I’m officially paying for the New York Times website. I mildly regret that my last “free” article was one of those stupid yuppie kindergarten admissions bitch-fests, but, in a way, it just seems…so New York Times.
The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, And An Unlikely Road To Manhood, Ta-Nehisi Coates
It’s probably unrealistic to assume that you all read Coates’ stuff in “The Atlantic” as frenetically as I do. I’ll just say that you should, because he’s dynamite. I also have no particular wish for him to take Herbert’s slot on the New York Times op-ed page, because I’d hate to see him struggle with the notorious confines of that kind of space. I love the weird digressions and the comic books and the hip hop.
But, you know, because I like him so much, I finally picked up his memoir, which I am so into right now. It can be a little florid; the voice is certainly extremely distinct from his blog-persona, but it blends pretty seamlessly after a few pages. Make it happen.
Lionel Shriver. I’m just saying. Her books are brilliant, her essays are beyond insightful, and she gives the impression of just being mildly unpleasant as a person, which, generally, the greatest writers are. Shine on, you crazy diamond!
Honestly, if you didn’t read "We Need To Talk About Kevin" because the title is all Jodi Picoult, I feel you, and I want you to get right with yourself.
I…totally trotted Bella at the end of her training session today. Sometimes it’s too hard to just…watch, you know? And she was super relaxed and loose and it was sunny and gorgeous and it felt soooooooo nice.
Plenty of crazy bitches ride until their baby is crowning, and everything, it’s just that EVERY book is all ‘continue your usual physical activities, EXCEPT for stuff like horseback riding and downhill skiing,’ and I’m all THAT’S WHAT I FUCKING DO, okay?
So, you know, on days when Boo looks particularly chillaxed, before I become massive, a liiiiiittle trotting won’t kill me, right?
Honestly, it was forty seconds of trotting, five minutes of leaning down to hug her neck and tell her how much I love her.
After Reading About Spontaneous Human Combustion For Several Hours...
Let’s update the list of things that the Lazy Self-Indulgent Book Reviewer believes to be real and not-real:
Real: Spontaneous Human Combustion, The Patriarchy, ghosts, ESP, great cats of Britain, the Loch Ness Monster, aliens of both the grey and little green variety, and that book about your horse’s astrological sign (Bella IS a total Pisces).
Not Real: God, Manic Pixie Dream Girls, the ZOG, angels, astrology books about humans, low-fat mayonnaise.
I’ve given this quite a bit of thought, as I have friends who loathe registries, and friends who loathe having to free-style, and friends from cultures where monetary gifts are the norm, and others who find it crass.
And, honestly, I’ve decided that, when you love the two people who are getting married, you tend to find whatever gift route they’ve elected to go down perfectly reasonable, and will defend their choice to the death.
And, when you’re a little meh about the couple, THAT’S when you find yourself saying “Seriously? JUST Williams-Sonoma? Eat me!”
So, honestly, do what works for you, it’s mostly out of your hands.
…who, amongst other things, was telling me about her (actually super interesting and awesome) sex life, and I had this MOMENT, you know, where I felt like I was half of the boring Hamptons married couple whom Carrie visits and tells her fabulous single girl anecdotes to, and they get that frisson of delight from it. Minus Industrious Husband exposing himself to my friend, obvi.
And then she mentioned having gone on a couple of dates with a guy, who, NO JOKE, said that he envisioned his perfect relationship as mirroring “the one Henry Miller had with Anais Nin,” to which, of course, she and I said to each other HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
…because you KNOW that guy is gonna be a pain, right? Lemme just finance your books and your gorgeous Parisian apartment for you, Romeo.
But, again, this particular friend is mad-gorgeous and brilliant, and just looks at men down her fabulous nose with a slight air of disdain and they immediately hurl themselves in front of passing cars to grab a moment of her attention. Which is awesome, don’t even try to pretend otherwise.
I know you don't like The Fountain, but you can't deny Hugh Jackman was awesome in that movie. I was seriously blown away.
