Monday, June 30, 2008

Adieu for now

Got into new house ok. No internet. Not for a while. Waaaah!

It's a good thing, really; today we have one very clean bathroom and a put-together kitchen. Internet would have made that an impossible dream.

Master bedroom: beautiful blue!
Guest room: greeen! purty!
Baby room: soft purple. aaaaw.

*Kemma to the rescue!

I heart my new kitchen. Even with the hideous forest green cabinet doors. Finally! Room for the toaster oven we got for our wedding five years ago! And it still works!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mary Poppins's carpet bag

Still with the apartment clearing.

We have 450 square feet. It is physically impossible to have as much crap as we do. But we have it. We have it despite my twice-yearly garbaging frenzy, where I pitch anything and everything that isn't tied down (either physically or by some strong emotional tie, and I'm really pretty good about not getting attached to too many objects beyond t-shirts and old notes and photos). I have thrown more junk away in the last month than I have packed away in the last month, and the apartment looks no different. Except for the empty bookshelves. I made myself pack all the books away, except the my newest *acquisition. Those bookshelves look so forlorn. So sad.

*Perdido Street Station. I don't know if it's good or not yet. I'm only on page 26. More pity partying for me: I bought the book at least a week ago, and I still haven't had time to read it. Wah!

Today I tackled two of the places I have been afraid of all these years (next up: under the bed, Shelob's lair--the couch--, then the bottom of the closet and James's "dresser", which is really just an enormous junk drawer). The less scary one was under the kitchen sink, which turned out to be not bad at all. Only a couple things got thrown away, and nothing jumped out or shot its tentacles up my nostrils or began talking directly into my mind.

But the pantry. Hoooo boy.


That ketchup bottle back there, waaaay back there, the one you forgot you ever even bought, the one that has turned a sinister shade of eggplant? That ketchup bottle got a little frisky with some botulism-ridden canned pears. I don't know how long they were sitting there like that, but there was never a smell; there was never anything to indicate something skeevy was going on back there. They did give birth to some kind of toxic super glue. I never thought I'd have to peek in on a bunch of inanimate metal-encased objects just to make sure they were behaving themselves. That's why we're having what will one day be a teenage girl.

I'm not much of a hand washer, but since I got done cleaning that up, I've scrubbed up at least twelve times. My hand skin is now parchment, but I don't care. I won't die of botulism. Not today, at least.

Other than the Ketchup Surprise, I found nothing alarming. Well, some really way-past-their-best-by-date cans of food, but nothing else had escaped, and, again, nothing living and/or knowing popped out at me.

I have pregnancy cankle. Yes. Cankle. Singular. My right ankle is as slim and girlish and bony as it ever was, but my left one hasn't been this swollen since I finished soccer my senior year of high school (repeated small sprains = lovely, long-lasting swelling). I remember when my grandma had heart surgery, and she had to wear orthopedic socks. Her ankles looked like my left one does now.

I just don't understand why it's only one ankle. I don't stand or sleep on my left side any more than my right side. I don't cross my legs much (how do you think I got pregnant? HAR!).

Now, I should be happy that I have only one cankle, but I'm not. If I'm gonna have 'em, I at least want to be symmetrical.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The secret spider cabal

I swear they stay up at night, smoking cigars, groping waitresses, and thinking up ways to get me.

I have sleeping issues. BIG sleeping issues. Like, I can almost never fall asleep when I'm supposed to or when I want to. This is not usually a problem; I can sleep in as late as I want to, but it would be nice not to be on a noon-4am schedule.

Once I'm asleep, nothing on this green earth can wake me except my crazy dreams, James or a meteor through the roof. Maybe.

But then, during the day, I can sleep anytime, anywhere (but those daytime naps, oh my gosh, I have the weirdest dreams). I could probably sleep hanging by my heels from a spider-filled tree.

Except not in a car. Can't sleep in a car. Not even after ten straight hours of driving through Wisconsin, Minnesota (with the roads that go whumpa whumpa whumpa and all but rock you to sleep), and part of South Dakota, and I'm so fried my tongue is hanging out of my mouth, and my eyeballs transform into sandpaper.

