Archive for November, 2008

Goodnight, Travel Well

We picked up a humidifier last night because our noses were about to fall off. My God, I’ve never lived anywhere so dry — the combination of forced-air heat, cold weather and a complete lack of humidity outside (unlike, say, Florida) left us inches away from having morning nosebleeds rivaling those of lifelong cocaine addicts. I woke up every morning feeling like someone was taking very thin, cotton-covered icepicks and delicately placing them into my sinus cavities, occasionally hammering them in. I am now terrified of the humidity-induced petri dish I’ve brought into our bedroom, but it beats sleeping with a wet washcloth over my face to prevent from crumbling like a Skeksis in the sun.

I’m in charge of my first Thanksgiving — for uh, two — and it involves a ham in lieu of a turkey. I’m not sure how I feel about this, but since Adam doesn’t really dig turkey and I’m more about the sides anyway, I guess it makes more sense. But still! No turkey! HAM. It’s a miraculous Harrington’s ham, for sure, but still. A HAM. Even my vegetarian friend Erica is having a Tofurkey, which is turkey-like. We fail at Thanksgiving.

This may also be because I forgot that it was a holiday this week until basically this morning, when I realized I’d be best served to get on the stick and do something about it. For the record, traditional turkey accompaniments don’t go well with ham, and all I’ve got is mashed potatoes and asparagus wrapped in prosciutto (a Silver Palate recipe, by the way, that is SO GOOD and SO SIMPLE). And … I got nothin’. Today’s grocery store adventure should be grand — with no plan and throngs of turkey-buying folks who are more prepared than I, I expect it will take hours.

We’re traveling the week after to see Adam’s family, as is the tradition, but extenuating circumstances on his sister’s side prevent us from doing it on the actual holiday. And I am THRILLED. THRILLED. We’ve traveled every year for the last ten years, and let me tell you, flying the day before Thanksgiving is as miserable as CNN tells you it is and then some. The lines! The delays! The angry travelers! NOOOOO.

Speaking of holiday splitting, we have always spent the Thanksgiving holiday with Adam’s family, Christmas with mine. One of the many joys of a Jew-Gentile relationship. This came up in conversation with my 21-year-old hairdresser yesterday, who marveled, “Wow, a Jewish family who celebrates Thanksgiving! That’s unusual.”

I … what? I don’t even know what to say here. Last I checked, Thanksgiving wasn’t really a religious holiday, but I … oh I don’t know. Even if she has no knowledge of Judaism, did she miss the lesson in elementary school about the Pilgrims, however fictionalized?

At any rate, I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving. Despite the mess our entire world is in, not to mention the shitstorm swirling around our personal circumstances, there is much to be thankful for, and today, I’m all weepy thinking about it. For starters, I have a small person kicking me in the ribs, and the enormity of what’s to come terrifies and excites me more than anything I’ve ever imagined and for some reason, it’s hitting me today harder than usual.

And with that, I hope you have a wonderful holiday, wherever it may be. I should also add that as I wrote this, Adam announced he’d like to do a turkey after all. So, uh, off to the grocery store I go. I’m sure no one else will be there for any last-minute items. Stay tuned for pictures of the 30-pound bird I was forced to buy, as it was all that’s left!

Happy Thanksgiving!

*The Killers

25 comments November 26th, 2008


Adam just did a rather becoming (and eerily accurate!) reenactment of the Many Personalities of Jonna’s Pregnancy. I get the sense, however comical, that I’ve been a little bit of a challenge, and I can’t say I disagree. Up! Down! Morose! Serious! Wait, what do you mean? I AM PERKY, GODDAMMIT. I have a sense of humor about myself one minute and I SO DO NOT FIND IT FUNNY MISTER, I AM YOUR WIFE, the next.

I gotta say, even at my most irrational, I feel for the guy. I am not a joyful, mellow, even-keeled pregnant lady, I’m just NOT. I’ve totally done what Emily talks about here and had one of those insane pregnancy meltdowns wherein I ask him repeatedly if he still loves me and spend far too much time wondering if he’s secretly plotting divorce. And worse? I can’t say I’d blame him if he were, although he isn’t. (OR IS HE OMG WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT HIM DON’T LEAVE ME.)

Of course, I feel better five whole minutes later and can’t remember what I was so upset about mere moments before. Do you want to come visit? Hang out? I can promise it won’t be boring!

(For the record, no matter how deep the moody trough, I usually end up finding it all very funny. Because it is, in that ridiculous, irrational, hormonal way.)

