A tale of too many pests.

May 20, 2015

It’s been an interesting week. But I’m hoping since I have three little tales, that means my pest-bases are all covered and no mas for the time being. This mamacita can’t take much more!

Saturday, when it was busy not-raining for one of the two times in the past 21 days, I ran the X-man back with me to my house to take care of a few chores. I was way, way, way far behind on chores, but Jeff needed to show his face at a work function. No worries! X-man and I would do some laundry and clean the kitchen and put away the (non-perishable) groceries I had left out to go grab him; he would earn some marbles and I could check some items off my list. Life would be good!

Except as I was backing the car into the garage, I saw a giant, man-eating, hissing, limping zombie raccoon staring back at me from right in front of my neighbor’s garage across the street. I had thought it was odd that all of my neighbors were in their houses with their garages closed (well, except John and Corrie’s – theirs was open), but I thought maybe everyone was having a siesta. The raccoon hissed at me again, and limped and twitched a few feet left to right and then back again. Something was Not Right about that raccoon. So I kept an eye on him to make sure he didn’t charge into the garage after us, shut the door and got us into the house. Then I texted John and Corrie that they might want to close their garage door. And then I texted my neighbor so he wouldn’t open his garage and get his face chewed off. Then I called Animal Control, who promised they’d be out soon. Turns out the neighbors all knew about the rabid visitor, which is why everyone was inside. The raccoon had been walking between houses and hanging out at people’s front doors – someone was going to open their door with their dogs or kids right there and this thing was gonna get messy. Animal Control took its sweet time, but they finally arrived and took care of Pest #1. Thank god.

Pest(s) #2 have not been as easy to take care of. I’ve had an influx of fruit flies and I have no idea where they’re coming from. They showed up over the weekend, and I’ve been taking them out as quickly as I can. But it seems like no matter what I do, there’s just as many waiting for me when I get home from work or get up in the morning. I’ve scoured the sinks, bleached the dish disposal, gotten rid of any fruit lying around. Nothing seems to be working. I’ve set out a honeypot (a glass of wine, since that seems to be what attracts them most) and spray them with cleaner whenever I see them. I’ve gotten rid of most of them… but I’ve thought that before! If this is still going on come this weekend, I may have to call in the professionals before I get the heebie jeebies and light the kitchen on fire.

Which, clearly, is an option. Last night I saw a tick crawling across the bathroom floor. I smooshed it dead, flushed it, and then doused the bathroom with accelerant and lit that baby on fire. Except not really. I did my heebie jeebie dance and pretended it didn’t happen. Well, as I was checking the dogs, the kids and myself for any other freeloaders. I had just about calmed the crap down when I saw another one crawling on the carpet near my bedroom door. Something tells me this is all because it’s been raining since the beginning of time and my grass grew to over a foot high before the yard guy could find a few hours dry enough to come knock things back. Whatever the reason, we better not see any more. Or I’m not going to have enough rooms left to live in.

Moral of the story: more sunshine, fewer pests, please. The two seem to be related. Even if the common thread is simply preserving my sanity.

I little too inspirational, if you ask me.

May 19, 2015

I am so tired right now. I think I relaxed a little too hard (or maybe just not long enough?) after wearing myself out last night.

See, the problem is that Jeff, the Xman, and I all went to see the Crossfit Regionals competition on Sunday. Jeff’s pretty into Crossfit and I have to admit the competition was pretty intense; it was awesome to watch those men and women knock out rowing, chest-to-bar raises, and handstand push-ups over and over and over like that. It made me very conscious of the extra curves I’m sporting right now, in a way that was equal parts humbling and motivating. I know Jeff hit his workout last night with extra energy, and damned if I didn’t knock out a Jillian Michaels workout as soon as I got home.

Then, as if a Jillian workout wasn’t enough, I went all out making taco and fajita night last night, cleaned up after Bam the Destroyer, did the mommy thing (supervising showers, signing planners, checking homework), cleaned up after Fenway (who thought throwing up was a good way to get into the act), and then decided cleaning out the closet was a good idea.

I’ve been slowly trying to make space in case a certain someone ever needed to leave a few things. Except to make space for clothes on one side of the closet, somehow that means I have to clean the whole dang thing out and reorganize it. Because the boxes on the shelf on the short side of the closet need to be moved either into the attic or onto the long side somewhere, And so I needed to organize and rearrange. I consolidated what I could and threw away a garbage bag worth of things. I got rid of shoes I never wear and threw out tags and extra buttons that littered the floor, and weeded out old clothes.

