Sunday, May 31, 2009

perils of the absent mind

The most inconvenient thing about accidentally running my husband's cell phone through the washing machine is the fact that he can no longer call my number when I lose my cell phone twice a day.

And the whole, you know, Gabe not having a phone thing. (We don't have/need a land line.)

(Unless you count situations like these.)

The replacement cannot arrive soon enough!

Just when I thought I wasn't into themes.

Have I mentioned yet that Liam's second birthday party is (loosely) themed?

'Cause it is. And I'm so excited.


I'm most excited about the chocolate banana Plex cake I'll be making.

Plex is the magic robot, of course, for those of you not familiar with Yo Gabba Gabba. He's a good dancer, and he's nice to his friends, and he can conjure celebrities like Elijah Wood, Melora Hardin and Tony Hawk out of thin air, using the antenna on top of his head.

So why WOULDN'T the cake be a Plex cake, right?

Liam's birthday party will be AWESOOOOOOOMMMMME! (When you read that you have to hear DJ Lance echoing in your head.)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Angel Amber

Yesterday my Mum and Dad celebrated thirty-three years of marriage. Dad flew down to my great-aunt's in Florida to spend the weekend with Mum. Happy Anniversary, guys! :)

Today is the day my little sister would have turned twenty-six years old. In about an hour I am going to make sure to look at the sky again, to keep up my accidental tradition of observing spectacular sunsets on her birthday every year.

It's been cold and raining for three days straight, and today dawned warm and sunny with bright, puffy clouds. As we were wrapping up our errands, heavy gray clouds rolled in and we had a ten-minute rainstorm, followed immediately by more sunshine. Porch weather, but we don't have a porch. Instead, the three of us hung out in the kitchen with the shades all pulled up while I cooked us a late lunch.

My great-aunt is not doing well. The cancer has spread and has become untreatable. Her tumors got bigger instead of smaller. She can barely eat or drink and right now she has round-the-clock hospice care to manage the pain. It's just a matter of when her body takes its final breath and gives in, sending her soul shooting to the clouds so she can be with her husband again, and her great-niece Amber and her brother (my grandfather) and her mom and dad.

Like last year, I did not dwell on Amber's absence like I have my whole life before that. In fact today I did not even think of it being her birthday at all until I had some quiet time to myself while Gabe bathed Liam and I noticed the angle of the sun. Then I remembered the clouds today, the sun, the short rainfall, and that rush of wind that preceded it as we walked from the car to our front door. I inhaled it especially deeply. I'm sure she was in that wind, and I'm sure my great-aunt Christine* will chase her soon.

They'll fly through trees and across fields and ruffle our hair. Free free free.

*real name used

Thursday, May 28, 2009

True Maine

On Facebook, you know there's an endless number of quizzes... "How BADASS are you?", "What kind of mother are you?", "Which earth element are you?", "Which house best fits your personality" and other useless things to help pass the time (although I will say that the "Which BADASS thing are you?" was awesome and hilarious and made me LOL). Then of course there's the regional quizzes... "How Ohioan are you?", "How Texan are you?" and "How well do you know Idaho??!"

I took the "How Well Do You Know Maine?" quiz today, which informed me that "You're a True Mainer!" Before you think I'm a Maine history and trivia scholar I'll let you know that I learned everything the quiz asked by the time I was ten. What percentage of Maine is forested? Which county is "The County"? What's the state capital? Ninety per cent, Aroostook, and Augusta- DUH.

I told politely asked Gabe to take the quiz to see how Maine he is. It turns out he's a True Mainer too, but only with my assistance.

