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Saturday, April 30, 2005

chez casa del nice guy

i am not a little surprised and disappointed that mrs nice guy has not had any supremely bizarre cravings lo these nine months. i would truly love to report that my wife comes home and stuffs her face with haggis sundaes or veal smoothies. but no.

lately she has evinced one peculiar craving, however, which is awesome. now, i am not one to denounce this craving out of hand as odd -- lord knows it is an itch i myself have many, many times scratched this very morning. but i'm not sure this magical craving is well-suited for my bulbous bride: the magical craving, that is, for beer. my pregnant wife, not much of a drinker in real life, desperately craves beer.

scene: the nice guy kitchen. mr nice guy has recently whipped up a delightful batch of piquant black-bean burritos, adorned with homemade guacamole and paint-peelingly spicy pico de gallo. he is about to set the table when mrs nice guy strolls into the room.

mrs nice guy: what's that you say?
mr nice guy: i didn't say anything.
mrs nice guy: you say you want a beer? here let me get it out of the fridge for you.
mr nice guy: actually i wasn't planning on having a beer just now.
mrs nice guy: what's that? you want me to open it for you?
mr nice guy: um ...
mrs nice guy (popping the top of a deliciously frosty stella artois): here you go.

mr nice guy: thanks, but i really wasn't thirsty.
mrs nice guy: oh, that's too bad. i guess i'll drink it then.

and she takes a nice long pull from the bottle. then, dear gentle readers, she goes into the bathroom and shoots eleven kilos of heroin directly into her uterus. no. actually she lets me finish the beer, because her craving has been cooled. and because she is a beautiful human being.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

a pornucopia of pornometry

and then, this happened: the other day, it was time to take out the recycling. like the dutiful do-gooding good-doer that mr nice guy is ... he took out the recycling. as he was downstairs with the piles of recyclable recyclables, he noticed something peculiar. there, on the street corner in front of his house, someone had left a clear plastic bag, filled to the brim with plastics and papers -- you know, for recycling. but at the top of this stuffed bag, wouldn't you know, there it was: photos of engorged cocks. that's right. someone in our building was discarding his massive collection of porn. and there it was, on my doorstep. we're talking screaming pictures of lubricated ladies impaled on sweaty red peckers. it was, in a word, awesome.

i walked upstairs to report this little slice of condo life to my wife: "so, somebody in our building is recycling his porn, because the recycling bin is all porned out." mrs nice guy was disgusted. and so was i! how dare someone so thoughtlessly divest himself of such good filth?! i found myself wishing that i was 12 years old again, for if my 12-year-old self found this stash, he would be set for life! i mean, there are porn-starved children in china who would kill for such a trove of titillation! and my neighbor thoughtlessly tosses it out onto the street. i, like my wife, am disgusted.

anyway, mrs nice guy swftly did a little porn math, or as i like to call it: pornometry. she calculated that since the only single -- as in unmarried -- person in this entire building of six units (haha! units!) is the young gentleman who lives across the hall from us. clearly, then, he was the sex criminal. "every time i see him now, i will think of how disgusting he is," mrs nice guy told me. the really funny thing here, of course, is that this careless pornhound is a proud republican! in an exceedingly non-republican neighborhood, he is the only soul who still displays his BUSH-CHENEY2004 sticker in his window. he is a defiant bush supporter (in more ways than one, apparently) in a defiantly left-leaning hippie hood. the really, really funny thing is that he listens to the decidedly un-republican, un-masculine madonna at ear-shattering decibels ... even as his american flag stands proudly, um, erect on his patio.

UPDATE! a perceptive reader points out in the comments section that the porn may have belonged to one of the husbands in the building and that the madonna-listening "neighbor is probably a 'log-cabin' republican, maybe he doesn't even know it yet."

but of course! the porngebraic calculations by our anonymous friend far outstrip our own pornometrics. log cabin, no doubt. and, while we're at it, could it be possible that maybe, just maybe, the porn hoard belonged to one of the women in the condo? some saucy vixen whose hubby is no longer delivering the goods?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

show yourself, snuffalufetus!

apparently ... SHE'S GONNA BLOW!

ugh. troubling news from babyland yesterday. it seems this disco fetus grooveweasel, who was such a mover and shaker all these many months, has slowed down considerably. no more ferocious left jabs to the spleen, fewer roundhouse kicks to the kidneys. you'd think this would come as a relief to mrs nice guy, but she was unhappy with the development. as was our midwife. and so it was that mrs nice guy's very unexcellent adventure began yesterday.

