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As we speak

I’m trying to keep my mouth relaxed. I’m blogging to distract myself from the fact that I’m having my photo taken, as we speak, by Christine, for a photo project she has to turn in for class tomorrow. And I have to relax my mouth because in every photo she’s showed me so far, I look like I’m trying not to fart. And honestly? That’s not a good look for me.

Oh man, you guys. This is long.

When did I last post? I have no idea. It could have been forty-eight weeks ago. That’s what it feels like for sure.

Life has just been so … life-y lately. I haven’t wanted to write about it because blegh. What a downer. I know I’m in the middle of a transition, and transitions can be messy, but I don’t want to post all kinds of self-pitying garbage every week. So I haven’t been writing at all. And not writing makes me really unhappy, which means I can’t write because I’ll just write self-pitying garbage. It’s an ugly circle.

Anyway, I’m in New York to see the revival of Angels in America, and celebrate Halloween with Adam, my BGFF. We were texting about our costumes last week:

  • A: Do you have your Jackie Kennedy wig yet?
  • T: No, we’re gonna need to go shopping.
  • A: Totally. :-> I can’t wait to give you your birthday present!
  • T: Seriously? My birthday’s not until January.
  • A: Omg, you’re gonna die. It’s the best birthday present in the world.
  • T: Is it alive?
  • A: Kind of? :-/

Last night over pizza he handed me a gift wrapped in gorgeous hand-made paper.

“Open it!”

“I can’t! It’s too pretty!”

“Here’s scissors, just cut into it. But be careful.”

“It feels like ….” I felt the gift all over. Fingertips on hard edges. “A book!”

“You’re so funny. Open it.”

“You do it.”

“Here.” He snipped the tape seals. “Now rip it.”

The first thing I saw was my name, “Frosty” in white glossy letters. “What is it?” I laughed, my eyes welling over because it couldn’t possibly be what I thought it was. It couldn’t be.

“It’s your book. It’s every single blog post you wrote on Frosty-licious, with all the pictures, everything. It’s your entire three-and-half years in New York. It’s all the moments you and Michael shared, with photos, it’s everything.”

It’s everything. It’s incredible. It’s my words on slick glossy paper. It’s warts and all, because let’s be honest, there was a while there when all I did on Frosty-licious was whine about how I wanted to stab myself in the face with a fork because being a grown-up was sooo hard. It’s everything. All the humiliating shit I wish I could wash myself clean of and it’s all the beautiful stuff too. It’s how I climbed out of the cesspool of misery and how Mike and I fell in love all over again, as a family, just him and me and the fantastic army of creatures we call our pets. It’s how we built a life with nothing but our hands and our love. It’s beautiful.

Adam wrote a forward for it, and when I read the first line I started crying so hard I had to put the book down until I could catch my breath again. Happy tears, tears of sweet nostalgia for what’s behind me, tears of gratitude, because it’s incredible that someone sees in my story something precious and worth holding on to. Tears of shame because there are parts of me in that story I wish I could hide, but why should I be ashamed of my humanness? Why should I be ashamed of my darker moments? Maybe I didn’t need to type them out into the Webisphere for anyone with access to the internet, but who cares. We’re all human. We all have our own sewage to sludge through sometimes. It’s what we choose to do with it at the end of the day that counts. I think I’ve learned how to try and choose “deal with it and move on” as an appropriate response to those times in my life and I guess that’s really why I haven’t been writing lately. I haven’t known how to write about my shit without wading in it and I’d like to write about my shit and laugh at it.

Like, for example, how my entire family expects me to cry at the drop of a hat. I totally earned that, I have always cried at the drop of a hat, so they have every right to expect it. I still do cry whenever I feel big emotions, but not like I used to. I think. It’s still up for debate. The other day I cried all during lunch at Goucho Grill, so it might be harder to live down than I thought, but still.

Whenever I start to speak really passionately about something, my brother will jump up and point at me and shout, “No crying! No crying!” and I’m always so surprised I have to start laughing and it breaks up the moment, you know? In a really good way. We have to be able to laugh about our shit.

Have a wonderful Halloween, you guys. I’ve gotta go find a white pillbox hat.

33 Hours Worked, And It’s Only Wednesday

Monday I worked a twelve-hour day, and today I worked for thirteen hours, with only one thirty-minute break, which I didn’t take until 7:30 p.m. And it’s ok, because last night I had an hour-long full-body massage, complete with wild massage-induced revelations, which I would love to tell you about, if my arms weren’t about to fall off my body. I’m tired from typing, you guys.