When I'm trying to get to a sleepy point sometime before dawn, it just never comes, and it never comes and then WHAM I'm out. This happened last night (this morning--around 4:30, to be precise). So I got up from my *computer and went into the bathroom. Even if I don't have to use the bathroom before bed, I do it anyway. Otherwise I'll have to roll (yes, roll... and grunt, and heave, since I can never sleep in positions that are conducive to getting out of bed easily) myself out of bed in twenty minutes rather than thirty. And those ten minutes are precious to me.

Well, here I am all sleepy-like. Delicious sleepiness. I love being sleepy. Here I am, and I walk into the bathroom, and my eyes light on something in the bathtub. My eyes are sleepy. My glasses lenses are scratched. I can't see real well.

So, just to be sure it's not what I think it is, I get a little closer and, oh yes, it is what I think it is. A spider. Chillaxin' in my tub. She's no Shelob, not by a long shot, but girl definitely gets her snacks, if you know what I mean. I can't just drop a shoe on her because (a) we all know how that turned out last time and (b) she's chillin' on the wall of the tub, not the flat bottom. I can't throw anything at her because if I miss, she will jump straight out of the tub and land in my hair and bore a hole into my skull through one of my hair follicles. And feast on my nummy brain.

Calling on my spider knight is out of the question, since he's sound asleep and has to wake up in two hours. I do entertain this idea, but realized that by the time I wake up him and convince him to help me and not be angry, the spider would have gone somewhere else to hide until I take a shower in the morning, and then she'll jump into my hair and eat her way to my braaaiiiins.

So I grab my insane hair spray. I buy this hair spray because it is the closest thing to "works on my hair" that I have ever been able to find. Lightweight, with the holding power of super glue. I spend good money on it (thank goodness I rarely use hair spray, or it would have me in the poor house). So I take my magic hair spray and plaster her to the wall. I think, "She will freeze in place, and it won't hurt her since she'll be high as a kite--really, it's a good way to go, much better than a shoe, and this way her relatives won't want to take vengeance on me quite so much." I'm forgetting, of course, that some female spiders EAT THEIR RELATIVES, so I don't know why I care.


We return to the scene: Crazy lady dumping good money down the drain to kill spider. Problem, though: spider will not freeze. Or even slow down. I think hair spray is less like alcohol and more like meth for spiders. She starts crawling around all over the wall of the tub, and the hair spray seems to have only made her angry. Or really high. Not sure which. So I grab my shower cleaner (mixing chemicals? consequences be damned!) and douse her with that. Still nothing. I have graduated from mental conditioon: "arachnophobic" to "sick and disturbed and likes to pull wings off flies".

She finally runs down to the floor of the tub, and I run out to grab something. James's shoes are always a good bet, as they are the largest portable object in a four-mile radius. So I throw James's shoe on the spider, she is dead, I am sweating bullets, and things are crawling all over me now.

Unfortunately, I am the most awake I have been all day, it's 4:45 in the morning, and I still have to write a note to James telling him why his shoe is in the bathtub and the wall is sticky and smells like a prom 'do. I lie awake for most of the night, on edge and angry at James for doing obnoxious things like breathing and having a heartbeat and occasionally **showing signs of life.

But by golly that spider is dead.

*Yeah, I know staring at a computer or TV screen will just keep me awake. Believe me, I know. Trust me, though; that's not the problem. I've done experiments where I've eliminated coffee and all forms of brightness and excitement long before bed and... nothing. One thing that does seem to help is hard physical labor all day. Not so much an option anymore.

**I sometimes wake up at night (this even happens sometimes as I'm going to bed, if I've watched enough X-Files that day) convinced that (a) James is dead, and I'm sleeping next to a corpse, (b) the man next to me is not James, or (c) the man next to me is not a man at all, but a zombie. Many a night he has been jostled from slumber by me, frantically clawing at him to determine his state and identity. He never remembers in the morning. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I need oxygen!

