Thursday, December 17, 2009

Compared to last year, during my three-year pregnancy, time this year is moving along frighteningly apace. The image that keeps popping into my head is these kayaking videos my ex-boyfriend used to watch of an itty-bitty boat on what looked like a miles-wide river of brown churning flood water and he'd get all excited and pound his one fisted hand into his other open palm and be like YEAH! and I'd just get queasy and dashed on the rocks. I kinda feel like, since Thea's birth, I am a tiny action figure in those raging waters and of course, the water would cliche-ingly represent time rushing along and yes, this is what I imagine when I think about how time is rushing me along. IT'S FUCKING HAULING ASS.

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We're in the middle of painting the entire interior of our house and the house is upside-down right now. Dislocated plants spilling dirt, baby toys and jumping machines, dining room chairs stacked in the living room, the couch is across the archway in-between to contain the dog's tail from swiping wet paint, a drop cloth there and over here two strollers bucking each other against the closet door. It's not very convenient for day-to-day living. I do a lot of day-to-day living, you can imagine.

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The other day I was completely buffeted between how monumentous was the task in my kitchen, and the one in the living room, and the hall and every way I turned. I got sorta airborne between the areas where I live because all of it, everywhere, was sooo much and there wasn't anywhere to start and I was QUITE SERIOUSLY frozen with anxiety when Clark came home and did some 1-2 KungFu and put the whole house reasonable back together in just over an hour.

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT MAGIC? What does he have that he is able to do that? Why am I always frantically inventing systems of life management: to-do lists and dry-erase, paper notes, synced calendars and MobileMe, alarms, alerts, strings on my finger? My neural pathways are long and circuitous while his are short and meaningfully direct. I may be more nuanced, but I'm sure as hell ineffective.

So anyway! We're painting on a tight schedule because mid-January his parents are leaving for two weeks, and we're going to occupy their house while our wood floors finally get redone. We have to have the painting done before that. HAHAHA. I am feeling remorseful of my color choices with every stroke of the brush, cringecringe, but WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? Clark went with me to the paint store and wouldn't say a goddamned opinionated word and was like WHATEVER THE LADY WANTS, THE LADY GETS but I was like, shit. Okay, HI! WALL OF PAINT CHIPS...maybe, that one?????

I have to admit, another thing I am not very good and and also very much wish I was, is decorating, or imagining the outcome I want when I do... also: making a decision, ordering with precision in a restaurant, not hoarding sentimental scraps, doing my hair, putting on makeup, being at all predictable, blogging, sleeping, eating, breathing, and... well, lets see, I am good making lists, making a cute baby and then pushing her on a swing.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wow, cobwebby! I'd bet even my mom's stopped reading by now. I've been indisposed, working furiously for giggles. Also, photographing and recording as many moments of Thea's life as is possible. At this rate, when I'm old I'll be able to relive approximately 20 percent of her total childhood = four straight years of footage if I continue at this rate until she is 20 years old. I can't stop myself. After she goes to bed I sit here and look at pictures of the old days, her early babyhood and get misty, be ridiculous... and do a little pick-up about the house in a manner that borders on desperate. It drains me that I'm always wrestling with priorities. Everything else is lucky times.





Friday, September 11, 2009

Fuddled



I went to work today and found myself not at all on the schedule but stayed to work nevertheless. I'd made the mistake because I set my event calendar to start it's week on Monday and not on the traditional Sunday of printed puppydog calendars like the one I leave lying around with my work schedule written onto it so my husband will make sure the be here and care for our child. That same column on the computer which represents Friday, represents Saturday on the old fashioned glossy paper calendar. On the misconsultation of the two of them, I packed my kid off to the grandparents and went into work when I shouldn't have.

Brilliant x1.

Once there I realized that I still have to work tomorrow, as per both calendars, the same times I came for today, so quick-like fired off an email to my huzzband about how I wont be home until after 4 tomorrow and queried would it be worth it to go camping as we'd planned because the drive was 4.5 hours according to Google maps, not including boob/poop factor (which is what I wrote).

And the response I got was IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT! WHERE ARE WE GOING?? LOVE, CLARK (clark's cousin clark).

Brilliant x2.

So I emailed my huzzzband Clark and he wrote me back WTF? and started calling me in a nervous fashion and when I finally was able to call him back he was like DOOD, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? WE ARE GOING CAMPING NEXT WEEKEND, NOT THIS WEEKEND.

Brilliant x3.