GABE: How many counties are in Maine? Twenty-five? [An expected question from a Texan, where they have like a bajillion little counties in their giant state.]
ME: WHAT! No! Come on!
GABE: Sixteen?
GABE: Well how would I know that??
ME: It's in the SONG!
GABE: What song?
ME: The COUNTY song! [to the tune of Yankee Doodle] Sixteen counties in our state-
GABE: Oh God, shut up.
ME: Cumberland and Frankin, Piscataquis-
GABE: Shut up.
ME: and Somerset-
GABE: Shut up.
ME: Aroostook, Androscoggin. Sagahahoc-
GABE: Shut up.
ME: and Kennebec-
GABE: Shut up.
ME: Lincoln, Knox and Hancock.
GABE: Shut up.
ME: Waldo, Washington and York-
GABE: Shut up.
ME: Wait, I'm almost done! Oxford and Penobscot!
GABE: [a pause] Congratulations.
ME: Thank you. Man, that's a good song.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who's responsible for this?

I'm just wondering. Who was in charge of naming the Mirena IUD? How did they not take into consideration that there is a fairly common girls' name, MARINA, used with enough regularity in the United States that it's been on the charts since the 1920s, and even though it's spelled differently, it's pronounced almost the same?

That's like naming birth control Staysee, or developing an erect!le dysfunct!on medication and calling it Steev.

You just don't do it, out of respect for the Stacys and Steves in the world.

I'd be pissed if there was a new c0nd0m brand called Norruh.

*Certain words have been altered to avoid internet searches for those words landing on my blog for the wrong reasons. Some of the things I've seen in my stat counter are just creepy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

these mice are ninjas

A couple nights ago I was lying in bed, just drifting off to sleep when I heard a rattle of dishes in the kitchen. My first hazy thought: OH MY CRAP SOMEONE BROKE IN. The cobwebs cleared from my mind a bit and I assured myself that no, if I heard dishes clanking then I would have heard the front door open, and if someone WAS breaking in they wouldn't be stealing my dishes.

Next thought: OH MY CRAP THERE'S A GHOST IN MY KITCHEN. While a housekeeping ghost may not be entirely unwelcome, I then assured myself that if there was a ghost in my kitchen, again, they would not be playing with my dishes. They'd obviously be getting all Poltergeist on my ass and stacking chairs, leaving cabinet doors open and dragging Carol-Anne across the tiles.

Then I remembered. THE MICE. That we hadn't gotten around to poisoning yet. Clink clink, clank clank went the dishes and in my head I'm all Get out of my friggin' dishes, you stupid mice, I'm trying to sleep!

It would start and stop, and start and stop.

Finally I shook Gabe at the hip. "Babe, I'm sorry to wake you up but there's a mouse in the dishes." Clink clank, rattle rattle.

He's all, Huh, wha?, still mostly sleeping, and I had to say it again like four times. Then: "What do you want me to do about it?"

"Go catch it," I tell him, like duh.

"With what?"

"A plastic bag!" OBVIOUSLY.

"And then do what with it?"

"Throw it outside." Do I have to think of EVERYTHING?

There's a silence (in the bedroom at least; in the kitchen, there's still a party in my dishes) and I thought Gabe had fallen back asleep. He's like that. You know. Likes to sleep while he's sleeping.

Then: "No. I'm really tired."

"But what about the mice?" Rattle rattle. "Fine. I'll go take care of it."

I got out of bed and tip-toed to the kitchen, afraid of stepping in squishy mice the whole way. I creep into the kitchen, wincing in advance of seeing some little vermin in my sink or in the dish drainer. I go slowly, peek over the edge of the counter. There's dishes in the sink. I look up. Dishes in the drainer. But no mice. Just their little jimmies they like to leave behind, those little jerks. "Dance party on your dishes! Here are some little shits to remember us by!"

So yesterday morning I soaked all the dishes in bleachy water before washing them again, including all of the clean dishes from the drainer that Gabe had been so kind to wash for me on Saturday. I gave up on my poor little mice people stance and we decided to get some traps.

We cleared off the counter tops and Gabe set the glue traps out last night. He promised to go to the kitchen first in the morning so I wouldn't have to see them.

