It's about time we got some pictures up in here, bitches


The Pan, my sister Alex, and some bad rad and kickin' red boots he got for Christmas.

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Babies and mommies and birthdays all around!


So I totally have ESP. I have a friend who lives downstairs in my building who was very, very pregnant. She wasn't due for another few weeks but was ready to go at any second, dialated to 5 centimeters already and about to pop. She has a daughter who's almost two who loves LOVES Peter Pan (she calls him Pah-Pan, how cute is THAT) and she'd asked if I could watch her when they went to the hospital. I gladly obliged (of COURSE! Any excuse to hold a small child hostage and pretend its mine is an excuse I'll take) and had been kind of waiting on pins and needles for her to go into labor ever since. Not just because I love her daughter, but also because fresh born babies are like crack to me and I had every intention of snorting and/or injecting that baby as soon as it presented its bald little self.

The phone would ring (we have a frequent caller we call "Mr. Fax" who likes to call and go "beeep" at us in the middle of the night) and we'd run to the phone in case we were being called into duty. Usually it was nothing, either Mr. Fax or someone from church (in which case we smacked ourselves in the forehead for not checking the caller I.D. and letting the machine get it).

Two nights ago I had a dream that I was spending time with my friend and she went into labor and her water broke. It was very graphic, all gory and nasty and very much NOT what water-breaking is like, but these are dreams and I take creative license here, and it was AWESOME. In my dream we got in my car (all my dreams involve cars these days, in fact, when I go home for Portland for my mom's birthday in 2 weeks the first thing on my to-do list is drive the car to the mall, which is second on my to-do list. Suburban malls, ahhhh) and high-tail it to the hospital where she births a beautiful baby who looks just like me and then says, hey, you take her, she's yours! No, I didn't dream that part. Actually once we got to the hospital I woke up, probably because my dog is sleeping on the bed with us lately and likes to try as many spots on the bed in one night as possible.

Today I found out that, as I was dreaming of my friend having her baby, she was actually having her baby. Huh! Lookey there, I'm psychic.

And actually, as excited as I was to be their pinch-hitter and watch Disney cartoons all day with their daughter, I'm not at all upset that I wasn't the one called to duty when zero hour arrived, 'cause that new baby came at the ungodly hour of 3 a.m., and what with the skin disease I seem to have contracted (see below) and my intense hatred of being awake when I could just as easily be asleep (read: all the time), I probably would have hid in the bathroom until they had dropped off the kid and sped off to the hospital. So, there's that.

In other news, I'm going to Portland in two weeks for my mom's birthday. I booked my tickets and told my dad, and for kicks, since I was flying in on my mom's birthday, we decided to make it a "surprise," which is surprising because I am squarely against "surprises" in all packages and forms because they never work out. And, as it happened, it didn't work out. My dad told my sister (who's in another city far far away, and STILL couldn't keep her mouth shut) who accidentally spilled the beans to my mom. It went something like this:

Amanda: Soo, I guess Natalie's coming in town, that should be fun.

Mom: Oh! I guess so!

My mom being the ultimate spazz that she is pretended on the phone with Amanda that she already knew. Amanda told me she spilled it but that mom was already in on it, and when I called my mom to ante up and tell her officially ('cause to not would be dorky) it went something like this:

Me: So, I guess you know I'm coming home for your birthday...

Mom: WHAT?? How exciting!!

Me: Mom! Don't be a faker!

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As I speak, an unknown, alien species is taking up residence on the area of my face formally known as my cheek, and now known as Pimple Colony A.


This is the story of my face:

It begins last Friday when I was sitting at my desk at work scrutinizing my pores in the mirror of my compact and realizing daaaaang I have some serious issues here. I'd been using cleansing wipes at night because I've become too freaking lazy to wash my face properly over the sink at night, and I'd been using the same old bottle moisturizer I'd had for over a year, which is an SPF 15, and I've often heard that sunblock, even in good moisturizers, can lead to blackheads. (I hate the word blackhead. It's just gross sounding and I cringe to even type it. Yick.)

So I went home and employed, aherm, invasive tactics. Then, used REAL cleanser (as in, over the sink and all) and then put on a pore mask. THE PORE MASK ATE MY FACE ALIVE. It was subtle at first, just red and swollen and blotchy. Then came the pustules. The leprosy, if you will. The skin issues not seen since Biblical times and which will most likely require exorcism to clear up. Yeah, okay go look in the mirror. See all those pores? Imagine that instead of pores, all over your face, you have teeeeeny tiny pimples. Imagine your face has a texture like unto leather. Pebbled leather. Yes, there we are.

Today was day two and, I might add, much much worse than yesterday. I woke up this morning to see my husband bent over me, inspecting my face. "How bad is it?" I asked him.

"Uhh, not too bad. Just looks like dry skin!"

