I have so many things to say, some of them quite dull indeed. But my need to tell others the minutia of my life is HIGH, and Paul’s interest in hearing about it (“And then I found printer paper on this good sale, I think because they’re changing the packaging from 500 sheets to 400 and they want to get rid of the old stuff, AND I had a 20% off coupon!”) is at an understandably lower level, and this is probably why blogs were invented. And since my blog has been in and out of service for about a week (and CONTINUES to have trouble), I have a significant stockpile of minutia built up. Some will have to wait, however, until I’m again able to load photos: I’m getting an error Paul will have to look into while I tell him my great story about the printer paper.

I have a song going through my head and I CANNOT FIND IT, and I have been hoping it will play again on the radio. I wish I could hum you a snippet because I’m SURE some of you would know it. And I have a vague memory of there being apps/programs where you CAN hum a snippet and it will find you the song, but I tried just now to hum it and it was…not very well matched to the original. All I remember is this: the chorus sounds like the guy is singing something like “Do I need YOU? Do I love YOU?”—something along those lines, quite high-pitched and slowish and sad, or maybe just sentimental and croony. I have tried to search with the lyrics, but you can see how those lyrics would be rather common, and also I’m not sure of them: it could be “and” instead of “do,” or maybe he’s singing “And I’m so blue,” or who KNOWS. I heard it while I was cooking dinner and didn’t realize how much I liked it until it was going through my head later. [Update: Rachel KNEW WHAT SONG I WAS TALKING ABOUT. It’s “If I Have To” by Avery Wilson. I cannot believe someone GUESSED IT from my EXTREMELY POOR DESCRIPTION.]

Speaking of songs that go through one’s head. I know we all have our things that we feel physically self-conscious about, and if plumpness is one of yours I suggest Mika’s “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)”:

I was heading into the grocery store yesterday, basically walking like the girls in the video because I had this song in my head. Well, MENTALLY walking like the girls in the video.

I re-watched Crazy, Stupid, Love. I remember watching it before, and I remembered liking it, but I couldn’t remember much else about it. And I just watched La La Land, which features a re-pairing of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, so that put me in the mood for Crazy, Stupid, Love. It was better than I remembered it. Which I shouldn’t say, because I still think it’s best to go into it with lowered expectations. But…I really liked it. Again. Despite being approximately 0% on-board with the concept of soulmates, or with the ultimate destination of those photos.

Our sump pump is acting up. You know how sometimes a toilet will run and run, and then you open the tank and jostle the floating thingie and it stops? That is how our sump pump is behaving, except when I jostle the thingie, it only lasts maybe ten or fifteen minutes until it starts running again. I have emailed my dad but he is in a different time zone so it may be awhile; in the meantime I have put a box of Famous Amos cookies down by the sump, and every time I have to go down there to jostle the thingie I have a cookie. But I am getting low on cookies. Also, I made the brief, screaming acquaintance of a spider of considerable heft and girth that evidently calls our sump pump home, and now I don’t know where he is. [Update: My dad emailed and said this is a sump pump emergency in need of a TODAY appointment. A plumber has come and gone; he is getting us a new sump pump and will be right back to install it. I notice his underwear is a good two inches above his jeans; he is taking NO CHANCES.]

Don’t let me forget that the next time I go down to jostle the sump I need to bring up a cake mix. Two of our cats have birthdays this week, and according to the children it would be unfeeling to combine the celebrations. So I will bake the two layers, frost one for today’s cat birthday party, and put the other layer aside for the Friday party.

We have now heard back from all the colleges Rob applied to. He has about 3-1/2 weeks until we have to send a deposit to one of them. And is he making spreadsheets, reading pamphlets, responding enthusiastically to suggestions that we discuss pros/cons or visit the campuses again? No, he is not. And when I ask him about it he acts as if I am nagging him around the clock. I alternate between getting teary over my first baby leaving us forever, and COUNTING THE MONTHS.

Are you following the livestream of the giraffe in labor? I AM. I am feeling so much empathy for the giraffe. She stands still; she presses her head against the boy giraffe’s neck; her legs tremble and her ears flutter and her tail lashes. It’s been DAYS. The update on Facebook from the zoo claimed that “there is no pain.” Bitch, please. This reminds me of my own pregnancy/childbirth days, when I fervently wished to mind-meld with the obstetrician for just ONE HOUR. See if he wants to shrug off the “normal first-trimester nausea” THEN! See what he wants to call “the discomfort of contractions” THEN!

Paul, with surprising disregard for his own well-being, started a sentence in this conversation with “Well, actually.” “Well, actually,” he said, “animals don’t feel as much pain as humans do during childbirth. It has to do with head size.” Okay, fine, but what I would like to know is how we think we know how much pain animals are feeling. Have we done a mind-meld? No? Then perhaps we should not be deciding whether they do or don’t feel a certain way. Perhaps that giraffe is feeling no pain. Perhaps she is all “La la la, what a pleasant mild sensation, like a fairy tickling my tum!” But I will be very relieved when the baby giraffe is born.

