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I am dreading this recap this year, for some reason. Yet I am still doing it because TRADITION. I think I may start liberally tossing questions out the window. So BE PREPARED FOR THAT.

(This yearly recap originated with Linda of All & Sundry. If you’re so inclined, you can read past versions of my responses: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.)

Oh! And if YOU do this yearly recap, always or for the first time this year, send me a link in the comments won’t you? I love reading these.

  • What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

I quit my job to write a novel. (Which I have not yet completed, BLARGH.) (Prediction: I sense that the topic of the previous parenthetical may reappear below.)

  • Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year, I said:

This year, I want to prioritize my husband, quality time with my kid, balance in my life… and I also want to really work on personal fulfillment. That sounds… vague and a little frou-frou and a lot privileged, but I think it will honestly help with the first three priorities. At least, I hope so. And I’m going to try.

I do think I have made solid steps on all fronts, and I attribute all progress to leaving my job at the end of March. I feel very fortunate that I have this little pocket of time during which I can be part-time novelist/part-time stay-at-home-mom. The reduction in stress has helped me be more present with my husband and daughter, and helped me really focus on contributing to my family in new ways. It has not been easy, for me, to give up on being a financial contributor. That has altered the identity I always felt I had, and it has been a challenge to adapt. But I do think I’m contributing in new and different ways, or at least contributing more in areas where I wasn’t before.

This year, I am going to finish the novel. That’s my primary goal. It’s taking so much longer than I anticipated just to eke out a first draft. I need to find some way to speed up the process. Because the first draft is only the beginning.

  • Did anyone close to you give birth?
  • Did anyone close to you die?
  • What countries did you visit?

Same as last year: Not really a big year for travel. I visited three states besides my own: Illinois, Florida, and my home state. All with Carla.

I can’t really imagine the answers changing in a big way anytime soon.

  • What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

Better ability to prioritize my time. A fully drafted novel. Making my time with Carla richer, somehow, rather than making a bunch of slipshod and ultimately frustrating attempts at “activities.”

  • What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 31, which was my last day of working in the office.

  • What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Taking a leap of faith and quitting my office job. (OMG, broken record much?)

  • What was your biggest failure?

Not getting enough words on the page each day! I can trot out a 7,000-word blog post of a morning, but I seem to spend hours and hours coming up with a measly 200 for my manuscript! What gives? If I can do it elsewhere, why can’t I blather and drivel my way through a first draft?

  • Did you suffer illness or injury?

I am currently enjoying a bout of asthmatic bronchitis, which is super fun. Other than that, nothing too crazy.

  • What was the best thing you bought?

Scrivener!!! It is a tool for writers and I loooooooove it.

  • Whose behavior merited celebration?

This goes 100% to my husband. He is a rockstar. I can’t even express all the ways he’s shown up this year without drowning my keyboard in tears, so let’s move on.

  • Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I mean do you really have to ask, non-sentient Survey created years ago with no knowledge of our current times? I think I’m going to cross this one out because it makes me sad and bewildered and fearful and shaky.

  • Where did most of your money go?

This question sucks. I really want to say something fun like “a new ski lodge in Aspen!” or “a twelve-week trek around Europe!” I guess I could say my potential earnings went toward financing my lifelong dream but that makes me feel dizzy and sick to my stomach so MOVING ON.

  • What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Last year I said: The holidays this year. Carla is so excited about EVERYTHING, and it is so fun to see that.

As with last year, I didn’t even KNOW what excited was! She has been super over the moon about everything. And she gets stuff now. Like, she understood the little countdown-to-Christmas calendar I put in her room, and the last couple of days she switched the numbers all by herself before I even got to her room. She has been really gung-ho about Hanukkah, and has helped her dad light the menorah and say the prayers. She loved decorating the tree and every night for a week she would pick up a present that she knew was for her and squeeze it and hop up and down and say, “It’s so HARD to WAIT until Christmas to open my present!” I mean, a tree full of presents and she didn’t realize most of them were for her, and yet she got So Worked Up about this one tiny thing. She loved all the holiday books I pull out each year, and expressed interest in Santa and Baby Jesus and the Maccabees alike. She loved the stockings, and asked questions about how Santa could do such and such. She loved painting ornaments for her grandparents. She loved collecting the Amazon boxes from the front stoop and putting them in the guest room to await her grandmother’s arrival. She loved singing Christmas carols. Everything this year was just SO. MUCH. FUN. I hope we have at least a couple more years of this pure, unadulterated joy in the season. It’s a mood lifter for sure, and helps make all those I-want-them-to-be-fun-and-meaningful-but-are-really-kind-of-tedious projects seem worthwhile and enjoyable.

