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Once upon a time, I thought my life would primarily revolve around food, food, and only food. And then the little Bug came along, and I discovered that I had thoughts and opinions about pregnancy and motherhood in addition to my thoughts and opinions on cats and daily life, so if I could be said to have a "mommy blog," it would be found here among all my other non-food writing. After all, most of life happens on the side, right?
NCookieAA ChampionCHIP Bout (8.5.14)
But strangely without the chips. Five cookies left. You decide.
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NCookieAA Semifinals: Round 5 (7.30.14)
I just want Soft Batch to die.
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NCookieAA Semifinals: Round 4 (7.29.14)
My heart wants Biscoff to crush the crumby competition, but my head says the Farm will harvest this victory.
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NCookieAA Semifinals: Round 3 (7.28.14)
We're getting down to the last crumbles!
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NCookieAA Semifinals: Round 2 (7.25.14)
The Brothers Chips will fight it out with each other...
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NCookieAA Semifinals: Round 1 (7.24.14)
I'm expecting a major fight between Thin Mints, Tagalongs, and Milanos. However, in the end, I'm preeeeetty certain Thin Mints will win out. There might be a slight muscling in by the Dub Stufs, but I don't think they'll get far.
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 6 (7.14.14)
Essentially, soft-baked cookies are that writhing, red, Voldemort-y thing sliming around at the base of the chair in King's Cross Heaven.
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 5 (7.3.14)
Also, for any old movie fans out there: can you ever not call Digestives "Diggie biscuits" after watching Charles Boyer drive Ingrid Bergman to the brink of insanity in Gaslight? Me either.
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 4 (6.30.14)
Right along with the old-timey term "phosphorus" for a soda shop soda, Hydrox smacks of food invented in a sterile chemical-filled lab with people wearing clean suits. Which I guess it is. And which, to be fair, I guess ALL of these cookies are…
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 3 (6.26.14)
I think it is pretty obvious that whenever Girl Scout cookies are in the fray, they will dominate. That said, I still need to spout off on these two...
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 2 (6.23.14)
Oreo's and Fig Newtons and Peppermint Joe Joe's and SO MUCH MORE!
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NCookieAA: Round 1, Flight 1 (6.19.14)
After five years of planning, we finally bring you the NCOOKIEAA!
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When You Invite Me Into Your Home: A Food Writer’s Pledge (12.21.13)
When you invite me into your home, I am not rolling my eyes at the consistency of your baked brie.
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NCrackerAA: Finals (12.09.13)
Ritz was left in the cracker dust; it's all about Triscuits, Wheat Thins, and Cheez-Its now.
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NCrackerAA: Semi-Final Round 3 (11.21.13)
Breton, Town House, rosemary Triscuits, Club, and Cheez-Its!
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NCrackerAA: Semi-Final Round 2 (11.14.13)
Saltines, oyster crackers, Cheese Nips, Triscuits original, Carr's Water Crackers. Anyone need a glass of water now?
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NCrackerAA: Semi-Final Round 1 (11.12.13)
Wheat Thins, Goldfish, Carr's Rosemary, Cheez-Its, Ritz!
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 5 (10.29.13)
4. Jingo's sound racist. I don't know why they sound racist, but I do know Paula Deen shouldn't buy them.
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 4 (10.25.13)
There's no way original Cheez-Its and Club Crackers don't easily take this round, but it's harder to predict what the third will be. Goldfish pretzel? Unnecessarily over-flavored Triscuits? Perhaps.
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 3 (10.21.13)
Triscuits are as essential to my eating life as breathing is to my life life.
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 2 (10.15.13)
Toast Chee sounds like something drunk, cockney chimney sweeps do at the local pub after almost breaking their necks on the rooftops of the gentry. This of course means I have to vote for it here and eat it later.
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NCrackerAA: Round 1 Flight 1 (10.10.13)
Revelations, y'all, that's what the NCrackerAA is all about. Revelations. "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Tam Tams, and crumbs followed with him."
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N Cracker AA: It's Coming. (In wax-wrapped sleeves.) (07.23.13)
Paula Deen, racial epithets and the N Cracker AA!
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It's a Mother's Body (07.12.13)
I don't want my old body back.
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Revenge of the Moms (05.12.13)
You know that episode of Deep Space Nine where Odo realizes he's a changeling and joins the Great Link that connects the consciousnesses of all other changelings? Becoming a parent is EXACTLY like that.
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A Day in the Life of Breast Feeding (05.02.13)
Latch.
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Preschooler Play in One Act (03.22.13)
"I don't understand what you want."
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Dear Steubenville Victim, You Matter (03.18.13)
...most of us don't even know your name, but I want you to know that you matter.
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Of Pompadours, Chamois Skin, and Jockey Club: Trying to Be Betsy Ray (03.03.13)
Just like any romantic girl in the 1980s who drowned her room in doilies and subscribed to Victoria magazine, I tried to find ways to be a girl from the 1900s.
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Why I Write for Free (02.28.13)
Unless they’re independently wealthy, I don’t believe anyone should work for free. However, I will admit that I have written for free. And I continue to do so somewhat compulsively.
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2nd Labor and Terrified (02.26.13)
It's not that anything major happened during my first labor. That is, not when I compare it to some of the stories my friends have where blood and placenta spattered the walls of the delivery room and an exorcist was summoned to haul off a doula run amok.
