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January 2007


So does anyone know why my report left out a heading? Anyone? The Perfect Day Job still has a few nerdy bits floating about.

I am thinking about this while eating peanut butter straight from the jar. The extra-crunchy kind.

Subject matter for a Serious Post has presented itself and though I'm tempted to write it, I must acknowledge that there are serious-er people than me on the Internet, all of whom could say what I want to say in a much better way and if I only bothered to check through their archives, I'm sure I'd find the relevant topic and I could just link and be done with it.

Apparently peanut butter makes you write long-ass sentences.

I started reading one of my books last night, The Thin Place. I would like to report that I am in love with this fantastical meandery thought-provoking novel, but I couldn't get into it. I think I used up all my appreciation for fantastical weirdness when I read Jeanette Winterson's entire bibliography. I had to put it down and start on Joe College instead, which is full of potty-mouth characters and dorm scenes twenty-something ennui, which means I am loving it and fell asleep reading a book instead of watching the news. Go me. I'll try The Thin Place again in a while, maybe on a Saturday morning when I am thinking clearer. I'll take it to the Starbucks on the lake and make sure to slouch back with my nonfat latte so everyone can see I'm reading Literature.

I went to Barnes & Noble again, by the way, hanging around while Phillip got a haircut from the Korean lady down the street, the only person in the world allowed to touch the Coif. I spent most of my time looking at cookbooks, decided not to spend thirty bucks on the couple of recipes I want from Giada and went into the coffee shop to get a snack. I had to crawl through backpacks and laptop cases and saw I was surrounded by college students. Ah, I said to myself. To be a student again! To haul my 40-pound textbooks down to the cafes in the trendy outdoor shopping center and immerse myself in my studies! But then I realized I was the furthest thing from jealous. I liked school, I was fairly good at school but I certainly don't miss it. I like earning money, even my $5 a week, and I don't have homework. Ever! Or have to deal with self-absorbed post-modernist trying-to-compensate-for-something MFA students masquerading as writing teachers.

I like the 'thin place' idea though. That website looks a bit hokey, yes, but I would like to be someone who "notices the thinness". I think I will like that book after I read a few more pages. It has smartypants sixth grade girls in it, always a selling point with me. I blame my lack of interest on the fact that I haven't read anything decent in months- John Grisham, Wired and InStyle don't count. The InStyle I blame on my sister-in-law, who is always setting me up with magazine subscriptions, the newest one being Us Weekly because apparently trashy magazines go hand in hand with sitting on a couch all day feeding a baby. Us WEEKLY. I fear for my intellect.

How gross is it that I am eating peanut butter out of a jar? With a spoon? Honestly?

Witching hour

I've decided that I have too much free time. My friends snorted at me when I said this yesterday. And I know those of you with babies are either rolling your eyes or firing up an email to order me to take advantage before it's too late!, but I've decided my free time is not a good thing. Or, Phillip decided this late Saturday night as I sat blubbering on the couch about the myriad of tiny miserable things I shouldn't even think up, much less freak out about.

For the record, I don't think I've been the hormonal scatterbrained mess people say women are when they're pregnant. Except for a whole new slate of strange aches and pains, I feel mostly like myself. I don't know what Phillip would say about this, but I'll have you know there haven't been any random blowups or more than one or two sudden crying jags, which means in my estimation, my mental health is as usual: questionable. People say, "Oh, it's just pregnancy hormones," and then I have to say, "No, actually, would you believe this is an improvement?"

So anyway. I get home from work around five and Phillip tends to get home around six-thirty, which means I have a whole hour and a half of wintry late afternoon before Distraction shows up in the form of dinner plans or errands or plain old "work sucked today" conversation. I bake, I watch TV, sometimes I make dinner. I think about writing, I might do some laundry, I flip through whatever arrived in the mail. Mostly I sit and attempt to stave off the anxiety that always shows up to fill in the blank space.

Phillip said, "I haven't seen you read anything in a while. Why don't you get some books?" So yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble and bought three fat novels. This one, which I've been wanting to read for a long time, this one, because I saw "lives on an air force base" on the jacket, and this one, because it looked funny. I also went to Pottery Barn Kids and did not buy anything, are you proud?

I made a list of friends who are home when I get home from work, mostly a growing number of friends who stay home with babies.

