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November 2006

For your information

I'm home, back to the land of high speed internet and 400 TV channels and knowing what is going on in the world. Also? It snowed. All over my yard. Phillip is distraught- DISTRAUGHT!- that he missed the big snowstorm and I am all, "It better be gone by the time I wake up tomorrow."

I threw up twice on the plane and once in the car on the way home. I can't remember the last time I threw up. (No, wait. There was that One Time in which I may have drunk an entire bottle of delicious red wine on an empty stomach, but before that, I honestly cannot remember the last time I threw up and that is what will count this time around.) So. The flight was bumpy, but not as bumpy as the flight we took to get to London. (Ho ho, you will be terribly excited to read my Dear British Airways post, I'm SURE.) Either the morning sickness is finally kicking in at 17 weeks or English food IS that bad. Phillip and his dad are out finding me something that might stay in my stomach, and I am home admiring my suitcase full of loot. About half of it is kitschy Christmas stuff and the other half is chocolate.

Ugh. You will find this unbelievable, but just writing 'chocolate' makes me queasy. My entire world is UPSIDE DOWN. Must go lay down and reconnect with my beloved TiVo.

I'm not that girl

You know what is funny? I am watching a British cooking show. Better yet, a British version of Iron Chef, wherein the host is trying to get the guest Italian cook to compliment English wine. As we were given dire warnings about impending starvation and I have survived so far on sandwiches from French bakeries, this is TERRIBLY amusing. Haaa!

Also, the wireless in the hotel (which is not free) is barely an improvement over my parents' circa 1990 dial up. I had to switch places on the bed with Phillip to get it to work. I am not making that up.

Anyway, I am a big fan of London. I first visited when I was twelve and my dad made us all do his sadistic version of a summer book report. My topic was the British royalty, so we went to the National Portrait Gallery and the Tower of London and then I had to sit in the hotel room at night writing about what I'd learned and drawing pictures of Queen Elizabeth. But we saw three musicals on that first trip and I decided to screw the whole writer bit, I was going to be a STAR! On STAGE! Hee. As proof of my devotion, I offer the fact that I've memorized nearly every word on my Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, without ever having seen the actual show. (My aunt and I picked up discount tickets on our one free afternoon on my next trip (where we saw something like 8 shows in 7 days, it was HEAVEN) and at the point where the chandelier was supposed to drop, nothing happened. The power was out in the theater, sorry, they had to cancel the show. Bummer.)

So I've heard all this talk about Wicked Wicked Wicked and that was the show I donated my kidney for to find myself sitting, like, THIS far from a Tony Award winner last night. I was wearing a skirt that, I swear, fit me before my trip, but had to be left half unzipped. I was wearing the cheapo boots I bought in Italy (and apparently I am wearing them WRONG, because every woman in Europe is wearing her skinny little jeans tucked into her skinny little boots, not with bare legs and a skirt like me, but EXCUSE ME, Europe, I have gigando peasant stock calves and can't pull off the matchstick leg look you all have going on and actually I don't like jeans tucked into boots ANYWAY so THERE.) Ahem. I had my coat on my lap and my elbows digging into my sides, because the theater is much like an airplane and I was sitting between my husband and a Rather Large Man. And for the first 15 minutes the Tony Award winner was nowhere to be found and I was bored. For that I felt very very guilty because some of you (cough) LOVE this show and I knew I would have to report back and be in love too.

But people! It was chick flicky! Phillip kept looking at me like, "I can't believe you donated your kidney to take me to THIS," and I wanted to throw a little dart at Galinda and deflate her skirt and her hair and her voice, her VOICE, oh my GOSH. The songs weren't hooking me, the staging wasn't amazing me...

AND THEN. Elphaba does her first big song and I was all, "DUDE. This was SO WORTH MY KIDNEY."

By the end of the show I was sobbing (but I am blaming this on being pregnant, I am allowed to cry over anything I want) and telling Phillip how utterly WONDERFUL the entire show was and could we please go see it tomorrow? Because OH. That last song? Where they're singing about being friends? Like, WAY TO MAKE ME BAWL, LONDON. Sigh.

