Category Archives: the blogging thing

I started with boats, and somehow got eggs. Keeheehee.

Every night for the last… I’m actually not sure how many nights. I’ve lost count. That’s a lie. I wasn’t counting. Every night for the last significant while, I’ve gone to bed with the firm intent to be better in the morning, in almost every single area of my life. Seriously. Almost all of them. It’s very tempting right now to try to think of some obscure life area in which I am already perfect, but that feels too hard right now, since I’m really struggling lately with this headache thing – remember when I was in the hospital and accused you of not caring, but I really didn’t carry the joke off well, so it didn’t actually come across at all that I really WAS in the hospital? Yeah, well, it was for a headache thing, and it’s just no good. You don’t have to concern yourself. I mean, a moment of passing concern is fine, because I’m sure you’re a compassionate person on some level, but we don’t really know each other and it’s not a tumor or anything and there’s no real risk to my health, I’m just in a lot of discomfort, and I took one of every pill on the bedside table already tonight, so I can’t really think of anything clever — HEY. Pill taking, completeness of. NAILED IT.

Anyway, two hundred words down, all garbage, starting over. So I’m going to bed with the intent of just doing better at all of it tomorrow, and not in the “go GET ’em, slugger” kind of way, where I’m pep talking myself, but more in the resigned, heavy sigh, tomorrow’s another day, just… try again kind of way. And I wouldn’t even call it best intentions, or even good intentions. Is must intentions a thing? Can you must an intention? I don’t know. I’m not looking that up. I don’t even know how to look that up. I don’t have to look that up. It’s not a thing. You’ve been reading here long enough to know I play kind of fast and loose with whether or not a thing is a thing. That is not an area in which I intend to improve. When a boat needs to be bailed out, we do not paint the trim. Besides, I like the trim. Up yours. Up yours is part of the trim, by the way. Have a seat. Help yourself to snacks. Put your feet up. The water is getting a mite high.

I regret using the sinking ship analogy. It’s too dramatic. I am not a dramatic person. Unless it suits my purposes. It did there, for a minute, but now it doesn’t, so forget that whole thing, except the bit about the trim, because I liked that part.

So, right, going to bed with the must intention of being better in just about every area possible. And it’s just not long at all into that next day before I’m ticking off “not so goods” on my list of areas. I’m super impatient with Penny, I don’t get any laundry done, 3pm comes and I have no dinner plans, “do you want to watch a show” turns into three episodes of the Fresh Beat Band. And, I don’t know, a whole crap load of other stuff I’m not stupid enough to put on the Internet. What am I, new? (I’m not new.) And then the weird thing is, the night rolls around, and I CANNOT UNDERSTAND how these things happened. Especially being impatient with Penny. Because she is sleeping and adorable, and how could I POSSIBLY make an angry face at sleeping adorable Penny? But THEN it is DAYTIME again, and I cannot imagine how I am supposed to NOT be impatient with Penny, because HONEST TO SUPERMAN, if you could see this kid in action.

I’m saving this post for tomorrow.

Okay, it’s tomorrow, and the baby is napping, and I still feel the same way, but I vented it out a little bit on Twitter this morning (summary: it’s a terrible age, they seem like people but they’re just large babies, basically feral with lots of spitting), and I guess I wasted my boner for this blog post. I just feel bad a lot. And it turns out it’s common. There’s just this space between her terrible behavior and my knowledge that look, she’s not even two and being terrible is part of learning how to function as a whole person, and I’m the person she has to be terrible AT. And in that in between space is a whole lot of room for me to act like the worst person ever. And I do. Over and over.

I feel like it’s a lot to explain, yet somehow I crammed it into just a couple of 140 character tweets this morning, and that’s my excuse for not wanting to do it again right now? Honestly, Internet, you should demand better. Hence the theme, right?

It’s like a domino effect of badness, though. When I was in Weight Watchers in high school, back before you could do it online and tell your computer screen, “Oh, I’m wearing heavy earrings today,” like it believes you any more than that lady ever did, the leader had all these annoying sayings that were only annoying because they were so fucking true, like about BLTs – bites, licks, and tastes. All the shit you put in your mouth when you’re making a lunch or cooking dinner, it doesn’t have zero calories, it all counts, and now that I’ve said “BLTs” to you and explained it? Yeah, enjoy the rest of your miserable life, because that’s never leaving your head. And there was this other one that stuck with me. If you’re carrying a dozen eggs and you drop one, you don’t throw the other eleven on the ground. It’s supposed to be an argument against “starting the diet over on Monday” if you have a bad day, or even against starting over in the morning if you have a heavy lunch or whatever. And it makes sense, right? In a really fucking annoying way, because you really want to eat pizza all weekend, because there’s leftovers in the fridge. But it’s in your head, and it makes sense.

BUT LATELY, I swear, even though I go to bed all resigned to carry all my eggs in a more carefully crafted container (we all did that “experiment” in middle school, my egg survived, I’m basically a pro) in the morning, not twenty minutes into the day, not only have I dropped an egg, I’m standing on top of the furniture, flinging eggs at the walls, and then SEEKING OUT MORE DOZENS OF EGGS TO THROW AT OTHER UN-BE-EGGED THINGS.

