Thursday, November 30, 2006

Yowza

I will remember November 30, 2006, as the day I was linked by Wonkette. Holy hitcounts, Batman. My Sitemeter has freakin' exploded.

Scrubs is back

Yay.

At the end of the show, NBC told us we could chat with the creator of Scrubs. NSAH and I know that the creator of Scrubs, Bill Lawrence, is married to Christa Miller. So I dared NSAH to write into the chat with the following:

"This is a two-part question: One, what does Christa Miller look like naked? And two, what does Christa Miller feel like naked?"

NSAH declined, concerned that Bill may not have every NewsRadio episode memorized, the way we do, and might actually be offended.

Context

George Will needs to shut up.

Here's the transcript of the conversation that occurred at the White House reception for new members of Congress:

BUSH: (to Sen. Jim Webb, whose son is fighting in Iraq) How's your boy?
WEBB: I'd like to get them out of Iraq.
BUSH: That's not what I asked you. How's your boy?
WEBB: That's between me and my boy.

In his column today, Will conveniently leaves out the President's insistence that Webb answer his question about his son (the "That's not what I asked you" statement) and declares Webb to be a boor.

My husband and I were just talking about this. He said he wasn't happy with Webb's response, because he recalls the days when then-Senators Al Gore and Dan Quayle would play basketball together. He and I both remember the days when the Senate was known for its civility among all members. I can certainly understand wishing for more friendliness between Democrats and Republicans.

But this wasn't just any Republican. This was President Bush, who has repeatedly shown little to no respect for the Democratic Party or its members and who has repeatedly refused to listen to any dissenting opinions about how he's running the war in Iraq. And his question to Webb wasn't just about something superficial like the Redskins or local restaurants. He specifically asked about Webb's son, knowing his son is a Marine in Iraq. Bush wants people to think he cares about the soldiers, when his Administration has shown the opposite.

So, no, Mr. President, you don't get to use Webb's son politically. If you'd asked about Webb's wife, who is pregnant, I'm sure you would've gotten a pleasant "She's doing fine, thank you" in response. But you didn't. You specifically asked about his son. And when Webb indicated he didn't wish to respond (by making his blanket statement about the troops in general), you pushed him. And so Webb tried to respond as politely as he could: "That's between me and my boy."

My response would've been a lot more colorful, you can bet.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More bullets of the zombified APL

  • Took New Kid to the doctor today. He. Is. BIG. The nurses and doctor were cracking up, calling him my little football player. They're totally right. I mean, we all thought AB was a linebacker when he was a baby, but DAMN. Today New Kid weighed in at more than 14 pounds. Kid's in the 94th percentile for weight, 89th for height. Jeezum crow. It's even funnier if you've seen me in real life (I am not a big person). I fear that both my boys will tower over me by the time they're in their tumultuous early teen years. Hopefully, I'll be the kind of mama who continues to strike fear into their hearts and keeps them in line anyway, despite the size differential.

  • I'm still loving Friday Night Lights.

  • I did some Christmas wrapping yesterday. Wrapping in November--how organized am I?! While wrapping, I heard 2 of my favorite Christmas songs on the radio: Greg Lake's "I Believe In Father Christmas" and the Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping." The stations never play one of my other favorites: Bob & Doug MacKenzie's "The 12 Days of Christmas." "TWELVE!" "And welcome to day twelve..." I smile just thinking about it.

  • I'm trying out a new chicken dish in the crockpot tonight. Hope it turns out well. I think everything we've cooked using that thing has been quite yummy. Makes me wonder why crockpots are always the butt of jokes. I think ours is swell.

  • We've gotten out all of our children's Christmas books, which we pack away with the Christmas decorations. So far, I think AB's favorite is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I've hidden the one about how Elmo saves Christmas--it was horrible to read.

  • Does anyone else do that? Hide the books you hate to read? I probably shouldn't hide them... I should give them away to Goodwill or something instead.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Brief Happy Feet report

There was some discussion in the comments to the last post about the content of Happy Feet, and its age-appropriateness. Just wanted to state that Angry Boy loved it and wasn't disturbed or scared by any of the imagery. (He knows from his books about predators, and that killer whales, skua birds and leopard seals are the enemies of penguins.)