When I looked in the mirror what I saw most resembled tiny cottage cheese all over my face. I whimpered as I pushed and poked at my face and declared it a day in which no living being (besides my angel of a dog who, frankly, probably thinks I'm the ugliest dog he's ever seen and wouldn't much notice the difference) would see my face and I'd hide under a blanket until it all went away.

But then, in a moment of courage that is SO not like me, I decided to suck it up, to use an entire pot of Bare Minerals covering up, and to get my sorry ass to work anyway. And I did! And folks, I still look like a leper! And I avoided eye contact all day!
But, a lot of growing happened today. I faced my embarrassment and horrification and was a grown up. So, there's that.

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Watching There and Back, or, as I like to call it, the best totally awful show on MTV right now


Me: I love their house!

Me: Ohhhh, I want a baby!

Me: Huh, I like her hair like that.

Brandon: CHAAAAAANGE the CHAAAANNEL! Pleeeeease! My brain is MELTING.

Me: Eww, but her hair does not look good up like that. What was she thinking?

Brandon: Please? Anything else!

Me: Crap, why is her mom raising her baby for her? What is this? Now she's cleaning the kitchen?

Brandon: Is he drunk?

Me: Man, that's a cute kitchen.

Brandon: UGH. CHANGE IT!

Me: I let you watch the Texas game!

Me: Dude, I totally love their house.

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Go to another website NOW while you still have your sanity


It is March in Brooklyn and it is 70 degrees out today. 70! DEGREES! I promptly took Peter Pan out for the longest walk of his 5 month life, where he chased leaves in the wind and sniffed dogs' bottoms and all around had a gay old time. At 5 I decided the weather called for sushi (just about anything can call for sushi for me these days, I am a tuna addict, and I make the rules here, don't you forget it) but the delivery dudes don't take credit (I've never fully searched the delivery dudes for credit card slots - they should make delivery dudes with a slider thing down their arm so you can just reach over and swipe your card) so I had to get cash.

I almost never have cash, I don't know what that is (and no, Brandon, it's not because I spend it so fast. It's cause YOU NEVER GET ME ANY!) and I'm usually too lazy to use the ATM my own damn self, so at any moment of any day I'm guaranteed to only have 81 cents in case I'm mugged. So now you know - DON'T MUG ME I GOT NOTHIN.

I walked to the bank across the street (the one of four we have on our block, this crazy place)in - get this - A T-SHIRT! My arms were exposed, folks. And so blindingly white and scrawny it was like looking at cooked spaghetti. Flabby spaghetti. But the weather was gorgeous. GORGEOUS. And so high on the temperate climate was I that I walked to get sushi instead of calling take out. And that's my story. Seriously, that's it. Sorry guys.

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This is the only way to keep Peter Pan from stealing our socks when we fold the laundry


He LOVES this. What was initially a creative solution (creative and cruel, or so we thought anyway) has turned into a laundry-day ritual.

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When I picked up Peter Pan from his breeder, she presented the little puker with a sweet little Christmas kerchief. Granted, he wasn't wearing it, he was too busy puking from the excitement of the airport and the terror of the PA announcements. As much as I don't understand pukers, I fell instantly in love with my little Christmas present, puke or not.

He never wore his kerchief after that. It smelled too much like his brothers and sisters back in Indianapolis and so, with the kerchief around his neck he'd sniff and bite and, once he got it off, lay in it. It was very sweet, and really pretty sad when you think about it. So it became a bit of a comfort toy. Lately it had gotten ratty, hole-ridden, crusty, and damn stinky.

Last night as Peter was lying on his back chomping on his kerchief, Brandon started to get concerned. There was only a small triangle of kerchief that Peter was chewing on - the rest had disapppeared down his throat, or as we like to call it, the place where everything we love meets an untimely end before getting pooped out a few days later. Brandon grabbed the corner of the kerchief and pulled it from the depths of Peter's stomach. Peter thought this was AWESOME, never mind how gross it really is, and merrily chewed and gnawed in bliss.

Brandon asked, "Wouldn't it be terrible if he swallowed it??" We stopped for a minute to contemplate the inevitable and realized that, sadly, another of his puppy toys was going to have to meet Peter's best friend in the house: The garbage can.

This morning we awoke to the sound of Peter retching. This is a fairly normal occurrence these days in this house. With Peter's teething comes an insatiable need to chew on stuff, and that stuff normally ends up swallowed, only to be expelled out Peter's body sometime between 4 and 6 am. After Peter had finished puking, Brandon (resident puke cleaner, for the time being - when we have babies it's my responsibility again, until they're grown and it's adult puke, and then, back to Brandon's responsibility. I think this is perfectly fair) cleaned it up, and in doing so found treasure. His kerchief! There it was! And when and how did Peter get around to eating that? Huh.

