Month: April 2012

Eco-friendly Hippie Bums: A diapering adventure!

Eco-friendly Hippie Bums: A diapering adventure!

I am a big believer in the idea that many people making small adjustments can create big change in the world. Time to put that idea to work for us by way of my baby’s bum. I always thought I’d be a cloth diaper kind […]

Bite v Chew

Bite v Chew

I am a compulsive starter of projects. It has been a problem my whole life. I am addicted to the thrill of a good idea, but the problem arises when I try to complete them all at once. I work faster and faster, spinning into […]

“Local Woman Foils Burglary, Invites Intruders To Tea”

“Local Woman Foils Burglary, Invites Intruders To Tea”

Do you ever wonder, when you hear the stories of old people giving their credit card information to perfect strangers and then falling victim to a scam, who can possibly be that stupid? Me too. But the mystery is solved.

It’s me!

I am that stupid. I am the future retiree who will lose everything to a grifter with a Crest-white smile. To illustrate my point, I have written the following one-act play entitled “Welcome, Please Steal My Shit.”

a play in one act

Danielle is home putting the baby to sleep in the basement when the doorbell rings multiple times. The frazzled mother ignores the incessant chiming – it’s probably just that nosy neighbor again! – and continues rocking the baby. 

Suddenly we hear a large dog frantically barking. We can later assume it is because an attempt was made to open the front door. Danielle, oblivious to the danger and cursing at the dog, finally hauls her ass up from the couch to walk upstairs. She looks out the front door. 

Two women are texting in a beat up white sedan parked outside outside the house. Danielle’s nonchalant shrug says “No big deal – their car probably broke down and now they’re calling AAA. La la la la la. Let’s go back to sending email and see what’s happening on Facebook.”

Moments later, Danielle is back in the basement when she hears a bang at the side of the house and once again the dog starts barking. Good dog. Danielle hauls herself upstairs for the second time, only to see the two women on her back deck moving furniture and still with the texting. She touches her hair self-consciously wishing she’d showered and gotten dressed today. Still, something is off.

Danielle: (knocking on the picture window) Can I help you? Why are you in my yard?

Woman 1: (in accented, dammit-why-do-you-have-to-be-hispanic English) Oh! We here to clean.

Woman 2 texts with the speed of a thousand secretaries.

Danielle: Are you with Molly Maids? I don’t think you’re scheduled today.

Woman 1: Yes, maybe we have a wrong house. What’s your name?

Danielle: We didn’t order any cleaning service. I think you should leave. And could you please make sure to close the gates on your way out? I don’t want the dogs to get out.

Woman 1: Oh okay.

Danielle: Sorry about the mixup – thanks.

The women high tail it out of there, while Danielle makes a fresh batch of coffee and goes to check on the baby. Sure, this was weird but hey, nothing to get upset about right? Their car didn’t have a company logo, the women weren’t in uniform, there were no cleaning supplies to speak of…and they didn’t have a key, which is odd…and one usually doesn’t keep a spare for the maids on the back porch but…but…

But what you idiot! This is the narrator speaking. You can recognize me by my use of italics. Now pick up the phone, call the police, and report these women! Do I have to draw you a diagram of your house, the alley it backs up to, and the truck that was on its way to cart away all of your worldly goods? Pick up the damn phone!

Danielle: (dialing and then speaking into the phone) Yes, hi, I think I’d like to report an attempted robbery. Maybe.


(Author’s note: The police did in fact confirm that there had been a string of robberies in the neighborhood fitting this description and Officer Strong – real name – followed up with care and efficiency. There are many things that the author would do differently next time, but the #1 thing that she would do is invite the women in to clean her home and make good on their cover story. The author’s home could use a good scrubbing, and it would serve those bitches right.)

I used to be hot…

I used to be hot…

Let me just open with this picture, recently shown to my 8- and 10-year-old nephews who didn’t know who it was. Yep, me. My first headshots after moving to Chicago. Twenty-two years old and ready to take on the world. Look at that hair! Those […]

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.

