Monday, December 29, 2008

Raptors on Hoverboards

Oh, yeah, that's my hometown, baybee. I don't get the reference, but it just seems to make sense anyway.

I know a lot of you have been worried about me because there's been radio silence on this here board for several weeks. And I won't lie to you, it's been a shitty time. My ex turned out to be a Jekyll and Hyde asshole, who had been lying to me for the better part of 2008. And G doesn't exactly want to marry me quite as much as I do him. Happy Holidays, indeed.

But in rough times, your true friends are there for you, being awesome. And I have to say, I've been blessed with some very very supportive folks who have taken excellent care of me -- lending an ear as I go on and on, taking me out to entertain and distract me, giving me a port in the storm to escape to, or just rocking out. Big hugs and love to Jay, Trilby, Lynn, Tussy, Andrew, Jane, Denise, Josh, Jess, Jonathan, Margaret, Michael, Jason, Kendra, Ellie, Rodger, Isabel, Amanda, Brian, Ian, Zanne, Ron, Carlos, Pierrette, David, Simona, and my folks. I don't know how I would have kept my head above water without you all. But I do know that would never even be something to worry about, because I'll always have you close to my heart.

I'm off to New Haven this week, to ring in a well-deserved new year with old friends, in fine fashion and with many bubbles. I wish you all the best, and I look forward to catching up more soon.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Finally, a reason to watch the Macy's parade

I've never been a big fan of parades, and the Macy's T-Day parade in general is just one big traffic snarl. But this might forever redeem it for me.

And Oh My God I love that guy! I wish more people and his sense of humor, and took themselves less seriously. Also, so cute! Aging so well!

Friday, November 07, 2008

quantum of silence

I kind of really want to fill you all in on what's happening, but I promised to keep it to myself until Thanksgiving. And since blogging publicly would be the antithesis of keeping my word, I'm trying to stay on the high road.

I can tell you this. Tuesday was a momentous, historic day. I'm still walking on air over how well the election went (aside from Prop 8 in Cali, of course). Tuesday was also my 38th birthday, and the morning was one solid outpouring of well-wishing and love. It was amazing, really.

In the evening, however, a few disappointments marred the memory. First, someone who I've always tried to treat with respect, fairness and consideration lashed out at me with complete disregard, selfishness, disdain and disrespect. Rationally, I know that he's just trying get a reaction from me. But I expected better, and I'm disappointed and sad at his behavior.

Much later, when the full force of what happened earlier struck me and I didn't really want to be alone, I called a couple of friends who I figured would still be awake, told them something bad had happened and asked if I could stop by. They both said no. On my birthday, when I was hurting. I don't like to have to beg for attention, but I think I need to be more clear about when I need help, instead of pridefully acting like everything is fine.

So now I'm telling you all. I will be fine, in general all is well and the future looks good. But right now, no, I am not fine. I'm let down, and sad for lost hope and faith, right in the middle of this beautiful rosy time when I should be exuberant. So please take it under advisement.

And I promise to fill you in with the details when I can, once it's acceptable to do so.

I want to go to India. Reason #473

Lucknow Edible Silver Foil:

"In one sharp movement, firmly slap the paper on the leg of lamb like a pirate patting the landlord's daughter's backside in a Maracaibo tavern. Don't worry about the telephone book page, it has probably already infused the silver with a balanced blend of the metals from the bottom of the Periodic Table.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Not all boys are evil

Of course, you knew that. I'm just being a little inflammatory for fun.

Last night, George and I went to the WFNX Heaven or Hell/1988 Prom/Halloween party at the Harp. Total blast, of course. But we're old, so eventually we had to take a break from dancing and sit down.

Separated in the crowd, I sat at a table in the corner and waited for him to find me. From there I could see him come into the back room, look around, not see me ... and then start talking to a young, cute, petite blonde. Officially I'm "not the jealous type" (at least that's what it says on my driver's license), so I watched for a few minutes, but then I got tired of waiting for him and walked over.

As soon as I approached, his face lit up and he put his arm around me as he introduced me to the promo girl handing out leather-bound thumbdrives. They were pretty big and clunky, and the 500 MGs wasn't nearly enough space to make it worth carrying one around. But he'd felt bad because no one would stop for her pitch at a party where everyone wanted Bacardi light-up devil horns.

I know there's been radio silence for a while. And you may have questions about the cast of characters. I'm sorry about that. But I'm trying to keep mum for another month or so, just until things sort themselves out. Until then, just rest assured that everything is fine (if incredibly busy), and that I'm very happy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How's tricks?

Lately, when I say this (usually over IM) to folks, I'm met with confusion or bemusement. I was beginning to think that this is another one of my quaint regionalisms. But apparently it's just a bit rare and archaic:
From the "Hello, Howdy, Hi" section of Listening to America by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982): "Hello, Howdy, Hi, or words to that effect are used by most of us several times a day.Surprisingly enough, 'hello' didn't become a truly common greeting until the mid 1860s. It comes from 'holla!,' 'stop!' (French 'ho! + la, there), used to attract attention, hail a coach, ferry, etc. 'Hi' is just a variant of 'hey!'; it had been used as a shout to attract attention for over 500 years before we began using it as a greeting in the 1880s. 'What's up?' dates from the 1880s, too.'What do you know?' 'What do you say?' ('whata-ya know,' whata-ya say') and 'How's tricks?' date from the mid 1920s."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

That satchel full of dynamite?

I didn't expect its detonation to involve projectile vomiting.
But now I know that's an actual descriptive term, not just hyperbole.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

When you drank enough to send the very best

... and drunk dialing isn't good enough, Google introduces Mail Goggles.

Dude, I wish the Cokehead Alcoholic had had some kind of filter like this...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Virgin in Springfield hospital window

Haneway's dad is in the hospital, with the end stages of lung cancer. If you're the praying type, please send some his way, and for her whole family while you're at it. He's an amazing guy, and while we've all had about a year to prepare for the possibility of losing him, it's still hard, of course.

I'm going out to visit him today. At this hospital.

I love religious phenomena, and this reminds me of the one that touched our family during Cancerpalooza and its continued aftermath a few years ago. And I hope this is a good sign for his prognosis.

But I'm not looking forward to the crowds of the faithful, nor the cynicism of the detractors.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Daily horoscope annoyance and frustration

Scorpio (10/23-11/21)

Your expectations are growing too lofty right now -- you are aiming so high that you are bound to be disappointed when reality hits. You need to scale back your ambitions and believe that everything is happening the way it needs to happen, in the best time frame. Getting comfortable with having less control over where your life is going right now is easier than you think. All you need to do is open your heart and let someone else make the decisions for now.
Accepting a time frame? Having less control? Sure, that sounds like something I'm comfortable doing.

Though honestly, this is exactly what I needed to hear today, it's very appropriate.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation

If anyone has noticed a big pile of rubble in my driveway over the summer, or that I've been really obsessed over issues like gutter drainage, or that I've been a little domestically obsessed in general... well, I've been doing some housework. I had our gravel-and-asphalt driveway torn up and replaced with pretty pretty paving stones.

This was my driveway earlier this summer. Old cracked asphalt with huge frost heaves down the middle. If your car rides low, you'd probably scrape the bottom against it. It was very hard to shovel, and impossible to plow.

