Thursday, May 28, 2009

Working on what to say tomorrow: first draft, intro

I'd like to start by thanking you all for coming. I'm going to try to do this without crying or using profanity - but I can't guarantee either.

My dad had two overriding passions in life - his family and loved ones, and his career. My mom was the love of his life. And he was so proud of all of us, he really was.

I know that when someone leaves in what seems like a voluntary way, there are so many emotions - among them anger, abandonment, grief, devastation. But the truth is, he loved all of us, he really did. He just couldn't handle his pain any longer.

I'll let his colleagues focus on the career aspect of my dad's life. What I'd like to share with you is a bit of the family life, a bit of the personal.

Life with my dad was a constant adventure.

Sometimes it was spectacular and exhilerating. It was seeing a broadway show when I was so little that my dad brought three pillows to the theatre for me to sit on. It was a circus in Paris. Horseback riding lessons around the pyramids in Giza. A stay on a houseboat in Kashmir.

In so many of the photos we looked through for the slide show, we are laughing so hard. The backdrops are often exotic, dramatic, and beautiful. But most of all, we're hugging, we're close, and we're happy.

And sometimes it was much like being a passenger on one of those buses in the Andes or the Himalayas - the ones many of us have been on. Where you're not sure if the brakes work, and you're careening around a blind curve at top speed, and you're peering down the side of the mountain into the 3,000-foot abyss, just praying that everything comes out OK.

So it wasn't always a fun adventure. But it was never, ever boring.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh, you guys

I have stories for you.

I have stories about blue hydrangeas and funeral homes and talking the Lutherans into agreeing to host my dad's memorial service this Friday. I have thoughts about anger and anguish and so many emotions mixed together, things that currently come out in sobs or vitriolic torrents.

It would be so much more constructive to write them down. I know it would.

Plus, I'm ashamed to say I owe a number of return emails and thank you cards.

I just haven't had time.

Life has been so hectic. On top of everything, Nick and I moved out of his place this weekend. We have a month of stuff in storage, of limbo of sorts, and then we close on our new house.

You could say there is a little too much going on.

I miss all of you. I miss reading your blogs and knowing what's going on in your lives. I owe so many thank yous.

I am looking forward to a return to normalcy, if one can call my regular life that. Or at any rate, a return to routine.

Right now, I have a slide show to put together, and music to compile, and I need to figure out what I'm saying on Friday.

I really want to talk, but it also makes me nervous. I'm not sure what to say. I want it to be good and I want it to be right, and I just don't know what that might be.

But the stories, I do have them.

And I do miss you.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Week 28 tummy

I know it might be a weird thing to say, but I'm so thankful I'm this pregnant right now.

The boy has been kicking and squirming, and it's just the best reminder that something fantastic is happening. It feels so good to have these regular nudges saying, "Hey, get ready! I'm going to be joining you all very soon!"

And I've also realized I'm so happy I'm having a BOY. Somehow, this is incredibly helpful.

As some of you know, I've long hoped that he looks like my side of the family. Or at very least, doesn't have Nick's older sister's nose. Or (either of) Nick's father's chin(s).

Because I try to trust in the goodness of the universe, let's assume neither will happen. And everyone has said I'll think he's cute anyway.

But I hope fervently that he has little recognizable pieces of my dad in him. That would make me really happy.

It's been a strange week of goodbye and reconnection, and yesterday I had a long talk with B, my most important relationship person prior to Nick. And longest, really, as he and I were together, even not including the on-off, many years more than I've known Nick.

He knows me really well. Or did, up to a firm and painful cutoff point. And still does, in many ways. He knows my core.

It's a story for another time, really, but it was so positive and cathartic to talk. His memories are of how interesting, charming, and generous my father was. These are good to hear.

But back on point: while discussing the kid as part of our catch-up, he assured me of the following. That while he's never met Nick, he knows how strong I am. And he fully expects my strong, stubborn genes to win out.

I decided to take it as a compliment.

