Monday, October 27, 2003

I would like to update my blog. I really really would. I would like to write a carefully crafted analysis of Sunday's NY Times article about moms opting out, which four people have emailed to me. I would like to write about the antique Chinese chest that I broke on the way home from a shop one mile away, despite it's having survived intact all the way from China to Seattle.

I would like to register my glee at Grady Little's contract not being renewed by the BoSox. I would like to know exactly what the Red Sox mean when they say they need a manager who relies more on statistical analysis, and whether that means they've all been brainwashed by Bill James.

I would like to shake my fist at Daylight Saving Time and make the point that it is "Saving" and not "Savings." I would also like to tell you about the students in my writing class who took notes diligently when the instructor said that compelling writing consists of nouns and verbs.

I would like to point out that I have an article published in the November issue of ePregnancy Magazine (toot toot). I would also like to wonder why, when I named the article "The Bonding Myth," the cover says "I Don't Like My Baby." I would also like to know which editor is going to intercept the resulting death threats.

I would like to tell you all of my current fascination with bellydancing.

But I am too tired. Too, too tired.

posted by Marjorie
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Sunday, October 26, 2003

Beyond Good and Evil
Unpacked more boxes today and sorted more toys -- a bucket for People and a bucket for Animals. The question being, which bucket do the robots go in? I put them in the People bucket, but I'm feeling some existential unease with this choice. They clearly do not belong in the Animals bucket, though -- animals are neither manufactured nor made in our image. Robots, however, at least look like us, sort of, so in the People bucket they go. It worries me, though, and I have fried a frightening number of axons and dendrites thinking about it. But I cannot escape the conclusion that robots are people, too. Thus spake MomBrain.

posted by Marjorie
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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Instant Karma
The best part of my Wednesday night writing class is the pre-class dinner with my friend Elizabeth (she of the swimming goggles fame). We each have a three year old, and dinner with a grownup feels like a jail break for both of us. So we were already giddy with our freedom, eating in the BAR, drinking WINE, having an actual CONVERSATION with complete sentences and well-formed thoughts.

Unfortunately the avocado in my salad was also well-formed; in fact, it was rather tough. We were talking about our writing class, and I was pointing out how important it is to look like a writer if you want to be treated like one. Just when I got to the part about the black turtleneck a slippery piece of avocado came flying out from under my knife and smacked me right on the forehead. And stuck.

For two long gasping minutes we laughed the laughs of hyenas, shrieking and lying down in the booth and wiping our eyes. When we finally calmed down enough to breathe the waitress came by to check on us. God bless Elizabeth for using her most patrician voice to note that the avocado was tough, and could we please have another? I do not think I could have said it without lapsing into hyenaville again.

And the Band Plays On
There are many ways to humiliate oneself. Wearing avocado on one's forehead is one way. Another is to scowl your way through the first half of writing class, making all kinds of smart and witty comments to show your superiority to the other monkeys with typewriters, only to be told during the break that you have a big piece of lettuce in your teeth. God bless Elizabeth again.

posted by Marjorie
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Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I have emerged from my period of mourning. Gone is the black veil. Gone is the lace hanky. Gone are the Red Sox. I also passed the first stage of grief -- Denial -- by standing in the middle of a bar and screaming "No! No!" when Grady left Pedro on the mound. What was he thinking??? Unfortunately I seem to be stuck at the second stage -- Anger -- though I'm sure I will progress soon to Sadness and eventually Acceptance. I've been down this weary path before and it's sadly familiar.

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto
Today's conversation with the Little Guy. But first you must understand that I still have a little of my old New England accent, which I blame entirely on my mother.

MB: Are you ready to take off your pajahmas?
LG: Yes. But some people call them pajamas.
MB: Yes, some people say pajamas. But I say pajahmas.
LG: In New York they call them tow trucks.
MB: They call them tow trucks? Why?
LG: Because you put your toes in them!!!
MB: Oh.

Y Chromosome Poisoning
At the mall yesterday, the Big Guy surprised me. When given a choice between playing with LG at the Disney Store or going to Radio Shack to buy computer cables, he picked playing with the Little Guy. What??? I thought Radio Shack was your favorite store? And what's with Disney??? But the Big Guy informed me that men are not allowed to ask questions in Radio Shack. In fact, it's much like stopping to ask for directions while driving. You may swagger and drool and purchase, but you may not ask for help. And since he wasn't sure what we needed to complete our home network, it was my job to put on my dimples and ask for help.

