Category Archives: Uncategorized

Friendship Manifesto

This may be a short blog. A manifesto if you will but I think everyone needs to take a step back and look at their relationships every once in a while and decide if those relationships still work for you in the place you are now.

I’m 43 years old. I’m the type of person that’s always had a lot of aquaintences but not a lot of real friends. I generally have a handful of people that know me and are ride or die kind of people.

Covid changed all of that.

I realized that I was doing all the work for some of these relationships. I was the one making sure we had meeting times. That when we could go back to meeting in person, i was the one setting everything up. I was the one reaching out. I can’t do that anymore.

The added wrinkle is that because I’d been functioning in this role for so long, it was second nature to me until I stopped. I’d trained them to act this way, that I would be the one to set things up, to send that first text message. I will no longer be making that first move.

I am worth more than this. I will not be the one to do all the work for these friendships anymore. I would love to hang out with you, but you will need to reach out to me. I cannot be the only person making an effort in our relationship. It’s not healthy for my emotional health and I will be taking better care of myself from now on.

I highly recommend taking a hard look at your relationships and the role you play in them. Does this role still suit your needs? If not, its time to make a change.

Hereditary Magic is Free

Brittany Hughes is the most powerful witch of her generation but at twenty-one, she lacks the control of more mature witches. After a vampire attack that killed several people, including her mother, Brittany is abandoned by her coven and set adrift into the preternatural world. But she’s not alone. Brittany has earned the respect of the vampire colony and the werewolf pack. Everett Cooper has named himself her werewolf protector and friend.

As people start dying around Columbus and threaten to make the world of magic public, Brittany and Everett are lead down a path of gruesome bodies, tested friendships, and magical discovery. In their pursuit to stop the murders before more people end up dead and a full-fledged panic ensues, Brittany is drawn into a world of magic, mirrors, and the impossible becoming possible.

DC Rabbit Hole

I have gone down a rabbit hole. When we signed up for HBOMax at the beginning of 2021 . . . I think-we had HBOgo before that-I uncovered a whole world of DC media. Yes, of course the movies were in there but those all suck. God, why can’t DC get that shit right? However, the wealth of content is actully in the animated stuff. There’s so much there and it’s really good.

First, Ross and I rewatched all of Batman the Animated Series. It holds up. I will to this day argue that the BEST Batman/Bruce Wayne is Kevin Conroy. Change my mind. Top tip, you won’t.

Then we moved onto the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. There are several things I learned from this. Hawkgirl is basically DC’s version of the Hulk. There were many times while watching this that Ross or myself would call out, “Hawkgirl smash”. This was fun, like a drinking game only with tired, grown-ass-adults with nothing better to do. We also are still doing that everytime Batman uses his grappling hook. Calling this out each time is theraputic for some reason. I also find it really cute when Superman acts like he’s in charge. We all know he isn’t.

Also, I just find the fact that Batman is a father delightful. Justified that Batman/Bruce Wayne is the WORST parent on the face of the planet and makes extremely questionable parenting decisions, like taking children out to fight crime (for one). This did, in fact, get one of the Robin’s killed. So, let’s keep that in mind but watching him try to be a regular parent is hilarious.

I can’t watch this enough. This is just plain hilarious. This will never stop being funny.

We should move on to one of my favorite DC characters. No, its not Wonder Woman. I personally find WW a bit one dementional like Superman. No, my favorite is not a hero (although Batman and Damian Wayne, really ride that hero/villain line). Of course my favorite is a villain. I LOVE and I mean in an obcessive kinda way, Harley Quinn. I own a Harley Quinn blazer for fuck’s sake. Its amazing. I wear it to work. I give zero fucks about fangirling hard at work. I’m also glad that DC realized the wonderful asset they had in Harley Quinn and Margot Robbie. That character might be the only reason people are still watching Suicide Squad. Again, prove me wrong.

Harley Quinn series is amazing. The Bane jokes alone are worth the watch.

