More Tuba Solos!
Some random thoughts that occurred to me
on Saturday as I attended the Bruce Springsteen concert at the Tweeter
center in Mansfield. In between my dominant thought, which was WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!:
Huh, why is everyone clapping? Oh, the chandeliers
came on. Wooo, chandeliers!!
Oooh, here comes the cracking-the-seals-on-the-water-bottles
Hey! Bruce's hair is very... erect.
Woah. That is a butt to aspire to. Well,
not really, because it's a man-butt. I wouldn't want a man-butt. But
when I am 56, I would like to have a girl-butt that is analogously awesome.
But why is he wearing his belt OVER the belt
loops and not THROUGH the belt loops?! Oh man, this is going to drive
me crazy EVERY TIME I SEE IT.
Hey, no annoying tall dudes in front of me.
I love short chicks! LOVE! THEM!
So, in the E Street Band, everyone looks
like a math teacher or a demented Gypsy. Apparently, they're mixing
it up in this band by finding math teachers or crazy pioneers.
(Bruce introduces Eerie Canal, a "love
song" about a man and his mule, pining away for the good old days
pulling barges on the canal.) Jeez, I never thought of the song
that way before..... I feel sad for the mule now. Uh oh. Must NOT start
crying about mule; very embarrassing to explain.
(Bruce introduces Irish anti-war song
with refrain about boy getting "two fine legs" shot off.)
Suddenly having horrible mental images of Eliza toddling about
battlefield. Uh oh. Must NOT start crying about fine-leg-less infant,
very embarrassing to explain. If they have a draft for women, must convince
Eliza to tell drafters she's gay, regardless of actual sexual orientation.
Hmm. Wonder if others have had this idea. If yes, could be the end of
anti-gay policies in army, as army dudes wise up to clever ruse. I hate
Bush very much, wish he would be impeached, not sure what, surely we
can find something... Uh, right. Am at Bruce concert. Must pay attention.
What the hell song is this? Dammit, I finally
learned how to recognize his back catalog, and he goes and rearranges
them all. OH! It's If I Should Fall Behind. As a waltz? Whaaaaa? Hmm.
I like. In fact, it's lovely. There should be more waltzing at rock
Huh. A banjo solo. There should be more of
those at rock shows!
And DEFINITELY tubas!
Carbs and Chicks
Jim's family are all slavish devotees of
a bakery in their area. It is a well-founded devotion that spans Danishes
and cakes alike: ricotta-filled piece, cheesecakes with enormous chocolate-covered
strawberries on top, pastries filled with yummy nuttiness. We have gotten
right on board.
It's gotten so Jim's stepmom automatically
brings a stash when they visit our house or, when we're visiting them,
buy enough extra to send some home with us. It's very sweet.
This was the visit that Eliza discovered
Homestyle. We gave her some Danishes for breakfast and boy-howdy, that
was a mixed blessing. As if the kid's not carbo-addicted enough, the
muffins rocked her world. Carrot, corn, she cared not, as long as they
were within reach of her gaping maw. We're talking banana territory,
here, people. (And BTW: Isn't it odd that when bananas so clearly rule
her world and she recognizes them in the store and demands to hold them
while I finish shopping, she doesn't know the world yet? Unless her
extended chanting of nananananananananana, which happens several times
a day, is actually a Banana Sutra.)
We had a lovely visit. Some of Jim's relatives
threw themselves a huge 50th wedding anniversary, with ungodly amounts
of food. Jim and I went and ate/partied, while Grandma and Grandpa's
neighbor (a nurse, thank you very much, we get the best) watched Eliza.
We met up with some of Jim's Irish relatives whom we stayed with in
2003, which was lovely—truly delightful people. Must go back there;
still my favorite vacation ever. I totally get the whole crazed my-relatives-on-my-mom's-dad's-side-came-over-from-Ireland-15-generations-ago-so-kiss-me-I'm-Irish
thing. Jeez, I'd be kinda nuts about it too, if I came from someplace
that beautiful. (Belgium, with the rain, and the rain, and for a change,
the rain, has much to recommend it, but the landscape is a bit, Eh,
in comparison. Good thing we hold our own with the beer and the food
and the art and the fashion and such.)
