Thursday, December 11, 2008


In recent years various producers, agents, and other people with nice offices and access to free snacks have been voting on what Entertainment Weekly calls the "Hollywood equivalent of the Rookie of the Year Award" or what one producer described to me as the "D-girl Heisman".  It's called the Black List.  My working theory is that economic depressions must spark renewed interest in woodland creatures, otherwise I'm at a loss to explain how we ended up on top of it.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time then you know how improbable this is.  If you read the previous blog and saw the wayward and stupefying way that the script came together amid much angsty twin baking then you no doubt shared my feeling that the only lists I would top would be ones in gas station restrooms signifying who was responsible for their last cleaning.

I'd be lying if I said that I hadn't read the Black List in years past, then scrounged around for the scripts on it, and been inspired to imagine how awesome it would be to end up in such a spot.  I have no idea what will happen to The Beaver in the future.  My hopes are high, but we'll see.  What I can say without reservation is that I never imagined more than ten people would try to read it, and of those, more than five would finish it.  So starting with the sixth person who said they not only completed, but liked it, I've been pretty sky high.  

I see the world in very simple terms.  I'm a lucky idiot and the rest of you are geniuses.  So while the value of being on the list is certainly debatable, the value of the kind and supportive words I've gotten from all of you as well as the people who put me there is not.  I treasure them every time I clean that gas station bathroom.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Amy:  I don't know if it's you or the cats, but whoever is peeing on the rug in the bathroom, it has to stop.

Long pause

Me:  Are you seriously suggesting that I might be peeing on the rug in my own bathroom?

Amy:  I just don't think the cats would do that.

Long pause

Amy:  I'm not saying you're doing it on purpose.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Teen Wolf

Perhaps you're one of the many people who has written me to say that while you personally don't visit places like Perezhilton and the like, someone you know sent you a story about The Beaver which seemed to indicate that it was either awesome or the worst thing ever and that in either case I was certainly an unqualified wacko. Or maybe you were a commenter who mentioned South Park for the millionth time. Or maybe you're one of my countless new facebook friends who I don't actually know but was afraid to turn away and so now I'm keenly aware of when you're watching Heroes and what you think of your latest haircut. Whatever the case, allow me to clear the air.

First of all, I recently bought a pair of slacks. In fact, I have two pair. I wear one for a week and then the other for the next week. I've been doing this for like, a month. So obviously, I'm a professional, and any indication otherwise is libelous.

Second, the movie is nothing at all like South Park. To say so is insulting. It's actually exactly like Teen Wolf but I changed all the instances of 'Wolf' to 'Beaver' and all the instances of 'Teen' to 'Steve Carrell'. The point is, screenwriting is extremely simple and should be done by everyone.

Third, let's all just agree not to use the word whimsical unless we're referring to a musical about Cool Whip.

Hopefully that squares everything. Can't thank those of you who've had swell things to say, about me or my slacks, enough. When and if there's real progress to report I will certainly let you know. At this point the process is mostly a lot of people telling you to chill champagne one minute and then instructing you to beat yourself over the head with it the next. But I've been doing that for years because a) I persoanlly feel that clubbing yourself with champagne is preferrable to drinking it, and b) I'm a professional.

In slacks.

Covered with baby vomit.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mission To Mars

I have been convinced that we need more children.

I think it went like this.  I said emphatically that I didn't want any more children.  Actually, I think I said I didn't want any children at all, and then I had two and didn't sleep for three months and then said I wanted someone to chop my penis off.  

But then I came up with a name.

Being a writer, which is how we've decided to label my particular mix of napping and checking my email, words are of great importance to me.  Not all words.  I don't like the long ones.  Or any of the ones that start with C, but certain words, and especially names, have a great impact on me.

For instance, I recently realized that I could save time and confusion by just combining the twins' nicknames, Nixie and Ripples, into Nipples.  I would say that this has increased the number of times I address the girls by name, or at least by single unified nickname, at least a hundredfold.  Good morning Nipples.  Nap time Nipples.  Nipples, stop eating Nipples' hair.  I eagerly await the days when they play in the neighborhood and I can stand on the front porch and scream, DINNER NIPPLES!

But I digress.  As excited as I was about the Nipples breakthrough, it didn't make me feel compelled to add another human to the global pile.  That happened when the metal slot wheels all hit on Mars.

I should briefly point out that really, its Nipples that's really driving this train.  At this point they're like little salespeople for the very idea of babies.  They laugh, sleep, and pretty much stay where you put them, which is a pretty compelling pitch for getting all Mormon with your numbers.  Once they start walking and whining and telling me to get a job, I'm sure they'll seem more like 20 pound vasectomy advertisements, which is why their mother is eager to move before we regain our senses.

Anyway, all of this was on the table when I hit on Mars.  At first I was convinced that Mars was a boy name and so I was only interested if I could be sure we'd have a boy.  I looked into the various options and presented them, pointing out that the leading option (microsort) was used all the time to control livestock populations and available for humans with just a short trip to New Jersey.  Amy did not share my enthusiasm for cutting edge science.

I did some soul searching and within days realized that I didn't so much want a boy as I wanted a Mars, and as it turned out, Mars was obviously also an awesome name for a girl and so the whole New Jersey cow impregnation route was just a red herring.  I said this to Amy.  That we didn't need cow science to make a baby and that Mars was totally a great girl name.  She said that she wasn't really aware that it was a name for a human, boy or girl.  But all great things seem appalling and wrong at first, and I knew the greatness of Mars would eventually sink in (although I have to say, Nipples is really not catching on with her).  Lawyers were called, deals negotiated, agreements reached.  Bottom line, we're making a Mars.

