Mean Girl to the Rescue!

How'm I gonna save the world when the world ain't ready?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


So over the weekend, we seem to have acquired another feline. My husband's version of the story is here. He was none too pleased about my letting another kitty into our house (I mean, we already have three cats, goddammit; I sure don't want another one, either). But I remembered Debbie's post about the little dog by the side of the road, and there was no way I wanted to see that cat frozen to death or squashed by a car.

So, I have a few feelers out for prospective kitty parents. We have Clyde locked up in a small room in our basement, in case he's carrying feline leukemia or anything. He's been sleeping a lot, and eating quite a bit, though he wasn't very skinny when he came in. His paws are pretty filthy, and he has some scabs here and there. He likely ran afoul of the neighborhood cat pack recently, as you can see from that wound on his nose. Later this week, I'm going to clip his nails and give him a bath to clean him up a bit. He's very vocal, and he has a whisky and cigarettes voice that's very cute.

Anyone want a cat and live nearby?

Anyone know what I can use to treat that nose wound? Is neosporin OK to use on cats?

Friday, February 24, 2006

This is what I treated myself to today

It was a piddling $13 including shipping.

It will snuggle my iPod lovingly in my purse or pocket.

How frigging cute is that?!

Happy Friday, all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My '80s Alter Ego

I just saw this little tidbit on Moonshine, where Izzy identifies pretty closely with Molly Ringwald. I must admit, Molly is an icon, and she made it cool to be the alterna-girl with dreams above her station. But my alter ego of the '80s was the puckish Mary Stuart Masterson as Watts in Some Kind of Wonderful.

I dyed my hair blonde on top to mimic hers in that film (luckily, it turned out red). I had the oh-so-new-wave fingerless gloves (fringeless, much to my teenage chagrin). I wanted to be a drummer (though not enough to buy a drum kit or anything ... just a bizarre fantasy). Her character made me feel validated about being boyish without necessarily being gay. Plus, she was totally bitchy and still got the guy (not that Eric Stoltz is any prize, but you get my meaning).

Whatever happened to her, anyway?

The Museum of Bad Hair

Oh, people, I am on a tear.

I dyed my hair dark brown, apparently in an effort to eradicate my personality after a bad breakup. This was the result. I thought, at the time, that the glasses made me look smart. Now I know better, and I only wear glasses in the privacy of my own home after removing my contacts at the end of the day. Vanity, thy name is Mrs. Harridan.

A little self-knowledge is a good thing. Specifically, the knowledge that I should never, ever have bangs. Ever.

There's that hot lesbian again! My husband actually quite likes this look. I can see this look happening again after I spawn, maybe. It was very low-maintenance.

High school cafeteria, circa 1989. Check out that sex-ay uniform! I went through a phase in which I wore men's neckties as hairbands ... that might be what's happening here. If you could see the other earring, I have no doubt it would not match the visible one: that was my punk rock, po-mo girl motif. Oh, you crazy anarchist, Former Self!

I mentioned in someone's comments that I had to cut off all my hair after a bad perm that fried my hair like bacon. This is the aftermath. Booby says this picture frightens him. And, honestly, it's not even the worst of the bunch from that era.

This was my "party" outfit in college: black tights or hose, combat boots, cut-offs, and dark shirt with military-cut jacket over top. Without fail, I wore this to keggers and dance clubs alike. This is also notable for the Salt 'n' Pepa-style flip hairdo (although I much preferred to refer to it as my devil's lock). {makes devil horns gesture}

As some of you may know, I met my husband at work, 11 years ago. You can see why he has been in love with me since then (and he remembers this sweater fondly; it was a Village Thrift special festooned with moth holes). The obvious lack of makeup is a nice touch. Of course, every night of that era was spent propping up a bar somewhere, so odds are good that I'm hungover in this one. Hott!

***Updated to give a big Thank you to everyone who commented; your kind words have made me feel a lot better about posting these pics and taking ownership of my gawky years by claiming them in a public forum. I'm very grateful!***

Scenes from my childhood

Just a couple, here, to showcase the cuteness I radiated before becoming the fashion-challenged teen you so recently witnessed:

Well, that might be more "snotty young punk" than "radiating cuteness." Taken with my brother's Brownie camera.

