Saturday, December 07, 2013

Post On Which Twerking Seems To Be An Overriding Thought

Never thought I'd say this, but I'm tired of the internet. Well, not the entire internet. I still like to look up recipes and watch twerking harlots set themselves on fire, but definitely some of the internet. Actually, I think it's just facebook.

If you ever feel that your particular house of worship is not providing you with enough advice, lecture, or judgement, then facebook is the place for you.

Now don't get me wrong. I love a lot of things about facebook. I like seeing cute pictures of friends' babies and puppies. I like . . . no, that's about it. I think that's all I like. Oh, and I like chatting with my friend about who on facebook is annoying us. I excuse my gossipy behavior as venting to only one person, in private, so that I don't make an ass of myself in public commenting on stupid things that have no meaning whatsoever to my real life, thereby sparing everyone embarrassment and hurt feelings.

But it isn't terribly healthy. And I find myself getting more and more annoyed with what is being posted:

Be Aware of Breast Cancer! Stop Being So Aware of Breast Cancer! It's nice that you post about veterans, but what about the tsunami? It's nice that you post about the tsunami, but what about the animals? Save the Tigers! Save the Trees! Donate! HOW CAN YOU BE SUCH AN ASSOLE BY NOT DONATING!!! Science is fucking awesome!!! Scientists are trying to genetically engineer our entire food supply and kill us!!! Buy organic pumpkins! Buy organic turkeys! Buy Girl Scout Cookies! STOP ABSORBING NEGATIVE ENERGY!!! STOP BUYING SO MUCH CRAP, YOU CONSUMERIST PIGS!!! Here's a coupon! Groupon! PIIIIIIIIIINTEREST!!!

I think I'm overwhelmed. Taken all at once, I am bombarded by conflicting messages every day. This isn't anyone's fault. Everyone has opinions and it's nice to share them. I've always enjoyed sharing mine because I'm a goddamn genius and everyone should be lucky enough to know what I think about anything I take my precious time to think about. But since the dawn of facebook, I have discovered that I don't have as many opinions as I thought, and even more shocking, I don't actually want to.

Now I will list 3 things about which I have no opinions:

Miley Cyrus - "But the CHILDREN!" you say. "She's a terrible example for them! You have daughters. Why don't you care? Care, damn you, CARE!!!"

Here's the truth: My daughters aren't twerkers. It's not because I raised them well or sheltered them. It's because that is not what they want to do. I don't know why. I don't care why. My job, in that regard, is easy. To other parents who have twerking daughters, all I can say is good luck, and maybe it's nice to be a grandparent before the arthritis sets in. Also, if you don't want them doing it, start doing it yourself. It's good exercise, and it will turn them off. Big time.

Christmas Displays Before Thanksgiving - Yeah. Don't care. I'm feeling ever increasing twinges of agoraphobia when I go to stores. It's not that I don't like people. I do. I just don't want to touch them or look at them or have any contact with them other than what is absolutely necessary to facilitate as fast a release from their presence as possible. So the store can display a full size, stark nude, anatomically correct, animatronic, Santa Clause jerking off to the horror of traumatized reindeer and cringing elves in the middle of summer, and the dread of human contact will override the timing of it upon my senses. Am I lucky? You be the judge.

People Who Use Their Cell Phones In Public All The Time - It's very simple. If they are on their cell phones, they are not interacting with me. Also, it's very funny when they walk into building support columns while texting.

In a way, it's a relief. You want to be knowledgeable. You don't want to be one of those people on camera who don't know who the Vice President is. And the quickest way to display your knowledge is to form an opinion. But it isn't necessary. You don't have to know everything. You don't have to have all the answers. No one does. I don't.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Memory Motel

I think this is my favorite by the Stones. I couldn't figure out why it always makes me cry. I don't have any one-night stands or unrequited loves to feel regretful or even nostalgic over. For years I've been chalking it up to crippling sympathy for others on my part and if the song has that bad an effect without a reason, God forbid I should ever have a reason. But as it turns out, the explanation is far simpler. It makes me think of my father. He's been gone over half my life now.

Anyway, it's a good song. Definitely on my top ten list. Maybe top five.

