Wednesday, September 30, 2009

If / Then

If my entries had date stamps then you would see that I am writing this at the unholy hour of 3:30ish in the am.

If you ride all day in the backseat of the car with your toddler on the way to Spokane with your husband for business then you will have a back ache.

If you eat an early-ish lunch and don't have a snack in the car because you didn't plan very well then you will be ravenously hungry come dinner.

If you have an awesome husband with Hilton Rewards Diamond status and the portacrib doesn't fit in your room's bathroom then you will find yourself staying in a spacious handicap room.

If you have an awesomely awesome husband who goes to pick up pizza for dinner then he will also bring back ice cream.

If you eat way too much of the ice cream then you will have very weird dreams including one about mice the size of people. And cheese.

If you have strangely disturbing dreams then you will wake up in the squeaky black hour of 2am with the urgent need to go to the bathroom.

If you are lazy and also quite the chicken and the bathroom inside your room is currently being occupied by a 22 pound charmer who is currently sound asleep then you will agonize in bed for nearly an hour just hoping that the, um, URGE will pass and you will drift back to weird dreamland.

If you are me and you consumed an unholy amount of the cookie dough from that awesomely procured pint of cookie dough ice cream then the URGE will not pass and will only intensify. You will eventually succumb and force your scared self to get out of bed, to get dressed, to find your shoes, ALL DONE IN THE DARK, MIND YOU.

If your husband sleeps through your stealthy wardrobing then you will wake him to tell him that you are now headed down the hall, down the elevator, to the public restroom at 3am.

If you are a scaredy cat and also an insufferable know it all then you will remember an insipid statement you made to your awesomely awesome husband earlier in the evening about how the 'close door' button on an elevator ALWAYS works even as he was PRESSING THE BUTTON AS THE DOORS STOOD OPEN STUPIDLY.

If you are standing in a hotel elevator in the eerie dark morning hour of 3am madly pushing the CLOSE DOOR button just praying that the crappy doors will SHUT before the late night roaming flesh eating zombies get in then you will also start worrying about those man-size cheese-munching mice.

If you finally make it down the elevator and through the deserted hotel hallways without getting abducted or zombie-fied then you will spend your entire bathroom experience thinking that the roving zombies and mice have formed a gang and are waiting outside the bathroom door.

If you survive getting back out of the bathroom and back in to the elevator then you will again recall your earlier idiot elevator DOOR CLOSE comment and rue the day you made fun of your awesomely awesome husband as you VAINLY AND REPEATEDLY PRESS THE DOOR CLOSE BUTTON just hoping that the terrifying zombie/mice gang is otherwise occupied with eating the hotel night clerk's brain thus allowing you with a clean getaway.

If you finally make it back upstairs, into your room, undress, climb back into bed, lay down and breathe a sigh of relief, then you will find yourself far too keyed up to fall back to sleep.

If you sit in your bed just willing yourself to sleep and it doesn't happen then you will choose the much ill-advised secondary pastime of BLOGGING ABOUT IT.

If you spend enough time composing a very ill-advised blog post about ice cream and late night runs to the bathroom then you will eventually HAVE TO GO AGAIN.

If you are up and awake and generally HATING EVERY SECOND OF WASTED SHUT-EYE TIME then you can at least wish your dad a very happy birthday. Long live that crazy Winston!

(If you had an iota of technical savvy then you would insert the picture that The Little Brother posted last night on Facebook of Winston RIDING A MECHANICAL BULL. But you aren't savvy and you have to run the zombie/freakishly mansize rodent deathtrap hallway/elevator gauntlet... again.... So: Whimsy out.)



Edited to add: If you wake in the morning after sleeping for a brief two hours and you begin to reflect on this poorly punctuated late night madness then you'll also realize that you didn't say ANYTHING about the exciting Solace of Leaving Early book discussion beginning here tomorrow. Even if you haven't finished the book, you should stop by. I'm sure there are some things that you can add to the discussion. Also keep in mind that we'll be starting tomorrow, but will continue through the weekend, so it would be great to have you stop by multiple times! See you tomorrow!


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

sneaky little peanut


At just this moment I am struck by the little cliffs we stumble upon, almost by accident. We live our lives in meandering lines, honing our direction. Usually we are so focused on some place we imagine on the horizon, we don't see what is right in front of us. Or, as is sometimes the case, in the briefest moment an entire valley opens before us--- our toes curling over the edge of a cliff.

It happens so often that someone starts to write after they've stood at the edge of the precipice and then tumbled over, clutching rocks and sand and dirt in their quickly falling hands. We are left to imagine their life previous to these moments, the time they spent way up there in the flatland. Sometimes they talk about it. They speak of a time Before.

And in this case, I'm writing as we're jumping over this ridge, holding hands the three of us, hoping and praying that we'll land on our feet.

(I know we'll land on our feet.)

(This is not going to become an Allergy Blog.)

(Did you know they had those?)

(They do.)


But.

I have the distinct pleasure to say that there was a time Before. And now there will be a time After.

Let's talk about the time In Between.

We went to Bean's follow-up appointment with her pediatrician yesterday morning. Alice was the only one who ate breakfast, and that was a waffle she clutched in her hands as we rode in the car. Chip and I didn't talk much. This is our M.O. in these situations: quiet, thinking, wondering. We focus on what needs to be done and let the silence fill in the empty spaces.

We arrived at the office before they had even turned on the lights. We sat in semi-darkness, watching the rest of the medical center wake for another Monday morning. They told us the Pediatrics receptionist was running late. Alice pointed excitedly to the fish --- FIIIII! FIIIII! IIIISH! She sat in a chair and munched bits of waffle. When the receptionist arrived, they opened the metal gate that covered the desk. Chip checked us in. I grabbed a few samples of Desitin from a basket. We killed time.

This is what I'm going to remember about that doctor's visit: sitting in the waiting area, wondering about Alice's life before her - what realities we would be discussing in the next hour that would become the realities of her life as she would understand it--- a life without a Before.

The doctor was really nice. She spoke about charts and allergy numbers - where an allergy resides on a scale of severity. She talked to us about allergy types and the reactions they usually entail. She didn't use a lot of words we don't already understand, though the context was different in most cases. I realized again that this is a process. The first conversation is not the end. It gives us a place to start, a place to plant our feet and breathe deeply: what do we need to know next.

We learned about the EpiPen and how to use it (I was so freakishly stressed, I gave myself a nice Epi-shaped bruise on my thigh). When I imagined trying to hold Alice down as I inject her with the pen, slowly counting to ten--- the image faded to a hazy golden color, sound and pictures slowed down. My brain was telling me: this is unimaginable.

