Posts filed under 'General jackassery'

Big Time

So hey, since moving Allie to her own room she, ah, sleeps. Quite a bit. Gets up once, maybe twice, to eat IF THAT, and once again, I’m like, well, shit. Turns out she just wanted her own damned space, but also, ah, she wanted to sleep on her belly. This makes me VERY FRETFUL and I keep thinking it’s terribly foolish, even though EVERYONE DOES IT JUST FINE and she’s even getting there on her own, and I couldn’t stop her if I tried, but please, remember, I am a person who kept the house at 55 to stave off SIDS with Samantha.

So the thing is, with everyone in bed by 8 at the latest, I suddenly have my evenings free, and by “evenings” I mean two hours before I SHOULD be in bed. And you guys, this feels really, really luxurious. I suddenly feel like I should be taking up a hobby. Knitting has crossed my mind. Quilting! I could quilt! By 2017, I could have half a square completed, right?

Then I realized that perhaps it’s time to get back to basics — writing here, as I mentioned is a priority, as is, ah, personal hygiene. So before I whip out the Featherweight (AND I WILL), perhaps I should work on showering every day and keeping those legs silky smooth, HMMMMM?

I sort of lost my mind earlier about sponsored posts, and I’m STILL kind of losing it. Blogs– no, PEOPLE! — I used to read and love have become shill factories — caricatures of themselves talking about THE cutest purse insert (fo’ real) and heeeey, they just happened to pay me and here! I have some to give away! And this is fine — great, even! — if it’s a one off thing, but by the FIFTEENTH sponsored post in, say, seventeen days, I kind of think they’re full of shit, and I become five years old and want to BOYCOTT every last one of the products on their list.

(Truth: I did a campaign with Huggies a few years ago, and it paid very well, and I GET IT. I also already used Huggies — swear! — and like their stuff quite a bit, even though they are no longer paying me to say so. But if they approached me now? Nope. I don’t use it anymore, because Allie has super-special buttocks that will only work in cloth or Seventh Generation, and look, I don’t want to knock Seventh Gen, but I HATE THEM. They feel like paper! So please don’t contact me, Seventh Gen. I hate your products. I USE THEM OUT OF NECESSITY.)

(If you are reading this, please go Schooner Tuna on us and lower your damned prices. That’s why I switched to cloth, you know.)

(I will never do another sponsored campaign again, is my guess. Even though I used the product, IT FELT SLIMY.)

I digress! So! All that being said, I had a funny conversation with longtime reader-turned-friend, Suki (this is where I wonder if Suki is aware that we’re friends. I think of you all — people who’ve commented here for years and years — as friends. Do you know this? Carla Hinkle! Heidi! Christine! So many others! We’re FRIENDS.) (Suki gets special status because she introduced me to my real-life friend Kate, who is her sister-in-law even though Suki and I have never met. Kate and I HAVE met, obviously.)

ANYWAY, Suki mentioned the number of products she bought that bloggers mentioned and then uncomfortably added that she totally now gets why companies try to harness that shit. And it’s TRUE. But isn’t it also true that the second you sell out once (or maybe more than once, O God?), your faith in their ACTUAL recommendations is completely gone? I don’t know. It’s an interesting to me, only because I don’t believe a damned thing a sponsored post says, pretty much ever, but at the same time, I get why people do them, because y’all, trust, it pays pretty damned well if you’ve got any kind of traffic.

THIS IS ALL A VERY LONG WAY OF GETTING TO THIS PLACE. Which is, here, a few totally not-sponsored product-related thoughts:

1) So look, I’m not going to dwell on this, but I tried to cloth diaper Allie last night and HAHAHAHA NO. NO. NO. I am stuck buying one pack of Seventh Gen diapers for nighttime, because, oh dear shit, I used a fitted (GMD Cloth-Eez Workhorse) with a bunch of inserts (cotton, hemp and a fleece stay-dry) and a wool cover (Kissas Wool Lovers). And not only did she sleep like hell, but I went in there at 1:30 and the room. THE ROOM. It smelled like a literal, no-shit SHEEP PEN. It smelled like WET, HOT, MOIST ANIMAL. It was all I could do not to barf, and I had to go in there TWICE MORE. TWICE MORE TO THE SHEEP DEN. And y’all. Unlike most of America, I’ve worked on actual farms and sheared sheep with my own two hands, so I KNOW WHAT WET SHEEP SMELL LIKE.

2) Living Proof Prime. I have screeched about the wonders of this product all over Twitter, and it’s true, I love it. I LOVE IT. It holds my hair style through a second day and it stops it from getting too . . . oily, giving me a second day without washing and ANYTHING that saves me from having to take a ten-minute shower and cutting into my sleep time is THE BOMB. Because I am just that lazy. So it’s awesome, and you should get some and no one paid me to say that, promise.

Incidentally, I found this product when my friend Dara showed up at my house and I ASKED HER IF SHE HAD JUST COME FROM THE SALON. It’s a cliche! Salon hair at home! But seriously, it’s awesome stuff.

3) However! And this is a giant however, for those of you who have purchased this miracle product: It builds up on your hair pretty freakin’ fast. Within a few weeks of use, your hair feels kind of coated and waxy and it just sort of stops working. So! You have to give your hair a break, not use it for a few days, and in the interim, use a good clarifying shampoo. And thanks to Liz, I bought LUSH Big, and I love it, although the price tag made me want to gouge my eyes out and the sample of conditioner (a bar!) confounded me. And that shit STRIPS your hair of any and all gunk. I mean, it’s SEA SALT, and it really does work. My hair was DEEPLY CLEANSED to the point of feeling like hay after just one wash, but it got all the crap out.

