Tag Archives: relationships


My sis came through town yesterday on her way to Michigan. She’s starting a graduate program. I’m very proud of her. We’ve both found the true meaning of higher education: the ability to techno-babble at each other in different technical vocabularies and not understand anything.

I gave her the nickle tour and introduced her to the people in the lab. A visiting student commented, “Oh my, you two look nothing alike. I would never guess you were sisters.”

We’ve gotten that a lot over the years, and in many ways it is true.

  • I have thin, fine hair that is low-maintenance.
    She has thick wavy hair  that takes an hour or more to style.
  • She loves heels.
    I hate them.
  • I’m into science.
    She’s into music.
  • I love gardening.
    She avoids gardening like the plague.
  • I’m semi-organized and can focus even with three kids hollering, a television on, and dogs barking.
    She struggles with ADHD and even before she had a child to add chaos, mess followed her like a devoted puppy.
  • She quit playing with toys when she discovered boys around age ten.
    I thought boys were idiots and really only fun to moon over from afar, and I plead the fifth on how long I continued to play with dolls.

I’m fairly certain the list could go on, and yet over the years as we grew up we found common ground. We both love Star Trek, and reading, and like each other’s career fields enough to have true interest, we enjoy the outdoors as much as we are allergic to it, and can even sometimes agree on music. As we walked at the park I caught her singing a few phrases of Pink‘s “Just Give me a Reason”, which I love, and randomly singing is also something I do.

I’m sure over the years my mother felt like bashing our heads together as we fought over whose mess had trashed the room yet again. My sis only has one child, an eleven year old boy, so far, and so she hasn’t had to deal with the joys of sibling wars. When the siblings are the same gender it seems to me that it adds an extra layer of love-hate to the relationship. One minute you’re best friends and the next one is smacking the other with a doll…or a fist…or whatever happens to be handy.

My sis and I managed to not kill each other and she’s as much a best friend as a sister. I’m proud of the woman she’s become.

When two people are by nature polar opposites, clashes happen frequently. My two girls, much like my sis and me, don’t look tons alike nor  do they act it.

My girls way back when they were little bitty:

Is that dirt? Did I get dirt on me? Where's my hand sanitizer?

Is that dirt? Did I get dirt on me? Where’s my hand sanitizer?

I made a mess. Isn't it GREAT!!!!?

I made a mess. Isn’t it GREAT!!!!?

Did I mention that Miss Drama didn’t quit eating dirt until about age 5? Miss Diva began color coordinating outfits and three. Miss Drama preferred running naked.

My hope is that one day they’ll be adults and have found that common ground and realize just how lucky they are to have each other for friends, if they haven’t killed each other by then.

What was that I said about getting along?

What was that I said about getting along?


You’re Doing it Wrong

I cannot claim to have ever had a really bad date. I’ve had good ones, great ones, awkward ones, and ones I laughed about afterward.

I shall state that I have high standards but I figure if a male manages to annoy or worse, piss me off, while putting his best foot forward, I shan’t like him very much once he stops making those efforts. Here are some guaranteed ways NOT to earn a second date or in some cases even a first date with me. They also make for awesome jokes afterward with my friends and blog fodder.

  1. Look at everything but me during the conversation. Really, my powers to turn men into stone sadly do not work on their entire body.
  2. Ask me to say something in Klingon. Do I look like I have brow ridges?
  3. Express doubt over my abilities to accomplish something b/c I’m a woman. I do believe this one is self-explanatory.
  4. After a couple of conversations, ask when we are going to bleep*. Again, I think this one is self-explanatory.
  5. Take me to Hooters. That gentleman shall henceforth be known as Mr. Hooters.
  6. Inform me you are allergic to cats.  Sorry dude, cats over dudes any day. Besides, it would be extremely inconvenient to deal with the body when he keels over from anaphylactic shock.
  7. You do not read. I’m an author. Enough said.
  8. You lack any interest in science fiction or fantasy. After all, even “normal” people liked LOTR and The Matrix.
  9. If you are closer in age to either my father or my kids than you are to me. I’m not sure why this seems such a hard concept for some men to grasp.
  10. Ask the status of our “relationship” within thirty minutes of meeting. Yeah, that was Mr. Hooters. My inner sarcastic b*** really wanted to respond to that one, but I was tactful.

So, what are some of your instant “deal breakers”? Feel free to share!


*Curse words eliminated to keep things PG-13.

Building advice

Times that walls are useful things:

1) When the big bad wolf comes knocking.

2) In Minecraft.

3) When hanging pictures.

4) When keeping out the barbarian horde.

5) Housing.

Times that walls are not so helpful:

1) When you accidentally walk into them.

2) If you’re Humpty-Dumpty.

3) When the critter is INSIDE the wall.

4) When the furniture is an inch too long to fit alongside said wall.

5) When they keep you from embracing the people and opportunities in your life.


Memorable lines

Disclaimer: Not all of these are from real life. Some of these have been said to me and some come from some of my favorite books, but they all make that painful chapter a little less traumatic.

1) We could get together and get some Vienna sausages and have a symbolic itty-bitty wienie roast.

2) We could call X and have her hex him with a penis shrinking spell.

3) I could flirt with you if that would make you feel better.

4) I stuck my tongue out at him the whole time I un-friended him.

5) Now you can focus on your thesis, exciting, right? (I’m not sure exciting is the word I’d use.)

6) No worries, I’ll just send you a battery operated boyfriend.

7) Soup isn’t that awesome anyhow.

Yeah, it isn’t an even 10, but memorable quotes are memorable because of their uniqueness.

