Sunday, December 18, 2005

blogging fought the holidays and the holidays won

hope you all have a happy merry whatever it is that you have. see you in 06....

Friday, December 09, 2005

but honey, think of how boring life would be if you had married someone sane

last night:

"you left the light on in the basement earlier."

"the one that you have to go down and turn off with the pull cord?"


"oh, you'll have to go down and turn it off."


"i'm not going down there."

"why not?"

"i can't go down there now."

"what do you mean?"

"haven't you noticed that i haven't been taking stuff down to the basement from the back room [the one that we're clearing out to have fixed up into a playroom for wile] in the evenings after wile goes to bed? it's because i can't go down into the basement at night."

"huh. i thought it was my fault that the back room wasn't getting cleared out."

"nope. i'd do it, but i can't do it at night."

"you know, the basement is dark during the day too. no windows."

"i know."

"so it's the same thing!"


"it is."

"i'm not going down there."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

i'm just not that into her, pt. 4

hi. hi there. sorry i've been so m.i.a.—between all the illness around these parts (stephen is the latest victim), trying to put together a winter playgroup, and the impending holiday season, i've been stretched a little thin. but i've got a good ellen story! i know you've been sitting there since the last ellen story thinking, "what will that kooky ellen do next?" oh, just you wait....

so susan still hadn't made a time to meet with ellen and get her stuff (that ellen was holding ransom). ellen has called her a bunch of time, but susan has sidestepped her as gracefully as possible. finally ellen calls her one monday and says that she is probably going to be in susan's neighborhood on the coming friday, and could they meet up? susan says okay, but to call her and let her know for sure beforehand with enough time so that she can work it into her day. she doesn't hear from ellen all week until....friday, when she gets a call from ellen saying "okay, i'm on my way downtown!" to which susan says "well, you didn't give me any warning, like we talked about, and i'm really busy at work and can't meet you." ellen, of course, says "you never said to call you before! i'm calling you now!" etc, etc. they have a little back and forth ("you said you'd call and let me know"/"no, i didn't!"—which, susan told me, she wouldn't have done with anyone else; with a sane, normal person she would have just said "okay, must have been a misunderstanding, let's try to work something out", but ellen just drives you to junior-high behavior), and finally susan tells ellen that she's just going to call a messenger to come and get the stuff. ellen agrees, and they hang up. susan calls the messenger.

a little while later, susan gets another call from ellen:

"hi, susan? hi, it's ellen. the messenger is here....but i just got out of the shower! i'm standing here in a towel!"


"i had no idea he was going to get here so quickly!"

"yeah, they move fast, those messengers...."

"well, listen, susan....i'm having second thoughts about this"

[bashing head against desk] "oh, really? why?"

"well.....i don't really believe that you're going to give me those photos!"

"ellen. i'm going to give you the photos."



"well....i mean, i'm standing here in my towel...."


"well, i guess i can give him the stuff if you give me your word that you're going to give me the photos."


"you give me your word?"

"yes, ellen, i give you my word"



"well, okay then....if you give me your word."

"okay, bye."


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

dog (not butt) of the week

6 great iPhotos

warning: contains materials unsuitable for children

this past summer, when we were in maine, i bought wile a stuffed animal hedgehog. i've always loved hedgehogs, especially mrs. tiggy winkle, and the one i found in pemaquid was especially cute. hedgehog mostly hangs out in wile's crib, which is next to our bed, and often when i come in to the room and catch a glimpse of hedgehog out of the corner of my eye i think it's a cat curled up in the crib.

well, apparently so does trucky. specifically, a girl cat. more specifically, a girl cat in heat. i have to assume that's the case, because that's the only thing that would explain what stephen and i saw when we turned on the light in the bedroom last night: trucky humping the bejeezus out of hedgehog. he had mounted her, had the nape of her neck firmly clamped in a love bite, and was giving it to her full force, going at it like we hadn't had his balls removed six years ago. i really truly wish that i'd been able to capture the act on film, but i was laughing too hard. we did manage to get some post-coital shots:

6 great iPhotos
cigarette, anyone?

4 great iPhotos
we should probably wash those sheets....

4 great iPhotos
was it good for you, baby?

4 great iPhotos
that's my sweet piece of hedgehog ass, bro. keep it moving.

there was a matted spot on hedgehog's fur near her head from where trucky was biting her and a matted spot near her bottom end that...i don't want to think about.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


or, should i say, btietm. i've been a little delinquent on the btietws....

usually fall at the farmer's market is all about the apples for me: the macouns, the winesaps, the occasional jona gold. i make boatloads of applesauce, and eat apple slices dipped in peanut butter at least every other day. but for some reason this year i'm not feeling the apples. i've enjoyed a couple great ones, but i've been much more into the pears: specifically the golden boscs and the little sugar seckles. (hee—i had some seckles out last night, along with some lady apples and clementines, for snacks before our dinner party, and hayes picked one up and said "what is this, toy fruit?" so i told stephen that ryan was making fun of our little fruit and he said, of course, "hayes is a little fruit." i feel a new song coming on....) i haven't done a damn thing with them but slice and eat them, which is partially due to them being so good they don't need any help, and partially due to the young man attached to my hip/leg. but if you get your hands on some and want to do something with them besides the old slice 'n eat, try this recipe. i know, technically it's not something i ate this week (or month), but it's a fantastic recipe.

fall at the market also brings the cauliflower. oh, do i love the cauliflower. my never-fail cauliflower preparation is roasting: cut up the cauliflower into ~1" chunks; toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika; turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for about 30-40 minutes at 400˚. you want the cauliflower to get good and brown, really carmelized on the bottom. do not be afraid of the oil. if you don't use enough, the cauliflower might start to dry out partway through the roasting process. don't despair—just spray or brush it with more oil and shove it back in the oven. i can eat a whole head of roasted cauliflower myself. no problem.

a little more (okay, a lot more) work but also fabulous is cauliflower fritters. take the whole head and steam it till tender. if you have a big pot and a not-huge cauliflower, you should be able to just cut out the core and plonk it into the steamer. i get gargantuan cauliflowers from farmer ted at the market, so i have to hack mine up into a couple pieces to fit it into the pot. anyhoo, when it's tender take it out and run it under cool water till you can handle it. then pull it apart with your fingers, breaking up the florets into thumbnail-sized pieces into a big bowl, and putting the stems on a cutting board where you'll then cut them up into pieces of similar size and then add them to the bowl. now, every time i make these i use slightly different ingredients (depending on what i have in the house) in slightly different amounts (depending on the size of the cauliflower and my mood), so the "recipe" is going to get a little vague here. you'll definitely need at least 2 eggs to keep things together—just break them into the bowl, making a little well in the center of the cauliflower pieces, and beat them a little bit in there before mixing them in. then you'll need some mayo (hellman's, of course). i know, mayo on top of eggs seems like overkill. but it makes them incredibly creamy, and you don't need a lot. maybe 1/4 cup for a medium-sized cauliflower. then you need some starch: i've used flour, bread crumbs, cornmeal, and various combinations of all of these things. you need just enough to make it hold together—it should be kinda sticky/gooey. let's see, maybe 1/3 of a cup for a medium-sized cauliflower? i usually just season it with pepper and sprinkle them with coarse salt when they're cooked, but you can get crazy with the herbs/spices if you want—dill, paprika, cayenne pepper, whatever. i'd say no to thyme, though; it didn't mesh with the cauliflower flavor very well (not that that stopped me from eating the whole batch). so once you've got the batter all set, heat up a big saute/frying pan with about a 1/4-inch of oil (peanut's the best) in the bottom to medium-high heat. drop the batter in by the spoonful (i use a ceramic chinese spoon), flattening the mounds down with the back of the spoon, and fry until golden on both sides, drain on paper towels or a wire rack. they're totally fine plain, but they're awesome with a little sauce—i like mayo thinned with a little water and flavored with lemon juice or hot sauce (crystal, of course). and you can make them one day, let them cool, store them in the fridge, and heat them on on a baking sheet in a 350˚ oven another day and they're just as good. i did this when i served them at sydney's post-marathon dinner, and everybody seemed happy with them. even though they were a teensy bit mushy because i didn't let them cool all the way before putting them in the tupperware and into the fridge....

unlike the cauliflower, which i love unconditionally, i have a more complicated relationship with greens. i want to like them, i know how good they are for me, etc etc, but i've never found a way to prepare them that made me really love them. stephen makes kick-ass collard greens with bacon, vinegar, and brown sugar, but that's a big prOcess, and mine never turn out as good as his. but this fall i've figured out what the problem has been in the past: i wasn't buying my greens from farmer ted. i don't know what this man does to his kale, but it's so freaking sweet you can almost eat it raw. i would steam it for five minutes and eat it with absolutely nothing on it and love it. then the purple kale appeared, which is just as delicious, even more tender, and gorgeous.

i used both of them in frittatas a bunch of times, which is simple and delicious: saute some onion and/or garlic in an oven-proof pan, add the chopped-up kale and cover to let it steam on low heat for a few minutes, then uncover and turn the heat up and saute to cook off any liquid. season with salt and pepper. beat up some eggs then fold in some grated cheese—i used parmegiano reggiano (the king of cheeses) and dry vela jack (amontereyonteray jack from cali)—and pour over the greens. at this point you can either a) let the egg cook mostly on the stovetop, over lowish heat, throwing it under the broiler when it's still liquid just on top, or b) throw it in a 350˚ oven for 10-15 minutes, till it's just set on top. i prefer the 350˚-oven method, which requires less attention.