BUT I appreciate it whenever someone has seen a movie and can offer a heads-up as to its content. You never know what will scare a kid--when his grandma took him to see Open Season, AB was petrified of the hunter and asked to leave the movie early. He still hasn't seen the whole thing.

(And I didn't take that nap, because on Saturday night, after nursing at 10 p.m., New Kid woke up only once, at 4 a.m. That's right. I got more than 5 straight hours of sleep for the first time in two months. It was awesome. I didn't blog about it because I was worried about jinxing things. Turns out, it didn't matter. I was up 4 times with New Kid last night, and I'm wrecked all over again today. Wheeee!)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

So. Freaking. Tired.

  • NSAH has passed out on the bed next to me at 8:40 p.m., while Futurama plays on the DVR. Poor guy.

  • We had company over today, family whom we rarely see. It was fun, but draining. And since NSAH and AB went to a hockey game last night, and AB had been up 2 hours past his bedtime, he, too, was so freaking tired for much of today.

  • I did get to go for a walk today. Between the recent spell of crappy weather, my sleeplessness, and dealing with a cranky baby in general, I'm lucky to get any form of exercise in a given week. Very happy to get out today for about 40 minutes. Hope to do it again tomorrow.

  • I watched my recordings of Grey's Anatomy and ER. I thought both were really good.

  • I think I'm going to go to bed by 9:30 tonight.

  • Tomorrow my mom is taking AB to see Happy Feet. I might take a nap while they're gone.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Turkey Day report

For the most part: Yum! The stuffing turned out OK, the much-maligned green bean bake was delicious, and the sweet potato dish was awesome. The turkey... well, I've cooked turkeys before and they've turned out very nicely. But this was our first year using a roaster, and I am not happy. First off, I gave myself a killer steam burn on my thumb and wrist, which hurt so much I wound up eating Thanksgiving dinner with my left hand in a bowl of cool water. Second, the bird looked gross because it didn't brown on top. Anyone else ever use a roaster to do a bird? Have any tips?

Hope everyone had a great day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Very thankful

Out of curiosity I looked at my posts from last Thanksgiving to see what I was doing then... and apparently, I still wasn't getting much sleep. But at least back then, I could catch up on sleep eventually.

OK, OK, enough whining. (I already whined over at Phantom's, and I don't mean to start up here. I actually wanted to say that I'm thankful for the following:
  • My friends. I am a firm believer that much of what I've gotten in life, I've gotten not because of hard work or because of some innate gifts but because of just good dumb luck. It may have been hard work coupled with some natural intelligence that got me into law school, but it was luck that seated me next to one of my now-best-friends during orientation. It may have been hard work during law school that landed me a spot at my current firm, but it was luck that put me on an assignment with Nutso Ranter, who then became one of my best friends. I'm thankful for them, and I'm thankful for all of you, who can share in my happiness when I'm glad or cheer me up with just a comment or an email when I'm down.

  • My family. I watched the movie Spanglish yesterday. It occurred to me while watching the ending that so much of what we do in life is the product of either trying to be like our parents, or trying to be very much NOT like our parents. My parents aren't perfect, but they were good parents. If more people had parents like my parents, there'd be fewer assholes in this world, of that I am sure. And I'm thankful for the rest of my family, too: all the aunts, uncles, cousins. We're a goofy bunch, and very loud when we're all together, but we've got nothing but love for each other.

  • My husband. Duh. I couldn't do this, do life, with anyone else. He's the best.

  • My boys. I know I'm complaining a lot now, but they do light up my life. AB is just the greatest kid ever (and gorgeous to boot), and I'm sure New Kid will inspire the same emotions once he's old enough to do more than eat, sleep and poop. Heck, his smiles (a relatively new phenomenon) crack me up already.


I'm also thankful for everything we have: a roof over our heads, money in the bank, the security that comes with that, and good jobs.

I hope you all have a good Thanksgiving, and have many things to be thankful for.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Taking (losing?) one for the team

First off, thanks for your comments on the last post. Must be Murphy's Law: after that post, the New Kid has been better at sleeping. (Of course, once that sentence is published, it's back to sleeplessness, right?) So I'm feeling only slightly zombified right now.

* * *


A few weeks ago, there was a storyline on Grey's Anatomy involving a male-to-female pre-op transsexual. The patient was born a male, fell in love and married a woman. Then he/she realized he/she needed to be a woman, and had decided to undergo the hormone treatment and, eventually, the sex reassignment surgery (i.e., no more penis). The couple stayed married.

