Temerity Jane
04. 08. 2011

Hey, do you have Spotify? I don’t have any invitations, so if you don’t have it, I guess I’m an asshole for even mentioning it, but maybe you’ll get into Pottermore and you can hold that over my head, so we’ll be even. But if you do have it, go look up Dan Andriano in the Emergency Room – Hurricane. I recommend “It’s Gonna Rain All Day.”

But don’t listen to it until after you finish this post. It just wouldn’t go.


So, just in time for her weight check on Friday, Penny seems to have hit some kind of three month growth spurt with unbelieveable stereotypicalness.

She had a couple bad days and nights of sleep, and then yesterday, did nothing BUT sleep, only waking up to eat. Normally, when Phil comes home in the evenings, he spends time with her while I cook dinner and then do my own thing for a little bit, but for the last few days, she’s been incredibly fussy when he holds her. We eventually, finally, in a slow “we have no idea how to do this, who the hell trusted us with a baby” kind of way, realized that she just wanted to be near her food source, so she and I spent ALL of yesterday on the couch. She’d eat and then fall asleep against my chest for hours. The whole day. It looked like this:

Aside from an ill-advised giant cup of iced coffee right before she fell asleep for three hours, it wasn’t too terrible. I watched Damages on Netflix (which was only possible because that damn DirecTV commercial for the show finally stopped playing – honestly, I thought nothing could ever make me have even a glint of a negative feeling toward John Goodman, BUT I WAS WRONG) and occasionally consulting my Google Reader.

Phil came home and I cooked dinner for us — did I mention Phil and I are on a diet? We were on a different diet, one of those limited time period diets that’s supposed to jump start your metabolism and turn you into a coal-fueled powerhouse or some shit, and it works by not letting you eat anything delicious ever again with the bait that by the end, it will be VEGETABLES that you find yourself craving, not stupid ice cream and diet soda. We lasted for a week before we went to Wendy’s, made ourselves kind of sick, and started a new, more reasonable diet the next day. I think we probably could have made it the whole course of the diet, though, because we were taking TURNS being furiously angry all the time. Anyway, I made a taco salad with ground turkey last night, even though I think ground turkey is an abomination.

(OH SPEAKING OF BEING ON A DIET: That whole “breastfeeding helps you lose weight” thing? Is that a crock? Because, yes. I lost the pregnancy weight quickly, but I also didn’t gain THAT much and was really swollen at the end, so. And I lost 5 more lbs pretty quickly, which was nice. But then, nothing. And I mean literally nothing and you guys know how I feel about the word “literally.” I could find no time to eat anything but a handful of wheat thins and and six popsicles and the scale would not budge. But I could order the entire Dollar Menu at McDonald’s for lunch for 6 days straight and it STILL WOULD NOT BUDGE. I call for an adjustment into the whole “breastfeeding helps you lose weight” line. Something more like

“Breastfeeding could help you lose weight but breastfeeding could also choose a weight for you and never let you leave it, ever, even if you ask breastfeeding really nicely, and you’ll have to go on a diet that is made up almost entirely of rage and bacon-related heartbreak to bust out of that plateau.”

That would be more accurate.)

Oh, another thing about that first diet? This basically sums up the whole experience:

Me: Blah blah blah sex blah blah something blah something something blah?
Phil: Did you say something about cheese?

Right. Phil took Penny and I got up to make our dinner. Penny is eating so consistently right now, though, that I only really got to get it all cooked before I had to take her back from Phil and settle into the couch with her. I did not get any sour cream on her head when I ate dinner over her, which really shows me how far I’ve come as a parent, considering that there was a time I seriously thought about buying a small umpire-esque home plate whisk broom to handle all of the fall out after I ate a sandwich while she was eating.

I spent another couple of hours there and her bedtime rolled around, and I handed her over to Phil so I could go make my bedtime preparations. Another sign of how excellent I am getting at this parenting thing, aside from the parts where I’m supposed to know what to do, is that my bedtime routine no longer takes an hour to complete. I gather some clean diapers for the night, I get myself a glass of water, and I make SURE my corner of the fitted sheet is VERY tucked in because the ONLY THING WORSE than the crotch of my shorts or underpants OR BOTH OH LAWD not being perfectly lined up with the mid-line of my person is when the sheet pops off, which it can tend to do when you lay down-sit up-lay down-sit up all night long.