Anyway, it was a good weekend, mood swings aside, and one of the things about our new home that I failed to mention is OMG IT HAS A DISHWASHER. I realize this is a luxury that many of you take for granted — and one short year ago, I was among you — but for those of us who haven’t had one for ages or, in many cases, ever, it is a MODERN MARVEL. This machine! It washes dishes FOR YOU, cutting cleanup time in HALF. HALF. And it sanitizes them! And look! YOU MERELY LOAD IT AND WALK AWAY.

I don’t think my awe at this miraculous machine can be overstated. Seriously.

And finally, since I’m exhausted and hungry and anxiously awaiting the next hormonal dip, three things of no particular consequence or relationship:

— Miley Cyrus. If my daughter were beyond the fetus stage at this point, I would be VERY WARY of allowing any Hannah Montana anything into her life and our house, because, uh, holy inappropriate, Miley? SHE IS SIXTEEN. AND GYRATING ALL UP IN THIS PIECE ON THE AMAs OMG. And dating a 20-year-old. And I’m old and a total fuddy duddy and am one step away from forcing my daughter into becoming the spokesperson for modesty wear. It’s all about the high necks, my friends!

(Beyonce, however? SO HOT. Dude, I’d hit that. Is there anyone who wouldn’t, male or female? Seriously?)

— I can’t believe I have to wait until Jan. 21 for Lost. There are fewer greater pop culture injustices in this world, other than the cancellation of Eli Stone, Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money, because now we will NEVER KNOW who killed Dutch George. Ever. UP YOURS, ABC. ALL AROUND.

— It’s pickled carrot time, now that I’m back into brined items again, and if you haven’t tried them before, I urge you to do so. So easy! So briny and delicious! SO CARROTY.

Happy Monday!

*The Perishers. Sent to me sometime ago by my friend TwoBusy.

26 comments November 23rd, 2008

Set Fire To The Third Bar

There wasn’t any sleeping occurring on my part last night, thanks to the snores and screeches of my fellow bedroom mates — one human, one not. I stewed for hours, unable to do anything but lie there watching Tivo’d episodes of Top Chef (Seriously, Ariane? SERIOUSLY?) and Dirty Sexy Money, which has officially jumped the shark. But oh! THAT IS NOT ALL. There was 27 Dresses! Again! Still bad! Followed by the original Cathouse documentary that spurred the series, which I’ve talked about before, but oh my God. Love.

It goes without saying that the last time I glanced at the clock, it was 3 a.m. and yet? WIDE AWAKE.

Like most HBO sex-related series, Cathouse is anything but sexy. The “working girls,” as they like to be called, are a bit past their prime in most cases, and favor cliche accessories like clear plastic platform shoes and the most unsexy cheap lingerie you can imagine. I genuinely worry about these women smoking in such flammable garments, which they do often. Seriously. One false move, and they’ll ignite like a pile of briquettes.

Incidentally, I’d forgotten that the original documentary features a negotiation between a customer, a prostitute and THE CUSTOMER’S MOTHER. HIS MOTHER. HIS MOTHER BOUGHT HIM THE PROSTITUTE. And there the girl was, all rubbing up on the dude without any underwear on WHILE HIS MOTHER WATCHED. (He was, mercifully, clothed.) And then later? When the deed was done? HE DESCRIBED WHAT THEY DID FOR THE CAMERAS IN FRONT OF HIS MOTHER. USING WORDS SUCH AS THE ONCE-GENTLE EUPHEMISM FOR CAT. AND A SYNONYM FOR “SNACKING” ON SAID EUPHEMISM.


I have a pretty high threshold for being disturbed, but man, that was probably responsible for keeping me up for a few extra hours. Even more so than Dennis Hof.

Hey, speaking of flammable garments, as I’ve gathered wee items for my girl, I can’t help but notice that they all meet some sort of flame-retardant guidelines for infant wear, and further, I cannot express how much this disturbs me. There’s something slightly irrational at work here, but imagining flames – FLAMES! — in close enough proximity that my daughter will need a FLAME-RETARDANT SLEEPER is enough to send me into apoplectic fits. It’s horrible. I can’t even look at the labels on her clothes anymore, as it leads me to imagine crazed people resembling Malcom MacDowell in A Clockwork Orange brandishing cigarette lighters as they hover wildly over my daughter’s crib. You know, if she had one yet or anything. (She has a swing and a bassinet. Oh, and three sleepers. STILL.)

By the way, I made some serious progress on the giant mess of tasks I’d outlined the other day and surprise! I feel a lot less anxious. I can’t wait to see what my doctor says when I see her again and she smacks me down for not going to hypnotherapy and I explain that no, um, I was stressed for real reasons, lady. REASONS I MOSTLY WORKED THROUGH. By the way, it goes without saying that I am fully expecting this woman — the ONLY woman in the practice I don’t like, much less totally adore as I do the others — to be the one on call for the birth of my daughter. I don’t want her to see my lady bits or greet my baby before I do. I should also add that she was wearing a supersparkly see-through gold sweater, and for some reason, this explains a lot, especially here in Vermont, where I was pretty sure such clothes were illegal. Or should be, at least.

