roll on, 2016

Christmas is over. Time to breathe the collective sigh of relief.


This is not me, and I didn’t take this picture. Just so we’re clear.

It’s not that I dislike Christmas, even. In fact, I’m one of those sappy assholes who really DOES think that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.

I’m just always really glad when it’s over.

Christmas is like the pot of water that gets heated up so slowly that the frog in the pot (that’s me…ribbit) doesn’t realize it’s slowly being cooked alive until it’s just a little bit too late.

It starts with Thanksgiving and my mom asking us for our Christmas lists. Then people start posting pictures of their Christmas trees on Facebook and Instagram and I start itching to get a tree. When I finally get a tree, I spend a weekend decking the halls. Then there’s the holiday party for work. Then, Christmas shopping…and wrapping…and cooking…and planning for family holiday get-togethers…and GOING to family get-togethers, and giving gifts and sending cards and receiving cards and OMG so much mail and trying to finish gifts that I inevitably (and often wrongly) think I can get knitted / stitched / constructed by Christmas, and drinking, and eating so so many cookies and worrying if this will be another year where all I get for a bonus from work is a Jelly of the Month Club subscription and more wrapping and last-minute shopping and super panicked knitting of doom and then YAY CHRISTMAS OH MY GOURD LET’S OPEN PRESENTS AND EAT TOO MUCH FOOD HOORAY…

…and then it’s over. Just like that. What was weeks of cheerful glow is now just a quickly-fading after-image and I am left feeling…bereft.

Which, granted, feeling mildly bereft is pretty much my standard mode of operation because chronic depression is a fucking barrel of monkeys like that, but still. It’s especially noticeable directly after Christmas. Like someone has yanked the rug out from under me or something. Like emotional whiplash.

And then, just as I’m starting to get my feet back under me after all that, the “New Year, New You” bullshit starts. Ads for home exercise equipment nobody will actually use. Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, Shakeology, every local and national gym and fitness center smugly implying that you are not a good enough version of you the way that you are, and pointing out that January 1st would be the most opportune time to change that for the low, low price of $49.99 a month. Asshats on Facebook making grand lists of completely fucking pretentious resolutions like, ‘be more positive’, ‘live my truth’ and ‘judge less, love more’. I hate shit like this not least of all because it implies that you only have one chance a year to change. I also detest the implication that in order for your changes to actually count, you have to announce them to the whole fucking world on social media. If I want to change, I’ll fucking change whenever I feel like it and it’s nobody’s god damned business. If I want to stay the same, that’s my prerogative and ALSO nobody’s god damned business.

So roll on, 2016. Let’s hurry up and get past this brief self-bettering phase. There’s Valentine’s Day chocolate waiting for us on the other side.

well that’s…disappointing

Ever one to leave things until the absolute last minute, I just bought my husband another Christmas gift on Amazon. Even with the super-duper-omg-rush shipping it won’t arrive until Saturday, but it’s the thought that counts, damn it!


A couple minutes after I placed the order I received the customary “hey you just placed this order” email from Amazon. A moment later ANOTHER email popped up entitled “Your Promotional Credit”.

OOOoooo! Promotional credit? How EXCITING!

It only took half a second for visions of sugarplums and new embroidery swag to start dancing in my head. Then I started reprimanding myself, pointing out that I should use the credit to buy something responsible like vitamins.

The sugarplum-obsessed side of my brain began to whisper sweet sultry nothings about the new pots and pans I’ve been thinking about getting. The responsible side scolded about boring shit that ran the gamut from compact fluorescent light bulbs to laundry soap.

I clicked on the email, all excited to find out how much new stuff Amazon was about to let me acquire for free, and scanned the email for a dollar amount.

No numbers? WEIRD. I read it again, more carefully.

“Purchase has qualified me for promotional credit, blah blah, yes yes…credit added to my account…but how much ISSSS ITTTTT? Can be used toward the purchase of…a digital HD copy…of Kung Fu Panda on Amazon Video.


The visions of pots and pans and sugarplums and free laundry detergent all melted like the Wicked Witch after a judicious application of water. SIGH.

I mean…I don’t have anything against Kung Fu Panda. I saw it when it came out but it isn’t something I’ve ever felt the need to watch again in the SEVEN AND A HALF YEARS since it was released.

