Kahlua and Breast Milk

May 31, 2006

I have lurked and unwillingly been dragged into a few threads about women’s issues in my brief blogging career. I’ve read about total strangers’ menstrual cramps, hot flashes and parenting philosophies. But this weekend I discovered seomthing new from the mother of a two week old baby girl: the “pump and dump.”

Several of us were at the surprise birthday party of one of our friends, but we were also eager to see the new mommy for the first time since her emergency C section. The mother is a sweet young lady, who always seemed rather naive and wide-eyed about the whole process of gestation. Everything was a wonderful surprise to her, except for the fact that drinking and recreational drug use were off-limits until term.

I was worried that during the breast feeding period her monasticism would have to continue, and she wouldn’t have any fun at the party. Then I noticed her knocking down a Jager shot. “What’s up with that?” I asked. “Pump and dump, dude! Pump and dump.” Whereupon, she excused herself to the ladies room, drained the udders and flushed it down the loo. She said she had been pumping all day to get ready for the pary and had a pretty good alcohol-free reserve built up.

I don’t know whether I’m revolted or tickled by this practice. Is this for real? Can you just wait to process everything out like sitting at the bar drinking cokes until your BAC gets low enough to drive? I’m glad she’s happy and the child is being fed naturally, but WTF?!

We also discussed the incongruity of the fact that you can take no depressants at all during pregnancy, but if you get a Caesarean, apparently Percocet and morphine are immediately back on the menu. I came up with the idea that if that were to happen anyway, why not have a tattoo artist standing by to go ahead and get that Maori symbol for strength or your baby’s name scripted out while you have the spinal block and morphine buzz going good?

That’s another reason why I have not been encouraged to breed…

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I Feel Like the Poseidon

May 30, 2006

Last night I lay groaning on my back while thousands of beasties tried to escape my hull. A few intrepid explorers managed to get out through a crack near my main shaft, but most were left behind to die a watery death.*

Luckily, the USS Immodium is responding to my distress call and is rushing to plug the leaks in my bulkhead.

Ugh. No more hot chicken wings for dinner…

*Unlike that lying bastard charlatan David Blaine.


One of the Reasons I Am the Way I Am

May 30, 2006

I remember growing up that one of the coolest things that would happen in your house was when your mother dropped a thermometer. The globules of mercury were like an exposed lava lamp you could play with on the table with a pencil. Try as you might, you could never pick the stuff up with your fingers, so my brothers and I would play soccer with it across the dinner table until we finally got tired of it and swept it into the trash can.

Flash forward a few years to my middle school years at Presitigious Prep, home to nerdy outcasts and cromagnon atheletes charading as students. We had one Chemistry teacher (who happened to be the cross country coach), who actually divided the class into “Entities” and “Non-Entities” depending on whether you played a varsity sport. The good thing about being a “Non-Entity,” was that meant you were probably also on the Honor Roll which allowed you to spend your study halls doing whatever you want, namely screwing around while the lunkheads struggled to stay academically eligible to hit each other around in practice in the name of school pride. So where was one of our favroite places to screw around? That’s right, the self-same teacher’s chemistry lab doing “unauthorized experiments.” And what was our favorite thing to “experiment” with? You guessed it, mercury.

Once, an entire bottle of the stuff accidentally “fell” into a friend’s bookbag while he was walking through the chemical storage room. He couldn’t reach into his bag to put it back, because if someone saw him they might think he was stealing it. (Well, you try to go through a whole day without rationalizing or engaging in some revisionist history!) Plus the bottle was impossibly heavy and really cool. We had HG for days.

My nerd friends and I did not get sports cars for our 16th birthdays like many of our classmates. We rode the city bus from our middle-class suburb to a stop near campus and walked the rest of the way. We shared the bus with many of the maids and gardeners of our classmates and were the only caucasians aboard most of the time. The rest of the riders politely ignored us and our adolescent blatherings for the most part.

But now that we had the mercury, we decided it was time to play a new game. The floor of the bus was covered in a rigid rubber mat with ridges that ran the length of the bus. I imagine it was so they could simply park the bus on a hill and hose the insides down periodically. Unbeknownst to the MTA it also provided the perfect track for our favorite new pastime: mercury racing. Each contestant chose a groove and poured a different amount of the liquid metal while the bus was either accelerating or going up a small rise. When the bus went downhill or slowed to a stop, the silvery racers would rush forward down the aisle while each groove’s “backer” would cheer for his blob to be the first to reach the front and spill into the entryway steps. We would giggle and shriek like excited schoolgirls in a bizzaro version of cigar-chomping gamblers at a dog track. Eventually, after hundreds of races, our mercury supply was gone and we returned to the Super Bowl of Paper Football as a diversion to studying.

I now have several good friends who are nurses at various hospitals around town. I asked one of them how her day had gone and she replied, “Terrible! Some idiot dropped a thermometer, and we all had to evacuate the entire floor for a couple hours while the team of guys wearing the HazMat suits came in to clean up and sterilize the area.”

“Oh, so that’s a problem?”

I acknowledge how stupid I was and fully accept any damage I may have done to myself. I now eat tuna with impunity knowing that there’s little danger of raising my inherent mercury levels. RUABelle knows the potential for square-headed babies from my seed. But to anybody traveling on the Westmeade bus in the early 80’s who wonders why their hair fell out in clumps, I anonymously apologize.

I blame society.


Little Miss Communication

May 29, 2006

I had an idea last night. I suggested to RUABelle that “we should have a good Bordeaux for dinner.”

She replied, “Why the hell would we want to go to MetroCenter on a Sunday night?”

I know that allergies have got her ears plugged up, but that shit’s funny! Anyway, there’s always Neely’s Barbeque in MetroCenter until the Mothership opens up.

Bone appetite!


The Pig and Nothing but the Pig

May 26, 2006

I just got back from the Mothership. You’ve already seen the reviews of Knucklehead’s bbq, so there’s not much I can add except that the shoulder sandwich ROCKED!! But I can give you a sneak preview of the decor:


That’s right. It’s Shaun Nielsen, Elvis’ favorite singer. I won’t even tell you about the decorations in the ladies room (or why I was in there), but it will be worth seeing!


I Feel His Pain

May 26, 2006

Short and Fat has hit close to home with his description of his current maladies. The day I turned 40, I woke up with a completely locked up neck. After my first 3 visits ever to chiropractor, I felt I was making progress. I got up at 4:30 this morning to do stretching exercises and get ready for work, when RUABelle came in to tell me a branch as big around as my waist (big) had fallen across our driveway in last night’s storm. The chainsaw’s up at the Sewanee cabin, so an hour of sawing with a little hand saw and hauling branches and logs away, I’ve pretty much undone any good the doc did. Pass the Alleve.


If I Had…

May 25, 2006

My friend and former little drummer boy CanIBFrank has finally posted his first meaningful prose online outside of a Steve Gadd worshippers’ chatroom. It’s a nice homage to his father and the evocative properties of hand tools.

Go check him out and welcome him to the time-waster we call the blogosphere.