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Exhausted Zoot Bounces Annoyingly Back and Forth Between Third Person and First Person Narration.

photo (4)I’m still not sleeping well, by the way. For example, I finally fell asleep a little before 10pm last night (I used to fall asleep closer to 8pm) and woke up at 2am this morning. Since “lack of sleep” was a weird motivation to trying to go vegan, you’d think I’d just start with the meat and the cheese already. But, I’m happy with other things, so I’m sticking with it.

This is new to me though, the whole not-sleeping-well thing. And I have to remind myself of it often. I’ve been feeling depressed lately, which is unusual for me as I’m more of the Mind-Numbing Anxiety type of emotional turmoil, not the Depression and Sadness type. I mean, the depression and sadness comes and goes, but it’s usually overshadowed by the anxiety. But not now. Zoot without sleep is depressed. (Zoot without sleep is also not good with typos or spelling, so pardon all of those things in this blog entry.)

I have to say to myself, “It’s because you are NOT SLEEPING.” Otherwise, I start really feeling overwhelmed by how pointless it all seems.

For example, lately? Exhausted Zoot has been super-depressed about the issue of gay marriage in my community and the state of Alabama. While I tried to find hope in case #3 going against the ban in the state supreme court, I have been reminded not to get my hopes up. For good reason, but still. That depresses me, that my friends who stand with me in the fight for equality – they have to remind me that there’s no way any judge at the level will rule in favor of gay marriage. But they’re right. And then periodically Facebook will tell me “So-in-so liked this article” and it’s a religious article providing more support for why Gay Marriage Is Wrong and I get sad because my friend liked that article. Or I read a thread where the discussion is civil, I’m not friends with anyone (I hope) who just outright thinks all gays should be stoned, but still – so many of my peers stand by it continuing to be illegal and I just feel hopeless. You hope your children will have a better future, but then you go several weeks without good sleep and you see that a friend thinks that gay marriage is harmful to society and suddenly you wonder why you even bother. Exhausted Zoot gets very hopeless very quickly. But I need to remind myself: ZOOT IS EXHAUSTED. CHILL OUT.

And then Exhausted Zoot reads about a blogger who feels shame and not using her words when she should and Exhausted Zoot becomes very disappointed in blogger Zoot. Blogger Zoot never talks about racism either. There are a lot of things Blogger Zoot never talks about. Like how she is staunchly pro-choice and is grateful that when she needed that choice, the laws were actually more in favor for that than they are now. Blogger Zoot doesn’t talk about how frustrated she gets that if you support any sort of legislation that might enforce a small bit of regulation on how a person gets a gun, or what kind of gun they get, that you immediately are against the 2nd amendment. Zoot loves the second amendment! Zoot up in a house with guns and raised by a hyper-responsible gun owner! But Blogger Zoot can’t talk about any legislation she might support that slightly reduces the availability of some guns, or the ease to get some guns, or she will be raged on for being against the second amendment. WHY IS THERE NO GRAY AREA ANYMORE?

Blogger Zoot never speaks out about those things because Blogger Zoot gets scared about upsetting people but now Exhausted Zoot reads that Dooce article and is disappointed in herself and depressed I have to remind myself again: ZOOT IS EXHAUSTED. CHILL OUT.

And then Exhausted Zoot gets sad because she becomes an exponentially worse parent and worse wife when she’s tired. I woke up at 2am, WIDE AWAKE, and sat there thinking about all of the ways I screwed up yesterday. Because I lost my patience and was tired and was stressed and all of those failures had me looking at my entire life’s work as a parent and Exhausted Zoot came to the conclusion that she is the worst parent in the world. EVER. And I feel sad and guilty and wondering if my kid’s are going to ever be able to overcome all of my dreadful parenting to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. But then I shake my head a bit, slap myself in the face and say, out loud: ZOOT IS EXHAUSTED. CHILL OUT.

Exhausted Zoot is disappointed she has yet to read those Non-Fiction books that she got at the library. Endless YA Fiction is not going to make her smarter. Exhausted Zoot is disappointed that she hasn’t mowed the grass yet. Or put up the laundry. Exhausted Zoot is basically living in a world of disappointment and sadness and can’t seem to see anything clearly without a cloudy mist of gray over everything. Luckily, I know it’s because I’m exhausted that everything is so tainted, but STILL. Knowing that doesn’t seem to dilute the feelings of hopelessness and sadness.

It’s hard when you’re just tired all the time. It’s hard to be rational. I had been avoiding taking any sort of sleep aids because I really need to get up early to try to get work in before the kids wake up, and sleep aids often mess with my natural biorhythms. But, I think I’ve reached the point that the emotional damage Exhausted Zoot is inflicting on Hard-Working and Happy Zoot, far outweighs the damage any sleep aid might do.

