Learning Not to Cry Over Spilled (Sippy Cups of) Milk

spilled_milkJust as I got home, my mom called to tell me the sink was leaking again. She wanted me to ask our neighbor, who is also our plumber, if he could come over and fix it. I crossed the street to find him with his head poked inside the back of his truck while his kids, Kid and Kid Brother, ran around the yard.

“Hey, Matt… so, our sink is broken and leaking. Could you come over and fix it?”

“Again?! Goddammit! They’ve been breaking throughout the valley!” he yelled not at me specifically as he pulled his head out of the back of the truck.

“Oh. Bummer. Like, the piece itself?” I asked. By his tone, it was clear now was a bad time.

“Yeah. The damn manufacturer used cheap shit and they’re breaking after 6 months!”

“Oh dear,” I said,  unsure of what the right response was. “Well…whenever you have the time, we’d appreciate it if you could swing by.”

“I’ll be over in a minute. I just have to find my damn wrench…”

“Okay. Thanks!”

“In the meantime, you should go into the crawlspace and turn off the water!” he called out from halfway back inside the truck.

“Will do!” I said.

As I walked back to my house, KidBrother followed after me. He wanted to find the cat, Sheba, who hated him and who’d scratched him earlier in the year. He wasn’t phased by that, and in fact talked about it like a badge of honor. “Where Sheba?” he asked when he toddled in the door.

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Does menstruation concern you?

C: Do you ever wonder sometimes if the woman you’re sitting next to on the bus or in a meeting is on her period? Like, do you ever think “Is this person actively bleeding out of her vagina right now?”

J: No, not usually. Unless I’m swimming in the ocean. Then I do because sharks.



Things Said While Babysitting


Maybe it’s destiny for milk to be spilled. Perhaps that’s where tears come from.

I was hired to watch three kids one Saturday while their parents went to the local Oktoberfest. I supervised my kid best friend, named Kid, his younger brother, KidBrother, and the child of a friend of the parents of the first two, we’ll call him Tom.

Kid is seven, KidBrother and Tom are both three. During the course of watching these kids, I said things to them I never imagined saying to anyone in my life. I hadn’t imagined saying those things because what I was saying were things said to me as a kid, things adults would say when they sucked the fun out of stuff by regulating everything my kid self would do.

And yet I found myself saying these things:

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Very, very quite contrary


“Rabble rabble!”
“Rabble rabble you!”

Note: Parentheses are summaries of long conversations and are also designed to preserve anonymity.

(C: Finding out the other person’s side won’t actually change the circumstances.)

(J: Yes it will.)

(C: No. Besides, I believe this person. Sometimes you just trust someone.)

(J: No. You can’t do that. You have to make sure they’re telling the truth.)

(C: You trust them through life experiences; there’s enough here to establish a clear pattern of truth and trust in people. There may be another side, there’s always two sides, but seeking the other side will hurt the person close to us. I can’t talk about this anymore because it’s upsetting me and I have to go to work.)

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We Need A Boat


Rough idea of the kind of boat we might want.

J: We need a boat.

C: We need a motherfucking boat. And some flippy flops. And sunny shades.

J: We’re not going to sell pizza on a boat, but we are going to play Johnny Appleseed.

C: Sandwiches!

J: Maybe. I might be ok with that. I just think it’s dangerous making wages off food with a Stini tummy nearby.

C: Good point. Could be a financial loss scenario.

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Breaking Up With The Reminders


^This is not recommended therapy after a breakup.

C: I’m not texting with him at the moment and sort of purging him from my life a bit. For example, he bought me a journal an wrote in it/drew in it before he gave it to me (moon and stars Khaleesi stuff). It was plain black, thin paper, small height on the lines. I ended the diary early and changed to a new one. I wanted a clean start, I guess. Also, it bugged me that he drew in it. And I never really resonated with the diary anyway.

J: Sounds fine. I would have been more concerned if you turned it into some sort of voodoo doll, stabbing it with pins and burning it. Continue reading

In pursuit of: Happiness?


Behbeh can do it herself.

C: Llama llama? Gerbil kitteh cuttlefish gerbil llama llama gerbil. Blergh.
I need to wash out my brain. Too many things going on in there that I’d like to stop. Why do I have to analyze things? What have you done to me!?!? ?
Argh. Whatever. I can be alone. Behbeh can do it herself. Fuck it.

