Monday, December 28, 2009

Latest disgusting trend:

French manicures on toes. It's just dumb, and here's why. A French manicure on hands is where the nail is painted some neutral beige or pink color and then the overhang, the long part of the nail that isn't attached to the finger and is normally a lighter shade because of it, is painted white. It's a lovely type of manicure to have, designed to look natural but enhanced. But on toes it's stupid because the white stripe is, by necessity, down where the nail is still attached to the toe. So at absolute best, it seems designed to look as though you've shoved something under your toenails to pry them up and away from the toes, and at worst it looks like you just have long nasty toenails that need to be trimmed. And I think some women are actually growing their toenails out for this look. And let me tell you, talons are not attractive. Not unless you have the gift of flight and a need for ocean fish.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I'm pregnant, again. I'm due on Tommy's second birthday. This will be another long, hot, summer.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A sad realization

Why are some Republicans/social conservatives so selfish? And why do they deny it when you call them on it? They say "I don't think it's the government's job to take care of me" when they mean "I don't think the government should be able to help people." They say "I don't think there are really that many uninsured people" when they mean "My friends and family have insurance which is all I care about." "I don't think global warming is caused by people" means "I don't want to change anything I do so I'm going to deflect responsibility." "Gay marriage violates religious freedom" means "I don't want things I don't do to be considered as valid as things that I do do."

I used to believe that most people hadn't had the opportunity to see things from another viewpoint, that healthy debate could help bring people together. But I don't anymore. Some people wouldn't care if everyone but them were dying in the streets, as long as they were left alone and unaffected. It's Dickensian and it ruins just a little bit of my faith in the human race. But hey, at least it's not socialist.

One week and counting

Hanukkah is on the eleventh this year and while I'm not Jewish, I can't wait! Every year I make delicious yummy latkes on the first day of Hanukkah and I am in such a mood for them that it's driving me nuts. I have all the ingredients, but they're not the simplest thing to do so I don't think I'll be making them early. Plus, it's probably not a good idea to cook with hot oil when there's no one here to watch Tommy while I do it. It's just . . . the thought of yummy crispy potatoey oniony latkes with warm melty sour cream on them, it drives me crazy. I fear nothing will taste good today with this craving in my mind. But, for anyone who may want to know what I'm talking about, here is my latke recipe. Enjoy!

2 lg. baking potatoes or 4 med. potatoes, peeled
1/2 sm. onion
2 eggs
2 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Vegetable oil

Grate potatoes into large bowl. Grate onion into bowl. Drain off excess potato liquid. Beat in eggs, then stir in flour, salt and pepper. Heat about 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet. Drop potato mixture by tablespoonfuls into hot oil. Brown just until edges are crisp. Turn and brown other side. Serve hot. Latkes are traditionally served with sour cream or applesauce. Makes about 4 servings.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Best Article Ever

From Dan Savage. In part:

When someone tells me that gay and lesbians are going to hell I concede the point—any attempt to argue with someone about their religious beliefs will be interpreted as an attack—and move on to the obvious followup question: Anybody else going to hell? Any other groups of people? Or is just us? How about the Jews? Are the Jews going to hell? Non-Catholics? Christian Scientists? Are Mormons going to hell? Seventh Day Adventists? How about the Scientologists? Atheists, obviously, but what about agnostics? Wiccans? Buddhists? Muslims? Zoroastrians?

It's the quickest way to make religious conservatives and their heavens and their hells look ridiculous. Because they don't just believe "sinners" are going to hell. They don't just believe that gays and lesbians and adulterers and murderers and other people who have committed discrete sinful acts—they don't believe in gay people, only the sin of gay sex—are going to hell. They also believe that other large groups of people—groups that number in the hundreds of millions—are going to hell too. Here's the dirty little secret that spoils the modern ecumenical anti-gay hate fest: Most "people of faith" believe that people of other faiths—Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, the wrong kinds of Christianity—are going to hell. Evangelicals think Catholics are going to hell, Catholics think everybody who isn't Catholic is going to hell, all conservative Christians think the Jews are going to hell, and on and on.

And yet you don't see conservative Christians out there attacking the civil rights of all the other people they believe are going to hell. They may proselytize, sure, they may try to save the souls lost to the Whore of Babylon (that would be the Catholic Church, according to traditional Lutherans), but they don't attempt to persecute the Jews (anymore), the atheists (anymore), the other-kinds-of-Christians (anymore), the yoga instructors (really). Conservative Christians like the mayor of Vallejo and the cardinal are capable of sharing this world with sinners and apostates and infidels who enjoy full civil equality—atheists can marry! you can't fire someone just for being Jewish! yoga is totally legal in all 50 states!—content in the knowledge that God will punish the sinners and apostates and infidels after death. So, hey, no need to punish them here on earth! Because eternal torment is punishment enough, right? At least conservative Christians regard eternal torment as punishment enough where, say, the Jews and atheists and yoga instructors are concerned—at least they do now—and so they refrain from tormenting or attempting to disenfranchise Jews and atheists and yoga instructors here on earth.

