Wednesday, December 7, 2011

39 and 364 days

Today is the last day of my 30s and it seems like I should commemorate that somehow. Do something essentially 30ish. Unfortunately, I have no idea what that would be. I'd kinda like to muster up a mid-life crisis for you, it would give me something to write about. Finally.

Alas, I'm pretty satisfied. I got nothing to prove.

Ask me again tomorrow. Maybe 40 will be filled with juicy blogging torment.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Checking in

At my old job I had tons of down time. Literally, metaphorically, spiritually.... Lots of time to blog. But now I've got this great new job, and I'm busy and happy. At the risk of sounding like I've been recently brainwashed, at this new job, I don't want to do anything but work while I'm at work. I like it that much. And I used to always think people were lying when they said stuff like that.

So, a synopsis of the past month:
I got this new job, Eric surprised me with a trip for my upcoming big birthday-that-contains-a-zero. We're going to Hilton Head. I haven't been on a real vacation for like, seven years. My ex got married last week, it was super awesome to see the pictures all over Facebook. My mom sold her house in Wisconsin and is looking for places here. I can't wait to exploit her for babysitting. The end.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Four-year-olds get it.

If you ask Meredith how our dog, Lincoln, died, she will tell you that he ate a bee.
(He died from a tumor in his spleen.)

If you ask her how her grampa died, she will tell you that aliens came down in a space ship and scared him to death.
(He had a heart attack.)

I would like to be able to believe how she believes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Big News

I finally got a new job. It's with the school district, so the benefits are great and the pay is bad, and I'm super excited because I get to be all organizey and creative and I will probably even get to write some.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


So. That pie in the face from the universe? Yeah.

When I got to work that day and checked in on all my stalking social media sites, there was a Facebook post from an old high school friend about a job at his company. I jumped on it. At first it seemed like it was going to be the solution to all my problems, but now it seems to have fizzled out. F-word.

But something life-changing did happen to me that day. Have you heard about Levi's and how they have this new "Curve ID" system with their jeans for people like me, who have smallish waists and biggish bums whose jeans always gap at the waist, or just plain slide off?  I was curious, if a bit skeptical, so I went to the Levi's store at the Mall of America that night to try some on. And you guys, these jeans are my butt's holy grail. The "bold curve" fits my waist and my hips. And they come in different inseams too. So they fit my waist and my hips and my short legs! I swear to Garp, this has never happened before.

So yeah. My life changed on that day.  I now own two pairs of jeans that fit me. Not quite the change I was hoping for, but better than a sharp stick in the eye.

All those other things? I still don't know.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Message

I haven't been around here much lately. Well, I've been here, but my mind has been elsewhere. (I love that word: elsewhere. It's right up there with nevertheless. ) Worrying about Stella and Kelly, getting the kids ready for school, job hunting and feeling sorry for myself seem to be occupying all my brain space these days. I've been in a funk. Anxious about finding a job before my health benefits run out, wondering where to put the money I'm going to get soon, sure I'm going to make the wrong decision. My brain's tied up in knots.

So this morning, I dropped the kids off at their dad's for the weekend and as I was driving away this song was playing on the radio.

This is one of those songs that, when you hear it by chance, you're supposed to stop and look around you and see what kind of message the universe is sending you. And pay attention. And then act.

So I'm sitting at the light on a ridge looking out over the valley - at Valleyfair, it always seems like Brigadoon on foggy mornings like this, an amusement park, shrouded in mist, appears before you from another world - and the kind of car that I've been thinking about buying with some of the money turns in toward me from the left. Is this what the universe is trying to tell me? I should go ahead and buy this car? It's got all wheel drive and would be safer in the winter, and the automatic transmission would make my torturous daily commute a little less painful. (What kind of an idiot buys a stick shift car when they spend two hours a day in stop and go traffic on a four lane highway? This kind, right here.)

Or maybe I'm being given a sign that one of the jobs I applied for this week is going to work out. Maybe I'll get the call today. So I'm sticking with that thought as the light turns green and I pull out onto Flying Cloud Drive, which would be such a nice name for a road if I didn't have to drive on it so early every morning, when a garbage truck roars past and cuts me off. I pull into the other lane, still meditating on what message I'm being sent.

Suddenly, a piece of garbage flies off the top of the truck and whirls toward me. I flinch, it's round and metallic - am I about to be beheaded by a hurling hub cap? No time to react, I hold my breath, watching as it whips in the wind and shoots straight for my windshield - SPLAT. It is a pie tin. Pie residue spatters across my car and I realize as I exhale and turn on the wipers that the universe just got my attention and then threw a pie in my face.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For Stella

I'm not really religious. At all. But my friends just had a baby, born with a heart defect and in critical condition. And there's nothing I can do, but I feel like I need to do something, so I pray. I don't know if I'm praying to God, or rather, begging the universe to just this once not let the worst happen.

Please let Stella be OK.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Mom retired from teaching this year and is putting her house on the market so there's been a major purge of books from her house: kid books and grown up books. Lucky us. Everything from Plato to Alice Hoffman. It's like a bookstore barfed on my stairs.

I've got a hot date with some bookshelves this weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where I'm From

I am from homemade bread, from Campbell's Soup Kids cups and goats' milk.
I am from an overgrown log cabin with cattle skulls nailed above the door - drafty and crooked, and clay grit in the carpet.
I am from sticky jack pine sap and peeling birch tees, the island in the river, and mini bikes tearing through the hills. From the fire tower and the woodpile and the attic of the barn.
I am from reading together on the floor, dinner in front of the TV and dogs in my bed.
I am from Tolkien and Millay and The Beatles.
I am from sarcasm and silliness and tickling until you cry.
From sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never harm you. (But they will.)
I am from bitter, lapsed catholicism and the hole that it left.
I'm from names with too many consonants that cannot be pronounced, sauerkraut and sausage for Thanksgiving and oyster stew on Christmas Eve.
From the Tet Offensive and a Bronze Star, from freezing toes in too small shoes and learning to knit in Mexico, from the cold, snow-bound winter with no water when we all had the flu.
I am from a folded flag, battered records and books that have been moved a hundred times, ancient and fragile glassware, and a creaky family album that still smells like home.
I am from all the stories that I have yet to hear.

