Friday, February 27, 2009


I am permanently 24 years old in my own mind--still just starting out but not a kid anymore--which makes it disconcerting when J and I do something like celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary like we did this week. That would have made me a sixteen year old bride and since this isn't Alabama well, I never was a genius at math but something isn't adding up here.

Still trying to figure out what . . . I mean clearly I am still 24 right?

After eight years of marriage I would like to think I have figured out a few things. Since many of our friends, who were considered better matches I think, have married after us and are already divorced. We're still here and that should count for something.

The main thing I know is that you can't really know anything about some one else's marriage. I am sure that people see my husband and I and feel sorry for us. They think I am bossy or he is immature (and well YES) and they just thank god that they are not us. While I see things that go on in other marriages and well . . .there are very few people I could be married to. Possibly just the one. Which is fortunate, because well here we are. We have friends who have had affairs, who have vicious fights about laundry, who don't trust each other about money, whatever. But they are still kicking. And while none of those things sound worth it to me--well I don't have to be married to those people so I try not to judge.

TRY. I mean, I am still me.

I do know one thing for certain, when you get married you will fight. Your fight might be about money, it might be about work, it might be about parenting the tiny members of your house. It probably will be about all of those things honestly. It might be about how some one can't seem to fucking throw out the wrappers to Kraft singles even though HOW HARD IS IT TO THROW OUT A SHEET OF PLASTIC REALLY?!?!? I mean, for example.

I did the math the other day and realized that I have been cleaning J's toilets for ten years. TEN YEARS. Because he has never, not once, cleaned the toilet in our relationship. I am pretty sure some of your heads just exploded, either because you would just kill your husband/wife if they did that or you are wondering how J is such a master and does he give classes? It's not that I love scrubbing toilets, because really I think there is therapy for that, but I know he won't do it. And I love not fighting about it (and having to pee in a nasty toilet) more. I mean there are some things that I do that are just as annoying and probably selfish (though really what is worse than making some one clean up after your shit for ten years?). But it's all garden variety stuff. We fight about the normal.

He has shrunk a bunch of my sweaters and I never ever drag the garbage cans out to the curb. Somehow I pretty much always end up cooking dinner and doing the dishes afterwards but well I do NOT clean the cat box. When I add it up I feel so lucky that this is what is out there. The only real negative thing about marriage I can say after eight years is THAT SOCK ON THE FLOOR IS A SOCK ON THE FLOOR UNTIL YOU DIE.

After eight years I feel lucky every single day.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Why I Hate Award Shows

I knew that Kate Winslet was going to fucking with the Oscar. And I am so sad. I haven't seen the movie, haven't seen any of the movies, but I am so depressed that she won.

I actually really like Kate Winslet. Or I did. I thought she was brilliant in so many movies. I love her attitude about her body, about the business.

But The Reader is horrible. I can say that with 100% certainty without having seen it. And Kate Winslet made it worse. Let it be said that SS guards new exactly what they were doing and they do not deserve to be glamorized or felt sorry for. That it stretches the imagination beyond belief that one could have been illiterate. And to have Kate Winslet nude it up so that you can have the world feel sorry for fucking Nazis?

She has made statements about how "these people didn't know what they were doing. . ." And Kate, I don't think I can forgive that shit. That isn't Holocaust denial but it feeds Holocaust denial. People believe movies are true. They believe actresses. But actresses are playing parts. Parts that are full of fucking shit.

As I understand it, the movies ends with Kate Winslet's character in prison and suffering. And a Holocaust survivor is rich and unforgiving. By the way this is exactly what I wish were true--that all SS guards were in prison and survivors were all rich and happy. But it's not true and as I understand it it is played for sympathy. FOR THE SS GUARD.

Note to the Academy--just because it is a Nazi movie doesn't mean it should win awards.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Oh dear, the relationship meme as stalked from Sundry.

What are your middle names?
Mine is Anne. J's is Lee. Our parents are clearly very original.

How long have you been together?
Almost ten years. And we've been married nearly eight.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
I am not sure that we ever even started dating. We uh became close and well he never left.

Who asked whom out?
I asked him to a party. He tried to bring a girl with him. He claims he thought that I was trying to set him up with my friend.

How old are each of you?
We're both 30. I am four months older. J claims this practically makes me a predator.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
His brother. Which is not often. We haven't seen my sister in a couple of years.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
Uh. Our infertility prior to having the baby.

Did you go to the same school?
No, I went to a women's college and massage school. J went through a voc school a couple of years ago.