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Downton, Carson is waiting for you! (UPDATED WITH MUSIC) (02.17.13)
Don't hang around and let O'Brien confound you/There are Turkish bros, Downton/Maybe you know some little bedrooms to go/To where they shed their clothes, Downton

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Helicopter Parents Are Just Lazy (02.11.13)
It's far too easy for me to see how dressing my son, brushing his teeth, cleaning up his toys, can snowball into completing his science projects, writing his college essays for him, and haranguing his college professors if he's unhappy with his grades. Because it's just so much easier if I do it.
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Picky Eaters' Book Dinner at Woodwards Garden (02.08.13)
Mark your calendars, summon your appetites, and please join me on February 8th at Woodwards Garden in San Francisco for a Picky Eaters' book dinner at 6PM.
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The Belly of the Sky: Kids Make You Do the Darndest Things (01.23.13)
It's not that I don't understand and/or appreciate poetry -- I mean, I have favorite poems -- but I don't get all soulful and earnest and starry-eyed about it. In fact, before becoming a mom there wasn't much that got me soulful and earnest and starry-eyed.
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Pregnant Women Don't Waddle Because We're Fat (01.22.13)
We waddle because the head of a 6-10-pound baby is always pressing down on our pelvic bones, deliberately, constantly, persistently separating them like the slowest wishbone pull ever.
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Top Ten Most Romantic Tony, Phil, Emily, Carney, or Tacy Moments (01.11.13)
I was so into Betsy and Tony in "Heaven to Betsy" that when Tony fell for Bonnie's reforming schtick, like Betsy, I also wanted to crawl into my bed on the pretense of a busted ankle while I miseried out my stay of grief. I clearly still have Tony Markham issues.
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Come Book Clubbing with Suffering Succotash (01.11.13)
Invite me into your home and I will promise to put on makeup!
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Top Ten Most Romantic Betsy Ray-Joe Willard Moments (01.08.13)
I feel qualified to give you the top ten moments between Betsy Ray and Joe Willard that still manage to make my heart thump and get me to come over all swoon-y. What are yours?
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The Picky Eater Likes Marmalade (12.23.12)
There was something not-quite-right about marmalade. It was chunky and viscous in all the wrong ways, it had orange peel in it (peel -- the part you throw away!), and it was intentionally bitter...
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The Picky Eater's Guide to Surviving a Dinner Party (12.21.12)
Baked potato skins, paper napkins, urns, bookshelves, and math can all help a picky eater survive a holiday dinner party.
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Picky Eating Tricks: Of Beans and Bolognese (12.12.12)
This is one of those picky eating tricks I've executed over the years to get me to like something I didn't like: combine disliked food with loved components/ingredients.
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Where'd You Go, Bernadette?: A Book Review (12.08.12)
For me, there are very few books that, when I finish them, fill me with the same level of exhilaration I get when I bang out some good writing. This is one of those books.
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Cooking Up Refinement with Jacques Pépin’s New Complete Techniques (12.06.12)
Between my creamy scrambled eggs with their sublimely small curd and pure consommé, tonight's dinner made me feel a bit like Lady Mary Crawley, eldest daughter of the Earl of Grantham.
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It's a Crayon Shame (11.19.12)
These crayon color names with their double-z implants are showy, vulgar, and unbefitting the proud Crayola tradition. They're stripper crayons among a box of ballroom dancers.
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Scrapping Cooking Time for Playtime (10.30.12)
That's when I realized that my obsession over perfect meals is encroaching on what little time we have together for play. (Even if his idea of me playing "with" him is for me to sit next to his train tracks while touching nothing.)
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The Nause-AA: Final Showdown (09.25.12)
Organ meats/offal take on Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day's worst enemy outside of kissing on TV.
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The Nause-AA: The Final Foarrff (09.20.12)
This is it, you guys: organ meats/offal against raw oysters and fake cherry flavoring against Lima beans.
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The Nause-AA: The Elite Hate (09.13.12)
I can't believe okra's still in it and bananas aren't. HAVE YOU TASTED BANANAS?
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The Nause-AA: The Sweet Sick-steen (09.04.12)
In the last round, raisins were determined to be less gross than eggplant. I weep for a raisin-filled humanity.
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The Nause-AA: Round of Thirty-Ew, Flight Puke (08.27.12)
Raisins, eggplant, fake cherry flavoring, squash, beets, okra, prunes, turnips/rutabagas, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, string beans, succotash, peas, chard, asparagus, and Lima beans are all still being hated here!
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The Nause-AA: Round of Thirty-Ew, Flight Ugh (08.24.12)
Cilantro, veal, licorice/anise, mussels, bologna/olive loaf, organ meats/offal, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, blue cheese, creamed vegetables, tarrgon, clams, crab, raw oysters, egg whites, and mayo-based salads are all still in it!
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How to Handle a Bad Review (08.20.12)
20 steps
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The Nause-AA: Round of 64, Flight Hurl (08.20.12)
Zucchini, avocado, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, string beans, broccoli, kale, succotash, melon, peas, chard, olives, asparagus, spinach, celery, and Lima beans.
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The Nause-AA: Round of 64, Flight Spew (08.17.12)
Raisins (DIE DIE DIE!), tomatoes, cooked carrots, eggplant, fake cherry flavoring, banana, squash, mushrooms, dates/figs, beets, okra, cauliflower, prunes, sweet potatoes, turnips/rutabegas, onions.