i have auntie syd to thank for inspiring me to get into the other kale preparation i've been loving: kale, white bean, and sausage mess. saute onions and garlic slowly slowly over low heat in olive oil in a saucepan/dutch oven/what have you. i use this. when the onion and garlic is nice and soft and golden, add the sausage and a couple of cans of beans. i prefer the duck sausage that i get from fresh direct, and navy beans from eden organic—i used to use goya beans all the time, but i started getting annoyed and kinda grossed out by how the beans at the bottom of the can would be almost total mush, so i tried the organic beans and there was no mush and i'm happy. you can throw the sausages in whole or cut up, whichever you'd like. then throw in some stock—chicken, veggie, beef, whatever you have. how much you throw in is up to you. you can use a whole can/carton and make it soup, you can use very little and make it a dish yowith a eat witha spoon, or you can use an amount somewhere in between the two and make it how i like it: soupy enough that you can eat it with a fork but you have plenty of broth to sop up with good bread. so whatever you do, let that all cook until the sausage is cooked through, then throw in the kale, cook for a few minutes to let it wilt, and serve. this is great even if you can't get kale as sweet as what farmer ted grows, just let the kale cook longer.

now, can someone tell me how to make squash—the featured product of the winter farmer's market—so that i like it?

Monday, November 21, 2005

the ballad of the broken baby: a play in four acts

[well, that was fun. i'm still a little shaky, but much better. i think the culprit was some cranberry-apple cider that had possibly turned the corner.... i decided this when i woke up in the middle of the night, still with the fever and headache and dizziness and also with the new addition of wrenching nausea, and i thought, as a i curled into the fetal position, "this is such a familiar sensation...where have i...aaaahhhh, yes. college. sideshow. too many tanqueray-and-tonics." thankfully, unlike senior year, i didn't end up barfing. but it made me think that the most likely cause of my anguish was the closest thing to alcohol that i'd consumed that day. but i'm back on solid food now, and actually left the house for a longer journey than yesterday's bleary stagger to the corner bodega, mr. baby man clinging to my hip, to fetch some ginger ale.

so now, without further ado....]

act 1

dining room, early evening.

me: okay babe, i'm just going to turn my back on you for a second to put this stuff down on the table and have a sip of my tea. you stay standing there where you are.


me: holy jeez, are you alright?!

wile: [blank, surprised stare]

[mama picks up child, who starts crying into her shoulder. they retire to the bedroom for some therapeutic nursing]

act 2

doctor's office

dr. baker: so, what happened?

me: well, of course i didn't see it, but he fell, i assume when he was taking some steps and possibly tripped, or just capsized. he's just starting to get the walking. he cried, but i've heard him cry harder. but when he tried to crawl, he couldn't—he would try to bear weight on his left hand and he would start crying. so i poked and prodded his hand and wrist and arm and shoulder and he didn't cry, so i figured that maybe it was just sore, which is why i didn't bring him in right away... [looks at doctor like "please tell me i'm not a bad mother for not bringing him in right away"]

dr. baker: totally understandable....

me: ...but then when he still wouldn't put weight on it two days later, we came in.

dr. baker: [poking and prodding mr. baby man's left arm] it's hard to tell with the little ones, but i'd say if he's still not bearing weight on it, you should get an x-ray. you'll have to go over to the hospital, our x-ray guy is gone for the day. but don't worry—at this age, they break easy and they mend easy.

act 3

basement of hospital

[mama pushes baby in stroller out of elevator and down hallway to sign that says "diagnostic radiation" in two different places, with two different arrows pointing in opposite directions.]

me: huh.

[mama pushes baby in stroller down hallway to the right, because why not. finds deserted reception area, but a big sign that says "sign in here for", among other things, "x-ray", so decides she's in the right place. sign-in sheet seems to be with missing receptionist, so she lurks.]

receptionist or nurse or whatever who finally comes down the hallway: can i help you?

me: hi, we're here for an x-ray, someone from dr. baker's office should have called—"

r.o.n.o.w.w.f.c.d.t.h.: you're in the wrong place, x-ray is at the other end of the hall.

me: oh, sorry, the sign there says "sign in here for x-ray".

r.o.n.o.w.w.f.c.d.t.h.: no it doesn't, this isn't x-ray.

me: well, yes it...does. [points at sign]

r.o.n.o.w.w.f.c.d.t.h.: no, it doesn't.

me: [still pointing at sign] uuuuhhh....

r.o.n.o.w.w.f.c.d.t.h.: [finally walks closer and looks at sign, seems completely nonplussed by fact that it doesn in fact have the word "x-ray" on it.] look, i'm telling you where to go.

me: okay! thanks so much for your help!

[mama pushes baby in stroller down hallway to other "diagnostic radiation" area, where they have an inconsequential check-in procedure and a fairly short sojourn in the waiting room before being called by large male x-ray technician, who leads them in to x-ray room.]

l.m.x.t.: so, i'm gonna need you to hold his arm still while we do dis. now i need to ask yous, is dere any chance you're pregnant?

me: oh dear god no.

l.m.x.t.'s raised eyebrows: so you got the one broken child and the thought of another one makes you that appalled? should i be calling child welfare?

my most beatific smile: what was that? i couldn't hear you over the love for my baby that fills every last inch of being, like the singing of angels. love love love love love love love!

l.m.x.t.: yous got to lay him down on the table [mama plops mr. baby man gently on to the table], and put dis ting on [l.m.x.t. helps mama on with lead apron at least 25 sizes too big for her].

me: [to mr. baby man] alright, honey, do fall back for mama. [wile flops back from sitting position to lying-down position and lies there peacefully.] now we're just going to take some pictures of your arm. see this? this is a really big camera.... [wile immediately pastes on his "camera face"] uh huh, i said your arm, norma desmond, not your little mug.

[montage of l.m.x.t. positioning mr. baby man's arm, mama holding it as still as possible, and mr. baby man really, all things considered, behaving incredibly well.]

l.m.x.t.: okay, now yous can go back into the waitin' room and a doctor will take a look at dese, should't be too long.

[mama and babe retreat to waiting room, where, amazingly, they don't wait too long before a young female doctor comes out, followed by l.m.x.t.]

y.f.d.: hi so he's got a fractured wrist you'll have to go up to the emergency room and have them put a splint on it good luck bye. [turns and practically runs out of the room]

me: [blink], okay...thank you? [turns to l.m.x.t. for further help, which, thankfully, he seems to be ther to provide]

l.m.x.t.: just go up to da e.r. and make sure you tell dem dat you was down here and dat the x-rays are in da system. easist way to get to da e.r. is to go outside and around da corner and back in. [chuckles] you're probbly gonna be dere a while....

act 4

entrance to emergency room

[mama arrives at door of emergency room with baby on hip, pushing stroller full of their belongings, looks up and sees....stairs. leading up to the emergency room, where the gravely injured and dangerously ill people go, is....a set of stairs. okay, fine, there's also one of those wheelchair elevator thingys, but come on. fucking stairs leading to an emergency room? mama hoists baby higher on to her hip, picks up stroller with left hand, and clomps up the stairs, into the waiting room, and up to the sign-in podium. she takes the sign-in sheet and goes to sit down in the seat across from the podium to fill it out.]

security guard at podium: you cannot take that away from here! you have to fill that out here!

my raised eyebrows: i'm sorry, do you not see the baby on my hip and the overflowing stroller? both of which i just lugged up your stupid stairs?

s.g.a.p.'s blank look: i'm sorry, i stopped noticing anything a long time ago. i just know what the rules say, and the rules say that the little clipboard stays on the little podium.

me: it would be kinda difficult for me to fill it out standing here, with the baby on my arm and all my stuff—

s.g.a.p.: you cannot take it! you have to fill it out here!

me: yeah. okay, i'm just going to take it riiight over here and sit down and fill it out, and i'll bring it right back.

s.g.a.p.: there is no need to be rude!

me: [filling out form] i completely agree.

[montage of mama and baby waiting waiting waiting, including scenes of being interviewed by the triage nurse, purchasing and consuming a granola bar, phoning for paternal reinforcements, walking around the room and around and around and around, and what seems like an endless loop of footage of mr. baby man emptying the contents of mama's wallet onto the seat next to him, mama collecting the contents from the seat and from the floor, putting everthing back in, emptying again, collecting again.... finally paternal reinforcements arrive.]

dad: i can't believe there are stairs leading in to this place.

me: i know. listen, we need to change this child's diaper.

[short montage of dad conferring with several hospital employees as to where a changing table might be located, cause there ain't one in either bathroom, cause you know no one ever brings a baby to an emergency room, nooooo, ending in dad, mama and babe being ushered back into the emergency room itself and told they can use one of the beds back there.]

nurse: what's wrong with him?

me: fractured wrist.

nurse: oh, you're next on the list, you can just stay back here.

me: eeeeexcelent.

