Thursday, February 26, 2009

I tend to get hammy and loud when nervous, neither of which translates well to radio.

Sorry I've been so slack but I've been busy getting PUBLIC RADIO FAMOUS! That's right, your fourth favorite blogger will be appearing on the Leonard Lopate Show tomorrow afternoon on WNYC. (Noon EST, for those who care.) I was a winner of Smith Magazine's Six-Word memoir contest and they're bringing the three of us on to tell our stories. I'm pretty hopped up about it. I spent most of the day jigging around the apartment, much to the consternation of our cats.

I'm off to craft my soundbite but will be back soon to tell you how it went. For the record, if I turn into a total dweeb (it'll be LIVE), please be gentle.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Got a superhero-loving kid? BUY THIS BOOK!

I would like to point out that A) Smith Magazine has not yet chosen my six-word memoir as their Memoir of the Day, and B) my husband is totally famous.

There's something about seeing your book (and by "your" book I mean "the one I totally helped write"*) on Amazon that feels 15 kinds of awesome. Gives me hope that someday I'll see mine there. I've been dipping my toes into the world of magazine writing (one pitch out - no response) so my novel's on the back burner while I see if I can make money writing shorter stuff. The hardest part is turning off my voice. I don't know if it's habit or total, blinding narcissism but writing neutrally is like pulling teeth. I'm always so envious when people can be chamelionlike. I was never a transformative actor (more ME-ME-ME! than Meryl) and my writing is the same way. I've been reading Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl again and swooning over his talent. I read it the first time right after I gave birth and it was the only thing that kept me sane during the late-night feedings. Yes, the book is for teens and has a slightly goofy cover but argh, it's so good.

Speaking of books and teens, we might as well go ahead and talk Twilight.

I'm just going to come out and say it - Stefenie Meyer can bite me. I think I threw the book across the room six times. I used to read passages to Matt until he held his hands over his ears and yelled at me to stop. The writing is embarrassing and mawkish and if Bella mentioned Edward's "angel face" one more time -

I just threw the book across the room again.

Want to know the worst part? The part that's summed up beautifully here? I'm actually considering reading the next book.

I blame the bad vampires.

* This statement is completely untrue.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Alisha would like these notes to be attributed to her blog, instead of seeming random.

For years the Powers That Be have been telling me that I can't feed my child nuts. They swore that allowing my son pb and j would be dangerous, even potentially fatal. I never understood why peanuts were suddenly so scary (weren't we raised on Nutter Butters?) but I figured it had something to do with fishy farming practices and let it go. I know several kids who are severely allergic and am well-versed on keeping our kid away from cross contaminants. Combine that with the latest salmonella b.s. and I was content to remain pb free.

But now they're telling me they're wrong.

According to the latest research, exposing children to nuts early (even before age 1) may actually reduce their risk for allergies. It's the same theory behind letting your kids play in the dirt and touch dogs: building their immune system is vital. This makes total sense. Total sense!

In other words, WTF?

So parents, what do you think: give 'em early or hold off until pre-school? Do you limit all nuts or just peanuts? (I assume we're all steering clear of the latter these days.) And can I give my boy almond or sesame seed butter yet? What about lotions with almond oil? Will the madness ever end?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ali isn't feeling too sure about these gorgonzola crackers...

Sorry I've been snail paced. In the past 3 days, Baby Boy has figured out how to unlock the toilet guard (if I just pull it hard enough...), pulled the protectors off the table edges, screamed bloody murder over the impenetrable DVD guard, eaten cat litter, and hurled himself into his father's urine stream.

The kid has decided that being confined to the bedroom is for suckers and happily slap-slap-slaps his way to freedom at every opportunity. (He also believes that the cats are chasing him which leads to much panicky scooting about.) It occurred to me the other day that maybe I'm supposed to be teaching him how to walk. It seems a little counterintuitive but what do I know? Truthfully, he doesn't seem terribly interested. He pulls himself up and creeps, and we've caught him letting go and standing unassisted for a few seconds, but the whole holding-by-the-arms thing just irritates him. I've heard that babies tend follow maternal milestones so I'm not too worried - I didn't walk until 16 months - but if I hear one more "He's STILL not walking?!" from the peanut gallery (gym lifeguards, I'm talking to you) I'm gonna pee in the pool.

