So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.

World's Most Beautiful Child


World's Most Handsome Child


Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend

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What I Learned from the Internet: Episode 4

Today I the internet taught me that it is good to laugh.

What I Learned from the Internet: Episode 3

Today the internet taught me that my utter cheapness and miserliness and penny pinching moral stand against insanely expensive cosmetics is the absolute right way to go. So take that, snotty aestheticians who give me facials and snort about my skin care "regimen."

Am too lazy to post the whole story again - scroll down to get details and play along.

What I Learned from the Internet: Episode 2

Today, the internet taught me that cancer sucks. Click that link, would ya? For me.

Mia is not the only cute kid in the world.

And purple fauz crocodile can be hott. Oh come on, admit that you love those shoes.

Still touring the blogosphere and loving hard on all you people. Want to join the tour? Click this link and leave a comment there and I'll come by. I'm starting to catch up, guys, gimme me some more links. What can I say? I'm a glutton.

What I Learned from the Internet: Episode 1

Today I learned from the internet that a whole lot of you were weird little kids making out on the playground when you were five. Also that I'm not the only one whose first real kiss experience was some loser guy who slipped you the tongue and it was really gross and then he turned out to be gay, possibly in response to your negative reaction to his slimy tongue intruding upon your person. Ok, so the gay part is just me, but the tongue thing happened to a whole lot of you.

I also learned that anyone who can work Grimmace and kugel and assless pants into the same post, well, they're ok in my book.

I'm doing the Blogland Grand Tour this week. If you would like to be one of my stops, leave a comment with your link on this post. Not this post as in the current post, you understand, this post as in the one I just linked to, like this.

Listening Tour of the Blogosphere

Since Mia quit nursing, I have read very few blogs. See, I did all my blog reading while breastfeeding, and before that I did all my blog reading at work, obviously. In addition, I've always been a lousy commenter. I've decided this is very unfriendly of me, so for the rest of the week I'm going to spend my internet time reading and trying to comment. I'll come back every day and tell you something I learned from the internet - there must be something of value out there, right?

Here's where you come in. My blogroll is woefully out of date, as is my RSS reader, so I know where to start but not where to go from there. Help me out by leaving a comment on this post with your url so I can come see you and say hello. Would ya? Would ya please? It would help me out ever so much.

Don't know what to say? Then tell me the first name of the first person you ever kissed, how old you were, and where it happened.

That's it - I will try to get back later today with something I have learned, but I think we all know we should really not expect to see me again until tomorrow, that way if I do come through tonight you can all just be pleasantly surprised. Or, you know, surprised at least.

Mia Monday #33: Strawberry Popsicle Edition

I have never wanted to make out with you more than I do right now

I love you guys. No, seriously. I love you guys. I wish you all lived down the street, because I honestly can't think of 10 people I know in "real life" who would send me these pictures to post. You are all just a hell of a lot more fun than anyone else I know. Without further ado, all of the following people win a Cactus cd for amusing the hell out of me and also for valor for allowing me to post these. Also hey, if you don't click these links, you are seriously missing out on some of the coolest people on the internet.

Hi. I know I look like hell, but you go three days without showering and let's see how good you look. Also, lucky for you this isn't the smellternet.

Mia smells like peanut butter.

Alissa had some sob story about her printer, but she definitely gets an A for effort here.

Technically, Valerie did not follow the rules, but this is so freaking cute she wins anyway.

Here we have the brilliant and beautiful Dawnie.

Emily still has that lovely newlywed glow about her, doesn't she?

This is Mia's Internet Grandma. You should see the other guy.

Winner in the "Best Cubicle Art" category is ktjrdn.

Polichick is already complaining that the music on the cd I will send her in the future isn't good enough to make up for the embarassment of posting this picture, but I dunno, I think she looks pretty cute. Also, I totally want that jacket.

Anna is another big cheaty cheat cheater, but I liked her dedication, so she gets a cd.

This is my favorite picture, and I think you will agree. Ladies and gentlemen, the Dread Pirate Rick.

Hey, you know those people who write so well they sort of make you want to vomit from jealousy? Well, it really pisses me off when they turn out to be hott too. Say hello to Wordgirl

Now that was ten, so technically there should be no more prizes. However, then I got this picture of Math Daddy, father to the beautiful Sophie and fortunate husband to my internet girl-crush Erika and come on, could you say no to this? No, you could not.

And last but certainly not least, Honorable Mention to HollyRhea. No picture from Holly, but she did put my sticker in her sidebar, which tickled me so much that she wins a cd. I was going to offer her a big kiss too, but I happen to know that Holly is feeling especially sexy these days, so I worried things would get out of control and decided on just a cd. (Holly is another of my internet girl-crushes, but don't tell her because that would be really embarassing.)

Send me your addresses, you lucky, lucky winners. CDs for this and everyone else we owe will be going out by the end of the week.

And that, at last, is that. Oh, except for this.

Oh come on, we haven't talked about my boobs in ages

Sweet leaping porkchops, people. My boobs hurt. Enough that it woke me up all night long and kept interrupting my Alias/Anne Heche/Trapped in a Local Mall dream. Actually, that dream sucked anyway because there was no making out going on anywhere. Booooring.

This whole procreating thing has been a two year slog of not being able to sleep on my stomach. First there was the boob hurtage and then the huge bellyness and then the flat inability to roll over due to being cut open (and then sewn shut again, obviously) and then the trying to sleep with a small person who I preferred not to smush chewing on my boobs and now again with the boob hurtiness. I may refuse to ever have another child just so I can sleep on my stomach again. (And no, that is not what you voted on. I love you guys and all, but you do not get to decide that.)

