She's going to miss me soooo much...

One of my mom's homestay students is going back to Japan soon, and I'm going to be so sad! Here's an exchange we had the other day:

Reika: I hate my hair! I want to dye.

Me: Don't die! You have so much to live for.

Reika: No, I want to dye it!

Me: But you look great! You don't need to diet.


The things I would do to hold your hand.

I was house-sitting for a couple of weeks while my aunt and uncle were on vacation in Italy, and the best part was that it included car-sitting too. (Is it sad that while they were in the Sistine Chapel, just having a house all to myself and a minivan to drive to my temp job seemed like a luxurious vacation to me??)

Anyway, I did miss seeing those kooky signs on my way to work, so this week when I finally rode up to the signpost again in anticipation, I didn't quite know what to make of its latest offering. It was a red heart and a pink heart holding hands (attached to scrawny arms that were the only limbs they had), and it said "LET'S COLLABORATE." ...That's all? I kept staring at it, saying it out loud, trying to find the cheesy pun, but... I couldn't find one. I think these sign-makers need a vacation themselves, because that was rather disappointing. Also, a bit incongruent: the picture looked like romance but the caption sounded like business. Unless "collaborate" is a euphemism...?

I mean, if I were tasked with composing a caption for that illustration, it would be, "I WOULD GROW A LIMB JUST TO HOLD YOUR HAND." Seriously, why am I riding past these silly signs to my silly job every day when I should obviously be designing my own line of creepy Valentine cards?


Earmuffs could use some serious rebranding though.

I started physical therapy yesterday, and when I walked into the office and saw the denim-clad receptionist against the backdrop of the lime green walls, I felt like I was in a daycare... until I heard the obnoxious pop song they were blaring. Then I didn't know where I was.

The physical therapist, who looked younger than me, introduced herself by her first name (which was something like Krystel) and kept calling me "girl." She led me into a room, saying, "My friend Jon will join us in a few minutes if you don't mind." I agreed without listening too attentively, but then I was like, Wait. Your friend? Who brings their friends to work?! What if I do mind? I figured Jon was an intern, maybe some kind of job shadow thing, someone in training? Jon turned out to just be the PT assistant. I'm not sure why the euphemism was deemed necessary. He was worse than Kristul, constantly trying to be all funny instead of giving serious responses to my questions.

I know I sound like a grumpy old man, but these people were actually really nice and probably knew what they were doing. Maybe they were just trying to be friendly to match how friendly they were about to get with my legs. I'm not the Fun Police and I'm not against a cheery atmosphere, but is there some reason professionalism is becoming outdated along with privacy and keeping commitments and earmuffs? These are all good things, fellow millennials.


To-do: Become robot

Thanksgiving might be my least favorite holiday. Too many people and too much food. I've never been very interested in food-eating, but I think my dislike of eating food isn't so much a problem with food in itself as it is an intimacy problem. I mean, it doesn't get much more intimate than food... that pervert travels its way down my whole body, gets its nutrients all up in my bloodstream... gross.

I go into fight-or-flight mode when someone stands too close to me -- eating is much too invasive. Usually when you have an invasive procedure, they medicate you before they get all up in you. But food has the nerve to just sit there expectantly, waiting to become one with you three times a day. Slow down, food. We just met at the grocery store a few days ago.

It can take me five years to feel comfortable with someone and by that time, food will be rotten. Unless it's not really food, like Twinkies. So the life lesson here is... the ones worth waiting for won't wait for me? See, food, this kind of unsolicited advice is not going to help me open up to you.


RIP Semblance of Basic Decency

There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said a million times on the internet over the last few days, so how about a moment of silence while we sit in the corner and think about what we've done.


Don't even try to mess with me, frogs.

One day I was stopped at a light on my way to work when I noticed something trying to get my attention out of the corner of my eye. I looked over to see a sign on a post that said something like "Reach for your dreams!" I didn't think much of it because there are actually several places in this town that have encouraging signs like this: "Hug your kids." "Forgive." Etcetera. I figured this was just a new one of those I hadn't noticed before.

But at those other places in town, those signs are permanent. And their messages are sensible. And there are no pictures, only words. At this particular stoplight, some time later I noticed something winking at me again. I caught its eye to see that it belonged to a cartoon fox with hearts all over it. "Hey foxy," the sign flirted. Wow, thought I, Someone is going to the effort of coming out here and putting up new signs for me! (I felt like it was just for me because on a bike it's right there, exactly at eye level, challenging me to resist its charm.) Next it was "You're a Star!" depicted by an unreasonably enthusiastic anthropomorphic star shape. I started to look forward to the new signs, taped up there so neatly. It was always something so illogically optimistic that I wasn't at all encouraged by the message itself, but just by the fact that a mysterious philanthropist was doing this especially for me.

