Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Know what's really fun?

Getting about 3 hours' sleep, then waking up to a 4 year old climbing in bed beside you, declaring her pull-up dry as a bone, and demanding a prize from the prize box for her efforts. After you bring her dry cereal, vitamins and OJ, that is.

Then you turn on the TV, in a desperate attempt to pacify the little Napoleon with a shrieking Elmo and/or Big Bird, so that you can maybe grab another 45 minutes and stop feeling like you took a bad hit of acid.

But the 4 year old wants, instead, to turn the television off, pull out her baby photo albums and thumb slowly through them, pointing out every single individual in every single picture and asking for a detailed explanation of each person and his/her relationship to her.

So you do this, because you have no other choice, really. And in doing so you actually start to chuckle when you look at the pictures and remember how sleep-deprived you were then and how it's not so different from how you feel right fucking now.

Not one damned bit.

But some of the pictures are funny.

This picture was taken before Lily was even a twinkle in my eye. And it shows. No wrinkles.

I was a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding two weeks before Lil came. I remember hopping around on the dance floor trying to get labor to start. The girl on the right is a model and anchor on the Naked News in Canada. That was really good for my self-image that day. Also, I couldn't drink and I had to buy a size 16 dress, which barely fit over my stomach. I was ginormous and pissed. But glowing. Right? RIGHT???

This was Lily's first baby doll, we called Barry, because he looked like the actor Barry Pepper. We liked to do things to him like bury him in the sand in Florida. Lily got a charge out of these antics. She didn't know any better. I guess it's a good thing she didn't get any siblings.

Lily looking kind of like a baby Janis, wearing the most awesome thrift store coat I got for $3 at Janes Exchange in the East Village, which I think is now closed. The pants were hand-me-downs from my friend Rachie, who has a rich sister who only buys designer baby clothes. I think they are actually Ralph Lauren, believe it or not.

When I was staying home with Lily I used to get bored. Sometimes, when she was napping, I'd set up elaborate scenarios around her little sleeping figure and take funny pics. I call this one "Queen of the Stuffed Animal Village Launches Stealth Attack".

I call this my "sleep deprivation haircut". I thought I'd look cute with bangs. So I cut them myself. Really too short.
I was thinking Betty Page. But not so much. This was Lil's first birthday party, which was of course right around Halloween. Lily and Shawn are dressed like convicts.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off to bed we go

OMG you guys. I have the best news.

I have a new futon.

As some of you might know (but most of you do not, because it's an embarrassing detail of my life which I tend not to fucking broadcast), I have been sleeping on my couch for the better part of the last two months. Yeah. Curled up like a garden grub on three skinny cushions for the duration of the long, cold, night. After night. After night. It sucked a whole heck of a lot of ass.

But those days are over, y'all.

Because Mama got herself a special delivery from the Ikea Man.

I mean, of course I had a bed. Once upon a time. But it was, you know, my marital bed. After Shawn and I broke up I slept in it with Lil for a while, but I started hating that bed. I hated the way it creaked and sagged in the middle and it was just generally time for that bed to hit the trash heap. And be set on fire like the piece of shit it was.

Plus, I was starting to get the feeling that at some point, mama and daughter should probably start sleeping apart. Especially if I was ever gonna find her a brand new step-daddy.

Of course, being a touchy-feely earth mama, I have always been a strong advocate of everything Dr. Sears. I was way into baby-wearing, exclusive breastfeeding, organic, homemade baby food frozen in ice cube trays, non-violent communication, and of course, co-sleeping.

I saw no reason my baby should should ever be in a crib (Fucking baby jails!!! Cry it out, my ass! Barbaric!!!!)--I'd say, Why put her in that receptacle when she can sleep right here beside me? I mean, adults don't particularly care for sleeping alone, so why do we make our wee ones do it? Huh? Huh?
Riddle Me that, Dr. Spock, you fucking nazi!

So. I was able to justify my beliefs about co-sleeping for a long time. Years. I nursed Lily well beyond what is considered to be the "normal" time frame, and made no apologies for it. I railed against the sterilized way that American culture forces helpless babies to conveniently 'individuate' from their parents with things like baby swings and exersaucers and bouncy seats (I'd loudly proclaim them "Neglect-o-matics" while strutting around carrying my 20 lb toddler in a sling she had clearly outgrown). When Barbara Walters and Elizabitch Hasselback made wildly ignorant comments about how gross nursing in public was, who was right there on 7th Avenue in front of the ABC building with her shirt hiked up, along with all the other New York hippie moms, proudly feeding her baby by her very own breasts for an old-school Public Nurse-In?
(yep. This girl).

