy (I'm not at my best when I feel sleep deprived). And tired. But overwhelmingly?


Oh, and Sneezy as a result of fall allergies. Make that FIVE Dwarves -- but that's okay -- the more the merrier! (And there's still room on the couch!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

What Makes You Different

My right eyebrow is lower than my left one.

(Please note: I hereby give you permission to stare at my face the next time you see me in public. You're going to anyway, but at least now you don't have to feel badly about it.)

I used to think of this the other way around, that my left eyebrow was higher than my right one, but I've come to the conclusion that, no, my right eyebrow is lower.

Until recently, I thought that this was just a result of the distribution of hair follicles, that this was the way my eyebrows grew. It was kind of embarassing, and it was especially noticable, I thought, when I would wear my glasses.  I compensated by hiding behind masses and masses of hair -- I'd wear it long, and it was frequently in my face.  Eventually, I would get contacts. No one would notice now, I thought. Problem solved!

And then I cut off all of my hair. Every last security blanket inch of it.

And there they were. Crooked eyebrows.

My genius hairdresser and I decided that we could make this less obvious with assymetrical bangs. It works, mostly.


I mentioned that I thought this was a hair follicle issue "until recently".

Because recently, I realized that the issue isn't hair follicles. The issue is that my skull is deformed. And kids, let me tell you, this is not something you want to discover about yourself. Especially not at 6 AM with just a whiff of coffee running through your system.

Here's what happened: I was putting on my eyeliner, and I always have trouble with winging out the liner on my right eye. The left eye is not a problem. The right eye is -- it gets smudged very easily.

"It's like there's not enough room over there," I muttered to myself, staring in the mirror. Then I stepped closer to the mirror in mild shock as I realized: There ISN'T as much room over there.

That eye is set in completely differently than my right eye. It sits more deeply in my head.

To be honest, I had noticed this in my most recent Facebook profile picture, but I thought it was a trick of the light and the fact that I was angling my head to detract from the crooked eyebrows.

It's not hair follicles at all. It's the browbone. It's the structure of my skull on that whole side of my head. Which, actually, explains a lot, like why my glasses always feel crooked, and why I wear out frames on that side more easily.

My noggin is all askew.

I'm certain that this has been the case my whole life, and that I'm only now noticing because I wanted to do something fun with my eyeliner. Unfortunately, what has been seen cannot be unseen, and now, at the age of 36-almost-37, I feel like a complete freak.

Of course, the good news is that I have ALWAYS felt like a freak, so this is not a new sensation.

I probably shouldn't have pointed any of this out -- I'm thinking that if I hadn't mentioned it, probably no one would have noticed, given the fact that I look at my face every day and I only recently noticed --and I'm NOT doing it because I want reassurance that "No, you look TOTALLY NORMAL".

I'm doing it because I want to point out that we all have weird things about ourselves that we have to learn to live with. Sometimes it's a deformed skull, sometimes it's an uncontrollable tic, sometimes it's a history that is painful and sad. Whatever your thing is, you need to own it. You need to wear it with pride.

So, yes, my right eyebrow is lower than my left one.

What's your deal?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Sorta-Randoms

Some people can probably have guests over without flinging themselves into a complete tizzy.

I am not one of those people.

I love entertaining. I LOVE IT. But oh man, do I work myself into a state.

Logically, I know things don’t have to be perfect. Logically, I know perfection is not even attainable.

Sometimes, though, logic gets crushed under the stampeding herd of my thoughts.

So, for your Friday Randoms … Five things that happened while I was preparing for houseguests:


“What did you do yesterday?”

“I made soap.”

“What? Why?”

“Because what if they don’t like the soap I have? People should have soap choices when they shower, don’t you think? So I made goat’s milk soap and shea butter soap and some has dye in it and some doesn’t and some is scented and some is unscented.”

“You do realize that you don’t run a hotel, don’t you?”

“Yes. But I SHOULD. Because when was the last time when you went to a hotel and they gave you soap OPTIONS? I would totally stay at that hotel.”

“And you MADE this soap?”


“Are you in therapy yet? Because, really.”


