Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Late like her Father

Well we're at 40 weeks & 3 days.  Today I had high hopes for my doctor's appointment that something was going on down there.  Apparently nothing.  Not only is nothing going on, but they saw fit to put me in a room and forget about me.  After about 30 minutes of waiting for the nurse to come back and take my blood pressure I went looking for someone and it became clear that the nurse had gone to lunch, forgotten about me and not told the doctor I was there.  At least I wasn't naked yet.

I spent three hours between two doctors offices. In this time I had my blood pressure checked twice, had my stomach lubed up three times and got naked once.  I lead an exciting life these days. All is well although they expressed some concern when they couldn't get our friend to move. I explained that she really doesn't do much of anything until after 2PM.  That's roughly the time Kung Fu Sally wakes up and starts her daily assault.  Despite this fact, she failed the test.   Great way to start things off... late and already failing tests.

Tonight we will make dinner with some friends and husband will get to see the ball drop for the very first time (and by default he will also get to see an almost dead Dick Clark).  It's an exciting life we lead. Try to mask your jealousy so I don't feel badly about my spectacular existence.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

If you can't see it, don't try to shave it.

Today is technically my due date however I can say with some amount of certainty that there is nothing going on down there.  I grow increasingly immobile but I don't seem to be any closer to getting this child out.

I've also begun to think about how many people will be looking at my nether regions.  When you think about how many people have actually seen the nether regions it's a small number.  One could argue that there have been a few men, but quite honestly it was dark and I don't think they were really checking out the goods.  Certainly a few doctors over the years (literally a few - as in three).  That's it, or at least it was until recently.  This brings us to the last 8-9 months where four new doctors have scoped out the area.  This is intended to make me feel more comfortable in the event that one of these folks actually has to remove this child from said area.  

This natural thought progression eventually led to me wondering exactly how many people I would be adding to this list.  Nurses, a midwife, residents, random hospital people.... dear god.  It is right about this time that I realized that much like my feet, I can no longer see the hoo ha region.  If I were smart I would have taken myself to one of those sadistic Russian women and let her have her way with some hot wax.  I never claimed to be smart.

In my head I reasoned that I have shaved this area for years so I should be able to handle this.  And so I shaved.  Blind.  It wasn't until I got out of the shower to admire my handiwork that I realized this wasn't a wise choice.  If I hadn't been present for the incident myself I might have thought a drunk blind person snuck in the shower with me and wielded that razor.  

It was at this point that I decided I would go get a pedicure....from a professional.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Someone Bring me a Wheel of Camembert

I am very large. Something has happened in the last two weeks that has made me very very large.  Of course I've spent the last few days trying to finish all the stuff I haven't done - like my holiday shopping and cleaning.  This excess activity resulted in the entire day today being spent in bed.  Exhausted. 

Last night a friend of mine who has been living in Paris for the past 6 months came over and I ate all sorts of bad cheese.  I bought it under the guise of it not being for me, but the cheese lady and me....we knew the truth.  So much so that when my husband went back to the Whole Foods today she told him the cheese I was asking about had come in and she comped us a very large chunk.  (Go find La Tur at your local cheese shop and eat it by the truck's stinky Italian cheese all wrapped up in gooey goodness.  Sheep, goat and cow all rolled into one spreadable moment of joy.)

When people ask what I miss most or what I have cravings for, it's cheese. I want soft, smelly, unpasteurized cheese. I want it on baguettes, I want it on crackers, I want to lick it off my fingers and then lick the knife and plate once it's all gone.  Now you know.  It's not a pretty visual, but at least I'm not stuffing donuts in my mouth.  

If you come to visit me, you better bring some cheese or I may not let you in the door.

Sadly I do not feel any closer to cheese eating than I did three weeks ago.  Clearly our friend on the interior has not chosen to start her trip downward.  She's still floating up there, squishing my stomach and causing massive heartburn.  I'm starting to resent her procrastination.  I know, I know...the doctor says some children don't drop until you go into labor and that the fact that NOTHING AT ALL is going on down there doesn't mean anything.  

Everyone is very kind and has been texting and emailing to ask what's going on.  I feel like a loser having to tell them, sadly...nothing.  We made dinner plans for Friday and Saturday because we like to tempt fate.  Plus you really can't expect me to pass up grilled octopus and hummus at Dimitri's. 

We did manage to go to Pub & Kitchen a few nights ago.  It was the one place I haven't been that I really wanted to go before I become chained to a small person.  I had a french onion soup that was really tasty.  They puree their onions making it sort of stew like and thick.  Then I had a gnocchi appetizer that was yummy as well.  The gnocchi seemed to be flash fried which left the interiors so buttery soft they melted in my mouth, no chewing required.  The hostess was a joke.  We went in around 9:30 on a Monday to ask if they had a table.  She told my husband she had one table but couldn't hold it for him while he parked the car.  Sort of ridiculous because in the first ten minutes we were there the entire place with the exception of three tables all got up and left.  Way to know your dining room there sweetheart.   

Thankfully the surly hostess in the over played Tori Burch flats wasn't any indication of the rest of the staff.  

Hey. I'm like 6 million months pregnant, I'm allowed to be bitchy.

Well, I'm off.  Keep your fingers crossed that this kid decides to make an appearance sooner rather than later.  I would really like my bladder back.  Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Rose by Any Other Name is NOT an F'in Rose

People...we are in the home stretch. Yesterday I started having Braxton Hicks contractions. They are annoying and distract me from the things I am doing. They also remind me of the things I still need to do. So what's on the ever important list? The usual...rearrange furniture, clean, make a casserole... Thankfully we have ceased discussion on names as we have agreed to a name a few weeks ago. It's a good feeling to have that out of the way.

If you know my husband, you would probably describe him as easy going. This is probably true unless it's something that involves tradition. Tradition is a very seriously business and naming your child is a very, very serious activity. Many generations of his family have managed to name their children the same thing over and over again for centuries. Boring perhaps, but that's tradition. There are rules that must be followed.

To understand the painful hours I spent with him deciding on a name, I will provide you with a brief outline of the rules. I firmly believe that most people wouldn't be able to figure out a name for their hamster given all these restrictions, but I persevered.

Rule 1: The kid has to have a real name, not a shortened form of a name. Sounds reasonable right? Is Gretchen a real name? Not according to my husband. Gretchen is “little Greta” in German which is short for Margaret. So if I wanted to call my daughter Gretchen I would have to name her Margaret. No offense to all the Margarets out there, but no thanks - Peg, Peggy, Marge - all awful.

Husband also maintains that naming a child Gretchen is similar to naming a child Mikey (instead of Michael). I told him he was being dramatic, he told me I just didn't know what I was talking about.

Rule 2: It has to be something that sounds nice in English and German. This one I understand. He thinks Gretchen sounds offensive out of my mouth. Apparently if I had mastered the art of the German phlegm/choking noise, my pronunciation would be acceptable. I have not and therefore all names that I pronounce like crap are off the table. He also doesn’t like when Germans name their children things they can not pronounce – like Nathanial which usually comes out sounding like Na-san-yal since many of them can’t pronounce the English “th”.

He also steadfastly refuses to believe a name can be pronounced differently in different countries. I respond to a whole host of pronunciations of my name. I guess husband never noticed that I don’t pronounce his name the same way his mother does….shhhh, don’t tell him.

Rule 3: It has to be a name, it can’t be made up. Ok, in all fairness this is actually a German rule, not my husbands. In the good ‘ole USA you can name your kid whatever you want – Tree, Apple, River, Asshat…the sky is the limit. In Germany they have laws to protect their children. They've loosened up a little in recent years – they’ll accept names of other nationalities but you still can’t make up some shit and call it a name. So you won’t find any Versace’s or Shithead’s in Deutschland. You probably also wouldn’t find idiots like these people. Be sure to check out the link to the pictures at the bottom of the article. I can’t decide which I like better, the car decal or the skull.

Rule 4: It can’t be French. I have no explanation for this one. Apparently the PWT in Germany name their kids French names. I can only draw on my own distaste for stripper names as a close comparison. Destiny, Chastity, Candy, Angel, etc… Nothing like setting the bar very low early in your child’s life.

Rule 5: None of this new fangled name construction. This rule actually covers a host of sub-rules
5a. My maiden name is not a suitable middle name. Really any family name is unacceptable as a first or middle name. They are last names and that's it.
5b. You can’t give a girl a boy’s name, even if it’s a commonly accepted unisex name these days.
5c. Only traditional spellings are acceptable. You can’t swap out an “i” for a “y” or some other ridiculous nonsense.

Rule 6: It can’t be any kind of name that reminds him of someone he doesn’t like, a fictional character that has a distasteful/negative connotation or anything he considers “icky”. I liked the name Otto. He said that’s always the name of the fat kid in children’s stories that bullies all the other children. Then there was some discussion about how "Otto" always carries sandwiches in his pockets. I didn't understand but it's best not to argue.

