And Just Like That… Ep 2 recap: These Kids Are Killing Me

***Warning: This blog post contains spoilers for episode two of the HBOMax series, And Just Like That…***

So since the creators of AJLT released two episodes to start us off, my jaw is still on the floor and confusion and sadness are clouding my brain as episode 2 begins… with Brady’s girlfriend riding him cowgirl-style, while Miranda and Steve talk about it on the other side of the wall.

All I can say is, it took my mind off Big’s death for 10 seconds, I’ll give them that.

But then the phone rings and we’re brought right back down to the stark reality of what just happened as Miranda shows up at a visibly grief-stricken Carrie’s door. We see some EMTs/coroners in the background and Carrie chokes out “What do I do now?” to which Miranda, taking it literally, says “Well… I think they take the body away ….” and Carrie says, “No, I mean me. What do I do NOW?!”

What do WE do now, show creators?! Jeebus.

From here, my mind goes back to Carrie and Big’s breakup in the first movie, as we again see her friends taking shifts looking after her, spending the night, bringing her things and helping her plan the funeral.

It’s devastating.

First, Charlotte accompanies Carrie to a funeral home and proceeds to break down, saying she feels responsible for Big’s death in part because she made Carrie go to the recital.

Which brings me to one of my favorite Twitter reactions to this show thus far:

I mean.. it’s not wrong.

Carrie, however, stays strong and tells Charlotte, “It was a heart attack.” But Charlotte is so distraught they have to leave — also because Carrie has determined the funeral home package just isn’t Big — and Carrie sends her home in a cab. She also drops her first “It’s not you… it’s me,” since being widowed, to the funeral liaison. (Too soon?!)

Charlotte, girl… you need to pull it together.

We also see Stanford and Anthony make up in the face of this horrible news… we’ll see if it lasts.

Next, Miranda has another cringey encounter with her professor, Dr. Nya Wallace, played by Karen Pittman, in which Nya can’t find her ID to get into the building for class. When given pushback by the security guard, Miranda freaks out a bit assuming it’s a racial profiling issue. Nya finds her badge and tells Miranda to chill a bit on the white savior complex she seems to have.

“This isn’t To Kill A Mockingbird… I don’t need a good-hearted lawyer to defend me”- Dr. Nya Wallace

Later, however, Miranda legit helps her out when she gets mugged on the subway. Maybe these two will become friends after all? I think Miranda could use some guidance, that’s for sure!

Soon it’s time for Big’s funeral. Cue ALL the emotion. Carrie walks in flanked by Anthony and Stanford, looking appropriately widow-chic as we would expect. Big has been cremated, but she got a casket for the service, and there is a gorgeous display of white flowers. At first Carrie is upset — she said no flowers — but it is then revealed that the flowers came from Samantha, so they stay.

Now, I have to say, in reality? Samantha would absolutely be there. There’s just no way she doesn’t show up after everything. But, of course, they can’t just make Kim Cattrall appear. So we have to make due with a card that simply says, “Love, Samantha.”

Miranda is set to give the eulogy (beautifully written by Carrie), but not before slinking off to the bar to try to cram a glass of Chablis in at whatever morning hour this is. Now, on the one hand, it’s a funeral, she has to speak — give the woman some booze! On the other hand, at this point, it’s clear the writers are trying to establish that Miranda may have a drinking problem. While this scenario seems understandable, it gets a little desperate when the bartender tells Miranda they’re not serving until after the service and she pulls the “My husband supplied all of this booze” card. She then just asks for a quick nip of liquor. This, plus the purse wine, plus another scene in episode one where she goes to a bar before class, is definitely adding up to be a THING.

Also making an appearance is “Step your pussy up” podcast host Che Diaz, played by Sara Ramirez, who assures Carrie they can bounce people if things get out of control. What — it’s a funeral?! — but then that doesn’t seem to be totally out of line when Big’s secretary (“she prefers to be called that”) breaks down in ugly tears during the service, and afterward, Susan Sharon (yes!) and Bitsy von Muffling more or less accost Carrie with their own personal agendas.

I love you. I’m back. The End.” – Susan Sharon

Where’s Che? Oh — they’re outside getting high with Brady. BRADY — what are you doing to your mother?! While Miranda apparently has no problem with her son keeping her up at night banging his girlfriend in their house, she DOES have a problem with him toking up with strangers. She gets right in Che’s face — having no idea their connection to Carrie or the gathering — and threatens to rip their head off. Yikes — is she drunk? It’s just a little pot, lady…. She then tells Brady “No Luisa (girlfriend) for a week.” Heh — we’ll see about that.

Back inside, Carrie officially introduces Miranda and Che, and Miranda is understandably embarrassed about her reaction outside, but Che seems to think it was legit.

“Mama bear? Honey, try Papa Bear. Like a big daddy silverback.”- Che Diaz

I feel something happening here. Hmmm….

A day or so later, Carrie gets a delivery and as she nonchalantly brings it inside, it hits her — it’s Big’s ashes. She calls Miranda and Stanford to come cheer her up but leaves Crybaby Charlotte out. Unfortunately, Charlotte shows up unannounced, leading to a hallway blow-up in which Carrie finally shows some real emotion when she exclaims she doesn’t blame Charlotte, but herself, for not leaving for the Hamptons “LIKE I WANTED TO.” It’s good to see some of this coming out. I don’t really think it’s her fault, Charlotte’s fault, Lily’s fault OR Peloton’s fault but…. this sucks.

