Reverse reviewed:

In which my recent media choices of a movie and two books review mine and my husband’s decision to relocate to California.

The day after we got married, my husband flew to the Bay Area to interview with different companies for a new job. Three weeks he had an offer, and we celebrated by going out to dinner and toasting to his successful job hunt. The next day, we had to put my cat down, who I’d had for 18 years. The next week, we were in San Francisco scouring Craigslist ads for a suitable place to live. We ruled out the Tenderloin; too many needles. We found a place in South of Market, (SoMa) a block from my husband’s new job. We returned to Colorado to pack; husband would be there for one more week before he had to return to Cali to begin his job, leaving me in Colorado to finish packing and moving.

During that week, while in a Henry Fonda kind of mood, we decided to watch Grapes of Wrath. I hadn’t seen it since high school, and it’s questionable as to whether or not I actually saw it or just slept through the movie, figuring that having read the book was enough.

Continue reading

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

spilled_milkJust as I got home, my mom called to tell me our 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, Hank and Oliver, ran around the yard.

“Hey, Matt… so, our sink is 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.

“Yeah. The damn manufacturer used cheap shit and they’re breaking after 6 months!” By his tone, it was clear now was a bad time.

“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, Oliver followed after me. He wanted to find my 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 as he toddled in the door.

Continue reading

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, Little Brother, and the child of a friend of the parents, Tom.

Kid is seven, Little Brother and Tom are both three. During the course of watching these kids, based on the things I said, I realized that I had transitioned into an actual Adult, a real Grown Up.

An example of the Grown Up things I said:

Continue reading

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 my tummy nearby.

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

Continue reading

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 and 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. Who does that? Writes and draws on someone else’s gift?

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.

C: I don’t stabby stab.

J: You don’t need to. Your loose sewing pins and needles do plenty of stabbing for you!

J: Side note: Really small pieces of bread should be called kneadles.

C: Kneadles! I like  🙂


Hamster struggling to eat a “kneadle.”

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.

Continue reading

Local Controversy

My local library has found itself in the crosshairs of a controversy. 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 or picking up his stuff, and it was Tuesday night.

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 with 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 and color. 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.

Continue reading

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 getting socks like that for my mom for Christmas for my mom. Only ducks.

Bert: I have socks like that, only fish. 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?” is creepy.

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 not just animals! Why do lawyers suddenly appear…

Bert: Why do restraining orders 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.

A rose by any other name should smell like new baby in order to be loved.

A rose by any other name should still smell like new baby in order to be loved.

C: Lear. No. Romeo and Juliet. A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. Meaning, regardless of Juliet’s name (Capulet), he still loved her the same.
Of course, they were young teenagers who thought they were in love after just meeting and decided they knew enough about love to kill themselves because they thought they couldn’t be together even though they didn’t even talk to their parents about or give the whole relationship some time to develop.
But same difference, amirite?
Anyway, it’s the idea that’s important. Not the details. Not in this case anyway. Next time details will be important. Probably.

K: It’s the thought that counts.

C: Ok.
What I’m saying is that no matter what you name your kid, mom will love it just the same as long as it has that New Baby Smell. You could name her Dillweed and mom would love her.
Actually, Dillweed is kinda cute.
Dilly! OMG, I’m so calling your kid Dill. Continue reading

The Temple of DOOOOOM

scared ponies

Ponies frightened of incoming skeletons.

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

After dinner (in which Daisy had three helpings of mashed potatoes), Daisy began playing with the ponies she’d brought with her, and Carl joined her. According to Daisy, the ponies were all trying to run away from, and also defeat, an army of skeletons. “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,” she explained. Looking at Carl, wide-eyed, she said “I’m scared!” and reached out to hug him. Daisy had scared herself with the story so much she needed a reassuring hug from a big guy she’d met only a handful of times.

Continue reading

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!