Add to Google Subscribe in Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online mr. nice feed Subscribe in Rojo

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

why men get a bad rap

but he did have such a purty mouth

after I arose this morning and performed my daily ablutions--shower, facial scrubs, manicure and the application of various scented unguents--it was time to shave. as I liberally applied my trusty dimethicone skin protectant exfoliating shaving gel, I was reminded of Lord Byron's sage words from his don juan epic:

men for their sins
Have shaving too entail'd upon their chins,-
A daily plague, which in the aggregate
May average on the whole with parturition

you follow? byron asserts that the aggregate sensation of a lifetime of face-shaving is as painful to men as childbirth is to women. do you realize what this means? (aside from the fact that apparently the greatest romantic poet was completely insane) the real point here is that, ladies, THE JIG IS UP. you think passing a basketball through a needle's eye is painful?!? try living in our faces for a week! YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE NICKS. and, woe, the rashes! the rashes we endure will shame you all into silence!

what's that? your labor resulted in rectal fistulae? vaginal tearing? bah! i scoff! i'll have you know i went through 37 interminable seconds of bleeding and some very minor annoyance this morning! i hadn't even had my coffee yet!

wimp, thy name is woman!

UPDATE! byron, buddy, it's that time of year again. can you and your tender, tender face handle these dudes?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

hello nasty

ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. ew. just ew. also: ick. but mostly ew.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: upon further reflection, maybe, just maybe, the missus and i suddenly have new weekend plans.

Friday, March 25, 2005

our search for a pediatrician begins with an unsettling discovery

take a look at this logo and tell me you would ever trust your child to the arlington pediatric center.

so very wrong

Thursday, March 24, 2005

eat them up, yum

this is simultaneously tasty and in good taste. i guess we have eight weeks to find the perfect recipe for us.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

paging Dr McSnatchpants

oh man! not sure how to start this one, but here goes. my wife's OB/GYN practice has four doctors and over the course of the pregnancy we're supposed to see each doc at least once. the logic here: one of the four will be on call the moment mrs nice guy goes into labor. so we have a 25 percent chance of getting any single one of these doctors. makes sense, right?

here's the fatal flaw: we just met doctor number four tonight, 31.9 weeks into pregnancy and ... not to put too fine a point on it ... WE FUCKING HATE HER. if this doctor is the one who delivers my child--if this Dr. Snatchy McSnatchpants is the first person my baby sees--i will have no option other than to hang myself with its umbilical cord. here's how it went down:

6:14 pm: we finally get to see her for our 5:45 appointment. she apologizes, explaining that she was just at the hospital delivering babies. and, presumably, eating them

6:21 pm: we tell her what we have told all the other doctors so far--we have a birthplan (ie, our flexible desire to have the ability to walk around during labor, to avoid an episiotomy, to have some time to bond with baby before it's whisked away to be weighed, registered and have the microchip inserted under its skin). but before we can tell her our birthplan's key points she goes "yeah, yeah. birthplan. let me guess: no c-section. blah blah blah." apparently she learned her bedside manners in alcatraz.

6:23 pm: she tells us that during labor of course we can listen to CDs, watch DVDs in the room if we want. we could watch porn if we were so inclined. (this actually made me like her a little bit) (i really wish i were joking)

6:25 pm: when we finally do tell her what is entailed in our birthplan Dr McSnatchpants proceeds to tell us that that's all well and good, but if anything is going wrong with the baby, all birthplan bets are off. that, of course, is fine. we say priority numero uno is the baby's health. Dr McSnatchpants implies a second time that we are placing our own comfort ahead of the baby's health. she then tells us a story: "today i was in the delivery room and the mother was tired--the baby was halfway out and she just didn't want to push any more. when the baby's heart rate slowed down a little i told her 'listen, either you push harder or i'm going in with forceps to get the baby!'" gee, doc, that's a great story. nice to know you talk to your patients like they were the babies.


6:27 pm: we again stress how important it is to us that we avoid an episiotomy. she again implies that we are putting mrs nice guy's comfort ahead of baby's health. then she says "episiotomies are increasingly rare in new york." we say, yes, we know this. she replies, so help me god, "so are you testing my knowledge or something? i teach at NYU! i think i know what i'm talking about!"

and so on. mrs nice guy spoke with the clinic today and said: look, we've been happy with the care we've received so far, but care is apparently a word that is not in Dr. McSnatchpants' vocabulary. we are strongly considering going to another practice because there is no way this shebeast is delivering our baby if she happens to be on call (of which there is a 25 percent chance. i do not like those odds).

you know what the funny thing is? we learned that this is the second complaint Dr. McSnatchpants has received.

you know what the really funny thing is? SHE HAS ONLY BEEN AT THE PRACTICE FOR FOUR MONTHS.