Aaaaah! My eyes! There is no cuteness here, just the horror perpetrated by Miami Vice. That's me (once again, a stylish young daughter of Sappho), second from right. In, of all things, a sweater dress. And shoulder pads. I loved Miami Vice. And Don Johnson. Can you tell?

Oh, the ennui!

Check out my mom's ciggie. Back in the early '70s, doctors encouraged women to smoke 'n' drink while pregnant, and while sitting thisclose to their children. So far, we are mysteriously lung cancer-free (but it's early days for me, at least).

This was my father's chair that had to be given up if he entered the room and wished to sit there. It was cleverly positioned in front of the TV. Even now, my father has "his" chair (albeit, not a hideous green naugahyde one). I clearly recall attacking this green monster with a seam ripper. I was a Little Destructo. {insert maniacal laughter here.}

The Leo personality manifests! This started a lifelong obsession with photo booths that continues even now, as Booby can attest.

More to come.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pssst! Hey, you!

Interested in BlogHer but put off by the spendy nature of the trip and intimidated by the big names? Perhaps B-List Blog Chicks is the get-together for you.

For some time, a group of female bloggers (many of whom you see on my blogroll) have been talking about meeting up, sometime, in the future. Arabella and I talked it over some weeks ago, and we decided the time is now. Well, not NOW now, but soon. As in, first weekend of June. I would tell you where, but the Arabella would get uncomfortable, thinking that we would be inviting trouble by putting this delicate information on the web. And, as someone who compulsively checks her doors and windows to ensure they are locked, I wouldn't blame her one bit, and no doubt I would follow her descent into freaking out.

So, if you're a female blogger who's been lurking or commenting, and you think you might be interested, send Arabella an email at She will provide you with details. I'm sure we will talk about occasional technical aspects of blogging, but the real reason to meet is to see the folks we've been reading and corresponding with for the past several months, share stories (perhaps ones that family members won't let us blog about?), eat, drink, and have a good time.

Maybe I'll see you there.

Let the games begin!

OK, finally, the post you've all been waiting for: My Fugly Teen Years. Lest you think to yourself, These are not that bad, please note that I found more hideous snaps of my adolescence (including such hairdos as "The Flip," "The Pixie" and "The Latent Goth"), so there will be more schadenfreude to be had in the days to come. But for now ...

Yeah, let's get the really bad one out of the way (and thanks, Blogger, for not letting me upload these in the order I wanted to). This was taken at my brother's wedding (that's him on the right). I had recently drunk all the champagne at my table, at the insistence of my sister and her husband. Thanks, guys.
Glasses: check (I got contacts the following year)
Braces: check (also removed the following year)
Zits: hells, yeah!
Mullet, brown: check (began to dye hair 2 years later, at which point life began anew)
Hideous pink dress and matching pearls: check (chosen by my mother, no doubt)
Lee press-ons: check, times 10. My manicure rivals those of both Dolly Parton and Barbra Streisand. In your face, bitches!

My hair went through a curly stage during college. I believe this was the night I attended LaSalle University's Newspaper Cotillion, 1992. It was held in a hall not too far from the Arsenal, if I recall correctly, in Grand Old Northeast Philly. One of the guys we were with was a cop, and cleverly brought his gun along (thankfully, he locked it in the glove compartment of the car). I drank about 8 red devils that night, and was very sorry the following day. The dress was super-tacky, forest green velvet. I was showcasing the Freshman Ten (big shout-out to Ramen noodles!).

The Father/Daughter Dance, long a tradition in my Catholic high school; for some reason, I chose to wear a Willi Smith Little House on the Prairie-style dress that was 3 sizes too large, pinned up the back with safety pins, as if I were a third rate mannequin. Again, I see my mother's influence in the choice of jewelry: Laura Ingalls would never wear those pearls!

My sister's comment: "You know what everyone needs? A dress to make their hips look bigger!" Shamefully (shamelessly?), I wore this dress a second time to a formal event at my college (wacky Eastern art school). Of course, this event was also known for men dressed in drag, so no biggie, really. That living room furniture eventually migrated to my first apartment. Not the drapes, though, thank GOD.

Who's that hot lesbian in the front? Why, that's ME!

