Friday, November 30, 2007

good advice

Alright. So by MONDAY I should have a good flooring update for y'all. BECAUSE I KNOW YOU CARE ABOUT THIS blah blah blah flooring junk blah blah. Other fun and exciting topics I can discuss ad nauseum include pregnancy, party planning, and what I ate for lunch today (magic salad, cup o noodles, favorite lembas crackers).

The cats appear to be okay. Fergus has two little fingers (are they fingers on a cat?) on each of his front feet that are sort of glued together. When he lifts an arm into the air to try to clean it, he looks startlingly similar to this guy doing this. There isn't much to be done for the pingers, other than to make him a Star Trek uniform, call him Spockgus, and remind him that it's Live Long and Prosper - not Live Long and Hiss at the Humans Because This Situation is Entirely Their Fault and Now Let's Begin Plotting Their Deaths. Spockgus spends a lot of time underneath the bed these days. He might have maps and flowcharts hidden back there, I don't know. Phoebe, on the other hand, has chosen to deal with her apparent torture by the humans in her usual fashion: she's loving us even MORE. Like, the more we seem to inflict pointless pain and humiliation, the more she needs to show us that SHE'S JUST HERE TO LOVE - COME ON, LOVE ME, RUB MY BELLY, I WILL ROLL OVER ON YOUR HEAD.

Besides loving these little creatures beyond reason, I am incredibly thankful to be with Chip. I wasn't strong on Wednesday, not in the least. And yet he told me that I was. That's kindness. That's love.

Have a great weekend, my friends. Live long and prosper.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

it's not easy being green

This is a post about cat feet, not about Kermit or Christmas trees or even stinky green cheese. Wait for it.

Floorapalooza 2007 began at The Last Homely House yesterday. Remember The Flooring Thing? While we had originally planned on staying at a pet-friendly hotel, a united and happy, albeit dysfunctional family unit, in the course of our discussions, it didn’t seem like the sanest idea. Like what if the maid came into the room and the cats bolted? Or what if Chip and I went totally DEAF listening to the cats complain to us for 3 days about how UNFAIR it is that we were keeping them cooped up in some strange place and then our ears started to bleed?!?! From the caterwauling?!?!

After careful consideration and talks with other in-the-know flooring people, we decided instead that I’d be the only one displaced to a hotel, and Chip would barricade himself and the cats inside the master bedroom – complete with open windows (brrrrr- chilly!), lots of blankets, the catbox, and plenty of cat food for the fuzzy ones. This plan also helped our desire to vent the house as quickly as possible, so that yours truly would be able to inhabit it again, without any possible damage to the Bean. Yes, in case you were wondering, we do want her to be able to walk in a straight line!

So that was The Plan. The Cat Plan. All seemed to be going fairly well (with the usual delays and such that can be expected – uneven concrete requiring much grinding down, delays in laying the floor, etc.). The contractors put down some kind of water sealant barrier (imagine a BRIGHT GREEN layer of polymer poured over concrete) as the final step before laying the floor. They left the house around 3:30 p.m. to let the polymer set-up overnight, with a promise of returning the next day. Because Chip was staying in the house, the flooring guys kindly left a little polymer-free walkway leading from the entry to the stairs, so Chip would not be trapped upstairs. As Chip was walking this little path, talking to me on the phone yesterday afternoon, he goes – “Oh my gosh. The guys got some of the green stuff on the STAIRS.” Then there was a silent beat – and he said, “Wait a minute. THAT’S NOT FROM THE WORKERS. THERE’S A CAT LOOSE! I’LL CALL YOU BACK!” So it turns out that Phoebe – the ever wily, ever sweet, ever fun-loving PHOEBE had escaped from the bedroom and had traipsed her ever-loving wide cat body across the green goo – and then, after getting her paws thoroughly coated in the stuff, had walked upstairs. To, you know, clean up. Commence much Freaking Out. Poor Chip dealing with this all on his own – calling me every 2 minutes with updates:
-found Phoebe!
-paw assessment!
-who do we call!
-did you know there's an ANIMAL poison control!
-is she vomiting! (stupid question - it's PHOEBE, the feline puke machine!)
-we need to take her to the vet!
-this green goo has solidified into Incredible Hulk-colored masses on her feet!
-she looks like she's wearing green sandals!
-this is not funny!

Chip was a trooper, despite my ill-advised suggestion to dip her feet into a warm bathtub of water. He helpfully reminded me that it was WATER SEALANT we were trying to remove, and WATER will not dissolve WATER SEALANT. (Duh - am incredibly stupid sometimes. Will probably make some horrific errors in judgement with the Bean, as well. Have now added TAKE INFANT FIRST AID to To Do list.)

Chip got her to the vet. The vet? Amazing. Kind. Stayed very late to help our poor cat. You need to understand that Phoebe has very fuzzy feet. Like bunny slippers. Like Hobbit feet. Or your Uncle Hal’s ears. She has these ginormous tufts of cotton-like hair just sprouting, willy-nilly, between her paw pads. Makes for great entertainment on a hardwood floor. And apparently, the perfect medium for scooping up horribly large amounts of bright green floor polymer – and then forming into solid chunks of green rubber. At one point, they had to put Phoebe in some kind of a pillowcase-like BAG with four holes for her FEET so they could then proceed to TRIM ALL THE HAIR OFF HER PAWS and then SCRUB HER POOR LITTLE PEET UNTIL THEY BLED. It was really awful, actually. I’m not going to tell you which of us cried at the Vet – but yes, there were many tears. At this point in the story, I had now joined Chip. I raced from downtown Seattle to home in horrific traffic (only took me 90 minutes! To go 22 miles!). The vet also gave us cat laxative to coat Phoebe’s insides so that any of the goo she consumed will sort of, um, slide through. And not get caught on anything.

This is the point in the long and drawn-out story where I’m supposed to tell you that we got home and all was well – Phoebe was fine – everyone was happy and we all sang La La La and watched The Grinch on ABC. But, um, NO.

