Oct. 31: Month in review

Later today, October will end. Here’s how I spent this month.

special days i celebrated this month and how:

  • Today is Halloween, and in our house, this year marks a bit of a change: Katie is going to the varsity football game instead of trick-or-treating. Is it possible that 2013 was her last year of traditional Halloween activities? It bums me out a little, but not a lot.
  • My favorite part of Halloween is answering the door to trick-or-treaters. Occasionally I’ll dress up (for my own enjoyment, because the kids never care—whatevs). Today my Timehop app reminded me of one of those times when I posted helpful advice on Facebook:


  • I went shopping for tonight’s costume components this week, and when I purchased leopard print pants the clerk held them up and said, “Oh! These are exactly the kind of thing I would buy.” I said, “I probably shouldn’t tell you they’re for my Crazy Cat Lady costume then, huh?” She grimaced. It was shitty of me to ruin her day, but I figure I was doing society a service—right? (I know. Still shitty.)
  • Our dogs are three years old! We keep waiting for giant Lucy to calm down, but so far she’s as crazy and puppy-like as ever. Since we don’t know Maya’s actual birth date, but her estimated age is about the same as Lucy’s, we decided to make them have the same birthday.


  • On the dogs’ birthday, the humans in the house got cupcakes, and the pups got Doggie Paella (treats, hot dogs, cheese, and peanut butter). (Yep, we’re dorks.)
  • Other October birthdays: Ted, Cristina, Erin, Jim, Alex F’n, Sherilee, and today, Uncle Paul and Chris Eff.

i saw things with my eyes:

Many, many movies:


  • I started watching Call the Midwife (Netflix) a year or so ago, but I couldn’t get into it—it was like A Baby Story to me, which lost its appeal really fast; I mean, why would I repeatedly watch a show that ends with me inconsolable from watching strangers have babies??? I recently gave CTM another try, and really am loving it now. I hate getting hooked on stuff that ends. That can really be said about most things in my life.
  • New shows this season seem mostly disappointing. Mysteries of Laura seemed like it had so much going for it, but it’s truly terrible. John Mulaney, a comedian I adore, has a show that’s also quite bad. Gotham’s premise and cast is good, but after five episodes, I think I’m done with it. 
  • I’m happy to have my old favorites back: SVU, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, The Middle, CSI, The Blacklist, The Simpsons, and Grimm (it’s set in Portland, so the sci-fi-ness of it is tolerated).
  • Where is Parks & Rec? I will definitely miss this show after it ends this season. Sad face.
  • This clip from The Tonight Show is so much funnier than it should be. You must watch.

Other stuff:

  • We saw Portland Center Stage’s production of Dreamgirls. I thought it was incredibly well done, so much so that I went twice.
  • Still. So. Much. Football. The regular season ended last weekend, and playoffs start tomorrow. We started in September attending games in 100° weather, and last weekend watched in rain, wind, and a wind chill factor of something like -43°. We are some dedicated parents. And kinda dumb.

this month’s good and bad:

  • Apologies to my friends who have dedicated their lives to physical therapy, but I really hate physical therapy. It’s very ouchie. They say my ankle’s range of motion is slowly improving, but I think they’re lying and just enjoy hurting me. Also, the sign outside their office looks like this:


  • We got to see Daryl when he visited from Florida for a few days. Hoping we’ll see him again (with Sally and Presley) at Thanksgiving.
  • My nephew’s band’s new album just came out. Check out Tetherball here.

i likes to share pics I’ve found on the ‘net:

These seem familiar, and I apologize if I’ve posted them before. Enjoy anyway:








I’ll close with this good news: Every day that passes now is one day closer to the end of all the psycho-level of pumpkin spice latte hype.


    Oct. 14: Voters’ Pamphlet thoughts

    voter The voters’ pamphlet has arrived! I’ll admit, there are a lot of years that I toss it into the recycle bin without a second look. While I know that votes matter, even in the minor elections, and Oregon’s mail-in ballots could not make it any easier or more convenient, I tend to be one who saves my votes for the biggies. I know this is stupid and senseless.

