Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Man Make Fire

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 By , No comments

On News Channel 12’s evening news tonight, they were covering the story of a fire that totaled a home: “Investigators say that the fire started in a wood-burning stove.”

Isn’t that like saying the fire started in the fireplace? That’s what a wood-burning stove is for, dumbasses. To burn things. With fire, no less.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Out of the Mouths of Jackasses

I was talking to my brother about some quasi-racist statement that he made. I knew that to contradict him would start an argument.

Me: Well, I don't know that I necessarily agree with you on that.
Bro (defiantly): I think there's more evidence for it than against it.

If you contradict him, he gets pissed off. If you just decide it's not worth it to argue, he takes it as a weakness and comes after you anyway. There's no way to win, but I always try fruitlessly. So, here I go again.

Me: Well, perhaps anecdotal evidence, but the biological research doesn't support it, from what I understand.

See how I'm trying to be respectful? I leave room for his opinion, I take responsibility for the fact that I'm not an expert and may not know everything about the subject, and I acknowledge that there are valid supporting arguments for his perspective. Anecdotal evidence is often a solid foundation upon which reasonable hypotheses are built. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with it.
Bro: I don't trust people who do research. They think they know more than they do.

Jackass.

Out of the mouths of babes

We took the sonogram video to my parents’ house on Dad’s birthday. Jacob, my seven-year-old nephew, was very excited, even though he really wanted her to be a boy.

We watched the grainy, black-and-white footage of the baby, looking for all the world like a Hollywood representation of a ghost. In other words, it’s really an outline, a shading, of the baby’s general features.

We had to point out feet, toes, fingers, nose, lips, etc. to people, to give them reference points for the image. “Oh!” they exclaimed. “Now we see it!” Jacob was more excited each time he saw a new feature - so I thought. Then I realized he was getting agitated. Suddenly he exclaimed, “She looks like an alien!” He thought that’s what the baby actually looks like!

You should have heard us trying to explain to him what he was actually seeing. I tried, “See, it’s not like a camera picture. It’s done through my skin with a thing that actually is recording sound waves.” He nodded in obviously feigned comprehension.

A scene from previews for the movie “Daredevil” came to mind and I tried to use that to explain it. “But I haven’t see it ‘cause my mommy wouldn’t let me.” Finally, I hit on dolphins. That got a cautious, uncertain nod.

Bats? That did it. “Oh, yeah,” he said authoritatively, clearly relieved to be on familiar ground. “I know all about how bats fly.” He proceedrf to describe it to me in such detail that I knew he knew nothing. But at least he was no longer upset.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Dog is my co-pilot

Seen on the license plate of a Toyota Highlander registered in Columbia County: “GODZSUV”

I’ve never had the urge to ram my car into the back of another one, but just then...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas with the Krankies

My husband's parents go to First Baptist Church. It’s not my favorite place to be. First of all, any church where the deacons get into fistfights is not my kind of place. Second of all, I detect a higher-than-average portion of people who attend for the publicity benefits, it being the largest church in Augusta. They can be seen being pious by the largest number of people at one time.

His parents want us to go to church with them on Christmas Eve. I pretend to slit my throat. For a moment, I almost give in to the hormone monster and pitch what I call a “dog-at-the-wedding” sized fit (after the fit my mother had when we told her we wanted Scrabble at the wedding). It takes me what feels like an eternity to get my inner child under control and refrain from lying down in the middle of the kitchen floor, drumming my heels and screaming.

Scott: I don’t want to go.
Me: I don’t either. I don’t see how we can get out of it.
By this morning, he has a plan.
Scott: We’ll tell them we can’t go because we’re going to Midnight Mass.
I look at him, amused, but clearly he is a moron.
Me: You’re not Catholic.
Scott: Yes, I am.
Me: No, you’re not! Besides, (I launch into an imitation of his mother’s very obviously cultivated coastal-high-plantation Southern accent) “Why can’t you go to church with us, and then go to mass later?” (Sounds like this: “Whhhi cahn’t yoo goe tuh chuhrch whheeith uhs, and theein goe tuh mahyass latuh?”)
Scott: You can’t go to church twice in one day.
Me: It’s Christmas! You can go as many times as you want! Honey, I haven’t been to church in so long that if I entered the door I’d probably burst into flames. God saves up smites for people like me.
Scott: You were in church two weeks ago!
We went to a wedding.
Me: I just don’t see how we can get out of it.
Scott: Well, you’re going to come down with something.
Me: We have to see them tonight!
Scott: You’ll get better after church.
Me: You are not going to blame this on me.
Scott: But I. Don’t. Want. To. Go.
Me: So tell them that.
Scott (grinning): Okay!

Crap. We’ll have to go twice next year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Hey, Jealousy...

<> My husband has always been fearless. While it hasn’t always served him well, I regret that I will never have stories that begin with “So, when I was 8, my grandfather decided it was time I learned how to drive,” and “Yeah, I think it was the ‘Kiss My Ass Fridays’ and the phone bill to Japan that got me fired."

Monday, December 20, 2004

Holly Jolly, by golly

Scott’s grandparents gave us a little Christmas angel salt-and-pepper shaker set. We don’t have any Christmas decorations because - well, because we’re not Christian. The shakers were cute in a Precious Moments kind of way - which is to say they made me nauseous - and we brought them home with us because I love his grandparents. It was a regift from a party, she said, but she wanted us to have it. She said, “We already have a set. They must have made millions of them, ‘cause I see them everywhere.” That made me laugh. She’s just a total straight shooter, no airs about her.

I expected Scott to throw them in a box somewhere. But at home, he tore them open, moved my cutie mini Japanese teapot, and displayed the shakers above the stove.

“Oh, do you like them?” I asked, surprised. Don’t I sound like a complete snob? I hate me.
“No, I don’t like them. But they’re Christmassy, so they can sit there for a little while. And next year we’ll trot them out again.”
I laugh at his characterization: “And thus are traditions born.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Dog Dilemma

Barkley, is out of control. He chews. He poops. He pees. I dog-proofed the house, take him outside more frequently... nothing changes.

Mainly, though, he barks at top volumne. We’ve tried telling him “No!” To which he replies “RrrrrUUUUUFF!” We’ve tried putting him in time-out in his kennel, to which he replies, “RRrf! Ruf! RufRuf!!Ruf! Ruf! Ruf! Ruf! Ruf! Ruf! Ruf!...” you get the idea. We’ve tried popping him on the nose, to which he replies “Ruf!” (chomp on the nearest finger).

I finally got one of those collars that makes a high pitched noise when a dog barks that supposedly they hate and makes them not bark so much. Wrong. He didn’t even hear it, but it sure annoyed the hell out of us. I gave it to my mother for her dog.

Our last resort: a shock collar. I haven’t bought one yet, but I’ve located and priced them. The collar says it’s only a pinprick, which has to hurt less than Scott whacking him on the nose... I really don’t want to do it, but it seems the only way. If there’s anyone who has any suggestions, please let me know!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Underdog

The dogs' favorite things to eat are: toilet paper, paper towels, and the cardboard holders for those. Tonight, we finished eating dinner and Barkley was trying to get to the paper towel on Scott's tray table. A mere two feet away, the paper towel was yelling "Your muthaaaaahhh!" from atop its safe perch. Barkley was straining at the edge of the sofa, whining.

I turned to pick him up just as he launched himself at the tray table. I mean, he threw himself into the air for all he was worth, paws outstretched and head down, like he really thought he could fly.

The tray table went flying - glass, paper towel, and magazine hit the floor, and so did Barkley. I covered my face with my hands. Scott leapt to pick up the glass before it all spilled out while I collapsed, laughing. He grabbed Barkley and put him in his kennel for a time-out, while I tried to get myself under control.

"If you do that in front of our child, I am going to be so pissed off at you!" he exclaimed as he latched the kennel door and tried to keep from stumbling over Scrabble, who was confused and excited by the spectacle.
"He really thought he had it! I mean, that was some ambition!" I snorted from the couch.
"It was so bad!" he stomped back into the room, Scrabble scrambling in close behind him.
"Honey, he's a dog. You have to admire his determination!"

Friday, December 17, 2004

Not a Way To Get a Raise

Boss: I’ll be back shortly. They’re opening a new furniture store downtown, and I’m going to the ceremony.
Me: Are you going to cut the ribbon?
Boss: Uh, sure.
Me: Don’t forget your tiara.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Dunlap's disease

Thursday, December 16, 2004 By , 3 comments

At last Wednesday's doctor visit, the OB detected an irregular heartbeat. Since Scott has a heart murmur, it was cause for concern. So I returned on Monday for three fun-filled hours of things shoved into my body (hey.. that's how I got this way!). What I don't understand is why doctors won't listen to me. I'm not claiming to have some preternatural control over my body, but - I mean, it is MY body.

For example, the doctor was trying to listen to the baby's heartbeat and couldn't find it.
Doctor (smearing jelly on my belly): Sorry about it being cold.
Me: That's cool. (heh. pun.)
Doctor (moving the wand over my belly): Hmmm.... (furrows brow)
She can't find the heart beat.
I wait.
She searches the same small area to the left of my belly button. I'm not one to tell doctors how to do their jobs, but...

Me: She likes to hang out over here.
I point to the right side of my belly, under my ribs.
Doctor (still searching same spot on the left): MmmHmm....
I wait.
Me: Really, I think she's over here.
Doctor (irritated look crossing her face): Well, let's see.
The second she puts the monitor where I pointed, the baby's heartbeat comes over the speaker. Her eyebrows go up.
Doctor: You know your baby!

How can I not know where a 9-pound mass of elbows and knees are smashing against my body?

Tai One On

We're planning a "serenity series" in the gardens, and my intern was calling around asking about yoga and tai chi instructors. She got a lady at an physical rehabilitation clinic who was rude and combative.

Lady: "So, you're going to have the classes... outside?"
Intern: "Yes."
Lady (scoffing): "Well, I don't think that's going to work."

In fact, one of the tenants of tai chi is that you should attempt to perform the exercises in natural surroundings. I was telling Scott about how rude she was.

"Damn," he said. "Don't mess with the tai chi people. They'll kick your ass."
"But, they're slow," I said. "So I can duck."

