Friday, October 31, 2008

viva la freshness!

For our weekly lunch together, my mom took the Biscuit and I to a fabulous new Mexican gourmet restaurant called The Bridge that is nearby and emphasizes freshness. And I must admit, the food definitely gave me a new definition for the term "fresh".

We sat down in a booth near the front door. The service was a bit slow, and the salsa was really quite hot, but we found the food to be delightful and, indeed, fresh.
The Biscuit was chowing down on beans, rice, cheese, sour cream, and chicken, and my quesadilla was delicious, with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and very fresh chicken.

Oh, and the roach.

That's right. A living, squirming, frantic cockroach dropped from the ceiling directly onto my plate, landing squarely on my quesadilla, right next to my fork. I was utterly speechless and could only gesticulate madly until mom noticed. Biscuit kept on chomping. At that moment, with me unsure whether to kill it, scream, or barf, the waitress came by to see how were were doing. I pointed with my knife. As it scurried onto the table and towards my child, the waitress grabbed an empty beer bottle and squashed it mostly flat right next to the chips, where it continued to squirm and flap around in a way that was even more disgusting than just the scurrying.

I started laughing, because it was all just so ridiculous and gross. And I kept on laughing, like some sort of idiot, until about 3pm this afternoon.

A nice man, who I assume owns or manages the restaurant, stopped by to apologize and explained that it was all the fault of the coin laundry next door, which is obvious, because cockroaches are known for enjoying clothes and cleaning products. Not piles of half eaten food and sugary beverages in restaurants. I'm sure it was the coin laundry. He offered to get us new food, but my mom wisely spoke for me, saying, "We're just going to leave now".

And since then, i've eaten 2 apples and a Kit Kat bar, because food just hasn't been very appealing.

Moral of the story? Don't eat Mexican food by that coin laundry.

Or ever again possibly.

Tomorrow: Halloween recap: The Good, The Bad, and The Enormously Pregnant.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Great Birthday Guessing Game

Anybody wanna guess when Baby Shmoo will arrive?

Leave your guess in the comments, and we'll see who gets closest.

The dating ultrasound at 8 weeks said December 2. The 20 week ultrasound ranged from November 26 to December 2.

I look like a dirigible and am experiencing prodromal labor.

Got a guess?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

this is not my crap

A conversation:

Cashier: Do you want to hold onto this Heath bar, and the Reese's cups, and the Dr. Pepper?
Me: No, thanks. That's not my crap.
Cashier: These aren't yours?
Me: Well, i'm paying for them, but they're for my husband, who is going to be cracked out on Fallout 3 for the next 2 days and will probably forget to eat unless I put those in his lap.
Cashier: Yeah, it's a pretty good game. Hey, is this bag too heavy for you?
Me: No, i'll make my husband bring in the groceries.
Cashier: You think he'll quit playing for that?
Me: If he wants his Heath bar, Reese's, and Dr. Pepper, you bet yer a$$ he will.

I like a jovial teenage cashier. Makes life a lot easier.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Well, I have my little peach sticker telling everyone that i'm a Georgia voter.

And I have to say that it was one of the loveliest voting experience of my life.

Arriving at the library at 10am in 44 degree weather, I was considered "disabled" and pushed to the front of the line, despite my protestations. Everyone was friendly, kind, and jovial, and most folks couldn't believe that an egregiously pregnant woman would carry a 27-pound toddler on her back. I tried to explain how it balances out my front, but I think they were skeptical. We were out of there in 30 minutes!

So, my recommendations are as follows:

1. VOTE.
2. Vote early.
3. Wear a big pillow under your shirt so they let you vote first.

a child's judgment

Guess what Biscuit made today at school?

A big, black spider. Made of her little handprints in black paint, with googly eyes.

Her comments?

"Look! I make a big, black spider! Like run up mommy's leg make her scream like a noonie bird!"

Makes more sense when you know that "noonie bird" is our family term to replace anything from jerk to idiot to "complete f'ing moron dumba$$ who can't f'ing drive". We just say noonie bird.

And apparently, I screamed like a noonie bird.


Monday, October 27, 2008

I am a sniveling girl

I generally pride myself on *not* being a sniveling girl. I used to train muay thai and a little jiujitsu. I like snakes, lizards, sharks, and rampaging stallions. When not shaped like a planetoid, I love to climb trees and boulders and be all sorts of tomboy.

But this morning, I totally lost my cool girl cred.

Because I woke my husband up screaming like a little girl.

Because there was a 3-inch diameter wolf spider running up my velour pajama pants.

Which I then beat to death with a toddler bicycle helmet in front of my slightly confused toddler.

Now, I know perfectly well that this is a harmless, even beneficial spider. I am sitting 4 feet from the fireplace, and I suspect that the flue isn't quite closed all the way. It's fall, and windy, and the most obvious place in the world for a big ol' spider to go would be to the warm indoors. I know that there are only two venomous spiders in Georgia, and that they are both teeny tiny and reclusive. Especially the Brown Recluse.

But I just couldn't stop myself from jumping up and down and screaming. Because, honestly, it was 7am, and I hadn't had coffee yet, and I don't have very good eyesight, and it was really really hauling ass up my leg.

So, yeah, today... i'm a sniveling girl. And an arachnicidal maniac.

