Wednesday, September 28, 2011

For the Record

I did work on the Book yesterday.

I also made the first pot roast of my life.

But wait, there's more.

I plan to do both again.

Thanks for the encouragement.

But wait, there's more.

Here's my boys. Remember them? One is really enjoying himself and one is really restraining himself.


Here's my other boy. This photo was taken by Max as part of a two-part series called "Happy Dad, Abstract Dad." I accidentally deleted "Abstract Dad." Oops.


But wait, there's more.

Do you need anything texted for you? I know a guy. He's very good at it. Quite proficient. Quite prolific. Quite protextual.


I hire most of my texting out to him. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Pssst! Over here. Yeah, down here, under the table. Hurry, before it sees you! I'll scoot over so you can fit.

Yes, we're hiding. But seriously, you've got to whisper before it finds us.

What do you mean, what are we hiding from? Isn't it obvious? The Story, the Book. It's lurking around here trying to find me, trying to make me make good on my plans to write it today. But I figured if I just crouch down here under the table until the kids get home from school, I'll be safe for another day. Good idea, huh?

Yeah, the Book is driving me nuts. It's like this big, fat obligation I have sitting on my head. I try to be nice to it, but it's so....I don't know, needy and oppressive and entitled.  And sloooow. I mean, it's really hard for me because I'm so different from that. It's a very one-sided relationship, you know?

Wait. What? You're leaving? But you just got here! I was looking forward to your company!

You expect me to sit all alone under the kitchen table all day by myself? I brought Oreos and nail polish and an iPod! You can play Angry Birds! You know, as long as you're really, really quiet.

No, I'm not crazy. This is very rational. You just don't know the Book like I do.

Stop being judgmental.

Yes, I want to write the Book. I do. I really do.

I just don't want to do it today. I'm not "feeling it," you know?

Well, probably tomorrow would be better. Maybe Thursday. Yeah, Thursday. Definitely.

You don't mean that. You don't really think I'm an idiot, do you?

Well, thanks a lot. Some friend you turned out to be. Give me back that Oreo.

Wait, stop shouting. Oh my gosh, please stop. The Book is going to hear you. Quit ratting me out!


Oh. Well, there you are! Hey, Book! I see you've met my friend. You know, the overbearing, pretentious one I've told you about.  Yes, yes, it has been a while. Heh, heh.

What? You've been wandering around the house for an hour looking for me? That's crazy! I was here! I was right here just, you know, waiting for you to get here so that we could spend some quality time together. I thought you were late, or forgot or something, which is totally okay because that stuff happens all the time. That's just life, you know? I'm very forgiving and understanding of such things.

No, no, don't be silly. I would never try to avoid you!

Don't listen to her.

That's not true.

I never said that.

She's taking that completely out of context.

Well, yes, we do have our issues, Book. That's probably fair to say.

Alright. Fair point.

I can be that way, sure.

Wait a minute, now. A wussy? Me? I'm...I'm speechless. I don't even know what to say to that.

Very funny.

Yes. Yes, I do want to write the rest of you, Book.

No, I really do. I won't be able to live with myself if I don't.

Yes, I realize that.

Yes, I know.

That's true.

You're right.

Yep, one page at a time.

I know, I shouldn't care about that.

Or that.

You're right. We do need each other.

Sure, let's hug it out.

Oh, you mean all of us? Well. Okay.

Me too. I'm sorry too. To both of you.

Yes, let's get writing, Book. I'm ready. Let me just say goodbye to my friend.

Okay, you too. Thanks for coming by.

No, you can't have the Oreo back.

