Sunday, November 24, 2002

Because I want so much to be like mopsa (and because I am an uncreative hack) I'm once again stealing her idea and posting the search terms that have brought people to my site - because I am so cheap I don't have the same "search terms" function available that she does so my stuff comes straight from my referral logs.

One of the big selling points of my blog, apparently, is the mention of dogs humping...there, now that I've said it again I'm sure that even more freaks will find this (and be sorely disappointed, as I mentioned the above in jest on a post once). Then there are the searches about various incarnations of pickle to make it, is it good for your skin, what does it do for houseplants, et al. The most interesting pickle searches of late are two hits from people looking for "pilot pickles" (whatever that's supposed to mean) and these:

"stabbed with a pickle" and "pickle the gas well", which in my opinion would make a great band name. The weirdest part of the "pickle the gas well" search was the version of Google the searcher used - I don't know what language that's supposed to be or why the results page is right-justified - it's like Bizarro Google.

The craziest search term to lead someone here would have to be "a man throwing away zombie juice". I'm really at a loss as to what this person was looking for.

The winner under the category of "I Have No Idea How To Use A Search Engine" would definitely be the person who searched for "does Harry Potter and Hermione hug in the of Harry". Yep, clear as mud.

The searcher I feel most sorry for is the poor soul who clicked through under the search term "dixi bubbles". I don't know what "dixi bubbles" are, but this person saw that my mention of "dixi" was in the form of a bit of Latin I'd thrown in to a post on Stephen Fry ("haec jocatus sum, per jocum dixi" which basically means "I'm only joking/trying to be funny") and still clicked through. I don't know why I feel sorry for this person but when I see the word "dixi" (which I'm assuming is a typo of "Dixie") I think of some backwoods hillbilly saying, "Well, I'd be dab-gummed if I's knows what dem uther fore-een-lookin' words mean but I's sees 'dixi' so it can't all be crazy like that! And hell, I like pickle juice anyhow." Maybe I'm way off on that, but the visual entertains me so I'm going to run with it.

The search that's left me scratching my head is for "Ani Difranco pics November 2002". I cannot for the life of me remember ever having posted about Ani. Maybe I should.

The most thorough search string is definitely "fish heads fish heads rolie polie fish heads, fish heads fish heads, eat". Google helpfully offers, "Did you mean roly poly?" which, apparently, is the accepted spelling of the phrase. The "rolie polie" spelling only produced 129 results, while the suggested spelling brought in over 1600. The search, of course, is in reference to a Barnes and Barnes song, "Fish Heads", a song that has entertained me from quite a young age. And the video was hilarious as well. Yes, I know it must come as a surprise to some, but once upon a time I was a dorky kid who sat around watching the Doctor Demento show on MTV.

Thinking on it, not that much has changed.



For those of you who just can't get enough of little Wil Wheaton there's an extra sumpthin for you at The Onion AV Club.

So it's not a real blog entry, sorry to tease you, but I'm very, very tired.



Friday, November 22, 2002

Just cuz I like the picture -

(Come on, honestly, who is surprised that I have leopard print pillows? No one? Didn't think so.)

Random thoughts while I'm pulling down my email for the first time in days...

  • Baby swings should never have "fast" as a speed control option
  • Guinness is g - o - o - o - d
  • I wish I hadn't gotten my third dog...or my first and second, for that matter
  • I will never, ever wear stirrup pants again or, indeed, anything with an elastic waistband
  • Babies only keep that "new baby smell" long enough for you to fall in love with them - by that time you're too hooked to give them up
  • I'm already back to a decent shape, which is to say I'm looking pretty hot for someone who gave birth not even a week ago. I mean, not exactly "Janet Jackson back-up singer" hot but I could definitely pull off the "In Living Color Fly Girl" thing. And remember, kiddies, that's where Jennifer Lopez got her start.
  • When you're distracted, everything out of a nine-year-old's mouth sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown
  • If a toddler grabs a butter knife and starts swinging for no apparent reason it's best to let that little episode play out rather than try to wrestle the thing away from her. Just make sure the dogs are out of the way.
  • "Julia Roberts Weekend" on NBC doesn't begin until late Sunday night, and I'm oddly comforted by that.
  • Zoe's already begun saying embarassing things - I asked her what she thought of her brother and she said, "He eats too much boobies"
  • Babies don't sleep long enough to pull down a couple of day's worth of email



I've been lucky this week in that Andy's been home to help me out with the kids - which basically amounts to him revamping his blog and our homepage while I haven't even had a chance to post anything. Not that it's really high on my list of priorities at the moment, but still, it'd be nice to get a chance to sit down at the computer by myself for a while. Maybe in a few months things will calm down...

In all seriousness, Andy's been a huge help, especially with the Bean and her diaper-issues. She was this close to becoming potty trained when Nicodemus arrived and now that's all out the window. There's nothing quite so bizarre as changing a newborn's diaper then sitting down behind King Kong butt. She seemed so much tinier to me last week.

I think the main thing that's happened over the course of this past week is that I realized there is much, much more to the male genitalia than I realized and I'm really nervous about being responsible for Nic's. Alternately, I learned that there must be some secret way to change a boy's diaper without getting pissed on but I can't seem to get the hang of it. Why doesn't it glow or something before it's about to erupt? That would be a handy feature.

Nico's up now so I'm off to change him and contemplate the various design flaws in his bits and bobs. I feel bad that I've been away for so long and all I can post about are the diaper-filling habits of my kids. Is that post-partum depression I feel setting in? No wait - that's not depression...crap, I didn't fasten his diaper properly.

Better run - a huge thank-you to everyone who posted their congrats and sent e-cards and such, that was really thoughtful. And if you didn't congratulate me please know that I think you're a cold, rotten bastard.

Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, November 19, 2002

The picture is a bit bright but I didn't want to mess around with it too much. This was taken last night - compare that to the picture on Andy's wouldn't even think it's the same kid, would you?

Between the pain and the exhaustion I'm still feeling (I'd forgotten all about the night-time feeding ritual and haven't slept well - duh) I didn't think much would make me laugh - until my mother relayed the following exchange that took place between three of my sisters. Ditz, you may recall, is pregnant, and Hippy and Boob Job each have two children and they were sitting around chatting about my home birth when this enlightened conversation happened:

Hippy: I really wish they had home births back when I was pregnant. I would have done it...well, only if I had a nice enough house.
Boob Job: I'm glad that home births weren't invented when I was pregnant because everyone would have been pressuring me to have one because I'm so scared of needles.
Ditz: I don't think home births exist in Iowa but that's okay because I'm having a c-section and I'd rather do that in the hospital than at home anyway.

It just defies reason, doesn't it? The sad thing is that this conversation is the norm around the house when those three get together. Had I been there I would have made up some story about how home birth was "invented" by some guy in Sweden back in, say, 1998 or something because he was afraid that the Y2K bug would shut down the medical equipment at hospitals, thus preventing any babies from being born. The sad thing is that I know those three would have believed it.



Sunday, November 17, 2002

Nic has arrived - see brief post on laborblogging if you're interested.

One weird thing already is that in my dream last night I introduced, "My husband and son, Fritz and Salizar." What the hell does that mean?!?



Saturday, November 16, 2002

So my news o’ the day – I’m dilated – can I get a whoop, whoop? No, didn’t think so.

We went to see Harry Potter and I have to say that Tom Felton (who plays Draco) is turning into quite the good looking little man. He was so smarmy and smackable in the first movie that I wasn’t expecting this grown-up version of the evil boy and I was caught off-guard at how mature he seemed. He’s still, what, fifteen or something? But I’m not sitting here going, “Mmmm, he’s some tasty pudding” – it’s more like, “Hey, if I were fifteen…” That’s not too perverse. Alas, little Tom is pursuing a career in theater so even if I were fifteen I’m sure we’d just be best girlfriends.

Andy thinks the little Watson girl is a cutie but he can never remember her name is Hermione…he calls her “Briney”. Since she’s a fifteen year old little girl and Andy’s in his thirties this means Andy is a Big Pervert. (Somehow it’s different for him, don’t ask me why.)

The movie was pretty cool – I was surprised at a few of the new actors. You remember the Blackadder episode (can’t remember if it was the second or third series?) where Blackadder stands to gain a huge inheritance from his zealot aunt? It’s the one where Stephen Fry challenges him to a drinking contest and Queenie shows up but everyone thinks she’s the stripper. Anyway, the aunt shows up for dinner and all she wants to eat is a raw turnip but the only turnip they have is “shaped like an enormous thingie” so that’s what they have to feed her. She’s getting ready to bite into this huge, phallic turnip when she says with a wink, “This reminds me of our wedding night…we had raw turnips that night, too.” She showed up in the Harry Potter movie as Professor Sprout.

Another surprise was the Weasley’s father, Arthur, being played by the red-haired guy from the Fast Show (or Brilliant! if you watch the US version). He’s probably most famous for his, “This week, I will be mostly eating/wearing/watching…” snippets but has an equal following for his “Ooh, suits you, sir!” sketches where he plays a randy shopkeeper whose sales pitches always degrade into some innuendo-laden/borderline vulgar diatribes directed at whatever poor fellow stopped in for a suit that day. “Ah, so I see you’re wanting to look a bit smart, hmmm? For a lady friend, perhaps? I’ll bet she wants it, sir, she begs for it on all fours like a dog, sir, and takes it from behind? Ooh, suits you, sir!” That’s a heck of a thing to have running through your head while you’re watching a kids show.

I did get the gist of the movie, and this is pretty much it:

Elf: Harry Potter can’t go back to school, he’s in danger!
Harry: Ah, well, I’ve been in danger before but I’m pretty powerful and stuff and I can count on my friends to do all of the grunt work for me so I can breeze in and save the day.
Snape: I hate you, Potter.
Draco: I hate you, Potter, and your little mudblood friend too.
Hermione: Ugh, he called me a mudblood, cry cry. Oh, what’s that? (freezes)
Harry: I wonder who opened the Chamber of Secrets – the monster who lives there is supposed to be able to kill people but luckily it’s just frozen them like statues, thus preserving our PG rating.
Hagrid: It wasn’t me. (goes to prison)
Harry: Huh, if it wasn’t Hagrid then who was it? Better go find out.
(down in the Chamber of Secrets)
Harry: Hey, it’s you, Tom Marvolo Riddle, the guy who spent, like, two seconds on-screen and whose parts didn’t even make sense to anyone who didn’t read the book…what are you doing with Ron’s sister?
Tom: Oh, um, it’s kind of a convoluted story…magic diary and all that…sucking her life from her to make me live – you know, the general “bad dead guy coming back to life because of a good person” premise.
Harry: Huh?
Tom: Oh, run with it, for Christ’s sake! By the way, I’m Voldemort as a kid but don’t think of trying to kill me or anything cuz I’m really – uh, let’s just say I’m kind of a dream or something and you don’t have enough power to banish me.
Harry: Okay, let me go kill this snake while you stand idly by and watch.
Tom: Sounds good.
Harry: So that’s done with, now I – I don’t know – stab the diary and you disappear and everything’s back to normal, okay?
Tom: Good deal. See you in the third movie?
Harry: It’s a date.
(suddenly everything’s groovy again and there’s this weird tension between Ron and Hermione and they won’t hug…perhaps setting us up for a love interest later on? How utterly unpredictable!)
Hagrid: Hey, I’m out of prison now.
All: Hooray, even though everyone still believes you opened the Chamber of Secrets fifty years ago and killed that girl.
Hagrid: Um, about that…did you guys think it was odd that in the fifty-years-ago flashback I was fifteen? That means I’m supposed to be, like, 65 now.
All: Yes, we noticed that, and various other chronological inconsistencies, but we’ll ignore it because we’re kids. And please don’t condescend to us because we’re currently the most powerful consumer demographic in the world.
Hagrid: Right then, I’m off to get drunk.
Dumbledore: Ah, Harry, I knew there was evil afoot but trusted that you would take care of it once again. Thanks for getting me my job back.
Harry: No problem. Voldemort killed my parents, you know.
Dumbledore: Yes, you’ve mentioned that. (fade)

There you go – I’ve just saved you $7.50. Go see “Bowling for Columbine” instead.