This was the parking area at the end of the driveway. When the developers who sold me the house were renovating, they tore up the asphalt here, because it was so bad. But instead of pouring fresh asphalt, they just filled the area with gravel. Messy gravel, impossible to shovel in the winter, painful to walk on barefoot in the summer, murder on my heels all the time. And the kids in the neighborhood were always playing with the stones, scooping them up, piling them on the deck or the stairs, making for slippery dangerous walking conditions (remember that scene in Home Alone with the marbles?).

Since I live in a two-family condo, and the expense of any master improvements gets split between us, when the time came to fix the driveway, we decided to do a really nice, top-of-the-line job with pavers. They're easy to plow, smooth on bare feet, last forever and really up the resale value. They cost more than asphalt, but they'll never heave from frost, and we'll never have to redo the work. Check out the driveway now!

And the parking area in back!

I really love it. You have to come over and see it! We had some bumps along the way, including a drainage issue that added about 20% to the final cost. But now all the gutter water is diverted to a system that waters our front garden, instead of running into the street and making puddles, or ice. And because I got so involved and informed about the project (they joked that I'm more familiar with the product catalog than they are!), and I was so nice to the workers (I brought the guys drinks and/or donuts in the mornings), they said I'm their favorite customer!

Yes, yes, I know that, at least in part, they were sucking up so that I give a good recommendation (as I'm the kind of person folks go to for recommendations). But whatever the reason, they threw in a bunch of work on the back steps and walkway... for FREE!

God I am so tired.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Feeling kind of beige....

Maggie Kennedy, if you were born to Sarah Palin, your name would be:

Khaki Salmon Palin

Who knows, Khaki Salmon Palin, you just might be president one day!

It's awesome when some random internet quiz makes you feel totally validated

Maggie's result for How geeky are you?...

Cool Extrovert

Hey! You scored 43% Geeky, 74% Cranial and 19% Introverted! Brilliant! I honesty wanted to call this category "the perfect human being" but I thought too many reading recent results of other test takers may take offense.

I do believe this category is most likely the smallest percent of the population. (I mean, if everyone were like this wouldn't the world be a better place?) You, my friend, have balanced intelligence with an incredible personality, and have found a way to avoid geekiness.

You may find the combination of personality and brains can sometimes come off as conceited, and there are instances when you may bump heads with people. Being as people-smart as you are, you may find empathizing and listening to others, even if you know they are incorrect in something, can avert even the biggest problem.

Take How geeky are you? at HelloQuizzy

Monday, September 15, 2008

Money well spent

When a rock-climbing 27-year-old hottie hardbody (yes, yes, it’s the Captain) called my breasts “gorgeous” this weekend, in a playing-doctor scene that really should have given my almost 38-year-old self some serious body anxiety . . . well, I have to admit, it made the $10K I spent on that reduction a few years ago totally worth it. I promise, I will never again complain and get all insecure that they’re a teeny bit lopsided.

But what about B, you might ask? Well of course I’m thrilled when he admires me as well. But he’s not objective. And just because I felt validated by the Captain does not mean I don't also appreciate it when it comes from B; it’s just that I was prepared for the young hardbody to be a harsher judge, so it was a very pleasant surprise.

Oh, calm down. It's okay, B knows all about it. He let me play out some lingering distractions as I conquer my long-standing commitment-phobia. This unexpected hook-up with the Captain came after two years of flirtatious IMs and racy text messages that I never thought would ever transcend the typed word.
Sample exchange #1:
Captain: Why are you wearing panties? Why aren’t they around your ankles?
Maggie: Because I’m getting cash from the ATM

Sample exchange #2:
Captain: It’s hot and I’m in bed. Are you naked yet?
Maggie: Nope, playing Scattergories with my roommate.
(Later I fed the cat, too.)

Holy shit holy shit

DFW found dead this morning

Okay, maybe a few words of babble -- It took me a full year to read Infinite Book, only because it was too heavy to bring on the subway with me. But I loved every minute of it, and still refer to it often. I once met David Foster Wallace at a book reading in Union Square. I found him kind of superior and unfriendly, but hey, he was a genius! Also, I was at the end of a very long line of fans, and the woman in front of me had, very heavy-handedly, been hitting on him, so it was understandable if he was running low on patience and wanted to get back to being a genius.

He was an author I found myself thinking of in frequent random moments. As much as I love Faulkner and Marquez, and of course Joyce, Wallace was the one who colored, informed and spoke to my actual life, instead of taking me to other places.

I am sad.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

my life as a scene from "Office Space"

So, at work right now, I'm consulting on someone else's project, as I am the resident expert on a tool that they want to include in a new section. This project has a Basecamp discussion board. And our office has a project manager who tries to keep all the active projects moving along in an orderly fashion.

This morning, someone had a question for me on the group discussion. I need to get an answer elsewhere, I have already sent out an e-mail asking for the info, and now I'm waiting for a response, which I expect later today.

The project manager just came up to my desk, leaned against the wall of my cube, and asked if I'd seen the message. ("Hi, Peter. What's happening? We need to talk about your TPS reports... Did you get that memo?")

I explained to him that I did see it... ("Yeah. I got the memo.")
... and that I'd already requested the info... ("And I understand the policy.")
... and that I'm expecting an answer soon... ("And the problem is just that I forgot the one time.")
... at which point I'll post the answer to the discussion board. ("And I've already taken care of it so it's not even really a problem anymore.")

The PM then told me that he needs me to look at the question that was posted on the message board... ("Ah! Yeah. It's just we're putting new coversheets on all the TPS reports before they go out now.")
and provide an answer. ("So if you could go ahead and try to remember to do that from now on, that'd be great. All right!")

I told him again that I'm already working on an answer.
He suggested that I post on the message board that I'm working on getting an answer.
At which point I asked him if he'd ever seen Office Space (and the guy who sits next to me burst out laughing).

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Netflix subsidy program we all subscribe to

I once kept Children of Men out for over a year without watching it, and I'd already seen it.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A fine time to not be pregnant

Grub Street came up to Boston in search of cheap lobster. Serves them right for going to the Crab.

I believe I just got my idea for what to serve at that dinner party in a month....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Baby Whisperer: my next career

I am a Baby Whisperer extraordinaire, and Auntie Maggie to countless children at home and abroad. But I always figured this was a calling, not a vocation.

Until this weekend. I just taught a seven-month-old baby to swim! First I got him acclimated to being in the water. If he got upset, we stepped out for a while, then we went right back in. Once he was calm with me holding him in the water, I put him on his back.

First I held his head with one hand and his back with the other. Then I let go of his back, but kept his head up. Then, once I saw that he was holding his face above water on his own, I slowly... let go.. of his head! And he was floating! All on his own! He was wailing a little hit, but his mother said that was the sound he makes when he's determined and trying to do something, not the upset sound.

Soon he stopped making sounds at all, and just floated. Then he started to kick! It was lovely to see.

After a bit of that, I turned him on his belly, but didn't let go. Still, he kept his face out of the water, and kept kicking. He even paddled a little!

Videos on YouTube. E-mail me and I'll send you links. I'm seriously considering "infant swim instructor" for a second career.

