I have 4 nights left in Disney. And no idea what I want to do with the rest of my life.

a glorious month of sunny, sugary, delicious, friend-centric, disney, disney, disney, disney, disney comes to an end on Saturday morning when my husband – who I miss so much, and I, drive home.

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I have wanted to blog this entire experience, but it all feels so braggy- and I’m not trying to brag, or to gloat, or to rub anything in anyones’ faces- and so I’ve kept my adventures pretty much on the DL. (until now I guess because no man is an island, or something…) I have been INSANELY LUCKY. I have (had? had.) a financial situation that allowed these once-in-a-lifetime shenanigans, I have a husband who is so fricking cool and who takes my crazy ideas in stride, my kids are old enough to handle my extended absence, and I found myself without a job, but with enough money to do something crazy stupid fun.

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the sky today.

so here I am, with my giant sliding door open to a body of water posted with a sign about not touching the alligators and watching out for poisonous snakes, the sun was brilliant all day, it has been the warmest day since I got here, I finished reading my first book of vacation and started my second- which I plan to finish tonight while the State of the Union is going on. Feel free to text me when I should take a drink. I’ll open a bottle of rosé.

thirty seconds of honesty – I didn’t watch the super bowl this year. I’m feeling conflicted about football and it’s racism and the exploitation of black athletes and the brain damage it inflicts and I love my sports teams but I wasn’t feeling it this year.

what I *am*, however, is in Disney World. where Tom Brady and Julian Edelman were yesterday. with Mickey Mouse. on a parade float that shot confetti. so OBVIOUSLY I had to go to that, and it was awesome.

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I highly recommend living in Disney World – it is the shit. a couple of weeks ago a new frozen drink came out in Norway, I read about it online and the next day I was drinking it. 10/10 would recommend.

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Troll Cream – dragon berry rum, cranberry slush, whipped cream. I think I’ll have another one tomorrow.

 

part of my thinking behind this whole vacation was to see if I would get tired of Disney. the answer is no. I would like to live here all the time please. I’m not good at a lot of things, but I am really forking good at Disney. making that a career somehow would be ideal, whatcha got? I need ideas.

here are some photos.

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stoppit. my sister came to visit and we met Edna FRICKING Mode. and she loved me, because we are twins. obvi.

my oldest daughter drove down with me, two of my besties just spent last weekend with me, my sister came for a week – we met Edna Mode, and went to Gasparilla, and did an after hours party.

in the last month I’ve been able to attend After Hours events in the 3 parks where they are available – and they are AMAZING. you get the park to yourself, which is pretty much the dream, right?

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empty Magic Kingdom for the After Hours event.

I don’t even remember where I was going with this – and I ALREADY want to write another whole thing about more of the fun things I have been able to do. We’ll see.

I’ve got to go find some dinner, and then I have to find a warehouse space, and an inventory, and a plan for the next phase of my life that will allow me to pay for my kids to go to college and maybe one day to be able to retire to Florida with my cute husband. nbd.

 

xoxo

 

scratching my feelings. new year same me edition.

turns out that not working hasn’t cured my anxiety. I didn’t think it would, I don’t have a paycheck right now and that’s stressful, I have a massive trade show to go to next week and THAT is stressful, I don’t have business cards, my company isn’t actually incorporated yet, I didn’t bring businessy clothes with me on this trip…

I napped for a solid 4 hours today but since I woke up my watch has told me to start concentrating on my breathing at least three times.

coloring for stress relief seems like a good idea until I sit down with my tin of sharpened pencils and my very elaborate coloring book patterns. then I remember that a giant part of my anxiety is DEFINITELY related to decision fatigue and having to choose colors, and a pattern, and making sure I don’t screw up the pattern or make sure that the colors that will eventually meet up aren’t going to clash or be too close or, or, or… does anyone want any coloring books? because I have a few I will NEVER use.

enter Facebook targeted advertising.

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magic fricking scratch-off art. it’s like color by number but by subtraction. and it is calming and therapeutic as heck. my oldest daughter and I took a road trip last week and I brought two of these sets and every night we worked on one for about an hour before bed and it was everything you want in a mindless activity without any potential frustration. losing puzzle pieces? no.  decided on burnt sienna only to realize that your mandala looks like a mustard spill? no. lost your scissors? realized you don’t know how to cross stitch? keep stabbing yourself with a needle? threw away the cord for your sewing machine? artistic collage ransom notes frowned upon? never learned how to make friendship bracelets?

get one of these sets. you’ll be so glad you did.   (that’s a link to get it on Amazon, it comes with the scratchy tool and a brush)

caveat – it does make a little bit of a black speckly mess but a clorox wipe and a paper towel and you’re good to go.

