Sunday Night Jam Sesh

Who needs The Wiltern when there's a live concert going on in the comfort of your own home? Now if I could only find my lighter. (It gets really cute at around 1:43, p.s.) 

A one, two, three AND!...

Thirty Four And Whaddaya Know?

For all my bitching and crying and Oh my God! I'm going to be as big as I was last pregnancy! S.O.S.! I've just been to the doctor and found that much to my shock and amusement, I have gained one pound since my last doctor's appointment two weeks ago. Ha Ha Ha! Oh, life... Classic. Classic. Classic. Typical. Classic. 

Apparently it's common for women to put on the bulk of their third-trimester weight in the first few weeks before slowing down, gaining slowly until the baby's born. (I think some of you actually wrote of this in the comments of one of my weighty posts.) My experience with Archer was so different because of my hypertension and my 40 lb gain within three-weeks. (Not joking. How scary is that?) so I really had no idea how a normal, healthy pregnancy would/should progress for me. 

Although, I must say. I'm very comfortable with where I am, now. Thirty-four pounds at thirty-four weeks seems manageable. Not too overwhelming. Healthy. Fabulous. Nothing to cry about. 


My lovely friend and authoress, Stephanie Kuehnert was kind enough to interview me for her Women Who Rock Wednesdays. Check it out if you're interested or wanna win yourself a signed copy of Rockabye

The Herbivore's Dilemma

I joined PETA in 7th grade, the same year I stopped eating meat. It all started with the book, Diet For a New America which I read in Foods Class and was never the same.

Still, I had always been reluctant to eat meat, even as a little girl. I was a lover of all animals and dreamed of becoming a farmer when I grew up if only to keep cows and pigs as pets. Eating meat always seemed unnatural to me so it didn't take much to turn me into a vegetarian animal-rights activist which I decidedly became at the ripe old age of twelve, writing angry letters to Gillette over animal testing and Barnum and Bailey Circuses for their inhumane treatment of animals, not to mention participating in PETA pamphlet parties and donating portions of my allowance to the cause. 

I also worked for years trying to convert my parents and siblings into vegetarians. It only took twelve years before my mom stopped eating meat, herself, but I think it had more to do with these books than my dinner-table preach-sessions in defense of "poor piggies."

I went from vegetarian to vegan in High School and then started eating fish, which I continue to eat regularly now so yes, the title of this post is deceiving. I'm a seafood junkie. I'm also not opposed to the occasional turkey sandwich or Cobb Salad (hold the bacon.)

Beef, Pork, Chicken (and everything else)? That's another story.

Bottom line? I don't believe in the consumption of most meats. Not only for environmental reasons but because, plain and simple, I don't like the idea of hormone-pumped animals spending their lives suffering in their own shit and disease only to be slaughtered in horrific ways. Not appetizing to me is the thing. Don't want that karma in my bod.

The mass-production of meat in this country is so out of hand I cannot even fathom how the (meat) industry gets away so much of what it does. Some blame fast-food. Some blame overpopulation. Meanwhile: heads fall into the sand and stay there. 

When Archer was born I wrestled with how I would raise him. Would I learn to prepare meat for my son? Would I be okay with his eating of meat, specifically beef and pork products? I was okay with Hal eating meat, so long as he knew and understood I would never prepare it in our house. (Which he does and is cool with.) It wasn't like I would be putting meat in my body. Except, actually, as I soon found out: It kind of was. Because he's my son. And every time I fed him meat I felt guilty. Awful. Like I was damaging him. Because children eat what is put in front of them and they trust us, their parents to make good decisions in terms of their early eating habits. I found myself caught in a bit of an ethical dilemma... 

If I don't believe in the consumption of meat, does that mean my child isn't allowed to eat it? 

I'm not a religious person by any means but I started to understand parents who force their beliefs on their children. Plain and simple, its hard not to. Especially when one believes so strongly in something. I'm doing what's best for my children, they think. 

And so do I. 