The weird, long forgotten villains like Condiment King (cause why was this ever a thing), Kite Man (yes, this is an actual villain in DC), and Queen of Fables (so weird that someone not only thought this one up but that it was actually a thing) make appearances. God, no wonder they keep using Darkseid. Most of DC’s villains are just so fucking dumb.

If you haven’t watched Batman and Harley Quinn, please do so. I have never cackled so hard as when Harley farted in the Batmobile. OMG, I wanted to die my stomach hurt so much. I’ve plopped the trailer in here for your enjoyment.

We couldn’t watch Batman Beyond. I just couldn’t deal with it. Although, old and craggly Bruce Wayne was a pleasure. Even in his dotage, Bruce Wayne is a complete and utter asshat. I love it.

We’re currently working our way through The Batman. it was on cartoon network a while ago and I can’t figure out why everyone was drawn with GIGANTIC finger tips and faces that look like they’ve been punched in. Now, I don’t even refer to it by name. I just ask, are we watching Punchy Faced Batman? Also, why is the Joker barefoot? WHY? I’ve included the intro.

Ross keeps making fun of me that I’ve disappeared down this rabbit hole. I’ll be honest with you, considering my last post and the shit shows I deal with everyday, I can’t deal with heavy drama at the moment. I like knowing that Batman is always going to kickass and that the bad guys will get what’s coming to them. Superhero cartoons make me happy at the moment. I’m sure I’ll get tired of it but right now, its just hitting the spot.

Emotional Labor

Let’s talk about emotional labor for a moment.

For those of you that don’t know what that is: “Emotional labor is the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfill the emotional requirements of a job. More specifically, workers are expected to regulate their emotions during interactions with customers, co-workers and managers” Wikipedia

I carry this burden alot, at work, at home, it doesn’t seem to matter. And for those that know me personally, it’s not like i’m sitting on a whole lot of my own emotions – I basically have two (tranquil and pissed) . . . let alone having to feret out and/or deal with others’ emotional shortcomings. Existing in this whirlwind of turbulent emotions is fucking exhausting, which is why I try not to do it.

I get it, as a manager, that’s part of my job. I listen to my employees vent, express their frustration and concern, offering possible solutions, plans of action, or a desired outcome. However, I’ve found myself managing-up quite a bit over the last year and a half. And by managing-up, I mean that i’m doing the same work for those that are above me, guiding their decision making, massaging their overwrought emotions, and fixing the problems created when they can no longer deal with the shit-show of COVID fallout. Altough this isn’t the specific definition of managing-up, there’s an element of doing my job well so that my boss’s job is easier. Since this was always the case, the situation has evolved to something much more demanding on me, where I’ve become the support both managerially (with guidance to deal with situations), disaster recovery (fixing problems that arise from bad decisions), and emotional support. This puts me in a particularly lonely and isolating place. . . somewhere in the middle where everyone has the support they need but me. I have become all things for all people and I’m not entirely sure how that happened.

This past year and a half has been hard on EVERYONE, we all admit that fact. However, the same people that carried you through the beginning, middle, and now this weird lingering end of the pandemic are burnt-the-fuck-out. All we ask of you all is that you pull up your big girl panties, be adults, and FITFO (figure-it-the-fuck-out)!

That’s currently where I find myself, sitting in the eye of a hurricane where everyone has come to depend on me to be the stable, steady one that they can come to but there’s nowhere for me to go.

At home, I’m helping my daughter work through her big emotions and not have her immediate response be a crying fit if something goes wrong. Talking her through all her steps and having the hard conversations about how things make her feel on a fairly regular basis is intense. She’s six and again, I don’t have that many emotions so, this is particularly difficult for me.

So, last week, I found myself at the end of my rope. I couldn’t be polite. I was snapping at everyone. I got up each morning and dreaded walking into my office to discover what new nightmare of idiocy I would face. By thursday, I had had enough and decided to take Friday off as a mental health day. I did all of the things thursday night to prep. I let everyone know, again – taking care of everyone else so they wouldn’t be inconvenienced.

