Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Be Very Afraid.... or Not

Last night Ed turned on the History Channel’s series, “Mega Disasters.” Tuesday night’s episode focused on Mt. Rainier and what would happen if/when our cherished volcano erupted. Between the never-ending close-up, slow motion explosions of ash plums from Mt. St. Helens and the dramatic narrator who could easily been reading script for some upcoming Natural Disaster movie preview (“Death. Destruction.”), you’d think that anyone would be insane to choose live in the Pacific Northwest. I must admit, seeing the computerized effect of the 40 mph mud flood taking over the Puyallup Valley right where I used to drive down Highway 512 got me thinking twice about whether or not we should move back to the Evergreen State. I was reminded about my frequent drives north on 99 in Seattle where I ritualistically offered up the same mediation, asking that, if the big earthquake was going to hit today, that at least it wait until I was NOT driving on landfill while I was under the southbound lanes. I don’t miss that daily fear. At in Boston, whose drivers are in the top 5 of the nation for agressive and insane driving, I have some control to veer out of the way of the lunatic behind the wheel of some Chevy Suburban. As opposed to accepting my fate while swallowing asphalt.

At the commercial, I surfed over to PBS for Frontline’s “The Age of Aids.” Okay, I get it. There’s a shitload of stuff out there to be terrified about. I thought about what really scares the hell out of me. Ever since I dreamed about trying to outrun a tsunami when I was 10 (yet another potential PNW natural disaster), I have had an irrational fear of tidal waves. Lately, it’s been the bird flu. For Ed, it is terrorism. After 9/11, I swear he spent one third of his day imagining just how the terrorists would strike next (apparently they’ve got it all wrong; they should be targeting the Mall of America or Yankee Stadium and why they haven’t has Ed befuddled). These days I research all the articles on ‘disaster preparedness kits’ to be sure we have enough supplies to last us through a pandemic.

But why, I wonder, do our imaginations grab on to different fears? Really, we’re both afraid of the same thing: something terrible happening that we have no preparation for or control over. I am curious as to why my fears surge at earthquakes and pandemics and Ed’s develop over manmade horrors.

Our fears define us as much as our dreams—and like our dreams— are intimately connected what our society dreams for and fears. Despite whether or not the evidence for WMD in Iraq was valid, I’m fairly certain there was no small amount of fear factor in the agents who found that “evidence” as well as those analyzing the documents and the administration responding to a frightened nation. And, after seeing the preview to Al Gore’s new movie which basically said, ‘fear for your life; our planet is about to die,’ I realize just how much fear is the great life motivator.

Luckily, I get very suspicious about anyone’s attempts to heighten my fear. It’s a cheap emotional ploy. It’s why bad thriller movies have become cookie cutters (lots of middle-class teenagers in parents’ lovely homes; virgin has sex; virgin is hacked to death…. Blah, blah, blah..). Fear is as easy to conjure as it is powerful. When I realized that the reason I like M. Night Shyamalan’s movies was because they deal with what happens after someone realizes their worst fear, I understood that a big part of life is not about preparing for what might happen, but what we’re about when that worst thing does happen. You know, like moving across the country and then realizing you have no job and no income and aren't sure if you'll be able to make rent, let alone pay for a decent day care to watch your kid while looking for the job to support your family.

Unluckily, the problem with fears is how ingrained they are in our emotions. There's rarely logic involved (otherwise, more peolple would have a phobia about driving in cars than flying in airplanes). Also, it's incredibly difficult to articulate what the fear really is and then realizing how much that fear says about our life (I'm not afraid of the melting glaciers but I am afraid of Jack dying before he's had a chance to live. Or, maybe I'm scared that I haven't really lived life fully and don't want to die before I've understood exactly what that means for me.)

Of course, all of this analysis is a pointless if some 30 foot wall of water is coming at me at 25 mph. Or, I'm having to choose between melting in 500 degree heat or consciously choose to dive to my death. Or, I have some virus or disease that gives me a 6-9 month life sentence. Somehow, I think I need to translate all of my fear energy and imagination into dream energy and imagination. So, instead of imagining Jack being abducted by some pedophile in the grocery store while my back is turned for 3.2 nanoseconds, I suppose I should be imagining him riding his bike for the first time and loving it. Because, really, when the shit hits the fan, it won't matter a lick how much I imagined the worst.