I'm sure everyone is familiar with in-between hair: not long, not short, just ... growing in. I think this was before I learned how to pluck my eyebrows. I also had a penchant for vintage, wool, itchy dresses, which I insisted on wearing to family gatherings. At least the hair is red by this time. My husband said it best in the subject line of the email containing these photos: NERDO!

More to come, including shots of me looking quite good, but I had to deliver the ugly first, as promised.

Friday, February 17, 2006

My day has gone all assy

So I fucked up: I was supposed to call my doctor's office, like, 2 or 3 days ago to get my blood test results, and I forgot. And now I'm too late to do a Clomid cycle and IUI this month. You know what? I don't even care. We'll just try the "natural" way this month and to hell with it.

Jesus, how am I every going to take care of a baby if I can't even remember to call my doctor? I feel like a complete ninny.

In other news, I have asked Booby to email me the offending photos mentioned in the last post. I'm going to bite the bullet and show you all my hideous teen years. It can't possibly be more embarrassing than Sars' Picture Imperfect essay (God, that woman is fearless). Of course, I'll also show you my "model" photos (such as they are); the one that received that comment directly was a shot of me in a big black coat with faux fur at the collar and cuffs, New Year's Eve, 1999. My then-boyfriend was an expat Brit, and while I wanted to go out, eat, drink and be merry (Christ, the turn of the millenium only happens once every ...), all he wanted to do was watch the worldwide celebrations on television (yawn), while on the phone with his parents or his sister ("I miss you, too! I miss you more. No, me! Oh, stop!"). Needless to say, it was rather a crap night, and the shot was only taken at my insistence: I wanted photographic proof of my hottie existence on this milestone date. Too bad it was wasted on that asshole. Bitter, me? Naaaah.

OK THEN! Moving on. This weekend promises to be full of fun. We have slated a web development training session (Booby has a freelance gig that will bring us some saving-for-a-bigger-house money, and some putting-in-a-second-bathroom money), cleaning, laundry (of course), and I have vague plans to hang curtains and attach cord cleats to my windows. And if I have time, I will even try to spackle all the staple holes on my hardwood stairs (where the previous owner installed carpet halfway up the damn wall). I could die from the excitement.

Here's hoping your weekend is more fun than mine.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Weekend at Mommy's

So, my parents have returned from their glorious 2-week vacation in Spain; my mother called this morning to let me know she would come to our house tomorrow bearing gifts and pizza to pick up their toilet-drinking cat. She also mentioned that she could tell we had been in the house. My three sisters, my niece Lulu, Booby and I camped out at my parents' house last weekend in order to lay our greasy mitts on their millions of family photos and scrapbook the hell out of them. I know there are some people out there who love scrapbooking, and I suppose I can see how it might be addictive, what with all the cute little baby shoe cut paper motifs, stickers in the shape of torn-paper hearts, et cetera. But when you spend NINE hours on your knees (on a carpeted floor, but still!), arranging and rearranging photos for maximum effect and tear production in the viewer -- well, you can imagine I'm not keen to scrapbook again any time soon. I was actually sore for two days after that activity. I guess I need more exercise to sooth my cracking knee joints.

My husband, meanwhile, quietly amassed a pile of truly hideous snaps of my formative years while pretending to scan family photos for a power point presentation. I think he's planning an evil photo essay on his blog which is sure to lead me to deny him physical affection for many weeks to come, should he decide to proceed. It started off well enough: recent photos elicited comments from my sisters like, "You look like a model in this one!" Wow, thanks! Then we devolved to responses like, "I really prefer your hair short. You have such a small face!" Um, thanks? From there we got to, "Hey, everyone, remember at [my brother's] wedding, when Mrs. Harridan drank everyone's champagne? Let's put this in the power point!" Let's not. Oh, to have braces, zits, a (pre-dye) mullet, baby pink Lee Press-ons, and be giggling hysterically while smashed at a family wedding! Good times. Ha, ha! Cough.

Anyway, we left the folks a card and a box of Ghirardelli chocolates, but only after getting snowed in overnight and having to dig our cars out of the visitors' parking lot (if left on the street, they were to be towed, but I don't see how that's possible, what with the 18" of snow on the ground. But you don't want to rock the boat when you're dealing with a neighborhood association. Especially if you don't even live in the neighborhood).

