Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I have to make lists for everything now. The groceries, Jack's school things, bills that need to be paid, everything. If it's not written somewhere, I forget. So in honor of that, and because I figure I've got an hour before Charlie wakes up, and Jack and Nipper get back from swim class, and I need to fold the laundry, and eat a bowl of cheetos, so my ability to muster original material is limited. 

Here are two of my lists. The first one is a list of the most often used phrases in our house this week. The second is a note that was generated on Facebook. Someone sent it to me, I can't remember who. I wouldn't say they aren't exactly fascinating, but they are random...

Most used phrases in the Nipper Knapp household this week:
My cooter hurts
Pull it down, you don't want it to grow out crooked!
Where the fuck is that fucking soothie?
I love you Jack Knapp
No you can't touch them, and they're on loan
Nipple trauma
I love you Charlie
Is that normal?
I love you Nipper Knapp
Do we love them? Yes we do

25 Random Facts about me

1. I love cinnamon ice cream, and really miss this place in San Francisco that made it right there in the shop. I ate it almost every night for 2 years. Yum!

2. I went to boarding school in Maine when I was 15, but ran away twice, once when I hitch hiked to Connecticut, then Boston, where I pan handled for money in Harvard square, then hopped a bus to NYC, then to Michigan, where, upon my arrival, my mother had me brought in by the police, and promptly sent me back to Maine. I stayed there another year and a half until my senior year when my Cuban boyfriend I ran away, slept in the woods, and then took a bus to Miami. My mother let me stay there for one whole week, before she sent for me, and I finished high school at the local catholic school in Ann Arbor Michigan

3. I was a really good kid

4. No seriously, it was just a weird time in my life

5. Becoming a mother is the best thing that every happened to me. I laugh and cry way more often.

6. I love sushi, but hate cooked fish. I could eat spicy tuna rolls, and salmon sushi at every meal. But I hate mercury poisoning so I don't

7. I love Jack White.

8. the greatest disappointment of my life is that I can't sing

9. When I graduated from college, I decided I wanted to learn to tap dance like Gene Kelly, because I loved him just a little bit. So I took tap class in a weird abandoned factory in San Francisco. Can't tap a single click. Another artistic tragedy.

10. I don't like humorless people or liars

11. I think that people who are really good at what they do are sexy

12. I can't hear Django Reinhardt music without dancing

13. I don't believe in god, but find myself praying sometimes anyway

14. I love cats, but hate their poop

15. I would really like someone to teach me the dance that Beyonce does in the video for "all the single ladies"

16. I used to think that I was a realist, but I'm starting to think that I might be a misanthrope

17. Nipper and I eat dark chocolate of some kind every day. I need to eat more vegetables

18. I love to flirt, but think I might have forgotten how to

19. I hate how much I love TV.

20. I have become obsessed with a quaker preschool that we can neither afford, nor, probably get into.

21. I love shoes. I used to have several hundred pairs. But I've had to cull my collection due to the ONE closet we have in our house.

22. I wish I new how to build things, and sort of want to be a set designer when I grow up.

23. I think Mary Louise Parker is sexy

24. Nipper Knapp saved my life

25. I'm a mac

Monday, May 23, 2011

Trumpets and stuff

Ok, so for those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, you know... We have a big fat baby boy! 8lbs, 13oz, 20 inches. His name is Charlie Truman Knapp, and he was born on May 14th at 9pm. I'm TOTALLY going to get back to writing here in the next few days, and I'm TOTALLY going to tell you the whole birth story, because I want to brag brag brag. But I'm too busy huffing baby smells like it's paint thinner right now. SO...for the time being you should all go follow me on facebook (link here), or twitter. I seem to be able to manage mini updates on there, and lots of pics. 

More later, soon, I promise. Unless I overdose on pampers, nursing, and total lack of sleep, in which case, you know, go read a book or something. Geez. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Catch a Tiger by it's Tail

I had a dream last night that Nipper and I paid a couple hundred bucks to ride a baby lion around a supermarket. It was about the size of a golden retriever, and the trainer or owner or whatever kept telling me, I just needed to grab it's tail to control it. I kept thinking "eeny meeny miny moe, catch a tiger by it's tail, if it hollers, let him go..." Everyone knows you never grab a cat's tail. The dream seemed to go on for hours... Is this a sign of labor? No. Is this a sign that I don't remember how to clean a newly circumcised penis? Maybe. 