This morning, Liam and I waited in the living room after getting out of bed before getting our breakfast. Gabe was quiet in the kitchen for a while, and I finally went in there to see what was going on.

I paused in the doorway. "Any mice?" I asked before venturing further.

"No. But there's a trap missing."

I went in. Still three traps on the counter, but the one on the floor between the sink and the washing machine? Gone. Gabe had pulled the washer out and was looking behind it with a flashlight. He found many mouse turds, a cloth diaper and a crumpled up paper towel that had gone missing and forgotten, and- BREAKTHROUGH!- the huge gap in the floor where it meets the wall. Juuuuust big enough for mice to get through. So at least now we know where they're coming from.

But after searching the kitchen thoroughly for the missing trap and (hopefully) dead mouse, there's still the mystery of WHERE THE HELL DID THEY GO!??

Gabe thinks they're ninja mice but I have another theory.

Obviously what happened was, this little smartass mouse was creeping along the floor and came across the glue trap. He sniffed. "What's this?" he wondered. "Some joke from those human people, for sure." He calls to his friends in the wall. "Hey guys, get a load of this! Those people think they're smarter than us!" And a little army of mice comes over to check it out. The Eldest raises his monocle and clears his throat. "What we have here is some sort of trap," he says, and all the mice nod in understanding and agreement. The Eldest pinches the tip of his handlebar mustache. "Some sad, pathetic little lure. We shall take it back to the lab. Gentlemen?" So the mice all grab an edge and carry it back into their laboratory in the wall, where they studied it all night and learned all the chemistry and physics.

I am fairly certain that in a couple days, I'm going to walk into my kitchen some morning to get Liam's milk and breakfast, and I'm going to step directly into a giant glue trap. I'll look over to the gap between the sink and the washing machine and I'm going to see that little army of mice all standing on their hind legs and they will be crapping all over my floor because they are laughing so hard.


Sunday, May 24, 2009


^ Two years ago at this time.

Our baby's not a baby anymore, and we need to start thinking about the following:

* a toddler bed

* an upgrade in age-appropriate toys

* forward-facing in the car seat

* booster seat instead of high chair

* his 2nd birthday party


^ Last year at this time.

^ This year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Liam was sitting on my lap, facing me, and we were talking about why he was just in time-out (throwing stuff) when he tried his usual distractions from seriousness.

LIAM: Mama? [points to my chest] New shirt?
ME: Yes, I put a new shirt on.
LIAM: Circles?
ME: Yes, my shirt has circles!
LIAM: [points to my breasts] Booboos? [He means boobies.] [Yes, sometimes I call them boobies.]
ME: Those are called breasts.
LIAM: EEEWWWWWWWWW! [rolls off my lap and runs away]


Saturday, May 16, 2009

your favorite bloggers

I'm looking for new blogs to read.

At the end of the day, once Liam's asleep, I like to have some me-time and since pregnancy stole my ability to read books like a normal person (Oh my goodnes, WHERE is my attention span?? I haven't been pregnant for almost two years and it never came back! Help!) I do most of my reading online in the form of blogs, news articles and Facebook status updates.

I'm not sure how many of you five regular readers use my link list to the side there, where you can click on all the blogs I read pretty regularly, but I need to add to it. I would like to spice up my nightly blog-hopping.

I'm looking for:
~humor, but not needy or forced
~moms who don't just complain about how motherhood ruined their lives
~cute photos are a plus
~male bloggers, as I'm pretty sure I only read one or two
~frequent postings
~not the high-and-mighty type

I'm taking suggestions! Who should I start reading?

RANDOM NOTE: this morning Liam is being particularly sweet and funny, and he just came up to me with all seriousness and said, "Mama! The mighty jungle on a bicycle!" This might be the longest sentence he's ever said and while we're still not sure where it came from I'm all proud and charmed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dear Mice. Thank you for your contribution to... to what again?

I take a pretty humane approach to the animals and critters around me. I don't eat meat, I don't go hunting, I brake for squirrels, I carry spiders outside and set them free in the bushes, and when I'd accidentally cut worms in half when I was digging in my garden, I'd say a little prayer for them and thank them for their contribution to the soil. (I'm not joking.) (And I don't care if you think I'm lame.)

The only time I get lethal is when it's a matter of self-defense, health or safety. For instance, I have a severe mosquito/ black fly allergy. I kill those bitches. Ants also like to bite me (WTF, ants!!!) and they can get into your food. They don't stand a chance 'round these parts.

For the first time in my life I am facing a mouse problem in my home. Our apartment is in a very old building- it's an 1800s farmhouse that's been converted into a handful of units. We're surrounded by trees and a really big yard, so I am not surprised we have mice now. It comes with the territory.

But. Not only are mice a nuisance- they nibble books and scurry around and chew through clothes and don't pay rent- but they chew through cereal boxes, bags of flour, burrow into your boxes and die smelly deaths. Not only are they gross and intrusive but they shit on your counter tops too as an extra act of defiance.

For two mornings in a row now I have found mouse droppings in my kitchen. Yesterday it was just two tiny poop beans and I was in denial, but this morning there were more and I can't pretend it's toaster crumbs anymore. This is a health and safety issue, and those little effers have got to go.

I asked around a bit for some advice about how to get rid of them. I decided not to use the traps that slap shut because, as Audrey pointed out, "The mouse traps spatter blood everywhere and make more of a mess. You don't want to clean up a crime scene do you?" That's worse than mouse crap.

Nicole suggested I get a cat, which is a nice idea because I like cats, but Gabe is allergic and we can't afford an animal right now. Plus, I grew up in another, older farmhouse with pet cats and I am not really up for having dead mice dropped politely at my feet while I'm watching TV. Thanks anyway, Nicole! :)

Jer suggested the glue traps, but I'm not fond of that idea because of the prolonged suffering the mouse would experience before dying- the struggle, the desperation, the exhaustion. Even Gabe was concerned about that- Gabe, my awesome husband, who sometimes bites into a burger and says, "Mmmm, cow," to his vegetarian wife. So that's a no-go.

I know there are box traps that won't kill or injure the mice and you can just set them free outside. While this is obviously the most humane solution, aren't those little buggers just going to come back inside and take repeated craps on my counter? Or does, like... the pet store take mice from random people who catch them at home?

I think we'll be going with poison. Audrey lives on a farm and uses a poison that dries the mouse out so they won't stink up a storm after they die. I remember her post about watching a pregnant mouse in her house die from the poison, and at that time I thought "THANK GOODNESS we don't have mice." But now we do. And unless Petco is taking donations, I feel like I have to kill them. For the health and safety of my home. I understand that poisoning them also inflicts suffering but it wouldn't last as long as a mouse superglued to a piece of cardboard.


I hope.

Now PETA is going to get a hold of my blog and SHUT THIS MOFO DOWN!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dear son, SLEEP. Kthx. <3 U.

Dear Liam,

If you don't want to nap anymore, that's cool. If it's something your body doesn't need, I'm fine with that.

If you want to get up between six and seven every morning, that's cool too. It means we get to see Daddy a little before he leaves for work and I think that's great for all of us!


These two things COMBINED are not working for me, and I'm kind of your boss? So choose one, and run with it.

Because I can tell it's not really working for you either, considering your daily 3 p.m. meltdowns about the block stuck under the couch, or the banana you can't eat fast enough, or when the book just doesn't have any more pages. Sorry they didn't write more pages.

The days are long when you're awake so long, aren't they? Sleeping is nice, isn't it? Please work on doing a little more of it. Bed at 8 p.m. = awesome! Sleeping till 9 or 10 in the morning = perfect! DO IT. Then we can party all day long.