this lack of movement apparently called for a monitoring of the baby's heartbeat. that checked out ok. then she ate a bagel and had a non-stress test, which unfortunately does not entail chilling out with a cold one on a lawn chair -- that's what usually works to get me non-stressed, anyway. that test went fine. then it was time for a sonogram. aha! the placenta showed signs of calcifying (apparently mrs nice guy has a 140-year-old placenta), the doctor didn't see enough amniotic fluid in there and the umbilical cord was looking weak. worse, the little fucker was dead set against moving. this was cause for concern.

they call in a risk specialist. while he was coming, mrs nice guy lay on her side, at which point the baby decided to do a full-on lindy hop routine with a little scottish square dancing thrown in for good measure. when the risk specialist comes in, she tells him "the baby was just moving while i was on my side." he replies that she has to be on her back for the test. in true snuffalufetus fashion, the kid stops jigging. the doctor furrows his handsome doctorly brow. he wants six movements in half an hour. meanwhile, he goes drilling for amniotic fluid. jamming the ultrasound device on mrs nice guy's gut so hard she thinks she hears her ribs crack, he manages to find TWICE the amount of fluid the previous doctor had found. someone needs to send this miracle man to the UAE to search for untapped oil reserves. anyway, fluid was found and the baby moved (wouldn't you?) so they sent her home.

the kicker to this whole story? before the risk specialist "found" the amniotic reserves and got the elusive sasquatchild to move, mrs nice guy was told they might just have to induce her RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT. did that just completely blow your tiny mind? but wait, here's the true awesomeness: after being told she might need to give birth right there on the spot, mrs nice guy's totally rad response was "but i have a client call at 4!"

oh yeah, bring it on, baby, we're so ready for you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

h0t pr3gn@nt @cti0|\| !!!1!

not long after announcing to the world that the wife was pregnant, we received the expected hosannas and congrats and enormous cash gifts. there was the usual speculation over how gorgeous our child will be, especially given how really very handsome i am. but this one observation is what best exemplifies how my degenerate friends and i tend to think: "wow, this means that now you get to have sex with a pregnant woman." awww, yeah.

without impugning the unimpugnable virtues of mrs nice guy, this friend's observation has indeed -- with the help of prostrations, pillows and pulleys -- proven true. all in good fun.

or is it?!?!

it turns out -- not that either of us would have any first hand experience with anything so tawdry -- that not only does sex make babies, it also causes said babies to attempt escape. yes, sex in pregnancy (not that we've ever done anything so disgusting, mind you) is perfectly fine and dandy and safe for your baby. but when the woman is at term -- which for us will be on thursday, thanks for asking and holy shit --
sex can trigger labor.

here's the other thing sex during pregnancy do: trigger false labor. false labor is your baby's way of saying "hello, i'll be your child and the process of my fucking with you begins ... now." i won't be so crass as to divulge what triggered it, but mrs nice guy actually had a bout of the false labor the other day. this is also known as braxton-hicks contractions, which, according to ...

can truly be as painful as real labor and make it even harder to distinguish the difference between the two ... Real labor will persist and will not be persuaded to go away. However, if you are in doubt, contact your health care provider.
first of all, i love the idea that contractions can be persuaded to go away. psst, hey, painful uterine muscle spasm, i'll give you a new watch if you bugger off. anyway, we were able to ascertain that these were indeed braxton doohickies, and not the real deal. which is nice, because i had a lovely afternoon planned that did not entail the miracle of life. no. (the miracle of beer, on the other hand, yes.) so, it's nice that these contractions are so easily dissuadable. note to self: next time she has them, tell mrs nice guy to simply persuade the labor pains to go away. honey, these contractions? they're all in your head.

at the very least this was a good dress rehearsal. i think it went well: mrs nice guy walked around like a trooper, breathing heavily and saying "oof" and "ugh" and "i am never having sex with you again ever never." i strolled beside her, stroking her hair and cooing sweetly into ears, "you're doing great baby" and "are you going to eat the rest of your bagel?" obviously, we're naturals.


