Friday, March 31, 2006

Why I'll miss work

On the flipside of my post of yesterday some people are really great to work with... a little something from my email Inbox...

-----Original Message-----
From: Teacher
To: mo-wo
Subject: the rumour

How are we to react to the last little bit of news that you give us half hoping that no one will have the time to read the end of your message? I'm not sure what to say. You gone for another year? Seriously? And on top of it we 're supposed to rejoice?

And on top of it I find myself thrilled? And I'm shouting "way to go mo-wo" when I should say "what on earth are you thinking? How do you dare abandon us for another year?" Well that's the way it goes: very happy and very sorry. That's how I feel, and I'm sure that's what most of us will feel.

Thanks for all your hard work
Un gros bisou

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Helpful coworker

So a coworker, actually my former manager, said the following.

Please imagine a Rocky like cadence in his voice...

"You are trying to do this mommy thing AND trying to do this working thing... And, it doesn't work, you know?"

God, I hate this guy.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Organic Ass

It was a bit of a struggle to get organic food into this house, both financially, in our tighter-budget days, internally, and interpersonally. In spite of Mo's um, helpful suggestions regarding my reasons for going organic, and my own view that I was potentially participating in some idiot Wayne Dyer-esque 28 days to instant vegetable serenity program of the gullible, I insist on paying extra for the organic stuff. I eat it and I tell myself "Man, this organic burdock souffle tastes waaay better than the inorganic burdock root souffle I made last week" while Mo orders tandoori.

I am not particulary eco-conscious, a slow-food militant, or vegetarian. I am aware that as a legislated term "organic" can mean something other than the "organic" of my mind's eye, where lambs gambol happily through the multi-culture agrarian plots as ladybugs eat aphids; children and organic farmers sing "If I Had a Hammer", holding hands, naked and unafraid, playing bongoes in the dirt. Like that. I imagined "organic", in the hands of certain corporate types, could mean "made in a lab" or something like that. What I am attempting to address here is the use of duplicitous labelling (like this is somehow new) exists even in the furry hippie world of organic food production.

Recently I shopped at the local grocery store, not the commune I regularly frequent, to purchase eggs. A brand of free range eggs was noted for the following tout (which I think I get wrong): FREE RANGE EGGS Our chickens have access to the outdoors.

I imagine a barn full of chickens, shorn of beaks, all looking at a screen-door which is never opened. Our chickens HAVE ACCESS to the outdoors... we just don't give it to them.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Baby names selections for the week

Boys names under consideration this week: Commodore, Mortimer, oops that's Gwenyth Paltrow's pick. Swarthy, you know like Swarthy Jones. Morris means swarthy but we don't like Morris so much, so cut right to swarthy.

Girls names: Edwina, Enid, Eulelia, Echo (is anyone philosophically opposed to naming their child after a Toyota?)

As you can see we made it up to E. in the baby name book girl pages this week.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Not a method mommy

I feel like some sort of bandit. Each night now we can step out of e.'s room to her very natural and comfortable "Bye-bye."

Last night even came with some sweet waving before she will turned her head to one side to go over her day with bunny, bear, baby-bear, lion, and the rest of the sleepy committee.

She is a good sleeper but what niggles me about this ease to sleep is that we did everything wrong. You know, they say don't rock your kid excessively or overhandle them as newborns/infants... We did that. Don't pick them up when they pull up and cry out in the night when they are teething... we did that. Don't nurse your child to sleep... I SO did that! So we are simply shittin' horseshoes over here getting away with this post-weaning "See you, Mommy! Bye-bye, Daddy. Nigh-night."???

You know, I don't entirely think so. I really bought into every bit of advice that took as its centre one fact: your child is growing. I believed in things like maturation and cues from day one. I think the kid enjoyed all we did, each stage, and she is enjoying this independence now. It makes sense to her.

We did a lot of things that were not advised by the books but seemed to make sense for our girl. We avoided a lot of our family and peers around critical events with the kid (e.g. weaning) and that is regrettable, but we also avoided a lot of 'you should' advice and that was great! For example, we had really no bedtime babysitting past 13 months, because I didn't want to hear about how I shouldn't be nursing her anymore.

I don't want to suggest I have the answers here in any way. I just wanted to put out there to anyone who is simply 'goin' with their gut' and feeling at all weird about not adopting some method: I'm with you. The best advice I ever got as an expectant parent was as follows:

"No one can really give you advice. They might have ideas but when it comes down to it you are the one who really knows your kid."

ps... I am well aware I'm playin' with fire here on two counts. Count 1: I might jinx our Girl Friday by posting this. Count 2: I have #2 en route and all the rules say this little nuthatch will likely break this mould out all over just to make me eat these words. Right?


Sunday, March 26, 2006

I'm Fat! I'm Stupid! Oh Yeah!

I think the written word takes the "personal" of the writer and imbues it with a sense of the "universal" for the reader. I do not believe this is a feature of good writing, but a function of reading. I am unsure whether readers, and writers, consider the transformation that words undergo throughout this process. Sometimes, and clearly so, the writer takes the personal and communicates it as though it were, or ought be, universal. The author seeks to direct the reader to a series of conclusions at which the author arrived previously. Sometimes the reader makes a little too much of another person's personal and takes it personally.

I offer this preamble in view of the recent ruckus arising from a post by a thoughtful young lady on the issue of... I'm not exactly sure what the point of the post was, I was too busy looking at her picture. It is safe to say the readers and the writer appear to diverge on the what the point of the post is, or was. The volume of mean-spirited comments directed at the author suggests more than a few people in the 'net have taken off their tinfoil helmets, or need to put them back on, or something.

Another blog-typer, who appears to be a real smart guy and all that (of course, I have never met the man, I only have what he has typed about himself, what his wife has typed about him, and the occasional third-party corroboration to go on), recently attempted to cut throught the veils of nonsense which began with the "offending" post, and showered down mightily afterward until the original idea, whatever it was, looked like a large pile of unattended laundry. In spite of my general distrust of smart people I found myself in agreement with the smart guy in question, thinking: this is well-considered, thoughtfully argued, understandable... until the author ventured to direct his readers what to do in the face of mortality. That made me mad. (Mind you, it takes very little to irk me, and I probably misunderstand the point of the post in question.)(Plus anger is approximately 50% of my emotional bank, the balance being panicky pants-staining fear.) It isn't that he is wrong - I can't say he is. I can't say he is the only person in the blogoverse trying to tell someone else what to do. Far from it. I wanted to comment on the post, to tell this writer what he could do with his directions, but there were so many gushy "you are SO right" comments (shivers), I figured my wee pot of piss really belonged somewhere else, like here, in P-corner.