The next couple of days are bound to be as hectic and long as Monday and today were, so let’s just be honest and say I’m not going to post anything here until next week. But know I’m thinking of you, and wishing we could be together. In the webispheres. What?

P.S. Check this out. It’s what’s taking over my life. (I say that with all the love in the world in my heart. I really do.)

Complete Turn Around

Phew! I’m just coming off a twelve-and-a-half hour work day, and I can’t tell if I’m exhausted or completely amped.

You guys, so far this week has been a million times better than last week. For one thing, I had a great work day today. After last week’s misery I was granted forty hours of training with a coding guru, and today was absolute bliss.

I guess I haven’t told you what it is I’m doing, have I? I’m learning web design. And HTML, CSS, javascript, and all that jazz. And up until today I’ve been learning it almost exclusively by myself, using various online video tutorials whenever I get stuck, which is constantly. This is not easy stuff. However, this week I’m in serious training and today was so. much. easier. The icing on the Monday Cake was when, after my eight hours of training, I used my new HTML skillz to format all the content on this:

It’s not fancy, but I’m super impressed with myself. I had to build tables! In HTML! You guys!

But the exhaustion is beginning to catch up with me. My shoulders, arms, neck, and butt ache. But oh! Valentine is doing great. She’s happy as can be, her gum-holes are healing beautifully, and we’ve nick-named her “Gums.” Theo went to the dentist today, and he had to have a tooth pulled too, but only one. We have learned our lesson and from now on we will take much, much, much better care of their oral hygiene, I promise.

Also? It’s been sunny for three days now and I’m in absolute heaven. Even though my face has been pressed to a computer screen for twelve-and-a-half hours, just the sunlight streaming in through the windows is enough to make me giddy.

I love you guys. Thanks for being there when I needed you.

Dark and Twisty

Oh man, you guys. I am in a rough spot. There is a lot of anxiety happening all up in my shiz. Lots of teeth grinding and fingernails raking and brows furrowing. My face hurts from all the frowning I’ve been doing in the last three days. I have got to lighten up. I want to, I really do, I am trying to stay positive, but I am seriously bumming out.

What do you do when you get into this kind of head space? Like, when you just. feel. lonesome. And a little bit worthless. And like kind of a failure.

I know it’s silly, I really do. There are people in the world who really are alone, and who are sick and starving and cold. And I’m fine. I’m living in suburbia and I have a fantastic job and a wonderful family, I know. I am blessed. But tonight I feel sad and lonely and scared and confused. And I just need a friend. Someone to listen while I cry and then say something stupid so I’ll laugh.

I hate it when Mike works nights. I hate that it rained and was dreary all day. I hate that I’m doing a job I don’t know how to do. I hate that Valentine had to have six teeth pulled out of her head.

Fine, there it is. My big shameful secret. One of many. We never had Valentine’s teeth cleaned, not the whole time we were in New York, and she started spitting out teeth a couple of months ago, and as a result of our negligence that poor little dog has no front teeth.

How is she supposed to be ferocious with no front teeth?

It’s shameful, it really is. It’s shameful that I didn’t take better care of her and it’s shameful that I just spent a months worth of savings on a doggy dental visit. And its shameful that I’m upset about the amount of money I spent. It’s all just terribly shameful.

And also the weather and Mike working nights and not knowing how to do my job. I want to know how to do it, I really do. I would absolutely love to know how to do my job, to be good at it. That’s what’s killing me. The feeling like I’m a giant stupid idiot who can’t do anything right. A giant stupid incapable idiot who can’t do anything right and doesn’t take care of her dogs.

And it’s pouring rain and gray and cold and I miss Mike. I haven’t seen him, except in passing, since Sunday. I hate having opposite schedules. I wish we could just run away together and disappear on a sunny beach somewhere on an island in the middle of the ocean. Somewhere where the sun shines year-round and the weather never drops below eighty except at night when the air is cool and crisp. Somewhere where we wouldn’t have any obligations except to relax in the sun while unicorns dance under rainbows at the edge of the sea and Valentine chases them with a mouth full of healthy teeth.