So Chapter NEXT begins today. I choose not to take the broken flask and double head bonk on the oven door as a sign of anything other than my adversarial relationship with gravity.


The wonderful thing about writing is that it is a world of my creation. If I want the bad guys to pay, they pay. If the hero and heroine run into problems, they work it out. Love conquers all and the ending is as happy or tragic as I wish it to be.

Life isn’t so neat.

Many of my characters fight the same emotional demons that haunt me. I can excise them from my mind, sculpt them into literary entertainment, but in truth they never really go away. I can hush them. I can yell way louder, and I can kick them into metaphorical oblivion. Still, the voices of doubt, of unworthiness, of fear never really go away. Every day is another day that I wield my sword of self-confidence and make them submit. Some days are easier to pick up that sword than others.

Life has delivered a plot twist I don’t like. In fact I loath it with every ounce of my being. and that sword is pretty damn heavy today. Whomever is up there crafting my “hero’s journey” is determined to make me one hell of a heroine. After all, no one likes a hero or heroine that never suffers, never experiences tragedy, and gets everything they want.

There are so many days where I tell myself I’d be happy to be a Mary Sue. Then I stop and think. Would I? Really? No. I like who I am. I revel in my uniqueness. I celebrate my quirks. As my kids are genetic extensions of my awesomeness, most days I think they too are absolutely awesome, until of course Miss Drama pees on the bed again, or Miss Diva commences a logic match that would make a Vulcan cry with her leaps of illogical logic, or Mr. Smarty-pants mouths off because he really thinks he’ll catch up to me in brains any day now. Eh, we’ll save ‘awesome’ for the day they graduate college and move out. 😀 For now they can be sweet and loving hooligans.

In short I’ve just closed a chapter. It ended with far more anger and harsh words than I wanted, but as life is unscripted I have to accept things as they play out. Life is messy, emotional, and vivid. I can only ever capture a tiny snapshot of life between the pages of a book.  The next chapter in my life may be boring or fun, crazy or silly, sad or joyful, although I doubt it will involve zombies. Just in case, I know this one dude…


How I met my Soup King…

I happened to hit “T”on my Blackberry while in the txt messages to my Soup King. It happens that by hitting “T” it sends you to the TOP, i.e. the oldest message for that contact. (It took me over a year to happen upon that handy shortcut. I suppose I could have read the user’s manual, but where’s the fun in that?) I realized I had every single txt we’d ever sent to each other, going all the way back to the first one. I had set my txts to never delete for a far less romantic reason, but I like this particular happy result.

Seeing as how I’m a mom of three, attending graduate school, and pursuing a writing career as well, one could see how I didn’t exactly have much time to “get out and meet people.”  Most of the students at my school are around a decade younger than me, maybe the small minority that are only half a decade younger, with the random outlier that is a decade or more older and changing careers. In any case, I spent ninety percent of my time in a lab by myself, or maybe with one other person. The other ten percent involves trekking across campus. So far, no likely dating candidates materialized in my flasks, so it was time to take advantage of the technology era.

A few of my single friends had tried online dating sites, with various results. My dating resume was woefully lacking, so I figured the worst that could happen was a bad date.  I checked out a few sites, went on a handful of dates, all with rather low expectations of finding anything other than some conversation, maybe even flirting if the guy was lucky, and a free drink and/or meal. I admit the vast majority of men were so far below my my criteria that I found it amusing to see just how much of a prick/creep/moron some men could be.

Then one day, after a series of “eh, waste of my time- deactivate account” then “well it is entertaining- reactivate account”, I reactivated and spotted a new guy, who I found out had also decided to give it another shot and reactivated his account.  We traded a few emails; enough to know we were both on the geekier/nerdier side, my horde of animals didn’t deter him, and he didn’t say a single lewd comment or ask for weird favors that made me want to find brain bleach.

So, we agreed to meet for coffee. (A bit of advice: A really short meet, like coffee or a drink is easy to end or turn into a “real” date. It takes the pressure off both people.)

There used to be a bookstore in what was once a theater that Elvis used to frequent. Inside it was a cozy little coffee shop and of course, BOOKS. I adore books, so hey, if the date didn’t pan out, I could go peruse the bargains. I forgot to specify the coffee shop INSIDE the store, as there’s a Starbucks right next door. Oops.

So here’s the confusion that ensued:

Me: Here.

Soup King: I’m inside

I look around, but could not see anyone remotely similar to the picture online. At this point I’m wondering if it’s one of those decade old pics or something of that nature.

Me: Where?

Soup King: [Street Name] right?  (actual street intersection eliminated to prevent that one weirdo from tracking me down) Blue shirt, long hair, and glasses.

Me: Yes.

I look down at myself. Blue shirt? Check. Long hair? Check. Glasses? Check? He MUST see me! I look around some more. Maybe he’s outside, but no, no one is outside. The dude in the corner is starting at me over his newspaper, probably thinking that I’m a creepy weirdo for staring at him, but there’s no one else in the cafe and he has no phone in sight. Then, a possibility occurred to me…

Me: Wait, you’re in a blue shirt? Or me? Because I’m wearing blue.

Soup King: Where are you?

Me: Cafe.

Soup King: Yeah, I’m in a blue shirt at the picnic table.

I’m looking at the handful of empty picnic tables.

Me: Picnic table?

As I stare out the window trying to figure out where in he was or if I’d happened upon the Invisible Man, I noticed the green canopies of the Starbucks’ tables.

Me: OH! You’re at Starbucks?

At that point he called and we managed to end up in the same cafe. Really, what were the odds we’d pick the same shirt color to wear?

Needless to say, we hit it off and he became my awesome, wonderful, sweet Soup King.