All gay people want is the same deal the Jews and the atheists and the yoga instructors have got: full legal and civil equality, all the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens, equal protections under the law while we're all here on earth together.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

just to get it off my chest

  • Laptop, not labtop
  • Dilated, not dialated
  • regardless, not irregardless
  • couldn't care less, not could care less. Unless you actually care, in which case I suppose it would be possible for you to care less than you do.
  • clitter-us, not clit-TORE-us
  • corroded, not creoded.
  • lose as in lost, loose as in not tight
  • they're/their/there figure them out
  • than denotes relation (more this than that), then denotes time (do this, then that). Don't say "I wish I had more then I do," unless you mean that when you wish for more, you then have it.
  • there is no A in tomorrow
  • 'deaf' means unable to hear. 'death' means unable to hear for a whole other reason.
  • The new terrorist prison in Illinois is in Thomson, not Thompson. I don't know why it bugs me, but it's important to the Thomson population that you not butcher their name. And on the same note......
  • The city is Joe-lee-ette, not Jolly-ette.
  • TMI, but I have a cervix, not a cervex. Unimportant, I know, but it's up there with....
  • It's nuclear, not nucular
  • They're fringe benefits, not French benefits
  • it's definitely (as in finite), not definately.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Today was/is Black Friday and this year, for the first time, Ryan was outside of a store in the cold waiting for the doors to be unlocked. We went to Lowe's for a purchase that can't yet be revealed, but she stormed the doors with the rest of the mob and got not only the high ticket item she had her eye on but also a gift for her brother and one for her dad as well. And tomorrow, we're decorating for Christmas.

I love Christmas. The tree, the tinsel, the lights and bells. I love Christmas cartoons and songs and tacky reindeer sweaters. I love all the winter holidays. Hanukkah cookies in blue tins, hot latkes with cold sour cream, Adam Sandler telling people to drink their "gin and tonica". All of it. What I don't like, and what really wrecks the holiday spirit for me, are the people who get militant and bitchy about it.

I hate when people get mad at the term "Happy Holidays" because somehow not excluding everythign but Christmas is detrimental to Christmas. I hate gas station signs declaring that "Jesus is the reason for the season!" (Actually, scholars pretty much agree that Jesus was born in the spring and that the celebration was only moved to winter to make it easier for Romans to convert to Christianity without giving up their winter holidays. So, technically, Saturn [god, not planet] is the reason for the season. But I digress.) It bothers me when people get so superior about their religion that they declare it the only valid reason for celebration. Nativities on courthouse lawns followed by outrage at the thought of a menorah sharing the spotlight. Parents upset because the school performance included Frosty The Snowman and not Silent Night. Christmas is no longer just a vicarious birthday celebration. It is now more representative of what Jesus preached than of the man himself. It's about peace on Earth, generosity of spirit (and yes, of gifts too), and time spent with family, about forgiveness and togetherness. And maybe, just a little, about the look on an eleven year old's face when the guy in the Lowes vast opens the doors ten minutes early.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I used to watch Jon & Kate + Eight, and I liked it. I liked seeing how she managed to get housework done, and cook for a family of ten, and somehow manage to get all the kids dressed and fed breakfast before noon. Sure she got help from a team of volunteers, but I still got organizational tips and stuff. It was a neat little show, like Little People, Big World, which I also enjoy.

Now, I didn't really like how Kate talked to Jon, like he was one of the kids rather than an equal. But he said on many different occasions that it didn't bother him so I figured that was just how they were. I've learned in my life that I don't have to like other peoples' relationships, and that me not liking it doesn't often matter much. My friend's boyfriend does things I wouldn't put up with but hey, my husband does things that bug my friend, and it's all fine.

Then the show got sort of gimmicky. It went from "a day in the life of this family" to "let's put the kids in fake situations and watch them react". In other words, it went being from a weekly documentary to being more of a staged reality show. I wanted to see Kate make treats for a birthday party, not watch the guys from American Chopper come by to play with the kids. I'm not going to get housekeeping tips from watching the family hang out in a rented beach house. I lost interest in the show. But then . . .

Gosselin Mania 2009!!! Jon's a douche! Kate's actually the nice one! He's boffing the nanny, the reporter, and Kate's surgeon's creepily young daughter! Kate's on The View taking the high road. Jon emptied the bank account, but claims it's all his money. A judge declares Jon to be a giant ass and demands he return the money. Jon announces that he's now a Korean Jew. Public opinion shifts from "Jon deserves to be treated better than she treats him" to "WTF did she ever see in him anyway?!"

I don't actually watch the show anyway, which is fine since Jon got kicked off and then stopped production (Korean-Jewish hissy fit), but I do love the articles. I know, it's so trashy. But it's like watching a train wreck, if the train wore sparkly Ed Hardy shirts and constantly tried to defend new crashes to the press. But my absolute favorite thing about online Gosselin news articles is the comments section, because invariably there are about 50 comments like this:


For one thing, if you're commenting on the tabloid articles, by definition you aren't boycotting them. Also, judging by the number of comments, some people do care about these people and that is why they report on it. But perhaps most strikingly, if you know what Kate's brother and sister in law said then you have been following this whole train wreck and, far from being above it all and better than the rest of us, you are one of us. You are exactly the same as every mouth breathing housecoat clad Kate wannabe with her own spiky reverse mullet haircut, as well as those of us who read it all just to laugh at Jon's idiocy. You aren't trendy or edgy or superior. You follow the stories, you know how Hailey Glassman is, you know who Michael Lohan is.

