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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

Home - Middle Row

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. → 


You are good. Yes, you.

You are, all of you, delightful. You are. You humor me when I hit you up for compliments, and you clamor for vengeance against the Weird Soliciting Physical Therapist. (Dear baffled and/or disturbed p.t.’s out there: I don’t know what my audience has against all of you, either! I suspect they’ve only been swept along in my madness. Most physical therapists are lovely people who only wish to help those who are suffering. A small percentage are pure, liquid evil stuffed into a human-shaped skin sack. A tiny percentage.)

As for ruining the career and the life of the aforementioned therapist, I particularly enjoyed your pleas for mercy. Of course it was all for naught, as she crossed me and now I must destroy her. She will rue the day she ever licked that stamp.

Seriously, do you think I’m that nefarious? Don’t you think I have better things to do with my time, like ingest too much caffeine and wheel my kid around Park Slope trying to strike up conversations with strangers because god I’m so lonely?

Actually I’m not lonely, but the coffee, it makes me garrulous. It garrulates me. It causes me to make up words. And then Henry gets sick of my mindless chatter and my friends are all honest working folks, not layabout breeders (except for Sarah—hi, Sarah! Everyone look at Sarah’s cute daughter as she dances!) and I’m forced to harass sales clerks and fellow mothers and anyone who looks at me, because I’m So Hyper! And Isn’t It Hot Out! And Hi Your Kid is Cute, OH GOD TALK TO ME. (NB: the caps are meant to denote a kind of screaming inside the head. I employ caps for specific reasons, not just because I have ovaries. The ovaries are what lead me to dot my I’s with smiley faces and to adorn the ends of my y’s with flowers and shit.)

Wait. What? Oh, right. Coffee! Medical professionals have instructed me—more precisely, pleaded with me—to give up caffeine. Which I did, sort of, in that actually I didn’t at all. But I did limit myself to one cup of tea in the morning. I did this for a while. I was so good! And then the hot weather came, and I am weak and I love iced coffee more than any other liquid. At first I was just drinking decaf. Then I moved on to half decaf, half caf. But today I weakened even further and I purchased this incredible beverage, this slushy espresso drink that probably has more 23 tablespoons of sugar in it. And it doesn’t come in any form other than Highly Caffeinated. Even though I bought the thimble-sized version, I am now more juiced up than I have been in a long time. I have been more comfortable.

Returning to the original subject: the letter from my p.t. I emailed Randy Cohen, aka The Ethicist of New York Times fame, to ask him what he thought. His response: “It does seem out of line to use a client list for some other purpose. But more disturbing: who'd seek financial advice from a physical therapist? What if it contradicts the stock tips you get from your butcher?” And there you have it.


Judge, Internets! Judge!

What would you think if you got a letter from a former physical therapist that reads, in part: “I am writing to all past and present patients to introduce you to a good opportunity… If you have been considering investments … I recommend you call Joe Smith at Plorgan Smanley. I am enclosing his card. He is offering a free 30-minute consultation. He’s very knowledgeable… most importantly, you can trust him.”

Would you think, “Oh, how helpful of you, former physical therapist! I had not previously considered these 'investments' you speak of, but now that you tell me I can trust this person, I want to give him all of my hard-earned cash!” Or would you think, “Holy Jesus, that’s icky”?

As you may have guessed, this Actually Happened to Me. Can you believe it? My life, it is one of high drama.

Is it just me, or is this not something a medical professional should do? Isn't this one step above or below or to the left of selling your patient list? What the hell could have been her motivation? I have a hard time believing that out of the goodness of her heart, this therapist felt compelled to send letters to every one of her "past and present patients." Actually, I don't know if this makes this worse or better, but I seem to remember her gabbing about her husband, and the first name of this financial advisor sounds awfully ... familiar.

I’m not sure if I’m overreacting, because I have been, shall we say, unhappy with this former p.t. of mine. Because she took lots and lots of my money, while assuring me that I had a pain syndrome that would never go away, ever ever ever. Because she actively, vehemently discouraged me from seeing the one professional whose treatment actually offered some relief. And, oh! Because, when I was fully cured, she assured me that in fact I was not, and then refused to speak to my other therapist about my case, because what worked for me would mean that she would, in effect, have patients healing faster, and thus less work for her.

So, yeah, I don’t like her.

That said, who out there can offer their opinion on this letter? I bet you can. Don’t hold back. Is this unethical? Unseemly? Or am I unhinged?


What I Did This Weekend, by Alice. Now with pictures!

1. I had all of my hair cut off. I now look like Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby,” except in the many ways I look completely different from her.