Chamber of Secrets-ly,


Friday, November 15, 2002

Due date...Harry day to do what I like...debit card awaiting my abuse...oooohhh, I'm feeling the pull of the Mall of America, can you hear it? "Natalie...wooooo, Natalie! really want to come on out and buy yourself a new post-pregnancy need new're out of Clinique - hell, come get a facial..." Too many thoughts flirting around my head.

It brings to mind one of my favorite Marge Simpson-isms ever: "You're overstimulated - let's take you home, get a few beers in you, then it's straight to bed!"

Ah, it's all fantasy. What's most likely to happen is that I'll do my hour with the midwife, go see the Harry Potter movie, gorge myself on popcorn and make myself sick then come home and take a nap with the girls. Thinking about it, that sounds pretty exciting, too.

That is so sad.



Thursday, November 14, 2002

A couple of quick notes -

Returned blogger (it's about damn time): An English/Australian known as Sean Hegarty of Sonata for Unfinished Yelling

New blog: A saucy little Minnesotan known as Nicole of A Day In the Life...

New-found blog (courtesy of Being Daddy, where you'll find a funny post about Bob Ross): A brave woman known as Gillian Hadley at Life in the Freezer - she's living in Antarctica, people, what can I say?



Well, it looks like I’m actually going to hit my due date of the 15th which is something I was positive wasn’t going to happen. I think the Fates have taken pity on me and are letting me get through until after tomorrow so that I can go see the Harry Potter movie with my kids – yes, I’m a sad HP geek. I have the figurines, snow globes, music boxes, posters, post cards and little pseudo-Rune stones – but my obsession was sparked from the book rather than the movie, which I wasn’t exactly overly-impressed with.

Oooh, pet hate I want to share – don’t you hate when you’re talking to someone about Harry Potter and they say, “Of course, I read the book” like it’s frigging War and Peace or something. Good for you; you read a book that pretty much every seven-year-old in the world has read, you should be proud of yourself. Okay, rant over with.

I’m a little pissed that the baby didn’t come early because if I’d have known I’d reach my due date I would have made every effort to hit that Peter Gabriel concert tomorrow night. I’ve never seen him in concert except for once when I was a young kid and I saw a televised concert during a fund-raiser on PBS but even then I was enthralled. He was dancing around barefoot wearing a poncho type wrap with tribal dancers in the background…this was no Three Dog Night. (Three Dog Night being the first concert I’d ever attended and thought it was so boring I swore I’d never see another concert…I only wanted to go to the show with my dad because they said “damn” in a song and my father let me sing that part. He told me once that it’s okay to say the occasional curse word when it’s in a song like “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” but I bet he regretted giving me that permission because I immediately penned the greatest hit of the summer, “The Shit Damn Pissy Poop Song.”) So yeah, I’ve been wanting to see Peter Gabriel for pretty much my whole life, though I’m willing to bet that his tribal dancers have left him for Paul Simon or Sting by now.

I told my midwife that I was bummed about not going to the concert and she told me a story about how she was on her way to a homebirth and the mother was in a panic because her son wasn’t home – he was watching a concert down at First Ave. My midwife said, “No problem, I’ll swing by and pick him up”. She managed to find the right guy who told her, “Dude, like, I’m not going to be able to help out and stuff cuz, like, I have school tomorrow and it’s, like, pretty important that I get enough sleep. You know. For school.” That’s a son for you; he’d rather stay and watch the Dead Kennedys or the Dead Milkmen (the midwife couldn’t remember which it was, only that it had “dead” in the name) than be his mother’s birthing coach. I mean, I probably would have shafted my own mom for, say, Mike Doughty or that new band David Crosby’s thrown together, but that’s different. Hearing “Punk Rock Girl” live would have been cool, but not worth missing the birth of a sibling.

I’m glad I didn’t go into labor last night, though every indication was that it was happening. Contractions were around eight minutes apart for around an hour or so and were getting pretty intense but when I waddled into Andy’s room to tell him about it he ignored me and said, “Look, I’m embedding tables!” Bully. For. You. If I had the memory of him writing html the night I went into labor he’d never, ever live that down – I mean, that’s a quality fight right there that I could summon up any time I wanted and there’s no defense. He’s given me quite a few tasty nuggets lately, like yesterday he told me I couldn’t have the baby until after the 16th because next year he’s going to be in Munich from the 10th through the 16th for a show. He was despairing because Zoë was born during a big show in the US and now Nic is going to be born during a big show in Europe. My standard response? “I’m terribly sorry my biology interferes with your work, you jackass…” yet no matter how many times I say it, it doesn’t seem to sink in.

So today I’m taking it easy – starting by not getting out of bed until nearly 11.30 – and hopefully I’ll be able to see the movie tomorrow. I’ve had such a miserable pregnancy thus far that the Powers That Be owe me one…though I should probably be wishing for an easy, uncomplicated birth rather than holding off my labor to see a movie. I’ve never been one to keep my priorities in order.