That night, as Miranda is on friend duty, Carrie asks for another sleeping pill. Miranda tells her she can’t have another one for 5 hours.

“And just like that… I learned how long 5 hours can be.” End of episode.

Woof. I’m still processing. But I did watch the trailer for the rest of the season and it looks like some interesting, possibly more light-hearted (thank god!) things are in store (Natasha?!). Stay tuned.

And Just Like That… Ep 1 recap: What the Hell Just Happened?

***Warning: This blog post contains spoilers for episode one of the HBOMax series, And Just Like That…***

The debut episode of “And Just Like That…” begins how you might expect. Our main girl, Carrie — blonde locks flowing, capped by a quirky hat — spins through a crowd searching for her fellow ladies who lunch. After all, were the best parts of “Sex and the City” actually plot developments, or were they really the recaps and commentary the four main protagonists gave over coffee and cocktails?

Carrie finds Miranda and Charlotte, and the three of them get seated — but not before a little cameo from Ms. Bitsy von Muffling, during which we learn that Samantha is “no longer with us.”

This is literally what Charlotte says before clarifying to a visibly horrified Bitsy that no, Samantha’s not dead. She’s in LONDON. Dead to them, though, it seems. That’s all we know for now.

Over brunch, we learn that Miranda and Steve’s son, Brady, is having sex. In their house. Miranda references stepping on a used condom, and Charlotte — Ms. Park Avenue PollyAnna, of all people — says “at least he’s using protection.” Indeed.

At this point, I’m only mildly ill at ease. It’s just a little jarring to be back in this world again — sans Samantha — and I’m still getting my bearings. We’re talking about stepping on semen already and I’m trying to do the math of how old Brady is, and — I have to say it — I’m very distracted that Kristin Davis has gotten too much botox.

And then we find out Miranda quit corporate law after 30 years and is going back to school to get a master’s in human rights to pair with her law degree. In response, Charlotte makes her priorities crystal clear by asking if Miranda is going to color her hair.

AND JUST LIKE THAT, “Charlotte” is on my last fucking nerve, which is becoming a theme as she next gives Carrie shit about missing her daughter Lily’s piano recital to go to the Hamptons with Mr. Big — aka John James Preston (JJP).

So… we now know Carrie and Big are still together. We know Charlotte is still a perfectionist control freak, and we know Miranda is still growing as a professional, even though it shames her friend Ms. Botox that she has gray hair. OK.

Next, outside the restaurant, we learn a little bit more about what happened to Samantha. Apparently, Carrie had to “let her go” as her publicist, and they had a falling out, and she moved to London. It’s heavily implied that the girls have tried to keep in touch with her, to no avail. Hmmm.

Also, in a classic “Miranda is the cool mom friend” moment, she assures Carrie she shouldn’t feel bad about missing the recital. But you can tell Carrie feels that she should go, so upon returning home, she asks JJP if it’s OK if they leave the next day. He seems fine with that, and predictably turns down her offer to go with her to the recital. He’d rather stay home with his sexy Peloton instructor, Allegra. (Now, for me, both sound a bit like torture, so it’s a toss-up.) As the scene continues, we also learn one of Carrie and Big’s traditions over COVID was listening to a pick from his never-seems-to-get-an-update record collection over dinner, and tonight it’s Todd Rundgren. They dance a bit to “Hello, It’s Me,” the episode title, and we come away feeling like those two are solid. Awww, how lovely.


As the episode continues, we’re thrust into several awkward scenes where there are some clear struggles with trying to take a show that thrived in the early 2000s and make it relevant in present day. In Miranda’s first class, she digs herself a huge hole trying to be overly “woke” with her black professor (I’m STILL processing that scene… cringefest!). Carrie is on a podcast with a non-binary stand-up comedian, who tells her she needs to stop being a prude and “step her pussy up” when she shies away from publicly discussing masturbation. Which leads to another semi-cringeworthy scene of Carrie asking JJP to do it in front of her. Charlotte struggles to get Lily and Rose to wear matching dresses to the recital. It’s clear Rose is not much of a girlie-girl — which is basically Charlotte’s entire identity — so you can imagine the friction there.

Finally, it’s The Big Event (a teenage piano recital), and Carrie dons her special wedding shoes (the blue Manolo’s she put on to marry JJP at the end of the first movie) and tells Mr. Big to text her if he wants to leave for the Hamptons yet tonight, and she won’t go for cocktails. They share a tender moment before she heads out, where he says “I’m just looking at you,” and I start to realize something awful is about to happen….

The Shoes…

At the very-important-absolutely-cannot-miss teen piano recital, we finally reunite with Anthony and Stanford (played by the late Willie Garson, who died in the middle of filming this season. Just devastating). They’re somewhat predictably bickering as Stanford is late, but the reason, we later learn, is because they were fighting, and Anthony just up and left. Miranda continues to be my hero as she brought “purse wine,” something Charlotte purses her overly puffy lips about but ultimately lets go. (Girl, they showed up. Let them have WINE.)

As the recital gets underway, back at Carrie and John’s house, JJP gets on the peloton. As the scene plays out, Lily gives a mesmerizing and rousing performance, clearly blowing the audience away, while we simultaneously watch Allegra push JJP to his limits. I don’t have a GREAT feeling about this at all, given how they are focusing on him like this and knowing his history of heart problems that was addressed in SATC Season 6 (he has a pretty serious surgery).