[diapers are changed, fussing commences, boobs are offered.]

familiar voice: what are you doing here?

me: [looking up from nursing child in lap] oh my god. hi! what are you doing here?

terra: nola's been sick all week, vomitting after every feeding, and today she seemed really dehydrated so we brought her in. we've been here for hours.

derek: [holding nola, who has a tiny little i.v. tube in her tiny little hand] hi!

me: hi! this is crazy.... well, we have a fractured wrist....

[montage of playdate in the e.r., chatting about our respective sick/hurt babies, trying to keep an increasingly tired mr. baby man from spazzing out. nola peacefully drinks a whole bottle of formula and starts in on another bag of fluids. several nurses and doctors talk to us, then finally we get to see the pediatric orthopedist.]

p.o.: okay, so i'm going to put the cast on now.

me + the dad: cast?? not splint?

p.o.: yeah, we need to do a full cast. he'll have it on for a month, and you can't get it wet.

dad: can't get it wet? at all?

p.o.: no.

dad: um, that could be a problem..... he takes a bath every night....

me: yeah, i can't imagine trying to keep it dry for a month....

p.o.: oh, okay. okay, yeah. i'll go upstairs and get the waterproof stuff.

me + the dad: uh-huh.

[final montage of mr. baby man watching with detatched interest as his arm is wrapped up in "the waterproof stuff", which looks like opaque bubble wrap, and then in the goopy mesh that hardens into the cast. there's a little crying after it's done, but nothing cataclysmic, and then we're free to go, down the stairs and out into the night.]

and that's pretty much the whole story, folks. we went to see an orthopedist on tuesday who said that the e.r. ortho had done a good job and that everything looked fine. wile got more x-rays taken and again posed for the x-ray camera like it was his job. d-day for cast removal is december 13th, and the orthopedist said not to worry that he falls on it and/or bangs it into things at least fifty times a day.

Friday, November 18, 2005

yes, we have no bananas

so i spent last night in the grip of what i have to assume was food poisoning of some sort: fever, chills, headache, nausea. i was convinced i had the bird flu, or deep vein thrombosis.

still not on my game.

back soon.

Monday, November 14, 2005

dunh da dunh dunh da da da

after much frustration with a lesser video hosting site, i stumbled upon and am finally able to bring you, in all it's glory, the only known live recording of the timeless classic, "nate's got a teenage polish girlfriend."

why yes, i am living in fear that he's going to break my nose

so remember the fall that wile took that i so nonchalantly mentioned? hmm. yeah. well. wile has, as my friend susan puts it, a "special new accessory" courtesy of that fall:

5 great iPhotos

as you can see, it's really making his life miserable....

you can see more pictures of it on wile's site. i'll provide you with a full description of the discovery and treatment tomorrow night—i blew my energy tonight putting up new bookshelves and chatting with neighbor kennedy, who was over using the computer to find his mom an apartment so that she can move out of his place, where she is currently staying and driving him just a little bit of that special kind of crazy that your mom can drive you when the visit goes on a little too long. and yes, i'm aware that i'm a mom now and will someday drive wile crazy. i think about that every time he puts me in a choke hold and cries when i try to leave him.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

pick a litle, talk a little

sunday night, when wile was saying goodnight to all of the ladies who were congregated in the living room for a post-marathon celebration (yay aunt sydney!), he passed another milestone: he stuck his finger up his nose for the first time.

i'll be the first to admit that i'm a picker. not in public, but in the privacy of my own home? i pick. i do. and if the results of the informal backyard poll that we conducted after dinner sunday night are anywhere near accurate, four out of six people are pickers. of noses, scabs, peeling sunburn skin, what have you. and the other two people say "eeewww!" and laugh at us.

of course, i've been thinking about my picking habits around wile. it'll be a good long time before he can distinguish between things that are okay to do in public and things that are only okay to do in front of people who love you anyway even if you're kinda gross, so i've been trying to set a non-picking example for him. cause nobody wants their kid to be the nose-picker. but it's freaking hard! i'm with the boy 24 hours a day, and much of that time is in the house, just the two of us.... and it's equally as hard to resist picking his nose. (oh, quiet down. you wait till you have kids!) i have limited myself to the boogers on the outside of his nose, which i figure are fair game. not that i have much success, as any time i get anything—a finger, a tissue—within two inches of his nose he goes into total defense mode, writhing and squirming like a crazy little monkey.

yesterday he took a bad spill, flat out on his face and left hand. he was taking some solo steps in the dining room and went over like somebody had hit him with petrificus totalus. he got a bump on his forehead and a scrape right under his nose. the scrape has turned into a scab, which, because it's right under his nose, which is running constantly these days, has become kind of encased in hardened snot.

it's taking every single last shred of my self control not to pick at it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

dog (not butt) of the week: special expanded great pupkin edition

the first fall that stephen and i lived in this neighborhood, we were at the farmer's market on halloween weekend when we started to notice that all the dogs (there's always a ton of dogs at the farmer's market) had costumes on. at first i just thought "okay, overzealous dog owners", but then we noticed that they were all congragating on the hill over in the park. so, of course, we had to investigate, and oh man, thank god we did. we discovered one of our top ten reasons we're glad we live here: the great pupkin. a dog costume contest. check it out:

4 great iPhotos

4 great iPhotos

4 great iPhotos

8 great iPhotos

8 great iPhotos

8 great iPhotos

8 great iPhotos

8 great iPhotos

8 great iPhotos

8 great iPhotos

8 great iPhotos

Monday, October 31, 2005

weekend edition, a day late

okay, so i didn't post over the weekend like i said i would. but here i am now! and you should savor this one, because i seem to be coming down with a cold, probably caught from mr. baby man and all those other snotty-nosed little punks at the playground, and i may not have the energy to post for a few days.

so before i get to what i originally had to say, the BIG NEWS: there was unassisted steppage! saturday, 4 steps, stephen and i were both there to see it. since then...well, not so much. a step here and there, but mostly he wants to hang on to my fingers and walk (just my index fingers, pointed in and angled injust the right way, and he gets totally indignant if i do it wrong). but, all in good time; i'm not rushing the walking. excuse me, what was that? oh, my lower back says "rush it, bitch! i'm dying down here with all the hunching over!"

okay, now to what i originally had to say:

1. only four months to spring training (if you don't like/care about baseball, you can skip ahead...)

the 2005 season, she is officially over. the best team won, and yes, it was a 4-game sweep, but they were awesome, close, exciting games, every single one of them. the only reason that i'm not 100% glad that the white sox won is that my mom picked the astros to win it all at the beginning of the playoffs.

but more importantly, how ' bout them mets? we finished 4 games over .500, and in third place. after the past few years, that's as good as winning the freakin pennant to me. and jose reyes led the league in triples and stolen bases. wile has a dollar bill signed by jose that his nana procured for him last spring, and the value just keeps going up.... now all we need to do is ship kazuwalt (aka kazuo matsui—my mom was listening to vin scully call a dodgers-mets game last year and scully pronounced his name "kazuwalt", which of course is so much better than "kazuo") back to japan and get a real second baseman. oh and find a closer. and probably another outfielder who can hit for power. and a catcher. and some more relief pitching. okay, fine. we're probably not going to make the playoffs next year either. but will you look at the left side of our infield?

works for me.

2. sayonara, milk diapers* (if you don't like/care about boobs, you can skip ahead)

it seems like all you ever hear about is women not having enough milk and having to give up breastfeeding. okay, maybe you haven't heard that much about it, unless you're also a mom...or read a lot of books/blogs/articles about momming...or just talk to a lot of moms. in any case, lack of milk seems to be a fairly common problem, with large sections of all the baby/parenting books devoted to ideas for stimulating milk production and support for women who end up throwing in the burp cloth and going with formula. you don't see or hear too much discusion of/support for my situation: having more milk than me or mr. baby man knew what to do with.

and i know i can't really complain. it's like when i bitch about my legs being too skinny and i get the "how dare you use the words thin legs and bad in the same sentence" glare from other women. believe me, i realize that not having enough milk is a problem of a completely different nature than having too much milk. not having enough milk leads to all sorts of emotional upheaval, which i respect—if i had had to give up the breastfeeding, i would have needed truckloads of those anti-post-partum-depression vitamins from tom cruise. having too much milk just leads to wardrobe and personal hygeine upheaval.

i spent the first four months of wile's life covered in milk. no, literally. the leaking was beyond prodigious. it was hoover dam–esque. they tell you that if you leak from one boob while the baby is feeding on the other, it means you have enough milk. yeah, well i think that my hormones sent my mammary glands the wrong message or something, because they seem to have thought that i was having triplets! i didn't leak, i spurted. like a spray gun. when i went shopping for nursing bras, the first thing the salesgirl gave me was this nice comfy cotton model that she said would be great as a "sleep bra", and i remember thinking "huh? why the hell would i wear a bra to sleep?" oh, maybe because if i didn't have some way of keeping the breast pads in front of the boobs, we all would have woken up in a pool of breastmilk every morning!

now, some of you might be going, "what the hizzel is a breast pad?" it's a little absorbant puck that you put in your bra to soak up the milk leakage. observe. i bought them by the 100-pack. for the first six months, i would burn through two per boob a day, no problem. one day i went out for the afternoon without mr. baby man and leaked through the pad, the bra, an undershirt top, and a wool sweater. there were droplets of milk clinging to the boobal region of my sweater.

but for the most part, once i got past the first few months of milk milk everywhere, the pads have done their job. so what's my beef? just this: they don't make for a real smooth silhouette. in fact, they make your boobs look at the same time flat and lumpy. so every outfit i put on in the past year has had to pass the "does it camoflage the breast pads?" test. let me tell you, it puts a damper on the wardrobe. the maternity clothes are finally a thing of the past, your beloved regular clothes are waiting for you...and now you have to contend with the breast pads. curses!

one time i tried to use these silicone breast pad alternatives, which are supposed to work by putting pressure on the nipple and slowing down the flow. ha! really, i should have known better. i was nursing the boo on the right side and the stream of "leakage" from the left side literally blew the little silicone jobby right off the left boob.

but now that mr. baby man is growing up and moving on (slowly, slowly) to the solids, the flow is decreasing. yes, i'll still leak a little bit from the other side when he feeds, but for the most part the milk is still in there but it's not rushing for the exits. so a couple of weeks ago i dared to go breast pad–free. and i haven't gone back. and it's fabulous. there was one incident at the playgorund when a little girl was crying and my left boob was all "here, here, i can help!", but besides that i have remained leak free.

any ideas for a good use for 50 unused breast pads?

