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

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World's Most Handsome Child

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Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend


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My husband is an insensitive asshole*

Last night, while folding sheets, Chris was faced with the choice of grabbing a pillowcase or a fitted sheet. He took the pillowcase.

Me: You took that so you wouldn't have to fold the fitted sheet, didn't you?
Him: Yup. I hate folding fitted sheets.
Me: That reminds me of the meanest thing you ever said to me.
Him: What was that?
Me: I said it had taken me 25 years to learn to fold a fitted sheet, and you said "I think that's at least 24 years too many."
Him: That's the meanest thing I ever said to you?
Me: Well, it was the way you said it. You said it really mean.
Him: Still, that was the worst?
Me: Ok, no, but it's the one that I now think is funny. There are plenty of meaner things you have said that still make me want to cry.
Him: Like what?
Me: If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you.
Him: Fine, how about the meanest thing you ever said to me?
Me: "I want a divorce"?
Him: When did you say that?
Me: Maybe I just thought it.
Him: When?
Me: I dunno - probably some night when you were snoring.
Him: Try again.
Me: "I don't give a damn about Ozzy Osbourne"?
Him: Yeah, that was probably it.

* And he suggested the title for this post.

Mia Monday #42: Mia Gives You a Kiss

Has sound...


Blogroll!

I'm back, did you miss me?

Welcome to the new joint. What? Looks just like the old place? Well, it's a new one, you'll just have to trust me on that since I just spent an entire weekend getting it up and running. If you cast your eyes over to the right and scroll down a bit... just a bit more... there, you will see that I have added an extensive new blogroll. It's all one big lump right now, but I think I will have to change that soon because it is a little overwhelming.

Thanks to all of you who made it easy (or at least easier) to get that monster up and running by signing yourselves up in Bloglines. If you signed up and don't see your link, it is for one of three reasons. 1) You are not really Dooce or Mimi Smartypants. Liar. 2) You have never left me a single comment or sent a single email. One email a year and a half ago to complain that my grammar sucked? You made the cut (and you know who you are). Never heard from you ever in my life? I pulled the link, sorry. If you want to complain about it, at least leave a couple of comments first. 3) I am an idiot. If you think this one applies to you, please let me know so I can correct my idiocy.

That is all. I never want to see another computer again as long as I live, or at least not until morning. Somewhere in Canada there is an entire tech support team drowning their sorrows in buckets of beer and complaining about me. I'm bitchy. Also, if it weren't for my husband I would still be sucking eight kinds of hell right now, and he doesn't even get to complain about he. He rocks.

No idea on the Firefox issues but I will work on it. I am using Firefox and it looks fine to me, so if you are having problems please try refreshing a couple of times and see if that helps.

Odds and Ends

Hi, welcome to Random Day.

I forgot to tell you that Mia and I met Sarah and the Goon Squad. I meant to, and I even have cool pictures of Mia and Shepherd and Ian and Claudia of Goon Squad fame all lined up on the couch, but I can't figure out how to get them off my phone. Because I am dumb. You can see a picture here, aren't they cute? Anyway, yesterday Sarah used my open Bloglines account to subscribe me to something called The Beef Blog. Oh, and also to gay porn, but come on? The Beef Blog? You all wish you were that funny, and so do I. Oh, and don't bother going in to sign me up for crazy things now, it's been done.

Speaking of, please keep on adding yourselves to my Bloglines so I can get you into the Fabulous! Exciting! Blogroll! set to reappear next week, if I don't totally fuck up my site trying to do this migration. Directions are here. I am going to leave that open through the end of the day and then will close it down so I can actually get everything moved over and checked out (am not stupid, shocking I know, but true) and posted over at the new place. With any luck, you won't even notice the change, but if things look a little strange over the next few days cut me some slack, yo.

Next, I adore this idea, (more details and pictures here) so you should all go send Wordgirl pictures of your front door or post them on your own blogs with a link back to her. Here are mine:

Front door, explanation of the sign taped up there is here.