When we got home, we discovered that the paw prints on the carpet had magically TRIPLED in quantity. Because Fergus had now ALSO escaped. And was SITTING ON OUR BED, LICKING AND SHAKING THE LIFE OUT OF HIS PAWS. Annnnnnd it was at this point in the proceedings that Yours Truly finally lost it. Wigged out. Couldn’t take it. I mean, come ON! BOTH OF THEM?

I love these cats like I love members of my family. They ARE members of our family. They are precious commodities that may drive me absolutely batty - but I would totally move heaven and earth to make sure they were safe and happy.

Amidst my wigging, Chip really stepped up to bat and got things under control. We pulled off whatever green goo we could from Fergus’ feet. He isn’t as hairy as Phoebe, so that was helpful. Also – he’d walked on the stuff much later than she had, so he didn’t have as much. We gave him & Phoebe generous doses of the laxative. I cried. We fed them their crunchies. I cried some more. And then I threw up. Because – WHY NOT?????? I finally left the house a while later, because the fumes weren’t doing me or Bean any favors.

In the light of this morning, I'm feeling better. Chip is better. Fergus and Phoebe are both doing better. Fergus gets his turn at the vet today. (I know he’s laughing at the sad state of Phoebe’s paws. Oh, little man – you have no IDEA what you’re in for.)

The flooring guys came back today - and besides them LAUGHING THEIR BUTTS OFF AT OUR HUBRIS, they informed us that the polymer was still too tacky, and they couldn't lay the floors today. They will be back sometime tomorrow.

The way this is going, I'll be LIVING at the La Quinta until January. (Okay, maybe not really - but it feels like it. Whiny, whiny me.) My plans for the weekend involve an assuredly futile attempt to remove bright green polymer rubber from carpet. That, and loving my husband and our two ridiculous CRAZY escape-artist cats, just glad that everyone's okay. Well, as long as I'm not still living at the La Quinta. In which case, I'll be lying on a hard hotel bed, thinking of all of you and singing La La La, life is weird.


--I don't think I've ever written "polymer" so much in my lifetime. Polymer. Polymer. Polymer.

--How stupid is it to call it THE La Quinta. That's, like, The The Hotel Place. Or something. Am stupid and know nothing about Spanish, despite my continued attempts to read about Green Eggs and Ham (No - Juan Ramone DOESN'T WANT THE STUPID HUEVOS VERDES CON JAMON.)


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

fancy pants

Do you know any Fancy Pants People? In case you are wildly uninformed, are reading this post as your first visit to The Creamery, or are just totally over-estimating your hostess, Whimsy, let me put to rest that I am not a Fancy Pants. (I am also not Fancy, in any way whatsoever, though I do enjoy an occasional stinky cheese.)

I have been found eating take-out in a Styrofoam container. I watch football with the Chip (even though I’m constantly asking what they’re doing on screen, or meandering throughout the room with various magazines in hand, or trying to talk to Chip about something TOTALLY unrelated to football, thereby garnering myself the occasional Hairy Eyeball). I have purchased a box of Twinkies within the last 6 months (it was a weak and hungry moment in the grocery store, what can I say). I watch network television (I call it tee-vee!) - and not just the educational stuff. I really enjoyed our trip to Disneyworld in May (even if it was, at times, with a Trademarked mouse-shaped pile of drool on my chin). I live in the (gasp) suburbs. I regularly shop at large bookstore CHAINS.

On the other hand, I read a lot of books, and not necessarily ones on the Oprah List. I am researching a brand of environmentally-friendly diapers for the Bean. I love to make fancy-ish desserts. I greatly enjoy hosting a good dinner party (though I haven’t done so in HOW long? YEARS! IT’S BEEN YEARS!). Workplace is considered to be a fairly hoity-toity place. Through Workplace, I have been to a number of very nice restaurants, and can talk about good places/new places to go in the downtown corridor. I think I can carry a decent conversation about politics. I listen to NPR. I adore looking at, talking about, and making art. If I had the means, I would even purchase art outside of my, so far, few chances to trade/barter for the pieces we luckily own.

I realize that all of these activities, these things, don't truly encapsulate the people who participate and/or enjoy them on a regular basis. My friend John doesn’t watch a stitch of network TV and is an avid listener of NPR, but the man has a soft spot in his heart for a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder. As people, we will always be a mess of contradictions. Just because you live and breathe romance novels, doesn’t mean you don’t also have a great concern for the environment and regularly bike to work. Just because you drink Coke instead of mineral water doesn’t mean you don’t support public art and make generous contributions to the Seattle Art Museum. I guess what I’m getting at here is that this idea of Fancy Pants People is just that: a made-up concept I have in my head about people that I have a hard time relating to.

Even though they scare me, I can carry myself though Fancy Pants gatherings fairly easily. I cloak myself pretty well. I can hold a decent conversation, even while I’m feeling a wee bit intimidated and nervous. Sometimes I falter – worried that my life is so much smaller than theirs, but on the whole, I remember that I wouldn’t have my life any other way.

As I've gotten older and my sense of humor has become more seasoned, I have less tolerance for the Fancy Pants mentality. I don’t get the great sense that they look down their noses at the rest of the world. They just … don’t have a lot of time for it. That, or they just lack the sense of humor to appreciate it. For that very reason, I can’t imagine that there is a single Fancy Pants who reads this blog. A Fancy Pants just couldn’t do it. S/he would be offended and bored by my description of a certain fuzzy poo-colored object. S/he would deem my humorous look at skin cancer as inappropriate. In a recent conversation about this exact subject, it was suggested to me that Fancy Pants Folks don’t fully experience life. They experience a filtered form of it – carefully avoiding the painful lows and highs that come from throwing yourself out into the ether, willing to try and do and be – and to make mistakes. In the end, maybe that’s it: a Fancy Pants is too worried about looking silly or getting dirt on their carefully laundered silk slacks.

