Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You Know What Sucks About Working On Memorial Day? A Lot Of Things.

One, people will not believe you. "You're working?" they will ask incredulously. "On Monday?" And then, after a pause: "You know that's Memorial Day, right?" Salt in the wound.

Two, your favorite sandwich place will be closed. Worse, it will have a cute sign in the window reminding you once again that it is a holiday, dumbass, and you will have to get your lunch from the corner deli, the one with the stock boy who hits on you even though you are five months pregnant. "Hello, beautiful," you will hear him coo as you attempt to balance a package of mini donuts on your belly so that you can reach inside the fridge for a root beer, and you will wish for a moment that his fetish was just for helping sweaty women shop.

Three, the trains will still be running on a weekend schedule, which is to say, as slowly and irregularly as an obstructed bowel, and it will be hot, too--hot and fetid enough that for a moment you will look up from your magazine and wonder if you could, possibly, actually be inside someone's ass.

Four, someone on Facebook will soberly remind you why Memorial Day is called Memorial Day (Cliffs Note version: dead soldiers), and then you will feel like an asshole for being so self-righteously cranky about putting in eight relatively easy hours at the office (it's not like you're working in a coal mine, honey) and having to eat your sandwich on a regular roll instead of ciabatta.

That won't stop you from devoting an entire blog post to it later, though.

(Imagine Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda: "Asshooooooooooole!")

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Writing With My Mouth Full*

So, I'm going to take a little break from blogging starting today and going through the long weekend. I'm feeling burned out (those of you who've mastered basic addition have probably noticed that I've been posting less, but I'm not so much burned out from this blog as I am from my day job and extracurricular writing gigs, plus keeping up TSC--I think my other endeavors have sapped all of my writing mojo.)

How I've been feeling lately.
Hopefully a short time off will get me excited and inspired again. Have a fabulous Memorial Day. I'll be back next week!

*I was going to title this post "Una and the Chocolate Factory," but then that seemed too abstract and cruelly misleading. Some close friends of mine are moving to Gettysburg, PA, near Hershey Park, though, so one day soon I will make it a literal reality.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ab-solut Freedom

I got my issue of Women's Health in the mail yesterday. The cover promised me Flat Abs--Fast!, but I had to shift around slowly in a circle in order to see it, peering over my increasingly bulbous belly. Then I laughed, the throaty, self-satisfied cackle of someone who has known true freedom, or who is plotting Dynasty-style revenge.

Because as a woman, there is no cult more powerful than the cult of abdominal worship. You get registered as a lifetime member against your will, and once you're in, there's no getting out. It's like Scientology, but with the ab roller instead of the e-meter (and the cult of abs loves the gays).

But for 10 months at a time, if your ovaries cooperate, you can defect.

It's like one of those MasterCard commercials:
  • Approximately 16 pregnancy tests: $112
  • Health insurance: $600/month
  • Out-of-pocket ultrasound because your expensive health insurance still manages to suck: $350
  • Elastic-waist maternity pants, voluminous blouses, bigger bras, shoes half a size larger than you normally wear: $500
  • Creams that will control your exciting new acne without giving your baby horns or a tail: $40
  • Tons of baby shit*: More money than you have.   (*not literal)
  • Not being able to see your vagina: Eh, I'm sure it's fine.
  • Not having to worry about flat abs for 40 weeks: Priceless.
(Psssst, I'm available, MasterCard, if you need me. I'll bring the sweatpants, you bring the complimentary bikini wax. Because seriously, I'm flying blind down  there.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Inner Monologue, With Attractively Clogged Sinuses

Well, the Rapture didn't happen, which is good, mostly, except that I'm still sick so I really could have used an excuse not to blog.

Because all I've been doing for the last 72 hours is blowing my nose, drifting in and out of sleep while watching craniotomies and heartbreak on Grey's Anatomy* (I'm still only at the beginning of season 7, but have watched so much of this fucking show in the past few months that my kid is probably going to turn out to be a really needy doctor, through osmosis) and adding twee baby outfits to my online registries without consulting Jeff.

*Also, can we talk about the Frito-Lay commercial that runs every ten seconds on my Hulu? There is no way that blonde makes potato chips from scratch for her family using actual tomatoes. Plus, those corkscrew curls would not hold up leaning over a deep fryer.  

What else? Hmmm. I've been researching diaper pails, which is only slightly more demoralizing than receiving giant sanitary pads in the mail. Also I had a really good muffin today. Like, really good.

