Yay! I've Been Bitchslapped By A Bratz Doll!

When the genteel ladies from this blog wrote to me and said "hey, would you let us review your site?" *I thought to myself "why not? sounds like a gasss." However. I voiced one request:

"if it is negative, then you must make it really really scathing and
vicious. go all out. why not?"

Well I am proud to report that those gals did not fail to deliver. I was their first review and they really let me have it!!! Here are some of the juicy gems from their review.

I couldn't wait to post our first review, thinking in my small and obviously mistaken mind that it would be a 10 out of 10 and all would be well in this world. I was wrong. Very wrong. [FYI: I got a tragic 2 out of 10!]
Oranges - who the heck wants to see oranges on someones blog? Unless you're living in Florida or are a tree grower in your previous life, ditch the oranges.
Then I get a little hope as I move on to the content. Its merely so-so with a little hint of excitement. Granted the woman just had a baby but can we please just add a little pizazz into the writing??
Now, I'm not a fan of overused sidebars, but this has nothing - nothing I say! Go ahead, show us your personality! Show us a button, a blinkie, anything!

Anyway, if you want to start your morning with a bit of a nasty sting to your cheek and a nice dose of low-self esteem (for 2 seconds) I definitely recommend submitting your site. I mean, after reading this, their first review, wouldn't people be just gagging to say "me next, pur-leeeeeease!" Clever move on their parts, don't you think?
*(And yes. I am a complete moron for getting sucked in on this one in the first place. Serves my validation-seeking ass right, I know)


If You're Fickle Like Me...

A couple of years ago you touted Ricky Gervais as Comedy Genius Bar None. Then, after snottily avoiding the U.S. version of The Office as obviously-inferior-already, you may have just caught an episode one night and gone on to declare Steve Carell as that Comedy Genius (only to be compounded by 40 year Old Virgin--another piece of entertainment you disdained until you caught it on HBO one night and was won over by the "Ho. Fo Sho" scene. And then the pathos of Little Miss Sunshine.... My God, The Pathos!)

Anyway. After watching a sum total of 3 episodes from the new season of Extras, I realize that it is Stephen Merchant who is, in fact, Comedy Genius Bar None. And he now has his own radio show on BBC6. It's a Sunday Afternoon Show, with a Sunday afternoon vibe. A non-octogenarian's Prairie Home Companion, if you will. You got your Tribal Quest, your Smiths, your Stone Roses, and other stuff I have never heard of, but I am liking. I intend to listen as I peel some spuds for dinner and make futile attempts to "get things organized for the week..."


In Another Life I Was A Pack Mule...

I bet this B'yatch's tits don't leak in the senior staff meeting...

Yes. I am pumping. And if by "style" the manufacturers mean pulling that au current beast-of-burden look as I hurriedly schlep my pump and Other Items (see below) to the snow-covered car at 8am (ish) then I am stylin.'
Aforesaid Other Items include, but are not limited too...

a) Sterile(ish) bottles to pump in [CHECK]
b) Bags to store milk in [CHECK]
c) Permanent marker to Carefully Label Milk Bags [CHECK]
d) Freezer pack for milk storage [CHECK]
e) Spidey Lunchbox [CHECK]
f) Spidey Backpack [CHECK]
g) Snow Pants for Big Boy [CHECK]
h) Clean underwear (for Big Boy) [CHECK]
i) 2 gloves for Big Boy (that's TWO gloves. Not one) [CHECK]
j) Hat (not wet) [CHECK]
k) Scarf (not wet) [CHECK]
l) Snowboots ("Shit! We left your snowboots at school. OK wear your shoes. Don't walk on the snow! Ok. Well only walk on flattened snow. I SAID ONLY WALK ON FLATTENED SNOW!!!!")
m) Clean underwear (for Mommy--see above on "tits leaking...") [CHECK]
n) Mommy's lunchbox [CHECK]
o) Milk for Baby [CHECK]
p) Carefully labelled bottles for Baby [CHECK]
q) Carefully labelled blankies for Baby [CHECK]
r) Carefully labelled spare clothes for Baby [CHECK]
s) 100 Pacifiers (in case he loses one) for Baby. Carefully labelled. [CHECK]
t) Excercise Bag for Mommy???? [Hmmm. Nah. I'll think I'll work out next year]
u) Laptop for Mommy [CHECK]
v) Purse and briefcase for Mommy [CHECK]
w) Car seat for Baby [CHECK]
x) Baby ["Hmmm. Baby. Baby! Jack! JACK! Where did I put your brother???"]
y) Item for show and tell that begins with "C"

Mommy: "How about Car?"
Jack: "Nope."
"How about Carrots!!!!"
"Uhh. Nope.
"How about COINS?" [jangles spare change jar]
"No thank you Momma"
[mommy looks desparately about kitchen as clock keeps ticking]
"How about this????" [brandishes red wine stained cork from last night]
"Cooo-ool" [boy snatches stained cork before Mommy has chance to rethink idea of sending him to preschool with evidence of parental booze addictions...]

z) Sanity [Left firmly at the door]

Disclaimer: I should add that some mornings I have a partner in crime in all this madness. Their Father. But the selfish bastard has gone and got himself a punishing work schedule this semester, which means I get to do the schlepping alone. This aloneness adds more dramatic impact to my story. And, of course, I make up for his absence by whining about the fact and sniping at him as soon as he gets home late at night.


