Dec. 31: Month in review

4f8e976da82d25def20d63065fdbb838 Buh-bye, December.

special days i celebrated this month and how:

  • Well, duh. Christmas. It was pretty great.
  • For our celebration with the Nienhuises, Sonya did a Grinch feast—roast beast, Who hash, Who buns, Grinch bean casserole, Grinch salad with artichoke hearts (two sizes too small), and Who pudding… our contribution was the Grinch cocktails, which were green and contained booze and that means they were good and that’s all that matters.
  • On Christmas Eve, we did our traditional Chinese dinner. Yum.
  • We had a few ideas for what we’d do on Christmas Day, but it turned out that we all stayed in our jammies and spent the day enjoying our gifts. No complaints.

i saw things with my eyes:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy. Action movies are probably my least favorite kinds of movies, but I like Chris Pratt and the movie didn’t totally suck. Best part: the Howard the Duck cameo after the credits. Did you know Howard the Duck was a Marvel character? Me neither! Crazy.
  • I’ve been watching The Comeback on HBO. The Valerie character drives me nuts, so I spread the episodes out over quite a bit of time. The last few episodes really were well done. It’s a funny show, and deserved its return to TV.
  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. If you’re not watching it, well, I’ll watch it enough for both of us and I’m totally fine with that.
  • We went through the regular Christmastime viewings of A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, Elf, Olive, the Other Reindeer, Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas, and White Christmas. It wouldn’t be the holidays without seeing those movies at least fourteen times each.
  • I started reading Yes, Please, by Amy Poehler. Love her.

this month’s good and bad:

  • Good: Christmas was fun.
  • Bad: we were all sick for way too long. Vic got hit hardest.
  • Good: I’m done with physical therapy! I hated physical therapy! I mean, it wasn’t as bad as breaking my ankle, but it still sucked. And yes, it did some good, and yes, my range of motion has improved, but you are totally ruining my cheer over being done so just STAHP.
  • Bad: my mother-in-law had her hip replaced. That makes it sound like no big deal—“she had her hip replaced,” like “she got a new blender”—but, of course, it wasn’t just a teensy little procedure. Once they decided it needed to be done, she wanted to get it over with, so the surgery was just before Christmas and kinda messed up their celebration. BUT she feels much better, so the good part is that she’s on her way to dealing with much less pain than she’s had in the past year.
  • Good: we got new iPhones. New gadgets are mostly not annoying. I’m loving the camera quality most, I think. Victor likes the bigger screen.
  • Bad: my blog design got all messed up. I noticed some weird stuff a few months ago, but yesterday it was completely farked. It wasn’t me trying to tweak things; it was Blogger and that gives me frowny face. I’ll work on it. Eventually.
  • Good: Mother Mary and I got a bunch of house projects done while she was here for Christmas. I love feeling productive, but I especially love my extremely clean floors, the new things in our family room, and my very organized kitchen.
  • Bad: our kids’ winter break seems especially long this year, and I know that makes me a rotten mom, but I really, really hope they go back to school soon.

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

83ca006bfd94e2a1b42da0033c5206e5 871d33d26d87bc912936c6c6232521ba




This one’s for you, Dina. (And me.)


sooo… what’s next?

I’m going to try to kick-start my blog back into action by posting every day in January. I know, right?! Don’t worry, you don’t have to read it.

This year wasn’t our worst one ever, but it won’t exactly be featured prominently in our memory books, either. Bring on 2015!  


Dec. 29: All about Christmas

I’d like to start this post by sending out birthday wishes to people I failed to say “happy birthday” to on Facebook over the past few days because I’m a big loser-y friend. Also, these people deserve extra recognition because they have some of the suckiest birthdays in all of the possible birthdays:

  • waiter-holding-huge-birthday-cake Jen E
  • Stephanie
  • my brother-in-law, Chris
  • Lisa H-S
  • Fancy Lori™

Here’s your cake. Sorry, you’ll all have to share.

bahhumbug I know everyone was talking about SIMPLIFYING this Christmas, but you know what else is pretty great? Getting spoiled rotten. And even better, spoiling someone else rotten. That’s what ended up happening in our house, and each of us loved every minute of it. Soooo… simplify all you want. Maybe the Manullangs will try it next year.

In most other ways, though, Christmas was slightly less festive for us than it is most years.