Fingers Too Frozen To Type

One of the visitor specialists at work neglected to turn on the heat before he left last night, so it's 48 degrees in the office. I've been working in a coat, scarf, and gloves all morning - and I can't feel my toes.

I called him at 8:30 to wake him up: "John, we need you to go ahead and come into to work now instead of at noon - oh, and wear shorts and a t-shirt."

It would have been more funny if I hadn't been talking to his voice mail.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

I hate maternity clothes

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve never been cool. I can’t match clothes more complicated than Grrranimals. But why do maternity clothes “designers” get their inspiration from Volvo? I’m wearing this shirt - yes, the same one I bitched about earlier - and I feel like an idiot.
“It’s just a maternity shirt!” Keela said.
Whatever.
I feel like my grandma’s couch.

Buyer's regret

I bought a maternity shirt that fits well, and is as flattering as a maternity shirt can be. Now think the shirt looks like something polyester that my grandmother might wear. Scott insists that he really likes it. So I'm keeping it, and getting used to it. But this morning, when I put it on to go to work, I just felt so old.

Me: I feel like I'm wearing a carpet.
Scott (laughing): No, you're not.
Me: I look matronly.
Scott: No, you don't. You look motherly.
Me: Same thing!
Scott: No. Matronly is bad. Motherly is good.

I consider this for a minute. Maybe it's an identity thing. I've never really considered myself "mother" material. But I guess I have to get used to it now. Then it hits me...

Me: I don't want to look motherly. I want to look "milfily."
Scott (laughing): You do.

I glare at him because I am not a moron. What I look like is a beach ball with legs.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

I'm just really mean at heart

<>So, Scott and I watch "Jeapardy!" a lot, because we're nerds. In fact, we're old, married nerds, which is even worse. Competing was a chick from Warrenton, Ga., which is right down the road from us. This lady was devoid of personality, wit, and charm. In addition, she had one of the most unattractive Southern accents I have ever heard.

Scott: Good LORD, that woman!
Me: I know.
Scott: How did she make it on this show?
Me: Well, she's not stupid. She's a newspaper editor in Tennessee.
Scott: Oh, really?
Me: It must be the Mountain Monthly Press.

Bad Mommy

So I bought the shock collar.

I put it on Barkley and Scott and I waited. He RUFFED around the house for a few hours before I finally said, "Honey, I don't think it's working." Turns out the battery was in wrong. More waiting.

Then, it was time to go potty. Once outside, Scrabble spotted a squirrel, his arch-nemesis. He couldn't hate them more if they were midget ninjas attacking at our back door. He took off after them, running and barking at the top of his lungs. Barkley, a follower of the lemming category, said to himself, "Yeah, me, too!" and leapt forward with a merry "RRRRRUUFF!" ...
and promptly fell over squealing like a pig!

He scrambled up and ran around for a minute, yelping, until he realized that just made it worse. Then he stood there, confused and pissed and a little breathless, while Scrabble nosed him and whined sympathetically - and set the damn collar off again. God! It was painful to watch - and funny as hell. I chased after him, crying and laughing, until I was choking and had to stop. It's not supposed to effect him that way, but there is a Saint Bernard on the collar's package, and he's so teeny tiny that it probably wasn't meant for him.

He spent the rest of the day clinging to me and hiding under chairs. Poor baby. But it's been a unusually quiet couple of days.

Scott decided to try it out. He put the collar on his neck and gave a tentative bark. "Ruf!"
Nothing happened. I snickered.
"Honey, you're going to hurt yourself."
"RufRuf!" He barked some more.
Nothing. I laughed out loud.
"Stop it, for real."
He grinned.
"RUF! RUF! RUF! RUF!"
To watch a 33-year-old grown man with a dog collar on, devilish look in his eye, yelling "ruf! ruf! Ruf!" in an uncanny imitation of an eight-pound Jack Russell puppy... oh, man. I was laughing and crying until I couldn't breathe, covering my face with the pillow and squealing "Stop it! You're going to knock yourself unconscious and I can't lift you!" He kept up, getting louder until finally he jerked the collar away from his neck.
"Whoa. It got me that time," he said.
"Really?" I gasped.
"Yeah. But it wasn't bad. It was more annoying than anything."

I was relieved but I'm still a rat-bastard for shocking my dog.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Munch

Scott: You're just too easy. Like that lady at Petsmart that day. I would have turned around and said, "Shut up!"
Me: Yeah, I couldn't believe that (mimicking lady in line, huffy and patronizing): "I can't believe you docked your dog's tail!" (returning to my normal voice): I didn't dock his tail, lady. He came like that.
Scott: I would have knocked that dog food she was buying right out of her hands.
Me: Well, honey, it was her lunch for the next day.
He spits beverage, laughing: That was wrong.
I shrug: Nah.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I fret constantly over the semi-permanence of the physical changes a pregnancy brings on. I didn’t know how vain I was until lately. I worry that I’ll never lose the 20 lbs I’ve gained, that Scott will no longer find me attractive, that the stretch marks that appear after you have the baby will make me look like one big elephant’s knee.

Scott laughs it off, insisting that he will always find me attractive.
“Besides, once you have the baby, you’ll have your old body back,” he assures me. I mull this over for a second, examining my stomach - well, what I can see of it.
“No,” I sigh. “I’ll have someone’s old body, but it won’t be mine.”

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Potty Break

I am adrift in the land of Nod, clinging to that last hour of sleep like a drowning man to a lifeboat. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I feel the dogs begin to stir. They walk around on the bed, avoiding my husband (he’ll knock them off the bed), and trying to decide if they’re getting up, or just changing their sleeping positions. At some point, Barkley makes his decision, and begins a dialogue with himself: Potty time. Mommy sleep. Mommy no like wake before beep-beep monster make us to howl. I no go potty in house... I no go potty on bed.

nudge!
She roll over.
nose in ear!
She pull covers over head.
nose in butt!
Ouch. How she hit without wake up?
can’t wait! what to do! I have to - !

(yomp)

Blearily, I open my eyes. Why, Hello, Barkley... um, are those your teeth on my nose? He’s holding my nose with his teeth! Just holding, not biting, and panting excitedly. I get the message.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Thanksgiving

It’s my first married Thanksgiving and I am thankful for a lot:
  • I am thankful for the generosity of my friends and family, who have filled our nursery with clothes enough for our daughter’s entire first year.
  • I am thankful for the time I got to spend with my family. It wasn’t enough, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.
  • I am thankful for 1/2 price sales on nursing bras and short, organized lines at the day-after sale.
  • I am thankful for the lack of need I feel. Not just my raised financial threshhold, but the absence of what my mother called “The Iwannas.”
  • I am thankful that my husband likes my family, and vice versa. He enjoys spending time with them.
  • I am thankful that the macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato souflee I made for Thanksgiving dinner were good, well-liked, and that there were plenty of leftovers. The creamed collards... well, no one is perfect.
  • I’m thankful for Smooth Dissolve Tums, Oatmeal Soaking Baths and Anti-Itch Cream for my poison ivy (darn dogs).
  • I’m thankful for my darn dogs, Scrabble and Barkley. They are a constant source of comfort, companionship, and laughter.
  • I am thankful for a relatively uneventful pregnancy, the sound of the baby’s heartbeat on the monitor, the ability to see her on the sonogram, and that Medicaid that will pay for her without us spending a dime.
  • I’m thankful that Scott and I are able to calmly talk about baby names.
  • I’m thankful that when I had a meltdown in the driveway as we were pulling out for my parents’ house about leaving the dogs behind for almost three days, Scott got back out of the car, broke down the kennel, and took the dogs with us - and that he didn’t smash in my face, like I deserved.
  • I am thankful for light traffic, a short car ride (I’m never bored with Scott), a safe trip, and that the kennel fits in the car in such a way that it creates a “holding pool” for the dogs that allows us to see them, pet them, and that allows them to watch the world go by, but keeps them from jumping around the car like the complete imbecils they are.
  • I’m thankful for my degree, for my job, for my apartment, for the space heater that heats my apartment, for the baby’s room that serves as a touchstone when I’m feeling disconnected from the pregnancy (which is sometimes necessary in lieu of frustration, given how uncomfortable it often is), for the love that my husband displays in so many little ways - stopping to kiss the top of my head while walking past me at my parents’ house; telling me that I’m beautiful every day; not murdering me no matter hormonal I get; spending quality time with my family because I really, really want to see them; sitting up in bed in the middle of the night to ask me how I’m doing when he knows I’m not feeling well; bending over to pick things up for me when my pregnant belly gets in the way.
I would like to go on, but my retarded dog, Barkley, is living up to his name and running his big fat mouth to what I’m sure is extreme enjoyment on the part of my neighbors. And I have dinner to cook. It’s been a very good couple days... weeks... months. I’m very lucky and very happy. It’s the best time of my life so far, and I’m looking forward to many more years of happiness with Scott.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Dinner party x 2

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 By , No comments

I was excited to have dinner with two professors’ families this weekend, becuase I tend to think of professors’ families in terms of Oscar Wilde. This is not true. Some are just boring academics with no personalities. But I forget. I was so bored at the (courtesy edit) that I thought I was going to have to moon someone. If I hadn’t had a great time at DvT's house - which I did - the ass was coming out, I tell you! But, then, I knew more than just one person, and we were talking about PR and journalism and our jobs, not politics in the Honors Department and what contributed to the South’s loss in the Civil War.