Seriously. Some day, Penny will be like, “Shit, shit, son of a BITCH, shit, shit, MOTHERFU–”

And my mom (because OF COURSE this will happen in front of my mother) will be all, “PENELOPE THURSA WENDY! WHERE did you learn such language?”

And Penny will go, “It’s the song my mom sings when the sheet comes undone in the night!”

I just hate that SO MUCH.

I’ve got the bed time routine down to just a couple of minutes now, though, and when I went to recollect Penny, Phil said, “Hey, she’s calm now, if you want some time to yourself.”

And I was all bewildered, because why would I need MORE time to myself? I had time to myself all DAY.

And that’s when I realized that my definition of “time to myself” has shifted from “time where no other person or animal in this stupid house makes any demands LEAVE ME ALONE I AM GOING TO WESTERN PLAGUE LANDS” to “Penny wasn’t crying and I had a whole arm free to peck out one-fingered responses on Twitter.”


Hey, have you ever met one of those people who inform you, “Actually, did you know that you’re only supposed to use Q-tips on the OUTSIDE of your ear? Not in?”

Which, yeah, is what is written on the box, but I’m pretty sure that’s just a CYA move for the Q-tip people. Everyone cleans the inside part when it needs cleaning. Even that person. Right?


I’ve decided (and by “decided,” I mean that I’ve had an idea I have no intention of following through) that instead of selling more ad space all up and down the page, since most people who ask for ad space are kind of a little bit ridiculous about it and I have to say no, I am just going to sell TJ’s Cosmo Cliff’s Notes. Except they obviously couldn’t all be Cosmo.

You just pick out the magazine you want TJ-noted, and PayPal enough money to cover it. Plus a dollar I can give to Phil to buy a candy bar so he’ll go to the store to get the magazine for me. Plus $1.50 more for him to get me a diet soda while he’s there, too.

So I will get the magazine and sit down with my diet soda and Phil’s candy bar (because, come on) and Cliff’s Note up all the magazines. I’ll be rich. In recyclable plastic bottles.

Basically, I want to read magazines and drink diet soda all day and want you, Internet, to fund this endeavor for me.

Are you shitting me right now? Get a job, hippie.


You want to see a magic trick?

Okay, go have your kid’s (or borrow a kid, whatever) portraits taken and purchase a really healthy number of prints. I mean, think of all the family members who might want a print, even those ones like certain grandparents who will want a print of EVERY POSE, because if you send three poses to your mother and three poses to your sister and one of them has one the other doesn’t, THEY WILL COMPARE NOTES and there WILL BE PHONE CALLS, and really, purchase a more than adequate number of poses and prints of each pose.

Then, go buy some picture mailers, lay all your pictures out on the table and start to divvy them up and magic – all of a sudden you do not have NEARLY ENOUGH at the same time that you have ENTIRELY TOO MANY.

“Ok… ok. A 5×7 for each of these people, and a wallet. Wait, is it presumptuous to assume someone would want to carry a picture of my kid in their wallet? But then, is it stupid to just send one wallet when there’s two people? The grandparents should each get an 8×10, that I know. But… I have two 8x10s left. That’s not enough to send an 8×10 to any other category! Wait, do people care? Am I being one of “those parents” by sending portraits of my kid out? Why didn’t I go for the $700 package? The $700 package would have solved all my problems!”

This is why we did not go for the $700 package.

Or the $300 package.

Or the any hundred dollar package.


Phil, holding Penny under the arms and bouncing her off his legs like an astronaut on the moon:

Crrrshhht. Crrrshhht.
Houston, we have a diaper problem.
Crrrshhht. Crrrshhht.
My helmet’s filling up with drool.

22. 07. 2011

I am not reworking that title. It’s just staying like that.

There’s some stuff that I just really, really enjoy. And now I will tell you about them.

Playing board games with Phil

I wonder if people consider board games to be a nerdy hobby, but then I think, how could they possibly? Doesn’t everyone love board games?

