Liz has suggested that we create a chart matching names to days and then we can name baby boy based on the day he is born. We have too many combos. In addition to the names currently polling, we have new faves and suggestions: Rand, Alban, and Thurston. We also like Jarvis. This thing is spiraling out of control.

I let the news slip to my class earlier this week and they were very excited for about fifteen minutes. A student asked me where I was going for Spring Break.

Me: Nowhere. Actually, we'll be having a baby within the next week.
Student: I didn't know you had a wife.
Me: Well, technically I don't.
Student: Oh, are you adopting?
Me: (muffled harharhar)

Several other students thought that was pretty funny. Today, it was as if they never knew (and likely for the best).



Well, it took almost 500 pgs, but a dragon finally appeared in the pages I've been poring over. I breathed a deep sigh of relief.

Today is baby boy Buftwick's "due date," but the little scoot is obviously going to be a bit late. Contractions have been haphazard and without pattern, so we're being patient and preparing for another biophysical at the midwife tomorrow.

Our collection of clearly unnecessary but unbearably cute baby boots and shoes is growing. I remember my parents had a pair of baby shoes bronzed for both my brother and I and they sat on a shelf in the house for years.

Liz and I have begun tentatively unraveling the puzzles of San Mystere, (thanks to Ann) but I fear that those mysteries will become incomprehensible in a week or two, so I am personally looking forward to picking pears and planting flowers outside the shop in Animal Crossing. And, of course, accessorizing myself with cosmic tulips.



I have a new toy! Yesterday I schlumped in the door in my typical postwork stupor and prepared to lay on the couch for a few minutes before taking my evening constitutional. But these plans were thwarted by the arrival of a present (!!!) from Ann (!!!). Said present contained the pictured items (a DS lite and several of Ann's games). So instead of taking said evening constitutional and/or cooking dinner and/or planning for Saturday morning class, Mercer and I spent the evening arguing about whose turn it was 'til the battery went dead .

This is a terribly exciting development in my life, especially since the last game system I owned was a Game Boy, circa middle school.

Thanks Ann! You rock!


male duck

I just finished up a project at work today and am feeling rather like a lame duck (I almost typed "male duck." That would make me a drake.). The docs recommended that I leave work this week, but I don't wanna use up my (very, very limited) time off before the baby's born. I wish I lived in Europe. All them nationz is losing population like mad, yo. Don't you get, like, free pickles, appliances, livestock, and diapers if you procreate in Russia these days?

I just bought these kicks in a fit of optimism that I will ever be able to move at a pace faster than a Cro Magnon hunched shuffle. They match the babyrug. Audie already ate some of the laces. She won't touch catnip, treats, or any food other than her specific type of her specific brand of cat food, but she ingests shoelaces, hair ties, and alpaca blankets like nobody's business.

The baby's room, aka the nursery, is just about done, see? I would've liked to have painted, but it didn't happen, mostly on account of fumes and all. Now all that's missing is the baby. Like he'll ever sleep in here anyways . . .

Also missing: the babydaddy. He was groggy but present this morning--otherwise, I haven't really seen him in the past few days.

Grrrr, tigers like Cream Eggs! I am going to go cuddle with these catbrains, who are currently nestled in the baby's crib (which probably isn't the best precedent). I have to post cat pictures every now and again or else Matthew will lose interest in this blarg.



i try to read too. but liz is way beating me. i'm still about 100-?? pages into Midnight's Children (where I've been for a while now). i spent today proofreading a fantasy saga (thanks to janers!) and tried to avoid using the computer. i feel like i'm on the computer all the time. i made it until about 8, b/c i had very important business.

i've also attended a couple of shifts at the place with no name. one of my 'partners' writes suspense fiction and described a haunted house that drives a woman crazy to another of my 'partners.' of course, since i kind of keep to myself there, i have to eavesdrop to have a conversation. it's sweet.

liz and i ran into our neighbors in the evening on v-day last week and they were all like "this is your last holiday alone" and we were all like "eep!" so then we tried to get take out japanese food, but we had to wait for about 1.75 hrs. to get the food, thanks to all the black&red clothed lovers surrounding us. but they were nice about it and gave us free cheesecake and appetizers. desgraciadamente, i was already in a bad mood by then, so the holiday was ruined. the only highlight was a discovery I made in a local harris teeter grocery store, a product that is sure to live a long long life. chug-a-lug y'all.