    This year we’re voting on semi-importanter things, so I plan to exercise my right. However, first I want to make fun of things, because making fun of things is fun!

    • Did you know that the order of the candidates appearing on the ballot must be random? So says ORS 254.155. I became thoroughly familiar with a lot of Oregon statutes after writing bylaws for a nonprofit corporation, but I guess I passed right by the ones having to do with general elections. Who knew? (Probably Loveliest Lori. I bet she knew.) This year’s alphabet is OQCNMRDZTHPJAYVIKBUGSFLEWX, in case you were wondering. (What’s with the “bugs flew” in this alphabet? Hmmm.)
    • The information candidates submit for the voters’ pamphlet is sometimes hilarious. The ones who have “the school of hard knocks” or “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart” under “education”? That’s pretty much saying I’M NOT REAL SMART, BUT I’M PRETEND SMART. Seriously, don’t try to tell me whatever you did instead of going to college was just as educational; that’s probably not true and you probably know it. We need people representing us who know how to think. Am I education-ist? Yes. Proudly.
    • Oh, and I’m also comma-ist. Why so few Oxford commas, people? Don’t you know why they’re so important?


    • “Tootie,” really? The name of this local politician might never not make me laugh. ‘Course, we’ve had “Mitt,” “Tip,” “Newt,” and “Dick Armey,” so why not?
    • US Rep, 3rd district, Pacific Green party candidate, this one’s for you (I don’t want to write your name on my blog). You have some good ideas, but I don’t think anyone will take you very seriously when it looks like your photo was taken under duress and by a police officer. Did you have no other options? Have you not heard of the SELFIE???
    • I do not, and probably never will, understand how the phrases “right to bear arms,” “defending the family,” and “protecting our borders,” so frequently appear with “Christian.” And the justification of denying assistance to the needy? Gah.

    If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it. (Stephen Colbert)

    • While the Constitution Party concerns me (because, y’know, see the quote above, and also, a party based on a group’s interpretation of their god’s word—yikes), I find the official political party statements fascinating. I mean, they all sound so righteous. I guess they should—you wouldn’t want to align yourself with a party that’s just “meh” about their platform—but it’s almost hilarious how most of them seem to have all the right answers, and they use all the “gotcha” words they know people react to. Nearly every one of the parties has at least one issue with which I agree, but being so firm in others makes me a whole lotta nervous. I want to believe there’s really not a chance of these smaller (read: kooky) parties to get anywhere, but it’s happened before. Yikes again.


    • ARE YOU TOO DUMB TO VOTE? I chuckle reading some of the instructions to voters, especially the FAQs: “What if I change my mind after I have returned my ballot?” I want the job of whoever gets to answer that question because I bet it involves a lot of slapping. “Do I need to attach first-class postage to my ballot envelope if I return it to a drop site?” Really? I also enjoyed this instruction: “Some families like to make voting a communal event, but make sure the envelope you sign is your own, and doesn’t belong to some other family member. [Do not let] your spouse or child or parent sign your ballot envelope.” SMH.
    • Here’s something I’m not making fun of: people working on making college more affordable. We’re way overdue on that. In fact, most of the measures that have to do with updating educational resources and buildings should pass without argument. They probably won’t, because voters are often jackasses, but they should.

    The only state measures I still need to educate myself on are the ones having to do with open primaries (90), marijuana legalization/regulation (91), and food labeling (92). That’s when I’m glad to have the voter’s pamphlet. After that, it’s straight to the recycle bin.

    DON’T FORGET TO VOTE! Unless you disagree with me, in which case DON’T TURN IN YOUR BALLOT BEFORE NOVEMBER 5.


    Oct. 5: Funny tweets


    Browsing around previous posts to my blog, I ran into this one from 2010. I can’t resist re-running these tweets because they made me LOL several times and I bet they’ll make you LOL too.

    wordlust: It is terrible to take away hope; it is worse to take away chocolate fudge brownie cookie cake.

    wordlust: “Hulk smash!” has a better ring to it than “Hulk pee bed!”

    thedayhascome: The worst part of wearing a cape is the toilet.

    fireland: Just bought a little wedding chapel for my model train set. Someday I'll get married there and SHUT UP MA YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT

    wordlust: Proctologists should offer exorcisms. If you’re already wrist-deep, pulling out a gerbil, why not scoop out some demons too?

    adamisacson: "Wow, this is a dirty kitchen!" exclaimed our 5-year-old's friend, here for a playdate. Still, he finished his bowl of lead paint chips.

