couch papi

i'm just like k-fed. for serious. except without the golf hats and the party-hopping. instead, i've been kicking it at the dmv this week. (q: why did i link to something as sucky as a dmv website? a: that's just how me and k-fed roll.) now i have new tags, insurance and a new license. this one has an airplane on it. it was way easier than in nyc, so nc rawks. maybe because there's no "y."

i'm also collecting new part-time jobs at a smartish pace. the bad news is that my newest job is working for a company that has over 1400 stores in america. plus coffee. plus a dumb hat. you get the pitcher. i have to say, however, that the store managers etc have an interesting rhetorical stance toward the job. they do this thing where they treat unappealing (work-related) things with language appropriate to fun and slightly forbidden things--things that people might do when they were really going to "cut loose." for example, a store mgr may say, "if you feel like taking samples of a scone to customers MORE than once a shift, don't worry about it! it's fine, IF YOU WANT TO DO THAT." or, for example, "yeah, if you want to spend your ten minute break at the manager's computer looking at training videos, that's okay. don't be shy! live it up!"

in much better news, baby boy is big and all his numbers are good. last monday he was estimated at about 6lbs 4oz. liz says that he has been scooting and rolling and tumbling nonstop. Even though we are sure he is very handsome, he is unfortunately very camera shy and has not really let the ultrasound techs get a nice glamor shot of him. I'd post the kind of fuzzy pictures but i'm sitting on a hosp sofa...

and preparing to blab at students about paulo freire's "the banking concept of education," praxis, and brazil, brazil, brazil.

Just like Britney!!!

Britney Spears and I were hospitalized (get this): on the same night! Coincidence? Umm, I guess so. Unlike her, I was not hauled off to the glee of hundreds of paparazzi after having a spat (delivered in an odd and newly-hatched British accent) with my boyfriend. However, being in said hospital has enabled me to watch TV for the first time in who knows how long, and the press, of course, is all over this Britney story. Only didn't this same thing happen, like two weeks ago?

Oh, right: for the ever-so-minute percentage of Americans who care more about me than a pop tart-cum-(former) Federline lover-cum-bewigged lighter thieving menace to society, I was just admitted for a couple days of observation on account of low amniotic fluid levels. Also, the little bugger has apparently picked the middle of the 36th week (mere days before he's considered full term) to flip himself into a transverse (side-lying) position, which does not bode well for delivery.

Thus far the upshot of my hospitalization is that, besides aforementioned TV viewing, I have gotten to nap, make some leeway on the latest Joyce Carol Oates, and learn how to pee whilst decked in various sensors, elastic bands, cords, and other medical monitoring paraphernalia. I have also had unlimited access to tiny cans of soda and chocolate pudding. Muhahahaha! I'm trying not to let the power go to my head. Seriously, though, the hospital is pretty alright, not that I want to make a habit out of spending too much time here. I have my own room and Mercer can spend the night and the nurses are way nice.

Well, I gots another ultrasound tomorrow to check on the fluids, and if they're up the midwife or ob may try an external cephalic version (manually flipping the baby externally).


Props ain't theatrical

Yes, although I don't have the fancy pictures on my post, I also wanted to say how awesome all of you were...organizers, bbq eaters, well-wishers, even pirates and knife-wielders. The shower was the best ever, and it was great to catch up with old friends, and pick up where we all left off.

I(we) also want to say thank you to everyone for all the awesome baby things. Today a number of packages came in the mail and it was like a prenatal Christmas miracle! And, yes, we've been putting baby diapers on kittens!

Since we got back, life has returned to busytimes. I just started at the Guilford tutoring center today, and met some of the faculty. Guilford has lots of poets working there (not necessarily teaching poetry) and I chatted with some new folks. I think I'm even going to read on campus.

Voting is still open on names for baby Buftwick. The front runners from bbq were Henry, Julian, and Sebastian. (Liz says we'll put up a poll--so I want BOTH of you to vote. If 'Hawesometron' wins, we'll know someone double voted, so don't even try it.)


the greatest love of all (aka mad props)

So we only got pix of some people, not all, and I can barely begin to scratch the surface of all merited props, but here goes.

Props to Andi, Carrie, Gromies, Alyssa, and whomever else contributed to planning Ye Olde BBQ Baby Shower.