In particular, like the rest of the world, our favorite is Settlers of Catan. Have you played this game? You should play this game, if you haven’t yet. We love this game. When we lived on opposite sides of the country, we would get on Skype and play a version of the game online. We’d always play best out of three and whoever one got to declare herself Champion of the Night.

What a great game. Seriously. We love the shit out of that game. It’s an awesome entry game for people who tend to automatically thing of unending games of Monopoly when they think of board games, and an introduction to the idea that “board game” doesn’t necessarily have to mean roll the dice, move your little hat, maybe turn over a card, race to the end type thing. And for people who are already  into board games, I think Settlers of Catan is the gold standard of awesomeness. The game is different every time, there’s a great balance of strategy and luck, and it takes less than an hour to play a full game. Plus, it’s not obnoxious to explain to new players. Big bonus.

We’ve also got this game called Forbidden Island, which we need to take out on several more test runs. We’ve played it a couple of times, I think, and don’t know it well enough yet to not have to consult the rules continually, so it’s hard to rank it among our favorites, but it’s definitely got a hook that makes it worth keeping around. Forbidden Island is a cooperative game, with each player taking on a specific role with specific abilities, all working toward the same goal, which is getting off this island before it sinks into the ocean. The board changes as you play, and each person’s “turn” is really more of a group turn, because you have to plot two, three, four or more moves ahead, taking advantage of each player’s abilities.

It kind of rules.

So. I like playing board games.

Reading reviews of things I just bought

Like other people with access to the Internet, Phil and I research every $30+ purchase to death. I usually do at least a cursory search before buying, while Phil seems to enjoy to research and review reading almost as much as he enjoys the actual item. I think he was actually, in some small way, kind of disappointed when he brought the monster television into the house, because the searching for the perfect monster TV was over.

The difference between Phil and I, though, is that once he has done his research and purchased the whatever, he moves on to the next whatever. Not me, though. I go and read reviews. Not instructions on how to get the best results from the whatever, not reviews on accessories and add-ons for the whatever.

Nope. I like to read reviews for things I have already bought and use. Whether I like the whatever or hate the whatever. I read reviews about it. Actually, I think I’m even more likely to search them out if I like the product. Then I get to scoff at people who write negative reviews, and say, “Yes, me too!” at positive reviews.

Related: When I see a new infomercial or “As Seen on TV” product, I immediately take to the Internet to find out if it actually works, even if it’s something I’d never use. I just need to know if it works.

Playing World of Warcraft


And I’m almost 30, Kathie Lee.

Listening to Smodcasts/SIR

Kevin Smith has had this podcast – Smodcast – for a long time now. When Phil and I drove across the country from Maryland to Arizona a couple of years ago, we listened to Smodcast almost the whole way. Not only was it hilarious, it made the time pass much more quickly. Even now, I look back on driving ACROSS THE COUNTRY, for DAYS ON END to be “not that bad.” We still reference and repeat lines from the podcasts we listened to on that trip.


So, he did this podcast with his friend/often business partner Scott Mosier for a long time, and then a couple of other related podcasts popped with his friends as well, with a different one each day of the week. Then he started doing live podcasts, selling tickets and all of that, and NOW? He’s launched an entire Internet radio network.

If you’re not into Kevin Smith, it’s definitely not for you, because it’s super Kevin Smithy. If that could be an adjective, that’s exactly how I’d describe it. Super Kevin Smithy. Not all the shows on the network are Kevin Smith shows, but I like his best. In particular, the standard Smodcast and Plus One, which is the morning show with Kevin Smith and his wife Jen Schwalbach.

In addition to the live radio, there are PILES are archived shows, so. If you’re into things that are Kevin Smithy, WHICH I AM – not just the movies, but the GUY (smart, funny, and you know what, I’ll say it – super hot. That’s right.), you should be passing some of your day with Smodcast Internet Radio (SIR).

Reading about the outrageous behavior of other people’s in laws

I’ve already written about this in the past, so I’m not going to do it again now, but rest assured, I am still passing late night feedings by indulging in this hobby.

