Tuesday, August 30, 2005

home sweaty home

so i may have been overly pessimistic about the trip back there in my last post. it was, i must admit, an almost-total success. and here i am, on our first full night home, sitting at the computer while mr. baby man sleeps and has been sleeping as if we’d never carted him across two time zones and back in the space of three days.

some highlights of the trip:

> the kids’ play areas in the denver airport: i think whoever designed them had wile in mind: they’re little nooks enclosed by 7-foot-high hockey boards, with rubbery floors. and sticking out of the rubbery floors like little hills was half a soccer ball, half a baseball, and a whole hockey puck, each about 3 feet across. i don’t know who was happier, wile or stephen. stephen now wants to install hockey boards on the walls of wile’s playroom....

> conversation that i had with the supremely unfriendly woman who took my order at the “colorado crappy airport grille” or wherever i got our lunch:

me: ...and a guacamole bacon burger, please.
s.u.w.: how would you like that done?
me: medium-rare
s.u.w.: we only do medium, medium-well, and well.
me (smiling!): as close to rare as possible.
s.u.w.: okay, that would be medium-well
me: ......um, actually, i think medium is closer to rare.
s.u.w.: fine, medium.


>the reason we went out there: the wedding was just lovely. the spot was gorgeous, a pretty restaurant on the yampa river (yampa! yampa! i can’t stop saying yampa!) with a backyard where the short and pretty ceremony was held and a deck where the delicious food was served (wasabi mashed potatoes and prime rib with shitake gravy, yes please). and a shuttle that came to take me back to the hotel just was i was hitting the i’m-still-on-ny-time-and-am-usually-asleep-by-midnight wall....

like balls, but more painful to be hit with: yesterday between checking out of the hotel and catching our flight we drove out to fish creek falls, which was very pretty and more importantly had a spot where you could get down by the water and throw rocks!




....and a lowlight:

the altitude sickness: me and the mountains just don’t get along. i spent the weekend feeling somewhere from vaguely to very dizzy and naseous. unfortunately this carried over to our flight on the little propellor plane from steamboat to denver.... thankfully the flight was pretty empty and we had extra seats around us and stephen was able to keep wile from crawlimg all over me. (he also told me that i shouldn’t feel altitude sick on the plane anymore b/c the cabin was pressurized and there was plenty of oxygen. oh, really? could you say that again a little louder so that my stomach can hear you, because right now it still wants to eject the shrimp tacos we had for lunch.) so i managed to keep it together. unfortunately the family a few rows in front of us didn’t fare as well: first the toddler started barfing and wailing, then the mom, who was about 5 months pregnant, started barfing. the dad was sitting between them passing wipes and barf bags in both directions....

aside from that one, though, the flights were pretty painless. wile was awesome. he needed constant entertainment and i think a couple times he whacked the person sitting in front of me on the head (sorry!), but there was very little crying and even a little sleeping. and the flight back into newark from denver was underbooked so he got his own seat:


yeah, he just put his head down on that pillow and went to sleep....

and though steamboat springs was beautiful, i was happy to only be there for a weekend. i’m just not made for ski towns. and it’s not just the fact that the altitude makes me all wonky and i don’t ski. it’s just.... look, the people are very nice. really. i just can’t take the whole ski bum attitude seriously. it’s like even if they don’t actually say “bro” at the end of every sentence, there is an implied “bro”. or perhaps a “right on”.

oh and what the hell is up with the straws out there? every single eating/drinking establishment that we went to had black straws. huh?

so except for the fact that the air here feels like dog breath, i'm happy to be home.

Friday, August 26, 2005

first you go to pico....*

in the past week, my little somnolantly-challenged monkey boy has been doing some kick-ass sleeping. a couple of nights ago, he slept for a 5 hour stretch, which, all the baby books keep telling me, is the technical definition of "sleeping through the night" (though somethimes i feel like they just say that to make all the sleep-deprived mothers feel better...). so how are we celebrating this? by catching a 7am flight to colorado on saturday morning! 7am! which means we have to be up at like 5! and then when we get there, we'll be in a different time zone! and then on sunday night, we're going to a wedding and leaving him with a babysitter he's never met before, which should equal some very uneasy sleeping! and then on monday, we're catching a flight home that lands at 11pm! 11pm! can you picture what an overtired, overstimulated baby whose internal clock is all fuckered up is going to look like around 10pm on a crowded commercial flight? i can!

pray for me.

