Yet again, it’s Monday.


Oh Monday. Monday Monday Monday. Fun times.

I have a dentist appointment today.

And found out on Friday my dentist has left the practice. I have no idea what this visit holds. Will my hygienist still be there?

I haven’t a clue.

The appointment went from something unpleasant but nonetheless predictable to something unpleasant and unpredictable.

Woo. Hoo.

But it seems, that is life. The moment you think you have a handle on something, the moment you think you’re getting it, the universe says, “not so fast, buddy.”

The universe often talks like a gangster from a 1940s film, because the universe does what the universe wants.

I could have cancelled the appointment, but then there’s the stress of finding someone new, and someone soonish as it’s time for that cleaning. Now I have six months to do it.

And I say again: “Woo. Hoo.”

Chaos seems to be the preferred state of everything, and we just don’t get to control all the details of life. Or even the major parts, really, when you think about it.

So I will go off bravely into the void, and by the void I mean the dentist’s office, and face my fate of scraping and that horrible toothpaste, not knowing who will be wielding the instruments.

Wow, I’m brave.

Have a great Monday.

Check out  my full-length novels: 
Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   
Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 
Her Cousin Much Removed
The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.
And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s quick and weird and FREE!
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New Again by Necessity


I’ve been writing a lot about new things lately, and here’s another one because something new is on my horizon.  A new computer, to be specific.  Mine has been BSODing all over the place, and I think it is not long for this world. I haven’t lost any writing yet, but I believe when you’re given the signs you heed them.

So today while I’m running the backup that I thought my computer was running, I am blogging from my phone. That’s right, my phone. I’ve definitely never done this before. New things!

I’m a pretty slow phone typist, so I’m alternating between typing and using the Voice app. And my phone seems to insist on capitalizing Voice app. It also doesn’t like to start a sentence with a capital letter, but I guess that’s a minor issue?

There are so many ways to get things done these days. There is no one way for anything anymore. Is this the best way to do it? I don’t really think so, it feels so cumbersome and just odd. Though  maybe the talking is faster than typing. At least when the app gets it right.

But I guess what I’m saying is it’s okay to do things differently  even if there is one way you’ve always done them, even if the new way feels awkward.  Even if something weird happens and you lose half of the last paragraph. Not that that is what just happened, except it is.

Sometimes new things have kinks to work out. Sometimes we have to feel our way until we figure out what the heck we’re doing. And sometimes we have to sit in that awkward feeling and push through until we are done. Like I am now.

Look at this! it’s a phone blog post!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

The Uberfication


I ubered my first Uber. For anyone unfamiliar with it, Uber is basically an unlicensed taxi service, more euphemistically referred to as a “ride sharing service.” It would be ride “sharing” if the driver were, you know, already going where you’re going, but they’re going there because you ask them to. And then you pay them for it.

As I said, an unlicensed taxi service.

Given the lack of the cost of a medallion and any of the other requirements for taxis in a city, Uber is, unsurprisingly, often cheaper, unless you use it during a “surge” time, meaning a time when demand is high. Then they really nail you.

Everybody up to speed? Excellent.

I was reluctant to try it, but I went to dinner with friends for my birthday last week and one of them, an Uber aficionado (how fun of a language mix is that?!) insisted on sending one for me. And then she got one for me to go home, as the empty cabs filed past (we were in a very cabby part of town).

It was a lot like taking a cab, but without the divider. The cars were both very clean and comfortable, and I sat in the back as the driver drove. One was chattier than the other, but again, that’s like a cab.

But I may try it again. Why? Because I can get one without having to have cash. Yes, all cabs in Chicago take credit cards now. In theory. I’ve heard the horror stories when the cabbies refuse them, and I’ve never felt comfortable using those card readers.

With Uber, it’s all handled online. And although I live in a cab-rich area, you can’t always find one everywhere.

So there it is. I was reluctant, and if I’m being very honest — and I do my best to be — scared to try something so completely foreign to me. I was so used to doing things the way I’ve always done them that branching out, even slightly, seemed unsettling.

But I did it. Really, I was nudged into it firmly, but that still counts, right?

New Year, New Things


So I decided to step outside my little bubble and take a writing class this year. I took one a while ago, and I felt like it would be fun, something different. It’s a basic class in writing sketch comedy.

If you’ve looked at my books, or even read my books, you may have noticed I have a tendency toward the funnier side of life. And here I am in this big city, I figured I may as well take advantage of what it has to offer.

Darning of me, no? Look out 2015!

What I think will prove the most beneficial for me is that it is focused on writing as a cooperative activity. That’s not something I commonly do, though I have done it, if you caught the 12 Days of Christmas spoof SloopJonB1960 and I did.

But we tend to guard our ideas, keep them close, keep our work, as it progresses, largely to ourselves. Or, at least I do. I see writers out there who are much more willing to open their works-in-progress to the world. For me, if I haven’t edited it 7 times, you aren’t seeing it.

So I’m hoping this class breaks me out of that need for perfection and, to be frank, ownership. The things you create with others are very different than what you can create on your own, which, incidentally, was one of the points of the first class.

We’ll see how it goes. I had to brave some icky winter conditions to get there, and it turns out I’m glad I did.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Philosophy of Nail Polish


So for a friend’s birthday a few weeks ago (hi friend! She’s a regular reader of this blog) we went to a spa, and I got a manicure. I haven’t had a manicure in I don’t know how long, given that the only thing I think about my nails is whether they’re starting to get to that annoying length where they get to the keys on the keyboard before my fingers.

I loved the painted nails. They were an opaque, pale green.

When I’d get them done before, I’d always stick to the light shades of pink, nothing too noticeable, something professional. And then it struck me that I didn’t have to do that anymore. I could pick any color and run.

After the polish chipped away, as it always does (I’m not really up for the no-chip manicure, given the removal process) I missed the color. So I went to one of my favorite spots on the planet, my neighborhood Walgreens, and picked some out. A different shade of green; a bright, light shade of blue. And I painted them myself.

I don’t think I have a future in nails.

But it showed me that I’ve been clinging to rules that no longer apply. And that’s it: when things change, so can you.

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Download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!



First Impressions


I had the strangest experience last week. From where I work, I can see the lake, and one day, there was, as if from nowhere, a huge crane and a platform with steel girders standing vertically from it, as tall as the trees. I couldn’t see what the crane was hauling, but it made me sad. There’s this lovely, unbroken stretch of lakefront, and now there was going to be something built there, too.

It had me thinking about how little there is still completely left to its own devices, when it comes to nature, about the recent controversy of a privately-owned skywalk–you know, one of those glass decks that juts out of the side of a mountain–built in a Canadian national park. About how, even in our refuges from commerce, we seem to add commerce.

I’d resigned myself to a new structure forcing its way into the shoreline, wondered how it would look, whether it would stand as tall as the girders, as the red crane swung back and forth.

And then, later in the week, I caught sight of a barge. Then another one. I focused on my work, and looked up again. Suddenly, the thing I thought was so intrusive, the thing I thought was so permanent, was being towed away into the water.

So you never know.

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