Have I gone too far into this? I started this post last night and didn’t skim the top before I started up again. I know I started with boats, and now I’m at eggs. I feel like I’ve gone too dire again. I don’t feel like it’s SO dire. I just feel like it’s life. And I feel like maybe I’m focusing too much on Penelope. I mean, she’s the head egg, to be sure. And she’s always the first egg I crack. But this kid, she is BEGGING TO BE AN OMELETTE.

It’s not just her. It’s not. I don’t want you to think I’m just messing up my kid and calling it a day, I’m messing up everything. No, that’s not really true, because that makes it sound like I’m taking an active part. There’s some passive failures, too. But then, the word “failure” is also too much. You know, this whole blog post is just making a lot out of nothing. There’s just a lot of nothing. That’s a good way to put it. There’s a big open space, and that space is an area that is available for me, an area that is open for me to make improvements. And it’s hanging there, empty. There is a LOT OF ROOM for me to work. No one is in my way, nothing is stopping me. Opportunity is there, and I’m not taking it.

Is this making sense? I’m trying to put this in a way that doesn’t make it sound like there’s a dramatic ANYTHING going on over here, because there’s not. There’s life, being lived, not so entirely to my satisfaction, but I’m not sending up flares and asking you to share feelings with me, okay? This is not that blog. I’m just telling you how it’s going, and as is my way, I’m using a lot of words and not getting it done. Look, it’s a metaphor, or whatever. Here’s my blog space, a lot of space, and I’m using it ineffectively to do things wrong and fuck shit up and look, I’m just going to throw my last couple eggs here on the floor. For fuck’s sake. You know what, I’m not deleting any of this. Screw you. IT’S NOT LIKE I’VE MADE IT SEEM WITH ALL THESE WORDS. Just… GUESS at what I’m trying to say.

NaBloPoMo! Another opportunity to throw a bunch of damn eggs onto the damn floor! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOAT. I SWEAR THERE WAS A BOAT.

Look, can I just tell you some good things about my kid?

She was a dragon for Halloween.

She is 18 months old now. She needs to be actively engaged just about every second of every day, or she will devise some new way to be evil. Some of them are actually kind of insanely genius, in ways that you just wouldn’t think a kid her age could come up with. Unless you have a kid her age already. In which case, you could have warned me.

She’s doing pretty good with talking. She was a little slow with words for a while, then it just blew up. She’s putting together sentences and will actually hold a mini conversation, if your expectations of conversations aren’t high, and if you’re okay with only talking about what Penelope is interested in. For a week or two, she was picking up one new word every few days, taking a day or two to perfect it, and then sticking it into her little conversations. Then it was a new word a day. Now she’s picking up several new words a day. We stopped counting. A couple of days ago, she found some tights and called them “shoe pants.” I didn’t even know she knew the word pants.

She finally calls me mama, after a really long time of dada being just about the only word she knew. The best part about it is not that she’s stopped calling me dada or just yelling for my attention. She actually still just yells for my attention. No, the best part is that she often calls Phil mama, and she does it specifically because it annoys him. She thinks it’s funny. I think it’s funny, too. I think it’s really funny.

She tries to jump (she learned it from an episode of the Fresh Beats), but can’t, and her failures are hilarious and enjoyable, but not at her expense, because she thinks she is jumping, and loves it. She’s started to take an interest in other kids, and will lean around me and yell, “HI!” at any small size person she sees. We’re going to spend a month in Pennsylvania, just me and her (if anyone has dragged a Marathon car seat on a plane, first hand stories are welcome – and “you don’t need to, you can check it!” is also welcome, but will be politely passed over, because I know that I don’t need to legally, but I do need to sanity-ly, so I am and it’s already decided), and I’m looking forward to her enjoying some play time with her cousins of the same age.

One of the absolutely best things about Penny is how much she loves the video for Put Down the Duckie. She does these deep swinging arm claps, like an aerobics instructor, which is adorable all on its own, but the best thing – the BEST THING – is that she calls Ernie by his laugh. I don’t know how to better explain that. You know how Ernie laughs, right? That keeheehee sound? That’s what she calls him. And that’s how she asks to watch the video. She asks for Ernie, but she doesn’t call him Ernie. She calls him his laugh. And that is how we will survive, for now.


This is a placeholder for the placeholder.

I decided to do NaBloPoMo, even though I can’t remember the last time I did it successfully, and even though I have no desire to get involved in the “official” crap that kind of goes along with it because why?

Except, I’m suffering with my headache thing that you don’t know about, because I made a joke one time about you guys not caring that I was in the hospital, except I did it really awkwardly so that it didn’t come across at all that I actually WAS in the hospital, and then I never bothered to actually explain very well because I don’t really have much information beside “sometimes my head hurts real bad!”

So I started to write a placeholder post because I didn’t want to fail on the first day, and it turned into this real meta thing about how I couldn’t fail on the first day because of — well, it turned into a THING, which made it more of an actual THING than a placeholder.

