Thursday, June 4, 2009

Snookums' Subpeona

My daughter is lovely. She is also litigious.

Shortly after I uploaded this photo to my Facebook page, a process server appeared at the door and shoved a document at me. Snookums was suing me for . . . you guessed it, invasion of privacy.

I went over to Snookums, who was very busy screwing and unscrewing the lid of a jar. "Snookums!" I said. "This is my house, my computer, you're my daughter. You have no right to privacy!"

Snookums gestured out the window at the sound of a dog barking. "Woof woof! Woof woof!" she shouted.

The atmosphere at home has grown tense. I have left the pictures up. Meanwhile, Snookums has updated her Facebook status to "It's Complicated."

Monday, June 1, 2009

So Glamorous!

So tonight I was walking home from the subway, down a small side street. There was no one else on the street except for an unexceptional-looking older fellow who resembled R. Crumb.

As he walked by me, he said, "Oh gee, you're sooooooo glamorous."

I'd say his voice was dripping with sarcasm, but it was more like soaked. More like flooding with sarcasm. Like, my-living-room-ceiling-has-caved-in-and-my-upstairs-neighbor's-bathtub-is-falling-through sarcasm.

I said, "What?"

"You're just so glamorous I can't believe it," he sneered. "I guess you think I should be asking for your autograph or something. You're soooooooo glamorous."

Thanks for bringing me back to Earth, crazy man. 'Cause you know, I was feeling pretty glamorous there for a minute, in my stained trenchcoat, Payless shoes and Goodwill handbag.

Thanks for keepin' it real.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Electronic Babysitter, My Ass

When I was pregnant, my feelings about kids and TV were just like every other overeducated upper-middle-class mom's: "My child isn't going to watch TV! No sirree!"

Since having Snookums, of course, I've done a total 180. Now I'm like, "Let's turn on the TV and see what's on! Then I can have five minutes to myself."

Only problem is, IT DOESN'T WORK.

Snookums will look at the screen for 30 seconds max, then she runs back into the kitchen shrieking, "Mami! Mami!" and clinging to my leg like a barnacle. Meanwhile, I'm either a) pouring a boiling pot of spaghetti into the strainer, or b) holding an electric drill in my hand as I try to childproof another knife drawer.

I've tried Sesame Street, Curious George, even those dumb Baby Einstein videos with the hand puppets. She's indifferent to all of them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends NO TV at all for the first two years of a child's life. I remember reading that right after Snookums was born and thinking, "Oh, no! Guess I'll have to stop watching Charlie Rose while Snookums is nursing!"

Nowadays, of course, I'll watch back-to-back episodes of Boston Legal or Criminal Intent while I try to get her to go to sleep. Bring on the inappropriate language, bloody corpses, guns . . . none of it makes any difference.

Maybe full-frontal nudity? Except that would probably just make her hungry.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Today's my birthday. I'm . . . fortyish.

How did I "celebrate"? With 90 minutes of conference calls, a visit to the pediatrician to determine that Snookums did not have swine flu, a greasy gyro purchased on the street, and a couple of glasses of cheap red wine.

I'm not in much of a celebratory mood, seeing as I found out yesterday I'm not pregnant, despite having transferred five fertilized embryos into my aging womb 12 days ago.

Indeed, I'm downright bummed. Not to mention broke. But I'll get over it.

And until I do, I'll keep drinking this cheap wine.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Beam Knock Me Up, Scotty

So I'm doing IVF now and yadda yadda yadda. (Just for the record: We did not have any help when I got pregnant with Snookums, even though I was 41 and hadn't been trying for that long. But that was two years ago, so there you go.)

This morning I had my egg retrieval, otherwise known as "Now, just get all woozy and cozy and go to sleep for a few minutes while we stick a needle up your hoo-ha and suck all your eggs out of you! Oh, and by the way, that'll be an extra $500 for the anesthesiologist on top of the $4,500 you already paid."

I'd been a little freaked out by the idea of this whole thing -- and not just the money, which was bad enough. But I kept picturing either salmon roe sushi and those deliciously salty little red circles exploding, or a spaceship with aliens with big cat-shaped eyes probing me and using my embryos to colonize Jupiter.

Anyway, they got 23 eggs. My doctor was practically clicking his heels together, so I guess that's an unusually high amount. Now I have to look forward to Zany Dad giving me painful progesterone injections in the ass for the next couple of weeks, possibly longer. And we'll do the "transfer" -- otherwise known as, "Now we'll just shoot the fertilized embryos back inside you! And by the way, the doctor's fee is $4,500, cash only!" -- on either Thursday or Saturday, depending on how busy the sperm and egg have gotten in the meantime.

I told my doctor to leave the test tube in a darkened room with some R.Kelly playing. He thought that was funny. But he didn't seem to like the joke about aliens.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just Call Me "Octomom 2" -- Or Not

As I may have mentioned, the third round of intrauterine insemination (IUI, otherwise known as Ai Yi Yi!) failed. So now we're embarking on IVF, otherwise known as creating a sister or brother for Snookums in a test tube.

My sister, who's a labor and delivery nurse, asked me how many embryos my doctor was going to "transfer" (this is a euphemism for how many fertilized eggs are they going to stick inside me).

"Oh, I don't know . . . Seven?" I said, uncertainly.

A few days later, she called me back in a panic.

"I'm really concerned about the fact that you're having seven embryos transferred," she said. "A lot of obstetricians I work with think this is totally unethical! Have you thought about the fact that you'll probably have to have a reduction?" (That's a euphemism for aborting the extra embryos so that you don't end up like Octomom.)

So the next time I saw my doctor, I asked, "How many embryos did you say you were going to transfer?"

"There's no upper limit," he said. "It depends on how well they do in the lab. For someone your age I usually transfer three or four. The most I've transferred is six, and that was for a friend of mine who's now pregnant with a singleton."

So that was a relief. But in the course of all this, I made the mistake of Googling my doctor, Mitchell Essig. Should I be upset about this clipping I found?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Enough With the Pretentious Names Already

One of the most vile cultural trends I've noticed recently -- besides the use of cell phones as walkie-talkies -- is parents giving their kids Irish last names as first names.

Over the weekend, I was at a children's party thrown by the mothers' group I belong to, when I heard a father say to his son, "Hey, bro."

