It's Halloween!

And we all know what that means.

My dress fell off somewhere over Vancouver,
but by God, this hat is staying put!

I'll be putting on a mask, offering children candy and sweets, and watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! at work. 
Sounds like that could be a regular evening for some people.

Image via Socializr.


In which Tracy writes an unusually serious letter.

But which letter to choose?  C? R?  Perhaps I should write a number instead....

Dear Future Tracy,

When you were living in California after college, you were really unhappy, remember?  You spent most evenings and weekends at home on Skype with your boyfriend, unmotivated to do anything, scared to go out with people. 
Sometimes you hung out with friends of a friend, but you were so self-conscious and shy and intimidated that it was difficult to enjoy yourself.  You were just tired all the time.  Plus, you had no car.  The car thing proved a huge blow to your sense of self-worth and independence.  So did living at home, feeling like you were back in high school again.  Maybe you were just terrified that what you thought would only be a temporary living situation would stretch on and on indefinitely until you became stuck in it.  Maybe part of you thought that would be easier than pursuing what you really wanted...and Lord knows you were always interested in what was easiest, whatever required the least confrontation and interaction with people.

Work was a challenge, and not in a good way.  You didn't feel like you were good at your job, the parents and other teachers didn't seem to have much faith in you, and there were more days than you'd like to remember when you were nearly reduced to stinging, frustrated tears.  That work was clearly not your thing, so why did you stay at it so long?  You were afraid to quit, I think.  But why be afraid of leaving something that didn't make you happy, even if that meant taking a risk?  So teaching spoiled kindergarteners was not for you--for fuck's sake, be happy about that!  The other side of "Those who can't, teach" is "Those who can, do."  So do, already.  You are a writer.  It is the only way you can express yourself without feeling like an ass, and it's the only thing you've found that makes you feel like you are really, actually good at what you're doing.  Work as a receptionist or take some mindless job, but the rest of the time, write.  While you're at it, start performing and singing more.  You  love it.

Then again, it wasn't just the job that had you down.  You felt bad about yourself almost the whole time you were there.  You started becoming a very negative person--you, who were always the upbeat, optimistic girl, albeit fairly shy.  What's more, though, you partly believed that nothing was ever really going to happen to change your situation.  You were crippled by your self-doubt, your fear of your family's reactions and judgments on you--particularly your mother's.  Eventually it felt like you were disappointing everyone in your life no matter what you did, and you didn't even care if you disappointed yourself because you already felt so damn shitty all the time. 

Oh, you distracted yourself for a while with music and books and the internet.  You let a phone-and-video-chat relationship placate you, instead of just moving to Pennsylvania right away.  And what was stopping you from doing that?  Was it seeing your old friends again?  Why, you would see them at Thanksgiving and Christmas before you moved in the next couple months.  Besides, when they all graduated, they weren't going to settle in California, anyway.  Was it availability of an apartment or job?  The Boy was on the spot to help you with that.  Leaving the school, perhaps?  Well, you started dreading work anyway, and once you quit you never had to see them again.  I know you worried about looking like you weren't capable enough to handle the job; but honey, I really hope your ego has gotten over that by now.  It was a tough job, and you did the best you could.  Everyone knew that.  And even though you probably still miss the kids and the other teachers, they just weren't enough to balance out the way you felt about yourself when you worked there.  So then, was it concern about your family and how they would judge your decisions?  Screw it.  You were twenty-one years old and living a life you hated.  If they knew that, would they really have asked you to stay there?  You hated watching tiny, harmless-looking waves of depression lapping at your toes, but you were just too damn tired to stand up and back away from them.  I'm glad to see you finally found the energy and the motivation.

The only reason I can really think of to stay would have been the beach.  But you can always visit.  Your mother will be pretty dang happy to see you.

I also want to say thanks, Future Tracy.  If you hadn't stood up at last and figured yo' shit out, I would still be working at the school and feelin' sad and lonely and helpless all the time.  And that's annoying just to think about.  Anyway, you're the best.  Thanks again.