Afterwards, he was wiped out from working so hard, and all that excitement. We wrapped him up warm and snug, and he crashed hard in his mummy's arms. The next day, I took him on a pony ride at the horse show. We joked that I'd teach him to ride a bike next week, followed by bourbon and cigarettes.

What color is your aura?

The magnificent Nina has posted a color quiz for us all. As my life is very introspective lately, any and all analysis tools are helpful.

Especially when they're pretty spot-on. Check this out!

ColorQuiz.commaggiebex took the free personality test!
"Strives for a life rich in activity and experience..."
Click here to read the rest of the results.

My Existing Situation
Sensitive; needs esthetic surroundings, or an equally sensitive and understanding partner with whom to share a warm intimacy.

My Stress Sources
Wants to overcome a feeling of emptiness and of separation from others. Believes that life still has far more to offer and that she may miss her share of experiences if she fails to make the best use of every opportunity. She therefore pursues her objectives with a fierce intensity and commits herself deeply and readily. Feels herself to be completely competent in any field in which she engages, and can sometimes be considered by others to be interfering or meddlesome.

My Restrained Characteristics
Feels that she cannot do much about her existing problems and difficulties and that she must make the best of things as they are. Able to achieve satisfaction through sexual activity.

Insists that her goals are realistic and sticks obstinately to them, even though circumstances are forcing her to compromise. Very exacting in the standards she applies to her choice of a partner, and seeking a rather unrealistic perfection in her sex life.

My Desired Objective
Strives for a life rich in activity and experience, and for a close bond offering sexual and emotional fulfillment.

My Actual Problem
The fear that she might be prevented from achieving the things she wants leads her to play her part with an urgent and hectic intensity.

Fights against restriction or limitation, and insists on developing freely as a result of her own efforts.
Sure, YMMV, but I enjoyed it. If you take the quiz, please let me know how well you feel it got you.

Speaking of my life and what I want to achieve with it -- please continue to send whatever positive vibes or wishes or karmic juju or whatever your magic of choice in my direction for a desirable outcome. After all, you know how I "pursue my objectives with a fierce intensity and commit myself deeply and readily"!

PS: And then I could not stop myself from taking it again. Diff results, some overlap, still pretty good:

ColorQuiz.commaggiebex took the free personality test!
"Longs for a tender and sympathetic bond and for a ..."
Click here to read the rest of the results.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Michael Phelps Returns To His Tank At Sea World.

because we love the Onion.

Monkey patterned baby blankets!

From lovely Rikshaw Design.

Ow, now my womb hurts. Need baby to wrap in monkeys, STAT!

Chaos of CUTENESS!

B called me this morning to alert me to this Breaking Monkey News.

Of CUTENESS! (particularly the Japanese edit of the video).

In addition, Tokyo Subway Monkey? Not a bad name for a band.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Love in the Stars

Scorpio Horoscope: Daily Love horoscope:
"Your deepest fantasies are a little closer to reality today, and that could mean that you're about to make a big breakthrough! Your great energy is perfect for making big changes in your life."


Also, I might be going to the Hamptons this weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oh Captain *My* Captain

I knew that national sympathy case Alicia Sacramone was a local, but I didn't realize that the gymnastics team captain was my local, from my very hometown!

Chin up, Alicia. You've done great things, and although the international spotlight sucks at the moment, we all remember your victories too!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Non-compete clause

Believe this or not, as you wish, but I'm not competitive.

True, I want my credit when it's due, but I don't need to win over someone else. I usually figure that my god-given smarts, charm, grace, Amazing RackTM -- what have you -- should be recognized and appreciated on their own merits. If I have to self-promote, then what's the point? The game's already lost.

I also have an aversion to trying too hard that is so strong, I will sometimes overcompensate by not trying at all. For example, my writing? Please! I can't write a pitch letter to save my life, and if through some miracle I actually get an assignment despite myself, I almost never follow through and write it. Wouldn't writing something with my name splashed all over it be... overeager self-promotion? And it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Yes, I know this is ridiculous and self-defeating (and totally contradictory to my chosen profession). And yes, I am aware that I only act this way when I'm thinking about it. If you can get me out of my head -- acting or reacting on instinct -- I do just fine, thanks.

The corollary of this means that I have absolutely no game. Call upon me to flirt on demand, and I'll probably retreat to a corner with my knitting. Ask me to close the deal, and I'll leave for home on my own. Certainly, I'm a naturally gifted flirt and I've had (more than?) my share of hook-ups, but I can't choose to do it.

So it was with great interest that I watched a friend of mine work her game tonight. She shot the lights out!
Perhaps this requires further anthropological study . . .

Addendum: While looking for just the right hoops expression to extend my already tired metaphor, I was given the following suggestions from the guys in my office:
  • move well without the ball
  • getting some good, open looks
  • bury the three-point shot.
  • really dish the rock
  • instant offense
  • taking it to the hole
  • great at no-look passes
  • great with dribble penetration
  • had the hot hand
  • good in the clutch
  • really score in transition ...
  • pounding the ball inside
    (at which point we really began to notice how many hoops cliches are so double-entendre-y)
  • dominated in the paint
  • playing above the rim
  • raining threes
  • hit the money shot
  • pulled it out in overtime
  • a come-from-behind win
  • nailed the buzzer beater
  • "pulled out a come-from-behind win" = triple entendre
  • "nailed a buzzer beater to seal a come-from-behind win" = quardruple entendre

Got more for me? Comment away, baybee!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Yoga Butt

I haz it.

But baby? I haz it not. More updates to come.

Boston's Talented Mr. Ripley

Wait, now he's wanted for murder?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Elvis Costello was on the lam?

I don't like how he looks with red hair, either.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The glamourous world of Cinema

From the fine folks at BANG!, our beloved British gossip feed
Sienna Miller had her private parts digitally enhanced for her new movie.
The 26-year-old actress had to have pubic hair added by computer wizard for some scenes in her new film ‘Hippie Hippie Shake’. In the movie, Sienna plays Louise, the girlfriend of publisher Richard Neville, who was heavily involved in London’s party scene during the 60s.
A studio source told Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper: “The film is set in the swinging 60s when fashion was wild and body hair even wilder. Unfortunately, Brazilian waxes weren’t common in the 60s and Sienna’s part involved one or two nude scenes – meaning that her grooming habits were on display. A merkin [pubic wig] simply wouldn’t have done the trick, but luckily computer wizardry came to the rescue. Sienna’s private parts were enhanced, giving her a rather unruly bush. All the cast had a good giggle about it and stoical Sienna happily played along.”
Imagine having that job in digital FX. And they told you Hollywood would be glamorous and exciting!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Also known as Frozen Lobster Bisque

Whenever I visit my Sacramento friends, Ben and I make ice cream. On the 2001 or 2002 visit, I started playing with the idea of lobster ice cream, which Ben politely vetoed. Understandably so -- it's fair if he didn't want his ice cream maker to have a lingering scent of the sea. Also, who wants lobster in Sacramento?

On a later trip to visit friends on the Cape (who also have an ice cream maker), my suggestion was once again shot down. At least this time I had the geography right!

The proposal to Häagen-Dazs didn't make it, but Steph made an excellent point about the "psychology of flavour." So I recently got my *own* ice cream maker, have some lobster stock waiting in the freezer, and am planning to make "frozen lobster bisque" for my next dinner party.

