In the three minutes this quarter I am actually not holed up like Theordore J. Kaczynski...

I remember being a little girl watching Star Trek with my dad and just laughing and laughing at the idea that oh yeah, one day people would just be walking around the streets talking on telephones and stuff, hahahahaha. 

So. Well. That happened. 

My birthday is in 57 days aside: This

After a series of tragic cell phone mishaps that make my days of hamster-killing keeping look like a children's book, I broke down and got an iPhone. I loved Blackberry because I wanted a phone I could actually make calls on, and maybe get the occasional email. (Also, BBM. #hearts) I loved the Droid because it did a lot of *stuff*, but in the end, it wasn't always so great for making phone calls. See: 3 1/2 hour battery life. Not kidding. I went back to Blackberry and then my Blackberries started leaping to their own untimely deaths like little RIM lemmings (I think I shattered five in the course of like two months. It was pretty much awesome) and so I finally threw in the towel and got the damn iPhone. 

And it was good. It's easy. It makes sense. It works. 

Sometimes, though, I really miss that damn Blackberry. It was GOOD for work. It sucked for fun, mind you, but for work it was unbeatable. And it had a clit, so I felt like, you know, it really GOT me.  But now I have this Windows phone because HTC sent me a Windows phone and my middle child is the only one in the family with a not-iPhone and did you know that they pick on each other in middle school for what iOS your iProduct is now? So I gave him my iPhone and upped his muay thai classes and kept the Windows phone and that is called disclosure and good parenting. 

So I'm trying to learn a new phone, which is no easy task when you are A) old and tired and B) 100% a Mac and haven't willingly looked at a Windows product since your communist butt moved to Canuckistan in 2007 C) about to leave for a very big, important work trip.  

But I did it. I figured it out. It's got all these fancy calendar features and syncs gorgeously to Outlook (which is what my work email runs off of) and opens all my work email attachments for me like *that* and does all this other stuff that I really don't care about yet because selfies! Now with more Melisa Wells!

For the record and also my dignity aside: I morally, ethically, and spiritually object to adult women calling anything at all an ie! and that includes appies! besties! and mommies! but "selfs" just sounds sad and lonely and then I thought I would just call it 'navel gazing' so I gazed into my navel and found this. 

AGAIN. At least we know it isn't a demon. It might be Voledmort, though. 

I have almost no photographs with any of my collegues because my entire professional career has been spent on the wrong side of a computer monitor. This trip has been amazing because I'm just over a year into my job now, and so I kind of have a slight grasp on what the actual fuck I am doing, and so I've been able to stop on occasion and just take pictures with them. 

Or, more accurately, of them. 

You know what makes Kristin lovlier? NOTHING. She is the most lovely thing of all time. But purple city skies don't hurt. 

Those people up there? My co-workers? They are the music makers, and they are the dreamers of the dreams. They are also possibly all working black magic. 

 

Of course I didn't tell them I was taking pictures of them, because where is the fun in that? NOWHERE is where. My challenge for you (because POP QUIZ, MOTHERFUCKER) is to photobomb your co-workers. And yes, Dog can totally be your co-worker. He'll be mine this time tomorrow.
 

My Dog, My Virginity, and My Job Walk Into a Blog Post

Yesterday was my puppy Jack/Jack-Jack/Jack-Jack-Attack/Jacques Cousteau's third birthday.

*Pesky facts aside: Yesterday was (most likely not) my puppy Jack's 3rd birthday. We found him behind a trash can. However, yesterday was day (20 years ago) that I lost my (first*) you-know-what, and I thought it would be kind of nice to have a reason to eat cake and have a party on that day every single year for the next 12-15, the dog-gods willing. Because I'm glad I lost my you-know-what, and I'm glad I found a puppy behind a trash can. So.

Funny thing, giving your dog a piece of birthday cake that's shaped a lot like a slice of pizza. It's not that they don't totally get the concept of fire, it's just that they don't totally get the concept of fire. Or waiting to eat their birthday cake that's shaped a lot like a slice of pizza until you've all sung off key and blown their candles out for them. They also don't get the concept of birthdays. Bygones. 

And if you give a dog a piece of birthday cake that's shaped a lot like a slice of pizza and it also happens to smell a lot like pizza, your dog will give you the above look. Which totally makes is all worth it. 