Best wishes,
Past Tracy.


Dear Past Tracy:

Turns out, life sucks no matter what your situation is. But you do get to have Lemonheads for breakfast.


Future Tracy.

 Image via Monkey Mind.



I've been feeling a little like this

After looking at this picture twenty times,
I suddenly realized - that lion is drunk!

...in that it sort of feels like I'm about to topple over, and when I do there will be a lion nose-to-nose with me.  But I'd much rather end the week with a cool little shrug, saying, Yeah I hugged a lion, bitch.  What?

I don't know who I'm talking to in this hypothetical situation, but I guess they're probably pretty impressed.

Image via Book of Secrets.


This post is about kids doing cute things

...for a change.


I think one of the reasons I don't love teaching kindergarten is because the kids can't really write yet.  As we have seen, kids have some hi-larious things to say, but when they're written down, you can laugh at them behind their backs.  Example: Tonight I read through and "graded" my eleven-year-old sister's report on King David.  (Side note: What is this crap?  Her teacher has them include a rubric on which the student, parent, and teacher each give the report a separate grade.  Does he really expect his students' parents to grade the thing fairly?  Don't tell me it's something cutesy like getting parents involved in their children's schoolwork.  Half of the kids are just going to forge it, and the rest of them will turn in a hand-written report on crinkled, yellow legal paper.  But I hope there's one kid whose parent flunks him, leaving the report drenched in red ink with comments like, "Use a dictionary much?" or maybe, "Dangle another preposition and you're grounded," or perhaps an encouraging "I SHOULD'VE HAD YOU ABORTED.")

Of course, my sister is brilliant and wonderful and shining like the little uniquely perfect snowflake she is, and so I humbly submit for your approval her introductory paragraph, with the comments I wish I really had made:

David is known for many things such as defeating Goliath and becoming the most successful leader that ruled Israel.  He started out as the eighth son of a family of important people. [But he ended as the second oldest.  Figure that one out.]  However, as he grew older, he accomplished many things including defeating the strongest and tallest Philistine that ever lived.  When he died the throne got passed on to one of his many sons named Solomon.  [Having so many Solomons around must have gotten pretty confusing.]  I learned many new words while writing this including anointed.  Read on to find out more about King David.

I know you're wishing you could read on to find out more about King David, but I can't include the entire report here, sadly.  You just don't get that kind of subtlety in kindergarten - although I did hear today that the water twisting down the blacktop from the hose was curving because there was a rattlesnake under the asphalt.  Which...what the hell?  Meanwhile, as the kids were all squatting in a huddle examining the little dribbling stream, I was charging over from the other side of the playground, armed with nothing but adrenalin and a moderate-to-low pain tolerance, shouting at them all to MOVE AWAY FROM THE HOSE because one girl told me there was a rattlesnake in it.

...One of his many sons named Solomon.  That slays me.

Image via this foreign site.


Not a costume.

Everybody's been talking about the STARS "Culture-not-Costume" campaign as of late, and clearly, there are a lot of racist costumes out there which hurt people's feelings.

Why you so sad, Cho Chang?

But these ads have gone on to spur dialogue about all manner of thoughtless discrimination through seemingly innocent, light-hearted Halloween costumes.  Like a gnarled old woman riding on the back of a young man?  Ageism!  Yuppy WASPs sporting hobo outfits is a clear case of elitism.  Hairy men dressed as busty females smacks of sexism, pregnant nuns parading around with smug-looking priests is some blatant Catholicism, and ghosts portrayed in a hideously oversimplified manner is plain old necrism (Really? A sheet?  Come on.  Ghosts were people once, too, you insensitive swine).

Damn right you got a rock.

The hatred is out of control.

Today, though, I'm here to speak out on behalf of a group of individuals who feel that they face unwarranted discriminated on this most irreverent of nights.  This pattern of misrepresentation has gone on for years, and it's time that we recognize the shame and outrage felt by these people every Halloween.

For slutty girls, it's not a costume.

I spent six years in medical school, jackass.