Now, that's casual, I thought. Then I realized he meant it literally. Not that his son was also his brother -- that would be gross -- but that his son's name was Brody, as it said on his little nametag.

Boys named Brody, Brady, Riley and Murphy. Girls named Wiley and Addison (isn't that the disease JFK had?). At the same party where I met Brody, I met a baby boy named Beckett. I have yet to meet a boy named Joyce -- but I did meet one named Killian the other day.

I say, if you're going to give your kid one of these Irish names, why not go all out? Name him or her McGillicuddy. Or O'Shaughnessy. Or Bumstead, for fook's sake!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tax Day: Brought to You By Satan

Remember how the other day I felt like this?

That changed quickly yesterday. After talking to my accountant, I felt like this:

She called to say I owed OVER TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS to the IRS.

And I was even paying taxes quarterly! It turns out the handy worksheet my previous accountant -- or should I say "accountant" -- used to calculate how much tax to pay only accounted for Social Security. No federal taxes, no New Jersey taxes, no New York taxes. Boy, did he screw me.

Thank God I had the money to cover the bill in my savings account. Of course, I was hoping to use that money for other stuff -- like IVF treatments, since it's looking increasingly like the only way Snookums is going to get a sister or brother is from a test tube.

I don't know why I didn't Google the "accountant" like I do everyone else. Because if I had, I would have found this website. Dead giveaway the guy's a charlatan...

Monday, April 13, 2009

International House of Paper

This is how I feel right now:

I just finished filing our taxes sending our paperwork to the accountant, which meant I not only had to go through a year's worth of my own paperwork, but I had to organize Zany Dad's office, which looked like it was designed by a hamster (paper piles everywhere).

In the course of doing so, I found a sweepstakes form Zany Dad had filled out to win a "handy chore tractor." ("Can you ever have too many tractors?" the form asks. "Yes, you can," I reply.) Thank God Zany Dad is so disorganized he forgot to mail in the form, because I don't think our neighbors would have appreciated a 4,000-pound tractor sitting in our tiny backyard.

The other irony is that the sweepstakes entry was made out under MY name, not his. This is because Zany Dad is a Privacy Freak. So not only did he want a tractor he'd have no use or room for in our urban neighborhood, he didn't want anyone to know it was his.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

First DYHV Celebrity Sighting!

I was walking up Sixth Avenue from my office today during lunch, when who did I spot sitting at an outdoor table at the Belgian restaurant on the corner? Richard Belzer, from that Law & Order spinoff, SVU or SUV or whatever it's called.

I realized as I was writing this post that the only celebrities I've seen in New York are from Law & Order: Chris Noth (whom, most remember as Mr. Big from Sex and the City, but who'll always be Det. Logan to me) and (before he died, obviously) Jerry Orbach -- also, strangely enough, at Markt, when it was in a different location.

Before Snookums was born I saw Anderson Cooper at 23rd St. and 7th Avenue. He is very, very short.

Richard Belzer was very, very tall. He's also better looking in person than on TV. Not that that's saying much.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

5 Fun Activities When You're Pregnant

1. Sauna. That intense heat is just soooooo relaxing for you and your unborn babe. Helps relieve those pregnancy aches and pains, too!

2. Blue cheese sampling. What mother-to-be doesn't crave dairy? And no wonder -- all that calcium helps build strong bones in the li'l fetus.

3. Dodgeball. Not just for fifth graders anymore. The jumping, running and throwing are a great stress reliever, and an excellent cardio workout to boot.

4. Whisky tasting. Haven't you always wondered what the difference is between Irish and Scottish, single malt and blend? Indulge your curiosity and find out now, before the baby comes along and you can't go out anymore.

5. Build-your-own meth lab. A fun weekend project that doesn't even take a whole weekend -- you can set up a lab in a coffee pot, even! It's that simple.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Stroll with Snookums

Joan and Snookums take a walk around their neighborhood in Jersey City. They pass a Sikh man in a turban.

Snookums (pointing at turban): Hat! Hat!

Joan: Yes, yes, sweetie, that's a hat.

They pass a gangbanger.

Snookums (pointing at gangbanger's enormous, half-laced Timberland boots): Shoe! Shoe!

Joan: Yes, that's right, that's a shoe.

Snookums (pointing at gangbanger's snarling pit bull): WOOF WOOF WOOF! WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!

Dog goes berserk, barking its head off and straining at its leash. Joan tries to get Snookums past the dog without it managing to sink its fangs in her tender flesh. Snookums continues to bark like a maniac.

Joan (trying to distract Snookums): Look, honey, look at the bird!

Snookums (looks up): Tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet!

They pass a soccer field.

Snookums: Ball! Ball! Ball! Points at passing Arab woman in headscarf pushing a stroller. Hat! Hat! HAT! HAAAAT!!!!

Joan (points to woman's baby in stroller): Look, honey, look! What's that?

Snookums (quietly): Baby. Points at baby's nose. No?

Joan: Yes, that's right, that's the baby's nose.

Snookums (points at baby's eye): Ah! Ah!

Joan: Yes, that's the baby's eye, very good.

Snookums passes gas, makes farting noise with her mouth, laughs uproariously.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Ideal Job for Snookums

When you have sex in the United States -- or anywhere, for that matter -- you might wind up having a baby. But if you're really lucky, you wind up having an elf. Which is what Snookums is, as you can clearly see from this photo.

(I always used to tell Zany Dad he reminded me of an elf -- specifically, of that elf who wanted to be a dentist, from The Year Without a Santa Claus. Little did I know that I carried the recessive gene for elfishness.)

Apparently, the entire nation of Iceland believes in elves, according to an article I just read in Vanity Fair. The Icelanders haven't been reading this blog or anything, it's just part of their cultural tradition. In fact, when Alcoa tried to open an aluminum-smelting plant there a few years ago, it had to hire an official government inspector to certify the construction site as elf-free.

I kid you not. There is a civil servant in Iceland who actually gets paid to check whether there are any elves (or "hidden people," the politically correct term) on construction sites.

This would be the perfect job for Snookums. Who better to spot an elf than a fellow elf? When she spotted one, she could point at him with her tiny, elfin finger and speak to him in Elvish, asking him to please leave so the nice Americans can smelt their aluminum.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lose Weight by Blogging about Great Sex in New York with Celebrities!

