August 23, 2007

Continued from yesterday’s post . . .

I want to know why we haven’t seen any belly pics like we did with the Boy.?!  — Stephanie

Because I am so totally lying about all this pregnancy stuff! Dude, I could not take ONE MORE SALAD on that bullshit diet, and this is one hell of a great excuse to pork out on salt & vinegar chips.

Oh, not really. I’ve taken a few, you can view them here.

What are the life stories of Dog and Cat? Who came first, how did they end up with you? –Operation Pink Herring

I chose Cat from the Humane Society in Corvallis when she was a tiny, horrid little kitten who reached a miniscule paw through the cage and ripped up my hand when I tried to pet her. I think that was about 9 years ago or so.

We adopted Dog from a local Lab breeder in 2002. Overall, in terms of Pet Performance, she has outdone Cat on many levels, but neither of them are what I’d call gifted animals.

Do you foresee any problems with how Riley might react to his early days being read about by so many people? — Stan

I hope not. I mean, I hope that someday when he’s older he’ll find value in reading these stories from my life and his. I hope he’s interested enough in what our day to day life was like, and more specifically, what his mother was like as a person, that these entries–despite all the NC-17 language–will be something he (and his brother or sister) will eventually enjoy.

If not, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Ok, first off, I’ve never seen or heard much about your younger years. The uh, 16-25 range. I know you are about a decade older than me which puts you smack dab in the eighties. I always pictured you rocking the whole denim white snake look. Maybe even in the Kiss army. So what were you like growing up? What was your scene? (and a picture wouldn’t kill you) — Josh

Boy, do you ever have my pop-culture background pegged wrong. Whitesnake? Shah. As if. Feast your eyes on this Blast from the Past:


Now, if you’re going to rag on anyone in this picture, stick to the person on the right, please. I quite liked that boy at the time, and besides, he didn’t ask for this photo to get plastered on the internet and mocked.

You’re more than welcome to point out the hilariousness of trying to be Goth . . . with crimped hair.

Who is *your* favorite blogger? — g~

I don’t think I can point out just one writer, and I swear I’m not just saying that to wuss out from the question. I read a ton of blogs, and I have a lot of favorites.

If you were at a steakhouse (of your choosing) what cut would you order and how would you like it prepared (Rare-Well)? – Alyce

I would order a filet mignon, medium-rare (preferably dark pink in the middle).

Crumple or fold? — Marivic

Clothes, right? We’re talking clothes? (Now I’m paranoid, after biffing the “picking” question.) I crumple my socks and underwear, I mostly hang up the rest of my crap. I hate folding.

Bikini’s, boy-cut, thong, or plain jane ones? (pre-pregnancy of course. they don’t make maternity thongs) — Ang

I cannot deal with thongs — jesus, just the thought makes me want to reef at my butt to get the annoying, asphyxiating floss OUT OF THERE. I like a boy-cut style the best.

For some reason I’m *dying* to know Cat and Dog’s REAL names. Even though I love how you call them Cat and Dog. — Samantha Jo (by the way, SQUEE for Samantha!)

Dog’s real name is Ashley; Cat’s real name is Meercat.

What is your absolute dream job (besides being a mom of course)? — Ashley (not Dog)

Oh, besides being a mom? Phew, because just between you and me, I love my kid beyond all reason but sometimes the mom gig is seriously a suck-ass job.

My dream job would be to author and illustrate comic books. Sadly, I can’t draw worth a damn. Other dream jobs include: running my own small business, writing (Clio-winning!) scripts for high-end ad agency TV spots, working on a farm in the middle of BFE, writing catalogue copy.

If I met YOU in real life, how would you seem different than you do in your writing? — Katie

I would be ridiculously, stupidly shy. Other than that, I hope I wouldn’t be too unfamiliar.

