Wednesday, November 30, 2011

escape to the land of sweets

We hadn't heard from our tap-hearing, note-leaving, cop-calling neighbor since the late night police incident weeks ago, until yesterday. I came hobbling up the stairs while carrying three Target bags and trying to wrangle Ollie (I realize in hindsight that I'm a sacred vessel and that it was very likely that I could have tripped and that for Ivy's safety I really should have made two trips. Oops) and was greeted outside my door by our tap-hearing, note-leaving-cop-calling and now nightgown-wearing neighbor who said "Excuse me, I just had back surgery. Could you please get my mail?" I had hoped to never have another encounter with this woman, but since our apartments are adjacent I knew that probably wasn't possible. I will admit that I hoped our next run-in would include some sort of apology, like "Hey sorry that I let my delusions run wild and accused you of malicious wrong doing and then turned you into the law for a crime you didn't commit." Nope. Instead she acted like we had never met. That I hadn't knocked on her door and pled innocence just weeks ago. That she hadn't previously considered me Longmont's most wanted. Maybe she doesn't remember. Maybe the surgeon operated not only on her back, but her frontal lobe as well. I pondered this possibility as I retrieved her mail, then dropped it off at her apartment lit only by the lights on her flocked Christmas tree. She sat upright in her chair, examined the single letter that I handed her, and said "Is this it?". Hard to please, that one.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm not crying, it's just raining on my face

Our neighbor is a man of impressive stature. If I had to guess, I'd say he's 6'5 and 300 pounds. His gnarly hair, most often in a ponytail, reaches midback and is tied with one of his many bandanas. His beard is of equal length down his front side. If he's not wearing all leather, he's wearing Harley Davidson issued denim from head to toe.
He has two dogs. Guess what kind.
Pitbulls you say? Nope. Guess again.
German Shepherds? Wrong.
Pomeranians. Two tiny, yipy pomeranians.
When the three of them are out walking, it looks a lot like this:
I really should have pursued a career as an artist.

I wonder why he chose the canine companions that he did. Was he trying to be ironic? Is he a noncomformist? Did he inherit them from his mother? Was it simply love at first puppy sight?
I've thought about asking, but so far I've failed to think of a better question than "Hey big dude, why the small dogs?" I'm afraid because maybe he's trained the pomeranians to be killer attack dogs and if I ask my tactless question, I'll meet certain death. But now I'm just stereotyping, aren't I.

Monday, November 28, 2011

just a psychotic girl

My family stopped playing Monopoly with me a long time ago and Stephen stopped playing Monopoly with me just a few months into our marriage. Not because I'm so good, but because I'm so mean. Something about the color-coded board, the top hat and thimble, and the piles of money turns me into a real synonym for a female dog. Few things in life bring me greater joy than watching some poor sap land on my hoteled Boardwalk. I love watching them hand over every last bill to add to my collection of orange 500's, and I love watching them mortgage their sad little Oriental Avenue and Reading Railroad. I have a lot in common with this guy:

Potter for President.

On the other hand, nothing makes me angrier than being the poor sap who lands on someone else's hoteled Boardwalk. I cry injustice every time. I wail over every last bill I'm forced to hand over, and declare how unfair the mortgaging system is while I flip the cards for Oriental Avenue and Reading Railroad. I'm not a sore loser. I'm a wounded, bleeding, take me to the hospital I'm dying from this massive flesh-wound loser.

Win or lose, I'm pretty unbearable, and the number of willing opponents dwindles with every game. That's why it's become necessary to have children.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I wish I didn't know

Me: I would like a number 4 and also some onion rings.
Burger Supreme cashier: So you'd like onion rings instead of fries?
Me: No. Both.

