But it’s ALWAYS.

I found Heather Armstrong the day she posted about Leta’s birth. It was just another link on a page leading to another blog in a string I’d read that day.

I read that post three times then immediately switched over to her archive where I started to read from the beginning. Every single post became better than the last. It was the first time that I had ever seen anybody write the way I think.

Single simple sentences.

Then long rambling fields of words that I just knew poured out of her fingers and directly onto the screen in front of me exactly as they had left her brain. Frantic and disjointed but also logical. I used to see people criticize her writing and I’d be jealous because I knew those people didn’t live with the IMMUTABLE WORDS FOREVER RACING THROUGH THEIR BROKEN MINDS. IN ALL CAPS.

For almost 20 years I devoured everything she wrote. Every blog post. Every article. Every book. Every Tweet. Every Instagram caption. All of it.

When I couldn’t get my daughter to understand just how engulfing and sometimes debilitating my depression felt, I handed her It Sucked And Then I Cried. Trusting Heather’s words would be enough to get her to understand.

She understood.

I’ve been a lot less vocal about my struggles. Partly it’s because I feel like mental health struggles aren’t as uncommon as they were back then. Not uncommon, that’s not it. Aren’t as unacceptable. And also because I know there are so many people out there that are far better at expressing something I have never felt I’ve adequately explained.

Last Friday I took the day off so I could drive down to Bakersfield and spend the night with Cassidy leading up to a long weekend ahead. Thursday night I’d still not packed. I was being sucked into a black hole and all I needed to do to catapult free was pack a bag.

I did everything else I could think of EXCEPT pack a bag.

Then on Friday morning, bag still unpacked, Ben asked me what time I would be leaving. I told him I didn’t think I was going to go till Saturday.

This is what my depression looked like. The complete inability to physically put clothing into a suitcase to take a trip and do something I’d been looking forward to for three years.

I was going to allow myself to vanish into the void because that was less painful and tiring than the stress of packing a suitcase.

Later, Ben asked me if everything was okay. It was the 3rd time he’d asked me that day which is always my indication that everything is, in fact, NOT okay with me.

“No. It’s not. I want to sit in a corner and cry. For no reason. Actually? I feel like I want to just cancel this entire thing. I’m GOING TO GO. I’m going to go spend an amazing weekend with my daughter and my best friend. But I just want to fucking cry. And this feeling is SO FRUSTRATING and stupid and I hate it.”

Ben smiles and nods. He knows I just need a breath.

“I am GOING TO GO. I just need a day to… feel this. Then tomorrow I’m going to drive down to Bakersfield. I’m going to have SO MUCH FUN. Today? I’m allowing myself to be sad. To FEEL sad. For no reason.”

So that’s what I did. Finally at around 8:00PM I forced myself to put things in my suitcase. No list, no thought, just started. I ended up with as much packed for this 2 night stay as I did for 10 nights in Mexico because my mindset was: Just get something, ANYTHING, in the fucking bag.

And I had AN AMAZING TIME. I laughed till my cheeks hurt. I ate delicious food. I got my ass kicked by Julie twice at the bowling ally. I got to watch Cassidy’s excitement about getting my old Prius which is a big upgrade for her. Got to laugh again with Jeannine and Mike.

It was perfect. But I REALLY did not want to go. I wanted to let a chemical imbalance ruin it all. So here we are. 20 years after reading that first blog post about Leta, and I’m still fighting.

But Heather is not.

And being honest, it scares me that somebody as privileged as Heather wasn’t able to get the help she really needed. Because what does that mean for the rest of us?

Today felt like a really big punch in the gut. I’m reminded that mental illness isn’t temporary. It isn’t EVER cured. It’s getting better or it’s getting worse.

But it’s ALWAYS.

Till the end.

My heart goes out to Leta, to Marlo, and to the rest of Heather’s family.

We Bought a House and Sold a House and Nobody Died

First, we spent SO MUCH MONEY and SO MUCH TIME getting the house ready to sell. People do not tell you how expensive it is to SELL a house. I was assuming we would just put it on Zillow and Redfin and people would come and 7 days later the house would belong to somebody else.