All of that, after a full workout! I was pretty beat by the time I finished.

Next time Jeff asks if I want to go watch insanely fit people compete, I’m saying no. Clearly, it isn’t good for me.

Read Harder: A Challenge Update

May 15, 2015

For those of you who follow along, you know I’m near the midpoint of my reading year: I read approximately 200 books per year, and my midpoint – 100 books – usually falls towards the end of May. (My pace slows considerably during August, when I’m vacationing and Kim is here, and during the holidays, when I’m busy doing all the things.) Since I’m also about to hit a challenge in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge that I thought I’d leave til the bitter end  (Read an audiobook), I thought it was time to check back in on how I’m doing.

Read Harder Challenge 2015:

A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25: I’m still planning to read either Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi or Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Seems funny to me know that I haven’t hit either of these, considering how much I loved other novels by these fantastically talented ladies.

A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65: I read the new Toni Morrison, God Help the Child, in a single sitting. Easily one of the best (and most powerful) books I’ve read this year. It was so fitting that I was reading it as things were unfolding in Baltimore and one of the many themes Morrison explores is walking a mile in others’ shoes before you get all judgey. Take note, humankind.

A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people): Here’s where the challenge is already working, because I am not a fan of short stories. I say that, and I’ve already read one this year – Phil Klay’s Redeployment, which I HIGHLY recommend! I also read Ground Zero: Nagasaki by Yuichi Seirai, which was good but had a few translation gaps for me.

A book published by an indie press: I did indeed finally pick up Marie Calloway’s what purpose did i serve in your life?, which was published by an indie by the name of Tyrant Press. It examines the meaning of sexuality, intimacy and connections, and whether shame and intent behind the acts affects the labels we place on them and the meaning of it all. It packed a very strong emotional punch and reminded me at times of Paulo Coelho’s Eleven Minutes.

A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ: I’ve read Ariel Schrag’s Adam, about a straight teenaged guy who moves to New York to spend time with his sister and gets caught up in her LGBTQ community. I’d also highly recommend Sara Farizan’s If You Could Be Mine that I read last year, about a lesbian teen in Iran who considers sexual reassignment surgery to legally (and publicly) be with the girl she loves. It’s an amazing YA book that read well for me, as an adult reader. Farizan isn’t as well known as she should be.

A book by a person whose gender is different from your own: I crossed this one off with my first read of the year – The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit, by Graham Joyce. Joyce is a British fantasist (although the book doesn’t read like fantasy – more like a hardboiled crime/noir story with creepy undertones) who is listed as one of Stephen King’s favorite writers. I can see why – Electric Blue Suit reminded me a lot of King’s Joyland.

A book that takes place in Asia: Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball started out amazing and I loved the premise – a man takes the fall for someone (we’re not sure who, though we have our suspicions) and refuses to speak in his defense or for any other reason. The second half of the book fell apart a little, and finding out I was right about puzzling out the answers was a bit of a letdown, but still a good read.

A book by an author from Africa: Half a Yellow Sun by Adichie wasn’t half the novel Americanah was, even though there are plenty of critics who disagree with me. Maybe it was the immediacy of the themes in Americanah that made me love it more than colonialism and the sorts of love and politics centered in Yellow Sun, it just wasn’t as much in my wheelhouse.

A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.): I highly recommend the short story collection by Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. It didn’t let go until the very end and is solidly on my list of recommendations for teen or tween boys who are looking for something beyond Harry.

A microhistory: Anything by Mary Roach would make me happy, but I particularly have my eyes on Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.

A YA novel: I read one of the books Gracie got for Christmas, Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan and OH MY GOD MY HEART. Read it, you guys, so you can be broken like me.

A sci-fi novel: Ugh. I am not looking forward to this. I wish 10:04 would count, but I don’t think it was sci-fi enough. I have no idea what I’m going to read.

A romance novel: I read some stupid, ridiculous, cowboy/hot mamacita-recovering army doctor book I got from the library and it was just as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe I’ll give this one another shot, but oof. You guys. So hard to find one that it’s dripping with bad writing and cliched themes.