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Grief is a sucker puncher

You wake up and you remember. And before you even take your first waking breath of the day, you are in tears.

This passes, and you steel yourself for your day. Puffy, pink, and squinty eyed. But moving forward.

You lean over to wash your face, and suddenly, you have to sit on the edge of the cool, white porcelain tub. You are sobbing so hard your legs simply will not support you.

It comes suddenly, and it's as if the entire fabric of your universe is rent in two.

Grief sucker punches you.

You can think you're composed enough to make a phone call. And you can get as far as, "I have some sad news. . ."

When suddenly, your throat will close. You pull for air, and it comes out in a sighing wail.

You manage a, "My dad. . ."

And you hear an, "Oh, Lisa. . ."

And then you are both crying, each on your own end of the phone.

I cannot say what I was least prepared for, because I was least prepared for all of it. But what I had no idea how to anticipate was the grief on the other end of the phone.

We're all devastate. We all loved him. We have all lost.

But I, I feel like I understand it better than many others. I know there were so many layers, so many traumas, so many struggles.

And so I can genuinely feel in my heart that while this is horrendous for us, while selfishly I want him here, I think it is fair. I think it is better for him. I don't just say this; I believe it with all my heart and being.

But for some, this comes as a sharp, raw slice. You can hear the bewilderment, you can hear the jagged tear. You can feel the rip of the red, red wound in their voices.

This visceral reaction, this outpouring of grief back in my direction, for this I was entirely unprepared.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh, thank you

You have all been so incredibly kind and loving and supportive.

Betty and I have been so warmed and touched by all the sweet notes and incredibly lovely sentiments sent our way. Most of you don't actually know me, and none of you have even met Betty, and yet you've sent such love and hugs and support.

And then yesterday, as we were staggering around answering the phone and trying to turn our attention to breakfast, a perky man from Balducci's appeared. With an enormous tray of treats. And a card that said it was from my Blogging Family: Arjewtino, Dagny, FreckledK, I-66, Jo, Kris, Lexa, LiLu, mysterygirl!, Ryane, Restaurant Refugee, Slightly Disorganized, VVK, and Work in Blogress.

Some of them blog more than others, and a couple of them have stopped entirely, but they are, to the last, good writers and, more importantly, fantastic human beings.

On the note, they used their real names. So Betty had me go through each and tell her the blogger names people use to comment. She recognizes those - she loves to read the comments.

And we, who both feel sick to our stomachs when we're upset, who have been picking and picking at food, both sat down and started our day with Rice Krispy treats and chocolate rugelach (a word I can never spell, delicious as it is). We plied one visitor after another with cookies, brownies, treats. And still have some left.

Sugar may be the devil, but it certainly helps things go down.

But a lot of you don't have blogs, and are spread far and wide in this vast world. And still, you have reached out through cyberspace, through the fact that we are virtual strangers, to offer condolences, love, wishes to be able to bear some of our grief for us.

Offers of cookies, of grocery shopping, of casseroles (which, my parents being from the Midwest, we'd call Minnesota Hot Dish. Unless it's cold. Then it's Minnesota Cold Dish.) Offers even of lodging out-of-town guests, should we need it.

Offers of anything - just ask, just name it. And I know the people who say this genuinely and truly mean it.

It's extraordinary. It's a reminder that people are extraordinary. Really.

I just want you to know, it makes a huge difference to us. It helps. We are grateful.

Hugs to all of you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just to let you know

My dad is gone.

Thank you all for sending such good wishes and kind emails. I really appreciate it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

And here is where we are

I believe in my heart of hearts that he is gone. I do.

It's been more than 24 hours since my dad walked out the door. Probably more like 30.

And the truth is, he didn't want to be alive last time. He didn't. He's been trying and struggling.

If you could keep someone alive by sheer force of energy and will, Betty and I are the people to do it. We have done it and done it and done it. But that only goes so far.

If you simply cannot bear to be here, eventually, you will find a way not to.

I know this. I've been told this a multitude of times.

