Thursday, February 24, 2005

ok, i'm done. sorta....

i believe i'm unofficially done trying to get pregnant.

i'm pretty sure i'm done charting since i haven't taken my temp in a while and sadly, it wasn't that hard giving up. it's hypocritical for me to willingly wake up at the same time every morning, suck on a thermometer and wait for the beep beep beeping to end. the reality is, the only time i am willing to wait while listening to a series of beeps is when it's coupled with the scent of buttery popped corn or some other zapped warm goodie.

there should be more scenes about waiting for thermometers in independent films - it's a great metaphor for the mundane and speaks novels about being hopelessly hopeful. yes, that would be me, the poster child for the hopelessly hopeful. especially when i know where i am in my cycle and i realize (yet again and again and again) that my temperature dropped and i'm NOT pregnant. it's like my own personal "groundhog day".

i'm also not swallowing another drop of this homeopathic tincture i bought at the health food store. the bottle is kinda cool though. i may use it in some kind of found object collage (along with the thermometer maybe).

i will however, as a last ditch effort, try acupuncture. but that's it.

then, i'm officically officially done. if i get pregnant again, i get pregnant. but, i'm done with "working" at it. cause you can only say, "hey, it's fun trying", so many times and really mean it (which doesn't mean i don't like to have lots o' sex). besides, k'zilla is an awesome kid, she's the bestest little being my life has ever had the priviledge of bumping into. she's the one thing that proves my birth was not a mistake and i love her madly.

we have our difficult days when she's kid-a-plenty and occasionally on those days, even the shadow of the idea of having another child makes my ovaries shrivel in terror. what's weirder is the realization that someone out there thinks (or used to anyway) the same about me (thank you, mommy!).

and yet, i still daydream about k'zilla's nameless, faceless, genderless, phantom sibling. i'm sure i'm not the only mamazilla who hears the whispers of "an heir and a spare", as it escapes from that teeny tiny dusty little imaginary lock box in her head. (i swear i shove it right back in there immediately.) but the truth is life can be horribly brutal and unfair and the thought of any harm coming to her sends me running to her, desperate for empty reassurances. a giggle and a "hi mommy" will usually set me straight.

and for the record, if i do get pregnant again, i really hope it's a boy.

i remember when we scheduled our first ultrasound to catch a glimpse of k'zilla. i was wishing and wishing for a healthy child most of all, but after that, i was wishing for a girl. i figured i'd understand a girl better since a) i have girl parts b) i know other girls. and secretly, i just wasn't ready to get "christened" by my little boy with urine.

but now, that she's almost two. i realize that as a woman, i have to re-learn what it means to be a girl. girls are just different. they were and are an alien culture. growing up, i only had guy friends really. the girlfriends that i had and have are girls like me - girls with mostly guy friends. as a child, girls didn't hang with me because i was weird looking. the boys always made fun of me but they didn't mind hanging with me. they could appreciate that i could scale the back wall of my building like spiderman, run as fast or faster than them and could easily score goal after goal in floor hockey.

but, girls have always been so mysterious to me with their elaborate hierarchies, hushed secrets and esoteric streams of consciousness collected haphazardly in this perfumed, fuzzy, giggling, festooned package.... i was so glad and surprised when i graduated to "woman" because i failed so miserably at being a girl. and now, i'm expected to raise and educate one!? the one thing i can impart (besides the requisite abcs and 123s and random flashy dance moves) is solid fashion sensibility. and why is this, you ask? well, i'm convinced that the only reason i have the wide selection of clothes and accessories, my own quirky sense of style and a decade of experience in the fashion industry is because i had a huge crush on a boy who turned out to be gay. for years, i thought he had crushes on diana ross and donna summer. it wasn't until we graduated high school that he realized he wanted to BE diana ross and donna summer. everything else well have to explore and navigate together, k'zilla - no promises, except that i'll do my very best.

anyway, after two years with her, i think i'm ready to take on the challenges a baby boy would pose. i can hear all the other "been there done that" moms cackling and laughing hysterically right about now. i know, i can't believe how fragile i felt when i brought k'zilla home the first day. jeez louise - who WAS that person?

ok, really, i'm done... :)

Monday, February 21, 2005

my lungs - pre and post concert.

suffice to say, if the zutons/redwalls/keane tour is stopping by your city, i highly recommend you (and your favorite oxygen tank) see the show. and try not to pre-judge keane, solely on the funky dancing (?) that the lead singer does... :)

up next? xiu xiu, built to spill, john legend (opens for alicia keys), desmond dekker (woo-hoo!!!!) are all playing chicago venues...

i convinced popzilla to attend the kurt halsey frederiksen show by dangling a late dinner at rick bayless' frontera grill in front of him. the show was small but well attended. his work is quite beautiful up close and personal. we got to meet the artist and i caught a glimpse of his "model" (who i also think is his significant other and has a kurt halsey tattooed on her arm). kurt was very nice and i was a babbling starstruck groupie (pathetic). now, we are the proud owners of "met a boy", a small, unique full body drawing of a young pigtailed, flip flopped girl, by kurt halsey frederiksen. :) enormous thank you to wag artworks for hosting the show.

