Posts filed under 'Boston!'

On The Floor

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m sitting here wondering how to keep myself from dancing until the world ends. Or — OR! — waving my drink in the air and getting sick on the floor! In IBIZA!

Clearly I’ve been listening to too much Kiss 108 (the Young People’s radio station here in Boston), because I just can’t stop marveling at the number of songs that imply that we all live to dance and — AND! — harass the DJ until they put our song on. Or maybe that was just Madonna in “Music.” I can’t remember.

Either way, I am shocked and a wee bit embarrassed by my reaction when Jennifer Lopez and/or Britney Spears start singing about getting wasted, rubbing up on dudes and dancing on the floor until their tatas fall off. I just … well, I go all, WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN? And also, last time I checked, Brit-Brit, you were on a family vacation to the most mundane of destinations: the Grand Canyon. Were you in an RV, hmmm? And JENNIFER! Good sweet GRIEF, your kids are THREE. And you’re 42! I’m all for dancing, but maybe curb the clubbing to a reasonable hour?

This sounded a lot less dowdy when it was just in my head. I won’t even bother to discuss my feelings on Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me,” where he talks about “zoning out” and somehow making everyone else jellus of his dance moves, then.

Speaking of children (eh?), I talked to a nurse at my doctor’s office today, and reached Maximum Frustration Level when she tried to say that my (totally justified) reaction to something was MY HORMONES. “Oh honey. It’s probably just HORMONES.” I just … you know, there’s really no appropriate time to suggest that it’s a woman’s HORMONES that are making her react a certain way. Especially someone like me, who is basically walking around in a state of PTSD when it comes to health issues (OK ANY ISSUES) after the year I’ve had, WHICH SHE KNOWS ABOUT, HA HA, I DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY “STRESS HORMONES” WITH YOU, CRAZY LADY.

(Do I sound sane there? Or just hopped up on hormones?)

What killed me, however, was that just before I replied, my center of gravity shifted from Chatty Nice Patient Jonna to Enraged Jonna, and at the precise moment the shift happened, Sam’s eyes got very wide and she warned, “UH OH! UH OH!” like some kind of tsunami detector. Mama’s pissed, and she knows it.

See, nurse? My KID knows when I’m about to get serious up in here, so perhaps you want to save the hormone talk for SOMEONE ELSE. Or actually, no one. No one deserves to be invalidated in such a totally dismissive way, and GOD, WHO HIRED YOU, NURSE?

Meanwhile, have I TOLD you guys that I’m driving a Mercury Grand Marquis, because my tree-smashed car is STILL not repaired? And that it’s been … let’s see, TWENTY SEVEN DAYS?

Do you know what a Grand Marquis looks like? No?

Yessss. Oh, I’m sure it doesn’t seem so bad from that angle, but it’s a boat, and I have yet to park it straight. Oh, and it doesn’t have automatic locks, and it ONLY has a key entry on the driver’s side, which means every time I get in or out, I have to haul EVERYTHING to the driver’s side (including Sam, if we’re in a parking lot), open the door, then unlock all the doors, THEN go back to the other doors. Also: NO CUP HOLDERS. Oh, and the trunk is key-accessible only, which makes grocery shopping more of a workout than is necessary. And! AND! it has NEW JERSEY plates, which is basically the worst thing you can have in Massachusetts. This car could get me KILLED in a MAFIA TURF WAR, for chrissake. I WANT MY HONDA BACK, MY SWEET GOD.

Upside: it’s a smooth ride, and I am shamed to admit I was doing 80 on the Pike today and didn’t even notice, but like the old lady I am, I slowed it down right quick. Like buttah, you Marquis de Minx.

(PS, I was driving to see Nic, one of my longtime internet besties, for the first time. And it was great. Do you know what it’s like to finally meet someone you talk to at LEAST four times a DAY? IT IS AWESOME. Who cares if Sam pooped in her hotel room? OH GOD.)

Have a great Thursday.

*Jennifer Lopez featuring the horribly named PIT BULL. PIT BULL. First of all, the word ‘pit’ is disgusting and reminds me of ACNE BITS. And then BULL? Really? No, I don’t think about the dog, I think about an ACNE-PITTED BULL. GROSS.

46 comments April 27th, 2011

Back In The High Life Again

For those of you who asked for photos of the snow, I give you my house, which is virtually unrecognizable compared to its normal form. Like, from this photo, you cannot even tell what it normally LOOKS LIKE. I’m not worried about anyone appearing on my doorstep, because GOOD LUCK FIGURING OUT WHICH ONE IS MINE IN THE DRIFTS. The whole neighborhood looks THE SAME. Entire trees are buried! My CAR is in there somewhere! (Can you see the very wee tippy top of my car? I DRIVE AN SUV. THE SUV IS TOO SHORT FOR THE DRIFTS.)

DSC_0282

I got out today, and it changed my life, dudes. I went to a friend’s house with other friends, and I laughed and I had conversations and my kid played with toys that weren’t hers, and I came back and did something other than lie about on the couch like a bump on a pickle and THIS. This is living, people. Putting on real pants and drinking coffee made by someone else’s coffee pot and HOO BOY, that’s the high life, right there.