Or, apparently, I could just order in from Maine...

Daily horocscope confusion

Scorpio (10/23-11/21)

You might not realize it, but you make a very good role model! The younger people in your life could learn a lot from your ideas and attitudes, so why not be more open with them today? Despite what you might think about the younger generation, they are genuinely interested in what you have to say -- they just might be a little too shy to ask you. Open up the lines of communication and start a conversation that you know they want to have. You will find the experience quite fulfilling.
See, this is why I almost never read horoscopes anymore (though I still have the blog tag, apparently).

  1. I am a horrible role model. Seriously, I have no ambition, terrible time management skills, worse knifing skills, and an aversion to commitment.
  2. All the kids I know have perfectly fine ideas and attitudes, thankyouverymuch. If anything I could learn from them.
  3. Open communication? .... okay.... well, actually, there is this conversation I've been avoiding (like I do). Maybe I just needed this kick in the pants.

Or maybe I should just visit my nieces and teach them to crochet....

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tom Champion has a voice that carries - The Boston Globe

Tom Champion rocks.

There's a little bit of drama going on in our fair city right now, as Tom seems to have gotten into a kerfuffle on LJ about street parking. So now seems as good a time as any to tip the hat to Tom's mellifluous voice.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cupcake Crime

Last night around 2 am, we were distracted from our epic Somerville Showdown thumb war by the sound of breaking glass. When the noise stopped after a couple of crashes, we figured someone had thrown a beer bottle or two, and so returned to the business at hand (or thumb).

Tinkling and shattering sounds resumed less than a minute later, and we worried that someone might be trying to break into Ann's car, parked on the street below. Ann dashed downstairs just in time to see someone running away from Kickass Cupcakes, carrying their cash register. She described a white man of average build, wearing a white cap, light-colored clothing and long shorts. Somerville's Finest were on the scene within seconds. One pursued the robber down Highland Avenue in the direction Ann indicated, the other contacted Kickass's owners.

Who could be so cruel to cupcakes? Stores rarely keep any significant money in a register overnight, so the haul was hardly worth the effort of lugging the cash register away.

By 2:30 the repair crew was already at work, clearing away the broken glass and patching the hole with plywood. Pumped up from all the drama, we escalated our tourney to full-on arm-wrestling.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Justify My Love

I am embracing my tendency for younger men; everyone best Step Off:
Male Fertility, Appeal Crashes In Late 30s And Early 40s
After all, I've got babies to make, and no time to waste with old, bad, stale sperm.

Nice to know that it's not only women who have a clock ticking. A bit disappointed about the Clooney though, must admit.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Her eyes were bigger than her stomach, maybe?

Florent didn't really close.

New York is so annoying, tugging at my heart strings like this.

For those of you who don't know, Florent was this old restaurant in the Meatpacking District. I loved it. Cheap French bistro food in a crappy diner space, in this cool old neighborhood. It was one of the first restaurants I went to when I got to New York, and I had no idea where I was going. I only knew the numbered streets on the midtown grid, so when an Italian friend, in her heavy accent, told me to meet her at "Flohr-aaahnt on the Gahn-tse-voorhte", I could only hope that the cab driver would know what the hell I was talking about.

My old clubbing haunt, Mother, was only a block or so away from Florent, so we used to go there fairly often in the wee hours. Where else could we get escargot, veggie burgers, a charcuterie plate and a grilled cheese sandwich, to please all our varied palates?

In 1999, Keith McNally opened Pastis, a French bistro. Then, around 2000, that neighborhood became HUGE trendy. Mother closed, a Scoop boutique went in, and we headed further downtown for our clubbing thrills, to Kitsch Inn and Rubber Monkey Revenge.

The MD, in the meantime, teetered on the verge of trendy for about five more minutes, then crashed deeply into bridge and tunnel territory. It went from the cheap and dirty home of tranny hookers and S&M dance clubs, to eurotrash bling with $600 haircuts (and worse!) and Stella McCartney boutiques, like overnight. As Jay McInerney said, and he of all people should know, "'Pastis was, of course, the beginning of the transformation,' the instant when the neighborhood suddenly appeared on the collective GPS of the Black Card set, after which, goes the argument, there was no stopping the carnival of excess that followed."

Florent's lease was up. The rent went up from something like 6K to over 50K a month. Florent could not afford, so they decided to close at end of June. Lots of tributes, lots of tears.

But today I see: Florent diner to re-open with new name.

Was Lucas too greedy? Did she have a bout of family tradition and sentimentality? Or is she just stealing Florent's winning idea out from under him? It does, after all, sound a bit like the epic Ball Square feud, does it not?

I just wish New York would stop toying with my emotions like this. I think it's why I had to leave in the first place.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I have the worst knife skills ever

And my boyfriend handles a knife beautifully. SO here's what I'm wondering, is this resource targeted to amateurs, or to men specifically. Because we all know that men and women learn new skills differently.

Or do we?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fishy Google ads

Where is the best chowder in Boston? wants to help you find it, and wants your suggestions.

But Google Ads thinks you might actually be looking for something else...

Oh, those wags in Mountain View. Who knew their content matching was so sensitive to subtleties?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Those Brits sure know their bait and tackle, don't they, Becks?

From BANG!, our British gossip feed
David Beckham was left with red hot genitals because of a faulty car heater.

The English soccer star ran into trouble when the heated seats of his 4x4 car malfunctioned in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Galaxy player was driving when the setting jammed on heat, forcing him to pull over and find something to cushion his scorched manhood.

An onlooker told Britain’s Daily Star newspaper: “One minute he was tearing across Los Angeles, the next, he was rolling down his windows, panting and staring down at his crotch in horror. There were lots of fans and paparazzi following him, making it even more difficult for him to sort out his boiling bits. He was gutted to be caught cushioning his seat from the hot leather.”

David recently showed the world his seemingly impressive tackle in a series of new adverts for Emporio Armani. The 33-year-old sports superstar models the fashion house’s autumn and winter 2009 underwear collection.

Meanwhile, Will Smith revealed at the premiere of his latest film ‘Hancock’ last night (18.06.08) that David is going to give him soccer lessons. Smith said: “David Beckham is one of the best soccer players in the world. I begged him to teach me how to play and he promises he will. I can't wait.”
Sorry, I just could not resist

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Not so retro, after all

This has been bouncing around for a few weeks, but now it's been made into a handy intarweb-style quiz with auto-scoring.


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

B of course scored 99 = Very Superior. Mind you, when we tested on paper, I was a 23 and he was an 81. I was still totally undeserving of his goodness, but there seems to be a bit of grade inflation going on with the online edition.

I quizzed my parents on Father's Day. Oh how fun when we got to the "marital congress" questions, let me tell you.

How did you (and your sweeties) do?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Get on that treadmill!

My roommate has joined my gym, and has also joined Weight Watchers online. He's promised to try to drag me to the gym with him, and it will be easier than ever to eat healthy with someone to share the joy and pain.

Then, this morning my inbox contained the best motivation ever to drop some serious poundage (better even than my upcoming high school reunion):
Will airlines charge by weight? -

Time to hit the gym!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Runaway Grain

Make something healthy and tasty for dinner tonight. I haven't tried this recipe yet myself, but it sure is popular. People are raving about it on Chowhound and in the letters section of the Globe Magazine, and someone just wrote me asking for the recipe (PS: there's a search box at the top of, if you're ever looking for a back article).

