All the Open Tabs

Still doing my creative writing but the days between are long and powered by a perpetually distracted constitution. I’ve written a few installments and intentionally shared them out of order. I don’t intend to write an entire book and share it via WordPress. Not because I’m cheap, but because I want a complete, cohesive book with a front and back cover. Nothing fancy. Just paperback. And then this morning I considered telling my story in sonnets. Jesus lord help me, or somebody shoot me. At this rate, I’ll never get the thing written.

However, maybe I will try a sonnet or two, just for shits and giggles. Good writing exercise, no?

Speaking of exercise, I have exercised 4 out of 4 days. Treadmill gets the most of my attention, though my mom would be proud to know that I’m also practicing a little yoga – because, FIFTY. * When I was like 16, mom was like, you really should try meditation and/or yoga. She might’ve repeated it several times over the next five years, I don’t know. But, like all dutiful daughters, I laughed at her and immediately ignored her advice. Now, stretching is the only way to get out of the inevitable pain of being over 50. On a side note, it is comforting to know it is true that all daughters need to lessen the importance of mom for a while but will one day love and appreciate her more than ever. I am that daughter.**

I’ve always been a high-strung person, so the right exercise for me has been intense workouts, the stairmaster and, eventually, running. Sitting on the floor stretching to the whispers of soft wind instruments and other acoustic sounds of nature, in those younger years, made me want to scream. And not in a nice way. I’d still love to run, but my knees and feet are all, “nah bro, I’m good.”

I am extremely distracted by the minimalist direction I’ve been taking with the household. I started purging all sorts of stuff, donating clothes and selling others, throwing away things that occupy unnecessary space, giving away things I don’t want to throw away, and reorganizing to have less clutter. Clutter is a mindfuck and let me tell you, I came home from work on Monday to dirty floors and stuff on counters and kitchen table and there’s only two of us living here and I was lazy and didn’t clean on Sunday and so I was feeling stabby. I cooked up some quesadillas for dinner and Todd stayed out of my way because my attitude was that bad and then I warned him I had to blitz this area before I killed someone (figuratively speaking and not him).

Anyway, purging is a fulltime job, by the way. It never ends and it never gets old. I keep reentering my closet and reassessing what I really want to hold onto. Sometimes it’s cathartic, and sometimes I have to convince myself that this body aint fittin into that extra-small dress from 1998 and there’s no coming back from that. Donate.

Todd has been busy in his woodshop (sorry for the noise Kathy), preparing for a reno of our stairs and it’s essentially ready to go. Looks like this weekend is the weekend. My library sits behind a closed door twiddling its thumbs, awaiting the next stage of completion. Meanwhile, I have to clean our kitchen cabinets because I saw a cobweb on one of them and I swear to God we’re not dirty people. Our dogs are, yes. Which was the source of my most stabbiest of inclinations on Monday.

Dogs. It is raining again today – I say “again” because it seems like it’s always raining and we rarely get a break from muddy paws. And when I say muddy paws, I mean the whole dog – because bellies and thighs and chest have mud on them and I have to ask, what the fuck, dogs? What ARE you guys doing out there? We don’t have mud pits. Although, the places of common treading Todd has spread sawdust for them to run over instead of mud and so I am forever vacuuming up sawdust sprinkles, which would make anyone stabby but then of course it’s better than mud,right? Here is where I use that old phrase, pipe dream, when it comes to wishing for a spotless home. Either you have dogs, or you have a clean home. There is no in-between.

New furniture. We need a new couch. Todd has been saying it for over a year, that he ends up in pain after sitting there for long periods and I’ve been dismissively brushing it off like he’s just old and hurting like me. But then a friend of ours was here last week and sat down in the very spot that Todd sits and while he was talking to me he kind of scooched over and it was so subtle that an ordinary person who doesn’t live here and suffer in that spot night after night would never notice, but someone who knows quite well the failings of our old sectional has to try not to laugh. Instead, I apologized to him and he immediately said he was “just trying to get out of the hole” and I burst out laughing.

Nevertheless, I am bound up in decisions about what kind of couch or couches, the color, and now whether or not to change up the entire room. AND, do you know how difficult it is to FIND a couch in stock??? I mean, nobody seems to have anything, and if they do it’s always … GRAY. WTF with all this GRAY?? Do you have any couches? Yes, we do. What colors does it come in? Gray, and beige-gray. FML. It’s a trend that is already fading, by the way, for those who follow trends.

We are soon going to start the reno in the basement, as he has already replaced the flooring and it looks great. But now, to change the wall color and wainscoting. The jury is still out on that. And, with it, building a bar of sorts – while we’re still in a pandemic and are not throwing parties OR drinking, ourselves. Seems a waste when one looks at it practically. I have a plan for that, but it’s a long way off from execution.

However, that said, Todd has invited a handful of people he works closely with to our house for the Superbowl and so now I have to rage-clean the house (cobwebs on the cabinets) and try not to wish we’d done the complete reno during the early days of the pandemic when we had all the time in the world and got absolutely nothing done. Okay, to be fair, Todd got a lot done. Me – I’m the one with all the good intentions and New Year’s resolutions who realizes six months in that I’m still 20 pounds overweight and my sneakers are spotless.

And then there’s the food. When you grow up in the restaurant business, there’s a certain level of professional you’re unconsciously driven to and simple satisfaction is not enough. We had a holiday party several years ago where I made this amazing spread, and dammit if I saved the recipe from the Mexican chicken everybody raved about. This is me. I fly by the seat of my pants most of the time, but I need perfection because there is no other way (even if perfection means that dish will only live once).  So today I am food planning for eight people for an evening that is ten days away. And, mind you, I can guarantee you it won’t be ready until at least two of the guests arrive and offer to help my sweaty, apron-donned ass. Because, perfection aside, my timing is more like my mother’s. It’ll get there, but not necessarily on time. ***

I am four books into 2022 and hoping to keep up with my goal of four reads per month, as last year (which, if you’ve been following, you will know I didn’t meet last year). So there’s that. Also, I need to buy groceries – ironically my least favorite activity given that twelve years ago I wasn’t allowed because someone had to stay home with the kids. I save this particular chore, whenever possible, to my weekdays off. Because weekends are for the unmasked majority and that’s a hard pass for me.

Still sick of the pandemic, stupid people, all the lies, the news of all the stupid people and the lies, and the parade of politicians peddling to them. I try to skim the headlines, but not spend too much time inside the articles and details. I just can’t.

Instead, I have spent this entire morning deleting emails – one of which led me to NYU’s bookstore and down the rabbit hole of textbooks for English lit classes – googling party foods, texting two people who are failing miserably to keep up with the conversation (you know who you are), writing this post, and avoiding the grocery store. It is now 11:59 a.m. and my time is up.

*We’ll just stop at fifty. Enough said.

**Generalized statement does not reflect my belief that all mothers are “good” or that all mother-daughter relationships will or should be.

***Not an actual attestation. Post is for entertainment purposes only.

Recommended reading: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Addie LaRue is a young woman in 1700s France who makes a deal to live forever. The only caveat – she is forgotten by everyone she meets, living a life alone for eternity. Until one day, 300 years later, she meets someone who remembers her.)

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