And so it was that the second of Peter's childhood toys met it's end after we'd already decided to throw it out but didn't get around to it until it was covered in vomit. The end.

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La de dah, la de dah.


Hi guys. What's up? Not much over here. The weather is nice, there's another movie being filmed in our neighborhood, and I got stopped four times on my walk with Peter by women wanting me to know how adorable my dog was. One woman even took a picture. Peter is a bit of a ham and when people seem interested in him he'll stand up on his back two legs and dance in a circle. Someday he'll learn to spin on his head and then he'll really be impressive.

Alright, we're going to watch Weatherman now, a movie I have zero interest in based solely on the fact that I think Nicholas Cage is creepy.

And finally, I got a bit of traffic from a few french websites today. I went to those sites to see what all the hubbub was and, not speaking French and all, came up blank. Anybody from France want to say hi? How did you find my site? And, also, Welcome!

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So what did you kids think of the Oscars? How do you think Jon Stewart did? I have a little crush on Jon Stewart and so, of course, I thought he did just swimmingly, though really anybody who makes fun of Hollywood is golden in my book. Seriously, could they take themselves more seriously? Clooney? And could Charlize Theron have less of a sense of humor?

Yeah, it was long, the dresses were boring (I give a thumbs up to Michelle Williams' dress, though), but Brandon and I got a good gasp out of the winner for best picture, and then a good giggle when the woman thanked both her husband AND her wife. Only in Hollywood!

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Life in the Financial District


At around 1:30 this afternoon as I was sitting at work, surfing the internet and having nothing to do, I noticed a strange scent in the air. Right around the same time, an announcement came over the PA - there was a "smoke condition" in the lobby, the fire department was on its way, and we were to be standby until further notice. For about 10 minutes we all pretended like nothing was happening, until the smell got so bad my throat started burning and then, slowly, like animals emerging from hibernations in their caves, coworkers I'd never seen before started making their way to the windows, I guess to make sure the building wasn't obviously on fire. It wasn't a smoky smell, more like a melting plastic smell, the kind of smell you get when you've burned out your toaster or accidentally put the curling iron too close to your moisturizer bottle. Once the cubicled masses got together emotions escalated, words like "9/11" and "terrorists" were thrown around, and one woman had a minor panic attack and was escorted out of the building by a cube neighbor.

It really wasn't a big deal, it turns out it was just an equipment meltdown or something in the loading dock under the building, and within an hour the smell was completely gone, but for a minute there it was a little iffy. The building where I work is directly across the street from Ground Zero. You can see the parking lot-looking remains of the center of the Financial Universe by looking out virtually any window in the building. It's just right there. Most of the people working in my office building were there when the towers went down and had to be evacuated out of Lower Manhattan. A lot of the buildings on the block have been shut down for years to repair the damage of the blasts and the subsequent debris that floated everwhere. Even though it was just a minor little nothing today, we were all justifiable scared off our rockers.

Even while the PA announcements still told we were completely safe, the mass exodus down the 13 flights of stairs began as kind of a slow trickle. Soon, half the building was amassed in front of the building, counting fire trucks (5) and eyeing hot firefighters (me). Then the trucks left, and we were left standing outside in the cold, blinking at each other in the natural light we'd never seen each other in, and feeling like school kids on a fire drill. Then, reluctantly, we filtered back into the building, and back up to work.

It wasn't anything too terribly exciting, but it was thrilling. For a minute I stared death in the face and laughed - before high tailing it out of the building as soon as my high-heeled feet could carry me.

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Today's Crazy of the Day


Today made it two days in a row that I was stared at uncomfortably on the subway by a semi-psychotic woman in her forties. How does that happen? This time it was a woman with powerful bags in her eyes shifting in her seat and glancing furitively from one side of the train to the next as if she'd just pooped her pants and was wondering if anybody noticed. Then, her crazy eyes spotted me and locked on till Borough Hall when I exhaled in relief when she stayed on to crazier parts of Brooklyn.

Speaking of Brooklyn, Robin Williams is filming a movie down the street from me - there's a huge trailer blocking my wonderful view of the neighborhood Chipotle and a "tutor trailer" on Clinton Street that I just KNOW houses that little Charlie and the Chocolate Factory kid when he's not shooting (the kid's in the movie too, it's a veritable famous-person FEAST!) Both Brandon and I have taken far more walks than necessary with our adorable puppy to see if they happen to need a good looking dog and his owner as extras. Sadly, no big breaks yet.

And, also speaking of my crazy neighborhood, today as I was walking home on Court Street it was raining. As soon as I rounded the corner onto Montague Street it was snowing, and had been for a while, as evidenced by the layer of snowy slush I got to smoosh through on my way to my apartment. Seriously, how weird is that?

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