It sounds like a rash generalization - and maybe that's exactly what it is - but I'm just so darn happy not to be a Fancy Pants. I enjoy getting dirty. I learn from my mistakes. I share the good, the bad, and the horribly embarassing. I'd rather do that then hide behind a facade that keeps me from truly experiencing what the world has to offer.

Who's up for joining me in the mud?

Monday, November 26, 2007

letter from the bean



Hello Internet Friends,

My mom appears to be ridiculously involved with Workplace after a 4-day weekend, so she has handed the responsibility of updating The Creamery to me, The Bean, her 25-week-old fetus. Don't ask me how this is possible, as I have neither the motor nor cognitive skills to write a blog post - I am also, of course, currently residing safely in her belly. However, if you'll suspend disbelief for a bit and just revel in the miracle, I'll give you my review of the weekend.

I can't speak for mama or dad specifically, but I can tell you that I personally quite enjoyed this thing they call Thanksgiving Dinner, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, asparagus, stuffing, and corn. (Mom informed me that I was missing an important tradition called Green Stuff, which is some kind of iced grapefruit/pineapple concoction, floating in 7Up - ah well, better luck next year.) I was also pleased with the dessert portion of the evening: pumpkin pie - something I sampled a couple of weeks ago, and have been prodding mom to eat ever since.

I did my best to keep mom up for most of the night by dancing on her bladder. Worked like a charm, and it ensured me many rocking moments as she lumbered up and off my grandparents' futon and into the bathroom.

Friday morning my parents left for what they told me was the Washington State Coast - but will always be known to me as The Time Mom and I got into a Bladder Control War. She insisted that we stay in the car for heinously long periods of time, and I - padding helpfully on her bladder - I tried my best to get her to get up and move around. My favorite triumph, though scaring the daylights out of mom - was when she was forced to talk dad into stopping at the Crescent Lake Ranger Station to use the facilities. A markedly UNSANITARY facility. Mom was a champ, however, and used many of the Ninja Cleanliness Anti-Germ Commando Moves that dad has shared with her. We got out of there unscathed, though afterwards she insisted on dipping the bottoms of her shoes in Purell.

The rest of the weekend passed by in relative comfort for yours truly. Mom fed me lots of good food, Dad took lots of pictures of both of us, and I received many lovely pats and kind words from both of them.

Enjoy the pictures, dudes. I'll be seeing you all in a few months.

-The Bean

















Wednesday, November 21, 2007

happy tears

Let's all take a moment to wish The Wife (and The Husband, of course) a hearty CONGRATULATIONS on their exciting news. Because this is my blog, and it’s ALL ABOUT MEEEEE, I’ve got to tell you that it’s been KILLING ME keeping the secret. However, I have to add that the peeing-every-two-hours-throughout-the-night thing has its benefits. It means I’m awake and conscious at 2:10 a.m. when I get a frantic text message announcing TWO PINK LINES, and I’m actually able to commence in a text message frenzy of OH MY GOODNESS, OH MY GOODNESS! Followed by WHY THE HECK ARE YOU AWAKE RIGHT NOW? So. Yes. Am totally thrilled for my friends.

There are a million different directions that I want to go with this, and I’m torn. I want to tell you about all the wonderful things that The Wife and I have been able to share – and some of the more bittersweet things we have not. I want to tell you about how hard it was to see her move to the South for graduate school, and how we both knew that Big Things were on the horizon for both of us, but had no idea what (marriage and children were really the LAST THINGS in mind). I want to tell you a little about our friendship – protecting the more sacred bits, but sharing just a few of the things that I’ve learned because of this amazing woman. I want to tell you about how The Fates have decided that the gravitational pull we create when even in the same STATE is just too strong, and so we’re destined to live on opposite sides of the country, keeping things in some kind of cosmic balance. I want to tell you about the hope I get to hand down to The Bean about True Friends. They are real. They exist. They are rare. If you’re fortunate enough to find even just one True Friend, you will be blessed. I want to tell you all of these things – but I lose the words.

I hope that each of us can inventory our little collections of acquaintances and find at least one Friend like this. One person whose successes, whose pains, whose excitements, whose good news sends us up and over the MOON with joy. There’s a reason we’re told to mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those in need of comfort. Out of all the pain is borne a connection so deep, a love so strong—when this friend is facing one of the most challenging and rewarding journeys in her life, we feel that it is US who received the wonderful news.

Congratulations, my friend. I can't wait to share all of this with you. I love you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

threat level orange

I've decided to take a cue from the Department of Homeland Security, and identify my level of stress using their very official Homeland Security Advisory System. It is easy to say that I am clearly NEVER at Threat Level Green (Low Risk of Anxiety Attack). My baseline is more at Threat Level Blue (Guarded - General Risk of Anxiety Attack).


Current Threat Level
After careful consideration of the newly updated and intricately cross-referenced To Do List, The Whimsy has upgraded to Threat Level Orange (High Risk of Anxiety Attack and Imminent Possibility of Meltdown). The National Whimsy Gut Instinct Estimate has cited heightened activity around the Whimsy household (including the upcoming hardwood flooring installation taking place on Tuesday); Generalized Holiday Stress; Pregnancy; Preparing for Child; Upcoming Church Christmas Party; and Work Tasks as contributing factors.

These Creamery Anxiety Threat Advisories will continue through the holidays, and will contain not only Current Anxiety Level Updates, but also actionable information (when applicable) about incidents involving, or a threat targeting, critical Whimsy networks, infrastructures, or key assets.

Monday, November 19, 2007

seven

Ha! As if you don't know enough weird or random things about me already. We can all thank Heidi for forcing me to unburden myself in this way. Before I start on this thing, I have to urge you to check out Heidi's original post with this meme, because DUDE - THE PICTURES WITH THE ANIMALS? Totally priceless (and adorable) - especially the PJ's she's sporting in the pic with the goats. Love me some onesie pajamas!

So - I'm requested to list 7 weird or random things about me.