  • What song(s) will always remind you of 2016?

I have to say the Frozen soundtrack. Carla hadn’t seen a movie in her entire life until Christmas 2015, and once we started we couldn’t stop. As toddlers are wont to do, she fell in love with Frozen and we have watched it eleventy billion times. PLUS we bought the Frozen soundtrack (we call it “Carly Songs”) on CD (yes, I still use CDs in my car) and we have listened to THAT at least seventy gazillion times. Also: Justin Beiber’s “Sorry” and “Let Me Love You” by DJ Snake featuring The Beibs. “Waves” by Miguel (the Kacey Musgraves version). “One Dance” by Drake. Carla does a mean dance move to Drake, and sings along very sweetly to “Let Me Love You” and “Waves.” Also also, on the classical front, I have grown very attached to Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2. I have some fantasy that I will learn to play it. (HA.)

  • Compared to this time last year, are you:
  1. a) happier or sadder? Happier but more fearful about the future, I think?
  2. b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. Which kind of sucks because I lost 12 pounds after I left my job. I have since gained it back. But I kind of hate this question because I just do. I am scowling at it.
  3. c) richer or poorer? I am skipping this question because math.

This is a question I don’t care to answer anymore, I think. Are these really the benchmarks by which I want to measure the year? No, no I don’t think so. MORE SCOWLING.

  • What do you wish you’d done more of?

Writing. (Always.) Submitting my work for publication. Figuring out a better time management system.

  • What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying. Yelling. Procrastinating. Writing poor-quality apocalyptic poetry. Wasting time on my phone. Feeling too hot or too cold; that’s really annoying when the house maintains a stable temperature.

  • How did you spend Christmas?

Here at home, with my husband and Carla, and my husband’s parents. It was lovely and fun. Also lovely and fun was adding my sister and niece the day after Christmas, but that amped up the freneticism by several degrees. How does adding ONE additional child to the mix make things exponentially more crazy?

  • Did you fall in love in 2016?

Ugh. Every year this one makes me gag a little, but I definitely fell more in love with my husband. He has been supportive of me and my dreams in a way that shatters me. I hope I make him feel even half as loved and understood and… seen as he makes me feel.

And, as we allow the tears to dry a bit, I fall newly in love with Carla with each new stage in her life. Three has been challenging, but it has also been utterly delightful as she becomes more independent and imaginative and curious and affectionate and funny and fun and inquisitive. I just adore her.

  • What was your favorite (new) TV program?

What a year for TV! Standouts from the year include the OJ Simpson mini-series, The Night Of, Westward, and the Gilmore Girls revival (even though I hated GG as much as I loved it – many flaws, no?). I also loved the latest seasons of The Americans, The Great British Baking Competition, Shark Tank, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, The Middle, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. What can I say? I like feel-good shows to balance out the gritty stuff slash real life. Oh! And two series my husband and I watched and loved that were new to us this year were Master of None and Catastrophe. God, I love TV.

  • Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I can’t even. This question has got to go.

  • What was the best book you read?

I READ SO MANY BOOKS THIS YEAR! Contenders for best book include A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, The Round House by Louise Erdrich, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, and A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin. There have been others, but those are the standouts. For me, all had great stories with interesting, well-rounded characters, and truly beautiful language that enriched the story without getting in the way. Then sometime in November I fell into a Sue Grafton wormhole and have been reading my way through her Kinsey Millhone series (again) because it’s fun.

  • What did you want and get?