I thought about what things I need to do to get the baby's room ready, but in an orderly one-day-at-a-time way, not the ohmygodmayislikeTOMORROW way I've been favoring. Most of it Phillip has to do- move furniture in our bedroom to make room for my new desk, move my computer to the new desk and set it up, get rid of the old too-big desk, haul a to-be-purchased glider up two flights of stairs and set up where the too-big desk used to be. You know, dirty work. But I need to buy (or sew? am I seriously considering sewing?) curtains, put the little clothes away, hang up the cute little paintings I bought in China two and a half years ago, thread ribbons through the hooks on the wooden moon and stars I bought in Germany and pin them to the ceiling. (There is also a giant poster of Italy on the wall that I am not taking down. We may never have enough money to take this kid anywhere, so I have to stuff it all in his room.)

I wrote out my church meeting schedule, doctor appointments, retreats, parties, weddings, birthdays, showers and deadlines on my calendar. That makes me feel busy.

I bought more butter and chocolate chips, even though Phillip's office is beginning to expect him to show up with cookies. But I suspect my 89-year-old neighbor likes cookies too. She also likes to snoop inside the new townhouses they're always building in this neighborhood, just like me. I filed that away for the future.

The sun is not supposed to set until after 5 tonight.

I might have a new person available to walk around the lake with me after work. And I'm thinking about signing up for prenatal yoga classes at the yoga studio a few blocks away. I took yoga a few years ago in an attempt to "achieve a state of relaxation" like all the anxiety books advise, but I think the endorphins helped a lot more. My early morning class woke me up, made me feel stronger, put me on a schedule.

I feel like I do a lot of stuff, see a lot of people, commit to a lot of things, but there's still that hour after work when the sun is going down and all the things that make me nervous set up shop in my head and start their roundtable discussion. Phillip said, "It'll be hard when the baby gets here, but it'll be okay," and I said, "Maybe I'll be too busy to worry."


Over Instant Messenger, my husband has just informed me that he purchased a Roomba for $100 less than the going rate from, a deal he found out about when his coworker emailed him late last evening. I want all of you to count up how many Proofs of Nerdiness there are in the previous sentence. First person to do so wins the half empty bottle of gin in my cupboard. He did this while I was sleeping "because sometimes they're sold out by morning and I didn't want to wake you up!" Whatever, Phillip.

I had to ask what Woot is. I've decided it's cool. Also, I've always kind of wanted a Roomba, seeing as how we can't have a real pet. (Cats: Phillip is allergic and I hate them. Dogs: We have no yard and Phillip hates them. Other Assorted Live Animals Like Lizards and Birds and Hamsters: Ick, no thanks.) And it'll be sort of cute to let the baby pet the Roomba and take it for walks.

It is a very sunny Friday here in my part of the world. I have no complaints. The Perfect Day Job is going swimmingly (unless you count the fact that I still haven't talked to the Boss about maternity leave and working from home, all of which is allowable and feasible, but must still be discussed, a fact that gives me unattractive facial twitches every time I think about it). Plus the Internet said all sorts of sweet lovely things to me yesterday and to celebrate I ate an entire half-gallon of ice cream before going to bed. It was no sugar added!

Today I am amusing myself by looking up airplane tickets to Chicago. Oooh, Chicago! you say. And sadly, I must tell you that I don't get to go to Chicago, I get to fly into Chicago and then rent a car so we can drive ourselves to a wedding in Podunk, Michigan. Or maybe even The Teeny Suburb of Podunk Michigan, I'm not sure. I'm kind of disappointed because Chicago is one of the Great American Cities and I am all about Great American Cities, even though I have been to exactly one of them (New York) and then only for exactly twenty-four hours. Someone from Chicago recently told me how much she hated city living and what a nice change it is in Seattle, so people, come on. I need to visit Chicago!

But not this time. Someone (not me!) has limited vacation time and so we will be heading straight to Podunk, Michigan where we shall immediately change into our thrice-worn suit and hideous maternity dress and attend the rehearsal dinner where we will dredge up all sorts of embarrassing stories to tell at the reception. Then Phillip will spend the rest of the weekend being all Official in his ill-fitting tuxedo and I will be lounging about like a Hideous Beached Whale as I will be thirty-freaking-three weeks pregnant. I don't know what you think, but that sounds like a lot to me. Enough weeks, in fact, to seriously consider whether a weekend in Podunk, Michigan is a smart idea.

Well, sort of seriously.

Like I would MISS the WEDDING!

But then I heard a story about a pregnant lady who flew across the country during the third trimester and did not get relief from the resulting swelling until the baby was sixteen years old. HORRORS.

Whatever. I'm going.

Yay! I like this back and forth we have.