    See, funny, right? I knew you’d agree. Keep reading.

    TheBloggess: Dear BCBGMAXAZRIA: Your brand name is exactly what happens when I pass out on my keyboard.

    FarkerPeaceboy: I think what I look forward to most with the Rapture is, as I slowly ascend towards Heaven, peeing on the heads of dirty heathens down below

    adamisacson: 5-year-old, waving crayon at me: "I'm coloring you." Me: "Funny, I don't _look_ colored." Oh, hi, fellow restaurant patrons. Nice glares.

    gknauss: Alcohol and self-loathing don't mix. Alcohol and heavily-salted peanuts, though, are great. Self-loathing and peanuts aren't bad, either.

    nonsequiturific: All Points Bulletin: Dyslexic zombie on the loose. Persons named Brian urged to proceed with utmost caution.

    CranberryPerson: It was a perfect combination of foul-mouth tendencies and poor listening skills that led my 3 year old to call my 6 year old a "bustard."

    I wasn’t wrong, was I?

    essdogg: If your wife tells you to "shut your hole" then, no matter how great or numerous your comeback options are, just keep shutting your hole.

    nonsequiturific: Walking around in a Snuggie on slippery hardwood floors can be tricky, but fortunately I have the coordination of an ambulance-needer.

    fireland: I think when you see how happy Daddy is on his new jet ski with his new chest hair you'll forget all about wanting to go to college.

    adamisacson: I microwaved an "organic breakfast burrito" without stopping halfway to turn it. It was gross! So I followed the directions. It was gross!

    lonelysandwich: McGriddle breakfast sandwich, you're on my list. (Incidentally, my list is of foods pee still smells like ten hours after eating them.)

    wordlust: Sometimes you have to forget your worries, put on your dancing shoes, and stomp some smurfs to death.

    You can pretend you haven’t chuckled yet, but I know you have.

    adamisacson: If you've ever voted against new funding for public schools, it's you I'm thinking of as I stand in the self-checkout line.

    gknauss: Our disability insurance uses the logo "DI@WORK," or "Die at work." Sometimes, inviting the smart-ass to the meetings is a good idea.

    gknauss: We had a fire drill at work, and I panicked and resorted to cannibalism while we were walking down the stairs. Boy, is _that_ embarrassing.

    Dogphorisms: If we can put a man on the moon, we can put a dog on the kitchen table. Come on, NASA.

    wordlust: Bedhead is bad. Bedpanhead is worse.

    Dogphorisms: Unless your homework is a sandwich, a hamster, or that awesome pair of panties, "the dog" did not eat it.

    You’re smiling. I can see it.

    InSoOutSo: Good morning, pancake frosting. I'm glad I invented you.

    hotdogsladies: Hate that part of a cold where you cough and it tastes like Glenn Beck's soul.

    essdogg: I'd love to host a spinoff of "This Old House" called "This Old House Is Falling Down Because the Owner Is A Lazy Jackass."

    fireland: Superman wears a cape and underwear and everyone's all "yay" but I do it and you're like "don't ever touch my son again"?

    bcompton: I guess all of the warning stickers that I had to move to get to the thing that burned me were right.

    thedayhascome: Someone with a knife exactly like the one I'm holding in my hand ruined my neighbor's inflatable Christmas lawn decorations.

    Just a few more...

    wordlust: The death rattle is horrible, but it’s nothing compared to the death binkie.

    emilybrianna: ME: You have five seconds to finish that. 5, 4, 3- QUINN: Don't use counting right now! I love counting and you're ruining it with broccoli!

    phillygirl: Highlight from mom's office party: "So... your daughter believes in global warming?" "Well, she lives on the West coast."

    secretsquirrel: There is absolutely nothing that gravy can't improve. I spooned some into my coffee and could actually feel myself becoming a better person.

    gknauss: I'm good all year and ask Santa for the untraceable death of just one live-in in-law and the SOB stiffs me again. Merry Freakin' Christmas.

    phillygirl: They could have told me he's a drummer before I challenged him to Whack-a-Mole.

