Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wisdom Turds

Me: "I've been married to you for six years. I know when you're full of crap."

Him, indignantly: "I'm not full of crap! I'm full of ... wisdom turds."

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I've watched much of the impeachment proceedings (on the Illinois Information Service feed, which one of the local networks should put on as one of their digital subchannels, that'd be very useful, very cheap, and they could run local ads across the bottom as a scroll), and it's been a really interesting undertaking.

I really felt like the State Senate did a very good job of making the proceedings clear, as unusual as they were, and I thought the prosecutor was excellent. Blago's rank nonsense made me want to put a fist through my screen while he was talking, but the prosecutor's rebuttal was good. stuff.

But I think the really comforting part of the whole proceeding was how even when democratic government fails fairly catastrophically, it still succeeds. Our idiot ex-governor was ousted peacefully, openly, with a clear and public process. Our new governor was sworn in moments later. Even as state government was embroiled in this catastrophe, the legislature kept meeting, the bureaucracy kept working, and everybody, inside the statehouse and in the state more generally, waited patiently for the process to work itself out.

It's sometimes hard to remember that the often-dull and overlooked work of state government (as well as the ponderous machinations of their federal counterparts) is in fact one of the greatest achievements of mankind. There was no violence, there was no coup, there was no secret voting -- just an open process of removal, conducted under the law, resulting in the peaceful transfer of power from one guy to another. That's a neat thing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Which My Husband Discovers the Baking Cupboard

I should preface this by saying Mr. McGee is an excellent cook, and when we got married, he could cook and I could not. I baked, but I didn't cook. So it's not like he's not in the kitchen fully as often as I am doing fully as much of the cooking.

Last night we're watching television, and I see cookies on TV, and, as I now do every time I see food on television, I said, "Mmm, I want cookies." (I even want vile and disgusting things I would never actually eat. All food is appetizing now!)

Mr. McGee said, and this is not all verbatim, but pretty close: "I was just thinking that too. I really wish we had some cookies."

"Why don't you go make some?"

"Do we have the stuff to make cookies?"

"Flour, sugar, butter ... yeah, I'm pretty sure we even have brown sugar and baking soda!"

"But don't you need special stuff?"

"Dear, we always have the stuff to make cookies. I just hate making them, cakes are easier."

"Well if I'd known we had the stuff, I would have made some!"

"Why don't you go make some now?" I asked.

"Oh," he said, "I've never made cookies from scratch."

Long pause. "Are you screwing with me?" (Only I didn't say screwing.)

"No, I've never made them."

"Wait here." I go in the kitchen, find the Nestle semi-sweet morsels, and come back with the chocolate chips and the mixer attachment. "Here's the recipe. Here's the right attachment for the mixer. Go nuts."

He goes in the kitchen and makes the cookies, with lots of lawyerly over-exactness, which is why I have to be in the other room so I don't feel the burning urge to micromanage when he bakes. When I (and every girlfriend I asked) make the Nestle chocolate chip cookies, I just throw everything in one bowl and turn on the mixer. (As one friend said, "If the butter isn't frozen solid, I call it a win!") He's in there softening the butter, creaming it with the sugar, pre-mixing the salt, baking soda, and flour in a whole separate bowl (extra dishes! Ack!). In his own defense, he pointed out that I always tell him to read the recipe before he starts cooking, since he has in the past started a recipe before realizing he doesn't have all the ingredients, and that he's just doing what I said and following the directions. This is true.

He successfully bakes the cookies, with much fretting over uneven browning of the bottoms, are how do I get them done without burning, and taste testing of each batch. We're sitting on the couch enjoying his very tasty cookies, and I ask, "Now that you've made cookies, aren't you proud you can make them whenever you want?"

"No, now I'm wondering why you haven't been making me cookies all the time!"

"Because I hate baking cookies! I make you cakes!"

Now my big fear is that since he's discovered the existence of the baking cupboard, I will never, ever again have baking stuff on hand, since I replace the brown sugar when there's a cup left or the baking soda when it's getting low -- when there's enough for one more recipe but not two more recipes. He tends to not replace things until they're entirely run out. I foresee a future devoid of vanilla extract.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's a Boy! I Think It's Paul Bunyan, in Fact.

We learned at the 20-week ultrasound that Flippy is a boy. It would have been difficult NOT to learn it, since him was very proud of him's little penis, as I'm told boys often are on ultrasound. They're focusing in on his butt and I'm going, "Three lines or a snail? Three lines or a snail? Oh, that is DEFINITELY a snail!"

(Parents will know that three lines means it's a girl, a snail means it's a boy.)

We also learned that Flippy is, to use the technical medical term, GINORMOUS. At 20 weeks they estimated he weighed about a pound -- average at 20 weeks is 10.5 ounces. Uncool, Flippy! Uncool! (Apparently women with higher levels of education are more likely to have extremely large babies. I knew that second graduate degree was a mistake!) Everyone at the office also commented that he has the longest thigh bones they've ever seen. Flippy is definitely his father's son.

