Penn State. Unfortunately. I ran upstairs last night and shook Jason awake. JoePa! They fired JoePa! And then we stayed up for hours watching ESPN, watching the students wander aimlessly around downtown while the eternally-present-and-obligatory group of drunk dickheads smashed some shit up for no reason, just like they did 14 years ago for reasons I don't remember. We won? We lost? We were pissed about increased late fees at the library? I don't know, but it always ended with a couch getting pitched off a balcony and set on fire. FUCK YOU COUCH YOU ARE DRUNK. We stayed up watching the Paternos step outside their house -- a house I remember driving by, and the whole car went reverently silent once it was pointed out, because it was JoePa's house -- to blearily thank the "kids" who'd gathered on their lawn, only to be completely flummoxed and shocked by the giant seething mass of media that swarmed their doorstep instead. Because they probably still don't get it, how big this is, how awful. That it's not that you didn't do "enough," it's that you didn't do anything. You didn't do anything. Nobody did. At 19 years old, I didn't... Read more →


It's been a...well, it certainly has been a week. (Said with deep, emphatic, eyebrow-raising emphasis.) I'm all jumbled up inside, unable to put the not-so-good stuff into words and the not-that-terrible stuff into a humorous context, like: usually a story about an overflowing toilet during a playdate should be good for some pathos, right? Except when the overflowing toilet overflows twice (because said playdate wouldn't stop flushing it over and over) and floods the basement bathroom at the same time, and this happens right after you learn that your kindergartener was sent to the principal's office that day for behavior problems, and then came home and declared himself a "loser" because of it and begs you to "sign [him] out" of kindergarten, and "sign [him] out FOREVER"... And right before the cat starts vomiting all over the house and taking random bloody shits in the kitchen... Which turns out to be an extreme yet ultimately run-of-the-mill reaction to SOMEONE accidentally grabbing a similarly-labeled-but-actually-different bag of cat food at the store, which is a relief...right up until the moment you exhaustively collapse into your bed...and discover that oh, the cat puked there, too... And then the baby wakes up at 1:15... Read more →


And that's all I have to say about that. (Except OMFG.) (And maybe SEND WINE.) (And OLIVE OIL. And COMBS. And BLEACH. And perhaps an ATOMIC BOMB.) (Because SERIOUSLY, he crawled in BED with me this morning and we were all cuddling and snuggling and talking about stuff and...why are you scratching your head so much? Lemme just peek under your hair for a second and HOLY GOD GET OFF MY PILLOW UNCLEAN UNCLEEEEEEAN!) (Are you itching now too? Good. I pretty much came here just to make that happen.) Read more →

It's Like Winning the Lottery Only More Contagious-Like

Because I am pretty sure this pregnancy JUST WON'T COUNT without at least one unwarranted, after-hours trip to Labor & Delivery, I went and diagnosed myself with pre-eclampsia last night and called my doctor's answering service in a panic. I'd had a headache all day that was getting worse by the hour, and I was feeling increasingly woozy and tired and out-of-it. My body was a mess of weirdly unspecific aches and pains in my back and sides and shoulders and maybe my abdomen or maybe my uterus, I don't know, it just allll hurts, and I was having these really ridiculously violent coughing fits where I would basically cough until I threw up. By the time I realized I was ALSO running a fever, I was convinced that I was dying of pre-eclampsia or HELLP syndrome or an acksploded gallbladder or something else bad and awful and very dramatic, I am sure. The on-call doctor returned my call, listened patiently to my moaning and agreed that the headache in particular was disconcerting. I put on my shoes and made a mid-air thumb-wrestling gesture to Jason that completely baffled him, even though I don't know HOW it could have been... Read more →

53 Hours

We went to the mall on Sunday, mostly because it was officially Too Damn Hot For Life outside and had run out of other indoor time-killing options. Life lesson time, boys: If you get bored, just go somewhere and buy shit you don't need for awhile. Anyway. The lights flickered once. Twice. We decided to leave, let the power go out and lead to mass looting at Build-a-Bear. We noticed it was raining really hard through the skylights, but by the time we got outside the sun was shining again. The only evidence that a tornado had touched down nearby was...well, there were a lot of leaves all over the ground. Oh. And shit like this: That brownish...thing? That's the underside of a really big tree that just up and fell over. It peeled off a nice layer of the earth's crust and mantle on its way down, and yes I said MANTLE because BOO-YAH GEOLOGY 101. Preparing me for moments like this and not much else. (My drive-by cell-phone photography skillz: YOU LOVE THEM.) Not surprisingly, we lost power as a result of the storm. As did over 300,000 other homes in our area, which I swear is like,... Read more →