A few things: For the longest time I kept thinking the kid playing... I forget his name. The one in love with Galinda but tending to Nessarose- him? Clay Aiken. SPITTING IMAGE. And it finally dawned on me that everyone had a proper British accent except for Elphaba and at intermission a man behind me said, sort of snottily, "They're supposed to be getting a British Elphaba in January." How come the green makeup never rubbed off? The monkeys were freaky. I had to ask Phillip who the Lion was... I never figured that one out. Actually, I was pretty slow on all of that (except the Scarecrow) and I loved who Nessarose ended up being. I went back and forth between hating and adoring Glinda about 400 times. Elphaba never got to be pretty.

Oops! Right about here I hit 'Publish' accidentally. Or something like that. I don't know. I hate the laptop.

ANYWAY! In a few hours we will be seeing our second musical, Chicago. We're seeing Chicago because I LOVE the songs and I LOVE singing and dancing and it was a hell of a lot cheaper (and better seats) than The Lion King. There are a hundred other shows to see and I am rather distraught about NOT seeing them, but we leave at 2pm tomorrow and I suppose I don't get to have everything I want. Bollocks. Look, I'm English already!

Oh, and I finally found a baby store in Europe. It's on Regent Street and it is selling the most adorable winter baby clothes, none of which I bought because they cost as much as theater tickets, and my baby will be born in May. And although I hear there is SNOW on the ground where I live, I'm IGNORING the Pacific Northwest weather. Last time it snowed I had to call my boss to take me to work because I am such a ninny. I hope it's all gone by the time we get home. Of course, my hopes are cancelled out by Phillip's, who loves snow like each snowflake is a tiny little Transformer, descended from the sky just for him.

Did you know they still have The Weakest Link in the UK? Weird! Also, the TV sucks. Where is Sky News? These BBC anchors are reeeeeally irritating.

I think this is my last post until I get home. Sorry I was such a horrendous bore. I think all extraneous energy has gone directly to my poor aching feet. Pray for my airplane! I hate the airplane. In fact, I wrote a very long post in Word about how much I hate airplanes, but I figured no one wanted to read that. I've got 9 hours of the middle seat ahead of me and the doctor disapproves of Valium. GAH.

Only a European vacation could make me even more boring

I've decided I'm not going to write about how sad I am to leave Italy, for possibly the last time in a long long time, and how I will no longer have my parents to take me out to a lovely Italian restaurant for every meal. That, in itself, is terribly depressing. No more profiteroles. Weep!

My mom and I did some more shopping this afternoon, and my little suitcase is now bulging with candy and Christmas decorations and presents and small ceramic things I couldn't do without. I bought a little Santa in Germany that Phillip keeps calling The Gnome. It's not very funny. I even bought something at the BX today, a little Polish pottery cross. And I had to buy it while pretending not to notice a former high school teacher lurking across the way, who almost certainly noticed and recognized me and didn't say anything, which I decided was perfect reason not to acknowledge him. Because: ICK.

We have dozens of pictures, but I think I've introduced you to my parents' computer, a fixture in their house since 1995, and I don't even want to attempt the upload.

Not sad not sad not sad.

At the market this morning my mom and I had a very difficult time deciding on what baby things to buy, because we don't know if it's a boy or a girl. The yellow and orange and green things are just not as cute as the pink and blue things, but you don't want to buy the pink snowsuit only to find out you should have bought the blue. So I am under strict orders to let her know ASAP so she can buy the appropriate items before she comes home for Christmas. Fine with me! I just hope the baby cooperates. We find out in three weeks. I can't believe it.

Gosh this is dull. Travel zaps my brain. Maybe it's the food. I have eaten my weight in pasta and bread in less than a week.

I feel bad, because I've written heaps of posts while sitting in the back of a car, zooming down the autobahn or careening through the villages. I've thought of all sorts of insightful and original things to say, but once I'm in front of this computer I'm completely blank. In fact, right now I am thinking about all the goodies I need to steal from the kitchen and load into my carry on bag. Also, what tube stop is nearest the theater where I will be seeing Wicked tomorrow night. Because did I tell you I'm going to see Wicked? In London? Neener neener neener.

I know it's only lunch time in Seattle, but I'm off to bed.

We've been here a week already

You guys, the dial up, it is killing me. Seriously. Tonight my mom told me that she plays a game of solitaire while she waits for her email to load.

