Category Archives: Me Me Me

Karaoke Dreams

I am not a singer. Not in any socially-acceptable way, that is. Whatever musical talent I have is localized in my hands, and even that is questionable. I sing the way I used to play oboe: LOUDLY, and with more enthusiasm than skill!

But I really, really, really love to sing, and whenever we play the three wishes game, one of my wishes is always “to be able to sing better.” Now, maybe with some time and training I could improve, but I will never be asked to sing by anyone with functioning ears. There’s a difference between enjoying something and being subjected to it, after all.

In my car, I’m a superstar, and these are some of my karaoke jams:

1. Only The Lonely – The Motels

2. Never Surrender – Corey Hart (could this be any more Canadian?)

3. Come Sail Away – Styx

4. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper

5. No Myth – Michael Penn (I might be the only person who likes this song)

6. Father Figure – George Michael

I’ll sing anything, and god knows my brain is about 84% song lyrics, but I rarely sing in front of other people, except Jillian. She has the misfortune of being related to me and since I am her principal chauffeur, not only does she have to listen to whatever I want to listen to, but she has to hear me sing it, too.

Poor kid.

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Observations

I am taking a Facebook break. It’s become obvious to me that there are some people out there who should have been drowned in a bucket when they were toddlers and I am tired of interacting with them, even in the most passive way (scrolling past).

It will probably be good for me, since for the first time in my life, my blood pressure (which is traditionally hilariously low) has been “elevated.” Gosh, I wonder why that might be? Anger and frustration are not a good combination at the best of times and we are nowhere near the best of times. If this is what “making America great again” looks like, I’m going to have to opt out, thanks.

At the moment, I’m doing homework. Most of what I have to do is read and write papers, but I’m taking a logic class which includes problem sets that are giving me fits. Not to worry, this is a 100-level class so just by showing up and breathing I will likely pass. The quality of questions being asked by my classmates is… well, most of them are freshmen and it shows, let’s say.

This semester is much more of a challenge than last semester. Fall was more of an experiment, to see if I could fit academia into my chaotic existence, and it went pretty well. I didn’t have to actually kill anyone, and I only had to screech at the family a few times. The novelty aspect of it all helped quite a bit, too. But this semester? This is a challenge. Increased workload both for me and for the family means that we are all running at full speed all the time. They say it takes a village, but we only have ourselves. Busy times.

In other news, the dogs do not seem to enjoy the musical stylings of Radiohead. I never noticed that before.

What I really need, and will not get until nearly August, is a full weekend with no commitments. I need this block of time because my closet REALLY needs to be cleaned out. I have so much stuff that I don’t wear anymore and it needs to go! I’m looking at the calendar, though, and… August. Maybe.

ADHD being the 4th family member in my household doesn’t really help. I am battling the early stages of a cold and really needed an extra hour of sleep this morning. That means What’s-His-Name needs to get up at 7AM (instead of his usual 7:30) to get the kid up and moving because nothing happens in this house in the morning unless I’m doing it. 7AM rolls around and he’s still in bed breathing on me, so I said “you’d better get up.” Yeah, yeah, he says.

Now, having an ADHD kid is akin to driving a truck with no power steering. It might go in the direction you want it to go, EVENTUALLY, but it takes a hell of an effort to get it there. Over the past 6 years, we have established a morning routine that is successful about 85% of the time and MY GOD I CANNOT STRESS HOW IMPORTANT THIS ROUTINE IS.

10 minutes later: “You know, routine is pretty important and you’re fucking it up.” He got out of bed then.

I don’t even feel bad – I explicitly asked for something I need (extra sleep) and he agreed to take over the morning shit so I could get that and he dropped the fucking ball. It’s annoying because it’s almost as if he thinks I am asking for the fucking moon sometimes. I’m really not. In the end, I got about an hour of sleep that I sorely needed and everyone got out the door on time, so all’s well that ends well, but fuck, man. Frustrating.

Currently taking a study break to read a GQ interview of Tom Hiddleston. So far, my takeaway is that if I go wandering through some of London’s park, I may run into the man who loves to wander aimlessly through them. TICKETS BOOKED!!

Just kidding, we’re not doing a big vacation this year!

That reminds me, I never wrote the Germany travel blog. I should get on that.

