Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Say It To The Hand

I am obsessed with this baby monkey's hands. I don't know why; I just AM.

Its mother is recovering from a C-section, so it's bonding with a teddy bear and receiving daily manicures. I'm kidding about that last part, but it seems perfectly plausible. If your life will not be complete without finding out more, click here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cue the Spooky Music

When I was about 5 months pregnant with Risa and Vida, I was rushed to the hospital in mind-numbing pain (which, for the two days previous, I had attributed to pregnancy). Anyways, I ended up staying there for about ten miserable days, the incision across my belly unable to close because I was growing bigger by the minute. I was encouraged to administer my own morphine, but despite several assurances by various medical folks that it would in no way harm the two babies inside me, I couldn't conquer my paranoia that it WOULD. I think I pressed the button twice during my entire stay.

Anyways, I drifted in and out of sleep constantly, and I have vague memories of nurses who brought me warmed blankets when my teeth were chattering, who tried to teach me to visualize my pain away, and who performed other various niceties. But no one was as much of a lifesaver as the young doctor (it was a teaching hospital) who came to see me every night at two or three in the morning. He sat and talked with me for what seemed like hours, telling me all about his wife who helped to facilitate adoptions from foreign countries and who he rarely saw because of his schedule and her constant travel. They were trying to buy a house, he said, but it was hard to save money. He relayed gossip about my (excellent) periontologist and some of the big-shot doctors, one of whom was from India and boasted the most amazing head of hair (we nicknamed him "The Lion") I've ever seen in my life. He told me about some of the other interesting cases he was either working on or had heard about. This young doctor talked me through long stretches of night when I was bored and worried and having contractions I wasn't supposed to be having. I was so grateful for his company. He was often at the back of the group when his peer group came through with The Lion, and he would give me a reassuring smile.

But I realized something not too long ago: this young doctor didn't exist.

I made him up.

And now I wonder: Am I right to assume that I gave myself more morphine than I thought? Or (as my brother believes because of the late-night hour at which the visitations occurred) was it a super-natural thing? I balk at the latter, but I have to admit that I get THE most 100% creeped-out feeling when I think about this now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Sunday Post

Friday night while absentmindedly wandering around Borders, I was so happy to see Merlinda Bobis' first novel, Banana Heart Summer, sitting pretty on the best spot in the house: the "new paperback fiction" table. I bought it, of course, and it has joined my slowly rising pile of summer reading. Here are some of the other titles awaiting me:

A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide by Samantha Powers (she who called Hillary Clinton "a monster," and then was forced to resign from her post as one of Barack Obama's foreign policy advisors. Sigh.)

The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips

Little, Big by John Crowley (I've been trying to read this for a year now)

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon

And last night we had a reunion of the "Sayulita 15" (not to be confused with the "Oceanic 6"), and several people confessed that they had spent more than a reasonable amount of time trying to devise a way to live on the beach in Mexico.

Shuboy flew in from Madison, WI, yesterday, and so today the two of us are heading into the city to help our parents finish up their packing. And then tomorrow I will help ensconce them in their bright and shiny new nest which is, most helpfully, located only a few minutes from ours. I'm quite giddy about this, in case you haven't noticed. I realize now it's because I haven't lived in the same city as my parents since I was seventeen years old.

LATER...Of course while I was at my mom and dad's, I made a quick sojourn to Green Apple, which is hands-downs the best place to find sale books. I picked up...

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (I LOVED Fingersmith). For a whopping $4.98!

A Fine Balance by Rhinton Mistry (another book I've been meaning to read for a long time). For a whopping $5.98!

What It Is by Lynda Barry (Download a few pages here; it's so wonder-full). This wasn't a sale find, but never mind.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Edelweiss, Oh My Eyes.

Just returned from the annual PTA Founder's Day celebration, during which the 2nd graders (Risa and Vida among them) sang "Edelweiss" and made everyone cry. There's nothing like streaky mascara on a woman in her 40s, I tell you. I look lost and drunk, but I'm neither. Life is funny like that.

In other sentimental news, Lea has lost one of her tiny front Chiclet teeth which signals, of course, the beginning of the end of her little-kid-ness. Once the massive rabbit teeth show up, it's so very over. I tell you all this so that If you see me walking down the street with my chin trembling and my heart in my hands, you can trace the reason back to this very week.

I'm going to go have some chocolate chip cookies now. I trust you will understand.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Much To My...

Much to my chagrin...I am going to become—if only for a moment—one of those bloggers who blogs about the weather (much more interesting to blog about the WHETHER, but no). I am once again in Lea's stinky gym which today also has the distinction of being sauna-y, sweltering, and stupor-inducing. To make matters worse, my laptop is so hot it's emitting steam. I placed it atop a magazine atop my lap, but still the heat, the heat, the relentless heat. I cannot place it to my left or my right for we parents, nannies, and whatnot are seated shoulder to shoulder (did I even roll on my beloved, ancient Old Spice deodorant this morning? It matters not! Your Nesting Ground Mistress always smells clean person) and are constantly murmuring, "Oh, sorry," to each other whenever we move the slightest bit.

Much to my eternal gladness...California's Supreme Court today legalized same-sex marriages. I say to this what I said yesterday about John Edwards endorsement of Barack Obama: it's about time.

Much to my (not particularly suprised) horror... this article in the Washington Post. The following quote suggests that perhaps Clinton field organizers should put their volunteers through some sort of screening process (a moot point at this juncture, of course):

Karen Seifert, a volunteer from New York, was outside of the largest polling location in Lackawanna County, Pa., on primary day when she was pressed by a Clinton volunteer to explain her backing of Obama. "I trust him," Seifert replied. According to Seifert, the woman pointed to Obama's face on Seifert's T-shirt and said: "He's a half-breed and he's a Muslim. How can you trust that?"


