Monday, February 27, 2006

I think the Japanese figure skater's song would be elevator music.

I was just reading Feral's summation of the Olympics (let's hear it for drunken blogging), and Doc Mama made an excellent suggestion for a quickie post. So I'm stealing it. If you won a gold medal and could select your own anthem what would yours be?
Right now I'm thinking Baby Got Back. Although, can you imagine making a dome full of people sit through a Grateful Dead Space Set? Oh wait, the Dead already did that. Okay so anyway, would you want to mess with people or what?

We're all atwitter up in here. Or maybe it's just me.

Today after school Madeleine's best friend, Will, is coming over to play. Will professed his undying love for Madeleine a couple months ago, and since the she's dropped her friend Claire like a hot tater and now it's all Will, all the time (Claire didn't seem to mind, thank god). To be sure, he is a little cutie and his mom's an obgyn and his dad's an anesthesiologist (score!). He also has two older sisters, which means he's down with the pretending to be ponies or playing house. And thus far we've completely avoided EVER using the word 'boyfriend.' Even though Will tells me every time I drop Madeleine off at preschool that he's going to marry her we have made sure she knows there's nothing giggly-snicker-snicker strange about her best friend being a boy. I had several friends that were boys when I was really young, and I don't remember being made to feel embarrassed or being teased about it by my family (wait - that can't be right - I was teased about everything! hmm, maybe that teasing just got lost in the shuffle.) Madeleine has already drawn up a list of the 5 things they are going to do when Will gets here, including "plaing lagos, bilding forets, pretending Im u mom and Wills u dad, and plaing wooth woogrs [Quinn]."

So then why did I find myself madly cleaning house this morning in anticipation of Will's arrival? I'll have to ponder that more later. I need to go finish the souffle and fix my make-up.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

This post is about Tiny's stomach.

Can little kids get ulcers? Madeleine has been complaining of a stomach ache for almost a week now. Intermittently she eats, a couple nights ago she threw up, but the stomach ache has been persistent and alarming. Just now she and Jim left to go see Baloonga or Boondag. What the hell? The animated dog movie. Whatever. Anyway, she was whining and mean and throwing her little poncho at Quinn. And as much as I wanted to get pissed, I can't help thinking this stomach thing is making her a little whiny, needy, poncho-throwing monster. Does anyone know of a virus that acts like this? My first thought was rotavirus, which we are all too familiar with, but she hasn't had any diarrhea, and the stomach pain is definitely isolated to her stomach. Shit I hate this kind of thing! If she's got it tomorrow we're going to the doctor...

Look - she's even sad with pipe cleaner glasses...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Concoction

Jim and I got into an argument last night. Our arguments consist of one person getting angry, then the other person getting angry because the first person got angry, then several hours of monosyllabic conversations and no-eye-contact, and then finally we pretend it didn't happen and everything goes back to normal. Unless it's a big deal, arguments just come and go like bad gas. This one I'm not so sure about. Jim is really starting to resent and dislike my time spent with my web log (he initially told me it was the word 'blog' that put him off because it sounded so hokey and who could get serious about something that sounds like a cartoon monster), and I am frustrated with his lack of understanding. He just can't conceive that I've made friends through the internet and he likes to compare this to on-line dating, which, no matter how mainstream it becomes, will always be thought of as odd and geeky. So I guess he thinks I'm odd and geeky.

Last night when figure skating was on (Emily Hughes, to be exact - I don't like her for some reason) I hopped over here to buy that chimp t-shirt from my last post and suddenly he was giving me the silent treatment. Now I have to sneak around. I'm cheating on my husband for this. So today I've been feeling alternately guilty and happy. Just like a cheater. Am I a cheater? Or is he being unfair and close-minded? I can't decide, and it doesn't seem like discussing it with him will make it better. Now I'm wondering if it all comes from him not reading what I write. I just don't know.

So, now on with the Concoction

Links Section (I've been shopping a little...)

And now, in honor of my gorgeous, wonderful, sometimes-not-very-understanding husband...



Thursday, February 23, 2006

I do not recommend dying animals.

