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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

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« On not getting anywhere. | Main | If this doesn’t brighten your day, then whoops, you have no soul. »
Monday
Mar272006

A few things while my brain slowly dies.

I can’t come up with any kind of compelling anything for you. All I can think about are the boring details of our boring house purchase. As for the house, I wish it were more boring. It is, sadly, a thrilling mélange. Surprises lurk behind every wall, underneath every soffit (I still don’t know what that is). Stop being so fascinating already, house. Please begin to bore me.

That said, it looks like the house will be ours, all ours. The sellers have generously agreed to lop a nice hunk of money off of the sale price, so that we can repair things and not, say, die.

Here is what I have been doing instead of packing.

1. Playing Weboggle. Weboggle is what it sounds like: Boggle on the Web. Clever name, no? You play against other players, all of whom, apparently, are smarter than me. Than I. Smarter than I. Am. This seems fishy to me, as we all know I’m the smartest person alive. How can BoggleGurl52 pop out “heuristic” and “anachronism” and 30 other multisyllabic words, while I’m patting myself on the back for “hail” and “fans”?

Notice that I am not linking to it. This is my service to you, my Internet family. Do not play this game. It is an evil thing. I began playing one day, and the next thing I knew it was five days later and my family had left me and the electricity was turned off and my pants were gone. All I have now are my memories.

2. Watching My Neighbor Totoro with Henry. This, this I can link to. Henry is going through an extraordinarily sensitive phase wherein anything the least bit frightening, upsetting, or pulse-increasing on any show or movie causes him to clamp his eyes shut and announce I DO NOT LIKE THIS. I was sure he wouldn’t make it all the way through Totoro, as it has forest spirits and other vaguely spooky characters, but he was transfixed. And unlike most other movies we watch together, so was I. And unlike every single Disney movie ever made, no dead parents! Take that, Walt! Hope you’re enjoying that grave-spinning!

3. Watching Mysterious Mose. While Henry is easily spooked, he’s also a sucker for a catchy tune and nifty puppets. This was created by friends of our friends, and I don’t know why I feel compelled to tell you this. Does it make me seem cleverer, that I have this distant connection to the creators of this great short? Are you impressed with me yet?

4. Watching every episode of Yacht Rock. (Not with Henry, as he has no time for the smooth grooves of the seventies.) This is the funniest thing on the web, and should be watched quickly before Kenny Loggins uses his fearsome powers to destroy Channel 101. I sent this link to my sister, who admitted that, though she thought it was indeed funny, she had watched only four of the episodes. This makes no sense to me. This is like saying, “That sure was a delicious brownie. I ate a little less than half of it and then I walked away. I don’t know why, I just had stuff to do.” No, no, no. EAT THE BROWNIE. WATCH THE YACHT ROCK.

5. Reading Traveler’s Tales: Prague, a book edited by my friends Jessie and Farley (See how many clever friends I have! Take THAT, BoggleGurl!). Admittedly I wouldn’t have picked this up if I didn’t know them, since I’ve never been to Prague. But boy howdy, is this book making me want to go there. I am always surprised at how compelling travel writing can be, mostly because I’m so bad at it. (“Italy is nice. The car ride made Henry throw up. If you go to Italy with your kid, try not to take him on long car rides. Also, gelato tastes good. The End.”)

Jessie and Farley have gathered together all kinds of impressive contributors for their book, including Myla Goldberg and the esteemed Czech writer Ivan Klima—and Paulina Porizkova, whom I cornered at the launch party so I could tell her that her mother was my midwife. She was quite gracious and said that she gets that a lot. Then she said some other stuff, but I was too busy marveling at her tallness to listen. I spent the rest of the night telling everyone how I told Paulina that her mother saw my cooter. Of course I didn’t, at least not in those words. But SHE KNEW. And I knew. We gazed meaningfully at each other as Rik Ocasek loomed behind me, brushing his head against the ceiling.

Reader Comments (69)

Even when you have nothing "compelling" to say, you are still amusing and clever. Oh, and pretty. So so pretty.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEm
Sofits, we have a ton of them in our basement to hide duct work. You know they are just the opposite of hardits. Ha Ha Ha. God I crack myself up.

I have always thought Paulina was one of the most beautiful women ever. It's also heartening to hear she and Ric Ocasek are still together.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLisa V
I would totally play Boggle with you. We would have a great time too because I do a celebration dance on the rare occasion I get a 5 letter word and insist that all Boggle games need alcoholic beverages. Try having a shot every time you use a T. Much more fun that way.

Call me when you get to Jersey. I have cool friends too.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterclickmom
If BoggleGurl52 tries to use "gurl" as one of her words, you let her know that it WON'T fly. We use proper spelling in Weboggle, young lady.

(And I'm going to say this in a whisper so you can choose to ignore it if you want, but here it is: ONLINE JEOPARDY. Oh yes! It's true!)
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNothing But Bonfires
If BoggleGurl52 tries to use "gurl" as one of her words, you let her know that it WON'T fly. We use proper spelling in Weboggle, young lady.