Today is my one-year anniversary at BlogHer. I celebrated by having a baby with my boss.  This is what it looks like

*In case you're in the market aside: Jenna Hatfield make an excellent midwife/80's rap earworm-implanter.

I kind of can't believe it's been a year since I started working for the same company who has done so much for me over these past eight years I've been blogging. I always used to tell anyone who asked that I could only credit any measure of success I've ever been blessed with to Lisa Stone, who believed in me and my writing before I even knew what I was doing was worth being called writing, and WAY before I had any idea that *I* was worth much of anything at all.  And now I get to get up every morning and try very hard to do that which was done for me? And I get to do it with a team of some of the most amazingly smart, talented, sharp, and well-shod women I've ever had the honor of working with?

That's a cyclic relationship that I am totally happy to perpetuate. 

*You never get a second chance at a first impression, but for $65,000, you can get a second chance at losing your you-know-what. I don't really suggest it. 

I Won't Even Pretend Like There's Point Enough Here to Warrant a Title.

I was prepping myself to point and laugh at all of you suckers who have to set your clocks ahead on Saturday night because neener neener! We don't have to here! but then I realized oh.

Right.

I live in Arizona. So.

We really don't set clocks ahead or behind like everyone else does and trying to figure that out is a lot like trying to count to the last number or see all of the stars and it just makes my head hurt. I like to imagine that the Arizona Powers The Be simply said, "You know what? Screw this noise" and opted out of daylight savings but I'm sure there's some much more logical explanation that has to do with the staaaaars and the dessssssert and peyote spiiiiiiritualism or some crap. 

I've never really understood why everyone complains so much about daylight savings. It always happens on a Saturday, so the only people who are actually hurt by daylight savings are the closers at the bar (And cops, and firemen, and nurses). Everyone else can shove it. There is nothing worse than gearing up to yell last call and flip the house lights and turn on The Roots and having your boss remind you that nope, when it's 2 am, it's really 1 am so keep'm pouring, woman.

The only thing that should, could, make up for this cruelty to waiters is Springing Forward. Balance dictates that we *should* get to close shop an hour early when daylight savings ends, but oh no. They had to decide to push the clocks around at the exact same time the bars close, so not only don't you get to close an hour early, you get to stay at work until just about SUNRISE. 

Because none of us have children to go home to, oh no.

There is no justice in the world for servers. Tip well, my friends...especially on Saturday night. 

I sometimes wonder how long it will take me to stop saying "we" when I refer to people in the service industry. I haven't occupationally waited a table since, gosh, the spring of 2008? There was that one night that one of my clients demanded that I wait on a bunch of Chinese Communists in New York City, but that was actually kind of amusing in a "Oh, patriarchy, you so crazy" kind of way, and I drank their Caymus later. 

I do mean all of it. 

Ouch.

It occurs to me that a few people reading this blog now might not even know that I was a lifer-waitress, and quite happy as such. Everyone is good at something, and I am an exquisite cocktail server. I can sling eggs, too, I just like cocktailing better. I can't remember names, but I can tell you exactly what you drink for an embarrassing amount of years later. I think this is why I can never find my keys. My head is stuffed full of his double jack and coke and her gold margarita no salt to ever be able to retain any additional information. I need a restaurant purge of the frontal lobe of my brain, and maybe I'll be a more efficient human being. 

Maybe I will also stop having the dream where I show up to work with no apron and I haven't closed out my drawer from the night before and no one has caught on to either of these facts yet so if I just hack the Aloha system and steal someone's apron while they're out back smoking, everything will be okay. Except we're out of cornbread muffins and remodeling so the front door is now out by the gas pumps and waiting tables dreams are weird. 

But I loved it, I really did. It was fun, I made good money, and I had a lot of time to just be home with my kids. It kept me in amazing shape, I'm realizing now that I have a job at a desk that doesn't keep me in amazing shape. Why the hell have I gained 40 pounds since I turned 30? Oh, maybe because you don't walk 50 miles a day carrying a 20 pound tray of drinks in a skirt, brainy smurf.

I'm great with people in 85 minute increments. I can have deep, meaningful, lasting relationships with people inside the vortex of my section. I was the queen of regular customers. More of my tables were 'my' customers than were not, because I knew them. I knew what they drank, I knew how their kids were wasting their lives, I knew what books they liked and how they preferred their cigars trimmed. I knew their spouses and their employers and their intimate details. I was their best friend, for a little under two hours, and then I vanished. I made them feel cared for and then I went away. I was their mommy and their wife and their daughter and then I was nothing. I was their attachment disorder. 

