“Only Happy When it Rains”: Then and Now

I took my daughter to a concert last night.

Okay, I’m exaggerating a little. I’ve been to a lot of concerts since finding out I was pregnant, so technically I’ve taken her to quite a few. Some, like Billy Joel and Morrissey, were while I was in the deep throes of morning sickness. I figured if I was able to get up and go to work every day, even when feeling like I had a 24/7 hangover, I could handle a few shows. Others, like Hum, were after I leveled out a bit. However, the concert last night was special.

It was Garbage’s 20th Anniversary tour. Their self-titled album came out in the summer of 1995, when I was a ripe and angsty 14 year-old. I got to see them live the next year at the Hampton Coliseum, when they opened for the Smashing Pumpkins’ Infinite Sadness Tour. By then, I was 15 and starting to rebel against the world. Or so I thought. I remember that the tickets were 30 dollars, and to me that was out of sight expensive–but it was going to be worth it. To an impressionable 15 year-old, seeing a show like that was cool. In hindsight, it was an experience of a lifetime.

Fast-forward almost 20 years later. I live right outside of DC, and when Garbage announced their anniversary tour with a stop at the 9:30 Club, I knew I had to go. Two awesome lady friends of mine (who also saw Garbage back then) jumped on the bandwagon, too. Before you could say #1 Crush, tickets were bought and the three of us were, to quote of the ladies, “Garbage’d.”

Zelda is Garbage’d, too.

I was a little apprehensive about going to a concert six months into the pregnancy, to be honest. One, my feet were starting to swell. I was kind of worried about how long I’d be able to stand. Two, I’m starting to show a lot more. A part of me was a little nervous about whether or not people would react to it. Last, I’ve read the baby can hear by now. Some small, paranoid part of me was worried about whether it would harm her or not. Luckily, all of these fears were unfounded and I did just fine.

It was a fun night out. I know I’ve got to soak these kinds of nights in as much as possible before Zelda comes. We had dinner at a Mexican spot, then camped in the nearby Satellite Room until about 20 minutes before Garbage came on. The ladies had a beer and cocktail, I had a milkshake. Hey, it’s a damn good substitute. Damn good milkshake, too.

While I’m on the “damn good” kick, I’ll say it was a damn good show. When the band played “Supervixen,” the second song of the night, I flashed back to a fond memory of listening to this song in the car with my brother years and years ago in his crappy little Honda Civic that reeked of bagels. It sounded like 1996. It sounded like black hair dye, cheap drugstore kohl eyeliner, flannel shirts, and Doc Martens.

SIDE NOTE: I wanted Shirley Manson’s dress and boots from the Stupid Girl video so damn much. Or maybe I just wanted to be her.

My kingdom for a better phone camera.

I didn’t really think much of the present until Manson said, “We’re not a band who believes in nostalgia, at all,” followed by the comment that this was more for us, the fans, who have stuck with them for the past 20 years. It kinda hit me then. Almost 20 years ago, the last time I saw this band, I was a teenager with blue-black dyed hair that had no clue how to apply eyeliner properly and was flunking Algebra in high school. I was hopelessly in love with a dude that didn’t care about me. I wasn’t thinking about where I would be 20 years from then. The world was then, and it was all I knew. I still thought I knew everything. When they did “Only Happy When it Rains,” a song I considered my own personal anthem at 15, I sang along and reveled in the then and now. In some ways I’ve grown up so much, and in other ways I’m still that girl without a clue.

I reflected on that, then considered that now, I’m seeing this band as an almost 35 year-old with a growing baby in my belly. I summed my feelings up in one succinct social media post:

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 8.16.42 PM

The feeling still kind of floors me. I’m guessing that will take awhile to get used to.

I’m also hoping Zelda grows up with an appreciation for Garbage. I’ll be sure to tell her, when she’s old enough to understand, that this was the first band she really got to “see” (by which I mean be physically there for and hear) in concert.


NewDADS Can’t Triforce

(via www.kym-cdn.com)
(via www.kym-cdn.com)

I haven’t written anything on this blog in well over a month. In fact, I haven’t really thought at all about it since we got back from Disney. This was entirely intentional. Why? I don’t really have much to say. Writer’s block? Maybe. After the euphoric feeling of being in Disney World for the last time in a while, I needed time to decompress and think. With the added bonus of a few very important events ongoing at work, I felt that a break from this blog would be okay – the Eng Dynasty could wait.

It’s now time to put down some of these thoughts that have been swirling around my head since Disney. Real talk. Real World. True Story. After all, the whole reason we wanted to start this blog was to be as honest as possible about every facet of having a baby, from the frustrations of conception to the realities of dealing with a growing bundle of joy. I won’t get into the childbirth thing, though. That is a whole other box of craziness we do not have to open until February (hopefully).