Wednesday, November 13, 2002

So Nigeria says it will not allow Amina Lawal to be stoned to death, yet refuses any direct intervention against the Islamic court that passed the sentence.

Five Miss World hopefuls (from Costa Rica, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa and Panama) are boycotting the event held in Nigeria in protest of the Islamic court's decision. The original Miss World contestants from France and Belgium said they would boycott as well and were replaced. Kenya originally said it would boycott but had a change of heart and sent their own representative.

Amina Lawal herself has asked the women to abandon the boycott and participate in Miss World because it's such a huge event and so many resources have been poured into the pageant.

Nigerian Muslim fundamentalists were angry about the Miss World pageant - not for the pageant itself so much, but because it began during Ramadan.

Sex, violence, religion and beautiful scantily-clad women...I'm betting someone at Fox Television is thinking, "This is a made-for-tv movie just ripe for the plucking." It makes me sad to think that the human rights aspect is so far buried in the details.



I did a bad, bad thing...I got an email from a very old friend who sent me a greeting card and like a schmuck I clicked on the "okay" or "yes" or whatever to view it. Lo and behold, it decided to email everyone in my address book, Andy included. Andy, who has roughly fifteen thousand email addresses in his Outlook, thought it was legit and clicked, too...for some reason, my warnings I sent him on Yahoo messenger didn't make it through to him.

If you get a greeting card from me don't open it - that's not the kind of lame stuff I send, anyway - and accept my apologies.

Falling on my sword-ly,


Tuesday, November 12, 2002

This is what happens when you're too busy working to remember that you're in the middle of playing hide-and-seek...

Because I am intensely busy at the moment I've decided that rather than try to post an original blog entry I'd pull some of the posts that have been read the most frequently and put them on another blog, Hatest Grits. No real reason for it, I just felt like doing it.

Now I'm off to rescue my smallest dog, Bowie, from Zoe. She grabs Bow by the collar and drags her around the house ("Look, mom, I'm walking her!") and Bowie seems to like the attention. However, my two hundred-pound dogs Sasha and Stella don't like this and use this time as a chance to chew on Bow's legs as she's walking. Zoe screams, "Stay away from my baby!" and smacks Sasha and Stella - which they hardly notice - but in all of this ruckus poor little Bow starts shaking like a leaf. She's a sketchy, nervous thing and the slightest stress causes her to evacuate her bladder and bowels where she stands - and I don't feel like cleaning that up today. So it's mommy to the rescue!



Monday, November 11, 2002

I have a stupid sense of humor. I get stuck on stupid and if I find something that makes me laugh I'll repeat it, over and over in my head, giggling like a maniac. Andy doesn't appreciate this, especially since it's usually something totally bizarre that catches me and won't leave.

One example is of a strange eBay auction I'd seen once where this guy was selling a couple of stuffed squirrels. The auction itself wasn't so funny, but in one of the pictures of the squirrels the seller had shoved flowers in their mouths and the caption read exactly like this: "I put flowers in their mouths so the DON'T LOOK SO MEAN!" I saved that picture of the squirrels and put the caption beneath them - I plan to print it out on photo paper, frame it and hang it in my bathroom or something. That line - the emphasis in particular - had me cracking up for days. I'd be doing something like laundry and think, "Don't look so mean!" and laugh my ass off. See? Stupid sense of humor.

There's an old joke that says, "How do you know if your husband's cheating on you? Amy Fisher shoots you in the face!" Now, this isn't a particularly funny joke but the punchline became an exclamation of mine that I used for some time as a replacement for swear words. I'd burn my hand while cooking and scream, "Amy Fisher shoots you in the face!" and laugh until I cried. Again, stupid sense of humor.

But I think the best I've ever heard came from last night's Simpsons. Homer was at fantasy rock and roll camp and was picking out his instrument of choice from Elvis Costello. Elvis was trying to convince Homer that the bass was just as cool as the guitar that Homer had his heart set on but Homer screamed, "Get out of my way, nerdlinger!" and jumped the counter. Homer calling Elvis Costello "nerdlinger" has had me laughing my ass off all day long.

I just wanted to post to let you know what a dork I can be (as if you needed me to tell you), and what a saint Andy is for putting up with my fits of insane laughter.



Well, it's official - my mother will not be flying up to see me after the baby is born. She visited me once when I lived in Edina for Christmas the month before Zoe was born in 2000 and has never been back - last Christmas I had the family up and it was meant to be my perfect little holiday to impress everyone with my domestic skills but since mom didn't show I just got shit-faced and played euchre with my dad. I barely gave the cooking any effort and I think we ordered about $70 worth of pizza the first night, but I can't be sure as we had the whiskey flowing. That is to say, Andy and I had the whiskey flowing...for some reason, dad, Ditz and Hippy stayed sober. (Boob Job didn't attend - can't remember why.) Hippy's husband couldn't come because his probation meant he couldn't leave Illinois and mom wanted to stay home because the drive to Minnesota would make her sick. She wanted my dad to come up without her, and he sort-of had to because he was bringing Samantha home after her holiday visit with her own father but I felt like shit that my dad was away when mom was ill. Mom was happy to be alone, though, because that way she was able to sleep for three days straight and not have to worry about taking care of my dad, who is utterly useless at caring for himself.