Sure, most of you probably think that Halloween is just a free pass - a night when any woman can put on a tight dress and stockings, pull her skirt up and her shirt down, and tousle her hair into sexified glory, then totter off into the darkness on platform stilettos as warm beer sloshes over the brim of her red Solo cup.

Well, what about the girls who walk into work or class on November 1st wearing a short skirt and six-inch heels, sporting cleavage that would make a eunuch sweat?  Once Halloween is over, these women go on with their lives with the stifling feeling that they still wear a mask.  But there is so much more to sluts than their dress.*  Other girls can take off their fish nets and push-up bras - their costume - but a slut can't hide who she is.  She was born that way, and nothing gives people the right to perpetuate ignorant stereotypes and make a laughingstock of this important and valuable group of people.

Is this some sort of joke?

What's more, characterizing them through a particular profession only serves to further marginalize sluts' legitimacy and voice in a world that is run by prudes and squares.  Sluts are not just scantily-clad nurses or incompetent cops; nor are they half-undressed pirates.  Sluttiness is a way of life, not a career choice.  This is not who they are. And mocking them with a cheap costume of vinyl and mesh is NOT OKAY.

*Which isn't saying much.  Zing!

Images by: STARS via feministing; Great Pumpkin; Image Shack; The Weedicle.


Things I Like

BHLDN calls these lacy, modest little delights underpinnings:

That's just...I mean...can you...? 

Goodness, I'm all of a flutter.


Take Note

This post is about engagement sessions (in case that affects whether or not you will be choosing to read it.  No?  Okay).  One, in particular: The one I would like to have - and the one to which I am thus laying claim right now, on October 24, 2011 at 11:38 at night.  So...run and tell that, homeboy.

But first, a story:

A kissing story.

[Story omitted due to the incriminatingly emotional and generally embarrassing details of said story.  Just thinking about it made me break out in self-mockery all over.  Suffice it to say that The Boyfriend and I tip-toed awkwardly out of the shadows long after we'd started dating, like teenagers sidling out of a broom closet with mussed hair and sloppy grins, and there was a bit of shock and disbelief all around once people found out.  But in the end it all turned out okay and wasn't really a big deal at all.]

And now, a summary of that story:

Tracy loves secrets.  Boy loves Tracy.  Who knows why.  Tracy loves him back, even more than she loves secrets.  Everyone discovers that Tracy and the Boy are sittin' in a tree.  K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

I told you it was a kissing story.

Now, it seems to me that all engagement pictures start to look the same after a while (not that the average person goes looking through hundreds of couples' engagement pictures on a Monday evening just for funsies...), with unnatural poses and matching smiles and a forced, self-consciously romantic atmosphere.  Sometimes the duo even dresses alike, which just blows my mind.

Are we inappropriate twins or just engaged? Nobody knows!

Those zombie photos were cool, but I think I would want something a little more subtle.  I would call the series "Love Endures," and it would feature pictures of the couple acting out scenes from great love stories--Isolde watching Tristan sail away to Brittany, Juliet seeking a trace of the poison on Romeo's lips, Orpheus turning back to glimpse Eurydice fading away....  You know - subtle.*

Another option is just to do a day-in-the-life shoot with all the raw, gritty details.  Wakin' up all yawning and snorting and squinty, the man scratching his thigh as he pours coffee.  Grocery shopping in sweats, doing laundry and getting the mail, a quickie on the kitchen floor while dinner sets off the fire alarm.  Reading in bed and drifting off to sleep, mouthguard in place to keep the snoring under control.  Then getting up in the morning and doing it all over again.

*Not to mention cheery!

Image via here and Iconica Photography.


Wedding Woes

Let me start this off by saying that I have no desire to be married: not now, not in the foreseeable future* - which is a real shame.  You know...aesthetically speaking.

I mean, a lot of nice trends are happening right now, like cutesy-pants DIY projects.  And cupcakes.  Increasing amounts of glitter.  Twinkle lights.  Photobooths.  Bonfires.  Outdoor ceremonies.  And other things.  Though I could do without the mustache mania and the jumping-bridal-party pictures that just won't roll over and die.