So anyway. Tomorrow Phillip and I are planning to take the advice of all the people who have recently had babies and we are going to Go Out and Do Something. Strangely enough, we are not really Go Out and Do Something people. Our version of going out usually means going to a friend's house or out to dinner and doing something usually means having those same friends over for dinner. (Or TV. Or both.) I know people who do things like snowshoeing and hiking and picnicking at the state parks and other outdoorsy things like that and I have to admit, the weather is gorgeous and a drive up to the mountain pass would be pretty. But I'm more of a museum or downtown or library kind of girl (read: inside, where things are civilized) and I'm not sure what we're going to do. Basically we've decided on New and Far-ish From Here. We might pack a lunch and fourteen sweatshirts and have a picnic up north on the water somewhere. We might go even farther and take a ferry ride to one of the cutesy tourist towns. But it's also entirely possible that we'll stay home in our pajamas watching our saved episodes of 24 and eating our weight in instant noodles purchased at the new Asian grocery store down the street. (These are not Cup O' Noodles, people. These are AUTHENTIC.)

Hmm. What would Jack Bauer do?

Wherein I act like I am the only pregnant woman to feel bad about how she looks

There is momentous news in the Mighty Maggie Space-Time Continuum: last night someone called me "tiny". TINY. In reference to ME. Granted she was talking about how I don't exactly look six months pregnant, but still. She said, "you're tiny!" and then I waited a full five minutes waiting for the universe to implode. But it didn't.

No one has ever called me tiny before. Or little or small or thin or something that would imply I am anything other than a watermelon walking around on two Polish sausages. And since I'd stepped on the scale that morning to see that I'm about four or five pounds away from gaining back all the weight I lost last year, I was cautiously exuberant. Tiny! Me!

Unfortunately, she was so very wrong. My belly may be "tiny" for six months (I still look more "needs to sign up with Weight Watchers" than "pregnant") but that just means all the weight I've been gaining has been going, uh, other places. And I can tell. I hate it. I don't know if it's because I lost weight last year, therefore I know what it feels like to be smaller or what, but it really bums me out. As far as I can tell, I'm in the middle-ish range for weight gain at 25 weeks and my doctor hasn't said a word and my butt still fits in my regular pants (I checked!), but I still feel terrible. I ate my way through the first trimester and was too tired to do the work to keep a lower-carb diet (and why bother, when ice cream is so available and tastes so delicious?!) I should work harder at eating right now that I'm not starving all the time, but I'm lazy and gosh, I really like mashed potatoes. Would I have gained all this weight if I were stricter with myself? And how am I ever going to get rid of it? WOE.

One thing that should cheer me up but actually makes me feel worse is that I weighed this much when I was NOT six months pregnant.  Horrified emoticon goes here.

I am really self-conscious now too. Everyone who knows we're having a baby is suddenly checking out my stomach to see if I'm getting bigger. I actually kept my coat on at my in-laws house last weekend, just so I wouldn't have to watch their eyes go to my middle and hear the resulting comments. After my split second of "tiny" exhilaration, I ran into the husband of a friend of mine who is about three or four weeks behind me in the baby project. He always wants to know how I am, how I'm feeling, what the baby feels like, what's going on, isn't it awesome, aren't you excited blah blah blah and he really truly wants to know. Every single detail. He is so excited about his new baby and seems to celebrate every little step along the way. I guess my responses were less than enthusiastic, feeling as ungainly as I do right now, and he just shook his head at me. "I think all these changes are amazing. They're sexy."

Ho ho! I stepped out of that conversation pretty quickly. Not that I didn't appreciate the sentiment, but you know. Ick. Excuse me while I go make unladylike adjustments to the spandex band that holds up the thick elastic waist of my one pair of maternity jeans.

Let it be said that I am fully totally aware of what putting on 400 extra pounds is getting me, all right? I have a pretty good reason to be gaining weight. I am certainly not complaining about THAT. Like Phillip always says when I verge into inconsolable, "It's BABY." But I do feel bulbous and rotund and unwieldy and it's only going to get worse. Fairly soon I will need one of those hydraulic lifts they use in nursing homes to get me out of bed.  That is not going to be pretty. And I have a dreadful feeling I'm not going to be like my stick-thin friends who lost all their baby weight within weeks. (Weeks! They are superhuman! Must make new friends!)