A sample conversation from Friday:
Pompous ass 1: “No, the bolt-action rifle had nothing to do with the end of the war!”
Pompous ass 2: “Well, (so-and-so historian) would beg to differ! The North’s manufacturing of the weapon turned the tide of later battles.”
PA1: “But the North already had more soldiers, better equipped and trained! It was just a matter of time.”
PA2: “But the South had better military minds, and the North sustained much greater casualties because of it. The outcome of the war wasn’t certain until the bolt-action rifle was introduced.”
Me: zzzzZZZZZzzzzzzz

Sample conversation from Saturday night (Disclaimer: DvT is a church representative. When a congregation has problems, they call her in to mediate. Any former student of hers knows that should strike fear into their souls.):

DVT: “So the deacons at this one church, instead of saying, ‘We’re a congregation; let’s act like one, sit down, and discuss this with the pastor,’ instead decided to fire him. He was not in violation of his contract; they were. So now, they have to come up with $186,000 a year more to cover both the former pastor’s salary and the new pastor’s salary. AND, they think the interim minister is only there for 6 months, but we’re not going to let them hire another permanent minister for four years because they don’t know how to behave as a congregation. They just aren’t listening, and we’re expecting them to fire the interim pastor, too.”
Me: “That’s hysterical.”
Jody: “Well, that’s what happened at First Baptist, too. A couple of the really big guys – the ones who donate millions of dollars a year – didn’t like the pastor and got him fired. The deacons actually got into a fistfight over it.”
Dawn: “What?!”
Jody: “Oh, yeah. The police were called and everything. It was in the Chronicle.”
Me: “And now they’re in the same boat as the Presbyterian church?”
Jody: “Oh, yeah. But his salary is even higher than that because the church has 5,000 members.”
DVT: “See, I have no sympathy. No, you can’t hire another minister! You screwed up. Suffer! Suffer! Suffer!”
(laughter)

I am glad I went to both parties. I’ve been kind of homebound, not feeling well, etc. But if you’re going to have people over for a meal, you shouldn’t beat them into unconsciousness with your boorish personalities. It makes us want to hurt you, like with a bolt-action rifle, whatever that is.

Vomitorious Circumstances

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 By , No comments

Sunday, I met with a potential bride at 2 p.m. I had been working at my computer at home, and I raced down there at about 1:45. The meeting went fine, but when I got back home, I was crazy thirsty. Diet Coke? No. Water? Boring. Milk? Blech. Ooh, wait... I have some Diet Sprite left over from earlier. I toddle into the living room and swig from the 20 oz. bottle.

Something. Is. Not. Right. What is that disgusting taste?! As my stomach starts its irrevocable turn, I look inside the bottle. There are cigarette butts floating in it!

I don't even make it to the hallway before the liquid resurfaces. Most of it hits the toilet, but there is a trail of Diet Sprite from the living room doorway to the bathroom.

"What happened?!" Scott exclaims from the bathroom door. I am intent on my vomit, thank you very much, and I don't have time for this conversation. When I don't respond, he asks again, and waits a few moments. He doesn't want to watch me vomit, but he doesn't want to ignore my plight, either.

"You put out[retch] your fucking cigarettes[retch] in my Sprite!" (you asshole!)

I probably could have gotten some new jewelry out of him after that, but I tried to laugh it off. It worked for a little while, but about 20 minutes later I got really pissed off, and had to go sit on the porch and read the paper while I calmed down. That was the most disgusting thing that has happened to me in a long time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Joe is a racist

Joe tells some racist-ass jokes that he insists aren’t racist “because they’re funny.” What’s long and hard on a black man? Answer: The third grade.

That’s a racist joke and it's not funny because it is a racist joke.

It extremely difficult for me to enjoy being around him. Also because I don’t want him around my daughter. But we go to the Fair with him anyway because - well, because Scott invited him without consulting me first. Two days in one week with Joe is 1 and 1/2 days too many.

We’re munching a funnel cake before we leave - Scott’s been craving one for weeks - and I make some comment like, “Goddamn, I can’t eat another bite.” Joe freezes, puts his hands up in front of him like: “Hey, now, watch the language. Did you just say G.D.?” I look up, confused. “Yeah...” He shakes his head. “So you can take the Lord’s name in vain, but I can’t tell a joke?”

I glare up at him. “Well, I don’t believe the Lord exists. But I do believe black people exist. So I guess that’s about right.”

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Men are really really stupid creatures

So I'm stuck at the front desk again, helping customers, because there is no Visitor Specialist scheduled on Mondays, and the other two employees are just too damn important (in their own minds) to lend a hand in helping either answer phones or deal with customers. That I'm doing two jobs, and this task puts me into a third job category, does not concern them.

Two older men lumber around the gift shop for awhile, making flirtatious small talk, as men of their generation often when away from their wives. Having waited tables so long that I have permanent pinch-marks embedded in my ass, I'm accustomed to this. So I laugh and do my best to keep them from noticing that my skin is actually crawling - like, away from them. Off my body.

I focus on something else that I know men generally like: football. One of the men has on Green Bay Packers socks, so I compliment him. His eyebrows wiggles. "I also have Packers skivvies." I laugh, a little less convincingly. He makes a joke about having an elephant, do I want to see his trunk? I pretend to hear the fax machine go off and run behind the filing cabinets to check it.

When I return, he says, "I don't want to seem like I'm leering, but I see you have a tattoo. What does it say?" The tattoo is on the lower left portion of my chest. It didn't used to be on my boob, but my boobs have gotten bigger since I got pregnant. I grin and reply, "It says, 'Don't get a tatoo until you're at least 30, because at 19 you don't know what you're doing.'" He stares at the tattoo - my fault for placing it there, so I really can't complain - and then at my face. "How old are you?" he asks. "I'm 31," I reply, reluctantly. "You got that tattoo when you were 19?!" he exclaims. "Wow, there's no sag to it at all."

Blogger's Note: Yes, I let them live, but after reviewing this post nearly a year later, I can't believe I did.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Delusions

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 By , No comments

I am 7 months pregnant, and I am becoming more dependent upon Scott. It’s not entirely fair to him, but there are things I’m slowly less able to do for myself, like, bend over. It’s becoming humorously difficult. And since I work all day, he cooks dinner every night. If he didn’t, I would just eat whatever fell into my mouth, and it would probably not be very healthy.

So we’re outside yesterday, or the day before, and Michael, our next door neighbor calls out
: “How’re you doing?”
“Oh, I’m feeling very pregnant today, but fine. How about you?”
There is a pause.
“I didn’t know you were pregnant!”
I look down at my belly. It seems pretty obvious to me...
“Um, yeah, ‘bout 7 months.”
“Wow! Congratulations!”
“Thanks.”
“What are you having?”
“A little girl.”
“aww...” he coos.

Later, as Scott and I are corralling the dogs to take them back inside, I mention this to Scott.
“How can he not tell that I’m pregnant?”
“You’re only showing a little bit.”
I stare at him, look down at my belly, and back at him.
“Are you nuts?”
“No.”
“Honey, I’m huge.”
“No, you’re not. And, you told me not to talk about it like that.”
“Okay, smoothing over the situation is one thing. But ignoring it entirely is just crazy.”
He laughs, and pats my belly.
“Okay, you’re definitely pregnant.”
“Okay, then.”
“But you’re not huge.”
“Thanks.”

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

It's official. I'm huge.

The doctor listened to the baby’s heartbeat today.
“Is she moving around?” she asked.
“All the time. She almost knocked me off the couch last night.”
(she laughs) “That’s good. She was very active the last time you were here.” (listening)
The baby’s heartbeat pulsates in the air around us. It is strong, rapid. She smiles and nods.
“That’s a healthy baby. Good, strong heartbeat.”
I grin and look down at my belly. She don’t know the half of it.
“She is. She responds to my husband’s voice, and to the dogs.”
“Really?!” she smiles.
She acts just as though no pregnant woman has ever said this to her before. Of course they have, but I don’t care. It’s my baby, and everything is new. She takes out a tape measure and stretches it over my belly, from pelvic bone to just under my ribs. Her eybrows raise.
“That’s a big baby!” she exclaims.
I glare down at my belly. I knew it! I’m a heifer!
“Am I gaining too much weight? I mean, I do eat like a maniac, but I’m always hungry! I try to be reasonable, and my husband -”
She’s shaking her head.
“No,” she laughs. “That’s all baby. You’ve only gained 19 pounds. Most women gain 45 pounds.”
Wait, I think. I still have 12 weeks to go.
“So, how big is the baby?”
“You’re 4 cm bigger than is normal at this stage, so I’d say about 4 pounds.”

Dios Mio. I’m going to have a Tyrannosaurus.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Why I Don't Buy Intelligent Design

During the 10-11 hour on Sunday, a WJBF NewsChannel 6 commercial came on. A helicopter hovered low over a grassy field. A woman's voice announces over the video:

"A body is found in Columbia County, and police are calling it a death investigation. News at 11!"

A death investigation. Into a body. You don't say...

Friday, November 05, 2004

No Such Thing as "a Little Pregnant"

So I’m 7 months pregnant with about 11 weeks to go. As of a couple of weeks ago, I’d only gained 18.5 pounds. That’s pretty good, considering the “normal range” of weight gain in pregnancy at the end is:

Baby: 7 1/2 - 8 1/2
Placenta: 1 - 3
Amniotic Fluid: 2
Uterus: 2 - 2 1/2
Increased Body Fluid, Blood: 3 1/2 - 7
Increased Body Fat, Breast Tissue: 10 - 12
For a total of: 25-35 pounds

I was proud of the relatively low weight gain, until Halloween. Scott bought white chocolate Reese’s cups and miniature Kit-Kats. There were about 40 of the little packages left.

If you’ve never been pregnant, you don’t know what a temptation food is. First, there’s the inhuman, famine-like hunger. Second, there’s the fact that everyone - and I mean everyone - becomes either a Food Nazi, or a Food Fairie. Third, there’s the mental justification. It’s real easy. Let's play!

They’re MINI Kit-Kats. So you think, “It’s only a little bit. I can have one.” And then, a couple of hours later, the munch bug hits again. So you have another. I mean, it’s been hours since you had the little bite of chocolate. The problem is that there are 24 hours in a day. And for 18 of them, pregnant women are hungry. I mean it wakes you up in the middle of the night with a hurting, growly stomach. You try to ignore it. You have a big glass of water. You crawl back in bed and try to go to sleep.

But before long, there are only 20 of the little devils left in the freezer, and your pants are a little tighter. What happened, you ask. Well, I’m pregnant, you answer. Hell, no. You had 20 Kit-Kats in 4 days. That’s what happened, you moron.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Romanticizing the Renaissance

Scott asked me to write him a paper for his medieval studies class about the South Carolina Renaissance Festival. Foolish Man.

Romanticizing the Renaissance

The term Renaissance usually refers to a period in European history between the years of 1350 to 1600, during which there was a flowering of art, literature, and scientific exploration. It’s too bad that none of this exists at your local Renaissance festival – or even the one that’s three hours away. As far as I can tell, the appeal of these festivals arises from some kind of group delusion during which participants romanticize the era in three ways: societal simplicity, mental and emotional escapism, and outward expression of ego.

