Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Kind of Girl Are You?

Zoey has two boyfriends. She plays with them every day, even on the days they call her Toot Girl. She says she is going to marry them, both of them, mainly because they don’t have booger noses. I do not know their intentions. (Zoey has girlfriends, too, but somehow they don’t merit as much conversation at the dinner table. For instance, I have no idea of the state of their snot. And she is not planning on marrying any of them. Which makes me wonder if she is going to grow up more of a guys’ girl, you know the kind? Because me? I’ve always been more of a girls’ girl. That kind.)

Men may be from Mars and women may be from Venus, but both are still planets about which I know little. (I’m thinking in this silly interplanetary metaphor we are each of us our own sun). Much has been made of figuring out the opposite sex, but what of figuring out your own? Sometimes I think that is more important, Venus a “sister planet” due to similar size, gravity and bulk composition yet completely unlivable due to hostile conditions.

I have been the girl who hates the other girl for sleeping with her boyfriend. Fucking bitch whore slut with scant mention made to the boy who made it all possible. And I have been the other girl, too. I have had girl crushes and been crushed on, felt as if I were the prettiest girl in the room only to feel the very next day as if I am the toadiest, awfulest, most boringest girl ever. I have forged friendships and fed them grapes, let some hang like yellow leaves, lazily let others fall when I never meant it. I have broken up with friends, and looking back those were more painful than breakups with boys, a misunderstanding between girls such a deep betrayal of similar size, gravity and dense composition of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

Honestly, somewhere along the way I bet some boy has called me Toot Girl, though of course I don’t remember it. But I can still recite the letter that a girl handed me when I was 15 and had made out with her boyfriend the weekend before, how she and her friends came into the TCBY where I worked and ordered an extra large swirl only to smear it across the table and onto the walls as I watched from behind the counter. I guess I want Zoey to know as much about girls as she does about boys, though what I can teach her is not much. We have sent rovers to Mars and found water, gotten so excited about the possibility of life not to mention the countless nights spent analyzing boys, whatwherewhy, the apparent magnitude of the red planet measuring -3.0, a brightness surpassed only by Venus, your girlfriends, and then the sun.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nothing To See Here (But a Woman in Her Jammies Past Noon)

I owe you an apology Patti-atti, and you and you and you. I can't very well go talking about what my entrails have to do with toilet paper and then commence radio silence for days on end. I'm sorry.
I guess I've just been sort of nestling inward, curling and warm, my belly full of egg salad and red vines, peanut brittle, string beans and baby. Yes, baby--all is well with baby.

So may your Friday be Black and your digestion swift. A day late but I am always grateful for all of you.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Is the Opposite of Stoic?

Crumbly, I think, imaginative, emotional, susceptible. (Me.)
The opposite of stoic is waking up to pee at 1am and seeing the red of blood dark in the moonlight because everyone knows that blood between the hours of midnight and 5am is automatically multiplied and then squared by the mind of a pregnant woman who wipes once and then twice. Because really? Was that really? And then she wipes again hoping to see white nothing and sleep but there is more and she is awake and cannot feel her hands. No. No, no, no, no. I'm bleeding, she says, and like anything said in the middle of the night the words are too loud.

(Me.) I called the 24 hour ob/gyn line only to get a nurse who thought I was saying I had been to CVS the pharmacy that day--what other CVS is there? No, I said, it's a procedure, a test, and now I'm bleeding, bright red blood, to which she told me that spotting is normal throughout pregnancy. I wanted to kill her, I did, and it was only later today, at 1pm actually, that I spoke to my mother who told me that my grandfather who was an ob/gyn used to ask his patients if the blood could fill a shoe. And now I miss my grandfather who told stories that were too long and had a boat named the Sea-Section because the blood could not fill a shoe, would have probably only slicked the surface of a flip flop really, and now it is brown, light and I am sleepy.

I am okay for now. We are okay. Which is the opposite of stoic, I think, the automatic addition of for now.

