Friday, May 30

You Spell Theatre, I Say You're Wrong Plus a Bonus Baby Rant

I'm feeling really tired today, probably because Adam and I actually went out last night. We saw Springtime for Henry at the Huntington Theatre (even though it annoys me exceedingly when American theaters use the British spelling of "theatre" in their names). Surprisingly, I found it quite funny and I thoroughly enjoyed the production, even though one of the leads looked distractingly like Reese Witherspoon. Why is it I have such a difficult time enjoying theater? I can't seem to lose myself in the same way I can in a movie. Is it just that I'm low-brow? I fidget a lot in my seat, trying to get comfortable, which I also do in boring movies. But when I get into a movie, I don't even notice the seat. The play was compelling. It made me laugh. But I just couldn't lose myself in it. Adam doesn't seem to have any problems enjoying theater--he falls asleep just as quickly at a play as he does at a movie. Only at a movie I'll sometimes let him sleep whereas at the theater, I poke him because I find his head nods a little embarrassing. It seems like such an insult to the actors. But the play was delightful. First of all (not that I'm in any way turning into my father here. No, not me!) it was short. Short is always excellent. Second of all, not having seen the film, I was completely surprised by every turn. I didn't guess a single twist. Third of all, I have a great passion for the time period (late 1920s, early 1930s; it's why I collect WPA travel guides. Well, that and my fondness for road travel). I've always aspired to be a modern-day Dorothy Parker (without the alcoholism and suicidal tendencies, which does, I suppose, defeat the entire purpose), and anything tinged of that time period interests me. I always thought I'd fit in quite nicely at the Algonquin Round Table, after all I'm bitter and cruel, occasionally funny, and I love my martinis.

So today I'm more or less sleepwalking through the day, which means my tolerance for people is about nil. Especially the office lonely lady who feels the need to not just comment on the fact that it's supposed to be a cold summer (gee, thanks) and that I of all people will appreciate that (doesn't everyone know how much I adore the heat? Seriously!), but that she feels the need to tell me all this while I'm in a bathroom stall. Is nothing sacred anymore? While it's sweet that everyone is so nice to me now that my belly is hanging out for the world to see, it does grate on my nerves. It's not that they ask how I'm feeling. It's the tone. That saccharine-sweet verging on baby talk tone that people now use with me, accompanied by a look of poignant concern. It's being asked every five minutes. It's asking as if I'm going to say, "Well, I'm actually having a lot of pain in my ligaments as my uterus stretches out my belly and I find that I'm short of breath and all of my bras are cutting into my rib cage, but I haven't had a chance to buy new ones, and the sciatica is bad in the evenings and my bladder...." when really, all I'm going to respond with is "Oh, just fine!" The only ones who really hear how I feel are the ones who don't ask (I know, life is so unfair that way, but my friends know better than to ask and they're the only ones I'm going to be honest with). If I crouch next to someone's computer to work on something with them, they leap up and say, "Oh, no! You must sit," no matter how much I insist that I'm fine where I am (and for the record, squatting is one of the best exercises a pregnant woman can do). I really appreciate being offered a seat on the T. It's very kind. But when I'm going two stops, please don't insist that I must sit, even though I'm saying, "I'm fine. I only have two stops to go." People grab bags from my hands when I'd prefer to carry them myself (even my own parents--twice!--tried to carry my purse--my purse!--for me. Let me tell you, Nine West is not an attractive look on my father). Folks (except for my grandmother) try to force food on me (apparently, "I'm full, and I shouldn't be loading up on sugar anyway" is not an acceptable answer). I know people mean well when they call me "Mom" or "Mama," and it is occasionally cute, but not when I hear it twelve times a day!

I'll tolerate it a lot more once I've had a good night's sleep. In the meantime, I'll leave you with one of my favorites, Dorothy's "Love Song" (from Enough Rope) (and this is no reflection on my own love life):
My own dear love, he is strong and bold
 And he cares not what comes after.
His words ring sweet as a chime of gold,
 And his eyes are lit with laughter.
He is jubilant as a flag unfurled-
 Oh, a girl, she'd not forget him.
My own dear love, he is all my world-
 And I wish I'd never met him.

My love, he's mad, and my love, he's fleet,
 And a wild young wood-thing bore him!
The ways are fair to his roaming feet,
 And the skies are sunlit for him.
As sharply sweet to my heart he seems
 As the fragrance of acacia.
My own dear love, he is all my dreams-
 And I wish he were in Asia.

My love runs by like a day in June,
 And he makes no friends of sorrows.
He'll tread his galloping rigadoon
 In the pathway of the morrows.
He'll live his days where the sunbeams start,
 Nor could storm or wind uproot him.
My own dear love, he is all my heart-
 And I wish somebody'd shoot him.

Thursday, May 29

It's All a Myth... Isn't It?