I would have made this a video blog to mask its inadequacy except I haven't washed my hair in days and the sides of my nostrils are flaking off faster than Charlie Sheen's septum.

Hey-oh! Still got it.

Hack, hack. Sneeze.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Whoring Myself Out On The Internet, Part Infinity

And now for those links I promised you this morning when we were having coffee and talking about glitter penises.

First, I'm over at Aiming Low writing yet again about a body part below the belt. My feet!

I totally just saved my mom and dad's lives, because the third time your daughter writes about her see you next Tuesday on the internet is the charm for a massive coronary. From what I've heard.

Next: someone found me interesting enough to interview. I KNOW. Allison from the hilarious blog Fucked in Park Slope (not literal; safe for work--you are welcome again, parents) chose ME as a "Profile in Courage." Courage, in this instance, means talking about men's sandals and the perils of pooping in a birthing tub. It's all relative, but still, if you're a soldier in Afghanistan you probably should not read this.

Have a great weekend, everyone. If the world ends tomorrow, this will be my final blog post, so I'd just like to say... Shit. I do not have a speech prepared. Be excellent to each other? See you in hell, maybe? I'll bring the Cuervo, you bring the limes. XOXO, Gossip Girl.

TGI...WTF? Pajamas and Pejazzles

Two things:

1. The Jews (of which I am a member, albeit not in very good standing) have a saying, dayenu, a Hebrew word which means "It would have been enough."

So, for instance, if God had only given us rompers, dayenu. If He had decided to stop at jumpsuits, dayenu. If Pajama Jeans were the only pajama-based product deemed appropriate for humans to wear in public, dayenu.

But I guess it wasn't dayenu, because now there is this:

No, it's not a Nerds Halloween costume. That, friends, is a "OnePiece," which the British are trying to make happen (thanks to reader Summer for the tip!) And not as a wear-around-the-house adult onesie. As something you wear in the outside.

Okay, in fairness, that one is pretty fey. How about this gangsta number:

You down with O.P.? Yeah, me neither. Good luck taking a dump in that thing.

2. Remember vajazzling? I thought it would go away, too. Well, now there's pejazzling, in which men adorn their upper pubic area with Swarovski crystals. I have a few problems with this:

A. Shouldn't it be penazzling?
B. Shouldn't it actually be pube-azzling, since if we're being honest it's not really the penis itself getting this treatment?
C. This only leaves one more private area to adorn with jewels, and I personally don't want to live to see anazzling. If this means the Rapture has to come tomorrow, so be it.

P.S. Check back later today--I'll have a new post up at Aiming Low plus an interview I did with the blog Fucked in Park Slope. (It is part of a series called "Profiles in Courage." Stop laughing.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Splendor In The Gas

"Isn't there a Slanket somewhere you should be filling with your farts?"

Salma Hayek said that to Liz Lemon on an episode of 30 Rock, and now I always think of it when I pull on what I have come to know affectionately as "my Slank." But now that I have pregnancy gas it's not as funny, because it's true.

God, I am the worst. All day I've been burping uncontrollably, and then my nose started to run, but only out of one nostril, which seems worse somehow. I don't know if I have allergies or a cold, and I don't really know how to tell the difference because aren't they basically the same, except that one is caused by tree pollen and one is caused by that peanut M&M you ate even though a consumptive toddler had been palming it like a tai chi ball before you "borrowed it" from them?


I was trying to work despite my carbonated intestines and liquid sinuses when my upstairs neighbor started playing Rock Band. More specifically, he started playing Smash Mouth and Blink 182 on Rock Band. I burped my dismay but I don't think he heard me, so instead of working I ate an ice cream bar and read about Arnold Schwarzenegger's love child in retaliation. Then he played "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger, which you know is my aural emotional kryptonite, so I had continue not working for a little bit in order to weep softly into my right nostril snot rag.

Jeff pretends he's still attracted to me, but I'm pretty sure he's lying so I won't fart on him, or start to cry. Lately I've been anchored on the couch every night, resplendent in my machine-washable polyester caftan, surrounded by wadded-up tissues and food wrappers, looking like Marlon Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau. I might as well be in one of those dioramas at the Museum of Natural History:

During the late twentieth and early twenty-first century before the new Ice Age, the Una ranged over eastern North America and parts of western Europe, although it generally preferred to stay within a one-mile radius of its apartment. Although it resembles a sloth in appearance, the Una is actually more closely related to humans and apes. Its name is derived from the reported (and photographically confirmed) unibrow it was born with and later removed. Una can weigh over one hundred pounds, but appear much larger because of their oversize sweatpants and voluminous "Slanket" coverings, which bear traces of some staples of the Unas' diet, such as artificial cheese dust and coffee Haagen Dazs. The Una became extinct after experiencing sudden cardiac death brought on by hysterical weeping to the power ballad "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger, an American rock band that gained popularity during the 1980s and then faded into obscurity.