(i promised myself that i would never post a pic of me on my blog... never say never... )

me & kurt halsey frederiksen -

Thursday, February 17, 2005

K is for Kumar, Keane and Kurt

harold and kumar go to white castle.

i can't believe i loved this movie. it's basically a romantic comedy with a solid music soundtrack,(except for the whole sing along with wilson phillips scene. *shivers*) routine toilet humor & gratuitous boobie fondling. it's a little deliverance thrown in with some risky business, mixed with animal house and a dash of pee wee's big adventure, some willy wonka folded in, garnished with joy luck club and sprinkled with a little map of the human heart and english patient.

with this many memorable scenes and hilarious dialogue, it's bound to be a cult classic. if i watch it again, i'm sure i could fashion a little drinking game out of it too. there's even enough of an unrequited love storyline (between a desperate man and his 420) that i may even classify it as a chick flick. and the kitchen sink? neil patrick harris (aka doogie howser) playing neil patrick harris. reDEMPtion! THANKYAJESUS! i am HEALED of the septic wound inflicted injuriously upon me by those satanic, havoc wreaking, fornicators - starship troopers!

however, my only beef (ha) about the movie is the choice of, shall we say, "holy grail". white castle sells the most disgusting "food" i have EVER tasted in my entire life. and not just because i was taken there after my senior prom. and no, it is not an urban legend that some girl bit into a white castle "slider" (hello? i'll give you one guess why it's called that.) and found herself chewing on a seashell. i'll take jack in the crack or booger king anyday over not so white castle.

if this movie sounds totally unoriginal and derivative of all the other comedies in its genre... well, yeah, it kinda sorta is. but they do make a few revisions to the standard that show this movie stands on it's own merits. the bottom line is it's funny (and did i mention there are two cute asian guys in the starring roles. wee-ha! asian power!).

anyway, tonight, i will be one of hundreds of women being serenaded by keane (and the redwalls and the zutons) and possibly swooning (due to a combination of smoke inhalation, bad ventilation and a cold snap) at the riviera theatre. what DO you wear to concerts in the winter? do i choose to be a fashion victim and freeze to death outside the venue or be roasted (along with my common sense and practicality) inside the venue? i remember thinking that only old folks brought coats to live shows and *gasp* checked their coats in. oh god, i just realized... the theatre is a general admission venue. i'm going to be standing for hours... i AM getting too old for this.

hopefully, tomorrow night, i'll be at the kurt halsey show, buying an item bearing a halsey image of some kind (i'll get the sticker of a band-aid). i say hopefully because there is a chance i'll chicken out because a) like cinderella, i am a former art school geek fraud b) also like cinderella, any outfit that i do conjure up will prove to be fit for a dress ball and not your garden variety outsider art gallery and the fashion police will be forced to haul me away and potentially do a cavity search c) wicker park is home to too many former girlzilla one night stands.

i hope kidzilla never reads this. come to think of it, i owe you a mea culpa too. just say no to bad writing.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

my fil (father in law) passed away this day last year. i'll never forget getting the call from popzilla in kansas city after kidzilla and i had gotten her first haircut and were celebrating and cataloging the event. it seemed so pointless to scrapbook anything without my fil to share it with.

although my fil and i fought small superficial battles, we always kissed and made up. he was very precious to me and i believe i was very dear to him. he is deeply and painfully missed by our little family. i'm really glad that before he passed away he was able to laugh and hug and play with kidzilla.

anyway, i've only been to one other funeral which moved me in the way that my fil's did and it's due to my husband's eulogy for the father and friend that follows. it's beautiful and i thought it would be nice to share it with you since you didn't get the chance to meet him. my father in law was such a wonderful person, a treasure that i was lucky enough to find and cherish.