View from the front door, Clutter By Mia

Ok, that's it for now, but I may be back as I think of things. Oh, no post for you tomorrow, I have a huge hell of a lot to do to get ready for the big thrilling weekend of breaking my website to serve you better. Send cookies.

Month Fifteen

Mia Bean,

You were fifteen months old a few days ago, and on that day you finally gave into the pressure and said Mama. (You said Dada too, but he has his own blog.) I think my heart skipped several beats when I heard you say Mama and slowly realized that you meant it, you meant me. Second only to your amazing laugh, it is the most fabulous sound I have ever heard. I can hardly wait for you to learn more because I am dying to hear what you have to say.

We have spent a lot of time outside this month. You have befriended several of the neighborhood kids and like to follow them around for as long as they will put up with you. If there isn't anybody outside to play with you set off for one of the two playgrounds in our neighborhood. You know the way to both of them on your own and I find myself nearly jogging along behind you as you beat a very determined path to your beloved swings. On the way home, we always stop at the house behind ours to wave at Luke Doggy. Luke Doggy is very old and just wants to sleep, but I think we are growing on him. He seems to smile these days when he hears you shrieking at him.

You are a very particular child. At the playground we always swing, climb the stairs, go down the slide, sit on the bench, and then leave. Always in that order and god help anyone who tries to get in the way. One day a week or two ago you forgot to sit on the bench before you left the playground and once we were a few steps away we had to turn around and go back so you could do it. The only problem with the playground is that sometimes you get your hands dirty, and you hate having dirty hands.

You communicate very well, nod yes or no and usually mean it. You know and use a number of signs, some that you have taught yourself. As near as I can figure, you sign eat, drink, more, all done, down, shoes, socks, swing, star, refrigerator, apple and flower. It's a pretty limited vocabulary, I admit, but it is better than nothing.

You have gotten very interested in imitating people this month, and every move I make I can turn around and watch the pint-sized version. You love to sweep and vacuum, to wipe the floor and the countertops, and to brush your hair and teeth (with my brushes). In the mornings, you steal my face cream from the counter in the bathroom, carry it over to the toilet, and then pretend to put some on your hands and rub it on your face.

I was a little amazed when you started pretending, I just assumed you would need to be a little older than you are. You have lots of pretend games that you play though. My favorite is when you give your dolls or stuffed animals a taste of your drink or your snack and make eating or drinking motions and yummy noises while you do it.

You were sick a lot this month, an ear infection, a cold, a sinus infection, a new molar, and a pile of books dropped on your head by Mommy. Sorry about that last one. We spent a lot of time at the doctor this month. At your well-check a few days ago, he told us that in another couple of months you would be able to follow directions, like "go get that book and take it to Daddy." He was a little surprised when we told him you had been doing that for months. He also said you were "really a pretty girl" and he sees lots of babies so I am going to take that as an expert opinion.

Bugaboo, you are such fun right now. I have always enjoyed spending time with you, but now I really look forward to the things we get to do together each day. I love to run around the neighborhood with you and I love when you go get a book and climb into my lap so I will read it and I love when you wander off to play on your own and look annoyed if I interrupt you. I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to be with you, it is by far the greatest thing I have ever done and the most fun I have ever had. Thank you for being wonderful, beautiful you.

Love,
Mama
(Mama, that's me, you said it.)

Housekeeping

I am in the middle of upgrading my publishing software (to MT 3.3 from 2.6, for those of you who care about such things) and migrating to a new hosting set-up dealio. Actually, I already have the upgrade done, because I rock, and I only had to install MT three times to get there. What this means to you is that this site will be down at some point this coming weekend. I hope it will only be for a couple of hours, but I have very little idea what I am doing here so wish me luck. Once I finish my site I am doing the same to Chris's, although I may need a few of you to come sit on him while I take his site down. He gets a little tense.

