Peanut Head

My skull feels like it’s full of packing peanuts and my brain is taped in cellophane and bubble wrap all the way at the bottom of the box. So many peanuts! So much digging! And still right when I think I finger a bubble, it’s just another styrofoam peanut. Why so many peanuts, head?


Good God. I don’t even know where to start with stuff to write today. So you know what THAT means, right?

Bullet points.


  • Person who died last week: My Jigsaw post was about Kathy, the sister-in-law of The Rock and I’s best friend. She died a week ago, was only 55, and for a time, I thought she’d get better. Her disease progression reminded me a lot of my mom’s — who passed away from breast cancer at 56 — and it really pissed me off/made me cry. I remember so clearly when a friend saw my mom at my brother’s college graduation in 1997 and how she couldn’t help but sob in front of all of us — even though she attempted to hide it. I know now that she knew then my mom was going to die. I was that person when I saw Kathy last December and knew she was going to die, too. I hate, hate, hate that outsider certainty when the person dying needs to hold on to every hope that they’re going to make it. I feel like a traitor.


    Anyway, her memorial service was beautiful. I prefer non-denominational funerals to Catholic ones because all the Catholic pomp and circumstance only separates the congregation from the reason they are there. It’s more about ritual than about remembering the life of the person who passed. In my opinion. At any rate, this service reminded us of how Kathy lived her life and practically forbade mourning.


    Also, have you heard the song “Grace Like Rain?” I never had, but a beautiful man with a beautiful voice sang it at the ceremony and it was the most poignant thing I’d ever heard.



  • Mother’s Day: The Rock and I do this weird thing. It’s called “not making plans.” “Ever.” So that means when a holiday rolls around, we have no earthly idea what to do nor where to go. This has conjured interesting dates and excursions, for instance for our one-year wedding anniversary we went to Orange County and shopped at South Coast Plaza.


    For Mother’s Day, “not making plans” meant we went to Horton Plaza and ate cheese fries and saw “Monsters vs. Aliens.”


    I thought it was swell. Really and truly.


    Don’t tell The Rock, because I made him feel guilty kinda, but I like our impromptu non-planned holidays. Of course, we did try to go to Seaport Village first, but after trying to park for the better part of the millennium, we opted for mall time. Plenty of parking there. Also, Toots got a haircut and there was Ben & Jerry’s. Plus, a kilo of popcorn.


    So all the makings for a kick assingnest Mother’s Day.

  • Insert another bullet point here: Too many head peanuts! Can’t extricate another bullet point from the mind morass!


    Oh wait. I was published on a website! And so were other bloggers. I will name them later. No, OK. There was Mommy Pie and Green Girl in Wisconsin and Thursday Drive and PapaTV.


    I made money from this story.


    I would like to do more of that.


    So if you are a person who pays money to people for stories, how you doing?

    As you can see, I am real awesome at organizing thoughts and making plans for stuff. Also, do you see my word choice (see previous sentence)? Very inventive and good.


    Also, the crap shit was edited out of my story and the whole part about my mom buying the most splendiferously ugly Persian rug was cut, which probably woulda optioned for a screenplay had it been left in.

  • Just one or two more things: Public apologies for not responding to emails or comments or etc. I’m currently writing this in between editing four reports while wrapped in a blanket pretty sure I’m battling a brain tumor, so I’ve been a bit booked.


    Also, how do you return the favor for a playdate when the mom invited you over last Sunday and made lamb dumpling hot pockets, Russian potato salad, liver pate, lamb kabobs, shrimp kabobs, chicken wings and three bottles of wine?


    Finally: Catholic school or public for kindergarten-preparing Toots?

    When formulating your answer, please keep in mind we are broke, but appreciate God, except when he kills people we love, but even then we are pious enough to realize he has a plan (quite unlike The Rock and I), even though it may appear to sometimes suck.