Where I Complain and Jethro Does Something About It

Two teenagers I have now. I know, I know. I had to drop both of them off early at school this morning, one for a test and the other, I highly suspect, to meet a boy. The traffic was bad, it was foggy, and I made sure to complain about it to Jethro who had gotten to spend those extra minutes all cozy in bed with the baby.

"Awwww," he said, sympathetically. "You deserve a reward." And proceeds to whip it out.

Is it weird that kind of thing works on me?

In other news, I would like to stop nursing the baby. I am pretty much over it. I've bonded. I swear. But I'm a little afraid she's going to be one of those nursing 6 year olds. She likes it so much. One glimpse of boob and she claps her hands and growls, "NUMEH!!!!" Which is, of course, hilarious.

She says lots of words now, and not all of them swear words! Actually none of them are swear words, but they do sound like them. For instance, "Whats that? sounds very much like "Oh shit!" And "fish" is pretty much "bitch."

She's a fun baby. Demanding, but fun. She thinks she's Miss America. She smiles and waves at everyone who looks at her and says "Hi!" in a charming little baby voice. She does this at the clinic with every patient who walks in. That can't be bad for business.

She's also kind of small for her age. She's not scrawny, just short and light. Her baby fat is fluffy, not dense. She also doesn't have a lot of hair which makes her look like a very dexterous, articulate infant instead of the wobbly, almost toddler she is. But she's fun. Her sisters are very proud of her. Their cell phone cameras are filled with pictures of her. No selfies, just Charley. It's sweet.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Heidey Ho, I'm back again. I've decided to discuss limitations. Everyone has them. I have them. You have them. We all have them. We've all heard the expression, "Know your limitations." The problem is, we've also all heard the expression, "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."

So which is it?

Recently, I've figured out that I have been an incredibly optimistic person. Incredibly. And I use that word in the fullness of it's literal meaning. There is nothing in life that I cannot accomplish. It's just that I haven't decided what I actually want to accomplish. And why should I limit myself?

So my plastic craft drawers are overflowing with paper and paint and brushes and glitter and popsicle sticks glued to dirty socks. Yes. I saved dirty socks because somewhere I read that you can make things out of them. I don't remember what now. This was before Pinterest.

My bookshelves are stuffed with books and magazines and binders full of Information. And some pots and pans I can't seem to find a good place for. And a pile of things people have dangerously left at our house. I even have a binder containing the 1997 financial records of a company I used to work for - saved deliberately because someday I might want to know how to write an annual report.

My Inbox is deluged with coupons and groupons and unbelievable deals and jobs and pretty, pretty things to buy. And I may just do that someday. If the deals haven't expired, which they all have.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I was leafing through a magazine I was seriously considering buying and I found a recipe to make your own homemade yogurt. I love yogurt. In one of my earliest photos, I am gleefully covering myself in yogurt out of a cute, little, triangular, plastic bowl.

I thought, "Well I'm definitely buying this magazine now. A great chicken salad recipe AND a yogurt recipe! I could probably put the yogurt in the chicken salad. Totally worth it."

Then I began to read the yogurt recipe. First you have to buy some yogurt from the store. And not just any yogurt. It had to be a specific yogurt with the live, active cultures, and not just any old live, active cultures, but cultures from as unpasteurized a product as possible. This annoyed me unreasonably. I do not want to buy the product I'm making in order to make it. This seems unreasonable to me. But this was the easy part. Then they said you had to get a cooler and fill it with water that was 165 degrees. I'm now forgetting some steps. But basically, you had to keep the water temperature at 165 degrees. For a whole day. In a cooler. On the kitchen floor. For a batch of yogurt that would have to be eaten in less than a week. And then there was optional straining through cheesecloth for Greek or desired thickness. And I do like my yogurt thick.

So I stopped and thought about it. I actually had a minute to do that because Jethro had dropped me off at the store while he was getting a haircut and a beer, and he wasn't there yet to get me. So I asked myself, "Am I ever going to make yogurt?" And the answer came back to me as clear as a glass flute on a cold day. "No."

I am never going to make yogurt.

"But what about accomplishing anything you put your mind to? Where's your optimism? Where's your sense of adventure? Where's your love of yogurt?"