Searchin', Looking for Love, Punani, and Some Stink

Today I thought to myself "why be creative when writing a post, when you can shamelessly pillage the ideas of others?" It's time to have a nice little chat with all the lost souls who have haplessly meandered into this site via The Google. What a nasty shock it must have been for these poor, poor twisted (and odorous) people...

And I have not made any of these up...

Keyword: Tight Fannies.
A tight fanny? Here? What you *will* find, my friend, is a tightly written explanation of how Fanny, in Britain, refers to one's Front Bottom (vagina, or punani, if you will).

"Whatever. Is it tight?" You ask. Well, thanks to an emergency C-Section, things are not hanging as loose as they could be, thanks for asking. I also have retained that precious (and minimal) control of my pelvic floor. No Depends for me. Yet.

Tight Back bottom? (Buttocks or Ass, if you will). We're working on it.

And speaking of Punani...

Keyword: Writings of Punani Poetry. (huh????)

OK. Not wanting to disappoint, here goes:

Fanny. Thy Name is Punani.
Let me wax upon your beauty and your beard
And derive of thee sensations of itch and (re)growth

Keyword: Cesearian Incision Stink
Lady. I bet you think I think my C-Section Incision doesn't stink. Well it doesn't. However, here's some advice. During those first few days where you rarely shower, shuffle around in hospital robes, and excrete fluids from pretty much all outlets, well, let's put it this way: It's not the incision, OK? It's YOU.

If you are pretty sure the incision does stink, however, get to the hospital STAT! Clearly you are rotting away from within. You will need your insides scraped out, sterilized, and dumped back in again. (feel free to refer them to this site).

Keyword: Jane Seymour's Living Room
How disappointed you must have been when instead of lovely, lovely Janey's "interior decor" you instead discovered front bottoms, leaking boobs, and stinking incisions. So sorry. Jane's interiors are much more soft-focus and must surely smell of freesias and lavender. I prescribe a healthy dose of Lifetime and Chabby Chic before bed.

Keyword: Frigging Ginger Root
You seek not Ginger Root, but Frigging Ginger Root. Are we using the term adjectivally ("I've got to find some frigging ginger root if my ass is going to be saved in time for this Asian-Themed dinner party")? Or are you perhaps using it as a verb? ("I need to see some Hot and Gnarly Ginger Root Action. Now. One-on-One. Oh Yeah. You like that don't you bitch?)

Keyword: Pruitt Vince Belly
Awwww. Seems like someone's got a thing for Pruitt Vince's tum-tum. I do not judge, truly, but can't help you there I'm afraid. Would you like to see this? (Hey. You're not the ginger root perv are you? Oh. All right. Just make it quick.)

Keyword: I Hate Sting (I get this one a lot)
You do? Me fucking too. And not just because of that Somner's Tale, New Agey shite.


For Those Waiting on Baby Number Two

Today we began transitioning Sam, now nine weeks old, into his new daycare. Up until now I’ve informed people who have asked that I am indeed ready to get back to work. This is done with a knowing wink and roll of the eye. In truth, I like my job and I am just now beginning to miss it. I attended a work meeting yesterday and used a creative part of my brain that I quite enjoyed putting to the test (BTW--remind me of this when I write a stressed out post pissing on about my fucking job). For this reason, I need to work. But personal fulfillment aside, we need me to work. Even if I had longings for SAHM-hood, for a variety of reasons right now, it would not really be possible. And that is more than fine with me. Life is good.

And then I read this post by Liz where she considers life with Child Two, and thought of Kristen, swollen and impatient for her boy. And then my husband, after listening to my cheerful report about how great his first few hours went this morning, confessed to feeling guilty about putting Sam into care so young. (With our older, Jack, he was much older and it was part time). And then I reassured him about how this is the Right Thing—how patient and sweet his caregiver is, how happy the babies seem, how calm and relaxed the atmosphere, etc etc.

And then I started to cry.

Like Liz, when we realized that Sam was on the way we had all the same clichéd concerns about not having enough love. Like her, my early relationship with my first was not all "love at first sight." Yes, I had that deep and primordial instinct to protect and nourish, but I fell in love with him as a person as time wore on. And I’m not done falling yet.

