Thursday, December 22, 2005

good king wenceslas

Christmas Eve one year ago was the last time I saw my dad.

Dave and I went to my folks' place for Christmas Eve. We gave my dad some Ugg slippers, which were too small for his swollen feet, but he wrenched himself into them anyway and grinned.

We'd been estranged for a few months. (Nothing I will ever talk about on the blog.) After Christmas we went back to a situation of estrangement, though we spoke on the phone in January after Dave and I had a tiny courthouse wedding to get his immigration ball rolling. His last words to me, about our wedding, and repeated joyfully over and over again: "You've been spliced!" Two weeks later he died suddenly of a heart attack? a stroke? something that happened too fast for us to make it the fifteen minutes up to my parents' house to say goodbye.

I've just recently finished reading Joan Didion's book, The Year of Magical Thinking. (It's excellent. Read it.) (Oddly, I love memoirs about great mourning. They feel I imagine childbirth class is going to feel, but in reverse, and about the other giant inevitability. If you're brave, read The Disappearance, by Genevieve Jurgenson. She's a Parisian woman who lost two little daughters in a car crash. The book is written in the form of letters to a friend, and it's very spare and...elegant, if it's allright to use that word in the face of the subject matter, and naturally it's a series of repeated blows to the gut, but somehow in a good way. Books about death - they're like throwing open the closet door because you think there's a monster in there, and there is, but it feels good to look it in the face before it attacks you and those you love, as it will.)

Festive, festive blog entry.

But it is, it's meant to be. I mean, I hope it will get there.

So, when I was reading Joan Didion's book, I was flooded with all these images of what has left the Earth with my father.

Here are some of them:

* The real story of what happened in India when he was there on his Fulbright, and he had been saving some apples on the window ledge in his room, but a monkey reached in and stole them as he watched. I mean, that's the story, but all I have now is this bare sketch, this plain muslin of the thing. The details, the embroidery - they're cremated. Same with the details on all his stories - the one about when he hitched a ride with a navy pilot sometime after WWII, and the pilot was speeding and got pulled over and the cop said, "Okay, buddy, show me your pilot's license," and the guy pulled out his actual pilot's license and the cop was so nonplussed and amused that he let him off with a warning. Look, allright, I've pretty much got the details of that story. But there are so many more stories that I've forgotten, or have only the fragment of an image from them, and now that he's gone I don't even have a way of calculating how many have been lost.

(From generation to generation it's a giant game of telephone, and everything gets bastardized or totally abandoned and disappears.)



* My dad walking around in his OUTFITS. Mercy. He cobbled together some doozies. I've amalgamated them in my mind into one heroically mismatched look that stands for all of them: a navy beret, navy polo and a navy blazer worn over a white patterned flannel lunghi, which is kind of like a big tubelike sarong. Underneath, black socks and black sandals.

* Many of my ancestors could have been colorfully fleshed out for me by my father. Now they're just names and faces in old photos that I can't match together, the odd questionable fact floating by.

* Likewise with the artifacts in my parents' house. Little clay horses and various Buddhas and Shivas and little tablets with hieroglyphics on them. You know as much about them now as I do. But they came from somewhere with a story attached to them, always a story against the backdrop of some exotic land. I don't know their worth now - not their monetary worth, but their specialness, I can't gauge it.

My dad's favorite Christmas carol was Good King Wenceslas. Is this true? We'll never know! But I think it was. Something tells me it was. Dave and I were on a little trip to Port Townsend with some friends recently, and while everyone else was on a walk after dinner, I was back at the house listening to a Christmas album by The Roches. Good King Wenceslas came on, and I lost it.

Dad loved Good King Wenceslas, and he loved King Lear (did he?) and he loved Pere Goriot, a book by Balzac that he always wanted me to read and I never did and now I'm scared to do it.

Dad loved Paul Robeson. He'd seen him in Othello back in the day, and loved the man.

Dad ate his toast burned almost black.

Dad was a mushroom hunter.

Dad read science fiction books like other people pop Altoids. They line the walls in my parents' basement, all catalogued.

Dad was known to get offended if you wore a seatbelt in his car. A racecar driver taught him to drive, you see. Yes, I know.

Some ways he might acknowledge you: a small bow, or if he was sitting reading a book, he'd make a cluck-cluck sound with his tongue and the roof of his mouth.

Towards the end of his life, my mom would ask my dad how he was, and he'd say, "I'm here" implying that he was only just.

Dad loved this record of instrumental German Christmas carols, which sound like they're played on a Glockenspiel.

When my dad died, our estrangement died, too. Now I think we're very close. I had a dream a few days ago where I was looking at the Cascade Mountains, and they looked more astoundingly beautiful than ever, and there was this big new mountain amongst them, and the whole range was lit up pinkly in the dawn, and I had this pair of something like 3D glasses that you could look through and the mountains would look even better than they looked to the naked eye. Then my dad was there, sitting outside silently on a chair, smiling. I told him about these glasses, and I was about to run inside and get them for him so he could see the mountains, but then I realized that he could already see them infinitely more clearly than we could, and he didn't need no stinkin' glasses.