I have hair down. Now someone needs to help me figure out how to apply eyeshadow.

Note: none of those links are affiliates, so buy with impunity.

Happy weekend!

*Peter Gabriel.

56 comments December 13th, 2012

Stubborn Love

That was a holiday hiatus! Let’s pretend it didn’t happen and move on. Not that you care, but *I* care, see.

So, ah, Thanksgiving. You guys, I can’t even. Every year, we go to Virginia to see Adam’s family — not on the ACTUAL holiday, but before the holiday and God, who cares really, this is unimportant, except that it was the weekend before Thanksgiving and it will now go down in history as a VERY NOT GOOD EXPERIENCE AT ALL.

We drove. From Boston to Chesapeake, VA. IN A SINGLE DAY. ONE FELL SWOOP. I can’t even really explain what happened in that car, except that it was as though we shut the doors after letting in the smoke monster from Lost. All reason, happiness, joy, light, logic and JUST PLAIN GOODNESS was trapped in a fog of misery. We lost ourselves. We became horrible people. By hour thirteen (THIRTEEN) on the way home, we were earnestly, and quite angrily, talking about custody arrangements for our two children, because we came to the conclusion somewhere in New Jersey that we were not meant to be together, that we could not POSSIBLY have thought this was a good idea, when it is SO OBVIOUS how terrible we are for each other.

Yes, clearly the writing’s been on the wall for 14 years. Or PERHAPS IT WAS THIRTEEN HOURS IN THE CAR WITH A SCREAMING BABY. INCLUDING A DETOUR THROUGH A TERRIFYING SECTION OF THE BRONX. TWICE.

It could go either way, really.

Spoiler: We’re not getting divorced, because when we are not under extreme Guantanamo-level torture enhanced interrogation techniques, we do like each other quite a bit. But the car breakdown was oh-so-very real in that context, and this! This is why you will never see us on the Amazing Race. Ever.

My sister-in-law is getting married in the same location in May (Sam and I are in the wedding, woo!) and we discussed how to get there, because Sam is a terrible flier (THE EARS) and yet the drive. OMG the drive. Actual conversation:

“We can’t do that again. We will all die.”

“Yes we will.”

So! Teleportation should be invented by then, right?

So that happened, then, which led to such residual trauma that we just stayed home for Thanksgiving, eschewing any and all family obligations, because . . . ugh, no. Not that I don’t love our families — I love Adam’s family, even! His siblings and I are close! I still feel this way after 24 hours of driving!

But seriously. Turkey on my couch without any pants, thanks. Please don’t make me get into the car again.

Separately, and apropos of nothing, I was thinking recently that one of the best characteristics a person can have is being comfortable with the fact that not everyone will like you. Generally speaking, I have a pretty thick skin — I don’t know where it came from, honestly, although I’m sure there is a terrifying reason lurking in my past somewhere. I’m just . . . not that sensitive, most of the time. This works against me — I have a big mouth, after all, and am very comfortable with being uncomfortable around people — but I also think it lets me have more . . . integrity maybe? I’m not sure. I’m a fairly strong personality (haa?), and it doesn’t appeal to everyone. I have opinions people don’t like. Some people just don’t like ME.

That doesn’t bother me all that much. There’s something very freeing in realizing that no matter what you do, there will be people who don’t like you and maybe even ACTIVELY dislike you, and so what? If you don’t like or respect them, it matters not, at least outside of a professional context, although EVEN THEN there are significant benefits, so long as you know how to play politics, and geez, that situation is too complex to summarize here, isn’t it?

The point is: accepting that people won’t always like you makes it easier to be who you want to be, and focus on the people who DO like you for exactly who you are. And I realized that I am pretty uncomfortable with people who are uncomfortable with that concept. You know? Just be it! Be who you are! Not everyone will like you, but those who do, REALLY will, so go whole hog, won’t you? Say fuck it. Give your opinion. Be a real person. At least you know that when people like you, they really like YOU and not because you’re simply nice. God, please let people say something better about me at my funeral than, “She was really nice.”

I don’t think I’m that nice, honestly, and I’m not sure I care all that much.

Kindness is underrated. Niceness is overrated. Fascinating, that. Also, a really hard concept to explain to daughters. Good times.

Have a happy Wednesday!

*The Lumineers. Shit, they are just pure joy.

37 comments November 27th, 2012

Stronger

I was emailing with Temerity Jane the other day, and really, I highly recommend a friendship with Kelly, because her emails are genuine comedy gold even when the topic is serious, for they are fraught with rich imagery of her ranting and waving around pork chops while her dogs drool helplessly at her feet.

TJ was talking about being average (a point I will argue against later) and how so many of us believed we were destined for some large-scale greatness (I believe she used the words “plucked from the rubble” which just killed me), when the truth is, most of us are destined to be . . . well, average. And okay, let’s take that statement at face value. Doesn’t “average” sound so HORRIBLE? I’m not talking about in the statistical sense (“the average person eats five spiders”), but in the, okay, this person’s life is relatively unremarkable on the grand scheme of things. It seems sad to be average, like we all should have performed better, stronger, faster. Been leaders. Become CEOs, neurosurgeons, rocket scientists. Put one million shoes on the feet of indigent Africans or something. When no, actually, we are just going to be people doing everyday jobs, probably in a cubicle of some sort, then going home to our average little families.

