Everything That Happens When Your Significant Other Joins An Amateur Ping Pong League

1. First, they will attempt to convince you to also join an amateur ping pong league, as their team needs three more people. 2. You will tell them NO. Never in a million years will you join an amateur ping pong league, because you are terrible at ping pong and even more terrible at losing. 3. They will text all your friends to see if THEY want to join an amateur ping pong league. 4. Your friends all respond with their personal favorite variation of a WAIT WHAT? gif and then politely change the subject. 5. The league will manage to sign up three other teamless/friendless losers and complete the team. 6. They will volunteer to be team captain because "nobody else wanted to." 7. They will be lying. And also a little giddy. 8. It's actually kind of cute! 9. A very specific, very fancy ping pong paddle will arrive in an Amazon box. You will laugh at the fancy box and ask them if they actually plan to carry the paddle around in the fancy box. They will say no. 10. They will be lying. A specialty paddle care and cleaning kit will show up along the way... Read more →


Up For Air

Hiiiiiii. How are you? I've been okay! Okay. Well, that's probably a flat-out lie, or at least a wild exaggeration. It's actually been a rough couple weeks. Everything's fine, of course. I've just been...kinda sad again, and overwhelmed by...everything, again. Kids have camp drop-off at 8:30? Gonna squeeze in at least three vivid anxiety dreams about fucking it up between the hours of 1 and 5:30 a.m. Conference call at 10 a.m.? Better start worrying about Skype not working by 9, triple check the meeting invite around 9:30, start staring at clock at 9:45, then contemplate various imaginary reasons for missing it altogether at 9:59. Two whole text messages from two whole separate people? Better just ignore those for awhile (because they COULD just be saying hi but they ALSO COULD be full of bad and terrible news and/or calling me a bad and terrible friend). Can later just pretend my phone broke, or something. (SPOILER ALERT: they were just saying hi.) Things have regulated back out this week, I'm happy (what a word!) to report. I've made the jump between "getting through the day with the bare minimum of necessary executive functioning to survive" and like, "being a normal... Read more →


Like a Bird

For Ike's birthday, we booked a pirate-themed tour of the glistening green sludge better known as Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It combined everybody's favorite things: Costumes, boats, water cannons, and birthday parties that don't involve cleaning my house. It also involved pirate-themed temporary tattoos. I chose an appropriate skull-and-crossbones design while the girl applying the tattoos raved enviously about my oh you thought we were all overreacting didn'tcha Nolite te Bastardes tattoo. Then I pushed my sleeve up to my bicep and she spotted the semicolon. "Oh!" she said quietly. "Oh!" I said awkwardly. "That's...yeah." "Me too." We stared at each other in choked up silence for a minute before murmuring our respective whens and how long agos and she wiped my arm and pressed the tattoo down. "We're so glad you're here today." "Me too." The first questions that fall out of people's mouths after you do Something Like That are usually along the lines of how could you and what were you thinking and don't you know that _____ (fill in the blank some variation on your worth/value/love/rich full life with so much to live for/etc.). At the time I tried to answer all those questions, albeit with wholly... Read more →


It Gets Better

If I had to name one aspect of parenting that I deeply, intensely hate, it actually wouldn't be the diapers or the sleep deprivation or the full-body bone-goop temper tantrums or even the look on your preshus beloved baby's face when you accidentally call him "sweetie" while saying goodbye in the middle school hallway. No, it'd be taking them to the damn dentist. Our past appointments easily take up several spots in my all-time top 10 Low Moments In Parenting list. We're talking screaming, kicking, crying. (Them, not me. At least not until we were back in the car.) I'd have to sit in the chair with them, pinning down their arms and legs with all the force my own limbs could muster, while a clearly pissed-off and tired-of-this-shit hygienist tried to assure them that "Mister Thirsty" was nothing to be scared of. (FUCK YOU MISTER THIRSTY, I'd think to myself, while also trying to think of post-appointment good-behavior incentives that didn't involve tooth-rotting junk food, lest the hygienist judge me even more.) We tried kid-only dentists, special-needs dentists, dentists whose lobbies were packed with video games and had televisions in the exam rooms. My kids would have none of... Read more →


High Crimes & Misdemeanors

I recently had to pass a drug screen and background check for work -- for a contract job I've had for over two years now and successfully not done while coked out of my mind and/or while committing various felonies, not even once, but I guess you can never be too careful with us shifty freelance types. I did not fail the drug screen, though I did initially fail the TAKING of the drug screen. Because I didn't pee enough. The ONE thing I needed to do that entire day was to pee in a cup and I couldn't pee enough in the cup. (This is what happens when you successfully medicate my anxiety, people. One time I showed up for a 20-week ultrasound with a bladder so full I burst into hysterical tears while signing in at the front desk and then spent a terrible 10 minutes in the restroom trying to pee just some of it out, but not all of it, because then we wouldn't be able to see the babyyyyyyy and find out the sex and everything in the entire universe would be ruined. RUINED I SAY.) I was directed to a water cooler in the... Read more →