(from here, via Elly)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Plot

You know that storyline in TV, or is it movies? Both I guess, but mostly movies. Anyway there's this hapless schmuck who just wants to do right by his family, but he's just beaten down by the man, humiliated, and he can't catch a break no matter how much he tries and then finally he snaps and turns to a life of crime?


(except the he's a she me.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Vampire Sex

Just like the youth of today, when I was a teen, I was obsessed with vampires. Because before Twilight, there was Anne Rice, and then Buffy and Angel and I ate that shit up like crazy. Immortality. Yes, please. And pale, perfect skin too, of course. What goth girl doesn't wish for that? The idea that a vampire dude could live for hundreds of years and eat thousands of girls and then pick you to want to boink instead of kill? That, my friends, makes you special. And I wanted to be special.

And so when I started watching True Blood, I was kind of expecting it to be the same. Romantic and darkly beautiful. It's not. Don't get me wrong. I love the show. It's campy and gory and it sucks you in. (Get it? Sucks?) But it all changed for me last night as we were watching an episode from last season where Sookie and Bill are having shower sex, and he bites her and the camera pans down her body as the blood mixes with the water running down her skin. And instead of thinking of hot vampire whoopy all I can think is, "That looks like menstrual blood running down her thigh on a heavy flow day."

And poof. I no longer think vampires are sexy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

To my fellow bloggers:

When I'm feeling quiet (a gentler word than blocked) and I have nothing to blog about, I don't like to look at my site. It just sort of sits there looking back at me and says, "Yeah? Whaddaya got to say now, smartypants?" And then I mutter an incomprehensible excuse and go check twitter. And when I don't write, I don't read. Cause you all live on my blogger dashboard, see?  So please don't think I'm breaking up with your blogs, OK? We're just on a break.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

But words can never harm me?

I think I've finally realized why I'm having such a hard time finding a new job. It's simple really: I am a complete retard when I get nervous, and I get terrible fear-induced verbal diarrhea during interviews.

The interview at the educational management company? When the guy asked me if I had any experience in an education setting, instead of answering a simple and honest, "No",  Wanda McWordvomit made sure to tell him that my mother, sister-in-law, and several of my aunts are teachers. Um?...

The interview at the super conservative health benefits corporation? Asshat Dorkington III used an ingenious metaphor involving the use of meth to describe how I work under pressure.

Finally, out of frustration and hormones, at the interview I had last week at a financial planner's office, I decided to just say fuck it and be myself and tell the honest truth. Which was mostly working out until he asked me that dreaded question that comes up in every interview, "What is your greatest weakness?" (Eric, usually my biggest cheerleader, actually admitted to a face palm when I emailed him to tell him that I had been honest in answering that question too.) Princess Spazzyslacks  is a terrible procrastinator.

But this is all good, right? The more of these disastrous interviews I have the more things I learn not to say. At this rate I should be interview safe in no time. At my next one I plan to bring up this blog. I bet that'll land me a great job.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


You know that angry post I did last week? I took it down. For a couple reasons. First, it was a poorly written rant that made me sound like a loon, and second.. no, that's about it.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Most of the weddings I've done have been for friends, or friends of friends, or friends of friends of friends. But this one was for my friend's aunt, and so, the first one I've done for someone of a different generation. She chose much more conservative flowers than I normally do, but I think they turned out pretty well.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bad Ass

It makes me feel like an old lady to even say the word sciatica. But I have it.
Bad ass sciatica.
Bad. Ass sciatica.
Last night, Eric gave me acupuncture to try to ease my ass ache.

Do you SEE the length of this needle? I can't show you a picture of it in use, cause, well, it was in my butt. But trust me. That thing was stuck all the way in.

*** In my butt cheek, you guys. Jeez.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Listfullness part 2

My thoughts are scattered. I will dump some more of them here for you in hopes that they congeal.

1. We're leaving for Texas tomorrow and I have just developed a nice shiny new head cold/allergy that should make that whole air pressure-ear popping adventure a treat.

2. I am wearing strappy gold sandals to the wedding on Saturday which will look awesome with my hippie walking shoe tan lines I've been working on all spring. I hope to draw attention away from what looks like the cover of Def Leppard Trapper Keeper design by painting my toenails this color.

It's from their Texas color line. So... duh.
3. I've been thinking about my dad a lot lately. Father's day is coming up, as is his birthday. I used to always feel put upon that I had to get him two gifts in one week. He was a total kid about presents and would pout if he didn't get something for every occasion. Even though he often forgot my birthday and tried to sneak in a belated "This is your birthday/Christmas present" thing. His brothers and sisters are planning a reunion in Tacoma this summer. I want to go. I don't know if my bank account can swing it.

4. I've jumped through four of the hoops to get that corporatey corporate job that I was telling you about.

5. Have I ever told you how much I hate to fly? With the pressure of being the queen of following rules to the letter to the point of ridiculousness so that I don't get stopped by security and holding the airplane in the air with the power of my clenched butt cheeks and Hail Marys, it's exhausting.

6. I am allergic to sunscreen.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


There are things I could write about. Goings-on. But I am feeling uninspired and listless. And we all know that the only cure for listlessness is to add more list. Listfullness.

1. Eric and I went on a spur-of-the-moment road trip to The Badlands and Deadwood and The Blackhills. It was majestic and campy and fun. We each gained five pounds on the trip because all there is to eat in South Dakota is beef.