I have dwelt a little on the subject a little further and have located the source of my discomfort. I have decided, dear internet, that it is time for me to remove one or two of my veils: I really really want to tell you (whoever you are) exactly what to do.

I want to tell you how to approach birth, death, life. I want to tell you about your ideal weight and marriage (which mine, of course, epitomizes), the right books to read, albums to purchase... I'd like to relate to you, without a hint of self-doubt, my beliefs on these various subjects and to argue as to a way of life which is more reasoned, more clearly felt, well, just better than yours. I will suggest you trim your pubic hair in my likeness, for it will please me, and therefore will please your partner (or partners, god bless).

In return, you will comment on my post. You will compliment me on whatever it is you want to see in whatever is I typed and you shall do so without reservation. The position I have taken will be sufficiently appealing to you as to lead you to offer blandishments, support, and other unconditional signs of encouragement which I, a complete stranger to you, will feel good about. You will comment on your toilette, including whether you wax your "business" on account of your considerate nature. You will tell me other personal and frankly, internet, disturbing details about yourself. You won't be able to help yourself. I won't be able to help myself. We will become co-dependent. I will tell you what I think you need to hear, you will tell me what you think I think you think I need to think you are hearing. We will grow apart when we fail to meet this standard. We will seek counselling. We will break up messily. Toxic comments will appear and I will cry... why don't you listen to me, internet? Where is our sweet (self) love?

The fact is, internet, you are populated with knives (as the song goes). You are sick sick sick, and even in the warm and fuzzy world of the parent, parent & parent, baby & parent, baby & parent & small mammal blogs, you are rife with the psychotic, the angry (Hi Mom!), the sanctimonious, the holier than thou, the more neatly trimmed pudenda-ier than thou. And you, you sick fuck, you need my insights like a duck needs, um, webbed feet. Otherwise you'd be a chicken and you would drown. You need me to improve upon you, to enlighten you with tales based upon my recollections of prep school and university (mostly bong hits and double-barreled purple mikes, but whatever), my tour of Vietnam (wait, I mean the time I saw Platoon on d-bpm). I shall issue forth with heart-warming tales drawn from my experience (at least, what I think I remember). You will be grateful.

I'd like to do all this for you, poor internet, but I can't. I must confess (sound of veil falling) to being average in height, weight, and build; below average in impulse control, anger management, and in my ability to turn down delicious, hot, crema-laden espresso; I am self-absorbed, flatulent, obsessed by those weird ingrown hairs that show up on the undersides of my thighs. I like to pick at them, and do so, even though I have failed to discuss their appearance with Mo. I complain about nothing and my wife suffers it. In spite of a fun, unemployed summer in 2000, I still don't have a reliable second serve (or first serve for that matter - a half-decent player can read a magazine on my service games and still win 1/2 of them).

In short, I am in no position to tell anyone what to do, what to think, how to look, and so on. I suspect, although I cannot verify this, you aren't either.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Who do you blog for..? A five part quiz

In the past week or so the question 'who do you blog for?' has been recurring in my mind. Hell, who do I blog for?

I guess it began with the announcement that my good internet friend L. met with a number of my regular reads. In keeping with my comment on the blogging baby announcement of the engagement it made me wonder...

1. Do I blog to make friends with people I will eventually meet in real life?

My answer, NO.

Then one of the seminal blogs for me exploded into controversy. Blog, begot, blog, begot, blog. I started reconsidering my longstanding opinion... Oh, this is why people blog. My reason for blogging: because the medium facilitates and creates the option to mediate thoughts both individually and in connection. In other words, the medium is the message.

2. Do I blog for the sake of the B? Do we log thought organically and then, when indulged in the luxury of our new technology, do we exponentially promote our natural tendencies? Is it inevitable behaviour in our culture to create connections to participate, sustain and reinvent the weB daily and momentarily?? Mr McLuhan?.. The question, do you blog for yourself as a sanity-seeking form of journaling?

My answer, well hell yes! of course.. and also, checkout how old I am that I still use the phrase 'new technology' Ha!

But then YUCKville ensued. My centre was shaken.. It got ugly all over - the online diary/reader exchange and connectivity was not a purely pretty, happy thing. Reassess.

Then I noticed a bunch of commentary around agreement. Aye that's the rub. This is where I started getting confused last week. Great.

3. Do I blog to share my opinions with like-minded persons?


And, what about readership? What about the community on our blogs? The neighbourhoods of readers which exist?

I think my sitemeter is a month old now and it has been a real trip to find out how many whack jobs from god knows are finding me and with what disturbing search strings. I think I was just as happy checkin' in on our regular commentors for the week. Not that I am getting rid of sitemeter. Nooooooo way.

Still, there seems to be reported some distinct difference between regular readers and visitors from another blogour-hood. A lot of what seemed go down on MIM's post has now been summed up in some part due to the distinctions of understanding among regular readers and drive-by's.

By the way has anyone checked out the return of the comment to dooce? I have always been, on some level, intimidated by the blog of dooce. But once I checked out the comments this week I buried all the anxiety. The readership there, uhm, really surprised me.

4. Do I blog to attract readers? Do I have an expectation of what sort of readers I will have?

We would be liars to pretend we do not write to be read around the Wo family. We don't have many readers but we have an unreserved adoration for the core of really excellent people who read our blog although we do not in anyway understand them or have expectations of the sort of people they are. It is great!

Finally, I have happened upon this... the genrefication of blogs, breaking down even the egalitarian term "parents". Thanks for the heads up Stef!! I am at times so glad p-man has joined me on the Internet front so I can effortlessly deflect this crazy argument.

5. Do I blog to distinguish myself -- or envelope myself -- in the stereotype of, I'll say, parenthood?

If you are a parent blogger did you join blogging before or after parenthood? Is it why you blog?

I must be honest. Yes, I blog because I am a parent. Blogging is a great social outlet for parents. It is an asynchronous social interaction that is completely respectful of my daughter's nap schedule, or lack of nap schedule... along with it being all sympatico with my desire to consider the lives and views of others sometime in the evenings from the comfort of my pajamas. But do I hold high my banner as mommy blogger or parent tag team, even. On that score... naaaah. I am waaaay too vapid for that! Though, I do think blogging is cool.

So to recap. Here's the Mother Woman, who do you blog for quiz:

1. Do you blog to make friends with people you will eventually meet in real life?

2. Do you blog for the sake of the B? Do you blog for yourself as a sanity-seeking form of online diary that is really neat cause it can link to all kinds of other things on the fancy Interweb?

3. Do you blog to discover people with whom you share a number of opinions about a topic?

4. Do you blog to attract readers? And, do you have an expectation of what sort of readers you have? Would you still blog if nobody read your blog?

