Cranky

Well, this is depressing

Jack is now having meltdowns when Phillip leaves for work. We have to distract him and have Phillip sneak out somehow. Then he's clingy and/or getting into everything he's not supposed to be getting into. Which means I am picking him up and carting him up and down stairs all day long and no wonder my back has been hurting for 3 days. (I am terrified my back is going to hurt until the new baby is born. Because what am I supposed to do? Stop carrying Jack?) I'm packing for our day with the grandparents. It's not going to be sunny until the afternoon, which totally ruins my plan to sit by my sister's apartment pool this morning while Jack splashes around. And he's whining because he's run out of plastic sandwich bags to yank out of the drawer and throw around the kitchen.

I'm exhausted and it's not even 9.

So if you are really hard up for material I've got a post up at Parenting- adventures in coupon clipping. Back pain and coupon clipping- my life is THAT exciting.


I'll just throw anything up here and see if it sticks

My sister and I are sitting here drinking coffee. We're at my parents' house. Jack is napping upstairs. My parents are out grocery shopping. And my sister and I are very very bored.

"Help me write a blog post."

"What?"

"Help me write a blog post. I've run out of material. Give me a good idea."

"I don't have anything to say about children."

"It doesn't have to be about children."

"Or new cars. Or nap schedules."

At which point I stop asking because: POINT TAKEN. Maggie's Blog: Boringest Blog In Universe.

I went to see the Sex and the City movie last night. (With this fine lady. Who looked awesome, whatever is she talking about?) I liked it. I actually liked it more than I liked the TV series (which wasn't very much, to be honest), mostly because Carrie wasn't writing her stupid column and making up little wordplay jokes every two minutes. But it was very sad. I had no idea how sad it was going to be. Even though everything ends well, la la la, the sadness really bothered me. I came home feeling kinda bummed and my brain chewing over things like Forgiveness and Being An Adult. And then I was all, "Self? You just saw the Sex and the City movie, not a freaking war documentary. Please get off your ledge."

I am still in the place where I need to stay away from certain kinds of books and movies. My dad wanted me to read an op-ed today, but a glance at the title told me it was not something I should be reading. I am hoping this is just a pregnancy thing. I mean, I AM a delicate sensitive wittle thing, but the list of things I have to avoid is getting sort of ridiculous. But if I don't... my brain just STEWS. I don't think I have to tell you how pathetic it is when the SEX AND THE CITY MOVIE ends up on your Sensitivity Watchlist. (And not for the reasons you'd expect!)

Aren't you wishing my sister had come up with a Blog Topic?

I saw my first Mazda5 on the road today (segue!) and it was white and filthy and had a giant JESUS IS LORD sticker on the back window.

All the Remembering Tim Russert stuff makes me cry. Public Figure Tragedies belong on the Sensitivity Watchlist. Also, I really liked his show and his kid seems like a Very Nice Boy.

Why do people write all over their cars when someone graduates? "Congratulations So and So! Class of 2008!" all over the windows. Is this just a My Parents' Town thing? Do people do this everywhere? Am I the only one who thinks it's weird?

I think this post is a good example of, "No blog post is better than a crap blog post."


Even when I have nothing to say I still manage to fill the compose window...

Today at Parenting I attempt to rationalize my lack of belly shots, blog posts and new girly bedding for the new baby. "Harrumph," says New Baby. "Good luck with THAT one."

After I wrote that Fix Up My Bedroom post yesterday I got all kinds of wigged out. I not exactly the patient type and it was driving me up a wall that I couldn't go out RIGHT THAT SECOND and buy everything I needed. And then I thought about how we will probably go to Ikea this weekend, along with the rest of the Greater Northwest Population, and exit the store without anything we were looking for and also an intense hatred of The Public. Because that's what always happens to me when I go to Ikea. I can't figure out what I want and invariably someone has driven their loaded shopping cart over my foot.

Thanks for all your [excellent!] suggestions. They helped me make a list which I then used to torment my husband when he got home from work. Phillip has no imagination when it comes to stuff like this. I'll start yammering about a shelf here and a hook here and the whole time his face is scrunched up like, "what the hell is she talking about, I can't picture any of this, if she keeps talking I'm going to miss The Simpsons." And while I think I'm pretty good at envisioning things and thinking up solutions, I'm pretty rotten at the execution part. This is why I should not be allowed near a paint brush. I am not kidding about wanting something to take no longer than an hour. If I have to go shopping, then lug it home, then put it together, then find out it doesn't fit, then take it back, then find something else, then realize it's not big enough and we need another one... GAAAHHHH.