Forgive me if this is all painfully obvious to you — and I’m certain that it is — but on the scale of enlightenment, generally, I fall pretty low. For all the navel-gazing I do, you’d think I’d have reached more conclusions about life in general, but most of the time I’m just . . . not that aware.

This whole concept is hilarious to me because I vividly remember being in my twenties — my early twenties, oh my lord, okay? I mean, lest you think I was painfully immature until— oh wait, you know what, I WAS painfully immature. This is why I make jokes that if I WERE famous in my early twenties, I would have gone full Lohan, and let’s all thank the baby Jesus that there was no twitter, because I don’t think the internet could stomach my drama. Bad enough that somewhere out there is a Diaryland blog wherein I remember writing some of the world’s most overwrought posts about LIFE and how we were all STRUGGLING and I don’t remember much about it except that I DO know that I used a lot of ten-dollar words because it made me sound smarter. I’m also curious what the HELL I could have been struggling with, although I vaguely remember feeling a strong kinship to the crew in Reality Bites, because THEIR PROBLEMS WERE HUGE, AM I RIGHT?

I viewed life through this soft-focus documentary lens, just waiting for the world to discover me, which is when my life would begin — when *I* would be plucked from the rubble, drawn to my One True Purpose of Greatness, because *I* was not going to be average, OH HO NO.

Oh, twentysomething Jonna.

I promise I will get to my point soon.

So you know how people rant and rave about Disney princesses and how they teach women All The Wrong Things? This blog post is just really not long enough to explain why I think so much of that is utter crap (both the princesses and the criticism of the princesses), but I WILL say that I think most of the criticism misses the boat. They all focus on appearance and having a man to fulfill you and the ridiculous notion of a fairy tale, yes, but the problem isn’t the male part of the fairy tale, but that there is a FAIRY TALE AT ALL. Jesus. I was watching Disney Jr. with Sam the other day (or maybe just myself, it could really go either way) and this ad for Sofia the First came on, and it’s about — wait for it — an ORDINARY GIRL plucked from the rubble to become an EXTRAORDINARY PRINCESS.

And Belle! Freaking BELLE! There must be more than this provincial life? Really? What, I ask you, is so wrong about being the jolly baker in a tiny town in Provence? NOT MUCH. She probably has a happy family. You want adventure? BOOK A CRUISE. Now go bake bread and feed the ducks. It sounds PEACEFUL.

God, it’s like we’re set up from the very beginning to be disappointed with an ordinary, average life, and if there’s one thing I will struggle with, it’s teaching my girls to simultaneously reach for the stars (TM Fresh Beat Band) and just be happy with an average, totally normal, non-fairy tale life.

Lest you think this is a lesson I have thoroughly learned for myself, you would be wrong. I mean, I no longer think I am particularly special, but I do occasionally struggle with the, ah, lack of larger meaning in what I do. What’s that you say, Ann Romney? I am a MOTHER, the most important job in the world? Eh. EH. I mean, it is, but sometimes I look back on the jobs I’ve had and the sense of accomplishment I gained — the titles and careers I’d be living if I’d kept going, and I get nostalgic and I feel like I’ve failed, somehow. I don’t have a fancy title or a huge list of accomplishments to my name anymore. I mean, there was an ENTIRE YEAR where I managed TWELVE mergers and acquisitions. Twelve, you guys.

And now, I wax poetic about Viva paper towels and I drive a giant Mom-mobile and I wipe butts and I sing songs and feel like a rockstar if I make dinner, and sometimes, man, SOMETIMES. After all, people who are a lot dumber than me do this mothering gig just as well as I do, so what does that make me? What kind of role model am I for my daughters, staying home and teaching them that they can be anything they want to be while . . . not, really, uh, doing that myself?

Well, it makes me average. Normal. Boring, just like everybody else. But the thing is, that makes me happy, and it’s so easy to forget that average doesn’t mean you’re not extraordinary — it just means your level of extraordinary translates to fewer people, which, you know, THANK GOD, because being the center of attention beyond my immediate family is vomit-inducing. I see it in Kelly when she describes herself as average, because I laugh. If that’s average, may we all be so lucky — she’s hilarious, vibrant, fun to be around, and I’m guessing, a shitton of fun to be married to. She’s special to the people around her (she’s going to kill me for this) and her daughter! Her DAUGHTER! So lucky!

You know what I want? A quiet, happy, healthy life (so far so good). I want a nice, strong marriage to Adam until the day I drop dead. (So far so good!) I want to own a cute little house (that I actually live in). I want my kids to grow up and find their own happiness, no matter what that entails, and I want them to be everything they want to be, even if that just means being average.

I’m sure that lesson won’t be hard to teach at all.

Sigh.

(Happy Wednesday!)

*I’m going with Kanye here, because honest to SHIT, is there a guy who would be LESS cool with average?

66 comments October 23rd, 2012

Three of Us in a Boat

Can we talk about personality quirks? I was thinking about this yesterday as Adam and I were getting ready for bed. We are RIDICULOUS about bedtime and we often joke that we’re so prescriptive in the way we get ready for bed NOW that when we’re old, it’s going to be so over-ritualized that we’re going to have to start at 4 p.m. We both wear earplugs (and yes, we can hear Sam, it just muffles the tandem snoring), while I have an eye mask, a specific requirement for pajamas (thin cotton pants, T-shirt) AND sleeping underwear and a certain pattern of left-side, right-side flopping until I can settle in to sleep.

Adam, on the other hand, uses earplugs, as I mentioned, but cannot fall asleep unless he’s watched a few minutes of television with wireless headphones (so as not to disturb me). The headphones, however, HAVE to be over the earplugs, so that he can seamlessly take them off when he starts to drift off to sleep. It’s absurd. It’s ABSURD.

