Thursday, December 31, 2009

What is and is not ugly

This has been such a crappy year for so many people I know. I feel really lucky that it Mr. A. and I have come through it relatively unscathed. Work has pretty much sucked for me, but at least I have a job--and one that I don't have to worry about losing. I know it'll get better again in the future, and things have already started to improve. Money is pretty tight for us, and exactly how we are going to pay for daycare remains a mystery, but we're healthy and employed and pretty happy overall. I guess we should enjoy it now because everyone tells me that I'll be filing for divorce about a week after the baby is born.*

Speaking of baby, at this point nobody is the least bit worried about me being underweight. In fact, several different coworkers asked me yesterday when my due date was, and when I said April they all said some variation of "April? Really. That long. Wow. I'd have thought sooner." I've actually gained pretty much exactly as much weight as I'm supposed to have gained by now, but a pound a week is really quite a lot of poundage. Pregnancy is such a weird yet fascinating personal science experiment.

And now, interwebs, I need your help. As someone who proudly wore the sweater shown in my last post, and whose clothing budget has been pretty tight lately, I think I'm losing my sense of what is and is not ugly. For instance, these shoes:

Ugly? Acceptable? Overly elfin? I just don't know anymore. These are the shoes I really want, but alas, they are out of my price range:

These would also be most welcome:

And that concludes the fashion portion of our program. Thanks for watching.

Happy new year and new decade to you--I hope your 10's are awesome from start to finish.

*Dear everyone: Please stop saying that.

p.s. Guess what? We won the nationwide ugly sweater contest! Truly our greatest accomplishment for 2009. Thank you for voting--you are the wind beneath our hideous wings.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Doggie Sweater People

Guess what? It's almost Christmas. And you know what that means.

It means that you should go vote for Mr. A and me in this Christmas Sweater Contest. By the way, if you haven't read the comic strip Cul de Sac, I highly recommend it. It will renew your faith in comic strips and possibly even humankind.

Merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with German Shepherds and sparkles.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I fight my neighborhood, my neighborhood always wins

Sad but true: I have been utterly defeated by Ravenna. Or at least, defeated by my block in the unfashionable northern end of Ravenna.

If you recall, when we last spoke I had hatched the ingenius plan of forcing my neighbors to be neighborly through the distribution of holiday baked goods. So I put my beautiful new Kitchenaid to work and whipped up several lovely varieties of cookies, wrapped them up prettily, and put a tag on them that said what they were and and who they were from.

Then I set out to distribute them around the neighborhood on Tuesday evening. Sadly Mr. A didn't have time to come with me on this thrilling adventure because he was busily wrapping up gifts that needed to be sent out the door to his relatives. As it turned out, it didn't really matter, since only two of my neighbors were home--or at least, at home and answering the door. (I suspect other neighbors were at home--lights were on inside behind closed blinds--but I have no proof.) At those two houses, where the door was opened by first a middle-aged white guy and then a middle-aged white lady, pretty much the exact same scenario went down:

Neighbor (opens door a tiny crack and peers out suspiciously): Yes?
Me: Hi! I'm the Soggy Librarian. My husband and I live across the street. We've been doing some holiday baking and wanted to share some with you.
Neighbor (grabbing the cookies): Great. Thanks. Goodnight. (Door slams shut.)

Wha? Huh? REALLY? Really. You're not even going to introduce yourself to the visibly pregant lady standing in the rain offering you baked goods? Wow. Okay.

Of the neighbors who weren't home, only one (out of maybe 6 houses) stopped by later to say thank you. He lives next door and is the only neighbor we are already sort of on chatting terms with.

The kicker came when I ran into our other next-door neighbor on my way to the bus the next morning as he was leaving the house to walk his dog. I called out good morning, and not only did he not say thank you for the cookies, he didn't even say good morning back.

The thing is, Ravenna is a fairly nice neighborhood, and granted, we have pretty much the smallest and crappiest house in it, but still. I don't think our particular block is fancy enough to breed this kind of weird assholery. This is a gated community level of assholery. Don't you think?

But I'm not letting our crotchety neighbors harsh my holiday buzz. For one thing, I just called Delta to ask if I need to bring some kind of form from my midwives promising that I won't give birth on the plane (some airlines make you do this), and not only did she say I didn't need any documentation, she was quite nice about it! A Delta representative! So you see, there really is such a thing as a Christmas miracle.

Or I guess really a Hannukah miracle, eh? We're invited to a Hannukah dinner tonight and I'm so excited. Any festival that's mostly about fried food and candles is a-okay with me.

Okay, one last thing. Have you seen this? It made my holiday season just a little bit brighter.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

That's right, Ravenna

It's been really cold, you guys. Maybe not quite Tauntaun sleeping bag cold, but you know, pretty chilly--below freezing almost all the time for a couple of weeks or so. Today when I left for work a few snowflakes were finally falling, though the mighty forecasters claim that it won't stick.

Between you and me, I like the snow. Unfortunately there is a Seattle city ordinance against admitting this out loud. Seattle is not equipped to handle snow, as we proved spectacularly last December, and therefore the snow makes people cranky, and local businesses suffer, which admittedly is bad. But come on. Hating snow during the holidays? You might as well hate magic and goodness and peace for all mankind.

My wonderful mother-in-law just sent us a beautiful Kitchen-Aid mixer (in ice blue! hooray!), and tomorrow I am going to try to put it to use by doing some Christmas baking for the neighbors. None of our neighbors talk to us but I plan to bully them into at least knowing our names. That's right, Ravenna. I'm your worst nightmare.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The sweet, sweet Photoshopped life

S & B's baby was insanely cute, as you might imagine. I think she almost made Mr. A want to have a baby.

We've started accumulating Baby Things. Not a huge amount, but we have a car seat, and lately we have been unable to leave Fred Meyer without, say, a set of footie pajamas with frog faces on the feet. Mr A somehow stumbled across this today (elbow patches!), which we bought, as well as this (Paddington Bear with elbow patches!!) and this (Muppet!). I take back everything I might have said or implied about the non-cuteness of baby boy clothes. I am satisfied with my dress-up options.

Most of the baby stuff we've gathered so far has been free. I belong to an email listserv of moms who live in the ritzier neighborhood next to my neighborhood. For the most part, these women seem like nice people who live in a world entirely alien to mine. They use the listserv to get recommendations for aestheticians* and personal chefs and other professionals that I doubt I'll ever be in a position to employ.

But! What's great about people who are a lot fancier than us is that they have stuff, and they often want to get rid of it. Here is a list of some of the stuff I've snagged from them so far:

1. an infant bath tub
2. 8-10 bottles
3. 1,893 pairs of baby socks (approx)
4. this thing**
5. about 120 newborn diapers

So now, we are prepared to clothe, drive, wash, diaper, and feed the baby. That's pretty much all you need. Right?