One
Let's talk about Lego people. (Yes, the little guys in Lego sets with the yellow oblong heads and the square feet.) I went through a phase when I was THIRTEEN-- or older? Stacie, were we older than that? Man, good thing I had a friend who was as weird and dorky as I was. Anyway, Stacie and I, at some indeterminate age, would tie my younger brother's Lego people into our shoes. We'd sort of harness them into our shoelaces. They lost a lot of heads that way.


Two
I have a milk phobia. A very specific milk phobia. I will only consume it if I bought it. And if it's stored in my own refrigerator.


Three
At one point in time, I was the proud owner (breeder???) of no less than 48 hamsters. Yes, FOUR DOZEN little rodents. I was just so gosh-darn excited about getting the little hairy beasts together and having them start little families of their own (who cares if they were brother and sister? INCEST DOESN'T EXIST IN THE HAMSTER WORLD!). It got out of hand, naturally, and my parents forced me to give most of them away... my own little hamster adoption agency, born out of my desire to repopulate the hamster world. Out of the original group, I kept about 8. One of them was Scroungie, by far the most long-suffering and patient creature ever to walk the earth. Of course, it could have been ALL THE INBREEDING, and he was just the hamster equivalent of Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel. That, or he just LOVED ME UNCONDITIONALLY, which is of course what I choose to believe. Imagine, if you will, a brownish-whitish little creature with long hair like this guy... sort of all over the place. Anyway, I dressed him up in outfits I made out of scraps of felt. I gave him baths in the sink (watching a hamster swim? FANTASTIC.) I carried him around in my pocket. After I pulled him out of my parka pocket at my older brother's high school basketball game, my mom started to actually PAT ME DOWN before we left the house. Scroungie outlived most of his family, living to the ripe-old age of 5 (unheard of for a hamster). RIP, little dude.


Four
I was one of the speakers at my high school graduation. I was not the valedictorian. I'm pretty smart, but I didn't fully apply myself in high school and we didn't really have a valedictorian anyway. In my speech, I quoted Robert Fulghum, and said something about stars burning in the ether.


Five
I write poetry, and was active in the Seattle Poetry Slam scene in my wonderfully overly-self-aware, sensitive, angry early 20's. Thankfully, none of my poetry rhymes.


Six
I am an obsessive list-maker. At any point in time, you can probably find no less than five lists in my cavernous handbag.


Seven
Given the choice, in 99 out of 100 scenarios, I will always pick vanilla or caramel over chocolate.


For the tag portion of this meme - I'm supposed to tag 7 people to do this, but I LOVE ALL MY CHILDREN EQUALLY AND CANNOT POSSIBLY PICK ONLY 7. That, or I'm just lazy. Instead, being the rebel non-conformist that I am, I'm offering this up to all of you. Respond on your blog and post the link here in comments - or simply give me 7 random items about yourself in the comments. Either way, it's your turn.

(P.S. You cannot simply list yourself 7 times. I tried that, informing Heidi that I was definitely random and most certainly odd.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

on the phone last night, packing up to head home

Chip: What sounds good for dinner? I can pick something up on my way.
Me: ... [thinking]... You know what I want? I want pears. I want to eat a pear that's been cut up and put in a bowl, with a couple pieces of whole wheat toast on the side. Toast - with PEANUT BUTTER.
Chip: But we don't have any pears.
Me: I know. But it's totally what I want. Fruit and toast.
Chip: Is that even a meal?
Me: Yes. Yes it is. I used to eat it on Sunday nights when I was little. Because mom canned her own fruit, we could have a bowl of peaches or a bowl of pears - and TOAST. I want fruit and toast please.
Chip: So - I'm headed to the grocery store to buy pears?
Me: Um, yes? Yes please? If you don't mind?
Chip: [sigh] Yes, that's fine. I'll buy some pears. Do you want anything else?
Me: No. Just pears............... though some cookies also sound nice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

bean-flavored kung fu

This morning Chip was resting his head on my belly, saying hello to the Bean, when she gave him a nice big kick in the cheek. It was awesome.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

we'll see where this leads

Picking up from yesterday... I rode the early bus home on Friday because I needed to meet up with Chip for a visit to the flooring store before it closed at 7pm. And so begins the next chapter in Life of Whimsy, “Remodeling Project While Six Month’s Pregnant? Why Not?” also called, “Urrrr – So We’re Doing This Thing”

Lesson #4,301 from The Book of Pregnancy - When It Happens to You: It doesn’t matter how many times you hear of pregnant women embarking on some home improvement project, and the heinousness thereof. You may say to yourself, “I think I’ll pass. I can’t imagine going through pregnancy AND a remodel project.” All learnings are tossed out the window when you, yourself, are pregnant. Suddenly you will find yourself faced with some Unsatisfactory Condition of your abode and you will inexplicably warm up to the idea of a remodel project. Either that, or your husband will. And there is NO GOING BACK.

See, we'd been talking about the downstairs carpet and its hideousness for quite a while. We cleaned the carpets before we moved in, and things seemed okay – except for the dining room… where there was a Phantom Smell. I think I’ll forgo describing the Phantom Smell any further than Eau de Wet Dog and Cat Urine. It was nasty. I scrubbed the carpet. Chip scrubbed the carpet. We got the carpet professionally cleaned. The vague smell lingered. We brought in a black light (shudder) to see what we were missing. Don’t do it. What you find will haunt your dreams. It will fill your mind with unspeakable images. You will never be able to sit on that carpet again. And your husband, with the germ issues, will turn a very vivid shade of green every time you talk about the odds of your new baby coming into contact with the carpet.

This summer, as I was happily painting every surface in the house, we gouged the crud out of our vinyl kitchen floor moving the refrigerator. Now we were facing putting hardwood floors not only in the dining room, but the kitchen as well. And being who I am, I kept thinking about it – finally deciding that if we were going to do it in two rooms, it would probably be best to just put it in the entire downstairs. Doesn't this sound like a FINE IDEA? MADE EVEN MORE FINE BY MY INCREASING GIRTH AND SIZE - AND I COULD SQUISH YOU LIKE A BUG IF YOU DISAGREE WITH ME.

