Monthly Archives: November 2020

Everything no one remembers.

I thanked a co-worker who retired from the Army for his service yesterday, adding “On Veteran’s Day and every day.”

And then, this morning, I realized that Veteran’s Day is today, not yesterday.


Question 1: What did I think to myself when I realized my mistake?
A. Oops, wrong day! Guess I was just early!
B. Oh my God I’m such an idiot here I am thinking I’m being all nice and whatever to this dude and turns out I have the wrong freaking day and he’s probably like “wth?” and I am so embarrassed.

If you chose B, you are correct.

Question 2: What did my co-worker think when I thanked him?
Thanks, I appreciate it.
B. Whatever, idiot. Veterans Day isn’t until November 11. Nice try.

If you chose A, you are correct. I know this because his response to me was, “Thanks, I appreciate it.”

Question 3: What is my co-worker thinking right this moment?
I can’t believe she wished me a Happy Veterans Day yesterday. Was she just trying to look good? Because she obviously doesn’t actually care if she didn’t even know what day it was on. She can try and try, but it’ll never be good enough.
B. Literally any other thought.

If you chose B, I am pretty sure you are correct.

Question 4: How do I feel right now?
A. …more silly than when I realized I had the wrong day.
B. …like making some oven-roasted broccoli tonight for dinner.
C. All of the above.

If you chose C, you are correct.

The crowd goes wild!

I’ve often wondered how all these professional athletes have felt playing their sports in empty stadiums and arenas. They’ve got to feed off of the crowd, right? Who wouldn’t feel great walking up to bat and hearing your name chanted and people screaming in excitement? (The opposite is also true, I guess – though I guess some folks revel in being booed. At least that’s what I’ve gathered from watching professional wrestling).

Being cheered on is a FLIPPIN’ FANTASTIC feeling, so I wanted to give a great big ol’ socially-distanced hug to all y’all reading this right now. I’m working very hard to write something – anything – regularly again and like any habit, it’s going to take discipline and time. But seeing your comments has been such a treat, folks. It’s a very bright, clean spot in what’s been a pretty dingy few months.

Miaou! Ouah!*

Aren’t pets the best? I can’t speak for any domesticated animal other than cats and guinea pigs, but I’m confident that those who keep dogs, birds, bearded dragons, and terra cotta Bob Ross heads slathered in chia seeds would all agree: pets are the best!

I had a guinea pig that my mom trained to stand on its hind legs for carrots and kale. Each time he heard the refrigerator door open he’d jump on top of his little guinea pig abode and make that adorable-to-some-but-terrifying-to-others guinea piggo squeal: wheet! wheet! wheet!* and beg for produce.

And our cats. Little assholes that they can be sometimes, they are both really either very snuggly and purr-y or zooming around the house acting like very entertaining fools most of the time. Each of these operating levels are cute and funny and yes, also sometimes annoying depending on the time of day, but… pets! The best!

Our current plan now is to probably have a dog eventually, too, but I’ve always believed that dogs need s p a c e and I can’t feel good about having one cooped up in our apartment (or crated) all day long. Our schedules sometimes align to where no one’s in the house for like 10 hours. That seems like a long time to hold in one’s pee. But I guess I’m not a dog? Are they different somehow?

This post has no point other than: If you’re still feeling weary and O V E R I T today, spend some QT with your pets. And if you have no pets, spend some QT on #catstagram. Do NOT view anything but adorable cats. You’ll thank me later.

*Typing out the sounds that animals make is also the best. No – what’s better is seeing what sounds animals supposedly make in other languages. I was shocked to discover that roosters do not, in fact, “cock a doodle doo” in France. Instead they gives a very regal “co-co-ri-co!” which is, honestly, much more dignified. But French-speaking pigs make a sound that’s spelled “groin” (pronunciation unknown?) so I guess that makes up for it. And the title of this post is, as I hope you guessed, “meow” and “woof” en Francais.

Well…how did I get here?

Right now I’m drinking cold brew coffee with a splash of vanilla almond milk and a squirt of agave nectar and this bonkers-ass sentence is brought to you by This Is Not The Life I Thought I’d Get.


Sometimes I find myself in a completely unfamiliar place, surrounded by everything I know and with which I’m incredibly well-acquainted. I look around with that loose, looking-at-a-Magic-Eye-gaze and a slightly open mouth that no one can see behind a homemade face mask* and think damn is this real life? and David Byrne starts playing in the background somehow and I have to sort of concentrate my way back into reality.

This skepticism with The World Around Me is so multilayered that if I think about it too hard my brain would end up in a Very Weird place but I think I can break it down into a few simple examples that we’ve all shared – or could possibly share? – at some point in our lives.

1. My toothbrush runs on batteries. Batteries power my toothbrush. I turn it ON. If my great-grandpa rose himself up out of the Missouri bootheel dirt he’s buried in and we were chatting and our conversation naturally veered toward our dental health and I told him that my toothbrush needed new batteries he, too, would probably glaze over and start humming “Once in a Lifetime.” My point here is this: a helluva lot that we take for granted is, objectively, nonsensical in the right context.

2. I am not an astronaut. I didn’t even come close to being an astronaut. 13-year-old Julie was obsessed with space. My career goal for a short but intense period of time was to be part of the space program. It was such an obvious career path that my awful grades in math and lack of hand-eye coordination failed to raise any red flags in my adolescent mind. My point here is this: what was once so obvious as true becomes obviously false in no time at all. Same as it ever was.

3. I’ve served people food while wearing inline skates. I’ve edited a newspaper. I’ve been enrolled in a doctoral program. I have unintentionally reinvented myself more than once. My point here is this: I sometimes forget that the hard stop that sometimes occurs between Life Stages doesn’t erase what was before. I forget that I have a Master’s degree. I forget that I chaperoned a trip to Shreveport, Louisiana once. I forget that I was fired from my high school newspaper for failing to turn in articles on time (Yeah, I didn’t “lose the disk it was on.” I never wrote it. Glad to get that one off my chest). My god, what have I done?

Whether you very suddenly realize that your existence is absurd and all this is likely just a large-scale simulation or you find yourself reminiscing about how your past self imagined yourself reminiscing, my point here is this: none of us are living the life we thought we’d live. It’s impossible to. The inanity of Life, with its 180 degree twists and turns, the ebb and flow of careers, friends, lovers, hobbies – that’s what got us here. Not our expectations, predictions or fanciful daydreams.

Suck on that through an illegal plastic straw for a bit.

*”Homemade” as in “I paid** my friend’s mom money to sew them on her machine, not “homemade” as in “I taped page 7 of the LL Bean catalog across my face.”

**”Paid” as in “Magically transmitted money from my cell phone to her cell phone via an app and a technological process that I still do not completely trust and probably never will.”