Looks tasty to me! If you try it, please tell me how you like it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My husband the free man

So Clooney is single again because "Sarah Said Too Much"? George, dear, let's review the facts:

  • You are private, and shield yourself from the intrusions of fame behind a wall of humor
  • I shield myself behind a fake blog identity
  • You don't want your girlfriend using you to advance her career
  • I have my own career, thanks.
  • You have a house in Italy
  • I have a house in Italy. Also, I speak Italian.

Darling, I wouldn't even want to walk the red carpet. You can go to those events on your own.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Great Boston Lobster Bake

Forget about the Boston Tea Party -- there are tons of steamed lobsters right outside my office at this very moment. Where are the vats of drawn butter?

The most excellent Hook family owners vow to rebuild after blaze destroys landmark seafood business. And I believe they will, and quickly. Better, stronger than before even. Behold, the next-generation bionic lobster company!

What particularly saddens me at the moment is that something "devoured 60,000 pounds of lobster...", and it wasn't me.

I'm guessing arson. That lobster pound sat smack in the middle of some prime waterfront real estate, in the hottest development area in town. And the Hooks have fought to stay there before.

There's another possibility, though, one too terrible to believe. Could it be my fault? Could this be another one of my mystical powers?

You see, I recently gave up lobster. (Yes, I know that report says I can have it as often as three times a month, but considering the massive quantities I've eaten in my lifetime, I figure I'm probably already way over my personal quota. I mean, it's not like the mercury ever leaves your system.)

So, I give up lobster, and then my fave lobster place burns to the ground. This would be merely a coincidence, if it weren't for the Raven bar in New York. I used to celebrate my birthday at the Raven every year, and there were many other messy celebrations. But right after I accepted the job in Boston and prepared to move, the Raven burned down and was shuttered.

Honestly, what kind of superpower is this? Nothing I love can live on after I leave it? (wait, don't ask any of my ex-boyfriends about that one...)

Well if the Raven has hopes to rebuild, then maybe we can still hold out hope that the Hook family will persevere. In the meantime, any intrepid souls with scuba gear in the mood for some smoky lobster bisque?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ko-thario Picks Food Blogger Over!

For all who are breathlessly awaiting the final chapter in my sudden foodie sort-of-fame:
Ko-thario Picks Food Blogger Over Atheist Carnivore

I had a hysterically fun time with this whole adventure. And what a bonus -- I now have two tags of my very own on Grub Street!

For the record, despite B's encouragement, I wouldn't have responded to the ad at all if I hadn't found the Ko-thario's writing witty, charming and funny. I'm in no race to go to Ko; I'll dine there eventually. If anything, it was the pork fat that was extraneous in this equation, not him.

Ko-thario, Dominique -- I hope you have a lovely time.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! Eat well!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Farmer Dave -- Somerville CSA

Woo Hoo! I'm Supporting Community Agriculture!

I am about to sign up for a local CSA, so I'll be getting a steady supply of fresh, locally grown fruits and veg all summer and fall.

The minimum share has food for two people. I'm going to ask my new roommate if he's into sharing it, but if not, I might be looking for someone to share. Let me know if you'd be interested!

Body news and translations as poetry

As much as I wish I found more foods to be unappetizing, what really sets my heart a-flutter is that translation.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ko-thario and me -- more banter

He replied! Funny, charming, lots in common, cute. Looks like a tall dark Jewish Michael Cera.
Even though he's made this whole quest public, I'm not going to post his e-mail here without his consent. But I did write back again:
...67 replies -- behold the power of Grub Street! I'm glad you didn't stop counting at 69, too cliché and puerile. That said... the last time I went to a Trivia Night, our team name was "We're Not Gynecologists, But We'll Take a Look." So of course our final, losing, score was 69. The trivia master was at a loss for words.

I'm an omnivore / recipe anthologist / windowbox gardener / online journalist. I have a Master's in Journalism, but beat reporting isn't really my style. It also pays about as well as abstract expressionism, I suspect. So now I run the online events calendar for a major newspaper, as well as all the new-fangled mobile action. If you absolutely need to check the baseball score while we're out to dinner and you have a cell phone handy, I'm your girl.

I also used to edit a magazine for NYU, and my dad was a physics professor, so I still have a soft spot in my heart for academia.

Is there really that much demand for abstract expressionist porn music? Do you have sexy librarian glasses you toss aside just before breaking into a pole dance?


PS: I like your smile.I hope it's not really *that* rare.
And then I saw the latest update on Grub Street. I was one of only five people he wrote back to! (though I was also one of nine people who mentioned Brazilian waxes, alas.)

Grub Street posted the update at 4:15, and I didn't send off my reply until 5 -- I had it open on my desktop since this morning, but it's been a hectic day at work. If I'd finished up a little sooner, I might have more interesting gossip for you.

Stay tuned!

Monday, May 19, 2008

With uni you get two

Grub Street tells of a funny foodie mensch who's looking for a Ko-date on Craigslist. B insisted that I reply (if this works out, he will have only himself to blame...):
Hello, you hysterically funny foodie!

I'm not a Brazilian porn star, but I have gotten an occasional brazilian, and I always find rock star parking. Haven't played Rock Band yet, but my 11-year-old niece got me hooked on Guitar Hero. But I digress...

Baggage -- does my Samsonite wheelie bag count? Because, seriously, it's amazing. Ten years old, travels with me about every other weekend on average, it's been as far as Japan and the Caribbean, doubles as a cat bed whenever I forget to put it away, and it's still going strong. Also, it may have saved my life, as I was dropping it off for repairs instead of commuting down to the WTC on the morning of September 11.

I speak five languages. Unfortunately, Dutch is not one of them. That said, if you're "romantically forking foie gras into [my] mug," I'll let you cop a feel. Left or right breast, your choice -- each is magnificent. Feed me uni too, and you can touch both.

You want a link? Here.
You want a picture? There's one in this post.

Ko ho,
Hmm, I might have to make an OK Cupid profile out of that.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Not as green as they claim to be - The Boston Globe

Not to say "I told you so," but I'm glad to see my local paper discussing issues of the new Green craze that have been concerning me for a while.

When "green" became a positive catch phrase, products started tossing it around for the marketing benefits. But the term is meaningless; there are no guidelines or restrictions. This article includes many examples of "green" products that are no better, or even worse, than other products that don't wave that flag.

Of course I'm all for environmental protection and awareness. I drive a Civic with amazing mileage; I recycle religiously (and more importantly, I reuse as much as possible first, as the recycling process uses up energy); I even bought a "green" house that's highly energy-efficient and contains no off-gassing synthetics.

But I don't want the term to be cheapened, or an unaware public to be fooled. Take the Poland Spring bottle. Sure it uses 30% less plastic, which is great. But bottled water is a huge waste of transport energy on top of all the plastic. People should be drinking tap water and carrying it around in reusable containers.