*What exactly do aestheticians do?
**Okay, I paid a couple of bucks for that thing, but not much. How about that photo? It represents the sweet, sweet Photoshopped life that Mr. A and I will soon be enjoying with the baby.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Joy, peeps!

Our friends S & B had their baby girl last night. Mr. A and I are going to visit them on our lunch break today, and I'm very excited. I can't wait to hear the birth story, too. Yesterday was their due date; apparently, S went to the hospital for her due date appointment and bam, her water broke. And then just a few hours later, baby! I would like to think that my baby will be just as punctual and efficient, but I have my doubts.

On Mr. A's suggestion, I stopped by Bartell's this morning to see if they had any celebratory candy cigars. They don't, and the woman I asked about it was very short with me--no doubt concluding that I was scheming to addict small children to cigar-smoking, a vice to which we all know they are so easily drawn. Ah, Seattle. I love you but sometimes you are such an uptight pain in the ass.

So, sticking with the disgusting candy theme, I picked this up instead:

Looks delicious, right?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How I spent my Thanksgiving

This is how I spent most of my Thanksgiving day:

Sitting in front of the fire, covered in cats, embroidering tiny onesies and t-shirts with snaps. After much lounging, we finally roused ourselves to cook a couple of things, which we brought over to S&D's. They had prepared an amazing dinner.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a long list of stuff to be thankful for, including the fire we have going right now, family to spend the holiday with, and Seattle sunrises, which can knock your socks off even in the midst of a month-long torrent of wind and rain. Mr. A took this picture with his phone from his office yesterday:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend roundup

What a nice weekend. After a gossip-filled craft night on Friday, Mr. A and spent Saturday being tourists in Seattle. We walked down to a restaurant inside our neighborhood bookstore* for brunch, and it was delicious. Lemon-scented risotto pancakes with warm berry compote! Maybe not the best breakfast choice for the baby, but definitely the best for me.

Then we went to SAM (we're members, dahling) to see the Calder and Michelangelo exhibits. Seeing as how we are incredibly fancy people who went to Florence just last year, the Michelangelo exhibt wasn't that exciting. The Italians are apparently unprepared to part with most of the good stuff.

The Calder exhibit was pretty cool, except that I got in big trouble for pretending to blow on one of the mobiles. (In my defense, I was standing really far away from it and the thing probably weighed five tons. Remember that smoker in the old commericial who couldn't even blow out that simple match? That was me. Anyway, aren't mobiles supposed to move?)

After my shame, we moseyed down to Georgetown and Fantagraphics, where Mr. A bought what was possibly the last copy of Crumb's Book of Genesis currently in existence. Then we cleverly angled to be served a lovely meal by S & D, followed by some fireside lounging.

All in all, nothing too fancy, but a very good day. The kind of day that will no doubt be a lot more complicated to pull off in a few months.

*This place has a convenient baby pit filled with toys where you can cage your baby while you eat your meal or sip your wine. Duly noted.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Every single day

You know what weather isn't much fun? The kind we're having right now: 49 degrees and raining hard with winds of 20-50 mph. Say what you will about snowstorms and heat waves, this gets my vote for the suckiest weather. A wind advisory is in effect! Talk about your lame advisories. What advice are you supposed to take from that? Look out for flying objects? Hope there aren't too many trees growing close to your house?*

Also, I've lived in the Northwest for a total of about ten years, and you know what I forget every year? It's dark ALL THE TIME from November 1st to sometime in March. All of this would be okay if I could just stay home and drink hot chocolate and finish up Felicity,** but the world insists that I leave my house almost every single day.

However, tomorrow night I get to do exactly what I am in the mood to do, which is go over to PCL's house and do crafts with ladies while drinking hot chocolate (or possibly apple cider--I'm still pondering that decision) and eating baked goods. Doesn't that sound perfect?

* My brother and his wife (who live in Alabama) just had a giant tree fall through their house and into one of their bedrooms. If only they had known about the wind advisory, they could have put up that invisible force field around their house.

**Seriously, Ben sucks. Noel is sometimes a dufus in the way most 21-year-old boys are dufuses, but Ben's temper tantrums are not okay. What is Felicity thinking? Hopefully she gets her head on straight in season 4.

Beautiful baby werewolf

As we told people the boy news yesterday it gradually occurred to me that this news is not as shocking and amazing to everyone else as it is to me. For people living in the real world, there are essentially only two choices, baby-wise, and you're pretty much bound to get one or the other. But I was so sure it was a girl that I couldn't have been much more surprised if the ultrasound technician had announced that we were going to be the proud parents of a beautiful baby werewolf.* I just never thought I would have a boy, and I can't wait to have one.

I have to hand it to my mom for not pointing out how right she was about my lack of baby gender-predicting abilities. She did say rather sadly that she had hoped I would someday be the mother of a 14-year-old girl (she did not add, "a HORRIBLE 14-year-old girl," but we both knew what we were talking about). That's part of the reason I'm thrilled to be having a boy. Boy baby clothes are not usually as cute as girl clothes, but boys are often less of a pain in their mothers' asses when they are 14. Or so I have observed.

Soon I will post a totally non-baby-gushing entry, I swear. It will have intellectual depth and will feature a post-structural analysis of something or other.

*I guess technically the jury is still out on the werewolf thing, since we are only at the waxing crescent moon right now. Also it was 8:00 in the morning which I guess is a pretty human time for werewolves anyway. And do baby werewolves change in utero? These are questions that go shockingly unanswered by What to Expect When You're Expecting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Secret message

I first suspected I was pregnant one morning a little over four months ago while I was riding the bus to work. I just felt tired in a weird way. So I bought a pregnancy test at the Bartell's across the street from the library, took it in the office restroom, and voila! Two pink lines. When I got home, I took another pregnancy test. And another one. Which I decided would be best followed up by taking another one, and maybe just one more to verify the results. Many, many pink lines. I would line up all the tests and look at them as if they were ancient runes hiding some secret message.

All along the way, this whole experience has seemed slightly unreal to me. Not in a bad way--just in the sense that I was completely amazed and tearful and awestruck the first time I heard the baby's heartbeat. And the first time I saw the baby on ultrasound. Also every time I looked at the ultrasound pictures thereafter. Each confirmation that a someone is actually living in there has been a "holy crap" moment for me.

None more so than this morning, when Mr. A. held my hand while the ultrasound technician told us--and showed us--that TimJim really is a TimJim. Wow. We have a son.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pregnancy memoir

We'll find out on Wednesday whether TimJim is a girl or a boy, so please place your bets at this time. So far, the spread seems to be about 3-1 girl, with my mom and brother-in-law holding down the boy camp. I hope the baby doesn't decide to be modest and keep its tiny little pencil legs crossed. The period of speculation has been fun but I have now had enough of that fun.

