December 14, 2006

Ooh, thank you so much for your suggestions! What would I do without you guys? Wander the earth, alone and ill-read, sporting unattractive raccoon eyes, that’s what.

I particularly enjoyed all your book recommendations, and I’d love to see some kind of conceptual data model (the kind with overlapping circles, what are they called…Venn diagrams?) of the various book titles so we could see all the common themes. It’s oddly fascinating to know so many of you have read Seabiscuit, Time Traveler’s Wife, and Lamb: The Gospel.

I’m going to (nerdily) collate your recommendations together and next time I’m at the bookstore or library I will be PREPARED. And I can kick the copy of “The Emotional Life of the Toddler” off my nightstand because seriously, it’s great and all to understand my child might be internally conflicted with feelings of attachment and independence, and that’s why he’s eating a rock, but I can only take so much toddler navel-gazing. Unless of course we’re talking about his actual navel, which I could happily stare at all day long.

(It’s a combo outie/innie! And it demands a blowfart at least once per day.)

Seattle is supposed to get some kind of massive windstorm this evening, which I’m not looking forward to because we had some high winds yesterday that dropped all kinds of tree detritus on the roof, scared Dog, and resulted in an hours-long interruption of cable service, which wiped out our internet connection, phone, and TV in one fell swoop (hilariously, we received a flyer in yesterday’s mail reminding us “THAT’S COMCASTIC!” Bite my dong, Comcast). It was like living in the DARK AGES, OMG. I’m kidding, but it was surprisingly annoying to have the internet down – it’s a little freaky how much I rely on it for everything from movie reviews (IMDB could have possibly saved us from World Trade Center, which in my opinion was schmaltzy, formulaic, and entirely unemotional despite all the heavy-handed sentimentality. Also, Nicolas Cage in a semi-porny mustache = disturbing) to recipes to fact-checking to good old fashioned websurfing (IE, the list of worst toys ever made).

High winds are always bad after a shitload of rain, so I hope this storm passes with relatively little damage. Also, I hope the local news refrains from calling it WINDSTORMWATCH 2006, but I won’t hold my breath. Those of you who live in the area, what do you want to bet some poor fucker is hunched over a copy of Photoshop right now, furiously working on a properly dire image to accompany the weather updates tonight?

Windy.jpg

In other news, the boy had a checkup yesterday and he’s at the 50th percentile for weight, 75th for height, and 90th (again) for head size. I fear he will have to wear custom-made hats someday.

His doctor ran through a list of various developmental questions – is he talking a little, is he walking, blah blah, and then she asked if he was stacking things. I lied and said yes, because I felt that although I haven’t witnessed him stacking his toys, exactly (he likes to throw his stacking rings under the couch), if he’s able to take a phone over to JB when I say, “Brrr-ing! Hello? Oh, it’s for Daddy. Can you take the phone to Daddy?” and wait with panting openmouthed excitement for the moment when JB says “Hello? Oh! Well, I think you’re going to have to talk to my SON about this,” and hands the phone back to him, so he can hold it somewhat near his head while jabbering intently in Toddler-ese…well, fuck it, he’s not getting a black mark for “Doesn’t Stack; Is Dumb” or whatever. Take that, Milestone Police!

This doctor also called him “Zachary” on at least five occasions during the visit, so frankly I don’t think she’s meeting her own milestones. “Repeatedly Refers to Patient By Wrong Name; Is Dumb”, that’s what I’m marking on her sheet.

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Julia
Julia
16 years ago

I had a coworker stay home from work today because of the “wind” warnings. I wish I could use weather like wind as an excuse. Can’t wait until Seattle Schools close due to “wind.”

Mel
Mel
16 years ago

Ha! I’m the first to reply! That’ll never happen again. *grin* Ian is in the fiftieth percentile for everything. I bet your son stacks blocks at Daycare. Ian puts toys under all the furniture as much as he can. The busy-ball-pop-up only has one ball to pop. I hope your storm doesn’t do too much damage. We’ve had two days of sun in a row, a rare thing.

Jem
Jem
16 years ago

I forgot to mention! Its not a concealer but I use Body Shop vitamin E cream on my eyes and it totally helps with the dark circles.

Mel
Mel
16 years ago

OK, someone beat me after all. I was just thrilled that I was reading e-mail and responding in a timely manner for once. *smile*

Mona
16 years ago

Nathan’s head is always off the charts. If you find some headgear for kids, please post it to sundrybuzz, kthx.

ginger
ginger
16 years ago

You know there’s going to be some cub reporter you’ve never heard of before, strapped by her microphone cord to the railings on an overpass out in Whatcom County, hollering, “The wind out here is really, really windy, although not yet as windy as it’s expected to get, and look at the roots of this tree, this tree is Upside Down, and it is a tree that dates back fifty years according to this local resident.”