A chance to write a book. More time with my daughter. More time to exercise. More time in general, I guess. Less stress. And also this gorgeous green coat from Boden that unfortunately didn’t fit so BOO to that. My hips are not British enough, it seems. Oh! And I got the sheet music for Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2, and have been painstakingly picking out the right hand notes. That’s really all I’ve managed.

  • What did you want and not get?

A finished first draft of my manuscript because I am SLOW.

  • What was your favorite film of this year?

Let’s see. My husband and I took a break from watching TV to watch all of the Daniel Craig James Bond movies. That was fun, but I wasn’t as… enamored of the most recent (last?) film as I was of the earlier ones. (To be fair, Daniel Craig seemed less enamored of it as well.) Did I watch anything else? Of the (many) kids’ movies I’ve seen this year, Brave is my favorite, followed by Wall-E and then probably a tie between Tangled and Frozen. I did not care for Zootopia, and Robin Hood – a childhood favorite – sadly did not live up to my memory version. (Robin Hood himself is still by far the foxiest cartoon I’ve ever encountered, though. No pun intended.)

EDITED TO ADD: My husband and I watched Sicario just last night, right under the 2016 wire, and it was really well done. Dark and disturbing but a heart-thumping, thought provoking film.

  • What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 35 this year, and I can’t really remember what I did. Which is a pattern at least a few years running, so I am getting rid of this question.

  • What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Same as every year (don’t I ever PROGRESS as a person?!?!):

Being able to just LET GO and not freak out about EVERYTHING.

  • How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

Same as last year: I have full-on embraced the leggings-as-pants “style” that I used to disdain. COMFORT IS KEY. In your face, Past Me!

Also, this year I started doing Fabletics (I joined Fabletics? I am not sure of the proper verbiage here. It’s just a subscription service in the vein of Stitch Fix. Sort of. Third cousins.), and so have added some very cute workout ensembles to my wardrobe, which means that sometimes I switch up my leggings with legging-like yoga pants. You can spot the difference because I wear tennis shoes with the yoga pants version.

  • What kept you sane?

My husband. Exercise. Being able to write every day most days.

  • Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I adore Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan of Catastrophe. The characters they play are adorable and funny and in-your-face in a way I find charming. Sterling K. Brown. Constance Wu (her and her character as Jessica Huang on Fresh Off the Boat) because she seems fearless and take-no-prisoners and also is hilarious and beautiful and talented. Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore. Okay, so maybe these are primarily TV CHARACTERS and not necessarily the actors themselves but whatever.

  • What political issue stirred you the most?

Nope. NOPE. Not even going to. CUT.

  • Who did you miss?

Same as last year, although – shocker – blogging more frequently myself has helped a teeny bit: I guess I most missed the bloggers I used to interact with regularly, back when I blogged frequently and they blogged frequently. I suppose I should figure out a way to do Twitter (which makes me uncomfortable for some reason).

  • Who was the best new person you met?

As last year, I don’t know that I met many new people this year. AM A HERMIT. Oh wait, that’s not true. I have made a couple of (tentative strides toward making) mom friends through Carla’s new school.

  • Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

Write it down, don’t write it right, for the love of all that is holey.

  • Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

(I don’t know if the following makes sense as a lyric or as the answer to this question, but it’s in my head, so I’m going with it.)

Don’t you give up, nah nah nah / Never give up, nah nah nah / Let me love you.

Happy New Year, Internet! I hope 2017 goes a hell of a lot better than we fear!

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Favorite Posts of 2011

Internet, I did not write a whole lot in 2011. Nor did I read a lot. There was a lot of The Unbloggable going on, plus the whole Home Buying situation, plus lots of work travel and associated other busy-ness. Whine whine whine, excuse excuse excuse. I will try to be better, Internet! I really will!

Anyway, that means that I probably missed out on some of the very best things you wrote this year.

So I have a request: Will you please hop into the comments and give me a link to the best thing you wrote this year? Or a post where you had lots of interesting comments? Or a post that surprised you with its popularity?

If you are for some reason embarrassed to do this, I would also love to learn what OTHER blog posts were among your favorites this year.

