Thursday, June 30, 2005

Is it Friday yet?

So, what's everybody doing for the long weekend?

I'm not traveling anywhere exciting. I'm not doing any blogger meet-ups (unless pottyphobe starts her own damn blog, 'cause I will be meeting up with her at some point). I will be relaxing in the good weather, drinking beer (if wonderful Not So Angry Husband buys some at the store on his way back home from work tonight), and perhaps hitting a golf ball or two.

I'll also be working. So will NSAH. Work has been nuts for the both of us. It's 9:30 now and I'm actually still not done with the work I have to do tonight. I'm just taking a break between assignments. Luckily, the work I have is work that I don't mind doing--as opposed to work that makes me bang my head against the wall.* NSAH, well, his head-banging days are numbered, I hope. Tonight he came home for about 20 minutes just to spend some time with Angry Boy before the little guy went to bed. And then he went right back to work. At least I can work from home.

When I picked up AB from school today, he was one of three kids (out of six, I think) left in class. One of his teachers was reading to them from a big storybook. As I walked into the classroom, the other two kids turned around, and one of them even walked toward me. Not AB. He was engrossed in the book. He was sitting right up close, his head leaning back and his mouth slightly open. It's the same look I'd get if I'd had too much beer and was watching a movie from the front row. Not that I've ever done that.

* Speaking of which, any of you ever have the pleasure of opening the paper and seeing unflattering stories about your client(s)? Yeah. This was me, earlier this week: "Oh, shit... Oh, well." (picks up another section) "Oh, shit!... Oh, well."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I can live with this

Saw this quiz at Rana's:

You scored as Natural Causes. Your death will be by natural causes, though not by any disease, because that is another option on this test. You will probably just silently pass away in the night from old age, and people you love won't realize until the next morning, when you are all purple and cold and icky.


Natural Causes

80%

Posion

53%

Disease

53%

Eaten

47%

Suicide

40%

Suffocated

40%

Accident

40%

Gunshot

33%

Bomb

33%

Stabbed

33%

Drowning

20%

Disappear

13%

Cut Throat

7%

How Will You Die??
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, June 27, 2005

Mom's workout

My side-cramp-inducing workout tonight consisted of dancing with Angry Boy to Michael Jackson's "Beat It," and Paul Simon's "That Was Your Mother," followed by "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes."

I'm beat.

Oversensitive

I know that on some level I probably should, but I really don't feel any guilt about placing AB in daycare every day. When I'm talking with friends of mine with other parenting arrangements (e.g., stay-at-home moms, nannies) I don't feel compelled to extol the virtues of AB's daycare or otherwise pump up his experiences there. I think this is an extension of the fact that I really don't feel guilty that often (and no, I am not a sociopath, really).

So we've established that I don't feel guilt about the daycare vs. nannies vs. staying at home thing. Apparently, though, I do have buttons. And lo, they can be pushed.

I was dropping AB off at daycare the other day. He's recently transitioned to the next-older group of kids, some of whom he's been in classes with before, and some of whom are new to him and me. One of the kids in his class is a really sweet guy (heretofore "Sweet Guy"), and is one of my favorites. Anyway, one morning I was sitting with AB, playing on the floor of his new room with him and some other kids, including Sweet Guy. Well, Sweet Guy's mom, who was dropping him off, comes over and sits with all of us. I've met her at a couple of school social events, and I've seen her once or twice before at morning drop-offs. So, no, we're not close buddies, but yes, I have made her acquaintance.

After we make some small talk, she says, "Are you AB's mom?" Confused, because I swear she already knows me, I say, "Yes."

"Oh, I've never met you before! I've only seen AB's daddy."

Cut to me, face probably turning red from anger (most likely anger caused by guilt, but let's talk about that in a sec), but plastering a dumbass grin on my face. "Oh, yeah, his dad does drop him off mostly. I only drop him off once or twice a week." Once I stopped inwardly seething, I gave my boy a kiss goodbye and stomped off to work.

I still can't figure out exactly what bothered me most about that exchange. Did I feel guilty because here was this other daycare mom, seemingly calling out my lack of participation in my son's daycare life? Except that I think if it was a mom I didn't know who made the comment, I wouldn't have been so put out (after all, there are a number of moms I've never met, and it's precisely because I only drop off AB once or twice a week). So then, was I simply pissed because the person making this comment was someone I have met? Except that my self-esteem isn't so high that I won't forgive someone forgetting they've met me before. I've been in lots of situations where people I've met once or twice before don't remember having met me. Personally, I'm terrible with names, so I'm one to forgive and forget in that arena.