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The Nause-AA: Round of 64, Flight Upchuck (08.16.12)
Blue cheese, chocolate, yogurt, creamed vegetables, finned seafood, tarragon, clams, puddings (rice, tapioca, etc.), crab, Parmesan, raw oysters, oatmeal/grits/hot cereal, goat cheese, egg whites, mayo-based salads, milk.
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The Nause-AA: Round of 64, Flight Barf (08.15.12)
Cilantro, garlic, veal, coleslaw, scallops, licorice, mussels, coconut, lobster, bologna/olive loaf, organ meats, tofu, cottage cheese, egg yolk, mayonnaise, and parsley.
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Julia Child Got Me Pregnant (08.15.12)
Maybe it was the moon, maybe it was Andronico's perfect steak, or maybe it was Julia's magic marinade, but no other recipe has ever been so delicious or so life-changing.
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The Nause-AA: The Battle for the Most Hated Food Ever (08.14.12)
We're going to pit the most hated foods against one another and see which earns the Bunkler Snacketology title of "Worst Food Ever."
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Ugly, Dangerous Meats (08.07.12)
Those are the only kinds of meat Lora will eat. (And bacon.)
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God Food is Not Good Food (07.31.12)
There were some books containing foods that made me extremely happy I didn't live in their stories. Like, the Bible. I mean, what really was that manna stuff that kept Moses and the Chosen alive in the wilderness?
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Taping "Good Food" with Evan Kleiman (07.25.12)
If ever a person had a voice for radio, it's Evan Kleiman, who, no matter what the topic, sounds like she's always on the verge of laughter.
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A Few Weeks of SUFFERING (07.09.12)
I have my first SUFFERING SUCCOTASH reading in San Francisco. Tonight, I'll be at Omnivore Books at 6:00 PM, and tomorrow I'll be at Book Passage in the Ferry Building at 6:00 PM. Come bring your picky unto me.
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How to Celebrate Your Pub Date (07.03.12)
Today, the OnTrac guy will deliver my book. The copy I ordered myself, because while I do have about 60 author copies sitting in stacks around the house, I just wanted the experience of ordering my book and having it delivered to me on The Day.
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SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: Events and Signings (6.10.12)
Bring me your picky, your proud, your fussy-eating selves longing to eat raisin-free!
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Taking it Bird by Bird (5.24.12)
"Bird by bird" is something writers say to other writers.
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Trainspotting (5.17.12)
With a toddler in tow, the mundane becomes utterly fascinating.
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A Twitter Toddler Play in 5 1/2 Minutes (05.15.12)
Bug reaches a major toddler milestone.
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My Mother, the Witch (05.13.12)
The Mom Power is the reason why when, at our most vulnerable or sick, we still want our mothers.
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Bully For You (05.10.12)
Personally, I think there's something really wrong with you if you can't remember when you bullied someone. At minimum, it makes you a liar.
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Gluten-Free Isn't For Me (5.9.12)
But as a matter of fact, in an admittedly twisted way, it's the parents who have been living with the allergies all this time that are the lucky ones. (If you overlook that "could die from exposure" side of things, of course.)
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Someone Else's Kids (2.13.12)
I don't want to parent someone else's kids. It's hard enough parenting my own.
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SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: Press (6.10.12)
Bring me your picky, your proud, your fussy-eating selves longing to eat raisin-free!
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Eat Dirt (10.05.11)
I once made a pan of dirt-laced brownies. On purpose. Because I had a crush.
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Clogged Memory (08.01.11)
Ooooh, but I can taste the memory of how badly I wanted them! My babysitters had them and the KISS-loving teenagers across the street had them, which just PROVED how COOL they were.
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Hunca Munca (06.13.11)
It wasn't supposed to happen this way.
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Inchworm Season (05.10.11)
At home, the Dixie cups were placed next to our beds. Because, you know, they were our pet inchworms.
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Hunca Munca (05.02.11)
He's so unflinchingly friendly with everyone who walks in the door we used to joke that if we were ever burgled, Hunc would greet the burglars, his trotting gait and tail saying, "Welcome to my house! Let me show you my butt!"
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A Stitch in Time (4.20.11)
But before we could hunt for eggs, we had to get through church. And in order to get through church, we had to get dressed in our Easter dresses. And on our first Easter in Minnesota, we discovered that Grandma Clemmons had requisitioned all the eyelet in the state of Washington for our multi-layered dresses and matching parasols.
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This is the kind of sickness (03.20.11)
Sick, pathetic, and assuming death will be arriving any moment.
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Bear vs. Cow (03.13.11)
When I decided I wanted a baby, I expected a lot of things. I expected the dirty diapers, the sleepless nights, the finding of food in places I never expected. I never thought I would find myself debating the pros and cons of stuffed animals on a Sunday night.
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Won't You Be My Nemesis? (3.14.11)
Because she could be the nicest person in the world now, she could have found the cure to cancer, or she could have saved ALL the whales, but every time I saw her I'd be thinking, "You pulled my hair in Mrs. Carmody's third grade class."
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Ten Years of Laughter (10.07.10)
Abruptly, the friend stopped talking and looked at me very intently. "I mean, you live with the guy," he said, "Does he make you laugh every day?"
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We Trusted You, Toyota (03.09.2010)
Yes, this is an entirely emotional response to the recent news. Funny thing, I tend to get that way when I worry about DYING.
