Friday, April 29, 2011

TGI...WTF? It's A Nice Day For A... Royal Wedding!

I'm not really that into the royal wedding. I mean, don't get me wrong--I'm glad they're doing it, especially since, while Kate may be able to wait, William's hairline clearly cannot. And from what I can tell so far, the Queen looked like a delicious stick of Land O' Lakes, which is how I want to remember her always.

So, yeah, I'm not doing much in the way of celebrating today. I'm probably just going to paint my nails...

It's like wearing ten hugs!
Have some tea...

They should totally make Jersey Shore versions of these. Then your Early Grey could taste just like that syphilitic hot tub!
And eat some cake.

(This was originally one of those creepy Twilight cakes made by the types of people who sell uteruses made out of felt on Etsy, I think, but rub off the glitter and slap on a veil and, voila!)

(Also, is it wrong that I want to just lop off the top of Wills' head just to see what it looks like inside? I really, really hope it's red velvet.)

P.S. This is your weekly reminder to go to my review blog and enter to win a $100 Spa Finder gift certificate. Remember what I said about the Korean baths and karaoke? It could become a reality!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What John Hurt Must Have Felt Like in Alien, Before His Untimely Death

I’m 18 weeks pregnant. Apparently I should be feeling this thing move any day now.

Except, how will I know what it feels like? People say it feels like popcorn popping, which would be helpful if I’d ever thought to use my uterus for snack-warming, but as it is I have a microwave, so while I know what popcorn popping sounds and smells like, I have no idea what it would feel like if it were happening inside of me. You might as well tell me my baby moving will feel like a the Jamaican guys at West 4th Street playing the steel drums, or Patrick Dempsey vigorously brushing his hair.

Some others say it’s like a flutter, akin to butterflies in your stomach, or the feeling you get going over the first big drop on a roller coaster. I’ve felt those things, but not recently.

No, either my baby is too busy watching shadows on the uterine wall (the closest it has to TV--sad!) or is really adept at doing burrito impressions. Either way, I'm kind of proud.

I’ve read that it can hear now, too, so I’ve been talking to it sometimes. Nothing major, just small talk.

"Do you like that, baby?" I'll ask while steamrolling through a plate of waffles, or rubbing lotion on my belly. It's a rhetorical question, of course. I assume the baby enjoys all of my activities--that it thrills at filling up online shopping carts with maternity clothes that will make us look like we live on a stylish prairie, and cares about whether that bitch Alexandria will get her comeuppance on America's Next Top Model.

"I love you," I'll sometimes whisper. Not when I'm around other people, who might think I'm expressing my secret adoration for a table lamp or my own reflection, but when I'm alone, lying in bed, cupping my belly with both hands.

"I love you."

And then I sit, waiting expectantly--like I have so many times in my kitchen, watching that butter-stained bag inflate as it spins on the glass plate, bathed in yellow light--for the first pop.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fun With Idio(t)syncrasies

1. It's been a cold, rainy winter here in NYC, but more than once (more than twice, more than three times a lady) I've found myself wearing heavy rubber waterproof boots on days with bright sun and clear blue skies. I never check the weather. It's just something my brain will not abide, like calculus or being able to identify birds. So every morning I wake up, and if the sky is gray, I put on my rain boots and grab my umbrella (somehow it never occurs to me that the sky might be gray because the sun hasn't risen yet--Phi Beta Kappa is so proud). And so, a few hours later, I walk down the street trying to act like my sweater dress and wellies are a statement, like how the Olsen twins used to dress like hobos totally on purpose.

2. I say farhead instead of forehead. Jeff gives me shit about this all the time. I don't know why I do it, but in my defense, the forehead is the part of your head farthest from the ground. Well, except for your scalp, but that's really just an extension of the farhead when you think about it.