Anyway, stay tuned for more details on little Destinee Duvet Cristal...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sweet Valley High Anyone?

I have an embarrassing story to tell.

So I'm very bad at bringing books to the airport with me so I usually have to schlep over to the Hudson News and buy one before I go to my gate. Yes I know this is a total waste of money. Nine times out of ten it's some lousy book that I don't remember 10 minutes after I finish it, but the point is that it kept me occupied on the flight.

There are roughly 4 types of books in the airport book store:
1. The Self Help books - and you seriously need some if you're buying that shit in the airport.
2. The God books - this is all inclusive of "I hate God", "I found God", "God Loves You Too" and generally anything with the word Enlightenment in the title. These could also be written by someone famous or sort of famous like that creepy Osteen guy. (I suspect he's really an alien like the people on V - tell me that smile doesn't scream, "I'm really a reptile hiding in a rubber human suit.")
3. The Pseudo Business books - think...7 Habits of Highly Effective People only really, really bad. These may also be written by vaguely famous people whom you care nothing about.
4. The Romance books

I hate the first three so I'm stuck with Romance. I further sub-categorize these into Woman Romance and Man Romance. I think we're all familiar with the former - two people with seemingly impossible odds meet and have serious sexual tension, they can't be together, they shouldn't be together, they do it (must involve pages and pages of narrative about how good the sex is), they profess their undying love, then tragically one of them manages to screw something up (alternate plot line - 3rd party screws something up and causes huge ridiculous misunderstanding), they separate and all looks lost until....they realize they must be together and reunite to live happily ever after. Amen.

The Man Romance is cleverly disguised as spy thrillers, military books & mystery novels. Invariably they follow the same plot line only they include action scenes, guns, gadgets and typically the females involved are hot, in distress and need to be saved by the male character (must involve pages and pages of narrative about how hot the female character is, however sex is covered in roughly a single sentence). Amen.

Infrequently I find a book that doesn't suck. This is what happened when, quite by accident, I picked up Twilight. I knew nothing about it other than the book blurb looked not-sucky. I liked it alot. Probably a little more than I should have. I think I may have reread the ending more than once. I was a little sad when there was nothing left to read.

This is where it gets embarrassing.

My mother sees the book sitting on my entry table and says, "Hey, is this that book that all those 13 year old girls are going crazy over at the mall?". Hmmmmm. Apparently the answer is yes. Much like Harry Potter, this is one of those books that is designed for the "tween" set yet loser adults like me all over the country are reading it anyway. I had absolutely no idea. I'll admit to being a Harry Potter fan without any embarrassment. Somehow this seems slightly less respectable - teen vampire romance? Seriously, what is wrong with me? Apparently my reading comprehension is roughly 7th grade.

This is where it gets really embarrassing.

I discovered today that there are 3 more books in the series. I went to Amazon and bought them all. I think I'm secretly a 13 year old girl and I don't care what any of you have to say.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rednecks and Uncooperative Children In Utero

Yes I've been MIA.  I would blame it on pregnancy but I think it's more about me being lazy than anything else.  I'll do my best to bring you up to speed.

A few weekends ago we went to the Punkin Chunkin in lower Delaware.  Otherwise known as slower Delaware.  Just to be clear, this is a description of the people there, not the pace of living.  Some of you may recall that this was the activity that my sister and brother-in-law chose for our Christmas gift.  It was a nice day and we had a good time watching them launch pumpkins out of air canons.  There were people there that had one tooth.  

We decided that white trash events were the way to go.  We decided that for our Christmas gift to each other this year we would get tickets to a NASCAR race.  Stay tuned for more details...

Last week's big event was the baby shower.  Everyone was really nice and didn't give me ugly pink clothes.  That was awesome. My co-workers also gave me a shower and were kind enough to give me a gift certificate to the spa.

So this weekend I scheduled a massage.  This guy worked me over in a serious way.  He was apparently trained by Catholic nuns somewhere in a third world country.  Those ladies are evil so this explains a lot. 

On a side note our child has decided that it would rather remain head up than prepare for birth.  I find this unacceptable so we are making attempts to cajole the child into position.  Husband believes that burning special Chinese cigars next to my pinky toe will get the job done. I'll let you know how that goes...  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Direct Quote

Husband after winning play of the World Series: Our child will be born into a better world where Philadelphia is the World Series Champ.

I married a crazy man....

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Sloppy American Husband, My Crazy Father and My Grandmother, the Dirty Old Lady

I used to say that I had a sexy European boyfriend and now I have a sloppy American husband.  This was primarily because he discovered he really likes to wear his shirts untucked and is unnaturally attached to his GAP hoodie.  This year the American husband has taken on a whole new hobby.  He decided he likes baseball.  So I am currently sitting on the couch held captive in our 1100 square feet by the World Series.  I'm holding out hope that the fascination has more to do with the Phillies than baseball.  

On a random side note, I would like to also complain about people without manners.  Today I was standing with 3 coworkers around 5PM. There was a woman there ahead of us who had hit the down button.  In our building the elevators don't stay open very long and if you happen to be standing on the wrong side of the elevator bank then you really have to hustle to get to the elevator before the doors shut.  So the elevator comes, the lady jumps in and as we're walking toward her the doors start to shut.  So I reached out on my way past the call button, hit the down button again to reopen the doors and said, "Oh, for real?".  At which point I walked onto the elevator in my 8 month pregnant glory and shot her a dirty look.  She stared at the buttons (in shame...or at least I like to think she did).

I can look past it when people pretend they don't see you and let the door close within inches of you getting there.  I can even forgive them when they look at the floor as the doors close instead of looking you in the eye.  But, to walk into the elevator that everyone has been waiting for and let it shut on people is a sign that you have been raised by wild animals.  Animals.  And not the cute furry kind that people like. 

This made me think of the time my father went postal on some woman at Costco.  I can only relay the story second hand as I wasn't privileged enough to be present.  He and my mother were in line to return a sweater. In front of them a woman was returning a half used sleeve of disposable plates, some opened plastic flatware, a 5lb tub of potato salad with a few scoops out of it and a carrot cake with 2 slices missing.  Costco apparently doesn't ask questions they just take the return to make everyone happy.  The returned food went directly in the trash.  My father was horrified that this woman was clearly returning the half used leftovers of a party.  So he called her a skank. Out loud. To her face. (I find this mildly amusing since skank is one of my favorite words)  He also announced to the entire customer service line that that woman was the reason why prices were so high everywhere and she should be ashamed of herself.

I only have one question.  Am I going to be that crazy screaming person someday?

I also vividly recall going to a restaurant with him last year in the middle of the winter and after about 35 people had walked in and stood with the door open (freezing everyone in the restaurant) he had endured enough and screamed at them, "What part of Jersey are you from, shut the damn door...".  It was a bit like a blanket of silence descending on the entire restaurant.  My friend from NY thought it was funny. I was mortified. My mother didn't seem phased.  I really couldn't argue, they were a bunch of dumb asses standing there in 10 degree weather with the door open.  But again, the better question is - will I someday be that crazy?

I highlight our dinner table conversation Sunday night as proof that insanity and embarrassment has a long history in my family.

My cousin had come to look at my grandmother's legs.  She has a history of some sort of skin cancer and we asked him to come check out a lump on her leg since he's a dermatologist.  He stayed for dinner.  My grandmother had other plans.  She wanted to sleep.  She only stayed awake because she heard we were going to have dessert.  The only thing she likes more than sleeping is eating cake.

Grandmother (after dessert): I'm going to sleep now
My Father (teasing her because he's like that): He's going to wake you up every 4 hours to check your leg.
Grandmother: What the hell for?
My Father: You heard him, we have to keep an eye on it.
Grandmother: Oh, I thought I was going to get a piece.

Seriously? Does she even know what that means?  She can't remember her own name yet she somehow has the wherewithal to be a dirty old woman.

Maybe I'm the milkman's kid...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dear Friends,

I write to you on behalf of my poor friend in Virginia with nothing to do. She’s going through a rough patch at work and is bored out of her mind. Typical in our crappy industry, we hit periodic stretches of downtime that make you want to beat your head against the wall. Sure it sounds fun to sit around and do nothing and get paid. In fact it is fun…for about 6 hours.

In that time you’ve responded to all your email, caught up with your long lost friends, ordered every book online you’ve ever wanted, scheduled all those overdue doctor’s appointments and now you’re staring at the news tickers willing something interesting to happen so that you have something to read.

So I beg of you….give her something to read. She actually sent me a harassing email asking me if I was ever going to post again because she needs something to read. So really, you would be doing me a favor as well (since I have nothing to say lately and she seems to be getting desperate). I’ve included below a list of the blogs that I’ve sent her to date and those that I just pulled together. Please – she needs some new material!

Already sent:

And here are a few more I haven’t sent her yet:

So please, leave your favorite blogs and sites in the comments – anything as long as it doesn’t involve shopping online. She will thank you, her husband will thank you.