As long as I'm confessing bad habits, I guess now is as good a time as any to admit that I've started watching Gossip Girl. I would tell you not to judge me, but let's face it- I deserve to be judged. The show is pretty terrible. Every episode I ask myself the following questions:

1. Am I really supposed to believe that these people are 17? I believe that they've been 17 for ten years. So maybe they're vampires? But I thought that was a different CW show? Is CW the vampire network now?
2. Am I really supposed to believe that the age difference between the students and their parents is greater than five years? Because I don't. I'm almost positive that Rufus and his son Dan are the same age. Yes, the dude is named Rufus.
3. Am I really supposed to believe that every eating establishment in New York City serves alcohol to minors without question? Wouldn't there be serious consequences if they were caught doing so? Do laws not apply to the rich?
4. Am I supposed to find Chuck Bass attractive? He reminds me of Gopher from Winnie The Pooh, minus the charm.
5. Am I supposed to sypmathize with any character? I guess I feel bad that they all have to put up with each other.
6. Do rich kids really have a party every night? I'm told over and over how smart all of these kids are, and the entire first season I've seen one character doing homework one time. The same character whose story is published in The New Yorker. Because it's just that easy to get published in The New Yorker. PLEASE.
7. Do rich kids really buy a new outifit for every party every night? I remember buying a GAP turtle neck for a party in 7th grade. One of the two parties I attended that year. I really have no reason for sharing that anecdote.

It's a  ridiculous program. But I can't stop. Last night I watched two episodes in a row. Then I woke Stephen up just to tell him about the SHOCKING revelation at the end of episode 15.

XOXO, Gossip Girl's latest reluctant fan.

Monday, November 21, 2011

life's a happy song

Happy Thanksgiving week! Happier Muppet week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

it's an alpaca

Once a  week sends me updates on Ivy's progress. Like today I learned she's the size of a head of cabbage. So cute, right? Yeah. That's how they get you. Then every other day of the week they send you reminders of the ways you're already failing or will soon fail as a mother. I often get emails with subjects such as the following:

714 foods pregnant women should avoid over Thanksgiving.
That crib you bought was a bad choice.
You drank a Diet Coke? Might as well smoke a carton and throw back a case of beers.
Natural birth is the best thing you will ever do.
Natural birth killed me. I'm writing this from the crypt.
Will your baby become president or the crazy lady at the bus stop? Take our quiz to find out!
If you give your child a bottle it means you don't love her.
237 more products that you still need to buy.
Are you sure you can handle this?

Nope. Not sure. But even though the internet thinks I'm doomed, I'm still just STOKED to meet our little person.

T-10 weeks:

Whoa belly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

born and raised in a summer haze

Goodbyes are hard.
Yesterday came the time for Ollie to part with his beloved rag, a close companion since wee puppyhood.

It may look like a pile of fabric, but really it's a pile of memories.

It could be smelled from feet away and was becoming a health hazard. 
We explained to Ollie that he's getting older now, and that sometimes we have to grow up and part with the tokens of childhood.
He took it okay. I cried.

The long farewell.

We've both been listening to this song on repeat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prairie winds

Yesterday someone found my blog by googling "Million dollar cars and hot girls."
To that surely disappointed teenage boy, I'm sorry. You were misled.
To that boy's mother, you're welcome.

There may not be an abundance of hot girls and fast cars on this spot of blog, but I want to do whatever I can to keep the internet happy, so here's a boy with pretty hair.

Stephen's about two months overdue for a haircut. In Boulder terms this means he could go another four months. Boulder is many things, but well-groomed is not one of them. However in a few days we'll trek home to the motherland, and the Beehive State isn't quite so accepting of long, flowing, shiny hair on males.So the appointment is set.

Now's the time to pay your respects.

Monday, November 14, 2011

stains caked deep in the knees

"Kids will believe anything you tell them," my hair stylist told me this morning.
Oh, the power!
I feel like I should start drafting a version of my personal history in which I save a small nation from an evil overlord, produce a multi-platinum hip-hop album and am crowned prom queen. But then that's kind of braggy and I don't want her to feel like she has impossibly large shoes to fill. So maybe I should make up something more obscure. Like maybe Stephen and I are secret government agents? And she can't tell anyone for obvious security reasons. NO- wait- you know what would be even better and less soul-damning- I could just imply that we're spies. When I know Ivy is eavesdropping on my phone conversations, I'll say things like "The President needs this taken care of today." I'll send myself mysteriously shaped packages and make the return address THE PENTAGON. Every once in a while we'll call a sitter, dress in all black, and say "honey, we don't know when we'll be back, but if the man with the mustache shows up, hit the red button". And then we'll just go to the movies. If she ever asks if we're undercover, we'll deny it, and it won't be a lie. Win.