(People expecting babies, we are hope that you will be able to somewhat reliably go to bed and expect to sleep through the night just like you used to someday. Swear.)

(I’m going to read this post in June.)

Second, I brought this up on Twitter because I so rarely stay angry for, say, more than five minutes. I’m a quick-tempered, quick-cooling personality. I get really fired up, really fast, and I’m pretty good at addressing it right away (though sometimes TOO aggressively, as is the pitfall of this personality type), and then once it’s out, it’s out. I’m not angry anymore. Grudges, smudges, really. I don’t hold them, except in rare instances when someone’s unkind and or disrespects someone I love, when I strangely become a CHAMPION GRUDGE-HOLDER and can’t forgive anything, even things that should be forgivable.

(This is not to say I blow up often, because I don’t.)

ANYWAY, a few times lately, I’ve found myself irrationally holding on to things that wouldn’t normally linger, and frankly, they SHOULDN’T linger (hello, pregnant), but what it makes me think is that people who are long-simmering types must be VERY STRESSED OUT. How do you carry all that anger with you for more than a few minutes? Grudges! So exhausting!

Finally, if I were the type to write one of those pithy bios I would write that one of my major dislikes is when the big cups flip over in the dishwasher, filling up with ganky water. I like laundry—LOVE laundry, in fact—and would literally rather wash an entire load of EXCREMENT-FILLED CLOTHING than deal with the wet food issues that accompany dishwashing of any sort. I hate the dishes. I hate that we have to eat off of dishes. I wish it were environmentally acceptable to use ALL PAPER PRODUCTS and disposable pots and pans. No dishes! DOWN WITH DISHES.

Now I want to know everything about your quirks, because I feel naked.

Happy weekend!

*Jackopierce

334 comments January 26th, 2012

Caught a Long Wind

OH HI.

Well, then. I don’t like to overly explain absences, but I’ve been working a lot, which is great! Really, it’s great! Who doesn’t like money? I LIKE MONEY. But I was super-busy every night and every preschool session and every . . . well, EVERYTHING.

I’ve been working more in books, and man, that’s a lot of fun. Also? It’s a lot of reading. A LOT of reading, which doesn’t leave much leftover time for PERSONAL reading, which is why I’ve been sitting with Maggie Steifvater’s “Forever” on my night stand for two weeks, and it’s due back to the library on Tuesday, so I’d best be HUSTLING UP IN HERE to whip through that last, miserable book in the most ridiculous trilogy ever written in the history of YA trilogies, AMEN.

It’s awful. There is a lot of soul-gazing among teenagers and a not-insignificant number of heartfelt SONG LYRICS written out by one of the protagonists, and it’s not meant in an ironic way. Basically, I read this entire trilogy from behind my hands while making this face:

(SONG LYRICS.)

I … God, let’s see. The last two weeks have been VERY BORING and involved me staying up late with a red pen (have you tried these?) and writing some stuff for other people and working on multiple books for children and young adults and . . . um, that’s all I’ve got, because THAT IS ALL I HAVE DONE FOR MANY DAYS.

The end.

Oh, not really, but that’s what it FEELS LIKE, and you can ask anyone who’s expected a phone call or an email from me, because AIEEEEEE, freelancing is fun, but it is also very time consuming.

In the interim, I missed you guys, and feel like a loser for saying that, but I DID (do!).

I can’t stop thinking about Swistle’s post about sociopaths, because once you encounter a sociopath, you don’t really forget. It’s CRAZY. It’s crazy. I am exceedingly nice to sociopaths if I can be, because as Swistle and I discussed separately, it’s amazing how FAR a sociopath is willing to GO in order to play a game with you. SO FAR. FURTHER THAN YOU EVER DREAMED. Because remember, they do not have any feelings. None. Zero. They don’t care about you and yours. They’re bored, they’re egomaniacs, they have no conscience at all. They don’t even love their CHILDREN. They CANNOT. YOU WILL NOT WIN. So if you see someone being nice to a person YOU KNOW they know is crazy, maybe they know they are a sociopath, and just don’t feel like having their LIVES RUINED.

I don’t need to tell you (BUT I WILL) that this led to a panicked spiral as I considered how awful it would be to be the MOTHER of a sociopath, given that most rudimentary research leads one to believe that they are BORN NOT MADE, and what do you even DO? Fortunately (oh my God), my research also indicates that, as suspected, my current offspring is rather far from the picture of a young sociopath (highly empathetic, very into physical affection, likes animals and doesn’t set them aflame, ETCETERA) and I no longer need to consider 20/20 appearances as part of my retirement plan.

In other offspring news, she is naked pretty much 24/7, and today at the park, just before plowing into the sandbox, politely asked for her shoes & socks to be removed (reasonable), then requested that her pants and diaper also come off (not reasonable). So while I may not have a sociopath on my hands, it IS true that I might be dealing with an exhibitionist, and perhaps by the time she is of age, Times Square’s Naked Cowboy will be retired, and Sam can take over as Pantsless Percussionist. She does a mean “Got a Bunch of Bones” from the Bubble Guppies while drumming in time, and hot damn, she prefers to do it in the buff.

Now if you’ll excuse me, now that I can check sociopath fears off of my list, I am off to ruminate about pancreatic cancer. Because this is what I DO every time a famous person dies of a disease. I PANIC ABOUT IT.

Feel free to imagine what I’d be like if I wasn’t medicated for anxiety. BECAUSE SERIOUSLY.