You're one of us. Accept it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mythbusters, for men

  1. Going to the zoo while menstruating will not cause apes and monkeys to attempt to escape and gang rape us. If they were that sensitive to the cycles of other species, they'd go batshit every time any other animal in the zoo came into heat. And speaking of heat, it's pheromones released during that time that drive the males of certain species wild. Male dogs don't swarm the yard because Fifi smells like blood, but because Fifi smells like the doggie version of Axe body spray, for at least a couple weeks after bleeding stops.
  2. We can swim in the ocean with a tampon without attracting sharks. See, menstruation isn't actually blood, and there isn't really a lot of it; it just looks like it. It's actually (prepare yourself here) liquefied uterine tissue, and only a few ounces a month. The uterus grows a think inner layer every month which then melts/disintegrates and then just sort of leaks out slowly. It's gross, but it's not blood. I suppose if a woman were wearing a full maxi pad and were dropped into an existing circle of hungry sharks, she might attract more attention than usual, but a few drops of vaguely blood-colored tissue isn't likely to bring sharks from miles around right up to the beach. They'll stay out where they are and keep eating sea lions.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Growing old gracefully

When I was little, I always knew that someday I'd be old. I'd have gray hair and wrinkles, and I'd probably drive an old boat of a car, like my grandmother did. I think most little girls know this. When do they stop knowing it?

Botox, hair dye, cosmetic surgery, wrinkly cream, eye serum, light reflecting crease plumping make up. They even sell little pieces of tape you're supposed to use to give yourself a face lift by taping your eyebrows to your hairline. And it's all because people don't want to look 40 when they're 40.

We all know that half the time, the Hollywood stars who try to fight the clock don't look younger, they just look really surprised, or like The Joker, or just freaky. And that really sucks, because actresses are supposed to be able to play real people, and real people don't look like Delta Burke does now. Who is going to play the grandmothers now? Without any Jessica Tandys or Estelle Gettys, who will play old women? It's bad enough that every 40 year old role is played by some unrealistic mannequin, but the grandmothers too? I really don't want to see a remake of Driving Miss Daisy starring Teri Hatcher. And no one would understand why the people in the new Cocoon ever left Earth at all!

I worry about how attractive my husband finds me. And I worry that I look older than 33. But I honestly don't worry about not looking 21 anymore. In fact, I would love to be able to go and have my dyed-red hair dyed back to its natural color and then just let the gray grow in. I have grays, and I'm fine with that. And there's now a truly horizontal reason I need to wear a bra, not just a stabilizing issue. And that's cool too. And as for wrinkles, bring them on. I have buried friends way too young to die and my thought for each of them was "(S)he didn't get to be old." Being old, and gray and wrinkled and all of it, is a gift. It's a privilege not all of us get to enjoy. I have stretch marks, and parts that are lower than they used to be, and hair that's given up on having color. And I'm okay with that. It occasionally occurs to me that I'm "letting myself go", but sometimes it feels so free to let go. Holding on, especially to the past, just wears you out. I'm fine with looking my age - my real age, not what Hollywood tells me my age should look like .

A great quote from a movie: "There is nothing tragic about being 40, unless you try to be 25 instead."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

He'll never get a chance to grow up

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my opinion on high school athletics here before, and if I haven't I will soon. But there's a court case going on now that basically tries a high school coach for murder because he held grueling football practice in 100+ temperatures and denied the players water until one collapsed and died. Coaches across the country are watching this case, upset about it, because of the ramifications if this guy is found guilty. The general feeling seems to be, "If this guy gets convicted, it will severely limit how we can coach."

Yes, if a guy who worked a teenage boy to death, who killed a child with his whole life ahead of him just so he could win a game, gets found guilty of doing exactly that, it could interfere with your ability to kill teenage kids. Wow, what a harsh reality to live with. What a horrible limitation to work within, having to keep conditions conducive to living.

Construction workers, road workers, prisoners in chain gangs, all of these people are legally required to have water breaks and safe work conditions. Apparently high school athletes aren't. Because, it seems, working construction or laying asphalt or doing time doesn't build character, and playing football does.

I guess if you're one of those people who feel that sports are some vital part of adolescence, who value organized game playing in some child-development way, you could possibly entertain the notion that winning is worth personal pain and physical danger. But I think that if my kid wants to run around in tight pants for fun, if he wants to be part of the team and get the letter jacket, he shouldn't have to risk his life to play. Bruises, bumps, exhaustion, and even the occasional broken arm or blown out knee. These are supposed to be the possible consequences of being a team player. A concussion maybe, but not death.

I hope this coach is found guilty and sentenced to prison. I want this man, who seems to see his role in the kid's death as a professional mistake, a job thing, who has detached himself from it and chalked it up to being part of the kid's football career, to actually have to live side by side with career criminals and violent offenders, to have to wear the jumpsuit and eat off a prison tray. Maybe not just because of this one boy who died, but because of all the other boys who will continue to die year after year if this coach is acquitted and a precedent is set that implies that death is a reasonable risk of playing high school sports and that it is in no part the coach's fault for working kids harder than a warden can work a criminal on the side of the road.

We have laws that say a 40 year old man cannot have sex with a 15 year old girl, because he is older and should know better, because it would be too easy for him to take advantage of her and make her do something that might not be in her best interest, and if you violate that law you have to register for the rest of your life. But this adult made a kid do something that was dangerous and ultimately deadly, and he did it by using his position of authority and by taking advantage of the kid's desire to impress and to prove himself. If making the kid give him a blow job to make the team would have followed him for life, making the kid give him his life for it should too.

Friday, August 28, 2009


My mother has always drank coffee. When I was a child, coffee makers were expensive, so she drank instant coffee. Bitter 1980s Folgers crystals, mixed much too strong and then nuked in the microwave until burnt, and she drank it black. To this day she is never without her coffee cup, and although she now uses an actual coffee maker, she still drinks bad coffee. She makes her morning pot around 6:30 am and drinks half of it, then turns off the warmer and goes to work. At noon she comes home for lunch, pours herself a cup of old, cold, coffee and nukes it, and drinks a couple cups that way. At 4:00 she does the same thing to the dregs in the bottom of the pot before making herself a new pot. And half the time she forgets the cup in the microwave and has to reheat it all over again. It's oily, bitter, and leaves a film of dust in the mug. It's disgusting.

