Wednesday, December 31, 2003


Best movie I've seen this year: 24 Hour Party People

Sweetest movie I’ve seen this year: Secretary

Hottest movie I’ve seen this year: Unfaithful

Worst movie I've seen this year: Phone Booth. Hands down. Someone please explain to me the appeal of Colin Firth. Because I don't get it. And the thought of him playing Vermeer in a "serious" movie...well...

Best book I read this year (fiction): The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost is a very close second.

Best book I read this year (non fiction): Seabiscuit by Laura Hellenbrand. Honorable mention to On the Rez by Ian Frazier.

Best CDs I bought/was given this year: Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; Radiohead, Hail to the Thief; Randy Newman, Songbook Volume I; Beck, Sea Change.

TV Shows worth setting the VCR for: The OC, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, 24 (it still sucks, I still love it). It's been a leaner TV-watching year with the loss of HBO, the increased work load, the pregnancy and the demands of the baby. I don't watch much other than the above.

Proudest Moment: Definitely picking myself up off of my feet and starting my own business. I'm still very, very proud.

That's it for the list. Still not sure what we're doing to celebrate the new year -- I hope you all have a very safe holiday. Watch out for the amateurs on the highway.

See you in 2004!

Friday, December 26, 2003

Xmas Recap

Considering the rocky start on the morning of the 24th, amazingly enough, Christmas eve/day went really, really well.

Wednesday morning found me shuffling about the house in absolute misery and panic. Some kind of horrible depression took over me, I felt completely defeated in the face of the holiday, tired, worn out, overwhelmed. I was convinced I was going to screw the whole thing up and my kids would forever remember this as The Christmas Mom Wigged Out. Brian went ahead to the ranch and I started gathering things together to go as well. I had to pick the big boys up at their dad's house on the way out there, but the baby was with me.

Got the car loaded up, scooped up the baby and a couple of bags and headed out the door...where I promptly lost my footing and fell forward onto the concrete. Some kind of superhero parenting instinct kicked in and I managed to get my hand underneath the baby's head and keep it from slamming into the concrete. He was crying but mostly from the shock. I picked us up and dusted us off, went on over to the car where I promptly fell again, in much the same way, this time letting the baby pretty much fall into the grass. It was one of those slow motion falls where you can see it all happening and you are powerless to stop it. This fall really got me good, and I sat there for a minute, holding the baby, him crying, me crying, not sure if I could stand up, not a neighbor in sight. Finally pulled myself up off the ground and got the baby into the car seat, and myself into the driver's seat. I was in excruciating pain at this point, having pulled every groin muscle there is. Called the ex and told him I was on my way.

Pulling out of the development and onto the main road we drove a few blocks and then I saw, right in front of me, a dead tabby cat in the road. The markings looked very much like my cat Buda, and with a sickening feeling I pulled the car around and went back to check. Got out and crossed the road to have a look, and it was Buda, lying there. She must have just been hit. Her body was still warm. I was of course completely beside myself in tears. Some nice ladies pulled over and tried to help me out. I scooped her up in a dish towel and they lent me a plastic bag to put underneath her. I drove back home to get a box or something so I could carry her out to the ranch and buried her. Called Brian in tears on the cell phone. Pulled into the driveway, stepped out of the car and saw Buda's littermate coming up the drive. Neither she nor the dog had seemed particularly interested in this dead cat I was holding, which I thought was odd. Went inside to get a plastic bag and coming back out and around the car I looked down and saw...


Very much alive.

I looked at the dead cat in my arms, looked at Buda down there in the driveway, and felt like the world's biggest idiot.

So there I was, with a dead cat. I felt kind of sheepish taking her back to the side of the road (what must those nice ladies be thinking about me now?) but I didn't know what else to do with her. Left the poor cat there to be found, I hope, by her rightful owner, and drove up to pick up the boys.

At this point, it should be said, that the pain was so bad I could hardly see straight. The boys and I headed straight out for the ranch. We needed to stop for food and wrapping paper so I managed to get us to a grocery store where we proceeded to v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y shop for some basics to get us through the next couple of days. I was in complete agony. Somehow I managed to get us all through that ordeal, back to the car, stop for some fast food, and out to the ranch. Where I collapsed.

Brian took the boys out "tree hunting" and came back with a lovely cedar tree. It's nothing like a typical Chrismas tree, it's all light and air instead of dense and sturdy. And it looked beautiful with our lights and ornaments on it. I mostly sat and watched but couldn't bear to be so left out so I got up for a bit and did some tree trimming. Trimming the tree on Christmas Eve may be one of my favorite activities. Brian begged some food off of his aunt and we had a pretty meager meal of chicken and beans, but it was better than nothing. We hung up the stockings on the wood stove, left out some chocolate chip cookies and spiked egg nog for Santa (we know what Santa likes), and the kids went promptly to bed, no doubt with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads.

Maybe that's enough for one entry. I had less pain on Christmas day, and even less today. Everyone is still sick, I am still borderline depressed, but the boys had a fantastic Christmas, which was what really mattered most to me. They were very pleased with their presents, and didn't seem to feel remotely deprived, which was my greatest fear. And it was lovely to spend our first full Christmas out at the ranch, the first of many.

Happy Holidays to all of you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

My Brain Loves This Song

Years ago, when living in Wisconsin, I remember a comic strip -- I think it was in The Onion. It might have been a Zippy cartoon, maybe Matt Groenig, I'm just not sure. Anyway, the main character was going insane because his brain loved a particular song which he absolutely loathed. "My brain loves this song" became a sort of trademark phrase between me and my friends whenever a particularly loathsome piece of music would get stuck in our heads.

I think it's going on 5 days now of that motherfucking Blind Melon song which has reappeared in that Pepsi ad. My brain seriously loves that song. I may require a frontal lobotomy soon.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Code Orange

Don't you just love the whole "go on about your daily lives, don't worry about sitting in that football stadium/flying into LAX/visiting the tree in Rockefeller Center but BE VIGILANT." ???

Oh, OK. I'll keep an eye out for strange men with suitcases. Thanks for the tip, Tom Ridge.

My life pretty much feels like Code Orange right now. Keep it together, keep moving, try not to let the shit hit the fan. Try not to have a nervous breakdown. I have a laundry list of complaints and stressors and anxiety, none of which seem to be abating to any degree. If anything, it all seems to be getting worse and I feel positively paralyzed in the face of it.

Here's the thing: I'm 32 weeks pregnant with twins and dear readers, let me tell you, it is no picnic. I don't have the physical ability or stamina to do much other than feed myself and try to feed my kids. I feel piled on with business worries and moving worries and money worries and (God help me) Christmas worries and sick children worries not to mention my own borderline bronchitis/pneumonia/cough from hell which just won't go away. So some days I find myself sinking into a deep depression, the likes of which I haven't felt in over 6 years. I cry at the drop of a hat. I'm sleep deprived and sex deprived (doctor's orders) and rest deprived and financially deprived.

Other days I think, you know, it's really not so bad. I have a multitude of blessings. Of course I know this in my heart. But the self pity takes over pretty damn fast.

I really, really need some help in the form of a person who can come and just take over for me. And there is no help coming. The only available person out there is, of course, my mother. And quite honestly today I was thinking of calling her up. Things are THAT BAD. But I don't know.

I need a break, a Christmas miracle, SOMETHING, because Code Red is just around the corner.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Homeless Blog


What, exactly, have I been complaining about again?

Please forgive me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Aaaaah, Now That's More Like It

Nothing like a couple of glasses of Rioja to settle the nerves, I tell ya.

My dad's here visiting. It's always so much EASIER having my dad visit than my mom visit (duh). He just -- comes. And is. It's never a chore.

Javier is recovering pretty nicely from his surgery. For a kid who went under general anesthesia yesterday morning to have tubes inserted in his ears and a massive amount of tissue removed from behind his nose, I'm pretty well amazed at how cheerful he is. I can't say the same for the rest of us, I'm afraid. Brian and I snapped at each other -- a rare occurence -- over whether or not he should have put the baby down for a nap. Eli is feverish and a little bit off balance. And Jack takes every road block as an excuse to get angry and indignant and call me "rude." But the baby's doing great, and so is my dad.

We made it to the store to buy the turkey today. Tomorrow I'll roast the turkey, cook up some candied ginger carrots and bake a couple pans of cracklin' cornbread (with and without bacon) as my contribution to the feast (carrots and cornbread courtesy of The Silver Palate). Dad bought a bunch of wine to take with us as well. We're going to Brian's aunt's house out on the ranch which is why we have to provide the turkey -- she's a vegetarian, but luckily not a sanctimonious one, so we're allowed to bring meat into the house.

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Two Myringotomies and One Adenoidectomy Later...

Whew. Glad that's over. Javi's all hopped up on morphine and I'm going to go take a nap now.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I'm really, really sorry

Honestly, I realize that everything I write is incredibly, mind-numbingly boring. I'm not sure why, or how to fix it. Please bear with me.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Quiet weekend. I've got a cold and the baby is recovering from the nastiest case of conjunctivitis I've ever had the pleasure to deal with. You cannot begin to imagine the sheer volume of crap that was coming out of this kid's eyes. Seems to be mostly cleared up today, thank GOD. Because I was about ready to give him away. We rented Sweet and Lowdown and Rabbit-Proof Fence two nights ago. Brian's rental place has a 2-for-1 deal so we are always compelled to get 2 dvd's, which of course then forces us to watch two movies. Shouldn't be that hard to do, but when you're sick and busy with work and have a baby to take care of it can be tough. But anyway, we managed. Both movies are winners. Rabbit-Proof Fence made me cry. And has another awesome soundtrack by Peter Gabriel, whose soundtrack for The Last Temptation of Christ just blows me away.