Then I took Jack for a walk and picked up every single House For Sale flyer in my neighbor and wigged out all over again because WHY CAN'T MY HOUSE LOOK LIKE THOSE PICTURES.

Now you are thinking, "It's not a Personal Organizer she needs so much as many weeks of therapy."

Do you have Memorial Day Weekend plans? (Other than going to Ikea?) I always get excited for these three-day weekends and then it turns out that somehow they got filled with the stuff we're always doing and there's no room for a Big Weekend Project! or a Big Weekend Outing! Does this only happen to me? We're doing all sorts of fun stuff this weekend (except for Ikea) but the fun stuff is spaced out kind of annoyingly and not making it very easy to, say, go somewhere we don't usually go or repaint the bedroom. (OKAY OKAY I will STOP talking about PAINT and also BEDROOMS.) In fact, my weekend sounds like a handful of fun definitely-want-to-do-these-things things filled in by manipulating nap schedules and carefully planned arrivals and departures, to make sure someone maintains his cheery disposition at the fun things. Or is this just what happens when you have a one-year-old taking his sweet sweet time transitioning to one nap?

But we've got a lot going on post-Memorial Day. A party at our house. A destination wedding at a winery, where it will not be proper for me to get super loopy the way I did the last time I was at this winery, BOO. Out of town visitors. And our anniversary trip, which morphed from a California weekend to a Vancouver weekend to a Whistler weekend to a one-night stay in downtown Seattle, but WHATEVER, it's still a night away from the baby!

And now I must go check to see if the blissful silence means Jack has fallen asleep in his crib or Jack is chewing thoughtfully on a board book in his crib. Shall we take bets? I'll put my money on a scenario that looks like this:

Img_1980
Sleep is for the weak!

But oooh, I was WRONG! It seems the nap gods are smiling upon me this week.


Not a lot of sleeping in our house last night...

I'm at my parents' house today. My mom took the day off so we can take Jack for his 12 month pictures. Even if I were allowed to drink, it's too early in the day.

If you're really annoyed about this non-entry, stop by Parenting to read the most gooey one-year post you're going to get out of me.

I just spied a bowl of Hershey Kisses so peace out yo. It's not too early to start the chocolate consumption.


Attempting to have a sunny disposition

I don't know why I'm so cranky this morning. I'm sure it has nothing to do with hauling a baby away from the stairs for the forty-seventh time in a span of fifteen minutes. Or being up half the night with a still! sick! husband and various pregnancy-related annoyances. Or not having any cereal to go with the milk in my refrigerator. Or taking a good look around at my house and realizing that every single surface could use a good hosing down. Or that the weather looks crappy or I need a haircut or Phillip has to work super late tonight or I got stuck helping one of those people who hate being helped with the Easter Vigil reception or that I have heaps of laundry or gifts I still haven't mailed or ARE YOU SICK OF THIS YET?

Me too. Let's talk about Getting Away From It All, shall we?

My new Thing To Look Forward To is my fifth anniversary. Not because my fifth anniversary is especially important (Me: "Look! Five years! Go us!" Phillip: "I've had my Sting CD collection longer than I've had you.") but because we've decided to use it as an excuse to go on vacation. Turns out my husband has piles of time off that he was not telling me about. Most of it we'll use when New Baby arrives, but in the meantime we thought we could afford a long-ish weekend away for our anniversary (the last weekend in June). I've been mulling this over for weeks now, because I am the Trip Planner in my house and all I have to do is say, "We're going HERE and it will cost X AMOUNT" and Phillip packs a bag and shows up.

So I'm trying to decide between Two Perfect Weekend Getaways. We could fly to San Francisco, rent a car and drive to Monterey. Or we could save the airfare and get a swanky hotel in Vancouver. DILEMMAS!

The California trip has the potential for much nicer weather and actually feeling like we went on vacation. I've been to San Francisco a time or two but I haven't been to Monterey, which everyone says is lovely. Phillip is especially interested in sun and I would be too, if I weren't so self-conscious about being mistaken for a whale while sitting on the beach. We also heard the local news talking about a $75 fare to San Francisco (one way, I think), which makes the entire thing much more enticing. Although I haven't been able to find it online so I think the local news was LYING.