Anyway, this is just a long intro to telling you that if you are going to send a picture (which I will post, keep in mind) to win a cd, you had better hurry it right up because they are just pouring in. Ok, trickling in, but I still recommend all good haste. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, scroll down.

Happy Friday, all. I would invite you all over to make out, but my boobs hurt.

Official Returns

Wow, you guys. I mean seriously, holy shit. A heck of a lot of you voted, which rocks. When I posted that, I was pretty sure I would get a total of six votes, and at least two of those would be votes for "Beth is a loser lame-iac and we hate her." Instead, well, just damn. Apparently a whole lot of you were just sitting around today wishing there was something you could vote on, and by gum, you done voted.

And now, as promised, I will not tell you what it is you voted for.



As for the official results, yes seems to have won in a landslide. I was going to count up all the votes and give you percentages and all that, but as it turns out, I don't want to. Yes was the clear winner, so yes it is, and again as promised, I will abide by your decision.

Nope, still not going to tell you what you all decided. That would entirely spoil my fun.

Anyway, I decided you all deserved some small token of my appreciation, and for me the best part about voting is the sticker, so everybody who voted gets a sticker. Here you go:

Now you just need to print it out, put something sticky on the back (not super glue, possibly duct tape) and affix it firmly to your forehead.

And hey, anybody who sends me a picture of themselves (which hell yes, I will post) (send to sothefishsaid at gmail dot com, duh Beth, sorry) with that stuck to their forehead absolutely get one of Chris's cds. Unless you all do it, in which case cds will go to the first ten and I will recommend that all the rest of you get lives.

Finally, that was seriously the most internet fun I've had in ages, and I thank you all for that from the heart of my (smokin') bottom.

In your hands

So, here's the deal. I want you to vote yes or no. That's it, no further explanation will ever be offered, but I will abide by your decision, as reflected by votes received before my arbitrary deadline of 8 PM Thursday.

Voting is your responsibility and priviledge as a citizen of the blogosphere. Think carefully, and vote your conscience.

Polls are now closed, stay tuned for official results, um, later.

Month Thirteen

Mia Bean,

You are thirteen months old today, and I have been debating whether to continue these letters into your second year. I decided that so much happened in the past month that I do not want to forget and this is the best way to remember it. I expect that will be true for many months to come.

Baby girl, you walk. Everywhere, all the time. You rarely crawl anymore. You have even learned how to bend your knees a bit when walking, which has brought you right to the very brink of running. You especially love to have everybody put on their shoes and socks and go walk outside, although you prefer to hold onto a finger when we venture onto the sidewalks. You fall, a lot. Usually just onto your bottom and you bounce right back up to continue what you were doing, but you've had some pretty spectacular wipe outs. Just this afternoon you fell on the sidewalk and bit your lip and I think my heart stopped for a second to see your little face covered in blood. You recovered quickly, your father may never get over it.

You stopped nursing this month, just quit one day. I tried for a while to get you to go back to it, but you are stubborn and willful and independent and when you set your mind to something it is difficult to divert you. You come by all of these qualities honestly. It was very sad for me when you stopped nursing. I loved that time we spent together, I loved the connection and the few quiet moments out of your busy, busy day. Not nursing has changed you so much, you are much more a little girl now than a baby. I love that you are growing up, that you are making your own decisions. I am proud of you for being strong enough to give up something that was such a major part of all the life you know so far.

We met another huge milestone this month. It still doesn't happen all the time, but it is often enough that I am going to give you credit for the whole thing. Mia Bean, my angel, my precious, my monkey, you sleep through the night. And I assure you, it did not come a minute too soon. You consistently sleep 9 or 10 hours straight and then usually go back to sleep for another hour or two. You put yourself to sleep with usually very little fuss and tend to wake up happy and brimming with kisses for anyone you find nearby. Thank you, baby girl, mama really needed to get some sleep.

You love to go up and down stairs. It took you a long time to learn to go down because I tried to teach you to crawl down and you weren't interested. Once I gave up, you started walking down on your own. You love to play at opening and closing doors, to throw anything resembling a purse over your arm, and to carry my keys around the house with the keyring hitched over your elbow. You have discovered the joy of the baby swing, of splashing yourself in the face with bath or pool water, and of grabbing an unguarded camera and taking loads of pictures.

You eat like crazy these days, although only from a rather limited menu and you refuse to drink milk. We started teaching you a few signs, since you don't seem much interested in talking, and you learned them all within two days. We are still waiting for you to attach meaning to the signs, but these things take time. You love animals of any kind, but especially cats. You are absolutely obsessed with books. You sit in your room pulling book after book off the shelf and flipping through the pages, then bringing books to your father or me to be read again and again. Another behavior you come by honestly.

One weekend morning this month, we were all lying in bed together. Your father and I were pretending you might go back to sleep so that we could too, but that was not on your agenda. Instead, you started giving kisses. You leaned into Dada over and over again, and then to me, and then back to Dada. You finally wore yourself out, sat back, and started pushing on the side of my head. I couldn't figure out what you wanted, but you were pushing me towards Dada, so as long as I was there, I gave him a kiss. You laughed, and did it again. And again, and again. And there we were, the three of us, our little family, just entirely as it should be. I am so glad you are here, Mia Bean, I am so glad you are part of us, because with you giggling there between us, I feel like we can conquer the world.