AND if you haven’t read that post and the comments, go back and do it. Because, holy shit. And if you have any stories of your own, you should add them. But add them to THIS post, even though they don’t seem to fit with the THEME, so that we can all read them without having to go back in the archives. This is my blog, so I can allow that.

So, Internet. What do you enjoy the hell out of? How do you feel about things that are Kevin Smithy? Have you seen Red State? I haven’t. Also, outrageous in law/family behaviors ALWAYS welcome. ALWAYS.


27. 06. 2011

There are no pictures of Penny in this post, so if you are here solely for the Penny, you should just move on before you’re suckered into reading actual WORDS. From ME.


This may just be a north east thing, but I am reasonably certain that my life – and the lives of most people who grew up in the same general area of the country as I did – can be divided into two equal parts. Times when the Van Scoy Diamond Mine jingle was stuck in my head, and times it wasn’t.


AN UPDATE! On my thing that broke? Well, it was my My Brest Friend pillow, which I have heartily recommended to many people.

Since I could not imagine being without it, I got over my irrational fear of being told to fuck off by a company in email form and I sent a letter. I said how much I like the product, how I tell everyone about it, how surprised I was by the issue (holes had developed where the clip attaches to the cover), since it is otherwise such a quality product, and that I assumed I must have had the bad luck to get a faulty cover – something I truly believe. I attached pictures and explained how I’d only been using the pillow as intended for a couple of weeks, since Penny was totally anti-boob for so long. I asked if it was possible to get a replacement.

In less than 30 minutes, Jenny from the My Brest Friend… people… had responded and said they would certainly send another cover and had never seen an issue like I was having, confirming my suspicion that I just had the rotten luck to get a random bad seed. I was totally blown away by the awesome response. There was not even a hint of “screw you!” in the email and my new cover is on the way.

Now, you’d think that this experience would turn me from someone who silently stews over broken products to a letter writer, but you’d be wrong. I just REALLY LOVE THIS PILLOW SO HARD that I overcame my pathological and unreasonable fear of corporate customer service people telling me where I can shove my faulty item and laughing all the way to the bank with my reasonable amount of money for this ONE SPECIFIC INSTANCE ONLY.

Seriously. It’s a really good pillow, you guys.


I give Penny a pacifier every once in a while. Now and then. When she really seems like she needs it. A couple of times a week. I mean, maybe more like a couple of times a day. An hour. Okay, look, that baby needs a damn cork. If her mouth is open, I stuff it in there before any sounds can come out. I just felt like I needed to clear the air between us, Internet, and get that skeleton out of my closet.


I have been thinking, and I am pretty sure that the Internet – as a whole – is a dude. I don’t mean that everyone on the Internet is a guy, I just mean that the collective Internet as a whole is most definitely male. Here is my irrefutable evidence: sometimes, a person just wants to bitch about a problem or issue or something insignificant and easily solvable but still annoying, and the Internet never lets that happen. The Internet must suggest a solution, or the Internet will die from the effects of not suggesting a solution.

You know who else dies from having to just listen without trying to jump in and SOLVE when there’s been absolutely no indication that the speaker is looking for a solution?

Men. Men die from that.


The Internet also has an incredible capacity to make me feel like an asshole for WAY longer stretches of time than seems reasonable, given the size of the issues. I am pretty sure that no one who uses the Internet/social media on the regular can address every bid for their attention. Everyone – no matter how big or small the blog or how many Twitter followers or Facebook friends – can always answer every single thing. Obviously, this becomes harder as your numbers are bigger, but I am telling you from way down here on the tiny numbers end of thing – decimal point numbers, even – that it’s just not possible to read and respond to everything out there.  So you – everyone – miss things, and then you feel like an asshole.

And you (I) come up with elaborate plans to not feel like such an asshole – like trying to keep track of each person who comments and how many times you have recently responded to them, specifically, so that no one person is ignored all the time and — okay, you know what, I had a lot more to say about this, but I walked away to feed the baby and now I’m over it.

Basically, I’m an asshole is what the whole thing boiled down to.

You’d think that since I decided not to finish this part of the post, I’d delete it. You’d think that, but I’m not going to. It’s because I’m an asshole.


