Archive | April, 2011

Babies-R-4-Some-of-Us

16 Apr

I don’t know about anyone else, but to me babies are frightening.  They are fragile, they are germaphobes, they have far too many bodily fluids and they are always complaining.  Whenever I get into close proximity with an infant I immediately feel the need to wash my hands- or scrub, rather, like a doctor prepping for surgery- and I am certain the infant is probably thinking the same thing.  Neither of us is entirely certain where the other has been.

This weekend a friend and I made the journey across town to buy a gift at a Babies-R-Us.  Assuming it’d be easy enough, we hesitated only slightly at the entrance, waltzed in with deep breaths, and looked immediately for the gift registry.  Sadly, it is at this point that I started to crack.  After about five minutes of confusedly attempting to understand the registry printout- I simply launched myself into the nearest aisle in the hopes of finding some warm and fuzzy baby-object.  It is impossible to describe how difficult of a process this was for me.  My instincts say ‘run!’ at the sight of cribs and cradles.  I get goose bumps when I see car seats and high chairs.  I don’t feel like I have to tell you, then, how quickly this little adventure was turning into a terrifying nightmare.  I shudder to think what my (male) friend had running through his noggin at that point, after seeing all those breast pump displays and special baby-related inflatable inner tubes (what for?!).

We both started hyperventilating somewhere amidst the pink and blue bedding which led to a full-on and unified panic attack; we bolted.  Just as we got to the door, however, I remembered how much I love my knocked up friend. Come on, if you can’t make it through one measly baby store, what kind of grit do you actually possess?  So I harnessed my chi, turned around, and bought the first few things I could find right there on aisle 1.  Well, the first few things I could understand.

What on earth is a breast milk bag? –Nope, I do not care to know.

In the end, having started looking for a fuzzy pink blanket with a monkey on it, I ended up getting them a sterilizer, baby bottles, baby bottle cleaning things, and pacifiers.  Really Lindsay? Correct- I got them cold and sterile gifts from my sweet tart sized heart (like the Grinch’s it is three sizes too small).  To make up for it I threw in a stuffed giraffe.

Lessons that I learned from this?  One should consume three vodka sodas before entering a Babies-R-Us, not after.  Also, Xanax might compliment the visit as well.

While my friends’ child is going to be a wonderful little girl and they are going to be amazing parents, I suppose I am just not ready at this juncture in life to conceive of conceiving.  Bless the sweet baby Jesus for condoms and birth control.  The thought of children still makes me cringe and I actually avoid most public places where I might run into the tikes.

That being said, the next day when I attended the baby shower, I quickly realized that not only would my friends be good parents; they are going to be awesome parents.  Jealous!  There was great food, men and women (no all-ladies party sitting around drinking white Russians through baby bottles), and a host of fun conversation.  And while there were kids running around, the Jameson in my blood kept me from freaking out and might have contributed to the moment when I fell in love with a four-year-old named Kyle.  He had on a tie with skull and crossbones, for starters.  Then he made me a table out of Lincoln Logs.  It was color-coded.  Seriously, who could possibly resist that?  I’m still waiting for grown men to do the equivalent of building me a Lincoln Log table.  Alas, he found a new girlfriend when three-year-old Leslie drew him a heart.  That skank.  I can draw a better one.  But it was a good reason to call it a day and go home and pray for my period.

Congrats to J and M!  Y’all are going to have a lovely child.  I am so proud of your success and achievements in life.

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MY TOP FIVE FAVORITE BOOKS (CURRENTLY) IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

13 Apr

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Very few folks who have read this book would disagree with me that it is nothing short of fantastic.  Magical realism at its best, Garcia creates not only a family but the most (il)logical and perfect place possible for them to live, and carryies us breathtakingly through the journey of their existences.  Macondo is founded and inhabited by the Buendia family, and over seven generations Garcia weaves the beautiful tale of their rise and fall, their virtue and immortality.  While the story is told in beautiful prose that is nothing short of art, the real gem (for me) is the use of time as linear movement and a cyclical process.  Time marches on and history keeps repeating.  Did I mention that besides love affairs, miracles, and wars there is a gypsy?  What is a great story without a gypsy or a pirate- really?

Sanctuary by William Faulkner

Be warned- this book is not for the weak of heart.  In Sanctuary, Faulkner takes us to his famous Yoknapatawpha County in this crime novel that portrays the dark side of the human existence.  A master of Southern Gothic and therefore my one of my favorite authors, Faulkner wastes no time in introducing the evil and corruption that surround the chain of events beginning one weekend deep in the Mississippi woods.  Set during prohibition and with things like corrupt politicians, southern decadence, moonshiners, rape, murders, brothels, gangsters and lynching, it’s a ghastly look at the old south and the uglier side of humanity- the first time I saw ‘Deliverance’ I couldn’t help but think back to this book.  Needless to say, it is a must-read.