2. So You Think You Can Dance is back on. Equal parts cringey and cry-y. I cannot look away.

3. I am job hunting again. Interviewing with a giant corporatey corporation with a twelve step interview process. Is this a job I even want?

4. I had a meeting at Lucas's school at which I was told that Lucas is very smart, and sweet, with a high IQ, but he's way behind in school because he cannot sit still or pay attention and words like behavioral therapy and medication were tossed around quite a bit. Because the universe has decided that having one eccentrically non-conformist child was just not enough for me.

5. Eric and I will be off again next week to a wedding of a high school friend of his in Laredo, Texas. I have a funny story about the last time I was in Laredo. The time when I was 21 and my mom and I had gone on a road trip to visit friends in Mexico and when we were coming back across the border at Laredo, we got stopped by border patrol and our car was searched and then the drug sniffing dog went ballistic in it and they couldn't find anything even after they dismantled half the car and did body searches on Mom and me. Because there was nothing to find. Honest. But I always thought the funniest part of the whole thing was when the lady guard was feeling me up looking for - for whatever she was looking for - she said, "You're not wearing a bra?!!" Like she was totally scandalized at my impropriety and wantonness.

6. My home internet has been out since all those storms hit Minneapolis last week and knocked our power out for a few minutes and I spent a very long time on the phone last night with Comcast who then transferred me to Buffalo, the manufacturer of my router and after another very long time on the phone with them restarting my computer and reconfiguring my router, I was suddenly disconnected. And I couldn't call them back because I had been transferred to them by Comcast and I was irrationally super mad. And also? Why do IT people never know anything about Macs?

7. I am doing the flowers for a wedding in a few weeks. Something I'm normally really into. But with all the other stuff going on right now I haven't planned anything for it yet. The bride is probably totally stressed and thinking that I am going to flake out on her. I'm not. It will be awesome. This is something that I am good at. I just also happen to be excellent at procrastination.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Not now, maybe later

I would like very much to tell you about our trip but I'm all ouched and tired and cranky right now.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yesterday Blew

The check engine light came on in my car.
I found out I didn't get the job I have been hoping for.
My hairstylist interpreted my quip about not wanting "mom hair" to mean I wanted to look like Kristen Stewart in The Runaways.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I can't think of title for this.

It's weird to have two kids, one adopted, one not. I tend to analyze the nature vs. nurture thing all the time.  And I question myself and my motives. Do I treat them differently? Do I love them differently?  Lucas is often a mystery to me. Is it because he's a boy? Or because he's an oddball six year old, or is it some deep biological bond that I just don't have with him? Do I relate better to Merry because I grew her with my lady bits? I don't know.

The other day, Lucas was looking at a poster that he had brought home from his week of being the superstar in his kindergarten class. It had pictures of him and his sister and his pets and a map, showing where he was born, Guatemala, and where he lives now, Minneapolis. And he goes, "I wish we could go to Guatemala. I miss my parents."

Lucas has no memory of his birth parents. And I know what he said is just his way of processing the understanding that I didn't give birth to him, and there is someone else out there in the world who did, but man, ouch! And of course, I knew this was coming. Just like I can probably count on at least one teenage tantrum with him yelling, "You're not my real mom!" Probably several. But I was really surprised by how much it hurt.

I had to go in the bathroom and cry a little.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Up until now I have been kind of tiptoeing around the fact that I am trying to find a new job. The one I have now is soul-crushing and toxic and oh my god! it bores me to tears. I've worked there as long as I have because I pass my insecurity off as laziness and apathy. I tell myself that it's easier to work where I do than it is to job search and change everything. But really? I never finished college. And job hunting without a degree makes you feel like a leper. Even though I honestly have my shit together, work wise. You should totally hire me.

Anyway. There's this job that I first interviewed for back in March. I never heard back. But then a few weeks ago, they called me to tell me that they had hired someone else for that position but that now they had another opening for a similar position. I interviewed for that one and I thought it went well. He said he would be traveling a lot over the next few days but that he would be making his decision by the next week. So when that week came and went, I assumed that again, I hadn't gotten the job. Then a few days later, I received an email from him asking me when I could start, if I were hired. And then another week went by. Nothing. And then yesterday he sent me another email to ask when I would be available for a phone conversation. He never called me, but later in the day he did send me an application form so they could call my references. And again, I am waiting to hear back. Or not.

(Dude really needs to hire me because he is in obvious, desperate need of an assistant.)

All of this is really just an especially long winded excuse for why I haven't been blogging lately. It's distracting the fuck out of me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Talk to Me

If there's anything funnier than my daughter singing along with this song in her car seat, I don't know what it is.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lucas, photographer

It took me several minutes to figure out that this is shot of Merry's dollhouse

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sad Sandwich

When someone dies, after the initial grief, when you go back to your daily life and new problems arise and are solved and things just keep going you don't always remember what you've lost. And then...

Lucas asked me for a peanut butter and pickle sandwich the other day. Something I've never eaten and don't know where he got the idea for. And I thought to myself, Dad will get a kick out of that. He loves those and it's practically the only meal he ever makes for himself.

But he won't. And he doesn't. And he's gone.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm just like I dunno. Ya know?

There has been much internet slacking lately on my part. The outdoors and books and stuff have been dragging me away, I guess. So here's a little update.

We had a nice weekend, taking the kids to an Arbor Day celebration at a park and getting some seedlings to plant -- then going home and realizing I have nowhere to put them. I mean three hemlocks and a sugar maple? There will be no yard left.

Then a nice Mother's Day with pineapple upside down cake and sweet gifts from Eric and the kids. I had joked with Lucas while we were watching TV and one of those horrible jewelry store commercials came on that I expected a Mother's Day diamond. Boy has a killer memory, and knew that I wanted a "gem", so he picked out a pretty amethyst geode at the rock store for me.