Who needs sleep? Apparently: ALL OF US. Heavens, but we are a sleep-deprived bunch. I have a confession: After I wrote yesterday's entry, I was secretly sort-of sure that last night would be different, and that I'd make it through the night without waking. Because! Of course it would! I WHINED TO THE INTERNET ABOUT MY PROBLEMS. That's usually a one-way ticket to a mea culpa the next day about "oh hey! never mind about that thing after all, all good now." Ha. Yeah. No. Instead, because I'd been soooooooo emphatic and smug-ass confident that falling asleep "wasn't the problem," I was awake and wild-eyed until well after midnight. I woke up at 4:30, fell back asleep around 6:15 or so, only to wake up 15 minutes later because the cat decided it was time for a snuggle. I DID NOT PARTICULARLY AGREE. But seriously, THANK YOU for all your comments and sleep aid ideas. I am definitely going to try several that came up the most (melatonin, tryptophan, anxiety/task lists), possibly see a sleep specialist that local reader Allyson recommended, and I will report back. I know! Sit back down! You're going to sprain something from all this excitement... Read more →

Who Needs Sleep

backfromthebeachomgzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Everywhere I go today, I am stepping over laundry baskets and suitcases. I think they are reproducing, like tribbles. We didn't take that many suitcases to the beach in the first place, did we? So why are there so many damn suitcases now? Suitcases. Suitcases! I haven't been sleeping very well. And I think it might be starting to show. Going to sleep is no problem. Not even a little bit. Staying asleep, though, is impossible. I wake up every night around 3 a.m., like clockwork, sometimes even shaking myself awake in the middle of a dream for no discernible reason. And while I used to be able to roll over and go back to sleep, more or less, now my brain clicks on within seconds, all "OH CRAP NOT AGAIN I'M AWAKE QUICK DON'T START THINKING ABOUT THAT THING YOU HAVE TO DO OH DAMN IT ALL TO HELL NOW I'M THINKING ABOUT IT." And then I start involuntarily composing blog entries and columns and emails or maybe just trying to remember if Mel Gibson actually made any movies I'll miss now that he's...well, YOU KNOW. Do I have a topic for Cafemom this week? What about topic... Read more →

Area Woman Demands Medal For Heroic Rescue of Disgusting Thing She Totally Hates

Jason Storch, Mouse Trapper M.D., caught himself another one this morning. He was quite proud of himself. The dog and the cat, on the other hand, were all nonchalantly hanging around the trap, waiting for me to put their kibble down, COMPLETELY UNFAZED by the live mouse SITTING RIGHT THERE in a clear plastic box, and did not seem to be all ashamed of themselves and their utter uselessness. Also! This: Is EVEN MORE BULLSHIT. That's a dishtowel covering up today's Gladware-encased rodent offering, on the front seat of my car, as the whole "release" bit of Jason's catch-and-release plan fell to me this time. ME! Technically, Jason offered to take care of the mouse...later. Like, "I have to go somewhere around 4 p.m. so I'll do it then" later. I pointed out that while it's fine and great that he's so determined to trap the mice humanely and all, there's something about keeping the things trapped in cheap plastic containers all day --wallowing in piss and shit and probably terrified out of their feeble stupid tiny poop-pellet-sized disgusting brains -- that strikes me as kind of cruel. (Also cruel: My suspicion that he likes keeping the mice around because... Read more →


My weekend got EVEN BETTER, if you can believe it. After staggering downstairs in search of coffee on Saturday morning, I was greeted by the usual sight of Jason making pancakes for the boys. Oh, and this, sitting on our kitchen counter: BELIEVE IT. I took one look at that tiny pointy seizing rodent poop monster -- on my COUNTER, in my GLADWARE, which once held CHRISTMAS COOKIES -- and turned around and marched right back out. Noah climbed down from his stool -- and his breakfast, which was also on the COUNTER, just INCHES away the scratchy disease-ridden furball -- and chased after me, imploring me to come look! Come look, Mommy! He's our FRIEND, Mommy! Don't worry, Mommy, it's just a little mouse, and he's a friendly mouse, Mommy. He took my hand and pulled me back into the kitchen, where Jason was practically on the floor laughing at Noah's earnest reassurances (the very same patch of floor where this very same blinky jumpy dwarf rat thing had been brazenly skittering around at all hours of the night for weeks, BY THE WAY). I indulged Noah and looked directly into the big bulging eyes of the furry helldemon... Read more →


Two weeks ago: I accidentally hit a curb in my car, apparently hard enough to damage the sidewall of the tire. An ominous-looking bump appeared, rendering the car undriveable until we got a replacement tire. We had a spare but for some reason there was something wrong with the spare that Jason explained and I don't know I wasn't listening zzzzzzzzzboring, look, you're going to need to accept that I am a Classic Awful Girl when it comes to car stuff and move on, okay? One week ago: Jason finally made up his mind about the tire, because you know how he is about tires. He ordered a "slightly used" tired off eBay to save us from having to replace multiple tires, because the other tires were fine, at least according to the highly scientific tread-measurements we conducted using various coin of U.S. currency and also zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzboring. In the meantime: Jason worked from home most days, other days we haggled and juggled and chauffeured everybody around in the other car, like pilgrims or whoever it was who lived in the days of everybody only having one car. Last Tuesday: Jason mentions that it's probably time to maybe start thinking about... Read more →