It’s really a shame we’re getting more snow on Saturday, then.

I mean, seriously.

Meanwhile, the other morning, Adam accosted me just out of bed and was all, “You peed in the middle of the night and it SMELLED TERRIBLE. I had to GET UP AND FLUSH THE TOILET! It WOKE ME UP!”

Um, okay, several things: 1) I did not pee. No one did. 2) When was the last time someone PEED in the NEXT ROOM and woke someone up with the stench? OMFG. 3) His statement was immediately followed by, “WAIT, I STILL SMELL IT. DID YOU JUST PEE AGAIN?”

Um, no.

The culprit? The chicken stock I had simmering all night in the crock pot, which apparently smells like foul pee. Looking forward to making rice pilaf with it! Viva la urine rice!

Separately, and apropos of LITERALLY nothing, we’re in the throes of researching our trip to the Caribbean (because after the January we had, OH YES) without our precious offspring (thank you, parents!) and I almost had a panic attack looking at the pictures of scuba diving that popped up in a travel website. Mind you, I have always thought that scuba diving would totally be on my life list if I had one, but here we are five or six trips to the Caribbean in, and I’ve never gone, thinking, oh, next time! I’ll get certified first and go next time! And then today happened and I saw a photo of dolphins underwater, and I realized that right then and there, if something large and dolphin-like, no matter how friendly, came towards me underwater, I would do one of two things: a) die, right then and there; b) lose utter control of my bowels.

I’m going with Option B, and then the poop would attract OTHER wildlife, and then I would die anyway, because I would be eaten.

Thus, it is declared: I will never go scuba diving and I am perfectly okay with this. For God’s sake, I have a FEAR of LARGE THINGS underwater, AND I am a little claustrophobic and NO. NO.

I will also never, ever venture into space, no matter how accessible and affordable it becomes. I don’t care if Richard Branson himeffingSELF wants to fly me up in a private rendezvous with Alexander Skarsgard, Philip Seymour Hoffman (what?) and TIM EFFING RIGGINS (yes, I know he’s fictional, STOPIT). I AM NOT GOING INTO SPACE.

And finally, a few photos of Sam that are KILLING ME. This is actually the third and fourth in a series of her in the same outfit, same place in the house. And yet, things go horribly awry between photo three:

DSC_0272

And photo four:

I have NO IDEA what happened here.

Since these photos were taken long enough ago that I have absolutely no idea what happened, or WHY I kept snapping instead of stepping in, I’m totally blaming Elmo, lying there all innocent-like. That little red bastard stuck his foot out, I KNOW he did.

Happy weekend!

*Steve Winwood. Whatever, don’t mock me, it was a great album.

32 comments February 3rd, 2011

Dead or Alive

Late last week, Sam and I were both felled by the same creeping crud that every other family we’re friends with has also been pummeled by, and while I promise I won’t be bitching about the cold itself (well, except to say that a coughing toddler is the saddest thing ever, no, seriously, SO SAD), it unleashed a torrent of insomnia that left me wide awake as late as 2 a.m., staring at Adam’s sleeping form with a genuinely terrifying fury. I wanted to SMASH HIS SKULL for being able to sleep so soundly. I wasn’t just jealous; I was angry, bitter and wanted EVERYONE to stay awake with me until I fell asleep. EVERYONE.

Nevermind that the poor, sweet guy had already stayed awake an extra hour to rub my head, and that the next morning, he got up with Sam and tucked me back in and rubbed my face and let me sleep as long as I wanted, NO. NO THAT WASN’T ENOUGH. I WANTED TO CRACK SOME SKULLS.

I was awesome to be around, I’ll bet. Fortunately for everyone, no one was awake to witness it, and I had some modicum of skull-cracking impulse control.

Sudafed was deemed the culprit, and I see now why people use Nyquil, because it is … not meant to keep you awake, like Sudafed. It’s made for NIGHTTIME. And Sudafed is basically speed, right? Or … something meth-related? You can tell I’m really up on my drug-related knowledge, seeing as I’d never even HEARD of the shit Miley Cyrus was caught smoking, and before my kid gets old enough for such shenanigans, I’d better get it together, otherwise she’ll mention it, and I’ll be all, Yes, salvia! GREAT idea, Sam! All natural and sweetens your coffee like a dream if you can handle the bitter aftertaste!

ANYWAY, this is the longest, most boring way ever of explaining that at 3 a.m., I went on a frantic search for my pregnancy-era stash of Unisom, leftover from when I bought out the entire stock in the state of Vermont, and though I didn’t take it that night, I DID take it last night in a desperate attempt to get a decent night’s sleep, and HELLO, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

What I also accomplished was a glassy-eyed morning wake-up with a bladder so full I could have peed a river from here to Egypt, and then, a whole five and a half hours later, I passed out cold during Sam’s nap in a puddle of drool and sweat, and right now, I swear to God, I could go to bed for another ten or forty hours and you guys, I took that FOUR TIMES A DAY WITH SAM, OH MY GOD, HOW WAS I NOT SLEEPING TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY?