I can’t be the only person who has ever gotten … shall we say, carried away … while scrubbing . Especially while scrubbing a kitchen. Oh man, there are so many SURFACES in a kitchen, and the minute one of them is all shiny and clean, it’s so easy to notice that another one is, shall we say, less than shiny.

How exactly this translated into me scrubbing the inside of my fridge with antibacterial solution I have no idea. Some kind of scrubbing amnesia has taken place, possibly caused by the delicious smells of Method cleaning products (am I the only who has noticed that EVERYTHING they make smells GLORIOUS? As if I needed more incentives to clean things), but the end result is … clean, sparkly goodness.

Even the inside of the fridge.


“What are you doing now?”

“Writing down directions for the clock radio.”


“You know how, when you’re staying at someone’s house or something, you go to bed and then you’re ¾ of the way asleep and you realize you need to set the alarm? And then you’re all fuzzy brain and you can’t figure it out?”

“Are you kidding?”

“NO! This totally takes the work out of it.”

“You are insane.”



Beansie hates the vacuum. In her eyes, apparently, it is not a friendly remover of the cat hair that she has generously spread all over every available surface.


In her eyes, it is the suck monster.

However, in what can only be described as the most squee thing ever, she occasionally inserts herself between me and the suck monster, rears up, and bats at it in what I think is an effort to protect me from the loud and loathsome beast.

To which I can only say: AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.


“So when are your guests arriving?”

“In two days.”

“How do you feel? You must be tired.”

“I don’t have the time to be tired! I’m psyched! I’m ready to roll!”

“How much coffee have you had? You look a little manic…”

“Um. I don’t even know. It’s probably better if we don’t talk about it.”

“Oh dear Jesus. Do I have to have an intervention?”

Thursday, October 4, 2012

This Is Not A Drill

I'm a Dr Who fan. This is surprising to ... well, exactly no one, I would imagine.

The thing about Dr Who, though, is that he has forever, can meander about through time, and when things get out of hand, he just ... regenerates. Easy peasy. *

The thing about me and, I'm relatively certain, you, is that we do not have forever. We only have right now, because our lives have finite timelines. Even if you believe in reincarnation or some sort of afterlife, you know that for this level of consciousness, you have a limited number of moments in which to exercise your will.

I get annoyed about this.

Not because I think I should have an unlimited amount of fun tickets to spend whooping it up on this plane of existence -- I actually think that would NOT, ultimately, be festive -- but because so many of us spend the time we do have here making each other completely and utterly miserable.

We deny each other rights.

We wage war on each other.

We are cruel in a million large ways and a billion tiny ones.

We ignore each other.

We fail to take care of each other.

And the yelling. OH THE YELLING.

It seems to me -- and I will admit right here that I am no expert -- that when you've got less than forever, you should use your time well. By well, I mean: be kind. Be generous. Allow space in your world for equality. See and consider your fellow beings. And perhaps, stop yelling.

Because the truth is that your days are numbered. You can spend them in conflict, unhappy, angry -- or you can choose to spend them in joy.

You can yell yourself hoarse or you can speak softly. You may be more likely to be heard that way.

You can be a person who raises a hand in a fist, or you can be one who extends an open hand. To a friend OR to a stranger, it doesn't matter. Everyone needs a hand now and then.

You can and should fight, but maybe you should fight for someone instead of against them.

I'm mentioning this now because it's election season, here in the US, and I am tired of the ways in which we argue and denounce and point. It makes me sad that we spend so much time being right -- I'MRIGHTI'MRIGHTYOU'REWRONGI'MRIGHT -- and so little time listening to each other.

Our time here is SO short.

Could we try using it better?

*To other Dr Who fans: I am aware that I am waaaaaaay oversimplifying. This is not meant to be a blog about Dr Who. At least, not yet.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Fat Blogger Speaks

First, watch this:

(If the video is not working, you can look at it here . )*

Now. In case you think that the news anchor in question is being overly sensitive, I want you to think about this:

When I was in the fifth grade, I was a target of bullying. My life was hell. Every day -- for essentially the entire year -- classmates who used to be my friends, who I had known from the age of three, felt completely free to let me know that I was fat. And ugly. But mostly fat.