But at least that is balanced out by the fact that I made horrible coffee, shrunk Dr. Crog's new sweater to a Junior size 5, did the worst ironing job possible on his nice work pants, and generally sucked as a housewife this morning. So maybe I kept a little bit of tomboy, right?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

quote of the day

Mommy: Biscuit, what time is it?
Biscuit: Forty o'clock.
Mommy: Well, look outside. What time of day is it?
Biscuit: It is night.
Mommy: So what do we do at night?
Biscuit: NOOOOOO!
Mommy: At night, after we have our yogurt, we go upstairs. What do we do?
Biscuit: Have a vitamin.
Mommy: Um, no. Okay, what are these? (pointing at teeth)
Biscuit: Teeth.
Mommy: What do we do with our teeth before we go to bed?
Biscuit: Put a vitamin inside of them.

Mommy and Daddy laugh uproariously. Truly our child. Daddy and Biscuit are now brushing teeth. I suppose that when a vitamin is the most sugary snack a kid gets in a day, they really look forward to Vitamin Time, but honestly... that's just freaking hilarious.

Okay, now go read the bit about Medieval Times, because that's the real blog for today.

my big fat Medieval birthday

As i've mentioned before, there aren't a lot of fun activities open to people in their 8th month of pregnancy. Ice skating, roller skating, rock climbing, amusement parks, running with the bulls, and sky diving are totally out. But I needed to celebrate 31 in a fun way, which led us to Medieval Times.

On the Epcot Trip in 6th grade, we went to the MT in Florida, but the experience was darkly colored by my teacher's concussion and my own insecurities. I mainly remember Ms. Everiss flying into the bus windshield, not quite knowing what to do with an entire chicken and no silverware, and trying desperately to pretend that I was cool despite the fact that I was pudgy with bad hair and no friends.

It was much better as an adult.

Here's the play-by-play:

6:15 - My mom shows up to watch the biscuit and we drive to Medieval Times in the rain. Although I am utterly terrified by highways (thank you, mortality salience!), it's so relaxing to be sitting somewhere cozy and not moving that I really have a nice time.

7:00 - We arrive at MT and meet The Kids. We give them our preprinted tickets, which entitle us to "The Royalty Package". We are VIPs. Which is why they give us cardboard crowns and take our photo with the king and princess. The king is pretty realistic, but the princess looks like that girl from your high school drama club that gets all the roles requiring a girl to be pretty in an extremely caucasian and harmless way. For one brief moment, Dr. Crog and I realize that we are utter dweebs, but we come to terms with it. Dr. Crog gets a big ol' beer in a souvenir glass and makes me hold it for him while he uses the can, which makes me feel totally redneck and/or medieval.

7:05 - We realize that when the website tells you to be there an hour early to ensure good seats, they really mean that they want to hold you captive for an hour by the open bar, souvenir shop, and $2 torture museum. We opt for the torture museum, OBVIOUSLY.

7:15 - We slip by the executioner and his wench to enjoy the torture museum for 10 minutes. They have many interesting torture devices with colorful descriptions and illustrations. I am somewhat bothered by the fact that the couple behind us in line appear to be Mennonites, or some other extremely modest sect that involves the woman covering every inch of skin and wearing a little basket on her head. Feeling them read the description of a chastity belt over my shoulder and exposed cleavages is a little surreal.

8:00 - We Lords and Ladies are invited to sit. We are in the Black and White section, front row center. Luckily, the black-and-white knight is one of the better knights and is always on a fabulous horse. They bring us tomato soup in a pewter cup to sip with some garlic bread while the show starts with a bunch of drama and subplot. The microphones attached to the actors are a bit distracting, but I suppose it's better than bullhorns. As we're big movie and book fans, Dr. Crog and I immediately know whodunnit, but i'm too busy drooling over the villain's Friesian horse to care.

8:15 - The Master of Horse exhibit begins, and they bring out a parade of gorgeous Andalusians, Lippizaners, and Friesians. It is total horse porn for a girl like me, and I am practically drooling into my lap watching all those big, sexy horse feet. I'm talking dirty under my breath to a particularly sassy Andalusian with a gorgeous, thick, dappled neck when I realize that someone has placed half a chicken and half a potato on my plate. It's like MAGIC!

8:30 - The King's Falconer comes out, and a hawk starts swooping over our heads, and we have a discussion on the difference between being the Falconer in the actual medieval times, being the Falconer for Medieval Times TM, and being the Falconer from Saturday Night Live. We agree that the real thing would have been best, even with the rickets and lack of toilet paper, because anyone would get sick of 13 year old boys asking stupid questions every day or having your falcon, Donald, constantly reject and abandon you to go do coke off a hooker's butt.

9:00 - Or something. The games begin, with jousting for rings, picking up sticks at full gallop, tossing things from horseback, etc. We are impressed with the horsemanship and lancemanship, and we really enjoy watching the knights have fun while performing esoteric and utterly unpractical tasks. We can completely respect a guy who says to himself, "You know, I want to have long hair and wear tights and fight with a sword, but selling candles at the RennFest ain't enough. I'm going full-time." And then he actually does, it, does it well, and makes a living off it. We are also curious as to whether the dude who has to pick up the horse doodies actually applied for that job, or if they just make the latest person each night do it, or if they draw straws.

9:30ish - Actual jousting, swordfighting, maces, lances, and fisticuffs ensue. Each knight must choose a Lady from his section to carry his token. Our knight wisely chooses a four-year-old girl with a pink furry princess hat who is celebrating a birthday. Her extremely drunk mother later defends her daughter's knight by standing up, shouting obscenities, and shooting a bird at the knight who unseats him in the joust. Classy!

The Kids split sometime around here due to Adrienne's ferocious horse allergy. Poor girl! You guys are so good to humor us when we act like giant 7-year-olds with endocrine issues.