5. Do you blog to distinguish yourself .. because you think blogging is cool and you think it makes you cool(er)?


Thursday, March 23, 2006

P-man vasectomy countdown

So it is official.. P-man can once again start classifying all disagreeable moments to MY hormones. "Its the baby!"

Damn you "it's the baby, numbnuts!" There will be reckoning. There will be reckoning.

ps... in his defense he offered that he was simply trying to emulate his hero, Captain Sensitivity, who proved last month referencing a woman's hormones as cause for anxiety is a perfectly acceptable practice these days.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wo Family Open House Project, Episode 2

I did promise to keep the crowd apprised of our household review process.

Newsflash: Not much has changed.

We have spent a few weekends out at open houses. The results of these searches have been predictable dismay about how little you get for a half a mil' in this city, somewhat peppered with uproarious laughter over what we keep pretending we might accomplish with any of the 'diamonds in the rough' we have had to consider. So my party line this week. Well, p-man is trying to move and I am trying to renovate this house. Whoever is done first wins!

But you know to be honest I am NOT moving. I have about 32 reasons, I will post a sampling over the next few months. Reason for today, the park.

We live across the road from a small but vital park about the size of one of our small city blocks. It offers the following:
  • Tennis courts where the horrifyingly fit seniors in the neighbourhood play tennis for 2 hours most mornings.
  • Large lawns where people take their dogs to crap, which does not bother me. It means my daughter has like 20 surrogate dogs and I never need to pick up one bit of poop myself.
  • An aging playground that is well used by all the kids I know in baby hollow, my pseudonym for the hood. Good enough equipment that doesn't draw crowds but keeps me happy.
  • Also, our park is well treed and beautiful with a view from the swings of the Strait of Georgia that stretches almost to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

  • I honestly would have been a lesser parent without this park. When anything is awry I just trek across the street for instant entertainment in the hiding tree. Or, I rush out to see the only thing my daughter considers a princess, a friendly 8 year old Shiba Inu now retired from the show circuit. If I need to get out of the house I have 'instant mommy group' at the sandbox, no Gymboree fees involved. When I lacked routine the magic of a walk in the park gave me a lot of help. As with so many things I have done in my brief parenting experience, I don't know that I did anything "right" but when the situation required it I had somewhere that would give her something instead lurking inside and giving up. A hectare or so can offer quite a lot to a little person and -- I now know -- to me. I can't imagine living somewhere else, somewhere distant from this.

    I mean it is possible that a bygone period of chemically-fuelled interface with the Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society is disproportionetly directing these views.. but heck I have made worse decisions than "Hell, no I won't go" based on even flakier criteria.

    ps.. I fixed the sink in about 7 minutes, cost 50 cents. We are not completely hopeless.

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    In Search of...Ass Wednesday Redux

    I am still in search of a theme for the ass feature. While certain helpful people (Dutch) have asked that the subject to be something other than my ass I can assure the temptation never arose. Me acting like an ass maybe. I expect -wo to post on that inexhaustable subject.

    I have considered, am considering, and will continue to consider subjecting the reader (Hi honey!) to puerile assessments of people in the news (other than, say, Pres. Shrub) whom I believe are the biggest asses of the week. Indeed they are many, too many. I fear this task is the analogous to a mouse attempting to kill and eat a herd of elephants. But not, like, Dumbo, more like the king who turns greean and dies at the beginning of Babar after eating some bad mushrooms, or licking the toad, or something. Oh, and you can probably come to similar conclusions regarding the folks in the news, the writers of the news, the readers of the news, in any event.

    I will instead relate a brief tale about a gig I played with a band at a local venue I will euphemistically call the Potlicker, located in the chemical weirdness of Gastown at night. With any luck, I will convey the tie-in to the post's title detectably. You know me, Commodore Subtlety.

    We took the show on short notice and short money. (But unlimited coffee for me. I had the vat to myself!) We agreed to play 4 or 5 sets, from 10 to 3. I voiced my usual concerns: Our songs suck! You suck! I suck! I'll crap my pants!

    So there we were, playing away in a late night barful of miscreants, shemales, and schneehounds who, on the mean, would likely have danced to a dial tone if the phone was loud enough. I felt, let's see... like the brother from another planet, but without being Joe Morton, with that cool detachable eye recording device which I could leave in a potted plant somewhere to establish the perfidy of the stodgy po-faced civil servant before dealing out some interstellar justice (but in a tasteful, understated manner) or whatever happened there. At least in that movie there were no half-siblings having at one another in a tasteful, understated manner (damn you, John Sayles!).

    Playing, playing, the monitor mix coming through like a wax cylinder played backwards in a wind-tunnel, people and aliens dancing, when I espy, below my ride cymbal, a 20-something white male, casually dressed, likely under the influence of some acronymic substance, dancing like a cross between catwoman and stripperella, and... giving his own ass the kind of love and attention you might expect from a frat boy at a..., well, he was groping himself, in a rhythmic, not very tasteful, and overstated manner. This went on for several songs and thus the Ass Dancer was born. It was all I could do to count to 4 repeatedly as Narcassus adored his fine self for what felt, and feels, like an interminable period of time. The end.

    Recommended title: My very first Mother Goose

    My very first Mother Goose / edited by Iona Opie ; illustrated by Rosemary Wells.

    Candlewick, 1996.
    ISBN: 1564026205

    Subjects: Nursery rhymes

    This is our recommendation for a great nursery rhyme collection. 60 selections by Iona Opie some less-known interesting ones (If I had a donkey and Dance to your daddy..) along side the top 20 hits (Hey Diddle, Baa Baa Black Sheep, etc.). What is the real seller for us with this one though are the Rosemary Wells illustrations and the graphics layouts. Fun and smart.

    Remember this book, or one like it that you use, when it comes time for that next baby shower. All those books that tell you to talk to your baby are right, but what do you say??? A nice nursery rhyme book can help move the conversation ahead for any newborn and new parent. Besides doesn't matter what gender and these books are guaranteed to fit for years!

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    Monday, March 20, 2006

    It Won't Hurt a Bit...

    Here comes the drill.

    I got my ass handed to me in court today. Turns out it's neither the finest nor the foulest I could imagine, perhaps a little ropy. Court was in Vancouver today so I skipped the office/suburb trip for urban espresso and wandering around the corridors of the fancy maison du loi. That's law-house, for those with a grip on the French language even more tenuous than my own, and for those who parler: Please, no corrections.