* tm binky

3. btietw... gonna have to wait. i need to go drink more tea and go to bed and fight this oncoming sick. hopefully my preventative measures will work and i'll be back soon.....

it was easy, all you need is some hunny and a bb gun

i'm sorry, but it looks less like he is pooh and more like he hunted pooh down, killed him, and is wearing his pelt.

6 great iPhotos

you can see more pictures of the poohstravaganza here

mama's-eye view

7 great iPhotos

Thursday, October 27, 2005

no boobs for you!

i had big plans for the posting tonight. big ones! i haven't posted in a couple of days, and i was all set to make up for it. i was going to write about baseball! and boobs! and food! like some kind of a perfect male fantasy, it was going to be!

but then i got hit with a big, nasty, shit-ass mood. there's no good reason for it. oh, sure i'm tired. but who isn't, really. and let's see, what else? well, i wanted to go down into the basement and get some of my musical soundtrack cassettes (yes, broadway musical. i was a huge theater geek in high school. shut up. i was also a cheerleader for 2 years. double shut up), but i couldn't becasue i saw the commercial for saw 2 last night and the thought of going down into a dark basement when i'm in the house by myself is turning my stomach into hot churning volcanic acid and making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. stupid saw 2. stupid halloween-scary-movie season. depriving me of singing along to falsettos or into the woods, which would have improved my mood greatly. but nooooooo.

and oh, right, the little man only slept for 2-1/2 hours, followed by a really awesome 20-minute stretch. and stephen is out, so i had to go deal with him. but honestly, did i think that the sleeping for 8 hours was going to be a permanent thing? no. okay, so, yes, i hoped that it would, and possibly deluded myself that it might, so, yes, maybe i was a little frustrated when his dulcet tones came over the monitor at ten goddamn thirty. but really, after all these months of poor sleeping i shouldn't let 2-1/2 hours send me into a tizzy. a couple of months ago, 2-1/2 hours was an accomplishment! of course, a couple of months ago i hadn't experienced the luxurious, sumptuous 8 hours.

you know, it's funny. when i talk to people who have used the ferber method (in which, to explain for the non-parents among us who may not be familiar, you follow a systematic procedure of letting the baby cry themselves to sleep, incrementally increasing the time you allow them to cry without responding each night), or who are trying to convince me to use the ferber method, they always say something along the lines of "yeah, the crying is tough, but once you experience that first 8 hour stretch it's all worth it." well, that argument never swayed me before, and it's seeming even less persuasive now. because yes, the 8 hour stretch was pretty fantastic. but now that i know it's a possibility, anything less is just crap, and way way harder to accept than it was pre–8 hours. yes, i realize that there's something very defeatist and pessimistic about this attitude. but it's also true.

okay, i'm feeling better. i put with arms outstretched on repeat and have been signing along as loud as possible, and that's helping. [speaking of music, the new mountain goats album is amazing. go get it.] but i'm still done posting for tonight. baseball, boobs, and food will have to wait for the weekend.

i did throw some new pictures up on wile's site. go ahead, you know you want to look.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

ask me again how the sleeping is going

go ahead. ask me.

how is it going? i'll tell you how it's going: six hours, baby!!!!! that's right, six consecutive hours.

and what did the trick? i'll tell you what did the trick: i have no f-ing clue. it's not like the last few nights have been getting exponentially better. i put him to bed like any other night, we had a day like any other day.

but you know what? i'll tell you what: i don't care! six hours!

of course, he woke up cranky as a mofo and is now napping, but still. six hours!

Monday, October 24, 2005

i saw the sign (sorry, but if i have to have the damn song in my head, as i have since i thought of this title, so do you)

since we don't have a down-on-his-luck sibling to come over and invent a baby translator, and the eeeehhhhh! is getting really old, i've been working on teaching mr. baby man some sign language. and not only is it beyond fantastic to feel like i'm communicating with him, the cuteness factor is also very, very high.

the first sign i taught him was for "nurse". i figured it was a good idea to start with something he liked, and did often. so for the past two months or so, every time i'd ask, "do you want to nurse?" i'd make the sign: put all the fingers of one hand together like you're making the stereotypical "mwah!" italian hand gesture, then bring your hand to your lips. technically this is the sign for "eat", but i figured it was close enough. i didn't expect him to get it right away, but after a month and a half and no discernable response, i started to feel like an idiot making the sign everytime i mentioned nursing, like wile was looking at me like "what's up with that weird nervous twitch that mama's developed? maybe she should talk to someone about that..."

then a few weeks ago we were in the grocery store because i had forgotten to place a fresh direct order, and i had mr. baby man in the seat of the cart and was plying him with pirate's booty to keep him from having a breakdown/trying to climb out of the cart. we had been at the park with our friend ruby, who is 3 months older than wile, earlier in the day and she'd been using the sign for "more", so i decided to give it a shot. when he started bleating for more booty, i asked if he wanted "more" and made the sign: put the fingers of each hand together like the nurse/eat sign and tap the fingertips together. within three aisles, he was doing it back. i took it all in stride, of course, stopping the cart in the middle of the aisle and shouting "you're a genius!!" and giving him a huge hug and kiss. i'm surprised i didn't scare him so bad that he never did it again.... so i don't know if it was the power of the booty (aka "baby crack") or if i just got him at the right moment, when his little brain was ready for it, but the "more" sign took hold and hasn't let go. of course, sometimes he asks for "more" when he hasn't had anything, and i have to try to figure out what in the blazes he wants more of—the cat? the pretzels we were eating an hour ago? the ball? huh?

that was our big turning point. it's not like he's signing complete sentences or anything, but he's definitely down with the concept. he does the "nurse" sign now, though sometimes he does it with only one finger and looks like the poster baby for bulemia, which is a little disturbing, and sometimes he'll do the "nurse" sign that he created himself: grabbing the front of his shirt, pulling it away from his chest, looking down it, and then looking at me. well yes, wile, that is more to the point, isn't it....

he's also got a pretty good hold on nodding his head yes—always with a big grin and accompanied by "deh!", his noise of assent—and just today started to shake his head no, thankfully not accompanied by the dreaded spoken "no!" his head shakes are very vehement, utilizing not only the head but pretty much the entire upper body. and he has refined his outstretched-hand-reach gesture into a definite point, with definite direction and intent. handing me the ball and pointing up? "throw the ball up in the air!" handing me a hat and pointing to his head? "put that thing on me!"

tonight in the bath he stood up, looked over at the soap dish, and rubbed his hands together. "do you want me to soap you?" i asked him, and he nodded. i almost passed right out. communication! invention of a sign totally on his own! i had already soaped and rinsed him and it was definitely time to be getting on with the bedtime, but i reached over and got that soap. maybe you could refuse a naked baby asking you for something with his chubby little hands, but i sure as hell can't.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

dog butt of the week

5 great iPhotos

so, you ask, how is the sleeping going?

1. sorry, i haven't passed my apparition test yet

two nights ago, around 2am. stephen had gone in to get wile at about 1:15, and was still in there. i thought i heard the monitor go static, which would mean that stephen had turned the "child unit" in wile's room off for a minute, which is our way of signalling to the other that they are needed. i peeled myself out of bed, padded down the hall, and the minute i poked my head through the doorway stephen whipped around so that wile couldn't see me. i stood there confused for a minute—maybe i didn't hear the bat signal?* then i heard stephen whisper "i don't want him to see you coming in...." heh? i was still half-asleep, and this confused me to the point of total incapacitation. of course at this point wile figured out that stephen was talking to me and turned around and saw me and whatever ruse stephen was trying to pull off was blown, so i just went in, took him, and stephen went back to bed while i gave wile a little snack and got him back to sleep.

when i got back in bed stephen was still awake, so i asked him what exactly he had wanted me to do back there.... he told me that he hadn't wanted wile to see me coming in the door, because when wile gets really inconsolable in the middle of the night he reaches for the door when he cries, and stephen didn't want to reinforce the idea that reaching for the door would make me appear in it. so he thought it would be better if he faced wile the other direction, then i came in, then he would let wile see me and it would just be like "poof, there's mama!" instead of "there's mama coming through the door."

but then wouldn't he just cry and reach for the spot in his room where i had magically appeared?

and wouldn't that really fuck with his tenuous, still-developing grasp on the laws of physics?