Seeeeeeeriously.

And now, a list of people I am genuinely not sure are dead or alive. Be embarrassed for me if you wish, but I got nothing:

Bob Hope
Vince Lombardi
Ray Charles
Corey Feldman
Telly Savalas
Jerry Lee Lewis, who I just learned is not the same person as Jerry Lewis (FASCINATING STUFF)
Wilfred Brimley
Valerie Harper
and of course, the perennially dead Abe Vigoda.

Yep. I do not know if they are dead or alive. Or, apparently who some of the Jerrys are. (I KID. I learned that one thanks to my Facebook friends a few weeks ago, ha HA! TRIUMPH!)

And on a final note, I’d like to ask everyone reading this to just take a couple minutes and … slow down. Be nice to someone. Let people have your parking spot — don’t rush to get into it. Drive slowly in parking lots. Smile to the cashier at Target. Be patient. Take a deep breath and smile, even if someone’s an asshole to you out and about.

I say this because while finishing up some Christmas shopping on Saturday, Adam and I were struck by how MISERABLE everyone seemed. My God, I realize it’s a stressful time of year — I do. I’ve got a family and visitors coming and trips to plan and a kid and a house AND AND AND, so really, I GET IT. But oh, it makes me sad to see so many people so intensely wound up and miserable and taking it out on everyone around them.

Then, to make matters worse, one of my good friends was nearly MOWED DOWN this morning in the Toys R Us parking lot from some pissed-off lady who wasn’t paying attention, who was driving too fast, not focused and just … almost hit Megan and her two-year-old daughter, who were on foot. Screeching tires, slamming brakes, etc. Worse, the woman didn’t apologize and when Megan asked for one (which, HAHA, I love it, because yeah, lady, APOLOGIZE FOR ALMOST KILLING A KID), she was unkind. UNKIND. AFTER NEARLY TAKING THEM OUT IN THE PARKING LOT.

So please, do me a favor: slow down. Smile. Take a breath. It’ll all get done, and if it doesn’t, it’s Christmas. People won’t even notice, and if they do, they’ll forgive you.

Merry (almost) Christmas! Happy holidays!

*OH GOD EVERYONE. Bon Jovi, FINE, I WILL GIVE IT TO YOU.

24 comments December 20th, 2010

O Tannenbaum

Just after Thanksgiving, I was having a boatload of trouble sleeping — it started with the Black Friday hangover, actually, although that was mostly coincidence. I would lie awake at night, consumed with the most ridiculous, irrational anxiety over, well, ridiculous, irrational things, turning absurd outcomes of improbable events over and over and over in my head until it was 1 or 2 a.m. and I would collapse from sheer exhaustion.

But wait! There was more! Around 4, I would wake up to pee, natch, because I haven’t slept through the night since I was pregnant with Sam, and nope, not kidding, I GET UP TO PEE EVERY NIGHT, IT IS CRAZY MAKING, and then, having been sufficiently roused by fumbling around for toilet paper, I’d be AWAKE! AGAIN! thinking about all of the absurd, irrational things to come, and I’d fall asleep around 6, and and wake up again at 7:30 to the toddler and hey, are you tired yet? Because I am yawning just typing this out.

The culprit turned out to be a variety of medication issues, one of which needed to be increased/changed, and — SURPRISE! — I’d botched my thyroid meds and made myself hyperthyroid, which explains why, in addition to the anxiety, I was PULSATING WITH HEAT and also, twitching.

I went to the doctor last Tuesday, and holy jebus, I’ve been sleeping. Sleeping! LOOK AT ME, WITH THE SLEEPING.

Wait, where are you going? We got our Christmas tree this weekend, though there was some disagreement on the lighting of said tree (I lost, and I’m really quite happy about it, surprisingly), it was so much fun. Adam and I have never been able to have a tree before, really, as we’ve never done Christmas at home — for the last six years or so, we’ve been living away from home, and it seemed pointless and dangerous to put up a tree. Now that we’re home, with family and friends close by, we got to do all the things normal people do, which includes discovering that live trees smell like Christmas tree candles. Seriously, I did not KNOW THIS, having never had a live tree in my own home! How delightful! It seems that there is a REASON that the candles smell like they do. IT EXISTS IN NATURE.

It was soothing for a day or two — seriously, it permeates our whole house, and is awesome — until this morning’s liquid smoke-doused Crock Pot pork mingled with the pine, leaving a nauseating combination of a crisp winter’s day and a Texas barbecue in its wake. Adam gleefully fled the house, his sleeve over his nose for protection, leaving Sam and I stranded in a terrible gas chamber of incongruity. After a few hours I became numb to it all and managed to make it through the day without vomiting and/or throwing the Crock Pot out the window.

Onward! Some Christmas tree photo events as they happened (click to embiggen):

Help! I can help!

{Five-dollar garage sale kitchen in background. Perhaps now you will see why I want a new one for her for her birthday. Also, we know the rug looks like a giant vagina. It came with the house and we haven’t gotten around to replacing it. WHO MAKES A RUG WITH AN ORCHID ON IT?}

I was told I would be helping.