On the way home, we stopped for pizza—Yum!
More carbs!—and then decided to make a detour to the local zoo
I'd intended to visit with Eliza's little buddies last Friday.
It was baby animals week, when they bring
a bunch of farm animals over to the zoo.
And, oh, the cuteness!
Baby chickens! Baby turkeys! Baby goats!
Baby pigs! Baby horsies! Baby sheep! Pointy finger carpal tunnel!!!
There was a lot of "Ahhh!" and
pointing/violently wrenching tiny body in direction of yet another discovered
example of cuteness.
And then Mama got some goat food and fed
the goat which was just hysterical, apparently, and then we had a staredown
with a REALLY BIG KITTY which made Daddy nervous, and he said that he
didn't care if there was a fence, the cheetah was creeping him out and
we were leaving (but not before he dared me to stick my fingers between
Then we saw pointy kitties (raccoons) and
bunnies, and monkeys who ate with their feet—Ahhh!—and hey,
it's the turkeys again, and look, if you hold your tiny little hand
up to the glass they go into a pecking frenzy—Ahhh!!!
And then at the end of the day we opened
up the bottle of Bailey's Grandma had found in her house while cleaning,
and did you know that Bailey's congeals when it gets old and looks like
a big booger stuck in a bottle? Now you do!
We rent Eliza out for testing. She comes
cheap - a Japanese lunch will do it, really.
On Friday, we were supposed to go to the
zoo with some of Eliza's little friends, but it rained. Luckily, our
friend J. works for a parenting magazine and had a back-up plan: they
needed some do-it-yourself toys tested, so our tiny posse, Eliza, S.,
and O. came to the rescue, shaking, pounding on, mangling, and flinging
the various toys for our entertainment, er, for the magazine tester.
In return, we moms got a free lunch, and
the babes all went home with schmancy toys—Eliza got a Lego set
with a little cart piece, which makes her very happy. She's in a phase
where she really likes to push things with wheels along the floor as
she crawls alongside.
Whenever the three babies get together, it's
like a preverbal re-enactment of Lord of the Flies. None of
them has any concept of boundaries, so they're constantly in each other's
faces. By which I mean not the figurative, "Oh, she was all up
in my business" meaning of the phrase, no, I mean they are putting
fingers up each other's nostrils. They also have no idea what sharing
is all about, so a good chunk of every playdate goes like this:
Baby #1: Cooing happily, playing with toy
Baby #2: Crawls over #3 to get to #1, vigorously
yanks toy from #1's grasp, starts gnawing on newly acquired toy
Baby #1: Makes horrible soundless crying
face, then commences shrieking
Baby #3: Spots exciting toy being played
with by #2, crawls over #1 to get to #2, yanks toy, starts gnawing
Baby #2: Horrible soundless crying face...
Sometimes, for variety, they hit themselves
in the face when they yank the toy away from each other, and then they
We moms attempt to carry on a conversation,
but mostly spend it apologizing for our offsprings' ruthless behavior.
Last Friday, just as J. was comforting herself
that Baby O. at least was not yet familiar with the concept of "mine"
(O. is the eldest of the bunch by 3 months), Eliza crawled over to investigate
O.'s toy. O. hid her toy behind her back and said, "No, MINE!"
Our sweet little angel, she is one of the
prime offenders—and she does it to me, too.
Sunday, I had gotten a cookie for myself from the kitchen and had it
in my hand as I helped her with her walker. She looked interested, so
I let her take a bite. She decided she liked it, and, Yoink! Cookie
is no longer mine. She started eating it with gusto, and every time
I put a hand on it to take it back, she wrestled it out of my grasp.
She may not be able to say, "No! MINE!" yet, but believe me,
the meaning was clear, especially when she hurled baby invective my
way. Jeez, I never knew the letter "E" could sound so obscene,
but believe me, that "Eeeeeeee!" will blister your ears.
First, a quiz to keep your mind sharp.
