Saturday, March 12, 2011

I Need A Job, And Then I'll Get Married

I love this kid. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. The comments on this and the CNN feed make me sad -- calling a 5 year old kid a bitch for being independent is just....well, I guess, expected.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayers, Japan

The footage from Japan is horrifying. I have an unnatural fear of earthquakes. Drowning too. A coworker was on a plane on the tarmac when everything hit. There's really nothing to say other than I am thinking of all of those people and hoping/praying for miracle rescues.

Nice, Clink, Etc.

When I tell people that I don't work on Fridays, I usually get a variety of responses ranging from "how cool" or "everyone needs an errand day" to the snarkier eye-rolling, "well, that must be niiiice." The people delivering this response are usually white collar workers who have never done a lick of menial labor, but my Fridays "off" (in quotes because um, I don't get PAID) somehow make them feel wronged and maligned and they must then regale me of tales of how hard they work, and how they wished they could get the same deal, but "well, you know....not everybody gets what they want."

Honestly? Fridays off are nice. Great, actually. I get to spend some time with Zygote and I get to do all the glamorous things around the house that don't get done when two working parents are traveling and juggling and just generally living. Things like grocery shopping and laundry and today, cleaning out some sort of juice that congealed on the bottom of my fridge. Oh, and changing diapers. Let's not forget that. When YG and I first started talking about Fridays off, the idea was that I would be writing and/or working another contract or training for, I don't know, something. I did do a lot of writing, and took a class, and it was NICE, but the vast majority of my Fridays are spent doing general house stuff. I'm okay with that. Someone has to do it, and I like that it allows us to spend our limited free time on the weekends together as a family.

I am well aware that I am lucky.

I'm also aware that some days are luckier than others. It's Restaurant Week in Boston, so YG and I took advantage of a relatively light day to have lunch at Clink. Some things do not suck. Some things are quite nice.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kick, Kick, Kick

There are no many things not to like about pregnancy. You go through all this drama trying to even get pregnant and then your body rewards you with some truly weird, puberty-like stuff. That being said, I have enjoyed both of these pregnancies. I’ve been healthy and haven’t had a lot of nausea or other complications, and I can live with swollen feet for a few months if it means that I can pretty much keep doing what I was doing before, only wearing uglier shoes. Plus, people are nice to you.

My favorite part is the kicks. It’s hard to describe them. A lot of the baby books describe a “fluttering” feeling, but it’s more like an undulating water bed or a rumble. It’s definitely weird, but pleasant weird in a “oh, there you are” way. Like, there’s a PERSON in me. Now that I’m heading toward the third trimester, the kicks are more painful. Kicks to the ribs, sharp sticks to the hoo hah, and random rumbling pains in places I was sure the kid couldn’t reach. Still, even on my crustiest of days, they make me smile, and if I get kicked hard, I might even laugh out loud.

After Zygote was born, I missed the kicks. I couldn’t quite get used to her being on the outside, so I would sit her on my belly and let her wriggle around to try and simulate that feeling. I’m sure it’s going to be the same with Z2.

This is likely my last pregnancy. Or as YG puts it, “well, the last time you will be pregnant with one of MY kids.” So I’m going to keep enjoying those sharp jab to the junk while I have them.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

What The Hell is Lent Anyway?

Remember this? That was the year I was going to blog about being grateful for something every day during Lent. It was pre-Zygote, so I should have been able to get it done. I’m amazed how truly narcissistic I am sometimes – being able to translate "join Jesus” into “the world really wants to hear about my love of America’s Next Top Model EVERY DAY.” Try as I may to be a more spiritually grounded person (whatever that means), the end results are sometimes interesting.

So my go-to-church-but-am-still-questioning-and-have-no-shame-about-some-of-my-bad-vices-like-crappy-tv would simply define Lent as the time when Christian folk start prepping for Holy Week, which leads up to Easter, the BIG deal. Why is it forty days? When Jesus was prepping for his ministry, he spent 40 days in the desert/wilderness. You know the story. He was tested, tempted, could have been a bad guy, but wasn’t. During Lent, people give things up or go to Church more – the idea that doing all this stuff will help them spiritually ‘join’ Jesus. *

I do that every year. Try to give something up. Believe me, it was never an attempt to find and/or refind Jesus. It was either because I was told to as a kid or because it seemed like a nice, relatively acceptable way to explain some sort of behavior change I wanted to do anyway. It’s easier to say that you’re giving up buying clothes for Lent, rather than something like, “yeah, well I’m really concerned about the unsustainable manufacturing practices of big-box clothing retailers and generally despise the corporatization of the world blah blah.” Or "I’m giving up cookies for Lent" as opposed to "OMG HFCS IS KILLING OUR KIDS.”