2. i thought you lo-o-o-o-o-ved me!

scene: stephen comes back to bed from nocturnal round three with mr. baby man

s: so what am i supposed to do with lamby?

me: oh, just put him back next to wile when you lay him back down...

s: i tried to give lamby to him when i first went in.

me: oh yeah? how did that go?

s: lamby got tossed.

maybe auntie meg was right and the chaps really are a good idea....

* speaking of bat signal, i had some perplexingly odd dreams last night involving the christian bale batman.... he was trying to get in to some event at some stadium or another to perform some heroic deed, all done up in the bat suit. he was with my neighbor from down the street, big mike, and as they were going in mike passed him a note or something, and batman was all, "no, no, don't hand me that here!" and mike was all, "what, man? it's no big thing!" and handed him the note, and batman heaved a big sigh and said, "now security's gonna be all over me!" and he was right, security guards came over and asked to see the note and gave him a hard time, but eventually let him go in to the escalator bank to the stadium (maybe they were at madison square garden?). so everything seemed to be okay then, but when batman got to the lady taking the tickets, she wouldn't let him in because she was suspicious of his outfit. and, sadly, i can't remember if she ended up lettting him in or not.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

perhaps a medic alert bracelet is in order....

last night was one of my nights to put wile to bed. as usual, i nursed him till he was groggy then picked him up and hugged him to my shoulder to carry him over to his bed. he heaved a big sigh, snuggled against my shoulder, and i thought my heart was going to just seize up right there.

i love lots of people: stephen, my parents, my brothers, my best friends. but none of that love has ever given me heart palpitations.

i can't count the number of times that my mother has tearfully told me that i'm the best thing that ever happened to her. and until mr. baby man came along, i just chalked this up to my mother's tendency to get a little weepy and sentimental sometimes. but now i understand: she really meant it.

and the funny thing, the ironic thing, is, of course, that until the minute i found out i was pregnant, i was sure i didn't want children. i'd never really connected to little kids. i was a terrible babysitter. my brother ben was born when i was 14, and i know some teenage girls would have been thrilled to have a cute little baby around the house to coo at and play with, but the main emotion i felt was royally pissed off. i couldn't understand why anyone would choose to put themsleves through what i was watching my dad and my stepmom go through—no sleep, poop everywhere, screaming crying, whining, tantrums—and didn't appreciate having no choice but to go through it all with them. so the thought of having my own? not appealing. i had been inside the belly of the beast, and i wasn't interested, thanks anyway.

of course, everyone assumed that i would eventually change my mind. it was always "when you guys have a kid..." or "how are you going to raise the children?" or "make with the grandchildren already!!" (that last one was inferred.) but i held my ground. i honestly believed that it wasn't going to happen. i mean, older people were (are) always telling me how i'm going to think differently when i too get older, and i find most of what they tell me to be total poppycock. for example, i've been told, by people who know me well and should know better, that i'm going to be less interested in food when i get older (yes, i can see myself totally giving up on something that has been a passion since i was five), and that i'm going to become religious because life without it will start to feel hollow (hi, have we met?). oh and the person who told me that i was going to find god sometime in my thirties also told me that it was not only the impending hollowness that would drive me to religion but also the need to send the children that they assumed i was going to have to sunday school so that they could learn "morals". so that was a double whammy, that one.

but while i still think that the other predictions are more projections of the predicter's own issues than anything else, i'll happily admit that i was wrong about the kid thing. granted, i didn't have a great change-of-heart moment and start downing folic acid and charting my cycle. nope, i had a blackout, which led to me not being able to refill my pills which led to a diaphragm which led to me peeing in a cup at my ob gyn's office because i knew that even though e.p.t.s said no, there was something lurking in my uterus.

and from the second that my ob brought me the results, i never had any doubts that i wanted to have the baby. but i could never explain why. i just...knew. years of thinking i didn't want kids? feh! some switch turned over in my brain and i just knew that having this kid was the right thing for me. i couldn't put it into words. and i guess i still can't. but the squeezing, aching feeling in my heart says it pretty plainly.

so i guess there is a chance that in 20 years i'll be a food-hating church-goer. but i doubt it.

[disclaimer: i started this post before i read dooce's post of a similar nature, honest. great minds just think alike and all that (or are on corresponding hormonal swings....)]

no, i'm not a furry

one of the tactics that the baby books suggest in the war for sleep is getting the baby attached to a stuffed animal, or, as the books puts it, to make a stuffed animal his "lovey". the theory being that it will help them to not freak out when they wake up in the middle of the night if they have their trusty lovey by their side.

so we're working on this with lamby, who was given to wile while he was still in the womb by aunt sarah, and is the softest thing i've ever felt. the boo likes to give lamby kisses, and always seems happy to see him, so he seemed like a good candidate. i put lamby in my lap with wile when he nurses, and we cuddle with him, and it seems to be taking.

the only problem is that whenever i go to think the words "make lamby his lovey", the phrase that instead pops into my depraved head is "make lamby his bitch." which conjures up all kinds of images of lamby in a gimp mask and ass-less chaps, and that just isn't right.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


this week's winner is the aforementioned pasta with beets.

i had roasted some beets the night before but not eaten them, and wasn't feeling too psyched about just eating sliced roasted beets. i considered going out to get some goat cheese to slather them with, but this was day 4 of last week's monsoon season, and i pretty quickly decided it wasn't worth it. then i remembered that alice waters had a recipe for pasta with beets in chez panisse vegetables...which turned out to be a recipe for pasta with beet greens, which sounded good despite the golden currants (gick!), but didn't solve my problem of what to do with the beets themselves. and i knew that somewhere, somewhere, i really had read a recipe for pasta with beets....

finally i remembered where: in more home cooking, sequel to home cooking, by laurie colwin. of course. i should know by now that those two books are where i should always look first when i'm in the throes of culinary indecision/uninspiration. laurie colwin was a novelist (who sadly died about ten years ago at age 42) who also loved to cook and eat and wrote for gourmet fairly regularly, and hc and mhc are collections of those essays and transcripts of talks she gave (the recipes are worked in to the essays). she's funny, quirky, unpretentious, and the recipes are simple and unfailingly successful.

so what i ended up making was a combination of laurie's recipe (she uses angel hair pasta, which i find annoying, and chicken broth, which i didn't have in the house) and alice's recipe (yes to the greens, which i had in the fridge; no to the nasty currants):

chop up as much garlic as you like (i used two big honking cloves), saute with about 1/4 cup olive oil. dice your roasted beets and throw them in for a minute (you can also start with diced raw beets, just saute them for longer). wash and chop the greens and throw them in with some salt and pepper, rosemary, and a dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes. saute quickly until greens just wilt, then throw on a splash of vinegar (red wine, balsamic, whatever). mix with pasta (i used spaghetti), adding more olive oil and/or a spalsh of pasta water to coat if you need to.

and look how pretty!

4 great iPhotos

that was actually batch two, made a day later without greens (i used them all up in the first batch).

wile recommends it be eaten with your hands. beet chunks may be grasped between thumb and forefinger and inserted into the mouth, or taken from mama's hand with the mouth. for the pasta, grasp strands at each end firmly in your fists, pull taut, and bite from the middle.

Monday, October 17, 2005

like paroled convicts, they were

in elementary school we watched this movie about kids living on another planet—i think it was saturn—where it rained constantly. there was only one day a year when it was sunny, and all the kids finally got to go outside and run around and go nuts.*

today at the park was kind of like that one day.

we'd all been cooped up in our houses for the past week, trapped by the rain. but today was bright and sunny, and everybody was at the playground—and everybody was just a little wacky.

little girls were climbing all over the railings of the stairs of the jungle gym, hanging on by one foot and two fingers and sheer determination. we were part of a traffic pile-up on the slide: two going up, three coming down, and no room for any grownup to get in there and straighten things out—we just had to let nature take its course and hope for the best. a little boy made his way through the gate on to the sidewalk and had to be brought back in by a pedestrain who happened to be walking by. it was anarchy! everyone was at top volume and top speed and pushing the limitis of their abilities. all the kids' eyes were darting in twelve directions at once, looking for the next thing to do before they finished what they were already doing, trying to make up for their lost week. "slide! swings! wobbly bridge! no, slide again! tunnel! slide! why! won't! my! body! separate! into! 3! pieces! so! i! can! do! everything! at! once!?!"

in the morning we went to fort greene park, where wile spent a good ten minutes flinging dirt out of one of the planters with enormous gusto, then fell and skinned his nose and forehead crawling from the asphalt back on to the rubber mat. in the afternoon we went to underwood, the closer playground, where he crawled around at top speed, yelling his head off as he went. "ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a!" he chased another little kid, who was actually older than him, through the tunnel and made him cry a little bit (hey, if you can't take the heat, get out of the playground). after i apologized to the kids mom, we went over to the slide, where wile climbed up the stairs on his feet (not knees). when he got to the top there was a 4-year-old sitting at the top of the slide taking a little too long to decide to go down, so the little man reached over and tried to hurry him up some with a relatively friendly push to the middle of the back. more apologizing—though the 4-year-old looked less upset and more confused that this very small person had been the one who pushed him.... we did some swinginating, some acorn-chucking, some digging in the dirt with sticks, then all the sudden he crashed and burned, started clawing at my sweater, and it was time to go home.


