The point of going to the State Fair--well, one of them--is to eat the new foods. And, in recent years, to sample the local wines (though I couldn't do that this year).
I ate things. Praise be to Zantac. (My stomach has been--and continues to be--an incredibly volatile and delicate balancing act between throwing up and taking enough Zantac and the Zantac wearing off earlier and earlier and too much Zantac giving me other digestive issues.)
What I ate, in no particular order. All of these things were basically shared 3-4 ways with the exception of some single serve stuff (cider pops, corn):
1. Bacon Tots: New food. Meh. Too much onion for me. I like onion normally, but I have a pregnancy aversion to strong onion/garlic flavors.
2. Smorgas sandwich: New food. Meh. The meatballs were tasty but chewier than any Swedish meatball has a right to be.
3. Pop-rocks french toast: New last year, but we hadn't tried it. French toast with pop rocks and whipped cream. This was *astoundingly* not too sweet. You also got a lot for your money. Of the first three items, all three adults declared this the favorite.
4. Deep-Fried Pickles: A classic. Pickle slices, deep fried. I love them. I skip any dressings or variation.
5. Maple cream nitro coffee: Too sweet for me. I think we had this last year, too, but we didn't remember.
6. Strawberry basil lemonade: New "food". Nicely tart. I got this mostly for Nadia the first time, but ended up going back for my own cup later in the day.
7. Cider pops: I had two of these throughout the day. They are frozen apple cider. They are the best thing at the fair on a hot day and I have them every year.
8. Heirloom tomato and corn BLT: New food. The flavors were good, but too much bread.
9. Blueberry rhubarb cobbler: New food. I found this totally inedible (too sweet and too liquidy). The others just thought it was unimpressive.
10. Cheese Curds: The classic. I didn't even want cheese curds at this point, but...you have to get cheese curds.
11. Fries: These were mostly for Nadia. IDK where she gets her love of fries--I HATED fries until I was an adult. These were super crispy, though, so I liked them.
12. Caramel Apple milkshake: Tradition from the dairy building. The caramel apple variety is GREAT though. Bonus: Licks of N's chocolate ice cream for drip control. I'm meh on just plain ice cream but...it's the dairy building!
13. Grilled peach: New Food. I chickened out on the goat cheese and honey variation in favor of the greek yogurt and crumble variation. I blame pregnancy and end-of-day eating. I've heard stellar things about the goat cheese version and our version was just okay. The crumble was "gluten free" and though a lot of places do gluten free stuff really well nowadays, this was just dry and tasteless and terrible.
14: Roasted corn on the Cob: My other always-eat at the fair. It's truly great. Simple. My ear was a liiiittle under-roasted this year, but I also passed up a REALLY roasted ear they were offering, so. My own decision.
15: Sweet Martha's Cookies: We always get a bucket of these to-go as we're leaving. This is also held over the head of my child to motivate her to keep moving when needed, and toward good behavior.
I might be missing something. I'd have to ask pointedthings
Oh hey. My Feminist Feltie book is coming out in September: http://a.co/d/31wrhmO
I am, as one could imagine, apprehensive about this. What if everyone thinks it sucks? Hey! Some of the creative direction ended up being decided editorially/by committee! What if people don't realize that and they think the stupider stuff was my idea.
I'm great at self-promotion, clearly.
My publisher contacted me wondering if I wanted to do another follow-up book/s; maybe working in a larger scale or one explicitly for a younger audience.
I don't know what I'd make. I'm kind of creatively tapped out on feminist projects that are required to be sanitized for family friendliness.
But...hell... I'll probably say yes just to have a project. It's nice to have a Big Project.
I started having groin muscle pain after my runs, now. This was true for pregnancy number 1, too, though I don't remember when it started.
I can't remember how or if I fixed it, though, so I consulted doctor Google. I ended up in a Runner's World article about running while pregnant. It was much more encouraging than I expected.
The pain is normal, and cutting back to half speed and distance is normal too. Because of the work your body is already doing, you end up at the same fitness level with half the exercise.
So says Runner's World, anyway. And I'm inclined to believe them. ;)
I love stand-up comedy. There's something magical about seeing a really great, tightly-crafted, solidly written set. I also loved the spontaneous comedy I'd see on shows like @Midnight; which showcased all the mental agility that goes into *funny*. I'd like to think that it makes me better at my job, but really it's just pleasurable and relaxing.
So I watch a lot of stand-up. It's not for everyone.
Here are things I've watched lately with grades!
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife: B+
This grade should probably be higher, and Ali Wong is SUPER funny, but I'd also kinda-sorta heard a lot of the material before in different ways from different comics and articles. Ali Wong has great, intense delivery.
Content: Being a wife and mother and subverting roles and expectations therein. Personal comedy.