No, seriously, YOU SAID I COULD HELP.

Aaaaand, scene.

I love the spit out of my little family.

19 comments December 13th, 2010

Downhill from Here

I was reading TJ’s post and then some of the comments, and I was getting retroactively frustrated for my pregnant self back before I had Sam and super-frustrated for my pregnant friends. WHY do people want to terrify you while you’re pregnant? Why is there so much smug satisfaction in warning you of how HORRIBLE it’s going to be when you have your baby, and how you’re NEVER GOING TO SLEEP AGAIN and your life is basically OVER and GOOD LUCK, BIZNATCH! You done ruined your life, sister!

Why? Like, it’s too late. It does no good to be prepared for parenthood, because it’s one of those things you have to experience for yourself, and no amount of warning or discussion will help. It won’t help. All it will do is make you feel crappy about yourself for looking forward to the experience, when there are legions of people telling you all the reasons you shouldn’t. And the truth is, it will suck sometimes, but it is also completely awesome, otherwise NO ONE WOULD DO IT AGAIN. OR EVER. I want another baby. If it was so terrible, would I want to do it AGAIN?

(Don’t get me wrong, I think after two, we’re done. I do. I want more in theory, but on the other hand, I imagine the exhilaration in knowing that once my second kid starts sleeping through the night, that’s IT for the most part. THAT WILL BE IT, save for a few isolated nights here and there. I think about it and I actually get excited. And we are not even remotely at the beginning of baby #2, but seriously, I GET EXCITED ABOUT THAT.)

In other news, it’s freezing here, and if you think weather-related blogging is boring, I’ve got nothing for you, because it is CONSUMING ME, and I have a child who will not wear mittens, whines when her hood is up or her hat is on unless she’s in the damn HOUSE where it is WARM and you know what, lady at Sudbury Farms who suggested my kid should be wearing mittens? I KNOW. Perhaps you can walk with me and hold them on for us while we walk to the store? Or no, is that not a good idea?

But seriously, I’m a wimp right now, and I’m not sure what’s gotten into me. I moved back here from VERMONT, for God’s sake, where it is VERY COLD, being so close to Canada and all. (Oh, Canadians, I am just kidding! I know you have a diverse climate profile, but it is kind of fun to get you riled up and tell me how no one realizes you don’t all live in igloos!) And yet I’m out there bundled up like I’m on my way to meet Santa’s elves, bitching how the wind is like ice and how do people live like this? What are we doing here? Maybe we should move somewhere warm, like Florida?

OH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Ahem. Anyway, look, this is boring as shit, but I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing more often than, say, once a week, and it’s cold here, what do you want? I AM COLD. THIS IS THE BEST I CAN DO. Also, I failed to mention that in addition to our horrid, no-good flight from Virginia to Boston, we returned home to a dog who’d had a bloody colitis attack all over my sister’s house while we were gone. My sister, who I’d gotten into a pointless argument about, among other things, dog-sitting (!) before we left (long story, not a big deal, hormones were involved, the end) and then HO HO, HERE. Let my dog excrete bloody shit all over your first floor! That should really, um, clear the air.

(It did, ironically, but AUGH SUNNY WHAT THE FUCK?)

Do you know what we’re doing this weekend? LOOKING AT MINIVANS, THAT’S WHAT. A recent road trip with the dog, the baby and an assload of shit in the CR-V (our other car’s an Accord) made us want more space. A tour of a friend’s Odyssey has me daydreaming of THREE! ROWS! OF! SEATS!

AND A BUILT-IN DVD PLAYER.

Happy Thursday!

34 comments December 8th, 2010

Airplane

Oh man, you guys, we were that family on our flight home. You know the family. YOU KNOW THE FAMILY. The ones with the inconsolable screaming kid? Yes! That was us!

My apologies to the entire Boston University girls’ figure skating team, who was on our flight, most of whom were glaring disapprovingly in our general direction, and while I wanted to feel sorry for them, I also wanted to yell, YOU HAVE AN IPOD. CRANK IT UP AND READ YOUR KATE MIDDLETON FLUFF. I WILL BE HERE SEETHING WITH JEALOUSY. Also, here are some condoms. And birth control pills. And also, for good measure, take a few packages of the Today Sponge, although after that experience, it’s highly unlikely that any of them will forget to take their birth control for many years, perhaps decades.

Look, we did our best. We tried everything. Snacks! Drinks! Videos! Games! Crayons! Not even Muno could coax her out of her misery, for she screamed for at least forty minutes straight. Ears? Exhaustion? Fed up with the world? We’ll never know. And then, miraculously, she suddenly passed out cold, just in time for the plane to begin descending into Logan, when the steep descent powered her head forward at such a sharp angle that Adam had to keep his fingers pressed to her forehead to keep her from bobbing into the seat in front of her.

I never thought I’d say this, but flying without children sounds akin to a hot stone massage at this point. An entire hour — or more! — to sit and stare into space, maybe read a magazine? YES, SIGN ME UP. I don’t care if it means my knees are contorted into my kidneys, I will go ANYWHERE YOU WANT, so long as I don’t have to bring a car seat on board, strap a small person into it and try in vain to entertain said small person while she wails in indescribable agony (hers AND mine).