So the whole plan seemed like a pretty good idea. I thought it was something akin to returning the Donna Karen Cashmere Mist body wash. Something we’d do… at some point in time… in the future... in the mythical month called Novmarpril. But Chip has been busy! He has been requesting floor samples! He has been investigating and researching companies! Around about Tuesday, he was aware of some mad sale going on at a flooring store nearby – a sale that ended Friday, of course. I figured we’d go by, we’d look, we’d hmmmm our way through and decide another day. NOT SO.

For better of for worse, we found something we love. Absolutely, incredibly, can't-live-without-it LOVE. The quick and dirty drive-by-the-flooring-place visit on Friday night was 2 hours long.

In the midst of it, we went next door to the Mexican taco joint to get some dinner. We are all well aware of my issue with beans. Chip offered, as he opened the door, “If this is too much for you, say the word, and we’re outta here.” I felt pretty strong, pretty good, and VERY HUNGRY – so in we went. Food smelled delicious (onions & peppers & other lovely things drowning out the smell of BEANS). We each ordered some homemade tacos to go, carrying them back to the flooring place in anticipation. Closing time had come and gone by this time – and we were the lone customers in the store with our salesperson. He was busily crunching numbers on his computer, so we hunkered down on a nearby pallet and started eating. By some cosmic law, the following things happened at EXACTLY THE SAME MOMENT:
- I opened my Styrofoam food container and received the largest blast of foully sweet cilantro-taint smell known to MAN.
- Chip started to actually EAT his cilantro-infused tacos with gusto, sending yet more meaty cilantro air my way.
- The salesperson dropped The Final Price Bomb.
- My stomach, my gag reflex, and the Bean combined efforts (like the Wondertwins!) to let me know that NO - THIS DINNER IS NOT, IN FACT, OKAY. IT SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS IF YOU TREASURE YOUR LIFE.

I stood up. I tried to shake it off. I kept repeating over and over - I can’t eat this, I can’t eat this, I can’t eat this, I can’t eat this as the salesperson just kinda stared at me. As I started to pace and try to get myself under control, Chip jumped in, understanding what was going on, and promptly shut the dinners into their Styrofoam containers and tied them in not one, not two, but THREE plastic sacks (going back next door to get them – sweet guy).

My bad food smell reaction and consequent near panic attack notwithstanding, I’m totally excited. I know it’s going to look great. The flooring we chose is absolutely beautiful. And we price-compared at other places the next day, thus boosting our confidence that indeed, we got a killer deal, thanks to Chip's mad research skillz.

Now there's just the teeny-tiny problem of the fact that the floor that we LOVE isn’t available in click-down, and we have cement sub-floors. Do you know what this means? They have to glue it. And this is my favorite part coming up: ALL LIVING CREATURES (INCLUDING THE 4-LEGGED VARIETY) HAVE TO VACATE THE PREMISES FOR AT LEAST 2 DAYS. Because the glue is all toxic-like.

Um, have you ever moved a cat? It’s not a pretty picture. They kinda wig out. The last time we moved the cats, Fergus hid underneath our bathroom sink for 14 hours. And Phoebe went on some mad radar mission, pinging the crud out of the entire house, using some meow that is best heard by tiny little dogs and people about 30 miles away. It was harsh. And it went on for HOURS.

So, to review:
Excited about the pretty, pretty floors!
Not so excited about spending 2+ days in a hotel room with two very neurotic cats.

Monday, November 12, 2007

the whimsy on the bus goes up the stairs

How sad is this: Friday, late afternoon. I'm standing at the bus stop with all the other bored commuters heading out of downtown Seattle. In the distance I spy the brand spanking new double-decker commuter bus and I can't contain myself that I'M GOING TO GET TO RIDE THAT HOME. The bus has been around for at least a few weeks now, but Friday was my first chance to ride it. As far as I know, there are only 1 or 2 in circulation (at least the ones heading to my neck of the woods).

So yes, I GOT TO RIDE THE BRAND SPANKING NEW DOUBLE-DECKER COMMUTER BUS. It really was awesome. And I’ve got to tell you – it’s hard to go back to a regular bus. New comfy seats. Sparkling handrails. A cool pocket on the back of the seat. And the 2nd story business? LOVED IT. First of all, I was surprised that there was anyone sitting on the ground level – because I jetted up those little stairs like the wind. Found myself a seat for the ride home. And then proceeded to stare out the window, enjoying my new vantage point.

I present to you,
Whimsy observations from the top floor of the double-decker bus:

- It appears that you are eating CEREAL, WHILE DRIVING YOUR CAR. There are a few driving-suitable foods, and I wouldn't consider A BOWL OF CEREAL to be one of them. Maybe it's just me.

- Dude, your car may be all clean and sparkly on the outside, but you've got some serious filth going on in that back seat of yours. Papers? Various clothing items? I don't think you're one of those unfortunate folks who has to live in their car - because, BMW anyone? ACTUAL DISHES FROM YOUR KITCHEN BELONG IN YOUR KITCHEN. Not your back seat. (Acceptable backseat items include ginormous bottles of Donna Karen Cashmere Mist body wash. Not that I'd know anything about that.)

- BUCKLE YOUR SEAT BELT ALREADY.

- Oh, that's so cute. I can tell from your hand gestures that you are holding a lively conversation with the toddler in your back seat. Either that, or you are making lively hand gestures to the other cars in your line of sight. Hmmmm.

Yes, the bus ride was thoroughly enjoyable. It was part one of Friday night. You get part two tomorrow.

Friday, November 9, 2007

no common thread here

Have I got some RANDOM for you.


Brushes With Celebrity

I was adopted when I was 5-days old. My adopted parents flew from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City to pick me up. They ate at a restaurant at the Salt Lake City airport, a tiny me in their arms. When they tell this story, it's "the restaurant", so this was a time, in the olden days, when there was only ONE restaurant at the airport - no S'barro, no China Garden, no Auntie Annie's Pretzels, no nothing. We sat next to ROBERT REDFORD, who was coming from or going to his ranch at Sundance. Apparently, he remarked that I was a cute baby.