It's about 9:30 at night. My parents went to bed. Phillip is snoring on the couch downstairs. I have to go wake him up and insist he fix the TV for me so I can watch a movie or something because my body is stupid and doesn't understand that it's nighttime, and also that people with jet lag are supposed to fall asleep early, not at three in the morning as has become my custom. (Notice 'fix the TV'- nothing works right in this country. And I will have to get my dad to do a guest post about buying a house in Italy, how the different sets of paperwork show three different prices, and how the notary had to step outside when my dad handed over a bazillion euros in cash, because he needed to be able to say in court that he didn't see any money change hands. And this is how EVERYONE buys a house. Except my dad said, "If I had a blog I'd have to kill myself," and at that point I decided I wasn't speaking to him anymore.)

We flew back from Germany today. We flew from Treviso (near Venice) to Hahn (near Frankfurt) and spent a few days with my aunt, tooling around the Saarland and complaining about the absolute dearth of baby stores. At first I thought this is because all my magazines are right and Europe is not having babies, but there were TONS of babies! And they were all wearing very cute clothes. I was quite tempted to walk up to their parents and ask where they bought their child's wardrobe. And all the babies are zipped into these puffy sack things that fit perfectly into their strollers. Except the strollers are more like buggies, you know, where the baby lies down with the little shade over his face, instead of sitting up in a Travel System like the efficient Americans. (Perhaps that little sentence there shows that I am slackjawed at all the stroller options, not to mention the cribs and car seats and diaper stuff and aaaccckkk!)

I'd ask them, except I can't speak German. It's embarrassing. I can't even order in a restaurant. And when I do know the right word to say, Italian comes out instead. I'm hopeless.

Anyway, Phillip can say that he has now seen Germany. He saw an honest to God castle, and not the foofy palace kind; he ate schnitzel and wurst, he drank gluhwein at a Christmas market and got to ride shotgun on the autobahn. I think that about covers it. My allegiance still goes to Italy, but I have to say that Germans know how to do Christmas. Thankfully for us, they started early. In Italy the Christmas decorations are cheap and gaudy and weird colors, like orange and lime green, but in Germany, ah! Everything is gingerbread houses and adorable Santas and wreaths and lights. My mom had to buy another suitcase just to haul home her load of Christmas junk, and I admit I filled my nearly empty extra suitcase with my own share. My house is going to look soooo cute.

But now we're back in Italy, where I can read signs and remember the right words and will eat pretty much anything on the menu. My mom and dad are talking about moving home soon, and I asked them if the thought of moving back made them sad. But really, it was making ME sad. I mean, now I will have to PAY for my European vacations. That doesn't seem fair, does it? All Phillip has to do is drive half an hour to find himself back at the house he grew up in, his elementary school, his dentist's office, his playground. Once my parents move back to the states, it's highly unlikely I'll be back here. I might visit Italy again, but I'll be in Florence or Sicily, not heading back to this little town. (And who am I kidding? It's not like I'm FROM here. Shut up, me. I just want to eat tortellini alla panna and be chauffeured around by my dad. Also: a round of applause for my dad, dear readers, for taking two days off last week and driving us all over the Veneto.)

My dad graduated from high school at an air base near where my aunt lives now. He told us that there were 50,000 Americans living in that part of Germany in the late sixties. There are hardly that many now, but it was still weird to fly up there with a bunch of military people on vacation, and run into a couple of my dad's former students in the middle of downtown Big German City. We went to see the new Bond movie (three thumbs up, the blond Bond is delish) at a giant German movie theater that shows half the movies in English, and we sat in the middle of bunch of American guys with half their hair shaved off. How privileged we are!

Anyway. Phillip is still sleeping on the couch. I need to go get him. It will take me that long to publish this thing anyway.

Tomorrow my mom and I are leaving Phillip at home to do some hard core shopping. And after that? London, baby!


Sorry for the lack of posting. It can be summed up in two words: DIAL UP.

I have all sorts of posts in my head, but we're getting ready to go shopping and it seems there is no amount of money my mother will not spend on her future grandchild. Works for me!

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving (I had a turkey schnitzel) and I'll be back later. Maybe. The internet in Europe is trying to kill me.

What is wrong with me and the not sleeping?

Buon Giorno!

Well, actually, it’s more like G’day, Mates! As Phillip and I are currently loitering in the Gatwick Airport Hilton lobby, slowly sipping our foul cappucinos and attempting to kill the next five hours. Five hours! Who arranged these flights? And we don’t even have wireless access (that would be six pounds, please, which is, like, eleven dollars and ninety-nine cents and I don’t love my internet access THAT much) so I’m typing this out in WORD, which I hate doing, but five hours people! Also, there’s already so much to tell!

