Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday! Hooray!

Come on--admit it, you are SO THRILLED that it is Monday, right? Right!

We went to the Wild Animal Park on Saturday. In a rare treat, we got to see the cheetahs right up next to the fence. A trainer was in there with them, talking about how they had been abandoned by their mothers and hand raised. When she was finished informing us that cheetahs are the only big cats to purr, she asked if there were any questions. Hot Stuff leaned over to me and said, "How do you account for the success of this program when it's a well-known fact that cheetahs never prosper?"



Last night we were visiting with my mother-in-law, who is a kindergarten teacher. She was telling us about a father who is very stressed out that his daughter (his FIVE-YEAR-OLD daughter) is only getting acceptable marks in science. After all, she wants to be a doctor. (I've heard Ivy League schools have begun looking up kindergarten scores for admissions now.) "Nayna," I said, turning to my nearly-five-year-old, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

She looked thoughtful for a moment, then smiled. "A butterfly."

Never say my children aren't ambitious.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Starts with a C and Ends with a Ridiculous Photo Essay

Well, I did it. I bought a cabbage. Figured, St Patrick's Day, gotta get into the spirit somehow, right?

Seriously? Who first saw this and thought, yummy!

But then I got to thinking--what was that they used to say about babies coming from the cabbage patch? I mean, come on, that's GOT to be easier than trying (and trying and trying) to get pregnant, worrying about more ectopic pregnancies, going through the nine months of horrible hormones, so on and so forth. Just grabbing a baby out of this thing...suddenly the cabbage is full of promise.

This could very well be the newest member of our family!

So, giddy with anticipation, I got out the knife. Would it be another boy? A girl? And what would the baby look like? I mean, obviously it wouldn't be biologically related to Hot Stuff or me, but we could love it like one of our own. Especially since it wouldn't add yet another layer to my c-section scarring. I carefully sliced it open...


Yet another disappointment. Not only is there no baby, but it doesn't smell very good, either. At least if something is stinky it should be an adorable baby with a messy diaper. Not something your husband wants you to make for dinner. Still...I can't help but think that the cabbage would surely sleep better than a newborn. And be far less maintenance. It may not be edible, but it could fill that emptiness in our family, right? I could learn to love it, right?

Yes, but what would we call it?

I decided to leave it up to the kids. After all, they'd be most affected by the addition of a new sibling, vegetable or otherwise. Dojo was ambivalent, but Nayna immediately went into maternal mode, lovingly carrying the cabbage around. Unfortunately, we forgot to tell Hot Stuff about our baby replacement, and he decided to liven up the sweet and sour chicken and rice we had for dinner last night.

Ah well. Guess it's back to the old fashioned method. If you'll pardon me, I've got to get my binoculars. Storks aren't easy to find.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Quick! Quick!

Now for the funny! We need funny, right?

Stephanie and I are going to start a band. How cool is that? SO COOL. That's kind of the whole point. Of course, neither of us really play instruments. And we live on opposite sides of the country. And I don't know about her, but I have no idea how to write music. However, none of this is a problem, because the band is for after we are both published and have loving, devoted groups of fans, who will love our music because they love us.

I know, awesome, huh?

Luckily Steph's husband is seriously musically talented, so I'm pretty sure we're set. I've even written our first song, and, for the first time ever, I'm giving you a sneak peek.

The scene: A couple of years in the future, when we are both fabulously famous and well-loved authors. The setting: Our websites. A video.

"This is a little number we like to call 'Murder Your Darlings'."

Cue Jarrod, playing all of the instruments, with different shots of him doing each one, and Stephanie, rocking out on whatever she is playing (or pretending to play). After appropriately awesome length of time, cut to Kiersten, singing (fortunately no one cares that my voice isn't solo-worthy). Intersperse generously with shots of Stephanie, who will also be the actress for the video, and Jarrod in all of his musical awesomeness. Stephanie shown through the course of a tumultuous affair with hot celebrity of her choice.

I love you in the present tense,
I loved you in the past
but our affair of adverbs
was just too good to last

Truly, Wildly, Passionately
Lees were all we had
I was really into you
You were really bad
Quickly, Suddenly, Totally
Our passion burned too hot
Like adverbs littering my pages
Last our love could not.

I love you in the present tense
I loved you in the past
but our affair of adverbs
was just too good to last

Softly, gently, thoroughly
our kisses lingered on
drawn out by our adverbs
the actions just a con
Nothing happened simply
all verbs were imprecise
And while I loved to modify
it's not actually nice.

I love you in the present tense
I loved you in the past
but our affair of adverbs
was just too good to last

Truly truly truly
I'll love you till I die
sweetly sweetly sweetly
I'll try desperately not cry
And fill my life with useful verbs
verbs that need no aid
Remember you fondly,
I'll never let you fade

(Lee, lee, lee ooooh, lee lee lee...)