Monday, December 19, 2005

current finn schedule

10:30 -10:45 AM: Water Aerobics
10:45 AM - 1:30 PM: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
1:30 PM: Brief Feeble Boxing
1:35 - 5:30 PM: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
5:30 - 6:00 PM: Freestyle Swim
6:00 - 7:30 PM: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
7:30 PM: zzZZ What? What? I'm, I was just, I'mZZzzzzzzz
7:31 - 11:00 PM: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
11:00 - 11:30 PM: Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,I'm a woman's man, no time to talk.Music loud and women warm.I've been kicked around since I was born.And now it's all right, it's O.K. And you may look the other way. We can try to understand The New York Times' effect on man. Whether you're a brother Or whether you're a mother, You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive. Feel the city breakin'And ev'rybody shakin'And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.Ah, ha, ha, ha, Stayin' alive. Stayin' alive. Ah, ha, ha, ha, Stayin' alive.
11:30 PM - 2:00 AM: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
2:00 AM: A couple of drunken swipes at something
2:01 - 10:30 AM: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

silver beetles

Hello, everyone. Sorry no post for so long. Dave and I went out of town for a writing retreat last weekend. WHEN IT WAS ALL SNOWY!

But frankly, after all my talk about Christmas Christmas, the Christmas spirit has sort of snuck away from me. That fucker is elusive! I'm waiting for it to come back - it must come back soon. We're running out of time. We need a tree. We're going out of town this weekend, too, so the tree will have to wait until next week. The tree should light a fire under my ass, I think.


I've been reading Bob Spitz's biography of the Beatles (not to be confused with the one Pete talked about in his blog). It's really good. When I first started reading it I kept making the joke that I wanted to find out if they got famous. Ho. Ho ho. Ha. I'm up to the point where they just discovered LSD. But the most adorable part was when Bob Dylan first introduced them to pot. Ringo was the guinea pig; he left the room with a big joint and came back and announced that the ceiling was coming down on him. He was psyched. Then everybody tried it and they were all so excited. I found it all very endearing.

I have to give Bob Spitz credit. Normally, when I read a biography, I am NOT INTERESTED in hearing more than the smallest droplet about the parents of the subjects. Blah blah blah Book of Genesis! But Bob Spitz tells the parents' stories so beautifully that I was into it. Stayed with the parents all the way.

Sorry, though, Brian Epstein. Skimmed your family history. Life is short, the book is heavy and when I read it, it crushes the baby. I have to find places to economize.

Speaking of the baby, he keeps tapping on me. Baby, you have my attention.

Monday, November 28, 2005

at least as alive as the vulgar!

My Heart, by Frank O'Hara

I'm not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don't prefer one "strain" to another.
I'd have the immediacy of a bad movie,
not just a sleeper, but also the big,
overproduced first-run kind. I want to be
at least as alive as the vulgar. And if
some aficionado of my mess says
"That's not like Frank!", all to the good! I
don't wear brown and grey suits all the time,
do I? No. I wear workshirts to the opera,
often. I want my feet to be bare,
I want my face to be shaven, and my heart--
you can't plan on the heart, but
the better part of it, my poetry, is open.

A friend of mine sent me this poem many months ago, and I was just roaming through my old email and found it again. I'm so glad I did. She thought the poem and I would be simpatico and we are. I would hire it to be one of my small spokesmen.

Having a baby is helping me wriggle free of...something good to be free

*the tendency to judge myself by my artistic output/lack thereof

*always turning my head from side to side to see where my peer horses are in the race that we aren't actually running anyway

(Anything racetrack-y is an optical illusion that I fall for over and over again, the same way I'm fooled every night by my dreams and I think a very young John Lennon really is offering me $16,000 to buy my house.)

*the stupid wish for my life to look cool, have a particular flavor about it

*the idea that my life will end up worthy or unworthy as a result of anything other than what my goddamn heart did during its stint

I want to always be shaking off whatever Frank's shaking off in that poem there, and then some.


edit: My old and dear friend Kris has a little boy, Linus, and she looks like she's doing some of the very wriggling free that I aspire to do. Look at you go, lady.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

dahmoo doray

Everything good is coming and I can barely take it.

Thanksgiving is fine, but I always just want to leap over it and stuff Nat King Cole's Christmas album into the cd player. Anally, anally, each year I make a little production of putting his version of "The Christmas Song" on, for it must be the first bit of Christmas music I hear in my house. This has been in place since I was about ten years old. My family bore with me, and even got a little fond of this quirk. I think if I missed a year, I might spin out into some sort of gently tragic obsessive-compulsive fugue state, where I'm replaying over and over in my mind the horrid usurper carol that took its place.

I make myself wait until December to inaugurate the Christmas music, but I've never had a blog before, so I felt that there was no law about my styling out the ol' blog in holiday wear a little early.




Tonight, we had Thanksgiving with my cousins. This was a vegetarian nutloaf-y affair, with grace said in Latin and an impromptu cello/recorder concert given by my little cousin Irena and her mom -- they were totally excited and totally out of tune and we all just gaped and grinned and applauded like crazy. After Dave and I came home, we were watching a story on CNN about some woman who gave birth to quadruplets, and when one particular shot came on of the mom holding one of them, I burst into tears.

It's real. We're really having a real baby. A lot of the time this all feels still like an abstraction, and I have a few glimmers of what is going to happen here. But something about seeing that baby tonight just drove it home for a second, deeper than it had been driven before, and I just broke out into joyful Peanuts-style flying-out tears.

Our poor child is screwed next Christmas. Finn is going to be so severely elfed-out he may never forgive us. Dressed like a little candy cane one day, a reindeer the next, a gingersnap the next, and so on. Believe it. For I do not jest. Two motherfucking great tastes that taste great together, a baby and Christmas. Goddamn. Good DAY, sir. I SAID GOOD DAY.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

a brief mania, or, enter the snowman

Yesterday, Dave and I went to a bookstore, and I spent a lot of time in the children's section looking for potential baby books for Finn. I picked a couple of books that were about how much various animal parents love their animal babies, and so, human baby, you can extrapolate that your parents love you a crazy lot, too.