For example, in the last hour we discovered that our flight to Venice does not actually arrive at seven, like I obediently informed my parents in an email with the subject header OUR ITINERARY, DON’T FORGET IT. It arrives at nine, which is kind of a big difference, considering my parents live an hour away from the airport and I don’t trust them to check on our flights before they load up the minivan and head off. I may have chosen this particular flight based on the [supposed] fact that it arrived at seven instead of eight, like my other option, but apparently I do not know how to subtract twelve. Now I am sitting here wondering if that other flight got in at ten instead of eight. And honestly Maggie, how could a flight leaving London at six arrive in Venicea whole time zone away, at seven?

This is only one of several astounding displays of idiocy on our trip thus far. The first one occurred barely minutes into our journey, as I stood in line to check our bags at Sea-Tac. I let out a rather large gasp (or is it “rawther large”? I am in the UK) and Phillip whipped around with his heart hanging out of his chest. “What! What!” He does this every time I gasp, even though my gasps are usually reserved for things like “We forgot to TiVo Veronica Mars!” and “I just stepped in a puddle!”

“I left my coat at home,” I said.

He just stared at me. “Isn’t it going to be cold in Italy?”

“Yes,” I said. “It will probably be colder in Germany.”

“So you need a coat.”


“I guess that’s gasp-worthy,” he said.

“It’s hanging on the hook in the hallway. I forgot to take it when we left.”

“Don’t think you’re using mine.”

I’ve decided that I can borrow one of my mother’s coats, or con her into buying me one from the BX. That’s Base Exchange for all you non-military types. It’s a place I hoped to avoid this time around, as there is no way of hiding from your former high school teachers and parents’ friends when you have to go to the only clothing store aka The Hang Out Equivalent of the Stateside Mall on base. Suck.

Also, Phillip packed his laptop, his gigando camera, several magazines, a server’s closet worth of cords and a fifty-pound SQL handbook in his carry on, and proceeded to complain about how heavy it was the entire time. But what kind of dummy thinks he’s going to read about SQL on an eight-hour flight?

AND THE FLIGHT. My God. British Airways is staffed with evil geniuses, making us poor cattle class passengers walk by the “beds” in business class, the seats that let you recline all the way back. And then there’s even another class you have to walk through before you get to your teeny seat crammed between the chubby yet jolly British man and your six foot two husband. The British Airways flight attendants, however, were LOVELY. One in particular seemed to take a more than passing interest in me on the second or third hour of turbulence. This was not your regular turbulence. This was God dropping your airplane into the Yahtzee dice shaking can and rattling you around until your morbid little mind was remembering all the prophetic foretelling-one’s-own-death things you may have said to your sister when she dropped you off at the airport. And it would not stop. By the time the flight attendant came around to offer “braised beef” or “chicken casserole” I was nearly in tears. “It’ll get better,” he promised. “Just a few more minutes!” And he asked how I was doing each time he rolled his little cart by our seats. Which was usually not good, as the turbulence did. Not. End. Thank you, British Airways. Your flight plan was dreadful, but I appreciate the concern..

OH. And THEN we had to CIRCLE for fifteen minutes because we were ahead of shedjool and there was nowhere for us to park the airplane. I’d been a brave little traveler up to that point, but Baby Cheung was screeching, “LEMME OUTTA HERE” and I was forced to wonder whether I’d manage not to get any of the vomit on the chubby jolly British man.

And now we’re here, at the Gatwick Airport Hilton, after paying 32 pounds (sixty American dollars, dear God!) to ride the bus from Heathrow. We could have taken the underground, but frankly, we’re not up for navigating at this point. In fact, I may have to kick Phillip under the table to get him to stop snoring in the lobby.

...we're here, I've had three hours of sleep and dial up sucks. Talk to you later.

Thursday- watch the walls instead

So what shall we talk about today?

How fraudulent one feels to enter a maternity clothing store when one is most definitely not yet showing?

How I've filtered my anxiety triggers down to the lowest common denominator, only to find that I am one of those boringly trite people who should probably discuss her traumatic teenage years in therapy? And while I'm actually quite thrilled to feel like I know From Whence It Came, I am so terribly disappointed in my ordinary averageness.

