Monday, May 26, 2008

You Don't Know Me

"And anyone can tell / You think you know me well / But you don't know me"

I am a fiercely loyal devotee of the wacktastic webcomic Wonderella, by Justin Pierce. About a year ago, my buddy Jay introduced me to Wonderella, noting the eerie similarity between me and this foul-mouthed, ebonics-spouting, Goddess-referencing, tiara-sporting asskicker with anger management issues. I thought it was just a passing resemblance until I saw this:

[Click image for full comic]

I was convinced that Justin Pierce had insider information on my life. He had either hidden webcams around my house, chatted up my drunken gossipy friends, or read my journal -- whatevs. J-Dawg was definitely stalking me. I was ready to file papers and see if I could get a cut of the millions of theoretical dollars he is earning from my likeness, but then I saw this:

[Click image for full comic]

She might cuss like a tiny sailor and invoke the Goddesses, but she also blew up my beloved Le Targ├ęt and willingly stepped foot inside Wal-Mart, the Great Evil. I would NEVER abandon my beloved bargain store and give my for real dollars to the most assholic of the giant corporate asshole megamarts.

You can keep your theoretical dollars, J-Dawg.You don't know me. Wonderella ain't but a pale imitation of my fine brown ass.

"You Don't Know Me" originally by Frank Sinatra, but I'm partial to Jann Arden's cover

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Please Don't Go, Girl

"You would ruin my whole world / Girl, you're my best friend / I will always love you"

My sister and I finally got to chat on the phone on Sunday and she told me she was planning to get tickets for the New Kids on the Block reunion concert in Washington, DC, in mid-October. When we first found out about this reunion, Mar and I talked about going to the Baltimore-area show together. I thought it might be fun to see New Kids up onstage again, even if they are no longer new nor kids. After all, the Knight brothers still looked yummy, and a small part of me wanted to support them during their midlife crises.

AND THEN. And then I saw this:

I am SO embarrassed for them. I just want to wrap each of them in our old New Kids on the Block bedsheets . . . and lovingly bury them in our backyard. Deep. Like we did with our poor bunny, the beloved namesake of the Knight brothers, Jordan Jonathan, when he died a horrible death.

So when Mar asked me whether or not she should get me a ticket, I said, "I'm already flying out in November for Daddy's birthday, so I can't really afford to go in October, too." That's sortof the reason, but mostly it's that I cannot, will not, watch NKOTB's careers die their horrible deaths onstage.

My sister doesn't have time to read this blog, but just in case: Oh, Marishka. Don't let your--nay, our--happy memories be tainted by this train wreck. Please, girl. Don't go.

"Please Don't Go, Girl" by NKOTB

A Simple Kind of Life

"I always thought I'd be a mom / You seem like you'd be a good dad / Now all those simple things are simply too complicated for my life"

Hi Interwebs. I haven't talked to you in a while. Have you been doing all right? Are you eating your vegetables and getting enough sleep? Yeah, me neither.

The last two weeks have been all baby prep all the time. Today marks 37 weeks of gestation, so we've been trying to check off a bunch on our "things to do and buy before baby arrives" list on our kitchen whiteboard. Dusty finally got a chance to paint the baby's room on Mother's Day weekend [how appropriate] and he set up the crib and bureau soon afterwards. I washed and folded all the baby's clothes and put them away in the bureau. I put on the crib sheet, set up the diaper changing station, and put away the few toys we already have in this pirate-y toy chest. At lunchtime today, we bought the final piece that goes into the room: a glider rocker. The room isn't decorated yet, but it's ready for the baby to live in it.

Other than that, I feel a little bit like we're getting ready for Armageddon; we really should stock up on chocolate. We've already stocked away seven microwave-ready dinners in the freezer; we'll make at least three more by the end of the week. When we were in the Bay Area, Dusty and I bought two more sets of Cal-King sheets so we can be ready to change the bedding at any point while the baby is sleeping with us. We each bought an extra pack of underwear so we don't feel pressured to do laundry during the baby's first week. We've bought enough toiletries and toilet paper to last for three months, and enough diapers and wipes for the baby's first month. We hope.

As I check off all these to-dos and must-haves, I can't help but wonder when having and raising a kid became so involved. Who decided that kids had to ride in car seats? My generation, the ones now having babies of our own, grew up just fine without them. One of my fondest memories of a car trip is lying down on the floor of our Toyota Corolla, feet up on the backseat, watching the dawn sky change colors.

Furthermore, babies survived for hundreds of years in this arctic tundra without baby wipe warmers--Hell, who needs wipes in the first place when you have wet washcloths?--so who decided it was necessary? I mean, I have one because Karincita recommended it [and gave me one - thanks!], and I'm sure it will come in quite handy when the temperature drops to minus 45 in a few months, but I never thought I would own one.

I'm sure there were things our ancient ancestors did to prepare for the arrival of their offspring during this nesting phase, too. Mama Cave Bear may not have spent an entire day getting the craft/guest room organized and cleaned BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND, but more than likely she gathered fresh straw to give birth upon. And Daddy Cave Bear didn't have to worry about getting the right kind of newborn diapers [the ones with the cutout for the umbilical cord], but he probably staked out where he would hunt for extra meat for his growing family. Still, those things are so simple, so basic. Not at all like making sure that the infant car seat is installed according to government safety regulations before we even go to the birthing centre.

What did YOU do when you were nesting?

"A Simple Kind of Life" by No Doubt

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nothing Bad Ever Happens

" And the terrible things happen down the road / To somebody else that I don't even know /. . . / Nothing bad ever happens to me / Why should I care?"