It wasn't until the demise of my marriage that I actually started to question my methods. I don't regret a second of Lily's upbringing to date, and I am still a strong advocate for the attachment style of parenting, but I did start to wonder if, now that we were a one-parent household, was I starting to encourage Lily to have a bond with me that was, perhaps, a little too attached?
Was there such a thing? I'm still not sure. But the last thing I would want to do is keep Lil from becoming healthy and independent. And I think it's probably a lot easier to fuck your kid up when there isn't a two-parent, good-cop, bad-cop dynamic all the time to keep things balanced.

So, the first step toward trying to give Lily a little sense of her individual self was to give her her own big-girl bed. And move me into the fucking living room. Yay for Mom.

I took my lumps. I did my time on the couch. But now I have my own big-girl bed. A lovely pull-out futon that's all mine. Mine, I say!!!

It's so cushy and warm and comfortable that I barely even got out of it this weekend. For real, y'all. I love it that much.

Life is pretty darned good.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Return of Vampira, Mistress of the Evening

OK, hold your horses there, you bunch of sex perverts. Despite the seamy suggestion of this entry's title, I am not becoming a hooker. Well, not yet, anyway. But nothing's off the table. I do need money pretty badly.

Here's the deal: my cushy day schedule at work has finally turned into a pumpkin as I'd sadly predicted it would some day. Unfortunately for me, there was a distinct disconnect between my having this knowledge and my actually preparing for it.
So when I got my schedule last week and saw that I was booked this week for the night shift (5:30 PM-2 AM), instead of taking on some other well-planned, backup freelance project that would enable me to maintain a normal schedule, I freaked the fuck out and called my agent, crying foul and demanding that this horrid, horrid mistake be rectified.

But no.

No mistake. They won't be requiring me on the day shift any longer. Now they want me on nights.


So, I sucked it up and did my first night shift last night.

Sigh. It wasn't terrible. But I couldn't shake the feeling, as I strolled through Union Square at 5 PM on my way to work, passing all the people going home from work, that I was about to enter an underground alternate reality, like the 3rd dimension or the world of the Mole People who live in the subway tunnels.

It was a gorgeous spring day in New York yesterday, and the streets were bustling with happy New Yorkers basking in the warm, late afternoon sun. People spilled out into tables at sidewalk cafes, music drifted from street musicians, incense spiced the warm evening air from the guys selling hippie shit at makeshift tables, girls flounced by in flowy skirts and tank tops (Punch Nipple!)*

I said Hi to an elderly man in a business suit on a scooter. The dirty druggie squatter kids held court in front of the Barnes and Noble, asking for change with their dusty little pit bull puppies (is there a place you can rent puppies for just this reason? The grimy, dirt-caked homeless kid accessory store, perhaps? They also must sell bongo drums, I think). I felt really weird about going indoors for the next 8 hours while everyone else was coming out to enjoy the evening.

But, ah well. I got a prime seat by the panoramic window on the 23rd floor of my building, and watched the city darken until glittering night was all around me. The ever-faithful J-Man came by with a thoughtful and delicious surprise of Indian from my favorite Gramercy takeout spot, Banana Leaf (they don't fucking understand what "mild" means though. Made the rest of my night rather...um...uncomfortable).
I drank my Starbucks and hummed along busily and e-mailed some of my favorite people. I even got to talk on the phone and have some very interesting and inspiring conversations. The night actually went by rather quickly.

I guess I could see myself doing this a couple nights a week. The money is much better at night so I think I could actually work less and make the same amount. It will be an interesting transition. And I have to make sure I catch up on sleep during the day when Lil is at school. Ah, transition, transition. Change, change, growth, change.

But hey, isn't that what life's all about?

*When Shawn and I used to live in the East Village of Manhattan (when we were ubercool, eating only organic health food and drinking cheap beer every night, and during the time of Lily's conception--eeks! Thanks, cheap beer and health food--- and before we moved to the sleepy neighborhood of Asssstoria and then split up), we used to love to sit in Thompkins Square Park in the summer and people-watch. When the weather got warm, the hot little hipster chicks came out in full sumer regalia, clad in tank tops and short shorts and sundresses and many times braless. One of our favorite games was "Punch Nipple", a deviation of "Punch Buggy", only there weren't Volkswagons involved; a person got to punch the other when he or she was the first to spot a girl passing by with prominent, visible nipples beneath her shirt. Needless to say, we got punched a lot.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Can we talk a little bit about age? More specifically, age-appropriateness?