I keep telling myself that the dog will be ok with six less teeth, that I’ll learn how to do the things I’m being taught, that Mike and I will realign our schedules so we have more time together. That this is all temporary. And it helps to get it off my chest, out into the open. I feel a little bit better now. Lighter. A little bit hopeful. So thank you. Seriously. Thank you.


About – Oct. 2010


My name is Patricia Frost and I’m married to a handsome, brainy, mechanically gifted man named Michael who finds much of what I write on this website to be mildly embarrassing. We have two dogs, two cats, and a pet python named after the devil. We spend most of our free time vacuuming.

In February of 2007, just ten months after we married, we left our home in Los Angeles for New York City because I didn’t want to wake up at forty wondering what my life would have been like if I’d moved to New York and Mike didn’t want that either. Now I can say I know what life in New York is like and I’ll take Los Angeles any day. We left the city in August of 2010 and moved in with my parents in my childhood home with our five animals in the Valley. It’s a little weird. In a good way.

You’ll probably notice that I talk about New York a lot, and that’s because the nearly four years I spent there left a huge impression on me. The first two years were the hardest, most horrible years of my entire life, and if it weren’t for Michael, I don’t think I would have survived it. But survived it I did. We survived it together and the challenges we overcame made our marriage stronger and better than I ever could have imagined. He’s my best friend, my world, my hero, my everything. I adore him.

I am a writer, an actor, a Certified Family Law Paralegal and a professional blogger. I earned a BFA from a university-accredited art conservatory where I spent four years rolling around on the floor in white body make-up making funny noises and watching my tongue in a hand mirror. My college transcripts include Yoga, Tai Chi, Punk Writing, Queer Books, and Singing For Actors. In the future I’d like to go back to school and study science. I’ve always liked looking at the insides of things.

I love Neutral Milk Hotel, The Bangkok Five, and The New Pornographers. I collect photos of dead animals, I love poop jokes, and I frequently say inappropriate things. I hate high heels and fancy clothes. I’m terrible at standing up for myself. I dread dinner parties because I always end up standing awkwardly alone in a corner with stains on my dress and runs in my stockings. I’d rather stay home with good friends than go out for a night on the town. I want to have a baby so badly that sometimes I think my ovaries are talking to me, but the state of our current health care debacle is forcing us to wait. (Thanks for that, United States. I can vote but I can’t see a doctor. Awesome.)

In addition to A Serious Girl, I edit, compile and write for Ron and Robert on Divorce, a blog that provides information and education to families in crisis. I started writing my first blog, Frosty-licious, in May of 2007, just three months after moving thousands of miles away from home. At first I used blogging as a way to whine about how awful my first-world problems were. After a while I started writing instead of whining and before I knew it writing became my sanctuary. This blog is my sanctuary. Thank you for reading.

The World Keeps Spinning


My heart has been so heavy the last couple of days. Mike started working nights again, which is awful. But it’s particularly awful because he’s working a job that brings him absolutely zero satisfaction, so he’s not even enjoying himself. At least if he were doing something he enjoyed, like EMT work, or a property management gig, or if he was gone all night because he was taking classes or something, at least I would know he was getting something out of it. But instead I know he’s on his feet all night, miserable, the hours dragging by like years, and so it’s hard to sit through my own personal loneliness with a brave face.

Then there’s the weather. You guys, seriously. The weather has been cold and gray for days and days. It has rained three times this week. Are you honestly telling me that we moved back from New York for this horrible, gray, dreary weather? Seriously? Because I could have stayed in New York for this. And then at least I’d be in New York.

I don’t mean that. I really do love the Valley. But this weather is seriously bumming me out.

Next is my job. It’s super frustrating right now. I’m having to learn a whole new set of skills, and what it feels like is that I’m learning a new language, and I’m not going to lie, it’s a little scary. I’m learning how to do things I never thought I’d have to learn and on the one hand, that’s the entire reason I took the job. Because I knew it would challenge me in ways I’ve never been challenged, and that was exactly what I wanted. And yet.

I think the problem here is that I don’t handle change very well. Or maybe I handle change just like everyone else does, and maybe everyone else feels super overwhelmed by change. I don’t know. Can you answer that for me? Because all of these little life changes are starting to pile up and feel a little crushing, now that the honeymoon has worn off, and I’m freaking the eff out.

Deep. Breath.

Another. Deep. Breath.

And yet. We chose this. We wanted this. Mike and I both. We stopped going out and eating at restaurants so we could save up enough money for this. We talked about it and planned it out and when we found out it was all real, we were so happy we cried.