Possible titles for my never-to-be-written pregnancy memoir:

1. That's Not a Beer Gut, That's My Baby
2. Please Don't Make That Face When I Mention Potential Baby Names
3. A Long Time Between Cocktails

A pretty obvious science fact

I've been in such a good mood lately. I got my H1N1 shot (just like winning the lottery!), bought some relatively cute maternity jeans, and only worked three weekdays last week. Good times! Also, the second trimester happy hormones have definitely kicked in. Evidence: I was in the Gap the other day buying the maternity jeans and they started playing Christmas music really loudly. Even though I would normally be filled with rage by hearing Christmas music at this time of year, this time I didn't mind and in fact I actually kind of liked it.

I'm about halfway done with this pregnancy, which seems crazy. It occured to me yesterday that I'm going to be someone's MOTHER and I had a little tiny panic attack. I realize this seems like a pretty obvious science fact but I somehow hadn't thought about it in quite that way, and it made me feel kind of bummed for my kid. I mean, I know the kid could do worse. I like reading books out loud, for example, and I'm crazy about playing pretend and riding dumb rides at amusement parks.

However, it's clear that the real star parent is going to be Mr. A. Here, for example, is an abbreviated list of things that Mr. A can teach/do for TimJim much, much better than I can:

1. Drawing--particularly funny and bizarre cartoons and creatures.
2. Playing guitar. (Also: bass, keyboards, and most other instruments to varying extents.)
3. Cooking.
4. Snowboarding & skateboarding. (Also: pretty much anything that requires physical agility.)

Not to mention that he's more patient than I am, less prone to sulks, and less addicted to America's Next Top Model despite Tyra Banks' ever-increasing intolerability. Don't worry, I'm not super down on myself--I think I'll muddle through as well as most people, and certainly much better than I would have ten or even five years ago. I guess I just thought I'd have reached some kind of zen plain and attained deep wisdom before I had kids. Somehow this magical transformation has failed to occur.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Your friend and mine

Hey Interets! Did you ever sometimes not want to go to your job one bit? ME TOO. Internets, it's like we are soul mates. Do you want to go out sometime? Seriously. I love you.

So, I'm a reviewer for one of the major journals that reviews teen and children's books. I'm actually inordinately proud of this accomplishment, despite the fact that all you have to do to be a reviewer is 1.) be a librarian and 2.) email them and tell them you want to do it. (And frankly, I'm not sure they even check up on #1.) Supposedly there is a trial period in which they test your writing mettle, but I think they're really just testing to make sure you actually send in reviews of the books they send you. They don't want to waste the books.

The thing is, though, they've really been sending me some crappy books. I hope I'm not turning into one of those haters who rants that all teen books are terrible and the kids should be reading Moby Dick, by god--but this last book has just about pushed me over the edge. It's the second in a series, the first installment of which comes highly recommended by your friend and mine, Mr. Glenn Beck. The one I'm reading contains stereotypes of American Indians and slaves that are . . . what's the word? Lazy? Offensive? Making me wonder how this stuff gets published?

What do you say about a book like that? I'm thinking something like, "Great action sequences, particularly for young white boys who must constantly reaffirm their superiority over girls and people of color."


After our messy break-up with Comcast (they still call around dinnertime, I hang up, rinse, repeat), we got a digital antennae and now we are watching the digital channels. Did you know that the digital channels are crazy? For instance, now we get two or three each of Spanish and Japanese language channels, one channel that plays nothing but the A-Team and Magnum PI (I know, EXCELLENT) plus approximately one hundred Christian pop culture channels. These mostly show Christian rock and Christian stand-up comedy.

What separates contemporary Christian stand-up from contemporary secular stand-up, you ask? Well, it relies pretty heavily on the fact that one's wife is a pain in the ass who must be appeased at all costs. So . . . not much.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Slightly offensive

We were Rosemary and Roman for Halloween this year. We're sort of a conceptual (not to mention slightly offensive) pair in that one of us is a fictional devil rape victim from the 60's, and the other is an actual rapist of the 1970's, styled as a jailbird of the future.

Those are quaaludes I'm being offered. Note the fear in the eyes.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Miniature pirates

I worked today and my floor was taken over by a children's pirate band and their fans--hundreds of miniature pirates. The smallest pirate could not have been more than 30 inches long. It was all pretty adorable, and a lot more entertaining than the regular business of being a librarian.

Happy Halloween little bebes. I hope you're doing something incredibly spooky.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I just came from the midwife. Everything is going along swimmingly with the baby, my blood pressure is good, blah blah blah. We are all agreed that I need to eat more protein. I'm also supposed to eat three servings of dairy every day, which is awesome. I've always feared that I eat way too much dairy, but now I have orders from a medical profssional to cram tons of yogurt and cheese down my piehole. Hooray!

After my appointment this morning I took myself out to a two egg breakfast with bacon and a couple of giant pancakes. Maybe not precisely what my midwife had in mind, but undeniably protein-rich. Also syrup-rich. I'm pretty sure I gained a pound just from that meal.


Really, really bad day at work. I don't think the library loves me anymore.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The only thing separating me from that bright future

Can you believe we have to go to work every single DAY? What a load of crap. I used to think that if I won the lottery I'd be one of those lottery-winning a-holes who still goes to work--just part time, of course, because I'm so devoted to my craft--but now I realize that I was what is known as a LIAR. If I won the lottery I would sit on the couch all day and watch Felicity on DVD.* The only thing separating me from that bright future is the fact that I have never bought a lottery ticket in my life.


I just broke up with Comcast, and it felt good. Stupid Comcast, trying to make me install yet another box just so that I can watch the tv I already pay for. I hate them. Now Mr. A and I are going to become the cool people who watch all of our tv on the intertubes. Suck it, Comcast.


I need new music, and I'm taking suggestions. What are the kids listening to these days? Any ideas for good fall/winter musics? I need some horizon-expanding.

*Noel or Ben, people? That is the burning question coming at you from 1999. I'm 100% Noel all the way. I'm in season 2 now and Ben is starting to seem like somewhat less of a doucher than previously, but he's still not un-douchey enough to woo me away from Noel.

Monday, October 26, 2009

That girl's all right with me

You know what's awesome about Rick James' "Super Freak"? The girl's really not a super freak. I'm mean, she's waiting for him with incense, wine, and candles. Not exactly a freaky scene, unless you have very severe allergies.


I think I've turned a corner in terms of worrying about the baby. Not to say I won't worry at all anymore--why give up something I'm good at, especially when I work in a swine flu soup?--but I think I'm past the dedicated worrying that I had been doing.

