Sunday blogger

Righto. The in-laws are gone, the house has been reclaimed, and tomorrow I'm going to Indiana with Norah to get my stuff out of my parents' house. Because peace and quiet are for SISSIES.

I don't have a lot to say about the last eight days, except that no matter who you are, you do not need to visit someone for eight days. Our house is small - and by small, I mean "maybe you can squeeze in a goldfish, but no bowl, so don't even try" - and five adults and a baby do not a comfortable fit make. Fortunately we had five pleasant, non-smelly adults, and a baby who only smelled occasionally and managed to avoid saying COCK or FRUCK or anything that could be misconstrued as my attempt to teach her potty words.

Of course, it was today - after everyone left - that she decided to walk across the living room. I almost died; first she was standing at her table, and then she was clinging to my kneecaps like a little burr. With legs! That work! I'm thrilled, even though my heart bumped a little at the thought of my squishy baby being my squishy, mobile little girl.


So long, sweeties - I'll try to update on the road, but who knows. We only just got that newfangled cable internet out thattaway, y'know. Have a great week!

(MB: mule story in the near future. Promise.)


Countdown to in-law invasion: 18 hours, nine minutes. The house is clean, the baby has been instructed to not answer when asked what a duck says, and the dog has been washed, dried, and fluffed. Food has been purchased, dinner plans have been made, and two pop-out tubes of Grands! (how can you not love food with exclamation points?) are resting comfortably in the meat drawer of our fridge. We are ready.

We're actually fairly excited about the attack of the Philadelphians. It means we get to do touristy things that we really don't do now, since we've lived here for over a year and therefore should have done all of this by now. The planetarium, the Life & Science Museum, the beach (okay, we did the beach, but whatever) - good, clean, southern fun. If we could only justify a grain-filled watermelon* and a pantsless mule ride**, we'd be good.

* In case you didn't know, you can cut a hole in a watermelon and pour a bottle of grain into it, and make a delightful after-dinner aperitif that will burn holes through the side of a battleship. My sister and I MAY have done this once, leaving the remains in the fridge in our bedroom at my parents' house after summer vacation 1998. After completely melting the crisper drawer, it moved on through the floor and into the ground. We think it'll arrive in China any day now.

** Again with my sister - during my senior year of high school, we went on a camp-out with several of our best friends at someone's grandpa's farm. All these friends were male, and here's where my current buddy group starts freaking out: "You went camping with all boys? Were your parents high or what?" The answers to these questions are most likely yes. Anyway, after much beer and swimming (in a swimmin' hole, natch) Kate and I were persuaded to ride draft mules down a country highway, wearing only t-shirts and panties, in the middle of the night. Draft mules are large - like, special-bus large - and somewhat obstreporous, and explaining the situation to the policeman who PULLED OVER MY MULE ranks at least number three in my all-time most ridiculous moments. Someday I'll tell you the long version of this story, but you better go get drunk first.

Ergo, we will probably not be having these kinds of country fun with the in-laws. But oh, if we could.

In other news:

  • My parents sold their house after one year, one month, and three days of having it on the market. They've since stopped speaking actual words, and are now communicating only in "Woo-hoos!" and wild applause.
  • Norah said "Bella" today, in reference to my friend Jasmine's stunning marshmallow-armed baby girl. She also added "gonk," which I think is "junk," in reference to her mother's swearing about ALL THE DAMNED JUNK IN THIS CLOSET, SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS ALL THIS AND WILL THE WORLD END IF I THROW IT AWAY?
  • She also learned to lick her lips before blowing raspberries on my stomach, which improves her cheek-flapping remarkably.
  • My Mr. Stripey tomato plant has now reached the astonishing height of seven feet, three inches - and still has no flowers (anyone with a tip on that one, do let me know).
  • And I have attained the rank of Medium in the Target pants department.
Good vibes, man. Good vibes for a long week.

