Monday, July 03, 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006


This is a short, grumpy, self-indulgent post on the state of Delaware.

It is, perhaps, much like the state of Delaware itself. No matter -- my main point is this. Delaware is an anti-democratic leech on the side of its neighbors and anyone so unfortunate as to pass through its boundaries.

You see, I never go TO Delaware, only through it. I don't even go all the way through it, really. I just graze about 11 miles off the top (on my way to places I prefer), and yet it manages to cost me at least as many dollars and at twice as many minutes. And, this just doesn't seem fair. So, they have no sales tax, and they have no income tax, and every other corporation is incorporated there, so what? Is the purpose of this largess to its own residents (at the expense of anyone just looking to get the heck out of there) a sign of some inferiority complex? Some overcompensation, maybe? I am so stinkin happy for the Delaworons who -- like parasites -- get to suck the blood of interlopers for the benefit of their state coffers.

I need to find a detour! Pennsyltucky, here I come.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Results Not Typical

Like many of my fellow Americans, I have had a long and sordid struggle with weight. I guess I am an addict -- a food addict -- in the sense that I will never truly be thin. The most I can hope for is to become a recovering lardass. Well, I'm not there yet. I am about halfway to my goal and it has been a long journey. So long, in fact, that I am not above considering less independent means of achieving my goal. What started out as a "noble" pursuit of general health and stamina is slowly descending into the depravity of number (weight, BMI, etc.) chasing. There are so many options to choose from (please tell me if I've missed any) and I'll leave it to your judgement whether any of these merit consideration:

-Low fat dieting
-Low carb dieting
-Pills, Speed
-Surgery, gastric
-Surgery, plastic

It is in consideration of these options (most of which seem, frankly, vulgar) that I happen upon advertisements for various weight loss schemes. They invariably feature a women transformed from doughy to divinely formed. The only problem is in the (again, invariable) fine print... "Results not typical." In fact, the fine print on one advertisement I read indicated that the woman pictured actually lost her weight before going on the plan advertised! What then, I wonder, is typical?

Unfortunately, I know the answer. Typical is "fries with that" obesity.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Take That

I've been at a loss for what to write, but much has happened since I last wrote. I got back into running and have worked up to a decent distance -- for me. Take that, high school P.E. teachers!

I got a new job, incorporating my love of photography with my boring career in IT. Take that, Gartner!

I have started helping my friend Sheila address the invitations for her wedding. That that, invitees!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Who's more insulted?

In the dance of the smart people, sometimes the trump card is to say that you are insulted by something. This indicates that you are deeply feeling and sensitive and your radar for unsophisticated thought is highly refined. If you are on the receiving end of this comment, best to lay low. For if you admit that you don't see what's so insulting about X, then you confirm what your friend has always suspected; that you are an ignorant and uncivilized slug.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

It's my third, actually (and not my best, I dare say). This weekend my child showed the terribility of his two-ness. Usually this means one thing; he's sick. But he's been sick for the past 6 weeks or so. We are all ready for everyone in the house to be healthy for the first time in a long time. I really, really want this.

But I dread the alternative as well. Perhaps he is not sick. Perhaps there is no excuse beyond this phase (if I could make the word reverberate as you read, I would, because PHASE! has that kind of weight to it).

But, wait! There is more. Yesterday, my babydaddy (yes, I know I can't really pull that off) converted the crib into what the good people at Pottery Barn Kids described as a "toddler bed." Um, yeah, maybe if you're not fond of your toddler, apparently. The relatively simple conversion accomplished, we three stared at the new sleeping situation (cuz from here on out, I refuse to call that thing a toddler bed!) and wondered if without any barrier to hold toddler in, toddler would be falling out of toddler sleeping situation. We soon got our answer. Down for nap (with a little trepidation on all fronts) and not 45 mins later, ba-thud! Toddler down. He's fallen out 3 times so far. We have now installed a dining room chair against the edge of the toddler sleeping situation, making it look like a much uglier version of what existed there before yesterday -- a crib.