3. I can't whistle unless I suck in instead of blowing out. I literally suck at whistling.

4. I can snap the fingers on my left hand but not on my right hand. So if I need to say "Snap!" and illustrate it with a sassy hand gesture (which happens more often than you might think even though this is not 1992), the object of my display must be on my left; otherwise I have to incorporate a spin, which is an advanced move that I really don't have the ankles for.

5. Thanks to Jeff, I can now only remember his dirty joke lyrics to certain songs. Like "Blinded By the Light" ("Wrapped up like a douche, another boner in the night!") or "If You Don't Know Me By Now" ("If you don't blow me right now... you will never, never, never, never blow me... oooooh.") Technically that's his idiotsyncrasy, not mine, but it still means I can't sing karaoke when children are present.

Also: I have yet another somewhat graphic post about my ladyparts up on Aiming Low! Phi Beta Kappa is, again, SO PROUD. But on the bright side, two separate companies have offered to send me kegel exercisors (basically, vagina barbells), so I must be doing something right.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cooking With Sassy: Sacrilegious Easter Cake

I was away this weekend, celebrating Jesus' resurrection with honey ham, so please accept this recycled--but still delicious--Easter recipe as I rush to shower and find pants that fit before I am late to work:

1. Buy frozen Sara Lee pound cake. Serve with whipped cream and strawberries.
2. Approximately 2 weeks later, gingerly lift brick-like remains of cake from aluminum container. Arrange in center of plate.
3. Using whipped cream, make a mound in the center of the cake and two football-shaped ears at the top.
4. Find raisins. There are always raisins somewhere--check your carpets and the bottom of all of your purses. Use smidges of whipped cream to affix raisins above center mound in approximation of eyes.
5. Before you put it away, dispense whipped cream directly into mouth. (Whipped cream never goes bad, plus at least you're not doing something more dangerous, like whippets.)
6. Did you bake a cake in the last three years? Then surely you have some dusty tubes of congealed icing somewhere in the pantry! Drag those suckers out, and use to make nose, eyebrows (optional), mouth and inner ear.
7. Use icing to write tender Easter message to Jesus (alternative idea: "What's up, Doc?")
8. Post on blog; horrify Catholic relatives

Serving instructions: Actually, you probably should not eat this.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

TGI...WTF? When Charmin Loses Its Charm

I have been inundated lately with genius suggestions for TGI...WTF?, which I love not only because it lets me interact with you, dear reader, but also because it means I have to do less work, which is my general goal in life.

Today, let's look at "The Comfort Wipe," suggested by Deborah F. Imagine a cheap toilet brush/anal probe manufactured by Swiffer to hold your TP so that you don't--gasp!--have to crush or fold toilet paper, an act our poor ancestors slaved over "for 100 years" (before that, they used wool, lace, or hemp, which were much less labor-intensive unless you count the treatment of anal scratching.)

My favorite quotes:
  • "It extends you reach a full 18 inches!" (Because who can reach their butt using just their arms?)
  • "It's as easy to use as a shower brush!" (Because it is a shower brush, just with a weird ET head instead of bristles!)
  • "Just press the release button and the tissue drops right into the toilet!" (Great for people whose arthritis prevents them from unclenching their fingers!)
  • "Think about it... toilet paper is really archaic, and disgusting. The Comfort Wipe is a modern solution." (Toilet paper is not inherently archaic or disgusting, but shooting excrement out of holes in our butts is. Why not get to the root of the problem and replace our colons with awesome--and santitary--marble slides?!?)
Then again, maybe I'm just jealous because I wasn't the first person to think of taking an ergonomic dildo and using it for human waste disposal.

That's probably it.

P.S. If you haven't already, visit my review blog and enter to win a $100 Spa Finder gift card courtesy of Olay!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fingerpainting My Morning Commute

Without fail, I am waiting for the train, standing too close to the yellow lines and listening to a motivational 80s movie theme on my iPod when...

Some bitch runs up just as the train comes in so that she can get in the door first.

I glare at her all the way to Times Square while she struggles with her Sudoku.

It's my version of eating my Wheaties.

