Archive for November, 2009

Pig

Oh HELLO. I am here to tell you a very sad story, with an accompanying Very Sad Photo. Because our flights last week! They were the GIFTS THAT KEEP ON GIVING. What, you ask? How can that BE, you are wondering? HOW CAN THAT BE?

Well, if you follow me on Twitter, this is not a surprise. If you don’t, then I have two words for you: SWINE FLU. Yes, my daughter is currently battling the dreaded flu of the porcine variety. IT HAS COME. High fever that popped up OUT OF NOWHERE! Malaise! Stuffy nose! Inability to stay awake for more than an hour without needing to sleeeeep! Fussiness to win some kind of FUSSY COMPETITION.

Let us pause for a moment to laugh at the IMPOTENCE of my FUTILE HAND-WRINGING over getting her the vaccine. The vaccine! That I secured! BUT ONLY HALF. OH HA HA HA. She’s getting the other half next week ANYWAY! OH HA HA HA.

But first! Our Thanksgiving was wonderful! There was some of this:

Before the plague descended on our home

However, later that same day, we had our first appearance of this, taken earlier today (Sunday. SUNDAY. IT GOES ON FOREVAH):
How sad is this?
I don’t know about you, but this is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. For real.

And with that, I’ve got to go, because Flubaby could wake at any moment, and once she wakes up the first time, I bring her into bed with me, because HOO BOY, she is not into sleeping alone when she’s this sick, and I can’t say I blame her. I am surprisingly okay with this, given what happened the first day, when the Tamiflu made her so fucking sick that she PROJECTILE BARFED all over my bed. And me. Oh yes, we had Flubaby AND Barfingbaby all at once!

If anyone thinks I’m flying with my child ever again, they are CAH-RAZY. I shall take the train! Or never leave New England again! WHICHEVER!

Happy Monday!

*Dave Matthews

32 comments November 29th, 2009

The Drop

Well, hello there, pretty things. We survived the flight, obviously, although on the leg home, I’m fairly certain the old man in front of us was fervently wishing — nay, PRAYING TO GOD — that we would not, by some sort of individual seat-ejection, sending Sam and I off into the ether.

You know, no one likes to be on a plane with babies. No one. It sucks, dude. They’re loud, they’re kicky, they’re annoying as fuck. I KNOW. I was That Person once — the person who came home and ranted to her friends about how there was a CHILD on the plane and the kid KICKED and YELLED and CRIED and oh my God, it was THE MOST ANNOYING FLIGHT EVAR.

Dude, I KNOW. What I did not know, however, was that, a) Unless the parent is a totally heartless monster, they are trying SO HARD to make it stop, make it stop, oh my God, MAKE IT STOP, so that you, childless traveler, can be more comfortable. I swear. Oh, and b) They are more miserable than you are. Like, A HUNDRED-FOLD. For not only do they (WE) have to suffer through the screaming, but they are responsible for making the screaming stop, and then, on top of everything, the child — THEIR (OUR) CHILD! — is miserable, and oh, there is heartache, because there is much weeping and woe and because the child does not speak fucking ENGLISH, there is no way to explain rationally how this whole flying thing works. And by “how it works” I mean, YOU HAVE TO STAY SEATED, MORE OR LESS. THAT’S KIND OF ALL THERE IS, KID.

Oh, but I will also tell you that what was also awesome was the special trip the flight attendant made to our seats at the beginning of both flights to give us a Very Special Infant Flotation Vest, with instructions muttered so quickly that I couldn’t have put the vest on if my life depended on it, which HA HA, but also? If we’re going down over water, chances are we’re DEAD ANYWAY, SullyWhatsisface “miracles” notwithstanding.

Ahoy! Thanksgiving! Since we visited Adam’s family this weekend, it’s just OUR little family for the holiday and I am THEEE-RILLED. Yes, yes, we will stuff our faces and relax and nap together AS A FAMILY, and … we will also figure out how to devour an 11-pound turkey between the, uh, two of us, but do you know that’s basically the smallest turkey you can get from our local, uh, turkey people? (I can’t just do a breast. I like a WHOLE TURKEY.) And I’m totally making Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes, which feature cream cheese, cream and other assorted dairy products.