So maybe it was some sort of twisted combination of the two that got me all pissed off. I haven't seen Sweet Guy's mom since that morning. I'm hoping I do see her again. I'm thinking if she and I have a normal conversation, I will quickly put that weird morning behind me and forget all about it. Or maybe she won't remember who I am again and we'll go 'round and 'round in some Groundhog Day loop.

Did they or didn't they?

Over the kibbeh at lunch* today, MysteryMommy pointed out that I never revealed whether Pottyphobe and her husband got the used potty.

Pottyphobe and her husband did not--repeat, NOT--bring home a used potty. All your opinions were not only helpful, some of them were enlightening. I've now decided that when AB finishes with his potty, we're going to donate it to whomever wants it. Less plastic in landfills!

* Topics at lunch included work, potty training (wherein I got some really good tips that I can't wait to try out at home), stay-at-home parenting, frou-frou dogs, and "Kill Bill, Vols. I and II."

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Excellent weekend

Went to Home Despot this morning with NSAH and AB. Got a cheap hose and a sprinkler (the yard's looking a little brown). Dropped off a bunch of clothes (mine and AB's) at Goodwill. And tried out a local barbecue joint--meh, disappointing, though the woman who ran the place was super nice. She asked us all about AB, and marveled at how much he talked. I explained that yes, he does talk a lot, but no, we can't always figure out exactly what he's trying to say.

At 12:05, he wandered into his room, stood in front of his crib, and said "Seep!" [Sleep!] I'm not one to turn down any of AB's requests for sleep, so I put him down right away. He (finally) took a long nap, close to three hours. Gave me time to go to Trader Joe's (YAY!), where I hardly ever have time to go. Bought a ton of produce, including some corn, and bought some burger patties.

AB was sooooooo sweet when he woke up from his nap. All huggy and cuddly. I love it when he's like this. We played with his talking door toy, but he'd break from that frequently to sit on my lap and give me hugs, or just splay his sleepy self on my torso, trying to get comfy.

He did cry massively when I put a Band-aid on his finger, but he calmed down when I turned on the boob tube (i.e., Sesame Street). NSAH made great corn, red peppers and burgers on the grill. AB ate some hamburger, but mostly corn and red pepper. He started to fuss about his Band-aid again after dinner, so I took him out on the front step and we blew bubbles.

Well, I blew bubbles. He hasn't really figured out how to blow yet. He pulled the wand right up to his lips and let the faintest bit of air escape his pursed lips. He only blew bubbles once--mostly, he just got a facefull of bubblestuff. But it was so funny-looking, he had me cracking up. Then NSAH came out and joined us, mainly so he could set up the sprinkler. And once he got the water turned on, AB had a blast running back and forth through the "rain." It was fun, but boy did he get wet. I think that's how we should give him a bath from now on. Cold water, so it saves pennies, as well. Bonus.

Pretty good weekend, all in all. (Including front row for Jerry Seinfeld. Thanks, mom!)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

EW? Who knew?

Just like Jon Stewart and his Daily Show ilk, I'm sick of how the media--in an effort to appear "objective"--have* totally stopped calling people out when they're full of shit. The best the mainstream media can offer us is this: when they broadcast or print some outlandish statement from one person, at the end of that story they will eventually find someone with a counter view, usually an individual at the other end of the spectrum.

That's not what I want.

Believe it or not, Entertainment Weekly has exactly what I want. in this Q&A with Tom Cruise, Tom goes motherhubbard insane and starts spewing the most outlandish things one would expect from an adherent to a "religion" where money gets you to the next highest level. Here's an example:

EW: ... Scientology textbooks sometimes refer to psychiatry as a ''Nazi science''...
Cruise: Well, look at the history. Jung was an editor for the Nazi papers during World War II.
You might think that, in this world of responsible journalism, EW might add a short piece after the Q&A presenting the "other side."

No. EW is now my media hero. Instead of letting the reader think for even a second that Cruise might be correct, EW inserts this bracketed information:

[According to Aryeh Maidenbaum, the director of the New York Center for Jungian Studies, this is not true.]

Hahahahaha. Take that, Tom! And it gets better--they do it again!

Cruise: Look at the experimentation the Nazis did with electric shock and drugging. Look at the drug methadone. That was originally called Adolophine. It was named after Adolf Hitler... [According to the Dictionary of Drugs and Medications, among other sources, this is an urban legend.]