A couple years ago a bunch of us were sitting around a big corner booth in Denny's in Arlington, VA. It was the morning before my little brother's college graduation, not that it matters, but I'm just setting the scene. It was a beautiful sunny spring day and I was without my husband and daughter for the first time. I felt a little disconnected, not that it matters again, I just remembered that strange feeling... Anyway, we were trying to entertain my two little nephews by drawing on the paper placemats and my mom remembered a psychology game she learned probably from one of the gazillion self-help books she's always buried in (which is funny in and of itself because she's a very willful person and the idea of some pointed-headed psych expert changing her perception of herself is just plain silly). It goes like this: first write down your favorite color and four things you like about it, and second write down your favorite animal and four things you like about it. Then, well, keep reading...

Mine went like this:

Blue: many interesting shades, comforting, beautiful in nature, deep
Chimpanzee: intelligent, mischievous, strong, cute

I just asked Madeleine and this is what she told me:

Purple: "I like it when people give me purple things like lost lego memories" (?) and "I like the colors that make it"
Horse: fun to ride and soft

Now I want you to tell me yours, then later today I'll reveal the terribly complex psychological analysis of your selection and response. And dammit! If you know already don't tell because that's not fun. And also if you don't like to comment, this is your big chance, because no fair writing them down on your Starbucks napkin in private!

Update: Here's what Freud says...
- The color you choose and the adjectives you use to describe it represent how you see yourself.
- The animal you choose and the yadda yadda represent how others see you.
I was going to pick out the ones I liked the best from the comments but they're all funny and interesting. What do you think?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Back from Big Sky. In one large piece.

We got back today at 2:30. By the time we pulled in the driveway Quinn was alternately screeching, crying YaYa and wanging Madeleine's headphones against the side of his head while Madeleine was whining and imitating Quinn. Jim was fuming and threatening to twist ears while I was taking pictures of everyone in their various stages of complete meltdown. Okay, I'm not telling the story right. It was a very good trip, but that's not very interesting, is it? You can't open a post after a four-day absence with "I had a nice trip and boy am I tired but happy from my really nice vacation with my nice family."

Here are a couple things that weren't scheduled: it was 30 degrees below zero until noon on Thursday and Friday, why do hotels use those weird polyester blankets that are like fleeced styrofoam and not warm?, a random drunk guy was let into our room in the middle of the night by an obliging bell-hop, is it written somewhere that you can only use hot tubs if you're a swimsuit model because I didn't get that memo?, and why did that boardercross girl try to grab her board when she was 40 yards from a gold medal and then make up some story about trying to stabilize herself? Here's a short summary of all that went well: the snow was perfect, mountains were beautiful, kids were mostly good, the hot tub was hot and wet ("which is nice if you're with a lady, but it ain't no good in the jungle") and steamy enough to hide my pouchy mom butt. I'll put up some pictures tomorrow - I'm trying to limit my time now that Jim's home pacing around with a stopwatch behind me. Metaphorically, at least.

I missed all of you while we were gone. Thanks for the well-wishes... The winner of the funniest 10-year-old crush was teebs with Almanzo from Little House on the Prairie. Because I thought she meant Albert - the one with the fat lip. But on further inspection and googling, TB is in fact correct. Almanzo was a hottie.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Vacation? We'll see...

We're leaving tomorrow morning for a long weekend in Big Sky. It's a kind of work retreat for Jim, so a dubious vacation for me and two kids in a hotel room. And it's supposed to be 6 degrees. We'll see. I'm actually pretty optimistic, considering how bored I am in my own skin right now. Today I was so bored I actually looked forward to a visit to the vet for Ali's shots. Good times. I'll leave you with a couple thoughts and photos for the next 5 days...

  • I really like the grey-haired guy on American Idol. He's weirdly young and old-acting, but the fake Ray Charles schtick has totally won me over.
  • Jim told me today that he feels like I'm addicted to the computer. Well, yeah, and? No, but really, I am going to have to schedule my blogging time in a couple of blocks during the day, I think. I'll think about it over the weekend. He doesn't get the whole blog thing and thinks I'm just surfing the web. This is problematic.
  • The remnants of my cold include a braying, donkey cough and post-nasal drip (which I can't say without thinking post-natal drip). So between hee-haws, I'm snuffing and blowing and a-HEM-ing. Jim can't wait to spend 3 hours in the car with me! But I did make some nice mixes for the drive. Love me honey!
  • Quinn gave himself a red star for popping out his new tooth. Or else he was telling me to vacuum. Whatever.

