The week in bullets:
- My week began with a visit to the oral surgeon. Apparently my two top wisdom teeth need to be removed. I was shown a video detailing the process, which featured a rueful-looking actor using air quotes around "wisdom," a detailed list of potential complications delivered in a soothing murmur ("...and, of course, as with any surgical procedure, death, or" -- air quotes -- "a dirt nap."), and, my God, an animation of exactly what they're going to do to my mouth, and which heavy machinery they plan to back down my hapless gullet. It was like watching Bob the Builder, if Bob has a googly-eyed crowbar on his crew.
I asked the oral surgeon what my anesthetic options were. "We could do a local with novocaine," he suggested, and I glared him into embarrassment. "Or?" I asked, glarily, while glaring.
"Orrrrrr," he said, templing his fingers, "we could throw some ValiumVersedandpropofol in the bag and shoot you into the sky."
"I think we understand each other," I said.
He said, "It'll be a blast."
And then his receptionist offered a surgical appointment on 8 AM February 14. My 40th birthday.
- Lately Charlie is enamored of...that music...that all the kids are listening to...when they do whatever it is kids today do -- general purpose hooliganism, probably, going about their whippersnappery business, usually all over my lawn. It's that Nickelodeon tweeny stuff, presented -- I will not say created -- by these...young people. They're extraordinarily attractive, these young adults, and yet curiously denatured; somehow there's not even a whiff of sexual menace about them. Ohhh, which is fine, believe me, fine. I am not complaining that no one is sexually menacing my six-year-old. No, if real rock sprang from the pubic crest of Elvis, this stuff comes straight from the wang of Ken.
Anyway, that is what Charlie's into, this diabolically catchy pop that's sandwiched between SpongeBobs. I've downloaded a few songs for him; while I hate it even as I'm singing along, because how could I not do both, I love it that he loves it. It's nothing I'd ever select myself, but he's chosen it on his own -- uh, with the benevolent assistance of the good people at Viacom -- and for that alone it has value. I'm inclined to curate his taste in some areas, but music right now isn't one of them.
It's just so appropriate, this simple upbeat stuff; he's fallen hard for the hooks, the cheerful lyrics, the dance moves in the videos that are simple enough for him to imitate. Well, the one that is: hopping up and down with one arm aloft, pointing an index finger to the sky, or the stars, or the clouds, or wherever it is our dreams, for which we duly reach in accordance with the lyrics, reside. That plus doing a wild gymkata off every piece of furniture in the room is what constitutes dancing these days, and he does it with a passion.
He likes sometimes to have dance parties in his room, where he cranks up the music, turns off the overhead light, wears the finger lights that Santa Claus brought him, and tries his abandoned damnedest to break a femur and a collarbone in the space of a single song. Ben has sometimes been present; I've sat in Charlie's room with him well out of the line of flail. He knows this to be a great privilege, and talks about Charlie's dance parties in the reverent tones older people use for the installation of a new pope, say, or the opening of a Trader Joe's. So when Charlie invited him to a dance party earlier this week, Ben accepted with awe and pleasure. But he understood it was an occasion, because he told Charlie, "First I need a fresh diaper. A party diaper."
- The cat has lymphoma. That's good, right? The good kind of -oma?
- I had the idea that I'd send my mother a box for Valentine's Day. She always baked me red velvet cake, so I thought I'd return the gesture, and embarked on Bakerella's cake balls. I got as far as mixing the batter and pouring it into the pan for baking, when I realized its consistency was way off. Where it should have been smooth and liquid, it was more like bloody tar. I oodged it around in the pan some, knowing it was wrong but stubbornly resisting the idea that I'd made a mistake, then finally read back over the steps because I had to have missed something.
I had! I was supposed to add a cup and a quarter of water. So I oodged the tarcake bloodbatter back into the mixing bowl, poured in the water, lowered the beater, aaaaand...
I am exactly that stupid.
Watery red batter all over the goddamn kitchen. The walls, the appliances, the floor, the ceiling. Since I hadn't bothered to incorporate any of the added water by hand before letting fly with the mixer, the beater flung that red shit everywhere. Stupid because I know better, having had long discussions with my friend T. about the pros and cons of covering one's bowl while mixing. ("Martha uses a cloth." "Martha is a pussy.")
I was wearing a white shirt at the time. The cake balls are wretchedly sweet. And although I worked for the better part of an hour to clean up the mess, I'm pretty sure I didn't get it all. Someday someone's going to move the stove and the wall will say HELTER SKELTER.
Now let us never speak of bloodtar cakewall again.
- Really good post at HuffPo about infertility, "The Disease We Need to Start Talking About":
Infertility patients' reluctance to discuss their struggles and advocate for change is directly preventing those affected from getting the support and funding they deserve. As Barbara Collura, executive director of RESOLVE, explains, "Infertility is not being discussed in the general public health realm -- it's not taught in health classes, it's barely touched upon in medical schools, and it's not a priority of any government entity. Yet how can we expect health care providers, educators, our government, and insurance companies to pay attention to infertility when the patients themselves aren't even talking about it?"Which is weird to me as an infertile person, considering that some people in our lives think it's the disease we need to start shutting up about.
- My stats reveal that someone found this site by searching for
stupid ass birth plansWelcome, intrepid voyager! Welcome to the last eight years of my blog!
I'm a lousy photographer, I craftily edited out the glistening mucus on Charlie's upper lip, and my Christmas lights are still on in February and I have every intention of keeping them there until the thaw, what of it? All true, and so what? When I look at these pictures, all I see is that my stupid-ass birth plan worked out, in the end, pretty well.