I've been sucking down the zinc lozenges trying to nip this thing in the bud, and working in the odd intervals when the baby is taking a nap. Feeling pretty ragged. Looking forward to next week being over. The combination of surgery, visiting parent and major holiday is just a bit more than I feel like taking on. No choice, though.

This morning we were watching the second movie and had all the windows open in the house. I was ROASTING upstairs, positively burning up. Finished the movie, came down to the study to work, and suddenly a cold front came through. The shift was instantaneous and shocking. Temperature must have dropped 20 degrees in about 5 minutes. Ran around closing all the windows. They're talking about temperatures dropping below freezing tomorrow morning. We'll see. Time to dig out the winter stuff, I guess!

Monday, November 17, 2003


Spent the weekend at the ranch -- our longest stay there, Friday evening through Sunday evening. Brian got the lovely blue lights hung up in the kitchen and wired the telephone lines into the back room for a study, fixed the toilet in our bathroom and I'm sure did countless other things I'm leaving out. I now have a business and fax line up there, which is good. Close quarters in that house -- Eli especially was getting on everyone's nerves, and the kids just seemed to be more on top of each other and cranky. Every time Brian took them outside he said they became instantly better behaved. I was too tired to do much of anything, I'm afraid, taking 2 big naps while he rescued me by taking the children away. I hardly even stepped out of the house the whole time we were there. Did manage to get food on the table, clean up, change diapers and other housewife-y things, though, so I wasn't completely useless.

Friday was Brian's birthday so we had the celebration at the ranch -- our first time entertaining in the new house, which is of course not nearly ready for such a thing, but whatever. Unfortunately we were late (!), so I had to scramble madly to prepare food and wrap presents when we arrived, but it all turned out OK. I got a bunch of takeout food and of course cake from Central Market, and bought a bottle of cognac which went over quite well. It would have been nice to change into something more decent as I was walking around in jeans and a dirty sweatshirt...Happy Birthday, Brian.

The scorpions seem to have retreated quite dramatically, my theory is that our active presence in the house scares them away. At least I hope so. I took my first shower in the house. It's still a buggy place, but not nearly as bad as it was when we first started going up there and cleaning the place up.

This week we start work on the new account, probably on Wednesday. Next week Javier is getting surgery (ear tubes) AND my dad is coming AND it's Thanksgiving. The fun never stops around here. I guess I'd have to say I'm less weary/less depressed today. But still tired in a physical sense.

I'm reading Fragrant Harbor by John Lanchester and loving it. It's about Hong Kong.

Thursday, November 13, 2003


Low level anxiety and depression hovering in me, around me. My own personal rain cloud. The pregnancy overwhelms me with fatigue, sending me down for naps every day. The unrelenting pressure of these babies pressing down mirrors the unrelenting pressure of Things I Need To Do Before The Babies Arrive. The Ranch House is equal parts charming and horrifying -- a sweet house with wood floors and pretty views, out in the country, surrounded by goats and chickens, cozy, ours, but also full of mold and termites and scorpions, not nearly big enough for us and all our stuff, a monumental task to make it liveable and workable. No cable, so T1 will be installed, which is great but pricey. No dishwasher. No oven. Inadequate lighting. Peeling paint. Plumbing that isn't quite sound. Propane rather than gas so all appliances must be converted. Furniture that needs to be removed. Furniture that needs to be moved in. The house is far enough from town to make my necessary daily commute to pick up work and bring kids to and from school a cumbersome chore.

And here I sit in a house that is closer to town, big enough, wired, relatively bug-free, and impossible to sell. Not that I really WANT to live here. We're right in the middle of a subdivision that sets my teeth on edge with my neighbors and their obsessively manicured lawns, their colorful seasonal flags, their candle parties. The house is cheaply made, the mortgage payments outrageous. But it's mine, and it's functional, and I'm already in it, and my feeling of inertia gets stronger with each passing day of pregnancy. I feel weary. And it all seems very unfair, although I can't figure out exactly why.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Like I Was Saying

>>Wednesday, November 5

Hooray for you. In fact, your faith in yourself as an active, viable, contributing member of the team should be higher than usual thanks to the Sun's happy alliance with Saturn. Moreover, your faith in your ability to achieve a professional, social or economic goal should be right up there as well, and deservedly so.
Today's star rating: *** 1/2

(from Swoon)

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Pinch Me

All my life, I've worked this job and that. Lots of "administrative assistant" positions, which is office-speak for "girl-who-does-everything-and-gets-paid-crap-and-called-'girl'", sales positions, front office positions, that sort of thing. The truth is, I've been lucky (and choosy) about where I've worked -- lots of non-profits, medical clinics, friendly, smallish staffed places. A couple of times I've found myself in Corporate America with a Big C (I did a fairly long stint at the headquarters of a national women's clothing chain), and in the "IT" sector (I spent a VERY brief time working for a company that sold medical software), but mostly it's been economic development, outpatient alcohol treatment, that sort of thing. Still, as wonderful as the people were where I worked, and as progressive the workplace, I still was doing work that was less than challenging for pay that was less than rewarding. I wanted so desperately to be able to call the shots -- to run my own business, not punch a clock, not have to worry about showing up at 8 on the dot somewhere, not have to deal with office parties and gossip and waiting in line for the xerox machine and all the other banalities that awaited me out there in office land. And I wanted to do something interesting and fun, and get paid well for it. I had a college degree, I was smart and capable, I just never had been able to figure out what it was I wanted to be when I grew up. And I was all grown up already.

When we moved to Texas in September of 2001, the bottom was rapidly dropping out of the economy. There were no jobs here in office land, IT land, Corporate land, anywhere. I did my share of substitute teaching, but hated it. I tried to get into the State program to become a public school teacher but the bureaucracy kept rearing its ugly head. In spite of my stellar, well-rounded college degree, I went to the kind of school where I didn't have to declare a major and wasn't required to take physics, and trying to explain all of that to the Texas State Education Department proved to be too much of a hassle. Plus, I was increasingly afraid, after months of substitute teaching in the schools of Texas, that I would be one of those teacher burnouts. The whole atmosphere of the public schools here scared me. So, I kept looking, and waiting, and hoping, and not working. I tried VERY hard to get a job as a systems analyst trainee at the University of Texas -- passed their entrance exam with flying colors. But the program is highly competitive. Pair that with a hiring freeze, and you have a series of interviews that led nowhere.

Finally, in March, a break came in the form of a job doing medical transcription. I love typing, I love words, I love medical information, and I had experience. I got the job. I pretty quickly realized I was working for a less than stable woman in a less than stable environment, but I kept showing up and doing the work and getting paid and trying to keep my head down. Then, in August, the shit hit the fan. Unstable lady finally got around to screwing me over and I had to quit. There are a lot of details here that I'm leaving out, but trust me, it was ugly. And she still owes me money, but I have no way of getting it except to take her to court, which I am entirely unwilling to do.

So there I was again, no work, no prospects for work, 3 months pregnant, on my ass. I spent about 2 weeks licking my wounds and freaking out. Taking a deep breath, and with lots of outside encouragement, I decided to just go for it and market myself. I went after every doctor in town, including the accounts I'd been working on since March. I made 700 postcards, printed labels, affixed stamps, mailed and prayed. I also took a day to go door to door to all the doctors whose accounts I had already worked on. On my very first day of meeting and greeting I heard back within 15 minutes from a doctor. Did a trial week that week, and he signed me up 2 weeks later. I was on my way. A couple of weeks after that I got a call from an OB/Gyn looking to outsource their transcription. It was a small account, but I picked it up gladly. I now had two clients, a fax machine, some work to do...but I was getting increasingly nervous. These two clients were not going to sustain me, I needed to triple my business in order to stay afloat. I was just a few months away from delivering twins and watching my bank account dwindle away. I cringed every time I swiped the debit card at the gas pump or the grocery store, every time I wrote a check for the baby to see the doctor or fill a prescription. I was, in short, terrified.

Two weeks ago I heard that the previous boss was messing up her work for one of her biggest accounts. I knew she was behind on her work, and guessed that things were far worse than just a bad turn-around time. I headed back to that clinic with a bag of candy and a note, and was greeted warmly by the office manager. Another transcriptionist, who had also worked on this account (and also been burned by the crazy lady), had agreed to join forces with me and we were presenting ourselves as a team. Last week we got a call asking to do a trial run, which we did.

And today, I got the following email:


I just wanted to touch base with & let you know that (Doctor N) was very pleased with your work. I will be giving a two week notice to (Your Crazy Former Employer) tomorrow & depending on her response we will go from there. I will keep you posted & look forward to working with both you & (Transcriptionist K)."

So, like I said, pinch me.

I'm about to be earning more than I have EVER earned in my life, doing what I like to do, from home, on my own schedule and on my own terms. I'm not saying all of this to brag. I guess I just can hardly believe that it's finally happening, that I managed to make it happen, that I've actually reached this goal. Because, believe me, I've spent YEARS with this goal in sight and have never, ever come remotely close. And now, in a matter of just a couple of months, it's all here.