You are my little Monkey Butt, and there's no two ways about it.


Mia Monday #32: The End of All my Free Time Edition

Pet Peeve

You know what annoys the ever-loving crap out of me? It seems like anytime someone says they are sad or upset or, I dunno, bitchy maybe, the immediate response is "oh poor dear, you are depressed, have some nice Prozac." The reasons this pisses me off are twofold threefold:

1) Depression is a serious thing that causes real problems for lots of people, and I don't think we should be throwing it around every time someone has a bad week and gets a little cranky.

2) Could we please for the love of dog stop medicating everybody for everything at the drop of the proverbial fucking hat? Don't get me wrong, I think Prozac and it's sisters save lives every day, both in the literal sense and in the quality of life sense, and if that's what helps you then hallelujah and I mean that sincerely, but it just chaps my ass that mind-altering medication is the first choice for treatment and not the last.

3) I'm not prone to depression. Bitchiness, anti-social behavior, passive-aggression, deceitfulness, treachery, snobbery, and many other things? Yes. Depression? No. And I believe that being sad is the normal and natural reaction to sad things and I don't think we need to clinically diagnose a little appropriately-caused sadness and I really think we need to let people (like hi, me, I'm a little sad right now, but it will pass) have their moments of sadness without calling it more than it is unless and until it proves to be more than it is.

And I'm sorry if I just pissed a bunch of you off, but the thing is I have a kid and a family history and a pile of research saying depression is nurture as well as nature and it takes a fucking village, you know? And I just want my kid to be able to be sad about sad things without people carelessly throwing big, scary words at her. Words have power.

Damn, y'all. I think I just pushed my own buttons. That takes some serious talent. (Not like that, get your minds out of the gutter.)


I didn't say fuck in front of Mia once today, but I did say shit 148 times. I seem to have a ways to go.


So hi, I'm bitchy. I mean, we are still having the molar bullshit, and I am so over it. As is Mia, I assume. And then we have the thing where Mia stopped nursing, (which, thank you for all the emails yesterday, I do appreciate it, but overall I don't much want to talk about it, so let's keep doing that, yes?). Then yesterday, Chris posted a picture of my flabby belly on the internets, which ok, I did approve it, but only because I knew he was taking the picture and was totally sucking it in, so maybe it doesn't look too flabby to you, but I know the truth.

Fortunately, now that I am no longer feeding my child with my very body I am free to drink lots and lots of wine, which helps. I'm drinking screw top wine right now, which is actually good and it was not cheap, but I am a snob so I feel like a total wino, which actually works for me right now so let's move on. (By the way, I'm writing this Wednesday night, I'm not drinking for breakfast.)

Anyway, do me a favor, would ya? Would you please click on over to my other blog today since having some decent stats over there for once might help to counteract the bitchy. (I mean, I know a lot of you read over there regularly, and I appreciate that, but I'm not winning and I really like to win.)

Finally, I have decided I need to do something to cheer myself the hell up, so I am taking recommendations. Keep in mind that I still refuse to get a fucking job, so cheap is good. And I really didn't need to throw fucking in there, but I am trying hard to stop swearing in front of Mia which likely means I'm going to be saying fuck a whole lot here.

I know, I know, I'm making you do all the work. Sue me.


Mia stopped nursing last Tuesday night. It was very sudden. She went from nursing 5 times a day to wanting nothing to do with it. I called it a nursing strike and pumped and begged her to nurse and cried and stressed over how little solid food she ate and worried that she would starve or become dehydrated. She continued refusing to nurse. At first, she arched her back and cried, and then later she would pat my breast or even kiss it but showed no interest in latching on. She refused breastmilk from a cup or sippy cup or straw or bottle.

I was devastated. I cried for days. Every time I offered and Mia refused, I cried. Every time I pumped, I cried. Every time I thought about it, I cried. I was unprepared. I hadn't planned to wean now or even soon. I felt unnecessary, like Mia no longer needed me, like anyone could take care of her now and that I was replacable. I worried that I wouldn't be able to comfort or console her, that she would love me less, need me less.

I was at a complete loose end. The one constant in my life for the past year has been nursing, and I didn't know how to mother without it. I didn't know how to get Mia back to sleep when she woke at night, how to wind her down enough for a nap, how to quiet and calm her when she fell and bumped her head.

Despite all my fears, Mia was fine. She was happy and active. She was eating better than she ever had. She was thriving and joyous and didn't seem to give it a second thought. And so I decided I would take my cue from her. Last Friday, I started telling myself that she had weaned. I decided to stop pumping, to just let it go. But then I didn't. I kept telling myself she had weaned, but I wanted an insurance policy just in case. I eventually did stop, and then started again, and then again and again, and right now I have stopped but won't make any guarantees.

My goal was no formula. My goal was a year. I made it, Mia is huge and chubby and happy and I am hugely proud of making that goal, of not giving up when it hurt so badly I wanted to jump out the window or when I thought I was going to go mad from 10 solid hours a day of breastfeeding. I am happy with how it went, I am grateful to have been able to do it, and I am coming to terms with the end but am still sad, still reeling. I feel the loss keenly. It is something I came to treasure that I will never get back, and for that I cannot help but mourn.

Coming clean

Answers to the post below:

1. I am so not pregnant. In fact, the next time I am pregnant I think I am not going to tell the internet until the baby is born, just for a laugh. Lie.

2. I did once dye a bathroom red and miss most of my hair, but I never had purple hair. Lie with a nugget of truth to throw you off the scent.

