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Let's Panic: The Book!

Order your copy today!

How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 


On the bright side, I have something to post about 

The other day I did my quarterly pilgrimage to the ol’ psychiatrist, as you do, and from there I scurried to the pharmacist with a slightly increased dose of Prozac (thanks for nothing, endless winter) and my usual anti-anxiety pills, which I keep on hand for the occasional anxiety attack, which this winter became somewhat less than occasional (hat tip to polar vortex and relentless sun deprivation!). I returned an hour later to pick up my pills, and the pharmacist informed me that while the Klonopin was no problem, my insurance company wouldn’t pay for the extra 10 mg of Prozac due to “deductible.” You’ll have to take my word for it that a deductible that only applies to certain medications is, in our medical plan as well as probably everyone else’s, nonsense.

Well, okay. I politely refused to pay hundreds of dollars for 10 mg of Prozac, and made a note to call the insurance company, which I will do on one of this free days I have, when I delight in nothing more than listening to hold music all afternoon. Meanwhile I will consume a Skittle each morning and hope the placebo effect takes hold.

The next day I visited the pharmacist with another prescription, this one for Henry's eczema cream. (I think we can also blame this on the winter, which I'll go ahead and do.) Again, returned an hour later, only to be told that the insurance company would pay for the cream but would not pay for it in emollient form, which is what the doctor wanted, being that my son’s skin has turned to bark. I was confused about the difference between an emollient and a non-emollient, and the pharmacist looked weary as he said, “It’s just adding a few lipids.” Which I now want to put on a t-shirt. Just a few? Do you count them out? Do you have lipid gobs floating around in a vat back there? Are they sentient? Of course they are.

I know other people have nightmare insurance companies and pay untold thousands every month and in the scale of things 10 mg of Prozac and “a few lipids” isn’t life or death, but we pay a thousand dollars a month, and for that amount I would think I could get my son his lipids. And my brain could have its little Prozac bump. (And this plan is a huge improvement over the one we had in New Jersey, where we paid almost $1500 a month and they denied practically every claim. Including one for pink eye, because it was a “pre-existing condition.”)

Maybe if you want to save money, insurance companies, maybe you forgo having your employees waste their time squinching their eyes at our piddling little requests, denying us our lipids. Oh, I don’t know. I would come up with a decent ending to this post but right now I have to convince my son to smear non-moisturizing corticosteroids all over himself. Would a few lipids make this an easier process? I'm not sure, but I can tell you that the Prozac would have helped.


Ten years! 

Here I am, hello! Where have I been? Well, writing, obviously:

Also, being a poor influence on my child:

And appearing on podcasts! Well, a podcast.

The last couple of months have been crammed with Work and Life, but I promise, promise, promise to write more soon. I have also been reorganizing my work schedule and cleaning up my habits, such as they are, and I think I’m on a smarter track. I’ll tell you all about it in my next post.  (Uh, maybe after we take a look at some of the above Salads. Alluring and new? Sign me up!)

The ten-year anniversary of my blog came and went, and I sort of can’t believe it’s been so long. So many great things have happened in my life as a result of this blog. This is a very important place for me. I don’t want to neglect it, and you, any more.

Hey, so: who’s still reading? Please comment, and say hello. Tell me about you. What brought you here? What do you want to see more of? Less of? The same amount of? Do you have a blog? Why not tell us about it?


Never forget 

My son needed a haircut, and I decided that I was the person to do it. This was a mistake.

Henry hates getting haircuts, not because he dislikes the haircutting experience so much; he just likes longer hair. And every barber in town seems committed to cutting his hair way too short. He has a baby face still, which naturally I love, and fresh out of a haircut, he looks about three years younger. This is adorable to us, but I don’t blame him for finding it distasteful. He’s inherited Scott’s round-headedness, and he needs a little length to balance things out. (I on the other hand have a head shaped like a pencil eraser and the only thing I can do to balance it is wear comically oversized ear muffs, which let me tell you are not practical most days of the year.) But at some point the longish hair gets too long and disorderly and order must be restored.

So. Haircut.

I cut Henry’s hair once before, a couple of years ago. I couldn’t remember how that worked out; looking back on it, I was sure it went fine. Scott, however, insisted that it didn’t go well at all. He said I swore I would never cut hair again. Henry also remembered the last haircut as being distinctly not fun. I probably scoured the memories of the last haircut from my mind, but anyway I guess I’m too good at memory scouring.