I'm also not saying that all I ever want to do for the rest of my life is type medical transcription from home in my bathrobe. Because it's probably not true. I want to write, I want to do more photography, I'd like to be more involved in community service, and who knows what all else. But for now, it's more than enough to keep me happy.

So go on, pinch me.

Friday, October 24, 2003


My mom just left after a week-long visit so I'm in full recovery/detox mode. I don't really want to talk about it.

We got to see the twins on the ultrasound on Tuesday and they look absolutely gorgeous, healthy and happy in there. It was clear this time (unlike last time) that each girl has her own separate sac, so the "identical" assumption could be wrong, but the gender is pretty obvious. Two girls for sure. I hope they're identical, because how goddamn cute would that be, but chances are just as good that they will be non-identical. We'll see. The midwife is on board for a homebirth provided there is another midwife present to help out, and that we go full term (she's looking into exactly what "full term" is when you're talking about twins). The first baby has to be head down delivery, but that's the only real restriction, and it's the usual presentation, so I'm not worried about it. I guess it's pretty easy to turn the second baby after the first one is out, and it's also usually pretty easy to deliver a breech twin, since they are often on the smallish side. Reading about twins, now, and getting excited for girls...

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Giant Gobs of Pus

Note to self: do not watch the Red Sox on TV. When you watch them, they lose. When you don't, they win. The World Series rests on your shoulders, self.

I'm late to weigh in on it all, but seeing Zimmer charge Martinez, and then watching him go down like a sack of potatoes was just, well, funny. What a bozo.

I thought the baby had the chicken pox but it turned out to just be viral. This kid has been sick and on some sort of antibiotic for a month now. And I don't do antibiotics, generally speaking. Monday it all reached a new low (or high) when I was called back to day care to pick up my VERY sick kid who was running a very high temperature. I nursed him all day long at home (not in the breastfeeding sense of the word, more in the Nightingale sense of the word). Tuesday morning I brought him in to the doc and he was given a super-duper shot of yet another antibiotic. She looked in his ears and said she couldn't distinguish anything in there -- it looked just like two giant gobs of pus. Nice, huh? I thought you'd like that. He looked like he had two black eyes from the conjunctivits that was going on, too. And there was a weird rash on his face (hence my false chicken pox diagnosis). He's mostly all better and is going back to day care tomorrow, but we're off to see the ENT next week and I dread the tubes discussion. I really, really, really, really don't want to do the tubes. But we may have no choice. I just hope that the audiologist doesn't find anything seriously wrong with his hearing. Poor kid.

My mother is coming tomorrow. Pray for all our souls. She is threatening, once again, to move to Austin. So, once again, I will have to tell her no. It's an excruciating dance, this push-me-pull-you thing we have going. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. I love her, really. But I love her more in Massachusetts.

Still waiting for another peek at Baby A and Baby B. We had to cancel the ultrasound this week due to the baby being sick. Hopefully we can go next Tuesday and bring my mom along.

I have client #2! This client represents a teeny tiny amount of money per month, but that's OK. Her business will grow, I think, and the more clients the merrier. And I get to type oophorectomy a lot. Which is just plain fun. OK, yeah, I'm a word geek.

I've been eating better since last week, I swear. I'm trying to eat lots of small meals every day, and making sure I get more than enough protein. Apparently, one of the secrets to making sure that twins are fully cooked is protein. The other is rest. Lots of rest just might not be in the cards for me...but I can definitely do the protein thing. I do NOT want to go early, I do NOT want to go to the hospital, I want to do this at home. So I'm making every effort. Still, I'm going to have to go down to DSS next week and apply for Medicaid. There's definitely a higher likelihood that I will end up in the hospital, and if I do, I want to be covered. This whole uninsured thing really, royally, sucks.

Thursday, October 09, 2003


When pregnant, especially with twins, it is very important to eat lots of protein and leafy green vegetables, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and drink 5000 gallons of water a day.

Today, so far, I have eaten four Krispy Kreme doughnuts, had 1 1/2 cups of coffee and a glass of water.

I'm doing it for the twins.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The Goods

I love presents. Brian's mother sent me birthday money so I could go out and buy some boots. I promptly (after finishing all of my work, that is) headed for Nordstrom's and fell upon this pair of Franco Sartos:

Style name is "Rachel." Rachel happens to be one of my top choices for girl names, I might add.

Then it was time for dinner at the fabulous Habana (previously mentioned here).

At dinner, I opened my present from Brian, which turned out to be some very chic salt and pepper mills from Williams-Sonoma, they don't show them on their website, but I assure you they are exquisite.

Jack picked out some pear-scented votive candles for me and Eli gave me a lovely rose (Brian brought me orchids AND lilies on Monday night as well). Fleurs!

All in all, a good birthday. Of course, there was the box from my mother filled with strange plastic vases wrapped in newspaper and a drab olive green shirt. Plus a copy of The Three Little Pigs, which I have to assume is for my children, but was just stuffed into my birthday box for economical reasons. Oh, and there was a clipped recipe in there as well. It could be said that my mother doesn't exactly have a flare for gift giving. I did get a lovely email from an old friend of mine, calls from 3 of my 4 sisters (one of whom moved to California a MONTH ago and did not tell me, this is how lame we have been at communicating). My dad called me first thing this morning, and my mom called this evening, so I'm feeling pretty well remembered and gifted today.

I hope Jesse and Jesse got some good presents too!

Happy Birthday, Jesse and Jesse

Jesse Jackson is one of the few famous people who shares my birthday*. I also happen to have met him, and mentioned our shared birthday to him, which prompted him to kiss me on the cheek. Actually, I suspect he kisses a lot of the ladies on the cheek. He's that kind of guy. Dapper, debonair, smooth, very tall...just a little too much of all of that. Happy Birthday to you, Jesse, I believe you are 62 today.

I went to high school with Jesse M. He was a year older than me, and hailed from Kentucky. He had a dreamy accent, was thin and willowy and wry, made plaid shirts and jeans look romantic, and had a poetic talent which he kept mostly hidden. His father was a moderately well-known novelist. He was friendly with me, and I was of course madly in love with him, and followed him around like a lost kitten, watching in agony as he embarked on a series of relationships with other girls. Every year on our birthday we would give each other a carton of Camel Lights. Isn't that romantic? Happy Birthday to you, too, Jesse M. And thanks for letting me follow you around like that.


Friday, October 03, 2003

A + B = 2

Yes, that's right. Say hello to Baby A and Baby B.*

Identical. Twin. Girls.

I'm going to go pass out now.

*Yes, I realize they both say "Baby A" but that's because the sono technician messed up. If you look at the picture on the right, you'll see "Baby B" printed directly on the image, just over the baby.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Thanks, Mom

So I finally told my mother. Her response? First thing out of her mouth was, "Oh, I'm so sorry." Like someone just died. And she topped off the conversation with, "Well, I hope after this you get your tubes tied."


Thanks, Mom.

Maybe I'll get a sympathy card when the blessed event actually takes place.

So tomorrow is the big ultrasound day. I'll be sure to ingest lots of caffeine and sugar to get this baby moving. I want to see what's between those little legs. Jack is quite sure it's a girl, and will be very disappointed if it is another boy. I'll be all right, no matter what, but I'm crossing my fingers...

And, in sports news...

King Kaufman stole my headline today, which was going to be "Rush Limbaugh Really Is a Big Fat Idiot." I don't really have time to watch football much these days, and of course most of the football to be watched is on Fox and CBS, not ESPN, but I was truly, truly horrified when they hired that fat fuck, and I'm more than happy to see him go. ESPN has no semblance of dignity or good taste, in spite of their consistently brilliant advertising campaign. Things just haven't been the same since Keith and Dan broke up, anyway.

Gender update tomorrow! Take your best guess now...all will be revealed tomorrow afternoon.

Monday, September 29, 2003


Again, with the deleted post. I'm too tired to write it all over again. Here are the bullet points:

* Brian's mother and grandmother pleased about baby. Marriage pressure is on. I am (for now) resisting pressure.
* Houston was fun but too brief.
* Headaches continued through the weekend but seem for now to be gone...
* Brian thought I broke up with him in the middle of the night. Had to clear that up in the morning. First time I ever broke up with someone accidentally.
* Never traveling with the dogs again unless on a camping trip. Next time they go to the kennel or we get a dog sitter or I am not going.
* Dinner Saturday night at Fonda San Miguel. Ceviche, conchinita pibil, mangos, margarita. Yes.
* Watched Secretary last night. Sweeter than expected.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Revenge of the Sinuses

I don't know what I ever did to them, but apparently they want me to go slowly and quietly crazy, like what's-her-name in Gaslight. In the morning I wake up feeling fine, then around 9:30 the headache starts creeping up on me, and by 10 it's a full blown throbbing affair that can't be appeased. Especially considering, as a pregnant person, I'm not allowed to take much more than Tylenol. Fun. By 4 or 5 p.m. it's mostly gone and I go to bed that night having forgotten about the whole nasty business, wake up feeling fine...and then...

This has been going on for five days, like clockwork, and I'm really not a happy camper. But hey, I'm employed. No, I'm a BUSINESS OWNER. So what's a little headache, really.

The in-laws are here, if you can call them that. Brian's mother and stepfather have arrived from California. They STILL don't know that we're having a baby, but I can assure you they're about to find out. At almost 20 weeks there's really no disguising the fact. I hope they aren't horrified, or something.