Fearless Fashion

Ridiculous Unicorn Horn Headband: $9.95 Even More Ridiculous Fake Fair Extensions: $9.49 Needlessly Politically Themed St. Patrick's Day Shirt Because I Am Insufferable: $24.95 Needlessly Cat-Themed St. Patrick's Day Leggings Because My Husband Is Hilarious: $23.95 Doc Martens Because I was Seeing The Pixies (also Weezer but was mostly there for The Pixies): $140 but the blisters are freeeeeeeee Actually enjoying a concert for the first time in God knows how long vs. of spending the entire time on the edge of a panic attack because there could be a fire or roof collapse or crowd crush so maybe I should obsessively check the exits again and map out an escape route OMG we're all probably going to die and I cannot believe people do this for fun: PRICELESS (Also priceless: Me, in general, for using a commercial format MasterCard hasn't even used in at least a decade, thus dating myself even more than the Docs and Pixies tickets EVER COULD.) Read more →


Get Her Done

Here's a thing I didn't know about depression recovery: Your to-do list is INSANE. (I suppose I should avoid using words like INSANE as a hyperbolic adjective as we all attempt to de-stigmatize mental health disorders, but that would mean I'd also have to avoid words like CRAZYPANTS or BONKERSVILLE or ZIPPITY HUMMINGBIRD BRAIN and I just don't think I can do that. I am just a girl, with GAD and a CAPS LOCK key, doing what she can.) Anyway. I've been busy. There's a lot of catching up to do and holes to fill and bridges to un-burn. You have to figure out how to prove yourself as an un-shit employee and friend, make a lot of appointments and phone calls that should've happened six months ago...or maybe just look at a piece of fuzz on the floor and think to yourself, "I am going to pick up that piece of fuzz on the floor today." And then you pick it up. And allow yourself a brief moment of pride over this perfectly mundane and tiny task, because congratulations! You're officially human-ing at a baseline level again. Tremble before me, o fearsome floor fuzz! Begone, both u and the... Read more →


i Not Robot

Now that we're up to five humans, three dogs and two cats (plus two hibernating patio toads and hopefully some patio babies), it seemed like a good time to add yet another new member to the household. This is bObi, which Ezra and Ike decided is a girl because "we need more girls for it to be fair around here." They enjoy chasing after her and feeding her various bits of trash. Noah simply calls it the Chore Robot (as in, "Chore Robot! Over here! I dropped the pencil sharpener again"), so between that and all the demands/verbal abuse our poor Alexa suffers, I am growing vaguely concerned about the patriarchal/anti-feminist future of our robot overlords. Maybe I should lend them my pussy hat. ANYWAY, you can probably imagine the pet hair situation around here, plus my children all constantly shed, but instead of hair it's just straight-up dirt. They bathe and shower nightly, we take our shoes off inside, and yet the path leading away from Backpack Mountain and Discarded Coat Canyon (aka our foyer) always looks like a goddamn dust bowl just blew through. And for the first time in a long time, it's something I 1) notice,... Read more →


Amalah Casts a Pod

In an attempt to understand the Kids Today, what with their YooToobs and SnapToks and all that jazz, I did a podcast! Do you "do" a podcast, though? I didn't record a podcast, because I just talked and other people recorded it, and it wasn't my podcast, it was my dear dear friend Amy S. Bridges' podcast, We Are Still Hungry. Amy is better known here on ye olde blob as the person responsible for That Time I Shared Fried Calamari With The Late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, back when my life was probably a lot more interesting and blob-worthy. Oh, and it was also Amy's friend Paula's podcast, who is now my friend because I spilled wine all over her kitchen table in an Essential Tremor-y fit and she didn't care at all, or at least was gracious enough to pretend she didn't. She also owns enviable kitchen towels and an adorable wee doggo. Anyway, we got very real about mental illness and suicidal ideations, and what it's like to live your life after attempting to end it. Also: feminism and boy children, because you know I can't go a full hour without being a radical liberal commie... Read more →


Vote Out Te Bastardes

Hi hi hi. I'm okay. I know I don't usually go that long without posting but it felt disingenuous to sit here writing about how Ike got an entire container of green Halloween slime stuck in his hair when everything else is going to hell in a reusable grocery bag and WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE MY SLIME-COATED CHILDREN EVEN GOING TO INHERIT, PEOPLE? GET YOUR BUTTS TO THE POLLS. I voted, Jason voted, everyone we know has voted. Now there is nothing to do but wait and pray and stress-eat another package of Kraft singles. I got the slime out of Ike's hair, incidentally, with blue Dawn dish detergent, after several of the Internet's other suggestions for How To Get Slime Out Of Your Hair did not do the trick. Blue Dawn: The only thing you need to get slime out of hair and lipstick off cats. They should hire me for copywriting. We forgot to take any photos of Halloween, so you're spared that parade of awkwardness. Jason and I skipped dressing up, but Ezra and Ike made their own costumes: Ezra went as "Joey Reddabber," an original comic book character he created, and Ike dressed up as... Read more →