And How Was YOUR Day?

It was on this exact day in history when I realized that I needed to make a change. That the working-outside-the-home thing and I were not a good fit. That my poor already-meager brainpower reserves were overextended to the breaking point, making each and every venture into the outside world fraught with danger and the potential to snowball into a comedy of errors, or at least a story that could only be told with at least a dozen "...AND THEN!" transitions into the next circle of absent-minded hell. That being required to walk out the door remembering my keys AND my lunch AND the daycare bag AND the work I'd brought home the night before AND my shoes AND where I'd parked the car AND the baby, omg the baby was just too much. Something had to give. Five years and a whole extra kid-and-a-half later, this remains probably one of the most self-aware things I have ever realized about myself. Five years later, and it still holds true that the simple decision to "get out of my pajamas" is usually the exact point where my day goes completely haywire. For the record, I am only required to Leave The... Read more →

Why We Probably Never Get Invited Places

This story requires some background. In fact, I'd say this story is probably a good 95% background. This is the kind of story I would submit to my creative writing professor in college and get back with the words YES, AND....???? scrawled after the ending because the denouement was basically me running out of time at library that morning and then pretending that the unsatisfying, abrupt ending was ON PURPOSE, like even the WHOLE POINT, god, nobody GETS ME, it was DEEP and SOCIALLY-COMMENTATING-Y. Anyway! It is true, I was very misunderstood. Now let's all move on and pretend that this is a vaguely accurate rendering of the great state of Pennsylvania: If you believe the original boundary-deciding people all had raging meth habits, I think it kind of works. Now, I spent the first 19 years or so of my life in this general part of Pennsylvania: Basically, if you picture New Jersey as the head and shoulders of some old dude in profile (AND I BET YOU DO NOW), I grew up tucked directly under his chin. Jason also spent a good chunk of his adolescence in the same area, only in the town where M. Night Shyamalan... 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 →

Patience is an ocean

On the first day of our vacation, I took Noah to the beach. Just us. Jason was putting out one last work fire. Ezra was...well, he was eating, having already figured out that 1) all the food here was delicious, and 2) he could get into the kitchen via an always-open back door, and that there was ALWAYS someone in there cooking something, and they were ALWAYS happy to give him a taste, like an over-eager puppy begging for scraps. So Noah and I went to the beach. I might as well have taken him to the dentist, because he did not want to go to the beach, because of the ocean. He did not want to go near the ocean. He did not want to look at the ocean or hear the ocean. NO OCEAN. He stood as far back on the sand as he possibly could, practically climbing up a wall of rocks in his bare feet, adamant about the NO OCEAN part. The ocean in Jamaica is not like the ocean here, which knocked Noah over two summers ago and he has refused to go near since. (He holds a mean grudge, I've learned.) It's calm, shallow.... Read more →

My Infestation, Let Me Show You It

A couple years ago, shortly before we moved from DC to the Stupid Suburbs, my recently-transplanted-from-California friend sent me a camera phone photo and a hysterical text message. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS FUCK YOU EAST COAST The picture was of the most hideous insect I had ever seen. Including the time I found a cockroach in my bathtub. (Although cockroach encounters are almost like a bizarre form of street cred for City People. It reaffirms that yes, I am so hardcore in my desire to Walk To Things (translation: Starbucks) that I am perfectly okay with spending half a million dollars to live in a 800-square-foot hellhole.) Anyway, this bug was ugly. It was obviously some kind of beetle but the kind of beetle that would eat ladybugs for lunch and then poop out some kind of flesh-eating disease. All over your face. While you slept. I texted back. HOLY FUCK KILL IT KILL IT I AM THROWING SHOES FROM HERE. My phone was silent for a few minutes. And then. FUCK IT CAN FLY IT CAN FLLLY FUCK And a few minutes later, she called. "Cilannnnntrooooo!" she wailed. "WHAT?" "Cilantro! I squashed it with Skip's shoe and now... Read more →

In Lieu Of

This post is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. I was in the ninth grade. It was early spring, a few weeks before Easter. My mom offered to take me out for lunch, and I, in my infinite gastronomical taste and sense of occasion, chose Taco Bell. We sat at a tiny table by the window. I remember I talked a lot. I don’t remember what I talked about, but afterward, when we got back into the car, my mom drove out of the parking lot…and then parked the car a few yards away, in a different fast food parking lot. That’s when we had the conversation I realized my mom had probably intended to have at the restaurant. “Your dad has cancer.” *** He had cancer of the larynx, to be exact. The voice box. He’d quit smoking when I was a tiny little asthmatic thing, but the long years of cigarettes and daily high school English lectures had taken a terrible toll. He underwent radiation. I have a weird memory of going with him to a radiation treatment that I think I may have made up. I started writing short stories and essays in earnest around this time.... Read more →


So...if I were to mine my own life for a post topic today, I'd unfortunately be forced to report that Noah is once again home from school with an ear infection. (Scene: Doctor's Office. Yesterday.) DOCTOR: (after hearing Noah's cough) Has he been checked out? AMY: (waves dismissively) Oh, he's fine. Just a cold. (Scene: Noah's Room. Like, Not Even Eight Hours Later.) NOAH: (holding his ear and howling in pain) AMY: Wait. Don't tell me. I think I know this one. (Seriously. Fuck this noise and this nasal drip. Fuck them DIRECTLY. Noah attended a birthday party on Sunday at one of those little gym-type places, and I made a joke to another mother that I SWEAR, we walk into one and within 48 hours Noah is sick. It was a JOKE! You didn't literally have to whip out the stopwatch, Universe. Christ.) (I am maybe getting the hang of this, though. Crank up the humidifier in Noah's room, start calling his bookshelf the "library," haul out a Duplo train set and dub it the "imagination center," declare the laundry pile the "tactile center," climb into his bed with baby, laptop and coffee and ta-da! Instant preschool. With way... Read more →

Ezra's Birth Story

Preparing for a scheduled c-section is a lot like preparing for a long, cross-country trip. Or maybe a trip to the moon. The days beforehand are a blur of lists and packing and obsessing about the lists and packing. And dusting and laundry and the state of your toenails. The conflicting information you get from the hospital and your doctor's office feels like the airport keeps changing your departure gate on you. Bloodwork two days before! no, 24 hours! No, the day of the surgery! You need a doctor's note! No, you don't! No food or drink after midnight! Water is okay! No, it's not! Only there's no Expedia confirmation email to cling to, just a nurse whose name you didn't catch on the other end of the phone. *** I'd gotten the pre-op bloodwork done on Tuesday and was outfitted with an assortment of hospital bracelets. Jason's mother had gone with me -- she was terrified that I was going to faint if I went alone, I was just terrified of getting lost inside the hospital -- and then that night she insisted we go out for one last dinner out, sans child, pre childREN. For the first time... Read more →