OH! And! And! We went to the midwife yesterday for the requisite pointless visit in which she listens to the heartbeat, takes my vitals, measures my belly, blah blah blah, but THEN she mentioned that she knows someone training to be an ultrasound tech who is doing ultrasounds for free! So we will be able to find out whether this is an XX or an XY after all. Probably next week! Stay tuned. I know everyone is supposed to say, "well, just as long as it's healthy." But really, who am I kidding. After 3 boys in a row we all know what I'm hoping for.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

I got the account. The contract is signed. You cannot imagine the relief I feel.


Thursday, September 18, 2003

I Give Up

Crazy day -- I've got someone breathing down my neck in a mildly threatening way, someone who, in spite of having completely screwed me over, has the balls to be pissed off and indignant at ME even though I haven't done anything wrong. I still haven't closed the deal with the potential client. I spent the entire day waiting for a fax that never came. I'm all wound up. So, I figure, dinner out is in order. We all need a trip to the Shady Grove, right? Chicken fried steak, RIGHT? What could possibly go wrong?

Jack had a melt down before we even got started, something to do with Sprite and his menu and whatever. He refused to order and started throwing things. Brian scooped him up and out of there just as the salad was arriving, leaving me with Eli and Javi. They were gone for what seemed like 20 minutes or so -- I finished my salad, the steak came, the baby fussed a bit, Eli picked at his sandwich. When they finally got back, Jack was in the same exact mood he'd been in when he left. So I took him outside, we sat down and talked it out. He was finally feeling ready to come in to the restaurant and sit down and order soon as we get back, Brian's getting up to leave. It's Thursday night -- he works Thursday nights. This had somehow escaped us both until that very moment, when he was already 1/2 hour late. So off goes Brian. I am now alone in a restaurant with 3 kids and it's late. I try to eat. Eli is done. We are waiting for the burger. The baby is letting out piercing shrieks, tropical bird style, and getting lots of irritated looks. My attempts to stuff things in his mouth and shut him up are thwarted. Shriek. Shriek. Burger comes, but it's time to go. We ask for the check and a to go box. Both come. I open my wallet to debit card. No cash. No checks. Nothing. So now I'm on the brink of tears. The waitress is a peach and says don't worry about it, and the manager comes over and says the same thing, so I'm feeling better about life if a little worried about my debit card. I pick up the baby and discover the reason for the shrieking. The reason is now all over my hand, wrist, sleeve. I put the whole mess of him in the stroller. Wipe my hand with the second-to-last remaining wipe. We head out into the night. I practically throw myself on a woman in the parking lot with a baby and a diaper bag, and she gives me all of her wipes. Set up a changing station in the van. I have no diaper. So I hose him off, throw all the dirty clothes/towels/etc. into a pile, and wrap a cloth diaper around him and pull his pants up. Of course, he was soaked by the time he got home, but I managed to clean him off pretty well, get him into a REAL diaper and up to bed. Read the boys a story and tucked them in. And now it's time to fall into bed myself and then get up in the morning and do it all over again.

I just want a normal freakin' life. I want a job I can depend on. I want to live, all of us, together, in one house, in one centralized location. I want school and work and life and home to all be within something like a 7-10 mile radius. I want one day to go by, just one, where I feel calm and happy and capable and OK from the beginning to the end. I don't need to be ecstatic or anything, just OK. OK for a day. I want my kids to do the same -- to make it through a day without the sudden and unexpected outbursts of anger or frustration or whatever it is. I want the dog to stop scratching. I want my carpets vacuumed. I want time in the morning to get up and take a shower and get dressed and make coffee and eat a normal breakfast and get my kids up and fed and out the door without it being a huge ordeal.

I'm tired.

And sorry. I don't usually do the journal/rant thing, but there it is. I have nothing else to say right now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003


A stomach virus has been making its way through my family. Brian is the latest victim. He's home in bed, hopefully sleeping it off. And Javi, who is still taking antibiotics from his most recent ear infection, seems to have developed another one, or else the first one never really went away. Joy. So we're off to the doctor this morning.

I have a headache and I'm panicking about my new client, who has just completed a trial week with me and is "thinking it over." This might not be good. I've fully equipped my home office in preparation for this work, so if he doesn't sign up with me I'm in serious trouble. But whatever happens -- I'm going to try to make this whole thing work. If I don't get his account, I'll get someone else, hopefully soon. Keep your fingers crossed.

Rolling Stones on the radio, autumn in the's cooling down in Central Texas. Now we have days that are "just" in the 80s. Like my friend said the other day, fall is the true renewal season -- it's good for fresh starts. Plus, I get to wear sweaters again. In a couple of months.

Friday, September 12, 2003


That's right kids, I'm not good enough for BAGGING GROCERIES.

But never mind. I've got bigger and better things happening, anyway. I am now officially a business owner with my very first paying client. I'll need a few more to really make this work, but life is looking pretty good right now.

Sunday, September 07, 2003


Wrote a whole post about stress and jasmine and dog bites and the baby but now it's gone. You can make up your own story. It has a happy ending.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

What could possibly be a better headline than "Cameron Diaz Breaks Nose in Surfing Accident"?

My day is already complete. I don't even need to read the story.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Here's what's going right:

I am loved.

I'm healthy, my kids are healthy, Brian is healthy, my mother is doing just fine after her pacemaker implant and angiogram.*

I'm not going hungry. I don't have much cash for food right now, but I'm eating, the kids are eating, we all seem to be getting fed.

I have a roof over my head, the gas and electric and water bills have been paid, I have clothing as do my children.

The amazing director of the new child care is pretty much going on absolute faith that someday, very soon, I will be able to pay.

Don't tell anyone, but I am currently enjoying pirated cable.

There seem to be more jobs available right now than there have been since I moved here in 09/01. The market feels healthier. This is not to say that I will find a job, especially in my current state of round tumminess, but still.

*Healthy is a relative term. But I basically mean, you know, not dying tomorrow from any diseases. That we know of.

I've been here before, and it's not a fun place to be. And there is no question that I spend the better part of many days beating myself up for not having a career/savings account full of cash/better plan/sugar daddy (just kidding on that last one). To be in this position is one thing, but to be in this position when there are children who depend on you, that is quite another. And it sucks. It can even be paralyzing some days. But of course paralysis only prolongs the problem, so I'm mostly managing to push through that numb, stunned experience and into action. I'd so much rather be eating potato chips and watching Rickie Lake than dealing with anything remotely like job hunting or house cleaning or my life in general. And some days that's pretty much what I do. But today I cleaned the kitchen and did some laundry and looked at the (horrible! lame! low paying! shitty!) job listings on line, and ate some eggs, and took care of my sick-ish baby, and got through it. Tonight I will indulge in more television, because right now television, as long as I'm careful not to overuse it, is saving my ass.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

I Suck and That's Sad

you suck, and that's sad
you are the "you suck, and that's sad"
happy bunny. your truthful, but can be a bit

which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

When in doubt, go to Quizilla.

I could tell you about the 5 stunned minutes I spent in the toothpaste section, staring at the vast array of possibilities, and saying to myself, "Crest? Colgate? Which toothpaste do I use?"

When I was a child we always used Crest. Just like we always bought Palmolive, and we always had Pepperidge Farm bread and Land O' Lakes butter and Hood milk. But, I'm thinking to myself, somewhere along the line I might have switched. It might even have been recently. Did I switch to Colgate? Did I do that for Brian? Or do I now prefer Colgate? I just don't know. Maybe I'm just imagining this, and it's really still Crest. But which one? There are so many options. Would it be the one with Scope? The special tartar removing Crest? Hmmm. No, there's something about the Crest packaging that just doesn't seem right. It must be Colgate. But wait, don't I prefer Crest? Have I been buying Colgate as some sort of concession? Shit, what should I do?

I could tell you that story, like I said, but that would be too original and possibly entertaining. So I give you the quiz instead.

By the way, I had switched to Colgate at some point, I'm still not sure when, but I came home with the Crest with Scope. And I'm not sorry. Although I guess I kind of miss the nifty Colgate flip top. But really, no, it always got clogged and nasty.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Happy Blogiversary to Me

It's been one year.

In other news, my mother is in the hospital after having a heart "event" and is now getting a pacemaker installed. It should be done by now, actually. She's had heart problems for years, and had major surgery about 10 years ago to have her aortic valve replaced. This is actually nothing compared to that surgery, which was just plain terrifying to wait through and the recovery was pretty rough. Still, she's 72 years old and starting to actually seem it, which is sobering.

Oh, and I quit my job after the business blew up financially and I was lied to. But hey, it was only the first decent job I've been able to land since arriving in this town in September '01. No big deal.

So, right now, my life pretty much sucks. I'm job hunting, and penniless, and pretty fucking depressed.

OK, but focusing on the positive. We spent last weekend at the ranch and it was entirely livable. When everyone sits down at the table for a lovely meal of pasta with a chicken and artichoke heart sauce, fresh herb salad and some wine, I declare a place livable. I think we're going back this weekend.

And yesterday we went to the midwife and heard that whoosh-whoosh that is the heartbeat. So. That was delightful and made me feel a little bit woozy. Baby! Only 6 more months...

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


I'm pregnant. Don't ask me to collect my thoughts any better than this.

I'm on the cusp of the first trimester, about to head into Phase II, and the official "what are we going to name the baby" conversations have begun. Holy shit, I'm having a baby. I'm going to be the mother of FOUR. Someone please tell Brian that Rupert is a terrible name. Because I'm tired of telling him myself.

