To Quote Elmo, “I’ll be back.”

(Chatter letter from the editor, August 2010)

Today we began reading our two-year-old potty-training propaganda. This mostly involved shameless plugs from the likes of Elmo about how “Elmo can use the potty!” and how you can do it too and might even get to FLUSH all by yourself and pick out your own big boy underwear should you be successful!


It’s not that we’ve started training him in earnest. Yet. After all, he is still recovering from a major move and from being evicted from his crib into a bed the size of Texas, where getting into it — and remaining inside — has become a spectacle of toddler Olympics. Not to mention the impending birth of his sister, which will hopefully be mere days away when this publication goes to print. All very traumatizing to a person who has only recently been referring to himself in the first person.

No, we have not yet morphed into drill sergeants about going sans diaper, but we have been diligently weakening Drew’s defenses against the idea should he prove hesitant, or, more likely, downright militant (in the good Irish-Lebanese tradition from which he is descended). We’re wearing him down like a city under siege, and then we will attack.

But not until November.

All this looming on the horizon reminds me that much looms on our collective horizon as August arrives: school starting, fall descending soon (in theory if not in Fahrenheit), the holidays making cameo appearances in our conversations, the dream of not mowing our lawns materializing — a small speck in the distance, but growing larger — and of course, the sweet end of swimsuit season and blessed advent of fall fashion. Fashion that will not be wearable in this heat until Christmas. But still.

And it’s at this terrifying-yet-exciting moment of anticipation and angst that I leave you, fair reader, at least temporarily. See, I’m having a baby. Like, soon. Like, tomorrow. And try as I might, there is no really effective way to edit Chatter from the confines of Harris Methodist; much less from the hormonal fog that envelopes your head and plugs your nostrils and ear canals for the first weeks and months of newborndom. I might very likely spontaneously combust, go crazy and join the circus (because who knows but that the shift will create a new Bearded Lady), or more likely, sit around and cry for six weeks until she finally sleeps for five hours straight. And then Day Two of second time parenthood will have begun.

(Trust me, you don’t want me around.)

But never fear, for I leave you with the skilled red pen of Kristy Alpert, our new interim editor. Kristy is a former IBCer, former D Magazine editor, and all-round Chatter fan and cool gal. (I hear she even has a HOLSTER for her red pen, which is pretty fancy and hi-falutin’ if you ask me.) She and her hubby are living in Portland, OR right now where she freelances writing and editing. Lucky for us, Chatter knows no geographical bounds and will be in the best of hands until my return. So send Kristy a fruit basket or something as a welcome — after you send me a bottle of progesterone to dull the crazy, of course.

And if you want to keep up with me in the meantime, check out my blog every Thursday at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Click on “Wet Behind the Ears” or the picture of the goofy-looking brunette. (Thus ends my shameless plug and I won’t ever say another word about it…until my next maternity leave.)


Next time we meet, a lot will have changed. That’s true every month Chatter prints, of course, but this time — oh my! And really, I’ll miss you. I’ll miss Chatter. Producing Chatter is not unlike giving birth every month — with less blood-loss — but it’s especially fun because this “child” is born with a sense of humor, a sort-of sturdy spine, and most importantly, something to say. I also want to thank the designers who make Chatter so great every month and who will be towing a lot of slack while I’m gone: Dennis Cheatham, designer extraordinaire; and especially Josh Wiese, who is largely responsible for Chatter’s attractiveness, readability and flavor month in and month out. You make me look good, but you could make a monkey semi-attractive, unless that monkey was me dressed up like a monkey. Anyway. Thanks for everything.

And hey, it’s not like you are getting rid of me forever, as much as that idea may tempt and delight. In the immortal words of Elmo, “I’ll be back.”

Wait…Ah, forget it. I’m on vacation.

Peace until next time,


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