And HEY, speaking of potatoes, you should make these soon, because THEY ARE DELISH.

And with that, if I don’t talk to you (though I hope to) beforehand, I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving.

*Peter Gabriel

33 comments November 23rd, 2009

We Are The Champions

This week is going to be crazy because we’ve got Adam’s family holiday get-together at the end of the week (we’re here for Thanksgiving, then with my family for Christmas), which involves (oh dear Jesus) a PLANE RIDE, and you may recall that I am very, very bad on plane rides when I’m flying sans baby, and to say that I have no idea how this particular trip is going to go is an UNDERSTATEMENT. The thing is, I spend most of the pre-flight preparations concentrating on how I’d extricate myself from the fuselage in the event of a near-catastrophe, and that’s when it’s just ME, assuming that Adam is of reasonably able body and can get himself out. I then reason that if for some reason he CAN’T, well, then, I can help him — or try to, at least — and friends, that is when I get VERY PANICKY, because I am not very strong, and you know what else? I AM NOT GOOD IN A CRISIS.

But now. OH NOW. Now I have not only myself to worry about, but I have a BABY, the most important thing in the entire universe, and I am responsible for getting her on and off of the plane and that’s when it ISN’T burning or landing in the Hudson or flown by drunk pilots or helmed by two dudes too distracted by Bejeweled on their personal laptops to realize that they OVERSHOT THE AIRPORT. And this is before we’ve even considered the possibility that THE TSA MIGHT STEAL MAH BABY.

I am super-fun to travel with, as you can imagine. Only now, I have to remain calm in order to keep Samantha calm, and I’m going to be spending the next three days practicing my deep-breathing exercises and maybe securing a prescription for Xanax, except not really, because that makes me SLEEPY and I sense that it’s not very responsible to pass out open-mouthed and drugged with a baby attached to your boob, right?

AHEM. I got nothing other than that, because my mind is all focused on WOOP WOOP PANIC ABORT MISSION PANIC about this shit (IT IS A SMALL PLANE). So here! Here are random bits of nothingness that are the only things I can think of that do not involve plunging from the sky with my baby into the deep, deep abyss.

— We never call Samantha by her name. Or even by Sam. I mean, RARELY, y’all, to the point where I worry that she’s not going to know it, but in truth, it doesn’t really matter. We call her Beebs, by the way. Short for Beeber McSteebs, which happened … I don’t even know how it happened, but it involved Queen’s “We Are The Champions” and some customized lyrics about our daughter, Bee Bop and Banthers. (I don’t know, either.) I mean, my FRIENDS call her Beebs, as do some her little toddler buddies. She is Beebs or Beebers. This ONLY concerns me because my parents used to be friends with a woman named Snookie. SNOOKIE. Because her father always called her Snookie growing up and it STUCK. I just imagine my kid’s business card reading “Beebs R–”

— I made chocolate chip cookies with bacon grease tonight, and though I am not a bacon worshiper, I had high hopes that they would at least be DIFFERENT in some way. I mean, I replaced HALF THE BUTTER with bacon grease (a half cup, yo!) and yet … nothing. They’re delicious, certainly, but they are basically just a chocolate chip cookie.

— I am creepily fascinated by ultra-conservative women. CREEPILY. Sarah Palin! Michele Bachmann! Ann Coulter! Michelle Malkin! They could not be more different from me, ideology-wise, but there is something eerily magnetic about them, and I cannot stop watching them or reading about them. It’s a SICKNESS. And I could really go on about this, and my theory of WHY they are so successful, but it would sound sexist and misogynistic, even though I don’t believe that it IS, but I know that I would not be good at explaining it in a way that clarified WHY it wasn’t that way, and I’d bumble around for a really long time before throwing up my hands and saying, “I guess I DO hate women. Except I know that I don’t. SOMEONE HELP ME.”