As we really have no room for more people in this house, at present the plan is to let Mars live in the backyard and hopefully be raised by some sort of neighborhood animal.  Mostly we've got cats and squirrels running around, so it's a safe bet that he/she will pick up some wicked tree skills.  Amy feels uncertain about this and is suddenly all about finding a house and letting the baby live inside.  I say with resume padding and college admissions getting tougher all the time, 'raised by cats/have large nut collection' would look pretty compelling on an application.  

But she has a higher IQ and tends to outsmart me, so we'll probably do it her way.

p.s.  Seriously, if I have more kids than adults in my house, don't really like to drink, and dig board games, can I at least qualify for some sort of honorary Mormon status?  I'm not really into the church part, but if it comes with a lift pass I'd really like to get more info.

p.p.s  You may have noticed the Twitter feed now on the right, because it's important that we all make all of our thoughts available to everyone at all times.  Now you won't have to wonder, you'll know when I'm using the word Nipples.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Desk, If I Had One, At My Job, If I Had One Of Those

The twins are .5 years old.  Somehow this resulted in me getting a new camera.  I know.  Ipods, cameras, monorails!  How do we afford such luxury?  Two words: baby wrestling.

Strictly local circuit for now, but look at that technique and tell me you don't see dollar signs.

I know I promised not to post pictures here unless I drew them, but since I'm not technically 'employed' and don't have an 'office' or do any 'work', (what can I say? The girls just drink and wrestle all day and I'm easily influenced) I don't get the chance to hang pictures of my family like you.  But if I had a desk, this is the family photo I would keep on it.  So for today only internet, you are my desk. 

A year ago I didn't really think I was the photo on the desk type.  

Five months ago, if I had a desk I'd have been hiding under it to escape these monsters, not covering it with their pictures.

But today, with six months gone in what seems like the blink of an eye, I suddenly feel like a 4x6 in the corner wouldn't do.  I'd want this thing poster size, right behind my head.  

That's pretty much exactly the scenario that I used to be afraid of: getting married, having kids, and becoming just like everyone else; another idiot with his kids on the desk/wall.

But despite the fact that all that's come to pass, right down to this photo on my shiny new imaginary internet desk, when I look at it, not only do I not feel like everyone else, I'm not sure I've ever seen anything that's made me feel more like myself.  

Anyway, as long as I've got an imaginary office for the day, I'm gonna grab a donut, make a few copies of my butt.  

Happy half birthday kids.

p.s. Did you notice that I snuck a colon and a semi-colon (and then the hyphen in semi-colon) into the post?  That's called WRITING my friends.  They aren't just giving these desks away.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Well, The Twins And I Got Hit By A Car

They appear to be completely fine.  They've got some scratches and bruises but it's hard to sort out what's a result of the accident and what's just their normal self inflicted can-I-stick-my-toenail-in-here injuries.  But really, they're fine.

Long story short, we were jogging (stupid ipod) along the sidewalk.  A girl came out of one of the restaurant driveways.  She was on the phone.  She wasn't looking.  She hit us.  The stroller flew out of my hands and ended up upside down in the street.

Then I kind of went bananas.  Maybe you were in the outfield stands at Ranger Stadium in about 1992?  When security came?  And someone suggested I be shot with a tranquilizer?  It was like that but with more cursing.

Once I flipped them over and picked them up I really had no idea what the protocal was.  I can tell you that screaming OH MY GOD! ARE YOU OKAY!!! at crying children does not calm them down.  At all.  

Did I mention that this all happened right in front of a restaurant patio?  So, there were like 40 people instantly on the scene, helping, calling Amy, encouraging me to try holding the babies instead of yelling at them.  All of those things worked much better than my scream therapy plan.

Bottom line, by the time the police and firetrucks got there the babies were smiling and laughing at various people in the crowd.  The EMT's recognized Amy from the hospital and were happy to accept her diagnosis that the babies were going to be fine (I suggest you marry a doctor if you haven't already).  She says we just need to watch out for mood swings, vomiting, and bouts of lethergy.  That kind of describes a typical day with the babies, so I'm not sure what I'm looking for, but I'll keep my eyes open.

Oddly, the person taking it hardest was the girl who hit us.  Once the babies were pronounced fine by doctor mom I pretty much forgot all about her and having attacked her vehicle.  But it turns out that she's also a new mom with a six month old of her own, and that she was on her cell phone arguing with her boyfriend, and she just hadn't looked up.  She just kept saying, I'm sorry, that could have been my baby.  I think that starting tomorrow she's going to be the world's best driver.

And I'll probably start jogging alone.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ipod Anniversary

Amy and I have now celebrated our 10th anniversary. The following description should give you some appreciation for just what an achievement that is on Amy's part.

You may remember that we were married just over a year ago, but after putting in 9 years, didn't want to start back at one. So we decided that with 10 being our first double digit number we should do fancy extravagant double digit things to celebrate it. Fancy and extravagant of course being relative terms.