    OK, here are the last of ‘em.

    CranberryPerson: Santa giveth and Daddy taketh away.

    scottsimpson: All of my scary campfire stories feature Ben Kingsley walking briskly toward you with a golf club, because that is the scariest thing ever.

    adamisacson: I'm not falling again for the 5-year-old's "eat some spaghetti" trick. It's always Play-Doh. But this fried egg looks delicious. Oh, damn.

    wordlust: When I die, I hope they say, “We’re not here to mourn. We’re here to hit on his unbelievable harem of supermodels.”

    Dogphorisms: In 2010, I resolve to chew more, pee more, and hump more. FYI, I did all three to your pillow.

    January 1: hotdogsladies: Weird. I'm twelve hours into the new year and still writing, "Don't cash this for a couple weeks" on all my checks.

    You’re welcome!


    Oct. 3: This old house

    house Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful that we have a roof over our heads. But sometimes I really, really, really hate our house.

    As I was getting up this morning, Victor came in to kiss me goodbye. Ten minutes later, I heard him yell this exasperated FYI from downstairs: I’M STILL HERE. I looked over the rail and saw him with a pile of tools at the front door, disassembling our doorknob. I didn’t need to ask what he was doing—every few years our lock gets all farked up and we get trapped in the house. It’s a simple fix, but it’s still a huge pain in the ass.

    That stoopid doorknob is just one reason I really hate this place. There are more. After almost 17 years here, there are definitely more.

    • The seals on two of our double-paned windows popped, I don’t know when, and make it look like we have never cleaned them—fortunately they’re not on the front of the house. Every once in a while I run across the paperwork for the warranty and think I SHOULD CALL, but then I don’t. And then I lose the paperwork again, and the next time I find it I think I SHOULD CALL…
    • One of our cabinet hinges broke. I tried to replace it at Home Depot, but it’s a fancy type that can only be purchased from a cabinet maker. Tina said she found some on eBay, but we’d have to order, like, 489 of them and that’s infuriating because I only really need one. I like to think I’m the only person who notices that there’s no door on one of our cabinets, but I know people notice; they’re just nice enough not to point it out.
    • We have tile countertops, which I loved when we bought the house but quickly came to hate. A lot of our neighbors have replaced their countertops. A lot of our neighbors are smarter than we are.
    • I have a sense that our dishwasher sprays water on our dishes but doesn’t actually WASH them. And it’s not so much that I sense it, but that I see the evidence—pieces of food on many of the “clean” dishes that come out of the dishwasher. Also, its motor runs at 110 decibels, which—as you probably know—is the noise equivalent of a riveting machine.
    • We got a new stove a few years ago, but with the old one went the pretty edging that made it blend into the countertop. The new one sits between unfinished tile edges. It’s not pretty.
    • Our refrigerator has issues too, and while it mostly does its job, I still want a new one.
    • A bunch of our cellular shades are messed up. Every one of them that doesn’t work right is thanks to a pet or kid. They chew the cords, or paw at the fabric, or generally act like house-ruining jackholes.
    • Don’t get me started on the carpet.
    • The fan in our master bath doesn’t work and that means it’s like Florida in there after our showers every morning.
    • One of our master bath sinks doesn’t work. Well, the sink works fine—that would be one busted-ass sink if it didn’t do what it was supposed to—but the faucet is broken. I don’t like sharing a sink with my toothpaste-chunk-leaving, electric-razor-emptying husband.
    • Speaking of faucets, the outside water spigots drip, so we have to turn the water off with the main whatever-you-call-it in the garage. This makes otherwise quick tasks like watering the plants or washing the car a more complicated process because…
    • …our garage is an obstacle course.
    • We have those fancy gutter covers but they don’t work for shit. When it rains hard, a fountain forms near the garage.
    • Our wood floors have some swollen spots that need repair.
    • The outside of the house needs to be repainted.
    • Our deck needs to be repaired in a couple spots, refinished and sealed. And ideally, pergola-d. :)
    • The backyard needs to be terraced and re-landscaped, once and for all. Every few years we fix it up, but there’s just too much of a slope for it to work un-terraced. Victor does not agree with this, but he also hates landscaping work.