Friday, May 12, 2006

A bowl for voices

My iPod shuffled today to a song by Joseph Arthur called In the Sun. Its bridge is simultaneously ethereal and dark, brooding but with a flinty quality. I couldn't help but think that if purgatory had angels, they'd sound like this bit of harmony, like voices poured through a sieve.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

This is why we can't have nice things

There's a permanent stoop to my back and a new texture to every plane in my house. We like earth tones now, because sooner or later all things will muddy. You might recognize the crud on my windows about two feet off the ground as the precious, sticky fingerprints of a toddler. Everything I own is marked indelibly with his whims, his snacks, and yes, his boogers. In his exploration of this world, he loves everything he sees...for a split second before it lands nowhere near where it started. He is one deranged interior decorator. His design sense is an alternate version of the universe we've tried to create.

Like a cross between Sisyphus and a fish with no memory, I circle through the rooms and sunken treasures of this tank with my cordless vac and my rags and sprays -- spraying, wiping, sweeping, disinfecting. Yesterday, I swept and mopped the kitchen floor. Today the floor mocks me with its crumbs and bright stains. Yesterday, I walked through the house to see it looking okay. Today, scores of tiny two-year old tracks have been made, crumbs have been spread like fairy dust off his sweet little piggies and every shiny bauble has been tossed without a care onto the floor. I write this post and let the whole thing go to hell.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Say What?

Do you ever see something written and misread it? It's been happening to me with increasing frequency. I used to see signs for this band in college called "The Instigators" as "The Investigators". The other day I saw a Florida license plate that said Seminole as Shithole (no comment). And just now, I saw an add for a "Portable Hammock" as "Portable Hemlock" (wouldn't that come in handy?).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Picture Day

Today is spring picture day at preschool. So, kiddo is dressed to the nines.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

One Fine Day

Today was one of those days that we live for as parents and as people. The weather, though grim in the morning (too bad for the race D ran), turned beautiful by the afternoon. Our son, though cranky on Saturday, was a downright deity on Sunday (that's actually the general pattern with him, devil on Saturday, deity on Sunday... go figure).

D ran his first trail race (the subject of many a conversation and even blog post) today, the last in a triple threat series called the Backyard Burn. He came home from the race on cloud nine and with this cool t-shirt. Running has made a profound impact on this man (much like the transition from Saturday to Sunday does for our kiddo) and I realized that the next step is for all of us to find ways to enjoy these activities together, particularly as they consume more free time and D becomes more serious and competitive about it. The next trail race is coming up and D will be running with our friend, B. That leaves her husband to hang out with my boy and me. I see a picnic in our future.

After I was done with my exercise, we got cleaned up and went to the libary. My boy was totally overwhelmed. It was his first trip and he had never seen so many books. He just ran around not knowing quite what to do with himself. He made friends. He made noise. We quickly ushered him out. A library is not always the best place for a free-spirited kid. We each selected a few books and went to our next stop....

This was our first visit to this particular park this year, and we were delighted (The boy was downright elated) to find a new jungle gym in just the right size. He has this sorta sideways shuffle that he does when he's super excited about something, and there was no dearth of the funky stuff yesterday. We were at the park for about an hour and a half, a new record. We finished out our day with dinner out, which went swimmingly, and ice cream (this time the only thing swimming was our boy, in chocolate ice cream). Too bad for his new t-shirt.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

DQ Desire

I have had a problem lately. Here it is. In the past couple of weeks, I have sampled the creamy delight of

-Mint Oreo Blizzard (600 calories for a small)
-Peanut Butter Oreo Blizzard
-German Choclate Blizzard (twice)
Oh, and some kind of choclatey, nutty goodness whose name escapes me. I got it because I thought it might have fewer calories. Yum....

I must make a clean break. But, but! The DQ! It has such a hold on me!!

Friday, April 14, 2006

My Budding Photographer & Genius

Photographer: Like any parent over the past 150 years, I have a maniacal urge to record my son's every breath, shimmy and burp. Digital imaging only accelerates the pace. Knowing I don't even have to worry about photo chemistry being dumped into our environment means I can snap shutters with a truly reckless abandon. So, my son is naturally accustomed to being photographed. He poses and has known to do so since before he hit his first birthday. But, in the past few months, my desire to photograph him has been tempered by his desire to mess with my precision instrument, which is strictly not cool. So, in an attempt to head off the confrontation towards which we seem to be heading, I bought a disposable film camera. He took to it like a fish takes to a tasty bed of sticky rice.