But Vancouver... I love Vancouver. I have been to Vancouver a zillion times and I still haven't seen everything there is to see, mostly because we are too busy eating Chinese food in Richmond. Vancouver is an easy drive, we could lump the "transportation" and "hotel" budget together and, biggest plus of all, I wouldn't have to get in an airplane. Also, the neurotic part of me likes knowing that I would only be a few hours away from my baby, who will be staying with grandparents.

So I don't know. I think it depends on whether I can find those cheap flights or not. And Vancouver in the summer is often plenty warm enough for me.

I've left Jack in his crib this whole time, because HE WILL BE IN BED FOR NAPTIME, OH YES and I thought he'd fallen asleep. Until I suddenly hear howling, which I ignore because Jack howling from bed means I DON'T WANNA BE IN HERE and you know what I think about that. But after ten minutes of uncharacteristic wailing I walk into his room and see that he is standing up with his pudgy little hand stuck between a crib bar and a plastic thingy we have that hangs off the side of the crib and projects shapes onto the ceiling. I picked him up and sat down and IMMEDIATELY he fell asleep. So guess who gets the Worst Mommy award TODAY?

Oh, and I totally forgot to add my Contractually Obligated Parenting.com Link to my post today, which (surprise!) concerns the nap schedule. Here you go!


Obviously I'm not quite over it yet

I haven't been dealing well with People lately. I know I've told you that I'm a Nice Girl who would never willingly incite a confrontation, but that doesn't mean I don't sit and seethe about you when you're not looking. Or, you know, write about you on my blog.

Last week's Person Whose Eyes I Considered Gouging Out With A Rubber-Coated Spoon was the lovely girl who took Jack's nine month baby pictures at Large Department Store. (Actually, they are ten month baby pictures, because I am lazy.) This was my mother's idea, by the way. She had a coupon! She'd even drive up to SEATTLE! I know!

So I made the appointment for Saturday morning and prayed the nap schedule would cooperate and then my mother called and said she was sick and wouldn't be there to hold the baby and make suggestions and pick out the actual pictures.

That meant Phillip had to go (Phillip: "SUPER.") and off we went. We had Jack's three month baby pictures taken at Large Department Store and it was a fairly decent experienced. A crazy woman, the kind who probably has fourteen cats and a large collection of snow globes, took the pictures and she was pretty good with little babies. She knew what they could and could not do, she got him to smile, she wanted to try all sorts of poses and props and was amazed that we only had one change of clothing. She was not so great at the Front Desk Duties- you know, using the cash register- but I forgave her because really, she was so good with Jack.

That woman was at the Large Department Store Portrait Studio Saturday morning, but she was helping another customer. A girl who looked to be about twelve and also maybe 75 pounds skipped over to me with a little clipboard asking for all my personal pertinent information (WHY DOES HAVING A BABY MEAN EVERYONE HAS TO KNOW MY SHOE SIZE?) and then invited us into the little studio area.

We'll call her Little Girl. Little Girl had obviously been working in the portrait studio for all of forty-five minutes.  But sitting at the computer was an older girl who wasted no time ordering us around. Put the baby there. You stand here. You stand there. I'll sit here. She'll take pictures. Don't get in her way. I'm sure you are not surprised to hear that I did not immediately warm up to Snotbrat Girl.

Whatever. She was working on the computer and Little Girl at least knew how to click the button so Phillip and I set to work arranging Jack and attempting to get him to smile for the camera. I'd brought Fat with me (My Mother: "It's Easter! Let's get a picture with a Bunny!") and my one goal for that morning was to get an acceptable picture of Jack and Fat. Quoth Snotbrat Girl, "That's enough with the bunny."

"Um," I said very nicely, "But we would like some pictures with the bunny. I'm not sure we got any good ones."

Snotbrat Girl said, "We're not allowed to use a prop in every picture."

"Well, we're not DONE, are we?" I asked. And she went back to her computer.

So we took a few more with Fat, but I was feeling a little Intimidated. Little Girl brought out a girly looking wicker chair for him to sit in, because she was twelve and had no idea what a ten month old baby would and wouldn't do. Snotbrat Girl turned around and said, "Oh we're not allowed to use that chair with babies," became obviously frustrated with having to do Little Girl's job for her, and TOOK OVER.