...Alright, some of those aren't really trends.  People have been getting married outside and making their own dessert tables for a long time.  But who knows what weddings of the future will be like?  In the next ten years, the blogosphere could be raving about Labyrinth-inspired affairs, with robo-fficiants and space honeymoons.

The future has begun.

 But surely, this can't become a reality.  What will the guests eat?  Dehydrated chicken-or-fish packets?  Buttercream-frosted cake capsules?  I don't even want to think about the kind of bizarre, synthesized beats DJ Roomba will be layin' down.

Almost makes a girl want to grab the first person she sees and elope right now, before her only choice is to get hitched on a drunken, giggly trip to Space Vegas.

Hang a sign and tin cans off that getaway car.  Ship.  Whatever.

 *Of course, the foreseeable future generally extends to next Tuesday in my mind.

 Images via Discovery Channel; Magical Mouse Pad.


Things I Like

Unintentional puns.  Real-life example:

"I usually become ravenous anywhere from midnight to 2 AM.  Last night I squatted with my nose in the fridge for twenty minutes at 1 in the morning, scrounging for something to satisfy my appetite.  I ended up eating a buttload of ham by the light of the refrigerator."

The first hipster pig describes his choice of tattoos as "ironic."

Image via The Whiskey Chicken.


The Glitter Monster

Confession: I am nearly twenty-two years old and I have never been clubbin'.*  But before I leave this golden year behind me, I feel that I should go.  Just once.  And in the spirit of adventure and youthful enthusiasm, I have already put together my outfit:

This dress, because you know I'ma be shakin' it,

Oh, crap.  I did forget deodorant.



and makeup, of course. 

I have no eyes, and I must see.

No jewelry, though.  I don't want to be over the top.  Besides, when I start dancing, I dance.  If I were wearing jewelry, somebody would lose an eye.

And then, after I throw on some sequin leg warmers and a glittery cape...you'll see me rollin' in the clubs at quarter to teeenn, the whole place stops when they see me walk iiin. And then all the fellas be buyin' me dranks, and I'll be gettin' dirty looks from the bitches and skanks, but soon they all gon' be callin my name, cuz errbody in the club wanna roll wit' maae...the Glitter Monster.

And they never saw Tracy again....

*Neither in bars nor on baby seals.**
**Haw, haw.  I just think I'm sooo hilarious.

Images galore! Dress via Guts.Glam.Grace.; shoes from bhldn; purse via Joy Cho; hat via Tiny Hats Weekly; lips via snowkei's flickr; eyes via Hudson Gallery; Glitter Monster by Natalie Dee, of course.


Don't Stop!

My eyes lit up with joy when I saw this little gem swimming around Pinterest.*  First off, some of those pinners are a little overly motivational and obsessive about guilting themselves into losing weight...

                                                                           Source: adropintheocean.tumblr.com via Noella on Pinterest

...so there was that element of sad self-loathing, seeping into a pool of uncomfortableness for me to roll around in, like a pig in a mud puddle.  But then, once I got bored of comparing the number of GET-SKINNY-YOU-SLUT shame pictures versus wistful photographs of rich desserts, I started to think, What if I pasted that motto over other pictures?  There are so many possibilities:

"I don't stop when I'm tired, I stop when I'm done."  

Raunchy:  A lusty man sick of the "headache" excuse.
Punny:  Anthropomorphic race car during a pit stop.
Literal:  Sleep-talker.
Offensive:  Slave, prisoner, factory worker, housewife (and perhaps the fact that I listed all of those together).
Arrogant:  Energizer bunny addressing all the regular bunnies.
Political:  Euthanasia opponent.
Inspirational:  Balto carrying penicillin.
Petty:  Factory line workers gossiping about their narcoleptic coworker. 
Cannibalistic:  Sunday dinner, forced to turn himself on the spit.
Sad:  A rotund woman sitting alone at a table, lit only by an overhead lamp, diving into a large box of decadent chocolates. 

