Why Don’t We Just Live With My Mom?

<—– “Y don’t u guys live in the apt in her house ?” The text from my sister in law makes me think. I pause before typing, “It’s complicated but…”

As I mentioned back when I introduced you to the cast of characters, when we moved to Long Island, it was no secret to Daddy or anyone that Tom and I would have preferred to stay with my mom.

In fact, last summer, when Daddy first offered to let us move in with him, I believe my immediate reaction was panic, followed by fear, dread, sadness brought on by divorced-kid baggage, initial acceptance, then denial and bargaining, and finally reluctant submission to my inevitable doom. Those are the usual steps, right?
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Ladybugs and Omens

When my parents first moved into their house in Huntington, Mommy found ladybugs everywhere, and she felt like it was her mother’s spirit looking after her.

an especially ugly ladybug gif

Ladybugs have always been a special symbol of good luck in my family. There was a ladybug on my leg the day my team won the xAct (xTREME Accounting) local case competition at Binghamton (full on nerd in the house – TF3 forever!) And other than that… I can’t remember a specific time when ladybugs have really brought luck but I’ve always liked them and I got a ladybug tattoo on my hip on my 21st birthday and no you can’t see it.

On Sunday, Tom and I returned to this house, which is now Daddy’s house. And we were greeted by a different insect…


Now, in Tom’s family, bees are considered bad luck. Well, it’s not so much a family superstition as Tom just doesn’t like them because he was stung multiple times as a kid and, really, who needs a bunch of bees around?

When Tom and Daddy went to move our mattress, there was one on the mattress cover, which seemed to be injured. Daddy vacuumed him up. Later, I found one on the bathroom window, which Daddy shooed out. Then there was a dead one on one of Daddy’s several keyboards.

Finally, we found the source: the nest in our bedroom window. 


Daddy said he’ll knock it down but he didn’t say when. Then he said “This house just seems to attract bees.” Bees.

As we were leaving, a bee landed on our windshield. We then went to the park to enjoy the weather for a few minutes…

And as soon as we sat down, three bees landed on our bench.


If my mom took the ladybugs as a sign that she was supposed to be here, what are the bees trying to tell me?

Bee Afraid!

Tonight will be our first night staying at Daddy’s.

Mommy’s House

Who can resist a look in someone else’s house? I used to live at street level on Mott Street, so trust me: no one. It was like living in a freaking store window…

My mom’s house is precious, as we say in my family. In fact, we say precious (adj.), preciousness (noun), or preciousing (verb).  As in: “Mommy is preciousing up her dining room.” or, the more general: “How precious.” (to be said in a mocking tone).

This is a good example of preciousness…


precious dolls and dishes above the precioused out window

Here’s the dining room…

And one of several wine racks….


ok, I bought the gourds so maybe I have a little precious in me
Living room…
still using the summer pillows – the winter pillows are much scratchier :(

The small but precious backyard…

the grill cover is Cutie’s

Plus her house comes with precious cats like this…


Or this….


Or these….

ok, so it’s the same two cats
Mommy’s house is my favorite place to be. It’s always clean and organized, and filled with good food and family and girly movies.

But now… we’re off to Daddy’s, which as we know from the preview is not so precious. To be honest, I don’t even fully know what I’m getting into. I’ll keep you updated.

Preview: Daddy’s House

Remember 3 weeks ago when we were going to stay at my mom’s for a week and then move into my dad’s?

Here’s an update: we’re still at my mom’s. The end.

Not really the end. But that would legit be enough of an explanation for anyone that knows my dad. Assuming you don’t, however, here’s the rest…

Daddy is still working on his cleaning and plumbing problems. The latest is that we should be moving in this week. (We’ll see.)
As a preview of what’s to come, here’s what it looked like when we first moved our furniture into Daddy’s:

that’s the front door. and all our stuff.
He wasn’t quite ready for us, so he just had the movers leave all our stuff in the foyer. 
peeking inside
It’s cool because it’ll be totally easy for us to move our solid wood furniture upstairs later. (I emphasize “solid wood” because I’m proud we’ve upgraded most of our Ikea furniture. I’m like totally grown up.)
In case you had been wondering why I started this blog… do you get it now? No, really. Ms. PC values feedback.

First Week Commuting

A Journal.

Day 1: Did you know that it’s dark out at 6am? 

yeah, I was really tired but that’s a window 
(with a Christmas candle in it because my mom thinks they’re for year-round)

“The first day isn’t that bad. It’s the second day that makes you want to die…” Alice warns.

Evening – get a ride home with Daddy. Would have been faster to take the train.

Day 2: Did you know it’s cold and rainy at 6am? (sometimes)

Umbrella? Check. Coat and boots? Packed: whereabouts unknown.

Evening - resist the urge to buy beer on the platform.

Queens hotspot

Day 3: Did you know that it’s even darker at 5:30am? 

Leave the house at 6:35 to be at work at 8:30.

Evening – train home smells like a urinal cake, which is preferable to alternatives.

Day 4: Snoozed 3 times.

Complete thought: Penn Station is bad for your mental and physical health.

Evening – take the 7 train the wrong way one stop. Sounds about right.

Day 5: Don’t act like your’e doing me any favors, Friday.

Just can’t get excited about Friday today; it was too hard-earned.

Evening – train cancelled. Do not resist the urge to buy a beer.