My mom had just started her second year-long series of shots for her hepatitis c last Christmas (the first series being back in 1994 or so) and last week she took her final dose. The doctors cut the treatment short by a couple of weeks because her t-cells are all skewed and they're worried about pneumonia again, which she's had probably three times in the past seven years but managed to recover from, much to everyone's surprise. I can never keep the details of her various illnesses straight...I know that she couldn't maintain a .9 or something like that, and her C-something-4-something is really low but I don't know if she's facing a round of AZT or what the deal is. I told her the other day that I feel like a really shitty daughter that I can't remember everything but mom pointed out that we've been dealing with this for nearly a decade so it stands to reason that some of the details will be lost. When she lost a breast four years ago to cancer she sort of stopped listening to what the doctors were telling her - she says, "I don't want to hear the words, just tell me what to do." It seems really cold but the woman has enough to deal with, doctors-wise, to have to remember what everything is for. She said, "I have to have a needle stuck in my bone on the 18th, but at least I can keep food down now that I'm off my shots." When I ask about the bone marrow test she dismisses me and says, "Eh, I'll know about all of that soon enough."

I get really pissed off because I wonder how much of her problems stem from the fact that her original doctor was a big coke-head (who was recently stripped of his license, thank god) who didn't know his ass from his elbow. At one point he told my mother that she was in full-out kidney failure - it was very gloom and doom, like, "Call the family together, this is the end." Long story short, she just needed to have her gall bladder removed, but it was a very hectic, painful time for all of us to be facing. The worst part of all of that is my mom knew that she was getting shitty health care - she used to be a nurse in Chicago - but she didn't care because she liked her doctor as a person. She thought it was cool that he could joke about the morbid stuff he dealt with and laughed at my mom's own black humor. I begged my mom to come up to the Mayo clinic to be seen but she always put me off because she was worried that seeing the specialists up here would deplete too much of her medical allowance under her health care plan. She wanted to make sure there was enough money left to go around for when she needs in-home assistance...but she doesn't understand that maybe she wouldn't need the assistance quite so soon (if at all) if she had a decent doctor who wouldn't just sit around for an hour talking about The Doors and Woodstock with her. I guess it's her life and I can't judge her actions because I can't pretend to understand what it's like to deal with all of this garbage every day...I sometimes wonder how she makes herself get up in the morning. She's definitely a stronger person than I ever gave her credit for.

I got to thinking about all of this tonight because I was telling Andy about when I went into labor with Samantha. I was freshly sixteen and still living with my parents - I'd woken up around ten or so with what I thought was a stomach ache and decided to hang out in the living room rather than flop around in my bed. A couple of hours later I woke my mother up to tell her I wasn't feeling good - I wasn't thinking that I was in labor because I was a whole six days early (I was too young then to know that six days doesn't mean a damn thing) but mom knew it was labor. She had this nervous energy thing going on and she set about rearranging her kitchen while I lay moaning on the couch. Around one a.m. she broke the news to me that I was in labor and I said, "Well, make it better." She looked so sad and said, "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do." I was so pissed! Here was mom, the fix-it machine, and she couldn't help me. Why didn't anyone tell me that mom couldn't make the pain go away? Chicken soup, a warm washcloth, ginger ale...something! She usually had some remedy to make the boo-boos better but this time there was nothing. I laughed tonight, remembering it, until I thought of another night when I woke her up late to drop another sort of bomb-shell.

I'd given blood at school during a blood drive and one night I came home from work to find a letter waiting for me in the mail from the blood center. It told me in a form letter that I would no longer be allowed to donate blood, they were very sorry but appreciated my interest, blah blah blah. In bold lettering it stated the reason I was turned down - it said "Postive results for routine HCV screen." I pulled out my mom's PDR and looked up HCV. My blood ran cold and without thinking I burst into my mom's room and shouted, "I have hepatitis, I'm going to die!" She dismissed me, told me "don't worry now, we'll talk about it tomorrow." I hated her for that and thought, "That bitch doesn't even care." Later, I learned that she and my dad stayed up all night crying about it, sick with worry. It makes me feel like such an ass that I put them through that - I can feel the physical guilt like a golf ball in my throat even as I type this.

I had a liver biopsy that determined that I did not, in fact, have hepatitis, nor was there any trace whatsoever that I'd had been infected with anything even remotely resembling HCV. But as is common practice, the doctors suggested that everyone in the household be tested. No one else was infected, except for my mother and father - dad with a "slight" infection and mom with HIV/HCV.

I don't know how that positive result showed up in my blood but I'm glad it did, even though it meant I had a huge needle stuck in my side. Were it not for that, no one else in my family would have had any blood work done and it could have possibly been years before we knew they were sick. It all harkens back to the whole, "There's a reason for everything" type of spirituality that I tend to follow. If my mother had not gotten sick she would have carried on in her alcoholism and drug use and she wouldn't have gotten to know her grandkids - nor would she have cared much, really, because she had her head buried so far up her own ass that she barely acknowledged the existence of anyone besides herself. She's even said this herself, that she's actually glad to have been diagnosed because it made her revamp her priorities. Thankfully she's had enough years to "make things better" in her own mind and to apologize for whatever she feels the need to apologize for - I don't want "I'm sorry", I just want her shut up and get better.

And now I'm facing this pain again that mommy can't make go away but I feel a lot more grounded than I once did. She and I have had our blow ups but it's all been put to rest and I can finally see her as a real person with her own real flaws and shortcomings, but I don't have the same hang-ups that I used to. I wanted to be a power mom - if for no other reason than to prove I'm Not Her - but now I've learned that I can't always do right, no matter how many servings of vegetables I give my kids. This has all helped me see the big picture, though I still make fun of her for being a bizarre creature, hell-bent on dominating my life. But at least I still can make fun of her because she's still around to teach me some of the more important lessons, stuff you can't learn from a book. That's a big thing for me to be able to not only admit, but to publically express as well. Thankfully, she already knows all of this - I just had to say it all to myself.

Publically Introspective-ly,


Saturday, November 09, 2002

Alright, I've begun my labor blog in earnest. Not too much earnest, though, as I don't want to have the baby tonight but I guess he'll decide that for me.



I've experienced a bit of an oddity here that I think I should share since it's happened twice, so there must be some cosmic reason behind it - and who am I to deny the cosmos?