Apparently, my folks have their house layout memorized like an old blind couple, because my mother mentioned that "the chair was in the wrong place" (we didn't move the furniture, that I recall), the cats' dishes were in with her regular dishes (Fancy Feast, anyone?), and "someone's been sleeping in my bed!" This last she chortled - my mom is a card. But I will say, for someone who really should have privacy issues after dealing with a mother who opened her mail, my mother took the home invasion very gracefully. Perhaps, on a subconscious level, she noticed that we removed all the rotting vegetables and the cheese which had gone a very upsetting shade of green. We never did get the smell to leave the fridge, though ("Olive juice!" quoth Saurus, who then refused to open the fridge door again for the remainder of our time there). Perhaps it's time to change the box of baking soda.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Remorseless Valentine

In spite of my relative hatred of Valentine's Day, I made it through yesterday with no fights, crying or scars, all on account of my wonderful husband, who bought me flowers*, took me for a nice Italian meal, bought me the gift I requested**, and sprang for an expensive cab ride home (during which we were treated to a tape of African chanting of some kind while swerving from one congested lane of traffic to another). Long have I loathed Valentine's Day (one year, I both dumped an unsuitable suitor and was proposed to by another unsuitable suitor), but having a built-in Valentine who is endlessly considerate takes away the prior sting of this irritating holiday.

Today, the party was over. Work has been kicking my ass, and in addition I had to make yet another trip to Dr. H_____ at the Fertility Center. I was given another ($130 out of pocket!) ultrasound by an earnest, but slightly clueless resident, and then my doctor declared the next step, should Booby and I choose to take it, was an IUI in combination with a second round of Clomid. There are very few risks, and she seemed optimistic. The Clomid has lengthened my luteal phase (as evidenced by a late-arriving Aunt Blood [TM Mama_Tulip]), and an IUI could be the extra little push we need, since nature is not taking its course.

* Booby calls me from his cell.
"If you, um, had a choice, would you want roses, or would you want, um, orchids?"
"I would want tulips."
"Or grape hyacinth."
"Uh ...?"
"Are you at the flower place on 19th? With the little Asian guy who's so sweet?"
"Grape hyacinths, or regular hyacinths, then. They have them."
And that's just what I got: lovely purple hyacinths that I hope like hell the cats haven't eaten as they sat on our coffee table today.

** BOO hway-HUN duh PUO-foo; or, "remorseless harridan." Courtesy of Firefly, which you should really rent from Netflix if you are at all a sci-fi nerd. I'm not even one, but I loved it. Check out this page for the Chinese slang used in the series.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Alien Baby

Is it ... wrong for me to think that she has on a fake belly?

Also, I hope that's a decaf latte, bitch.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