So today I was in the wrong place, sending the wrong information to the wrong person about the wrong time. It's like I totally walked around the world and tapped myself on the shoulder. I'm so wrong but I feel right, right, right.

In other news, this is a damn cute baby. Don't even pretend otherwise.






My mom took this picture, which I think might be the greatest baby picture of all times.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My friend Beer, who maybe you remember if you were reading this blog five years ago, called me from Thailand last night while I was working, and after the phone sat there for 25 minutes buzzing again and again I handed it over to my friend Rebecca to answer for me, to find out why/for was I such a hotly sought property. She answered and was like WHAT? WHO? BEAR FROM CHINA? I DON'T THINK SO and was about to hang up when I got that "Beer from Thailand" might sounds awfully like "Bear from China" over a bad connection with a strong accent after four years and enough of a lag to start talking over half of every sentence. OMG I'd totally given her up. A few months ago, in a freak fit of pre-baby cleaning, I even threw away the 723-digit phone numbers for her grandmother's house where nobody even speaks English because it just seemed too impossible... and because it was taking up too much space?? Rebecca told her I couldn't talk so she said she'd call back in an hour then never did.

So I sat around in an overheated and foul mood today, in part because WTF? Priorities? and because I feel like a lousy mom when I'm always over-tired because I can't go to bed on time. Ahem. And, and, and... am I stimulating my baby's brain enough? Is she bored of me singing the same stupid songs? Did she just fart because I selfishly nibbled a broccoli stem? I put her in the exersaucer today because I feel so guilty about my messy house then I was ravaged by guilt for not holding her. DO MOMS EVER WIN? Can someone tell me what it looks like when you are doing everything, or even most things right?

Anyhoo... Tonight Beer called me again and I was here to answer. She'd been back briefly to Portland and couldn't find me, lost my number, went to the house where I no longer lived and the job I no longer held, looked up me up by the last name that I no longer use and finally, after she was already back in Thailand someone gave her my old number which is apparently, luckily, the only thing I have held onto for the last four years. Well, that's about the greatest thing that has happened to me after, you know, the baby and stuff.

Speaking of... here she is!

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knuckle sammich


chubs


oh toe!!

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ka-zonks

She is 12 weeks old now and prefers to be held standing, otherwise she slumps. She is rolling over, swiping at toys, drooling, teething, and growing more hair. She recently discovered and is fascinated by her feet which have been doing stuff all along apparently without her knowledge, and she stamps them like a Lipizzaner when we ask her 2+2, which we do when we know she is going to stamp her feet. She sleeps most of the night, most nights, as she always has... except tonight bause now i hear her fussing and haveto go bye

Monday, August 03, 2009

10 weeks old


Beset by octopi


Aplague with musical ducks


Giraffe-wrastling phalanges


Full-body baby camo

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

One month old

I spend a lot of time nursing this little girl, nursing and reconstructing my notions of motherhood. I don't hardly remember what they were, but this they aren't. I couldn't have imagined.





Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby, finally



Thea Chance Nelson
Born on her due date, May 25th 2009 at 11pm after 24 hours of blood-splattered labor, gruesome and painful beyond words. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and measured 19 inches long. We are back home now and the memory of her birth has already become something else, something that feels euphoric and poignant. What a trick of biology.

At 11:15pm Clark sent out a text message to our parents announcing THERE IS A BABY. Yes, there is and she is the coolest thing I have ever seen.

Monday, May 18, 2009

39 Weeks

39 Weeks

I am one week from my due date. It seemed so far away and suddenly we are in the single digit days and I am sort of frantically packing a bag for the hospital which involves tearing the house apart which in turn is making me feel frantic. Every few minutes I stop and pant and flop face down over the arm of the couch in the basement where it is nice and cool, wherefrom I almost feel like I am laying on my stomach, my belly nestling in the negative space of the right angle and my feet up in the air so the exhaustion can drain out of my legs long enough for me to run around for five or ten minutes more. Repeat.

My hands and feet are suddenly puffy and my belly occasionally becomes noticeably lopsided. The baby prefers to nestle herself on my right side, never to the left, and sometimes as far up under my ribs as she can get.

Lopsided

I am tired of being pregnant. I stopped running about a week and a half ago because I can't find the enthusiasm to get trussed up just to go plodding cautiously along: a heartrate monitor, two sports bras, trying to find a shirt that will fit over my increasingly outrageous belly and the indignity of lacing up and tying not one, but TWO SHOES!

