New-ier and improve-ier for 2007.


Why I'm Going To Hell.

One of those cliche'd list entries, just so I don't go two days without posting.

1. I forgot that yesterday was Ash Wednesday, and had a cheeseburger and fries for lunch.
2. I laughed at the lisp of the person who gave the homily at AW Mass.
3. After leaving Mass, I turned to my friend and said, "Hey! There's some dirt on your forehead."
4. I keep referring to St. Anne Catherine Emmerich as "that woman with the hallucinations."
5. During the first crowd scene of "The Passion of Christ," I leaned over to The Weez and whispered "Woooolf nipple chips!"
6. I gave up coffee for Lent, and am almost assuredly going to commit homicide because of it.



I Don't Know How I Do It.

In an astonishing development, I'm months late to the party on this book. (Close your mouth, dear! You look like a codfish.) "This book," being, of course, I Don't Know How She Does It, by Allison Pearson.

Although many of my online chicas finished it and discussed it ages ago, I just got around to reading it. And here's my take:

Although there's something not-quite-comforting in reading the innermost thoughts of a fictional someone that almost exactly mirror your own, my heart ACHED for this woman, who was feeling the same "shit-I-just-missed-the-trapeze-and-ohmigod-where's-the-motherfucking-net" panic that has become a permanent fixture in my psyche.

The endless list-making. The total decompartmentalization of your life. The judge in your head constantly ruling against you. I knew it all, and far too well.

I recognized the "why am *I* the only one who realizes the importance of the Christmas gift for the woman who takes care of my children?" frustration. I identified whole-heartedly with the angst of being the primary breadwinner, allowing your husband the freedom to follow his bliss, even though you seem to have parted company with your OWN bliss sometime around the fifth month of pregnancy. I keenly felt the wracking guilt of realizing that, even though you've only managed to see your child for twenty minutes in the past 48 hours, if you have to bear one more minute with her you will lose. Your. Mind.

And, I'm ashamed to admit, I knew the allure of finding someone who sees you as more than A Wife or A Mother or An Employee; who finds you fascinating as a person in your own right, and makes you feel as though you are Your Best Self, instead of the slapdash, Never-Quite-Good-Enough Self that you fear is the best that you can actually manage in real life.

So much of this book was an expression of my deepest fears and insecurities. Neglected children. Professional derision. Husband weary of trying to make it work. At last, I thought. Somebody GETS it.

And then? Fucking Allison Pearson had to go wrap the whole thing up in a pretty goddamn bow.

Yes, I suppose I should just quit my job in a grand gesture, pare down my life, and move into a ramshackle house in a quaint little town. Just like Kate Motherfucking Reddy. Because, I need to FIGHT for my marriage and my family. And because I obviously HAVE all of those options, being one of those go-getting professional woman.

But that's not exactly how it works in the real world.

There wasn't one single thing Kate had to trade off to get her dream life. Not one. Her marriage was magically renewed. She got to spend more time with her children. She got off the corporate merry-go-round but STILL was able to find meaningful, challenging, and potentially lucrative work. Her relationship with her extended family improved. Those who had slighted her received their comeuppance.

I realize this is a work of fiction, but come ON, Allison. Did it never occur to you that this bullshit fairytale scenario is just a slap in the face to all of us real-life Kate Reddys who DON'T have these options? Who CAN'T just sell our shabby-yet-ridiculously-overvalued house and uproot our family? Who have to make MEANINGFUL sacrifices every day of our lives, whether that be our own ambitions, or time with our children, or relationships with our dearest friends?

There is no neat little ending to my story. I'll soldier on in my short-sheeted existence, trying to pull the blanket over whatever body part is most in need of warming at the moment. I'll compromise with my husband, and settle for a less-luminous career path, and continue to miss a bunch of my kid's "firsts," and console myself with the fact that I'm trying as hard as I can and it's the best I can do. Even in the face of the world's Allison Pearsons, who are telling me that I should be doing better, and it's so easy, and see this pretty little example?

I, for one, DO know how Kate Reddy does it. The bitch cheats.


Weez Quote of the Day.

The Weez very thoughtfully allowed me to watch the SaTC finale last night (I TiVo'd it), and even watched it along with me.