It was only marginally preferable to driving twelve hours, I think. I’m not sure. What I am certain of is that I am planning to be pregnant, pretending to be pregnant and/or nursing a newborn or Bitty Baby for the next four hundred Hanukkahs, so that Adam’s family is forced to come to us and we never have to do that again. I don’t care if it means I have to have a hundred children or pretend that I have a serious delusional disorder that makes me think that my dolls are real. I will do it, so long as I don’t have to take a toddler on an airplane. Or a car.

Basically, I am never leaving the house again, even it means I’m homeschooling my kids, despite being wholly incapable of doing so.

You know what kids ARE good for, though, speaking of airplanes? Forgetting you’re afraid to fly. Honestly, that plane could have been plummeting to the ground with flames dripping off the wings, and I’d have been all, “LOOK, IT’S FOOFA!” without even realizing my death was imminent.

The trip itself was drama-free and rather uneventful, and we saw family, we lit candles, we ate brisket and latkes and kugel and it was lovely. Sam ate the entire state of Virginia, as she’s on some kind of insane effing growth spurt, and when I PRACTICALLY RAN OUT OF FOOD TO GIVE HER at a freakin’ CHINESE BUFFET, I thought, well, she’s either growing or I’m raising a child with the appetite of a horse, and she’ll be obese by age three. Scurvy, I assure you she does not have, for she ate four (4) cups of mandarin oranges over the course of 24 hours, and I do believe we’ve determined that she did not have citrus-induced diarrhea that time way back when, but in fact, had a horrible stomach virus. This makes me marginally happy, because I feel like most of us have a limited number of stomach viruses we are forced to endure as parents, and with one down, well, my quota is rapidly reaching capacity.

Do not, whatever you do, disavow me of this notion.

And it’s bedtime, suckers. Happy Tuesday!

*Widespread Panic

25 comments December 6th, 2010

Shame and Fortune

Oh let’s kick it old-school with some bullet points that have nothing to do with one another, so holla!

– Because we were out trick or treating for far longer than we anticipated, and hell if either of us was going to miss taking Sam, we missed the hosting part of trick or treating and received approximately five kids over the course of the remaining hour. This is fine, although my sister warned me in a dire tone that this is generally bad form and we will eventually pay for it with, I don’t know, teenagers with eggs or angry parents or something that involves toilet paper. I don’t know. What is not fine is the amount of Twix, Snickers and miscellaneous Reese’s products I have in my possession, and is why, for the last two three days, my lunch has consisted of two mini Twix, a Snickers and a small bowl of canned beets (for fiber and vitamins and … I don’t know).

Speaking of Twix, there is only one way to eat it, which is to gnaw of the caramel, then eat the cookie separately, and I will not be told otherwise. What I will NOT tolerate, however, is the Reese’s Fast Break, which is seriously lacking in crunchy texture (WHY SO MUCH NOUGAT?), and I am terribly disappointed, for I got them mixed up with the Take 5, featuring delightfully crunchy, salty pretzels and you know what, Reese’s? I call bullshit on your variety bag, for there were no Take 5 bars. Bull. Shit.

I will also say that Adam worked from home today, and around 3 p.m., very gently asked how much candy, exactly, I was consuming, because it sure seemed like he heard the crinkle of a wrapper approximately every five minutes. Which: busted. It’s not really lunch if it lasts all day and involves nothing more than chocolate and beets.

– In the vein of Stuff No One Told Me About Birthing A Child, I’ll tell you that since having Samantha, I’ve had zero menstrual cramps. NOT A ONE. Okay, fine maybe half a one, but it wasn’t even worth getting off my duff to get some Tylenol, much less anything with punch. This is a tremendous contrast to the backbreaking, debilitating cramps I experienced before getting pregnant, and that includes after my thyroid levels were regulated (hypothyroidism can cause HORRID menstrual cramps) and I tell you this only because I’m constantly regaling you with tales of horror about THE VAGINA THAT ATE MANHATTAN, but really, there are upsides, for some of us, from this whole birthing kids thing. Besides the actual kid, I mean.

– The new TV fall lineup is truly wretched. Nothing new has piqued my interest. NOTHING. I’ve got three episodes of The Event on my DVR, and I’ve had ZERO motivation to watch any of them, and it just … well, it makes me sad.

– Did I tell you guys I live ten minutes from Shaq? And that in an effort to show Jennie and Mike his house, we ended up FULLY IN HIS DRIVEWAY, which is not something you expect when arriving to spy at a celebrity’s house?

– Did I tell you guys Jennie and I (and a bunch of kickass writers) are now doing Food Lush? Well, if I didn’t, I failed. It’s great, and is designed to be recipes and food-related stuff for normal people who don’t feel like making bastilla from scratch and sure as SHIT don’t have the budget or time to agonize over every little thing. I will say with a mixture of pride and bitterness that this post from Sarah is the reason why I spent the majority of naptime wrestling with an eleven-pound PORK LOIN purchased for $18 a BJ’s, but let me tell you, I got four big tenderloin cuts, four thick pork chops and a giant pile of bits to use for the Crock Pot, and it all works out to less than $1 per serving, including lunches and leftovers and holy cow, you guys, I RIPPED THE SHIT OUT OF THAT PORK LIKE I THOUGHT I WAS ON TOP CHEF OR SOMETHING.

