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March 2020
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May 2020

Friday Good Things, Cheez Edition

Last week, Jason splurged on mail-order cheesesteaks from Pat's. He wouldn't tell me how much they cost, told me to stop asking, and mumbled something-something about the "priceless" experience of giving our children their first authentic taste of Philly during a lockdown. It's not just a cheesesteak, it's world culture! Geography! Social studies! We're EDUCATING them over here, okay? (Or in the local language: This is a Homeschooling, Whiz Witout.) We ate cheesesteaks for dinner two nights in a row, and the kids begged us to order them again, immediately. I, the killer of joy and fun, told them no. These were a fun treat, but too expensive to be a regular thing. When we can, though, we'll take a trip to Philly and go to the actual restaurant! Maybe do a taste test with Geno's and Jim's! Wow, remember when we could things like that? But never...did? Gah. Anybody not gonna finish their cheesesteak? Can I haz it? Jason, who is basically surviving this experience one ambitious Food Experiment Project to the next, was all MY CHILDREN DEMAND CHEESESTEAKS. BY GRABTHAR'S HAMMER, I SHALL DELIVER CHEESESTEAKS. He worked all week on perfecting the rolls and tracking down ribeye... Read more →

Tuesday Tedium

Our school district finally started distance learning this week, and I can already confidently report that there is exactly the same amount of "learning" happening now as during the previous four weeks, which is to say, NOT MUCH, BOB. Instead, it's mostly kids getting distracted by their own faces and each other's pets on video calls, teachers struggling to unmute their own microphones, and super-challenging homework assignments like "practice writing an email" and "watch this video and then comment with the answer to the question I ask at the end, and/or just type the same answer that 30 other students have already commented with." (Two. The answer was two. I didn't watch the whole video either.) On Friday I got the (not entirely unexpected) news that the already-very-slow badging process for federal jobs has officially slowed down even more due to...well, you know. All Of It. So the timeline for Mah New Jerb has been pushed back from "I dunno, hopefully soon" to "I still dunno, but probably later." On Saturday my prepaid debit card from the unemployment office arrived, at least. So that's fun and humbling. I took Beau to the vet yesterday, as he's managed to lick and... Read more →

Happy-Sad Ever Afters, Redux

Guess who got adopted today! This morning, I coaxed his royal highness into our cat carrier with the promise of some treats, then slammed the door shut a split second before the SHEER BETRAYAL fully registered. After a 10-minute car ride of HOWLS and WOE -- followed by orange-cat love at first orange-cat sight in a very nice man's foyer (we both wore masks, like supervillains) and a few exploratory laps around the joint -- he's now settling into a much more peaceful, well-suited home as an Only Cat for an Only Human, where he shall be loved and spoiled and be hereby, forever, known as Toasty. The boys had a hard time saying goodbye this morning, especially poor Ike. A successful adoption always manages to be the most rewarding part of fostering and also totally the worst. It's definitely disorienting to look around the house and just...not see that particular little creature around anymore. They're just...gone. But not really! But also, yeah, because we'll likely never see him ever again. But also, yeah, that's the entire point. If it weren't for Ike, I'm not sure this cat would even be alive today. He was destined for an overcrowded city... Read more →


I had to go to Target yesterday to pick up a prescription, but first I had to wait out a fucking tornado warning. It's official: Do not go outside! Outside is bad! Outside is code for out to get you! The kids gathered up the cats and their stuffed animals and hid in the basement, later declaring themselves incapable of doing any chores or online learning because they were too stressed out over the tornado, which did not actually materialize in our area. (I know many other parts of the country were not so fortunate yesterday, but forgive my children's naive, sheltered privilege; they don't read the news, don't want to hear about the news, and keep stubbornly insisting that "the coronavirus is going away on April 24th." They should probably be on a presidential task force by now.) Anyway, I left for Target after the tornado warning expired, but forgot about the severe thunderstorm warning that was definitely still in effect. (The saddest part of this photo is that box of rosé wine does not actually contain any rosé wine. Or wine of any kind! It is empty, like my sense of purpose and meaning and whatever the fuck... Read more →