I’m feeling very quid-pro-quo today, Internet, so I will leave you 5 of my favorite posts from this year – favorites because I was proud of the writing, or because I loved reading the comments, or because I find the topic really fascinating, or because I was surprised by how many people weighed in, or because I totally forgot I wrote the post in the first place.

And I will ALSO leave you 5 of my favorite posts from OTHER bloggers – favorites because they made me think or cry or laugh or all three. (IMPORTANT NOTE FOR NOT FEELING LEFT OUT PURPOSES: Let it be known that these are only a SMALL SELECTION, tiny really, of the blog posts I adored this year. An EENY MEENY sampling.)

Happy reading!


Posts I Read at LEAST Once This Past Year That You May Not Have Read But You Really Should Read

“They don’t need the bright side, they need the support.”Here We Go Again

“… one of my possibly-never-to-be-healed breaks is this dark abiding fear that one day my husband will decide I am too much.”Where the Catholic Sun Doth Shine

“If I could have you in my life for one more day, I would definitely, definitely spend that day naked and in coitus.”Hilarity in Shoes

“…underneath that there’s a deeper, and greater, fear: that even if I do manage to produce something I deem acceptable, that ultimately it’s meaningless in the end after all.”The Startup Wife

“I imagine unspooling, breaking open.”All & Sundry

“…grief hums in the background of my life, simultaneously silent and ear-splittingly loud.”Mommy Interrupted

“Poop in unexpected places.”Reading and Chickens

 

 

Posts I Wrote That You May Have Not Read the First Time Around

It will be this way again, but it won’t be this way forever.

In which a full ice tray is the key to a happy marriage.

The Things about you that aren’t really a big deal except that a few arsehats make you self-conscious about them.

How is it possible that any marriage works with such VAST DIFFERENCES between your family and your spouse’s?

What does it really mean to be happy?



Now it’s your turn Internet! Give me something good to read! (Um. Please.)

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Oh hi, Internet! Let’s all pretend I didn’t disappear for weeks on end. Let’s also pretend that what follows passes for a post.

I’ve been busy. Painting. Packing (yes, finally) (and we are still packing) (my husband helpfully mentioned, while we stood in the middle of our former guest room surrounded by unpacked life detritus, “this is probably why people kept asking you if you’d started packing yet.”). Moving.Traveling for work. Moving some more. Eating out a lot. Going to Home Depot approximately eight bazilllion times. Handing out Halloween candy. Learning to love Lean Cuisine microwave macaroni and cheese. Traveling for work AGAIN, yes, twice in two weeks! Staring at a bunch of boxes of hastily-packed crap piled haphazardly around our new kitchen and deciding to ignore their existence. Wearing my husband’s socks because mine are still at the apartment. Counting my bruises (seriously. so. many. bruises). Looking at All the Things I want to buy to fill up all the empty rooms (three full rooms plus two half rooms, plus I’d like a chair for my office and a loveseat for the master) and looking at my empty bank account and buying nothing. More trips to Home Depot. Trying to convince my husband we can put up wainscoting in our dining room ourselves. More moving.

Good times, eh?

Anyway, I plan on regaling you with all sorts of boring delightful Moving and Home Decorating Tales (you: see ya!) at some point, but just now I’m trying to keep Moving-and-Work-Stress-Related Meltdowns to a one-a-day max.

Well, that’s a lie. At this particular moment I am Actively Not Sleeping because this new house? This beautiful, well-kept home that I love dearly? The place in which I now reside, full time?

It makes terrifying noises.

And my jerk of an imagination ascribes some new horror to each creak and snap.  (Only at night, of course. I guess Rational Thought only works 9:00 to 5:00, while Irrationality covers the night shift.)

I’m sitting in our basement – as my husband blithely sleeps on the couch next to me – certain that masked murderers will burst down the stairs at any second. Or RsOUS. Or that black-clad creepy humanoid creature from American Horror Story. Or any number of equally grotesque and horrifying scenes from American Horror Story. (I realize that last fragment makes no sense in that string of parallel statements, but I’m too tired from the strain of listening for murderers to correct it.) (Also, it kind of pleases me to imagine an entire scene traipsing down the stairs, whatever that would look like.)