  • Madeleine loves her new Chinese shift. She likes it best with her Easter twirly dress. Please don't laugh. This is very serious business.

Have a great weekend! Leave me something funny to come back to, in case my vacation turns on me. Umm.... I know! Tell me about someone you used to think was cool when you were 10, but now are just a tad wiser about (like Panch from CHiPs).

Clearing the Board

I keep lists of observations in my bag, on my desktop, in my nightstand and in my frontal lobe. The lists have become problematic in their length, so I need to clear the air a little. Imagine this post to be one of those new-fangled air fresheners that puff some smelly goodness in the air, thus eliminating the pet/cigar/weird cousin odors (the odors being my lists, of course):

  • Those commercials with the real people talking about some kind of investment company, in which the real people are generated into a kind of animated person are extremely unsettling. I turn them off, but I still can't get the cartoon-real person out of my head.
  • If you bring a cow bell or an air horn to a sporting event, I don't like you.
  • If you can whistle with your fingers in your mouth, I think you are SO cool! If I could do that, my fingers would be perpetually prune-y from all the finger-in-mouth whistling.
  • Lyle Lovett bothers me, and it bothers me that Lyle Lovett bothers me, because he's neat.
  • I always think dark chocolate is going to taste better than it does.
  • Apple is the best processed fruit flavoring. It's hard to fuck up apple flavor. Raspberry is second.
  • All guys that are spouses of famous female bloggers have square glasses.
  • Underwear should not come with tags. Hanes figured this out with t-shirts, why can't everyone else take note?
  • Ayn Rand's prose makes me feel like I'm being attacked by a thousand tiny angry men with spears.
  • You can have too many pictures in your house.
  • Sometimes classical music is as noisy as bad punk. And the stage whisper of NPR disc jockeys is one of the worst sounds on the radio. I prefer the Emergency Broadcast System test screech.
  • It's a nice surprise to see a good bumper sticker.
  • In a crowded room it makes me shiver a little when I think half the people probably voted for Bush.
  • It also makes me shiver to think a quarter of the women have probably been sexually assaulted.
  • Few things are as immediately gratifying as a straight shot of whipped cream, squirted directly into your mouth.

That's probably enough for now. I've at least cleared out the nightstand and the back of my checkbook.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Will this give me the kick in the ass I need?

I was just talking to my mom a couple nights ago (yay - I love it when I get calls from my mom! From New Zealand!) about my current stay-at-home-mom blues. She understands me well and recognized my need for a "mommy helper." Some kind babysitting soul that can come in once a week and give me a break. Yes, that is what I need right now.

So thinking about that, I got excited about being able to write again. I dug out all my old exercises and materials and found this piece below. We were asked to write a short story in which every sentence began with the next letter of the alphabet. I'm going to retype it here, hoping it will grease the gears a little. And from here on out, whenever I post something writerly feel free to critique, criticize, lambast, praise, send money, or what have you. I'm pretty thick skinned, and welcome whatever you have to say.
"Almost there," Josh said over his shoulder. Behind him I was breathing heavily.
"Can we stop for a second?" I asked.
"Don't think about it; just picture the powder at the top," he said, not looking back again.
Eventually we would be off this goddamn mountain, I told myself. For six months, since he hurt his knee wakeboarding, Josh had been talking about hiking Big Mountain before the lifts opened. Getting to the top would be the easy part, he would say.
"Have you ever boarded through a mine field," he asked me yesterday, looking out the front window at the fog surrounding the mountain. "It's like BOOM, gigantic rock, BAM, ice boulder, AAAA, crevasse - a fucking rush, dude."
Kayaking Flathead River during the spring runoff, windsurfing the 6-foot chop of the Columbia Gorge, wakeboarding with a 12-foot boom, snow camping in Jewel Basin, Josh did it all.
"Love isn't what it's about, baby," he said to me this morning in the car on our way up. "Marriage, kids, jobs, all for sellouts. No offense, Jane, but I'm all about living, you know, feeling life without having all that obligation shit."
Occasionally he was sweet and caring, like when he was laid up for a week in traction after is hang-gliding accident.
"Put yourself in my position, baby," he said when I asked him if he could change his Big Mountain trip to the following weekend so we could go to my parents' 40th reunion party.
Quitting was an option, I told myself as I continued picking up my heavy boots and putting them down again, trying to stay in Josh's tracks, but struggling to match his long strides. Recently I've wondered about thrill seekers, especially after spoon-feeding Josh for two weeks through his wired jaw. Something must be missing in their lives, like drug addicts trying to replace a lost father or gamblers looking for love in the form of money outside their empty marriages. The truth was, I realized as my snowboard rapped me on the back of the head step after step, I wasn't missing anything important enough to explain my addiction to Josh.
Using my board as a sled, I placed a foot on either side for steering and brakes and navigated the rocky ice terrain down the south face of Big Mountain.
"Very funny, Jane," he called after me when he heard my board grinding over the late fall snow crust. "What're you going to do, wait in the car?"
X-games can keep you, I thought. Yelling over my shoulder, "Find your own ride," I made my way down the treacherous face alone. Zigzagging slowly around the boulders, I imagined my parents in their nice clothes, enjoying the people they loved, and I saw myself toasting them with respect.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. Love the one you're with.