And alas, as JJP completes his workout, and the recital comes to a climactic close, he stumbles and clutches his arm, and you know this is not gonna be good. He does manage to get a text out to Carrie, “Let’s leave tonight,” before he goes down, which gives me hope she’s going to come home and save him.

I’m now holding my breath. Carrie comes home and calls out for John. She begins moving through the apartment, and upon finding him in a pool of water in the bathroom, exclaims “John!” in a way that has since haunted me.

He’s still alive. He seems totally out of it though, propped up against the wall. What follows is probably 60 seconds of utter devastation. The two of them stare at each other across the room for what seems like hours, while I’m yelling “AREN’T YOU GOING TO CALL 9-1-1?!!!” Another heart-wrenching “John!” from Carrie as she finally runs to him and gets down on the floor, sort of holding him, sort of maybe trying to breathe or kissing him?! I don’t know. CALL 9-1-1, WTF!

The words “And just like that… Big died,” spoken overhead like a narrator by Carrie, ends the episode. ROLL CREDITS.


We’ll process this more in episode 2.

And Just Like That… we’re back!

What do you think the over/under is on writers trying to be cutesy with the “And Just Like That…” title on their recaps??? Like I just did? Yeah, TOO MANY is the only correct answer.

But I digress. I’m back, baby! With a very specific purpose. I need to process something I’ve recently watched, so we’re all gonna do it together, OK?

Oh, right, I need to say ***SPOILERS AHEAD***

In case you’re unaware, a revival of the beloved “Sex and the City” recently dropped its first two episodes on HBOMax. The new series, aptly titled “And Just Like That…” brings us back into the NYC world of Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte (No Samantha… we’ll get to that later), and how they are navigating love, friendship, parenthood (or “aunthood”… we’ll get to that later, too!), work and life in their 50s.

I can’t really imagine having a lot of interest in this show if you’re not a fan of SATC. And if you watched either of the two films that came out when the show ended, I wouldn’t blame you for taking a pass! The first one was tolerable, but the second one was atrocious. I more or less just block it.

Sex and the City 2: This movie made about as much sense as these outfits.

I’ve had mixed feelings about the idea of AJLT since I first heard it was happening earlier this year, but subsequent articles, Instagram posts and general boredom (plus my obsession with the original — I still watch episodes of it all the time!) got me relatively hyped for it by the time it debuted last Thursday.

In particular, in an interview with Vogue that I came across about a month ago, SJP said:

“In the spring of 2020, I was talking with Michael Patrick about doing a podcast about the behind-the-scenes making of Sex and the City,” Parker, who has settled into one of Carrie’s old chairs in her living room, tells me. “And we spoke about what we were missing in the pandemic: joy, community, the experience of being together. The world of Carrie and her friends has always been about coming home, and I felt like we needed that right now.”

YES, YES, YES! The article goes on to talk about how women in their 50s should be celebrated and just as relevant as anyone (yes), and it also touched on some of the shortcomings of SATC (lack of diversity — both in the cast and the writer’s room — for one), and how that was going to be addressed. All in all, it got me excited! I began counting down the days to Dec. 9, when they dropped not just one, but TWO episodes.

And now for real, ***SPOILERS AHEAD***

When I got home from work, Luke was on dinner duty, so I cued it up.

What ensued was nearly three hours of cringe, pearl-clutching and utter devastation. More on that in my next post!

Giving myself a break

I haven’t blogged in so long that the fonts here are different. Neat. At least to me, in “drafts” — perhaps not to my readers’ eyes.

Anyway… it’s been almost a year, and much has changed, but, alarmingly, it also hasn’t.

When things are going smoothly, do you ever stop to worry for a sec that something terrible is just around the corner and it’s all going to go away — or are you not an anxious pessimist?!

As vaccinations rolled out this spring/summer, my calendar filled up at an alarming rate. Earlier this month, I attended my first work event in a year-and-a-half. This month I also got on a plane for the first time in more than a year to visit my friends in DC, and I’m going back next month for a baby shower (an extremely exciting development/highlight of the past year!), and I’m officiating another friend’s pandemic wedding: Part 2 over Labor Day Weekend.

In between, we’ve been hosting family, buying tickets to shows again and trying to navigate bars and parties again with friends. The Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Finals last week! The Cleveland Indians are becoming the Guardians. Aaron Rodgers reported to Packers camp and Randall Cobb is back! Life goes on.

And yet, COVID cases are rising daily, ERs are getting crowded again, and mask mandates are making a return.

I’m not going to spend this post lecturing about vaccination and other safety measures — although I implore you to please consider getting vaccinated if you haven’t. Rather I, I think like many of us, sometimes don’t know what to do with myself.

It feels like it’s all going to fall apart any minute. How much effort do I put in? Do I count on plans I’ve made for 2 months from now? Do I just “carpe diem!” and try not to think about anything? (Have you met me, LOL.)

My threshold for fatigue and burnout is at an all-time low. I know I’m not the only one. One of my friends earlier today referred to this as “low energy summer.” I think we’re all feeling a little bit of whiplash with how quickly we’ve been thrown back into “normal” life. I, myself, am still working from home, but for how long? While I always felt that my kitchen table didn’t exactly make for a long-term office, the thought of getting fully dressed with makeup everyday and getting in my car by 7:45 a.m. sends me into a panic. FOMO is back. Events and other celebrations — many of which have been postponed for a year — are ramping up. I’ve already been asked to officiate another wedding next fall, and I actually had to turn down another request to spearhead a celebration. Sometimes, it just feels like too much.