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The Poetry of Dad (2.15.10)
This September 11, my parents will have been married 45 years, and my dad is still writing poems to my mom. (Sure, they're poems about RVs but still! Poems!)
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My First Recipe (12.21.09)
I hated it all the more because my parents and my older sister were never put through its monkey tail paces. Oh no, D'Nealian was some new-fangled hippie handwriting philosophy saved only for me. I even hated the NAME "D'Nealian," because it kinda sounded foreign and exotic but it wasn't. It was just some totally made-up name constructed from the inventor's first name, "Donald," and his middle name, "Neal."
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More Grateful Still (12.20.09)
My parents always said stuff like, "the family" and "that everyone's healthy." We'd roll our eyes at "family" because it just seemed so dorky and over emotional. It also seemed to go without saying. Like, of COURSE we were grateful for family, so why bother mentioning it?
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Analysis of a Mix Tape (11.30.09)
All the tracks are transcribed in a different pastel color from a rotating click pen I had. We've got lavender, electric blue, fuchsia, and neon green going on in true high school girl fashion. The mix begins with Chicago's "You're the Inspiration," and ends with "Wonderful Tonight."
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Thanks (10.4.09)
Now that I've had just over three and a half months to calm down, slow down, get some sleep, get my head on straight, and even get a little work done, it's time for overdue thanks.
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Vanessa (09.16.09)
Vanessa is really quite normal. I mean, there are times when she says things to me like, "But she was humming and hawing over it, so I just let it drop," and "And you know, once he did that, it was, like, just rubbing salt in the womb, you know?" which make me wonder if we really should have put a helmet on her when the whole rocking thing started, but, as of today, she's made it to 28 years relatively intact.
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Other Fat Chicks Like Me (06.08.09)
Aside the fact that you're walking around as a two people for 9-10 months and that you probably have family and a partner involved, pregnancy can still get lonely.
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Things We Learn in Birth Class IV (06.06.09)
I wish I could believe that something like hypnobirthing would really work for me -- I'm not totally sure what hypnobirthing is, but I think it has something to do with clucking like a chicken through your labor pain -- but I'm too much of a cynic.
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And Baby Makes Five (06.01.09)
You know what I really want people to stop doing? Stop telling me I'm going to care less about my cats after the baby is here. No, no. Just stop it. Take your hand off the computer, discard the "instructional" or "helpful" email you're about to send. Close your mouth.
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Things We Learn in Birth Class III (05.28.09)
B. You get a intimate look at other people's relationships, and it's not always pretty.
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Pregnancy in a Time of Swine Flu (05.01.09)
A note on our Safeway brand of anti-bacterial gel: it smells exactly like my homemade limoncello, which is sending me very mixed signals.
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Things We Learn in Birth Class II (04.27.09)
We are too immature for birth class.
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Reader, I Took a Bath (04.22.09)
The day it hit 102° on the Peninsula in April was the day I did something I haven't been able to do in 6 months of pregnancy: I took a bath.
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Things We Learn in Infant Safety Class (04.21.09)
We're both pretty sure our parents had none of the child-proofing devices that were being passed around the classroom.
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Things We Learn in Birth Class (04.15.09)
Dr. Mathra's face will be the new miracle drug. Apparently.
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Shake, Rattle, and Roll (03.03.09)
Sometimes I'm not even just feeling it from the inside, either. If my hand happens to be on my belly at the time, I'll actually feel a brief push out, and that really freaks me out. Because the movements are coming from inside the house!
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What Kind of Berry Reads Books? (03.24.09)
When I buy a book, I feel compelled to finish it no matter how sick I am of the writer whining for page after page that her mother is to blame for her weight, her sexual predilections, and why she can't wash the dishes.
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Walking Pregnant (02.24.09)
It's pretty much a waddle, and I've been noticing that I'm doing it more and more these days. I'm not trying to do it, so when I first noticed I was doing it, I wondered if it was like the hand-on-belly thing -- sort of an unintentional signal to the world that I was pregnant.
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This Freelancing Life: Vampires and Sucking the Marrow Out of Life (02.23.09)
2. "If the vampire's left sock is in one's possession, the sock can be filled with rocks and earth from the vampire's grave and tossed into running water. The vampire will wander off in search of its sock and accidentally drown itself."
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Pedican't (02.22.09)
It's not that I'm not girly. I am. I curl my hair, I wear makeup -- even on my eyes -- I slather all manner of creams and masques on my face, and I have been known to get the occasional facial.
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The Coffin Crib (02.13.09)
Another crib from the "Nightlight Gallery."
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Crib of DOOM! (02.12.09)
I'm not sure what this says about me or my psychological issues, but this crib absolutely terrifies me. Like, to a nightmarish degree.
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Wee Announcement (01.26.09)
Then I had to consider how I wrote "I'm pregnant" to friends. For some, it was "I'm pregnant!" and for others it was "I'm pregnant." I don't know why I felt like using the exclamation point for certain people and not others. Maybe because an exclamation point can feel like an command. Something that says, "I'm excited and I ORDER you to be excited for me!"
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Snow Bunnies (12.26.08)
Jennie and I would start by playing King of the Hill. We'd struggle on the slippery snow mounds, try knock each other into the snowy street and sidewalk, and then claim sides where we would build our fortresses complete with parapets, balconies, and turrets.
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The Real Minnesotan (12.23.08)
Sure, driving to school in a car that a. never heated up until we reached the parking lot; and b. fishtailed every time I took a corner was a pain in the ass. But I did it. I could and can do it! I walked to school uphill both ways naked and in bare feet and I lived to brag about it!