So now I am tired, and bored. Owen is napping at my feet, never straying more than a few feet away. The kitchen clock is ticking, flies are buzzing against the window screens above the sink. This pregnancy has been going on for years now.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Victory Dance



I got the news a couple days ago that I passed my certification test. Early in the morning I'd rolled over in bed to check the time on my phone and noticed that I had an email subjected "TEST RESULTS." My heart started chugging along painfully in my chest. After all, I have been waiting almost five weeks, hoping with that desperate certainty that if I don't pass now I'll never have the time or money or freedom to prepare for the test again. I opened the email and there was nothing about my result in the body, just expository text about the attached PDF file (agh). The PDF file took an entire 5 or 10 seconds to download (agh!) and at least 3 more seconds to open (AGH!) and then presented itself it tiny doll-sized font. AAGH!

CONGRATULATIONS!

Still, I am taking the precaution of not answering unidentified calls just in case they realize their mistake.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

34 weeks

8 1/2 months

She is big enough now that I can usually find her bum and give it a little spank. Her knees and elbows are easy to identify, but she moves away the minute I start poking back, trying to feel her, trying to get my hands on her. It is so thrilling when her toes tickle my ribs, and I have no qualms about annoying the crap out of her by poke poke poking back. Oh hi baby!

The house is still a wreck, in a frantic uprooted way. Yesterday I tore the couches apart, scrubbed them with soapy water and shop-vacced them dry. The seat covers and cushions are drying in the basement. This must be nesting: furniture in various stages of rearrangement, cleaning wands and squeegees and mop heads... with the cute little robot vacuum beeping Roomba I can clean floors on both levels of the house at the same time with laundry cycling full time in the basement. It's the closest I can get to drunk. With joy.

I dream about well arranged closets; I can see them in my head. I can inventory the boxes I haven't unpacked since we moved, identify the things I don't need and schedule their disposal without even waking up! Nesting is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Seriously, I am totally at peace scrubbing my fridge.

Friday, April 03, 2009

32 weeks

People who tell me their labor horror stories or try to touch my belleh don't bother me at all, because the former fascinate me, in my information gathering stage like I am, and the latter, well, that doesn't really happen. I think belleh-touchin' is a myth that women like to get indignant about... either that or the expression on my face would make anyone think twice about copping an unsolicited feel.

(I think, honestly, most people aren't that interested in your gestation, and often times their inquiries are made out of politeness. Fair enough, I don't expect the world to revolve around me because I am pregnant. Anyway, nobody likes that woman. That woman is universally despised, though I have never met her.)

Anyhoo, I did recently have to listen to someone else's birth story and wanted to throw my shoe at her mouth, but it was because of her glowing fertile earth-mother positivity. She'd overheard me talking to a friend about feeling anxious and rushed over to assure me that she had felt nothing but joyjoyjoy at the birth of her son, and nothing but euphoric, blissful joy since... even still, 14 rapturous years later. I know what she was trying to do because she went on and on, countermanding the modern day OUT-OF-TOUCH fear and negativity associated with giving birth because ITS ALL NATURAL, RIGHT? SOMETHING WE WERE DESIGNED TO DO, yeah mother nature and all that crap. But what pissed me off is that I AM ANXIOUS AS HELL, and yes, I HAVE AN OVER ACTIVE AMYGDALA and I LIVE IN FEAR ALL THE FREAKIN TIME and for that I AM A FAILUREFAILUREFAILURE. Thanks a lot for making me anxious about being anxious.

Fucking hippy.

She is probably right, at least about implying that I shouldn't be fear-mongering myself into hysteria like I did this very week. I totally had a panic attack: a frame-shaking, hiccuping snotty mess of a panic attack. The whole tizzy.

I just do that sometimes. Like, I was at work reading some article about maternity ward-issue mesh panties when, just at that very moment I've got to turn and interpret something I know nothing about, rocketshippery or cacti propagation or some such twaddle, and it's like a electrical current collision in my brain and my chin starts quivering so I say YOU JUST PUT THAT AWAY, WE'RE ON THE TOPIC OF MANATEE HUNTING HERE so I stuff it and guess what. Boo.

It's not that I am reading the horror stories, rumors and wild inaccuracies that make up 99% of the body of information out there on the internet. That isn't what does me in anyway. I'm reading blog posts about must-haves for your hospital bag, and I AM TOTALLY POWERLESS TO UNPLUG MYSELF, BECAUSE AGH, THE FUTURE IS BEARING DOWN ON ME.