That is when she grabbed the clicker and a stuffed animal and started shoving it in Jack's face trying to get him to smile, even though his father was doing a perfectly fine job. Of course my kid started to cry, because THIS LADY IS SCARY and of course that made Snotbrat Girl even more annoyed and by the time I was contemplating bodily harm.

I said, "Why don't I stand there," which she agreed to, lucky for her, because I then did not have to resort to forcibly removing her. She backed out of the baby's personal space and started bellowing for different blocks and chairs and props. She tried to get Jack to keep his hands in his lap or crossed on the bench (Jack's Mom: "HARDY HAR HAR"). I'd ask if we could try a couple more in a certain pose and she'd inform me that we had enough. She had a quota of pictures to fill: collages, close ups, three-quarter whateverness and THAT WAS THAT.

So there were no clothing changes. Only a few with Fat the Bunny. A half-freaked out kid. A murderous mother and a very irritated father. She told us to sit for five minutes and our pictures would be ready.

Twenty minutes later I made Phillip go back there and demand to know what was going on. Especially because Snotbrat Girl had sat down with another customer to help pick out pictures and was giving her the Hard Sell. I don't know about you guys, but I am not a fan of Enhancements and Collages and Sepia and "JACKSON 2007" printed on the picture. I like them plain and boring. I am not at all interested in the hard sell and I was sitting there absolutely enraged about how I was going to have to listen to the Hard Sell from Snotbrat Girl and God help me, I was going to kill her.

You may assume that Phillip was the one playing with Jack the whole time because I was expending all my energy attempting not to burst into expletive-laced flames.

Thank GOD we got to sit down with the crazy cat lady. And thank GOD Phillip's mom called from the airport and said, "I'm here!" even though we thought we were picking her up on SUNDAY, because that allowed me to say, "I just want this one and this one and this one and THAT'S IT."

It still took another hour just to pay for the sitting and the pictures, but I didn't have to deal with Snotbrat Girl again. And when Snotbrat Girl said gaily, "See you for his twelve month shots!" I wasn't even compelled to say, "LIKE HELL YOU WILL!" Or something equally inappropriate.

Jackpic
MOMMY IS SHE GOING TO EAT ME?


Blog business blah

Hey, those of you with feed readers get to read the Unedited! and Unfinished! Version! of the discovery of Baby #2. Turns out my husband is not as much of a computer whiz as he THINKS. "I didn't know 'save' meant 'publish'!" Bah. Anyway. I'll post the Edited Version sometime tomorrowish. For now I'm going to bed. (My husband knows enough that when he has Messed With The Blog he needs to wake me up. At least there is that.)


Good morning, sunshine

It's 6:30 in the morning, so right off the bat you should know I am in a stellar mood.

Insomnia without the added treat of anxiety is a new thing for me. But it keeps happening, night after night, right around two. I decide I want to roll over, which means herculean effort people, involving propping up on the elbow I skinned last week (don't ask), flipping my pregnancy pillow over and popping every single one of my joints. And by the time I've accomplished the Roll Over I am wide awake.

Other people's brains turn off in the middle of the night (Phillip) and can go right back to sleep after a groggy "You okay?" (Phillip) and it would never occur to them to start thinking about how they still have to redesign their blog or return something to the store or how they'll carry the chair up to the baby's room (Phillip). But then there is me, whose brain works much faster than her mouth or her fingers or her ability to fall back asleep. I decided to pray, because I don't know about you, but praying in the middle of the night ALWAYS puts me to sleep. But I got through about a dozen people and their problems before I realized NO. I WAS STILL AWAKE. DARN YOU, GOD.

Anyway. Eventually I fell back asleep. I can tell because my hips are incredibly sore, my lower back is turning black and disintegrating and, again, the stellar mood.

But do you know what today is? MY LAST DAY OF WORK. Yippee!

My last day of work coincidentally falls on Beer and Pizza Day. Beer and Pizza Day was recently instituted as some kind of morale building event that we, the lowly staff, could look forward to during production weeks. But more likely all of us just really like beer and pizza and Shooting The Breeze. Right around noon someone orders the pizza (one small cheese pizza for me, grown up pizzas for everyone else) and the boss goes to stock up on microbrews (and wine usually, even better) and then we all hang out in the middle of the office dripping grease on our shirts and talking about TV. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking: That's awesome! She's excited to leave THAT job? We don't get to eat pizza and drink beer in MY corporate environment! And you are right, it IS awesome. Which is why I am not totally quitting and will definitely make myself available for future beer and pizza days. I'll stick the baby in one of the empty boxes in the spare office and  take full advantage of office life without actually having to work in the office.