I asked my friend Lennart, who has a popular blog (at least that's what he tells me, but it's in Swedish so he could be lying), how I can get more than, say, 6 people to visit this blog. His advice?

"Write really long headlines full of buzzwords. Every time I write a post with the words 'sex in the United States' in it, I get tons of hits from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. They find my blog through Google."

He also suggested I avoid topics like babies shitting in bathtubs. He would probably hate the post on farting I wrote yesterday.

In other words, Lennart thinks I should ditch my mommy-blogger demographic for the repressed-teenage-Muslim demographic. But I ask you, which has more purchasing power that will appeal to advertisers?

Okay, so I don't have any advertisers, but I hope to have at least one someday.

Tomorrow's post: Find a job by blogging about great sex in New York with celebrities!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Only 15 Months Old, and Already Making Fart Jokes

I may have created a monster -- or a comedic genius.

A while back, I started a joke with Snookums where I'd make farting noises with my mouth when she passed gas. Then the other day, Snookums was perusing a baby magazine and came upon an ad for Desitin, featuring a baby's bare bum. She immediately started making farting noises with her mouth.

At first I thought she was just making the noise randomly. But a few pages later, there was another photo of a baby's behind -- and she pointed at it and started making those farting noises again.

I still can't believe she can make the connection between a noise she makes with her mouth and an image of a butt. That's a lot of abstraction.

So is it brilliance or precocious immaturity when a preverbal toddler acts like a 12-year-old, or the former President of the United States?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St. Patrick: Patron Saint of Bodily Fluids

Here's a recap of my weekend:
  • Took Snookums yesterday to a lab where they drew blood to test her for lead exposure. (This is a routine screening.) After they were finished, her Band-Aid came off and she dripped blood all over her onesie and my (formerly) white coat.
  • Last night, Snookums took a huge dump in the tub while I was bathing her. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever taken a huge dump in the tub while you were bathing, or has my daughter ever come over to your house and taken a dump in your tub?
  • Tonight when I was getting ready for bed, I accidentally let the hem of my nightgown dangle into the toilet -- and ended up peeing all over my own nightie. Gah. So now, instead of the sexy Donna Karan nightie that zips open for easy access, I have to wear the granny gown that buttons all the way up to the neck. I look like Ma Ingalls. Zany Dad is not pleased.
  • Did I mention I have my period?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finger-Lickin' Good!

Mmm.... with curry dip.

And they're patriotic!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Top 5 Gifts for Pregnant Women

1. Native American Spirits. Nothing steadies those preggo jitters like a puff on a cigarette, and these are made from 100% organic tobacco.

2. Sushi. It's a little-known fact that gestating women don't get nearly enough mercury. And raw fish is way more nutritious -- cooking destroys vitamins!

3. Blue cheese. Moms-to-be need calcium for two! Best to buy fromage bleu from France or some other country where they don't pasteurize it -- again, heat destroys vitamins!

4. Bourbon. Face it, pregnancy is stressful. After a long, hard day struggling up flights of stairs and standing on the subway, what expectant woman doesn't appreciate a few shots of Maker's Mark?

5. Crack. Sure, the rest of the population has moved on to meth, but knocked-up ladies appreciate the classic pick-me-up. Now available with a special pipe for women only: "LadyCrack."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Help! I Need a Decoder Ring

OK, so I thought the email I got yesterday about belly buttons was batshit crazy unusual. Then today I got the following in my inbox (from a totally different person, btw):

Before this enlarged new assignment, I've already have a finance accounting deal with 30+ members need supervise with lots of operation initiatives, client interaction, cost and team management daily, it's my first time to work with local and global transition, solution team, and 7+ territory clients for a new 50+ team size finance accounting deal outsourcing in, I dedicated a lot and get involved from the initial plan stage ,contributed my finance accounting experience , seeking for expertise opinions globally to help transition team, clients get the new deal transitioned in , we've passed through a very hard time, for this client had never got any experice on outsourcing, they had unbeliverable high expectation and constraint project schedule requirement and changed their detail support module frequently, request for accelerated transition and go-live under technology, people and operation not ready circumstance, which made each of our project team stretched step by step to identify optinal solution to drive our way out for success with client satisfaction and our acceptable risk level, this is a great team work with resources leverage cross geography, functions.

Clearly, this person is stalking me. Trying to impress me with their tales of unbeliverable high expectation and operation not ready circumstance. Even worse, it's working! I'm succumbing to their experice and optinal solution. It's all because I used to read those bizarre ravings on bottles of Dr. Bronner's soap:

"Replace half-true Socialist-fluoride poison & tax-slavery with full-truth, work-speech-press & profitsharing Socialaction! All-One! So, help build 4 billion Hannibal wind-power plants, charging 96 billion battery-banks, powering every car-factory-farm-home-monorail & pump, watering Babylon-roof-gardens & 800 billion Israel-Milorganite fruit trees, guarded by Swiss 6000 year Universal Military Training."

At least Dr. Bronner actually wrote THREE sentences, not one.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Does Snookums Work Here?

I was editing a document the other day at work and came across the term "workstreams," which I didn't understand (I edit documents written for IT consultants, so this happens at least once a sentence).

"What are workstreams?" I asked my writer, who in turn asked the person he'd interviewed. Here's her reply:

"That means they give a belly button to any action or goal so that everyone knows what their goals are."

Can anyone explain what this means? It's at points like this that I want to put my daughter on the phone with these people, so she can shout, "Ha! Shoo! Geh beh deh beh deh beh baby boo!"

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Tie Gives the Lie

Seen on 6th Avenue in Chelsea the other day:

Short, middle-aged man on cell phone, talking earnestly to someone on the other end about his "credentials" and his "expertise."

Speech contradicted totally by his tie, which had giant Mickey Mice all over it, visible from 50 feet away.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Why I Haven't Been Here. Or Happy.

Due to an insane error honest mistake on the part of Zany Dad, I did not have Internet service for a week. Then my aunt died, so I was out of town for a couple of days attending the funeral.

But one good thing came out of all this: I learned that you don't have to be a kid to order a Happy Meal!

Seriously, I always assumed that Happy Meals were for children only -- kind of like New York City playgrounds (which have signs reading, "No adults unless accompanied by a child"). But apparently, there's no age limit.