 

*Feist

202 comments October 5th, 2011

She’s Like the Wind

No one likes to be without electricity, let’s be honest. I think, however, there is a SPECIAL KIND of power-less status when you have a small person with, uh, a Dora addiction and also a major desire for things like fresh foods and a very special sound machine that makes the ONLY SOUND in the entire universe that is acceptable, did you know that? And did you also know it doesn’t come with a battery back-up? WHY DOES IT NOT HAVE A BATTERY BACK-UP?


The soother of destiny.

I can’t even talk about it without getting some kind of wild PTSD-related twitches, because my child DID NOT SLEEP the entire time! And neither did we! FOR TWO DAYS! HA HA HAAA! And we drove around town like refugees! But NOT BEFORE we sat through the storm and witnessed my neighbor’s house get basically, uhhh, decimated by the winds, as tree after tree toppled over, demolishing bit by bit of the poor guy’s yard, fence, gazebo, and finally, house.

(He’s fine. His, um, life-size replica of the statue of David and accompanying blue-lit gazebo is … not. I can’t type that sentence with a straight face. Yes, David was situated so he faced the rear windows of the house in all his glory, and yes, he was LIT UP IN BLUE, rain or shine, every night of the year. I GOT NOTHING HERE, PEOPLE. Except my neighbor has promised he’s going to “Rebuild! Bigger and stronger than ever!” WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT MEANS? WILL DAVID GET A BIGGER PENIS?)

Irene was supposed to be this BIG OVERHYPED THING, according to New Yorkers, who we learned are the center of the universe. “New York is safe! Hallelujah!” read the headlines. Meanwhile, everyone else was not doing all that well — including large parts of New York’s economic sisters-in-arms, Connecticut and New Jersey. And Vermont! Oh, poor Vermont, right? I feel a little shattered every time I hear what’s going on there, and when I see pictures of all the roads we used to travel on that are literally GONE, I feel even sicker.

I also feel a remarkable appreciation for working light switches, and Sam quite literally WEPT WITH RELIEF when she pushed the button on her sound machine and it turned on. She cried from happiness. “I can go NIGHT-NIGHT!” she declared through a mixture of laughter and tears. “MAH MACHINE!”

Good God, did I fuck this kid’s sleep up good and hard or what? It seemed like a good idea, this sound machine. We live in a single-story ranch! That sound machine’s presence enables us to watch television and take showers and have conversations after 8 p.m. and GOD, I HAVE MADE HER DEPENDENT.

She seems relatively unscathed though.

Heeey, did anyone ever tell you what a CRAP IDEA those little carts are for small children? And how it will turn grocery shopping into a horrible adventure, filled with injury (crashing into your heels), intrigue (will she take out the ENTIRE display of parmesan, or just nick it?) and excitement (Look! It’s like bumper cars! Except not at ALL HA HA OH GOD)? Never again. I will do ANYTHING to stop my daughter from finding that little cart ever again, even if I have to call the manager of Price Chopper MYSELF and demand all removal of toddler-size shopping carts from their existence at the CORPORATE LEVEL.

(Too unrealistic? AIM HIGH, I say.)

I hope you have a great Wednesday, or whatever day you read this!

*YE OLDE SWAYZE

135 comments August 30th, 2011

Enjoy the Silence

Last week mostly sucked. I wish I could be more eloquent than that, but man, it just wasn’t a great week. Between the jackhammering of our foundation (OMFG), a napless kid thanks to said foundation hammering and the fact that I realized A-HA! I was supposed to have a BABY this week! … it was, um, unpleasant. I was in a mood the likes of which I haven’t seen in months and months. It wasn’t until I stormed away from the construction workers muttering, “Are you fucking KIDDING ME?” only to come inside and — oh, I can barely type it without cringing — throw a head of cauliflower so hard on the counter that it shattered in a jillion florets that I realized, HM. Perhaps I am not being myself here. You know, because I’m sobbing into my sleeve amongst the cauliflower shrapnel while my daughter– my poor, sweet daughter — asks, “Are you okay, Mommy?”

(I picked up the florets and roasted them anyway. Do you think less of me?)

(Genuine, turnaround-quality bright spot: A delightful day at Davis Farmland with Maureen and her perfect children. I love her. And them.)

The good news is that my ClearBlue Easy fertility monitor sticks are somewhere in Cleveland, thus, giving me the perfect excuse to hold off for another month before getting back on the Train of Potential Conception, although I have to tell you, I feel kind of ready for another baby, and that’s something I couldn’t say a month ago. One of my best friends is pregnant, and her due date is coming soon (November!) and I can’t wait! I can’t WAIT! I want to hold the tiny baby! I want to SEE the tiny baby, and I want to see her daughter, Lila, with a little brother, although I think Sam is going to be pretty pissed off, because Megan is her favorite. She already gets the scraps from Lila, and when there’s a baby in Meg’s lap, HAAAA, rage.

Plus, you know, Sam starts school in a few weeks, and I’m seriously acting like she’s headed off to college. Tonight, I asked Adam if Sam is still going to like me, or if she’s going to want to live at school. I wasn’t even being a little jokey about it, because what if she hates me? What if this is the end, and she’s all done with me and just wants to hang out with her friends? What if she stops holding my face in her hands and saying, “MOMMY! I love you…”? THEN WHAT?

I will burn down the preschool, that’s what.