Ohhhh it would seem that Hiddles is a fan of Jonathan Franzen. Ugh. He should stop that because Franzen is such a hack. Maybe if I can get Hiddles to just stand near me and be pretty and we never talk about anything of substance? I’m more than happy to discuss the weather with him. Oh, but he’s tall! Hmm. We’re back to a balance point, then.

I should go to the gym today. Well, I should have gone to the gym today. I went yesterday, despite feeling a bit blah, but I felt worse this morning and now it’s a bit late for me to do that and still get home and showered in time to leave for my class. I’m at the point now where I feel a cold coming on and I’m not sure if exercise will kill it or make it worse. Winter sucks.

This blog post will probably post to Facebook. I think that’s how I’m going to do this for the foreseeable future – I’m not going to interact directly with Facebook, which means any likes or comments on whatever we’ll call this particular bit of drivel will go unseen. Like I said, if you need me, you know where to find me. And if you don’t… there’s a deficit in your existence, isn’t there?

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Who Am I, Anyway?

There are at least 13 legal permutations of my name. I know this because in 2004 when we first applied for a mortgage, I had to ask for more paper to fill out the “other names under which you are known” section.

I blame the state of New Jersey for this. When we got married, waaaaaay back in 2000, I first changed my social security card to reflect my new identity. When I went to change my drivers’ license, it turns out that the state of New Jersey’s computer system can’t handle the badass feminist I was back then (I’m more badass and more feminist now, thanks for asking) and decided that I needed a hyphen between my two last names.

After an 8-hour ordeal during which I challenged the DMV worker to call the governor’s office in Trenton, I left with a hyphen. Which does not match my social security card. Or my passport. On my credit cards, we dropped my maiden name completely, and never added the new one at the bank, so NONE of that matches anything else at all.

When I was going through all of this name-changing identity crisis nonsense, I was a student at Rutgers. While they allowed me to add a second last name to my current last name, they ate my MIDDLE NAME, of which I am quite fond, and slotted my maiden name in there. Well, okay then. Not terribly progressive of you, Rutgers, but we’ll deal with it.

Fast-forward to 2017, 16.5 years since I got hitched, and I have never once addressed any of this. At first I didn’t have the energy, then I didn’t care, then I didn’t have TIME, and now I’m back to not caring. I also find it amusing, that I can choose who I want to be in a given context.

Now I’m back in school and I have at least four “official” combinations of my name. My original, maiden-as-middle-name is one of them. I think that will show up on transcripts and junk. My drivers’ license name, which is the one I usually go by and sign to papers and exams is another. My OTHER official name, which erases my maiden name entirely (The person “Rachel A Zack” doesn’t technically exist), and my email, which is rdiroll. HILARITY ENSUES.

Example: “Excuse me, Mrs. Zack?”
[crickets]
“Mrs. Zack?”
OH WAIT HANG ON, THAT’S ME.

Another Example: “Rachel D——– Zack?” (Very, very few people can pronounce the maiden name correctly. Hell, half of the family gets it wrong most of the time)
YES, THAT’S ME.

“Rachel D Zack?”
Sure, that’s me, I guess.

It’s very confusing being me. People joke sometimes that they don’t know their own name, but I ACTUALLY DO NOT, at times. I also confuse my left and right hands, but that’s a topic for another day. I’ve also called the kid by the dog’s name which is something my grandmother used to do but in her defense, she has 9 kids. I only have one.

On the one hand, I really should just get a couple copies of my marriage license and pick one name, and make all of my things match. On the other hand, I rather like the chameleonic aspect of having 13 versions of my name. Each one of those ladies inhabits a different version of me, so why not give them each a name? It’s not a split-personality situation (because who has the energy for that, honestly), but more of a way to name my various moods, you know? Sometimes I’m a nice lady who opens doors for old people and says please and thank you and smiles a lot. That’s probably “Mrs Zack.” Other times, I cut people off in traffic and flip them the bird and mouth “ASSHOLE” at them when I pass them on the highway. That’s clearly “Ms Diroll.” Most of the time I’m just doing my thing. That’s what the hyphen is for, I suppose.

As Vonnegut said, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” Luckily for me, most of my 13 names are the name of a complete badass who is just trying to be her best self, most of the time.