2. While my husband watched the child, my friends and I went to see Sondre Lerche perform at my brother’s record store. I never thought I would think my brother was cooler than me, as I have long felt myself to be the coolest person in the known universe, but there it is. He has a record store in Williamsburg that is frequented by youngsters who wear ironic t-shirts. I have a child who puts Play-Doh in my hair and says “I made you a hat!” and then I forget about the Play-Doh and walk around with the Play-Doh hat until it falls off.

3. I fell utterly in love with Sondre Lerche, a musician you should get to know because he is wondrously talented, not to mention the dreamiest young Norwegian I have ever had the pleasure to ogle.

4. I felt a little gross about loving Sondre Lerche, as he is maybe 21 and I just turned 36. I and my friends were the oldest people at his show. Except for the 50-year-old guy in the front row who also, I think, was there to enjoy Sondre Lerche for more reasons than his music.

5. I was introduced to Sondre Lerche by my brother, who told the Nordic heartthrob, “Could you come say hello to my sister? She never gets out of the house.”

6. Wow! That was embarrassing!

7. I spent the next seven hours giggling inappropriately.

8. The next day it was some kind of anniversary! It was like six years ago or something that I married that guy, what’s-his-name. I call him “Not-Sondre.”

9. No, seriously. I love that guy! We went out for dinner and everything. Our nice friend Debbie watched Henry while we enjoyed Fancy Italian Food and got drunk on a single glass of wine apiece. We are cheap dates. This morning Henry woke up calling out “Debb-eee… Debb-eee…” and was visibly disappointed to find that I was still his mother.

In conclusion, I had a fun weekend. The End.


Okay, okay. You be the judge:

1. Here I am with my Mia Farrow "I can use a camera" expression:


2. Here I am being told that I'm pregnant--with Satan's baby!


3. And here I am with my Satanic toddler, who is jabbing me in the neck with some tiny remnant of a long-ago torn-to-pieces Star Wars toy.



It's springtime in Brooklyn, and the vermin have returned to us.

This time, instead of the usual (and heart-stoppingly terrifying) waterbugs, we have mice. Cute, teensy-tiny mice. Adorable, filthy, plague-laden mice. So wee! Really, they wouldn’t wig me out overly, if I didn’t think of the hanta virus every time I spotted one making a run for the dog food. And when they’re sitting still, it’s one thing, but usually they’re rushing past. Scurrying, scuttling—any of these motions cause my limbs to flail about as I squeal girlishly. Why is this, that the tiny running things cause one to scream and scream and scream? Also! The noises. The skritchy scrabbly noises. In the walls. Like they’re playing soccer with the skulls of their ancestors. And sometimes—sometimes we hear them gnawing. Gnawing at the plaster, so they can get out. And eat our brains.

We put out a trap. They ignored it. If I leave the dog food unattended for more than a minute, one of them is making a play for it, but leave a hunk of American cheese out all night and the mice decide to exert some self-control. Or else they’re onto us. Actually the day after we left the trap out, the mice disappeared for a while. Then they came back, because they’re stupid and also, mmm, delicious Iams Mini-Chunks. No rodent can resist it.

Then I had to kill one. The dog was sniffing at something in the corner, and there was a quarter-sized baby mouse tangled up in some wires. It was shaking violently. How could my heart not melt? Poor little disease carrier, I wept. I wept softly, because Henry was a foot away, playing with his Star Wars guys. I tried to free it from its prison. I just wanted it to go back to its hidey-hole, back where it could grow up and live to freak me out. But it wouldn’t budge, and it looked sick, and also, technically, we’re enemies. I had a job to do. So as Henry engaged thrusters and activated the launch sequence and kissed Darth Vader full on the lips (he really likes Darth Vader), I nudged the mouselet into a container, tipped the container into a bag, held the bag as far away from me as I could, and told Henry we had to go outside right then! To throw something out! Something gross!

This got his attention. “What is it? It’s gross? What is it?” And for some reason I said, “Charlie pooped. Charlie pooped in the house, and I have to throw it out right now,” and Henry said, “That’s gross,” and actually followed me out the door and down the stairs, all the while talking to himself about how gross that was, pooping in the house, wow, that is really really gross. And then before I could think about what I was doing, I said to Henry, “Okay, don’t mind what I’m going to do right now,” and lifted the bag high and slammed it against the side of the building (rest in peace, poor little mousie) and if you live in Brooklyn and you were walking past right then and you heard a boy asking his mother, “Why did you hit the house with the poop?” now you know what that meant. You’re welcome.