Little background - on John Conners and Manx Lennies blogs there's a link for a woman called Ariel. She lives on the Isle of Man and is a seemingly sweet person - very quick with a kind word, calls people "hon", you know what I mean. Needless to say, we have little in common. Though I do enjoy her blog especially when I need that little bit of, "Ahhh, that's nice" to get me through the day.

Anyway, I was blogsnob hopping the other day - in case you haven't noticed, on the right is a random link with a little "BS" box behind it, that's for Blogsnob - blog to blog. There are some thousand-plus blogs registered on BS and I've found quite a few that I really enjoy, and I'm a "six degrees" addict so it's fun for me. Yes, once again I'm admitting to being lame, but that's beside the point. I clicked from myself to Armoured Minds, then on to Buy the Cow to Kaosboy to a fellow called Floyd. Floyd had posted something about having dinner with Ariel and I thought, "That's a strange name to come across..." Sure enough, he had a link to the Ariel I knew about.

I didn't think much of it until today when I was, once again, hopping around. This time from my blog I followed the link to Buy the Cow, then on to Mooooooooooooo (yes, that's really the name of it...thirteen O's) to Just In Time. I was ready to click the blogsnob link and saw that it was another link to Ariel. Creepy, non? All roads lead to Ariel for some reason, I can't really be sure why.

Further than that, I clicked maybe two more times and found a blog that had a post about the Being Daddy blog that I've been reading for a while but only just today put a link to on here.

I put links to all of the sites that had something to do with this whole Ariel thing because I don't know which is the important one - I'm a little disturbed that Buy The Cow came up twice, once with a Moo site just after - maybe it's all just a cow thing, I don't know. Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure that Floyd's post about Ariel made reference to eating a steak...shoot, now I'm going to have to go back through all of those blogs to see if we have some cow conspiracy at work. I've never liked the way they just stand around, I don't trust them...they always look like they're planning something.

I know this isn't the most thrilling post ever but it all sat a bit strange with me. The world cannot be this small, or indeed the "blogging community" whatever that means.



Thursday, November 07, 2002

Ah, I love the smell of Pawlenty in the morning...smells a bit like John Ashcroft.

Yes, we get to look forward to concealed weapons and dramatic changes in anti-choice legislation, amongst many other Republican-favored laws. Yee-haw, bring on the barbecue and ten-gallon hats.

Seriously, anyone who thinks that this election wasn't important just think of what we're facing in Minnesota. We went to sleep being Minnesotans and woke up on the 6th to being Texans. Before too long some nutcase is going to suggest we build a wall between us and Canada like they proposed for the Mexican border. Oh hang on a second; that already it too late to emigrate? Canada is close, and I pretty much have the accent down already so it shouldn't be hard to adjust - and as Andy is so fond of pointing out, there are parts of Canada that are actually south of us so I would imagine they have a more temperate climate. Sounds like a plan!

Sigh - sad days. Sadder still, my fat butt has to get up and do some more housework - but probably not for long, as I'm sure that Pawlenty and his crew are already busily working on legalizing slavery in some fashion.



Oh, and I'm stealing mopsa's word, "Laborblogging", trademark be damned. Not only that, but I'm holding her to her offer of being my IM labor coach.

I bet my midwives would love this marriage of birth and technology - or maybe they'll crucify me for it, I don't know. I may have to shout at them, "Just shut up and eat your damn mangos, you wacky midwife, you!" They're not the boss of me.

Aggressively (and loving every second of my hormonal imbalance),


I've decided that I'm actually going to do a blog while I'm in labor. The main reason for this is because my eldest daughter is due to leave tonight and fly down to Illinois for a weekend with her father and I'm worried that she's going to miss the birth. She not only wants to cut the cord but she's pretty keen on the idea of catching the baby herself - though "catching" is a misnomer, as I'll be delivering the baby underwater so he'll just sort of float to the surface of his own volition. But someone needs to be there, towel in hand, to pull the slippery little devil out because lordy knows I'll probably be glaring and cursing at the little guy - and I'm not thinking Andy's going to be up for the task.

I'm going to set it up as a secondary blog, that way I can also send the url to our families and they can check out what's going on without me having to worry about them reading what I've written about them on here. That, and I don't want anyone to stumble across the birthing on this blog and totally freak out, especially when I've been getting so many hits lately from people searching for dogs humping pillows and alternate uses for pickle juice - not that those searchers find what they're looking for here, anyway, but still.

I can't say for certain how regularly the blog will be updated since I'm going to be sort of preoccupied with the boy but I think Andy will be relieved to have a task to do that removes him from the whole process every now and the midwives say, "It's beneficial to change the energy of the room on occasion." If there are pictures they won't be of the "right up where the action is" type that you ordinarily see on programs like "Baby Story" or anything like that, but I would like to have some pictures of the whole set-up on the blog. A home birth - and indeed, a water birth - is still a pretty mysterious thing to many people and I'd like this chance to show the general public how "natural" it can be. I'm pretty excited by the chance to have a birth "my way" but it's still considered a far-out hippy thing to do in many people's minds. (Don't worry, I'm not about to go off in a "doctors are butchers" rant or anything here.)

Even if I don't deliver Nic this weekend I'm still going to do the blog - maybe I'll set it up so that Sam can post, too - I'd be interested in having a record of her nine-year-old perspective of events as they're happening. I'm figuring most of my posts will be retrospective accounts but I highly doubt that anyone is going to exactly be glued to the blog for real-time updates, anyway.

The details will come later, as I haven't discussed it much with Andy and he's busy at the moment, but I'll keep you updated. If you're interested, great; if not, oh well, it's more for me, anyway - the rest is just gravy.