Or did he...

Genius?: As a first-time parent, I am aware that I have a maniacal urge to obsessively fret and analyze ever breath, shimmy and burp. [Aside: I love being a parent. It's like a rebirth of sorts, but I'm am mentally drained from all my worrying. Worrying can seriously wear a soul out!] I also am very concerned about raising a child with a strong, positive self-image, something I lacked. I am starting to think, however, that I can lay that fear to rest. Witness his "Daily Sheet" from his preschool teacher from earlier this week:

[Your son] is just not humble. Today he told me that his artwork was beautiful and that he did a great job (but he was right). Then he told me that he's a handsome boy. And he was right again....

Later that night, he told us that he's a genius. Apparently positive reinforcement is effective!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Seattle Redux, Part 4: The dream (or at least the decision) deferred

I've been dreading this post, but it should be written.

I found out on Monday that no decision has been made regarding my employment by Uncle Bill and none will be made for several more weeks I'm told. It's disappointing, more because of what it says about the organization's orientation than any reflection of my own worthiness. The "communications" I've received have been so obtuse and indecipherable, that I simply need to let it go. Hey, I'll just chalk it up to good interview practice (7 interviews over 8 hours on the other side of the country, piece o' cake!) and a free trip to see a beautiful city and some wonderful friends.
I [finally] started applying to other jobs today and found one that I am truly excited about. Particularly now that my period of severance is over, the pressure is on to figure it all out.


What a relief the tulips and daffodils are after a long winter, especially one that seemed only to gain momentum, as this winter did.
I took this completely unremarkable photo on Monday at Meadowlark Gardens, where our friends will be married later this year. The garden is beautiful and varied and I am tempted to go over there for a walk and a few more [well-composed, hopefully] photos. Perhaps a trek with the camera and tripod in hand would burn a few extra calories.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Prynne Picks

Something I read (A Prayer for Owen Meany) made me think of Hester Prynne and I decided that there was a band name for some new wave or riot grrrl band somewhere in there, but settled on a playlist title instead -- since that is far more likely to come to fruition.

Clever title, so what songs?

I have come up with one. "Shameless" (get it? get it?) by Ani Difranco.
Okay, so not much of a list, but I'm going for quality.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Someday I make noise

Yesterday, just before we put our son to bed, the man hung some new shades. We have been waiting to pull the wrapping paper off our family room windows for months. Really!

So, the man got his drill and went to work. The boy was, of course, fascinated. He even got his own drill and "helped." At one point in the evening, the boy declared (much to our shock)
Daddy make noise. Someday, [his name] make noise.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bemoaning radio

Do you listen to the radio?

I listen to NPR fairly religiously and we support NPR, but you know, some days I am just too depressed to hear about:

1. The utter disintegration of Iraq at our hands
2. Global Warming (I refuse to call it "climate change" a term whose neutrality implies it merely necessitates a change in outerwear)
3. Scenes from a political cesspool (covering politics -- even as well as NPR does -- is just putting lots of blind folk around the elephant)

So this morning, I tried my hand at the dial. I heard:

1. Rod Stewart singing jazz standards
2. The dude who directed Benchwarmers make fun of Roger Ebert's weight
3. 27 different stations of country, latin pop and shock jocks

None of which is remotely interesting to me. sigh.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Know Your Limitations

There was a switch that got flipped in my brain after we had some perfect weather last week. That switch turned my brain from winter mode to that of a glorious, rejuvenative spring ... ahhh. Can't you just count the pollen?! So, in my brain, it is time to ride, baby. (It is particularly time to get out from under the albatross of the gym and its resident goddess, but anyway.) I pumped the tires on my sweet old bike, donned my helmet and took the old squeaky green beast for a spin. The first couple of times were great and I rode longer than ever before (on the road, gym doesn't count). But then came today. It's spring and it's time to ride, right?