100 Things About Me

  1. I'm not a natural redhead.
  2. But my brother is, and my grandfather was, so it looks natural. Most people can't tell that I get a little help from Miss Revlon.
  3. I used to lie about my weight (bumping it up by about 10 lbs.) so I could give blood at blood drives. I don't have to do that anymore, but I haven't given blood in a few years because you're supposed to wait a year after being tattooed or pierced.
  4. I used to have 10 piercings.
  5. Now I have 3. I don't miss them.
  6. If you ask me nicely, I might tell you where they were.
  7. I have been compared to Monica Geller on Friends on more than one occasion.
  8. I was also once compared to Shirley Feeney, so you can see that perhaps there is some merit to the general idea.
  9. I was raised in part by my grandmother, who lived with us. She sort of took over the reins after my mother went back to work.
  10. She was a great lady, but she ruled my mom with an iron fist, even going so far as to open her mail. She mellowed out by the time I knew her.
  11. She had a lot of miscarriages before she had my mom, and one stillbirth. I worry that my fertility issues stem from her genes.
  12. I have a very quick temper.
  13. Most people find that out sooner rather than later.
  14. I love to argue, and that has freaked out a lot of my boyfriends, who equated arguing with trouble in paradise.
  15. I had a boyfriend who was bipolar, but he didn't believe he was. He killed himself by lying down on the train tracks.
  16. I felt responsible. It's a long story that I might tell someday in a public forum. I still miss him, but as a friend, not a boyfriend. He was kind of an ass as a boyfriend.
  17. I was engaged for a year about 4 years ago. The groom got cold feet and I kicked him out of the apartment he and I shared.
  18. That messed me up for a long time until I met my husband, who is everything the other guy wasn't.
  19. I wear contacts and probably always will because I am frightened of lasik surgery.
  20. I'm a spelling nazi.
  21. I don't like most seafood.
  22. I have math anxiety.
  23. I enjoy crossword puzzles, but I've never finished a New York Times crossword without help.
  24. I'm a big proponent of cruelty-free products.
  25. But I still eat meat. And wear leather.
  26. And I don't care if you think that's hypocritical.
  27. I'm proud to say I'm a feminist.
  28. I hate cold weather and won't go out in it if I don't have to.
  29. Hot weather doesn't bother me, even if it's in the 90s.
  30. I dislike air conditioning.
  31. I've had two poems published.
  32. I refuse to eat fast food.
  33. I don't like musicals, but I often like the music from them.
  34. I smoked off and on for over 10 years, but I quit maybe 3 years ago.
  35. I'm not a very addictive personality. I smoked because I liked it, not because I felt compelled.
  36. I have to fight my urge to hoard things.
  37. I like having a lot of food on hand. My fridge is always full.
  38. People's dads love me. Their moms, not so much.
  39. My hands and feet are usually cold. I guess I have bad circulation.
  40. I've had people ask me if my eyes are real (rather than colored contacts) more times than you've had hot dinners.
  41. I wear a size 8 1/2 shoe and feel cheated that I am not taller in accordance with having such big feet.
  42. I'm 5'6", but somehow I give the illusion of height.
  43. I'm the shortest person in my family. They all mock me for being short.
  44. I wear SPF 45 during the summer.
  45. I really like dictionaries and I have several of them.
  46. I was raised Catholic and attended parochial school for 12 years.
  47. I don't go to mass anymore. But I'll never not be Catholic.
  48. I used to pretend to go to mass and go to Dunkin Donuts instead when I still lived at home.
  49. I got busted when my mother asked me about the sermon that day.
  50. I used to have a boss who sexually harrassed me. Quitting was the most liberating feeling ever.
  51. This old boss and I have mutual acquaintances still, and I know he hates me to this day. Which sort of amuses me.
  52. I really hate misplaced quotation marks.
  53. And when people can't work out the difference between "its" and "it's".
  54. My favorite flowers are ranunculus.
  55. I like to cook.
  56. I'm pretty good at it.
  57. But I am no gourmet.
  58. I love red wine, but the sulfites give me killer headaches.
  59. My husband and I had two wedding ceremonies: a small, religious one and a large, civil ceremony.
  60. The judge got my name horribly wrong during the civil ceremony.
  61. And announced us as Mr. & Mrs. My Maiden Name.
  62. But it was OK because we were happy and it was funny.
  63. I tend to start things and then not finish them.
  64. I never graduated from college and sometimes I allow this fact to make me feel stupid.
  65. Then I get over it. I'll probably never finish school, though.
  66. I'm a Leo. Textbook case.
  67. I have Scorpio rising. I'm also on the cusp of Virgo, which makes me a little anal.
  68. I cry easily.
  69. I find that frustrating.
  70. I blush easily, too.
  71. I'm a very light sleeper.
  72. I can't drive stick.
  73. I used to be a nude model for art classes.
  74. I also modeled privately for a couple of artists.
  75. It wasn't as creepy as it sounds.
  76. I wish I had a big enough yard to raise chickens.
  77. I won't wear thongs.
  78. I can quote The Simpsons at will.
  79. Cocoa Puffs are my favorite cereal.
  80. When I was single, I would sometimes eat cereal for dinner.
  81. Now I see that was a bad idea.
  82. I watch too much TV.
  83. I've been mistaken for a boy on more than one occasion.
  84. I curse a lot.
  85. The school nurse once complimented my thick hair while doing a lice check.
  86. I'm very independent.
  87. I almost always carry mace.
  88. Because I've been hassled by men on dark streets in the past when I didn't have it.
  89. Now whoever hassles me will get a shot of pepper spray in the eyes.
  90. I understand revenge.
  91. I'm fairly impervious to advertising.
  92. I'm a control freak.
  93. I was an "oops" baby.
  94. I know this because there are 8 years between me and my youngest sister.
  95. But I never felt unwanted.
  96. I read a lot.
  97. I had a huge Barbie collection as a child.
  98. I was under the influence of soap operas, so the Barbies got around, if you know what I mean.
  99. I like making lists.
  100. I think the odds are good that I'll die of cancer.