But in the nuts and bolts of this thing I find solace. A plan. A systematic To Do list that gives me hope. And I am working on visualizing the steps for when, not if, she is exposed to peanuts.

Because it turns out that peanuts really are the Big Bad. The others need to be considered, to be worked through: the soy, the peas, the fish. But it's the peanuts that could attack her breathing, that could have her coughing and gasping for breath. This is what we know: her allergies aren't on the most severe end of the spectrum. They are moderate. At this point. And hopefully, as we watch her "numbers" (Ah! One of the pesky vocabulary words that I'm already adopting into speech.)--- things will stay steady, if not drop off altogether. It seems more likely that she'll lose her allergy to peas, soy, and fish - but in all likelihood, the peanut allergy is here to stay. About the "numbers" - the deal is this: There's this rating system, sort of, that gives a number between 0 to over 100, and then there is a scale that designates level of severity. So for instance, if Bean scored a .2 on allergic reaction to wheat (she didn't, but we're talking in abstracts right now), she would be considered to NOT be allergic to wheat. But if she scored, say, a 3.0, she'd have a moderate allergy. Then in a year or so, you test again - and hope that the numbers have decreased. So it goes. The typical reaction to soy is in the sinuses: runny noses and conjestion, what can turn in to chronic ear infections. So far, Alice's reaction to seafood is to vomit. We haven't yet seen a soft tissue or breathing reaction, but we're not going to wait for that to happen, either. The more a kid is exposed to the allergen, the more aggressive the reactions become.

So the key is containment and elimination. In the case of peanuts, we are ridding our household of the little buggers, as much as it pains me to say. Every granola bar, jar of peanut butter, and piece of chocolate is going to be excised from The Last Homely House. For the time being, and because we haven't yet tested her for a tree-nut allergy, we are going entirely nut free. At her 2-year appointment, when we check on the status of current allergies, we'll have her tested for tree nuts and a few other things.

As for soy... that's a little bit trickier. Soy is in E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Nilla Wafers, Cheez-Its, fish crackers, graham crackers (oh the irony). All of them with soy. Come to find out, it is in most crackers and cookies, with the exception of Annie's. Honey Bunnies to my rescue, once again, man. Also: I'm going to teach myself to make my own graham crackers if it kills me. That should be an interesting blog post. I'm going to call them Whimsy Grahams.

I started dreaming of the homemade Whimsy Grahams as I wandered the ailses of Trader Joes yesterday afternoon, looking for suitable substitutes. As I read box after box, I thought of you guys. Thank you for your help yesterday.

There's so much more to say. I know there's more to say. But I'm exhausted. I want to dream of Whimsy Grahams and a happy smiling Alice, no EpiPen in sight.

But first, our family is going cliff diving.









Monday, September 28, 2009

buy me some peanuts and cracker jack (on second thought, skip the peanuts)*


*It was the only song lyric I could think of that included peanuts. This post has absolutely nothing to do with baseball. Just so you know.


But it has everything to do with the peanuts. And, I guess, the Cracker Jack. Because it turns out our dear Bean has a peanut allergy.

It was the reason for the blood-draw horror last week. See, when Bean got approved for peanut consumption at her 15-month appointment I was all, YEAH! I GET TO FEED HER PB&J! THE OFFICIAL SANDWICH OF THE TODDLER RITE-OF-PASSAGE! ROCK ON! And then I did. And she got these angry red welts on her skin wherever the peanut butter touched her. It wasn't pretty, and had me scrub scrub scrubbing her face and neck and fingers until they shined, trying to get that awful peanut stuff OFF. I figured, Hmmm - what's this? So she stayed away from peanut butter for a few weeks. And then I tried again: same reaction.

She hasn't had it since. I ran the whole scenario past her doc on Thursday, hoping she'd be all Pish Posh, it's nothing. But it wasn't. Instead she was all, HMMM. WE NEED TO HAVE HER TESTED TODAY. Which then sent us down the Hallway of Doom into the Laboratory of Screaming Death with the Hurting Needles and the Even More Hurting Rubber Band Arm Thingie.

I got a message from the office on Friday afternoon: Please call us back.

So I did, my hands shaking as I pressed the buttons. When they gave me the news, they also included the following: So...she's allergic to soy, peas, fish, and peanuts. (At which point my brain starts going DUDE. NO WONDER SHE INEXPLICABLY THREW UP EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. YOU GAVE HER THOSE FISH STICKS THAT CHIP HATES SO MUCH. HE IS GOING TO DO THE DANCE OF JOY THAT HE NO LONGER HAS TO HAVE THEM IN THE HOUSE. And then my brain took a quick rest and moved into YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF, FEEDING HER THOSE FISH STICKS THREE DAYS IN A ROW! BAD MOTHER! And then on to AT LEAST YOU HAVEN'T FED THEM TO HER SINCE THEN. THAT MAKES YOU A DECENTLY PASSABLE MOTHER FOR THE LAST 90 DAYS. BUT YOU'RE SKATING ON THIN ICE.) And then I actually started to hear more of the nurse's words as she was explaining things and also telling me, "You'll need to come in and see the doctor as soon as possible next week." And then as she searched for a time on Monday (!) morning for us to come in, I remembered that the doc had mentioned that if it was a peanut allergy, we'd need to be trained on giving Bean an injection, in the event that she was again exposed to peanuts and stopped breathing.

So.

I know it's not the end of the world. It's a speed bump. Something we'll move over, work with, approach with caution but not allow to rule our lives. I've got a handle on it. Besides the sad half-hour freak out I had in the privacy of my own home on Friday afternoon (NO REESES PEANUT BUTTER CUPS? NO PEANUT M&M'S? NO NILLA WAFERS WITH STRAWBERRY JAM AND PEANUT BUTTER? NO JIF???? AT ALL???????), I'm fine. And we're fine. And Bean is going to be just fine.

It's a bummer, though, you know? That she's going to be one of the allergic kids. The kids that can't eat peanuts. That have to read the ingredients of everything. That can't have chocolate bars like everyone else and will have to carry her own from-home-weird-food in a sad little bag. (Fine! So I'm overstating it! Again! Sue me! I am MOURNING THE LOSS OF PEANUT BUTTER AND FISH STICKS FOR MY ONLY CHILD! And soy. Which, I reminded her on Friday night, "Well, dude. I'm here to tell you that it's unlikely you're ever going to become a vegetarian."