* the plot of the movie was that this one girl did something to piss off one of the other kids so to get back at her the other kid locked her inside for the one sunny day, and it was and still is one of the saddest things i've ever seen.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

dog butt of the week

5 great iPhotos


Thursday, October 13, 2005

"f'n a, cotton. f'n a."

i just caught a few minutes of dodgeball on the tv, and i have to say: jason bateman's delivery of that line? award-worthy.

if you ever need to bail out a leaky boat, you know who to call

wile made two big discoveries in the bath tonight:

1. if you fill your hello kitty cup with water from in your inflatable tub and toss the water over the edge into the big tub, the drain will make the cool gurgling noise.

this led to the second dicovery:

2. if you fill your hello kitty cup with water from in your inflatable tub and then throw your hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care, the water in the cup will go flying everywhere and oh my god is that the funniest thing ever!

this led to mama moving her chair a good 6 inches away from the tub.


the jungle gym at our playground has these great big plastic tubes in it that wile loves crawling through at break-neck speed. for a while we had a little problem with the exit, though—there's a drop of about 2 inches down to the platform from the tube, and he couldn't figure out how to conquer it. but with a little help from mama and auntie meg, he adopted the tried and true method of scooting your butt to the very edge and then dropping down. genius. of course, i'm still trying to teach him the other method of flopping over on to your belly and scooting off an edge backwards, which is helpful for descending from greater heights. it hasn't really taken, though. usually when he senses that a drop is too big for the butt scoot method, he just calls for help.

then the other day we had to take the cushions off the couch due to an unfortunate feline puking incident, and found that the drop off the cushionless couch falls into a gray area.... i would have thought that it was too high for the butt scoot method, but apparently mr. baby man disagress. observe:

4 great iPhotos
the deliberation...

4 great iPhotos
the approach...

4 great iPhotos
and he sticks the landing!

we got the beet

i had pasta with beets today for lunch and lo and behold, the little man likes beets.

the purple poop watch

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

further adventures in delirium

we're trying, people. we really are.

last night, our best intentions were thwarted by technical difficulties and trucky.

i went to bed around 11:30 after putting mr. baby man back down from his first waking; stephen was already in bed with the monitor on. around 2:30, i woke up to the sound of wile crying, but from down the hall, not through the monitor. my first thought was "oh crap, he climbed out of our bed and is crawling down the hallway to the top of the stairs!".... as i sat there putting it together that wile wasn't in our bed to begin with and was safe (unhappy, but safe) in his room, stephen got out of bed and went to put wile back down. i still wasn't sure why i wasn't hearing him through the monitor, but i didn't give it too much thought, and lay back down. i could hear wile crying for a long time, then silence....then more crying, then stephen bringing wile in....

apparently the monitor had fallen off the mantle earlier in the night and hit stephen in the head, and when that happened the channel got switched. so when we both woke up, wile had been crying for a long time, but we hadn't been able to hear him, so he was really pissed off by the time stephen went to get him. hence the not stopping crying. stephen was finally able to calm him down and get him to stop reaching for the door (i.e. for me)—which was the period of silence that i heard—when trucky came barging in to wile's room and got him all riled up. they had some good kitty time, according to stephen, but then wile remembered that he wanted mama and there was no turning him asunder this time.

when stephen brought wile in, i rolled over and took him and he sat on my stomach. i pulled up my shirt so that he could nurse a little bit and calm down, and as soon as he saw the boobs, he let out the most relieved sigh/laugh, like "oh-ho-ho, there they are!", and looked at stephen like, "now, was that so hard?".

i know it wasn't productive, but it was damn funny.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

dog butt(s) of the week

5 great iPhotos

i'm just not that into her, pt. 3

the saga of ellen continues....

no, she hasn't shown up on my doorstep, or even called or emailed. it seems that she has given up on me, and turned her attention elsewhere. namely, to my friend susan.

bear with me through a little background information:

1) susan and ellen were on the same study-abroad trip to italy last spring (a trip i was supposed to go on until i got knocked up ), and susan got to learn first-hand what an f-ing tweaker ellen is. there were too many incidents to go into here (if you're interested in hearing them, comment me and i'll get susan to guest post....), suffice to say that ellen was as much of a nightmare as she was at school, if not worse. but because susan has the biggest heart of anyone i know, she tried to be decent to her. which, as we both know now, is a huge mistake.

2) when i started out at f.i..t, i was a part-time student, and therefore wasn't eligible for a locker even though i had nearly as much crap to haul to and from class as a full time student—and i was doing the hauling in heels b/c i was coming from work. so gay found me a gypsy locker: a random locker that had been sitting empty for half the semester that we just threw a master lock on and claimed. (as anyone who's familiar with f.i.t. or any other city school knows, that's the kind of every-woman-for-herself mentality you need to survive in those hallowed halls....) i used that locker for a year, until i stopped working and went full-time and....still wasn't given a locker b/c i wasn't technically full time, but was lucky enough to find a bigger gypsy locker. so, as i mentioned in part one of this series, i let ellen (and a couple of other people) put stuff in locker #1. then i graduate, clean out my big locker and take the lock off, but leave the lock on locker #1 and tell susan that she can use it when she goes back to f.i.t. in the fall (fall 04) to take a night class. ellen still had stuff in there too, and was also going back in the fall and wanted to continue to use it, but i thought we could all get along.

a couple of months ago i had dinner with susan and gay and trisha, another f.i.t.-er, and we have a little laugh over ellen: susan told us that ellen had called her to "warn" her that she had heard that the powers that be at f.i.t. were going to be clamping down on the rash of gypsy lockers, cutting the locks and cleaning them out, and she just wanted susan to know that so that she didn't lose her stuff, which sounded actually kinda nice...until trisha set us straight, telling us that ellen had been complaining to people in their classes about how susan's stuff was taking up so much room in "her" locker. typical ellen...

then susan calls me a couple of days ago to fill me in on the latest. a few weeks ago ellen called her with more dire warnings about locker raids, and susan again said "okay, thanks, i'll get on that when i can (you lying freak)". then ellen calls her to tell her that sinse susan hadn't come to remove her stuff yet, ellen had taken it all out of the locker and brought it home with her, for "safe-keeping"!! susan sighs, thanks her, and tells her that they'll have to arrange a time when susan can get it from her. ellen says okay, and then says "oh, by the way...i noticed that you were alwasy taking such wonderful pictures in italy, and i had some problems with my camera, so...i was wondering if i could get copies of all of your pictures..." susan was totally caught off guard, but recovered enough to spin a little tale of the pictures being on a disk at her mom's house in new jersey. ellen says okay, and they get off the phone.

but of course susan isn't all that pro-active about making a time to meet with ellen, so there's another call, in which she says to susan that she's very eager to set up a time to get her her stuff, but that it would be great if, before she "schlepps" all of susan's stuff down from her apartment, susan could guarantee that she was going to have the photos when they meet. oh and wouldn't it be nice when they met if they could grab a bite to eat!

yes, i always like to grab a little nosh with someone who's blackmailing me....

susan's plan is to tell her no problem, then give her a disk that has like 5 photos on it. heeeee!!!

oh, and i almost forgot the best part! ellen has also asked susan, numerous times, if she can keep the lock that was on the locker, because she "really like(s) that lock". that...plain black master lock. that you could buy at cvs for like $5. yeah, ellen, that's all you. consider it payment for my freedom....

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

the greatest show on earth

apparently this is what wile is training for.

dream on

the time has come, the walrus said, to break mr. baby man of his night-nursing dependence. he's finally taking to eating solids more, so i don't feel like i'm depriving him of sustenence—even though i hear his little stomach growl in the night sometimes and it makes it very hard for me to not give in and give up the boob. but he needs to sleep, we need to sleep, and the only way that's going to happen is if he gets over the whole "the only way i can fall back asleep is with a mouth full of warm milk" mental block that he has going on.

so we're trying. stephen goes and puts him back down as often as possible, and when i go i don't feed him unless he just will not go back to sleep. it's tough—he can smell the milk on me, and as i'm trying to soothe him back to sleep he's trying to rip my shirt off.

last night at the 4 o'clock waking stephen went to get him. i heard him go then fell back into a half-sleep, in which i dreamed that stephen had asked me to come in to wile's room and help him if he wasn't able to get him back down in 10 minutes. so about 10 minutes later i came to, heard wile still fussing through the monitor, and stumbled down the hall to his room to get him, just like stephen had asked me to! and of course i was met by a totally confused stephen.... he tried to keep wile from seeing me (unsuccessfully) and whispered something like "what are you doing?", at which point i woke up for real, realized what had happened, and just shook my head and took the baby....