Maybe that's what I like about blogging, that it call all just vanish, that I can just vanish. I need that in my lilfe, the ability to just *poof* be gone. All I have to do is flip this lid closed and I don't exist. It's wonderfully dysfunctional, social media. It's social in the most anti-social way possible. It's completely on our own weird little self-interested terms.

And it does not keep you in amazing shape. But you don't smell like garlic and hops after, so there's that. 

The Neverending Post

Sept 10th: I was supposed to hang out with my old friend Katie a few weeks ago, which is was to be stupendous because: 

A) I haven't seen Katie since last we sat in a rooftop hot tub and she told me the 15 reasons why she was no where close to having children. That plan worked out well for her. 

B) Baby Daddy takes the kids every Saturday, but I haven't had one person to hang out with since I moved here, which leaves me little choice but to spend my Saturdays scrubbing tile and watching Sandra Bullock romcoms on Netflix.

C) ZOMGBABY

So we were all set to spend the day together on a Saturday and of course I met up with the business end of this flu that had been courting all of us for the previous month or so. I don't remember much of that weekend, because I spent most of it wrapped up in a Snuggie which Vicks sent me while pouring sweat from my calves, having really horrible nightmares, and eating all the egg drop soup I could get my germ-ridden hands on. 

I think that's where this tweet came from. 

Not that I remember tweeting it, but it's there in my stream. That whole weekend is feeling a lot like the weeks right after my surgery, when I slowly began to realize that I had a number of out-bound text messages on my phone, to close friends both male and female, containing pictures of my sutures. Which, you know, were in/on/around my lady bits.

If you google perineum, make sure your image search is off. You're welcome. 

I also don't remember any of that. I can only conclude that there is a strain of the morphine-flu going around, and I caught it.

Sept 15th: The irony here is that I was still sick when I drafted the first half of this post, and I cannotforthelifeofme remember where I was going with it. I think I wanted to do a daily gratitude list or something? See? I had to be on flu/drugs. Daily posts. Me. HA. 

But now I am sick again (iknowright?) and I can't stop sneezing, and I do mean CANNOT STOP. I have sneezed more times this morning than I have in my whole life combined thusfar ever. I let my 12 year old watch me flush out my left sinuses with a dixie cup full of tepid water this morning, and now he may never look me in the eye, or nostril, again. 

I'm pretty sure his gratitude list today will be helium, video games, and anything else that kills brain cells, particularly in the prefrontal lobe area.  

My gratitude list for today would be Puffs Plus with Vicks, and pantyliners. 

Oct 5th: I pretty much gave up on that post here and now I've got like four other posts in draft which will also probably never see the light of day. See? It's not that I don't blog, Momo, it's that I don't publish. BIG DIFF. 

But then last night my daughter went from seven-going-on-14 to 102° in like five seconds flat and right now I am sitting here watching my daughter sleep off this same crud that cause all of that nonsense up there while I'm working right here next to her, where I can get her anything she needs whenever she needs it, and I am really just so totally grateful to have this amazing privilege to have both a career and the ability to be here for my kids when they need me, even when those two things have to happen at the exact same time. 

Working from home exclusively is hard. No, it's soul-crushing. I think that's a fair statement. It's hard to miss out on Thursday Shoe Shots and Friday Happy Hours. It sucks when you realize that you haven't spoken to the actual face of another adult in more than five days. Most of the time I hate everything about it, but then this happens

this happens and I am reminded of why I am doing all of this - the blog, the job, everything - and how amazingly lucky I am to be afforded the gift of time for all of it. 

My gratitude list for today is BlogHer, high-speed internet, Children's Advil, and showers right before the kids come home so they don't think I've just been sleeping all day. 

What's yours?

Sevens

I was gone for seven weeks. 

Correction: I came back on the first day of my seventh week away from my whole entire life. 

It's been so long since I've written anything here, and so much has happened in that expanse of time, that I can't even remember what's already been said. I suppose I could go read my own archives, but that somehow feels like cheating. On myself. With myself. There's a vibrator joke in here somewhere.

I was gone for seven weeks. So much has happened in that time.