I'm prouder than proud to be an Episcopalian right now. Although every time they said "first gay bishop" on the radio I have to shout out "openly! openly!" Because, God knows (and plenty of other people too), that Gene is not the first gay bishop. Some of us, wink wink, may even have been confirmed by a *gasp*gay bishop.

Flash mobs: your 15 minutes are up. Playing duck duck goose and walking around like Mary Poppins? OK. I guess I'm too old for flash mobs. And, plus, I didn't get invited. Not that I'm jealous or anything. Not that I would have time to go downtown with a black umbrella and walk around like Mary Poppins. I'm all grown up now, I have a job and stuff. So I DON'T CARE that I didn't get an email, OK?

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Enormous Changes at the Last Minute

But first an earring update: found, just a couple hours ago, on the living room floor. Praise Jesus. I'm going to have the things surgically attached to my ear lobes. Thanks for any and all prayers/dancing/spiritual practices.


* The house is going on the market (please God let it sell).
* Jack is starting kindergarten in his dad's neighborhood - a friendly urban mostly Hispanic school with questionable test scores but certainly more culture than the horrid suburban block of concrete that sits 5 miles to my north.
* The 2 little ones are moving to a new day care across the street from my work.
* We are moving to a very small house on a very big ranch where scorpions inhabit the bathtubs and goats wander around in the back yard. we're talking cacti and vegetable gardens and dirt roads and creek beds -- and no guest room for my mother to stay in. Too bad. Heheh.
* Javi, my little baby, is crawling and eating cheerios and has 4 teeth and just slays me with his grins.
* I am just a couple weeks away from being undeniably visibly pregnant.

I'm having moving anxiety. As in, what am I going to do with all my stuff, what am I going to be able to take with me, how am I going to be able to fit my clothes in that tiny fucking closet, how is it that no matter how much I pare down I still, always, seem to have more stuff than space...And I hate moving. I really loathe it. I've rarely spent more than 2 years in any single place, especially as an adult, but even as a child, and I'm tired of it. I don't like packing, I don't like loading things on and off trucks, I don't like all the cleaning and the sorting and the unpacking and the dust and the heat and the lifting and the stress, and it always seems to happen in August or September, the hottest time of year. And. This move means getting out from under a mortgage I can't afford, and away from a house in a community I don't particularly like, but I'm losing the only house I ever owned (if you can call it that), and with that I feel like I'm losing some of my independence. Don't get me wrong, this move is saving my ass, the house on the ranch is really sweet, being able to live out there means being able to actually pay my bills and even (gasp) save money and possibly (gasp) be able to afford things like health insurance and car repairs. For all of that I am truly grateful. And to be able to finally share a home with Brian -- I'm excited. Certainly nervous. But excited. It just feels a little bit like a step down, too. I'm losing all the money I ever had saved up by selling this house now. And I'm losing some serious storage space, too.

Hopefully I'll have my digital camera working soon. Today I wanted to snap a picture of the truck in front of me sporting "Get off My Ass" and "Bite Me" stickers on either side of its rear window. Sort of hard to choose between those two options. And then there was the guy driving north on I 35 in rush hour traffic this morning, center lane, going maybe 59 mph, with "go ahead and honk" and "keep honking" stickers on the back of his car. I shake my head in wonderment. So, someday hopefully soon the camera will be up and running again and I can share the wonderful stickers of the greater Austin area with you, as well as pictures of the ranch.

Since your earring prayers were so successful, I'd appreciate some incense burning/chanting/peyote eating/speaking in tongues on behalf of this house selling. Thanks again, you guys are the best.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Pirates and Missing Treasure

Finally, a movie worth seeing in the movie theater. And on a nice, big screen, too. Johnny Depp is delightful, and remains among my favorite actors (along with Sean Penn) of his/my generation. The dialogue is funny, the sets are beautiful, the whole thing is marvelously coherent, which used to be something you take for granted in a movie but now seems to be a rare and notable exception, at least in a big budget Hollywood production. It's produced by Disney (gah) so it's extremely "clean" which, I'm almost embarrassed to admit, I sort of appreciated. Now the previews for Peter Pan, on the other hand, were positively terrifying. I'll be skipping that one. In fact, there wasn't one single enticing trailer, even though we sat through at least 5.

The baby is spending the night for the first time at his dad's house...I slept until 9:30 this morning. I can't remember the last time I slept past 7. Lovely. Hopefully all is well for my little guy. I'll pick him up this afternoon.

Yesterday was Polly's birthday and I wanted very much to post a picture of her, but my scanner just wouldn't work for me. My BRAND NEW scanner. She would have been 57. Last night at the restaurant I suddenly realize that I'm missing an earring. Polly had diamond stud earrings made for Airin, Alex and me, and a ring made from the center stone of a pin that was her mother's for Katherine as gifts to be given on the eve of K's wedding two summers ago. She brought the stones to the jeweler the day before she went into the hospital. I'm hoping it's at home somewhere (I'm at Brian's). If it's lost forever I will be absolutely despondent. So if you're reading say a little prayer/do a little dance/insert your spiritual practice here for me to be reunited with my missing earring.


Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Bill Mueller, My New Hero

Yeah, it's good to be from Boston, home of the Red Sox and player extraordinaire Bill Mueller. I sorely miss going to the games. My friend Joe has weeknight tickets and spoiled me to death one year taking me on an almost a weekly basis to the park. There's just something about coming up the steps and seeing that wide, bright stretch of technicolor green grass under a black sky. The guys would be out on the field throwing the ball around, warming up. And you would settle into your plastic seat with a pencil and a scorecard for a nice long night of pitches and hits, strikeouts and runs...nothing like it.

I'm far from home now, and I don't have cable, so I admit I'm not really paying attention to baseball, but Bill Mueller's history-making grand slams from both sides of the plate, and against the Texas Rangers no less, sure did catch my attention. Even though I hadn't heard of him before. Because, like I said, I haven't been paying attention. Apparently we are only 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. Where have I BEEN? I am a bad, bad fan. But a happy fan.

Go Sox!

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Poetic License

I've been running into a whole smorgasbord of humorous poetry lately, too humorous not to share.

First there was Karen Zipdrive of Pulp Friction with Bush Writes Haiku:

I am so tired
I think I'll call Jenna up
to score me some crank

And then we had Sarah B from Que Sera Sera, with Happy Birthday Poems for an Ex Boyfriend:

Happy Birthday!
Do I want to hear another song you wrote on the guitar?
For the love of God

And then Jodi sent me these links to Dan's Aborted Limericks:

When making banana cream pie
You need neither to broil nor to fry
But remember you must
That the secret to crust
Is to add enough butter to make it nice and flaky

And still MORE aborted limericks:

A butterfly out on a branch
Caused an awfully big avalanche
Just by flapping his wings
He set motion to things
And that's how simple people explain chaos theory

I believe some POETIC COMMENTING is in order.

Monday, July 28, 2003

It's a Thin Line

There is one topic in particular which is decidedly off limits on this blog, laundry I'm unwilling to air publicly, but when things are happening in that department I find myself unable to switch gears and write about something else. And so it's been almost a week.

I can tell you, however, that I attended a party on Friday night with a Love/Hate theme, and came appropriately accessorized:

(it is very difficult to write upside down in Sharpie with your non-dominant hand, but I think I did an OK job)

You can just barely make out the ghastly necklace given to me one mother's day with birthstone charms (synthetic of course) of my two oldest children. It's just about the worst piece of jewelry anyone could possibly give me, and until Friday it had never seen the light of day. But this was a love/hate party, and we were instructed to dress appropriately. Jodi will be pleased to know that I wore my little black dress (with a lot of belly, I might add, showing through) and strappy shoes to counterbalance the necklace. I also brought succotash, because I love lima beans, but I know there are many of you out there who find lima beans revolting. (Little known fact: lima beans are full of cyanide! What's not to love?) Food featured at the party included anchovy pizza, sardines, rhubarb soup, black licorice, goat cheese, pate, brussels sprouts and vegemite. Brian mixed dirty martinis, we all wore nametags and there was some karaoke singing and truth or dare Jenga. AND I left the kids at home with a sitter and came home to find my kitchen cleaned (including succotash dishes), the high chair completely cleared of Cheerios, the stovetop scrubbed, and she had bathed all of my children. The woman definitely earned her pay. All in all, an excellent party.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003


Watching one relationship crash and burn in blogland, and another take its first baby steps, leaves me feeling just a little...weird. Guilty? Not exactly, they chose to make it public. But weird. Blogs are weird. But I'm crane-my-neck-at-a-car-wreck fascinated by it all. Maybe this is all just because I'm not paying for cable tv anymore, so I have to look somewhere else for my soap operas. Nice of the internet to provide.

On another blog-related tack, if I read one more post by some self-important self-proclaimed blogging old-timer about what he or she does and doesn't like to read on other peoples' blogs, well...I"ll continue to not bother to comment. But it does irritate me, these people who seek somehow to set themselves above everyone else by declaring the masses of bloggers to be link-hungry whores or boring pedantics or whatever. It is what it is. Write your own stuff, quit worrying about everyone else's fucking blog. Of course, by posting this I'm ignoring my own advice, but there ya go. You'll never hear me saying what I think blogging should and shouldn't be.

And, people? What happened to the commenting? I had a lovely little readership thing going here where you actually came by and said a few things, and that made me so happy. Do I need to be a link-hungry whore to get a little participation around here?