It was glorious. I read a book from cover to cover on Friday. Thank you Lisa KleypasDevil in Disguise was fun. I didn’t check my email, workday, IM, or Slack. If shit was going to burn down, I was going to let it. In fact, one of my employees said she was proud of me for going off grid because even on vacation, i’m never truly out. I have to approve shit or business just stops.

So, I come into work on Monday morning, feeling better but not great, and am greeted with this conversation that is honestly, too early in the fucking morning for this shit.

Boss 7:59 AM
Are you free at 2 pm?

Me 7:59 AM
until 230

Boss 7:59 AM
OK, great – let’s Zoom at 2 then.

Me 8:00 AM
what about?

Boss 8:00 AM
Did your weekend restore you?

Me 8:00 AM
meh

do you have a link?

Boss 8:00 AM
I wanted to check in on what was going with you Thursday evening, specifically, though I think in general, a mental health day was a great thing to do!

Me 8:01 AM
I don’t particularly want to talk about that today. If that’s the only reason we’re zooming, I would prefer not

Its at this point that my good mood starts to decline into anger. Like, what the actual fuck? The only time EVER that I say I need a break and the first thing on Monday morning, i need to report why? I wasn’t capable of being nice. I tried for diplomatic but I think I probably failed MISERABLY.

Boss 8:03 AM
OK, I guess you can come to me when you’re ready to talk.

Here’s the thing, I’d been voicing my frustrations all along. In my mind, there wasn’t anything left to talk about. Plus, i’m not a big talker. I don’t want to talk my feelings out. I want to be left the fuck alone.

Me 8:05 AM
Do i need to explain it, because that’s what it feels like. you are asking me to justify my need for a break. I carry a lot of emotion labor in this department and i needed a day where i didn’t talk to any of you

There it is, just laying it out there. No sugar coating. No diplomacy left in me. Plus, I have the sneaking suspicion that she needs me to tell her that my mental health day wasn’t because of her, which is again, more emotional labor.

Boss 8:06 AM
No no no no no – I agree, I’m just trying to figure out how to support?

I leaned on you a LOT last week, and I wanted you to know that I am aware of it, I don’t want to wear you out, AND I want to shift the things that most need to change.

I can’t with this one, as if my reasoning was because I had too many reports to run.

Me 8:08 AM
i need us to follow the policies we have. I lose both credibility and authority when decisions are made contrary to those policies

Part of the issue here is that we have these policies, they’re in writing and publically available. Then someone comes along and is like, but this extenuating circumstance, boo hoo. And we don’t follow the policy becasue feelings. Then I have to deal with the fallout of those breaks in policy and then people circumvent me to go to her because they won’t have to follow policy. Then I have to make her feel better for making bad decisions when she doesn’t understand why people keep acting they way they do. No matter how many times I remind her that its because they get what they want, it doesn’t seem to sink in.

Boss 8:09 AM
Is this about the visiting scholar issue? specifically? or other things?

Me 8:09 AM
culmination of 6 months of this. Name with held, the scholars, etc. I don’t feel like the ground beneath my feet is solid.

Again, me just laying it out there. I’m honestly, not sure how there is any confusion.

Boss 8:11 AM
OK, got it. So let’s just put a pin in it and I will check back in in a month to see whether things are better.

This one leads up to the message from 8:06. The answer about how its going to be better is that she stop leaning on me for everything. And to support, she has to actually carry her own weight. Putting a pin in it, isn’t going to make it better if behaviours do not change.

However, this whole conversation leads into another queston for me; Why does something have to be wrong for me to need a mental health day? Maybe i’m just burnt out. Maybe I have anxiety. Maybe I have depression issues that I haven’t made public. Or a myriad of other reasons. None of that is anyone’s business but my own. The pressure to have to explain myself still pisses me off, even if it was five days ago.