To start, I was at the grocery store this morning, stocking up on watermelon, hummus and flax seed chips for our picnic at Astoria's famous Socrates Sculpture Park on the Hudson this afternoon. It was a gorgeous, 75-degree day, and I was in a great mood. Until I saw Harrison Ford's old ass wearing a crumpled Indiana Jones hat on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. Ugh. I wasn't even hungry for flax seed chips anymore.

It put me in quite a state, I must confess. I mean, that man and his grizzly white chest hair needs to give it up. Christ! the EGOS on these old ass actors! Take a page out of Wilfred Brimley's book, and play a grandfather, will you? For the love of all that is holy?

I hate to sound all feminazi and shit, but women actors simply do not do this. Perhaps I'm being naive about the Hollywood machine that puts the metaphorical bullet in actresses heads once they reach the age of 35, but it does seem to me that these ladies at least have the dignity to slip into age-appropriate roles when they're, like, sixty. Name me one actress who is still reprising a role she originated at 30 when she is 60 and I'll gladly retract this statement.

But I bet you can't.

Let's look at Stallone, for christsakes. Standing in that boxing ring, his eyes bulging out of his head from the amount of steroids he's injected into his ropy, protruding veins, he looks like he's one punch away from a massive coronary explosion.
But does that stop him from sodomizing our collective conscious with yet another Rocky movie?


I have a problem with all of this, I guess. This fighting-the-age thing.

Now, take me for example.

This morning, while brushing my long brunette locks (which I have continually resisted the urge to cut for the last two years), I noticed a strange foreign glint, as if someone were perhaps creating a glare against my head by holding a small mirror against it. A closer look made me gasp, as I realized what I was looking at was a single white hair. A long, lonesome, hateful, horrifyingly misplaced white motherfucking hair that somehow must've jumped ship from some elderly bitch sitting next to me on the subway and landed on my head. Quite certainly by accident, of course.

I went to brush it away with my fingers but it would not budge. Because it was growing from my scalp.
It really and truly was.


Did I panic? Did I see this as a sign that my newly-35-year-old-ass is suddenly entering the age of Nice 'N' Easy?
No. I didn't panic.
But I did yank it out with a tweezers and take a pic for y'all.

Gross, right?

But I'm not upset. No sir, not me.

I didn't even get upset when, while getting her hair brushed out after her bath tonight, Lily stated frankly, "We have the same hair color, you and me, Mama. Except I don't have any white hairs because I'm not getting old".

Nope. Not upset. Not one bit.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to run to the Rite Aid. I have some hair dye to bye. Crap.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oh, fuck you universe. Seriously.

So, I have this theory. It's about god or fate or the spiritual world or whatever you want to call it (I'm still not sure. Let's just call it, for the sake of argument, the universe).

Mine's an amorphous theory, bending and twisting to fit whatever mood I happen to be in and/or how pissy I am at said universe at a given moment.

Mainly it goes like this:
The universe giveths whilst it also simultaneously takeths away.

So watch your ass. I'm just saying.

I feel that the universe has been playing a little game of peek-a-boo with me this week. Throwing chinese stars at my head which I must duck and dodge while concurrently throwing me metaphorical bones. Cool. Thanks, Universe. But suck it. Really.

Like, for example. Last night was the lottery drawing for Our World Neighborhood Charter School, the coveted elementary school of choice for choosy (ie educated) Astoria families.

PS 17, which happens to be across the street from us, is off the menu of possible kindergarten options for Lil, since it was somehow voted one of the top two most dangerous elementary schools in Queens last year (how this is possible, I do not know. To my knowledge there hasn't been anything even remotely crimey in my neighborhood in years, not even a Peeping Tom. And I don't count the guys who peep in my window. I know full well that they're there. I even bring them snacks and drinks to enhance their viewing pleasure).

So I went to Kara's house and the kids bathed and played and ran around in their PJs while we drank tequila and wiped our sweaty palms on her couch, waiting for the phone call from Heather, who, masochist that she is, went personally to sit at the drawing and wait to hear whose kids were chosen.

Not one of our kids got in.