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Well played, streaming players. (12.15.08)
TURN DOWN THE DAMN COMMERCIALS!
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I Can't Seem to Forget You... (12.12.08)
'Tis the season to buy perfume.
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Morning Becomes Suburbia (11.29.08)
Waking up in an entirely different place.
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Moving Day 1: The Suburbs (11.22.08)
"What have we gotten ourselves into?"
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Swing Your Partner to the Left! (11.11.08)
My parents were shocked (SHOCKED!) when Ms. Eckert -- she was one of those Mizzez who seemed to require the extra stress on the title -- told them at parent-teacher conferences that their daughter -- the one who fell down for no reason, ran into walls, and acquired multiple bruises in odd locations with no memory of how they got there but with suspicions that it was from walking into a coffee table or car fender -- was actually quite agile and coordinated on the dance floor.
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PrObama: Yes, We Can (11.4.08)
Are you ready?
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Caning in the Real Virginia (10.27.08)
...but the image of this Grampa Jones type striking out with his cane, like the kid is some street urchin hovering around 221 B Baker Street, and Grampa Jones in a carriage that would put Mr. Darcy's to shame is so ripe for late-night talk show jibes that if any of them fail to do something with it, well, then they just fail.
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I Just Made Sweatshirt at Land's End! (10.16.08)
From pin to hat to sweatshirt -- I'm cleaning up on the NPS swag.
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My Name is Keckler (10.11.08)
How waiting for a television season to release belatedly on DVD has turned me into a Netflix hoarder.
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Getting Dirty at Land's End (10.09.08)
For 12 weeks now, I've been going out there to weed, plant, clear brush, mend fences (no, really!), and generally roll around in the mist-drifted mud.
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State of the Consternation (10.07.08)
So, yeah, I used to respect McCain. I was close to calling myself a "McCain Democrat." Now he just makes me sick.
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Obama-Biden: That's the Reason! (10.04.08)
Take a gander at this C-SPAN video (it's not boring!) if you want to see why exactly I fell for Joe Biden in 2004.
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Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure: Success! (09.23.08)
Thank you everyone who supported us. Not only did you whip us into shape but you helped us raise a flock of money for breast cancer awareness. You also got me to the point where I'm going out on a run today in spite of the blisters garnered from last night's three-hour bowling session!
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Komen Race for the Cure: Progress (09.17.08)
...Four more of our friends will also be walking to support the cause and after it's all over, we're going for a large brunch to celebrate. (Preferably outside so Sam and I don't put everyone off their feed.)
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Fringe Notes (09.09.08)
It's sort of Flatliners meets Brannon Braga's D.O.A. Threshold but marries Luke's Empire Strikes Back arm, cheats on it with Miracles, and leaves it for Quantum Leap's selfless mission.
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Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure (08.28.08)
Last week I signed up to do something I've never done before: run a 5k. And you know what? I hate running. Like, I really, really, HATE it! However, I'm not running (or walking, if the mind is willing, but the shins are weak) this race for pure pleasure or personal glory. I'm not running it to get a good time or a toned butt. I'm running it to raise awareness and money for breast cancer.
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This Freelancing Life: Comfort Me With Cats (08.20.08)
People who say that cats are disinterested and standoffish are idiots. One of my childhood cats, Nutsy, couldn't bear any family member being sad. Soon after someone started crying, they would get a visit from Nusty. He'd trot into the bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom and stare with green eyes out of a black face. "Don't cry," those eyes would say, "There's really no need, because I am here now."
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Farscape Recap: Out of Their Minds (08.18.08)
The one where they all play Invasion of the Body Snatchers and learn more than they ever needed to know about each others' bodily functions. Sadly, Zhaan misses all the fun while dallying with a pair of corrosive Jell-O-vomiting Skeksis.
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This Freelancing Life: Calliope's Bitch (08.06.08)
Every time I sit down to an assignment, I'm completely convinced that this is the time when all words fail. This is the time when I realize that I'm a complete fraud who has somehow gotten by for nine years pretending to be a writer. I'm convinced that I will never write funny again. It spirals. And I really don't have proper appreciation for spirals because I have veritgo and they make me nauseous.
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This Freelancing Life: Japanese Graphic Novels (aka Manga) (07.30.08)
Gigs you never thought existed: rewriting Japanese culinary graphic novels and coming up with your own sound effects for slicing open a fish belly. (It's "slisssh," by the way.)
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No Tumor Jokes Here (07.28.08)
Bob Novak's Grey's Anatomy and hating on July.
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Love and Marriage, Cheese and Farscape (07.25.08)
Recapping, marital mimics, and rediscovering a stinky old favorite.
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Spinster Camp West (07.24.08)
12:30-5:00 AM: Get up repeatedly to check that door is triple locked. Consider the ramifications of leaving all kitchen knives on counter since one would have to pass by front door before reaching any defensive objects. Consider putting chef's knife in bedside table drawer but worry about temporary amnesia and subsequent self-slicing when rummaging around for Breathe-Right strips.
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Psych-otic New Season (07.18.08)
The new Psych season premieres tonight and I am singing "Ebony and Ivory" while eating pineapple. (What? It's not racist -- click through and watch the fantabulistic promo. You know you want to.)