A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade: I just finished Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. I liked it…but maybe no as much as everyone else did. Is it just me, or do you guys wonder what in the world you missed when that happens. Hunh.

A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.): I’m reading Cinderland by Amy Jo Burns. It’s a memoir, but I have hopes. If you guys haven’t read Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird, read that instead! It takes Snow White, turns it on its head, and makes you wonder how it ties in until BAM! you see it! I also tore through Sassafras Lowrey’s Lost Boi, a steampunk queer reimagining of Peter Pan. It was a bit heavy-handed, but still so well worth my time and there were bits so well constructed that I wrote in the margins.

An audiobook: Here’s that challenge I’m unexpectedly hitting early – though I am bending my rules and doing a re-read – Gerald’s Game for my Stephen King re-read project. Except I kinda sorta updated my iPhone and now I’m having trouble getting my apps back. Like Audible. So maybe I’m counting this chicken before it’s…um…read.

A collection of poetry: Juls recommended the incredibly hott Tyler Knott Gregson and I read his new release Chasers of the Light. Talk about hott language! Gracious! I needed to fan myself as I worked my way through it. Didn’t hurt that I was falling for a certain guy I know, at the time. Heh.

A book that someone else has recommended to you: I finally read Bossypants by Tina Fey, that my little sister has been trying to get me to read forever. I like Tina Fey (I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler collectively), but I was a lil leery of reading her memoir. Mostly because I hated the cover, though, so… And I found that it fell a little flat. It wasn’t as funny as I wanted it to be, although I really thoroughly enjoyed the chapter about her dad. That was funny enough to make me laugh out loud, and well written enough to make me want to talk Mr. Fey into adopting me. I much preferred Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please of the two. (Yes, I put a comma in Amy’s title that isn’t there. She did it wrong, what can I say?)

A book that was originally published in another language: There’s another novel in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series being published later this year, completed from a partial manuscript found after Stieg Larsson’s death. I am all over that!

A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics: Can you believe I haven’t yet read Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi? I’m thinking it’s time. I’m also reading Flora and Ulysses with the girls right now, and that definitely counts!

A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over): First – how much do you love the little instruction they added? Right?! Second: all of my reading is guilty pleasure, without the guilt! This is gonna be easy! But mine for this year is extra guilty – The Best of Me, by Nicholas Sparks. NICHOLAS SPARKS, you guys! And seriously, don’t read it. The ending was AWFUL. Like, throw the book across the room kind of awful.

A book published before 1850: Oooh, I’m going to get in a classic! I could do Candide, by Voltaire, or Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher, or Gustave Flaubert’s Memoirs of a Madman.

A book published this year: This was easy – I devoured Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places, a YA book reminiscent of Eleanor and Park, except with the tears of Fault in Our Stars. Trust me – the warning is necessary.

A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self improvement”): Dear Sugar was so good I read it twice, straight through. The second time I highlighted and took margin notes, and marked the ever-lovin’ hell outta it. And have made several other people read, too.

So there you have it – I’m nearly done! Seven out of twenty-four challenges left, or about a third. Not bad for being halfway through my reading year, especially when you consider how reluctant I was to dive into some of these!

What about you guys – any recommendations for those spots I have open? How are you faring on your own challenges?

Another year bites the dust.

May 13, 2015

Nights I was dreading this years sleepover: All of them since the last one.

Number of girls I had to convince to have a joint birthday party sleepover: 1 (But eventually Bee said she did want one, so it worked out in the end.)

Number of girls they were allowed to invite: 5 each, plus the Redheads who are family and so didn’t count towards the total.

Number of times I cried over the potential of 14 tween girls screaming around the house at midnight: All of them. All of the times.

Number of girls who showed up: All but 3 (one of Bee’s friends who I didn’t know, and two of Gracie’s friends, sisters, who live in the neighborhood but I haven’t met).

Number of RSVPs I actually received: one from everyone who came, surprisingly!

Bags of chips I bought, but forgot to put out: 3.

Number of pizzas we ordered: 5 large

…and were eaten: 4 1/2. We all ate, and then at some point the girls pulled the leftovers out after midnight and ate again. At least they didn’t go to waste?

Number of times I had to remind the girls no drinks in the living room: just a few!

…or food on the new couches: None! Huzzah for 9- and 11-year-olds!

Number of babies I almost stole: 1. Gracie’s best friend’s mom (who I’m friends with) stayed for quite awhile with D’s four-year-old sister and 5-month-old baby brother. And I snuggled with him the entire time. Heh.