    The real problem here is that I want a new house, but all of these things would need to be fixed before we could sell this house, and if all of these things were fixed, I wouldn’t workerswant a new house. Well, I’d probably still want a new house but I wouldn’t hate ours as much.

    And really, there are things I like about our house. It’s the only home our kids have known. It sits on a street of decent people. It’s the perfect size for our family.

    You know what I think we should do? All of us who have handyman skillzzz take turns at each other’s houses and fix the things we can. Like, I rock at painting and finish work like chair rails and crown moulding, organizing other people’s stuff, and light-duty landscaping. Maybe one of my friends can fix water faucet-related problems? And someone else knows a little about woodworking and repair? We could be like Habitat for Humanity, but instead we’d be Habitat for I Don’t Want to Go to the Trouble of Moving to a Different House.

    Meh. It’d probably just be easier to set fire to the place.


    Sept. 30: Month in review

    Tis the last day of September. That fact does not suck.

    special days i celebrated this month and how:

    Goodness, and also gracious. There were lots of good days worth celebrating this month.

    • Jake and JulianneIt made me ever-so-happy to write “Ladies Liquor Luncheon” on my calendar for Sept. 2. Theresa hosted a first day of school party; after we all shoved our kids out the door, we crazy-relieved moms gathered for good fun. While there’s a rumor that the best parties are the ones no one can remember afterward, this one was an exception—I remember all of it. I remember spending several hours with many of my dearest friends, and I remember thinking I AM SO LUCKY to know these women. I also remember stuffing my face with Cassie’s breakfast frittata and and Jenn K’s delicious salad-y goodness while across the room a bunch of people blathered on about Cross Fit and YES, I felt like a rhinoceros but YES, the bloody Marys and mimosas made it better and NO, I don’t have a problem.
    • (I might have a problem.)
    • September 6 is always a big birthday day on my calendar—my fave cousin Deanna, Kim F’n-W, Dan K, and Trevor L all got older that day. I celebrated by going to Jack’s first football game and seeing exactly zero of those birthday peoples.
    • Our niece and nephew, Julianne and Jacob, each celebrated milestone birthdays this month. Before we ate cake with them, we went to Jack’s football game. Seems going to Jack’s football games is the new way to celebrate birthdays. To me, this is not ideal.
    • My own birthday celebration went on for many days, as all the best ones do. Mother Mary was here and treated us to a lovely dinner… Vic worked his magic on the grill another night… Apple released a new iOS (I consider this my personal gift every September)… Val shoved a yummy lit cupcake in my face… and surprise, surprise, we went to a football game. While there was nothing exceptional about the age I turned this year, I appreciate that I did indeed have another birthday.

    I’ll bet you a gazillion $$ that Dina
    doesn’t remember writing this on our calendar :)

    • Mack, April, Lafe, Tina, Margaret, and Hawaii Laura had birthdays this month too. September is a good month for a birthday. Pretty sure.
    • Somebody planned a farewell dinner for a few of the important people in Jenn K’s life, and we begrudgingly went:

    There are so many things I love about this picture that I don’t know where to begin!
    But the good-bye part of it super-sucked.

    i saw things with my eyes:


    • Kinky Boots (Amazon Instant Video). I loved this so much more than I expected to. It reminded me of other wonderfully acted but underrated British films like The Full Monty, Waking Ned Devine, and Saving Grace.  
    • Say Anything… (Netflix). As a proud child of the 80s, I’m embarrassed to say I had never seen Say Anything start-to-finish until last week.
    • A Single Man.  I was slightly disappointed in this one, possibly because I’d heard such raves and my expectations were high. The look of the movie was incredible; the story bummed me out. Colin Firth was all kinds of fab, but Julianne Moore’s portrayal of her character reminded me of Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest—it seemed like it was all a big, over-the-top, pathetic attempt at an Oscar nomination. I don’t especially love or hate her, but her performance here was ridic.
    • We watched Iron Man 3 approximately 12 times this past week. I’m not exaggerating.
    • Bad Words. Slightly sad, but laugh-out-loud funny.