Happy reading!

Don't Forget Your Spandex...

As usual I've been absent from this blog although this time I have an excuse.  I was in South Beach with two of my girlfriends for a long weekend.  Despite some bad weather that was forecasted we had a really relaxing trip.  

Our itinerary was basically some slight variation of this:

10AM: Drag self out of comfy bed to put on bathing suit
10:30: Reserve chaise lounges by the pool, eat breakfast at poolside restaurant
11AM - 2:30PM: sun, pool, sun, read, pool, sun, nap, nap, nap
2:30: eat lunch at poolside restaurant
3PM-5PM: sun, pool, sun, read, nap, sun
5PM-7PMish: relax, shower, get dressed
7:30: Drinks somewhere
9PM: Dinner somewhere
11PM: Drinks somewhere
12 Midnight: Home to bed

It was several very lazy and relaxing days in the sun.  We also ate pretty well.  Between my friend who did most of the planning and the concierge we had some really good reservations.

The first night we ate at La Marea at The Tides Hotel.  We had a great table out on the terrace where I had an excellent view of the drag queens next door. 

The night after we had a drink in the courtyard of the Setai.  This was hands down the most gorgeous hotel we saw the entire trip, followed by dinner at Blue Door over at the Delano.  Really great dinner with the exception of the torrential downpour next to our table.  The risotto more than made up for it.

The last night we hit up Nobu in the Shore Club.  The food was good but the whole place was a little worn out.  Yes, I ate sushi, don't judge.

A few notes about South Beach.  Really spectacular art deco buildings, really spectacularly skanky women.  The women are in terrific shape with clothing they procured at Sluts R Us.  I felt like I was in a more humid version of Wildwood, NJ.  The men were less than spectacular - I saw more than one guy around the pool with an all weather sweater.  The hair sweater is never a good pool side visual...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fatty, Fatty 2x4

Yesterday I realized it is becoming difficult to put on socks and today I picked something up off the floor with my toes because it was just easier that way.  God help us all.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Random Crap and How to Damage your Child in Three Easy Steps

Since I am not very entertaining these days, here are a few random thoughts from this increasingly random pregnant woman. (Don't whine, the other alternative is to hear me bitch about baby crap. People, you have no frickin clue how over the top, ugly, expensive and totally unnecessary most of this stuff is...I digress.) Let's move this along.

Stuff to Do or Stuff to Look At:
Here's something for you to do while bored at work (compliments of my friend up north). I scored a miserable 29. Frickin eastern Europeans...

Another gem from have to love a company whose slogan is - "when you care enough to hit send" Since we have all settled in nicely to this lazy world of having our Outlook remind us of people's birthdays and then managing to type less than 300 characters into an ecard, this works out quite well for anyone who is moderately hateful as well as lazy.

And a funny site that is updated infrequently but it's funny as hell:

What I've been up to:
Last week I wore a new sweater. By 9AM I looked like I got into a violent fight with a Persian cat. The cat won. By 10 it was in my eyes and floating around my office. I dug out my lint roller (travel size and not terribly effective) and proceeded to roll my belly. I'm quite certain anyone who saw it was probably equal parts curious and horrified.

I had the following conversation with one of my co-workers last week:
Me: Am I a bad mother if I don't have a nursery theme?
Her: You know how I feel about this.
Me: Seriously, the kid can't see more than 4 inches in front of it's face, it's not going to notice the lack of decoration
Me: Fine
I now own something in green and yellow for the "girl-ish" child.

This past weekend we went shooting. I considered the following logic in advance - when I am underwater and I hear someone it sounds muffled like Charlie Brown's teacher. I figure that's probably the way everything sounds to the kid. So I decided to go shooting. After a crap first round I started to shoot a little better. 2/3rds of the way through the second round I decided to look up pregnancy and shooting on the iPhone. Ah, one of many mistakes - right up there with reading about birth defects. I have now sucked in an undetermined amount of toxic lead and made my child deaf and potentially mentally retarded. I have decided to ignore this for the same reason I ignore those people that tell me if I have an occasional glass of wine that my child will come out with eyes on the side of its head like a carp.

And so we ended the weekend with dinner with the fam. My father decided to make everyone cocktails. His cocktails are usually a double plus by any standard and consist of alcohol and more alcohol. My mother had already had a glass of wine while cooking (a "small" one she says, we don't really believe that) when she decided to also consume a gin martini. Sitting at dinner the conversation went something like this:

Mother (to my husband): Oh! You have such nice hair color.
Husband: Yes, it's for the fall.
Mother (to my brother-in-law): Oh! You have really thick hair. And you have nice color too.
Brief Pause
Mother (to no one in particular): Oh! I think I'm a little drunk.

Then later we lost my grandmother. She disappeared to go to the bathroom and after 15 minutes someone asked if anyone knew where she was.

Mother (yelling to my grandmother): Mom, where are you?
No Answer
Mother: Mom, are you there?
Grandmother: I'm here, I'm wasn't sleeping, I was shitting.

Well that clears up everything...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sometimes the McDonalds Ain't Such a Bad Idea...

I'm traveling with co-workers in Seattle. None of us are from Seattle and so when lunch rolled around we asked the receptionist where we might find some restaurants. She was most unhelpful in terms of recommendations and so we were on our own. To further illustrate how retarded we all are, we were in separate cars since we all had to go different directions after lunch. So our mini convoy headed out, weaving in and out of shopping malls, randomly calling each other on our cell phones.

"What about that?"
"Meh, let's hit the next strip mall."
"I don't care if it's McDonalds, I'm starving."
"Oh for the love of God just park the car."

And so it went on for 4 or 5 strip malls until someone finally parked and we were presented with two options - a sushi place and a Chinese restaurant. They wanted sushi, I am not supposed to eat sushi in my current state (or more specifically I won't eat sushi in a strip mall). So on we went to the Zen Garden.

The entire menu was pictures of Dim Sum and it seemed to favor chicken feet and other equally appealing things. On the upside there was a perpetually waving cat at the reception desk (like this). They advertise on the website that there is a "Breaktaking Garden". Indeed.

Unfortunately the food was bland and made me feel a bit ill. But it was worth it to watch the pained expression of my one co-worker (a self professed "American Eater") attempt to stuff this crap down his throat. We laughed at him and made jokes about how he was going to make a bee line for McDonalds on his way to his next meeting. He said we were wrong, he planned to check out the vending machine in the office. Nothing a bag of Cheetos can't fix.

So if you find yourself north of Seattle, avoid the Zen Garden, unless of course you want a pork fried dumpling that tastes suspiciously like a Philly cheesesteak and some fried chicken feet...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hey You, Big Girl...

There was a period of time when I was first pregnant where I didn't look pregnant, I just looked fat. You're sort of bloated and your pants don't fit and you're generally uncomfortable. If you're lucky like me you develop acne and just look gross. It's during this phase that you long for the day that you no longer look like a cow and begin to resemble a cute pregnant lady (even one with acne).

However, in keeping with my fantastic luck, I am now entering my third trimester and people still tell me I don't really look pregnant. Some people don't even notice. You're probably thinking this is a good thing. It's not. I'm carrying low and wide. This kid has spread out and made "her-ish" self at home - socking weight on me in places I didn't know I could gain weight. As one of my co-workers pointed out, "you just look bigger all over, not really pregnant". Delightful.

My husband swears I look pregnant. Probably because he has a faint recollection of what my ass looked like before this happened. But all this whining is not the point of my post. My real problem is the fat girls...

A few years ago, my friend from NYC was telling us this story about a guy she knew. They were in a bar and he was trying to point out a girl across the bar and in his description he said "the one with the peach belt". As it turns out this girl was in fact not wearing a peach belt but instead was just letting the goods hang out over her pants. At a distance it looked like a peach colored belt. There are many names for this phenomena - the "dunlop" (when you stomach done lop over your pants), a Muffin Top, FUPA (we won't elaborate on that one) or the classic - Love Handles.

In addition to low rise pants, it also seems to me that younger women are woefully flabby in the mid section. I see teenage girls wandering around with their guts hanging over the pants like a middle aged trailer dweller whose had 5 kids. What's up with that? Is there no shame left in this world? Don't their mothers tell them to get back in the house and cover that up? And don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. You see them coming, belly jiggling like a bowl full of jello under their witty vintage t-shirt.

So while I found this trend among young girls offensive and sad, it really had nothing to do with me...until now.

The last several seasons flowy shirts have been in style and it seems that every fat chick has finally covered up the muffin top. Good for them, bad for me. Now I just look like every other fat girl hiding under a flowy top. At first I was pissed and thought to myself, "There's a lot of fat chicks out there stealing my thunder". Then I started to think about the upside to this situation.

- I can still get a glass of wine in a bar without people giving me the evil eye.
- I still get leered at on the street by men because they don't realize I'm knocked up (sure they may be fatty lovers, but I'll take what I can get these days).
- I can order a latte without being judged by the barista.
- I can still buy shirts in the non-maternity store since nothing is fitted these days.