 

 

 

unrelated to the scratching art – but certainly related to the anxiety… I wrote SO MANY THINGS during my last week or two of work- (they threw me a taco party! I wore jeans every day!) but never posted any of them – it was a tough couple of weeks for me. I loved that job and those coworkers and that company. I had been prepared to make that job the rest of my working life and very quickly with little time to adjust, that entire plan was changed. so now I’m scratching my way to Plan B. literally, figuratively, emotionally… like the hot mess I am.  but for now I’m hiding out regrouping in my villains lair. -which is actually a great little townhouse in central Florida with my own tiny pool- I’ll tell you more about it next time.

in the meantime I’m going to question the life choices which led me to decide against buying a couple of bottles of wine while I was at Target earlier today.  their target has a straight up liquor store in it! never mind wine – I could be having a vodka tonic right now.

 

xoxo

sending collectors after lunch money in the richest country on earth

deep breath…

Cranston Rhode Island has announced that they have hired a collection agency to go after families of students with unpaid lunches over 20$.  According to the Cranston School District page one week of lunches costs 16.25 for middle and high school and 12.50 for elementary school. So we aren’t even talking about two weeks worth of lunches.

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screenshot from the Cranston public school page…  one child at a time — as long as they’re not hungry?

from the article:

The current unpaid balance is $45,859.

Votto says the school district has tried to collect unpaid balances in the past without much success. He says the lunch program cannot continue to lose revenue.

Votto says the collection agency will send a letter to parents who owe $20 or more and who haven’t paid their balance within 60 days.

In this article from CBS Boston which reported on the hiring it is mentioned that: “Students who owe money will receive the same lunches paying students receive.”

but that doesn’t fit with the policy from the Cranston Public Schools unpaid lunch page:

4.     Once a student has charged five (5) meals (middle\high school $16.25 & elementary $12.50) and no payment has been received, that student will receive a lunch consisting of a sunny butter sandwich, fruit, and milk in place of a hot lunch. This meal maintains the USDA standards surrounding reimbursable meals and will be charged at full price to the student’s account.

am I reading this correctly where the kid who has the lunch debt gets the prison lunch which still costs the same as the regular lunch? because THAT IS BULLSHIT.

and speaking of prison lunches, those are free, paid for with your tax dollars, so if we can pay prison lunches (which we should, and the prison thing is a whole other conversation for another day) we should sure as hell be paying for our children to eat some damn lunch.

Transworld Systems is the company that has been hired to do the collecting.

I HATE the idea of a gofundme to get this paid off, I think crowdsourcing government services which should ALREADY BE FRICKING PAID FOR is crap. But I’m not sure what the alternative is.

I don’t have a solution or a plan, I just have this rant, and some time on my hands and smart friends, so… I like our chances.

 


 

also – I looked – there is already a gofundme set up with a goal of 10,000$.


 

xoxo

 

some favorites thursday – miscellany edition.

(I originally typed: misandry edition. because it is the end of a very long 2018 so why not.)

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 ?

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ah – ah – ah

 

Imma stream of consciousness this post today.

 


 

this doesn’t count as a favorite…

since when is the green lifesaver watermelon? I bought my first roll of non butterscotch lifesavers in easily… I mean, when did they have the mini holes candies? because that long.

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1990. the last time I bought lifesavers was a hot minute ago.

 


 

 

but speaking of misandry (which is also not a favorite) – I had a whole ‘year of the woman writer’ in 2018. Not every voice was perfect but I’m OVER (over over over) boob-dimensional female characters written by men.

I got NO sleep last night because I couldn’t stop reading this book. It was ridiculous and as all over the place as this blog will be today. so it is fitting I include it.

Never AloneNever Alone by Elizabeth Haynes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(closer to 3-1/2 stars) I enjoyed this book, I stayed up until 2 this morning reading it, it was fast paced and interesting – but it was also incredibly frustrating. The men in Sarah’s life were atrocious, she makes terrible decisions, her dogs need leashes, her doors need locks. Beyond that though, solid storytelling with a likable, albeit infuriating, main character.