It’s not that I don’t want my life back. Right? I think while there were clear “perks” to the slowdown experienced last year, we missed the option to watch sports with friends, gather for happy hour, see live music and travel. Not to mention those whose jobs hung in the balance and struggled to make ends meet, or those who live alone and felt isolated. I don’t want THAT… but do I want THIS?

The thing is, I/we have little control over it. So my advice is this: Give yourself a break. It’s easier said than done. If you’re like me, you feel “lazy” any time you don’t feel like doing something after the year we’ve had — whether that be working out, hosting an event or just going to one. Hell, even making dinner.

I think we need to give ourselves some breathing room. It’s a lot. And the future is still uncertain. “Carpe diem”… but do it your way. If “seize the day” for you means binging your favorite show, do it. If it means biking 20 miles, do that, too. But let’s try — as hard as it can be — not to compete with each other. We’re all dealing with this in our own way.

Let’s take care of ourselves.


This past weekend was, by far, the best time I have had and the best I have felt in 2020, especially since COVID-19 hit.

Two of my dearest friends got married in a small, intimate ceremony in Northern Wisconsin. They had to scale back their original plans due to COVID but still decided to have the ceremony with a small group of family and friends. Everyone got tested for COVID before we went up, so it was a fairly controlled situation. We were on an island in Lake Superior that has a strict mask policy, so that helped as well.

And, my god, did it feel GOOD to let loose a little bit with this small group. I still tried to keep my distance from the parents in the group, some of whom have some high-risk factors, but my friend the bride hugged me when I got there, and I felt high as a kite. It was the best feeling in the world.

In addition to the aforementioned reasons, there were a couple other factors that made this event a big deal for me on a personal level. I was asked to officiate, something I’ve never done before. I got ordained online and practiced the ceremony once in front of the bride this summer and then several times over the past week, so I felt fairly prepared.

As you know if you read my blog, I am divorced. I got married Sept. 5, 2009, and we filed for divorce on Sept. 6, 2013. When my friend told me they were going to get married on Sept. 5, I was ecstatic. To have that date take on a new meaning outside from “my old wedding date” was a huge thing for me, mentally. And to actually perform a marriage ceremony on that day, too?! It didn’t really hit me until last week what that would mean for me. It was hugely symbolic and instrumental in my long-term healing process. I can’t even put into words how much it meant to me.

Now, I’ve been with Luke for almost seven years, so I’ve obviously moved on, but again — now that date is “Emily and Simon’s anniversary.” I hope to never again think of it as anything else.

It was a perfect weather day, much like that day back in 2009. Even though I was prepared and got a good night’s sleep, I was fighting A LOT of anxiety that morning. Anxious energy was just streaming through my veins, and Luke had to bear the brunt of it with my rambling and loud sighing and whining about dumb things like starting my period (sorry, TMI, but COME ON, it was NOT the ideal time) and making sure I didn’t sweat all my makeup off as I am wont to do lately (I run hot!). I was also in charge of the music for the ceremony and reception, and he stepped up to help me control it during the ceremony so it was one less thing I had to facilitate. He also carried a TON of shit back and forth, drove me around and just generally was THE BEST wingman.

To help quell my anxiety in the morning, I went over to help set up for the outdoor reception, even though I technically didn’t have to. I was so glad I did, because in addition to giving me something to do, it was nice to see things coming together and know exactly how things would be positioned that evening since I was “DJing” as well. Emily, the bride, was as cool as a cucumber, though she admitted she had taken a beta blocker (why didn’t I think of that?!).

After setting some stuff up at the park where the ceremony would be held, we buzzed back to our Air BnB to get ready. I was having her sister-in-law do my hair after she did Emily’s, so I took all my stuff over there to get ready. It was a little chaotic at the end as we were all clamoring to finish makeup and get dressed, and technically I was the last one ready, joking, “Well, you LITERALLY cannot start without me!”

On my way!

When we got back to the park, the parking lot was CHAOS. Luke and I parked in a spot that was not technically a spot and thankfully didn’t get ticketed. I managed to keep my sweating to a minimum.

Crying was another story. There had been a lot of chatter about holding it together. To mitigate this, I practiced. Emily gave me her vows in advance so I could cry it out. I cried more or less the ENTIRE drive up north on Friday morning, listening to the playlists I’d made. Also, I used to be in plays when I was in grade school, so I thought, I can do this! It’s like acting!

But nothing prepared me for the emotional overload that is watching two of your best friends emotionally exchange vows in the year of a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. Props to you if you can do it (or maybe your heart has stopped beating?!), but I could not. Especially being next to them and making eye contact with other people crying in the group. Thankfully, I ONLY cried during the vows, not when I was actually speaking. So it could have been worse.

Show me something more precious. I’ll wait. (Photo credit: Cate, Simon’s sister (and wedding hair extraordinaire!)

The only other almost-gaffe was signing the marriage license. We incorporated it as part of the ceremony and a song played while we did it (as in, you’re kind of on a timer). But as I took the document out with semi-shaking hands and looked down at it, I saw… nothing. Yes, there was stuff on the page, but my eyes could not SEE where we all needed to sign for some reason and I just froze. Thankfully, Mike, the best man, had officiated a wedding and knew what to do and eventually my eyes found the spots they needed to. I guess it was just nerves but I am telling you I looked down and saw THIS:

Then they kissed and I announced them, and that was that! Time for a cocktail!

