Home Office: Do Not Disturb

Another of the ongoing myths placed on modern humans is that it’s great to work at home. Yes, you use less gas, but it’s hard to tell your family to shut their pie holes when your office is in the middle of the kitchen. Kids and husbands are heat-seeking missiles. They sense a life force, and they come for you…

I find inspiration from a sitcom from my youth.

Luxury Pediatrician

As a native of LA, I spent 12 years in Northern California enduring the dumbest, most narrow-minded insults from well-to-do liberals who parroted what others had said before. They would constantly say that LA was superficial, that we were jacked up with breast implants, and never read a book. As if LA was the land of Entertainment Weekly on every avenue. People in San Francisco, and points a tad north and east and south of there, never seemed to grasp that THEY WERE THE INSULAR RICH PEOPLE. SF is one the whitest places I have ever been. It’s politically homogeneous. A moderate would be considered a fascist there. There was only one Jewish deli in town, and truth be told, it wasn’t that good.

When my friend Bonnie was about to move down here from Marin County, I said, “Don’t believe any of the bull sh– Nor Cal people tell you about what’s bad about living in LA.” I told her, “People are friendlier here.” (It took me two years to make a friend in SF). “You can go hang out with ‘hey look me over’ people if you want, but there are plenty of all other types as well.”

What is harder here, is you are in an urban, mixed population. Traffic, density, lots of public schools you would rather not send your kid to. That unlike Marin, Palo Alto, or most of SF ( except for three blocks that haven’t been mowed down by redevelopment), you can be wealthy and be right next to working class people of all colors. You will go to a doctor who treats all classes and so forth.

Bonnie moved here, and she said she was like, “Oh, yeah, this is a city.” As you drive across town, you will see all types. She also grew to really like LA and is now bummed her work has taken her back up north. And here is the punch line. Check out the picture.

That is her daughter’s new pediatrican in Palo Alto. A huge playground, a library. I have never seen anything like it in LA. It’s perfect that it’s in Palo Alto. A rich, liberal enclave full of people yammering on about how insulated and superficial LA is. Right, the “real” people live in Palo Alto, where life just keeps coming at you.

Merry Christmas

This is one of the bleaker Christmases I can remember. Most everyone is totally freaked about money. Even if they haven’t lost their own, they worry they will. Even in prosperous times, I think spending a bunch of money on adults is silly. Buy the kids presents. My family does a Secret Santa for the older set, so there is something to open. But years back, I got physically and financially exhausted from buying everyone presents. And as I said years ago to my family, “Unless you can give me a development deal at ABC, anything I want I can get myself.”  Since I don’t think they are going to buy me a week cruising the Greek Islands, that’s basically correct. And isn’t better to give to charity?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Andrew Stawarz

But this year I’m having a change of heart. Businesses, small and large even, are the charities.  Witness how charitable our government has to be to the financial markets, to the car companies.  I know some sweet small stores that wait for hours for a $30 sale.

So if you have any, go ahead, and spend some money.  The law of circulation; it all goes around. I don’t know if it’s what Jesus would do. But with these great sales, maybe he would.

Momversation: Are You Raising a Religious Child?

Are you there God, hello?  Are you busy or a figment of our imagination?  Whatever God you are, I’m open, just throw me a bone, show me you are there.  Hmmm… there’s no logic to bad things that happen to good people.  Maybe you aren’t there.  But, then December comes, and I hear “Silent Night,” and I want in on this club!  Or I go to a Jewish family’s Friday night dinner, and I’m reminded of how I like ritual. So, then, don’t I want my kids to have some grounding in some orthodoxy?  But I don’t want my kids to think the devil is under the bed, and I would like them to like their bodies as they get older.

So, how does a crusty agnostic provide their children with spiritual guidance without being a fraud or feeling like a poser?  Or should one even bother?  What religion (or lack of) has worked for you?  Does one parent want their children to be religious and the other is along for the ride or grumbling?  How do you work it out? The Momversationers chat.

Swag Bag For a New Mom

Here is a great gift for a new mom: a fun bag full of all the essentials for new mom life, made by a mom.  I think it’s especially good for either a first-time mom or a super-busy-already mom.  Nice idea to have on some good smelling stuff as you lay back with your road-kill look.

dinky little parcel
Creative Commons License photo credit: brockvicky

Not that I’m hinting that anyone get me one, wink.

Momversation: The Men Strike Back!

Here’s a little quirky twist on the mom bloggers… let’s hear from their husbands.  Heather Armstrong’s (from Dooce) husband Jon leads off the discussion. He wonders if our husbands are uncomfortable with the confessional, tell-all genre of the blog.  Joining the conversation is Maggie Mason’s (MIghty Girl) husband Bryan Mason, Rebecca Woolf’s (Girl’s Gone Child) husband Hal Issacson, and of course, my husband, Mark Peel.

My husband is such an easy, contained guy he was like, “Do you do a blog?”  Since he has heard me blab about our life in stand up, it’s not much of a change for him.  Hear what the the dudes had to say!

Pregnancy Pain

Okay, now that I am 30 weeks, I’m getting more front heavy. Still on my WADDLE WATCH, my feet are still landing in a parallel fashion. But my boy pitches himself forward, and I go, “oof!” and need to physically hold up the bottom of my tummy. Isn’t funny how you can be feeling fine, and then suddenly a shift and… and… I gotta sit down.

Definitely have more muscle cramps with this one, but SO FAR, the sleep hasn’t been as hellish as with Viv. But then I still have ten more weeks to go. The warm bath and the heating pad on the back have been key to my well-being, much like floating in a friend’s pool in the summer heat of the waning days of my pregnancy with Vivien.

The feet are still the same size. Phew.

Losing Stuff

Sometimes accomplishing the vexing little things can yield the most satisfying results. Like mending dangling buttons, or throwing out the dead flower arrangement from Thanksgiving, or labeling everything I can get my hands on. No joke. If they made labels for freezers, my sisters and I would have used them to mark our favorite ice cream. Hell would rain down if you ever ate the other’s designated pint (hmm, it’s a wonder we aren’t porkers). In this vlog I tackle the “Where is your sweater question?” with the help of labels, of course.

This video is sponsored by Stuck On You.