Dear Baby,

You're 25 weeks old. On the whole, I think even your annoying quirks are amazing! and cute! and a miracle! Like when you shove your bottom into my colon as hard as you can. It's uncomfortable, but then I start thinking about little baby butts and how little and cute you are (actually, you aren't, since you haven't grown many fat cells under all that flappy skin, and you probably resemble some CGI character from Star Wars at the moment, but we can pretend), and how I can't wait to meet you, and that makes it all okay.

But there's this one thing you do that is absolutely not okay.

I cannot breathe. I realize you don't understand this, since you're getting everything you need via umbilical cord, and, while you are "breathing", it's just little practice breaths of amniotic fluid (which, eeew). But I feel like somebody shoved me in a tiny closet and sealed off the door. And it's all your fault. And I have 15 more weeks to go. By the time you drop, I will have suffocated to death.

It wasn't so bad when it was just the occasional thing, but now it's all the freaking time. Mama's sick of it.

Your Mother

Here's part of the problem: I have an abnormally short torso and big, meaty lungs, which leaves precious little space for an extra human being.

To give you an idea: Hebrew Friend is 2-3 inches shorter than I am. When we sit down next to each other, she's at least an inch taller.

Or, for you who are more visually oriented (and because I like to make bad diagrams),

A Diagram:

You can see how this might be a problem.

I ate a half a carton of Edie's light mint chocolate chip ice cream yesterday. When James brought it home the other night, and I saw "light" on the top--they hide the word so you can barely see it--, I cried (quietly, so as not to hurt his feelings). I haven't tasted light ice cream in years, and there's a reason for that. But Edie's light ice cream tastes like creamy, frozen cocaine, and I can't stop eating it.

Another thing I can't stop eating is the Healthy Choice chicken/turkey with gravy and mashed potato meals. I don't know what's in that gravy. I probably don't want to know. I just want more.

Last night, I went to bed around 3 (am). It would have been sooner, but I couldn't stop itching. This usually only happens when I've had 37 cups of coffee or no water all day. But I had just two cups of coffee yesterday (long before bed), and about twelve gallons of water. Still, the itchies. Aagh!

Then, by magic, I woke up at 8:30. This is the second morning in a row that this has happened to me. Yesterday, I woke up at 8:00, stayed awake until 10:00, then napped until one in the afternoon.

Maybe it's the lack of oxygen to my brain.

It doesn't seem to matter how much crap I box up and take over to the house. There's just as much stuff in the apartment as there was two months ago. It would probably help if I stopped buying books. I love the library, and I love having free books to read, but there's something beautifully satisfying about owning the books you love, even if they're cheap paperback novels (thus my enormous collection of Nero Wolfe mysteries). I bet if I stopped buying them, though, we'd be able to afford a Mercedes in about three weeks.

(James, if you're reading this, no, I don't really buy that many books.)

I need to shut up. I have a lot of junk to pack up today. And laundry to fold. Laundry that's sitting on the couch. The lair of Shelob. The couch where spiders go to scheme. And breed. And snack on my juicy toes.

Maybe I'll have James fold the laundry.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Where's Sting when you need it?

I just downloaded Firefox 3. It's a thing of beauty. My favorite thing is that problem pages now load before I can even blink. Oh, Firefox. I forgive you for all your spelling foibles.

If you're on facebook, you've been privy to my last couple status updates.

I got home on Friday night around 11. James was out with friends. I walked in, took off my shoes, started looking forward to a couple hours of reading some new books and lounging around before he got back home.

Then something big and dark started zipping across my kitchen floor. It's a good thing James wasn't home, or the neighbors might have taken the hysterical NO NO NO OH NO NO NO DON'T NO DON'T as their cue to call the cops on him. I started looking for things with which to kill the largest arachnid ever to set foot in Wisconsin, and all I could find was James's size 13 shoe. It's a heavy, large shoe. It's good for killing things when you have terrible aim.