And there have been days since we moved when all we can do is grin at each other and knock fists and bro-hug, we’re that pleased with ourselves. There have been happy reunions and little victories and days we both felt our lives were too good to be real. So I’m not trying to say that we made the wrong choice, or that I was starting to regret our decision, or anything like that. It’s just that it’s life, you know? It’s complicated and messy and boring and then it’s fantastic and perfect and full of tiny bursts of light like shooting stars that make all the rest of it worthwhile. I guess the thing to do is try and find the peace within it all. The zen. So that the crappy stuff doesn’t matter so much and the happy stuff is the thing you notice the most.

Budgets for Lovers

This weekend, for the first time in weeks, Mike and I found ourselves with a free afternoon. We used to have regularly scheduled budgeting sessions, much like our regularly scheduled dates, but since we moved across the country for the second time in four years, all that has fallen by the wayside. So how did we spend our free afternoon? We sat down with coffee and cookies and we drew up a budget.

I don’t know if you’re big on budgeting your expenses, but we definitely are. It’s a habit we got into when we wrote our pre-nup, and we’ve found that whenever we slip out of it, life starts to get really stressful. Money can be frustrating enough, but when you’re in the dark about how much is coming in and how much you’re spending and whether or not you can make the bills next week, it’s hard to focus on much else. Alternatively, when we’re staying on top of our finances, everything else seems to fall beautifully into place.

The first two years in New York we didn’t have a budget. Sure, one had worked before, but I didn’t need that crutch anymore! I could just keep track of our finances in my head! Why waste time writing a budget? Budgets are for sissies! Those were the years. The years of expensive restaurants, shopping sprees, and crushing guilt. The years we lived off frozen soybeans and microwave popcorn because we’d spent that week’s grocery money at a bar. The years our debt stacked higher no matter how much we paid on the balance each month. The wilted salad years.

When we were both laid off in 2008, I discovered Crazy Aunt Purl’s Budget Worksheet. It was serendipitous, if you ask me. We were in dire straights and one day, on a break from searching the Craigslist job ads, I got curious and clicked a link and there it was, in all its automatic built-in mathematic glory. I plugged our numbers into the appropriate cells and discovered that we were spending waaaaaaay more than we were earning, and had been for a long, long time. Which explained the credit card situation.

That was when we started getting hot and heavy with our finances. In 2009 we made less than half of what we’d made the year before, but because we were living by our budget, we felt like we had more income than we’d had in ages. Our budget included money for dates and personal spending, and when we stuck to it we had everything we wanted and more. That budget enabled us to get out from under our debt and save enough money to move home.

Then we moved and stopped paying attention to our finances all over again, so yesterday was a real eye-opener. But I’m glad we did it. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders, even if the news isn’t what I hoped it would be, to know what’s going out and what’s coming in, instead of ignoring the bankbook and crossing my fingers. And I swear, budgeting goes hand-in-hand with romance because when we’re not worrying about money we can do other things that are a lot more fun.

Whether you’re married or single, knowing exactly where your money goes every month can help you redirect your funds so you can live a life that’s congruent with your goals and dreams. At least I think so. And because I think you’ll dig it too, I’ve attached my version of Aunt Purl’s Budget Worksheet. It’s basically exactly the same as hers, except I added rows for things like Date Night and Savings and renamed it Budgets for Lovers. Click it! It’s downloadable!

Budgets for Lovers

If you’d rather download her Personal Budget Sheet, click here, then scroll down past Archives and past Categories, until you get to Knitting Recipes. You’ll find it there.

If you’ve downloaded Budgets for Lovers, you might be wondering where you’re supposed to come up with the numbers for the cells. That’s what this baby is for:

Weekly Budget Worksheet for Lovers

I drew that one up myself, so it’s not nearly as fancy and automatically mathey as Aunt Purl’s, but it does its job. At the end of every week I sit down with my checkbook and all the receipts from Mike’s and my wallet, and I plug in everything we spent and what it was spent on. Then at the end of the month I plug the totals from my weekly sheet into Budgets for Lovers and voila! An eye-opening glimpse into the real-life mysteries of an American couple’s spending habits.

How do you take care of your finances? Is it something you pay close attention to? Do you make lists and notations and use a calculator? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants and let things work out as they will? What helps you feel like your finances are under control?