    I dined with my former colleague, the one who got me my current job and then left for a job in the city which I had refused (not that you'd know it, I mean, I just mentioned it) partly due to careless comments from one of his employers, er, my now-partners. This friend, whom I shall call F (not his real name) helped me get my foot in the door when I had been looking around and finding no doors, only hallways (which reminds me of the Lenny Bruce bit on the only justice in the halls of justice is in the halls which has no relevance to this post I just want to sound like I'm hip to what was hip when my dad was my age) and I am grateful to him and I miss working with him because he is smart and obsessive and stuff and I learned plenty from him because while I was in the halls, so to speak, my career efforts were, in order: 1. divorce lawyer and the man single-handedly responsible for all sales of Pete's Wicked Ale in the lower mainland of BC for 1999-2000; 2. tennis bum; and 3. phone-lawyer at a pre-paid legal services racket (or lawyer rehab, as I thought of it) in some bullpen situation downtown which was the dose of humility I sorely needed I can tell you... so I had lunch with F, stood around uncomfortably with his employers while uttering trade chit chat and looking for an exit. Earlier in the day I ran into the fellow who got me the phone-lawyer gig when my career path comprised of 1. and 2. above and to whom I am very grateful. I also ran into two former phone-lawyer colleagues to whom I am not grateful but I was glad to see one of them is no longer sewn to a phone anyway.

    Then I ran off to the bank so I could guarantee my corporate self as it signed its soul over to the bank. I didn't get a free pen, a toaster, or even a calendar. If only this parsimony was reflected in the interest rates. But I wasn't talking on the phone to some paranoid subscriber wanting to sue god, or trying to enact the rule of Solomon, or even working on a kick serve to the outer corner of the ad court (pity). I am now involved in a joint venture with three folks who strangely think enough of me to profit-share (oh, and take my money! [ok, the bank's money]) and it feels like I have come a long way from the dissolute youth who'd skip out on first year contracts to ride down Mt. Fromme with a skull full of thc, heedless of the consequences (physical or GPA-wise), and those years seem at once familiar yet alien, like I don't recognize myself, as I end the day sitting in the bath tub with e, splashing about and laughing my ass off while -wo expands silently nearby.

    So, by way of conclusion, it was a kind of full-circle day career-wise and life-wise, but for the fact I missed seeing the divorce-lawyer employers, so maybe it was more of an ellipse. Maybe just an arc. It was rounded, vaguely circular. Hmm.

    Sunday, March 19, 2006

    Exit Strategy

    E. left N.'s daycare about a week ago. Departure came with an unexpected side-effect.

    On the last day I cried and cried. I was a bundle of nerves. But over what really? Will I miss N. so much myself? She was a very lucky find in my hairy daycare searching. Am I unhappy about where we are going? No. I am quite happy with the new daycare and so is our girl.

    Nope, do you know what bothers me the most? Moving e. from her friends.

    The daycare she attended is closing. The lovely N. is expecting her own first child in a couple months. This is great! But what is the etiquette? All the kids have their exit strategies in place. Some have moved on already and some will a bit after us. By months end the doors will be closed. We were only there 6 months and I don't really know the other parents but I know all their kids. What to do about this en masse breakup of our girl's first group of friends?

    And, all the children were excellent friends.

    I want to do something to acknowledge this rite of passage that I had not foreseen. N. gave us a lovely photo of the Friends for us to keep (wish I could post it, it's so cute.. but I won't post photos of other people's kids)... but I want to do something. Any ideas out there? I have thought about sending the kids some mail, a card. I have thought about hosting a parents shower for N. after her new baby arrives, a last get together. Is there etiquette on this?

    Friday, March 17, 2006

    So Here We Go...

    E has a large furry snake in her room. (E does not stand for 'Eve', incidentally.) She wanted to sleep with her snake last night. I said "Nooo" to that. I am not and have not been obsessed about crib safety, I used blankets with her when she was less than 6 months, but even I draw a line here.

    Mama: Honey, you are lucky Daddy and I even let you play with snakes at all, let alone sleep with one.

    The Girl: WAAHHHH!

    Mama: Snakes are too dangerous to have in bed all night. Here, give tiger a hug. He's dangerous enough isn't he?

    The Girl: Danger, danger... Bye-bye, Mommy.

    So here we go... Drummers. Depps. Depardieus... P-man is purchasing a wife-beater-twelve gauge (Hemingway model) at a box storte in Blaine as I type.

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    Uterine Politics

    This was the week to make the decision between MD or midwife at Chez Wo. Interesting challenge. With our first baby we were completely clued out and made no self-directed decisions. I pretty well just went where my GP, who did no obstetrics, sent me.

    This time we thought quite seriously about the choices midwife, MD and doula, midwife and doula. We are very fortunate in BC to have fully funded midwifery, and have had since 1995. I was quite interested in being the sort of Mom who supported midwifery in my community. I even had as an option a rather cool program called the South Vancouver Birth Project that brings together nurses, doctors, midwives and doulas and places the family in a continuing care model with a range of peers.

    I think you can tell where this is going... We thought it would be a good idea to try something else, but in the end we won't.

    The delivery of our Girl Friday was pretty much exactly what anyone could hope for, I'll tell you all about it sometime. For now, I'll simply say it was unmedicated, of manageable time period and any possible down sides of it were subsequently completely eclipsed by life with said Girl. It was a hospital birth managed by the very amazing Dr. R. The come what may doc. my former GP sent me to. For the first time in almost a year and half I saw her again today. Baby E. saw her too -- the first face she really ever saw, in so much as newborns can see. Particularly, bright red and screaming newborns busy screaming "Where the HELL am I???"

    Dr. R. was the best doc. I found this out when I blurted out to one friend in my post-partum period, "The birth was great!" She laughed like I must be kidding, but I wasn't. I am pretty sure if it was so great it had little to do with what p-man and I brought to the experience.

    When we first phoned Dr. R. during early labour I remember she said, "OK, you're gonna pull an all-nighter. This is no big deal you have done this before. You will sleep tomorrow.", sure Ok, whatever you say... I guess I can do this... She also said brilliant things like "It is pretty hard to abnormalize pregnancy, you know" and "Wow, there is no question that's p-man's kid!" She stayed with us for 10 hours as we laboured and delivered. I could not go to a midwife because they all are supposed to provide this care. I went to Dr. R. because she is a rare doc who choses to do it this way. She seems someone who loves her job, loves to do everything right about her deliveries and let's admit it this woman can read me like a book. This is sorta handy.

    If I want the next delivery to be anything like the first, seemed the shortest route from A to B was to put the team back together. Although I freak about details we do not have handled for a new arrival, after today I really can't wait for the due date to come.

    As I left the midwife interview last week my mind drifting to calling our old doc. I was disappointed in myself. Thanks to a really good but f*ed up prenatal clutch we were a part of I definitely can buy into wanting to opting out of the doctoring of deliveries... But in the week I've taken and leaving the office today that internal debate of who has rights over my birthing activities evaporated. Uhm, it's me duh! And, why go through the work of disclosure of a Wo family birthing process with anyone new when I was so happy the first time? Count me out of having this fetus take a political stand before the vegan announcement at age 9.