And the truth is, I believe it's fair, if you simply cannot do it anymore, to let go. I believe you can get to a point where you simply cannot find your peace on this earth, no matter what.

And more than anything, even more than the things I want from him for me, I want peace for my dad.

But it doesn't make it any easier.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The fact is

So you know where we were a month ago? With the police and the waiting and the not fucking knowing and the praying please God praying?

Right fucking back there. I'd say I can't fucking believe it, but I'm not that naive. Anymore.

Now, there is some chance that he snuck out very quietly and without leaving a note for very legitimate reasons.

Maybe he went to the store? And since my mom was asleep, he didn't want to wake her? And he forgot to leave a note? And now he's so engrossed in purchases that it's taking him hours?

And hours?

Sure. Maybe. However.

The fact is that once you've tried to kill yourself a number of times, then when you're not where you're supposed to be, your family immediately suspects the worst.

The fact is that the police have all the information, and they are currently looking.

The fact is that pretty much all we can do is wait.

The fact is, there's nothing to fucking do but wait.

The fact is, I can't just respond to blog comments and emails like life is normal, when I feel like my entire world is verging on exploding.

How can you just get out of bed, go get the paper, leave it on your bed, and then walk out the door and leave your family for good? And not say goodbye?

I know it's not rational, and I know that the not rational part is why this happens. But this piece of me is going how how how can you be doing this to us again?

And then I think, maybe the car will pull up, and he'll have a trunk full of groceries, and I'll feel stupid for getting so hysterical.

Please, God, I hope that's the case. But I know in my heart it is not.

Fuck, fuck, and more fuck.

Week 27 tummy

I know this is still a headless torso - more than just belly but less than whole human - but I really liked the little gremlin face in the bottom corner of the picture.

The fact is that when we started doing these tummy shots, Nick was all opposed to having what he considered half-naked pictures of me on the Internet.

I was all, "But I'm pregnant!"

And now when I look back on the first tummy pic, I realize how NOT-pregnant I looked at 12 weeks. Even though I felt enormous.

And now there's no mistaking it for a pregnant belly.

But we always take them first thing in the morning, when I'm still all squinty-eyed and confused, pre-coffee - but more importantly, pre-makeup. So no face included. Maybe I'll get it together one of these weeks.

This week we realized we have exactly three months until my due date. And about a month till my shower. And this threw me into a frothing frenzy.

What to get? How to make the right choice? What if I do the wrong thing?

I am always terrified of doing the wrong thing. Years of training in childhood.

Much like picking a college, or a career, I really just wanted someone to take me by the hand and say, "This is what you want. This will make you happy. This is the right one."

But of course, people are all so different. There isn't one right car seat or play mat or stroller. Or anything, for that matter.

I did get a lot of excellent suggestions - and continue to get them, and this is awesome. I really, really thank you.

One incredible thing your input did was to lower my stress level immediately. And now I have a list of concrete suggestions to work from. It's fantastic.

When we registered for our wedding, Nick was totally uninvolved. He wanted a waffle maker. And that was it. End of interest.

So I pretty much picked everything. He was all, sure, sure, sure, to everything I suggested.

Basically, with one gift after another that we received, he was all, "What a thoughtful gift! Such a nice surprise!"

Only to have me be all, "We registered for this, dork ass."

I think he assumed he could do the same with all the baby stuff. Like, a stroller, car seat, crib, and other baby items would magically appear.

And he could be all, "Oh, look! Something to put the kid in!"

Not this time, my friend.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

If only

You know, Nick would be a gazillion times better at being pregnant than I am.

We've discussed it repeatedly, and he agrees every time.

It's not that I'm terrible at it. I'm just more bitchy more often. And I don't sleep very well. And, well, I just feel so so waddly, so uncomfortable, so, just, ugh, so much of the time. Plus, I had plenty of range of mood before this - it's not like I was ever lacking in that department.

Nick, however, would be an ideal candidate for gestating a big ole baby.

He's enormous, so he has all kinds of room to carry it without squooshing his organs. In fact, he's big enough that he would probably still barely show at this point.