This. Is. Awesome! Why doesn't the Post do this? Or CNN? If someone (especially a politician) says something that is blatantly wrong or unsupported, call him out on it right away! Let no lies go asserted! Power of the press! Revolution!

(Also in that EW issue: Matthew Vaughn is no longer directing X-Men 3. Damn.)

* I originally used the verb "has," but thankfully my inner grammarian caught it in time, or Not So Angry Husband would've given me shit about it. "It's a plural noun!"

Friday, June 24, 2005

Holy Schnike

For those of you who haven't gone there yet today (or haven't ever been there), the comments are flying fast and furious at Achenbach's today. Granted, a dozen or more comments are from the same person who keeps typing (in all caps) "Bush won... get over it."

And most recently, we got the ever popular variation of "America, love it or leave it."

Reelin' in the Years*

Had a friend from my old school over for dinner the other night. He's in town for work, so we invited him by for pizza, really good banana cream pie, and many beers. He's a dad, too, so he was checking out AB's toys and other assorted toddler-type paraphernalia.

He noticed on our fridge that we have the Fridge Phonics toy. Basically, you put the magnetic letter into the slot, and the toy sings about what sound that letter makes. E.g., "D says duh, D says duh, every letter makes a sound, D says duh!" And it even tells you when letters make two sounds, like, "G says guh, and G says juh, every letter makes a sound, G says guh…and juh!" My friend asked if I liked that toy, 'cause he and his wife were thinking about getting it. I told him I liked it for a few reasons: AB loves it, and I really think that toy was part of the reason he learned his alphabet so early. But, as far as the letter sounds go, I had a couple of issues. The biggest being that when you put the Y in the slot, it sings, "Y says yuh, and Y says eye…" When does Y say "eye"? Rarer than when it says "eeee," I'll tell you that much. I’m not very "happ-eye" about that. Anyway, as soon as I started talking about the Y, my friend started to grin. Apparently, in the stores, they have the toy set up so that parents can test it (like most talking or singing toys). But the letter they have in there is the Y! My friend tried it out in the store, but when it said, "Y says eye," he thought, "I'm not buying this thing--it's going to teach my kid the wrong stuff!" I couldn't help but wonder how many parents have refrained from buying that toy because the stupid Y was in the slot at the store. Heh.

Anyway, you can see why we've been friends for more than 10 years now (great minds think alike, and all that). It was terrific seeing him. I hope we can do it again sometime soon, and I hope that next time his girlfriend-now-wife can come up with their baby boy, too.

*During our sophomore year of college, he and I drove for hours and hours and hours down to Florida. Most of the time, the CD in the car stereo was A Decade of Steely Dan. To this day, whenever I hear Steely Dan, I think of Florida, and whenever I'm in Florida, I need to hear some Steely Dan.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

APL rabid fan club: one member and counting

This missive came via email from pottyphobe today:

I'm so sad. I visited my favorite blog again today, and the writer has not written anything for two whole days! Doesn't she know that I rely on her witty postings to get me through the day? I mean, not to be selfish or anything, and I know she's a busy lawyer, and has a kid and all,... but what about ME?? What am I? Chopped liver? Doesn't she feel one ounce of remorse for making me endure hours upon hours of document review without the enjoyment of one little well-written rant? Maybe a posting about the resurgence of good superhero movies? Or the social injustice of having to buy cases of pre-sorted baby food when you know your child will never eat the "squash", and you'll be left with a year's supply of squashes in your cupboard? Or the many failings of panty hose? I mean... c'mon. A little service, please. Really, she could even write about the death of the service industry in America... how we tip all sorts of people just for bringing us cold food and glaring at us if we ask for a refill of water. Or how I tipped the pizza guy $3 last night and then realized he left the sausage off our pizza... I mean SAUSAGE damn it... that's a key ingredient! Forget the mushrooms if you must, or the onions... but not the sausage! Or how I tipped the leg waxing lady five whole dollars for putting me through excruciating pain, and then leaving me with sporadically spaced leg hairs despite the process... it's like, "Thank you ma'am, I'll pay you $10 extra if you insert needles under my thumbnails."

Ayyyy... I need a vacation.

How's your day going?


This is why I love pottyphobe. And this is why pottyphobe needs her own blog.

So in an effort to keep pottyphobe (who I desperately want to refer to as PP, because I've been reading Weingarten again and because my humor aligns with that of 11-year-old boys) from jumping out of her hermetically sealed office window, here I be.