It was a well-acted storyline, but really it made me think of the constitutional amendment recently passed in Virginia. Virginia's Bill of Rights will now ironically read:

That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.


So... what does that mean for a couple like the married couple on Grey's? When they married, they were indeed one man and one woman. After the surgery, they will be two women. Sex reassignment surgery isn't common, but it does happen. If Daniel becomes Donna in Virginia, does the marriage instantly dissolve the second the penis is no more? What if Daniel decides not to have the surgery but still goes through life living as a woman, presenting as Donna? Is the marriage OK then, since his penis is still intact? If the marriage is no longer valid, how is it dissolved? Does the state force you to get a divorce? Are all the contracts made while the married couple was man and woman still valid? Are they grandfathered in?

So I was posing these rapid-fire questions to my husband, pointing out the ridiculousness of the new constitutional amendment. What happens if a husband has his penis surgically removed, etc.?

His reply:

"Sweetheart, I agree that the new amendment needs to be challenged and tested, but I'm not that committed."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sorry

Every day, I think about things to post. Funny things. Political things.

But every night, I get so little sleep that I have neither the desire nor the energy to turn on my computer the next day, let alone write a post.

So I apologize for the blog drought.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One is the loneliest number

As seen at Quinn's, it's the one word meme. You can only type one word. No explanations. [OK, one non-explanation: One of these--the set-up and my one-word response--totally made me think of Liz. Who can guess which one? Liz, feel free to guess, too.]

Yourself: Tired
Your partner: Chuckling
Your hair: Greying
Your Mother: Hero
Your Father: Sweet
Your Favorite Item: Nothing
Your dream last night: None
Your Favorite Drink: Coke
Your Dream Car: Vanquish
Your Dream Home: Penthouse
The Room You Are In: Bedroom
Your Ex: Satan
Your fear: Snakes
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? Retired
Who you hung out with last night: Husband
What You're Not: Thin
Muffins: Pumpkin
One of Your Wish List Items: ER
Time: Fleeting
The Last Thing You Did: Laundry
What You Are Wearing: Jeans
Your favorite weather: Scorching
Your Favorite Book: Many
Last thing you ate: Chocolate
Your Life: Hectic
Your mood: Cranky
Your Best Friends: Rule
What are you thinking about right now: Errands
Your car: Dinged
What are you doing at the moment: Breathing
Your summer: Trials
Relationship status: Perfect
What is on your TV: Futurama
What is the weather like: Cooling
When is the last time you laughed: SNL

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Get biz-ay livin', or get biz-ay dyin'

This will make you lose your shit if you've seen The Shawshank Redemption even one-twelfth of the times it has aired on TBS.

(Hat tip to Lex.)

Yo baby, rent this!

Phantom's use of the word "linoleum" in her comment to the previous post reminded me I've been meaning to do a post on the movies you should all have in your Netflix queue but probably don't. So here it is:
  1. Next Stop, Wonderland: It's laugh-out loud funny, and it's romantic, but it's not what I'd call a "romantic comedy." The linoleum reference doesn't come till the end of the movie, but you'll see why it stuck with me. Hope Davis is wonderful in this, as she is in everything, and Alan Gelfant is so sexy you'll wonder why you haven't seen him in much of anything.

  2. Mumford: Since we're doing Hope Davis movies.... Seriously, this is another "romantic comedy" that's different from the typical Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks fare. Loren Dean (whom you'll remember as Joe from Say Anything, as in "He/likes girls/with names/like Ashley") is really amazing, but everyone in the supporting cast (which includes Alfre Woodard and Jason Lee) is great.

  3. Searching for Bobby Fischer: I've blogged about this movie before, and I'll do it again. This movie was robbed at the '94 Oscars; it was nominated in just one category, for cinematography. It should've been up for Best Picture, Best Actress (Joan Allen), and Best Supporting Actor (Laurence Fishburne or Ben Kingsley).

  4. So I Married an Axe Murderer: One of the most underrated comedies, it stars Mike Myers and Nancy Davis Travis [thanks, Neel!]. There are so many great, absurd lines from this movie, and there are hilarious (albeit brief) apperances by Phil Hartman, Steven Wright and Charles Grodin. Sure, some of it is roll-your-eyes stupid (I'm thinking of the movie's climax, which takes place on the rooftop of a bed and breakfast), but overall it's creative and (most importantly) funny.

