Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Want to Be Interviewed?

Beth at Crazy Us interviewed me (I was up in the wee hours and happened to check her blog soon after she posted!), so here goes...

1. The question that was asked to me that I must ask everyone: You are a superhero. Choose three superpowers, a costume and a theme song.

Hoo-boy. I have to choose only three superpowers? Okay...

First, I'd be able to turn back time so I could do things such as take back mean things I've said, stop the kiddo from peeing on the wall and skip some of the less enjoyable relationships I've had. There's a lot to be said for going back in time, armed with the knowledge and expertise I wish I'd had earlier in my life!

Second, I'd be able to read minds, but only at will. I definitely don't want to be able to hear what others are thinking all the time, but it would be extremely helpful to know what some people are thinking some of the time.

Third, I'd be able to produce obscene amounts of money. Enough said.

My costume would involve comfortable shoes and the color lavender, and possibly a tiara. Haven't worked out the details on that yet.

My theme song—and laugh if you must—would probaby be the "Rocky" theme, as this song tends to pop into my head when I need to get motivated. :-)

2. Pick one: Receiving (tax free) 20 million dollars or guaranteed excellent (disease free) health your entire life.

Well, since I already have the superpower of being able to produce obscene amounts of money, I'd have to choose guaranteed health! Really, there's just no price one can put on good health. Of course, I still have plenty of work to do in this area. I'm closer to 40 than I'd like to be, and I'm still working on my habits so I can be as healthy as possible and keep up with my boy!

3. Huggies or Pampers? Why?

Neither. My son is potty-trained. Woo-hoo! If I ever have another child (and I hope I do), I'd just go with whatever's on sale. I used to spend a ridiculous amount of time in the grocery store, trying to calculate the best per-diaper price, and I'm absolutely giddy at the thought of not having to buy diapers for the time being.

4. I read your Ann Lamott quote (one of my favorite authors, by the way). Who is your favorite author and why?

Although I love a wide variety of authors and poets, including Anne Lamott, I particularly enjoy the work of Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan. Their work is so rich and thought-provoking and lovely that it inspires me to be a better writer. Kingsolver writes poetically, with scientific and political insight, and Tan weaves complex tapestries of family history and poignant character observation. That these two women are also friends just tickles me. Anne Lamott's essays have a way of taking one on a winding journey and delivering a loving wallop at the end, and I've been reading her essays since she had a regular column on Salon.com.

5. Punctuation: Essential or as long as you try to get the comma in the right place (so-to-speak), you are ok.

Ha! I'm an editor/proofreader/writer by trade, and I rely on other people's inability to properly punctuate, spell, conjugate, etc. In my own writing, however, I'm ruthless; I choose every detail with care and have been known (ahem) to go back and change things several times until I'm perfectly happy with it or until I just give up. When I was a kid, my dad would give me a quarter for every error I could find in our local newspaper; sometimes he'd give me a dollar if I found something obscure. My profession is in my blood.


For anyone who wants to play, here are the Official Interview Game Rules:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me."

2. I will respond by asking you five questions. Each person's questions will be different.

3. Update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.

4. Include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, ask them five questions.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Reason to Have Another Grownup in the House: # 572

Looks like this.

There's a big "mosquito hawk" in my bathroom and it clicks when it bumps against the wall and have I mentioned it is BIG? It's big. Meaty, even.

The thing is pretty much clinging to the wall next to the lights and not doing anything, but I'm a little uneasy about the arrangement just the same. I don't think these things are dangerous to humans, but in case I didn't say this already, it's big. As in "not small."

Miniature versions of these have wandered into the house before and found their way out, but this one looks like it's here to stay for a while. I'd hoped it would fly elsewhere in the house while we were out today, but nope. Still there. I think it's taunting me.

This is definitely not a middle-of-the-night project for me. I've been known to escort spiders outside or kill them in impatience. Once I let one live on an unused dresser for a couple of months, as it had obviously set up shop and I didn't have to get near it. (It eventually died, and I was inexplicably saddened for, like, a minute.) I've chased house centidpedes and killed them, but this giant creature in the bathroom is another story.

I'm feeling slightly Annie Hall-ish, but I can't think of anyone who'd willingly come over in the middle of the night to fight the bug.

Luckily I have all night to obsess over this. ;^)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I'd Always Heard France Was a Lot of Fun

The other day my son told me there's a big tower in France. Its name? "The Playful Tower."


My son's new word is..."stupid," as in, "Do I have to eat this stupid food?" and "This game is so stupid."

After I told him it's not really nice to call things stupid because it can hurt people's feelings, and that I won't be responding to him when he calls things stupid, he told me, "Well, I'm going to say 'stupid' all the time just by myself and it's going to be my most favoritest word in the entire universe."

I think he may be a very short teenager. ;^)

I Like Small Dogs, Too, But...

That dog next door barks so much he's going to blow a vocal cord one of these days.

One word: tranquilizers.

That's all I'm going to say about that.

Friday, May 27, 2005

So Scent-sitive...

Like my father, my son seems very sensitive to various smells, particularly those that pertain to me. Of course, he's been known to take issue with his own smells until informed that the smells belong to him; then he deems them either okay or unnoticeable. But I digress.