Saturday, April 23, 2005

F is for Frighteningly Fecund

this is why mrs nice guy doesn't take the F train anymore -- spontaneous childbirth lurks 'round every bend.

actually, not to burst F train lady's bubble, but your story doesn't really compare to this old chestnut.

advice i did not follow

ladies, you can always find mr nice guy at the big man HQ

so i was flipping through "the expectant father" by the loathsome armin brott, whose poor wife must be jealous of how in love he is with himself. on pages 82-3 he provides for our reading entertainment a list of "ways to show her you care" -- for expectant hubbies who were apparently born in 1847. witness these choice excerpts:
  • "If you're traveling on business, arrange to have a friend take her to dinner." this is also known as Pimp My Bride. seriously. poor pregnant wife, she's been locked up at home for so long that she has no friends of her own. she will be so grateful to you for sending her to the olive garden with one of your meathead buddies. let's face it, if you're the kind of guy who feels compelled to fix your wife up with a pity date while you're out of town, then your friends are probably the types of guys to hit on her while on said date.
  • "Buy a toy or outfit for the baby, have it gift wrapped, and let her unwrap it." first of all, have it gift wrapped? wrap it yourself, turkey. otherwise, this is adorable. adorable, that is, until your wife opens the present and sees that it's a baby chewtoy when she was expecting a 324 karat diamond brooch. rule of thumb: wrapped presents are for her, hombre, not the unborn.
  • "Buy her a pretty maternity dress." chances are if you didn't already think of this yourself, you'll probably end up getting her some garment that looks like one of those muumuus mrs roper used to wear. aside from that, it's good advice.
  • "Tell her she's beautiful. Then tell her again a few hours later." and if this is not normal behavior for you, she definitely won't suspect you're cheating on her with your skinny unpregnant secretary. or that you've suddenly turned into rain man.
  • "Tell her she looks good even if she's put on weight." honestly, dude, if this move isn't already a part of your game it's a miracle you've managed to knock someone up.
  • "Smile and nod agreeably when she says, 'You have no idea what it's like to be pregnant.'" because everybody loves a patronizing cocksucker.
  • "Take the day off from work and hang around the house with her." WHAT? i don't know about you, but my wife earns FOUR TIMES what i earn. she is not at the house. and even if she did stay at home, "hanging around the house" doesn't quite cut it as a special treat, fellas ... she can probably go another day without watching you slackjawed on the couch in your boxers and stained under-shirt.
  • "Make a donation to a local children's hospital or school." because your jobless, friendless wife will really appreciate it when you start giving money away just as you're expecting a child on whom you will presumably spend $4,327,782 before it reaches 13.
  • "Discuss your fears with your partner. Listen to hers, too, but don't make fun of them -- no matter how insignificant they may seem to you." JESUS! if you need a book to tell you not to make fun of your wife, you should seriously consider going into therapy to come to terms with your self-loathing and latent raging homosexuality (there's nothing wrong with latent raging homosexuality, mind you, just don't take your issues out on your pregnant wife who definitely has other things on her mind right now).
  • "Listen to her complain and don't tell her she's complaining." this actually is good advice. i mean when she's crying, you don't tell her she's crying. when she's laughing, you don't tell her she's laughing. when she's clawing your eyes out with her very long nails, you don't tell her she's clawing your eyes out with her very long nails. that's because SHE KNOWS.
  • "Offer to carry her bags." does this mean i should also stop making her give me her seat on the subway?
  • "Say 'No' if she asks if she's acting crazy." haha! because she is acting crazy! get it? but don't worry. she's so crazy that she won't notice her husband is a patronizing, manipulative, repressed homosexual douchebag. lucky you!

armin brott, i salute you! were it not for you, i would still be married to a woman who loves me. instead, i have been thrown out of my house and my wife refuses to let me see my baby. thanks!

Friday, April 22, 2005


so in the 36-or-so weeks that my precious tiny darling bridelette has been knocked up, we have noticed a bit of a trend.
  • three people in my office (besides me) are either pregnant or married to someone who is
  • two of those people (not including me) are in my very small department
  • four people at mrs nice guy's office are pregnant, not counting the two who recently gave birth
  • we just met our new neighbors. nice couple. she's due the week before mrs nice guy

i was walking with friends last weekend through our hood on a perfect sunny day. as we stood in front of a corner coffee shop, pregnant lady after pregnant lady walked by. bouncing bulgy bellies abounded. i exclaimed, feeling vaguely threatened, "they're fucking everywhere!" a friend replied "no, they were fucking everywhere a few months ago." sweet.

anyway. all of this was to say: by all means come to new york, people, but please for the love of god do not drink the water.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

obviously mr nice guy didn't use birth control either. at least that one time in august, anyway.

with a reputation as a doctrinal conservative and widely considered a subtle thinker who moved to the right in response to the loosey-goosey 1960s (and despite having spent a few unenthusiastic moments as a hitler youth), we have a new pontiff! let mr nice guy be among the first to say maseltov to Nurse Ratched, who will assume the name Pope Benedictin XXX.