As I read lots of baby sites and baby blogs, one thing that strikes me is phrases such as, "I never would have thought that much pain was possible" or "I thought I was strong and could handle the pain of childbirth. I was wrong." To avoid panicking (which I'm frequently near), I've decided that the whole childbirth intense-primal-nothing-like-it-the-world-is-going-to-end pain is just a big lie that women perpetrate to get a little respect from otherwise lackluster mates (I'm not referring to my own here). That secretly it's simply a breeze and that all that moaning and groaning is just a show. And I'm happy to do my part and complain and complain as long as it doesn't really hurt too much. That's what they'll really teach us in our childbirth class, how to fake the pain, right? Right?

Almost Another Rant About Boston Drivers

So I had every intention of ranting about something that I saw today. I was going to rant about how, when I was walking from one end of campus to another, there was a car that was stopped at a red arrow light in a turning lane. This poor sucker (who is usually me) was waiting for the light to dutifully change, when the line of cars behind him begins to honk. And you can see the sucker wavering. He inches up a little. And then stops. Because he doesn't want to run a red light. But peer pressure is a terrible thing and those cars just won't stop honking and you can see the driver stressing, "Do I run the red? Or do I hold my lawful ground and deal with these honking morons." Today, the guy in question inched and stopped and inched and stopped and ultimately ran the light. But I was rooting for him to stand his ground. My temptation is always to get out of the car and yell to the drivers behind me, "Do you see the f'ing red arrow? Well, do ya? Because it means I can't go!" But I have yet to have the courage.

That was the intended rant. But then I went to look up the law to prove my rant. And get this! I'm wrong! (Make note of that: you may never hear those words coming from my mouth--or my keyboard, as the case may be--again.) Apparently, you can make a right on red even on a red arrow! Now all I can do is curse all that time I wasted waiting for the light to change.

(On a side note, I'm famous for being critical of everyone else's unsafe driving, especially Adam's. Turns out, Adam has been driving strictly by the Massachusett's Driving Rules [especially rules 3 and 7; I'm afraid I may have broken him of rule 2, for which I apologize]. Who knew what a native he really is?)

I Work Therefore I Am

Life is filled with work right now. Not so much the nine-to-five kind. In anticipation of being a freelancer, I’ve started taking on a few writing/editing projects now so I can smoothly segue into life as an at-homer. The at-homer part is pretty much a done deal. My boss knows that I’m “strongly leaning” in that direction, mainly because it isn’t economically feasible for me to do anything else. And unfortunately, my department can’t afford to keep me on as a part-timer (which would still be a wash between my salary and day care, but feels justifiable part-time; full-time it just seems dumb). I’m feeling pretty good about my decision, only because it does seem there will be work for me to do. It’s not so much a matter of requiring the income (which, of course, goes without saying), but a matter of personal sanity. As someone who has always identified through her career (or cool slacker lack thereof), I find the notion of becoming a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) frighteningly depressing. I need to be working. I need to be earning an income. I need to feel like I’m doing something. I need intellectual stimulation and projects to complete. I like writing and editing. Listen, I respect SAHMs. Really I do. I just can’t fathom actually joining their ranks. It feels like such… well, defeat, after building a career for fourteen years, investing time in graduate school, and finding a niche doing something at which I'm good. I know that SAHMs work harder than many working-at-an-office moms. I’ve spent a long time on the baby boards reading about how horrible mothers who work are. It seems that many SAHMs are much more secure in their identities than working moms are. This is pure ego on my part, and I’m fully aware of that and that even as a freelancer, I shall in fact be a SAHM. But the idea of going to a party and someone asking me, “So what do you do?” and only being able to respond, “I take care of my son,” just horrifies me. How is that an identity? How is that a life? Of course, I could always respond with my true identity, “I am Jenny, master of the universe and ruler of all things,” but then they’d look at me like I was crazy, and I’d have to smite them, which, really, is a good way to ruin a nice party.

To Dream the Unbloggable Dream

Sometimes I have nothing to blog about. Other times, I have nothing I can blog about. With certain subjects taboo, I can’t entertain you with the daily warfare currently occurring in my extended family. All I can do is tease you and promise you that once a few folks die off, I’ll write the tell-all book to end all tell-alls.

Sunday, May 25


In Miami, I don't sleep. I don't know why, but I just end up staying up later and getting up earlier. And even though I am still getting up on average three times a night because Brown Brown is perched on my bladder, I don't feel exhausted. I did take a short nap today, but I'm more awake here. In Boston, I'd be a zombie. This always happens in Miami. It also happens in New Orleans too. I don't think it's just a vacation thing, because when I went back to Seattle I was beat (although there is the time difference and I was just finishing up my first trimester; this actually is the first trip I've taken since I was living in Seattle and Adam was in L.A. where I didn't have to change time zones--it makes for a much smoother trip).

