Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A cavalcade of cool mom stories

Antique Mommy has a giveaway going, and the comments thread is fascinating as well as hilarious. She's asked people to share factoids about their moms in honor of Mother's Day coming up. Go take a look! You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Peanut and Daddy

Out in our friends' back yard a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Do some good

I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (at a young age and with two young kids, no less). I met her and her now-husband at Trinity Church in Boston many years ago, before I met Mr. Fraulein. Later we discovered that her aunt is married to Mr. Fraulein's uncle! Which was more than bizarre, and which made us realize that technically we are related. Through marriage at any rate.

Now this friend is soliciting donations for her local MS Walk event in Pennsylvania. You can donate to her team here, and help the National MS Society fund research into a cure for this devastating disease. My friend and her husband and little boys thank you!

Meanwhile another friend and former co-worker is now training for the New York City Triathlon, which will raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which funds research into cures for blood cancers. As he points out, getting his 43-year-old self in shape for this event will be no small feat. But I have to give him props for trying to get into shape, which is certainly more than I'm doing. I applaud your efforts from my seat on the couch, Uncle Squid! You can donate to his team here.

If you're wondering why in God's name his nickname appears to be "Uncle Squid," let me enlighten you. Technically his nickname is "The Squid." Because when you are an Italian guy from New Jersey with a name like Tony Borelli (our degenerate group of reporter friends decided back in the day) you obviously need a mob name. Something with a nice ring to it, such as "Tony 'The Squid' Borelli."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The birds and the bees

Lately the Peanut has been wondering about babies, since every third person we know seems to either be pregnant or to have just given birth. "How do the babies get into the belly?" she wants to know.

I haven't been able to figure out much of a response beyond saying, "God puts the babies in there."

So last night, as she was settling down to sleep, we had, I swear to Jesus, the following conversation (which I should preface by adding that she has absorbed enough political commentary around here to know that the names "George Bush" and "Dick Cheney" are associated with all things bad and wrong):

Peanut: Will I have a baby?

Me: Someday you might, sure.

Peanut: What is God again?

Me: Well, it's kind of hard to explain, but God is everything that's good in the whole world.

Peanut: Don't George Bush and Dick Cheney know about God?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Red Sox are killing me, Part XXVIIIX

Last night there was a 7:05 p.m. game at Fenway. In the past I've found that the best strategy for avoiding Red Sox Nation-Related Traffic Hell has been to leave work insanely early, so I get home before it (RSNRTH, that is) breaks out in earnest. However, sometimes I can't do it.

So yesterday, I had the delusion that maybe if I didn't leave the suburban hinterlands where my office is until 6 p.m., maybe everybody would be at the game by the time the Peanut and I arrived in the vicinity of Storrow Drive, which is where the prime traffic lunacy usually erupts.

Well, it turns out that everybody is decidedly NOT already at Fenway by 6:45 p.m. on 7:05 p.m. game nights. No, at that point they are still engaged in cutting one another off and driving up on the sidwalks and speeding dangerously through tight openings between the double-parked cars, as per usual.

"Are we going to have to stay here FOREVER?" the Peanut moaned from the back seat. No, I responded. It only feels like forever.

Thanks a bunch, Red Sox Nation!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Peanut joins the band

So on Friday night we went out for sandwiches at Panera Bread, which we haven't done in a while. The Peanut loves their grilled cheese kids' sandwiches. Afterwards we stopped at our local Best Cellars wine place so Mr. Fraulein and I could enjoy the nightly tasting. As they sometimes do, they had a small band playing live music during the wine tasting--just two guys, a vocalist/guitarist and a percussionist. The Peanut is always mesmerized by any live music, so she stood for a while watching them play. Then the percussion guy offered her a little egg-shaker maraca-type thing. She was a bit shy about it at first, but then agreed to try it, and even sat in with the band for a song, playing her shaky-maraca thing along with the beat.

Once she had enough of that she came back to where we were standing. As the little band continued to play, the Peanut started dancing, jumping up and down with glee. She closed her eyes and shook her head, making her hair fly in front of her eyes, which made her look like a 3-year-old version of the people in those iPod ads.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This is why I don't watch TV news anymore

Because during the last Democratic primary debate, the ABC right-wing circus clown moderators apparently spent an hour shouting questions about flag lapel pins and '60s radicals before they got around to, you know, any mention of Iraq.