Going out on a limb-ly,


Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Poor little Winona - hope she voted last night before this felony verdict was entered against her.

I have to object to the judge saying that Ms. Ryder is not a threat to the community - he's obviously never seen her act. I would say that I want her to go to jail but too many people would love to see her starring in a women's prison-type flick. I'm just happy the stupid trial is over; now I can get back to the really important stuff, like OJ's speeding ticket.



Tuesday, November 05, 2002

I'm awake with contractions but I don't know if it's real labor or the projections that CNN has come out with saying that our next senator will be Norm Coleman and our next governor will be Tim Pawlenty. I really love ya, Aaron Brown, but I'm hoping you end up with egg on your face for these calls.

I'm hoping the labor is real, if for no other reason than Andy was meant to be in Georgia (or somewhere - who can keep track?) tonight but called off because we were worried I'd deliver the baby when he was gone. If I do have the baby tonight, at least his co-workers at that god-forsaken "Who can afford to pay attention to their family in this economy, especially when we have so much revenue riding on this" company he works for won't be too upset with him for missing out on his meeting tomorrow.

If I do go into labor, I think a cool thing would be to keep on blogging through the birth - think of it, a live homebirth on a blog. Wait, on second thought, don't think of it - birth is a pretty gross ordeal, one certainly not fitting for my delicate readers. Or indeed, for Andy either come to think of it. Thank heaven for midwives!



I've gone and done my (patriotic? civic?) duty of voting this morning. As you could probably guess, I voted primarily democrat/farmer/labor party liberally sprinkled (no pun intended) with green. I felt rather guilty that I didn't know more about the candidates in the local elections - I'm a firm believer that if you don't know who you're voting for you shouldn't cast that vote - but I did anyway. The election for sheriff was an easy one, as the only criteria that matter to me was, "Which one of these fine gentlemen hasn't arrested me?" It wasn't exactly a politically-motivated vote; it was more like my own passive-aggressive retribution. The candidates would get a lot more votes if they didn't go around slapping handcuffs on people - but that's really an argument for their campaign managers to make, I suppose.

The place wasn't exactly hopping, and when I checked in the little old lady there informed me that I was the first person with a "Y" last name to vote. Her table-buddy said, "That's not true, didn't Dorie Yzerman vote yet?" and the first lady said, "No, she just dropped off the bagels, she'll be back later." As I was signing in they resumed their previous discussion of Bob Newhart's comedic career - I guess he'd just been given some honor or other - and I interjected with, "I've always maintained that if he didn't stutter he wouldn't have gotten so famous." They stared at me either like I was an absolute genius or a complete moron - for the sake of my ego I'll consider it the former.

There were a couple of high school kids there covering the voting process for their newspaper - one must have been freshly eighteen as he was wearing his "I Voted" sticker with pride while his female counterpart sulked and glared enviously at his chest. Ah, poor little minor! Don't despair, for soon your voice will be heard. The boy asked me a couple of questions about how I felt about the proposed tax levy for our school district and my political leanings - to be cute I patted my tummy and said, "Well, if this little tyke's a boy we're naming him Mondale, if that's any indication of my political leanings." He stared at me and I briefly wondered if he was perhaps the grandson of one of the ladies at the registration table. The girl popped in with a question of her own, something along the lines of, "Do you think the miserable weather is going to effect voter turn-out?" Now it was my turn to stare - miserable weather? What miserable weather? This is Minnesota in November...a couple of flurries on a cloudy day does not count as "miserable". I said, "You're not from here, are you?" which just made her sulk even more, especially when the boy laughed and said, "No, she's from Missouri!" To make her feel a little better I said, "Missouri, huh? So what do you think of Jean Carnahan's chances?" For the third time since entering the voting station I was stared at blankly - I'd forgotten that at the age of seventeen the world outside your own little microcosm of boys and concerts doesn't exist in any notable way.

So I did my little voting thing and was nearly overcome when I saw the senate part X'd out - I gave pause while studying Paul Wellstone's name and said my own Natalie-version of a little prayer before filling out the supplemental ballot for Mondale instead. I felt utterly stupid voting for the circuit court judges, as none of them bar one was running contested. I tried to remember if I'd heard of anyone that was appealing to be a write-in candidate but came up blank so I dutifully filled in the little circles next to two columns of single names with the word "incumbent" behind them. Gee, I hope none of them are crooked!

In case you're one of those apathetic citizens that refuses to vote on principle, here's a little ditty that Comedy Central has been airing on The Daily Show - it's in the style of the old School House Rocks ads that were shown during Saturday morning cartoons when I was growing up. If you have a decent connection go watch the ad - if you don't, I've done you a great service and written out the commercial here. It shows young, idealistic Jimmy with his grandpa - I think you'll agree that Jimmy learns a valuable lesson or two.



Jimmy: What are we doing grandpa?
Grandpa: It's Election Day, Jimmy; we’re waiting in line to vote
Jimmy: Are we voting for president?
Grandpa: No, this is a midterm election
Jimmy: We're voting for a midterm?
Grandpa: God, you're stupid. Listen up:

Every four years comes an election day
When Americans get to sort-of have their say
They're not quite presidential
They're much, much less essential
But they're kind of influential in their way

Midterm elections
They come right in the middle
Midterm elections
They matter quite a little

They include the house, a third of the senate and mayors by the score
And they come in years divisible by two but not by four

Jimmy: Sounds like midterm elections are a chance to really change things.
Grandpa: Are you listening to a god damn word of this? Out of 535 seats we'll be lucky to get ten new people.
Jimmy: But why?
Grandpa: Listen you little turd - The whole damn system is rotting from the inside. Washington's got us by the nut sack and they won't stop squeezing until we're singing soprano. Congressman?