I wonder if I can redeem the credit and then send the copy to someone else as a gift. Do you want a digital HD copy of Kung Fu Panda? I might be able to make that happen.



I share many traits with pandas, including body shape and general disinterest in physical activity.





something, something, Tom Petty

I should probably write something.

I’m alive. That’s something.

I have a roof over my head, a fridge full of food, a family that loves me and a pretty awesome dog. Those are somethings.

I have a good job working with mostly pretty cool people and some exciting opportunities on the horizon. That’s something.

Now if I could just stop feeling so fucking hollow inside, like the world’s biggest, most echo-y-est echo chamber, that would REALLY be something.


Metaphor or dirty coffee cup? You decide.

It will eventually be ok. I know this. It all comes back around eventually. But like Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part.

Tom Petty also said “I’m barely prolific and incredibly lazy”. So, you know. He’s clearly my people and I have to believe him.





the lost art of changing the roll

How long does it take to change the roll of toilet paper, really? I’ve never timed myself, but I’d guesstimate that it typically takes about 5-10 seconds. Maybe double that if you have to like, walk across the bathroom to get a replacement roll of toilet paper and walk it back to the holder (in which case, you need to maybe rethink the layout of your bathroom).

Given that it takes so little time and energy to change out an empty roll for a full one, why is it that so many people just leave the empty roll for someone else to replace? It’s not like it’s costing you any money. You don’t even have to elevate your heart rate. You’re not touching anything gross. You aren’t going to miss an important phone call or miss out on a big business deal by lingering in the bathroom an extra ten seconds.

Basically the only thing you’re achieving by NOT changing the toilet paper roll is making someone else’s day just a tiny bit worse, whether it’s at home or at work.  If you could choose between making someone’s day suck slightly more or making it suck slightly less, why wouldn’t you choose to make it suck less? I’m the nihilistic misanthrope here, and even I can manage to muster up enough give-a-shit for my fellow man to bother to change the fucking toilet roll when I empty it.


The shreds hanging from it are just an extra dose of fuck you. Don’t be this guy.



amateur proctology for fun and profit

I’ve been dealing with a funk lately, and one of the things the funk has decided to preoccupy me with has been failure. Failure to write, failure to keep up with household tasks, failure to take good care of myself and those that I love, failure to get shit done at work. You name it, my brain will figure out a way that I’ve failed at it and then proceed to make me feel terrible about it.

So, while I was sitting here this afternoon, mentally beating myself up over being a failure in all things, I finally thought, “You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to write. I don’t even care what comes out. I’m going to write it and I’m going to post it, and the Internet can suck a dirty donkey dick if they don’t like it”. That, of course, was false bravado, because after about 150 words the funk refused to be ignored further and proceeded to remind me that I’m a gigantic failure because I actually DO care what the Internet thinks about what I post.

As an aside, one of my habits while reading and writing is to look up words to make sure that they mean what I think they mean. This habit was partially born out of my annoyance at a former boss who used to say dumb shit like “that’s a mute point”, with no idea what the words he was saying actually meant. Although I know it’s sort of hard to tell from reading my F-bomb-riddled blog posts, I’m a certified vocabulary whore.

So, in my building panic about being a praise-seeking suck-nut, I opened up a new tab in Firefox and started looking up words for, essentially, praise-seeking behavior. This of course led me to the word ‘narcissism’ and the related psychological definition, and I sat reading with mounting horror what seemed like a near-definitive description of myself. From there, I started reading articles about how people become narcissists, what can be done to help them get over themselves, etc. I was in full-on psychological self-diagnosis mode and was getting ready to start looking up phone numbers for therapists. Things were looking BLEAK.

At that point, I noticed something down at the bottom of the page on the original description of narcissism that had prompted this snowball effect of self-diagnosis. There was a note I failed to see during my first, second and even third read through. It said, in essence, “Almost everyone will recognize some or all of these qualities in themselves when presented with this list. Self-diagnosis is dangerous and you shouldn’t do it. You’re probably fine, really…but if you think you aren’t, talk to someone about it rather than just sitting there assuming you’re the living embodiment of awfulness”.

I embellished, but you get the idea.

