Sunday, July 31, 2005

To Not So Angry Husband

Thank you for staying married to me:

Even though I don't laugh at your jokes (while you're looking).
Even though I accuse you of being long-winded (hey, you're an INTJ, too--you should know how hard it is to listen to someone ramble!)
Even though it takes me just as long to get through a story.
Even though I can be a hypocrite (see previous two entries).
Even though I have crumpled napkins and cut-out coupons on my nightstand.
Even though I'm not the most mentally stable person 100% of the time (only 95% of the time, apparently).
Through law school.
Through studying for the bar exam.

Couldn't have done this (and by "this," I mean "have a life that includes the best thing that ever happened to either of us, our little moo cow Angry Boy") with anyone else. Happy anniversary.

Hell's Kitchen

Thanks to the pictures in a Richard Scarry book and some hectic foraging among our kitchen cabinets for illustrative purposes, Angry Boy is now familiar with (and can say the words for) the following kitchen implements:
  • colander

  • ladle

  • whisk

  • measuring spoons

Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Frivolity

Overall, Your Observation Skills Get: A-
Hardly anything gets by you...
You have a great memory and eagle eyes









Your English Skills:



Grammar: 100%

Punctuation: 100%

Spelling: 100%

Vocabulary: 80%



I'm not as observant as NSAH, generally. He can spot a typo from miles away. I only spot the funny and/or obvious ones, like seeing a breakfast joint that called itself the "WAFLE HOUSE" on a drive somewhere in rural Massachusetts.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Maybe his fists are supposed to be waaaay bigger?

I'm sick of seeing these ads for Gerber Graduates where they show a tiny fist and a voice says, "Remember, moms, your toddler's stomach is only as big as her little fist!"

I remember, I remember. I read it in the parenting books, and I learned it again while watching shows like "American Baby" when I was on maternity leave. But somebody had better tell Angry Boy. The kid can pack it away like a camel. He's eaten entire bowls of (gas-inducing) broccoli, adult-size fruit plates, and multiple slices of watermelon without pause.

I tried to read this book, but could never get into it




You're The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

by Douglas Adams

Considered by many to be one of the funniest people around, you are
quite an entertainer. You've also traveled to the far reaches of what you deem possible,
often confused and unsure of yourself. Life continues to jostle you around like a marble,
but it's shown you so much of the world that you don't care. Wacky adventures continue to
lie ahead. Your favorite number is 42.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Solidarity

Why do some women feel the need to cut their female coworkers down?

Are they so insecure about their own standing within a predominately male-led company that they view other women as a threat?

Are they of the opinion that, since their climb up the ladder was so difficult and unpleasant, the women who follow must suffer the same fate?

Are they simply dense morons who never learned how to relate to other human beings?

I'm honestly curious. I've been lucky enough to work with some wonderful women in my various jobs--women that I looked up to, women that took me under their wings, women I could confide in, seek advice from. In fact, I think I'd be lost at my job if I weren't surrounded by cool women, some of whom also happen to be married and/or moms.

But every now and then, I hear stories from my friends about their female coworkers that make my blood boil.* Aren't we all supposed to be in this together? The cover story of last week's Economist (the article isn't free online, so I didn't bother to link) proclaims that women are still not acheiving higher positions on the corporate ladder. Maybe I'm naive, but how are women supposed to excel when they don't even have the other women at work supporting them?

* I also hear anger-inducing stories about male coworkers/bosses. Those piss me off, too, but for some reason I feel more ... I don't know ... betrayed when I hear about horrible female coworkers/bosses.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Another meme

Liz tagged me for this one:

1. What were three of the stupidest things you have done in your life?

This is very hard for me to answer because I have very few regrets, in that I like very much where I am right now, and I wouldn't be here if anything else had been different. Plus, I tend to look for the good in all things, so I don't dwell on the stupid things I've done. But here goes:

a) The stupidest thing wasn't really my fault, so I'm not even sure if it counts.
b) I dated a guy who told me I was the least considerate person he'd ever met… and I continued to think I wanted to be with him
c) For the third thing, can I just combine all the occasions in my life in which I had "too much" to drink? Good, OK.

2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life?

Angry Boy.

3. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to only pick up five people to dine with, who would you pick?

Scrivener said it best:

Why would I want to use a time machine to plan a dinner party? Shouldn't I be using it to go back in time and buy stock in Microsoft or IBM or to warn the Navy about Pearl Harbor or to get photographic evidence of Dubya snorting coke and burning American flags while AWOL? And who exactly is giving me a time machine but then ordering me to only use it to dine with five people?


4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?