As the awesome Bob Cesca put it:

It confounds logic that, on one hand, Senator Obama is repeatedly asked to explain why rural America is bitter, while, on the other hand, his qualifications for the presidency are being evaluated based on his goddamn bowling skills. Seriously, what the hell is going on here? The Bush Republicans are responsible for perhaps the worst economic crisis since World War II. They're responsible for a $3 trillion occupation and decades of future blowback. They're responsible for selling our sovereignty to foreign governments. They're responsible for trampling our liberty and national character. And there was Senator McCain on Hardball the other night talking about war in Iran, while pledging to make permanent the Bush tax cuts for the super rich. Both of which would make matters far, far worse.
Seriously--I can't do it. Can't watch it. Reading about it on the Web after the fact is painful enough. I have accepted the fact that if I watch these atrocities directly as they unfold, I will suffer a fatal aneurysm, and my husband will have to explain to the police how I came to expire at the age of 39, falling in our living room with an expression of rage on my face and both middle fingers still extended in the direction of our flat-screen TV.

This will give you the chills

Then we needed a leader and you’re all we had
So we told ourselves you were not that bad
You took the opportunity to have your way
While our wounds still bled we were led astray
All the the fears that came descending on us then
Falling just the same
Falling like the towers in a cloud that hung
So it blocked our view and it hid the sun
When our eyes were down, in all that pain
With your slight of hand, you cast the blame

The artist is named David Wilcox, and he is phenomenal. I had never heard of him before a couple of days ago and now I have his new CD on constant rotation. Every song is amazing. See if you can listen to this without crying (I can't so far!) It's the perfect wedding song. Clearly I have to renew my vows so I can get to use it, since it wasn't around when I got married in 2002.

(Photo credit

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why, I didn't have time to prepare an acceptance speech...

Many thanks to Misty at Rainy Day in May for this. Who doesn't love getting an award? I'm all choked up over here...

Speaking of awards, am I the only one out there who has spent an inordinate amount of time fantasizing about what would constitute the perfect dress to wear to the Oscars? Like, as if I was ever going to be nominated for an Oscar. Which I won't. Not being in the entertainment business or anything. But if in some alternative universe I ever get to go to the Oscars ceremony, I have a pretty good idea what I would wear. Something that evokes classic Hollywood, while flattering my skin tone, making me look 15 years younger, and disguising the size of my ass. (I told you this was an alternative universe.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Peanut's not-evil twin

This is not my kid. The eyes are slightly wider-set, and more obviously Asian, than the Peanut's. Also she is a couple of years older. But other than that, she's the Peanut's double. I found her modeling hand-made hats in a store on Etsy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Things I will never get tired of watching

This weekend Mr. Fraulein and I were talking about movies and old TV shows that hold up well on repeated viewings. Some movies you see in the theater and think, well, that was OK but I don't need to ever see it again. Others, you know you just have to have for your own collection. There's something so comforting about relaxing in front of a movie or show you already know will make you howl with laughter, think about Important Issues, or both!

So here is my list of movies and a TV episode I can happily watch a million times:

1. Office Space. Have you ever had a job that, as somebody in a Dilbert cartoon once said, made you "long for the sweet release of death"? The kind of job where, if you were offered the choice between working for those people again or being waterboarded by Dick Cheney, you'd take your chances with the waterboarding? If so, like me, you will never get tired of this movie.

2. Galaxy Quest. If there is anything funnier than Alan Rickman's pained facial expression pretty much every moment he's on screen, I'd like to see it. An absolute classic.

3. Monsters Inc. When Sully thinks he'll never see Boo again, it makes me cry every time. Cute, funny, and creative.

4. His Girl Friday. I first saw this movie in Journalism 101 my freshman year at Boston University, and thus a newspaper career was born. The scene where Hildy chases down her interview subject (across a couple of lanes of traffic) and then tackles him (while wearing 1940s-era heels) still gives me the chills. Just awesome.

5. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. If you were in high school in the 80s, you have to love this one. It perfectly captures the joy of skipping out of school.

6. Stranger than Fiction. Turns out Will Ferrell can act. I completely adore the idea behind the plot of this one: a guy hearing a disembodied voice narrating his every move. This movie is underappreciated and sheer genius.

7. Orlando. My favorite Virginia Woolf novel can't have been a picnic to adapt for the big screen. With this one they did what I assumed was impossible: bringing the humor and humanity of one of literature's most fascinating characters vividly to life on screen. Tilda Swinton comes close to my exact vision of this character, with the exception of her red hair (Orlando is very explicitly a brunette in the novel).

8. Ratatouille. We rented this for the Peanut without realizing it's really a Big People Movie, although little people can appreciate it too. Not just one of my favorite animated movies -- one of my favorite movies period. Hilarious and moving at the same time.