Props to Alyssa for giving up her bed for two nights and to Gromies for allowing two friends to spoon her for the entirety of Friday night (the other bedfellows were Andi and me, not Mercer and me. That would've just been weird.

Props to Nick & Ann for travelling from Seattle, Canada Sam for traveling from, er, Canada, Tokesha for traveling from Baltimore, Andi & Greg for traveling from Philly, and everyone else for venturing out in the facenumbing frigid frigid cold. Ooooh, and Nick (Bockers) came from Spain!

Check out these two adorable turtlenecked ladies!

And what was in those BBQ buckets, Colin? Was it yams or was it...poetry?

As evidenced by these examples, cute couples abounded:
Colin & Anna; Sam & Kerri; Brian & Tim; Nick & Ann; Andi & Greg; Ethan & Eve . . .

Ethan and Kent talked business

Carrie and I shared an intimate moment

as Murda sipped her whiskey.

Amber, Kent, and Brooke posed and then got candid,

which made Sam have an aneurysm.

This pic reminds me that 1) I didn't get to talk to Abs enough and 2) that I miss Abs. It also reminds me that those two turtlenecked ladies are still adorable.

NWP part deux!

V for victory (insert meat joke here).

Sunday wrought perhaps the best brunch ever. The menu included pictured sausages (all the sweeter, according to Nick, Ann, and Jane, for having been purchased by a truly bitter Polish meatseller), blueberry pirogies, eggs, and all manner of amazing carbs. Oh bagels and doughnuts and pastries!

Doesn't Jane look cute in her little hat? Jane's a cutie no matter what. Huzzah for Jane. Strawberry hat courtesy of Nick & Ann (babies are at their best when de-anthropomorphized into furry animals or fruits, preferably berries).

Gromies Maxwell, MD savored her bearmugged coffee and tried to pretend she wasn't having her photo taken . . .

while this was what Nick & Ann came up with when instructed to act like they love each other. These two traveled 2851 miles, Seattle to NYC. I still can't get over it! They truly are the best.


So this weekend, as our dear three blog readers know, we went to NYC. Whoooooo! I am still getting the hang of this whole adding and scooting pictures around in blogger situation, which is to say that I don't really get how to format 'em or move 'em around. Where was I? Oh yes: New York. Whoooo!
Smiley Saturday sushi

Sultry Saturday sushi

Swashbuckling Saturday sushi (postprandial knife play)

Not Saturday sushi at all (Saturday whiskey)

Speaking of baby names . . .

or maybe--most likely--you weren't. In any case, I just came across this list of the top 20 celeb baby names. Are celebrities more inclined than the general population to pick wiggy names? I reckon it represents distance from reality. Plus they're the uber-rich, and if you believe in the laws of Freakonomics names selected by the poshies trickle down to the plebes.

20. Kal El, son of Nicolas Cage
19. Pilot Inspektor, son of Jason Lee
18. Fifi Trixibelle, daughter of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates
17. Apple, daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
16. Coco, daughter of Courteney Cox and David Arquette
15. Kyd, son of David Duchovny and Tea Leoni
14. Sage Moonblood, son of Sylvester Stallone
13. Destry, daughter of Steven Spielberg
12. Maddox, son of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
11. Memphis Eve, daughter of U2’s Bono
10. Ocean, son of Forest Whitaker
9. Prince Michael II (aka Blanket), son of Michael Jackson
8. Rocket Rodriguez, son of Robert Rodriguez
7. Blue Angel, daughter of U2’s The Edge
6. Audio Science, son of actress Shannyn Sossamon
5. Moon Unit, daughter of Frank Zappa
4. Diva Thin Muffin, daughter of Frank Zappa
3. Moxie Crimefighter, daughter of Penn Jillette
2. Tu Morrow, son of actor Rob Morrow
1. Jermajesty, son of Jermaine Jackson


shimmers & sheriffs (the new role playing craze?)

So this blog might continue to meander a little in scope and content til babytime, not that it will then all of a sudden decide to stick to straight baby content, 100% babies, all the time, but it may at least have a somewhat more concrete focus. Like pictures. Of babies.

So I just used the word googleable in an email to Ann, in reference to this very blog, in fact. First a noun, then a verb, now an adjective? Can if be made into an adverb?