At these festivals, history and Dungeons & Dragons fans crawl blearily from their darkened homes to a fa├žade of a wooded village where the air is filled with verbal and musical merriment, the smell of port-a-potties, and the ethereal chime of cash registers. “Merriment,” in Renaissance-speak, must have been defined as “merciless taunting.” Every failed actor hired by the festival shouts insults and come-ons at patrons to give them an authentic Renaissance experience. No wonder everyone carried swords. A few well-timed public beheadings were the only way to shut up these bastards.

The “privies,” as they were so lightly termed by the site’s owners, are disgusting – but they’re still cleaner than most mothers’ kitchens in the Renaissance. Nowhere in the festival is there any mention of marauding raiders, rampant disease, nearly universal poverty, and early death – the infant mortality rate was a healthy 50 percent. Finally, fans though they may be, most of the participants are pretty ignorant of the real history and culture the festivals celebrate. They think, despite the reality of history, that medieval and Renaissance England (one and the same thing to most festival-goers) was a cheerful, verdant theme park filled with only high-class (never peasant class) Hobbits and Heroes… Then they dress like them, and that is the reason the male patrons have never seen a real vagina.

Finally, for those who have not experienced a festival of this type, I recommend before you leave that you mortgage your home and sell your blood. The cost of admission, food, drinks, and crafts explain why malnutrition and homelessness were rampant in this time in Europe, considering that adjusted for inflation, a turkey leg cost approximately the same for peasants as an Xbox, and who can afford to buy three $200 squares a day? Also, because authentic nerds created the merchandise, and nerds are smarter than me, they have perfected the art of how to make me want pappy crap I would never be able to use in the real world. Case in point: a $110 checkered skirt that they had cleverly disguised as a “kilt” – from which my wife, Stacey, had to drag me kicking and screaming. Thank god Stacey had possession of the bankcard, but she left it unattended shortly after we returned and now my hallway and dining table are clad in plaid because I intended to make my own kilt. Since I don’t know the first thing about sewing, I may have a new tablecloth. I hope my wife likes it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Helloween

We’re having a Halloween party, and costumes are preferred. I hear Scott on the telephone: “My wife and I are both dressing up.”
I look at him incredulously.
“Oh, really? What am I going to be, honey? A beach ball?”

Later, as I’m lounging half naked on the couch, a vision of myself materializes in my mind.
“Hey, honey, I figured out what we could do for Halloween costumes.”
“Oh, what?”
“I can be Jabba the Hut, and you can be Princess Leia.”
He spits smoke out the door, laughing.
“No, I don’t think so.”

Monday, October 25, 2004

(blushing)

I hear Alicia walk in the house. The last time she wandered in I was taking a nap, naked, in the bedroom.
“Are you home? Are you naked?” she calls.
“No, I’m not naked!” I reply from my computer chair.
“Damn!” she says. I laugh.
“I’m very pregnant. You don’t want to see that naked.”
Scott walks in behind her.
“The most beautiful thing in the world is a pregnant woman.”

Yeah, he’s a keeper.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

It's a Dog Bark Life For Us...!

I think everyone should have a theme song. It makes life more enjoyable. You can be tromping along, having a bad day, hating life and all the people in it. But if you write a really excellent theme song for yourself, and you remember to sing it at your challenging times, the whole day seems better.

One of my most challenging times is when I have to clean up yet another steaming pile of "I-Gotcher-Housebroken-Right-Here" Barkley's or "Hey-Barkley-Did-It-First" Scrabble's dog poop. He's catching on, but verrrrrrryy slooooooowly. So I wrote a theme song for the moments when I want to rename one of them Jimmy Dean and send him to the sausage factory.

Scrabble's is sung to the tune of "Modern Major General" from "Pirates of Penzance"

I am the very model of a modern doggie scrabbler
I chew and then I poo I tell you I am not a dabbler
I run and hide and jump and scratch
And then I try to smell your snatch
I am the very model of a modern doggie scrabbler
And when it rains I refuse to become a doggie drabbler
And happily eschew the potty training of my handler
And I will not learn to play catch
For tricks and such I am mismatched
I am the very model of a modern doggie Scrabbler

Barkley's is sung to the tune of "Old Man River" from "Showboat," because he has sad eyes and whiskers like an old man.

There's an ol' man called Barkley
That's the ol' man I'd like to be
What does he care if the world's got troubles?
He only cares if his food bowl's empty
Ol' Man Barkley
That Ol' Man Barkley
He don't know nuthin
But keeps on barkin
He just keeps rompin'
He keeps on stompin' along
He don't chase squirrels
He don't catch mouses
And them that gets 'em
Don't have dog houses
But Ol' Man Barkley
He just keeps rompin' along

Appetite for Consumption

I was reading the "Expectant Fathers" book I gave to Scott for his birthday. Men think facts, figures, and stats are crucial, so it's chock-full of how bigs, how longs, what volumes, and how much time kinds of information. Anyway, the book told me that, right now, the baby is a foot long.

Made me want a hot dog.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Band Aid

Scott is all excited about his new band. They've written a few songs, and are practicing. I haven't heard them all play together, but I've heard one of their new songs with just Scott and Riley, and it's pretty. He came up with a name for the band and pitched it to me: "Triple Screw." He said it was something about early 20th century maritime boat speed rankings. I said it sounded like porn, a cocktail, or a Lynard Skynard cover band. He said it did not, that it had several meanings, and that people would think about it. But when he pitched it to the band, Riley said, "Like porn." Ha. Why does anyone even bother to question me?

Actually, the band liked it.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The House Mouse

Thursday, September 30, 2004 By , No comments

There’s a mouse in our house
And I don’t mean to grouse
But he munches the dog food for Scrabble.
He scratches and steals
All the poor doggie’s meals
And runs off to feed all the rabble.
The mouse in our house
Well, he’s cute when he’s roused
And he skittles across the floor, addled.
Though he hardens like steel
When he hears the mouse squeal
He’s frightened, our poor little Scrabble.
There’s a mouse in our house
- thinks he lives here, the louse -
And it may sound like crazed psychobabble,
But he has an appeal
Though he stays mostly concealed
And the thought of him leaves me quite rattled.
Against the mouse in our house
I must espouse
I haven’t put up a real battle.
He has an appeal
This thief of dog meals
And I can’t call the landlord to tattle

Monday, September 27, 2004

Trapped

So, we got this new cafe table/chair set to go in the kitchen, because the washer/dryer take up too much space for the big wooden bench and table. I’m sitting in one of the chairs, doing the crossword, when Scrabble bolts out the back door. I start to get up.

“I’ll get him!” Scott calls as he dashes out after him - and suddenly I find myself struggling to keep my balance.

I let out a yelp as I almost fall down. I try to get up again, only to realize that my belt loop had somehow gotten entangled in the scrollwork on the metal chairback. I tried to free myself, but I couldn’t see or feel how it was tangled. I was trapped in the chair, and it was too heavy to stand up.

I sat there, alone and feeling pretty goddamn retarded, until Scott came trotting back in with Scrabble.
“Here we are! Bad dog!” he said, and put the dog down on the linoleum floor. He smiled at me. I struggled to get up.

“Um, honey... I’m stuck,” I said. He burst into laughter, and untangled the belt loop as we both laughed.

“That’s going in my journal!” He crowed. “That’s too hysterical.”

“I was afraid you were going to hop in the car and go to the store,” I said. That made him laugh harder.

“I heard you yelp, but I thought you were just saying ‘thank you,’” he said.

“Yeah. Thank you.”

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Showing my ass

I’m getting ready to go to work, running around quasi late. The dog, seeing me putting on my shoes and grabbing my purse and keys, endeavors to stop me from leaving. Daddy’s asleep, so he knows it will be hours before anyone plays with him. I step over him, around him, and try to lose him several times. He is undeterred.

Suddenly, I am on my face on the hardwood floor, stunned. I feel a breeze from the ceiling fans and realize my ass is exposed. I sit up, cautiously. The dog runs a quick figure-8 around me, into the nursery, and back. He takes hold of my skirt, and I get it. He pulled my skirt down with his teeth and tripped me. It happened so fast, I didn’t have time to react. But here I am: on the floor, half naked, with a throbbing cheekbone. Incredible. I suppress the urge to use him as a football and partially shut him in the living room with Scott. It will take him just long enough to escape that I can make MY escape. I leave, rubbing my face and checking the position of my skirt.

It’s probably going to be a long day

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Shit

Thursday, September 16, 2004 By , No comments

I’m sitting at the computer, replying to emails, when Scrabble waddles up to me, propelled by his rapidly wagging tail. He’s carrying something in his mouth he’s very excited about. I’m sure it’s yet another random piece of plastic he’s found on the floor.
“Hey, boy!”
He wags harder.
“Whatcha doin’ sweetie pie?”
He yelps a little, and waddles closer. I reach down and scratch behind his ears.
“What a good boy! Whatcha got there. Scrabble?”
He nudges my hand with his nose, and drops his prize into my hand.
“Oh, thank you!”
I scratch him again, and look at the object. It is a dark, hard, cylindrical-shaped object.
“What’s this, sweetie?”
And then I realize. Oh, crap. It’s crap. It’s a nasty, dried-out piece of dog poo. Aw. How loved I feel.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Now We're Married. 'Bout Time

Patsy and Jim DID NOT send in our marriage license. Instead, they marched themselves down to the Augusta-Richmond County Courthouse and hand delivered it - but not before they demanded that the probate officer change (in the computer records; the document itself is already set) the city of origin for Scott's father. Does the phrase "None of your business" ever enter her mind?

Nevermind. I know it doesn't.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Politics. Yay. Fun.