But then I noticed they change sometimes as often as twice a week! Forget the dedication required to keep coming out and switching the signs -- who's coming up with new cutesy sayings all the time? Is it one person, or a team? And how long do they think they can keep this up?! So now I'm just entertained by their ever-expanding creativity. Lately such gems have been:


[Picture of smiling grapes] YOU WERE BORN FOR GRAPENESS

[Picture of hearts and frog] YOU'RE UNFROGGABLE

...uh, excuse me? Just because I don't want to frogg you doesn't mean I'm unfroggable. Did they mean unforgettable?! Unforgettable. Unforogable. Unfroggable. I don't know, that's quite a stretch. Unflappable, perhaps? That's even further off, yet I can't think of anything else. Unless they just meant... unfroggable (n): unable to be frogged. Hmm. Seems like a pretty useless superpower, but I guess I can't negotiate with a signpost.

Gotta love this town even if it reeks of B.O. and pot.


Oh caaaaaancer, I'm reaaaaady!

Every morning I wake up to the thump of my heart still beating like a stupid puppy wagging its tail excitedly for no damn reason. What are you so enthusiastic about? Why don't you just leave me alone?! But it's so persistent, I can't ignore it and if I don't feed it it's just going to get more annoying, so I eventually get up.

I think I'm high on suffering... like on the third day of fasting, when your stomach finally gives up on you and your hunger pangs are exchanged for zen. Like if everyone I loved suddenly perished, I would just laugh. Have I reached nirvana? I'm not even Buddhist. Can I be an honorary Buddhist?

I don't know how to carry this thing. It's like when I walk home from the store with a full bag of groceries including a watermelon against my better judgment. At first it's not so bad and I can hold it by the handles, but soon I have to switch to my other hand, which also quickly fails. Then I hold the bag on my right hip, on my left hip, hug it to my chest, constantly shifting, and when both of my arms get too tired, I balance it on my head. This has its own problems. I consider calling for help, not because it's an option, but just to distract my mind while my body struggles on. I reconsider how much I really need that melon. I start making a plan B for when my arms give out completely and visualize myself rolling the bag down the street in full view of the neighbors getting out of their cars. The nice thing about carrying a heavy bag is that it's a single task, and it's finished as soon as I get home. I don't have to juggle it while going to work, being social, thinking, eating, sleeping. I don't have to be in a constant state of exhaustion.

I super don't want to be alive, yet I'm not at all suicidal. I'm too curious to see what other crazy shit will happen next. So far in my hundred years on this earth (or so it feels), I've been amazed at the variety of suffering available to the human. Just when I think it can't get worse, it gets worse -- not in depth or severity like I expect, but in another form entirely -- a sinister shape, a more putrid flavor, a color more dismal. I wonder if I'm going to get to collect the whole set, because while I have an impressive assortment, there are still many horrible things I haven't experienced yet. This is not even close to the most excruciating pain I've ever felt. I've had the sharp stabby pain and the dark bottomless pain and the vague grey-with-an-E-because-it-seems-bleaker pain. This is more like Chinese water torture in a conscious coma. I have a roof over my head and food to eat and plenty of other things to be thankful for. But it doesn't cancel out anything. It goes the other way, too, though. The suffering doesn't negate the good things. It just makes them brighter, sweeter, more acutely real.

I just want to have problems again instead of my entire life being a crisis.


Open Letter to Whomever Stole My Bike Light

Dearest Thief,

I suppose it was my fault, really; I should have removed the light. It's very easy to remove, which is partly why I chose that one even though it was more expensive. But you know, in the pouring rain, juggling my basket and lock and keys, I guess I was just in a hurry to get inside and forgot. Merely two hours later, you had stolen it from the church parking lot.

I wasn't even very interested in the church event, but I forced myself to be social because I'm trying to make good choices. It was about as I expected: not great. Definitely not worth $30 to replace the light you stole.

It was humiliating enough for my thirty-something self to have to commute by bike in a storm wearing a tattered plastic rain cape that I haven't had the resources to replace yet. Thanks to you, I got to call my mommy to come pick me up instead.