* a prize to anyone besides stephen who can tell me what that line is from....

meg and syd, this one's for you


behold, the glory that is the chicken wing!


when stephen saw this picture from a few feet away, he asked "what is wile doing a shot of?"


happiness is chicken grease all the hell over your face.

10 great iPhotos

aaaaand we've moved on to ribs! please look at the way his fingers are glistening....

10 great iPhotos

i can't say i've ever seen this look on his face from, say, cheerios.....

Monday, August 22, 2005

btietw: expanded vacation edition

i cannot choose just one best thing from all the good things that we ingested on our vacation. don't ask me to.

1) fayette hero: the cabin that we stayed in up in the maine wilderness was right down the road from the summer camp where stephen spent the first eighteen summers of his life—first as a faculty brat because his dad was head councelor, then as a camper, then, god help those children, as a councelor—and where wile is destined to spend his summers, unless he inherits his mother's profound aversion to any sort of organized group activity, especially ones that involve sleeping on bunks or being made to play "nukem". shudder. my parents finally wore me down one summer by signing me up for what they promised was an arts camp (day camp only, they knew better than to push their luck on a sleepaway camp). the first half of the first day was fine: we painted, threw some pottery, and had some snacks. then after lunch they told us we were going out to the back field to play softball!! when my dad came to pick me up at the end of the day i wouldn't speak to him, then later told him and my stepmom that they were liars and i wasn't going back. of course since i was eight, and the tuition was already paid, i went back. but not quietly. i think the next summer they let me just stay home and read and draw pictures—when i felt like it, not when it was "drawing period"—which is all i wanted to do in the first place. but stephen loved camp, still loves camp, and for his sake i hope that wile will love camp too.

but so anyway, the camp is in a little tiny town called fayette, and in fayette is the fayette store, and at the fayette store you can get a fayette hero. stephen has, in the past, pontificated on the glores of the fayette hero, but i'm pretty sure that the last time we were up there, some years ago, i wasn't eating meat and therefore didn't have the hero. in fact, i'm positive, because this is a hero i would have remembered.... the bun is like a hot dog bun on steroids, and it's chewy without being gummy, just the right balance of dense and light. i got oil + vinegar and mayo, and for my meat i chose ham and salami, and there were about three slices of each, which is so perfect—i hate when delis stuff my sub (hero, whatever) full of meat like they're doing me a favor or something. then there was one slice of white american cheese which i didn't ask for, but i was really glad it was there. i asked for whatever toppings they had except the green peppers, and i got tomatoes, halved kalamata olives (not crappy canned black olives!), and awesome crispy pungent dill pickle chips. it was the most perfect hero/sub/grinder i have ever eaten.

2) lobster cocktail: stephen's family all love lobster, with stephen's love eclipsing everyone else's. when they would have lobster night at camp, stephen would take the bodies from all the kids who just wanted to eat the tail and claws and be done with it and sit out on the dock working on them out until he had scavenged every bit of lobster flesh that he could. me, on the other hand, well....i'm not really on board the lobster trolly. i'd much rather have a good soft shell crab or some scallops. my problem with the lobster is that i don't like the tail—the claws, however, i adore. but it doesn't seem right to order a whole lobster just to eat the claws, so i usually get a lobster roll and enjoy the mingling of lobster meat with mayo and a hot buttered roll, mmmm. but then we went to j's oyster bar, a great dive-y spot in portland (where we spent the last weekend of our vacation), where they offer what they call a "lobster cocktail" and i call "the answer to my prayers". it's five meaty de-shelled claws on a plate with some cocktail sauce. hallelujah!

3) clam chowder: i only had one bite of this chowder, but it still qualifies for a btietw. perry ordered it at the dry dock, another waterfront restaurant in portland. i think i may have to write in to gourmet and see if they can get me the recipe. it was creamy but you could still really taste the seafood stock, the potatoes were red and cut into perfect little 1/4-inch cubes, and there was just exactly the right amount of fresh dill. i'm usually fairly wary of the dill—even the littlest bit too much can cause total havoc. but this was absolutely right. yummy.

here is a picture of perry and wile during that meal, communing with the deeply unhappy, overheated man in the stuffy lobster suit who wasn't too interested in making nice with the baby:

A Picture Share!

please note the boots.

