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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« On not getting anywhere. | Main | If this doesn’t brighten your day, then whoops, you have no soul. »

A few things while my brain slowly dies.

I can’t come up with any kind of compelling anything for you. All I can think about are the boring details of our boring house purchase. As for the house, I wish it were more boring. It is, sadly, a thrilling mélange. Surprises lurk behind every wall, underneath every soffit (I still don’t know what that is). Stop being so fascinating already, house. Please begin to bore me.

That said, it looks like the house will be ours, all ours. The sellers have generously agreed to lop a nice hunk of money off of the sale price, so that we can repair things and not, say, die.

Here is what I have been doing instead of packing.

1. Playing Weboggle. Weboggle is what it sounds like: Boggle on the Web. Clever name, no? You play against other players, all of whom, apparently, are smarter than me. Than I. Smarter than I. Am. This seems fishy to me, as we all know I’m the smartest person alive. How can BoggleGurl52 pop out “heuristic” and “anachronism” and 30 other multisyllabic words, while I’m patting myself on the back for “hail” and “fans”?

Notice that I am not linking to it. This is my service to you, my Internet family. Do not play this game. It is an evil thing. I began playing one day, and the next thing I knew it was five days later and my family had left me and the electricity was turned off and my pants were gone. All I have now are my memories.

2. Watching My Neighbor Totoro with Henry. This, this I can link to. Henry is going through an extraordinarily sensitive phase wherein anything the least bit frightening, upsetting, or pulse-increasing on any show or movie causes him to clamp his eyes shut and announce I DO NOT LIKE THIS. I was sure he wouldn’t make it all the way through Totoro, as it has forest spirits and other vaguely spooky characters, but he was transfixed. And unlike most other movies we watch together, so was I. And unlike every single Disney movie ever made, no dead parents! Take that, Walt! Hope you’re enjoying that grave-spinning!

3. Watching Mysterious Mose. While Henry is easily spooked, he’s also a sucker for a catchy tune and nifty puppets. This was created by friends of our friends, and I don’t know why I feel compelled to tell you this. Does it make me seem cleverer, that I have this distant connection to the creators of this great short? Are you impressed with me yet?

4. Watching every episode of Yacht Rock. (Not with Henry, as he has no time for the smooth grooves of the seventies.) This is the funniest thing on the web, and should be watched quickly before Kenny Loggins uses his fearsome powers to destroy Channel 101. I sent this link to my sister, who admitted that, though she thought it was indeed funny, she had watched only four of the episodes. This makes no sense to me. This is like saying, “That sure was a delicious brownie. I ate a little less than half of it and then I walked away. I don’t know why, I just had stuff to do.” No, no, no. EAT THE BROWNIE. WATCH THE YACHT ROCK.

5. Reading Traveler’s Tales: Prague, a book edited by my friends Jessie and Farley (See how many clever friends I have! Take THAT, BoggleGurl!). Admittedly I wouldn’t have picked this up if I didn’t know them, since I’ve never been to Prague. But boy howdy, is this book making me want to go there. I am always surprised at how compelling travel writing can be, mostly because I’m so bad at it. (“Italy is nice. The car ride made Henry throw up. If you go to Italy with your kid, try not to take him on long car rides. Also, gelato tastes good. The End.”)

Jessie and Farley have gathered together all kinds of impressive contributors for their book, including Myla Goldberg and the esteemed Czech writer Ivan Klima—and Paulina Porizkova, whom I cornered at the launch party so I could tell her that her mother was my midwife. She was quite gracious and said that she gets that a lot. Then she said some other stuff, but I was too busy marveling at her tallness to listen. I spent the rest of the night telling everyone how I told Paulina that her mother saw my cooter. Of course I didn’t, at least not in those words. But SHE KNEW. And I knew. We gazed meaningfully at each other as Rik Ocasek loomed behind me, brushing his head against the ceiling.

Reader Comments (69)

We're still working on getting Totoro into the regular rotation. I think she is a little scared of teeth (I think it must make her think of dogs) and there are quite a few big open mouths.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterroolalenska
Lately I've been obsessed with Boggle on my boyfriend's Nintendo DS. I still get excited about the occassional six letter word I find, so I'm certainly not in the same league as BoggleGurl, but...

Boggle is on the Web! Why didn't you tell us this before. Sorry, gotta go search for Weboggle now!
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterShannon
I have been wanting to play Webboggle, but as it is blocked at work and I forget about it once I get home, I have not yet played. Thanks for the warning though because I am easily addicted to online games and I need to get out more, so maybe I will avoid Webboggle.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJessie
Have you played Word Spy? Don't, because if you do, you won't even have your memories left.

Go to Prague. Go. Now. It's *that* good AND a bag of chips.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercandace
S-Way, that anecdote killed me. I will never look at your sister's then-boyfriend the same way again.

Alice, You may borrow my pants if you like. And I'm totally jealous of you being at a party with Rik Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova. I saw them together once about a block away from me on Newbury Street in Boston. That's just not nearly as cool.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTits McGee
I think BoggleGurl52 uses an online scrabble solver.Something i discovered while never winning a game of online scrabble and feeling incredibly stupid, while some BraZtGuRL1987 came up with similar long words that i would only see on dictionary word of the day sites.