We got the next best thing; Lily was placed #2 on the waiting list, which is almost as promising as landing one of the 70 spots, but fuck, what if she doesn't get in? I refuse to allow the thought to enter my head, but I fear I might have to next month.

It's all so bittersweet. Me and my mama pals have all been in this safe little bubble since our kids were babies and they all crawled around and got spongy asphalt indentations on their chubby knees at the playground together.
We came together initially because we were all bewildered stay-at-home mothers trying to kill the endless afternoon hours at the same park day after day. But we became friends because we truly connected and grew to love each other.
I just knew Kara and I would be friends when she started talking about her musician husband and dancing at Skidmore while idly stroking the technicolor tattoo stretching across her upper arm. Heather and I connected over a mutual dislike of fake-ass park moms and a love of cheap sweatshop-produced clothing stores on Steinway Street and Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee. Luckily, our kids all fell in love with each other too.

It makes me want to cry to think that we won't all be together next year.

This is the dilemma so many New York families face every year: we're not rich enough to send our kids to private school, yet we are wise enough to know that we are not going to dip our kids into the cesspool of New York's public school system.

Surely I do not know what the answer is.

So again, I turn my palms up to the sky in a pleading attempt to get the universe's fucking attention.

Yeah, Hi. It's me, Kristin. I know I've been bugging you lately a lot, asking for shit to go my way? But...well, can you please give me just a teensy push to end my week? Then I promise I'll get out of your hair. And I'll stop cursing at you. Out loud, anyway. Or until you fuck me over again.

Thanks a bunch!

Love, Kristin


Four and five-year-olds are obsessed with gentials: Their own, each other's, even the unmentionables of the family cat. I was talking with my mom pals at the playground about this yesterday. My friend Heather told us that she was in the tub with her baby daughter when her son Lucas (Lily's betrothed), came into the bathroom and wanted to hop in with them. Heather's husband told him to wait until the girls were done. Then when it was Lucas's turn to bathe, he climbed into the tub and said, "First the vaginas take a bath, now it's the penises turn!"

Lately my morning shower has gone from peaceful solitary ritual to the naked party starring Mom and Lil. I leave Lily with her smoothie and Elmo for a few minutes to calmly slip into the bathroom. I stand under the warm, soothing stream and drift into my own head, only to be knocked back to reality by the slamming of the toilet lid and the yanking back of the curtain as a skinny, ghost-white nudie pygmy of a girl climbs into the shower with me, pointing at my crotch and asking when I'm planning to shave. Sigh.

In other news, I've been having very bizarre dreams lately. Last night I got a great sleep for the first time in perhaps weeks. This enabled me to drift into deep REM and dream that I was a social activist trying to make a chain of sausage links that stretched around the whole globe. Kind of like a "Hands Across America" but with meat.

I guess I have sausage on the brain.

Hee Hee!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Are you my daddy?

How PSYCHED am I that you can now get this at the Rite Aid?!!!


No more embarrassing phone calls to the random guys you hooked up with 9 months ago, asking if they might wanna, you know, meet you down at your doctor's office to drop off a couple vials of blood...

It's just that simple. Thank you lord!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sister Kristin, oh the time has come...and you know that you're the only one...to say, OK

But, well, I'm motorin'.

This week has been going in fast-frickin-forward. Sometimes I notice the universe sending me subtle signs that I'm pushing myself too hard or that I'm too distracted, overscheduled, sleep-deprived. That I'm not spending enough time paying attention to Lily's needs and spending too much time doing stooopid selfish stuff like going to work and grocery shopping and cleaning and making videos of myself to post on my blog.

Sometimes these hints are barely noticeable... the scent of spring flowers in the air as I dash through Madison Square Park on my way to work, or the sight of a beautiful baby on the subway, cuddled in a pouch against her mom's chest and chewing on a finger while smiling at me. These little things remind me to slow it down and calm myself and try to enjoy what's around me, goddamn it.

Then there are these other times. I'll get a sign that's a little more obvious. More sledgehammer-to-the-skull kind of obvious. Like yesterday? I was watching Rachel Ray with Lily before her bedtime (a special Mom-Lil treat), and I was feeling really itchy and distracted. I got up and went to the kitchen to do some dishes and Lily obviously resented it. So she said,

"I'm gonna go to the bathroom, Mom."