Speaking of the office, I took my Dwight K. Schrute bobblehead home and his head broke off. Sigh.

I was all about celebrating today. I was going to run some errands (Beer and Pizza Day means the office closes early too) and then insist Phillip take me out for a glorious Last Day Of Work dinner. But then our friends decided to invite us to dinner. And another set of friends said, "Hey, if we're coming down for dinner, we can pick up your chair FOR you and DELIVER it and maybe even CARRY IT UP YOUR STAIRS." So now it looks like I will be waited on hand and foot instead and taken to dinner. Works for me. I also might buy myself a little present. Like a pint of chocolate ice cream.

My lower back is killing me. I even considered the possibility of contractions last night, but no, there is definitely no rhythm or  pattern to this pain. Just constantness. Ugh.

Okay I'm going to eat breakfast and watch the news. I'm curious to see what people are saying about the GOP debate last night. I watched a little bit and was totally confused by all the people on the stage. I consider myself to be fairly well-informed about these things, but I only knew the names of about four of the eighty-seven old white guys in suits. It was sort of embarrassing. But then I decided it was more embarrassing for them, seeing as how they are spending a ton of money to run for President and even Maggie Q. Citizen, who reads heaps of blogs and magazines and watches entirely too much cable news, has NO IDEA WHO THEY ARE. Oh my. Tangent!

Oh, and while I'm eating breakfast, do I need a Boppy pillow? It seems like one of those things you are supposed to have. But I don't have one. Someone said I should bring it to the hospital even. Thoughts?   


An almost baby-less post

My new hire starts tomorrow and I have no idea what to do with her. Isn't that terrible? I'm flashing back to my first day when I was parked in front of a computer and told to figure things out, but I refuse to do that to my new hire. I'm trying to collect the few bits of work I've got floating around for practicing purposes (not because I am too lazy to do them myself) but since I've spent the last month or two trying to tie up loose ends, there's just not a whole lot for her to do. Just wait till she realizes how much time she can spend on the internet!

But just because there's not much to do right now doesn't mean she won't be utterly swamped come mid-May when things pick up again and I won't be here to tell her what's what. Poor thing. So I've spent the last couple of days making a little How To Do Everything Book, because I am kind and sweet and oh so incredibly anal. Anyway, I am telling you about this book because I got to use the coolest program to make it. Internet friends, meet Snag It.

Mybrowser_2

Oh yes. I AM this nerdy. I've created tutorials of not one, not two, but three built-by-me databases for my new hire using this screen capture program and every little feature it offers. In fact, my new hire may even be offended by my level of detail, thinking to herself, "DUDE, does she think I'm STUPID?" But no, I don't think she's stupid, I am just very excited about my free 30-day trial.

However, it's not like I can give her the book and wave goodbye. I have to think of actual stuff to do. So far I have thought of:

  • Giving her the scoop on her new coworkers
  • Reciting the history of the company
  • Insisting she kiss my ring for convincing my boss to outsource all the crappy parts of this job
  • Going out to lunch

I don't know. What are you supposed to do on your first day? Every first day I've ever had involved sitting in front of a computer and realizing I was on my own. I think that's mean! I'm STILL cranky about no one telling me anything when I started here. Also for how they all called me New Girl for nearly a year. A year! My poor new hire. She has no idea.

Thankfully she has a much friendlier personality than I do. She might actually want to chit chat with her coworkers instead of throwing them the stinkeye for constantly interrupting her blog reading. I'm pretty sure she is not afraid of the phone. She claims to enjoy meeting new people. She smiles. Everyone is going to like her better than me, I know it. Wah.

OH WAIT. I did have that one first day at the cafe on campus where I was supposed to make 47 different espresso drinks at once while my "supervisor", a 20-year-old music major, mixed screwdrivers using swiped food service orange juice and his personal flask. Good times!

Hee. I just took a look at the job description we handed out to potential candidates. "We are looking for an outgoing, intelligent and collaborative individual..." It's like they wanted to make sure they didn't get stuck with another finicky nitpicky neurotic whose most developed skill is the ability to tune out mindless conversation and focus completely on her computer monitor. I swear, the only thing I've got going for me is the steady stream of homemade chocolate chip cookies I deposit on the snack table.

Oh, this is going to be another post I have to delete, huh?