How did I not know this before? Just dumb, I guess. (My sister asked how I cheer myself up when I'm down without Happy Meals.)

At least now I won't need to bring Snookums along the next time I go to McDonald's. Unless, of course, I want to eat in the playground.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Baby Model Catfight

Here, finally, is the issue of Babytalk that Snookums was photographed for.

That is not Snookums on the cover. It is an evil rival who copied Snookums' look -- ivory skin, reddish hair, almond-shaped blue eyes -- only she stuck her tongue out at the last second to win the editor's favor.

That tongue move was the baby model's equivalent of "Blue Steel."

Snookums may have no choice but to challenge little "Luna" (as the beyotch calls herself) to a "Toddle-Off."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quotes of the Day

  • "This drug is producing bloodless revolution in antithrombotic area." -- said by a Polish employee of the pharmaceutical company I write for. (I was told to ask him what he liked best about working for the company; I suppose it's all those bloodless revolutions the company foments, as opposed to the bloody ones that have wracked his homeland for centuries.)
  • "She became a bona-fide media star, a working-class Paris Hilton." -- from a New York Times article on a reality-TV star who has cancer and plans to die on camera. But how can you be "a working-class Paris Hilton"? Isn't that kind of like being "Bill Gates, only on food stamps" or "Tiger Woods, but sucky at golf"?
  • "Until you've eaten with a chimp and bathed with a chimp, you don't know a chimp." -- from a New York Post story on that nutjob in Connecticut whose pet chimp was shot after he ripped the face off her best friend -- whoops, the chimp was her best friend. The one who got her face ripped off was her best human friend.
If it weren't for Tuesday's vagina comment, I'd be calling this post "Quotes of the Week."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Something You Don't Hear Every Day

"What you've got in your vagina right now is worth $20,000."

No, that's not what my husband said to me on Valentine's Day. It's what my gynecologist said to me this morning -- referring to the probe from the ultrasound machine that she had left inside me for a few seconds while she went to get some piece of equipment. (To give you some context, she prefaced this with, "Don't jump up suddenly or anything.")

It's a sentence I will probably never hear again -- unless I festoon my fa-chotch with diamonds. (thanks, Happy Hour Sue -- I think).

Or have sex with Warren Buffett.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Who's Your Daddy?

Snookums was watching Sesame Street the other day, and the Count came on. You know... the Transylvanian vampire who teaches children how to count in a Bela Lugosi accent.

Snookums looked up at the screen, pointed and shouted, "Daddy! Daddy!"

It was most unusual in that normally she says, "Da-da." But she was especially careful to say the word correctly: "Da-dee." As if she didn't want there to be any confusion: This was her father.

My mother (visiting for the weekend) and I dissolved in laughter.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

How to Tell If Your Therapist Has Been Paying Attention

My husband went to see his shrink the other day.

"I don't want to be a paralegal anymore," he told him. "I want to change careers. I think I'd like to be a nurse."

The shrink said, "Why don't you just get a better paralegal job?"

My husband said, "Obviously, you haven't been listening to me for the last five years. As I told you before, the law can be wonderful as a mistress, but is terrible as a wife."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How to Keep Your Job During the Recession (Or Maybe Not)

I had lunch today with a friend from my old job in magazine publishing. She is now editor-in-chief of her own magazine, a sister publication to the one we used to work on.

Like most other businesses, the parent company of these publications is reeling from the recession and putting pressure on the editors to slash costs as much as possible. But my friend isn't toeing the line.

She compared her own approach to dealing with management to that of Vinnie, our former boss, who's still editing the magazine we both worked on. "Vinnie's attitude is, 'I'll do anything to keep my job,'" she said. "Mine is, 'I'll do whatever I want,' because ultimately it doesn't matter." (Case in point: She was forced to fire her art director recently, even though her magazine saw a 20 percent increase in ad page sales last year.)

So, if you still have a job, here are two ways to keep it:

1) Be like Vinnie. Do whatever management asks.

Results thus far: Vinnie is now editing two other magazines besides the one he officially edits -- for no additional money. He also had to fire his longtime art director. His freelancer budget was recently slashed to zero, so he now has to rely solely on his in-house staff of three people to produce all content, which isn't possible. (I used to work there; I know.) On the other hand, Vinnie is a master of office politics and has kept his job through thick and thin over the past 15 years.

2) Be like Terri. To hell with what management wants.

Results thus far: Terri is still the editor of just one magazine, not three. (In fact, it was after she turned down the "offer" of editing the other two magazines that Vinnie ended up doing it.) However, she does write about a third of it herself, which -- if you know anything about how magazines work -- is not a good use of resources. And again, despite a banner year in ad sales, she had to fire her art director, as I mentioned above. But her freelancer budget, oddly enough, hasn't been eliminated. (I should also mention that while Terri is not as Machiavellian as Vinnie, she also knows how to play the corporate game when she has to.)

It's too soon to tell how well these two strategies will play out. Terri seems to think she'll get canned, which would be a victory for Vinnie's strategy -- albeit a Pyrrhic one, since Vinnie would just end up editing her magazine in addition to the other three. For no raise.

Stay tuned...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Office Bitch

I had a call last week with the client I work with on the German project. (She is American, by the way.) I was hoping for some feedback for her on the articles I'm supposed to be writing -- something along the lines of, "This is why we're writing about X, this is the angle we want, this is the value for our readers."

Instead, she didn't bother to prepare for the call. She wasted my time for an hour, rambling on and thinking out loud about how to cover Eastern Europe in the "Country Spotlight" section. (Yes, I know Eastern Europe is not a country. This gives you an idea of how fecked ep this project is.)

"Hmmm.... Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary...." she said. "I don't really know anything about these countries. Are they near each other?"

I explained that the countries were all in the same region, they were all former Soviet satellite states, that they had certain historical/cultural traits in common, etc.

"Well, I'm looking at a map here," she said. "It looks like most of them border on each other."

(Long pause while she she thinks. She doesn't think very fast.)

"Hmmmm... Maybe they're all Muslim countries?" she suggested.

This woman is at least 10 years older than I am -- in other words, she grew up during the Cold War and was probably in her 30s when the Berlin Wall came down. How could you think Poland is a MUSLIM country? WTF???