Much to my amusement...a little girl who looks to be about three-years-old is putting on her leotard, pointing to her little girl parts, and yelling, "Guess what this is, everybody! This is my vagina! This is my vagina!" And her mother is saying, "Shhhh, shhhhhh..."

Much to my relief...I'm outta here in ten minutes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Kingdom For a Jumpy Monitor or Two. Or Ten.

I'm sitting here frantically working, and it occurred to me that my current task is both sad and hilarious (not to mention ridiculous, meaningless, and fraught with anxiety). What am I doing? I'm coordinating all the volunteers for the girls' school carnival this Saturday, and I can't scare up enough people to monitor the dreaded jumpie things. Everyone's into the tattoos and face painting and games and food service, but the jumpies are anathema.

Truth be told, I can't blame them. I was a Jumpy Monitor (or as I referred to myself, "Matron of the Asylum") last year, and it was the longest 90 minutes of my life.

Perhaps the problem was that I oversaw the long, obstacle course jumpy that's reserved for the bigger kids. Bigger kids = not so fun.

Perhaps the problem was that I did not have a bullhorn and/or whistle. Raw throat = not so fun.

Perhaps the problem was that it was not okay to curse to make the severity of my threats truly understood. Restraints on language = not so fun.

Perhaps the problem was that I became obsessed with one particular kid who was an EVIL CHEATER, and I became determined (in a somewhat sitcom-like way) to exact my revenge on his EVIL CHEATING SELF. Revenge obsession = not so fun.

So, yeah. Not a lot of takers in jumpy land.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Just In Time For Mother's Day!

Here's a new book to help children cope with mommy's plastic surgery. According to the publisher's web site (which I refuse to link to), it will "help patients explain their transformation to their children."

I hope it comes with a companion book titled Mommy Explains Why You're Not Beautiful Just The Way You Are.

via Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Rejected We Stand!

It turns out I wasn't the the only person pondering the already well-trod subject of rejection. In fact, there was quite the to-do in the Land of The Blogs when The Virginia Quarterly Review decided to make public some of the comments that the journal's readers have made while slogging through the slush pile. And they were, um, pretty mean. This set off a firestorm of such magnitude that VQR redacted the offensive comments and posted a mea culpa here.

I think the horrified reactions were a little much. But that's probably because I begin the submission process with the knowledge that my writing will likely be mocked by the anonymous reader at Journal X or Journal Y or Journal Z. That's a risk we sign up for, is it not? For me, it's not much different from wearing shoes with feathers on the heels and knowing full well that someone is going to think they're ridiculous. And it's okay! Because secretly, I know they're suprawondralistic. Just like secretly, I know that whatever story I send out is...really not that bad.

In other rejection-oriented linkage: Grace Talusan and Literary Rejections On Display.

And now...Nesting Ground bonus points for the reader who can identify whose shoes are in this previously posted 2-year-old photo, and on which occasion they were worn:

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Post That Does Not Hold Together Well

There is a dog at the loft. At first, it barked every time I entered the building. Then it barked occasionally, which was nerve wracking for a non-dog person such as myself, as I was constantly worried about whether or not I was going to be yakked at and, consequently, drop my sunglasses or my Diet Coke or my laptop. Now, the loft dog keeps its head resting on its paws and stares at me with as much disinterest as my sadly unrequited 8th grade crush. I say, "Hey, Doggie," and rush on past.

[insert awkward transition word of your choice here: "anyways," "anyhooters," "onward," "so."]

I'm writing this while I wait for Lea's gymnastics class to end. There are little people (including miniature teenagers) in sparkly leotards flinging their bodies all about. My daughter and her pal are the sole exceptions to the leotard phenomenon. They prefer to wear leggings and a t-shirt, and I don't blame them. More coverage provides more protection—at least psychologically—from The Odor. This place, you see, smells like a 55-year-old man's gym socks that have been urinated on repeatedly by a feral cat. I don't understand why. The gym, after all, appears to have been an airplane hangar in its previous life. There's plenty of ventilation, an 80-foot ceiling, and the doors are open, yet The Odor persists. Perhaps it exists solely to vex me.

As does the mean old lady who sasses me if I park anywhere near her house. Evil has a name, I tell you, and it's whatever this woman's name is. About a month ago I saw her walking towards my car, and I thought she was going to ask me a question of some sort, so I rolled down my window and smiled. And she said, "Don't park here."

"Excuse me?"

"I said, 'don't park here.'"

"Why not?"

"You're not allowed to park here. This is for residents."

"First of all, I am a resident. And this is street parking, so I AM allowed to park here."

"There's parking around the school."

"Yes, I know, but it's only 10-minute parking, and I'll be here about 20 minutes."

"I don't care. Don't park here."

"I'll tell you what. When the city comes and paints this curb red, then I won't park here."

Then I closed my window and drove off. Yesterday, I once again exercised my rights as a driver and parked on her street. I urged the girls out of the car. "Come on, girlies, let's go. We're gonna be late."

EOL (that's EVIL OLD LADY) showed up in her little red Chanel jacket and her thin red lips and her EOL hairdo and our paths crossed briefly. She said, "Fine example you're setting for your children."

"What?! What does that mean?"

But EOL then decided that since she dropped what she obviously felt was the zinger of all zingers, she would just purse her mouth and pretend I didn't exist.

"I do NOT like the way you speak to me," I said. Such a stupid thing to say, but what do you do when you're crazy mad at an EOL? I couldn't exactly tell her I was going to beat her up in the girls bathroom after school. The encounter was sooooo absurd. Since she refused to look at me, I turned to her husband. "She's unbelievable," I said.

And he didn't say anything, but I knew what he was thinking. He was thinking Tell me about it. I live with her.