Monday, July 21, 2003

Weekend Highlights

We went to see Esther's Follies on Friday night. This is an Austin mainstay show -- political satire, magic tricks, juggling and general merry-making performed on a stage in front of floor-to-ceiling windows which look out on 6th Street so that all passers by can both watch and participate. Occasionally, mercifully, they drop some curtains down. Anyway, a good time was had by all thanks to Brian who won the tickets on the radio (answer: Hugo Weaving). We left the baby with a friend of Brian's and made our escape on the motorcycle, so all in all it was a pretty hot date. And cheap. Driving back to the babysitter's house through Austin at midnight on the back of the bike with my skirt hiked up made me feel precisely like a teenager. But in a good way.

Saturday was pozole, which always makes me happy. Then I spent the day working at Brian's house on the new, cute little computer he put together. Then a trip up to Fry's to buy accessories for my new, fabulous, shiny Tungsten T which I bought used from Brian just this week. And home to watch the DVD of 25th Hour, which was entirely worth watching. Of course almost anything with Philip Seymour Hoffman is entirely worth watching. Still, I think Spike has got his groove back, which is good, since he's young and it would be pitiful if he lost it already.

So many links! And we haven't even gotten to Sunday yet! Except, you know, Sunday was pretty much a total loss. I can't even remember if we left the house. There was an incident involving chicken broth and leftover chinese food that turned out rather badly. And, yes, at 9 pm we did manage to get out of the house to go to the local pub for dinner, but that was it. The locals were very impressed with Javi's general quietness and good nature at the pub. We explained that he had spent a good deal of time there in utero, so it was something of a second home for him. I'm raising my kids to be good little beer drinkers.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Things I Already Knew But Were Reconfirmed For Me Today After a Certain Un-Named Person Decided to Act Like a Total Dickhead. Again. You Can Connect The Dots Yourself.

1) I don't like to fight. This, actually, is not news to me. But the related insight that I so much don't like to fight that I am willing to beat myself up rather than fight back, that definitely shed some more light on the issue for me.

2) Singing helps. Even singing something really idiotic like "oh what a beautiful morning" helps. Even when your kids beg you to stop. Even when you only really know the first two lines. Singing it over and over again helps. Stressing the minor note in "morning" helps.

3) Things can be shit, and I can still be funny. Maybe you don't think I'm funny, but you don't know me that well.

4) My boyfriend rocks. He can talk to me, tell me straight up what he sees, even though it's not all so very pretty, and still be the sweetest guy on the planet. And when he shows up at the restaurant on his motorcycle? Fuggedaboutit. He is all that, I'm telling you, and a bag of fucking chips.

5) Pregnancy sucks. And when you're pregnant, you cry really, really easily.

6) In addition to singing, food really helps. Especially Cuban food. Topped off with some Tres Leches for dessert. You cannot help but feel better if you plunk yourself down in the middle of some Cuban culture, no matter how crappy your day was. I mean talk about a bunch of people who have to deal with shit every day and STILL eat the best food, make the best music, wear the brightest colors and are sexy as hell.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Lost and Found

Well, of course, the minute I posted about our newest addition, the phone rang. A woman in my neighborhood who knew about the dog saw a lost dog sign out on the road where I found her and called me with the number.

It's hard giving a dog up to a girl named Courtney, although she at least spells her name correctly. It's even harder when you learn she's named the dog "Ladybug" (Lady for short!). But she had a pretty reasonable story for how she lost the dog in the first place, and she has another dog (blind, rescued dog) at home who's missing the puppy. And there are 5 more pups from the litter available if we want one. And we have visitation rights. And honestly, a puppy right now is maybe piling on just a bit more on my plate than I care to handle. But still. Cutest puppy ever. We'll miss her.

Speaking of lost and found, r. and b. appear to have found love and happiness. She lives in Seattle, and he lives in Charlotte, so they have some things to work out, but as obstacles go, that's not such a terrible one. Go wish them well!

Monday, July 14, 2003


OK r. and b., my little internet love birds, it's time to come up for air and give us a report. If I get any closer to the edge of my seat, I'll be on the floor.

It's A Girl!


This very sweet, very young puppy was on the side of the road on Friday as I drove home. Collar but no tags. I called the sheriff's department in case someone lost her, and spent the next three days praying the phone wouldn't ring. Ain't NO ONE taking her away now! She's now a happy member of our pack of beasts. We are all completely in love.

It seems her name is Dingo, a name I'm not overly fond of but it has great sticking power, and she IS an Australian Cattle Dog so it's not completely off base.

Is she CUTE? Or WHAT?

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Best Google Search So Far

"frizzy jewish hair"

Whoever you are, welcome to my blog. Perhaps you are having a bad hair day? I'm ever so sorry.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Put on Your Red Black Dress, Baby...

...Cause we're goin' out tonight.

I'm going to my friend's divorce party this evening. Yes, that's right. So, what to wear? Sadly, this being Austin, everyone will be wearing the usual jeans/t-shirt combo or possibly shorts/t-shirt combo or if they're really feeling extra festive they might break out a vintage sundress. Casual is OK, to a point, but sometimes I like to get all glammed up, you know? At least Austinites have more style, and show more skin, than the folks in Madison did. The first time I went out to a party in Madison I almost cried to see the jeans-and-boots wearing crowd. Even at the best restaurant in the whole city I can remember a man who wore jeans, a pink Oxford shirt and sneakers to dinner. I wanted to ask him to leave, or at least leave my line of sight.

I refuse to let this all get me down, however, and still throw on my little black dress and strappy shoes every chance I get. Perhaps that will be the attire for tonight. After all, I won't be able to fit in that dress for much longer...

Lunch today, by the way, was a modest bowl of Udon noodles. Mid-afternoon snack was about half a pound of leftover beef brisket from the Salt Lick. Mmmmm.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

I. Can't. Get. Out. Of. Bed.

The thing about being pregnant, or at least my thing about being pregnant, is that all I want to do is sleep. With interspersed periods of eating. (Did I use "interspersed" correctly? I'm too tired to look it up.) That's about it. This is certainly preferable to spending my entire first trimester hunched over a toilet bowl, like so many unfortunate pregnant creatures. So I won't complain too much.

In the eating category, I was inspired by Jodi's recent post to have some Indian food for lunch today. No, there are no take-out Indian restaurants in my little hamlet, but I did have the prescience to load up on decent frozen dinners the other day, so I was able to have my very own meal of Saag Paneer courtesy of Ethnic Gourmet.

I'm home alone with the baby, who, thankfully, seems to be almost as sleepy as I am.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Fourth of Ju-BUY

Also, Mr. Insurance Salesman who stuck your plastic American flags complete with your business card into all of the lawns in my neighborhood? Two days ago? If I feel like decorating, I'll do it myself, thanks. This holiday is about INDEPENDENCE and GETTING DRUNK and FIREWORKS, it's not about advertising. I think the garbage man might have called Tom Ridge, though, after he saw me rip it out of the ground and throw it in the garbage can as they were coming around the corner. He definitely gave me a long, slow look as they were driving past my house. Maybe I should have burned it for extra effect. I hate the motherfucking suburbs.

Dear Mom and Dad, Guess What?

Would someone like to tell my parents that I'm pregnant for me? While I go hide under a rock? Because I'm SO not looking forward to those conversations. You see, if they'd just stayed married I'd only have to do this once.

They are going to flip out.

And I hate it that I'm 35 years old and I'm worried about what my parents will think.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Comments are working but the counter is not updating...not sure what's up with that. Please comment anyway. You stroke my tiny ego when you do.

All better now.

Highway Stalker

Driving home from work today I saw a car with Massachusetts plates. It was an old station wagon with a Yarmouth dealership logo stuck on the back and a Martha's Vineyard sticker (you know those horrible white ovals with the black initials that used to mean your car was registered in this or that European country but now they mean you live in/vacation in/aspire to be a homeowner in some town or island) on the rear window. And a bike on the rack. I'm so very homesick that I seriously contemplated following this car until it stopped wherever, just so I could strike up a "where ya from?" conversation with the driver. I was calculating how far I could go before I had to turn around and head back home when I came to my senses and pulled off at the next exit to go shopping, like I was supposed to. Hamish needs dog food WAY more than I need to talk to someone in a car from Massachusetts.

In other news, I'm pregnant.

Monday, June 30, 2003

Maybe, baby

Let’s pretend you’re newly divorced with three young children, one of them not even crawling yet, the oldest not yet in kindergarten, a mortgage you can’t afford and a new job that is shaky, at best. Let’s also pretend that you have a devoted and devotion-worthy boyfriend who has been with you through the whole gory, bitter, strange and liberating dissolution of your marriage and your former life. Let’s say you’re in love and you’ve been in love since, in fact, the moment you laid eyes on him and he opened his mouth and started talking to you. Imagine that you, who had heretofore been something of a cynic about love, choosing not to believe in things like love at first sight and eternity and soulmate, suddenly found yourself reeling with the discovery that all of that had not just been made up to sell romance novels, but that the poets just maybe knew what they were talking about.

Now, let’s say, that on the eve of your appointment to go to Planned Parenthood and be outfitted with a shiny new IUD you happen to take a pregnancy test because you’re just a little uncertain of your status. For example, you may have been breastfeeding until recently, and not yet had your period, and so not been aware of your ovulation cycle. And maybe you were a little lax in using your birth control.