Fine. So I lit off for Radio Shack and found exactly what we needed with no help at all. In fact, I told the 12-year-old clerk a thing or two about networking. Hee.

posted by Marjorie
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Wednesday, October 15, 2003

In most circumstances, MomBrain has the courage of a lion, the heart of a cheetah, the brains of a, um, scarecrow. But the Little Guy found my limit last night, and my courageous front crumbled. Like most Moms home alone with their children, I have to leave the door open when I go potty. So last night I was sitting on the toilet, hands folded calmly in my lap while I did my business. And suddenly, after *years* of watching me go to the bathroom, the Little Guy was curious.

LG: What are you doing?
MB: I'm going potty.
LG: But how are you pointing your p e n i s down?
MB: I don't have a p e n i s.
LG: Why?
MB: Women and girls don't have p e n i s e s.
LG: Why?
MB: Boys and girls are different. That's just how we're made.
LG: I want to see where the potty comes out!
MB: Look! There goes Kitty! What is she chasing?

I am such a coward.

posted by Marjorie
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Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Candy Tango
Woodge has eaten his last Tootsie Roll, cadged from a candy bowl at work. Yeah, those trans fats'll kill ya, but let me tell you why I stopped eating office candy years ago, before the Trans Fats Police started howling.

Think of the candy bowl in your office. Every office has one somewhere -- on the Admin's desk, at reception, or in the office of some trembling, insecure chick who wants everyone to like her. Picture that nice, open candy bowl, sitting there on the edge of a desk or table, so inviting. Now think of the smarmiest guy in your office. Picture him plunging his hand deep, deep into that bowl of candy. If you're lucky the candy is wrapped, but sometimes it isn't and your smarmy coworker is swishing his hand around in a few pounds of m&m's. Now picture that same smarmy guy in the bathroom. Do you think he washes his hands after he pees? Do you? There are some things I do not wish to ingest with my candy. Trans fats is one of them. You can imagine the others.

Sympathies to Ultramicroscopic on the theft of his iBook. But mostly I just want everyone to take a gander at some of the greatest doodles around.

posted by Marjorie
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Monday, October 13, 2003

Picky Eaters Anonymous
The Little Guy is about to turn into one giant peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He eats them for breakfast. He eats them for lunch. He eats them for dinner. Sometimes he prefers it on toast, but that's the only permissible variation.

Tonight, with Nanny's help, I stir fried tofu, bok choy, and veggies in sesame oil and served it over rice. Look, Little Guy! Look at the cute little baby corn! Look at the peppers! Try this tofu! You'll like it! He ate precisely one baby corn followed by two forkfuls of rice before he had the refrigerator door open, looking for the PB&J.

"You fool!" you may say. What 3-year-old in his right mind would eat tofu, chili peppers, and soy sauce? But I am not so foolish as I sound. This is the child who until recently adored salmon with wasabi sauce, scarfed Mexican food, and often requested Thai take out. He's never been a mac & cheese kind of kid. But now someone flipped the picky eater switch and all my smugness has come back to haunt me.

Prophecy and Revelation
I have spent the last couple days scouring the New Testament for end-world prophecies that could be interpreted as a Red Sox vs. Cubs World Series. I hear hoofbeats, I know I do, so I'm making my confession before the seven horsemen get here. But end-of-the-world or not, is there anyone who is not rooting for this showdown? (I mean besides demented Yankees fans who've inhaled a few too many subway fumes.)

posted by Marjorie
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Friday, October 10, 2003

MomBrain has thrown in the towel. My "office" is now a dusty corner in a room trafficked by painters, carpenters, tile setters, and other burly men with power tools. All day long they pass behind me, glancing over my shoulder and politely excusing themselves. This is troublesome. I like a lot of privacy when I write. That way I can talk to myself, swear, pace, and write very bad horrible first drafts. I can also take my shirt off when I get too warm.