well she got friendly down in the sa-a-and

our friend deron has a little girl named maggie who is about 6 months older than mr. baby man. the first time she and wile met, sparks didn't really fly:


i can't say i blame her for not going for him—he still looked like a potato, and he only had one sock on because he got poop on the other one. not really a strong first impression.

so, 8 months pass, and wile develops killer hair, some bone structure, and the ability to sit upright without support. he's a new man, and maggie can't help but notice when they meet on the beach:

things start off slow with a little game of catch...


but soon enough, it's into the loooove kyack...


wile dazzles her with his smile...


she tells him all about herself...


they pause for a glamour shot...


but then it's back to the hot baby lovin'...


what we were sadly unable to capture on film was the sequence in which they kissed, then maggie danced for wile, then he threw the ball at her face. ah, young love.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

no go joe lee

people, i have failed you.

we went up to pratt to stalk, and came up empty. no dressing room trailers, no camers, no ethiopian adoptees. apparently wherever they were having the pratt campus stand in for does not play a major role in the movie. that, or deniro is running a clint eastwood-style shoot and they filmed like 1/4 of the movie in one day.

so, sadly, i cannot confirm or deny the pregnancy rumors. although i guess i could start one. hey, yeah! "filming on location at pratt university of the good shepherd was cut short due to complications with star angelina jolie's pregnancy, speculate local sources. 'one day they were there,' our source tells us, 'then they were totally gone. it seemed very suspect, and probably has something to do wth the love child she's carrying. i can think of absolutely no other good reason why they wouldn't still be there when i went to stal—um, i mean, visit her.'"

should i call page six, or do you want to?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

i think the photos pretty much speak for themselves....



i don't know if you can really tell, but the grey part is kinda acid-washed.

the girl in the passenger seat, of course, saw me taking the photos, and the look of "oh. my. sweet. god." on my face. to her credit, she looked a little embarrassed, like "i know. i know. it's his car, not mine, okay?"

celebrity dog butt of the week


this is henry. you remember henry, the one who invoked the wrath of lulu? well, now you can put a butt with the name. he is sydney's baby, a purebred....um...irish setter? i think there are more words in the name of the breed, and i'm embarrassed that i can't remember it exactly. but he is a beauty, and very sweet, and though he's a little crazy because he still has all his male parts because syd wants to breed him, he is generally a good boy.


yesterday as stephen was biking home past pratt, all the streets were closed off for some big filming to-do. he asked a production lackey what it was all for, and they said it was a movie called the good shepherd. we imdb'd it, and it turns out that there might be some bonafide big-ass hollywood types in our little neghborhood!

1) it's being directed by deniro, but as stephen works in tribeca and has had to deal with tribeca film festival stuff for years, and deniro hasn't been in a good movie in years (please don't defend meet the parents to me. i hated that movie as much as i love zoolander, and that there is a lot of hate), and he's too old and boring to be involved in any fun celebrity scandal/gossip, deniro is really no big whoop. but don't worry, it gets more interesting...

2) billy crudup has a supporting role! i would love to see him and his cheekbones.

3) matt damon is starring! okay, actually that's not too exciting to me either. the only time i think i have ever really given matt damon any thought was like 6 years ago when i did a focus group for a company that was developing a new brand of vodka. they would name existing popular brands of vodka and ask us things like "what's the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear that brand?" and "what celebrity do you associate with that brand, and why?", and when they asked me those questions about absolut, i answered, respectively, "high school and vomitting" and "um, i guess maybe...matt damon? you know, bland, boring, safe, accessible....", which earned me some serious glares of hatred from most of the other girls on the panel, who had just pontificated about how much they loved absolut and used the bottles for vases, and probably thought matt damon was just dreamy. but, hey! it was a focus group—i was there to be honest, not make friends, especially not with a bunch of absolut-swilling ting girls. anyhoo. where was i? oh yeah, about to reveal the crown jewel:

4) mr. absolut's wife is being played by...the jolie! one half of bradgelina, miss superlips herself, is possibly hopefully going to be mere blocks from my house! joe lee!* in my hood! sorry for all the exclamation points, but this is exciting. i may be able to deny or confirm the pregnancy. i might even see brad. maybe he'll be there with the kids, taking care of them while joe lee "acts". the tabloids have landed in clinton hill, people.

so, have no fear—mr. baby man and the camera and i will be out there tomorrow seeing what we can see. we were going to go today but he's still a little sicky and therefore cranky and didn't seem up for a walk. i told him about joe lee, but he just said "nang!" and smacked me in the eye. but tomorrow, i promise.

joe lee!

