Attempts At Adulthood

About The Ugly Volvo

I am a writer and stand up comic raising a child in Jersey City.  I live in a two bedroom apartment that I foolishly thought would be big enough for three people and a dog and all of the stuff that comes along with having a baby.  Clearly I am an idiot.

For everyone who has asked why the blog is called The Ugly Volvo, the reason is because when I was younger my first car was one of those old, boxy Volvos and I loved it so much that I made my AOL name TheUglyVolvo.  And then used it as the name of an old LiveJournal blog.  And then used it as my e-mail.  And it just stuck.  My parents always had Volvos when I was a kid and when I was a kid I hated them– I wanted my parents to buy a red sportscar or an SUV or something hip and fun and my parents just kept on buying Volvos.  And then I got to the point in my life where I started to really like them.  When I see an old Volvo in a movie I am watching I can identify it almost immediately by the trapezoidal, ladder-style headrests or the boxy headlights and I will usually say, “Volvo,” out loud in the movie theatre, even if I am alone.

And while most of the old, ugly Volvos I love are gone, I’m at the point in my life when, if they were still around, I would be buying one.  I’m not the kid pining for a sports car anymore, I’m the adult who thinks about things like “safety” and “the cost of car insurance.”   It’s both interesting and strange to be on the other side of things.   I am still getting used to it.


If you need or would like to reach me, drop me a line at

I read every single comment people take the time to post.   I don’t respond to all of them because there are not enough hours in the day but please know that I read them and appreciate comments so much.  Knowing that a post was enjoyed is the fastest way to totally make my day.

I have an occasionally dark sense of humor.  Nothing I write is ever intended to offend.   Most of what I write is nonsense.

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Please do not feed Twizzlers to the butterflies!

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I’m not sure what else is relevant, so here is a version of the “About Me” I used for a tutoring service I used to work for.  And yes, I know it should be “a tutoring service for which I used to work.”  Sometimes I will end sentences in prepositions.  I know it is wrong.  I am sorry.  But sometimes it sounds better.  Sometimes I will also use “their” when I know I am supposed to use “his/her.”  Please know that every time I do it I feel terrible.

About Me

Here is some information About Me!

I watch a lot of documentaries on Instant Netflix.    I love “‘The World According to Garp” and everything by Shel Silverstein and I read The New Yorker but mainly I read it for the cartoons.  I have a phobia of jewelry.   I have a horrible sweet tooth and could easily eat nine boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in one sitting.   Sometimes I daydream about living in other countries and then immediately go online to look up the size of the spiders in those countries.

I wear almost the exact same outfit every day.  I am married to someone who speaks three languages and there are days when I feel like I barely speak English.  I love stand-up comedy and Far Side cartoons and books about science.   I have a sort of platonic crush on the Pixar lamp.  When I like songs I will obsessively listen to them on repeat for  hours or days until everyone nearby wants to throw me and my CD player out a window.

I have a very nice mother and an eccentric father.  I have two younger sisters and a dog named Tig and a husband who obsessively follows international weather patterns the way other men follow sports.   I have a wonderful, wonderful son who makes me smile a lot of the time.

If you enjoy my posts, “like” The Ugly Volvo on Facebook or follow me on here ( or follow me at @theuglyvolvo on Twitter.  If there’s a post you like, please share it with friends as I love writing but am notoriously bad at promoting things.  I try to post at least once a week.

Here is a hastily taken picture of me, the baby, the dog, and the humidifier that I keep meaning to return because it stopped working.


I am the one in the middle. Baby is on the left, dog on the right. The humidifier is the blue thing on the floor in the center.


215 Responses to “About The Ugly Volvo”

    • amos

      I just finished reading the 10month’s list of Christmas gifts and it was totally accurate. I read it out loud to my wife and she was sort of confused (I couldn’t read the pictures out loud, and didn’t realize that she had no clue what I was talking about until I showed her the pictures). I forwarded this to two of my daughters who have toddlers and hopefully they will think I’m way cool for doing that. I “liked” you on facebook, not sure if that will get me anything, but its not going towards my goal of 5,000 friends. I love your columns, I love Far Side and a lot of the other stuff you favorite far side is where the boy raises his hand in class and says..”can I go home, my head is full?”
      Keep it going ..and thanks!