    Wednesday, March 15, 2006

    Ass Wednesday

    Mo- and I have reconciled to the fact I cannot survive on my own, so no splinter-blogs here. Together, forever, ladada da dum...

    Still plus as well, too I get to have a "feature". Aaaa feeeaturrrre ,intones the younger, lesser-known brother of Bruce Buffer, wondering what the big two syllable word means, without thinking the word 'syllable', which is an even longer word, and therefore more inscrutable, which is even more difficult to interpret, or... sort out, and at last he is on familiar territory, no wait, 'firm ground', and he can enjoy the fine UFC match he is announcing, wherein one contestant is using his "diet supplement"-strength to tear the arms off his opponent, who is too manly to tap out, because "it's only a flesh wound", while Bruce Buffer's younger brother contemplates the raw beauty of the parabolic arcs described by the arterial blood now jetting from the stumps of the defeated yet resolute combatant (well, Joe, I'm sorry that I lost the fight, and my arms, but I have no shame in losing- I left it all in the ring) and splattering across the canvas of the ring, where it pools, glistening in the glare of the arc lights.

    The feature, such as it is, is called "Ass Wednesday", after a recent post of mine where I noted my lovely and forthright spouse had suggested I move out into my own blog. I suggested names, and I was overwhwelmed by your response, people! By a clear majority of 2 votes to none, from a total of two votes, Ass Wednesday came out on top. I hereby 'shout out' (what the fuck? I can't type it without wincing.) my thanks to a lady who types like Catherine Denueve and to someone who is not afraid to identify himself as a lawyer in Texas (that is, as either a lawyer, or a resident of the republic).

    I would have forged ahead on my own thus acceding to my wife's request that I stop dragging her down with my incessant whining and bi-digital typing, damnit, she was getting tired of wiping spittle off the computer screen, but for the fact I have the technological skills of a learning-impaired mollusc. Mo- realised sending me out on my own would be the internet equivalent of dumping a box of puppies on a highway where they would bark and yelp and look cute until crushed horribly by some kind of vehicle driven by some kind of driver who will forever be known as "Puppy Killer" regardless of his or her milieu. God Damned Puppy Killer; Rev. Puppy Killer; Grandma Puppy Killer; Kappa Phi Puppy Killer; Most Righteous Puppy Killer.

    So, Back to the Feature, starring Dirk Benedict and that funny-looking kid from tv, you know the one. It will occur weekly, each Wednesday, weather permitting. Mo- assures me it will be a ratings wonder, on account of it happening each Wednesday, and being a feature and all. I have every confidence it will work wonders for this blog, this family, and this fair dominion of ours and in short order too! Just you wait. As soon as I find a unifying theme, that is. Not "yahooligans", not images of Victorian-era children dressed in rags, not a monthly paean pandering to my infant daughter and to the sensitivities of the reader... but what? It's just a matter of time before I figure it out. Or you can tell me what you think I should revolve this "feature" around, since I am bereft of ideas at the moment. Charity begins at home. Resistance is futile...

    COMING SOON!! Ass Wednesday

    As you know I have on occassion threatened to throw p-man off the blog. As he has had the distinction of expulsions since kindergarten it is important to him to keep up his bad boy image. With the advent of his newfound bossly squareness now seemed as good a time as any to revisit it.

    Ultimately, I know the blog can't do without him so instead... Please look for our new regular p-man feature. Coming weekly it is, after much ado... Ass Wednesday!

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Inter-blog Commentary : Golden age of babyhood

    I am the youngest of my extended family. The "baby" they said. Being treated as such I developed some hearty resentments about never being the first to drive a car, or the first to travel, drink, get laid, etc etc. Being the first to graduate with a degree in Medieval Studies, the first to marry a pothead she found in a ditch in the English midlands, and the first to sit as a youth delegate in both the provincial and federal legislatures have done little to temper this resentment.

    Among our friends we were, for a long while, the last ones in. Our daughter is the youngest from an officeful of pregnancies in '04. Our pregnancy was the last in the neighbourhood and in our circle of friends. As a mother, I found early on I was again at the receiving end of a LOT of baby treatment, largely in the form of advance notice about how things were going to be. One friend invariably informed me that where she was at any moment was HELL and I was at a "the golden age of babyhood", regardless of the fact that where I was at the moment corresponded to where she was the last time we had our 90 day lattes.

    The exception to this has been my experience in the blogour-hood, you know that circle of blogs so neatly fleshed out in the delurker contest of last January. Within the blogour-hood we are housemates with an older child -- while a few notable exceptions must be made for the senior counsel of the sicker, the sitter and the morphmommymaker; plus, most senior advisor Granny. I enjoy looking at the words and work of everyone daily; tuning in to the things you are all doing with some confidence that I know whereof you speak. I try to react with the unconditional support I crave, and have been lucky to get from some quarters, as a parent.

    Sometimes I stumble and fall into the my kid/your kid gutter. A short while ago I put my daughter through a blog-inspired activity and haven't really recovered, yet. I guess it took hold due to the image meme by GCC, but it hardly started there. No, I picked up on little comments here and there where kids of bloggers saw or met the kid of another blogger and had some adorable reaction. The covetousness kicked in! Is that it? Or was it actually that I am -- quite harmlessly -- at the moment baby crazy... and, the thought of sharing my delight in looking at the pics of all your kids with my daughter has been an until then unrealized pastime? More likely the first... really because it does all coincide with a period of great angst I have about the social needs of an 18 month old.

    Did you know it is an inscrutable state of affairs? I believe I have now passed out of the golden age of babyhood .. and, what, into the stone age of daunting confusion..?

    Of late MetroDad got me going with his talk of friendship and the hugs and kisses photos of Pea and June... With this latest friendly-children story I reflected on what transpired when I introduced our Girl Friday to everyone's children online. It did not go for us as described by y'all. She didn't laugh at silly faces or comment on toys. Instead with each picture e. grappled to identify and to place the children, to identify the known face in the shape of the unknown. Any resemblence she reckoned resulted in questioning looks to me joined with names of children she knows in real life. This is not entirely limited to digital representations. She can see a tall man, with glasses and grey hair and say 'gahmpah', asking for my dad. When p-man had a pink mug out last night instead of his standard beige caffine-stein, the voice came 'baba?'.. I guess my Mom always uses this mug? There are tears at the playground when a strange child crowds in but peals of laughter with a friend in daycare. It is a dizzing matrix of relationships and I feel out of my depth. Will it be for good or ill, my child's differentiation?

    When she was very small we had an argument about crows. She knew in her home, in her life really, that there were these individuals and we were each someone.... me, Oma, Baba, Papa-man, Gahmpah, Gigi,.. Dexter and Filip... We went outside and there were many others. There was that crow there and he was everywhere. In keeping with his reputation he tricked her? I worked with her to explain how though every one is identical they are all individuals. Sometimes I think I was wrong doing this.