During the dramatic Carrie/Big reunion scene, he tenderly turned to me and said:

Kyan would *never* let him get away with those brows.

*sniff* I'm so proud of my metrosexual man!




I had a great time last weekend.

On Friday, I went to a Mardi Gras party which featured a live cover band. Their playlist of about 30 songs includes 10 of my most-favoritest-songs-ever. Needless to say, I was all over the dance floor. They closed down the show with REM's "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." And during that song, I started to feel a dull ache in my knee.

It continued as I helped the band tear down, made my way home, and fell into bed.

It remained when I awoke, but it now was accompanied by the dull ache in my neck, shoulders, and head.

Seriously. . . when did I get so lame? I'm in decent shape. I work out frequently. Including both stretching AND strength-training exercises. And yet, I'm hobbling around because I spent a couple of hours dancing in non-sensible shoes?

It is a sad, sad day in VeegeeLand.



What NOT to sing.

So, my brother-in-law, The Granola Kid, is in a band. A fairly decent cover band. And they have a gig tonight, playing a church Mardi Gras festival-cum-beer tasting-cum-fundraiser.

They've been working on a few new numbers. One of which is the reeeediculously overplayed Fountains of Wayne song, "Stacy's Mom." When gently admonished that this *particular* song might not be appropriate for the crowd at a Catholic school fundraiser, The Granola Kid breezily assured me that they'd already thought of that, and have changed the lyrics to be more in line with the values of the crowd.

Their "more-appropriate" version? "JESUS' mom/has got it goin' on."

Jesus. And his mom.

That Virgin Mary? One *hot* cookie.



Philosophizing With The Weez: A Mini-Script.

Time: late evening, Casa de Weez.

Weez: You know, I think there's a lot of evolutionary evidence that supports the validity of protecting reproductive function.
Veeg: How can you say that? So, you think that heterosexual couples should only be allowed to get married if they can have children? So, a woman who had cervical cancer and had to have a hysterectomy in her early 20s should NEVER have a chance to get married, since she can't procreate?
Weez: [long pause] I was talking about why it hurts so much when a guy gets hit in the crotch.

People, never let it be said that my husband is not one of the great minds of our time!



Song of the Cebu: Current events version

Some of you non-parental types might not be familiar with Veggie Tales. They're a cute, moral, animated salad bar, who sing insidiously catchy ditties, like "The Hairbrush Song" and "Barbara Manatee."

While these tunes are a fun listen on the morning commute (and keep the howler monkeys masquerading as small children from erupting in to full-blown, feces-throwing anarchy in the backseat), they're lacking the newsworthiness and social commentary of, say, NPR's Morning Edition.

To that end, I've written some lyrics for one of my favorite Veggie Tales songs: The Song of the Cebu. Enjoy!

Carson floats in a canoe (Carson floats in a canoe)
Spots couture on Mute Cebu (spots couture on Mute Cebu)
Carson squeals, "Moschino! And Prada!"

Janet Jackson's on the tube (Janet Jackson's on the tube)
With that skeevy N'Sync goob (With that skeevy N'Sync goob)
Janet Jackson's singing, then shrieking
"My boo-moo-moo
my boo-moo-moo
my boo-moo-moo
my boo-moo-moo

Dean's Wisconsin numbers blew (Dean's Wisconsin numbers blew)
Time for him to get a clue (time for him to get a clue)
Media and DNC chanting:
It's down to two!
It's down to two!
It's down to two!
It's down to two!
See you!




This made me laugh. Is that The New Math I've been hearing about?


The Weez: breaking down barriers.

In honor of the current controversy surrounding gay marriage in the US, I'd like to share one of my favorite Weez stories with you.

As a bride, I was not content with the garden-variety stressload of simply planning a wedding. So, in the months leading up to my nuptial Mass, I auditioned for and was cast in three shows. Because I am a masochist.

The Weez, being a stand-up guy who is always willing to pitch in where needed, gamely took on a larger-than-normal role in the wedding planning. He even secured us tickets to the Man's Seventh Circle of Hell, also known as a Bridal Show (hereinafter referred to as "BS").