I love you, and I want your happiness and (mostly) daylong contentedness. Now please get some sleep.

Listen to your mother.

Love, Mama

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'd rather be sleeping.

I've been doing so much housework lately that I am wondering where the real Nora went.

Not that you'd necessarily walk into our apartment and see your reflection on my kitchen floor, and you definitely don't want to see the size of the dust bunnies monsters underneath my radiators- but I've been getting these spurts of energy where I MUST! wash every dirty dish in the house! I MUST! see the bottom of the hamper and actually put away all the clean clothes. The countertops MUST! sparkle!

That's everyday for some people, but not so much for me.

I've also resolved to de-clutter our home. I keep things. I save things. I'm way too attached to things that really aren't important in the long run. I call it being "sentimental" or "nostalgic" but really, I'm a pack rat. And it has to stop.

I read an article recently which advised that unless something is an actual keepsake or heirloom (wedding gown, photos, etc) and you haven't used or worn it in a year, then get rid of it. So I am on a mission.

Today I finally made an appointment with a consignment shop in Portland. In June I'll be bringing them four to five boxes of clothes and accessories plus a box of shoes. I packed up two boxes plus a suitcase full of donations for the Salvation Army. I already feel a weight off my shoulders.

I have a stack of some clothes I'd like to sell on my own on Craigslist or E-Bay. We'll be selling our Nintendo, record player, baby things (Snuggle Nest, Hotsling, swing, bouncer), and some other random things that are just taking up space.

I still have every stitch of Liam's clothes since he was a newborn. I'll be going through those to decide what I want for keepsakes (there's no way I am ever getting rid of the tiny shirt and hat he wore as a newborn in the hospital), what I can sell and what I'll donate to needy families.

We have a major lack of closet space in here and our bureau is pretty small, so every little bit is going to count.

I still have a lot of work ahead of me, and this weekend we'll pick up some storage bins so I can start a better system of packing away seasonal clothes and keeping our living space open and livable. It's going to be lookin' good in here. And when we have company I'll just spend some time straightening up, not HOURS cleaning in preparation.


Monday, May 11, 2009

a mother's work

I'm not the type to expect lavish gifts and pampering on days like Mother's Day- I don't wear/like a lot of jewelry, I don't think I'd like a spa day, I'm not into designer labels so a new purse or sunglasses would not break the bank. And anyways, I just replaced my $10 Walmart sunglasses Liam broke with another, almost identical $10 pair of Walmart sunglasses, and my new bag was on clearance at Target for like six bucks.

I don't need expensive things to prove my husband appreciates the things I do as a mother.

The first time I woke up on Mother's Day was to a roll of thunder and a splash of rain on the window. I rolled over, smiled, and went back to sleep. Happy Mother's Day to me!

The second time I woke up on Mother's Day was when Liam was calling to me in his sleep. As he slowly woke up, so did Gabe and they moved to the living room to let me spread out in bed. Happy Mother's Day to meee!

The third and final time I woke up on Mother's Day morning, Liam was screaming- the kind of sound where you know something actually happened. I got up and found Gabe trying to keep Liam still- trying to get the peanut out of his nose. I fetched the blunt tweezers from the baby first aid kit and while Gabe held Liam's head still, I probed the peanut back down the nostril from the outside and did a little tug with the tweezers. The peanut slid out and stuck to Liam's lip, and defeated, he whimpered, "Mama." Happy Mother's Day to meeeeeee!

Gabe made us French toast and soy sausage and I got a cute card with a sweet message from Gabe and some crayon scribbles from Liam. They gave me a tray of seed starting pellets so I can start my tomatoes and green peppers over after the first ones died in The Great Heating Struggle of 2009. It was a really nice Mother's Day.

I do have one complaint. It's not Gabe's fault or anything; I'll blame the Mother's Day Fairy. Because she forgot to come at all!

