Tuesday, April 29

'Twas the Night Before Jazz Fest

I'm going out of town for a few days, so I'd really like to leave you with something profound. Of course, nothing profound is coming to mind. I'm heading tomorrow, straight from the office, to the airport where I shall be whisked away to that magic land known as "Eat Until You Puke" (formerly known as "Drink Until You Puke," however, Brown Brown has insisted upon a name change). The trip to New Orleans could not be more fortuitously planned: just today I went to the doctor's and learned that I gained twelve--yup, count 'em twelve--pounds in the last six weeks. Which is bogus. According to my scale it's only been about eight in the past bunch o' weeks. Which just goes to show me that I have to schedule these appointments for 8 a.m. and I can't eat before I go. After lunch visits aren't working for me. But, since the doctor said that I am still well within my healthy weight gain (I've actually only gained fifteen pounds since the very beginning, so everything is groovy), I plan on not worrying and having that second order of beignets, thank you very much.

Now, stop reading if you are my parents: The doctor measured my uterus (and interestingly, used a paper tape measure. I wouldn't have thought those things needed to be disposable), and I commented, "I'm going to keep that belly ring till the bitter end." She replied, "It actually looks okay." I said, "I had a friend who just had a baby and her belly button never went outie." She replied, "Oh, it's that's not the problem. It's that the skin between the holes gets stretched out so the holes enlarge and the ring gets closer to the surface." Blech. I thought I only had to worry about outies. I'm loathe to take the belly ring out, because it's the third most permanent thing I've ever done in my life (the second most permanent thing is my marriage. There's a tie for the top spot of most permanent things: Brown Brown and my tattoo), and I've had it for ten years now, which is pretty much as long as I've ever had anything. It was my last gasp of New York life before becoming a West Coaster. (I told you two to stop reading! But you didn't pay attention did you, and now you're grossed out all over again that I have a belly ring. Well, too bad.)

Now I need to go and obsess about what I've forgotten to pack. It's usually socks, but since I've already got those, it's going to be something else this time. Something bigger and better. And tomorrow I can go to work and obsess that my 1,500-word article is at 3,000 words and it still doesn't have a lead. And at 6:10 p.m., I'm going to get on a plane, and I will be done obsessing. Till next week!

A Public Service Announcement

Whooo hooo! I am so there. And it's actually a sunny day to enjoy it.

Monday, April 28

Words... Are... Too... Hard

I struggle and struggle and struggle, but just can't come up with a lead to the article I'm working on. I'm never at a loss for words. So why the problem now? Ugh, frustration.

Weekend Visitors

The paternal parental unit and the sororal sibling unit descended upon Boston last Thursday. The Tweedly Twirp mostly kept me company while Peter tailed Adam around HBS like the eager beaver he is. I mean that almost literally—Peter only wears his M.I.T. class ring (only I promise, the number on his ring is nowhere near 2004) when he goes to Hah-vahd, so he won’t accidentally be thought of as one of them. And yet, he returns each semester and harangues Adam until he sends him his needed cases, because he can’t get enough of the HBS experience. If anyone wonders where my extreme ambivalence about HBS originates, look no further than my father.