 



 

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I look EVERYTHING up.

before the internet I was a big fan of the card catalogue, the encyclopedia, the reference book. I need to know things and with this glorious anxiety the more information I have the better – how often should I blog? how do I blog? how do I say no to someone who asks to be a houseguest? what is a triple net lease? how do I tell my coworkers I’m leaving my job? what is the difference between an LLC and a Sole Proprietorship? how do I start an art collection? what are the hipster neighborhoods in Orlando? where are the best brunch spots in Orlando? when will there be a Chuy’s in Massachusetts? what information should be on a business card? how do you name a company?

see what I did there? I still haven’t figured out how to tell all of my coworkers that I’m leaving my job at the end of the year.

I love this job, I love this company, I love my coworkers. But it is time for a change.

I’m starting my own company, staying in the industry I’ve been working in for the last 5 years. I’m taking January and February off, I’ve rented a place in Florida for 5 weeks, and I am going to bust out some strategy in the sunshine. (14 miles from the Magic Kingdom because who are we kidding?) I’m freaking the fork out. But I’m 42 and next year both of my kids will be in college, it is time to figure out what I’m going to do when I grow up.

at least until I become an archaeologist.

 




 

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living coral. is it a color? a call to environmental action? the antithesis of the orange detritus inhabiting the white house? a reminder that the sun will come out tomorrow? am I reading too much into this?

everything is political. with the exception of, like, the president of the united states, he’s just a ruinous piece of garbage. Pantone’s color of the year was announced yesterday and even that announcement felt political.

From their announcement:

Introducing the Pantone Color of the Year 2019, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral – an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression. #COY2019

I want lighthearted activity. Remember lighthearted activity?

 

 

brb, gotta figure out how to tell my coworkers I’m leaving the company at the end of the year…

xoxo

three favorites thursday – ‘cyber week’ edition.

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who has two thumbs and didn’t know ‘cyber week’ was a thing? this guy.

Cyber Week. evidently that’s a thing now.  Because the onslaught of one time only, limited availability, lowest discount of the season, get it now or you will ruin the holidays forever, isn’t enough on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s Cyber Thursday, do you know where your children are? (and THAT’S how old I am)

I haven’t really done any ‘cyber week’ shopping – I keep thinking I want to, filling up shopping carts, but then abandoning them. But I did find a few things that I think will make excellent presents.


 

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Lin Manuel Miranda. He’s a gift to all of us already, but now his inspirational Gmorning, Gnight messages are illustrated in their own fabulous little book. I have so far purchased three copies of it but reserve the right to give it to EVERYONE this Christmas.

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your children FOR SURE need this. their teachers might also. siblings. aunts and uncles. the postal worker who delivers all of your packages – you fiend. you need it, your spouse. the world. the world needs this book.

Get one.

LMM’s website (Tee Rico) also has Gnight PAJAMAS. because who doesn’t need a sleep shirt or cozy pants?

 

 



 

 

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my very very favorite eyeshadow palette. I have LOTS of palettes, drawers full, it’s obscene. and usually I wear one color (that isn’t even in this palette) (Urban Decay Lounge)  But when I’m not being lazy I bust out the Tartlette In Bloom Palette.

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neutral but rosy but shimmery but sophisticated

Right now Macy’s has a 15% off code (FRIEND) which makes this just over 33$. BUT if you use Ebates (which you fricking should, and if you don’t please sign up with my link!) today everything at Macy’s will get you 10% cash back.

 

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My favorite eyeshadow brush. the only one I ever ever use and the only one you will ever ever need. (unless you’re wicked fancy in which case I can’t help you) is from Coastal Scents, it is the BR-C-N02 a Medium, Classic, Natural brush and it is a WORKHORSE. I have been using, washing, using, washing, the same brush for at least 5 years.

If you know and love and shop for makeup wearers this will be their favorite stocking stuffer. If you combine it with In Bloom you’ll win Christmas.

 

 




 

 

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unrelated to Christmas shopping, other than that you need sustenance to keep you going, my other favorite thing this cyber week is Trader Joe’s Spanakopita Pie.  I’m on my second one for the week already and I have no regrets. TJ’s was sold out of tzatziki when I went so I had to go to my regular grocery store to get some, because it’s the other best part of this meal.

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you’re going to want to get one of these today. maybe get 2.

it’s that perfect amount of salty and flaky and still feels like you’re eating healthy because the thing is full of spinach. Plus it’s pie. It’s the best of all possible worlds.

