Saturday, March 29, 2008

There are few foods more delicious

Than potstickers, dipped in hot sauce.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You can't make this stuff up

Kraken: (being snarky to her father about this thing and that at the dinner table.)
Gorgon: "Kraken, that is not a nice way to talk to your sweet daddy. You should ask him about his day. Or tell him you love him. Can you say something nice to him, please?"
Kraken: "Daddy. You have poop on your head."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I run

I run until my breathing becomes ragged, and I fear my legs will give way beneath me. Then I walk, as quickly as I possibly can, air raw in my throat, making me yawn, making me cough, making my ears hurt. Then, when I think I might possibly someday be able to breathe without gasping again, I start running. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Not the climactic conclusion of a horror movie, but what a stranger would see looking through the tiny windows in my garage door every other night of the week. You see, I have purchased.....a treadmill. I am trying valiantly to finally remove the physical evidence of the Kraken's birth.

In truth, the problem began in the first trimester of pregnancy. Before then, even if I was not always as slender as I hoped to be, I was at least in decent physical shape. I went to the gym 4, 5 times a week, in the mornings, before work. I power walked. I ran. I lifted weights. And then came the overpowering lassitude that comes with early pregnancy. And all I could do was nap. By the time my energy returned with the second trimester, I was big as a house (already) and more interested in eating than doing anything else. And by the third. Well. Imagine a manatee on the stairmaster, and I believe you'll understand why I stayed away. I may have only gained 33 pounds, but I truly did gain most of them in my midsection, and I was tippy under the best of circumstances.

After the Kraken arrived, I could have started exercising again, but really. Have you tried to power walk when you're nursing? At some point it's almost assured that you will start spraying milk like Uma Thurman's opponents spraying blood in Kill Bill, Volume whatever. Plus, who the hell wants to exercise on 1 1/2 hours of sleep? And of course, the Kraken's ear infections ensured that I didn't get enough sleep to want to exercise until she was more than a year old.

Last summer I made a valiant effort to return to my former self. I walked every day at lunchtime at work. I did the diet thing. I lost 25 pounds, and I looked pretty good, all things considered. But then the hot weather arrived in earnest, and that was that. Back inside, and hey, why don't I have some fudge while I'm in here?

I'm 37 years old. I have a limited number of years left to look the way I used to look, and even then I'm going to need a little help (and a really good bra). It's time to make it happen. And so I run. And everything on me hurts. My shins ache. My legs shake when I come back into the house. I drink so much water I am afraid my bladder will burst.

And I feel fricking amazing.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Close Encounters.....

I go to the grocery store about 4 times a week. I don't know why. I always think I've gotten everything I need, and that I won't need to go back until the following week, but I always run out of shallots. Or cilantro. Or some other key item that doesn't keep for more than a hot minute.

Two days ago, I went to the grocery store nearest my work. I got out of the car, and as I was walking towards the entrance, I passed a minivan, with two bumper stickers on it. Pepper's Pizza, and Schoolkids Records. I stopped short, my hands suddenly cold, and my heart beating in double time.

To understand the incongruity here, you would probably have to live here. To give you the Cliff Notes version, Pepper's Pizza is (and has been for many years) a hipster/freak magnet. The place you go to watch the pink haired pierced people toss pie, and you pretend you don't know they're doing coke in the bathroom while you're waiting for your dinner. And Schoolkids is the record store that expects you to be able to write for a music magazine before you walk in the door to purchase a record. They are the ubercoolest places among Chapel Hill hipster royalty, and to find these two stickers on a minivan? Very confusing.

And then I remembered. I'm a grown-up now too. Others of those bygone days still struggle, as I do, with finding an identity that encompasses both that which was, and that which is. And then I remembered again. I knew someone once who worked at both those places. And he broke my heart into a thousand tiny pieces in the few weeks time I spent with him.

I knew it wasn't his minivan. For one thing, he hated the pizza place with a passion by the time he left. For another, he doesn't live in this town anymore, and would be unlikely to be shopping at my grocery store. But I walked into the store feeling stalked, hunted. I was overwhelmingly aware of the proximity of my past. Who would it be? Would it be someone I knew? Someone I wanted to see? Did my ass look huge in the pants I was wearing? Did I have on enough lipstick? Did I look like somebody's mom?

Whoever it was, I never saw them. But my heart rate didn't settle down to normal for about an hour.