My startup is imploding. I mean pivoting.

Last week my older son took the SAT subject test for biology. He was supposed to take the AP test for biology but I didn’t realize that you have to start registering a homeschooler for AP tests around the time a NYC parent would start registering their child for preschool: in the womb.

So after he studied for two hours a day for a whole year, he didn’t get to take the test. The SAT subject test was my meager offering to him. An intellectual consolation prize. A party favor accidentally saved for the kid whose mom forgot to bring him to the party.

I tell him, “Look, you’ll be in the special section for kids who are 8th grade and younger.”

He ignores me. I am trying to train him to be responsive. I tell him over and over again that it’s a rule that you have to say, oh, or hm, or that’s nice. I look at him.

He looks at me. He glares and says, “Ok!!” In the tone of voice a small child would use to respond to an offer to go to Disneyland.

I tell him, “I bet the room will be full of kids with Aspergers. Who else takes these tests before high school? You can make friends.”

“Mom. People with Aspergers don’t like being friends with people with Aspergers.”

This is pretty true but I didn’t know he knew this. So I ask him, “Why do you think that?”

“Because people with Aspergers are assholes.”

“Hm.” I say. We gather up his No. 2 pencils. I say, “Wait. Am I an asshole?”

“Well. You have three lawyers. Didn’t you tell me most lawyers spend their lives defending assholes?”

It’s hard to be your true self when you have teenage kids. All the BS you got away with when they were little, that’s over. I remember when I used to switch the kids’ birthdays if they did not fall on convenient days for my work schedule. Then on my younger son’s 3rd birthday my six-year-old son said, “But it’s not his birthday today.”

And I remember thinking. Ugh. My life is over. He sees everything.

Now he overhears me talking about lawyers and he does his own research to make his own recommendations.

“I am the parent,” I tell him. In a tone of a voice that I hope sounds authoritative.

The first lawyer is to negotiate with my landlord. The lawyer has pretty much served to piss off the landlord even more. The issue is that I tore apart the kitchen because I was so upset about mice, and in turn, the landlord tore up the lease because he was so upset about the kitchen. The result will be that I pay up and hope they end up liking me in the future. I think they read my blog, so let me say right now that I am going to try really hard to follow the rules and be nice.

The next lawyer is to negotiate with Matthew, who is the Farmer, but the Farmer seems like a term of endearment, so I can’t really use that anymore, but I can’t say Ex because my Ex is my Ex and I get along so well with my Ex that by now it probably is a term of endearment. So I am just going to have to call him Matthew now.

He texted to say that he is putting all my stuff in one-half of the garage and if I come to the farm he will call the police. There are a lot of problems with that text. But a big one is that I paid for everything that’s in the house, so my stuff would not fit in just one-half of the garage.

For the record, Matthew said that what sent him over the edge is that I said he was abusive.

I did not say that he is abusive. The criminal lawyer I had to hire because of him called him abusive. But that’s water under the bridge, because I’ve moved on to a contracts lawyer, which is what you use when you lived with someone but were not married to them. And anyway, I am calling him abusive now, because I’m in therapy with a domestic abuse counselor.

The third lawyer is a securities lawyer. Those are pretty much the most expensive lawyers I’ve ever heard of, and if you have to date a lawyer, which I do not recommend because most of them hate their jobs, you should date a securities lawyer because they charge $1000/hr.

So I did a transaction with a woman who has a dad who has oil money and he is funding a lawsuit that the securities lawyer says is absurd. But since I don’t have enough money to get this lawyer to go to court and say that, I’m thinking maybe I can ask for a jury trial and hire a courtroom sketch artist and then blog traffic would blow up so fast that mid-trial I could hire the securities lawyer for a last-minute sprint to the finish.

So what do three lawyers add up to? A pivot, of course. Because the only way to cope with this much legal drama is to think really hard about something else. And in my case, thinking about new ways for making money is my favorite thing to do.

And I realized that I need to change what I’m doing with Quistic.

I have actually known this for a while. So I’m going to start testing new things, which means a bunch of the courses I offer at Quistic will disappear. This is your fair warning. I’m doing a 50% off sale for the next week so you can get the courses you want before they are gone.

Use this code: lastchance

When you purchase a course, you’ll have access forever. But you do have to buy them now. If you have questions, like, which course you should take, email me. And if you want to buy access to all the courses, pay $575 via this link.

What it’s like to audition at Juilliard. When you’re 11.

The first round of auditions for Juilliard’s pre-college program is by video. From December to March my son practiced for three hours a day to prepare. At the end of March we recorded him playing Cello Concerto in A minor by Saint-Saëns, and we sent it off to Juilliard.

Commencement speeches are garbage. College graduation is terrifying.

Slight Uncertainty by Michal Trpák

The platitudes of graduation speeches are so damaging. It sets you up for some magical moment when you enter adulthood and the world of opportunity opens up to you.

Get outside input to identify your patterns

The only way I can write this is to tell myself I won’t publish it. I don’t even know how to write it. I know it’s convoluted because the only person who could understand it on the first try is the criminal lawyer.

Our happiness depends on the stories we tell ourselves

If you are a person who loves your garden, people send you pictures of your garden. It’s a way of saying thank you for making a nice place to enjoy. But since I am dense when it comes to social skills, I used to think people were stupid for sending me pictures of my own garden. I saw my garden every day.

Silicon Valley CEO pleads no contest to beating his wife.

Yesterday Daily Beast released extremely disturbing recordings made by Neha Rastogi, a quality assurance manager, of her husband, Abhishek Gattani, who is CEO of the startup Cuberon. She made the recordings in the couple’s Santa Clara home. Gattani has been abusive throughout the ten-year marriage and finally Rastogi started recording it.


Is it okay if I don’t want kids?

I see how it feels so easy to just say no to kids. Having kids is irrational. They do not make us happier. They disrupt the halcyon days of early marriage. And they cost a lot of money.

Meet the people who are best at meeting goals

I tell my husband tidbits about the kids because part of my strategy to get him to relocate to Swarthmore is to keep him feeling close to us. I tell him my younger son is winning more on his video game than ever before because the Internet we get from living above Dunkin Donuts is so much faster than on the farm.

What it’s like to have a career you love: Not what you think.

People who love their career are people who will always figure out how to love their work. There are people who love to work and people who love to do other things.

Improve goal-setting by understanding how it fails

I take anti-anxiety drugs. I say that so I can deny that they also function as anti-depressants. Because I think I’m too old to still be depressed from a traumatic childhood. But it seems logical that any parent who is also the breadwinner would need anti-anxiety medicine just to get out of bed every day knowing the income has to flow until the kids are out of the house.