When I was 15 or so, I decided I was going to become a coffee drinker, to establish myself as an adult. After a couple swallows of my mother's coffee, even fresh brewed, I went back to Mountain Dew as my caffeine source of choice.

When I was 20, in 1997, the coffee shop, Seattle, Starbucks, Central Perk, giant cappuccino mug movement was in full swing and I took a second job, at a coffee shop. This particular coffee shop was a lunch-break haven for yuppies during the day and a beat-poet 20-somethings hangout at night. To this day I equate acoustic guitars and paperback copies of On The Road with mocha lattes made with Hershey syrup. I discovered that in a 2 to 1 ration of steamed milk, I could tolerate coffee. I even learned how to make Turkish coffee, although the grounds always bothered me. But then I got pregnant and, as a single mother, exotic coffee drinks were suddenly out of my price range. Back to the Mountain Dew.

Now I'm 33, and I have to wake up to get my 11 year old daughter off to school and care for my one year old son, and Mountain Dew costs $5.00 a 12 pack. And, the same daughter whose very existence made espresso drinks a thing of the past bought me an espresso machine for Christmas a couple years back. I still use Hershey syrup, and I now microwave the milk rather than steaming it (steaming it took so long the espresso got cold and the tiny tank on the machine ran out of water), but I now start my mornings with a giant insulated mug of coffee. Hell, today I had two. I can't drink it past noon or I'll be up all night; pregnancy plus a year of breast feeding hath robbed me of my Mountain Dew induced caffeine tolerance. And my husband detests the smell or taste of coffee on my breath. But I have finally, finally, achieved the adult coffee-drinker status I wanted in high school, now that I would love to be mistaken for a teenager once again. How ironic.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Actually, it fits pretty well

I saw an article titled, "Gay Christian Network Is A Bit of A Miracle" and it made me think. Why is it such a miracle that gays could be Christian, or that some Christians might be okay with gays? So I thought about it and I realized that Christians today tend to be assholes, at least the loud ones do. I mean, Jesus, what little I know of him, was a pretty cool guy. he was progressive. He said, "Don't worry about all the little rules and all the stuff God said he hated, just be a good person and treat people well and suck it up when life craps on you and you'll be rewarded later for it." He said, "Don't morally judge people. Leave that to God. Don't pull rank you don't have." Of course, I'm paraphrasing, but that's the jist of it. We are the kids in this deal; God is the parent. And just the same way I don't let my daughter hand out punishment to my son, because she's his equal and not in authority, we should not be speaking for God.

God works in mysterious ways. There are more things in Heaven and Earth than you can conceive of
. These are both ways of saying that we're not able to get it. We don't have the mental capacity to know what God wants or why he does stuff or what it all means. Just because we can come up with a reason for straight people and not one for gay people doesn't mean there isn't a reason, just that it might take a mind better than ours to grasp it. God made gay people, and cross-dressers, and fetishists, and transsexuals, and flamboyant musical theater costume designers who against all odds actually turn out to be straight. We don't have to know why He made them. We don't even have to know if He had a reason for making them. All we have to do is withhold judgment, try not to stare because that would be rude, and trust that He knows what He's doing and doesn't need us umping up to help all the time. Nobody likes a kissass, and I assume it's the same with the man upstairs. You worry about your work and let the others worry about theirs.

And as long as the gay couple down the street pay their taxes, mow their lawn, keep their stereo turned to a decent volume, and close the curtains before they shower or fight, it has nothing to do with their neighbors. You don't have to approve of everything they do; you're not that important. But if they live a good and honest life and try to bring good to the wold and not bad, then they're following that Jesus told us to do more than a lot of folks are.

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" . . . Remember he was actually stopping a whore's criminal sentence from being carried out when he said that.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

My father was a slut. Not an indiscriminate slut, and not indiscreet enough that I heard about it at school or anything, but he got around. And, I later found out, he coincidentally broke up with a woman who had a baby 8 months later who (also coincidentally) grew up to look exactly frigging like him. And that guy hates me because, somehow, I am to blame for his dad not being his dad and his entire life being a lie handed to him by his mother. Or more likely I'm just a reminder of it all, but still it sucks to get the blame. And that guy married a girl I went to school with and she went to the high school reunion tonight and they sat at the table right next to mine, with the original long-haired pizza boy. And the first maybe-brother guy worked at the pizza place too, so Oh Boy, didn't Tom have fun teasing me about the pizza boy "restraining order table".

And the people I went there to see, the asshole jocks who never turned out to be anything, didn't show. Jackasses. But I did find out that I may get an address I have wanted for a long time. I am nervous and excited, and I will write more later.

Friday, July 31, 2009

No More Dye For Me!

I've always wanted red hair. And I've dyed it for the last 13 years, not counting while pregnant twice. And, with my HS reunion coming up (I'm completely Romy & Michelle about it too) I had to dye it. SO last weekend I popped open a couple bottles and poured it on. Now, I have super-thick hair so two bottles is not as much as it might sound, and it turned out to not be quite enough. After I finished and rinsed it out and it dried, I had missed spots. Last night I realized that, I can't go to my reunion with spotty color so I took a third bottle and dumped it on just the top, to cover the roots and the brownish spots. I've done this before and been fine. But not this time.

