Friday, December 26, 2008

Maybe Sky-diving, Instead

Don's gifts this year included a few new CDs, on the theory that, for the first time EVER, one of our vehicles has a CD-player and he should try it out sometime. So I got him the new-ish Metallica and a Johnny Cash best-of collection. Don loves it. The dog, apparently, doesn't. She hates Johnny Cash. Who knew? It is only the second time she has ever displayed an opinion about music, the first being when she tried to howl to Aerosmith; but that had the extenuating circumstances of (1) being in the car, (2) I was singing along, and (3) it was that part of "Dream On" that jumps up an octave or three. (No, I can't hit that note-- can anybody?) If Dream On sounds like howling, maybe Johnny Cash sounds like growling. Who knows what musical criteria lurks in the minds of dogs?

In other gifty news, Don's mother sent a box for Christmas... I got a necklace, a bracelet, and these cool kitchen utensils that have my name on the handle. Don got socks, boxer shorts, and jeans. I think it's official: she likes me better than her own son.

I am leaving at the ass-crack of dawn tomorrow for New Mexico--seriously, I have to get up at FOUR AM., that time shouldn't even exist-- where I will spend a long-awaited week with my family*. My mom and I discussed the fact that I don't want to ski, since I haven't been skiing in about twenty years and I don't think it's the thing to take up at four months pregnant. Somehow she has translated this into, "The whole family can just veg out doing jigsaw puzzles and playing Scrabble!"-- or at least, the two of us. I'm not sure if this is an attempt to keep me comfortable, or if she's using me as the perfect excuse to laze out. I said that I'm totally up for snowshoeing, hiking, whatever, that doesn't involve falling down repeatedly; that my nausea is gone and my energy is back, but I don't know if that sunk in at all.

*My natal family, as opposed to the motley crew of husband, dog, cat and various dust bunnies that I have assembled myself over the past eight years or so.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Baby's First Latkes

Now repeat after me, little passenger: baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu...

Happy Chanukah, ya'll...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cookie Monster

When you use powdered sugar, maple syrup, dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, molasses, white sugar, and turbinado sugar (optional) all in one evening... you KNOW it was a good cookie-baking night.

(Maple walnut bars, molasses spice cookies, and good ol' chocolate chip. For work presents. They seem to be a smash hit.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Money Bad

I don't understand all this interest rate stuff. (For a banker that's probably a bad thing, right?) For one thing, every time some pundit comes on to the tv or radio to discuss What Went Wrong in the economy, he will always begin with "the abundance of cheap credit" in the nineties, which led to X, Y, Z and Hell. So if cheap credit was the first stepping stone on the way to "housing market crisis" and "frozen credit markets", how exactly is cutting the federal interest rate (again) NOW, a good thing? They're talking about making it smaller than it has ever been before, including during those crazy 90's. I don't get it, really*. Secondly, how is it that "rates go down" affects the rate at which I can EARN interest, but seemingly not the rate at which I can borrow? CD rates that were in the 4-5% range over the summer have dropped to 2%... or worse. Savings accounts are a joke. Treasury bonds are even worse. And yet my credit cards are still charging 16% interest. Even if I applied for a new card, the interest wouldn't be any lower than what I would be paying right now. Supposedly mortgage rates will be affected, but they're not going to drop that much, and they've been at "historical lows" for ages now anyway. So I get no benefit as a lender, OR as a borrower. Go figure.

Gift-wrapping PSA: It can be very, very important to use those little to:/from: gift cards as you wrap. For example: in my case, everybody in my family is getting some combination of books and/or sweaters. (Sorry, you guys.) If you're in a situation like that and you wrap too quickly, you'll end up with a pile of square-ish, book-shaped packages, and a similar pile of lumpy, sweater-shaped packages and not know which goes to whom. Luckily I could see where this was going after just one or two presents and broke out the gift tags, but it was a close call. I'm still not entirely sure that my dad and brother's books didn't get swapped.

* Please don't try to explain why it's a good thing now. Just nod your head in agreement with me, please.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oversharing, as usual

I am now, apparently, qualified for a C-cup bra for the first time. This is exciting in a way that only others who have spent their adult lives comfortably resting in B-cups, will understand. 36C... it's the stuff of legend.

Less exciting is that I also appear to wear size 14 pants, all of a sudden. (I don't know what happened to size 12, I guess I bypassed it entirely.) There is balance in all things, or so it seems... but it doesn't seem quite fair that the boob size went up only ONE, while the ass size went up TWO.

Other news: I am the MacGyver of holiday present wrapping, having just wrapped all of my presents for Don using a glue-stick instead of tape (there was no tape). For the record, the glue-stick works wonderfully well on anything that is firm and square, like small appliances in boxes, books, or CDs, but not as well for random lumpy stuff, (for example a sweater wrapped in tissue paper), in which the tape is really needed to kind of hold everything together. Perhaps I don't have my own gift-wrapping closet like Martha, but I think I'm probably better in an emergency wrapping situation, in which one would have to fashion gift wrap out of random household objects. (Yes, being too lazy to go back out and buy tape is an "emergency".) These are the kind of skills I hope to pass on to kids, someday...

My neighbors across the street just put up their plywood nativity scene. It's kind of funny because while the camels seem to be a clear nod to the Middle-Eastern locale of the First Christmas, Mary appears to be a blue-eyed blonde. (They were ever so common among the Hebrew population 2000 years ago, just as they are today. Why, if you walk the streets of Tel-Aviv, you'd think you were in the Netherlands!) Ah well, as the good book says, man does create God in his own image... or something similar to that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Confession Time

I've been keeping secrets from my own blog, is that weird? It probably is, but honestly, I've been called weird for bigger things than that. Here's the scoop: I'm pregnant! I know, I know, I'm always getting pregnant, so what else is new, right? So get this: I am 15 WEEKS pregnant. That's right, in the second trimester, baby! I have BEEN pregnant for a long time now-- the longest ever, for me, by several weeks. This might actually be THE pregnancy that results in a real, live baby rather than the blood, testing, and tortured blog posts of the four previous pregnancies. We have had three ultrasounds, at 6 weeks, 9 weeks, and 12 weeks; that last one was the fancy technical one where we got to see everything... heart and stomach, feet and hands, brain, umbilical cord, all the bits and pieces. They were all there, in the right places. We even have a placenta, which is something that I (secretly) think may have gone wrong before. We've had the nuchal translucency test, the first-trimester blood work, all perfectly normal and chromosomally sound. Obviously we're not out of the woods yet, but things are looking decent. I'm starting to "show". I think I feel movement. I'm hopeful.

I didn't tell my family or my work until just recently, which is why I didn't mention it here, on the theory that you never really know who's reading, right? Also I've been tired for the last few months, go figure. So that's it, I'm officially Out of the (knocked-up) Closet.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Annual Christmas Music Rant

1. What were they doing, out in that isolated meadow, to prompt the parson to ask whether they are married?

2. Since when are "scary ghost stories" a traditional part of Christmas? Scary ghost stories belong to Halloween. Halloween is in October.

3. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" = ... so stay here and we can HAVE (scandalous) SEX to warm up! (Always the family-friendly Holiday Message you want to play!)

4. "Santa, Baby" is disturbing enough when sung by a female vocalist; the dude's version just creeps me out.

5. Although I really do love "The 12 Days of Christmas", the idea of giving people as gifts is also faintly disturbing. Speaking of which, I can't be the only person that always has to insert the Muppet-version, "Ba dum dum DUM" before falling into "four calling birds", can I?