Person I most want to be left alone in a room with right now: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, who had this to say about all women (not just Danica Patrick in particular):

Women should be all dressed in white like all other domestic appliances.


Bernie, when I kick your ass, I promise I'll be dressed entirely in white. Right down to my ultra-white 'n' shiny sneaker that I'll be putting up your ass.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

For the dads in my life

That includes my grandfather, my dad, and my wonderful, way-too-good-for-me husband:

Still Fighting It
Good morning, son.
I am a bird
wearing a brown polyester shirt.
You want a Coke?
Maybe some fries?
The roast beef combo's only nine ninety-five.
But it's OK.
You don't have to pay.
I've got all the change.

Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up.
But everybody does.
It's so weird to be back here.
Let me tell you what,
The years go on and
We're still fighting it,
We're still fighting it,
And you're so much like me.
I'm sorry.

Good morning, son.
In twenty years from now
Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers.
And I can tell you 'bout today
And how I picked you up and everything changed.
It was pain,
Sunny days and rain.
I knew you'd feel the same things.

Everybody knows
It sucks to grow up.
And everybody does.
It's so weird to be back here.
Let me tell you what,
The years go on and
We're still fighting it,
We're still fighting it.
You'll try and try
And one day you'll fly
Away from me.

It was pain,
Sunny days and rain.
I knew you'd feel the same things.

Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up.
And everybody does.
It's so weird to be back here.
Let me tell you what,
The years go on and
We're still fighting it,
We're still fighting it.
Oh, we're still fighting it,
We're still fighting it,

And you're
So much
Like me.
I'm sorry.

-Ben Folds


(For the record, I did not cry while typing the lyrics. Apparently, I only cry when actually listening to the song.)

Friday, June 17, 2005

Because "good enough" isn't good enough

Found this article through Rebel Dad, who got it from Playground Revolution. It's about the minds behind Alpha Mom TV, a cable channel for "the new breed of ‘go to’ moms who are constantly looking to be ahead of the curve and ‘in the know’ on the newest innovations, hippest trends and research breakthroughs.”

Hahahahahahaha.

Her channel will be like a support group or a church—the church of the immaculate perfection. Goal-oriented parents can go there and find comfort that they’re not alone, that others are also struggling to grow the perfect child. They’ll be told what to do and what not to do and how to do it better—discover how to boost their newborn’s coordination and strength; learn massage that “can help babies eat and sleep better”; hear “research-based explanations of how children separate and attach”; and obtain guidance on “raising overachievers.”


Grow "the perfect child"? As if there is such a thing. Children are people. No person is perfect. This is yet another competition that can't be won (no, not even if your precious little Harrison or Ashlynn scores the highest on the math quiz, or has the most friends over for his or her birthday party, or reads at an eighth-grade level). And, as it can't be "won," it's a false goal that serves only to set parents up for feeling like failures.

Ah, but has the channel thought of that already?

And when inevitably they’re frustrated in their goals, they’ll find programs for that, too: some calm high priestess of motherhood, some Oprah-meets-Martha image of perfection, coming on to absolve them for failing to be perfect today and bolstering their resolve to be more perfect tomorrow.


No, apparently not. Because however you slice it, it's still baloney about perfection: perfect parents, perfect kids. It's enough to make you want to drink yourself into a perfect oblivion, courtesy of several perfect martinis.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Insane in da meme brain, Insane in da brain!

Anyway, Halloweenlover over at lots and lots of nonsense... has tagged me for Phantom Scribbler's how-I-met-my-significant-other meme.

I met Not So Angry Husband at work. And we lived happily ever after. The end.

Sorry, but any further details could very well give me away. Plus, I'm lazy.

I've also been meaning to do the meme I saw over at Set Free (but I'm lazy and uncreative--see above meme--and don't feel like answering all of them):

My uncle once: gave me a Cars tape and a Pink Floyd tape for my 10th birthday.

Never in my life: did I not own a dog.

High school was: a time for (thankfully) unrequited crushes on English teachers, and lots of dating.

I will never forget: the worst things I've ever done.

I once met: Barney Frank, President Clinton, and Joe Lieberman. All the famous people I've met have been politicians.

Once at a bar: I won a beer by knowing the answer to the trivia question (The Grass Roots' "Midnight Confessions" came out in 1967).

By noon I'm usually: hungry.

Last night: I didn't do everything I had planned to do.

If only I had: more time for everything except work.

Next time I go to church: it will be for a wedding, a baptism, or a funeral.