So the much-anticipated snow came and went, replaced by sog on the ground and icy shimmmers in the trees. No one was on the roads this am, so the commute was way easier, and I swear I saw some tumbleweeds drift by my cube today. The office was so very empty. I spent the day writing scintillating exposes about the caloric perils of dining out. Harharhar.

I also had another prenatal appointment today. Apparently my fundus is right on target (I never thought I could be so proud of something that sounds like an Afghan groundroot used to treating plantar warts). I also feel like the spawn of a mac truck and a hippo. However, I rather enjoy having a commanding girth. I should run for sheriff, and soon (Back story: my dad always selects his pick for Farmville sheriff by voting for the candidate with the largest girth. So far I believe he's batting .1000.).

NYC tomorry!


how 'bout that weather?

Greensboro is abuzz tonight with anticipation for the weather event of the season! I quote, from the official local severe weather alert: CONFIDENCE CONTINUES TO INCREASE THAT THERE WILL BE A LIGHT ACCUMULATION UP TO ONE INCH OF SNOW AND SLEET LATE TONIGHT AND EARLY THURSDAY . . . THIS IS THE FIRST NOTABLE WINTER WEATHER EVENT THIS SEASON. IT HAS BEEN A FEW YEARS SINCE MANY RESIDENTS HAVE TRAVELED IN WINTRY WEATHER. I am pretty excited to live in a climate where an inch of accumulation constitutes a weather situation so dire that workplaces (like mine) feel compelled to send out bulletins detailing these weather alerts every two hours.

Okay, enough polite weather chitchat: I am soooooo excited to see everyone in NYC this weekend.


I just finished a (hopefully) final revision of a writing sample that I am using for grad school apps. I've been at it since I posted that Voltron thing. The paper's like...dag, yo...it's long. Andrew Marvell, a member of Parliament, aficionado of gardens, satirist and poet who, unfortunately, looked like this: [that]

Shout outs to the delegations from VA and CND who helped with the paper. I for one, may never be able to type the words "Marvell" or "pastoral" again without aching in my fingers.

Also, shout outs to J Flynn and Fred, MD!!
Also, shout outs to the syllabus I should be writing!!!

monkey vs robot vs anime

So this isn't about babies, but it's amazing, esp for those of us who grew up with Voltron and other human-controlling-exoskeleton themed programming.

Link here



The more you learn about babies and health, which must be part of the brilliant reasoning behind giving you 9 months to figure it out, the more freaked out you are forced to get by scientific studies about plastic .

Not surprisingly, the article reports that "two major formula makers - Nestle Canada and Mead Johnson Nutritionals - dismissed the concerns."

And if you don't believe the Canadians...try CNN

We at PillowFortKittens can no longer touch anything the includes phthalates (like many shower curtains) or drink out of plastic bottles more than once. And now it's formula bottles! Babies may not touch ANYTHING until they are three years old! Another reason to breastfeed! Outrageous!


This one goes out to Matthew . . .

So anyone who knows us (and that's 100% of our readership of 2) knows that we reside with several kittens. Two, to be exact. Cats, to be exact. But they're both one the small side, so they still get referred to as the kittens. Anyhow, they're always up to hijinx of one sort or another (eating things they're not supposed to, pooping where they're not supposed to, that sort of thing). Audie (atop box, in pic to the right) has always been borderline bulimic, but as of late she has been enjoying a wee postprandial puke somewhat more often than before. And the kittens' newest trick is to devour the barf. Audie usually spews on the carpet or the food dish-- wherever she happens to be at the time--and then Lemmy (inside box, in pic to the right) comes 'round the corner and licks it up, much like the oft-tacked on last verse in that fine playground ode beginning "I don't shut up/I grow up." I'm sure you can fill in the rest. So anyhow, yes: barf, Lemmy eats half, Audie eats half. Seeing this routine played out the other day came as somewhat of a relief, 'cause before Mercer moved down here I was running out the door to work and caught Audie puking just as I left. I didn't have time to clean it, but then when I returned the barf was gone. I freaked myself out thinking that our home had been the victim of a heinous crime of a barf-cleaning kind, but then I realized the cats had just gobbled it down. Phew.