Ok. Here goes nothing:

For a while there, I felt like a silent partner in all of this. To be completely honest, I think that is entirely my fault. I haven’t been involved as much as I could have or should have. I say I want to, and then fall flat most of the time. It may be work stress or some personal stuff I have been dealing with. I can’t pinpoint it. Sometimes I legitimately forgot that Angela was pregnant. What a dick, right? Either way, I feel that I need to be more involved. I don’t need any coaching on this, I just need to do it.  I need to take a page from the book of “Shit the Beef:”

(Making my dreams come true via youtube.com screengrab)

Maybe I was getting a tad frustrated that Zelda always seem to stop kicking the minute I put my hand over Angela’s stomach. I always want to be active when Angela wants to rest, and vice versa. Shopping for bras is not always the most exciting thing for me, especially when the employees think I am a creeper. Despite my best efforts, Angela still has little taste for pretty much anything. I can cook all the fancy meals I want; it doesn’t matter. I felt so awkwardly out of place when we went shopping for the baby registry. What the hell was I doing? Why are there so many nipples, and why do we need them? I saw ALL of the diapers and envisioned all of them filled with feces that was my sole responsibility to clean up. All the gagging. Reality washed over me in a (not so) awesome wave. For a couple so in sync most of the time, there have been a few miscues over the past few months. To put it simply: I can’t triforce at all lately. Am I being selfish? Perhaps. At least I am being honest, which is a rarity nowadays.

I will say that my thoughts about pregnancy have changed completely since the end of May when we first found out. It’s not like I felt like it would be just like the movies, but I thought I knew SOMETHING about having a child. Jesus, I was so wrong. The amount of unpreparedness I feel makes Seth Rogen’s character in Knocked Up look like a father of the year award candidate. Definitely not Hugh Grant in Nine Months because…well…prostitutes.

I bought the new Zelda 3Ds game last night. I didn’t think I would be getting any life lessons out of it, but I found myself thinking about it most of the night. That was partly due to Angela’s snoring. Either way, I took advantage of the time that I was up to think how my recent purchase impacted my wide range of thoughts and emotions lately. It did.

(via ign.com)
(via ign.com)

The whole premise of the game is to complete a series of puzzles of increasing challenge level in the land of Hytopia (Apparently it follows the same timeline of the previous 3Ds game, but I will leave all of the theory and speculation to the uber Zelda nerds). Each of the puzzles requires your team to work together as a trio to complete each puzzle and task. You cannot do anything alone. Most of what I have experienced so far requires not two, but all three heroes working in tandem.

How does this apply to my life? Well, we are still just a duo right now. Oftent dynamic (though lately not due to yours truly), our duo is still missing its final piece of the puzzle: Zelda Elizabeth Eng. At the end of the day, I am confident these anxieties I feel will be erased once Zelda enters the light world. I am a huge fan of on-the-job training anyway, so I am sure that she will give me plenty of it. I will let you know how I feel about it again when she turns into a tiny shit and puke factory and I haven’t slept in over a week. I look forward to being able to triforce.

By the way, there is totally a Zelda dress in the game that you can purchase. That will happen.

Registry Roulette

I kept on meaning to write a post-Disney World reflection, but time and the vapors and megrims got me. Ready for the quick version? Good. I had a ball, realized I could still have fun and not drink/ride thrill rides/be in the parks 13 hours a day, and realized I absolutely cannot wait to experience it all with Zelda.

Matt and I have pretty much settled back into our pre-Disney lives: up before dawn, commuting to work, back when the sun is setting. I pretty much only want to sleep on the weekends now. I hear I need to enjoy it while I can. However, one major task loomed ahead last weekend: the baby shower registry.

Legit strategy, right?

Talk about feeling like a stranger in a strange land. I had solicited some friends and family for advice and got some pretty good tips, but I was still feeling quite overwhelmed when Matt and I stepped into Babies ‘R Us and requested the fun little price gun for making the registry (I’d only seen them in the movies until now). The lady helping us handed me a list and said, “Good luck!”

We needed it.

We decided to be strategic about it and start in one corner, then work our way around. The first thing we came to was all the breast pumps and nursing gear. Matt looked in horror at the hands-free pump, and I was consulting the list, wondering if I could put something like “nipple cream” on our registry (we decided we’d buy it ourselves). We ended up skipping the section because I still have some research to do. Matt amused himself by playing with all the training potties, until I told him one day he wouldn’t find it so amusing.


Everything else we worked through slowly and methodically, but it felt like we were just haphazardly shooting that gun at anything and everything. Receiving blankets? What the hell are those? Crib sheets? Are they all fitted? SO MANY NIPPLES. WTF. A couple of ladies nearby heard our frantic tones, and, after telling us they were adopting, assured us they were just as overwhelmed and lost as we were. Solidarity. Registry roulette, anyone?

We got some “unsolicited advice” from another lady about toys, but I didn’t mind. I told Matt to get over it and added the suggested item to the ever-growing list. By then I was kind of feeling like I was in the Twilight Zone. Entering another dimension. I had no idea if we were doing this right, and I got the feeling that is going to be a common theme from here on out. I mean, we were just buying the stuff. What about when we have to use it?

I’m guessing I’m not alone in this feeling, and that all seasoned parents encountered this cluenessness at some point. I think Matt and I have kind of put off REALLY thinking about what it will be like when she comes. Putting that registry together made it more real, somehow. I’m six months along. In the grand scheme of things, three more months isn’t that long. It’s a reminder that we still have so much more to do. But, one day at a time, right? We’ll get there.

Even as I write, I can sense the mounting panic. I’m thinking one day I’ll also look back on this post and have a good laugh.