I just love Hugh Jackman, in general. And my Aussie film-y acquaintances who’ve met him claim that he is, for serious, the nicest celebrity in the world. I also loved “The Prestige,” which is a super-entertaining movie that kind of flew under the radar. It was sort of ridiculous that it came out within forty seconds of “The Illusionist,” like HOLLA, NINETEENTH CENTURY MAGICIANS AND THEIR PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL RIVALRIES.
…but apparently it’s still too soon to set my DVR to record the Royal Wedding on BBC America.
I briefly considered rescheduling my first ultrasound to avoid a conflict, but realized that the wedding coverage will begin at about 3:30am Mountain Time.
Shut up, I am an ardent monarchist. Perhaps my baby will grow up and marry the baby that Wills and Kate will no doubt conceive within mere weeks of their glorious nuptials?
We can bring the requisite vaguely horsey aesthetic and largely frigid-Balmoral-inspired fashion choices to the table, but my family has never been good at maintaining either discretion or anything resembling a chilly reserve.
Especially “Strangers On A Train,” which is soooo great. You should rent “Strangers On A Train” and “Double Indemnity,” and just rock out all over the place. I mean, Granger isn’t in “Double Indemnity,” but Barbara Stanwyck is, and I have a trashy biography that claims she was bi. Like Farley Granger! CONNECTIONS.
I would tell you to rent “Rope,” because it’s an Achievement In The Mechanics Of Filmmaking, but it’s also homophobic and aggravating, and does nothing to actually teach you about Leopold and Loeb, who are super-interesting.
Seriously, “Strangers On A Train,” and also any book by Patricia Highsmith.
You do know it’s a FABULOUS book, right? Fabulous. And, obviously, psycho horsey girls will always feel that way, but do you remember Velvet’s mother? The absurdly strong and complex woman who swam the Channel? And how she’s a very large woman, but it’s clear that what she actually is is MAJESTIC? And she’s just so different from the depictions of mothers you’re used to reading?
It’s dynamite. Although, you know, I read it, and I’m all, wait, shouldn’t I be jumping my mare? But I just don’t want to. It scares the shit out of me. If I’d ridden as a kid, I’m sure I’d be merrily popping fences all over the place, but as a novice adult? FUCK IT, staying on the flat sounds lovely.
And I’m on riding hiatus for the duration, since my mare is so young and dorky, which is a super pain, but that decision was reinforced beautifully for me the very first day I passed her off to my trainer, and she…fell over. Just on the longe line. Her brain went left and her feet went right, on a slack line, just 1200lb of dumb QH/Thoroughbred going TIMBERRR.
And then my trainer and I looked at each other, and she said ‘she’ll be lovely for you next season.’
2. Instead of being like a Rubik’s cube, it’s like an awesome set of Legos that have been broken in enough to allow the pieces to be easily snapped and unsnapped. And then you can build a little house! Or a lesbian sex scene!
2. Why is the tree in a bubble? Instead of eating it, why did he not pack some freeze-dried astronaut food?
3. Rachel Weisz is super pretty.
4. Now she’s bald. But sometimes not!
5. Hugh Jackman is cuter when he has an adamantium skeletal layer.
6. The tree is Rachel Weisz, or the tree is like a memory of Rachel Weisz?
7. The director has said of The Fountain’s intricacy and underlying message, “[The film is] very much like a Rubik’s cube, where you can solve it in several different ways, but ultimately there’s only one solution at the end.”
8. Much like a Rubik’s cube, in that boredom sets in swiftly, and those who manage to complete it are super insufferable about the whole experience.
But whenever I see the trailer for "The Tree of Life," I pretty much gag. I have developed a severe aversion to almost all high-concept movies, and God-forbid they also star Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. I saw “The Fountain.” How is this not “The Fountain”?
I just…want to watch James Bond shoot people, you know? Or, like, watch X-People discover their gifts. And if I crave a deeper experience, I’ll just rent “Chinatown,” or any of the other remarkable films from the 1970s which don’t make me want to retch uncontrollably from MESSAGE! HERE IS YOUR MESSAGE! I AM SUCH A GOOD ACTOR! I DO THE KIND OF ACTING WHERE YOU CONSTANTLY THINK: WOW, SEAN PENN IS DOING SUCH A GREAT JOB PLAYING SOME DEATH ROW GUY! BUT YOU’RE ALWAYS AWARE HE’S SEAN PENN!