3. Why doesn't anybody believe I have a tattoo? What, you think I'm too much of a goody goody or something? You think just because I write about the minute details of my life you know all about me? Well, you are probably right on all counts. Lie.

4. Quirkybook pointed out that everything is a very big word, and it is, but it is the right one. I don't love the sleepless nights and the teething and the poop, but neither would I give them up even if I had the chance because they are part of the experience. Not the experience of mothering a child, but the experience of mothering this child, and I enjoy everything about it. Truth.

5. Mint chocolate chip is the spawn of Satan. Lie.

6. Sadly I meant every word. Truth.

7. Can anybody really answer this question? I mean, can anybody do it in a paragraph? I could do it in a novel, short of that, the answers I gave are true and as good as any, although obviously there is much more to the story. Truth.

I'm Lying!

Quite a while ago now I had you all ask me questions that I would then either answer totally honestly or totally lie. And then, life intervened and I mostly forgot about it. But now I have remembered! And I am in a lying mood! So here we go!

I'll come back later and tell you what's true and what's not, and you are free to guess if you are so inclined, but no prizes for this one because I still haven't gotten off my ass to send out the last round of prizes. Am slacker, sorry.

From That Girl (who I love, go read her):

1. When are you having baby #2? I'm pregnant! And you all are the first to know! I haven't even told Chris yet!

From Kate the Shrew

2. Did you ever got into dyeing your hair (either wacky colors or humanly possible) in college? There was one time I tried to go red and ended up dying the entire bathroom but not so much my hair. After that, I stuck with my usual purple.

From Betti, owner of possibly the cutest dog known to man:

3. At any point in your life, have you ever consider tatoos, and if so, what and where? I have a Picasso peace dove on my left hip. Am too lazy to post a picture, so picture this as a tattoo. I sort of hate it.

From Sabrina

4. What do you enjoy most about being a Mom? Gosh, everything really. Well, everything other than the teeth. I love watching her learn and grow and I love rocking her to sleep with her head on my chest so I can smell her neck and I love the way she does something every day to crack me up. Just everything.

From Kristina:

5. What's your favourite flavour of ice cream? Mint chocolate chip.

From Melissa:

6. If you should ever be so lucky to be in your house alone again, what would you do? I have a fabulous lie answer for this one, but am not quite brave enough to use it. I would probably, um, do laundry and then clean the kitchen and then start dinner. Sadly, this is 100% true.

From Jodi:

7. How did you know Chris was the one? (if you believe in the one, if not, why did you decide to marry him?) I don't believe in "the one." I decided to marry Chris because he could cook and was good in bed.

More later, if we aren't all bored to tears by it yet.

Mia Monday #31: I'm in Every Shot Because She was Strapped to My Back Edition

Beautiful weekends just call for a trip to the petting zoo, don't they?

Things I've forgotten

There's a really excellent chance that this post will disappear at random sometime today, and an even better chance that the pictures will disappear causing me to have another exchange with my host like this:

Me: Dudes, you broke it again.
Host: We didn't touch it, we have no idea what you are talking about.
Me: So, it's a complete coincidence that two hours after I opened a ticket about the last problem, that problem is fixed but now something else is broken?
Host: Um, could you send us an email header, or something?

Anyway, someone asked on a post that has since disappeared along with all it's comments about the pile of books on my nightstand. The thing to know here is that the pile of books on my nightstand is only a group of possible things to read next. I have several hundred unread books lying around to choose from. However, for whoever it was who was curious, here is the current stack. (I even arranged them all nicely by height before I took the picture, because I am that anal.)

Next, for whoever asked whether the large blue plastic thing in my nightstand drawer was a flashlight or something of a more adult variety, it's a flashlight.

If it were other than a flashlight, it would certainly be stored in a drawer out of reach of my child. Hypothetically, naturally.

Finally, it turns out that Mia likes spanish rice, which led to this discovery when we were changing her for bed last night.

Yes, that is an utterly delicious baby potbelly with a single grain of spanish rice nestled therein.

(Um, if I haven't responded to your comments lately, it is because I didn't get the emails and then the entire post disappeared and then my head exploded from the sheer force of the bad words spilling out of my mouth. I still love you, you should come over and we can make out.)

This is a test

This is a test of the emergency blogcast system. If this were an actual blog emergency....

I'm going to complain a lot

Chris is back from the great midwest, which is good. What? You thought I was in the great midwest as well? Ah no, my friends, no I was not. That was just a bit of misdirection to hide the fact that Mia and I were home alone so you would not all come hide in my bushes waiting to pounce and make out with me as soon as I left the house. It appears to have been very successful as nobody has made out with me in days.

Anyway, yesterday I noticed that my site was all screwed up, so I contacted my host and said "dudes, my site is all screwed up." And they said, "can you be more specific?" So I restated my original request exactly, and then they said "oh, now we get it." So then they emailed me to say it was fixed, only no, it wasn't. And then they emailed me again to say it was fixed, only no, it wasn't. And then they emailed me again and this time actually got half of the problem fixed. Progress! When I mentioned that 50% was a nice start but I was hoping they would fix the whole thing, they told me I had to have my domain registrar fix the rest of the problem, to which I politely responded that a) that was utter bullshit and b) my host is my domain registrar, so, you know, deal with it. Finally they fixed the second half of the problem and as an added bonus deleted three days worth of posts and comments. I am quite pleased, really.