And finally, I’ve been meaning to ask you: Am I the only person who gets upset at phone calls at home before 9 a.m.? Whenever I mention this to people, they’re usually horrified, as though I am still ASLEEP at 9 a.m. when really, my God, I should be AWAKE (the perils of working from home — everyone thinks you sleep ’til noon). But that’s not it! Of course I’m awake, and usually have been for several hours. It’s just that, work from home or not, mornings are CHAOTIC, especially if you have to leave the house for a job, and for some reason the pre-9 a.m. call is so INTRUSIVE on the morning, which should be spent getting ready for work, commuting or otherwise preparing for the day. Plus, like calls after 9:30 p.m., it seems to screech “EMERGENCY!”

After 9 a.m., fine. Before 9:30 p.m.? Also fine. But outside of those hours, and you’re asking me to PANIC.


Hey, happy Friday/weekend! Woo!

*Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright. I was listening to it earlier, and Adam started pantomiming cutting his own wrists, announcing that it was the most depressing thing he’d ever heard oh my God, make it stop.

33 comments November 20th, 2008

Tiny Little Fractures

So hey! We’re moved. And though my shift key is performing slightly better than before, it is in no way back to its pre-breakage performance levels. I give it a C.

Adam and I keep wandering around the house saying, “Uh, we live here? How weird is this?” I’ve never moved so close to my previous address before — sure, I moved all around Boston, but the city and its outlying suburbs have such distinct personalities that it feels very far away, even if it’s merely from Brookline to Cambridge. But Vermont — particularly small-town Vermont — not so much. I can practically see my old house from here, and I fall asleep to the same church bells I fell asleep to before. The train is louder here, and that’s about it.

It is different in that it’s essentially an apartment, and not a house, which is a first for us since we’ve been married. It’s nice, in a way, to have a smaller, warmer space, especially since right now, we just don’t need it and the fact that it’s less per month doesn’t exactly hurt. Yes, our daughter will take up room, but it’s not like I’m going to be giving birth to a four-year-old, as I keep reminding everyone who will listen, and a year is a long time from now, when our lease is up.

hAhAHAHAHAHA, lease (see how the shift key mocks me, even after being “fixed”?).

The reminder that I am renting (and owning! Thrilling!) leads me to the fact that what made a mostly uneventful move exciting was getting screamed at — no literally, SCREAMED at, in a rather offensive way — by our neighbor two doors down from us. It all started with a front door vs. back door mover thing and ended up in a hideous rant about renters! These horrible renters! And how she hopes that these people moving in are quiet and aren’t big party people who will, and I wish I were making this up, leave bras in the trees outside the building. I … bras? Really? I mean, I was standing there with a belly 10 inches out from my body, and thinking, really? The most exciting evening I’ve had lately involved Netflix and some Hostess cupcakes. Seriously, lady. Your fit is most misdirected.

When I stammered as much in her direction, she pulled out her big gun, wagging her finger in my face and screeching, “Don’t tell me how you can possibly understand any of this. You’re not a homeowner!”

Oh ha ha HA, angry old lady! HA. If only you knew how deeply I wish I could say I wasn’t a homeowner. Also, the whole Dirty Renters vs. Perfect Owners thing is so played out, because I’m sorry, owning means nothing these days, at best, and is a gigantic albatross, at worst. (See Baudelaire bird around my neck for details.) I have so much sympathy for the landlords in my building who are, in all likelihood, renting at a loss like the rest of us. And further, has this woman not heard that this is a time where we must all sacrifice? If the worst sacrifice you have to make is sharing your otherwise pristine building with tenants, consider yourself lucky.

Anyway, speaking of tenants, I’m sewing up the details on ours and awaiting first month’s rent. In the meantime, I have to deal with a mess on our property insurance before Dec. 1, figure out if I need to get a locksmith and a new lock on the house as a key went AWOL, determine the key handoff with my former tenant (and track down her damn rent!) and accommodate the new tenants’ request for a special allergen dry cleaning for the carpet that costs three times as much as normal carpet cleaners. Oh, and file endless paperwork and pay people astronomical sums of money for absolutely nothing at all. All from VERMONT for a house in Florida I would do anything not to own anymore, but cannot sell, thanks to the financial meltdown and piles of foreclosures driving prices down to levels so low that I don’t know when I’ll be able to sell, much less my neighbors who paid twice what I did.