I'm Incumbency Bob and have you heard the news?
The way the system works there ain't a way I can lose
My party, big business, special interest and me
Make a mockery of democracy

Jimmy: But can't people run against you?
Congressman: Well, they can try but I've got name recognition, soft money, hard money, pundits, politicos, mob ties and if those don't work I've got a department of dirty tricks.

Jimmy: Isn’t that illegal?
Congressman: Son, I make the law, and as long as I keep the pork money flowing it's smooth sailing. Why, just last week I attached a rider to a farm bill giving my district $50 million to rebuild the harbor front.
Jimmy: But aren't we land-locked?
Congressman: Yes we are.

Nothing's gonna keep me from renewing my term
Even dancing with a stripper, drunk and covered in sperm

To lose my job I'd have to die or take an intern's life
And in either case my seat would go to my wife

Jimmy: Holy christ, that's depressing.
Grandpa: Yep, and its all part of...

Midterm elections
There's really no need for 'em
Midterm elections
The voters just ignore 'em
So just remember this November that your vote will count
A very, very, very, very, very small amount.

Jimmy: Grandpa, can you take me back to my parents now?
Grandpa: Jimmy, I have some terrible news for you....

Friday, November 01, 2002

If you’ve never had the pleasure of trick-or-treating with a three-year-old who has more sass than she knows what to do with I highly recommend you put a reservation for one now so you don’t miss out next Halloween.

Last night I decided that it would be more beneficial to my fat ass to take the girls walking house to house rather than trying to waddle up and down the stairs, fighting three dogs in my wake to pass out candy. I got the girls ready in their costumes (Samabam being a mummy and the Bean being a leopard – Sam’s was easy; take a few rolls of Ace bandages, wrap, repeat. Bean’s was easier still – throw the furry costume over her coat.) In Minnesota we have a great costume selection with most things resembling snowsuits with ears and a tail attached. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what the kid is dressed as, but when an adult asks them, “And what are you for Halloween?” the stock answer is, “Warm”.

The girls were ready and we headed down the stairs…unfortunately, there had been some trick or treaters already and the dogs were pretty fired up and decided they’d shoot down the stairs with us, just in case we decided to take them along. Roughly 250 pounds of dogs bounding down the stairs meant that Bean was airborne – she bounced a few times but shook it off. I guess the multiple layers were enough to stop her from hurting herself. Samabam waddled down the stairs and I briefly thought she was mocking my walk until I realized I’d wrapped her too tight. As she stretched herself out to loosen the bandages, my handiwork slipped a bit around her butt, exposing “J. LO” in huge letters across her backside. Samabam has a little bubble butt, and the “J. LO” thing could have been a really funny joke – if Andy had any idea who Jennifer Lopez was or was familiar with her “attributes”.

First stop, naturally, was right next door where the new neighbors were moving in. Yes, we were being nosy Suburbanites, checking out who was going to be living next to us. I chatted a bit with the man of the house as he passed out candy to the girls, and Bean wrenched the door from his hand and started walking inside. Okay, so it was her first house in the ever-ever that she’d TorT’d at and she didn’t really know the drill but I explained it to her. She got the hang of it really quickly and started barking out orders to me, “Mom, we’re going DIS way now, to the PUNKIN house! Now we go DAT way with DOSE TIDS!” We went “that way” with “those kids” – “those kids” being a group of tweenies in makeshift costumes. Bean was standing on the stoop, looked up at one of the girls and said, “Hey…great costume!” clear as a bell.

She quickly realized that she was getting a lot more attention when she was being cute and chatty so she decided to do the three-year-old equivalent of “working the room”. A woman would walk past and Bean would say, “Hey, how are ya?” Someone would be walking a dog and she’d say, “A Halloween dog, I love it!” I swear, she was this close to doing the finger-gun “click click” thing and offering people a cocktail – it was very Vegas.

We visited the house of Samabam’s teacher from last year and chatted with her a bit, but Beanie would not be outdone. She interrupted once to ask the woman, “So, do you watch Monsters, Inc? I have the DVD.” I just know that in Bean’s little brain she was thinking, “Okay, ladies, this conversation is dying – I’d better spice things up a bit.” She’s a keen observer, indeed.

Nearly the last house we went to is known for really going all-out for Halloween. There are usually two dozen people dressed up in various scary costumes doing scenes in the yard – if I hadn’t have been prepared for it I swear I would have gone into labor right there, some were so scary. Beanie walked past a ghoul in a boat who was reeling in severed heads and said, “Oooh, fishy scary!” in this really condescending tone. Next up, “Hey, spider lady, you’re really spooky!” I think she was feeling a little cocky with herself until she saw that she was going to have to approach the Grim Reaper to get any candy. Her little hand clenched tight in mine and she tried to be cool but it wasn’t working. She stared at the guy and he hit some switch on his costume that made his face drip blood – Beanie screamed, “trickortreat – thankyou” in one breath and ran the hell away.

Her bravado was restored at the last house we visited where a little girl, Beanie’s age, toddled up to the door dressed in the lion version of Bean’s costume. The two girls stared each other down for a moment and Bean dropped my hand to walk over to her. I didn’t know what was about to go down but I wanted to see it. Bean got right in the little girls face, put her hands up in fists and screamed, “Rooooaaarrr!” She scared the hell out of the other little girl, who ran to her mother, and I swear I heard Bean laugh derisively. I’m sure she was thinking, “If you’re gonna wear the costume, sister, you’d better accessorize with the attitude to match if you’re coming into my 'hood after dark.”

Walking back home, with Bean strutting of course, I commented that a truck was coming towards us. I said to the girls, “Get into the grass, he’s driving way too quickly.” As the truck got to the side of us, Beanie shook her fist and screamed, “Idiots! Slow down!”

I really can’t imagine where on earth she gets her attitude from but I wouldn’t have missed that little display for the world.