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Objects of Desire (07.17.08)
It has come to my attention that we in this household, we in this tiny apartment on Alamo Square Park, well, we have a pattern of forming oddly strong attachments to inanimate objects.
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Ode to a Jog Bra (06.30.08)
Look, if you had one called the "Bounce Breaker," you'd sing about it too.
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Southwest High School Class of '92 RAWKS! (06.11.08)
Without that person with the curled bob and feathered bangs who once wore elbow-length black gloves and pantyhose with the seam up the back to Homecoming, I wouldn't be who I am now.
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Hello, Couch (06.05.08)
Gone are the musing days and working nights with my butt slung inches from the floor while my knees hew dangerously close to my ears. No longer will I stretch and strain my neck forward, stacking four pillows behind my lower back to summon up some semblance of a normal posture. Couch has eased my pain.
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Return of the Magi: The Star Wars Holiday Special (05.22.08)
The Empire giving everyone "a hard time"? Bobba Fett as a "small cartoon"? Bea Arthur as someone named Ackmena? Diahanne Carroll as a hologram called Wow? And Art Carney and Harvey Korman as well? Wait, are we sure this isn't just a Star Wars skit in The Carol Burnett Show?
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Hot (05.15.08)
I'm sitting in the dark of my apartment trying so hard not to move. Even the minor task of typing five fingers across a keyboard, is sending rivulets of sweat coursing down my torso. I'm thisclose to stripping off every last damp article here and now, except that I have to do laundry and I'm afraid that once I take my clothes off I won't be able to get them back on. (I'm also afraid that I'll forget I'm naked and just go about business as usual.)
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The Naming of Cats (04.26.08)
Back on speakerphone, I told them that an ex-boyfriend of mine made a habit of naming pets for cars, so I wouldn't agree to it. When my parents wondered why I got to have any say in the matter at all, I self-righteously reminded them how Dad cheated me out of naming Vanessa before she was born.
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The Vander Weide Menagerie (04.20.08)
It turns out that Dad wasn't so interested in the biting Mr. Boots. It also turns out that his name was Mr. Mittens, prompting me to call him "Mr. Bittens" forever more. It further and finally turns out that while he bit my dad, he didn't bite Nessa when she got him out of his cage. "I don't think Dad knows how to get the cats out," she whispered to me.
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My Family and Other Animals (04.13.08)
"I want to go back to the shelter today and see Gekko," Dad said. "Her name is 'Gatto,' not GEKKO!" Mom reminded him loudly and probably not for the first time. "Her name is going to be 'Crabby,' apparently," I added. "We're getting a cat we BOTH like," Mom informed us. "Gekko's cage didn't have a comment card at all," Dad mused, "I wonder if that's a bad thing."
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The Fall of Jericho (03.27.08)
As a final irony, when writers/executive producers of a show I recap finally write me with glowing praise, it would have to be a doomed show. Of course.
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How Green is My Conscience (03.17.08)
The thing is, it's highly likely that I will never be 100% pure green because there are simply some things I draw the line at as being too, sort of, icky. Like the bathroom behavior rhyme, "If it's yellow let it mellow," etc. and resisting showers and using only natural deodorant and pretty much everything that guy is doing in Manhattan without toilet paper. And I definitely draw the line at eating things that have grown out of my own pee and bathing in mulch.
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25 Things I Never Tire Of (02.25.08)
I normally don't engage in these sort of "memes," because I tend to find them cheesy and of no interest to my readers. Plus, there are some things I write that, when I read them later, make me harf like Chet in Weird Science after he tells his brother he loves him. (I have the same reaction when I read my poetry-phase journals from junior high.)
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Hillary Clinton: The Tito Endorsement (02.20.08)
In the war of the music videos, Obama is Death Cab for Cutie, and Hillary is John Tesh.
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Pride and Prejudice: Debating Darcys and Contemplating Clothes (02.18.08)
... but the Regency was more about figure-revealing Empire waistlines -- some forward females of the time even used water to "dampen down" their gowns for their version of a wet tee-shirt contest -- and less about virginal Victorian crinolines and prodigious petticoats.
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Probama: Yes, We Can (02.05.08)
This is the most important election of our lifetime, and I've been ready for change for 8 long years. Are you ready?
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Goddammit, PBS! (01.27.08)
And what's up with that impersonal, silky red background? Is this PBS classic drama or is it a "My Moment, My Dove" commercial?
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Resolutions (1.09.08)
I don't make 'em.
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Stupid Humans: 58,000 Gallons of Fuel Oil (11.08.07)
This morning -- because of some sort of communications malfunction between the container ship spokespeople and the U.S. Coast Guard -- the spill has been upped to a whopping 58,000 gallons.
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Must-See Technology (09.14.07)
I showed the device it to my husband who said, "Don't you dare stick that in your computer! It's like sticking your tongue in a socket -- you don't know where it's been!"
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Bravo Knifes Andrea Strong (08.26.07)
However, then the realist in me took over: Top Chef knew exactly what they were doing. They were using "food blogger" as a dirty word. The bane of chefs everywhere. More to the point, Top Chef, in their reality show way, decided that for these two episodes Andrea Strong has been cast as The Villain.
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Afraid to Go Into the Water (08.07.07)
Finally, the emergency squad screamed up and a park ranger met them saying, "We got a foot injury." Now, is that "foot injury" as in "I stepped wrong and my ankle collapsed" or as in "my foot got stuck in the jaws of a Great White and now it is injured"?