26 Responses to “Peanut Head”

  1. PAPA says:

    I LOVED working on the writing project and enjoyed everyone’s stories!

    And Ana and I totally do the No Plan holiday thing, too. Always works out better and it’s far more spontaneous!
    I can’t wait to see what we do for Father’s Day.

  2. vodkamom says:

    I’m so sad about the death…….and so happy for your SUCCESS!!

    You deserve it……….

  3. Crystal says:

    I absolutely LOVE ‘Grace Like Rain’ – we have performed that song in our church band at the ‘contemporary’ service. ;)

    You’ve just reminded me that my hubby didn’t get me anything for Mother’s Day…oh wait, I take that back, I got a card. We ate lunch at his mom’s for our plans.

    Congrats on making $$ for your story!

    I would lose the mom’s phone number that went to all that expense for a playdate. Just kidding…but in return, I would just be myself, and do like a fruit tray and other premade crap cuz I don’t have time for liver pate…nor do I know how to even go about making it.

    Lastly, I would go with public. Most of the stories I’ve heard about Catholic schooling did not end well.

  4. Mimi says:

    I would go public with the school but that’s only if your area has a good public school system. I always thought Catholic schooling did not teach a very wordly view of life and learning, rather things must be this certain way or else… but to each their own.

  5. First bullet point (out of order because PAID WRITER!!!): I will click over in a moment to read the story for which you were paid because how awesome is that? I’ve always thought that YOU shouldn’t be giving it away for free like some people who just shoplifted your bullet-point theme.

    Next bullet point: I’m sorry about your loss.

    Next bullet point: You had me at kilo of popcorn.

    Next bullet point: Invite Playdate Mom to 7-11. Have we taught you nothing?

    Final bullet point: It would depend on each school. Please prepare a bullet point-by-point comparison of the two, preferable in Powerpoint and have it to me by the end of the day.

  6. Just back from reading over at T.Rowe Price Family Center. Excellent job. I like what you’re doing with the coins. I’m hoping Girl Scout cookie sales provides for Laura everything she she needs to know about money. Otherwise, she’s hosed.

  7. I hate typos in the comment section of a real writer’s blog.

  8. Mine, I mean. My typos. I don’t notice anyone else’s. I’m selfish like that.

    I’ll leave now.

  9. Mrs. Musings says:

    I pretty much love not making plans. My husband and I don’t either (at least, as much as possible) and we find great ways to spend our time completely based on how we feel at that moment. When the rest of our life is planned, at least our dates can be spur of the moment.

  10. she says:

    I DO LOVE THAT SONG. I’ve heard it before, but it’s been awhile and I needed the cleansing it provided me just now.

    I’m sooooo very sorry for your loss. Dying young just really is awful to process and cope with. I’m sorry, Sweetie, that you’ve had to experience so much loss and makes me want to join you in your weeping, which I’m very likely to do. Plus, I’m saying a prayer for your heart right now.

    And a big ole high five on the paid writing gig! Awesome. I’m going now to read it.

    Big hug. You need anything?

  11. she says:

    Awesome writing, Deb. Really, you ROCK! I have to admit, though, when I realized the topic was money, I kind of started hyperventilating a bit. You know, in the “omg, my mom didn’t know crap about money, and I kinda don’t, either,” and in the way that when I hear Susie Orman’s voice or see her face, I push the remote control button.

    Congrats on the gig. May many more come your way!

  12. mommypie says:

    I’m so sorry about your friend, Deb. Death sucks. I DID however, LOVE your money post — you’re the best writer I know, Doog. Truly.

  13. Blognut says:

    I’m sorry about your friend. Cancer sucks. That’s all there is to it.

    On the paid writer thing, HOW FREAKIN’ COOL is that? I can’t wait to go read it.

    On the school thing? Public, if you’re in a decent school district.

  14. Loved your article! Kind of reminded me of my husband and I unfortunately. Nonetheless fabulous article…excellent writing etc. etc.