As part of this whole "messing with my website and trying not to fuck it up too badly" thing, I am determined to finally repost my blogroll. I haven't had much of one since I stupidly forgot my log-in for blogrolling and they stupidly were totally unable to locate it for me. I mention this for two reasons:

First, I haven't updated my blogroll since before Mia was born, and I just don't have the time it would take to do it now. This is where you come in. I want you to go here and add yourselves and then thanks to a fabulous MT plug-in that I found I can import that list and voila, blogroll.

Feeling maybe a little shy about doing that? Here's the thing, I like big blogrolls, I think they are nice and friendly-like, and while I long ago gave up linking to everyone who links to me (because some of them refused to have any sort of interaction with me, not because I am so la-di-dah fabulous) I really like to link everyone who comments even semi-regularly. So if you fall into that category, go ahead and add your link please. Also, I do have a list of about 100 sites that I managed to salvage from blogrolling, so chances are good you are already there.

To add yourself, go here, click Log In at the top right, enter bethsblogroll@gmail.com in the Email Address field and smokinass in the Password field and click Log In. Near the top on the left, click Add, enter the url for your site or feed (if it is different), click Subscribe, select the right feed if more than one is listed, and the scroll down to the bottom and click Subscribe again. (Don't worry about any of the other stuff on that last page.)

That's it! You are done and I am grateful. Oh, also, if this starts getting out of hand I will have to stop if and think of something else, and also also, if you are asking for a link from me and have your own 300 link blogroll well, it would be nice if you linked me too. (If you have a 10 link blogroll and I don't make the cut, I totally understand. Really.)

Are you still reading? Here's the second point, and where I need your advice. I see a lot of people who have their blogrolls divided into their mostest favorites and bestest friends and then everybody else and I don't really know how I feel about that. On the one hand, I like to be egalitarian and also don't like to hurt anyone's feelings so I am inclined to have just one big happy blogroll. But on the other hand, there are obviously some people I love to a really embarassing degree (to name just a few), and I would kind of like to highlight them so you can all go love on them too and make me look less like some kind of scary stalker asshole. What do you think? Should I separate the New! Improved! Blogroll! into the people I would tongue kiss given the slightest opportunity (um, I mean that metaphorically, really) and the other people who I merely adore and admire, or should I just leave it all as one big clump and let you figure it out for yourselves?

Mia Monday #41: Pigtails Edition

If they asked me

I've been thinking of writing a book.

This is hilarious. I do not have a book in me. I barely have the couple of paragraphs a day required to sustain two blogs. And still, I've been thinking of writing a book. An actual book, not a "turn my website into a book about my kid" book which, well, I can't say I have much appreciation for that genre.

I've recently read two books on writing. Not intentionally - they were both loaned to me by a friend who knows me from a different time when I was much more of a writer than I am today, although also much worse of a writer. The first was Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. I didn't care for it (sorry, Sam). I love Anne Lamott's writing and I love her attitude and I admire the open-hearted spirituality that comes through in her ideas, but I am not a fiction writer and she just wasn't talking to me. The second, which to be honest I am somewhat less than halfway through, is Stephen King's On Writing. This is more appealing to me, possibly because he says "fuck" more often, possibly because the advice feels more like something I can achieve. It breaks my lazy little heart, but I can understand a diatribe against my beloved passive voice. I feel that is something I can do something with.

Reading these books has put the thought into my head that I could write one of my own, or, more likely, has fanned the sad little ember of the thought into life from where it has been hiding, buried for years, in the darkest corner of my brain. I even have an idea, although what I have is not a story or even a plot but only a moment, a scene, the climax to a story I feel insufficient to imagine and I don't know how to turn that moment into a tale. I don't know how to build characters, I can't write dialog to save my life, and my attempts at descriptive prose tend towards "Sally walked under some green trees." Magic, no?

