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July 2009
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September 2009

(Okay, first. Yes. I know I've been rather scan-happy lately. I'd apologize, except that it's actually been refreshing and more than a little necessary to take the occasional break from the Truman-Show-ness of all-super-personal-blogging, all-the-damn-time. Plus, the scanner is actually in the one room we've bothered to fully baby-proof, despite Ezra's non-stop campaign of destruction and doom and what did you put in your mouth, no, seriously, what did you just put in your mouth, oh my God, get it out, it's kitty litter, ohmygodgetitout.) So. This book. Oh my god, you guys. I've actually had this book in my possession for over a decade now -- it was a not-so-subtly-snarky wedding present from my older brother who most emphatically disagreed with my decision to marry young. I forgive him, because this book is fantastic. Like what-would-you-save-if-your-house-was-on-fire fantastic. Even back then, I knew it belonged on the Internet, although I had no idea at the time how the Internet worked outside of my personalized Yahoo! home page. Like, maybe I could re-type passage up in Notepad and copy the illustrations in Paint? And post them to a message board? In hindsight, I should have. I could have been Mahir! And... Read more →

You know, we hear a lot about the toll motherhood can take on our careers. Maternity leave, sleep deprivation, wildly adjusted priorities, the havoc that a closed daycare or chronic ear infections can wreak on our attendance and dependability, and of course, there's often months and years spent out of the workplace altogether. So with that in mind, I think it's important to celebrate the instances where having a baby -- or hell, having ANY level of familiarity with babies and their development and various non-negotiable-by-law safety standards -- could actually make you better at your job. Like, say, if you're doing some basic Photoshop work for a baby store circular. (Dear Buy Buy Baby: I am available for all your cut-and-pasting, fact-checking, copy-editing, quality-assurance-ing, pointing-and-laughing needs. Reasonable rates, fast turnaround. Call me!) Read more →

This weekend, Noah formed a deep emotional attachment to a watermelon. He does this, from time to time. Becomes entranced with a food object and carries it around the house, having drawn-out imaginary conversations with a can of black beans or declaring his unending love for a hard-boiled egg. It's a love that transcends mere taste, of course, because he will never, ever actually EAT any of these foods. I mean, gross. And also, are you some kind of monster? Why don't you just fricassee the damn dog, while you're at it. Usually, we just wait the infatuation out, as long as we're talking non-perishables. (I put my foot down once and sent his slice of American cheese off to live in the refrigerator where it could run and play with the rabbits and lunch meat.) But this time we really, really wanted that watermelon. I mean. EZRA really, really wanted that watermelon. Your brother did it, Noah! Your brother KILLED YOUR WATERMELON. And then he ate its flesh while you flailed on the floor in helpless fury. And your parents photographed the flesh-eating, declaring it all kinds of adorable. Your family is MESSED UP, I know. *** It was... Read more →

AND THEN, on top of everything else, the baby weaned. It's been a long time coming. It's been a long time happening. It ended this morning, officially, when I finally realized that it is time to stop trying for that Last Chance Nursing Session, Come On, Really? You're Really Done Here? No, You're Not, Take It. TAAAAKE IT. Yes, it is time to stop doing that. Better now than in kindergarten, when it just gets hella awkward. The weaning started with a biting phase. A biting phase that started the day he sprouted fangs teeth and ended, oh, THIS MORNING. The biting was unlike anything the books and websites described, and there was no solution offered that ever worked, other than yank 'em off and glare at him tiredly. (My favorite "solution" that I read about involved wagging your finger and sternly saying "No biting!," which never failed to make the little sociopath crack the hell up.) During the worst of it, I got so sick of being bitten -- and bitten HARD -- and so tired of spending every nursing moment clenched up in anticipation of the biting, with my fingers poised for a rapid de-latching that I started... Read more →

He was wearing a hat. I didn't recognize him at first. He doesn't wear hats, you see. We have one winter hat that he will wear without excessive protest -- a stupidly expensive handmade-in-Peru tiger hat that he picked out himself two years ago at Whole Foods, and I was so gobsmacked at the sight of my child willingly wearing a hat that I bought it despite blanching at the price tag and the thought of the two dozen comparable hats we already owned. So I was gobsmacked again, because of a hat. A handmade sun visor, covered in stickers. "He's wearing a hat." I said, stupidly, to one of the camp's many grad student volunteers. "Isn't it so cute?" she gushed. "He was a little worried about the glue at first, but then he was fine!" I stared at her and blinked. "You mean he actually made it? Himself?" She stared back. "Yes?" "His preschool teacher used to do his art projects for him. For awhile, anyway. After Christmas she stopped pretending. And he doesn't wear hats." "Well," she said, thinking hard, "he still really doesn't like glitter." Then she chased after him for one last big bear hug.... Read more →