    I know full well to classify is human, but the concept overall wigs me out. Not that I will give in to the 'deux ex machina' parenting; I don't think it's cause and effect. I just wonder what she does think? Sometimes the outward expressions show she is more uncomfortable than comfortable. But as advertised above, I am clueless.

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    House of Cards

    I am here at the office (at least, I was when I started to type this post), sitting on hold while my an employee at a large client company goes in search of someone who can give me instructions, pondering the recent and impending changes in my life, the lives of my ladies, and of course, those of my disgusting cats. It has been noted by Mo- I go to great lengths, unhealthy lengths, to avoid addressing things which trouble me, which aversion I will overcome HERE or maybe further down the page. Miraculously, this post is not about corporate on-hold music, which is a genre worthy of considerable comment.

    This month I went from employee to boss, or co-boss, or partner or whatever. I have downplayed this event in my mind over the last few months, and have done so for three reasons. These are, in no order: I have borrowed a fair bit of coin to buy in; I am now responsible to my family members, and to my numerous co-workers who are now (gulp) my employees (at least in part); and six years ago I was fired from my first job as an associate on account of my execrable performance as an employee. (In my defence, I was drunk the whole time, but try explaining that to the bosses.) What I am circumlocuting is that I am surprised/happy just to have a job, let alone a career, let alone bossness (bossivity, partnerocity).

    Mo-wo is growing larger and more feisty daily. By feisty I mean radiant and charming. We will soon, I hope, be blessed with another beautiful and healthy child who will run us like those weird electric rabbits run the greyhounds and who will love us in a manner so pure as to defy meaningful definition. Baby E will have a sibling. Mo will be at home for some time, away from a career that she enjoys and to which she is devoted. The cats will soon have another small human to give them sticky hugs and guerilla tail-pulls. The quantity of poo produced by members of our household will increase geometrically. Hazmat teams will camp out next to the garbage cans... These are some changes!

    But do I feel worried- nooooo! I am completely numb from the neck up. It is my fervent wish that I can soon feel what I imagine the required level of anxiety/terror/night shits to be.

    In an effort to give effect to this wish I've started looking for a new domicile in which I, Mo-, E, and the felines may defecate with the frequency and privacy (or lack thereof) to which we are accustomed. This is no small order - we will require acres of porcelain and pozzolanic gravel. We have now looked at the first uncared-for yet overpriced candidates and they are lacking in, inter alia, sufficient quantity and quality of toilets.

    My secret desire, unannounced to Mo-, and likely designed by my subconscious to create utter chaos in my life, the green-apple splatters of body and soul, is to re-finance our wee home to its gutters, use that borrowed money to pay down on the next place, rent the basement of the new one, all so we can have two houses, two cats, two kids, two mortgages, two sets of tenants and two infarctions. Yeah!

    I'm not trying to avoid dealing with what there is by trying to add layers of stuff onto what is. I am not prepared to admit to that. That would be an unwarranted exercise of candor.

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    Boom Boom

    Oh my god. Last day before 1 week vacation. Correction, one week to do all that housecleaning, laundry and transition child to new daycare, YIKES!

    I have had the following nursery rhyme in my head all morning. Do you know it? Boom Boom ain't it great to be crazy?? I had NEVER heard of it until I because a regular reader of books nursery rhyme. E. loves it but I have an uneasy relationship with my daughter and word crazy. I am just being kinda compulsive, right?

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Wo Family Open House Project, Episode 1

    So the bathroom sink is leaking. Actually the drain trap because our last contractors were IDIOTS. I believe this part of the job was handled somewhere in their last 10 days when yours truly, 9mos preggers, was officially the biggest b*tch renovating homeowner in the City of Vancouver. They hated me, poor fellas. I suspect they will have their revenge in these little ways for years to come.

    We are really f*cked when it comes to our life as homeowners. This is home #2 for us -- if you skip the 4 places in 1 year thing we did during p-man's articles. We lived in my first apartment for 11 years and then this house. We bought it because we were pretty tired after looking for 18 months. After the 90 day buyers remorse we found we actually got a pretty good house. The neighbourhood is really the big dividend. I love it here. I don't really want to move ever. Insert reminder, we are spoiled and have nothing to complain about.

    You will likely hear a lot of waffling from Chez Wo about our long range domicile plans in coming weeks. We are thinking about either renovating -- AGAIN -- or moving. Now, the sink is leaking we are practically back in the game. And, for us it is a game. Lots of tacky family baggage and irrational, immature resistance to decision-making takes these sort of issues to a level of, oh I don't know, maybe a bad episode of Big Brother around here (and, while I am on the subject, are they not all bad episodes?).

    I grew up in a house built by my Dad, Mom and two grandpas. It was the sort of building plan which required approximately 21 years to complete. My DIY background is speckled (spackled?) with only the most hesitant inclusion of outsiders from planet trades. But let's face it p-man and I can't fix a leaky drain trap.

    We can paint, tiling is not beyond us, and we have laid a few floors under the watchful eye of my Dad but overall... we need help..The baby, well meaning though she may be, has offered no real assistance.

    Our last reno cost us -- I would estimate -- 15% more than it should have. And, we live in a pre-olympic city with a trades shortage. To try it again is madness. If we need another bedroom, and we do, we should simply move on while interest rates are still relatively good.

    I have 18 weeks of gestation remaining... Don't you think I will just be a hilarious specimen trying to sort out these choices? Stay tuned. Lookie-loo-dom resumes this weekend!

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Super Duper

    Mo-wo is a bit of a news-viewer. I despise the news. I am quite capable of bringing myself down - why should I invite additional reasons to feel hopeless about things over which I have no control when I can barely handle the things over which I supposedly do have some control? I need not belabour the more obvious defects in commercial news broadcasts which might be, say, a complete lack of impartiality, the investigative acumen of a used kleenex, the moral engagement of Joseph Mengele, to name but three.

    Tonight on the news there have been stories about the failure of the Canadian public health care system and the various facile solutions proposed by partisan hacks & c., hostages in Iraq (no parrots were kidnapped in Iraq today), and an item regarding the orphaning of William Reeve (son of Mr. and Mrs. Reeve). This 15 year old boy of whom I have never heard before has lost both parents in roughly one year though it will have been some time since he had seen dad flying around the house with his red BVDs on outside his pants. This kid has it bad and he is probably one of the very few orphans in the world with any kind of financial security, in the 99.9 percentile.