But here's what I am learning. Loving my first son and seeing him become his awesome self has made loving the second so much easier. It’s a cliché to say that he has taught me how to love, but sometimes a cliché is one of life’s universals. I look at baby Sam, and I see Jack. And I am made doubly aware as to how brief this time is, when they are so small and so completely in need of you. And so I try and soak up these moments more and I see all this potential. This was something I could only understand theoretically with number one. Then we were much more parents coping in the moment, adjusting to Life With Baby. This, in part, is because Jack was more high maintenance than his brother. (and as a result, we were freaked out parents, which hardly helped matters).

On one level this makes me feel guilty, why couldn’t we be these parents for Jack? But I also realize that this is something that Jack has actually given us—the ability to enjoy the now and also to see all the promise.

And so as we now have to adjust to sharing the care for my new boy, I am suddenly finding it a bit difficult. I don’t regret the decision. I can’t speak highly enough about the place where our boys are cared for (I wish they went through High School). We are lucky enough to be able to afford such good care (don’t get me started on the availability of quality child care for all who need it in this country). We are extremely lucky to be able to leave our children in such a warm and nurturing environment. No these feelings are less about guilt, which I take to be a constant nagging emotion for all mothers really, and more about jealousy and even a small sense of loss.

So is there enough love? Almost too much, ladies. Prepare to have your heart filled and broken all over again.


I think this post might be a complete copout...

Like the rest of the *stratosphere, I am currently attempting to refine my intake of refined carbs, fat, and calories in general... I'm exercising, blah blah blah, nibbling on healthful snacks (if one can call standing virtually inside the food cupboard and inhaling great mouthfuls of Bear Naked Granola, Banana Nut "healthful") and have even taken the plunge by throwing out some of the chocolate that was taunting me.
I had planned a whole post where I reflected on my goals, my body image, my sloth, my ability to literally obsess about the _____ (name any sweet baked good) that I happen to know is in the kitchen ready to be eaten. It would have been very compelling.

But you know the drill. Many of you have been there and got the T-Shirt. So here's a healthy recipe instead:

Balti Chicken with Lemon & Ginger

(I am sloppy with the amounts here--so feel free to adjust)

1-1/12 lbs of Chicken Breast (no skin or bones)
1TBPS Garam Masala (Indian Spice medley--available at most grocery stores)
1 tbsp Turmeric
Ginger Root (1-2 inches) Cut into matchsticks (or whatever)
Garlic Cloves (2) (minced, or whatever)
Vegetable Oil.
Green chillies--1-2 (depending on how you like your heat). Sliced crosswise (or whatever).
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
Chicken Broth or Bouillon--1/2 cup
Cilantro (however much you like)

1. Slice chicken into strips or pieces (bite sized/curry sized)
2. Saute chicken until golden browned in a little veg oil in large frying pan. (dry off chicken first to avoid delicious but deadly white scum). remove with slotted spoon. (if your kids won't eat curried food, put some of this chicken aside for them to eat, boring little shits that they are.)
3. Add ginger, garlic, and chilis to the pan. Stir Fry for 1 minute.
4. Add dry spices and stir around (concoction will be quite dry)
5. Return chicken to pan and toss into spices--should turn a nice yellowy color.
6. Add lemon zest. Stir in.
7. Add lemon juice and 1/2 cup of chicken stock
8. Cook uncovered until chicken is thoroughly cooked through
9. Toss in chopped cilantro (unless your pain in the ass of a husband loathes the stuff and insists it tastes like soap. then sigh deeply and leave it out, or add it to yours when you serve).

Serve with basmati rice and green salad. (I actually like a few frozen peas with mine, but it might be a Brit thing. The Pea fetish.)

*and when I say "stratosphere" I mean privileged overeaters like me who have never had to go without.


This is not a chain letter....

This is a book exchange. That's right, a book exchange! Send one book to the child listed below. Then send a copy of this letter to six friends. This isn't a chain letter. Just a letter for fun!

If you can't do it in one week, please notify me, as it is unfair to the children who are participating and are waiting for their own books. . . . Seldom does anyone drop out because, as you know, children love to receive mail as well as

Please don't spoil the fun by stopping the flow of books for the children. Please join us, but if you can't please let me know as soon as possible

This form letter was placed, unsolicited, in my son's preschool mailbox just shy of one week ago. Although I know who was above me on the chain (and I bear no animosity there for what else can she do?) as of tomorrow it will be one week since we received it, and I will occupy heinous position of one who is unfair to the children.

What to do? What to do?

Let me confess that I hate shit like this. Not because I enjoy depriving books for the children or a bit of community-minded parenting. No. I hate these things because they keep me awake at night with a spectrum of emotions and psychotic thought-processes:

"This isn't a chain letter.."
Oh yes? Define "chain letter" then. Though I am not promised a slew of unpleasant things to befall me, what can be more unpleasant than being The One to break the chain, and so disappoint an infinite number of The Children....????