9. Cars. How do the animators get the cars to look like they have emotions? Just brilliant.

10. The Office, Season Two: the "Office Olympics"episode: Can't find a link to this particular one. It's the episode where Michael buys his condo and while he and Dwight are out at the closing, Jim and Pam organize the Dunder Mifflin Olympics, featuring such events as races around the building with full cups of coffee. Oh, and "Flonkerton." I have seen this over and over on DVD and it still makes me laugh almost to the point of losing bladder control. Rainn Wilson outdoes himself in this one, which is saying something since he's always hilarious.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nicknames, and the second cutest kid on earth

We don't just call the Peanut "the Peanut" on this blog. It's actually a nickname Mr. Fraulein and I use with her quite a bit, because it suits her so well. Yesterday as I dropped her off at preschool, her best buddy C. was hanging around as I helped her get her coat off and put her lunch in the fridge. "Why do you call her Peanut?" C. asked. This kid is referred to around our house as The Second Cutest Kid in the World, and if you could see him, you'd know why. He SO belongs in a Baby Gap ad or something. He's just a week older than the Peanut, but much larger -- taller, with bigger hands and feet. He has a smile that outshines the sun. And, God love him, I suspect his mommy has to buy him "husky" sized clothing.

So when I responded, well, we call her that because it's her nickname, his face lit up with his usual incandescent smile. "I have a nickname too!" he said. "Really, what is it?" I asked.

"MEATBALL!" C. shouted.

And that made me giggle for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I am looking forward to spring finally coming to New England (as is the Peanut). This morning I had to scrape frost off my car windows. The Peanut really wants to start getting outside more. It's dawned on me that this year we are going to need a bigger tricycle, because she long ago got too big for this one.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm it

I feel honored to have been tagged by the awesome and not-at-all-antique-looking Antique Mommy to do a "meme" post about Six Unimportant Things About Me. It's tough to narrow it down to just six! But here they are:

1. I cannot (and never could) ice skate.

2. Someone once told me I would make a more-than-adequate race car driver.

3. I love to bake but hate to cook.

4. I haven't gone downhill skiing since high school, but I still remember how exhilarating it was to feel the wind on my face and the satisfaction of hitting a mogul and not falling down.

5. I started going gray at 27. I've been dyeing my hair for so long I can't even remember my real hair color now.

6. I look terrible in navy blue.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Conversations on a Sunday morning

Me: Good morning, Peanut, how did you sleep?

Peanut: Fine. I want to still wear my pink pajamas. And I want to wear my pink shoes. And I want two pink underpants.

Me: Why two pairs of underpants?

Peanut: Because one pair is for my butt and one is to wear on my head.

Me: OK. Right. On your head.

Peanut: Right -- the dark pink ones with the roses on them.

Me: Well, I think those are in the hamper because you wore them yesterday.

Peanut: I still want them! (Goes to bathroom to get dirty underpants out of hamper.)

Me: You know what, you really don't want to wear dirty underwear on your head.

Peanut: Yes I do! WAAAHHHH!!!

Me: Oh God. I didn't even have coffee yet. How about this -- let's get your pink tutu from your Halloween costume and you can wear that instead of dirty underpants on your head. OK?

Peanut (tearfully): OK.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Putting myself out there

Up until recently I haven't done much to promote this blog, but I feel like that needs to change.

I'm in the mood for more conversation. It's good to feel connected, don't you think? So thanks to my old friends and new friends for pitching in and commenting. I appreciate it more than you know.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Red Sox finding new and innovative ways to ruin my commute

This is all I need:

Fenway Ready for Home Opener

Apr 3rd, 2008 BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox are getting Fenway Park ready for next week's home opener, when almost 1,000 more fans will be able to squeeze through the gates of baseball's oldest and smallest park.

The defending World Series champions play their first home game of the season Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers.

The seventh year of renovations are almost complete. New this year is a section of upper deck seats in left field, a kitchen for the Red Sox clubhouse and a stairway down the third base line to help fans get in and out of the park.

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino says with the new Yankees Stadium set to open in 2009, Boston needs to work even harder to keep up with "the bullet train in the Bronx."

A thousand more seats. This will mean hundreds more cars driven by clueless suburbanites in endless circles around the greater Fenway area, searching fruitlessly for parking, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF RUSH HOUR. When those of us who are unfortunate enough to have to drive through this area to get home, are trying to commute back from work. Fun times.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Why is this clown still on the teevee...?

Every time I read anything this asshat says, it makes me want to stab myself in the eye with an ice pick to distract from the pain of the realization that he has, and has had for ages and will likely continue to have, an elevated television perch from which to ask questions like this, which he asked about Barack Obama:

"Let me ask you about how he -- how's he connect with regular people? Does he? Or does he only appeal to people who come from the African-American community and from the people who have college or advanced degrees?"

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Peanut is 3 and a half today

I don't know where that time went. I cannot believe that 3 years, six months, and one day ago, I had never met her. She was still just an abstract concept to me before she was born. I never had that sense of "Even in the womb, I knew you..." that a lot of mothers say they have.

I literally had no idea at that point how my life would change. Which is of course a giant cliche, but one that is true of every parent I know. Luckily for most people it's a change for the better. I can't imagine how much smaller and poorer my life would be without the incredible gift of getting to watch her experience the world.

Happy half birthday Peanut!