Guess the following words, based on their
Answers at bottom of post.
There is much to report from the weekend:
Toy testing, a visit to Grandpa and Grandma's house, and baby animals.
Also, funny cookie-stealing. And photo-documentation of butt-in-air
sleeping and determined gnawing. These will remain mere teasers, however,
because I do not have time to blog much tonight.
What I can share, though, is my prediction
that Eliza's first sentence will probably be, "I can do it MYSELF!"
I base this on her recent walking adventures.
Mind you, she cannot/will not walk on her own, demanding a finger or
some other support, or she sits down promptly.
Thus, she is quite fond of her walker, and
on the occasions when the rain lets up, there is nothing she likes better
than to be set loose on the sidewalk with said machinery. Call her the
Terror of Holyoke, if you like. When the walker is not available, she
uses the stroller in the same fashion, pushing it from behind, occasionally
peering around to assess her course.
Often, that course is wobbly at best—Eliza
would most definitely fail that field sobriety test where they make
you walk a straight line. But woe betide the one who tries to steady
The other day, I watched as Jim tried to
right her. She grabbed his thumb, and at first I thought, 'Aw, she's
taking his hand.' But, no. She pushed his hand out of the way, gave
him a sternly disapproving look, and continued stubbornly on her way.
Jim and I found this hilarious and spent
about a half hour torturing her by fixing her path (in our defense,
we WERE trying to keep her from heading straight into the street, a
destination which holds much allure for her, in a manner that is consistent
with her committment to always be playing with the most dangerous toy
in the room). Every time we touched the handle of her walker, we got
an increasingly impatient push out of the way and a glare, and, several
times, angry baby-swears.
Answers to quiz:
Sleeping with Eliza is like sleeping with
Inspector Gadget. Random, suspiciously long limbs protrude and jab various
tender areas at strange angles, and those tiny toes, ordinarily so edibly
cute, burrow into my flesh like little heat-seeker missiles. I
don't recommend it to anyone aiming for a good night's sleep.
rarely does Eliza wake up at night anymore, but if she is fully awakened,
that's it. The only way to get her back to sleep quickly is to crawl
into the guest bed with her. This is a lazier, and warmer, solution,
than rocking her back to sleep or letting her cry it out, but it happens
so infrequently that I'm not driven to undertake serious sleep training.
night was one of those times that she woke up all the way. She needed
a rebinky, and then I ruined any chances of getting her back to sleep
by herself by going into the bathroom and loudly slurping water from
the tap. Dumb idea in retrospect, but I have long maintained that I
am incapable of rational behavior at this hour and this just fits the
took her in the bed with me, where she promptly fell fast asleep and
began writhing and flailing. At first, she was just digging in her toes
and using the deadly little footholds to clamber her way into a comfortable
position. Then she started pushing up and inchworming around the bed.
Inevitably, she inchwormed her head up against the wall, and then there
was annoyed sleep-whining about this obstacle to her inchworming. And
really, I mean sleepwhining—she was completely asleep the whole
the binky fell out, and there was sleep talking.The kid can't say more
than 3 1/2 words (she is in the process of adding "ball" to
her vocabulary), but she can for damn sure talk a blue streak in her
sleep. There she lay, talking and talking and talking. I finally stoppered
her, funny though it was, because I wanted to get some sleep.
Binkies, Der Freshmaker!
Reading as manipulation!
Despite numerous beautiful candidates, both
storebought and homemade, Eliza has thus far been uninterested in all
attempts to encourage her to acquire a security blanket or favorite
And yes, I said encouraged. One of the sleep
advice books I read encouraged helping kids make the transition to their
own beds by enabling their attachment to some object onto which they
would transfer their associations of thewarmth and comfort that they
were used to getting from sleeping next to Mama. Totally unnecessary,
it turns out, because Eliza made that transition in 10 minutes, but
an interesting idea, I guess.