So while Peter was learning about Timberland and banking in Germany and accompanying Adam on manly tasks such as a trip to Home Depot, Tweeds and I hit the mall for maternity clothes. This is only after my Old Navy shipment arrived and she burst out laughing at me when I tried on my new bathing suit. “But,” she stuttered as she gasped for air, “it’s so big! You’re so big.” Gee, thanks. And I’m guessing in the next 19 weeks, I’m not going to be getting any smaller (and for the record, I’m actually not very big, but when you're a size zero munchkin Tweedle Twirp, everyone looks big to you). But amusement aside, she was a helpful assistant as I tried to get in and out of these mammoth pieces of cloth that never seemed quite as large when they were on my body. Of course, after our trip to maternity land, we required stops at Pottery Barn Kids and GapBaby, where the Tweeds helped me pick out two outfits for Brown Brown (I've decided not to follow the old Jewish superstition about not buying anything before the baby is born. I think it's going to be a lot more fun shopping now than it is when I have a screaming Brown Brown in my arms). The only frightening moment came when a woman was trying to buy a baseball cap for her son, who must have been about four or five. "Okay, Conner, you have to try this on." Conner was having nothing of it and skirted out of Mom's reach. "Conner, you must try this on if we're going to buy this for you," she said as she tried to force the cap on his head. Conner, however, was quicker than his mother and scooched (yes, that's a word because I say it is) down to the floor. His mother wrestled him to the ground (that's both of them on the floor of the Gap, wriggling around and she tries to smush this red cap down on his blond head), trying to force the stupid cap upon his head for a few minutes before standing up and saying, "Fine, you can't have the hat then." She turned, glanced at my stomach, and then said, "See what you have to look forward to?" I said, "But there are good times, too, right?" She smirked and walked off. Reassuring.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful. I ditched the gang after a breakfast at S & S deli to take my yoga class. I love this yoga class, although it's so 1970s you kind of want to laugh at it. Lots of cushions on the floor. Blue carpet. Wood paneled walls. Chimes and new age music. But it's a great stretch and very relaxing and I enjoy being in a room with other preggos. After, I had grandiose plans for how we'd spend the afternoon, but the rain was fierce and everything was outside, so we ended up hanging in and I think all of us fell asleep. We, of course, ended the evening at Legal Seafood, because no trip to Boston is complete for Peter until he has his lobster.

The two left yesterday, but it was no biggie as I'll see the Tweeds on Wednesday in New Orleans, and both parental units in a month back home (that's Miami Beach, for those of you who just started playing). Adam went off to a barbecue, and I headed to Shannon's for a good old fashioned lingerie/sex toy party (think Tupperware party, only with more mentions of the word "penis" and "g spot"). No need to go into detail because, honestly, it was just some good clean American fun. It definitely made for a laugh-filled afternoon. I'm just now trying to figure out how I can get the Partner's Club to have one of these. If any of you are reading this, I'll even volunteer to set it up. I mean, what good CWIT isn't proficient in the bedroom (or whatever room you prefer). Get back to me, ladies, on that one.

Thursday, April 24

Sneaking One In

Apparently my cousin Daniella has been keeping a blog for a little while now and just neglected to mention it to me (for those who know her, this is the cousin Daniella from New Orleans). Good thing I check my referral logs every now and them. Anyway, go read her blog.

Wednesday, April 23

Good Gracious!

I’m only 59% snob! At least according to PBS’s snob quiz. It tells me I’m "a long way off joining the ranks of the blini-nibbling, bubbly-sipping, double-barreled brigade but then [I’m] no champion of the proletariat either." It ends by telling me "the middle class beckons." Sigh. Give me a chance (and a big fat income)! I could learn to be a snob!

The CWIT Is Mightier than the MBA

Just a quick shout-out to prove once again that there are more to us CWITs than just manicures and nannies. Our very own Carly (who I should point out is already a chemical engineer) not only got into the nation's top-ranked education program, but they wanted her badly enough that they've offered her a very nice scholarship to woo her. I wonder what kind of scholarship her HBS husband got? Yeah, that's right. You go, Carly!

Adventures in CWITing

Since I'm going to be giving my life over to that of a CMIT (as coined by Adam's sectionmates, a Corporate-Mom-in-Training), I figured it was time I sucked it up and learned how to be an HBS wife in style. And that, apparently, includes scrapbooking. Everyone talks about it, many of my friends have succumbed, and I get more e-mails about scrapbooking events than any other from the Partner's Club. So, I figured, why not try it. After all, I should probably get past photos in order before Brown Brown comes and my stack of photos grows even taller. I mean, I'm no longer a newlywed, and yet I've a stack of wedding crap waiting to be put somewhere.

So I attended a gathering among friends (which means I can openly mock them). All I can say is "Wow." This is a real live actual cult. With pep talks and support groups and everything. I have to say, sitting around a table with a bunch of girlfriends (wishing I could join them in having a glass of wine), it's easy to be seduced by the soothing colors and fancy tools. Oooh, a punch! Aaah, fancy scissors! Eee, pretty patterns! I spent half an hour just trying to decide which way to make my squares go.