(Sean Penn was great in “Milk,” no hate. And Malick’s “Days of Heaven” at least LOOKS gorgeous, which this movie probably will as well.)
I also think she’s taking more flak because she’s a woman, and that we’d be more likely to assume that, you know, Bobby Flay didn’t agree to do it because the request was shunted aside before hitting his desk.
I was sitting around with my Dad and his military friends last year. All of them, both retired and active service, said that obesity is more of a threat to national security than terrorism. So think of 9/11, the USS Cole, the bombings of US Embassies in Africa and the continuing threat from Al Qaeda as LESS THREATENING than fat children.
Oh, wow, yeah, no one would be better equipped to understand the intersection of public health and endocrinology than a bunch of retired military guys sitting around shooting the shit. I would like to think that they meant that terrorism is drastically oversold as a threat to national security, so much so that it might get edged out by diabetes, but that’s not really the vibe I’m getting here.
My mother had the time to serve a hot bowl of cream of wheat for breakfast every single day. My school did not have a lunchroom, so we walked home for a midday meal. (If I didn’t finish it at breakfast, a half-eaten bowl of cream of wheat, now cold, would be presented to me at noon. Ugh.)
Now, THAT’S a great way to foster a healthy relationship with food. I learned it from Joan Crawford! Maybe, if your kid doesn’t finish their nasty-sounding bowl of cream of wheat, you could serve them a smaller portion next time?
The rest of her comment is okay (despite being a little “I only had a nickel for the trolley!”), and she is not necessarily endorsing her mother’s cream-of-wheat pushing, this is just a serious pet peeve of mine.
Tatyana Gray bolted from her house and headed toward her elementary school. But when she reached the corner store where she usually gets her morning snack of chips or a sweet drink, she encountered a protective phalanx of parents with bright-colored safety vests and walkie-talkies.
The scourge the parents were combating was neither the drugs nor the violence that plagues this North Philadelphia neighborhood. It was bad eating habits.
“Candy!” said one of the parents, McKinley Harris, peering into a small bag one child carried out of the store. “That’s not food.”
The parents standing guard outside the Oxford Food Shop are foot soldiers in a national battle over the diets of children that has taken on new fervor.
Seriously? Go fuck yourself. Encourage parents not to give their kids spending money, if you’re afraid they’re going to buy crap food with it, mazel tov. But peering into the purchases of children WHO ARE NOT YOUR OWN as they leave bodegas? Sort yourself out.
Not to mention it wouldn’t be amiss to prep your kids to say “my parents taught me not to answer questions from strange, self-righteous grownups with walkie-talkies.”
I think it’s goddamn amazing and incredible. Adoption is a super-cool thing (crazy expensive, crazy difficult, sometimes impossible, often AWESOME), but it’s not a catch-all cure for infertility, and I think it’s amazing we now live in a world where we can help a lot of infertile people (and gay and lesbian couples!) have biological babies.
I also get bitchy when people are all “but our exploding population!” because I’m like, you know, that’s all of our medical developments of the past two hundred years. You get busted, we have a decent shot at making you well now. I can live with that.
Rock on with your paths to kid-having, lovelies. Adoption, fostering, being an awesome aunt, Toni Weschler, IVF, (anything short of stealing one from outside the A&P, really), it’s alllllll good in the eyes of the Lazy Self-Indulgent Book Reviewer.
I’ve already talked about how RIGHTEOUS Toni Weschler is, but now I feel free to point out that that bitch can get you knocked up basically before your pants come off (obviously provided you don’t have issues, but you WILL realize you have issues a lot sooner if you’re reading this fuckin’ book).
We had started trying a couple weeks ahead of schedule, because Delta lost the luggage with the condoms in it, and we were at my mom’s house in the sticks, and we were all FUCK IT, DELTA, THIS SHIT IS ON YOU, but as soon as I got back to the States, I started “charting,” which is “taking your basal temperature every morning before you get out of bed to pee,” and a few other fascinating things, because I like to do things RIGHT, you know? Also, I had a bunch of friends who’d recently had a tough time getting pregnant, and wanted to make sure I was making hay while the sun shines, as it were.
