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

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


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.


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


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


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


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.”


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


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.


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.
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.”

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.

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.