Final verdict? Well, it seems they were offering up grape Kool-Aid, and I really prefer the fruit punch kind, so I didn't partake. I don't think scrapbooking is going to be a passion of mine, and I did go into it with an open mind. However, I definitely enjoyed the company of the women and will certainly return to future events with my own albums to organize, albeit probably a lot more plainly and more straightforward (with photo corners straight on the pages) than their artistically done masterpieces (some of their stuff is incredible, but it just doesn't feel like old slap-n-dash me). It was great fun to be able to chat and enjoy myself without having to meet with everyone in smoky bars or over expensive dinners. I'll just have to find another way to get my CWIT credentials.

Monday, April 21

No One Told Me We Lost

Now, if you were given told by your husband that you could celebrate your first wedding anniversary any way you wanted, I know you would have picked waking up at 4 a.m. to watch a re-enactment of the Battle on the Green, the battle that started the Revolutionary War, in Lexington.The Minutemen Get Clobbered So you understand how excited I was that our anniversary happened to fall on Patriot's Day, which is a gosh-darn real holiday in the state of Massachusetts. A classmate of Adam's happens to live in Lexington, so he and a gaggle of MBAers staked out a spot early. We left the house a little late (waiting for a friend) at about 4:45. The morning was slightly chilly, but quite nice. We found the gang easily and we stood around. And stood around. And stood around. Finally, at 5:30 a.m., the bells started to toll (don't ask for whom the bell tolled! Well, okay, it tolled as an alarm for the Minutemen). Then, 15 minutes later--well, I don't suppose I have to tell you, because you would have all heard it. After all, the shot was heard 'round the world.The Britsh Have Come, The British Have Come First two guys made off with a trunk of John Hancock's papers to keep them safe. Then, the scairdy cat simply ran away (that must be the most junior position in the re-enactment: scared guy who runs away). Then, the Redcoats. Those guys marched up and lined up and stood in a pretty row with their lovely bayonets and muskets. My big question is why didn't the Minutemen just shoot them while they were standing there? The Redcoats aimed, they fired, and within minutes the battle was over. Dead and wounded Minutemen littered the ground as their bonnet-covered wives (otherwise known as CWITs--Colonial Wives in Training) ran by their sides. And then it was over. The Redcoats marched off to Concord and we marched off to a friend's for breakfast (well, fruit for us, as it's Passover, but pancakes for everyone else). Two highlights: Overhearing someone calling for directions to where we were and just hearing, "You can see the Redcoats? Follow the Redcoats" and the war protester watching the battle re-enactment. Something about that one.... I am a little disappointed to learn that some of the militiamen wore "wicking sock liners." Doesn't seem very 1775, does it?

You can be sure the next to-do item on our list was a nap. And a lovely one it was indeed.

Sunday, April 20


I figured one of the benefits of pregnancy was I'd no longer have lost weekend days because of hangovers. And it's true. Now, instead of lying on the couch on a beautiful Sunday afternoon moaning that my head is pounding because of two too many glasses of red wine, I can lie on the couch on a beautiful afternoon moaning that my head is pounding because of the raging hormones and the sleep I missed because of an aching back and three late night trips to the bathroom. It's a whole new world.

Friday, April 18

Don't Mess with My Toot-Toot

I am duty bound to inform you that exactly two weeks from this moment I will be in a tizzy trying to decide if I want to see Savoy Ducet on the Fais Do-Do stage, C.J. Chenier & the Louisiana Red Hot Band on the Congo Square Stage, the New Zion Trio Plus One in the Gospel Tent, or if I'm feeling mainstream, Los Lobos. Sigh. What's a girl with a belly full of beignets and a Brown Brown to do? And no, you can't come with me in you're not a KAG (and if you don't know what that is, you can't come, but no, it's not a sorority).