When cars were introduced, they were a solution to the existing problems of that time. But flash forward a few years, and they've created a whole new set of problems. Our environmental crisis is a complex issue. Simplistic solutions are only going to create new problems for us in the future. And simplistic promotion of anything that calls itself green feeds right into that.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

For all the semi-colonists

#99 Grammar � Stuff White People Like

BY the way -- apologies for being such a slacker lately. I know that for some people, no excuse is good enough, while for others, no excuse is necessary. Therefore, let me only say that the ironic truth of amateur blogging is that exactly when life gives you lots to write about, is exactly the same moment when life gives you no time to write about it.

But I love you all, I swear. And I'm fine, so no worries.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

For the record, I heart Dana Vachon

I don't care what you think.

Alas, while reading the Gawkers as they mock my darling, I gained a new insight:

"A Field Guide to Wall Street Men.

'Pink Shirt Guy' is from Connecticut or Westchester. Secretly wants to sleep with his mother. Went to some prep school you've never heard of and is in banking because of his insecurities.

'Blue Shirt Guy' is from Long Island or New Jersey. Secretly wants to sleep with his sister. Went to public school and is in banking because of his insecurities.

Both are total douchebags."

I never realized before that the suburban New York class wars are oriented on a North-South versus East-West axis. Me being from New England, I am honorary North, pink-shirt team. Excellent!

Monday, April 14, 2008


I hope Cloomydia isn't bad for a baby...

Friday, April 11, 2008

You can't afford me

bedroom toys
Powered By Limousines For Rent

Thanks, Nina!

(I don't know, though. Considering I just went through another insemination, somehow I think I should be worth more.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Riding the single woman zeitgeist

To summarize, a few things about me --
  • I canceled an engagement when I was 21, because I thought the guy wasn't stable enough to build a family with. (oh, by the way, his wife and five-year-old son seem to think he's doing a fine job these days.)

  • I dumped a guy when I was 25 because I was intimidated by his family wealth. Also, I thought he didn't believe in marriage and didn't want kids. Last I heard, he's still married to the woman he got pregnant two months after we broke up. They have at least one other kid.

  • I thought the series finales of both Friends and Sex and the City were ridiculous, because the most recent reuniting of the couples gave me no reassurance that they woudn't break up again as they had countless times before.

  • I am currently trying to conceive a baby with donor sperm -- I have another insemination attempt scheduled for tomorrow -- because I am 37 and unmarried.

  • I have a sweet boyfriend who is a good man and adores me, but I refuse to marry him because of religious and philosophical differences, but also because I'm just not feeling it in my gut.

  • My Dances-with-Wolves-style Indian name is Paralyzed By Indecision

  • I recently watched the movie Say Anything

Despite all these facts, it might surprise you to know that I did not write this article.

But I could have, clearly. Not only that, I should have (why am I not writing more?).

I also should have read this article several years ago, when it still might have done me some good.

Recently, the Lumberjack, the Captain, and a former boss have all put the moves on me in some way or another. It really doesn't help an indecisive type such as myself to be all "strong bidder" like this, when really I should just settle (down) and get married, already.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

All My Georges

Okay, so my husband is gorgeous, charming, funny... yeah, yeah, we all know that already.

What I'm finding funny lately, and what this clip reinforced for me today, is how much, as he gets gently older, he's beginning to look like my dad.

(oh, yes, Dad's a hottie. Hands off, ladies!)

Monday, April 07, 2008

NYTimes "wonderfully easy" pea soup

Slice and sauté an onion.
Add 3 cups chicken stock, a 1-pound bag of frozen peas, 1/3 cup oats, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, some salt and pepper.
Bring to boil.
Purée in blender.

From How to Survive in New York on 99 Cents

Men Create More Housework for Women - Yahoo! News

Well THERE'S a shock.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Nonna Files

When I was little, I used to watch my grandmother cook. She didn’t write anything down, so neither did I. I thought I’d learned her recipes, kept them in the muscle memory of my hands.

I grew up, she passed away, I worked more and cooked less. One day I realized I couldn’t remember anymore.

I feared it was too late. But when I told her friends M and A my regret, I discovered they'd all shared recipes, and the friends had written them down. Now every week we pull out the card file, and I learn a new dish. Some were from my grandmother, some are M or A’s, and some were scrawled on the back of a paper plate during a party, source unknown. But each recipe, I assure you, is from someone’s Italian grandmother.

Lesson #1: Pizzelle

Sure, you can buy them in the market in those plastic boxes, but homemade is better. The only problem is that to make them at home, you need an iron to press out the cookies, and maybe you don’t want another very specialized appliance in your kitchen.

When I confessed to A that I’d always preferred her pizelle to my grandmother’s, she laughed because she uses my grandmother’s recipe. Here’s her secret: A doesn’t use a regular pizzelle iron, she uses an old Black Angus sandwich grill, which has an adjustable hinge height, so it doesn’t press as tight.

So if you like your pizzelle thin and light and crisp, and you have lots of storage space in your kitchen, get a pizzelle iron. But if you prefer a slightly denser cookie with a little more heft, you could experiment with a patterned sandwich press. Or you could search eBay for a Black Angus.

3 cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
6 eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. anise extract

Sift flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl. In a small bowl, beat the eggs lightly, then stir into dry ingredients. Add melted butter and extracts, and stir by hand until batter is smooth and glossy. Let batter rest for half an hour. While batter rests, heat up the iron, get it good and hot.

Put a little butter on a paper towel and grease the iron plates up well, then wipe of any excess. You only have to do this before you start pressing cookies; after the first batch, the butter in the batter will keep the plates lubed up.

Drop a teaspoon of batter into the center of each circle on the press, close it, and squeeze the handles together for about five seconds. Then let go and let cook for about 45 seconds. (Cook times will vary depending on your iron. Experiment with your first few batches, until you figure out how long it takes to achieve golden brown deliciousness.)

Carefully peel the cookies off the iron plates, using a table knife to protect your fingertips. Lay cookies flat on clean dish towels to cool. Once they’re cool, stack them and store in an airtight container.

While the pizzelle are right off the iron and still warm, they’re soft and malleable. If you’re so inclined and can work fast, twirl them into a cone shape or press them into a bowl, to serve ice cream.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

More female trouble

A bit of stream of consciousness about something that's been making me feel creepy all day. Summarized from an IM with my darling bf:

Last St. Patrick's day, we were all at the bar, and the Lumberjack was there with his new undergrad girlfriend, who he'd met at a party in January. And I was sad, cried later, because it was the nail in the coffin that nothing was ever going to happen with us.

But it wasn't just that. There was something else that night that made me sad.
The Storm.

Storm had been friends with the Usual Suspects before I'd moved back home and met all these hooligans. Also, the Lumberjack used to cheat on his last girlfriend with her, but as far as I ever heard, they'd never actually dated for real. Since then, there had been some kind of falling out between Storm and the U.S., but she was still friends with 'Jack. But because of the circumstances, everything was hazy and unspoken by the time I started meeting these people.

I met Storm because 'Jack started bringing her to PubNight. Again, no one was talking, really, neither 'Jack nor the U.S., but as I understood it, 'Jack wasn't taking part in the falling out/shunning, so he brought his friend out, with no apologies nor explanations.

1. I liked her, she made a good first impression
2. I like 'Jack, and as such wanted to be friends with his friends, and know what's going on in his life. So I talked to her, we hit it off. And I want to make my own judgment about this new person I've met.