Then I picked this book called "Snowmen at Night", which is all about snowmen at night sliding out to the park and playing baseball and drinking cold cocoa and basically living it up. The illustrations are really bright and charming, and it looked like something a tiny person would think were very funny. (Can't wait to find out what sort of sense of humor little Finn will have. Oh, man. Until he gets old enough to be active on the comedy front, I'm going to be projecting a lu-lu sense of humor on to him.)

Look, I loved reading that snowman book myself. It looked great, and the snowmen looked so cute. And without realizing it, I developed a brief case of snowman fever. I didn't know I had it until Dave and I were leaving the store, and I kept halting by anything snowman-related. Dave finally said, "Hey, there, Snowman-Crazy..." and I had a flash of clarity that in fact I was hypnotized by anything snowman, and I found this hilarious to the point of doubling over.

But, truly, I urge you to consider the snowman afresh. Let yourself be seduced by the round simplicity and benevolence of the snowman. Become as a child again before his gentle, folksy sphericalness.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

oh, garçon...

There's no clever way to deliver this news. Or, there is, but I'm too flabbergasted to find it. Or, there is, but who needs it?!

We found out this morning that we're having a


We can't believe it!

*actual photo from the ultrasound. Amazing, yes?!

We were sure we were having a girl. We were like:

"Oh, I'm having strong girl feelings."
"Oh, me, too."
"Yeah, me, too."
"Yeah, I just keep defaulting to a girl."
"I'm pretty sure it is a girl."
"If it's a boy, it's great!"
"Sure, it's great! Of course!"
"But, really....I just keep seeing a girl."
"I know. Me, too. A little girl!"
"A little girl!"


We had an ultrasound this morning - a week or so earlier than we had planned, but we'd gotten a slightly abnormal result on our blood test last week (scary, bummer, bad moment) so we needed to check it out post-haste. The ultrasound came out good - the little man is looking healthy, he's a good size


We're thrilled! The minute his boyness was revealed to us, it was like, girl, what girl, girls are for girls!

And he was shimmying around like a nutball in there. His arms were just wicketa-wocketa-wicketa-wocketa all over the joint, like one of those boxing nuns or kangaroos. We couldn't believe what we were seeing. And when they told us he was a boy, we couldn't have been more surprised if they'd told us he was a hammerhead shark.

The little man!

Please vote for the best name:


Dave and I were going back and forth about names today. We have a couple of names on the table, but we were so surprised to get this news today that we thought it might be nice to open out the field a little. But then we tried it, opening out the field.

Let me put it this way. If Dave's taste in boy's names and my taste in boy's names were explained in terms of high school teams, his taste would tend toward names you might find on the wrestling team, and mine would tend toward names you might find on the debate team.

I'd float something out there, and he'd shake his head or grimace. Then he'd float something out there and I'd suppress a shudder. Then we remembered that the names we'd had on the table were the names we were able to agree on in the first place. We're close to a decision, now, and we're feeling good.

Welcome, Little Man Rowley!! We love the living shitboxes out of you!

edit: We've pretty much landed on a name now, but we're going to let it sink in a little before we reveal it. I'll just say that this guy can wrestle and debate.

'nother edit: Dave and I were just sitting around chatting about our son, and Dave said, "Have you met my son, ______? Allow me to introduce himself!" Allow me to introduce himself....I can't take it. I keep suddenly giggling about it.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

trials of the pregnant dryer spaceman

Princess Sputnik, by Mark Ryden.

Much is happening. My center of gravity is shifting forward. When I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, I sway and tilt and grab for doors and sink edges. This makes me nervous. I'm only four and some months along. What will happen when the addition nears completion? Will I need to find a new way to walk? Will I need to tip backwards a little?

When I was in college, there were two oddball guys who had opposite walks. One wore a little red pair of shorts all the time, and walked very fast with his head and torso tipped forward leading the way. This is the song we wrote for him:

Buh nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh I live in Ly-mon*
Buh nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh I got my red shorts on
Buh nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh Don't look for me I'm gone
Buh nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh Goin' to class
Buh nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh Got to get there fast
Buh nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh HEADFIRSTFEETLAST!

*a dorm called Lyman, but for the purposes of this song it's pronounced Ly-monh, or however you spell it when you're sort of droppping the 'n' except for that Frenchy open-mouthed nasal hint of it. Also, "on" and "gone" are sung with that same French ghost 'n'.

Then there was another guy who took a lot of drugs and had a bit of a white guy 'fro going on. When he walked, he tipped a little backwards, like he was walking down a hill that wasn't there. It was always fun to imagine the opening strains of "Purple Haze" when he strolled by.

Bownh-Nownh Bownh-Nownh Bownh-Nownh Bownh-Nownh
BeeerneeerneeeerNEER, Beeerneeerneeerneeer........

The first walk I described could kill the baby later on, so I must be sure never to accidentally do it. And it looks like I might have to cultivate the second one! When you see me walk by, feel free to go all Purple Haze on me in your minds.

Yesterday, pregnancy brought me the pleasure of something I'd never experienced before: coughing, puking and peeing my pants all at the same time. So, that's done. I can cross that off. Let's consider that a fucking fait accompli, and never revisit it again.

Yesterday was also our first meeting with the other midwife at the birth center, Felice. I am in love. She's funny and warm and spicy. We had to take some blood, which I hate, and is impossible to do with my practically veinless arms. We got some out of my hand, and then she called the lab to find out what the minimum amount was for this series of tests. I fell in love with her when she was talking to the lab person, and she said, "Yes, but that's not really true. I know that's not the real minimum. I want to know the real minimum." She stood up for my hand! I nearly made out with her on the spot.