Rather than being altruistic, because everyone's snagged the good answers to this (e.g., no hunger, world peace, etc.), I'll go the selfish route:

a) I wish neither NSAH nor I ever had to work again.
b) I wish our house was "finished"--that is, the addition we're talking about would already be on, the new deck would be on, all the rooms would be painted, and we'd have plenty of furniture (we've been getting by with just 3 dining room chairs for more than a year now).
c) I wish I had time to read again (see answer (a)).

5. Someone is visiting your hometown/place where you live at the moment. Name two things you regret your city not having, and two things people should avoid.

Regret not having:
A good fishmarket
A minor league baseball team

Things to avoid:
Driving at or below the speed limit
At this time of year, being outside between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

6. Name one event that has changed your life.

Having AB

7. Tag 3 people.

No.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Two Faces of Angry Boy

Angry Boy had another small meltdown this morning as we went our separate ways: me in my car, him in Not So Angry Husband's car. Here's NSAH's description of AB in the car this morning:

In the car, he quickly stopped whining and enjoyed a new game when we were stopped at the light. I put the [toy plastic] chicken nugget on top of the passenger seat and balanced him until I pushed him and made him fall. He thought it was funny. We played with Grimace, too. When I would put one of them on the headrest, he would laugh and say, “Be careful.” But then he’d say, “Daddy, push!” So he was concerned with their welfare, but only to a point. Ah, my little Caligula.


NSAH's description of the transfer from car to daycare:

“WAAAAAHHH SCREEEEEEEEEEEE (pause, sniff) WAAAAAAHHHHH …”

(pause in front of newsstand with Sesame characters in window) “Look, who is that?”

(sniff … sniff)

“Is that Elmo?”

(sniff … sniff)

“And is that Big Bird?”

(sniff … sniff)

“Who is that?” (sniff) “Is that Grover?”

(sniff …)

“OK, let’s go to your room.”

“waaaaAAAAAAHHHHHHH …. (beep beep [on the keypad door]) AAAAHHHH (beep beep, open) … oooh, pig. And Elephant …”


Yes, the room where AB goes to daycare frequently has a pile of plastic animals on the floor, and he runs to that pile every day upon entering. No matter how grumpy he is, he usually brightens upon seeing that pile. So he was instantly fine again:

He was fine in [his room at daycare]. W----'s dad came in and started picking up animals, then giving them the wrong names. AB was quick to correct. “Is that a dog?” “Noooo, sheep!” And so on.

He again answered an emphatic “Yes” when I asked if he’d be good, and he gave me a nice “Bye-bye Daddy.”


Pissy to sweet to pissy to sweet in no time flat. My head spins.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Lest you think he's perfect

Angry Boy has been living up to his name lately. Everything is a battle. Or a whine. He freaks out when I put a diaper on him. He freaks out when I take off his PJ shirt. He freaks out when I put on his shirt for school. He freaks out in the evening when those two events are reversed. He cries and cries for his "strawbees'n'nanas." He fights against us when we try to buckle him in the carseat.

In short, he's acting like a two-year-old.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Cursed no more

Halloweenlover asked recently how I wound up a Red Sox fan. It's not a simple answer. No "I was born in Boston," no "I went to college in Boston," no "my parents were from Boston and so I was raised a Sox fan from birth." As far as I know, no members of my family have ever lived in Boston.

It's all Ted Williams' fault.

Teddy Ballgame turned my grandfather (my mother's father) into a die-hard Red Sox fan, and since then, my grandfather has managed to pass his affliction on to the rest of us. For example, my mom was a Yankees fan... until 1967, when my grandfather got my mom transfixed during the playoffs. My mom fell in love with the '67 Sox, especially Yaz. My grandfather saw his opening. He shared all of the history with her: the early World Series victories, the curse of the Bambino, the 1946 World Series, the grandiose failures. From that moment on, my mom was hooked. (She never rooted for the Yankees again, either, thank God.)

As I grew up, my mom made sure I followed baseball. She took me to Orioles games, as Baltimore was the closest big-league city. Naturally, I grew up an Orioles fan. I knew my mom was a Red Sox fan, but we could both root for the O's (so long as they werne't playing Boston). As a kid in the mid-'80s, I loved Cal Ripken, Fred Lynn, Eddie Murray, and Rick Dempsey. In 1986, I started playing softball. I couldn't throw very far, so they put me in at catcher. I started learning more about other catchers, and decided that my catcher role model should be Gary Carter of the then-hot Mets. As the Mets made their way to the playoffs, I rooted for them (mostly for Carter). When it came down to the Mets and the Sox in the '86 Series, I was hoping the Mets would beat my mom's Sox.

Then Game 6 happened. I couldn't believe the Mets' luck. I was thrilled. Then I saw my mom's face. I immediately felt like crap for rooting for the Mets. I tried to make her feel better.

"It's OK, they can still win tomorrow."
"No, they won't."
"You don't know that. They could win."