THIS is a placeholder:

That’s my daughter. Penelope. Maybe you’ve heard of her. She’s 18 months old now.

Phil as the Tenth Doctor

This is Phil. For our two year anniversary last week, I got him a custom caricature of himself as the Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who.

(He got me a Coach wristlet and a collection of DVDs he carefully selected from mentions I made of things I had watched over and over during my childhood and growing up years, including The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking and Queen: Live at Wembley ’86, among others. It was close.

No, it wasn’t. I love my gifts and he’s a thoughtful husband, but I KICKED HIS ASS AT GIFTING THIS YEAR.)

Those two are my family. We won’t be together for most of November, but I am looking forward to telling you about them in the old fashioned bloggish way. And about me. Mostly about me.

Skip the whole first part and give us your money.

– So I used to have this other blog. Actually, when I had that blog, I would say, “So I used to have this journal.” Let’s just agree that I have written things on the Internet since I had to pick a block to live in on Geocities, or since I discovered I was allotted some free space on AOL, since those digging animated construction men were something people ACTUALLY USED, since pitas, since buying webspace and hosting other writers, since designing sites that made different size windows open and changed your cursor shape and it’s all out there still.

Well, not ALL of it. I have a lot of it still, though, and you should collect all of yours while you still can, because you’ll want it some day. Actually, collect ALL of the things you like right now, especially if you are very involved, because you’ll want it back at some point and it really doesn’t stay out there forever, no matter how much people assure you that everything on the Internet is going to be there until the end of time. Like all of the archives of this blog? I get to keep them forever, but you don’t, not really. They’re cached out there, I guess, but eventually, soonish, I guess, I’ll decide that X-many years is too many, and lop one or two of them off the end, and put them on our back up drive thing that Phil… works.

ANYWAY, back up to the top. So, one of the main search terms that LEAD to my blog was, “Jonathan Brandis dead,” and that’s because he was, and I had written about it within moments of it hitting the Internet. I’m not exactly sure how fast things hit the Internet then. I don’t really remember. There wasn’t Twitter.  It was 2003. I think the entire entry was just, “Holy shit, Jonathan Brandis died. What do I do?” Or something like that.

I don’t think I was ready then, at (math, math, math… ) 21 years old, for Jonathan Brandis to die. Of course, that’s a dickish thing to say, because who was ready for Jonathan Brandis to die? Certainly not his parents. Or his friends. Or anyone. But you know what I mean? His pictures were all over my walls when I was in middle school. From Bop and Big Bopper. That’s what I spent my allowance on. Well, that and Metal Edge. I was a complicated child.

(No, I wasn’t. I’m not a complicated adult, either. I had in between years where I’d have liked to think I was complicated. I think everyone goes through them. You can tell when someone is going through them because if they’re female, they post pictures on Facebook that are actually pictures of text, talking about how if a guy is actually a man, he’ll fight for them. And how if you can’t something something at her worst, something something best. And on Twitter woe-ing around about coffee, coffee, there’s NEVER enough COFFEE, and how everything is much, much, much more difficult for them than it is for normal people. And then one day, you get to the other side,  I guess, and not only realize your own complete averageness, but learn to enjoy the shit out of it. And just GO GET SOME COFFEE.)

I was driving over the bridge today and I realized, I’m still not ready for Jonathan Brandis to have died. I called my mom at work – from work – the second I found out he had died. I mean, I made an emergency call with urgency, like I would have if I had discovered a close friend had died. I hadn’t mentioned Jonathan Brandis to her in years. It had been forever since the Jon-a-thon in my living room. I don’t remember the last time I watched an episode of seaQuest (yes, I do).

I think we all know that at some point, it is going to start, where all the people and icons and celebrities and names that we know, the ones that are ours, specifically, are going to be the ones that are cropping up on the regular, and I guess now that that kind of is. Sort of. Not our teen idols, though. Not yet. That is not supposed to be starting yet, I am not supposed to be dealing with that yet. The Davy Jones people are supposed to be coping and coming to terms, not me. And certainly not 21 year old me. And now I’m 30, and I’m still not ready, and mine is already gone.

And you don’t even know. I mean, my whole FAMILY could quote lines from seaQuest, because I dutifully set my VCR to record every episode (it was on at 9pm, guys!), and watched them until they were wobbly. OH. And one time? Jonathan Brandis was a guest star on Saved by the Bell, the College Years. A Thanksgiving Episode. And we didn’t HAVE a VCR, so I taped it on a CASSETTE TAPE. Held to the television. And I can still recite it by heart, complete with MY OWN SHRIEKING in the background.

So I feel like I wasn’t even remotely prepared for that at 21. I don’t know how you can expect to be. I’d lost family members by then – several. And I don’t know if it sounds crass to say that this was different, but it was. I mean, the whole teen idol obsession thing is a different… thing. So I didn’t really… do anything. Just that blog post. “Holy shit, Jonathan Brandis died. What do I do?”