Are you from the same home town?
J is from Modesto, CA and I was born in Des Moines, IA.

Who is smarter?
I'd say that we are probably about the same in very different ways. J is great with technology and puzzling out all kinds of problems. I am better with numbers and the boring book stuff.

Who is the most sensitive?
Oh dear me. I probably should toughen up but since he is pretty much made of leather it would still be me even if I were to do so.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?

A local pizzeria called Brooklyn Brothers. It is close to our house, delicious and a nice relaxing environment.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Florida. For my sister's wedding.

Who has the craziest exes?
Oh there could be so much debate about this. His ex was still living in his apartment when we met (he claims this isn't true but oh I think I remember) and well she was a total nutjob. But essentially harmless. I have a cast of more threatening types but garden variety issues. But I am the only one with a former stalker.

Who has the worst temper?
J without question. I give him credit because he does a really good job of controlling it and fighting fair. But he has the explosive temper. And it looks like Mo inherited it. DELIGHTFUL let me tell you.

Who does the cooking?
I do. He can cook and actually worked as a cook for a time so he does it sometimes. But since I do most of the meal planning I usually cook.

Who is the neat-freak?
Oh I think I would really enjoy a neat freak. Neither of us are at all and this house is small so there is a lot of clutter. And in the ten years we have been together J has never once cleaned a fucking bathroom. This has nothing to do with neatness. I just like to bring up cleaning injustices whenever possible.

Who is more stubborn?
Oh the stubbornness in this house is epic and I really cannot say who is worse. Except the baby who may be the one Stubborn that rules us all. But I am the one with relatives who lived next door to each other without speaking for decades.

Who hogs the bed?

We both do. And we share with two dogs. We really need a King bed but our room is the size of a shoe box so that won't be happening.

Who wakes up earlier?
Me. I'm at work before he gets up.

Where was your first date?

Um. My apartment? I have to admit it is all pretty vague.

Who is more jealous?
Me. But we don't really have
that dynamic in our marriage.

How long did it take to get serious?

Almost immediately.

Who eats more?

He does. And yet, until very recently he was really really skinny. UNFAIR

Who does the laundry?
We share it. He is not allowed to do my laundry since he ruins my clothes all the time and yet he still keeps doing it. One of my favorite cashmere sweaters was ruined about a week ago. Latest soldier to die in valiant battle.

Who’s better with the computer?

J is a network administrator. Take a guess.

Who drives when you are together?
J. He thinks I drive too slow. Of course his driving makes me act like my mother and shriek and gasp for breath.

Now everyone else! Link in the comments.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When I started using the Internet

Though I had played around a bit with a BBS in high school I didn't really start using the internet in a real way until my first job. It was with an internet start up crossed with Amway and my bosses didn't really understand what it was about. So I spent my free time (which there was a lot of) looking at internet content and searching yahoo and wasting time online.

This created a weird rabbit hole habit with the internet for me that carries on to this day. One second I am thinking about a movie I saw in second grade and then I am googling and researching the careers of the actors and finding out that their favorite book is my favorite book oh and wait has that author written anything new.

And it's been three hour

Monday, February 09, 2009

Healthy Eats

After ten years together I finally figured out something important about J last year.

Dude doesn't know how to eat.

I don't mean that he can't use a knife and fork, I mean that well his grasp of nutrition was more tenuous than I could have imagined.

I didn't realize that the fucked up girl-culture of dieting teachings women about fat vs. calories, protein, vitamins, etc. I found out that until I told him he actually thought that a piece of white bread with butter on it was a healthy snack.

This explains a lot about his food issues and also about his confusion about why I kept trying to get him to eat something beside canned spaghetti.

My mother dieted for my entire childhood. While I don't want to repeat that experience for my daughter I think it was a gift to learn to eat multiple vegetables at every meal, to eat lots of chicken and pork, to like fish and not eat so much starch. Not a perfect foundation but much better than what J had.

I do not want to create environment of "good" and "bad" foods though. My mother always seemed to believe that thin people could have good and bad foods but if you were fat you had no right to eat anything not scrupulously healthy--also she had "no right" to be hungry. It is just depressing to think about that.

So I consider myself a moderately healthy eater. I do get 5-6 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. I eat a variety of foods. I try to eat more plants, less meat and plenty of fish. I drink milk. I drink water. And I give myself a break. Notice that I don't say that I eat low fat, or low call or low carb. Everything in moderation.

But then again, I am not thin either.