And like the anchor, I have to tell you: I was aware of my weight already. I was aware of it every time someone told my mother that it was too bad, that I had a pretty face, that I had so much potential. I was aware of it every time I bought something in the children's plus sized section at Sears. I was aware of it every time I walked by a mirror.

Having it pointed out to me every day? In the meanest way possible? Was extremely damaging.

I've talked about it before, notably here and also here,  but my body image -- like that of so many other women -- is horribly disordered. I have no idea what I look like. My eating habits remain disordered, and at one point, I actively had anorexia and got down to 109 pounds.

When you're 5'6" and you weigh 109 pounds? You are BONY. You can see and feel your vertebra. Your hip bones bruise your skin while you sleep.

And when you're 5'6", weigh 109 pounds, and you are convinced that fat is the only thing you'll ever be? You still think you're fat.

I'd also like to say this: anyone who's fat shaming someone in the guise of "Oh, I'm concerned about your health" doesn't necessarily know what s/he is talking about. My doctor made me feel like a fat loser last year on my physical and said that I needed to take better care of myself. And then my numbers came back: Blood pressure -- low end of normal. Cholesterol: perfect. Asthma: under control. Do I carry extra weight? Yep. Am I unhealthy? Other than a propensity for being an overly organized, kind of anal workaholic who drinks too much coffee? YES, I AM HEALTHY.

So, to anyone (including a physician) who thinks it's okay to make judgements based on someone's weight, to give them advice based on said weight (and NO OTHER FACTORS), I would like to say this on behalf of every fat person in America:

Fuck you.

It is never okay to be a bully. It is never okay to look at someone and use your words to make them feel small, or ugly, or ashamed. NEVER.

As for me?


I was out having drinks the other day with friends, and we were talking about a someone I don't know. One of the women was describing her and said: "She thinks she's overweight, but she's normal. Like us."

I was startled, and then pleased. Normal. Just like everyone else.

It's only taken 37 years to get there.

*(I just learned to do that. And now I think I'm a genius.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Zigging and Zagging

Sometimes life is funny. You think you finally have a handle on it -- oh, now I've got it, okay, I know how to roll with this -- and that's about when it throws a curve at you.

Here's what happened: I was out and about, doing my thing, when I nearly ran over a ghost from Yellie past. And when I say I nearly ran him over? I'm not kidding. I LITERALLY nearly ran him over. (This, by the way, is why you should NOT dart about in parking lots, people.)

I parked and got out of the car, thinking, "I am going to kick that guy's ass for scaring about 17 years off my life."

Except that's not what happened. What happened was this:

He looked at me.

I looked at him.

And we both started talking at once.

"Ohmygod, I almost KILLED YOU!"

"Hey!" he said, surprised. "You're back in town."

"Yeah, I --"

"This is SO COOL!" he said. "My wife is in the car! You can meet her!"


Some backstory.

Once upon a time, before I met Mr Wrong and married him, but after I got done being in love with the Cutest Boy Ever*, I knew a very very nice boy. SO NICE. SO HANDSOME.


Did I mention the shy? Good grief with the shy. We had a mutual group of friends, so we hung out quite a lot, but getting him to talk was the most ridiculous thing. For a while, I thought that he just didn't like me.

I never realized that he did like me -- as in "he liiiiiiiiiikes you" -- until I was already dating Mr Wrong. There are lots of nuances to my personality, you see, and one of those nuances means "I will not realize that you are interested in dating me unless you take out a billboard, for I am sadly very clueless."

After Mr Wrong and I went our separate ways, one of my old friends said, "You really should have gone out with X.

"Oh, like that was an option."

"Duuuuuuude," she said, shaking her head. "REALLY? He LOVED you. And you -- were you. Which means I should have known you had no idea. Although how anyone could be that clueless?"

"He never said," I said weakly.

"Yeah. Anyway. He wouldn't have done this to you," she said, waving her hand in the general direction of my life.