Number of cupcakes arranged at different heights on the table: 72.

Number of candles used: 20. And Gracie and Bee got them all in one swipe, no matter how many odd places I stuck them or other trickery I tried to use!

Girls who went home: 1, at 10 p.m., and by design. I told her that I wasn’t comfortable with sleepovers until I was older, and hopefully that made her feel better.

People who were dismayed that we moved the new giant TV into my bedroom for Jeff and I to watch when we escaped the insanity: 2. And they were both mine!

Number of times Bam the Destroyer stole pizza: 4. And the girls all laughed! So all’s good.

Time the grown-ups escaped into the bedroom to get away from all. the. noise.: 10:30 p.m.

Time we went to bed: midnight.

Number of times I had to get up and tell the girls to stop screeching or talk quieter: 3 – and all before 1:30 a.m. So.

Girls who got toothpasted: 2. I told them to stay awake next year and get someone else instead. And reminded them it washed off. (But, kindly! It could have been worse, but yes, it’s still annoying.)

Nights before I have to worry about it all again: roughly 360. And boy is this mama happy about it! Sleepovers are exhausting, even with another grown-up there solely focused on keeping your sanity intact!

What day was it again?

May 12, 2015

I didn’t have the energy to summon Mother’s Day yesterday. I couldn’t think about it, I couldn’t write about it, I couldn’t even get annoyed with myself for being melodramatic about it. It just was what it was – and what it was, was over. Thank god.

I have great kids. I know this. I know this and I’m thankful for them. Don’t think I’m not. But Sunday? Sunday they were rotten kids. Sunday they went to church and they were fine. They presented me with their gifts when they came home and were loving and lovely while they showed off their cards and the potted flowers they brought back from church and the keychain they bought me (with Stepmom’s help) that shows how to travel by map from Tejas back to Mass., and the giftcard for cheesecake. And Bee was tickled to show me the blueberry bushes – another piece of home – that she had smuggled to our house with Auntie Kim’s help. And lo, it was good.

But then lo, it was bad. Bad, bad, bad. I asked Gracie to empty the dishwasher, and all I got was whining and attitude. Even after I reminded her that it was Mother’s Day. And then there was a round of “let’s complain about everything Mom offers for lunch.” And then Bee abandoned the omelets she was making us so I had to finish them. The front room wasn’t cleaned when I asked. Gracie complained when I asked her to help me put away the laundry, and then walked away and pretended she couldn’t hear me. Then Bee walked away in the middle of me helping her to call Grandma to talk to everyone back home. So I announced in the middle of the living room, “You know what? I give up.” And then I dropped the phone where I was standing and walked into my bedroom and slammed the door.

Childish, yes. But hopefully more effective than what had been falling on deaf ears. And if it wasn’t? Well, I could just take a nap.

And so I did.

When I woke up, I packed up the girls and took us over to Jeff’s. X-man gave me a beautiful stone paperweight (that might turn into a doorstopper) and bookmark, and then the kiddos played video games while I had a glass of wine and some cheese. After X-man’s mom picked him up, we all went out for some Irish Nachos (official sponsor of rescuing Mother’s Days everywhere) and gorged on West Wing when we got back to the house.

They can’t all be fantastic Mother’s Days, but at least mine ended well and everyone was still alive at the end of it. Even if it was by the skin of their teeth.


Some years it’s like that – the whining and the rain and the defiance, even though I am constantly reminding them, “Hey, it’s Mother’s Day!”

(Sort of) Five for Friday.

May 8, 2015

Go ahead and see if you can get my theme this week.

1. I am so frustrated by/exasperated with/mad at my almost-nine-year-old that I can barely see straight.

2. I know this is an overreaction. But does it mean I can scale it back? Take a deep breath? Let all of it (ahem: any of it) go? No it does not.

3. Bee had a major project due yesterday. On kimonos – kind of her thing, right? We worked on most of it right away and all she had left was the essay. I didn’t even mention it to her dad because it was an easy, peasy kind of thing. We could finish it after school this week. And that was plan, until I picked Bee up on Sunday from her dad’s, and as soon as she was in the car, she was all, “Mom, guess what? I FINISHED MY PROJECT!” and was so excited and proud of herself. And so was I. I asked to see it Monday after school to make sure it was really-really finished, but she said she had turned it in already. Like she had with her powerpoint project last semester.