    • I’m all caught up with Veep (HBO) and can’t wait for season four. I adore this show. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has earned her three Emmys for this show, for sure. The truly unlikeable yet insanely hilarious characters on Veep make Seinfeld’s horrendous four seem like BFF material.
    • Transparent. This is a new original series on Amazon and its cast is definitely worth watching. I’m not too far into the series yet, but they just posted the entire season. Here’s how Slate describes the premise of Transparent: “The title is a pun: As the show begins, the patriarch of the Pfeffermans, a close-knit, affluent, Jewish clan of Los Angelinos, begins to come out as transgender to her children.”
    • New seasons of lots of good shows are finally starting! Yay!


    I’m getting better about putting books down if I’m not enjoying them. This used to make me feel like a failure or that I didn’t give the book a chance, but I also hate wasting my time reading trash. Although I felt like I was reading a LOT more than usual this month, it turns out that many of the books I read went unfinished.

    • Looking for Alaska, by John Green. I read this in honor of Banned Books Week, as lots of concerned parents have tried to get this out of kids’ hands. I loved the book, but I can see why there have been attempts to ban it. I will refrain from going into a long rant about censorship and the (lack of) logic behind banning books, but I will say this: MIND YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS, FOLKS. Geez.
    • Girl Walks into a Bar...: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle, by Rachel Dratch. This was a fun read. 
    • The Group, by Mary McCarthy. Do you ever read the synopsis of a book and feel positive that you’ve read it before but then you start reading just in case and suddenly nothing seems familiar? And then just when you think you were wrong, that the book is new to you, it starts sounding familiar again? That. That’s where I am with this book.

    Other stuff:

    • 15217498989_d15ba83ac4_oSo. Much. Football. Our team is 3-1 with four games to go, which is the best record we’ve ever had, but this past weekend’s loss hurt bad. I’m enjoying watching the games more this season than I have in previous years, but my anxiety levels are still sky-high. Jack thinks it’s funny when I say that every injury makes me want to pull him out of the sport. I’m dead serious. It’s hard to see that stuff.

      It’s not just Jack’s team that’s playing all the football, though… it’s the high school games both kids want to go to at least once a week, plus all the games on TV, and every bit of it makes me want to throw things and curse loudly.
    • Although I don’t mind the weather of this season, I really hate seeing leaves falling off trees. This is partly because I hate raking, partly because our yard is designed for spring and will be ugly for the next six months, and partly because, as mentioned above and in every post I’ve ever written this time of year, fall means there’s football on every single channel every single day. But will I use the cooler temps as a good excuse to prepare crock pot meals and wear boots and cozy sweaters? Of course I will.

    this month’s good and bad:

    • The kids went back to school. This is a very good thing. I’m still having a hard time believing that Katie is in high school, though—but she absolutely loves it. Jack, on the other hand, acts like every bit of the 12-year-old that he is, and I’m thankful to have a break from his eye-rolling for a few hours every day.
    • Jenn K moved to Alaska. Pffftt.
    • My orthopedist gave me permission to take off my walking cast! I’m wearing a transition brace for now, but it’s too bulky for most of my shoes, so truthfully, I’m playing risky and going ankle-nekkid most the time. So far, so good. Later this week I start physical therapy.

    i likes to share pics I’ve found on the ‘net:




















    It was real, September. Smell ya later.


      Sep. 12: Not a fan of the goodbyes

      This is me and Jenn K at a bridesmaids party with ugly hair. Jenn K played the part of Mother of the Bride. :) I recently found out that one of my friends is moving away. Far away. Like, Alaska-far away. Actually, that’s exactly how far away: she’s moving to Alaska.