J: It doesn’t stop.
It can pause, but won’t stop.
All I can tell you is that it will make you greater than you were before
Not that it will make you happy.
The only peace to be found is in the struggle–paradoxical.
Hardly happy.
Meaning: if happiness is what you really want, thinking about things too much will at some point become counter-productive
I will say this. In order to be brave, one must first have fear.

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Chipmunk cheeks

chipmunkcheeksC: [image sent to J] —>

J: How did you get Claudia’s phone, little chipmunk?

C: Cheep cheep cheep!
You know what I’ve learned from all of this? Other than driving home, behbeh could have taken care of herself all by herself.

J: That’s never been in doubt. Could was never the issue. Should always was.

C: Meh. I don’t get the should angle you’re going for.

J: Behbeh can do it herself
It’s nice to share.
For example, could behbeh wrestle a tiger? Sure. But SHOULD behbeh wrestle a tiger? No.

But about chip, and the meaning of being chipper: it’s against the followers of Chip to be grumpy bears, especially among the munks of Chip.

I’ll have to check the rule book, but I’m not sure chipmunks are allowed to be Grumpy Bears.

C: 😦


Would you wrestle this cutie? Probably not.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Suddenly Disappear

J: I get that they had to take your teeth. But it’s not like you had plenty of wisdom to go around. 😛

C: Not funny Stini. Out of surgery. Oddly enough, my mouth hurts.

J: Oh, it’ll hurt. Might want to line up some painkillers. I want to see the chipmunk. Where’s the chipmunk.

C: No chipmunk yet. I look like an old man who never smiles. Really swolled now. Was spitting up blood.

J: It’ll get swollen the next couple of days, or should, if you’re actually human. It might hurt to laugh. You may not want to do that. I’m not a doctor, but I pretend to be one when I text. 🙂 Continue reading

Hosting a Going Away Party…for my wisdom teeth


Sorry little buddy, but you gotta go.

C: I’m having a going away party for my wisdom teeth tomorrow.

J: Where are your teeth going? Are you throwing them away?!’

C: I’m having surgery to remove them. [Ex-Boyfriend] was showing me funny videos of people coming out from being under.

J: I like those videos. Crocodile Dundee was one of the better ones.

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Local Controversy

In the town that I live in, there’s a big controversy that’s been brewing this spring. The news has reported on it, people have written letters to the editor against it, Board of Trustees members have discussed this issue, and local businesses have gotten involved. It asks the very important question:

Should our library have a fireplace? Continue reading

The Raccoon Incident – Part 1

packingboxesI was living alone in a two bedroom bungalow house, in a town where I knew only one person, where I had no job, an ex-boyfriend who wasn’t returning my texts asking when I could return all his stuff to him, and it was Tuesday.

At 10:30 p.m., I was in my bedroom packing clothes into boxes by season. I had been sorting, packing, purging, and organizing my stuff for several days. I was moving soon. I wasn’t sure when, or where to, but I knew I was moving. My rent was paid, though, so I had some time to decide what to do.

I had a month of no real obligations. With no job and an impending move, my days were filled organizing and packing. When that got old, I would quilt or sit on my front porch drawing and painting while watching old seasons of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Sometimes I was overcome with listlessness and did nothing; then suddenly I would have a burst of energy and organize all of my books alphabetically by genre. I’d then wander from project to project to project, completing none of them. I didn’t know what I was doing next in my life, so I had a hard time deciding what project to tackle next.

The only certain thing was that I wasn’t going to stay in that house with the red door and red porch, tall windows and cream colored siding, fake vinyl wood flooring, huge backyard and slightly sloping kitchen floor. I wasn’t staying in Champaign, Illinois any longer than I had to.

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Letter to Credit Card Company

Dear Credit Card Company,

I have asked MULTIPLE times to be removed from your mailing list. I have sent polite letters asking to be removed. I have sent sternly worded letters asking to be removed. I have sent short notes written in ALL CAPS in red crayon (sometimes purple) demanding to be removed from the mailing list. Some of these efforts were effective with some credit card companies, but alas, my previous efforts to be removed from your mailing list were clearly not effective. Continue reading

Why do things suddenly appear?

All the turquoise.

All the turquoise.

C: I just learned turquoise is my birthstone. I think I need a beaded turquoise headdress. And necklace, earrings, and belt buckle.