I should point out that I recently bought and Ipod, which was a HUGE purchase for me. The way you might agonize over spending your life savings on a Ferrari with a trunk full of rare wines is how I wrestle with purchasing consumer electronics that cost more than 10 dollars. Anyway, I did it, and since then I've gone out of my way to make sure that I am CONSTANTLY using my ipod in order to justify the expense. For instance, I now run 300 miles a week. TV shows? Why watch them on the HDTV when I can laboriously convert them and watch them on a 2 inch screen? Podcasts? Of course I'd like to listen to someone read outdated articles from the NYTimes. And music? Well as long as I'm walking downstairs, how about a little soudtrack? Taking the garbage out? Better throw on the Ipod. I literally wake up in the middle of the night and if I don't fall right back asleep I think, 'as long as I'm just lying here I should really be listening to that Ipod.'

But I digress. The real point was that since buying it I now evaluate all prices in terms of how they relate to the Ipod. Hence, when I went to book a room for our super awesome fancy anniversary trip all I could think was, 'holy shit, this place costs an Ipod a night!' If you read the above paragraph you know this is a significant hurdle for me.

Our Ipod per night room was nice, although being in a tall tower it tended to creak like an 18th century slave ship when the wind blew (why a slave ship? I somehow imagine them as the creakiest), but fortunately we went to Seattle where it is sunny and calm almost all the time. The real problem with an Ipod a night room is that I feel the same obligation to use it that I feel to use the Ipod. When we were out, like, actually doing stuff, I thought, 'Christ, we're just WASTING that room'. I wanted to give spare keys to homeless people and say, 'here, room 1735, go watch cable.' And when we were actually in it, I felt an obligation to really soak it in. My thinking is that if your room costs more than an Ipod per night it should have no curtains and you should be unable to turn out the lights. Once you turn out the lights, you could be in a Super 8. If I'm paying that much, I want to SEE what I'm paying for every single second that I'm there, and I want homeless parties every second that I'm not.

Also, a modest proposal regarding income taxes. How about instead of basing it on your income we base it on your use of mini bars? My tax bracket is not low, but I clearly feel uncomfortable just throwing money around. I suggest that if you are willing to pay 8 dollars for a can of Coke then you simply have too much money and you should be taxed accordingly. If however, you share your room with homeless people you should get a credit. These are just things I think about when I'm listening to my Ipod.

Have I actually said anything about the trip? Have I mentioned beautiful Seattle and the boats and water and greenness and doughnuts? No? Well that's because my memory isn't like yours. It's not a mental scrapbook so much as an accounting ledger. For instance, when I look at a menu, this is how I see it:

Thing that might be okay plus some vegetable I won't touch ... .4 IPODS!!!!!!

Thus, I will forever remember Seattle as the place where I slept with the lights on in a beautiful creaking tower, paid more to park my car than I did to rent it, got a killer deal on a rain jacket that I then wore for four days straight, and ate two meals at .5 Ipods a piece. Also, I think there was a monorail (.006 Ipods), a waterfall (.009 Ipods in gas) and an amazing library (FREE!!!!).

Anyway, all of this to say that I'm kind of an awful person and that Amy should be sainted, knighted, bronzed, and then deified for having survived 10 years in my vicinity. How an individual like me has been so lucky is beyond my comprehension. Everyday I wake up and find that she is still here comes as a pleasant surprise. The fact that it has now happened more than 3,650 times makes it no less shocking.

I do not know what's wrong with her, but it is my sincere hope that there is no cure.


Did I mention that the rain jacket has a special pocket for my Ipod? Because it totally does.


If all that wasn't enough, Amy also endured three straight days of my Sarah Palin impression, which is, frankly, awesome.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

If I Told You...

That Ripley had cut the inside of her nose with her toenail, would you be scared or impressed?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How Do You Tell Them Apart?

Well, Ripley is the one with the big scratch on her forehead. No, that's more of a gash than a scratch, and it's more on the nose than the forehead, so that one must be Nixon. You can also look at the thighs. Ripley's lacerations tend to run parallel to the bone while Nixon's thighs are shredded in a more perpendicular manner. Also, Ripley has taken off two toes while Nixon is missing her left ear. What? Their fingernails, I guess. No, I think we just use a regular washcloth. I don't even think they even make loofahs out of barbed wire. Knife fights? I don't know. It's not like I watch them every second of the day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lava Alligators

Hello internet. Sorry it's been a while. I was told you moved. My mistake.

Let me catch you up.

Where to start... oh, this may be of interest to you. Did I mention that I have a solution for all the world's problems? Well I do, internet. You're not the only one with an answer for everything.

The solution is oversized furniture. Really, really big furniture. We've taken to placing the babies on and in possession of human sized things: on the couch, in the middle of our bed, holding a telephone, etc., and I defy anyone to look at a small person sitting on or holding a comically oversized thing and not feel like the world is made of cottom candy. We pretty much just walk around the house saying 'oh, make it look like she's turning on that lamp. Hilarious! Now stand her up in front of the refrigerator!' It's as pure a formula for comedy as someone getting hit in the crotch. Of course, having world leaders hitting each other in the crotch would be of limited utility. But we could totally put them in huge furniture. The president, sitting at a monster desk, talking on a ginormous phone? Can you see it? How are you going to be mad at that guy? And the UN, we just make all the chairs really huge, and instead of all the bickering and world domination talk you get them giggling and taking pictures of each other and saying things like, 'oh, look at Israel, he looks sooo cute!'. We can make this happen, internet. This is my message of hope.

In addition to sitting on giant furniture, the babies are now sleeping for 12 hours a night. It's like they've moved out and just show up every day to trash our house and fill some diapers. It's sort of like living with a rock band.

Unfortunately, I can no longer sleep. I wake up at 3 and watch the weather channel and work out plans for world peace via big furniture. And then I hit the wall right about the time the babies clock in for work. Days start with me changing, dressing, feeding them, and then saying, 'who's ready for a nap?'.