Thursday, April 17


If we had lived 2,000 years ago, we would have had to put lamb's blood on our door so that during the tenth plague, little Brown Brown wouldn't have been smote. (Seems to me that that word should be "smoted," but Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster tell me that "smote" is the past tense. But I like "smoted" better.) We went to a really terrific seder last night at friends of my family. Since one of the couple is an HBS professor, he and Adam went off to talk about boring things together, but I had a great time talking with their daughters who are my and my sister's ages. Of course, as I get tired so easily, I started to fade at about 10:05. I said to Adam, "I know we've got to get you home so you can read cases," and he said, "Oh no, I don't have any cases to read for tomorrow." You can tell that we've mastered the art of the secret spousal language. It was actually a lot of fun hanging out longer and chatting, but I was absolutely exhausted when we left at 11:20 . But the food was delish and it was wonderful spending the evening with a bunch of smart non-CWITs. And I was very excited when their daughter told me I definitely look "fat." Yeah! I have finally "popped" and the last remaining non-maternity pair of pants I own went in 48-hours from "decent fit" to "couldn't even get close to buttoning even if I held my breath the entire day."

Wednesday, April 16

Random Thoughts, Because Really, That’s All I Have Any More

What is up with a weather day that is “High: 87 Low: 32.” A friggin 55 degree difference for a single day. On another note, why doesn’t weather.com adjust its site so when the actual temperature goes above their high, it automatically readjusts the day’s high. Yesterday our high was 80 degrees, but the temperature was 84. Yes, this irritates me. But not as much as the fact that it’s going to be a high of 37 degrees tomorrow. That irritates me even more…. I went to see my all-time favorite band, The Iguanas, at Johnny D’s last night. It’s been a long time since Adam and I had been on an actual date together. Of course, by 11 p.m., we were both falling asleep. But we made it until the bitter end. Which means there’s danger of me passing out in my matzoh ball soup during the Passover seder tonight. It also makes me fear for my ability to pull the late nights at Jazz Fest…. Either Brown Brown (formerly known as Baby Brown Medros) either really likes the Iguanas or I had gas bubbles. I can't tell if he's actually moving around in there or not.... The next person who tells me I don’t look pregnant will be kicked in the kneecap. Seriously. Don’t even try me on this one. That is, if I don't fall asleep before the kick can be executed....

Monday, April 14

A Rose by Any Other Name...

...would stink. Really. Try it. Call it cabbage. It just doesn't work. Which is why this name thing is so important. Forget the first name. What about the last name? Baby Brown? Baby Medros? Baby Brown Medros? Baby Brown-as-middle-name Medros? Baby Medros-as-middle-name Brown? Baby with other middle name and Brown-as-middle-name Medros? You can see the difficulties. I thought about asking you guys, and then realized if I didn't care what Adam thought on the situation, why would I care what you think? (Well, in all fairness, I do care a little what Adam thinks--it's just that he really doesn't seem to care, which means he really doesn't care or this is one of the most cleverly played out reverse psychology tactics I've ever seen.) So tonight, I suggested Brown as a first name. I mean, why not? And he said that would have been fine, if UPS hadn't gotten to it first. Now, I know I'm not the one in b-school, but isn't that just more incentive? I mean UPS has already gone through the branding exercise, so our son would just reap the benefits. The company claims loud and clear, Brown and a Better Life. They say, "Brown is more than a color -- it's a tangible asset that people associate with all the things that are good...." Would you rather have your kid associated with all the things that are bad? I rest my case. Although, that still doesn't solve the last name issue (Baby Brown Brown? Baby Brown Medros? Baby Brown Brown-Medros...).

Friday, April 11

Alien Blobs

We went in yesterday for our ultrasound. I thought it would be about a fifteen-minute affair, but we were there for about an hour. Very thorough. Checking the kidneys, the heart, the brain, the spine, the bone structure. All there. Ten fingers, two nostrils, one mouth, and a brain. At least that's what I was told. Really, to me, it just looked like one alien blob. Baby Brown Medros(The technician said, “There’s the heart. And there’s the brain,” to which, of course, both Adam and I had the same thought: “All we need now is courage,” I said, and Adam continued, “And we’d have the entire The Wizard of Oz cast.”) They said the spine looks terrific, and I made sure there was no tail on the kid. The feet are nice and straight (this was necessary to check as the Tweedle Twirp was born with little club feet and had to spend her first years of life in casts and braces). But there was one odd mutant factor that I’m not quite sure how to deal with. My daughter—my beautiful, feminist daughter who will travel the world three times over, have Martha tendencies, and yet be the first female NFL player (as a kicker, of course, for the Miami Dolphins)—my wonderful daughter is a mutant. Apparently, my daughter has a penis. (Which reminds me of the Mel Brooks/Marlo Thomas skit from Free To Be ... You And Me in which Mel Brooks says [or something awfully close to it], “Don’t look! Ugggh. A girl with a penis. Yuck. Disgusting.” Now, don't worry, I’ll love my mutant just as much as I would love my non-mutant. This will just take some mental adjustments, but I think I can make this hurdle. Babies with penises can be feminists, too, you know.