So I guess Merc just about covered the remainder of our weekend. Birth classes, a couple movies, a costly expedition to Earth Fare, some dawdling and scraping barf out of the rug with the designated vomit knife, and now it's almost time to return to cubeworld, aka work. The birth classes really were pretty fun, and I really like the studio. The prenatal teacher is so great. Now if only I could give birth there . . . I'm sure I could apply all the relaxation techniques better. I am not someone who is reassured by the presence of technology, so hospital settings make me kind of tense.

Yoga studio prenatals

We just got back from the second and last day of our weekend labor and delivery crash course seminar at Family Yoga, where Liz has been taking prenatal classes a couple times a week. It was pretty awesome. I had to wear pajama pants and no shoes or socks, but I got over it. We did some easy yoga as partners, which I thought was really cool, and then we covered things like infant massage (quite useful), breathing and pushing, and what to take to the hospital.

I'm teaching a class at Guilford College this semester, so I'm trying to finish my syllabus and what-not before Tuesday. I'm pretty excited about it--they encourage lots of interesting material in the classroom, so I'm going to use texts by Paulo Freire, V.S. Naipaul and James Baldwin. I think I may even use some poems.

Liz and I will be in New York next weekend for a baby-shower/reception/ party/thing and we're psyched to see everyone. However, we are glad to be in a state where it never gets that cold. We'll be the ones in knit baby caps.


Hmmm, blogs are kinda like diaries, right, only more narcissistic on account of you think other people care? Only sometimes you can have a blog under another pretense, like a topical blog on a Serious Topic. Like babies!

So anyhow, Sam and Gromies, our two readers, here is what I did today:

I went to work. Work's for jerks. I'm not going to write anything about work on this blog though. That would be highly unprofessional. Then I went to yoga. Boy howdy do I love yoga! When I got back there were these amazing muffins awaiting me. They were cornbready, with just the right crumbliness and sweetness and corniness. After I downed a few, Mercer told me his secret: he used heavy whipping cream as a substitute for nonfat buttermilk. We did the math and that plus the 5 tablespoons of butter added up to 135 grams of fat. Best. Muffins. Ever.

Last Sunday we went a'walkin' (See photos above. Obviously I have much to learn about the fine art of adding photos to blog posts in appropriate locations.). Greensboro has some great opportunities for footed recreation in the form of Greenways and paths and such. All these paths, they seem used but not too used. And they're frequented by friendly folks. That sounds like some sort of travel destination slogan. Anyhow, maybe I'll go to bed soon. I have been craving coffee a lot lately, but I guess there's no point to starting up now that I have made it this far without caffeine. Plus I think the craving is more mental than physical.


peanut butter, the granite state, & bundlesacks

dang, i just dropped a jar of peanut butter on the floor. it shattered and left a glassy, nutty mess. happily, that's only the second thing i have broken during pregnancy, the first being a jar of salad dressing in a philly whole foods whilst visiting dre. i have heard being preggo makes you a clumsor--something about loosened joints?--but i guess my breaking-things record remains about the same as when i was drinking, i just remember it more now.

so anyhow, peanut butter: i have read a lot of alarmist stuff about how eating peanuts whilst expecting can give your baby peanut allergies. i eat a ton of the stuff. while she was still working at that nonprofit events planning place, gromies attended a food allergies ball. the gift pack included soy nut butter which sat in our cupboard til it got buggy. that and an epi pen. j/k.

anyhow, peanut allergies? skyrocketing autism rates? plastic-induced endocrine disruptions? what happened to good ole fashioned consumption and cholera? j/k again.

in other news, what about that new hampshire, ehhh? at least hickabee didn't seem to have done too well. i sat next to a 17 year old on a recent flight. he opened a conversation by dissing jeb bush, so i was thinking the kids are alright, but then he started professing his support for huckabee. ugh. despite my obama bumper sticker, i'm pleased that clinton doesn't seem to be down for the count just yet. i'm not ready to see her go. good thing north carolina has no say in the whole matter, what with their primary being in may and all. guess i'll ride this one out spectator-style and then put in my completely worthless two cents four months from now.

what else? my sweet cousin sent us a big box o baby stuff today. one of my favorite pasttimes is sorting tiny objects, so i'm excited to organize all these clothes. the little bundlesuits with the mitts that flip over the hands really get me, as do the hats. i need to work on my terminology if i'm gonna fit into this new demographic. bundlesuits? i dunno . . .


well, i guess i ought to participate and not allow mercahashi full reign of this operation.

plus no one told me about this impending childREN thing.

oh, just a sec, i'm too hungry to do this thing right now.

olds watching superbad

i just got back from a day of orientation at durham tech community college, where i'm teaching comp this semester and was goofing off on youtube when i found this movie review

i have another orientation on thurs at guildford college, where i'm also teaching. so the rest of the week is syllabus crazytime for me. i've been threatening to read midnight's children, but i'm moving at a pace of about 5 pgs per sitting. so i may never finish it, at all. sucky.

also, here's a list of books t.s. eliot's mom packed to send to him. there must have been some fantasy novels she left off for the sake of posterity, no? gotta make the kid look good.

