more food bank; tough questions

We were all in a row, standing in front of the conveyor belt.  Each of us was assigned to a particular category of food; when an item in our category came down the belt we’d grab it and put it in our box.  Categories included Protein (canned meat, peanut butter), Meals (microwaveable containers of pasta), Soup, Juice, Canned Fruit, etc.  It sounds easy enough until you are the one making the tough decision–is this odd-looking box a condiment or a baking need?  It’s passed by me on the belt three times now so I guess no one else is claiming it…must it be in my category?

I had selected Baby Food and Coffee/Tea and there was precious little action for either of my boxes that morning.  All the other people there knew each other and I was standing in between a guy and a girl who were joking and talking past me; I half-involved myself so as to be neither rudely aloof nor nosy.  It was hot in there, and boring, even after the warehouse supervisor threw the fake mouse onto the belt.

Then a can of Campbell’s Chunky Soup came down the conveyor belt and the guy next to me, charged with boxing Meals, grasped it with uncertain hands and called out, “What do you do with soup that eats like a meal?” and I laughed for pretty much the rest of the day.

you know you’re in camberville…

When you’re going for a family stroll and you see a big hardcover book resting on a stone pillar on the sidewalk and when you approach said book it turns out to be Cryptonomicon.

Bonus:  When one morning you notice that your husband, still in his pajamas, is wearing a lanyard around his neck…and you realize that connected to the lanyard is a USB drive.

Bonus bonus:  When you’re watching the cataclysmic documentary The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia and some Boone County person is all “Our town isn’t that bad, we had this one kid who went on to MIT!  I mean, MIT!” and your first thought is, “If I were to leave my home right now and walk in a straight line for ten minutes, at least one third of the young people I would encounter on the way would be MIT grads, and many of them would be idiots.”

bitchin’ fact of the day

My fact-finding team (which consists of myself, sitting on the couch eating grapefruit) informs me of something wonderful concerning the H.P. Lovecraft story “The Whisperer in Darkness”.  Apparently while he was writing the story, which concerns an alien race who have an outpost beyond the known limits of our solar system, Pluto was discovered.  He was so excited by this coincidence (“coincidence”?) that he wrote a letter to his friend being all “Jigga whuuuut!”  which is how we have evidence of this bitchin’ fact today.  How fortunate that he passed long before the blasphemous reclassifying of Pluto as a “dwarf” planet.

that which unites us all

A few months ago I finally got around to reading Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. But lest you think I would blog without mentioning the baby, here’s some backstory:  Parenthood in general (and Leif’s delightfullness, specifically) had thrown me into daily spells of contemplation about life and matter and the nature of things, and sometimes these reveries got cosmic.  This inspired me to read the book over the course of many naptimes, and when I finished I was disappointed that it was, alas, too brief.  It was also somewhat weirdly-written and only left me wanting to know more.  The internet advised me to check out The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, and oh, what a fun book this is.  Greene is a lovely writer and does a noble job of making unfathomable content accessible to the layperson, but he also totally good-glavins out at times.

For instance.  Last night I was reading about the possibility of extra, hidden dimensions, and to illustrate the point, he first described a universe with only one dimension, i.e. a long line-shaped universe called Lineland inhabited by depthless, heightless worms.  He then introduced two great thinkers in Lineland, one named Kaluza K. Line (after the mathematicians Kaluza and Klein) and one named Linestein.  Forehead-slappingly stupid puns are pretty much what get me through the day (see: roughly half the entries written here), so to see them made by someone who’s so diesel that his job is to try to solve the mysteries of space and time, well, that just fills me with a warm joy.


October has arrived, and with it the constant October-based puns.  The best of these, of course, is “Rocktober”, which is all but taken for granted at this point.  Recently I came across an incidence of questionable gun-jumping in the term “Rocktember”, in an ad for a sale taking place in September.  I remarked on this to Jared, which lead to a conversation about the possibility of Rockember and Rockcember, which are reasonable, and the less desirable results that occur at the turn of the new year.  Rockuary is still comprehensible, at least, but Rockruary is difficult to pronounce.  Rarch is just stupid; April does not translate except perhaps as Rapril which doesn’t sound like it has much to do with rocking at all.  Things progress poorly throughout the late spring and summer with the pointless Ray, Rune, and Ruly but take a bright turn in Rockgust, which is actually quite decent!

My own Rocktober is off to a good start; the ceremonial purchasing of the novelty Halloween socks (Socktoberfest) took place earlier today!