  1. Catherine

    Hi- I found out about you from my 83 year old mother in Florida who sends me hundreds of articles that I might “enjoy”…I have an 8 month old so I am out of touch with news. I read #’s 3,4,and 7 of the 10 month old’s letter to Santa. I would love to read the rest of them but I am so sleep deprived right now I can barely match my socks. If you can figure out how to make a BF baby sleep past 5 am please advise. Otherwise, I will just have to continue going out in public with half make-up on (mascara on one eye-shadowed eye really freaks people out). I am a flight attendant and have to go back to work in 2 mos. God help me. I WILL forget your peanuts if I don’t get some sleep. Happy holidays and bring your seatback up! 😉

    • Sarah Kirby

      My BF baby won’t sleep past 5:00 a.m. either. On the rare occasion she goes to 6:00, I do a fist pump in celebration. Just me and baby in the dark, with a fet-pump. Kinda ridic… 🙂

  2. paulfg

    Man oh man! You have a rare talent – words and pics or just words. Every post has me chuckling or belly laughing or both at the same time (which is not pretty). Love it!!

  3. anneinpt

    I’ve only just discovered your blog via a facebook link. You are a rare talent. Your humour is brilliant! Thank you for the laughs. I’d “like” you more than once if I could. 🙂

    • theuglyvolvo

      wow, four weeks. Just take deep breaths and if anyone says, “Just enjoy it because time moves so fast!” it’s totally fine/acceptable to reply by running away screaming.

  4. Natalie

    Where were you when I needed you 25 years ago? I bet you were a baby honing your skills, huh? Lol! Thanks for the Christmas list. It will make future Christmases more affordable for this grandma!

  5. Bree

    Was the don’t feed the butterfly picture taken at Iguazu Falls in Argentina? If not, they have the same ones there. Either way, your blog is hilarious. I have a 10 mo old and love everything about this blog, its a light hearted laugh about parenting that we all need to get through our days!

    • theuglyvolvo

      Yep– we were at Iguazu early in 2012. Impossible to capture the beauty of the falls with my crappy camera so I just walked around taking photos of signs.

  6. Karen S

    Your post about what to get a ten month old for Christmas was hysterical. I agree with Natalie.

  7. Miranda

    You are hilarious… and 100% honest!! I have a 15-month-old, and you are spot on about parenthood!! Keep up the great work.

  8. fiveinsix

    Hi! I’m a really new reader. I’m a Texas girl with 5 kids, and I can so relate with your posts. I’m so happy I found you!

    I’m guessing we are probably pretty different, but parenthood is one of those things that is pretty universal across the board. Thanks for sticking to it. And thanks for the laugh in the middle of a long day. 🙂 By the way, I’m totally with you on prepositions.

  9. Emily

    Seriously, I don’t even have kids & I just laughed out loud as I read four of your blog entries. (I typed out the full words “laughed out loud” so that you know I actually did that; I didn’t just type “LOL.”)

  10. Serafina Roffey

    stumbled upon your Blog via Facebook. I am hooked and it’s 2am and I can’t sleep! Thought I’d read something to make me sleepy and now I’m reading post after post.. Grr! You have a talent. Hope you get a book deal or a tv show deal. Funniest ever!!! Love it.

  11. Karen Skop

    I learned of your blog from my former sister-in-law who is now married to my cousin (figure that one out and you win a free ticket to the next taping of Jerry Springer). We are both friends of your Aunt Pam here in Tampa. You obviously come from a family of funny people – well not funny but humerous. Well maybe funny too because I don’t know all of you. Anyway, I raised 2 boys who are now 30 somethings and I can still identify with what you write about. Yeah, there, I also end many of my sentences in prepositions. Go to hell Mrs. Cook, my high school English teacher, who by the way was also the Gerber baby – really!
    Anyway – your writing is inspiring me to begin a blog of my life in the public school system…another hilarious story!