Have I told you how convinced I am that the baby is a girl? I'm dead certain. My mom says that my certainty is scientific proof it's a boy. I would be delighted to find out it's a boy--just as delighted as with a girl--but I would also be completely shocked. I'm getting nonstop girl vibes.

Anyway, we'll find out for sure next month. The whole finding out the sex thing is funny--I've talked to several women who said that they wouldn't have been able to get through labor without the surprise of finding out whether the baby is a boy or a girl. Maybe I'm crazy, but it seems likely that the baby will still be of interest to me, even if I already have that information. Don't get me wrong; I think it's cool when people wait to find out. But I HATE waiting. Just waiting five more months to have this baby seems like an impossible task sometimes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Timjim's first mail

Mr. A emailed me yesterday morning to ask if we should subscribe to Parenting: The Early Years magazine, since it was being offered for free for some reason. We pondered whether it was worth while, since we'll probably end up on a million horrible mailing lists. This is probably also the first step towards turning into the kind of people nobody wants to be around because they start conversations with, "Just the other day, I was reading a fascinating article in Parenting . . ."

Anyway, we subscribed under the name Timjim Mr.A'sLastNameMyLastName. Timjim is so lucky to have thoughtful parents like us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To be honest with you

So, I haven't gained any weight yet, and over the past few days it's started to worry me. Most women don't gain weight during the first trimester, but I'm a couple of weeks into the second trimester now, and I should have at least a couple of pounds to show for it. I called my midwife, and she said I probably am not getting enough protein. Sigh.

I feel like a failure for not getting the baby what it needs. I also feel at a little bit of a loss as to how to eat all the crap I'm supposed to eat. Yes, okay, I could cut back on the chocolate.* But still, every day I'm supposed to eat, like, 17 servings of fruit and 22 vegetables and a giant pile of grains and make sure I get a ton of calcium and iron and fiber and to be honest with you, I'm hungry, but I'm not THAT hungry.

Okay, I'm going to go find an unsuspecting animal to eat. Later, internets.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eventually a spit cup wasn't enough

I lost my calendar for over a week and my life basically ground to a terrifying halt. Finally, yesterday, I found it. In my gym bag. So . . . yeah. I went back to the gym today.

I haven't been going mainly because I felt like I was a brave hero for just getting up every day with that cold/sinus thing. But also, the advice the books give you about exercising when you're pregnant is weird and slightly terrifying. They're all, "You must exercise right now. If you don't exercise your labor will last for 72 days and your baby will be a pathetic weakling and no one will ever love you again. Get off your FAT ASS." But the same books also have a lot of scary warnings: don't let your heart rate go up past a certain point, don't let your temperature rise, don't sweat (seriously?), don't do anything that might increase your chances of falling down--which for me includes just about everything.

So, as with much of the advice from the pregnancy books, I'm doing a combination of ignoring everything they say and synthesizing it into something I can handle. Basically, I still do my same exercise routine, but with a free pass not to push myself too hard. (Which, let's face it, isn't really a change since I'm not much of a self-pusher anyway.)

I've read--or at least skimmed--a lot of pregnancy books, and I'm here to tell you that they are mostly crazy. There are the cutsie ones,* which are vomitious and which we will not discuss here. Then there are the "serious" ones, which can be divided into the subcategories of hippie and doctor-y.

On the hippie side, there's some good stuff, but you also have ladies writing about how if you can't breastfeed, you are morally obligated to hire a wet nurse. A wet nurse? Really? Who am I, Juliet's mom? I'm probably more hippie woo-woo than most--I'm seeing midwives, for example, and I hope the nursing thing works out--but I am pretty sure that feeding your baby formula is unlikely to result in the end of Western civilization.

On the doctor-y side, you have books that treat pregnancy like a horrible disease that thankfully can be treated with surgery after 40 weeks. Basically, these books just contain encyclopedic lists of every single disgusting thing that can possibly happen to your body while you are knocked up. One of my favorite wacky symptoms? Excessive saliva. My friend/sister-in-law told me the story of a woman who had so much extra spit in her mouth all the time that eventually a spit cup wasn't enough, and she decided that she was just going to have to spit on her living room carpet. And she did.

*Most of these refer to the baby throughout as The Bump and have titles like "Messages from the Bump!" or "Bonding with Your Bump!"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tim Jim

I woke up this morning with the conviction that I have finally more or less kicked this cold/sinus infection/snot disease, and I am SO HAPPY about it. Like, giddy. I still look like hell but I feel a thousand times better.

It has been pouring down rain the past couple of days and, although I may deny ever having said this if you bring it up later, I've really been enjoying it. The thing about Seattle, as perhaps I have mentioned, is that even though it's insanely wet all the time, it hardly ever RAINS. The air just kind of condenses on you as you walk through it, and it's clammy and gross. But lately we've been having real, honest-to-goodness storms, and thunderstorms are predicted for tonight. That's real weather! Exciting.

Yesterday, Mr. Awesome and I both stayed home because we had a steady stream of maintenance/contractor/appraiser/dead appliance-picker-upper type people coming through. In between appointments, we built a fire and watched some episodes of Mad Men (Season 2, should you care) and it was all very pleasant and restorative. That's one thing about bad weather--I feel guilty watching episode after episode of tv on dvd if it's nice out, but bad weather = full television pass. I believe tonight will be more of the same. Hopefully with fewer maintenance men.


I talked to my mom today about what she wants the baby to call her. She surprised me by rejecting all the standards outright: Grandma, Granny, Grammy, and MeMaw are all verboten. She's considering "Kitty" (her name is Katherine), but said, "You know, sometimes children get things wrong, and well, I'd rather not be known as 'Titty.'" Point taken, MeMaw.

I thought I had a great suggestion--Big Mama--but she shot that one right down. "But what would your father be called?" "Uh, BIG PAPA." Duh.

She did have a good idea for a boy name, though. "You know your great grandfather's name was Timothy, and your grandfather's name was James," she said. "So you could name the baby Timothy James. And call him Tim Jim."


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Goverment get out

Seriously, thanks so much everyone, for still giving even a tiny crap what I do, despite months of digital tumbleweeds. I am touched that anyone at all still subscribes to this blog.

I feel like it's sort of unfair to turn this into a pregnancy blog, since that's not what anyone signed up for. On the other hand, I've never done a very good job of sticking to the supposed theme of librarianism. I guess this will just continue to be a mixed bag of stuff that's probably not very interesting to anyone.

Do you have your Halloween costume picked out? I feel almost obligated to go as Rosemary, since I now have short red hair. We have also considered going as teabaggers/birthers. Mr. A. came up with this idea for sign, which I find hilarious: "Goverment get out of are schools and into my utarus."

