Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Here's the thing about nine year-old girls. They have terrible taste.

I just got Leila's letter to Santa (yes, we still have Santa in our house) and the stuff she wants makes me want to puke. Lavender unicorn things and bears made for 7 year-olds, and, just crap! I have no idea what to get this kid for Christmas. She's at that age where she doesn't want clothes, but is growing out of lots of toys, and I'm not going to shell out big bucks for electronics that I wont really let her play with because she has an unsettling relationship with screens.

She also said she wants five stuffed dogs. This would be in addition to the other 16 stuffed dogs she already has.

I remember liking unicorns and the combination of pink and purple, and all that junk, so I'm trying to understand it and just go with it.

Does anyone out there have any ideas about what to get an almost ten year-old girl for Christmas?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


There are a number of things I want to complain about today, the first of which is that, apparently, I'M NOT ALLOWED TO COMPLAIN.

This has been a running theme with my mother my whole adult life. If she says she's tired, she's not complaining, she's just tired. If I say I'm tired, in the exact same way at the exact same time, I am complaining. I haven't said '"Oh woe is me!" I haven't said, "I hate being this tired, it totally sucks and I'm so stressed!" I've simply said, "I. Am. Tired." and that makes me a complainer. I think she gets nervous when I show any sign of weakness. I've already moved back in with her and borrowed money, what else is there to be worried about?

I have painted all day for five and a half days out of the last nine days, I even painted on Thanksgiving, and it was awesome! My husband and I had long talks about nothing, we listened to podcasts, we listened to music, we spent some time in our house getting to know it again, we had a great time. And, knowing already that I'm not ever allowed to say anything that might even sound like a complaint, I didn't say anything about my hand or my back being sore, and, frankly, even though they were sore, it felt kinda good.

One day my parents came by to check on our progress, and as she left my mom yelled, "No complaining!" for no reason in particular.

Yesterday, I was tired. One of those days where you never fully wake up, and your eyes are burning, but I kept plugging through the day, didn't take a nap. Over breakfast, my mom says, "My arm is so sore! And its from scrubbing the shower yesterday." Now, did I say, "Quit your complaining, old woman!" No, of course not, because she wasn't complaining, she was just stating a fact, not being a whiny gasbag. Then I told her an adorable story about how Leila said she couldn't go to school because she had a headache and a stomach ache and her eyes hurt, and my mom says, "She gets that from you. You're always complaining about how tired you are and how everything hurts."

W. T. F? I completely censored anything I might say that could be be construed by even a marginally rational person as a complaint, and I still got nailed!

And! I will take this opportunity to point out that one recent time when I did say, "Somethings wrong, I know it, this is not a regular cold." and my mom told me to "stop being so dramatic!" I ended up in the hospital for two weeks and almost died. Not that I'm complaining about almost dying, because that would make the world stop spinning on its axis, and the trees would all die!

But you guys never complain when I complain, so here I am. I'm tired! Except, today I'm not really tired at all, so its lost of its gusto...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I haven't written in a coon's age. I don't know how long a coon's age is exactly, or whether that reference is offensive, but for our purposes let's agree that it is not offensive, and that a coon's age is 11 days.

After a restful weekend, I have had laser focus on my remodel job. I am an irritant to my contractor, I am nit-picking everything to death, and I've ordered, like 400 things off the internet. I ordered a door bell, and the button that makes it ring from two different places. I ordered an enormous sink (so I can wash my dog in it) I ordered a chandelier for my dining room that I hope I like when it arrives. None of these things have actually arrived yet, but the point is that I've made decisions like decisiveness is going out of style.

I bought 13 gallons of primer and paint. You know, in HGTV, they must use really cheap paint because I always thought paint was the cheapest way to do something amazing with a room, but I've spent a small fortune on paint. Never mind the deli sandwiches we ate during our painting lunch break. Last weekend, Rob and I primed the entire interior of the house. Super Teamwork Day. Tomorrow, we will start painting the entire interior of the house, only there will be cabinet boxes everywhere and wood for floors piled up in a corner, so maybe we wont be able to paint as much as we thought.

Folks, this is my life. I am buying stuff, painting and nit picking. And soon, IT WILL BE DONE!

Its weird: I haven't lived in my house for over two months. I haven't missed a whole lot of what I have stored in my storage place (except for my tongs and my cutting board) and I'm pretty detached from the house. I've grown accustomed to folding my dad's panties watching Piers Morgan. But every now and then, when I'm inspecting my house for paint globs or floor patches, I remember, "Hey, I'm gonna get to live here!" I'm not sure its possible to be more excited! That pantry cabinet is within my grasp, and after 14 years of squeezing friends around a cramped kitchen table in my yellow kitchen, I will have a Dining Room. Is there a prettier word in the English language? Dining room...