But first have to go to this ATM that will definitely not steal my identity.

watch the happy dancing guy :) nothing shady

You heard it here first: the cheapest beer in NYC is at the Hunters Point LIRR station.

I sprung for an imported

these are my people now

Upshot: I survived the week.

Guest Post: Alice of Huntington

My first week of commuting would have been infinitely more miserable without the guidance of my friend and seasoned commuter, Alice. More on that later…

Alice and I have come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby I get a break once in a while and Alice gets to vent her frustration without the effort of starting her own blog.

If this helps my blog go viral (which she’s assured me it will) you’ll be hearing more from Alice…

couldn’t find a non-drunk pic of us
so why not go all out? cir. 2007

In June 2011 I decided to pack up and leave the east coast for a job at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas to follow my dream of working in the arts. It went pretty well for a while, but for a myriad of reasons in July of 2012 I loaded all my possessions into a pod and headed back to NY.

Everyone keeps saying “Wow you must be so happy to be back!” Well, yes. And also, no. See, moving across country is really expensive and in Arkansas I paid $750 for a three bedroom two bathroom duplex. I’m not sure I could rent a closet in the south Bronx for that amount. So in order to get my finances in order I’ve moved back home.

Well, not exactly “home.” I’m living with my ex-stepfather Brian (my mother’s second husband, she’s now married to someone else) in his recently deceased ex-wife’s (the woman he was married to before my mother) house in Dix Hills. Still with me? My commute is a little over two hours each way and Brian very nicely drops me off and picks me up from the Huntington train station – kind of like when I was 12 and would go to the mall.

Soo…this is going to be interesting. At least I now have Jill to commiserate and have drinks at Tracks with.

The Cast

In case you don’t think like me for some reason (weird), you should know that I think of my life as a sitcom. Before I get any further into the story arc of this season, allow me to present the characters.

Main Characters

Jill (me) - Typical 20-something professional. I lost my burning desire to climb the corporate ladder a couple years ago but I work in a semi-important job to pay the bills. Like most people of my generation, I spend most of my time at work fantasizing about going back to college.

Tom (my husband) - A disillusioned chiropractor that actually is going back to college. But not in the fun way. Before he goes to PA school, he has to retake some of his prereqs from college because his credits expired (already? seriously?) so he’s the “old” freshman on campus. He goes to school 4 days a week and works 3 days so I should just stop complaining right now. But I won’t.

Daddy (my dad) - There is no need to give my dad a name other than Daddy because that is what he calls himself. Confused? You know the way a young father might talk to his two year old? “Daddy doesn’t like it when you bite me.” That’s how my dad still talks to me. “You know Daddy’s not big on birthdays.” But you gotta love a guy that loves his little girls that much. 

His house is a mess but he’s working on getting it cleaned up for us (at the last minute – wonder where I get it from).

Secondary Characters

Amy (my sister) - Amy has lived with us for the last 2 years in the city. She’s renting a room from a girl in Queens for the time being. I’m going to miss having her around but Tom will not miss her cat Frosty and her constant shedding.

How could anyone be mad at this face?
credit: Rae
Gail (my mom) - Pretty awesome mom. Retired, lives about one mile from my dad. It’s no secret that I wish we could live with her, but her house is smaller and fuller than my dad’s.
Cutie (my stepdad-to-be) - Ok, his real name is Ron but my mom calls him Cutie and then my sister and I started calling him Cutie too because, I don’t know, it’s cute. He and my dad kind of have an Ashton-Bruce-8-years-ago thing going on, in that they get along and both cook (occasionally together) for family dinners. As a divorced kid, this is the most one can hope for.

Recurring Characters

I don’t really know yet… my sister’s boyfriend Ben? My mom’s friend Aunt Kath that lives with her half the time? Maybe.

My friend Alice, who is also stuck living with her dad in Huntington? Definitely.

My in-laws, various Long Island friends of both Tom and me, my desperate alter-ego that attempts to manipulate a move back into the city? Probably.

Futon Week

And now…

The suckiest things about futon week (as it shall henceforth be known):

1- Having no TV in the living room. Don’t worry, I survived with a combination of Netflix and the TV in my bedroom. Close one.

2- The futon. It wasn’t so uncomfortable, but it was so not like a bed that I couldn’t sleep at all the first night and slept crappily the rest of the week.

3- Packed our curtains + position of the futon + position of the sun relative to the earth this time of year = sun directly in my eyeballs starting at 7am.

Doesn’t capture the true blindingness of it but you get the idea.

4- When my procrastination paid off and I had to stay up all night packing/moving, hopped up on Jamba Juice energy drink and Wendy’s iced tea.

5- I miss Frosty! (My sister took her to their new apartment.)


Bye Brooklyn!

Marcy Ave train station

North Williamsburg ferry stop

Crashing on Our Own Futon

As I mentioned, we moved the majority of our stuff last Sunday, but we still had a few things to move. Ok, so maybe we had all this to move…

Ugh, I realize now I got my bra in the shot but I don’t have photoshop and
really? It’s a bra. Get over it, my god.

…and more.

So while Tom packed and I procrastinated packing, we spent our last week in Brooklyn on our old futon that we then left at the curb.

Couch and bed?! What an invention!

Note that my husband built that “table” all by himself (oh, and he cooked).

More to come…