You know what's even more enraging than the fact that such an idiot is in charge of this project? The fact that she makes six figures and drives a BMW.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Katie Couric is a Total Nitwit

I just watched Katie Couric's 60 Minutes interview with the crew of that US Airways plane that landed in the Hudson River. For those of you who missed it, here's a recap:

Katie: How did you feel when you heard the engines cut out? Did you pray?

Sully: No, I left that up to the people in the back of the plane.

Katie (to flight attendant): What was going on in the cabin at that point? Were people crying? Was anyone praying?

Flight attendant: (generic, nondescript answer)

Katie: But could you talk about praying? Whether or not passengers ere praying, or if you were praying, or if there was anyone praying?

Apparently 60 Minutes is aiming not only for the geriatric demographic, but the psycho-Christian geriatric demographic.

Oh, and in other 60 Minutes news: There's this hot new band all the young whippersnappers are listening to, called Coldplay. Their music is pretty edgy and alternative, but they're a phenomenal success! Go figure! We've never heard of them before, but now you have, so you have something to talk to your grandkids about.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Myth of German Efficiency

In my day job, I work with Germans a lot. And for the most part, while perfectly pleasant to work with, they totally conform to the stereotype of being incredibly anal and hidebound.

But efficient? Not a chance. In fact, I would say they prefer to make work for themselves -- and therefore, me -- than do things in a faster, easier way.

Here's an example I wish were NOT typical. Someone I interviewed for an article said she had some emails from her colleagues supporting some of the points she'd made in our interview, and that she could send them to me. So while I was putting the article together, I emailed her requesting them.

In a couple of hours (efficient), she sent back an email containing 3 attachments. They were jpegs. Odd, I thought. But I opened them anyway. Each jpeg contained a single quote -- the promised quotes from her colleagues (not efficient).

So I opened each jpeg separately and tried selecting the text, copying it and pasting it into another document where I had all my notes for the article. This was a very cumbersome process and it took about 15 minutes to get all 3 quotes into the section where I wanted them.

Then, the next time I opened that file, they weren't there. Instead, there was some kind of error message saying they couldn't be "read."

So I started all over again, opening each jpeg individually, this time transcribing them into the document so I could be sure I didn't lose the information. So a task that normally would have taken less than a minute had wasted about a half-hour. (And this doesn't even include how much time it took to create these mysterious jpegs in the first place.)

Is it just me, or is this incredibly inefficient? Wouldn't it have been easier to just send the quotes in the body of an email?

I'm counting on the one techie who reads my blog to post a reply that will explain this.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Is Abu Ghraib Hiring?

Because if they are, I know a little 13-month-old who should totally send them her résumé.

Today, Snookums subjected me to sleep deprivation, made me stand for hours (with her perched on my hip -- I'd like to see Rumsfeld do that!), and administered various forms of physical abuse, including biting, kicking, hitting, and screaming loud enough to hurt my eardrums. She also kept making me go topless.

About the only thing she didn't do was make me wear a hood and stand on a box. But there's always tomorrow.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

I met up with my friend Bob yesterday. As you can see from the photo, he has long hair. And he's one of the last guys in New York who do. The proof? He was out the other night at a heavy metal bar in Brooklyn with his girlfriend and another friend (female), and three guys tried to pick them up, thinking Bob was just one of the gals.

"Can you believe that?" he said. "Even in a heavy metal bar, I'm the only guy with long hair."

That may be true among adult men, but I've noticed more and more boys lately with shoulder-length hair -- like, practically every white boy over the age of 7. Recently, when my husband saw a photo of the two sons (ages 8 and 12) of a college friend of mine, he mistook them for girls.

I'm not sure what cultural phenomenon explains this, but I have a pretty good idea. And you can see it here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Am a One-Woman Laboratory

I'm now on my third round of Ai Yi Yi and, because the first two tries didn't work, my doctor is getting really aggressive with the drugs. First I started taking a little pill twice a day that's supposed to make me menstruate. On the fifth day, which was yesterday, I started combining the pill with nightly injections of Lupron -- which, ironically, is used to treat symptoms of prostate cancer. (Zany Dad's father took it for this purpose.) Then, sometime after all this makes me get my period, I'll have to start the Repronex injections again -- except this time Doc wants me to take SIX vials, or double what I started out taking.

With the first two Ai Yi Yi rounds, I didn't really notice any side effects, but this time I'm kinda crabby and wondering if it's all them hormones. Or maybe it's just lack of sleep. And you know what the irony of that is? That here I am, up past midnight again, describing all the crazy things I'm doing for the chance to get pregnant again. Meanwhile, I have to get up early tomorrow to interview some doctors for an article I'm writing about some newfangled birth control pill.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Breasts Breasts Breasts!

So I just read a blog about how to make people visit your blog more, which I'm desperately trying to do since NO ONE READS THIS DAMN THING. Anyway, it suggested that after you have a spike in traffic responding to a particular post, you should do a follow-up post on the same topic.

Not surprisingly, yesterday's post about breasts -- tits, ta-tas, hooters, funbags, whatever you want to call them -- got a "spike," if you can call 17 readers a "spike." So here I am, trying to think of something else to write about breasts.

Did you know Gwyneth Paltrow had a boob job? You can read about it here -- but I warn you: It's one of those annoying "Did she or didn't she?" type posts. Anyway, if she did it was for professional reasons: She goes topless in her latest movie.

And here's more news about boob jobs: They're becoming more and more common among men, at least in the UK.

Finally, here is concrete proof that I don't live in the real America: I've never heard the word "breastaurant," apparently a commonly used term for eateries in the Hooters mold, such as Twin Peaks or Bone Daddy's (neither of which I ever heard of either).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go strap some mini-vacuum cleaners to my own breasts and suck the milk out so I can freeze it and feed it to my baby at some later date.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"Without Breasts, There Is No Paradise"

Last night Zany Dad was watching soccer on Spanish TV when he happened upon a telenovela.

"What a title!" he muttered.

"What?" I asked.

"Sin Senos No Hay Paraíso," he said. "Without breasts, there is no paradise."

I looked at the TV, expecting to see one of those Spanish-language variety shows where a guy dressed as a bee is surrounded by women in bikinis.

"That's weird," I said. "With that title, it should be a comedy, but it looks like a drama."

It is. Sin Senos No Hay Paraíso is a Colombian soap opera that tells the story of a girl who becomes a prostitute to get out of poverty, but has to get implants when she discovers her ta-tas aren't big enough to attract the coke dealer of her dreams.