Monday, March 21, 2005

if it's a girl we're naming her Edema. so pretty.

so the nice guys have a new houseguest. her name is edema. it would appear mrs nice guy's ankles have taken on the character of the mighty sequoia: throbbing red, thick and rigid, endangered. that's right -- she's retaining water like a drought was coming. not that she had any difficulty walking or dressing herself without the edema, no, this is just an added bonus treat. and here we thought the belly was the only thing to get swollen! what fools we mortals be.

what is this edema (besides a word that is spelled similar to "enema" although verrrrrry different in meaning, as i learned the excruciatingly hard way the other night -- don't ask.)? it seems that as her uterus grows--which, these days, is its wont--it puts pressure on her pelvic veins and her vena cava (not a very important vein, just the one that runs along the right side of your body, receiving blood from your lower limbs and carrying it back to the heart. you know, nothing useful). this pressure, not unlike stepping on a garden hose, slows down circulation and causes blood to pool in your legs, forcing fluid from your veins into the tissues of your feet and ankles.

all fascinating stuff, you are no doubt thinking. but what does it mean for mrs nice guy in particular? it means that when she takes her socks off at the end of the day, whatever pattern was on them has been angrily branded into her skin. basically, my wife is so hep, her ankles are argyle.

so legendary is this curse, that i believe Homer was initially going to base the iliad on the epic tale of the goddess Edema and the mighty Sciatica as they struggled with women unfortunate enough to be gestating. i just happen to have an early manuscript, before he decided instead to write about Achilles.

Sing, O Muse, the anger of Edema, daughter of Uterus, that brought countless ills upon Mrs Nice Guy. A brave Mr. Nice Guy did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a husband did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Sciatica fulfilled from the day on which the daughter of Uterus, queen of pregnancy, and great Mrs Nice Guy, first fell out with one another.

it goes on much in this manner. another interesting fact -- you know that part in the iliad where achilles is done in by that weak spot on his ankle? Well, scholars now believe it was because he too had been cursed by the vengeful goddess Edema! it's the only thing that survived Homer's original draft. for real.

Friday, March 18, 2005


why on earth do people feel so glibly compelled to inform me what sheer, unmitigated, screaming, eye-stabbing hell my life will be for the first months after my child is born? WHY ON EARTH?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

did they take classes for this 800 years ago? hell, 80 years ago? WELL? DID THEY?

i fought the law and ...

so mrs nice guy and i took our first birthing class last night. it's interesting -- every time i mention to someone that we're taking a childbirth class, the responses fall into just two categories:

1) oh. you mean lamaze.
2) what, are you like giving birth underwater with dolphins or something you hippy freak?

both, technically, are inaccurate. it's a five week program. i have no idea really what is coming over the next four weeks (except that i have to bring snacks next wednesday and i probably shouldn't bring whiskey). last night's class was nice. largely demystifying. a bunch of other neurotic vaguely liberal semi-hipster parents-to-be gathered in a circle and listened with dread as our birthing class teacher lady dished out heaping piles of Truth. we were all skeptically eyeing each other, competing on one level or another: one couple was clearly the most sanctimonious about the fact that they will NEVER USE PAIN MEDICATION EVER ($2397 says they're the first to cave); another couple went the distance to passive-aggressively assert what successful and well-connected actors they were. mrs nice guy and i handily won the award for Most Vomity couple. so at least there's that.

we learned all kinds of useful things like what going into labor feels like (it depends on the woman), how long it lasts (it depends on the woman), how much it hurts (it depends on the woman), what coping techniques work (it depends on the woman), whether to use a doula (it depends on the woman) and so on. you know, we really got our money's worth.

most touching classtime bonding moment: the birth-class-teacherlady stressed, in an offhand sort of way, the importance that the ladies all practice their kegel exercises. as she said this, i looked over at the young, slightly dour couple to my immediate left. she looked up at him and smiled, sweetly, before she said "i'm doing them right now." i looked away swiftly, the hot heat of fiery shame on my cheeks ... but not soon enough -- they SAW ME LOOKING. so basically they knew that i knew that she was flexing her groin. actually, mr nice guy suspects that EVERYONE in the room was secretly doing kegels at this point. i know i was. i felt dirty. and excited. i squeezed mrs nice guy's arm. she later informed me that she had, indeed, also been doing her kegels.