We haven't done much while we've been here--seen family, caught up with high school friends, gone through family photos. Yet, Miami is a more exciting city than other cities (although my father would disagree--he hates it here and has been trying to get my mother to move north for as long as I can remember, which is pretty much when we moved back here in 1983). There are cities that have an edge to them and cities that don't. I like towns with an edge to them. New Orleans has edge. Seattle doesn't (although I still very much like Seattle; just in a different way. In an "I just want to be friends" way). New York has edge. Boston doesn't. Miami has edge. Edge is that undefinable quality, that feeling that anything could happen. I'm not saying it has to be something good. Whenever you hear of some nutjob or some wacked out thing happening, the odds are good it's happening in Florida. Carl Hiaasen may take things to an extreme, but really he's not so far off base. Not just Florida, but Dade County specifically (and what is up with Dade County changing its name to Miami-Dade County? I call bull on that). Of course, what can you expect from a state that elected Jeb its governor, a man who appointed "an Orlando judge to appoint a guardian for the fetus of a severely disabled 22-year-old woman who also became pregnant following a rape." Don't get me started.

Hmm, reading this over, it seems as if I'm writing against Miami. Not at all. Cities with edge are simply more exciting. I also thrive in heat. Tropical heat makes me want to write. Of course, it also makes me want to drink, which Brown Brown has effectively put a stop to, but I've always envisioned myself with a small house that opens up onto a beach and sitting in the airy living room cum office with the French patio doors wide open, a breeze flowing through, a glass of cold white wine next to my computer as I work on my novels. I'm not sure that house even exists (maybe in Key West or on one of the other Keys?). But it occurs to me that I'd need to revise that picture to be within commuting distance of a private equity firm where Adam could work and the house couldn't be that small because if I'm writing at the computer with drink in hand then there's going to have to be a nanny around to watch Brown Brown and she's going to need her own room and.... Well, let's just say that I need to update my plan.

Some of the edginess in Miami is simply my family. You never know who's going to be exploding at whom. (And by family I mean family as a whole. In my immediate family, this doesn't happen. In my immediate family, you know exactly who is going to be exploding at whom.) Today my grandmother uttered some of her classic lines, including one to me at a brunch buffet after I said, "Hmmm, I can't decide if I want to go get a second dessert," she responded with, "Well, you're already fat." Um, I think everyone else simply refers to that as "pregnant." I got the second dessert (and it was a wise decision on my part--chocolate cake. Mmmmm).

I love the flat terrain (I hate walking to Arlington Heights Center because of the massive hill I need to climb back up to go home). I love the heat. I love being near water (someday maybe in Massachusetts we'll move closer to the shore). But I hate the way this city takes humidity to an extreme. I hate the horrible drivers (dare I say, worse than Boston drivers?). I hate the skinny young tourists who have taken over the city. So, no fears about our moving south any time soon. Although if the next winter is as bad as the last ones, don't quote me on that.

Saturday, May 24

Bienvenido a Miami

It is hot. Hot hot hot. Most likely because Adam and I are in Miami Beach for the long weekend. And even with AC this place is hot. Makes me reconsider my threat to move back here if the winters in Boston don't get any better. I don't have much to report because we just got here last night. Had breakfast this morning with my cousins Harold and Deena (Deena, let me know when I'm allowed to link to your blog) at Van Dyke, which was good but I couldn't have my favorite brie sandwich, because brie is on the no-no list. Now, Adam is advising my parents on computer stuff--my father needs help with WiFi and my mother's CD-ROM is stuck. You can tell this will be an exciting weekend. Amazing that just a few short years ago my mother was a complete technophobe and now she has the most sophisticated computer system of anyone in the Brown/Brown-Medros family.

The airport was a mob scene yesterday because of the holiday, but I have to wonder if the lines weren't increased because of the orange alert. It didn't feel any more secure than usual but then, to me, Logan Airport always seems to be in the midst of chaos. We got there in what I thought was plenty of time--we were there at 4:45 for a 5:50 flight. And we used miles to upgrade to first class (my CWITness shines through; I adore flying first class) so we were in a shorter line, yet it was still reallllllly loooong. So at 4:55, they came through and grabbed everyone for the Miami flight and we went to the head of the line. Ditto for the security line. So of course, we ended up at the gate a full fifteen minutes before they started boarding. I can't figure out why the mad rush so long before the flight left. Brown Brown either really loves or really hates flying, because he was just poke-poke-poking away the entire trip down. Some were a little fierce. We got in at about 10ish and we stayed up talking with my parents till just after midnight, which is way past when my mother wanted to go to sleep but she didn't want to go to bed for fear of "missing out on something good." Like we were going to discover the cure for cancer the moment she went to bed.

