Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another Failed Video Blog, But This Time With MORE BABY


Like more cowbell, it's never a bad thing.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Liquid Capital

As of this week, I have a new get rich quick scheme: breastmilk faith healing.

Hear me out.

Remember my wonky red eye? Well, my mom--who is kind of a hippie homeopath but who also has freakish Demi Moore-like skin even though she currently qualifies for Medicare, and therefore whose beauty advice I trust implicitly--was all, just put some breastmilk in it. So I did. The process wasn't pretty--it involved a shot glass and a woeful lack of hand-eye coordination--but it worked. Now all I want to do is set up a tent outside the Port Authority and squirt breastmilk on the lame, making young children toss aside their crutches and do somersaults.

Tiny Tim just needs a tit.
My other revelation of the week: I finally know why there are pockets on baby clothes. S. has all of these cargo pants and T-shirts with functional pockets. It's not like the baby has any socket wrenches or fountain pens, and even if he did, the only thing he can manage to do with his hands is accidentally hit himself in the face while sleeping. So up until today I assumed the pockets were for surreptitious drug smuggling (for shame, Baby Gap). But wait! This afternoon, after eating, S. vomited directly into the breast pocket of his striped onesie.

Form meets function. Slow clap.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two Posts In Two Days? PSYCH.

Don't worry, I haven't left Jeff and the baby and escaped with a box of wine to a La Quinta Inn with free wireless. This post is service-y but fun. Like a hilarious prostitute!

The amazing Momma C was interviewed on Babble, dropping her expert knowledge about childbirth. Go learn about whether you can have an orgasm during labor, and why it hurts so effing much (the labor, not the orgasm--which you're not going to have, by the way. Spoiler.)

Also, I've been posting over at Aiming Low (I get paid for it, hence my prolificness [sub-parentheses: Is that a word?], don't hate):

In Defense of Scrooge
Killing My Inner Child, One Christmas List At a Time
How To Fail At Sleep-Training Your Baby
FUPA: The Owner's Manual

You've got to admit it's a nice break from my whining about motherhood, though. Think of this as your own room at La Quinta. You are welcome.
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Monday, December 5, 2011

All I Want For Christmas

Hey y'all, I'm back! Sorry for the radio silence, but I got a bacterial infection. On my face. I didn't realize that could happen, either. THE MORE YOU KNOW.

It started with a really busted-looking eye. On Thanksgiving my left eye turned redder than Santa's rosy butt cheeks and everyone kept telling me I looked exhausted. The next day it started oozing. Jeff suggested that I might have pink eye, and when I laughed him off he gently reminded me that someone who handles another person's feces all day AND who has a penchant for dramatically rubbing her eyes to communicate just how many kittens she would drop-kick for a decent night's sleep might have a pretty good chance of getting poop in her peepers. He also pointed out that using a bed pillow as a nursing pillows might be getting fecal matter all over my entire face, but if that's true it has also cleared up my postpartum acne, so I'll turn a blind, disgusting eye, I think, to that theory.

I've also not had the best week. We took S. on his first car trip, to Jeff's homeland of Massachusetts for a wedding, and ten minutes into the drive I realized that I had neglected to bring the head support accessory that saves your baby's head from turning around, Exorcist-style, in the event of an accident. Being the McGyver wannabe I am, I fashioned an impact-absorbent ring around my son's head using sweatpants from Baby Gap. But then the panic set in: HAD THESE TINY LEISURE PANTS BEEN CRASH TESTED??? I made Jeff go 20 as I cursed myself for being a bad mother.

Later, after we made it to the Worcester Marriot, our eardrums shattered from the brain-bending screams that result from strapping an infant into a confined space and then deigning to get stuck in weekend traffic, I made the mistake of giving our wailing, gas-afflicted son gripe water. Gripe water is basically just fennel and ginger extract, and is supposed to calm colicky babies. But S. was having none of it. After feasting only on my Twix- and root beer-flavored breastmilk for ten weeks, he was unable to appreciate the subtleties of homeopathic herbs. Which is to say, he gagged and then promptly projectile vomited into my cleavage.