<>Joe: I still think the war was the right thing to do.
Me: I don’t think you should use the words “war” and “right” in the same sentence.
Joe: No, seriously, we have to take these guys out. We had to go to war. But I still love you guys, no matter who you vote for.
Scott: Well, my vote for Kerry is going to cancel your vote for Bush out, and Stacey’s voting for Kerry, so we win.
Me: Wait a minute, now, I haven’t decided who I’m voting for.
Scott: Really?!
Joe: She’s gonna vote for Nadar! Alllright! Then we really will win!
Me: No, I’m not voting for Nadar. But I haven’t decided who I’m voting for.
Joe: Well, since I’m here, let me convince you -
Me: I’m not voting for Bush. But I haven’t decided to vote for Kerry, either.
Joe: What other viable candidate is there?
Me: Well, the Libertarian Party’s candidate is viable. Their -
Joe: They want to legalize crack, heroin, and cocaine!
Me: They want to decriminalize marijuana.
Scott: That was a very astute political observation.
Me: What?
Scott: They want to decriminalize marijuana.
Me: Well, the problem with political discussion is that everyone depends on hyperbole. And it doesn’t accomplish anything. Anyway, I might vote for Kerry. I just haven’t decided.
Joe: Kerry got a scratch on the knee and three purple hearts! The bullet ricocheted off like three different things and scratched his knee and he got sent home!
Me: I don’t know anything about that, but what’s your point? I mean, he still has more experience in battle than Bush.
Joe: He can’t win this war.
Me: We’re not at war.
Joe: What? How can you say that?
Me: Oh, we went to war. We marched in, triumphant, and there was much rejoicing, and the statues came tumbling down. And then we sat back and waited. We fortify our positions while they find ways through ‘em. I don’t know much about tactics, but I do know that wars aren’t won from defensive positions.
Joe: But we got Saddam!
Me: So? Saddam isn’t Hitler. Baghdad isn’t Berlin. We’re still fighting as though this is World War II, and it’s not.
Joe (shaking his head): But we had to get Saddam! We have to take these guys out!
Me: Saddam was a dictator. Hitler was a charismatic leader. There’s a difference in how the effects the troops and government. There’s no centralized, top-down kind of structure in Baghdad. It’s a grassroots movement.
Joe: Still, we had to get these guys.
Me: Why did we have to do it?
Joe: Because - I mean, okay, like, the French were totally in bed with the Iraqis.
Me: No argument there.
Joe: So that’s why they didn’t support us. That’s why we didn’t go in with French troops.
Me: Yeah? We didn’t go in with a squadron of kazoo players, either. The French didn’t matter.
Joe: That’s true. That’s true. But Kerry still can’t win this war.

Lord. I’ll just drop it. I was hoping for a more two-way discussion on the war, but Joe was just too drunk already. Besides, he’s a die-hard Republican, and I don’t like any of the political parties. I don’t know if the war was justified. I just know that we didn’t go about it the right way.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Despite the wedding, we're still not married

Patsy and Jim have not yet mailed our marriage license (which means that we are not yet legally married). They did, however, OPEN THE ENVELOPE, read the contents,
and decide not to send it, based on the grounds that Scott gave the wrong city of birth for his father.

Hell, I probably gave the wrong city of birth for dad. I didn't know they were going to ask, and I blanked out, and the lady at the Probate Court said, "It's not important. Just guess." So I said "Well, it's either San Antonio or Tulsa. Maybe. I guess just put San Antonio, since he's a Texan at heart," at which she laughed.

Scott's father was adopted, and he didn't know where he was born, so he guessed Portland, where he had been raised. Apparently, he was born in Troy, Alabama. Well, who wants to be from Troy, Alabama, anyway?

So Patsy called yesterday and said she was going to photocopy the document, white out the incorrect information, write in the correct information, and then send it in. I was incredulous. It's a legal document, notorized and stamped. What is she thinking? Besides, it's none of her business what our legal documents say. But apparently Scott defiled the memory of his dead father, or something.

After about 15 minutes of Scott saying, "Mother, it doesn't matter. They just told us to guess. I didn't know where he was born, and I didn't know they were going to ask that... No, I couldn't call you, we were at the Probate Court... No, mother, we don't need a cell phone..." and so on. I finally said, "Tell Patsy that I'd like to be legally married before the end of the week, and if she can't put the damn thing in the mail, I'll be there in 15 minutes to get it." And Scott said, "Stacey said to tell you to stop being a butthead and send it in." Gee, thanks, Scott. That helped. Scott finally got Jim on the phone and made him promise to send it in today.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Granny's purse

I was having a hard day - “hormone intoxication,” I suppose, since nothing was really wrong - and I had to go to the mall. I don’t like the mall, but I had to go pick up wedding-related crap. It was raining like hell and when I got back to the front, it was raining even harder, if it’s possible, and I paused to marvel at the sky and open the umbrella.

I was fumbling with the snap when some little FUCKER - must have been all of 14 years old - ran up and tried to snatch it away from me! I mean, he didn’t go after my purse, which might have been worthwhile. No. He wanted my umbrella.

My finger was hooked in the handle or it would have slipped into his undeserving little claws. Instead, I yanked back, and he didn’t let go! He tried to yank it away from me, but I twisted it and managed to pull it from him. I was seeing red. I swung the umbrella at him, and hit him on the shoulder. He looked mildly surprised, and then contemptuous.

Oh, reeeeeally? Well, take that! I smacked him again. And THAT! I swung at his ribs, but he barely blocked it with his forearm. I wasn’t done. I swung again in the other direction, this time at his exposed back, striking home. I saw him flinch. I. Smelled. Blood. I swung again. And again. Then I realized I was shouting at him.

“I’m five - (smack!) - months - (thwack) - pregnant, you little fuck! What - (pow!) the fuck (kapow!) - is wrong with you?!”

He fended me off with his arms and hands, and for a split second it looked like he was thinking about taking a swing at me. I flipped the umbrella around and swung at his head with the handle. He ducked, stumbled once, and skitted back, mildly frightened. Then he loped off into the parking lot, looking chagrined, and a little confused.

I stopped, panting, clutching my stomach. I was furious, and slowly my vision cleared. I noticed, suddenly, that people were looking at me. They weren’t friendly. They were more like “someone call the police, there’s a crazy woman loose at the mall” kind of looks. I considered defending myself, but instead I mustered what was left of my dignity, smoothed my hair back from my Cro-Magnum forehead, snapped open my umbrella, and pranced off through the storm.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Reluctant Grown-up

Scott: I just can’t believe all of the stuff you have for the nursery!
Me: Yeah?
Scott: Yeah! It’s like you’ve been just waiting to have a kid.
Me (confused): What stuff are you talking about?
Scott: You know, the Pez, the Powerpuff Girls stuff, the action figures...
I stare at him.
Scott: What?
Me: Um, honey, those are my toys.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Wedding, schmedding

They say that even the most unusual woman becomes a traditionalist where her wedding is involved. I am not so unusual, and I’d have been perfectly happy to go along and live my life with Scott without a huge wedding. Without even a small wedding. WITHOUT A WEDDING AT ALL.

Every decision I make is second guessed by everyone but my sister, who would only second guess me if... Actually, I suppose I’d have to kill someone before she does.
  • I’m not having a garter taken off my upper thigh. It’s degrading. Scott is pissed off about this. I will forever thank Aubrey for agreeing with me in front of him. Of course, his mother thinks I’m insane. “I don’t get it. It doesn’t make sense to me,” I told her. “But, it’s tradition!” she replied.
  • I’m not throwing a bouquet. It’s stupid AND degrading. I’d just throw it to my sister, anyway, so it’s pretty useless. “But, honey, all the single girls will be disappointed,” my mother said. “Well, they can cry in the breakroom at the typing pool, mother - 30 YEARS AGO!” I replied.
  • I’m not doing bride’s side/groom’s side. “But why?!” Scott’s mother said, and I made up something about it holding up the seating process. She let that go, thank god.
  • “What are you going to do with your hair?” my mother asked. “I dunno. I figured I’d brush it. That’s more than I usually do,” I replied. If looks could kill...
  • “What shoes are you going to wear?” my mother asked. “Shoes?” I replied. “Uh, I hadn’t planned on wearing any.” I tried to follow her response, but only dogs could hear her.
  • Will everyone leave me alone about the food? You’re lucky we’re even having any, you bunch of moochers.
  • Speaking of food, since when does the paster NOT get invited to the rehearsal dinner? What kind of lunacy is this? “But, they’re doing a job. I mean, you hire them for it, they’re not really IN the wedding,” his mother told me. “Um, no. They’re just running the wedding. I wouldn’t feel right about not inviting him.”
  • I really really wanted my dog at the wedding. You don’t know how much I adore my dog. My mother went absolutely off on me. For days. About how I was ruining the wedding. Embarassing her. Four of the nastiest emails I have ever received. Fine. The dog is out. But I’ll be pissed about the whole thing for a while.
  • No one seems to be able to just smile and say: “That sounds nice.” They wave their arms and holler about tradition, and “it won’t look right”, when they really mean: “That’s not the way I want it.”

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Jesus Christ

I’m in the nursery on the phone with Penny. Scrabble has followed me in, and all of the toys, etc., for the nursery are in boxes and piles. I hear a rustling sound and turn to see Scrabble’s teeth firmly embedded in Buttercup’s head. Thank God it’s just a pillow.

“No, Scrabble!”
The dog stops chewing and looks at me, tail wagging, teeth still gripping the pillow.
“No! Bad dog!”
He gives a little growl of frustration and lets go. I go back to my conversation. Seconds later, the sound comes again. I turn to see him dragging a coconut headed something, twice his size, out of a box.
“No, Scrabble! Scrabble!”
He turns to look at me.
“No! We don’t chew on toys!”
He bounces around the room for a minute, and stops, wagging his tail.
“Good boy!”
I go back to trying to find the file I want to send Penny. Shortly, I hear a crackling noise. This time, he has the head of my Jesus action figure in his mouth.
“Scrabble, no! We don’t chew on the son of god!”

Chi Toy

Scrabble will chew anything. He chews socks, shoes, books, LOVES the telephone book, and has taken to chewing my hand when I let him. I try to distract him, but he also likes chewing my hair for example, when I do yoga. While I’m doing something that requires ALL of my attention, patience, breathing, and physical diligence, he’s doing everything he can to distract me by leaping up and down and yomping at my ponytail.

I’m doing this to release tension, to find some levity, to explore myself spiritually, and to get myself physically ready for childbirth. It doesn’t seem like I’m accomplishing much when you hear me hollering, “Stop it, Scrabble, I’m trying to center my chi!” and “Goddammit, I’m being zen, you little bastard!”