And as for that other thing? I still don't know.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Yesterday morning, as I was sitting at my desk, putting the finishing touches on the spreadsheet that I had been working on for three days, the art director came to me and asked me if I wanted to be a model.

Finally. Just like that, I was discovered.

Of course, I said yes.

I was whisked away to the photo studio where I was shown my wardrobe: a large men's shirt, jeans, a big black rubber apron, bright green rubber gloves, safety glasses and men's size 10 rubber boots. I felt like a princess. And then came make up, my hair tied into a messy knot on top of my head and water from a spray bottle on my forehead to make me look sweaty. How lucky am I? Every girl dreams of this, right?

So as I was put into the shot, handed my mop and given my direction -- Look pissed. Look like you hate your job. Look like you're tired and your back aches and you're disgusted with this and you're about to quit -- everything that I've learned from Tyra after watching all those seasons of America's Next Top Model ran through my head. I threw myself into the part. I modeled H to T (head to toe) and I smized (smiled with my eyes.) I extended my neck and I pointed my toes and I became a manual laborer who is sick and tired of stripping the wax off of these floors using this old and outdated equipment. Tyra would have been so proud of me.

And as I stood there for three long hours, with my (actually) aching back and my hands sweating in the giant rubber gloves, shot after shot, turn your chin to the left a little, no, too much. There. Now look mad, it became easier and easier.

Everybody said I was a natural.

I just can't wait to see my face in a magazine. Look for me soon in such glamorous publications as Cleaning and Maintenance Management and Today's Facility Manager.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Weekend

It was a busy weekend, with Eric going to World Tai Chi day event on Saturday morning while I busily parked myself on the couch with a book, and then attending a benefit that evening where he was singing with his band. Which? Leave it to me to not realize until an hour before we left that benefits are generally fancy affairs. People pay $75 for a ticket to a party and they are going to use that as an excuse to dress the fuck up. I was underdressed. But Eric had the ladies flashing their hoohaws at him by evening's end. My boyfriend's such a rockstar.

Sunday, Eric dragged me to the May Day parade. I generally avoid these events. I'm a little too cynical to really throw myself into the spirit of hippies cramming their political message down my throat with puppets, especially since we sat on the curb for over three hours in 35 degree weather. But there were highlights (the dogs) and I ended up enjoying it in spite of myself. Eric posted a bunch of pictures.

Everybody think good thoughts for me, please. I had another one of those things which must not be named on the internet on Friday and OMG. I. want. it.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

Amanda asked me for my chili recipe, which I would be happy to share, if I had one. I make it up every time, and it's never the same. But this is the gist of it:

Put one package of Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles, one diced onion, enough cut up carrots and celery to fill your two hands cupped together each, and a glob of that garlic that comes already cut up in a jar into a big stock pot with some olive oil.

Saute them for a while.

Add one can of black beans (drain these just enough so the clear liquid is gone but the brown stuff is still in there), one can of kidney beans (drained) and one big can of diced tomatoes.

Then you're going to want to put some veggie broth in there. I usually just throw in one of those cubes of bullion and then enough water so it looks like chili. I dunno how much that is, maybe two cups?

This part's super scientific: add some salt, some pepper, a lot of chili powder, and some cumin. Just until it tastes right. Sometimes I also add a little balsamic vinegar, if I have it around. This isn't a spicy chili recipe because I need little kids to eat it.

Now let it simmer for a while, ten or twenty minutes, depending on how hungry you are.

Then, a few minutes before you want to eat it, throw in one chunk of unsweetened baker's chocolate. Make sure it all melts before you serve it though, because a mouthful of still solid-chocolate is usually a good thing, but a bit of a surprise in chili.

Serve it with tortilla chips and shredded cheese.


Thursday, April 28, 2011


Lucas's dad says he's going to create a font based on his handwriting.
It's sure to be the next Comic Sans.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Here's another meme for you. I stole it from The Sweetest.

A. Age: If I stand on a chair, I can see my fortieth birthday.
B. Bed size: Slightly too small for two adults and two dogs.
C. Chore you dislike: I will let the garbage overflow onto the floor before I take it out.
D. Dogs: I have a pit bull named Lydia. Plus Eric's collie, Princess Cassandra Louis LaPorte.
E. Essential start to your day: I sit in the shower and drink coffee. Really.
F. Favorite color: It changes all the time. Lately its dark teal.
G. Gold or silver: I'm going to assume we're talking about jewelry here, and not currency. Either way, I guess, both.
H. Height: My doctor's office says I'm 5’3″, but I've been saying 5'2" my whole life. 
I. Instruments you play(ED): I was allowed to play the xylophone once in fourth grade.
J. Job title: Advertising administrative coordinator. Jealous?
K. Kids: I have one adopted son, one biological daughter and two sort-of step sons.
L. Live: In a house. 
M. Mom’s name: Susan, but her mom calls her Susie, which I love.
N. Nicknames: Nope.  
O. Overnight hospital stays: Once for a broken wrist when I was 13, once with Lucas when he was mis-diagnosed with a heart problem, and then when Merry was born.
P. Pet peeves: When commercials use cartoon versions of the animals whose meat they are advertising.
Q. Quote from a movie: It's okay. I'm a leaf on the wind.
R. Righty or Lefty: Hands or politics? I'm right handed.
S. Siblings: I have one big brother.
T. Time you wake up: 6ish if the kids are at my house. 7ish if they're not.
U. Underwear: Usually.
V. Vegetables you don’t like: Cooked green peppers. I love them raw.
W. What makes you run late: Very little. I am obsessively on time.
X. X-rays you’ve had: Above mentioned wrist. Teeth.
Y. Yummy food you make: Vegetarian chili.
Z. Zoo Animal Favorites: The monkeys and the prairie dogs.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dyngus Day

It's a thing. Really.

It's the Polish* celebration of Easter Monday. Something about pouring water on the girl of your fancy and then smacking her with a stick.