42 thoughts on “Misc

  1. Anna

    I LOVE your description of the giraffe’s labor signs! Very perceptive. And very similar to how I felt/acted when I was in labor with my daughter, minus some of the tail-lashing.

  2. Jenny

    I literally mooed when I was in labor. Maybe I did do a mind meld! With a cow! If so, sorry, cow!

    I watched Crazy, Stupid, Love on a plane, and it landed 20 minutes before the end and I have never seen the end. Not because I don’t want to, but because I wanted to watch it for free. Sheesh. I think I will rent it this weekend.

    1. KP

      Your mooing comment made me laugh and then unlocked a well-sealed memory where I strained over in the middle of my first labor and licked (with gusto!) the bed rail from panic of not knowing what the f-enheimer else to do. Labor is no joke.

  3. Lisa

    Ryan and Emma. Crazy, Stupid Love is one of my fave movies ever. La La Land gutted me. GUTTED me. I think I need to go watch CSL again to bounce back.

  4. Kris H

    The song…could it be “I hate you, I love you” by Gnash?

    I know the lyrics don’t match what you said, but it’s what popped into my head when I was reading your description.

  5. Angela

    Oh my, this cutie Mika’s voice sounds wonderfully similar to the late Freddie Mercury. What a great song!

    1. Blythe

      He sings a song called “Grace Kelly” that is super fun and makes a Freddie reference. Love it.

  6. Elizabeth

    I will be watching the comments section for the song ideas/recommendations. I heard something similar on the radio a few weeks ago but I can’t even remember enough of the song to describe it or hum it.

    1. Swistle Post author

      Oh my holy heck, that is it. I cannot believe you knew what I was talking about. I thought, “I shouldn’t even bother mentioning this, since there is no way anyone could ever guess.” And then I thought, “Well, you know, every time I think it’s not worth it with something like this, someone ALWAYS KNOWS.”

  7. Kirsty

    I am no help whatsoever about your mystery song, but I can tell you that I adore Mika – he’s one of the judges on the French version of The Voice (his French is impeccable, he speaks about a million different languages) and I melt every time I see him… He also does a very cute (and colourful) ad for a small car. *sigh* I have a ridiculous crush on him, actually. Oh, and sometimes during The Voice they show him in his home in London and it is absolutely fabulous too. Of course it is.

  8. Tessie

    FTLOG the suspense of Rob’s decision! Although I DO sort of recall suddenly springing the “hi, I’m going to college in Texas” thing on MY parents after a period of silence, so.

    Crazy, Stupid, Love is one of the few movies of its genre that I legit enjoy. I will watch it whenever it’s on.

  9. Jd

    Um Paul, no. I’ve been part of a team that tries to measure pain in animals. What makes labor difficult is 1.contractions and 2. Shoulders (not heads). Every way we are able to measure pain in animals tells us that labor is painful for mammals (they all experience contractions) just watch cow or horse (huge shoulders, legs, hooves) give birth and even the inexperienced can see their discomfort. Plus larger animals can tear very badly, which is definitely painful.

  10. Ann

    Yes, I have a senior as well, who has 4 schools to choose from, and as far as I can see, is doing absolutely nothing to help herself make that decision. I broke down and made a spreadsheet, because of course I had to, but beyond that, who knows. And I really don’t want her to go far, but all her top choices are far, and my teammates at school are making me feel worse about having her leave. I’m kind of a wreck right now.

  11. Jesabes

    I love Crazy, Stupid, Love. Either Steve Carell is really good at picking rom-coms, or he’s offered the kind that match my sensibility, because the ones he’s in tend to become my cherished movies. (Dan in Real Life is another one of our favorites and my husband and I like to yell “YOU are a MURDERER of LOVE” at each other sometimes :) )

  12. Meredith


    Also, animals WHIMPER when they’re in labor. They are not entirely stoic about it. It sure as heck reads like pain from where I’m sitting. They might have less pain or different pain because of the head size, but the exit is still significantly smaller than A FREAKING GIRAFFE.

    1. Corinne

      HAHAHAHHAHA! OMG it might actually be true. Swistle, take no chances – give those cookies to the plumber.

  13. Kara

    We live in a place that has a lot of dairies around it. We’ve seen cows give birth. It’s an experience for sure.

    RE: Cake
    My kids love lemon cake, and I totally found the best, easy lemon cake making trick. You need a box of lemon cake mix, 4 eggs, a jar 20-22oz jar of lemon pie filling (aka lemon curd). Throw the cake mix (just the mix, don’t make as directed on the package), eggs and lemon curd together in a bowl. Mix them all together and bake in well greased pans at 325 until the center part finally turns to cake. The thinner the layer, the better, because the middle takes a long time to firm up. But, a great cake that doesn’t dry out even when you forget about it and leave it in the garage fridge for 4 days.

    1. SheLikesToTravel

      Kara – Another great cake recipe is the same jar of lemon curd mixed with a box of angel food cake. Nothing else. Mix and poor into a 9×13 pan. So good!

    2. Melissa

      This does sound excellent, but I am perplexed by, “a great cake…even when you forget about it…” I have a different relationship with cake than you do. It’s an officemate’s birthday today and I’m literally watching the clock til caketime.