Which brings me to my 2011 Christmas list, much simpler than those of years past:
  1. I want to not have puke in my hair all the time, like it's my new product (I thought I was past that after the night in college when I mixed vodka, Mountain Dew, and independent film), and while we're at it, I want a retractable ponytail a la the 1971 Growin' Pretty Hair Barbie so that my adorable spawn cannot twist my locks into his death grip whilst screaming directly into my ear.
  2. I want someone to weld a bassinet onto a Roomba so that S. can sleep in perpetual motion while the sediment of two months worth of take-out is simultaneously removed from the living room rug.  
  3. I want to be able to wear a shirt that does not pull down easily to expose my boobs. I had no idea how constrictive a postpartum wardrobe is. You don't fit into your old pants, and all tops must be flasher-friendly. Oh crew neck sweaters and underwire bras, how I miss thee. 
  4. I want to be able to wear any shirt--even matronly nursing tops--without putting yarmulke-like breast pads on my nipples to avoid those ever-fetching milk stains that mark new mothers like wet, twin bullseyes.
  5. I want to be able to regularly eat foods that do not come packaged in convenient bar form, and that do not have to be cut up and fed to me while I bounce on a giant ball and half-watch Community (fudge excepted).
  6. And despite all of the petty bitching above, I want to be able to spend forever just being in the company of my gorgeous, charming, magical, cleavage-vomiting son. 

Yes, I know, puke. Literally and all over your heart. Did you like that kamikaze dose of Christmas cheer? More's a-comin. As soon as I fit in a shower.
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Monday, November 21, 2011

How Does Any Parent, Anywhere, Ever Get Anything Done, Like, Ever?

So, remember when I used to get all stressed out and announce all dramatically that I had to take a break from blogging, because doing half-assed As Seen on TV! workouts and keeping track of all of the various Gossip Girl plot lines simply took up all of my free time, and doing all that plus writing about my pubes on the Internet was about to just push me over the edge?

Ha. Ha ha ha ha. Hahahahahahaha. Oh, hindsight, you are such a sanctimonious asshole.

Before I had S., I imagined that the days of my maternity leave would be full of long, languid stretches of baby nap time that I could spend reflecting on motherhood, thinking up funny things to say about it, and regaling you with stories that would catch the eye of some book agent who would sign me immediately for a debut nonfiction bestseller, Mother Eff: Getting Through The First Year Gracelessly.

I thought that at the very least writing one post a week would be easy. But S. has other plans. I have, I am learning, what some might call a "high needs baby." He sleeps restlessly. He cries easily. He eschews Mary J. Blige's call for no more drama. Look, I love him forever and there are a few hours a day when he is a sweet, gurgling charmer, but a mellow baby he is not. When he gets really worked up, Jeff and I have taken to quoting from Say Anything:

"You must chill! You must chill! I have hidden your Firebird keys! Chill!" 

He doesn't get it.

The first thing people always ask is if he is sleeping. And the answer is, it's complicated. I mean, yes, he sleeps, but he prefers to sleep on my body, and does not enjoy being removed from the warm embrace of my spit up-stained sweater. If I wait for about twenty minutes, sometimes he will stay asleep when I gingerly transfer him to the bassinet like I am holding a live--and irritable--bomb. But most of the time he will instantly wake, giving me a look that says, "Bitch, you did not just do that." And then he will cry.

Even on my lap, his sleep is not always sound. If, for instance, he falls asleep nursing and then loses his vise-like grip on the nip, a violent Stevie Wonder-like head bob ensues, accompanied by a shrill wail. "WHERE IS MY NIPPLE?!?" he seems to say. "WHERE THE FUCK IS MY NIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEE?!?!?! SHAKESPEARE CAN GO FUCK HIMSELF, FOR THIS IS REAL TRAGEDY. THIS IS TRUE PAIN." Other times, I will move ever so slightly, or Jeff will cough, or a flea somewhere in the country will softly sigh, and he will startle, and we'll have to start the sleep process from scratch, bouncing wearily on our giant exercise ball.

This is all a long way of saying that I have about ten minutes total during the day when I have free use of both hands, and if there is a muffin anywhere in the vicinity the blog is screwed.

On Thursday, he is two months old. I am told it will get better. Please hang in there until it does.

Lucky for him he's cute.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Of Mice and Very Small Men

There is a mouse in my house.

I saw it for the first time last Friday, while I was nursing S. and watching my fiftieth consecutive episode of Mad Men. I closed my eyes and hummed and stayed in my rocking chair until Jeff came home... forty minutes later.

I saw it again--or thought I saw it; it was a corner-of-my-eye kind of thing--on Wednesday, and immediately left the house under the pretense of getting a latte. S. was my unwitting accomplice.


It had been well documented that I am terrified of rodents. If Carrot Top giving me an erotic massage is my 10th circle of hell, my 11th is the hallway at the Museum of Natural History which is part of the "North American Mammals" exhibit but which I have alternately christened "The Hall of Rats." It's literally a bunch of rodents tacked up to the wall. (Granted, they're behind glass, but seriously, anyone with a hammer and some nails could do this at home.)

Anyway, I don't know what to do. Most days I spend 6 hours alone in the house with no one to protect me from four-legged critters but a tiny man who spends most of his time vomiting on himself and smiling toothlessly at walls. Moving, according to Jeff, is not an option. Any tips that don't involve just growing a spine? I'm thisclose to ordering an anvil and some sticks of dynamite from the Acme Corporation...