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I am better now. It's out of my system for the time being. At least, I've got my National Interpreter Certification test coming up in a few days and that has given me the freedom to ignore everything but the fact that I BETTER GOTTAMN PASS IF I EVER WANT TO BE LOVED AGAIN.

Yay! I can direct my hypervigilence elsewhere, at least for the next 4,951 minutes!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

11ish weeks to go

I am a week and a half into the third trimester and am starting to see how the novelty of pregnancy can wear off. I hated pregnancy during the first trimester sooo badly I figured it was a mistake of cosmic proportions that I ever got pregnant in the first place.

Then the second trimester came along full of energy and evidence of life and I was like, HEY THIS AIN'T SO BAD, IT'S PRETTY COOL ACTUALLY... but now, after an alarming growth spurt, I am seeing the event horizon for gestational enthusiasm.

These days I'm feeling like I've been punched in the solar plexus every time I look at my feet or try to do something acrobatic like get out if the car. I predict that there will be a nice symbiosis between the impatience to be not pregnant and the acceptance of impending motherhood. If I am not forced into things I have a tendency to get comfortable in a state of suspended animation. I am that sort.

All that said, this doesn't yet suck. I am more inclined to want to sleep maybe. Yesterday afternoon I slept when I had a couple of free hours in my schedule instead of going running which was a shocking deviation from my plan, but IT FELT SOOOO GOOD. I let it happen because this week is the last week of the winter term and the last week of my insanely stupid schedule. From here on out I can run more, and more regularly. The last couple of weeks getting on the road has been sporadic and I find that reaaaallly irr-it-tat-ing. The end of the winter term also dovetails nicely with my plans to cultivate my nesting instinct, to sleep more and to lay around and stare at my belleh more.

I am afraid I don't have much of a nesting instinct at all, and never have. I spent all my formative years skipping town... after living in 38 different places in 8 different states, going to 6 different schools in 4 different states before even finishing the 5th grade... well, I could never see the the profit margin in unpacking all the boxes.* My house will always feel half-coming, half-going as a result. But I've got a viable fetus with unpainted rooms and no crib, no changing table and no matching rocking chair to go with the crib I don't have... the electrical outlets are just sitting around exposed with an allure fatale, what with those knives just laying around begging to be poked into things...

Did I mention we are viable? That means something to me, but I can't really explain what. I feel like I am walking around with a sleeping baby instead of a belly full of mysterious ectoplasm. She isn't usually sleeping (KICK KICK) but, because I can't hear her scream (yet) and I don't have to change any crappy diapers (yet) I tend to imagine her as a sleeping infant. If this little girl were born today she would have a 95% chance of survival. I can already see that this is the beginning of a lifelong trend, from here and onward she'll need me less and less and I'll have to accept that she is and will continue to become her own person and OMG I AM NOT READY TO CUT THE UMBILICAL CORD! GO TO YOUR ROOM, YOU ARE STILL MY BABY!!

i'm taking it out on Owen...

at least he will never grow up and leave me

*By contrast my husband lived in two homes four miles apart for the first 18 years of his life, attended one elementary school, one jr high and one high school and is back living in the very same house to which his parents brought him home from the hospital when he was born. He attended the same elementary school his father attended, which is the same school our daughter will attend if I don't decide to blow town by then.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Still, it happened inside my head

Mountain Top

We hiked Neah-kah-nie mountain this weekend and took pictures there, looming large over the town of Manzanita where I lived for three heart-achy years. It was a steep hike, and I even thought I might pitch off the windy summit being top-heavy like I am making my way across the toothy vertical rock ridge. I stopped to tightened my shoelaces to not slide and roll inside my shoes and risk that fatal descent.

Neah-kah-nie Mountain

We had hiked to the same place where I took this photo of Cairo more than 9 years ago. What is that property of time that make the years accordian this way, far and near?


Then

and

Now

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Someday I will do everything right

I sent myself a text message in the middle of the night last night, 4:01am, something illegible about grammar. I have grammar stuck in my head like a song. There is a thought bubble above my head parsing language, adding parenthetical commentary to everything I say. ANNOYING (adjective). It's annoying because I am not very good at grammar. Gerunds and infinitives, predicate adjectives, prepositional phrases... it can be explained to me a thousand million times but in my brain they just won't be pinned down.