  5. Sexy Beast: I like heist movies, and this is one of the best. Ben Kingsley is truly frightening.

  6. The Limey: Terrence Stamp is a sympathetic bad-ass, and Luis Guzman is hilarious.

  7. Jesus of Montreal: If you don't mind subtitles (or if you speak French), this is a great one. I may not be someone who goes to church every Sunday (or ever, admittedly), but I always liked reading the stories of the Bible. This movie updates the story of Jesus in the context of modern-day actors who've been hired to put on the Passion Play.

  8. The Station Agent: Already reviewed here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's a bullet-y day in the neighborhood, a bullet-y day for a neighbor...

  • Angry Baby completed his first successful daytrip. He was a good boy, considering he had to spend most of the day in his car seat. He has now been in four states, the little traveler.

  • The weather at the shore was great. I'm so glad I picked Thursday to go. It seemed like everyone was outside with his or her dog.

  • And the best news: I found a place to rent. Hooray! 2 1/2 blocks from the beach, 3 blocks from the Wawa. Sweet.

  • Worst part of the trip: While I was in the drive-thru line for McD's, a Large Stinging Insect flew in through the sunroof and immediately stung me on my throat. It did not die but instead hovered, buzzing, along the neckline of my T-shirt, making me panic and think that it might actually descend into my shirt and my now-heaving bazooms. I quickly opened the car door, though, and swatted at my chesticular region until I saw a black blur go out the door. I then closed the door and sunroof. I proceded to order a bottled water to accompany my fries and cheeseburger, and drove off with one hand on the wheel, and one hand holding the ice cold bottle to my sore neck. Well, at least it didn't sting the baby, who was oblivious in the backseat. I hadn't been stung by a bee in maybe 20 years. Not fun, in case you've forgotten.

  • Our cable is having issues. More precisely, our DVR cable box. Grrr.

  • I am loving the Smart Pop 100-calorie bags of Kettle Corn. No trans fat! Huzzah.

  • AB helped me make our tuna sandwiches on rye for dinner tonight. He ate the whole thing, as well as the trail mix I'd given him on the side. Then he ate some of NSAH's walnuts. Then he wanted a banana. Then he and I split an apple. Plus, he had two small glasses of milk. Have I bragged enough about what a good, adventurous eater AB is? I have? Good, because Angry Baby is destined to grow up to eat only grilled cheese sandwiches on white bread (crusts cut off, of course).

  • Speaking of the baby (again), he's growing like a monster. He's in his 6th week, so I'm all set for that growth spurt he's supposed to have.

  • Took a nice walk with him today. Went to the bank to cash a check (small reimbursement from the hospital--nice!) and then I took him to the wine store I've always wanted to check out. Never too soon to take a child on a booze run, I say. Picked up a pinot noir that I'd never tried before. NSAH and I had some with dinner (yes, I had red wine with my tuna on rye--shut up), and it was excellent.

  • NSAH and I are going to try to drink red wine more often, because of the health benefits (we're much more likely to have a beer or a soda with dinner). Does anyone else drink red wine? What do you like? More specifically, what do you like that's cheap?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I have no accent

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
Boston
North Central
The Inland North
Philadelphia
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


What the quiz doesn't tell you is that I can do a convincing Southern accent (not deep South, though), as well as a Bronx accent, and (if I'm watching a Sox game) a Boston accent.

Good mornin', America. How are ya?

I was convinced that all the hype about a Democratic revolution (or, more accurately, a "kick out the incumbents" revolution) was just that: hype. I was stunned when my husband woke me up this morning and told me the Dems had taken the House.

The good: See above. Granted, Virginians reelected their incumbents in the House, but that doesn't really bother me too much. These are not crazy folks--I have in the past voted for them. Didn't vote for the incumbents this time, but their return to Congress doesn't worry me. More good: Deval Patrick! Wow!

The bad: Virginians approved a constitutional amendment that not only prevents gay people from marrying, but it also prevents all Virginians from entering into contracts that express their wishes, so long as those wishes could be considered as conferring the benefits of marriage. (So if NSAH and I weren't married but had entered into a signed agreement regarding the custody of our boys should either of us die, that contract could be null and void. Lovely.)