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Some Things Stick

Sunday, February 29, 2004
Happy Leap Day! i just had to post today, even though i don’t have much to say. eh.

last thursday we went to happy hour at Houlihan’s (it being the closest thing to a local bar) and we were playing the trivia game. as usual, i was kicking major ass. i looked over to my left and noticed the guy sitting next to me. i had to look again. and again. and then i had to ask Freddie if he would look at the guy.

the guy was a dead ringer for Bono. hilarious. hair, earrings, everything. it made me laugh. he was playing trivia too. and his nickname?

Bono.

HAHAHA!

so we’re all playing and goofing off and stuff and Billy Squier comes on the music. FakeBono and his friend start arguing about whether Billy Squier was in Band-Aid or not. FakeBono says no, the friend says yes. so they tap me and ask me. heh.

Me: no, Billy Squier wasn’t in Band-Aid.
Friend: but didn’t he sing a christmas song?
FakeBono: [singing]: but tonight thank god it’s them, instead of you….
Me: yeah. he did that ‘christmas is the time to say i love you.’
Friend: oh. RIGHT!
FakeBono: [to friend]: see! i was right! [to me]: you know how i know that?
Me: because you look like Bono? unhealthy fixation, perhaps?

turns out that FakeBono is in a U2 tribute band called Unforgettable Fire. ACK!

unfortunately, i didn’t get a chance to talk to FakeBono much more because that’s about when Freddie decided we needed to leave so he could watch The Apprentice. heh.

I almost NEVER go back and read my own writing because so much of it is uniformly terrible. This, however… this is an interesting snapshot into how my brain worked back then and it’s amazing to me how far my writing has come since then. I’ve been a first-person observer for so long that I am having trouble transitioning to straight academic writing, but the one thing I know I DO have is a clear voice and a pretty good command of the English language. Even when – especially when – I make up my own words. This post right here is a good illustration of how much I’ve improved, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. I’m glad I finally embraced the use of capital letters – is there anything more annoying than some pretentious asshole blogger who thinks she’s worthy of this kind of conceit? e.e. cummings and bell hooks can get away with it because they are fuckin’ geniuses. I’m more of a special-ed genius.

It blows my mind that 2004 was 12 years ago. I have problems wrapping my head around that sometimes because it doesn’t feel like more than a decade has passed since I wrote this little blog snippet.

We were pretty close to being Actual Adults by then. I was 29, Freddie was 30, and we were living in our very last apartment before buying our first house later that year. We both had like, real office-type jobs (he’s still with the same company whereas I have had at least 5 other jobs since the one I held then because I am bad at adulting, we’ve come to find). We weren’t planning to have kids, ever (oh, how the universe LAUGHED AT US), but we had a cat. Our decorating style had progressed from “post-college desperation” to “we went to Value City!” We were, as the song goes, movin’ on up.

I remember this particular day SO clearly. We met friends at Houlihan’s after work, which we did most Thursdays. They had trivia at the bar (it used to be called NTN but now it’s BuzzTime) and because I am full of random facts and useless knowledge, I was in the lead. Over the years, I’ve found that this really pisses people off. My handle is “Piglet” and every now and again, I’ll see dudes peer around the bar, all “who is this Piglet? Fuck, man. I want to beat this dude at least once!” They always, always, assume that a guy is at the top of the scoreboard because ladybrains? Get the fuck out of here! No way a LADY can beat a dude at trivia! But I can, and I often do. There was at least one guy across the bar, looking around and muttering when I was tapped on the shoulder by FakeBono. To my credit, I neither laughed nor spit my beer out (I was likely drinking Bass or something else boring… the switch to craft beer happened later).

This incident makes me laugh every time I think about it. I’d like to bump into FakeBono again, because I have so many questions that have occurred to me over the years. The tribute band is still together and still playing, according to their website, so maybe I will get a chance to do that and let them know that I think of them every time I hear Billy Squier’s “Christmas Is A Time To Say I Love You.”

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Unfinished

A few weeks back, when my birthday was happening, I had a whole post started about how I hate the women’s-magazine trope of “life begins at 40” (or 50 or 60 or when you die). I still hate that.