Speaking of babies, we up and left our precious child with a (great, new, reader of this blog) babysitter on Saturday night to see Harry Potter at the Imax and eat sushi. And you GUYS. Yes, the movie was great, blah blah, and yes, we go to an Imax theater that is, mysteriously, inside a furniture store (I don’t know, either, but those Jordan stores are like MINI DISNEYLAND), but the thing is, Harry Potter is a loud movie, right? And add the Imax experience, which includes “butt-kickers,” which vibrate the seats during explosive-type scenes, and … well, you get the idea.

The thing is, so there’s Harry Potter, one of the loudest movies EVER — I mean Deathly Hallows is basically one big battle scene, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying so — and near the beginning of the movie, there was this BIG! EXPLOSIVE! sound and then … silence.

Which is precisely when the man next to me farted. Very loudly.

YOU GUYS. In a twisted way, I felt HORRIBLE for him, because MY GOD, the movie was SO LOUD, and WHAT ARE THE CHANCES that he’s going to let one rip JUST as the SILENCE FILLS A CROWDED THEATER?

But the worst part — the WORST! — is that Adam was wholly convinced it was me, and he was GLARING at me, like *I* was the asshole who FARTED IN A CROWDED THEATER. By that point, I just lost it, and I was snickering uncontrollably, tears streaming down my face, and OH GOD, I had just made the Harry Potter Farter feel even worse, because how do you not know that’s why I’m laughing? How do you NOT think that the lady next to you is wheeze-laughing because you ripped it in the movie theater? HOW?

Ah. Anyway. It was a great night, I loved the movie, with the exception of the VERY end, which was … poorly executed, although I don’t want to give it away. I just … CHILDREN SHOULD NOT HAVE CHILDREN, is all I’m saying, and there was a bad casting call there.

This is wrapping up awkwardly, but three things:

1) I tried raw oysters during said night out when we made a last-minute restaurant change. I … don’t get it. This isn’t some, “oh, check me out, I wrote something somewhere else!”, but a, NO SERIOUSLY, what am I missing? I need to know what you think, because I do NOT get it, and this seems like something I SHOULD get, but when I read reviews of food critics eating raw oysters and describing their nuanced flavors with wine-type language, I’m like, wait, what? I TASTED TABASCO. But also, I didn’t find them remotely repulsive, I just found them TREMENDOUSLY BORING.

2) I have essentially stopped washing my kid’s hair because it’s getting TOO DAMN ANNOYING. She acts like I’m dumping hydrochloric acid on her head, and GOD. I know this is not good, but there you have it. CONFESSION TIME.

3) I started using the library request system, and you guys, it’s like, FREE BOOKS THAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT, instead of picking through the shelves. What a revolutionary idea! And one that is actually preventing MANY MELTDOWNS from Sam, because she is so desperate to go downstairs to see Fred the turtle that she cannot bear the three minutes it takes me to find the book I want. Linger, you shall be mine. OH YES, YOU SHALL.

Happy Tuesday!

*Depeche Mode. And you know, I am REALLY GLAD I didn’t get the giant cross with “DM” tattooed on my leg back in high school. OMFG.

45 comments August 15th, 2011

Supermassive Black Hole

I’ve been sleeping like absolute crap lately because — oh God — I’m too lazy to get up to pee in the middle of the night. I AM TOO LAZY TO PEE, ergo I wake up at 5, unable to contain it any longer and then I am UNABLE to go back to sleep, so hello, I’m rising at 5. This would be fine if I went to bed at 9 or 10, but I RARELY have the presence of mind to do that, so there I am, going to bed at midnight and getting up at 5, which, at the risk of sounding like a total princess, is just not enough for me unless I’ve got a newborn, and even then, I’m counting on a shitload of adrenaline to get me through.

Oh, first-world sleep problems, how you torment. The real kicker is that I’m on this mad HYDRATION! kick since being completely flattened by a surprise migraine last Thursday. I think surprise migraines are the best kind, don’t you? The kind that give you a fever, make you think you have the flu and then, BADOW! 101 degree fever! Searing pain! An urge to lie down in a dark room and ban electronic devices from existence!

Ah, well.

One of the things that kicks me the most about parenting — and I’m not pretending this is a NEW thought, by any stretch — is that you never really know if you’re doing a good job. I mean, you don’t. There are no performance reviews, unless they are measured in minutes between tantrums, and even then, there are too many variables to determine if you had any hand in the tantrum-free time, or if that was just because they were sick/tired/cranky on tantrum day or vice versa.

I’m self-aware enough to realize that I’m making this entirely about me, when that’s the last thing parenting is really about, but I would be lying if I said I had no idea what I can and can’t take credit for, you know? Sam is a pretty compliant kid. She’s a sweet kid. Yes, she pulls attitude and GOD, SHE HAS HER MOMENTS, and I KNOW she’s only two, and my God, it’s going to get a thousand times worse, but I have no idea what aspects of her behavior have anything to do with MY behavior. Is she generally a good kid because of something I’ve done, so that I can repeat it? Is it something I HAVEN’T done, so I don’t do it in the future? Is it just HOW SHE WAS BORN?

Gah, there is NO WAY TO KNOW. I know plenty of people who are good people — and I’m guessing, good parents — with kids of all ages who are, um, DIFFICULT. And these are good people! Who are good parents! So it’s like, what DO YOU EVEN DO? Is it just dumb-shit luck with the kid’s personality that’s inborn? Do you just sit back and throw your hands in the air and declare yourself impotent?

And as a parent, do you EVER feel like you did a good job? I like to think that my parents are at least breathing a small sigh of relief that I turned out okay, if that can be measured in happiness and a reasonable modicum of success, totally obnoxious Twitter gaffes notwithstanding.