To completely mangle Tolstoy, every weird family is weird in its own way, and mine is no different. You have to be alert for a visit to the Brown household--it's not for the faint of heart. I'm not sure the weirdness translates well to blog, so I won't even try, but visiting is always an adventure (okay, here's an example: right now my mother said, "When we die, they can just have those photos." But Peter said, "But she's got to know where to find them." Carol: "Well, that's half the fun. She'll get to search the apartment looking for them." Peter: "What? You want to die in this apartment? Don't you want to die somewhere better? I hope we're not still in this place when we die." Carol: "It's better than dying in the streets." Peter: "Not if it's Broadway. I wouldn't mind dying on Broadway."). I will note that my father made sure to collect his dollar from a bet we made three years ago (he had the date the bet was up in his calendar). During downspin of Amazon's wild ride, I had hopes for the stock. "It'll hit 70 again," I said. Peter said, "It will not hit 70 in the next year. In fact, not in the next two years. Not even in three years. I'll bet you ten to one odds that the stock does not hit 70 within the next three years." The bet came due last week. And even though I pointed out he was taking food from Brown Brown's mouth, he collected.

Wednesday, May 21

Advice to Husbands

When you go out for a lunch date with the woman to whom you are married (see how deftly I avoided the word "wife" there?), a woman who is beginning to feel weighed down by her ever-growing belly, a woman who has resigned herself to the fact that she is probably going to be a stay-at-home mom not out of a burning desire to stay at home with her child, but because her salary won't cover both day care and, say, a pack of gum, it's probably best not to muse, when talking about your two week vacation between a fanciful year at school and a mere twelve-week internship: "You know, I could never be a stay-at-home dad. I mean, with all those errands and stuff to be done, it's like the day is gone and what have you done? It would just drive me insane. Absolutely insane."

Tuesday, May 20

If a Tree Falls in the Forest...

I mentioned to the Tweedle Twirp yesterday that according to my baby calendar, Brown Brown's rapid eye movement has begun. She asked if that meant that Brown Brown now dreams when he sleeps, and if a baby does dream, what the heck would he dream about.... Hmmm.....

Monday, May 19

Maybe This Will Light a Fire Under Me

One of my travel essays has been accepted to be published in Natural Bridge, the literary journal of the University of Missouri, Saint Louis. I think it will be in issue number 10 (due in the fall). You can be sure I'll blog about it when it happens. Maybe this is the motivation I needed to get back to work on my novel already! Brown Brown is pretty excited about the whole thing--he hasn't stopped kicking about it all night.

Black Tie Baby

I'll be honest, I'm not really feeling the blog tonight. However, I can't take another minute of watching Adam in his angsty rage over the Red Sox being behind the Yankees anymore, so here I am to report on the last weekend. It's the oddest thing: a cross-country move, a year of HBS, an internship job hunt, the impending birth of our son; nothing, I mean nothing compares to the stress and rage he feels over the Red Sox losing to the Yankees. It's a pitiful thing.

First a random question: How come when a hotel upgrades you, they put you in a room with two beds (two queen-sized beds in our case). I mean, if a couple is checking into a room, does two beds really qualify as better? Wouldn't a nice couch and a mint on your pillow be a much better upgrade?

Anyway, last Friday was the Newport Ball at the Ocean Cliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Getting there was a pain. Actually, getting out of Boston was a pain; the rest of the ride went quickly. We checked in our hotel and had just enough time to throw on our formal clothes (including one panicked moment by me when I realized that I hadn't tried on the bra that went with the dress since last formal and wonder of wonders, my rib cage has expanded) and hit the shuttle bus to the mansion. We missed the pre-party because HBS doesn't seem to consider that most dates/partners do work for a living and even getting to Rhode Island by 8 p.m. is a challenge (we made the late shuttle, which left at about 8:30). The location was beautiful. Unfortunately, the weather was downright cold, so the two huge tents set up outside were absolutely empty and everyone was crammed inside the house. That meant that I ate my dinner standing by a dresser right outside the ladies' room. But the food was good and I really stuck to my crowd and it made the evening a pleasant one. The only bad part was that I had told Adam he needed to drink my weight in alcohol to justify the price of the tickets, but he barely drank a twentieth of his own weight (which at this point is a good fifty pounds less than me). Adam did get to witness firsthand that amazing phenomenon that he had thought was an urban legend: the roaming hand. Apparently by simply walking around with a pregnant belly, I am inviting others to just lay their hands on my belly.

We went back to our lovely hotel room (with two queen-sized beds and an ocean view) on the first bus back because we were both quite beat. I think the Newport Ball was much mellower than Holidazzle because everyone was burnt out. The last final was on Thursday, so there was definitely the hungover crowd, but there was also the exhausted "we're done and now we have to start working" look on people's faces. So we weren't alone on the bus ride back. The next morning Adam and I had breakfast together in Newport, which is a lovely town. Walked around for a bit. Just long enough really to make sure we got a parking ticket. We then met up with his section for a brunch on the beach at noon. Adam's section--with the exception of two or three people--is made of folks I really like. It was a relaxing afternoon before we headed back to Arlington, so I could prepare for... formal number two!