Since the Money Pit is still under construction, I am willing to keep my shirt on for now. I am also willing to whisper to myself and stay put in my little corner so as not to disturb the workers. But I am not willing to write an article about semen analysis while they look over my shoulder and blush. I tried, but I cannot. I opened another innocent document so I can Alt+Tab every time I hear footsteps. And I keep my reference materials face down. But analyzing the analysis of semen takes concentration, and it's been a little too, uh, hard to do that. So I give. Those cute little tadpoles will just have to wait.

Caffeinated Musings
No wonder we are all sleepless in Seattle. The coffee craze is officially out of control. I have fond east coast memories of going to Dunkin Donuts and ordering "regular coffee," meaning coffee with cream and sugar. That's it. Just "regular coffee, please." But to get that in Seattle I have to order a "12-ounce drip with room, please." And then they ask if I want Gold Coast or House Blend, followed by an explanation of dark roast vs. mild acidity. This is just a little too challenging for a person in caffeine withdrawal. JUST GIVE ME MY COFFEE DAMMIT!!! Meanwhile the woman next to me ordered a "half caf half decaf caramel macchiato, 180 degrees with a half pump of vanilla and extra foam." No wonder the lines are so long at McStarbucks.

posted by Marjorie
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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Kibbles 'n Bits
The Little Guy has informed us that he is no longer a boy. He is a kitty. And in case you didn't know, kitties do not go potty on the toilet, and they do not wash their hands. They lick them. I reminded him that kitties who go trick-or-treating get tuna fish, but he said he is a special kitty who likes cookies instead. Meow.

posted by Marjorie
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Wanderer's Lust

I'm getting a bad case of itchy feet again. When I dropped off the Little Guy at preschool this morning I heard that one of the moms is at Treehouse Building Camp for a week. By herself! And another mom is going to Italy for 2 weeks with her husband, followed by a week alone in Ravenna at an artsy mosaic tile workshop. I got goosebumps just hearing about it. Can you imagine a treehouse built by MomBrain? With gypsy scarves flying out the windows, wind chimes, and a mosaic tile roof? A little apartment-sized refrigerator stocked with iced tea, a flowery comfy chair, a honkin' stack of books, and a very large KEEP OUT sign? Hee.

So. I'm thinking I need to get out of Dodge, even if it's only for a few days. Maybe NYC for some long overdue genealogy research, and if I really get lucky a Yankees vs. Red Sox game (wahoo!!!). Maybe SLC, again with the genealogy. Maybe Miraval. It almost doesn't matter where -- but I do need to sleeeeeeep, reconnect with myself, and do something fun. And I think I need to go alone, just to remind myself that I exist. (Ignore the sounds of trampling hooves -- that's just the guilt buffaloes stampeding toward me. Shoo! Shoo, I say!)

posted by Marjorie
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Sunday, October 05, 2003

Yippee skippee!!! MomBrain is back. I have missed you, my ducks. We are finally moved into our new house (aka the Construction Zone) and seem to have bounced off the rock bottom. We have running water and electricity, a phone and an Internet connection. And I can make a cup of tea. What more do we need?

Um, actually, I need some Valium. The Red Sox are once again messing with me. They broke my heart in '75, and again in '86. And here I am falling for it again. I was born in Boston, raised in New England, and had to move all the way to Seattle to forget about them. But thanks to TiVo ... here we go again. I can barely breathe.

Writing Good
Further proof that OdiousWoman is stalking me: I, too, am taking a writing class, in Creative Nonfiction. But mine doesn't start until Wednesday night. So tune in Thursday to find a perfectly crafted blog. With complete sentences. That's creative. But I can't guarantee the nonfiction part.

I'm coming full circle with this class. When I went to Graduate School, essay writing and Creative Nonfiction were just burgeoning. I was obsessed with both, but there weren't any classes so I had to take a directed study. That ended early, though, when the professor steered me toward short stories (read: he didn't know how to write essays), and kept telling me how attracted he was to brunette Red Sox fans with big brains. In his office. With a closed door. I ran screaming, but it's taken 15 years to convince myself that it's okay if I'm "just" a non-fiction writer. And it's okay to be brunette. And smart. But I'm still not sure if it's okay to be a Red Sox fan.

posted by Marjorie
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