I went to my bike shop to get a replacement light (which is now costing me $60 since the one you stole was brand new), but they won't have it in until next week. I have chronic health problems that make even going to the grocery store difficult for me, especially since I have to do it on my bike in the rain. I don't have energy to go until after it's dark. But you made night riding unsafe for me, so I just don't go. Which means I don't have much to eat all week. Which means I'm too hungry to sleep. Which means I can't function and don't make it to work on time. Which is more money lost. You didn't just take my light that night.

All this to say that I'm the one who feels sorry for you. Because as much as my life sucks, I'm still doing pretty great compared to you.

Love and Poo,


* * * * *

While I'm at it... Open Addendum to My Coworker Who Complained About How Annoying It Is to Run Errands in the Rain Because It's Difficult to Maneuver an Umbrella While Getting In and Out of the Car:

Maybe don't whine about that to me.


Screw y'all, I'm going to Super Taco's.

People leave the S off my last name ALL THE TIME and I get inordinately offended. I could understand people assuming they heard me wrong if I said my name were Smiths or Johnsons, but my last name is Hagans. Yes, Hagan without the S is a normal name too, but is Hagans really so unbelievable?!

Do they think I'm pluralizing my own name like an imbecile and they're gently correcting me? Or I'm Southern and making every proper noun possessive? "Lord have mercy, they're puttin' in a new T. J. Maxx's!" It doesn't matter how loudly and snakily I slither the S out of my mouth... HagansSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. One time someone even asked me how to spell my name, and after I told her she said, "Oh, Hagann with two Ns? Interesting." People are seriously committed to their stance on this controversial issue. At this point the best solution is probably to just change my name to Hagan.

I admittedly have a double standard, though. Those same people will insist on knowing whether I go by Abra or Abralyn and I don't understand why it's so important to them because I really don't care either way.


Top Ten Baby Names (That Should Be Trending) for 2016

I should seriously be a baby namer. I'm so obsessed. When I was a kid, I would sit in church service not coloring like other kids, but rather making a list of names I considered acceptable. This hobby grew into an entire spreadsheet in adulthood. I've never even been pregnant. One time my USB drive with all my random files got stolen and I felt sorry for that unfortunate, confused thief.

People make up whatever names they want these days. Working various menial jobs has opened my eyes to just how many office workers there are in the world named Sparkle. (Not to be mixed up with Sparkles... I only knew one Sparkles, but nine Sparkles... Damn it, grammar! You know what I mean.)

So forget boring old Noah and Emma. Feel free to mix and match (but mostly mix!) whatever you want. For all your special snowflakes out there waiting to be born, here are my top ten baby names for 2016:

10. Harmony is too hippie and Monica too scandalous? Go name your kid Harmonica like a good hipster. With a name like "mouth organ," this child will be destined for greatness.

9. Want something urban but you already have three nephews named DeMarcus? Try the variation Demarcate, which is just as legit but means "set the limits of." This will be hilarious for you when he's a teenager.

8. Diane and Rhea are lovely names, meaning "divine" and "rivers," respectively. Well nothing says "divine rivers" like Diarrhea (literally: "liquid feces"). BONUS: If you have twins, you can name the other Gonorrhea: "inflammatory discharge."

7. Love the name Sybil, but obligated to keep Phyllis in the family? Compromise with Syphilis. With a sturdy meaning of "chronic disease," Great Aunt Phyllis ("leafy foliage?" come on) will be honored.

6. Carmen isn't quite special enough, but Madigan is trying way too hard? Go with the classic Cardigan, meaning "fastening down the front." Can't go wrong. In fact, I came up with the respectable name Paisley Cardigan ten years ago, and I can't believe Paisley is in the top 100 now! Cardigan is sure to catch on soon.

5. Camille and Marisol are funky vintage names, but make it a bit more delicate with Camisole: "undergarment for upper body." I'm sure it's only a matter of time until this one takes off as well.

4. Rework those old-lady names like Violet and Prudence into something much more timeless: Violence. No one will mess with your daughter when your message to the world about her is "force intending to hurt."

3. Charlotte is way too popular being in the top ten, but shorten it to Harlot and it sounds just as nice. Charlotte subtly means "feminine" while Harlot boldly proclaims "prostitute." It's your choice, but remember... there's a Harlot in every Charlotte. Might as well admit it.

2. Bill is classic, but can we please stop pretending it's short for William? Have some integrity and just call him Billions, meaning "more than you make."

1. Felix is growing in popularity, but to really stand out, your son needs to be known as Elixir, or "magic potion." It will certainly seem magical on the one day of fifth grade that he doesn't get beaten up.