Although he is too young to produce meaningful speech, Leif is an accomplished babbler and sometimes makes sounds that are identifiable as words.  A few days ago he enuniciated a very clear, distinct, and exasperated “Oy!”  This morning, Jared was convinced he heard him say “Ham.”

In other news, be on the lookout for my upcoming pamphlet about how to eat when you’re a vegetarian (except for a bit of fish, but even that’s limited due to the DEADLY MERCURY!!!), compounded by being a picky eater, compounded by being generally unable to tolerate spices or other exotic flavors, compounded by having to avoid both dairy and soy (I repeat: both dairy and soy) due to nebulous infant tummy issues, compounded by not really knowing how to cook, compounded by requiring a tremendous amount of calories to produce enough breastmilk for a rapidly-growing organism and to sustain one’s extremely necessary running habit.  The pamphlet is called “I Hope You Like Muesli!”  and the illustration on the front is of me punching myself in the fucking face.

have fun in braintree, morons!

Yesterday I had some business to attend to in South Boston.  Afterwards, on a shuttle bus back to the subway station, three young women started having a loud, bothersome conversation about how men don’t understaaaaand and god knows what else.

(Side note:  if you have to complain like that about the opposite sex, it’s generally because you’re only capable of attracting lame members of that sex.  So remember that when you bitch about how all women are ditzy golddiggers or all men are uncaring slobs.  They aren’t.  The good ones just don’t want you.)

They prattered on, and at one point one of them mentioned that her mother was picking her up from their destination.  “She was like, don’t you dare walk home from Davis Square!” she reported.  (Which–what?  Why not?)  The shuttle dropped us at the train station and we stood near each other on the platform.  The outbound train arrived, and before I could intervene*, one of the girls said, “I was confused.  How could we be going inbound if we’re already in the city?” and they hopped aboard.  Oh, how I laughed.  Actually, I didn’t laugh, but I did find it pretty gratifying as the train whisked them away.

*I totally would have helped if I could have, even though they were my sworn enemies.  And full disclosure, it’s been a long-ass time since I rode the red line so I also had a moment of, if I took the inbound train to get here then why am I also taking the inbound train home? But I figured it out with my super-smarts, so I still get to make fun of them.

a little from column a, a little from column b

This evening I went for my first run since giving birth, and in fact my first real run in a very long time.  (The first song that played as I got the treadmill going was TI’s “Live Your Life”, so it was like I was acting out my own little inspirational montage.)  I kept running for the first couple weeks of the pregnancy until the constant nausea kicked in…then went for maybe three half-assed jogs in the second trimester before becoming too hemodynamically unstable to so much as walk down the street without multiple breaks.  So I guess it’s getting on towards ten months since I was really running.  And I was able to do three miles today at essentially the same pace and intensity as before the pregnancy.  So, there’s two ways of looking at this:  I’m an ultra bad-ass who doesn’t need to ease back into my workout regimen; I straight-up resumed that shit.  OR: My pre-pregnancy level of fitness was really not that impressive in the first place.

pro tips

1:  Before the baby was born I read some of The Happiest Baby on the Block and learned about the “5 S” technique for recreating the womb environment.  That shit is no joke; it really does work most of the time when done as instructed.  However, I have trouble with one of the S’s, namely making the loud, prolonged SSSSHHHH sound in Leif’s ear.  During a fussing session one day, I googled “white noise” (actually “white nosie”; I was a tad frantic) and found this site, which has proven to be my own personal mother’s little helper.

2:  Baby boys get erections.  I guess I always knew this on an intellectual level, but still found myself somewhat alarmed when confronted with the reality for the first time.  Tip 2.1: It’s normal so you don’t need to read up on it.  If you choose to do so anyway it will be the most uncomfortable google search of your life and you will want to clear your cache post-haste.  Tip 2.2:  It means they’re about to piss, so take cover.

oh no he di’int

A long time ago, in a fit of punnery, I invented the word “Luftwaffle” all funny-like, and ever since then Jared has tried to front like HE made up the word*.  This morning he was making waffles and said, “If we ever open a diner, we can serve waffles and call them Luftwaffles.”

“Yes, that would be a very funny joke that *I* made,” I replied.

“Yes, it would be.  And are you going to be a [redacted] about it for the rest of your life?” he rebutted.

Ha.  Am I?  What do you think, man?  What do you think?

*According to the internet, many others have had the same idea, but I came up with it on my own so the point still stands.