However on the down side,

- No one goes out of their way to offer to help me with stuff.
- Strangers don't offer their seats to me.
- I don't get those looks from other women that say, "oh look, she's pregnant, how cute".

Like I said, stealing my thunder.... Makes me want to run out and buy one of those awful t-shirts that says something like, "Knocked-Up" with a giant arrow pointing down. Or better yet, I'll adopt a waddle and start clutching my stomach.

Or perhaps we can all make pregnant women everywhere happier - Next time you see a girl in a floaty top, ask her when she's due. We'll see how long she keeps stuffing her muffin into my clothes!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

It's Friday night and my other half is somewhere in Germany for wedding festivities.  I on the other hand decided I would stay home so I didn't have to sit on a plane for 8 hours.  Don't feel bad for me, I've done several very exciting things this evening.  I microwaved dinner, I changed the roll of toilet paper, I did laundry, opened mail and I washed my flip flops.  

I'll bet you're asking yourself, "Gee, why would she be washing her flip flops?".  

Good question. I'll explain.

This morning I decided that I needed a pedicure so I went on the hunt for my flip flops.  Of course I have several pair, but only one that I really like.  I found them tied up in a plastic bag tossed in the bottom of my closet.  I thought that was odd until I remembered that my husband had picked them off the back porch of the beach house 2 weeks ago and thrown them in the bag for transport home.

Of course he did some sort of super duper quadruple knot in the plastic bag so that they couldn't possibly leave any dirt in the car.  All good, except for the fact that they were wet when they went into the bag.  

So at lunch time as I was getting ready to go see a daycare I thought I would put on the flip flops to walk the 8 blocks.  That is when I opened the bag and nearly died.  I do not know what happens to foam and nylon when you leave it damp in airtight plastic for 14 days but it was not good.  At first I couldn't comprehend what was creating such an awful stench.  Then I lifted a lone flip flop to my nose and sniffed.  Dear lord in heaven that is nasty.  I threw the whole mess back into the plastic bag, resealed it with several knots and proceeded to take a cab.

Sometimes boys don't think about these things.... 
I would also like to point out that I still need a pedicure.  

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ode to the Tamarind

This is awesome. Of all the people I've insulted over the years, this is certainly the most ridiculous. Some of you may recall a post of mine back in April about the time my husband dragged me to the Aldi when we were first living together.

This morning as I was enjoying my morning coffee (with caffeine, I don't care what you say about me) I looked in my email and found that some offended Spanish person had commented on this post.

"Offended Spanish Person said...
Typical white people. spicy latin foods make you instinctively go yuck!

Tamarind is a fruit. It is grown in pods, similar ot beans, and is popular in latin areas liek the carribbean and central/south america and southeast asia.

It's amazing how something can be popular in more than half the globe and white people have no idea it exists,now you know how we feel about bland, flavorless foods like wonderbread that you people seem to LOVE.

P.S. If you had been less lazy and maybe read the packaging you wouldn't have bought them. How hard is it to notice in big letters FRUTAS ENCHILADAS: aka fruits IN CHILIS!""

Yes, that's me. Just your typical Wonder Bread eating white person. My mother might have an aneurysm if she read that. Call her a progressive hippie tree hugger, but don't ever say she fed her children Wonder Bread. She would sooner die than feed us bread that was softer than a paving stone!

So I would like to respond to this poor offended Spanish person.

Dear Offended Spanish Person,
Please accept my heartfelt apologies. I in no way intended to offend the tamarind fruit or the culinary palate of "half the globe". I can certainly commiserate with your disdain for Wonder Bread. Perhaps you should also put Marshmallow Fluff and hydrogenated peanut butter on that list of bad food of the white man. Hell, I might also suggest adding - Hamburger Helper, Kraft Mac-N-Cheese and a helping of SPAM for good measure.

Indeed, it appears I was a bit lazy in not carefully inspecting the packaging. Certainly this product was in it's primary market. (I'm certain that neighborhood consumes tamarind by the truckload.) Clearly it was an error on my part to assume that I would find sugary sweet delight in the Jolly Rancher bag.

And finally, I must apologize for my lack of sarcasm and poor writing skills in the aforementioned post. Quiet honestly I could give a shit about the Tamarind or the chili lollipops. The real intention was to poke fun of my husband and his love of all things German. Clearly I missed the mark. I am shamed to admit that my humor must have been overcome by my vicious "instinctive white people hate" of Latin food.

Hallelujah! It's like uncovering childhood abuse through hypnotic therapy. Who knew I had such a fondness for squishy delightful white bread. Your comment on my post has opened up a whole new world to me. I think I'll go make myself a fluffer nutter right now.

I do hope you can forgive me and I think I speak on behalf of all white people everywhere when I tell you that we mean no harm to your "fuit, grown in pods, similar to beans". We just can't help ourselves, we're culturally stunted by consumer products and our oppressive parents.

An Enlightened White Person

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Classes with the Huddled Masses

With me forgetting everything these days I didn't mention the most retarded thing that happened all week. As I said previously, I'm now in planner mode. So I emailed the hospital about an updated list of birth classes. Apparently I will be a bad parent unless I sign myself and husband up for some classes.

I honestly believe these classes are for the truly stupid and inept so I asked around the office to see what the general opinion was. One co-worker said, "you won't learn anything but at least you'll get to laugh at all the stupid people around you." Fantastic - 8 hours with people who shouldn't be allowed to walk on the streets let alone birth children. Totally my idea of a fun Saturday.

Regardless, I signed up for most of the classes they offered (to the tune of several hundred dollars. Have I mentioned that I need to get into the baby business in some way, shape or form? This crap is a worse rip off than the bridal industry...). So throughout the month of November, we will be learning about our pain management choices, touring the hospital, getting a CD of soothing sounds, learning to breastfeed and I will be re-learning infant CPR. I did pass on the remedial diapering class. Even I have my limits...

So back to my original point - I got a confirmation email from this woman in the hospital who runs the programs and her closing read, "Have a nice Labor Day weekend and happy gestating!".

Happy gestating indeed....freak.

We're off to enjoy the needle strewn shore of New Jersey this weekend. Have a great Labor Day and remember, if you're gestating, be happy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

What do my Child and Buffalo Bill have in Common?

It's a lazy Friday before a holiday weekend and I'm presently enjoying my couch.  I realized last weekend that this whole baby thing is moving much more quickly than I anticipated.  It's really quite unfair.  Basically I spent the first 16-20 weeks feeling sick.  Then I finally started to feel human again and all I wanted to do was go back to my life.  So I did and after a few weeks I started to realize that I have about 8 weeks of feeling human before I start to feel like the Goodyear blimp.  I think I'm in my 23rd week and I'm still pretty small.  Although I'm not lucky, so I suspect this reprieve is short lived.  So I resigned myself to the fact that I needed to get my ass in gear and actually plan for this poor baby girl/boy.

(btw - with all the modern technology available, they still couldn't really tell me for sure if this child is a boy or a girl.  The kid wouldn't give up the goods during the anatomy scan so while it looks "girl-ish" it could be a boy pulling a Silence of the Lambs Buffalo Bill kind of thing.  Fast forward to 3:00 if you're cinematically stunted.  And no, I'm not suggesting our child will be a transvestite with body piercings.  Did anyone else realize this chick is the one on ER now?  I digress...)

Well, I'm nothing if not a planner.  So I've started hitting up my friends at a frenetic pace. Anyone that has birthed a child in the last 2 years has gotten a phone call.  As a female we all talk about things that would probably horrify most men however pregnancy brings out a special brand of gross conversation.  For instance, my college roommate and I had an entire conversation about the merits of the hooter hider and something called Soothies which are apparently little silicon things you put on your nipples.  (In case you're wondering, I have decided we were significantly cooler when we used to get drunk in the shower before parties, stay out all night and then sleep all day.)  

Then a similar conversation with my old co-worker about breast pumps and under stroller baskets .  (Again....much cooler when we got drunk and went swimming half naked in a hotel pool.)

Last weekend and a few late nights this week produced a registry.  (PS - My wedding registry was about 1 million times more fun than this.  Selecting cookware is far cooler than organic onesies.) The resident expert, aka my mother, has decided that everything I've selected is far too expensive.  Apparently many people have experienced a similar phenomena.  