10:00 - Things happened. We ate all our food with our fingers and used wet naps. There was drama and subplot and (gasp!) betrayal. There were silly little moments, like when we realized that the gimp-masked bad guys were really the knights who had been grievously wounded in swordfights. In real life, their intestines would have been spread all over the dirt after the many broadsword gut slashes, but in MT world, they limped offstage to recover, some in the princess's bower. Bom-chicka-bomp-bom! We found ourselves shouting and waving our pennants and really pulling for our knight, who would have won, if not for (gasp!) BETRAYAL.

A good time was had by all.

In conclusion, if you are a big ol' dork (or a small child) who likes pageantry and fun and greasy fingers and really sexy horses, we highly recommend Medieval Times. Four very enthusiastic thumbs up.

And the bonus? The Biscuit got a crown and pennant, and she's been cheering for us all day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

forced eavesdropping

You know how sometimes, you can't help eavesdropping? You don't want to hear it. You'd just like to read, or eat, or have your own conversation. But they're so loud and obnoxious, you have to listen.

Here is one such conversation today, possibly the most ridiculous one i've heard in a while:

Lady 1: You know, I wanted my son to be a good eater, but he just isn't. He only wants to eat sugar and snacks and stuff, no veggies. He likes cookies and cereal and cake and chicken nuggets and french fries.
Lady 2: Yeah, I don't get it, either! My kids do the same thing!
(note: They have brought a bag of McDonald's food into a coffee shop for this conversation...)

Lady 1: So I think he might be lactose intolerant. Or be allergic to milk.
Lady 2: Yeah, my kids, too!
Lady 1: But I can't figure out the difference between lactose intolerance and milk allergies.
(note: They have a laptop on the table, and the coffee shop offers free WiFi...)

Lady 1: Like, his stomach is always messed up. But he seems okay with cheese and yogurt.
Lady 2: I always get really sick after I drink a milkshake or eat ice cream, so I think I must be allergic to milk.
Lady 1: Yeah, same here! But lattes don't make me sick, so whatever.
Lady 2: Maybe it has something to do with if it's whole milk or fat free. Like, maybe the fat makes you sick or something.
Lady 1: No, I think that's the lactose intolerance, not the milk allergy thing. Lactose intolerance has to do with the fat in the milk or something.
Lady 2: Does lactose intolerance give kids ADD, too? Because my kids are real hyper.
Lady 1: No, they're just born with that.
(note: Their 3 kids are running around, screaming, knocking into people, while drinking sodas...)

In conclusion, I was just dumbfounded. In today's world, how can anyone not know the answers to these questions? And, if so, how are they not on Google finding out? I wanted to turn around and scream, "GUESS WHAT? YOU AND YOUR KIDS ARE CRAZY BECAUSE YOU EAT NOTHING BUT SUGAR AND FAT, AND THAT MESSES WITH YOUR STOMACHS. DRINK SOME WATER AND EAT A VEGETABLE!"

I know that i'm a "learning is half the battle" kind of person, but honestly... if I thought something I was feeding my child was making her sick, i'd check it out. If not on the internet, if not on a message board, then with... oh, I dunno... her DOCTOR.

Ignorance is one thing, but it's so easy to look up answers in this world. You don't even have to go to the library and find an encyclopedia-- you just type something into your "search" bar and start reading. Even Ask Jeeves could tell you what lactose intolerance is!

Ah, well. I'm just going to hope these girls watch Oprah on the right day and buy stock in Tums.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

31 is pretty good so far: part 2, electric boogaloo

Let's see...

17. Eleventh grade. I wear brown corduroy pants and an argylel sweater to school, and my friends give me a pair of argyle suspenders and matching argyle socks, because I apparently think i'm a Scottish clown. So I spend the day dressed like a clown with a balloon bouquet tied to my pants. I get my highest bowling score ever. The bowling shoes really added something special to the ensemble.

18. Twelfth grade. After having my heart broken over the summer, I consent to a spaghetti dinner and homecoming dance on my birthday with a seemingly nice boy who later rapes me at knifepoint after 3 months of concentrated stalking. He makes a big deal about driving his father's Mustang, how expensive dinner is, and the ridiculous book on Esperanto he ceremoniously gives me. Pretty much the only birthday/year not better than the previous one.

19. I'm a freshman in college, and my mom sends me a care package including Dr. Suess's "Oh Say Can You Say?" and encourages me to get drunk and enjoy the tongue twisters. I follow her advice and vomit in ever receptacle from my shoes to my roommate's trash can. My boyfriend gives me a large long-sleeved Toasters t-shirt that makes me look like a man. Still, it's better than last year.

20. I'm a sophomore in college, and my roommates and I are still having a grand time and not bugging the crap out of eachother, so they each give me sweet little gifts. My high school friend breaks into my house through the kitchen window and sets up a battle of miniature plastic pigs on my kitchen table. I receive Marduk the Armadillo, a corporeal god who still guards my studio. My boyfriend, some guy named Craig, leaves huge, hand-cut wooden signs around the house for me, the loss of which bothers me to this day.

21. I'm a junior/senior in college. I'm dating a nice vegetarian boy who works at The Cookie Company. I eat a LOT of cookie cake for my birthday.

22. I'm at my very first job. They have a cake for me and give me little gifts, and I feel like a grown-up for the first time. I'm fairly certain that I went to see The Blair Witch Project for free at a second-run theater where a friend worked, and I nearly gave myself a heart attack coming home alone and walking through the creepy, unlit garden.