It would be a bad idea for me to attempt to write a book. It would be difficult and stressful and demoralizing and would lead to a poor result and I would likely abandon the effort entirely after three days and somewhat less than five pages and feel like a failure. Worse, a failure before I even got far enough to be a failure, unable to make the effort far before I was unable to produce anything worthwhile. (And I am not fishing here, only being frank. Several of you have suggested that I ought to write. something. and for that I thank you although in my heart I believe you are wrong.)

I don't know where I'm going with this, just admiring my navel, I suppose. I wonder though, does everyone quietly dream about writing a book or being a rock star or wowing Broadway or finally going to law school or touring Asia for a year? Is it part of adulthood, to sit and think wistfully about the things that might have been, even if they never truly could have been? Do we all sit here and know that there are a hundred reasons why we cannot, should not, will not, and still.

I've been thinking of writing a book.

Thursday morning, 7 AM

Lying beside you, my arm wrapped over and around and then tucked under your downside hip, I marvel, both at how large this tiny part of you has become and at how small it still is.

My thumb finds your spine and wanders up and down and back and forth feeling the hard, pointy edges of your bones. I picture your spine not as a pearl necklace or any other poetic device, but as a line of vertebra after vertebra curling gently from your soft, sweet neck to your boogie hips. I imagine each butterfly of bone that was so perfectly formed while you swam under my own spine.

You sleep, and as you sleep you snort and choke and snore, oh how you snore. I am desperate to intervene, to help, to calm, to cure, but instead I lie still. I lie still because for now, you sleep, and for now, that is good enough.

Clearly, I am a huge fan of the "Ask the Audience" option

I had lunch yesterday with a friend (one of the few who reads this blog, so say hi), and we were talking about a trip he took last year where he spent a couple of days wandering alone around Tokyo and eating unidentifiable foods off of conveyor belts. Referring to being alone in Tokyo with only moderate Japanese, he said "It isn't a bad way for an introvert to explore a city."

I would never have described him as an introvert. Introspective, sure, but he's an artist and I think a tendency to live in your own head goes with the territory there, but not an introvert. Since then, I've been thinking about the differences between how we describe ourselves and how others describe us. For example, I would definitely call myself an introvert, but if you met me, depending on when and how you met me, you might have a very different opinion. Meeting and talking to new people is such a horrifying prospect for me that I sometimes go a little nuts and talk non-stop until I have utterly humiliated myself and made everyone on the room a little embarrassed for me, and if you were unfortunate enough to witness one of those displays you would likely call me many things, but not an introvert.

This friend of mine, though, we have been friends for nearly eight years. I certainly don't know everything about him, but I know a lot, and I was surprised to discover such a difference between the way I see him and the way he sees himself. Maybe he does the same thing I do, puts on an act to cover it up (but with far less humiliation, to his eternal credit), or maybe it really is just a difference of perception. Maybe it is just the difference between the view from the inside and the view from the outside.

Since I've got this on the brain, I thought we would make a little game of it. (You know how much I love playing games with the internet.) What's a word you use to describe yourself that you think would be surprising to someone who knows you fairly well? I suppose as this is my game I have to go first, which I hate. After great deliberation, my word would be "insecure," and I suppose you can tell me whether that is surprising or not.

NB

If you are going to use the nose-sucker on a child who does not want to have her nose sucked, you should definitely put your hair up first.

Now, does anybody know if I can find a wig for just one side of my head?

Mia Monday #40: All the World's a Playground Edition

My website, I can do what I want

Hey, is there anybody out there who has installed Pergo over concrete and wants to talk to me about whether or not Chris and I can actually do it ourselves? I would be very grateful and there might even be a little something in it for you.

More about semen, I just can't stop.

Last week, when I posted about semen, Swistle left a comment talking about how it (the taste of semen) was a topic of great interest in high school because it was a sex topic within the experience of both the girls who were "doing it" and the girls who were "waiting." That made me think, wow, was there really all that oral sex going on in high school? I never knew.