This news would've made me way too happy 11 years ago

It seems that Ralph Fiennes is back on the market, ladies. Unfortunately, it also appears that he is a dirty dog.
It was the thrill of my young twentysomething life to see him play Hamlet with Francesca Annis (accompanied by a rabid female friend who had Amon-Goethe-as-sexy-Nazi fantasies and a very understanding boyfriend).

And he seemed so nice and wistful in The Constant Gardener. Ah, well.

Oh, you men! You're all alike!

Celebrity Face-Death Match

Some celebrities I have been told I look like:

Lara Flynn Boyle (especially when I was all goth and depressed and dyed my hair dark brown, but it came out sooty black and eventually warranted a trip to East End Salon to get back to a normal color.)
  • Jamie Lee Curtis (thanks, but my doctor can confirm that I do have ovaries. Still, she's spunky, and has a great rack, I guess.)

Annette O'Toole (used as a pickup line by a street sweeper who apparently wanted into my pants. Dude, no one even knows who Annette O'Toole is.)

Maggie Rizer, a semi-famous model who disappeared after making a big splash. I think she was on America's Next Top Model once. She and I do look uncannily alike, except she's young and fresh and dewy, while I am old and a withered-up old husk. My pal Mr. Baggins made me a mix tape once decorated with photos of her and entitled it: My Face Does Not Belong to Me. Pictured on the top left.

Nicole Kidman, when I had curlier hair and before she became a Botoxed living corpse.

Melanie Mayron (from Thirtysomething, when she was 35 and I was perhaps 18. Thank you, insipid female coworker). Pictured on the top right.

Tabitha Soren, of MTV fame. Everyone has told me this repeatedly. Frau Doktor saw her speak at her college campus and said even her mannerisms were like mine. Too bad she's not a real journalist.

Cate Blanchett (thank you, Mignon; best celebrity compliment EVAH.)

Celebrities that My Heritage claims I look like, evidently based on my wide smile in the photo I uploaded:

  • Annette Bening (whuh? Maybe they meant Annette O'Toole)
  • Hilary Swank (ouch. Kill me now)
  • Catherine Deneuve (flattering, but patently untrue)
  • Leonard Nimoy (I swear, I did specify I am female. And it's not even Nimoy as Spock - it's Real Life Nimoy)
  • Faye Dunaway (saw her on CSI recently, and girlfriend has had A LOT of work. None of it good. She could barely talk over her veneers)
  • Tom Cruise (with a beard, no less)
  • Eric Idle ( That would be bad even if I were a man)
  • Nicole Kidman (pre-Botox)
  • Liv Tyler (no.)
  • Cate Blanchett (yay!)

What celebrities do people tell you that you look like?

Monday, February 06, 2006

This is what happens

... when your parents' very spoiled cat comes to stay for 2 weeks.

He has the run of the house (holding court on our bed) and is already the alpha male. It only took 4 days.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Weekend Delights

This morning as Booby and I rode the El to work, I read the Metro and he read over my shoulder. I arrived at the Friday weekend section and was thrilled to discover a write-up for the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention. I've attended this show in the past and always had an interesting time. The last time I went, I found an artist I really liked, Leonie Bauer, and she ended up doing the piece on my lower back. From what I can see Leonie is now calling herself Leonie Grande; I suppose a better stage name was in order. "Grande" makes me think either Taco Bell or Cosi, though.

So plans were made to attend on Sunday (the convention runs all weekend, but I am meeting up with the lovely Arabella and her friend C.S. tomorrow to wreak havoc on Chinatown: fertility tea and dim sum are the orders of the day. Squeee!), and all was well. I was looking forward to the possibility of covering over the prison ink on my upper arm (inflicted upon self via cheap tattoo parlor in 1992) until I received an instant message from my darling husband.

b00by: can you take a pregnancy test on Sunday?
teminy: why? are you afraid it will affect the pregnancy if there is one?
b00by: because-- yes. :(

Sigh. Last night he asked me not to have a glass of wine with my dinner, so I was a little irritated, but a quick trip on the internets proved that he was right:

You will be very interested to know that little to no information is available about the safety of skin dyes used for tattooing during pregnancy. It is possible that the chemicals in the dye may affect the development of the baby during the first 12 weeks, but the risks are unknown, as are any affects on the baby during the remainder of the pregnancy. It would probably by wise to delay having a tattoo done until after your baby is born.