None of it mattered. I tried to cajole myself in 100 different ways to buy that magazine and save the recipe "just in case." But no. The Answer was Final. Irrevocable. The sentence was handed down with kryptonic rigidity. You. Will Never. Make. Yogurt.

I laid the magazine down on a table, turned around, and walked out the doors.

Some hours later, I was going through some recipes I had bookmarked. I came across three for homemade yogurt. I deleted them all.

I'm at peace with this, and yet I am a little ashamed. It turns out that I am a terrible hoarder. I am a hoarder of ideas. It's a very, very bad thing. But now I know.

Friday, July 13, 2012


The newest addition arrived in fine style on Memorial Day. We named her Charlotte Bernadette for our friend, Charles Bernard Kitowski III, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007. The circumstances surrounding her name are remarkable. A boy would have automatically been named Charles since all of our departed male relatives now have namesakes, but a girl presented a little bit of difficulty in terms of namesakes because women in our family simply don't die.

One name at the top of my girl list was Ann-Charlotte, but since Charlotte is the female derivative of Charles, we began thinking we might name a girl for him. I'd never considered Bernadette, but I thought it was pretty so that name combination quickly rose to the top. I'm kind of ashamed to say that I didn't think about her being born on Memorial Day. Her due date was June 5th and I was consumed with worry that she was going to be born on the birthdays of two relatives I dislike (missed both). There were a few other names I was considering including the original Ann-Charlotte, but when she was born on a beautiful Memorial Day morning, there was simply no other option. You don't ignore the signs.

And now for the gory details. Gentlemen, you have been forewarned.

My mom and stepdad made an impromptu trip to see us, only planning to stay for the day. Somehow I convinced them to spend the night and leave in the morning. 4:30 am, I woke up with those strange slightly burning contractions that everyone will tell you to go back to sleep for, but which Jethro and I know could very well Mean Something.

"Jethro. Something's Happening."

"Mpff Mpff. Ok. Let me know."

I went to the restroom to pee and felt somehow drippier than usual. It seemed to be a little blood and some clear fluid. CLEAR FLUID???!!!

"Jethro. Jethro. JETHRO!"

"Mhhh? Huhh? Huuh? What?"

"I think my water broke. I'm calling the midwife."

"Ok. I'll get the bags."

I called the midwife and told her everything. She asked about contractions and I said they weren't bad but that didn't actually mean anything the last two times I gave birth. She said she'd head right over.

I went to go wake up Gwennie and Emma. They scrambled around like newbie firefighters at their first big blaze.

I went to wake up my mom and stepdad. Turned out I only thought my water had broken. Woosh.

"Ok. Let's go. Nobody panic. BUT STOP WASTING TIME!!!! WHERE IS GWENDOLYN???!!!"

With Gwen finally on board we set off.

Jethro was the picture of calm. But he did turn on the hazard lights.


We got to the birthing center and it was quite dark. I'd been afraid we'd beat them there. But the student midwife arrived within minutes and we got settled.

The main midwife arrived and checked me and I was only 4 cm dilated which surprised me a little. I thought I would have been further along. But I was actually pleased because I hadn't missed my window of opportunity to have a water birth.

They said they'd start the tub when I was around 7 cm. I said fine, but to check back fairly often since I go quickly. I know they didn't quite believe me since I wasn't having terribly strong contractions, but they humored me. I surprised them by being at 7 cm about half an hour later.


While the midwives may not have considered them strong contractions, I did. As soon as I hit 7 cm, they got much harder. I can't even begin to describe how good the water felt. All that pressure that had been on my back was lifted. The light was dim, everyone moved slowly and softly. Jethro sat beside me, quietly holding my hand. Muscles relaxed, I almost fell asleep. The contractions stopped for a little while, but soon picked back up again. They were painful, but not unbearable. I breathed through them easily, giving the impression that I was good at this kind of thing and not the deranged hysteric I was about to become.


The contractions got harder and I asked to be checked again. I was at 9.5 cm and completely effaced. She was still a little high up and they said if I pushed a little I'd dilate the rest of the way.

I did.

Oh fuck.