Other costume thoughts? Ideas?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Thank you so much, everyone, for the kind wishes and congratulations. I want to respond to everyone individually--and I will, very soon. Right now, though, it seems like the cold I got late last week has turned into a sinus infection, and my brain is barely working. So please excuse the delay.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Aliens attack

Ahem. Is this thing on?

So, guess what? I'm having a baby. True story--the action is supposed to take place in April.

I know there is nothing miraculous about getting knocked up; 17-year-olds do it every day without even trying. Still, I am a little bit amazed that Mr. A. and I could create a new person with just stuff we had lying around the house, as it were. (Does that sound smug? I hope not.)

I'm at 14 weeks now, which means the first trimester is over. I didn't get morning sickness, thank jebus. The evil thing about morning sickness is that you can't really call in sick for it. I strongly believe that anytime there is puking, the puker should get to immediately call DAY OVER. She should go home and hide under the covers and, if she can hold her head up, she should spend the rest of the day watching the BBC Pride and Prejudice on DVD.

She should not have to try to hide her puking from her coworkers and then bravely go back to typing at her computer or meeting with her boss or whatever. I hereby salute all the women who have done this. You are awesome, but I am glad I was not amongst you.

Symptom-wise, I have been pretty tired (to the point of narcolepsy, in the beginning), but that's gotten better lately. There is also the constant peeing, but you probably don't want to hear about that. And the gas. Wait, where are you going? Don't you want to hear about the magic of creation?

I had my first ultrasound on Monday, which was pretty rad: scientific proof that there is really somebody in there. I got two pictures, one where the baby appears to be boxing, and the other in which it's sucking its thumb. The ultrasound ended up lasting for well over an hour because the baby was bouncing all over the place, and refused to bounce into a certain position they wanted. Mr. A. said: Not even born, and already won't sit still for pictures.

The technician who did the ultrasound said, "That sure is one cute baby."

Am I crazy, or could it be that she was flattering me? For one thing, I think we all know in our hearts that every single ultrasound picture that has ever been taken looks pretty much exactly the same. I mean, sure, babies at 14 weeks do kind of look like cute babies--surprisingly so.

But they also kind of look like they might be planning an attack on Sigourney Weaver's spaceship. You know what I'm sayin'?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Coming of age

I think I'm officially an adult now. Doesn't that magical transitional moment happen the first time you are faced with a rigormoris-stricken squirrel* in your backyard and you realize you're the one who has to figure out what to do with it? That's what I am assuming.

According to my friends at the local NPR station, the greater Seattle area is currently experiencing its 24th straight day without rainfall. We even had a heat advisory for a couple of days. I know I'm jinxing it by mentioning it at all but the weather has just been so wonderful I've kind of been beside myself.

I'm obsessed with our garden. Every day I give Mr. A. reports on its progress. "The Yellow Pear tomato plant has blossoms!" "The fourth basil plant has three new leaves!" To his credit he always pretends to be extremely interested in these news items. So great is my obsession that this morning I had some extra time before work and I actually pulled up a chair and sat down in front of our raised bed as though it were a theatrical production, instead of plants growing at a rate that cannot be detected by the human eye. (I guess I'm skipping regular adulthood and going staight for retirement.)

The other great love in my life right now is our woodpecker family. As you may recall, a Northern Flicker couple has built a home in the tree right next to our back deck, and their babies are big enough now that I can see their funny little gray heads poking up whenever they get fed. Both parents feed them, and from what I can tell it's a job that takes up most of their time. Sometimes if I'm rudely hanging out too close to their nest, the two woodpeckers will sit together on the big Douglas fir in the backyard and say, "Excuse me? Excuse me? Could you move?" until I get hint and let them get back to business.

*I am enough of a sicko that I took pictures of it, which I will post here once I get them uploaded. I've also taken pictures of the woodpeckers and the garden, but let's face it, dead squirrel photography is pure journalistic gold.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Very daring!

This morning the local NPR guy was all, "It is A GLORIOUS DAY IN THE PUGET SOUND. Beautiful! Amazing! Get outside and enjoy it, everybody! Currently we have 45 degrees with a 15 mph wind out of the northeast."

Listen, Derek Wong, I feel you. I too am happy that it's no longer raining, not least because I'm going to a baseball game after work and for me, the whole point of baseball is being outside in the sunshine.* However, I don't know if 45 degrees is actually an optimal temperature for late May. I know that happiness is all about adjusting one's expectations and whatnot, but still. Let's at least hold out for sweater weather, okay?

Despite the chilly morning, I bravely biked to work.** When I bike to work I generally just throw an outfit in my backpack without checking to see how it will actually look when I put it on. Then at work I shower and put on the outfit and hope for the best. I think today might not have been the best.

Here's how I know: When one of my co-workers arrived today she gave me the once-over and said, "That's quite an outfit you've got there. Very daring!"

I guess cowboy boots with a lime green skirt are too much.

*I know, it's kind of expensive for what is basically a trip to the park. But then, there's also the beer.
**May is bike to work month, in case you don't know. Today is the first day this month that I have in fact biked to work. It's been cold. What am I, some kind of superhero?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dear Apartment 3

Mr. A. has been playing in a band with a couple of friends of ours. They practice in our friend's apartment, which, even though it's not my apartment, has always worried me a little bit. Like, don't the neighbors hate them? It's not like they're playing death metal at top volume, but still. I've had vicarious neighbor anxiety.

So anyway, Saturday they had practice, and when they came out they found the following taped to their door:

Saturday, April 25, 2009


A woodpecker (apparently a Northern Flicker, if you happen to take an interest in such things) has pecked a giant, perfectly round hole in the tree right next to our back deck. At first I was disturbed, because from what I could tell peering into the hole, that tree no longer has any innards, and probably is not long for this world.

But then I remembered I hate that tree and it might as well function as a woodpecker habitat in its final days. Normally I am pro-tree, but seriously, this tree is an asshole. I haven't been able to definitively identify it but I think it might be a Flowering Pacific Jerkface.

In the late summer it develops giant, strange, stinky blossoms. They attract--not bees, not hummingbirds, not butterflies, but WASPS. Hundreds upon hundreds of terrifying, angry-seeming wasps. And then, once the blooming is over in the fall and the wasps have finally gone away, the damn tree looses not just its leaves but its BRANCHES. Every single bit of the tree except for the central trunk falls right off, which makes an insane mess and leaves us with a sad, stubby-looking tree throughout the winter. So as far as I'm concerned the woodpeckers are welcome to it. Maybe we can set them to work on the linoleum in the bathroom.


One of our regulars at the library is a woman who is apparently learning English, though her exact mission isn't quite clear. She carries around pieces of paper with English words on them and asks us to pronounce them for her. Most of us limit her to just a few, since this falls sort of outside our job description and she would otherwise hang out and pronounce with us all day.

The other day my coworker and I were talking at the reference desk when she approached. I asked her to choose just a couple of words, and she said, "Okay--this one please," and pointed.