While I might not want fancy jewelry and clothes or a makeover, I am in need of some household things. All the articles you read that tell you not to give a woman a vacuum for Mother's Day? Don't give her an apron! they warn. Well, what the heck! Who makes those rules!

The Mother's Day Fairy forgot to bring the steam-vac that Santa didn't load onto his sleigh last year. My carpet is crying. The Mother's Day Fairy forgot to bring the Shark Steam Mop! My hardwoods and linoleum are also very, very sad. And seriously. Have you seen the front of my shirt after baking? Dear heavens, of course I need an apron!

Also, I'm the type of mom who, despite all the warnings not to, would LOVE to receive necessities for my child on Mother's Day. A wardrobe for Liam? Why, yes, please! The Mother's Day Fairy brought him a slide? How thoughful!

Gabe and Liam gave me a very pleasant and relaxing Mother's Day, and I'm thankful. I'm thankful that the reason I get to celebrate Mother's Day is because I'm Liam's mom. I'm thankful that my husband has never said, "But you're not MY mother" and pretended it was just another Sunday and asked me to make him a sandwich. That's all enough for me. That and the French toast.

But dude- Mother's Day Fairy? Where the heck were YOU!

I hope all you mamas out there had a relaxing day with your beautiful babies (even if your babies are old enough to have babies too).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

another reason I love Maine

I was literally just writing an email to my friends and family, asking them to contact our governor and urge him to sign LD 1020, which would grant marriage equality in Maine. Before I sent it, I opened a new browser to check Facebook where I could find the governor's email address to provide to my recipients. There, I found three brand new status updates declaring that GOVERNOR BALDACCI SIGNED IT!

Maine is now the fifth state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage, and I could not be more proud of our lawmakers and our governor right now- not to mention all of the Maine residents who supported this bill and spoke out for human rights. This is a really big day and I want to hug everyone that made it possible.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

America's Next Top WHO CARES!

Is it just me or as time passes, are Tyra Banks and Miss J looking more and more alike?

The Good-News Update on Liam's Hell-Rash

I was tempted, but I didn't take photos of Liam's rash at its worst. I decided it would serve no purpose, other than looking through my thousands of digital photos a few months from now and thinking about how awful it was. It's not the kind of cute toddler photo I can show off to his high-school girlfriend in fifteen years. As they're leaving for the prom: "And this was that time Liam got a swollen, bright red rash all over his body! Including his buttcrack! How cute is THAT!" No.

It's better today. This morning, he woke up from a full night of restful sleep with skin that wasn't so startlingly red and the bumps were not as raised. THANK GOODNESS. He's been on Benadryl for just over twenty-four hours so it looks like the allergy diagnosis was accurate. I hope we can figure out what caused it so we can avoid another similar episode. Because UGH.

This morning, since he was more like himself, we read books for a few hours straight, which we haven't done in a while. And it was nice. When we'd finish a book, he'd stack it nicely in front of the couch and fetch another. We only stopped reading because he realized it was more fun to knock the pile over and slip around on the books. Books + carpet = instant ice skates.

We've also watched significantly fewer episodes of Caillou today (whom I refer to unaffectionately [when Liam isn't around] as a whiny little bitch- did I mention I HATE CAILLOU! I may or may not have once made up an inappropriate version of his theme song once. Ok. I did. I also did that for Fifi and the Flowertots because I have never seen a more obnoxious and unnecessary kid's program.) and Liam doesn't seem to mind.



Monday, May 4, 2009


I confess that Liam's hand, foot and mouth disease is gone but now he's having an allergic reaction to something we haven't yet identified and his swollen, full-body rash makes me cringe. This kid's seriously awesome for dealing with it better than I do.

I confess that we've been using Caillou as a... shall I say, calming tool. It works. He's sick. What can we do.


I confess that after declaring this coming week a no-sugar week for the family I used my homemade ginger molasses cookies to absorb Liam's Benadryl because he won't drink it out of the little measuring cup. I'm going to try yogurt and applesauce later but the cookies were more convenient earlier.