23. Still at the same job, I must work a huge gala event on the night of my birthday. I'm in metallic red snakeskin pants and mile-high heels until 3am serving rich people champagne. Dr. Crog meets me afterwards, and we go to Kroger to buy a little white puppy-shaped cake covered in sprinkles, which we eat at my kitchen table.

24. I'm in Clemson, living in a one-bedroom apartment with Dr. Crog. He puts up signs for me, one of our favorite traditions. Dr. Crog conspires with my friends to throw me a fabulous birthday party at the local skating rink, where we bribe the DJ to play nothing but 80's music, which heavily confuses the children. Dr. Crog comes in 2nd in the limbo contest. I have a great time skating in a tiara, eating cake, and opening my first DVDs for our brand new DVD player. I don't think we've ever watched The Mexican again.

25. I'm in Pendleton, SC, happily married to Dr. Crog. He puts up signs and gets me a cake. The girls at work take me out to my favorite restaurant for greasy fried haddock and chips. My girlfriends throw me a sleepover party, where we dance, get drunk, watch silly movies, and I gorge on my very favorite cake with rainbow chip frosting. They call me "the mouse in the belljar" for nibbling off the cake plate all night.

26. We're in Birmingham. We have no friends and are generally pretty miserable. Dr. Crog takes me to Steak and Ale, our favorite restaurant. He buys me the most hilarious cake-- yellow cake with chocolate whipped icing, covered in toy cars. I try really hard to pretend I like it and fail miserably. Tres pathetique.

27. We're in Alpharetta. I don't remember a lot from Alpharetta, really. I have no recollection of this birthday. I'm assuming there was cake involved somewhere.

28. We live in a little one bedroom apartment and are about to get pregnant, although we don't know it. Jan takes me to Anna Lee's for lunch. Dr. Crog takes me to Killer Creek for dinner. Some day that week, my parents take us to Red Lobster for Super Shrimp Glutton day. I eat a lot of shrimp and make myself sick.

29. We take our 2 month old baby for her first big road trip to meet her Savannah grandparents and to attend my dear friend Amy's wedding on the beach. We have a wonderful time at the beautiful wedding with lots of old friends. I have lots of cake.

30. We drop Cleo off with my parents and go to Five Guys for lunch with Adrienne and Evan. Then everyone humors me by pretending they enjoy ice skating as much as I do, even though most of them are in serious pain from the cold, falling, or skates. Dr. Crog and the kids give me lots of cool art supplies for my birthday, which i'll one day get to use for encaustic painting when i'm done pregging and nursing. Dr. Crog also gets my first, very own, super special beautiful Cake by Darcy, which I eat in, like, one week and share with my friend Christine, who gives birth on the 23rd and is able to eat the cake the next day.

31. I'm 8 months pregnant. I wake up before dawn, worrying about stupid crap, but manage to salvage the morning with waffles, a steaming 30 minute shower and the chance to read on my favorite couch while the family sleeps. Dr. Crog and Cleo wish me a very happy birthday. My good friend Christine makes special Nutella-magical-calzone thingies that taste like hot brownie mix on crack. I buy some shoes. A fine evening is promised. We're going to Medieval Times on Friday, since watching grown men beat eachother on horseback while drinking Sprite out of a goblet is really the only exciting event/activity a preggo can enjoy.

In conclusion, CAKE. And I like being much, much happier at 31 than I ever thought possible at 16. No wonder I can't watch cheesy teen movies anymore-- life is so much better now.

now we are 31: first blood, part 1

What a bizarre number: 31. It's prime, it's all odd, it's an icy mint green, according to my synesthesia. But since pretty much every year of my life has been better than the last, I don't think i'll complain.

Here is an attempt to remember my past birthdays:
1. No memory. I have seen pictures of me in nothing but a diaper and bib, stuffing my gob with as much chocolate icing as possible and later holding two stuffed bears. Sounds pretty good.

2. No memory. Was this the year my mom made a Holly Hobby cake? I think i've seen pictures.

3. No memory. I think my parents gave up on the whole "photographs" thing around now. I wasn't quite as cute.

4 - 5. No memory, no pictures.

6. I was in kindergarten, and I have no memory of my birthday party, but my mom took me to Richway to buy the first My Little Pony, which was a foot tall, made of hard plastic, and simultaneously winked and twitched an ear when you pushed a button under her chin. We went to my dad's work, and my Aunt Shirley gave me some old butterscotch that tasted like cigarette smoke. I thought I was the luckiest kid on earth.

7. I don't remember the party, but I do remember getting my first Cabbage Patch Kid, Sherri. They were so popular then that a woman tried to pry her from my arms as I proudly walked to the checkout line, and my mom almost decked her. What is wrong with people?

8. Second grade. I took 3 friends to go ride ponies at a ranch. I had mental images of my friends and I, dressed as cowboys, galloping around a field and jumping over logs and yelling "YEEEHAW!" In reality, a bored teenager led us each around the ring once on the back of a very bored pony, I cried inside while my mom paid them $50, and then we went back to my house for pizza. And then Jonathan Poister threw me a football, and I broke my finger catching it incorrectly and spent the rest of the evening with an ice pack.

9. Third grade. I had my first sleepover, featuring school friends, neighborhood friends, and the older sisters of neighborhood friends to pad the list so that I could brag about how many people came to my party because I wasn't very popular. After telling me for 3 months that I would not be receiving a Cabbage Patch Kids Cornsilk Kid TM, my parents surprised me with one, who had auburn hair and was wearing a yellow dress and black party shoes. My cake was from a bakery, white with a horse's head poorly done in sparkly brown gel icing. We watched the Care Bear movies.

