Today call me half-assed

Today call me half-assed and I swear I am not lying to you. I mean, we’ve all been burned by tangled webs, from spiders to Lady Macbeth (with or without the damn spots).

And keeping track of past falsehoods requires diligence which is anathema to someone who spends her life seeking less work for herself.

That’s right. I direct my whole-ass efforts—paradoxically—to locating short-cuts or avoiding proverbial needles in metaphorical haystacks.

Finding those sounds kind of hard.

So. In an attempt to counterbalance any recent posts in which I may have implied I’m a go-getter (good golly, I hate that term! Almost as much as I hate “good golly”), I’m about to cast a bright light on my slackerocity.

Slackerisciousness? Slackeropolisticology. Yeah. That’s it. Pretty sure.

What follows is a brief but no-doubt enlightening photo tour of my home as it looks RIGHT NOW without augmentation or adjustment.

Prepare to be dazzled. Or to feel sorry for my kids. You decide.

First off, a peek into the guest room where no one deigns to stay.

Perhaps because the bed is always covered in laundry. Yet there’s method in my madness! Or “I know a hawk from a handsaw!” It’s one of those. I’m pretty sure.

You see, I prefer to spread out items that may wrinkle and leave the crap I don’t care about (read: other family members’ clothing) to languish in the basket. One could argue that rather than wasting time sorting important from worn-by-others, I could simply fold everything.

To that person I say, “Don’t mess with madness. Or handsaws.”

They’re sharper than needles. I assume.

Moving on to the “office” (a former wet-bar that’s now a cabinet-where-I-shove-envelopes). Please note the complicated filing system:

Yes, I’m available to offer strategies on any and all of your organizational needs. Also, I can teach you to contact your power company to get the electricity turned back on.

Which is a valuable skill. I’ve heard.

Venturing outside, you’ll enjoy two lanterns sporting candles that have seen firmer days.

Does this make anyone think of E.D.? Of course I’m referencing Emily Dickinson. Because she would’ve used white candles. Sheesh.

And it’s not that I mind buying new candles. But I don’t want to clean hot wax off dirty glass. I’m simply too busy cramming unpaid bills into tiny cabinetry. Obviously.

Next up, let’s visit the kitchen featuring our Viking range which we bought on clearance three years ago. Unfortunately, three of the six knobs fell off within the first three months.

I know. I should’ve called the company for repairs. But I hate talking on the phone even more than I love ignoring problems. So it’s a win-win for everyone. Except us.

As we head upstairs to the bathroom, you’ll see duct tape patching the hole chewed into our wall by rats on more than one occasion.

Still, the dusty artificial plant (seriously, what the hell is that?) on the bathtub ledge below is in such bad taste you almost don’t notice the duct tape.


In the master bedroom, which I have been told is supposed to be some kind of sanctuary (I’m looking at you, Nate Berkus), I’ve given up trying to clean the pet stains. Here’s a shot of Bella sleeping near her most puke-alicious effort brought on by the perpetual spur to prick the sides of her intent: an over-sized bag of M&M’s.

Yes. I know chocolate is toxic to dogs.

It’s also pretty crappy for carpet.

Finally, cast your eyes inside my 12-year-old daughter’s closet. I know. Weird, right? She has no skirts or blouses. No cute shawls or sweaters. Not one hanger-worthy article of clothing besides three karate uniforms and a droopy pink sundress from Old Navy she’s never worn.

Now for you moms whose girls have closets replete with fashionable, season-appropriate, stain-free, ironed clothing, please know I’m not completely heartless.

After all, she has a fourth karate uniform languishing at the bottom of the laundry basket in the guest room that I would’ve folded but I ran out of time creating conjugations for slacker.


p.s. I almost forgot. Here’s the sum total of my decorating for Halloween:


Go ahead and feel sorry for my kids now.

And also, my apologies to Shakespeare.

68 thoughts on “Today call me half-assed

  1. I love the dog lying next to the hurl outline. It’s like a vomited thought bubble. Good to know you’re human like the rest of us.

  2. I.



  3. Deb

    At least you’re putting it all out there. Some of us are more “closeted” …. we may put on appearances, but …. wait, oh, god … don’t open that door!!!!!!