These are bookends from Serena and Lily. Aren't they the cutest?! Just got their catalog for the first time, and now I'm obsessed! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's complicated

This gorgeous photo (not of me) from the brilliant Ingrid Franz Moriarty

Got this comment on the post yesterday. Love it. And after much deliberation I WILL  be taking an eyelash curler in my hospital bag, along with my knee high suntan reinforced toe pantyhose (thanks for the idea Smacksy): 

"OK, as part of the Knapp Posse, Michigan Division, I just HAVE to respond to this. First of all, totally agree that it's nobody's bidness what happens in, on, or around my vagina--or anyone's. Having said that, I really must share a Viking story with you. My tight-ass sister-in-law (first marriage) gained my unending devotion when, during her birth video, her husband caught her spraying out her hair before they left for the hospital. Everyone in the family made fun of her, except me. This was a woman who knew life's biggest photo op was on the way, and she wasn't going to entertain posterity with flat bangs. That's Viking nerve, in my book. 

Also, can I just say that my idea of men was permanently altered by birthing class stories--some for the better, others for the worse. My college bf reported that he nearly passed out at the first sign of blood *on the screen.* He left the screening room, got a drink at the fountain, and hit his noggin on the ceramic bowl so hard his wife found him prone on the linoleum after class. Scratch that guy off my "What If" list. These are the moments that make women. They make men. Here's hoping you treat yourself to a spa pedicure, and that Jack's little brother arrives soon! Hope to meet you on the lake one summer.... Veronica"

My doctor told me that she hears from some patients that they're husbands never want to have sex with them again after the birth of their children, because they can't see them as sexual beings ever again. To which I say BALLS. I get it, sex is complicated. People have all kinds of hang ups and reservations. But DUDES, seriously? You did that! It's like you made a mess in the kitchen, and then said "Ugh, let's just buy a new house, rather than do the dishes. Ok that's a terrible analogy. It's more like you invaded Iraq, and then said "Ugh, this country is a mess, I'd rather go steady with France." Better? Whatevs, you know what I'm saying. 

That having been said I heard a story about a friend of a friend, whose husband was mad at her because she didn't want to have sex a week after their 1st child was born. Uhm... Dude, you bombed the fertile crescent! Give it a minute! 

Not to be too squishy, but it's a-fucking-mazing what the female body can do. Not a brag, bc, you know I didn't invent the uterus. It's also amazing that I haven't touched a garbage can, a gas pump, or been pummeled by our son (rough housing is strictly daddy's arena) in years. Grateful for my ovaries, and kick ass husband who loves me, our kids, and my body, just as it is... I for one hope he never loses his cute butt, because I'd hate to have to start dating Singapore. (still no good, huh? I'll work on it)

Do yourself a favor

Do yourself a favor and listen to this this morning. So great. I embedded the video from youtube because NPR doesn't have that option. Or I'm too groggy to figure it out. It's an NPR Tiny Desk (that link takes you to the original video) performance by Raphael Saadiq. Love it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

hee hee hee hooey

I'm sure I'm going to piss off all kinds of people with this post. Not my intention. And it shouldn't, but you know, people feel strongly about this stuff, so...

Moments after Jack was born 4 years ago

 To each his own I say. Pray or don't pray to who you like. Love who you like. And if you want to have an epidural, it's none of my business. It's also none of my business if you want to have your baby in a hot tub, or minivan, or a tree house with no doctor present. Good for you. I think most problems in this world evolve from people caring WAY too much about other people's choices about those kind of things. 

This post is a companion piece to my friend Jason's post on JasonGOod365 this morning. It all started with this sketch on SNL this weekend about the birth class. If you didn't see it, here it is. For those of you who have had a baby, and gone to the birth class, you are dying laughing right now. For those of you who haven't or didn't, that's not actually too far from the videos they show. 