The peas... I'm not sure if I'm sad about that at all. It's just weird. (Though, on second thought R.I.P. SPLIT PEA SOUP, GREEN GLOB OF SQUISHINESS. BEAN NEVER KNEW YOU, BUT SHE WILL HAVE TO MISS OUT ON ALL THE HIJINKS OF HAVING HER MOTHER TELL HER THAT SHE CAN'T LEAVE THE TABLE UNTIL SHE FINISHES HER ARMY GREEN SOUP. TO WHICH SHE WILL REPLY: FINE THEN, I'M GOING TO SLEEP HERE. Not that I'd know anything about that. Um, at all.)

So - help a girl out. Tell me everything you know about peanut allergies and I'll report back tomorrow with info.



NOTE:
SOLACE OF LEAVING EARLY BOOK READERS AND DISCUSSION-HAVERS --- YOU HAVE THREEEEEEEEEEE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

between the lines




I would tell her that she has the bluest eyes, that if she could only keep them still for a moment or two I'd study their depths to be sure of the golden green flecks close to the center.

I would tell her that I want to translate every syllable she utters into poetry. That when I ask her each morning about her dreams, I want nothing less than to transport myself into that dreamworld that is hers alone - that to see her version of our world would be nothing less than a sweet-smelling piece of heaven.

I would tell her that no matter how many times I get frustrated, no matter the moments I've walked away breathing heavily through my nose as she flings chicken nuggets beyond the dining room-- pelting the living room furniture, no matter how messy she makes the house, no matter how many times I've refolded stacks of fabric as she proudly shouts FAAAA!!! FAAAA!!! from the sidelines, no matter how many screaming fits inside the bookstore because I wouldn't let her relocate the entire bottom shelf of R books, no matter the twenty-minute naps that make me feel like my brain is literally relocating outside my body for lack of toddler downtime, no matter the demands for BO! when we are nowhere near the woobie, no matter the pain, the anguish, the frustration, the physical discomfort, no matter what--- I am always always always going to be here for her.

I would tell her that she is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

I would tell her that she is wicked smart. The kind of smart that can figure things out. The kind of smart that will have her always struggling to be challenged. The kind of smart that can make a person lazy if they're not careful. The kind of smart that can take her anywhere she wants to be in life.

I would tell her that one day soon she and I are going to have marvelous tea parties together, that I bought a tea set to belong to just the two of us - something for just us to share, that I bought it before she was even a whispery potential for our family, that I bought it long before she was ever conceived because I knew that she was going to be here one day.

I would tell her that I go into her room at night after she's asleep and I stand in the dark just to listen to her breathe, just to smell her skin, just to know that she's close.

I would tell her that I have every hope in the world for her: to become a doctor, a scientist, a beautiful ballet dancer, a mother, an artist, a writer, a teacher, an astronaut, a bus driver, an architect, a politician, an amazing human being.

I would tell her that there is nothing that she can't do, nothing that will limit her.

I would tell her that I am her biggest fan, her strongest proponent, her most valiant protector.

I would tell her that this dam that holds my fierce love for her in check, the barrier that keeps it from crashing over the walls and down into her arms is there for her protection. The weight of my love would crush her.

I would tell her that every hurt she experiences, pierces me twice as hard - pounding me into the ground even as I fly to her to tell her it's going to be okay, it's going to be alright, she's going to be okay, the pain--- it goes, it all goes away.


Instead, I am singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star over and over in a breathy whisper--- singing it as I cry, my tears mixing with hers, her face red and crumpled in fear and pain as I lean my entire body over hers to hold her down on the cot while two lab techs work furiously to draw her precious blood.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

well that's just grahamtastic



This post started as a cry for help. An SOS of the save-me-from-my-TODDLER variety. I was convinced that the great Bean was intent on my destruction (implosion seemed like the most appealing scenario). All the usual components for death-by-implosion: three consecutive days of 40ish-minute (!!!) naps, a screeching noise that could wake the dead, and new found levels of food pickiness the likes of which I've never witnessed... (until now: You want Wheat Chex and not Rice Chex?).


There is also this delightful knack she is developing to DEMAND a food-item just as I'm about to sit down at the table to eat my meal. So I get up, I get the additional apple slices or crackers or Wheat Chex (what was I THINKING, to buy RICE CHEX?!?!). I bring the items back to her highness and then go to sit down for my meal when WAWAWAWAWAWAWA shouts the girl child. I get up, grab the WAWAWAWAWAWA and then go to sit down. You can guess what happens next. And next after that, and after that, and after that too.


Anyway. This post started out like that. And then I had to stop writing because I needed to get Bean in the bathtub (I'm cheating and writing this on Wednesday night). So I got her in the tub and we splashed and laughed and had a grand old time. Then we pajama'ed and sang and said our prayers and said goodnight. At which point I went downstairs to get myself a very-much-deserved bowl of ice cream. As I scooped, I thought about the post I'd been working on, and I thought about Miss Bean.

(I really don't think she's trying to destroy me. Exactly.)

And then I thought, you know what would go great with this bowl of ice cream? One of those Honey Maid graham crackers from the box I bought on Monday. As I grabbed the graham crackers I kept thinking about Bean.

(It's the Teething That Ate Manhattan, I know that.)

And just as I opened the fresh box of grahams, I noticed that the side of the crackers looked a little funny. Like wavy. And lumpy. So I opened the package and discovered (are you READY FOR THIS?)...

THEY WENT AND CHANGED THE BACK OF THE HONEY MAID GRAHAMS.


I'll let that sink in for a moment.

The fronts still look the same, with the little evenly spaced holes and the dotted lines to mark off where you'd break them in half and in fourths. But the backs of the grahams? They're all... weird. With lumpy bits and these hash marks that look like the grahams have been run over by a very tiny Honey Maid Tank, bent on the subservience of all graham crackers (YOU WILL BOW TO ME! WE RUN OVER YOU! YOU ARE SMASHED FLAT! FOREVER!).



It moved this whole Bean-bent-on-melting-my-brain into perspective, you know? What's a few bad days with your kid compared to THE DESTRUCTION OF A CHILDHOOD ICON?

I checked every cracker in the box just to see if it was some kind of Freak Graham Baking Incident and sadly, every one of them had the Evil Ridges of Wrongness.

It's been a hard week.

What about you?




Also: don't forget that we're doing the book discussion for The Solace of Leaving Early next Thursday - I'm really looking forward to it, I hope you'll be there. If not, I may have to pelt you with Terrible Hash Mark Graham Crackers of Badness.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

bean's top ten fall must have items for back to school





#10: Crayons.



#9: Plastic forks and spoons.





#8: Kitchen drawers. Which are excellent for containing the plastic forks and spoons.




#7:Tilly and the Wall's Alphabet Song.