This one had me feeling more than a little freaked:

Some women may have also heard that if they have a tattoo on their back, then they will be unable to get an epidural. Very few studies have been done on the risks that could exist for women who have back tattoos and receive an epidural. So far none of these studies have conclusively found any data that shows that there are risks, so most anesthesiologist have no problem giving an epidural to a woman with a back tattoo. If you are wanting an epidural and have a tattoo on your back, it still would be best to contact the hospital and find out what guidelines your doctor follows in regards to tattoos and epidurals.

Dude, I have a high threshold for pain, but one thing I know is that I cannot accomplish childbirth without painkillers. My mother has told me stories about delivering my siblings and me: "They put us in something called twilight sleep. It was great - I didn't remember a thing. I woke up and they put a baby on my chest!" Keep in mind that my mother smoked and drank through all of her pregnancies with her doctor's blessing. And my mother is not a moderate person when it comes to vice. Anyhoo, let's hope that if indeed I ever spawn, I am allowed to be given that foot long needle.

So, no matter what happens on Sunday, I'm headed for disappointment. Either I'll have a negative result, and console myself with a tattoo, or I'll have a positive result and have to forego a tattoo.

The latter option might not be so bad. I can wait another year.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Love to love you, dive bars

Tink was posting "missed connections" on her blog last week, and reading them reawakened me to the glory that is the "I Love You, I Hate You" column of the Philadelphia CityPaper.

This one caught my eye:

DIRTY FRANK'S SUCKS- The bartenders are stuck up and don't know how to make drinks! It blows. Your hot dogs are slimy and gross and we all know about your chips! Why is your beer so fucking warm and disgusting? Has the technology of refrigeration never made it to your barbaric world? Your doormen are racist assholes! If I have to hear Cyndi Lauper one more time I'm going to burn the place down. That will be the next time I have to spill a drink to get my boyfriend's attention because of those skimpy slutty outfits you stuck up bitches wear. Did I mention that the bartenders are racist assholes? And your bathrooms are nasty. And your beer is warm. And you suck.

Dirty Frank's is one of my favorite bars. Oh, it's a dive, all right. The barmaids have been there forever, and if they don't know you, you'll have a little wait to get served. I have seen people stick their money to their foreheads in an attempt to catch the barmaid's eye (it didn't work). But to me, that's half the fun of being there. I know the barmaids, so I get served. I feel comforted by the fact that the jukebox plays "Road to Nowhere" over and over, and by the fact that one of the bouncers is called Three-Finger Bill (for obvious reasons). And anyone who orders food there shouldn't complain: if you think it looks dirty in the photo, you ain't seen nothin'. They call it Dirty Frank's for a reason, people.

Another ad put the hatin' on my other favorite dive, McGlinchey's:

MCGLINCHEY'S- McGlincheys blows right out loud. Everyone who works there is either meaner than a barnyard dog or looks like one. Hello, did you ever consider turning on the smoke eaters or are they just X-mas decorations? And is playing a wannabe hipster bike courier a prerequisite for a doorman? By the way, wake up. Your jukebox is older than dirt (and not in a cool way).

Admittedly, The Glinch is a haven for the cooler-than-thou, but it has the saving grace of not being in NoLibs. And although it's a bit cleaner than Frank's, I shudder when I remember that I used to eat the (50 cent!) hot dogs there. By now, they're probably up to a dollar. But a McGlinchey's hot dog was a beautiful thing was I was young and poor.

Photo courtesy of

Let this be a lesson to you

First of all, big ups to everyone who suggested solutions to my book cover thumbnail issue. I am working on it, but this ho is lazy, so it might take awhile before I make it work (I made a stab at it today and made ... a leeeetle bit of progress.)