We did make one excellent decision though and that was to hire a ROCK STAR agent. He had us do all our inspections ahead of time and it was probably the best thing we did in all of this mess other than making the backyard look the way we’ve wanted it to look for 13 years but never put the money into.

PROTIP: Spend the money to make the house look the way you want. Stop fucking around and just do it.

The universe was looking out for my sanity and the house sold in 7 days almost exactly to the hour from when it first hit the MLS listings. In that 7 days our lives looked like this:

5:00AM – I get up, start some laundry, shower, get dressed, clean up Ready Room.
6:00AM – I start working.
7:00AM – Ben gets up, makes bed, showers, cleans bathroom, picks up bedroom, and heads downstairs to feed the dogs. He dusts, picks up poop, sprays side yard with pee enzyme spray, and blows/cleans up leaves.
9:00AM – I take my first 15 minute break. Move laundry to dryer, pick up dog poop and spray side yard with pee enzyme spray, clean up any kitchen mess, vacuum if I have time.
11:00AM – Ben takes dogs to daycare. I take lunch and vacuum again, mop the floors, dust more, and take down both baby gates we use for the dogs.
1:00PM – I take another break from work. Put any dog beds and the dog stairs in the back of my car. Possibly vacuum again. Finish up any laundry I had started that morning.
2:00PM – Depending on the day I would either work on deep cleaning things or we would have to leave the house if we had showings. House was available for showings between 2:00 – 6:00 daily. If we had showings I had to put Romanoff and the litter box in my car and hide all of her beds, food, and water.
5:50PM – Pick up dogs.
6:00PM – Put all baby gates back up. Let pissed off Romanoff back in the house.
ALL EVENING – Vacuum, work on any house projects, find more things to clean, eat dinner (We haven’t cooked at home since we put the house on the market. We’ve had a brand new stove top for 2 weeks AND I HAVE NEVER GOTTEN TO USE IT.) Stay on top of poop and dog pee outside.
8:00PM – Go to bed. Spend all night tossing and turning and being convinced nobody is going to buy our house.

Rinse/Repeat every day.

On the weekend we had to be out of the house most of the day so we got up and cleaned like crazy people then left with cat in tow while the dogs were at daycare. Thankfully we were able to hang out in Ben’s lab one day (Romanoff was NOT a fan of lab life), and then some friends let us hang out at their place on Sunday and Romanoff found a nice comfy pile of blankets to sleep on in one of their closets. She was much more happy with that arrangement.

BUT! The house is SOLD.

There were several moments when I wanted to strangle Ben. LOVINGLY. And there were several moments where I could see smoke start to drift from his ears when talking to me. But we would come back within minutes and apologize and the other person would also apologize and then we would both agree that this is HARD and it is okay to be frustrated and a bit short.

Communication! Our old therapist would totally high five us in these situations. Then bill us $270 and give us homework.

Again, all of this was ONLY possible because we hired a very seasoned and amazing agent. If I had one piece of advice to give when selling a house it would be to hire a Pat. Pat started out very diplomatically guiding us down this road but we soon let him know to just be brutally honest about the house and what we needed to do and he did that… kind of. He was the perfect amount of tenderly honest but also kind and funny and just SO on top of everything and never once complained about any of the like 23,482,342 emails we sent him at all hours of the day and night. One day when we were coming back to the house after getting some food he was out front weeding our sidewalk! He was every bit as invested in us selling our home as we were and that showed from the very first conversation.

NOW! We are in a 5 day period where a buyer can back out. Ben caught a flight to Austin to attend the F1 race, a plan he made months and months ago but somehow happened at the perfect time. I am going to take the weekend to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Honestly, I plan on GLORIOUS SLEEP and Netflix and finally getting to cook myself a meal on our (for 25 more days) beautiful new cooktop.

Then, the Moving Stress can begin!

I will miss this house, I will really miss our amazing neighbors, I will miss Gilroy, she has treated us well. But I am so excited to live in a whole new area and all of the fun exploring it will lead to.

Dixon bound in around 25 days!


So I got the Pfizer booster shot late last week and after my second shot experience (I was a giant baby for 24 hours) I wanted to better track my response this time.