her papishness in 1975

no, you're not going crazy

behold the new layout! sniff it, caress it, love it. sing sweet sugary words of passion to it in the falsetto styling of curtis mayfield. yearn for it.

then come crawling masochistically back for more even after it has let you down, crushing your hopes and dreams for it yet again.

fuzzy math ... and boobies

so that's it. we've taken all our classes. labor class, newborn care class and, not to be outdone, breastfeeding class (the homework for which was by far the most fun out of all them, for me at least. kidding! seriously, though, the breastfeeding teacherlady really needed a swift tug on her shorthairs -- the three hour class was dangerously pushing four hours by the end. you really don't want to keep a mob of big, cranky, overtired, water-retaining, hungry, hormonal pregnant ladies sitting in uncomfortable chairs for much longer than they paid to be kept there. i swear to god i thought a great pregnant lady riot was going to break out when one woman raised her hand, red in the face, and angrily announced "i thought this class was over at two because i have to be somewhere at three, which is in like 15 minutes." and then all the other ladies--not to mention a few hubbies--glared at the teacher, shook their tight little fists of swollen fingers and shouted "yeah!" but that's not all. she was mostly annoying because not once, not twice, but at least THREE times she felt compelled to tell us all about how lame we are as a society because breasts have become so sexualized "and it's not like in africa where women can walk around topless and breastfeed all the time. it's so taboo here. africa has a much better attitude about breasts in general and breastfeeding specifically. all you perverted men and your breast fetishes should be ashamed. we could all stand to learn a thing or two from the good people of africa, where, i'd like to mention if i haven't already, breasts are not oversexualized." christ! by the time she stopped serving up her steaming piles of sanctimony and popped in the video, i was good and ready for some hot steamy infant-on-mom action. it was all i could do to keep from shouting at the screen "whip it out! let's see those sweet milk jugglies!" mrs nice guy is very proud of my restraint. did you notice that this has all been inside parentheses?).

anyway i got to thinking the other day (mrs nice guy always gets nervous when i start paragraphs by informing that i have been thinking) and here's what i realized: our labor class--where we sat and learned about actually giving birth and how impossible it is, in the end, to be fully and totally in control of the situation--ran over the course of five weeks. each class was three hours long. now, i admit that i was a lit major, but by my calculations, we spent FIFTEEN HOURS in labor class, longer, perhaps, than some of our classmates will spend in actual labor.

our newborn care class lasted a grand total of three hours.

now, what's wrong with this picture? labor lasts a day, maybe two. a newborn, from as far as i can tell, lasts between a week to 18 years, depending on how long you decide to keep it. my conclusion here is that the message is obvious: labor is hard; babies are totally easy. boy, i can't tell you how relieved i am.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

seven pounds of fear

... especially advice

and now, for your reading pleasure, a missive from the Other Side. the nice guys have a good friend who gave birth just a couple of short weeks ago. here's the note that she just sent us. it has the exceedingly rare quality of being simultaneously very useful and bone-freezingly terrifying:

I've been thinking about what I would have liked to have known about those first couple of weeks, and although I'm no expert on motherhood, here's what I wish I had known:

1. You will never be more dependent on other people for your survival. I ate 3 meals a day in bed for almost 2 weeks -- getting out of bed to pee and shower was about as much as I could handle. Stock up on groceries, freeze some meals -- do anything you can do to make life easier for the people waiting on you because you will never be needier.
2. Have at least a couple of pairs of comfy pajamas and nursing bras (as well as nursing pads and Lansinoh) on hand before you deliver. I did this, but I underestimated my enormous boobs and ended up with bras that were slightly too small. You will leak, sweat, and be covered in baby pee every night and will want to change pajamas at least twice a day. Which leads me to...
3. Take a shower everyday. No matter what.
4. Even with a super hungry baby with a great latch, breastfeeding is really hard at first. It just is. I spent the first few days referring to H____ as The Vampire. He latched like a champ but my nipples were just raw for a few days and then I was totally engorged for about a week. Ouch. I was nearly in tears waiting for the baby to wake up and eat because my boobs were about ready to explode. Good times. And I have cursed every moment I have ever wished for bigger boobs. Oy vey.
5. The amount of laundry a 7 pound baby generates is astounding. Nevermind the amount of laundry generated by having milk leak everywhere all the time. And being peed on. And puked on.
6. Accept all offers of help. Anything that makes life easier is good. Anything (other than the baby) that makes life harder should be ignored.
7. That thing they say about "sleep when the baby sleeps"? Yeah. It's true. Although figuring out WHERE the baby sleeps is an ongoing process for us. Right now he's mostly in bed beside me all night but we bought a co-sleeper and would like to transition him into there (which seems to not be happening when he's up to eat every 2 hours anyway -- getting him settled down and into the co-sleeper is more work than it's worth at this point). We also bought a "Snuggle Safe" thingy that fits in the middle of the bed and you put the baby there, but he didn't like it. If you think you'd like it, just let me know.
8. The little baby kimono t-shirts are da bomb while waiting for the cord to fall off. They are easy to put on, don't go over the head, and don't press against the cord. All good.
9. Pampers Swaddlers for Newborns are the smallest diapers we could find. Other diapers looked GIGANTIC at first.