FINALLY! (Karyn, right, walked their dog Lester, the ring bearer, down the aisle.) One of my favorite photos of the day.

After we did some photos and had a few cocktails, it was time to head back for the reception. Enter phase 2 of my duties: DJing.

I have a newfound respect for wedding DJs after this weekend. I fancy myself somewhat of a “jukebox hero.” I think I have a pretty good knack for picking out songs that people will enjoy, and of course, with it being a wedding, I put a lot of classic stuff on the playlist that you hear at a lot of weddings. I mean Emily asked me to do it, so I figured I must not be terrible at it. My original thinking was that I’d just put the playlist on shuffle and that would be that.

It’s a lot more complicated than that if you want it to be a really good party. For one thing, DJs are paying attention the entire time and controlling every moment of sound, like fading out and throwing on a new song right away without awkward pauses. Thankfully, I had thought ahead to get Spotify premium so there would be NO commercials. That would have been extremely tacky! But I hadn’t thought about the whole fade in/fade out aspect. I figured there would be times we’d want to skip something if the mood wasn’t right, but it was more than that. In any given moment, you need to pay attention to how people are vibing.

Then there are the requests. There were only 2 children at this wedding — the maid of honor, Britt’s, son and daughter, and they were AWESOME — but kids have requests. Lord knows I did! And still do. I would get jacked up on shirley temples at weddings growing up and massacre the dance floor.

These two really are a trip. They are really cool kids and they murdered that dance floor. And the requests were generally fine, but they just kept coming! At one point, Griffin requested AC/DC Thunderstruck, which as hilarious as it was that he even KNEW that, Emily immediately vetoed. I had to try to placate them and also just temper their expectations a little bit in terms of timing. But they had a blast, I know. It always made me happy when they made a request and I could say “It’s already on there!”

But even aside from that, I found that “shuffle” wasn’t going to cut it. If people were lovingly swaying to a slow song, I felt compelled to do one more. If they seemed to really be enjoying a classic, I wanted to make sure another classic played next. That sort of thing. Because of this, I think unfortunately a lot of photos of me are going to look like this:

Luke dubbed me the mobile DJ.

And no, I won’t blame it all on the music — you know I’m on my phone a lot! But there is at least one picture I’ve seen where I’m slow dancing with Luke and my phone is resting on his shoulder as I’m waiting to hit the next song. That is not normal! Hahaha.

If it sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not! I swear! It was a blast and I was sad when we had to quiet things down. I’m just saying DJing is more work than I thought! Props to DJs.

It was a really special time that I am so grateful I could be a part of. I will cherish it forever.

Emily and Simon, you deserve all the happiness in the world.

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends”- Jane Austen

Stay the F*&^ Home

I found myself getting really worked up this morning. And guess what one of my healthier outlets for that is?


This post may not sit well with everyone. I’m aware that the whole coronavirus/quarantine situation is highly personal in some aspects. Different states have different rules (which is infuriating to me… but I digress). There are a lot of unknowns. True leadership and direction has been severely lacking, at least on a federal level.

But if you care to seek real facts about this disease, and what’s recommended to “flatten the curve,” they’re out there.

And guess what? I don’t think the recommendations say anything about “When you just can’t take it anymore…. when you’re just too bored… it’s over!”

It’s not over. I don’t know when it’ll be over. But it’s definitely not today.

And yet, several states have begun relaxing their restrictions. Businesses are starting to reopen, albeit with restrictions on services and contact. Is it too soon?

Personally, I think we are in for a rude awakening in the form of a second wave of illnesses, especially when you consider all the protests that have gone on the past few weeks, where hardly anyone is protecting themselves. Not to mention states like mine that decided to make people choose between their lives and casting their vote last month.

There is one “group” in particular that I feel is really struggling to grasp the severity of the situation. I say this from personal experience, as well as countless anecdotes from my friends.


I’ll go ahead and start with mine. My parents have been forced to continue to go into work this entire time. I hate it. Especially because my mom has a rare chronic but non-aggressive form of leukemia. I consider her to be vulnerable. But I can’t make her get a doctor’s note and try to stay home. My dad can’t stay home. So they go to work, they go to the store. It sounds like they don’t do too much else, thankfully, but as restrictions in Ohio are easing, I don’t know what that means for them.

What I do know, is that they’ve gotten together with my brother and his fiancé the past two weekends. This hasn’t concerned me too much. I know my brother works at home and has been pretty isolated, and I’m just not going to say a lot about his fiancé. She is a nurse. I love her, but I don’t feel it’s my place to talk about her situation and her choices. That sounds bad/ominous and it’s NOT, it’s just really, I’m not going to talk about her.

But the other 3, get ready — cuz Imma about to throw some people under the bus.

I’m looking for my head this morning. It blew off my body when I texted my mom to check in and she responded with asking me if I was interested in going to DESTIN, FL for Memorial Day weekend because “they were talking about it.”

In case you have lost track of time, like so many of us have, that is NEXT WEEKEND.

I live in Wisconsin, and our shelter in place order won’t even be possibly lifted until May 26. It’s being challenged in court by some super special people, but as of today, that’s where it stands.