It also got me curious, and so I decided to ask you. I mean, I've already asked about both your public toilet and your dirty underwear habits, so I figure I can ask this too. I would dearly love it if you would all leave me a one-word answer to this simple question: "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" For our purposes, and for reasons which are very amusing to me but which I shall decline to explain, the "chicken" shall be the illustrious blow job, and the "egg" shall be sex of the intercoursal variety.

And to be fair, I will naturally give my answer first. Egg.

And now you. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Failure

Mia and I just got back from the pediatrician (fourth time in two weeks, I am so over this guy I cannot even tell you). Mia has a runny nose and a cough, but that is not why we went. No, we went because Mia has a very stupid mommy.

I've been rearranging and cleaning out a closet in the basement, and this morning Mia wanted to play in that room, so I let her wander around while I did some more work on the closet. I didn't really notice that she had wiggled around to stand in front of me until a pile of old video tapes and big, heavy books from the top shelf started falling and landing on her head.

She's ok. She cried for a minute and then jumped off my lap and dragged me back into the room so she could show me what had happened, and then we played with blocks and took our morning walk. She has a couple of nice bruises on her forehead, but is unhurt. I knew she was fine, but took her to the doctor just to be sure.

I'm not ok. I held it together long enough to be sure she was fine and then lost it. Not because she was hurt, because I knew she really wasn't, but because I feel like such a failure. I feel like I should have realized the danger and kept her away, like I should have been smarter than that, like I should have been able to catch everything that fell and stop it from hitting her.

I cannot begin to count the number of times I have banged Mia's head or leg or arm into something, the number of times I have knocked her down or stepped on her or scratched or pinched her. As careful as I try to be with her, it seems like every time my attention wavers for a split second I fail in some minor way to protect her. I am scared that I am never going to get any better at this, that my instincts are never going to be strong enough to see the danger and stop it before it happens, that I will never be able to keep her safe enough, that someday she will be seriously hurt and it will be my fault.

I think I will see those boxes and books falling on her for the rest of my life, and I just wish like hell I knew how to make sure that it will be the worst scene I have to replay in my personal Guilt Cinema, and I am terrified to think that it won't be.

Speaking of weddings

That's my garter from my wedding. I got it two days before the wedding at Hallmark because I had totally forgotten about it and my officemate said I could find them there. She was right, too bad it was so cheap and tacky.

Oh, and that's lotion on Mia's face, not snot. Although it would not be unusual lately for it to be snot. Poor ittle wittle baby has a runny bunny nose.

And finally, a picture Chris is going to hate, but I wanted to show you my awesome backless dress. Also, all the other pictures from our wedding are depressing because I was so thin.


Seven plus one

I meant to get back to mention this yesterday, I really did, but it just didn't happen. Largely because I spent Mia's only nap making Chris's favorite dinner. (Stuffed peppers, which I always thought was his favorite dinner, but then last night when I served dinner I said I had made it because I loved him and he said he would eat it because he loved me, so maybe I need to rethink this one.) Anyway, yesterday was our seventh wedding anniversary. When I mention that, I always feel the need to add that in January, we will have been together for 14 years.

We've now been married longer than we dated, and in honor of that I have decided to answer some of the most common questions I get on the subject.

Q. Why did you wait so long to get married?
A. None of your goddamned business.

Q. Why did you wait so long to have a baby?
A. None of your goddamned business.

Q. Did you smear that cake all over his face? Did ya? Huh? Huh?
A. Yes, but only a little bit. And I made him go first and he was all nice about it but then I knew I was in the clear and could do whatever I wanted without fear of retribution. And it was too late, he had already married me.

Q. Gosh, is it just fabulous being married to such a _______ guy? (Fill in the blank with funny, cute, smart, handsome, weird, immature, etc.)
A. Yes, nearly always.