I was late getting out of my water aerobics class today because all the grannies really needed to tell me what they know about labor and childbirth. Never mind that they all gave birth at least 40 years ago. This must be what it feels like to be ambushed by chickens at feeding time. Oh, the clucking. One granny, who always manages to cluck louder and more repetitively than the rest, tells me the same thing every time she sees me: "You're not going to find out the baby's sex, are you? I always found it exciting to find out when the doctor handed the baby to me after the ETHER wore off and I had COME TO." Yikes.

But that's way better than another granny, who has two daughters, both of whom always seemed to deliver gigantor babies weeks before their due dates, in situations that couldn't possibly be true: "My first daughter's water broke when she was floating down the Yangtze River on a bamboo raft lashed together with jungle vines and prayers." She always adds, "Oh, but you'll be fine." i.e. "My daughter had to squat-and-squirt right there on the raft and they swaddled the 14-pound baby born six weeks early in the clothes they were bringing to the lepers. Oh, but you'll be fine."

Last week she said to me, "You are SO BIG. I don't think you'll make it to your last day at work." Today she says, "You have five weeks left? I don't know. You look like you could pop right now, in the pool. You did say you planned on a water birth, right?" And then she smirked a little in a way that she must have thought proves she was teasing.

Bless me, Mother Goddesses, for I have sinned. Today I thought about strangling a 72-year-old woman with her own swimsuit straps.

"Nothing Bad Ever Happens" by Oingo Boingo

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Hardest Word

"Teach me the old ways; I'm ready to learn . . . /And we are ancient, built from bones"

In about five weeks, Dusty and I will be welcoming our wee beastie into this crazy lovely world. FIVE WEEKS. This past weekend, Dusty finished prepping the baby's room while I started washing all the baby's clothes and bedding. We also attended our weekend-long prenatal class with six other couples who will be delivering their babies under the care of the midwives at Westview Health Centre in Stony Plain. We learned and practiced natural pain management techniques like non-focused awareness, breath awareness, and massage. Ohhh, the massage.

We also discussed the "Labor Means Hard Work" section in Birthing From Within and watched two videos. The first one gave a detailed overview of all the stages of labor, with a few tips on how to help the laboring mother get through each stage. I was the only person in the class who had ever witnessed a birth and I think everyone at the birth [and in the class] was surprised that Karincita went through those stages in the span of about six hours, and delivered her child in two pushes, 20 minutes before the midwife got there. Snickerdoodle's birth was a rare, wondrous, and joyous event, but I and the other mothers-to-be in the class felt somewhat relieved that first babies generally do not arrive so swiftly into the world.

The second video was called Elk and the Epidural, done by Pam England, the author of Birthing From Within. The video was a 15-minute cartoon that purportedly "illustrates the truthful and typical experience of labor with an epidural." Except that the laboring mother is an ELK, her partner is an ELK, and her doula is a MOUSE. And the video uses language like, "If the elk mother decides to get an epidural, then she will labor at Cascading Falls, where there are a series of cascading medical interventions." and "When the elk mother is ready to push, the elk father encourages her and breathes with her through the contractions while the mouse doula reassures her that she is doing well."

Oh, Sister Pammy. NO. This is the kind of trippy dippy video that gives us hippies a bad name.

First of all, you know you're in trouble when you have to preface your video with "A lot of people asked me why I chose to represent the laboring mother as an elk and set the birthing process in the forest with animals. I thought it would be less threatening to women." Are you for serious?! If a pregnant woman in a prenatal class feels "threatened" by the sight of a human woman in labor, then she really should not be pushing a live human being out of her ladyflower. I think that Pam just wanted to draw elks and mice and owls and thought it might be cute to use them in a birthing video. It's not.

Second, this cartoon video is far from a "truthful and typical experience of labor". ELK DO NOT NEED EPIDURALS TO BIRTH THEIR BABIES. A mother elk walks into the forest, grunts and pushes a few times, and out comes the elk baby. Father elk is probably long gone by then. There aren't any fetal heart monitors or IV drips in the forest, and it's really unsettling and weird to see a cartoon elk strapped to medical equipment. Also, if in some parallel universe a mother elk were to have a doula, a mouse would most likely not be the first choice because, well, an elk could crush a mouse. And how helpful would a crushed mouse doula be? Not very, I'm guessing.

Third, this video shouldn't be advertised as an objective view of epidurals. Clearly, Pam advocates not having an epidural; how obvious a metaphor is Cascading Falls? None of the people in the class could take the information seriously; I looked around and all of the couples were exchanging "WTF?!" looks throughout the viewing. I felt like the video was condescending and I would've preferred to get information this important from humans, even cartoon humans. It would've been a step up from badly-drawn elk and mice.

Anyway, I’m feeling more prepared and informed about the laboring process in general, elk epidurals notwithstanding. Dusty and I are both getting really excited to meet this kid. Now the only thing left to do is paint and set up the baby’s room and start nesting.

Five weeks. BRING IT.

"The Hardest Word" by Kirsty MacColl

Friday, May 2, 2008

Can I Get a Witness?

"See him treat me so unkind / A-somebody, a-somewhere / Tell him it ain't fair . . . / Somebody? / Is it right to be treated so bad?"

On E! Online this morning: "[Nicole Kidman] is set to star as iconic '60s British pop singer Dusty Springfield, whose less than stable private life was marred by mental illness, substance abuse, and dalliances with the fairer sex before her death in 1999 from breast cancer."

I realize that E! Online is a celebrity gossip rag, so they're not exactly going to deliver stories with just the facts, but they listed Dusty's sexual preferences among the events that "marred" her life. 'The hell?! What are you trying to say? "Not only was this lady the Mayor of Crazytown, she done did the drugs! AND! And she was one a' dem LESBIANS! She died from having cancer in her BOOBS. Coincidence?"

It's frickin' 2008, E! Online. Stop being an ignorant jackhole.

"Can I Get a Witness?" by Dusty Springfield