Friday, November 11, 2011

give me a reason

It was in seventh grade health class that I learned how gross birth really is. Ms. Fischer played The Miracle of Birth video, and it took all of three minutes before I was out in the hall with my head between my knees, along with my class mate Thiago, who if I recall correctly, threw up. I've been trying to unsee those images ever since.
I figured that we would be one of twenty couples in our child birth class last night, that we could sit in the back, and that if I closed my eyes or made a swift exit during any revolting film clips that might be shown, no one would really notice. But Stephen and I made up two out of the three students, and sat directly across from the instructor who spent most of class watching our faces. So when the time came to watch "Pushing and Birth", I really had no choice. I watched. Guys, I didn't even flinch. No big deal. Maybe it's some pregnancy induced evolutionary trigger or something, but I was totally ok with what was happening on screen. So maybe, just maybe, I'll be ok with what's about to actually happen in 11 weeks. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I'm either becoming increasingly preoccupied or increasingly stupid.
I walked up to the front door of our apartment, pulled out the keys from my bag, then pressed the unlock button on my car key. Twice. And waited for my front door to click open. Then my caveman brain finally registered HOUSE NOT CAR.
In the shower I squoze the conditioner onto my hand, then rubbed it all over my face. The hair conditioner. On my face. It would be one thing if I was confused, messed up the the shower procedure and thought that I was using face wash. That would be understandable, however I haven't owned face wash for the past ten years.
It's like someone tried to give me a lobotomy but removed the wrong part of my brain, since my emotions are still very much intact. I'm Tearsy McCriesalot (bless Stephen's heart). Hormonesy McWeepster.
I can blame pregnancy, right? I blame everything else on pregnancy, including not making the bed this morning and eating a grilled cheese sandwich every day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

riders on the storm

The OBGYN floor of the Longmont clinic is a lovely place. The lab floor, which I had to visit after my appointment today, is Hell on Earth. No, really. It's like staring death in the mouth. It smells like a burning Stouffer's broccoli casserole. I don't know why I know that smell. Probably a repressed memory. There's a large, dark, stain circle on the floor. One has to assume it's blood. When asked when he was born, the man in front of me said 1919. NINETEEN NINETEEN! And I would say he was the median age of my fellow waiting-room patients. One lady had an entire fifteen minute conversation with herself about her friend Max. Another walked in, rummaged through a stack of newspapers from August, found the one she was looking for and walked out. One man excitedly read aloud from the cover of Sunset magazine, "Tricks to clamming," then exclaimed, "I've always wanted to know how to do that!". The lady in the chair next to me had on a Bronco's sweatshirt, carried a Bronco's purse, and had the Bronco's logo manicured on her nails. There's a sign above the receptionist's desk that reads "No eating, drinking or applying cosmetics in the laboratory area." I would think that it would take many instances of something happening to make a sign saying that it needs to stop. So I guess that many people were trying to apply lipstick and mascara in the laboratory.

Guys, I'm having the weirdest week.

Monday, November 7, 2011

won't you please? please won't you please?

Remember yesterday? The note? The tapping?
Well, I didn't bake cookies. Nor did I leave a mean note in retaliation. Instead Stephen and I went over to explain ourselves like adults.
I suspected that our neighbor, the note writer, was an older single lady. I hate that I stereotyped my own gender like that, but I was correct. As soon as she opened the door, it was apparent that something For one, right in front of the door was a fully decorated Christmas tree and a child's bicycle. And our single, older lady neighbor was crying. She said she was upset about all the noises. We weren't sure what to do, but we powered through, explained that we are not tapping on the wall, that we've heard the noise too and don't know where it's coming from but it's probably a pipe or something. Despite the hysteria, she seemed to understand, so we offered sympathies for her distraughtedness (not a word) and left a little confused but relieved that we were no longer the culprits.

So we thought...