Finally, internet, I know I promised you, or some small part of you, a work update. It's complicated. The phrase is 'high class problems to have' but I suppose they're problems all the same. Maybe not problems so much as hurdles we have to jump over. Maybe not hurdles so much as feiry pits of molten lava filled with alligators. Lava alligators, which as you know are the worst kind. Anway, nothing a couple meetings on 40ft tall couches can't work out, and hopefully we'll have some details we can discuss next week. If you have questions, my office hours are 3-5 am, seven days a week.

Monday, September 1, 2008

How the other half eats nachos

I went to one of those luxury suites for the football game on Saturday. One of those places where all the people drive helicopters to work and then get to work and realize that working is for people who don't own helicopters.

They had free food.

Me: Is this food really free?
My friend who is no stranger to helicopters: Yes.
Me: Really?
Friend begins to pretend she doesn't know me.
I make nachos. Chips. Salsa. Sour cream.
For some reason the cheese is not next to the chips. It's over here. And it's cold.
I think to myself 'huh, rich people cheese.'

I'm about halfway through my plate when the friend sits down.
Friend: How are the nachos?
Me: Good I guess. I'm not sure I'm into this rich people cheese.
Friend: Rich people cheese?
Me: It's kind of gross.
Friend takes a bite. Friend collapses on the floor. At first I think this is a reaction to rich people cheese and give myself credit for holding it together better than her. Then it becomes clear she's laughing.
Ten minutes pass.
Friend, still teary eyed: That's not cheese. It's yogurt cream for the strawberries.
Ten more minutes.
Friend, calm now, curious: I can almost understand how you made the mistake. What I don't get is why you kept eating.
Me: I really wanted to get invited back.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Does This Include Football?

Amy (out of nowhere): I think the TV might be hurting the babies. I'm going to look it up on the internet when we get home.
Me: Well, I'm sure you won't find anything alarmist about it on the internet.

After five minutes on Google...

Amy: Oh my god, TV melts babies brains.
Me: Like, melts them in a good way, right?
Amy: Every hour watching TV increases their risk of getting ADHD by 10%.
Me: Doesn't that mean that watching ten hours of TV would give them a 100% chance? We probably gave them ADHD just yesterday.
Amy: No more TV for the babies.
Me: Until when?
Amy: I don't know. Seven.
Me: That's four hours from now!
Amy: No, until they're seven.
Long silence.
Me: So, where will they live?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For Your Consideration

2 weeks ago our children regarded sleep as a brief interruption between screaming fits.

1 weeks ago we bought a book by a woman from Brazil where all babies apparently sleep for 12 hours straight and dream about nothing but Carnivale, soccer, and plastic surgery.

6 days ago Ripley started to sleep for 12 hours straight just like a good little Brazilian.

5 days ago Amy pointed out that the major difference between Ripley and Nixon, in addition to the fact that Ripley sleeps and Nixon doesn't, is that Ripley has an 18ft long eyelash.

1 day ago Amy cut the eyelash.

Ripley has not slept for more than 3 hours since.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Annus Mirabilis

One year ago today Amy's brother, ordained by the Internet, stood in the shadow of the Tetons and declared us eligible to file a joint tax return. To celebrate this anniversary we started out day by making a pot of coffee without actually remembering the pot and then spent the rest trying to coax a bowel movement out of a constipated baby. It was just like those anniversaries you see in the movies.

But as 12 month periods go, I'd be hard pressed to imagine a better one than this. Granted, 2007 kind of plowed into a concrete wall at the end, but 08 has been everything I could ask of a year ending in my favorite digit.

All of which is beside the point since part of our agreement when we decided to get married was that I didn't have to start the anniversary count over. So while we did manage to enjoy a fine meal to mark the passage of 365 days since committing ourselves in front of friends, family, and a spiritual humanist, our real anniversary remains October 4th. Long before there were invitations, cakes, or Kuub games, there was a simple dinner with the most amazing person I've ever met and I knew I was ready to start the meter on the rest of my life. This has certainly been an amazing year, but assuming she doesn't come to her senses in the next two months, it will just be the icing on a ridicilous decade.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Hours between which the babies have decided not to sleep: 2-5

Number of steps from bed to nursery: 53

Number of nights since the babies moved to the nursery: 3

Number of nights I've ended up sleeping on the floor of the nursery: 3

Amount paid for swell upstairs mattress: approx 1k

Amount paid for uncomfortable rug on nursery floor: approx 99$

Number of additional children I anticipate having: 0

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Kids are Tivo. You can't understand it and probably don't want it until you actually have it, and then you can't imagine how you got by without it.

The problem is that women seem to be able to get excited about Tivo just by playing with other womens' Tivos, and this makes them want Tivo, and so they think, all I need to do is get my husband or boyfriend to play with this Tivo and he will totally want one too. And then the guy comes over and politely handles your Tivo and then hands it back like it's made of unstable uranium.

Just get Tivo, people say, you'll see, it will change your life. When are you going to get Tivo? For god's sake, you're not getting any younger, and I'd like to have someone call me Grandma before I die, so will you please, just hurry up and get Tivo!

Well, I got Tivo, and for a long time... nothing. In fact, for the first few weeks I kept trying to find the receipt.

And then the other night, well, like 4 am, I was feeding one of my Tivos, I forget which one, they all look alike, and it fell asleep on my hand, and everything went limp, and it was just breathing on my palm, and well, I became a convert.

