Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Regret Can Kill You

I’m on a soapbox today.

People Magazine is reporting that the Jon & Kate Plus 8 couple might bekate and jon splitting up. That’s the couple with the reality TV series about raising eight little kids. I’m not a fan of the show, but my daughter is, so I’ve watched it with her a few times. It’s probably all in the editing, but Kate always comes off as irritable and unreasonable, and the celebrity rags have been shouting about Jon having an affair with a 23-year-old. It’s none of our business, really, and who knows what the real skinny is. But I can’t say that I don’t care, because I do care what happens to this couple and all couples. I hate to see people who were once happy split up, whether they’re married or devoted life partners, straight, gay, childless, child-full, all of them. I can’t help it, people whose hearts are broken make me so incredibly sad.

I think what bothers me so much is the after part. All the regrets. As a couple, when you split up and the dust clears and time passes, you look back on it and all the reasons for splitting — if you can even remember them —  seem so stupid and pointless and (the most painful to realize) fixable. Then the regret sets in. It’s like you get this clarity about how it all could have been avoided, how you would do it differently now that you’ve got some perspective. Regret is toxic, and it can eat you alive.


  • For instances, a lot of those ugly nasty arguments that escalated into horror shows could have been so easily avoided by keeping your own mouth shut. At what cost do you really want to win an argument? Is emotionally wounding your partner a good enough price to pay to win an argument? No matter how badly you want to have the last word, that last little dig that goes for the jugular, don’t say it. Just shut the hell up and let your partner have the last word. And if their “last word” was ugly and horrid, let it hang there in the air to echo in their own head and just be grateful it wasn’t you who said it.


  • Another detour, easy enough to execute, would be to leave your partner alone when they’re in a bad mood. If he or she is an a bad mood, feeling surly or introspective, quit assuming it has to do with YOU. Believe it or not people have other things on their mind besides you. When your partner is in a mood, the last thing he or she needs is to have to reassure you and your insecurities. If they don’t want to talk, don’t force them to. And don’t try and guess what their thinking about; you’re not a mind reader, so quit trying to be. Go find something else to do, like watch Jon & Kate Plus 8. They’ll come around and find you when they’re ready to be with you, or just want to talk.


  • Listen carefully and don’t constantly interject with advice or suggestions such as “You should have said…” Just because your partner is telling you a story or problem their having at work doesn’t mean they want you to come up with a solution. Everybody needs to vent sometimes. If your partner wants to vent about the traffic or a co-worker or the neighbor’s lawn, let them.


  • Put some blind trust in your partner and stop looking over his or her shoulder. Don’t ask “Who was that?” every time they get off the telephone. It makes you sound suspicious and nosy. If their desk or bureau is a mess, just leave it, don’t go “straightening it up just a little.” You’re not your partner’s mommy or daddy. If their job is to pay the household bills, don’t quiz them on it. Nobody wants to hear, “Did you pay the light bill?” every month. If they didn’t pay the light bill, just cross that bridge if you come to it.


  • Flatter. Every single day find something wonderful about your partner and tell them about it, don’t keep it to yourself. Even if it’s just a “Hello, handsome,” or “Hey there, beautiful,” when you get home from work.


  • Don’t criticize your partner’s driving. If they choose to take the long way to the restaurant, resist the urge to point out how stupid they are not to have taken the route you would have chosen. And if they drive too fast and you just can’t stand it, find a kinder, gentler way of being the driver next time without throwing down the gauntlet by saying, “I hate the way you drive, let’s take my car.”

 And most importantly, never bring up the ugly past, never open old wounds. Let them go, never to see the light of day again. There’s absolutely nothing  gained by bringing up bad memories. Once that ugly moment has passed make a pact to never bring it up again. And then DON’T bring it up again. Ever. If you’ve got any “well-meaning” friends or family who want to bring it up to you even after you’ve told them you’ve let it go, or they want to question you about any ugliness from the past, cut them loose. You don’t need that toxic-ness in your life or your relationship, especially since both you and your partner have agreed to focus on the good and the beautiful.

Who am I to be standing on this soapbox and doling out advice on avoiding regret? I’m ap freaking EXPERT in this department and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. But trust me on this, I know all too well what I’m talking about. And here’s me sending positive vibes to Jon and  Kate and the 8, and for people everywhere who are finding themselves in the middle of an emotional storm and just want a little inner peace.  I’m rooting for you.