but! i digress. here's the big scary fact of the week, kids: mrs nice guy has a mucus plug inside her. seriously. save yourself and stop reading now.

still here? great! let's continue. a mucus plug is a SNOT CORK PLUGGING MY WIFE'S CROTCH LIKE A DUTCH BOY'S THUMB IN A DYKE! don't take it from me, though. here's the american pregnancy assoc:
throughout pregnancy a mucus plug blocks the opening to the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering. Before labor, this mucus plug is expelled so that the cervix can open to allow the baby to pass through to prepare for delivery.
WHAT THE FUCK!? did you get that? the snot cork is expelled. from my wife's no-no zone. GAH! want to know how the birthclass teacher lady explained it? she said in some cases it's like chicken fat shaking loose from your cooch. tell me that doesn't sound finger lickin' good.
(to be totally honest with you, the 10-year-old inside me really wants mrs nice guy to practice her kegels so she can shoot that mucus plug clear across the room, maybe get it to stick to the wall. but the 30-year-old in me really thinks that's unspeakably nasty. the 16-year-old in me, however, doesn't see what all the fuss is about; he discharges viscous bodily substances at frequent intervals and rather enjoys it.)

on second thought, maybe i should bring whiskey to next week's class.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

call it pre-spring spring training

so we went ahead and had a co-ed baby shower on sunday, and let me say this to you, friends: co-ed baby showers are the best baby showers. i don't know what it is you lovely ladies do on normal vagina-exclusive baby shower afternoons (knitting? "sex and the city" watching? foreign policy debating maybe?) but i have a pretty solid idea that it doesn't include making EIGHT LIQUID TONS OF BLOODY MARY GOODNESS. nor, probably, does it include the likes of mr nice guy's loser friends who gifted such gifts as willie nelson bottled whiskey river bourbon.

yes. it was, in the timeless words of ice cube, a good day. i procured 1,200 bagels, scored much cream cheese and some gravlox, hooked us up with carrots, hummus, olives, etc. friends cooked leek quiche (MUCH better than it sounds), donated us up with an apartment, flowers, balloons and a large, wooden cutout of a tuxedo clad butler named, apparently, mr pendleton. solid baby shower love.

best gifts:

  • a tiny camaro t-shirt with matching joey buttafuoco pants
  • whiskey
  • a "breast friend" boob-sucking pillow thingie (fun for baby AND dad)
  • a weensy ac/dc t-shirt
  • a rubber duckey and duck-shaped baby bath (fun for, well, dad)
  • 6,000 diapers, which i have been informed will last 2 hours
  • did i mention whiskey?
  • homemade gourmet chocolates

most unsettling gifts (after that weird-ass plaster belly-cast thing of which we shall never speak again):

  • suppositories
  • vaseline
  • suppositories
  • rectal thermometer
  • suppositories
  • rectal thermometer
  • vaseline
  • suppositories
  • rectal thermometer

this is what you get when you invite young moms AND young bachelors. savory diversified gifty goodness. (who would have thunk young bachelors are so into rectal thermometers?)

the best part? mrs nice guy is going to an adult-sanctioned mother-in-law-hosted shower next weekend at which we shall surely acquire more big ticket items (crib, changing table, glider rocker). i have to say i am simply weepy with delight from the generosit--MY GOD WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO WHATEVER TINY MANLINESS THAT I MIGHT HAVE ONCE EVINCED???

Saturday, March 12, 2005

apparently, i'm very big in canada

greetings to all my new readers in beautiful ottowa. all, well, probably none of you. we have only one groundrule here at chateau nice guy: keep the floors clean and your mouths dirty.

UPDATE: MY GOD i am a fool. an ANIMAL! forgive me, poor ottawan friends. forgive me, my tiny minions, those whose lives have surely been ruined since that thoughtless moment i shamefully misspelled the hallowed name of your great home-place. please. i am supine, begging forgiveness from you, my canadian beloved. i do love you. please! ... keep reading. please. wait! where are you going? but ... but, i love you! don't go! i shall debase myself further if you think that'll help. oh. i am so, so, so, sorry ... dearest jehovah, make the pain go away!