But she lives far away, and only seems to come to the area with him. So I'm beginning to notice that indeed, she is a little fucked up; the U.S aren't totally off-base. But still, I want to judge on my own.

Turns out Storm is still hung up on the Lumberjack. But she also has this boyfriend up where she lives. So she's been sublimating her romantic feelings into a friendship, like you do.

St. Pat's day, at the bar. Most of the Usual Suspects are there, as are 'Jack and his undergrad, and Storm and her guy, and me. The Undergrad is stuck to 'Jack like glue, and taking every opportunity to point out that he is HERS. While 'Jack pulls her aside to tell her to Chill, Storm asks me who the hell that is. I explain that she's 'Jack's new teeniebopper girlfriend, and Storm FLIPS OUT.

This is a woman with a boyfriend.

So part of the reason I was so sad after St. Paddy's was that I looked at Storm, who was the "other woman" for this guy with no honest and public relationship coming of it, and who now had a boyfriend and was still hung up on him. And I said to myself, "I do not want to be this woman. I tried, it didn't work, I need to move on. I deserve better."

And I mourned a little, but I did move on.

I also found out that night that Storm was moving back to the area -- in fact, right around the corner from me! So we'd exchanged phone numbers, and said we were going to hang out. She was supposed to move April 1.

The first week in April, she calls me, says "sorry I haven't checked in yet, turns out I'm moving April 15, everything's a mess."
I'm all, that's cool; let me know when you're settled in.
And then, she starts grilling me on 'Jack and the undergrad.
She's bullshit; starts in all -- APPARENTLY he's not her friend anymore, APPARENTLY he doesn't value her, if he's keeping these secrets from her. She says she HAS a boyfriend, she doesn't NEED 'Jack, et cetera.

I try to calm her, try to dissociate, get off the phone. She says she'll call me after she moves and settles in, and I don't here from her ever again.
That was almost exactly a year ago.

Since then, Storm always comes up when I run the Friend Finder on Facebook, but I never friend her, because she's not my friend. Today, when I ran it, though, something caught my eye.

Storm's new profile pic is a picture of her in a hospital bed, wearing a hospital gown...
with last year's boyfriend next to her....
and she's holding a newborn.

Yup, they had a baby a month ago.

So basically, she gave up on the Lumberjack, and got knocked up in short order.

Way to move on!

Honestly, this is great for her, she looks happy, and moving on was clearly the right thing to do. And she's engaged to the baby's father.

But I can't help it, the timing of it just makes me go ew ew ew.

Am I right? B says that's a fucked up story, full of fucked up people and fucked up decisions and fucked up emotions, and yes, ew.

I've been creeped out all day, so just wanted to share. (though I know this is not the breeding story I have been promising you, sorry...)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spot Cloooney's girlfriend

back in her wilder clubbing days, at something called 108 Degrees.

Looks like wild but charming fun at the start. Then perhaps the photog went back to a hotel with some hookers, but no Larson there, so don't feel the need ot scroll all the way to the end.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lollapalooza 2008 : Westward to Chicago!

I had such a great time last year, I'd like to make it an annual trip. Captain's going too; he helped make last year's trip such a blast.

But hey, it's a big place, there's room for more if you want to come! We've missed the early-bird super discount, but advance-sale tix are still available.

Come on, come on! So much fun!

Slice: Di Fara on Facebook!

Best. Pizza. Ever.

Go ahead, become a fan.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

my haiku is so prescient

Haiku2 for maggiebex
waiting for the egg
to arrive and there was a
big fan of using
Created by Grahame

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fellowship of the Peep

Missing Easter already.

Lost children

The other night I went looking for my beloved box set of Sports Night, to introduce some poor deprived soul who'd never watched its brilliance before.

It was gone. In its place, I found a box set of Season One of Angel, not mine.

Did we trade? Or maybe it wasn't an even trade; maybe one person has my Sports Night, and I have someone else's Angel. Honestly, I have no recollection of any of the borrowing. Considering I've had Children of Men out from Netflix since May 2007, my DVD amnesia is neither surprising nor unprecedented.

It is unfortunate, however, so please check your collections and let me know. Let's get all the DVDs back to their proper homes.

Clinton - Obama, Obama - Clinton

In general, I'm a big fan of using the existing rules to shake up the status quo. Just one more reason why this idea sounds so appealing to me.

Of course, there's the added bonus of making history twice, and holding on to the Oval Office for 16 years...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Umami umami umami tsunami

Art is great and all, but is the food limited to actual umami-riffic-ness? Restless people need to know!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


As they say on the boards. I know you're eager for news, so I'm posting from my conference (sshh).

How could I have possibly forgotten to pick up a test, you ask? Honestly, I was pretty sure it would be negative, so my subconscious must have, surprisingly, preferred taxes to bad news.

I'll try again soon, and you'll be sure to hear all about it.

Thanks again, all you darlings!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


You're all going to hate me.

I had to prep my taxes last night, and I forgot to buy a pregnancy test.

Right now I'm catching a train to New York for a conference. I will try to remember to buy a test in Penn station or somewhere, so as to have news for you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

And now for something completely different

While I've been writing about Very Serious Things, "living life explicitly" and perhaps Sharing Too Much, the interwebs have continued to churn out the funny. The past few days have been particularly rich.

So herewith, a selection for your amusement:

Echo Park Time Travel Mart, Barbarian Repellent

Star Wars according to a 3-year old

Monkey Star Wars

Official happy Sex and the City trailer #1

Longer, sadder, Sex and the City trailer #2

Stuff White People Like

I love New England

Jimmy Kimmel loves Ben Affleck (I point you to Gawker because they've got links to the whole history and lead-up of the gag)

For the Somervillionaires, TomCat Champion warns you of Snow Emergency

Okay, okay, and one that is related to current events, but still funny:
Handy forum abbreviations


During the night, the period/spotting/whatever it is stopped.

This morning, my temp was elevated again.

I checked the chart again, and I talked to my nurse friend, who thinks it's impossible that I would have gotten my period so early. Math is hard!

Tomorrow, I will pee on a stick. I think this is why normal people don't go public with their baby drama until the second trimester...

PS: I've been doing lots of editing and rewriting of posts, and adding of images. If this is wreaking havoc with your feed reader, I apologize. If, on the other hand, it has *not* been wreaking havoc, you might want to go back and re-read for updates and new photos. But give me a few minutes; I have a few more to add...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hit the spot? Not....

Wednesday, I felt stirrings.

Thursday, I saw a sign, right on time.

Friday, I was still seeing spots, which was still okay.

Saturday, I started worrying. By Saturday night, the spots should have been tapering off; instead, it was continuing, maybe even increasing. (come on, if you can watch CSI, you can read this.) But only a little; I still had hope. Anyway, Saturday was just WAY too early for a period, right?

Well, sure, if you presume that I ovulated on Tuesday or Wednesday, which is what we figured. But what if I'd actually ovulated Sunday, when the pee stick first went dark?