P.S. For those of you not sick of baby posts, I wrote about failed sleep-training over at Aiming Low. I may or may not call my son "the world's greatest cockblock." (He totally is.)
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Childbirth Feels Like, And Other Burning (Pun Intended) Questions Answered


First, two disclaimers:

1. I started this post on Monday, which just goes to show you how much free time I have these days. S. only naps in his bassinet for about an hour; the rest of the time he insists on lying across my body like a cooing, grunting sack of flour, trapping me and forcing me to re-watch every episode of Mad Men while eating mini Clark bars. So every day I have a Sophie's Choice* of shower, meal that does not come in individually wrapped packaging, or dicking around on the computer (which encompasses blogging, ordering more baby shit from Amazon, and trolling my Facebook feed for breaking news, because I just don't have time to read the paper, let alone pick through the gonzo slush on CNN.com).

*Only not, you know, as important

2. I know that there are some (maybe a lot) of you who could give two shits about babies and boobs and everything else that comes with new motherhood, and I want to take this opportunity to say that I appreciate your reading it anyway--if you still are--and that sometime soon I hope to be able to write about topics other than poopy balls and sleep-deprivation. For now, though, please cut me some slack because this baby is all-consuming, and I mean that literally. He consumes me on a daily basis, 8 to 12 times. 

And on that note, here's another post about orifices and the human beings that sometimes come out of them:

So, no one actually asked me what it felt like to push a baby out of my body, but I'm going to tell you anyway, because when I googled "What does childbirth feel like?" in order to try to do a Karate Kid montage of mental and physical preparation, all I found were a bunch of Yahoo message board posts in which women basically just said that it hurts, that they'd blocked it out, or that they couldn't really describe it.

Before I gave birth, I kept joking to my horrified mother that I was going to live-blog the experience, but even if I'd done that it wouldn't have clarified anything for you. It probably would have looked something like:

5:50 am: First contraction!!!!
5:55 am: Shit, these are close together.
7:30 am: Owwwwwwww.
8:00 am: [Retching sounds]
8:30 am: FUCK EVERYONE IN THE FACE.

In between contractions, I focused on looking pretty.
10:00 am: Hi, guys, this is Jeff. Una says if I try to get her to type anything else into her phone she's going to kill my entire family. She's mostly screaming now. It sounds like Gilbert Gottfried got stuck in a garbage disposal.
1:00 pm: Jeff again. Dude. I can never unsee this.
1:30 pm: I've been to hell and back. Baby is bare-assed; I'm wearing a diaper. How is this fair?

So before I block it out completely I want to document the sensations of my* birth as best I can.

*Obviously, everyone's experience will be different. One woman's stabbing vagina pain of death is another woman's unrelenting, shooting genital hellfire.

First things first, I skipped early labor. That's the beginning stage in which you supposedly feel relatively mild contractions every half hour or so, but can still do things like bake cookies, watch movies, and walk places without crying. So I don't know what that feels like, but compared to active labor I'm going to assume it feels like dry-humping the Stay-Puft marshmallow man.

Active labor, for me, felt more or less as follows: First, it's like the baby is putting a corset on you, but being a bitch and making it too tight on purpose so you'll pass out at cotillion and ruin your chances of ever dating the heir to an oil fortune (everything I know about high society I learned from Gossip Girl). The pain of contractions wraps around your belly and shoots down through your pelvis. At first you can breathe through them, but soon you have to moan and then yell into a pillow. The corset is suddenly made of knives, and they are stabbing you in your ladybits.

The worst part, for me, was "transition." This means that you are fully dilated and that the baby's head is moving through your cervix. Of course, at the time I didn't know I was in "transition." I thought I was in Dante's heretofore undocumented tenth circle of hell, except instead of Carrot Top attempting to give me an erotic massage, I was simultaneously splitting in half and feeling like I was about to shit on my duvet.

For the record, these are my other circles of hell.
After transition comes pushing, which most people assume is the really painful part, but for me it was a bit of a relief, because I got to be an active participant in the birth and not just a moaning, writhing, passive victim. From movies and TV you think that after pushing for five minutes the baby comes out, which is sometimes true for second or third births, but for first-timers pushing usually lasts for a few hours. But! The good news is that you won't know how long it's taking because you're too busy concentrating on each contraction--which now feels like you're attempting to push a barbell out of your ass--and the sweet, sweet sixty to ninety seconds of peace and painlessness you get in between them. The bad news, of course, is that it ends with a human head coming out of a place you equate with recreational pleasure.