So, my first reaction was to respond with “Well… thanks so much, but state rules say I probably shouldn’t do that right now.”

I then went to inquire with my dad and brother, separately, as to WHAT THE FUCK WAS GOING ON.

Just last Wednesday, my dad posted this on Facebook:

CLASSIC Boomer Facebook post, amirite?!

So, when I texted him, I said, “I just wanted to know what happened between last Wednesday and now in your head?!”

Then to my brother, “Destin… really?” feeling like that pretty much summed it up.

I know. To them, I am this:

I’m sure they think I am hysterical. Reactionary. Whatever. If Jesus isn’t going to take the wheel, SOMEONE has to!


My mom said, “I know this sounds crazy, but this is all making me crazier.”

Obviously. You live in the woods. Go for a hike! It’s not like we do a beach vacation every year and so this year it’s just killing us not to do one. You’re INVENTING needs.

And they’re not the only ones- far from it!

I have heard so many ridiculous things from my friends. Parents trying to lure them over with “Easter baskets” (we’re in our 30s!). Friends who went to drop off Mother’s Day cheer only to basically be taken hostage inside the residence.


And I get it. It is hard. Times are tough, and things are not normal. But c’mon. In all the aforementioned examples, these people aren’t living on their own. And the Boomer generation grew up writing letters! There was no email or FaceTime. Why can’t you do this now?!

Not to brag, but Luke and I really miss camping and festivals, so this weekend, we made a fort in our living room like 5-year-olds and “camped out” while streaming live music all weekend. It was pretty awesome! And I enjoyed the indoor plumbing, lack of insects and ability to order a damn pizza. GET CREATIVE.

I really hope they don’t seriously consider doing this trip, y’all. Maybe I’ve been just killjoy enough to get them to reconsider. Maybe they were never that serious.

Just please:

I implore you.


Well, guys, it’s finally happening. I am blogging in quarantine!

It only took a month… and a week. That’s how long I’ve been 100% working from home. I can count the number of times I’ve left my house in that time period on one hand (thank god for our balcony porch!), and my cat is officially my best friend.

You would think that I would have posted several blogs by now, and maybe read about 10 books? Alas, I haven’t completely finished one book, and well, as you know, I haven’t blogged since Feb. 21.

It’s an interesting phenomenon. You’d think I have oodles of time now that I’m at home 24/7. But something has happened to my brain. I’ve managed to be very productive in my “home office” — a corner of our kitchen and the kitchen table — but on the creative side, it’s pretty bleak.

I could be writing the next great novel! Learning how to podcast. Beating my 2019 reading record (52 books). Instead, I have tried to perfect my impression of Carole Baskin, eaten an alarming (even for me) amount of cheese and have learned there are new, expanded limits on how long I can go without showering.

My partner is still going into work every day of the week, and sometimes on weekends. We have a pretty set routine, still. I work regular hours, we take turns making dinner (OK, we’re still ordering a LOT of takeout- but we’re supporting the local restaurant scene OK?!), we video chat with friends several times a week. I think we’re doing the best we can. And we still like each other — a lot, actually. I’m glad if this has to happen, it’s happening now, and not 10 years ago.

I don’t worry so much about us — so far (knock on wood) — but I do worry about other people. People who aren’t working or don’t have the option to work from home. People who aren’t getting paid and can’t afford groceries. People dealing with what once might be considered everyday problems, but are exacerbated 100x by this hellscape we’re living in. People in volatile living situations who aren’t able to access the outlets and resources they need.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed, to become consumed with how CRAZY this whole situation is. I think we all have good days and bad days.

If you’re having a bad day, you can always reach out to me. Even if I don’t know you. I will listen, and if there’s anything I can do to help, I would be glad to help.

In the meantime, a few of the things that are helping me to get by include:

  1. My bestie’s accordion YouTube channel, The Quarantined Accordion:

My friend Katie decided to take up learning the accordion right before all of this shit came down, and watching her learn to play pop hits like “Sweet Caroline” and “Wrecking Ball” has been a real delight.

2. John Krasinski’s “Some Good News”

We desperately need this right now.


This one is everything. Streaming live music and prerecorded sets from around the world has been the greatest escape, the greatest joy I have felt during these dark days. In particular, I miss Wheelhouse Tuesdays, and having them live stream every Tuesday evening gives me something to look forward to.

4. Sometimes, working out and yoga

I’m definitely not forcing myself into some kind of quarantine fitness routine (I told you, I’m eating A LOT of cheese), but when I want it, it’s been great. I downloaded an app called HIIT, which seems to still be giving me the workouts for free, at least for now, and I live stream yoga sometimes.

5. Crossword Puzzles

I downloaded the NY Times Crossword app, and it’s a new addiction. I don’t want to pay, so I just keep sifting through the sample packs of puzzles, and The Daily Mini is free.

What are some of the things keeping you sane these days?!

Currently, our shelter at home order is set to go through May 26. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can see a few friends for my birthday on the 31st. It’s good to have goals.

Hang in there. I love you!

Girl Scouts (cookies!)

This might surprise some of you, but I once was a Girl Scout.

Or maybe it surprises none of you, I don’t know. But, I was.

Like most things throughout my youth, it had little to do with the pledge, any kind of honor, anything related to “scout”… and had everything to do with social time.

So I guess you could say the “girl” part did apply.