#6: Battery operated radio we keep in the car. Called for some unknown reason CHEEM.



#5: Books.



#4: Elmo's Duck Song.




#3: Elmo. Called LA LA LA. Occasionally it is demanded of the mother to dress Elmo in a skirt. When this happens, I tell myself that this is ElmA, Elmo's winsome but much less famous twin sister.



#2: Hurp. His name was given and agreed upon before Alice came to be. And way before we started putting a Y on the end of everything Bean-related. ...He continues to be the one item that we work exceedingly hard to REFRAIN from adding the Y. For obvious reasons.




#1: Bo. Her best friend, her nap partner, her favorite thing among all things, her woobie.

(Don't touch my woobie, man.)



... And because clearly I expect you to read through an entire post (and WATCH VIDEOS) before I announce the winner of the sock-pod... the winner is comment #16: Clueless But Hopeful Mama. I'll be emailing you shortly, CBHM, for your digits.

Now. Go rewatch Elmo's ducks another 4,567 times and we'll be even. It's the kind of ear worm craziness that will have you SINGING IT AT 2AM, though I still don't hate the song. Go figure. (My favorite duck is the last one with the super deep voice.)



Monday, September 21, 2009

this just up: whimsy discovers A WHOLE OTHER ROOM in her house



This weekend I took part in the Somewhat Annual Great Whimsy Studio Clean-Up Tour.

As indicated, it doesn't take place on a regular basis, and I always feel sorry for that fact when I'm on this side of the Clean-Up. I love that room. It contains some of my best-loved things, reminders, remembrances, pictures, and teeny tiny objet d'art. It's a comfortable place. It's full of light, soft, and good-smelling (all Whimsy-approved, of course).

The cats hang out there most days. I, on the other hand, do not. Or at least, I haven't. Mostly because it hasn't been an Alice-friendly zone. Within Alice-height and sight have been razor blades and cutting tools, precious un-babyfriendly paper, and stacks and stacks of fabric only too ready for Alice hands to unfurl them in terrible piles.

Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.

So this weekend I declared a Studio Clean-Up, my attempt to make the space more Alice-accommodating, and thus more Whimsy-accommodating. I'm happy with the results, though there's nothing like a picture to remind you of all the odds and ends that still need to find a home.

I give Chip a hard time about being squirrelly--- his great ability to hide bits and pieces of the odds and ends into the nooks and crannies that one cannot fathom. I've found highway maps behind desks and a particularly precious newspaper (not just an article, but the Whole. Darn. Thing.) tucked up behind a bookcase- is what I'm saying. Squirrelly. The man has a talent for it. It struck me late Saturday night when I was going through the ephemera that had gathered in a ceramic bowl--- that I am my own version of squirrelly. I gather these bits of life that tell the story of who I am and what's important to me, what strikes me as beautiful, and I hold them close in this room I love.

There's a line in The Time Traveler's Wife where Henry and Claire have moved into their first apartment. It is tiny and cramped, but Claire does what she can to continue to make art in the space. As time passes, her pieces get more intricate and detailed - and also smaller and smaller - hanging from the walls and ceiling, pushing Claire from one room into another, crowding her deep into herself. Henry realizes what's happening, the story Claire is trying to tell him: she is being crushed in this too-small space.

I think I do this sometimes: allow myself to be crowded out of my studio, the table piled high with half-done projects and things that need to be put away somewhere. And then I'm doing the sewing at the kitchen table and using the studio as an enlarged (and scary) closet. Months pass and the piles get higher and deeper, putting it all away becomes a project of Epic Proportions. The things I create become less focused, cobbled together with the items I can reach in the Studio Mess.

Then comes the day of the Great Studio Clean-Up. This time I vow to keep it more organized. This time I promise that I'm going to put things away when I'm done with them.

We'll see how it goes.


So, my peeps. Today is the last day to enter the drawing for the Sock Pod (deadline 5pm PST). Comment on this post and I'll do the Random Number Magic tonight - winner announced tomorrow!



Friday, September 18, 2009

day by day


Monday night, 10:02pm

Chip (sighs as he hangs up the phone): It looks like I'm going to have to go to Eastern Washington tomorrow.
Whimsy: Really? That's a bummer. How long?
Chip: I'll leave tomorrow morning, back on Thursday.
Whimsy: I had thought you'd be staying in town this week.
Chip: Me too.
(silence)
(Whimsy keeps typing on her laptop)
Chip: So, uh... what would it take for you to be ready to go to Eastern Washington tomorrow?
Whimsy: A tranquilizer.



Tuesday night, 5:55pm
Whimsy (to Alice, who is crying and carrying on because she doesn't like the way Whimsy wipes her face): He's at work. Daddy's at work, honey.
Alice: (through the tears) Daaaa-Dee! Daaaa-Dee!
Whimsy: I know. I miss him too.



Wednesday, 6:47pm
Whimsy (as she's giving Alice a bath): Hello sudsy girl!
Alice: Daaaa-Dee! Daaaa-Dee!
Whimsy: He's at work, honey.
Alice: Daaaa-Dee! Daaaa-Dee!
Whimsy: I have nothing funny to say to you. I miss him too.



Thursday, 4:10pm
Chip has been home for a few hours. Whimsy is sitting at the kitchen table, Chip on the couch. Alice walks over to bring Whimsy a book.
Whimsy (to Alice): So Alice, do you want to really welcome daddy home?
Chip: What's that?
Whimsy: Chip? Do you want us to really welcome you home?
Chip: Absolutely!
Whimsy (to Alice): Honey, go walk on over there to daddy.
Chip (gets a whiff of Alice): Oh.

A few minutes later, Chip is changing Alice's diaper.
Whimsy: It's so good to have you home.
Chip: (continues wiping poop, looks at Whimsy with raised eyebrows)
Whimsy: Not just for the diaper changes, either.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

the best i can do with what i've got

In the midst of another teething binge.

Is my child a shark or something?

WILL THE TEETHING NEVER END?

Am considering gnawing my own foot off.

As is Alice.


Something that I never considered, after all my complaining about the (lack of) communication with my child--- now that I can understand a decent number of her requests, and she knows it, I am now unable to feign ignorance as she is loudly demanding her paci/woobie/inappropriate snack item (i.e. cat crunchies). Now I actually have to say NO and deal with the aftermath--- or I give in.

I'll give you one guess as to what I've been doing for the past day and a half.

See you on the other side, internets.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

return to the 'bers


If you've spent any significant time here at The Creamery, you know that Autumn is my favorite season. I even love how it has two names, both of them poetical and lovely: Fall and Autumn, Autumn and Fall. The months are lyrical and dusky and remind me of the crunch of leaves: September, October, November, December. Cooler days, even cooler nights, and mornings that smell like cider.