Imagine that the test shows you two little lines.

And so imagine you and your boyfriend spend the next two and a half weeks in a fog of uncertainty. The decision to be made is staggering and frightening, and neither option, no matter how many times around the gerbil wheel you go, seems right. The timing sucks. Your finances suck. Your body is still in recovery from the last baby. Your job is new. Your relationship is new. And yet, to say no to this life, this baby, this creation which you, in fact, made make it and then stop it...imagine that this feels wrong to you.

You call the clinic, get the necessary information. Let’s say that you are told it is early enough in your pregnancy that you would be eligible for RU-486. They explain to you that you will come in, take a pee test, have an ultrasound, get lab work. You will be “counseled.” And then a doctor will give you a pill which will cause the fetus to detach from the lining of the uterus, and send you home. Two days later you will insert a suppository at home, and this will cause your cervix to open and your uterus to contract, and you will bleed out. Just like a miscarriage. Imagine that you are stuck on the idea that someone will actually look at this baby, via ultrasound. And that you will have to walk around for two days with the knowledge of what is happening, before you can finish the procedure.

Let’s say you make the appointment anyway, because the only way to make a decision, you realize, is to keep walking down the path. Pretend that you pull into the driveway, past the man with the big abortion sign and the picture of the fetus, who shouts desperately at you and your boyfriend as you walk into the clinic. You sign the papers. You pee in a cup. And then, imagine, the technician takes you back to a room and has you lie down on a table. The ultrasound, of course, is facing away from you. But your boyfriend is offered a seat right in plain view of the thing. He is watching, the technician is watching. You are lying there, holding back tears while she presses the wand into your belly. Imagine that you ask, “can you see the sac?” And that she responds, gently, “Yes.” Let’s say that when the technician is done your boyfriend has questions, which leads to looking at the actual pictures, and you lay eyes for the first time on the image of a dark, peanut-shaped form, floating there in your womb. Pretend that stops your heart from beating.

Let’s say you are led to a room across the hall from the lab, and when the lab tech comes to fetch you for your blood tests, you ask her, “Could we have another five minutes please?” But really, in your heart, you already know. Pretend your boyfriend is saying in your ear, “Why not?” And in your heart, you are already saying “OK.”

Imagine you pay for the ultrasound, and leave. The guy at the end of the driveway is still there with his big abortion sign, but he doesn’t seem to care that you’re leaving. You’re still in a haze as you drive to pick up your kids from day care. On the way back is a lovely mix of sunshine and rain.

Imagine you see a rainbow.

If my calculations are correct, we’ll be having a new addition to the Big City right around Valentine’s Day, 2004. Brian has already taken to calling “him” by the name of “Rupert.” I say he gets named Rupert over my dead body. Wish us luck.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Some Things

Thing One:
So it turns out my camera store has some sort of scam going, because a quick call to Canon (thank you Brian) reveals that for no cost at all, they will open up my camera and have a look-see, CALL me with an estimate, and then I can choose whether to go through with the repair or not. And yet, the store told me it would be a $160 flat rate? What's up with that? Of course, I was drooling over the PowerShot G3 today and maybe, just maybe, there's a little part of me that hopes it's too expensive a fix so I can buy a new camera. But that would be silly.

Thing Two:
The Sobig virus has made an appearance on my computer 4 times tonight. God bless Norton Anti-Virus. Let's be careful out there.

Thing Three:
Speaking of Nervous Parents, I stumbled across this ad in my monthly neighborhood flyer:

Is it time to babyproof your home? Call Austin Babyproofing Company today!

I especially like the text on the first page, which goes something like this:

What is Austin Babyproofing Company?

Oh, er, to answer your actual question, Austin Babyproofing Company is blah blah blah...

Thing Four:
I have no dog food. This is bad. I am home alone with three children tucked all snug in their beds, I can't leave the house, and tomorrow these dogs are going to be eating the baby if I don't do something about it. And really, they'd be perfectly within their rights. So anyway, if you're in the neighborhood and you wouldn't mind dropping off a bag of Iams on the front porch tonight, I'd be so grateful.

Thing Five:
It's been a strange day, and I have so much news, but I'm not ready to share just yet. However, I will tell you that the boys and I saw a rainbow today on our way back from school (if ONLY I had that digital camera! Ack!), and maybe that's not enough for YOU to go on, but as far as I was concerned it was a sign. And I felt instantly OK about the whole thing.

Thing Six:
Texas is good for fried green tomatoes, which I had today, and abundant iced tea served everywhere with abundant lemon slices. Texas is not good for fire ants, which made a midnight snack of my right foot a couple nights ago as I was innocently standing, barefoot, in my back yard playing ball with my dog. I'm sorry, but I grew up in Massachusetts where running barefoot through the grass wasn't some sort of pretty storybook fantasy, it's what we DID. I also have some issues with the heat, but having lived in Wisconsin and suffered through the other extreme, I suppose I'll keep my mouth shut.

Nighty-night. I'm off to book-land.

It must have been the news that sodomy is now legal in Texas that finally killed him

Bye bye, Strom.

From the article:

Asked once to recount his career, Thurmond was blunt and brief: "I tried to be honest. I tried to be patriotic. And I tried to be dedicated."

And he tried to be a racist bigot, too! And a womanizer! What a guy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003


Yep, that's been me, over there on the couch or up late at night in the bed, reading words on PAPER instead of on this screen. I finally gave up on ever trying to finish The God of Small Things, which was coming ever closer to its heavily foreshadowed depressing conclusion, and even though the writing was very rich and intriguing, I just looked at that book with sheer dread. It sat by my bed like that, gathering dust, for months. It's still sitting there, actually, but I've moved on to other things. Briefly, I moved on to 20 Years in a Desert Jail, which I thought would be gripping and moving and teach me something about life, but I got quickly bored with that one as well. For one thing, I had been under the mistaken impression that she was Iranian, not Moroccan, and it was Iran that I had really been wanting to read about. And then there was all this stuff about growing up in a palace and being a sort of adopted princess and loving her beautiful mother from afar and the stables and the governesses that just sort of turned me off. I feel bad, but there it is. Never made it to the jail.


I've been plowing through my old New Yorkers. Yeah, go ahead, roll your eyes, I read the New Yorker and listen to NPR and drink red wine and enjoy a little Mozart now and then. So fucking what. Anyway, I read a fascinating article on Koffi Anan and the role of the UN, another fascinating article on the director of PETA, several stunningly excellent Talk of the Town pieces by Hendrik Hertzberg and David Remnick who just TOTALLY kicks Tina Brown's ass, I don't care if she does write for Salon, I'll forever think of her as the whore who tried to Hollywood-ize my magazine, and I'm glad she's gone. There was a scathingly funny review of The Matrix:Reloaded which said in such better style why it didn't even hold a candle to the first movie. And a lovely article by Roger Angell, baseball writer, Red Sox fan, humorist, stepson of E.B. White about the car trips of his youth. Delightful. And now I can say with some relief I am completely caught up on my New Yorkers, so BRING IT ON Mr. Mailman.

In the books department, I've started reading The Professor and the Madman, which is the bizarre and true story of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. No, seriously, it's not boring. Well, not to me. So a book I may actually finish as I make my way through the pile. Next after this is The Corrections, which I've been waiting to read with such anticipation I'm actually concerned that it won't live up.

What are you reading?

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

I Won't Hold My Breath, Though

Bush says "It's just a matter of time."

Monday, June 23, 2003

Camera Kaput

I got the call from the service department this morning. For $160 minimum they can send my camera to the manufacturer, but there's no telling how much more it would cost me once it got there, so I don't think it's worth it. I'll let Brian take a look at it and maybe he can fix it, but it's also quite possible that I'm going to have to replace a digital camera that is merely 2 years old, and cost me $800 at the time. I can get a better camera for less money now, but this is still turning into an expensive habit. I'm used to 35 mm cameras, which last for-freaking-ever. This is my first digital camera and I guess I thought I'd get at least 5 years out of the thing before I'd want sell it for an upgrade, not take a loss on the thing. I feel like I've been robbed. And to have this thing break on me the VERY DAY I switched over to blogger pro so I could upload digital pictures...grrr.

Thursday, June 19, 2003


I got a speeding ticket today. I am such an idiot.

But I also got a free cup of coffee because the guy at the window felt bad for making me wait...I was too busy thinking about my next blog entry and listening to Wilco to notice it was late, but hey, free is free. Thanks buddy.

Parenting in the Age of Anxiety

And what was I thinking about, exactly, while waiting for my coffee? The people who live for the next Right Start catalog to arrive in their mailbox so they can set about making the world safe for their petit enfant. For the record, I have never used outlet covers, toilet seat locks, cabinet locks, doorknob locks, car window shades (let the kid squint, for god's sake), gates, cat guards for the crib (in fact, my cats sleep with the babies and everybody's happy that way), special harnesses for riding in the shopping cart, leashes, I.D. bracelets, video baby monitors, bed rails, "snuggle beds", corner "cushions" for my tables or any of the billions of other "safety" products that are marketed to an increasingly anxious population of American parents. All my kids are still alive, still in one piece, and I don't have to struggle with the toilet in the middle of the night just so I can take a piss.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

This is Gonna Get Long, So Grab a Glass of Wine

I didn't actually get to talk to my father on Father's Day because he was moving from the house he has lived in for 25 years to a condo in Cambridge. My dad is easily overwhelmed and stressed, and feels an intense obligation towards the people he loves the most, so even just a quick phone call in the middle of all that moving would have possibly killed him. Anyway, Father's Day isn't really his bag, and I guess I inherited his general dislike for and suspicion of the "Hallmark holidays." I'd rather celebrate his birthday with him and be done with it.

