Songs are by far, the best way to conjure memories. I remember eras of my life by the artists I was into. But, there is an anomaly. In junior high, I was into grunge. Nirvana. Silverchair. Bush. Yet, here I am, sitting in my living room, watching Pitch Perfect, singing along to “No Diggity” and remembering a time I used to sing this same song with a friend.

I can see everything perfectly. Her room boasting windows not yet dressed with curtains. No furniture has been assembled, yet. We sit on the floor, lined with new, clean, bitter-smelling carpet. But, it’s better than the carpet at her old house. Everything here glistens with promise of a better life, even though it’s empty. And even though, it’s all a farce.

I sit on her floor and go through boxes with her, trying to help her get situated in her new living space. We listen to the radio. The radio is the only constant from her dad’s house to her mom’s apartment. The same artists sing the same tunes no matter what we do. At my house, we don’t have MTV. We don’t listen to the popular stations. We’re never told that we’re not *allowed* to listen to such music, it’s just conveniently not available.

Not at my friend’s house.  She moves across town? They sing the same songs. She and I get dumped by our silly, middle-school boyfriends? The radio plays the same songs, reminding us better guys exist out there somewhere. My best friend’s parents divorce? The radio remains constant–a steady reminder that somewhere in the world, there exist men who will one day treat us better than what we have seen.

Or not.

We are young. We are in that delicate stage between pre-pubescence and adolescence. We sing and dance and talk about boys we like. We turn up the radio, and listen to Dr. Dre, Mariah Carey, and Alanis Morissette. We lay on our backs, light incense, and pretend we belong to the same world as the people on the radio.

And nearly twenty years later, when I hear those same melodies, I still like to pretend I do.


For the first year of my writing experiment, I tore through advice column after advice column, blog after blog, book after book about how to finish that pesky first draft of a novel. And guess what?

I did it!

So… what the hell do I do now?

I have a giant box full of notebooks. The seedlings of my first draft. My second draft. Thirteen drafts of that one dramatic scene. Ten drafts in that red notebook of the end. Two notebooks contain alternate endings to the same book. My computer has 10 typed drafts in it.


Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty proud of myself for even completing the damn thing, but completing it wasn’t the hardest part. This is. Right now. Figuring out what should stay and what should go. And I feel like I’ve been complaining about this for the entire second year of this writing bonanza (however, if you know me at all, the fact that I am even still WITH the same project into a second year is an accomplishment in and of itself). I’m going around and around in circles and yes, it’s dizzying. It’s also paralyzing. But, I guess I need to quit whining about it, and get back to work!




In two short weeks, I will have been with my husband for fifteen years.

Fifteen years.

That doesn’t even sound right. That’s a lot of freaking years. But, it’s true. We have jammed quite a lot of living into those fifteen years. We’ve had two kids, we’ve mourned together, we’ve fought, we’ve laughed our asses off, we’ve travelled, we’ve created… but I’m not going to talk about any of that sappy crap right now. Right now, I’m going to talk about that phenomenon which seems to happen while you move.

You know that strange thing that happens when you’re moving house, right? When, for some reason, the person for which your heart swells with pride and admiration every single other day in your life, becomes the proxy victim of homicide in all of your short stories while you are trying to pack, rearrange, and shove your entire life into boxes, only for them to spring out accordion-like out of those same boxes in the most frustrating manner imaginable at your new house?

No? That’s just me?

Please tell me it isn’t just me. Well, I’m sure it isn’t. In fact, I’m pretty sure my dearest, darling, smoopsy-poo has similar feelings towards me while all these packing and organizational disasters are going on. After all, I am the world’s least organized person. I will suggest a way to accomplish a goal, and invariably, he will suggest an alternative route. And not just an alternative route, but one in total opposition to mine. Then we will shake our hands at each other in desperate wonder. Because honestly, how the hell can we be so compatible and so completely at odds with each other over the simplest. freaking. tasks?!? It makes my head spin to think of all of the idiotic arguments we have had in the last decade and a half. Seriously, sometimes in the middle of a heated, hand-wringing, head-shaking, foot-stomping argument, there will be this little moment of clarity for both of us, as if someone has rung the Dumbest-Shit-Ever bell, and we will look at each other, at ourselves, and laugh our asses off at how freaking moronic we are being. I can’t even tell you how one of those arguments starts. And I guess, that’s the point.

We have moved now, four times since we were married. We have done extensive remodeling projects. We have given each other various opportunities to bludgeon each other to death with power tools, and we haven’t, yet. So, I guess this whole marriage thing is going to work out, after all.

I’m tired from moving and all of this is rambling nonsense, but I guess what I wanted to say, is don’t choose a partner who is perfect when everything in life is. Turn your whole world upside down, shake the drawers out all over the floor, cut a hole in your ceiling, and push yourself to the point of exhaustion. If you still feel like crawling into the same bed together while all that is going on, you might have a keeper.

Now excuse me, but I have to go have an argument over where this stupid freaking bookshelf is going to go.