I'm excited to see Alice enjoy this season, can't wait to see her cheeks go rosy pink in the chilly air, can't stop myself from fantastically dreaming over her Halloween costume (I'm not sure what it's going to be, yet, exactly--- I'd love to hear your thoughts). Fall is a time when my soul feels a freedom that it doesn't have at any other time of year. I don't understand it, exactly, but I just know that these are good days to wander in.

And maybe that's it: this stretch of days leading up to Thanksgiving feels like a time of immense possibility, a surprise around every week's corner, a wonderful gift of What If.


So. Any thoughts about Halloween costumes?






Monday, September 14, 2009

501



Not just for jeans anymore. Also for blogs called The Creamery. Today is my five hundred and first post.

I think we should celebrate. How should we celebrate? By welcoming a new addition to the sidebar, and a new addition to The Creamery lexicon: THE E-MINIONS. Hello there, Minions! If you'd care to be a Minion, go on over there and add yourself. I might be having future contests and fun stuff for just the Minions, so consider yourself warned.

How else should we celebrate? You guys have given so much to me, it only seems fair that I should give a little something to you. A little something in the form of a giveaway. I'm going to be giving away a very fun sock-pod much like this one here (though a slightly different color scheme).


The package might also contain a couple of other fun handmade goodies.

How to enter? Leave a comment telling me your favorite breakfast cereal. We've been eating out of a box of Lucky Charms the last few days and it's just hit the spot, yo. Though usually my cereal du jour is Special K. You know what, though? I miss the old Special K. It used to be shaped like these little inverted cups, all thin and crispy. I loved sprinkling some sugar on my cereal and it would collect in the little crispy cups. Good times.

ANYWAY. Favorite cereal: GO! (I'll do a random number generator thingy and pick a winner next Monday, 9/21.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

postcard from nowhere



I never know what to write on this day. I just don't.

I send postcards to M. I make them out of pictures that I like and then I put a quote on the back. Usually nothing else but that - a quote and a picture. M has been doing something like this on her blog for a little while, calling it Other People's Words.

I'm borrowing from her today to send you this postcard from nowhere, because I don't know what to say.



I like to see people reunited, maybe that's a silly thing, but what can I say, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatiance, the stories that the mouth can't tell fast enough, the ears that aren't big enough, the eyes that can't take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone, I sit on the side with a coffee and write in my daybook, I examine the flight schedules that I've already memoriezed, I observe, I write, I try not to remember the life that I didn't want to lose but lost and have to remember, being here fills my heart with so much joy, even if the joy isn't mine, and at the end of the day I fill the suitcase with old news.

- Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close



Thursday, September 10, 2009

busy eighteen



Dear Alice,


There was a time when I wrote these notes for you every month. It was a way for me to mark all the amazing changes I was seeing in you each day, to remind you one day how miraculous every single moment had been. When I used to write these monthly notes, I could easily articulate each new milestone, pinpointing the exact day and moment when you turned another corner in your life. As with so many other things though, you have changed so much in these past several months, it's hard to tell you when and how the New You came to be.


Was it only just six months ago that you were just barely starting to walk--- when now you ca
n walk and run and climb with so much ease? You move through your days with the energy of a star: pushing and grasping and striving for big, bigger, biggest; fast, faster, fastest; high, higher, highest. That's how I see you: standing on tiptoe, reaching with all of your might to hold that bit of life that evades you. If we are walking, you want to run. If we are sitting, you want to stand. If we are moving, you want to stream beyond us and around us. That's your way, my sweet Alice: wanting more--- and because of your incredible focus, you get that more--- every moment.


You have an insatiable desire to know. You are always pointing at things and asking me to tell you its name: That? you ask, looking at me for understanding. I go through my day with you, saying the names of objects like a prayer: chair, table, cat, oven, car, camera, rinocerous, blanket. So many times you'll repeat what I say, a benediction to file away for later. Which is how you've come to say so many words: toes, toast, wow, uh-oh, bye bye, hi, all done, go door, some, you, ear, hair, two, nine, cheerio (which sounds more like chee-yo), daddy, mama, water, cheese. Some of my favorite words you use are those of your own making: calling your woobie, "Bo"; and the little radio we keep in the car for you, "cheem".


Amidst your burgeoning vocabulary, you are still doing some sign language too: signs for more, all done, kitty, swing, ball, car, bubbles, hat, and love. That last one just kills me, Alice. We've been signing I love you since the very beginning, and just the other day I looked at you and signed it, telling you for the thousandth time, the millionth time: I love you, dear one. And then you looked back at me, smiling, and put your arms up across your chest in the sign of a heart.


You love animals, and can spend countless moments contemplating them. You love to ROAR with abandon whenever you see a lion (or tiger, or bear, or buffalo, or anything remotely ferocious). You say MOO for a cow and BAH for a sheep and HOOO for an owl and MAA for a goat and ARF for a dog and ER for a rooster and KECKKKK for Fergus. That last one is because one day Fergus was standing in the hallway coughing outside your bedroom. We were sitting on the floor reading some books and when Fergus was hacking and KECKing away, you asked me That? And I told you it was Fergus. What does Fergus say, honey? I asked, and you answered KECKKKK, KECKKKK. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life.


That's what you do for me, my little Bean. You make me laugh. You make me think. You make me look at my world in an entirely new way, and I love it.

You are busy. You love moving things from place to place (hot pads from the kitchen to the living room, Tupperware from the cabinet to the couch, books from shelf to chair to couch to floor). You can catch and throw a ball. And you do it well. Which means that you are clearly y
our father's daughter. I am very far from being a coordinated athlete, my dear, and your dad--- well, he is athletic. And I think you've gotten some of that from him. You've also developed his sense of balance. I have never seen the likes of you, monkey girl. And you just don't fall! I don't udnerstand it, but there is inside of you a natural understanding of your own limits. And as much as it pains me to say, I need to trust you more, the way you trust yourself.


You know all your body parts. You know eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hair, knee, feet, toes, hands, fingers, belly button.