* sarah told me a few weeks ago that one of her coworkers refers to angelina as "joe lee", and we have since taken it up as well. yes, it is kinda like just saying her last name, but there are subtle differences in intonation, and a definite little pause between the "joe" and "lee". it's pronounced with a teensy bit of a southern accent, with equal emphasis on the "joe" and the "lee", but always with empasis. as in "oh, joe lee," or "what have you done, joe lee?" try it, it's fun!

Monday, August 15, 2005

you might want to get a drink and a comfy chair...

ay yi yi. what a freaking week. to sum up:

monday - we arrive home at approximately 3am b/c we decided to take a little detour to the massachusetts seashore on the way home b/c a bunch of friends who we haven't seen in a while were all there at one friend's family's beach house and it was kinda sorta on the way home if you don't mind turning an 8 hour trip into a 14 hour trip. do i sound a tiny bit bitter? just a tiny bit, really. we had a great time at the beach (it deserves and will get its own post, later), but being in the car in the middle of the night with a baby who wakes up every hour or so and needs to be comforted back to sleep without being taken out of his car seat which means leaning over the carseat and nursing him when all you want to do is be asleep yourself? not. so. much. fun. so of course the rest of the day is totally lost, i am a total zombie (since wile still wakes up around 7! wheee!), and i conclude things by searing my flesh. (update on that: my big puffy water-filled blisters have deflated to smaller puckery brownish callous-blisters that are splitting open and about to start itching like a mofo.)

tuesday - i don't really remember tuesday, people. between the lingering exhaustion and the injury, the day is kind of a blur. not much gets accomplished besides making sure that mr. baby man gets fed and changed and doesn't hurt himself. so this is now two days in which i have a) not unpacked my suitcases, and b) not done a damn thing to get ready for the big 1st birthday party that we are throwing on saturday....

wednesday - wile's annual physical! yay! i've adjusted to having a gnarled monkey claw instead of a right hand by now, so manage to get us on and off the bus and to the doctor's office pretty easily. i've decided not to get him any shots on this visit just in case he has a reaction to them b/c i don't want to chance him being sick for his party. (please reread that last sentence and commit it to memory and file it under "irony".) he gets all checked out and passes with flying colors and has fun playing with the doctors' hoberman sphere, and then i remember that we need to take some blood from him to check his lead level (since he likes to pick the paint chips off the walls in the kitchen like the little baby in the poster) and see if he's inherited my weird blood disorder and is going to follow in my footsteps to the operating table for his very own splenectomy! i'm a little worried that our so far so good doctor's visit is going to end in screaming, but he is awesome. the nurse comes in and ties the rubber band around his arm—even moving it from one to the other b/c she can't find a good vein in his left arm—and he just looks down at it with mild interest. hmm. then she sticks the needle in and i brace myself for the screaming but he just lets out one little cry/yelp, looks up at me, i smile at him and tell him it's okay, and he decides to believe me and looks down to watch what the nurse is doing. she puts the second vial on the end of the little tubey contraption and he reaches down, starts playing with it, and pulls it right off the tube. so of course the nurse takes it from him, gently, and reattaches it...and then he starts crying. because we won't let him play with his own blood. later that night, my mom (aka the nana) arrives from florida covered in hives.

thursday - the nana, the boo and i trek all over downtown brooklyn in the hot hot heat gathering the food for the party. it's actually not so bad, we get plenty of great stuff at the farmer's market. wile is a little cranky when we get home, but i chalk it up to a long day.

friday - wile is still a little cranky, and very warm, so we break out the thermometer...and he has a 102.5˚ fever. the day before we have 30 people coming over to celebrate his first birthday. aaaaaaaaawesome. so i call the doctor, just to make sure there's nothing i should be doing besides what i'm doing (keeping him in air conditioning, plenty of fluids, rest), and she says (okay, break out that sentence you filed away now!) that there's something going around, she's seen a bunch of cases of it lately, it's fever and sometimes a runny nose and cough and usually doesn't last long. so but i'm supposed to be getting ready for the party (which we are contemplating cancelling), and instead i have a little 22-lb barnacle who is on me like stink on shit (break down!). he won't sleep unless he has the boob in his mouth. it's like we've regressed back to the first two months of his life. i'm holed up in the bedroom sending detailed missives down to the nana and my aunt peg, who has come down early for the party. no fun for anybody. they are envying me being in the air conditioning, and i'm envying them the use of their limbs for something besides supporting a sweaty overheated sickypants. poor little monkey.