That’s all I got. Pork, chocolate and menstruation.

Happy Thursday!

*Yeah Yeah Yeahs

35 comments November 3rd, 2010

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Man, was Halloween ever fun. Had I known that it was going to be such a blast, I’d have done a little more, ah, preparation, instead of deciding that Sam’s costume would be whatever I could nab on sale at Old Navy that didn’t feature shit on her head. Because what do kids hate? SHIT ON THEIR HEADS. And yet, every Halloween costume has some sort of head piece that is so integral to the ensemble that if the kid bails on it, they’re left with a pink unitard or fleece pants or some completely ordinary outfit and then trick or treat is sort of moot, because you took your kid outside in his pajamas or something. And with a toddler, it looks like a parent candy-grab ANYWAY, so again, shit on the head is BAD and anything NOT featuring head shit is GOOD. Ergo, the cheeseburger:

The world's smallest largest cheeseburger

Seriously, Sam had so much fun, and I was completely and utterly shocked at how long she lasted. Our blocks are fairly large, and for her to make the entire way around one was really quite a feat, and took well over an hour. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a kid hold a trick or treat bag with such intensity, and she clung to it with the grim determination of an OSS officer carrying a key piece of intelligence across enemy lines. If you so much as laid a pinky on her bag for any reason other than helping her hold onto it more tightly, she screeched “NOOOOOOO!” with an astounding ferocity, and we learned quickly: DO NOT TOUCH THE BAG.

She returned home and had a special Halloween cookie, and so help me, as I type this, I’m fairly certain she’s still in there, wide awake and wired from the sugar and wow, that was … super not bright, but whatever, it’s a holiday.

Adam finally returned home Friday from his nearly week-long business trip, which means, for the love of all that is holy, I have finally begun sleeping again. Honest to jebus, we can never get divorced, not only because I would be profoundly sad, but because I would never sleep again. It’s ridiculous and Helen Reddy would be horrified, but I feel much SAFER when he’s there, even though half the time I want to kick him for snoring, and the other half he’s so comatose that I swear, if a person WERE breaking in, the robber would have to knock his knees together to make any sort of impression. And yet, without him, I’m listening to every sound in the house like it’s some kind of death knell, and the sound of the furnace kicking on can send me into wild heart palpitations and a sweaty panic.

Shortly before — actually the DAY before — Adam left for his trip, he installed, for reasons that remain unclear, an automatic air freshener in the master bathroom and set to go off every nine minutes. PSSHT! Oh, what’s that noise? Is it a burglar? Is it someone LASERING THROUGH THE WINDOW? No, that’s just the air freshener! ALL EFFING NIGHT LONG!

*drifts off to sleep*

PSSSHT!

*terror*

*drifts off to sleep*

PSSSHT!

*terror*

AND SO ON. EVERY NINE MINUTES. And so help me Jesus, the thing doesn’t even have a discernible SCENT. No, I don’t know why I never became accustomed to it, either, and if you’re wondering if I could just TURN THE DAMN THING OFF, I couldn’t, as he placed it high enough that I’d need a ladder, and I didn’t want to risk life and limb over a stupid air freshener. I am a mother, you know.

But he’s home now, and despite the incessant PSSHT! sound, I am able to distinguish it from, say, a farting robber. Or something. All because he’s snoring next to me. Pathetic.

Finally, I’d like to thank you all for your comments on my last post. I am consistently impressed and amazed at how thoughtful and kind and respectful you all are, and how much you make me think, and want to be better at, well, everything. Basically, I want to be more like you. Thanks to you, when other bloggers complain of hate mail and trolls and mean people, I am usually blank-faced and confused, because it just doesn’t happen here, no matter how weird or controversial the topic. (Except for Michael Jackson. But that was only once!)

Seriously, I am better because of you. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Happy Monday to you!

*Jimmy Buffett

31 comments October 31st, 2010

Rich Girl

As I get older, it becomes more and more clear that I have a huge chip on my shoulder when it comes to perceived elitism, and more directly, and for lack of a more gentle term, People With A Shitload of Money. It’s hard to really pinpoint my reaction, but I’ll say that it comes in the form of becoming super-defensive and twitchy when I’m in certain towns or see certain types of cars, or hear that someone I’m meeting is FROM a certain town. I have a list of towns that I’ll never live in, because I don’t want to feel inadequate, and worse, I don’t want my kids to feel inadequate.

Now, there’s something to be said for being down to earth (I am, extremely so) and grounded (ditto) and wanting to make sure that your kids are surrounded by people who have those values, and there is a strong argument to be made that in one’s formative years, confidence may be built by at least living in a geographic area where there is a relatively even playing field of economic factors. But it would be a fallacy to say that People With A Shitload of Money automatically, by way of their Shitloads of Money, don’t have those values, you know?

