Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Randoms


"Hey, it's raining wicked hard. You should take my umbrella."

"I am a dude. I am not walking around with a polka-dotted umbrella."

"What? It has a sassy ruffle!"


"He made me so mad that I wanted to stab him. But instead I decided to get a sandwich with peanut sauce. Less bloody, more delicious."

"And? I don't think they have peanut sauce in jail. Which is where you would go if you stabbed him."

"Once again, you have used logic and reason to keep me from making terrible choices."


"How's that piece coming?"

"Eh. I've been frowning at it for fifteen minutes. Oddly, that has not improved its quality at all."

"That's not how it works?"

"Sadly, no."


"Soup is like a hug that you eat with a spoon."

"That ... is creepier than you meant it to be, I think."

"No, I think it's exactly as creepy as I meant it to be."


"How are you doing?"

"I'm thinking about rage eating donuts. ALL OF THE DONUTS."

"Ah, paging Dr Creme, Dr Boston Creme."


"You love those liney things when you write."

"That's an em dash."

"I wanna use one!"




"How do they work again?"

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I became an adult yesterday.

I have mentioned before that when I was young, I imagined that there would be a moment when I felt like I had it figured out, a place and time when I felt like a full on grown up, and I hadn't gotten there yet. I was starting to think that maybe there wasn't a there. Maybe you just puzzled through every day trying to figure out the secret of everyone else who seemed to have a much firmer grip on what it meant to be a grown up.

But yesterday I realized: there IS that moment. Maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me. 

I realized it because I experienced it.


It's not a secret that I have significant chronic health issues, the kind that can cause your life to end suddenly and sometimes without very much warning. What might be a little bit of a secret is this: I like to act like I don't have an illness. As a result? I am haphazard with my medications. I am careless with refills. I am not as respectful of medical advice as I should be.

I didn't think of it as being impactful to anyone but me, you see. I was tired of thinking about it so I decided not to. I wasn't hurting anyone.

Except maybe me. 

But who cared? 


I had a coughing fit in the kitchen yesterday. After, I couldn't catch my breath. This is a tough time of year, breathing wise, due to allergies. I kept coughing and then trying to draw in air.

The Fella asked if I was okay. 

"Yeah," I said.

"No," he said, looking stern. "That sound-- you need your inhaler."


I dug out my inhaler and used it. 

"I know that's almost empty," he said. 

"It's okay," I said.

But the look on his face said it's not. And that? Was when I became an adult. Because I realized: it's not just about me.

It's about the people who love me. It's about taking care of myself so they don't have to worry. It's about not putting them through unnecessary bullshit because I want to have some other kind of life. The one where my body is magically healthy.

My body will never magically be healthy.

But I can still care for it and make it as healthy as it can be, and the people who love me in spite of the fact that I'm such an idiot deserve that.


I don't have all of the answers. I'm not great at being a grown up. I'm not entirely sure what that entails, to be honest. I am one though. I get some of it now.

It only took me forty years.

Monday, April 25, 2016

This Probably Shouldn't Bother Me, But ...

So as you likely know, Prince died last week. I feel like my childhood is slowly disappearing and want to lock some of favorite musical folk in a bubble to protect them. (Belinda Carlisle, you be careful out there!)

It's sad. And it's shitty.

Having said that, here's a thing that makes me sadder: I saw a meme on FB that had a picture of the Kardashians and said that 2016 should stop taking fabulous artists and we'll offer up the Kardashians as an appropriate sacrifice.

Don't misunderstand: I'm not a fan. I don't understand the whole Kardashian thing. But what I do know is that it's terrible to suggest that someone is not valuable and should just die. I think that's a terrible response to something that's already terrible.

It bothers me.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Randoms


"This is the kind of weather that makes me want to be outside. Which is weird because I'm not outsidey. I'm... Insidey."


"I have the worst cramps. My uterus hates me."

"Maybe it loves you! Maybe those are, um... Uterus hugs!"


"I'm pastey-pale except for the bright red allergy nose I am sporting."


"I am a sexy bitch. It's true."


"I just feel the need to point out that a lot of people you know are kind of assholes."

"That's not -- okay, yes, but that's not where this story was going?"

"It is now."


"Jesus. You cook, you take photos, you sing, you decorate, you clean ... is there anything you DON'T do?"

"Exercise. Obviously."

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I apologize for everything.

There are multiple factors for this, and I'm not going to go into them all today because that is "probably several sessions with a therapist" kind of material, but the why doesn't matter at this point. What does matter is that my chronic apologizing and my feelings of guilt for -- wait for it -- things that are not my fault/don't necessitate guilt/insert daily event here are probably driving the people around me crazy.