And he doesn't freak out about weight gain. It doesn't seem to lower his self-esteem one bit.

Also, his stomach is where he carries his weight anyway. So he probably wouldn't need to buy new pants. He could probably keep wearing his shirts and regular suits for most of it.

OK, so towards the end he might need stretchy maternity shirts and jackets. And his tie would stick out pretty far. But I think that would be it in terms of apparel.

Plus, all that gas at the beginning? He wouldn't be horrified. Rather, he'd be all, "Hey, pull my finger!" every 3 minutes. And then be all proud.

Instead of being appalled by how much he was eating, he'd revel in it. He'd definitely push the whole eating-for-two to its limit and totally enjoy the ride.

Beyond that, and maybe most importantly, he is just so much more even-tempered than I. Even with mood swings, he'd probably still maintain a mostly positive disposition. He wouldn't complain half as much. Or a tenth.

In fact, he might not complain at all. He doesn't really tend to. I don't quite get it, but he doesn't.

He'd just be all, "Yeah, I'm pregnant," and then get on with his day.

Yes, I have given this a great deal of specific thought.

As I said, if only.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Il faut cultiver notre jardin.

How could I not share the shocking extravaganza of pinkness, flowers, and butterflies that is me today?

I couldn't. Because seriously, it's one of the cutest dresses I've ever seen, much less owned.

We are going to a fundraiser for a Senator tonight. Nick is wearing this beautiful, conservative, navy pinstripe suit with a nice crispy shirt, tie, and sedate cuff links. Which is the kind of thing I imagine most people will be wearing.

I'd like to assure you that I have along a pink shawl and red purse to wear with above outfit.

Short? Yes. Subtle? Um.

My last day in Amsterdam, Maude and I wandered into a store filled with swirly, whimsical color. She got a number of delicious dresses and skirts. As it was not a maternity store, I got this dress, which will fit for a bit, and another raspberry one, in which I look like a true and utter snausage. But it'll be fantastic sometime in the future.

So in the interest of sharing the happy pink garden of glee frock, I asked Nick to take pictures. And immediately was all, "Do I actually look like that?!?"

Of course he was all, "Sweetie, you look great!"

And then I had to harass him. Like, am I actually that big? Is my face that full? What about my ass? Look! Look at my ass!

He reluctantly confirmed that yes, they all are. Yes, my ass does this jiggle thing that it didn't do before. He was forced to say this, while I was poking vehemently at my butt cheeks, to alarming effect.

"Basically, Lis, you're very pregnant."

Sigh.

But with all that said, with those self-criticisms aired, I cannot resist sharing the pinkstravaganza. I believe Colleen would be proud.

Here's a front view. I like the accidental setup of the picture. Like I'm closing the door on the past and gazing forward, all Scarlett, into the hope and promise of a new day, one filled with fuchsia delights.

Also, I think you can see the crocheting around the neck and hem better in this one.

Or something like that.

Also, you please note the fabulously, fortuitously, matchalicious shoes.

They were purchased last year with the utterly lovely and shoe-shopping-enable-y Dagny Taggart. I loved them but was doubtful; she was highly encouraging of them. The practical shoes that I bought on that DSW spree? Rubbed my toes. I passed them on to Maude.

The fuchsia mules? Indispensable, it turns out.

Here they are as peered down on from above. By me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's not really different. It's just more so.

A couple days ago I walked into a sticky-outy door handle on the way out of a bathroom. It stabbed me square in the belly button.

Being that the belly now precedes me everywhere. Hurt like bloody fucking hell, in case you're wondering.

As you know, I have never been coordinated.

The team sports, they sucked. The walls, they get walked into, or at very least, brushed against. The sidewalks, they get tripped on.

I blame this on the fact that I am farsighted. And I have an astigmatism.

The farsighted means that actually, I can walk around without my glasses and see just fine. I go running without them. Reading is hard, but I can do it. I don't, because it gives me a headache. But I can in a pinch.

But walking around without my glasses means that my depth perception is kind of suspect.