I don’t really know. I just know that I have this total chip on my shoulder about it, and I am at least grateful that I’m aware of it, although that doesn’t help matters much. On the other hand, when I’m at gym class with my kid and a mom who lives in one of The Towns With Shitloads of Money announces that I should move there, because although everyone lives in mansions, they are super down to earth! And their kids wear Old Navy! Rich People: They’re Just Like Us!, I kind of want to announce that yes, but we can’t AFFORD a $3M mansion, so believe me darling, you are nice, but your breath is wasted. I’d also like to note that she said this while noting that the people in the Other Rich Competitive Town Next Door are super snobby and won’t talk to her when she goes there, and all I could think was that rich people really ARE like us, in that they stereotype just as badly as we do.

This isn’t really making any sense, is it? I mean, I have friends in all of the traditionally wealthy towns up here, and frankly none of them are terrifyingly wealthy (probably on par with us, honestly, and while we’re fine, we’re far from Rich), and they are all down to earth and well-valued, etc. etc. It’s just this CHIP I have on my shoulder about those towns that when people ask me if I’d ever consider moving to them, I practically SNORT IN THEIR FACE and announce that we’re moving to [Insert really high crime bad neighborhood here], where the Normal People live. Normal people who want their kids to be illiterate and get shot on their way to school, that is. But you see, I swing like a pendulum.

Am I making it clear that this is MY problem? I hope I am.

I grew up … well, poor might be too strong a word, but my family certainly didn’t have a lot of extra money, if any at all. (And I’m talking about my bio mom’s side, and this may all get confusing, but it’s where I lived primarily and ah, divorced families, so hard to explain.) (Also things have since turned around for them, so …)

But the thing is, almost EVERYONE in my tiny town was pretty, uh, downtrodden, in a lot of ways. At least the people I hung out with, anyway, and it wasn’t a big school district. In some ways, it was utopia, because there was no competition, very few kids had cars, and we missed most expensive fashion trends because no one could afford them anyway. I really didn’t know we were in the lower end of the economic spectrum, until it came time for me to go to college, and I had to go where I got the biggest financial aid package (Syracuse, as for a myriad reasons, state schools weren’t an option, as my mom and stepdad — my primary residence — were moving out of state, ETC OH MY GOD CONFUSING).

Fine, great, off I went. And OH HO HO, Syracuse. I’d never seen money like that in my life. Did YOU know Syracuse has a super-wealthy population? Because I didn’t, and that was sure something they didn’t explain on my lame little campus tour. Kids CAME TO SCHOOL with luxury cars. To school! With leather-interior brand-new BMWs! At age 18! I was casually in conversation with a nice young man who was talking about his father, who worked in Hollywood. “Oh, what does he do?” I asked. “Um, he’s [famous character actor],” he answered. My roommate sophomore year had a $1,000/month clothing allowance. Ha ha! I don’t even think I paid a thousand dollars a month in TUITION BILLS. No — I KNOW I didn’t.

It was nuts. I was terrified. I panicked. And while I think there were a lot of contributing factors and bad choices on my part that made my school experience a flood of inadequacy and panic, I think it’s hard not to panic in that situation, and I spent the majority of my college experience feeling Not Good Enough by the simple fact that I didn’t come from Money, or even money, with the little ‘m’ and everything. After all, I didn’t even have a beat-up clunker at school, much less a Mercedes, and besides, my dining hall work study job didn’t bring in enough cash to cover anything beyond the basic beer and pizza runs, so mall trips were out.

My summer jobs paid for part of my tuition and most of the money I had to live on the entire year. I bought precisely one pair of jeans while attending college, and I used Sun-In in my hair because I couldn’t afford to color or cut it (I typically cut it on visits home). Meanwhile, my contemporaries were composing rush skits around the fact that everyone was simply HAD to buy the latest pair of Georgia boots. I remember filling out the paperwork for my sorority and choosing a big sister, and writing down, “Please, give me someone else on financial aid, too.” Knowing how embarrassed I was about my financial situation, I MUST have been desperate to admit it out loud, on paper and everything, my God.

(They did.)

(Apropos of nothing, I did spend a significant portion of my money one semester going tanning, for reasons that make no sense to me, other than I got addicted and had SAD — it WAS Syracuse, after all, which is effing DARK)

And all this is before I brought home a boyfriend and we visited my best friend from high school (who is, ironically, now quite famous in certain circles) and when we walked into her house — which was a disaster, with ratty, ancient furniture and peeling paint and falling-down cabinets in a way that I’d realized he’d probably never seen — and I saw it through his eyes, and it was a little like my whole world just fell away. I’d never NOTICED those things before, because this was just a house I spent time with my best friend in. And there I was, mortified for her, for me, for everything. Over nothing, really, for it was all quite meaningless.

I still kind of hate myself for that moment.