It's a big deal where I'm from in Indiana. But it's more about eating sausage and drinking beer than assault there.

*I come from a long line of people with last names containing lots of consonants. Especially Zs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A rose by any other blah blah blah..

While we're on the subject of nomenclature and its impact on reinvention and getting off your ass, have you guys ever heard of the website, It's a site that uses math and science, and I'm assuming a Magic 8 Ball, to tell you what your name will turn you into. Which? That's all fine and good, but damage done, right? I can't go back in time and make my mom unname me Elizabeth. 

(I will, however, admit to using this to help me decide what to name my kids. I'm not proud. Their dad was no help.)

My name's Elizabeth, and that's what I'll say if you ask me, but my family has always called me Beth. It looks like maybe I should get off my high Victorian horse and go with the shorter version.
Your name of Elizabeth contributes sensitive, creative, and idealistic qualities to your nature that could be expressed in a variety of literary or artistic fields.
You desire harmony and refinement in your environment and in all your personal associations.
 Although mentally quick and intuitive in recognizing the thoughts and feelings of others, you experience a lack of fluency in verbal expression in responding. Although the name Elizabeth creates the urge to understand others, we stress that it limits self-expression and self-confidence causing moods.
 This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the fluid systems, heart, lungs and bronchial area. 
Because here's what they have to say about Beth:
The name of Beth brings opportunities for success in business and financial accumulation.
 It fires you with ambition and promotional ideas, ideas that are original, progressive, and large-scale.
 With this name, success to you is a foregone conclusion, for you cannot conceive any reason for not reaching all your goals, as you have self-sufficiency, supreme confidence, boundless energy, and enthusiasm.
 As long as you have a sense of freedom from monotony and drudgery, and can see progress being made, you feel buoyant and optimistic.However, obstacles and frustration can give rise to feelings of impatience, intolerance, and depression.
 The ever-present desire to progress does not allow you proper relaxation or the proper expression of the softer feminine qualities of sympathy, encouragement, and affection.
 Others may see you as rather shrewd and calculating. Although the name Beth causes an active mind and a restless urge to explore new ideas, we emphasize that it causes a materialistic approach that frustrates higher humanitarian qualities.
 This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the solar plexus and reproductive organs. 
Mostly, it's fun to plug in your friends' names and then tease them about it.
The name of Eric creates a very aggressive and independent nature, one with big ambitions, giving you original, progressive, large-scale ideas, salesmanship and promotional ability as well as the excellent business judgment which enables you to gain the financial accumulation to which you feel entitled. You have a versatile, restless nature, and could do any job well, although you would not like to do menial tasks.You are seldom satisfied and are always seeking something new. Although the name Eric causes an active mind and a restless urge to explore new ideas, we emphasize that it causes an unscrupulous, materialistic approach that frustrates higher humanitarian qualities. This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the solar plexus and reproductive organs.
I don't know about his solar plexus, but there's nothing wrong with his "organs".

What does it say about you?

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    B is for Ballsy?

    Screw Easter resolutions. I figured out the ultimate way to veer out of the rut that I have been stuck in.

    I will become a different person. And it's as easy as one simple email to my lawyer. I am no longer Elizabeth H, I am Elizabeth B. While Elizabeth H was prone to daydreaming, staring into the middle-distance and boredom snacking, Elizabeth B is whip smart, perky and go getter. Watch out for Elizabeth B, she's going places.

    It's true that this name isn't entirely new to me, but I was 23 years old the last time I was her, and I aim to reclaim all her youth and potential. (It'd be super nice if I could reclaim her dress size while I was at it.)

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011


    It's been a super long time since I've had a book to read that I can't wait to get back to. A book that I try to think of sneaky ways to read, like behind an engineering magazine at work, while my kids are taking a bath, at long red lights in traffic. I just can't escape my nerd roots, because only a couple chapters in I am loving The Name of the Wind.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    There's such a thing as Easter resolutions, right?

    Now that the week of Merry is over and she has successfully turned four, and now that the weekend of laziness and gluttony is over and I have successfully gained four pounds, I can get back to my normal blogging schedule of half-hearted daily observations and woolgathering.


    Perhaps, instead, I could treat this Passover/Easter/Beltane as a New Year part II, and make summore resolutions (cause that worked out so well in January.) But I'm not going to call them resolutions, because resolutions are easily dismissed and forgotten. I'm going to call them wants; wishes seems too passive.

    So while I dance around the Spring bonfire Sunday night (unless someone puts Pixies tickets in my Easter basket), roasting pink chick Peeps, burning effigies of Winter, and telling my children stories about Nice Zombie Jesus and his egg-loving rabbit sidekick, I will whisper these wants into the flames.

    I want to try to tackle some of those house and yard projects that I've been putting off since Eric entranced me with his come-hither eyes and his lookit-my-manliness muscles two years ago and hypnotized me into spending my weekends playing with him instead of getting stuff done. (Hi Puddin! I'm quite fond of you.) 

    I want to read more. I miss books and I'm happier when I'm reading. (I went to the book store this weekend and stocked up.) 

    And I want to plan a vacation. A real get on an airplane and go somewhere nice but not because someone is getting married vacation. I'll figure out how to pay for it later.

    And although I do not want to, I will, grudgingly, make some of those icky doctor appointments I have been putting off for way too long. I desperately need to go to the chiropractor, the dentist, the lady bits doctor and probably, if I'm honest with myself, the emotion doctor. I mean, really? How long can I go around being alternately weepy and bitchy while waving the PMS flag fifteen days out of every month? That is either not PMS or someone set my PMS switch to overdrive, and I need to get the reset button pushed. And I need to do all of this tout de suite, while I still have health insurance... and speaking of that...