Everyone says pregnancy is supposed to make you less coordinated. I believe they blame this, like everything else, on hormones.

And it is true. You drop things more. You stumble more. You bump into things.

For me, it's probably less obvious than for normal people, because I was already a person who tripped a lot, who walked into the sides of cubicles and such. Even with my glasses on.

So I drop things and people ask if I've gotten clumsy in my pregnancy, and I just say yes. But really, I've always done this kind of thing.

I just didn't know why, for the longest time.

Then some years ago an eye doctor asked about my depth perception, something to which I'd never given any thought. I said I was a terrible parallel parker - which turns out to be a great way to meet helpful men, but a hard way to get around in the world.

He said, "No wonder! Look at this astigmatism!"

Or something of the sort.

This was, unfortunately, a couple years after I poured an entire bottle of mineral water on the table at a wedding.

It was the fancy schmanciest wedding I've ever been to. Held, I kid you not, at a castle in Tuscany. My old boyfriend's business school friends did very, very well. And then got married.

And so we were sitting at a table with a multitude of glasses - water, white wine, red wine, champagne - you name it. Everyone had 37 glasses at their place.

So there were a lot of glasses. Just so you know. It makes things confusing. Especially if you've had some of the contents of each.

And I maybe picked up the bottle of water, and as my boyfriend's glass was empty, turned to refill his before mine.

And I maybe didn't notice that I was very carefully, gently, and concertedly pouring the contents of the bottle right next to the glass.

I was immersed in conversation, so didn't really notice how much time was going by. Just the fact that the glass didn't seem to be filling.

Until someone reached over, tipped the bottle up, and said, "You might want to stop before you empty the entire thing on the table."

Ah, yah.

Monday, May 11, 2009

If I could solicit your opinions on baby stuff stuff stuff

So Betty and I spent a chunk of Mother's Day at Babies R Us. Which I firmly believe to be one of the most overwhelming, dreadful places in the universe.

We left exhausted.

Maude's mom is very kindly going to throw a shower for me, and so, before invitations are sent, I need to register. This is all going to happen soonsoon, and Betty was up for going yesterday, so we did.

Plus on Friday one of my colleagues was all, "What do you mean you haven't already ordered your crib and matching furniture and don't you know you need to do that 12 weeks in advance and oh, honey, have you really not done anything about registering?"

I get all deer in headlights in that kind of situation. I just shook my head no. And thought, oh, clearly I'm the most disorganized pre-mother on this planet and crap do I need to get on the ball.

I slunk back to my desk feeling all bad about myself.

And then I remembered - I don't even want a fucking matching bedroom set! For the boy or myself or anywhere!

Really, I just need, well, what I need. But how to figure that out?

So back to Babies R Us.

If you've never been in one of these places, it's just this big, enormous, huge (yes, redundancies abound) store filled with scads and scads of baby stuff. There are 54 different kinds of everything. You cannot actually need one of each of these.

So I'd look to my mother. And Betty kept shrugging, saying, "Well, when you were a baby in India, we had a crib - the only crib we could get, and cloth diapers, and some clothes."

So she has no idea either.

And so you wander, zombie-like, from aisle to aisle.

And you're all, do we need this? I don't know, what do you think? Maybe. Sure. So, then, what kind? How many?

We were like this in aisle after aisle after aisle.

I want a BabyBjorn, that I know. But then they have four different kinds. Which one of those do I want? Dunno.

Same with diaper bags.

Same with strollers.

And practically everything.

Gah!

It was a total relief when we happened across bedding. Sheets? Sure, we need sheets! Straightforward! Finally!

Tejal gave me a copy of Baby Bargains, and I've read a couple sections. But it's the kind of thing that overwhelms me as well. So much information. And I forgot to bring it yesterday.

So we made some choices, figuring everything can be changed, and I can add whatever online.

And then we fled.

Then this morning I realized that I have a spectacular resource available!

A number of you have had babies. You know what you liked, what you loved, what worked, what was just a total waste of money.