The head coming out hurts, y'all. I won't lie. I can't describe it any better than that it feels like what it is: a head coming out of your body. There's a stretching, burning sensation that gets more intense with each push. But by that point you're all, "GET THIS THING OUT OF ME, NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW!!!!" so the pain takes a backseat to the most focused bearing down you will ever do. Birth makes your worst poop experience seem like shooting down feathers out of a T-shirt cannon.

So basically what I've just told you is that childbirth hurts. Who knew? My insights are invaluable. But seriously, here's something no one else says: the most alien sensation of all is when the body comes out. Because even though you've done the head, and your vagina is passed out cold and your central nervous system is shuddering and pouring itself a shot of Jameson, nothing will prepare you for the feeling of having a set of little arms and legs pulled out of your abdomen and through your baby chute. It's not so much painful as it is incredibly weird. But then you get your wrinkled little spawn plopped on your chest, and the oxytocin starts flowing, and suddenly you are dry-humping Mr. Stay-Puft... with your heart.

Are you vomiting yet? Good. Onto the Q&A, straight from the comments/Facebook!

Did any of your neighbors hear the labor/birth? When you give birth at home, how do you get a birth certificate?
Luckily, both our downstairs and upstairs neighbors were away for the weekend, and our fourth floor neighbors didn't hear a thing. I should totally take back that wine and earplugs, right? And when you give birth at home, your midwife has the birth certificate application form with her, you fill it out, and she mails it to the city clerk, or whoever handles that stuff.

How did Jeff handle things? Was he nervous about the home birth, were you? How long did it last? Are you one of those ladies that say it was the most amazing and beautiful experience ever or was it just "worth it"? 
Jeff was amazing. He was there for me throughout the labor, holding me, whispering that he loved me and telling me that I was doing great. He stayed behind me while I was pushing and didn't make any inappropriate comments about my compromised vagina, although he did later tell me that S.'s debut looked like "a hair volcano," since our son's flowing locks preceded him out of the womb.

Neither of us was especially nervous about the home birth. Obviously we knew that if anything went wrong we would need to be rushed to a hospital, which is never a comforting thought. But then again neither of us likes or feels comfortable in hospitals, so we were happy to be in our own apartment. As it turned out, I had an absolutely ideal home birth. My labor only lasted seven hours, and there were no complications whatsoever. And while my birth was amazing in many ways and I wouldn't change a thing, it hurt like fuck which kind of cancels out the beauty. So I'll go with "just worth it."

Circumcised or uncircumcised?
Un. You might have already guessed that based on the fact that I had a hippie home birth. And I know people are VERY opinionated about this issue, but my decision was based on two things: 1) It was not important to Jeff; and 2) We had no religious reason to do it. Sure, I'm not super excited about reading up on how to teach my son to properly clean his wang, but I also couldn't bear the thought of snipping off a part of him. That said, I don't judge anyone who makes the choice to circumcise. And I'll thank you to extend me the same courtesy.

I could not help noticing your eyebrows. Did you wax just before your due date? They look amazing!
Yeah, I put this question in just to flatter myself, but since I spend most days in sweatpants and a vomit-covered sweater, sporting a hairstyle that can best be described as "side ponytail struck by lightning," I need a boost. The answer, gentle reader, is that no, I did not wax my eyebrows pre-labor. It's just that years of maintaining/fighting off a unibrow have given me plucking skills that make me quite the Operation hustler. But like Eeyore might say, thanks for noticing.

And now I will distract you from the fact that I have no ending to this post with a smiling baby.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

People Who Have Seen My Boobs: A Comparative List

April 13, 1980 - September 24, 2011
  • Tulpehocken bunkmates, Camp Onas (unavoidable communal showers)
  • 8th grade gym teacher (traumatic accident during swim class)
  • College boyfriend
  • Gynecologist
  • Jeff
September 24, 2011 - October 26, 2011
  • My father
  • My mother-in-law
  • My brothers-in-law
  • My grandmother
  • My aunt
  • My uncle
  • My 21 year-old male cousin
  • My mother's book group
  • Jeff's best man  
  • Our landlord
  • The pediatrician
  • The cable guy
  • Waiter, busboy, and approximately 10 other diners at Cafe Luluc on Smith Street
  • Anyone walking past our building after dark who may glance up to see a weary, half-naked woman frantically wiping poop off of her screaming child's genitalia under harsh overhead lighting
 If only I could blame any of the second group on an ill-fitting bathing suit....
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Pump Up the Jam

I have this book I read over the summer called "Breastfeeding Made Simple". Today I pointedly farted on it.

OK, that's a lie. I didn't. But I should have. Because breastfeeding? Not so simple for me.

Exhibit A:

I MS Painted some shorts on myself for everyone's sakes.
That's how you're supposed to breastfeed an infant when you have a clogged duct on the underside of your boob. My atrophied triceps and thigh muscles were not amused. Then again, on the plus side, he's going to be great at shotgunning beers someday.