She leaned toward me and pointed to her ear. "Heh?"



"The first part is BANG. BANG." She scribbled furiously to write the word down phonetically in her own language.

"Okay. Other part?"

"The second part is 'cock.'"



A puzzled look on her face.


At this point I was screaming and I had the full attention of the room. My coworker had pretty much collapsed on the floor in a giggle fit.

The patron said, "One more time?"


"Oh, okay! Bangkok. Thank you!" And she gave me the sweetest smile in the world.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Exactly akin to a fart

My aunt is a really nice lady. Seriously, she is so sweet it's kind of astounding and I love her, so please take everything that comes after this as the venting that it is. She and her family live in a McMansion outside Atlanta, and they have an even bigger vacation "cabin" (6 bedrooms, 32 baths) on a lake. They are afraid of a lot of things. For instance, whenever one of her two kids has to drive a distance farther than three miles, she's in contact with them via cellphone throughout the trip lest they meet up with some kind of calamity. Her kids are 30 and 26.

Anyway, she sent me an email this weekend. Mostly it was a really nice email about family stuff, but unfortunately she felt the need to attach this lovely op-ed piece. (If you are enjoying your blood pressure at its current level and you don't think all poor people are lazy and/or stupid, you might want to pass on clicking that link.)

I think what happened here is that sometimes over the phone, my mom tells me the political views my aunt shares with her. I say things back like, "Mom, don't worry, Obama is not killing babies. He is allowing access to birth control. You like birth control." Then my mom passes this new info back to my aunt, and the cycle continues. To her credit, my aunt probably thought it was time to cut out the poor middlewoman; she said in her email that she knew this piece was a little too far to the right for me, but she wanted to pass it on because it "well expresses my and [her husband's] feelings on many pertinent issues."

In my mind I wrote back a really awesome email. I pointed out, among other things, that if you really want to see some lazy, stupid people you should head over to the local country club. I suggested that if ever any kids had actually been "entitlement handicapped," then her kids were certainly at the top of the list. I went on to explain that my whole salary is tax payer funded--does she think that I and all the other lazy tax-mooching librarians* should be fired immediately? Does she really feel so put-upon and tired, with her two mansions and five cars and no job? REALLY?

But I didn't send it. I pondered sending a milder version, and then I pondered just saying something like, "Thanks for sharing!" But Mr. A. said that her forwarding of that op-ed piece was an action exactly akin to a fart and should be ignored. So I just responded brightly to the non-hateful parts of her email, and I'm sure that was the right thing to do but GAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Is this how everyone else handles these things?

*Who, it was announced this week, will be getting a one-week furlough this year in the city of Seattle. I had been expecting two unpaid weeks so I am actually a bit relieved, but we may have to wait until next year to put in that swimming pool tiled with diamonds.

Friday, April 10, 2009

File under awesome

To the patron who informed me that by having a (small) area just for teens and their families, the library is "basically engaging in apartheid":

Apartheid? Really? Apartheid?

I mean, I get it. You needed a computer. Could you use the teen computers? No. Instead, you were forced to step onto either an elevator or escalator and then travel upwards of 28 seconds to get to the floor that contains over 100 computers for adults. And that is an indignity no one should have to put up with. It is exactly the same, in every way, as a legalized system of systematic racism and segregation.


Mr. A. sent me this email this morning, which I will file under "Awesome":

"The bus was super empty today, I guess because of Good Friday. The one person who got on at my stop was a kid who looked like Eminem, but totally muscled out. He was around 18 and had on a tight t-shirt and a stocking cap pulled kind of low over his eyes. Anyway, he was reading Eat, Pray, Love."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Saintly, exalted, or curly-haired

I'm so tired of hearing the words "professionalism" and "professional" thrown around as though they mean "saintly" or "exalted" or "curly-haired." Being professional is like having manners--it just means being nice and making people feel comfortable. And, okay, probably not wearing your cut-off jeans to work. (But you didn't really want to wear them anywhere, did you? Of course not.)

It should NOT mean draining every last drop of personality, humor, or warmth from every aspect of your job. That's "dehumanism." Or something.

However, this made me laugh.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pep talk to self

I don't know if you have noticed, mes petites amies, but shit is getting scary out there--not least at the library. We're getting busier and busier, and tense situations do arise. People are effing edgy and I don' t blame them.

Just today I told a woman (very nicely and apologetically, the way I always do) that the seating in the teen area is just for the teens. She accepted this very sweetly, thanked me, and then suddenly started screaming something about being stalked and pretty much ran away.

I'm lucky that I work in a building where we have security guards on duty the whole time we're open. If stuff really starts to go down I don't have to kick people out of the building myself, or get in the middle of a fight (not that fights are common), or even take much guff, which is a huge, huge blessing. And every single person I work with on a daily basis is a shining gem of a human being, so there's never a doubt in my mind that I could count on them in a moment of crisis.

I've been letting dumb things about my job get me down, but I'm going to really, really, REALLY try not to do that any more. Because I have a job--a good job, with benefits and everything. I should enjoy all the parts of it that can be enjoyed and grin and bear the rest.

Besides, without being too "I Contain Multitudes" about it, my job is actually kind of important right now. Coming to the library is serious beeswax if it's the only place you can access a computer to type your resume, or search for jobs, or write a cover letter. And I can help with that! Which is cool.

Also (cue violins) I am in a position to make people's days a little better by treating them decently. It's hard sometimes. I do have a temper, and sometimes when people roll their eyes at me, or insinuate that my outfit is an indicator of my inner cowardliness, I kind of want to give them a good solid kick to the shins.

But if not kicking the citizens of Seattle in the shins is what I can do to help us get through this current crisis, I'm happy to oblige. I'm a giver that way.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Vacation slideshow!

I know, I know--I promised vacation photos and then failed to produce vacation photos. The reason for this is because I am a LIAR.

Also because I don't really like the uploady mechanism in Blogger. Excuses, excuses.

Anyway, here we are on our first day, boggling at the blueness of the sea and the warmness of the air. Coming from Seattle, I felt like I had walked into an alternate dimension.

Here are some Very Important Dudes enjoying cigars.

Pretty water. There was really no one around--at every restaurant we went to, we were the only table. The cruise ships come in a few times a week and I guess it's crowded then, but teh crowds are easy to avoid. Otherwise, it's completely empty except for one patch of beach filled with partying Italians.

Interesting signage.

The greatest bar of all time.


DIY bar.
The view from our house.

A kitten who lived on our doorstep the last day or two we were there. We fed her (him?) the strange gelatinous cream we had bought for our coffee and named him Peaches McScreeches/Steve Perry*. (Later the owners of our house told us her real name was Olive Oil, but whatevs.)

Crazy rocks on the east side of the island.