This was going to be a longer post, illustrating the many offenses against subway etiquette that I record each day--I'm an amateur transit cop out of the Dwight Schrute School of Superiority--but I got tired after three drawings. To be continued...

Also! Today is my first post over at Aiming Low, in which I introduce myself by worrying about vaginal prolapse. I hope I make you proud.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Meek Will Inherit The Gym

When I was a kid, I lived in fear of organized sports. This was a surprise to no one.

I fail at crawling.

I fall headfirst down a flight of concrete steps. (That’s got to explain my lack of motor skills, not to mention my love of Bethenny Ever After, right?)

One day in first grade, upon learning I have gym class, I begin to weep.

Apart from totally dominating at scooter soccer (probably because the handicap was already built in), I was not good at any physical activity that required hand-eye coordination or strength in any part of my body. Even Red Rover terrified me—what if I couldn’t hold on tight enough? What if my tiny 40-lb. body couldn’t break through the chain of fists? WHAT IF I GOT CALLED OVER??????? I had some anxiety problems.

At the Quaker camp I went to, even though they were supposed to be peaceful, they would occasionally force me to stop making God’s Eyes and participate in a Lord of the Flies-style game of Capture the Flag, in which counselors would smear our faces with Ponds cold cream tinted with food coloring, stick a bandana in the back pocket of our shorts, and make us run around trying to “tag” someone out by grabbing their bandana. Needless to say, I surreptitiously removed my own bandana, used it to wipe the cold cream off my cheeks, and sat on the sidelines pretending I was going to vomit (I used the same general tactic for dodgeball, except in order to sit out I first had to get whacked really hard with a partially deflated orb, which made the same sound as a belly flop and hurt just as much.)

So imagine my inner child’s delight upon reading yesterday that the Department of Health has deemed Capture the Flag, Red Rover, kickball, dodgeball, and wiffleball unsafe for children! Oh, happy day!

Actually, I don’t agree with this decision at all—kids get hit with balls sometimes, and as long as they’re not attached to a human man it’s totally OK, even character-building!—but man, I would have been thrilled to get out of those activities with a legitimate, government-endorsed excuse back in the day. How much grief and humiliation would have been spared! How many more God’s Eyes I could have made! Red rover, red rover, let... me sit on my ass watching Saved By the Bell re-runs. Yes!

The more pressing question is, of course, how can I avoid passing on my wimp gene? Unless I man up, my kid may not have the muscle tone necessary to control its own bowels.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Learning Math From Tyra Banks, and Other Benefits of Too Much TV

I watch, as you all know, a lot of TV. Like, a lot. I have a pretty busy work schedule, but I make time for what Jeff calls my "stories," whether I'm watching them on Hulu, downloading them from iTunes and watching them on my tiny iPod screen during my commute, or streaming them through some sketchy third-party website (thanks, Showtime, for not making your shows available anywhere that won't get me arrested. You air Weeds, man... I thought you'd be cool.)


I may waste a lot of brain space on being able to recall the sordid romantic history of every character on Gossip Girl, or the full names all of the Real Housewives' children, but I also learn things. In fact, I could, if pressed, cobble together a well-rounded education from my favorite programs. Ahem...

When seven beautiful girls stand before Tyra Banks, but she only has six photos in her hands, than means one girl is getting her skinny ass kicked to the curb. Subtraction!

Health Ed.:
If you work at a fictional hospital, you have a 5,000% chance of developing inoperable cancer, getting shot by a disgruntled former patient, falling into a freezing river, getting pregnant unexpectedly (women only), being hit by a bus, or being burned beyond recognition at least once every other season. But on the bright side, you will always look unnaturally sexy in your scrubs.

Social Studies:
If you place five to six narcissistic idiots in the same general geographic area and have reality cameras follow them constantly, they will have the same fight, over and over, until one of them either has a nervous breakdown or gets a spin-off show.