Robert Browning (6 vol)
Christopher Marlowe (1 vol)
Ben Jonson (3 vol)
Chaucer (6 vol)
Shakespeare (38 vol)
Meredith’s Poems (2 vol)
Austin Dobson
Poe’s Poems
Coleridge (large)
Robert Browning
Petronii Saturae
’s Philosophy
Blakewell’s Ancient Philosophy
Plato, Horatius Comina
Anthologia Lyrica Apuleius
Porpertius, Ditto translated
English Literature, Schofield
De Herodia
Reynolds on Art
Monologs, Browning
Essay on Comedy
Reading Gaol, Wilde
Hoooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity

Tennyson 1830-1863
Scott’s Poems
’s Poems
Walter Pater (3 vol)

Theocritus, Bion, and Maschus
Goethe’s Conversations (2 vol)
Petronius, Aeschylus Tragedies
Biografia Literaria, Coleridge
Aristophanes, The Birds
Tolstoy on Shakespeare
Pre-Shakespearean Drama, Manley
Art of Musician, Hanchett
Wood Engraving
Nature and Man, Shaler
Springarn’s Renaissance
Drawing (Ruskin)
Sartor Resartus
Religio Medici
Chapman’s Birds
Archer Alexander
Essays on Addison
Benvenuto Cellini
Ebb Tide

Macaulay’s Essays


return of the rentals

My parents just got back on the road and are headed home to MD. They arrived Friday night, and gave Liz and me an excuse to see some of Greensboro. We found a great used bookstore with stacks of cheap paperbacks and a semi-organized cataloging system, which I consider optimal in a used book store. We also tried some recommended local barbecue and talked basketball with our 6-year-old neighbor John, who just played in his first game.

On Saturday we went on a baby-buying bonanza at a place called Babies R Us and now our nursery is beginning to come together. We have an undersea-themed blanket, fishy-mobile and bumper set for the baby's crib. We also hung a couple pictures.

Poetry related invective:
My folks brought me some mail that had trickled in since I moved down to Greensboro. I received a "response" from either the Potomac Review or Poet Lore, but I can't tell because they couldn't be bothered to include a rejection slip in my neatly addressed SASE. They simply sent my poems without comment. These mags are both in MD, and being a Marylander, I can't help but feel slighted.


What a nimrod

Over the holidays Liz and I went to S. Georgia, where her extended family gathers every Christmas. Her dad is something of a hunter and I went out on horseback and in a wagon a couple times. I had shot skeet before, but never hunted anything real. I got one of these on my first hunt

I also went on a dove hunt, which was not as much fun as the quail hunt. On a quail hunt you get to ride in a wagon, watch the dogs point and creep up on the quail until they bust out of the brush. In a dove hunt, you basically wait in a field that doves like and then try to shoot them out of the sky when they come in to perch on a wire. (Liz says: Mercer shot two innocent blackbirds thinking they were doves. And then he didn't even deign to eat them.)

After I got my first quail, Liz's mom said something like, "Well, you're quite a Nimrod." At first I didn't know what to say. Later it was explained to me that Nimrod was a Biblical hunter. I googled it, etc., and other people have had this conversation. The theory that the word lost its Biblical meaning and gained its "you're a moron" meaning when Bugs Bunny evaded and taunted the inept E. Fudd is pretty pleasing to a writer, and probably, a host of lit critics.

We went to the midwife today. Liz and the boy are doing swimmingly, and we're really happy about the practice. Our midwife is wonderful and we all seem to be on the same page in re philosophy on childbirth, i.e., birth balls, walking around, showers a-ok etc. Then Liz received a promo gift for some reason, a book of "baby names and what they mean." How many of these can there be? A million.