How do you find the time/energy to write? Aren’t you totally exhausted after toddler-wrangling, cleaning, cooking, working, scooping dog crap, growing a baby, etc.? — Lulu

I kind of want to be all Superwoman on this question and say, oh, I just set my alarm for 4 AM, but truthfully, I make time for the things I love. Which is to say I don’t always make time for cooking, cleaning, or scooping dog crap. Also, Riley goes to bed at–thank you, Jebus–6:45 nearly every night. That leaves quite a bit of time for ignoring the laundry while I sit, clackety-clacking, at my laptop.

I imagine the time I’m able to devote to writing will be poleaxed for a while after Smalltopus is born. We’ll see.

The burning question on my mind is…what exactly do your blog titles “Sundry Mourning” and “Purple is a Fruit” mean (in other words why did you pick them?)– Julie

I have no good explanation for “Sundry Mourning”, except it was 5 years ago and I thought it sounded kind of cool for reasons that are hard to remember. “Purple is a Fruit”, on the other hand, is a Simpsons quote that I believe speaks quite accurately to my overall parenting expertise.

I’d like to know how you capture the best expressions of your family on film? — Yams

Well, thank you. It’s all the camera’s ability not to take a crappy photo, honestly, and the fact that it powers up in a nanosecond–you can turn it on and shoot instantly, which is great for taking pictures of kids. Plus, I often take a shitload of photos, and then sift through the piles of rejects for the one or two good ones from the bunch.

If you had to, would you rather give up your favorite food (which is?) or give up blogging? — Junni

My favorite food changes by the hour these days, but I can’t imagine a food that could possibly be as satisfying as writing online.

Do you know how special you are? – Anonymous, who wrote a lot more than what I’m going to copy/paste here, and all of it was so unbelievably kind.

No, but did you know you made me cry when I read this? Thank you.

Do you ever regret not giving your first marriage a longer try? — Pickles & Dimes

No. I wish him all the best and I sure hope he’s having a happy life somewhere, but I was too young to get married and that whole thing was a big mistake on my part. Second time was truly a charm for me.

I know that having children must bring a lot of meaning to your life, and to JB’s too. But aside from that, what do you guys do (and I’m talking equally about JB here) to give your lives meaning? — Kerri

That’s a good question and it’s something we both think about quite a bit. I think it’s important for us to carve out time for the non-parenting things we love to do, and that means giving each other space for things like writing, diving, and just getting out of the house for an afternoon sometimes. It’s not that having kids robs your life of meaning, in fact it’s quite the opposite, but I believe in both of us pursuing our hobbies and goals as much as we can, and the best thing we can do for each other is support those activities. We love being parents, but we also have business goals, personal goals — things that don’t have anything to do with parenthood. It’s all about balance, and it’s definitely an ongoing process.

What is in your DVR/tivo right now? — Deanna

I just turned on my TV to look, and here, without any embarrassed editing, is the list of recorded shows:

– 30 Rock
– NBC Nightly News
– Curious George
– How It’s Made
– Inhale
– Rescue Me
– Blue’s Clues
– Entourage
– Flight of the Conchords
– Clean House
– Risk Takers
– Combat Zone

Random mystery bonus question —

Didn’t someone ask about tattoos? I could have sworn I saw it, then missed it. At any rate, here’s the ink-scoop, if anyone really did ask.

Okay, whew. I think I’m done. Thanks for the questions, and thanks for being patient while I laboriously answered them. Mwah!

August 22, 2007

Okay! You guys asked, I’m going to answer. For anyone who asked multiple questions, I pretty much picked one at random–if there’s anything you’d really like to know that I didn’t address, you’re always welcome to email me.

Have you got any particular preference on whether Smalltopus is a (healthy & beautiful) boy or a girl? — Jo

Well, sort of. Not really. Yes. No.

Honestly, I feel like we’ve got a win-win situation set up, because if it’s a girl: awesome! Oh, those wonderful little girl clothes, the pigtails, the experiencing of parenting both a girl AND a boy, hooray! On the other hand, if it’s a boy: awesome! Hey, I already know how to do the scrotal-poop wipe! And two brothers growing up together, and aw, another little boy, the idea just kills me.