      When friends move away, it makes life super-suck. I will definitely miss Jenn K, but Dina, Jenn K’s BFF, will be feelings aaaaall the feels. I know this, because my BFF moved a couple years ago. I consider myself kind of a pro at knowing what it feels like to say “smell ya later” to someone you love so much. I’m not saying I know how best to deal with it; I’m saying I’ve been there.

      So, in the hopes of helping anyone else who’s been cruelly abandoned (oh! the drama!) by their best friend, I offer these pointers on handling this un-fun change in your life. Please note that this only applies to friends you’re losing because you’re no longer in the same geographical area, not the ones you’ve lost because one of you chose to dump the other; in that case, at least one of you is an asshole. You should probably work on that.

      1. If you and your BFF currently communicate via text/email/phone calls, keep doing that, and try to do it every day. If you go more than a few days without communicating, it’s hard to catch up again. I’m not suggesting the friendship is irreparable if you miss a day of texting, but it’s a habit that really needs to continue if you want to stay close.
      2. Text each other the stupid stuff that no one else will understand. The little things, y’know? Complain about the weather, traffic, a mutual enemy, whatever. Making each other smile connects you. It’s good.
      3. Plan a visit. You go there, she comes back to you, something. Put a date on the calendar, no matter how far away it might be, because it gives you a goal that feels reachable. Tell yourself, “If I can just stop crying until I see her again, maybe my family won’t hate me for eating dinner without them every night.” BECAUSE OH YES, YOU WILL WANT TO EAT DINNER WITHOUT THEM. You will also want them to stop asking how you are (“I’m sad, just like when you asked me yesterday!”). You’ll want to sit in front of Netflix with headphones and the volume way up so you don’t have to interact with people. You will be a not-very-nice person for an indeterminate amount of time. Know this. And maybe warn your family now.
      4. FaceTime! Val and I have done this with Sunshine several times, and it’s the best. OK, it’s not the best—the best would be actually hanging outjensunnyval in person—but it’s a really good alternative. I recommend FaceTime-ing with a group to heighten the fun factor. (Jenn K, get ready…)
      5. Spend time with your mutual friends. They’ll be missing her too, and can understand your sense of loneliness better than pretty much anyone else. They’ll also get the inside jokes you shared. It’s surprising how good all that feels. It also serves to remind you you’re still a likeable person even though your BFF obviously doesn’t think so and couldn’t wait to move Alaska-far away from you. Which brings me to #6…
      6. You can lay on the guilt as much as you want, but it will serve no purpose except to make her resent you. She would stay if she could. Decisions aren’t easy, and this one was a bitch. Don’t make her feel worse. Or maybe don’t go out of your way to make her feel worse ALL THE TIME. ;)
      7. Write stories about you and her and the adventures you go on together—your own personal fan-fic.
      8. Wait, don’t do #7. That’s just weird and a little creepy. Maybe haiku.
      9. Nope, not haiku. That’s creepier.
      10. Not that haiku is creepy. I loves me some haiku. Now that I think about it, haiku might be pretty awesome. Fine, give it a try.
      11. You will feel lonely, sad, frustrated, and even angry, and there’s really not much you can do about it, sooo… Find something to do with that energy. It can be something that’s good for you—gardening, exercising, making a new BFF out of papier-mâché—or good for your family—cleaning, cooking, learning mixed martial arts. I do not recommend that you put extra energy into anything that requires copious amounts of alcohol or food. I gained five pounds in the week after Sunshine left because my motto became “Only Krispy Kreme understands my pain.”
      12. Remind yourself that everyone says it’ll get easier with time, because it will. You won’t forget your BFF, and you won’t stop missing her, but you’ll start settling into life without her and one day it simply doesn’t hurt quite so much.
      13. Have a friend like Val, who is super-fun and will drink excessively and say all the potty words with you. Because sometimes you will need to drink excessively and say all the potty words, and when that happens, well, let me give you my number because whoever you are, I’d be delighted to be your Val.