    Which brings me to the rather sappy (if I don't say so myself) element of this here lob into the emptiness of the blogoverse: gratitude. My friend N said the other day that we are lucky people, living a type of life that places us in the top 1% of people. Of course I am not saying it like N said it, he's one fancy-talking guy. As loathe as I am to agree with anyone, he's right. I live in a safe, dry, home in a largely crime free neighbourhood in a reasonably attractive city in an affluent confederation with my wife and daughter; we are healthy; we are employed in reasonably stable situations; my person and property are not subject to the threat of the evils of a violent kleptocracy: this nation (at the moment) appears able to manage its debts; it rarely snows in Vancouver; and we are permitted to enjoy a large number of material benefits which, while they do not at all improve us as people, do permit us no small amount of creature comforts.

    I have spent a daily-increasing portion of the past few days actually remembering and considering N's expression. I have found myself fairly elated, at moments, considering the truth of his statement as it applies in my life. It is infuriating. If I wasn't feeling so good I'd have to take this up with someone.

    So, -wo is now viewing "The Corporation", a polemic documentary about the evils of corporate North America penned by a former professor of mine (by whom I was consistently annoyed on account of his heavy-handed champagne socialist leanings and love of jazz "fusion") and it, the documentary, appears to be advancing the argument that we are killing ourselves by our greed, destroying our home, this planet; we are exploiting the weak, marketing the very foundations of life; corporations are bad bad bad (as though I, the individual, I have no complicity in this machine) and I know, even though I don't want to admit it, that he is correct: we are living near the zenith of our society, living beyond our means; that this is but a brief flowering before the inevitable decay, anomie, destruction by the vandals; children wearing too-large pants and listening to vulgar nursery rhymes layered over cro-magnon 4/4 beats, sold by shaken booties and shiny firearms; pseudonymous authors abusing the semi colon (wait a damn minute here); still, I love my family, I love my life, and today I am grateful.

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Being There

    While bemoaning my mental state recently; it was quite appropriately pointed out to me that I am .. Afraid to lose my grip on what seems a somewhat well ordered life. (Yeah, that L. can read me like a book). So in my defense, how well ordered is it, really? I give you the option to check it out in this recap from a Mo-Wo Family Sunday. I know that the daily recap is usually a snappy posting style when employed by better bloggers than I ... I do not promise that rarified product but I will employ that style in my post today.

    6:20 Baby wakes up having stayed up late again. Must remain motionless. Punch p-man to ensure stillness. She needs to 'sleep-in'.

    6:45 Resume movement in response to clear statements over the monitor. Maaamieee, Maahhhmmy. Daddy-Daddy. Note, to self, she is a BABY they do not 'sleep in'.

    Go to room, find happy baby. P-man provides delicious coffee for mother and fruit for child. Child feeds untold number of Cheerios to cats. Quoting D-man of other blog fame, hee goe, hilarious. This should lead to good day. Commence pancake making as this is Sunday; make double batch because I am so damn productive and efficient as a wife, mother and all-around homemaker!

    7:45 Ask myself why we don't have more parental unit-type friends over for our weekly pancake breakfast. Remind self, it is 7:45 AM! Swap p-man kitchen chores for diaper change. I AM an IDIOT. Still, baby wishes to be rid of the stinky, and behaves well. Should continue progress towards good day.

    8:00 Family commences breakfast. Child eats two pancakes. This is not good enough. Survey in the mind the number and quality of sources consulted in recent memory that state: Most bad behaviour on the part of children is caused by hunger or tiredness. I am 0 for 2. Please note the time.

    Countdown to p-man departure for Sunday morning personal time. Less than 90 minutes.

    8:30 Proceed to directly tidy up while preparing food and immediately after, somewhat while eating; because, though a mother of questionable quality I remain a supportive wife and self-sufficient homemaker. "P-man, please go get the laundry completed yesterday we can share this task and set a good example for our daughter before you go." "Thank you, this is a delicious, if awfully cold three-quarters cup of coffee you prepared, thank-you darling."

    9:40 "Wave bye-bye to Daddy".. "Daddy, bye-bye. Bye-bye, Daddy-daddy" Mother prepares snack to supplement downsized breakfast meal and to pack as normal treats while at the park. Look e., delicious grapes and mangoes, oh, you drink your milk? Good girl, very good girl. Thank you honey... What is that smell. Uh-oh Mango Assi! Come come Mommy get rid of the stinky and then we'll go to the park.

    10 AM OK I am almost dress---Ah look Miss Fancy, it is the Princess (favorite neighbourhood dog)! Let's hurry don't you want to see the princess? World War III ensues over selection of outwear. You will wear this suit! Let's goooooooo... Princezzzzz! We made it. I regain composure once fresh air hits me. Rain helps too. Let's go puddle hunting! Excellent overall trip to park, good snack. Quality interfaces with 3 dogs. Didn't see favorite running neighbour but ah well.

    11 AM Back home, very wet and screaming about coldness of hands. Not happy during handwashing. Revert to testiness once dry household air hits me. Normally this would be naptime. Well actually not normally... but in the past, during the days when I was queen of the 'schedule' -- such as it was. Before weaning and full time daycare and all the rest of it. Still I will try to stick to my routine. Once again, I AM an IDIOT. Recent success rate on this has been 1 in 5.

    Child refuses cuddle, but does say nap. Child takes blanket says thanks and then remains in bed for 1 hour playing with doll and various other companions happily. I lie in my bed with some weeping over my hurt feelings in the face of a properly- developing independent child. I contemplate the household chores that should be done. At times I try to start working on the pile of work I have brought home to resent for the weekend. I look at rainy day, desiring nothing but pot of tea, a bath and the freedom to read. Who am I kidding?

    11:45 Chatter slows over the monitor. Maybe I am wrong, maybe she will sleep? No I am dumb, but not wrong.

    12:05 Serve lunch of cold chicken, cauliflower and couscous. Did you know couscous is a good source of iron? Stare at coffee cup, I am now between 60 and 90 minutes overdue for requisite 2nd cup of coffee. Where is p-man?

    12:15 P-man returns home. Short scrum over undone housework and work-work. Strategizing about relocating nap time. Implications for early bedtime and other disappointments. We give her 45 minutes post lunch. Coffee provided. I really should not complain. Family quality time and play for 45 minutes, followed by eye rubbing and clearly tired baby.

    1 PM Child gives kisses asks for pillow and goes to bed. Napping with little fuss in 20 minutes. Textbook! I am a fool and idiot this kid is so good. I really should get it together, what do I expect? (Uhm, honestly? I really do need a shower.) For now I am drinking the coffee while it is still hot. mmmmmmm.

    1:30 Doing on-line shopping for organic produce and good quality toaster waffles. Must get up.. must wash floors and toilet. Put the computer down! You have plenty of time, you will sit down when it is over. Get a move on mo-wo!