I am maybe wishing just the tiniest bit for a girl. But I’m also super-excited about having another boy.

Did you ever think you would be where you are today when you were younger? — Ashley

Oh hell no. I was too busy listening to Bauhaus and praying that by some mystical transformation, I would shed my tiresome human attributes and my true self—based entirely on the descriptions of the more attractive vampires in Anne Rice’s novels—would emerge.

Honestly, it’s hard to remember what sorts of future-focused thoughts I might have had back then, but I know I never pictured being married or being a parent. I think I was so busy rebelling against, well, everything, that I never could have imagined my life as it is now. I’m sure I would have thought it sounded boring as hell. You know, since it didn’t involve being burned by daylight and all.

Are there any blog topics/trends that annoy you? — hello insomnia 

Twitter annoys me, but I need to get the hell over that because hey, if I don’t like Twitter? I don’t have to look at Twitter. My only true blogging pet peeve is when someone says they have Really Huge Enormous Earth-Shattering News to Share, but O sorrow, O lament, they cannot quite yet, for mysterious reasons that we cannot know. I love hearing someone’s good news–their book deal, their knocked-upedness, their fancy new hooter implants, whatever–but the whole blogging-cocktease routine drives me up a wall.

How did you and JB meet? — KT

We were both working for a company in Corvallis, Oregon, where I was the receptionist and he was a purchasing rep. I thought he was the biggest asshole on the planet, mostly because he would always barge aggressively through the receptionist office and never bother giving me the time of day, so of course I developed an enormous crush on him.

We eventually got marginally flirtatious with each other, and when I quit the job and moved to Portland we started up an email relationship that eventually resulted in a full-on makeoutfest at some drunken party back in Corvallis. We’ve been together ever since that fateful night when JB leaned against a doorway at 11:30 PM on New Year’s Eve, looked me in the eye, and said, “We might as well do the kiss now, instead of waiting for midnight.” HOT, people. HOT.

Are you a “picker” of all things pick’able? People are pickers or they aren’t. Which are you? — honeybecke

Oh boy, I feel like I should know what this means, but I don’t think I do. If it means do I like to make decisions, the answer is no. I’m one of those annoying wishy-washy “Whatever sounds good to you” people, for the most part.

My nosy question is if you’re going to attempt a VBAC, or go with a planned c-section. — Chaya

There are some risk issues specific to my medical situation that are reduced with a second C-section. Without going into the details, a VBAC isn’t a good option for me, and while that does make me sad, it is what it is. We’ll have a planned C-section around the end of January.

Do you secretly hope for a little girl this time round? — Anna

Yes. No. Sort of.

I am, a bit. Raising a girl seems a lot more frightening than having another boy, because . . . I don’t know, princess Barbies and Bratz and self-esteem and oh my god have you seen what middle school girls are wearing these days, etc. But still. A little girl. That would be something.

(But so would a boy!)

You’ve been very generous and honest with us. I’m curious as to whether that has had a price. Do you ever regret sharing so much of yourself? — sooboo

Not really. Only when I think about some future plans with freelance writing and being more open about who I am and who I’ve worked for. There are some things I’ve shared that just don’t seem appropriate for prospective employers to stumble across, but that doesn’t mean I’m ashamed of sharing them.

My husband wants to know if you consider blogging (and writing) a hobby or a calling? — sooboo’s husband

Writing in general is what I’ve based my career around as well as most of my hobbies. I can’t imagine a life where I don’t write, and specifically, where I don’t write in this kind of forum. Hearing back from the people reading my writing has become as important to me as the act of writing itself.

I want to know if you have names picked out for your new baby and if you plan to share those names with the world before the baby is born. — JMH

Yes, and yes. I’ll tell you when we find out the baby’s sex, in case we make any last-minute changes between now and then. If it’s a boy, the middle name will be Emmett, and if it’s a girl, Lee. Both are family names, so don’t go making fun.

