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.



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