And I felt proud and relieved; I was arm-deep in soap suds and dirty pots and pans. I thought: such a big girl. Going to the bathroom all by her ownself. Letting me get the goddamned dishes done.

She spent a long time in there though. So after I finished my task, I knocked on the door (she never closes it).

"Don't come in! I'm pooping!"

Now, this is so not Lil. She loves an audience when she's going to the bathroom.
So I gently pushed my way in. There was my naked daughter, wiping her butt, trying to block the toilet from my view. When I lifted the lid, I saw that in addition to a fuckton of fecal matter, there was also:
Two dominoes, a barbie boot, and a red crayon.

I looked at my daughter.

"Why did you do this?" I asked.

She shrugged. "I didn't want them anymore."

Yeah. There's that sledgehammer to the skull. I was suddenly brought back to the time when, at age 7 or so, my best friend and I took my sister's Shaun Cassidy doll and stripped him naked, drew all over him with brown magic marker, and plopped him into the toilet. Then we called her upstairs so that she could experience this "tragedy" first hand. I know I did this because at the time I was feeling really jealous of my sister. She was so cute and bubbly and always got so much attention. It was a dark, hateful thing to do. And I knew I'd get in trouble for it. I didn't care though. I just wanted my mom's attention.

So. I think I need to pay more attention to the signs.
Sigh. Being an adult sometimes really sucks some ass.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Smoke and mirrors

I'm sleepy. And when I'm sleepy, I'm cranky. And when I'm cranky, I can't sleep. Why, god? Why? Why do you fuck with me so?

I'm unfortunately at that point of the evening where if I'd listened to my poor little body and gone to bed two hours ago, I'd currently be drifting on a velvety pillow in the soft sea of warm sleep. But I didn't. I stayed up and did stooopid things on the internet (which shall remain nameless) and when I lay down to finally die a mini-death, I couldn't do it. I could not stop shifting my position and twisting my legs this way and that and flipping my pillow over and over and my eyes kept popping open. And also there were those drunk frat douches outside my window hocking lung boogers on the sidewalk in front of their Hummer. Godfuckingdamnit all to h-e-double hockey sticks.

So I decided to stop fighting it, and thought I'd blog instead. Of course.

Hi, Y'all!

A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless as well, but you know who the fuck you are) suggested to me today that I should write more heartfelt things on this blog. He even went so far as to say, "I'm tired of reading your bullshit".

Now, as luck would have it, I am fluent in the coarse dialect of his alien tongue and was able to decode his cave-drawing of a message to mean, "Kristin, I think that perhaps you're a little too glib and off-the-cuff on your blog than you are in real life, and I'd like to see more of that side of you on Fertile. Why don't you do that?"

Because Duh.

Why oh why in the name of all that is holy would I ever want to do that?

Time for bed, Y'all. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.


Monday, April 7, 2008

From my cold, dead hands (no, really this time)

Well, the NRA has suffered a great loss. Charlton Heston, their most incomprehensible spokesperson, died on Saturday at the senile old age of 84. I bet his last words were,

Soylent Green is People!!!! IT'S PEOPLE!!!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Vanity. Insanity? Oh, what a calamity.

I've been thinking a lot this week about vanity license plates. And why on earth anyone would get one. Maybe if I drove a car that wasn't a kicked-in Hyundai that smells like ass and old Starbucks, I might feel more inclined to draw people's attention to my vehicle. But I really don't think so.

Generally, my opinion on vanity plates up to this point has been that they are only for men with small penises.

But, my theory on that has been challenged as of late.

Anyway, I digress. If I were to get a vanity plate, what would it say? Maybe "Kicknass" or "krisyfce". I'm not sure.

Here are some good options I found:

The "just introducin' myself" plate:

Plates that define one's various tastes and preferences:

Environmentally conscious (?) plate:

This one though is a personal fave.

So tell me, y'all, what would your vanity plate say?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Welcome to New York. I certainly hope you brought your closed-toed shoes

An Open Letter to the Homeless Person Who Peed on The Subway Platform at 34th Street in the Middle of Rush Hour Tonight:


My name is Kristin, and I just had to drop you a line. I hope you don't mind me addressing you as just 'homeless person', instead of 'homeless man/woman', because the truth is, I'm still not so sure what the heck your sex was!! And usually I am pretty good with that stuff!!!