Cameron Esposito: Rape Jokes: A
I have loved Cameron Esposito since her appearance on @Midnight and then I sought out every thing she's ever done because she has such masterful use of her physical self in comedy; her voice modulation is great. So. I'm a bit partial. I saw her at the airport once and left her the hell alone because I'm Minnesotan and that's how we do. Anyway, this special is not on Netflix (it streams for free on her website and she asks for a donation to RAINN).
Content: Navigating the world/society as a woman. MeToo. LGBTQ+. Current events. PC Culture. Rape jokes. (It gets powerful.)
Tig Notaro: Happy to be Here: A-
I love Tig Notaro's delivery. She's so dry and understated. It's brilliant. This special is NOT her cancer jokes special (which is more...whoa). There's an extended bit at the end with a fun payoff, but it gets a bit dull for me in the meantime.
Content: LGBTQ+. Quirkiness. Marriage and kids. Gender.
John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous: B
I like John Mulaney, but TBH I'm a bit burnt out on straight white male comics and John Mulaney definitely has a typical schtick. I'm struggling to remember anything of note, but I remember being left with a favorable, pleasant impression?
Content: Progressivism. Personal comedy. Situational comedy.
Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld: C-
Seinfeld is not my thing, I guess. *shrug* Even with fresh stuff mixed in with old stuff (this special is kind of like a retrospective mixed with new material), it all feels really dated. It's the TYPE of comedy. It's very 90s. Which was great and fresh at the time, but comedy just doesn't keep, y'know?
Content: Observational comedy. Personal comedy.
Donald Glover: Weirdo: A-
Donald Glover I know from his writing on 30 Rock--which puts him in a very specific sort of comedic quirkiness basket that I really enjoy. This was a bit divergent from that style and was more straight-up situational/personal comedy, but his delivery is really great.
Content: Situational and personal comedy. Current events. Race/racism.
Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives: A
I didn't know what to expect going into this; I'd followed Hari Kondabolu on Twitter b/c he's smart and funny (and people, oddly, keep saying "If you like Kumail Nanjiani [--which oh yes, I do so much--] you'll like Hari Kondabolu"). I don't really get the comparisons, but this comedy special sort of meanders between super funny anecdotes and spitfire progressivism. I'm here for it.
Content: Race/racism. Progressivism. Current events. Immigrant experience.
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King: C+
This probably merits a slightly higher score except for three things: 1. It starts off with a very tired "it's such a bummer to be married now foreeeevvveeeerrrr" trope joke. Blech. Wrong way to start with me. Dear guys who feel this way: your wives probably don't think it's so great to be married to you either. 2. It feels rough/unpolished--which makes sense b/c Hasan Minhaj is pretty young. 3. It feels like a keynote speech at an event! A particularly GOOD keynote speech, actually--wavering between joke and serious life point, joke and serious life point...but in a way that feels...very keynote speechy.
It did get better after the initial misstep, and had some high points, but it needed some tightening.
Content: Race/racism. Immigrant experience. Situational/personal comedy.
Leslie Jones: Problem Child: C+
Leslie Jones (of Ghostbusters and SNL), I've found out...just isn't my thing in terms of delivery style for stand-up. I don't particularly like intensive audience-work because--though it's clear the audience is enjoying the discomfort of it--I don't personally like that sort of discomfort on display. She's great at what she does...but it's just not my thing.
Content: Personal comedy.
[The Standups] Joe List: C
This is totally unmemorable to me. So ... C, I guess? I think he talked about his own awkwardness and romantic history. I don't know. You see why I'm getting burnt out on straight white guys doing comedy. I mean, I remember being amused at times?
Content: Personal comedy.
[The Standups] Aparna Nancherla: B+
Aparna Nanchaerla was another hilarious comic on @midnight. I love her awkwardness. Her set dragged a bit toward the end for me, though, when she went into visual aids. I thought it could have been punched up a bit. Like it's 96% there and just needs a bit of umph. And I don't love emoji-based humor (though this was a category on @midnight and she was great at that so...it stands to reason she would play in that space).
Content: Observational comedy. Awkwardness. Family. Visual aids.
[The Standups] Gina Yashere: B+
British, black, gay woman doing on-point current event comedy? Yeah, I'm here for that. Unfortunately I can't remember a specific stand-out moment so the grade was lowered. Enjoyable, though.
Content: LGBTQ+. Current events.
[The Standups] Rachel Feinstein: B+
Great delivery but kinda done in the Amy Schumer/Iliza Shlesinger mold of "this is what young women are doing and here is our relationship with our parents" mold of comedy. So her set was solid party-girl kinda stuff.
Content: Family. Situational comedy.
[The Standups] Kyle Kinane: A-
I enjoy Kyle Kinane way more than I feel I should. But he's consistently subversive and progressive in a nice way. This set was mostly about the weirdness of the KKK and eating at ethnic restaurants which feels...particularly timely. His delivery is kinda shouty-white-dude, though.