i told her that her list was so going to be blogged, she replied: "Glad to be of service. Back to the Amazing Screaming Baby."

ladies and gentlemen of the jury, please kill me. now.

Friday, April 15, 2005

mr nice guy loves a challenge

so we had our last birthing class the other day, which was nice. newborn classes start tonight. hello new life, where friday nights no longer belong to me.

anyway, at our last birthing class the instructor lady, who was very good, basically tells the women that whatever happens in the delivery room stays in the delivery room. have a bowel movement on the bed? you probably won't even notice. you start swearing at your husband? he's a big boy, he can take it. you physically attack the nurses? you'd have to do something pretty creative to surprise them.

now, i don't know about you fine readers, but this sounds very much to mr nice guy like a CHALLENGE. it's on, Operation Surprise A Nurse:
  • i am suddenly sensing the need to bring our pet spider monkey, you know, for comfort.
  • if my goal is to make the wife feel at ease during the whole labor, it might just make sense for me to get naked myself--you know, in solidarity.
  • my lawyer may feel the need to be present in order to issue a subpoena to the umbilical cord, you know, for the paternity test.
  • how about if i started shouting "a baby?! all this time you were telling me it was a cyst!"
  • i may have to bring along a skillet, some scallions and my great-grandmother's ancient recipe for placenta fritters.
  • would it be at all surprising if i brought a sacrificial goat, you know, to appease the angry gods of labor?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

15 years of studying shopping cart safety, and going strong

and now, ladies and gentlemen, a new feature: Fun With Press Releases. this particular press release is brought to you by the good people at Population Research Lab at the University of Alberta, where they definitely do not engage in eugenics.

A researcher at the University of Alberta has shown that parents are more likely to give better care and pay closer attention to good-looking children compared to unattractive ones. Dr. Andrew Harrell presented his findings recently at the Warren E. Kalbach Population Conference in Edmonton, Alberta.

ok. i have to know: where the hell can i get some tickets to the Warren E. Kalbach Population Conference? honestly, what goes on at these things (aside from corny jokes with punchlines relying heavily on puns on "Malthusian" and, of course, incredibly awkward extra-marital dalliances among deranged eugenicists)? i am betting the keynote address, if you're able to focus through the haze of your work-conference hangover, is a doozy, what with it's provocative title: "Physical Attractiveness of Children and Parental Supervision in Grocery Stores: An Evolutionary Explanation of the Neglect of Ugly Kids." folks, i couldn't make this shit up if i tried. read on, the press release continues:

Harrell's findings are based on an observational study of children and shopping cart safety. With the approval of management at 14 different supermarkets, Harrell's team of researchers observed parents and their two to five-year-old children for 10 minutes each, noting if the child was buckled into the grocery-cart seat, and how often the child wandered more than 10 feet away. The researchers independently graded each child on a scale of one to 10 on attractiveness.
ok, so it's nice that harrell got the approval of 14 different supermarkets, but what about the parents? did they just sneak around, behind mom and dad's backs, and say shit like "Dr. Goebbels, i believe that brown child over there registers a two on our scale of attractiveness. Why don't you follow her unsuspecting mother (who is ugly and therefore probably stupid) to see if she buckles her child in. I will be following this beautiful blonde child and its exceptionally buxom mother over here."

Findings showed that 1.2 per cent of the least attractive children were buckled in, compared with 13.3 per cent of the most attractive youngsters. The observers also noticed the less attractive children were allowed to wander further away and more often from their parents. In total, there were 426 observations at the 14 supermarkets.

readers! a question! who actually buckles their children--unsightly or not--into grocery carts? do people do this? i was never buckled as a child. should i infer something about my looks from this? i was also a wanderer! although, i am told that i was allowed to wander not because i was "ugly" but because i was "smelly."