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t then, I don’t know now. I think I missed my chance to do anything. Was I supposed to cope? Can I cope? Is this a cope thing? I know it still eats at me. Once in a while. It jumps out at me, from nowhere. Just like I originally wrote it.

Holy shit, Jonathan Brandis died. What do I do?

Anyway, what a stupid topic for a blog post.

– Point two!

Phil is participating in the Extra Life gaming marathon to raise money to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

Specifically, Phil is raising money for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital has been nothing short of amazing for our family. Our first encounter with PCH was an emergency room visit – we were sent there from our pediatrician after trying for several weeks to figure out what was wrong with three month old Penelope, with instructions not to stop at home, the doctor called ahead and told them to expect us.

You can imagine the condition of two new parents upon arrival under those circumstances.

Above, you can see a picture of Penny from just a few months ago, in July, right before her surgery at PCH. Her first stay at Phoenix Children’s not only helped us figure out what was going on with her, but hooked us up with her awesome GI team and amazing pediatric urologist, who performed and surgery and just released her from her prophylactic antibiotic regimen. Hopefully, next year, he’ll be telling us to get out of his face and never come back.

Like all Children’s Miracle Network hospitals, PCH treats thousands of children every year, regardless of their ability to pay. Though we are lucky enough to not find ourselves in a place where we can’t afford health care for our child, donations to PCH through this fundraiser will allow the hospital to continue to support those children with the same above and beyond care they gave and continue to give to Penelope.

Please click here to view Phil’s fundraising page (and also to find more information on Extra Life, as well). We’d truly appreciate any donation, and on October 20th, I will provide continual updates on the progress of the guy who goes to bed at 8:30pm every night but thinks that staying up for 24 straight hours is going to be “no big deal.”


Thanks so much, really!

– Last thing!

Registration for PJs at TJ’s opens tomorrow! Again, spots are limited and registration is $50. There is a handy graphic over in the sidebar to let you know the status. I’m not expecting a huge rush on the remaining spots, because I am not Oprah inviting you all over to my house to do a favorite things show.


I’ll get a post up around noon tomorrow (Pacific time, as that is where I live and it is convenient for me) giving you the heads up that it’s open (I feel weird being formal about this, but if I am not, and there does turn out to be some random rush on the spots, then someone will call me out for being a jackhole, and I am NOT IN THE MOOD), and then just click on the badge and email me, and I’ll give you instructions on how to pay me.

And kapow, you’ll be registered!

When the last of the spots are gone, however long that takes (days, weeks, never), I’ll change the graphic to indicate as much.

As a reminder, PJs at TJ’s will be in Phoenix-ish, AZ, from 2/22/13 to 2/24/13. You’ll need to fly here, or otherwise make your way to the Phoenix area, as well as secure lodging – a list of local hotels will be provided. You’ll also need to arrange transportation to and from the airport, whether that be splitting a rental car, or Super Shuttle. None of that is covered in the $50.

What is covered:

– Dinner Friday night
– Breakfast Saturday
– Ridiculous amounts of snacks/beverages
– Awesome pajama party Saturday night
– Breakfast Sunday
– A lovely bunch of people to hang around with and a location in which to do it, except when I need you to leave, for reasons.

Lunch on Saturday is not covered, but there are lots of places to go, plus my experience last year was that between leftovers and copious amounts of… ridiculously terrible for you junk food… no one went hungry.

It’s a good time. And I assure you, like I did last year – if you’re interested in going, but think that when I say that the open registration spots are open for everyone, but I don’t mean you, because you never comment/only talked to me once on Twitter/think it’s only for my specialest friends, I urge you to get over that and come anyway, because you will have a good time and all of that is in your head.

The Lawless Internet that Ruined my Thing.

I’m not normally a huge fan of “here’s why I haven’t been posting here” posts. I post here when I get to it. I don’t line up guest posts for when I’m going to be gone, because who cares. But I’ve been gone for a while. Even when I have been posting, I’ve still been gone. And by a while, I mean all of 2012.

And the thing is, even I thought I had just gotten lazy, or more boring than usual, or my kid had gotten more demanding (okay, she kind of has, she’s a toddler now, you guys wouldn’t even believe it). But I haven’t been gone gone. I’ve been here. I mean, right here. In this chair. When she’s napping or after she’s gone to bed or in the mornings or whatever. I’ve been RIGHT here. I even have ideas. I just don’t feel like it.

Anyway. I don’t want to be dramatic about this, so here’s the thing. When you write on the Internet, you really have no leg to stand on when it comes to who reads it and who doesn’t, but you also kind of do. I mean, in some ways. Not in defensible ways, but you can have expectations. And I do, and they’re followed, for the most part.

Just because you can access every/some aspect of someone’s life, doesn’t mean that you should. My blog/online life are kind of an open “secret” in my family, in that it’s known that it’s a thing I do, a thing I enjoy, and a place that I have a lot of friends, but it’s a part of my life that isn’t a part of my family life and that’s respected by my parents/family THOUGH NOT ALL OF MY SIBLINGS AHEM. I know my mother, for example, would probably like to read the stuff I write here or post on Twitter, but understands that just because she can access and insert herself into these aspects of my life doesn’t mean that she should. I don’t know if I’m making that clear.