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    The Cat

    Last night while we were making dinner Eric went to take out the recycling and found a cat. In the recycling bin. Someone had wrapped a cat up in a blanket and stuffed it in there. Like, to kill it. He called me out there, and of course, the kids followed. We got it out and it just kind of hung out by us, obviously nervous, but not wild. Dirty, stunned, but otherwise healthy looking. A full grown cat, declawed. White with orange spots. A house cat.

    I thought of Tara's story about trying to help the feral cat and ending up in the ER and cautioned the kids not to touch it, but Eric had not read Tara's blog and so, of course, did not know the risks. He picked it up. It did not bite him. I ran in the house to get it something to eat, my mind going a hundred miles an hour.

    I love cats.
    I am allergic to cats.
    We have two dogs.
    I was not going to just leave that poor cat to fend for itself in the mean suburban streets.
    How the fuck did it get in there?
    Who would do that?

    I came out with some left over fish sticks and did the "Here kitty kitty kitty" thing. It ran right up to me. Sniffed the fish. Decided to chew on some day lilies instead. I told Lucas he could pet it, but not to pick it up. It did the head butt, roll over on the ground move of a cat that has been petted a lot and knows the routine. Lucas was already begging to keep it.

    I figured we could keep it in the garage over night and then decide what to do.  So Eric opened the garage door and I picked it up and carried it in. It had started to squirm in my arms and I was still a little nervous about the potential biting so I quickly put it down, but as soon as Eric started to close the door it darted off, down the driveway and across the street and away. Probably back to the house it came from.

    I can only hope that it was not a person in that house that stuffed it in the garbage in the first place. And I hope that whoever it was who did it burns eternally in a special hell surrounded by my cat urine scented recycling.


    I just had another thought. Eric said that the cat was stuffed in the bin in a weird angle all crumpled up. Just lying there blinking at him. Now, from what I know about cats, that doesn't seem right. Cats will twist themselves and scramble in every direction to right themselves. I wonder if, whoever put the cat in the garbage thought it was dead. Like it was stunned or unconscious, maybe hit by a car or something. So they wrapped it up in the blanket and put it in there.

    By still, why my recycling?


    I hope he's OK.


    Great. Now I'm thinking that my recycling bin is some sort of Stephen King's Pet Cemetaryesque life-recycling bin. I always thought it was a little creepy the way I've never, in the more than three years that I've lived here, gotten a bill for garbage collection.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Say Cheese

    Lest you think that I only post pictures of Merry here because I love her more, I give you this. Lucas is a beautiful child, but unfortunately, he's going through that stage in life where he does not know how to smile naturally for the camera. (I'm expecting to grow out of that stage any day now myself.) 
    Today is picture day at his school, so I told him to practice his smile for me this morning. This was the best one.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011


    Today is Meredith's birthday. She is this crazy, charming little tyrant who pops in and out of my week, making me laugh and making me crazy. I only see her half the time. It's always been that way. But I think about them both and miss them all the time.

    (It's killing me.)

    It's her dad's day today. So I'm taking a half-day off of work to go pick her up from school and whisk her away for some special birthday stuff.

    Monday, April 11, 2011


    Despite the forlorn look on her face, she was actually thrilled with her new gun (and the watch, and the shoes.)

    Her big brother was very very jealous and kept trying to trick her into giving him the gun.

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    There Will be Snacks

    This song makes me think of the people in my computer who visit me here, whose blogs I read, whose lives I follow, who I cyber-stalk.

    i know we're going to meet some day 
    in the crumbled financial institutions of this land
    there will be tables and chairs
    there'll be pony rides and dancing bears
    there'll even be a band
    cause listen, after the fall there will be no more countries
    no currencies at all, we're gonna live on our wits
    we're gonna throw away survival kits,
    trade butterfly-knives for adderal
    and that's not all
    ooh-ooh, there will be snacks there will
    there will be snacks, there will be snacks.
    - from Tables and Chairs, Andrew Bird

    My mom's coming to town and we are throwing Merry's 4th birthday party at the bowling alley tomorrow. Yay!
    So. Have a good weekend everyone.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Proud Parenting Moments

    My kids have no tact. I guess, what kids do? But they've been known to blurt out super embarrassing and potentially hurtful things to people on a fairly regular basis. Lucas told his uncle that he had "bald hair" and Merry told me the other day that she thought her dad had a baby in his tummy because, well, you know.

    So we're sitting on the couch and Lucas reaches over and pokes me in the belly. "Mom, you've got a big..." And I stopped him right there and gave him a good pms fueled lecture about never saying things like that to people because it hurts their feelings and blah blah blah.

    A little bit later, as I was taking a shower, Lucas came into the bathroom.

    "Mom, I have to tell you something."

    "What's that?"

    He pokes his head around the shower curtain. "You look really nice, even without clothes on."

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Note to Self

    When the person who has known you longer and, arguably, better than anyone else on the planet, who has watched, wincing, as you made countless bad decisions with her lips sealed, who cheered you on when you dyed your hair pink in high school, who oohed and aahed over your first tattoo, who could count on one hand the times that she has given you advice, the person with whom you share a remarkable number of physical traits; when that person, your mother, tells you not to cut bangs, you should listen to her.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Wishes Can Come True

    Guess which little girl asked her mom for a pink gun for her birthday.

    Guess which little girl is getting her birthday wish.

    Wake Up

    More new 50 Foot Wave.

    This is a good way to start today.

    Thursday, March 31, 2011

    April Fool

    Today is the last day of March. And while most people are scheming and planning the pranks that they will play on their loved ones and co-workers tomorrow, I am planning how to avoid them. I hate practical jokes with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I think it's mostly because they work really well on me. It's because I am so trusting. So literal. So gullible. Plus, I startle easily.

    And so tomorrow I will spend the entire day on Joke Alert: threat level fuchsia.