I attempted to capture the moment with this sketch-

The point is, I cannot recommend Tivo to you. Nor do I think playing with my Tivo will make you want one. But if you end up with one, it will change your life in a way that you will feel compelled to try to express in a crude drawing in which you have a black lollipop head and one extra joint in your arm.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Are We Home Yet?

We have decided never to leave the house again. Christmas, Thanksgiving, they all have to be held here, in our living room. If you would like us to attend your funeral or the birth of your child, those too will have to take place right here. We'll move the coffee table.

The girls had their first road trip to visit grandparents and so forth and they have revealed themselves to be poor traveling companions. They did three things, and three things only. Screamed, slept, and posed for pictures. I'll let you guess which they did most.

Our plan was to be the sort of couple who traveled constantly with our wee ones. Couple kids? That's not going to stop us. They're smaller than backpacks, and we're already used to traveling with those.

Unfortunately it's more like traveling with rabid animals than luggage. You don't understand the meaning of the word stereo until you've logged an hour with a baby screaming in each of your ears.

As such, if you need us, you know where we'll be.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gummy Bear Nation

I have returned from a week long hug. If you can arrange one, I highly recommend it. I used to think of LA as traffic, crumbling infrastructure, and smog. Now I will remember it as gummy bears, cupcakes, and smog.

But I am home now and back to my day job as baby furniture. Luckily I am furniture for two very sweet, smiley wonder babies. I would not do this for just anyone.

In 32 meetings I got to shake hands with a lot of people. It was frightening how quickly I felt a kinship with the ones who had kids. How old? Are they sleeping? Names? I used to watch these exchanges between other people and feel like they were talking in code. And now I find myself in detailed discussions of the best swaddling techniques with people I barely know. I was a non parent recently enough to remember how annoying this is, but I cannot stop. I need to be quarantined before I affix a bumpersticker to the car telling you about my children's grades or honor role status.

I wish I could communicate the swirly, weightless feeling of watching personal and professional things change at such a rapid rate. The one thing every parent I met warned about was how quickly it all went by. I'm sure that's the case on all fronts. If we meet soon and I'm too dumbstruck to tell you my name, just know that I'm concentrating on soaking it all in while it lasts.

That or it's the mojitos.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

11 Down 21 To Go

In the past two days I've had eleven meetings, four excellent meals, and shared an elevator with McLovin. Thank god I skipped law school.

Visited my brother on Sunday near Santa Barbara. He and his wife have become master chef/gardeners. They grow almost everything they serve. I'm pretty sure they hand fused the hydrogen and oxygen in the water. In my family we usually evaluate meals with phrases like 'well, no one died'. This is high praise. 'Almost no one died' is more typical. 'I wish I were dead' is not unheard of. Their food produced comments like, 'edible', 'not hurting my pancreas', and 'seriously, this is so good I can't even feel my pancreas'. It made me proud.

Yesterday and today were a long blur of people punctuated by food I didn't have to pay for, which is my favorite kind (assuming it's pancreas friendly). I ordered 10 dollar doughnuts and eight dollar beers and tried to see how many table settings I could fit in my pants pockets. The word you're looking for is - classy.

Somehow they keep finding more hours in the day to put meetings. I had something like 28 when I got here. I'm up to 32 now. Apparently those nights of uninterrupted sleep don't come cheap. I've said the same things so many times that I sometimes begin and end an hour with the same story. A story about a young pancreas, just trying to make his way into every paragraph.

I think me tired.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Sleep Week

Leave tomorrow for my first week without the twins. The bad news is that I've got almost 30 meetings in five days. The good news is that there's nothing scheduled between midnight and eight a.m. so I plan to sleep like a corpse.

Stacey has worked out brilliantly. If her favorite show weren't The Hills, she'd be perfect. We spend about five hours a day playing, 'do they have this in South Africa'. So far: monkeys and mild racial tension yes - squirrels and funnel cake no. Her burning question after meeting us was 'why aren't you guys fat?'. Apparently America's reputation preceded us. That and the fact that she was exposed to New Jersey in orientation.

We've been down a swing of late which has been like being down a leg. We told Fisher Price that we needed both our legs in order to survive. They said they understood and would rush us a new motor. Then Amy's mom showed up and put a baby in the broken swing and it just worked. She's going to try to heal the 20 year old TV in the nursery next.

I was on the phone the other day and a bird smashed into the window by my head. Somehow he flew off and I ended up with a mouth full of feathers and bird shit. There's not really a point to that story, I just wanted you to know it happened. Did you know that birds don't really digest bird seed? Neither did I.

I apologize for writing, as it appears I had little to say. If exciting things happen in LA, say more birds crapping in my mouth, I'll make sure to post immediately.

Insist On Medium - Medium Well

There's no way it's been 12 days since I posted. I posted the last time I had two free hands and computer access. Surely it was more like yesterday. Let's agree it was yesterday or I will start to cut myself.

Are you thinking of having children? This would be my advice to you. Do not bring them home from the hospital right away. The staff will be insistent. 'These are your children,' they'll say, 'you have to take them.' Don't give in. Your children are undercooked. You should not be shy about sending them back. If they hassle you tell them you need a pack of cigarettes and then come back in 2 months.

No one told me about this and I made the mistake of bringing home raw children. I did not like them. Not even a little bit. Unless you like miniature, incontinent, shrieking little old men, there's not much to recommend. For nine months people assured me I would love them at first sight. And every night for the first two weeks as I lay awake listening to their screams I wanted to strangle all those people.