    • theuglyvolvo

      That gerber baby woman was in the news a few months ago! They showed a picture of her as an adult and she totally had the same lips. That’s very neat 🙂 Also, hi! If I were my aunt pam right now I’d go, “I love you!!!” because she does that all the time to total strangers. But it’s very nice to hear from you. Part of the reason I started stand-up comedy is because growing up I always thought my aunt pam should be doing it because she was so hilarious that I felt bad that other people didn’t get to experience how hilarious she was. But I’m glad you’ve gotten to experience her in real time. Please give her a hug from me when you see her and good luck with your blog…working in the public school system will give you no shortage of things to write about!

  12. Kika Wintermute

    Please, someone out there, offer her a book deal!!! She is just great! Hello Ellen DeGeneris, how is it possible that you have not “found” this new talent yet?

  13. Alirennie

    Hi, im from a small seaside town in the UK. I read your 10 month old Christmas list ( my daughter was 10 months at Christmas) and I thought I was going to die laughing! I haven’t read much of your blog yet but from some of the comments it seems you totally appreciate that at times it is NOT fun/ interesting/ exciting/ warm and fuzzy being a mum and there is the occasional twinge of regret and longing for a life that once was and is no more! Having said that I adore my cheeky, inquisitive, happy, determined daughter!

  14. Johanna Scott-Bennett

    Our babies are about the same age, so I entirely relate to your posts.

    Oddly another commenter mentioned being from the uk, I’m living in a small town in the UK as well. It’s nice to know that globally babies are all the same really.

    I really loved your pie charts about food, and they’re so true….

  15. Lorna

    You have just made me sob (open letter to your dog) & belly laugh (what you get up to during the day) in the space of the last ten minutes. Thank heaven I read them in that order, as I was having trouble dealing with all that guilt & inadequacy! So, basically, you inspired me to steal my husband’s login for the blog he used to write, simply so that I could like your ‘About Me’ page. Which also made me chuckle. And scared me a little because we appear to have so much in common. Not the husband obsessing about weather patterns, though (mine reads the oven manual in an attempt to work out why his cakes aren’t cooking in the times Nigella suggests they should). Nice to feel a kinship across the void – thank you! I’d like to follow your blog, but my child-addled brain is losing the battle against the machines, so if there’s a way to do it yourself, please help me!! Thank you x

    • theuglyvolvo

      you don’t have to follow it but if you’d care to check in once in a while, I try to post once a week or so. glad it was enjoyed!

  16. Bekah

    “Sometimes I daydream about living in other countries and then immediately go online to look up the size of the spiders in those countries.” THIS. YES. But only if I could block the pics. *shudder* Finally found a blog that I will actually read and laugh/agree with most of the time.

  17. Gen

    Your stuff is seriously hilarious and poignant at the same time. Love it. Don’t stop.

  18. Jillian

    Just discovered your blog tonight. I LOVE it. I’m 23…not a mom…but I’m a nanny, and I also work in a daycare (so first of all I appreciate that you are raising your own child). Everything I’ve read so far is hilarious and brilliant. I LOVE that you forsake some grammar “rules” but gave a nod to feeling bad(ly) for it. I would love to hear your stand up!

  19. lorispahn

    I just found your blog yesterday. You are flippin’ hilarious. I used to be a stay-at-home mom. I just directed a friend of mine to your blog and told her to read your “About Me”. And I know she will think, as I do, “God, I love this woman!” 😉

  20. amber

    you are completely delightful. ❤ to you, from a fellow mom, writer, and sentence-ending-in -preposition-er

  21. Paula Reed Nancarrow

    One of the things that would be nice to include on your about page, unless you are deliberately trying to stay anonymous, is a first name we could call you so that when we link to or RT your wonderful posts (as I expect to do often) we don’t have to refer to you as “ugly.” If I missed this somewhere, just treat me like you would your mother. P.S. – Happy to have met you through Freshly Pressed. Paula

  22. Leitto

    I just came to say hi haha, greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    (We haven’t big spiders here, I supose…)

    • theuglyvolvo

      Thank you! You are also awesome, as anyone who would take time out of their day to tell someone they are awesome is probably also awesome.

  23. Anita Gail Jones

    Hello! A friend passed on your tatoo piece. Well done! Very funny stuff. I drive a Volvo, too, but mine is cute (-: (or at least we tell her that so she won’t take offense and break down when we least need it)

    Since my skin in brown and often referred to as “dark or black” are you willing to help me with this mission to end the use of “dark or black” to mean: gloomy, dismal, pessimistic, negative, downbeat, bleak, grim, fatalistic, dreary, somber; despairing, despondent, hopeless, cheerless, melancholy, glum, grave, morose, mournful, doleful.