I met the woman who said I'm tiny at our latest church visit. She has a three-month-old baby and our conversation was something like 10% stewardship, 375% baby. Most of my friends haven't had much to say about the upside-down-ness of having a baby, but this woman was blisteringly honest. She told me how tired she is, how often she feels like she's doing something wrong, how impossible it is to keep a schedule or plan anything in advance. She kept saying be easy on yourself, be easy on yourself and maybe it's silly, but I really appreciated hearing that. I've read it on blogs and in books, but being me I'll need a constant repetition playing in the real world background. I think weight gain is probably only the beginning of a host of things to berate myself about...

I had lunch with my aunt yesterday and she asked me if I was excited. I think I didn't seem very excited but you guys, I am so excited. At night I'll slouch down on the couch and put my hand on my stomach and ramble aloud to Phillip, wondering what this kid looks like, what his skin tone will be, if he'll be tall, if he'll be laid back like Phillip (oh please God!) or neurotic like me. It's true that I'm overwhelmed with what my body is doing and what we have to do to get the room ready and figuring out insurance stuff and what will happen with my job. All that stuff makes me nervous, but that doesn't mean I'm not excited. I am dying to meet this kid.

Ugh, I feel like I just brain-vomited on my website or something. Let's go back to where someone called me tiny and have a big party, except I've already eaten the entire cake and you guys will have to finish the wine.

I have to post SOMETHING

I did not watch Veronica Mars last night. I KNOW, I KNOW. But see, I have a TiVo, or at least a homemade version, and that means I cannot bear to sit through commercials. I could have waited halfway through to start watching, but at that time (NINE-THIRTY for those of you who are not Veronica fans, and make yourselves known so the rest of us can make fun of you) I crawled into my car and drove downtown to pick up my husband at work. WORK. I picked him up from work at NINE-THIRTY at NIGHT.


Phillip is much happier at this job than he was at the old one. He works with a room full of guys just like him. They have pre-ordered the iPhone, networked their homes, mastered GuitarHero and have the only keys to the server room. It's the nature of the sysadmin beast, however, to hunker down for hours and hours and hours running updates, making backups and generally driving their significant others insane when they "forget" to mention that they'll be working late tonight.

To be fair, he doesn't work late very often. And he's pretty good at timidly informing me that he'll "have to do some work later" when he gets home, which means hammering on the laptop upstairs while I'm drifting off to the ten o'clock news. This is all quite foreign to me, the person who firmly believes work should stay at work forever and ever amen, but I'm told my work ethic isn't quite up to snuff and this is what people do if they want to succeed and you do what the job requires blah blah blah. So fine. I'll just sit here and be thankful that one of us intends to put food on the table.

On the other hand: NINE-THIRTY.

You know, all of that was to say that when we got home and I'd gone upstairs for a few minutes to get ready for bed (what? is ten o'clock EARLY?) I went back downstairs to spend a few quality moments with my husband. Who was sitting on the couch eating potato chips and watching... THE WIGGLES.


Would you trust these men with your children?

Okay. So maybe he wasn't watching the WIGGLES Wiggles, but an interview with the Wiggles on The Big Idea with Donny Doofus. Which is not his real name, but man, I can't stand that guy. I never watch his show, so I have no idea what kind of guest he usually invites, but the Wiggles? Really?

Phillip and I know all about the Wiggles because we have two nephews ages almost six and three. We've been visiting said nephews every summer for the past three years, which means we know every Wiggles song and every Wiggles dance. Knowing this much after three separate weeks over three years, I can't even imagine what kind of knowledge my brother- and sister-in-law have lost over the past six years, having had to make room in their brains for 'Fruit Salad' and 'Wiggly Party'.

Anyway, Donny asked them the question I've always wanted to ask, which is: You four are grown men. Don't you feel ridiculous? To which they all kind of nodded sheepishly, but immediately insisted that this is how you communicate with preschoolers! It's fun! It's a good time! Uh huh.

And all of THAT was to say that there is a new yellow Wiggle. The old yellow Wiggle was finding himself faint and dizzy onstage and was finally diagnosed with orthostatic intolerance. And because I watched the Wiggles interview, my neurotic hypochondriac self now has a name for how tired I felt in church on Sunday, just because I was STANDING UP FOR TOO LONG. I am not joking, Internet. We had to stand in the vestibule (vestibule!) for a half hour doing the rite of welcome (I think it was the rite of welcome) for two catechumens and I thought I was going to keel over. I kept thinking of my best friend from high school who did ROTC in college and told me all about how to keep your knees bent when you're at attention so you won't black out. That was me. Bend your knees! Stay awake! Breathe! And then I couldn't even KNEEL. Kneeling makes me feel faint, like I can't breathe. What's wrong with me?! Don't tell me it's because I'm pregnant, because I've felt this way many times before. Maybe it's exacerbated, but still. Obviously I need to purchase a much more comfortable work chair and probably cut back my hours while I'm at it.