One of my co-workers tells me that his mother also came out of her time warp from the 70's to tell him that he and his wife were spending too much money and tried to sell them on the merits of an old umbrella stroller.  I sincerely believe my mother thinks I should be able to raise this child with an old playpen, a few onesies and a wooden spoon to beat them with when they get out of line.   She talks a good game but I see where this is going.  You see, it won't matter how much things cost when she's the one buying them for her grandchild.  I suspect this is only the start of a double standard that applies to grandparents the world over.
Today my big plan is to find a crib that will probably cost too much and visit a daycare that likely doesn't have space for our little Buffalo Bill... wish me luck.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Baby Stores Stink

Yesterday, for lack of anything better to do, we made the trip to Babies R Us.  At the end of the day I will end up deciding on all this crap and registering without ever setting foot in a store.  However, husband likes to have a say in all this stuff so I figured I could take him to the store, have him push a few strollers around and then we would go home.  In classic fashion he got there and ran away.  I found him standing in the baby monitor aisle.  He was looking glassy eyed at something called Baby TV. I reminded him that we have 1,100 square feet.

He didn't like any of the strollers. Mainly because none of them were European with a hefty price tag.  We moved to the pack and play aisle.  He looked around a little bit and then declared these were ugly and that everything was the color of poop.  I really couldn't argue since everything was in varying shades of brown.

On to cribs.  Husband disappeared again.  I peed for the 4,265th time that day.  I wander around the store to find him in the diaper bag aisle.  The wailing of children is increasing around us.  He says, "Can we please leave?". I say, "Yes, I hate it here."

We drove to Ikea.  Believe it or not, all the Ikea cribs got an A rating in our little book.  I trust those Swedes won't kill our child.  Problem solved.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My Boobs are up Here...

As a female we spend our lives having men stare at our boobs. It's expected that this will happen at least several times a day. Yes, even when you're like me and covered up like a nun.  Lately, despite the fact that my boobs are now huge, people do not stare at them.  All eyes go straight to my mid section.  

I feel weird about people staring at my belly button. 

Please put your eyes back where they belong!

A post about nothing...

I'm aware, I suck.  However, the blame for my lackluster blogging can be squarely laid on my unborn child.  Apparently pregnancy shrinks your brain by 6-8% depending on which website you read.  See!  It's not just me forgetting things, it's a medical condition.

PS: I want to smack the people who told me this was fun.  It's not fun. It sucks.  Not only am I fat now, but apparently becoming more stupid as the days go by.
My lack of creativity means all I can manage is a pile of random crap.  Sorry, that's just how it goes.

I like to watch TV while I eat breakfast.  Before I was "in the family way", I would alternate between news programs.  I have now discovered that reruns of Saved by the Bell are on.  I prefer to watch this.  I think it's an appropriate amount of entertainment for my smaller brain. (You can't really expect me to consume and retain all the fancy informations on BBC World News?)

Speaking of Saved by the Bell...Mark-Paul Gosselaar. New series this fall.  Seriously, I can't be expected to not watch courtroom dramas.  In fact, there are quite a few garbage series this fall that yours truly will be adding to the DVR.  Hello? Christian Slater playing a psychotic - love it. It's sort of like a schizophrenic Dexter.  And a shameful admission - Debra Messing in the Starter Wife series.  Yes, I watched the mini series - shut up.

To take a step lower (and you thought it wasn't possible), I actually went out to YouTube to listen to Miley Cyrus music.  How on earth did I end up at that point you ask?  It all started innocently enough.  I was reading a blog by this psychiatrist who was all worked up over Katy Perry and I thought to myself - "who the hell is Katy Perry?".  (I also thought "Oh dear god, I'm getting old. Why don't I know about this person??")  I read, I listened and I purchased on iTunes. What can I say, it's a catchy little tune.  I still can't understand why everyone is worked up over this chick - didn't Jill Sobule sing about being bi-curious in the 90's?  

Then I started following links to other crap and I ended up wondering what Miley Cyrus actually sounded like. I've heard her speak and she sounds like she lives under a rock somewhere in the deep south. I had high hopes for her music.  (As I mentioned, I am capable of deep thought these days) As it turns out, she kinds of sounds like a man and not in a good way.  If you dare - it may make your ears bleed.

Then I noticed that that the crappy trio known as the Jonas Brothers are the #1 song on iTunes.  Who is out there buying this crap? 12 year olds?  Do they have credit cards? 

I have to go clean my house now.  Thankfully my boss gave me a half day the other day so I'm halfway there.  It's curious, my best hours are between 9-5 these days.  That doesn't bode well for my domestic duties.  So the house is a bon-a-fide disaster and I can't seem to give a crap.  Lucky for me the other half wouldn't notice if he was standing in 3 feet of garbage anyway.  

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Think My Kid May Be Mean

I've been trying not to be an alarmist about this whole pregnancy thing so I haven't called my OB's emergency line yet.  Yesterday I caved and called because I was having these weird pains. Now I know weird pains come with the territory, but these were new weird pains and they sort of hurt so I thought perhaps that was bad.  My husband told of course told me all the bad things it could be and ended with, "It's probably none of those but you should call Dave anyway".

So Dave called me back.

Dave: So all those things I told you that would happen are happening huh?
Me: I don't think you ever mentioned this one.
Dave: What's going on?
Me: I feel like someone is stabbing me in the cervix.
Dave: Yea, that's your baby.
Me: Oh

I can tell this is going to be fun already.

Friday, July 18, 2008

One Crazy Old White Dude and some Big Ass Turbines

I love it when strange things happen.  Maybe I only think strange things are happening and there's really some ulterior motive behind it all.  Anyway I'm cracking up about this nutty old man T. Boone Pickens.  As you may know he's old, rich, white, Republican and really into wind power and natural gas.  So much so that you may have seen his latest commercials on the "Pickens Plan".  I would love to hail this as an example of  innovation coming from the private sector. Finally capitalism finds a way to make money on something that is also environmentally friendly.  However because this guy is old, rich, white and Republican I have to also assume he's a wackadoo.  I mean c'mon, he supported George W through multiple elections - he can't be that smart.

I guess we wait and see.  

I would also like to offer a big thanks to Chicago for making Philly look safe.  That is one hellacious place to live right now.  They've had a child shot almost every day since the end of June. At least in Philly we just shoot adults.  This may also explain why our Governor isn't bringing in National Guard helicopters just yet.  

Their Governor is on a tear.  Not only is he turning Chicago into a police state (which btw, I'm a big fan of) he also passed a gun law that holds adults who give guns to minors to the same prosecution as the minor. That kid kills someone, you're going away for 25-life too.  Awesome. Within reason, guns aren't really the problem, it's the idiots handling the guns.  Perhaps increased penalty will encourage responsibility.

Then there's Mayor Nutter.  He signed five laws into effect back in April with the support of no one (except of course the city residents themselves  but who cares about us) and took a ton of flack for it. You gotta love a guy with a rhyming slogan - "If you're missing your piece, call the Police".  Catchy. What's even funnier was his response to those who criticized his defiance of state law.   

"If we all sat around bemoaning what the law was on a regular basis I'd probably still be picking cotton somewhere as opposed to being mayor of the city of Philadelphia."

Amen Nutter.  

The larger problem is Pennsylvania.  Why can't Pennsylvania be a real Blue State instead of a place that just masquerades as a Blue State when it's really just two big blue cities with a whole lotta hick between?  Damn those fools in Pennsyl-tucky who marry their cousins and have three teeth. Couldn't they have moved just a bit further West or South?   

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Heartburn & Burn Notice - Very Bad & Very Good

My original hypothesis was that when I felt better I would feel like writing.  This hasn't quite happened.  Perhaps there's not enough alcohol in my life anymore. Perhaps I'm asleep too many hours a night to experience anything to complain about - it's really hard to complain about getting 10 hours of sleep a night.  I don't know what it is, but I do know that I am frighteningly boring.

I think I blame the really delightful heartburn. I have never before experienced anything like the pain of this heartburn.  It sort of feels like there's a burning in my chest that will soon make my head explode. After sucking down a bottle of Zantac I have found that controlled deep breathing helps.  So I sat down on the bed and started breathing.  My husband took one look at me and said, "Who are you, Fiona? (our friend's cat) It reminds me of what she does right before she pukes."

Thanks honey. That's special.
It sort of looks like this.

I'm also really snotty. According to the books people have given me, I may soon start hacking and choking on the snot in my sleep.  (My husband told me that I can go sleep in the other room when that happens. He's so compassionate.)

There's also the issue of problems to come.  Someone gave me a book about breastfeeding.  It has pictures. It is totally creepy.  Lots of huge saggy boobs with baby heads near them. Big nipples, up close...really close and all the pictures look like they're from the 70's.  I am now officially scared.

And of course, I've also been charmed by the stories from my co-workers.  One of them described the first few months of their child's life as "slug mode".  He said it's not that fun. Great.

On the up side, a new season of Burn Notice started.  That guy is hot.  I suspect this show might be stupid but I don't care...he's pretty.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Little People Turn You into Large Farm Animals

While my nausea seems to be subsiding, my kind husband compared me to a horse today.  Not because I am large like a horse or because I pee like a horse (although perhaps both are true) but because I have an obsession with salt.  I can't get enough salt. I do not care what he says, I do not hear, la, la. la, la, la.