A light clicked on in my brain at that point. Sure, I have my funks and my self-esteem issues. I’m a perfectionist sometimes, and I DO seek praise from others sometimes. But…so do most other people. It’s called BEING HUMAN. All humans are a little bit narcissistic, otherwise we wouldn’t have survived as a species.

And just like that, my head slipped right out of my ass without even the slightest strain. I blinked at the bright light of the outside world, and once I realized what had happened, I started to laugh.

Because really, if you can’t laugh about something as personal as your own brand of crazy, you’ve probably got your head pretty far up your ass.



I smell a new cross-stitch design coming on.

klutz life


I didn’t choose the klutz life, the klutz life chose me.

I’ve always been a klutz. In addition to being a fat-ass (it’s ok, I’m at peace with it. Plus, it’s literally true), I’m also fairly tall at 5’10”. I have long legs and big feet, and both seem to like to get tangled up in things.

I hadn’t done anything particularly klutzy in quite a while before today. I had mostly managed to remain upright at the appropriate times and kept all my body parts largely intact. The worst I could come up with were a few burns from a particularly hate-filled cookie sheet last week. No biggie, comparatively speaking.

But, all good things must come to an end, as they say.

This afternoon as I was walking back to my apartment from the car, I stepped up onto the concrete slab of the breezeway that separates our place from the neighbor’s, and promptly careened forward in violent fashion.

Here seems a good place to note that one of the downsides of being tall is that it seems like it takes longer to hit the ground when you’re falling, so you have more time to consider your impending doom. You also have slightly more time to try and enact mid-course corrections, but let’s be honest, those very rarely pan out once rapid descent has begun.

This was one of those times where I was sort of slow-motion falling, so my brain was trying to compensate for the misstep and help me catch my footing again…but it was way too late. As a result, I took what amounted to three giant beyond-full-stride steps across the breezeway in ever-increasingly out of balance fashion, and then went down like a ton of shit three inches from the front door of the apartment across from ours.

First of all, THANK FUCK the tenant in that apartment had recently moved out and so wasn’t around to see my slow-motion descent into pain and suffering; or worse, the subsequent peeling of myself up off the cold concrete slab while swearing a blue streak and trying not to cry. Second of all, thank fuck AGAIN for the fact that I fell where I did because if I had been just a few inches closer to the door I’d be at the ER having broken glass picked out of my previously-cute face right now.

Once I got myself up off the concrete (with no small amount of Bambi-on-ice-type machinations), I turned to look back and see what it was I had tripped on. The only thing I could find was a small stone, about a half inch long and quarter inch thick, sitting innocently enough near the edge of the step.

Whether it was that bastarding little thing that sent me into my very painful sprawl, I have no way of knowing…but I think I’m going to blame it, just out of spite.

sugar therapy

This week has been kind of shit-tastic. Mass shootings, Republicans trying to de-fund Planned Parenthood for like the 85th time, bad weather, fuckery at work, on and on.

Normally my strategy for dealing with stress like this is to drink, in case you hadn’t noticed. I’m not saying it’s a GOOD strategy…but, you know, it’s better than some.


I had already decided this afternoon that an adult beverage or two was in order this evening. Then, on the way home, a brilliant plan struck me: why not drink…AND build a gingerbread house! My husband was going to be out playing cards with his buddies so it was a perfect opportunity to have a dinner that he’d totally hate, then crack a bottle of wine that he’d also hate, and make a huge sugary mess on the kitchen table.



Sugar and wine! How bad can it go?

It should be noted that this kit came with directions. I didn’t READ the directions until much later in the process…but it DID come with directions. Good for Hasbro, trying to make things easier for people. The kind of people that read directions before getting halfway through something and realizing they might have fucked up, anyway.

It turns out that what you’re SUPPOSED to do is apply the icing and construct the house first, THEN use the rest of the icing to apply candy decorations.

My problem with this plan is as follows: who the FUCK other than professional bakers who work with piping bags on a regular basis can pipe icing decorations onto a surface at a frigging 90 degree angle?

Not THIS bitch, that’s fo’ sho’.

So, rather than follow the prescribed order of operations, I applied Shelby Logic and did what I fucking wanted. Incidentally, this may be a large part of why I failed Algebra three times in high school as well.