  4. You make me feel normal… which pretty much makes you also a miracle worker. There, now you can add that to self descriptors. I’m an expert.

  5. This is FABULOUS! And my house looks like your house, but instead of duct tape I have half of my hardwood floor ripped up, two feet of walls missing and carpet that looks like my kids took scissors to it! *SIGH* OH and the cooktop…yeah mine doesn’t work either and I haven’t been able to get a new one just yet.

    I swear we could be slacker sisters with new iPhones! Watch out world!! But I applaud your bravery for putting it out there.

  6. We can have a laundry-off if you’d like. Although I do fold my husband’s clothes and then they languish in the basket for all eternity…or until he picks them out, wears them, and then puts them on the floor (where, clearly, dirty clothes are supposed to go.

    And I totally sort out my own clothes first.

    Despite your slackertudeiosity, I still think you’re the bees knees (worse or better than good golly!?)

  7. Annabelle

    I feel sooooo much better now : p

  8. I use that SAME EXACT filing system!!! Funny story, I married a neurotic type A person (I don’t even know what type A means for sure, but I have heard it used in a sentence…). I take great joy in “forgetting” to lock the back door, and telling him his belt is in four different places before I “remember” it’s on the washing machine…of course it is! Also, I tell my 2 year old to pee OUTSIDE because he can’t aim AT ALL yet and I don’t feel like taking him every five seconds. It’s just the back yard…and he loves it. It’s my system for keeping the bathroom clean…ish.
    Good times.

  9. Wait. Your house isn’t perfectly clean and organized every day? Your daughter doesn’t dress like one of the kids on Pretty Little Liars? Your dog eats something other than Eukanuba? I thought we could be friends…I guess I was wrong.

    We’ll have to be best friends!

  10. AllyT

    Love you even more!I’ve got the piles of laundry – strangely sorted, an old dog who pees on the dining room carpet, and hidden (and not so hidden) piles of crap, and hubby-induced investigative holes in walls. The only difference is I have TONS of Halloween decorations -because I love a good bargain.

  11. Are we long lost sisters?? I too have missing oven knobs & mysterious carpet stains. Half-assed is my middle name. (hyphenated names are really “in” right now-or at least that is what someone told me)

  12. Di

    And yet…yours is the go to party house, the go to hang out house, and the go to place for that warm and fuzzy feeling. I know, I’ve been there!

  13. Jbutt

    This makes me so happy and I feel so not alone in this. And isn’t that one of the Ten Commandments of Slackerology? Or Slackeranity? Thou shalt make other stay-at-home moms feel thy kinship amongst laundered sackcloths? Yes, that’s it.

  14. CDG

    Can I come live with you.

    I feel very at home in your pictures.

  15. Abby

    I have a beautiful dining room that we NEVER use. Ever. OK, I take that back; we have used it once, and it was because Prince Charming invited his Nat’l Guard co-workers over for dinner.

    In our basement, we have a playroom for the kids. It isn’t beautiful; it’s a pig sty. They NEVER play in it. Ever. OK, once in a while. And, no, it’s not because it’s a pig sty. It’s because, well, I don’t really know.

    OK, here’s my submission requesting membership privileges to the Half Assed Club:

    In the corner of our beautiful dining room that we never use stands a puppet theater that we got for Macy last Christmas. On more than one occasion, I’ve said to Prince Charming, “We really ought to put that puppet theater in the playroom.” We generally always then turn our gaze into the dining room and…wait for it…wait for it…Prince Charming looks at me and says, “Yeah, we should.” Then, we go back to whatever it was we were doing.

    Maybe we’ll re-gift it to Macy this year for Christmas, since she’ doesn’t play with it. Ever. Well, that’s not exactly true. She does–when she remembers it’s in the dining room.

  16. I suspect from your comments your house would become very full very fast if all of us who felt at home in your pics, did indeed came home to yours.

    But I would come bearing a very important, very rare peanut butter cup making skill. And a running addiction.

  17. liz

    See, and I totally expected you to say that you are half-assed because your butt is so tiny.

  18. Amy

    This post is way better than the posts you see where they say, “Oh, my house is so messy!” and there’s, like, one toy laying on the floor. Your house? Is real.