The only thing more preposterous than that plot is the fact that NBC is apparently working on an English-language version.

I don't dare tell Snookums about this show, because she'll insist on watching it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"We Are All of Us in the Gutter, But Some of Us Are Looking at the Stars"

I was on the train the other day going to work in Manhattan, when I saw a man and a woman who somehow looked Japanese to me. (That probably sounds very un-PC, but I just had the feeling, based mostly on how they were dressed, that they were from Japan, as opposed to China, or Korea, or the Philippines, any of which would be more likely in my neighborhood.)

That impression last a split second as I got on the train. I sat down, started reading my magazine and forgot all about them.

A few minutes later, I happened to glance over at them and I saw that the woman (it was an older woman and a younger man, I assumed they were mother and son) had folded a foil gum wrapper into a tiny paper crane.

Origami. I sat there a moment and contemplated how amazing it was that she had literally transformed a piece of trash into art.

Anybody else on that train would have wadded their gum in it and thrown it on the floor.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snookums Meets Snow

This weekend, I bundled Snookums into the new snowsuit she got for her birthday and took her to the park to discover snow.

Snow, Snookums.

Snookums, Snow.

Pleased to meet you -- NOT!

Notwithstanding these photos, it seems Snookums and Snow didn't get along very well. This comes as no surprise, considering Snookums' strong dislike of Snow's posse -- Hat, Boots and The Ever Lovin' Glove Twins.

Even so, her cousins in Brazil will be jealous when they see these pictures. Snow to them is like palm trees to us folks from New Jersey.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Teleconference Has Grown Tiresome

Yesterday I had a teleconference with a bunch of Germans for a newsletter I write for a pharmaceutical company (I won't tell you the name, but they're the people who invented aspirin).

While a lot of the people I work with on this newsletter are just regular folks, this team is, shall we say, VERY CHERMAN. Everything has to be done a certain way. Very, very anal.

But you know what's kinda cute? When they try to sound American while acting totally German. So "Dieter," the guy who's my boss on this project, will say, "Now, if you could do X, und zen Vy, und Z, und zen follow up wiss Drs. A, B und C, complete zis checklist und submit a sprrreadsheet, zat vood be really grrreat!"

He should have said, "I vood be as happy as a little giiiiirl."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

So you know how Cheney supposedly pulled a muscle in his back while he was moving boxes?

Here's what I think really happened: He pretended to be injured so that he didn't have to stand up while Obama took the oath of office.

Think about it: Since when does the Vice President, a guy who's had, like, EIGHT HEART ATTACKS, lift heavy boxes? Like he doesn't have other people to do it for him?

Secondly, it's just the sort of diabolically brilliant plan only Dick could come up with. Don't you agree?

I have to confess, the whole time I watched the inauguration, I kept hoping someone would push that wheelchair down the Capitol steps.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Just Do As She Says, and No One Gets Hurt

Right after Snookums was born, I started calling her "The 6 pound, 5 ounce CEO." And it's only gotten more like that.

I used to laugh at parents who were controlled by their kids. How can something that weighs 100 pounds less than you boss you around? I thought.

Oh, the irony.

I am completely in the thrall of Snookums, The 18.8 Pound CEO. Whatever she says, goes. Because she wouldn't have it any other way.

Time to change her diaper? Nope. Time to flip over on her stomach. Or stand up and start dancing. Or -- if the diaper is full of crap -- to wait until I take it off, then sit down so it smears all over everything.

Time to get in the high chair? NO!!! Time to arch her back in protest and scream. And when she arches her back, there's no way, short of breaking it, I can get her to bend. (Tickling her used to work, but she got wise to that pretty fast.)

Babies don't fight fair. No Marquess of Queensbury Rules for them, no sirree! Or Robert's Rules of Order for that matter. Parliamentary procedure goes out the window as they pinch, scratch and gouge their way to victory.

Which is why, if Snookums and Mike Tyson got in a fight, Snookums would win.

Even if she lost part of her ear.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to Perform Better at Work: Do What You Love

I did an interesting interview the other day for an article I'm writing for a corporate client about Marcus Buckingham's career training programs. I'd never heard of the guy, which means I must be living on a desert island because he was on Oprah last April. But I found his ideas intriguing. Here's what I learned:

1. You'll go farther in your career by focusing on the things you enjoy doing -- and spending less time doing the tasks you hate.

In Buckingham's world, your "Strengths" aren't necessarily the things you're best at doing. They're the things you love doing, even if you're not the best at them. They're the tasks that make you feel "in the flow" while you're doing them -- energetic, as if time is passing unnoticed.

In contrast, your "Weaknesses" aren't necessarily what you're bad at. They're the tasks that drain you, that you put off doing because you don't enjoy them. You might even be good at them, but you can't stand doing them.

Most performance management systems try to get you work on your "needs improvement" areas. But if these are things you can't stand doing -- Weaknesses -- the effort it'll take you to go from bad to mediocre in those areas isn't worth it. Instead, you should focus your energy on doing what you love to do -- your Strengths -- and you'll go from good to outstanding or even extraordinary in much less time.

2. The best way to be a team player is to offer up your individual Strengths.

When we're working on a team, we typically think we should do whatever the team needs. The truth is, the best way to maximize team productivity is to communicate what your Strengths are and offer those abilities. That way, your teammates know when they count on you to be your most brilliant and engaged.

3. If there's a work activity you can't stand (a Weakness), try getting out of doing it. If you can't do that, change how you think about it.

You know how you hate having to turn in that TPS report every month? Here's a thought: Maybe you don't have to. Sometimes, big bureaucracies have you doing tasks that aren't really necessary -- you just do them because your predecessor did them, but if you stopped, no one would notice, or care.

If the task is something you can't get out of, however, maybe you can change your perception of it. The woman I interviewed said she was coaching a lawyer who said he hated redlining documents. She asked him for a Strength, and he told her he loved negotiating contracts.

She said, "OK, so the next time your marking up a document, think of it as the first step toward a negotiation. Imagine yourself in the negotiation room, bringing up this point or that point."

He tried it and told her it worked. He doesn't love redlining documents now, but at least he feels somewhat neutral toward them. Which means the energy he used to waste hating doing them can be redirected toward something more productive -- like clobbering his adversary in a negotiation.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Cat Has a Hormonal Imbalance

For years, I've lived with a cat who's a snuggle addict.

