Thursday, September 29, 2011

Birthday Boy.

Today Thomas is six years old.  SIX.  He’s all angles and bony knees and quick movements and ideas, and he is astonishing to me.

He loves Legos and Spongebob Squarepants and books and his gerbil and robots; he hates peanut butter and carrots and is strangely averse to pizza.  He likes zombies and monsters, until it’s bedtime. 

He likes music of all kinds; he loves the 1812 Overture, which he calls “battle music,” and he loves the girl from iCarly, and he still loves above all else the Oasis song “Wonderwall,” which has been his favorite for as long as I can remember.

Last night I laid down in bed with him and told him what it was like to be pregnant with him six years ago, when he made me fat and unwieldy and slow.  And how he’d kick the hell out of me if I ate anything spicy or drank orange juice, and how he’d get the hiccups in utero for days at a time, and how weird and amazing it felt when he’d move around.  And I told him when he was born, he was the slimiest and most beautiful thing we’d ever seen, and how lucky we were to have him, and how loved he was.

And he started crying.

I asked him why he was crying, and he put those little gangly arms around my neck and his hot cheek on mine and he sobbed, and he finally said, “When I grow up I’m just really gonna miss you a lot.”

Oh, sweet boy.  Of six years’ worth of moments and memories – of walking and talking and first steps and first days of school and quiet nights – of all of these, this.  This is the one I maybe love and hate the most.  Such a double-edged sword, this childlike realization of time passing, this knowledge of love and how fast things go.  You can’t have joy without its twin, light without darkness.  And I hate that he’s learning this, but I love that he’s starting to feel how precious it can be.

I kissed him and told him in quiet tones how far off that is, that we have years and years and years before he’s grown up; that we have all the time in the world, that by the time he’s grown up he’ll be ready to be out on his own, that if we’ve done our job right he’ll be prepared for things and want to have his own space.

I told him all of these things, but man, I lied.  Eighteen is a long way from six; but holding onto that sweet, sorrowful boy, all arms and legs and smelling vaguely of chocolate and dirt –

It doesn’t feel very far off at all, somehow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Soulful Physical Therapy Update, and Warrior Dash

So I'm in physical therapy today, which is one big giant room, basically.  I'm on one of the tables, doing those stupid isometric exercises that make me look like a jackass ("Put your hand against your forehead; now push against it").  Try this.  You look like you're gesturing indicating what a moron you are.  For thirty reps.

The girl on the table next to me is a high-school cheerleader, a flyer who fell and broke her wrist.  Her friend is with her, gum-chewing annoyingly.

The wrist girl asks me how I put my hair up in a pen, which I did because it's a f*cking mess today.  So I show her how to do it.  And then I tell her if she has fine hair, it works best on 2nd-day hair, because the pen won't slide out as easily.

Gum-chewer:  Tsk.  I could never go a day without a shower.
Me:  Well, I shower every day; but I don't wash my hair every day because it would get too dry.
Gum-chewer:  Tsk.  Tsk.  Omigod.  I could never go a day without washing my hair.  I would just feel too... filthy.  *looks at me meaningfully*
Me (pleasantly):  Well, I guess you can't put your hair up in a pen, then.

It should be noted that during this exchange, Soulful Physical Therapist is nearly choking with laughter.

Also of note today:  The physical therapy group is planning a skit for their Christmas party.  So far the plan is to put Soulful Physical Therapist in drag and make him perform Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby, One More Time." 

Warrior Dash

 So, Matt and I decided, of all things to do to celebrate our eighth anniversary, to drive down to Manchester and run the Warrior Dash.

In case you are not familiar with the Warrior Dash, it's basically an exercise in pain and fear masquerading as a good time.  With costumes.  But there's also beer, which frankly was a major draw.

The race itself is a 5k.  Which, no problem, right?  Only they throw in twelve obstacles, consisting of some of the weirdest sh!t this side of ComiCon.  So this is how the race went:

Run run run run run, over grass and gravel and really terrible terrain.  It reminded me a lot of cross-country in high school, where the goal is essentially to make you run on entirely un-run-able surfaces.

At mile one or so, there's a water station.

Obstacle one:  Run up a pile of hay bales and down the other side.  Which is easy, which gives me a huge surge of confidence, which is just plain mean of the race organizers.

Obstacle two:  Run through some tires on the ground for about ten yards, climb up and over a few junk cars (girl beside me:  "People were, like, conceived in these cars. People had sex in them"), then through some more tires (guy to the left a few yards:  " *FACEPLANT * ").

Obstacle three:  A giant felled tree, which was probably just nature f*cking with me.

Obstacle four:  four-foot walls you have to get over, followed by planks you have to go under.  Repeat about six times.  At the end of this I realized I could feel my heartbeat in every part of my body and wondered vaguely if anyone had ever died on the course.