I rinsed it and dried it and . . . I look like someone painted the top of my head Crayola red! So today I had to go uptown in a ball cap and confess my idiocy to my hairdresser. So she re-dyed me. Then she darkened the length of it. Then she lightened the roots. And now I have perfectly even haircolor. Approximately the same shade as a brand new penny. Under orange lighting. Ugh. But it's even, and the Ronald McDonald-ness is gone.

I am choosing to read this as a sign from God. I am going to embrace my gray roots and age gracefully. Hair color is not meant for me. It was a good run, until the end, but no more for me. Mousy brown and gray may just be my fate, and I will have to accept it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's about freaking time!

I smoked for almost 20 years and the absolute worst part of it, worse than the coughing or the expense or being told to go outside in sub-zero temperatures, was getting health lectures from tan people. I hate tans now, and for good reason. Tan people who scowl at smokers are all hypocrites.

The tanning industry, that means tanning beds and lotions and even the fake tan guys with their sprays and lotions, is just as bad as the tobacco industry ever was. They promote tanning to kids, they promote tanning as glamorous and beautiful, and they perpetuate the myth of the "healthy" tan. The fake bake guys still promote the idea that pale is ugly and tan is the way to be and if they can take candy cigarettes off the shelf then the bronzers have to go too. They need to be held accountable. And now, it seems, they might be.

A recent study has found tanning beds to be as deadly as arsenic. The radiation they put out is carcinogenic, no two ways about it. And if some clever lawyer can prove that the tanning bed companies knew about this and didn't tell anyone, then there's a class-action suit in the future. I can't wait.

I read somewhere that the movie ratings people were considering giving an automatic R rating to any movie where a person smokes. That means that the old 101 Dalmations cartoon movie, if made today, would be given an R rating because of Cruella's cigarette. I think that eventually the same should be said for tans. If a naturally pale person like Scarlet Johanson has a tan in a movie, there should be, at the least, public outrage. Skin cancers are ridiculously prevalent in our society, precisely because people (women especially) are embarrassed to be seen with a natural skin color. Even me. I'm pale and I don't wear shorts because of how pale my legs are. And I wear spf 85 when I go out!

Say what you will about men in black eyeliner and nail polish, or women with black hair and blond roots, the goth movement at least brought pale back. I too, like Martin Luther King Jr., have a dream where people are no longer judged by their skin color. Especially when the alternative seems to be irradiating teenagers for prom.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I wish I were better at the housewife thing.

I wish I were better than I am. I know what I want to do, but I can't ever seem to remember to do any of it, or find the motivation to. I envy people who wake up with a full to-do list in their head and then just commence doing it. Me, I can't even remember the date, and I keep trying to check my watch for it when I haven't worn a watch that gave the date in almost 20 years. Here are just a few things I want to do, but never seem able to.

I want to plan meals out ahead of time, so that I'll actually have all of the required ingredients, or maybe just have the food thawed. I would love to go to the grocery store and buy all the things, and only the tings, I need to make specific meals for the week. But I just end up buying the things I wrote on the grocery list, which means the things we have run out of during the week. Unfortunately that means that I often don't have enough of an ingredient because I haven't yet run out to buy more. I need a cup of parmesan to make pesto sauce, so as long as I have half a cup left I forget to buy more and can't eat pesto sauce.

I want to vacuume twice a week. I even wrote out a schedule where vacuuming was listed twice. But then Tuesday came around and the floors looked fine, and the baby needed lunch and then Ryan came home and I had to get on her about her homework, and then it was time to figure out what I could make for dinner with nothing thawed out and only half a pantry of stuff, so it got put off. Vacuuming is just so easy to put off!

I want to be the sort of mom who remembers every week to go through the house and empty the various trash cans on garbage day, but I am not. I end up with a waste basket overflowing with multi-colored lint beside the washing machine and a can in the bathroom with empty cardboard tubes sprouting out the top, the day after the trash gets picked up.

And while I'm at it, my potholders are filthy. I want to somehow be able to remember on laundry day to go through the house and collect all the rag rugs and potholders and wash them too, but I never do. I barely ever remember to go get the week's bibs from the kitchen.

How do other people remember to do all these things? Is it that they had more organized mothers themselves? Is it a role model thing? Or is it just some ingrained character flaw that I don't think to dust any higher than I can see or to clean off the tops of my ceiling fan blades? What exactly is wrong with me that I don't know to do these things?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Fertility gods

Years ago, when I was a young rebellious teen with more money that sense, and not much money, I decided that I wanted to have a baby. I specifically wanted to have a baby with the boy I was seeing at the time. I call him a boy because he was not then, nor is he now, nor will he likely ever be, a man in all but the physical sense. And so, to spiritually enhance my fertility, and to rebelliously marr my body, I had an ankh tattooed below my navel, over my womb. I had read that it was a fertility symbol, and i did like the tattoos, but let me tell you, after one pregnancy (let alone two), a tattoo right below the navel looks much like a deflated balloon. It's all dis-proportioned and really just wonky. Don't ever do it. One year later, though, I got pregnant with Ryan.

many less years ago, after a painful and expensive vasectomy reversal, I decided (duh) to get pregnant again. I went on and found, for less than ten dollars, a coral ring I liked, coral being a fertility symbol for the more New Age of us out there. I bought it and wore it and quickly became pregnant with Tommy.