Monday, February 13, 2006

And now I am complete.

Madeleine just said, "Mommy, when I grow up I'm going to be in the Olympics."
My job here is done.

Come on baby, light a fire.

I was tagged by Melanhead for a Me!Me!, which I will go on record as saying right now, that if you tag me, I will do it. I consider it a challenge, or Call to Arms, or some other kind of noble pursuit. And also, I'm drunk. No, not really, but you know Jack Handy? One of his deep thoughts ends in, "and also, you're drunk," and that always pops to mind when I'm saying stupid stuff. So, here 'tis:

Eight Things About My Perfect Partner

  • Stronger than me. And I mean physically, because I have big muscles and I always feel slightly superior to skinny guys.
  • More generous than me. I always order the cheap or lowfat thing on the menu (I know - and I try to pass myself off as not that kind of girl, too!), and my Partner better share his meaty goodness. His dinner, I mean!!
  • Handy with a drill. If a man wears a toolbelt with authority, I am reduced to trembling and drooling.
  • Firestarter. I love camping and wilderness and sleeping bags, but I am forever cold while camping in the wilderness in sleeping bags. Fires are fun, but I'd rather set up the tent.
  • Must like movies. All movies. Jim once sat through Chuck and Buck with me, which makes Brokeback Mountain look like an episode of Bert and Ernie.
  • Smart. But in ways that I am not smart. Jim almost aced his GRE's to get into his biology PhD program. I am beyond proud.
  • Funny. This goes without saying, right? I don't associate with people that don't laugh at themselves (and at the expense of others, on occasion).
  • Enjoys women. This is a characteristic my mom and I started to notice about some men a while back. There's a certain type of guy that truly enjoys the company of women and can converse and laugh with us on a non-flirting level. These types of men are rare, and I have one.

And here's the weekend update: Quinn is still getting over his sickie. I now have the sickie. We went for a walk, went to a movie, ate often, went to another birthday party.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday Concoction

This Friday thing rocks. I'm not feeling quite as lazy, but it's nice having a template with which to fill in the requisite info. Like Madlibs. Remember Madlibs? I gave some to my 10-year-old nephew for Christmas and he did the "eh" and threw them in what was obviously the reject pile. So "eh" right back at you boy! Madlibs used to make me pee my pants, and that was before a couple bowling balls had stretched out my 'gina.

Here's the health report: Quinn has RSV and an ear infection. His phlegmy cough wakes him up every 15 minutes, and he has to be elevated to sleep at night. Lots of sweaty cuddling going on, and not the kind that makes the bed squeak. Remember my weird thing about not being able to burp? Well that, compounded with the fact that I black out when I'm nauseous has caused my new doctor to get all excited about the condition of my esophagus. I only went in to see if he could prescribe some anti-nausea stuff in order to prevent future blacking out, but damn him! He wants to actually figure out what's going on. What's with these responsible, conscientious members of the medical community?? Just give me my suppositories!

So back to the Friday Concoction...