Horror ceramics found here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Just a Pinch

I wrote this post in my head last night and it seemed funny. Of course I might have been dreaming. Because today there is nothing funny about this post. Today I am having a CVS test.
Which means that in two weeks I will know the gender of the baby.
And if there are any genetic abnormalities.
The test carries a 1 in 400 chance of miscarriage.
And is conducted with a cartoonishly large needle.
I prefer my needles small and non-animated. Preferably piercing cloth and not the tissue of my uterus.
Not funny at all, is it?
Positive thoughts and stories of CVS tests gone swimmingly will be gobbled up in the comments.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Adventures in Public Restrooms, Part III of an Illustrious Series*

The other day I was in a restroom BECAUSE THAT IS ALL I DO ANYMORE--PEE when the woman in the stall next to me used the last toilet seat cover. Now this was the type of toilet seat cover doohickey that is mounted to the partition between stalls, so as she pulled it out there suddenly appeared an open slot between us perfectly at eye level. So I did what any strange woman named Susannah would do and said, "Forgive me Sister, for I have sinned." I mean--It's not as if I pushed my face into the hole and screeched I see you! But she did not laugh. Or even sigh. I thought maybe she didn't get the joke so then I said, "It's been 2 weeks since my last confession." Still nothing. Which means, I suppose, that she had either never seen The Godfather or was trying to go poo, but either way would not be assigning me any Acts of Contrition. I was so ashamed that I sat in my stall until she flushed, washed, and finally left. Which is why I'm a still a sinner, pregnant, and have to go pee again.**
In other news, I would very much like to live in this house.

*For Parts I and II of Adventures in Public Restrooms, go here and here.

**I realized later that had it been a men's bathroom the open space would have been a glory hole, i.e. even though I am pregnant and constantly burping up the taste of eggs I am happy not to be a boy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

High/Low--It's All Culture

First, the High.

Zoey loves Shakespeare. That's what she tells me each time she asks to read The Book (much like The Bible or The Koran, she says it with all the Gravity befitting a bedside table drawer at Howard Johnson's).It is certainly a pretty book, printed in 1941. Zoey asks why the pages are stained a bit brown but does not accept my explanation of age. She says it is blood; I'm pretty sure this is part of the reason she loves The Book. I tell her who Shakespeare was, recite the 3 sonnets I memorized my senior year of high school, then she sits quietly while I read a few other poems aloud, though mostly she just likes to sit alone with The Book. She whispers as she reads it, she makes it up each time, and more than anything I wish I could hear what story she is telling.

The Low.

Last night I watched 16 and Pregnant because I am the mother of a 4 year old girl who reads Shakespeare. The episode centered around a teenager with crispy permed hair and a terrible cliche of an accent. She was 22 months pregnant with twins, and smaller than I am at 11 weeks pregnant with one baby. I'm thinking of picking up a can of Aqua Net because in the grand scheme of things, these things matter. Everything matters.


Monday, November 15, 2010

And For a Hundred Visions and Revisions

I count time now between Thursdays, the seven day stretch a one-Mississippi bringing me a week closer to having this baby. This Thursday will be 11; the days before and after do not count. My life measured out in what-to-eat-next. (Tonight I served scrambled eggs and muffins with a side of pickles and then felt sad when nobody wanted to eat but me.) I swing back and forth between ravenously hungry, disgustingly full, nauseated at both, then so tired I no longer care about any of it. There is something very real about the fetal position.
. . . . .
I am happy, I am happy, please don't mistake this for anything but the hormonal ramblings of a girl who used to read poetry aloud in bed simply for the sound of the words. Which is why I give you this, one of my faves which I had forgotten about until I ran across this photo here. (Pinky swear that next time I post I will have stopped listening to The Cure.)
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
T.S. Eliot

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Two Things I Won't Be Doing This Weekend

First off, I will not be following this supposed trend, though apparently I was way ahead of my time in the 8th grade. (Next thing you know they'll be showing Yale sweatshirts on the catwalk paired over a turtleneck folded down.)

Honestly, people? You're kind of making me feel like an asshole here.