It’s like how you’re friendly with your neighbor, but you don’t give her your Twitter handle. And maybe you’d feel a bit weird if she suddenly started following you on Twitter and jumping in to conversations with your online friends. Or, weirder still if you found out she watched you on Twitter without revealing that she did.

It’s the Internet, though. People can do those things and you can’t stop them, and it’s allowed. I have no ground to stand on to get all furious about someone READING my BLOG that I put on the Internet, you know? But you can see what I’m saying, a little, maybe, about also having expectations of some people – not rules, not laws, but expectations. And double also see what I mean about creeping.

Creeping, you know what I mean, right? I mean, lots of people read lots of stuff and don’t say anything. That’s normal. It’s creeping, though, when you’re up on your ex-best friend’s Facebook page and hoping she got fat, even though you haven’t spoken since high school. And it’s creeping to be the neighbor who knows that the lady next door has NO IDEA that you know about her Twitter account and to be fully aware that she would be a bit uncomfortable if she knew that you knew, and reading in secret anyway. Not against the rules, not even out of bounds in any way, but creeping nonetheless. You know what I mean?

For those of us who do this kind of stuff, this Internetty life, I guess it kind of feels like it’s all been around forever, but it’s still really new. It’s new in that the “rules” are really kind of vague. It’s hard to know how to behave with each other, we’re all inventing the guidelines for proper and acceptable interaction as we go. It’s all so open and so many of us put so much out there that it’s really easy – and honestly, really TRUE – to say that we really have no right to expect much in the way of privacy, or personal space, or respect of what kind of claim we stake for ourselves on something so… not REAL… as a piece of Internet.

I know it’s counter intuitive to think of someone with a blog like me as a private person, but I am. Extremely so. I think that’s why my boundaries are respected by most people in my life. I can tell the stories I want to tell, to the people I want, the way I want to tell them, and I’m comfortable. Poking, prying for more, or digging at me has never been the way to go with me, and the people/family who care know that. That’s why they’re not here. Shoving your way in, taking, or simply helping yourself to information because it’s there and you can is the way of the Internet, sure, and again I guess I don’t have a place to complain. Not legitimately. But hell, I don’t really have to be legitimate, either, do I? THERE’S NO LAW.

There’s no way to stop someone from creeping, you know? I’m sure there have been people doing it since the dawn of this blog. Since the blog before this one. Since my first one in 1998. Maybe my parents are reading this. Maybe they’re big fat lying liars. I can’t know.

If they are, though, they’re smart enough not to reveal themselves. They’re smart enough to protect me and our relationship by keeping quiet. They’re smart enough to resist the temptation to USE this space, MY space, to step out from hiding to take a nasty, passive aggressive dig at me in my comments. To reveal that not ONLY have they been invading my space, creeping in my business without the damn respect to let me know, but to also pick a moment to USE MY SPACE for their OWN BENEFIT against me. To exchange one goddamn second of smug self-satisfaction for ruining something for me. One little moment of “Ha HA, I told HER” to shrivel up YEARS of something I made for myself and truly enjoyed.

I’m not looking for “Don’t let one person ruin it for you!” or anything like that. I don’t need instructions on how to come back. The “guilty” party – again, there are no laws, no one’s really done anything wrong – is gone, as far as I’m concerned. Not a concern in my life any longer, period. I just didn’t realize, myself, what had happened. Not until yesterday. Months had gone by. Almost this whole year has gone and there’s almost nothing here. Like I said above, even I thought I was busy, lazy, out of ideas, but no. I sat down to post yesterday and it just felt like the keyboard was curling away under my fingers. I got angry. Someone took my thing and ruined it. It wasn’t on purpose, just a thoughtless consequence of selfish behavior. But a big thing, a thing of mine, was ruined for me. And it made me angry.

Open registration for PJs at TJ’s will start on Friday, October 5th. PJs will take place on February 22-24th, 2013. Registration is $50. Spaces are extremely limited. Looking forward to seeing you in your pajamas.


I can do as I say and as I do and not as I do, there’s no law.

Internet, there are two forces at war within me right now.

There are two things you know about me. Or should know about me. Well, should know is kind of an arrogant thing to say. You shouldn’t know anything about me. I don’t mean that in a if you know things about me, you must be a creepy stalker kind of way, but more in the you’re not actually obligated to know anything about me kind of way.

Let me start over. Here are two facts about me that are relevant to this blog post that you may have discerned from some things that you may have read here in the past, or gleaned from a conversation that you and I may have had at some point, or maybe just assumed based on what you know about me and happen to remember because it stuck in your mind for some reason because it was just one of those things that stuck in your mind, not because you feel in any way responsible for recalling random facts about me as if there was going to be some sort of quiz, because there is not, and I will never, ever, in any sort of fashion assume that you remember a goldiggitydamned thing I have written here today, or yesterday, or tomorrow, because who the hell do I think I am? Come on, bloggers. Get out of your own buttholes, am I right?