In the case of today, wrong. Very VERY wrong. As I am a beginner and as my gear is modest, (dirty old hybrid bought used, cutoff sweats and a hand-me-down vest from Dave, who is now too svelte and chic to wear it -- that's my get-up for gettin'round) I am hindered and hampered by the sorts of impediments that more skilled and well-outfitted riders would take in stride, like for example, gale force winds. Never have 15 miles been so nearly the death of me. Never has pedaling downhill felt like trying to swim to the bottom of the deep end of the pool. And never have I been inspired to such ... ehem... colorful language every time the wind picked up, which incidentally seemed to coincide with every uphill section of my ride. I didn't time myself, but my excursion was somewhere between 90 and 120 minutes. Few fools suffered the wind yesterday, actually. I only saw one cyclist (that I recall, but then again, I think I blacked out for a bit). He was on a road bike that was black and red and he wore an outfit that matched his bike (like he was going to the cycling prom or something), so naturally he sailed past me. I'll save my rant about cycling snobs for another post. Or not. It's kind of incoherent, since it is normally being formulated when I'm on my bike and all my blood is in my legs.

I did fantasize about a friend stopping to pick me up in a nice warm car and me tossing my bike into a ditch. But, my bike and I both made it home and I didn't walk.

Don't you roll your eyes at me!

Some sort of pheromonal badness was in the air yesterday because I just kept coming up against the dirty bootheel of humanity seemingly everywhere I went. You ever have one of those days, where people keep cutting you off on the road or can't manage to hold the damn door open for you as they rush off to their equally [to yours] trivial existences? You ever just want to bust out and say, "You know, your every attempt to manage the chaos of your meaningless day only comes more undone by your lack grace." Hold the damn door! Will it kill you?

I was picking up prescriptions and a few groceries yesterday, which took far longer than expected. I didn't fuss because although I have had this experience of the pharmacy mismanaging my expectations ("oh it'll be 30 minutes" cut to sheepish grin as I sign the electronic signature pad an hour later) more than once in the past month, I realized that heaping 'tude on the hapless man behind the counter would amount to nothing. It creates only bad chi. And I don't have no stinkin' job so I was able to build extra time into my day for just such an eventuality. The fact that this was robbing me of time with my son... well... I digress.

Fast forward to me in the car. A small gift from God/fate/chance/the Ford Taurus previously parked in the spot was the fact that there was no one in the spot facing me, so I started to pull through, rather than reverse out of my space. At the same time, I was vaguely aware of another car careening around the parking lot just passing behind me. As I pull halfway through the spot ahead, the careener and I both stop and look at one another when the other driver, who is on her phone, rolls her eyes at me.

Let's take a moment to think about this. Clearly, this woman was in a hurry. Witness the screeching of the tires, the furious multitasking, the rolling eyes. And she wanted this spot I was currently occupying, even temporarily. This is a woman with important fast-paced things happening. This is a woman whose spot is not to be occupied lightly.

I have been faced with these situations before. I have gladly reversed before, because I like to be polite to others. Call me crazy, but being curteous makes me feel a little more connected to the human community and thus a little more stinkin' human. But, eye rolling??? EYE ROLLING! Well, let's just say that that made me feel a little less connected to the human community. So I, dear reader, I pulled on through and let the other driver back up to accommodate me.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Parenting Prowess from Mommy Dearest

[Ascending the soapbox]

How does one know if a particular parenting tool is suboptimal for achieving the intended result? Well, ask yourself, "Do I remember hearing this as a child?" If the answer is yes, throw the darn thing out. You can assume to be garbage anything you recall as a ploy from your own childhood, and that is a shame. Of course you remember the worst elements of emotional damage! And of course, in moments of desperation, you may be tempted to employ these same tactics with your own children. If you could remember the good stuff, you might use it, but, but...

Now one must resist any statement or approach that comes off as humiliation, bargaining, threats, etc. And man, that can be hard. Witness, as evidence, the following from my own experience:

1. [Fill in the blank] is [fill in the blank]ing. Why can't you?
2. Whoever finishes the food on their plate first is the winner. (Winner of what exactly? Oh, yeah... obesity. right.)
3. If you're not good, Jesus won't love you anymore.
4. Stop crying. I SAID STOP CRYING!!

That's not to suggest in the least that previous generations of adults didn't stumble onto some good tools along the way, but how is one supposed to remember those? They, after all, were effective and thus necessarily subtle. What a shame. I could use a little help right now.