Exhibit B:

#YouKnowAWhiteGirlHasAFeverWhen she starts flashing pretend gang signs.
That's me throwing up "I'm hardcore" fingers with a 102-degree fever right before feeding S. on a breast that seriously looked like a Macy's Day float filled not with air but with the burning fire of a thousand angry suns. Right around Wednesday of last week, my girls started resembling Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger from the movie Twins:  one was red and rippling like one of Mr. Universe's steroid-laced glutes, the other was soft and tubby and started making its own limoncello. I would rather have watched that movie than had mastitis, though. In fact, I would rather have given birth again. I'm totally serious. At one point I was sobbing and biting down on a wooden spoon while feeding S. on my teat o' pain and watching the Breaking Bad finale. He already has lots to talk about in therapy. I do what I can.

Exhibit C:


This is my new BFF, an Ameda elite breast pump. I love that it looks like a '50s typewriter, or some kind of stenographer's machine that your tits dictate into. "Take this down, Ameda. I'm feeling a bit nippy today!" Whenever I'm not feeding the little man, refreshing the various cotton pads that line my entire body, or picking out my least stained pair of Christmas-themed pajama pants to wear in order to seduce Jeff into ordering me Thai food, I am hooked up to this thing like a Holstein. A very underachieving Holstein, I might add. My cups do not currently runneth over, they dribbleth out.

So, I think I've provided you with enough sexy mental (and physical) images for the week. You are totally welcome, as always. Don't say I never gave you anything.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Amazing Talents of the Newborn

So, you know what's not fun? Mastitis. Which is what happens when boobs stop being polite and start being real, if realness can be measured in searing pain and fever. Between the jacked up nipples and this nonsense, there is so much drama going on with my mammaries that they should have their own soap opera. Tits of Our Lives, maybe, or Nips Landing.

Anyway. Before I fell ill, my mom gave us this DVD called "Amazing Talents of the Newborn." It's about how babies can mimic your facial expressions, crawl down to their mother's breast to feed, handle a power drill with surprising accuracy, etc. But having observed Baby S. for 17 days now, I decided to start my own list.

1.The innate Black Power salute:

He also does a "Heil Hitler," but it's not as cute.
2. The unbelievable ability to shoot poop up underneath their own tiny balls.

3. The Spidey sense to wake up screaming precisely 30 seconds after you finally fall asleep.

4. Stealing second base:


5. Accessorizing on a budget:


More to come as soon as I recover. And please let me know if you have any specific questions you want me to answer on the blog about the birth or first few weeks. I've been understandably distracted (mostly with scrotal cleaning--that shit is no joke).
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Sleep in Brooklyn

They never tell you how hard it is.

Well, OK, they do. It's just that you, hugely pregnant and well-slept and freshly showered, throwing back fried mac and cheese balls like it's your job, don't hear them. Because you have big plans to spend your first few postpartum weeks gazing beatifically down at your clean, glorious newborn as neighbors drop by with myrrh and frankincense and maybe a nice bottle of Sancerre.

And then. Oh, and then.

Then you suddenly wake up on the living room floor at 4 am, wearing mismatched socks, one boob hanging out, manually rocking a bouncy seat as you listen to something called "Ocean Waves," but which you suspect is actually just someone's shitty iPhone recording of an industrial dryer. Your week-old infant is wailing, and you must choose whether to let him cry while you pee or take him with you. A moment later, squatting over the toilet while trying to keep his blankie out of the stream, you begin to seriously question your decision-making skills.

Your new go-to conversation-starter is a state of the union on your nipples. You tell visitors that they look like they got into a bar fight. And you should see the other guy. He had... really hard gums. Ba dum bum. I'll be here all week. No, seriously, all week. On this couch, mouth breathing and having fever dreams about actually falling asleep. No one laughs, and worse, no one offers you wine.

But it's getting easier. I turned on my computer. I typed this blog, albeit one-handed. It's getting easier every day. And this little face makes it totally worth it:


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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baby Joy!

I meant to post again this weekend, but then... I had a baby.

Meet the little man:

Put up your dukes.
He is completely amazing. He has instantly changed our lives.

I made something with my vagina that's not gross to look at! Unprecedented!
They have the same little bitchface.
He was born Saturday, 9/24 at 1:09 pm, and I'm happy to report that none of my fears were realized. I did not poop, nor did my butt fall out, even though at many times that felt like the point of the whole exercise. I did not burst all of the blood vessels in my eyeballs. I had a beautiful natural birth in my own home with my mother and my sister by my side. And I know that's not funny, or even particularly sassy, but right now I'm just too in love to care.