    I will not believe anything anyone says to me all day, nomatterwhat.
    I will double and triple check all chairs before I sit on them.
    I will look in my shoes before I put them on.
    I will walk through all doorways very very slowly.
    I will not put any condiments that have not been in my possession all day on any of my meals.
    I will be hyper-aware of everyone's facial expressions. If your eye is twitching even a tiny bit, like you might be holding in a smile while you are talking to me, I will probably just turn and walk away from you.

    Picture me stumbling through my day, hollow-eyed, shivering and muttering to myself. Must not be gullible... must keep guard up... never relax.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    In the Eye of the Beholder

    I've heard* a lot of people complaining recently about how everyone is taking pictures with their hipstamatic filters on their phones and calling it art. Kind of like how, when I was working at the art supply store in college, women would come in with fabric swatches from their couches and buy six pots of acrylic to match their decor and a canvas and go to town with their sponge brushes. I'm sure that none of those pieces ended up hanging in the National Gallery. But who really cares? It's about making things that make you happy.

    My Hipstamatic pictures though? High art.

    *read on twitter

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    My Impending Brilliance

    I've been slacking here this week. I've had a headache since Monday and now I have an earache. I'm pretty sure I have a brain tumor. But I hear that having a brain tumor can make you really smart (right before it kills you.) At least that's what happens on TV. That's where I get most of my medical knowledge: doctor shows.

    But apparently, that's not a reliable way to diagnose yourself. I know because when I was in the operating room having a c-section, right as they were about to slice open my abdomen and pull out a tiny tiny baby, I asked all the doctors in the room if doctors watch doctor shows on TV. The answer was a resounding, "NO! They're so dumb and unrealistic. Except for Scrubs. That one's funny. Congratulations, it's a girl."

    I also once knew a forensic scientist who couldn't say enough bad stuff about shows like CSI.

    But you know what? I work in an office. An advertising office. That doesn't stop me from watching shows like Mad Men or, you know, The Office. I don't watch those shows, but not because they're not realistic. I have completely different emotional issues that prevent me from enjoying them. But that's a story for another time. Or never, because, really? How high do I want to fly my neurotic flag?

    But the point is: This brain tumor thing is going to make me really smart, or give me super powers any day now. So bear with me here. This blog may become brilliant at any moment.

    But just in case it doesn't, I've created a tumblr page. I haven't posted a single thing there yet. I don't even really know how it works. But I discovered a few people using it to blog that I needed to follow and you have to have an account to follow people and it's all very confusing. So, someday you might find me at

    Or my chiropractor will get back from vacation, crack my neck, cure my headache and I will go back to pain-free mediocrity.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    New Bed

    Finally. No more propping the bottom of the bed up with bricks. No more rolling toward the center. A real grown-up bed.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Things I am currently geeking out about, Part 2


    Things I am currently geeking out about, Part 1

    A couple of my nerdy D&D friends (thanks Horton, thanks Squeeks) introduced these books to me a few years ago and I ate them up like so many bags of dill pickle potato chips.  They're currently being made into a series for HBO.

    I don't have HBO.


    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Night Cap

    This is Lydia and me in another life, I think. And why I didn't sleep well last night.
    I am a pit bull's pillow.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    And, through and over everything, A sense of glad awakening.

    It was 50 degrees here yesterday and so for the first time in months, I wolfed down my lunch, crammed my earbuds in and set out on my lunch hour walk through the office park. I was listening to a new audiobook as I slipped on the icy spots, detoured around snow boulders and slogged through 20 foot wide puddles.

    A phrase in the book caught my attention. Something about a triangle of a family... I don't remember exactly. And an idea for something I wanted to write started buzzing in the back of my head. But unfortunately, my attention was split between trying to follow the story line and trying not to fall on my ass in a puddle of half-frozen mud.

    When I tried to reconstruct the idea today, I had lost the thread and it ended up just sounding random. But my point is, spring is almost here. And with spring comes sunshine and sure-footedness.

    And then?

    Then I will be a force to be reckoned with.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    I'm stumped

    I feel like I need a teaching degree to help Lucas with his homework. No, not because the material's over my head.  Because he is alternately extremely stubborn and ridiculously distracted. And he gets frustrated so easily. That boy must. learn. to read.

    (He says he'd just as soon not.)

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    The Mary Poppins School of Plumbing Repair

    Nothing brings a couple together like shared toilet repair.

    Eric: "Do you think it's fixed?"
    Me: "I guess we have to wait till somebody poops and see if it all goes down."

    Both: (begin humming) "A Spoonful of Sugar"

    Monday, March 14, 2011


    Substances I like to dip saltines in:

    1. chocolate frosting
    2. applesauce
    3. tuna fish
    4. soup
    5. peanut butter & jelly
    6. banana pudding

    *not (generally) at the same time.

    Without You

    Dear the Internet,

    Oh, dearest the Internet, without you I would be lost. Without you I wouldn't have pictures of a the girl who sat across from me in 7th grade science's fourth wedding. I wouldn't know which celebrities were getting divorced and which ones were pregnant. I would be unaware of the music the cool kids are listening to and I would not be able to watch people running into walls on their skateboards. Without you, the Internet, I would not know which parts of my body I should be waxing and which parts I should be bleaching.

    But, the Internet, I'm afraid I have failed you. How could I be so careless as to neglect your obvious need to see my new haircut? To not update you on the non-event that I had last week? Oh, my the Internet, I do not deserve you. I didn't check my email or Facebook or Twitter all weekend. I didn't even once check the stats on my blog or post, or even read anyone else's posts. The Internet! How can I make this right?

    I will try to do better. Do you think you can forgive me?

    A peace offering:

    All my best,

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    In the Car

    Me: Oh my goodness, traffic is terrible, it's going to take forever to get home.

    Merry: Darnik! What a bitch!

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Most of my jobs have involved wood glue

    Tomorrow, I have one of those things that shall not be named on the internet, lest I tempt the gods and jinx myself. I learned my lesson last time, thank you very much. And for this thing that must not be named I have to look nice. Like I don't get dressed in the dark every morning.  Like my clothes aren't made of dog hair.