Which is why I was thunderstruck when the Ex texted me yesterday to say Bee hadn’t turned it in. Bee told him that she had done it at my house and had left it in her room. Kind of the opposite of what she had told me. Faced with her dad there in front of her and me on speakerphone, our poor little sobbing sparkler of a buttercup could only muster that she was confused. To which we explained the difference between “confused” and “caught in a lie.”

4. The Ex, bless his heart, said he had it and helped her finish her project. Bee came home, crying and apologizing, and didn’t complain once when I explained that I almost canceled her sleepover party tonight, but decided she was a very good kid who had made a mistake that she won’t ever make again. (There was poor pitiful puppy nodding at that.) I told Bee she gets zero privileges this week: after her friends leave tomorrow morning, there will be no dessert, no TV, no computer time, no fun adventures. There will be cleaning and chores and reading. It kind of puts a crimp in my plans for this weekend, but I guess I’ll get a lot of projects done around the house.

5. Because he loves me and because I must have sounded like a poor pitiful puppy myself, Jeff came over last night to salvage what he could of my sanity. I got a shoulder massage and he listened patiently while I explained the whole sorry scenario, and then he suggested watching The West Wing, because he knows what makes me feel better. Oh, and then we got to watch the most fantastic storm blow through with lots of lightning and not so much scary thunder. Watching a late-night lightning show with your honey with the lights off? That’s the kind of thing that makes up for so much crazy.

So here’s to the quickest, calmest birthday sleepover tonight. Here’s to having two wonderful little girls who only mess up sometimes. And here’s to having people who are willing to help me police the sleepover apocalypse. People are the best, you guys. And weekends are the best, too. Enjoy!

When friends come knocking at the door.

May 7, 2015

Or invading your mailbox. It’s almost the same, isn’t it? When they can’t be there for keeps? Things at ThePlaceThatShallNotBeDiscussed have been particularly un-discussable lately, and because my friends are awesome, they not only heard me, they reached across the miles to offer a hug and small pieces of comfort, the way only they can.

This showed up on my doorstep this past weekend:

Packy1A goody box with a Brady tshirt, Freudian sticky notes, owl push pins (and a lil statue of an owl that we call Weezy, who now lives in the Fairy Garden because the girls thought it was a gnome, not an owl. Geez.), scrap paper, red noses for the girls, an ampersand for the kitchen (don’t you design in punctuation?), and thank you notes. Oh, and a book for Gracie to read (The Red Tent, and the return of one of my books (A House in the Sky). A care package of awesome!

And then yesterday I checked the mail for the first time in mumblemumble:a few days:mumble and found this:

Packy2A care packy from my bestie Juls, back in Boston! (Cupcakes not included, but since Julie is cupcakes, I thought it was fitting that cupcake-palooza for the girls’ birthday sleepovers was going on in the background.) There was a note of encouragement, a pic from our last weekend together, and mix tapes cds. Juls is the queen of mix tapes cds, so I was so super excited to get them going. I think I might have listened to Fiona Apple’s “Hot Knife” about a hundred times on the way to work this morning.

Thanks for the awesomeness, ladies! It makes such a different putting up with the annoyances in our lives when you know you have such fantastic lifelines should you ever need to yell “Uncle!”

Quote of the Day.

May 5, 2015

The mosquitoes have already started eating me alive this year. Even after I put on the bug repellant, I still manage to find one or two. Which is what happened the other day at the park.

Me: Aw, man!
X-man, all concerned: What happened, Miss Katie?
Me: I have a bug bite. [Twist my calf around.] See?
X-man: I have one, too!
X-man shows me a small scratch on his knee from when he fell in the mulch.
Me: That’s not a bug bite, it’s a scratch.
X-man, all defensive: It is, too! It’s a skin-bite!!
Me: No, it’s not a bug bite. It’s not itchy! It’s a scrape.
X-man: No!!! It’s a skin-bite, when the ground bit my skin where I falled and left a boo-boo!!!

Well, okay then. A skin-bite. I’m sure it did feel like the ground jumped up and bit him. …Even if it totally isn’t a bug bite. Hmfph.

May the fourth always be with you, silly girl.