Of course, I also let my son pee in his own face on his first day of life, I'm unable to move somewhere discreet when I need to fart, I can't go to a pizzeria because someone might try to knead and toss my belly and cover it with sauce, and my nipples might break off sometime this week. So don't worry, there's lots of fodder for whenever I emerge from this totally surreal, sleep-deprived, sappy, weepy stupidly happy stupor.

I've decided not to use his name on the blog just because I don't want him to be Google-able before he's a week old, and will refer to him by S., which is his first initial. But you guys have followed me for a long time and so I want to tell you his name without typing it. The photo below--an art project I worked on in the weeks before his birth--should do the trick.


I'll be back soon. I have to go... mother, I guess?
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Three One-Sentence Emmy Rants

After years spent not actually watching awards shows so much as attempting to frantically transcribe them via live-blog (a feat made no less difficult by my hunt-and-peck typing skills*), it was a relief to be able to sit back and watch the Emmys last night like a normal person. However, I feel the need to go on record with a few things:

1. Julianna Margulies Is Gorgeous, So Why Is She Dressed Like A Decorative Floor Lamp Inspired By Crystal Barbie? 

On the upside, the bodice really makes me want to play Mancala.
2. The Death-O-Meter Montage of Fallen Stars Requires Neither An 80s Space Graphic Background Nor A Bunch of Canadians Dressed Up Like 98 Degrees Doing A Bad Jeff Buckley Cover At A Hot Topic-Sponsored Funeral In Front of a Fog Machine

Dude on the left: TAKE OFF YOUR FEDORA. You are indoors, and you are not Wyclef.
3. Paz de la Huerta's Makeup Artist Needs To Stop Drinking

Paz also needs to cut her hair before it gets to third base.
As you were.

*I blame this on the fact that not long after he broke up with me, my first real boyfriend gave me "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" for my birthday, and therefore I now equate nimble typing with heartbreak. That, or I am just really lazy.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Mother's Prayer For Its Son

With thanks and apologies to Tina Fey, who did this first, and better.

First Lord, grant him enough athletic talent so that he does not weep openly during gym class, but not so much that he joins a team necessitating jockstraps that I must wash.

May he know peroxide only as a salve for scrapes, and not as a way to look more like Guy Fieri, for he hath not the coloring for it, oh Lord.

Unless he spies a cut of meat from the thigh of a pig’s hind leg and wishes to alert his brother, please Lord, let him never utter the word, “Broham.”

I know I do not have to ask for an awkward phase, for it is his genetic destiny, but I beseech You, make it just long enough for him to develop a good personality and not so long that he arrives at college having never touched a breast that did not belong to me (unless he is gay, Lord, in which case sub in “ass” for “breast,” and ignore the second part of that sentence). And while we are on the subject, make him deft at hiding porn, condoms, and tube socks used for masturbatory purposes, because I do not want to see that shit while putting away laundry.

Let him discover marijuana and alcohol in the company of friends who prefer to watch Comedy Central and eat too many Oreos rather than set fire to trash cans, shoplift from CVS, and pierce each other’s septums.

Guide and protect him, Lord, if and when he decides to get a motorcycle license, rent a speedboat, join an a cappella group, or go to Burning Man.

May he be handsome but not douchey, for it is the douchebaggery that attracts the damaged romantic partners and reality television casting directors, not the handsomeness.

And see that he loves and respects me enough to wait for my death to publish his memoirs.

Amen.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Transformations


More substantive post to come later this week, promise (although I did write a post about Sesame Street and other nostalgic pleasures that will probably warp my child for Aiming Low).

Also, I promise I'm getting a haircut tomorrow, so that my son doesn't confuse me with Rousseau from Lost.
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Telling The Neighbors

Back in May, I told you I was planning to give birth at home, and, being the neurotic New Yorker I am, rather than voicing any concerns about the logistics of labor in a brownstone that hasn't been renovated since Kennedy was still alive, I worried about how to break the news to my neighbors.

Well, I decided. Along with a bottle of wine and some earplugs, Jeff and I left these notes at each door:

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day to give birth in the apartment above you, would you be mine? Could you be mine?

Click to enlarge, read, and marvel at my even handwriting.


Now the only question is, how do I tell my dry cleaner?
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Deep Thoughts




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Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Notorious M.O.M.?

Yesterday I had a post up on Aiming Low about how I judge other people's drugstore purchases, and then I got home to find a box containing nipple cream, a baby rectal thermometer, and giant maxi pads. I wish I could say that this was just a fantastic coincidence--another amusing story of swag gone awry--but I totally ordered them. Because I'm going to be a mom soon, and moms have sore nipples, and brand-new baby butts that need occasional temperature-taking, and private parts that leak.

I know that a lot of women identify as moms the minute they conceive, but as much as I've always wanted children, I don't feel that way. My mom's a mom. Your mom's a mom. Michelle Duggar is a mom (and her vagina is probably like one of those wind socks you see waving outside of car washes). I'm not a mom.