And that's when she proceeded to tell me everything. The Curse. Pesky holding the ball. Bucky Dent.

And I knew she was right, and the Sox wouldn't win Game 7 (they didn't). And I also knew that from that moment on, I would commit myself to a team that not only failed to win the World Series, but failed spectacularly. We're talking falls from glory on par with what you see in Greek tragedies.

As the years passed, few things pissed me off more than those asshats who declared that, if Boston ever won it all, all Sox fans would be miserable because we'd have nothing to complain about.

To those people, I want to say, "I'm still on a high from last year. Jackass."

Friday, July 22, 2005

Another kind of APR to make you roll your eyes

I haven't been paying much attention to the news lately, which you can infer from the content of my recent posts (abortion stats post being the exception). Work's been so busy that I haven't had as much time to look through the Post, the Times, or Salon.

The only news I've been getting lately seems to come from bloggers. I've read about the AVIAN Act at Phantom Scribbler, and Scrivener has been covering the shit out of the Victoria Plame leak.

At the moment (i.e., this very second), the news story that has me the most irate is the latest idiotic idea from the NCAA: the Academic Progress Rate. If you go to or went to or just root for an ACC school, SEC school, Pac-10 school, Big 12 school, Big Ten school, or practically any school that isn't in the Ivy League* (which theoretically doesn't give athletic scholarships), you should be pissed off about this rule. The Post's Sally Jenkins has done a good job explaining what's wrong with the APR:

The APR works on a points scale, with 1,000 the highest score. If a school repeatedly falls below 925, because, for instance, it produces too many great basketball or football players who turn pro early, it can be kicked out of the NCAA tournament or a bowl game, no matter what the academic standing of the players.


But, as she explains earlier in the column,
The so-called reformers all wring their hands publicly about trying to legislate academic morality, when the fact is, if they would emphasize decent academic standards on their individual campuses, they wouldn't need a grandstand play like the APR.


Apparently, in coming up with this moronic plan, the NCAA didn't get any input from the coaches, which is incredibly arrogant. Happily, the NCAA is going to be reviewing the APR rules next week. They'd better rethink the best way to achieve their stated goal of more and better "student-athletes."

* Sorry, Phantom.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

My crazy family

But crazy in a good way. A couple of weeks back, I received a birthday card in the mail from one of my aunts (who is so incredibly sweet and completely goofy in just the best way, like almost everyone else I'm related to). Nice, yes? Well, just last week, I received another birthday card from her. My immediate thought was, "Oh, Aunt So-and-So, you're so typical of our chaotic family that you forgot you already sent me a card." Then I opened the card and read the inscription:

Guess what? You get 2 b-day cards from us this year because I forgot about the other one till I started addressing this one--then deja vu struck!! You could say I've been under a lot of stress lately--or Alzheimer's is setting in early...


OK, so she was addressing the envelope for card #2, when it dawned on her that she'd already sent me a card. At this point, she hadn't written anything in card #2. Wouldn't most people in this situation trash the envelope and keep the card for future use, maybe for someone else's b-day? Envelopes are easy to come by, after all. Not my aunt. She goes right ahead and sends the second card, too, informing me of her brain fart. My relatives crack me the hell up.

(When this particular aunt mentioned she was heading to Boston before my birthday, and asked whether I might like some Red Sox stuff for my birthday, I squealed with delight. She then tried to persuade me to give her some other gift suggestions, like DVDs or books, but I would not budge. "Red Sox stuff, Red Sox stuff!" My poor child has no chance of becoming a normal sports fan, does he?)

10,000

My 10,000th visitor? Not Scrivener or pottyphobe/NutsoRanter--they were 9,998 and 9,999.

Nope, it was Not So Angry Husband. Yay, and thanks to everyone who pops by, whether frequently or infrequently.

Politico groupie

Last night I saw the first black president of the United States. Barack Obama spoke in Arlington at a Tim-Kaine-for-Governor event.

That man is a rock star. When he came on stage, the speakers blasted U2's "Elevation," and the crowd went nuts. Afterward, my friend and I--and at least a dozen others--stood by the exit just to watch him do a few interviews and take a few pictures.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Statistics

Interesting article in the Post today on abortion statistics. Some stats that jumped out at me:
  • Six in 10 women who had abortions in 2002 were mothers.

  • Sixty percent of women who had abortions in 2000 had incomes of less than twice the poverty level--e.g., below $28,000 per year for a family of three. The explanation for this is that poor women have less access to birth control or family planning/counseling.

  • Almost 90 percent of abortions are performed in the first trimester.

  • Less than 1 percent of abortions are performed after 24 weeks.


And the number of abortions performed has been going down. If that's because more women are receiving family planning advice and/or have increased access to contraception, then I'm thrilled. If that's because more states are attempting to restrict access to abortion providers, then I think I'll be doubling my contribution to Planned Parenthood.