Shelby Logic says that decorating the walls of the house while they’re still flat on the table makes WAY more sense, so that’s what I did. I decorated THE SHIT out of all four walls, then I went to stick them together in the little tray that comes with the kit…and started to realize the possible error of my ways.

It turns out that the reason they have you stick the walls together in the tray first is because you can’t lay an already-decorated piece of gingerbread decorated-side down in order to apply the frosting for the joins, and it’s actually surprisingly hard to apply the frosting evenly with one hand while holding said piece of gingerbread up with the other. Especially when one has been drinking. Also, there’s the fact that if you do it the “right way”, the joints have time to harden up before you put the roof on, which saves a lot of panicking about the whole structure caving in when you insist on trying to spread icing flat across the roof parts later on.


Anyway, I channeled my inner Tim Gunn and made it work:


As Tim would say, “that’s a LOT of look”.

It’s a little rickety in places, but it’s not like I’m gonna be playing Gingerbread Barbie with it or anything so I think it’ll be ok.

And you know what? People are going to be dicks, stuff is going to go wrong, bad things are going to happen…but it’s ok. Life goes on.

And gods willing, I won’t have a hangover tomorrow.

fruitcake chronicles: in the beginning

In the beginning, there was booze.

Two kinds of booze, to be precise.


The much-coveted Screech was on sale. IT WAS A SIGN!

There was also an ass-load of dried fruit, but that’s nowhere near as exciting as the booze. Also, ignore that random onion in the background. I don’t know. This is why I’m not a famous food blogger. I can’t control what’s going on in the background of my pictures. Or my life.


I made fruitcake on Sunday and also managed to get pretty well schnockered in the process. It wasn’t my intent to get wasted while baking AT ALL, but that Screech, man. It’s so good. And so smooth. And I just kept sipping it..and sipping it…and mixing it with apple cider and sipping THAT…

…and about an hour later I realized, quite to my surprise, that I was fucking LIT.

I feel like I kept things pretty well under control, though:

  • I didn’t burn the fruitcake (or the potholders or the walls or anything else).
  • I didn’t cut myself AT ALL even while handling multiple knives (none of which are especially sharp, to be fair. Kind of like me).
  • I even managed to construct a truth be told quite magnificent turkey pot pie after the fruitcake, all without maiming anyone, poisoning anyone or blowing anything up.

However, I DO wish that I had taken before and after shots of my kitchen cabinets. I went to grab the potato starch tonight while making dinner and basically had to take everything out of the baking cabinet to find it. Similarly, the kosher salt was buried all the way at the back of the bottom shelf when it’s usually front and center. The bag of sugar was precariously balanced on top of a leaning tower of plastic containers partially full of various dried fruits, and there was a box of currants leaning at a 45 degree angle on some of the shorter jars of spices. My cabinets aren’t organized to an anal degree or anything, but I try to kind of keep sections – dry goods section, spice section, oils and vinegars section, canned goods section. You know…just sort of a basic semblance of order so that I’m not, for instance, swearing and throwing shit left and right in the middle of making gravy, trying to find the stupid fucking potato starch at the last second.

Also, valuable lessons about day drinking were re-learned on Sunday… chief among them, the reason why I don’t usually day drink. You see, when you drink yourself stupid at night, you can just go crash on your comfy wonderful bed, close your eyes and fall blissfully into a deep and dreamless stupor. You awaken the next morning, if not refreshed, then at least usually with a modicum of functionality. The drunkenness becomes a thing of the past and you move on with life.

When you day-drink, you’re fully conscious and aware of the sobering up. At least, unless you’ve REALLY gone overboard, in which case you may have bigger problems. Point is, being awake and aware of slowly becoming less drunk is basically no fun at all. It’s like the polar opposite of all the fun you had getting drunk, but with added ennui, guilt, and quite possibly shame. Being aware of moving back up through those layers of suckitude on the way back to sobriety is pretty depressing.

That’s how it seems to work for me anyway. It’s quite possible that there are plenty of people who handle day liquor better than I do. I decided on Sunday that I didn’t really want to learn that skill, though.

I’ll just stick to evening drinking and going to bed at relatively appropriate times to sleep it off, thanks.