Unfortunately, my asshat of a director scheduled an "impromptu" rehearsal which coincided with the date and time of the BS. So, I was unable to go.

The Weez decided that he was going to go anyway, because there were vendors that needed to be decided on, and samples that needed to be. . . well. . . sampled. However, rather than attending by himself, he used the prospect of free food and lots of chicks to entice his friend The Keetay to join him.

Armed with my list of questions and a map of the convention center, the boys set out to plan them some weddin'.

Early on in the proceedings, they stopped by a florist stall. This particular florist was thronged with young women and their mothers and bridal entourages, all clamoring for attention. The Weez got right down to business, consulted the list, and in a basso profundo asked if the florist only did personal arrangements, or if they'd be available to do arrangements for decoration, as well.

Barely looking up, the florist confidently replied, "Oh, yes, we can certainly do the hall and the church."

And then executed a textbook-perfect doubletake. At The Weez, standing with his notebook, next to the dark-and-handsome Keetay.

The florist stammered, "Or. . . um. . . well. . . maybe NOT a church?"

The boys decided that a divide-and-conquer approach might be best for the remainder of the day.



A moment to bask, please.

This morning, I awoke before the Small Child, and enjoyed a leisurely cup of tea and some reading time.

When she got up, I provided her with a breakfast that included elements both nutritious (oatmeal and berries) and fun (Ovaltine "cocoa"). While she watched some Quality Children's Programming (Oobi, Sesame Street, Maisy) and played, I whipped up some chocolat croissants to serve to my darling husband when he awoke.

When The Weez got up and decided to join the family, he was greeted with his hot beverage of choice, the afforementiond croissants, and his Valentine's Day gift, and card.

The Weez graciously offered to hang with Small Child while I showered and got dressed. My hair turned out better than it has in weeks, and I managed to locate one of my favorite shirts, which I'd been missing since well before Christmas.

The Small Child and I went shopping, and not only was there no meltdown in the store, we managed to make it out of there in less than 40 minutes, spending less than $70.

There was a minor snafu in my day when we got home and Small Child had a total freakout regarding The Bottle, which I was refusing to give her, but she redeemed herself by then requesting to go to bed, and falling asleep with absolutely no fuss.

I have a load of laundry running, and am eating a lovely Greek salad that I prepared. Dinner is simmering in the crockpot. In looking over the past week, I've made progress in all of the areas of my to-do list, including managing to get some physical activity worked into my day six out of seven days.

I think I need to go buy a lottery ticket.




In the spirit of the season, Hallmark-sponsored though it may be.

Most Romantic Valentine's Day: the one that The Weez and I spent in a small, turn-of-the-century B&B, hanging out in the whirlpool tub and eating decadent chocolates on the big feather bed. We weren't yet married, and had grand and glorious visions of what our life together would hold. I thought I couldn't possibly love him more than I did at that moment. I was wrong.

Least Romantic Valentine's Day: the one where the Krazy Kuntry Kowboy took me out for dinner. To Hardee's. Where he revealed that he didn't have cash, so I had to pay. We then went to a townie sports bar, where. . . ditto.

Rudest Valentine's Day: when I was pregnant with Small Child, and The Weez and I went out to a fabulous northern-Italian restaurant. The waitress *constantly* commented on my food and beverage choices in relation to my pregnancy. And thus originated the phrase, "Do you hear that sucking sound? That was your tip."

Most Surreal Valentine's Day: I was in college, and not really seeing anyone. Out at the bars, I ran into a guy with whom I worked, but didn't know very well. We talked and danced and laughed, and he walked me home through a downy flurry of snow. At the door of my building, he gave me one perfect, delicious, kiss -- the kind that make you feel warm and melty and tingly. It was never mentioned again.

Hope your Valentine's Day is filled with gorgeous thoughts, warm feelings, and true love in any of its many forms.


My hair wants to rock 'n' roll all night, and party every day.

So, upon the suggestions of some of my darling friends, I embarked upon Operation Perk Up The Veeg. Which sounds dirty, but totally isn't.

The thrust (heh) of OPUTV was that I decided to add caramel-blonde highlights to my mahogany hair. Good plan!