I am 25 weeks pregnant and have thus far escaped without stretchmarks (touches wood). I noticed in your mean-looking abs picture, that you don’t seem to have any at all? Is this true, and if so, what, if anything did you do to prevent them? — Kym

Oh man, you just made me shed a little tear for the incipient abs that were there for about five minutes before all this pregnancy business happened. Anyway, I got really lucky the first time around, because I never had any stretch marks (although I have faint, older ones all over my hips and boobs from, presumably, my flourishing pre-teen years). I’ve heard this is hereditary and no amount of goo or cream can prevent them if you’re genetically meant to have them, but that won’t stop me from slathering Body Shop Body Butter on my belly when it starts getting ginormous, because what the hell, I did that last time.

What is your biggest worry/fear? — Eric’s Mommy

That I will die from a slow, debilitating illness, and that I will be a burden on my family in the process, and that I won’t get to see my children grow up.

Well! That’s depressing, isn’t it? Sorry. I’m also scared shitless of reaching over in the middle of the night to take a drink of water, only to discover (too late!) that a spider has fallen into my cup.

Do you think you’ll stop at two kids? — Jess

Yes. Yes I do.

Are you from the Seattle area originally (born & raised)? — Christina

No, I was born in Manassas, Virginia. My mother and I moved out to Corvallis, Oregon, when I was about 11, and other than a yearlong stint in Nevada, I’ve been in the Pacific Northwest ever since.

What do you consider your biggest success as parent. I mean, what do you totally rock at doing for/with Riley? — Erica

Oh boy. That’s a hard question. My biggest success. I don’t think I can point to such a thing, but all my memories of every good moment with Riley–every smile, laugh, squeal–add up to a feeling of success. If that makes sense.

Sundry Dad. I want to know. Did you know him? — Kendra

This entry explains that situation, pretty much in its entirety.

How did you learn to take such great pictures? — Megan

Well, that’s a damn nice thing to say. And honestly, the camera I use can let any fool take a great photo, because I don’t know a single thing about photography. F-what? White balance huh? I point and shoot, that’s it; and I rely quite heavily on Photoshop for post-processing. But thank you, all the same.

How the hell do I get more people to go to my own blog? — JennB

There are some great articles out there that specifically address this question, but I think in a nutshell the common blah-blah is: write because you love to do so, not because you’re hoping for an audience; comment on other people’s blogs, including your link when you do; update often; link to other people in the hopes they’ll return the favor. I think the first piece of advice is the best.

Trendy names vs main-stream names. Your thoughts, please. — Warcrygirl

I like both, really. I mean, there are some cute trendy names out there. For instance, Riley. Oh wait, that’s only trendy for girls? Please don’t tell JB.

Do you plan to write a book at some point in your life? — Stephanie

I don’t know. It used to be a dream of mine, but when I start asking myself what I hoped to get out of doing so, it had nothing to do with personal fulfillment and more to do with validation. I’m not sure that’s a good reason to put forth the kind of effort a book requires. If someday I start thinking of a book I really want to write, I hope like hell I’ll have the balls to make it happen.

What is your most embarrassing childhood moment? — One Smart Cookie

Once, I barfed outside of a Toys R Us. I have never, ever forgotten it.

What parts of your teenage past would you undo, if you could? — Kim

All the parts that hurt my family, namely my mother and my grandparents. It crushes my heart to remember how I treated them, how utterly selfish I was and how immature. How I wish my grandparents could see me now, just for a moment, to know I turned out okay after all, and to see their beautiful great-grandson.

Who do you think would win if both were equally equipped with nunchucks and viking helmets? Cat, or a house spider? — Karamarie

Oh, Cat. Definitely. I mean, the giant house spider is a fucking horrorshow, but a cat would throw down and win, even without the weaponry. Because cats are pure evil. Well, 90% evil and 10% lard:


All right, that’s all for now because oy, my carpal tunnel. I’ll answer the rest in the next day or so. Thanks for asking these questions, because I’m enjoying answering them.

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