The reason it hasn't worked is that what Eliza is attached to, you see,
is her binkies. When she is upset or tired, she heads for the nearest
binkie she can find. And since her binkies seem to congregate in gaggle-like
fashion, that means a tired, grumpy Eliza is also usually an Eliza who
is furiously gnawing on one binkie and clutching a spare in each hand.
she has added a weird little ritual: She stands in front of the nightstand
in her room where we usually have 4 or 5 binkies, grabs one and starts
chomping. After about a minute, she drops that one from her mouth and
inserts a new binkie. Another minute in, that one gets dropped and the
next binkie goes in, and so on until she's sampled each one and all
the discarded binkies lie like disturbing plastic flower petals on the
floor around her.
past two weeks, I have been gone a lot more than usual, as I've headed
up a couple of days of filming for a recruitment DVD we're making for
the department, and then as we geared up for our big annual fundraiser,
the latter of which had me out of the house most of her waking hours
on Saturday, as well.
Eliza is not thrilled with these developments,
if the clinginess is any indication, and no, the ear infection probably
didn't help (she seems to be on the mend from that, BTW).
However, my baby, she is wily, and she has
discovered a foolproof way to twist Mama round those tiny, chubby fingers:
have read to Eliza since her very earliest days — our bedtime
ritual has shifted over time, but almost from the first, stories, especially
Guess How Much I Love You, have been part of it.
she got older, I found that she really responded to the physical act
of reading: snuggling against me as I say the words, turning the pages,
looking at the pictures, lifting up the flaps on flap books. She has
favorite books, and definite opinions about which book she wants to
read. If you present her a book that she does not wish to read at that
moment, she pushes it away, and will continue to push books away until
you present the correct one.
used to just wait for story time to roll around (which it did several
times a day even when I was in charge), but lately, she has decided
to take matters into her own hands, literally. When she decides that
it is story time, she holds up the book that must be read RIGHT THIS
INSTANT and emits a stuttering whine, eheheheheheh eheheheheheheh, until
her demands are met.
She has figured out that this is a foolproof
way to get me to stop doing things of which she does not approve, which
is to say, any activity I pursue in which she is not the center of attention.
E-mailing, using the bathroom, reading the paper, eating, cooking, cleaning,
PUTTING ON UNDERPANTS—all these activities have gone by the wayside
at one point or another in the past week, victim of the impenetrable
It works because I am easily flattered—Hey!
my kid wants to hang out with me! Uh, OK, I'll just stop peeing in midstream
and hoist her onto my lap as I sit on the TOILET so we can find out,
for the 564,392,563,812,378th time, if Miss Spider's friends pull off
that surprise birthday party!
But I Just Found You
A couple of weeks ago, I found this blog:
And I think her writing is some of the most
powerful I've had the privilege to read in the last couple of years.
She writes with an honesty, a clarity, and, especially, a grace that
astounds me. Try these entries:
And I hope that you can see why, even though
I've just read a couple of essays by this woman, whom I've never met,
I am heartbroken by the two last posts on her site.
I think that her writing, at its best, gives
lie to every refutation I've heard of blogs and the internet. I think
that blogs, at their best —and I would argue that hers is—can
have the power of the greatest books.
I also think her work—because it is
that, a body of work—serves as a powerful entry in the internet
I know that blogs can smack of the worst
kind of narcissism— I, I, I, read all about Me and My life and
My navel-gazing, self-obsessed thoughts on the world. But isn't that
how we connect? Don't we connect in real life by putting ourselves out
there, to say, here I am, here is what I do and think; will you be part
of my circle? Isn't blogging just the electronic version of that same
impulse to connect by sharing oneself?
Of course not everyone does it that way—there
are also people in real life who are insufferable braggarts and won't
let you get a word in edgewise.
But how many times have you been talking
to a friend and he or she shared something and the first words out of
your mouth were, "You too?! I thought I was the only one!"
and then, shared laughter, or relief, or grief.
I think what what this woman did with her
blog was like that—put her experience out there for people to
have that flash of recognition and connection. I hope that she helped
others like her. She HAS to have helped others like her.