Mia's on a nursing strike, which is nice in a way because I had forgotten what it felt like to try to sleep with rocks strapped to my chest, but now I've had my fun and really don't want to spend any more quality time with the breastpump, so Mia and I are going to have a little talk about getting back on the proverbial ball. Am considering a trip to the hotty pediatrician for this and the refusing to sleep and the constant screaming. Am sure there is nothing he can do for Mia, but it might make me feel better.

Finally, Chris and I met in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I have never been to Kenya nor fired a gun, although there certainly has been a time or two in the last 13 years when shooting him seemed like an excellent option. When I asked for questions last week (if that post still exists) I promised some honest answers and some bald-faced lies, yesterday, you got the lie. Still a good story though, no? Maybe it will be my first novel.


Hello, sportsfans. Those of you who read Chris's site will already know that his grandfather passed away on Saturday. The Alzheimer's took him years ago, so I think the family is mostly just relieved that his suffering has ended. However, between the travelling and the midwestern funeraling and whatnot, I'm sure you can understand why your favorite husband and wife blogging pair aren't holding up our end of the bargain. Additionally, I'm not getting any comment emails and all my domain mail is bouncing and my host is being less than helpful and I don't have time to yell at them right now.

But! Because I love you and always like to plan ahead so I will be prepared (wait, that's a lie, this is just a fluke), I had the following thrilling tale saved as a draft and you can read and re-read and ponder and discuss amongst yourselves until my life returns to something like normal, hopefully tomorrow-ish. No no, no need to thank me, it is the least I can do for you, my dear friends inside the computer.

Shannon asked: "How did you and chris meet, and how did he propose?"

You may remember that Chris and I went to the same college. We even lived in the same dorm freshman year. However, our paths never crossed. He lived down in the "Dungeon" which was full of loud, smelly boys, and I lived on four where I shared one bathroom with six other women. That isn't relevant, I just like to complain about it. We did have one class together, but it was one of those 300 person lecture things, so you can understand why we missed each other.

The summer after freshman year, I spent six weeks in Kenya with a wildlife preservation effort working to prevent the poaching of elephants. Coincidentally, Chris also spent a few weeks in Kenya that summer on in internship with UNICEF. We first ran into each other in a horrible little restaurant in Nairobi (that's where the "I picked him up in a bathroom" story comes from), but only got as far as exchanging names and a little mild flirting before my group was ready to leave. The next time we ran into each other was two weeks later in Tsavo East National Park (sort of between the Indian Ocean and the border with Tanzania). And the thing is, this next part of the story would take a novel to tell correctly and I am a little reluctant to post the details online because I think that technically Chris could still press charges, but I accidentally shot him. It was just in the arm, I never understood why he made such a big deal about it. Anyway, while we were on the way to get him some medical attention for his minor little flesh wound, we got to talking a bit and found out we went to the same school and he started joking about getting a restraining order and by the time we go to the aid station we were pretty much making out in the back of the jeep.

Five years later, Chris finally proposed, saying he was pretty sure I wasn't going to shoot him again but just to be safe he wanted to have me where he could keep an eye on me. He gave me a ring made out of the bullet I had inadvertently lodged in his arm, and which he has saved as a souvenier and to hold over my head to try to make me feel guilty. It never worked, it was as much his fault he got shot as it was mine. (Remind me later and I'll post pictures of the ring and his teeny-tiny little scar.)

Anyway, I don't generally recommend it, but shooting a man does seem to get his attention. Although, we have had to endure 13 years of jokes about how I "bagged my limit" and whether I want to have his head mounted on the wall.

(P.S. - my site is all kinds of screwed up today, sorry.)

Mia Monday #30: Child After My Own Heart Edition

Reposting. Again. Let's see if it stays this time.

Me love you long time

Kristen asked: "Other than not-Benjamin, have you had any crushes/loves other than Chris?"

Well, a few. And since this is a fun little memory exercise for me, I am going to tell you all what I can remember about every single one of my crushes and some of the guys who actually agreed to date me (which I just realized is a very short list). I hope it will be more entertaining than it sounds. Also, after much internal debate I have decided to use their real names, because if anybody who knew me at the time is lurking out there and wants to make fun of me over who I had a crush on 15 years ago, well it is time to get a life.

It all starts in fifth grade when I had a major crush on a sixth grader named either Greg or Alex. (I can't remember, but am sort of leaning towards Alex.) I don't remember anything about Greg/Alex other than he was maybe blonde and was "going with" another fifth grade girl. I'm not sure what that meant in fifth grade, but I think it is likely that saying you were going together comprised the entirety of the relationship. I do remember that one time Greg/Alex loaned me a pencil to take a spelling test and I acted like I forgot to return it and kept it in a little Greg/Alex shine for a week or so. And then I lost it.

Seventh grade I had a crush on not-Benjamin, which I've already documented in embarassing enough detail, thank you very much. I will just add that one day in our sixth period science class this really mean girl named Mindy was making fun of me and saying I had dandruff (maybe I did, I don't know, but that sort of thing was devastating in seventh grade) and not-Benjamin told me it was ok because he had dandruff too and so did his best friend. Of course, that just made the whole thing about a million times worse, because now not-Benjamin thought I had dandruff, but he was trying to be nice.

Eighth grade I was madly in love with this guy named Shane who was, um, tall. I don't think I ever spoke to him. Well, ok, there was this one time that my best friend and I called him and I told him he didn't know me because I lived in the next state and asked him if there was anybody at his school that he liked. He said no and I was just devastated! Obviously, I thought he was going to take this opportunity to confess to his deep and abiding love for the dorky girl who sat behind him in English. It took me weeks to get over.