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Dizzy Dame (07.25.07)
The good thing about that MRI appears to be, however, that it's not a brain tumor! WOOHOO! Celebration of non-tumorosity! I mean, I assume that's not the case since my ENT didn't call me within 24 hours of my MRI to be all George Brent to my Bette Davis about it. After that, the next step was the Balance and Mobility Clinic where, I had been reliably informed, I would vomit copiously.
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Whither Harry Potter, DAMMIT?! (07.20.07)
I DIDN'T REQUEST A REDELIVERY! [foam, pant, twitch, scream]
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Shell Shocked: Jericho Lives! (06.08.07)
Acting on information we received from our CBS source, "Shallow Eustachian Tube," I was able to transcribe what went down in the heated meetings between the execs at CBS, and if you read between the lines, you can see just what dragged Jericho, Skeet, and the Awesome Hawkins back from the brink of television death.
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The Grub Report Nominated for Best Food Blog (05.17.07)
I'm asking all of you who read The Grub Report, like The Grub Report, and even crave The Grub Report to get out and eat the vote! Or just vote, you really don't have to eat it. Because it might be gross. And also sounds sort of rude.
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Two Hours. (04.16.07)
Why does this happen? How THE FUCK does this happen? College is supposed to be the best years of your lives. Not the deadliest. Not the last.
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No Food, Just TV (02.18.07)
Look, Jericho is not smart, it's not challenging, and it doesn't make me think overly deep thoughts about life, death, and philosophy. It makes me giggle and it makes me cheer for surprisingly shallow reasons. It also doesn't feel like homework, which -- hold on to your toasters -- BSG has started to feel of late. I need these dumb, peaceful shows to quiet my mind.
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This Freelancing Life (01.14.07)
My life is not my own. As a freelancer every day, every hour, and nearly every thought is slotted to one of my clients. It's a hellacious fallacy that freelancing is all about choosing your own hours and owning your time.
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Drink Your Way to Smartness: CocktailSmarts (11.20.06)
So, many cocktails and cocktail onions later, my project? She is done. Introducing the newest SmartsCo product, which just happens to be written by moi, I give you CocktailSmarts!
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Bo, Football, and Me (11.18.06)
Today is my birthday and today my beloved Michigan Wolverines are about to play the game of the year, possibly the game of the decade.
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The Summer I Turned Sixteen (Again) (10.16.06)
Except, back then it was a 1973 Mercury Comet, and I drove with the windows down because AC hadn't been a choice in the Vomit Comet for about ten years.
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Update, Upchuck (08.24.06)
I swear the only thing keeping me sane is runs at Ocean Beach, Tim Gunn's podcast, and reruns of Reba. That's right, people, I said Reba! The stress has made me sink so, so low.
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Land's End (06.24.06)
For a long time I ran without looking up. I was mesmerized by my own footfalls and how they struck the damp, packed sand, radiating a lighter, drier patch in every direction, and how the June-icy Pacific hits the sun-warmed beach, banding mist around my ankles.
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While My YouTube Gently Weeps (05.30.06)
Prince is a god.
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The Kecklers Abroad: Part II (03.22.06)
The words were the same words printed in the hymnal, but that's where the similarities between Croft's version of "Our God Our Help in Ages Past" and my father's ended.
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Small Bites (03.16.06)
Rachel Ray would talk, cook, and drink so fast, her attending celebrities wouldn't know how to help or where to stand. They'd be even more mystified as to what the hell "E-V-O-O" and "spoonulas" were. On the other hand, her team would always beat the clock due to Rachel carrying back-spraining armloads of ingredients from place to place.
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Hello, Car. (02.22.06)
If I told you that we kissed the hood of our new car in the privacy of our garage, would you judge me?
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Google: The Pepsi Freshmaker! (02.10.06)
Blogging a boring commute and too many people making an explosive cocktail of warm Diet Pepsi and Mentos. Kids do the darndest things!
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CrApple (06.09.05)
I'm back from Minnesota and I'm full. Wow. I don't think I stopped eating the whole time I was there. No Smokebeer sightings, but maybe next time.
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Snow Advisory (12.31.04)
Two days, 180 miles down a mountain pass at five miles an hour with a visibility of 100 yards, two sets of snow chains, two massive Sierra blizzards with avalanche conditions, seven hours on the road, and six cups of mulled wine in our dry and snowless SF apartment later
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In Search of Snow (12.30.04)
Last year, dear eaters, you might remember that I was unquestionably and irrationally saddened by the lack of snow in the Bay Area and that my husband made a promise to take me up to Tahoe in search of snow
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I'm an Alfred Hitchcock Movie (09.22.04)
Ever since my last day at the cheeseshop when I came over all faint, got nauseous, took the bus home and threw up, I've had persistent vertigo. Thankfully it's not as bad as the initial attack, because
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To Serve and Be Relatively Bored (09.14.04)
Dr. Mathra said to me, "You're really going to see a cross-section of the SF public." I don't know what he's talking about, I take the MUNI every day. Jury duty's not at all like waiting in a queue at
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A Few Images from Friday Harbor (CREDIT)
Lime Kiln Point Light. It's a great place to watch various whale pods come in from sea. Sadly, we didn't see any that day. Come quick, there's a deer eating fruit from the orchard! Oh, come on -- just
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The Kecklers Abroad (06.23.04)
Nine years ago I went to study in England. My family came with me. I kept a journal. "Stephie? I wanted to call and remind you to bring all the Cambridge info I sent last week. We have copies here
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By Popular Demand (06.21.04)
Here are some shots of the two balls of fuzz that wake us up at six in the morning, drape their purring bodies over us, and generally rule our world.