10. Fourth grade. No memory. Was this Chuck E. Cheese? Or Showbiz Pizza? I think so.

11. Fifth grade. No memory. Probably another sleepover.

12. Sixth grade. Had a sleepover with people I thought were my friends who actually hated me. Terribly depressing to remember. Received a bike for either my birthday or Christmas, which enabled me to get exercise and drop some chunk.

13. Seventh grade. Had my room redone in shades of mauve. Got my first TV and VCR. Thought I was cool.

14. Eighth grade. Actually began to somewhat be cool, in that I lost 20 pounds over the previous summer, grew out my toupee hair, and quit hanging out with people who hated me. I think I had a party, but I don't recall. I'm sure I was very blase and vegetarian about it, whatever it was.

15. Ninth grade. Had a very cool boy-girl party, my first. My parents redid the house with a widescreen TV and pool table. I think I got a stereo for my birthday and began wondering, "Who is this Nirvana guy? He's kinda cool."

16. Tenth grade. Dad took me to get my driver's license and left me at school with mom's car, which I used to promptly skip school to go to the opening of North Point Mall with my boyfriend. My friends brought me a cookie cake at lunch, and when the school bully was cloyingly nice and asked for a piece, I laughed in his face and said no, so he told me we were going to fight behind the church after school. He didn't show, so I won by default.

To be continued...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

a very nearly ideal day

Normally, weekends are not my favorite. My friends are all busy, my parents are "crashed", and my husband has his only true time to relax, which mostly involves jiujitsu and napping. Which means it's just me and the biscuit, which makes for a pretty exhausting day, considering i'm a whale.

Today, however, was outstanding.

1. Sleep in while Dr. Krog entertains the biscuit. Wake up and roll around ecstatically in the cold sheets, cackling happily in the dappled sunlight.

2. Go to Ikea. Eat a cinnamon roll. Get stuff for Cleo's Big Girl Room. And a few things for me. I have an aloe plant now! So I will probably burn myself accidentally, just to prove its usefulness.

3. Go to my folks'. Eat so much of my grandmother's vittles that I seriously think i'm going to spew. Loll in bed watching the Style Network while mom chases the biscuit. Burp a lot, because my stomach is squished down to about 4 inches square and being repeatedly kicked by my alien child.

4. Come home and clean while Cleo naps.

5. Prepare the Big Girl Room, complete with twin bed, new linens, traded paintings, Ikea tent, easel, and general rebranding. Then watch her smile and gallop around.

6. Go on a 7:30pm impulsive sugar run for my first Icee in, like, 5 years. It is the most unnatural substance i've ever tasted. Not even vaguely frootlike. Lovely consistency, though.

7. Bed. My favorite sleeping weather. And tomorrow I get to paint.

The only porblem? I was so stuffed this afternoon that I told my mom to keep the remaining half of Mimi's chocolate pie, and I could really use some of that pie now.

Mmmmmmmm. Pie.

Friday, October 17, 2008

... I disgust myself.

My normal day:
Breakfast: whole grain, 15-grams-of-fiber cereal with banana and milk
Snack: apple and cheese
Lunch: lentil soup and grilled cheese with orange juice
Snack: grapes and whole grain graham crackers
Dinner: chicken, rice, green beans, black eyed peas, whole grain garlic toast

My 8-months-pregnant-food-aversion-ultra-disgusto day:
Breakfast: whole grain frozen waffles with Aunt Jemima syrup and butter and chocolate milk
Snack: Emergen-C with OJ and cran-raspberry juice
Lunch: 2 cheese hot dogs with ketchup, kettle potato chips, red grapes, chocolate milk
Snack: too many homemade Rice Krispy Treats (thanks a lot, Christine!)
2nd Snack: birthday cake and other treats from a 2-year-old's party
Dinner: bowl of Cap'n Crunch

Seriously. Today is SO NOT ME. But everything else sounds so completely puke-o-tronic. I know the baby needs fat, but I don't think he needs this much fat, this much sugar, or this much nasty, packaged food.

I guess I am getting close to baby day, though-- I remember this phase from Cleo's gestation. We called it "The Lucky Charm Days", because I ate a grande box of LC every 2 days. The best thing I can say is that at least all this horrid processed cereal is fortified to the max. So i'm cool for riboflavin.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

have baby, skulls, and spells: will travel

Or, part II of "she's an artist of life".

Points of interest:

1. Again with the witch hat and sunglasses.
2. She's wearing my preggo-size-9 black canvas slip-on shoes with the crystal skulls.
3. She's carrying Baby Zoolander in a Navajo-patterned fleece baby pouch.
4. That pumpkin is full of whole-grain Goldfish crackers and expired drivers' licenses.
5. Her fashion statement: "I go to Target, buy apples and yogeert and shoeses."

Not bad for 26 months, eh?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I typed out this huge diatribe about choices, and now I erased it.

On purpose. By choice.

If you're reading my blog, it's either because you know me, and thence know my feelings about the current birth climate in America, or because you randomly found my blog by searching for zombies, pinkeye, Tom Robbins, or Cap'n Crunch. And if it's the latter, you probably don't care about my thoughts regarding a pregnant woman's responsibility to research her birth options and make the most intelligent choice possible for the health of herself and her child.

So i'm going to take my big, long, frothy soapbox oration and condense it for you.