Add all of this to a move of my own and a life of boxes, a car that needs a ridiculous amount of repairs and that I owe a laughable sum of money on for unavoidable mileage overages that directly involve the state of Florida (sorry, Florida. I hate you.), meaning I need to buy a new car or … Oh yes, and prepare for a baby at a time when every headline is screaming, “IS THIS THE END?”

Now I realize all of this is do-able and no one is dying, but it does ratchet up the anxiety levels a bit, leaving me a bit of a handwringing mess when I arrived for my ultrasound today — which was great, by the way. She is still a she, and her heart is four-chambered and perfect and I am so, so lucky. However! I was all hand-wringy and anxious and I’m prone to crippling anxiety without external factors and this, combined with the state of the world and pregnancy, has left me a little afraid of backsliding into the anxious insane person I was at the height of my GAD, so I thought hey! Let’s nip this in the bud! I foolishly mentioned this to my OB/GYN — the only one I hadn’t met before, and now, the only one I really don’t like — who suggested I see their hypnotherapist to find the “root of the problem in my past — perhaps in my childhood.”

Oh heaven help me. I think my anxiety can be tied to actual events, hormones and life, not whether my parents held me enough as an infant, you know? This. This is why I’m a CBT gal, my friends. (For what it’s worth, however, my old CBT therapist used hypnotherapy with me a few times, and it worked. So it’s not like I’m against the practice as a whole. But come on. MY PAST.)

Anyway! I’m really fine, just a little anxious over the long looming list of things that have to be done in the next two weeks. And decidedly NOT heading to hypnotherapy, for God’s sake.

Happy Wednesday! I, for one, plan to make a dent in this mess, rather than explore my childhood.

*Snow Patrol

19 comments November 18th, 2008


i am the owner of a totally farked shift key that only works when it feels like it, so forgive the lack of punctuation and/or capitalization. this is, not surprisingly, a pet peeve of mine, so i’m feeling particularly hypocritical and can only go on like this for a paragraph of two before i really lose it.

also hypocritical? a nothing post to tell you nothing of substance other than the fact that i’m moving tomorrow, which: hahahahaha, oh shit. i’ll be internetless until tuesday, at which point the installation people promise they will make a hasty exit before i have to leave for my ultrasound. (bun’s heart is fine, but they couldn’t get decent pictures of it last time, as she was wiggly. but bonus! i get to see her again.)

have a great few days!

*the killers

15 comments November 16th, 2008

Hunger Strike

Much of my evening was spent cleaning our couches in final moving preparations and one of the saddest moments of this pregnancy was the deceptively difficult act of putting the slipcovers back on the cushions. I was heaving and sweating and grunting as though I were on mile twenty three of a marathon, and when I finished, I drank an entire quart of water, and no, that’s not an exaggeration. I sucked down THE WHOLE QUART in a matter of three minutes.

I’ve mentioned it before, but aside from the nausea (back in full swing thanks to the ocean I just inhaled), becoming easily fatigued is one of the most frustrating aspects of pregnancy. There really is no reason I should be so physically spent after vacuuming the couch and washing a set of slipcovers, but there it is. I’m now lying with my feet up wondering if I’ll regret going to bed at 8 p.m., because the last time I did that, I woke up at 3 a.m. all perky and bushy-tailed and embarked on a cleaning escapade in the downstairs bathroom that resulted in a four-hour nap and a near-missed deadline.

Old episodes of Project Runway (season 3, if you care) droned in the background during Couch Capers, and once again, I was struck by my biggest pet peeve of fashion shows: the utter lack of foundation garments. Now, I realize I’m not the most fashion-forward among us (in fact, right now I’m wearing a maternity shirt that includes the dreaded elements of gathered seams at the shoulders, a tie in the back and oh my God, is that GLITTER THREAD?) (Manufacturer rhymes with Smotherhood Smaternity, obvs), but I maintain that just because you’re spectacularly thin and small-chested does not mean that I want to see your wee raisin boobs flapping around under that fluttery chiffon garment. I don’t like it one bit, but this could merely be bald jealousy stemming from the fact that my own boobs are no longer available for solo flights.

Separately, my friend Nora recently pointed out two food-related issues, one positive, one negative, that I can’t get out of my head today. First, if you were ever interested in our Pennsylvania Dutch culinary heritage (one word: LARD), behold, for Nora has shared a recipe for shoo-fly pie, which is among the more bizarrely delicious foods in this world. It’s basically molasses and flour, but it’s super-weird and super-delicious, and as far as Pennsylvania Dutch food is concerned, it’s rather tame. I mean, consider that these are people who brought you scrapple, pig bellies stuffed with sausage (hog maw!), and fastnacht/fauschnauts.