Milestone birthdays are interesting to me – they mark an arbitrary amount of time passed, yet people ascribe huge importance to some of them (18, 21, 30, 40, 50, etc). For the most part, I have done the same.

I turned 40 last year and celebrated by spending a lovely week in the desert. I’m decidedly NOT a desert sort of person (I require trees with leaves and seasons and the occasional snow, regardless of how much I might bitch about it), but I spent my 20th birthday in the desert too, and both 20 and 40 marked huge changes in my life path.

At 20, my desert weekend helped me find the strength to leave a… let’s call it “unhealthy” relationship and put the fractured pieces of my life back together. At 40, my desert week helped me look back on the previous 20 years and see what picture those puzzle pieces turned out to be. Apparently it takes me 2 full decades to get my shit together, so my 60th birthday should be amazing. Maybe I’ll trek solo across the Sahara or something.

So while I wouldn’t say “life begins at 40,” now that I’m a year away from that I might say that my extremely prolonged adolescence ended at 40. I got rid of a lot of things and relationships and people who weren’t having a positive effect on me. I changed tracks but I wasn’t sure where this train was headed.

Now I know. About two months ago, I contacted all three universities I’ve attended and requested my transcripts. I knew that they weren’t stellar, but they weren’t as bad as I’d feared. I got all three of them and then spent a day just looking at them and making a bunch of decisions.

Before I could talk myself out of it, I re-applied to Rutgers. The application was disappointingly spare: who, where, when. That’s all. No room for me to explain why, at 41 years of age, I am trying to go back to school. No room to explain why I left in the first place and the things I’ve learned about myself and the world since then. No room, really, for bullshit.

And that’s the theme here – there is no more room for bullshit.

So I submitted this very disappointingly spare application and then I waited. AND WAITED. And… waited. I have discovered a remarkable amount of patience in my advanced age. I waited. The answer was either going to be “yes, come back” or “no, sorry, die in a fire,” and there wasn’t anything I could do about it either way, so I waited.

I was really starting to get fed up with this whole hippie notion of leaving it up to the universe when I got the email. “HEY GUESS WHAT YOU CAN COME BACK.” Oh! Okay. I was at work, and while I was processing this news, I logged in to Facebook to announce it to the world (because nothing happens in life until you tell Facebook, right?). Before I could post anything, I saw that Prince had died.

That put rather a damper on my day, to put it mildly, but it was kind of a good thing in that I could put all of my “holy shit” feelings in THAT basket and be more rational about this whole college thing.

My acceptance at Rutgers is conditional. I had to call and make an appointment with an academic advisor before I could do anything else, so the following Monday morning, I did just that. I knew if I put it off any longer I wouldn’t do it and come September I’d be all pissed off at myself for it. So I did it and got an appointment for the following morning.

[Imagine nuclear meltdown klaxons here] OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE THIS IS GOING TOO FAST.

I freaked out about it for exactly one day, then I went to my appointment. The first question out of the Dean’s mouth was “why are you here?” A HA! YES! BULLSHIT TIME. Except it wasn’t: I told her all the things. I told her about my first attempt at college and the barriers I bumped up against crashed into at warp speed. I talked about my 2nd attempt and how well that was going and how I thought it would be fine when I transferred to Rutgers but it was NOT fine and things went badly from the get-go. I talked about my ADHD and the anxiety/depression I have ALWAYS had that I now know is 100% related to it. I talked about where I personally failed and where I was failed. I talked about Jillian and how her diagnosis led to my diagnosis and how both of those things led to a radical re-shaping of our personal worlds. I talked about the programs of study I’d abandoned and what I was planning to do instead and why.

She listened. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t. But the Dean listened to my story and re-activated me as a student on the spot. I still have the conditions to fulfill, but I have so much more knowledge and so many more tools now that I didn’t have before. I also have enough credits for a minor in both Music and Linguistics.

I go back in the fall.

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Modern Marriage: A Scene

A few weeks ago, we used eBay to sell our XBox Rock Band set, since it was taking up space and nobody was using it. It sold fairly quickly and the money went into his dormant PayPal account, because of course it did.

He tried to log in and verify his account and jump through whatever other hoops, but was unsuccessful. That’s where we begin our scene.