...And with that last one, I think we find the inspiration behind the original picture. 

*Whoever thought up that site is brilliant.  There is no end to the number of things I can make fun of.  On the other hand, sometimes I find pictures of nooks under the stairs or baby animals that have fallen on their backs and just can't right themselves.

Image via Pinterest.


Last Friday Night...

Girls - girls!  You'll catch your death of cold!

I take it you're singing that song under your breath right now, but if you're like me, it probably sounds more like, "da da dee dum, broke the law, something someth--menage a trois...."  And then your kindergarten students look up at you innocently, reminding you what a bad influence you are.

In real life, my Friday was a little less crazy, but I did have my first bite of bacon in five years at a fiesta where I knew next to no one.  I like to think it helped calm m'nerves before just charming the pants right off so many new people.  The rest of the bacon was later put into taco meat with jalapenos and onions, and with that, all of my dreams came true.  I was so heady with delight, in fact, that I over-excitedly asked the boy who drove me home (whom I had just met) if he would be my best friend (several times) after I found out that he had watched "Firefly" (it's a good show, jeez).*

Then again, it could have been that I was just all giddy still from my proposal earlier that day.  It was my second, after all (though the first is a story for another day), and everyone knows that a girl's second proposal is the most important.  The first is too much of a shock, and anything after three is just becoming a habit.  In any case, this one happened at lunch time.  I was standing by the benches on the blacktop, minding my own business, yelling at a girl for the fifth time not to swing so high or I would make her get off, when he walked up to me and asked if I knew what he was going to do when he grew up.  Naturally, I told him no and asked exactly what he was going to do - why, I never dreamed that his answer would be "marry you"!  Did you ever?

That's her biggest problem?  Shit. 

Although I really should have seen it coming, I suppose.  He's told me he likes my hair every day since the first day of school.

(I feel like I talk about my students too much.  Do I talk about them too much?  Should I stop?  If it's not funny, I'll stop.  I don't want to be tedious.  That would be the worst thing I could think of.  But, I mean, if it's making you laugh, or even just chuckle, or if you're letting out a quick guffaw and then closing the page, or if you're snorting into your cereal [or is that...yogurt? Yoplait? Or Greek?], then I'll continue.  I have lots of stories about the kids.  I mean, tons.  Like, one dressed up as a dinosaur for the Halloween party we had this weekend, and after he said hi to me he turned to walk away and his tail waggled. Ha!  Ha, ha!  It was the cutest thing!  Ah, I've got a million.  Just wait till I get pregnant and have kids of my own to talk about!  Won't that just be divine?!!)

But now it's Monday.  And I am not at all sure that I have enough snark to get me through a Monday after only one day of weekend, due to our Halloween Party/Harvest Festival on Saturday.  Thus, this picture:

Ha-HA!  Can't remove your spectacles with no thumbs, can you?!

*At least, I think that happened.  It was very late, and sometimes I think hard about doing something but don't actually do it, yet my mind still believes that I did.  I live in a very confusing world.

Images by hellopennylane; Old Print; Life Magazine.



I'm pretty sure the next big thing in the blogosphere will be Elaborate Event Planning: Funerals Edition.  Within the next two years, funerals are expected to overtake weddings as The Affair in a person's life.  These projections are not surprising - after all, not everyone gets married; everyone dies.  In fact, at this very moment, bloggers all across the interwebs may be receiving emails from respected photographers featuring dreamy shots of elegant funerals: dappled sunlight playing across the brave yet peaceful faces of the mourners, some of whom may be lifting a delicate, lace handkerchief to wipe a single tear from under a tasteful, black birdcage veil.  The golden glow of afternoon sunlight glinting off a polished, oak casket as a single white rose is tossed gently into the frame from an unseen hand.  Instead of the usual black, some planners may offer a charcoal color scheme, and, naturally, artsy goth will be all the rage.  And what could be more appropriate for an October death, one might ask, than a Dia de los Muertos theme?  So chic.

You should have seen the invitation suite.