[Descending the soapbox]

Seuss Abuse

Honestly, if I never read another Dr. Seuss book, it will be fine with me. Few things are as irritating to me in the world of all things toddler as reading "One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish" -- and that, dear reader, is saying a lot.

The book is long
It is so long
I don't know why the book is long
But a book so long is clearly wrong

You think that's a bad rhyme???? IT IS. And that's my point. That's as good as most of what's in the boy's most recent literary (gaffaw) obsession. Okay, I'm done. I'm sorry to be so salty. I've had a long week. Good doctor, I still respect you, just perhaps a little less than before.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A total sicko

All's just 'eh' over here. The boy is sick with a stomach bug and is miserable, so of course, we're all miserable. I would recount to you dear reader all the places poop has landed today, but D, you already know, and if anyone else mistakenly stumbles onto this, this is a family-friendly blog. Or, at least, it's nothing to lose your lunch over.

Three bad nights and we're going on cranky day #4, so, I'm feeling very worn down. Either parenting is really hard or I'm a total wuss. Maybe it's both. But, I am trying. We baked a cake together today because the boy is interested in all things noisy and electronic (as referenced below). He wanted me to bring the Kitchen Aid mixer into his room, so using it to make a cake was my effort at compromise.

We actually just got back from the grocery store. He was really excited about going (I don't take him all that often, actually) but no sooner had I picked up my first apple then he had decided that he was ready to leave. Nice... and totally par for the course (incidentally, this is why he doesn't go very much). I did manage to get a few things, though, by promising to show him the train this store has.

The one kind of upside is that because he is weak, he'll let me put him in his stoller, which normally goes totally unused [insert photo of the stroller I reasearched so diligently before purchasing, rotten with sawdust and plain old dirt from months spent in the garage, aka Daddy's workshop]. So, I'll get a good walk and the boy will get a good ride in this afternoon. He enjoys it and I need the exercise like crazy. I haven't been to the gym since Monday cuz by the time we put the boy to bed, dammit, I ain't movin'.

Seattle Redux, Part 3: The whole point

Since I went to Seattle for the purpose of interviewing for a job, I should perhaps write a little about it. But I am so stinkin' tired right now, and really, I had hoped to write the whole the narrative with the result -- offer or no offer, if not go or no go. But alas, despite reassurances that I would hear something Monday or Tuesday, here I am stewin' in my juices on Thursday. It's not unreasonable at all to still be waiting (after all, it hasn't been a week yet) and my anxiety is more a comment on my mental state than anything else. And, I am a little surprised at how invested I have become in a short amount of time. Don't break my heart, Bill! hee hee

For now, suffice it to say that I was there for 8 hours, had 7 interviews and ... am waiting [as] patiently [as I can] to hear back.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Seattle Redux, Part 2: Stuff from Seattle

I enjoy bring back little presents when I travel, and during this trip, I had time to look around. So here's a list of the cool bootie I picked up.

1. Ugly Doll:
This was something I picked up for the boy. The man actually bought me an ugly doll when I was pregnant. It is called "Vicious French Bulldog" and it's adorable, but it has ended up in the boy's room. So, when I found this, I thought it would be a great little gift, from a cool independent shop (oh, and by the way, I can now reclaim L'il Angus, my "vicious French Bulldog").

2. "Soy Un Bowler" t-shirt for the man. This t-shirt is actually from the charity event that G organized, so not only did Dave get a spiffy shirt, I got to support G's effort and a Seattle food bank.

3. Two, count 'em, two tea infusers for the man. I couldn't decide between the hanging dangling style and the spring-loaded, handled action. So, I got both. Eh, he's worth it. These things were not easy to come by in these parts, but I got hooked up in Seattle's International District. Speaking of the hookup, I also got the man a little air freshener for his cubicle... or rather, I got it for his cubicle neighbors! The shop where I bought these great things is called Uwajimaya.

4. And for the piece de resistance....I found my beloved A.G. Spalding and Bros. red fountain pen. I bought it at a Japanese bookstore called Kinokuniya and it was the best price for it that I'd found and so I took the plunge.

