Being sick of your music is bad. It’s like being sick of your wardrobe, which takes years to build. I mean, I have music on my playlist from high school, you know? But after years of listening, all of a sudden, I really can’t stand The Smiths, Robert Smith, Depeche Mode, and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. There are a few new records on my Ipod, but as Becca and I said yesterday, with improved technology, you get sick of your music faster. When you listened to cassette tapes, if you were obsessed with a song, you’d have to wait till the Walkman whirled the tape in rewind, hopefully not eating the ribbon. If there are albums you recommend, will you tell me the titles? Thank you.
Sleep training was something hanging over my head like an exam, but Husband and I finally found going through the day as zombies was losing its charm.
Ferber is hardcore but is supposed to work the best — three nights of crying it out for as long as it takes. Some babies suffer ten minutes, others keep crying till they throw up, and you’re supposed to soldier on. I tried it for 15 minutes and caved. I couldn’t stand hearing seeing the Baby cry that hard, and I know a lot of moms who cry through the whole thing and get through, but my attitude was just Hell No. I believe my pediatrician that this approach is not permanently traumatic for the baby, but you know who else gets traumatized? The parents. No thank you.
We ended up doing a longer, 9-night approach, where you don’t pick them up, but sit next to the crib for the first three nights, so Baby wept, but I could comfort him and he didn’t seem to think he was abandoned. I told him, “Change is really hard.” Each night, he cries for shorter periods of time and does seem better at getting back to sleep by himself. Who know, it’s up and down, but sleep training made me feel very parental. Something about going forward with something incredibly unpleasant to change Baby behavior. That sounds so poetic, ha ha.
Husband: So you know when you put the dishes on the drying rack, they need air to dry, right?
Me: Oh yeah.
Husband: So when you put the dishes right on top of each other, they can’t dry.
Me: Did I do that? I don’t remember.
Husband: Right, and then, the same principle applies to the bathroom towels. When you put one wet towel on top of the other, neither gets to dry.
What’s weird is I totally never knew how I handled the above-mentioned items until he told me. It’s kind of like my cooking–if I paid attention, I could be pretty decent, but there’s so much to think about. What’s retarded is when faced with the results of my handiwork, I tried to pass it off as someone’s fault, but the only other adult is Husband. A doomed-to-fail strategy.
On our way back home from Thanksgiving, I told Husband that if he were ever in a weird position where I was like in a irreversible coma, then he should pull the plug, and he agreed that he would like the same. As long as there was no likelihood that we would be able to come back and function somewhat independently, we would choose to not come back at all. It’s not like we talk like this every day, and maybe it’s from absorbing too many medical dramas or newspaper headlines, but people seem to run into trouble when they’ve never had this conversation with the people around them. (If I were being really organized, we would need this in writing, like a living will, or, I forget what the medical term is — health care proxy! That’s it!) It’s not like I want to die, I would really like to stick around for a reasonable amount of time in reasonably sound health, to enjoy and endure what’s to come, but dude, remember that Terry Schiavo fiasco? No thank you.
In any case, it’s not actually that simple. There was a wonderful article by Dr. Atul Gawande in The New Yorker (wow, which I read without any friend’s prompting), talking about when introduce the idea of hospice, and he speaks in great detail of how complicated it all is, how hard it is for anyone (patients, doctors) to accept that maybe it’s time to let go. He profiles one patient, who discovered a cancer while pregnant, who totally believed what I believed, but in the end, could not stop fighting and how he, as her doctor, found he could not stop fighting either. Hospice care actually elongated some of the life time in the article, and definitely eased the patient’s suffering. Who the hell knows how you’ll react when push comes to shove? I do not know what I would do if cancer was discovered in my body. Cancer does not seem like a good way to go, but you know what else seems like a bad way to go? Zombies.
There is something about flight safety instructions that gets me right there. I’m not being totally facetious. I wonder about what kind of person produces such art, if they grew up painting then went to an MFA program and couldn’t find a job outside of flight safety art corporation and just do pictures of people jumping down to safety off a blow-up ramp. When and if I get time, I’m totally going to do little replicas in oil paints, but I’m going to add things like a Godzilla-size, pink teddy bear on the horizon. I realize the art is flat and generic, but that’s what holds appeal to me. I taken a few from various flights, and have turned them into greeting cards, but mostly, I keep them in a file and flip through them once in a while, and it gives me great pleasure.
I’ve never read Kazuo Ishiguro before last year, and while my experience has been mixed (The Unconsoled=bleech, Never Let Me Go=love), I can still tell he is a great writer. He’s the author of things like Remains of the Day, stuff that seems like E.M. Forster territory. Anyway, I mention him, because despite these ultra-British stories, I totally assumed they were translations, that he was a writer from Japan writing far from England. With a name that’s so mega-Japanesese from top to bottom, left to right, like “Kazuo Ishiguro,” I thought, for sure, no way is English this guy’s first language. I was wrong! I’m racist! He’s married with kids and grew up in England, and is credited as being one of the top English writers demonstrating an uncanny understanding of English society. It’s funny that I assumed so much from his name, but you know what? Is it not weird that out of this guy’s multi-year, brilliant writing career, all the characters are white? I mean, of all the stories he imagines, none of them include a Japanese-English dude who keeps getting mistaken for white or something? I dunno. Struck me as odd, mostly, because I recently noticed the same thing in my writing. I actually have Korean characters in all my stories, but nothing they struggle with has to do with the fact that they are Korean, which I am beginning to think is a touch odd and speaks to some feeling of alienation I have toward my own ethnicity, you feel me?