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette: A+
Go watch this right now. I cried. Is a comedy special supposed to make you cry? I don't know. The delivery is so...so good. She's so low-key and dryly funny; dropping little bits of charming humor and then taking big huge swings at big huge issues and it's just SO on fire and gutting and born from a place of deep pain and recovery. It builds off of itself in a lot of nice ways and callbacks. The last ~12 minutes I cried. Not because I was sad, but because it was so "fuck yes". I could not imagine a smarter, better-crafted piece than that last few minutes. It's a fucking powerhouse piece.
Content: Feminism/patriarchy. LGBTQ+. Gender. Comedy. Observational comedy.
Kids say cute things. I was telling a friend about how N called "whirlpools" "whirlpuddles" and he laughed and told me I should be sure to write that down so I don't forget that she once did it.
So here are a couple of things.
For a long time, Smokey the cat was "Mosey". This was particularly amusing since she started off saying it correctly and somehow it morphed in her mind and she latched onto it. She has since reverted to the correct way.
Whirlpools are whirlpuddles.
Potholes are Popholes (not inaccurate).
Penis is "peanuts" (I struggle: Do I, as a parent, responsibly correct this to the proper terminology...or leave it be because it's too damned funny?)
Netflix is Netflakes. We have adopted this as a family, wholecloth.
She has a lot of the little kid shorthand, too, but those aren't mispronunciations as such. Vagina is 'gina, disaster is "a-zaster"
Derrick is sick, yet again. He went to lay down while I was in the final stages of getting Nadia ready for bed last night. He collapsed wrong-ways on the bed, face-down and legs dangling over the side.
"Where's daddy?" she asked.
"He's not feeling good so he went to lay down."
"I better go check on him," she said with a heavy sigh.
She wandered into our bedroom in footie pajamas and put her hand on his leg. She starts stroking and patting it gently: "Are you okay, daddy?"
"I'll be okay, sweetie, I just don't feel very good."
She ascends the covers onto our bed and kneels beside him. She starts rubbing his back with her tiny still-my-baby hand.
In her soothing-est little mouse-voice: "You'll be okay, daddy. It's okay. You'll be okay. It's alright. You're okay...you're okay."
And then my heart exploded. The end.
I've been here since Saturday.
I've gotten 12.5 hours of sleep over 5 nights.
That is...not a lot.
It's amazing how your body needs certain things to function properly.
It's always cold backstage, but it's not so bad.
Until you have multiple nights of no sleep. Then your body fails to regulate itself properly and you shiver and shiver.
I may never be warm again.
It's weird how people fight so hard against changes that they later cannot remember ever having been different.
Local MN residents will recall that our airport used to have a Lindbergh terminal and a Humphrey terminal. They were renamed Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. At the time I thought it was silly and outrageous to spend so much on all the re-signing. Now I only vaguely remember them being anything but T 1&2. It's much clearer for travelers not from the area, or foreign travelers too.
Lake Calhoun is closer to officially being renamed Bde Maka Ska. (Pronounced like bih-DAY ma-KAHS-sKA because Maka and Ska run together.) Why? Because Calhoun was a terrible person and a slaver. It's a confederate monument in lake form. Tribute to him has no business in MN anyway.
Naturally there is resistance. Bde Maka Ska is so haaaard to pronounce... this from the state with Bemidji, Minnetonka, Shakopee, and Edina (that outsiders ALWAYS say Ed-na instead of e-DINE-uh). FFS we know how to pronounce La Croix (La Croy).
People will learn. They always do.
It will take less than a generation for people to cease caring about this. Soon Bde Maka Ska will be all we ever knew. Wasn't it always this way? It might have been. . . Wasn't the Facebook news feed always this way? I'm sure it was forever and ever...
Yet there is so much railing against change. Human nature, I guess. With a touch of racism thrown in for good measure.
Welcome to the panic of: I have a script due tomorrow for review and I've got nothing.
It's a familiar panic. A comfortable panic, even, because I know how this will go.
Deep deep into the night tonight I'll build it layer by layer. Some force of will or nature or luck or talent will overtake me; possessing me in this strange rhythm and groove. And it will get done.
Nothing is there now. Something will come. It has to.
It turns out publishers are a lot like clients in that I give them something, they wait on it for WEEKS, and then they may huge changes right before a deadline and--of course--*I* don't have the luxury of waiting on it for weeks because I have contractual deadlines.
Nov 3rd is my first deadline. I have to shoot pictures of myself making things as I go. This takes So. Much. Time.
If I have to re-shoot a step, I have to re-make a thing. So. Much. Time.
There might not be enough hours. I'm not sure yet.