This time I was a big baby who had to act like an adult for 36 hours. We had a contractor here tiling our fireplace which required a last minute annoying trip to Lowe’s. Two different couples came to get some of the massive boulders I’d been pulling from the back yard. Ben was at a track day so I was on my own when dealing with all of this.

AND I JUST WANTED TO GO TO SLEEP. Finally around 3:00PM the contractor left and I stopped answering text messages from boulder hunters.

COVID Booster timeline
COVID Booster timeline

I was pretty good most of Saturday. We made our 29,374,920,374th trip to Lowe’s and Home Depot this month and worked on house stuff but I slowly just kept getting more and more sleepy and finally around 4:00PM had to lay down. I slept till around 6:00PM and felt a lot better.

Today has been pretty great but my swollen lymph node does hurt pretty good. I was able to do all the things I wanted to except braid my hair because it hurts that spot to raise my arm. After the second shot it took about 3 days for it to swell and hurt. This time I started to notice the swelling at the 16 hour mark. I don’t know why but much more quickly this time my body was all TIME TO RAMP UP BABY. I’m not mad about it at all.

Okay, I’m done writing about being a whiny baby.

I’m so happy that I got the shot. Once again, I feel extremely lucky that the science exists to protect not only myself but everybody around me from a disease THAT WE SHOULD NOT STIL HAVE TO BE THIS SCARED OF.

I’m not going to post the micro-eggplant. You’re welcome, internet.

I was going to show you a really dumb interaction I had with a spam texter today but my site was temporarily dropped earlier this week from Adsense for “violence”, or something dumb like that, and now I’m worried it will get me dropped completely and I really want that $0.83 per month in ad revenue, man.

“She” basically tried to get me to buy n00ds while I explained that if we met it would 100% be to see if I could actually get away with the perfect murder after listening to hundreds of hours of true crime podcasts.

And she seemed really into it actually. Except she was wearing Meowth socks while squatting naked in front of me and there is just no way I’m taking that kind of chance.

After that she stopped responding. So what I’m saying is, applications are open!

I’m going to continue the trend of leaving a TikTok I think you need to watch at the end of my post. I have a lot to choose from this week because I just recovered from a stomach flu and MANY, MANY, MANY hours were spent sitting and scrolling, if you know what I mean.

Poop, I mean SO MUCH POOP.

You’re welcome.

Now I drive (legally) alone past your street.

I have been 43 for 3.5 days now and for 3.25 of those days I was not a licensed driver.

Apparently 42 year old me thought that I should just shove the renewal form in my desk drawer to worry about later. She did put a reminder in our planner. Then for the last two weeks Past Anna decided that she was adult enough not to plan anymore.

Then 43 And 1 Day Old Anna tried to buy something that required a license and they were all, “HAHAHAHHHHAHAHAH NO.”

Today after work I rectified Past Anna’s laziness and went to the DMV and am now officially a licensed driver again. It’s crazy how COVID has forced the DMV into a well oiled machine of efficiency. I made an appointment last night for 3:10PM and was out the door at 3:27PM. I’ve never been able to get an appointment in the SAME MONTH, let alone the NEXT DAY. And out the door in 17 minutes? UNFATHOMABLE.

I also punched Past Anna in the face and got my planner sorted pretty quickly by downloading one of Planner By Kay’s monthly kits. As a person that is unable to Art, I really love her kits so much that I subscribed to her Patreon. Mistakes were made, I highlighted a Monday instead of a weekend. It’s okay though because that kind of chaotic mess is what I like in my planner. If everything went smoothly and looked perfect that would just feel like a lie.

Lastly, in a attempt to get more people to become as equally addicted to TikTok as I am, I’m going to start dropping my current favorites at the end of these posts.



Nah he heard that Valcano erupt and he got ghost 😂😂

♬ original sound – Austin Watkins

9/11 makes me feel shame.

20 years later I have a much different perspective than I did on that morning as a fresh 23 year old. As the events in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC happened I was watching on TV. I switched the radio on to listen as we drove to work, and I hardly did any work that day. I just kept listening to the radio and refreshing new websites and the forums I was on at the time. In my memory, it was the first real tragic even where the internet played a big roll in information dissemination and where I was getting facts.