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Disjointed Update

garden 2009

So this is what it’s come to, patio gardening in the courtyard. It’s my last-ditch effort to grow something here in the great Southwest. Currently I can’t even go out there because we’ve got two baby finches that fell from their nest, one of them wounded by the dog, and watching them hop around makes me feel so helpless and sad. I’m just avoiding the courtyard and my patio plants except to water them and adjust the volume on the chakra music I’m playing for them (the plants I mean, although maybe the birds are benefiting too.)


We’ve been working on the magazine the past few weeks. Like everyone everywhere we’re trying to save our company, our jobs. On the bright side it’s great to work from home, great to be a working writer. On the downside, we’ve been doing this so long we’ve made ourselves kind of unemployable in any other field. I even let my manicurist license expire because the thought of ever again having to face strangers’ hooves like this makes me sick. A lot of people let their feet go to hell all winter long, then show up in the spring and  say “Make me sandal pretty!” And you have to tell them, “I’m not a doctor.”



We’ve recently discovered a new young jazz singer to listen to, Melody Gardot. She’s new to us, anyway. I first heard her on WMVY, which I listen to streaming online. I tried to post her video of “Who Will Comfort Me?” but it won’t let me. The Internet is merciless. If you care, check her out on YouTube.

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Saturday Recap

This is what Buck has been doing lately: Going through each back issue of our magazine and cataloging every single editorial reference to an advertiser. It’s tedious work. He’s not doing it for fun, nor is he having any, as you can see.

This is what I’ve been doing lately: I’ve been drinking catnip tea because I heard on Coast to Coast AM that it may promote lucid dreaming. When I told my 28-year-old daughter I was making a pot of catnip catniptea to promote lucid dreaming she was kind of horrified. She said, “Lovely, Mum, that’s great…WHY DON’T YOU JUST TAKE SOME LSD BEFORE BED?

I don’t know what she thinks we’re doing out here in the desert but it can’t be good. And don’t anyone suggest we start smoking the catnip because that’s never gonna happen. Although, I shouldn’t really say never, because if they ever suggested it on Coast to Coast…well, then I might give it some thought.

I can’t say my dreams have become more lucid from the tea, but they have been pleasant on the nights I’ve dosed myself up. I’d rate my dreams on the nights I didn’t drink it as being just average to unpleasant (on a non-catnip night I dreamt I’d written all these great short stories, but I couldn’t remember the name of a single one or where I’d put them).

If you decide to try catnip tea at home, keep in mind it’s not the same grade as the catnip they stuff into little fabric mice to get your cat high, so don’t be steeping a calico mouse or anything. You can get catnip tea anywhere they sell botanical teas. It’s on the bitter side, like echinacea tea, and you’ll be wanting some honey with it so be sure and have some on hand.

catnip tea

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I’m Taking A Blog Break


I decided I should post something because inquiries into my absence from the Interweb have caused alarm in certain circles. I’ve been working (hard to believe, huh?), and if I’m so easily distracted from work … If I so much as take a peek at anything other than my email when I’m online, I get sucked in for hours. I’m not very good at time management. Sites like Gawker and The Daily Beast and The New York Times can eat up an entire morning, and blogs — well, you all know how reading blogs can devour a day in the most delightful way.

So I’m taking a break from blogging to focus on work. We’ve got a lot of new stuff coming up where Buck and I work, including an interactive website that’s going to take a lot of effort until we really get rolling. I’ll pop in at all of your blogs when I can, and I’ll definitely be back to posting here on my own blog eventually, but for right now I’ve got to take a break and (ugh!) work.

Peace out,


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An Orange Sun In A Blue Sky

 An orange sun in a blue sky. That’s the phrase that was in my head when I woke up this morning. What the hell goes on in there when I’m sleeping? Who’s talking inside my head when I’m off duty?


Buck is chatting on the phone to God-knows-who. I asked him if he had any news to report on my blog and he said no, maybe tomorrow.Tree Collection 3


So, on to little Christmas tree news. I’ve been collecting little Christmas trees for a few years now. I try and add a new one every year. The good thing about them is that they never drop their needles and they’re easy to pack up on December 26.

I’m working on my Dog Nativity and should have that ready for a picture post by next week. I’ve been adding to the Dog Nativity for about 20 years now. It’s spectacular. (Or shocking, depending on how you feel about such things.)