I'm pro-choice on pretty much everything. I support a human being's right to choose. To choose whatever. Choose your shoes, choose your haircut, choose to wear pleated pants with tapered ankles, choose which donuts you want in your Dunkin' Donuts Dozen, but please don't let the fruit filled ones touch the chocolate glazed. And, yeah, I support your right to choose your religion, to terminate your pregnancy, to own guns, to do drugs, to prostitute your body (but please don't do these last two near me). It's your business. It's your choice.

But for pete's sake, make the choice YOURSELF.

I hear about so many pregnant women who basically opt out of their own health care. They don't read books, search the internet, seek recommendations, opt for second opinions. They follow their doctor's orders blindly. Incisive, intelligent women who would spend 45 minutes choosing a cough syrup or cereal will nod happily when their obstetrician recommends inducing labor at 39 weeks or scheduling a c-section for questionable reasons. It's become so common in this country, with our 30% c-section rate, that folks seem to forget that it's major abdominal surgery with major drugs and serious possible complications for mother and child. And I don't want bad things to happen to people, especially people I care about

So i'm not going to tell you how horrible my c-section was, although I will tell you that Dr. Crog poked his head around the drape and hollered, "OH MY GOD, THERE ARE INTESTINES ON THE TABLE! THERE'S BLOOD EVERYWHERE! IT'S LIKE A ROMERO FILM IN HERE!" I'm not going to go on and on about inductions and what can go wrong. And i'm not going to talk about infections, popped stitches, exploding colons, prolapses, or that wacko who carved his name into that poor woman.

I'm just going to say this: CHOOSE. Choose wisely. Trust no one. Question everything. It's your body. It's your baby. It's your freedom.

Cherish it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

stupid homonyms and a meditation on art

Okay, so I was going to title this blog post "what do you call 12 pairs?", and then make a clever bon mot about how I spent my morning painting 12 pears while rocking out to Gnarls Barkley, and it was awesome. But then I had to decide whether it was more clever to use 'pairs' or 'pears' in the title, and then it all fell apart because of the written word. Stupid written word. Maybe it would work if you had a Stephen Hawking computer that talked to you in that freaky monotone, but I don't think I know anyone who uses one of those. So pretend it was something clever, please.

Good gravy, that sounds like something Robert Smith would ask in a late 90's Cure song. "Please pretend I said something clever / for ever and ever / everything falls into me/ as the planets fall into the crimson sea". Now I want to go put on a maternity hockey jersey and some nice black eyeliner and mope around. But something tells me that a goth pregnant chick would be laughed straight out of Waffle House by tight-pantsed emo-monkeys, and my tender psyche can't take that.

I had a point.

Ah. Painting. I painted 12 studies of pears today, and it was so satisfying and invigorating. They are mostly indistinguishable from the torsos, except they have stems instead of navels.

I am constantly amused to note that marriage and motherhood have been absolutely key to finding myself as an artist. When I was younger and wilder and free-er, I was simply a crappy artist. No drive, no inspiration, no body of work, no calling. Knew I was an 'artist', wanted everyone else to know, but didn't do a thing with it. Like the difference between the wannabe Hamlet sitting conspicuously around a coffee house with an empty journal and a fancy pen and the fractured MacBeth at home alone in his filthy hovel actually writing something of phenomenal genius.

I work better as a pear than an hourglass, I suppose, and it's a little fun to be always incognito.

I'd rather be full of seeds than sand, anyway.

My point is this: We aren't what we used to be, and sometimes that's a very good thing. When I read the poetry I wrote in high school and college, 95% of it is so pathetic, melodramatic, and self-indulgent that I want to travel back in time just to heckle myself at a reading and pepper my then-self with kumquats or something similarly random and yet insulting. Luckily, that other 5% still moves me in the way that all moments of mercy do, and i'm pretty sure that I was picking up wavelengths from Sirius or fairy static or something definitely magical and outside myself. I used to think that everything had to be deep, have meaning, plumb the depths of whatever-or-something. Blah blah blah. And that's why I hate teenagers.

I like being an adult, knowing that adults don't have to be grown-ups. That things don't have to mean things. That depth and metaphors are overrated. That flow is better than cleverness. I like being able to finally admit that I think Emily Dickinson sucks eggs. I especially love finally understanding that a painting isn't about a perfect finished piece with a fancy name-- it's about bumbling around with some crap until it looks about right, and then having the good sense to put the crap down and go away and drink some Chocolate Silk out of the carton.

In conclusion, jumping in puddles is a lot better than understanding how a flood plain works, and I like painting pears.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

actually, she's an artist of life...

It has been noted, both by myself and others to remain nameless, that my daughter has thus far shown absolutely zero artistic talent. Yeah, I know she's 2, but it's still pretty obvious that drawing and color are not her fortes. And i'm totally cool with that, because I know what it's like when your parents hang their hopes and dreams on interests that don't interest you. I mean, I was supposed to be a track star and general athlete, and I only run when i'm about to miss the ice cream truck.

But I think it's very important to note that my daughter does follow in my footsteps in the realm of wacky. She is totally, spontaneously, utterly, uniquely wacky.

Exhibit A:

Seriously. I'll take a prodigy in wacky over a prodigy in art anyday. I need laughs more than I need perfectly crayoned scarecrows, and this kid totally delivers.

Friday, October 10, 2008

10 things I refuse to believe

1. There are actually prominently placed "children's books" about Obama and McCain on the front shelf at B&N. You know, for the children. Because there's nothing a kid likes better than a really boring book with dull, patriotic illustrations about the exaggerated highlights of an old man's life.