Mostly, when I think about 9/11, I think about where I was living at the time. Kern County is a VERY red county in a VERY blue state and there were so many people with little American flags on their cars, and flags raised on houses I had never seen before, and flag clothes worn in not-July, and moments of silence… but I also remember vividly the hate and rhetoric being shouted around me by my in-laws and husband. About other Americans.

Vile things about Muslims. Vile thing about other religions on the coattails of that hate.

I don’t ever remember saying these same things. Maybe I just suppressed that memory. I REALLY hope I didn’t, I have grown immensely since then. But I also did not try and correct these dumb opinions. I lived in a town that hasn’t really changed all that much today, with lots of people who are still saying the exact same things.

Now 20 years later I see those same people posting remembrances about that day. About how tragic it it was. How we mourned collectively as a country, stopping everything to watch specials on TV, to attend ceremonies, to pay tribute to the 2996 American’s that died and the anger that it happened. That that many people could be lost in a day. That many families torn apart in 24 short hours.

But a lot of the people I see posting this won’t get vaccinated against a disease that has killed, averaged since the US went on lockdown, 3763 people. PER DAY. Americans.

So when people talk about how far we’ve come and how much we’ve learned, I just want to ask them what the fuck they are talking about. Because if we’re being honest, we are far worse off now. The same people that were shouting American First seem to be the ones doing the most to keep American last.

So I feel ashamed to still be where we are today. I desperately hope that one day I won’t feel this way on 9/11. That one day American will be the beacon of hope and inclusion so many of us dream it could be. But today, 20 years later, is not that day.

S’all good, man.

I came downstairs to write a blog post about what ungrateful douchebags birds are but Ben came down too and now we’re watching Better Call Saul. So this is just a post to say the post I WAS going to post is not this post and it’s actually Ben’s fault.

Saul Goodman

It’s a fun ride.

I can remember watching Little House on the Prairie as a kid and thinking they would LOSE THEIR SHIT if they could time travel into that current time and see that we can FLY in the sky to go from one side of the country to another in FOUR HOURS. Your buggy can’t even get into town when it snows, Laura. Also, toilets that flush. In the house. DARK MAGIC, LAURA.

And then later in my 20s laying in bed and thinking about how my high school aged self would LOSE HER SHIT if she could travel into that current time and see that we had PHONES we carried with us EVERYWHERE WE WENT. THAT COULD ALSO TAKE PHOTOS.

And now I lay in bed and think about how 20 year old me would LOSE HER SHIT if she knew that every night I would get into bed and tell my house to turn off all the lights AND IT WOULD HAPPEN. And then I set the alarm on my watch, my LITERAL LIFE LINE, to gently awaken me the next morning by tapping my wrist. Now I can tell you the exact geolocation of my child anytime I want to. And I look up ANY FACT at ANY TIME at ANY LOCATION to prove I was right about something. Remember encyclopedias? Remember going to the library and using a CARD CATALOGUE to find a book? WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT ABOUT!?

Now I lay in bed and wonder who the first tourist in space will be and why don’t we have high speed trains in America yet. Look, I won’t be completely crazy and ask for flying cars but HIGH SPEED TRAINS IN AMERICA. TUBES IN THE GOUND!? MAKE IT HAPPEN, ELON. WE ARE READY.

Also, it is definitely Wednesday and not Thursday.

Welcome to my brain. It’s a fun ride.

We are now 348 days into quarantine.

We are now 348 days into quarantine.

And somehow I’m, like, okay.

I thought at first it was because we gradually went to work from home. We started with 3 days a week at home. Then we went to only going in once a week so we could stagger days. Now only one person from each part of our team comes in once a week so we go about 8 weeks between office visits. It was a weird adjustment but I’m kind of glad we had the slow crossover. It kind of slowly lowered me into the burning building of COVID rather than tossing me in directly after dousing it with gasoline.