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

The story of three friends who meet in New York and ‘make it big’ seems like an innocent enough story, and most little girls’ dream, but throw in self destruction, drugs, pills, and suicide and you’ve got a regular sorority story!  Neely, Anne, and Jennifer are three girl friends I visit at least once a year to catch up on old times and remind myself that things really do fall apart.  These glamorous ladies all fall victim in the end to booze, pills, and self-destruction.  It’s an interesting narrative on the unattractive side of the fabulous Hollywood lifestyle, and how the rich and famous deal with being rich and famous.  Susann also gets gritty with the topics of jealousy, insecurity, anger, and obsession- after the first time I read it I was certain life was about disappointment and friends turning on each other.  I still occasionally wonder if that isn’t true.

Bone by Jeff Smith

OK. I know it might not seem similar to the other books on my list, but Bone is an awesome epic tale of love and adventure done in one of my favorite media- comic books.  Three cousins, the Bones, are run out of their hometown and end up in a strange and enchanted foreign land.  Taken under the wing of the lovely and fated Thorn Harvestar, they soon learn all about the local belief system- and how beliefs can change the world.  It is a world of fantasy with dragons, rat creatures, people and alternate realities.  A great combination of Lord of the Rings meets Calvin and Hobbes with cutesy humor in all the right places combined with a dark and ominous tone, it makes for an excellent introduction to the genre for those of you that aren’t usually into comic books.

The Comedians by Graham Greene

Some books I like so much I own multiple copies of them and this is one of those books.  It is set in Haiti during the regime of Papa Doc Duvalier.  Our protagonist, Mr. Brown, is the owner of a tourist hotel, but the tourists have stopped coming.  The country is collapsing and rapidly descending into civil strife.  Resisting the urge to get involved in the local politics and putting most of his efforts into the love affair he is having with a married woman, Brown finds himself tired and fatalistic.  When jealousy meets resignation, Brown decides to finally take action- for all the wrong reasons of course.  What results is a heart-wrenching look at infidelity, conviction, action and inaction.  By the conclusion of the story it is obvious that we are all con artists, merely acting on a stage.  Lovely, isn’t it?

Taco Munching (Oops, *Crunching*) Time!

7 Apr

It wasn’t a ‘monumental’ game by any stretch of the word, but by golly, was it fun!  We lost unashamedly 4 to 2 to the excellent Chupacabra Kickers and their horrible mustaches after a brief dispute over the fifth inning score (we thought they had one less run than they did).  One guy almost started a fight by asking the ref if he had graduated elementary school and if he could count, but he was held back and we all just kind of quit talking to him for a minute.  It is no wonder that we were confused, however, as I know that a large group of team members met at a nearby bar to pregame before heading to the park.

As we are a first year team, our ‘sister team’ came by before the game and brought us beer.  Just after we started playing another member of a different team came by with Hawaiian Punch vodka to ‘welcome us to the league.’  Well done.  By the time I was up to kick I was fighting the urge to vomit on the third baseman.  I managed not to (shame being the biggest motivational factor) and successfully scored the first female’s run for the great Taco Kickers.  I surmise our champion heckler might’ve been under much the same sort of influence when she yelled at one of the opposing players that he looked ‘like a date rapist.’  That might’ve been one of the best things I have heard in a long time.

A definite success, the icing on the cake came (for me) when our unanimously voted MVP declared that he couldn’t make this week’s game to pass off the cherished ‘Taco’ Mardi Gras MVP trophy necklace, and bestowed the responsibility onto me.  I then went to the kickball social at the sponsor bar and kept yelling “TACO DEL NOCHE!” all evening.  I was probably not the most popular Taco that night.

Our second game is tonight, and while I am stoked (the theme is luau!) I just don’t think I have the capacity to get out and shake my tail feather.  We will see.  It turns out that in that nasty spill I took last summer I broke the roots of two of my front teeth.  They became evil, and after the exorcism that the oral surgeon performed on Monday I just don’t know that I should risk balls flying at my mouth.  I will be there in spirit- with spirit- however, to kick some tacos and make sure my Tacos kick some ass.  I can sit on the sidelines in a grass skirt alongside our mascot- yes, a grown man in a taco suit.  A thirteen-year-old girl bullied the taco costume off of him, actually, during the last game, which I still find to be endlessly awesome.  Sometimes the world is just how I always dreamt it would be when I was a little girl.

It is a glorious, if painful, springtime in Albuquerque.

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