2. Leonardo diCaprio has wrinkles, Johnny Depp smokes, and Heath Ledger is dead.

3. Renee Zellweger and Penelope Cruz eat food. Like, that's made out of food.

4. Cap'n Crunch will make me feel more Crunchtastic as measured by the Crunch-o-meter.

5. Unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster don't exist.

6. Anybody liked the movie Burn After Reading. Or Punch Drunk Love. Or Gigli.

7. OJ didn't do it. Because they've finally admitted he did. Only took 12 years.

8. That Blue Ray is the wave of the future. Seriously, guys: I've got an entire armoire full of VHS tapes I still watch, and another armoire full of DVDs. Please don't make me rebuy any more media. How many copies of Total Recall and the Star Wars Trilogy can one family have??

9. That the national c-section rate is over 30%. And that the rising statistic has nothing to do with time and money. And that women are okay with it.

10. That people still send forwards about orange toilet spiders, Penny Brown, and AIDS needles. And that my mom receives every single one of them and sends them directly to *me*.

Baffling. Just baffling.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

what a girl wants

You know what I want right now?

I want the curtains hung in the nursery. I want a yummy new baby carrier. I want to sew colorful scarves for all my fabulous mom-friends. I want to go walking in the dark, rainy woods and see more deer and that elusive coyote. I want to eat a huge bowl of Cap'n Crunch. No, two bowls. I want to feel wet, cold, white clay in my hands. I want my hair cut and dyed and a manicure and a pedicure and to fit into my skinniest jeans and go somewhere to eat something ridiculously decadent that will make my skinny jeans feel too tight. I want to throw my head back and laugh. Cackle, really. I want to sleep for 16 hours straight and wake up to absolute quiet and sunshine. I want a shiny new necklace. I want my daughter to act like she did a month ago. I want to go roller skating and slip the DJ $10 to play nothing but ABBA and Prince. I want to go ice skating and wear my arm warmers. I want to go wonder around a fair and run my hands over sparkly things. I want to swim with sharks. I want to slurp udon noodles with chopsticks. I want to fly a kite in the hills near Carcassone. I want to paint a huge canvas taller than me and get paint stuck in my eyebrows. I want one of my favorite bands to come out with a new CD that's so good that the words catch in my throat. I want to scoop all the seeds out of a pumpkin, put it on my head, and chase my family around the yard. I want to be part of a huge chorus singing songs from Phantom of the Opera. I want my grandmother's chicken n' dumplin's, creamed corn, green beans, black-eyed peas, and yeast rolls smothered in butter, and then I want two helpings of chocolate pie and a huge scoop of Cool Whip. I want to see the next Harry Potter movie in the theater with a huge tub of that nasty popcorn and a giant Sprite. I want to ride the Goliath ride at Six Flags and scream my fool head off. I want to gallop through the forest on my lost friend's blue roan Tennessee Walker, feeling his muscles bunch beneath me and both of us nearly flying away. I want to work at a haunted house on Saturday night and scare some huffy teenager so badly he wets his pants. I want a pumpkin spice donut from Krispy Kreme, and I want to eat it sitting across the street in the old cemetery, surrounded by dewy grass and silence. I want to ride the carousel. I want to jump off the huge rock at Lalaria in Greece into 30 feet of crystal blue water and watch the bubbles rise to the surface through a school of fish. I want to swing on the rope swing at my friend Lisa's house in 4th grade and spin out over the precipice, feeling young and brave and reckless.

But mostly, I just like my life, and i'm going to have a big ol' cup of cocoa and crawl into the cold sheets and go to sleep with the windows open in the fall, surrounded by the people I love most.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

you're welcome

For the rain in Georgia.

See, we decorated the house for Halloween last night. Got up the preliminary decorations, at least-- fake spider webs, the requisite (squirrel-nibbled) tombstones, black tinsel, orange lights.

So, naturally, it rained all night.

You're welcome, is all i'm sayin'.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

you suck, Cox.

There is this lovely little road near my house that I use at least two days a week. It reminds me of old Roswell, the Roswell where I grew up-- rolling hills, kudzu patches, horses in pastures, dappled forests, and those little hills between the power lines that make me miss cantering on a fall day. So relaxing, even with the treeless McMansion neighborhoods marring nature's splendor.

That is, until the government showed up. Every day for months, they've been doing some sort of road work. Digging, grading, cutting limbs. You always get stopped at least once and have to wait for whatever they're doing, which usually seems to be standing around pickup trucks and pointing while wearing hard hats. And it drives me simply batty.

It's the driving equivalent of being in the middle of savoring a really nice meal and having the waiter interrupt your gastronomic delight and witty repartee to present you with the bill. I just don't want any sort of reality on my wistful old Cox Road. I want to pretend i'm back in rural South Carolina, singing to Jude on the way to a really good trail ride. I want to feel the wind in my eyes and smell the coolness of the kudzu. I do not want to be stopped for 10 minutes while you repave the entrance to The Enclave. Again.

So that's my little rant for the day: stay off Cox. Keep Cox natural. I like Cox, until there are guys in hats to mess with my drive, and then I hate Cox.

That's not a euphemism at all, folks. It just sounds that way.

Monday, October 6, 2008

my body (of work)

The countdown.

My show opens January 3. Or something. It is now October 6. Or... something. I have about 80 running feet of gallery space to cover. I think.

And then the real uncertainty begins. But here's the reality, thus far:

I have completed, mostly, until I change my mind:

17 small studies on board, out of an expected 100
4 boards (12x12)
4 canvases (11x14)

May not sound like much, but it's taking up the entire dining room table. Good thing we don't actually... dine.