When it looked more and more like this was going to be an extended time away from friends, away from coworkers, and away from family, I had a conversation with Ben letting him know that I was worried about my mental health. Not that I was in a bad place THEN, but that I expected a crash to happen.


At some point.

I was going to crash.

Except… I never did. And to be 100% honest, I DO NOT FUCKING GET IT.

Long time followers know that I’ve been very open about my battle with depression. I love that when I’m raw and real about it I get comments and messages saying thank you for putting into words how they are feeling. For normalizing the mental illness. For being an advocate. And I have to tell you, I have felt some significant guilt for NOT doing that. For NOT feeling that way. For NOT being that support for others.

But it just… never happened. Maybe it’s the Lexapro? Maybe it’s that I get to sleep longer every day now that I don’t have an hour commute in the morning and have to put like 5% of the effort into getting ready every day. Maybe it’s the feeling of INCREDIBLE PRIVILEGE to have a stable and steady income through a time when a lot of people are really struggling.

I don’t know what it is but I’m ready to stop second guessing it and start trying to process it. In a private friends Facebook group we sometime ask for a mental health check in. A place to sound off, judgement free, letting it all out. I described being really shocked that I am okay. But also that some nights I can’t fall asleep and lie away wondering when the crash is going to happen. What trigger is going to set it off? What random chemical imbalance is going to suddenly trick me into believing that sleeping all day is the only way to stay alive. I haven’t even TAKEN A NAP in months, let alone a depression nap.

I know how lucky I am right now. I had a long conversation with a friend the other day that is not okay. I was able to listen to her and tell her that I know where she is and that I understand how she feels. And I told her that I know there is nothing I can do to fix it, but I promise you, I understand and you are not alone.

If you are there, if your brain is missing the chemicals you need, please know that I am safe harbor. I GET it. I KNOW where you are. I can’t fix you, I know better than to try, but I can HEAR you. Shit still really sucks right now and I don’t know when it’s going to get better and I also know that even when everything is going perfectly in your life, you can still be There. In that shitty dark place where your brain tells you lies.

I hope you’re all okay. Wear your masks. Wash your hands. Stay the fuck away from people that don’t live with you. And take care of yourself and your mental health in the best ways that work for you.

Make it make sense.

Look, I know I can be incendiary online. I have BIG OPINIONS and very little filter and I accept that. The people that love me accept that. The people I respect accept that and in an attempt to show that respect I try to reign it in when I’m having conversations with them.

Strangers however, I have no patience for. I had even less in the year 2020. I’m willing to put up with a lot of nonsense and there are some things I can just either reply with a inane quip or scroll past without bothering, and then there are the things that I will call out every time.


When Breonna Taylor was shot by a cop that never should have been in her house, then 12 days later a racist cop kneeled on the neck of George Floyd and strangled him to death while onlookers begged him to stop, the BLM movement rightly mobilized and peacefully protested across the country. A powerful and beautiful community of BIPOC people loudly speaking out against the centuries of oppression and hate that in the year 2020 was still on full violent display in the homes and streets of America.

All of this while a pandemic was starting the slow deadly burn across the states.

And my filter went from “little” to “nil”.

On May 30th somebody posted a video of white protesters trying to break the window of a store and Black people begging them to stop. “This is the problem. You can do this because you’re white but if a cop shows up here WE’LL be the ones they shoot,” said the Black man pleading with them to put down the rocks and leave. I left this comment on a thread about it.

Facebook Community Guidelines on hate speech

I was banned for 12 hours.

This is not hate speech. White racism is a myth. It can not exist.


I didn’t contest the ban because it was stupid and I’m pretty sure I just went to sleep and shrugged it off.

The next day I posted this.

Facebook Community Guidelines on hate speech

I was banned for 24 hours.

I don’t actually remember what I was commenting on here but I did think that writing “white scum” instead of “white trash” would get me around Facebook’s ridiculous white racism filter THAT SHOULD NOT EXIST. LIKE RACISM AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE DOESN’T EXIST.

By November, COVID-19 was raging all over the country. Tensions were high. Our racist potato president was calling an election rigged before it even happened. Over the course of the year, social discourse in many of the news organization’s comment threads had declined into full on tinfoil hat season and I was… tired. Tired of racists. Tired of COVID deniers. Tired of Trumpism.