So what am I, decidedly not a cancer patient,
doing reading it? Well, that speaks to the other part of why blogs matter
(and if you want to get feminist about it, why women's blogs matter
in particular, since women's voices are not heard enough, even now,
in the mainstream traditional media). I don't think my impulse is voyeuristic,
so much as it is a need to bear witness. When I have had a (nowhere
near as bad as her) awful experience, having someone offer their empathy
or simply even catch my eye in acknowledgement means almost more than
that person can imagine. So I feel it's important to witness lives in
all their complexity.
This, too, is her legacy. She was denied
a full life, children, the everyday things most of us have years to
do that allow us to make our tiny mark upon the world.
If we read what she wrote, then that is the
way she lives on.
But I am so, so sorry that this is all there
is of her anymore.
My tiny Poo, my Bubbalicious, my little Schnikselhead,
she has her first ear infection.
We discovered this yesterday, when I took
her to the doctor after 3 consecutive colds in a month, which seemed
like a bit much even for a kid who licks ALL the toys at the YMCA Childwatch
room. Although I don't want her to suffer, I was, I must admit, happy
when the doctor discovered that something was indeed the matter with
her, since it proved that my instincts about something being awry were
correct— and also because we had to wait a %^@#$ hour and a half
to see the doctor, an annoyance which could only have been rendered
palatable by us getting our money's worth. Which, in this case, consisted
of the doctor peering into various Eliza-orifices until she discovered
one that looked out of whack — Eliza's left ear.
Anyway, so she's been mostly OK with it during
the day, but I've noticed that the closer we get to bedtime, the more
sick she acts. It's like she decompensates on a steeper curve than usual.
She was fine during Jim's shift with her,
although she puked in the car 20 minutes before I got home (and was
handed a pukey-smelling, though high-spirited baby, uh, THANKS!). It
probably has something to do with her balance being wacky, rendering
her more prone to carsickness.
My shift was another story, and the story
goes like this: aaaaaaaaaaagh aaaaaaaaagh eeeeeeeeeeeeee gulp gulp big
sob aaaaaaaaaaaaagh aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh
In part, it was cabin fever, since we've
working on day 2 of constant rain, and the child is pathologically in
need of changing scenery: The happiest she was all afternoon was when
we braved the elements for a quick tour of Mama's garden plants. "Outside!"
she shouted happily, bouncing up and down in her carrier as she flapped
her arms and wiggled her feet. She did not agree with my assessment
that prolonged exposure to rain would be bad for a sick baby. I couldn't
take her to the Y or the mall either— I didn't want to make her
pukey again, and I figured leaving her in Childwatch to pass on her
diseases would be bad karma.
We read, we danced, we ate, we clicked the
TV on off on off on off, we played with the shapesorter, and each activity
was punctuated by screaming.
7 PM I had her strapped to me as I performed various tasks to the sound
of Fiona Apple, and screaming (you'd think someone having ear pain would
want things quiet, but, I guess you'd be wrong, because there was MUCH
LOUDNESS), until she passed out while I was attempting to wash the dishes
with a baby strapped to my front. I think it was a glimpse of what my
life would be like if I were really fat, because I couldn't really reach
anything the normal way.
woke up to scream at me some more, until I stoppered her with a bottle,
and then she fell asleep, hopefully to wake up in a BETTER MOOD tomorrow.
We did have one moment of non-screaming today
that thoroughly delighted me, as we played with the shapesorter.
shapesorter is shaped like a mailbox,
with three slots to put shapes in, a triangle on one side, a cube at
the top, and a cylinder on the other side.
she was just starting to get acquainted with the concept, Missy figured
out that the cylinder fits quite nicely through the square hole—more
easily, in fact, than through the round one.
that, my friends, is where the cylinders go — through the square
hole. The cubes are hard to fit through that hole, and the triangle
remains a mystery entirely, but the cylinders? They party in the mailbox
all the time!