It is also worth noting at this time that, due to my erratic sleep habits, my temp charts are consistently an inconsistent mess. Here is what a normal temp chart should look like:

That little blip on Day 10 is what happens if you don't sleep the same number of hours every night or wake up at the same time every day. But overall, that sample chart shows lower temperatures pre-ovulation, and elevated temperatures afterwards. See that big leap on day 14? That's ovulation. See that big drop on day 28? That's the beginning of menstruation. If you're actually pregnant, you don't have a drop, you stay in the hot zone.

I have the worst sleeping habits in the world. Consequently, my temp charts are on crack, all over the place. So, though my temp did rise on the morning of the insemination, who knows if that meant anything?

Whatever, I'm babbling, and prolly giving TMI for some of you.

The point is, by Sunday it sure looked like my period, complete with cramps. I curled up crying and achy on the couch all morning...

This morning? My temp plummeted. No hot zone for me. As I said, my temps are ridiculous and oscillate wildly, so I'll still pee on a stick on Wednesday -- might as well. But it looks like I'll have to keep trying. One down, three to seven more to go!

I'm not going to lie; it sucks. I've been weepy and moody and short-tempered. I'm worried about racking up the continued expenses. But I knew, barring some miracle of beating the odds, that this is what I signed on for, probably for a year or more. And so I'm prepared to stick with it.

Thank you all so so much for your support, your involvement, your excitement. Blogging cannot express what it means to me, I swear.

I probably won't Twitter hourly as Nina requested, mostly because I still don't understand how to use Twitter. But I will keep the updates coming, promise.

Friday, February 22, 2008

In honor of J. Lo

.... and all my other peep-ettes who are currently baking, or have recently produced, a sweet bun in their respective ovens:

Seriously, I know so many pregnant women and already-birthed babies, that I'm knitting baby hats non-stop these days, and I'm still way behind...

And what of my own oven? Hmm... well I guess I can't put it off anymore with talk of grammar or celebs, can I?

Reader, I did it. I went and got inseminated.

In answer to the questions posed last Tuesday:
  • Yes, I had time to choose a donor. To be honest, I had been dragging on this decision for weeks, and the only way I was ever going to make up my mind was under deadline pressure anyway.
  • Yes, the bank was indeed able to deliver in time. Though that depends on what you mean by "in time."
  • Yes, the Jolly German was happy to see me on Wednesday.
  • Yes, I was back in the office well before the Big Important Meeting. And fortunately, the cramping and spotting didn't start until later that night.
  • No, I did not try with B Thursday night.

Now for the details...
I spent last Tuesday running around like a crazy woman. Somehow, between meetings at both offices, I spoke to the sperm bank and confirmed that they could deliver to the Jolly German's office on Wednesday morning, as long as both I and the doctor faxed over some paperwork. I got the forms to the JG, confirmed that he had time to see me and that everything was in order.

Only one problem: even though the LH surge happens before ovulation, it's still preferable to do the insemination on the same day you see the pink line. Reason being, idle sperm can stay viable in the uterus for around 48-72 hours, whereas an unfertilized egg only stays viable for 12-18 hours. So it's much preferable to have the sperm already there, hanging out waiting for the egg to arrive. And there was no way the sperm would arrive on Tuesday -- I hadn't even chosen the donor yet! That said, the JG still thought it was worth a try, so we forged ahead with plans for Wednesday.

But how on earth was Ms. Paralyzed by Indecision going to choose a donor?
I had been combing the donor catalogs at two different banks for months, and I could not make up my mind. Some days I liked them all, other days none were good enough. To make matters worse, one of the banks lets you build a "favorites" list for further review, but that list was not working properly. So I had been saving donor profiles for weeks, and ended up with nothing saved to review.

In between meetings, I logged on quickly, and saw that Donor of the Month had been updated. Amid all those baby pics, one sweet face leapt out at me. I checked his profile, and he sounded cute, funny, and clever. He even reminded me a bit of B in the personality department, and he was a film major! A quick call to the bank confirmed that his specimens were available for rush delivery.

The JG's office said that they would call me as soon as the package arrived Wednesday morning. My schedule was clear until the Big Meeting in the late afternoon, so all that was left to do was breathe deep, get some sleep, and wait.

Gosh, I was wishing I had someone to go with me, hold my hand, just Be There....

Remember the baby hats? I'd just finished one for my three-year-old neighbor, so I stopped by after dinner to drop it off. Her mom had the day off on Wednesday. Her mom is an Ob/Gyn. Her mom offered to come with me and hold my hand.

This was EXCELLENT. Not only did I have company and support, I also had a second set of trained eyes to make sure all went well.

I also had a FedEx tracking number. Wednesday morning, I may have brought down FedEx servers with the force and frequency of my page refreshing.

At 10:30 I got the call from the doc's office that my shipment had arrived. I told my boss I had to step out for a bit and hightailed it out of there, picking up my neighbor on the way.
As we waited for the JG in the exam room, the nurse came in with a huge shipping carton. Unopened. I had asked them to save the packaging, because I was curious, but they hadn't even looked inside!

Neighbor and I looked at each other, at the nurse, at the box. Nurse handed me scissors and said, "Here, you can do the honors and open it yourself!"

Neighbor said, "Um, you know it's frozen. You mean he hasn't defrosted it yet?"

Nurse explained that no one in the office had ever dealt with shipments of donor sperm before, so this was all new to ALL OF US. I opened the box.

It was a big liquid nitrogen vapor tank, with lots of instructions on how to safely handle the contents. We defrosted the specimen in a coffee-cup water bath, prepared a slide to check out the little swimmers, and we all went over to look at them.

Cute little swimmers! Swimming all over the place! So many! So motile! Yay!

I'll leave out the details of the moment of truth, because I know that some of you are already past your squeamishness threshold. Let me just say that I was very glad to have a friend's hand to hold on to. Definitely more pleasant to do this the traditional way. (every time one of these procedures causes my uterus to seize up in pain, I wonder how on earth I'm going to ever make it through labor...)

In the days that followed, I didn't feel anything particularly special or glowing going on. And to be honest, I wasn't surprised. When my tag-team docs reviewed my pee sticks and temperature chart, they exchanged some very serious and none too encouraging looks. They both really wished that I had arranged all this at least a day earlier, and weren't too sure that we had caught the window in time. It was very likely that the whole adventure had been a $650 dress rehearsal. Even if we had gotten the timing right, there's still only a 10% success rate for women my age, and it usually takes four to eight attempts before I should expect to actually conceive.

So I was prepared for a lack of baby magic. (This is also why the "B on Thursday?" issue turned out to be a non-issue. If I was borderline too late on Wednesday morning, then I was definitely too late by Thursday night.)

But then, during the lunar eclipse, I started to feel a little ... magical. And I started to think...
How incredibly cool, if I do indeed have a baby on my birthday -- which is Election Day, which one way or the other will definitely be historic -- to also be able to tell him that I first had stirrings of his presence during a breathtaking celestial event.

I know, call me sentimental, call me crazy even, but it's good to have hope, yes?

Yesterday, eight days after the insemination, I got a sign that sounds terrible but is actually good news:
Implantation spotting.
Right on time!

I'm not running out to order birth announcements; I still remember the odds. But I'm hopeful enough that on this Lenten Friday, I am following these guidelines that my 5-months-pregnant co-worker forwarded my way.

Per doc's instructions, I'll be taking a test next Wednesday, and I promise to let you all know how it goes.