The summer after eighth grade I decided I was in love with Mike from my church youth group. I told someone who told someone else who told someone else who told him and he asked me out. We went to see Colors for our only and my first-ever date. My mom drove me there and he came on his skateboard. After that, he asked me to go with him, and I said yes but then I broke up with him two days later because I was bored. Or maybe I broke up with him because he french kissed me after the movie and it was gross and I sure as hell didn't want him doing that again.

Ninth grade I had a thing for Scott who played Jesus when we did Godspell. Another guy I never spoke too, but one day when my friends and I were hanging out in McDonald's he came in to use the bathroom and I thought I was just going to die because he might have almost accidentally looked at me. I think that was the last time I ever saw him since he was a senior. We'll always have McDonald's, Scott.

In tenth grade I dated another guy from church named Hal. I went out with him mostly because he had a driver's license, which was pretty cool. Although he was also a nice guy, so I guess that wasn't fair. Hal like wrestling (professional wrestling, not wrestling on the couch, although that too) and wrote me poems. We went out for five months and then I broke up with him because I was bored.

In eleventh grade I went out with Derek, who was a senior and had blue eyes except for part of one eye that was brown. One time we went canoeing with his parents and Derek decided to let me steer for a while and I steered us right into a tree and then a snake dropped out of the tree into the canoe. I screamed. After that I tore my contact lens so was half blind for the rest of the day. Derek was learning to play the guitar when we were going out and learned "Kathy's Song" for me since it was one of my favorites. It was really sweet, except also it was really bad. We went out for about eight months and then I broke up with him because I was bored.

Senior year I went out with Mike. On Valentine's Day, he gave me a teddy bear and one of those satin roses you can buy at 7-Eleven and a poem he wrote for me. As far as I can remember, that was the last time a guy wrote a poem for me, because after that, for some inexplicable reason, guys started drawing me instead. Mike had (and still has, as far as I know) this amazing long, blond, incredibly curly hair that makes women jealous. We were still together when we went to college, and the first time I called him I said "Hi, this is Beth." And he said, "Beth who?" He wasn't joking. Ouch. We went out for about a year, and then I broke up with him because I was bored. Oh no, wait, I broke up with him because I met Chris.

The story of how I met Chris is one for another day, as is the story of all the men I accidentally made out with. Honestly, you would have thought after the first few I would have learned how to avoid that, but I never did. Now I am thinking that this is a really pitiful list of men I have lusted after and that maybe I should make up a few more just for padding. Maybe tomorrow we'll do the Fake Loves of Beth.

Talking about my butt again

Questions, questions, questions. Let's go ahead and get started, shall we?

Corinne asked: how is it that you have a smokin' ass? does that come naturally? or do you have to work at it?

This made me giggle, because Corinne has seen my smokin' ass in person on several occasions (not that she was paying it special attention though, I'm sure) and I appreciate her helping me to perpetuate this particular piece of internet lore. I used to maintain my smokin' ass by frequent trips to the gym. These days I maintain it mostly through denial. The sad truth is that my smokin' ass is just as soft and squishy as the rest of me because I make it to the gym about twice a month. The planning and organization required to leave the house for an hour without my kid is enough to sap my will to live, so instead I tend to sit on the couch and eat ice cream.

On a related topic, Quirkybook asked: What age are/were you that you felt prettiest/most attractive/most confident, and why so?

I hate this question, because it is going to force me to say something positive about my physical appearance, and yes, I am one of those women who finds doing that to be harder than walking past a pint of Ben & Jerry's without diving in.

I've mentioned before that I lost a lot of weight in college. Too poor to buy groceries + never too poor to buy cigarettes = collarbones you could use to put an eye out. I'm 5'6" and weigh about 130 - sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less, and just about exactly what I weighed when I graduated high school. By junior year of college, I weighed 105. It was not attractive. In fact, it was pretty gross. But, I got used to looking that way and I mention it just so that you will know where I am coming from when I complain about my fat thighs.

You've all seen proof that high school was not exactly a shining time of great beauty and good hair for me. College was my famine victim phase, and also not highly attractive. For a while after college I got into wearing all these ridiculous short and/or tight skirts in an effort to, I don't know... be young? Sexy? Keep up with the girls at work? Not a good look for me. Well, ok, depending what you were going for maybe it looked fine, but it didn't fit me as a person and looked pretty ridiculous. After that, I got into pleated pants. I'm sorry, please forgive me. I thought I was hiding my big butt and fat thighs.

And now? Well, now I have exactly one pair of shorts that fit me so I wear them every single day, almost always with a stained t-shirt and unbrushed hair in a ratty ponytail. Yesterday, I forgot to brush my teeth until 2 in the afternoon. (Sorry, Corinne.) I have a pot belly and a saggy butt and fat thighs and flappy arms and am covered in bruises from chasing a toddler around. And now, right now, is the prettiest/most attractive/most confident I have ever felt.

I no longer care. Not in the sense that I am going to make not brushing my teeth a habit or anything, just that I'm no longer feel like how I look has anything to do with my value as a person, and that, THAT, suddenly makes me think I'm gorgeous. I love my body because it created and carried and gave life to my daughter. I love my small, lopsided, unattractive boobs, because they fed and still feed my daughter. I figured out that all those things I always wanted to be - pretty and sexy and noticed - are things that happen in your head, not in your body, that they are more attitude than anything. I have realized that, for the first time in my life, men stop to look at me now. Not because I look good, because I usually don't, but because I am happy, I feel great, I am confident, and those are the things that are really attractive. (Ok, maybe it's because I sometimes forget to actually put a shirt on before going out in public. True story.)