Anyway, the two things:

1. I am anti-extreme messy face pictures of children shared in a public fashion. I really don’t think it’s cute. Wet, mushy food is probably what I will die from, to be honest. Our kitchen white board once sported a very urgent, multi-colored message about a bloated sink Cheez-it and the urgency with which IT NEEDED TO BE HANDLED BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME before life could continue as normal for so long that the white board has burn in.

“BUT YOU POSTED THE PICTURE OF YOUR KID WITH CAKE FACE!! Ha ha! I have caught you doing something you said you don’t like! Here in your comments section, I have called you out! I have caught you! J’accuse, blogger! J’accuse!”

That was me, doing you. Me, doing my you impression. You see how you sound? You sound ridiculous. Let it go. There is no prize for “But you said that one time… !!!”

(Not you. Not you, specifically. Actually, it’s been a long time since someone called up some random detail I said one time and applied it to something else I was saying years later, as if I had SOME NERVE saying something different at 30 than I had said at 25. I’m obviously holding a grudge, and that’s my right as a lady.)

(Or a man. Not that I’m either or both, I was just trying to head off those people who were going to be all, “LADIES AREN’T THE ONLY ONES WHO HOLD GRUDGES!” at the pass. God. See what the Internet has made me into?)

(Not you. The other ones. Anyway. Stop remembering things I said.)

2. I am very much in favor of copping out, but only when it benefits me or when the person who is copping out is copping out about something that doesn’t bother me personally so I don’t actually care. I suspect most people have this rule.

So, what it basically comes down to is that I feel obligated, in a personal way, to provide a full accounting of Pen’s surgery and recovery, much the way that Swistle did with her daughter’s tonsillectomy. Because I have been the person looking for personal accountings of this surgery, and I have been the person looking for answers to the questions that I now have the exact answers to. And I don’t need those answers anymore, but I know what a ridiculous comfort it would be to find them.

And I’m going to do that. I want to do that. So if you are searching for information on vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) and ureter reimplantation surgery in children, I am going to give a full write up of how it went, but for now, I am going to cop out. With pictures of my kid eating spaghetti.

See? See how it all came together there in the end?

Also – everything went PERFECTLY. She is doing so well. WE are doing so well. Only a 24 hour hospital stay and she’s walking – WALKING WITH HER FEET FOR REAL – all around our house, like  she and I don’t even have matching belly scars now. We’re practically twin Sneetches.

This is all there is – not this is all there IS?

By now, you may have figured out that I have a rather loose definition of the word “tomorrow.” However, did you maybe think that I COULDN’T post something for all of the Internet to read, even though I was just totally desperate to do so? Did you think of that? Did you think that maybe I was in the HOSPITAL? I bet you didn’t. And you know what? I WAS. So don’t you feel like a sack of cracks now?

Okay, so, I was only in the hospital from this past Sunday to Wednesday, but you couldn’t possibly have known that. So, you, sack, cracks.

You couldn’t possibly have known I was in the hospital for a couple of days, but you should have assumed that it could have been a couple of weeks, so… look, I’ve kind of lost track of how to make you come out as the bad guy here, you crack.


Awhile back, I got a comment that just put me in a really shitty mood, the kind of “ugh, fuck it,” throwing your hands in the air kind of mood. I have comment moderation set up on my blog, but it only moderates the first time someone comments – I figure if you’re not a dick out of the gate, you’re probably not going to be. At least, probably not an intolerable dick. They tend to make clear what they’re all about right from the jump. Anyway, this is a long way of saying that the comment was caught in moderation, so it wasn’t someone I was familiar with, so you can stop worrying that you’re the one who cheesed me off, because it wasn’t you.

It’s okay if you briefly worried it was you. I think everyone does that. I do that. I mean, when you think about things in the grand scheme of it all, someone talking about one specific person probably isn’t talking about you. What are the chances? So lately I’ve been trying to make a concerted effort to not assume something is about me unless someone directly says, “Hey, ass panda, this is about you.” You know, just like… if it was me, and it was that big of a deal, the person would talk to me. So I assume it’s either not me or it’s not a big deal and whoever is just venting some steam or what have you.

But that’s hard, you know that and I know that. I mean, someone could say, “I wish six foot tall black dudes in priest collars wouldn’t say such offensive shit in Swahili,” and I would be mentally running over all of the things I have recently said that might have been considered offensive because of course that was about me.

Anyway, I’m assuring you, it’s not about you, and I’m also not saying anything about the comment itself or anything, because like I said above, I guess I want to follow the other side of the coin, too – if it is a thing, I should say something to the person involved or maybe it’s just not even a thing. And it’s not a thing. It was a first time comment, not someone who has been around here for a while, unless they used a different email address or whatever, and it wasn’t even… anything. It was a nothing. I mean, yes, it got under my skin, what with the fuck it all and throwing my hands in the air, but it wasn’t anything worth pursuing. I guess it was just a right place, right time kind of thing where it crawled right under my skin and just made me have a kind of disgust for posting at all because UGH. WHY BOTHER. HANDS IN THE AIR. ET CETERA.