Wow, might I just say, what a stealthy motherfucker you are!! I mean, BOY. My brain is still kind of burning from the eye-raping image of you stripping off your many layers of clothing (I mean, what's up with that? It's not that cold) and dropping trou (well, sort of) in the middle of the subway platform and just letting go of your obviously very pressing need to urinate! What I found so amazing was that you looked so much like a woman, yet you didn't squat to pee, you just unzipped your zipper and the urine stream just sort of poured forth. How the heck do you do that? Unless you were actually a guy (and in which case, you have a very small penis, I'm afraid. I'm sure you're really embarrassed about it, so I won't harp on it).

I was especially impressed with your total lack of self-consciousness with regard to the hundreds of New Yorkers scurrying home all around you. I mean, this is coming from a woman who still has to run the water when she pees in a public toilet, so alls I can say is, WOW! How do you manage it? Perhaps we can discuss. I really hope so.

Well, anyways, I'd better go. Hopefully we can talk more tomorrow. Same time, about 6:15, 34th Street Herald Square Station, W train, right? Cool. I'll make sure I have my closed-toed hooker boots on again. You know, just to be safe!!!



Wednesday, April 2, 2008

She ain't nothin but a dirty dirty stealer

OK, I copped this MEME off Catscratch Diva's blog. If you haven't visited her, I'd wholeheartedly recommend stopping by and taking a read. She's frickin hilar.

Not that I'm feeling uninspired today or anything (quite the opposite), I'm just really busy trying to clean my atrociously filthy apartment, suck roach carcasses into the Dirt Devil (score one for mama! Suck that, you brown-armored bitches!), and running errands on my one weekday off. I have to make veggie chili for dinner guests and it takes a lot of effort to open the cans of beans and tomatoes, throw the contents into the crock pot, then walk away for six hours. Really, my work is just never, ever done.

So. Here. Feel free to steal off me if you like. I'll letcha.

To always be surrounded by friends and family who love and support me.

to laugh a lot every day. Or it isn't worth it to get out of bed.

I could stop being so impatient and stop to smell the roses more.

Clowns. Not really. I'm not afraid of that many things. I think I'm afraid of losing the people I love. Watching them suffer.

For beauty in every day life. Corny but true.

When I will die. Or if I ever will. Sometimes I think maybe I'm invincible. But then I get my period and remember that isn't true.
Goddamned cramps.

Not a goddamned thing.

Kissing. Laughing. Good music. Mom and Lil time. Reading good books. Sushi.

take a shower every day. Well, most days.

Everywhere, especially the kitchen

All the time. On napkins, on scraps of paper, on this friggin blog. If I don't write, I feel emotionally constipated. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

A retirement fund. And a good pair of work shoes that don't pinch my fucking toes.

Do more yoga. Call my mom more.

Kick ass.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Got A Strange Magic

Hey! I just found out this fun fact:
The hippopotamus kills more people in Africa than any other animal! More than the cheetah, elephant or lion. Imagine!

Now, it's important to remember that this blessed and magical creature is by nature vegetarian(ie smart), but when threatened, Mr. Hippo can open his mouth wide enough to fit a four-foot child.
So, no letting little Johnnie get too close to the "yawning" hippo at the zoo! (They don't yawn, by the way. I know on that segment on Sesame Street, "Everybody Sleeps", it looks like the hippo is lazily prepping for a peaceful nap. But really he is feeling threatened by the schmuck camera man trying to film him and he's opening his mouth to expose his razor-sharp tusks. He is saying, I can and will bite holes in you. Get out of my grill, motherfucker.)

According to this study by Duke University, here are the top two ways people get killed by hippos:

1) Boating accidents - A hippo can fall asleep while resting underwater. In the same way we roll over while we are asleep, a hippo will lift it's nose above the water about every five minutes without even waking up. People in canoes passing by a sleeping hippo may never know a sleeping hippo is in the river until they whack it with a paddle. (Waking a sleeping hippo by whacking it with a paddle is never a good idea.) (note: Ha ha ha!!!)

2) Encounters at night - The only time hippos move far from the water is at night when they go to feed. People in Africa don't have many of their roads lit up by street lights. Often, people don't realize they are about to cross paths with a feeding hippo until it's too late. Hippos may charge if they are startled by a person passing in the dark. (Startling a hippo in the dark is also never a good idea.) (note: neither is startling the homeless guy on Lexington Avenue standing next to the dumpster with only one eye and the Night of the Living Dead gash across his forehead. Leave him be. Trust me on this.)

Happy Tuesday.

Love, Kristin