Now, I want to become pregnant again. Logic would dictate that I just put the old coral ring back on, but sadly, I cannot. My finger is now too big for it, and a largely sentimental part of me thinks that someday Tommy and his wife may want to have a child and I can then give them the ring that gave me him. I want a new heirloom (yes, a ten dollar ring from can be an heirloom!) for this baby. I ignore the fact that I'd have to be skinned to give Ryan an heirloom. So, I need a new ring. Or pendant or earrings or whatever. But, despite wanting a specific fertility symbol, I'm picky enough not to want a giant penis statue to set on my nightstand and someday bequeath to my daughter-in-law. So I again look for coral. And guess what. The price
has gone up! A lot!. At least for rings I like, anyway. And the earrings are all dangly, too uncomfortable to wear 24/7 for 9+ months. And the necklaces are either heavy and chunky or elastic and made of tiny chips, and I can too easily imagine those breaking in my bed and filling it with shards of dead sea-life. No, I need something heirloom and daughter-in-law ready (I know my next will be another boy, so I'm probably already pregnant with a girl, knowing my luck), preferably cheap enough that Tom will let me buy it.

But also, what can I give Ryan, since her crazy voodoo symbol was tattoo? I know kids don't need any conception aid from their mothers, but if one kid gets it the rest should too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Random thoughts

I have never really liked Kate Gosselin. Ive envied her organization and her ambition to clean (on her knees scrubbing the floor daily?!) but she's always treated her husband like one of the kids, but worse. That's always kind of irritated me. Apparently it hasn't sat too well with him either, because they're getting divorced now. On this week's episode she was all splotchy-faced and tear-streaked saying she didn't want it, and he said how he was excited because it's a new chapter in his life and he's only 32. Funny how I now hate him.

I hate haircuts. For one thing, I have really fucked up hair. I have enough hair for 3 people, so if i cut it short it poofs out horribly and when it's long it's like wearing a sweater down my back. And also, it's wavy at the bottom but it's so heavy that it pulls itself straight at the top, so I look like I have a perm growing out but I don't. I don't think I've ever really gotten a good haircut, just varying degrees of bad, and now I have to go get another one tomorrow, to try to fix a terrible one I got last week. Get this: I told the lady (no names, to protect my ass) I wanted maybe 2 inches cut off and she said "Nope, not what I'm doing" and cut off about 5 inches, then told me she had compromised. And when it poofed, she blamed my shampoo; it seems I need more moisture to avoid a consequence I told her would come to pass. And the left side is longer than the right and it's shorter in the front than in the back and I want to cry because it's going to take at least a year to grow back out and . . . .

I have a high school reunion coming up. I should be completely past it since my high school career was just one embarrassment after another, but I'm all Romy and Michelle about it and now I'm carrying 30 pounds of baby weight AND I have a bad hair cut, but I'm wondering also what I will wear. I don't really have good clothes, certainly nothing to impress anyone in. I have one pair of jeans and a few tops, and ill-fitting nursing bras. But since I thrive on worry, this will do for the summer, at least after tomorrow's haircut.

Tommy turns one in August. I have to plan a birthday party. I don't want to; I want him to still be my little baby. He started walking last week. I need a new one. Hey, maybe I'm knocked up already! That'll help me explain the flab at the reunion. But then i won't be able to drink the pain away while jackasses reminisce about that time I walked the entire length of the freshman hallway with my skirt in the back of my underwear. Ahh, good times.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Goals for my house

  1. Dry-Lock the basement.
  2. Carpet the living room
  3. Paint the kitchen . . . but what color?
  4. Put in a back patio
  5. Put river rock in the front flower beds
  6. Get a lilac bush
  7. Put hooks in the porch and deck roofs for hanging flower basket
. . . . to be continued

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wii would like to play

I'm opposed to video games. Not the games themselves, because I remember fondly the antiquated concept of the arcade, but the systems that bring them into homes. I'm opposed to video games for the same reason I'm opposed to legalizing pot; because too many people get hooked and become mindless zombies sitting in front of TVs, never going outside or doing much of anything.

That said, Ryan wants a Wii. Of course she does. Her friends have them and the technology is new and shiny and seductive, and the damn thing costs almost $300, not including balance boards and dance mats and extra controllers in nifty shapes. So when she told me last year, before her tenth birthday, that all she wanted in the whole world was a Wii, I told her. . .

"Buy it yourself and I'll let you have one, but I won't let anyone buy one for you because I'm against them." I am the meanest mom in the world, aren't I.

So I drew up a thermometer goal chart like charities have and notched it from zero to three hundred, and labeled a plastic recipe card box with the words "Wii fund" and told her to start saving. In the last thirteen months she has washed cars, saved birthday and Christmas card money, set up Kool-Aid stands, and taken donations from family friends impressed with her determination. And finally, she made it. Her Wii, complete with wii-mote, nun chuck, and Wii Sports game, is in transit from Amazon to here. And even though I dread the fights, me wanting her to go outside and her wanting to play just one more game, I admire her. At her age I couldn't save up for a new Poison tape without spending the money on candy bars first. But she stuck with it and saved $250 in change, bills, and one amazon gift card. I am so proud of her.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is it time yet?

It would almost certainly involve that godawful diabetes diet. And injections too, now that I walk among the ranks of the insured. I would be exhausted from hormones and late night pees, but still have to wake up with a baby. It would involve what they call "tandem nursing". I would get even fatter than I already am.