Just kidding. Thanks again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

54 Thoughts

  1. I'm killing time.
  2. In forty minutes I'm heading out the door.
  3. I'm going to New Jersey.
  4. I'm going to have a sleepover in New Jersey. 
  5. I've never had a sleepover with New Jersey before.
  6. I've packed my bag and a sleeping bag.
  7. And a toothbrush.
  8. The TV is on to keep my company.
  9. A generic decorating show on HGTV.
  10. I'm venturing out from my regular two channels: Bravo and Food Network.
  11. You should be so proud.
  12. This is the part of the generic decorating show where the homeowner gets doubtful about the decorator's color recommendations.
  13. This is called "decorating drama."
  14. I'm not sure, but I have a feeling they're going to love it in the end.
  15. It's raining cats and puppies.
  16. A while ago it was raining cats and dogs. 
  17. This weather report is brought to you by generic decorating shows.
  18. Want to know why I'm not watching Food Network right now?
  19. Because the Neelys are on.
  20. They drive me nuts.
  21. I'm all for being in love with your spouse, but there is way too much sugar going on.
  22. And exuberance.
  23. And self-satisfaction.
  24. And spouse satisfaction.
  25. Oh my gosh, the the big reveal just happened on the decorating show.
  26. The young couple has yet to use an exclamation point, though I think they like it.
  27. This is very confusing.
  28. Have they not seen decorating shows before?
  29. They're supposed to cover their mouths with both hands, jump up and down, and joyfully express a few expletives.
  30. It's not unusual to see a few tears.
  31. Rookies, I guess.
  32. I hate to admit it, but this couple could use a little "Neely" in their expression of emotion.
  33. I'm sorry, Neelys. 
  34. I harshly judged you.
  35. Forgive me.
  36. And then forgive me for continuing to boycott your show.
  37. The rain is not letting up.
  38. I need to go out and check the mail before I leave.
  39. I guess I will drive to the mailbox on my way out.
  40. I need to put the clothes from the washer into the dryer.
  41. But it's raining cats and dogs.
  42. I realize that I don't have to go outdoors to get to the washer and dryer.
  43. But I thought I'd try that excuse.
  44. Did it work?
  45. There's a new show on now.
  46. The challenge is to decorate a Cape Cod home.
  47. Three decorators are vying for the job.
  48. If they choose the first decorator, I'm going to throw a fit.
  49. The couch she suggested was ridiculous.
  50. I have to leave now.
  51. I'll never find out.
  52. Maybe that's for the better.
  53. I'm off to Jersey now.
  54. Yo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I wish I had written this...

Found here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What I Done Did

First I got on a train. I sat behind a group of judges who'd been in Philadelphia for a conference and were on their way home to New Haven. They were playing Words with Friends on one of their iPads and complaining about the computer's lack of respect for them and some of their words. They joked and giggled and gossiped and acted generally immature together. Judges gone wild.

Next, I got off the train in New York City. You know you're in New York City because of the smell of fresh urine and pretzels. Mmmm. I met up with my sister-in-law Betsy and niece Sydney. You know you're with Betsy and Sydney because of the fresh smell of shopping bags. Aren't they cute?


We ventured to Brooklyn and stood in line for the best pizza on earth. It only took an hour to wait for the best pizza on earth, which is reasonable, I think. Especially on a beautiful fall day.


Later, I sat in their hotel room and asked them to share all their shopping finds with me and, oh, what a parade! Ladies and gentlemen, the economy has officially been stimulated. I lived vicariously, delighting in the gorgeous fabrics and frugal finds. I may or may not have coveted a poncho and lusted after it in my heart.

The next morning, I arose bright and early and donned my walking shoes. I made like a pioneer and walked and walked and walked all day. First, I walked to Alyssa's apartment. Look how cute my baldy friend is! We're calling her new look chemo-chic. My look is slept-on-the-floor-frazzled. But I think it works.


The color theme of the day was pink. We joined a sea of pink at Central Park for the Race for the Cure. I'll be honest, mine was more of a walk for the cure, but I know the cure won't mind.


After the race, we had lunch with some of Alyssa's friends (such nice people, by the way) and then Alyssa and I spent some much-needed sofa time together at her apartment, laughing, talking, and occasionally crying. Eventually it was time for me to catch my train, so I walked and walked to the station. They oversold my train, but I pushed my way through before I could get bumped to the next one. I was ready to get home to my house full of boys. And also my bathtub.

The next day, I got to have dinner with my brother John who is in Philadelphia for some meetings this week. Lucky for us, it's Restaurant Week in Philly, so we took him out for swanky Mexican food. (Did you know Mexican food can be swanky?) We ate ourselves silly. We ate so much, my hair lost all its volume and pizazz.


I crashed in bed last night. I slept like a corpse. When the alarm clock went off this morning, it was a foreign and disturbing noise. I must have been dreaming that I was a wealthy aristocrat, able to sleep to my heart's content and never bothered by such annoyances as alarm clocks. I love that dream. I finally awoke, firing the butler, and crawled back into my everyday life.

Everyday life today included more walking, some writing, some emailing, some errands, and the creation of the first butternut squash soup of the season. It's roasting in the oven now, bathing in Thai spices and coconut water. I will patiently wait.

And that's what I done did. I wonder what I will done do next.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cool is a Temperature and an Attitude

  • It's cool outside today.
  • And I like it.
  • I think I'm growing up because I can let go of summer now without throwing a tizzy fit.
  • (I love the term "tizzy fit.")
  • Maybe I'm only acting mature because autumn on the east coast is beautiful.
  • Riveting.
  • Stunning.
  • Ridiculously flamboyant.
  • And an actual season.
  • Instead of two weeks wedged in between summer and winter.
  • (No offense, Utah.)
  • I'm going to a Phillies game tonight.
  • I'm going to wear a jacket and a scarf.
  • And I'm going to eat a pork sandwich and nachos.
  • And possibly some crab fries.
  • (Crab fries actually contain zero crabs.)
  • If there's room left, I will enjoy some Graham Slam ice cream, the greatest ice cream flavor in the world.
  • The food at the Phillies games is top notch.
  • You heard it here first.
  • The coolness actually set in last night.
  • Ryan and I slept with the window open.
  • The cool air brought our sleeping bodies back together in the middle of the bed for warmth.
  • After a sweaty summer apart, clinging to the cooler borders of the mattress.
  • Hello, stranger.
  • Mind if I warm myself for a while?
  • Fall is not so bad.
  • (Don't get me wrong, summer is still the best.)
  • But fall is not so bad.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This one time...