There is music in our life since you came, Alice. You want to be surrounded by music. You ask me to sing by demanding ROW ROW. And then I start singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat but so many times that's not what you want. You want Popcorn Popping or Somewhere Over the Rainbow or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Itsy Bitsy Spider. I sometimes feel like the human jukebox, but it's so funny how much it doesn't bother me. I've sung to you at church, in the car, in our yard, in the grocery store, at the mall, at the park, in the Home Depot garden section. I don't care who looks or what they say because it's you and me, my little Bean, and the look on your face and the way you clap your hands, it's a gift. You share music with your daddy, as well. He has special songs that he'll sing and play on his guitar just for you. There have been times when he's away on business and you'll see the guitar he keeps in your bedroom--- and you'll ask me to play it for you: pointing at the guitar, turning to me with your eyebrows raised high and that expectant smile on your face. I hate telling you in those moments that I can't play it, that it's something I can't give to you, but just the same--- it's lovely that you and your daddy have something that's just yours.


It's been so much fun watching you as you're also watching us. It's amazing how much you see, how much you catch. You spend a lot of time taking care of your babies--- Logan and Elmo and Lulu. You love to have me put a bib on them as you feed them from your little toy bottle or sippy. Just a few days ago I caught you putting plastic rings in Elmo's mouth. They must have been very tasty. It was just a month ago that we realized you have been folding your arms when we say prayers. Now it's one of my favorite things to see. It's time for a prayer, Alice. Fold your arms. And then to watch you clasp your hands together and sit so very still.


You've brought so much to our life beyond just these things I've articulated. You've brought play and spontaneity and screams of pure JOY.

I'm so honored to know you, little one. Happy eighteen months.



Love,

Mama










Wednesday, September 9, 2009

dance party usa


Yesterday I commented on a Swistle post about a watch she found at Target. The girl can find DEALS where the rest of us would be all, "Whaaaa?" and "Help me get the baby in this cart" and "Dude! Movies!" and "Dollar bins! Let's see what we can find!" then Swistle would come trundling past us poor Target Simpletons with her cart piled high with extraordinary bargains. So knowing this fun fact about Swistle, I asked her yesterday to do a Target Bargain Shopping Primer for the rest of us. (Which, heavens to betsy - she did do, in her comments, and it gives me HOPE that the rest of us can learn to Swistle Shop.) But the point is, my comment started me thinking about the word "primer". In my head, I pronounce it PRIME-ER even though I know it is supposed to be PRIM-ER. Another word I mispronounce in my head: papyrus (which I pronounce PAP-EE-RUS). That one's gotten me in trouble, when I've seen the PAP-EE-RUS store in the mall (shopping with Chip) and I busted out with HEY LET'S GO INSIDE PAP-EE-RUS! Then he laughed at me until he cried.


* * * * *


We have been on this road trip for approximately 43 years. Or eight days, depending how you look at it. We have stayed in the following locations: Vancouver, WA (1 night), Portland, OR (1 night), Eugene, OR (1 night), San Francisco, CA (3 nights), Medford, OR (1 night), and Portland, OR (1 night). We are FINALLY on our way home today, to Seattle-ish, WA (as many nights as I can muster). Because dooooood. I am tired. For every stop we make, we unpack no less than 5 bags, 2 pillows, 1 Blankie, and 1 Alice. That is WITHOUT a Pack N Play, which we accidentally and stupidly left at home. I KNOW, right? We can't believe we forgot it, either. That Chip is a studly man, because while I'm usually wrestling Alice in the hotel room and letting her run wild, spilling Cheerios all over the floor, Chip is unpacking the 5 bags, 2 pillows, and 1 Blankie from the car and bringing it into the room. The upside of all this madness? We are EXPERTS at this. And also still deranged and crazy. I'm thinking of writing some posts about the travel details, because maybe it'll help the future generations or something. That, and it will be AWESOME to look back on it in five years and laugh at myself (because by then we'll be using Star Trek TRANSPORTERS to get us places in the blink of an eye, right?).


* * * * *


Has anyone started Solace of Leaving Early yet? I'm so curious about what you guys think about it. Has anyone thrown the book across the room because you can't stand Langston? If you have, go grab that book right now and keep reading it. I promise. Keep reading.


* * * * *


Outside Arbuckle, California; passing through farmland.
Whimsy (wrinkles nose and starts making gagging noises): WHAT IS THAT SMELL?
Chip: Probably tomatoes.
Whimsy: You mean the smell of the fertilizer they PUT ON the tomatoes, right?
Chip: No. It's tomatoes.
Whimsy: You must be joking. Tomatoes, no matter how much you HATE them, don't smell that bad.
Chip: They do when they fall off the trucks. You should see them - they load up these trucks with huge mounds of tomatoes and then when the truck turns the corner, the tomatoes go -splat-, -splat-, -splat-... tomatoes all over.

A few minutes later...
Chip: Now do you smell that?
Whimsy: Um, not really. I think I'm just smelling that brilliant-smelling hand sanitizer wipe thing.
Chip: Really?
Whimsy: Oh wait a minute. Yes, yes I do smell that. It's awesome. What is it?
Chip: Pears.
Whimsy: Wow. I approve of that smell.
Chip: I see that phrase in our future.


* * * * *


I can't believe we watched it last night, but if you had walked into our room at 9pm PST, you would have found us watching the television show, Shaq Vs.*

I know. I just... I know. There were MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES, which involved a small girl-child and A HORRID SLEEPING ISSUE that can only be covered in ALL CAPS. But I don't want to talk about it. Yuck. Suffice it to say that it was bad enough to force us to watch terrible, terrible television.



* In case you don't know what it is (oh I hope): Shaq Vs. has ginormous basketball player Shaquille O'Neal competing against a bunch of other professional athletes in their own sports. Last night's episode? Shaq boxed against Oscar De LaHoya. It was... surreal. Next week he's apparently going up against Michael Phelps.


* * * * *


And then, also last night, after Alice spent a significant portion of the evening dancing on the conference room table (listening to her new favorite band, The Beastie Boys)--- in the fifteen minutes prior to her bath, when Alice was running around our hotel room naked, SHE POOPED ON THE FLOOR.

So we're really ready to go home. Which is a good thing, since we're headed there now. And the poop on the floor? I DO NOT APPROVE OF THAT SMELL, fyi.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

as a solution to marital discord



Thursday evening found us at the Red Robin in Eugene, Oregon. We were starving and cranky, even the little one. Good thing about Red Robin: the food tastes the same wherever you go (yes, sometimes that's a plus) and it's fast. Even faster when there's hardly anyone there, which was the case for our particular Eugene-flavored RR.

We ordered chicken strips for Alice, and split the Whiskey River BBQ chicken wrap between us. We love to do that--- the food sharing, especially at a place where the fries are delicious and also bottomless (the Whimsy Family: living LARGE on LESS). So. Food was brought and our stomachs began to feel less empty. And as that happened, Chip and I talked about the stuff we talk about when we're sitting in a restaurant trying to keep Alice entertained. As in, we talked about his job, the trip so far, finances, life, and the fact that Alice was ENTHRALLED by the waitress cleaning the tops of the light fixtures (SCORE ONE for the 'keep Alice entertained' box).