Now the children are golden brown. They are crunchy on the outside, but just right in the middle. They still make me get up before I am ready and I sleepily haul them out to be changed. But the minute their straight jackets come off they start to flail and laugh and I think, yes, I will enjoy eating every little bite of you. You are my favorite food.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day: Just 17 Years 9 Months To Go

For my first Father's Day Amy got me a guitar. I used to have other guitars but we got rid of them. Something about me not listening to anythign she said while I was playing. I'm not sure exactly, I was only half paying attention. Since then she's apparently come to miss the sound of the same three chords assembled in various orders. That was a little song I call A minor G E. I'd like to finish up tonight with a new one I've been working on called E G Aminor.

The real prize of this, or any other holiday is the new swing. It's like baby crack. Up until now they've rejected anything that didn't require physical labor from us. They're the kind of people who would pass up a free cab to ride in a rickshaw if it meant that we would personally have to pull them. The other swing, the useless swing with like a hundred useless options was useless. But this one, courtesy of Craigslist (is there anythign Craigslist can't do?) has changed our lives. Honestly, I'm willing to discuss more children. I will have exactly as many as we can buy swings for. Rumor has it they're only good till the kids are 18 months. I'm hoping that's a misprint. I want the kids filling out college applications while swaying gently to the sounds of birds and rain.

The battle to decide which is really the 'evil' twin continues. Ripley has discovered her trump card is sleeping for 6 hours at a stretch and that I will forgive almost anything that happens in the daylight if you do not disturb me in the dark. Nixon really has no good counter for this. She just keeps pointing out that Ripley is going bald.

In the countless hours I've been pined to the couch with one or two babies I've been watching this true crime show. My chief observation is that people in the hood all have 'street names' and that no one else knows their real name which makes it difficult for the police to find them, even when everyone tells them who did it. I wanted our kids to have street names. We discussed a number of possibilities. It was just like naming the kids the first time only with options like Razor, Meaty Foot, and Wheeze up for consideration. At the moment we're leaning towards Mookie and Knockout. Can't wait till the first time we send Mook and KO to stay with Honey and Gigi. Soon we'll need decoder rings to understand the Christmas letter.

I find that we're running low on adjectives and superlatives with regard to diapers. We jumped the gun early on saying, wow, this diaper is a disaster. But it turned out we had not yet seen disaster. With every passing day the children show that they can do worse and we have to dig a little deeper in the thesaurus. This past week has seen three catastrophes, a debacle, two cataclysms, and one affront to God. If there's anything worse than that last one then I withdraw my earlier statement about more children. There aren't enough swings in the world.

The au pair gets here Thursday. Throwing her a welcome dinner on Sunday. Trying to find something South African to cook that doesn't require a fire pit or the slaughter of an entire lamb. It will probably end up like the scene from Better Off Dead where they cook for the French student. French Toast, French Fries, French dressing, and to drink - Peru! We don't really cook often, or well, or without the microwave, so there's at least a 50% chance that Sunday's effort will result in her packing her bags on Monday. I hope not, but if she goes I'm now convinced that all childcare can be done by swings.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How Did You Sleep?

How did you sleep?
Me? I slept like a baby.
Really? That must have been awful.
Oh it was. I woke up screaming every couple hours for no apparent reason.
Sometimes I actually screamed in my sleep.
That must have been unpleasant for anyone sharing your room.
I'm sure. Did I mention that I defecated in my pants several times throughout the night?
No, you didn't. How embarrassing for you.
Oh that's nothing. One of the times I woke up screaming a nice man tried to help me out of my soiled garments and I actually ended up urinating all over him.
Oh yes. I was so embarrassed I screamed for almost an hour. The only way I could get back to sleep was by drinking large quantities of milk which I would then vomit just as I was nodding off.
What a strange way to fall asleep.
Isn't it? Frankly, I don't any of it was that restful. That might be why I've been crying at my desk all day and trying to stick my fingers in unprotected electrical sockets.
I was going ask.
What about you? How did you sleep?
Me? I slept like a log.
You lucky bastard.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

College Funds

Apparently our diapers cost about 18 cents a piece. These should not be confused with diapers you've heard of like Pampers or Huggies which cost about 30 cents a piece and contain both clouds and angel wings. Our diapers are made of asbestos and gravel and come from countries where our six week olds would probably already have jobs. But still, 18 cents.

Despite the low cost I'm billing the children for them. Not all of them. Only the ones that they soil within two minutes of being changed. Which is most of them. If they do it a third time within six minutes they get billed double for the next one. Ripley owes me 72 cents for today. I keep a ledger. I'm hoping they can crap their way to paying for college.

Honey and Gigi were here to help this weekend. The girls seemed to realize that we had reinforcements so they spent the weekend sleeping and having their grandmothers fawn over them so that they'd save up the energy to go completely bat shit when it was back to just Amy and I. The last two days indicate that they were able to store considerable amounts.

While they were here we got out for a real, no kidding, take your time as long as you're back in time to pump, dinner date. When we were leaving we took pictures like we going to a prom. You know your life has changed when evidence that you left the house without a diaper bag seems like something you might want to frame.