Friday, November 11, 2011

It is a small Miracle he likes Me

I'm writing this while waiting for a Will Ferell movie to download on my computer. I'm having a Bed Day. After two back to back Variety Shows with 106 kids in 51 acts, and misbehaving parents, and a gym so over crowded and unruly that it was like the Stones at Altamont, only with little kids singing Myley Cyrus, I deserve to stay in bed for a day.

Some people would hate staying in bed all day. Like my mom. She would go completely nuts and feel awful about herself, and probably have to see a therapist about it, even though she doesn't believe in therapy because its for crazy people.

I, on the other hand, love it. The only thing that would make it better today is if I had cable in this room and could watch HGTV. Instead I've finished Mindy Kaling's book, taken two cat naps, eaten a small bag of kettle corn (the lite kind, totally unsatisfying) and now I'm going to watch a movie which I thought was a comedy, but the iTunes reviews assure me it is not.

Here's a thing about me that is totally like my mom: When I am reading, don't talk to me. I'm reading. I'm having silent reading time. But when I'm done reading, its talking time. It doesn't matter if you're still reading, even if you are at the climactic moment of your book, or if you're asleep, or if you are simply not interested in talking to me.

Rob is here with me, and he is also reading. Or he was reading, before I put the kibosh on that. He told me he was going to ignore me, so I stared at the side of his head as hard as I could, and, though he was successful in ignoring me, I started cracking myself up. He's now playing on his iPhone, a much more easily interruptable activity.

I would really like a sandwich.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Scratch Scratch

Things keep getting weirder and weirder.

The other night, at 4 a.m. I was awoken by an animal (not one of mine) scratching at the outside wall of our room, sounding like it was trying to get in.

In addition to having the half-awake fantasies about animals living in the walls, and ghosts, it was just irritating. It was 4 in the morning! Sleeping!!

It woke Rob up too, so I got his iPhone and turned on the flashlight app and I shined it out the window in the direction of the scratching, and, even though I didn't see anything, the animal shut up.

I went outside the next day to see if there were any signs of animal scratching, and there were none. There are raccoons and opossums and squirrels around here, and it was probably a raccoon, but I did not like it. Not one bit. I don't think I can sleep with the knowledge that a wild animal is trying to claw its way to my head. I wonder if it smelled the cat food. I don't want to know that they are crawling around under the floor boards either. Nope, I want those guys on the outside.

The Variety Show is tomorrow and Thursday, then I will have laser focus on my house project which is at least halfway done. Then its Thanksgiving, and painting, and Christmas shopping, and moving in, and Christmas, and Leila's birthday, and then, in about mid-January, I'll have some time to breathe.

I might breathe a little on Saturday, just to make sure I still know how.

Friday, November 4, 2011


In the process of doing laundry, I pulled the knob on the washer that starts the water flowing, and the knob came off in my hand. A little, black plastic piece came off with it, and that was, apparently, the lynch pin that was holding the whole operation together. The washer still works, but the knob is fucked.

This sounds like an annoying little inconvenience, and it would be just that to the normal person. However, that is not how this will go down.

In spite of the fact that the washer is 100 years old, it will be all my fault that the knob broke because I am a slob and a barbarian, and I don't know how to take care of things. This will be added to the long list of my transgressions and character flaws: I broke the washing machine. My mom has treated it right for the last 25 years and it hasn't given her an ounce of trouble, but the minute I got my hands on it, I broke it. She will, again, win at the game of who takes better care of their stuff so it lasts forever. Its really a wonder I have kept my pets alive for as long as I have.

Nevermind that if she had been the one doing laundry the same thing would have happened to her. If that had been the case, it still would have been my fault because I must have pulled too hard on the knob the last time I did laundry. She never had these kinds of problems before I moved in with my family and all their dirty undies.

I used her vacuum this morning. Its a really good thing I didn't break that, too...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Freedom from Tyranny!

My parents left for Palm Desert for a week. Last night, for the first time in over a month, I had the remote control to myself. I was so excited. Turns out there was nothing on, and I ended up watching reruns of "Everybody Loves Raymond" because Donald Trump was on Piers Morgan. Buzz kill.

I just don't know what to do with myself! We can have take out this week! I can wait until later to do dishes! I can read something in the middle of the day without someone saying, "Must be nice..." A whole week without being judged! Well, I'm sure I'll still be judged by someone, and probably by, you know, me, but I can move freely throughout the day and week without looking over my shoulder!

I shouldn't get too comfortable, though. I have adapted quite nicely, I think, to turning all the lights off, and wearing long underwear in the house when its 70 degrees outside. Doing dishes right away is not the worst thing in the world, and confining my regular mess to one room has not been that difficult. Next Monday, it will be back to normal.

If my mother saw her kitchen right now and knew that not only did I program her heater to go on at 6 a.m. but I left a light on all night by accident, she would have a complete cow.