    Honestly, it would be easier to make new clothes from scratch than to try to scrape together something presentable from the stained, pilled, ill fitting pieces that are currently hanging in my closet.

    So I just up and bought my first suit.

    Who wants to take bets on how long till I find it smeared with peanut butter and being used as a dog bed?

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    New Song

    Kristin Hersh is kind of one of my heroes. I first heard Throwing Muses as a kid, and loved it. I talked about that here. Then she had a solo career. Which was awesome. She tells funny stories between her songs at shows and always has great opening acts. That's where I first heard Andrew Bird and Vic Chesnutt. And she wrote a book. About her music and being bipolar and being a pregnant teenager and recording her first album. It's funny and beautiful. But of all the things she's done, I think I love 50 Foot Wave the best. They have a new song out today.  I love it. It makes my blood feel bubbly.

    Go listen to it. It's free to stream or download. 

    * I am now ashamed of the quality of writing on this post, but I was all in a tizzy about the awesomeness, and couldn't be bothered to think of better adjectives.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    More about Hair

    I'm pretty sure the photo booth application on my macbook is my kids' favorite toy in the world. The second Merry sees me open my computer she is in my lap asking to watch streaming cartoons on Netflix or wanting to take pictures.

    But check it out. Remember this post where I told you about her hair pulling and resulting baldness? Look at that. A head full of hair and she even let me put pony tails in it for a couple hours. Unfortunately, since she's nearly four years old and has been bald up until a few months ago, the feeling of anything in her hair is too weird for her and she won't leave them in. But still, yay! Hair.

    Is my daughter cross-eyed?
    And that's me and my practice bangs behind her.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011


    I got an iphone a few months ago, my first smart phone. My first introduction to hand-held twitter and video games. Oh my goodness: those angry, angry birds. I cannot put it down. And, whether it's from being slightly far-sighted and squinting at the screen, or from making my concentratey face (basically the same thing) I have developed a nice new deep vertical wrinkle between my eyebrows.

    So I either need to start wearing low-slung sweat bands every day or get a new haircut with bangs, right?

    The other day, I'm trying it out in the mirror: taking the front section of my hair and twisting it under at eye level and then tucking it behind my ear. Practice bangs. I get it looking about right and then go out to my computer to take a picture of myself with photo booth. Because I will need to look at it for a few days to see if I like it.

    I remember really regretting it the last time I had bangs, like fifteen years ago, but I can't quite remember why and I don't have any pictures to remind me. Maybe it's because of my wicked cowlick that will give me mall claw bangs no matter how much I try to mash them down.

    Anyway, as I'm walking through the house to my desk, Lucas sees me and his eyes light up.

    "Mom! You look beautiful! Just like [Eric's ex-wife]."


    Monday, February 28, 2011

    And the award goes to me for...

    While we were watching the Oscars last night, Eric asked me if I were going to win an award at the Oscars, like, if in another life I became famous in the movies, what would it be for?

    Not acting. I'm a terrible actor as anyone who witnessed the debacle that was the one one act play that I performed in in high school can attest to. (That's a weird sentence, isn't it? One one and in in. But, yeah, I think that's what I meant to say.) In my head, I can see myself acting all serious and dramatic, but when it comes down to it, I can never keep a straight face.

    I also took one of those aptitude tests in high school that's supposed to tell you what line of work you should pursue. It told me I should be a TV/Movie Producer/Director. Somehow I don't see it. I don't think I'm bossy assertive enough for that.

    I'm tone deaf, so it wouldn't be for score or sound or anything like that. I don't even really understand what editing is. (insert joke about lack of editing my own blog here) And if you've ever seen me close up, you would know that make-up is out of the question too. I stumble over that line between clean skin and clown face every day.

    The first time I went to college, I majored in costume design. And then actually worked with a couple of small local theaters and costumed a few plays. I guess it could be for that. But I also briefly studied interior design, so maybe I could be a set decorator. But the designers at the awards shows are never wearing the beautiful, glamorous gowns, so it makes me think that those awards are somehow less awesome to win.

    But alas, in this life, it's just not to be. I guess I'll have to settle for both of my kids winning Oscars someday. Merry will be an actress. She's got that role down pat already. Lucas, I foresee, will be the next John Lassiter, animator and director. And they will both be all, "...and most of all I'd like to thank my mother, because she predicted all of this in her blog when I was 3, and then went all Joan Crawford-crazy-mom on me to make it happen."

    Friday, February 25, 2011


    My parents always called me Beth, but I've been thinking I'd like to jazz it up smidge. 

    Wikipedia lists 103 nicknames for Elizabeth. What do you think? Leezbeez? Zabs? Effy?

    Wait, Wizzy? Why do I get the feeling that Wikipedia is fucking with me here?

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Hand Me Down

    During the no man's land that was the year between the end of my marriage and the meeting of Eric, I dated a guy for a while who, in hindsight, I realize was a complete douche tube.

    He didn't like my friends, questioned my parenting, "borrowed" money from me, and stole my extended DVD of The Two Towers. I would write those months of my life off as a complete waste, if he hadn't also introduced me to this band.

    So last fall, they came to town and I dragged Eric along with me to see to see them. We snagged a table in the back so I could hide from the aforementioned douche, who was also there. As we were plotting ways that we could publicly humiliate him, Rachel Flotard from the band came up from behind me and hugged me. I was surprised and bemused, as was she, when she realized I wasn't who she thought I was.

    (I'm pretty sure she mistook me for Sara, a friend and former co-worker of mine who now works in the music industry- we have the same hair from the back.)

    No moral to this story. I like her. She smelled nice. And if we ever meet again we can talk about our dads. Hers was in the Local 638 Steamfitters Union. Mine was in the Local 126.