So, here we are. I had to take a mental health day to recoup from all the emotional labor and then come back to the need to pick up someone else’s emotional health before the office is even open for regular business hours.

For all those people out there who are picking up the emotional labor at home, at work, with your friends and family – on top of everything else – I see you.

Putting a Toe back in the Water

I’ve been away for a while now. Let’s be honest, COVID (still with us, unfortunately) put a real damper on everyone’s activities. I have done NOTHING for the past 18 months. Although, this is probabaly not news to any of you. Because all of you did the same thing.

Couple of things that I learned from Covid:

  1. I don’t like getting up and going to work, especially if I can do the same job from the comfort of my own home
  2. Hard pants are stupid. This is in direct reaction to the above.
  3. If I didn’t ever have to go to a movie theatre again, I wouldn’t. I would much rather stream it. I’ll pay the extra to do so too.
  4. When you start taking more pictures of your cats than your kid, you probably need to get out more
  5. Vacationing anywhere now is frightening as fuck because people are stupid
  6. I need a wider variety of restaurant options in my neighborhood. I don’t mind chain restaurants but I don’t want that to be my only option.
  7. Maskne is real, and I don’t like it
  8. When left to my own devices at home, I will drink an entire pot of coffee
  9. Damian Wayne (aka Batman‘s son) might be the best character ever created. Thanks HBOMax for dumping a shit-ton of DC cartoons in your streaming service because the continued enjoyment I get from this bloodthirsty little shit is amazing.

Right now, that about covers it.

Look for more regular postings . . . I promise.

Catching Up – Where Have You Been??

So, I’ve been gone for a while. The world has descended into a dumpster fire of epic proportions. In addition to COVID overwhelming everyone, we were also a bit swamped with everything closing down but still having to work full-time. I still had a book to finish and Scarlett was now spending all her time cooped up in the house with me. People were dying in droves from a disease that most of Washington wanted to ignore or play down.

Then George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were murdered and when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. People were marching-are still marching-and the information divide between right wing and left wing was an all out assault. and white people everywhere were either just discovering that black people were mad, or making gestures that wouldn’t really fuel change but made themselves feel better…cause, white people. I didn’t feel like anyone needed another middle aged white women telling the internet how horrible white people are in general. We all know that already. No one really wants to talk about the deep systematic changes that would need to take place to even make a dent in the institutional racism we have in place in this country. I’m sorry to say that breaking it down and rebuilding it all is probably what its going to take. But, our politicians are basically shitty people who are afraid to do anything of real value and California is basically an inferno. Sooooo, there’s that. I know i’m forgetting something because 2020 has basically sucked big donkey balls.

So, in light of all of that. I took a little blog hiatus.

But I feel like it might be time to get back in the habit of entertaining and spreading my joyful and sparkling personality around the faceless, cesspool of the internet.

So, let’s catch up.

First, I finished Residual Magic! Yay!

I’m sorry, I didn’t hear loud enough applause for that miracle of miracles. I. FINISHED. RESIDUAL MAGIC.

It will be released on 10/21/2020. I’ll have links later when it goes up for pre-sale. Look at my sparkly new cover.

Isn’t it pretty!

Anyway. During our time at home, we’ve also tackled a project or two that NEEDED to be done. The basement bathroom for instance.

This is what our crappy bathroom in the basement looked like after we ripped out the moldy vanity. Trust me…it wasn’t a good look

Before

After

This is what it looks like now. Ross and I did it ourselves…for the most part. We did call in a plumber for some work that we weren’t comfortable doing ourselves but all the rest was us.

Yesterday, we also added to our house.

Meet Oliver and Percy.

Percy is very outgoing…Oliver, not so much.

I think that about catches everyone up.

Good luck in 2020! We’re going to need it.