How bad is it, you ask?

When I apologize for something, and someone points out that it's not actually something that I need to apologize for? I will then apologize for apologizing.

Yep, that's me.

I believe that telling people you're sorry goes beyond apologizing for things that you've done. It's a way to offer empathy; telling someone you're sorry when they say they've had a terrible day, for example, isn't owning the terrible day they've had but rather offering them compassion -- you're sad for them that they had a day filled with suck.

I do that.

But. You can't find your shoes? I'm sorry -- I should have made sure they were findable. We're out of paper? I'm sorry, I should have purchased some. You need gas in your car? I'm sorry, I should have asked you about that. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Last night, we had a small kerfuffle with dinner and had to run out at the last minute for an ingredient. You might be thinking, well, you could have left it out, but it's very hard to make spaghetti without any pasta. I was sure we had some, so I didn't buy any when I went grocery shopping. I was wrong.

I apologized to The Fella roughly 3743647364732 times. He pointed out that this was not necessary, it was fine, the store wasn't far. Finally, he said: "No more. You cannot say you're sorry again."

So I had to stop talking. Because otherwise I was going to start apologizing for apologizing. It's an endless cycle.

I'm not sure how to fix it, either.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Oh Cee Dee

I was merrily typing away when it happened: I went to move my mouse and whacked my hand into my clipboard.

"I don't want that right there," I thought. And then, swoooooosh, the OCD kicked in. "I don't want ANY OF THIS HERE WHY IS THERE SO MUCH WHYYYYYYY."

I feel like people who have brains that work properly don't understand the way anxiety and OCD actually cripple you. It's not an issue of choosing to clean over continuing to type. I HAVE to. When the situation at my desk strikes me as being "wrong" -- whatever that means -- I can't do anything until it is "right" because the only thing my poor, tired brain can focus on is that things are not okay and they need to be made to be correct. Once they are correct, I can go back to working.

This is why, when people come to my house and comment on how tidy it is, I feel like it's not something I can actually take credit for. I don't clean and keep it neat because I feel like I want to be cleaning all of the time. I do it because I have to, because I can't function in a space that is cluttered or messy. I'd like to? But I can't rest in that kind of a space. My brain won't let me. It insists that we have to have order so that we can function.

So: the desk.

The problem with my desk is that it's not REALLY a desk. It's a table. There are no drawers, so I can't tuck things away. And there are cables everywhere, and my Sherlocks don't really have anyplace to live. It's ... It's a lot, visually. So it got to be too much. I hid some note pads and books in my computer bag and am also going to stash other stuff in my purse so I can get them off the workspace. I was able to clear out enough space so that I don't feel cramped and cluttered and can THINK.

It's much easier to write when I can think.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Just A Small Town Girl

I was raised in a small town in Maine.

When you are young, you don't think your life is special. It's just your life. You don't know that you are incredibly lucky to be able to grow your own food. You don't know how crazy and amazing it is for you to be able to go into a wood lot and play amongst the trees while your family literally harvests their own firewood. You don't understand that any of that is unusual or unique, because it's just your life. 

It will be some time before it strikes you as cool.

The other thing you won't understand is that your small town life is a gift. You will spend some time wanting to escape. This is normal, and it's entirely okay -- it's hard to be surrounded be people who have known you since you were three. You will want, and need, to go someplace where you can carve out a new identity for yourself; at the very least, you will need to know that you can make it on your own.

And then? You will come to realize that you made the best friends you will ever have when you were just a kid. That these are the people who will love you unconditionally, forever. Like your family, because that's what they are: family. They are brothers and sisters, tied to you with the invisible binding of love and shared history. If you needed a kidney, you would only have to post it and everyone would get tested to see if they were a match. If one of them needed one, you would roll up your sleeves and stand in line, ready to tell a nurse that your left arm is much better for drawing blood.

You have kept things from them out of pride. They have done the same. You forgive each other because you understand.

Now that I'm older, I get all of this. I also know that I'm blessed to have the people I grew up with in my life.

So much love.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Randoms


"I re-subscribed to Food and Wine magazine."

"You did?"

"Yeah. It's my favorite food magazine. But I don't make the recipes. They are waaaay too terrifying for me to actually try to make."


"What's up with her?"

"I don't know. She was fine yesterday! Sometime between now and then she went nuts."

"Ahhh ... Full Sybill Syndrome. It's a thing."