Guidette (n): Female form of guido, slang for a working-class, urban Italian-American
Gorilla juicehead (n): Large-muscled guido fond of steroids and/or fresh-squeezed OJ; affectionate term sometimes used to describe Jane Goodall

Physics can help you locate the exact coordinates of a mystical, time-traveling island! But, once you get there your nose might start to bleed and then you might die (also file under: Health Ed.)

Jumping over a quickly rotating bar while standing on a slender column over a body of water is harder than you think. So is finding a small flag in a trough of whipped cream.

For $800... Of all the countries with espaƱol as an official language, this one is last alphabetically.
What is Venezuela, Alejandro!

Seriously, I might as well be watching Baby Einstein DVDs. Who needs a masters degree? I'm a graduate of the school of life... or, at least, Lifetime.

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's My Onion And I'll Cry If I Want To, or Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Pregnancy That The Internet Tells You Anyway

The internet is good for a lot of things. For instance, email, social networks that allow you to flip idly through vacation photos of people you barely know while avoiding doing your taxes, and websites that helpfully identify your post-yoga leg cramp as a probable sign of bone cancer. (Thank you, Al Gore!)

It is also good, I have recently discovered, for finding out disturbing E! True Hollywood story details about your developing fetus. I signed up for weekly email updates on what my small parasite is up to, and let me tell you, it is educational. For instance, in week 11, just in time for Mardi Gras, we learned that our fetus had visible nipples (nice try flashing people for beads, baby, but no one can see you in there). At 14 weeks, s/he could "squint, frown, grimace, and pee" (note to my future child: angry urination never ends well). And this week--17--it is apparently spending most of its time practicing "sucking and swallowing" (stay classy, What to Expect When You're Expecting).

Some websites also like to tell you how big your baby is, usually compared to fruits and vegetables, which are cute and benign. This week it's a fig, next week a navel orange, etc. On the flip side, one site I shall not be visiting again told me that my fetus is currently the size of a small gerbil. Right. Because in addition to weight gain, gas, and acne flare-ups, what I really want right now is to imagine a rodent floating around inside of me (no offense, Richard Gere). Anyway, this week I'm carrying around an onion, which may explain why I burst into tears with such frequency.

Another fun internet pregnancy game is: type any symptom or foodstuff into the Google search bar and wait for someone to tell you that you are about to have a miscarriage, usually in frantic, misspelled ALL CAPS, because, presumably, the sanatorium only gives them computer privileges for 5 minutes at a time.

Sigh. Who would have thought that some day, we'd have to enable cookies to study the miracle of life? My grandmother didn't have pregnancy books or the interwebs. She gave up either drinking or smoking, but she can't remember which one. She didn't need an iPhone app to tell her if her weight gain was on track, or a weekly text to inform her that she was turning into a human urinal. She just sat back, enjoyed her cocktail (or cigarette), and tried not to get kicked in the stomach. A very manageable to-do list.

Then again, I am glad that I live in an age in which I can know the moment my little nippled onion is able to grimace...

... because if it inherits one thing from me, I kind of hope it's my bitchface.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Gift Card That Keeps on Giving

I got a ton of gifts yesterday. I got an iPad (Ahhhh! You may now place bets on how long it will take for me to drop it and/or christen it with yogurt), a Shake Weight, earrings, a prenatal yoga class card, some sweet maternity clothes,  roses, and a jumbo Tootsie Roll, the kind that looks like one really boss Lincoln Log.

So now I'd like to give you a gift--that's right, it's time for another sponsored giveaway post! Last time it was all about frozen breakfast food, but you'll be happy to know that I've classed it up and am now doling out a $100 Spa Finder gift card courtesy of Olay. (Baby needs a new pair of shoes, y'all. Don't judge.)

I had to run the promotion on ad ad-free page, so I created a new reviews-only blog. You can find the post here. Good luck!

P.S. If it were up to me, I would give all of you a spa day. We'd go to one of those giant Korean bath houses in Queens and take a big communal soak, and it would not be weird at all, and then I would treat you to my karaoke rendition of "Nobody Does It Better" while handing out free smoothies.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Look What Jeff Got Me For My Birthday!

