Saturday, November 25, 2006

Staying in Canada

Our neighbors and friends, the Druckers, really did move out of the country when Bush was re-elected, like so many of us only talked about. The LA Times just asked David to write some humorous commentary on the status of the US and their own decision to move after the mid-term elections earlier this month. Here it is.


Holiday Shopping

My jewelry is now for sale at Jade Moran Jewelry, 257 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA. You can walk there in 10 minutes from the Porter Square T stop. Don't miss the annual holiday Open House hosted by Jade Moran and neighboring (amazing) ceramicist, Ruchika Madan.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006


We're having trouble booking a vacation to the Caribbean. Lots of places are more expensive than we thought. [burp] So, we'll probably go to Puerto Rico, the one place there I've been as an adult. Oh well, there could be worse problems.

My mother-in-law and I had a play date today. We made fun of maternity clothes and examined the baby gear possibilities in the outlets near her, she took me out to a yummy lunch and then we played with alcohol-based inks in the afternoon. She is amazing and created all these wild abstract colors and shapes. It was fun. One of the best things about art projects is that I forget I'm pregnant while I do them. [burp]

So there my kid will get beach and art and baked goods and my dad is itching to play with the kid and picnic under the planes at the local airport and feed the ducks together and this all makes me feel really loved and relieved and excited.

When I got home the nurse had left a message that she had "great news" so I think the amnio went well, but the eek part is that I'm afraid to call tomorrow as I will then know the gender of my child. That makes me this weird, uncomfortably high-strung combo of nervous and excited...(so does saying "my child").

Have I mentioned that I burp all day lately?


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Friday, November 17, 2006

Borat: Funniest Movie of the Year?

(Not!) Thank You for Smoking and Little Miss Sunshine are two movies of this year that come to mind quickly as way funnier than Borat. . . . but neither of those allowed me to eavesdrop on incredibly funny dumb teenagers in the bathroom talking about how "oh. my. gawd. that was like. that was like supposed to be the funniest thing evER? And oh. my. god. It Totally was. I mean, I'd seen the previews, and like thought it was funny? But it was so. Gawd." "Yeah. I didn't even watch the previews. On purpose. Like I wanted to save it all for the movie." "Gawd."


Wednesday, November 15, 2006


A friend in San Fran just pointed out that the Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel article I'm quoted in made it to CNN's Travel section. It doesn't really benefit me and my aging guidebook a whole lot, but it's fun.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Stranger than Fiction

Yesterday I was on doctor's orders to be a "lady of leisure" so I went to a matinee of Stranger than Fiction. I was looking to laugh, and I did, but it's not a guffaw kind of movie. Not just because it's basically a one-joke premise, but because Will Ferrell plays the straight man. Super straight – he's an IRS agent with an uncanny mind for figures and little else. And everyone else plays their part with some seriousness too. Their earnest portrayals are what is most funny in some ways.

So Ferrell's character is hearing a narrator, and the narrator is an angst-ridden chain-smoking author working on a book (played by Emma Thompson). The problem arises when it becomes obvious to Ferrell's character that the author is planning his character's death.

He seeks help from a literary expert played by Dustin Hoffman, and this was the source of one of my favorite scenes. Hoffman comes up with a list of seemingly ludicrous questions for our fictional friend to answer. "Do you have any special powers?" "Was any part of you once part of something else?" etc. After insisting on this totally ridiculous list for a number of questions he then reveals he has just ruled out something like most of the classic Greek stories, most fairy tales, and a good part of Chinese mythology in his effort to figure out what kind of story Ferrell is in.

I think if this movie was a little more complex it would have scored on the order of something like I [Heart] Huckabees, not Adaptation. Its unbelievable parts might have just been more expected in the surreal order of things. Like Queen Latifah's author's assistant character was only there to make the author's side of things not all internal so it would work in the film probably, but I didn't buy it. And the beautiful punk waif baker falling for the IRS agent? Yeah, right.

There is a real charm to the movie, though. The main character is a left-brained IRS agent with autistic-like mental powers for rational thought -- particularly numbers. We can see his calculations and counting of things overlaid on the screen. And like many people we know who rely so heavily on their rational sides, this makes him admirably smart And really kind of boring. He's flat and machine-like.

But as his character feels lust/love, some of this eases. As the character interacts socially it eases, as he interacts with his senses, it eases, and as he faces a severe fear of death he starts to live and appreciate and find his soul. Then, he's willing to face death.

When I was watching, the movie ended, the credits seemed about to roll, and then the reel appeared to suddenly end or be ripped out. I actually rather liked that unintentional abruptness as the ending to the


Friday, November 10, 2006

Hotel Beth: Free In-Womb Wireless

My baby now has all its parts. And a cell phone! See was making calls when I was having an amnio (painless). How rude! If anyone gets its number, please pass it on to me. I need to have a word with my kid.


Monday, November 06, 2006

The Somerville Open

A few pictures of "The Somerville Open" -- nine local artists each created a hole of a small indoor mini golf installation at the Nave Gallery. It was good fun, though a couple of them were a bit challenging And fragile.


Thought for Today

Here is something I think, but do not answer, when people ask me about being pregnant: Pregnancy feels like grief.