Just tired.

So on November 2nd, 2020 I left this comment on an article about a 13-year-old CHILD that had died from COVID-19. This lady had commented to ask what the CHILD’S underlying health conditions were. Disease? Obesity? And then threw on a “condolences” to the family at the end. So sweet of her. When people tried to have a civil conversation with her explaining that she was being rude, she doubled down on the COVID conspiracies that I was JUST. SO. TIRED. of hearing.

Facebook Community Guidelines on hate speech

I was banned for 3 days. Two days before the most important election in my lifetime.

I’d say that, although I feel a valid critique, this was the first time that I truly deserved a ban. This was definitely bullying. I contested this one just because I felt like why not? Two days later my ban was upheld. For the first time, Facebook actually did it’s job properly. And honestly, the internet was a mess in the aftermath of the election and my mental health was probably boosted by avoiding the site altogether since I didn’t feel the need to read if I couldn’t comment.

By the end of November we had a clear presidential winner, despite what the raving lunatic currently sitting at the Resolute Desk was vomiting daily onto Twitter would have you believe. It was around this time that another QAnon video was being suppressed on YouTube, AS IT SHOULD BE, and I had seen about 74 “Freedom of Speech” comments on Facebook in one day so I picked a random blockhead and was going to explain how the 1st amendment actually works but decided to use as few words as possible to get my point across.

Facebook Community Guidelines on hate speech

I was banned for 7 days.

In retrospect, I should have know better than to try and circumvent the rules by using a different word. If “white scum” wasn’t enough of a change from “white trash”, I should have known that “twat” was not going to work instead of “cunt”.

Well played Facebook, I’d say I deserve this one too. Although again, a valid and truthful comment.

After the 7 day ban I really started to be more measured in posting. I rewrote comments to respond to the poor fragile white people while not using any slang from our country or the UK or referring to the garbage pile I assume they were born from. I realized there was no winning with the COVIDiots and mostly left them alone unless I saw really blatant lies being spread.

I was tired. But also tired of being tired. You know?

Then today happened.

Today a bunch of backwoods jackboot crybabies stormed the US Capitol building in an attempt to… well, I don’t actually know what they were trying to do and I doubt they had any clue what they were trying to do either after watching them stumble around to find a coherent sentence to string together in an interview.

And, of course, ever single conservative keyboard warrior in existence tried to play this off as a bunch of Antifa “actors” trying to make them look bad. This amused me mostly because what people were admitting when they said that was that THIS WAS A BAD LOOK. Thank you for making our point for us!

This photo of known Trump sycophant Jake Angeli in his horned outfit as an “Antifa actor” started making the rounds which is cute because after about 20 seconds of Googling I found an article about him, read an interview he gave in October, then found his Parler profile. As always, rather than do the same miniscule amount of research it would have taken to understand that that this tweet is a FAKE NEWS, conservatives started to paste the photo in every single thread on ever single post on the internet as “proof” that he is Antifa.

Photo of racist Jake Angeli

When it landed in the comment section of my hometown’s news site I commented on it. I left a link to both news articles and his Parler profile to read for herself to understand who this man is. The woman, of course, tried to use a 2 hour old Craigslist ad for actors to storm the US Capitol building which happened 8 hours before the ad was posted because of course she did.

So I commented again.

Facebook Community Guidelines on hate speech

I was banned for 7 more day.

Facebook Community Guidelines on hate speech

I disputed the ban because calling somebody ignorant for spreading misinformation is NOT harassment or bullying or hate speech.

Now I’m banned for 30 days.

Facebook Community Guidelines on hate speech

I’m banned from Facebook for calling willful ignorance for what it is but Char is free to continue to spread lies about the terrorism the entire country watched unfold live in front of our very eyes.

Make it make sense.

Whatever. During my 7 day ban I read 3 books and lost 5 pounds. It’s amazing what you can accomplish while not doomscrolling past the droves of hateful, brainwashed, racist, what trash cunts in Facebook comment sections.

So far I’ve written a blog post for the first time since August so in a way I’m already winning.