This past weekend was reunion and commencement weekend for BU, and I had to cover a gala for a newsletter article. The gala was nice enough that I wished HBS events were more like it. But they never will be because the main draw was that there were about 150 people there and the Newport Ball had about 900 people. Makes for a more intimate evening. Everyone I met at the event was quite nice and I spent some time talking to a professor I had interviewed for a previous article. But I was just beat. And the wine looked so good. I was able to sneak out of there just after 11, which is good because the next day... Jenn and John came into town!

John was best man in a wedding not too far from here, so they arrived about one. Seeing them was a blast, but the trip was too short and I was a little tired. We took the requisite tour of the business school and wandered Harvard Square (after I insisted on stopping in Toscanini's for ice cream) and then headed to the North End for a yummy dinner. There was so much more to talk about, but by 10 p.m., I was wiped out an in bed.

And so today? Well, today, I'm beat. And as I said, I don't feel like blogging. But the louder Adam's moans become the less I want to go back into the living room, so I guess I'll find some other way to putz around in here. I hope your baseball team is doing better than his.

Thursday, May 15

The Road Not Taken Is Actually Filled with Boring Potholes

For about five minutes at the beginning of the school year, I regretted not following my former manager’s advice and applying to business school myself. After all, how tough was it? Adam was busy cutting out cards and drawing things. I could do Crimson Greetings. I could excel at Crimson Greetings. But the minute the school year started, that thought fled from my mind. Believe it or not, I actually read a couple of the cases that I thought were the more interesting ones. But over all, I just can’t get passionate like Adam can about making those numbers flow. As I read the cases, all I thought was, “These could be crafted much better. Arg, how can they have missed that comma there?” The feeling was validated when Adam was picking out his classes for next year. This boy agonized. He debated. He spent five—yes, five—hours merely making up a draft. So many wonderful courses to choose from, and he could only take a max of six (although he wisely decided that five was probably more advisable in the fall, given that we’ll have our hands rather full). And he can only rank his classes and then hope he gets his all of his first choice classes (it's a complex system that sounds almost like a football draft). So I took a look at the list, wondering at the world of excitement that HBS has to offer. Do you know how many classes I thought looked interesting to take? Exactly one. That’s it. And can you guess what that class was? “Power and Influence.” A class, I might add, that seems to hold little interest to Adam. He’s much more interested in “Negotiating Complex Deals.” Which pretty much sums us both up right there. Although, I will confess, that neither one of us had any interest in “The Moral Leader,” which is probably why we get along so well.

Blog Business

Every now and then I'll check my referral logs and see a new Web site is linking to me. If you have a link to my site, drop me an e-mail (I don't check my logs very often) and I'll add you to my links!

A Long Summer

At 6:43 p.m. last night, Adam finished his final final of his first year at HBS. By 7:03, he was poking around the living room, where I was happily reading my first trashy book of the summer (what is it about summer that makes me crave mindless reads? Thank goodness that the library is well stocked with them. I wasn’t about to pay $22 for The Devil Wears Prada, which is, I’ll admit, kind of fun). He sat down, stood up, walked upstairs, came back down, went into the kitchen, came back out, sat down, got back up, before he finally announced, “I’m bored.” This is Day .025 of his first day of no assignments. Sigh. It could be a long summer.

Still Here

I’ve been MIA. Sorry! Chalk it up to still getting over this bad cold, and really, not much happening. I’m pretty much sleepwalking through the days as I hack my way through the night with this cough. Wendy (whose son is now five weeks old) passed along her man-sized pillow (well, if your man happens to be unusually short—it’s probably about four feet long) to help support my belly and back while I sleep (we also got some adorable little outfits that her son has already outgrown). I think it’s been somewhat of a help, although I think Adam is beginning to resent this thing that has quite literally come between us. Anyway, priority one is to get better for this jam-packed weekend. Friday night is the Newport Ball, Saturday a work function (which is also black tie), and Sunday, out-of-town guests. I’d pay good money at this point for a decent night’s sleep to just get fully healthy again.

Sunday, May 11

Cranky, Cranky, Cranky!