So, you know, I was all “oh, I’m totally ovulating now,” and then I was all “my temperature has experienced a one-day dip seven days after ovulation, suggesting implantation may have occurred,” and then I was all “wait, I am feeling a series of weird pull-and-tug sensations, still on day seven, perhaps a blastocyst is burrowing into my uterus,” and then I was all “in two days, there could be enough pregnancy hormone post-implantation to pop up on a test,” and then I was all “well, I’ve waited two days, let me pee on that stick YES I AM IN FACT PREGNANT.”
Six days before missing my period!
So, what I’m saying is, whether you’re trying to get pregnant or NOT get pregnant, you can learn so freaking much about your body by reading this goddamn book. It’s awesome!
I started out, of course, with three weeks of determined SHALL PREPARE MULTIPART MEALS OF PERFECT FETAL NUTRITION, and drank gallons of kefir with berries and ate mounds of salmon with lentils and kale, and swanned around like Gisele Bundchen.
And then I became sick off my ass, had to start drinking my morning coffee again, could no longer walk into a grocery store or look at a stove or brush my teeth without throwing up into the sink.
At which point, you’re very tempted to just not-bother with toothbrushing, you know?
And meals became very ‘QUICK, for the next hour I think I could eat a burrito!’
And then my mother came to visit. And it’s omelets stuffed with leftover beef roast stuffed with feta and asparagus. And spinach salads. And wee rosemary roasted potatoes. And cups of tea.
And I had planned to hold off on hiding her passport until AFTER she arrives for the delivery, but now I think I was dreaming too small, you know?
My posts have been more pets-and-television-based recently. Which I got a bitchy email about from some dude, but wasn’t able to say ‘I AM READING BILLIONS OF BOOKS ABOUT BABIEZZ, and the rest of the time I am going ughhhh fuck you evil hormones, don’t you dare eat a Spanish omelette in my presence.’
No, seriously, you’re so sweet. Why, like EVERYTHING in the WORLD, it’s making me cry suddenly for no reason!
And now, when things are actually sad (Wash dying in ‘Serenity’), hold onto your fucking hat.
Mom was able to be with us when we heard the heartbeat for the first time yesterday, and it was Crazy. Also because Utah is extremely eugenics-y about their love for young married white heteros havin’ babiezzz, so it’s all ‘here are our gorgeous birthing suites with soaking tubs and aromatherapy and intermittent fetal monitoring and do you have a doula yet and who’s your midwife oh I love her she did all three of my births and we are the only hospital in the region that duct-tapes your naked baby to your chest and never removes it unless there’s a fire and no, there are no secretly crummy rooms and yes we take your insurance and you are a beautiful Vessel of Life.’
The only ughhh moment was, love her, the completely incoherent young nursing student unwillingly doing a rotation with the midwives, who was all ‘now I test you for STDs,’ and I was all, listen, hon, you took SEVEN vials of blood, and all my pee, and we’ve tested for STDs at my previous appointments, so I’m going to dee-cline. And she was all FLIPPER BABY WILL BE ON YOU, hippie.
YOU GUYS, I AM TOTALLY PREGNANT, and it has been IMPOSSIBLE not to tell you!!!!!!
I have SO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT IT, like “SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT” and “Do we have to start eating while sitting down at a table now, like GROWN-UPS?” and “WILL THE BABY BE LAZY, OR INDUSTRIOUS??”
Industrious Husband, although slightly bemused at my ability to get pregnant fifteen seconds after ditching the condoms, as opposed to the “six to twelve months” I had described as standard-issue, is very excited, the dog sleeps determinedly on my side of the bed now, and my glorious and talented midwife answers her email ON THE WEEKENDS, so I feel (eewwwww, gross) blessed, and shit.
I am also prepared to answer even the most gruesome questions to benefit the species, so, ask away.
OH, and for the record, the three months of constant nausea and exhaustion have only strengthened my commitment to reproductive rights.
Also, I told you BEFORE I told Facebook, because I love you.