It isn't really that I feel "prettiest/most attractive/most confident" right now, but that I feel those things for the first time. It only took 31 years.

Ok, that's enough affirmation bullshit and personal fucking growth for me. Your turn - answer Quirkybook's question. It'll make you feel good.

The tortoise and the hair

Yesterday, Chris posted a picture of his mullet. Now first, I want you to know that the mullet had left the building before I ever met Chris, or else I can assure you things would have gone very differently between us. Second, I now have a problem. You see, I have been threatening Chris with that mullet picture for years. Whenever we had a fight over something he had done (because obviously, I am the perfect wife in every way) I would tell him I was going to post that picture on the internet. Now that he's gone and done it himself, I need a new bargaining chip.

Third, I hate to be outdone. I don't have anything that can compare to The Mullet, but I did break out my old yearbooks and decided to share with you the Saga of the Bad Perms. Let's begin.

Here we are in seventh grade, a rollicking return to 1987, but pre-hott bangs from the previous picture.

This one really makes me cringe. Who in the hell let me do that to my hair, and who gave me that sweater vest and told me it was cool? This is clearly before I discovered the dual magic of the permanant wave and Aqua Net.

Eighth grade is mysteriously missing from the yearbook pile, you will have to extrapolate based on ninth grade.

This is from my Fluff Period. And also apparently from my fat horizontal stripes period. You have to admit, though, that it is an improvement from the "what died on my head?" bangs of the junior high era, previously documented.

Tenth grade, the fabulous Growing Out My Perm period, and thanks to the vagaries of the universe, a special color shot just for you.

I like how the combination of straight and curly hair gives it a nice two-toned look.

Eleventh grade, the beginning of my "arty" period.

Also apparently my "hair flip" period. That shirt was at least two sizes too big for me, but I loved it and wore it all the time anyway because it had a vaguely asian design including dragons that I thought was totally in keeping with my new, "arty" self. In fact, I think I still have that shirt. I should break it out, it was hot on me.

Finally, senior year.

Why yes, I did cut my bangs myself with a butter knife, why do you ask? This dates from right at the end of my good little girl phase (read, my whole life) and just before I embarked on a year or so of being all wild and crazy and doing super daring things like smoking and drinking some beer (ok, and some dumber stuff that we won't go into). I was wild! I was a rebel! I was, um, still a big dork and just didn't know it. And then I got bored and went back to being (mostly) a good little girl.

And with that, y'all, I have to confess that I am so bored with myself right now that I could just spit. I've just let myself get sucked into this miasma of molars and nearly-constant fussing and pleading with the kid to eat anything at all other than cheerios and now biting just for fun and variety, and I don't see any way out except to keep on trudging through and hope the end is near. Meanwhile, everything I write reads like a shopping list to me and I haven't had a remotely creative thought in weeks. So, I'm going to make you do the work. We'll do that old gag where you leave me questions and next week sometime I will answer them. Of course, being how I am and all, I will give some completely honest and accurate answers and the others I will create out of whole cloth. Get yours in early though, as I reserve the right to sink into a mild depression and stop answering at any point. (I'm kidding, kidding! About the depression, not about the not answering.) Sounds fabulous and super right? I thought so, now go!

Madeleines at Starbucks

Y'all suck at guessing. Well, most of you anyway. However, you are very good at making fun of my hair. I'm considering a retrospective of yearbook photos, just to scare you all a little bit.

Anyway, I had decaf passionfruit iced tea lemonade with...

... are you ready for this...

...not-Benjamin. Not-Benjamin did not have decaf passionfruit iced tea lemonade, for those playing along at home. He had an iced coffee as big as my head and a bottle of water that he let Mia throw on the floor 86 times.

It was great to see him, mostly. I mean, it always kind of sucks to see someone again after 10 years, doesn't it? It's all awkward and weird and you have to sit there and do the "so, how's your mom?" stuff and run through all the people from high school you have heard from in the last ten years. And well, maybe that's fine for you guys, but I absolutely suck at small talk so for me it kinda blows. It also sucks that he is still calling me on all my bullshit, which he did in high school and it drove me crazy and I had hoped that in the last 10 years I had at least gotten better at it, but apparently not.

So, we did the general catch-up part and managed to hit on death and religion and he managed to tell me I was "jive" which nobody has said to me since, um, he said it to me 15 years ago so that made me giggle. And then I bullied him into letting me take a picture for my blog, which he didn't want me to do which doesn't make sense as he has his own website with pictures (no, I will not give you the link). I was going to post the picture anyway, but suddenly I am having an attack of conscience so you will all just have to suffer.

I did ask if I could use his real name, and he said no. The nerve! Actually, he said something about how this is fiction anyway, but I disagree. I mean, just because I make shit up doesn't mean it's fiction. I prefer to think of it as a Freyian memoir. However, not-Benjamin he wants to be so not-Benjamin he will remain.

I have, however, had a fabulous idea! (Come on, you know how much you love my fabulous ideas.) Not-Benjamin is currently single, and some of you are currently single, and I was thinking what I should do is raffle him off. It would be great, see? One of you could date him and then tell me about it and the 12-year-old Beth could live vicariously through you. Except that since you would be enacting my eighth grade fantasy, you would have to spend most of your time holding hands by your locker and having your mom drive you to the movies. It sounds great, doesn't it?