Because there's nothing sexier than a pregnant woman with a Shake Weight! YES!

(Instructional video coming soon, obviously.)

(Check out my tough face reflected in the weight! It knows I mean business. And by business I mean monkey business, because any exercise device that simulates an enthusiastic handjob is not getting used solely to tone my guns.)

(Also, I just woke up. Excuse the whole facial area.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pregnant in Chucks

So I'm recapping Pregnant in Heels for HuffPo. It's a low point, even for me, but it's brainless, bitchy fun, and at least I know I won't get hurt in the end [sob--Mondo!--sob].

I don't expect you to read it, or care, but I have had a hell of a day, working from 9-8 (9-11 if you count ragging on entitled, fertile couples from the comfort of my pajama pants as "working"), and tomorrow is my birthday--which I plan to spend doing as little as possible--so this is the best you're going to get for now. I mean, I basically showed you my tits yesterday, which should tide you over for the week, really.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sisterhood of the Expanding Pants

As of last week, I stopped being able to button my pants. I'm like Al Bundy, only all the time.

I've had this problem before, most notably in 2003, a year in which I put on 10 pounds thanks to post-collegiate stress disorder and a part-time job at a sweater factory with its own (free!) peanut M&Ms dispenser. That time, I dieted on vodka, cigarettes and Luna bars. This time, it's not an option. I have to wear pants to work if I want my coworkers to take me seriously, and my belly is only getting started.

I had to do something.

First, I got all Survivor Man on my pants and fastened them with a hair elastic:

Yeah, I am basically MacGyver. Try not to be jealous.
Pros: Discreet; handy for bad hair days
Cons: Fly at half-mast no matter what you do; bad hair day will cause pants to fall down

When the hair elastic got too tight, I decided to class things up a bit:

Because nothing says "business casual" like pinstripes and a rubber band.
Pros: Roomy; handy for sling shots
Cons: You're not even trying anymore. There are two buttons, you know.

As a last resort, I even tried wearing the denim leggings Jeff convinced me to buy as part of his Sartorial Humiliation Quest '10 (see also: rompers). But they cut me off mid-bump, much to my (and, I imagine, the baby's) chagrin:

Just because you're only 3 oz. doesn't mean it's too early to worry about bulge maintenance.
Pros: No pesky buttons; kind of look like jeans... from far away
Cons: Muffin top; muffin bottom

People were telling me to get the Bella Band, or some other such product that would extend my pants' life while making me looking less like someone who lived in a tent on the side of the highway, but I was all, no thanks, I've got a whole ball of rubber bands and a drawerful of ill-fitting leggings, thankyouverymuch.

That's when Jeff stepped in and bought me the Tummy Tube.

The Tummy Tube is a spandex tube that hold your pants up while making the rest of you look like it is wearing a t-shirt that has been cropped at the wrong end. (Warning: photos below--courtesy of Jeff (I have to write that so he doesn't sue)--mildly NSFW).

Why, hello, officer. Is there a law against looking this sexxxxxy? 
If you wear the Tummy Tube with a black shirt, it's hardly noticeable. But I'm not really interested in using the Tummy Tube for its God-given purpose. Instead, I celebrate it as a three-in-one maternity powerhouse. For example, who needs pants at all when you have such a bitchin' miniskirt at your disposal?

Oh, God. This is the most unflattering photo I have ever posted. Why am I the color of raw chicken?
But of course, the real intended use for the Tummy Tube is contained in its very name...

My fly may be down, but my summer wardrobe is definitely looking up.

Friday, April 8, 2011

TGI...WTF? Creepy Baby Products, Part 1

The first in what I'm sure will be a series, otherwise known as "my registry," I give you...

...the Zaky Infant Pillow.

It's like Anne Geddes hacked off Guy Smiley's forearms. Or if Thing from The Addams Family and his identical twin became wet nurses.