Sunday, August 08, 2004

The Reason He's Homeless

As I walk in the 15th Street Kroger, a highly aromatic older gentleman trots towards me.

“‘Scuse me, ma’am. You got a dollar? Ma’am?”
He’s clearly going to buy beer - no, seriously, you had to smell him - and, anyway, I don’t have a dollar. I go thruogh the store, decide on three bottles of wine, and start towards for the registers. As I pass through the deli, he reappears and leers at my boobs.
“Ooooh, I KNOW we ‘bout to have a good time.”
I half-yell at him. I’m so tired of this bullshit, and I seem to attract it where ever I go.
“Eh-heh! Heh! Heh!” He laughs, delightedly. I suppose I’m the only woman who’s spoken to him all day.
“Lawd, look at those titties,” he exclaims, staring at the front of my dress.
“Fuck off, jackass!” I begin to stomp away but he steps partially in front of me.
"Hey, uh, you got a dollar?"
"Fuck. Off." I enunciate clearly. I'm not giving someone this rude a single penny. Besides, the way it work is this: If you're looking at my boobs, you give ME the dollar.

I stomp to the registers, with his laugher trailing humiliatingly behind me. I show my ID to the cashier, and inform her - and the manager, who happens to be standing beside her - that a man is panhandling in the store, and that he verbally harrassed me.

“What? In here?!” The manager cries in surprise.
“Yep. He’s right there (in another line, beer in hand). Red plaid shirt, Green Bay Packers hat.”
They crane their necks to see, watch him for a minute as he checks out, shake their heads, and go back to their conversation.

Oh. Great. Thanks. ‘Preciate the support, ladies.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I need the ATF at the ATM

I hate going to the ATM at night, alone. But I owed Natalya $182 for my wedding dress, she needed it by tomorrow morning, and I had to take it to her. I got stuck on the phone with Scott’s mom for TWO AND A HALF HOURS, so it was 11:30 before I could get on my way. I loaded up the puppy and took off.

I blew right past the bank branch and had to cut over to another location. I always check out the surrounding area before I go to the ATM, and everything was fine. As the machine spit out my money, I heard the screech of tires on pavement. Headlights momentarily blinded me, but I could see the huge grill of an SUV bearing down on me. I gasped. The puppy cowered in my lap. The SUV stopped inches from the front of my car and four men jumped out of the side doors.

I did not think as they started in my direction. Faster than I ever thought I could move, I grabbed the money and the card, and slammed the car into reverse. The tires bounced over the lane separater. I felt the bottom of the car scrape against the concrete, but I’ll leave the muffler for these guys if they really want it.

I threw the car into drive, slammed the pedal to the floor, and took off for 10th Street, right up over the curb, through the grass, over the sidewalk, down the streetcurb, and fishtailing into the street. I ran two stop signs and a red light before I looked behind me. No one. I’ve been holding my breathe. Scrabble cowered in the passenger floorboard, whining softly.

I don't know if maybe they were just driving like idiots - young, reckless, unaware of their effect on others - or if I was in some kind of danger. But I wasn't waiting around to find out.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Puppy power!

Whatever possessed us to get a dog in the midst of an already chaotic time? Could it have been... Satan?

The good news: little Scrabble is almost completely housebroken after just two very tiring days. The bad news: I said “almost.” I didn’t think anything this small could pee more than a pregnant woman, but I’ll admit when I’m wrong.

I’m going to be a terrible mother, I can see from the way I treat the dog. Every time I he does something - anything - out of the ordinary, I think, “Oh, god! He’s going to die!” Or, when the more terrifying things happen: “Oh, god! He’s dead!” Just the first night we had Scrabble home, I thought he was dead. He’s kind of needy, so he sleeps in the bed with us. Okay, I’M kind of needy, so he sleeps in the bed with us. Anyway, he was snuggled up against me in the bed, fast asleep, when I woke up. I felt his little furry body next to me, and patted him. No response.

I patted him again and whispered, “Hey, buddy, are you asleep?” Which is utterly ridiculous of me.
I poked him. Nothing.
I patted Scrabble again. Nothing.
I scratched his belly. Nothing.

And then, I knew: In the middle of the night, I had rolled over on him and crushed the life out of him. I killed the best puppy in the world. I was a monster, and I was going to hell. With a strangled cry, I picked up his cold, limp puppy body. He raised his head and licked my face.

Oh. I’m an idiot.

I spent 10 minutes in the bathroom, sobbing, so that I wouldn’t wake Scott.

Is this normal for pregnancy? And when do I recover? I don’t think my mother ever has. Am I going to spend the rest of my life in perpetual recovery from the hourly heart attacks I give myself? No wonder I’m so tired! I’m on 10 all day long!

Monday, July 26, 2004

Movie recommendation

Natalya and I went to go see “King Arthur” last night. I was looking forward to a telling of the King Arthur legend that had better special effects and acting than “Excalibur,” and wasn’t a child’s fairy tale. I guess I was looking for something “Braveheart”-ish, an epic production with good characterization, great acting, a plot that is entertaining and that makes sense (I hold most movies to only symbolic accuracy requirements) and well-choreographed fight scenes.

What I got: a warrior princess (Guinevere), a pansy-ass and reluctant sidekick (Lancelot), and an enemy that changed halfway through the movie (Merlin and his “wards,” or some other name I couldn’t understand; then the entire Saxon race; and Rome the whole way through), and no magic, love triangle, or discernable plot consistency.

I’ll admit: Every time someone said "Arthur," my mind automatically inserted “King of the who? Who are the Britains?” from Monty Python’s “The Holy Grail." Well, it was better than this. Graham Chapman is a more memorable King Arthur. “Excalibur” has a better plot, and “First Knight” was more stylish.

I did like the fact that Guinevere was given a more substantial role than wife, adultress - though she’s still morally lacking with the lying, seduction, and killing. But the sword, “Excalibur” is only given a cursory mention, Merlin was relegated to the role of a 5-line Devil’s advocate, and Lancelot freaking dies. About the only thing that bore any similarity at all to the Arthurian legends were the names of the characters.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Arrangements

We’re going to have a huge garage sale because it’s amazing how many of the same books we have. Of course we have duplicates of textbooks. But, between the two of us, we have four copies of the Baghavad Gita. That’s just silly.

Me: So this trunk is just falling apart now and, anyway, the things I store in it are largely silly. Old magazines. Portfolio pieces I was never show an employer because they’re so bad.
Scott: Uh-huh...
Me: So I’m thinking we get rid of the trunk, move the table to the foot of the bed, and move the other bookshelf from the nursery to there where the table is.
Scott: Um, okay, and no.
Me (laughing): What part?
Scott: I was going to put baby stuff on the top two shelves of the bookcase.
No. I hate that idea.
Me (walking into the nursery): Well, let me ask you a couple of questions.
Scott: Okay...
Me: Where will we put the crib?
Scott (pointing to the right): There.
Me: uh-huh. Where will we put the changing table?
He pauses briefly.
Scott (pointing to where the bookcase is): Well, there.
Me (laughing): No, I’m open to suggestions!
Scott (walking off): Yeah, yeah...

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Eeyore's Wedding

I won’t bore anyone with the many details, but let me put it this way: Today, the day after the wedding, the gardens looked like a hurricane had blown through. The alarm was off, two of the gates were left unlocked, and the lights were all on inside the offices. There was trash, tables, sandbags, chairs, you name it, scattered around over the 8.5 acres. The golf cars in the maintenance shed looked like hell. They were locked together so that I couldn’t get them out, there were beer cans all over the place, and a long dented scratch down the right side of one of the cars. Plus, a key was missing, so we’re now down to just two cars. Finally, when I opened Janet’s office door to show two guests a photograph of the front of the Augusta National Clubhouse, we saw three tiers of wedding cake that had been thrown on the floor.

I’m glad I work days.

Optimism

Scott: I just can’t wait to meet our child!
Me (laughing): I can.
Scott: Why?!
Me: ‘Cause I’m not ready to have it yet. I’m happy to wait the six more months.
Scott: But, still. I can’t wait to meet him. Or her.

He’ll see. We joke that we’re having a demon child, but I’m telling you: with Scott’s demon seed and my deviled eggs, that’s just a recipe for hellmonkeys.

Friday, July 16, 2004

The Inmate is Running The Asylum

I watched the movie “Big Fish” last night - or, rather, I tried to watch it. But the movie takes place during the fight by the father, played by Albert Finney, to live his life even though he has incurable cancer. There was a scene where he was comforting his wife. I thought, “Oh, how terrible it must be to have to watch the man you’ve loved for 30 years, the father or your children, die a slow and painful death.” And then I thought: “Soon, I’ll have a husband. Oh, god. One day he’ll die!” And the floodgates opened. I don’t want Scott to die. I realize that it won’t be anytime soon. Or, at least, one can only hope. I guess you never know for sure.

After about an hour, I got myself under control. I restarted the movie. Within five minutes, Albert Finney’s character had a stroke. I thought: “My father is about the same age as Albert Finney’s character. Oh, god. One day my father will die!” And then the floodgates reopened, and they wouldn’t stop. For three hours.

When Scott got home, he was... confused. And comforted me very poorly. I finally cried myself to sleep. Scott thinks I’ve gone insane. And, to be honest, I rarely cry like that. Not when I broke my ankle. Not when my grandfather died. Only once or twice in my life have I cried like that, and certainly never over something like a movie.

Scott called me when I was at work to inform me that I’d better enjoy the remaining seven months "because after the baby is born I’m getting my nuts chopped.”

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Sleepy

I spent my day off like a sloth; a slug; jello.