Then, of course, there will be the DIY, f-the-funeral-industrial-complex group, who just want to send their loved ones off with a bang and throw a kick-ass party in their memory.  Because after all, what matters at the end of the day is that you've buried the one you love.  And danced your faces off.

So, in anticipation of this trend, I will be forming a 90s cover band called Dust2Dust, just to get a jump on the funeral circuit, you know?

Our condolences.

A sample set list, in case you're wondering:

- "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
- "Killing Me Softly"
- "Who Will Save Your Soul"

and, for a little cheek, a rousing chorus of "Haunt Me Baby One More Time."  I think we're gonna be big.

Images via Death, Modernity, and Public Policy; Vampire Freaks.


Not Suitable for...Anywhere.

I think the California heat wave is getting to everyone.  Today, my ass was slapped by a five-year-old boy.

When I turned around, shocked, he winked and said, "Hey, Teach, you wanna hit up the malt shop after school?"  He had to be in bed by seven, but we still managed to have a lovely evening.*

This is probably in poor taste.

*That's gross.

Image via Breeleed.


This post is about chicken.

On a few other occasions, I have attempted to show my domestic side, whereby I prove myself to be a human being capable of functioning in a normal, adult world.  Theoretically.  I'm gearing up for a big millinery/haberdashery post (because I have been doing some haberdashering on the sly), but for now I've just been cooking.

This time around, I made spicy breaded chicken tenders instead of shrinking pies.  But before you start getting all flushed with admiration for me, I was really just making dinner last-minute for my sisters.  I was tired and crampy and all I really wanted to do was scrounge about for a little nibble to tide them over till morning.  It was not impressive.

But instead of abandoning them to graze on whatever was in the fridge (crusty ranch dressing and wheat germ, mostly), I rallied my strength, grumbled my way into the kitchen, and whipped out this culinary masterpiece!

Of course, it still had to sit for a bit.  You can't rush art, you know.

And now, here is a long and irrelevant story for you:

About a month ago, I decided that after five years and four months of being a vegetarian, I wanted to start eating meat again.  This decision came about after a trip to the farmer's market with my boyfriend (why yes, I do live in a romantic comedy).  That night, we were planning to make a prematurely autumn-like soup which required bacon, so he picked out the heartiest, thickest slices of bacon he could find, which were then weighed and wrapped by a very obliging Amish fellow.  When we took it back home, I offered to cook it.  The Boyfriend was quite grateful, since he usually eats bacon straight from the frying pan, without bothering with any intermediary nonsense such as plates.  Or a napkin.  This way, the bacon at least made it into the soup - some of it was even sprinkled artfully on top.

However, as I stood there fussing over the bacon like it was a tiny babe in a cradle, the bacon began to work its magic on me.  Before I knew it I saw myself reaching into the pan for just a smidgen, just a tiny taste.  Surely I wouldn't get sick from just one little bite?  One thick, crunchy, little bite?  As if standing outside of my own body, I watched as my hand nipped a bit of the meat, trembling as the sinews snapped: it was mine.  Into my mouth it went, and I gargled a sick cackle of delight as the greasy, salty, wonderful juice thrilled my tongue and my teeth sank into the forbidden fruit.  Or meat.  Whatever.  In any case, my moment of ecstasy was rudely interrupted as The Boyfriend ran up behind me, grabbed me around the ribs, and muscled me over to the sink where he forced my mouth open with his thumb and forefinger, shouting Spit it out!  Spit it out! as if I were a dog on a chocolate binge.  I did spit it out, mostly out of shock, but I glared ruefully at him, muttering disdainfully that all I'd wanted was a taste.

The point of that story was to impress upon you how new the world of meat cookery is to me, and that because of this fact, the chicken tenders felt much more slimy than I expected them to.  Also, I was hoping somebody could point to where the tenders are located on a chicken.