It didn't take long before I starting serving Archer meatless alternatives. The same meatless alternatives I've eaten most of my life. Tofu and Boca burgers and soy meatballs...

And all was right in the world, again. 

Over the years, however, the thought of Archer eating pork chops or hot dogs has become terrifying to me. I have become increasingly paranoid that my son might grow up carnivorous with a voracious appetite for hamburgers and bacon -- two items that I cannot look at without feeling nauseous and flat-out sad.

This proves awkward when people offer Archer bacon or meatballs and I say, "No. He doesn't eat that," because it sounds like I'm speaking for him.

Which, yeah, I guess I am. And I wrestle with whether or not that's the right thing to do. 

Being a parent in the land of health-food, tri-weekly farmer's markets and vegan diners, it's far easier for parents to be understanding when I tell them that "No, Archer isn't allowed to go to McDonalds" or "no thanks" when he's offered pork products, but enforcing this no-meat policy for years-to-come is a completely different story. I mean... isn't it?

Who's to say Archer won't feel the need to rebel against my rules and at sixteen come home late one night stinking of a McDonald's double-cheeseburger, which might honestly be worse than him coming home stinking of beer and cigs.

These are my fears, people. And they make me feel like some kind of zealot. (Am I one?) Which is both scary and annoying. Archer should be able to make up his mind about what he believes in and what he should and shouldn't eat and yet.... NOOOOOOO!!! Don't do it! Nooooo!!!!

Perhaps my main fear isn't that Archer will experiment with hamburgers as a teenager so much as the possibility that ( like many and most) Archer will become a complacent eater: someone who eats what is put in front of him without thinking, knowing or caring where it has come from. I want Archer to know. And to care. And to understand what it means to eat certain things, but I want to teach him without scaring or upsetting him or being manipulative when it comes to my personal food ethics and beliefs. 

The issue isn't to raise my children Vegan or even Vegetarian but to raise educated eaters who know and understand where their food is coming from, how it lived and what we sacrifice physically and environmentally and (if you're like me) emotionally (poor pigs!) when we decide to eat certain food. Specifically, certain meats. This is one of my main goals as a parent, which I guess makes sense being that PETA was my pre-pubescent cause. (I dropped out of PETA at 15 because it was a little too over-the-top for me, ex: I wore leather shoes.)

I guess I just fear the judgment of others.

I can already feel myself turning into the mom who freaks the fuck out when the school tries to feed her kid hot dogs at lunch and I really don't want to be that mom.

And yet...

I think...


I might just be. 


I'd love to hear from some of my vegetarian/vegan/ anti-red meat parents on how you plan (or have already) raised your children in a meatless (or meat less) household and how you have enforced rules like "no fast food" and "no meat" without coming off as some kind of food-totalitarian, if that's even possible.


Oh! And speaking of food, my pal, Justin started a food blog which specializes in Vegetarian cooking and recipes. Check him out! 



The first time I felt her hiccup was last week. I felt Archer's first hiccups around the same time. It took me a while before I realized what was happening. The rhythm of the movement like drums. Badabum. Badabum. Badabum. 

I was to be monitored several hours a day, five-days-a-week, during my last six weeks of pregnancy (because of the Preeclampsia) and when nurses hooked me up to the multitude of machines my belly would drum. Every. Single. Time. 

The first time I was too novice to know what was happening. To recognize the rhythm.

"Will you look at that?" The nurse smiled. "He's hiccuping!" 

"He is? Are you sure?"

"Yup. Very common at this stage. And cute." 

"Oh my God! My baby is hiccuping?" 

I didn't even know it was possible. 

It might have been the moment my pregnancy felt most real. My baby was hiccuping -- something that living, breathing humans do. And all these years later, whenever Archer gets the hiccups I become nostalgic for those very first hiccups. The ones we experienced together. 

hiccup! hiccup! hiccup!

I felt her hiccups for the first time last week and had the same kind of "Oh My God. This is happening!" She's in there and she's swallowing and surprising me with twitches of liveliness. Vibrating my body with her human idiosyncrasies. Just like her brother did. 

Thus reminding me to catch my breath and enjoy this time, these final weeks of pregnancy: carrying around the ultimate question mark. 

Because soon enough I will lose vessel-status and have my body back, which is what I have gone on and on about desperately wanting but there is a part of me that treasures this time. Knowing that without even trying, I'm making something completely dumb-founding(ly) beyond comparison perfect. The ultimate creative act. No drafting. No red pens in the margins.  

And yet: Hiccups. Glorious hiccups. 


Worst in Show

Since I already did the "Best in Show" post I thought it was only right and just to turn around and write about some of the "worst" or most unnecessary baby stuff... The "must not haves" if you will:

1. Diaper Disposal Systems: Diaper Dekor? Sucks. Diaper Genie? Even worse. Not only are they ugly but they stink after one dirty diaper and who wants their baby's room (or any room in the house) smelling of fetus feces? Not me. I couldn't handle the stench. I tried placing our Dekor outside but it was still disgusting. Flies would find their ways in the plastic tie bag and when it came time to empty the disposal system into the trash I would all but throw up in my mouth.

Hark! The Diaper Dekor. It even looks like it smells like poop.

It only took me about a year and a half before I came up with a diaper-disposal-system-free alternative: tying the dirty diapers up in Nature Baby Care bio-bags (you can buy them at Target) and flinging them into the garbage pail outside.  We tossed the Dekor when Archer was about a year and a half and this time around? I absolutely won't be using one. I'm a big fan of the whole "don't shit where you eat/sleep/place your child to sleep" thing, so there's also that. And so I say: Death to diaper disposal systems!!!! Besides, those pesky replacement liners? Far too expensive. Seriously, the little bio-bags cost $4 a box and they last, like, two months! And no indoor poopy smell! 

Nature Babycare Bags = BFF

2. Lap Pads: When I was pregnant with Archer I was under the impression that I would need THOUSANDS of them. So guess what? I bought THOUSANDS of them and guess how often I used them? Never. I ended up donating them all to Goodwill, hoping that someone, somewhere would have some use for such seemingly useless items. Burp cloths on the other hand? Buy thousands of them. 

3. That Boppy Neck Support Thing: Again, a useless item you're not even allowed to use in a crib or bassinet OR car seat...  so what the hell, then? A neck support thing that can only be used, where? On the couch? When you're kid's just hanging out, resting by itself? Uh... huh? I never once used the thing and wondered how the hell they got so popular. 

4. Thermometer Rubber Duckies: At first glance, these things seem brilliant. A rubber ducky that tells you if the bath is too hot by saying "HOT" on its rubber bottom. Of course, once you start bathing your baby you realize how silly they really are. Because honestly? New parents are about as paranoid when it comes to water temperature as it gets. Do we really need a plastic duck to tell us whether the water we are bathing our child in is too treacherous? I mean....

5. The Rainbow Fish Bath Book: This was one of those "classic" gift books. Why? I don't know, but we received at least three of them between Archer's infancy and toddlerhood. And WOW. Just... Wow. Talk about the worst message I could even THINK to send my child, even as an infant. If you are unique and beautiful (have rainbow scales) and someone wants your beautiful uniqueness (rainbow scales) well then BY GOLLY! Give all of your beauty and uniqueness (rainbow scales) away so that you can be mediocre (have one rainbow scale left) just like everyone else! How this book has become a classic, I will never know. It is positively the worst children's book ever.

Don't judge this book by its cover. It looks sweet and innocent but really it's the Toddler's Communist Manifesto by Marxist Marcus Pfister

6. Baby Einstein CD's: I will never hate on the Baby Einstein collective as Archer grew up digging the DVDs and prefers Little Einsteins over any and all television, which is fine with me. The show is responsible for Archer's obsession with all things instrumental including his impressive ability to distinguish Oboes from Clarinets. But those dreadful CDs playing Mozart and Beethoven with synthesizers? Wolfgang and the boys are surely rolling around in their graves. I mean, really. Children should be exposed to the REAL thing... not some knock-off version of. 


I'm sure there are plenty more I could add to this list but my brain is toasted and I need to sleep
lie down with my eyes closed whilst being kicked the shit out from the inside and if I'm lucky, fall asleep after two hours of trying to get comfortable only to wake up four-minutes later with the urge to pee like Austin Powers so PLEASE! My wonderful readers, answer me this:  What baby stuff do you deem unnecessary? Specifically, what items (if any) do you totally and utterly despise?


Speaking of lists, this weeks "weird pregnancy symptoms" includes talk of kooky sex dreams and bloody pillow cases! Yeah, baby. 


One of my favorite things about watching Archer grow up is seeing him make friends. Real friends. The kind of friends he will have always, even if time and place and circumstances separate them. The kind of friends he will grow nostalgic for when he thinks of his childhood...

I think back to my first friends and am amazed at how much I remember of them: the red ribbons Christina would wear in her hair. The My Little Pony stickers on Danielle's vanity. The mock-neck sweater (red and blue) Christopher was wearing when he kissed me under the slide.

I love watching Archer make memories -- his shadow flexing and turning and overlapping the silhouettes of best friends, his very first. Cherished always. Racing into the tide and beyond.


Project Crawlway: Episodes Two, Three and Four

While in San Diego for the week, mama did some (more) sewing. Except unlike my first dress (shown here) I actually was able to take off my training wheels and give the ol' sewing machine a spin all by myself!

Episode Two: "Design a baby look that you yourself would wear!"

Sweet little A-line top!..

... with bloomers! (Front) 


Episode Three: "Sew a two-piece inspired by your bedding!" 

This baby was made c/o the same pattern as the above get-up, except this sucka needed some pockets. (Bloomers and interfacing made with the left-overs from the first design.) 

little CU on the deets: nautical buttons = finishing touch!

I sewed these bloomers all by myself! Hooray!

Episode Four: "Create a dress inspired by 1950's Seaside chic"

Striped A-line with vintage inspired pocket. 

I cut this pocket out of this great 50's era fabric I fell in love with. (I'm planning on making a two-piece jumper set with the rest of it.) 

Each of these outfits cost aprox $10.00 to make (including buttons which are more expensive than the fabrics if you can believe) which means I'm saving big-bucks on my kooky baby-clothes shopping habit. Plus, it's way more fun to say "I made this!" even if my seams are funky and shits a little lopsided and my mom totally helped me. 

Plus, it's satisfying my need to nest on days when it's too hot to cook and scrub toilets. 


And in other news, Archer falls in love with "ouder space" specifically Saturn and "its big rings." 

Epiblogue: Still Weighting

For women, weight is, and will always be an issue. We all struggle with it to some degree and to deny our insecurities is to deny one another of the truth in all it's not-so-glorious glory. Many people suggested that my physical insecurities are due to the fact that I live in Los Angeles. This I firmly disagree with. I was far more insecure as a sixteen-year-old in suburban San Diego than I am a twenty-seven year old in urban Los Angeles. And I don't think my confidence issues are result of pregnant celebrities maintaining their stick-like-figures when pregnant. Because, they rarely do. Milla Jovovich, possibly the most beautiful woman of all time,  looked like this when she was pregnant and more power to her. And what about Kate Hudson? Even Gwen Stefani? In fact, the only celebrities I can think of who maintained their stick-selves are Angelina Jolie, who isn't really human anyway and Nicole Kidman whose body I would never even think to compare mine too. 

The problem, I have decided is not the "celeborexia" or "pregnorexia" or whatever it was that was linked in the comments of my last post. The issue I absolutely think is something far easier to ignore: "the professionals." The doctors. The books we read and the Internet we Google

The pressure on pregnant women to stay thin while pregnant comes from what we are told the second we get pregnant from our doctors, newsletters and dot com destinations: Normal weight gain for a pregnant woman of average to normal weight is between 25-35 pounds.

Don't believe me? Go ahead and Google "normal weight gain for pregnant women" and see what you find. 

As a woman who stands 5 foot 8 inches tall and wears a size 8, my body is about as average as it gets, and yet, 25-35 pounds is absolutely not possible for me and per your comments, not possible for most of you as well. 

Which means, apparently the vast majority of women who get pregnant have "abnormal" weight gain and I don't think I'm speaking for myself when I say that no woman wants to be abnormal anything when she's pregnant. 

So perhaps the problem isn't that I live in Hollywood or that the media is manipulating me into thinking I'm "fat" when my body is doing what it must in order to sustain new human life. Perhaps the problem is that some jackass doctor (obviously someone who has never been pregnant) started a rumor way back when that 25-35 pounds is "normal and healthy weight gain" for a nine-month gestation. 

And to that doctor I say, "fuck you in the right nostril."

Because it just isn't true. And it isn't fair for women to go into their pregnancies fixated on the scale and  then, down on themselves when they are unable to meet goals set by the medical stats they trust.

If only there was a place to send a petition to every medical website in the universe telling them that healthy weight-gain is ACTUALLY "whatever you put on while maintaining a healthy lifestyle while pregnant."

I would sign that shit like a thousand zillion times. Wouldn't you?

But I digress... Here I am, in all my 32 week, 180 pound glory, reiterating that, yes,  I am proud of what my body is doing. I cannot wait to meet my daughter. And I embrace my bloated face and thick everywhere BECAUSE it means I'm creating a healthy baby girl.

Embracing my "abnormal" weight gain: 32 weeks.

Healthy-weight-gain-numbers-being-bullshit aside,  I also want to reiterate this: As pregnant women we are perfectly entitled to feel like prisoners in our own bodies. 

Because in a way we kinda are. 

ALSO, a woman's insecurities when it comes to her weight (be it pregnancy weight or not) isn't something to be ashamed of. Or feel guilty for. It isn't something we should hide, regardless of whether we're wrestling with ten pounds or one hundred. 

Confidence is sexy, sure, but so is honesty -- opening up and revealing our insecurities instead of hiding them behind affirmations full of hot air. 

Because when it comes down to it? We're all looking at ourselves under the same scrutiny. And that kind of self-induced pressure needs a support group. 

Thank you for being mine. 

If you look closely, you can almost make out a smile. 


Still Weighting

Today I learned that at 32 weeks pregnant, I have gained 33 pounds. I feel like a total failure. I've been doing everything (I thought) in my power to keep the weight below 35 this pregnancy and its not going to happen. I've put on 14 pounds in six weeks which means I'm averaging about 2.5 pounds a week at this point. My new goal is to stay below 50. Fuck. I'm going to have a good 40 pounds to lose yet again. 

I do realize that I'm pregnant and I'm supposed to be putting on weight and its summertime so water is retained and all the things the doctor told me to keep me from taking a nosedive out the window of his office but damn, Gina. Really? 

I called my even-more-pregnant-than-me friend for sympathy, forgetting for a split second that the girl is literally one of the most beautiful people on this planet.  So much so she actually gets hired to model pregnant. In fact here she is cover-girling it up her last pregnancy:

Meanwhile,  I was..... um, yeah.

"I know how you feel, Bec," she said on the phone. "I'm right there with you."

"Really? You are? How much have you gained?"

 "Almost 25 pounds!" 

"You're eight months pregnant! SHUT THE FUCK UP!"

Anyway,  it was my damn fault for calling. Now I just feel like a lonely house. A four-story McMansion. With elephantitis. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my husband who gained 50 whole pounds my last pregnancy (I'm not exaggerating) has been consistently losing weight this pregnancy. In fact, the man has never looked better. Hotter. Sexier. Etc. 

At least my last pregnancy we were both fat.  There was some comfort in that. Now? I outweigh him by about fifteen pounds (already) which is just fucking depressing. 

"Wow, Hal. You haven't gained any sympathy weight at all this time."

"I know. That's because I'm not sympathetic." 

So there you have it. Not even my husband feels sorry for my state of ginormity.  

Which is why I'm allowed to feel sorry for myself. 



Itty Bitty City Committee

You know your child is "city" when...

Look at all trees, Archer! So many big, beautiful trees!

No trees, Mommy! I only want (to) look at buildings!

Chasing buildings through lampposts at LACMA


Rebel Without a Class

"They" say some kids just need to be in school full-time. Mine is apparently one of these kids

Or maybe he's just rebelling against his ultra short do? (train: Griffith Park

In the meantime, our adventures continue, albeit haphazardly

Archer? You have exactly three weeks (before back-to-school) to redeem yourself. Readyand... Go!


Nest Best in Show

It's amazing how much has changed since my last pregnancy. Plastic bottles are now bad. There are a thousand more options in strollers. The Baby Bjorn is, like, sooooo 2005 (although I still love mine and plan to rock that thing to shreds baby's first few months. It was my favorite baby item and Archer loved it! He pretty much lived in that bitch for his first six months.) 

People keep asking whether or not I'm ready for the baby, and I always answer with a shrug and "I think so? Question mark?"

Because I *think* I'm ready. I have a bunch of glass bottles, a thousand white gerber onesies (Although I've been known to splurge in the clothes department, I'm more of a practical lady when it comes to dressing a 0-3 month old. Gerber onesies, tees and cotton swaddling blankets are my homeboy for babe's beginnings. I'm all about Target, thrift and discount outlets for newborn gear. A six-week old can't exactly pull off a designer dress.) 

We're using Archer's old bassinet for the baby's first few months of sleep and snooze, have fitted Archer's old carseat with a new (less plaid) cover and have the snap-n-go for everyday use as well as my bright yellow Brio Happy Pushcart/Pram for local walking strolls.

Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, there will be no need for a double stroller. I have a hard enough time dealing with a single stroller and really don't want to add a fourth stroller to my already cluttered laundry room. Plus, all the cute ones are muy expensive. 

We have our crib (Archer's) when baby is ready to sleep in one and her bedding, which is totally pink omg, I know, but it was on super-sale and I fell in love with the whole cowgirl theme (to offset Archer's  "native americans with arrows" theme) and because both kids will soon be sharing a room, I'm going to create a cozy co-ed room appropriate for both "cowgirls" and "indians native americans" .... 

And I shall call my Wild West inspired boy/girl room....  Brace yourselves, people....  "Bows" and Arrows! Ohhhhhhh, snap! I'll be here all night!

Thirty-one weeks pregnant and a thousand degrees uncomfortable. Blogging about baby stuff is my only consolation at the moment. Please bear with me.

Obviously we'll buy diapers and formula closer to my due date (Ed: If you're going to hassle me about not breastfeeding you can read all about my breast-reduction(s) and probable inability to breastfeed, here) and we have all the basics, thanks to Archer as far as bath and blankets are concerned.

Other than that? I have no idea. We're retiring the old swing as its just too big for our minimal space and we're also in need of a bouncy chair. I'm thinking this and this for swing and bouncer so if anyone has any experience with either/both, I'd love to hear your consumer report. Especially if you have something better/else to recommend.  I'm looking for compact and if possible, attractive. For some reason bouncy seats are all completely hideous. How hard is it to make something that appeals to both babies and parents? I love the Svan bouncer for instance, but do babies?) 

Which brings me to a small favor I'd like to ask of you, my kick-ass-radical readers....

I'm wondering what you're (High Fidelity style) all-time top-five new baby products are. Do you love the Ergo? The Toddler Board for single stroller use? Do you prefer Born Free to Green to Grow bottles? Or are you more of a Dr. Brown's glass-bottle parent? Is there a bouncy chair, swing, or other item of interest you and your new baby could not live without? 

I'm looking for your all-time top-five new-baby must-haves, people. Please enlighten me. It's been three plus years since I've shopped for a new baby and I know it might sound crazy but shit is crazy different now, yo. 


Check out my interview over at Work-It Mom and stay tuned for several featured Rockabye excerpts through August on!

I Wanna Be Your....

***Updated with winner, below!***

The following is a guest-post by friend and author of I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, Stephanie Kuehnert. For more about Stephanie, including tour-date information, check out her website. 


How old were you when you discovered your favorite band? For me, it happened at the beginning of seventh grade. 

I was 12, and my friend Jessie was one of those incredibly chic girls who had no clue how utterly cool she was. Not like popular preppy girl cool. No, instead of the trendy long hair with teased bangs, she had a shaggy bob and instead of boring Gap pocket tees and Keds, Jessie wore colorful dresses and Converse. I guess she was kinda like hipster cool, but without the pretension because, well, she was 12, and she was Jessie, one of the nicest people I’d ever known. And she always had tapes, new bands she’d discovered. She put on side two of one of those tapes. I heard sludgy guitars. I heard the singer yowl something about being "a negative creep" and "daddy’s little girl’s not a girl no more..."

I heard the band that would soon become my all-time favorite band of all time: Nirvana. 

For someone who prides herself on being unique—I don’t have an obscure favorite band. Nirvana were (maybe) kind of obscure for two weeks after I discovered them via Jessie who had heard about their new album, Nevermind, but it wasn’t out yet, so we listened to the album, Bleach, instead. The first song I heard was “Negative Creep.” 

Jessie wasn’t so sure she liked it so I made her listen to it twice. Then I borrowed the tape and listened to it so much I wore it out.

Remember that? Not just tapes, necessarily, but that feeling of loving a song, an album, a band so much that you listened to it every waking moment? I’d have put my Walkman on at breakfast if Mom wouldn’t have yelled at me about it... Those headphones were glued to my ears on the walk to school and once I was old enough to drive? The stereo was blared my current mixtape. I wore headphones between classes, during class if I could get away with it. 

Weekends were for concerts. Some weekdays, too. I went to as many concerts as I pleased after Kurt Cobain died because the fall before he’d killed himself, my parents hadn’t let me go see Nirvana because I already had tickets to two other shows around that time, and they’d told me "Next time. You can see them play next time..."

I never got to see my favorite band live. I held that over their heads whenever they hemmed and hawed over a school night or "isn’t that venue in kind of a bad neighborhood?" 

"No! And I don’t care if you know someone who got shot on their porch a block away from that club! I’m going to see that band because I will die if I don’t go to that show. I will die without my music. I will stop breathing. I will shrivel up!"

Yeah, remember that? That insane youthful passion? That time when everything hurt, but the music made everything better? Before you get all old and jaded?

I got old and jaded kinda young. I was seventeen. I’d gone through this abusive, fucked-up relationship with this guy whose favorite band had been Nirvana, too. It damaged my love for them for a little while. I couldn’t listen to my own favorite band for about a year. And the punk scene betrayed me. It betrayed me because it was supposed to punish him for being fucked-up and abusive because good punks didn’t stand for that kind of shit. But umm that was a little inconvenient for some people because he was a drummer, supposedly a good one, and no one really had the balls to tell him off. And I was angry in a way that I’d never experienced before. Angry in a way that was bigger than the music... most music anyway. I listened to a lot of Heavens to Betsy, lyrics like “I’ve got a knife that’s sharpened exactly for one white boy. My target is your heart and the knife will go deep, the knife will go inside.”

But eventually anger turned to sadness. I became a goth. I was ridiculous with white face powder and black lipstick. I sat in my dorm room in college with black candles lit and wrote bad short stories while listening to Disintegration by The Cure. Not that there is anything wrong with the Cure, I’ve loved the Cure and Depeche Mode even longer than I have Nirvana. But me being a goth, me giving up on punk rock, it was not a good time. 

I was twenty-three. I was living at home again so I could go back to school for writing and pull myself out of the bad cycle of clubbing and alcoholism that had come with the whole goth thing. I still had black hair, but it was streaked with pink and blue. I was ready for something new, but I never thought I’d have the enthusiasm that I did when I heard Nirvana at 12 and Hole at 13 and Rancid at 14 and Bikini Kill at 15 and so forth. However, my mom now not only had cable, but super deluxe cable with this new channel MTV2 that played actual music videos and one night this video came on and this gorgeous girl with a lip piercing and liberty spikes asked me if I was ready to be liberated. And yes I was! Especially by this amazing punk chick who screamed with the power of Kat Bjelland and Courtney Love and every angry girl singer I loved in high school rolled into one. It was Brody Dalle of the Distillers and she brought back that zeal for music—for punk rock in particular—that I’d had and thought I’d lost forever at seventeen.

And with my passion for music restored, I started to write the "rock-and-roll novel" that would eventually be: I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE* (MTV Books, July 2008).  It’s the story of a punk rock girl in rural Wisconsin who forms a band to show-up the lame-ass, wanna-be-rock-god boys that have always disappointed her. 

I’d like to give away a signed copy of I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE to one of you fabulous people. All you have to do is tell me (in the comments section, below) the name of the band that stirred your insides in that special way and provide a link (to said band) so I can see how much they stir me up, too. The person who helps me discover the greatest new band (or perhaps reminds me of an old favorite) wins the book!  

Good luck!


** Congratulations to Maternal Mirth for winning Stephanie's book giveaway! Email me, miss winner and we'll get your book out to you asap! Thanks to all for sharing your stories and music... xo!

Son. (Dun Dun Dun Dun) You'll be a Brotherrrr. Soon.

A pre-haircut Archer "preps" for brotherhood...  


The Hair Guy

Before today, I was Archer's sole hair-cutter-person. I like longer hair on little boys and plus, if I can cut my own hair (which I do, sans for my twice a year fix-up) then surely I can cut Archer's, which I have done, gladly and without difficulty for the past two years.

I saw no reason to spend cash money on a haircut I could just as easily do myself. Until today when, much to my surprise, Archer asked for one.

He went straight up to the resident (and sexy as hell) hair guy at one of our local haunts and asked him if he'd cut his hair.

"Hi. You give me haircut?" Archer asked.

"Sure! Where's your mommy?" hot hair guy looked around, his eyes twinkling, his tattooed muscles glistening...

"Hi. I'm the mommy. Hi. Hello. Hi there..."

"I can cut his hair for you right now. I have thirty minutes before my next client," he said, brushing his hair out of his eyes in slow-motion. "I mean... if you want me to."

"If I want you? I mean... If I want you to? Well. Um. Heh. Okay. Sure. What the hell. Why not? Yes. You can cut his hair. Okay. Sure. Yes."

Seconds later, Archer was in the chair.

"Here you go, buddy," hot hair guy said, handing Archer a heart-shaped lollipop.

"Yummy, mommy. Look, a treat!"

Yummy, indeed.

Archer was a perfect angel for the entire duration of the haircut, distracted and drooling over his candy.

It wasn't until after we left The Treehouse that I realized Archer's hair was way shorter than I would have ever wanted it to be. It was my fault, of course. I told hair guy he could do "whatever he wanted..."

Apparently, I was just as distracted by my candy as Archer was with his. (And who am I kidding? Probably a little drooly as well.)

I know there are are tons of women out there who feel oh-so-sexy when pregnant. I am not one of these women. I feel like my body's been hijacked and I'm a prisoner of war-- tortured with contractions, swelling and weight gain I can't control, (twenty-five pounds, with 10 weeks to go) and simply put: ugly.

Getting attention from any man, at this point in my pregnancy, is a treat. So when this crazy gorgeous mannequin of a human being is paying me attention, seemingly oblivious to the fact that one of the most beautiful women of all time is standing three feet behind me, you're damn right I'm going to let him cut my kid's hair. No question. And when he lifts up his shirt to show me his tattoos? You're damn right I'm going to empty my wallet on his feet, which I practically did before the haircut was even over. Do you have a tip-jar? or should I just put it in your pants?

The moral of this story? A little sugar goes a long way.

(And I'm not talking about Archer's lollipop)