In two weeks we'll get a fancy fetal scan ultrasound. And if the fates are with us, we'll get to find out which flavor baby we have. Holy mama. Oh, mama. Canna wait. Dying to know who we've got.

In non-pregnancy related news, Dave and I went to go see Ellie Parker yesterday. Don't do it. Don't do it. We walked out after forty of the longest minutes ever. Forty Jupiter minutes. Here's Naomi Watts eating a blue ice cream cone. For five Jupiter minutes. Here's Naomi Watts bopping her head back and forth in her car on her way to an audition. Five more Jupiter minutes. My head did the involuntary shaking-back-and-forth thing, which is always the Fourth Horseman of the Entertainment Apocalypse for me. Dave and I agreed that if we were given the choice of staying for all of Ellie Parker or walking back in to the last Woody Allen movie we walked out of, we would have walked back in to the Woody Allen. Harsh toke.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

you ain't got no alibi, maternity pants

What's happening is this: I have suddenly begun to show. I was at a record store day before yesterday and idly put my hands on the upper part of my belly. And it felt not like squishy regular belly, but taut, drumlike, baby-packing.

I was startled, and then delighted, and then apologetic towards my child because the record store was playing very loud, very scary music. Until I felt the taut drumminess of my belly I had forgotten that I was concealing a person underneath my sweater - a person who may have musical tastes, which may have been being trod upon. Also, who knows how far along the ears are? The ears could have been like, you know what? No. We're not going to get any more developed. No. Screw you.

And then yesterday, I ran into a pants issue. Other than my sweatpants, and one other miscellaneous stretchy pair of nice pants, I'm coming up empty with pants that fit. I put on a pair of jeans and then wore them unzipped with the button and buttonhole connected by a string, like some sort of trashy, retarded Ellie May Clampett. Let it be known, of course, that my shirt was LONG. But you carry yourself differently when you know you have something scandalously pitiful going on at your waistband.

I understand now that it's time. But I don't want it to be time. I don't want it to be time for these:

And it can never be time for these:

And even though these are good from the elastic down, and nobody would see the elastic part, the elastic part depresses me. Tell me it doesn't depress you:

And those comparatively cute corduroy maternity pants cost $185, to which I say Stop That.

What I want to spend my money on is this:

Shut up, I like them.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

great balls of fire!

Yesterday I got to revisit an excellent joke with my friend Stephen. And, if you have access to a piano, you can play, too! You don't have to know how to play piano, either. It's better if you don't, actually.

You are going to play Great Balls of Fire just like Jerry Lee Lewis, only better.

This picture of Dennis Quaid as Jerry Lee Lewis gives you an idea of
the sort of spirit I want you to bring to this thing. Plus he is so very hot.

Everybody knows the rhythm of the song, right? And everybody knows how to put their finger on the right side of the keyboard and drag it down to the left to make that trill that's like, SHOWMANSHIP!!

boom boom boom BOOM
You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain
boom boom boom BOOM

Too much love drive a man insane
boom boom boom BOOM

You broke my will
boom boom boom BOOM

But what a thrill
boom boom boom
Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire
BOOM BOOM BOOM Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeow(trill)

Kiss me baby
boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba

boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba

boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba

Feels GOOD!
boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba

Hold me baby
boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba boom-ba
BOOM I wanna love you like a lover should
boom boom boom BOOM You're fine
boom boom boom BOOM So kind
boom boom boom
Want to tell this world that you're

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

So, every time where there's a "boom", just bang on the piano with both hands in any old place in any old position. Just do it in rhythm! You don't even need to make piano hands if you don't want to - you can let your hands be like big dead meat pads.

Dernk darnk doink DONK You shake my nerves.....

Bonk Deenk Donk GERNK Too much love......

Blunk Conk Doonk MERNK You broke my will...

BLAMP FLOMP BRRMMP Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeowwww!

And sell it! Sing it out! Go nuts! When you say "Feels good!" let there be NO DOUBT that it feels good! Look surprised and delighted all the time at how good at piano you are! And when you do that trill, give your audience a look that's like, oh yeah, here it COMES, MAMA.

You can pretty much stop after "Want to tell this world that you're mine mine mine mine". You will have been awesome enough for long enough. Everyone will have had time to be impressed.

Monday, October 31, 2005

mr., mrs. and small frankenstein

00000This person times this person00000


000000THIS PERSON000000

I've been apprised about the birds and the bees, but you've got to be kidding me. Can you see that there's a nose? There's a hand? A thigh? Even a brain that you can sort of see?

It's the Halloweeniest.

And it's also Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, my birthday* and the FOURTH OF JULY. This baby business is every holiday but Columbus Day rolled into one.

*an unrecognized international holiday. This will change.

Happy Halloween, you everybodies

Monday, October 24, 2005

really nice

Last night I dreamed that Dave and I were on an old ferry, standing by a bar. Dave was stroking the face of some pretty young girl, and then

I got punched in the face by a ghost.


Friday, October 14, 2005

learning to love you more

First of all, my old ob-gyn is FIRED.

We're on the relieved end of a week full of worry, but let me tell you, we had it bad. I'm not going to go into the whole story because everything is fine now, but on Monday night we basically feared that our baby had died. BAD NIGHT.

And the receptionist you rode in on, Doctor Suckball. And the receptionist you rode in on.