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

pookiellamarazzi, take 2

isn't it always the way? when you're trying, you get nothing. but when you're just minding your own business, expecting nothing....

i was waiting for meg outside of blue ribbon in park slope on saturday night, leaning on a planter and watching the crowds filtering in and out of the restaurant. it was mostly barrel-chested, well-tanned, gel-haired men from bay ridge and the uber-highlighted, even-more-well-tanned, wonderbra-sporting women who love them. but then a very pregnant woman walked out in a really pretty silky maternity shirt and a cute little white jacket....and it was michelle williams! and right behind her, in a faded yellow-and-white striped polo shirt, was heath! and right behind him was some other guy who i didn't recognize but who was certainly good-looking enough to also be in the movies.

it was no joe lee, but it was a fun moment none the less. and i have to say, heath ledger? oh yeah.

overheard in downtown brooklyn

"yeah, i got these new pants that are mad tight. if i put 'em on wrong i woulda choked my coochie!"

excuse me?

Monday, October 03, 2005

dog butt of the week

5 great iPhotos


dear two young foreign students trying to get on the g train at the classon ave. stop on friday evening,

i'm sorry. but it had been a long trip home from queens....

i doubt that either of you have kids (though, who knows), so you've probably never had to endure an hour on public transportation with an overtired baby. it started off okay, but by the time we got on the g train—after the n train and the 7 train—the baby had had it. every time the train came to a stop and the doors opened and then the doors closed and we were still on the train, he'd get a little bit more upset. have you ever tried balancing a baby on your hip while trying to keep a folded-up stroller from falling over and your diaper bag from sliding off the seat on a moving subway train? i'll tell you this now: it's not easy. and you know what makes it worse? when you try to sit down and the baby tells you "no, absolutely not, you must stand", and then when you go to stand up again you whack your child's head into the metal pole over the seat. this leads to the kind of loud wailing that i didn't really know my baby had in him.

so you see, by the time i got to the classon ave. stop, where we get off, i had reached my limit.

but i do feel bad. i mean, maybe before coming here you heard all the stereotypes about how new yorkers are all rude and pushy, and here i am totally perpetuating that myth. and it's not true! most of us are very nice and polite. most of the time, i'm pretty freaking polite. you just caught me at a bad moment.

all of that said, however...there is a lesson you should take from this little incident: when getting on to a subway car, you let the people on the train off first. not that i'm not at fault too! i absolutely deserved whatever nasty thing i overheard you say about me in polish/czechoslovakian/what have you. i'm just saying, this whole thing could also have been avoided if you had been more familiar with subway ettiquette.

the harried woman with the baby who snarled "get the hell out of my way" at you and then (unintentionally!) nearly decapitated you with her folded-up stroller

dear wile,

snookums. sweetie baby. you know mama loves you more than life itself. i mean that. i would gladly throw myself in front of an oncoming train for you. but mama also needs to get out of the house sometimes without you.

you know how we have dance parties in the living room? to the fun loud music with the singing that sounds kind of like talking and the kickin' bass lines? i love those dance parties. i love how you laugh like a maniac when i twirl you around, and how you kick your legs and beat the air with your arms. but you see, before you were born, mama used to go out and have dance parties with her girlfriends. it was one of her favorite things to do. and i miss it. so sometimes i need to go out and dance without you, and you need to hang with dad.

and i need you to be okay with that, because it kind of puts a damper on mama's evening when she checks her phone between this is how we do and i've got a crush on you, at 1:35am, and finds a text message that reads "he's been awake since 11:45".


dear michael,

i wish i could have been there yesterday to say goodbye.

the greatest game i've ever attended was the game in 99 against the braves when you guys scored 10 runs in the 8th inning to beat the braves 11-8, and it was your screaming home run to the retired numbers in left that put us in the lead. some people have given you shit for not being as much of a "team leader" as they think you should have been. but when you hit that home run you came around first and pumped your fist and it was so evident that you were just as excited as everyone in the stands, that you were as invested in this team as we all were—and that's all i need to know.

thank you for everything. i hope you go on to a glorious semi-retirement as a d.h.

let's go mets,
the daughter of the woman who got your autograph in the pineapple discount beverage center in jensen beach florida 5 years ago.

ps - you should have slugged clemens.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

further proof that anna wintour is indeed connected to evil powers on high

a couple of weeks ago it dawned on me that though i had seen the september issue of vogue on the newsstand, i hadn't received my copy in the mail yet. hmm. a couple of days after that realization, i got a bill in the mail and remembered that i had re-upped my subscription with a postcard but hadn't actually paid for it yet.... so i called up the 800 number on the invoice and took care of it.

not two hours later, wile and i went out to walk to the playground...and there, sitting on the steps next the mailbox which it wouldn't fit into because it's like 6 inches thick, was my september vogue.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

a cute story about the baby, interrupted by a short rant

it all started with the monkey (speaking of starting with monkeys, the whole case going on in pennsylvania is making me alternately furious and terrified. there are already so many ways that the separation of church and state is breached—don't get me started on the pledge of allegiance—but this is batshit insane. science class is not the place to be teaching a creation myth! okay, yeah, whatever, they're not specifically teaching the biblical created-in-6-days myth, but they are putting out there that an "intelligent designer" exists. which is, to put it politely, purely speculation. i realize that as an atheist i'm in the minority in this country, but i was pretty sure that the constitution protected me from having my kid proselytized to at school).

so, yeah, anyway....where was i? right: the monkey.

aunt sarah gave wile an awesome stuffed monkey, who we like to cuddle with. so i started having the monkey give wile kisses, and when that seemed to be going well, started asking wile to give the monkey a kiss. and i think because he was trying to get his jaws around the monkey's muzzle, as it is his constant quest to put everything he comes in contact with into his mouth, he would open his mouth wide when he went in for the kiss. so when we then moved on to "now give mommy a kiss", i got a pretty good view of his tonsils.

i love the open-mouth kiss—the trick is to pick one lip, upper or lower—but i think it confuses some people when i say "give _____ a kiss" and all of the sudden mr. baby man is bearing down on them like a 7th-grader hell bent on learning how to french.


though i'm very happy that summer seems to be packing up and leaving and taking the humidity and heat rash with it, it does make me sad when i think about what the farmer's market is going to look like in a month or so: squash squash and more squash. so i'm savoring the last days of the summer harvest, especially the heirloom tomatoes. i like all the varieties: the firm, savory, virtually seedless italian hearts; the tangy green zebras; the meaty brandywines.... but my favorites are the ridiculously sweet yellow ones, the hawaiian pineapples and orange strawberries. i'm not sure which one it was that we had this week, but stephen and i ate it sliced and sprinkled with fleur de sel that susie brought us from paris and it was not only the best thing i've eaten this week but one of the best things i've eaten ever. i didn't want to eat the last slice becasue i didn't want it to be over. if you can get to a farmer's market and get your hands on one of these babies before they disappear, do it. yes, they cost like 4 times as much as regular tomatoes. and they are absolutely worth it.

no, you may not eat him


Monday, September 26, 2005

i'm so jealous i'm surprised my skin hasn't turned green.

stephen got to see this gentleman in the flesh (and fur) the other day, around the block from his office.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

get behind me you freaking moron

i haven't been to a big stadium rawk concert in....jeez. a long time. and granted, keyspan park is no meadowlands, but still, the crowd is different at a big stadium show than it is at the places that i more frequently see music (knitting factory, bowery ballroom, roseland, et al.)

specifically: there are a ton more assholes.

stephen, syd, little brother ben and i went down to coney island to keyspan park last night to see the white stripes with brendan benson and the shins. and it was 99% awesome: it was a gorgeous night, the music was fantastic, jack white looked a lot less like michael jackson than he did on the cover of rolling stone, and we were in a good spot—close but not too close—and surrounded by people who knew how to be at a show: dance but don't flail, don't come in my square foot and i won't come in yours, don't let people by unless they promise they're going to keep it moving and not horn in on our nice little patch of ground, don't screech like a banshee or sing all the words to the song so loud that i can't hear the actual singer just to prove that you're like such a huge fan you know all the words to all the songs hell yeah!

then like a couple of songs into the white stripes' set this tall guy in a red t-shirt fell into me from behind. at first i figured that he was just waaaay too fucked up, because he was half-limp and had this kinda unfocused look on his face. but regardless of what his deal was, he had just almost taken me out and then bounced off me and knocked into syd, so i did what seemed to be the right thing to do in this situation: i shoved him off us on to the ground. he managed to not go down totally, but the stephen grabbed him and asked him what the fuck his problem was, and he asked stephen what his problem was, and asked him if he'd ever been to a rock concert before, and told him that he'd been to "over 100" rock concerts. stephen was like "you just almost decapitated my wife and my friend, jerkoff", but the guy just shook him off, turned around, and stepped over and stood in front of us! which is when i realized that he wasn't fucked up at all, but that flailing and thrashing and crashing into people was his way of making his way through the crowd to where he wanted to be! un. be. liev. a. ble. cause you know it's funny but i think i've been to "over 100" concerts, and i've never encountered anyone who thought that making yourself into a one-man mosh pit was an acceptable way to get through the crowd....

a little while later, i hear some commotion over to my right, so i look over and see some other ass clown falling into people, and hear people yelling "what the fuck?" and "take it easy, buddy!" while they push the guy off them, and then watch as this new guy rights himself and....comes over and stands next to douchebag number one! it's his friend! of course!

soon after douchebag number two arrived, syd, who had been keeping up a steady campaign of kicking number one in the heels, decided to tell number one that he was truly obnoxious, and he gave her the same speech about having been to "over 100" rock concerts.