I have begun:
4 canvases (8x8x2)

I have not yet begun, but have purchased:

3 medium canvases (18x36)
3 leetle canvases (8x10)
1 big canvas (36x48)

I think I need to grab another 8x10 and do that one as a series of 4. And I bought a bunch of boards at Home Depot today to continue the little studies. I am also considering finding some time at the clay studio to do some wall pillows, but i'm not sure if I want to use that much of Magic Preschool Morning to drive out to Marietta. Plus, all the prettiest clay media are noxious and toxic.

Did you ever imagine someone could paint so many bellies and be so freakin' happy about it? I feel a bit like Monet, painting the same old cathedral and/or haystack 200 different times. Same ol' thing, but it still utterly enraptures me.

Here are my favorites from today:

Yeah, i'm too tired to edit that one 90 degrees. Just turn your head like a hoot owl.

In case anyone is interested, the base process goes like this: paint directly onto my big ol' belly, do a big ol' belly print on the substrate, wait for that to dry, draw lines with chalk pastels. For the bigger canvases, I then do little designs with pastels in the negative space and paint around them with gesso. For the little studies, I color in the negative space with pastels and then add water to hold the color. not quite sure how i'll know when they're done or how i'll treat the sides, but i'm feeling good for now.

Painting makes me feel so complete. Some days, I feel like a doll or a vessel or an empty shell. But painting makes me feel vibrant and alive and just... full. Now would be the ideal time for a quote from Tom Robbins about art, flow, the female body, and general wahoo, but every time I lend out Skinny Legs and All, it somehow never comes home.

Which, I guess, is actually a good thing.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

on keeping positive and KY Jelly

My friend Christine is committed to making one blog post per day for the month of October. Not that i'm surprised-- she once made a blog photojournal of *every single thing* she did in a day. And she knitted a hoodie for her daughter. And she actually sifts the flour when the recipe says to sift the flour. So, yeah, she's committed.

Which made me think: Why don't I blog more often? I enjoy it. I like writing; I like reflecting; I like reading my thoughts later; and I admit that I really like the fact that a few people in the world read it. The only answer I can find is that i'm much funnier when i'm negative, and i'm trying really hard to stay positive. Cynicism is just so much funnier-- where would Jon Stewart be if this were a perfect world? And I also try to avoid political topics, which is nearly impossible to do these days in any dialog. And I don't want every post to be some pithy, trite tripe about parenthood and the ups and downs of living with a toddler. So what on earth is left to talk about?

Let's see. We could talk about art. I've been painting a lot lately, finishing 5 little studies and starting four 11x14's today. I admit to being obsessed with bellies, and with such an enormous one to hand, I always have something interesting to paint. And, yeah, I do actually paint ON it, in addition to using it as a subject in painting after painting. Have you ever tried to clean raw umber out of your shrinking navel with a baby wipe? It's surreal. And i've talked Dr. Crog into helping me cast it soon using plaster strips, so that will be really fun to document. And i'll finally get to use that embarrassingly huge tub of Vaseline someone gave us at the baby shower.

Which reminds me of the time that my vet friend in Clemson was going to palpate my horse for me to tell me if she was pregnant, since it was highly possible. He told me to pick up a tube of "personal lubricant" at the store, since palpating involves putting one's entire arm up a horse's pooper, and lubricant just makes everybody a little more comfortable. So there I was, heading to the BiLo at 10am on a Sunday morning in Six Mile, SC, on the lookout for a discreet tube of lube. Well, Six Mile is a tiny little town, and they apparently have to keep their personal items locked up, and the pharmacy was closed, so I had to go get someone from Customer Service to unlock the cabinet, and the smallest tube of KY Jelly they had was accurately sized for elephant palpation or squeezing Roseanne Barr into leather pants or something tremendously mortifying, but all the other alternatives included warming or flavors or other "extras" that weren't designed for The Mare's Pleasure. And there I was, buying a 2 pound pump bottle of lubricant on Sunday morning in a conservative little town, surrounded by little old ladies buying orange juice for their bible circle.

My horse wasn't pregnant, by the way. And imagine my mom's surprise when she came to help us move a year later and saw The World's Largest Bottle of Vaginal Lubricant sitting amid our clutter. That was fun.

Anyways, my point is this: it's hard to keep up teh funny without resorting to negativity, politics, or the adorable verbal foibles of my toddler. So some days, I don't blog. But I probably should.

As a last point in order, I hereby plant this in your subconscious: picture someone you know with their entire arm up a horse's betonk at 11am on a Sunday morning next to a gallon of KY Jelly. Then imagine what happens when they pull their arm out. Now, aren't you glad you're not a vet?

Let's stay positive, people!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

the sound of silence

Do you hear that?

It's the sound of one child napping.

For the first time in 3 days. It's the most beautiful sound i've heard in a while. And when you add in the sound of the wind ruffling the blinds as fresh air chases the gasoline fumes from last night's failed siphoning experiment out of the house, it's probably even better than the Ben Folds album I keep forgetting to buy. Probably.

To have a nice day after two rough days is such a treat. It's finally October, it finally feels like fall, the gas hysteria appears to finally be winding down. I saw gas at 3 stations today that have been empty for over a week, so that's got to be good. And I finally got to see 3 episodes of True Blood on my folks' HBO On Demand, so i'm not quite as much of a Luddite. Or at least an eccentric Luddite who likes humorous southern vampire horror.

I guess I don't have anything much to say-- i'm too tired and possibly relaxed to be witty, and that's a pretty good way to be.