eats n reads

I have been trying to plow through the pages of a number of books as of late, lest the denizens of Greensboro decide that they, too, would like to enjoy some of these books and decide to put a recall notice on my ass! Luckily, I was able to finish several (depicted here). God is JCO ever prolific. She must write 80 pages a day. The Gravedigger's Daughter is more of the same from JCO--gothic themes, complete with a full-page back cover featuring the author resplendent in crushed velvet and a dour expression. That's not to say that I wasn't engrossed in the story. In fact, I downright disagree with the Amazon reviewer who recommended that this 600+ page book be used for kindling.

Another book, another odd spate of Amazon reviews. Some folks got angrily political (one one-starred the book and went off on a diatribe about how it's all about China hatred), and some recommended that Ha Jin steer clear of writing in English. I like his somewhat spare yet uber-detailed style. Each chapter felt a little isolated from the remainder of the narrative from whence it sprung. I may have to revisit some of Ha Jin's older stuff.

I'm a couple pages away from being done with this. It's a quick read--I just started it yesterday, and I always, always like ethnographies. This one perhaps could've taken one more spin through the proofreader's net, but thematically it's pretty interesting. Incidentally, I think Amazon has spurred a new ilk of book reports: the .com review. The only review Amazon had for this tome began, "Being homeless is a problem and among the homeless are gay kids of which 25% have dropped out of school because of harassment." Well, yes. Homelessness is indeed a problem.

This weekend Brigid and Carin came down from Raleigh and Durham, respectively, so that ruled. We went to this new restaurant which Mercer and I agreed definitely ranks in our top several Mexican/Central American food experiences ever. I got fried plantains, fried cassava, fried yucca (sensing a trend here?), Horchata, empanada de leche, and several different varieties of pupusa. Aside from the fact that I obviously way overordered, it was all amazing. If anyone hits the Greensboro area, El Carbonero, yo. Brigid also concocted a labor-inducing exercise routine. It induced a nap more than it induced labor, and I feel rather like a sumo wrestler whenever I try anything remotely active these days, but I'll try it again!

The baby scoop is as follows: my alien fluids are abysmally low, so the obs are kind of recommending induction, but Mercer and I decided to try and wait it out and see, 'cause I don't want no Pitocin. In the meantime, I have been researching and trying all the redonkulous induction techniques out these, short of Castor oil, 'cause, as my friend Michelle says, old wives get a bad rap, but they often know what they're talking about.


spooky homecoming

well, i did have quite a time in tennessee. i learned that the "vols" are not small rodents but helpful unpaid persons who wear lots and lots of orange. i got to see tom and uncle e, talk poesy, and ramble on further than was warranted. knoxville had some excellent barbecue, but looked a lot like atlanta since i basically spent the weekend in a hotel.

i got back and did the you-know-what. then i got up today and had some productive tutoring sessions. but then...liz and i went upstairs to look for the birth ball. instead, we found this...

we're not kidding. we've poked around up there, and never seen this ouija board before. it was manufactured in baltimore and had that picture sitting right on top of it.

obviously, we left it alone. note from liz: he touched it! now the deamon spirits may be residing within my boyfriend unbeknownst to me!

to calm ourselves, i made some food and we watched 49 Up, finishing off a very cool series. but now we're wigged out (and i am, possibly, possessed).


what I did on my summer vacation

This weekend, Mercer set off for the Volunteer State to do some presentin' and some conferrin'. He had the pleasure of seeing Tom and Ethan and some whacky-sounding orb and some schmo writers (just kidding, I'm sure they were all lovely). Then he got to haul back to Greensboro, arrive at 4, and leave immediately thereafter for his job-which-shall-remain-nameless, leaving me to lollygag and post a verbose and uninteresting synopsis of my weekend, which I shall do posthaste. Yay!

The upshot of this babydaddy absence was that my mama, and then my dad and sister, paid a visit a) just to be familial and b) to make sure I didn't have to enlist the assistance of the incredibly kindly neighbors if I went into labor. Well, that didn't happen, but we did some other pretty cool stuff. For example, we got all these pictures hung, a task I had been putting off doing since the landlord had picture molding installed in December. My mama works in art and is very precise and my dad's a good knot-tier. And I'll be damned if I ain't good at chanting "to da left, to da left, to da right, to da right."