I have low cholesterol, low blood pressure and my doctor said I am a very healthy person (with good bone density). My goal is to be healthy but also enjoy my foods. That is what I want to model for my daughter. I try to use my junky foods for things that I really enjoy since I don't want to eat too many of them.

That being said, there are some things that I know are not healthy and also completely terrible that I just adore. Note: I am not sure these things are really food.

1. Stouffer's lasagna (just the original meat version--not the Italian or chicken or cream whatever)
2. McDonald's Filet O'Fish
3. Queso dip made from Velveeta
4. Hamburger Helper--Cheeseburger Macaroni
5. Pizza Rolls

Does anyone else do this?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Reading this post of Her Bad Mother's, I saw so much of myself in it. And I do wonder how this happened.

J and I have long split chores in half. Yes, I complain because he has never, NOT ONCE, in our nearly ten year relationship cleaned the damn bathroom, but he does all kinds of things. He will never think to dust but he does dishes, laundry, etc without ever being asked. Over time I have realized that we have settled in a largely gender traditional set of roles. And I cannot tell you how that happened. But still, the work is roughly 50-50 which is the most important thing. There have been times when I have done the bulk of the work and times when he is carrying more than his fair share. Our marriage is a real partnership and I am both grateful and proud of that.

I assumed this would continue on into parenthood and, for the most part, it has. J is a very involved father. He does half of the actual child care. Sometimes more than half.

And sometimes I am really really angry and resentful of him.

I have tried to explain it to him and failed to do it in a way that didn't make him feel defensive. I am the default parent.

If I am home and do not say PLEASE WATCH THE BABY then he usually isn't. If I work late or there is an accident on the freeway it is an EVENT, even if it is only fifteen minutes. Because he isn't supposed to have her after 4:30. When I stayed home on leave he routinely went out for drinks for HOURS after work. I am not supposed to pee before taking the baby.

I am in charge. Always. This is not about discipline or anything. But I am supposed to be the authority. He doesn't read up about foods or plan her meals. He doesn't buy her clothes or shoes. When he told me he wanted to try cloth diapering, I was the one who had to research everything, buy it and then teach everyone how to care for it. I book her doctor's appointments (though he does usually take her), figure out new outings to takes her on and just manage everything.

It's not that I cannot do those things or even want him to do them. It's that I resent that I have to do them. He doesn't even notice. He gets this incredible credit for doing half of the care--for doing his share. And you know what, he is a great dad, I don't want to take that from him. But, often those same people look down on me for making him do his share. Doing half isn't good enough for mom. I am supposed to keep house and take care of the baby and work and probably have sex and it is just a lot.

Meanwhile his life hasn't changed. I shouldn't say that, it has. He loves her more than anything. He worries about her, he cares for her, he has had to change his schedule. But he has a life. He goes out drinking with his buddies. He makes plans without lining up child care. If he goes on a business trip or wants to leave for a few days the world doesn't stop. He has fitness goals and concerts to go to and things he wants to do. And I have a stack of books to read on my commute and work to do after she goes to sleep (though he does this too) and an early morning schedule to keep.

I shouldn't be angry with my husband. And since going back to work I have found that I am settling into regular angry instead of insane angry which has to be a good thing. I am angry that this is all there is though. The system is bullshit but all hail the system I guess.

In other words I don't think this is about J. It's about my own expectations and not caring about what other people think and fucking accepting the fact that my work really really isn't crazy about women with young children but they will just have to deal. She gets older every day anyway.

And being angry doesn't fix anything.

Monday, February 02, 2009


Last week was full of work drama that is barely interesting to me so I won't bore you with it, preparations for Mo's birthday party, drama with J's dad, a visit from his brother, the actually party, the actual visit of his dad and then today I got to work at 6 and didn't get home until 7 am about to collapse really from typing this paragraph.

Also, somehow my monitor died at work this morning and the IT told me to let him know when I bought a new one? WTF dude. So I have no working monitor at the office. And yet, no one thought I should just get to go home.

At any rate, Ramona had a fabulous party and though my house was not spotless I did not die of shame and there were eight thousand children playing in my living room. Everyone ate melty cheese and cupcakes and I got SCHOOLED by a five year old about how the party didn't have a theme and I FAIL being a mom and WOW who let me throw a party.

My friends really have cute and wonderful kids and that exchange was adorable and charming and so matter of fact. Like sorry, AB, you really shouldn't have a baby but BETTER LUCK next year.

If your baby doesn't run away because NO THEME.

So, I am just trying to swim here, all tired and achy, and still feeling very ALL CAPS.