— I really, really hope I’m a good mom. I think about it every day, all the time, and I’m so scared that I’m not. I love that kid so freakin’ much, and I know it’s uncool to say so, but being her mom is the best thing I’ve ever done, ever. It’s a huge honor and responsibility, to be someone’s guide through life, and once in a while, the overwhelming weight of it just knocks my ass right over.

Happy Monday!

*Queen. For my Bee Bop Beeber McSteebs

47 comments November 15th, 2009

Spellbound

This morning I sat slack-jawed for a full, oh, I don’t know, twenty minutes or so, glazed over and positively enthralled by the infomercial for the Cricut (pronounced “CRICKET,” which I never would have guessed) Expressions paper cutter. The first five minutes were spent in ridiculous disbelief that anyone would want to fake-etch glass with some kind of faux varnish using patterns on a paper cutter, but by the time the last fifteen rolled around, I was not only considering “etching” some kind of commemorative plate of my own, but was ALSO wondering why I hadn’t yet taken up scrapbooking as a hobby when the Cricut made it so easy! And fun! And would UNLEASH MY CREATIVITY!

There’s a reason infomercials are on in the wee hours of the morning, because that’s when your defenses are down. Had the Cricut not been — oh my God — FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS, I could see how I could have lazily convinced myself over coffee that now that I was in breeding mode, my children’s lives needed to be documented with fancy paper cutouts of diapers and baby bottles adorned with parchment curlicues. This is reminiscent of the time back when Adam and I first started dating (at the tender age of 23, oh my God) and we stayed up far too late smoking cigarettes and doing God knows what and watched a full thirty minutes of an infomercial for a five-disc collection of Stevie Wonder’s greatest hits. Now, I like — nay, LOVE — Stevie Wonder as much as the next person, but I didn’t need five full discs of his early greats, nor did I need to put a RUSH ORDER on it, which we did, oh yes, my friends, YES WE DID. FOR AN EXTRA THIRTEEN DOLLARS AND NINETY FIVE CENTS.

Speaking of Adam, he was working from home yesterday while Sam and I were out, and when I came home, he was practically shivering from half-watching Oprah and the lady who was mauled by the chimpanzee. I don’t even know how it happened, but somehow the conversation broke down and we were almost fighting — yes, FIGHTING — because he kept insisting that if his face were to be ripped off from a rogue chimpanzee, he wouldn’t want to live, and I should just pull the plug and say no no, don’t sew over his eyeball sockets, please, just LET HIM DIE. And *I* was DEVASTATED by this, because DON’T LEAVE ME, ADAM and I hovered thisclose to tears, because I don’t CARE if he doesn’t have a face, HE IS STILL HIM AND I LOVE HIM. Aaaand, I do believe that’s when we realized that no, seriously, the chances of his face being eaten off by a chimp are … well, significantly less than zero, but if it happens, you heard it here first, folks: Adam doesn’t want his eyeballs sewn over.

And now, three bits of nothingness before the weekend:

– Sam cut a second tooth last night and let me tell you, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started seriously pitying HER around 10:30 p.m. when she was CLEARLY trying SO HARD to go to sleep, and yet the pain was bugging her shit right out. The pathetic whimpering! Putting her head down, then popping it up and looking around in desperation! Oh, poor baby. All pity was left by the wayside, however, when at 5 a.m. like FRACKING CLOCKWORK, the kid blew out another diaper, and seriously, if anyone knows how I can stop this phenomenon and make her take care of the business, I don’t know, EARLIER IN THE DAY, I will take suggestions. The pattern is this: if she goes during dinner (appetizing!), we’re good for the night. If she doesn’t, we’re very likely effed effed EFFED. (KID GOES A ZILLION TIMES A DAY OMG).

