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.