      I’ll close by saying that although Sunshine and I aren’t the friends we were when we lived nine houses apart, when we’ve hung out since her move to Arizona, it’s been easy to get back into that comfortable place we used to be. While I still miss having her in my life every day, I love how we don’t set expectations for each other as long-distance friends; we just are who we are, and it’s good. I kinda ♥ her tons. She’s a keeper.

      I’m grateful to have lots of dear friends in my life, actually, both near and far. It’s a mutual effort, this friends thing, but the ones that are in it for the long haul will be always do what has to be done to be present in each other’s lives. This I know for sure. And I love it.


      Aug. 31: August in review

      August 2014 is just about done. Septembers in the Northwest are usually quite lovely—still warm and sunny, but not god-awful hot. Also: KIDS IN SCHOOL AGAIN FINALLY OMG I’M SO GLAD I THOUGHT THEY’D NEVER GO BACK.

      special days i celebrated this month and how:

      • We had Victor’s birthday party. It rocked, mostly. We know a lot more nice/fun people than assholes, and that’s good when it’s time to throw parties.
      • Katie registered for high school. Eek. I’m happy for her, but GEEZ, it seems like just a few days ago that we were trying to teach her to count.

      i saw things with my eyes:

      • We went up north to see our niece, Abby, perform in a musical. It was big, silly fun; Bellevue Youth Theater has a cool program.
      • Welcome to Sweden and The Hotwives of Orlando are semi-amusing time-wasters.
      • I think I would be soooo good at doing a Drunk History episode. Not actually being on the show, just recording one. My great-great-great grandchildren will be so very, very proud. What a legacy. :) 
      • The Simpsonsevery episode ever” marathon has been playing almost non-stop at The House of Manullang for the past ten days. LOVING. IT.
      • This is exciting pretty much just to me: I got new dishes, and the full kitchen sink never looked so pretty. My mom gave me ten of the cheeriest, colorful-est gifts EVER:


      • Sweet Maya. She’s adjusting so well in her new life as a Manullang. I think she loves us pretty good:


      • My rock star nephew started a new band, Tetherball. They just released a single on iTunes. He’s also a goofball—check out the video teaser he stars in for the song (below). And if you care, the guy who sang lead for The Rouge has a new band too: The Almanacks. Stephen produced their album. Stephen, apparently, can do anything and is pretty much the greatest.


        this month’s good and bad:

        • We spent a LOT of time in doctors’ offices this month. I don’t know how all the appointments got scheduled like they did, but there was one week where every morning we were out the door EARLY to see one professional or another. None of them gave us bad news, so YAY!
        • One of the appointments was an eye exam for Jack. You’ve probably noticed in photos that he wears his sports goggles as regular glasses, which has never made me very happy but at least I don’t have to worry about girls chasing him. ;) Since he’s been ready for a new prescription for a while now, we encouraged him to get regular glasses in addition to a new pair of goggles. He couldn’t find frames he liked, though, and I knew if I forced him to choose a pair he wouldn’t actually wear them. And THEN the optician suggested we check out the Nike line of frames. Jack’s grin went ear-to-ear, and $300 later he was wearing normal glasses again. (I have several four-letter words in my head over this, and the last one is “Nike.”) He was disappointed that the swoosh sticker on the store lenses weren’t on his prescription lenses, but there are swooshes on the temples, so that’ll do. <cue this mom’s eye roll>
        • A new season of football has begun. Jack is on a junior varsity team this year, and practices until 9:30pm several days a week. Crazy. I am sooo glad Dina’s kid and mine are on the same team again this year. I’ve got our flasks all filled and ready for the first game next weekend!
        • I worked quite a bit in June and July, but not at all in August. I really haven’t minded all that much. The free-ish time let me concentrate on other things, like…
        • Katie decided to switch bedrooms. You think it’ll be a pretty simple, quick project, but then it goes all week long and you regret ever suggesting it when she complained that her room was too small. I think we’re finally done moving, but somehow a bunch of stuff ended up in the master bedroom and I hate when our room becomes a dumping ground. Grrr.

        i likes to share the silly stuff:

















        For all the people who complain that smart phones have killed decent communication:


        Well, that’s it for August. Bring it, September.



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