And for once, I'm not talking about me! I still have a terrible cold but figured I really needed to make the effort to go to lunch with Adam's family. After all, it is mother's day (and I got a lovely mother-to-be present from Adam and Brown Brown. It was quite wonderful). We were meeting them at a restaurant, only Adam couldn't remember how to get to this restaurant, and his father conveniently turned his cell phone off. We're driving around and around and around. We called information, but they couldn't find what we were looking for: an Italian restaurant with the name Jiavelli or Giavelli or something like that in Chelsea. We're driving and driving. Adam stops in a Dunkin Donuts to ask them (and get me a glazed donut, because by now I'm starving), but they've never heard of it. Finally, I end up calling my father in Miami Beach and have him get on the Web and find the place. He's looking up all the "G" and "J" places in Chelsea. No luck. Adam's certain it's in Chelsea, but we have Peter check Revere. Nope. Everett? Not there. We are now 40 minutes late to a lunch that we had actually requested be held earlier (so Adam could study for this week's finals and because I had dinner plans that were on the earlyish side), and we're driving and driving and driving and Adam is getting crankier and crankier. I've had my sugar fix and I'm on Sudafed (one of the few pregnancy-approved drugs), so I'm actually in a fine mood. After about fifteen minutes, Peter hits on it: Jevalli's in East Boston. By the time we show up, Adam's fuming that his family didn't call to check on us so we could get directions. Apparently, his father doesn't have his cell phone number plugged into his phone. Adam stewed all through lunch, which is always comedy with his eighty-plus-year-old grandmother and his around-ninety-year-old uncle. Any little comment is sure to strike disbelief and much conversation. For instance, when discussing whether or not to take leftovers home (neither Adam nor I are fans of the food there), I said, "No point in us taking it home. Adam doesn't eat leftovers." His grandmother exclaims, "What?" so his father shouts to her, "Adam doesn't eat leftovers!" "What? Did you say Adam doesn't eat leftovers!" she says loudly in horror, and his father responds, "Yes, Adam doesn't eat leftovers." "Why doesn't Adam eat leftovers?" she asks. The still-cranky Adam just shrugs and says, "I just don't," and his mother adds, "Adam's never liked leftovers." So his grandmother turns to the cousins at the other end of the table and says, "Adam doesn't eat leftovers!" Of course, making conversation, they say, "He doesn't?" and his grandmother replies, "No! He says he doesn't like them! Adam just doesn't eat leftovers!" What makes this even more amusing for me, is that we had almost the exact same conversation at Passover and at a party his parents' held last summer. When I mention it at the next lunch, I'm guessing I'm in for a repeat. I find it all hilarious, and have problems keeping from giggling, but it just annoys Adam. Which only ensures that the next time we're all together I'll be sure to mention it.

There's a Hole in the Belly, Dear Liza, Dear Liza

Another entry that my parents probably shouldn't read: The deed has been done. My first big sacrifice for the baby, and the first thing I have to lord over him when I want to pull the guilt out. The belly ring is out. (My, how things have changed since my parents had me. All my mother could use for guilt was the delay in her career. Nothing as good as "I gave up my beautiful belly ring for you!"). Tonight I met a group of friends in Harvard Square for dinner at Cambridge 1 and dessert at Finale's (where dessert was twice as much as dinner and well worth it! Mmm, molten chocolate cake!). Before going, Adam and I evaluated the belly ring situation and decided, as my belly button is starting to become shallow and skin becoming more taut, it was time for the ring to come out. I had a whole belly ring removal ceremony planned (which involved a teddy bear to put the belly ring into to save for when Brown Brown is sixteen, so he can pierce his belly button with his mom's belly ring. Oh, no "aws," please. I know it's a sweet and tender sentiment, but I'm not good with that gooey stuff), but as I was looking at the ring, I realized I hadn't a clue as to how to remove it. I understand in theory, but when I tugged at it, it only pulled, and I didn't want an ugly mess on my hands. A quick Web search by Adam showed that there was a body piercing place in Harvard Square, and as I rarely get to Harvard Square but would be headed there for dinner (it's great place to hang out, but a bitch to park at), I decided to make a pit stop there on the way to meet my friends. The event was fairly anticlimactic. I walked in and a young guy in his early twenties, all in black and heavily pierced was there. I said to him, "When I was 25, I got a belly ring and I love it. But now I'm 35 and I'm pregnant and it needs to come out, but I haven't any idea how to get it out." He brought me right in. I told him I was pretty bummed it was coming out, half hoping he'd say, "Oh, you really don't need to. Loads of women keep them in," but he was instead quite validating and said very nicely, "Oh no, you have to take it out. The immune system is busy with the baby and doesn't want to bother with this ring." But he assured me that there's a good chance that the pierce will remain open as I've had it for so long and if it doesn't, it's a simple matter to repierce. The piercing took a while and involved a lot of hand squeezing with a friend and tons of instructions. This took about three seconds. But he was extremely professional and he didn't charge me for it, so I'd like for everyone in the Boston area who is planning on getting a pierce to please go to Chameleon. Adam asked me if it made me feel old, like a trying-to-be-trendy mom, but actually, it was kind of cool, like here I am embarking on a new part of my life. It made me feel hip in a different kind of way. Anyway, now I'm torn between saving the belly ring for Brown Brown and just putting it back in come the end of September (I know Adam prefers the latter. For one, he likes the belly ring on me, and for two, he's not so crazy about the idea of our son getting pierced, but we'll deal with that in sixteen years and four months). But we'll always have the tattoo. We didn't have it. We lost it until I took out the belly ring. We got it back tonight. (That's verbatim from the movie, isn't it?)