Get it together, brain. Imagining Funny Games-style scenarios is not going to help us fall asleep tonight… and that’s when Husband is HERE, with his warm body, steady breathing, and reasonable eye-rolling to keep us grounded in reality. Not overnight in the MICU where he will be FAR TOO OFTEN IN THE TOO NEAR FUTURE.

I apologize, Internet. My first post in weeks and it’s this poorly-strung-together catalog of boringness and delusion?

Somehow Dylan McDermott is to blame for ALL OF THIS.  I just know it.

Anyhoo, what’s new with you?

 

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The other night, my husband moved beyond his normal level of Awesome into some new stratosphere of Amazing.

And I kind of wanted to brag about it, so I got out The Twitter and started typing.

But he put the kibash on that right away.  “Twitter doesn’t need to know that,” he said.

He was a little cross about it, to tell you the truth. Which is unusual for him, as he is even-keeled and cheerful  98% of the time.

I honestly couldn’t understand what the problem was. I wasn’t saying anything bad or demeaning or remotely embarrassing about him. (It wasn’t dirty either, get your minds out of the gutter.) He was going so above and beyond that he deserved more than just normal praise.

But he didn’t want me to do it, so I didn’t.

I did, however, remind him that I have a blog. And I do talk about him on said blog. (Although I think I do a fairly decent job of mainly talking about myself, and including him in stories sort of as a backdrop against which we can better examine some issue of MINE than anything else.)

He doesn’t read my blog, by the way. At least not with any regularity. I mean, the poor guy has to deal with me Live! And In Person!, so you can imagine that he wouldn’t be jumping all over himself to read my long-winded navel inspection.

He’s not prohibited from reading my blog. And I try to consider his feelings before I publish anything. In fact, I asked him in advance before I started talking about Operation: Baby. Because that’s a wee bit personal.  (He was fine with it. I think he was probably glad that I stopped talking incessantly about it with him!)

But I was a little… thrown… that he wouldn’t want me to say something complimentary about him.  I mean, what good are all the amazing things he does if I can’t share them with the world my 94 Twitter friends? (Oh right: yummy chocolate chip cookies in my belly.)

Aside from this blocked tweet, the only “issue” I can remember having was when I mentioned something a while back about having “fond thoughts” about an ex boyfriend in a post. And when I said “fond thoughts,” I meant “no bad blood.” I did NOT mean “ooey gooey thoughts” or even “nostalgia.” (My husband = infinitely better than any of the exes.)

But out of the entire post, that was the thing that stuck out to my husband. And I remember feeling TERRIBLE for not only writing something that bugged him, no matter how little… But that I published that thing on the Internet for the whole world my few hundred dozen readers to see.

He and I don’t have any prior agreements about what not to talk about. But I have a General Principle of Blogging, which is to share only my stories, and to include others only if they are peripheral or disguised. If I want to tell a story about my husband, or I want to blog about something that might be personal to him as well (like Operation: Baby), I will ask him first.

And if my husband didn’t want me to post about something, I wouldn’t post it. If he came across something on my blog that he didn’t like, I would delete it. Because it is his life, too, and he definitely has a say in how it’s disseminated to the masses.

Anyway, this little incident made me wonder about YOU. And whether YOUR significant other reads your blog or your Tweets or your Facebook page.

Does s/he read your posts etc. on the regular, or more sporadically? Do you have any standing agreements about Unmentionable Stuff? Does s/he have veto power over post/status topics? Have you ever had any Hurt Feelings or Shock at Subject Matter or Other Weirdness about something you’ve posted?

Do tell!

(Let’s try to stick to Significant Others and Their Feelings About Our Social Media Habits with this one. We can talk about parents and real life friends another time!)

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Here’s what I find beautiful about the Internet.

You can write down your thoughts and feelings and worries, and a flock of kindred spirits will rise up around you in agreement, support, validation.

You can meet women (and men, I suppose) from all around the globe who resonate with you, in small ways and large.

You can pour out your heart and get something – kindness, advice, understanding – in return.

But this is just on the one side. The blogger side.