When I turn my head left: I see my reflection in the mirror.

When I turn my head right: I see Not So Angry Husband typing away on his laptop, and the little dog licking his arm.

You know when I'm lying when: and if I decide to tell you--otherwise, you won't know.

Every day I think about: my lovely boy.

By this time next year: I'll be a year older.

I have a hard time understanding: bigotry.

If I ever go back to school I'll: go to med school.

You know I like you when: I give you shit. (And by "shit," I don't mean "stuff," as in material goods. I mean it as in, "APL, if you don't stop giving me shit about [embarrasing incident], I'm going to leave your sorry ass by the side of the road!")

If I won an award the first person I'd thank is: my parents.

My ideal breakfast is: a McDonald's Egg McMuffin and a hash brown. Or a Belgian Waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. Or a Waffle House Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich. Or a heap of crispy bacon. Mmmm.... This from the person who almost never eats breakfast.

A song I love, but do not have is: "Baker Street." Both the original by Gerry Rafferty and the Foo Fighters cover.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

While the Husband's away...

...the lawyer will:

  • feed her kid mostly fruit for dinner (and some shaved turkey and cheezy rice cakes)

  • clean up dog poop in the bedroom

  • watch Dogtown and Z-Boys

  • read yesterday's Post

  • check my work voicemail

  • do some work--meh, I'm behind on my hours

  • watch The Opposite of Sex

  • figure out why my doctor's office is expecting me to pay more than $200 for my last visit--why am I paying health insurance?!

Nauseated

Jessica Cutler, aka Washingtonienne, is on the radio this morning to promote her new book.

She sounds exactly as I imagined she would.

I know it's only 8:30, but I feel like I need another shower. *shudders*

Monday, June 13, 2005

Soliciting opinions

OK, a friend of mine wants your two cents. Having weighed in on this dilemma in person, I got my friend's permission to put this query to you folks, bursting with your bloggy wisdom. Let me know if I'm being nutty, or if my skeeves are well-founded.

You know Freecycle? I'm not familiar with its intricacies, but I know it basically lets people give away their shit for free, and, conversely, lets other folks get stuff for free. Win-win, right? Well, said friend's husband has mightily enjoyed using Freecycle over the past year or so. And why not? It's a great way to get stuff you need--plus, my friend and her husband have a little baby, and we all know how expensive baby stuff can be. Well, the other day, my friend's husband told his lovely wife about the latest Freecycle offering he wanted to take:

A used potty.

My friend wants to draw the line here. I totally support her decision, as I think it's skeevy to get a used potty, regardless of how well it's been cleaned prior to transfer of ownership. Also, most potty chairs I've seen are under $30. My friend assures me that a $25 potty seat would not break the bank.

So, please, tell me: Are we being silly about this used potty thing?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Nothing to see here

It's Sunday night, and I've had a great weekend. Saw a movie, Cinderella Man. It was really good. I still have a hard time reconciling that the hot, sensitive man on the screen is an ass in real life. Such an ass, in fact, that he was demoted from my Top Five* a few years back. But every time I see him on the screen, I temporarily forget (or forgive?) his jackassery and melt all over again.

Most notable about this movie was when I saw it: daylight hours! I don't think I've seen a non-midnight showing since Mother's Day 2004, when my mom and I went to see Mean Girls. I just find that my schedule is more conducive to seeing movies when everything else is done, and Angry Boy is asleep.

So since I had a great but not noteworthy weekend, I figured I'd shill for another blog I like, and one entry in particular: Halloweenlover Lots and Lots of Nonsense... writes about summer associate antics here. Summer associate stories are often amusing, and I'm always a little sad I have no good stories to share in this department.

*I'm a little embarrassed to list my Top Five here, as if it would detract from my more serious entries. Entries about, you know, baby poop 'n' stuff.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Gym is a many splendored thing

Instead of talking about dodgeball--or, more specifically, Ayelet Waldman's piece in Salon on dodgeball--I want to talk about a different gym memory.

One day in sixth grade, we were playing basketball in gym class. With about five minutes to go till the end of class, Mr. D blew his whistle and called us all over to one foul line. He pointed to one of our more athletic boys, J. He told J to stand on the foul line. He told the rest of us, "If you think J will make the shot, stand to his left. If you think he'll miss, stand to his right. Whichever group gets it wrong does five pushups." Most of us, myself included, moved to the left. The folks on the right were jeering, trying to psyc him out. He shot, and scored. I smiled as the other folks did pushups.