*Bling!* (that’s my obnoxious email notification sound)

[It’s a forwarded email from Freddie, regarding his PayPal account.]

Him: I can’t figure this out!

Me: Hang on, let me see what I can do.

I click the link in the forwarded email.

I am asked for his PayPal password, which I don’t know and can’t guess. It’s been ages since he used it. Instead, I click “change password.” PayPal sends an email to him.

I then log in to his gmail account, because I’m his wife and I know things like passwords, bank account numbers, social security numbers, and can forge signatures when needed. I open the “hey, someone wants to change your password” email, follow the prompts, and enter a new password. Easy enough.

Go back to PayPal, go through the various steps of verification, adding a credit card. No need to add the bank account, since I’m shutting his PayPal down as soon as I transfer the money to MY PayPal account, which gets used more often. It’s stupid for us to have two different accounts and since I am the Chief Financial Officer of this company, I get to decide how we manage things.

Meanwhile, my phone is blowing up because he’s forwarding me the “OMG YOUR PASSWORD CHANGED” emails from his gmail.

Me: Stop forwarding me shit. I’m fixing it.

Him: I thought you would need these emails.

Me: I’m logged into your gmail right now. Stop messing with it.

Him: I feel so violated!

Me: It’s not like this is a mortgage or a will! Calm down.

Thirty seconds later, I have access to his PayPal balance. I send it to myself, and all is right with the world. I honestly don’t know what he was or wasn’t doing and why he couldn’t just… change his password and stuff, but as any woman knows, there are just some questions you don’t want to know the answers to. He had nearly a month to figure it out and it took me thirty seconds.

Ah, life.

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In Which I Open A Window To The Brain

This poor blog. What a sad state of affairs it’s in. The problem I’ve found with writing for the blog is that I am profoundly uninteresting unless I’m pissed off at something. And, since life has been pretty decent lately, I haven’t had much to yell about.

Well, nothing I can say in public, anyway. I have never had the power to successfully fictionalize the people in my life to the point where I can say what needs to be said without them knowing exactly whom I’m talking about. ALAS. Some stories will have to be told elsewhere.

So what’s the point of this blog, then? I haven’t got a subject that I am single-minded about. I don’t have a baby anymore, so I can’t really get down with the blogging about the utter dementedness of being a new parent, I’m not a foodie, and while I like beer well enough, I find that writing about it makes me hate it.

(Hmmm… maybe we can work with that)

The Jillian is now a third-grader, and I have her privacy to consider. She is the source of much amusement, but we’re at the point where it’s really up to her to decide what should and should not be “out there” for the world to see. I’d set her up with her own blog, but it would be nothing but Minecraft and Pokemon 24 hours a day.

Despite the tumbleweeds rolling through this domain, I have been writing. Most of it is utter drivel and will never see the light of day. I know I am my own worst critic, but some of this stuff is just crap. Maybe when I’m reeeeallly old or dead I will release that crap to the world and people can do what they want with it.

So… what, then? I guess we’ll figure it out as we go. As I approach my 40th birthday (I will be 40 years old but have only had 38 actual birthdays), I am feeling the need to establish some kind of routine with this. There are other factors behind this urge, but the age thing, whew. I’m about 99% okay with it.

Today is a Tuesday in April. We have just returned from a lovely weekend in Cleveland, where we stayed with our lovely friends in their lovely house, looking at the lovely lake. Had Easter dinner at Grandma’s, which was bittersweet, at best. Grandma is getting older and it’s starting to show. I worry. The family… I feel disconnected from them nowadays since I don’t live nearby and only see most of them once or twice a year. That’s the way of things with giant families, though. There are just too many of us. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss them.

We got home yesterday afternoon and Carl was SO HAPPY to see us. He usually hates all of us but when we got in the door he was there, rubbing on everyone’s legs and meowing for all he is worth. He has since calmed down a bit and has resumed his post in the front window, where he watches for birds and bunnies.

I picked up the dogs from doggie camp and after a brief period of everyone barking at everyone else, they have settled down into their weekday routine, which consists of sleeping. They’re happy to be home and I’m happy to have them because the house feels weird and empty without my mutts.