But part of me, a small but LOUD part, wants another baby. Wants to get pregnant this month if not sooner, as a matter of fact. When I was growing up, kids were 18-24 months apart. When you were in sixth grade your sibling was somewhere from forth to eighth. Now people wait until baby number one is three before having baby number two. Well, I did the waiting. My oldest is in sixth grade this fall, for gods' sakes. Now I want to do it the normal way, close together. And also, part of it is the pregnancy, regardless of the baby. (Not that I want anything to go wrong with the baby, just that pregnancy is a whole experience in itself.) I want new maternity clothes (my ass outgrew the old ones), and I want weekly email updates on what's forming today. I want to think about names, and try to guess sex based on heart rate. I want to feel kicks and cravings and to be able to not suck in my stomach when people can see me in profile.

I saw Ryan with a baby when she was little and I remember feeling sad that she would never be a big sister at that age. I want Tommy to get to be a big brother at the age when he's a "big boy" about it rather than seeing it for the spit-up and dirty diapers side of it. And I really don't want to be 40 and pregnant with my next one. I want to be pregnant NOW. I wonder if I can talk Tom into it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Romy & Michelle

My fifteen year class reunion is this summer. I didn't even know there was such a thing, but I guess when your class skips the ten year, you go for fifteen.
I think in this era of facebook, reunions might be redundant, but I still plan on going and I don't know why. Well, there is always the obvious; the desire to see the jocks all old and fat and poor. Perhaps this is why Tom hasn't ever been to a high school reunion. He was a jock, and I'll say no more. :)

I went to my five year reunion, and it was a bust. It was a keg party in some guy's Mom's front yard. (That guy is, for two more days, my daughter's school principle. LOL) The jerks from high school were still jerks, but this time they were drunk jerks. I got a half hour smoking lecture from a health nut so tan you could count the carcinomas. And there were no "What are you doing these days?" updates because everyone was either just starting out after college or, like me, working some schlub job with nothing interesting to say.

Why do I want to go to this thing? I'm fat now and I've aged poorly. For the past 6 months I've been letting the dye grow out of my hair, wearing my grays with pride. And the other night, when faced with tiny facebook profile pictures of classmates who still look 23, I dyed it again. This is going to be like my thirtieth birthday all over again: nerve-wracking and anticipatory but ultimately anticlimactic. Maybe I'd feel differently if I had any old high school friends. Or if I had even had any back when I actually attended high school.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I need to be Claritin clear!

I have seasonal allergies. Every spring and fall since infancy, I have announced to whoever was nearby that I am, in fact, dying. I get the itchy watery eyes, the runny and stuffed up nose, the sore throat from post-nasal drip, and exhaustion made worse by Benadryl and Sudafed. But one thing that really makes the hay fever worse, is when people tell me it's not that bad.

"Oh you're not sick; it's just allergies."
I don't care if it's pollen or a virus, my body is waging the same war and it's wearing me out. Aside from the fact that allergic reactions can be fatal, proving that allergies in general do have the potential to do some real damage, that dismissive attitude is rude and inaccurate. I AM sick, and to say that it's "just" allergies so it doesn't count is like saying "Oh you're not really worn out from that 10 mile ride. It's just a stationary bike." You can get worn out on a "fake" bike and I can get truly sick from a "fake" threat to my immune system.

I think I'm going to go to the doctor about this for the first time ever. Even the innerwebs say allergies are worse this year and I think I need something more effective and less drowsy than Benadryl. I'm going to ask for Claritin. I just can't keep up with Tommy as it is now. I'm so exhausted that for dinner tonight he got one jar of beef and half a pudding cup. That's not a good dinner.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Freecycle sounds so good when you first hear about it. Instead of just throwing stuff away or going through the hassle of a yard sale just for a few dollars, you give it away. People give and take and it's all very hippy commune like. But in reality it seem to be a bunch of illiterate mooches begging for stuff. I've always heard that beggars can't be choosers, but apparently on freecycle they can. So now, here are some of my favorite gems culled from my local freecycle. Enjoy.
  1. Looking for tan colored bricks chip are ok as long as they are in tacked can pick up. (I added the emphasis)
  2. rail road tiles for drive only need 4 tired of people drivin thur yard thanks in advance my son can pick up just e-mail me (Tiles? How about rail road ties instead?)
  3. Need a good working frost free refigerator asap. I live on fixes fixed income and cannot afford to buy one. Must be in good working order and not all marked up. Thank you in advance. (The important thing is that it not be marked up. People on fixed incomes who beg for free refrigerators from strangers on the internet need to have nice things.)
  4. my sister is looking for a 4-5 month old husky/shepard mix puppy there is a kennel that goes with it just email me if you are interested in it. (What the hell does this even mean? They're asking for a puppy or offering a kennel, but I can't tell which.)

  5. if you get that info can you pass it along to us as well? we have a john deere gator, that the bat cost a small fortune. (I thought un reguards was funny. I can only translate it to me not guarding again. And what bat cost a small fortune, baseball or flying mammal?)
  6. Still wanting an ALL WHITE MALE KITTEN, PREFER SHORT-HAIRED. (If you need something that apecific, you're going to have to pay for it. Free kittnes are a take what you get kind of deal. And this woman's been posting this same request for over a month now.)
  7. I am taking up a collection for my residance well there not mine but they are were i work lol (I don't know what he just said but he seems to think it was funny.)
  9. i know this is a long shot but my hard drive broke on my lab top and i need a new hard drive for a tobash i know i speeled that wrong or iam looking for a old labtop that has wifi so i cant get online and do research things (Do you mean a Toshiba? And I think they're called laptops, since they sit on your lap and not on your lab. And if it helps, you can not get online just fine without the wifi.)
More to come, I'm sure

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

on Octomom

Yes she's a plastic surgery nightmare. Yes she has some mental health issues which require her to be the center of attention and to create her own audience. Yes she is on welfare; like it or not food stamps are welfare, even if disability payments are up for interpretation. Yes she needs help, with the babies and the underlying need for them which will have God-knows-what effect on her now that there are no more embryoes and no more babies to be bad. But I really wish all the zero population growth people would just shut up. People have more than one or two babies all the time and I'm sorry if I don't believe that the future of the planet really depends on the uterus of one psycho in California. Plus, how do you determine zero population growth anyway?