Tuesday morning we found ourselves another caregiver, somebody fan-fucking-tastic who put just about all of our fears to rest. She's a fabulous midwife, and the birth center is like this beautiful soft pink cave. Everybody who works there is warm and groovy.

And yesterday we had an ultrasound and the baby is doing great!! As soon as I get to a scanner, I'll scan in the little baby's profile. Woo-hoo! Our child has a head! And feet and legs and arms and hands and a beating heart! Our child is three inches long! There be a button nose! It's amazing. It's totally a living person in there.


We celebrated by going to see the unbelievably good movie that we're nearly the last on earth to see, Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know. See it, see it. It makes you be alive better. It's so shocking and tender and hilarious and sublime. And it did that rare thing of ending right at the second that you will it to end, right boom at the perfect moment where it couldn't get any better. What I wish is that I could wake up every morning in the movie theater, watching that movie on the big screen, and then magically find myself back in bed ready to get up and have my day. I would be a better person, a person who sees and feels more acutely.

Here is a delightful Miranda July website, Learning to Love You More, which is chock full of sweet assignments you can complete and send in to have posted on the site. It's a joy to browse. I've never done one, but I would really like to. Tell me if you do.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

don't wear a bag over your head or punch the paparazzi

Tomorrow we go for our first ultrasound.

This is what I want to see:

This is what we probably will see:

Who are you, mystery baby?? Are you real? Let's bring it for the camera, little Rowley. Practice your clear face. Practice visibility. Just for now, be more like Paris Hilton, less like Sean Penn. And then later, reverse that.

By which I don't mean, be born a man in a woman's body. It's a stressful way to go.

By which I don't mean that I was a woman born in a man's body.

Just say cheese is all I'm saying.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

you don't have to be rich - just smart!

The IKEA Cycle: Tiny Domestic Dramas

This is the show I'm in. It just opened on Monday, and it will be running through November 9th. Follow the link, have a look, and if you live in or near Seattle, come and see it!

I mean:

a. It's FREE.
b. You need something from IKEA, admit it. You need candles. You need a lamp. Two birds with one stone, compadres.
c. It's good! This is a great cast, working with a great script.
d. You can buy the set.

It's 13 scenes that you can collect like baseball cards. Three a night. Mondays and Wednesdays. There's a dance scene on the couches! Come see the unsuspecting shoppers freak out and wonder what the hell is going on.

This is a review from the Seattle Times.

Here concludes my plug.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

what the mammary pain is like

It's like I have tiny gunmen stationed inside my breasts, and every now and then, with no provocation, they fire out into the world.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

the superbowl of australia!

Kalloo Kallay! Wooop Wooop Wooop! Boing Boing Boing Boing Boing! Zeee-oooo Zeee-oooo Zeee-oooo! Coooo-WEEE!

G'day, Mates!! It's a ripper of a day at the home of Mr. Hatrabbit!


Dave's Fay-vo-rite Rugby League team, the team he's followed since he was a boy of 6, have made it to the Grand Final!

Go, Wests Tigers!

When Dave was 6 years old, he played on a tiny little rugby league football team. His team had powder blue jerseys. Fair enough, okay, whatever. But one day, they played against a team that had BLACK and ORANGE jerseys. They were Tigers. Dave looked across the field and knew that this was his destiny. He was not meant to be some kind of wispy powder blue pawn. Dave was meant to be a kick-ass, snarly, awesome TIGER.

Dave became a manic little fan of the Balmain Tigers. His parents took him to a sporting goods store to get him a Tigers jersey, but they only had a very large one. His dad floated out the idea that they order one in his size and come back for it, but the small Tiger was having none of it, so they bought him this enormous jersey that fit him like a dress. Dave wore that Tigers dress with pride.

Two years before, the then Balmain Tigers had won the Grand Final. 1969. That's the last time the Tigers took the Final. They went to the Grand Final in 1989 and 1990, but they lost both times.

The Tigers have almost always been the underdogs. Dave loves them because even when they're losing, they play their guts out until the clock runs out. But this year, they're on fire! They've got a new coach, Tim Sheens, who took his old Canberra team to the Grand Finals 4 or 5 times - one of them in 1990, where they beat the Tigers in extra time. And they've got a player called Benji Marshall, a young guy who looks like he's going to shape up into one of the best players the game's ever seen. Dave's been following the Tigers from over here, and the news has just kept getting better and better.

The Hatrabbit has been feeling some bursts of homesickness, and it's a goddamn shame that he can't be in Australia for this historic Tiger time. But we've got cable, and the game's going to be televised over here; and we've got Tivo, so we won't have to watch it in the middle of the night; and we're going to invite some friends over and make some meat pies and watch the game and make a DAY of it.

Sunday, October 2nd. Telstra Stadium. The Wests Tigers vs. The North Queensland Powder Blue Pawns. (Cowboys if you want to be all technical about it.)

Feel you THERE.

Friday, September 23, 2005

the pastry police

Feeling much better today!

Yesterday, I hit a wall after walking into the lobby of a building downtown and then suddenly lurching over to throw up in a big fake potted plant. A man in the lobby gave me a look that said to me, "Noon, and you're drunk already? Don't get on the elevator with me, hobo."

But the hormones seem to be making their descent into comfortable territory, and today I feel like...900,000 bucks! (I don't want to exaggerate, here.) I woke up very excited to find myself not drooling, and got up and did a dance around the living room, and then Dave and I headed out to give a whirl to eating lunch at my favorite restaurant. It was a miracle, I tell you. I was feeling like, I can eat anything! We drove to the restaurant and I was practically singing in anticipation. But then we walked into the restaurant and it was packed with people, all of whom had different foods in front of them, creating a dense, troubling medley of aromas that knocked me offa my cloud.