I'll let you know how my switch from fear-to-dream thought transformation goes. After I watch the conclusion of Frontline's Aids show tonight.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The bliss of delusion

Okay, yes, Ed & I have too much time on our hands. We each (separately, and often in secret) visit to fill up those moments that used to be spent grading or writing papers or eating snacks to kill the guilt for all the hours Jack was in daycare. But, then, we wouldn't have discovered our unquestionable influence on the celebrity world. While I would be even more impressed if they named their child Fijalka, I do like that Gwen and Gavin hold us in such high esteem...

Gwen Stefanie gives birth to Kingston James McGregor Rossdale.

p.s. thanks, girl, for the link to the guilty pleasure.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

"...we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow, this ground-- The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here."

Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1963.

Hot and muggy today - like Summer had its own big Opening Day. We got Jack dressed (no small feat considering he had to come out of his new dinosaur pajamas, which he loves) and headed downtown to the Common (the nation's oldest city park, by the way). We rode on the Swan boats - a very touristy thing to do, and had lunch in the grass. Got home before the humidity made us too grumpy.

We barbequed hamburgers for dinner. Ok, I burned the first batch (I went in to get a plate, came out and the burgers were consumed in flames - crap.) Burnt burgers are little like spilled milk, so I went to the store and bought more ground beef. Second time around - no problems. BBQ always tastes better when someone else cooks it - which might explain why my Dad's burgers taste so good. Still the reviews for my fare tonight were thumbs-up.

Finished the evening off with a family walk around the neighborhood loop.

We are lucky in a lot of ways.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Wanna step outside? Posted by Picasa

So Put On A Happy Face....

Ed & I will be married 10 years this October. In the last decade, admist all the ups and downs, moves, and life changes, one thing has been consistent. Ed makes faces. He has made a bevy of hideous faces-- most of which I thought were directed at me. I'll say things like, "Ed, can you get off the internet and help me pick up Jack's toys?" to which he'll squint his eyes and contort his mouth -- one of the many expressions that I interpret as "yeah, whatever." or "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Of course, I also imagine that the tone of these expressions resembles that of a rebellious 14 year old adolescent boy.

For nearly the last decade, Ed has insisted that he indeed is not intentionally making any faces either at the situation, or worse, at me. I've never believed him. Not until a few months ago when Jack began making the same faces. I happened to be lucky enough to capture one of these faces on film. Wouldn't you think that Jack was looking at me, about to say, "What the hell do you want, momo? I'm busy!" When, actually, he's just playing cars on the keyboard and telling me about it.

Never underestimate the power of a child to give you fresh insights into your spouse's behavior. Of course, I do realize that Jack is indeed, Jack, and not a mini-Ed (despite the evidence). And maybe, just maybe, Ed is making faces at me because he's annoyed. Maybe Jack, too. I think that I'll err on the side of trusting that the facial muscles are involuntary and bear little to any connection to my guys' reaction(s) to me.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


I got my eyes checked last week. It's been two years since my last eye exam and I've been wearing my last pair of contact lenses for over a month (they last 30 days), so it was time. The optometrist was nice enough. She said two things that stood out. The first thing was that she said I needed a haircut because my bangs kept getting in her way- well, I just go my haircut last week (am I out of touch with the function of bangs?). The other thing she said is something I've heard from various moms over the last year or so. She asked if I had kids and I said, yes, a son, who was nearly two. She also has a son, 16 years-old. She said it goes so fast. Does it? Does it? Everyone says their kids grow up in the blink of an eye. I guess my eye is still in mid-blink because the last two years have been two of the longest of my life.