Links and Other Useful Info

  • Body Movie - this thing should be gross, but mostly it's just cool
  • Have you heard about this giant jellyfish? I don't think Nemo's dad would've swam out of this one.
  • Good cheese needs to breathe and should be stored in paper or cloth instead of plastic.
  • John Sayles is my favorite director/producer of all time... looking for a good movie tonight. I love every single movie this man has ever made... Passion Fish (or was it Brother from Another Planet?) was the first I saw, and made me fall in love with David Straithairn, and the most recent was Silver City. Darryl Hannah makes a comeback and Kris Kristofferson makes me shiver.
  • Do you looooove Jon Stewart like I do? Yes? Then here... get your rocks off. ("How old are you?" "Thirty-five" "And you wear a bow tie.") Stewart makes Crossfire die a nice, old-fashioned, painful, public death.

And back by popular demand (at least popular with me and someone else that commented - who was that? Thanks by the way!)...

Then and Now Section

Then - Damon is Rockin the sweater vest. (click to enlarge, if you're trying to see my mom's underthings)


Thursday, February 09, 2006

My One Year Blog Anniversary

I have a sick baby and I had chest x-rays today (nothing serious, will report details later), and I just realized it's my One Year Blogging Anniversary. Here's my very first post...

Should the news always make us depressed?

An unofficial tally from today's rag: 34 dead people, 3 raped boys, House and Senate at state and federal level continue with partisan bickering, 1 dog killed by a trapper and 1 alien abduction. That was section A. Then my 3-yr-old asks me to read her the comics and they're not funny. Not to me or her, although she gives me an obligatory laugh at Mutts because "puppies are always funny, right?" Yeah, just not in the newspaper. I read once that Brooke Shields' favorite comic was Mutts (we all remember bizarre factoids about the richnfamous - why?), and I read it daily. So far, 3 years and not even a chuckle. Depressing thing #5 about the newspaper.

So I get my kicks on the editorials, which never fail to flummox, befuddle and amuse. Especially with respect to aforementioned alien abduction and Pat Robertson-wannabe zombies spouting scripture as "reason". I like Geese Aplenty's vision of "who's right" in the religion debate (from 1/27). Today I'm going with Buddhists, in honor of the Chinese New Year. Yeah!! The year of the cock!

So would you have kept reading back then?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Endorsement

I have several magazine subscriptions and because life doesn't allow me to sit and read for two straight hours, which is my usual m.o., magazines are the perfect medium for my life. And as such, I typically read them cover to cover over the span of a month. My old fave was Jane, but I finally gave up on their fashion and beauty train-wreck sections because they're not of this world, in a stand on the street corner and yell about Jesus, kind of way. Or heinous. Or just im-fucking-possible. Note:

This is ugly right? Or is there something wrong with me? I've come to terms with the fact that knowing what the back-pocket stitching should look like on a pair of Silver jeans does not make me a complete person. And, Jane staffers? Inside jokes are annoying and off-putting.

So obviously that was not the Endorsement part of this post... But this is:

I love Esquire. Okay, it panders to my liberal, sharply-dressed man loving side, but I'm willing to acknowledge that and move on. These are the reasons I read this magazine every time I poop:

1) Esquire typically has at least one very well known and respected writer in each issue: Chuck Pahlinchulinichuk (whatever - you know, the Fight Club guy), David Sedaris, Saul Bellow, the guy who wrote Adaptation, etc.

2) Men's fashion is so much easier, cleaner, and less complicated than women's fashion. I understand why a three-button suit is exactly right. It makes sense that you don't wear brown shoes with a grey suit (have you ever seen decomposing dog poop?). And ties! So cute! This is what I'm talkin about...

3) Viggo Mortensen is on the cover. Viggo traveled 1500 miles to Crawford, Texas one morning to tell Cindy Sheehan that he admired what she doing. He chatted for 30 minutes, then flew home the same day so he could pick up his son from school.

4) It's snobby, but in an old-money way. You just don't get good, old-money snobbery on the west coast. And clever and guy-snarky (Take note: that is the first and last time I will ever use that word.)