My oldest son's voice dropped while I was gone. I called one day and had no idea who was on the phone. I wasn't even sure it was a *human*. That boy is going to make some choir director's baritone dreams come true. He also got his schedule for high school while I was gone. After 14 years of parenting, I have now officially missed a milestone. I can't believe how awful that feels.

My youngest child, my daughter, she kept her squeak but refined it. Like the baby fat that sheds itself overnight, the roundness of her words molted away and was replaced with sharp angles, strong bones, and complex adjectives. I came back to a girl-child, a woman-in-progress, someone who spent the summer learning, for the first time, how to be feminine from someone other than me. Now I condition her hair all wrong, but she'll still gives me butterfly kisses in the early hours of the morning when no one else is looking. I'll take it. 

My middle son is the most eerily inconsistently consistent human being I have ever met. Nothing about him has changed in the slightest. It is amazingly comforting to come back to one familiar thing. 

I left Phoenix with a 10X15 storage locker and the hope that everything would work itself out...and not much more. I had to go; I had to go for my job, I had to go for my sanity, I had to go for him and his family to start finding their own way through this together. I had to go, and I went, and I had no clue what was going to happen once I was on the other side of more flips of a calendar than I'd ever relinquished control of my family to before. 

Relinquishing control is not my strong suit. Josh and I got into a massive fight in, oh, week two because he and his sister were being such control freaks and undoing each and every one of the many meticulous plans I'd so carefully laid out, all pressed and starched, on the edges of the beds for the time I would be gone. Because I'm not a total hypocrite, oh no

Turns out, letting go is a lot easier when you're in free fall and there is nothing to latch on to. 

This summer was a long, slow, drawn out, slow-motion leap of faith. It wasn't even a leap so much as a leaning over the edge until I had no choice but to fall. It was terrible and frightening to be gone for so long, and I am so glad that I was. I think I had to be. I think I had to let everything settle down the way it wanted to, not the way I wanted to orchestrate it to.

I think I had to let the kids father spend the summer with him in his own way - not the way I would want, expect, or even tolerate, honestly, had I been within a 10 hours drive of them, but it wasn't my summer with them so really, it isn't my place to dictate how it went.

They lived.

They're happy as shit to be home.

The end.

I think I had to be very, very humbled by the love and support that I sometimes forget I have in my corner of the ring. My kids' godfather and his brand new wife and their brand new baby basically gave me a home when literally did not have one, some company, some perspective, and the best homemade ice cream you will ever put into your body. My best friend talked me off a lot of ledges, and watched over me even when I wasn't sure I wanted to be watched over.  My old, old buddy (who *gasp* doesn't have anything to do with teh internetz and is therefore unlinkable) fed me some wine when I needed it, played me ridiculously loud rock and roll in the parking lot, just like we used to do a million years ago, and reminded me of who I used ot be before I tripped and fell into this damn hole again. 

I think I had to be ready to let everything change, and I think I was gone just long enough that everything did exactly that. 

And now we have this home - a house that I took sight me-unseen (the kids and their dad came to check it out, and the kids said, "uhunno, i guess it'll do, grunt", and that, like cookie, was good enough for me). We still haven't met our neighbors (though I've met their unsecured wifi signal, howdy) (don't you judge me) and my garage still looks like this:

But my living room, MY living room, myveryownlivingroom without a drunk guy on the couch sucking all the energy out of it, looks like this:

And my daughter's room looks like this:

And my sons' room looks like this: 

And that is, of course, blackmail for later, when they are really being a-holes and also have girlfriends. Have blog and iPhone; am not afraid to use them. 

(Also, judge not the dorm room. They had loft beds which clearly will not fit. Ikea run for twin frames forthcoming. Until then, that room is merely a crystal ball of their almost-immediate future, with less ramen and porn.)

I am not showing you my room. Last night, my son told me to flipping clean it up already, mawm, jeez. When a 14 year old is disgusted with the way you're living, it's time to reassess. 

But really, what matters to me most right now isn't the way the couches I got for $125 on Craiglist while I was gone (score) perfectly fit this space I accidentally ended up in, or the way the sun rises through the blinds in my windows and makes everything look sparkly and full of promise every single day now that I'm back, it's that under this roof, there are three smiles. Three real, relaxed, not contrived, not manic, not hiding anything behind them smiles. 

I was gone for seven weeks. That's why. And now I get to start on forever, finally.