Monday, July 18, 2005

You sure you wouldn't rather watch the HypnoToad?

Being the beneficiary of a link from a well-known blog is like getting an unexpected visit from some neighbors.

Plan A in that scenario is as follows: I rush around in my robe--ah, who'm I kidding? I don't wear a robe. I rush around in my underwear, kicking children's toys and books under the sofa or stashing them in big blue Rubbermaid tubs, yelling, "Just a minute! I'll be right out!" Maybe I even have a split second to grab the Dustbuster and suck up some of the massive clumps of dog hair that seem to just pop up everywhere. Except that whereas neighbors stand outside the door rolling their eyes in impatience, blog visitors can just come on in.

So I'll have to fall back on Plan B: "Hi, thanks for stopping by. Please ignore the clutter."

Really, in going back and looking at what I've posted in the past few days, I've noticed that it's not very coherent or organized. There is no theme or leitmotif (unless "random" is a leitmotif of sorts). I want to say to any of you newcomers, as Oscar Madison at the Columnist Manifesto exhorted you to do, please look at the archives. That is, don't judge based on my current front page. I'm really not that vapid. Or chaotic.

OK, possibly I am chaotic. But I do have depth, I swear.

Actually, Oscar Madison's link gives me a good excuse to explain the moniker. I started blogging in late 2002 and shortly thereafter realized that not only was I a lawyer and pregnant, I was angry a lot. And I also noticed that my anger combined with the awesome power of my pregnancy and the sheer force of lawyer-ness made people extremely apprehensive around me. And I liked it--mwahahahahaha. Hence the name. One of the reasons I kept it after giving birth to Angry Boy is that I really like the cadence of it. Although, where as Oscar Madison thinks of Single Female Lawyer from "Futurama," I think of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer from "SNL." Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

Anyway, I hope any newcomers will like enough of the fluff and clutter to return on the days I really do have something important to say.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I got nuthin'

I don't read Harry Potter, so I have nothing to contribute on that front.

Had a good weekend, so no rants (I'll simply say I'm sick of other drivers nearly crashing into my car).

And I'm pretty obsessed with this site right now. Haven't ordered anything yet. Just having fun trying to create the ugliest thing possible.

XM is feeding my iTunes addiction

Took my husband's car yesterday and heard a few good songs on XM's Lucy channel:

  • "Being Simple" by the Judybats, which also made me want to see if iTunes had their other hit (if any Judybats song can really be called a "hit"), "Ugly on the Outside."

  • "Is It Like Today" by World Party

  • "Summertime" by the Sundays

Friday, July 15, 2005

Friday frivolity

Quick, before you all go read your new book, tell me:



I'm
a Gryffindor!


This is good, right?

Oh, and I saw this at Blonde Justice and Woman of the Law:

You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Crappy afternoon

I know I missed the Wednesday Whine by one day, and this isn't even a champion whine, but I need to vent:

Work was sloooooooooow today. But I knew it would be, and I was OK with that. In fact, by 10 a.m., I'd already decided I would leave as soon as I heard from opposing counsel and we got a deal straightened out. Really, I just wanted to be able to leave by 3:30 so I could meet my mom and Angry Boy at the movie theater to catch the showing of "March of the Penguins" they were attending. So I sat around and waited. I left messages, I sent emails. No response. Of course, by the end of the workday, I realized I could've left early and seen the movie, because it's not like I missed a call or anything. Grrrr.

Second whine: Oh, and Schilling's back, so Yay!, except that he just gave up a 2-run homer in the top of the 9th. Grrrrr! More rehab for you!

Earth below us, drifting, falling

Spock's Log has a post about the failed shuttle launch. Well, the post starts out about the launch but then goes deeper into NASA's problems. I was saddened by the post, even though I know where he's coming from. Like him, I grew up a fan of space travel. I went to Cape Canaveral, I joined a huge crowd just to watch a plane carrying a shuttle prototype land, and I had a NASA patch sewn into the arm of my jean jacket in junior high (shut up).

I think I inherited my love of the idea of space travel from my mother, who applied for the Teacher in Space program. She was crushed (although not surprised) that she wasn't the one who got to go in the Challenger, but she was incredibly excited for Christa McAuliffe in the months leading up to that launch.

January 28, 1986 was a teacher workday, so my mom was at her school doing administrative stuff. I was at my father's house, doing homework in my room. I had the radio on, and I thought I heard the DJ say something about the Challenger blowing up. I knew that couldn't be right, so I ran downstairs and turned on the TV in the family room. They were showing the footage. I couldn't believe my eyes. I felt sick inside. And I selfishly thought of myself, and of how glad I was it wasn't my mom. I picked up the phone and called my mom's school, because I knew she'd be there. They paged her to come to the phone, and I had to break the news to her. Her reaction was one of disbelief (as was everyone's at first).