We went to a gardening supply store and bought seeds and, well, gardening supplies, and also get this: a damn lawnmower! A true recognition of the fact that hopefully we will have lawns in years to come. Now, I'm not asking for anything particularly green or extravagant or high-maintenance when it comes to lawns, but it's nice to have a little bit of outdoorsy space immediately available. My dad also brought me a box shipped direct from China containing what may be one of the coolest gifts we have received to date (though they have all been amazing in their own right):
See, my dad and his friend John traveled to China over a year ago and in one city hired a young tour guide who was studying English. She just got married and emailed him all these amazing photos featuring the happy couple in all these different outfits in front of a variety of backdrops. Anyhow, she was so pleased to hear that Ellery was having a grandson that she embroidered a pillow for the baby--if it's not clear, the inscription reads "Baby Angel, Feb 2008." So sweet! What's more, she sent the baby a card wishing him "health, wisdom, optimism, and good looks." Here's hoping! Her penmanship, btw, is way, way, way better than mine. While her Chinese name is LiFeng, she selected the English name Jane because her favorite book is Jane Eyre. I was very touched by this gift. Audie, on the other hand, was nonplussed and didn't even want to acknowledge embroidered dog.

Final pic: bump watch! Though now it's more of a small geographic feature than a bump. I'm beginning to recognize the utility of maternity clothes, of which I did not invest in many. Many of which I did not invest? In? Anyhow, they're so's you don't look like a slob with half yer belly poking out at all times. What's more, I have quite the bootydoo.

Not familiar with the vernacular? It's when your belly sticks out more than your booty do.

Damn, I'm eating a container o yogurt and I didn't realize it was fruit on the bottom 'til I got to the bottom and found the fruit. Next time I gotta dig harder. What am I supposed to do with this?

PS I ate it.


plain text

This blog is getting boring due to lack of visual stimulation. Maybe I'll try to seek out some fun things to photograph. Well, obviously I am out of the hospital and back in the world outside (I was only there for a couplea days). Today I got an obfuscating letter from the insurance agency addressed to me, the hospital, and the admitting doc. The basic gist seemed to be that they understood I had been admitted for something, and they weren't going to cover services, but they weren't not going to cover services. Umm, thanks for the scoop, I guess! PS: They best cover services. My alien fluids (tm Ann) are still low but I'm undergoing plenty o' monitoring. I get these non-stress tests to monitor the baby's heartbeat reactions to things like movement and contractions. The tests make me feel like I'm in a lab-based psych experiment circa 1964--my belly gets wrapped in elastic monitors and a printout slowly emerges from an adjacent machine and every once in a while if the baby's asleep or not moving much a nurse comes in and rings a cowbell to make him startle. Maybe he'll be a Blue Oyster Cult Fan. Anyhow, apparently ultrasounds are only but so accurate in diagnosing such things as low amniotic fluid, so hopefully I'll avoid induction. Plus he's still being very vigorous. I woke up last night feeling something was wrong and then realized I was just stressed because he wasn't kicking the bejezus out of me. It has been the past week or so that I can't go out in public without being stopped and asked when I was due. Usually such a comment is prefaced by the statement "You look like you're about to pop!" or followed up by the query "yesterday?"

Oooh, these elections are getting so exciting I can barely stand it. It 100% makes up for having such a sucky Super Bowl this year. Sorry, Giants fans--in fairness, I didn't watch.

In other news, I spent the day getting car insurance and attending a curious training. Though my job has nothing much to do with such issues, county employees sure get a good dose of Emergency Preparedness. But let me go eat before hunger compels me to do something foolish like blogging about auto insurance.


do these two look like a local news team to anyone else?

I bet they make Edwards do the weather.

Liz and I are ruing the day we forgot to take pictures of ourselves dancing with the hospital IV pole. The only pictures I have are stolen images of pop culture figures.

I've also discovered Netflix on-demand, and pad my days by watching episodes of The Office. The slippery slope argument is in effect here b/c wasting time checking email 14 times a day is one thing, but now I have serial programming to watch.

I'm heading down to Knoxville, TN this weekend to participate in a conference. I'll get to see some old friends and blather at a crowd of several. I just hope Liz doesn't...well I'm not going to jinx it.