of course, after the show, after the shithead twins had left (before the lights even came up to avoid the wrath of everyone they had pissed off), we thought of a couple of proper responses to the "over 100 concerts" speech:

option 1
"i've been to over 100 rock concerts!"
"can you suck your own dick? cause then i'd be impressed."

option 2
"i've been to over 100 rock concerts!"
"yeah, so have i. and there's an asshole at every one of them."

and of course me and my subtle, peaceful nature just fantasized about grabbing their heads and knocking them together like a couple of coconuts.

trogbaby the swinginator II: the revenge of trogbaby

5 great iPhotos

dog butt of the week

10 great iPhotos

Thursday, September 22, 2005

o-dee-da, shmo-dee-da

auntie meg used to nanny for a little girl named stella (i know, could you just die? and her downstairs neighbor, a little boy around her age, used to stand at the bottom of the stairs and yell stel-la! up to her...) who lived in brooklyn heights. one of the first times that meg sat for her, there was a little bit of drama because stella kept asking to go to "the o-dee-da", and meg was all "the what now?" finally stella's mom was consulted, who apologized profusely and told meg that, for reasons unbenownst to her or stella's dad, "o-dee-da" was what stella called their neighborhood playground.

mr. baby man and i have recently visited the o-dee-da on a couple of occasions when we've been downtown running errands, and though i love saying "o-dee-da", i don't love the actual o-dee-da.

the first time we went with aiko (who is due to give birth to a little mets fan in november) and there were bad signs from the get-go: first we couldn't find the gate. then when we found the gate (waaaay over to the side!), it appeared to be padlocked. we stood there feeling kinda dumb, looking around for another gate, until some people walking by took pity on us and told us it's actually not locked, that the lock is actually just hanging there (waiting to make the uninitiated feel stupid, i guess) and you can slide the latch open no problem. ah-ha. so we go in and i let the little man loose, and five seconds later his legs look like he's been working the mines (i got the black lung, pop!). seriously, it was dirt like i've never seen before: thick, sticky, and black. it took me till i was talking to sarah later that night to realize what was going on: the o-dee-da is right above the b-q-freakin-e! my childs' legs were covered in highway dirt! exhaust soot! eeccchh! then a few minutes later the (stupid) gate opens and a group of elementary school kids comes barrelling in, apparently having been brought to the o-dee-da for recess, and all of the sudden it's like the antelope stampede scene in the lion king, and wile is mufassa (ooo-oo-oooo-oo! say it again, say it again!). i have to swoop in among the herd of 10-year-olds and scoop him up—he, of course, is totally nonplussed, just sitting there looking up at the galloping beasts like they're only slightly more interesting than the stick in his hand. as i'm getting my heart to drop backdown into my chest, a nanny points us in the direction of the fenced off section of the o-dee-da that is specifically for the wee ones. ah-ha number two. we manage to play there without incident (except, of course, for an even thicker buildup of black muck). but there's just something, i don't know, kind of unfriendly about the place.

so, all in all, not a top ten playground experience. but i chalk most of my dissatisfaction up to being a clueless newcomer, and decide to go back today....

we handle the gate like a pro and go straight for the fenced off area. so far so good. but then the unfriendly vibe comes back... i smile at all the moms and nannies who i pass on the benches and don't get one smile back. wile starts playing with his ball and a little girl comes over and tries to take it away, and instead of responding to my "wile, can you play catch with the little girl?", the mom just tells the little girl not to grab and leads her away. even the pigeons are unfriendly! the little man and i sit on the bench and have lunch and throw them our crumbs and instead of creating a nice tuppence-a-bag scenario, we incite a pigeon riot! the big fat pigeons hog all the crumbs and peck the ever-loving crap out of the skinnier, meeker pigeons. so i decide that's enough communing with nature for the day and we start playing climb the slide, one of wile's favorite games. it's a double slide, and a little girl about his size comes over and stars climbing the other side. i try to make conversation: i ask how old she is, the mom tells me but doesn't ask how old wile is; i say how cute she is, i get no response; i finally try talking to her when i realize i'm getting nothing from her mom ("wow, you're a good climber!"), this still gets nothing. oy. then they go and a bigger girl (5-ish?) comes and climbs the other side of the slide, and we have a nice conversation...until her mom calls her away and yells at her for talking to strangers. dude. i'm another mom on the playground. we're talking about climbing the slide. ease. up. so then this blond little boy (4?) all of the sudden comes barrelling down the slide while mr. baby man is still at the bottom of it. i whisk wile away and say something (very friendly-ly!) like "you should check to make sure no one's at the bottom of the slide before you come down!" but the little heathen just runs away and i'm talking to air. okay, fine, whatever, he's 4. but then he comes back around to the top of the slide, sits down at the top of the side that wile is halfway up (even though the other side is empty!), looks right at me, and starts to slide down! oh no he di'in't! i throw my arm out over the slide and say "can you please go down the other side, we're on this side!" he mumbles something, looks away, and slides down, so that i have to again airlift wile out of danger! then he comes back around to the top of the slide again and sits down on the side that we're on again! i look at him. he looks at me. another kid comes to the top of the other side, so i can't ask him to move over, so i ask him to please wait to slide until wile gets to the top and i can slide him (wile) down since he can't do it by himself because he's a baby. you can guess what happens, right? the little fuckwad slides, almost taking wile out. and because i'm 4 years old too, when he gets to the bottom of the slide i call him a brat. "brat!", i say. and you know what? it felt good.

but i think that's it for me and the o-dee-da. any place that drives me to calling small children names—whether they deserve it or not—should probably be avoided.

i haven't been hiding it on purpose, i'm just a flake

so some of you already know this, but i have another blog.

it's just a photo blog, of pictures of you-know-who, that i started so that i could share photos with people (read: family members) who don't need to read my ramblings.

many times the photos that go there also go here, but sometimes there are ones there that don't make it here. so you can check it out if you'd like double the fat baby goodness.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

believe me, if there were more your father would have already found them

while the nursing is getting less painful, it is continuing to be interesting....

for a couple of weeks now, the little man has felt the need to see both boobs when he feeds. just to make sure they're there? for easy access if he all of the sudden decides he needs a little bit from the left? i don't know. thankfully he somehow instinctually knows that this is only appropriate behavior at home, and doesn't expose me in public. but in the past few days a new wrinkle has developed: in the middle of nursing he'll all of the sudden pull off and reach up and grab my shirt, which is invariably hiked up around my collarbone, and yank it up, peering under it like he's looking for some auxillary boobs that he might have, up until this point, been unaware of.

Monday, September 19, 2005

btietw: in + out

before the cali readership gets too excited, let me tell you that the title is not referring to in + out burgers. though they are right at the top of my list of things to eat when i finally do get out to the other coast, just below chez panisse and the french laundry....

no, i mean "in + out" as in "of my house".

the best thing i ate in my house was a batch of the much-requested muhamarra. remember when i said that the hearts of palm dip is the most crowd-pleasing thing that i make? i may have to amend that statement. when i served the muhamarra at my birthday party, it inspired such a feeding frenzy that susan and i had to whip up another batch during the party. as stephen says, it's the perfect combination of flavors: sweet (pomegranate syrup), tangy (lemon juice), bitter (walnuts), earthy (olive oil), spicy (hot pepper), garlicy (garlic).... i can only make a double batch at this point, a single one goes too quickly and makes us sad. so without further ado, the muhammara:

2/3 c breadcrumbs (i think it works best when i use slightly stale slices of bread)
1 T garlic
2/3 c walnuts
2 lg. red peppers, roasted (or the equivilent thereof from a jar/can)
2 t cumin (i use less, but i'm not a huge cumin fan)
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 T lemon juice
2 T pomegranate syrup
1 T water
1/4 c olive oil

whip up all of the ingredients in the food processor, in the order i listed them, drizzling in the liquids through the hole in the lid with the motor running. serve with pita chips, blue tortilla chips, ak-mak, or a spoon.

the best thing i ate out of my house was my meal at la lunchonette (18th + 10th) with the f.i.t. ladies. i was going to pick one dish to write about, but the meal as a whole really was wonderful, there was no standout, everything just worked together perfectly and seamlessly. we did my favorite thing and got lots of small plates: artichoke vinaigrette; beet salad; goat cheese is puff pastry; seared scallops with a chunky tomato-y sauce; sweetbreads (okay, i was the only one eating those...); escargot in a cognac and garlic sauce; a cheese plate with a smoky cow's milk cheese, a cheddar-y cow's milk cheese, a boucheron-esque goat cheese (crumbly in the middle, brie-like on the edges, one of wile's favorite foods, of course, at $13/lb....), a triple creme, and a bleu (gay will be posting the names of the best ones on savortooth soon. ahem.); and a creme caramel to finish things off. it was all very simple and french, perfectly executed. nothing fancy, nothing surprising, just great french comfort food. and the place itself is so utterly charming—brick walls, low ceilings, wide-plank wood floors, a worn-in feeling—that you just can't help but love it and feel at home. that all said...the hostess/perhaps owner woman was a leetle intense/insane. the whole time we were there she was scurrying around like a ferret, leaving a trail of tension in her wake. but besides that, it was just lovely.