And then I went to bed! Ta da! TERRIBLY interesting evening. The End.

Craptastic excuse for an entry

I attempted to write a thoughtful, insightful actually-containing-an-opinion post about Catholic Weddings: Who Gets To Have One where I asked for your input and everything, but it turns out I am not so thoughtful and insightful as indignant and irritated and slapping indiscriminately at the bee in my bonnet. So. There will be none of that today. Some things must be allowed to sit. Sit sit sit!

Instead I am editing someone's personal story, a personal story that for some reason did not require one single capital letter. While I appreciate the creativity and free-spiritedness of the person in question, I have never been so thankful for Word's change case feature.

Sigh. I've got nothing today. I'm looking at my website and thinking, "Curses! Pink flamingoes in January!" I'm crap at PhotoShop, so I don't know what the odds are on me coming up with a new banner image any time soon, especially since I love my pink flamingoes and it took me a freakishly long time to set up this design in the first place. I have to update my list of books, I have to update the footer, I have to at least edit out the mention of summer. Ye Gods. It's JANUARY.

But SPEAKING of January, the Oscar nominations are out! Unfortunately I am already bored. The only award I am remotely interested in is Supporting Actor, as Marky Mark should get a seven-foot Oscar for his role in The Departed. He was awesomeness squared. Also, if you liked The Departed (and who doesn't like Boston gangster movies where every other word is four letters and starts with 'f'), get thee to Netflix and sign up for the Hong Kong original, Infernal Affairs. Super good movie, people, even if Maggie Cheung is nowhere to be found.

How many people can put their full name on their website, knowing they are completely un-Google-able? Just me, suckas! The only bad thing about it is I'll have to use a pseudonym when I write the Great American Novel. I have actually spent a lot of time thinking about what pseudonym I will use, but that goes about as well as the quest for a Name for the Boy. As in: miserably.

Hello stream of consciousness!

Really. This is pathetic. I promise to have something smashing happen to me this evening so I'm full of entertainment first thing tomorrow. ("That would be a first!"- Dwight K. Schrute Bobblehead.) But there is potential! Phillip is working late, my friend S is stopping by for pizza, some random dude is bringing a truck to take the the Ikea desk we posted on craigslist, like, an hour ago and Veronica Mars is ba-ack! I may even break out the non-alcoholic wine.

(No, I won't. While it was a thoughtful gift for the pregnant lush, non-alcoholic wine is like drinking strawberry Kool Aid mixed with Lysol. I do, however, enjoy holding it in a wine glass at parties, which is about all it's good for.)

Also, why are all my post titles showing up as links? This is nearly as bothersome as the pink flamingoes. Grrr.

Old ladies

I have a new best friend. She lives across the street from me, she is 89 years old, her three granddaughters are among the smartest and most accomplished young women on earth and she has been going to my church since 1942. I knew none of these things until I talked her into letting me visit Friday evening, lemon poppyseed bread and stewardship intention form in tow. I was only planning to be there twenty minutes, thirty minutes at most, but at the hour mark she asked if I wanted some coffee and I had to say no, I was supposed to be home half an hour ago because we're having friends over. Turns out she walks five blocks to catch the bus every Sunday and has to leave directly after communion to catch the next one home. And, well, that's ridiculous. We live across the street. So we drove her to church on Sunday and sat next to her and gave her a hug at the kiss of peace and that's what we'll probably be doing for the next dozen Sundays and the dozen after that. Bet she's glad she let me visit, eh?

Now. Let it be said that I am not feeling particularly saintly, feeling irritated, as I do, about hauling an 89-year-old lady to and fro on Sundays. It's definitely going to interfere with our spontaneous after-Mass coffee hour and dim sum plans, not to mention the odd Sunday or two when we can't possibly get ourselves out of bed and half-heartedly promise to go to the seven o'clock service. On the other hand, 89-year-old ladies should be driven to church, dropped off at the front when it's raining and promptly taken home without a second thought. My 84-year-old grandmother never learned to drive and she's all I could think about during my visit (although my poor grandmother is certainly not bragging about her brilliant PhD candidate granddaughter who speaks three languages and works overseas for Peace and Justice, I assure you.)