Yeah, so, long story not short or relevant, I didn’t post for a while because a random one off comment from a stranger chapped my ass.


This is going to end poorly in about two seconds:



I had this idea that I was going to tell you a little bit about all of the books I’ve read recently, because there’s been a good number of them and a bunch of them have sucked out loud, and I’m not going to lie to you – I enjoy getting especially descriptive about all of the ways I hated a particularly terrible book. Does that make me a bad person? Well, no, probably not, though there may be other aspects of my personality that when ADDED to that fact do indeed total up to bad person, I’m pretty sure taking some delight in outlining the particular terribleness of particularly terrible books on its own is not enough to put me into the category.

But I do want to do that and I will really, truly try to do so soon, but I’m dealing with some medical situation that makes extending typing – or computering – or reading – or televisioning – or most especially OH LAWD FAST FORWARDING THE DVR FETCH ME MY YAKKING BOWL – a bit difficult.

There’s that difficulty, combined with the whole actually having said difficulties, plus some other stresses that, once again I assure you that I’m not going to lie to you, because why WOULD I, it’s not like I have anything to gain from it and besides, the TSA Blogger would probably just post video footage anyway, might delay me in posting again. I’m not well, and we’re preparing to travel next week, and remember how Big P was in the hospital last summer? We knew then that in the future it was possible some decisions would have to be made about how to proceed with her health issues, but we assumed that the future would basically never actually arrive and also that qualified medical professionals would make the decision. But the future is shockingly right now – Penny will be a year old next Sunday, do you even BELIEVE that shit? – and we’ve been tasked with choosing the course of action. And by “we,” I mean Phil and I. And by Phil and I, I mean a couple of idiots.

MAN. You know, you get married and you have a kid, and you get up every day and you go to work or you stay with your kid or whatever you want to do or have to do, and it’s basically the same day to day, and you reach a point in early actual adulthood where you’re like, “Okay, this is life. This is how it goes and we’ll just go on like this. I’m not a rock star and life isn’t a minute by minute adventure like a kid would once assume adulthood might be, but this is how it goes and how it will go and that’s all of it,” and that’s not a depressing thought at all. And I mean that sincerely. But I don’t know if I’m conveying that realization in accurate terms, but I mean the point where you realize that this is all it is – and I don’t mean, “This is all it IS?,” but this is all it is. Does that even make sense?

But I took all that time to explain that, only to say the opposite – time keeps happening and THINGS keep happening, both together. Time happens and the things happen and neither one of those happenings stops for the other. By that I mean, I’m going to lay these plans, the plans to tell you about the books I’ve been reading, but things are happening and time is marching on – A YEAR OLD, YOU GUYS – and even though this is all there is, it’s hard to make promises about something that so recently made you throw your hands in the air, all UGH FUCK IT.

Muppet-head, what I’m going to write about tomorrow, and an asshole translator.

– I’ve realized that having a kid hasn’t really left me with no time to blog, but has dramatically increased my reliance on “here’s  whole bunch of unrelated points” kinds of posts. I like to write posts of 1000, 2000 words – you know that by now, Internet, and I appreciate your tenacity as you cling and determinedly troop through the most meandering and excessively EMPHASIZED paths I take to make what ends up being a very simple point.

But to write those posts, I start out with said very simple point, intending to make it very simply, but as it goes along I get more and more EXCITED about what I am saying and so DETERMINED to make myself clear that I just keep going and going and the tips of my fingers start to hurt because slamming the keys will obviously be translated and I imagine myself with my hair getting all stand uppy and maybe a little drool coming out one corner of my mouth. Blogging is not glamorous, people, except for those who make a lot of money from it and then I am pretty sure it is kind of glamorous.

So I get on these key-thumping, flailing-for-emphasis-even-though-you-can’t-READ-a-flail rolls, and it’s hard to generate such fervor and sustain it when you have to get up every 5 minutes to sing songs about butts and return pacifiers to mouths and say, “What-what-WHAAAAAAAT do you WAAAAAANT?”

– I lost my train of thought right here for a second because I had to go sing a song about butts. Also, I’ve been working on another song to the tune of “Mandy” by Barry Manilow. I sing it to Penny while I work on it. It’s about her being an only child and how I’m going to live out my dreams through her and expectations are going to be really high and good luck.

– Speaking of incredibly long blog posts? I have the August issue of Cosmopolitan sitting in front of me, you guys, and I have high hopes for tomorrow. (TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes: November 2009, December 2009, January 2010, February 2010, March 2010, April 2010, May 2010)

– You see the ad in the sidebar there for Perching at Home? I think you should check it out, and I am in no way obligated by the ad being there to tell you that. I could just take the money and say nothing, you know. But I’m not. Because I REALLY think you should check it out. Especially if you’re planning some adorable newborn pictures for your present or impending baby.

I also think you should check out the crib rail covers, because I think they’re brilliant and perfect for the type of people who have actually made a nursery for the baby, with a theme and a talent for decorating and all.

BUT NONE OF THIS IS MY POINT. And I have two points. They’re not actually points. They’re just some things I want to say.