I don't like pushing. And then I couldn't stop pushing. And then I couldn't get her head out.

It wasn't that long. Maybe half an hour. But during labor and delivery you are just not moving in regular time. The labor was about 5 hours long, but seemed to take minutes. The delivery was 30 minutes long but seemed to take hours.

I kept screaming that I couldn't get her head out. I prayed and thrashed and yelled and begged, probably just like a man if men could give birth. Finally the midwife told me to sit up and hyper extend my legs. I panicked some more because usually they don't tell you what to do. But I did what she said and the baby's head finally popped out. As soon as her head was out, I knew it was over. Nothing is as bad as a head. She was born right away after that and they gave her right to me.

I was still crying from trying to get her head out, but it turned right into crying because she was so sweet. Her eyes were open and she just cuddled softly right into my arms with her little face pressed softly against my neck. The water was still warm over both of us and we just sat and rested for a few minutes.


Maybe the third baby is different. I was overcome with love for her immediately. With my others I guess I was too panicked or maybe even too young for that feeling to overshadow me completely right at birth (it did eventually, accompanied by much weeping and feelings of inadequacy). But at a birthing center where everyone is concentrating on this moment and not worried about other things going on at a hospital, it was amazing. The pain was real and terrifying, but once it was over, there was nothing but a sweet little baby to be cuddled and loved by everyone.

I did need a couple of stitches which were taken care of fairly quickly. She came out face up, shoulders out, which, while not technically breech, is a position that is not optimal and the midwives said is the most painful. I said, "Good, because that's what I'm telling everyone anyway."

The student midwife was so cute. She told me how nice it was that I kept reaching down to feel the baby's head and how encouraging that must have been for me. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I'd been trying to rip her out with my bare hands. You just can't know some things unless you've been through them yourself.

But Baby Charley is a joy and a love. I have a million nicknames for her and her sweet sisters are besotted. Even Jethro, stoic that he is, is enamored. He asks to hold her and I'm reluctant to let her go, which I must say is new for us. I thought she would be the last, but she makes me want another. And I think that's high praise for any baby.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When a human being takes up residence in your body, it's hard not to let them take up most of your mind too. So I'm not really going to try.

Jethro and I went to a crawfish boil in Houston last weekend. It was a lot of fun. I didn't get to eat much because most of my stomach is smushed up with baby, but it really was a great time.

While there, I was accosted by an girl who seemed quite interested in my pregnancy. I've met her before and she's kind of an odd, spastic, hippie type, not without charm, but whom I can tolerate for about 15 minutes before I go nuts. When I told her I was going to a birthing center and using midwives for the delivery she had a little bit of a nervous breakdown and started reciting all her holistic bonafides to me while she chain smoked.

I was bewildered for a few minutes, then I figured it out. She thought I was going to judge her. Now I knew nothing about her, but I found out during the course of the evening that she'd had a c-section with her one and only child, in a hospital, surrounded by glorious technology and drugs. It's taken me a few days because my reaction time, while never swift, is even less so lately. But I started feeling terribly sad. I hate what we've become. When did we get so insecure? I've never considered myself a strong-woman type - able to withstand all manner of criticism and judgment and hurl it back with aplomb. In fact, I distinctly remember being exactly the opposite - very unsure of myself and willing to listen to whatever idiotic advice anyone cared to give me. I don't even remember when that changed. I don't remember anything much at all. I just have the hazy impression that I haven't been criticized for years.

But then, as I am wont, I thought about it some more. I think I do get criticized. I just don't take it as criticism. For example, at the same crawfish boil, I was engaging in some slight self-deprecatory humor (or at least what I'd like to consider humor) recalling a Mardis Gras in New Orleans where I put my 20 year old bosoms to good and efficient use in the difficult work of sparkling bead collection. I'm not proud of this. It's kind of embarrassing now. But it does give you the ability to laugh at yourself and that's not always bad.

However, I was relaying the story to a friend of mine whom I've known for years and she made a comment along the lines of "I've never been the type of person who felt the need to flash my goodies for cheap beads."