What I really want to write about, though, is the house he is moving out of. When his wife, my stepmother Polly, died suddenly two years ago of brain cancer, my dad went from owner to tenant overnight. In her will, Polly left the house and land to her three biological children, my stepsiblings, under the condition that my father could remain there for as long as he wished. I really don't have a childhood home -- I was born in New York, my parents moved to a suburb of Boston when I was 2, they were divorced when I was 7 and my mom and I lived in a couple more houses between 7 and 14, when I escaped to boarding school in Vermont and my mother fled the suburbs to go live on Cape Cod.

When I was 10, my dad moved in with Polly and her three children, who were living in a house on the North Shore of Boston she bought with her first husband in the early 1970s. When I was 12 my father and Polly were married in the living room. Back then it was a fairly modest, albeit charming, 18th century farmhouse sitting on 10 acres in a sleepy Merrimac Valley town. Over the years both the town and the house have been transformed. Boston's suburban radius grew exponentially in the 1980s, and now it is not unheard of to commute to Boston daily from New Hampshire, some 10 miles north (and that much further away from Boston) from where the house is located. The town my father lived in was transformed overnight into a pretty wealthy suburb, with some awfully valuable real estate. My stepmother, always an excellent gardener, got a degree in landscape architecture from Radcliffe and set about cultivating 3 of the 10 acres of land, creating a beautiful estate of flower beds, hidden nooks with benches and statues, a frog pond with a running stream, several storage buildings, and eventually a swimming pool, labyrinth and fire pit. Meanwhile the house burst out of its boxy farmhouse shape and gained an enormous, fully-equipped kitchen, and the addition of a large dining room with a pantry and basement underneath. The wood for the kitchen (and the refurbished master bathroom) was imported from South America. The dining room featured a heated stone floor. All the rooms were filled with Polly's paintings, beautiful light fixtures. The wide plank wood floors in the entire original house were resanded. A pergola was added to the front entrance. The pavement driveway was torn up and a new gravel driveway with a different entrance was installed. And on and on.

It is possibly my favorite house on the planet. And it's all about Polly. That house and land were her heart and soul, a full and complete expression of her spirit. Polly, if you haven't figured it out already, bore a somewhat frightening resemblance to Martha Stewart (except maybe for the insider trading thing and the reputation of being a bitch). She was a perfectionist in all she did, and she did everything. She was a ballroom dancer, a painter, a singer, a landscape architect, a gourmet chef, a healer, a historian. This was not always an easy parent to have, even step-parent. But I worshipped her and learned from her and emulated her and assumed, like everyone else, that she would live forever.

I don't know what will happen to the house now. The taxes alone will cost her kids an arm and a leg. The upkeep on the property just to maintain the landscaping would surely put them under. It was sinking my dad fast, and I know he was extremely relieved to finally find a place and be out from under the burden -- not just financial, but the burden of responsibility, of oversight, of knowing what to do, which Polly made seem effortless. Relations between my father and my stepsiblings are strained; the usual fighting over who gets what has been going on. I am far away, half way across the country from all of this, and removed entirely, in any case, from the decision making and the bickering and whatever else is happening. I try to know as little as possible about it all.

I don't know what I'm trying to say, except that I'm sad. I miss her. The house was a part of her, and now it's gone from me too. I wish she was still around to talk to me on the phone and to be a grandmother to my kids. I miss her cooking and her funny little anecdotes about the animals and the way she would look at me with such barely constrained mischief sometimes. I feel shut out from the house, and consequently shut away from her, and in a way it's like she's died all over again but no one knows this time.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

It's a Good Thing

*When a certain someone who has been acting like a dick decides to stop acting like a dick just MOMENTS before you tell him to fuck off, which wouldn't be good all things considered.

*When you royally screw up at work but don't get fired because, for some reason, your boss likes you.

*When your 5 year old puts his head on your shoulder at story time.

*Money. In the nick of time.

*Dog snouts. Oh, and twitchy, dreaming dogs on the floor.

*Using some of the money to buy CDs and filling your house with Beck and Liz Phair (is "Chopsticks" not the funniest/sweetest/saddest song?) and Elvis Costello and Wilco and The Flaming Lips and, yes, Mozart too.

*Knowing that, no matter what happens, he loves you and it's going to be OK.

*Watching your 3 year old rock out to Regatta de Blanc.


Tuesday, June 10, 2003


The thing is, I can't write about it, at least not here. And this is when the blog fails me because it is public. So I'm thinking and thinking and thinking my little head off over this current, nameless (for you, anyway, dear reader) situation, and I'm left with nothing to write. I don't know. There are some of you who write about every last gorey detail of your lives, and others who keep it almost eerily impersonal, and most of you find some way to balance it all, but I don't know how you keep on writing when you're mid-dilemma. How you can write about other things while something really big is swirling around in your head.

My digital camera is broken (oh woe is me!) but I have a new scanner, so I might as well put it to use. And so, I give you...


When in doubt, use the children for material. Right?

Kyle, my ferocious kitty is outside right now being dive-bombed by mockingbirds. She acts irritated if not indifferent, but I think she is secretly pleased that she holds such a fearsome status in the neighborhood. My other kitty gets no attention whatsoever from the shrieking birds, but Kyle is Public Enemy Number One. I've yet to see evidence of her destructive nature -- she hasn't once brought me a baby bird. But she couldn't have gained this reputation for nothing. I wish I could show you a picture.

I'll get back to my dilemma now.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Burning Passion

Sometimes listening to NPR can be thought-provoking, or amusing, or annoying, and sometimes it can make me crazy with lust and desire. Please, God, will somebody make me this cake?????

Why I Love My Boyfriend, Reason # 732:

He photoshopped this for me. Isn't he funny? Isn't he clever?

All Underwear, All the Time

Since it seems to generate so much traffic to my humble little weblog, I'm just going to keep on posting about underwear, underwear, underwear.

I know, quizzes are stupid. Bite me.

Your the boxers. You leave everything to the last minute. Never on
time for anything. And always caring about others before yourself.

Which underwear are you?

Yep, that's right, I'm a selfish bitch. Selfish AND lazy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

What Would You Do...

...with 7 pairs (6 white and 1 heather grey) of Jockey bikini underwear that your mother sent you in the mail?

Because I'm thinking: trash. And I guess I feel kind of bad about it, like I'm wasting perfectly good underwear. But exactly how do you give underwear away? I mean, does Goodwill even TAKE underwear? Would YOU buy underwear at Goodwill? It's brand new, never been worn, but these things are out of the package (they came that way) and now taking up precious real estate in my house, and I want them gone. Would anyone like some underwear?

Going, going...

Monday, June 02, 2003

Attention Wachowski Brothers, Vis a Vis Next Time

Please: more car chases, more fight sequences, more sex, more slo-mo bullets, more explosions, more octopussy evil machine robots, more sweaty earthy dance sequences, more Superman/Errol Flynn/Chow Yun Fat references, more long black trenchoats and tight-fitting shiny black outfits and hip sunglasses, more slamming of bodies into brick walls...and...

Less Philosophy 101. Please.

We do NOT want to sit in a theater while your actors, no matter how pretty they may be, yammer away about choice and fate. Especially when their yammering leaves us just as confused about choice and fate as we were when we came into the damn theater. And especially when they keep having the SAME FUCKING CONVERSATION OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

I have more to say about this movie, but I'll let it go at that. The sad thing is, as I said to Brian on our way out, I'll pay* to see the next one, too, because it's so damn pretty to look at. I only hope the script is better. Please.

*Yes, Brian, I do realize that you paid for my ticket. And thank you.

Just Wondering

To the guy with the mustache driving in front of me in the silver Ford Explorer Sport, blowing smoke out the window but flicking the ashes out your sun roof, which, when you were stopped, caused them to land on your head:


To my mom, who just sent me 12 pairs of I-only-wear-these-when-I'm-in-my-third-trimester Jockey underpants in the mail, with no explanation attached:


Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Too Cool for School

Maybe someday I'll be a popular blogger, and people will come to my website by the dozens. They'll come to read my witty posts and tell me how very cool they think I am, or how sorry they are that my kitten died, or whatever. They will come. They will read. They will leave adoring comments. They will go. Many, many of them will link back to my website, until I'm so famous and so popular that national newspapers and cable news networks will call upon me when they want to do stories about "blogging" and "the internet community" and "women in technology" and "diapers." I'll be a household name, like Dooce or Jodi or C. Monks or Mrs. Kennedy. People will obsessively watch their blogrolls to see if my website has been updated yet, so they can read my latest nuggets of wisdom and humor. I will get so much email I'll have to hire minions to read and respond to it all. Total strangers will purchase gifts for me from my Amazon wishlist.

Or, maybe not.

I guess, you know, it's still a little bit like high school, no matter what you do or how old you get. And there's a part of me that is still wanting in on this popularity contest. Even though I should damn well know better. Mostly I write this thing for me, and because I want my own little toehold of html code to call my own so I can tinker a little bit here and there and try to figure it out, and because I like keeping a journal, and electronic journals are fun.

But there's this other little part of me that really wants to be a popular blogger, like the rest of you. A girl can dream, yes?