(And I'm going to say this in a whisper so you can choose to ignore it if you want, but here it is: ONLINE JEOPARDY. Oh yes! It's true!)
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNothing But Bonfires
I share your pain. For about 6 months, I was a complete online Scrabble dork. Being a brilliant multi-tasker with a propensity for procrastination, I would often have 3-4 separate games going on at once with fellow geeks from around the world. Thankfully, Parker Brothers decided to go all "corporate" and shut down all the sites. (Sometimes, you do a favor for "the Man," sometimes he does a favor for you.)

In parting, I leave you with the words of another famous Brooklynite, Ad Rock..."I'm the King of Boggle. There is none higher. I get 11 points for the word quagmire!"
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMetroDad
You could write that as a travel story and I would still find it utterly hilarious. I don't know why.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJem
yeah, Totoro doesn't have dead parents, but the mom has tuberculosis and is sent away to a far off hospital...
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterblackbird
I read your midwife link and giggled. My kids used to go to the Dr. Sears practice and holy smokes if they really had an idea of what their fans have turned attachment parenting into, they'd flog and Ferberize themselves ;) I found the Sears to sort of be ... not so Sears-ey :P
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFrectis
I was asked to contribute an essay to that book and then they cut it, after they'd already told me it was good. Sigh. Not that I'm bitter or anything... But I'm glad to hear it came out well -- guess I'll have to check it out now despite lingering writerly poutiness!

By the way -- thinking back to your comments about J. Lethem and comments about online Boggle above -- my team beat his in Trivial Pursuit once! Think I should get a MacArthur for that?
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterShannon
Oh Mother of God. Why did you have to tell me there's a Weboggle? Do you KNOW how long it took me to break the addiction to the Boggle on Yahoo games!? I am SO screwed. I might as well pick up a crackpipe at this point.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAmy in the Twin Cities
Oooh brushes with celebrities... Is Ric as scary in person as he looks in EVERY single photo I've seen?
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
What exactly happened to your pants, pray tell? (Hmmm. I've said pray tell before but never written it, and it looks odd to me. However, since it sounds like an Old English expression, and back then they were very creative with their spelling, I will let it stand.)

Anyhoo, thanks for the laugh!

Mary, mom to many











March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterOwlhaven
Several years ago I played Boggle with my sister's then-boyfriend. He warned us that he hated, HATED playing games, and was really very bad at them. We did the first round, and his list of words was the following:

sidslids

That was it. I still laugh thinking about it. My sister probably still has that sad little piece of paper, too.

-- Sarah, the person who introduced Alice to Yacht Rock, so it's almost like I'm the one who went to a party with Rik Ocasek
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterS-Way
Your next best choice after My Neighbor Totoro is definately Spirited Away.I love those two!
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTessa
I just bought our own copy of my neighbour totoro (after having 'borrowed' it from a friend for a year). It's a great story, the girls are so joyous.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterClaire
Don't get me started on all my various web addictions. *shudder* At least I can say that I am no longer addicted to any games (okay, okay, except one, and it's a pretty lame one, too - a geography game). Now I'm addicted to several sites that are vaguely related to helping me become a Writer. (But wouldn't it work better if I just practiced writing more? Don't confuse the issue with logic.) And I'm also addicted to your blog, of course. So my addictions are now Productive, and therefore even more dangerous.

Web addicts of the world unite!
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterspaulson
Okay, trying very hard to forget that Weboggle exists. Thank you for not including the link because I'd be spiraling to the bottom of the wordgame abyss right now. La la la there is no Weboggle la la la la... And the Porizkova connection, that trumps Dan Rather in my opinion.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLetterB
Okay -- but you realize that I had to go look up Weboggle! Dammit!
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Like it wasn't enough that I played Wordracer on Yahoo my entire pregnancy; now you have to go tell me about webboggle. Bad girl.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMom101
Totoro is a big hit in our house too! I know where you can get some Totoro "stuff"!
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
WeBoggle=Evil. I love Boggle and I can't get my husband to play with me, but now...

(And I tried to take your advice. Really. But then I just googled it. Damn you, google.)

Also, are you the Alice that was just playing at 2:00 am pacific time? 'Cause if so, you are quite good at the Boggle.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterleigh
My daughter likes Totoro, too... and Kiki's Delivery Service, which is the same guy. Also, there's Castle in the Sky. (As far as Disney goes, she also likes Lady and the Tramp - no dead parents in that, either - and Aristocats - ditto on the dead parents.) Of course, my daughter is also a little more casual than your son. Not entirely sure that's a good thing, but she jumped up and down and giggled maniacally when my husband was watching Farenheit 9-11
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKT
Ahh yes, count me among the addicted. It began about 7 days ago for me.

I'm getting really testy when my 8 year old comes up and wants to try to spell a word.

And then he finds 4 that I missed.

Possibly BoggleGurl is a child?
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterveg4me
Totoro was always big around our house. Spirited Away is really good too, but maybe a tiny bit scarier. Parents turn into pigs -- although they do survive and don't remember a thing.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermarian

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