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?