Harrell, who has been researching shopping cart safety since 1990 and has published a total of 13 articles on the topic, figures his latest results are based on a parent's instinctive Darwinian response: we're unconsciously more likely to lavish attention on attractive children simply because they're our best genetic material.

that's why i married me a good breeder. if'n she makes me an ugly whippersnapper, we's gonna try again. also, i figger this is a better argument for polygamy that the mormons ever came up with. and wait a second, did i read that correctly or has this poor person really been "studying shopping cart safety since 1990." only 13 articles published in 15 years? pretty weak, dr. harrell. and finally, can you imagine bumping into this guy at a cocktail party:

unsuspecting small talker: so, what do you do?
dr. harrell: actually, i study shopping cart safety.
unsuspecting small talker: i'm sorry, did you say 'shopping cart safety?'
dr. harrell: it's really quite fascinating. why, did you know that the great shopping cart riots in saskatoon (i am of course referring to the terror of 1997 and not the minor kerfuffle of 1993) could have easily been avoided if only enough shopping cart wheels had been properly aligned. only in saskatoon!
unsuspecting small talker: hmm, interesting. oh dear, look at the time. i am sorry, i hate to interrupt, but i really must go pour drano directly into my eyes.

"Attractiveness as a predictor of behaviour, especially parenting behaviour, has been around a long time," said Harrell, a father of five and a grandfather of three. "Most parents will react to these results with shock and dismay. They'll say, 'I love all my kids, and I don't discriminate on the basis of attractiveness.' The whole point of our research is that people do."

dr harrell is subtly telling us that not only was HE attractive enough to be raised a doctor, but he had attractive children as well ... after all they were well-cared for enough to produce three grandkids. although i wonder: only three grandkids out of five children sets off an alarm bell. clearly one of the harrell tykes didn't rank quite as high on the attractiveness scale as the others.

well, mrs nice guy and i have about a 50/50 chance then of being good parents. if the child inherits my wife's genes, it will be beautiful and well cared for. if it looks anything like me, it will be doomed to wander the halls of Food Giant for all eternity. either that, or we will sell it to the gyspies for beer money.

so all of this is interesting. but the real reason i want to attend the Warren E. Kalbach Population Conference is this: what the hell is up with the penultimate lecture, vaguely titled, "Same Sex Relationships: The Question?" i am actually dying to know what the question is, because i already know the enigmatic answer: "only in saskatoon."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


special thanks to for a well-timed list of what not to name our child.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

mrs potato head ass

so we're interviewing doulas, which is a weird thing. basically we're looking for a woman to watch my wife be naked and scream at me. good times. how does a woman choose another woman, a stranger, that she feels comfortable letting rub her all over and coo into her laboring ears as she plots the ultraviolent castration of her husband? and how does the husband sit idly by and watch his naked, panting, sweating wife getting rubbed down without feeling funny (not feeling funny as in "ha-ha funny" but feeling funny as in that "climbing-the-rope-in-gym-class funny")?

more importantly, we were talking to a prospective doula last night, the one who i suspect we will ultimately hire, and she hits us with this nugget of wisdom: it is very common for women to get painful hemorrhoids (or piles or, as i like to call them, speed bumps) while laboring, as this very counterintuitively titled "family fun"
web site comfirms. the cure? grate a raw potato and PUT IT ON YOUR ANUS.

let me repeat. actual words out of her actual mouth: "blah blah raw potato blah grate it blah blah blah and put it on your anus." we were both sitting there after she said this as if strangers come into our house every day and tell us to insert raw legumes into our rectum. "ah, on the anus, you say? interesting little tip." like this was something out of martha stewart living (at least, pre-prison martha stewart). thank god i didn't make eye contact with mrs nice guy because we both would have lost our tiny minds.

so yeah, that happened. um. also? by the way: whaaa? the fuck? WHAT THE FUCK? on any other blog on this whole crazy interweb a story about inviting to my house a total stranger--a total stranger who we will pay to see my wife naked and in pain--who tells us to grind raw grated potato around mrs nice guy's ass, would probably be heading in a verrrrry different kind of only-legal-in-2-states direction. but no. this is about babies and birthing.

advice for the ages

we have been told. we have been told in birthing class, we have been told by the doulas we are interviewing, we have been told by all the literature. there comes a point in every labor--be it natural or drugged--that the poor dear feels like giving up. the laboring woman believes she is incapable of continuing. but you must carry on. she can push no more. but you must carry on. she wants to quit. but you must carry on. she is convinced she can't do it. these feelings, we are told, are natural.

so, mrs nice guy, my love, my feathery soft cooing dove of a wifebird, let me say to you now--as i surely shall say to you in the darkest hour of your labor--that you must carry on.