    I find BLEAK is often a good alternative… or GLUM. Glum is good. DOWNBEAT can work for sure, especially to modify “sense of humor”.

    Anyway, glad to find this blog and looking forward to more of your wonderfully SURLY sense of humor!

    And of course, nothing here is meant to offend. Hope it didn’t ( :

  24. C'dar Pinder-Sommerville

    I love your blog!!! I just happened to click a link from facebook and then had to stifle my laughter as I read so I didn’t wake my husband up at 1am!! I have a 6 year old and I stay at home too amd I feel like you’re the first person to understand what I do all day!

  25. K.

    Just found your blog and spent way too many hours (probably nine) laying in bed, clicking “OLDER POSTS”. Thanks for sharing your humorous self!

  26. Laura H

    My kids are 21 and 23 and (relatively) successful, engaged college kids… I stumbled upon your blog just now. I especially enjoyed your “what I do at home with baby all day” post, as I remember those days WELL! (Incidentally, I am a freelance writer, too, and now mostly work my ass off to help pay college tuition!) I shared the post on my page with this comment:

    This is really funny… (I mean, to me, anyhow!) I especially like what she does at 4:46, as I recall those moments with Dan Hildebrandt although he was never (ever) home from GE that early… having cleaned up the kitchen was often the only discernable evidence that I had actually been home all day, with kids: 4:46 “Jonathan arrives home. Asks how day was. Asks what I did today. I show him clean sink and baby who is not crying or bleeding.”

    Some people always seemed so much more productive in stay-at-home mom mode, like Lynn Juvelier ! It’s hard to even remember those days, but this brought back some memories!

  27. Mary Wall

    Loved you on Livejournal, so happy the internet (and its striking similarity to a rabbit hole) have returned me to you by way of… I don’t know, I guess a bunch of links. – amicablebitch

    • theuglyvolvo

      Oh my god, hi! I completely remember you and even seeing your name is making all these LJ memories come flooding back. This is crazy and I’m glad you re-found me and I hope you’re doing well since the…half decade? Or however long it’s been.

      • Mary Wall

        I miss livejournal so much, loved the sense of community. Unfortunately abandoned it when I moved to Chicago (3.5 years ago) and my activity had already waned before then…although when I go look it seems quite a few others have abandoned it as well. So exciting to see you with a child! I can only imagine the material that has given you. Well, I guess now I will get to read the material that has given you. Looking forward to it.

  28. Bridget

    Holy crap girl you are FUNNY!!!! I have three kids, 19, 16, and 11, and you nailed all the horrific humor of motherhood perfectly!

  29. Kim

    I’ve had the exact same day as you on repeat for the last 2 years and happy to know I’m not alone since everyone else I know is not a dreaded SAHM such as you or I.

  30. sandy mitchell

    I once had a volvo. I bought it from a friend when I was in London. It had no passenger seat, but I popped my bicycle in the back and toured England. It was a great car! I once had babies too. Now that one is 15 all that other stuff seems a breeze. Brace yer’self!! (Evil laugh!)

  31. Robin Muir

    I have just read the “about” section, and I soooo understand. Last year I said goodbye to Orville, my 32 year old Volvo station wagon, of that fabulous boxy-look era. Oh, it was a sad day. Yes, my parents bought Volvos too, including one that my dad bought in a crazy mood for $1200. Yes, it went perfectly well. I cannot understand why Volvo moved on – their cars used to look different, recognisable. Oh, they were wonderful. Yes, I now drIve another Volvo, a new-ish one, Orlando (curse of the black pearl, as it is that colour). I look forward to reading more of your blog. YAY old Volvos!

    • theuglyvolvo

      I love them too. I was just out in Portland where they have a lot more old ones and it was nice to see so many of them out on the road 🙂

  32. surgeoninheels


    We nominated you for the Inspiring Blogger Award. You can read more about the award and expectations of nominees here:

    Thanks for writing such an inspiring blog. We look forward to reading more and learning about the bloggers who inspire you.


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