Seattle Redux, Part 1: Friends in Seattle

I have the good fortune of having cool friends in Seattle, though some might say that "cool friends" and Seattle are somehow redundant. In any case, although I had hoped to see my dear friend, APBK or "Bob," that was not to be. Bob was traveling for work and had a side trip planned to see a friend in SF well before any of my plans came to fruition. Nonetheless, I did get to see G and S, who showed me a wonderful time (showing me around Seattle neighborhoods, taking me to eat delicious food, allowing me to tag along with them to the charity bowling event that G organized, etc.). All this happened despite the immediately impending birth of their first child. And, in a bonus buddy sighting, I got to bowl on Saturday with MC, formerly known as Seattle M. M looks very distinguished with just the hint of salt-n-pepa in his hair.

I must here dedicate a full paragraph to S, G's inspiring wife. At 40+ weeks pregnant, she is neither grumpy nor moored to her sofa or bed. 3 days after the baby's due date, she took a 3 mile walk and 4 days after, she attended her 90 min prenatal yoga class. And by the way, this is no ordinary 7 lb baby. S's measurements are off the charts and the estimated weight of the baby is 10.5 pounds. I compare this to my own crabbiness at the end of my pregnancy and well, let's just say that I was not nearly as stoic and strong as S is. I wonder if S is in labor right now? She is at 41 weeks, as of today. If you are delivering now, girl, you go! I am dedicating all manner of good vibes in your direction.

A trip report is due, I'm told

Dear reader (that would be you, D), you may be wondering about my absence from this here soapbox of sorts, but I have a good excuse (oh, jeez, not a month in and already with the excuses!?!?); I have been in Seattle for a little trip, courtesy of Uncle Bill as he's called in those parts. Oh, and what nice parts they are! I interviewed for a job with MSFT on Friday, returned on a red-eye Sunday morning and have been catching up with family stuff since then. The boy, of course, got sick upon my return with a nasty stomach bug. Another glamorous night of puking and the runs and a little fever to put that spring rosiness in his cheeks.

Suffice it to say that I am in no shape to share much right now, but I will. The question is, how do I organize these thoughts?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Mounting Losses

I was listening, despite my better judgment, to Di.ane this morning. Her guest was, who is even worse in my mind than Diane. I have had a chip on my shoulder about for a long time but never mind that. Even with my chip, I was surprised at how uninspiring her talk was. I was surprised at how vapid some of her statements were. I realize that I'm not being specific enough. Here's one example: She was talking about writing another novel about her protagonist from Fear of (the source of my chip, incidentally), Isa.dora Wing. She wants to write about her in her fifties, because apparently women in their mid-fifties experience a lot of loss and apparently no one ever talks about it because it's not allowed. What??!! I tend to bristle whenever I hear people, especially Boomers, say that talking about something isn't allowed. Not since 1979, honey. I mean where have you been for the past 25 years that Oprah has been bludgeoning us with talk specifically about everything that supposedly we're not allowed to talk about? I think that this perceived lack of freedom is precisely the issue that Boomers use to define themselves and react against, but I just don't buy it anymore.'s novels are evidence that few topics are taboo. The fact that the writing is hard doesn't negate its viability in social discourse. But this is not really meant as an attack on I am just starting to get suspicious about Boomers and their ability to really see the world with a critical eye, rather than one turned inward. I know, I know, this is neither a revolutionary statement, nor is it one that I can prove. It's just where my head is at right now.

I came away from the snippet I heard with the phrase in my head "mounting losses" and it resonates with me right now. I think I could write several entries on that thought alone -- about all the losses that are mounting (some are good losses, by the way). Speaking of which, I must go mount some losses of my own... at the gym.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Today I was out and about running an errand when I heard a woman implore her children to behave using the phrase "[point your browser to]" Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

What's even stranger is that there is indeed such a web site. It's a tool that helps cyclists track their Virginia. Spooky!