So we went to the grocery store, and I decided that I wanted to bring home a little variety of pastries. Metropolitan Market has a fine little selection: brioches, different kinds of perfect croissants, tarts, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls. I loaded up my little box and was digging in my purse to get a pen to write the prices on the top, when an old man wheeled up to me.

Old Man (in a low voice, leaning in close): What are you doing?

Me (thinking he's being conspiratorial and fun): Getting some pastries!

Old Man (suspicious): Getting some pastries?

Me: (blink, blink)

Old Man: Getting them or BUYING them?

Me (getting it, and irritated): .........BUYING THEM.

Old Man: Okay, then.

Wow. Wow, old pastry fart. Way to patrol the aisle. I think he thought I was stuffing pastries into my purse, rather than getting a writing implement. For the rest of our stay in the store, every now and then I erupted in one of those whiny baby mocking mutters, "...getting them or buying them...."

Doo dee doo dee DOO dee doo.

Now that I'm more fit and more fiddley, I am ON IT in regards to The Icebox, Part Three. I'm working on it right now. I thank you for your patience!

And thanks for your kind comments and concern about the morning sickness freakshow. Much appreciated.

Monday, September 12, 2005

job opening

Are you psychic? Like, highly psychic? Mind-bogglingly, super-specifically psychic? And also, are you presciently psychic? Do you know what’s coming down the pike an hour or two from now?

Can you cook?

Can you live on no dollars a month?

Can you also do magic?

If you answered yes to ALL of the above questions, then I have a job for you, and you can start right now.

I am in desperate need of a psychic personal chef/magician. Pregnancy has turned me into an ultra-finicky, super-volatile-of-tastebud wreck.

Yes, more pregnancy food talk. Yes, yes. I’ve spent the better part of both yesterday and today on a shameful, Britney-Spears-inspired pregnancy diet of chocolate milk and puffy Cheetos.

Here’s what I need: I need this magical “employee” to constantly divine what is going to be palatable to my confused tongue, and I need this “employee” to get it ready for me before I need it. I also need the “employee” to be able too – and this is key – MAKE THE FOOD BE ABLE TO TURN ON A DIME AND CHANGE FORM IN FRONT OF ME SPONTANEOUSLY WHENEVER NECESSARY.

The cooks at the restaurant we went to for breakfast this morning, they did not have this skill. I ordered oatmeal, as it seemed like the safest, kindest item on the menu. It arrived looking kind. The first taste or two were kind. I looked away for a moment, and when I looked back, the oatmeal had changed. But this is the thing. It did not change FORM. It didn’t change from oatmeal to something else. It changed from benevolent oatmeal to malevolent oatmeal.

See, that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking for a situation in which, if I have some oatmeal in front of me that’s gotten off to a good start, and I look away and my mouth changes, and then I look back, I won’t see bad oatmeal there. I’ll see a bowl of strawberries and cream! Or pasta with garbanzo beans! Or whatever else the altruistic psychic chef magician has divined that I will need.

In the morning, I’ll wake up, and A.P.C.M. will have read my mind in my sleep. A.P.C.M. will be standing there by my bed with – who knew?- a Belgian waffle with peaches! I will eat a little of it, and when the mechanisms of my mouth begin to wobble, I will suddenly be eating – just what I needed!- a cheddar and jalapeno scone. This will continue all day long, and these combinations of food will provide my body with every nutrient it could possibly need, pre-empting the necessity to take my enormous dogsgusting Russian-roulette-game-of-potential-nausea-inducing PRENATAL VITAMIN.

I seek you, Dream Weaver. Come to me now.

in place of the other


Came back from Orcas Island tonight, after going to my ex-boyfriend's wedding. Wrote a long, long entry about it. It was a retrospective and a big benediction. It took me almost two hours to write it. Eight Kleenexes.

And Blogger ate it. It disappeared.

It was not meant to be.

Be at peace with it, Tina. Be at peace. Be at peace.

And congratulations to the newlyweds. Two beautiful souls, totally meant to be together.

I had fears about the wedding, none of which came to pass. It was a sweet and magical night.

I guess I'm not supposed to say more.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

bean update, or really, plum update

Loyal, charming reader Eve has requested a baby update. Just for her I will provide one!

As far as I know, all is well with the little senator. The doctor says that I'm doing very well -- even told me, "You take very good care of yourself!" to which I was like, really? -- but it'll be a month or so before we can listen in on the little heartbeat and find out more about What Goes On with the wee messiah.

I haven't posted about it because I am in a very tedious state of constant hunger and queasiness, burping and gagging all over the shop. It's all, what will I eat next? No, no, no, no, no, maybe, YUCK, lemme try it, YUCK, wait, maybe, allright, here's something. Here's something I can eat. Eat. Eat. Wait. Quease. Repeat. I'm buh-ored with it! The inside of my mind looks like this:


Plus, I gotta lose that ob-gyn. It was a trial situation, she's my mom's gynecologist, and she's a nice enough lady, I suppose. But nope. Not a love connection. She has a very thick Chinese accent so I can't always understand what she's saying, she barks orders, and she's kind of dismissive. She's not relaxing. She's out. I can only imagine her barking an order at me during the birth process. I would WIG OUT on her. I would schedule a fistfight for a later date.

This has been the Bean Report.

edit: Do you realize that this is my FIFTH POST TODAY? I've gone berserk.

we ignored bumbershoot, and now we're PAYING for it


We screwed up!! We screwed UP!! Arrrrgh....