Monday, April 11, 2005

further proof that either A) there is no god or B) i am unfit for anything resembling fatherhood or C) all of the above

seriously, wtf?

so it has just been brought to my attention that our official due date, may 19, also just happens to be the exact same day a certain movie hits theaters. this certain movie has only been feverishly anticipated for, oh, 28 years. it is now a month away from premiering and lines for this movie happen to be forming already, occasionally even at the wrong theater.

and where will i be at this crucial moment in cinematic history? what will i be doing when young anakin skywalker (admittedly played by the talentless-albeit-cute block of wood called hayden christensen alongside that talentless-albeit-cute block of wood called natalie portman under the direction of fat talentless-and-not-even-all-that-cute hack george lucas who has completely shat all over his original trilogy anyway with the last two episodes WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO I STILL CARE ABOUT THIS? I AM THIRTY JESUSCHRISTING YEARS OLD FOR FUCK'S SAKE!) morphs into darth vader, dark lord of the sith? where will i be? watching my "wife" give birth to my "baby." yawn.

and the real kicker here is that, if star wars (as well as, like, every other mythology lucas pilfered (and a few that he didn't)) is anything to go by, this child is just going to grow up to destroy me anyway.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

two all beef titties, mama sauce, let us wheeze

get 'em hooked early, get 'em hooked often

you know, we had thought breastfeeding was the way to go until we saw this european ad for mickie d's. we realize now just how foolish we were. it is all about, of course, hooking the kid up to the highly caloric sacred teat of ronald mcdonald as swiftly and thoroughly as possible. when it's not watching tv, of course. mmmm, special sauce.

what do you turkeys at the leche league think of that? BOOYA!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

i, druggie

good news! at just 34 weeks into her gestation, mrs nice guy decided to ditch our demon obstetrician from the sulfurous pits of gynecological hell. you see, we like to live on the edge around here. we now have a midwife, which was a small mental/emotional hurdle for my sultry wife who wanted to be able to avail herself of an epidural if need be. this particular midwife is all about the natural childbirth, which means no drugs for mrs nice guy. she was so much happier with the midwife than our heinous, heinous OB that she was willing to forgo the promise of drugs just six weeks away from her due date. what a trooper.

i, on the other hand, will be having my own epidural inserted a day before her due date and will leave it in until the child goes to college.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

eat your hearts out, alan arkin and peter falk

mi suegros

and now a word about my in-laws. two finer, more upstanding, superior, better looking people you will never ever encounter in your life. EVER!

they came down this past weekend and set up shop in the baby's room. when they arrived, there was a desk in there, a file cabinet and a giant shitty crumbling home depot closet thing that mrs nice guy and i assembled nearly five years ago. when they left, all that crap had been cleared out and replaced with new sturdy cabinets MOUNTED ON OUR WALL, a crib, a changing table, a glider rocker and an armoire, which they assembled and built and bought and installed. the room looks like it belongs in a baby room catalogue. i normally am not a fan of the baby aesthetic, but man, i am considering sleeping in the crib until the kid gets here. it's the coziest room in brooklyn.

did i mention that these people are saints? my mother-in-law makes mr clean look like a filthy degenerate hobo with scabies. this apartment is spotless.

but the true badge of courage belongs to my father-in-law. he is a Man's Man. this is no exaggeration: he built his three story home and barn and garage in the wilds of vermont WITH HIS OWN BARE HANDS. FROM THE GROUND UP. sweet weeping baby jesus on the cross, a nuclear winter could sweep across this land leaving him the only survivor and he would be able to build a new city from the ground up and single-handedly repopulate it with his quiet virility. i can't even change a lightbulb without setting something on fire and crying. he comes in here this weekend (despite severe cat allergies) and rewires several lights, builds and mounts cabinets, fixes our closet up with new attachments, constructs (with my skilled mother-in-law as his able bodied assistant) the crib and rocker and changing table and armoire. meanwhile i mostly cowered at work or hid at home behind my computer. he is a good, solid, quiet confident old school man. a dying breed.

what kind of man am i? glad you asked. when the father-in-law asked me for a phillip's head, i thought he wanted me to decapitate a spanish monarch. you see, i am a simpering three year old with a tendency to whine like cabernet. ellen degeneres could kick my ass and probably i would enjoy it. seriously. i am not at all qualified to be a father to this, or any, child. little sister, maybe, but father no.