Hugging at Work is Weird

I had an incredibly awkward moment at work today.  It involved "the work hug".  I was so disturbed that I obsessed about it for hours after the fact.  In the hopes of educating others, and spare others the trauma, I have included some Q&A below to elaborate on the ground rules.

Q: What is your attitude toward hugging in general?
A: By nature I am not a hugger - I do not hug random people - I value my personal space.

Q: So, when do you think hugging at work is ok?
A:  Hugging at work is reserved for very specific situations that fall within the following guidelines: The hugger and I worked together at one point in time, I don't hate them and enough time has elapsed since we last saw each other that it's not creepy and weird and all....huggy. 

Q: Are there any other circumstances that would allow for hugging at work?
A: Yes - The hugger and I work/worked together, I don't hate them and something hug worthy happened in their life (baby on the way, engagement, significant lottery win, etc).

Q: So what constitutes an awkward work hug?
A: I offer the following example from today - One minute I was having a conversation with a guy that I know but don't really work with often.  We went to part ways after an agreeable conversation and the awkward moment happened. We somehow managed to get too close in physical proximity which would make a hand shake uncomfortable and inconvenient. He extended a hand, I accepted and then he faked me out with the half hug with the other arm. Thus an awkward embrace after which I half walked, half ran out of his office.  I felt slightly better when I found out another co-worker had an awkward hug with this person that ended even worse - they actually managed to hurt one another by knocking their heads together.  

Q: So if someone tries to hug you and you don't want to hug them, how do you handle it?
A: There isn't a good way to handle it so suck it up, hug them and then steer clear in the future.  However, I can provide an illustrative example of how not to handle it based on a co-worker's unfortunate experience.  She was in a huggy, huggy environment (she is not a huggy hugger) and so she was forced to hug people and when she leaned in to greet a particular co-worker with a hug he jumped away like she was some kind of leper.  He then told her that he doesn't hug at work because that behavior it's not advised by HR.  She was mortified. I was mortified hearing the story.  This is why you should never be the hug initiator unless the hug recipient is a sure thing and a hug is appropriate under the "work hug" guidelines.

If you're not sure if a hug is appropriate, it probably means you're a creepy weird hugger and you should cease and desist while in the office.  Yes, people do find you to be a violator of personal space and that is why they don't invite you to lunch or happy hour.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Feed Me, or I Will Hurt You

I will start by saying that there's a special place in hell for people who lie to hungry pregnant women.

The last 8 weeks of my life have gone something like this. I feel nauseated, I eat & feel better, I then feel nauseated again. I am essentially like a rat in a maze desperately looking for my next snack. I have no shame at work, I will stuff my face with pretzels in front of anyone. At home a piece of cheese is only steps away. The hard part is traveling. I have taken to carrying a plethora of snacks in my bag. Pretzels, dried apricots, mini Cliff bars, hard candies, apples, yogurt, basically anything that will fit in my bag and my mouth.

In the last week or two it's morphed into more of an eat or you will become horribly nauseated. This is a vast improvement over my previous situation however it has escalated my need to eat since I know what's coming. I now become angry and violent if I do not get food, immediately.

Last weekend I was on my way to my sister's house with my mother and sensing the onslaught I said "Oh, I need to eat something." to which my mother responded, "I'm sure your sister will have food". I did not believe her and so I called my sister and said, "Do you have something for me to eat or should I stop on the way to your house?". She assured me she had food.

We got there and she had nothing. Then she admitted she lied. Who does that?

The following weekend my sister had a housewarming party. The house was literally packed to the gills with food. I say to my mother on the way there (since we had to arrive 3 hours early), "Oh, I need to eat something." to which she typically tried to tell me that my sister will have something for me.

See, this is where the similarities between me and the rat end. I knew they were lying to me. So when we got there and there was no food because no one had picked anything up yet, I was not surprised. I stole a car and found the nearest fast food place and ate glorious french fries. Carbs are super awesome, especially when they're greasy and covered in salty goodness.

Later my mother told my husband that she thinks the reason why I don't feel well is because I'm not eating well. Fortunately I have a very wise husband who defended his crazy pregnant wife and told his mother-in-law that, in fact, she is eating quite well and that is not the cause of her not feeling well.

This is a strange, new and rather unpleasant phenomena in my life - my mother has turned into an expert. She has informed me that her pregnancies (30+ years ago) were wonderful and therefore there must be something wrong with me that I don't feel like dancing around in a mumu relishing in my pregnant beauty. Oh, and apparently because I am miserable this is the equivalent of "being mean to her grandchild" and I need to cut it out because the kid can sense it.

You know what I think? Not driving me to get a sandwich and giving me crap about it is much meaner.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ah, College Memories...

Gawker did a thing on the top 50 eccentrics in NYC and I feel compelled to tell you about my own experience. There's a small difference, I believe many of the people on the NYC list actually do this because they make money. Most of my experiences are with people who are just straight up homeless and smelly.

Having grown up in the burbs, my homeless experiences were fairly limited until I went to college. My first encounter didn't go so well. A guy outside the 7-11 told me he was trying to get together $.50 for a hot dog. I was smart enough not to give him the money, but I thought I would go buy him the hot dog. Needless to say he kept asking people for $.50 for a hot dog. Something tells me he wasn't really trying to get a hot dog. Later we learned he was a fixture of that particular 7-11 and on any given day he was begging for change to actually pay one bill or another. So people would ask him, "so what are you working on today?" and he would reply, "cable". And such is life. This guy was fairly uninteresting in comparison.

"Will Work for Food" Lady
I haven't seen her in a long time but in the mid to late nineties she stood every day near 30th Street Station. She was a thin, middle aged, white lady with ratty blonde-ish hair. She always looked overly dirty and disheveled and had a small cardboard sign that said "Homeless & Hungry, Will Work for Food". She didn't say anything, she just stood there with the most painful look on her face you have ever experienced and watched cars drive by her.

At the time I was in college and a friend of mine worked in some sort of bakery/restaurant and she would bring home all the left over bagels at the end of the day. As she was driving by the WW4F Lady she thought she would give her the bag of bagels. She stopped, rolled down the window and offered her the bag. At this point WW4F Lady responded with something like, "I don't want your f*ing bagels, I want money bitch".

I knew those new fancy sneakers she always wore were some kind of clue...

Look Left Bob
Or as some people knew him, "Lefty". He wandered the streets in West Philly, mostly Lancaster Avenue in the 30's. He was called Lefty because his neck was permanently cemented in a left looking position. Who knows why but he was always looking left. He was a generally happy guy, always smiling and never really a problem...unless you were walking behind him. Apparently Bob didn't buy new pants and he also didn't own any underwear. If you were unlucky enough to be walking behind him you got an up close and personal view of Bob's Boys swinging around in all their glory.

Scary Homeless Kids with Animals
At some point very dirty looking teenagers with dogs would show up around campus begging for money. This was clearly a new angle - appeal to the animal lovers. There were stories of these grungy kids beating people up and taking their money. There were also stories of their dogs being trained to attack people. Who knows how much of that is true but I tended to avoid the scary people with the Rottweiler - you never can tell how hungry that dog is...

The Angry White Bum
I love it when you have what I like to call "The Homeless Trifecta" and this guy had it. To meet the criteria you have to be Homeless, Crazy and..this is the important part...have some sort of shtick. Something that was uniquely yours that everyone could look forward to and expect. The name sort of says it all but it's important to note that he didn't start off angry, he just immediately escalated from zero to crazy in about .4 seconds.

Basically all his interactions went something like this...
Example 1: Me, standing on campus smoking a cigarette.
AWB: Hey Honey, can I get a cigarette?
Me: I'm sorry, I bummed this from someone else (this could be a true or untrue statement)
AWB: F-You bitch!

Example 2: Me, standing on the porch of a house drinking a beer.
AWB: Hey Honey, can I have some of that beer you're drinking?
Me: Umm, sorry, I'm drinking this beer.
AWB: F-You bitch!

This was his standard reaction to all people & all situations. This is why he also got the nickname "The F-You Bum". Anyway so years passed and post college some of my girlfriends and I went on an ill fated trip to NYC. 50 ft. from the Holland Tunnel we broke down and eventually ended up taking the train back to Philly. As we sat in the McDonalds lamenting our lame weekend I saw none other than The Angry White Bum approaching our table. These were not college friends which would explain why they were tremendously confused by the following exchange...

Example 3: AWB approaches table with a limp and a cane (new additions to his usual ensemble)
AWB: Hey ladies, can you spare some change so I can get something to eat.
Me: Hey, the cane is a nice touch. I seem to recall you didn't have that before.
AWB: F-You bitch!

You can imagine my friends were a little disturbed as the McDonald's personnel removed the AWB from the premises.

A few years after that I heard one of the fraternities on campus shot him with an air rifle, penetrating his chest and missing his heart by a few centimeters. The funny part of that whole story is that the fraternity got kicked off campus and the AWB is still around. Should have just given him a beer and a smoke, would have been easier...

