When he's channel surfing, he gives every channel a chance. Like, even 6-3, The Cool TV, which is second-string music videos from the last three or so decades. And 9-2, the CW's back-up channel. For the shows not quite good enough to run on the real CW. And all four channels of public television. ALL FOUR. ALL FOUR!
Also, when his back itches, he arranges his back against the door frame and shimmies like a bear.
Also, today he accidentally put on two pairs of underwear.
Some consequences of my son being born at Christmas time:
1. Some of the presents that said "to Dani" on them were fakes. They were actually to Jonah (which is okay, since his stuff is my stuff). 2. My brother David makes all kinds of blasphemous comments. For example, during the church Christmas program: "Dani! Someday people will be gathered together to sing songs about Jonah!" Nope. 3. Seth sings this song entitled "Jonah the Baby" to the tune of "Frosty the Snowman." I'll spare you most of the details, but the part that normally goes "thumpety thump thump" now involves Seth making farting noises. What a charmer.
The other day I stumbled across some pictures of myself from a few (okay, several) years ago, and I looked FABULOUS. (How come I didn't know this at the time?)
I would like to get back to looking FABULOUS, so I have been evaluating my life from that time period for clues to how I can do it again. Here are the ideas I've come up with so far:
1. Eat 6 desserts a day.
2. Be 19.
3. Have a crush on every boy you see.
4. Don't be pregnant.
5. Never sleep.
Number 4 will be taken care of in 3 months, and number 5 will be a necessary consequence thereof. I don't think Seth would be on board with number 3 (though maybe I should check with him to make sure), and number 2 is impossible.
So that leaves me with a 1-point task list for the new year. I think I am up for the challenge!
There may have been some additional points I'm ignoring, like the fact that I went running a lot and played racquetball with Colette and took dance classes. But those are negligible details.
I teach the 3-to-4-year-olds at church, and today the lesson was "I can be kind to animals." I taught them many great and marvelous things concerning why we should be kind and what being kind means. There was a story about a kid who decided not to shoot birds with his slingshot because he remembered that God loves all the animals. It was all very meaningful.
Then we went outside to see if we could see any animals. They were scarce in the landscaping around the church today, but we did see an ant. I was like, "Yeah! An animal!" And then one of my students ran up and stomped it to death. On purpose.
I am SO GLAD my job is not Radio Talk Show Host! Because almost every day, your theme music comes on (signalling a commercial/station identification break) and your guest or caller is STILL TALKING! And you have about 10 seconds where it's still okay for them to be talking, but then time runs out!
So you just sit on the edge of your seat, wondering if they're going to wrap up by themselves or if you're going to have to cut them off in the middle of a sentence! And you're thinking, Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease wrap up! And your breath gets a little shallower! And your palms are sweating! And little panicky noises start to escape your lips!
Don't worry, Hosts. I'm right there with you, feeling your pain as I'm listening.
And then everything works out okay in the end.
Maybe the professionals have better coping mechanisms than I do.
I remember the day I put Seth's phone number into my cell phone. I'd known him for several months, but it suddenly struck me that I didn't know if his last name was Grigg or Griggs. So I casually said, "Hey, how do you spell your last name?" He said, "It's G-r-i-g-g. No 's.'"
He didn't act annoyed or anything, but I kicked myself anyway. I've always regretted letting the possibility enter my mind that his last name was Griggs. At that moment, I was just one of the many making the same mistake. Not who you want to be when you have a little crush on someone.
Soon thereafter I decided that since his last name was Grigg, he'd definitely have to name a kid Greg. Greg Grigg. It's magical. Why would anyone not choose that name? I suggested that to him, and he said no. Then a little later, I suggested it again, and he said no again. Then I decided I'd have to marry him so I could force that one down his throat.
Well, now we're having a little boy (which I haven't mentioned here before, so if it's news to you, ta-dah!), and guess what I'm not going to name him: Greg. Not a chance. Greg Grigg is a stupid name. But maybe Schmeg.
4. Call him nicknames (for example...) that have nothing to do with his actual name.
5. Call him nicknames that have something to do with his actual name but that he hates (example: BETH).
6. Get really bored in the car and decide to scat (and really put your heart into it), even though you don't know how.
7. Put your lips on his lips and try to carry on a conversation. (Though he has developed a defense for this one: He blows out as hard as he can into your mouth, which is annoying. But do your best to keep it up!) 8. Hold a ceramic frog in his face while he's trying to type up notes from a meeting. 9. Pretend to forget to turn off the bedside lamp when going to sleep until he asks at least twice. Every night (See #2).
10. Hide things (like wooden blocks or pants) inside his pillowcase.
11. Distort passages from the scriptures for your own purposes. (For example: "Seth. If you love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS!!")