It was cold (not polar vortex cold, but cold enough) and snowy and we were all in our jammies, so I announced that I was ready to have another go at haircutting. Wasn’t this easier? And budget friendlier? I spent the next hour studying Youtube videos of people cutting other people’s hair, and the people cutting the hair didn’t seem so worked up about it. I was sure I had a good enough grasp of the technique. You grab a hunk of hair, you snip it, you move on. Piece of cake.

Only it turned out that hair is NOT LIKE CAKE and if it is, it is a very confusing cake with all kinds of dimensions and difficulties that I had not considered. All the wisdom I had gleaned from my minutes of youtube-watching exited my head the minute I started cutting. It’s like you need training for this!

I would cut a section, then try to move on and instantly lose the last section and which part did I cut again, and how short? And why does all his hair look the same? Can’t the cut hair, like, change color or something? Not to mention, my haircutting shears were stupidly dull, probably because they’ve been used for everything from cutting wrapping paper to craft projects, so while I was trying to cut into his surprisingly tough hair the scissors were just pushing the hair away, and it felt less like snippety-snip-snip and more like HACK HACK HACK. Like I was reaping crops with a spork.

I hacked for quite a while. Then I stepped back to check my progress. It looked kind of the same except there were little hunks missing here and there. Some of the hunks were not the same size as the other hunks. This was troubling. There was a lot of hair on the floor. Henry asked me if I was done yet. He was being very patient, but I was now getting irritable because I realized I had no idea what I was doing and I was about to make him look very stupid. JUST A MINUTE, I ordered, and I went back in. I kept doing this. Luckily Henry has a lot of extra hair, so I couldn’t do too much damage, at least not if I gave up before nightfall.

The ninth time I stepped back to check my progress, I realized that I was well on my way toward giving him the Imogene Coca.

“No,” I said, finally. “No.”

I placed my shears on the kitchen counter, and called for Scott. Scott came to me. “Mistakes were made,” I told him. He pointed out that he told me this would happen. I decided to forgive him for the attitude. Henry checked himself out in the mirror. “It doesn’t look…that bad,” he said. He is very nice, and very lazy.

“No, my son,” I said. “No. The front is bad enough, but you haven't even checked out the back, where everything has gone crazy. No, you must go to a barber. A real one. For I am not a barber. I know this now.” It’s important for kids to see their parents as fallible human beings who are easily fooled by internet videos. Right? I think I read that somewhere. Anyway he was annoyed with me. Scott couldn’t be annoyed because I was too busy trying to impale myself on my shears. I can get pretty dramatic.

Once everyone had calmed down, Scott and Henry dressed and went out into the cold and the wind to have a professional fix my terrible mistakes, and I swept away a mountain of hair and took a shower, because I was super sweaty. When they came back, Henry looked surprisingly normal, and of course he got a lollipop, so I was forgiven. Scott made me promise I’d remember what happened for next time. I probably won’t, but fortunately I have this post.


Looking for good 

2013 was not my favorite. 2013 was the year of hiding out, of scrabbling around in my hidey-hole, gathering extra blankets to pull over my eyes, upping my anti-anxiety dosages, canceling trips, calling in sick, apologizing for no-shows. I spent most of 2013 waiting for the bad things to happen. I had a list, and I was sure some of them would come to pass; the late-night phone call from an unfamiliar number, the text ending abruptly. I had stomachaches and headaches and every time the phone rang I steeled myself. I had a bunch of scenarios I was ready for; I have an active imagination. My parents would die, my dog would die, there would be an accident, and on and on. 

But it’s never the expected thing, and Charlie was fine, and my parents weathered their storms, and the bad stuff that did occur blindsided me completely, so all my fretting was for naught. Now I’m looking back on the year and thinking of all the people I didn’t see, the trips I didn’t take. I don’t want to beat myself up overly; I know some of this is my biochemical goofiness (technical term), but some of it is nothing more than bad habits. Staying in is always easier than going out. Not doing is always easier than doing. I gave myself the freedom to not do, and maybe I needed that, but no more.

No more waiting for the bad things in 2014. In 2014, I will look for the good. This is my only New Year’s resolution. Whatever happens this year, I’m going to enjoy it as much as I goddamn can.

Happy new year, everyone. Let’s make this one count.

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