I told you, Pennsylvania has its good points, and they usually involve pork scraps. I’d also like to add that my mother once brought Adam to the Goschenhoppen Folk Festival, where he nearly died. In addition to various food products (scrapple! Hog maw!), there was also the grand tradition of blowing up a pig’s bladder and batting it around like a balloon (yes, just like in Little House). I don’t think I’m overstating when I say that he nearly fainted when I told him truthfully what that pink thing was floating among the crowd of children. He was born and raised in Boston, where such sights were not commonly seen, I suppose.

Anyway, the other thing she mentioned, and the subject of recurring waves of nausea, reminded me that I CANNOT handle food products mixing with other food products when they aren’t meant to be. She, for example, found a bit of melon in her salad, and I AM CERTAIN that if I found such a thing that I would faint on the spot. I … I can’t handle it. If I’m at a restaurant, say, and I order the penne pasta and there’s an elbow macaroni in there or, God forbid, the dreaded strand of spaghetti, I am DONE. DONE. Spy a wayward beet in the cottage cheese on the salad bar? FORGET IT. A green pea in a chick pea salad? OH HELL NO.

Oh my God, I need smelling salts. All day — ALL DAY — I’ve been thinking about that stray bit of melon, which brought on uncontrollable thoughts of the grossest intermingled foods I’ve ever envisioned. It’s like an unstoppable trainwreck, each combination tumbling over the other and I may eat nothing but prepackaged Little Debbie oatmeal creme pies for the rest of my pregnancy if I can’t figure out a way to stop this madness. (AMBROSIA DIRECTLY FROM THE PREGNANCY GODDESSES)

And hey, I’m finally off to shower, then bed. I am embarrassingly sore after the couch, and I won’t even talk about how easily winded I am. This typing thing right here? It’s causing heavy breathing. Okay, fine, I exaggerate a bit, BUT STILL.

Happy Friday/weekend!

*Temple of the Dog. Because I’m remembering the 1990s — at least the early ones, before we all got Friends haircuts and let our eyebrows grow too long.

14 comments November 13th, 2008

Famous Yet

I wasn’t trying to get all feminist-y label-y discussion-y yesterday, as I’m really not that critical of a thinker on things that don’t matter much, but boy howdy, I love talking about them, apparently. It was really just Momversation that set me off, because, as Sundry put it: HORK.

Momversation. Please say it out loud three times and see if you can prevent the bile from rising in your throat.

At any rate, I watched 27 Dresses the other day, and it flicked across the screen this evening (ah, free HBO — a bonus of a recession) and I was struck, yet again at how RIDICULOUSLY AWFUL IT WAS, oh my stars. I’m wondering, seriously, when the last time anyone was at a public event where someone stood up and declared, completely out of context, “So, Jim/Helen/Bob/Name, I guess what I’m trying to say is … I think I’m in love with you.” Not that 27 Dresses was a particularly stellar piece of filmmaking up to that point, but it moved from being tolerable to utterly groan-worthy at its climax (ew, did I just say that?), and I don’t think I’m ruining it for you when I mention that the public “I love you” moment was indeed there.

At any rate, I would be woefully remiss if I didn’t mention the latest symptom of my pregnancy, which is perhaps the most shocking of all. I … I have an urge to craft. Or sew. Or, I don’t know, hunker down in some sort of pioneer-type land and use a SPINNING WHEEL. I want to spin my own yarn! Weave my own clothes! Find out the many uses for lanolin! GET BACK TO THE SIMPLE LIFE. MILK COWS.

I mean, not really. But my hormones do. And as Lawyerish told me when I mentioned this the other day, my God, someone should just throw me a bunch of popsicle sticks and let me work through this before I do some real damage and buy us a farm even farther out in the country in a horribly realistic rendition of Baby Boom, but without the applesauce and a whole lot of sheep.

I mean, seriously, I asked my mom for one of her (many MANY) sewing machines she keeps saying is for me. (She refurbishes them for fun and profit and has about 25, no kidding.)

And finally, a drama unfolding in real-time: You know how some people have horrible, gut-wrenching memories of high school? And how I really … don’t, because high school was spectacularly awesome and full of fun, if dorky, memories? College was my high school. My horrible Mean Girl experience didn’t come to fruition until my sophomore/junior year of college and wow, it was a doozy the likes of which I’d never previously imagined. There was inadequacy! Full-blown depression! A wretched sorority experience! (Hint: it involved excessive use of the word DELTA) Class warfare! Rich girls driving Mercedes with leather interiors with $5,000 monthly clothing allowances! And I, the work-study kid trying with depression trying to figure out how to navigate it all, resulting in EPIC LEVELS OF FAILURE.