Obstacle five:  a GIANT F*CKING WALL.  You get to scale it with a rope, which I haven't done since gym class in the seventh grade (and I didn't make it to the top then) and climb down a ladder on the other side.  The climbing part was actually okay; what wasn't okay was getting up there, then straddling the top, then looking down.  Let me tell you, my fear reflex?  Is clearly operating just fine.  Hyperventilated for a minute, then realized that my fear of falling was slightly surpassed by my fear of having to be airlifted off the top of a g*ddamn wall.  Climbed down.  (Note:  This is not me in the photo.  I probably looked a lot worse.)

Obstacle six:  A pitch-black tunnel you have to crawl through.  I think they purposely put sharp rocks on the ground.  Tear up knees, mental note to wear stockings to work all week this week.

Obstacle seven:  Another f*cking wall.  This one is slanted, Matt tells me, so no problem, right?  Only it's slanted on both sides, like an inverted V.  Which means when you get to the top, you throw your leg over ... into total nothingness.  You have to slide out and down in order to get to the first rung of the ladder down, which means you have ample opportunity to look down between them and realize that if you fall, you're hitting like six struts on the way down before even landing on the ground, presumably paralyzed for life.

 Obstacle eight:  Crab-crawl your way across a rope net suspended about five feet above the ground, which is hard, but also the most precarious and humiliating pose to be in, ever.  HEY BACK THERE!  LIKE MY ASS?  IT'S STICKING WAY UP!  IN YOUR FACE!

Obstacle nine:  Climb up some steep bleachers, slide down a fireman's pole on the other side, chafe the sh!t out of the thighs.

Obstacle ten:  Wait, another wall?  I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS MANY WALLS, YOU F*CKERS.  This one is constructed of a frame, and then a rope net on both sides.  This one was oddly comforting after the previous climbs; at least a rope net gives you something you can actually wrap your hands around.


Obstacle eleven:  Jump over fire.  Which is JUST the thing you want to do after running three miles, because everyone likes heat at that point, right?

Obstacle twelve:  Leap down into a giant pit of mud about three feet deep, and crawl across on your hands and knees.  Realize not only have they covered the bottom of this pit in gravel that is further shredding your kneecaps, but also, you've started running at 4:30pm, which means this same mud pit has seen about five hundred sweating, disgusting bodies before yours.  They may as well have named the twelfth obstacle You Just Try Not To Catch Something Nasty In This Sh!t.

Then, the glorious finish, where you slog across in your ruined shoes.  The cameras capture you as you cross the finish line, and you realize you've just been photographed trying to fish gravel out of your bra.

In short, it was actually kind of awesome and I'm glad I did it.  But I believe somewhere around mile two and a half I deliriously and violently told Matt that next year we're taking a nice trip to a f*cking beach somewhere for our anniversary, and he is not to listen to any hare-brained schemes I have about this sort of thing, ever again.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Consumerist; also, Nostalgia.

I, ever the whore for marketing, succumbed to peer pressure this morning and bought a pumpkin-spice latte from Starbucks, whose very essence, I am told, would transform me into a unicorn/monkey/happy puppy. 

Sad to say, it did not.  Alas, pumpkin spice lattes are pretty good, but I find it hard to work up to the drooling, frothing anticipation people seem to have for the stuff.  It’s coffee, people.  Overpriced at that.  And mixed up by a surly teenager with more metal in his face than exists in my car frame.

Fuck, I’m old.

The nostalgia part of today’s post is that one of the boys I went to high school with is going to be on the tee-vee, y’all.  This is very exciting, because I do not know famous people.  I’ve had the odd brush with politicians, but since I grew up around DC this is not all that awesome.

So here is what you need to know about Alex, who is apparently magical with a sewing machine and will be on Mad Fashion, premiering on October 4 on Bravo:  

1.  He used to listen sympathetically to my bullshit boyfriend drama while we were in the darkroom of photography class in the eleventh grade and periodically would tell me I was an idiot and my boyfriend was a waste of skin (oddly insightful);

2.  We once both entered a photography contest for extra credit, involving landscapes.  His was of some bushes, entitled “Where’s Elvis #13,” in the hopes that the judges would think it was part of a series.  Mine was titled “This is the Table Upon Which I Left My Shoes” and was of some trees, dyed blue.  Both of these ended up being finalists.  It is nearly twenty years later and I still find this amusing.

3.  He is not to be confused with the other Alex in our photography class, who was a girl who wore Minor Threat t-shirts and was all FUCK THE MAN, YO, and I don’t think ever actually did anything except splice together some scraps from the trash bin and turn it in.  And I’m pretty sure she got an A.  Other Alex was also kind of awesome and I would like her to have a reality show as well, please; and

 4.  He was pretty heavily involved with the drama department in high school.  I did some stuff on the periphery there, because my older sister was into it and very naturally I wanted to fuck up her world as much as possible.  Regardless, I’m pretty sure Alex Bartlett played a waiter in our high-school production of Scapino! and if I find those pictures I’m not sure if I’m going to burn them or use them for blackmail.

October 4. 

Pumpkin Spice OUT.