  14. Carmen

    My favourite sentence is the one that starts “Paul, with surprising disregard for his own well-being…”. I snorted with laughter and nearly choked on my Diet Coke.

    Paul doesn’t know what he’s talking about. FOR SURE labour is painful. Even (especially?) for giraffes.

    1. Alison

      Absolutely! I guffawed and startled the baby.

      Re Rob: I so wish I could offload some of my chronic anxiety to those who clearly need it. Not my children so much, but perhaps occasionally my husband.

      1. t. s.

        What a wonderful gift that would be! My husband could certainly use a dose of anxiety sometimes, lol

  15. Tommie

    I laughed out lout (literally) at your observation of the plumber’s underwear. Hahahaha. I love posts like this one. Thank you!

  16. Devan

    That poor April! I don’t believe for a second that her labor is pleasant, and geez, she’s been waiting FOREVER.

  17. Matti

    I just loved this post and the entire comments section. It made my day. Your minutia post reminds me of my phone calls to my mother. Sometimes we talk about big things, but a lot of the time it’s just telling each other what was on sale, or who said what at writer’s workshop, or what the kids said. And it’s delightful.
    This has all made me feel better about people. Thank you.

  18. BKC

    I love your music recommendations. Do you have Spotify? I would so peek at your Discover Weekly playlist.

  19. nonsoccermom

    Paul is a brave, brave man.

    Last week I had a similar song identification situation. A few measures were running through my head in a loop and I vaguely remembered it being from the 90s, but I couldn’t quite remember the exact words and I was fuzzy enough on the melody that SoundHound (a Shazaam-like app that you can sing/hum into) was like uhhhhh…no shot at a match on that, lady. It was driving me NUTS. I googled it. I actually typed the words “song that goes dun dun dun dun” into a search bar. Surprisingly, that yielded no useful results. After an exhaustive search of deep corners of the internets for lyrics I couldn’t entirely recall and desperate Friday night tweeting which led to crowdsourcing of every single 90s song the Ladies’ Internet could remember, I finally was able to figure it out: Everlong by Foo Fighters. And then I promptly bought it on iTunes so that I never forget it ever again, amen.

    1. Winds

      I was going to suggest SoundHound too! Sorry it didn’t work for you but glad you found the song!

  20. JMV

    My husband thinks I’ve lost it because I check in on April approximately every 90 minutes. Little does he know that I’ve Facebook liked the park, zoomed in on photos of her utters and backend (yeah, I’ve looked at a giraffe’s T&A), watched several YouTube videos of giraffes mating, and have a running list of baby giraffe names saved because I will spend real money voting on this issue. I’m nuts, but so much happier doing this than reading articles about poisoned Syrian children, dissecting the Sec State’s alarming words about possibly bombing a nutter with nukes, and hearing the latest terrifying way Russia may be undermining my concept of democracy.

    Tomorrow’s distraction technique will be listening to every song in the comments section. Only wish the correct answer would have come later, giving me an hour’s worth of song possibilities.

    I feel for Rob and you in this stressful and happy situation. He has OPTIONS of multiple good schools!! Yay! But also terrifying! Good luck! Maybe send the other kids to bed, introduce him to wine before college, and get him to talk. I’m joking…kind of.

  21. JMV

    Also it is difficult to find out online how to say “Late as f@&$” in an African language online. đŸ˜‚

  22. Barbara

    April. YES. Every time she has stopped and rolled her hips, I’ve thought: girl, I FEEL YOU. Because that’s how I spent the last three months of my last pregnancy, when my pelvis bones decided to grind together in a way that made me consider a pelvis-ectomy. Stop, roll, and groan. And how can it not be painful to have six feet of knobby knees and sharp hooves poking one from the inside? And I thought human baby knees and nails were bad. I’ve even signed up for those texts because I AM NOT MISSING OUT ON THIS HOW MANY WEEKS HAVE I ANXIOUSLY BEEN WAITING AND WATCHING, ahem.

    Minutia: this is why I miss having a blog. Mind you, it’s been 10 years since I blogged regularly, but I still miss it. I keep thinking I need to return (for my own sanity, if nothing else), but haven’t found the time.

  23. Shawna

    Okay, I will go back and read the rest of the comments after this, but first I have to say:

    Humorous sentiments and turns of phrase abound in this entry. Even more than usual, and that is saying something.

    This entry is also leaving me in suspense: Did you like La La Land? Did Rob get into the college he most wanted to? How did he react to his acceptance or rejection? You’ve written about how you were afraid he might not and might be disappointed, and now that you know… what happened?

  24. Maggie

    Oh that poor giraffe. I harken back to the final weeks of pregnancy with Youngest. I was nearly 40 years old, she was two weeks late and enormous, I was so uncomfortable. My heart goes out to mommy giraffe, she’s got to be SO DONE being pregnant.

    I am already dreading the entire college thing and Oldest is only in 8th grade. I know already that he’s going to make me tear out my hair in frustration over not planning ahead for applications, decisionmaking, or anything. I really don’t know how I’m going to deal with his Type B personality when it comes to such a big decision. ACK.

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