This morning, I woke early on account of all four cats making the rounds of our bedroom at various times. The visiting cat, Seamus, was insistent that he be allowed to pass some time in the closet. He was also indignant about the toilet seat being down, until finally Booby put it up so he could drink out of it (photos will be posted, or linked to). I wish I knew why this cat loves to drink out of the toilet, but it's probably better if I don't.

Anyway, since I couldn't get back to sleep, I went down to make lunches and brew coffee (aren't I a gem? You think I'm joking when I say I'm a surrendered wife. And I am joking, mostly). I came back up with a cuppa joe for both of us, and tried to roust my husband out of bed. I wheedled, I cajoled, and finally I threatened to pour my coffee on him.

"You wouldn't dare!"

Oh yes, I would, and I did. It only took about 5 drops to get him moving (and, uh, the sheets irreparably stained). Doesn't he know by now that saying those words to me is like a red rag to a bull? Frau Doktor will well remember a day in our high school lunchroom when I miscalculated a situation with her similarly: She was in possession of a can of grape soda, if memory serves, and for some reason was threatening to pour it over my head. I was not known for my tact (then or now), so it followed that I would eventually awaken her ire like the sleeping giant it was.

"You wouldn't dare," I intoned snidely. "You're too much of a weed."

"Weed" was my favorite word that year ('88!), and meant, essentially, a wuss or wimpy person. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the afternoon smelling faintly of grape and cursing myself for not knowing her limits. Let's call that one a life lesson.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Techie Alert

Does anyone know how I can futz with my template to show the cover of the book I'm reading? If you look stage right, you'll see that my initial efforts, well, suck.

I wouldn't mind having a lovely new photo header that's not straight out of Blogger Help, too, but I'm thinking baby steps are the order of the day here.

I thank you in advance.

Food, pets and poop. Not in that order.

Somehow, this week has gotten away from me. I don't know if it was the trip to New York (whose best attributes were a brief but fun meeting with Arabella and some top-notch Italian food at lunch: sausage, I love you), or if it was all the cat-related step-and-fetching this week has brought. My cat had to stay overnight at the vet after having her toofies extracted, and that same day my vacationing parents* dropped off their old, crotchety, matted cat who used to be mine (of course, now, they would rather die than give him up, and he greets my approach with a growl that would do Linda Blair proud). This brings the household feline total to FOUR. I don't recommend anyone coming to visit for the next two weeks, especially as I have been precluded from litter duty because of my fertility attempts. And oh, that's killing me. Well, not really, but I don't relish crackling around the cellar amongst the litter pellets and flung poo chunks: our 3-legged, 20 lb. darling can score poops off the opposing wall (about 5 feet away) while wailing his unhappiness regarding the state of his bowels. Nightly concerts at 8 (or whenever our favorite shows are on. Thank fuck for TiVo.).

But today, I'm trying to be happy and think positively, because work has been humming along (yes, a few pitfalls, but nothing I can't handle), and Lost, godammit, is a rerun tonight, and I am defrosting steaks to broil. I'm going to make chili (did you know, beans and corn somehow react together to form unique amino acids? Because I didn't until I read it in a magazine), and possibly also either madeleines or those brownies with the cream cheesecake topping that Booby won't eat but that are awesome.

Speaking of food, as I always enjoy doing, some of you may remember that I was all hyped up about a local organic food buying club. I have since placed one order and am due to pick up the next one tomorrow. Here's what I requested**:

red delicious apples, 3 lb bag

1 apple cider quart

2% butterfat milk, pasteurized, half gallon

1 yogurt red raspberry

1 yogurt strawberry

3 chicken breast and wing - lovely, on the bone, juicy chicken.

1 eggs, free-range

1 scrapple (from Myron Stoltzfus) - Best. Scrapple. Ever. I know, it's such a Philly thing, but it really is delicious.

1 breakfast links

1 Italian sausage hot (pork) - I love sausage. I love hot food. This is a beautiful combination.

1 French berry roll

1 apple snitz - dried apples, apparently. Cheaper than at the supermarket.

1 bing cherry jam - Booby is a fool for cherry-flavored anything.

*50th Anniversary trip to Toremollinos, Spain. My parents are old school married. They have friends who have been married for sixty years who cut a rug like you wouldn't believe at our wedding reception. The mind boggles.

**Yes, I wish for you to read my grocery list. And be entertained. Lodge your complaints in the comments section.