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After 8 weeks with no kitchen a gentle despair sets in. You think it won’t happen to you—you’re steady, you meditate—but you’re wrong. The absence of function really starts to erode your ease. 

You think, perhaps, washing dishes in the bathtub will be an adventure. Like going camping or joining the circus. But instead, cleaning dishware in the same room that you pee sort of starts to bring you down. 

The ultimate lay flat shot

Sadly, all those cliches you heard about kitchen remodels were true:

  • The freight company will hold your wife’s range hostage out of spite
  • Cabinets will arrive late and when they finally arrive, they are damaged. Cabinet ETA will remain unknown
  • The new washing machine will malfunction, flooding one side of the kitchen subfloor
  • An appliance delivery truck will destroy 10 feet of your new neighbor’s retaining wall
  • Sewage water will overflow through an uncapped plumbing line where the sink once was. The other side of the kitchen floor will flood 
  • Skipping showers will become all too reasonable (because whoever showers has to wash the dishes at the same time)
  • Your meals will be mostly cereal (this is a secret perk, actually)

You begin to believe that the kitchen will, in fact, never be completed and that the nice, but essentially unknown, men will be in your home forever. You may even start to think you never had a stove or cabinets—and that plastic sheeting has always been your home decor. 

If this is you, dear friend of little faith, please stay strong. One day, maybe even in 2019, you’ll have a kitchen ceiling, floor and cabinets once more. 

Ruby dog and Wifey

*All this to say, complaining is insane. A home to remodel is a luxury and a privilege. But goddamn if I don’t feel uncomfortable. *


Scooter, my old man dog, has recently embraced incontinence as a lifestyle choice. 

Poor little dude. I took him to the vet, and they ran a $300 test to tell me if there’s a thing to do, but in the meantime my reactions to taking him out to pee every 30 minutes make me feel like an asshole

My kid parent friends are noble. They stay up nights and feed babies and tend to sick kids and clean barf out of beds and I never hear them say things like, “can I just put him in a kennel?”

I love him like crazy. I don’t want him to suffer, but I also don’t want to wake up three times each night to let him out to urinate. And those times that he doesn’t whine to be let out, he just pees in his bed. My mom friends (I don’t know about all dudes, but among my hetero couple friends, it is really only the ladies who are doing this work) seem to be more focused on their baby’s well-being than urine ruining their carpet, while I constantly am concerned about Scooter pee leaking through his bed. 

Unto you a doggy is born

It all started two weeks ago while my wife was out of the country. I was having an emotional melt (not directly related to being alone, but certainly the loneliness compounded it) and woke up wanting comfort (poor me!) and looked to Scooter for morning snuggles. Instead of a soft and fluffy coat I found his bed soaked and his fur drenched in pee. I felt it really lent a type of gravitas to the depths of my self-pity to get on my hands and knees and blot urine stains from our new carpet (!) instead of crying softly in bed over the weight of my feelings. Next, a de-pee fur bath. I even tried to blow dry him, but he was not interested. 

Later that day, I face-timed a friend to recount my sorrows, and she happened to be at the doctor’s office. She was waiting for an appointment for her littlest one, due to the fact that her three kids, all under age seven, were up the night before barfing and she had spent the night comforting them, bathing them, and cleaning up vomit. She was tired but mostly just concerned about her daughters’ health. What I mean to say, she was more concerned with her kids than herself. 

So.

I feel like there’s a lesson here:

  • It’s great that I’m not a kid mom
  • Maybe I could pray for patience

*Just so you know, I am really sweet to Scooter and always tend to all his needs, but inside I secretly wish my dog brought me bed coffee and fed himself. *

Redwood glamour dog

Jet lag is a merciless beast. Flying frequently doesn’t mitigate the pain of hurtling body and brain across multiple time zones in one sitting. But weird beauty awaits in the early morning streets of Copenhagen for the sleepless, the weary and the brave.

I woke up at 1:51am Copenhagen time, anxiety brain in full gear. It was a dark night of the soul, full of ego crises and work panics and deathly aloneness while my sweet wife slept at my side. Sleep meditation apps are useless in the face of rapid time zone change.

WebMD tells me to avoid exposure to early morning sun so as not to fuck up my circadian rhythms even more, but that’s hard when the Copenhagen summer dawns at 4am and the Danes don’t believe in blackout curtains. My eye mask is no match for the flood of light in this flat.

By 4:30am I was sitting down to meditate. By 5:30am we were out the door, in hunt of the city’s best pastry (dare we say danish) shop that reportedly opened at 6am.

Encounter 1. Botanical garden in full summer glory with nary another guest. Could be because we wandered in an unlocked gate at 5:45am and the park didn’t open until 8:30am. What do these people do with 4.5 hours of sunlight and a city that’s still asleep?

Don’t mind the clashing pink socks and fuchsia shoes. It’s a miracle I’m not in jammies.

The quiet air and brick buildings, the ivy framed windows and bicycles lining the streets are picturesque northern Europe. I was thinking the still morning was the calm before the storm, but of course the storm is all on summer vacay—that lull time in European countries where the gang goes to the country house and coffee shops close till mid-August.

The Botanical Gardens were just a ruse, really, to get us walking across town to Sankt Peder’s Bageri, Copenhagen’s gluten masters since 1652. It’s been 7 years since I’ve consciously eaten gluten, a health choice based on vanity, a friend’s encouragement, and my attempts to improve my useless digestive system. This morning at 7am I knowingly chucked that choice. See exhibit A below:

Apparently danish pastries are Viennese in origin but the Danes are doing a hell of job with the concept. The black sandy looking one was filled with a slightly sweet almond paste that made me real happy. Potential gut destruction aside, the walk through the streets of Indre By neighborhood prior to Sankt Peder’s 7am opening was a delightful re-introduction to the nightlife I can no longer stay awake long enough to participate in.

A nice couple stopped mid-walk 10 feet ahead of us (after she kicked the toilet paper off her shoe) and dove into a doorway for a 6:45am full exposure, sweet love making session. I’m not sure if they just met, but her red plastic heels looked terrific in the morning light.

A group of young men, too wildly over exuberant for the quiet streets invited us to join them, not sure where they were going or leaving from, but my pink socks weren’t ready for the party.

A crabby English lady saw her preferred pastry wasn’t ready at the bakery and refused to wait outside the door with us until it opened.

All this to say, a night without sleep generally makes me stabby in the brain. But the gorgeous blue skies, the cream cheese frosting, and the beauty of young love makes it all worthwhile.

Brought to you by coffee:

by _Annie_Crawford

Alaska feels like the end of the other world. People who live in 24 hour sun or 24 hour night must, by nature, be extreme. I’m fascinated. Who intentionally inhabits the 49th state? I foolishly think I know ALL about the Alaskan psyche from reading Drop City by T.C. Boyle in 2003. Obviously my research has been exhaustive.

I loved the 18.39 hours of sunlight early June provided. My internal clock burned like a midnight star. I cannot fathom living through the dark winters.

In Seward we floated the fjords of Resurrection Bay, saw humpback whales, and pet the arms of a 70 lb Giant Pacific Octopus named Gilly. Wild beasts in their habitat.

Bear Glacier is visible in the lower left of the shot. We’re floating on Resurrection Bay outside of Seward, AK

Back in Anchorage we hiked, biked, ate delicious food, walking amongst the 49ers (not the right use, you say?) pretending as though their lives were normal and they didn’t live on the precipice of time.

Now I’m back in the lower 48, eating bowl 3 of honey nut cheerios for dinner, and watching the reunion of season 6 of RHOBH. Wild kingdom indeed.

by _Annie_Crawford