People complain about the pan handlers in the city, I think they add a certain flavor. I mean where else can you see the same one legged guy begging for change in all seasons every single day of the year? Next time you run into the "I'm going to my HIV meeting" guy or the "I just got out of the hospital and my car got towed" guy, appreciate the creativity and determination it takes to deliver that same tired story over and over again.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pleasant & Unpleasant

For the last few months of my life I have become acutely aware of what is pleasant and what is unpleasant. I think we've told most of our friends and family that we're expecting (and more specifically I'm expecting because after all this is about me and I'm the poor schmo who has to go through this decidedly unpleasant experience). So if I haven't told you, don't feel unloved, it's really just because I am no longer functioning like a normal human being.

I digress.

So my absence as of late has been because I am physically unable to stay awake past 7PM. I also feel like poop on a stick. These two things in combination do not get the creative juices flowing. Something had to give. Actually many things, but we'll get to that in a moment.

So anyway, here are a few observations.

Unpleasant: After returning from vacation I went to put on a suit to go to work and discovered that my hips had spread. Something I didn't notice until nothing fit. I tried on every damn suit in the closet until I finally tried the fattest suit I own and found it barely fit. I looked decidedly inappropriate.

Pleasant: Due to suit situation above, I was forced into the maternity store early. I had two choices, buy bigger clothes or buy maternity. As much as I really hate the idea of maternity it seemed far more practical (and economical). Many, many maternity clothes make you look like a frickin cupcake, but on the upside they are the most comfortable things I have ever put on. Stretchy waistbands, flowy tops, I never knew it could be so good. No wonder those old ladies wear expandable "slacks".

Unpleasant: The constant feeling that I'm going to upchuck. I almost think that if I did puke I might feel better, but I just don't think it's in the cards. The only thing that keeps me somewhat non-nauseated is constantly eating. Sounds good right? Not really because I only feel good for about 10 minutes and then it's back to puke-town.

Pleasant: No matter how much I eat those stretchy pants will still fit.

Unpleasant: People at work think you're gaining weight. You're not positive that's what they're thinking because it's not like they're going to come out and tell you but you're relatively certain the way they do a double take when they see you coming. Although it could be a reaction to my change in dress. I'm not exactly the bohemian peasant top type of gal.

Pleasant: My hair seems thicker although that could be a figment of my imagination or my desire to derive some positive benefit from this whole experience.

Unpleasant: All the waiting at the doctor's office, consent forms, reading about things that might happen, figuring out how to fit a 3rd person into 1100 square feet, the weird smell that I smell when I walk into my house (what the hell is that??), the fact that I can't eat fish (both because of mercury and because it now makes me want to puke) and finally the fact that my house is a mess and my husband doesn't notice.

Pleasant: I have now justified, to myself, the need for a cleaning lady and I have started calling around to find one. Joy of all joy I will never mop another floor or clean a tub.

I think I'll end on a high note here. And in the event you were wondering, I am not part of the Gloucester County pregnancy pact. I just want to clear that up right now.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I'm thinking I need a tracksuit and a side ponytail...

While in London on vacation I learned two new words that I would like to share with everyone.

The first is quite nice - chav. As far as I can tell, the closest descriptor we have on the other side of the pond is wigger. Not nice, but it seems to fit. The only possible discrepancy is the fondness for Burberry plaid that the chavs seem to have. Apparently they are so offensive that Burberry stopped making certain items with the plaid that they favored. When you are so nasty that a major label stops producing something just so you can't drag down their good name, that say influence...and not in a good way.

Then there's slag. This is apparently a unisex insult as well as a noun and a verb. You can be a slag (closest American translation is roughly skank - which I would like to add is one of my personal favorites - it says so much in five letters) or you can slag someone off (which is to insult them but not in a serious way).

Examples of both were plentiful in my friend's neighborhood in southeast London. She compared it to South Philly, her husband compared it to the NorthEast. The prevalence of tracksuits and bad hair made it a toss up in my opinion.

A few other points of note should you wish to visit London soon: You really do get black boogers unless you stay off the Tube. The Tube is massively uncomfortable in any amount of heat or humidity. The bus is nasty and forces you to touch things that people have touched before (probably with unwashed poo dirt hands).

So take some wipes and a few good packs of tissues if you want to check out the chavs and slags.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ken Lee

Someone mentioned Ken Lee and it's worth posting just for laughs...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

"Belize with Bill" and Other International Tragedies

It's been an interesting week. The first thing I would like to bring to everyone's attention is my work husband's neighbor. I would suggest you actually go to the site and experience it for yourself.

As the URL suggests, Bill is looking for someone who will go to Belize with him. Presumably he is interested in females. However the most important thing seems to be that said female will have sex with him and pay for some or all of her own expenses. Should you be interested in taking a little vaca with Bill, there's an application on the site where you will fill out insightful questions - such as, "If Bill is paying your way, why should he?". So many answers, so little time.

I mean let's be honest here - this is straight up solicitation. What kind of female would pimp herself out for a vacation? And if it were me, I would like to know why Bill thinks he's interesting or good enough in the sack to keep someone trapped in a foreign country for a week - quite honestly by day 4 you're going to be a bit sore and you'll likely start to think about how much laundry and work you have waiting for you at home.

Happy hunting Bill!

On a lighter note but perhaps just as psychotic, the Russians won the Eurovision song contest. My husband forced me to watch it for several reasons.

1. The guy was accompanied by some dude playing a Stradivari (the last time one was sold at auction it went for more than $3.5M - Yes! Fantastic choice for reality television! )
2. He also had an Olympic ice dancer swirling away on a patch of ice the size of my kitchen
3. The Russians spent over $15M on the production of this one song
4. The song was produced by Timbaland & written by some dude who works out of Philadelphia.

It's a new level of awesome. And by awesome I mean - completely ridiculous. You have to check this out for yourself. (I was particularly moved by the end when his shirt flies open and the three of them reach out, while kneeling on the ice patch, and tell you that you have to believe. *sniff, sniff* So moving.)

Friday, May 16, 2008


So I went home after work today to watch my DVR'd copy of the New Kids. I also would like to mention that my sister emailed me to tell me that if tickets go on sale she wants to go. This is wrong on many levels but I am mildly tempted. However I become less tempted when I see the crazy screaming women wailing along to "Please Don't go Girl". Don't believe me? See for yourself.

Then I get home and notice that some fruitcake had left a comment with his myspace page. Clearly a self promoting wackadoo who was involved in writing some of their new songs. You can check out his stupid comment in the last post if you want to see a corny myspace page.

NKOTB Forever Baby

The first concert I ever attended was New Kids on the Block. I think I must have been about 12 or 13 years old and it was cool at the time. I had all the usual crap - wall posters, tapes, t-shirts and for the record - my favorite was Donnie.

This morning, as I ate my cereal and drank my coffee, the Today show was making annoucements that New Kids on the Block are going to be performing later in the program. The audience is entirely made up of 30 something year old women screaming like lunatics. In the rain. Holding up signs (conveniently laminated to protect them from the rain).

God help us all. I think I'll DVR it...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Icky Germs

A few things about Monday:
1. It was my husband’s birthday
2. I was stuck in the airport in a futile attempt to get to Manchester, NH
3. I was sick, still
This did not make for fun times.

Aside from all of the miserableness, this trip once again reminded me that not everyone washes their hands after they pee. Airport bathrooms are a special place. Is that really so hard to do – soap, water, scrub? I thought it was common knowledge that bathrooms are dirty and so you should wash up before you leave. This is why there’s probably poo on your keyboard right now. Your co-workers can’t be bothered to wash their hands and so they track poo dirt all over the office and despite the fact that you wash well and use a paper towel to open the door you still end up touching the copier or the coffee maker and BAM – poo dirt.

Thanks people.

Every time I shake someone’s hand I wonder if they’ve washed or not. I guess this is why my mother used to tell me to keep my fingers out of my mouth. And since I watched the movie “Knocked Up” I know that poo dirt also causes conjunctivitis. So while you're at it, keep your fingers out of your eyes too.

I’m also shocked by people that put their handbags on the bathroom floor. I know that luggage is dirty and I accept that and treat it accordingly, but your purse? I sometimes put my bag on my kitchen counter or my bed. As a result, it most certainly doesn’t need to be on the floor of a public bathroom.

It's a bit like those scary news stories about bacteria in hotel rooms. You know some big fat naked guy was sitting in the desk chair but you don't want to think about the poo dirt on your chair or you'll end up with some freakish OCD type complex that forces you carry around Lysol wipes and medical booties for your feet. I'll bet he runs around the room naked wiping snot on all the door handles too.

On second thought, Lysol wipes are pretty easy to transport. Think how nice it would be to wipe everything down.....that's not crazy, right?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Taxidermy & Bail Bonds - Jewels of the Sophisticated South

Clearly I’ve been sucking lately. Work has me traveling clear across the country and back several time before I ultimately leave for vacation in a few weeks and I’m beat. I also have nothing productive to say unless you want to hear awful stories about dirty people from various airports around the country. I think you would rather I spare you the details.