See, the crazy thing about not-Benjamin is that he was an incredibly sexy 12-year-old. I mean, he had the zits and bad hair like the rest of us, but on him it worked. And naturally, being a happily married woman I no longer notice such things, but if you met him then you might notice that he is still pretty damned hott. He was also very sweet to Mia and even held her for a minute (although he did look a bit like I had just handed him a grenade and kept the pin). He also writes poetry, and that's supposed to be romantic, right? (Although the last time a boyfriend wrote a poem for me it was really, really bad, and then he pulled out his guitar and started playing it very badly and then I had to leave the room because I was crying but I made it seem like I was just really moved.)

Oh, right. Anyway, I think a raffle would be great and we can donate the proceeds to charity or something. I told not-Benjamin that I think a couple of you are a little in love with him anyway based on the comment or two he has left here so I could totally hook him up with the internet ladies. He response was "wait, aren't they sort of stalkers?" And I said yes, some, but in the very nicest possible way. So, what do you think? I figure we can get it going now and then whoever wins will have time to get to know not-Benjamin a little bit before the Fall and then he can invite you to the first after-school dance at our old junior high and you can tease your bangs and he'll flip up his collar and it will be totally, totally radical.

Like, I'm sure your hair was so hot

My internet connection went down yesterday while Mia was taking a nap, and I found myself at a loss for that to do. I mean sure, I could have cleaned something, but let's remember who we are talking about here. I could have read a book, but that might have blown my current five page a day before collapsing in exhaustion rate.

So instead, I put on eyeliner (yes, that is so rare these days that it qualifies as an event) and then I tried on one of my pre-pregnancy bras, and then when I finished laughing I tried on one of my pregnancy bras. Then I wondered whether it had always made my boobs look so pointy and like they were coming out of my neck. Then, I changed back into the nursing bra I have worn every day for the past year. (Well ok, I have two. Gotta do laundry sometime.)

I considered installing the new ceiling fan that I bought to replace the old ceiling fan which has started making horrible noises at random in the middle of the night and which was not repaired by Chris spraying cooking oil on it. Yeah, I was surprised too. I decided that was too much trouble, so instead I went looking for a necklace I haven't worn in a while. I found it, and I also found this:

That's me, age 12, in May of 1987, and Callie, age about 8 weeks. My bangs are hot, yes? Soooo hot. Also, the pearls are hot. Hotty hot hot. I am rocking that look. You all know you had the exact same hair in 1987, so you can just shut the hell up.

Finally, the internet came back up, which caused Mia to immediately wake up, so we went out for coffee.

Oh! I know! Guess who I had coffee with yesterday? Well ok, guess who I had decaf passionfruit tea lemonade with yesterday? No really, guess! Bet you can't. I dare you to try. (Obviously, anybody who had coffee with me yesterday is prohibited from guessing.) The exciting answer will be revealed tomorrow! Or, later today, if I get bored!


I'm leaving Chris.

I know this is a shock to most of you, because we don't really talk about our marriage much on our blogs. Obviously, we've had our ups and downs like everyone else. This time, though, I just don't think I can forgive him. Now usually I don't like to air my dirty laundry online, but I feel like you guys deserve an explanation.

It all started this past weekend. As you know, Mia has crested the magic one-year mark and also weighs as much as most first graders, so Chris went out and turned her car seat around so it faced the front of the car. This was all well and good, and Mia really seemed to prefer facing front and has been much more pleasant about being strapped into her car seat.

That's pretty much the only thing she has been pleasant about lately. Those molars are still kicking her cute little ass and it has been a non-stop scream-fest around here more often than not for the past week. Yesterday, I decided I needed something to cheer me up, and the cookies just weren't cutting it anymore, so I loaded Mia into the car and drove up to the nearby fire station to have the car seat inspected. What could be better than firemen, right?

As instructed, I pulled my car into the fire station right behind the fire trucks and parked it smack dab in the middle of a pool of five of the cutest firemen I have ever seen. These were not the usual, be-mulleted firemen that I usually see hanging around this fire station. Oh no. These were young, cute, crew cut, buff but not burly, tall, polite firemen. I mean, they were like calendar firemen. They were even wearing the fire pants and boots and suspenders and hats without shirts! Oh wait, no, that was just in my head. They were wearing matching t-shirts and pants. I'm telling you, if I had had one less infant and two much larger boobs we would have had the makings of the sort of movie I generally don't admit to ever having seen.

I played it pretty cool though. I casually got out of the car, chatted for a minute with fireman #1, and only licked one of them a teeny little bit and I think he barely noticed. Anyway, I pulled Mia out of the car, and they started inspecting the car seat, while I got busy inspecting the inspectors (while pretending to show Mia the fans and the trucks). Now, you know how they say that something like 146% of car seats are installed incorrectly? Well, I have the great misfortune of being married to the one man in the country who knows how to do it right. It was perfect. They tightened one of the straps a tiny bit, and then told me I was good to go. "Wait!" I said, "Wait! Don't you need to muscle it around a little bit and tug on those straps some more? Shouldn't three or four of you get in there and really make sure it is installed correctly, and then take off your shirts, because wow, it's so hot?"

Nope, they sure didn't. I was in and out of there in about three minutes, and that included getting Mia in and out of the car. Chris ruined my one legitimate chance to flirt with hot firemen. Not only that, he ruined my chance to flirt with hot firemen while they were working to protect my daughter, which we all know at least doubles the hotness right there.

I can never forgive him. It's just too much to ask. My only choice is to leave.