My favorite video, (all of them seem like they were shot in the late 70's early 80's) was of a large woman with a retro bush, who for some reason was completely naked save her long black slouchy socks. FOR god's sake woman! BLACK SOCKS + NAKED?! And let's just say the socks matched the drapes. There might have also been a mustache, and a mole with a hair growing out of it, but I might be embellishing. It was an awful site to behold. She kept squatting in her black socks. Her husband was wearing a tan hawaiian shirt. Nipper and I were sitting in the back, feeling like the school burnouts, trying not to giggle, and staring out the window so as not to be scarred for life by the images on screen. I don't even really know why these are considered instructional videos. Bad lighting, horrible styling (yeah, I said it) and shockingly unattractive people aside, what did we learn? Not much. Every birth is different. For the record, I was dressed, laying down, and listening to Sam Cooke and Patsy Cline (oh and CNN was on mute in the background). Let the hate mail begin. 

At the birth class we took at Cedars before Jack was born. We went every week, and learned how I might use no less than 14 pillows to sleep comfortably while pregnant. Which WAS worth the price of admission, but that was it. Oh and we learned that all of my internal organs would be pushed up somewhere around my rib cage by the time the baby was to term. I must admit that I used some of the breathing techniques while driving to the hospital, but mostly, we learned that people are SO fucking self righteous about their birth plans, their babies cord blood, and wether or not they are going to have an epidural or not. Yeesh. 

The most irritating take-over of a term by assholes, is "natural birth". Since when does it not count as natural when my baby comes out of my vagina, just like babies have been coming out, since you know, Eve ate the apple (that's what the kids are calling it these days), if I get pain medication while doing it? It's like the anti-abortion movement calling themselves pro-life, as if people who believe in choice for women, are pro-death. Shut up. None of these people ever come out and say things like "Oh, you had an un-natural birth? Too bad." But trust me, that's what they mean, when tell you they did it "naturally". 

Let me be clear, I don't care what you did, or plan to do. It's your sugar bowl, and you treat it how you want. My neighbor Brett had home births, and I think she's a VIKING. her second baby came so fast, she was home alone, while her husband was dropping Cleo off at our house across the street. He was gone 5 minutes. When he got home she shouted from the bedroom "Baby's here!", he raced in, and caught her. VIKING. 

I am not a viking. I'm a mom. Just a regular mom. I know this about myself. I want to be in a hospital, with doctors, and nurses, and people bringing me fruit juice in a giant cup with crushed ice in it after I have my baby. I know, SO selfish. I don't want to be home where I'll be thinking, "Hum, I really need to hem those curtains, while I'm getting to know my new baby". Two days of care, is that too much to ask for? With Jack I went into the hospital thinking, I'm going to go as long as I can, and then I'll get the epidural if I need it. I was dilated to 5 when we got there. The nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. I said "let's wait and see". The next contraction I had knocked my lights out, and I said "ok, I see. Let's do this thing". 

So what am I saying. To all you expecting mommies out there, it's your body, your baby, your birth, your choice. Anyone who tries to make you feel otherwise is a jackass. 

But PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, if you must be naked while laboring (which is also fine by me) for the love of all that is holy, don't wear black socks. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dude's Weekend!

Nipper and Jack set out yesterday morning for a wedding in San Diego. Nipper was the best man, and Jack was along for the ride, because I was all "oh hell to the no, I'm not having a baby on the 5 freeway, San Diego, or anywhere in between..." Sadie came over and we had a sleepover, just in case the baby did decide it was time, I wouldn't have to call the weird neighbor who takes his teeth out when he gets home from work, to drive me to the hospital. 