Speaking of which, I also will not be attending the Cuddle Mob this Saturday at Dolores Park, mainly because I already have plans but also because I would rather peel off my own skin with a pair of blunt tweezers than take part in the largest group hug, even if it is to support the Marine Mammal Center. This is where I make no apologies for my wide WASP-swath of personal space issues. Air kisses for Greyhound Rescue? I'm totally there.

No, instead I think I'll make an online donation to the Marine Mammal Center, and then stare at this cuddle mob, the only kind in which I would ever participate.
(But only if nobody has milk breath.)


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Too Much Woman (Alt Title: Don't Read This Dad)

Once upon a 1991 in a faraway land called Right Off the 405 I was offered the chance to do a test shoot for Playboy. There are many things that should have tipped me off that this was not a good idea: the run-down office park location, the two modeling agents who said I was a shoo-in while glancing at each other, the fact that on my headshot my lipgloss was visibly applied over my natural lipline. But I was 18 and stupid so none of this deterred me. I said no only after calculating the time it took for the magazine to go to print and the thought that most likely both my brother and father would still be alive when my naked body hit newsstands. (This is also the story of How I Did Not End Up Dead in a Ditch off Miramar Road, though sometimes I admit to rewriting a draft and calling it When I Was Young and Hot, conveniently forgetting the subtitle: Don't Be Flattered When Scudsy Quote/Un-Quote Modeling Agents slash Opportunistic Pervs Want to See You Naked.)

Luckily for you, me and my boobs my brother and dad are still alive to this day, so it is not likely I will be posing for Playboy anytime soon, though surely that is the only thing stopping me. That and the fact that I am 38, love nutella, think Vitamin Water is healthy, don't exercise and will be 10 weeks pregnant tomorrow. My boobs are heavy, a roadmap of blue veins, my tummy a poooch with 3 oh's; I am the Venus of Willendorf had she been carved of gluten and not stone.
There was a moment in my last pregnancy that I stood naked in front of my full length mirror looking at what I had become. It was not in shock or even awe, and then Bryan passed by and said something like Wow--I'm pretty sure there are fetish websites out there that would love a picture of you right now. I think he was trying to say I was sexy (missing by a mile), but he was right. A pregnant woman is almost too much woman, all exaggerated breasts and stomach, overblown nipples and vagina--yes, vagina. There is even a name for this fetish, maiesiophilia, though it cannot be that common because as you type in "pregnant women fet..." Google finishes it off as "pregnant women feta cheese."

So that's where I am today, the heroine of a Once Upon a Time in a Land Called Suburbia, pop. +1. Nobody wants to see me naked except Zoey, who thinks the blue veins look like lace, the tale of a pregnant playmate who can eat feta cheese, so long as it's been pasteurized.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thoughts on a Monday (Can You Tell It Rained Yesterday?)

I like to think that had I been a woman in 1970something I would have been this woman, all flaunt and heel with the bitchin'est car I ever did see. That in the 20's I would have been a flapper, in the 30's a member of The Lost Generation, that in the 50's I would've been first in line to buy Howl, obscene or not, the coolest chick smack dab in the middle of whatever time, an iconoclastic poster child of something avant and slightly scary. But of course I am not that woman, not then and not now, me in my sensible flats and dependable Toyota.

For most of the twentieth century, doctors routinely operated on babies without anesthesia, believing them exempt from pain. I wonder, sometimes, what modern day norm will seem horrific to us in the future. Remember when we actually ate preservatives while pregnant? we might say to one another in the old folk's home, or for that matter remember when we used to put people in old folk's homes? Shaking our heads, how could anyone have possibly denied two people in love the right to marry, a 5-point harness the lap belt of can you believe, our children admonishing us for not putting them in helmets every time we turned the ignition.

What am I doing right this very second that will one day seem at best cutely antiquated, at worst ghastly and inhumane? What is going on to which I am not privvy? A movement, a scene? A way of thinking like an optical illusion, after which you can never not see the old lady?

But the car, yes--the car is freaking beautiful.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Did Someone Say Blog Fodder?