Anyway, thanks for your comments yesterday. I'm sort of embarrassed because I am FINE, REALLY and people were emailing me and calling me to make sure I wasn't about to leap off the nearest bridge or something. But I'm fine, Phillip is fine, we are as ready as we're going to be, but I still have to figure out what I'm doing with my new hire tomorrow. Gah.


Guinness and tofu

So there were a lot of things I wanted to do before I leave for Michigan on Friday. (Michigan! I know! Why couldn't they get married in, say, Bermuda? Hawaii? I'd even settle for Texas at this point. Wherefore art thou, Sunshine?!)

(Although, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm pretty afraid to go to Bermuda. Anyone else read way too much about the Bermuda Triangle when they were impressionable grade schoolers?)

I wanted to: apply copious amounts of self-tanner to my pasty white legs. Get a haircut. Pay a professional to do something about my appalling eyebrows. Research how to counteract ankle-swelling when flying during the third trimester. Find a book I won't want to put in the freezer.

But this is about all I've done so far: made a Guinness cake (and eaten the leftover ganache with a spoon.) Slept. Cried over the fact that I do believe I waddled home from the lake yesterday. Shook my fist at the universe as you know who was first to the mat on The Amazing Race. Learned more than I ever wanted to know about ecospirituality. And bawled at my husband for not telling me how absolutely gorgeous I am in fifteen minute intervals. What is wrong with him?

And this is about all I plan to do before Friday: Haul myself to a yoga class. Sleep. Eat the rest of the Guinness cake. Nerdily obsess about getting Arwen's autograph. Try not to think about the fact that my one single maternity dress makes me look like a pink elephant.

Yes. I've been (and will be!) oh so productive. 

So do you want to hear about ecospirituality? I knew you would!

Except I was pretty frazzled for most of the weekend, due to somehow getting roped into Being In Charge of things I had no idea how to Be In Charge Of. So I was worrying about childcare and evaluation forms and running out of name tags and, of course, the guy who suddenly had a panic attack in the back pew, all of which made it sort of difficult to focus and be retreaty. But anyway. First and foremost I want to say that the speaker was ten kinds of awesome. He was engaging and clear and cheerful and knowledgeable and interesting and had an excellent sense of humor, which should be required for anyone with an actual honest-to-God degree in Eastern Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness. He was not at all fazed by the woman whose hearing device emitted the high-pitched sound of going insane for nearly half an hour, which only endeared him to me more. In fact, I don't think I have ever liked a speaker so much and, at the same time, came away from his talks thinking, "Well, THAT was a load of bunk."

Because, really. After he drank a sip of water he said, "The old cosmology would say that the water is inside me. But I would like to suggest that we adopt a new cosmology, a cosmology that says, 'We are the water'."

Go ahead and draw your own conclusions. After the Friday night session a group of us young-ish folks gathered outside to debrief and one of us said, "Tomorrow we're going to hear about Gaia." And while he never ended up mentioning Gaia (we were so disappointed), we sat through what amounted to Biology AND Astronomy AND Chemistry 101, and Internet, I made sure to avoid all of those things like the plague when I was in college. It was interesting, to be sure, and I don't even know that I disagreed with his point, which amounted to something like "When we destroy the earth, we destroy the divine" or something like that. But, I swear, he did not get around to the God part of the discussion until the very last 15 minutes and by then I was no longer paying attention. And I only half caught the part where he argued that the idea of a 'soul' is a holdover from a "mechanistic cosmology". Honestly, there is only so much Big Bang talk my poor English major brain can handle.

My final reaction was, "So?" Which isn't really what I was hoping to get out of a Lent retreat.

However! What was most interesting to me was how reactions to the retreat could be broken down by demographic. The elderly people were all pretty much, "Uh, this is a bit too scholarly for me. When do we start the Ignatian prayer?" The young-ish folks were, for the most part (and obviously excluding my vegan friend who spent 6 weeks on a commune learning how to, uh, live communally) not completely convinced.   And the people our parents' age were totally stoked. "It was FASCINATING," they kept saying. "I SO ENJOYED IT."

Blah blah blah. I went home and made a Guinness cake. And babysat a non-screamy, non-shrieky but still not interested in napping 5-month-old for a few hours until her mother came over bearing vegetarian phad thai for dinner. I think if I'm going to worship something "of the earth" I am going to worship phad thai with tofu. YUM.