  19. Oh my goodness. Seriously cracking up. Are we related? I think we may be related.

  20. Good Golly!
    Hmmm, I don’t like that much either. LOL. So. Gosh! I feel like I totally belong now. Your house and my house….well the laundry, holes and missing knobs…..can be sisters!
    Of course, now I need to work on my own slack…isms. Slackerisms? Slackeredanurisms? I give up already.

  21. A. I have the same exact Halloween decorations up.

    B. Now I have another reason why I don’t own a dog.

    C. We would make shit roommates as our loft(we’d live in a loft, yes) would be a disaster.

    D. May I take your daughter shopping tomorrow?

  22. Those candles made my life. Also, that patch of nasty looking carpet by your dog? Looks like my entire upper level. We really are made for each other… #allergictohomemaintenance

  23. This is almost like my house except my kid’s closet is full of fancy clothes because she just had her birthday and I put out a few more Halloween decorations.

  24. AWESOME!!!
    I really like the fake vegetation next to the rat hole????? Seriously, rat hole???
    Everything else makes perfect sense to me since obviously you and I have the same filing and laundry systems (very efficient if I do say so myself), with karate uniforms the girl really doesn’t need any other clothing (that should be perfect for keeping boys at bay) and as for the dog eating M&Ms, I’ve totally been there, but the rats have me very very worried.
    But it could just be that here in Brooklyn they recently found a bunch of large rats (3 feet each):

  25. Jill

    Too funny Julie. I can totally relate. I have what I think might be the same laundry situation (except in the laundry room with the door closed),the same daughter’s closet(subsitute soccer and softball for karate)and the same candles drooping in our backyard(did you take mine and I haven’t noticed them missing?) My absolute favorite, though, is that since our kids attended the same elementary school, I have the same clay pumpkins (one round and one triangular – just like yours) which have lived here on my desk at work year-round. I love them. Not a single Halloween decoration out at home yet. The kids keep asking when we will decorate…Loved this!

  26. OK, the only thing I can’t handle is the bills organization system. Everything else, could totally be my house too. I will offer to come and take care of that for you providing you fill the wet bar with what is supposed to be in a wet bar before I get there!

  27. Come on, I want to see the bathroom. Show me yours and I’ll show you mine! On second thought, forget it.

  28. Mel

    At least I’m not the only one! Thank goodness.

  29. (giggling) and marveling at the resemblance of your home to mine.

  30. Love this post!!!!!! I’m laughing out loud at those sad little pumpkins. My Halloween decorations are even less impressive as I have NONE. And your laundry system makes perfect sense. I do NOT iron. So I pull my husbands polo shirts out of the dryer right and away and hang them. I consider this MAJOR effort. Everything else goes in the basket. His “serious” shirts get sent to the cleaners to be pressed. Mama don’t have time for that stuff.

  31. KLZ

    Hey! We’ve got the same laundry folding method!

  32. From one organizational genius to another, HUZZAH! There were too many hilarious and relatable tidbits, but I loved this. Especially the office. And the Halloween decorations. There was a post on McSweeney’s called “It’s Motherfucking Gourd Season” and it was the funniest description of the lengths we go to creating perfect holiday displays. It’s put a real damper on my purchasing of mini-pumpkins.

  33. You are hilarious! As I was driving home, I was thinking that I should blog about the state of affairs in the house because I’ve been getting a lot of writing done. And look, you went and beat me to it.

    Except for the puppy puke.

    Cuz that would push me over the edge.

    I laughed out loud at the droopy candles. They are perfect for Halloween. And beyond. C’mon. You’re a writer. You don’t have time for that cleaning shizzle. And at least you have Halloween decorations. I’ve got nothing going on. I haven’t even bought the candy yet! What’s wrong with me?!

    And still I teach and grade and write. And revise and revise and revise. 😉

  34. You are a hot mess. I love it. I love your slackerocity. Hilarious.

  35. This is seriously awesome. Your slacktastic! The E.D. reference for your candles is hysterical. Poor guys! I have several things like this I could post about as well. I pretend that I’m anal & really organized – but don’t you dare open a closet door in my house. 😉

  36. Courtney

    LET me not mar that perfect dream
    By an auroral stain,
    But so adjust my daily night
    That it will come again.

