Showing posts from January, 2010


At Winterfest this afternoon It occurred to me recently that my daughter is now old enough to start creating permanent memories. My first memories date back to the time I was around four. My maternal grandmother, after whom I am named, died when I was three and I have just slivers of her, like faint Polaroids that never quite developed, in my head. My middle sister was born when I was four and a half and most of my memories are pretty solid from that time on. This past Friday night, the moon was said to be the closest, brightest full moon I'd ever see again in my lifetime. So, at around 9 p.m. I called the kid outside onto the deck, making sure she had on a pair of slippers to go with her princess nightgown. The temperatures were in the single digits. We shivered on the deck for a few brief moments, ooh-ing and ah-ing over the spectacular sky. She then ran into the house and made her daddy come and look, too. He complied but then grumbled about how it was too cold to be outside. I

The demon I cannot slay

It’s official. I’ve lost control. I’m not meant to be a genuinely thin person, this I know. But I’m not necessarily willing to be fat, either. I joined Weight Watchers in 2005 and hit my goal weight at the end of 2006. I continued to struggle with the same ten pounds or so for the next two years. I'd lose a little, I'd gain a little. In the fall of 2008, I decided to get a bit more disciplined with counting points and tracking what I put in my mouth. By December of that year, I was back at my goal weight. I then fought hard to maintain it for the next ten months. I was genuinely proud of myself. I knew I wasn’t cured of my compulsion to eat more than my body needs, but I thought I had it mostly under control. Then, in September of 2009, the stress in my life overtook me. Our team was cut in half at work, and I was left with an impossible workload. I gained four pounds that week. The last four weeks at my new job have left me grateful to be gainfully employed, but struggling to

Do you wanna take a ride on his disco stick?

I picked up a new foster dog on Saturday. I was a little bit nervous about taking on a new pooch because my last foster dog, Fritz, was so easy to have around. I knew I wouldn't get that lucky again. Montana was surrendered because his owners are divorcing and selling their house. Neither spouse could take him in their respective apartments. Montana is a handsome three-year-old white Boxer (not deaf, as some whites are). He's good with kids and dogs. He's really a very nice dog. There is one major problem with Montana, however: his ginormous testicles. He has been attempting to violate my dogs since his arrival. I've told him, "Take a cold shower! Think about baseball!" All to no avail. After a weekend we are now affectionately referring to as Humpfest 2010, I gave some serious consideration to neutering him myself. I have a basic idea of how it's done and could feel my frustration growing with each thrust of his little white hips. As he is preparing

Pukey McPukerton

I got THE call on Wednesday. The "your child is sick" call from school that every parent dreads. When I got the call, it was less than an hour before school would be letting out for the day, but I left as soon as I could and drove across town to retrieve her. I parked and then headed for the school office. "Hi," said the lady at the front desk. "She just threw up down there." I walked down to my daughter's classroom. I'm not sure why she wasn't in the clinic or something, but maybe I'm just not hip to how these things work yet. When I got to the kindergarten pod, she wasn't in her classroom. The whole class was outside. I found the right door to get outside and immediately spotted the kid. She was bundled up in her snowsuit and had her backpack on, and as soon as I called her name and she turned to look at me, I could tell she felt like dump. The class's paraprofessional walked over with my daughter. "I took her to the b

What's that? You want a double helping?

My other (younger) half turns 38 today. He requested a chocolate cake and our daughter and I set out to make him one. However, she demanded a much higher level of involvement than in the past, which is how we ended up with this: Yessirree. I'm just waiting for the lady from Cake Wrecks to knock at the door, wanting to see for herself the least appetizing cake of all time and space. Or maybe one of those "kitchen disasters" shows. Although A has known the alphabet since she was 18 months old, she affixed several of the letters upside down. She then dug them up out of the chocolate, turned them around, and poked them into the sugary goo once again. You know she licked her fingers in between, right? Thank goodness this cake is just for the three of us, because I'm pretty sure she also licked the spatula she was using to apply the icing. Happy birthday, husband o'mine. I hope this cake isn't an omen of some sort . . .