"What? No. Are you sure?"

"Yes, Mom! Go turn on a TV!"

For years after that, I wondered if she had stopped dreaming about going into space. We certainly didn't talk about it anymore. Then, in 1997, the movie Contact came out. Without even talking to my mom, I knew that she had seen the movie and had completely identified with the burning desire of Ellie Arroway to be sent into space. To this day, I know that if space travel did become the common means of travel we thought (and hoped) it would be, my mom would be one of the first people in line, shuttle ticket in hand. I'd be right behind her.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Na na na na na na na na Bath Man!

Others may claim to be bad mamas, but I was truly a mean--almost negligent--mom. Until tonight.

Tonight, Angry Boy got his first bubble bath. He screamed as he was being put into it, but then he calmed right down. He really loved the bubbles, although it was a constant struggle to keep him from eating them. I would've thought bubbles tasted bad, but apparently not. NSAH got some great pictures of him with a crown and beard of bubbles. Quite tasteful.

Which reminds me of another way I'm a bad mom: kid's nearly two and I don't have any nekkid pictures of him. I guess I'll have to be content with embarassing teenage AB with the bubblebath pictures when his girlfriends come over.

Tribulations of the a.m. drop off

Got the following email from Not So Angry Husband this morning (only slightly edited by me; kids' names are indicated with first initial and random hyphens):

Strange morning. He was fine in the car, but when we pulled in [to the daycare parking lot], he started saying something I couldn’t quite understand: “coppa... coppa... coppa...”

I told him I didn’t understand, and I started to unbuckle him. “Daddy... coppa... coppa...”

Me: "Grampa? Copper?" (as I lift him out of the car)

AB: "Coppa! Coppa!" (as he starts to cry a little)

Me: "Cowpa? Want me to put you down?"

AB: "Coppa! ... Mehmuhbuhdah (shriek) coppa!!!!" (starts to cry a lot, not consoled by the presence of G----- and Z------)

Me: "Cup o’joe? COPPA, the federal act regulating Internet registration for kids under 13?" (picking up the pace and waving quickly to the cleaning lady at the door, [whom he usually flirts with every morning and who always smiles back])

AB: "No, Daddy! (shriek, pause to look at cleaning lady who’s waving with concern) COPPAA!!!" (kicks me and changes from words to shrieks)

Me: "Coppa?" (sprinting through the lobby and opting for the side door, mistakenly thinking the echo will be quieter)

(AB shrieks, kicks his feet and cries)

Me: "Want to see your friends?" (tapping in the keypad code so quickly that I messed it up at first and had to wait for it to reset)

(AB shrieks and kicks a little more. We get in the door, I take a few steps in and crouch with him.)

[Lovely daycare worker #1]: "What’s wrong, [Angry Boy]?"

D-----: "[Angry Boy]’s crying."

AB (calming slightly but slowly): "DADDY! … Dad-dy …"

[LDW #1]: "Daddy’s right there!"

Me: "I have no idea what’s upset him this morning."

AB slowly calmed down and went into that post-cry sniffle that’s both pathetic and cute. He held on tight and patted me on the shoulder. I asked if he wanted to go into his room, and he didn’t respond.

By the time we got through the gate, he was fine. He went straight to a puzzle and danced a little to the music that was playing. N---- was dancing a lot, S--- was happily showing me toys, W------ was happy with his dad and the new kid E---- was sitting on [Lovely Daycare Worker #2]'s lap. He slowly took pieces out of an animal puzzle. I asked him to identify a couple of the animals, which he did with a bit of enthusiasm. I got a nice "bye-bye, Daddy" and decided to get out before I pushed my luck any more.

...

(And no, I didn’t actually ask him if he was referring to COPPA regulations, but it did cross my mind.)

# # #


I don't envy his morning.

Ebbers Sentenced to 25 Years

In other words, DAAAYYYYY-ummmmm.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Deconstructing Gwen

Read Kristen's tale of her kids singing their hilarious lyrics to "Hollaback Girl."

It made me laugh out loud a few times, and also reminded me of this funny article, which presents a really good explanation of what Gwen's singing about.

Second verse, same as the first!

On the weekend, before I got all your great recommendations for kids' books, I went to Borders to buy books for a friend's child, and OF COURSE wound up buying two books for Angry Boy. I broke out the second of the new books tonight. It's The Wheels on the Bus.

It has the lyrics of the song, accompanied by corresponding pictures. It also happens to repeat the lead verse (i.e., wheels of the bus go round and round, round and round, etc.) as the last verse.

Angry Boy was having none of it. Every time I got to the last page and started to repeat the first verse, as I was bound to do by the words cast in black print on the page, he shook his head vigorously and drowned out my melodic reading with:

"No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no."