    E.D. has so many new associations for me now.


  37. I love you Julie.

    Except I vehemently object to the fake plant.

  38. I know I should comment on the actual overarching theme of this post, but what I really feel the need to say is this:

    Yes! No one should have to talk on the phone. It’s so…long. And…keyboard-less. And…talky.

    (Also, that is one kickin’ artificial plant.)

  39. How much do I love the line about talking on the phone/ignoring problems?? THAT IS MY LIFE. I’m so glad I’m not the only one.

    Thank you.

  40. OK, so i am horribly anal, my house is in show room order, closets are perfect … but before you hate me,
    my blog is very half assed and my writing … lets not go there.
    So all in all, we can still be friends like ying and yang 😉

  41. I might have a girl crush on you a little bit right now. Thank you for airing your – clean – laundry. I *love* your drooping candles.

    I do hope your dog at least gave you the courtesy waiting until you were awake to puke up M&Ms and stain your carpet. I’m pretty sure my dogs get perverse delight out of watching me fall out of bed trying to save the carpet with my slippers or Beloved Husband’s clean shirt (that’s draped over the laundry basket because I’m too busy watching Little House reruns to fold it up and put it away).

  42. Kelly

    Hilarious! Your kids are very lucky to have such a slacker for a mom! Now their own expectations can be lower.:)

  43. You and I must lead the same lives. This is what my house looks like now. It’s insane. Though I give you credit because you had the guts to put it out there. I just hide behind the computer in denial.

  44. Julie,
    OMG – I’m madly in love with you right now! (Even though your house is still cleaner than mine – AND I enlisted the entire family in 2 hours of house cleaning last Saturday – that didn’t last long.) My laundry baskets (FULL OF FOLDED LAUNDRY) are in the den – 3 of them – so at least you have me beat by hiding yours away.

    And as for the carpet – I have a spot like that in my hall – except it’s a CLEAN spot where the dog peed and I cleaned it up. Yes, a clean spot – my carpet is that bad!

  45. You’ve done more decorating for Halloween than I have!

    If you look around our house, you’ll see a lot of walls with paint jobs that are “almost finished.” We’ve been in the house for 8 years, and redecorated right away. See, there are places that you need to be really tall, and paint very carefully . . . and while I have the tall thing down, the careful? Not so much.

  46. AnnJ

    Hi! Thanks for sharing your honesty! I got to your blog through sellabitmum. Anyway – for that dog-puke…. spray it with water (or however you want to get it damp) and cover it with salt. Yes – salt – totally so you can’t see the color of the stain. Cover it so your pets and kids can’t get to it while it dries(8 hours or so). Vacuum it up and usually the stain is gone. You may have to try again if it’s been there awhile. Sounds weird yet it is magical!

  47. All I can say is at least you have rooms called things like “the office” and “the guest room”. We have a bedroom, a nursery, and a living room. So all our half-assed-ness? Right out there in the open for everybody to see.

  48. You did more Halloween decorating than I did!

  49. I saw your blog highlighted on netvibes and I was like “ooh Julie C Gardner! Julie C Gardner! has a new post!” All I can say, is at least your house is clean. That’s a step up on me.

    But you know what my favorite all-time saying is?

    The lazy man ALWAYS works double.
    Mexican proverb

    I quote it every time I’m lazy (and working double).

  50. I think your house lovely – I’d come over anytime I was invited. 🙂

    And halloween decs – we have NONE up. I thought I was getting away with it and they just said YESTERDAY “when are we putting them up?” I said, “isn’t it too late?” They said no. I’m still stalling.

  51. I love that you somehow manage to replicate my house, all the way from the other coast.

    And yes, Emily loved those white, ahem, candles.

    I know that I never dress my kids in the same outfit two times a week because it’s easier to pull it in and out of the dryer than go upstairs to get different outfits. Never.

    I also never feed my kids sandwiches whenever my husband is on travel. Or cold waffles. Never.

  52. The festive orange and green nipples, er…pumkins, really topped this post off for me. I spent THREE HOURS cleaning my oven on Monday. Yes THREE HOURS — like the tour for the castaways–only with more grime and less coconuts. Also I fear Ginger’s red hair desperately needs a dye job, cause those freakin’ gray hairs are starting to rear their ugly heads.