Then Mr. D picked another guy, who was pretty good at basketball but not great. The class split about half and half, left and right. He missed. Again, I had chosen right and didn't have to do any pushups.

"We've got time for one more," Mr. D said, and he looked right at me. "[APL]! On the line."

It was amazing. Almost the entire class moved to my right, even some of my friends. I have to think it's because I was a girl. The only people on my left were two girls I was really good friends with. Two girls I played outside with. Two girls who played H-O-R-S-E with me every damn day and therefore had seen me shoot from pretty much anywhere on the court. I looked again at the people on the right who were starting to yell, "Miss, miss, miss!"

I still remember exactly what I thought as I coolly dribbled, once, twice, three times, and took my shot: "Assholes."

The ball bounced off the backboard and dropped right in.

I still remember how great it felt to watch all those people doing pushups because of me.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Juiced

As easily amused as I am, I don't often laugh out loud at things (ask NSAH if you don't believe me--I hardly ever laugh out loud at his jokes, and he's a really funny guy).

But this post from A Girl Walks Into a Bar (Exam)... made me laugh out loud. And I don't think I appreciated it just because I could totally sympathize with the everything-is-conspiring-to-keep-me-from-studying-for-the-bar aspect of it. I think anyone would find this hilarious.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

So happy...

...because I'm spending the evening watching this. Finally. (Justjohn, I hope you're reading this post. And watching the DVDs, too!)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Idiots.

I never did feel like posting on the Times articles on the "hyper-rich"*, but one of the (many) stupid comments on the article's discussion thread just... well... you'll see:

"I find it absolutely amazing how vitriolic the attitudes are towards the wealth holders. As if making poor decisions that create your poverty are virtuous and noble! Why is it hard to understand that whether your condition is favorable or unfavorable, you have created it for yourself through your decisions. No person, organization, corporation or government is responsible for your poverty unless you are in a communist nation. In the United States, anyone can be rich if that is their decision. If you chose not to go to college, to remain uneducated and thus not likely to earn much money you have no one to blame but yourself. Quit pointing the finger at others and be accountable for your poor decisions."


I'm sure all the babies born into abject poverty in the U.S. would just love to hear that, had they not made such bad decisions, they would not be poor. Guess they should've chosen to be borne by upper-middle-class folks.

Jackass.

* but you should read what GeekyMom has to say about it.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I'm surprised I'm not deaf

I spent close to an hour just now making a list of all the concerts I've ever been to. I still don't think this is a complete list, but I've already devoted too much time to this, and my brain is fried. Commas between acts indicate co-headliners, parentheticals indicate opening acts (if I could remember them). I make no apologies for any of these.

No, not even Air Supply.

Peter, Paul & Mary
Sting (Concrete Blonde)
Eric Clapton (Buckwheat Zydeco, Mark Knopfler) (3x)
Billy Joel (2x)
Bonnie Raitt (Charles Brown, Ruth Brown, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones) (3x)
Indigo Girls (Disappear Fear, Ulali) (2x)
Boston
Air Supply
Billy Idol (Faith No More)
Bon Jovi (Skid Row)
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Kenny Loggins
Duran Duran
Screaming Trees, Soul Asylum, Spin Doctors
10,000 Maniacs
Nine Inch Nails (Marilyn Manson)
Bob Dylan, Paul Simon
Shawn Colvin
Gladys Knight & the Pips
Peter, Paul & Mary
Beach Boys
Aimee Mann, Michael Penn
Aimee Mann
Aimee Mann Christmas Show (Grant-Lee Phillips, Fred Armisen)
Jonatha Brooke (2x)
Guster (Ray LaMontagne, Pete Yorn) (3x)
John Mayer (Guster)
Barenaked Ladies (Guster, Tal Bachmann) (2x)
Mike Watt w/ Eddie Vedder (Foo Fighters)
Cracker (Counting Crows)
Bjorn Again
They Might Be Giants (NRBQ)
Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
Gravity's Pull
Wallflowers
James Taylor
Elton John
Melissa Ethridge
Chicago
Peter Gabriel
The Samples
Steely Dan
Pearl Jam
Toad the Wet Sprocket

WHFStival: Too Much Joy, Robyn Hitchcock, Violent Femmes, more I don't remember
HFSMas Holiday Nutcracker: Live, the Go-Gos, Pete Droge, Evan Dando, Veruca Salt, Freedy Johnston, Big Audio Dynamite, Simple Minds
Lilith Fair: Jill Sobule, Susanna Hoffs, Emmylou Harris, Joan Osborne, Jewel, Indigo Girls, Sarah McLachlan
G105 Big Shindig: Barenaked Ladies, Shawn Colvin, Cowboy Mouth, Duncan Sheik, Poe, Verve Pipe, Cravin Melon, Sister Hazel
Unlimited Sunshine Tour: Cake, Tegan & Sara, Gogol Bordello

June 7 Update: I remembered another after turning off the computer. The Moody Blues. Will update this same list as I recall any others.

