This is my saturday night, people. Be jealous.

I am 32 years old, and I just urinated on my own clothing.*

Seriously. I'm not even joking. I was wearing a dress, sitting at home on the couch, working on some cross stitch on a Saturday evening (I'm a wild woman!); I went to the bathroom, forgot to pull my dress up, and just peed all over my damn self.

I haven't even been drinking. (I did eat some Greek yogurt that I suspect may have been outdated...but who can tell with yogurt? It all smells funny.)

*I suppose that's better than urinating on someone else's clothing, right? Right?

edited: Oh, shit. This is also Friday night. Not Saturday. I think I may have just had a mini-stroke. How else to explain this lapse in brain activity?


Go where it will lead you.

Peace Like a RiverPeace Like a River by Leif Enger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book--I recommend it highly!

Though set in the early sixties, Peace Like a River reads like an old Western, with the Land family trailing after the outlaw older brother. I loved the descriptions of the hard North Dakota winter as much as I loved the characters, especially Swede, the narrator's precocious and romantic writer sister. Reuben Land narrates the family's story; he is the second son, burdened with debilitating asthma and a hero's worship of his dad and older brother Davy.

As a reader, you're led along with Reuben as the drama matures him. I admit, I shared his starry-eyed admiration of Davy and his defense of him almost right up until Reuben finally admits to himself that what Davy did was wrong. I found Reuben interesting, partially because the descriptions of his asthmatic affliction felt right on--I know what it's like to have your lungs seize up and turn against you, and Enger conveys the awful sensation well--and also because Reuben, despite having witnessed various miracles, remains somewhat of a skeptic. He's a likeable kid, naive at times, and too hard on himself most of the time. He's also cognizant of telling the story. (I love novels with a sort of "meta" quality to them, works that comment on the act of storytelling itself.) He explains in the beginning that he believes his purpose is to be a witness, and I like that he is telling the story, rather than Swede, whom he often refers to as better equipped to write it. She may be the more talented writer, but Reuben is a better witness.

I always enjoy novels that are character driven, probing the inner workings of another human being and his or her motivations and thought processes. Peace Like a River manages to combine rich character development with a plot that leads a reader to wonder where it's going next and how it's going to get there, and where it will eventually leave us. To me, that's a nice bonus.

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Charmed, I'm sure.

The heat wave we’ve been experiencing lately has translated into many hours indoors, planted firmly within the range of the air conditioner. Eliot and I have put together Legos, played video games, watched an insane amount of Netflix streaming offerings, and read piles and piles of books. We’re both going a bit stir crazy at this point. Today we ventured out into the heat for a change of scenery, just to have lunch and then soak up some of the public library’s air conditioning. I’m not sure if we’re both a little delirious from the heat and cabin fever, but our conversations seem to have gotten even more ridiculous lately than usual. Okay, wait a minute. Actually when I say “our conversations,” what I really mean is the totally random nuttiness that Eliot comes up with.

This morning he asked if we had any skeeters.

“Skeeters?” I asked.
“Yeah, like the kind we eat. Do we have any of those?”
“Ummm…we don’t eat….mosquitos…?”
“NOoooo, not THAT kind of skeeters, the other skeeters!”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, dude.”
“The round kind. Skeeters. Kind of like M&M’s, only different.”

“Yeah, that’s what I said, “skeeters,” do we have any of those?”

At lunch today, he ordered biscuits and gravy, which is generally his favorite. If biscuits and gravy can be had, then that’s what he’ll have, regardless of time of day. As the waitress set his plate in front of him, Eliot grabbed his fork, eyed the biscuits and gravy and yelled, “Hey, you, biscuits and gravy, I’m gonna eat you up, and then I’m gonna PEE you out!”

When I shushed him, using his first, middle, and last name, admonishing, “We. Do. NOT. Talk. That. Way. In. Public,” through tightly clenched teeth, he laughed and said, “Oh yeah, because I wouldn’t pee it out anyway, right? I’d have to poop!” Yes, Eliot. That is why I scolded you. Not because you’re loudly talking about bodily functions in public, but because you were incorrect about said bodily functions. Obviously. *sigh*

Sometimes when I meet friends for lunch and Eliot isn’t with me, they act disappointed. I don’t know if the disappointment is genuine, or just feigned out of politeness. I suspect it’s only genuine if they haven’t eaten lunch with my son before. It’s not that he’s so bad, necessarily. He’s not one of those kids that gets up and runs around and yells and causes all kinds of pandemonium. It’s just that he makes any kind of meaningful conversation pretty much impossible. He wants everyone’s attention on him. Because look how devilishly clever and funny he is! Look, everyone! Look! I can’t really complain too much; after all, I’m pretty sure he comes by the attention craving honestly. In my own defense, I’m a middle child. Out of all my four parents with our blended families (I have 9 sisters total, 0 brothers), I’m neither the oldest nor the youngest for my mom, dad, stepmom, or stepdad. I’m firmly ensconced between other girls who brought (bring!) their own drama to the family. All my life, I’ve been jumping up and down, waving my arms in the air, screaming, “Notice me! Notice me!” hahahaha. So, yeah, Eliot is definitely his mother’s son. And, shit, he’s also ridiculously, devilishly clever and funny. So there’s that.