Our Christmas season is always exceptionally long because we compile holiday music that goes out with a lot of our cards, and sometimes I start gathering those tunes in July. My kids have grown accustomed to hearing “Let It Snow” long before they’ve even dreamed of a day off school. Because of this, I don’t always love listening to Christmas music non-stop from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. In fact, sometimes hearing it makes me Scrooge-y. Not Grinch-y—I don’t want the music to go away, I just don’t want to hear it for, like, A MINUTE IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK OMG IMMA KILL SOMEONE. At least one local radio station plays Christmas music 24/7 from mid-November on, and sometimes it’s all just a little much, y’know? I’m not sure exactly why, but this year it bothered me more than it has in the past.

Victor was sick and energy-less for the first two weeks of December, so our holiday decorating—which is always a family affair, just like the Bible says—was delayed. Jack and I put up exterior lights in mid-December, more for our neighbors’ sake than ours. I put out all our plush singing snowmen but didn’t bother battery-ing them up. And we didn’t even decorate our tree until December 21, which was so late we considered not doing it at all—but ultimately, decided Christmas morning just wouldn’t be the same if we weren’t gathered around a tree. I usually decorate all over the house. This year it just didn’t happen. I had the Christmas spirit, but when it turned mid-December and our house looked decidedly un-Christmas-y, I really just wanted to enjoy other people’s efforts, not my own. I think the kids were feeling that way too. I suggested we go to Zoo Lights or the PIR display, and their response was “why?” Pfffftt. I tried. (Kinda.)

It was the evening of the 25th when I looked at the tree and thought, “Yep, this has been up long enough.” And on the 26th, I undecorated it. I put away all the Christmas gift bags and wrap. I put away the snowmen (and only had to remove batteries from this year’s). The stockings, which were never really hung by the chimney with care anyway, have been boxed up. Christmas is D-O-N-E done.


Pretty much the only thing that happened as it does every year was our Christmas card. Here’s the letter we sent:

Dear friends and family,

Honestly? This year was kind of craptacular. I mean, we’re all still alive, but, y’know, just barely.

Victor turned 50 in July. As expected, he immediately began to fall asleep amid crowds of people, yell at kids to get off our lawn, and misplace his teeth.

Katie is now (pause for effect…) in high school. She took out her ear buds long enough to be a counselor for Safety Town last summer. In February, she’ll turn 15 — she’s both eager AND the right amount of nervous about driving. She’s in her seventh year of piano, and loves being in a high school choir. Feel free to ask her any question — she knows everything, or at least more than anyone else in our house does. Oh, and apparently we embarrass her constantly. Teens are FUN.

Jack, 13, played football again this year. He and his buddies are the best players in all of history. The constant phone calls from NFL scouts have become annoying, and now they’re going to have to compete with the NBA; Jack recently started playing in a basketball league. As the refs can attest, he was a natural at picking up his latest language: trash talk. We pretend he doesn’t belong to us more often than I’d like to admit. Personally, I’m most proud of The Boy’s budding chef skills — he loves to prepare entire meals for us and his friends. He’s still taking piano lessons, but he wants you to know he hates them.

Katie and Jack went with their grandparents and cousins to California for a family wedding this summer. They made time to visit three theme parks, much to our envy. Victor and I will eventually forgive our kids for going to Disneyland without us, but these things take time. (Oh, and we also regret missing Elissa’s wedding. Of course.)

My clumsiness continues to know no bounds; I broke my ankle in May and spent the rest of the year in a cast and/or humiliating physical therapy sessions. I’m convinced that physical therapists are nothing but sadist pranksters. Also in the category of “stuff that sucked this year,” my ongoing cancer testing took us on the least fun roller coaster ever. More scans and pokes will happen in January, and with them we hope for more definitive answers than we were given in 2014. The up-side is that, thanks to my excessive exposure to radiation, our house glows even without Christmas lights.

We adopted a sweetheart of a beagle in June. Maya was rescued from an abusive situation, and we feel honored to give her the love and comfort she deserves. Lucy is happy to have another critter with which to share the blame for the ongoing destruction of The House of Manullang.

After years of making gemstone jewelry for myself, I started sharing more widely by selling it online. Intrigued? :) I’m at

Other things we had the privilege to enjoy: my new, not at all ancient-sounding great-aunt status (“former step-great aunt,” if you wanna be picky AND I DON’T) … a book reading/signing with the always-delightful Armistead Maupin … trips to see Sonya’s family … being a top fundraising team at our fifth Relay for Life … seeing our niece/cousin, Abby, perform in Pippi Longstocking with Bellevue Youth Theater … a huge party celebrating Vic’s 50th … floor seats at the Justin Timberlake concert (thanks, Sher!) … trips to Mother Mary’s … and local productions of The Producers, Dreamgirls, and Fiddler on the Roof.