Now, I should mention that these were developed to comfort preemies when their parents couldn't hold them, and I am not heartless; I want those preemies to feel the dismembered love and heal. But... these still look fucking creepy. There is just no way around it.

There, there, child. Just relax and let Papa Smurf push your soft little head into the carpet.

Unrelated: I totally forgot to tell you guys my most shameful and hilarious fate trick in yesterday's post. In elementary school, when I would play Oregon Trail, I would name all of the people in my wagon after boys I had crushes on. He who did NOT die of dystentery by the time we reached the Willamette Valley was deemed The One.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Saw The Sign

Yesterday morning, I may or may not have been sneaking in a quick Grey's Anatomy episode before work when my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, and I don't usually pick up those calls because they are invariably either an irate Spanish-speaking man who insists on calling me Luis or some earnest freshman from Wesleyan, my alma mater, trying to get me to send them money for their new nudist performing arts center or whatever. But yesterday I was just chillin' in my sweatpants eatin' some eggs and watchin' a biopsy, and I thought, What the hell? Live a little.

"Did you call to make an appointment in this department?" asked a friendly, West Indian-sounding woman when I picked up the phone.

Um... I don't think so. What department is this?


No, I definitely didn't.

"OK, thank you."


Maybe it was just the Grey's Anatomy, but as soon as I hung up I thought, Shit. That was God telling me I have a brain tumor.

Because, seriously, why would a random hospital call me to ask if I called them? I have never once gotten a live person on the phone at a hospital when I actually needed to. It is a fact that in 2007 I took Jeff to the emergency room and the only person on call was a homeless woman in a wheelchair asleep by the vending machine. And now they're calling me? It had to be a sign.

I'm big on signs. I'm like Mel Gibson in the cornfield (is that what happened? I didn't even see that movie). Anyway, what I'm saying is, I have a little... problem with believing too much in fate sometimes.

For example, I often play iPod roulette. I step out my door in the morning, set my iPod to shuffle, and decide that whatever comes on will determine the course of my day, or, at least, contain some hidden message, like an aural horoscope. Sometimes this works out, because I have a lot of Nina Simone and The Beatles, so I'll get "My Baby Just Cares For Me" or "Let It Be," which are both pleasant and straightforward. Other times I set myself up for bad omens like "Everybody Hurts" or "Toxic." But more often I'll get something cryptic like "Humpin' Around" or "Eat Em Up El Chill," (or one of my 1500 Christmas carols that I forget to remove, year after year, so that I'm constantly flipping past "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" in the middle of July when all I want is my summer jam) and so I have to play again and again until I get a clear message (I realize that I'm starting to sound crazy now).

I also ascribe irrational psychic powers to my BlackBerry... or, more specifically, to my Brick Breaker score. Once, on the way to a job interview, I decided that if I beat my high score I would get it (and I did!) Since that worked out, I then decided that somehow I could control other things with the BlackBerry, like when I might get knocked up. What should have been a mindless diversion morphed into a crazy high-stakes game with fate as I attempted to will myself to become impregnated by manipulating a tiny ball (which sounds wrong in so many ways). I might actually have a touch of OCD. When I was an adolescent, in the summers my dad and I would play paddleball at the beach. We got pretty good, even getting a volley up to 500 once. Before every round, though, I remember I used to discretely kiss both sides of the paddle. If I didn't, I was convinced I'd falter.

Wow, guys, this has been really therapeutic. I just convinced myself that I'm probably not dying of a brain tumor, but that I should really think about starting therapy again. Of course, to make the final decision I'm going to consult the ol' iPod.

"Girl, You Know It's True." (HA! I didn't even fake that. But damn. Even lip-synced it stings.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'll Take My Brotherly Love With Whiz, Please... Wait, That Sounds Wrong

This weekend I squired Jeff to Philly (can a woman squire? You know what, I don't care, I totally squired, especially if squire means "drove somewhat erratically on the PA Turnpike, occasionally calling other drivers assholes while adjusting her glasses") for a whirlwind weekend. The pilgrimage was, ostensibly, to see my patron saint David Sedaris do a reading, but we were also looking forward to seeing nerdy sights like Independence Hall and partaking in the local steak-and-cheese-based cuisine.