This happened at least a half dozen times (that's how many times he wanted me to re-read it in a row before we got ready for bed).

One of these days, I'll have to explain to him what a "reprise" is.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Reading is fundamental

Phantom Scribbler and her pixies are writing about kids' books. Rather than gobbling up all of her comment space, I decided to list some of Angry Boy's favorites here (these are the ones I have memorized):

Moo, Baa, La La La, Sandra Boynton
Blue Hat, Green Hat, Sandra Boynton
Where Is Elmo's Blanket, Nancy Stevenson
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle
Tails, Matthew Van Fleet
Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell
Perky Parrot Learns to Count, ???
Panga Panther Learns Shapes, ???
Minky Monkey's Busy Day, ???
Kipper's A to Z, Mick Inkpen
The King, the Mice and the Cheese, Nancy & Eric Gurney

I've also got my Amazon.com wishlist stocked with books for when he's older, so I won't forget to buy them for him when the time comes (think Lloyd Alexander, John Christopher, Alfred Slote). My wishlist is less of a list of things that I want and more of a APL-is-already-senile-and-will-forget-anything-that's-not-written-down list. Hooray for technology.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Indescribable

Had a great weekend, despite putting in a few hours both days for work. Angry Boy was so good, even though we did a ton of stuff: petting zoo, busy McDonald's, bigass shopping mall (including The Disney Store), farm.... Plus, I got to see Batman Begins.

Too tired to recount how awesome this weekend was, so I'm going to do this alphabet thingy I saw at Justaskjudy:

A is for Age: nearing a milestone (i.e., it ends in 0 or 5)
B is for Booze: Bourbon, preferably Maker's Mark. And beer is always good, too.
C is for Career: Law-talkin' guy
D is for Dad's name: He changed it when he left his home country
E is for Essential Item to bring to a Party: Wine, because I can't think of anything else to bring
F is for Favorite Songs at the Moment: As far as things I hear on the radio, Coldplay's "Speed of Sound" and the Foo Fighters' "Best of You." I also put Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head back in my car's CD player, so I've been listening to that again.
G is for Goof-off thing to do: Read the paper, read blogs.
H is for Hometown: It's much bigger now than it was when I lived there
I is for Instrument you play: I don't play anything well. I can still play piano, harmonica, and a little guitar.
J is for Jam or Jelly you like: I prefer strawberry. Pretty much anything but orange marmalade is good.
K is for Kids: Just Angry Boy.
L is for Living arrangement: me, Not So Angry Husband, Angry Boy, old dog and young dog
M is for Mom's name: The popularity of my mom's name has been declining pretty steadily since the year of her birth.
N is for Names of best friends: Rabbit, Mambo, Jess, Pottyphobe
O is for overnight hospital stays: one in 2002, one in 2003
P is for Phobias: SNAKES! I am a total snake-aphobe, worse than Indiana Jones.
Q is for Quote you like: For a classic, "Lord, we know what we are but know not what we may be." For one that's more like me, "I think these will be remembered as my nice years, quickly to be followed by the sullen months, and then, of course, the obscure decades."
R is for Relationship that lasted longest: NSAH and I have been together since September 9, 1996, the night of the Wallflowers concert.
S is for Siblings: I'm an only child.
T is for Texas, ever been?: A couple of times.
U is for Unique trait: Although I have never lived in New York and I speak with a non-descript accent (I guess you could call it mid-Atlantic, if anything), as a result of rooming with a Bronx girl, I can no longer say "laundry" without making it all Bronxy, like "laaawuhndry."
V is for Vegetables you love: Mmm, fresh tomatoes. I can eat them like apples.
W is for Worst traits: Impatience with the people I love sometimes--I'm working on that.
X is for X-rays you've had: both ankles, both wrists, right foot.
Y is for Yummy food you make: I hardly make food, but NSAH likes my chocolate cupcakes from scratch.
Z is for Zodiac sign: Cancer

Saturday, July 09, 2005

It's a beautiful day

Having a great weekend so far (*knocks on wood so as not to jinx things*). Yes, I had to go back into work last night, but only for a little bit. And when I came home, NSAH and I stayed up late watching "NewsRadio" episodes. I thought for sure we'd regret that decision in the morning, but no--the dogs and the boy let us sleep in (relatively speaking--7:30 a.m.). I can't remember the last time our old dog didn't ask to go out at 5:30 or 6 in the morning.

Had a leisurely morning, then met the lovely and talented Liz at MysteryMommy and Muffin Man at the petting zoo. Angry Boy had a blast, doing his crazy run and talking to all of the animals. He was even less whiny this time than he was the last time, so hurrah for that. You will be pleased to hear that AB and Muffin Man were very polite young men (lots of pleases and thank yous to be heard) and were all too happy to share their various snacks with each other (graham crackers, Cheerios, raisins).