Unlike the other members of his normally standoffish species, Monte is always leaning all over me, pushing his body against mine, lying on top of me no matter how many times I shoo him away.

Before I had a baby, I used to joke that I was going to have to buy a Snugli and wear him around the house.

I may still have to do that. If this video is any evidence, I may even have to breastfeed him.

Fortunately, now I realize this is all a hormonal imbalance. See, I was reading this article about hormones associated with mammalian pair bonding, and I found out that in males, vasopressin creates urges for bonding and nesting.

Monte obviously has an excess of vasopressin in his system. Now I just have to find a drug that will correct this. Is there a vet in the house?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stroke of Genius

This morning, I received the following email from a PR flack in Argentina:


Good evening,

I am in charge of the Press department at Hospital Universitario Austral. I am sending you this press release so you can learn about the relationship between the waistline measurement and stroke risk, based on a study recently published in Stroke magazine.

Thank you.


Mariana Israel.


Waist Size, Indicator of Stroke Risk

Waistline measurement should not be greater than 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women.

For a while now, research has been done on the relationship of obesity with coronary heart diseases. A new study published in December in Stroke magazine shows that overweight means also a greater risk of suffering a stroke.

[. . . ]


Some questions:

1. Mariana, why are you sending me this email? Are you telling me I'm too fat?

2. Why do you say "Good evening" when you sent the press release this morning? (And don't think I'm going to fall for that time zone excuse -- the time difference between New York and Buenos Aires is negligible.)

3. Do you realize how HUGE "88 cm" sounds? This is why the metric system sucks, and why fat-ass Americans don't use it.

4. If I wear a slimming, all-black ensemble, will it prevent me from having a stroke?

5. What about vertical stripes?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Titties in The New Yorker!

The New Yorker this week has an article all about tits!

OK, not really. It's about breast pumps.

These milking machines have become so ubiquitous, the author claims, that in some cases they're actually promoted instead of breastfeeding. That is, women are feeding their babies milk they pumped into a bottle when they could simply be breastfeeding them. (This is especially in the United States, where we have no maternity leave to speak of. So companies are getting tax breaks to set up "lactation rooms" so that poor women can work and pump instead of staying home on welfare and breastfeeding.)

I HATE pumping. I hate schlepping the goddamn Medela Pump In Style back and forth every day on the subway. It's HEAVY. And I especially hate having to put it on the floor when the train is crowded, but sometimes I have no choice.

I hate having to hook myself up to it twice a day while I sit in the supply closet at work.

Of course, I'm glad I have it. It's kept my milk supply going so I can keep breastfeeding Snookums when I'm home. (And lately, Snookums pretty much wants to breastfeed nonstop when I'm around. Her idea of the perfect situation would be for me to take off my shirt the minute I got home and go around topless so that she could grab a sip whenever she felt like it.)

The time I hated pumping most was when I had to go visit a client. I was in the early stages of breastfeeding Snookums, so my breasts still got engorged. I was too embarrassed to ask my client for some privacy (now, I wouldn't be), so I went to the bathroom with the intention of pumping. But there was no electric outlet.

I ended up sitting on the floor in an empty office, pumping while I was hiding under a desk. Why? Because the office had a GLASS DOOR AND WALLS, so hiding under a desk was the only way passersby wouldn't see me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Men Are the New Women

I overheard the following snatches of conversation between two women in the locker room at my gym today:

"On my birthday, he took a gift my friend had given me -- a beautiful orchid, worth $200 -- destroyed the birthday card, and gave it to his sister. And I didn't find out until later when my friend called me up and asked about it!"

"He let strangers wear my clothes. My fur coat."

"I married a woman, Jane. I married a woman. He was the lady of the house."

Actually, I take that back. It wasn't a conversation. It was a monologue.

Friday, January 9, 2009

How to Prepare for a Phone Interview

I know my faithful readers -- all three of you -- have been waiting with bated breath to hear what happened after my hour-long job interview yesterday with Rosetta Stone.

First of all, I PREPARED for the interview, which I originally didn't plan on doing, since I wasn't all that sure I wanted the job. But I went online and I read this. And this.

The biggest thing I did was to actually take the advice of dressing up for the interview as if it were in person. I took a shower and put on a suit, makeup and high heels.

And you know what? It worked. Because every time I looked in the mirror, I saw someone who looked professional, which helped me sound more professional as I answered the questions.

One thing I didn't do was rehearse my answers enough. The articles I read said you should have four or five points you want to get across and keep telling the same stories about yourself over and over to illustrate those points. I wasn't that great at this -- especially since the interviewer spent a lot of time asking me about jobs I'd had 15 years ago.

Long story short, when we got to the end of the interview, the interviewer asked me if I had any questions. I said, "Yes, what is the salary range you're offering for this position?"

It turned out to be about half what I'm earning now.

So my takeaway from all this is:

1. Prepare for a phone interview just like you would prepare for an in-person job interview.

2. Companies should be up front about salaries. If Rosetta Stone had been open from the beginning about the kind of pay they were offering, that woman could have spent an hour interviewing someone who was a better match. As it was, she wasted her time. (My time wasn't wasted, however -- I got a blog post and a lot of new information about job interviewing out of the experience.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Job Interview

Sometimes, when Joan gets sick of her job crafting propaganda for Fortune 500 companies, she goes a little crazy and starts looking for work elsewhere. Like here. Or here. Which is how she ended up with a job interview tomorrow at Rosetta Stone.

OK, enough with the pretentious use of the third person.

In reality, it was my mother's fault. (I can't wait until Snookums starts talking so she can start saying things like that.) Anyway, my mother is always trying to convince me to move down to Virginia so she can see Snookums more often, so one day she forwarded me a classified ad from Craigslist in Charlottesville that said Rosetta Stone was looking for a "publications editor."

Of course I was all, "I can do that! I speak four languages and I used to write test prep! Plus I went to college in Virginia so they'll love me! I'm perfect for this!" So I sent in my resume. Then they emailed asking for this, and that, and some writing samples, and so on.