This week it was Atlanta, GA. However I found myself in Marietta which is not quite the same thing. On my way to dinner the first night I drove past 4 pawn shops (one which had some deer taxidermy strapped to the roof), 3 bail bonds place, one compost facility, a detention center, a landfill, a place that had $99 suits for all occasions and at least a dozen Waffle Houses. Nothing screams affluent suburb quite like all those things in combination.

This is a far cry from what I remember of Atlanta. I spent 9 months here in my early twenties. It was hands down the best place I ever worked - great restaurants and bars, good times plus I was young and perpetually drunk. This time…sober with deer taxidermy. Very weird.

And finally, since my brain is fried, and I have little to say, I choose to tell you a few things I recently shared with my co-worker – I’m pretty sure he thinks I was raised in some weird hippie compound
1. I at fried chicken for the first time in my twenties because my mother never fried anything, ever
2. She also didn’t let us eat processed sugar – I had 3 cereal choices as a kid – Cheerios, All Bran and Grape Nuts
3. I thought wheat germ on ice cream was good and little honey sesame treats were like kiddie crack
4. I didn’t know what Mac and Cheese was until I arrived at college – I had never seen/eaten it before
5. We only ate natural peanut butter and whole wheat bread.

This is especially weird because I’m traveling with a guy we’ll call Bob (to protect the somewhat innocent) who regularly eats PB&J and hot dogs. Not that I haven’t had the occasional children’s menu snack, but he claims these are his dietary staples. I find this far more terrifying than my dirty hippy list above.

And so, in the next two weeks I have to go to Portland & Boston. At that point I’m going to check out and go on vacation. Do not despair, I’ve recruited a guest blogger to keep you entertained. Perhaps she’ll be more diligent than I’ve been lately. I think you’ll like her, she makes me laugh. She’s a fabulous individual who lives in the middle of the country. She likes the occasional martini and cigarette (which is why we got on so well). Beyond that I’ll let her tell you whatever she wants.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Training with the Branch Dividians

I haven't attended much work related training in the last few years. For this I feel a bit guilty. It was this guilt that caused me to sign up for some kind of communications class that came highly recommended by a co-worker. It's twelve weeks, four hours every Friday and most importantly - not taught by one of our company trainers. Of course as bad luck would have it, after I signed up I was assigned to a wicked project that will suck the life out of me. To late to get out so I figured I would suck it up. A few weeks ago I was off to my first class. I asked a co-worker if he knew anything about it to which he responded, "sure, it's like hanging out with the Branch Dividians." These kind of details are helpful in advance. He also mentioned that people go in like kitty cats and come out like lions. But that they were really just kitty cats in new suits. Fantastic.

I thought this was a public speaking and communications training. And like most trainings I expected some sort of lame ice breaker activity that would force me to come up with an adjective that starts with the same letter as my name (Fantastic Fran? Terrific Tom?) or perhaps have to share some interesting tidbit about myself (I love kitties and old people!). No, they wanted me to come up with a way to act out my name. This slightly more challenging than one might think. As I watched a grown man run around the room flapping his arms like a bird I realized I had made a tragic mistake.

I truly hate being asked to do things like this. I have serious issues with public embarrassment. I was not reassured when people from last cycle's class got up and started talking about how they derived so much benefit from the class but the key is to put yourself out there.

Under no circumstances have I ever put myself out there.

Ok, ok, I pledged a sorority in college and of course was asked to do goofy things, but they always took us off campus to do the really bad stuff. Doing goofy things in front of people you don't know is almost ok (especially when you've been drinking) but at work...c'mon.

Here's the real kicker. I don't have a fear of public speaking, I do it on occasion and have never suffered crippling panic attacks. Am I riveting? Probably not but it gets the job done. However, something about this class gives me an overwhelming sense of anxiety and dread. I just know she's going to ask me to do something that I hate. Indeed.

So here we are, headed into week 5 and it's turned into college in many ways. My life has been taken over by the project from hell so I spend my time figuring what is the least amount of work that I can do and not get kicked out. How many classes can I miss? What if I leave a little early? How much did the company actually pay for this crap? Holy....

This week I have to talk about something I feel passionate about. I have no passion for anything. Well, I have plenty of passion but they tell me it has to be something positive so I can't bitch about stuff like I do here.

So help a girl out here, give me ideas - what do I feel passionate about? Help...please.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This is a Lame Excuse for a Post

So I last posted on 4/22 which is lame but I've been feeling lazy. In that time I went to NYC and saw a play that a friend was in - it involved Ninja Nuns and a woman smearing egg in her hair on stage. More on that later.

This week I went to Detroit. Did you know that they are famous for their hot dogs? Me neither. So I tried a "Coney" which involves a hot dog (apparently they have high standards for hot dogs in Michigan), mustard, onions and chili.

It sounded good until I bit into it. Then I made a face. Then I threw it in the trash. I was informed by kid behind the counter that "the exterior is crunchy because it's a natural casing". Ack! Then I made another face. Then I left.

I'm ready for a non-natural casing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marry Him or Perhaps Not, Because That's CRAZY...

I was once engaged to a nice enough guy. Had I married him I would have been settling. Not because there was necessarily anything wrong with him, but I wasn't in love. I sometimes think about what my life would have been like had I ended up with him. I can tell you with a fair amount of certainty that I would have eventually become unhappy and more than likely would have ended up with 2.5 kids, a house, a dog and would most certainly be a divorce statistic.

Why on earth am I telling you this? Because I came across this article. She's a woman who answered her ticking biological clock with a sperm donor. I commend her for being a single mother, but the part I don't understand is her suggestion that if you don't find Mr. Right, and you want to have children, that you are in a lose-lose situation - settle now or settle later, you'll eventually have to settle if you want a man. She maintains that women out there are turning away perfectly good men because of annoying habits. She suggests that you should look past these things because eventually your hot romance will turn into a partnership where these things don't matter. Then she goes on to say that most married women, even when complaining about their awful husbands, would rather keep them than be alone. This is her supporting evidence that settling is ok because aren't we all really eventually in a situation where it's a wash.

So I gave up a relationship that surely would have yielded a perfectly fine family. Someone who was similar enough in family values and probably would have been a good father, all for the far flung idea that I could be and wanted to be in love. I used to joke that women are ruined by romance novels. We have these fabricated high expectations about what a relationship should be and that some day some guy will sweep us off our feet.

Anyone who has ever read a romance novel or watched a chick flick knows the general plot line - boy and girl meet and dislike one another, boy and girl have bonding experience and have crazy monkey sex, a 3rd party interferes and causes some massive misunderstanding and it appears that true love will go unrealized and then finally they are reunited, have crazy monkey sex and vow their undying love.

I still believe that's a pile of crap. However I will say this. A smart man (whom I almost dated but didn't because I ditched the opportunity to meet him for the chance to go out with a guy who turned out to be a loser) said to me after listening to me complain that a guy I was seeing didn't call me enough, "Hey, if you know that's what's important to you and he's not getting it done then why do you stick around - he's not going to change?". Good point.

My dating criteria became very simple:

An all around nice guy.
A guy who calls me enough so I know where I rate in his life.
A guy who is not intimidated by me.
A guy who is smarter than me in areas that I am not smart but smart enough to know that I am smarter than him in some areas too.
A guy who knows when I disagree with him that I'm not fighting, I'm just discussing.
A guy who shares similar family values.
A guy with whom I have some shared interests.
A guy that I like sleeping with.


I found all of these things in my husband. I felt like I could spend the rest of my life with him the second day I knew him. Crazy? Sure, but it's true. It took him a bit longer, but that's why I like him - I'm the snap judgement, he's the ponder-er, but we usually end up the same place. So in short, I didn't need to settle because he was the one who fit. That's not to say he's perfect (nor am I), he's just not doing the specific things that would have been deal breakers for me.

He used to tell me that he liked that I wasn't a crazy female. What he fails to recognize is that in almost every previous relationship, I was a crazy female. We've all been like that at one point or another. It's the simple fact that he met the criteria which made me a happy person. I was getting everything I needed, so I didn't have to go all psycho on him. Providing you're not actually crazy, I think this logic holds water.

Perhaps we won't always be in wedded bliss but nothing can take away that we started there. I don't harbor any resentment around what might have been and I don't believe he does either. Sure, I complain about stupid crap he does - his inane amount of socks, his inability to clean-up anything...ever and his amazing propensity to dawdle. At the end of the day I wouldn't trade him in because I love him, not because I don't want to be alone.

So I think this woman's suggestion is absolute crap. If you're a relatively well grounded person, don't settle, just prioritize your needs and be patient. Oh, and be sure to get really drunk every once in a while. I'm just sayin'...that's what worked for me.