(SORRY FOR POOP TALK)

– I started Grave Sight, from Charlaine Harris’s Harper Connelly series, and dude, I really like it. It’s fluffy and light and totally frivolous, but while I have begun reading again (and rather voraciously at that), I don’t see myself delving into anything super-heavy for quite some time. And by “heavy” I don’t mean in topic, I mean using things like big words and esoteric concepts or anything resembling literature I’m supposed to feel DEEPLY about and DECONSTRUCT. Those days, ladies and gentlemen, are over. And I am RELIEVED.

– Am I the only one taking totally perverse pleasure in the minor downfall of the Real Housewives of Orange County? Those bitches lived WAY TOO LARGE for way too long, and this, my friends, this is what happens when your entire self-worth is tied up into diamonds and a 9,000-square-foot house. Marriages crumble! Houses are in peril! And there I am, like an asshole, gleefully clapping my hands. Please note, this does not fall under NaNiceMo. I know, it’s probably CHEATING.

Happy weekend, y’all!

*Siouxsie and the Banshees

42 comments November 12th, 2009

Flavor

You know how I’ve always said nothing grosses me out, like, EVER? Well, then! We have found the secret weapon of UTTER GROSSNESS. And it’s … ground chicken. Benign, right? GROUND CHICKEN! Big deal.

A-HO! Since Sam’s favorite food is chicken mixed with apples and none of the organic brands have any a) chicken & apples together; or b) lone chicken jars to mix with apples, I’ve been doing a fair amount of ridiculous HANDWRINGING over the non-organic, mass-produced CREEPY OF THE CREEP chicken that my daughter was ingesting. I know, oh my God, I KNOW. I’m a yuppie asshole for even thinking such things, I KNOW. But it turns out that the organic chicken combinations are RANK, and though I make most of my own baby food, I could NOT bring myself to grind CHICKEN, because ew, CREEP.

A few weeks ago, I was standing in my friend Meg’s kitchen and she was rooting around her refrigerator looking for something and pulled out a tupperware container, noting that it was her son Toby’s chicken and that she’d ground it herself like it was no! big! deal! And so I thought that I, TOO could grind my own chicken, and it would be no! big! deal! and then I poached some (hormone-free, local, PUNCH PUNCH) chicken thighs and ground ’em up with some water and I AM STILL RECOVERING. I had to add water! And grind, like, a WHOLE LOT, until it was a PINK PASTE and I am going to DRY HEAVE UNTIL CHRISTMAS.

My Kryptonite, it is homemade ground chicken. Oh, and it’s currently residing in ice cube trays in my freezer, and I’m thinking I’ll have the balls to pull THAT shit out on the twelfth day of never, and tomorrow, I plan to hand an inordinate amount of money over to Gerber, because whatever, Misty Knoll, I ain’t got the stomach for you, and BRING ON THE CREEPY CHICKEN HORMONES. Sorry, Sam!

PHEW. Now that THAT grossness is over with, I’m sort of at a loss as to where to go from here, so I will give you RANDOM BULLETS OF NOTHINGNESS:

— I sort of cringe saying this, given the recent loss of his son and all, but you know, I have never liked John Travolta, and again with the GUILT OF SAYING THIS, but it all ties back to an interview I read in … Redbook? Good Housekeeping? Eh, one of those magazines for houseladies like me (OMG), but in it, he mentioned that he and his wife went through some hard times a few years back because she was so INSECURE and because he was such a giant movie star, she always thought he was going to leave her. And seriously, I just have not been able to move past that, because if my husband sold out my insecurities to RedHousekeepingLadies, I don’t think he would have a penis anymore, because I would have Lorena Bobbitted that shit the second that thing hit the newsstands, yo.

— Speaking of houseladies, occasionally, when reading about celebrities like Jude Law or Josh Duhamel who get themselves in trouble with the great raggedy-ass masses, I feel SO SORRY for the poor peon that they became involved with, because my God, could they be described in more unflattering terms? And then I think about how US Weekly would describe ME if *I* were the one impregnated with Jude Law’s baby (NO THANK YOU), and I just KNOW that they would say something like “overweight suburban mom and housewife,” complete with accompanying pooch-baring photo and OH HEAVENS, let us all thank YE GODS that I am not and will not be having an affair with anyone famous, nor will I ever find myself in US Weekly.