"I can't be the only person who hears 'There's an app for that' as 'There's a Nap for that,' can I?"

"Naps for EVERYONE!"


"I'm going to nom solo. HAHAHAHAHA I'M NOM SOLO. Captain of the Snackennium Forkon!"


"I am a dork."


"I had a tofu wrap that had peanut sauce it in. It was delicious."

"Those are good."

"They don't even HAVE to be that good because Peanut Sauce. I'd eat my shoes if they had peanut sauce on them. I'm just saying."

Thursday, April 14, 2016

American Pie

When my sister and I were little, we had a bunch of records that my mom gave us to play on our Fisher Price record player. (Yes, vinyl records. Yes, I know, I'm old.) She had singles. On vinyl.

One of them was American Pie.

Here's a face that you might not know, unless you spent a lot of time with my sister and me when we were just wee ones: American Pie is SO LONG that the single took up both sides of the record. You had to flip it over halfway through.

We listened to it a lot. I don't know if we understood it, but we loved it. To this day, though, if I am singing along -- and because of our love for it, I know all of the words -- I pause at the place where we would flip the record over.


Memory is a tricky thing. I'm occasionally surprised by what has stayed with me all of this time. My best friend's phone number from when we were children. The way my grandmother's house smelled. Playing on a felled tree in our yard (we called it Danger Bridge) with my sister and my cousins until my father broke it down into firewood.

Sitting on the goldenrod shag carpet in my sister's room, the sunlight slanting in through the window that faced the backyard, and listening to American Pie on our Fisher Price record player.

And singing. Always singing.


When I sing along, now, it's usually by myself. No one else seems to know all of the words, for one thing. My sister lives on the other end of the country. Every time I sing it, though, I think of her, and that little plastic record player. When the song asks, "Do you believe in rock n roll?" I always think, yes, yes I do.

Because music is memory.

And memory is love.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Mother Nature is a Bitch

As I write this, I have pulled several chestal-area muscles. But how, Yellie, you ask. How, when everyone knows you would rather get hit by a car than go to the gym and lift the weights? OHMYGOD DID YOU GET HIT BY A CAR?

Thank you for your concern, but no. I did not get hit by a car.

I have sneezed 73 times this morning. Every time it hurts a little more. These are not little, mild, "I've encountered a bit of dust" sneezes. These are "MUST EXPEL ALL OF THE AIR FROM MY PERSON AS FORCEFULLY AS POSSIBLE" sneezes.

Wait. Make that 76 times.

Because do I sneeze just once? No! I like to call the way I sneeze Baseball Sneezing -- as in, I only sneeze in a series of at least three. Sometimes four or five or seven.

And it's all because it's spring.

I love spring. I love it despite the fact that it makes me sneeze so hard that I hurt myself. I love it even though I have to stop wearing makeup because my eyes are so irritated and runny that I constantly look like I am either a) on the verge of tears or b) actually crying. (Although, I must say that this makes people treat you much more gently than they might normally do, and I don't hate that.) I love spring even though I am CONSTANTLY tired because of these flipping allergies.

It's like an evil bargain I made with Mother Nature. "Please, mum, let winter be over. PLEASE!"

"And what payment will you make in return?"

"Um, what?"

"Will you be willing to SUFFER?"

"Uh, that seems kind of extreme ..."


"Okay! Okay! I'll suffer!"


(Seriously, she is one twisted bitch, that one.)


It's going to be worth it though. Because Spring.

It better be worth it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It's All In Your Head

I had this entire post written about being terrible at adulting, but it turns out that if you only write a post IN YOUR HEAD and not on the actual computer? It doesn't count as a post. Also, when you sit down to publish it, it will not be there. Because it was only ever in your head.

Thing you might not know: I actually do this a lot. A lot a lot. Like, all of the time. This is mostly because I tend to be awake every morning from, oh, about 1:45 to 3:30. Why this should be it not precisely clear, but that window triggers a something in my defective, beleaguered brain that insists: "Oh hey, it's time to be awake! RIGHT NOW!"

Here are the things that you should do when you're awake and your beloved is sleeping beside you:

1) get up and feed the cat, who has some kind of crazy "my Mumma is awake" radar and who will smoosh her head into your face while purring like a maniac until you cave and get up. I've tried ignoring this behavior in an effort to get her to stop expecting food in the wee hours of the morning, and let me tell you: her escalation tactics made me lose that war.

2) Go to the bathroom. Because you're awake. And you got up to feed the cat, so you might as well swing by the room of rest, which now strikes you as a horrible name because you WISH you were resting but you are not due to Stupid Brain.