What’s crazy is that I still haven’t really gotten over this, and it is, I think, solely responsible for the Mount Rushmore-sized chip I carry around on my shoulder every day. My economic situation has changed, certainly, and I’m happy and we’re comfortable, and I honestly don’t want for anything — it’s not that I WANT Shitloads of Money, it’s that I am strangely afraid and hostile about the people who HAVE Shitloads of Money, because I assume that they are like the adolescents of my college experience, who were, in a word, assholes, by the simple fact that they were too young to know any better. This is, obviously, totally wrong. Well, sometimes, anyway.

I have no idea where I’m going with this, and I recognize that this is the most poorly written and thought-out thing I’ve put up here, but I wanted to work through it and think about it and be honest with myself about why I’m such a douche about this and VOILA! Here we are. Incoherent thoughts on why I’m an asshole about People With Money, by Jonna.

Have a great weekend! Twice a week, anyway, despite promises of three. Improvement?

PS, I’m glad I went to Syracuse for a lot of reasons. It pushed me to be competitive, to move beyond my comfort zone and to be better at … everything. So it was a good choice, really it was. And I met Adam there, after all, so … (Adam, for the record, had a COMPLETELY different school experience, likely because he was both a) a male; and b) came from at least some small ‘m’ money.

*Gwen Stefani

97 comments October 28th, 2010

That Time

A few weeks ago, I spent a wonderful evening with Maria Melee. She was in town for business, and we had a glorious time at the Improv Asylum, then walking around Boston’s North End. She is, if you were wondering, exactly as advertised — smart, funny, completely down to earth and wonderfully accessible as a human being, and I just loved her, no bullshit whatsoever. The first time I ever spoke to her, my first thought was, “Of course, this is Maria.”

It’s always so refreshing when that happens, you know?

I lived in the North End when I was in my early twenties — it was my first home in Boston after college, second only to my summer sublet in Somerville for two months after graduation. I’m sure I’ve talked about it before, but the apartment was … special, and I mean that in the most ironic, un-special way possible. I’d originally shared it with my boyfriend at the time, though we called it quits after, I think, seven days. (SEVEN. DAYS.) We paid $800/month for it, which is hilarious, given that it probably goes for around $2500 now, but it was a lot for us at the time.

Ultimately, Eve, my best friend from college, moved in and … well, it was a two-room studio, and we had two queen beds in the bedroom that joined together into what we affectionately called The Unibed, because that’s what it was. One bed. Two women, who were single and heterosexual and … oh my lands, it was something.

Our friend Jenny lived with us for a month while between apartments, and for a little while, it was one bed, three people, and there was that godawful time when Jenny had an allergic reaction to alcohol and threw up in the bathroom sink, and it’s a miracle we didn’t kill each other that night, because if you didn’t know, three people were not meant to live in a two-room studio, and it turns out I have little tolerance for picking a squatter’s regurgitated chicken from my toothbrush.

I set fire to the stove once, in an ill-advised attempt to use a paper towel as an oven mitt, melting the avocado finish off of the cabinet and the skin off of my hand. Later, I got drunk and was too lazy to take out the garbage, so I dangled it out the window on a rope made of wire coat hangers from the dry cleaner. It got stuck on the fire escape, and I’ll never forget Eve, who was also drunk, announcing, “I THINK I PEED” as we tried to regain control of the rogue garbage bag, only to sit in frozen terror as we heard it crash to the ground three floors below.

In 1999, I got my first Home Runs grocery delivery service and had to choose a unique nickname for my account: Jonna Kay was taken, so I frantically chose “jonniker,” which seemed ridiculous and silly at the time.

It stuck.

I bought cheap wine by the jugful from the convenience store on the corner — one of the few in the city of Boston to be exempt from Blue Laws, for it wasn’t until recently that you could buy wine anywhere but a liquor store — and drank it in copious amounts, night after night, even on weekdays, because I was in my twenties, and never got a hangover, and why the hell not? Well, and if I did get a hangover, it was nothing bacon, egg and cheese on a bagel couldn’t handle, and no matter how many times I indulged in that cure, I never got above a size 4.

I went to bars and parties on weeknights, got hot dogs from vendors and drunkenly smeared mustard on my pants, went out with a guy (well, several, actually) who was a Bad Idea in every way imaginable, worked late for the fun of it and took crazy business trips with Internet executives who didn’t know enough to pull their pants over their ass cracks.

I’ll never have that life again, and that seems sad to me, in a way I can’t articulate. I wouldn’t want that life again, no matter how much you paid me, and the truth is that I’ve never been happier than I am right now, and that’s not an exaggeration. But walking around that night with Maria, it was like being punched in the face with the passage of time, and how far I’ve come from that place when I could just run downstairs and pick up a sub from Il Panino because I’d forgotten to get dinner, and when I had fewer responsibilities and even less income. It was a reminder of the inexorable fact that we really do only get one run at this thing, and we might as well make the most of it: have the hot dog, date the bad guy, get drunk on a weeknight, because you’re only young once. And later, eventually marry the right one, have the kid you always wanted, and just suck it up and enjoy the ride.

Because holy shit, time flies.

DSC_0024
Don’t rush it, kid. Plenty of time for those later.

*Regina Spektor. I hate the damn song, but I own it, so there you go.

588 comments October 18th, 2010

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