I Do Not Lick Thee, Dr. Fell

Yesterday, once again, I found myself at the periodontist’s with a gas mask over my face. As you may recall, I don’t particularly enjoy laughing gas, as I am a control-oriented sort, but the alternative is usually less appealing in these instances.

I took a few deep breaths, and began to hear the telltale electric beat deep in my ears. The periodontist leaned in with his gloved hands, and they seemed absurdly big. I thought, “This is the only non-sexual scenario in which a man has ever had his fingers in my mouth.”

I laughed. Then I blushed. Then I became hyper aware of my tongue, and spent the next hour wracked with concern about accidentally doing something untoward. In conclusion, laughing gas is wasted on me.

Baby Shower ABC Book: How To

I mentioned yesterday that I made this blank, DIY ABC book for my friend Alli’s shower.

Bryan and my friend Jaime really helped — I’d intended to use a store-bought journal, but couldn’t find anything that would work. If you’d like to make one too, here’s how we did it.

We took some white cardstock sheets, 8.5 x 11, and folded them in half to make all the pages. Then we stacked those sheets with the folded edges along what would become the spine of the book.

We used a red file folder as the book cover — it had multiple creases along the fold, so you could expand how many papers it would hold in the file. We folded to the widest creases, and the “bottom” of the file became the book’s spine. Once a ruler is involved, my temples start to throb from all the pressure, so my friend Jaime measured how big the cover needed to be, then marked it off with a ruler and trimmed to order.

Bryan printed up the letters, also on white cardstock. Jaime and I cut out little templates of squares that would fit over the letters, traced a square around each letter, cut them out, and glued them in the page corners. You could easily just write the letters in by hand if you liked too, but I wanted a more polished look.

The binding was the tricky part. We tried hot gluing the pages in, but they weren’t stable enough, so Bryan took an electric drill and drilled holes in the cover, which I then threaded with ribbon. I wish we’d had some little grommets to finish the holes, but it looked pretty good, notwithstanding.

At the shower, while Alli opened the gifts, everyone took turns drawing pictures and writing messages to the new mom and baby.

I like party activities that let you interact without having to make a pregnant woman cry by guessing at the exact girth of her enormous belly. This one is a champ.

Robbed, I Tell You

So. What can I say about being burglarized that’s constructive?

Well, first off, none of us were hurt. The thief broke in in the middle of the day, and we all (oddly) happened to be gone. So the burglar got our stuff, but the baby is safe. It makes me feel better just to type that, actually. Isn’t it nicer when you don’t have to attack a guy climbing in your apartment window while the baby looks on? I think so.

Fortunately, our sentimental things are mostly not expensive things, but this whole robbery gig is starting to feel personal. As you may remember, in December, someone stole my purse while we were in Argentina. The car’s been broken into a couple of times in the last year (always in different neighborhoods), and Bryan had his bike stolen from a coffee shop near his office a couple months ago. Whee!

However, having a baddie inside the house is a whole new level of yuck. Seeing all our drawers dumped out on the bed, waiting for the police to come take fingerprints, noticing one thing is gone, and then another, all day long. It’s gross. It makes me want to give the whole apartment a shower.

Anyway, we’re fine, but shaken. For the next few days I’m going to try not to cry when someone cuts me off in traffic or is curt to me as I’m ordering coffee, and then we’ll see how it goes.

Thanks to everyone who Twittered their concern. You guys keep proving how nice you are, and that is why I like you.

Haus Warming

Today is a very good day. Today, my friends, we are a launching a new Mighty!

Cut to me assuming various pseudo martial arts postures, and then flexing my spellbinding muscles.

Welcome to Mighty Haus:

Many, many dozens of you took our polls, and it turns out the thing you wanted most was a house site. And so, Mighty Haus is our shopping site for nesters. We’re focused on designs that solve problems for you, and mundane objects made beautiful.

Also, the new site has a couple of new features available on Mighty Goods and Mighty Junior as well. First, you can now sort objects by price! You’ll find the much-requested View by Price link under the “Looking for a Gift?” header in the left column. Second, we’ve added Kirtsy this buttons to our posts and articles, for ease of Kirtsy-ing.

Anyway, how are you still reading? Go look! Go look! We’ll wait here.

Julis Rothman and Caitlin Keegan at Rare Device


My fun thing for yesterday was stopping by the Julia Rothman/Caitlin Keegan opening at Rare Device. There were so many women there who I’ve admired at a distance online but had never met in person, and every one of them was exactly as charming as I’d imagined them to be. Strange, no? You’d expect at least one of them to surprisingly catty, or awkwardly silent, or falling over drunk — something. But no! They were just fun, and well scrubbed, and generally happy with life. It was nice.

Among the pleasant run ins was Elizabeth from Browner Brown and Apartment Therapy San Francisco, Natalie who makes beautiful things for her shop Miss Natalie, and Evany who always makes everything better than it was before she got there.

