Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again.

I grew up in a big house on the top of a small mountain in Woodstock, New York. We moved in the summer I turned nine, and my mom and stepdad sold it 15 years later, in the spring of 2002. (Rumor has it that the new owners immediately rented the house to Matchbox 20 for the summer, which is…interesting.)

It was a great house. I dream about it sometimes, and last night I had the most realistic dream about it yet. I dreamed that I was walking through it, showing my mom what Will and I were planning to do with the rooms, because we’d just bought it. The best room in the house (which was my room for several years) was going to be Grace’s bedroom. My sisters’ old room would be Sam’s. The spare room between them would be a playroom with a projector set up for movies.

I woke up pining for the house in a way I haven’t ever before. I texted back and forth with my sister, drawing sketches of the layout and showing her what I’d put where. I am sad because we aren’t actually buying it.

I can't find a photo of the house, so here's the stream that ran through the property

I can’t find a photo of the house, so here’s the stream that ran through the property

Maybe I should buy a Powerball ticket.

hair today

Day 1: I get my hair cut short short short and revel in the freedom of Almost No Hair.
Day 2: this is the best, I am never having anything but a pixie ever again.
Day 184: oops, I am very overdue for a haircut.
Day 200: I trim it myself.
Day 241: this is awful, I hate my hair.
Day 258: you know, if I just get it shaped properly, it’d grow into a lovely bob…
Day 277: I cut it myself, into sort of a pseudo-bob.
Day 300: my hair is nearly long enough to be a proper bob!
Day 311: I miss having a pixie.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Normally, this is the time of year when we finally have some fucking light in our apartment, which is dark as hell from September to April (approximately). This year, though, we’re having mysterious waterfall from the skies, accompanied by grey clouds and a distinct lack of daylight.

We need the rain, so I am trying not to complain about it, but not only is my apartment so dark I had to turn on every single light just to read a comic book (I guess I could find/borrow Will’s headlamp), but I also have been congested as hell and yesterday I had a sinus headache so bad that I asked Will to come home early and I took a two hour nap at dinner time, then slept normal hours.

June gloom is just around the corner, that strange time of year when it’s overcast every day for a month for no reason (or probably for some reason, but I don’t know what it is), so maybe it’s kinder for May to be gloomy too.

Maybe I should get my own headlamp.

In Which I Spend Too Much Money

On Thursday I made my mechanic laugh when I called him and said my car was making an “alarming noise.” On Friday I paid $236 for new brake pads and rotors. He showed me the old ones, worn bare; it was terrifying. Since we didn’t actually have $236, groceries are going to be super interesting for the next few weeks.

Then Saturday was Free Comic Book Day.


Sam paid for most of these (the non-free ones) with his own cash money, but I absolutely bought that Ms Marvel collection and an issue of Lil Gotham for Grace (who didn’t have any money). Since comic book stores pay for the free comics, it only seemed right to support House of Secrets.

And since I was on a roll, I went ahead and did this today:


(The image is flipped, so you’re seeing what I see in the mirror. I think that’s pretty cool.)

And now I am going to stop spending money indefinitely.

Bad Idea Bucket List

Quick! I only have three and a half years left before I turn 40. I need to get some youthful indiscretions out of the way, and I need your help to think of them. (Feel free to suggest things that I may have already done or that I am super unlikely to ever do. I am…not very serious about this.)

  1. Do donuts on the neighbor’s lawn (or wherever).
  2. Pierce my nose.

I need some advice.

Here is my dilemma:

We have a neighbor, J, who has a toddler. Her boyfriend, the baby’s father, lived with them at one time, but I haven’t seen him lately and am not sure if he’s still around (I never saw him often, so he probably is). J’s mother lives in the building as well, but as far as I know she’s in another apartment. At her request, we leave our recyclables for her to collect the return on. (They probably think we are terrible alcoholics, but HAHAHA that’s another story.)

J has asked to borrow a dollar now and again, and a few weeks ago asked to borrow $20 for diapers and milk. I have always helped her out and she’s always repaid me.

Last night we got home to a note on our door, asking for another $20. We don’t have it (I have always loaned her money out of my grocery money and this week’s is spent). I wrote a note back, apologizing and asking if there is anything else we can do to help.

I’m not looking for advice on whether I should be helping J when I’m able to or whether I should feel bad when I can’t; I’m pretty confident in the answers to both of those. What I would like is any ideas you may have for nice things I can do for them. Baking cookies, for example–but maybe that wouldn’t be so nice, if they are low on food-food? I don’t know how to approach this. I do have some outgrown clothing of Grace’s, which I’m going to sort out for the baby, and some old toys I may offer them.

Any other ideas?

Playground Politics

An older woman, immaculately dressed, follows her granddaughter around the park, loudly directing her on her scooter. “Go around the circle. Here, around the tree. That’s good! Now go around again.” The granddaughter is at least eight years old.

I do not murder the woman for interfering.

A young mother runs up to where my son is playing with her son and joins in, effectively taking over, deciding how they will play. My son is eight, hers at least five.

I do not murder the woman for interfering.

Three adults (two men and one woman) practice fencing, inappropriately dressed for it, a couple hundred feet from the playground. I have to talk my son and his playmate (whose mother has vanished) out of going and “playing” with them.

I do not murder the fencers for lack of brains.

Another mom, with a son and daughter somewhere between Grace and Sam’s ages, refuses to play with them and encourages them to use their imaginations and find things to do on their own. When her son says he cannot, she patiently listens to him spouting off interesting facts about elephants.

I do not make out with her face, but I am awfully tempted to.


My main observation from nearly three weeks of our new eating regime is that the children’s personalities are exactly as I suspected.

Sam wants to please us. He will try anything. Just pops it in his mouth and chews it up. But he doesn’t like any of it. He coughs and fake-chokes and is dramatic about all of it. He won’t let himself really taste things.

Grace does not give a damn about pleasing us, but her natural curiosity wins out over stubbornness about half the time. She has found several new foods that she LOVES.


We’re rearranging our apartment. I know what you’re thinkng–AGAIN?!–but beyond moving a chair or something, we only rearrange ever 2-3 years, which is less frequently than most people move, so you do the math.

Sam and Grace have their own room. Sometimes one or both of them disappears for hours. Most nights they go to sleep in their own beds, thought here are nights like last night, when grace was feeling anxious and sad about losing co sleeping, and I brought her out to falls sleep in my bed.

…Which is in the living room. It’s temporary, and was a great transition point for everyone, but I’m ready for more privacy and the apartment isn’t. Yet.


I miss sewing. My work area, which was a disaster to begin with, is totally non-functional as I sort through the mess. I have clothing to sew! My wardrobe is on the right track for the first time in years, damn it!


What’s new with you? I feel out of touch.


I was the penalty tracker in this Saturday’s derby dolls game. Photographer Grant Palmer took this photo of me comparing penalty sheets with penalty box administrators Sweep-the-leg Johnny and Namaslay.


I cannot stop laughing. MY FACE! I look like I am sucking on a lemon. (Click to embiggen.)