Rational Zoot is still there. I’m constantly reminding myself: Vegan for 10 days! Bike rides to the library with the kids! 3-mile fun runs with Nikki! Tons of progress with big projects at work! The clothes are clean even if they are all still in the laundry room! Books are being read, even if they aren’t about theoretical physics! But Rational Zoot only chants those things for about 15 seconds every hour because SHE IS SO F*CKING TIRED.

Here’s to A) Making it through today without falling asleep and B) Dosing up with sleep aids tonight in an effort to try to regain my sanity. Even if it has me miss my early morning run I need tomorrow.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

Guess What! I’m stressed! I know! That’s never a topic of conversation around here, is it? Me? Stressed? Anxious? On Edge? Terrified? Mortified? Uneasy? None of those words are ever used to describe anything I’m ever feeling! What a change of pace and tone for me to be writing about anxiety! WEIRD. THIS IS ALL NEW TERRITORY OVER HERE.

(I evidently took too many sarcasm supplements today.)

It should come as NO surprise that I’m a wee bit stressed. We have officially decided to stay here and not relocate to New Hampshire. While it’s a relief to have THAT decision out of the way (which was an INCREDIBLY difficult decision) now we enter the zone of…Finding A Job Before The Office Closes. And this is not a fun zone to be in. And it’s full of regret and doubt since that INCREDIBLY difficult decision left behind a guaranteed job.

SO, basically, I’ve been eating my feelings for 2 weeks solid now.

It should come as NO surprise that I’ve gained 8lbs faster than I’ve ever gained 8lbs in my ENTIRE LIFE. If I was in a weight gaining contest, the percentage of weight I just gained in the amount of time I gained it should win me some kind of Emotional Eaters Of American trophy.

It doesn’t help that Ben & Jerry’s has all of these new flavors of ice cream out. And I must try them all. And by “try” I mean “eat an entire pint in one siting” because you really can’t decide how you feel about an ice cream unless you eat an entire pint in one sitting.

But, last night I realized that Donnie is stressed too. And he doesn’t get stressed. Not really. And since it is HIS stress and NOT mine, I felt kinda selfish taking possession of it all and using it as an excuse to eat 2 plates of nachos for dinner. So, I crammed my face full of cookies and then went to bed deciding, This is it. I’m not taking this anxiety as my own and eating my weight in spinach dip because of it. Instead, I’m going to be a supportive wife and try to be there as a strong support system for my husband which I can do better if my face is not buried in a bowl of Cool Ranch Doritos.

I just felt selfish, all of the sudden. Like I was taking possession of all of the stress in our lives and using it as a crutch to explain my binging. And while I do have a right to be stressed, this is his stress. It does, of course, impact my life…but it’s his job and career and I need to try to use that same energy that I use to inhale a dozen donuts and try to focus it on him instead.

Just think of us, okay? Both of us?


The high today is 43 degrees! 43! Bring on the swim suits!

We had a power outage yesterday and everyone here was saying that if your power goes out, turn of your heat unit so that when everything comes back on it doesn’t blow the system. Our downstairs unit was already failing miserably, leaving the interior temp at a balmy 51. The upstairs was working better, but still…brrrrrr. I turned off the units, grabbed my laptop, and headed to a coffee shop to work.

I was there for a bit over 2 hours and when I came back home the downstairs was 46 degrees! 46! That’s only 3 degrees higher than the temps are supposed to get today! But it was 26 degrees higher than the highs yesterday, so, I guess I should have been grateful?

And of course the van has a stubborn a/c that won’t turn off so I couldn’t even seek refuge on any commute. IT IS COLD EVERYWHERE IN MY LIFE.

But today? Today I get to “warm up” and I am SO excited! Finally! Temps above freezing! I think I’m going to get groceries just because I can actually tolerate the 4-mile drive to Target.

Hope all of you guys are staying warm. I think most of us are finally getting a reprieve today from Mother Nature. But if you’re not – if you’re still freezing – I’m sorry. I won’t take my 43 degrees for granted today.

Getting It Off My Chest

Okay. I’m in a funk because the universe keeps taking giant poops on my head and I feel like I need to just get it all off my chest in one #FirstWorldProblems type entry so I an let it go and quit crying in local parking lots.

(Yes. That happened. I’m sufficiently ashamed.)

I mean, we are lucky. We have a house. We have a kid in college. We have races and cars and we know we are VERY lucky. BUT STILL. To make it all work this year we have already cut back a lot. We are both driving older cars, mine has 160K miles on it and Donnie’s is 7ish years old. We dropped cable. We only eat out on Saturday nights. We dropped our Botanical Garden memberships and I don’t go to boot camp anymore. We have already cut a LOT to make ends meet. And then? It got better.

Shit That Has Fallen On Our Heads In The Last Month Or Two.