While dining out, he will inevitably “accidentally” end up with food on his arms and face, or let escape some not-so-quiet, “accidental” gas, or spill syrup on the tablecloth and then drive a matchbox car into it and exclaim, “Oh man, looks like this car is leakin’ oil!” If all else fails, he’ll crawl up into my lap and try to kiss my face, murmuring, “Oh, Mommy, I love you, I loveyouloveyou, mommmmmmy.”

The truth is, I don’t mind his hijinks all that much. It doesn’t bother me personally as much as it embarrasses me. I wish I could put the fear in him thoroughly enough that he would sit there and behave. Kind of. Then again, I don’t want him to be the kind of meek, personality-less kid that I was at his age, clinging to my mother’s purse straps and not daring to look any adult in the eye. So I guess I alternately admire him and am embarrassed by him. I don’t want to be THAT mom, the one whose kid is incredibly fucking annoying, and she thinks it’s charming. Sometimes I worry that I’m that mom. Am I that mom? *hanging head in shame*

In any case, I have to go now. We’ve got Batman to watch and Skeeters to eat.  


Here lately.






Not all simultaneously. ;)


Read me.

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your NameLet the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great summer read. While my body was trapped here in the middle of a Midwestern July heat wave, my mind was in Lapland at the Ice Hotel with Clarissa, a young woman in search of her biological father.

Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name was a fast read, and I really enjoyed the simple, but lyrical quality of Vida's writing. Some of her descriptions were just completely wonderful. One of my favorites comes as Clarissa ends up spending a night on a bench at the train station in a town just outside the Arctic Circle. She says: "I slept with my purse held close to me, like an infant. On a nearby bench, a woman slept with her baby held close to her, like a purse." I cannot tell you how much that description delighted me.

Yes, I'm a dork. I don't care.

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One of my New Year's resolutions was to post to my blog once a day. Epic fail! I have actually written fewer blog posts this year than any year since I started blogging in 2007. :(

It's not that I don't have anything to say--you all know I have, as my ex-husband so lovingly called it, "diarrhea of the mouth." (Such a charming man, that one.) I'm not sure what it is keeping me from blogging. I often come here, write a few lines, and then don't hit the publish button. Maybe it's the Facebook feed holding me back. I write more honestly and freely when I can pretend I'm only talking to myself. Seeing my posts show up in my newsfeed and on my profile page makes it all uncomfortably public. I feel like Naomi Watts' character in I <3 Huckabees in her bonnet alternately screaming "Look at me! Don't look at me! No, look at me! No, don't!"

When I began Stop. Drop. Roll. I had a clear purpose: I needed a space in which to slow down, take a deep breathe, and think things through before I could move forward. My blog acted as a thought dump, an empty space where I could gather together and articulate my feelings and then leave them behind. Every time I hit "publish," I felt like a weight was lifted from me. Or, to use the metaphor I began with, like the fire was, not out, necessarily, but under control.

Now, I don't know what my purpose is here. I feel guarded, and there's so much I can't say. Maybe it's time for a new, private blog. Or just password protect this one? On the other hand, the thought of making it all private grates against me. I guess it's my Gemini personality giving me fits--I have always been simultaneously very open and yet painfully shy. Balance is elusive. Everything in my life swings wildly back and forth, to and fro. Sometimes I'm not sure balance is even desirable...and...now I'm definitely rambling.

Anyway, this is what is on my mind lately. Push and pull, private and public, what needs to be shared and what needs to be kept quietly packed away.

I don't have the answer yet.


It has everything you never dreamed of.

Yesterday, Eliot and I toured the classroom where he will be attending preschool this fall. He was apprehensive, probably picking up on my nervousness, and he told me as we were getting out of the car, "I don't want to meet my teacher, Mom. I'll go in there, but I don't want to meet my teacher." I don't know why I was surprised that that would be the scariest part of the whole experience for him. "But...but..." I found myself stammering, "Teacher's aren't scary! They're there to help you!" (Way to go, nerd mom.) As it turned out, he did meet his teacher, and she didn't make any sudden moves or lunges towards him, and didn't even try to bite him, so he allowed that she was probably "okay" after all.

He was delighted with the classroom. He looked at me with an expression that seemed to say, "I cannot believe that you, my own mother, would be hiding the greatness that is this SCHOOL from me ALL THIS TIME." They had pink sand. PINK. SAND. areyoukiddingme?! And train legos! Can this place get any better?!

I love the recognition of my own (and his father's, if I'm being entirely honest) genetic (environmental?) contributions to Eliot's personality. He looked around the place calmly and coolly, like, "Yeah, I guess this will do. Whatever." I could tell he didn't want to seem too into it. We stayed for twenty minutes or so while I filled out paperwork and he played. On the way back out to the car, he tugged at the bottom of my shirt. "Did you see the pink sand, Mom? There was PINK sand!"

It's not that he is a particular fan of pink--his "favorite" color changes on a minute to minute basis--the anomaly of it seemed to be what captivated him so. And I totally relate to that--the pleasure of the unexpected. It's like...if there exists this place with pink sand, that I never knew about until this very moment, and it's been there the whole time...think of what other unthought of wonders this amazing universe holds in store for me! I love that. His whole life is an amazing adventure just waiting to unfold.

So is mine, for that matter. So is yours. Sometimes we just forget. :)