TO ADD: Hmmm. I sound as though I am unsympathetic to Eliza's
illness. Trust me, I had plenty of sympathy—I've had ear infections
and they hurt like a bastard, so I know how she's feeling. It's just,
she's so LOUD. I actually have a little of that post-rock-concert ringing-ear
thing going on, and it's been 3 hours since she went to bed. Must go
medicate with fudge swirl and peanut butter-cup ice cream
When I was 14, I fell in love with the Norwegian band,
A-ha. (My parents thought this was hilarious and discussed it with everyone
they knew on two continents, or at least, so it felt to me. Now that
I have a kid and regularly share details of her pooping and snot adventures
with perfect strangers, I understand the impulse, but at the time I
was irked. However, I digress.)
With this great love was born the great romantic fantasy
of my life: That someone would whisk me away to a concert by whoever
my favorite band is at the time.
My freshman year of college, my boyfriend at the time
got me tickets to Chris Isaak, who qualified for favorite band status
at the time, but the experience was ruined when said boyfriend revealed
himself to be that annoying guy who thinks he needs to make funny comments
in response to rhetorical statements made by the performer. Dude, even
IF you're funnier than the performer, NO ONE CARES! Plus, the presentation
sucked — he just handed me the flier announcing the concert and
said we were going. So that totally didn't count.
Cut to 9 years later. I've been with Jim for a couple
of years. I was a slightly-more-than-casual Springsteen fan before we
met and had even attended a concert (thank GOD), and Jim's enthusiasm
is wearing away my already weak resistance to the Bruce juggernaut.
On my birthday, I observe with disinterest as he makes
a phone call, and turn my attention back to reading the book I have
received for my birthday. Later in the day, it has been decided, I would
like to go out to dinner and catch a movie.
At 4 p.m., he announces that it is time to go. What? Where?
And I should maybe put on some jeans or something. Huh?
In short order
I change into jeans and get in the car where, as we head down to Hartford,
I am apprised of the change in plans for the evening — Bruce is
playing the Civic Center today, and we'll be going to see him; Jim got
lucky and got behind-the-stage tickets just that day.
Whisked! Away! To a show! Omigod — at this point,
already, the evening is a resounding success. We could be going to see
Tony Orlando and Dawn and I'd be psyched. But! Bruce! Springsteen! At
this point, I can ID about 3 songs from his catalog without Jim's help,
but who cares, they all sound so damn good live! Bruce!
And, oh, how this show rocked. I realize that to Bruce,
I was but the out-of-tune shrieker with the spiky hair 10 rows behind
him (eh. or just a blob in a crowd of blobs, more likely). But to me
this is now My Birthday Show.
We have a bootleg of this show, and I can tell you the
exact moment when, as Bruce slides down into the chorus of "Point
Blank," I went from being a casual fan to being one of those slightly
scary and possibly off-putting-to-the-uninitiated lunatics who regard
with pity those who've never seen Bruce live. I suppose it's not unlike
joining any other cult. I can't even give the born-agains a hard time,
because the way I feel everyone should see Bruce live is not unlike
the way they wish we'd all be saved so we could get out of the eternal
Anyway. It could be asserted that I have a teeny-tiny
crush on Bruce, and I would not deny it. The thing is, said crush is
entirely dependent upon and inextricably tied to the way I feel about
Jim. Because I loved him before this, obviously, but I remember thinking,
that night, that this man had fulfilled my dearest fantasy, the one
I'd had for half my life, and he had done so without ever having known
That, me friends,
is kismet on a level only the most hardened skeptic would deny, and
I am NOT that skeptic.
And the Bruce thing? His music became the soundtrack of
our first year of marriage, and the adventures we had around the concerts
became the stories of us beginning our life together.
Music has been a leitmotif, the way we reconnect. And
so it is that I share what will surely become the runner-up in the best
gift sweepstakes: An envelope, a sheet inside that says: A fancy-schmancy
dinner in New York on July 2 (and this is for another post, but New
York is another leitmotif). Then another envelope, a card, and two tickets
tumble out: Madonna, at Madison Square Garden.
Do I tell you I love you often enough?
Dear Baby Jesus
Thank you for inventing potatoes,
fennel, and cheese. Thank you for giving someone
the idea to moosh them together and bake them. Thank you for making
that person write a cookbook.
And thank you for making my friend give me that cookbook.