Send me all your children.


My week. Every week.


Executive Director applicant: So where are you in your career?

Me, choking on salad: Ha, my what now? Aren't you the one being interviewed here?

* * * * *


Roommate's mom: Are you a student?

Me: Oh, no.

Roommate's mom: ...Are you new to the area or something?

Me: No...?

[Roommate's mom: Why are you a normal-looking adult renting a tiny room from a family?

Me: I'm just a failure. Thanks for the reminder.]

* * * * *


Men: So what do you do?

Me: [sigh]

Women: Do you have kids?

Me: [sigh]


You got me, Fates... you got me good.

I wrote that last post before I got dumped (do people still say "dumped"? The last time I was the dumpee, I was a teenager, so I don't know) for philosophy. That's right, philosophy. I don't mean that we had irreconcilable philosophical differences -- quite the opposite -- I mean he left me for the study of philosophy. We didn't get in a fight or anything, he still likes everything he ever liked about me, there's no other woman, there probably won't be another woman... he just prefers to focus on his studies. Which revolve around thick books and the old men who write them. And he wants to do this unhindered by a supportive, intellectual, alluring (bear with me, I just got dumped) girlfriend.

Peace out, bro.

It's as if the Fates went, Wait a minute, She got something good? She doesn't get to have nice things! But they were kind of tired after wreaking havoc all over the world, so instead of creating some problems to destroy our relationship in some believable way, they just lazily... ended it. Boom. Snatched him away. Really, the Fates? You could have at least done it with some flair.

Oh, and this happened one hour after I turned down a charming young man with a Mustang. Sorry. I take back what I said about no flair.


Pop Quiz

I haven't been around lately because I've been busy having...

a) crazy bad fatigue
b) a boyfriend
c) a documentary made starring my intestines
d) all of the above

If you picked D, you are strangely correct!

I have had chronic fatigue for at least a year now, and sometimes it's bad, but for a few weeks there it was crazy bad where it was all I could do to move my limbs, and just the thought of dressing myself or preparing a meal seemed overwhelming. Writing a blog post was out of the question. Then it went away overnight and now I'm back to regular fatigue again. My body is incomprehensible.

For the record, the boyfriend is younger but only by four and a half years. He really took his sweet time getting born. (Thankfully it didn't take him quite that long to realize how great we would be together.)

I got a head start on my colonoscopies at age twenty-three -- but that's another story. That time, they told me to come back in five years. Understandably, I wasn't in a big hurry to repeat that experience, so almost ten years later I finally got around to scheduling it. My boyfriend Drew was moving out of state for graduate school on the day of my colonoscopy. Besides the fact that we just started dating, talk about bad timing! I could have rescheduled, but I figured this way I would be too drugged to be sad. The problem was that I forgot about the, ahem, "prep."

There are several steps that must be taken before the procedure, the first being five days out and the last being mere hours prior. The first step is as easy as quitting iron supplements and the last is drinking the laxative. The laxative is really the worst part of the whole ordeal. It tastes like super salty Gatorade that has been swished around in someone's mouth for awhile, and you have to drink a huge jug of it until you are gagging.

Reading the instructions, I realized I had to start the laxative early on our last evening together, which is so not conductive to a long, lingering goodbye. Obviously we wanted to spend every last minute together, but at the same time I didn't want our last moments together to be... interrupted. When it was almost time, I checked the sheet again to find that I had misread it and would not need to drink the stuff until the next morning. So that was horrible because we could have actually planned a memorable evening instead of rushing home by 5:00 p.m., but it was wonderful because the evening could have been a little too memorable.

I was glad that they improved the laxative, though; this time it tasted merely like cough syrup.

Story Time! The previous weekend our church had a barbecue in the park, for which we had reserved one of the pavilions. Drew and I showed up, got in line for food, then realized there were several generations between us and everyone else there. Then we saw our church at... the neighboring pavilion. We were accidentally in line for a high school reunion for the class of 1951! (And there were a lot of people there, considering how many in their class must have died already. I didn't even go to my ten-year reunion so I can't imagine having any desire to go to... whatever number reunion that was! Fifty-fifth? Wait, are they doing it every five years because they know if they wait another ten years half of them will be gone? Weird, I took the opposite approach to my colonoscopy frequency.) The funny part was that even though we clearly did not fit in, no one questioned us.