My nails are looking pretty good, though. So I've got that going for me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sister, Sister

Seeing as I am convinced that 1980 was only 20 years ago, it is somewhat perplexing to me that my little sister turns 25 today. Yes, somehow she is now 4 years older than me. I can only conclude that I have Benjamin Button disease.

Anyway, remember that episode of Sex and the City when Carrie gets stood up for her birthday party and there's this drunk girl at the restaurant who yelps, "25... fuck, I'm old!"? I used to think that. Now Zoe thinks that. I'm sure she's spending her birthday being vaguely depressed instead of doing shots of Jamo at a bar. In fact, I know this, because A) We LaMarches always cry at least once on every birthday, and B) Zoe is spending the day in the outer reaches of Brooklyn caring for a four month-old baby without a phone. My sentence structure kind of sucks there--I'm not saying that the baby doesn't have a phone, because obviously all newborns  are now equipped with built-in Bluetooth. I'm saying that Zoe doesn't have a phone, because she left it in a cab yesterday. Which means that she can't get lovey-dovey calls on her big quarter-life birthday. Hence this lovey-dovey blog ode.

(Okay, it's not lovey-dovey yet, but I'm building to that. First I have to show you her sweet Guatemalan pants from 1988.)



Anyway, my sister is brave and brilliant and beautiful and oh so much stronger and wiser and ballsier than I, and a perfect example of this is that she would probably kick my ass if I got too sappy in such a public forum. Another example is her giant neck tattoo:

Kidding! That's ink. She modeled for a friend's photo project. But seriously, doesn't she look bad-fuckin'-ass? And gorgeous? Like one of those Vogue models pretending to be all ethnic and Maori? Except even better because her eyes aren't blank and glassy and she's not jumping for no reason while wearing a silk romper and a fright wig?

OK, so clearly I didn't map this post out before I started. And I apologize, because my sister deserves better. But I just love her so much it makes me kind of frazzled. She's like my Fight Club power animal. She's inspires and amazes me. When she was little, she wanted to be like me (she even used to put tin foil on her teeth to approximate my adolescent braces). Now, all I want is to be more like her. (Yes, this means I'm going blonde. Look out, world!)

But seriously, please help me show her some love and join me (and The New Kids On The Block) in wishing her a very happy birthday.

I LOVE YOU, BOO. I hope that kid is doing a baby samba dance in celebration of your awesomeness.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bumpwatch... Like Baywatch, But Without the Slo-Mo Beach Running

So, I started 3 different posts tonight and they all sucked. One was about how Angela Chase said that Sunday nights make you want to kill yourself, and how that is, like, so true. One was a really sad list of things I've avoided doing so that I can catch up on Grey's Anatomy on Hulu. And one was a post bemoaning my writer's block and trying to distract you by posting a photo of my distended abdomen. BABY JOY!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Like A Good Neighbor

I am planning a home birth.

Now, I know what you're going to say, and let me answer some questions for you: Yes, Jeff is going to grow Jethro Tull hair and start wearing flannel. No, there will be no barn animals (unless you count the mice who live under our sink). Yes, I realize this means that I won't have access to pain medication. No, I am not allowed to smoke pot first. (I already asked.)

My mom had both me and my sister at home, so it's normal to me, the same way a hospital birth is normal to most people. And of course if anything goes awry we'll be whisked away to the hospital so that the baby and I are safe. But the purpose of this post isn't to defend home birth to skeptics. It's to ask a simple question that's been haunting me since I got pregnant:

What do I tell my neighbors?

When my mom had me she and my dad were living in a cavernous 6th story loft just northwest of Union Square; they had the whole top floor of the building, and since this was 1980 I have always assumed that whoever lived beneath them was busy either shooting heroin or painting in the nude when I arrived. When my sister was born we lived in a little suburban one-story house in Austin, Texas, separated from the neighbors by 30 feet or so on either side. But I live in a small, four-apartment brownstone with cracked ceilings and holes in the floorboards. I can hear my upstairs neighbors have sex, play Rock Band, and even drop cutlery. In my bathroom there is a vent that seems to lead directly into another apartment, because I can always hear someone sighing softly, presumably while on the toilet. Seriously, what do I say?