Jeff decided to take his film camera with him (what is this, 1998?), so there are no instant memories for me to share. I guess I'll just have to post random photos from the past to illustrate. Like...

Jeff (right) and his brothers posing in short shorts in front of a Pennsylvania well! This is relevant to our trip because we passed Armani Exchange on Walnut Street and saw a sign advertising a sale on men's shorts--two for $100. I laughed and laughed, because if there is one item of clothing that should not cost that much money, it is manshorts. Especially since Jeff can just wear my homemade Daisy Dukes if he feels the need to show off those gorgeous gams of his (no, seriously, he has great legs. But shorts don't do much for him since he's covered in fur. It's like he's always wearing pants.)

Where was I? Oh, right, cheesesteaks.

The last time Jeff was in Philly was for a bachelor party last summer. He does not remember much, except for going to two strip clubs (one classy, one trashy, you know--for balance) and almost getting arrested for trying to use his ID to get one of his buddies into a casino (the guy was over 21, but had left his wallet at the hotel, probably because he was so drunk). But Jeff does remember experiencing cheesesteak nirvana, sometime around 2am on South Street, so after we checked into our hotel we wandered over to try to find this meat mecca. You should know that Jeff does not often get truly excited about food, so the fact that he was leading me around like a bloodhound to track down this place was telling. All he could recall was that it was "chrome" and "awesome." But somehow his Spidey sense prevailed and we eventually found ourselves at Jim's Steaks. There was a line wrapped around the block, and as soon as we got on it, four guys dressed as the Ghostbusters walked by. It was kismet.

An hour later, after I had inhaled my first cheesesteak ever, I looked like this...

Also taken in Philly, circa 2006! Relevant!
...even though I spilled beef on my pants. Or, maybe, especially because I spilled beef on my pants.

I had made dinner reservations at a schmancy steakhouse, but Jeff and I looked at each other, congealed Cheez Whiz glistening in the corners of our mouths, and said, "Fuck that." Instead we bundled up our third, emergency cheesesteak and high-tailed it back to the hotel, where we took a bubble bath and watched Dante's Peak while Jeff drank a fifth of Jack Daniels. It was literally one of the best dates of our almost 8 years together. When we checked out the next morning, Jeff insisted that we leave the Mr. Bubble and the bottle of Jack so that the housekeeping staff could see what fun we'd had (although, in retrospect, the Mr. Bubble combined with the chicken fingers I'd ordered from room service off of the kids' menu might suggest the presence of a single, alcoholic parent and their lonely, albeit clean, progeny...)

The next day, we were planning on taking a tour of Independence Hall, but after we got our (free) tickets, we started walking, and all of a sudden where did we find ourselves but back in line at Jim's. Yes, friends, we consumed a sum total of 5 cheesesteaks in under 24 hours and didn't see a single goddamn sight. In fact, on our way to the suburban theater where D-Sed was reading, we even stopped at an Outback Steakhouse so that we could eat even more and see even less. Then I got to watch my idol, in a bow tie, read from his diary and make multiple blow job jokes.

Best weekend ever.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The M Word

You're not going to become a mommy blogger, are you?

The above sentence was taken from one of the many lovely comments I got on my pregnancy announcement post. And I'm mentioning it here not to shame the commenter, but because it's a totally valid question, and one that I've wondered myself over the past three months:

I'm not going to become a mommy blogger, am I?

The truth is, I don't even know how to define the term "mommy blogger." Now that it's entered the popular vernacular, it's a label that gets slapped on any blogger who also happens to be a mom. But is that the sole qualification? Does a blogger who gives birth, or adopts, become a mommy blogger against her will? And does it have to be a bad thing? Am I asking too many questions? Do I sound like Carrie Bradshaw right now? I couldn't help but wonder... does mommy-blogging lead to mommy-flogging? Okay, I'll stop.