So what I was hoping was that you'd be willing to weigh in on things you think are absolutely essential, and brands that you've loved, and features of things you've loved. And what you think is absolutely pointless.

And things of that nature. And any other thoughts you feel like sharing.

If you would be so kind, I would greatly appreciate it.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Week 26 tummy

This past week he started kicking and flipping and just generally making his presence felt more more more.

He's still kind of uncooperative, and so when I'd say he was kicking and Maude or her mom would put a hand on my belly, he'd stop. I think also their hands are so nice and warm that he probably got all soothed.

One night we stayed up ridiculously late, and I was lying on my side on the couch. It's my sleep position, the one that makes him riverdance just as I'm starting to drowse. And so he was thump thump thumping away, and I told Maude, who hurried over, kneeled on the floor, and slid her hands flat under my tummy.

And sure enough, there he was, all dancy-pantsing on her hands. We just giggled.

This is how her mom stumbled across us, past midnight, all jet lagged, as she wandered past the living room to use the bathroom.

She didn't even blink.

Another thing that's happened is that my belly button is becoming less and less, well, belly buttonish. I'm terrified it's going to become an outie. You can see the hint of this in the top picture.

Nick is sure it is, and my horror of the idea delights him. So this morning said he was trying to get a good silhouette that showed the sticky-outy nature of what used to be my cute little innie.

And here I am trying to block this image.Maude said hers never stuck out, just got to the point where it was pretty much flat.

"Basically," she said, "it looked like a cat asshole."

I'm pretty sure cat asshole is where I'm headed with this one as well.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Should totally be a maternity store

I didn't actually buy anything in here, but I feel like this kind of sums me up a lot lately.

And it would make a perfect line of maternity wear.

The Dutch have spectacular English, so I have to assume the owners just decided to amuse themselves naming their store.

It reminded me, though, of traveling with a friend in Argentina a few years ago. We met the most adorable French-Canadian couple, and went out to dinner with them a couple times.

One night we were all given Engish menus. And we were laughing so hard at translations like "flittered and flappered octopus."

And then one of our new French-Canadian friends said, "I've got one! I've got one! Rib eye steak! Hahahahahaha!"

And we were all, "Oh, that's just normal."

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Home

Having finally mastered the baby gates, it's time to go.

I can't wait to get home.

The visit has been fantastic, and quite honestly, Maude and her family are family to me. Maude knows me better than just about anyone. It's easy, it's comfortable, and we've had a lot of fun.

But I miss the shit out of my husband.

It's funny to realize, you know, because I rarely miss people on a daily basis.

I grew up leaving and leaving and leaving. And it's not that I never missed people, but they were few and far between, and often limited to specific moments and situations or once a large span of time had passed. Even boyfriends I dearly loved.

But the general missing, the feeling of a huge, gaping lack, this is not my norm on a trip.

And this time, that's how it is. While it's only been a week, it just feels like too long and too far. And while I'm having fun, I realize it would be that much better if Nick were here too.

I want him in my life. Every day.

As an adult, I kept moving and moving, because nowhere was really home. I had this certainty that I would find home in a person, rather than a place. And I kept waiting for that to happen.

And just as I'd given up believing it would, it finally did.

Nick felt like home immediately, and although I've not questioned it, this trip confirms for me that he is, he really is.

It's hit me hard how tremendous it is, after so many physically and emotionally peripatetic years, to have a home. And to know absolutely and firmly that whatever the geography, he's not going anywhere, and neither am I.

I'd follow him to the ends of the earth, if it really came down to it. I've never been with anyone that I could actually say that about.

Seriously. If he had some huge, unrelenting, uncompromising desire to move somewhere like, I don't know, a chicken farm in Wisconsin or Ulan Bator, I'd go.

Of course, if he's reading this, it's worth mentioning that the time we spent there would likely be nothing short of living hell, and thus really not all that worth it.

But I'd go.

So, assuming best case scenario: the plane actually makes it across the ocean, I arrive safe and sound at Dulles, get picked up by one or both parents, and am home in time for dinner with my favorite husband, then I'll see you all tomorrow.