There’s another side. The side of the reader.

You can open a webpage and find entertainment, a piece of writing to make you chuckle or cry or nod along in agreement.

You can find a blogger who thinks and feels and acts remarkably similar to you… so similar, it’s bizarre… and who has gathered around her a community of people who all think and feel and act in ways remarkably similar to you.

You can read about the very pain that weighs on your heart. The same joy that floats you to the ceiling. The same drudgery that sometimes bowls you over with mundanity. And find the relief and acknowledgement that commiseration brings.

You can read some of the most beautiful writing I’ve seen anywhere – beautiful not only because of the quality of the writing, but because of the richness of the emotion behind the words and because of the depth of character of the person behind the blog. Because the writing isn’t in a book on a shelf somewhere; it’s often fully real, not fiction; it always comes weighted with the layers of the blogger’s life.

But most of all – whether you write a blog or read blogs, whether you comment on every post or never comment at all – the internet prevents you from being alone.

You’re not going through this by yourself. We’re in this together.

The blog world has given me that gift. You, friend, have given me that gift. And I hope, in some small way, I’ve been – or will be – able to return the favor.

* * *

I’ve been reading Jen’s and Amy’s blogs since before I had a blog, when I hung back in the shadows and admired their writing: the bare honesty with which they shared their lives; their lively humor; the way their love for their families came through in jewel tones, lovely, pure, and clear.

Jen is going through the brutal aftermath of losing a baby. Amy’s father just lost his battle with cancer.

* * *

If I’m being honest, writing this feels weird to me. These women’s stories are not mine; what right do I have to talk about their lives?

But I have cried for them. I have woken up each morning thinking about them, the way friends do.

Although I haven’t met them… have never spoken to them… I have learned to care about their struggles and their happiness through their words.

My heart breaks for each of them. And I have nothing to offer them but words of my own.

This, I think, is what our little Internet community is made for.  And knowing that the Internet can come together in unity, band around its members and lift them up in time of pain, I ask you to please go visit Amy at Amalah.com and Jen at Here We Go Again and leave them a comment of kindness.

Even if you can’t think of anything to say besides “I’m thinking of you” or “I’m sorry for your loss.” Even if you’ve never read a word of their blogs. Even if you’ve never once commented here. Even if there are a thousand comments, please leave one more.

These women are hurting and they deserve every kind word, every loving thought, every prayer of healing and peace they can get.

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A big part of this whole blogging thing is commenting.

Commenting on other people’s blogs.

Getting comments on your blog.

And I have to say, I find it all rather exhausting and fraught with anxiety.

(Sometimes I feel like my life is exhausting and fraught with anxiety!)

(Okay, not really. Am being histrionic for dramatic effect.)

Anyhoodle.

I love to read blogs – your blog, especially, since you are kind enough to read mine and comment on it! – and, when I have time, I leave comments.

But I always have the same worries…

I should leave a comment, to let Blog Person know I was here…

Not that Blog Person even knows I exist. Or cares.

And it’s not like I have anything insightful to say. But I want to say SOMETHING.

Or wait, I DO have something hilarious/insightful/awesome to say! So I must say it!

But what if Blog Person doesn’t think it’s hilarious/insightful/awesome?

In fact, what if Blog Person gets annoyed? Or offended?

Oh my god, I totally don’t want to offend Blog Person! I want her to like me!

Gah. No way is Blog Person going to like me just because I commented on her blog. I mean, look at all the comments she gets. No way is she even going to READ my comment. Let alone care about it. Let alone like me because of it.

Maybe I shouldn’t even leave a comment.

But I would hate it if someone came to my blog, read a post, and didn’t comment.

So I’ll leave a comment.

By the way, I love it when you talk to me. I always appreciate it, even if I don’t acknowledge it. I admire you for getting past the Comment Anxiety.

You are insightful. You are hilarious. And you are always awesome.

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So. I went away for work.

My client paid for my plane tickets. They got me transportation to and from the airport. They put me up in a beautiful hotel. They even paid for my MEALS, y’all.

But the hotel?

No. Free. Internet.

Dubbya Tee Eff.