I was especially thrilled to see Grace of DesignSponge, who was out from Brooklyn for the show. I’ve been wanting to meet her for years, and it turns out she’s aptly named. I refrained from grabbing her by the shoulders and cheering, because I’m so excited about everything she’s done in building her business. I held back mostly because I was wearing shoes that made me four feet taller than her, and I thought yelping in her face might be a little much on first meeting. Perhaps next time.

I also ran into Shoshana, the founding editor of ReadyMade Magazine, whom I’d never met — despite working on the ReadyMade blog, exchanging emails about cool old houses for sale, and having lots of friends in common. We started talking because I was making faces at her baby, and it took us a few minutes to figure out that we already knew each other.

All that, and I was in bed by 10:30. What a great night.

On Chafing

The time has come to buy new underwear. However, since having that cute baby and then losing the pregnancy weight, something has gone awry. All currently fashionable underwear is now made to go up my butt.

Bikini undies? Sure! If you like them up your butt. Tap pants? Sounds good, assuming you enjoy that extra material nestled up your butt. Boy shorts? Why waste effort walking around for 10 minutes? Just wedge them up your butt immediately so you can tug uncomfortably at your jeans for the next eight hours.

Listen, I’m already wearing shoes that make my feet bleed. The underwire on my bra is probably jabbing my ribs. You don’t want me any more irritated. It’s taking all my willpower not to cut someone. Introduce up-the-butt pants to this precarious scenario, and I can’t be held responsible. I also probably won’t be able to operate a motor vehicle.

Do you hear me, Universe? Take me to your comfortable yet stylish underwear! You drive.

Growing Pains

A few friends and I have been reading a book on wellness that suggests eight ways to improve your life. It says you should choose a few and run with them, so I decided on:

Me thinking about light flowing into my head, and then thinking how nice it would be to nap.

Me thinking about how well things are going, then wondering when disaster will strike.

Conscious eating:
Me conquering food allergies by doing a restricted diet for 21 days, then remembering that I have hives because I really like to eat the stuff I’m not supposed to have.

Doing Fun Activities:
Me doing things that make me happy.

For the record, doing fun things is better than denying yourself caffeine. Should you choose to follow this path, I’d recommend starting with the fun stuff and worrying about your gluten intake later.

I’ve decided to do one fun thing a day, and it turns out that fun stuff is awesome. Yesterday I went down to City Hall to celebrate gay and lesbian couples getting married. There was a huge crowd, and lots of happy tears, and much merriment. Added bonus: no one yelled ugly things at the newlyweds.

So you see, we’re all evolving as a team.


The People in Your Neighborhood

Right before I got pregnant, we decided we wanted to own a home. We tentatively put bids on a couple of San Francisco fixer uppers. The first one was a unit in an empty six-unit building, and we offered asking price.

We waited anxiously while the owner ignored us for a week, and then he countered $30,000 above asking. We asked our agent, “Were there other offers?” He said no. We asked our agent, “Where does this guy live?” And then we drove over and punched him in the teeth.

Next, we fell hard for the top floor of a Victorian with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, window seats, and wish-granting fairies who lived in the dumbwaiter. It was a tenancy in common, which means you share a mortgage with total strangers. I kid you not. In many cases, you may not even meet the people with whom you will share the house and a mortgage before you put in a bid.

If your bid is approved, you take out life insurance on each other in case something happens to one of you. Later, they hire someone to kill you so they can afford to own the whole building. Anyway, we wrote a heartfelt letter about raising our children there, bid a ludicrous amount over asking, and came in seventh out of thirteen bidders. I still feel bewildered.

It was around this time that we happened across a perfect little cabin in the wine country, and decided we could afford the modest mortgage and still pay rent on our apartment in the city. We bought a vacaaaation home. I say this with a long cigarette holder perched between my fingers as I bathe in organic cream.

The nearby town used to be a resort destination in the 1920s and ’30s, and in some ways, it still has that feel — like a big summer camp for grown ups, except most people living there are locals now. And the locals, they make life a lot more fun.

Once, on a morning walk with Hank, we noticed one of our neighbors had stuck a decaying boar’s head on a post in the driveway, Lord of the Flies style. Presumably to warn the other boars? Perhaps so they can dance around it at night chanting? I’ve been meaning to ask. Maybe I’ll take some muffins over.

Recently, we saw these excellent flyers posted everywhere:

In case you can’t make that out, it goes a little something like this:

For information
Leading to the
Beatdown of
whoever tryed to
steal my G.M.C. Truck
in between 11:00 PM 5-9
And 7:30 AM 5-10-08
Call (number painstakingly obscured in Photoshop)
I will find you!

Of course, this happened last month, not seven days from now, but shut up. You knew what he meant.

I’ve decided Information Leading to a Beatdown is the highest classification of information. The essence of news you can use: News you can use to assault someone.

In short, we finally found a place to call home. And if you touch our car, you know what to expect.