Q. How do you have such a perfect marriage?
A. We don't. We work really, really hard at keeping it good. Except sometimes we don't work really, really hard and it gets pretty crappy, so we go back to working really, really hard at keeping it good. Marriage is making the effort every single day, and then forgiving each other for the days that you don't. Oh, and dancing in the kitchen, that's important too.

Oh fine, fine, here's the mushy bit.

BB -

Thank you for seven years far more good than bad, for being my soul-mate, my kindred spirit, for laughing at my jokes, and for always letting me know when I'm being an asshole.

All my love for all time,
B.

Mia Monday #39: Seventh Anniversary Edition

Um

I just noticed an email in my spam folder that promised "sweeter tasting sperm."

I am so disturbed by that I may have to go lie down. Of course, had to share it will all of you first.

Also, shouldn't it really be sweeter tasting semen? I mean, I doubt what you are tasting is the actual sperm, given they are so small and all.

Yeah, sorry about this one. Someone needs to take away my publish button.

Too busy

I spent hours upon hours yesterday running around the neighborhood with Mia. She has discovered the joys of outside and the joys of following the neighborhood children around begging them to pay attention to her and that is all she wants to do.

When I am not chasing Mia around, I am spending most of my time assuring my husband that talking like Snoop does not mean that he gets to have hos. (Hey, is that how you spell that? Also, am I a total loser geek for wondering how you spell that?)

Finally, I went to a pseudo-playgroup type thingy this morning and I need to go lie down for a while to recover, so while I do that, I need your opinion on something. I have had this here website for, um two and a half years or so and have made virtually no changes to the design. Is it time? Or actually, is it well past time? Or does everybody read via RSS so it doesn't matter? Whadda ya think?

Cowbell is too obvious

Two unrelated items for you today.

Scene: Last night at dinner.
Chris: Shit
Beth: Glares and casts meaningful look toward the baby toddler.
Chris: I mean shoot.
Beth: Resumes chewing
Chris: Or shizzle.
Beth: That's it!
Chris: What's it?
Beth: That is, the way to stop swearing in front of the baby.
Chris: Ok. I don't get it.
Beth: We'll just speak Snoop! We can say pizzle and and bizzack and gizzo.
Chris: Brilliant! Also, you know an awful lot of Snoop slang.
Beth: I googled it later, obviously. Now we just need a translator. Do you think babelfish does English to Snoop?

********************

Elaine and I are starting an all-girl rock band called Solidarity Sister. Elaine will be lead nose flute and I will play the kazoo. Obviously we need a few more members, so if you want to join leave me a comment with your instrument and the title of a song you will write for the band and I'll get back to you. Must be available for international tour demanded by massive fan base due to immediate fame and fortune.

Abbreviated rant due to abbreviated naptime

Mia has a set of four cds that she received as a gift from my parents. According to the back of the box, "This collection includes over 4 hours of the best loved lullabies, rhymes and songs such as: Humpty Dumpty; Eentsy Weentsy Spider; This Old Man; One, Two Buckle My Shoe; and many, many more!" That is the entire description of the contents - keep it in mind, it becomes relevant later.

Yesterday, I played some songs off a couple of the cds for Mia because she loves to crank up the volume and dance and I was getting a little tired of the classic rock station we usually listen to. We were doing fine, until we got to the "Silly Songs" cd, and I started hearing things about Jonah and the whale, Gabriel and his trumpet, Daniel in the lion's den, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sailing down to Jericho. These are not lullabies and nursery rhymes, they are bible stories.

I'm irate. I would be just as upset if there were stories from the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita or little jingles about Ganesh or Zoroaster (although I suspect many people would not feel those were equal offenses). I resent the assumption that everyone is Christian (or I suppose Judeo-Christian since these are Old Testament stories), I resent the assumption that everyone finds these stories acceptable for their children, and I resent like hell the casual imposition of anyone else's religious beliefs on my child.

Mia Monday #38: Sunday in the Park and Lettuce Edition