I know, you're thinking... Shut up you depressive, and be happy about this, willya? And that's why I don't mention it normally. But really, this is the closest thing I can tell you of what this feels like emotionally. It's a similar thing to grief or loss -- it's big, it's out of my control, there is a wide spectrum of emotions I may roller coaster through on any given day from deep sadness to anger to total elation, and all I can do is wait. All there is to do is act like my regular life is going along normally while at the same time I am waiting and sitting through this storm of stuff that will only change with TIME.

Sometimes I say it feels like I'm on a very long bus trip. But I rarely say the grief part. But do you see what I mean? I am carrying birth like I have carried death. Only this time it feels like there is a basketball in my stomach rather than my throat. . . .

My mother-in-law gave me some excellent advice: Think of it like you're multitasking, she said. That's much more positive.

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Marketing Focus Groups

What's better than being paid $75 to have free drinks and sandwiches and tell someone my opinions on a product? Getting paid $75 to go home because I got picked as the overflow when they overbooked the session. . . whoo hoo! Although I had some strong opinions on this particular subject (online travel booking sites) and wanted the client to hear my thoughts, I was super happy to take the money and go back home. It was like getting paid to have a short walk and a chat with some strangers in comfortable chairs. An older man cackled to me about how his daughter doesn't want him feeding her baby anything but formula but how he's been giving the kid steak to suck on since she was 2.5 months. He also decided during our conversation that I was good luck and he was now going to play the lottery.

Marketing focus groups are a really easy way to make some fast cash, by the way. You simply sign up with the companies (in big cities), tell them a lot of personal demographic information, then get screened for various product surveys. I've been paid $125 to talk about cheese for two hours, and about the same at another company to talk about ham. In fact that time I got a bunch of cash and a bunch of ham, sausage and Canadian bacon when I left (good thing I was headed home!).

I am also a lab rat at MIT occasionally, since I live nearby and it's so intersting to see what's going on. I only do non-invasive tests (no drugs, etc.). I got to try out the interface of the computer screen of a luxury car, have test driven a robot arm, drawn pictures on new tablet PCs, answered reading comprehension questions while adding numbers, tested the x-ray screening system used at Logan for spying guns, timepieces and knives in luggage, and done a lot of music related hearing tests. These tend to pay in the $10-20/hr realm. I sometimes schedule them for the morning so I get up and going and on my self-employed way. In fact, this is how we discovered my secret super power. I tested as having Super Human Hearing one day at MIT (in all but the very highest range, so don't try that dog whistle on me). Glenn and I have thought and thought and have yet to come up with a use for this super power. Let me know if you can think of one.

"What Are You, Pregnant??"

This is one of my favorite things to shout at people lately. I know, I'm juvenile. In fact a nurse just told me that my early risk screening results for my pregnancy came back and showed that I have the equivalent risk for having a kid with Downs or other problems as someone who is younger than 20. (My friend Michele says that how I feel during the pregnancy will have an effect on the kid -- and people wonder why I'm so worried about retardation risks...)

Anyway, speaking of such things, my cousin Scott has provided me with this link to the ultimate "What Are You, Pregnant???" tool. Take it for a spin. I mean, really....are you really sure?


Nice Surprise

I feel really kind of schlumpy dumpty lately. My pregnant stomach is in the realm where I don't fit well in my pants but am too small for maternity wear so I just look kind of fat. My hair, which grows fast anyway, has been growing super fast and I've been letting it and I've been feeling stupid looking. Then my hip bones have started aching horribly from sleeping on them so I feel really old in the morning. And I'm always tired.

So, I finally got tired of feeling like crap and bought some memory foam for the top of the bed which helped and bought some stretchy waisted jeans and got my hair cut today. Then I took myself out to a nice solo lunch and lingered over some magazines. While reading Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, I found myself quoted in an article about how experts suggest one choose a good travel guide. I totally forgot I had chatted back and forth with that writer online months ago. I toasted myself with a cup of coffee and felt like I had changed the self esteem tide a little finally.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

You're on Crack

That's all I think to myself lately when people comment on pregnancy or childbirth.

"I love being pregnant."
This one is obvious. You're on crack.

"I wouldn't want to know the gender. I'd want it to be a surprise."
A human being covered in goo squeezing its way out from between your legs isn't surprise enough for you? Yeah, well. Clearly, you're on crack.

"You should learn the gender so you can decorate." Have you ever met me before? Do you think I'm giving a girl Barbie stencils or a boy baseball-themed curtains? You're totally high on crack.

"You're probably planning a Natural Birth, aren't you?" It's true that I am many years clean and sober. It's also true that I'd love to not be. If you think I'm giving up the one chance to take some serious pain killers when I'm in the most pain of my're on crack.

"Nothing really changes that much when you're pregnant. It's when you have the kid." Okay, I see the difference between the two, but not sleeping well, having a list of 45 things I'm not supposed to eat, feeling like shit, being ridiculously tired all the time, not being allowed to lift heavy things, not being able to scoop the cat litter when they take a big stinky crap in wafting range of my office, feeling teary at hateful television ads, not fitting into my clothes, and generally being totally freaked out Really kind of do change my general day-to-day life. You're just afraid you won't have your special parental knowledge to lord over me anymore. And. . . You're on crack.

Today I heard the baby's heartbeat at the doctor. It's currently going 160. That's good, but you know what I thought...