Which explains why I appear to be big. Upon finding out I'm about 4 1/2 months along, everyone says, "You're only four and a half months? You look SIX!" Part of this is because I'm short, only 5'2", so there's nowhere for Flippy to go but out. Part of this is because I'm gestating Paul Freakin' Bunyan in here, and Paul Freakin' Bunyan's father is 6'4". (And has a big head. I know. I've bought him hats.)

Which leads me to my first complaint about OTHER PEOPLE during pregnancy. I know that most things people say to pregnant women that come off as inane or annoying are just people making conversation. "You're so big!" isn't code for, "You whale," but code for "OMG you're pregnant!" So I'm cool with that. I'm starting to get a little neurotic when people point out I look six months along because I'm a little freaked out about having a ginormous baby, but I'm still trying to be cool.

But if ONE MORE PERSON tells me I'm eating too much or informs me I have gestational diabetes, I will scream. Seriously. (And what kind of obstetricians are you people going to that they don't make you pee in the cup to check for sugar every time you come within 30 yards of the building?) Some random lady in the supermarket sternly told me, "You're too big for four and a half months. You need to stop gaining so much weight. It isn't good for the baby." (Which is extra-awesome because not only is it almost-inconceivably rude, but because I'm still UNDER my pre-pregnancy weight due to the epic morning sickness, the December stomach flu, and Paul Freakin' Bunyan in here eating all my calories to fuel his constant flipping.)

I do finally understand, though, why my husband has the metabolism of a rabid squirrel*. It's been particularly irritating since I got pregnant since I'M the one over here creating life and HE'S the one sleeping 9 or 10 hours a night. I'm discovering it takes enormous amounts of calories and energy to sustain the constant Flipmotion of Mini-Mr.-McGee, so I guess it takes correspondingly more to sustain the full-size version of Mr. McGee.

All of this is good because it means Flippy is healthy and growing well, and that's really what's important here. However, if I end up in the national news as "Peoria Woman Gives Birth to 14-Pound Baby," I am going to be PISSED. OFF.


*Actually, squirrels don't really get rabies that much.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More Name Nerdery

"You know, I'd really kind-of prefer a saint's name, or a Biblical name."



"But --"

"NO. Canonical texts only."

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Hint of Things to Come

We had the 20 week ultrasound this past week, and I'd been kinda freaking out because I wasn't feeling Flippy move. (Okay, totally freaking out.) Turns out my placenta is anterior, so the Flipster is mostly beating on the placenta, not me. But we go and get the ultrasound and I'm all reassured everything's fine ... and the next day Flippy starts moving where I can feel it. Non-stop. For hours!

Contrary child!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's In A Name?

"What about Galahad, if it's a boy?"

"We are not naming the baby Galahad. Or Percival. Or Lancelot."

"Of course not. Lancelot would just be silly."


Friday, January 09, 2009

Dear Blagojevich,

Stop ruining poetry by quoting it every time someone indicts or impeaches you.


I love the smell of impeachment in the morning!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

This Is Harder Than I Expected

So I turn out not to be very good at pregnancy. I'm into week 19, and I'm still barfing my brains out with morning sickness. (Seriously, I throw up so much I end up with a vicious headache just from the barfing, before we add in the hormone part of the headache.) It's backed off somewhat so it's worst morning and evening, but it's still more or less an all-day affair. I'm not even hungry anymore (except when the Sudden Onset Starvation -- all you people who've been pregnant know what I'm talking about), but of course I have to make myself eat, even though I know it'll be coming back on me shortly. After this pregnancy is over, I'm not sure I'll be able to ever eat a plain cracker or a peppermint candy again, since those have been my primary morning-sickness-fighting tools. Peppermints are already starting to totally gross me out.

I'm down 10 lbs. from my pre-pregnancy weight, making pregnancy officially the most effective diet I've ever been on.

Now let me hasten to say that Flippy continues healthy, and while I'm absolutely miserably uncomfortable, none of this is dangerous. Just miserable. And morning sickness isn't particularly treatable, either. So I have to suffer through, and Mr. McGee has to suffer through me suffering through (I suffer loudly). The second trimester woes -- back aches, ligament pain, etc. -- are starting to kick in, which I think is brutally unfair, as I am not doing with the FIRST trimester woes yet! Get in line, you rotten woes! Wait your turn!

I'm trying to be philosophical about it and count my blessings -- Flippy's healthy, I have good medical care, pregnancy only lasts nine months, I have a husband who's being really cool about having to do all the housework and shopping and cooking -- but I'm getting less philosophical by the day. Especially because it's difficult for me to leave the house, so I'm really freaking bored. The ob/gyn keeps telling me to lie down and rest, which I do (the couch is growing an imprint of my butt), but OH MY GOD, I'M SO BORED.

I swear, though, what annoys me the most is that my skin looks like absolute crap. For some reason I feel the most cheated by the fact that not only am I not glowing, I look like the cryptkeeper's wife. My skin has never looked this terrible, and I went through puberty without getting this many zits! Brutal.