    I’m sorry, what is it we were discussing? Oh yes, your home. A lovely tribute to normalcy. I was fairly certain up till this moment that your were blond, thin and of the “go-getter” variety. Suffice it to say I am greatly relieved to discover your slackitude, slacktometry, slackeritis. I really thought I was the only one to lay our the clean clothes to avoid wrinkles, but not actually both with that folding nonsense that I heart tell some people try.

    Anyhooooo. I worship you still, as before, perhaps even more so. xo

  53. Your guest room is spotless compared to mine. Bins and bins of Lil’ Bit’s old clothes, more bins of half-packed unused frames wrapped in bubble wrap, a big reel of bubble wrap, unpacked boxes from our move (five years ago), and general clutter from home decor items I no longer use – the entire room is virtually un-walkable. All you can do is stand in one uncluttered spot and turn in circles. We keep the door closed and, on the rare occasion I have to open it to venture in for some reason and Lil’ Bit inevitably tries to get in, I scream, “NOOOOOOOO!” as if she’s about the walk over a bed of hot coals mixed with broken glass.

    The thing is, it’s a really pretty room. One of my favorite in the house, actually. I really do need to clean it out and restore it to its natural beauty.

    At least we have another one that guests can actually sleep in without worrying about drowning in clutter and poking themselves with sharp objects. Although if they wanted to wrap themselves in bubble wrap, it could be quite comfortable.

  54. —Julie,
    you are half-assed brilliant.

    & I love chicks who make up their own words: “Slackerisciousness? Slackeropolisticology!” x

  55. You have my wrinkled clothes, my filing cabinet, my candles, and my dog (complete with chocolate puke fest stains)so now I must ask…when were you in my home taking these photos?!?


  56. At least you spread out your wrinkle-free clothes on a bed. My system involves putting the things like socks and underwear in the laundry basket (clean) and then carefuly laying the other things across the top of the basket.

    We are laundry geniuses, obviously 🙂

  57. Um, I have a ridiculaous fake plant too. But I trump you, my laundry, including the bras I don’t wear to gas staions, sit on my dining room table, which you can see from the front door. Oh, and my cheapo kitchen cabinets are peeling, they can’t even be refinished!

  58. In my daughter’s room, not only have I NOT put away the excess bags, boxes and assorted detrius not good enough to take with her to school, I have added a folding clothes drying rack, so that the cats will stop sitting on the non-dryer clothes.

    I have dusted and swiffered in there, but only because ewww. Germs.

    I think you need a life-style show.

  59. Hee! Oh you, I love this. Like a lot.

    Also? This is all too familiar and relatable, it’s almost cozy. Ahem.


  60. I don’t know what this says about me. But all I can think about is how organized your disordered laundry looks.

  61. This was so funny! It made me feel so much better. I have got some major stains going on in my house, including one big ORANGE ONE as you come into my front door. You are awesome, Julie. (Also awesome? Those two tiny pumpkins.)

  62. and now I feel better about my pile of dishes, dusty shelves, pile of laundry, diaper pail that needs taking out, pet stains from a pet we no longer have, recyclables that have been sitting by the sink for a week now looking like I am hoarding garbage, and unvacuumed carpet.

    Slacktasticness rules.

  63. Ah, you make us all feel normal! LOL
    Pet puke stains are the absolute worst!

  64. I have never loved you more and am so glad I managed to find my iPad under a pile of candy wrappers to visit you today and tell you so. We have the exact same filing system, it takes skill to have this kind of organization.

  65. Snort. It looks like martha stewart compared to my house!!


  66. Thank God I am not alone. Really. Thank you for this. So much.

    How’s the book coming? I am doing Nanowrimonamowri or whatever the f it’s called, except I am technically not doing it online. I have been a slacker and tomorrow I will post why.

    I also read your mother post and can say I am not worthy either, but you say it much better.

    Hope all is well!!

    xo – france

  67. This whole post is hilarious!!!!! And, it could be my house just as well!!! I wouldn’t call you half-assed- maybe normal-assed. 🙂

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