Once the waitress had moved on to other, less visible light fixtures, Alice turned her steely gaze on the family sitting across the aisle from us. She had to turn herself around completely to do that, my friends. She is a dedicated observationalist (or stalker, whatever). I cut up some cantaloupe from my basket and put it on Alice's tray. "Look, honey, it's CAN-A-LOPE." I said, hoping to get her attention back toward our booth - the strangers were starting to get nervous. Then I laughed, "You know, your grammy calls it 'can-TA-lope'. Very heavy on the T." She sort of turned toward me, took some melon in her hand, and then turned back to her favorite people-watching past time.

Meanwhile, Chip asks me if cantaloupe has three syllables or four. "Three", I said. "Where are you getting four?"

Chip went on to explain that the last bit, the 'loupe' should be two syllables because it's 'loe-P', like the 'P' sound is it's own syllable. I countered with a hearty WHAT? And we kept debating it, all the while Alice ate some chicken and put greasy bits in her hair.

A few minutes later one of us suggested Facebook.

Say what you will about Facebook. The ____ Wars (Mafia, Vampire, Farmland Cooperative Radioactive Animal Experiment WHATEVER). The thousands upon thousands of quizzes and applications and cyber fake COMPLETELY IMAGINARY "presents" or "plants" or "candy" or "exploding timebombs in boxes". The several (or hundred) hours a person can wile away instead of doing work or READING BLOGS. Say what you will about ALL OF IT, I still contend that Facebook is one of the best places to settle a debate.

So. The Whimsy Family: firmly believing in the power of Facebook to settle familial debates and bets since 2008. We have yet to ever agree to use The Creamery for this purpose, because Chip believes you guys would automatically take my side. (Believe me, I argue for your virtue and upstanding natures and your complete willingness to look at an issue fairly, but my husband staunchly believes that you guys like me or something, and would therefore be unable to tell me I was WRONG.) Anyway. We agreed on Facebook as a way to present our arguments to the Masses. And to our credit (I'm laying it on thick today, don't you think?) we abide by the Masses.

The trouble we usually run in to is the presentation of our discussion item. In Thursday's case, I did the FB post, but was not as even-handed as I should have been. I think I wrote something like "Help me set my husband straight that 'cantaloupe' is NOT four syllables." In the end, after several CLAP OUT THE SYLLABLES, CHIP; and DUDE IT'S SOOOOO THREE SYLLABLES; and YOUR WIFE IS ALWAYS RIGHT WHY HAVEN'T YOU LEARNED THAT YET; Chip conceded his point and then posted something about ME and how I wasn't able to remember what year I graduated from high school until last year, when HE told me. True story. (BTW, it's 1992, in case you were keeping track.)

See, I just intermingle '92 and '93 as somehow the same year... and it's all the same to me, really. Like I don't find 1993 to be an objectionable year or anything. (I'm sure you '93-ers really appreciate the sentiment, right?)

Ever since Thursday, this whole CAN-TA-LOUPE (or LOW-P) situation keeps rearing its head. We saw my old high school buddy Karen and her adorable family (like scrumptiously adorable) on Sunday. Within the first twenty minutes, we'd all pulled out our clapping syllable hands for CAN-TA-LOUPE. Poor Chip seemed to take it pretty well, though he contends that if I had posted it on Facebook the way he originally suggested (Hey guys, 'cantaloupe' is FOUR syllables, right?) then I would have gotten a much more even-handed reception, and perhaps, some people might have even AGREED with him. To which I say: NO. And also: I DON'T WANT TO BE TAKEN FOR SOME FOUR-SYLLABLE COUNTING WEIRDO.

Other things we discussed at Karen's: the theory of Atlantis, Karen's feelings about barbecuing ribs (too tricky), Chip's intense spider phobia (to which Jonathan, Karen's husband, responded by burning down their gazebo before we hung out there to roast marshmallows for s'mores), and my inability to remember the year I graduated high school.

To that last one I say this: I've mentioned before that, for me, high school was something of a, um, barbed wire strewn minefield covered in shards of very sharp glass. In other words: yucky. I felt isolated. Alone. Lonely. Misunderstood. Ugly. Simultaneously disillusioned and jaded about the world I lived in while also feeling awkwardly, painfully, teeth-achingly hopeful about the future --- and just getting OUT of there alive, whole, without any permanent scars.

And I did. And so did you. And we're all here now, looking back and NOT REMEMBERING WHAT YEAR WE GRADUATED. I don't care what year I graduated, is what I'm saying. I'm just so happy that I did. That I can look back at that time and know that I don't ever have to do it again. I have the most wonderful, syllable-challenged husband that a girl could ask for. I've got a handful of great friends - both old and new and everything in between. I'm interested in these people. I'm invested in these people. I believe in them. And even if they don't always agree with me (though in the case of CAN-TA-LOUPE they came through with flying colors), I love them all dearly.

It's a great place to be.

Now tell me: how do YOU settle your bets and debates?


Friday, September 4, 2009

itty bitty pity party






We're currently in Eugene, Oregon.
We were in Portland for a couple of days, and here for a day (got in yesterday afternoon), then this morning-ish we'll trek down to San Francisco. I realized when I posted on Monday that I made it sound that I'd be vacationing from the blog for a week. But no. I'm here. On my computer. Giving you the most terrifying details of my life.


* * * * *


This is how well my husband knows me. His gift to me from a recent business trip was an itty bitty bottle of dish soap (he stayed at a Homewood Suites, in which there is a full kitchen in every room - and what do you need in a hotel room with a full kitchen? Why, the tiniest bottle of dish soap to wash your tiny dishes). I love love LOVE tiny bottles. Actually, it is one of my most fervent dreams to have correct, miniature bottles for all of our traveling stuff. A miniature bottle of Burt's Bee's soap for Alice's bath. An itty-bitty tub of Aquaphor for her evening rub-down. Teeny bottles of Aveda smooth hair syrum, a bitsy container of Dreft (always keep a few capfuls around for emergency clothes washing), etc. I know that I can take the tiny containers that I already have and reuse them, reuse them for other purposes --- but that's my own dear hang up: I don't want to use the wrong bottle. I want minis of the CORRECT items so they are all easily identified. Currently my extra travel shots of Dreft are housed in a sample-size Downey bottle. It's cute and tiny and the requisite squee-induced BITSY, but... it's NOT A DREFT CONTAINER. So I'm left feeling very dissatisfied. In my spare dreamland moments I like to imagine that somewhere, someone is making a mini Dreft and all the others, and SOMEDAY I will have the entire miniaturized version of Whimsy's Travel Kit. (I know they made the mini Burt's Bees because I've seen it in that highway-robbery priced "travel kit" for $11 --- and my craziness has actually lead me to CONTEMPLATE shelling over the $11 just so I'd have the right soap bottle but usually common sense does take over and I put the stupid thing BACK ON THE SHELF, where it clearly belongs. I don't need ANY OF THE OTHER STUFF, just the baby shampoo.)


