Thursday, December 28, 2006

in memory of Lulu the rat Sept. 2003-March 2006

As the year comes to a close, I'm compelled to pay tribute to Lulu, our loving little rat who died in late March of this year. Lulu was a good pet to us and we loved her a lot. We'll miss her little chewing noises, while she ate and when she was particularly happy. Or the way she would climb up on the side bars of her cage when we came home from work, in order to better greet us. The way she sat on my shoulder while I crocheted. And especially the way she kept her sweet disposition, despite having to wear an rat sized Elizabethan collar after her tumor removal surgery.

So the next time you're up in the hilly, wooded area to the east of the long meadow in Prospect Park, Lulu will be there too, forever nibbling on dried fruit and lima beans, her favorites.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

We finally got a tree!

On Tuesday night, Jamie and I walked down to the CVS on 9th between 5th and 6th, picked out a beauty of a tree, loaded it onto the B63 bus, and took her home.

She's a lovely lass and so far the cat has only shimmied up her 9 or 10 times. Actually, there's a big open spot on one side where Ruthie has created a doorway of sorts.

Friday, December 22, 2006

on the nightstand

I've been working at the Chelsea Barnes and Noble for the past 2 months and ,oddly, I really love it. I used to work for a smaller, regional bookstore in Ohio and I loved that too, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

One of the little perks is the ability to borrow any hard cover book to read. Here's a partial list of what I've read recently.

Female Chauvintist Pigs by Ariel Levy
I really liked this, but she wasn't saying anything that I wasn't already on board with. Basically, why do young women today dress and act like whores, but call it feminism? Girls Gone Wild world indeed.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell
I didn't really care for it. The Tipping Point was much more interesting.

Heat by Bill Buford
It got a little sluggish at points, but he's a good writer, so overall it was really good. My favorite part was when he travelled to Italy to train with a famous butcher.

The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
Always enjoyable. I read him blindly because he can do no wrong.

What Is the What by Dave Eggers
I couldn't put this down. It just floored me to realize that what reads as complete fantasy (how can life be so awful?), is actually complete truth.

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
This was interesting, much like the Tipping Point.

The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter by Peter Singer and Jim Mason
I'm currently reading this. I may end up eating 10% of my present meat consumption by the time I'm through.

Next up:
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
The United States of Arugula:How We Became a Gourmet Nation by David Kamp

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
She wrote these WWII set stories during the war before being killed in a concentration camp. They were more recently found.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This has been referred to as a sweeping fictional epic, ala Gone With the Wind, but set in Nigeria.

Curse of the Narrows by Laura McDonald
This is about the near total destruction of Halifax in 1917.

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick
He wrote an amazing book about the whaling ship on which Moby Dick was based called In the Heart of the Sea.

Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor by Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh
This guy's research was extensively cited in Freakonomics.

So yeah, loads of good stuff out there; never enough time in the day. Any suggestions of other books I should check out?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

shilling for diamonds

Ugh. Has anyone else seen the new 'A Diamond is Forever' commercial where the guy goes in to his sleeping lady and places a fancy diamond earring on her because he loves her THAT MUCH? Diamond ads as a rule peeve me. Remember the one with the tool standing in the middle of an Italian piazza hollering "I love this woman"? What a turd. Earlier this year there was another diamond ad that had a Dusty Springfield song (What are you doing the rest of your life) and now this new ad has Cat Power doing a Cat Stevens song (How can I tell you). I think it troubles me more that Cat Stevens gave up his song than that Cat Power sings it for diamonds. Luckily the ads will stop running so frequently once the holidays are over and all of those last minute shopping guys have blown a bunch of cash on an artificially priced rock. Or three; for yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

If we were landlords...

Shit wouldn't get done. We are dreamers; not so good as getting the little, practical things done. And our landlords, who we love, are a lot like us. We've lived in this apartment for about 2 1/2 years and for that entire time our fridge has been leaking cold air, gathering condensation on the outside, humming so loudly that they (the landlords) have complained about the noise of it in their apartment downstairs and generally pissing Jamie off with the wastefulness. And also for this time, our landlords have probably mentioned at least 5 times that they are buying us a new fridge. And today, out of the blue, the guy landlord called and wants to know if he can give Lowe's our number so we can schedule the delivery of our brand new fridge! Merry Christmas indeed.

ok, just one more thing

At the risk of offending fans of Gilmore Girls and many women and men in general, it has to be said: I miscarried during Gilmore Girls. During the show that once was my favorite program, but has sucked more than I thought possible this past season. Is it possible that the supreme suckiness of Gilmore Girls contributed to this? Should I hold the new writers and their ridiculous elopement plot accountable? Damn you, absent Sherman-Palladinos!

Monday, December 11, 2006


I am pretty sensitive, but I'm also pretty practical. I refuse to allow myself to fall apart or dwell too much on losing this baby. It was out of my hands and, beyond the neccessary grieving, I'm not helping myself or Jamie. Tonight I got a little upset and cried for a few minutes. Just cried about how it feels like a dream. Like maybe it was all a dream and I never was actually going to have a baby. But then I see the maternity pants that my mom gave me, that I never even wore and I know it really happened. I feel frustrated that I never was able to really get comfortable and settle in to being pregnant. Do you ever get to do that or are you always worried about having a miscarriage?

That said, here's the one incident that occured where I didn't really hold my shit together too well. At work last week, a coworker had just learned about the miscarriage. Not to be too judge-y(I'm lying), but she's about 39-40 years old, recently moved here from Florida (born and raised) with waist length hair. I don't know if you know people from Florida, but I can barely contain my skeevies around Floridians. Who in the world would choose to live in a place like that? Hot, humid, full of idiot college students, retirees, trailer parks and people who couldn't cut it in real states. But I digress. So upon learning what happened, she said "how far along were you?" and I said "9 weeks" and she said "well that's good at least". I then said "Oh really? What's so good about it? That when I held it in my hands in my bathroom, my husband and I couldn't see the expression on it's face?" Um, yeah. So I snapped. Whatever. It was bound to happen eventually.

We've really appreciated all of the emails and calls we've received from our friends, all the more so with the understanding that there is nothing good to say at times like these. And all of our friends have managed to say exactly what we needed to hear; that they are sorry because it is sad. And in a weird way, I'm grateful that my miscarriage happened the way it did. It was over quickly and completely, after 5 days. For that, I'm eternally grateful. The sooner to move forward, I suppose.

So thank you.