3) Go back to bed and write blog posts in your head. Unfortunately, these will legitimately be some of the most brilliant, lyrical, amazing things you have ever composed -- they will be passionate and clever and either so funny you will actually make yourself giggle a little or so moving you may shed a tear or two. I say "unfortunately" because none of these pieces of literary amazingness will ever make it to the light of day. They will only ever have existed in your noggin. When you wake up you will sort of remember them but you won't be able to recreate them.

Like the post about adulting.

Oh well.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday Randoms


"Jesus, look at the size of that dog. What is that, a Great Dane?"

"Meh. It's an Okay Dane at best."


Friend texts a picture of her dented car.

Me (texting back): That is bulkshit.

Me (texting again): Bulkshit.

Me (texting again): Okay, so apparently Autocorrect thinks Bulkshit is a word. WTF.

 It's shit! That you buy at Costco!


"Remember that morning I was so addled that I put coffee grounds in the coffee cups and milk and sugar in the French press?"

"... That was today."

"Yeah so what I'm trying to say is that I still feel that loopy."


"It's like an 80s music festival in here."

"It's the BEST(ival)!"


"I know that was lame but I couldn't help it."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Head Full of Fuzzies

I am DELIGHTFUL when I'm sick.

Okay, that's not true. I am cranky when I'm sick.

I also become very ADD. My train of thought jumps through the tracks, runs to the nearest meadow, frolics for a while, sees some sheep, decides this would be a good time to learn animal husbandry, enrolls in vet school, visits a farm, quits school and decides that it should be earning a living making soap and selling it at Renaissance Faires, does that for a while, and THEN remembers that it was supposed to go someplace and do something, like, seven years ago when it jumped ship for the meadow.

Like that.

So if you need me today, I'm very likely to be: blowing my nose, then forgetting that I wanted to make tea, then remembering that I wanted to make tea, then staring blankly at the boxes of tea while I try to figure out what kind of tea I should drink, then deciding that I don't really want tea, I want a lemonade, and then fighting with the lemonade container, then finally getting the lemonade into a glass, then going back to my office where the things need to happen and trying to remember which thing was supposed to happen next, and then falling down a rabbit hole of TED talks and tech articles and then trying to write a sentence and erasing the sentence and writing the sentence and erasing the sentence and deciding that all of the sentences would be better if I knew more stuff so I should go on Amazon and get some books and also learn Wordpress because duh. Oh and now I want some tea. I think.

All this WITHOUT cold medicine.

But maybe that would make it better? Who knows.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


I was working right along, typety typety type, when I thought: Oh, I didn't do that thing yet. I gotta do the thing.

I opened a new window on my computer, took a sip of diet root beer, looked at the screen, and ...

... nothing.

What was I about to do? I wondered. I feel like there was something ...

Yes, folks, that's right. Not only had I forgotten The Thing, I was no longer sure that there even WAS A Thing. The very existence of The Thing was gone. I had an open window with a cursor blinking at me and my mind was as blank as the page I was staring at. This was bad because:

1) I share an office with someone who faces me. You do not want your boss to look up from his computer to see you, his trusty sidekick, face slack with confusion and possibly drooling a little. It's just not a good look.

2) There was a meeting taking place in the office, so I needed to be doing something. Possibly The Thing. If there even was A Thing, which I could no longer be 100% certain of. It seemed like there had been A Thing. All signs pointed to the possibility of A Thing. But ... WHAT WAS IT?

3) I was fairly certain that, if there had been A Thing, it was An Important Thing.

In an effort to look as though I was in deep, ponderous though and look wise, I steepled my fingers together in front of my face and thought again: What was I about to do?

And then I thought worriedly,  Why can't I remember? This is bad, right? This is so bad. It's worse than going to the kitchen and not being able to remember why you're there. It's worse than putting the coffee grounds in the coffee cups and the cream and sugar in the french press, and that was pretty bad. I mean, you didn't even change positions. You just picked up a root beer. OH MY GOD IT'S THE ROOT BEER. The chemicals are sucking out your brain. Everyone says soda is bad for you, yes they do, and you dismissed all of the stories but now you know that soda makes you senile. Dear God, I'm only 40. I'm not ready for senility! Is this how it ends? With sucked out root beer brain and an inability to do anything more challenging than watching cat videos on the internet? ooooh maybe I should watch a cat video. That will make me feel better. I love those.