Now, ten years later, here he was. With his wife. And a station wagon. And three really cute children.

"Wow," I said. It was raining. I was pretty sure my mascara was running down my face.

His wife, by the way, just looked dewey, standing there. I wanted to hate her, just for a minute, until he looked at her and I saw the way he lit up.

He was so happy.

We said our good byes and promised to keep in touch -- which we won't do, but you always say that, don't you? -- and I got in my car.

And for a minute, just a minute, I was depressed. If I had zigged instead of zagged, that could have been me, I thought. I could have had a station wagon and three kids and married the adorable and kind X. How would my life be then? Think of all of the depression and scarring I could have missed!

I drove home.

As I walked through the door of my apartment, I thought, randomly: Some of us ONLY know how to zag. Some of us never zig.

I realized, as I took off my shoes and shook out my umbrella, that even if I had figured it out and gone out with X? I'd still be standing here, alone, with a wet umbrella and a cat winding around my feet. We never would have worked. EVER. Because he's the guy who doesn't say how he feels and I'm the girl who pours all of my business out on the internet. He likes to climb mountains and I like to sit at the beach. He wanted those three kids, and I've never wanted children. I'm not the station wagon type. He is.

And that's okay. That's actually more than okay -- it's great. Because the truth of the matter is that Mr Wrong may have broken my heart, but I didn't break X's. And I would have. I was the person he thought he wanted, when what he really wanted was a lovely, cool, outdoorsy brunette, who would have three children and make him smile like every day is Christmas morning.

He's happy.

I'm happy.

And so I just keep zagging along.

*Seriously. This was his nickname among all of my friends. And my mom. "Oh, Yellie," she says, "He was the Cutest Boy EVER."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Just Like Martha Stewart. Only Different.

If you were to walk into my house today, you’d notice some things right away. You’d see that I am a fan of colour and photography. You’d see that I favour clean lines and a lack of clutter and that I’m obsessively neat.

You’d also see a lot of gargoyles lurking about in corners and on surfaces.

You might be wondering, why would someone have gargoyles? And how many gargoyles counts as “a lot”?

Nine. Nine gargoyles.

Which means that I have about 1.05 gargoyles for every 100 feet of apartment.*

I love them.

I got into the gargoyle collection accidentally, when I was given my first gargoyle as a wedding gift by my friend, the fabulous Hannah. Who, despite not previously having met my ex, thought that it might serve as some extra protection. You know, she said, “just in case.”

She is apparently more clever than I am.

At any rate, when you have one quirky item in your home – such as a concrete gargoyle that weighs about 30 pounds and is completely awesome – other quirky items tend to follow.

In my case? More gargoyles.

I’m mentioning this now because if you think it’s easy to work gargoyles into any kind of organized decorative scheme, you would be …

… well, you’d be wrong.

One gargoyle? One gargoyle blends.

Nine of them tend to become kind of obvious.

They may – on occasion, now and again – cause guests to look at you sideways as they try to determine what sort of den of craziness they have wandered into. “She seemed so NORMAL. And then I realized that everywhere I went there was some sort of gargoyle STARING at me. That is NOT OKAY.”

But they ARE okay. They’re awesome.  Beansie loves them and will often snuggle up to one and go to sleep. (Disclaimer: Beansie will do this with anything – including shoes and the occasional piece of paper – so I may be projecting right now.)

I’m nattering on about this because I broke a gargoyle last week.  This is surprisingly hard to do, what with them being made out of concrete and resin, but I managed it. This had two results:

1)      I felt TERRIBLE.

2)      I had to redecorate my living room.

Now, I’m no Martha Stewart – I’ve never ONCE been convicted of insider trading, and as I’ve mentioned previously, I suspect she’s not even human – but I tend to think I’m a fairly good at decorating. However, the broken gargoyle situation has thrown off the entire balance of my living room and – as you might guess – it’s FREAKING ME OUT because oh, how I love balance. (This is also why my office continues to bother me, and I keep rearranging the furniture in there. Balance. I need it.)

Does anyone have tips on how to repair a sadly broken gargoyle?


*I think. Math, whatever.