Friday, March 11, 2005


this baby name wizard is a cool little toy that has definitely not been the cause of hours of lost productivity.

of course, it's a little moot at this point because, truth be told, mrs nice guy and i have looong ago chosen names for our hellchild. DON'T EVEN ASK what they are, people, because i ain't telling. why? we made the seriously grave error of telling the leading candidates to be this baby's grandparents, and they profoundly disapproved of said names.

pater nice guy: Can I make a case for Bob? Dave?
mr nice guy: The more you plead the weirder we'll make it.

mrs nice guy's mother actually ridiculed one of the names in front of friends and family alike at thanksgiving. was mr nice guy saddened or offended by this? FUCK NO. how awesome is it, my friends, that not only is our child going to be the butt of jokes and the receiving end of fists in its early playground years BUT ITS OWN GRANDPARENTS ARE ALREADY MAKING FUN OF ITS NAME. that's right. we picked one out for a boy, one out for a girl (and one for a discosquid, you know, because all signs right now point neither to boy nor girl but to discosquid). the boy's name was better received than the girl's, though, which is ironic because the girl's name is the one we have our hearts set on. perfect for the penisless set.

the problem with the boy's name is that we both like it but neither of us LOVE it. we love the girl's name. we love the discosquid's name. but the boy's name is leaving us the tiniest bit luke warm. perhaps this is the reason: according to the babyname wizard, the boy's name we like has gone from rank of 580 in the 1950s to a spot dangerously nearer the top of the charts (211) in 2003. DAMN! the girl's name is nowhere to be found in the top 1000 during the past century. awesome. but the boy name's increasing trendiness is cause for great alarm. must ... find ... weirder ... name. like for example:

Burt seems to have had a good run in the first half of the last century as a popular name, tapering off in the 1960s and disappearing completely by the '70s. i think we know who to blame this on: Mr. Reynolds, I'm looking at you.

Burley enjoyed some popularity early in the last century but swiftly dropped down to zero by the 1920s. probably because of that infamous 1917 baby murdering and puppy eating spree that a sociopath named Burley Hitler went on. no doubt.

in fact, all names beginning with the letters "Bu" have become seriously unpopular in this country. so maybe we should just name the kid Bulimios and be done with it.

interestingly, the names for mr nice guy's parents BOTH peaked in popularity the decade in which they were born, slaves to the babyname trend that my grandparents were (thank GOD they are not around to be horrified by the name choices the missus and i have concocted). (mrs nice guy's name, for the record, appears nowhere on the charts.) both my name and that of frere nice guy also peaked in the years we were born. WE MUST BREAK THIS CYCLE OF CONFORMIST INSANITY. and we shall. we shall.

got any suggestions of your own?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

talking third trimester blues

o say can you tree

i apologize for the dearth of news here. frere nice guy was in town this weekend. (he spent an uncomfortably long period of time with his good hand on my wife's stomach. at least, it was uncomfortable for me. granted. i was the only one who was uncomfortable with it. some people were verrrrry comfortable indeed.) last weekend another friend was in town. a single friend. who was thrilled to see mrs nice guy. and then she was glad that she wasn't herself mrs nice guy, much less married to me. you know how it is ... you live in the best city ever and people who never expressed any sort of affection for you all of a sudden want to visit. mr nice guy can see through all of you easier than if you were cellophane, people.

but here's the newest in mrs nice guy technology: the third trimester sucks. she has only one pair of pants left. nothing else fits. she is reacquainting herself with nausea because, you know, she didn't get close enough to it in the first trimester. parts of her leak. she "hates" me. the golden era of pregnancy has ended.

here are some facts. while your wife is entering that phase of horribly unpleasant cadillac-sized pregnancy, someone has to:
  • figure out finances
  • schedule birthing AND newborn classes
  • register for the surprise baby shower which is no longer a surprise (a very long and totally-free-of-rage story)
  • sign up for a hospital tour
  • start buying important things like cribs and changing tables and breast pumps and strollers
  • find a pediatrician
  • think about "names"
  • pick out birth announcements
  • create a birth plan

you know who gets stuck with all of this work? that's right: the pregnant one. why is that? because, much like the third trimester, husbands suck.

Friday, March 04, 2005

it's official

this must be god's way of forcing me to train for fatherhood: mrs nice guy can no longer put her own socks on.