Hello?  Anyone here?  Apologies for not returning for so long.  It was with good reason.

Since the last posting I have:

  • Quit my job
  • Found out my daughter and I both (probably) have Asperger’s
  • Lost 5 lbs
  • Finalized my initiation into a cult

Losing the 5 lbs is by far the most interesting, but only because it’s a lie. So, I’ll elaborate on the autism testing and counseling instead.  Kidding.

I did the Johnny Paycheck (look up that old non-country music reference, kids) and my final day was last week. Here’s my extensive, well thought out, and incredibly interesting first week off:

Day 1 = Play board games on International TableTop Day. GREAT start!  Thanks to my brother-in-law who is an excellent gamer and my son (also an excellent game player but just indulges me) and my wife who is… who is an excellent cook.

Day 2 = Yard work. My son instructs my daughter how to run the lawn mower. From my position pulling weeds in the front, I hear the lawn mower start then abruptly stop in the back yard.

Son:  “I told you to wait for me!”

Daughter: “You said turn it on and go!  So I did.”

My son lumbers around the side of the house holding up the extension cord, one piece in each hand, like two garden snakes swinging lifeless in front his huge frame. Little frayed electrical veins are exposed from the bright orange casing.  BRIGHT ORANGE casing.  So, you know, you can’t miss it when in use.

Poor little cord.
Poor little cord.

Me, laughing:   “It’s a good thing you have me for a mother.  And that we own a second extension cord. Some other parent might actually be pissed.” They head into the garage and I’m still giggling.  “Try it again. And don’t run over the cord. Or a foot. Or anything else that isn’t actual grass.”

[ I realized that night they tripped the electrical outlet outside that’s weirdly connected to the upstairs bathroom lights. I began laughing hysterically again as I trudged to the garage to hit the GFI reset. Then stopped. Could they have electrocuted themselves and were just lucky?  Teenagers. ]

Day 3 = I’m flat out on the couch whining and sleeping off an allergy migraine from previous day’s yard work.  Decide it’s still better than working. Conduct long overdue research. Conclusion:  No one is really missing much in afternoon television. It’s only fun on a day you call in sick when you’re not really sick, which only works if you have someplace to call in to.

Day 4 = Realize that I will be completely alone all day but not until around 3:00 pm, which is much too late to make a Jello pit or hire the necessary entertainment. Eat the last of the chocolate in the house as consolation. Consider making a blog post about what could have been, then don’t. Do a weekday load of laundry on an actual WEEKDAY.

Day 5 = Clean out purse, nightstand and organize board games. Consider tackling the closet but don’t (it’s all about pacing oneself).  Text a couple of people to gloat that I’ve spent the first few days ill and cleaning and how that’s still better than working. Find last summer’s box of popsicles in the back of the freezer when checking a third time for any ice cream.  It’s like Christmas.

Day 6 = Clean out the closet. Maybe. That’s tomorrow and I’ll need to check The View and Ellen first.

And this isn’t even a full week!  Seriously though, I did make some goals that I need to get moving on:

  • (Finally) learn Thriller dance.
  • Read the Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series, if I can stomach it.
  • Learn to play the harmonica.
  • Marathon ALL of Doctor Who.  (I’ve already started and with the very first Doctor. I don’t want to be biased with the “You never forget your first Doctor” problem.  It’s an empirical study.)
  • Learn more Cantonese so that I can do more than count to ten “Yut, Yee, Sarm, Say..” and so I can curse at my wife in case that ever becomes necessary.
  • Go on an Alaskan cruise. Or a jungle safari. Outdoors is outdoors.

Don’t worry – I’ll only keep you posted on the progress of the important ones. Meanwhile, I’ll be in the backyard where the green grass grows . Giggling. And suspiciously looking at the outside electrical outlet.

Maybe I could use some pointers. What would your to-do list look like if you had some time off?


What’s that?  Oh, the cult?  It’s the same yoga cult people I spoke of before who like to chant in a harmonious setting doing strange moves to questionable music while expressing words of togetherness and kindness followed by some hugging.  Kind of like how raves were. Except different.