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Dwight (from The Office) has theories on Lost.


The tender love of a man and his bog.










Sunday, January 22, 2006

Lately our utility bill has been outrageous; it would probably be slightly less expensive for me to make payments on a brand new moderately-priced car and let it run in the living room with the heat on full blast instead of turning up our thermostat. We live in a one-story smallish house that you'd think would be easy to keep warm, but various factors - the lack of roof insulation, our giant chilly living room windows, the fact that I have horned lizard blood coursing sluggishly through my veins - make it a challenge.

Normally we allow the house to dip well below freezing (well, it feels that way) at night, but now that we have The Boy we set the temperature to stay at 70°F. We don't swaddle him anymore, he hates those zip-up sleeping sack things, and he rotates all night like a stopwatch, shedding blankets as he goes - I don't know how else to keep him warm, unless we stuck a space heater in his room. And after we do that, we may as well toss in a pit bull, a pre-recall 500-watt halogen torchiere lamp, and a plate of shoddily prepared blowfish sashimi, because what the hell.

Anyway, the insane heating bill helped prod me to be more aware of our overall budget and spending habits. Now that I'm earning a reduced salary, we need to be more careful. On one hand, a baby at home means we never go anywhere. Restaurant and entertainment expenses? Poof, gone. On the other hand, formula must be manufactured from powdered diamonds and maybe also heroin, because that shit is expensive. I remember thinking that it hardly added anything to our grocery bill, and what were people complaining about anyway - well, that was when our kid was a NEWBORN. Did you know as they grow they eat more? Dude, I didn't. Now he beer-bongs enormous quantities on a daily basis and yes, I have started buying the Slim-fast looking dry stuff instead of only using the pre-mixed kind, and can I just say I hope for the sake of nursing mothers everywhere that breastmilk doesn't smell as atrocious as Similac does, because holy jesus I am tired of that sour-ass stench.

On the plus side, rice cereal is super cheap, which is awesome because at this stage we've got some major efficiency issues going on with Baby's First Solid Food. This is approximately how each tablespoon of cereal is utilized:

• Absorbed by baby's facial pores: 35%
• Pushed by questing tongue from lips onto bib, couch, arm of adult feeder: 45%
• Wiped from chin with washcloth: 10%
• Mysteriously dissipated into atmosphere: 5%
• Licked from floor by Dog: 3%
• Actually ingested: 2%

As part of my personal effort to curb excess spending, I decided to stop buying $15 worth of magazines each time I go to the store. I reasoned that my embarrassing celebrity trash addiction was being fed nicely by a subscription to Us Weekly and the magic of the internet, and since when did I find fashion advice useful, and did I really need to see 428 pages of jewelry I can neither afford nor would want to wear (I'm looking at you, InStyle). However, I then discovered that Half Price Books sells used magazines. For like a dollar each.

I no longer buy Star, Allure, Real Simple, or Jane at the checkout stand of my local QFC. No, now I buy all of those plus National Geographic Traveler, O, the Oprah magazine (I....I have no shame), Digital Photographer, Marie Claire, Cooking Light, Martha Stewart Living, Glamour, and piles of other crap including, god help me, Parenting magazine.

I tell myself they're cheap and it's fun to have a stack of brainless junk to flip through on the coffee table but really, I need an intervention.

This weekend I bought another Parenting magazine and I think I've finally reached my tipping point with that publication (I had this happen with Cosmopolitan years ago where I said to myself, self, you already know how to give a blow job - put down the terrible, insulting, non-entertaining magazine and back away slowly). Maybe there's useful information to be found in Parenting, but reading it makes me wonder if there's an entire demographic of perky mothers who spend 24 hours a day dreaming up clever ways to get their toddlers to eat vegetables ("I transform baby carrots into a bouquet of roses using an ice shaver!" "I make broccoli bonsai trees with a system of edible wiring!"). The questions I want answers to, like what should I do if my baby sticks his feet through the bars of his crib every night and it really seems like he's going to break a fucking ankle, or just how long DO you have to burp children like they are Tupperware are never addressed. And the doomsday articles - "Is it just a cold?", "When crying could mean a brain tumor", "Exersaucers: spinal deformers or harmless fun?" - forget it. I'm done with you, Parenting magazine.

So that's a savings right there, isn't it? A dollar a month going straight into the bank! Which should buy me, oh, about 30 seconds of heat.


The boy talks! Sort of. Here's a short video (6 MB file).


This pretty much sums up Dog's whole relationship with Riley thus far.


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