Littl'un lexicon

Things that Norah says that are cute:

  • Bah-bye
  • Priddy
  • My mama
  • Daddoo
  • Gog! (you know, with the tail and the fur?)
Things that Norah says that I wish she would not say, because I know she's going to say them in front of Rob's mother while they're staying here next week, and I'll have to smile grimly and explain how my godlessness has transferred to my child:
  • Beeshes (I think this might be "kisses," but damn, does it sound like "bitches.")
  • COCK! COCK! COCK! (This is, of course, what a duck says. Duh.)
  • Fruck (We don't know. She says it while she's eating, so it's not "truck" or "frog," unless we're having Fancy French Cuisine Night, and then she says it right after "escargot," "beignet," and "croissant.")

Now THERE're some winners for the baby book.

Don't knock Knockglen

Rob's on call, so I'm watching "Circle of Friends," and realizing that Minnie Driver is remarkable, just because of her ability to put on 30 pounds and look like a perfectly normal person. She's moved way up on the List Of Female Celebrities I Might Hook Up With If I Ever Switch Teams.

God, am I bored. Even spider solitaire's lost its charm. Anyone with an interesting way to kill an evening home alone (well, you know, as alone as you get with a sleeping monkey upstairs) should comment forthwith.

And a star to sail her by

He died on Saturday, while I was in the shower. My sister, to whom I am unbelievably close, as in "I will help you get up off the toilet if you're too drunk to stand after you pee," opened the shower door and I knew that something was wrong. Because even though we have helped each other pee, we have an unwritten rule about the holiness of shower time: you do not interrupt until well after the deep conditioner is washed out.

She opened the door and I freaked out and grabbed a bottle of shampoo to cover myself, and she looked me straight in the eye and said, "He died. He died just now. Just right now." And we stood there and the water kept on running, and I remember thinking, "Okay, so now what? Do I rinse my hair, or do I just leave it? How fast do I need to get out of here? Am I missing something?"

I rinsed and put on the first thing I found, which was pajama pants and a polo shirt that might have been my dad's. And this is where it gets really uncomfortable and sad and borderline scary, so if you want to stop reading right now I'm totally okay with it. But I have to get this out, because it's burning a hole in my chest.

I went into my grandparents' bedroom and my grandmother was standing over him, patting his face and saying, "Just wake up and talk with us, darling, just come back and tell us what you're thinking, doing such a thing. Just wake up now." And my mother was holding her shoulders and saying that he was gone, and we all knew he was gone because of the color of his skin (why did it change so fast? In the movies you get at least ten minutes of pink-cheekedness so you can cry and lament and hold hands, and the person still looks alive.) My mom got her to leave, and then it was just me and my sister, and his mouth was open and my God, I could not close it. I wanted to, because I knew that he would rather look peaceful and asleep and not all slack-jawed, but I couldn't do it, and neither could Kate. I was afraid.

After a while, the men came and took him to the funeral home, and we cried some and laughed some and drank a lot. And we realized that he really was better off - it's not just some trite saying that people give you when they're trying to sympathize. And I can breathe again, and even forget for a while. My grandmother's doing the rounds between my uncle's house and my mom's, and I promised to come see her as soon as she got home, and so life goes on.

To everybody who called and emailed and stuff, thank you for trying to help me deal. You really, really did. And to my "superb meteor," if you read this, thanks for giving me Jack London. Love you, you know, in that other way.


My grandfather is dying. He's been sick for years, and by years I mean "since the Reagan administration." However, this time we all know. We just don't know when. Within two weeks, we think.

We were in HH last week/this weekend, and there he was, my grandfather, who is 6'6" and the largest man in the world, somehow fitting into a twin-sized hospital bed and looking so very small. My mom took care of my grandmother and talked with him about what would happen After - After being that time when everything changes but we can't actually say how out loud, because that's like admitting it's going to happen, and no one can handle it yet. He'll be cremated. We'll send him to sea somewhere in the West Indies. My grandmother will be destroyed.

I've agreed to write the obituaries for the papers, and the eulogy. Somehow I got the role of the Family Writer, which makes me both proud and incredibly depressed. Why couldn't I have been the Family Cook, or the Family Birdhouse Builder? Anything with less emotional asskicking, as I said to a friend earlier.

I'm 27 years old and I've never been to a funeral. I have all my grandparents. I don't know how to watch someone die.