Those minstrels in the grass are the HI-LARIOUS New Zealand comedy folk duo

Flight of the Conchords

and they were here in Seattle last weekend during Bumbershoot, our big arts festival.

We didn't know!!

Man, when I was in Australia with Dave, there was a stand-up show on television that we relied on, and Flight of the Conchords was on all the time. They were never one drop less than brilliant. And I don't like musical parody as a form AT. ALL. Their homage to Bowie...NO, sir. It can't have been that hilarious. And yet it was.

It was.

And they were here. When is that going to happen again? Maybe NEVER.

Thank you, Flight of the Conchords, for sneaking in and out of town and giving us a new, different kind of pain to feel these days. It aches. Arrgh.

who's my little buddy?

"And, um...over here I got this big laundry
basket full of water wings? That's like, 15 sets,
so...we're feeling pretty good, we're gonna
get those down there next month."

Who's a little Brownie! Little buddy. What a little helper.

have your katrina donation matched

I stumbled across this, and was glad I did.

Here it be:

Ellen/Warner Brothers Matching Donation

Double it up, bup.

oh my god stop saying BLAME GAME

I'm at the end of my tether with that phrase.

It's not a GAME. The assigning of honest-to-God blame must happen, and heads have to roll instantly to prevent more motherfucking fatally dangerous incompetence.

Ah, fuck, I'm breaking the Dan Spees rule already, and I'm not even talking to anyone in particular. I'm arguing with invisible stupid people in the air.

I've got a GAME we can play. Let's play the game where we drop Barbara Bush into the Superdome circa 5 days ago. Hey, there, Smug Face! Is this working out well for you?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

the dan spees rule

The blogs are bubbling over out there, in this time of national jackassery. And some of the opinions out there....let's just say I have to bite down and remind myself of The Dan Spees Rule.

Dan Spees was a fellow I went to college with, a smart cookie if there ever were one.

His rule:

Never argue with stupid people because
a. You won't learn anything
b. They never know when you've won.

Sage words. Sage words.

a break for some grape-flavored nostalgia

I'm hitting a momentary wall, I'm saturated with all the Katrina outrage, my eyes are rolling off all the new headlines. The quality of my attention is suffering. So I'm going to take a small break, here.

I'm going back to the 1970's.

I'm going back to the time when all I really hoped for was access to:

grape-flavored things

Grape, grape, A-list flavor of my seven-year-old heart. Grape was bad-ass, deeply delicious, far too cool for school.

There were other cool flavors, I allowed. Strawberry, as long as it stayed out of jam form, was cool. Cherry, though I didn't like it as much as I felt like I was supposed to, had cachet. Lime was like the person in school who was cool enough, universally well-liked, good sense of humor, but had no real danger to them. And lemon, let's face it. Although my mom is known to proclaim, "EVerybody LOVES LEmon," and "LEMon is ELegant!", lemon is Doris Day. Lemon is Renee Zellweger. Lemon wasn't an outcast, but lemon was totally goody-goody.

Grape was like the Fonz.

Grape was a whole lifestyle I was not allowed. We were health-food-eating, public-television-watching, rock-and-roll-eschewing (not by choice here! not by choice!) eggheads.

I lived for the times when I had access to grape flavor, and all the things I had metaphorically associated with grape flavor in my young mind. Allison Pykett was my closest friend, and let me tell you, the Pykett household knew how to make a sandwich. Wonder bread, peanut butter and


It was the taste of grape, in popsicle form, jam form, candy form, soda form (just not in actual grape form), but it was also the feeling of grape I was looking for.

I will tell you what had it:

1. ABC. The whole network in the 70's was like a Grape fantasia. Every off-limits show was on ABC. Happy Days (!). Three's Company. Charlie's Angels. And the Grape-est show of them all, Donny and Marie.

My friend Cheryl was so lucky, she had the dolls. Look at how they're dressed, both above and below! They know.

2. White shag carpet. Totally Grape. Look at it.

The only people who had thick white shag carpet were people who ran with the Grape. Stylish, up-to-date people.

3. Oreos.

Yes, they're not grape-flavored, I dig that. I dig it. But they were bad-ass like the Grape, and unavailable to me, like the Grape, and somehow that so-dark-brown-it's-black and white combination harmonized with the purpleness of Grape. I was color-sensitive. In that same vein, all dark brunette performers were Grape.

Joyce de Witt: Grape.
Valerie Bertinelli: Grape.
David Cassidy: Grape.
Jaclyn Smith: Grape, but finishing school Grape.

In contrast:

Mackenzie Philips: Not Grape. Maybe Strawberry.
Shaun Cassidy: Orange. Forgot to talk about orange.
Cheryl Ladd: Orange.
John Ritter: Lime.

Other things which are Grape:

The Mafia (This is just how it is. There was a lot of Mafia in the neighborhood where I grew up. I'm just saying.)
The Daily Show, as it is so very untouchable.
Certain blogs out there are Grape. (Won't say which - wouldn't be fair. Would that mine were! But I've never deluded myself. I'm working a lime, here, maybe a strawberry, at best.)

The 1970's were completely, deeply Grape. The world was so large to me then, and out of reach, and full of rockin' promise. I was going to get bigger, and if I had any say in it, I was going to get Graper.....

Monday, September 05, 2005

a good new way to help

I can't recall now where I stumbled on this, but if you have time and a computer, then you've got to go here and do this:

Katrina Wiki People Finder Volunteer

It's a matter of taking raw data that people have posted to Craig's List and many other places, and entering the information into forms to be put into one giant database.

