And HOAs. And Kids. And Spiders.

Maybe I’ll take care of this, eventually

Nothing screams summer like taking down your Christmas lights. It was early June when the three warnings from the HOA finally escalated to a cash money fine taped to my front door. Arnold Cranshaw, local HOA board member and all-round asshole from across the street, apparently didn’t appreciate my holiday decor crossing over seasonal boundaries.

I had every intention of getting to them back in spring, but then all the crap with the divorce came up and apathy started to rear its ugly head. …


Adventures in Clickbait

I am clickbait. In the world of online dating, I’m the one that gets your attention first. Look at me. You know you want me. Don’t bother reading my profile. Most of it is random quotes from Nicolas Sparks books. That stuff really doesn’t matter. You might say you’re looking for a deep connection on the spiritual level, but look at these biceps. You think that accountant you were browsing has guns like these? He doesn’t. Do you think you can wrap your hands around these bad boys? You can’t, but you’re welcome to try. Just send me a like…


Non-essential Kitchen Aid attachments

Its starts with a simple thought; “let’s make cookies”. Unlike the vacuum of space where no one can hear your scream, the mere mention of cookies reverberates from every surface in the household until it sparks a small stampede of toddler toes. Sometimes I think they’re just part of the required baking equipment like a spatula or measuring cups; I need only to set down the Kitchen Aid mixer on the counter and turn around to find two new attachments hopping excitedly on either side.

Accepting that this will not be the efficient task I originally imagined we line up…


Tony and Gino Garibaldi had the potential to be culinary legends. Not content to mimic licensed characters in pasta form, these passionate souls swung for the fences and struck out more often than not. And though these setbacks would eventually take their toll, both personally and professionally, we honor their valiant efforts by celebrating their greatest failures;

Penne Lane — they started with a simple cliché, sticking to traditional shapes but violating the laws of humor.

Escher Steps — the concept drawings were mesmerizing but there were unexpected complications in production.

Big Dong — this was the next riff on…


Let’s see where this goes…

Tucked in the quiet recesses of suburbia awaits a wealth of entertainment if you know where to look for it. Despite what people think, misery doesn’t love company. Misery loves isolation where no one uses TikToc. But sometimes misery sits in full view like that old man in the sauna with legs spread wide;

Starbuckles — Witness the couple clearly on their first date engaging in awkward banter. The man wears a forced smile, mentally downgrading aspirations from forever love to one-night hookup and sneaking too many glances at her cleavage deciding if they’re worth the effort. The woman sits…


Is your date faking it?

Here we go.

I greet my date with a platonic hug and repeat the mantra in my head “fake it til we make it”. Ready or not I’m once again surfing the waters of the lovelorn. Online dating. I created my TwiddlyWinks.com profile like it was an exercise in marketing. If I’m going to join the meat market then I want to properly market my meat…. errr, my qualities in a way that makes me stand out from the rank and file (whoever the hell they are)? It’s got to be a humble brag that is heavy on the humble…


“Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream,…”

~The Chordettes

Dear Dream Girl,

Acknowledging that you may well only exist in my imagination I thought I should at least write a formal invitation to make my intentions clear. Best not to leave these things to chance, you know, or pretend I’d be happy with anyone like the parental platitudes of “we just want our baby to be healthy”, which sounded like a fabulous starting point, but I probably should have edited out some of the sassy attitude and funky smells. Was that an option? Anyway, I could start off by sending you…


Sometimes, an epiphany emerges from the subtle flow of language; the choice of a word, the turn of a phase, the tense of a verb. Where uncertainly lingers in the shadows of hope, one word can cut through to unwanted clarity. Some talk endlessly without saying anything. Small talk begets smaller talk, until talking has lost all meaning. Some avoid triggering words for the truth they may reveal, the hurt they may unlock. Some give voice to honest words that innocently change everything.

We are a couple.

My friends and family ask about us. They always do. They want to know how she’s doing…


All I have left is what she left behind. A picture of us hangs over the empty side of the bed. A pink razor abandoned in the shower. The t-shirt she loved to borrow. A coffee mug. A memory. A longing. A void.

The void is the one thing I haven’t embraced. The one thing that brings no comfort. The one thing I haven’t been able to accept. How could something that was so rich and full be replaced with nothing. Like the peaceful rhythm of our relationship there was no drama in the ending. No explosive parting. There was…

Robert Hoffman

Survival Pack: Tales from the Deep End of the Dating Pool and Other Horror Stories

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