Apologies all around

Despite my concerns noted in last night's post, the boy was pretty darn pleasant this morning. He started to wake up and call out for me in the pre-civilization hours (i.e. before 7 a.m.), but I ignored him (YEAH, that's right! I ignored my own son calling out in the dark for his Mommy. What of it?). He took no answer for an answer and chilled out in his crib for a little while longer and we were both the better for it. When we got up a few minutes later (really, it could have been hours [shrug]), safely into the 7 o'clock hour, we were doing alright. I served up a healthy breakfast of cranberry white chocolate scone and denied his request for icing (that's ice cream to those of us with a mouth full of teeth). He had a little milk and then sat in my lap...looking through the Sunday circulars for pictures of.... what else? Vacuum cleaners.

We got to school at a reasonable hour and were none too worse for wear (sure there was a little crying, but when isn't there?). So for doubting you, boy-o, I apologize.

Later this morning, I got a call from my mom. Because I was busy, I didn't pick up, but the voicemail told me everything I needed to know. My mom has been asking for pictures of the boy so that when my dad goes to the motherland this weekend, she could send portraits of him to the relatives there. I swore I'd already sent most of my school pic stash, but my mom swore she had none. Well, it turns out that she did have the pictures (you see...they weren't in an envelope as she was expecting... they were in a small plastic bag and ... well... who puts pictures in a plastic bag anyway? ehem... that was your idea, Mom) and was apologizing for not finding them sooner ... or something. Mystery solved. Apology accepted.

Vacuum love

My son, showing signs of emotional complexity and a willingness to overcome his fears, has turned his deep concern over the noise of vacuum cleaners and power tools into a fascination, a love even! Will you look at that? This kid needs a dog. I can't have him hugging appliances...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Flying Solo

Until Wednesday, I will be womaning this ship on a solo basis. After enduring 10.5 months of night terrors (by which I mean the terror of waiting for my son to wake up at night and thus destroy my sleep and psyche), the time alone is counted in nights. I should be over it because mostly, the boy has great sleep habits. But my own habit -- the one where my gut wrenches itself when I hear him crying between the hours of 8 p.m and 7 a.m. -- is dying a little hard.

It's night one. 11 p.m. 8 hours until the boy wakes up to what is sure to be a cranky Monday morning (on all fronts). I better get to sleep before all my Zs slip through my fingers.

Betraying my paper journal?

I think I was 8 years old when I first started keeping a journal. The early entries, which were short and dramatic, covered critical topics of the day such as my ambivalence about playing with Toni Ann Capperelli (at least, I think that was her name) and Cabbage Patch Dolls (CPDs). Though not normally a trend follower, I had two CPDs. One was bald and African American. I would like to credit my mother with her progressive doll acquisition values, but something tells me her motives were not so pure. If I know my mother, there was some kind of sale action at the heart of this decision. But, I digress (and it won't be the last time, I assure you). It was also in those early entries that I reveal a pattern that has surely been repeated many times in my life, wherein I censor my feelings -- in this case about An.thony Ia.cocca (at least, I think that was his name) -- in order to promote another person's (Jenn.ifer Mc.Don.ald) happiness over my own. But I didn't censor one choice tidbit. I was apparently (and I quote) "overwhelmed at being out of the fourth grade." That journal is around here somewhere. I gotta find that bad boy. Incidentally, that first one took me YEARS to finish (maybe because it was embarrasingly girly and ugly), but subsequent notebooks were soaked through with ink within months or even weeks. I'm not sure how many journals I have finished. There must be at least a dozen, of all shapes and sizes, some lined, some not, some bound, some ringed. That used to be a big deal to me -- finding just the right form factor. Oh, and don't even get me started about the pen! Color, line thickness, just the right amount of scratchiness... but alas. Ever since I lost my beautiful red Spalding fountain pen, writing hasn't been the same for me. There is a little pain there, if you must know.

Well, twenty-three years later, I am happy to still be writing, but this feels like a betrayal of sorts. This old friend, writing in paper journals, has gotten me through much angst and in the end, like so many horny middle-aged men, I found a newer model. Ugh.

It is with some trepidation, clearly, that I try this out. So the question is, do I dedicate myself to this form of journal keeping and embrace the opportunity to integrate sound and images? Or do I keep a finger in both pies? In my paper journal, I could write anything anytime. With this thing, I don't know. Do I have to write for a specific audience? Who are you? Do I have be focused on some topic? Lordy, say it ain't so! Well, for right now, I think we'll just keep this between me and the lined and bound lime green leather journal at my side.