AND we got to go to the MysteryHouse! It was a very nice house in a fantastic location. I was very much jealous of the nice, sunny playroom Muffin Man has. AND we got to meet Mr. Spock! SUCH a great daddy. Perfect calm demeanor, and so sweet and friendly to Angry Boy. I was worried AB would have issues when it was time to leave, but he was very good and waved bye-bye.

On our way home, we swung by the Busiest McDonalds Ever (all the local swim meets must have just ended; the place was flooded with pre-teens in bathing suits). But AB was pretty calm while I held him, and we eventually found a place to sit (no high chair!) where we could eat our burgers and split our fries and our strawberry shake. He rarely eats at McDs, so between the fries and the shake, he was in heaven.

As I was taking him out of the carseat when we got back home, he said, "Nap?" I said, "Yes, we'll go in and you can take a nap." And he flopped on me all the way inside, and I just put him down. Good boy.

UPDATE: Just thought I'd point out that yesterday, Running2Ks also had a post referencing the excellent U2 song in the title...

Little hellraiser

Bitch Ph.D.'s post on parental notification reminded me of something from my past. I was only 17, but clear on the path to being the Angry Pregnant Lawyer that I am today.

It was early fall, my senior year. As most seniors do, I felt like I owned the school. I walked with a slight swagger. I was able to enjoy classes without obsessing about grades, the weather was delightful and sunny, and there was a certain "who gives a fuck?" attitude among myself and my similarly situated classmates.

As was the tradition every two years, the local Congressional candidates came to our school to speak to the senior class, some of which (although never many) were presumably of voting age. All 400+ of us crammed into the theater, into our uncomfortable seats. Each candidate gave an opening statement, and then they were asked questions about different issues by a student moderator who was also on the stage. The student moderator, a friend of mine, asked about parental notification laws for abortion. The Democratic candidate, a woman, was opposed to such laws. The Republican candidate favored them. He breezily stated that minors need parental permission for all types of procedures, even ear piercing--abortion should be no different. While my face turned red, the candidates proceded to answer other questions.

I should preface what happened next by saying that, by nature, I am a shy person. (I've gotten better about it as I've gotten older, but to this day people still mistake my shyness for aloofness.) I do not like to call attention to myself. People who know me would also likely tell you that I am a nice person--I generally don't enjoy making others feel badly. And in high school, I was thought of as a kind, nerdy, "good" person. Definitely not a rabble-rouser. More like a bookish mouse occasionally given to bouts of laughter.

After the moderator finished her questions, she asked if students had any questions for the candidates. Most of the students in the auditorium looked like they were eager to leave, but I raised my hand. The moderator called on me by name, and I stood up.

"Mr. [Republican candidate]," I projected through the auditorium, "you stated earlier that you favored parental notification laws because minors have to get parental permission to get their ears pierced..."

He smiled blankly, blissfully unaware of the nature of my question.

"... Are you comparing a woman's decision whether to have an abortion to something so frivolous as having her ears pierced?!"

I grinned. He looked pissed. The other students seemed to wake from their comas, and the tittering began.

He blustered, "Now, see... that's not... You young people don't..."

And that's when my fellow students made me proud. We couldn't hear the rest of his response, and no one was listening anyway. At "You young people," the entire student body let out the early '90s equivalent of "Oh NO he di'int" (come to think of it, maybe that was the expression we used back then). The Democratic candidate just stood there trying not to gloat.

I don't remember anything after that. I know my question made it into the student newspaper story on the candidates' visit. And a month or so later, the Democratic candidate won the election.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Hate to leave off on a somber note

So here's this.

I liked Chewbroccoli the best.

Live for tomorrow, and do what you have to

It's been a busy few days at work. The past three nights, I've come home at a reasonable hour, played with Angry Boy, put him to bed, and then turned around and headed back into work. Tonight, after putting him to bed, I decided I'd browse some blogs before heading back to work. Went to Scrivener's page and read his Friday Shuffle, London-themed edition. The last song he lists is Garbage's "The Trick is to Keep Breathing."

So, upon getting back into my car, I pressed 3 on the CD changer, and picked track no. 8 and listened to that Garbage song (Garbage 2.0 has been in my CD changer for over a year--I'm so bad about switching out CDs). Then I switched over to Garbage's Beautiful (which has been in my CD player for about two years) and played the song "Parade." I'd always internalized the lyrics of that song, but tonight, driving through my town and thinking of current events, I thought about how the words spoke beyond my life and applied to all of us. So I want to post them here.