This was a similar situation, except all the butt doctors (and butt nurses, butt secretaries, etc) were questioning me. I was clearly the youngest person in the waiting room. No one was even in their fifties or sixties; it was all seventies-plus here.

Did I say the laxative was the worst part? Maybe. The creepiest part is the drugs. You get a sedative, but also you get amnesia. So you're sort of awake while it's happening, but then you just don't remember later. For some reason, this creeps me out worse than just being out completely. How do I know they're not taking advantage of me in my semi-conscious state, and then wiping out my memories?

When I was twenty-three and they found polyps, they told me to come back in five years, and if everything looked good then, I wouldn't have to come back for another ten years after that. This time they didn't even find anything, but they said to come back again in five years. How does that make sense?! Come back, come back, you're the freshest piece of ass we've seen in awhile! No way, perverts just want to go up my butt again.

On the other hand, a couple days before my colonoscopy, I went to the dentist and Dr. Whoa (whose name is not really Dr. Whoa but when he walked into the room, he tripped while introducing himself and now I'll never remember his real name) practically kicked me out... Bo-ring! Get out of here and don't come back until you have something for us to do. Rude!

In conclusion, I aced all my exams.


Chocolate Monster

Every once in awhile I worry that I am turning into my mom, but then I accidentally get chocolate on the ironing board and inadvertently melt chocolate into my clothing, and all my fears cease. How did I even get chocolate on the ironing board? I wasn't even eating chocolate! I am not turning into my mom. I am turning into a chocolate stormcloud, just hailing down bits of candy from my person like sugary sweat.


Shut up... you're the big baby.

A tiny person came to my house the other day. It appeared to be between zero and five years of age. I was making dinner, so I asked the other adults around if it could eat food. This got me an "Of course he can eat food!" but it's a totally legit question. The tiny person was wearing a diaper but used the toilet. I'm like, Bro are you a baby or not? He was confused about me too, so my mom tried to explain how I was her daughter. His takeaway was "You big baby."


Things I Never Thought I'd Say

You know how people compile those lists of Things I Never Thought I'd Say once they have kids? Well I'm collecting a good share of my own from living with my crazy mom:

"Valentine's Day just means you can wear red with pink. It doesn't mean you can wear earrings on your shirt."

"Good job not doing the dishes! I know that was hard for you."

"Babies can't smell soft. That's not even possible."

"It'd be nice if you wouldn't nag as a greeting."

"Please don't buy any more turkeys."


The difference between outrageous and extremely outrageous: pickles

I'm planning to host an international student for a term, but I'm a little concerned about how our delicate rental management company is going to take the news. I noticed in our lease (18.1.c), we could be evicted with merely 24 hours notice for committing "any act which is outrageous in the extreme." 

One time my brother and I spent an evening dipping everything we could find in peanut butter and eating it. (Note to Bright Apartments, in case you are reading this: This did not happen in your rental! This was a long time ago!) According to Merriam-Webster, "outrageous" could mean exceeding the limits of what is usual. People don't usually host international students. And so you see my concern.


Not Otherwise Specified

I'm down to just one job now, which is why there are sadly no more pictures of ridiculous products. And no more people shooting at me. So far.

I had to cut back to part time for health reasons. A few months ago I discovered something called Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I recognized myself in all of the diagnostic criteria, and finally the last fifteen years of my life made sense: All the bad decisions that seemed logical to my malfunctioning brain... all the times I inexplicably couldn't keep up... all my bizarre behaviors that I couldn't even explain to myself. This whole time I thought I was just stupid and lazy, ineffective, couldn't get it together. So it's a relief to finally have a name for this vague, constant feeling of swimming upstream. And it's helpful to accurately identify a problem before going about solving it. That's the good part.

The bad part is CPTSD is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, so my problem officially doesn't exist. The closest match is Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified... you know that's going to be taken seriously. Anyway, I no longer meet all the criteria, so I doubt I will ever have the luxury of a diagnosis. Is it possible to be diagnosed retroactively? So far I haven't found a therapist who will even stray from the term PTSD, so how can I be effectively treated? And if mental health practitioners don't recognize a real problem, how can I expect anyone to understand?

The bad part is CPTSD is like an autoimmune disease of the mind (although it's an injury, not an illness). I have to guard against sabotaging myself. My brain is wired to see the negative in everything. Even when I make progress, it seems like I'm not making any -- but even that thought is symptomatic!