I am starving right now.


 

So that’s what I’ve got. Good Luck tomorrow on Cyber Friday and through what I assume will be the Cyber Weekend…?

 

xoxo

holidaying my feelings – why is there so much crap in my house? edition

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we decorated EARLY this year and I’m not sorry.

It’s weird to get to a place where you don’t want anything. but I don’t. I don’t want a single thing. I have EVERYTHING I need. I have MORE THAN I NEED.  I am getting rid of things at a steady pace.

part of the particular nature/nurture strain of anxiety/depression that I inherited from my father leads to purging. I try to be very conscious of what I get rid of because I want to make sure I have art my kids made in kindergarten, or baby photos, or my husband’s letterman jacket. dad was a reckless purger so there are things from my childhood that I would have preferred to not end up in a dumpster while I was in college… like anything from my childhood. Ten points to the X-ers in charge of our entertainment, because I can at least have NEW things of whatever things I don’t have from my childhood. Jem? Good Luck Bear? A Vintage style My Little Pony? A fricking Zoom birthday record?! They exist again and I could have all of those things.

but I don’t want them.

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tea, cake, making lists. some of my favorites.

so right, while the holidays approach, and Winter is Coming, and I really want to start getting my house renovated, and things are happening in my professional life that I can’t/haven’t told everyone about yet… I’m fucking stressed out. I’m also really fucking depressed. I said that out loud to myself in the car the other day. “I am really fucking depressed” and the moment of acknowledging my feelings for what they are… it helped. I mean, Wellbutrin helps more, but recognition is important.

and I need to get a dumpster which currently has me REALLY worried because I do want to get rid of every.fucking.thing. in my house.

I speak only for myself and my own experiences with depression but if I had to make a list of things I “want” or “need” for Christmas right now they would include: socks, a throw blanket or four, a magically clean kitchen and front hallway unaccompanied by the sounds of angry cleaning, new toss pillows for the couch, cake, dark curtains in my bedroom for naps, naps, for my house to smell like a Christmas tree, candles in every room, having the dining room table completely clear… chocolate. See’s or Phillip’s Candy House especially. The soft ones with fruity creme centers. Or a trip to Disney. But mostly I need Hygge.

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I want Hygge for Christmas.

xoxo

 

I only really like my cervix if I don’t have to think about it.

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Due to an atrocious OBGYN several years ago who equated every single problem I had with my weight I had a Soviet Era copper IUD that was old enough to vote. It wasn’t really Soviet Era, it WAS pre-9/11, and to be fair it voted Democrat but it still had to go.

The removal process 9 days ago was hellish. Hellish. I yelled at one point, out loud, and then started crying. I mean… she stuck a needle in my cervix. Without any warning. I don’t recommend it. It made half my face go numb and my nose bleed. That’s some fucked up reverse acupuncture FOR SURE. Leading up to this she had given me a prescription for something that was supposed to soften my cervix to make the thing easier, and in my defense the pharmacist didn’t mention that it was supposed to be inserted – the instructions were “take one tablet night before procedure”. Also it said “take with food”. These made me think that I should eat something and then swallow the pill. I was wrong.

I have a very high tolerance for pain. Like really very high. 36 hours of back labor followed by delivery without any drugs. Kidney stones without any drugs. An injection in the cervix without any drugs. rooting around in my uterus looking for a little piece of copper without any drugs.

The insertion process wasn’t much better, because evidently there are corners and switchbacks involved because it turns out that my uterus is literally upside-down and backwards and on its side, and in an entirely different building, the pathway looks like Lombard St, which isn’t something that anyone felt the need to tell me, the owner of the uterus. I said: “oh, so is that why I only had back labor?” and she said “yes, I can’t believe no one warned you”. My youngest is 18 so it’s been too long to be feeling THIS DAMN SALTY, but no, no one told me. Why would anyone tell the terrified 23 year old what is causing her pain?

Where am I going with this? I don’t remember. But today I’ve got a shiny new IUD, loaded with hormones that might even help with my The Shining Elevator style periods I’ve been having for the last 15 years. Which, coincidently had NOTHING to do with my fucking weight.

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and in case you’re wondering – once I get home and put on the most comfortable damn joggers in the WORLD (which yeah, I do think are worth the stupid high price tag.) I’m going to shop alllllll these feelings away in the form of Disney Holiday Decorations. (and vanilla milkshakes with butterscotch schnapps. #butterscotchberns )