I can’t even remember the pledge (OK, “promise,” technically), so I had to look it up:

On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

For some reason, we all screamed the last line, too, when we recited the promise. I have no idea why. Not because we meant what we were saying, I can tell you that.

I do remember my troop number — #769! I think I remember this because we once decorated white ball caps with neon puffy paint for an outing and I wrote my troop number on mine. You gotta love the ’90s.

I also remember that hat because at said outing, some old hag got annoyed with how my group of friends was acting in line for an activity or ride ( Side note: We were at a lock-in at COSI (Center of Science and Industry), a science museum and research center in Columbus, Ohio), and I remember her narrowing her eyes and saying “Troop #769, OK, I’ll remember that.” I don’t remember what we were doing that was so offensive.

Absolutely nothing came of it. I guess we were a rowdy group, because I also remember my mom, who was chaperoning, and another chaperone getting shushed during lights out. Girl Scouts (TM!) need to chillll, man.

Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff. And by that I mean, THE COOKIES. (Also, camp. Camp was the fucking best!)

Hello, gorgeous.

Y’all, this week has not been kind to my waistline. Not that I’m one for dieting, but even my undisciplined ass knows that no good really comes of having 4 boxes of these bad boys in your house. And on top of that, we got a delivery of a bunch of cheese at work today. And on top of THAT, we got free cream cheese and bagels delivered on Monday.

So my week has been something like — come into work, coffee, bagel with cream cheese…. all the stuff that happens in between…. go home, make a balanced dinner (thanks, Hello Fresh!)… GORGE ON COOKIES AND CHEESE.

It’s been awhile since I even purchased Girl Scout cookies. It tickles me to death that they are mostly the same as they were back in the day. I mean, if it ain’t broke, right?!

I absolutely sucked at Girl Scout cookie sales. All sales. I had no drive. I remember my mom getting on my case on a lazy Sunday afternoon, imploring me to walk the streets of my little town and knock on doors to see if people wanted to buy cookies.

My reaction was basically:

I did always make a few sales. I mean, they kind of sell themselves. Relatives would buy a few boxes, and I think I asked a few people at church. But I just didn’t care. I cared about what we were ordering and when I would get to eat them. But sales? BORING.

Which translated to me feeling left out and shitty when the girls who actually gave a fuck would get awarded with prizes, and I would just stand there, wishing I really would have buckled down so I could get one of these sweet ass T-shirts:

Man oh man oh MAN did I want one of those shirts! The year that those came out… it was the only time I felt truly sorry I hadn’t done more.

Which brings me to how I ended up with cookies this year. One of my best friends is getting married. Her childhood best friend is the maid of honor, and I’m performing the ceremony (!), so naturally, there have been a few girlie gatherings to discuss wedding-related things. So I’ve gotten to know this woman a bit, and she has the most DELIGHTFUL daughter. She just turned 6 or 7, but she’s like a mini adult. So quick, so sassy, so fun.

And she’s a Girl Scout. It’s her first year selling cookies. At a recent Sunday brunch get-together — as we were working on a wedding-related craft and I was trying not to make it super obvious to this impressionable young lass that I was terribly hungover — I told her I would buy some cookies from her.

And no, I didn’t tell her any of what I’ve told you in this blog, so don’t worry. I’m sure she’ll do much better than I did.

I wonder what they give you when you make a lot of sales now… an iPhone?

Anyway, I’ll bet she gets the top prize. I’m glad I could do my part, for the youth.

As for me, sometime in middle school I think I quit the Girl Scouts. I don’t remember it being some dramatic thing — I just sort of phased it out of my life similar to piano lessons and most sports (when you get to high school, it’s kind of uncool to keep playing if you really suck, at least that’s how I felt).

I wonder if I can find one of those T-shirts at Goodwill….

Reading Recap

I am very excited to report that I met my 2019 reading goal of 50 books! Actually, I exceeded it, coming in on Dec. 30 with #52. Woohoo!

I rarely set goals, and I even more rarely achieve them! (The key is just not setting them.) Last year, I only made it to 45 books, which was still pretty awesome considering I’d probably read 5 or so books the year before that (no idea).

I’d like to highlight a few of my favs from this past year, in no particular order:

• “Becoming,” by Michelle Obama

Duh. I love the Obamas. But what I really treasured about this book were the tearful moments where I got to re-live what I felt in 2008 when President Obama was elected. Given the state of things today, I had forgotten what that even feels like… it was nice to remember, and to remind myself that thankfully I got to go through that in my lifetime, no matter what’s coming.

I’m still trying to get through Barack’s book, “Dreams From My Father,” and by “get through” I mean it’s been sitting on my nightstand for a year. It’s not grabbing me the same way, but hopefully I’ll get to finishing it… eventually.

• “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman,” by Lindy West

Oh. My. God. I loved this book. I am what you would call a loud woman. My boss is constantly asking me to “talk softer.”

An excerpt: “The ‘perfect body’ is a lie. I believed in it for a long time, and I let it shape my life, and shrink it – my real life, populated by my real body. Don’t let fiction tell you what to do. In the omnidirectional orgy gardens of Vlaxnoid, no one cares about your arm flab.”


Possibly even more exciting than the book itself is Aidy Bryant starring in the Hulu series. GIVE ME MORE SHRILL. I am literally counting down the days to the release of Season 2 on Jan. 24.