Also, there were the four (4) girls I sat in the hospital with who either a) drank themselves to near-death; b) starved themselves to near-death; c) OD’d on a lethal cocktail of cocaine, alcohol and I don’t even know what else; or c) in one case, HAD A HEART ATTACK AT THE AGE OF 21 from starving herself to near-death through the age-old game of binging and purging.

College was one of the worst times of my entire life, no kidding. The worst. And the really worst part? I have been found out by The Facebook. The Facebook, which has previously been a happy little benign tool to reunite me with long lost sisters and friends has now become A Bane.

I’m being pummeled with e-mails from a rather miserable LA-type crowd packed with self-important messages about how they’re in [insert high-profile city here]! And they LURVE IT THERE OMG! And they have famous friends! And an AMAZING LIFE! And oh, they see I’m in Vermont, and I’m a … writer, they see. And pregnant! How QUAINT! They pat me on the head. How LOVELY for you, they add as they remind me that they’re a high-profile blargity blargh and married to Very Rich Important Man in XX field and oh God, I’m trying not to take a knife to my own forehead just thinking about it.

I do not miss that competitiveness. Imagine, if you will, The Real Housewives of Long Island. That was my college experience, except I was the poor kid who couldn’t keep up and secretly didn’t want to, hence the depression. I was Atlanta Kim’s lame-ass frumpy best friend who knew better than to compete, but couldn’t see a decent way out. Oh GOD.

There are headshots being e-mailed to me in some cases. Headshots! Braggy headshots of rail-thin models with five-carat diamonds and frosted hair! Frankly, I’m ignoring the majority of the requests, and only responding to the (very few) good ones, because I am small and also easily annoyed and no no, do not want to relive it, NO THANK YOU.

Jesus, I really did need to be medicated to deal with that shit, yo.

In other words, I’m reacting a bit violently. I had no idea I still had it in me, but apparently it was a rather traumatic time. Huh. PTSD indeed.

College. My college experience was the only reason I was ever afraid to have a girl, because it was when I discovered that girls can be mean. Late bloomer, I know! I can tell you one thing: it is going to be very, very hard for her to ever convince me that she should join a sorority.

Happy Wednesday! Top Chef premieres!


*Ryan Star. Oh, Rockstar. I miss you.

35 comments November 11th, 2008

It’s Beginning to Get to Me

I am very rarely struck by bald envy of another living person, but I am flat-out jealous of Michelle Obama. There, I said it. I know I’m sounding very 1960s Jackie O-type worship, but I’m sorry, she’s just. so. CUTE. Envy! Total envy! And a hot husband, to boot. Perhaps I could doll myself up like Marilyn Monroe and serenade him on his birthday in an effort to bring the parallel full circle. Or perhaps not … I may not be cute, but I have a great husband, albeit not quite the president of the United States, but he IS a technology geek. So, uh, take that, Michelle?


This weekend, the reign of Twin Peaks finally ended with the viewing of Fire Walk With Me, which gave us both nightmares for our remaining days, most of which involved me as Laura Palmer, which … oh God, gross. Also, let me say that I understand why it was booed by audiences worldwide, for it did neither jack, nor shit, to clarify much of season two. Not that I paid that much attention, mind you, but after having my mind bent over a chair and rammed up the bum with a broomstick, I feel like I was owed at least a LITTLE BIT OF AN EXPLANATION, DAVID LYNCH. (HA! Like David Lynch offers explanations for ANYTHING.)

Anyway! I would have written last night, but I ended up on the phone with my friend Maria for THREE HOURS, harkening back to the days of young Jonna as a 13-year-old, yammering on the phone until her ear became sweaty and painful upon all bending attempts. And, because we only talk every few months, I ENJOYED IT. This is an incredible feat, as I hate the phone, and I’m quite certain the last time I was on it for that long, it involved an M&A-related conference call, and I spent the majority of that time considering what pointy objects I could ram between my eyeballs.

We have a least out to a prospective tenant, so I’m pretty much a ball of anxiety and haven’t been sleeping until they sign the damn thing (OH MY GOD WHY HAVEN’T YOU SIGNED IT YET, PEOPLE). I know that sounds ridiculous, but between moving and living out of boxes, finding a tenant from afar and a variety of unsavory things, I’m dangling at the end of a very frayed rope. I just want it all to be OVER so that we may get on with our busy lives and maybe take five seconds to relax one last time before managing a series of round-the-clock feedings. And I won’t even talk about the fact that our current tenant is flaking out on rent for her last month, which makes me feel like taking a pointy object and ramming it between HER eyeballs. Or perhaps directly in one, especially since if she leaves and the tenants don’t sign, we’re pretty much fucked on having the place shown to prospects. You know, assuming she bothers to leave the keys.