I was talking on Twitter about the lamentability of adorable footie pajamas having such a limited lifetime, and several people suggested just cutting the feet off, except I didn’t WANT to cut the feet off. I don’t know how to brush Penny’s hair. Having the jorts of the pajama world on her is just too far into unloved ragamuffin territory for me, what with her hair frizz-waving on one side of her head and sticking straight off the other. So, Beth offered to de-feet them for me.

I KNOW I could have just cut the feet off. Just so we’re clear. I just didn’t WANT TO.

You guys – they came out SO STINKING ADORABLE.

She’s only crying because she loves them SO! MUCH!

I love these pajamas. Having them de-footed definitely extends how long she’ll be able to wear them, and stops me from going to Carter’s and buying them in the next couple of sizes, like I did with a certain dress. Also, it is kind of hard to make excuses to go to Carter’s for new clothes when it has been made very clear that the baby hasn’t grown at all.

Also, shorty pajamas are perfect for Arizona. I don’t know what you non-Arizona people would do. Socks, maybe? I am the terror of old ladies everywhere – I basically never put socks on the baby.

Look, I KNOW that YOU just cut the feet off. And that’s FINE. But should you ever NOT want to cut the feet off, but still WANT THE FEET OFF, can I suggest having this done? I told Beth when she offered to do it for me – this should totally be a service. There are neurotic people everywhere who would rather have their pajamas de-feeted than cut them or buy bigger ones. If I am that neurotic, SOME OF YOU ARE, TOO. Thus, valuable service.

BUT THIS IS NOT ALL. Beth sent along a gift for Penny as well.

I’m not saying anything else about it because I already made a REALLY good yet somehow totally underappreciated joke about it here and I don’t feel as though I can top myself right now.

I was not in any way obligated or paid to say any of this. But look. The crib rail teething covers are just beautiful. She made my baby’s head resemble a Fraggle, which makes me feel pleasantly nostalgic in the way people who grew up in the 80s and 90s like to do (and someone inevitably, ALWAYS ALWAYS, chimes in with “hey, remember slap bracelets??” Yes. We all remember those. And yes, they were banned at my school, too. And then it ALWAYS devolves into people just making lists of random shit they recall “Popples! That waffle cereal! Hypercolor!”). AND she catered to my neurosis by de-feeting pajamas. I’m not OBLIGATED to say crap. But I wanted to. Seriously. Go look at her shop, and come back and tell me what the most awesome thing you found there was.

– Last night, when I was indulging my “stories about in laws” habits (you can indulge yours here and here), I came across yet ANOTHER incident of someone telling a pregnant woman, “Oh, you won’t care once you’re in labor” with regard to having people in the delivery room.

Internet, I heard that a lot. And you know what? I CARED. My mom sat in the waiting room almost ALL DAY for TWO DAYS. She came in when I was on Stadol for an hour or so, and she came in for a good bit of Friday when I had the epidural. The idea is that the pain will make you not care about anything else,  I guess, but I was NOT comfortable being observed while I was in pain. The pain absolutely did NOT make me forget – in fact, it just made me want to be left alone all the more intensely.

Even once I had the epidural and was feeling much better, I STILL didn’t forget. I had my mom leave the room for EVERY check. I woke up from a brief drifting in and out kind of nap to find her talking to the nurse and even snapped at her for talking about my medical information. Being in labor did not make me suddenly forget what a private person I am and how much I wanted privacy during labor. It only made me MORE privatey.

So if you’re pregnant and you’re telling someone how you don’t want anyone in the room, and they laugh blithely and say, “Oh, I’m going to be in there. You won’t even care once you’re in labor!” or some woman who has been through it tells you, “Honestly, you won’t care once the time comes,” you should know that those people are CONFUSED. What they’re SAYING is, “I didn’t care once I was in labor.”

And they seem to have gotten a little mixed up and ended up thinking that what happened to THEM is what will happen to YOU.

One of the most frustrating things of first time pregnancy, I think, is the number of people telling you how you WILL feel and what you WILL do and how things WILL go, based on their personal experiences alone. And it can be so aggravating to try to make your case in the face of that – to say, for example, that you KNOW that you don’t want anyone in the room – because they’ve been through it and you haven’t and they take on an annoying, smug air of “Oh, you’ll see.” And it SUCKS having to defend your points from that position. It does.

Just use this translation code from now on: When someone says “You WILL/WON’T __________,” where __________ is whatever, it’s actually just an asshole way of saying, “I DID/DIDN’T __________.” Then you can take it for what it’s worth, depending on who it is coming from.

– Also assholey? On baby forums, the response, “This must be your first baby, right?” in reply to anything deemed even slightly overprotective, from the super experienced, way laid back, “look how little I care about everything and how cool I assume that makes me in your eyes” second-, third-, etc.-, time parents. I’m not even going to go into why that’s so assholey. You should just know that it is.

– Penny had her 3 month portraits done this weekend. It was mostly a shrieking disaster just like what’s going on behind me right now. Here’s one of the pictures.