The logistics ran aground when OPUTV resources were weighed against the OTHER ongoing mission in my life, Operation Afford To Build A House Without Going Abso-fucking-lutely Broke.

OPUTV operatives (aka: me) are a wily and resourceful bunch, though, and decided that some Marine-like improvisation was in order. In the form of a Feria highlighting kit.

I applied the product as directed, then retired to The Veeg Boudoir to wait the package-recommended amount of time, whilst reading I Don't Know How She Does It <tangent>Can I just say how much this book depressed me? I want to write an entry about it, but I need to get past the actual depression, first</tangent>

After approximately half an hour had passed, I lathered, rinsed, toweled dry, and took a glance in the mirror at the results of my efforts.

Then I laughed and laughed and laughed.

You see, the aforementioned mahogany tone of my hair is a result of dying blonde hair back to it's more-or-less natural shade in October. But, somehow (if by "somehow," you mean "because I am an idiot"), I had forgotten that fact. Because I know very well that applying hair dye on top of hair dye, when one is not a professional, can yield unpredictable results.

Dudes, I look like SUCH a punk-rock chick. The two-or-three inches of my hair closest to my scalp, which have grown in since the dying episode, are sporting a lovely shade of blonde highlights. The remaining six-to-eight inches are also highlighted. In copper.

It's fricking hilarious. I need to go pick up some Docs, a plaid skirt, and a band t-shirt or two. And lots of black eyeliner.

I am soooo bad-ass.



I am the Queen of the Dorks.

But this made me just about pee in my ergonomically unsuitable desk chair.

God, I am such a loser. But, at least I have tits, and therefore can attract OTHER losers.


Got Bacon?

I've noticed an phenomenon at the Iconic American Product Company at which I'm currently working. In the past 24 hours, little red business cards have been popping up all over the company bulletin boards. They bear only the words: Got Bacon? and a URL.

Who is the mysterious purveyor of piping porcine pieces? The world may never know.


A little Bill.

Because my life is sucking right now, and it's only the fact that I am so fortunately loved that is keeping me from commiting hari-kiri. So, thanks for that!

When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least:
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee -- and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.



Better late than never.

Happy belated birthday to my Favorite English Teacher. Well. . . besides Albert Peterson. Mister Phi-Beta-Kappa Peterson. I mean, he ran AlMaeLou! And he had an interracial marriage in the 50s! He was pretty darn cool.

So. . . uh. . . happy belated birthday to my Favorite Non-Fictional English Teacher!

Although, Mrs. Campbell was pretty cool. Even though her daughter was totally skanky. One year, she had us write journals as though we were members of Ulysses' crew, as part of reading The Odyssey (Mrs. Campbell, that is. Not her daughter. Because her daughter? Skank-o-rama.)

But anyway. . . I guess what I mean is happy belated birthday to my Favorite Non-Fictional English Teacher Who Doesn't Have a Skanky Daughter! Hope it was terrific.



Not a Bond girl, not yet a woman.

Oh HELL no.

Although, is it worse than Denise Richards? I think snot.


Two teeth, perchance to dream.

I had a disturbing dream last night.

Dream-I was flossing, when chunks of my gums started peeling away from my teeth. Flaky, like canned tuna, but with the slimy-shiny texture of maki sashimi (I blame you, BondGirl).

Oddly, the loss of gums didn't cause my teeth to fall out of my mouth -- they were still held in by a small bridge of flesh along their backsides. This is not a configuration that actually exists in my mouth during non-dream-states, but didn't strike my dream-self as particularly odd. My teeth slowly hinged forward, until my uppers were jutting out from my mouth, looking like some mutant marriage of a dental model and a great white shark aquarium exhibit.

I gently eased my teeth back into place, and went about my day, trying to remember not to smile.

I have a lot of dentition dreams. The one where my teeth crumble like ancient plaster as I brush them. The one where they tumble out into my lap, jingling like coins in a pocket as they fall. The one where I look into the mirror, and they're shattered and jagged, like I'm a cartoon coyote who was the inadvertent recipient of a mouth full of bowling ball.