SPEAKING of feeding Penny! I dry her diapers on the line – sometimes it’s actually faster than the dryer, what with the negative humidity and all. The outdoors is actually SO DRY that it’s thirsty enough to drink diaper water. Clean diaper water, but diaper water nonetheless.

Anyway. I obviously have to go outside to hang up the diapers, and while our clothesline is kind of secluded, our back door faces the neighbors behind us, and we think that maybe she runs some kind of in home daycare.

It used to be that before going outside to the line, I just had to look to make sure the next door neighbor wasn’t outside smoking (because God forbid I have to politely nod to someone. I’m at the point of social hermitude that not only do I not want to have a conversation, I do not even WANT TO NOD at someone). Now, since Penny and also because of the herd of children across the way, I have to stop and check myself at the door, because apparently, I just walk around with my shirt all hiked up now, completely unaware of the fact that my shirt is all hiked up. I’ll be in the middle of something and discover my shirt all hiked up and have to stop and think back to how long it’s been since the last time I fed Penny and you know what? Sometimes it was a long time ago!

Also, kind of related, one time, just a little bit after we brought Penny home, I took out some trash and I came right back in and I said to Phil, “Hey, you know what would be good? Next time you see me heading to the front door, say this to me:

‘Self-check – are you wearing pants?’

That would be helpful. Because this time I wasn’t.”


Two things I DO NOT DO: “Deep Ocean, Vast Sea” and “Samophlange.” If you know what I’m talking about, you KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.


So I’ve had this question I’ve wanted to ask for a week or so, but I’ve avoided it because I kept getting pre-mad at the comments. I do that sometimes. I’m asking anyway, though.

When am I going to be able to do stuff, and how does it happen?

I mean, Penny will be two months old in just a couple of days. If I get anything done during the day, it’s maybe a load or two of laundry, which is basically getting negative things done, because all I wash is load after load of Penny’s clothes. She has more clothes than anyone and certainly doesn’t need her clothes laundered every day in order to avoid going naked like Phil and I do, but her clothes get dirty in a way that will fester. So I wash Penny’s clothes, over and over. When Phil gets home, I run around like a mad woman, taking a shower and making the gross tea I drink a skrillion times a day and sometimes cooking dinner and anything else I can cram in before it’s time to start my 30 minute long preparations for bed.

Anyway, a lot of things in the house are just going undone, or left for Phil to do when he is home, which isn’t terrible because the house is a shared responsibility, but it’s generally understood that the person who is home all day should at least be tackling most of it. And of course I have a pass because I have a new baby, but this kid isn’t exactly showroom fresh anymore, you know?

I just do not seem to be able to make good use of the time between naps and feedings, or at the moment, finding any way to predict when naps and feedings might occur or how long they might last, or what to do on the days that she JUST WILL NOT ALLOW HERSELF TO BE PUT DOWN for NO GOOD REASON that I can see.

I figure there’s got to be some combination of the baby settling into a predictable pattern and me getting the hang of navigating around her that will eventually come together, but should it have happened by now? I mean, when did it happen for you? When did you start feeling like some kind of competent adult again?

Don’t give me any of that “ho ho ho, aren’t you cute, you silly first time parent! Kids take all your time FOREVER!” I get it. I have a kid. She will continually require a large share of my attention. GOD I want to poke you in the eye so hard when you act like that, you know?

I figure the dishes eventually started getting done in your house without a background soundtrack of screaming and despair and a background smelltrack of stale milk and poop. I feel like that should have happened by now, though, you know? At least a little? Or is it still months away?

You can tell me if it’s still months away, as long as you’re not all CONDESCENDING about it, because let me tell you, my fuse is about THIS LONG (I’m making a tiny span with my fingers) and my well of creative insults is QUITE DEEP. By that I mean that I will probably call you sack of cat assholes if you so much as hint that my ignorance of the fact that my life will NEVER BE GOOD AGAIN is in any way adorable.

Seriously, though. When was it that you realized that, holy shit, I’ve actually been handling life and my adult responsibilities towards my household and personal hygiene quite well for a while now?


Also, all those people who left when they heard there wouldn’t be any Penny pictures are huge suckers.

“Get out of my shot, asshole.”