  • Donnie’s car had a major transmission fail.
  • Eliah’s laptop needed repairing.
  • Donnie’s phone which was already an older model due to breaking his newer one, fell in the toilet.
  • Donnie needed physical therapy a couple times a week for an injury at $25 a visit.
  • Repeated bills from both my surgeries and Wes’s several months ago. They keep popping up, here and there.
  • The a/c won’t turn off on the van. Meaning the heat won’t turn on. It’s Alabama, not Minnesota, but it’s still damn cold to have car with no heat.
  • The kicker…we found out yesterday that a LARGE (to us) chunk of money that we were counting on for a big necessity in our life? Is no long accessible. So we had to basically deplete what little savings we had.

Basically, we made all of these cuts. Then all of this crazy shit happened. And then more crazy shit happened depleting our savings and I found myself crying in the parking lot while ordering not one but TWO milkshakes from Wendy’s.

Which I paid for by counting out quarters from my change cup.

I mean. Logically? I know it’s SO LAME to complain. So many people have so many bigger problems. But I just can’t shake the funk and I just wanted to itemize the shit that has fallen on our heads so I could say: HERE IT IS, I’M PISSED OFF AT THE UNIVERSE. QUIT POOPING ON US.

Especially E. He is already on a $10/week budget in college meaning his “fun” money covers the periodic movie or cup of coffee and that’s about it. He knows he’s lucky, but it’s hard to say, “No” all the time when your friends ask you to do stuff. There’s a new fraternity coming to Montevallo and he was thinking about pledging but that’s completely out now, obviously.

Anyway. #FirstWorldProblems, I know. But I had to put it out there. AGAIN. I feel like every 3 weeks I’m like, “Oh…poor me…my life is so hard…” And I’m sorry. But I gotta throw it out there for a few hours just to see if it makes me feel a little less overwhelmed right now.

I am not a big blogger by any means. I don’t make any money on this site right here. Sometimes I write on OTHER sites where I might make some money, but this site makes me nothing. It has no ads and no sponsored content. And I don’t even really have the type of traffic to support either if I wanted to make money.

YET STILL…I get emails like this all the time:


My name is [REDACTED] and I’m interested in publishing an article on your site Miss Zoot.

The article would be of the highest quality and it would be perfectly suited for your website meeting any requirements/guidelines you might have. I would want to include one link in the article to my client’s website. This is a bingo website that is highly authoritative.

Would this be at all possible? Please do get in touch.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.


What in the hell? There is no way anyone ever responds in the affirmative to these emails, right? They are SO generic in reference to what they want to write and don’t even give a topic that the article will cover. YET! It’s always a great fit for my blog and very informative! BUT THEY NEVER GIVE ACTUAL CONTENT. It’s just some sort of random article that will match my blog and be useful!

Why wouldn’t I say “SURE!”

There’s NEVER any compensation mentioned. NEVER EVER. So, they want to write this generic article about GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT (I’m thinking “Scraping Content From Other Sites” would be a good title.) and not pay me ONE PENNY for putting it on my site. What is in it for me? Just their wonderful content about their mysterious (but informative!) subject? Like – I’m so desperate for words over here I’ll just take it just because? Do people do that?

A LINK TO A BINGO SITE? What in the hell? Why would I want that on my blog? Surrounded by words about my kids and my running and my grief. BINGO? SERIOUSLY?

And here’s the thing – the people who DO say “Yes” to those kind of proposals? Can not in ANY WAY actually be writing a personal blog. Which is very obvious that’s what mine is. A personal blog. If there are people out there who do accept these type of proposals for whatever reason, they are NOT writing about their marathon training, or their grief over their dead Dad, or their reproductive issues. One click to my site and you see it’s a VERY personal site, in what world would ANY of that proposal appeal to me? I don’t even have ads on my site and those might make me a few cents a month – why would I want someone else’s words for NO MONEY?


I get these type of emails at least 2-3 times a week. Sometimes they even follow-up on them which has to be automated because there’s no way someone says, “Hmmm…I’m suprised she didn’t take us up on this. Let’s try again…” without even clicking on my blog first. And they always call my site “Miss Zoot” which means I’m on some database somewhere of bloggers to pester and that’s the “Name” of my site. I would like to find who put my name/site on that database and find who sent it out to hundreds of PR people and then I’d like to give them ugly looks.

Another variation which isn’t QUITE as ludicrous but that I find just as irritating is the, “Hey! Help us promote this author by going out and buying the book yourself and then reading it and then talking about it on you blog!” I get those at least once or twice a month. Now, I wouldn’t mind an Advanced Reader Copy of books from my favorite authors, so I don’t hate those emails as much but they’re not even offering me ARCs. They’re just telling me to go BUY the book and then READ it and then TALK about it! It might fit my blog a bit more and does seem a bit more specific but still – does anyone see that and go “OH WOW! I’m totally going to do JUST THAT!”

I just think the people who respond to those type of emails are NOT running personal blogs. And I wish they’d look at the link ONE TIME before they emailed me to see, “This girl blogs for her own personal reasons. She’s not desperate for content and she doesn’t make money off her site.” These are all things I think you could see with ONE CLICK on my front page and then see there’s NO POINT in emailing me.


Okay. Sorry about that rant. I feel much better now.