Take a good look at that picture, specifically, between
Moe's front feet. Do you see that binky? Eliza put it there.
Moe, who has a prodigious amount of patience for someone
so misanthropic, was unfazed by Eliza's generous — and to a cat
somewhat mystifying — offer, although she demurred when Eliza
tried to insert the binky in her mouth. They finally agreed on the location
in the photo above as a compromise.
Eliza would've had more success on this front with Barney,
who has been seen trotting off with "prey" binkies in his
mouth and is probably responsible for the disappearance of a half-dozen
of the things over the course of the past few months. I am really looking
forward, in fact, to the day when we find his secret lair, because I
suspect it will contain many exciting treasures.
Binkies are just one of the things Eliza likes to share.
She is also VERY into feeding me for the moment. When
I give her a piece of bread, she eats for a while, then offers me some.
I take a bite, or pretend to, and after giving me, oh, a millisecond,
to chew, she offers it again. I am slowly getting used to the forced
carbo-loading that has become part of my diet. This morning things took
a new twist when she hefted her cup and insisted I take a sip. And another,
and another, until she was satisfied that I was sufficiently hydrated.
Girl On Film
So, I'm in a movie. A student film, to be
I didn't know what to make of it when one
of the students in my department contacted me to let me know he was
making a short film and had me in mind for a part.
After I made sure he really didn't mind that
I haven't acted since the fifth grade musical where I had 8 lines as
Davey Crocket's slutty wannabe-girlfriend, I said, Aw, what the hell,
it'll be fun.
The setup of the story is this: A man brings
his wife to the mechanic because she's malfunctioning. He gets a loaner
wife while he waits for his wife to be fixed. It's definitely satirical,
though I'll have to see the final product to find out how far he pushed
it and whether the piece has any of the poignancy in it the the script
I play the malfunctioning wife. I'm trying
to take it as a compliment that he asked me to play a woman who's 6
years younger than I am, and trying NOT to read anything into the part
about how she's malfunctioning.
I have 1 line, and I don't think it's giving
anything away to share it with you here: "What?!" It was performed
thusly (and again, not giving anything away here): I looked into the
camera (at my "husband"), glared, said my line, then looked
away, rolling my eyes.
The director was very pleased with my performance,
which also included the scene where I am brought to the mechanic, in
which I again had to act all pissy.
I think I might be a natural. Or it's typecasting.
Weirdly FInicky Baby Who Is A Genius
As of right now, in addition to a selection
of mashed Gerber baby food, Eliza likes to eat the following things:
Shredded cheese (cheddar, but also Mexican, mozzarella and Italian 6-cheese
Yogurt (vanilla, banana, apple, peach, pear and blueberry flavor)
Vanilla ice cream (soft serve and regular, also frozen yogurt)
Bread (rosemary olive oil, French, whole wheat, rye)
Macaroni and cheese
Barbecued pulled chicken
Brown rice croquettes
This is today's list. Tomorrow, you could
serve her one of these things and she will press her lips together and
push your hand away, and if you still succeed in getting some of the
offending foodstuff to touch her lips, she blows a raspberry with a
very grossed-out expression on her face. Disliked foods include hot
dogs and cottage cheese.
Didya notice how the favorite foods list
wraps up with miso soup? Yeah, that was tonight's newest odd discovery.
I went to Teapot, the Japanese restaurant, and ordered her some deep
fried tofu because 2 days ago, she had some and LOVED it. Tonight, not
so much, but she eyed my soup and deployed the Imperial Pointy Finger,
as Mom calls it, and before I knew it, half my soup was gone.
The tofu was not a total waste, however,
because Eliza is very fascinated by utensils, and expended considerable
effort trying to figure out how to stick a square of tofu onto the tines.
I was very busy trying to prevent her from creating an unintentional
catapult. When we went to the Mexican place a while back, I gave her
a spoon, and she flung beans everywhere in her attempt to decipher the
Missy's cutlery-engineering leads me nicely
into the genius portion of this post.