Although, I am starting to get a glimpse of what those moms already know. Last week I pulled out Jack's baby DVDs and we watched them- and, honestly, I can barely remember Jack as a baby, let alone that entire first year. We watched the video because our neighbor just had her first son. I saw her the other day and she told me that some days she feels likes she's getting it and some days she feels completely lost. I had also forgotten how completely consuming parenting is those first few months with the first child. It's an experience like no other, and an experience that you only understand when, well, experiencing it. I swear it took me three months just to learn what to expect from any given day. And, that still changes.

Anyway, I've been particularly conscious of Jack's developmental leaps not so much because he seems so smart (which he is, of course), but because it means he's becoming more and more of an individual who adjusts to life without me or Ed. As Ed mentioned in our last post, we drove up to Mt. Washington (famous for its "My Car Climbed Mt. Washington" bumber sticker- the one Ed ranted about earlier and the one that makes me laugh because the darn mountain is barely 6,000 ft). We stayed at a particularly nice (yet deserted) resort condo with two bedrooms. Jack slept on the double bed in the main room. I worried about him being scared in a new place, but despite a lingering cough, he did rather fine. At the end of our trip I asked Ed if he thought Jack was scared but just didn't say anything- something that Ed & I both did as children. We can both remembering falling asleep thinking we heard footsteps coming down the hall, but just dealt with it on our own. Granted, Jack is quite a bit younger than we were when the fake footstep sounds kept us up, but Jack is beginning to learn how to deal with the everyday stuff on his own. And as proud as I am of his ability to adjust and adapt, the gutteral maternal drive to protect him from any growing pains simmers just beneath the logical, evolutionary push to let Jack survive and thrive as much on his own as possible.

This is why I have that oh-so familiar bitter sweet pang of emotions all parents must experience when they see evidence that their children are growing up. On the three hour drive home from Bartlett, New Hampshire, Jack sat in his car seat and did remarkably well. At one point, his cough was acting up, but he was determined to finish his chocolaty digestive cookie in order to suck on blankie. One thing I don't like about blankie is that the edges, despite frequent washings, display stains of nearly every food Jack eats. He will store food like a chipmunk in his cheeks so that when, after eating, he gets his blanket, and sucks on the edges while simultaneously finishing whatever meal he had stored in his cheeks. Thus, gross blanket corners. I turned around after he coughed and noticed all the cookie bits in his mouth just as his hand was about to bring blankie to suckville. I said, "Jack, why don't you just finish chewing your cookie before putting blankie in your mouth so you don't get cookie and chocolate all over blankie" - a sentence I've said many times in the past that didn't make any difference to blankie's fate. Jack looked at me and plainly responded, "Okay." He pulled his blankie down back to his lap, finished chewing up his cookie - with an open mouth to show me exactly how well he was chewing - and then put blankie in his mouth. I was stunned. I might as well have said, "Jack, what's Einstein's theory of relativity?" to which Jack might as well have calmly answered, "E=MC2."

I have no idea when Jack learned what "okay" meant, or how to say the word. It's the first I've heard of it. It got me thinking about all the other words he just uses without instruction or coaching. And, the words he's beginning to mimic easily. (Ed thought he was going to get pulled over by a cop on our trip home. Jack yelled a barely coherent "Fuuu..." from the backseat after Ed growled the clear version). I'm trying hard to remember the amazement of it all because I'm sure that in a few months sentences will be as common place as any conversation (well, almost). I do want to appreciate his growing up as much as I can; I just am not sure that the appreciation truly happens until well after the fact that the growing up part is pretty much over (is it ever?).

Friday, May 26, 2006

No blogging for the past couple of days since we were up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire since Wednesday. Our goal this summer is to see some other parts of New England besides the greater Boston area, so when our daycare person offered us her vacation at this mountain resort, we jumped at the chance to get out of the city.

Google Maps told us to take I-95 north to the New Hampshire border. What did people do before Google Maps or MapQuest? Ask someone for directions?! Sheez - how did we live? So north on Route 1, onto I-95, and in 30 minutes we were in New Hampshire. Interesting state - New Hampshire, funky little shape of a state with a thinly vailed death threat for a state motto (Live Free or Die - it's on the lisence plates).