If I have a cup of coffee anywhere within a 10-foot radius of my son, he wrinkles his nose and demands that I remove the offensive object. God forbid I should cook eggs: "Take that breakfast away, Mommy!" He doesn't like the way his shampoo smells when I bathe him, takes issue with garlic (mmm...garlic) and hates the way I smell in the morning. I never thought my skin smelled terribly offensive (never had any complaints), and he seemed to take comfort in my scent when he was a baby, but all that's changed now that he's four and knows everything.

The other morning I thought I'd get a bit ahead of him and brush my teeth before he had a chance to complain. With a freshly minty mouth, I told him to smell my breath and I exhaled on him a little. "ARGH!" he hollered, as he ran away and buried his head in a chair cushion.

Exasperated, I asked, "What is it now?"

He thought for a minute. "Too minty," he very seriously declared.

I guess some guys are just hard to please. ;^)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Happiness Is...

...hearing my four-year-old sweetly utter "noodles" in his sleep.

Wishing you noodle dreams...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lights on at 3:00 a.m.

Last night my brother called to say my dad was in the hospital. I don't want to go into all the details, but this is the second time something like this has happened (different reasons each time), and that fact made for less...and more...worry. Less because I remembered he came home last time and it turned out to be nothing serious. More because, well, it was the second time something like this has happened. Make sense?

Anyway, I fell asleep on the couch last night, exhausted from phoning siblings and my dad and getting information and updates, and worn out from worry. At about 5:00 I woke up, checked email and thought I'd better get a bit more sleep before my son's dad brought the kiddo home at 9:00 a.m. I tried every trick I knew to get myself to sleep, and eventually I did manage to doze off, although I dreamt about a small house with a huge (and I mean HUGE), beautiful bathroom with hardwood floors. What was that about, I wonder?

Tonight my dad was discharged and I just talked to him at home. He sounds tired, but glad to be out of the hospital. The staff did their hospital thing and woke him at all hours, all lights on, to stick him with needles and complain about not being able to find a vein, for instance. Why do they always have to turn on all the lights and talk so loudly when they conduct procedures in the middle of the night? I remember this from when I was in the hospital recovering from delivering my son. You'd think they could turn on one of the small lights and get what they needed without making a huge production out of it. That loss of sleep must delay recovery for a lot of patients.

Also, what is it with hospital staff's lack of patience (ha) regarding their patients' anxiety? As my sister-the-shrink said, it's not like anxiety's exactly a choice. Oh yes, some will argue with this and say we choose how to feel. Well, yes and no. If one is in the hospital with an unexpected health emergency, of course he/she will experience some degree of anxiety. Sometimes he/she can successfully reduce this through the use of relaxation exercises, and sometimes there's just not time or space to focus on these.

When I went to the doctor for my final appointment prior to delivering my son, she checked my blood pressure and briskly said, "Yeah, you're not going home today." I was totally caught off guard; after all, I'd expected to wake up in the middle of the night with contractions and experience my water breaking and drive to the hospital with my son's dad. Hey, I'd seen a lot of movies. ;^) So when the doctor told me I was being admitted that day, I started to cry.

"Why are you crying?" the doctor demanded. Nice.

I do remember several nurses, during my three-day stay in the hospital, who were just lovely. One, of course, was Denise, who coached me through my unexpectedly lengthy labor and saved me from having a C-section. Another was Mai, who came during the night after I'd delivered my son, carefully untied the sash of my robe, checked my belly and gently retied the sash. She gave me a little pat right before she left.

Let me tell you, at a scary time when I felt my son's dad distancing himself from me, and was wounded from labor and delivery, that small act of kindness made all the difference.

I hope the next time my dad's in the hospital, he gets to experience some of that kindness.

Glad you're home, Dad.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I'm on my second read-through...

"One secret of life is that the reason life works at all is
that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day."

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Somehow my son has developed the habit of swearing. Well, not exactly swearing. He says, "Oh, shuts!" I'm sure of this, as I've asked him to repeat it many times to see if it was really something less innocuous. Nope. Totally clean. I have no idea where he got this, although I suspect his dad may have guided him toward an appropriate exclamation after hearing him repeat a choice word or two.

Of course, I've used real swear words, too. The impact of this was brought home to me when I heard my then-three-year-old say "shit" as we drove home from the mall. It was cute in a way...but also not cute at all, if you know what I mean. Sort of appalling, really. I told him he wasn't to say that word, and also gave him permission to tell me not to use that word if I ever said it again. Oh, he loved having that power. ;-)

When I was a kid, my dad used to utter all sorts of nonsensical epithets. He never swore, at least not that we ever heard. Instead, he said things like "Fiddlesticks!" and "Aw, shucks!" (perhaps this is the one my son has heard and modified?) and "Dagnabbit!" That last one is among my new favorites, and I use it a lot.

But back to my son's new expression. I've got a lot of work to do today, and I'd rather be outside playing. Luckily I've had several projects to work on, but I've also been scheduling impaired and I'm behind the 8-ball. So...no playing for me until the work is done.

Oh, shuts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Taken at the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, California.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

On the Verge of Mobility
I can't believe my little one can now run like a maniac, flinging dirt and "grinning like a
greased hyena." :-)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

See the Sea Cucumber!

Eyeing the Sea Cucumber
He wasn't going to touch anything in the tidepools, but then got a burst of courage
and wanted to touch just about everything. (Yes, he eventually touched this after
it had been returned to the tidepool. Very soft!)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

"Look at the Orange Fish!"

Look at the Orange Fish...
We visited the Birch Aquarium yesterday. It was a hit.