— My kid pretty much begged to go to bed at 6:30 p.m. tonight. This is likely because this morning, she got up with a rather unfortunate diaper situation at 4:45 a.m. (ALL OVER HER. AND HER CRIB. OH MY LANDS), and decided that it was time to be up up UP! FOR THE DAY. So help me MAN ALIVE, if I see her poopy little ass before 6 a.m., you will find me in the car on my way to Green Mountain Coffee headquarters wondering if they have a vat I can go for a swim in.

Happy Wednesday!

*Tori Amos

24 comments November 10th, 2009

You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

Jai ho! Last week was some sort of bizarre blur of sleepless misery, as my child’s first tooth decided to make an appearance, and MY GOD, I felt so sorry for her, but you know what else? I also felt very sorry for myself, because there was much wee-hour stumbling back and forth from one room to the next, and not a lot of sleeping and MAH GOD, what, are those little teeth made of RAZORBLADES or what? And why, suddenly, although the tooth is a mere MILLIMETER further along than it was those fretful, tired days, does she seem much more accustomed to it?

Speaking of kid, she’s a spectacular eater, to no one’s surprise, and I only wish I could get as excited as she does about a plate of green beans. GREEN BEANS. Pureed, no less, and resembling the color of puked-up camo pants. The kid flaps her arms and yells and GRUNTS, like someone’s handing her a giant piece of caramel-soaked CAKE, for chrissake. This, oddly, brings my to my first parenting-related FOOD BEEF, which is that companies like Gerber are marketing pureed desserts to babies. COME ON. Babies — if they’re still eating purees — don’t give a shit about dessert. The don’t even know what dessert IS. So really, do we have to have DESSERT? For BABIES? Babies who think that green beans are the SHIZNIT? She likes carrots and delicious Greek yogurt with pears equally, so for God’s sake, can we LAY OFF THE DESSERT TALK FOR INFANTS?

**WARNING TO PEOPLE OF THE MALE PERSUASION: MENSTRUAL TALK AHEAD**

In other thrilling news, my period has arrived once again. This is remarkable because I have not experienced my monthly womanly duties since May. Of 2008. MAY OF 2008. That’s a year and a half, folks, thanks to pregnancy and nursing (which I’m still doing), and let me tell you, I think the only person in history who was more surprised by the arrival of their period was Stephen King’s Carrie. You guys, I was MYSTIFIED by the entire phenomenon, and was so shocked that for a few horrific moments, I was certain that my birth-related stitches, which are long healed, had somehow RUPTURED and I was coming apart at the ladybits. A flip through the mental rolodex of PMS symptoms and earlier feeling that the return was nigh saved me from pulling a Fried Green Tomatoes and lying on the floor with a mirror between my legs to check for damage.

To add insult to injury, I do believe my Moon Cup was lost in our last move, and let’s pause for a moment to consider the horrific moment when someone makes THAT discovery, wherever she landed. Also, an unsolicited tip: I’m ordering The Keeper, and if you’re on the market for such things, I suggest you do the same. Yes, it’s brown, and resembles the color of poop, but you know what? It doesn’t stain. Well, visibly, anyway.

SORRY SORRY SORRY

To abruptly switch gears, my mother and step-dad went to Virginia over Halloween to visit a few of my brothers and go trick-or-treating with my (many) nephews. This is mostly irrelevant, except that the trip reminded me of a fight she got into with one of my brother’s wives, and while it was quite ugly and ridiculous at the time (all is now well, of course), I will never forget the moment she called me on my mobile as I placed an order at Five Guys’ Burgers and Fries and wailed, “WE HAD A HORRIBLE ROW!”