anyway, not only is my wife's step-father a profoundly capable man and a good man and a nice man, but he is also a funny man. after the baby's room was immaculately set up, after my mother-in-law scrubbed every square inch of apartment--from picture frames to individual spice bottles--after he sweat good, wholesome, mansweat all weekend long, he walked up to me and winked. he said "here's something even you can do." and he handed me the warranty card for the baby's crib. "fill it out."

check out my new album: "Night Music"

snore or be snored!

i was awoken the other night at 3 am by the sounds of water buffalo mating in my room. i turned with a jolt expecting to see a stampeding herd of angry large mammals, preparing to stomp my brains out. but, no. it was just my dainty bride, snoring like an out-of-tune oboe. as i lay there, impressed by the subtle acoustical skills that my wife had hitherto never evinced, it dawned on me that i was witnessing a performance for the ages! well, what does one do in such a circumstance? nudge one's wife in hopes that she stops snoring? NO! one documents! so in the disinterested pursuit of Truth, i thought it would only be prudent to whip out my tape recorder and save this mellifluous nose-music for posterity. people, that's just what i did.

gingerly, i held the mini tape recorder up to her nose. carefully, i pressed the crucial play-and-record button combination. with glee, i held my breath as she snorked into the mic as i lay motionless. in abject horror, i accidentally touched her face with my tape recorder. instantly i recoiled, fully expecting her to awake and witness the foul, foul thing that i was doing. but i was in luck! she slumbered on! and so the recording continued ...

the story does not end here, precious weensy friends of mine. nyet! since the in-laws were in town, i thought it would be unfair not to share the recording of their daughter's snores with them the following day. knowing how modest my wife can be about her talents, i was careful not to tell her what i was about to do. instead, as we were listening to Terry Gross talk to some guest about his birdcall recordings, i said to no one inparticular: "You know, on occasion I do a bit of field recording myself."

and with that, i whipped out the illicit tape and played mrs nice guy's nightsong back to her and her parents. and we laughed, oh how we laughed!

needless to say, my wife was very grateful to be married to someone as thoughtful as me. very grateful indeed.

UPDATE! mrs nice guy responds:

-----Original Message-----

From: nice guy, mrs

Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 11:52 AM

To: nice guy, mr

Subject: Have I ever mentioned ...

How much I hate you ...

Monday, April 04, 2005

since U been gone, L-Beezie

i am such a fucking tool.

so i got a new replacement ipod because my old one died a slow and hideously painful death. i now know the awful pains of watching a a dearly loved one die. poor ipod, you're in a better place now. anyway since i had only owned my dearly departed pod for a few months, apple, which is a very good company, gave me a new one FOR FREE. yay. no more sitting ipod shiva.

on friday night after dinner, i thought i would plug my spanking new virginal ipod goodness into my computer and fill it up with all my songs. and while the new tunes uploaded i was going to round the corner to check out a little show i had been greatly looking forward to: lyrics born. callin' out. holla.

anyway. it was a good friday night plan: plug in the new ipod, go to show. come home with 5000 sparkling musical gems ready to spackle my earholes.

HOW FOOLISH. i plug in new ipod. first my computer freezes. so i get it started back up. then itunes melts down. THEN ALL MY SONGS DISAPPEAR! did you catch that? Songs! Disappear! NO MORE SONGS. this feels to me very much like having a cardiac arrest in the middle of a stroke while enduring hemorrhoids and a grand mal seizure. THEN just to squeeze a little lemon into my festering open wound, my computer refuses to recognize my ipod. i was enraged and obsessed -- it was ON. i refused to budge until this whole musical meltdown was fixed. friday night be damned! meanwhile, lyrics born was rocking the shit out of the mic right around the corner from my house. i was missing it! i didn't care! i would not even blink again until this mess was sorted out.

it took me three hours of troubleshooting and programming and praying but finally i got everything fixed. it was 1:30 by the time i blinked again. i figured by that point i had missed the show. which i REALLY wanted to see. but if i had left my house with my ipod situation in limbo i would have been distracted and annoyed and thoroughly unable to appreciate the lyrical mastery and tongue twisting delivery style of sir L-to-the-B. dear reader, i went to bed feeling victoriant. ipod had been restored, show be damned.

then it dawned on me ...

that was probably my last chace to see a decent concert not prominently featuring a purple dinosaur for the next, oh, 18 years.