Apologies for not posting anything yesterday. And apologies for that apology, because I bet you didn't even notice and quite possibly your life continued on just fine despite my lack of posting. Regardless, I had an excuse: Terminal Brain Fog. For example, I spent most of the day writing and rewriting the same 9-word sentence. Over and over again. Nine words and then BLAMMO, headfirst into writer's block and some weird wrastling with the Passive Voice and then some Dangling Modifiers were all, "you wanna go at it? let's go at it. bitch." And then I spent -- no lie -- 20 solid minutes ransacking my bathroom top to bottom because I could not find my tinted moisturizer. Here's a hint as to how THAT went: (Dear Microsoft: MS Paint Goggles. Could totally be your iPod. My gift to you.) The real problem is that right now, the Biggest Thing going on -- exactly the sort of Big Thing I've come to depend on this blog community to help me ramble through and work out and get advice on -- is also one of those Very Difficult To Write About Things, because my intentions could very easily be misunderstood. Because... Read more →

Ah, the eternal blogging conundrum: tell the story NOW, or tell it WELL. You cannot do both, what with the lack of sleep and excess of brain matter slowly leaking out of your adrenaline-sapped skull, and death is not an option, though continuing to send out short hysterical ampersand-filled updates on Twitter is. (Wait, let me first tell you how much it bothers me when I have to sacrifice proper AP Style to make something fit on Twitter. SO MUCH, is how much it bothers me.) What the hell, let's try "NOW." Sloppy storytelling, ahoy! So while none of this will be any great revelation to anyone who reads me on Twitter... (Wait, is that right? Do you "read" Twitter? I should say "follows me on Twitter," right? That just sounds kind of creepy and invasive and OMG LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU! IT'S...THE INTERNET! AAAAEEEEIII!) Sorry. Right. Anyway. My dog kind of almost died this week. Of liver failure! Do you know what the primary symptom of possible liver failure in dogs is? Vomiting! You know, because they never just vomit all the time for any other reason, like maybe they ate too many paper towels. Oh, heavens no. I... Read more →

So...I'm always like, "Damn, Lileks, why don't you update the Gallery of Regrettable Food anymore?" And then I pick up some stupid old book at a used bookstore for a couple dollars and I'm like, "I should scan some of these pages and recipes and put them on the Internet! With hilarious commentary! Yes, that is exactly what I should do!" And then FOUR HUNDRED MILLION HOURS LATER I realize exactly why Lileks doesn't update the Gallery of Regrettable Food anymore. This shit is a pain in the ass. Also, the Gallery of Regrettable Food will always, always be funnier. Anyway, I picked up this stupid old book this weekend and scanned some of the pages. At first glance, it's your typical Old Dated Cookbook, where the presence of tomatoes instantly means the recipe is called "Colorful Something-Something," where the inclusion of three atoms' worth of chili powder means it's "Mexican Something-Something," and "Oriental Something-Something" is code for soy sauce. But the gimmick -- and you gotta have a gimmick -- is that absolutely everything, from the Bacon Poles to the Maxi-Burgers to the Wiener Bean Pot, has been made in the microwave. Also known as the Greatest Innovation In... Read more →

Jason and I spent our anniversary weekend in a hotel. A hotel 20 minutes away from our house. A hotel 20 minutes away from our children. (The first time you read "20 minutes" you were probably all, "awww," and smiled ruefully about This Fucking Economy. Then you read the second "20 minutes" and were all, "boom chicka wah wah.") (Go on! Admit it! You smiled ruefully! You also read this website while wearing a floor-length silk dressing gown and ermine-trimmed bedroom slippers. DO NOT DESTROY MY ILLUSIONS, IMAGINARY AUDIENCE.) (NOTE: I had to Google "ermine" to make sure that I was not making words up again. I do that sometimes. Amazingly, "ermine" is an animal that is indeed used to trim faaaahncy bedroom slippers. Even more amazingly, this is one of the first image results: THAT's how I'm going to picture you in my head from now on. Unibrow and all.) Anyway. What was I talking about? Oh! Our hotel room had a gigantic jacuzzi tub. Boom chicka wah wah, the end, except for the part where weoverslept and almost missed our dinner reservation. At 9 o'clock at night. That's what happens when you fall asleep at 6 o'clock. You... Read more →