As always, I share a few of the things said in or around our house this year:

“We stocked up at the liquor store across the California border. It’s not Disneyland, but if you ask me, it’s still one of the happiest places on Earth.“

Jack: “Dad’s a wifey boy.”
Me: “What’s that?”
Jack: “It’s like a momma’s boy. He does everything you say.”

“No, of course I don’t mind taking Jack to practice today. Totally unrelated, but have you noticed that all of his football coaches have blue eyes?”

[An impromptu Frozen singalong? Don’t mind if we do!] “Hey, where’d the kids go?”

ER doc: “What happened?”
Me: “My Danskos tried to kill me.”

“Well, the surgeon didn’t actually use the word ‘bionic,’ but I’m sure that’s what he meant.”

Dina: “Let me know if you need anything.” 
Me: “I need a walking cast and a house with no stairs.” 
Dina: “I have a cane and a tent.” 

“Today a physical therapist, whose pants were clearly on fire, told me I am ‘very graceful.’ I laughed so hard, I fell off the balance ball, hit my head on the stationary bike, and while pulling myself up off the floor, got to second base with the patient on the leg press.”

K&J challenged each other to say three words that describe their mother. Katie says right away, “She’s pretty, awesome, and tough” (I sooo ? that poor blind girl). Jack thinks for way too long and finally says, “Do they have to be *nice* words?”

“Inspired by my unfortunate lunch out today, my new band name is Pube Sandwich.”

As 2014 closes, we feel more grateful than ever for family and dear friends. Our hope is that you’re spending the holidays with people you can tolerate, and, if not, that you have easy access to the quantity of alcohol you require. AND: may the coming year be your best one yet. 


(and Vic, Katie, Jack, Millie, Lucy, and Maya)

And the photo card that went out with the letter:


So, that’s it for the 2014 Christmas season. It came and went. We loved the Christmas-y part, but the rest sorta sucked and we’re ready for 2015. Bring it on.


Nov. 30: November in review

november Well, I really went crazy posting in November, huh? I have a good excuse for a quiet blog. Kinda.

special days i celebrated this month and how:

  • Thanksgiving! It’s my favorite holiday; this year I had a minimum of foodstuffs to prepare, AND got to hang out with some of my favorite peeps. Lucky me! I hope you found plenty of reasons to be thankful too.



Cousins: Presley, Jacob, Jack, Julianne, Katie

  • Jack turned 13. Thirteeeeen! He behaves every bit like a teenager, so it shouldn’t be surprising. It just seems like only yesterday he was that goblin of a baby (warning: do not look directly at this photo—ye shall surely regret it).


  • Ed and Sheila had birthdays too. I didn’t really celebrate them. Hopefully they did though.

i saw things with my eyes:

  • We saw the local high school’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. It was better than I expected it’d be.
  • Jack’s football team lost in the first round of playoffs. As the game-time weather had become quite frigid, I can’t say I was very sad they came to an end. I felt bad for the boys, though. They worked really hard this season.

Jack and a few teammates with their awesome head coach


  • The biggest, most excitingest event this month was definitely seeing Justin Timberlake in concert. Sherilee invited me along to enjoy the tickets she’d been given for her birthday. It was an incredible show, and I wasn’t even close to being the oldest person there. Yay!!

sherjenjtA selfie for our Christmas cards!



My neighbor took this pic from his suck-y seats. ;) 
You can see me and Sher way down yonder, waiting for Loveliest Lori and her sisters to arrive.
(When they finally got there, they passed right by us riff-raff and were ushered directly to the front row—WHATEVS.)
Anyway, I love this because it shows how flippin’ close we were to the stage!

2014 Holiday Open House FlyerWHY i HAVEN’T BLOGGED THIS MONTH:

I’m having my first open house for Dear Girl Jewelry on Dec. 2, and have been working like crazy to get it ready. I’ve made tons of pieces just for the show, which has probably taken the most time, but I’ve also had a bunch of orders from Etsy all of a sudden. All the sorting, pricing, and displaying is much more time-consuming than I anticipated. I’ve never done this kind of thing before, but because I insist it must be absolutely and completely perfect, I’m pretty sure I’ll have made myself completely bonkers by Tuesday at 6:30pm. Ugh. Wanna be there? Here’s the info (click to embiggen).

I’ll do my best to post more frequently in December, but no promises.

Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say. It’s true.


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








It’s Christmastime! Enjoy it, unless you’re one of the assholes who gets all upset when someone wishes you a merry Christmas when you don’t celebrate Christmas yourself. Or if you’re one of those assholes who hates when people say “happy holidays” as though they’re horrible for suggesting you might not celebrate Christmas. I think the thing is, just don’t be an asshole.


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.



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