Cover Reveal

I was going to wait a week to post this to give my newsletter peeps a first glimpse. However, I forgot that I scheduled the newsletter to go out with social media postings. So, because I’m an idiot, you get this a week early…

CONGRATS!!

Brittany is a long way from the scared witch who watched a necromancer murder her mother. She’s grown and more powerful than even she realized as the sorceress she truly is. But all the magic in the world doesn’t mean anything if her best friend and werewolf, Everett Cooper, rejects her again. How many times can a person’s heart break? Brittany isn’t willing to find out. So, when another werewolf asks her out on an actual date, she jumps at the invitation.

Caught between two werewolves, Brittany will need all her friends when one of the pack goes missing. But nothing is ever easy, and magic has a cost that they may not be willing to pay. A trail of disappearances follow in Brittany’s wake, as someone tracks her every magical movement. But to what purpose? To what end?

Brittany has been powerful.

Brittany has been patient.

Now, will Brittany be enough to save her friends . . . and the world?

Coming October 2020

Things I’ve Accomplished During Self-ISOLATION

The short answer is nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been working from home and finding it more and more difficult to separate my work life from my home life. Which sucks because all it means is that i’m answering emails and IM’s all the damned time and not doing the things I want to do (aka read and write books – more the first one though). But what it also means is that this situation is my HEAVEN. I don’t ever have to leave my house or talk to anyone. Its amazing.

Meanwhile…

I have become curator of all zoom meetings/hang outs between all my colleagues, family, and friends. I’m not sure how this happened since I’m fine with tech stuff but its not like I’m building my own computers or writing code. I think the real reason is that I’m the only one who will actually take the initiative to set it up and that’s a personality failing. I really need to get better at slacking and being less responsible on basically every front.


I have sewn a few Frankenstein masks. These had to be hand sewn because two grown ass adults can’t figure out how the thread the sewing machine correctly. I only made two because Ross still has to go out into the world for his work.And each one took me like 3 hours. I told him if he lost one, I would divorce him. I was only mildly joking about that. I then ordered some from Etsy because I’m not making anymore. This one I did with seam tape because I definitely wasn’t sewing any more.


I finally got my office configured the way I have wanted for the past four years only to have everyone invade it since they are home all day.

Please notice all of the child stuff EVERYWHERE. Coloring books. Headphones. Toys. Chairs or EVERYONE. Also, you may notice that there are lamps on every surface. That would be because there is no overhead lighting and all of those lamps are Ikea lamps and they put out the amount of light a candle would. It’s dark as hell in my office most of the time.


I ordered tile samples to renovate the downstairs bathroom because that’s a hot mess right now.

As i took the above picture, I watched the biggest fucking millipede walk across the floor. I did not engage. I turned off the light and slowly closed the door.

The only issue. They’re all coming in separate packages so they’re trickling in one at a time and it’s very annoying. All of the below pictures and items are from Wayfair.com. Which one do you like best?

5. Two days in a row, we’ve created an obstetrical course on our sidewalk. Two nights in a row, it’s rained and washed it all away. So, there’s that.

this video is crappy but if I got any closer then she would have made me do it too. I’m not doing that.


My house is trashed because my 5 year old daughter is here all day and I’ve gotten to the point where it stresses me out but I don’t know where to start. There’s just so much. When we get our stimulus check, sometime in 2021…the first thing I’m going to do is hire a team of people to deep clean my house. I’m just not capable anymore. I would show you pictures but then I would have to acknowledge the validity of it and do something about it. This is how I cope.


I have also discovered that this “deliver on orders totaling $25” is bullshit! I can’t go to the store you assholes. Just ship me what I want. Why does it matter? Just ship it, charge me for the shipping like you’re going to do anyway and be done with it! If I want to buy $23 worth of Sweetart Ropes and have them shipped, I don’t want any back talk from some stupid retailer about it. Just ship me my shit ton of licorice and be done with it.


I have decided pants with buttons and zippers are stupid.

That is all.

Happy Social Distancing!