Police knock just as aggressively as the movies portray. We were in bed, drifting to sleep, when the officer knocked loudly twice on the door. I was in polka-dot pajamas and not fit for serious, law-related interaction, so I stayed in the bedroom while Stephen handled the situation. The officer asked about the wall tapping. After ten minutes of explaining that we are not tapping on the wall, that we've heard the noise too and that we don't know where it's coming from but it's probably a pipe or something, the officer seemed convinced that we weren't trying to harrass our wall-sharer, and left his card in case we need to call.
But who knows what will happen next?
And why do I feel like a criminal? I know I'm innocent, but an officer knocking aggressively on the door has left me feeling like my record is downtown at the station. If dear neighbor calls the police again I'll probably be hauled away, handcuffed in the back of a squad car. While sitting at the prison cafeteria table, another inmate will ask, "What are you in for?" and I'll have to say, "I was framed for wall tapping." Would they send a pregnant woman to jail? Will Ivy be raised in the state penitentiary?
Also, why does the tapping not concern me more? I mean, it's reduced our neighbor to paranoia. It is a weird noise. I guess I just assume that apartments make strange noises? Or that our wall is haunted? But the poltergeists seem to be doing little haunting beyond knocking, so they're not really that much of a bother.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

This morning I found a  note taped to our door. Always a good way to start the day. The note read,
Dear Residents,
I noticed that someone at your place of residence seems to enjoy tapping on the wall that connects your condo to mine. I find it repulsive and in poor taste. If you could please be more mindful of keeping the peace it would be greatly appreciated.
Your neighbor
We too have heard the tapping noise, and we assumed someone was remodeling. Our neighbor, however, assumed that we had nothing better to do with our time than stand around and knock on the wall. If that were the case, it would indeed be in very poor taste, and I guess repulsive, though that adjective seems a little out of place, but whatever. Since we do have jobs and homework and a life and driving our neighbor crazy isn't on our list of priorities, so we are not responsible for the tapping.
When something like this happens there are two very different sides of me that conflict. One side wants to overcompensate, take over a plate of cookies, tell her that the tapping really is unbearable and that even though it's not coming from our condo, we're still very sorry. The other side of me wants to be a total turd about it. The turd side of me wants to leave one of the following notes on her door:

So sorry about the tapping! I've been practicing my gravity-defying vertical tap dance routine. I'll switch walls.

We've wondered why you haven't responded to our morse code messages. The mission is soon. ---- ... -- .. - .... ---.

It's not tapping. We're knife throwers.

Sorry about the tapping. That's just Roy.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

-Love, Your neighbor, Edgar

We can't find our pet chimp. We think he might be in the wall. Don't worry, he's only killed once.

Friday, November 4, 2011

third verse same as the first.

I had a very successful trip to Utah. In less than 72 hours time I managed to eat a Cafe Rio salad, a Burger Supreme cheeseburger with fries AND onion rings and Bangkok Thai's paad siew. You never really appreciate your home town's culinary treasures until you're away from them. I look forward to my return in three weeks when it will have become necessary to eat a J Dawg and Joe Vera's guacamole.

Ollie had a haircut yesterday.

I never realize how badly I need to vacuum until I see our floor in pictures.

Here's the thing about Ollie. He wouldn't hurt a fly. Unless that fly was trying to groom him. Anytime we even attempt to get near him with a brush, he channels Satan. It's all teeth and snarling and demonic noises. So I wasn't really surprised when the groomer recommended that next time we sedate him. 
Here's the other thing about Ollie. He was born to model. I kid you not, as soon as I pull out the camera, he starts striking poses. He willingly steps into the light and stares right at the lens. Or glances to the side and holds a profile pose.

Top Model All Stars got nothin on Ollie. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

but i'm not the only one

One of the latest symptoms of my "condition" is CRACKED OUT dreams. I live a quiet, peaceful existence during the day, but when my eyes are closed, boy howdy it's a wild ride. Last night via REM cycle, I was somehow kidnapped and forced to work as an intern for the Sarah Palin/Michelle Bachman campaign (My dreamself thinks they're running together). As their indentured servant, my duty was to buy their cigarettes. American Spirit cigarettes. Because we all know Palin's a total hipster.

I would hand them cigarettes under the table. Then they would kick me.

About three seconds later I was in a seamstress' living room. She was making me a prom dress, and while cutting the fabric said over and over "Since you're so fat, I'll have to cut it extra wide."