The key to maximal productivity is to have such an overwhelming number of projects at once that you have to constantly work on something. So even when you're procrastinating, you're using another project to do it and that way you'll always be getting stuff done!
Show done. Home. I should be working, I have another show in a week and...uf...there are book deadlines that are impossible (they just asked for re-designs on two of the first five projects due. . .I...did not laugh in their faces at the existing timeline, but I was tempted.
The nanny has Nadia out for the day. So I'm going to go for a run first.
It feels like a trivial thing, but if I don't set my head right again, shit is going to get dark soon. I can feel the steady thrum of anxiousness pulsing near.
It's just post show stuff. All work, late nights, one night of play, but mostly 12 hours in a dark ballroom under intense stress. The get-home let down is inevitable. Maybe if I run right away, though...
I'm used to people co-opting my ideas as their own. Really used to it. So used to it, in fact, that sometimes *I* even forget it was my idea.
Client: And when we play the game, [incredibly clever game name]...
Me, to boss later: That game name is really clever. I like it!
Boss: It's good, isn't it.
Me: For once they came up with something I don't hate.
Boss: We get it. You like your idea.
Me: That was *my* idea?
Boss: Yeah, it was in the first draft of the script.
Me: [goes and looks at script, finds game name truly tossed out "Character announces game, perhaps [game name]?"]
Huh. Lo and behold. I guess I did come up with it. But I forgot.
Okay. I'm panicking. A little. A lot.
Drink more wine. Do the thing. Calm the fuck down.
That is my game plan. It's not...awful?
I have dairy products in my refrigerator that expire weeks after my first deadline for the book.
I'm not panicking. I'm not panicking.
Actually. I'm not. At least on the first batch. It's the lightest round. And also it's mostly stuff I've done before.
The December 2nd batch, however. My god. What have I done.
Nadia dead-sprinted to our room at 5:30 this morning--which is how she does it. Things must be at a pitter-patter so that the cadence will remain etched into my brain, already tracing trails of nostalgia and missing even as we're still walking this path in time. Somewhere in her wind-up toddler subconscious she calculates the maxiumum toddlerishness.
Our cutoff at putting her back in her room is around 5ish, since after that it's too much effort for too little reward. She giggled as she crawled up into bed by me--giddy with being told she could stay if she went back to sleep and didn't play around (let me tell you the endless morning sagas of narration and when I don't take out a braided pigtail at night she spends the eternal hours of the precious morning playing with the end of the pigtail in a way that is small and annoying enough not to sleep through).
She cuddled in under the covers right next to me, in between D and I. She turned ever so slightly toward me, committing me to my position and pinning my arm.
"Hi mommy," she smiles up at me sweetly, chirping in her little mouse voice.
"I woke up!"
"I see that."
"I got out of my crib all by myself."
"Yes, you did."
"I'm in YOUR bed."
"Yes you are. Now close your eyes and try to sleep."
"Okay mommy..." she snuggles in, sing-song, "I'm cuddling with my mo-mmy..."
And she did fall asleep.
I woke up to her next to me, still sleeping and arms spread wide in toddler abandon. Tiny belly rising up and falling down in deep, steady peace. Little upturned nose and fringe of blonde lashes. Hair a cloud of reckless blonde filament on the pillows.
I so rarely see her sleeping, now. Usually the moment I go in for a peek she wakes up. She doesn't fall asleep on me. She hardly naps.
It's in this moment, so close to my side, that she feels most like an extension of my own body. She moves when I shift, doubling down on her sleepy insistance with an arm reaching out and wrapping around me. I shift again and she re-clings.
She is very much a mommy's girl.
Some moments, some days, this is crushing and suffocating. Want someone else for just a second. Don't need to go with me to the bathroom when you're distracted and doing something fun with someone else. Don't insist on me putting you to bed yet again for the millionth time in a row when a perfectly good daddy is right there, ready to give me a break.
But that's not this moment. This moment makes me want all those other moments to stay mommy-mommy-mommy-only-mommy forever.
My boss found a bedbug in his hotel room. The hotel immediately shooed him out and cleaned. They told him they only found one.
All in all, they handled the whole thing pretty badly.
Boss: What if it had been an executive in my room?
Producer: Or a VIP? Mitch McConnell was just at this hotel yesterday for a meeting.
Me: And they just found one bug?
Boss: That's what they said.
Me: You guys. What if that's Mitch McConnell's alternate form?
The post office requested I take a survey based on my experiences today.
I'm not *incapable* of taking things seriously. It's just that when afforded the opportunity for irreverence, I will take that path 9/10 times for my own personal amusement.
My client was freaked that she didn't have her part of the script done yet. My boss joked that it was okay, and pointed out that maybe she wanted to see our video first for context.
She thanks us for giving her such a good excuse for her own procrastination.
I joke that we could brainstorm a whole list of excuses for her. And so we did.