  I’ve been having a lot of trouble focusing on work, which is nothing new, and I know I’m not alone. But I’ve been wondering if mill workersthis lack of concentration and rapidly declining work ethic is a sign of our times, because I can’t picture some factory girl in New Bedford at the Turn-of-the-Century turning to her co-worker and saying, “Ugh. I just can’t focus on this crap today. Let’s blow this dump and go have a cigarette and a sarsaparilla, extra large.”


In closing, I’d like to say that anyone who is my friend on GoodReads deserves a medal. Whenever I go to that site I seem to lose my entire sense of direction. Today I posted a book review and it’s my belief that I somehow posted it on Idea Jump’s page. I’m getting kind of scared to go over there at all, especially after my last fiasco when I sent out emails inviting everyone on the Internet to sign up. Being on GoodReads requires taking certain parts of my brain and temporarily moving them to other parts, which I cannot seem to do. The whole thing leaves me feeling like Ricky from Trailer Park Boys. And yeah, I do keep talking about TPB. We watch them so much I feel like they’re my family.  In some ways, they are my family.

(Warning: If swearing offends you keep moving on, nothing to see here.)







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Buck at Borders in Providence last month.

I am officially declaring the Borders in downtown Providence as the best chain bookstore ever. Different levels, great lighting, fantastic displays, cool music, delicious gingerbread hot chocolate (for me) and espresso (Buck). LOVE it.

We’re still eating our Thanksgiving ham. And it wasn’t even that big a ham! So far we’ve used it for Hawaiian pizza, hash and eggs, ham sandwiches, and ham dinners. Who knows what we’ll make tonight. I’m thinking ham casserole, and for tomorrow, split pea soup.

Last night we watched the entire Season 7 of Trailer Park Boys. It goes on my list of all time favorite shows, side by side with It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Flight Of The Conchords. If you like those shows, you’ll like Trailer Park Boys. It’s from Canada, but you can rent it from Netflix.

Buck and I have been talking about Hoodsies and other nostalgic stuff, and then today I read a beautiful post over on Vermonter’s blog about her memories of being in her fourth grade classroom in Beverly, Massachusetts, when someone came to the room to announce that President Kennedy had been shot. It’s worth checking out. Not political or sad or anything, just nostalgic and beautifully written.

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Providence, A Pirate, And A Horse

Buck Providence_1

Cool photo of Buck I took in downtown Providence.


I’ve got a lot of disjointed nothing here today, but I’ve gotten to where I like reading that kind of post, so I hope you won’t mind it from me.

Nothing new here because I’ve been sick as HELL. I tell everyone I caught this virus from Buck, but in truth we probably both contracted it on the plane coming back from New England last week. Probably picked it up in Baltimore. Whatever.  At least I can walk today. Yesterday I couldn’t. Stealing Buck’s phrase, I say “I feel better, but I don’t feel good.”

I did feel well enough to watch Life On Mars last night. What a fantastic show that is. It just blows our groovy little minds. Unfortunately it’s gone until January 28 (why they hell do the TV bastids do that?), but you can still watch all the episodes online.

Here’s another photo from Providence a couple weeks ago, me and Max. I don’t remember what Buck said to make us laugh, but it must have made Buck laugh too because the shot is out of focus. Or maybe he really aiming for the capital building.

me and max

While in Boston, I bought Sydney a pirate suit. He loves it, wears it all the time now. Even the hat. Now he can finally stage that production of Pirates of  Penzance he’s been talking about for years.


And below is a photo of my sister and some horse she’s been riding. Like a lot of people facing adversity right now, JoAnn has been feeling pretty overwhelmed, but she’s decided to remain positive and has taken a huge step towards returning to her roots by going back to something she loved as a child and teenager, horseback riding. Our dad had horses, and JoAnn and he rode together all the time. (As for me, I’m afraid of them. Horses, not my dad and sister.) She’s moved away from the only town in Massachusetts she’s ever lived in and is starting a new life in Pennsylvania. I give her a lot of credit for this, because such an undertaking can be terrifying. But she’s doing really well and I’m proud of her. The only thing I hate…and I hate it…is that she’s ten years older than me yet people always ask which of us is older. It’s her, goddamnit, her.

JoAnn riding


And that’s it. I’ll try and go out this weekend so I have something to blog about.

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