Maybe by grammar I am trying to avoid baby preparations because I am reacting in the worst possible way, which is to do nothing at all. I am totally immobilized. I work a million hours and can't convince myself to take any time off. I don't have the emotional apparatus to face down a daunting task, certainly not by putting aside my anxiety and doing what I know needs to be done.

I work four 12-hr days, then two 5-hr days, then a 4-hr day which I don't work every other week equaling two whole, non-consecutive days off each month. I manage to get myself dressed and fed everyday (even if I eat too much sugar, processed white flour and simple carbs. Argh. I even feel guilt when I eat fruit because I eat it with so much voracity that I think that headlight bearing down on me might be gestational diabetes).

But I do get myself out the door. Everyday I quote Aristotle, say to myself that "we are what we repeatedly do..." while flossing my teeth, while shining my shoes for the fat lady. (Today my gums hurt too badly to be flossed which, Internet says, is because my teeth are in rapid pregnancy decay. Oh panic!)

My problem in part is that I don't want to do anything that does not solve the root problem. If my bathroom mirror is dirty just cleaning it isn't good enough because I need to figure out why I keep putting off the cleaning of the mirror to the point of disgrace. IF I CLEAN THE MIRROR THIS SUNDAY BUT FAIL TO ENSURE THAT IT WILL BE CLEANED EVERY SUNDAY HENCEFORTH THEN MY EFFORTS ARE FOR NAUGHT.

So I went to the office supply store and bought a huge dry erase calendar and spent hours making a list of every single task around the house, every.single.one, and now I have to sit down and schedule out the entire next prototype month of cleanliness... floorboards, water filter, cobwebs, chimney sweep... Every single task a household might require be done in a days, weeks, month, or years time. ONLY WHEN MY ENTIRE HYGENIC FUTURE IS ASSURED, ONLY THEN CAN I GO AHEAD AND CLEAN MY BATHROOM MIRROR.

The problem is that every day I barely have time to squeeze in a few miles and a conversation with my husband. The dry erase solution is on a to-do pile along with paint samples, the kitchen remodeling catalog, tax forms, warranties and receipts, baby books, our five year plan, interpreter certification materials, medical bills, and an entirely blank paper with the words BABY NAMES scrawled on the top. And everyday more toothpaste gets flecked onto my bathroom mirror.

Toothpaste that is apparently NOT DOING ANYTHING FOR ME ANYWAY! OMG I DON'T WANT TO BE A TOOTHLESS DIABETIC LADY ON A RASCAL SCOOTER SMOKING AND BALANCING A 92OZ COKE ON THE HANDLEBARS. OH PANIC! (interjection)

Life is so sysyphian. All I do, and do and (don't) do... the universe continues its spiral into disorder. Sigh.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I think today is one of the top tiredest days of my life. I slept for eight full hours last night, then went back home at noon to sleep for an hour and a half between jobs and even briefly weighed the value of my career over that of an hour more on my pillow. Still unrelenting, my exhaustion can only be characterized as painful. Excruciating. I want to dig out my eyeballs and fill my head with dirt. I want to sleep forever.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Dying doesn't hold the same fascination anymore

Yesterday I started thinking if my axle broke after years of driving this same old car around corners like a race car, everything all weak and loose and then suddenly it can't take the strain and the drive train breaks apart and the car can't be steered and I have to open the door and jump out just as the car careens off a cliff... ...and I am all, WHEW THAT WAS CLOSE but suddenly I think BUT WAIT, WHAT IF... and an infant appears in the scene strapped to a car seat in the back and there isn't enough time to save my baby but I already jumped out of the car and I am alone watching the car go over and I feel horrible because what am I going to do when this happens? And then I realize that my heart rate is way up and I am gripping the wheel in real traffic all stressed out because my suspension sounds creaky and it means that I am going to live out the rest of my life in a long black veil haunting the cliffs beyond death, wailing like the wind.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

It's a girl

I don't have many cravings; fruit, mineral water and maybe the desire to melt cheese all over my food. But today I was just starving to hear Solitary Man, and was drawn to eat the rest of the banana creme pie in the fridge. The pie made me feel like I was coated with grime on the inside, so I lay on the couch for an hour and a half and wondered why. I still haven't been able to listen to Solitary Man but sang what I could recall of the lyrics to my baby in the shower.

I have been listening to bearded long-hairs of the 1970s while Pandora explores the Neil Diamond musical genome for me. I do have the song on my PC, about a 30 second walk from where I am sitting with my laptop in the front room but that would be anti-climactic, and besides, I like to feel the longing. Oh Bob Seger! Yes, I am still the same!