It’s always a challenge finding a meal that will feed the whole family (read “Jude”) and not resort to the old macaroni and cheese with peas stand-by. (One box Annie’s organic mac’n’cheese made according to box directions, with a cup of frozen peas added to […]

The Same River Twice

The Same River Twice

I’ve swiped the title of today’s blog from Alice Walker, whom I love, and her book “The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult.” It’s a moving long-form essay on a time in her life when the most wonderful was paired with the most devastating. In the ultimate tribute to grace, she looks back on that tangled period of time with gratitude.

There is an inherent connection, I think, between the awful and awe-inspiring moments in life. Though it’s more easily said than done, I’d like to be more like Alice and learn to embrace the difficult. Not just the overtly difficult, but the small disappointments that can build up and drown us if we aren’t careful. In my best moments, when I am able to let go of what I thought life would be and simply see it for what it is, I start to glimpse how lucky I really am.

If I can apply some perspective now, when I know what was waiting outside the window after life slammed that metaphorical door, maybe I will be able to more readily wade through difficult waters in the future.

Here goes.

A Letter to My Life
Written with humility, happiness, and hope for the future

Thank you failed acting career. You remain my biggest disappointment. But I learned that there is no shame in throwing in the towel. Sometimes, even though you try your best, things just don’t work out. I met Gabe doing a play though, and with the gift of Gabe came the treasure of my boys. There is no sitcom, no Broadway play, no Oscar-worthy movie role that I would choose over my little family. And even though I did not end this journey a star, I cannot discount the small victories along the way. Seeing my name on a cast list, that moment when a character clicks, the feeling of holding an audience captive – these things still happened. Life is long…who knows if or when this path and I will meet up again.

Thank you failed relationships. Thank you Stupid Pete for teaching me how to love someone. Thank you Kirby the Destroyer for showing me that 2 is better than 1, even though you weren’t the man I thought you were. If it weren’t for the two of you, I wouldn’t fully appreciate what I have with Gabe.

Thank you to the four houses that I loved and then lost over the course of 3 months due to bad home inspections. Turns out that the fifth time is a charm! And now that we’ve left the congestion and noise of the Denver neighborhoods that we were aiming for, I wouldn’t trade my big backyard, access to open space, and proximity to my parents for anything. Not even a good English-style pub…

Thank you heart surgery. Nothing puts life and love in perspective more than the threat of loss. Gabe’s surgery was 7 months ago, and today it’s as if it didn’t happen. Except that maybe we appreciate being together a little bit more. And we try not to take the little annoyances too seriously or let the easy moments pass by unnoticed.

Thank you XY chromosomes. I had always wanted a daughter because I am so close with my mom, but this has turned out to be a delightful curveball. I was so sure that both boys were girls! Being wrong has never been more wonderful.

Thank you miscarriage. It breaks my heart to write that, but without you I never would have been honored by the birth of Aidan. And he is worth a million heartbreaks.

Finally, thank you former job for overwhelming me with work and then cutting my health insurance benefits when I was 5 months pregnant. I learned that just because I can function at a high stress level doesn’t mean that I have to, and that it sometimes takes an extra push to overcome my fear of change and walk away.

Along those lines, thank you non-profit “dream job” that didn’t even call me in for a first interview. I am so happy to be freelancing, spending more time with my kids, and finally being able to work on my own projects at my own pace. I never would have had the guts to land here voluntarily.

And that’s maybe the biggest lesson of all.

I don’t always know what is best for me. Just because I want something so much doesn’t guarantee a success, and success doesn’t guarantee that that path will be the optimum one for me. Unexpected pitfalls force change. I wouldn’t have chosen any of the aforementioned struggles before they happened, but in hindsight I would not change a thing.

Thank you life. You seem to be working out quite well.