I have been working hard to become The Authority on this topic, but my research is still incomplete. I will keep you updated on my discoveries as more time goes by.
You know what is a stupid bug? A pincher bug. (Both Seth and my friend Shannon say a pincher bug is actually called an earwig, but 1-Obviously they didn't attend the Woodland School of Entomology, and 2-That is disgusting.)
They hide in my oscillating sprinkler (which is OBVIOUSLY not made of nature) at night, and then the next morning when I bring the sprinkler in to rinse off the filter, they die an ugly death in my garbage disposal.
I am reading a book. It's a fantasy book. Please do not tell anyone who may have thought I was cool.
There is a character in it named Fatren. The first time I read the name, I thought it said Fart-en for a moment, and I snickered a little then reread it and got it right. Then the second and third and fourth and fifth times I read it, I thought it said Farten again. I kept snickering. Finally I gave into the impulse and just mentally changed his name to Farten. Now I don't bother correcting myself. It was inevitable, I guess.
The guy named Fart reminds me of the best joke my dad ever told (he even made it up himself). Okay, it wasn't very funny, so don't get your hopes up. At all. We used to ride Bay Area Rapid Transit (San Francisco's light rail system, also known as BART) all the time. Once when we were riding it, he said, "You know, Fresno has a BART system, too. They call it Fresno Area Rapid Transit." We didn't care until someone was bright enough to figure out that what the acronym would be. Then I remembered the moment with fondness for the rest of my life. Heh, heh.
See, my family thinks farts are hilarious. Exhibit A:
Matt and Josh Woodland, having the time of their lives in 2003.
See how hard they are laughing? That's how hard we were all laughing. This is in Sweden, where INFART means entrance and UTFART means exit. I'm not sure what FART by itself means, but I'm sure the Swedes all spend their days laughing their butts off, just like the Woodlands did when we were visiting.
Thank you for visiting. Please come again. I love you.
I have been noticing a spurt of commenters on my blog who use Asian characters. Some friends have gently informed me that they are spam, but I prefer not to accept that possibility and just assume they are saying things like: "Dani, your blog is the best" and "Dani, I hear what you're saying, and I like it" and "Dani, if I die, would you please raise my children?"
I could turn on comment spam filtering to make sure, but HEY--we are all welcome here.
I've started eating crackers in bed. It makes Seth so mad.
Once he woke up at 4 in the morning and looked over to find me nibbling on a cracker. He didn't even bother to say a word to me. He just covered his head with a pillow.
Other times he says things, like "Dani, I can't believe you." Sometimes he just sighs and shakes his head.
But since I'm incredibly hilarious, the other night we had been lying in the dark for a while, trying to go to sleep, when I decided it was cracker time. I quietly felt for one at the side of my bed, then took a small bite. Before Seth had a chance to say anything, I said, "Hey, Seth, want a crack--"
"NO!!!" he roared.
This is going to have to be one of those shticks between us. You know, the ones that make me laugh so hard but that he just thinks are annoying? Yeah, those. I love those.
My sophomore year of high school, I had the opportunity to be in the class of a woman widely recognized as the scariest teacher in the world. She was scary not just because of her shirts, which were packed with decorative wrinkles, but because she was mean! She went out of her way to make you feel stupid.
She gave "extra credit" for bringing in a roll of paper towels--but it had to be her favorite brand, or else you got docked. (I say "extra credit" in quotes because the whole class was based on a curve, so when everyone in the class brought in a roll of paper towels but you didn't, the curve stepped up 25 points and left you behind with a worse grade. MEAN!) Once I had the audacity to bring in the wrong brand. My grade felt the pain.
One day she was handing out worksheets (or something), and my eyes fixated on her hands. She was wearing the ugliest ring ever. It was jade, a precious stone I did not appreciate in my youth, and huge. I hate that ring, I thought.
But then I remembered how she was the scariest teacher in the world, and decided I should be brave and talk to her instead of cowering.
So when she got to my row, I piped up.
"I like your ring," I said meekly.
She didn't look at me.
"Thanks," she said. AND SHE SMIRKED! Do you know why she smirked? Because she could read my mind! She knew why I was talking to her and what I really thought about her ring!
But then there was this other time when she was nice to me. My eye was infected and I came in to hand something in before going to the doctor, and she got me some ice and told me to take care of myself. So she must have forgiven me for the ring incident.
See that grown woman? Walking down the street with her heels and her gigantic Liz Clairborne purse? Pulling off strips of cheese from her cheese stick and gulping them down? Reminding you of the foods you used to eat when you were in kindergarten?
That's me. Feeling stupid.