Hugs to all.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Clarification, candy, and evil thoughts. In other words, a post about not much of anything.

I'm currently waiting for Maude to put Benj down, and then we're going to leave him to his grandparents and go shopping.

Having checked email and briefly perused the news, blogging seemed in order. Really, I feel like between my pre-flight post and Nick's description of me as a frenzied, teeth-gnashing, licorice drooling freak, I need to do a little clarifying.

Yes, I hate to fly. Yes, I get all freaked out.

I'm someone who is reliably 5-10 minutes late to every non-work, non-doctor's appointment. My friends know I'm on time, within this small window.

But the days I fly, I really do get so agitated. I have a tremendous need to get to the airport super early, although I'm not sure why.

And yes, I do have firmly in mind that getting on a plane, this could be it. I call my nearest and dearest for a last last last minute goodbye. Because the goodbye-I-love-you from an hour prior might have worn off. Or I might not get another chance.

And yes, I had a big chocolate Frosty while waiting. And I had Snickers, M&Ms, and Milky Way for the flight. Not to calm myself down, but rather, in case we plummet into the ocean, I'll have crammed in the kinds of things I want to eat daily but don't.

None of this is rational, but it's just how it goes.

I don't froth at the mouth, I don't pace, I don't rock in my seat or drool. But I am all clenched at takeoff and landing, and as soon as we hit turbulence, I'm prepared for the worst.

I always know where my nearest exits are, bearing in mind that the closest one might be behind me.

I did get all distracted this time, though, because I was about to have three seats across. I could lay down! I could put my feet up! I could sleep!

And then, at the last minute before takeoff, this man slid furtively into the other aisle seat.

Bastard.

I'd shoved stuff on the middle seat to claim it, and he proceeded to do the same.

Fucking douche with his fucking Kindle.

I was so busy giving him the stinkeye that takeoff caught me off guard. And then I realized that putting waves of loathing out into the plane was bad strategy in terms of helping the universe with a smooth takeoff. So I tried to think happy thoughts.

I must admit, though, once safely in the air, I did try to fart at him through the flight, and I was dearly regretting not having eaten fibrous vegetables earlier in the day.

You just never know when you'll sorely wish to summon a terrible gas of death.

So I resented the shit out of him for the hours we were in the air, and I wasn't sleeping, and he was all crashed out in his chair. Sleeping! In cattle class seat! He could've stayed in his own fucking chair!

But at some point around midnight, after watching Frost Nixon over dinner, I calmly ate my M&Ms and Snickers and read my book - The Yiddish Policemen's Union - which, while I love Michael Chabon, hasn't captivated me.

On a sidebar - do those of you who have boobs in your normal life regularly drop food into them? It's become an issue with me. And I'm not above reaching in to dig out bits of caramel and peanut rather than letting them melt into my bra.

I am pretty sure I was done wishing him ill by the time they served cold jam-filled rolls, although maybe not entirely. I might've hated him a little as he awoke.

Then he went back to his actual seat to retrieve his belongings and get off the plane.

I saw a man I thought was him in the metro a couple days ago, and considered furtively trying to trip him. But if you've not sure, it's best not to trip a random Dutch stranger.

Which is really just common sense, isn't it?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Week 25 tummy

Although he's not a rutabaga, which is what I believe the size is this week, Maude thought we should have Benj in the picture for scale.

We both love how unsuspecting he looks, while the stealth tummy approaches in the background.

It is still pretty astounding to me that the little dude in my uterus is going to turn into a big, actual, human boy who sits in a high chair picking at his pasta, more fascinated by the world around him.

"Yites!"

This is his word for lights. I've discovered that conversation with a two year old consists of a lot of color and object identification.

So I arrived without issue. The weather so far has been spectacular. Queen's Day was one big street party after another but not chaotic insanity, at least not in the places we wandered.

Mostly, it's been a lot of very low key hanging out with dear friends.

Kind of perfect, actually.