Oh my God, someone give me a Valium. Oh, right. GREAT. Um, a paper bag? A paper bag would be good.

I’m sure you’re just as anxious as I am to finish this, so that you can, for the love of all that is holy, STOP HEARING ABOUT IT.

And finally, a brief vent about the state of the … momosphere. Oh my God, MOMOSPHERE. As I Tweeted (shut up) earlier today, when I first heard the word — and the site — momversation, I nearly rolled my eyes into the back of my skull, because, SERIOUSLY: momversation. Must we momicize everything? Can’t we just have a flipping CONVERSATION, or do moms not do that? A mom who is a business owner is a mompreneur. There are mommy blogs. There is a MOMOSPHERE, for crying out loud, and I’ve seen people use the word in an unironic fashion. These people may or may not be still alive, because I may or may not have hunted them down and killed them.

(For the record, I first saw the word mentioned at a time when someone said that the momosphere should be sensitive to the delicate little feelings of those who weren’t invited to … some corporate momjunket or something? I don’t know. But I knew then and there that the momosphere sounded like a place that I was a little afraid of.)

One of the reasons I waited so long to have kids (aside from uh, God’s delays) is that I was so terrified of giving up my identity as a person. Ironically, one of the things I’ve seen cited as a reason for mommy blogs’ success is that they give women the outlet to be something other than a mom! They can be a PERSON, too!

Except, apparently, they can’t. Those who are childfree have mentioned the exclusion they feel from this … I don’t know, CLUB, or whatever, and it’s not like I’m so far removed from that, what with my five whole months of gestating a squash-sized fetus and all. I never really felt it that much myself, but then again, most of the moms (and dads!) I read are really inclusive, well-balanced people.

What I think is the greater transgression is that those labels have the opposite effect — I see them as quite diminishing, in fact — and it’s going largely unnoticed, for the labels keep. cropping. up. I find the need to take “mom” on to everything parents do to be a little ABSURD, because God, are these things not considered/done by men, too? Or even childfree people? I mean, do you not worry about making friends? Or having a family with different political viewpoints? Or is this something ONLY MOMS can have a valuable perspective on?

I don’t know why I find this so much more bothersome than, say, women’s magazines and whatnot, and I think that sites like Work It, Mom! and Alphamom have done a great job of targeting moms (and regular folk) without being diminishing. But there’s something particularly grating about the need to cutsify everything mom-related that’s making me want to hurt someone, and the word momversation really set me off — the title, not so much with the concept, although the momjury (or should I say gestojury?) is still out.

For the record, I have no intention or desire to self-identify as a mommyblogger, today or ever — not that I have an issue with those who DO, it just seems so limiting for me personally — and if I ever have a momversation or become a mompreneur, I’m asking here and now for one of you to please shoot me, and do it while inflicting as much pain as possible.

Honest to God. I’m not the first to make this observation and I know I won’t be the last. But seriously. Momosphere. Momversation. As Y said to me earlier today, I AM MOMSTIPATED.

Happy Tuesday!

*Snow Patrol

26 comments November 10th, 2008

Blue Monday

I mean the color, not the sentiment, and in this case, I guess it was a Tuesday. What a day (or, uh, two) to not post, eh? It was, in a word, quite surreal. This is the first time in my voting history that I’ve seen the electoral map more blue than red, and I like to think it wasn’t because everyone suddenly decided to come over to the dark side. My hope is that we may have found someone who can bring us all a little closer to purple. Time will tell.

I have been, for the record, impressed and humbled by the graciousness of those who supported McCain, and I was most impressed by McCain himself. I wish we’d seen more of that on the campaign trail; perhaps if we had, things could have turned out quite differently — or at least not been quite so ugly. I like the guy. I didn’t love his campaign.

At any rate, I look forward to the coming months/years and hope that everyone remembers that although Obama has tremendous potential, he is not Jesus Christ himself, and I don’t think he’s going to accomplish much unless we’re all willing to make serious sacrifices and exercise a little patience. The time of being selfish and expecting the government to take care of us is over, I’m afraid, although I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.

On the flip side, I’m more than a little disgusted by the McCain campaign’s (not the man himself) incessant pummeling of Sarah Palin. Look, I was never that impressed with her either, but to see her so ruthlessly filleted and served up for supper like a tuna steak isn’t necessarily what anyone needs, now or ever. Besides, nothing infuriates me more than passing the buck. Did she go rogue? Maybe, but that’s as much the campaign’s fault — if not more — as it is hers. Take some damn responsibility, especially seeing as she may be the future of the party. And no, I don’t think she was ready — that doesn’t mean she won’t ever be — but what kind of dumbass couldn’t figure that one out? Again, YOUR FAULT, CAMPAIGN MANAGERS.