The White Mountains is the place to ski around here in the winter, but really they're just some hills in upstate New Hampshire (its highest point is Mount Washington, at 6000 feet, the highest point east of the Mississippi River). C'mon, I'm not being snotty, we're from Washington. We grew up in the shadow of Mount Rainier - not a exactly a big hill with snow on top of it, is it? Nice country though, and a nice drive - reminded us of the North Cascades - this area would be gorgeous in the fall with all the color from the changing leaves.

We'll post more tomorrow. Our place was nice. Quiet too, maybe too quiet - the area reminded both of us The Shining. If we had found a hedge-maze, we would've been out of there!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

We're all going to die...


Ok, I'm not normally an alarmist, (I mean, I saw the trailor for the new Al Gore movie and thought, "hey, if the outdoors is so groovy, how come the homeless aren't more fond of it?") but this doesn't seem like a good development...

I give your local news station about 2 days before they lead off the 6pm newscast with visuals like, "Bird-Flu Blast '06" and "What you need to know before you and everyone you know kicks the can..." If anyone knows how to try and scare the be-jeezus out of you, it's the tv media.

Still, when the federal government implies you shouldn't wait for the free-vaccine van to drive down your street when the bird-flu hits the fan, you should sit up and take notice.

See you in the canned-foods aisle. Dibs on the canned peaches.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Bitter about batter

I've had a craving for brownies. Big time. And not the wig-triggity pilsbury box kind; the kind you make from scratch where you melt the best quality chocolate in a double broiler with real butter. The kind that the mother and maid from "Meet Me in St. Louis" or the old hens from "Pollyanna" made. The kind that takes about six months to walk off, walking 10 miles a day.

I did some research online and found a recipe for 'low carb brownies' and thought- yes really thought that I could create the ultimate brownie without all the extra calories. Trust me, it sounded good - the recipe called for butter and baking chocolate (to melt down) - and for splenda, which is the sugar substitute we use and like. The ingredient I wasn't familiar with is soy flour. No problem, right. Flour is flour. Wrong.

The thing is, once I mixed the batter, I, like any good good, tasted it.


I poured the batter into the pan. I baked the brownies. I made the low-carb frosting. (decent). I cooled the brownies after taking them out of the oven. I tasted them again.


I felt like that crazy old woman down the street who feeds he children tofu with soy milk for breakfast and whose house smells like cat litter and cinnamon. Even Jack wouldn't finish a brownie. Ed said he thought they were okay. Okay like sardines out of a can.

I'm pissed. Oh, well. Good thing we had a back up wig-triggity Pilsbury box in the pantry. That should only take about three months to walk off. That is, if I only eat half the pan.

The great thing in all of this is that Jack is fine. Two nights ago he threw up and has been fighting some weird virus. (could be fifths or sixths desease - don't ask, he's fine). For the first time in his life, Ed & I realized just how much we take Jack's health for granted. And, to be healthy means fostering a healthy attitude about good baking. Not fake, bitter batter baking.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The tree in the back yard just got hit by lightning - which would've been cool to see, but I missed it, just saw the flash and looked out the window to see a big chunk of the top of the tree bounce after hitting the ground. Jack and I had been on a walk and had just beat the storm inside a few minutes before all the drama started.

We saw the storm clouds on our walk. I even paused to watch the clouds coming, which with all my training from watching disaster movies, I should know is textbook for getting yourself killed, or in this case, wet. It's always the schlub who stops to look at the lava/aliens/ash cloud/collapsing building, who gets it - haven't you watched the movies? Always keep running!

Jack is feeling better today - he was sick last night. Woke up from his nap yesterday with a fever, and didn't start to feel better until he puked on our bed around 11pm. Poor kid - throwing up is never fun, but even worse when you don't understand why your body seems to be turning itself inside out - he wasn't pleased. I don't blame him - throwing up is one of those times when you hand over control of yourself to your body. Don't want to throw up? Too bad, your body's already decided, here it comes!

I've never liked that feeling. Jack's fever disappeared and he's currently sitting in the living room with his new favorite food group - the popsicle.