saturday - wile's temperature is back down to normal so we decide to go ahead with the party. and considering that the heat index is 110˚ with the humidity, it's a fairly successful party! wile and i take many trips up to the air conditioning to cool off, and though he's not his normal devastatingly charming self, he seems to have a good time and entertain everybody pretty well. but everyone leaves for the sanctuary of their air-conditioned cars as quickly as decent manners allow, and i can't say i'm entirely sad to see them go, since it means i can get back to my air conditioned haven....

sunday - reprieve: we head out to long island to swim in the schmergels' pool.

monday - wile's temperature is back up, so i call the doctor, like she told me to do on friday if it went back up. we make an appointment and head in, she tells us that it's nothing serious, just a bug like she thought and it should pass, and we slog back home through the heat. wile won't sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time once he goes down for the night....

tuesday - the illness has entered the next phase: runny nose and cough. if there is any sound more patheitic than a baby cough, i haven't heard it. we lay low, the last dregs of disarray from the party remain un-cleaned-up. at least the weather is nicer. then in the evening the nana and i escape to shea so that she can get in one mets game while she's up north. we're waiting in line to buy our tickets when this guy comes over, puts two mezzanine tickets in my hand, says "here, they're free, i'm taking a group and not everybody showed up, they're good seats", and walks away before i can even say thank you. amazing! and it's a great game, benson pitches well and cliff blasts a big homer and everyone is on base at least once, even david wright who doesn't get a hit but walks ahead of cliff's homer, and i learn that cliff's first name is cornelius (!!!), and i see our benefactor later on and get to say thank you, which is good because they really are great seats: 2nd row mezzanine reserved, just under the eave so that when it starts to rain we stay dry.... unfortunately stephen, who is home with the little man, doesn't have quite as good a night: the yankees lose in extra innings to the devil rays (the winning run is walked in), and wile won't sleep for longer than 30 minutes at a time.

today - still massive amounts of snot, still heart-wrenching baby cough, still with the clinging and not sleeping, but no temperature and improved spirits and seemingly on the road to recovery. the suitcases remain un-unpacked, but i've made my peace with that. the nana and the little man and i have a lovely last day together—walking, gardening, playing ball—and i put her in a tinted-window car service car and wave her back to the sunshine state. tomorrow is another day....

[alas, i will not be posting any photos from our trip to the maine wilderness right now because stephen...well....while i have you here, let me tell you a little story: we were in our hotel room in portland (having left the wilderness the day before), and i was putting wile down for his afternoon nap. stephen was hiding out in the bathroom, where he was going to check some baseball scores on his phone, take a shower, and clear some photos off the memory card so that we had room to take pictures at bean's wedding that night. all of the sudden i heard him go "oh my god", followed by a strangled yelp. kinda loud. i couldn't tell if he'd seen something funny (on the camera or the phone) or if something terrible had just happened—it was an indeterminate exclamation/yelp. then he poked his head out of the door holding the camera and whispered "i just erased the whole vacation!". and though i felt for him, especially since he was on the verge of tears, i really couldn't move or talk—wile was on the verge of nappage, and i do not fuck with that. so he throws on some clothes and bolts. i get wile to sleep, then text him "are you okay? where are you?", and find out that he's in the lobby and just got off the phone with the canon help line. he didn't erase the pictures of wile swimming naked and sitting on the rocks at pemaquid and eating his first lobster completely, he just erased the formatting. which means that if we buy some auxillary piece of equipment and "image recovery software", we can have them back. as he said, we will take the money for those things out of his "bonehead fund."]

Monday, August 08, 2005

right here, not so much

in case you were wnodering why there haven't been any posts in the past week, it's because i was on vacation in the maine wilderness without a computer. i meant to post before we left that i wasn't going to be posting, but obviously thst didn't happen. and then tonight i was all geared up to import some photos and post all kinds of funny stories from the trip, but then i grabbed a hot pan handle like a total jackass and gave myself second degree burns all over my hand. so, a) i'm in horrific pain, and b) typing left-hand-only is slow and annoying.

so i'm going to go try to get my shit together a little bit, and i'll be bck soon. hopefully. barring further injury or mental lapses.

ps - if you're looking for something to read while you're waiting for me to post again (hee), i read a good book in maine: oh the glory of it all by sean wilsey.