What’s Up Here

Hi all. I’m working on an article that was put on the back burner for six months. It didn’t happen at the venue that I usually write for, so I had to find it a new home. And that’s worked out just fine though the move did delay efforts quite a bit.

I’ll be happy when the thing finally gets published, so I can talk about it. It’s really a good story, I think. I’ve been telling people IRL about it for months, so I’ll be happy to spew in print and online. And I’m only publishing Part 1 this month. Part 2 will happen after I transcribe hours of tape, which is the worst part of my job. Transcribing in journalism is to paper grading in academia.

For the past couple of weeks, I wrestled a behemoth of information into a more reasonable 2,000 – 3,000 words. I worked when I was at the beach last week.  After I completely rework the last section this afternoon, I’ll edit all weekend. I don’t mind editing my own work. It’s like picking the dead skin off a sunburn. It’s weirdly satisfying.

Ian is at a social skills camp for three weeks. He’s outgrown activities aimed at special ed kids. He’s too smart, old, and high functioning. But sometimes I have to put him in special ed activities, because I don’t know what else to do with him. I’m tucking away that package of guilt in the closet with the other boxes and suitcases of mental health issues.

Jonah’s still bussing tables at the local fancy Italian place. We’re learning about the world of restaurant work from him. He works with one guy who travels around the country staying for a year or two before moving on. On Sunday mornings, Jonah plays soccer with the Guatemalans who get paid off the books. He’s on a weird schedule — 4-12 on weekdays, 12-12 on weekends, Mondays off — which means that he rarely sees my husband and is out of sync with the rest of the civilized world.

But I like that he’s earning his own money for burritos and crap when he’s at college. Jonah isn’t exactly sure what he’s getting paid, because he never asked. But he gets these random piles of money, which will add up to a nice sized pile for school.

He’s working hard, too. It’s a pretentious place, where he has to know the Italian word for mushroom and hover around replacing people’s plates constantly. He can uncork a $50 bottle of wine without a morsel of cork floating on the wine.

I like that he has a skill that he can fall back upon, if there’s a political meltdown. I suppose his skills aren’t zombie apocalypse sort of skills, but they are skills that would be needed if mom and dad were incarcerated for crimes against the state and all assets were frozen. Could happen.

And my hubby is doing just fine as always. I’ve got a new dress and shoes for a date night tonight. Yay! We haven’t done enough date nights, because I feel guilty leaving Ian alone for the night. Hello, boxes of guilt in the closet! I mean, he’s just fine on his own. He’s not going to burn the place down. I just don’t like him to feel lonely.

Once I finish this article, I’m going to hire a companion for him for date nights, not a babysitter, just someone to hang out with him and play video games for a couple of hours, so Steve and I can guiltlessly get away for a bit.

Do you have regular date nights with your partner?


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I did a lot of reading at the beach. We’re back now and I’m parked in front of my computer. I’ll be here for the next two days finishing draft one of a long article. Let me prep my brain for writing with a quick link-fest blog post:

How businesses should accommodate parents of children with special needs.

Check out the second more expensive house for sale in New Jersey right now.

They’re turning the Julia Quinn Bridgerton series into a Netflix show. I discovered those books about six years ago on the $1 shelf at the bookstore, while on vacation at the Jersey shore.

I’m hearing lots of pushback on the latest Ronan Farrow article on Les Moonves.

I’ve got a blog post in my back pocket about the Gwyneth Paltrow article. Next week… It’s a good article, btw. Worth reading just for admiring a good profile.


I’m down the shore with the family this week. They are presently packing up to sit on the sand and ponder the great infinity of the ocean. I’m parked at the rental’s dining room table with my iPad that’s being forced to act like a laptop. Various beverages keep me company.

I’m working this morning on an article that I should have finished last week, but couldn’t cobble together enough consecutive hours to get it done. It’s okay. I really don’t want it to get published until the end of August anyway.

And it’s pretty amazing to write with a view of crashing waves in the background. Hamilton is on my headphones. Steve is entertaining the boys, so there’s no guilt.

We’re in a really cheesy rental with wood paneling and furniture from the early 1970s. Coming down here was a last minute plan, so we couldn’t be picky. Oddly, I enjoy the decor, because it reminds me of some of the dumps that my parents rented when we were kids in the 1970s. And the view is great, so the faded wallpaper isn’t important.

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Two good videos – a movie trailer (Thanks, Amy P) and a music clip….

In about twenty years, half the population will live in eight states.

Baby zucchini are beautiful right now. Go to your local farmer’s market and get them. Slice up. Throw in a pan with some butter. Add some parmesan cheese while they’re cooking, so they get a little brown. Pull out of pan before they get soggy. No need for soggy zucchini. Add more parmesan cheese. Here’s a recipe if you need that sort of thing.

Where are the educational deserts?


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After a day or two of yelling at Jonah to get a job, he sauntered into a couple of restaurants into town and got a job in fifteen minutes. The bum. I’m not sure if it’s a full employment moment or it was good timing or it was big green eyes and blond hair.

Anyway, he’s working at a fancy brick oven place where all the ingredients are in Italian and the prosciutto is sourced from a small village in Northern Italian where they only feed their animals acorns or something. He loves it. In between clearing tables, he vapes in the back alley with the tattooed, bearded waiters. So proud.

Anyway, let’s see what’s going on before I have to drive Ian to his jazz drum lessons.  Hmmmm…

Of course, there’s the ongoing insanity in Washington. I still can’t believe our country is being run by the Insane Clown Posse.

How to live on a $25 per hour job in New York City? Get lots of help from the parents! (I had to google Brazilian Sugaring.) (And she goes to Equinox! Ugh. She roughing it!) LINK FIXED

Cities are taking the lead on universal Pre-K.

Work at Home Discipline

Jonah finished his summer class last Thursday. After some debate, he decided to come back home and get a job, rather than taking another class for the second summer term. On Friday, his best friend, who moved to Michigan last year, came and crashed here for four days. They slept late, played hours of Fortnite, and hung out at other friends’ homes until two.

Now the friend is gone. He had a week break from his studies. And my patience with late nights and Fortnite is done. (Though Jonah showed me how to play yesterday, and it was pretty fun.)

I roused him out of bed at 9:30 this morning with a lecture about appropriate activities during the weekday. They include exercising, job hunting, school work organizing, brother entertaining, reading books, pre-studying for classes, and home choring. World Cup watching is okay, too. I gave him the family as an anthill, working together for the common goal speech. He loves that one.

I have a HUGE project that I have to finish in the next week before we take off for the beach. I can’t work if others around me are being slothful.

It’s super hard to get stuff done outside an office, but I’ve done it for years. It requires lists, tricks of the mind, and lots of rules. I’m trying to teach those rules to a teenage boy. hahahahahaha