By the way, we are not 100 percent sure about our name choices (last name included) and we are no longer going to discuss them with anyone. You may refer to him as Baby Brown Medros for the time being or by the nickname we've been calling him, if you happen to know what that is. The baby name will be announced when he makes his first actual appearance.

Tuesday, April 8

More Peepalicious Fun!

My eternal thanks to Jennifer (aka Beene-Baby) for brightening a very gray day with the oh-so exciting news that the Peeps Fun Bus is going to be in my part of the world! They've even mentioned me by name (well they say "Attention all Peeps Fanatics," which is pretty darn close). How much more fun can it get than this: "The buses will be filled with Peep-tastic games and activities. Get a chance to make fun Peeps crafts, win some Peeps prizes and take a tour of the Peeps Fun Bus." You people think I'm kidding. But it's going into my calendar right now. Anyone in the Boston area who wants to come with me is invited. Just don't stand between the fat pregnant lady and the peeps if you don't want to get waddled over as I trample anything in my way to the bus.

April Showers Bring May Flowers, My Butt

For those of you who live in cold-weather states where people drive (I don't want to hear from the NYC crowd), you know how there's always that one asshole on the road who was too lazy to clean the snow off his car, so when he drives down the highway, the snow goes flying off, into your windshield, and it's just so darn annoying? Well, today that asshole was me. No, the snow was not too heavy to clear off. No, I was not late to work. I just felt like being an asshole because I was so pissed that it's friggin' April 8th--yes, a full two and a half weeks into spring--and we had about two inches of snow last night that I decided to take it out on the world. And let me tell you, I feel much better for it now.

Monday, April 7

My Brain Is Starting to Shrink

The pregnancy brain is already starting to set in. Among the misplaced keys and cell phone, I walked out of two--count 'em two--places this weekend, blithesomely leaving my purse (with wallet, Handspring, keys, etc.) behind. Then yesterday, I got out of the shower, feeling like something was off. I realized what it was when I began to towel off--I had forgotten to rinse the conditioner out of my hair. And it's only going to get worse, folks.

Saturday, April 5

Aw Shucks

Let's just admit that flattery gets you everywhere in this world. And so I am adding a link to Michael, a soon-to-be Wharton student who also shall wear the badge of "an ok MBA," a term I'm sure he deserves because it sounds like his wife (and I use the term wife, because he does not mention her by name) is just the type of woman to start the Anti-CWIT club at Wharton, spreading the news that we spouses have actual identities and that pussy power is not a force to be reckoned with. (I know, I know, you're thinking what's up with that? I won't say the procedure-that-shall-not-be-named, but I'll use the word "pussy." It's my blog, dammit, I make the rules. You don't like them, go start your own blog.) Good luck, Michael. You're going to need it, big time.

One Sneaks In

So, I have a friend--who shall remain nameless--who I have referred to in this weblog as "my friend who is not a CWIT." Last night, it became official. "My friend who is not a CWIT" shall now officially be known as "the CWIT who is my friend." All evidence is pointing solidly in the direction that she has succumbed to the HBS ways and is now embracing her status as CWIT. The turning point in this transformation? When she said to me last night, "Well, if I get pregnant, I'll have a planned c-section, because that way they can do a tummy tuck at the same time." And after I laughed at her, she said, "Seriously, you'll ask your doctor if that's possible, right? I mean, it's the same scar." And I won't put in the other CWIT comment as it referred to the procedure-that-shall-not-be-named (utter the word around me, and it will be the last word you'll say to me--or to anyone for that matter), and I think most of my readers are too sensitive to read it.