A ROW. A row. Honestly, who says that? My mother, that’s who. Oh, Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry, it’s not that I think the situation was funny, it’s that … well, come on now. ROW. Pronounced “RAO” not like rowing a boat. And I can’t stop laughing about it. Although in retrospect, it WAS a horrible row, although again, really, EVERYTHING IS FINE.

And finally, NaNiceMo is going reasonably well, I reckon, although today I copped out like a little pansy and made my contribution to society at large the simple act of picking up one of those holiday food donation boxes at the grocery store and paying $10 to donate it to the local food bank. Shrug. I prefer more personal acts of niceness, because anyone can plunk down ten bucks, you know? Meh.

With that, I’m off to bed at the ungodly hour of EIGHT FORTY FIVE, and will very likely finish Sookie #9 (thank you, Jesus, we are almost done here), effectively ending my time with this series until book 10 comes out in May. I have, for reasons unclear to me, chosen Charlaine Harris’s Harper Connelly series next, although mercifully there are only four so far.

And after THAT, my reading list consists of The Historian, The Hour I First Believed and Her Fearful Symmetry. Aaaand, only one of those does not really deal with the supernatural, and I think it’s safe to say that a) I have a problem with the paranormal; and b) I am going to be busy for a little while.

Happy Monday!

*Spoon. (SORRY SORRY SORRY. AM GROSSER THAN GROSS I KNOW.)

36 comments November 8th, 2009

November

I thought about doing NaBloPoMo this month, believe it or not, but I later realized that while I liked the idea of posting every day, it would probably be boring as hell, because some days, to be honest, nothing happens. Some days, the biggest thrill of my day is that my kid had a double blowout and the washing machine hummed its hot-water wash all. day. long. (Hello, that would be TODAY.)

NaNoWriMo doesn’t appeal to me, either, because while I DO want to write a novel some day, it seems a bit silly for me to condense it all in one month. (Incidentally, the only goal I have for said novel is to finish it, simply as a personal accomplishment. If no one reads it, I’m not sure I’ll even care. But oh, to FINISH AN ENTIRE BOOK! That would be huge. A marathon for writers, if you will.)

Anyway! So. November being what it is, the month of Na-something, and also a generally sucky month, weather-wise and psyche-wise, as winter just LOOMS like some kind of GIANT RAINCLOUD OF MISERY, I was wondering if there was something I could do this month. A mini-goal, of sorts.

And folks, I have decided that November is NaNiceMo! I don’t mind admitting that I’m a generally a pretty nice person with some pretty serious flaws, but this November, I am going to try to be the nicest version of myself I can be — oh, I don’t mean I’m going to give up being snarky or that I’m going to turn it into NaPushOverMo or anything (I’m looking at you, pediatrician’s office, Keeper of the Swine Flu Vax), but I DO think that I could stand to make more of an effort in general, and I mean beyond my extended family. The honest truth is that I benefit from being nice to my family — Adam and Sam are more pleasant when I’m nicer, and things are generally more harmonious for me. Ergo, being nice in that capacity is a LEEETLE bit selfish, you know?

So what I am ALSO going to try to do is do one extra-nice thing every day for someone or something that doesn’t directly benefit me. It doesn’t have to be anything big – in fact, it can be quite small. Today, for example, I called the manager at my local grocery store to tell him about exceptional service I got from a young man in the checkout line today (seriously, he helped me so much, you have no idea). Is that something I should do whenever that happens? Yes. Do I do it every time, or even MOST times? No. I get too busy.

This month, I am not going to be too busy! I am going out of my way every time and THEN SOME! NANICEMO IN THE MOTHERFUCKING HOUSE.

Are you in? You don’t have to tell me if you are. But it would be, uh, nice (hello, I AM REDUNDANT) to hear that there are a bunch of extra-nice people out there this month. November sure could use it.

Happy Monday to you!

*Tom Waits. Echo & the Bunnymen. So many! So many November songwriters!

28 comments November 1st, 2009


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