Within 3 hours of leaving the house Jack had his first temporary tattoo. I've spent 4 years protecting him from the existence of this particular plague, and there it was, a Thor tattoo on my baby's unblemished arm. "That's doesn't go with his seersucker suit" I thought. But the rules of dudes weekend, are like the rules of fight club. I didn't have a leg to stand on. I was lucky I was even being kept in the loop on the debauchery. Oh and he got the tattoo at the movie Thor. They went to see THOR at 11 in the morning. Nipper is clearly trying to follow in the rebellious footsteps of his own great dad, who took him to see Sharky's Machine when he was 11. I'm guessing this early exposure to the nitty gritty of man world, is what  made him such a lamb. (That's right I just called him a lamb. Deal with it)

They sent pics all day, while I napped, sewed, ran errands. Sadie and I went out for dinner, and watched "My Cat From Hell". We talked until midnight, and slept in until 9. Perfect. When do we get to have time with our girlfriends like that? NEVER. 

I guarantee you we looked this glamorous while watching My Cat From Hell last night

Seeing my handsome fellas in their matching seersucker playing, and being guys, basically made me feel like my heart was being squeezed just a little too tight. I can't believe my baby is old enough to be out in the world with his old man, my sweet husband. They called me at 11pm on their way back to the hotel. This is a kid who sometimes falls asleep on the couch at 7pm. He had a backpack full of light sabers (it was a fun wedding), and sounded completely content. This mother's day they gave me the greatest gift a mother could get. A little time to myself, a great night of sleep, and the knowledge that my little man is thriving in his little world. Happy Happy Day. 

Now if his little brother could make his way out of uterus today, I'd, you know, appreciate that too. C'mon baby, help a mama out! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

critics, sycophants, and jujubes

I was talking to my dad this morning about writing and being misunderstood. It's one of the things about putting your thoughts down on the page, and letting the world read them. I believe it's both an act of courage, folly, and takes at least a smidge of narcissism (otherwise you're John Kennedy Toole). It's like many other artistic endeavors. You can't do it in a vacuum. I mean you can, but then you're a crazed shut-in (I'm borderline).

My friend Jason wrote a blog post this week about the "why you write" issue. The many ways we seek approval, don't want approval, wonder if the things we are writing about are worthy, interesting, make sense to our audience, alienate those closest to us. I've had MANY thoughts like this in the last year "if everyone I knew was dead I could write and INSANE memoir". That can't be healthy. I've also had the slightly saner thought "If I wrote a book under a psuedonym, I could write an INSANE memoir." But where's the fun in that? It wouldn't even be scandalous because who would there be to be scandalized. If it's anonymous it might as well be fiction.

Sometimes I don't know if this is a mom blog, or a craft blog, or just a place for me to mentally vomit every so often. I know that I enjoy the writing process. I'm often compelled to write, waking up in the middle of the night with whole posts in my head. I like when people respond to it in a positive way, and I'm driven to distraction when someone clearly doesn't get it. My least favorite response is a the "aaawww, you're great! Don't be blue!" response to a post where I'm clearly trying to tell a story about what a Larry David style socially awkward freak I can be. I mean you have to know that if I'm telling an embarrassing story, it's because

A) I think it's funny
B) I think I'm awesome
C) I want you to laugh AT me AND with me
D) In my family we laugh at ourselves a lot, and DO NOT under any circumstances want pity or pathos from strangers much less each other. That would be a sign that you are weak, and the other family member will promptly kill and eat you

When I get the pity response, it makes me feel
A) Dirty
B) Misunderstood
C) Like one of those moms who makes her kid sick to get attention. What's that called? Munchausens? I swear all neurosis contained within these pages is real.
D) Angry that irony is not something that everyone is born with

I hope this post didn't feel like a scolding. I don't want to be one of those people that tells you how to view their work. You're gonna read this and take what you will from it. How you perceive my little life will be based more on, wether you were bullied in school, have parents who love you, and are the kind of person who decoupages to mask the suffering that is the human existence, than anything I say. Just know I'm out here in the sun, typing away because I enjoy it, and I love it when you love it, and when you don't...I think you're stupid.