I confess that for Gabe and I, the no-sugar week was to start as soon as those cookies were gone and for Liam it was to start immediately. There's always... later in the week.

I confess I may soon be visiting Florida for the first time in my life. Not for a vacation but to visit a dying relative, which is probably one of the worst reasons for a "vacation."

I confess I NEED a vacation but this is not what I had in mind.

I confess that the dying relative is my great aunt, who raised my mother when my mother's parents decided that their children were a burden after they divorced in the 1950s. This great aunt means a great deal to my family and I bent over, clutching the handle on the oven door, sobbing, the day I got the call about her inoperable breast cancer.

I confess I miss my mum, who's been in Florida with her aunt since March.

I confess that I am dorkfully excited about composting. It makes me so happy to empty my coffee cans full of apple cores, potato skins, egg shells and banana peels out by the garden.

I confess that with May here, my son is now one month away from turning two years old and I am painfully torn about having another child or not.

Come on, get something off your chest.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Neighbor, the Genius

So I have this neighbor. She lives in the apartment next to us, and I know her not because we are friendly and visit with each other but because she knocked on my door last spring and asked me to turn up the heat. (The thermostat for our section of the building is in our apartment.) And she liked to leave little notes on our door in the fall, when our landlord was once again breaking laws and not turning the heat on in mid-September. "Can you turn up the heat? It's only 65 in my apartment." When OBVIOUSLY, as the parents of a toddler, if we could control it, we would have. But having the thermostat in our apartment does no good when the furnace is not even ON. And we told her so. We got more, similar notes.

During the winter, whenever we were expecting a snow storm, she'd leave a note requesting that we crank the heat in case we lost power, so that we'd have residual heat. Because, you know, that never occurred to us. And we kept it cranked to a whopping 70 degrees all winter anyway- the highest setting our thermostat allows- because the windows are pitifully drafty and did I mention we have a toddler to keep warm?

Once again, our rat of a landlord turned the furnace off early this spring. In an odd stroke of generosity he gave us an extra ten days or so compared to last year but the fact remains that he turned off the furnace more than three weeks before state law allows. And we got another note on our door this week. "Can you turn up the heat? It's only 65 degrees in my apartment." Lady. It's like 50 in ours. Save your scrap paper.

So we've been having some really nice weather- but the nights are cold, anywhere from the 30s to 50s, so it gets really cold in here. Our apartment in particular has no chance at solar heat since only one of our windows faces south, and it's in the kitchen. It heats up a 2'x2' square on the kitchen floor. Helpful. It stays cold in here. There's that toddler to keep warm- the one who's woken up earlier than he should a few times because he was cold. And we co-sleep. It's that cold in here.

One shot we have at warmth is keeping the main door open. Logically, because the universe has its ways of making sense, if you keep the door open during the day, you let in the nice warm air. If you close it at night you keep out the cold air. Makes sense... right?

Not to my friendly note-writing neighbor. This morning, there were three instances of the front main door being slammed shut just a few moments after other tenants were in and out. It was her. Probably wrapped in a shawl. Or a cat. When we left for a walk shortly afterwards, she'd written a note on the outside of the door: "PLEASE KEEP DOORS CLOSED." On the inside, it read "KEEP DOORS CLOSED BECAUSE THE HEAT IS OFF."

It was almost 70 degrees outside today. That's 70 degrees we should be letting INTO our frigid building, not shutting out. YOU ONLY KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED AT NIGHT, CRAZY LADY.

I'm tempted to leave a note on her door asking her to keep the putrid cat piss stench to a minimum. Sometimes just walking past her door induces body-wracking gags. Sometimes we can smell it in our living room, which shares a wall with hers, and WE DON'T HAVE CATS.

"Can you steam clean and bleach your apartment, and cut back to one cat? It F**KING REEKS in here. And it's really cold."