March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterriver
Humbling experience when "cum on Lisa" out boggles me.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLori
I once got the word "dustmop" when I played Boggle, and I nearly got a damn trophy from my husband.

but, heuristic? what? i totally would have challenged that as even BEING a word. in fact, just now I looked it up just to be sure. and in case you're wondering, it is.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjes
ONe word...Literati...stay away. Very compelling and filled with genuinely smart people, cheaters and, fortunately for me, some dumb ones.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLin
If I added Weboggle to the amount of time I already spend on the computer, my family would leave me and so would my pants.I will, however, watch "Yacht Rock" because Kenny Loggins should not be allowed to have power over anything let alone that.

"Spirited Away" = so much better than most animated crap these days. I also like "Kiki's Delivery Service", even if the voice of Kiki is Kirsten Dunst, who I can't stand. I'll have to check out Totoro.

My Dad's girlfriend's son is a Hollywood stuntman. That's as close to famous as I've ever been, except once at a movie shoot in Detroit I got to watch Dabney Coleman and Bonnie Bedelia rehearse and film a scene. Bonnie is teeeny tiny. That's all.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
I have also found the evil that is Weboggle. And I too have been sadly disillusioned about my Boggling abilities. I thought I was good at it, dammit! Who are these people? I've convinced myself they are freakish geeks who have thus far devoted their lives to playing Boggle, and nothing else. So they may be better than me at that, but do they have a life?!? I think not.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermartha
Great that you got the house. Packing is such an overwhelming task, I don't blame you for doing anything and everything else to avoid it.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersusan @ yow
Has Henry seen "The Wonder Pets"? My Young'un was instantly obsessed ... they're these preschool classroom pets who rescue animals in trouble, in operetta format. "The phone! The phone is ringing! The phone! We'll be right there!"

O.k., maybe Young'un isn't the only one obsessed.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRuth
Damn. I only just managed to break my addiction to Bookworm (I WILL NOT link to it).Oh, and you know that "BoggleGurl" is really some sweaty old man huddled over a Scrabble dictionary, whilst you use only the superior power of your own mind.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAlexa
Oooooh, my daughter was raised by Totoro. Well, I mean that I was a rotten mother and this was in the VCR almost six hours a day when she was a toddler. It was a comfort to us both.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLoLo
Oh, the Weboggle. I'm also an addict. So much so that when I get up after playing for three hours straight, I find myself looking at letter combinations in my head. It's sick, really.

The most I've gotten is 40. "I'm typing with my weiner" got an 88 last night.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterzhanae
Crikey! Everywhere I turn today, I'm finding posts about ways to spend (okay, waste) time on the computer. Luckily, I finished my research for my birdwatching article first. Yes -- I WENT OUTSIDE! Now I can WeBoggle without guilt.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWendy Boucher
If you're looking at the wood trim at the edge of your roof, the soffit is the horizontal part. The fascia is the vertical part (think "face"). Soffits are good for attic vents and such. Fascia boards mostly just rot if you forget to clean your gutters.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterthrowingutah
Totoro! Hey let's go! That was one movie our kids watched incessantly when they were young.I didn't know it was Disney tho. Ours was Japanese with voice overs or something. Any thing that kept the kids content for more than a half hour got my vote!
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBeverlee
Wow! I had no idea New Yorkers knew how to use the words "boy howdy." I'm impressed!
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChristyD
I sympathize with Henry; I'm still like that. They had "The Core" on at the dr's office the other day. Horrible and dumb dumb dumb as that movie is, I still got very tense at all the cliffhanger moments--the OMINOUS MUSIC and the IMPENDING DOOM and the SOUND EFFECTS all swooshing around (were movies always this loud??) just send me into sensory overload and I can't take it. I don't go to movies nearly as much as I used to for that reason.

I think dumb action movies are the worst because you can see a half hour ahead which poor sap(s) is/are going to get whacked* and you just really want them to go ahead and DIE already so you can stop jumping at every sudden music cue.

*The Core followed dumb action movie code by having the black guy die a noble sacrificial death to save the Pretty White Woman and Average White Guy scientists. Plus, like half of San Francisco bought it too.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteremjaybee
Ric Ocasek? Really? Wow, you're celebrity brushes are the things of my childhood dreams.

Congratulations on the house.
March 28, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjess
Well. I read "moose" instead of "Mose," so while I was watching the video, I was waiting for a puppet with antlers - until they sang "Mose" and I slapped my forhead and enjoyed the rest. Now I will have to hum and tap my feet all day at school and I tell you, the kids will go all kinds of nuts on me for doing that. They never cut teachers any slack. Hmph.
March 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEuropean
My husbans and i found 'Totoro' by wierd chance, but we love it. We dont have kids yet but we like to collect good childrens stuff.But my point in commenting is this: if you like Totoro then you and henry will probably like many of the films out of Ghibli Films. This include many of the already mentioned movies : Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle. But my 2nd fav (1st is Totoro) is 'The Cat Returns' OMGosh! Quiet girl, talking cats, dashing baron, love, adventure, finding of self! oh and NO DEAD PEOPLE!!!!! Also good to watch Porco Rosso - nifty flying pig.

ok saying all of this DO NOT WATCH 'Grave of Fireflies' it may have good animation and music but its is all about death, very very very sad.

ok Sorry so long but i really liked these movies, and thought you would too. Continues best wished with house stuff.

March 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
sorry for all of the spelling mistakes. I would defintely not be good at WebBoggle! I do the easy (read no more than 5 letter words) crossword puzzels so i feel smart!
March 29, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

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