Again, at the airport - Los Angeles International, to be exact. I was 4 or 5 years old. I met ADAM RICH, Nicholas from Eight is Enough. I got his autograph and pasted it on the wall of my bedroom. He and I had the exact same haircut (believe it or not, this is the only picture I could find of little Nicholas - he's down on the far left, sporting MY HAIRCUT).

These entail the full scope of my brushes with celebrity, other than the time that I saw a movie at Beverly Center and sat behind Jerry Seinfeld. I have to say, it totally ruined the movie for me (don't even remember what I saw) because it was a comedy, and I spent the entire time watching to see if Jerry Seinfeld would laugh at the same stuff as me. I do remember that he wore those obnoxious white sneakers. I was (and am) a dork.


Human Tetris

With the television writer's strike going on, what are the chances that they'll bring this comedy gold to american television? Ahhh - never mind. We'd mess it up with super-bendy contestants sporting halter tops.

Watch SUPER FUN COMEDY CLASSIC HERE.


Jeopardy

Four questions to the Jeopardy answer: You will spill Revive vitamin water all over your desk, your computer keyboard, your skirt, and your legs.

- What is the reason for not staying at work past 5pm, especially when you planned to leave work at 4pm?

- What is... why you shouldn't keep an open bottle of Revive vitamin water on your desk?

- What is the reason for not wearing a light khaki-colored pencil skirt that is clearly one of your more favorite maternity skirts (out of your VAST maternity wardrobe)?

- What is... why you should steer clear of sticky beverages in general, especially when 5+ months pregnant, and growing increasingly clumsy?


Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

from one who knows

I realize that things around here have become ALL PREGNANCY, ALL THE TIME, but that’s what’s on my mind these days, yo.

For a slight change of pace (read: No change whatsoever, this is more of the same! Aren’t you thrilled!), I started thinking about two people whom I’m acquainted with that are currently in the very early stages of pregnancy. We’ve had some good discussions about what they’re currently going through, and it brought me back a bit. It’s highly laughable that I’m anything CLOSE to being an expert in anything even in the vicinity of pregnancy. In fact, Sage Women Who Have Borne Children And Are Reading This Blog Purely To Laugh Their Now Svelte Fannies Off At The Caaa-Raaaa-Zee Newbie, just… look away, please. Let me wallow in my smug idiocy. I’ll be along soon, apologizing and tell you that I’ll NEVER KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT THIS GIG. NEVER, IN A MILLION YEARS, IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

With that out of the way, I present a letter to my fellow compatriots, Virgins on the Pregnancy Express, just approaching those first weeks...

I know you thought you were going to be “one of the lucky ones” and skate through the first trimester with nary a thought about The Quease. I had this same thought – because I didn’t have any suggestions of The Quease (except for that unfortunate bout at the ferry dock with Chip and the burrito and BOY, we sure discovered early on what is a definite turn-off to The Bean: ANY OTHER BEANS – in any form, including refried, baked, pinto, black, chili – just NO on the beans).

When The Quease comes (and it will, I promise you, it really will), try to be patient. Do what you can, when you can. Listen to your inner food voice. Eat whatever sounds good, no matter how crazy (as long as it’s edible – I don’t want to find out you’ve been downing cups of potting soil, okay?). All the books will tell you to eat small meals throughout the day. They’re actually right about this, though you will come to feel like you’re eating ALL THE TIME. You’re not. It’s just that you’ll eat so little at a time, you’ll still be suffering through the 11am peanut butter sandwich at 3 o’clock. Don’t sweat it.

Tell your husband to stuff it if he attempts to criticize your choice of sour cream and onion dip with a grilled cheese sandwich. Tell him it’s delicious and don’t offer him any. If he tries it, he will tell you it’s the most disgusting thing he’s ever tasted, and that includes a mystery dinner heavily tinged with green food coloring.

No matter how much it might sound like a remedy, don’t spend the day eating nothing at work because your tummy is so miserable, and then scarf a whole bunch of roasted almonds on the bus ride home. Certainly DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, go in the house and attempt to clean up the fresh pile of Phoebe cat sick that is in the hallway outside the kitchen. Empty belly + roasted almonds + a face full of cat sick = a very bad night for you.

Vigorous teeth brushing will open up a whole new realm of vomiting possibilities for you. Go with it. You will soon become accustomed to your new and improved gag relfex.

Don't think you're crazy for being so tired. It’s true; you haven’t been doing your yoga as much as you should, or taking those walks you planned on. The exhaustion is due to the peanut in your gut. You can’t fight it. You can’t overcome it. And you shouldn’t ignore it. Take a clue from the gut and get some extra sleep.

You will find, over the next several weeks that you will complete far less housework than you ever thought possible. It will drive you crazy. Your husband, as much as you love him, will try to do some of this for you. You will be irritated that he doesn’t scrub the toilet in the same thorough manner as you – but you will be too tired to express this. Be appreciative. He loves you and wants you to be okay.

Don't be upset that it will take your husband SEVERAL times to realize that you CANNOT STAND THE SMELL OF ANY BEANS, ANY – THAT MEANS REFRIED. Remind him that, YES, YOU CAN SMELL THE OFFENSIVE BEANS IN YOUR SLEEP.

At some point in this mind-numbing exhaustion, you will experience a bout of freakish insomnia. No, it doesn’t make any sense. Take as many naps as humanly possible. Be okay with climbing into your pajamas at 6:30 p.m.

Many of the pregnancy symptoms that you read about now (Wonderful skin! Lustrous hair! Healthy fingernails!) will not even begin to be a blip on your radar for another 3 months or so. You will have terrible teenage skin. Your hair will be frumpy and bend at some very weird angles. Your nails will continue in their sluggish growth cycle. Revel in the miracle!

Even if you don't feel sick all the time, you will look sick most of the time. People will ask you if you're okay.