I used to think I would work with elderly people. For all my social traumas involving small talk and strangers, I've never had problems getting old ladies to chat (though most of them, it should be said, wouldn't care if you had the conversation skills of Animal, they'd talk your ear off.) I spent a summer changing sheets and cleaning up after breakfast at an assisted living center and my senior year of college doing much more disgusting things than that for six or seven elderly women at an adult family home. I quit that job because I happened to be working for the Bride of Satan and found a less, uh, manual job in another downtown office building. I missed my old ladies though, even the crazy ones and the frighteningly sick ones. 

Eventually I hooked up with a local organization that paired people in the community with retirement and nursing home residents. I was paired with a woman I'll call Bev who lived at a city-funded retirement facility just blocks away from my waterfront office. I pictured a sweet fuzzy old lady like my grandma or Ann, my favorite (and least crazy) resident at the adult family home, but Bev was a sprightly Alzheimer's patient with a blond pixie cut and a sailor's vocabulary. She wore a monitor on her ankle and wasn't allowed out by herself. I'd go visit her for an hour on my lunch break and most of the time we'd take a long walk. It was the same route every week, but Bev never got tired of the furniture stores and the smells from the Thai restaurant and if it was nice weather and I had some cash, we'd eat ice cream cones on the waterfront. She'd hold onto my arm and we'd walk at a snail's pace, but I always got tired before she did. She asked me the same question every week: Did I have a nice man? And every week I would say: Oh Bev, you remember, I have a boyfriend. Even when this switched to: Oh Bev, you remember, I'm married, she never remembered. I think she even met Phillip once or twice, but I was always that dark-haired girl who came to rescue her from the stuffy boring packed-with-old-people building to take her outside where there was fresh air and all kinds of people and everything to look at. I'm not sure if she ever called me by name, but after the first couple of visits her face would positively gleam when she saw me walk into the lobby. She'd immediately head for the elevator to get her coat.

I had to stop seeing Bev when I stopped working downtown. I wasn't able to commit to seeing her on a regular basis and I felt so guilty telling the volunteer coordinator I wouldn't be there anymore. I still feel bad about that. I hope they sent someone else to take Bev outside.

Anyway it appears I have a new old lady, if I want her. Not that she needs a new best friend. She has family nearby, three future Presidents for granddaughters and all her wits about her. She needs a ride to church, which we are happy to provide, but I'm excited to have met her. When I'm bored at home with a baby, maybe I can walk across the street to her house and talk to a grown up, even if I have to hear about the granddaughter traveling across Europe before she starts her teaching position at the fancy East Coast university.

In which I fancy myself a TV critic

It's time to talk television, people. What else is there to do on a rainy Friday? Certainly not the things I'm supposed to be doing right now. (And dear God, I never thought I'd say it, but Hallelujah for forty-three degrees and rain. I am no longer imprisoned in my own house.) (Although that is the only valid reason I have for having watched 300 hours of television in the last two weeks. The things I do for blog fodder!)

Knowing as you do about my undying love for Scrubs, did you make time to watch the musical episode last night? The Turk and Carla tango? The beautifully sung Dr. Cox rant? The way Elliot never had to sing by herself for very long? And the 'Guy Love' number, which, as soon as the show was over, was instantly located on YouTube at my house last night? If you didn't, you missed out. One of my coworkers recently threatened our friendly relationship by informing me that Scrubs has jumped the shark, but I loved this episode. I sort of hate the whole J.D. is having a baby storyline, mostly because I hate his new girlfriend, ick ick ick, but not enough to keep me from watching. Has this show ever won one stinking award? For shame!

Speaking of shame, I have watched the first two episodes of The Apprentice. I know. And people still let me go out in public. But remember when this show was awesome? The original Thursday Night TV Gang used to obsessively watch the first season, picking apart the board room scenes and arguing over who should have been fired (because Trump never ever fires the person who should be fired.) You'll be pleased to know the tradition has continued through season six (six?) as Trump went ahead and fired the creepy be-bow-tied guy instead of screamy strident Frank after the first task, and the gay guy who modeled the pink man bikini instead of the useless project manager who allowed the gay guy to create the pink man bikini in the first place. Also, Trump is even skeevier than previously thought, having gifted the winning team with a party at the Playboy Mansion and pretty much fired the gay guy because he was gay. Kick ass Ivanka or no, I've removed The Apprentice from my scheduled recordings. Shudder.

Oh, before Scrubs last night was The Office and one of the best pranks ever. We pull a lot of pranks in my office, but nothing like sliding a cell phone on top of the ceiling tiles and mercilessly calling it all day just to watch the owner go crazy. Also, Jim still loves Pam! Squee! Although I hate it when I find it impossible to hate the Other Woman. I hope she just quits and saves me from the whole dilemma. Everyone keeps telling me The Office is good, but not as good as the British version, which means I am never going to watch the British version. Is the British Jim as super as the American Jim? It cannot be.