Last night, we were in her room looking at
the poster on her wall with the flowers on it. She pointed to the daffodil,
and said "Atsa!" (i.e. Outside). We go outside to look at
the flowers in the yard, and she was especially fond of the yellow daffodils,
which are now all but done. And even though we've now moved on to tulips
and dianthus and bleeding heart, and (in whiskey barrels all over Northampton)
pansies, she remembered the flower and made the connection to one of
She is also physical adept. Tonight, she
got from squatting to standing without any aid whatsoever — nothing
to pull up on, nothing to hold onto. Then she realized what she did
and lowered herself carefully back into her squat. I have got to get
a video of her doing that lowering thing. It cracks me up every time,
how she descends, carefuly, with arms out for balance and butt stuck
way out, to the floor.
Is This Normal?
Sometimes, when I am watching Eliza be especially
cute, I say, "The Cuteness — of the BABY!" in my head,
like it's a movie title, like The Silence of The Lambs or The Passion
of the Christ. Only, this is a MUCH better movie.
Bitchslapping the Idiot Boy King and his Cadre of Sociopaths
We now take a break from our regularly scheduled
programming to bring you Truthiness to Power, which relates to the usual
all-Eliza, all the time coverage in that I am more than a little concerned
about the world I've brought her into.
Go here http://www.thankyoustephencolbert.org/
and watch Stephen Colbert have at President Bystander (Thanks Bruce!),
his Sycophants, and the Craven Dogs who cover his administration.
Time was when the
irresponsible sociopaths in power were challenged by
fellow members of the government and the mainstream
media. Nowadays, apparently, a fake talk show host is the only person
who has the cojones to call out the president and everyone who's just
letting him get away with everything he's doing.
I've found the Usurper morally suspect from
the start, and what he lacked in intelligence to be truly evil, his
handlers more than made up for.
I've talked before how becoming a parent
has created a break in my perspective, and one of the main shifts is
that I am now even more convinced that our civil-rights-abrogating,
black-vote-curtailing, oil-drilling-in-Alaska, crusading-against-Islam
politburo is made up of sociopaths.
all these people are allegedly parents, and yet the way they govern
shows an unbelievable disregard for the world they are leaving their
children and grandchildren. How else, except that they suffer from a
Dissociative Personality Disorder, can one explain the total lack of
empathy for the suffering they are causing future generations —
of their own blood? I mean, on a callous level, I get the whole
I've got mine/let them eat cake thing — you know, let the poor
starve, we'll be at the country house if you need us. Not nice, but
I can see where they're coming from. But to embrace policies which are
almost certain to lead, eventually, to your family's demise, whether
by terrorist annihilation, nuckear catastrophe or global meltdown?
Although, I suppose, I need to look into
my own heart, because knowing what I do about the state of the world,
and suspecting, strongly, that we are in fact, as a culture, on the
downward slope of our peak as an empire, what am I doing having kids?
Isn't that, ultimately, as immoral and selfish an act, knowing that
I am bringing Eliza (and her imaginary brother Elvis/Rafe/Declan) into
a world that is so very troubled?
And I guess you can always bring up the argument
that, well, maybe this baby is the one who grows up to be the messiah,
mystical or political, to deliver us from all this. Or maybe I am just
hoping that someone with power and wisdom and a good heart is still
I struggled for YEARS with this before I
had Eliza, and I struggle with it still — is it right to bring
someone you love so much into a world about which you have so many doubts?
It's why I make my lame little efforts to do my part, using cotton diapers,
trying to buy organic food, donating to NPR, embracing the freedom of
speech of the blogosphere, etc. I know it's just a little, but with
my very limited understandfing of chaos theory, I'm hoping that something
that I do turns out to be the butterfly that causes the hurricane that
blows away the filth of this world. (Oy, the metaphor.)
to bring this all back around, I guess what I'm getting at is that I
applaud Stephen Colbert. I don't know how much difference it'll make
in the long run — I doubt it'll change as much as some of the
bloggers hope it will— but I respect that he sat down and decided,
this is unacceptable, I can't let this just happen to my country, and
he attacked the problem the best way that he could.