Sleep, though, is AWESOME. 12 hours a night. He's even able to put himself down! I have no idea how it happened. I guess he just got older. He's still a rooster - 6:30 am - but I'll take it. (Should I admit that we're still on the bottle? It's totally selfish - I love having him curled up in my arms, all snuggly and half-sleep. Sippys just don't offer the same cuddle factor. And there's no way I'm making full-on baby breakfast before sunrise.)

For those with kids, when did the Terrible Twos rear their awfulness? Because I'm DEH-finitely seeing some signs. (Right now we have to use two spoons for his yogurt or he goes Defcon 5.) Am I imagining things?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bonus points: Guess which one was training to be a shaman?

Ah, The Millionaire Matchmaker. Anybody seen it? For those with lives, the Millionaire Matchmaker is Patti, a Muppity, self-loathing single gal who pairs pretty gold diggers with rich guys in an attempt to make lasting and worthwhile relationships. (Ahem.) The millionaires attend cocktail parties with gaggles of desperate, overgroomed women then choose one to take out on a real date. (As real as any date can be while surrounded by a camera crew.) The whole shebang is totally pimpy and objectifying and voyeuristic, which makes it perfect television for a lowest common denominator like me. Plus there's the fact that, back when it was just a dating service, I almost applied.

Seriously, there's no defense. I was living in LA and aggressively single. Money's never been my thing but the SoCal singles scene was a little underwhelming. Recent dates had included an obsessive-compulsive sports writer with a list of goals taped to the wall next to his futon ("Meet 10 friends") and a Moby-esque trustfunder who claimed to have lost his virginity to a pig, which he swore was common practice in his native South Africa. Frankly, dating a millionaire seemed like a step in an okay direction.

I'M GLAD I DIDN'T APPLY. Not that I would have gotten through the screening process anyway. (Patti says that men hate curly hair.) I wish I had the stories, though. Seriously, me on a date with a millionaire? Oh, ho, ho, the stoooories...

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'm gonna prank call the shit out of this dude.

I find it fascinating that although we're in the middle of a recession with staggering unemployment, tremendous debt, and no relief in sight, someone is still willing to pay $400,000 for the phone number 867-5309.

I'm sticking to sugar.

You know that mercury-in-corn-syrup thing that no one seems to be talking about? Here's a list of the most dangerous products. Quaker oats, huh? Who knew?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Has anyone checked out Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website, GOOP, yet? Juuuuust curious...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pretty on the inside?

I just threw my back out. I wasn't even doing anything good like fooling around or rescuing a cat. I was standing up.

I'll give you a moment to process that.

In case you were wondering, crumpling in pain is heeelarious to the under-2 set. Luckily I was able to ease myself into the rocker without dropping the child. (Don't think I wasn't tempted.) Throwing your back out is one of those conditions that seems movie-painful, like when you see a guy get nailed in the balls. It couldn't possibly hurt that much, right?

Oh it totally, totally does.

Slight scoliosis and the weakest abs in town cause me to throw my back out with some regularity. I have a great chiropractor but even she can't disguise the fact that Ali's becoming ancient. My birthday is coming up, which is both wonderful and mortifying. I still think I look damn good for my age but it's getting harder and harder to ignore the crinkles. Not that I'll do anything about it. I'm stuanchly anti-facelift (if you ask me, Battlestar lost a lot of cred when Roslin got work done. And have you seen Glenn Close?) but that doesn't stop me from slathering on the latest drugstore wonder cream and hoping for the best. I'm very happy with my life and wouldn't be 22 again if you paid me (well, maybe if you PAID me) but sitting here, hunched over the computer, shoving Cheez-Its into my maw (it was the only thing I could reach) it's hard not to feel a bit stale.

And how the heck am I going to get that baby out of the crib?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Here's a quick quiz for Stay-At-Home and/or unemployed types -

Valentine's Day. If you're not bringing in any money, do you buy your sweetheart a gift? I mean, considering the fact that you're using "their" money to purchase it? Or do you just crib something together crafty-like (and therefore free)?

Monday, February 9, 2009

That's it. I'm breaking up with Facebook.

I never realized how unpopular I was until I joined Facebook.