I said, "Oh sure. I felt that way too until I had three Hurricanes and a frozen Tang and vodka they were calling a Spanish Fly and selling in yard long plastic glasses with yard long straws. But after that it was all "Oh look! Those beads have troll heads!" and "Oh look! the way the paint has chipped off those beads make them look retro!" Besides," I grinned. "I only did it once."

She laughed and the night meandered on. I suppose I could have felt criticized, but I didn't. No point. No point at all.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Immortal God-King

So the mildly hoped for son and heir is not to be. Unfortunately the news coincided with the death of our last male rabbit leaving Jethro once again, the sole representative of his gender in the family. This resulted in a night of heavy drinking culminating in a rather stunning display in his underwear at the top of the stairs during which he beat his chest, did a couple of interesting squats, and proclaimed himself the immortal god-king who, in his generosity and benevolence, would spare Mother Earth of any male descendants so as not to overwhelm her with the sheer potency and so end the human race in a fiery explosion of quivering lust. Whereupon he collapsed in a sweaty heap of sobs and scotch, a shard of my cosmetics mirror clouded with a faint dusting of mysterious white powder, and an empty bottle of Zyrtec. I'm not saying he did and I'm not saying he didn't, but the allergies are bad this year.

And the immortal god-king is not getting much in the way of carnal satisfaction either. Because, you see, I vomit every time I come. Except for once when I cried. Really cried. Big, hot, wet tears. He said he thinks he prefers it when I throw up. It's really very weird, because I can't not come. So now instead of witty repartee, or at least some well-timed Dumb and Dumber quotes, foreplay consists of me vigorously massaging the muscle that aches the most, which coincidentally runs right through my left labia, and his eyes glaze over at the memories of our odd but robust sex life, and he says hopefully, "Kick his ass, C-Bass?" And I say, "Shut up, your child is killing me, and if you come anywhere near me with that minty, meaty smell of yours I'm going to rip out your jugular with my teeth," to which he replies, "You only live once."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Warning for the Gentlemen: Pregnant Lady Stuff In Which I Mention Vomit and Urine. Like That Would Stop You Pervs.

Well when it rains...

I can't seem to catch a break. In spite of living in a hermetically sealed cocoon for the past three months due to the fact that if I move or think about moving I vomit outrageously, I've managed to catch a cold. I do not enjoy being sick (not that anyone does) but being sick when I'm pregnant makes me extremely anxious. I do not like to take medication when I'm pregnant, and I'm forced to if I get a headache because if it turns into a migraine, I will end up in the hospital on their medication. Bear with me. I'm miserable.

On the plus side (kind of), I went to the midwives for a monthly check up and they called me back after they checked my urine sample and said I needed to come in for an IV because I was extremely dehydrated. I knew I wasn't quite up to speed, but I was in denial since I was still actually able to pee (albeit in only trace amounts). Last time I'd stopped entirely.

But that brings me to the plus side which is the midwives. I don't think I mentioned it, but I'm going to a birthing center instead of a hospital. With my first two, I didn't have time for an epidural or medication, so honestly, what's the point? If I'm going au natural anyway, I might as well be able give birth on all fours in a swing if I take a mind to. They're very tolerant. And so kind and sympathetic. When you are just perfectly miserable and even blinking makes you sick, it helps to have someone who simply understands and does whatever they can to make you comfortable. When I went for the IV, they put me on a comfy couch, got me three blankets, a fluffy pillow, and a bunch of magazines along with snacks and juice, and they just stayed and talked with me. It was almost fun. We tossed around ideas as to what was causing my incessant nausea, and I made them laugh, which is always nice. The midwife that day said she wanted to be the one to deliver my baby which I took as a compliment.

At the birthing center, they have 8 or 9 midwives and you try to see every one of them before you give birth. If you establish a special rapport with any of them, you can request them for the birth. Other than that, it's whoever is on call. With how fast I deliver, I know better than to pick favorites. But so far it's even. Every midwife I've seen has been an angel.

So things are chugging along. I'm 4 months in. I've probably lost some 20 lbs, but I had it to spare (and then some). I'll probably lose a bit more, but that will only be a silver lining at the very end. A new baby plus hotness. Pretty cool.

I'll update again when I know what the baby is. I'd love to be all secretive and surprisey but that ain't happening. I have too big a mouth.