Nora's movie months

Because we have Netflix, and because with Netflix you can choose to stream some of their movies on your computer or X-Box, we've been watching more movies than usual lately, once Liam is asleep.

Here are my brief reviews and recommendations (and sometimes more importantly, my NOT recommendations) in case you also want to watch a new movie almost every night like we were doing for a while.

: Duh. Paul Rudd is in it. Of course I'm more inclined to like it because he's so ridiculously adorable and I want to snuggle him and sing 80's sitcom theme songs with him in the rain. BUT? If that ten-year-old boy wasn't such a potty mouth, would it have been so inappropriately funny? Well. I do like laughing at LARPers.

YPF: The full title of this movie is Young People F**king. Yes, really. If you don't mind watching people (four couples and one trio, YES REALLY) progress from foreplay to the "afterglow" (with nudity) and you don't mind a mildly amusing movie being mostly pointless, go ahead and watch it instantly. But don't waste a DVD rental on it and don't watch it with your kids or parents around.

: YES. YES, watch this movie because I LOVED it and I haven't LOVED a movie fully in a loooong, loooooong time. This is a low-budget independent film that relies on dialogue instead of circumstance/stunts/boobs to drive it, and it was well-done, well-acted, realistic, and well worth your time. Please watch it and please love it.

QUIET CITY: I only chose this one for its name, because I am the original Quiet City and this movie keeps coming up in my Google alerts. UGH. I hated it. I'm sorry. I wanted to like it. This was another one that relied on somewhat improvised dialogue to drive it but NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. The dialogue didn't drive it anywhere and pretty skyline shots will only go so far.

WEDDING DAZE. I should have known. I should have known not to watch a movie starring Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher, but I did it. And OH MY BONES was it awful. Just awful. Just stupid and not funny and awful. I want to puke on it. Puke on it and set it on fire.

MY SUMMER OF LOVE: Eh. Whole lotta nothing going on here despite the attempt at portraying a spontaneous and passionate friendship between two high school girls. It could have been good, but it wasn't.

SMART PEOPLE: Oh, how I hated this movie. It was forced and I didn't believe a second of it.

TEETH: I honestly didn't know what to think of this movie while I was watching it and for most the the following day. I'm taking a deep breath here before I talk about it. And I'm going to censor some words so that searches for certain words won't land on my blog. Ready? It's about a high school student who's taken a vow of pre-marital celibacy and when she's sexu@lly violated she finds that her vag!na, which she knows NOTHING about, has teeth in it. And these teeth bite off the offender's wee-wee. And through the course of the movie she goes on to be violated by a male gynecologist (who loses fingers), a classmate and her step-brother. Sounds crazy, right? It was. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. I guess this "feminist horror movie" has made a lot of waves- but I still can't find a guy that's seen it actually liked it. Wonder why...

THE BIG, BAD SWIM: Eh. Also pretty boring. It's the intertwining lives of the members and instructor of an adult swim class, and yawn.

CHOKE: I was really excited about this movie because I so adore the book by Chuck Palahniuk. And it was not a bad movie. It was a good movie. I can't help but compare the two, though, and I don't think the movie was good enough. I did, however, think the choices of Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston and Kelly MacDonald in the lead roles were perfect.

THE ILLUSIONIST: This was pretty good. Nothing special or pressing for me to say about it, but I do recommend it.

BAGHEAD: YES. Written and directed by the Duplass Brothers (responsible for The Puffy Chair), this was both very funny and pretty scary. Four friends take to the woods to write a film they can take on the festival curcuit, while a mysterious man who wears a bag over his head creeps through the trees around them... dun dun DUN! Watch it.

Some examples of what's waiting in our queue (instant and DVD) that I'm looking forward to:
Rachel Getting Married
Lars and the Real Girl
The Triplets of Belleville
Conversations with Other Women
The Wind That Shakes the Barley
One to Another