With that, I had a mission. Watch a cat video. I went to YouTube. I opened it up and as I did, I thought, Oh, I have to send that email this morning.

And that was it. THE THING.  THE THING WAS BACK.

I sent the email. I heaved a giant sigh of relief. My brain hasn't been entirely sucked out, I thought. Awesome. I'll have more root beer. And then I'll ... um ... I'll do the ...

Oh, shit. What was I going to do AFTER The Thing?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tiny Houses for You and Me

As you've probably noticed, tiny houses are all the rage right now. Full disclosure: I WANT ONE.

I want one like whoa.

Here's the thing, though: I actually know that I could live in one, because The Fella and I lived in a studio apartment for almost two years. I don't know the actual square footage of that space, but I would estimate it at around 200 sq feet. Two adults. One room. No storage.

Two years.

If you are interested in living in a tiny space? Friend, I have some tips for you! Learn from my experience!

1. Decide What You Cannot Live Without

Everyone says they want to live in a tiny house because they want to scale back. That's great, but scaling back actually means scaling back. As in, you're going to have to get rid of some stuff. Before you commit to dwelling in a teeny tiny space, you need to decide what you can't live without.

The truth of small-scale living is this: if there's a big list of stuff that you absolutely cannot do without? A tiny space is not for you. Giving up the things you really love will make you resentful. You will begin to hate your living space. You will be miserable. You will make other people miserable. Don't be that guy. It's okay to need more space than a tiny house allows. Needing and wanting room in your house is not a personal failing!

2. Recognize That Clutter Is Your Enemy

I am a person who HATES clutter. I hate it. As a result, my personal decorating style tends to be very streamlined. Clutter makes small spaces feel smaller. If you need to be surrounded by lots of things? If your decorating style is "fill every available surface"? A tiny house might not be for you.


There were two things that eventually drove us out of our tiny abode:

  • We have a seven year old (aka The Wee One) and desperately needed a bedroom door. (or, you know, ANY doors)
  • We needed some storage
You have stuff. Your stuff needs somewhere to live. Presumably, you do not want to look at all of your stuff all of the time, and you don't want other people to see all of your stuff. As as result, you will need to have places where you can put your stuff away.

Most tiny spaces are designed with storage in mine (ours was NOT) and will have clever little nooks and crannies to put things in. Despite this, you will probably find that you need to get rid of stuff to make it work. As I said before, you'll need to decide what you can't live without because you will definitely end up living without some of your possessions simply because you will have no place to put them. 

4. Personal Space? Part One: HAHAHAHA

When The Fella and I moved into our new, bigger apartment, we frequently joked that it was weird not being able to see each other all of the time. If you are partnered up? You need to ask yourself if you are okay being in very close proximity to your loved ones -- ALL OF THE TIME. Like, always. You will be up each other's buckets. This worked for us because of our personalities (basically, our crazy lines up perfectly), but it would not work for everyone. 

5. Personal Space? Part Two: Consider Growth

I recently saw a video of a tiny house featuring a family with two children. The children -- toddlers, a boy and a girl -- shared a loft bedroom. And a bed. This works right now, because they are little. 

It won't work forever. (While watching the video, I actually said, out loud, "I give that three more years, tops.")

As I said before, The Wee One played a significant factor in our need for a bigger space. If you have a growing family, you need to take that into consideration before you go the tiny house route. 

6. A Tiny House is Still a House

All homes require maintenance. While the maintenance of a tiny house is going to be quite different than that of, say, a two story Cape? There will still be work and upkeep required in order to keep it in tiptop shape. Due to the unique and nontraditional designs of tiny houses, the work may actually be more difficult or more involved than the maintenance of a traditional, larger space. It's important to realize that when you're deciding to make the jump to small scale living -- small house does not equal less maintenance. 

Still want to live in an adorable, tiny, sweet little space? Then go for it, my friend! Tiny houses are not perfect, but they are awesome.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Friday Randoms


"How's your day going?"


"Did you know that 'meh' backwards is 'hem'?"




"That guy is sneaky. And elusive."

"Unlike his namesake."

"Who is as subtle as a punch in the crotch."


"No. You cannot name the weekly newsletter 'Just the Tip.'"



"You are SO mean."


"To quote one of the best movies of all time, Sweet Home Alabama --"


"To quote one of the best RomComs of all time, Sweet Home Alabama --"

"Again. NO."

"Um. To quote a movie ..."

"You may now proceed."


"It was cat video Friday."

"What do you do on cat video Friday?"

"Well ... there are cat videos? And we watch them."


"Who'd've thought?"