I am way too cheap to pay $9.95 for 24 hours of Internet connection. (And no way would I ask my client to pay for it, when there’s perfectly good Internet at the office.) Which is my way of saying, sorry I didn’t blog for nearly a week!

Now I am back and it is suddenly time again for another week and I am tired. So all I can muster is some sad, tired, jet-lagged, really?-$9.95-for-Internet-when-the-room-costs-god-knows-how-much? randomosity.

* The socks are still on the couch.

I don’t really know what to do about this, Internet. I do know that there’s a fine line between “reminding” and “nagging,” and an even finer line between “nagging” and “why did I marry you again?” so I haven’t even mentioned the socks.

By the way? They are not alone. They are accompanied by several t-shirts and several pairs of pajama/workout pants.

Were you in my position, socks-wise, what, pray tell, would you do?

 

* I crossed the blog life/real life barrier last night. For the first time ever.

I spoke to Anastasia on the phone!

And guess what? Not only is she a Real, Live Person… She is also super charming and nice and friendly!

But, as she and I discussed, it is a little weird when the neat and tidy little world existing inside your computer crosses over into your real life world. I wonder if this is what Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character feels like every week on the Ghost Whisperer.

 

* Speaking of Anastasia, we have our little Accountability Partner fitness/health/weight-loss website up and running. If you want to join, please let me know and I will “invite” you.

 

* My husband spent the weekend working on his fellowship applications. Which is at once exciting and exhausting. Exciting because we are getting closer! To the end! To the point where he is a real practicing doctor!

Exhausting because oh man alive… The recommendation requests… The CV updates… The application fees… The personal statement… The blah blah blah SNORE.

I spent a lot of the day yesterday “helping” him write emails to people he hopes will write him letters of recommendation.

You know, saying very helpful things like, “You should just write, ‘Hey dude, wasssup? Wanna write me a recommendation? That’d be phat, yo.’”

Surprisingly, he spent a lot of the day yesterday ignoring me.

 

* Let’s just come right out and admit that I am not always super at follow through. I mean, how many weeks ago did I tell you that I was going to have a practice Thanksgiving? Like, three weeks ago? And then maybe last week?

Yeah. So I haven’t done it yet.

BUT.

I bought the turkey and some stuffing ingredients and some cranberries and I spent about 45 minutes in Sur La Table, staring at their meager yet indecipherable collection of roasters with complete and utter incomprehension.

So by the end of the week, I will have either made a Practice Thanksgiving (albeit a partial one – I decided to save the mashed potatoes and yams for another day) or I will have $40 worth of turkey going rancid in my fridge.

Honestly, it could go either way at this point.

 

* Speaking of spending ridiculous amounts of money. I bought a new dress! At White Black House Market! It has a ruffly halter!

Of course, once I had the new dress, I realized I needed to buy new shoes as well. And by “needed” I mean “totally didn’t need but really wanted and ohmigod they look so hot with the dress.”

I also needed the adorable little black wristlet purse with the big satin bow. But I was able to stomp on that need with my new black heels.

 

* Why do I need a new dress? Well, I have a Fancy Work To-Do coming up that requires Fancy Garb. My current collection of Fancy Garb is made up of:

– a party dress that displays more cleave-town than my clients need to see…

– an LBD that I love, but that is a wee bit on the small side (read: back fat overflow)…

– a floor-length Jessica McClintock gown I wore to a college ball years ago, apparently in a time when I sold my soul to the devil because there’s no other way I ever fit into something that size.

So. A new dress it is!

 

* The Fancy Work To-Do means that I need to hop on an airplane again soon. Which is not fun. I mean, does anyone really ENJOY flying these days? Maybe if you are in first class, which I wouldn’t know anything about.

I just know that people need to stop sitting in the window seat when they have the middle seat. I know you don’t WANT the middle seat. But neither do I, and I actually checked in at the plumber butt of dawn in order to ensure I had that seat. So just because you sit in it doesn’t mean I am going to forget about it and be okay with the middle.