My brain is playing “Maybe I’m Amazed” on a loop in my head. I have long since given up trying to figure out where the songs come from or why my brain chooses them each morning. I do wonder if it’s my brain’s way of procrastinating, however. Like, I’m supposed to be thinking about something important, but the brain would rather sing along with Sir Paul, in the way that I get a LOT of knitting done when I’m supposed to be folding laundry.

(or writing)

Spring has finally arrived. That means I need to put out the hummingbird feeder, rake out the garden, and start fixing up the vegetable beds so they can be planted. I’m going to plant tomatoes again, but perhaps not quite so many as last year. Other than that, I’m not sure what else I want to put back there.

Lettuce?

Speaking of, I need to sign up for the CSA again. That was a moderately successful experiment last year. It was nice to get things that I might not otherwise buy, but since we’re at the mercy of what the farm produces, we ended up with roughly eleventy billion apples. While I enjoy a good apple as much as the next person, that was just ridiculous. If I get over my aversion to canning (sooooo much effort for a relatively small reward), then maybe a full share would make sense, but even with a half share, I fear I will be covered in apples again come October.

What I really need is a CSA that sends me my bodyweight in strawberries for the two weeks they are in season, and then when tomatoes are at their peak, they would just back a truck up to the house and dump ’em. That would be worth the money.

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Published!

For the first time, someone who is not me took a thing that I wrote and put it someplace where other people could see it.

Here is that thing.

Pac-Man Kill Screen

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Marriage Scene: Medical Edition

Him: I don’t feel great. [cough, snot, cough, sneeze]
Me: Well, you probably have that cold that everyone’s getting right now. Drink some water.
Him: I drank a lot of water today.
Me: Drink some more.
Him: Leave me alone.

[next day]

Me: Hey, it’s 7 o’clock, get up.
Him: I’m staying home from work today.
[Rachel flies out of bed like she’s been set on fire. She dresses in record time and nearly trips over the dogs in her haste to get out of the bedroom and down the stairs.]

[later that same day]

Him: I should go to the doctor.
Me: It’s just a virus. They’ll either give you antibiotics you don’t need to shut you up or tell you to drink more water and rest.
Him: But I feel really yucky. Antibiotics will help!
Me: No, they won’t. It’s a virus. Drink more water.

[he goes to the doctor]

Him: SEE?? I have the flu. I told you.
Me: WHICH IS A VIRUS. PWNED.
Him: They gave me antibiotics! Boo-yah!
Me: WHICH YOU DON’T NEED, BECAUSE VIRUS.
Him: I’m taking them anyway.
Me: I hope you get a yeast infection.

[next day]

Him: I feel worse.
Me: Drink more water. Here, let me take your temperature.
Him: I’m fine.
Me: Do you need some water?
Him: No.
Me: [nodding] Do you need some water?
Him: Leave me alone.
Me: Who’s the doctor in this house? Oh, right. ME. Drink some water. Also, here’s some cough medicine. Take this.
Him: It’s blue.
Me: Drink it, or I will find a way to make you. You’re as weak as a kitten, I can overpower you easily.
Him: You’re a mean doctor.
Me: Drink more water.

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Scatterbrain

There are certain people who talk about “Mommy Brain,” as if one becomes a mother and gets a lobotomy on the same day. Someone suffering from “Mommy Brain” may leave the house without a full set of clothing. Or, she’ll get all the pieces, but maybe the socks don’t match. Sometimes the shoes won’t match. These things happen. But it’s not because she’s suddenly become quite stupid – oh, no. It’s the opposite.

Monday mornings are really my Saturday – I don’t have to work at my job, and everyone else in the house does. What’s-His-Name goes to work and Jillian goes to school and I get a chance to just GET THINGS DONE without people getting in my way or asking me for impossible things.

I tend to spend the first part of Monday morning with my *real* life partner, Coffee. We have a cozy relationship, Coffee and I. Some say it’s unhealthy and co-dependent, but to those people I say this: YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. So Coffee and I set up at Mission Control, in front of the laptop, with a notebook at hand. We take inventory of our life, and make notes.