Is that all I have to say? Yes.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I Can Be A Real Jerk Sometimes, Part 38

Generally, I despise categorical oversimplifications, but when it comes to talking about sex with mothers there are women who confide everything, and women who would rather die. I fall in the latter category. It is not that I am prudish about the topic of sex, sex is a fabulous topic, but that is the tenor of my relationship with my mother as it was irrevocably set many years ago. So when my mother sent me a link about orgasms during birth a few weeks ago I decided that because it was an unprecedented breech of contract I would just do us both a favor and ignore it.

But this morning there was a new email, subject "Birth orgasms / basic science" and in the body of the email, a link to this video.

I drafted a legal notice of reprimand, deleted it and instead just sent her this simple note:

quite honestly, i prefer to go the rest of my life without you ever
talking, or typing anything to me about orgasms, or anything related
to orgasms or orgasming - mechanical, emotional or scientific -ever
again.

i'm gonna go bathe in lye now, then call my therapist.

Surprisingly, this letter was not well received. Like just about half of the things that come out of my mouth when I am talking to her, it scorched the earth. We have a very, um, pandemonious relationship full of both admiration and tumult. But when I think about this kind of exchange with a different cast I have to wonder What the hell is wrong with me? Who sends emails like that to their mother?

Seriously.

I emailed her to say that, No, I really really didn't want to "clear the air" by calling on the phone because "active listening" makes me feel hopeless and tangled, and from now on I would start using emoticons in my emails.

Naturally the whole episode made me feel like I deserve a boot print on the middle of my forehead, and put me in a considerably irritable mood. I went to a coffee shop and ordered a large hot tea. The barista placed a lone chamomile flower in a 20 ounce ocean of hot water. I stared at a tiny, ineffectual swirl of tea color and tried to tell myself to shut up but I already knew that was impossible.

IF YOU CANNOT BE GRACEFUL YOU ARE NOT GOING TO GET ANY SATISFACTION FROM THIS SITUATION SO JUST LET IT GO.

But instead, fatalistically annoyed, I pointed out that there were three prices for three sizes of tea and apparently the only difference is that the more you pay, the more watered down your tea seems to be. That I got another teabag doesn't matter a whit; the moment was uncomfortable, defeated and prickly and anyway, a field of chamomile wont sedate me when I am in a fit of mother-induced pique. What I wanted to do was throw my tea on the floor and get all Twisted Sister about it but instead I wedged into a deep chair and refused to take off my ten layers of winter clothing until I was pink in the face.

I decided I was a jerk and that humans were a hopelessly complicated endeavor. I made it three and a half days into the new year and I want to take it all back. People are innavigable landscapes.

I need big trash bins, a claw hammer and bolt-cutters. I need hypnosis and meditation. I need to hear a predator in the brush. I need to laugh hysterically and I need way more grace then I ever thought.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Resolved

Actually, two frogs died in my care in 2008, the second discovered supine and clearly expired just a few short hours before midnight New Years Eve. I am convinced that I killed them both because they withered away one at a time while bloodworms bled out on the rocks uneaten. It just didnt seem like old age to me. Would a frog rather starve then eat freezer-burned worms? This will be one of my life's mysteries, and one of my crosses to bear.

Last night was one of the more sedate New Years Eve celebrations of my life. Between the two of us and our vast multitude of friends not one person called with a social invitation. ITS BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE PLAGUE... PREGNANT LADIES ARE THE ANTI-PARTY my husband says. We toast each other, Perrier and Heineken. We eat pizza and watch The X-Files. Mulder and Scully are older but still, she spends the whole movie in solemn crisis, running around in the snow doubting his every instinct. Some things never change.

On the other hand, I watched that show for years waiting for the two of them to give in to each others sultry sexiness. At times, during the boggier years of the show, it was my sole motivator for tuning in but they never caved to my prurient desires. After the X-files I lost interest in TV altogether. But this movie *spoiler alert* jumped right over the good stuff and put them in bed like an old married couple, comforting-goodnight-cheek-kiss and all.

Clark was asleep by 9:47 so I watched a red headed cougar paw Anderson Cooper on CNN waiting for the ball to drop. A correspondent on the ground testified to the frigid cold in Times Square by brandishing his frozen soda while people shreiked and pressed against the barricade. Oh holiday, your party spirit eludes me!

Anyway, just to be on the safe side I think I'll make Pascals Wager and resolve to be a better friend.

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