For the record, no, I will not ask my doctor.

Thursday, April 3

Shut Up and Drink Your Kool-Aid

I need to first start off by saying that the performers at the HBS Show were truly fantastic. It's impressive that a business school has so many terrific dancers and singers. And while all the dancers were just unbelievable, Meg was by far the best. And I'm not just saying that because I like her.

Now, let me tell you what I thought of the show. (And a little background: The HBS Show is to HBS what the Hasty Pudding is to Harvard undergraduates. It satirizes the glamorous life of the Hah-vahd business student.) Honestly, it was not that bad. The show was about reality television coming to HBS and the first half of it was somewhat amusing. The second half just dragged on. To quote Kara, to truly enjoy this production you would have to have drunk the HBS Kool-Aid, and as most of you know, I hate Kool-Aid. This was one of those ideas that couldn't sustain itself over a two-hour (yes, two hour! or rather two hours and twenty minutes with the intermission) production. Interestingly, the songs all used the tunes of popular or Broadway songs, and not a one of them was credited. For example, "Used to Have a Billion Dollars" was sung to the Barenaked Ladies "If I Had a Million Dollars" and "Why, MBA?" to the tune of "YMCA" ("Young man, why be an MBA grad? I said, young man, who needs khakis and plaid, I said, young man, FRC just ain't cool, There's no need to stay in b-school") although, by reading the program, you'd have thought HBSers wrote the all music themselves. The thing is, the show wasn't all that different from the skits done at section dinners, at the Holidazzle Ball, and what I'm sure we'll see at the Newport Ball. It's just that the barbs are more general and the production value much higher. It was a lot of privileged students saying, "Look, we can make fun of ourselves, which is just even more proof that we're better than everyone else!"

What really made the whole experience just ridiculous was the audience. Students are in the show. Students are watching the show. So the minute someone walks on stage, from throughout the room, you would hear, "Michael!! Michael!! Yeah, Michael! Whoo hoooo! Hi, Michael!" A variation of this is the section cheering, the "Hey Section Z! Yeah, Section Z!" A charming, quiet blonde sat behind us (yeah, right) who would drown out everything behind her as she tried to get the attention of people on the stage. "Michael! Michael! Over here! Yeah, Michael!"

I am so over the whole HBS experience.

Tuesday, April 1

Living the Privileged HBS Life

Charity auctions are great. Really. But there’s something I just don’t get about a room full of ninety mostly twenty-something students (some with partners there) who are able to raise $33,000 dollars in an evening. Where are these people getting this money? And the things donated! I can’t recall a single person in my MFA graduate program who would have been able to donate tickets to the Olympics in Athens, lodging in Bermuda (or Aspen), or a weekend in Nantucket. Of course, those HBSers won’t let you down, even in a classy event like this. You could still bid on [grammar mistakes theirs, of course]: “Inflict punishment on your classmates. For every dollar you bid, X and Y will eat tacos at lunch on a three case day. Will eat one taco for every dollar bid up to $25. From $25 to $50, will eat 1 taco for every two dollars bid. Above $50, will eat 1 taco for every $5 bid. A and B, remember that X sits behind you.” For the record, they’ll be eating 139 tacos. Of course, I made a few bids myself, which I lost. Tennis lessons and snowboarding lessons (for after the baby is born, you dolts!) went out of my price range quickly. I did win my bid for four hours of manual labor, which I’m very excited about. I’m not sure the donor fully understands what he’s gotten himself into (ah, the backyard mess will finally be cleared out thanks to the work of my manual laborer and my slave laborer aka Adam). And Anupam, our auctioneer for much of the evening, saved himself tremendous publicly inflicted grief as he, at the last second, got my name right (I could hear “Jenny Medros” emerging from his lips before he quickly corrected himself with “Jenny Brown”) as I placed the winning bid. By the way, in case you were curious, the highest bid went for a party week for six in Ibiza for $5,400. And no, we didn’t buy it.