The bad part is that I don't know where to go from here. I don't know how I can even have long-term goals anymore. How will I ever raise a family when I can barely take care of myself? How could I have a career when I am so unstable? For that matter, how can I even plan for the weekend when I never know how I'm going to be feeling by then?

Not that I haven't been making plans for the last fifteen years, but I used to think I just needed to try harder when I wasn't able to follow through. I used to think "this day was just bad because I didn't sleep well last night" or "this year was off because of blah blah blah," unable to accept that insomnia is a chronic problem for me and the "off" times had long stopped being the exception. Now I realize that I will always be in survival mode, and coping well is the best life I can hope for.


Math, people. Math.

I recently attended a women's event with my church, and was told by one lady, "You're so beautiful!" immediately followed by, "How are you still single?" This is like asking, Why doesn't one equal two? I made the one extra big!

(1 + x) = 2

Answer: Because we ran out of numbers, so we had to start using letters. We're supposed to be solving for x here! Why are all the single men in my life still single? Doesn't it make sense that a quality woman might be more likely to be single because the available selection doesn't tempt her?

At these ladies' events, the first two questions that always get asked are, "Are you married?" and "Do you have children?" I'm just going to start countering with, "Are you published? Why not? Do you have any degrees? How many? What are their names?"


How to Get Girls in a Post-Dating Society, Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

Don't Wear the Pants*

First of all, if your name is something boring and respectable, adopt some kooky nickname, like... Mookie. That will be her first whiff of your utter manliness. Once that's settled, do everything you can to make her the man in this situation. Go ahead and ask her out to dinner, but when she accepts, twist it around so that she was somehow the one to ask you out. The key here is mixed messages. Tell her you'll make the arrangements, but by that you mean you'll give her some options. When she expresses confidence in your ability to plan the date, ask what kind of food she likes -- but when she answers you, don't just select a restaurant like some kind of patriarchal dictator! Give her some choices anyway. Whatever you do, don't make a decision. What if something goes wrong? You want to make sure it's her fault. If the whole business of planning the date takes fewer than three days, you're doing it wrong. This is best achieved by conducting the entire conversation through texting. (Bonus points for using ellipses to end every... single... message...)

Afterward, when if she indicates that she is not interested in a second date, deny that the first one was even a date.

Shame Her Into It

The goal here is to show the woman what a problem she is, in order to present yourself as a solution. Just watch how Felix does it. (Pro tip: Pay attention to his exquisite use of filler.)

"Blah blah blah how old are you? Blah blah blah you're single right?" Now step it up a notch: "Blah blah blah I know it's hard, being a single woman in this society..." (Show how understanding you are by offering your sympathy -- nay, empathy -- for how pathetic she is. Trust me, she will be shocked.) "...blah blah especially getting older..." (Never mind that you are just as single, and older than she is, and not a woman at all. Having a vagina is practically a disability -- one that you are totally qualified to represent because blah blah.) "...blah blah social status..." (Remember, "marital status" is synonymous with "social status," so choose the latter for the sake of clarity.) At this point, if she's not falling for you -- she never will.

*Figuratively speaking, I mean. If you're chasing women without wearing pants, this lesson is too advanced for you.


This is a ridiculous and embarrassing problem.

My current roommate is my mom (and for the record, this is not like last time when I moved in to her place; we actually got a place together). When I lived with her before, it was horrible because my mom is a hoarder and all her crap was everywhere. And she would get mad at me for being too loud at night and freak out when I had people over without telling her (even though I did tell her but she forgot... but I digress).

This time, she has to put up with my art and my fruit-bowl-made-of-chopsticks, and maybe she thinks this is payback time because I find myself nagging her to be quiet after 10 p.m., and clean up your mess, and no more friends over until you finish your chores. You keep on like this, Mom, and you'll be grounded till you're sixty-five.


I could use a few of those NOPE cards, though.

I played this game Exploding Kittens over the holidays, and despite its promising exterior ("A Card Game For People Who Are Into Kittens And Explosions And Laser Beams And Sometimes Goats"), I unfortunately cannot recommend.

The whole point of the game is to avoid death by kitten explosion. To do this, one must play nonsensical cards (Don A Portable Cheetah Butt, Take Your Friends Beard-Sailing On Your Beard Boat, etc.) that allow one to draw more cards, reverse cards, shuffle cards, peek at cards, decline further cardplay, or if you're lucky, die.

If I wanted to be assaulted by constant chaos, take a bunch of actions that only keep me going around in circles, and be in survival mode all the while, I could just keep on with my actual life. I don't need a game to rub it in.

Happy new year!