How I'm supposed to have outsourced my entire job by Friday, yet no one returns my frantic emails asking if it is really so?

How deeply irrationally terrified I am of getting on an airplane and flying into London, aka where the terrorists are figuring out how to use Clinique moisturizer to blow up planes?

How much I love Friday Night Lights? How good the past two episodes of Veronica Mars have been? How I haven't been able to catch up on my television shows because Phillip always wants to play Guitar Hero?

I know. DULL AS DIRT. You'd think that if someone was going to write about her life on the internet, the least she could do is make it interesting. Sorry.

Anyway. I'll be 15 weeks tomorrow. Which seems... I don't know. Important? Kind of like: Aha! I have conquered the first trimester! I'm pregnant enough to know that the parasite that has hijacked my body actually looks like a baby now, if only a jumbo shrimp-sized baby, but not pregnant enough to have some nice man give up his seat for me on the bus, or to walk into a maternity clothing store and not have the salesgirls wonder what I'm doing there. And to be perfectly clear, I wasn't there to buy clothes, I was there to buy black tights that might not make me feel like I'm being lasered in half by David Copperfield. I even felt compelled to make excuses for myself when I was at the register. "I'm not really showing quite yet," I laughed nonchalantly, "but my other tights are just so uncomfortable! Ha! Ha!" (FYI: there is no discernible difference between regular tights and maternity tights. Except seventeen nonrefundable dollars.) Mostly I am just FAT. I bought a pair of maternity jeans (because even though most of my jeans still fit, I can't stand anything that feels binding around my stomach) and because they are dirt cheap and crappy maternity jeans, I can't wear them unless they're held up by my bella band. (God bless the bella band.) People in the know have told me to invest in a pricey pair of maternity jeans, because I will live in them and it will be worth it, but I just don't feel like I can do that before I'm even SHOWING. Gah. I did not realize the how-to-dress-myself part would be so difficult.

Also, how come all the pants are too big, but the tops are so tight and low? My already ample waistline may be expanding, but that doesn't mean I want to start drawing all the attention to my cleavage, thank you very much.

And instead of concentrating on any number of tasks I actually have to get done before we leave (in three days! On Sunday! Whee!) I am stressing about our Christmas party, of all things. The party to which we invite pretty much everyone we know, even though our house can hold four and a half people, and the party that will most likely coincide with everyone's work party and other cooler people's parties and only four and a half people will end up coming anyway. Which should be fine, I guess, since I have neither the energy nor the time nor the mental capacity to make the gazillion Christmas cookies I usually kill myself baking every year, just so I can lay them out at the party and wonder why people aren't eating them. Besides, if I can't drink wine, no one should be drinking wine.

Someone obviously need to chill herself the heck out and go shopping with her mother at the German Christmas markets already, don't you think? THREE MORE DAYS.

A bit of Tuesday random

Guess who bought tickets to 'Wicked' this morning? Eleventh row, orchestra stalls, and those seats better be diamond-studded. Also, I better be sitting next to a movie star, preferably someone tall and English, like Colin Firth. That would do nicely.

Phillip worked late last night so instead of doing laundry and making dinner and figuring out what we need to pack, I parked myself in front of the computer and attempted to find a hotel in the West End. O Dear Readers it is nigh impossible to find a hotel in the West End. Well, let me amend that. If you happen to be Colin Firth, it's probably no problem. But if you are the sort of person who would rather spend her extraneous income on theater tickets, your choices are few and far between. And the lifts probably stopped working in 1977.

This is unfortunate, because I've sort of become accustomed to Rather Nice Accomodations. This is the fault of my husband, who tends to be a little whiny if the rooms are small and the views are unimpressive and there is no complimentary breakfast. Phillip would probably have fainted at the sight of half the places I stayed on my backpacking trip, most especially the turquoise-colored rat-infested hovel in Budapest. I like to think of myself as an experienced gritty traveler type, but the truth is, once you've stayed at the Fairmont Orchid, it is terribly hard to go back. London, however, will be, by FAR, the most expensive place we've visited together (take that, Waikiki) and I am not budging on my theater tickets. ELEVENTH ROW, PEOPLE!