The ugly: Well, the recount in the Allen-Webb race could get ugly. For more concrete examples of ugly, read this.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

I voted after the morning rush. I was sad to see so many people in line holding the Republican sample ballot. But I wasn't surprised. After all, I live in a place with a lot o' rich folks, and unlike myself, they don't all vote against their own economic interests.

Every other blog is exhorting you to vote (which is good). This blog is reminding you to watch Comedy Central tonight for Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert's Midterm Midtacular (starts 11 p.m. EST). (Oh, and Dan Rather's going to be there, too.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

APL's comment policy

I'm going to start deleting anonymous comments. One of my previous posts about a certain business enterprise that encourages little girls to dress like Britney Spears(we'll call it "Sibby Sue") received--and still receives, every now and again--a bunch of anonymous comments, some of them rude.

I have the option to require commenters to be registered with Blogger, but I'd hate to resort to that. Most of my non-Blogger commenters are good about identifying themselves (Genevieve and Nutso-Ranter, for example). At this point, all I'm asking is for you to pick a name for yourself and use it consistently. Doesn't even have to be your real name. Just identify yourself in some way, please. We'll see how this works...

Thanks

Thank you for the sympathetic comments on the previous post. I cracked up when I read Anonymous' one-word comment, "FEBERIZE," mostly because, in my sleep-deprived state, I thought it read: "FEBREEZE." Hahaha. Next time Angry Baby can't calm down, I promise to spray him with disinfectant.

(Psst, I think you meant "Ferberize." I know this because I am not only familiar with the Ferber method, I used it--or at least a modified version of it that worked with AB.)

Things are better today. Baby went a whopping 4 hours between feedings last night (9:30 pm to 1:30 am), which may not sound like a lot, but when you've been sleeping in 2-hour chunks, a 3.5-hour chunk feels like a freakin' miracle. So I'm doing OK. Plus, it's always harder to deal with a crying baby when you're alone. NSAH was out during yesterday's screamfest--a fact for which he apologized profusely, even though it's not remotely his fault. Or anyone's fault. No one can ever tell when a baby is going to have one of those days. You just deal with it and move on.

But again, thanks for your kind comments.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

One of those days

Angry (and yes, I do mean angry) Baby has been crying almost all afternoon. He will deign to stop every now and then, if I hold him. And even then, not so much.

My plans to go to bed at 8 p.m. have been dashed. I'm just going to start banging my head against the wall in the hopes of knocking myself unconscious.

To-do list of the sleep-deprived

  • Get more sleep.

  • Go to Ikea and finally use big-ass gift card that's been sitting in the house unused for about 2 years.

  • Take a long daytrip up to the shore, just me and the baby, to visit rentals and figure out where we're going to stay this summer.

  • Renew dog license for Small Dog (who is allergic to leaf mold, we've recently discovered, and will be on antibiotics till all the fallen leaves are gone).

  • Move contents from safe deposit box in old bank branch (where we haven't been since moving a couple of years ago) to new bank branch.

  • Figure out where the hell the key to safe deposit box is.

  • Decide what I'm going to cook for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm doing a small turkey, but I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it yet (haven't done a turkey in years, but on holidays past my birds have always turned out nice and juicy). Most of the side dishes are set in stone (stuffing, the ubiquitous green bean casserole), but I haven't figured out which sweet potato dish to make. Any suggestions? Nothing with an orange glaze--I always find those way too sweet.

  • Continue making my way through my Netflix queue (currently in my house: Happy Endings, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Ocean's Twelve).

  • Keep knocking things off my Christmas shopping list. I've already gotten some things for my parents. I think Angry Boy is ready for some games. Are there any games your kids play that don't drive you nuts when you have to play along? (I am a fan of CandyLand and Chutes & Ladders.) Has anyone actually played this game? It caught Angry Boy's eye.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

William Styron, RIP

My favorite author has died. He was 81 (younger than my grandfather by 4 years).

I first read Styron in high school. Not for a class, but because I'd read excellent reviews of Darkness Visible and wanted to read it for myself. After reading that, I read A Tidewater Morning, a collection of short stories. It was a while before I picked up one of his books again, but in law school I read Set This House on Fire and Lie Down in Darkness. I still have not yet read either book that Styron is best known for: Sophie's Choice or The Confessions of Nat Turner.