Ultimately, however, I have never been so pleased after an election. I am — dare I say it — hopeful and optimistic about the future. And, as most people with small kids are saying, my daughter will never know a world without a black president, and her world will be a very different, more open place. I’m thankful for that. And that moment is one that I — or anyone else, I imagine will not forget.

Anyway! Onward! I stayed up so late watching the returns and speeches and endless analysis on Tuesday night that I fell asleep sitting in front of my computer late yesterday, and when the phone rang, I had one of those moments when I neither knew where I was, nor what time it was. My first thought was how panicked I was that it was morning already, and oh my God, I wasn’t ready for MORNING. And wait, why was I looking at a laptop and wearing my glasses? It was 5 p.m., and I’d been asleep for 10 minutes. Thank God I wasn’t in an office.

Man, I’m not going to adjust well to the sleep deprivation of early parenthood. I’m bound for bouts of narcolepsy in inappropriate places.

Rapidly switching gears, you know how there are some words that seem like they should mean something other than their definition? Nonplussed is one that comes to mind, and it’s a major hot button for me. It SEEMS like it should mean “unaffected”, but instead, it means quite the opposite — it’s “bewildered”! I know!

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen it misused. I’d … well, I wouldn’t have to keep searching for a tenant, that’s what. (Hate. This. Process.)

Words that seem much more regal than they are for me include sartorial (really? relating to clothes? HOW LAME), avuncular (seriously, you need a WORD for that?) and noisome (WHY ARE YOU NOT NOISE-RELATED?).

The English language is so bizarre. And nonplussing. Or if you prefer, nonplusing.

I think it’s time for some Hostess cupcakes.

Have a great weekend!

*New Order

22 comments November 6th, 2008

A Hard Day’s Night

So, if you’ll allow me to reach across the aisle for a moment in one final election-related comment, let me just say that I could never run for president. Dodgy college experiences and, you know, BLOG aside (oh my God, could you imagine? “Do you want a president who farts and has long, freakish hairs growing out of her arms? And have you seen her views on the dairy industry?”), I cannot imagine what it must be like to campaign for two straight years. I can’t. I don’t have the energy, I don’t have the drive and I most definitely don’t have the patience to be ‘on’ that much. This is unfortunate, as I have the perfect working-class Scranton-area upbringing to springboard off of. Such a waste of an authentic blue-collar background!

It would take me precisely three hours of shaking hands before I snapped at someone and was all, “DUDE, I SEE YOU. I CAN ONLY MOVE SO FAST. I’M COMING! UNKNOT YOUR PANTIES, ASSHOLE.” And that would be it for my campaign. You think Hillary couldn’t get away with crying? Dude, I’d make Sarah Palin look like the most patient, prepared woman on the planet. My downfall would be grand and very, very swift. Within the first week, I’d be scowling on national television, snapping at overzealous supporters and rolling my eyes at the fiftieth baby placed in my arms because my God, yes, your baby is the cutest baby ever, although frankly at this point, THEY ARE ALL STARTING TO LOOK THE SAME, CAN I GET SOME PERSONAL SPACE UP IN HERE AND NOT HOLD A SCREAMING KID FOR TWO WHOLE MINUTES?

You see, it would bring out the worst in me. I’m not usually like that, obviously. I love meeting people and I love babies, but my God, I hate crowds. And not getting a chance to be alone, much less five minutes to sleep, would make me positively insane. Seriously, a candidate’s sleep schedule makes that of a new parent look utterly luxurious, and I plan to bear that in mind when I’m up at 3 a.m. feeding my daughter, because at least there won’t be strategists hovering around my couch on the campaign bus to leap on me the moment my eyes open. I might have to feed, change and rock her, but I won’t have to engage in any sort of deep discussion on economic policy.

My point is that although I am voting for Obama, I have tremendous respect for both candidates, because I refuse to believe that putting yourself through all that torture is all about ego, driven by some kind of self-involved machinations. Whatever it is they’re selling, they really believe they’re doing the right thing, and neither one is all good or all bad. And say what you will about McCain’s age, but at 72, he’s enduring a tremendous physical challenge that would make most men (and women!) half his age fall to their knees and cry uncle. I don’t see a sad grandpa up there. I see a man who deserves a little respect, as does his opponent.

So, you know, get out and vote. Your civil right and civic duty aside, it’s the least you can do for these two dudes who nearly killed themselves — for, I believe, the right reasons — to serve you. And in the words of the CEO of Schooner Tuna, remember: We’re all in this together.

Happy election day!

*The Beatles, obvs.

30 comments November 3rd, 2008

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