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And Now For Something Completely Random (04.16.04)
I'm gonna be on TV! I'm gonna be on TV! I'm gonna be on TV! I'm doing a little dance over here. Okay, so TechTV is doing a behind-the-scenes look at Television Without Pity and they want to interview
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Breaking Up is Hard to Invoice (02.10.04)
When you meet for the first time, you go through your closet, pulling out all sorts of outfits. Do you go for hip and professional or smart and classic? You stand on one leg and judge the effects with
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Zen and the Art of Furball Maintenance (02.03.04)
Sit on your mat in a simple cross-legged position. Remove the partially-masticated cat treat you sat on. Breathe. Twist comfortably to the left. Breathe. Walk your hands a comfortable distance in front
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Stage Fright Night (01.08.04)
Several months ago when I was showing our Boston apartment, this prospective renter asked me if I ever considered doing stand-up. Not thinking I'd been cracking one-liners every five minutes as I show
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Keckler's Sense of Snow (01.01.04)
(tug) (tug) Hey... (tug) Hey! (TUG!) Did you know it doesn't snow in San Francisco? Apparently I didn't, because nothing else can explain my disappointment in this year's holiday season thus far.
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Keep on Vegassing in the Free World (12.10.03)
'Tis the season for TWoP Con Recaps, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-SNARK! Mathra and I came late to the Las Vegas gathering this year -- writing an exam and generally small purse strings due to such an
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Locked Out (09.25.03)
11:30 AM This has been a week of highs and lows. I can't talk about the highs yet because I don't want to jinx it, but the lows all center around me sitting outside my apartment door, listening to the
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Yeah, I'm an English major -- wanna make somethin' of it? (09.15.03)
Recently, it came to my attention that a person, who shall remain nameless but with whom I am acquainted, slagged off on English majors. This person said that "Everyone's an English major," and "Being
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Moving Violations (09.02.03)
I naïvely thought that coming out to California meant each entry on The Grub Report would be bursting with heirloom tomatoes, local cheeses, artisan breads, vats of wine, and blue potatoes, but no. No
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The Cats Who Saw America (08.30.03)
3100 miles. Five days. Fifty-three driving hours. Twelve states. Two cats. That's gotta be some kind of record -- we even left really late on our first day. It's all due to Dr. Mathra's superb driving
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Walks to Remember (03.31.03)
Going home is good for the soul. I'd hazard that it's even better than a visit to a spa for all their hot and smelly rocks. I've come back to Boston refreshed, happy, and calmly nostalgic. The zennish
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Delirious Burning Blue (02.03.03)
Mathra woke me up with the news. It seems so trite to say I couldn't believe it. But I couldn't -- not again. Not now. Not ever. But our friends had a baby that morning. Little Jackson woke to life as
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Has Anyone Seen My Skin? (01.29.03)
I avoided it all last semester. Around me, students succumbed like snarfing trees felled by a phlegmy form of Dutch Elm disease. I wore a surgical mask, held my breath on the T, and carried on. Until
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Shake Your Vegas Maker (12.08.02)
I don't think Las Vegas and I will ever be true friends. We might respect one another. We may even occasionally nod to each other in passing. But we can never have a deep and lasting FF or SWAK- kind
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A Keckler Family Halloween Special: Do You Do Voodoo? (10.21.02)
Witches, screaming skulls, stuffed corpses on the front lawn, you name it -- no one does Halloween better than my mother. "It's my favorite religious holiday," she says every year. "Don't tell your father
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Pretty Poster Poetry (10.09.02)
I have the best posters on TWoP Enterprise. I really do. Today, I came home from class and found they had been composing poetry about me in my "Fleet Commendation for Recapping Goes to Keckler" thread
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Bathroom Behavior (10.01.02)
Cats and bathrooms. Someone please explain the connection to me. And use scientific terms, because that's the only way I'll believe there is a valid explanation other than the fact that one of my cats
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I Should Own Stock in Dramamine (10.01.02)
First it was a green woody station wagon. Next it was a silver station wagon. Then it was a woody Grand Caravan mini-van, and another one after that. Now it's an RV. Thankfully, I've never gone cross-country
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In the Still of the Night (09.25.02)
In the Still of the Night, You can hear the zanzibub trees whisper Calling to you in their hushamung way, greatly grimping with the wind.
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Ode to the Ondine (09.25.02)
In the summer of nine-zero There would have been great need of a hero, To save a small craft (Whose skipper was thought daft) To sail it in the wrath Of Superior. On the eve of this night His daughter
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Perfume (09.25.02)
your scent lingered on me and mixed with my own I no longer smell the same since I met you mine is not mine and I am no longer solely me
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Montana Sky (09.25.02)
A vast canvas Her awesome mind can smear hectic colors, streaks of mist heaving billows no shutter can capture nor hand imitate Her reveries my pen stutters for trying
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Mountain Time (09.25.02)
We've passed into Mountain Time the sun has saturated the crimson depths and we've passed into Mountain Time the moon rises, taking bloodless steps and we've passed into Mountain Time is there a real
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The Haunted Garden (09.25.02)
I walk through the haunted garden of long ago, Passing each dry, leaf covered bed where loving hands
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Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic