WEEKEND ALMANAC
Blogs, Probes, and Presses

Feb. 20 - I've been enjoying the sheer bloggishness of my new format so much that these once-a-day updates, even on weekends, aren't doing it for me. And yet, my own shoddy workmanship prevents me from launching a full-blown blog here on the site. So yesterday I launched my own blog on Blogster:

Moron Abroad

That'll be more of a "traditional" blog—updated frequently with the hit-and-run style appropriate to that format. Regular bloggish briefings will continue to be posted here once a day (although I'll drop the weekend posts). I'm sure I'll be referencing the sites from one another quite often—the laws of traffic demand as much—but I won't duplicate any actual material.

One nice thing about the blog is that I've enabled comments, so you finally have a chance to lash out at me more or less anonymously whenever you feel like it. Or you can contribute to the conversation like a mature adult—your call, but I know what I'd do.

Anyway, check it out and I hope you'll let me know what you think.

* * *

It's Week 15 for the bean. The literature informs me it should now be the size of a softball. This is a milestone: it's the first week the size hasn't been analogized by a fruit or legume. It's also the last week its size will be compared to any inanimate object. From this point forward, it's all inches and ounces for our little bean.

I'm so glad we identified the pregnancy in week 8, when our book (Your Pregnancy, Week by Week, Glade B. Curtis, Fisher Books, 1997) compared the fetus to a pinto bean. One week later, and I'd have been speaking affectionately of our "medium green olive."

The DMG believes she ought to be able to feel her uterus now, although the book only says she may be able to. This doesn't daunt her. She spends a few moments in bed each night prodding at her abdomen.

"Stop poking!" I admonish her, "what if you hit the bean?"

She looks at me, eyelids at halfmast, says nothing, and resumes her poking.

"Seriously, even if you don't hit him, couldn't that freak him out?"

(We both "feel" like the bean is a boy, and it gets harder to use indefinite pronouns every day.)

She roasts me with another incredulous stare. "I'm not poking," she says flatly, "I'm probing."

Now it's my turn to offer an incredulous stare.

"You think he cares?" I ask. "You think he's sitting there going, Oh my God, what the hell was that? Oh, just a probe...?"

"It doesn't matter," the DMG laments, probing away in spite of herself, "I can't feel it anyway."

"It should be 3-4 inches below your belly button," I observe. I like to show off all the reading I've been doing.

"I know," she sighs sadly, "but I don't feel it."

"Let me try," I offer. I press two fingers gently into her abdomen, about three inches below her belly button.

"You're poking," she says.

"I'm pressing," I reply.

And so it goes. I think it's happened two or three times now. I won't even hazard a guess as to which of us is the more neurotic at this point. You can make that call on your own.

* * *

The bean may be sucking his thumb by now. His bones are getting harder and would be visible on an X-ray. His ears look like normal human ears. And although it's too early to feel him moving, the DMG should feel the bean making his presence felt "in the next few weeks." That's nice, because we feel like we're getting to know the little sucker from our ultrasound visits with him. We kind of miss him when we don't get to see him. Once the DMG can actually feel him squirming around, I'm sure we'll both feel much more in touch with him.

I hope he likes spicy food.

* * *

In tooling around the web looking for more Week 15 info, I came across this "Inspirational Thought" (for so it was billed): "A baby is someone just the size of a hug."

That's the kind of stuff that makes me want to vomit.

* * *

February 20 is just one many dates on which Francois-Marie Arouet may have been born in 1694.

Francois-Marie was a supremely intelligent, fiercely independent man and was therefore instructed to leave Paris.

Each time he was kicked out, however, he simply came back, said something witty, and was kicked out yet again.

Eventually the French invented reverse psychology. They invited Francois-Marie back from his latest exile and threw a big party for him. The shock of his reception killed him and Paris has mourned his loss ever since.

Except now they call him Voltaire.

(If you haven't read Candide and don't want to, here's Voltaire's case against optimism in a nutshell, from an essay he wrote in later years.)

* * *

Andy Warhol died on February 22, 1987. Mr. Warhol is best known for painting pictures of Campbell's Soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, although never together. His work can be seen in museums and galleries around the world to this very day.

Campbell's Soup cans can still be found in the canned goods section of your favorite supermarket to this very day.

Kurt Cobain would have been 37 on the 20th and Cindy Crawford is 38. Other birthday celebrants include Charles Barkley (1963), Patty Hearst (1954), Ivana Trump (1949), Sandy Duncan (1946), Bobby Unser (1934), Robert Altman (1925), Sidney Poitier (1924), Gloria Vanderbilt (1924), and Ansel Adams (1902).

Jennifer Love Hewitt turns 25 on the 21st. She shares her birthday with Kelsey Grammer (1955), Tyne Daly (1946), Alan Rickman (1946), David Geffen (1943), Barbara Jordan (1936), Nina Simone (1933), Erma Bombeck (1927), Sam Peckinpah (1925), Andres Segovia (1893), and Charles Scribner (1821).

February 22 is the birthday of Drew Barrymore (1975), Dr. J (1950), Teddy Kennedy (1932), John Mills (1908), Robert Young (1907), Luis Bunuel (1900), Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892), George Washington (1732), and, at some point, Cardinal Newman.

February 21 is King Harald's Birthday in Norway and Martyr's Day in Bangladesh.

Enjoy the weekend! And remember to check in at MoronAbroad!

2004, The Moron's Almanac™

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