There will be no discussion of American Idol, as American Idol is sadistic and boring and who are these people so entertained by horrific karaoke performances? I honestly don't get it. I don't like to watch people embarrass themselves for entertainment value, no matter how many times Phillip tries to tell me that most of them are doing it just to get on TV. Because that is even more sad. Ugh. I have to admit I'll get into the last couple shows, but only when the contestants are actually good and have a shot and aren't on stage for me to laugh at. At least, not on purpose.

I'm never home on Tuesday nights to watch Friday Night Lights, so I end up devouring the episode on a Saturday morning before Phillip gets out of bed, along with a giant bowl of cereal. Kind of my grown up version of Saturday morning cartoons. You guys, this show is so good. It's the best thing on TV while Veronica Mars is still on hiatus. This show manages to be my favorite, even though it is 1) about football 2) set in rural drawly Texas and 3) regularly displays the horribleness of teenage boys. I don't know anything about how to make television, but this show is shot so beautifully and written so well. I used to want to be Amy Abbott, but now I want to be Julie Taylor and have the cutest boyfriend and the coolest parents on TV. Cue long dreamy high schoolery sigh.

I'm not a Grey's Anatomy fan, sorry folks. And I won't watch anything where female characters are routinely abused and murdered, so that crosses off all the legal, forensic and medical dramas, ie: 99% of current programming. Are there, like, 900 versions of Law and Order now?

Phillip and I watched House reruns all summer, but now I find it more entertaining to watch Hugh Laurie than House. Who cares if he has to go to rehab? Not me. But Hugh Laurie on the Golden Globes, that was entertainment. I just like that show because all the celebrities keep getting drunker and drunker. I won't bore you all with my Conan and Daily Show reviews, or the indifference I have towards Demetri Martin's special on Comedy Central. I thought he was hilarious a few times on The Daily Show, but meh, he's just another "Ha, isn't that funny/interesting" comic set to music. He's a good one, but I like him better interviewing college students. People keep telling me to watch 30 Rock, but I don't know if I can deal with the whole Alec Baldwin thing. Also: Ugly Betty. I caught the last half of this show once and didn't get it. Is it worth another scheduled recording on TiVo? The Hollywood Foreign Press certainly seems to think so.

Anyway, I'm ready for Veronica Mars, Heroes and Lost to come back to TV.  I surely won't be watching the State of the Union address next week, will you? I hear another past favorite of mine is coming back next week, but we're not going to mention it, save for a Where The Hell Did The Real Lorelai Gilmore Go?! shriek into an indifferent wind...

He's just my type

This is my husband in his cave office.


In this picture he is on the cell speakerphone helping one of our friends set up an internet repeater. At least, I think that is what it is called, and if you are a smartypants and/or your name is Lee, you are not allowed to leave me a comment saying, "DUH, it's called a blah blah blah blah you big fat MORON," because I will block your IP address and report you to the Comment Police and you will be so very sorry. What Phillip is actually doing is helping our friend set up some little electronic box in his house so that this friend can magnify his neighbors' wireless internet signals so that he gets a stronger connection for free. As you know, this is highly unethical, but if you have ever played Scruples with these friends of ours, you would not be surprised. Phillip is not so much for the ethics either, seeing as how he refuses to believe that is of questionable legitimacy (come ON, you're paying for the song in RUBLES) and he also acquired that big ass monitor when he met some strange guy in a garage somewhere and traded him fancy shmantzy software for monitors and iPods. Shh, don't tell.

Scruples, by the way, is an awesome game. And I hate games. Especially that one game where you have to beg the other players for things like sheep and wheat and ore. I hate that game. Probably because I never ever win.

Anyway! This is what Phillip looked like when I went downstairs to take his picture.


See, he suspected that I might be taking his picture for use on this here website. Which, well, yes. I was. And Phillip is very worried that you all think he is a nerd. A nerdy nerd, with pocket protectors and ill-fitting pants and tape on his glasses and a predilection to speaking in binary. But you and I know he is a nerd of the devastatingly handsome sort, the kind who spends hours working to fix your recently dead-from-the-power-outage computer, the kind who will allow you to say things like, "Can't I just save everything to my desktop?" and also things like, "I don't want to upgrade, I know how to use this version." He uses his nerderific powers for good: keeping me well stocked with recorded commercial-less television, introducing me to the awesomeness of Guitar Hero and knowing how to play the iTunes library in the living room.