Friday, May 9

Ponder This

Why doesn't Blogger's spell-check recognize "blogger" as a word?

Halfway There

I received a phone call this afternoon from Adam. "I just want you to know," he said, "that Eugenia brought her baby to class, and it just made me realize how excited I am to be a parent, and I can't wait to have this baby with you," to which, of course, the only reply I could think of was, "How drunk are you?" "Not that much," he said. That's what I thought. Last day of classes for HBSers is not all that different from last day of classes for high school seniors.

Apparently they spent their day drinking and reflecting on the past year. I have to say, the HBS reputation may be for arrogance and greed, but really, I haven't seen so much of that. Self-congratulatory is more like it. Every event is a chance to celebrate the joy that is them, with songs and speeches and loud cheers. I'll admit, I've grown fond of Adam's section, although he asked me tonight if I felt like I was part of the section and the answer is a definite "no." It's been tough going getting to know them. I remember back to the beginning of the year when 99 percent of them would give me no more than a cursory "hello" and a once-over when they realized I wasn't a student. I know that some of you out there reading this are just preparing to enter b-school and my warning to you guys would be be nice to the partners. You never know when one of them will be a blogger who will write nasty things about you.

Would I have done it again, had I the choice? Probably, but I would have come more prepared. Has it been fun? Sure. I've gotten more material from these guys this past year, and there's still the Newport Ball and all of next year to come. Am I going to keep asking myself questions? Yeah, because Adam's already passed out so there's no one else for me to have a conversation with.

Let Them Eat Wings

I am absolutely hurting, I want to go back to Seattle for Tatonka 2003 so badly. As the reigning female champion and the queen of all trash talking, I belong at that contest. But it's a friggin' midweek contest and I need every vacation day I can get for Brown Brown. What's a wing eater to do? Must ponder this....

Full Disclosure

I went scrapbooking tonight with the partners. And I had fun. But then Carly saved me a seat (as I sat down she whispered to me, "I got us seats far away from the CWITs," so it's not just me, people!) and kept giving me helpful hints. This scrapbooking thing goes hand-in-hand with the urge to purge. I'm determined to take the piles of photos and mementos from our wedding and put them in something that can actually be seen rather than shoving them all in an old Amazon box where everything is a great big jumble. Speaking of that jumble, you Jews out there, what the heck did you do with the leftover yarmulkes from your wedding? I can't bear the idea of throwing them out, but do I really need twenty lavender (yes, lavender! oh, shut up) kippahs? Anyway, I have to say, some of the women at that group scare me, and I just can't ooh and ahh at the ways that you can conserve papers and make elaborate layouts. And I will shoot myself if this woman is a reader of this blog, and I apologize in advance, but it has to be said: Does anyone really need two scrapbooks about her cats? In my world, even one is excessive, but two? Two is right out. And the dedication of some of these women is intense! Looking at their books--wow! Sends me running back to the Amazon box full of crap. But any excuse to hang out with Carly and Stef is a good one and I found it immensely satisfying to file away my memories. Carly's a great help and she doesn't seem to mind that I scrapbook the way I paint (you know--fast. Just get it up and move on). I feel kind of silly when I'm doing it, but it was a fun night.

Steffanie and Carly brought me up to speed on what's going on with the Partner's steering committee, and I'm just kicking myself for not joining. I could work magic with this group. Or at least make a lot of noise. I am so good with the noise. Anyway, they mentioned that for next year's orientation they were thinking about having cute T-shirts with capped sleeves that read "Section P" in glitter (and Carly, I am so sorry I embarrassed you when I said, "That would be cool if only it stood for 'Pussy Power.' This is why I'll never qualify for CWITdom. No tact on my part). Ah, if only I ruled the world. Or at least HBS.


But no binge. Doesn't that take away all the fun? No, no, not me. Actually, I stayed home from work today, because I have a nasty cold and when you can't take Nyquil (thanks, Brown Brown), the coughing won't stop for you to sleep (first person to tell me it's just preparation for having a baby gets kneed). But watching daytime TV makes my mind turn to mush, so I sat there with boxes of papers that have piled up over the years. I have three boxes just of photos, most of which are either duplicates or really blurry. Out those went. I have letters from people who I barely remember. Gone. Keeping them just makes me sad, remembering all those people I was close to that are no longer in my life. A couple of have passed away. Most have just drifted from my sight. Some of the names were jolts, people who haven't even crossed my mind in almost a decade. I feel this need, though, to pare down, to get all this stuff in order before the baby comes and I have a new pile of photos and papers to deal with. Ridding myself of these things--which I held onto just for the sake of holding onto--feels almost purifying. But not purifying enough to clear the phlegm from my chest.