Or am I?

My friend Beth made me this needlepoint. So I guess it's official.
I already wrote the existential mommy-blogging crisis post, and this is not that. You know I'm going to write about this baby, and you're going to love it, or tolerate it, or stop reading altogether and make my eyes--and my heart!--leak as much as my sore, sore nipples (guilt-tripping is the only mom thing I have down cold.) No, the existential crisis I'm having now has nothing to do with blogging. It has to do with mothering.

I no longer pull my pants up when I go to the bathroom before bed (my logic being that I'm about to take my pants off anyway, so why waste the energy?) When I see a brown smear on my clothing, or the couch, my first instinct is to lick it. I have read Rick Springfield's autobiography but I sometimes recycle the Sunday New York Times without reading it. I can't sew or type or properly fold a shirt or make hospital cornersHow am I allowed to be someone's mom?

"Not mother?"
To paraphrase Keanu Reeves in Parenthood, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car--hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole* be a mother. Where is my instruction manual?

*Hey, wait, doesn't "butt-reaming" mean anal sex? I think it would be hard for a literal asshole to butt-ream, don't you?**

**I am nothing if not a critical thinker. Maybe I am cut out for this.

P.S. I'm sorry if the title of this post made you think I was going to rap. But that would have been unpleasant for everyone involved.
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Dakota Fanning's Flower Penis and 8 Other Dumb Fashion Ads

If I've learned one thing from the cumulative 150+ hours of ANTM I've watched/drunkenly shouted at over the years, it's that fashion shoots are meant to tell a story (well, and that it really hurts to put in a weave). True, in Tyra's case that "story" is often limited to "emotionally unstable young women are thrown into anti-gravity chambers dressed as racial stereotypes," but still. Stories are important. Otherwise it would just be models... modeling clothes. And what purpose would that serve?

So as I was flipping through InStyle while waiting out the hurricane in my underpants and came across this perfume ad, I couldn't help but wonder, Carrie Bradshaw-style: What is this image trying to tell me?


If it's that Dakota Fanning has a vagina, thank you, Marc Jacobs, I always assumed that was true, although to be honest I don't think about it often because I'm pretty sure that would get me arrested in some states. If it's that Dakota Fanning has a penis, I did not know that, but it's her choice, and effeminate boys are really hot right now anyway. And if it's that your new perfume bottle is comically large and looks like a collectible vase from the never-before-seen Lisa Frank Home collection, then job well done, sir.

But that wasn't the only inspiring tale among the magazine's fall fashion ads...


Tamzen searched in vain for a Starbucks bathroom, even though she was reasonably certain she would be unable to remove her pants.


Yes, she was drunk. Yes, she was colorblind. And yes, Honey had gotten dressed in a Port Authority bathroom. But at least she was ready for the PTA meeting.


Only after coating herself in Crisco did Esme realize that it might be hard to hold on to her bag.


Tallulah though the doorman looked different, but she really didn't have time to inquire, as she was already late for her Fashion Institute seminar, "Head to Taupe."


Though she found Frodo unbearable, Galadriel really connected with Mondrian.


Humiliated that she had arrived at the equestrian vampire banquet wearing almost exactly the same gown as two other women, Oksana could do nothing but clutch her muff in fury.


While she sometimes missed her feet, Chamomile was thankful that she no longer had to save her tips for that bunionectomy.

And! I even spotted a Cole Haan model doing my favorite modern fashion pose, the third world toilet!


I might have to renew my vows with ladymags, you guys. I forgot how much they have to teach us.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

35 Weeks And Stayin' Classy

As you may have heard, New York City got hit with a massive earthquake on Tuesday that caused great devastation across the region, knocking over yogurt cups and causing ceiling lamps to swing gently from Battery Park all the way up to the Bronx. Baby and I survived, only to learn that there is a hurricane headed our way this weekend. Should I start stocking up on Off! for the coming plague of locusts?

Just kidding, what I'm really focused on is balling up very small socks. Duh. Priorities.

Is it sad that this took me an entire day?
Yes, yes, y'all, we are DEEP into the nesting, and have actually accomplished a lot in the past few weeks when we weren't busy watching old 30 Rock episodes while eating too much Popeye's, or trying to figure out why our baby seems to be shaped like a donut (he can't have two butts, can he?). We  painted, we built the crib, we got a rug, Jeff lugged a loveseat out of the apartment, my sister and I washed and folded enough baby clothes to tide the Duggars over for at least a few months.