I looked in the backseat of the car and Max had been swallowed by his t-shirt.

But he made the most of it by turning it into a reading nook.

Are you children safe from their t-shirts?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Misson' Out

I headed to Target today to buy Comet for the sink, bread flour for my favorite cookies, and designer Missoni clothes and accessories for my blogging self-esteem. I wouldn't have known to fall in love with Missoni design if it hadn't been for countless bloggers dangling it in front of my face and making me want it. Much to my surprise, arriving at Target at 11:00 a.m. was plenty early for the Comet and bread flour inventory, but about four hours late for nearly all of the Missoni inventory. Apparently there was a line outside the Target doors at 7:00 a.m. while I was making toast and wiping crusty sleep boogers from the corners of my eyes. (What? That's what I call them. Quit giving me that look.)

Bloggers, why didn't you tell me I had to camp out at Target last night?

I didn't give up hope immediately. I was down, but certainly not out. In true Missoni fashion, I zig-zagged through the entire store, hoping to find someone's cast-off or sneakily hidden designer finds. I really wanted the beautiful blanket, and the dinner plates (and the beach bike, too, if you're wondering). But the only thing I found were empty shelves, lonely racks, and the unexpected embarrassment of having been left in the dust.

It reminded me of a trip to Wal-Mart a few weeks ago in preparation for Hurricane Irene. Ryan and I wandered the eerily empty aisles that only hours earlier held bottled water and emergency provisions like flashlights and m&m's. It was all gone, baby, gone. Could it be that my fellow east coasters stocked up this morning on Missoni in anticipation of an upcoming fashion emergency? Like the return of the mullett? Or really big shoulder pads?

Eventually my persistence paid off. The two Missoni votive candle holders I found on a lonely shelf are quite beautiful and among the most affordable items in the collection. (At least I think they're Missoni. Imagine my horror if I find out they are merely Mossimo or Merona! What will all the cool bloggers think?)

The brightly colored pretzel m&m's on sale for $2.66 were a nice consolation as well. I'm organizing them in a zig-zag pattern before stuffing them in my face. Kids, if you can't have Missoni, make Missoni yourself. That's our lesson for today.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Of Blogs and Burritos

I won't bore you with the details, but Wynonna Judd made me feel better about blogging again. I haven't felt the itch to blog the way I used to and I wondered (once again) if it was time to let it go. Lately I've been expressing my creativity through food instead of blogging, concocting meals that made me laugh and smile and occasionally cry the way my blog used to. I've discovered a latent knack for pastas, salads, sauces, and cookies. Something about the temporary nature of a good meal speaks to me right now. Because if I've learned anything of late, it's that you have to find joy in the moment. And sometimes the joy of that one little moment stands in stark juxtaposition to the greater background of the present time. As in, life might be a giant ball of prickly awful, but if you happen to have a good burrito in the midst of it? Well, that's a gift.

Back to Wynonna. She said something that stuck to my ribs like good southern soul food. (I can't tell you what it was because it's a special secret between Wynonna and me.) And the misgivings I had about putting my fingers to the keyboard flitted away. Gone. Oprah would call that an "Aha! Moment," but we've all forgotten who Oprah is by now. Let's call it an epiphany because it's more fun to say and it rhymes with my name.

So, I'm going to come back here with frequency. And I'm going to flex my creative muscles in word and dish. Because if I can do that, despite anything that's going on in the background? Well, that's a gift.

P.S. Want to see pictures of the day my face almost melted off in Chicago? Here's outside the jelly bean.
And here's inside the jelly bean. I loved the jelly bean.

P.P.S. I'm craving jelly beans.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I feel like I really need to tell you this...

I hate capers. I don't want them on my food.

Thank you for your time.

Oh, and here's photos from Tuesday, the first day of school. Mandatory, you know. Photos and school.


The eighth grader. This one is taller than me, has bigger hands, eats twice what I do, and yet I still outweigh him by a few bowling balls. Why?

The third grader. This one is shorter than me, still snuggly, eats slower than cold tar, and puts all of his money in the bank. Why?

These two still go to Taco Bell a lot. Why? I'll tell you why. Because it's delicious.

 No capers at Taco Bell.
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