“I remember this tree from when I was a boy, fifty years ago. I don’t remember it ever bein’ this windy, though.”

“That was a local resident, telling us about this uprooted tree and the wind he remembers. Be careful out there, and look out for downed power lines. Now back to you, Jean and Jim, in the studio.”

I think they should just film that segment and a segment where a cub reporter is forced to measure the ice thickness or snow depth on an overpass using a ruler, and splice them together with the miles of footage of people sledding on Queen Anne, and run that in place of Up to the Minute Weather Coverage. It would save them a lot of money.

Uh, I might be bitter from never getting to stay home for snow days any more.

serror
serror
16 years ago

Wind is supposed to be most serious tonight: A HIGH WIND WARNING is in effect for all of western Washington from 2 p.m. Thursday through 10 a.m. Friday. Generally, we’re looking at sustained winds of 35-40 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph.

And dude, the RAIN is driving me bonkers. I grew up here and it just doesn’t rain like this. Enough already. So, sorry your cable was out. That sucks!

Julia- I was once sent home from the Seattle Public Schools because of wind. Seriously. It can happen.

Caitlin
Caitlin
16 years ago

I *knew* you were going to nerdily collate the book list! Yay, can you post it for your fellow nerds who are too lazy to drag their put upon retinas up and down the comments section whenever they need a good lit fix? Ok, thanks :)

Leah
16 years ago

He is so not a Zachary.

girl in greenwood
16 years ago

Sundry, you forgot one important element of your WINDSTORMWATCH 2006 news graphic – an egregious typo. May I suggest “Holy shit, it’s sure is windy” for your typo needs?

Please do post the nerdy collation so I can eyeball in one fell swoop also!

Pete
Pete
16 years ago

One of my kids had a problem with the stack operation, I moved him over to a Queue and he was fine. (Sorry programmer joke). All my kids were in the bottom 25% for height/weight (too old for their height). I figured since I was short until 12th grade they were pretty much screwed. My oldest in now 26 and 6ft tall. We get the same type of reporting everytime it rains here is Southern California.

Mary
Mary
16 years ago

The only thing Ginger forgot was a shot of the salmon swimming across the road when the Skookumchuk River floods, that’s another classic. I’m looking forward to seeing Jim Forman out there tonight, his curls blowing in the wind. I thought I was the only one who thought weather coverage here was silly.

Stacee
16 years ago

Oh my god, Mary — I was going to make a Jim Foreman joke, too. Man’s got crazy eyes.

I’m in Whatcom County, so I hope that upside down tree Ginger mentioned does not uproot in my back or front yard. Gah!

Brooke
16 years ago

My daughter is 95% for every damn thing (including, happily, school work). She is a 4’2″, 72 lb 7-year-old, while also residing in my home is a 42″, 40-lb, 7-year-old. Go fugure.

Melinda
Melinda
16 years ago

Maybe if we’re very very lucky they’ll have viewer call in on the news where everyone calls in and talks about how windy it is at their house. (Mary: I do always love those shots of salmon swimming across the road!)

I’m in Eugene OR and my husband is supposed to be flying in to the airport tonight. Let’s hope the GREAT PACIFIC NORTHWEST WINDSTORM OF OUGHT SIX doesn’t keep him grounded in San Fran tonight.

Please share the compiled book recommendations, Sundry. I was loving those comments yesterday!

K
K
16 years ago

Fourthing the compilation request, please!

Stay um… unwindblown! Lovin’ your infographic!

Christina
16 years ago

I’m so glad I’m not the only one finding this funny.

My mother called (from Spokane. Oooh.) this morning to ask me if I’d been keeping up on the news. “Um, kinda. Why?” (Her idea of newsworthy doesn’t always match mine, so I’ve discovered this to be the safest answer.) “Big Storm headed your way! Are you ready?” “Oh, that? Yeah, I knew about that. I’ll be fine.”

ALso, do you have your list of stuff to have in case the power goes out? I.. probably do. Except the mylar blankets. That’s just dumb. I’m at home. With regular blankets in the closets and on the beds. Also wool blankets. Why exactly do I need to go buy special ones? (The husband is not amused when I ask this of the tv.)

Keri
16 years ago

Maybe she had the wrong sheet/file?