May 4, 2015

Today is, as you all know, May the Fourth. Star Wars Day. And while I would love to show you all the kickass Legos my brother found with our very uncommon and highly unpronounceable last name printed on them (because it translates roughly from French into something Lego might use?), instead I’m going to show you what I just found on my phone while looking for pictures.

Face6Apparently, Gracie-girl used my phone to take a few selfish during the 30 seconds I left her alone, in order to get her birthday post so she could read it. I never even had a clue that she had been messing around. She wasn’t giggly or looking guilty or anything else afterwards that might have given it away.

Face5Nope. Picking up a phone and taking selfies for no other reason than they make you happy? That’s how my Gracie rolls.

Face4 Face3 Face2

And that’s how I hope she keeps on rollin’, because that kind of attitude is sometimes what steps between you and an impossible situation, and actually makes it bearable for the time being.

So rock on, Gracie. Stick your tongue out, plaster a smile, smoosh the duckiest duck lips that ever ducked. May the fourth always be with you.

You’re a keeper, Jedi or not.


Five for Friday.

May 1, 2015

Because sometimes all you can do is bury yourself in the details until you feel like climbing out. I’m still peeking from my hidey hole. But!

1. My morning started out rather awesome: Weezer, Budapest, Florence and Stone Temple Pilots on the radio. Killer jams to start my Friday? Mmm, if I must. Also, my outfit is both relaxing and patio-ready. (Though at some point I am sure falling off my platform flip flop/sandal things is inevitable. I actually put an ace bandage in the car.) So! Let’s just blow through Friday and get ready for some more killer jams, right?

2. It was a rather pleasant beginning that I think I earned after last night. Last night that ended with one of my girls yelling at the other that she wished she was dead and she should go ahead and kill herself. !!!  Yes, it was in response to a night of arguing and the other child getting up and yanking all of the blankets off her bed, and there was an awful lot of lying to mom when I tried to sort it out, but mostly we talked about the power of words and how totally and absolutely unacceptable those particular words are. How I know people who have killed themselves and how utterly awful it is. How even if you make up with someone, even after you apologize and the anger melts, those words don’t ever really leave a person. Everyone was sobbing. Punishment was meted out. And yeah. Funtimes.

3. The Patriots didn’t draft Wilfork back. (Yes, I’m still going on about that.)

4. Hey! Books! Because it’s time for something cheery now. It’s actually been a really good reading week for me, which I rather needed because ooof with the quality of my mediocre reads lately. This week I read Smoke Gets in Your Eyes about a young woman who takes up at a crematorium. It was a pretty decent (and delightedly disgusting) read if that’s your bag. I dove into Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan, after re-reading its prequel Will Grayson, Will Grayson. WG, WG is one of my all-time favorite books, so I was rather looking forward to Tiny’s musical. Tiny Cooper is, too, one of my favorite characters in all of literature. But Hold Me Closer didn’t add anything to Will and Tiny’s story. There were some good lines, and it wasn’t a waste of an afternoon, but still. It could have been so much more. Although I’d still love to see the musical. I read the spectacular debut by David Arnold, Mosquitoland, about a Harriet-the-Spy-esque teen who runs away to Cleveland to find her mom after finding out unfortunate news about her dad and new stepmom. I cannot recommend that book highly enough, even if there were a few nitpicky things I would have changed had I been the editor. Or author. Ahem. And then there was ToMo’s new classic, God Help the Child, which is the leading contender for Best Book of 2015. Seriously. Seriously powerful. Seriously heartbreaking. Seriously my favorite just after Beloved. It was a gorgeously and simply written story about not jumping to judge everyone because everyone has their hidden story. (Yes, everyone weighing in on Baltimore, talking to you.) This needs to be required high school reading. And life reading. And today I start Lost Boi by Sassafras Lowrey, a “subversive queer punk novel” that reimagines Peter Pan. I KNOW! I can’t hardly wait!

5. I need you all to send me your best “Pimp my Cubby” ideas. I’ve been collecting quite a few on Pinterest. I’m thinking swanky lamps, a cush designer chair, lots of color and accessories. Something that makes it feel like a really comfy, eye-pleasing home, even if we don’t get those pocket doors (with locks) in the redesign. It might not be an office, but I’ll be damned if I can’t find a way to make the best of it.

So! Hit me up! And let’s get this Friday started so I can go relax on the patio and start erasing the rest of this week. Cheers!


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