"Send a copy of this letter to six friends.."
This is the part that causes most angst. I can easily buy a book, send it to a kid, and be done with it. But what six innocents can I draw into this madness? What six friends with kids do we have that will not be thinking "thanks a fucking BUNCH, Joy" as I send this on to them with quirky post-its that say "Ha ha! Don"t you hate me now? Ha ha! (look, I'm really really sorry, ok. But it's for the children...And I am afraid for my life)"

No. This may not be "a chain letter" but I feel like that lady in The Ring who has to send on the video to another unwitting individual in order save herself and her child from rank evil.

"If you can't do it in one week, please notify me, as it is unfair to the children who have participated and are waiting for their own books to arrive..."
OK! I get it already! Do this or DIE Bitch! But what really chills the blood is that I have no clue as to the origin of "me" here. It's not really the person whose kid is next on the list. I know that. She is merely passing on the message and hastily relinquishing her responsibility over to Me, potentially the next "Me" of this message. She is doing on what she must do, and so I do not blame her. Who is Me???

Interestingly, there are no accompanying instructions that say "in case some asshole calls you and drops out, then..."

What would I do if one of my people told me s/he can't do it? Pass it down the chain and hope that public humilation works as a preventative measure? I don't think so.

This tells me that the request to "let me know" is merely a way to keep us recipients in line. A disciplinary tactic that says "don't you slink off and just ignore this, b'yatch. You need to face the music if you decide to break the chain..." An empty threat that works upon our base fear that other parents might judge us...

"Please don't spoil the fun..." Right. I'm having a fucking ball.

So. Can I throw off this mantle? Break the chain and so break the cycle of pain?

Hells No. I am way too much of a coward for that. So if you're reading this, have a kid or two, and you know me and my boy, then you can expect a nice little envelope of hell in your mail in the next day of so. Hopefully to be followed by a shitload of books for your little one, unless some malignant soul breaks the chain, that is....

(p.s. if you are the twisted parent of a toddler/preschooler/kindergartner and would actually like to participate in this chain, then let me now via email--gingajoy_at_gmail.com I'd be happy to suck you into this seventh circle...)


And when I said "I lost all my pregnancy weight already..."

Uh. Yeah. When I said that, I should have added "From this pregnancy." The extra 10-15 (uhm, 20?) pounds that attached themselves to my stomach, thighs, and bottom? They decided to stick around for the ride. Well, you know what they say, "nine months in, ninety fucking years out." or somethin'

Still chomping on the chocolate. I am now moved on to the Ferrero Rocher. I did not know of Ferrero's existence until yesterday when I open a cabinet in my dining room, and there he was--all those glistening golden balls untouched. (excuse me while I take a moment to crack myself up).

Seriously. How many Ferrero Rochers can you fit in your mouth?


2 hourly feedings...

Yes, my seven week old is still on about 2-3 hour feedings. Good thing is that he takes about 3-5 minutes to scarf down a full dosage, so it's not as debilitating as it could be, although at times I dream of Le Leche League-Like bliss, where I calmly read a novel or have "me" time whilst I sit with him nuzzled against me and gently feeding and then drifting to sleep (for 3 hours, after I gently place him in his crib and he does not wake).

Instead, we have 3-5 minutes of furious gurgling, sucking, and the indignant squawks he emits when he finds himself hosed down by boob spray or if he comes unlatched. It's like wrestling a small squirming pig, but it's brief, and seems to do the job (he's now nearly 12 lbs).

Speaking of 2 hourly feedings, I do not seem to be able to stop cramming my face. I wish I could say I was imbibing bulgur wheat, tofu treats, and ample fresh fruit, but instead I am working my way very steadily through the massive piles of chocolate that remain in our home after the holidays. Nanny and Grandy have flown back to England, and behind them have left a house bulging with rich food which, for some reason, I feel indebted to eat so I can get it out of the house before I start to "get back in shape..." Throwing it away--1lb bars of Toblerone, for instance--is simply not an option. This stuff is premium, I tell you. So eat it I will. Even while I know that it's making me feel fat, sluggish and generally not very good. It's my mission. Not even the fact that I managed to (I have no fucking idea HOW) lose all my pregnancy weight within 4 weeks but now the scale is now creeping scarily upwards will stop me. My stomach is now at full capacity (no 10lb baby cramming it into a wee pocket) and I can eat like a maniac and still not feel sickishly full. I think I might need help.

I return to aerobics tomorrow (more precisely--"cardio buffet"). Maternity leave ends in 2 weeks, and I can return to work and the "all things good to eat" deprivation chamber that is my office (if I was SAHM I would be mega, I swear. Either that, or there would be a "no cookies for anyone" policy in the home).

And here ends my obligatory January "I feel fat post..."