Laura and I went out to dinner and a movie last Friday. Friends with Money [shrug] get it on Netflix, don't go see it in the theaters. Wasn't bad, just wasn't really good. Will someone please explain to Jennfier Aniston that playing dramatic doesn't always mean playing pitiful? You need to show us range! We had dinner at a brewpub in East Cambridge next door to MIT before the movie. Laura and I decided that the 4 college guys at the next table downing this huge pitcher of beer had probably spent their day working on some top secret government/military project involving a space-based laser weapon sys - oh wait, that was Real Genius. Anyway, we guessed they were real smart.

The Fire Department just showed up to remove the powerline from the street. It's stopped raining, so Jack and I are going to go out and watch them work.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

p.s. Does anyone know where I can buy a *great* pair of jeans?

I recently read an article in “O” magazine by Eve Ensler (think Vagina Monologues) about how insane it is that women spend so much money on their appearance when that money could/should go to much better causes like AIDS research or the ghettos of South Africa. I read the article mostly because the author’s picture stood out – she’s wearing black pants and a black, short halter top that revealed a very *real* plump stomach. Not gross, not even as polished as the new Dove commercials. Just real. I could relate. And I admired her honest portrayal of herself (we all should take a picture of ourselves and look at it daily; I bet we’d see more of our true beauty rather than flaws if we had such a photo to examine).

Which is why, after reading the article and thoroughly understanding her position, that I can’t stop thinking about what it means to be a woman who pays attention to how she looks – there’s this fine balance between the goal of attraction and tumbling over into body-hating addiction. I got a Masters Degree in English a few years ago in which I intensely studied the reality of women’s place in the world – in the past and now. Even though women are doing tremendously better than we were twenty, thirty, even ten years ago, we are still fighting for true equality (more on that later, but trust me). And, we’re still expected to look better than our male counterparts, for better or worse. My initial thought about sacrificing the money that I spend on my appearance and sending it to some good cause is a twang guilt of “yeah, probably should.” Besides, I’ve been too busy being the working mom to give off the impression that I have the time to care about my appearance. Besides, behind that is a huge sigh of relief… you mean I don’t have to worry about what I look like? I don’t have to research the best, most affordable skin care and makeup or watch a thousand shows of both the British and American ‘What Not To Wear” in order to determine not only what is considered attractive, but also attractive for me? Determining all this—let alone shopping for the stuff—is a part time job in of itself; so yes, I’d be glad to give it up.

And yet, give it up is what I’ve done these last few years. Since giving birth to Jack, I’ve fallen into that notorious “scattered, often frumpy, 15 pounds too heavy, hair-up, too busy to put on more than mascara” recent mom look. I don’t have the time between full time mommy, part-time teacher and freelance editor to research products, let alone shop.

Ensler did acknowledge that we should care for our bodies “deeply” and honor them. I do eat better than I ever have in my life, and as much as possible, I grab a two mile walk, so my health is relatively in tact. I wonder, though, if she would think that make-over shows are something she’d approve of (particularly when she made a point to remind us of America’s poverty line or the polluted rivers). Perhaps she was predominately talking to the readers of O! who buy the most expensive items on Oprah’s “must have” list- you know, those ladies who believe that if they spend $250 on night cream that the wrinkles will indeed be erased come morning. Or, those who really think that you can’t find a great pair of shoes at the discount stores. I’m not sure. I am pretty sure that she’s just trying to get us to reflect on what we buy and why we buy it. I think there’s an important distinction to make between money that is spend on yourself in order to feel good about yourself and the money spend on yourself in a delusionary haze that yes, you will indeed meet those impossible standards established by “them” (media, television, celebrity, etc.). But, I’m not the person who needs to be reminded about what money not to spend – I need to be reminded that taking care of myself and feeling, well, good and attractive, is just as crucial as teaching a successful class (yeah, really).

On Friday, I got my haircut for the second time this year. I spent $55.00 to get it cut ($45 + tip). Yesterday, I bought $6.00 hair removal creme to get rid of a wonderful new development on my upper lip. And, lately, I’ve been thinking about not plucking my eyebrows for awhile and paying the $15 to get them waxed because, darn it, waxed eyebrows just look so much more polished when waxed. And polished, I like. It’s why I spent about an hour the other day researching exfoliants to find out how to get rid of the blackheads on my nose (which will no doubt multiply like fleas come humid July).