But still. When your rockstar Internet friend Maureen sends you a little package with this inside, you can't help but think, right on!


Baby Cheung is going to look crazy adorable when his dad takes him to see the Transformers movie this summer.

My morning, with a lot of tangents

So apparently the baby does not like oatmeal raisin cookies. Tragic, no? I love oatmeal raisin cookies. But I suddenly woke up at 3:30 am in Dire Horrible Pain, even though Phillip convinced me a foam eggcrate thing on the mattress would make me feel better. (It did. Goodbye sore old-person hips!) After a while I decided to get out of bed and try Phillip's Universal Cure All: downing a giant glass of water. Instead I, uh, lost the small mountain of oatmeal raisin cookies I'd eaten right before I went to bed.

Fortunately I had the day off.

Unfortunately, my presence was demanded via massive guilt-tripping requested at a meeting, a meeting that usually takes place downtown, but because it was rescheduled due to the the horrendous weather, was now taking place on freaking Harbor Island. Do you know where Harbor Island is? Not even people who LIVE here know where Harbor Island is. Harbor Island is the godforsaken chunk of grimy industrial land underneath the West Seattle bridge. And I had to be there by 7:30 in the morning, when it is still dark, when it is still ICY and SNOWY when I had yet to crawl out of my one-mile snowed in radius. (See, when I said it didn't snow in Seattle, I meant it didn't snow like it did everywhere else. We got, like, an inch, maybe two, and it still hasn't melted and the roads are evil slip 'n slides of terror. So if I'm this wussy in the city, think of how pathetic and immobile I'd be in the suburbs! Which reminds me, last night we had dinner with some friends and one of their dads, and he was all asking questions about something nature-ish and did we ever notice this naturally occuring phenomenon and when he seemed to direct this question at me I was all, "Dude. I live in the city."

When I still hadn't fallen back asleep by six, I decided that I may as well show up. (I'd spent the previous two hours figuring out how to email all the necessary documents to the meeting via mad rad remote desktop, interspersed with wondering how I should decorate the baby's room.) So I made it to the meeting, albeit without my naturally cheerful disposition, and I couldn't even take advantage of the big box of doughnuts, because my stomach still felt blah and I didn't want to risk a scene, if you will, in the middle of the meeting. (Although I would have aimed for the guilt-tripper's shoes.)

(Hello, what is up with the random Sickness? Do you think it just comes and goes? Or does the baby really not like oatmeal raisin cookies? Because that is making me very sad.)


THEN I went shopping. I should have probably gone home, and the original plan was to go hang out with my sister an hour away, but whatEVER, it's icy and snowy and I've been up since THREE THIRTY IN THE MORNING.

So I went shopping at this little outdoor shopping center that is much less "strip mall" and much more "outrageously expensive trendy gathering of stores that don't want my washing machine-d money." Which means: tons of cute stuff! I was specifically looking for baby room things, even though I have absolutely no idea WHAT. By the way, here is what we have done with the baby's room so far:

  1. Moved the futon downstairs
  2. Bought a changing pad (because there is only one kind of changing pad, there are no changing pad forums, there aren't any books about how to buy a changing pad, no one is going to make me feel guilty for buying a certain kind of changing pad etc. etc.)
  3. Took down the butterfly curtains.
  4. Stuffed the too-girly toys, including Hello Kitty and Strawberry Shortcake, into the closet.
  5. Thought about vacuuming.

In other words, not much.

Oh, and speaking of no butterflies or Hello Kitty, I think I am having the only boy in the greater Seattle area. Of all my friends who have babies, only one of them has a boy, and of the spring baby boom currently in the works at my church, I am having the only boy. But I suppose this isn't such a bad thing, as our boy is liable to be a chubby band nerd who participates in role-playing games on the internet and will need all the help he can get in the acquiring a prom date department, even if it comes from simple demographics. 

I ended up buying a super cute window valance at the Overpriced Children's Things Store That Shall Not Be Named because it was (gasp!) on sale. And so cute. So not girly! I wandered through some other stores, but I realized that four hours of sleep doesn't really work for me, and I drove (skated!) home. I went straight upstairs to put up the valance and AHA! It is about four inches too short. LOVELY.

So now I'm going to do what I always do, which is watch TV and fall asleep. Thank you Martin Luther King, Jr., for providing me with this beautiful sunny 24 degree day and the opportunity to watch everything on my TiVo. Oh, and guess what. It's supposed to snow tomorrow morning. The apocalypse is upon us. I am moving to New Zealand.