(Seriously, is there a medium that’s gotten me in MORE trouble? Is it really wise to tweet every thought unfiltered from my mouth, when nine times out of ten, I don’t mean it as Judgy McJudgerson as it sounds? Like, here, let me judge YOUR debt issues, even though you have clearly illustrated to me that you are responsible, but SHIT HAPPENS. Even when I FULLY KNOW people who have such debt who are not idiots and come by it honestly, and yes, I’m still self-flagellating over that, because the people I AM judging are not EVERYONE in that situation, so WHO EXACTLY DO I THINK I AM? See also: the economy. Let me say it again: Mea culpa. I’m sorry.)

(You may be free to judge me for my horrific housing woes, if you like, for they are a legion of unsavory miseries full of salacious, discomfiting details.)

ANYWAY, even NOW, with me being happy and married to a great guy with a sweet kid, are my parents still worried about me? Oh yes, I’m sure they are, but worry does not equal worry that they failed me, you know? I hope they’re at least taking SOME credit for having done a good job, because they did.

I can’t believe I’m about to reference something so EXTREME, but there was this crazy-ass murder in Adam’s hometown (he’s obsessed, feel free to ask him about it) — a kid who just graduated from high school killed his girlfriend in a fit of rage. They were both freshly minted 18-year-olds. How horrible is THAT?

And you know, on paper, the murderer’s family looks PERFECT, so it’s not like I can sit there and blame them, because again, THEY SEEM LIKE LOVELY PEOPLE. Wayland is a nice community! With nice parents! And only TWO murders in the last TWENTY YEARS. I hate to think that everyone is blaming THE PARENTS for the crazy shortcomings and, um, MURDER at the hands of this 18-year-old kid.

(Yes, I just went from pondering if I’m raising a kind person to fearing I will raise a MURDERER.) (Just call me Arlene.)

(Also, I seem to have moved from parental responsibility to taking responsibility for one’s actions as an adult, but while YES, I recognize that 18 is adult, he still lived at home, had JUST graduated high school, and HE MURDERED HIS GIRLFRIEND, HOW CRAZY IS THAT?)

And then what about the great kids who had AWFUL parents? WHAT ABOUT THEM? Again, should we just THROW IN THE TOWEL, toss our kids in a playpen and give up on bothering with quality time and time-outs? IS ANY OF THIS STICKING?

It’s like this whole parenting this is just A HOT FAT MESS, and NO ONE HAS ANY IDEA what they’re doing, I’m sorry, they don’t. Well, my friend Amanda does, but this is because she’s the best mom I’ve ever witnessed in person, ever. HER kids will turn out perfectly, and all because of her. I’m certain my real-life friends who are in the same circle are not offended by this, because this is the kind of dirty salacious gossip we say behind her back: She’s a great mom who puts me to shame, dude. (Hi, Amanda!)

But seriously, I DO wonder: at what point in a well behaved kid do you give the parents credit, assuming there aren’t any obvious issues? Is it luck? Parenting? WHAT? I AM FLYING WITHOUT A NET HERE.

*Muse

42 comments July 28th, 2011

Sunglasses at Night

Whenever Adam or I is at a drugstore without the other, we usually pick up a treat for the other person — you know, like a magazine or some Starburst or something little and lame. A few times, recently, he’s brought me home Cosmo. This tickles me on a thousand levels, because I can’t remember a time that I ever bought Cosmo on the reg, but when I DID, I was most definitely in my 20s, and likely the EARLY portion of the decade. How else could I put up with “reader questions” such as this gem, in the beauty section?

Q: What kind of jewelry should I wear with my bikini?

A: Colorful feather necklaces! They’re in and their tropical vibe is perfect for a day at the beach or pool. Layer on a few!

YOU GUYS. Jewelry. With a bikini. I CANNOT EVEN. Feather necklaces. With a bikini. And, I’m guessing, horridly high platforms and full make-up a la Gretchen Rossi, which means that the vast majority of Cosmo readers are living a far more glamorous life than I was. Or it’s aspirational bullshit. Yes, that’s it. ASPIRATIONAL BULLSHIT.

(I mean, right? Do YOU wear feather necklaces with your bikini?) (Is it wrong of me to laugh?)

It then goes on for an entire magazine, telling you how to meet, hook and please your man (give him extended orgasms!), while at the BACK of the magazine, explaining that sometimes, grooms kill their brides on the honeymoon. What makes them do it? AN IN-DEPTH LOOK. So meet him! Hook him! Give him extended orgasms! BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE, DO NOT LET HIM KILL YOU. ¬†GROOMS ARE DEADLY.

It’s a wonder ANYONE survives their twenties, really. The way Cosmo paints it, it is both frivolous and fraught with danger, in equal measure. And that’s probably the way it felt for me, too, but I will concede that I rarely wore a bikini, and if I did, I SURE AS SHIT was not contemplating what kind of JEWELRY to wear.

Although the murderous trajectory WOULD explain Adam’s recent addiction to the Investigation Discovery channel, wouldn’t it? He’s trying to figure out how to get away with it, Murder by Numbers-style.

(Remember that? With Ryan Gosling, who then dated Sandra Bullock? Also, Michael Pitt, who was SO GROSS back then, but is strangely attractive, albeit not my type, in Boardwalk Empire?)

Ahhh, Cosmo. I have four back issues to read through and catch up on the latest vibrator technology AND learn about sociopaths whose sole purpose in life is to stalk and kill young women. Perfect.

Meanwhile, I have TOLD y’all that I’m reading Discovery of Witches and I think you should ALL read it and then join me as I, quite literally in the actual definition of the word ‘literal’, FAN MYSELF WITH MY KINDLE, because Matthew Clairmont makes Edward Cullen and Eric Northman look like WEE LITTLE BOYS with no SKILLZ.