Seriously. There is NO EXCUSE for sitting in the wrong seat. Even if you have never been on an airplane in your entire life. Your seat is clearly marked on your ticket. PLUS, you had to board BY ROW NUMBER, so you should automatically know that you are in rows 23-37 rather than in row 10. And if you don’t know what E means? Look at the handy little graphic right above the row that tells you E is a middle seat.

I have a lot of Travel-Related Pet Peeves. But sitting in the wrong seat is in the top 5. Above “Hogging Two Arm Rests” but below “Listening to Your iPod at a Volume Everyone Can Hear.”

 

* For the first time ever, I bought some baby clothes. Not for me, obviously. Or, you know, for the baby that I am NOT PREGNANT with. A friend had a baby a while ago, and I was going to be in her neck of the woods, so I decided to take her a little gift.

I first went to Baby Gap, because that is pretty much the only place I know of that has clothes for Teh Baybays.  And first of all? They should call it Toddler Gap, because there was a teeny tiny section of clothes for actual infants. The rest of the stuff was for kids 24 months and up.

So, going in, I knew that the baby in question was three months old and a boy. That’s it. I mean, I knew his name, but knowing that isn’t going to help me buy him stuff, you know?

Baby Gap had about four things for three-month-old boys. They had plenty of frilly pinkery for three-month-old girls though. Baby boys get screwed in the clothes department, y’all. It’s a wonder that new mothers don’t just give up and buy dresses for their baby boys. I mean, those things are CUTE.

Ahem. Back to Baby Gap. There were approximately ZERO employees in the entire store. So I kind of… stood around… And poked through piles of miniature clothing… And picked up an outfit… And put it back down because do moms really put their babies in miniature button-fly corduroy pants or off-white crocheted onesies?… And gawked at the Super Cute Teensy Weensy Shoes… And didn’t even touch them because three-month-olds don’t wear shoes, right?… And stood around some more.

Finally, I left. I went to Nordstrom, which – much to my great shock – had a baby section. But guess what? They have clothes that don’t fit age ranges, like in Baby Gap. Instead, they have clothes for three-month-old, six-month-old, and nine-month-olds.

Which is REALLY confusing. Because how do you know? Do you buy the three-month-wear and hope that it will fit the kid until six months? Or do you buy the six-month stuff so the kid can grow into it? SO CONFUSING.

And I had to actually ask a salesgirl – who was probably 10 years younger than I am and, while I know she technically could have a couple kids at that age, I am going out on a limb and guessing that she knows exactly as much about kids as I do – for help and she gave me the You Are a Huge Idiot eyebrow.

So I bought a cute little outfit with a guitar on it in the six month size and gave it to my friend and she loved it the end.

Oh! I did remember to ask the cashier if they had any baby legs for boys. I learned about baby legs from Jen, who is awesome, and from whom I probably could have purchased some baby legs if I were capable of planning ahead. The cashier did not, in fact, have baby legs for boys. But I was very impressed with myself for remembering to ask. The end for real.

* Is it just me, or is everyone having babies? I swear, everywhere I look, a high school friend or a college friend or the wife of my husband’s friend or a blog friend or a blogger I stalk is getting  pregnant or popping out a kid.

Some days I wonder if there’s some sort of baby explosion going on. Like the planets are aligned in such a manner that people are getting pregnant out of the blue.

Other days, I think maybe this is the Volvo Phenomenon. You know, where you drive around in your Honda Accord for 10 years without ever seeing a Volvo, but then suddenly you decide your Accord is old and crappy and there’s no iPod dock in it, so you want to upgrade to a Volvo. And as soon as you start lusting after Volvos, they’re EVERYWHERE… In your apartment complex, in your dentist’s parking lot, on The Amazing Race.

This is what happened to me when I wanted my husband to propose to me. I started seeing engaged people everywhere. Everyone was wearing a diamond except me!

So I suspect that this Baby Explosion thing is just the Volvo/Engagement Ring Phenomenon of my late 20s.

 

Well, Internet, now it is your turn to weigh in on these and other weighty topics. I do hope you’ll stop in the comments section and say hello. But even if you choose to navigate away from this nonsense in deep disgust, I wish you a very happy Monday and a lovely week.

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