This is where true Mommy Brain kicks in. For instance, I know there is a hamper of laundry upstairs, so that goes on my mental radar. The vacuum is still up there from last weeks burst of manic energy ended before I could get the whole bedroom swept. That goes on the mental list, too. The bathroom… that’s mostly okay, so can be safely ignored for the moment. I really should make the bed. Ooh, and we desperately need new bedding, so I make a mental note to start shopping around for that. The Tower of Yarn… let’s ignore that for the moment.

Moving on… the bookcases upstairs need some serious love. I need to cull the herd and dust the rest. There are things that can be tossed out and/or put into storage. I know there are Pez dispensers up there, they can go in the Pez bin downstairs. There are lots of Scrapbox things (ooh, mental note to the mental note – Scrapbox: When You Put All Your Memento Bullshit In A Box Because You Can’t Be Bothered to Make A Scrapbook) that need to find a home. This area needs to be swept, too.

Ditto the stairs, ew.

Entryway – needs to be swept and mopped, desperately. Talk to What’s-His-Name about fixing some of the tile grout. Clean up the dog food area. Look in Magical Closet of Wonder, decide it’s organized fine for now. Coat closet – shoes are out of control again, that needs to be fixed. There is a case of beer that needs a temporary home before it finds a permanent home in my belly. Okay, mental notes made. Moving on.

Now we’re in the kitchen. What’s in the freezer? What kind of dinner can I create with what I have… oh wait need some stuff from the store. Jot those things down in the notebook. The cabinet under the [drippy] sink is smelly again, need to get some Damp-Rid or similar until a permanent fix can be made. Good thing I organized all that stuff after I flooded the kitchen that day (don’t ask).

Countertops… put stuff away. Okay, done. What’s in the fridge… let’s get rid of some things that can probably talk at this point. Ew, the shelves in the fridge need to be cleaned. Actually, the whole thing could use a good scrubbing. Do we want to do that today? Maybe.

Okay, so we probably do have to hit the grocery store. Let’s look at the vague mental inventory of what we have in the house. This stuff is always in the back of my mind, because it’s part of running the household. What’s-His-Name couldn’t tell you the first thing about what kind of food we have in the pantry. This work is invisible.

While we’re making a grocery list, do we need other stuff like toilet paper, paper towels… cleaning supplies? Shampoo/soap for anyone? Maybe… Hmmm.

All this stuff is in my head.

Also, tonight we have a Brownie meeting. I need to call and see the status of my Co-leader application and schedule training sessions. I have to write up Jillian’s cookie order, decide if I have time to get the sewing machine out and sew patches on her vest (I don’t), figure out what dinner is going to be, since the meeting is at 6.

While we’re at it, let’s keep in mind the rest of the week. Skating and piano and a doctor’s appointment and I have a vague feeling there’s something I’m doing this weekend but I’m not sure. All of these things are on the calendar, but that doesn’t mean I can just forget about them. They’re still in my head so I can effectively plan the week. On top of that, I need to pay bills, remind What’s-His-Name for the eleventy-billionth time to fix the upstairs toilet seat, do laundry, get a plan together to organize the beer stuff, start pricing chest freezers for the basement, start thinking about this year’s garden, get a quote for front garden landscaping, get a quote for resurfacing the driveway, get an estimate on the truck’s front wheel bearings, get an estimate on the 43 things that What’s-His-Name’s car needs, go to the dry cleaner, take the dogs to the groomer (and maybe the cat, too), make vet appointments for everyone, and so much more.

Somewhere in this, I need to find time to work out, shower, dress myself, and eat.

This is why some of the moms in your life seem like they have no idea what they’re doing. In fact, they have ALL the ideas of what EVERYONE is doing, usually all at once. This is why moms seem so frazzled or spaced-out. This goes double for moms who work outside the home – I have no idea how those badass ladies juggle all this bullshit.

This is also why it seems like some moms seem to lose their identity as people. For some moms, that is probably okay with them, and was likely a Life Goal of some sort. But for others, it’s so difficult to get a handle on the Mom Stuff that the Person Stuff tends to take a backseat. That’s just how it is. I know it took me a good long time to get even halfway good at Life Stuff once the kid arrived. I used to do a lot more knitting. I used to play guitar (badly). Now, who has time? Between Mom Stuff and Job Stuff and Marriage Stuff, there’s not a whole lot of time left in the day for Me Stuff.

This is why my brain doesn’t work.

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