I select from the office refrigerator a cup of sugar-free pudding that I placed there earlier this week. Then I select a (non-eco-friendly) plastic spoon from the plastic spoon box. On my journey back to my desk, I peel off the foil top to the pudding cup, and as I pass through the dim conference room, I proceed to lick away. Then I freeze mid-lick as I realize that there are two other people--who likely never eat pudding cups let alone lick the foil tops--entering the dim conference room from the other side, watching me lick.
A coworker tells me something over the phone, then forgets to hang up. I hear him telling another coworker, "Dani isn't a chicken and shrimp kind of person. She's more of a chicken and meatballs kind of person, or a chicken and hamburger kind of person."
Newsrooms are supposed to be buzzing centers of activity, with people shouting out leads and such, working together to get the best sources and info possible. So our desks are set up in a clump with 3/4-height mesh walls separating us. When it's quiet (which is more common than you'd think), we can all hear each others' conversations, clear as a bell.
It's so awkward.
Guy on the phone: Hi, this is Joe? Me: Hi Joe, this is Dani-- Joe: I'm unavailable at the moment, please leave a message-- Me: Oh, whoops. The collective newsroom: (Silently.) What an idiot.
Answering machine: Please leave your message at the tone. Me: Hi, Pam, this is Dani Grigg calling. I'm a reporter at the IBR and I am working on an article-- Answering machine: Your message has been recorded. To re-record, press 2. Me: BLAAAHH! Stupid phone! (I press 2.) (In an obnoxiously loud voice so the answering machine doesn't cut me off again:) Hi, Pam, this is Dani Grigg calling. I'm a reporter.... yadda yadda yadda. The collective newsroom: (Silently.) What an idiot.
And another example:
Me: (Insert idiotic question that shows limited to no understanding of the issue at hand and a sad inability to use basic English here.) The collective newsroom: (Silently.) What an idiot. See what I'm saying? Endless awkward possibilities.
Sometimes when I'm restless and I'm sitting next to Seth (like at church or in the car or at the movies), I remove my wedding ring and place it in Seth's hand, saying, "I have no use for this." And then I refuse to take it back.
He used to pretend to be hurt, but I've done it so many times that now he just says, "Stop it, Dani," and puts it on my lap.
Then I have to put it back on my ring finger so I don't lose it.
Once I decided I would never be fluent in Spanish unless I moved to a foreign country. So what did I do? I moved to the Spanish House. NOT a foreign country. I'm STILL not fluent. But it helped and it was fun.
This was in college, and they had houses where you could only speak certain languages. Actually, apartments. And there was one native speaker in each apartment. You had dinner together and activities together, giving you all the opportunity you could ask for to practice the language. Church was even in Spanish.
One night at dinner, I volunteered to give a blessing on the food. I was nervous--the audience was big. It all went fine until I said (in Spanish), "We are thankful for the food, and that we have friends we can eat..." WITH! When I got to the end of the sentence, I realized that it was too late for the "with!" I had forgotten to phrase the sentence the ONLY way it works in Spanish, which is "with whom we can eat!" You can get away with saying the "with" at the end in English, but NOT in Spanish. HORROR.
But at that point, there was nothing I could do. So I just had to leave my cannibalistic declaration and move on.
When I was finished, a girl down the table (who I later came to think of as my arch nemesis)/ (of whom I later came to think as my arch nemesis)/ (of whom as my arch nemesis I later came to think) said quietly to her friends, "Did you hear that she said 'friends we can eat'?"
I never volunteered to pray at the Spanish House again.
If you know me, you know I am a football expert. (Sike.) (Psych.) (Not even close.)
But I do have one thing to say about the sport. Actually, all sports.
The worst part of any game shown on TV is when they interview the coach or the players. Here are some examples of what you might hear if you make the mistake of listening to one of these interviews:
Interviewer: Mr. Quarterback, what was going through your head when you scored that game-winning touchdown? Quarterback: I was thinking, I just need to score this touchdown. Blah, Blah, Blah.
Interviewer: Mr. Receiver, what does it mean to you to have won this game? Receiver: It means a lot. Blah, Blah, Blah.
Interviewer: Coach, how does it feel to take home the national championship? Coach: It feels good. Blah, Blah, credit to the other team, Blah.
If I were one of those interviewers, I would feel embarrassed to be asking the same questions over and over again (though I know it's unavoidable). And I would be bored of hearing the same answers over and over again. Do they ever say anything you wouldn't have predicted them saying? No!
So every time one of these interviews comes on, I become obnoxious and start aiming incredulous exclamations at the TV, along with pleas for everyone to stop talking about things that aren't interesting.
I don't think I'm getting anywhere with these requests.
I've got a two boys, born in 2010 and 2012 (respectively). I've also got a husband. He is a "policy analyst" (interpret those quote marks as you will) and I am a "household administrator." I also do some freelance writing and editing. I'm a Mormon. I can't skate backwards. I like fiction.