Without further ado, here is the jujube story:

I should start this by saying that I was raised by a woman who, though she is now some sort of Methodist/Buddhist amalgamation, I always had the impression she was trying to raise us like nice Jewish kids. So much so that in college, I once lied on a date and told a boy (who I thought was totally not worth the lip gloss I had just applied, but you know first date, trying to make a good impression) that my mother's side of the family was Jewish. Ok, well I didn't out and out say it, I just didn't correct him when he said something about how I understood because I was Jewish. Sue me. I now realize that this was just my sheltered midwestern response to all the hummus and fake yiddish accent aphorisms she used to throw around. We couldn't be bigger honky's. But I grew up thinking I had some silent connection to Woody Allen and a pushcart on Orchard street. THESE WERE MY PEOPLE!

Ok that was all disclaimer for those of you who don't have my ironic Jewish fatalism and comic sensibilities, and are going to to think the following story is about me being a closeted bigot. Kind of like my niece's old nanny who thought Borat was anti-semetic. Sigh... No irony. The amount of explaining contained in this paragraph kind of ruins the rest of it for me, and I'm vowing not have any more paragraphs like this on the blog again. But I'm 9 months pregnant, and if one more person says something stupid to me this week, there will be blood...

When Nipper and I were first married, we lived in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. There is an enormous concentration of Hassidic Jews in this part of town. I always marveled at their ability to get their teenage sons to wear giant hats and payos in the middle of our giant media metropolis. And don't even get me started on the wives wigs. Kudos to you. Living in this neighborhood shattered all of my illusions that I could "pass" for a jew. A revelation I verbalized in an audition with John Landis when he asked about my ankle tattoo. One of my finer professional moments. I am SO awesome.

The men in the neighborhood would avert their gaze when we passed on the street. The women, paid me no mind. After a few years, I took to saying in a too loud, and too friendly tone "GOOD AFTERNOON!" like a crazy person, because it pained me so to be shunned by MY people. The chosen people.

One day I was walking home from the art supply store. I saw a dad and his three small children stopped on the sidewalk half a block ahead of me. The littlest one was in a stroller, and the other two were crowded around. They were sharing some kind of candy out of a box, and as I got closer the kids looked up at me, smiling, mouths filled with sweets. When I got about 10 feet away, I exclaimed loudly "JUJUBES!!!!!!!!". The dad who would normally just turn his head so as not to have to look at the wicked shiksa, looked directly at me, his face incredulous and sour. In the time it took for his direct gaze and disapproval to register, I had halved the distance between us. Looking down I could see clearly the writing on the candy box. They were gummy bears. The girls were eating gummy bears out of a box. But gummy bears don't come in a box. EVERYONE knows they come in a bag! The dad clearly thought I was making some crass racial slur at the expense of his children. He must have thought I was MESHUGANA. 

I've since learned to live with the banality and non being of my jewish existence. 

Mazel Tov!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Quantum Leap

The nesting phase of my pregnancy is over. I can barely look at my sewing machine or go into my office without thinking "look at all that crap, so much work, I need a nap" and then I eat 17 portions of something, and fall asleep. I'm like a narcoleptic obese person. But also cranky, and sometimes I cry for no reason.  

I've moved on to the anxiety, work dream, phase of my pregnancy. A few nights ago, I dreamt my agent called me at 3am to see if I could make an audition in Santa Monica by 5am, and oh there were lots of sides, and I had to be in camera ready hair and make-up. 

Last night I had a dream that I was in a sketch on SNL with Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader. It was something about being at an airport, and Jason Sudeikis was playing the ticket agent and Bill Hader was my boyfriend. Except I didn't know my lines. It was like I had been dropped into the sketch Quantum Leap style, and I had no idea what was going. I knew I was on SNL, but you know, nothing else. But I was like "IMPROV! I CAN DO THIS!" So I just started making stuff up, and the audience was laughing, and Jason Sudeikis kept breaking, which made Bill Hader break, and I thought everything was going pretty well, until Hader turned to me and said under his breath "Lorne is totally going to fire your ass the minute this sketch is over" Noooooooooo!

Then we were in the dressing rooms, which for some reason were like fancy horse stables. I was trying to take pictures of all the girl cast members because they are my heros, but they were all just giving me sad "girl, you are about to get canned" faces. 

Then I woke up, peed, and spent the rest of the night going through every labor and delivery scenario available to my subconscious. My favorite ones being where I don't give birth in the back of the prius in rush hour traffic.