You will be okay. You are okay. Things do get better, in many ways. And they also get even weirder (skin tags, heartburn, leg cramps, leukorrhea, anyone?).

Hang in there, they tell me there's something wonderful waiting at the end of the nine months.

Sincerely,
Whimsy

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

too weird to title

I had read about the wonders of a body pillow from fellow pregnant bloggers. They sang the praises of the device, promising how it would REVOLUTIONIZE MY SLEEPING. So I bought one. Now, it’s quite possible that I’m at fault here, thinking that the $9.99 polyester-stuffed Target version would suffice. However, I’m not usually one to believe that you always get what you pay for. I mean, my Target-brand prenatal vitamins are JUST AS EFFECTIVE as the $30 Stewart Prenatals. And they’re loads and loads cheaper.

So the pillow. I bought it. I also bought a cover for it – the only one they had, a weird dark brown cheapy "velour-like" pillow case, also on sale. It’s the color of poo. At the time of purchase, Target had either the poo brown or a sort of jaunty violent turquoise – I had these visions of getting the turquoise and telling Chip I was going to redecorate our room using it as a jumping off point. I laughed at myself. And then I bought the brown. Because I am not that crazy, nor that sadistic.

To put it lightly, The Pillow and I have not enjoyed one another’s company. The “velour” fabric, is just… not. I’m having a hard time even putting the “velour” in “quotes” because it’s so far from anything like velour, which is no great luxury, either. I imagine it’s crafted from those green plastic strawberry baskets – melted down, tinged with poo additive coloring, and then miraculously woven into A VERY REALISTIC VELOUR-LIKE “FABRIC”. The weird fuzziness catches on my sheets. It makes it hard to cuddle and hold and straddle the way EVERYONE PROMISED ME I SHOULD WHEN I AM FORCED TO SLEEP ON MY SIDE. There’s also the fact that I’ve been waking up with a fiery throbbing ear – whichever ear has been forced to bear the brunt of side-sleeping. WHAT IS THAT? And yet, every night, I attempt to wrestle with The Pillow. I attempt to sleep with The Pillow. I’m sure it’s making something better in there for the Bean, right? So even as I’m suffering in non-silence (BEHOLD MY NON-SILENCE), the Bean is enjoying her sleeping quarters without suffering from Permanent Brain/Ear Damage From Ill-Advised Mother’s Sleeping Poses.

As much as I have, at best, curmudgeonly respect for The Pillow and how it’s supposedly making my side-sleeping that much more comfy, the rest of the household is truly enjoying it.

To wit:

The Pillow is Phoebe’s new boyfriend, replacing her former pretend boyfriend, the Travelocity Roaming Gnome (true: every time that irritating fellow is on the TV – PHOEBE, THERE’S YOUR BOYFRIEND! And then we’d break into I’M ON MY WAYYYYYYYY!). Unlike TRG, who was never around, and made empty promises of being on his way, The Pillow is really there for Phoebe. She sleeps on it every day, kneading into its freakishly resilient fuzzy brown skin. The Pillow allows Phoebe to cuddle without fear of recrimination (or Chip shrieking: YOUR NAILS! ARE LITTLE NEEDLES! INJECTING MY SKIN! ---which I always love to add, from the needle-free sidelines: But they’re injecting love, Chip, can’t you see that?). Phoebe’s least favorite time with The Pillow is when I get into bed – because suddenly her boyfriend is called into service under the covers, and she can no longer drape her body over him.

Chip realized two nights ago that The Pillow is strangely similar in size and color to this nifty and hilarious present I bought the cats a year ago: The Catnip Cigar. It’s this small brown fabric tube (sound familiar?), filled to the brim with some kind of uber catnip, the catnip that WILL NOT DIE. The catnip that fills cats’ senses with unseemly pleasure, leaving them rolly, slobbery, lifeless, and limp. The catnip toy that I cannot seem to hide effectively, because THEY ALWAYS FIND IT. On top of the skinny display cabinet in the dining room? Fergus found it in 3 days. Leaving the frighteningly wet catnip cigar on the couch in a disgusting saliva puddle. On top of the refrigerator? Probably a team effort, but somehow they got up there – fished it out of a bowl – and then proceeded to hold the longest catnip orgy our living room has ever seen. There were bits of MAIL on the floor after that one. I’ve been hiding the cigar inside the cabinet with the glasses, hoping it will dry out before I find a new hiding place. So Chip remarked two nights ago, as he was lying on the bed, The Pillow wedged up against him – “Hey! Who am I???” And then he grabs The Pillow in a massive bear hug, rolls onto his back, and proceeds to kick The Pillow’s hind portion with his legs. Repeatedly.

Pillows. Cigars. Catnip orgies. Can you IMAGINE the Google hits my blog is going to get after this?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

mark the day

As I was saying goodbye to Chip this morning, he said to me, "You know, you look pregnant today. You also look really cute. Cute and pregnant."

This is a momentous occasion, folks, because up to this time, I've looked like I've been feasting on Big Macs and donuts 24/7. With the lumpiness. About a month ago, I sighed, looking at my lumpy self in the mirror, and asked Chip if he would tell me when I finally look pregnant and not just oddly lumpy. He agreed to the challenge - and took it very seriously. There have been days when I thought I was close, but hopes were dashed repeatedly when we'd find ourselves in a public place, mentioning the Bean to a stranger. Stranger would look at me, at Chip, back at me (eyeing my lumpiness) and then say, with a note of surprise, "Oh really?! When are you due?" And when we told Stranger, he/she would undoubtedly react with the same type of surprise - all So you're one of those lumpy girls, hmmmm?

Given my husband's appraisal this morning, we'll see how this day goes. It's going to be another BUSY day, but hopefully I can pop in here with some other random thoughts I've got in my noggin. I know you can't wait.

Monday, November 5, 2007

registering a complaint

It's been one of those days where I've actually been required to work - even work hard. It will continue tomorrow, I'm afraid, but first I have to voice a tiny complaint to y'all. I'm sure it's due to my ineptitude with All Things Internet, but for the sake of my sanity, TELL ME SOMEONE, HOW TO FIX THIS.