But seriously, what is a mommy blogger?

I'll start by trying to whittle it down.

On the one hand, we have moms and moms-to-be who start blogs specifically to write about parenting or to document their growing family (maybe they started the blog during pregnancy to keep friends and relatives up to date, or maybe they just needed an outlet through which to vent/coo to an audience about their chaotic, juice box-filled life).

On the other, we have women bloggers who then become mothers. For the sake of argument, lets say they've spent the better part of their twenties documenting their every PMS outburst and drunken online shopping mistake, and then--lo and behold!--they settle into a domestic routine and proceed to blog a lot about their marriage, much to the chagrin of their very patient and underrepresented spouse. After a few years of wedded bliss, they decide to further the species through intercourse, blogging all the while (well, not during the intercourse... unless they are exceptionally dextrous). Are these women no different from the women in the first category? (Keep in mind that I am not biased at all.)

Through an informal Twitter poll, I found that most people define a mommy blogger as someone who only blogs about her kids and/or being a mom, excluding all other aspects of her life. The general consensus was also that it was generally derogatory, suggesting a person who considered herself superior based solely on her ability to procreate (although one woman said she liked the label because it "means I found enough time to mom AND blog!")

But here's the question that keeps sticking with me: Is possible to be a mom who also just happens to blog? From everything I've heard, becoming a parent changes your life. And if you have a blog that's basically just a glorified diary of your life, as I do, wouldn't it naturally follow that after I give birth the blog will focus--if not exclusively, at least heavily--on my child and experience of motherhood?

Of course I'll still do posts about stupid fashion trends, petty food-related crimes, trashy TV shows, and my relationship with Jeff. But come fall I suspect this blog will be all about baby, at least for awhile.

So what do you think? Will I change? Will you care? Should I worry? Or should I just say, motherfuck it?

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Go(d)spel(l) According to Jeff

So yesterday I got an email from Jeff's mom, Lee:
Una, what is the name of the musical that Jeff was in in high school? The one he won’t let you see (he played Jesus). Thanks.
The answer to her question is Godspell. I almost got to see it once. Back in 2004, when Jeff was still living in Massachusetts, I would come up for weekend visits. But since Jeff worked in retail he often had to work weekends, which left me and Lee free (I LOVE RHYMING!) to take long, romantic walks, get hopped up on Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, and go shopping for tracksuits. It also left time for her to show me Jeff's baby photos and all of his videotaped high school plays. One afternoon, she was getting ready to screen Godspell when Jeff came home. When he found out what we were up to, he basically did a slow-motion action movie dive between me and the cassette. "You can never watch that," he said in all seriousness. "I will break up with you."

At the time I chalked it up to the embarrassment of young love, similar to the first time you accidentally fart in front of the person (I first farted in front of Jeff after doing a somersault and an Olympic landing pose. True story.) But over the years, his adamance has only intensified.

"Hey," I'll sometimes joke, "You know what I'm in the mood to see? Godspell!" And he'll say, without looking up from what he's doing, "I will divorce you."

Jeff has seen me in Runaways, he has seen me in my Blossom hat, leggings, and ferocious unibrow. He has seen me try to drink wine from my own boobs.

I have heard him sing "My Way" completely drunk at karaoke in front of a roomful of strangers (who yelled out, "It's John Mayer!" Hahaha. But I digress.) How could this be worse?

In my mind, I picture loincloths, and jazz hands.
When pressed for comment, Jeff said only "I'll still divorce you," and "You'll never know," when asked what was on the tape that he was so ashamed of.

I fear that the urge to open this Pandora's Box will only grow stronger with time. You might say, day by day. (Right, honey?) The only thing currently saving my marriage is that we don't own a VCR... and the fact that I am easily distracted from plotting with new episodes of Modern Family.
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