I chucked that puppy (more like a full-grown mastiff, given the size of his feet) at Shelob, it landed flat on top of her with a good loud whump, and then it bounced off. Bounced. Like she was made of rubber. Or steel. She paused briefly, then kept walking. Like maybe a slight breeze had just blown across her back, and she was only stopping long enough to enjoy wind up her skirt.

No, she didn't walk. She zoomed. Under my couch. My couch where I was going to enjoy my new books. My couch where I like to sit. My couch where sometimes I have to open the window above it, and my toes slip under the little flap of fabric that hangs down to the floor. My toes. Fleshy toes, with tasty veins.

I don't really know what to do. She's under there, biding her time. I sit at my kitchen table (it's right next to the couch) and prop my feet up on the chair next to me. Every ten minutes I glance around the living room. Sometimes I snap my head up, just to be sure (in the movies, no one ever looks up until it's too late and the thing already has them by the eyeballs). I won't go out into the living room unless the lights are on. Eventually, I'll have to let go of my vigilance or die from exhaustion. And that's when she'll climb in my ear and suck my brains out.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oh, Rock River.

This is our new town:

It's such a small town I've never bothered to look up a map of it, thinking that just driving around it once we moved in would do the job. Hahahah! I paid for that mistake.

The yellow is a major thoroughfare for the area: small town, really important highway.

The orange is construction, also on a major thoroughfare.

I have an awesome idea: let's plug up both ends of this tiny little town at the same exact time. Maybe we should also close off highway 26. Oh wait, an act of God did that for us!

The green is where it's flooded (there's a lot more flooding than that, but it's more in people's yards and in soccer fields than it is on streets). Normally that little bit of green on the end of the west-side construction is my way to sneak around and get to our house fast. Not anymore.

Now I get to go the purple route, which take me along the new detour for the 8,300,745 people trying to go north on highway 26 through my town. I bypass the shorter route, J, because it would require me to turn left into bumper-to-bumper traffic. Whatever they say about New York drivers applies doubly to Wisconsin drivers. They're all either lunatics or inconsiderate; it's just that we're fewer in number, so the bad drivingness isn't as apparent.

Yesterday, what should have been a 45-minute trip would have taken me several hours. I finally did some semi-illegal maneuvering (Hi, County Sheriff in the parking lot!) and got myself into the parking lot of a restaurant where I could EAT! and PEE! Not in the parking lot. In the restaurant.

After I was done eating (I met some friends there; they were going to come by and see the new house, but that didn't happen), I hopped into the (now shorter) line onto Plymouth Street and made it to the house in about twenty minutes.

I was flipping out because our basement has been leaking like crazy with all this rain. The foundation is fine; the ground is just so saturated that water seeps right through the concrete. I fully expected to drive up and find the house collapsed in upon itself. Yes, I'm a drama queen. Yes, the house was fine.

Then I taped off (Despite my back protesting all the bending over, I really, really enjoy taping. I know. This is weird.) and painted some trim. Then tornadoes were coming, so James and I hightailed it out of there to come back to Madison and do some grocery shopping. I made garlic bread and ate four plums. I still have paint on my left arm. We lead such an exciting life.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ho Despot!

Still alive.

But if you haven't heard from me again in, say, a month, someone come look for me in the Delafield paint aisle of Home Depot. I may be hard to find if I'm huddled under the Glidden paint display, chewing on bits of hair and paint cards and drooling all over my tightly-clutched knees.

My problem? I love colors. Deep, rich colors. The kinds of colors that will be scary and heavy in all of our somewhat small rooms. I don't mind lighter colors, but it's so hard to estimate what a lighter color will look like covering an entire wall or room. And what on earth goes with the brownish blue-green floor in our bathroom? It's not really a bad color, but I'm completely at a loss. Right now the walls in there are LEMON BUTTER YELLOW! YOU SHOULD TRY IT WITH YOUR STEAK!

I'm beginning to wish we lived in the street. I could give birth in a nice, countryside ditch, and my baby and I could forage for hay and clover while James earns the big