The next thing I knew I was faxing them a four-page job application (mandatory, even though it was redundant because they already had my resume) and signing a non-disclosure agreement (also mandatory) and a bunch of other crap, all before we could do a PHONE INTERVIEW. For a job I don't even know if I want, because I don't have any idea what the salary is. (And it would have to be pretty high to convince me to move to Harrisonburg.)

So tomorrow morning I have a ONE-HOUR phone interview. It was supposed to be today, but when the HR person found out I could only talk for 30 minutes -- because I was all, "I'm at work, and I can't really be away from my desk locked here in this supply closet where I pump breast milk for a whole hour because it usually only takes me 15 minutes to pump and my boss will wonder what the fuck happened to me" -- she rescheduled for tomorrow.

Stay tuned. The next post may be written from Ole Fuhginia.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Did They Look Taliban?

(This post has been brought to you by the Department of Homeland Security.)

The other day I was getting café con leche from my favorite Hispanic restaurant in Journal Square when I witnessed something odd.

A Muslim couple (bearded man, woman wearing a headscarf) was standing outside on the street with a giant, battered suitcase on wheels. An older Muslim man in his 60s with a big white beard walked by. He was very devout -- I could tell by the prominent prayer bruise on his forehead.

The younger man approached him and began speaking in Arabic. Now, I know maybe five words in Arabic, but it was enough for me to notice that this guy was not a native speaker at all.

The older man immediately responded in perfect, unaccented American English: "I'm sorry, but I don't speak . . . " and he and the younger man started talking in English. It seemed the couple was looking for a certain mosque.

The most mysterious part of this whole occurrence was the older man. He looked more Egyptian than Pharoah, and from his advanced age it seemed unlikely he'd been born in the United States. But he spoke perfect English
. . . and no Arabic? Then how does he understand the prayers at the mosque?

Fast forward to today: I'm coming out of my favorite café con leche place again, and there's the Muslim couple on the street again, along with their ubiquitous battered suitcase.

I realized they were standing there probably because that building -- which is right next to the Hispanic restaurant -- has a mosque on the second floor. I also remembered that this was the mosque that was once the redoubt of the infamous Sheikh Abdel Rahman, the blind cleric who helped plan the first World Trade Center attack in 1993.

I don't know what this all means, but I'd like to think these three people were all inept American spies attempting to infiltrate the mosque, about 15 years too late. Sort of like when undercover cops show up at rock concerts to bust pot smokers, but you can spot them a mile away because they're wearing their big black shoes and white tube socks.

P.S. The title of this post was inspired by something that happened to a friend of mine shortly after 9/11. She was on an Amtrak train and a large family sitting nearby was making a lot of noise and creating a disturbance. She went to find a conductor to complain about the noise. When she finally found one, he demanded, "What did they look like? Did they look Taliban?"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mother's Milk, the Magical Elixir

When I got home from the office today, Snookums had a fever of about 101. It had come on suddenly after 5 o'clock, the nanny said, and she was very sleepy and not interested in playing.

I breastfed her for a few minutes. And lo and behold, the redness in her eyes went away and the color returned to her cheeks. And she suddenly wanted to play. And climb up the stairs. And eat.

She still has a fever (of about 103, the last time I checked) but she already seems much, much better. It was an amazing transformation.

Maybe I should try some mother's milk the next time I'm sick.

Too bad it tastes like ass.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hello Kitty: Sold into Slavery

The dolls shown at right were obtained from a McDonald's in Kuala Lumpur several years ago. They depict Hello Kitty and her groom, Dear Daniel, dressed in Malay wedding costume.

Hello Kitty getting married? Wait a minute. Hello Kitty is supposed to be a CHILD. Who still lives at HOME. Relishing her mama's apple pie and playing with her twin sister, Mimmy.

No doubt Dear Nefarious Daniel purchased her virginity from her parents. Daniel, who learned pornography photography from his father, wants to be a "cameraman" and likes "cheesecake."

Is anyone seeing a pattern here?

On the other hand, maybe Hello Kitty isn't so innocent after all. She is, after all, depicted on a vibrator massager. (It has three speeds: regular, fast, and Helloooo Kitty!)

Hello Kitty. Children's toy? Or synonym for pussy?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ai Yi Yi!

I have my period. Which means the second attempt at IUI (intrauterine insemination) didn't work. Sigh.

Just to bring you up to date: I was lucky enough to get pregnant spontaneously (i.e. without fertility drugs) with Snookums in early 2007, just a few weeks before Zany Dad had surgery for prostate cancer. I don't know if you're as versed in the male anatomy as I am (and really, could anyone be as much of an expert on male anatomy as Joan?), but after a man has his prostate removed, he doesn't ejaculate. So, no baby goo. Hence, IUI.

When I went for the IUI on December 23, the doctor let me look at Zany Dad's sperm under the microscope. "The motility isn't very good," he said, by which he meant the sperm weren't especially active.

I looked under the microscope at what looked like a few teeny-weeny black dots here and there, just sorta chugging along. It reminded me of Zany Dad in the morning when he has to get up for work and can't get out of bed.

Like father, like sperm.

Let's hope the next IUI round works.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Paging Dr. Freud . . .

I awoke from a delicious nap today having had a most horrible dream in which some retarded guy was pursuing me, wanted to get next to me, kept coming after me, and I kept fleeing. I remember the sense of feeling overwhelmed and just wanting to be alone and away from this repulsive creature. 

I awoke and reflected on the meaning. Hmmm . . . a drooling, semicoherent creature running after me, pawing me, grabbing me . . . 

I wonder who that represents? 

Friday, January 2, 2009

Snookums' New Address

It has come to my attention that Snookums has moved. Her new address is:

1000 Doo Doo St.
Poopytown, NJ 12345

I swear I never changed so many diapers in my life.

A New Year's Observation

All the practice I've had communicating with Snookums sure came in handy on New Year's Eve. Over the past few months, I've learned how to interpret -- or at least pretend to interpret -- nonsensical babblings, like "Ga ba da ga ba ba?" and "Fweh?" I found myself drawing on those skills frequently the other night talking to people who'd had too much to drink.

Like the totally soused lesbian who told me she made jewelry. I asked, "What kind?" and she mumbled, "Centrifugal, centrifugal," as she waved her little one-hitter around.

Bonus observation: Everyone thinks Barack Obama got that "Yes we can!" stuff from Cesar Chavez. But he really got it from Bob the Builder.