I have given up cookies, crackers, Diet Coke, meat, swearing, saying mean things about myself, being judgmental about others (ha ha ha, that one was a riot), and shopping among other things. I’m not sure I succeeded in any of them. There are a few things that I would like to try and give up again, like swearing so much (mostly for Zygote’s sake, not because I think God gives a shit). See, there. FAIL. And eating so much crappy food (also mostly for Z2 and because I don’t want to fail my glucose test). Good things, but not really in the spirit.

So I’m not sure what to do. I find this whole God/church thing very hard to write about without sounding like some sort of religious fanatic. I guess what I really want is to spend a few minutes each day away from the chaos to think bigger picture. I have been a ball of anxiety and ick lately, obsessing about everything and generally feeling sick (physically. yay bronchitis!) and unmoored (yay pregnancy!) I want to write and blog and just THINK about the good things, rather than cross items off a giant to-do list. If that gets me “closer to God” than hey, cool, I am open to it, but if it only makes me a little bit nicer of a friend, mom and wife, I can live with that too.

*I actually thought some of these were pretty cool ideas. Mainly, the carbon fast. Giving up alcohol always seems a little too Footloose for me.

When I am not blogging, I read

Since I haven’t been doing much blogging and/or other writing lately, you’re probably wondering what I have been doing with all of my time outside of being anxious about work which is a full-time job in and of itself. Well, you probably aren’t wondering.

The reading frenzy of 2011 continues. The insomnia definitely helps with having more time to read, or maybe it’s just knowing that I’m going to be entering into another reading lull after Z2 comes. It’s been nice, and varied.

1.The Help: It’s nice to read a book that people are talking about around the same time that they are actually talking about it. I tore through this. I liked that the characters were fairly nuanced – with a few exceptions, the bad people weren’t always bad and the good people weren’t always good. I can’t imagine what it was like to try and make sense of life in that nascent Civil Rights era. I think she did a good job of capturing the conflicting swirl of emotions for each of the different characters.

2.Restless Virgins: Love, Sex, and Survival in Prep School: Oh God, this book. I don’t even know where to start. I picked this up on a discount table, and was interested because Milton Academy is somewhat near here and prep schools are so, so weird. And so foreign to my experience of high school and growing up. The kids in the book come across as a bunch of entitled tools and don’t strike me as intelligent, even with their fancy schools. That said, I couldn’t put it down. Teenage sex scandals! Good readin’.

3.A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier: Meh. I feel somewhat guilty saying that I didn’t find a book about child soldiers in Sierra Leaone particularly interesting, especially considering that I just said I couldn’t put down a book about bratty New England prepsters. It felt like a very rushed memoir, and I would have liked to know more.

4.The Time Traveler’s Wife: Also a discount table pick that sat on my bookshelf for years because I thought it was the kind of book that appears in the WOMENS(!) section of airport bookstores. I wish I had read it sooner, because I absolutely loved it. I loved the characters and the weird traveling sequences and how it’s a not-particularly-goopy love story. I liked it so much that I made YG sit through the movie version with me. Bad move. The movie sucked.

5.Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America: I probably should have read this a long time ago, just to try and keep up with YG. I know that people have their issues with Friedman and think he’s a hypocrite with his 11,000+ square foot house. Still, this was a very concise breakdown of how “going green” is imperative to getting the US economy moving again. There are people are born tree huggers and they care deeply about recycling and the environment and living sustainable lifestyles. I am not one of them. Or I wasn’t raised that way. I knew that stuff was important, but I didn’t think much about it. I work in the corporate world, though, and I do think a lot about innovation in business and what will be the next great American industry. We need to slow down the mess we are making of our environment, and we need to get people working again. There is such opportunity. It made me want to learn more.

6.The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: Junot Diaz breaks my heart again. Beautiful, funny, coming of age. Read this.