* * * * *


I've noticed something NEWISHLY weird about myself: I've taken to screwing my eyes tightly shut whenever I'm anticipating something terrible. Case in point: emptying those awful bowls of pent-up refrigerator nastiness a few weeks ago. I pulled the first bowl out of the fridge and was about to dump it in the sink when, quite suddenly, SCENE VANISHES. Why does it vanish? Oh, BECAUSE MY EYES WERE SUDDENLY SHUT. This is the kind of UNuseful quirk that will lead to trouble: Alice is about to fall - and even as I'm reaching out for her, I've got my eyes shut; Chip has me on the front lines to vanquish a behemoth house spider in the kitchen - he's going to lift the mug that is barely covering the spider (who is totally squishing his legs up under him because otherwise they would have been amputated he was SO HUGE)--- so Chip, he goes to lift the mug and I find myself PARALYSED OF MOVEMENT BECAUSE I CAN'T SEE. I've got to stop doing it - and I don't know how it even STARTED, or WHEN.


* * * * *


I love holding Chip's hands - LOVE IT. And I love it when he's gently stroking my hand or rubbing it or whatever, but every once in a while he'll just suddenly (and accidentally) start to rub the tips of my fingers, down on the nail, in the upward direction --- like from tip-of-nail to cuticle and it FREAKS ME OUT. Especially the cuticle part. It feels like my whole cuticle is getting pushed UP and OFF THE NAIL and it is bad enough to have me ripping my hand from his grasp and then repeatedly shaking my hand while shrieking ACK! TERRIBLE! AWFUL! STOP!


* * * * *

I have decided that there is some kind of grassroots Nutella freedomlovefest going on right now, and Chip and I are firmly in the cross hairs of their marketing machine because in the last few days we've been privy to way too many Nutella Converts. To wit: our gallon of milk had a Nutella coupon stuck on it and Chip was really ribbing me about going and picking up a jar of the stuff because he knows that the thought of a mystery nut spread gives me the heeby-jeebies. Then it was my own sister saying on Facebook just how much she LOVES The Nutella. Then it was a dude we know from church - a dude completely unrelated to my sister and in no way are they friends in the least bit, especially since she lives in California and our church friend lives in Washington; so then HE mentions his favorite Nutella concoction on Facebook (Nutella on white bread wrapped around a banana). The last straw was Swistle's post about The Nutella, especially when she says that it tastes like a DONUT. I think that's the kind of rousing vote of confidence that I can believe in. (Swistle, you had me at donut!) When we get home, we'll be purchasing a jar of Nutella to see if we've been missing out on one of life's great pleasures. I'm sure the Nutella Marketing Machine will be so proud. As will Swistle.



Thursday, September 3, 2009

the solace of leaving early online discussion

She knew exactly what Taos meant; she knew he wasn't being perverse or clever or idiosyncratic. He was handing her the sweetest possibility this life offers: to leave in the middle, while everyone else stays behind and waits for the heroine to die in the cold.
-Haven Kimmel, The Solace of Leaving Early



The challenge has been accepted and books are being gathered from libraries and bookstores far and near:

You are cordially invited to The Creamery's first
online book circle* to discuss

Haven Kimmel's
The Solace of Leaving Early


Questions will be posted and the discussion will take place
Thursday, October 1st, 2009
through
Sunday, October 4th, 2009


This way, we all have plenty of time to share our thoughts about the book. If there are any new announcements or pertinent details, I'll update in the sidebar over there on the right.





(Book Circle = like a knitting circle, except we'll be gathering in cyberspace and not in my living room, though it would be terribly lovely to have you all gather in my living room... I would provide treats!)

Happy reading!



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

anti-marketing plan


Attention Large Magazine Publishing Giant:

If you are interested in the demise of any of your home / decorating / design magazines, please send me a subscription. I have a brilliant track record of subscribing to a magazine and having it fold just a short several months later.


In my resume so far:

Domino = fabulous no more

Blueprint Magazine = the publishing equivalent of a quick death, like choking on a piece of hotdog

Cottage Living = not living

Home Companion = no longer this home's companion


And speaking of magazines, the September issue of Martha Stewart Living has a picture of Martha on the cover. She appears to NOT be wearing any pants. I keep seeing the cover out of the corner of my eye and doing repeated spit-takes because my mind is simply not equipped for a pantsless Martha Stewart. I'm putting this aside in your letter, dear Magazine Publishing Giant, because Martha's magazine has clearly been given a reprieve from the Whimsy-Subscription-Death phenomena -- and although one could argue that it is the brilliance of her magazine that has it being saved from magazine death, I would assert that there is barely a breath of Living's former brilliance that is covering the pages of Pantsless Martha's Mag. So instead, I'm going with deal-with-the-Devil. Or deal-with-YOU, oh MegaLarge Publishing Machine Giant. Please take care of Martha's pants.

And send me some more magazines that you'd like to DIE because I'm good at that.

Yours,
Whimsy


P.S.
Seriously. Fix her pants.

P.P.S.
Those other magazines were so much more INTERESTING than Living. And far less STUFFY and STODGY, btw.

P.P.P.S.
And you'd never catch any of their editors lazing pantsless on the magazine cover. I'm just saying.



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

fan dance

I spent last night admiring a new bathroom wall decoration.


That, my dear friends, is a bathroom fan timer. All digital and fancy. A gift from our marvelous friends Kate and Abram. It turns out that Kate is the type of friend who, when reading about her buddy's weird bathroom fan anxiety, goes out and buys her a digital timer for said fan. Kate is also the type of friend who has an equally kind and talented husband who was willing to give of his time to install the timer.

Good friends make me feel so happy.
You know what else makes me feel so happy? NOT HAVING TO TURN THAT STUPID FAN OFF AT NIGHT. Pure bliss.

It looks like we'll be doing an online book discussion of Haven Kimmel's The Solace of Leaving Early. Now to think about timing... how does a month sound? Is that too quick?

Now tell me. Do you have any weird anxieties?