Monday, October 29, 2007

Appliance delivery shenanigans

So we recently bought a new front-loading washing machine, which we are loving. Delivery and installation went off without a hitch. We also bought a new dryer from the same store, and assumed this would be an equally uncomplicated process.

The first delivery date came and went, with the delivery people allegedly unable to find anywhere to park. So we rescheduled. Today they were supposed to try again, but their excuse was, and I quote, "We couldn't find the dryer to put it onto the truck."

One is tempted to ask whether these people can find their own ass with both hands, but I suppose that would be impolite. Meanwhile the old dryer takes an hour and a half to finish a full load of laundry. Environmentally unfriendly much? We are singlehandedly killing off the polar bears with all this excess energy use here at the House of Fraulein.

UPDATE: So once they finally showed up with the new dryer, we were told that the venting system we have in place (rigged up by God knows which inept previous resident of our house) is completely ass-backwards and as a result, every time we use the old dryer, we are in danger of burning the house down. (Good to know, since we've been using it for the last four years...) As a result they refused to set up the dryer until we can get competent professionals in to re-assemble the venting system. The fun continues...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


These are some of the people I've been:

A teenage kid with Jersey hair and 80s clothes, part of a gang of Jersey kids driving far too recklessly than anyone ever should, laughing our asses off at everything and nothing

A college student, transplanted from Boston to the U.K., studying Woolf at Oxford and thinking every moment I was there: I cannot ever leave this place

A Gen X college grad cut adrift in the middle of a lousy economy, begging every mediocre newspaper on the East Coast to give me a job

An extremely poorly paid reporter for some of North Jersey's most craptactular newspapers

A somewhat less poorly paid reporter for a reasonably-not-crappy newspaper, where I dashed off to fires and car crash scenes and, one memorable time, a gunpowder plant explosion (Headline: "KABOOM!")

A person who thought: I will never have children. I cannot abide the idea of giving birth. I can't imagine being a mother

A person who thought: Holy shit, I'm pregnant

Friday, October 12, 2007

Is there anybody alive out there?

More Bruce-y goodness from the new album lyrics:

(From Radio Nowhere)

I was spinnin' 'round a dead dial
Just another lost number in a file
Dancin' down a dark hole
Just searchin' for a world with some soul

This is radio nowhere,
is there anybody alive out there?

(From Livin' In the Future)

Woke up Election Day, skies gunpowder and shades of gray
Beneath a dirty sun, I whistled my time away
Then just about sundown
You come walkin' through town
Your boot heels clickin'
Like the barrel of a pistol spinnin' 'round

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Activist, poet, bard of New Jersey. Still a genius (and still hot!) after all these years. I'm loving the whole new album, especially the opening track, 'Radio Nowhere.'

Monday, October 08, 2007

Art imitates life

Over the past couple of years I've noticed that Halloween (which when I was a kid was essentially an excuse to dress up in silly outfits and eat dozens upon dozens of Reese's peanut butter cups, while hurling wads of wet toilet paper into the neighbors' trees) has morphed into something highly unsettling. Witness the fact that you can't enter any CVS-type store this month without being visually assaulted by all manner of gruesome displays, such as green-skinned zombie masks with eyeballs hanging out of them. Another delightful item I saw for sale this weekend: clear plastic posters with what are supposed to look like bloody handprints and other "blood-splatter" marks on them, which you're supposed to put up on your windows to give your house the air of having been the site of a mass chainsaw execution. Festive!

What the hell has happened to Halloween? Wasn't it originally supposed to be a kid's holiday? One kid who is having none of it is my Peanut, who had such a total freakout meltdown in the Walgreen's the other day that I literally had to carry her out as she screamed and screamed. For some perverse reason they had stocked many of their Halloween displays on shelves about three feet from the floor, meaning she was face-to-face with endless rows of gigantic rubber rats, Freddy Kreuger masks, fake rubber hands holding bloody knives, leering skeletons, etc. Now on top of everything else I have to worry about her being scarred for life by Halloween displays?

I've been thinking about this in light of this horrible torture porn horror movie trend of the past few years, which also unsettles me a great deal. I remember having a conversation about this with the manager of our local Hollywood Video, and trying to explain to the guy that there was no way I could bring my toddler into that store when every third DVD on the shelves was festooned with graphic photos of people being tortured. I was not sorry to see that, between Netflix and On-Demand cable movies, the Hollywood Video is about to close its doors, but the gross-out movie trend continues. And I've realized that maybe all this gruesomeness is about art imitating life.

You read enough stuff like this, and you start to think that when the Earth eventually gets its revenge on us, quite a few of us are going to deserve it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The best present I ever got

Dear Peanut:

Happy third birthday! I cannot believe how big you've gotten, and how utterly beautiful you are. I can't believe the way you talk, like a self-assured mini-adult in 3T clothing. How could I ever sum up in a letter or a blog post what your arrival meant--and continues to mean--to your daddy and me?
In every moment since I got my first glimpse of you (your tiny feet) I have been so blown away by the intensity of parenthood. I never imagined that I could feel the things I've felt since you came into the world. I can't put into words what I felt when I tried and tried, in those early days, to get you to latch on to my breast. The utter joy when we succeeded, the bleak sense of frustration when we failed. The look on your little angel face when you woke up in the middle of the night, anticipating a feeding. I will never forget that look! It was so hopeful.
How can I explain how much we've loved every minute of your life? How scrumptious you were as a chubby little baby? How astonished everyone was when you stood up and walked at 10 months? How funny it was when you danced and danced? How proud we were as you started doing more things on your own, from feeding yourself to climbing the jungle gym to even, most of the time now (praise Jesus!) using the potty.
Every day I'm so excited about what you'll do next. In every stage so far you've been a different person, and each one has been amazing to behold. You'll never know how happy you've made us by coming into our lives.
Three years ago today I got my best present ever, my amazing fabulous Peanut baby. Happy birthday, my sweet girl.