In college I learned of the concept of a sensory deprivation chamber. I've been intrigued with the idea ever since. I want to know what it is like to stop the flow, to know momentary peace. I've been struggling to manage my stress in recent months, and the idea of floating in a lightless, soundless box seems oddly appealing. Anyone who's been acquainted with me for more than five minutes knows that I love my daughter more than life itself. When my first baby died in utero, I willed my heart to stop beating. I did not know how I could go on. Now, my heart beats for that curly-haired hurricane who lives in my house. But, that doesn't mean I don't want the occasional day to myself. So, that's what I did over the weekend, when I traveled out of town for the rescue's annual meeting. I got to town at about noon and had lunch. I read The Onion, drank a glass of Pinot Grigio, and played with my new Blackberry. It took me almost a full day to realize that the rea

Yes, I'm conscious

I'm sure my reader was wondering where I'd gone, but fret not. Je suis ici. Here's what you missed: A parent-teacher conference wherein the teacher used the word "social" multiple times to describe my child. You don't say! I bought a Blackberry. I held out as long as I could, but it happens to the best of us. There are two main reasons I didn't want a smartphone. One is that I wasn't sure I wanted to be connected to my email no matter where I am. I tend to get a little obsessive about checking my in-box as it is, and I didn't want to be one of those people who are connected every second of every day. The second is that I'm too cheap too pay the additional monthly charges that come along with such a phone. But, I got paid out for my accrued vacation time from my old job and this seemed as good a time as any. I joined a gym. Believe me, I didn't want to do that either. I go to step aerobics with my neighbor every Tuesday and it's nev

Week 1

I made it through my first week on the job (I knew you were concerned, so I wanted to let you know). I realize that a new job isn't that traumatic for most people, but I was at the old job for 13 1/2 years. Normally, the most profound change I can handle is taking a slightly different route to the mall. Trying a new brand of cereal, maybe. The biggest challenge so far is getting out of the house at 6:40 a.m. My old job was literally a stone's throw from my house (and from my daughter's school). I was pretty spoiled with that situation, I know, but I told myself it was some recompense for the nightmarish traffic I used to encounter every day when I lived in the suburbs of DC. Now I have to drive considerably farther. The main hurdle I face in getting out of the house is roughly 39 inches tall. Phrases like "please get dressed" and "you can't eat breakfast if you're still naked" and "for the love of God if you don't get moving right no

Oh, Fritty

Fritz, wearing the New Year's party hat my daughter made My foster dog is being adopted on Saturday. Fritz (Fritty Cent, Fritzenheimer, Fritz-a-Million) has been with us for almost one year. He will turn 10 on January 14th. My most fervent wish was to get him into his own home before his birthday, and it looks like the universe has made it so. A kind-hearted adopter, the kind we rescue volunteers dream of, was able to look past a grey muzzle, a shaky rear leg, and some random quirks and asked, "How soon can he be mine?" Thus, I will drive five hours round trip on Saturday to take Fritz to his forever home. After ten years of rescue work, you'd think I could pull off this sort of thing without the involvement of tears. Alas, I think this is going to be a tough one. Fritz has been a member of our family for the past year. The hard part, when you are placing a dog in his new home, is that moment when you gather your things and prepare to leave. The dog, too, read

Four Days o'Fun

I'm starting my new job tomorrow and will have fewer vacation days for the foreseeable future. For the past few weeks, I've put in a fair amount of overtime (the free kind, since I'm on salary) in order to get ready for the big transition (being sold to another company). So, I decided to take it easy (as much as a Type A list maker like me can "take it easy") and spend as much time with my daughter as I could over the four-day holiday weekend. Never one to leave anything to spontaneity or chance, I scheduled Four Days o'Fun. Day 1 : The children's museum. I had some free passes that I won in a raffle last summer, so this seemed as good a time as any to use them. We headed down to the museum on New Year's Eve afternoon. Every kid in the state was already there. The museum was throwing a celebration every hour to celebrate the hour itself. The staff led a parade every hour. Picture hundreds of screaming children armed with noisemakers and confetti

Year in Review

Champagne in my Waterford Crystal flute (millenium collection). I'm scared to use these, so it only happens once or twice a year. I do not make New Year's resolutions. I thought I'd just let you know right off the bat in case you were actually expecting to find such a list here. Do I need to lose weight? Yes. Do I need to become more fiscally responsible? Yes. But, I just don't see the point in setting oneself up for failure by making a list of false promises. I'll tell you one thing that irritates me: the parking lot at the YMCA in January. My daughter starts a new round of swim classes on Monday the 4th. Everybody and their mailman will be there acting on their stupid resolution. Meanwhile, I'll have to park in Zimbabwe and carry my four-year-old child through single-digit temperatures and snow to get into the building. Seriously, if you are at the Y to get fit, park farther the fuck away. The first Weight Watchers meeting after 1/1 will also be packed to the