Googling "teeth dreams" reassures me that I'm not the only one with a nocturnal tooth obsession. The explanations for the subconcious root of these dreams vary from "it can literally mean you are frightened of losing your teeth" (tres insightful!) to "symbolic of a beginning of a new phase of life" (not to my knowledge!), or "worry about self-image." Hot dog, we have a weiner!

I've been on an oh-so-healthy kick of self-loathing lately. I hate my thighs. I hate my hair. My skin is a mess. I'm going to be fat and unattractive anyway, so I might as well sit here on the couch watching crap television and shoving Vermont's finest down my throat.

Wait. . . I think that last link actually should've gone here, instead. My bad!

I know I need to get over this. I know that I need to move my body, give it healthy fuel, and I'll automagically get myself out of this funk. But. . . inertia. Also? Ennui. I just can't seem to bring myself to care. When I cast a critical eye toward my future, it's just kind of meandering on, without a grand, unifying point to tie it together. Not unlike this entry.




When I was a teen, I dreamed about the day when I would be out in the workforce, in a glamorous job. I would jet around to exotic locales, clothed in tres chic business casual ensembles, inspiring awe in those lucky enough to view me at work.

Reality is somewhat less awe-inspiring.

While I *am* jaw-droppingly good at my job, the fashionista-ism and jet-setting have been less-than-hasty in their arrival. But today, that has changed. I just scheduled a business trip for next week.

Some of the clients I support need hand-holding and a real, live face to pour out their problems to. I'm not thrilled about traveling during the peak of snow season, but I'll manage. It'll be like a little mini-vacation, except for the part where I'm stuck in a conference room for hours on end, feverishly hitting the space bar on a laptop like a lab rat waiting for a food pellet.

At least I'll get to go out and tear up the town on an expense account. I'm sure there will be a wide variety of cosmopolitan dining experiences just *waiting* for me. Not to mention the hopping nightlife.

Look out, York PA, here I come.



I love it when an idea floats into the marketplace that's logically consistent AND in line with my own beliefs (political, philosophical, theological or otherwise). The Massachusetts Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage sits at the perfect junction of reason and precedent. The fact that I happen to agree with it doesn't hurt, either.

"The dissimilitude between the terms 'civil marriage' and 'civil union' is not innocuous. It is a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status. ... The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal."

Let's hear it for judicial discretion, folks!



Overweight article has anorexic source citations.

From this week’s U.S. News and World Report:

Fat kids suffer terribly. Children shown pictures of obese kids as well as kids with various disabilities--facial deformities and missing limbs, for example--said they would choose the obese child last as a friend.

Amanda Spake, the author of the piece from which the quote is pulled, surely tugs some heartstrings with this tidbit. But without any nod toward methodology, it’s just meaningless fluff.

Who showed the pictures? To what mix of children? In what situation? How MANY of the children indicated that they’d choose the obese child last?

Such a fraught example, utterly devoid of context, says much more to me about Ms. Spake’s biases regarding overweight, than about any cultural phenomenon.



Hell in my handbag.

Carrying a small, stylish purse used to be my hallmark. I had a wide array of whimsical satchels just large enough for a cell phone, a couple of charge cards, my license and insurance info, and a lip gloss or two.

Then, I had a child.

My current bag is a messenger-style affair, in a durable, wipe-clean synthetic. Here's an inventory of its current contents:

1. Driver's license (1)
2. Credit cards/ATM cards (3)
3. Insurance cards (2 -- one for me, one for Small Child)
4. Wool hat (grey and blue, 1)
5. Polypropylene liner gloves (black, 1 pr)
6. Orange (unpeeled, 1)
7. Garage door opener (1)
8. Pastel sparkley barrettes (child-sized, 4)
9. 4-pack of crayons (.75)
10. Ziploc bag of Goldfish and/or cereal (2)
11. Cellophane-wrapped plastic utensil (2)
12. Infant motrin (1 bottle, sticky)
13. Unwrapped plastic utensil (1)
14. Old grocery list and accompanying receipt (5)
15. Used tissue (2)
16. Doll-sized pacifier with hippo-face clip and ribbon (1)

I feel as though I should close with something pithy, but I've lost my will to live.