Parade

Get it right
Do it good
Get it right now
Get it right
Do it good
Get it right now

Oh let's bomb the factory
That makes all the wannabes
Let's burst all the bubbles
That brainwash the masses


As far as I can tell
It doesn't matter who you are
If you can believe there's something worth fighting for
The colour of an eye
The glory of a sudden view
The baby in your arms
The smile he always shoots at you

Believing in nothing
Makes life so boring
So let's pray for something
To feel good in the morning


Oh doctor
We're dying
There's no use in crying
So live for tomorrow
And do what you have to.


Good night.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"God bless the human race"

Listening to my favorite local morning show, which is usually a gaggle of funny and crude idiots yammering on, but this morning has been reduced to a crew of 2. They're only talking about the London explosions. It's the most somber I've ever heard this morning show, and of all the calls are about the bombings, the state of the world, and so on.

What hasn't surprised me are the folks calling up and saying "We need to bomb them," or, incredibly, one angry woman who says the bombings are a result of "what we've been doing in Iran, and how we've been bombing Iran for the past three years." *sigh*

What has surprised me: I heard the country accent of another angry man and figured here we go again. But then he started talking about how scared he was, how afraid he was that it was never going to stop, that we'd attack the culprits and then there'd be more bombings in retribution, and so on and so forth, forever and ever amen. And he talked about his younger brother in the Army, and how scared he is for his brother, his family, and for all of us, and he started to cry. And my heart went out to him. He ended his call with "God bless the human race." Amen.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Welcome Googlers

To the woman who found my blog by searching the phrase "he left me pregnant and alone":

Honey, you're better off without him.

To the person who found my blog by searching the phrase "I'll give you till three":

Good luck with that, then. I have no advice on the discipline-through-counting front. Whenever I count, Angry Boy just smiles and counts along. Then he seems legitimately surprised whenever I impose punishment.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What happens in Baby Vegas stays in Baby Vegas...

In a case of life imitating Chez Miscarriage (whose hilarious post on women referring to themselves as "Trent's Mommy" and "Morgan's Mommy" I sadly can no longer seem to pinpoint), a letter was delivered yesterday from Parents magazine addressed to "Ms. [Angry Boy]."

Refusing to believe the missive was intended for me, I relentlessly questioned AB for hours under bright lights and threat of torture as to the identity of his secret spouse. He never cracked, the bastard.

Random News of the Boy

New word that AB has somehow learned: "honeydew." (NSAH and I just refer to them as "melons," so I'm not sure who taught him honeydew.)

Today he was playing so cutely on the floor that I just felt like saying, "Hi, Mr. [Angry Boy]."

His reply: "Hi, Miss... Mommy. Hi, Miss Mommy."

Oh, and we've discovered that he sleeps through fireworks. Thank God.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

Driving back from the animal farm with a sleeping Angry Boy in the back seat, I started to craft in my mind a post about what being an American means to me. It was mostly a diatribe in response to some of the posters who flooded Achenblog a little while back, specifically the "America, love it or leave it" trogolodytes.

But then I got home, put AB down for his nap, and started reading today's paper. And I read a couple of stories that really summed up a lot of the reasons I'm proud to be an American, and I calmed down. I highly recommend them.

One is a front-page feature about Eileen Collins, a pilot and astronaut. Another is about a Virginia Mennonite who opposes the forced Pledge of Allegiance in schools (as well as a lot of other things).

Have a great day, and don't blow off any fingers (or, if you do, make sure it's a useless one, like the pinky).

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Conservative values, or Get outta my way!

Wasn't sure if this story was getting any coverage beyond this area. Probably not. It's really not newsworthy, I admit, but I did find it interesting nonetheless, given that the alleged assailant is vice president for finance and ops at the Heritage Foundation.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Anal Retentive Preschooler

Took AB for a stroll to the playground after work. He's afraid to go on almost everything, except for the see-saw/teeter-totter, which he sits on facing the wrong way. The only other thing he likes is the sandbox. There are always tons of shovels, sieves and buckets. As we walked up (I walked, he did his high-knees quicktime march) to the sandbox, it seemed like there were five times as many sandbox toys strewn about the ground than there were toys actually in the sandbox. He started playing in the sandbox, having a grand ol' time. We couldn't stay for long because we'd gotten there so late, so I told AB that we'd count to 20, and then it would be time to go. (He gets a little thrown off in the mid-teens--he tends to say "14" three times in a row--but he gets back on track with 18, 19, and 20.) At 20, I told him it was time to head back home to see Daddy and the doggies. He started to look unhappy, but then I told him matter-of-factly that it was time to "pick up." I was happy that he proceded to toss his shovel and bucket into the sandbox.

And then he went ahead and picked up every single colorful plastic toy lying around the sandbox, and threw them all in the pit.

If he keeps this behavior up, I'm cutting our cleaning service loose.

Aaaaaaaaand we're screwed.