I've picked out a couple places in Bloomsbury (see, I'm desperate to stay as close to the theaters as possible, so deep is my subconscious longing to morph into a brunette Kristin Chenoweth and win a Tony.) And while I would prefer to spend all of my free time in theaters, it's unlikely there's a show going on at nine in the morning, so I'm listing a few other possibilities. London is the one European city Phillip visited before meeting me, so there's potential to do Totally! New! Things! But I may have to leave him in the hotel so I can go look at Art without interruption. He's not so much for Art.

Anyway, that's a lot of jabbering for someone who will be in London a whole two days. Shut up, Maggie.

In other news, yesterday I had the When Do I Tell The Work People About The Baby conversation. My two bosses and five coworkers are already in the know, but I happen to work with a whole bunch of folks outside my company and I'm getting a little antsy. It's entirely possible I may be showing next time I see them. It wouldn't be such a big deal, but I am planning on never seeing these people again once I actually have this baby, they are going to have to get used to someone new, perish the thought, so there is that whole situation to consider. And I just don't want to deal. Questions, comments, all that. My boss, who is ten kinds of cool, even when he says "Access" when he really means "Excel", volunteered to do the telling for me. Isn't that nice? He said he should anyway, as the Boss In Charge Of Me. And he was all, "Maggie, I know you don't like to be in the public eye, but they probably will want to say congratulations or something." Which is funny, because while my boss is right on, he also doesn't know I have an extremely public website. Hee.

Of course, every time I write about him I make that fact potentially less and less true...

I have to go to the dentist this morning, did I mention that? I had two crowns put on in September and ever since then I haven't been able to chew on the right side of my mouth. Which is sort of not the point, you know? Did I really even need these crowns? I haven't been moved to do anything about it though, because I hate the dentist and I also have a whole other side with which to chew, but now I'm getting a toothache. And THAT is definitely not supposed to happen when you have a crown, right? Last night I woke up in the middle of the night because my TOOTH HURT. And once something starts messing with my precious precious sleep, wars shall be fought until the thing in question is vanquished. I don't have a lot of hope, though, because they spent close to an hour trying to get my bite right the first time. Stupid dentist. She was recommended by the guy who drugged me up and yanked all my wisdom teeth out, but now when I think of how he said, "She's the best dentist in Seattle," I think what he really meant was, "She's new and could totally use some more clients."

Anyway, it's time to go listen to the hygienists yap about their boyfriends. Gah. Happy Tuesday!

All is well

It's raining again. I swear, it is NEVER GOING TO STOP. People say, "Oh, you're from Seattle, you must be used to the rain!" But not rain like this. Not heavy, relentless, mind-numbing rain, the kind that makes you think you must get about building that ark and collecting two of every species.

It was not raining yesterday when I left work deliciously early, picked up my husband downtown and dashed over to the doctor's office to see if the baby was still in there. AND IT IS. I may have teared up a little because you guys, it has been a hard couple of weeks. If it wasn't the random twingy weirdness freaking me out, it was the hearing the blood rush through my body or the not sleeping or the catatonic TV watching or the dependency on Valium and chianti to make the heart pounding go away. My doctor was the perfect combination of "whatever, that's normal, don't worry about it" and "I am taking you very seriously and I totally understand why this is frightening." Best of all she did not act like I was a hysterical neurotic when I told her about the anxiety, and did not say anything like, "Oh, lots of women get anxious about pregnancy" or "Yes, everyone gets nervous", because I am not anxious about being pregnant, I am anxious because my brain chemistry is jacked up and I hope to God my baby has absolutely no idea that I only got three hours of sleep the other night.

So isn't that nice? This baby thing feels a smidge more real. Last night I was reading this super bizarre article in Wired (seriously, it is bizarre) while Phillip rocked out on Guitar Hero and for a split second I wondered where we would put a bouncy seat in our tiny living room. A BOUNCY SEAT. This from the girl who is going around telling everyone how anti-plastic she is, and how she doesn't want anyone to give her that crap and the last thing that's going to clutter up her pretty little townhouse is heaps of pastel plastic baby stuff. You know. Like BOUNCY SEATS.

We now get to schedule the 18-20 week ultrasound (aka the Big ultrasound) which means I will get to find out if I'm having a boy or a girl for Christmas. My mind is blown. (FYI: I am 99% certain we are having a boy. This is because there are no girls in Phillip's family. There are barely any girls in my family. My sister-in-law tells me that the Cheung men "don't know how to make girls". And I will be super thrilled if it's a boy, not least because I am scared of having a girl, but that's another post entirely.)