Sad faces on our last day.

The coolest part of the trip was the snorkeling, which you could do by stepping off the beach and into the water--that's how close the coral reef is. There was every rainbow color of fish you can imagine, and they just swam right up and stared at you. At one point I was surrounded by a school of flat turquoise fish the size of dinner plates.

Here are a couple of pictures that our friend P took with his fancy schmancy underwater camera:

Cool, right?

Anyway, it was super awesome and you should probably go to there.

*There was a cd player and an odd assortment of cds in our cabin. We listened to "Don't Stop Believin'" every morning as sort of a battle cry.

Friday, March 27, 2009

At the reference desk

A few days ago, an older man approached the desk with a long piece of paper--probably a toothpick or straw wrapper--dangling from his lower lip. He handed me a business card for a restaurant.


Me (brightly) : I'm not sure what you're asking. I'd be happy to look up reviews of that restaurant if you like!

Long pause.



The Amazing Vacation of Laziness was indeed amazing, and already seems like a distant, distant dream. I'll post a couple of pictures of it tomorrow, should you happen to care.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Speckled trout

This time next week, I will be on The Amazing Vacation of Laziness. I can't even explain how excited about it I am.

The other day I was talking to a coworker who had just gotten back from Hawaii,and she was full of advice for traveling to warm climates. "Hey, you know what you should do before you go?" she said to me. "You should go to the tanning bed. What you really need is a nice base tan."

I'm pretty sure I managed not to laugh in her face. But maybe not completely.

Because here is the thing about people who tan. Deep down inside, none of them can believe that there is a human on this planet who can't do it. It's SO EASY, they think! You just go outside and magically become darker! It's like God's hypercolor!

I can tell these people truly believe that if I just tried harder and weren't such a wuss about it, I could do it too. But allow me to share a science fact with you, oh tanners: I CAN'T TAN.

But I can do other stuff. Here's what I can do: I can get a sunburn in February. I can shed my entire outer layer of skin like a snake. I can have darker freckles. But the skin inbetween the freckles is never, ever going to tan. So please do not speak to me of base tans and SPF 8 and the like. It's SPF 1,000,000 for me, and a big ridiculous hat. I know I look like a speckled trout in a bathing suit, but trust me when I say there is nothing I can do about it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sometimes gross, usually delicious

Accomplishment of the week: We're getting free cable now. I called the cable company and asked them to cancel our subscription. The operator asked why, and I told her the truth: We can't afford it. After that it was like breaking up with someone who doesn't want to be broken up with: "What if we give you a deep discount on your internet service?" "How about we give you digital cable for the same price as regular cable?" "What if we come over and wash your car?"

When I said no to all of that, she said, "What if we give you the cable free for the next six months?" And so the cycle continues. Jon Stewart can rest assurred that I will watch him not online but as God intended, with lots of commercial breaks at 8 p.m. Pacific Time (since we can't stay awake for the original airing).

Remember last weekend? I know, it was a really long time ago, but I did some cool stuff back then. I went snowshoeing, for example, and it was really sunny and warm. I was out on the snow in nothing but a long-sleeved t-shirt. A long-sleeved t-shirt, I say! It was like a tropical vacation. Climate change is fun after all!

Then on Sunday Mr. A. and I finally used the membership to the art museum that my mom got us for Christmas. Right now they have a display of Edward Hopper's paintings of women (mostly women in restaurants in awesome hats) that is pretty cool. It's interesting to think about that first generation of ladies for whom ladies' night was a possibility. I'm glad I don't live during the time of constant chaperoning by the mens. What a drag.

After the art museum, we went to a wine tasting in Pike Place Market that happened to be going on as we walked by. I like wine, but sometimes at wine tastings I feel like I'm taking a test I'm bound to fail. In public. The wine guy zeroed in on me right away and demanded that I describe exactly which flavors were in each wine. He had this chart with all the possible flavors on it and I studied it as best I could. Eventually I started asking Mr. A. for the answers when Wine Guy's back was turned. "What did you get for the Pinot Grigio? Lawn cuttings? Banana?!?"

I guess I have a really unsophisticated palate, but to me wine mostly tastes like wine. Sometimes gross, usually delicious, always more or less like fermented grapes.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hi. So, I just wrote a whole post in which I freaked out about climate change being irreversible, but then I decided to spare you that. That's not what you come here for, am I right? You come here for petty complaints about the day to day weather of Seattle! And I am happy to provide.

Actually, we've had a really nice week, weather-wise, though today is drizzly. Every year we get a string of really nice days in February--sunny, highs in the mid- or upper-50's--and something awakens in your chest and you start to think, maybe I do have a reason to live! Maybe spring will really be here soon!

It won't.

Actually, I had a complete meltdown a few days ago that involved a lot crying. I think there were a few forces at work, including lack of sunlight, and the fact that I'd had a cold, and so I hadn't worked out for a few days. I suspect that exercise might be the only thing keeping me from frequent crying jags. But that afternoon Mr. Awesome brought me home a bag of these little mini-doughnuts that they sell in Pike Place Market--still hot!--and luckily I don't have a lot of problems that mini-doughnuts can't solve.

Speaking of doughnuts, I had a couple of "Total Health Consultations" at the gym--these come free with your membership at the Y and mostly involve the trainer showing you how the machines work, how much weight you should be lifting, and creating your basic fitness routine. They differ from "Personal Training" in that Personal Training costs money, and also I think it might involve more yelling.

Anyway, my Health Consultator asked me what my goals were, whether I was worried about bulking up, stuff like that. I said I wanted to bulk up as much as possible--which for wimpy me might not be much, but I'll take what I can get. I want to intimidate the teens (and frankly, everyone I meet) with my amazing bulk.

Don't worry, though; I won't beat you up unless you really piss me off.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Not much

Last weekend we finished up the big series of events that I had been planning and marketing and hosting and living and breathing. They all went really well and lots of people came, and I'm very, very glad they're over for now. This week, not much happening. Well, I bought a bikini.

Next month, we're spending a week in Roatan with some friends, and I spend a large percentage of my time thinking about it. Roatan is a little island off the coast of Honduras, and while there I plan to do NOTHING. Well, okay, maybe I'll rent a bike one day but mostly my plan is to sit around with a book in my hand, putting different parts of myself in this water:

I used to scorn people who took tropical vacations and did nothing but lie around on beaches, but I'm wiser now.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Your Customer Service Ain't No Service At All

I still don't have a phone, and it's turning me into a terrible person. Not because I'm out of touch with the world (although there is that), but because I am filled with a deep and abiding hatred for T-Mobile. The corporation has now lost all record of my existence, and at this point the most I can hope for when I call them is to ruin somebody's day.