Here we go. I'm pregnant. 9 weeks, due June 9th, 2011. I am ecstatic, it's a miracle, Bryan is happy, Nacho perplexed and Zoey is thrilled. But enough about that.

Because I suck at being pregnant. Which is okay, I think, because I'm a good mom, but the truth is it's quite possible to suck ass at being pregnant, and I do. Of course before Zoey I totally thought I'd be one of those moms on the cover of Pregnancy magazine, glowing like a goddamned cliche, thin fingers resting on some sort of strap-on styrofoam belly. But I was not and am not. Pretty much from the minute Bryan rolled over I looked up and snapped WTF? I am tired and cranky, emotional, nauseated, spacey, sick, hungry and much too full. I throw up when I brush my teeth. It's beautiful, really. Wish you were here.

The difference between this pregnancy and my first is that this time I know what to expect, and it's not pretty. Because with Zoey I got pregnant face, which I didn't even know existed until months after I gave birth and saw a picture of myself still pregnant. Fat face, wide nose, flushed skin, double chin--when I smiled my face felt wrong and I could not breathe at all. Of course nobody told me then that I looked as if I had eaten Anne Geddes' darkroom but we all laughed about it later which was funny because it was over and I was normal again. Now of course I am staring down the barrel of bloat and the room has gotten suspiciously silent. It's like when you have a blowout fight with your boyfriend and all your friends trash him to make you feel better, but then you get back together and no one knows what to say. What? You think you have something to say? Really? Here--see for yourself:
Previously unseen to anyone because good god lady, this photo was taken 2 weeks before I gave birth to Zoey. Compare and contrast with my profile picture, i.e. what happened to my face? Yeah, good times ahead.

To summarize: I am totally over the moon happy that I am pregnant, my fetus the size of a grape, happy that leggings are on trend and overly grateful for steamed milk with vanilla syrup. But. That is all. But.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh! One More Thing!

I totally forgot to tell you about the other thing I did on my Blogcation...
Yup. You're looking at something I peed on.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation...in October

I did not visit my grandmother. Or go to camp. I did not get you a shirt that said "My Blog Friend Went On A Break And All I Got Was This Lousy Shirt," though I would have had I thought of it before now because for some reason I always coveted *those shirts when I was ten. No, this Summer Vacation...in October I did not kiss a boy, catch a fish or work evenings at the DQ, though I did start a new job. A kick ass happy new job, which is all that needs to be said about that. A job that makes me happy.

I also ruined my hair on my Summer Vacation...in October. One fine morning I flat ironed my hair, as I have been doing since I was 15 and slid the crimping plates off my Conair Hair Styler to try out the flat plates. It was a revolution, let me tell you, and now all these years later I am still ironing out the cowlicks and the frizz. In a fugue state, it would seem, as that fateful morning it took me a few thick sections to register the dead body stench of burnt hair. To make a long story short, my faithful 4th generation flat iron (now with tourmaline!) had gone on the fritz and singed half my head into a Brillo pad of aw fuck, no. 4 hours and don't tell Bryan how much $$ later, I have much shorter, darker hair that is still brittle and iffy and, no, I am not happy.

Of course there was also the traditional Halloween festivites that occur each Summer Vacation. Zoey was Medusa.
A stunningly cute Medusa, if I do say so myself, though she did turn me to stone when she suddenly wanted to pull the snakes from her hair. I had a bit of a Toddlers & Tiaras moment when I yanked her into another room to hiss at her that she had to wear the snakes, you are not Medusa without snakes, no one will give you candy when you trick or treat if they can't tell you are Medusa. Because apparently Medusa's mother was the suburban Gorgon Susannakaplolis, a split-tongued sea monster who waits off the Isle of Hormonos to feast on the flesh of little girls who just want to look pretty.
Baby steps, people. Tomorrow I will be back with something better, I promise. Big. GER. And better...

*Also? Inexplicabley those Go Climb a Rock shirts. I have not climbed many rocks in my time, nor have I harbored a secret desire to do so, but those shirts always seemed so freaking cool to me.


p.s. I missed you.