Bert: You totally do! But I thought December was the ruby. And then you could have slippers!

C: There’s two options for December, but neither one is the ruby. Can I still have the slippers? And shaped like they’re eating my feet? Like shark slippers?

Bert: Ummmmm…ok. If that makes you happy.

Quackity quack.

Quackity quack.

C: I’m socks like that for my mom for Christmas for my mom. Only ducks.

Bert: I have socks like that, only sharks. I’m always sad they’re not cuttlefish.

C: You know that song Close to You by the Carpenters. If they changed the lyrics from birds to anything else, it would be weird. “Why do cuttlefish suddenly appear every time you are near?”

Bert: Why do elk suddenly appear every time you are near?  …Oh man, this is gonna be my new favorite game!

Where are they all coming from?!?

Where are they all coming from?!?

C: Why do squirrels suddenly appear…

Bert: Why do seahorses suddenly appear… Why do thumb drives suddenly appear…

C: And don’t limit yourself to animals! Why do lawyers suddenly appear…

Bert: Why do democrats suddenly appear…

C: Why do Kardashians suddenly appear…

Bert: NOOO!!!!  Why do hondas suddenly appear…

C: Because my anaconda don’t want none unless you drive a sensible Honda, hon.

So many burritos...

So many burritos…

Bert: I’m hiding from being an adult right now. I took an early and very long lunch.

C: Why do burritos suddenly appear? Actually, then you’d be MY BEST FRIEND EVER!

Bert: That. Would. Be. Amazing.  My anaconda don’t want none unless you got Betty White, son.

C: Why does Betty White suddenly appear every time you are near? Because Betty White is awesome.BettyWhite

Bert: I need that on a tee shirt. And also to be true.


Little Baby Dillweed

C: Also, fwiw, I like the name Abigail.

K: Nice. We do too. Mom doesn’t seem crazy about it.

C: Not so much, but cest la vie. You know what Shakespeare had to say about all that anyway.

K: Yeah…that guy was cool.

C: Oh, good! Glad you got the reference to the line by Shakespeare in his play: _______ (this is a fill-in-the-blank questionnaire.)

K: King Leer. Not sure the spelling or the play.

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The Temple of DOOOOOM

scared ponies

Ponies frightened of incoming skeletons.

For Thanksgiving, we had a small group. Me, boyfriend K, mom Liz, bestie Rose, Rose’s husband D, and their child V, who’s 4. V is a lovely little child who has no problem making friends with anyone. She particularly likes making friends with boys.

After dinner (in which V had three helpings of mashed potatoes), V began playing with the ponies she’d brought with her, and K decided to join her in play. Apparently, the ponies were all trying to run away from and also defeat the army of skeletons. While sitting on the stairs, V explained the plot of the play. “Well, all the skeletons are coming after the ponies, the ponies have to fight them off of their land because it’s where their houses are and where they eat. But the skeletons want to come and take it from the ponies. The skeletons are really scary, especially at night.” Then she looked at K, wide-eyed, and said “I’m scared!” and reached out to hug him. She’d scared herself with the story, and needed a reassuring hug from a big guy she’d met only a handful of times.

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Adult’s night out

As an adult, I go on grown-up nights out. And since I don’t have kids, this really isn’t a big deal.

pissed off cat

What the cat looks like when I leave her. Or don’t feed her wet food when she demands. Or don’t pet her enough or to her liking. Or when I wake her up from a nap.

I leave my cat, I go out, I come home to pissed off cat.

My best friend, however, has a daughter, V. She’s four. She needs a babysitter, something my cat doesn’t require or would even acknowledge.

On a recent adult date night between V’s mom, Rose, Rose’s husband, me and my boyfriend, we enlisted my mother, Liz, to babysit V.

While at dinner, Rose told us how excited V was about the evening with Liz.

“Yeah, V said she was really excited about babysitting Liz, and that if they ran out of things to do, she’d have to think of new things they could do together!”

After returning from the date, Liz informed me that, during the ‘sit, her and V watched Maleficent. During the scary parts, V would cover my mom’s eyes and tell her not to watch because it was scary.

The next day, Rose texted me that V had asked Rose and Husband to go out to an adult breakfast together so she could play with Liz.


drinks with friends

Cheers! A night out without kids or cat!