• “Daisy Jones and the Six,” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

One of the most anticipated books of the year. I devoured this book. It was gut-wrenching. I’d never read anything quite like it. I definitely researched if this band was real, because this book was real. A friend and I have a theory on who this could potentially be based on. I also think I’m a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid because I really enjoyed “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” as well.

• “Where the Crawdads Sing,” by Delia Owens

One of my favorites of all time. I waited until almost the end of the year to read it, and I both couldn’t get through it fast enough and never wanted it to end. Beautiful.

• “The Immortalists,” by Chloe Benjamin

Another beautiful, at times heartbreaking story. “If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?” And the writer lives in Madison, Wisconsin!

•Red, White and Royal Blue,” by Casey McQuiston

HOT. DAMN. This book! It was #52, so a bit of a bonus read, and in addition to painting a picture of a White House less traveled in 2016 (as in, a woman DID get elected), it is hot, hot, hot.

I’ve decided I’m not going to set a reading goal in 2020. I’m going to take a breather and just track what I do read, and see where I end up. I had last week off, and I definitely chose binging Season 2 of “YOU” over reading anything. My Christmas tree is still up. I regret nothing.

Girl, Interrupting

I’ve had this post percolating in my head for weeks. That’s in no small part due to the fact that it requires me to examine something about myself that is less than ideal. Yes, that’s more or less the purpose of this blog, but that doesn’t mean it’s fun!

The thing is, well… I’m an interruptor.

“Yeah, we’ve met Alyssa”- you, probably

I know! I’m sorry. Am I going to interrupt you next time we hang out? Probably. But… I’m sorry! And I’m trying to become more aware.

I’m sure I’ve been doing this my whole life, but the first person to really call me out on it was actually a psychologist I had in 2012/13. He was nice about it, and just sort of casually asked me, “Do you realize that you…. do this a lot?”

I had not realized. And he is no longer my psychologist.

OK — that’s not because of what he said, hahaha. It’s because I switched work offices (proximity for lunch-hour appointments is key) and insurance and all that. But still.

You know I love to blame some of my shit on my crazy family, and this is no exception. I don’t know how people hang out with us as a group because, frankly, we’re pretty terrible. My mom takes interrupting to another level because she not only interrupts you — she brings up something that is completely unrelated to what’s even being discussed, making it abundantly clear she was not listening to you AT ALL. It’s super fun.

I’m sure I do THAT too, from time to time, being someone who’s always in my own damn head, but more often than not, I know I just get really, really excited about what’s being discussed, and I want to get my thoughts out. I’m afraid I’m going to forget some witty comment or related story, and so I just need to say it!

Except… I don’t. I really don’t. I’m trying to learn that. I’ve been doing a bit of research into it, actually, looking for helpful tips, since my bad habits are so ingrained by this point.

Surprisingly (?), there are actually a lot of articles out there that address this. Some are aptly named things like “10 Tips to Help You Stop Interrupting,” but I tend to gravitate toward the ones with titles like “How to Stop Being An Interrupting Asshole” and “How to Stop Babbling and Shut the Hell Up.” I mean I think we’re there; let’s not sugarcoat things.

These are actually all real articles, and the latter has some tips I’m going to share here:

  1. Practice saying nothing. This will be harder than it sounds. Join in on group conversations and do nothing but listen with your mouth shut. Take mental notes on what others are saying and not what you want to say. Respond to questions directed at you with one sentence answers, then go back to listening. Let the silence come and see what happens.

I guess we’re not fucking around, huh? Chinese water torture, here we go! Everyone will probably think I’m in a “mood” if I try this, but then again, maybe they’ll just be relieved I’ve shut up for 5 seconds.

2. Eventually, you can graduate to the “stoplight rule.” You’re in the green speaking for about 20 seconds, in the yellow speaking for 40 seconds, and should be stopping no matter what at the red, which is 60 seconds of nonstop chatter.

OK, first of all, how do I know when I’ve graduated? Is one of you going to hand me my diploma and say, “Good job! We’d actually like to hear from you now”? And all this math…. I don’t like math.

3. You can be in the green and yellow as much as you need as long as you don’t break the “50/50 rule,” which basically just says you should be listening as just as much as you speak—if not more.

OK, now THIS, I can get behind. This makes sense. No one should really be dominating the conversation at any given time unless they’re telling a story, right?

4. Turn conversations into a game. If you can’t walk away from a talk with at least three mental notes about what they said, you lose. No [insert treat here] for you!

OK, this is a good one, because I am notorious for forgetting details about things I discuss with my friends. That’s largely attributable to the fact that we’re often drinking when we hang out, but still. It might not hurt to make it a point to come away with some key takeaways, and that likely will lead to more listening and less talking.

5. Ask for help. If you let someone you trust know that you’re trying to be better, they can help stop you before you even start.

I’ve actually asked Luke to do this. But nicely. Not yelling “CUT!” like a deranged movie director (which he didn’t literally do but kind of.. one time. It did not go over well). Because as my partner, Luke has to put up with this the most. It’s a double whammy for him too because he’s super polite and not one to interrupt or assert himself into a convo, so sometimes when I’m around, it’s like he doesn’t get to talk at all. And everyone likes him better.

I have a lot of issues, OK?

The article author concludes with this:

It’ll take some time to break your bad habits, so stay vigilant.

I will, but also, please be patient with me. This is really hard to break. But I care. I’m acknowledging it. I want to get better.

But if I actually do improve and then you ask me why I’m being so quiet or what’s wrong, I will go OFF.