It's getting hard to concentrate on anything. Not that I was good at concentrating before, but with the baby and the weather and the fact that I have one week ONE WEEK! before I go on vacation, I don't feel like doing much. Except tooling around travel websites and deciding which musicals I want to see in London, because Phillip and I decided to stay two nights in London and that means TWO MUSICALS. At least. One more, if I can fit in a matinee. Poor Phillip. He is all, "British Museum! Hyde Park! Tea!" and I am all, "Ashlee Simpson is playing Roxie in Chicago!" Oh... I feel an ohmygoshIloveLondonsomuchohwaitletmetellyouaboutVenicetooandthenoohFlorence! post coming on, which means it's time for me to sign off and lobby the boss to close the office before it starts to flood.

Kisses! Have a good weekend.

This post brought to you by YouTube

After some truly fabulous anxiety-free days, last night I hit myself with the trifecta of Late Night Church Meeting, Early Morning Board Meeting and Doctor Appointment At Which I Will Learn If The Baby Is Still In There. And while none of these things are anxiety triggers, the mere fact that I was verrrry stressed out about them told my body to shut down on the serotonin or whatever the heck it is that my brain chemistry does so poorly. Let's just say last night was not fun. And it's been a while since I haven't been able to fast forward the commercials during Conan.

I know that normal people do not get this stressed out about MEETINGS. Especially meetings where I am not responsible for anything. Basically I show up. Even for the board meeting. I'm not required to SAY anything or KNOW anything or do anything, really, except sit there and write down all the things I'm supposed to do before the next board meeting. None of my fellow meeters are intimidating or mean or scary or unknown or any of the typically anxiety-inducing things people can be. No, I'm pretty sure I get stressed about meetings because of time. Like, I had one and a half hours between work and my church meeting, and that's not really enough time to make dinner and watch Tuesday's Veronica Mars. And because my next meeting is so early, I'll have to go to bed early, but what if I don't fall asleep right away and I'm up late and I never sleep, or maybe I do fall asleep eventually, but I'm so tired I don't hear my alarm-

Yes. This is just a tiny little snapshot of the myriad of Neuroses fluttering around my brain.

Anyway, I think I got three hours of sleep. And for someone who needs, oh, nine or ten, that is not cool. I feel like crap and I'm still anxious, because now I'm not only worried about my appointment, I'm worried I won't be able to sleep tonight. Evil vicious cycle. But this is why God gave us Ambien.

JUST KIDDING. You can't take an Ambien after you've finished off a bottle of merlot! What is wrong with you?

The radio is playing 'Poison'. That makes me feel a little bit better. (Are you having a bad day? This will make you feel better. Promise.)

The church meeting went well. I have somehow turned into the Annoying Person Who Volunteers For Everything, Sometimes Without Even Being Asked. I have potentially become the chair of the not-quite-formed hospitality committee, and those of you who know me in real life, and have seen my horrific meeting-new-people skills in action, are permitted to guffaw. Go on. I'll wait.

The board meeting is a pain. Hopefully that is all going away soon, as I am about two thirds of the way up the Perfect Day Job Mountain. Cross your fingers.

The appointment... I'll let you know how that goes. Gah.

What I am most looking forward to is tonight, when my brother comes over for dinner, and we bust out GUITAR HERO. You know what I'm sayin' people. Phillip has been on a mission to find a PlayStation2 on craigslist. He finally found one, but then he went out and bought Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2 for actual money at an actual store. You don't even want to know how much those games cost. He told me when he picked me up last night, and I said, "EACH?" Let's just say our baby is not going to college.

He brought them to work. Because he's picking up the PlayStation on his lunch break, and he and his coworkers are going to rock out. With their boss. Because you get to do that kind of thing when you are a geek systems administrator working with fellow geeks system administrators at a geek software company. But you know what? I am so jealous. And I totally didn't freak out about Phillip buying the old Guitar Hero AND the new Guitar Hero, because DUH, we totally need 'More Than A Feeling'.

Oh! And I know I'm not allowed to say anything about Lost anymore, so I'll just say: DAMN YOU, JJ ABRAMS, FOR SUDDENLY MAKING THINGS INTERESTING. No more episodes till February! You suck. Although this gives Susan (hi Susan!) enough time to finish Season 2 already and get with the rest of America. Oh, and also? Mal! Yum.