    As far as school, I’m a big fan of the public until highschool then Catholic high school if you can swing it, but maybe that’s just how I did it.

    I just got a modestly (very modest) paying gig doing travel blogs for After I join the in crowd I’ll find out if I could get you a gig.

  15. Theresa says:

    Hi! I loved the picture you included with the article. Our crazy history- it all floods back when I read your writing. Authentic and truly unique. I am so proud of you and thrilled to be a fan :)

    We sent Grace to an expensive private school for Kindergarden. It was a fabulous school and she learned a lot! However, we did not always fit in with the wealthy parents of her friends. When we moved to small-town Wisconsin, we chose to use the public schools. It has been another great year. I am looking forward to the Department of Defense schools in Japan and the opportunities Grace will have to interact with children from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Do the homework about the school district and find out what you can about the teachers. Visit the school. Don’t go into debt to pay for kindergarden :)

  16. stoneskin says:

    For bullet points those are pretty large! Sorry to hear about your friend.

    I would happily let holidays “just happen” but the missus likes to look forward to a planned holiday so I can’t do that any more!

  17. San Diego Momma says:

    I love each and every one of you with a deep abiding passion not suitable for public consumption.

    (That’s what SHE said.)

    (Fine. That didn’t make sense. Tell it to Steve Carell.)

  18. Mama Mary says:

    Sorry about the loss of your friend – it is memories of your own loss resurface. Love the song – anything having to do with Amazing Grace stops me in my tracks.
    Can’t relate to the non-planning thing cause I am a control freak event planner that must know what is happening every second. I can let go occasionally but it takes a chardonnay or two.
    Who the heck makes dumplings and multiple forms of kabobs and is not named Martha or Emeril? And congrats on the paid gig – can’t wait to read it!

  19. Carole Ann says:

    In my blog, I have managed to wrestle to the ground losing my father 18 years after the fact. The entries are The Non-Goodbye and More Than A Movie. They might give you an idea about personalizing your own experiences. The things I do don’t fix it, but they help.
    All bests, C

  20. Steph says:

    I’m so very sorry about the loss of your friend. (And your mom which I realized happened a while ago, but it still sucks.)

    Also? Congrats on paid writing! WOO!

  21. Jennifer H says:

    Loved working on the writing project with you! So many interesting stories.

    We never make plans, either. Partly because Mr H is away so much, but we just never seem to get it together. And it’s usually fine that way, anyway, and more relaxed.

    I’m so sorry about your friend. Sending love. xoxo

  22. I’m so sorry about your sister in law. How awful.
    We love holidays without obligations here–they turn into the best days.
    THANK YOU for the blog opportunity–it was incredible to be included in that.
    We go to public school and as far as that playdate goes, I think you can only follow up with really good coffee and a nice dessert. That’s what I would do.

  23. Da Goddess says:

    I’m sorry about the loss of your friend. I do know all too well about that “I saw her/him and I knew…” I get that way with my friend Mikey. It hurts so deeply.

    Congrats on being published and PAID! I’d call you a mean name, but I’m too proud of you and want so much to be like you.

    As for paying someone back? Be yourself and offer up a simple meal. Just because she’s an overachiever or an over-impresser doesn’t mean you need to be.

    Regarding school: check the curriculum at both schools and do a compare and contrast. That’s the only way to truly decide.

  24. kate says:

    i love that you and the rock do that thing where you don’t make plans, ever. i’m like that.

  25. kate says:

    also! yay! you got paid to write things!

  26. I can’t believe that your post on your PR strategy and your thoughts about non-denominational funerals were basically transcribed from inside my brain (except for the vagina part–I probably would not have come up with that metaphor).

    I’m sorry for your loss and know exactly what you mean about the knowing when the person is still in the not-knowing stage.

    The T. Rowe price stuff was great–yours and the others.

    Move next door to me and send your daughter to the awesome neighborhood public school close by.

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