    P-man and I agreed to allow the child to sleep only 1 hour until 2:30 and preserve early bedtime. Time is running out. MOVE it!

    2 PM Begin household chores. Add 2 or 3 tasks with each room. I do not buy in to the waking baby plan. Waffles, waffles, everywhere! Complete washing up duties and review leftovers algorithm for the day and week. Not enough food in the house. Direct p-man in preparation of super, easy, something-out-of-nothing curry dinner, estimated time for preparation 20 min, 30 mins to simmer. I am a genius!

    2:30 No one wants to wake child. Work persists. We are productive and efficient homemakers who will regret our lack of forethougtht.

    3 PM Child still sleeping. I ask, "What about her snack?" P-man has ingredients everywhere but for DINNER not snack; this man knows NOTHING about sequencing. Should I make a snack? Response seems to be affirmative, despite my complete lack of personal time on the day and my already taking of numerous turns at preparing meals. Listen, I will have my shower and then I'll do it. Do you think we should open her door?, he asks. What? I think it is clear we are late for our plan by almost an hour but I AM going to have a shower. Use your head, man.

    3:30 Bicker with p-man over snack plans. Dinner delays. Lack of work-work done, etc. Open child's door. See hands behind head some sort of latter-day Vinnie Barbarino in the bed, sees me and smirks somewhat sleepily. I am so lucky. See, afternoon naps are ok. What am I afraid of... change of course!

    Offer child barely nutritious snack of cookies and kiwi fruit which, despite what I think, does NOT qualify as a green vegetable. Head says we should take child out in what is now nice sunny afternoon, light. Cladding in flannel pants and slippers discourages this urge. What will we do -- oops what is that smell? Daddy-daddy, when is dinner ready precisely?

    4:30 Serve delicious curry dinner, only slightly scorched by the most under-appreciated father in the house, with iron-rich couscous, cucumbers and yoghurt. Child struggles to eat this top quality dinner offering. Father swiftly offers noodle and cheese substitute. Mother bites tongue to 3 bite-sized morsels.

    By 5PM Dinner is complete. Actually pretty good with some ingestion of couscous-yum and a good portion of yoghurt drink. But, now what? Selfish, let-baby-sleep-late, showering-mommy with flannel pants on has got not much to offer 11 hours after baby-wake up, obviously.

    6PM Feed cats. Child loves this, see above. Short interlude with the drumkit then baby takes over iTunes console. Replaces Love Shack selection, former top 10, with Outta Sight Outta Mind. Return to anteterranean floor of the abode to read Clever Katya, play blocks and find the cookies hidden in the puzzle.

    6:30 Reading 10 minutes to bedtime, child declares at 8 minutes, Bathtime! Well, ok? Daddy let's go; early bedtime back on! Hustle, hustle.

    Bath good. PJs with only a modicum of complaint. 7:30 out cold. We are not worthy.

    Saturday, March 04, 2006

    I've Got a Mouse...

    ...I don't know why I call him Gerund. (Name the song, win nothing.)

    Yes, it is time for the word gnomes to crawl out of my hole and make me admit, that I had an unpleasant thought today as I was thinking about the weaning of e. I thought, it is a difficult period of transitioning for... what the fuck? Transitioning? Am I planning to grow e's opportunities next, on a go-forward basis? I sure past-good-intentioned, um, wished I had accessed the logic bank that would have informationed me about that transitioning of transition, lest I had merely idead about the changes my daughter was going through, or some other non-Orwellian word which would have been double-plus ungood anyway. As for the weaning, I know I am 37 and married, but I still need mom's tits. When she's dead- then I'll wean, and let her out of the basement.

    Subordinations run riot through the preceding. The author has begun to read Mr. DF Wallace's essay entitled "Authority and American Usage" with no small amount of concern. The author (the pro, not this one) refers to his tendency to "sneer/wince" at bad writing which I take to mean writing which sucks the pouch or which contains grammatical or syntactical errors and his corresponding fear that those reading his material may sneer/wince in the reading of same and so on. (As an aside, a self-conscious confession, the essay is preceded by a page of usage errors collected by the good author over the course of but a few days, a number of which I make routinely. My grasp of the rules of usage is weak - I still do not understand half the errors identified.)

    Where I am led by these considerations (besides the ritual intoning of the evil opposite of the anti-Stewart Smalley mantra) is to the conclusion that, if only I understood more of these rules, the better and more often I would enjoy sneering/wincing at advertisements, newspaper articles, letters from my 'learned friends' who doubtless sneer/wince at my malapropisms, run-on sentences, and ever-widening search for new ways to tell them to fuck off. These and the various spelling errors introduced to my work by my assistant, which errors I am sometimes too lazy to identify and correct (ok, not often, but sometimes these letters come back, I need to rely on their contents, and they aren't fit to line a birdcage).

    Your mission, dear reader, should you (firstly) exist; and (secondly) choose to accept it, is to locate some particularly amusing or egregious errors in usage (German Ice Rink Kills Skaters) and send them to me. Weird modern verb-making or gerundifying counts. If you are uncomfortable in knowing I will sneer/wince at the errors of others, then consider your efforts as a assisting in my Sisyphian self-improvement project. If you don't care about that, because you are concerned any future output from this writer may be less likely to give you the pleasant thrill only a good sneer/wince can provide, consider it an act of charity. Please, for the purposes of this exercise, do not use as illustrations the various errors present in this post. You would sneer/wince, I would cry, sure it sounds good, but still...

    I must now leave my taking to getting fooded and perhaps starbucked before at others chairing, desking, and dictation machining.


    Thursday, March 02, 2006


    Friends of ours were delivered of a lovely new baby girl yesterday. It really got me thinking about how, well, uhm, "We are going to have another baby really freakin' soon!" I think you guys know this was NOT my idea. I swore I would not get roped into having more kids than we could handle just to respond to the predictable temptation to get credit for prior learning.

    Oh my god, we are so not up to it. I am dragging my ass through this pregnancy. I am a daily f'up at work. The cleaning gods aren't coming this week and I am consumed with dread because I have to do something myself. My daughter has had pizza for dinner two days in a row. Don't think that ain't gonna come back and bite me right in the genie. And the other kid is not even here yet! Whiners like us just don't rate at the level above -- what one uncharitable peer labels -- hobby parenting. I am afraid?

    If I settle into a rational assessment, I am really quite mad. Mad at the system of parenting in place. Mad at the childcare choices I have had to make this last year. I am mad to be leaving my work, no matter how less good a job I do now over my previous existence. I am especially mad I have to make changes in my life. I am a Thoroughly Modern Millie over here and I do this all with mixed feelings.

    But I suppose there is no backing out now, huh? And, when I go visit the new girl tomorrow night you can be sure all I'll want is for July to be here soon soon soon.