June 7 Update, Part II: OK, just got off the phone with my mom. We remembered that we also saw (I'm so ashamed that I forgot her the first time around) Aretha Franklin!!! Forgive me, 'Retha!

June 8 Update: Liz's update reminded me of more. Christine Lavin once, and Seamus Kennedy at least twice (he always flirts with my cool aunt when we go see him).

That other book meme

Lots of folks have done it, most recently Phantom Scribbler and MysteryMommy. Now it's my turn:

Number of books I own: Just under 600 are accounted for on shelves and tables and nightstands throughout the house. However, NSAH and I recently came to the conclusion that there must be some books still packed up somewhere, because just last week we couldn't find some that we know we own.

Last book I bought: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. I highly recommend it, even though I can't get hot 'n' bothered about all of Ehrenreich's complaints about the hourly-wage world (I mean, c'mon, is it that hard to refrain from smoking pot?)

Last book I read: Nickel and Dimed was the last book I read, too. Unless you want to get technical. In which case, it was Tails by Matthew Van Fleet, which NSAH and I both read to Angry Boy before bedtime tonight.

Five books that mean a lot to me: I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words by Michael Frith (first book I ever read on my own, can't remember how old I was).
The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander (read them over and over again through elementary school--yes, I'm counting that as one book, leave me alone)
Postcards From the Edge by Carrie Fisher (first time I ever read a book where I swore the author was in my head--I was 15)
Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron (read it during a weird period of my life)
My copy of Where the Wild Things Are autographed by Maurice Sendak

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I'm soooo tiiired...

... she said, quoting Madeleine Kahn.

Anyhoo, yes, I'm fatigued. But enough about me. Y'all want the dish on Liz at MysteryMommy, donchya?

Buzzards.

I had a great time. A comfortable time. I'll give you an example: I usually try to look nice when meeting someone for the first time, especially if it's someone I want to make a good impression on. But c'mon, people, it's Liz. I picked a comfy T-shirt with no swear words on it--untucked--and a pair of khaki shorts. And, wonderful woman that she is, she was wearing practically the same outfit. So I knew we were going to hit it off.

And Muffin Man? So cute AND smart. And he's got that happy, quiet confidence that I really like in kids.* Angry Boy was totally at ease with MM, as well as his mommy. He gave them nice waves "bye-bye" as we left for the afternoon. We have to go back there (we went to a petting zoo).

We decided it would be easy enough for us to try to get together with the boys once a month. I really hope we do--I don't usually get to participate in outings with AB and another young kid. He's either in daycare or just with grown-ups. Plus, since MM's older, he's more like a role model.

So the morning was great. What wasn't great was the afternoon, when AB refused to nap for more than 45 minutes (he's usually 2 to 2.5 hours). ACK! He was just wired from the morning, and his sleep schedule was thrown off a little because he wound up catching some zzzzs in the car on the way home this morning. Because of his lack of sleep he was going from zero to cranky in 3.6 seconds. Luckily, he was interspersing the true Angry Boy persona with bouts of immense sweetness, wherein he'd take my face in his hands and say, "Mommy hug, Mommy kiss!" And then he's pull my face toward his for a big smooch.

Later in the afternoon, the three of us walked to the local ice cream parlor and had a nice, cold treat. Shortly after that, I wound up meeting an old girlfriend (she's not old--I just mean that we've been friends since 6th grade) for dinner. We talked for ever, and I just got home a little while ago. I feel like I've been running on fumes since 2 p.m., and I am wiped.

So no comments from me on either the Times piece on the hyper-rich (but you can read The Deviant Lawyer's take on it here) or the Washington Post Magazine piece on grade inflation. I hope some of the academic bloggers post their thoughts on this story. It makes my blood boil.

Yeah, so I'm calling it a night... as soon as I go over to MysteryMommy and see if she posted about me!