"it is a cliche that no man is a hero to his valet but i think the opposite is true for fathers and children. every father is a hero to his kids. and that certainly is true in our case.

now heroism was not the first thing we considered when being taught that socks must be rolled, not folded, or that garbage cans must be kept clean lest the contents end up on the bed or that the proper way of teaching a 6 year old to dive from the high dive was to hold him by the ankles and release.

but even then, we must have followed our father's lead and emulated his leadership as we engaged in verbal battle with him over whether the spitfire or the mustang was the prettiest fighter of WWII or as we engaged in no-holds-barred sibling battles, which dad heroically parachuted into bringing peace from on high.

after our parents split, my fathers heroism became more obvious. in the turbulent early 70s our father took us and ventured forth to tilt at windmills and slay the dragons of the outside world. he raised us as a single father and the manner in which he raised us will seem, well, eccentric.

dad ran our family like a military dictatorship. he was fond of telling us that his family "was not a democracy". like many military groups, the food was terrible - swanson tv dinners, kfc and anything else simple.

despite the poor provisions, morale was high. how could it not be with the finest pilot who ever flew in command? our father flew for the greatest airline in the greatest country in the world. not many of our friends had dads who did something like that. morale remained high as our father escorted us out the door, playing his harmonica and singing "good-bye, children" as we walked off to school. it remained high through countless dinner table conversations that covered such mundane topics as the wives of henry the VIII, the periclean age of athens and the adventures of cortes and the conquistadors.

in our younger days, those conversations generally took the form of a soliloquy while we listened. as many of you know, our father was very good at talking. eventually, dad stopped delivering speeches and started questioning us, a practice which led us to wonder if he wanted children or debate partners.

as we grew older, we stopped seeing our father as heroic. he still had a great job and went and did pretty interesting things. he continued to fight the good fight against petty bureaucracy, refusing to tender what he considered non-relevant information (such as an SSN or phone # when asked). or else making up reasons for school absence that administrators squawked over like "mountain climbing in the himalayas" or "tiger taming in bengal" when all we were doing was going to the dentist.

but to a teenager, no father is a hero, even when doing admirable things. at best a father is merely tolerable. certainly , a father can't be a hero when ihe is grounding you or talking away or driving priviledges because you let the gas level drop below a quarter tank.

eventually, we left our little squadron and in the fullness of time, started our own families. and as we became parents our view of our father returned to a heroic one. yet it was not heroism in the sense of feats of arms that echo thru the ages. nor was he a hero for being a pilot and commanding the flight deck as he did. we see our father as hero for going beyond the call of duty in deciding to raise two hardheaded kids on his own through difficult and demanding times. and for doing it so well that he felt safe in saying "he had not fathered us in vain for i was better man than he was" during a toast he gave at my wedding - a sentiment that i deeply disagree with.

our father loved to talk. he was able to pass that trait to his children, occassionally to his regret. yet one of the great things about having such a talkative family is that as darkness fell, everything had been said. our father left this mortal coil for the undiscovered country he needed no further assurances of love from us, nor did we need them from him. we cherished each other and no child really needs more than that.

the phrases and quotations and aphorisms tossed out by my father during our conversations over 37 years will in turn be repeated to my children. yet only one seems appropriate for me to say here, and so i say to you, oh captain, my captain, may god bless and keep you."

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

because i can't write anything this sophisticated...

click here to read inside the book, "where willy went" by nicholas allan.

...the story of the little sperm that thought he could and did. quite successfully and with some emotion i might add...

(is it just me? i totally thought there was a stork involved SOMEWHERE.... flat earth? tooth fairy? flowbee? LIES! ALL LIES!)

Thursday, February 03, 2005


per the advice of other mamazillas, i bought guard rails and a new toy (bullseye from toy story 2) in preparation for paloma's transition from crib to bed. actually, it's been all set up now for a couple of days (bed & rails).

last night, after our regular scheduled night time routine, i just mentioned to her that we were probably going to try sleeping in the big girl bed in a few days. i pointed to the bed and said "big girl bed" and then to the crib saying "baby crib". and paloma said "no! big girl bed".

i was A W E S T R U C K and skeptical.... i mean how could this one-month-shy-of-terrible-two-toddler know what i was saying? so, i made sure she wanted to sleep in the big girl bed. i moved closer to the crib and she said it again, "no! big girl bed".

so, i put her in the bed and said "ok, wait here for mommy and close your eyes. i have a surprise." i got bullseye out of the highest shelf in the closet (next to the freaky barbie doll and the (borderline psychotic looking) stitch doll - both slated for goodwill dropoff) and hid him behind my back.

i did a little "showbiz reveal" with him and she was OVER THE MOON! i explained to her that bullseye was only for the big girl bed and stayed in the big girl bed....

would you believe that she actually said "goodnight mommy" yanked the blanket up and pulled bullseye underneath with her? i couldn't believe it myself. i walked out the door and waited for her to cry out for me or to hear the groaning of springs from her jumping - nothing. just some quiet slumbering.... :)

however! i discovered this morning it looks as if she will be unable to NAP in the aforementioned big girl bed... as she's happily napping in her crib right now. oh well...


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