5) It's not afraid to advertisers that do this, whatever it means:

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My Feminist Confession

Yesterday afternoon I learned Betty Friedan died on Saturday. I learned many news items on from the newspaper and internet mainstream media Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning, but only when I read an alternative on-line news source did I hear about Ms. Friedan. Hell, Yahoo! even saw fit to announce the death of Grampa Munster ahead of one of the most influential people of the 20th century. That's just wrong.

You know what else is wrong? I've never read Feminine Mystique. When Ms. Friedan came to speak at my college, I couldn't be bothered (twice). In the past I've also been dismissive of feminists. I've taken my successes in life for granted, without so much as a nod to the women that came before me, blazing trails and changing perceptions. Now, with a daughter facing the same injustices that I ignored or accepted, I would like to right all the wrongs. I read Bitch PhD regularly and I am learning there is so much more to being a feminist than joining NOW and making everyone call me Ms. So much more.

As long as I'm making this a confessional, I have to admit I'm a little afraid of feminist literature. I'm afraid that I'll become dissatisfied with the status quo. I fear that if I read and learn too much I won't be compatible with the life I've made for myself. That's wimpy, right? I could make so many analogies to the way people thought prior to scientific discoveries we now consider common sense. The world is flat, gravity doesn't exist, the universe revolves around us... this is me with respect to feminism.

Some day I will read Feminine Mystique. It won't be today or this week. Maybe not even this year (I don't even finish the comics on a good day). But I will read this book, if only for the sake of my daughter and what she needs to know as a woman. I feel this is my duty as a mother to a daughter. My mom taught me by example, and I am grateful for that. If she had not left her unhealthy marriage, raised us in a free-thinking, liberal environment and encouraged our every pursuit I would not be the person I am today. I am (fortunately) not forced to take the drastic steps to achieve independence that she was, so it is even more important for me to stay vigilant with my thoughts and words for my daughter. I believe Betty Friedan's book will help me do that. I hope it will.

Do you consider yourself a feminist? Have you read Betty Friedan's books? Did your mom instill in you a feminist mind? Tell me - I'd like to know.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Good Morning

Excuse me while I muddle through my Super Bowl hangover this morning. I had two Moose Drools, lots of handfuls of fake cheese crunchy things, one pork rib, some shrimp and a double extra helping of testosterone over the course of 4 hours. I think it's the residual testosterone that's kicking my ass this morning. (And Baby Quinn was snotty and hot and clingy all night. That's not restful.)

Here's a weekend wrap-up:

Saturday was a combination of trips to Target, Krispy Kreme, ice skating, and a birthday party. Yes, Madeleine is going the wrong way.

Sunday's chronology:
2:30 am to 3:30 am - fend of baby's advances (seriously, is this how grown men learn their moves?... what's with the pawing of the boobs and the slobber in the middle of the night)
5:30 am to 6:30 am - entertain baby by letting him slobber on the alarm clock and play with the clickie while I cover my head and try to get back into that dream with Burt Reynolds (who is surprisingly handsome and not at all creepy in real-dream-life)
6:45 am to 8:15 am - sleep, uninterrupted while Jim feeds the baby an entire box of saltines

8:15 am to 11:30 am - family stuff... boring part... have no idea what happened during this time

11:30 am to 1:00 - go for winter-y walk down by the creek, up the hill, back down the hill by a dead fox (30 minutes used up here while Jim and Madeleine examine the chewed up corpse. The dog stood 20 feet away barking maniacally.) Madeleine and her fake binoculars and harmonica and I played detectives on the Case of the Missing Dog Poopoo and the Case of the Missing Creek. Both cases were solved by stepping into said missing item.

1:00 to 3:00 - again, I have no idea what happened during this time - Jim had taken Madeleine up to his brother's place for some pre-Super Bowl shenanigans and apparently Quinn and I fell off of the face of the earth

3:00 to 4:00 - went to Ross and TJ Maxx. I love these places in a way that shouldn't be legal. If I were Jerry Lee Lewis, they would be my 15-year-old cousin. I bought Jim an ugly tie and two dress shirts (Perry Ellis plus Calvin Klein equals 8 dollars!), a workout video, some hoop earrings that are way too big for my tiny head and a grungy t-shirt that I'm wearing right now. I think it's cutting off the circulation in my arms.