Final shot of Stephanie, wiping a tear away and smiling as she croons the final, sweet refrain of "lee, lee, lee."

Now we just need to get famous.

Unfortunately, we also need a band name! I'm open to suggestions.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hot Stuff Says

"Oh, I forgot. You don't like anything that starts with C.

And ends with Abbage."

Too true, my dear. Too true.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Long and Short of It

A Long Post on a Short Topic

It's interesting thinking about the world from someone else's perspective. And today, for the sake of research, I'm going to give you a few insights into what it's like to be a very short adult. Stephanie and I were talking about it the other day, and I realized it's actually useful information if you ever want to write a short character. And if you don't, well, you can just laugh and think, "Man, Kiersten is short!"

First, The Legs: I have all the leg space I could need on airplanes (yeah, take that tall people!) and in the back seats of cars. It's awesome. Not so awesome? On couches and benches and table chairs, etc, my feet never touch the ground. Ever. At best, my toes will. At worst, on deep couches my knees don't even go over the edge and my calves stick straight out like I'm a five-year-old. I usually sit with one leg curled up underneath me because having them hanging is hard on the knees.

Second, The Interaction: It's much easier for me to talk to people when we are all sitting down or if they aren't standing very close to me. Let's say Whirl, who is 6'2", was standing directly in front of me, telling me about Maurice the Donkey. Once I got over my excitement because this would mean I was in England, I'd realize how awkward it was. Not awkward as in, I'm having a conversation with a man I've technically never met and he's telling me about the neighborhood donkey, but awkward as in, I have to crane my neck at a 90 degree angle to look up at him. It's just not comfortable. In these cases I always prefer to stand next to someone, and we can talk not looking at each other (with the ensuing neck pain) but rather at Maurice the Donkey, who is really more interesting to look at than I am, anyway. (Also, oddly enough, if I'm ever talking to someone who is my height, I have to back up a step. I'm used to having more personal space because people's faces are so far away from mine, and when they aren't, it makes me uncomfortable.)

Third, The Assumptions: People think I'm a kid. We've been over this one. Besides people thinking I'm seventeen and trying to figure out how old I would have been when I had Nayna (yes! fourteen! lovely!) (NOT REALLY, I was nearly twenty-one. Which I realize will still sound ridiculously young, but I had been married for two years at that point and had a degree. It's far better than fourteen, right?) they also ignore me in stores or, for some odd reason, stand way, way, WAY too close behind me in lines. Maybe it's because they can see over my head so they don't realize how close they are, but really, old men, BACK UP.

When I was sixteen I got in a car accident. While I sat sobbing in the rain on the side of the road, not one, not two, but THREE different police officers came over to ask where my mom was. I kept telling them she was on her way, not understanding why they insisted on asking this until one of them asked me which seat of the car I was in. Umm, the DRIVER'S?! Yes, none of them thought I was old enough to drive. Talk about adding insult to smashed beyond repair car.

Fourth, The Relationships: There were at least two boys growing up who liked me for the sole reason that I was shorter than them. It's true. Very short guys LOVE extremely short girls because we are the only ones who make them feel normal. Sometimes they love us so much they stalk us, but that's another story. I had a prom date who flat out told me my best feature was that I made him look really tall and he was disappointed that I wore five inch heels.

There are also the practical matters to consider. There are a full thirteen inches between Hot Stuff's lips and mine. That's far too much space for my taste. (Well, right now he's at work and there are like thirteen miles between our lips, which is even worse.) If we are standing up, I have to go on my tiptoes, put my arms on his shoulders or around his neck for balance, and tip my head all the way back. He has to bend at the middle and lean down about a foot. It's a lot of work, but if you've seen Hot Stuff's lips, you'll understand that it's worth it. We are very concerned, however, for when we're old and feeble and arthritic. Our solution is to build a house where every room has two levels, with one half of the floor thirteen inches above the other. I can always walk on the higher side and he can walk on the lower side, and we'll be able to kiss without bending and creaking and cracking our poor old bones.
An Old Family Picture
(I am the one in the middle)

Finally, if you are a very short girl and you date or marry a rather tall guy, people will get mad at you. I'm serious. I had one lady ask in me in rather accusing tone why I took a guy away from tall girls. Yes--that was my main motivation in marrying Hot Stuff. "Ha! There's some 5'10" girl crying herself to sleep out there tonight because there's one less single guy out there who's taller than her!" Trust me, I didn't pick Hot Stuff based on height. I picked him the first time I saw him, and he was sitting down at the time. Playing the guitar. And when he looked up at me with those gorgeous blue eyes and smiled, that was it for me. The fact that he gives our kids a shot at not being freakishly short is just a bonus.

So there you have it. You can either have more sympathy for short people, more reasons to laugh at me, or fodder for a new perky, spunky, and adorabley short main character.