Tuesday, May 6

Morning Blues

My closet has become a land mine, with hidden bombs and pitfalls. I put on an item of clothing that fit me just last week, and suddenly there's a huge gap between the buttons. Shirts that fit snuggly before now barely cover my belly. And then there's our morning routine. "How does this look?" I'll ask, trying on my fifth top. Adam will look me over and say, "Um... It's...okay." Back to the closet. He'll say, "Try on that red shirt." So on it goes and he'll look and say, "That's fine," but when I go to the only full-length mirror in the house downstairs in the guest room, I'll see an outfit tight enough that I wouldn't wear it to a bar, never mind the office. Why the problem you ask? Why not wear all the cute maternity clothes I bought? Because it's freakin' May and the weather is currently in the 40s. I've spent many years in the Northeast. I know May weather. It's not 47 degrees. It's lower 60s. Sometimes 70s. It's sunshine and sun showers. Northeast May is not chilly. Seattle weather is. Today's high in Seattle is 58. Here, it's 55.

Our mornings tend to follow a similar pattern, right down to our morning banter. I get up about a little more than an hour after Adam, who gets up at 5:15. I weigh myself with a loud groan. Adam bounces in (I mean this literally--he's hyper and alert in the mornings) and acts like a goofball while I prepare to shower. Generally, this is where we have our inane conversations of the day, which are frequently more of a monologue by whichever of us is more awake (this morning it was me: I started babbling about the signifying monkey. I don't know why, but Adam used the word "signifying" [not in the literary sense], and it sent me off on a tangent about how I had studied the signifying monkey in grad school and had I known Adam at the time we would have found that amusing--Adam's a big fan of monkeys--but I was dating a boy who wasn't very funny, so there was no humor in my study of the signifying monkey). After my shower I try, on average, six outfits on to see what will fit and what I will be warm in without panty hose (I loathe panty hose). This is the torturous part of the morning, and invariably Adam will say, "Who is going to drive me insane?" and I say, "You? Who's driving me insane?" to which he'll respond, "Do you think I like this?" And it ends with the inevitable, "You are the one who put this parasite into my body so you will deal with it!" Dressing now takes me almost a half hour. Then I head to my computer to check e-mail and occasionally blog, and he cuts up carrots for me to take in my lunch. Off to school for him and off to work for me.

Do you feel like you know us that much better now?

Monday, May 5


This was Brown Brown's first sober trip to New Orleans (give me a break--I didn't know I was pregnant when we were there last December). Even without the alcohol, New Orleans kicked my butt. The late nights, the overeating, the heat--oh, the glorious heat! Highlights of the trip were Jazz Fest itself (saw Los Lobos, Jimmie Vaughn, The Funky Meters, LL Cool J, The Holmes Brothers, and few other assorted acts that I didn't know, including time in the amazing Gospel Tent), the Neville Brothers at Tipitina's (Michael hooked four of us up with passes to the sold out show--the Brothers first time at Tips in eight years), breakfast at Elizabeth's (where I discovered the magic that is callas--rice beignets--and drunken bananas--which is like bananas foster without the ice cream) with Daniella and her new fiance John, just walking around Magazine Street, and of course, hanging with the gang. I was going to write a long entry about each day and who I saw and what I did, but really, so much of my time was spent doing things that just don't translate well to the page (how many times can I mention how wonderful the sun felt and how sticky Bourbon Street is and how much fun it is to spend time with my Seattle friends?). Friday was marred by a touch of sunstroke (those mister tents--tents that spray a mist of water--were heavenly but too far from the stages to simply camp out in, although I considered it anyway). The odd thing about the trip is that I didn't miss the alcohol--I found the heat stroke gave me a similar feeling to a hangover, so it was just like every other N.O. trip. Granted, it wasn't the exactly the same. We were a larger group this year, which made it easier to often split up into smaller gangs, which was fun because more of us got to do exactly what we wanted (Sandra finally got to take her plantation tour). This trip--where six of the seven of us are either married or in committed relationships--felt different from the trips in year's past where only one or two of the gang had beaux. Made for a tamer time all around, although it could also be that we're just older than we were on our first trip four years ago. Then again, it couldn't get more wild than the last time we were all down--for Jen's bachelorette party--and I don't think any of us have it in us to repeat that adventure.

But it was phenomenal to go and to see the KAG again. As I said to one of them, "I love going to Jazz Fest. I love being at Jazz Fest. And I love going home from Jazz Fest." Good thing we only do it one weekend a year.