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.