The rest of it was pretty alright, though.  Flour and kosher salt?  Easy peasy.  Hot sauce and eggs?  A cinch.  Cayenne pepper, cornmeal, chili powder?  A little more difficult, because we only had half as much cornmeal as the recipe demanded (you'd think recipes would have a little more leeway), so I had to throw in some Panko to even things out.  Also, I do love cooking with kosher salt.  It makes me feel like everything I'm doing is proper and sanctioned in the eyes of God, at least.

We do things right around here.

The dipping, though, was an entirely different story.  The flour was alright, because that eliminated the sliminess of the raw chicken.  But then the egg mixture brought back the goo with a vengeance.  The breading built up on my fingertips in a clumpy, sticky mess, but I muddled through all these unimaginable tribulations because damnit, my sisters needed food in their bellies!  The result:

Ignore the odd one out on the end.  I ran out of bread crumbs so it just looks wet.

I didn't remember to snap any pictures of the chicken after it was cooked, but you can be sure that my sisters gobbled up every last bit of meat they could lay their hands on before proceeding to lick the plates, their fingers, even their napkins for any remaining shreds of flavor.  Delighted, I cried out, "Wait till you taste the salad!"  However, they were a little disappointed, to say the least, by the plain, wilted romaine lettuce affair, and dinner ended on a rather low note.

Another typical meal in the drudgery bin.

Top image by Jim Davis and Dan Walsh, via Garfield Minus Garfield; all others by me.


"Tut tut, it looks like rain!"

Except for the blue skies and weather warnings about temperatures nearing 100.
In October.

Dear Fall,

So, this is how you want to play it.  Come into our lives for two whole days, bringing a few crunchy leaves and hauling two solid days of rain in from the ocean...before you just skip town in the night.  Oh, sure, you left us some dry winds and trees that look as if they've been sprinkled with cinnamon.  But where is our romantic change of seasons, our inspiring and sobering sense that the world is turning right under our feet?  Why don't we get the chance to reflect thoughtfully on our lives as a cold, crisp, changeful wind bites at our cheeks and noses?  We see no vibrant leaves letting go from their twigs softly and suddenly, as if with a good-bye kiss, before drifting sweetly to the ground like a falling flame.

Look, I understand that you're all about the East Coast.  They're metropolitan and hip there; they understand you.  What do we have to offer you here in the southwest?  Desert and tacos.  Really good tacos.  But you don't care.  You're an eastern girl, and I guess I can't blame you for wanting to return home every year.  At least you came to visit, right?  I guess two days of autumn is all I can really expect.  I just hope we didn't do anything to make you want to leave early.  Was it our flippant disregard for your arrival, our inappropriate wardrobe choices, our untimely beach excursions?  Whatever it was, I'm sorry.  Please come back.

Maybe I could come visit you over there sometime.  After all, I spent three years in Ohio during school, and we had a pretty fun time.  Crunching leaves, dressing in layers.  Remember the time I made caramel apples with some friends and my face felt like it was sticky for weeks?  And then the times I would walk down to the golf course and sit there in the evening dusk until the dampness from the putting green had soaked through my wool coat and jeans, chilling my unmentionables....  Those were some good times, right?

...Oh, who am I kidding?  I was born a Californian and I'll always be a Californian.  I wasn't made for a real fall.  The dry heat and the winter winds are in my bones.  Even if I moved back East, I wouldn't know what to do with all this autumn.  I would suffer a sensory overload from all the colors and smells of earth and spices; shivers down to my marrow would show me just how woefully unprepared I am for Real Weather.

A real-life umbrella!  I've only heard the tales.... Look, it keeps the
sky-water off their heads ten times better than this silly hood!  I
shall buy one for my poodle.

I made some hot apple cider the other day.  It was out of a package, so it tasted a little watery and the flavored granules never did dissolve properly.  I miss you.

Please come back,
Tracy Thunderbolt.

Images via Polyvore, Isn't It Lovely?


Sunday Snark*

I'm pretty sure this picture doesn't even need commentary.  It oozes snark.

*There really isn't anything different about this post.  But I felt it was time to introduce a weekly series, and I thought the alliteration would be nice.

Image via Forever Until the End.