(FAN MYSELF WITH THE KINDLE.)

I’ve got to go to bed, because witnessing some ABSURDLY ABSURD Twitter drama (WHY?) has kept me up far too late, but I’m going to the eye doctor tomorrow, and am seriously considering prescription sunglasses. The older I get, the drier my eyes get, and I CANNOT TAKE it anymore, nor can I take NOT wearing sunglasses. On the one hand, prescription seems like a reasonable solution. On the other, let’s be honest, I BREAK THEM ALL THE TIME. The Target ones anyway. I mean, would I be ANY GENTLER with prescription ones?

Help me, Internet.

*Corey whatsisface Hart. SRSLY

45 comments June 29th, 2011

Yes, I am burnt out on searching for title-related music, why do you ask?

As it turns out, I’ve got a sinus infection, and I’m on the first antibiotic I’ve been on in … decades, I think? I am not particularly hippie-ish about medicine — I mean, I take two big pharma-esque pills a day, and will likely do so for the rest of my life — but you, too, might be squirrelly about antibiotics if you had adolescent bladder infections that rendered you immune to every single one except the ones that cause hallucinations (but conveniently, cure anthrax!). And – AND! – knowing one too many people infected with (OMFG) C diff after antibiotics which causes the MOST unsavory symptoms of anything I have ever dreamed of and I’m terrified of … OMFG HA HA, WHY AM I TALKING ABOUT THIS?

I forget sometimes, like in situations like last week, what a good kid Sam is. I know it will change, and that she’ll eventually (SOON) be punky and Freshy VonFresherson (though she’ll still be a good kid), but for now, she is rarely fresh or willfully defiant, she shares nicely and loves her friends, and hell, I just love the spit out of my sweet girl. There are lots and lots of hugs and kisses – initiated by her — and she’ll hug anyone who asks, and plenty who don’t, sometimes to the surprise of others. Before bedtime, I tell her to “get your lips ready!” and she pouts like Angelina Jolie posing for photographers as she swoops in to kiss everyone in the room.

She’s gentle and kind to plants and animals, has a great sense of humor (I mean, for a two-year-old, let’s be realistic here, it’s not like she’s quoting Seinfeld) and … oh, man. I love her. I say this not to brag, because I recognize that these are things we ALL think about our kids, but it’s more to remind myself, and her, someday, that she’s a great kid whose current failings are purely the circumstance of her age and lapses on my part, not hers. I don’t want her to ever read this and think, wow, my mom thought I was a total pain in the ass. Because oh hell no, kid. You’re fucking awesome.

And hey, do y’all remember the disco kitty shirt? Well, more proof that while my girl might be amazing, personality-wise, she, um, SORELY LACKS in the taste department, and I promise you, I had nothing to do with her latest attachment:

Yes, that’s a boa-wrapped hot-pink fur notebook with a POODLE on it that Adam won her at a corporate outing at — oh, I can barely type it — Dave and Buster’s. “Pink doggie come? Pink notebook? WITHA PEN?” UGH, FINE KID. Here’s your hideous notebook.

In other news, I’m currently interviewing sitters for some (VERY) part-time help while I get some work done and also, uhhh, have my fertility appointments and other sundry items taken care of. Like my HSG which, for the uninitiated, is that test where they shoot dye into your tubes ‘n utes and view all your lady parts via ultrasound to make sure they’re smooth and shiny, and NO ONE, I assure you, wants a two-year-old in that situation. Or you know, at the dentist. Or while trying to conduct a client call with a modicum of professionalism.

What kills me, however, is how stupidly guilty I feel about the whole thing. As though I’m putting her in HARM’S WAY by allowing someone other than me (or Adam or my parents or siblings) to care for her. God, it’s so ABSURD. I don’t feel this way about other people — quite the opposite, in fact — and logically, I KNOW that this is NORMAL and GOOD FOR HER and GOOD FOR ME (and our bank account! And my teeth! And my … uterus?), but there I am, all Cringey McCringerson about having a perfectly capable, kind human being feed my child lunch and put her down for a nap. As though because I am paying them, rather than squeezing their familial obligation out of their pores, that they will somehow fail in an immeasurable, damaging way.

This is one of those cases — like, say, breastfeeding, at least for me — where my emotions cloud my actual, logical judgment of the situation at hand. I was all, I MUST BREASTFEED OR THE WORLD WILL END. And yet, if other people formula fed, I did not assume the world would end, and in fact, admired them for making a totally reasonable choice that worked best for them. Kind of like how I always assume MY plane will crash, although I willingly allow my loved ones to fly without a care in the world. IT IS SO ABSURD. She’s TWO. I CAN GO TO THE DENTIST. PEOPLE PUT THEIR KIDS IN DAYCARE. AND IT WORKS GREAT. GET OVER YOURSELF, JONNA.

What I DO find a little strange, however, is the number of applicants who want to … bring their own child along? Is that strange to anyone else? I feel like I can disassociate the emotional factor from this one enough to suss out the feeling that, a) it would be kind of disruptive to Sam to not only have a new person to get used to, but a new person and their kid? And navigating that dynamic of mother/child and then poor Sam? It’s one thing to leave her at my friends’ house with their kids, but she KNOWS all of them and … and I just … well, is it me?

(It might be.)

(But I still don’t think I’m going to hire anyone who does.)

Hey, have a happy Thursday! Woo!

40 comments June 15th, 2011

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