For the two of you who don't spend your free time socially networking, Facebook is an online networking tool that has an annoying policy of making sure you are "friends" with the person you want to stalk. In order to find out what Johnny Coolguy's been up to since Landon Middle School, you have to send them a little note asking if they'll agree to be your friend. It's like slightly higher tech 4th grade. At first this didn't bother me. I was new to social networking and happy to reach out, figuring people would be just as excited to hear about me as I was about them. So I contacted the boy who refused to be my partner at Starlight Skate Center and the girl who'd mocked me in 7th grade, and each accepted my overly enthusiastic requests. But instead of feeling like Reunion Funtimes, asking people to Friend me was starting to feel... familiar. (If you were ever someone's fourth choice to the prom - holla! - you probably understand.) And the more time I spent on Facebook, the more it began to dawn on me that nobody was Friending me.

Here's where it gets really pathetic.

I always assumed people from high school wondered about me. Not often or with any depth of thought but, you know, just in the way you wonder about people. I wonder about people all the time, especially people I didn't really know. (Where the heck is Kirsten Danes? And what about F.J. Rost? Ooh, he's on FB!) There were a couple of people that found me, sure, which always gave my ego a little pat (thanks, guys!) but scrolling through my real-life friends' FB Friend lists gave me pause; tons of people, some of whom I'd been genuinely close to were listed, and not one of them had contacted me.

To quote the Duckman, "Do I o-ffend?"

I understand that none of this is a big deal and yes, I realize that there are perfectly adequate therapists willing to discuss this issue, but I'm thinking that maybe I should just break up with FB and leave my ego in peace. If nothing else, I can always go back to Google-stalking...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I am grateful... I am grateful... I am grateful...

I had an audition today for a rather suspect Spanish insurance commercial that required me to pretend that my computer turned into a giant kidney stone. ("Make your reaction really real. But comedic!") After dragging the boy to the subway, down numerous urine-soaked elevators, through the overcrowded Greenmarket in 20 degree weather, and then waiting 45 minutes to be seen, I wasn't exactly feeling the comedy. I get to do the same thing tomorrow for an ad for KY Jelly. During baby's nap time. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009



He SLEPT! For 12 hours! Solid! It may never happen again but he totally slept and I have no idea why but I don't really care because he SLEPT! Which means that I slept! Which is AWESOME!

And now - BREAKFAST!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The one where I feel like a shitty mother

From the WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT department:

So I'm kvetching about the sleep crap with mom - awake for 2 hours! Couldn't fall asleep! Twitching and grumping! Piercing cries! - and finally she interrupts to ask why we didn't give him some Motrin since it was obvious he was having growth spurt pain.


A little Motrin before bed. Maybe I ought to give that a try, huh?

This is why I'm not in charge of the free world.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Seriously, Universe. Enough with the ha-has.

The boy at 1 week, sleeping in our arms. Ah, how things have changed?

Get ready to call PETA, 'cause I'm about to beat this dead horse.

We're in the midst of one of those adorable sleep regressions again. AGAIN. Anybody got a spare fork because I. AM. DONE. I am trying to be patient. I am trying to be loving. I am trying to enjoy the cheerful pair of eyes peering up at me at 3:39 am but nothing, nothing, nothing is adorable at that time of the morning. These regressions always pass but it's hard to remember that when you haven't had more than 4 solid hours of sleep in weeks. There's a lot going on - recovery from his double ear infection (much pain-related non-sleeping), one heck of a growth spurt (his winter hat - the one that fit 2 weeks ago! - now perches awkwardly), and he's transitioning from 2 naps to 1 (which is always bumpy from what I understand). But still. After all we went through during the first four months of his life, being forced to stay awake for an hour (or two) every single night makes me want my money back. I take great comfort in Moxie's assessment of the 13 month regression and all the comments from all the mommies with all the children who are doing the exact same thing. (Safety in numbers, right?) But rocking back and forth in a quiet, warm room with a baby boy who's perfectly content to hang out awhile breeds thoughts. Thoughts of letting the boy work some things out alone. But letting him cry it out simply isn't an option. Our apartment is small. Our neighbors are close. Frankly, I don't know how anyone in NYC is able to do it. There are other options, I know. (We've tried them too.) It seems that the best path is the one we're on but man, I wish there was a place to lie down.

It's just another bump in the road. It'll pass. Nobody goes to college needing to be rocked by his mother. In the meantime, I'm going to bed.

(This is just a gripe post - no advice is necessary, although I'd welcome commiseration.)