4:00 until now - Super Bowl hysteria, feeding frenzy, and somehow a pack of assholes broke into our house, soiled all our dishes and clothes and peed in both toilets without flushing.

How was your weekend? Highlites?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Friday Concoction

I think this is going to be my lazy-ass Friday thing from now on. I'll say something half-funny (or maybe just mildly amusing to me and me only), list a couple interesting links, then sign off for the weekend. And then spend the rest of Quinn's nap time trying to catch up on what everyone else has to say. There are a lot of theme days out there: days to get naked, days to reveal a secret, days to post pictures of yourself (remember the key word of today is Lazy, hence none of the aforementioned theme days are linked to their originator). I like this idea, but typically those days are mid-week, when I'm not feeling quite as Lazy as I do on Fridays. There must be a theme day for Fridays somewhere that embraces my inner sloth. Tell me, if you know.

So, here are the links (I posted a couple in Arabella's comments already, if you're keeping track) (and look! not too Lazy to link to Arabella, because I like her a lot, and that would be rude instead of Lazy):

And here's the Then and Now section.
Then (my mom made us wear these until we were teenagers):

Now (picture taken by Madeleine, the 4-year-old Annie Liebovitz)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

This from a man who never changes his clothes and plays with elves.

As you may have gathered by now, I'm not a particularly PC person (commence eye rolling and snorting and so on), and as such, old children's' books and tv specials don't offend me. They probably should, right? With all those messed up gender, racial and socio-economic stereotypes. But my thought has always been, I grew up surrounded by all that nonsense, and I turned out okay, right? Okay, already! Enough of the eye-rolling and tsk-tsking...

Now here's my dilemma. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is so horrifically prejudiced I can't watch it without crying out in indignation. Here's a sample:

  • When Rudolph is born, his dad Donner's eyes go all stop-animation googly and he freaks out at the sight of his red nose. Santa comes in, sees the nose and freaks out as well. Donner says, "I'm sure it'll stop as soon as he grows up." Santa says, "Well, let's hope so if he wants to make the sleigh team someday."
  • After Santa sings his song, he leaves and Donner gets angry/sad at the state of Rudolph's nose. He scrapes up some dirt and smears it on Rudolph's nose and says, "Here - you'll be a normal little buck just like everyone else!" Rudolph balks at having dirt smeared on his face and his dad scowls and says, "Now now, you'll get used to it."
  • Later, when Rudolph is trying out for the sleigh team his nose disguise falls off, and the other reindeer cower in fright (again with the stop-animation googly eyes). They taunt and yell derogatory names at him. Rudolph, shaken, yells "Stop calling me names!!" but can barely be heard above the crowd.
  • Then Cupid, the coach sees Rudolph's nose and says, "From now on Rudolph can not join in any reindeer games."

Well, you know the rest. Rudolph saves the (foggy) day and then he's accepted and becomes an icon of Christmas. BUT, What The Fuck?? The whole premise is that it's okay to treat someone with a physical difference like ass, UNLESS that difference is useful and validated by some patriarchal figure. It really pisses me off, and when I pointed out to Madeleine how shitty everyone is to Rudolph before they saw that his shiny noise could do something for them, she caught on immediately. In fact, she helped me make a list of Mean Things That Happen to Rudolph before I wrote this. Now when she watches it, she calls out to me when it's time to be angry, like some kind of kiddie drinking game.

It's sad that this is what it takes to make someone like me realize what the fuss is about when it comes to PC-ness, and I still think a lot of it is over-the-top, but Madeleine and I are going to read and watch stuff differently now. In fact, I'm bristling at the thought of old Richard Scary word books in which all of the "hard-working" jobs are taken by men. Sheesh! Okay, now you can eye-roll and snort again.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More Madeleine Because You Asked...

I'm watching a friend's little 'un today, so here's all I've got...

Madeleine wrote me this note last night and delivered it wrapped in her soccer-ball sleeping bag:

MAC MY POOT MY JAMYZ ON TUMORO AD NOT NAW, or for everyone else, Make me put my jammies on tomorrow and not now.

Hence, she wore jeans and a t-shirt to bed. The other photo is her trying to get Ali to hold still so she can put a bug on his back for a ride. The ant was eventually lost in the slobber and could not be saved. Tears ensued.