*Angry Boy, on the other hand, was a total freak. I mean, I'm glad he enjoyed himself so much. But he started being a whiny boy whenever we started walking away from the animals (even if we were walking away from the animals in order to go see more animals--arg!). Luckily, at various points he got so excited that Liz got to see him do what we call his "Flashdance" move: he stands in one place and moves his feet really fast, picking up his knees, a la Jennifer Beals.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Scapegoat of the Year

Judges. Yes, judges.

Anytime things don't go your way, blame "activist" judges. They're interpreting the law as it currently stands? "Activist!" They're following binding precedent? "Activist!" They're ruling any way that is counter to your own personal interests? "Activist!"

I'm sick of this war that legislators, backed by the Executive branch, are waging on the judiciary. The latest salvo was launched by Virginia state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli. The Fourth Circuit--easily the most conservative and thus most predictable Court of Appeals, God bless 'em--overturned a Virginia law that would have banned partial-birth abor...oh, excuse me. Partial-birth "infanticide," according to the law. This law was in essence identical to the Nebraska law that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a couple of years ago. So clearly the Fourth Circuit is hamstrung. That is to say, even if the individual judges don't believe that the law is unconstitutional (based on their personal interpretations of the Constitution), they are bound to follow Supreme Court precedent which is directly on point. Simple, right?

Not so for Ken Cuccinelli, who was apparently anticipating that the Fourth Circuit would give the A-OK to the law. His response:

"We've got a major problem and it's not with the legislature, it's with the courts," Cuccinelli said. "Because of these sorts of rulings . . . we get a bunch of judges that want to write their own policy into the Constitution."


I wonder what the ellipses was for. "Because of these sorts of rulings, which refuse to bow to the whims of evangelistic Republicans, we get a bunch of judges that want to write their own policy into the Constitution"?

Anyone else feel like venturing a guess?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Oy.

I had started this day happy and exuberant, planning to post tonight some more about the latest NYT class articles. Then I arrived at work.

I'll spare you the details. Suffice it to say that I'm eschewing my usual post-work beer and/or Diet Coke for the hard stuff and that I'm drowning my sorrows in some really good leftover Chinese takeout (chicken and snow peas, with a ton of water chestnuts).

I am, however, very much looking forward to Sunday's NYT piece, which will be about the hyper-rich! Exciting! Schadenfreude!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Case for One?

Phantom has posted about Baby Blue's sleep issues, and in the course of doing so revealed that LG was fairly easy to "sleep train."

I had no advice on the Baby Blue issue because we were so lucky with AB with respect to sleep. We always put him down for the night in his crib, and he started sleeping through the night when he was 3 months old. Moreover, he was always good about taking naps, and sleeping frequently throughout the day. This is a kid who likes his sleep--definitely my boy (according to my parents, I never fought about bedtime; I was always quite willing and happy to call it a night).

In fact, AB's been easy with respect to lots of things.* He latched on well right off the bat, but I didn't feel like he was nursing all the time. He switched from a bottle to a sippy cup with ease. Right now he's fairly adept at using a regular cup (I say "fairly adept"--we do have spills if I'm not watching him, and sometimes even when I am watching him). He is a wonderful eater: he loves his veggies, fruits, meats, cheeses, grains. Personality-wise, he's no more shy than a typical toddler: he takes a little while to warm up to new people but does eventually, and he flat-out adores his extended family. And as for intellect, I couldn't ask for a brighter kid.

All of which have made me and Not So Angry Husband ask, "Well, he's so easy, why don't we have another?"** And a big part of me does want to have another kid. But there's a gut feeling telling me that it's all a trick. That it's all a careful ruse. That God has blessed us with our easy little AB in order to dupe us into having a second child who will, inevitably, be the spawn of Satan: colicky 24-7, willful to the point of driving us insane, etc., etc.

It doesn't help that a lot of my friends are first-borns who tell horror stories about the second children, their immediate younger siblings, growing up. So that's a huge reason that I like reading Phantom's cute stories about Baby Blue, and Scrivener's cute stories about Chloe, and Mieke's cute stories about Gabo, among others. They remind me of the wonderful reasons to have a second child.

*Raising AB has been difficult with respect to some things, of course. Some big things. Like his health. I'm still hoping those problems will fade as the years go by.

**Asking less as we deal with the early onset of the "terrible twos," which started rearing up at around 18 months. He's certainly quicker to whine or fuss, and we have to remind him to use his words and to look us in the eye. But, knock on wood, no major tantrums yet. Of course, just by typing this, I have guaranteed that he will freak the hell out on Saturday when we meet Liz (MysteryMommy) and Muffin Man for a morning at the animal park.