To avoid killing one another we do try to get out as much as possible. We seem to be able to remember at least one thing that we've forgotten at the store on a daily basis. If gas weren't 4 dollars we'd probably remember things we needed from nearby states. Since one person getting to escape means one person gets left behind we end up doing most things as a mob. When we're out we've noticed that people have two very distinct reactions to seeing the packed double stroller. Most fall in the, 'Twins! How cute!' category. The rest actually have twins. They shake their heads, get a very empathetic expression, and greet you like AA members. 'My name is Mary. I also have twins. They're six. You'll survive.' And then they hear our children cry and they go call their sponsors.

Not that having one baby is really any easier. Amy left me with the evil twin for a few hours today and I just hid under the sink until she got back.

On the upside, I did make 72 cents.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Here Kitty Kitty

If you read the old blog you may remember that nine months or so ago I responded to the news that my wife of one week was pregnant by trying to write a book about a beaver, which somehow seemed like a reasonable response at the time. I put together something like 13 chapters and then my brain broke and I laid in bed for a week meowing like a cat. Then, I decided to turn it into a screenplay because screenplays have less pages and I am very lazy. Several months, countless drafts, and much meowing later I finished said screenplay. And in what is surely a sign of both the apocalypse and the untapped market for beaver related films, on Monday someone decided to take it off my hands.

Last time I sold something I got engaged. We had dinner at a swell restaurant, met our friends for drinks, and stayed in a hotel. This time we ate cold pizza and slept in different parts of house with our individual twins. From now on when someone asks me about having children I will tell them this story.

Writers of any real ability probably do not bother to celebrate when they make deals for their scripts. After all, it is just the first in an endless series of steps that rarely result in a film actually being made. But I am not a writer of any real ability so I have to celebrate while the celebrating is good. This may be my only opportunity to stand on top of something and shout that I am the 'king of the world'. But I will not do that because I think a global monarchy would be disastrous.

Really, I think of it like winning the lottery or becoming the dictator of a small country. Sure I'll probably end up in a trailer or ousted by a junta, but for now I am free to buy zebra furniture and make my birthday a national holiday.

Probably should have just picked one of those two analogies . Both was confusing. See? I'm a total hack.

I'm still excited though.


Friday, May 16, 2008

The Skinny

The triplet is no more. Apparently breast feeding two babies gives you the metabolism of a hummingbird on meth, and Amy is now three weeks out and only a single pound heavier than she was on our wedding day. If it weren't for screaming kids, it would almost be like none of this ever happened. Oh, but it has.

We have identified the evil twin in our pair. The fact that one twin is inevitably evil is as old and as reliable as soap opera plots themselves. Our evil twin is Ripley. As evil geniuses go, she is mild thus far. Mostly she likes to allow 3/4 of what you're feeding her to dribble down her face and wake up out of a sound sleep with a full blown series of SCREAMS. She sleeps when you want her awake and is awake when you desperately want her to sleep. And she will pee on you. Also, she's learning to tent her fingers like Mr. Burns and practicing her first word: MWAAHAAHAA!

Nixon, despite the name, is an angel. Who will also pee on you.

We had a doula in this week to lighten the load and untie the nooses Amy and I had strung up in various parts of the house. A doula is like a mother-in-law that you pay. They make you food, change diapers, and tell you you're doing everything wrong. And there's lots of nudity involved. Most of the first day centered on the need for everyone to be topless at all times. Me, Amy, the babies, we had all made the classic rookie parenting mistake: clothes. Get topless, and our problems would disappear. We were naked before she finished talking. You go three weeks with little sleep and we'll see how hard it is to get your top off. Amy and the babies sat Indian style for several hours and had some good skin to skin time. I took my mom out for pancakes, but the restaurant insisted we put our shirts on, no matter what we told them about bonding and electromagnetism.

Hence, the doula experiment has now ended.

I have finally, belatedly, handed in my last draft of the script that began with Amy's pregnancy. It has passed agent and manager muster. They don't want any changes. At all. They're fine with it. Even if that means that I no longer have any excuse for escaping the house. Ever. We think it's great! You're done! Now you can hang out with those babies, full time! ... Why are you sobbing?

Did I mention that one of them is evil?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mush! Mush Damn You!

I started this post about five days ago. I have typed it a few letters at a time while walking past the keyboard. The children have agreed to be quiet only under one circumstance: that I never stop moving. I am their sled dog.

They cry. I put one in a pouch around my neck. I walk. It is quiet. I stop briefly, say to take a bite of my dinner or use the restroom. It screams.

When I am too weak to go on, they will accept a ride in the car where they take issue with traffic signals. Red lights are two minute scream fests. Run them, they say. We dare the police to pull us over. Have you heard us scream, dad? Would you sit through this long enough to write a ticket? Drive!

If we ever sit, they must be bounced. There can be no rhythm or syncopation to the bouncing. You may not use a rocker or an electric bouncing chair. All movement must be random and unpredictable. It must be created by a beleaguered parent or it is not satisfying.

We are exploring the option of living for the next few months on a very large trampoline.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Take One And Call Me In The Morning

Sorry for the layoff from posting, but Amy and I have decided to split up.

This is not a divorce but part of our new divide and conquer strategy. We're not sure if it's a good idea. We haven't slept in two weeks. We're not even sure what year it is.

The new plan is to have Amy stay downstairs with one baby, and I'll stay upstairs with the other. That way the babies can't wake each other up and we'll get up to an entire two hours between feeding our individual baby.

So wait, I'd only have to take care of one baby?
Well, yes, but it means that after barely ten months of marriage we won't even be sharing the same bed and who knows when-
I'll start moving my stuff.

Two weeks in and we're idolizing single parents. That's how things are going.