However, speaking of T-Mobile, the super awesome audio I wanted to share with you is now available. Mr. A. ordered a revenge rap for me, from Rap Master Maurice, and it's one of the best presents I've ever received. You can now listen to it on Maurice's website! (If that link doesn't work, go here and click on "Your Customer Service Ain't No Service At All," at the bottom of the revenge raps.)

If you happen to be in the market for revenge, I heartily recommend Rap Master Maurice. His raps are currently only seven bucks and he delivers within two days. You really get a lot for your money.


Last night, we went to a fancy cocktail party for Mr. A.'s work, and I had to meet new people while wearing high heels. It was a challenge, but I think I did okay. His work people were intimidatingly cool, though. Hip haircuts and glasses and stuff. I was glad I let Sarah give me long straight bangs the other day so that I looked (I thought) ever so slightly more hip than before.

I woke up in the middle of the night with a nasty sore throat, and I took a lot of advil but I still don't feel that great. Is that the most interesting story you've heard all day? I could start talking about the phone again if you prefer.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Junior master

I have something really awesome to share with you guys, but I can't figure out how to upload audio to my blog. Am I dumb, or is it really hard? Actually, I suppose those are not mutually exclusive categories.

Did you get to watch the inauguration? I did. They opened up the library early for the public to come in and watch it on the big movie screen in our auditorium, and it was completely awesome. The place was packed, and we were a very rowdy crowd--lots of cheering, singing, standing ovations. One of the biggest cheer lines was when Obama said "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." The "nonbelievers" part went over huge here. Ah, Seattle--nothing but heathens. Well, heathens and Mars Hill Church members.

Speaking of sports,* I've almost learned to snowboard! Properly, I mean. I've done it about 10 times but I usually just do it the baby way--riding my back edge, if you know and care about such things. But now I almost have the swoosh, swoosh method of real snowboarding down. This is a big deal for me as I have never really mastered a sport. Well, unless you count cornhole. But even there I'm more of a junior master.

*I know, I know, we weren't really speaking of sports. You try to come up with a connection between Mars Hill and snowboarding.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thumbs down, T-Mobile.

Still no phone. No prospect of getting one before late next week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Terms of nerdiness

Guess what? It looks like Mr. A and I are going to get to go to the American Library Association conference this summer in Chicago! Awesome, no? I haven't gotten to go to very many librarian conferences--only a couple of dinkier local ones--but I LOVE them. In terms of nerdiness they are only a short step below Star Trek conventions. And they're all about books and stuff! Delightful.

Of course, the truly magical part is that Mr. A. and I both got permission from our workplaces* to get paid workdays to geek out and explore Chicago. I've only been there a couple of times but I think Chicago is pretty awesome. The lake! The river! Da Bears!

Anyway, if one of my two readers happens to be a Chicago expert with lots of tips to offer, please do leave some in the comments. Thanks dudes.**

*He's an art librarian at a university around here, in case you didn't know.
**Are you impressed that I made it through this entire post without saying Shy-town or Oprah? Me too.

Top Five Recent Thoughts

Oh, blog. Bloggity blog blog. I know I haven't been around much lately, but it's only because I haven't had any interesting thoughts to share.

Here, for instance, are my Top Five Recent Thoughts:

1. I'm cold.
2. I'm wet.
3. I don't want to go to work.
4. Ow, my arm.
5. This skirt itches.

So see? You're not missing much.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bad music or perky suggestions

On December 27th, Mr. A and I ordered new cell phones online. We switched from @t&t to T-M0bile, having been told that the T-M peeps have the best customer service around.

Well. All I can say is that if T-M is as good as the customer service gets, we are all royally screwed. I'm going back to the tin can and string model.

I don't want to bore you with the whole long story of bureacratic wrangling and ineptitude. Basically, between T-M and the United P@rcel Service (another huge bastion of rude chuckleheads, it seems) we've spent about 7 hours on the phone*, mostly on hold listening to either bad music or perky suggestions that we try the website for a speedy solution to our problem.

All of this would have been more or less okay, except that T-M cut off our old phones the day we placed the order.

Mr. A's phone finally arrived the day before yesterday. As far as I can tell, I am no closer to getting a phone that I was when we started. Farther, probably, because at this point the whole thing is so effed that T-M0bile has no idea whether they even mailed me a phone or not.

So anyway, if you're trying to reach me, you can't and probably never will again. Sorry I haven't returned your calls. Try the comments field here on the blog for best results.

Oh wait--I made a new year's resolution to stop complaining. It's going really well, don't you think? Sigh. At least I'm exercising.

On a brighter note, the big festival thing I'm organizing for my work is going well. We had the first event last night and a ton of people came, despite nearly apocalyptic pouring rain and 45 mph winds. So that's good.

*Mostly at work, because you know. We don't have any PHONES.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The sarcastic slow claps of my fellow gym members

Happy new year! Oh, I said that already, didn't I? I must say, I love wishing people a happy new year. You don't have to worry that the person you are greeting doesn't celebrate it and will be offended. Everyone is stuck with the Roman calendar.* Not like that other holiday. Damn you, War on Christmas! O'Reilly is right, everyone should just celebrate Jesus' birth and learn to love it so that I will have an easier time with my salutations for a couple of weeks each year.

Guess what I did today? I worked out! At the GYM. I can tell you are not impressed but you should be. You see, I have never joined a gym, and I've only worked out about three times in my entire life.** I used to sort of scorn the gym. Why would you run on a treadmill, I would sneer, when there is perfectly good sidewalk to run on? Or ride a stationary bike, when you could ride a bike that will GO somewhere?

But let's face it--I was being kind of a poophead when I sneered these things. Because really, that attitude is all very well in the summer, but in the winter (especially a winter such as we have had so far, with the snowing and the freezing) you can't be outside very long before all of your appendages just fall right off.

The truth is (and it pains me to admit this), my gym-directed scorn was merely a sad self-defense mechanism intended to hide my many gym-related phobias. They ranged from your standard-but-insane "I'm not in good enough shape to go to the gym"-type phobias right up to phobias about not understanding how to use the machines and somehow pulling a lever that either caused the machine to explode, thus killing me or (worse) caused me to fall spectacularly off the back of the machine, landing with a crash in a cloud of smoke, probably to the sarcastic slow claps of my fellow gym members, and thereafter leaving me unable to show my face in a gym--ANY gym--ever again.

But now, suddenly, I have overcome these gym fears and I am ALL ABOUT IT. I want to be the buffest, baddest librarian in town. I want to be able to pick Mr. Awesome up over my head and throw him twenty yards. How long will this mania for buffness last, you ask? Probably not too long, if past history is any indicator. But at least now I know how the machines work.

*Yeah, I know, the Chinese New Year is later and whatever but I think my point still stands.
**In a gym, I mean. I've exercised, duh. Don't look at me like that.