Kathy
16 years ago

There are so damn many little boys named Zachary that she probably calls them all that and has at least a 75% chance of being right. At the mall, the grocery, the Walmart, you can hear the parental cry: “Zack, get over here!” Thank God your kid is named Riley…

Nikki
Nikki
16 years ago

I’m probably going to burn in a hell designed for mean moms but I used to jokingly refer to my son Trevor as Charlie Brown because of his big, round head. Poor guy finally grew into it but it took some time. Of course, he had what I referred to as his “big paws” too so, like a pup, he HAD to grow into them as well.

Swistle
16 years ago

Our pediatrician always calls both my oldest boys “Ryan.” I don’t know what the pup is up with that.

kara marie
16 years ago

People stay home because of…wind? I’m sort of realizing I’ve developed a little bit of the Wyoming mindset, which is embarrassing. Here we’ve had the gusting 50-60 mph wind the last several days. We took advantage and put all the tumbleweeds from our front yard on the street and watched them blow far, far away. Or at least into a neighbor’s yard. And I’m okay with that.

Katie
Katie
16 years ago

Why are weatherpeople and pediatricians so freaking STOOPID??? You cracked me up with the Zachary thing!

Okay…I know this is on the wrong post, and I never got to read all our other suggestions, but since I, too, love and adore Ann Lamott, I figure we might have similar tastes! Top favorite books, that I highly recommend: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, Beach Music by Pat Conroy, Naked by David Sedaris (Trust me. You will bust a gut laughing at anything he writes),

Katie
Katie
16 years ago

ooops, got so excited I hit “Say It” before I added the last book, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. Oh, and the Kite Runner by…..??? Can’t remember!

Chiara
16 years ago

You know what? Until you come to New Zealand, and you move to my neighborhood in Wellington, and you stupidly, stupidly try to wear a skirt one day, you do not know wind. You have *never* known wind. My hair barely stays on my head, with this wind. I have barely restrained myself from holding onto lampposts to keep myself vertical. I have a hard time opening the outside door of the flat sometimes. It’s sure is windy here, is what I’m saying.

I’m just about to start A Small Island by Edward P. Jones, to which I am looking mightily forward. Since I’m all about the Brits lately I have to recommend any of the Jeeves and Wooster stories by P.G. Wodehouse. Another commenter mentioned King Dork, and girl, you will love it. I read it in the hostel lounge when I first got here and laughed out loud multiple times.

To sum up, wind = suck, books = great.

fifi
fifi
16 years ago

Stacking is a somewhat overrated skill, unless your ambitions for Riley stop at supermarket shelf-stocker.
I am no pediatrician, mind you.

Sarah
Sarah
16 years ago

Ha, you are funny!!

Maybe you’ll see this guy tonight?
http://www.i-am-bored.com/bored_link.cfm?link_id=13668

Claire
16 years ago

(Per XXVI, Katie’s response) “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini. I am starting to read it today actually but I hear it’s really great!

omu
omu
16 years ago

My lil guy started out at 50th percentil for head, then just went up, up and away. When he was younger, his doc made us come in for head checks because it was growing quickly. At his one year appointment when we looked at the charts his doctor told us, “And his noggin continues to be off the charts, but it’s following it’s own little growth curve, so I’m not worried.” He’s 95th for height, and near the top for weight too I think. He’s just going to be a big boy!

Debbie from South Georgia
Debbie from South Georgia
16 years ago

I love it that you told her he could stack!!! Stacking…Good grief what a measurement!

He will grow into that head, and you will be like me one day, my under achiever on the “charts” is now 15 years old, 6′ 3″ and weighs 260 lbs. He bench presses 365, and is in the 9th grade in High School. His dad’s football playing dream kid!

Here in South Georgia that’s how we measure our kids!! Ha Ha!

Zach will be fine. :)

Hannah
16 years ago

The Time Traveler’s Wife is a long read and takes a little patience to wrap your mind around the concept but – OMG what a book! You’ll LOVE it. The entire time I was reading it, I was thinking about what a great movie it’d be, and then I found out Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston’s production company has bought rights to it so…yay!

Donna
Donna
16 years ago

The woman goes to the oriental dr and says dr, something is wrong with me. He says take off your clothes, walk from this side of the room to the other. She does, and he says. you have Zachary disease. She says Zachary disease? He says yes, your ass looks Zachary like your face.
Sorry, leaving now. Hope you don’t get blown over the rainbow today!