I've also been armed with some sort of new swaddling blanket for idiots. Apparently mummifying your baby makes it sleep but I lack the fine motor skills to complete the task. When I give Christmas gifts they look like they've been in a bar fight with wrapping paper and scotch tape. My current swaddling efforts usually look good, and then you go to put the baby in the crib and discover that the bedsheet, burp rag, pacifier, and cat have all been somehow tangled up in the wrap. It's not so much a swaddle as the aftermath of a blanket based tornado. Needless to say this has not helped them sleep.

We have no idea if any of this will help. If it doesn't we're screwed. All my other ideas involve getting the cats to raise one of the twins.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

We're officially afraid of the dark.

You know the horror movies where the teens are swimming at the lake all day and asking each other why the friendly seeming camp counselor who slices their sandwiches with a chainsaw has such a bad rep? And then the sun goes down and he cuts them all into pieces?

The last week has been like watching that movie over and over.

We frolic by day. Literally frolic. Diaper change? No, let me get that. Hungry baby? Allow me. Why don't you go take a shower, I'll handle these scamps. HA HA! Why don't you go work out, I'll bond with the girls. HEE HEE!

But at night, the chainsaws come out. Both of them.

The fact that they've bested me should come as no surprise. I just found out two weeks ago that I didn't actually know how to tie my shoes. I've been living a lie all these years, apparently following some procedure more appropriate for strapping on fishing lures every time I wanted to go outside.

But Amy is our rock. Before we left the hospital she was breastfeeding both babies at the same time, something the nurses assured her usually takes mere mortals much longer to master. Those who know her will not be surprised. Amy is barely mortal. If it weren't for her love of reality television she would have been sainted by now. Our first night at home, she could not only breastfeed both of them, but somehow added the ability to also eat a slice of pizza at the same time. She has skills, is what I'm saying.

But these babies, they came with knives out. I knew we were taking some blows, but I assumed we still had the upper hand until the grandparents allowed Amy and I to escape for a meal and she broke down while asking for more chips and salsa. I've tried to tell her that the combination of hormones, sleep deprivation, and a husband who can't tie his shoes is enough to break anyone, and that this is all perfectly normal, but this is a woman who is not accustomed to crying while asking for refills. On the upside, the chips and salsa came back like that.

It's very hard to think back on the last week and imagine that there's an overpopulation issue on this planet. It's hard to look back on the last week and imagine that there's such a thing as a 'younger sibling'. It's hard to imagine that I'm sitting here typing without having really slept in three days while there's a baby strapped to my chest in something called a 'hotsling', whose package assures me that it will keep me and my child looking fabulous. But here I am.

Some things I never pictured myself saying:

Please don't hand me a baby while I'm using the bathroom.

I can't watch that one, I'm watching this one, but if you want to leave her where she is I will listen for a thud.

F the environment. If Al Gore was here at three in the morning he'd offer to diaper these babies with Hummers and pieces of pure rainforest before he agreed to use another one of these leaky, cotton, pieces of shit.

Well, where was the last place you remember seeing your nipple shields?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Have A Present For You

I have a present for you.

It doesn't come with any instructions but everyone else knows what to do with it. Whatever you do with it will be wrong.

This present breaks every couple of hours and when it breaks you can never fix it the same way twice. If you had to cut the blue wire last time, cutting the blue wire this time WILL CAUSE IT TO EXPLODE. Also, all of the wires are blue.

This present will produce foul smelling liquids, solids, and gases. If it does not you must have it serviced until it does.

This present will hurt you, physically and mentally. It has been known to deafen people and make other people wish they were deaf. It may lead to a lawsuit from your neighbors.

Maintenance costs for this present will be exorbitant. The word 'villa' is one you no longer need remember. 'Trailer' is a word you should learn.

You must photograph this present. Even if it's doing the same thing it was just doing you must photograph it again. Every moment must be documented. No one will want to look at these photos.

If you are lucky this present will lead to piano recitals. If you are unlucky it will lead to police stations. Probably it will lead to both.

It will make you cry.

You may not sleep while you are in possession of this present.

You may not return or exchange this present.

This present is absolutely one of a kind.

I got you two.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hey Sluggo, Don't Roscoe The Flim Flam

People seem to like twins. They're like hospital celebrities. When the nurses wheel them around, they arrive at their destination trailing stragglers. Yesterday the students who moved them from one room for another thanked us for the opportunity just to push them around. Babies in general tend to melt people's brains, but when you put two of them on a pillow together in matching outfits it's like mainlining rainbows. We should send them to negotiate for peace in the Middle East. Share Jerusalem? Well... there are two of you!

Amy is slightly disappointed at the residual bulge in her belly, which she's taken to calling 'the triplet'. She wants it delivered ASAP. I feel the triplet is the easiest to manage. Totally cooperative, quiet, limited need for college tuition. I hate to say I have a favorite, but the triplet and I are really bonding.

The whole dad job is embarrassingly easy in the first couple days. They sleep or they eat and they don't really want my help with either. I try to rearrange the furniture in the room every couple hours just to show that I can do stuff too. Would you like something lifted? I can lift things.

We told the grandparents they got to choose their own nicknames thinking that it's really a personal preference whether you want to be grandmother or grandma. They announced they've come to a decision. Neither. They want to be GiGi and Honey. Apparently they're going in a femme fatale direction. We expect the kids to come back from weekends with the grandmothers saying things like, "Scram you mud-pipes before I fill your mugs full of lead." Now we're just waiting for the grandfathers to choose. Kids, meet Maverick and Iceman.

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