Lately, I can't seem to control how the lines in my posts are spaced. This is irritating and totally meta to share - talking about the dumb formatting of the blog in the blog itself - but I'm desperate! I like it when the lines are spaced out - like 1 1/2 lines between. But lately, Blogger has really been teasing me, and just randomly removes the soothing 1 1/2 lines and squishes everything together. And I can't fix it. Nothing I do will fix it.

It's enough to make me really really really cranky. HELP ME, INTERNET WIZ KIDS.

hopes for a basketball - DASHED

I'm not seeing a basketball anywhere in the vicinity, are you?


The Bean, 22 weeks. Also: the lumpiness, 22 weeks.

In other news: We took the Insane Couples Trip to Ikea on Saturday and purchased The Bean's first piece of furniture, a very cute red dresser. It is adorably residing in its sweet-as-a-button flat-pack box on the floor of her future room. I have hopes that it will be three-dimensional sometime this week.

Annnnnd if you're ever looking for some SERIOUS entertainment, and you have five hours to kill on a Saturday afternoon, head to your local Ikea and take a seat on one of the beds or couches in the "living areas". Bring popcorn. You will have many hours of fun watching hundreds of couples and families in various states of Melt Down while they duke-it-out over the Ivanstrumson or the Corkkkumskils or the Vmwksootsle and how Won't it look just perfect in the living room? By the Skootsku chair that we already have???

Friday, November 2, 2007

slackerly update

Donna Karen Cashmere Mist body wash: Still in the back seat of my car. Is now rolling around on the floor.

Copius bundles of mail in my handbag: Continuing to happily accompany me throughout my day. I will be ridding myself of some of those bits today, but the wad? Is of heinous proportions, and will require a smallish forklift to wedge it out of my bag.

Chip's watch: Let me see... yep, STILL IN MY DRAWER! HELLO LITTLE WATCH!

Ultrasound photos posted: Hmm, I certainly don't see any adorable black and white images of our cute Skeletor child, do you? Let's hope for tomorrow!

Netflix movies: AM POPPING THEM IN THE MAIL TODAY! 50% UNWATCHED! BECAUSE I WANT TO CHECK SOMETHING OFF THIS STUPID LIST!

Nephew's rain boots: Who are we kidding, people? I'm never getting him these. The size 8's will fit on his little pinky toe by next Halloween, and sadly this year he had to dress as the lesser-known but still hunky Ill-Equipped Fireman: The Fireman That Puts Out Fires With Your Garden Hose Because His Truck Is Broken Down On The Highway And There Aren't Enough Tax Dollars To Buy Him a Decent Pair Of Fireman Footwear.

Unhemmed curtains: Again with the WHO ARE WE KIDDING? If I'm lucky, these babies will hem themselves, because by the time I get around to it, they will have developed a kind of Curtain Artificial Intelligence.

In the spirit of my list, and because I desire to ENTERTAIN YOU - it's your turn: tell me one thing that you'd like to get done, but know it's not going to happen in the next decade; and something that you're sure-as-heck-you-can-bank-on-it going to get done this weekend. We all know what I'm not accomplishing. As for my sure-fire: I'm going with the paying of the bills. Because we like electricity at our house.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

i am a slacker - let me count the ways

I have had an extremely large bottle of Donna Karen Cashmere Mist body wash sitting on the backseat of my car since early July. I bought it to send to my mom– who loves the stuff. I meant to buy the lotion, but got the body wash instead. I also meant to go back and exchange the one for the other, and then send the package to my mom. SINCE JULY. Odds that this task will be completed in the next four weeks, even in part: 1 in 10.

There is a very ungainly wad of mail that I’ve been carrying around in my insanely huge handbag – mostly bills to pay, things to do. While this wad of mail is not the exact same wad of mail from last month (because if I’m anal about one thing, it’s paying bills on time) – this wad of mail is still of similar size and girth as the last wad of mail. Why don’t I just pay the bills? Why carry them around in my handbag? Because you never know when you’re going to have a minute to balance your checkbook and pay some bills. Like while you’re sitting in a doctor’s office, waiting for your husband. Odds that this task will be completed in the next 24 hours: 1 in 5.

Chip last night: "Do you know where my watch is? Not my new watch, but the old one?"
Me: "You mean the one you gave to me 4 months ago, asking me if I could drop it off to be repaired? The watch that is still sitting in my desk drawer at work?"
Odds that the watch will be repaired before Christmas: 1 in 20.

There is a wonderfully glossy stretch of black and white ultrasound pictures that are tacked to our ‘fridge. The same photos that I was going to email my mother-in-law two weeks ago. The same photos that I was going to post on here two weeks ago. Odds that the pictures will be posted before The Bean is in college: 1 in 5.

I like to believe that the cats are treating themselves to a newfangled therapeutic acupuncture when they crawl behind our dining room curtains and get stabbed by the little pins that are tacking up the hem. They have been imbibing in this particular brand of torture since June. Odds that the curtains will be hemmed before Thanksgiving: 1 in 20.

My poor na├»ve sister called me in August, asking if I could look for some size 8 rain boots for my nephew. He wanted to be a fireman for Halloween and wouldn’t some little boots just be perfect?! Because they live in Southern California, she didn’t think she had much of a chance to find rain boots – but Wonderful Auntie Whimsy could surely find the perfect thing in rainy Seattle! Odds that boots will be purchased before NEXT Halloween: 1 in 20.

Chip and I take turns picking the movies on Netflix. In the time it’s taken him to watch and return about 1 bajillion different movies that I’d never in my wildest dreams care to watch (Howard Hughes’ masterpiece Hell’s Angels, anyone?), I’m still sitting on the movie I ordered and received. In September. Odds that I will watch and return it before January: 1 in 10.

Sadly, there are more I could add to this list, but I do have some pride. I think it's sitting in a bag somewhere behind the passenger seat of my car.