So, would it better if I took that $76 and donated it to a women’s shelter? Maybe. But, I like to think that confidence is built both from within and without (as many other articles in O would no doubt agree with). How can I get dressed up for a date with Ed to really enjoy one another’s company if I’ve got all this extra facial hair? Besides, it’s not like I’m delusional about cellulite or stretch marks; they are there and always will be; I won’t spend a gazillion dollars on plastic surgery or miracle creams. I don’t think the woman at the shelters would want do to that, either. They would rather start by feeling safe and eating a good meal. But, then, I bet they wouldn’t mind a decent haircut, like anyone.

Perhaps its time (for me anyway) to focus on the feminism for this time in my life: the unique woman who strives for personal, parental, and professional fulfillment. I take in Ensler, Stacy & Clinton, some gender theory, friends, and the occasional style magazine, mix them up and use them to find my style (maybe that’s just what the 30s are about).

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The budding artist Posted by Picasa
Even though Jack has recently discovered stickers -- particularly where not to stick them -- he still enjoys some good old fashioned coloring. A few weeks ago I drew some flowers (the three flowers in the upper left hand corner). I had no idea that he, too, was drawing a flower, at the same time. I looked down and saw his yellow flower. He hasn't re-produced anything that is as clear as this, so I wonder if it wasn't pure coincidence (still debating whether there even is such a thing). But then, he did say "garage door" quite clearly last Christmas, so who knows what kids are capable of. Anyway, thought I'd post the picture that I plan to keep forever - and I throw away pretty much everything.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Perfect Spring day today. Warm, but not too warm - Sunny, but just the right amount of clouds, so that you're not squinting from the sun all day. I wouldn't mind a string of three or four of these days in a row.

I worked out this morning - oh yes, don't look so stunned. I drag myself to the gym every now and then. Drove up to campus since the gym there is huge and free since, you know, I do pay (or will pay) out the nose and other orifices for school when it's all said and done. You know what I enjoy the most about eavesdropping on the conversations of undergraduates while on the treadmill- the subtle nuances of interpersonal relationships of 20-year olds...

"oh mygosh guys, last night, Susie pulled a Tracy on Melanie..."

"shut up, no way...."

Laura and I went to Newbury Street this afternoon - Newbury Street is this trendy street near downtown with a bunch of shops and restaurants. I've slowly decided my wardrobe needs to evolve from the college t-shirt nirvana it is now. I recently had one of those moments where I caught myself in the mirror and thought, "good God man, you're 33, do you own one shirt without a faded college name on the front?" Don't get me wrong, I like me. I just want some clothes that don't say, "hey, I like sports and various greasy foods..."

So that was the focus today - find some new clothes for Ed. I was lucky to have Laura there - otherwise I would've just ended up at the Mother Ship, otherwise known as Nike Town. I generally don't think of myself as an old-fuddy-duddy, but what is about those clothing stores with the thump, thump, thump dance music? There are few places that make me feel strangely inadequate about myself - hip clothing stores and Home Depot's (all those people buying large pieces of wood and metal).

I came home just in time to watch Arsenal blow their lead and lose the Champion's League Final to Barcelona. Typical. I was disappointed, but wasn't really all that emotionally invested. I saving myself up for the World Cup this summer.

Jack no longer signs "more". He just says, "I want more." I realized tonight that's one more stage resigned to the past - for the life of me I can't remember Jack as a baby and that was just a year and a half ago! Thankfully, we have the pictures to remind us!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

the red pajamas Posted by Picasa

First Favorite Color

I just put Jack to bed- a little late (8:30). Whenever Jack has to change into his day clothes or pajamas, his eyes clothes tight, his mouth wails a long 'nooooooo' and the tears spill out. It's a production similiar to the one he re-enacts (and re-enacts and re-enacts) when he leaves for daycare or when he can't have a cookie ('cook') for breakfast. It's an act that, if I had the emotional stones to engage would leave me exhausted. And it's an act that I'm hoping he can parlay into a stellar broadway career (film's fine, too).