Friday Good Things

Ike, Ezra and I made faux stained glass with glitter glue (procured from Amazon, probably price-gouged), food coloring (procured from a friend, as a barter for sourdough starter), and glass from some old photo frames. They came out great! Everybody had fun! And it took up some time! Noah did not create An Art, but he did swing by to talk to us about our lord and savior the USS Enterprise. Ike and his best friend had a Zoom call for their dogs. I made a fruit salad. Everybody was really excited about the fruit salad, and insisted we document the fruit salad. We also had a couple nights of nice-enough weather for the fire pit, the tire swing, and a star-gazing app. And outside bedtime stories. (Jason's reading of Dog Man wasn't quite as entertaining as Dav Pilkey's, but this week the boys learned that their Absolute Favorite Author has both ADHD and dyslexia. Ike ran around the house shouting "BEHOLD MY SUPERPOWAH!" for about 20 minutes straight afterwards.) We did it! We survived another week. I hope y'all did too. Read more →

In Which I Lose My Shit Over Oatmeal

I came downstairs this morning to this, a mini Instant Oatmeal Apocalypse. I've made the (old, tired) joke about my children being hollow before, but that's apparently not accurate. They are mostly oatmeal, 'tis the glue connecting their bones, and more oatmeal must be procured or they shall surely die. That is, of course, not something I can just DO anymore, and honestly, THEY ATE ALL THAT FRICKING OATMEAL IN WHAT? LIKE A WEEK? That's 32 individual packets! Guys. I cannot afford that kind of baller oatmeal lifestyle right now. I actually think one of you might have a problem. (Noah. It's Noah. He eats this stuff at breakfast, as an afternoon snack, and sometimes in the middle of the night, judging by the number of random glopped-up bowls I've found in his room.) So I'm actually asking for help here, O Internet. I have rolled oats. I have multiple kinds of sugar, I have flaxseed, I have sea salt. That's it. That's the entire ingredient list for this crack. That seems stupidly dupe-able. But oh, do not even MENTION overnight oats, or anything close to it. My children DO NOT like overnight oats, and I will not be fooled... Read more →

Fun & Easy Crafts For the Apocalypse

Once upon a time, I briefly decided that I was going to be the sort of person who Made Shit and Sewed Things; who made her own cloth diapers and Halloween costumes and pillowcases and tote bags. The sort of person who owned a proper sewing machine. I never, ever became that person, alas. But I do technically own a sewing machine. I grew up in a house that had an entire dedicated Sewing Room, with a closet full of Butterick and McCall's patterns and an old Singer workhorse machine. I loved sewing doll clothes and tiny dollhouse bedding and pillows and whatever else I could patch together using my mom's fabric scraps. I was not a complete sewing n00b, is my point, so my dreamy dream of handmade domesticity wasn't that out of the realm of possibility. But when faced with the modern computerized nightmare of my own machine (a Brother CS 6000i), you'd think I'd never touched a sewing machine in my entire life. I could never thread it properly. It constantly beeped error messages at me. On the rare occasion I actually got it to stitch something, I was so thoroughly terrified of it and exhausted by... Read more →


Last night, welllll after bedtime, I heard Noah talking. To himself, maybe, but I suspected that he'd sneaked a phone into his room for YouTube AGAIN, or swapped our Echo devices around AGAIN to get around the 11 p.m. shut-off time we set up because his brothers kept complaining that he'd sing along to music all night and keep them awake. Teenagers! Go the fuck to sleep! Instead, I stumbled upon a late-night, Star Trek-themed campout under Ezra's desk, complete with blankets and pillows and spaceships. Noah has a lot to say about Star Trek lately. Ezra is there for every word of it. I told them to try to get some sleep at some point. And to let me know next time. I'll make you some popcorn. Read more →

Day 19ish & Counting

I keep trying to think of things to write "about" and coming up empty. Not like that's ever stopped me before, but at least I always had cute baby photos to fall back on. Right now the most recent photo on my phone is of a four-pack box of toothpaste that arrived yesterday, which amused me because it appeared to have been shipped directly from Colgate World Headquarters in special Colgate-branded packaging. Why this amused me enough to photograph, again, coming up empty on that. Jason ordered it by mistake anyway, because we already had plenty of toothpaste. Then I just felt guilty about making multiple humans work to pack, ship and deliver unnecessary, non-essential toothpaste. We are all really getting on each other's nerves around here. Which again, I feel guilty saying that because we at least have enough space to get the fuck away from each other when we need to! We can go outside! I have a goddamn hot tub to retreat to! But then it rains a few days and nights in a row and I'm so sick of television and the Internet I could scream and all aboard the Hot Self-Pity Express, destination Fort Asshole.... Read more →