Of course, when it comes to my clothes, I stubbornly insist on continuing to wear my normal wardrobe (excepting, of course, anything made of pleather, or that has a waist... or legs). Anyway, as a result, I am looking extra classy these days:


You are welcome, son. I promise I will pay for your therapy someday. As soon as you finish organizing your sock drawer.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Nobody Puts Baby in the Remake

Two years ago, I came back from vacation to news that John Hughes had died. That should have taught me to read a newspaper while at the beach, but no—instead I had to spend six days trying to beat the world record in cheese consumption and posing as a cover model for an imaginary pregnancy issue of Garden & Gun.

That’s why I was shocked to discover, upon my return, that another 80s icon is about to die a slow and painful death.

Yes, folks, they are remaking Dirty Dancing.


I know. I’ll wait for you to apologize to whomever you just slapped.

Anyway, apparently Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights was not enough of an assault on my childhood memories (I was indoctrinated early, by my aunt, at age 8, and had choreographed an interpretive dance to the entire soundtrack by the following year). No, now DD has to get the Footloose treatment, i.e. a remake with no colon and shitty subtitle to distinguish it from the original.

I realize that director Kenny Ortega doesn't need or want my input, but I've decided to drag out my casting couch anyway, to assemble what I think is an ensemble that will both please the young'uns (who weren't even born when The Lift That Launched A Thousand Amateur Copycat Injuries unspooled on movie screens) and placate the aging die-hards.

So, first things first: Frances “Baby” Houseman. I’m going on record here to say that if Lea Michele gets this part I will carry a watermelon all the way to her house, set it on fire, and lob it over the electrified fence. Ditto Kristen Stewart. The only acceptable Baby is someone who has more expressions in her arsenal than “facial jazz hands” or “sullen nostril-flaring.” A non-traditional beauty like Jennifer Grey would be nice, but we all know that if Jennifer Grey started her career today with her original nose, the best she could hope for is a walk-on as one of Blair Waldorf’s minions in Gossip Girl. So I’ll be realistic and accept that they’re going to want someone sexier. The most obvious Jews are Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Rachel Bilson (P.S. I had to Google “young hot Jewish actress” for research, which I’m sure puts me on some government watch list), but they’re all too cutesy. Baby needs to be convincingly awkward. Which is why I nominate…

Kat Dennings.

"I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you!"
She’s smoking hot, and a little on the old side for the role (she’s 25), but she’s got a nerdy, mature vibe that jibes with Baby's feminist intellectual leanings

The next most important casting choice, obvi, is Johnny “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” Castle. I know that Hollywood is going to be knocking on the doors of all of those shrimpy, testoster-phony tweeners like Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner and those beefy Australian Hemsworth brothers who look like Children of the Corn raised on L.L. Bean and steroids. But Johnny Castle is supposed to be man (I’m guessing 25-ish to Baby’s 17, although the late, great Swayze was 35 when he made the movie), so I think we can do better, and at least find someone whose pubes have come in. (And someone besides Channing Tatum, please. There have got to be other actors who can both dance and lift weights.)

I’m kind of feeling Ryan Gosling for this. I know he’s not super muscular and I’ve never seen him merengue, but I think he could really pull off that sexy bad boy from the wrong side of the Catskills thing, no? And look, I picked the most flattering photo to argue my point:

"You just put your pickle on everybody's plate, college boy, and leave the hard stuff to me."
As for the supporting cast:
  • Bryan Cranston as Dr. JakeHouseman...
"When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong." (Except when I'm cooking crystal to pay for my secret cancer treatments.)
Jerry Orbach was hard fucking core, and so is Walter White. He will go all Heisenberg on your ass if you step to his daughter, Gosling, so respect.
  • Blake Lively as Penny, the knocked-up dance teacher who spends most of the movie being an asshat...
"God wouldn't have given you maracas if He didn't want you to shaaaaaake 'em!" 
This casting choice will appeal to the teenage set, and there's nothing Lively does better than look vaguely slutty and distressed.
  • Lea Michele can be Lisa Houseman, because the whole point of Lisa is that she's annoying as fuck
"Oh, my God. Look at that! Ma, I should have brought those coral shoes!"
  • Donald Glover as Billy Kostecki...
"She's knocked up, Baby." (Okay, so Billy maybe doesn't have the best lines.)
  • Betty White and Alan Arkin as the kleptomaniac Schumachers...
"..."
They deserve bigger parts, anyway.
  • Jessie Eisenberg as Neil Kellerman...
"I have to say it. I'm known as the catch of the county."
  • Justin Timberlake as Robbie the creep...
"I didn't blow a summer hauling toasted bagels just to bail out some little chick who probably balled every guy in the place."
  • ...and Susan Lucci as that insatiable cougar who sleeps with Robbie.

Ta-da! You are totally welcome, universe. What do you think? Am I onto something? Or should I just bite my tongue and face the inevitable: Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, and his man-bangs singing "This Overload" while popping and locking?

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