3 a.m. - go to sleep after fiancee gets home from work.
4 a.m. - move to couch because sleep impossible with snoring, teeth-grinding, head-elbowing fiancee.
10 a.m. - move back to bed. Chirping birds must die.
11 a.m. - fiancee goes to work.
1:30 p.m. - move back to couch. Watch retarded, but highly entertaining, soap operas.
2:15 p.m. - eat lunch, which consists of 7 leftover tortilla chips and guacamole. Go back to sleep.
4 p.m. - Fiancee returns from work to check on me. zzzzzzzzzzz...... He goes back to work.
7:30 p.m. - phone rings. I forgot I was supposed to go see his parents. Oh, zzzzzzz.....
8:15 p.m. - Awaken again. Call his parents to apologize.
9:15 p.m. - Leave house to forage for food.
9:40 p.m. - Return so hungry, I’m nauseous. Some stupid SUV-driving superbitch took so long at the drive-thru that I found myself screaming out the window: “It’s not rocket science, lady! Order already!” The pregnant-me is going to get the normal-me shot. But the last thing I could make out was: “Is there any wheat or soy in the breading?” Note to readers: If you have questions about ingredients, get your ass out of the car and walk inside. The drive-thru person is directing your dumbass questions to the manager, who is running to read the product box, anyway. Save them the Olympic relay race, okay? Thanks.
9:40 to present - flip back and forth between number-named news programs. 60 Minutes. 20/20. 48-Hours. Why can’t they just be called honest names like: “Half-assed Investigative Reporting,” and “Emotional But Largely Unfounded Testimony.”
At present - Oddly enough, I’m feeling kind of sleepy..

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Hurled

People keep getting in my way at work. I’ve offered to run seminars at work called things like: “Walking: It’s Harder Than it Looks”; and “You, Too, Can Run Food!” To make things worse, Big Richard keeps accidentally slamming into me. In his defense, he’s 7 feet tall and 320 pounds. But he has two eyes. He could use them to keep track of where all of us Lilliputians are, yeah?

So I’m waiting on bread, and he does it again! Right in front of the manager who didn’t believe me. I look at Manager T, palms up, like “Hello?! Can I get some help, here?” He starts laughing. Richard looks up.

R: What?
Me: You did it again!
R: What?
M: Slammed into me! You almost hurled me into the dishpit!
R: No, I didn’t.
Ty (still laughing): Actually, you did.
R: Me? Who?
Me: Who?! YOU Gigantor! Who else could we mean?!

Friday, July 09, 2004

(groan)

We close at 7, but I’ve agreed to stay until 8:30 for a bride's father and their photographer. They’re late. I suspect they won’t show – typical – and I begin closing procedures. As I’m putting up a golf cart, I see him: Eeyore. He’s sitting in his minivan.

This man has been here 312 times preparing for his daughter’s wedding. I’ve nicknamed him Eeyore after the perpetually depressed donkey in Winnie the Pooh. The nickname captures his perpetual complaining, but it doesn’t begin to describe his severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder that is becoming increasingly obvious. He’s measured the seating area twice, the pergola towers once, the – let’s just say that any draftsman could take his measurements and produce a NASA-worthy, topographically correct map of the entire 8-and-1/2-acre gardens to scale with only a slight margin of error.

I’m not in the mood to hear about the special lights heconstructed (using bubble gum and chickenwire, powered entirely by potatoes) to hang from the pergola. I’ve already heard that his daughter’s wedding dress was stolen by the lady who was supposed to complete the alterations, along with 10 other brides’ dresses, and about the ensuing court battle. I do not care that the wedding is just a giant fiasco spinning rapidly out of control and out of money. Don't get me wrong: I cared, at first. Five months later, I want them to elope. Eeyore comes inside. I smile and say, "Hello!" He does not smile back.

I do paperwork while he’s talking, and pray the photographer will arrive soon. I want to distract him – throw my shoe across the room and watch him chase it, like Scrabble, maybe. I’m considering just jamming the shoe down his throat when the photographer arrives. Or, rather, makes her entrance.

She’s on her cell phone, and walks breezily in, even though she is now 35 minutes late. She is dressed head-to-toe in the kind of batik-print, ethnic-inspired, flowing dress/robe/gown kind of thing they sell at department stores, which is to say that the inspiration is far from ethnic. Her hair is swept to the side in a deep part that forces her to cock her head to keep it out of her eyes. She doesn’t acknowledge either of us before she ends her conversation: “No, you called me. No, you called me. No! You called me!" Then she snaps shut her cell phone and slips it into her bag with a dramatic sigh.

“I’m so sorry I’m late, but I got a phone call at 5:30 from someone asking me if I could teach a class from 6 to 7. I said, ‘I can teach from 6 to 6:45, dahling, but I couldn’t possibly teach until 7.’ Then there was so much creativity flowing that I couldn’t cut it short."

She’s like a cartoon – like mad scientists smashed together Cruella DeVil, Marlene Dietrich, and Natasha Karloff. It's like listening to a community theatre production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” in Wichita. No one on the planet is born with a voice like that. It has to be cultivated.

Eeyore introduces us, and I hold out my hand to shake hers. Slowly, she extends hers towards mine, palm down, in such a way that I am unsure whether she intends to shake in return, or if she expects me to kiss hers. I opt for a brief, perfunctory shake and ask if they have any questions. When they say no, I explain that I’ll need to lock up and run to the post office for a few minutes, but that I’ll be right back. I have to get this mail out today, and it’s 7:27. I’m only a block away, so I can make it before they pick up.

“Ooh?” she says, raising an eyebrow. “You will not be escorting us?”

Escorting you? Are you kidding me? Your virtue is safe, your majesty.

“My goodness!” I exclaim to Eeyore. "I’d have thought you’d know every blade of grass by name, by now! I’ve never seen such a dedicated father.”

He beams. Yes! I’m out! It’s now 7:32. I rush out the door and get there just as the mail carrier is pulling away. Damn! I mail all 50 pieces and return to the gardens. It’s 7:45 and they’re still placing items in the golf cart. They only have two bags! I watch, discreetly, as they move the bags from one place to another on the cart...

After another minute, I shake my head and run inside to work on a spreadsheet. I finish at 8:20, and shut everything off. I clean the counter, straighten up the kitchen, check the bathroom, and file my daily paperwork. I hear the golf cart, and peek out the open door. They’re returning, right on time. Then, they turn around. I sigh as they circle the quad and reenter the gardens. Shit.

Fifteen minutes later, I’m sitting on the steps, reading a book. I peek towards the gardens, and see them creeping towards the gate… and right past it. Finally, at 9:10, they return. I meet them, keys in hand.

“What did you think? Do we have any questions?”

“Oh, sweetheart,” her majesty places the back of her hand against her forehead. “I didn’t even think of you still being here.”

Obviously.

Eeyore pulls out a schematic map of the gardens. “This light, this light, this light, this light, this light, this light, and this light are all off. Do you know why?”

I glance at the map. I really don't know - probably because the bulbs are burned out, you fuckhead? I raise my hands.

“Those kinds of mechanical and any logistical problems are Beda’s domain. I wish I knew the answer.”

“Yeah, but…” he goes on to ask questions I can’t answer. I spend the next 10 minutes smiling, nodding, and giving the same answer: “You’ll have to discuss that with Beda. I simply don't know.”

Fiinally, he rolls up his map. The photographer hasn’t moved from her perch on the golf cart. She’s checking her cell phone messages, scrolling through her contacts, and is generally unconcerned with anything but herself. He begins to place things into his bag, meticulously arranging and rearranging them. They’re maps. Fold them, and let’s go, you mental patient.

At 10 p.m., I’m on the road home. Scott is pissed. "Why didn't you tell the to leave?"
I look at him. Is he serious?
"It's just not done, honey. This guy paid $2,000 to rent the place."
"Why do you always have to be the one to stay?"
"'Cause I'm the one on duty."

It's just as simple as that.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Sleepwalking

zzzz.... zzzzz.... zzzz....
I am blissfully asleep after yet another grueling 16-hour work day. I’ve had some insomnia since I got pregnant, and while I’m trying not to complain, I am pretty tired. But not today. I’ve slipped into the sleep of wonderland. I am floating, weightless.

zzzz...
zzzz....
zzzzz....
zzzzz....
...

A light explodes over my head and the bedroom door explodes inward!
“My god! I overslept!” shouts Scott from the doorway. I half sit up.
“What?”
I squint at him through sleep-crusted eyes. Then I groan and flop back down on the pillow. He’s sleepwalking again. I’d gone to bed and left him to read on the couch. He must have fallen asleep.
“Honey,” I ask rhetorically. “What time is it?”
“The clock says 8:15!” He nearly shouts.
Startled, I look over at the clock. I sigh. I flip the switch from the “alarm” setting to the “time” setting. It now reads 3:30. In the morning.
“It’s 3:30 a.m. You aren’t late for work.”
I cover my head with the blanket. The light is burning a hole in my skull.
There is a moment of silence, then I hear him rush through the bathroom, to the living room, and open the front door. Why?! Is there a Magic Time Man in the front yard? Why do we have 17 clocks in a 300-square-foot apartment if he doesn’t believe any of them? He sprints back into the bedroom, frantic and confused.
“It’s dark outside! I can’t tell what time it is!”
“How about 3:30 a.m.?” I mumble from under the blanket.
“I don’t know!”
I sit back up, blinking against the light of the giant fireball suspended over my head.
“You need to calm down and sober up.”
He stops at this, composes himself, and glares at me.
“I am perfectly sober,” he carefully enunciates.
Sure. I’m pregnant, not stupid.
“Baby, check the clock in the bathroom. That one is always right.”
He looks.
“It says 3:30.”
“Well, there you go. Come to bed. You have about 13 hours before you’re late to work. Again.”
He pauses, still uncertain.
“Honey, you’re okay. Turn off the light, and come to bed.”
“Okay,” he resigns. “But I’m going to smoke a cigarette first.”
Great.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Nice Friend

From AB:

Re the Pregnancy Update, I think it is perfectly reasonable to blame the wierdness on being pregnant. I mean, hormones are taking over your body. It is basically like PMSing for 9 months. And were I currently in a state of PMS, I would completely sympathize with your love-hate for Scott, your craving for chocolate and cheese, and even the nausea and anger. It is all part of that lovely cocktail of hormones being churned out by the old ovaries.

PS- I thought it was so awesome of you to share your sonograms with us; how absolutely mystical and wonderful it is to see something happening inside you right before my eyes!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A & W -

Ya’ll are so funny. If you’d had that great plastic thing shoved up inside you, you wouldn’t have felt anything mystical or wonderful. I just felt naked and, well, kind of squishy.

Love,
Stacey & Scott

Friday, July 02, 2004

Smile For the Camera

I had my first sonogram yesterday.