"Hello, neighbor. Sometime in the next month or so you will hear terrible screams coming from my apartment. It could be at noon or it could be in the middle of the night. Do not be alarmed; I am merely giving the gift of life. I plan on using a birthing tub, but from what I hear those suckers are pretty hard to break, so the chance of my flooding your apartment with my baby water is quite low. Regardless, please accept this $7 bottle of wine and this set of airplane earplugs as a token of my sincere advance apologies."

Hmm. I may have to work on my speech.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adventures In Sitting, Baby

I got a seat on the subway yesterday.


I have been glaring at people for weeks now. I'll be standing, and a seat will open up, but not right in front of me, so in order to grab the open seat I either have to lunge like a selfish asshole, or let someone else take their rightful seat, since by New York law if the subway seat directly in front of you opens up it's yours, pregnant women and the elderly be damned.

That's why I get so pissed off when I'm standing in front of a seat and my person (yes, softly dozing octogenarian Asian man with the bag full of asparagus, you belong to me now) gets up and then the person next to them shifts over. I feel like, when that happens, I should be able to taser the person, or at least take them on Judge Joe Brown.

(Judge Joe Brown was on in the hospital waiting room when we got our ultrasound. A teenage boy was being taken to court by his grandparents for defaulting on an $1800 loan. And this boy must have been challenged, because everyone knows that daytime TV courts do not smile upon entitled, ungrateful children who swindle their elders. That's Gossip Girl you're thinking of, son, don't get it twisted!)

Anyway. I guess I could have told people on the subway that I was pregnant, but it kind of takes away from an act of kindness when you have to force it with pity. Plus, there are so many things aside from wiggly uterine growths you can't tell by looking at someone. What if I had said, "Excuse me, I'm pregnant," and the big, strapping-looking man in what I considered to be "my" seat had said, "I have testicular cancer"? What then? Would we play rock, paper, scissors? Or something without the word "rock" in it so he wouldn't get self-conscious about his ailing balls? I don't know.

That's why I needed to wait for someone to look up, notice my burgeoning belly, and give me their seat. Or, I should say, that's why I needed to push out my stomach comically and sigh until someone noticed.

(It takes a lot for a pregnant woman to get a seat these days, because people are so afraid of mistakenly offering their seat to a woman who is not, in fact, pregnant. And here is a public service announcement for those people: Just get the hell up. Don't say anything, just get up like you have somewhere else to be, like maybe over next to the charming man singing aloud to the violent rap song he's listening to on his iPod. Best case scenario, you let a pregnant woman sit down. Worst case, you let a woman who has just eaten a giant burrito sit down, and believe me, she needs it, too.)

I'll admit, I felt a little guilty, after the elation that someone had finally identified me as knocked up as opposed to just husky subsided. The man whose seat I took stood all the way to Penn Station, while I struggled to focus my attention on the cheery New York Times Magazine article I was reading about a fatal Air France plane crash. But then I caught the eye of a man across the aisle, who got on at my stop in Brooklyn and who hadn't given up his seat. And I glared at him. And then I felt better.

Motherhood is changing me so much already.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Scenes From a Marriage: Fetal Eavesdropping

Jeff puts his ear against my stomach.

Me: What do you hear?

Jeff: Shhh.

Me: Zeppelin?

Jeff:I smell incense. And he's saying something, too...

Me: "Mom, get out of my room!"

Jeff: I think he's masturbating.

We're going to be awesome parents.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Note To My Future Son

I told myself that I would not turn into the woman who posts her ultrasound photos on the Internet. And yet...

Here you are. And I'm completely smitten.

(Even though it looks like you have no arms.)

(Not that there's anything wrong with that. I would still totally adore you.)

(And, I mean, look at Lieutenant Dan, from Forrest Gump. He did okay.)

(Wait, nevermind, he was missing legs. Plus, he was kind of a dick.)

(But you get my point.)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Babe-O

Today, assuming our fetus is an exhibitionist like its mother, we'll find out if we have to start saving for her wedding or for the bail we'll have to post when he tries to shoot himself out of a cannon while trespassing on private property. Stay tuned. And feel free to place bets. The prize is the smug feeling you'll have knowing you correctly identified a baby's genitalia without even looking. Which is priceless, really.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nothing Comes Between Me And My Calvins... Except For My Sink Urine

I cannot get enough of this ad. I crack up every time I see it.

