Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dating 3.0

The Mister and I had a date day yesterday, a thing we try to do once a month.  We look forward to it the way kids look forward to Christmas and birthday parties and turning 10. A whole kid-free day to what we please together.
Here's what we did yesterday; it was very romantic.
1. sanded and primed these new dining room chairs we got for free off the street (stay tuned for photos, they're going to be sweet!)
2. mailed our taxes.
3. shopped for toilet paper at Smart & Final, where we also picked up a 3-pack of Kleenex and a bottle of bourbon.
4. bought at case of wine
5. browsed a discount upholstery warehouse and bought fabric for above-mentioned dining room chairs (it has pheasants on it, but trust me, it's very cute).

This is the late-30s, married with kids version of a hot date, I suppose.  But before you get to feeling too sorry for us, I must mention that we also went out for the best BLTs on the planet, and took a "nap." It was a great day.
What was your last great day?

A thing I like
These Tessa clogs, which I wear everyday.  I'm not convinced they aren't responsible for my increasingly alarming back problems, but they are so nice-looking, I almost don't care.  Buy them here and get on the ride.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What can you accomplish in three years?

  Check out what Maggie has done in the last 35 months.

She's gone from this (standing on my hand at 2 days old)

To this (rocking out to Tom Freund while chewing her first piece of gum)

Impressive, huh? How have you changed in the last three years?

A thing I like
This hilarious essay by Starlee Kine, formerly of This American Life.  To my mind this is humor writing at its best: short and sweet, all about voice, quirky, relatable without being predictable or hackneyed.  I once used it in a class I co-taught on humor writing and a few of the students didn't really like it.  To which I say, I don't really like you. Seriously, if this is not funny to you, maybe we need to rethink our friendship.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Can we just talk about colds for a second?  I don't mean to whine but I have been sick, more or less, since November.  It's now mid-March.  That's, let's see, 4 months.  Four months of hacking and sneezing and snuffling and croaking like a toad.  I've had bronchitis and a sinus infection and something that left white pustules on my tonsils.  I've coughed so hard I've gagged. I've had a fever and the chills. I have been sick so often I am actually embarrassed about it.  I show up at work and feel as if there is a collective recoil.  And can I blame them?  No.  Truth is, I'm kinda gross.
Today I went to the doctor to see if maybe there was a reason behind my incessant germiness.  I was hoping they would find something obvious like an unrelenting sinus infection or a horrible black mold allergy.  Even something truly terrible like lupus would have at least been an explanation.  But I'm here to tell you that going to the doctor is no episode of House or page from the New York Times' "Diagnosis" stories. No one is interested in your medical mystery.  No team of doctors approaches with clipboards and medical journals to try to figure out your problem.  Nope.  Instead you are informed that colds are caused by viruses (um, I know) and give a prescription for cough medicine (no current cough). In short, my visit to the doctor was a wholly unsatisfying experience and I still can't breathe through either nostril.  
Any advice out there?  Because I am starting to forget what it feels like to be healthy.

A thing I like
This lovely and true poem about why death is such a loss by the late, great John Updike. It makes me cry.  I hope someone reads it at my funeral. 

Perfection Wasted 

And another regrettable thing about death 
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic, 
which took a whole life to develop and market -- 
the quips, the witticisms, the slant 
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest 
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched 
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears, 
their tears confused with their diamond earrings, 
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat, 
their response and your performance twinned. 
The jokes over the phone. The memories 
packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act. 
Who will do it again? That's it: no one; 
imitators and descendants aren't the same. 

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