It was a surreal experience. I know that I was supposed to feel something spectacular: entry into an international sisterhood of mothers; a great connection with the universe; participation in a ritual that has continued through the ages. But I was so overwhelmed with medical histories, financial paperwork, an argument with Scott, fear of that the doctor would discover something wrong, and discomfort at being naked in front of so many people, that all I could think was: Could someone please get this huge, cold, wet thing out of my vagina? Somebody? Anybody? Hellooooo?

But then, a soft, rapid rhythm over the machine’s speakers. The baby’s heartbeat. The baby is the size of a pea, and it has a heartbeat? “Yes!” said the sonogram operator, pointing to a smudge on the screen. “Right there!”

And there is is. Although the rest of the picture looks like the horsehead nebula, one tiny little portion is pulsating. “That’s it’s little heart?” I said, tears sliding down my cheeks. “Yep,” the lady said, grinning at the screen. I touched the screen. “Hey, peanut! Hey, monkey!”

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Staple My Uterus

I’m reading all these baby books that want to normalize the process of having a baby by demystifying it. The one I have now, The Mother of All Baby Books, says things like: “Hey, if your uterus falls out, don’t panic. Just pick it up and call your doctor in the morning;” and “Hey, we’ve all crapped in our pants, and after your episiotomy, you may find this happens pretty frequently. Don’t let it bother you!”

I’m freaking out. I like my uterus where it is, thank you. And bowel control is very important to me. If I get my hands on this Eve woman, I’m taking her out. I have to admit that it’s entertaining to watch myself get all weird. I hate my husband-to-be today, but tomorrow I won’t. I really really really want to eat chocolate-coated cheddar cheese, but I can’t seem to find any (how odd. There should be a market for this). I freaked out in Wal-Mart because I didn’t know what to buy for the baby. Do they make baby ski masks to keep their little faces warm? I don’t know these things.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Hysteria, When You're Near

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the word “hysteria” comes from a term used by doctors in ancient Greeze. Doctors thought that women experienced emotional imbalance when the uterus traveled around inside the body.

This makes some sense to a pregnant woman. Things that seem completely insane to non-pregnant people appear perfectly reasonable to me. It is normal to bug bomb my car. It’s nearly mundane to want to sleep in the bathtub. And if I want to dip cheese into chocolate, why shouldn’t I?

As late as the 1960s, some psychologists categorized pregnany as a mental illness. I’m beginning to see why.

“Pregnancy will make you crazy,” Jessica H. told me yesterday, in conspiratorial tones. I wish someone had told me earlier But the bigger secret: Men get it too.

Scott works at a pizza joint, and his co-workers have all noticed the change. In a fog, Scott dumped a tray of used paper plates and plastic utensils into the dishpit... the clean side. It wasn’t until the dishwasher yelled at him that he even realized what he had done.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Milking It

I’m already using the pregnancy to my advantage. Driving to Atlanta, Scott turned on the radio. He likes his music very loud.

No, you don’t understand how LOUD it is: I have (not very serious, but measurable) permanent hearing loss from childhood ear infections, and it’s too loud for me.

“Honey!” I cried. “The baby is going to kick out the radio!”
Scott laughed.
I held up my thumb and forefinger and pressed them together.
“It’s little ears are only this big!”

Friday, June 25, 2004

My Body is a Wonderland

There should be some reprieve between finding out that you’re pregnant, and experiencing the effects of pregnancy (of course, I am eight weeks along). But I guess my body going insane was the first indicator, anyway.
  • My boobs are huge. I’m renaming myself Mt. Boobamunjaro. I can’t imagine what they’ll be like at 9 months. They’re going to have their own weather systems before the pregnancy is over.
  • Dear God, the cramps. I might as well be having the baby now. I’m told that it’s my uterus expanding. Great. Like any part of my body needs to get bigger. Apparently, labor is an estimated 4 billion times worse. That’s okay. In my “emergency labor oh-my-god-we’re-having-the-baby-NOW bag,” I’m packing a rubber mallet. I hope Scott has the balls to knock me unconscious.
  • My stomach is trying to escape. I think the plan is that I will get so frustrated by the indigestion that I will rip it out of my body. It’s a plan that just might work. “Oh,” said Jessica, a girl I work with. “That means the baby will have hair!” The “baby” is the size of a grain of rice. It has cilia, right now, not hair.
  • I have to pee every three minutes, but the rest of my body can’t seem to clear itself out. I’m carrying around 23.7 tons of water weight. When I walk I can hear myself slosh.
  • I’m sure it sounds like I’m complaining, and I am, but because this whole thing amuses me. It’s like I’m wearing someone else’s body. It’s a process from which I’m detached.
“But, you’re glowing!” Scott said, and God love him for thinking it.
“Honey, I’m not glowing. That’s the ever-present sheen of sweat I’ve gathered from dragging my pregnant ass around this hot-ass town.”

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Perspective

Everything seems so overwhelming. Yesterday, someone at work asked me how I felt. I said, “I feel pregnant. I want to beat everyone up and take all their food!”

Big laugh from the other mommies.

Friday, June 18, 2004

For Them to Poop On

Of course, my parents had to shit all over it. They lectured us for two hours about how disappointed they were in me, how they thought I was smarter than this.

Scott is trying to handle it with his usual aplomb. I suppose he’s simply more of a grown-up than I am. But this was most inappropriate.

My sister tried to make me feel better: “Why do you listen to them? They’re crazy. Don’t listen to the crazies.” And I laughed. But I don’t feel better. I’ve never been happier in my life. Why did they have to be such assholes about it?

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Oops, We're Pregnant!

I tell Penny first, then we call his parents. They are ecstatic, and they tell us that they have an entire nursery’s furniture stored in their attic. I call to move the wedding date, and am offered free use of the botanical gardens! All of Scott’s friends’ wives are pregnant, and due only a month before I am. Everyone is nice at work - except Sumo, but that’s to be expected. I come home to 15 messages of congratulations! I feel fantastic - Scott and I are both terrified, but it’s in the “actually living my life” vein of terror, which is the best kind to have. The timing may be off, but my partner is right, and we already have a fantastic support network in place. We’re excited and ecstatic and everything else you can be that basically means happy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Wedding is another word for "crazy"

My mother has already sent me an email of directives. So I sent her this email:

We’ve decided on a theme for the wedding: Spingtime picnic. We’ve going to cover the tables with Astroturf and plastic flowers and bugs. The chairs will be covered with red and white gingham fabric, and we’ll all eat ham sandwiches and potato salad off of paper plates.

All of the party favors will be little boxes of chocolate covered ants. Remember the story Dad used to tell about eating the ants? That’s where I got the idea. Scott’s family comes from the McDow’s of the McDow peninsula of Ireland. It’s a farming community, and agriculture has always been a big part of their lives so we're bringing in some of old farming equipment as decoration: a plow, rakes, pitchforks, etc.

I may ask Kelli to break out her clogging shoes from middle school because Scott’s sister, Vivian, is going to do a caeli, which is Irish stepdancing, and it would nice if someone from our family could join in. Scott is thinking of having all the groomsmen wear bolo ties. I thought that it would be funny, since we have a country picnic theme, to come barefoot and with a pillow stuffed in my dress, and Dad could carry a shotgun. But I thought that might be too much.

Scott panicked. He sent this email to my mother:

Mrs. McGowen -

Your daughter has been smoking crack. The proof: her most recent email. However, we are going to have a very dignified wedding. You and I are going to see to that. There will be no Astroturf, no bare feet, no black bridal gown, or other crazy shit. I am glad to have an ally in this mess. Please help me make this wedding something your daughter will be proud of 20 years from now, since I plan to be looking at those photographs with her at that time. I am so happy to have you as a mother-in-law.

Let's synchronize our watches! Good luck!

Love, Scott

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Bad Mojo

Why is it that four different people have asked me if I plan to go on the South Beach Diet now that I'm engaged? And someone scoffed at my engagement ring the other day: "If my fiancee gave me a teeny tiny plain old ring like that, I would not marry him!" Wow. That's love. I'd have married Scott if he proposed with a doughnut ring... but then I would have eaten it.

Anyway, back to my mojo. I seem to have left it at the Bat Cave.

I got my first table 15 minutes after I got to work today. Just as they were sat, my contact popped out of my left eye. Then, one of the hostesses told me that I left on my headlights. I ran out into the pouring rain to turn them off. As I reached into the car, my left bra strap snapped. What the hell?

I stood for a moment, in the rain, making a silent apology for offending the universe. Then I went back inside. As I passed a girl in the kitchen - the new girl who made a mean comment about my very beautiful ring - she fell on her ass. Hmmm...

Shit like that happened all night long. Frankly, I'm surprised we all survived.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Too much time on their hands

Why do people turn their noses up at my ignorance of wedding planning and, well, complete lack of giving a shit about the things I suppose I should give a shit about? Like, no way I'm paying $200 for a cake.

"That's cheap!" said Stephanie. "Geez, are you having your mom make it, or something? That is so ghetto."

Um, I'm not having my mother make it, but wouldn't that be nice - not ghetto - of her?

"So, what are your colors?" some new girl at work asked me. "Colors?" I said, completely confused. "Yeah, you know: the color scheme of your wedding. What color are the bridesmaids going to wear, the groomsmen, the decorations, the cake, the flowers, the -"

My head began spinning while I tried to take all of this in.

"I don't need a color scheme for the wedding. I'm going to wear a white dress - because my fiancee actually cares about that, not my first choice - and I'm just hoping that he shows up and says yes." The girl looked and me and then rolled her eyes. "Your wedding is going to look stupid." I grinned and said: "How would you know? You're not invited."

Thursday, June 10, 2004

What decade is this?

My manager grabbed my ass last night. Could've killed her. I've worked on the "Don't Grab Stacey's Ass" ad campaign for a year, now, but apparently I'm not reaching my target audience.

Fun so far

I like this being engaged thing. I get lots of hugs. I'm so happy I'm drooling on myself.

Unfortunately, now there's a huge party to plan. Can't we just make a fucking big pot of spaghetti? I was trying to figure out what kind of wedding dealio to expect, so I asked Scott what he was going to wear. "A tux," he answered. Crap. That means I have to get a formal dress.

Our list is already out of control. We're at nearly 300 people without even asking our parents who they are inviting. If the list stays the way it is, each guest will be issued a single Saltine and a plastic cup of water at the door. Happy reception feast!