Suki
Suki
16 years ago

The Kite Runner is incredible, one of the best books I’ve ever read. Right up there with Confederacy of Dunces and To Kill a Mockingbird. If you don’t cry, you’re made of wood! ;-)

christine
christine
16 years ago

All I have to say is that you are a very very funny writer! Awesome post.

If you asked any questions in this post that I could answer, I cannot, because I was too busy laughing. BITE MY DONG. Ha! Yeah, I’m eleven.

Have a good weekend!

jen
jen
16 years ago

haha i feel as if i’ll so be that person who lies about my kids milestones (“yea yea he can do that, and THIS!”). hahahha.

also. it your going to create a big master list of suggested books would you mind posting it? i love seeing others suggestions as well. i even picked up a jodi piccoult book since she was so highly recommended by fellow readers. :)

Joanne
16 years ago

I just took my boy in today for his 18 month visit and he was 75th for weight, 90th for height and 97 for head size. He has never NOT been off the charts for head size. I know he’ll have to wear custom made hats, as does his father. Oh well, maybe Riley’s giant head will provide room for his GIANT brain? That’s what I tell myself anyway.

Shannon
16 years ago

Well, it’s the morning after Windstorm 2006 and boy, did it deliver! I hope you and yours are okay, Sundry. I take it no work for you since the 520 bridge is closed. And to those of you who make fun of Seattle closing down because of wind: yes, yes we do. Because out here we have 15-story fir and cedar trees everywhere that tend to fall down and block entire freeways and major streets, not to mention down power lines. I’m just sayin’–one million customers without power today here! Being from the Midwest myself, I don’t normally defend wimpy Seattle but I do today!

samantha jo campen
16 years ago

I would like to be the 85th person to ask for a compilation of the book recommendations.

And congrats on the boy’s big noggin’.

fellowmom
fellowmom
16 years ago

The last windstorm in Portland KGW had video of someone’s aluminum lawn chair blowing across the yard. It was the best they could do, so they practically ran it on a loop. Oh, the humanity.

I lied about the stacking too.

victoria
victoria
16 years ago

OK, to the Jodi Picault fans out there? I know that Sundry is all about the love, and the goodness, and the sharing, and the supportive sweetness, and all, and I know that passionate debates in the comments section are antithetical to the Sundryness of All & Sundry, but seriously, y’all let me down big time with the Jodi Picault recommendation. I went out & bought The Tenth Circle. Gah. Just, gah. What are youPicault fans thinking? Picault’s characters are crudely drawn and overly simplistic, her sentences are graceless, the symbolism is obvious and heavy handed. The thing is totally lacking in style, elegance, or suspense. The worst thing about her writing, I think, is the way she insistently and crudely tells the reader what reaction she is supposed to have, instead of creating vivid descriptions that compel the reader to have a more complex reaction. When I taught English to undergraduates at UC Berkeley, I saw better writing at least once a semester.

AZslick
AZslick
16 years ago

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003479272_weboutage15.html

Hope you guys are OK

Poor Bernard Choi may have ended up somewhere in Southern British Columbia

kara marie
16 years ago

Yeah, I feel like sort of a shithead now for teasing about the wind. My apologies.

Staci
16 years ago

Your comments about the doctor! I can’t stop laughing!

josh
josh
16 years ago

Just sit back and enjoy the fact that no matter how many milestones you kid might be “missing”, full grown doctors miss just as many. And from your blog it would seem that you, your husband, and everyone who reads your blog have the same problem. Fuck the milestones.

And as for oversized heads, don’t worry. I have the same problem. I like to think it’s there to hold my gigantic brain. (aka ego) Worst comes to worst, he can just strech out beanies like I do, or wear big ass trucker hats with only two button attached on the one-size-fits-all plastic tab of shame. I used to think the laundry shrunk my hats, but it turn out it just shrunk everyone else’s head. Which is actually much more spectacular. Hat’s off to you GE.

robin
robin
16 years ago

I hope you guys are okay! You pacific northwesterners have been on my mind (and my tv of course)! Looking forward to an update and I’m sure some fantastic pictures.

Emblita
16 years ago

Hey, I was rudely disrupted by my son’s need for food (bastard :p) during the suggestion post. So I just want to add that I fully support the Neil Gaiman recommendation, and that you really really need to read Good Omens by him and Terry Pratchett… and read just about anything by Pratchett. They are both hysterically funny and intellectual and have scathing social commentary… you’ll love em

Philos
16 years ago

Sundry’s home is probably still without power. Here’s hoping you guys are okay and found somewhere to go.

Tracy
Tracy
16 years ago

very funny post today!