Do a little, do a lot, but do it. There are plenty of tips to guide you through any confusion.

Friday, September 02, 2005

a small noise

A small sampling of current bullshit:

*Larry King, interviewing a young black woman whose mother, stepfather, two little brothers, little sister and father of her baby are all missing. She's crying, overwhelmed, talking about her situation. Larry King says, "We know how you feel." Do you, Larry? Really? Been there, have you? Fucking robot.

*Laura Bush giving the most disgusting press conference in Lafayette, talking about how well things are going. Smiling, laughing. What a vacant fucking piece of porcelain. Vacant but for a healthy supply of NERVE.

I can't think clearly, I'm just rambling. Endlessly shocked. The above two examples are just small enough for me to get my mind around. The rest beggar my capacities. I just wanted to yell into the air a little.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

king dave the awesome

People of England! or, um. Hold on. Lords and ladies!

I givest unto you your sovereign ruleyman, King Awesome the Awesome!
Good King Wencesdave! His Royal Highness, Lordy Lordy look who's FORTY!

Slow me down, Lord!

40 years ago, a squalling royal infant was born. And now behold in its place a MAN.

In honor of Dave the Ponyhearted, I give you this list:

Some Reasons Why Dave and Not Elvis
and Not Olaf nor Crimson is King
1. Dave is constantly demanding a pony. Sometimes forcefully, sometimes offhandedly. It's all, get me a pony this, are you coming back with a pony that, will you be stopping by the pony store on your way home from rehearsal.
2. Dave ends all phone conversations with the smallest, shyest, most optimistic little "bye" I've ever heard. He turns into a little flower spirit just for that last word.
3. Sorry, Dave. DAVE IS A MAN, a manly man with hair on his chest. He would bite a shark in half if it came to it.
4. Dave is messy, like I am, so we live in a pit, but there's no judgement.
5. Dave is a fabulous cook.
6. When Dave was seven, he beat on a nun with his fists for taking away his rugby cards.
7. Dave can surf! Ba na na nanana na nanana na nanana na nananana......
8. Dave is fearless, and tries shit out like, I'm going to teach myself how to play the violin.
9. Dave hates wearing ties so much it's like nothing I've ever seen. Did a tie kill his family? Because you would think that one did.
10. Dave draws like the rest of us breathe. He carries a little sketchbook everywhere, and draws the counter he's sitting at in the cafe, the dog on the street, little weird gizmo people out of his imagination.
11. Dave is an amazing writer. We take a writing class together once a week and he blows us away every time.
12. Dave can lose something AT THE VERY SAME TIME AS FINDING IT. He can lose something that is grafted to his hand.
13. Dave loves kids. Good thing!
14. Dave smells great. If you ever have the opportunity to smell him, take it. You won't regret it.
15. Dave has been a rabid fan of the Wests Tigers Rugby League team in Sydney, Australia since he was 4 or 5 years old. Since way back when they were the Balmain Tigers. If I ever start a band, I will call it The Balmain Tigers to show my love for him.
16. Same as #1, only substitute surfboards for ponies.

There you are. A sweet sixteen compendium for a kind old doddering man.

Happy Birthday, my shrivelly carved-apple-head husband. You are the greatest, and not Mohammed Ali.

avast, you fucking pedophiles

Everyone who isn't a pedophilic fuckwit, I'm not talking to you*.

But so help me, those of you who somehow have landed at my blog after typing in searches such as:

very hot kid sex
kid fuck sex

You need to get some help and get the living fuck away from my blog.

Also, you're not as anonymous as you think, you fucking maroons.

We now return you, blah blah blah.

*by which I don't mean to say that we're not on speaking terms. We're totally on speaking terms.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I don't know how to carry myself during these disasters.

For instance, I'm strangely conflicted posting about this. I guess it's good because it's one more place to catch someone in the mood to make a a donation. But some voice in me says something like, you don't have the right to talk about this, it's not yours. I understand that the tragedy is humanity's, and I'm a member of that group. But there's a free-floating wrong feeling that strikes whenever something like this happens.

Sometime in the afternoon of September 11th, I got up to make myself a plate of food. This seemed indulgent in some way, or blasphemous, something. We had some leftover Thai food and I put some on the plate, and then I decided that I shouldn't heat it up. Heating it up seemed like going over the top into totally disconnected, Marie Antoinette territory.

I've been looking on Craig's list at the people who are offering places in their homes for Katrina refugees. Most of those entries I find unbelievably touching. One man, however, was offering a place for female Katrina survivors only. No, no, don't let it be. Don't let some guy be trying to capitalize on this fucking tragedy by hitting on its female victims. Don't let that be why. Fuck.

And I feel guilty that we're not opening our Seattle home to Katrina refugees. I'm so impressed with the people around the country who are. (Mostly.) And then I think, why aren't we? Do we have a good reason? And then I have to come to terms with the fact that maybe I'm just only partially good. I don't suck, I realize. I'm fine. I'm basically kindhearted. But it feels small and ugly just the same.

Well. Anyway. Please donate. A little or a lot.

Red Cross donation form.

*edit: Holy shit. Read this. They just keep it coming, don't they?

**new edit: Now I'm hearing on the news that they're diverting a large number of forces in New Orleans from search and rescue to the anti-looting beat. Are you shitting me?!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

blogger goes 0-60 in, what, TWO DAYS

Good grief. Hilary is tearing it up over there. Read everything, but read this story if you haven't yet. Come ON. Evil stepdad, stolen truck, serious crash, koo-koo consequences.

Part One
Part Two

um, i'm not ready to go with anybody

Church Sign Generator = go geek out.