How the Tables Have Turned

Well, it's Saturday night, and my mother is going to a cancer fundraiser/Oktoberfest party so she can watch a band, like a starry-eyed, teenage girl.  She also brought cookies as a hostess gift, because my grandma raised her right.

The secret ingredient is love.  The other secret is marijuana!

Meanwhile, I am taking over all the little household duties: cooking dinner, setting the table, ironing the clothes, mopping the floor, washing the windows, shaking the rugs, turning the mattresses, feeding the livestock, cleaning the stables, putting my little sisters to bed, singing them to sleep and soothing their worried brows as they wait bravely - but oh, the sadness in their eyes! - for their absent mother to return home to them.  I've also decided to make all my sisters adorable little rompers and dresses out of the drapes.

We put on these outfits and now we can sing!  I think the secret is marijuana!

I'm just kidding, of course.  My hard-workin' mama deserves a night out after raising six wily daughters.  Besides, I'm not really taking care of the littl'uns.  I roasted some chicken and tore up a few lettuce leaves for them; they can handle the rest well enough.  For the rest of the evening, I will be perfecting my shuffling and brushing up on my "Single Ladies" moves.  After all, wedding season is almost over; I gotta keep my skills sharp.  This ain't no YMCA.

I know I'm super late to the party (I didn't even mean to do that!), but I can't stop watching this.  Did you see the guy land on his elbow?!  The shuffling is in my bones!

PS:  Dear Interwebs, the phrase is "Every day I'm shufflin'," not "Commonplace I'm shufflin'."  There's a space.  That is all.

PPS:  I apologize for my grammatical sass.  I think it's a sickness.  I do not apologize!  You cannot make me!  I will bully the internet into writing correctly, or else I will just wear out my exclamation point key while nobody reads this blog and goes on degrading the English language until I have a conniption and die!  That'll show 'em!!


Whisky Cooler Talk

I'm pretty sure having this in the break room would boost my productivity by about seven thousand percent.  Mostly because this fantasy life would involve me being a Famous Writer, and I firmly support Hemingway's belief that one should "write drunk; edit sober."

On the other hand, were this located in the teacher's lounge, it certainly couldn't make teaching kindergarten any worse.

Image via Neatorama, originally in LIFE Magazine.


Sparks fly...

...as a million Apple products short out from the grieving techies sobbing into their iPads and Macs.

He was like a father to us all.  Or something.

Image via Vie Design.


Things I Dislike


It isn't that I am resistant to the change of The Future or that I am particularly fond of upright vacuums, but ever since I saw The Thing, anything that skitters around on the floor really just creeps me out.

Aw, heyull naw, that would not get near my house.

Besides being a little too sneaky for comfort, this household menace increases the odds of tripping by about a thousand, gives an air of confusion and clumsiness to the home, and how will the corners of the rooms ever be vacuumed?!  The thing is an absurd invention.  If a house-cleaning robot is going to be invented, I don't want it to be available piece by piece, like those collectible toys that used to be in the boy-specific Happy Meals - an arm here, a leg there; Would you like feet with that?*  I am perfectly fine doing my own vacuuming until a fully-assembled Rosie type is ready to be mass-produced.

I am here to dust yo' shit!**

The Boyfriend is quite aware of my issues with Roombas and Things that Crawl in General.  However, for some reason, he still thought it would be hee-larious to perch the computer on top of his Roomba while we were on Skype tonight, so that I proceeded to race haphazardly around his apartment, bumping into walls and shrieking wildly as the bizarre reality of what was happening actually sunk in.


This is no redemptive story about How I Learned to Stop Being Crazy and Love the Roomba.  This is a story of justice.  Fierce and swift and decisive.  Just like our break-up will be, should The Boyfriend ever try to put me on or near a Roomba again.

Revenge is coming, Roomba.  Watch yer back.

*Once assembled, the toys also turned out to be robots, if I remember correctly.  Coincidence?
**I'm pretty sure that Rosie will have a myriad of personas.

Images via Tie Dye Quartet, Apartment Therapy, Animal Tumblr.