Tonight, I was quite happy to get his pajamas on without the usual tear fan-fare. Of course, the fact that he was down right (over) tired, watching his new favorite show 'the Wonder Pets' and digesting a strawberry popsicle helped a bit.

But Jack put tonight's bedtime dress routine to shame about a few weeks agao. This was back when the weather was warm (near 80 degrees). I had pulled out his "Incredible" pajamas Nana W bought for Christmas because they are lighter than his wool one-pieces. They are also predominately RED. And red is something Jack can't get enough of. He wears this RED sweater Nana K bought before we moved (nearly a year ago), and even though the sleeves are half-way between the elbow and wrists and the bottom of the sweater barely touches the top of his pants, it's the coat he chooses to wear in the morning (and that's a choice we're not about to give up because who knows what other drama festival we'd have to endure). The first color Jack could say and recognize was RED. And because of that, and maybe just because he likes the color, that's the color he seems to like best - for now at least.

Anyway, I casually pulled out Jack's RED p.j.s, showed them to him, and asked if he wanted to get dressed in his new RED pajamas (to really understand the full affect of this word, you have to say it out loud slowly, slightly rolling the 'r' like a cabaret dancer would; this is how Jack says it, as if it's the most important word in the world). He looked at me, started to contort his face into the great third act of the evening, but then looked at the pajamas and exclaimed an exuberant "RRRED!" Before Ed & I could fall on our knees and praise the night-night gods, Jack actually lay down on his back (not before hurredily shoving aside all toys in the way), stuck his legs up in the air and looked at us as if, "let's get this show on the road, folks; I got red pajamas to wear."

The only thing that might make me happier is if, one day, I was able to get the picture above printed in the back of his senior yearbook just like all those preppy popluar kids to in order to embarrass the hell out him.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Don't blink

You know the year's going by quickly, when you blink and April's turned to May - blink again, and May's already halfway over. By the time I finish this post, it'll probably be June.

Not that it feels like summer - we had about 7 inches of rain in the past 3 days...I kid you not. Where does it all go? Well, about an inch of it is in our basement. Nothing's wet, everything we stored down is on shelves. It is kind of a pain to negotiate from the bottom of the stairs to the washing machine without getting your feet wet. It's not that bad though, I make into a game of Hot Lava. And who doesn't like a good game of Hot Lava? Who's with me?

Jack is now putting words together without hearing them first. Today he pointed to the stroller by the door, looked at me and said, "Go. Walk. Dadda." So we went for a walk. Still waiting for Jack to point to the TV and say, "Go. Irish. Make. Chicken. Wings. Dadda." All in good time, all in good time...

Drove up to school to meet a sport psych buddy about writing some sport psych articles for different magazines/journals. First though, I stopped off at the local cafe for a mocha. The Most Miserable Barista, we'll call her Miserable B, was working the cash register. It's not that she's just glum, it's the fact Miserable B looks pissed to just take your order that grates on me the most. "canI helpyou..." she manages to mumble when you approach the register. I delight in asking for my coffee card to be stamped and not tipping her. The CD playing on the cafe speakers was Madonna's Like A Virgin - when did I turn old enough for a musician's music to turn from cool and hip, to played out, to not cool, to so unhip it's cool again?

After dinner we took a family trip to BJ's (think Costco). I never tire of a store like BJ's. I mean, my God, it's a 20-pound bag of Cashews....a 20-frickin' pound bag! If I worked at Costco or BJ's that would be my pet-peeve, people who walked around exclaiming, "that's the largest bag of Pizza Rolls I've ever seen! Look at that!" It would get old fast. We didn't get the cashews - but we now have enough garbage bags and olive oil to last us until 2008.

The West Wing ended last night - probably the most anti-climatic series finale in the history of television - The Andy Griffith Show probably ended with more drama. Scrubs season finale tomorrow (really the only show besides The Office I make a point to watch). I've decided it's too late to get into Lost.