If you're a man, I guess, it's supposed to say, "Come fuck me in this public bathroom, quick, and then buy your girlfriend expensive jeans."

But if you're a woman, it mostly says, "Excuse me, hag, but I'm peeing in here. Topless. While she watches. There is a Denny's next door if you need to relieve yourself."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tweeting the 5th

Here’s a dirty secret: When something major happens in the news, part of me cringes, even if it’s good. Prop 8, healthcare reform, bin Laden's death... even if I'm glad about it, part of me sighs.


Because I know that my Twitter and Facebook streams will flood with commentary. And because I know that I will have to decide whether to join the fray.

I tend to shy away from politics in my “public” persona on the blog and social media (ahem, the 2008 election notwithstanding… longtime readers will remember that I was—often drunkenly—obsessed with everything Obama from July through November of that year). It’s not that I don’t care, but I’m non-confrontational by nature, and internet pile-ons have never been my thing. I enjoy a good political debate from time to time, but preferably lingering over dinner with a bottle of wine at the ready, and a good buzz already going. Not under the harsh fluorescent lights of my office, caffeine-deprived, exchanging tense 50-character messages with some guy I don’t even know who’s a friend of my friend, has a profile picture of  a bikini-clad dolphin*, and who apparently has no qualms about coming off like a loudmouth asshole to strangers.

*Note: This is not a real descriptor. If this guy actually existed I would totally friend him.

I lean, as Beyonce once sang, “to the left, to the left,” and have a collection of (generally) like-minded friends who tend to express their political opinions freely online. So when Osama bin Laden's death was announced last night, the status updates started pouring in.

They ranged from the celebratory ("I feel like NYC should be drinking and dancing in the street for the next 24 hrs.") to the sincere ("So happy for my president, hopeful for my country, and grateful for all of the servicemen and women who made it happen.") to the jokey ("Osama bin Laden? Nope, Obama been Killin!"; "Hawaiian Black Man Responsible for Death of Homeless Arab Recluse") to the disappointed ("man... i know he was 'evil' and all, but it still creeps me out to see people celebrating the death of another human."). None were offensive, all were valid responses. On some level I agreed with all of them. But I couldn't bring myself to comment, or post my own update, or even click "like."

I wish there was a button for "tacitly agree with the motivation behind this, but do not wish to participate, much like middle-school sports."

But then I feel guilty for not saying anything, as if that act itself says something, the something being "I enjoy posting updates about the sex lives of former Melrose Place cast members and things I have eaten off the floor, but I have no interest in the war on terror."

So, for the record:

Am I glad bin Laden is dead? Yes.

Do I find it kind of disturbing to raucously celebrate a death, regardless of who died? Also, yes.

Am I kind of suspicious about this whole "burial at sea" thing? Yes, captain.

I mean, come on. That's some Days of Our Lives shit. "Who, Brock? Oh, he died. He was, um... buried at sea. That's why there's no body in the casket, only the ashes from when Chastity burned down his condo after she realized he was pretending to be his twin brother, Brett, to get the deed to her diamond mine. Brock always loved the ocean. He even had a birthmark shaped like a seahorse... that's how they knew it was Brett who fell to his death after last year's ice cream social at the cliffs. So, yeah... he's at sea. Definitely not coming back for sweeps. No way."


Monday, May 2, 2011

Distressing By-Products of "Nesting," Part One

1. There is now a cardboard box in my closet marked "WIGS."
2. Knowledge that there were additional wigs that didn't qualify for the aforementioned permanent wig storage box, due to their irreparable misshapenness, or suspect stains.
3. The discovery of a sheaf of crude drawings stapled together, labeled "FOOD BOOK" in a childish scrawl, and the subsequent inner debate as to when, exactly, I had made this: age 4, or during a Hulu commercial, waiting for the Mr. Wonton delivery man?
4. Sore right butt cheek (mysterious)
5. Realization that Entertainment Weekly's Greatest Hits: 1991--unearthed inside a mint condition Jansport backpack--does not include "Finally" by CeCe Peniston.
6. Realization that CeCe Peniston, despite the promise of her spectacular name, never really did anything else.
7. The cessation of gingerly placing wigs into FreshDirect boxes in order to watch this:

Peniston: 1; Nursery: Zip.

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