Tom had twins when I met him, and I had one child. Does mine replace the father or me? And let's just pretend Tom's twins were just one kid, does that kid replace him or the mother? The mother has 7 other kids so who do they replace? If Ryan replaced her father, who had another child already when she was born, then Tommy replaces either me or Tom. But my ex's ex has another kid now too, so that kid replaces either his mother is the first one is my ex's, or his father if the first is the mother's. And still there's an abbey of monks somewhere being replaced by the children of Tom's litter0bearing (yeah, I said it) ex.

See? The "two kids, one for you and one for your husband/wife" theory is gone in today's world of step-siblings and half-siblings and unknown by-blows. So the people who blame Nadya Suleman for a population bloom can stfu. Should she have had all those kids? Probably not. But should you have had your kids, or me mine, or Tom's ex whose birthday is the reason millions of people get drunk on Cinco de Mayo have birthed her own soccer team? Like with marriage equality 9see, I didn't say gay marriage), the form your family takes should be no one else's business.

that said, I worry about these kids of Octomom's. Not only are there so many she'll be legally required to live in a house the shape of a shoe, but she's proven herself in numerous interviews to be completely batshit insane. I can't wait for the TLC series, or at least the one hour specials. "Completely crazy, the Octomom story"

Ooh, sounds like a Lifetime movie.

Jim Carrey's not a doctor! Or a parent!

I've been reading a lot lately about the vaccination debate, and I have some pretty strong opinions (shocking!) on the subject. If refusing to vaccinate your child only affected your child, I wouldn't care who did or didn't get any shots at all. But not all vaccines take, and by refusing to vaccinate your kids at all, you put others who were vaccinated at risk too.

Say you have an elementary school with 1000 kids, and 70 of them aren't immune to measles because their vaccines didn't work. If a fifth grader gets measles from a vacation to someplace with an epidemic, there's a chance that it won't spread far - the odds are that that one child won't come into contact with all 69 other vulnerable kids. But if there are 200 other kids who weren't immunized in the first place, the odds go up that all 70 kids will get measles, plus any babies they might come into contact with too young to have gotten their shots yet. It's called herd immunity. Smallpox was wiped out because of vaccines. Polio is on its way too. But if I were to ever lose a child to these or any other vaccine-available diseases just because some idiot chose to get their medical information from Ace Ventura and a Playboy model, I'd be arrested for murder 1.

If you don't want to immunize your kids, then fine. But they shouldn't be allowed in public schools. It's your parental privilege to make that choice, but for the common good that choice should have consequences.

For another thing, I wonder about all this autism in the first place. "Autism rates are skyrocketing!" Are we sure abotu that? Or is it just as likely (or more) that autism diagnoses are skyrocketing. It's a lot like the SIDS rate, but in reverse.* Jenny MCarthy's son (from what I understand from reading articles she herself has written) was diagnosed with autism because he flapped his arms when agitages and refused to make eye contact. He is now considered to be high functioning because he can speak, listen, and follow directions. Twenty years ago this would have been a kid with eccentricities and a nervous habit, but now he's autistic. My daughter was almost diagnosed with Asperger's once because she is painfully shy and over-sensitive to criticism. If you even raised your voice to her she would cringe. Now that she's getting a little of that adolescent attitude she's less likely to cringe than to roll her eyes though, so I guess estrogen is the new cure for Asperger's, huh. Asperger's had, until recently, very strict diagnostic criteria. A patient had to present a certain number of symptoms in order to be considered a candidate for an Asperger's diagnosis, just like any other illness or syndrome. But now it's just tossed around like ADHD was five or ten years ago. Brown is the new black.

I feel for the parent who takes their normal, smiling, talking child to the doctor for shots one day and wakes up the next with an unresponsive stranger who would rather rock in a corner than look at them and who doesn't talk or hug them anymore. But it's coincidental. Autism presents very suddenly around the first birthday, which is also one of the times kids get shots. To link the two is no more factual than to say that birthday cake causes autism. I'm sorry, but it's not.

*SIDS rates are falling, but suffocation rates are rising. The "Back To Sleep" campaign lowered SIDS rates by 40%, but only because now every baby who dies in the crib while on his belly gets an automatic suffocation diagnosis, same with co-sleeping. Infant mortality remains the same while "SIDS" kills less kids every year.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

innerwebz hates me

Google results for "I love Tom": about 158,000

Google results for "I love Charlie": about 43,800

More people on the internet love my husband than me.


Well, another Columbine anniversary has come and gone. It's been a decade now since 2 bullied and disenfranchised teens were pushed too far and changed everything. Not that they were justified- nothing justifies violence and the randomness of it went beyond mere revenge - but a lot of bullied and formerly bullied people understood that day. I am so glad I went to school before Columbine, back when you could be quiet and wear all black and glare at jocks without people thinking you were about to blow up the cafeteria. Now all it takes to get a school closed down for an hour is a threatening note dropped in the bathroom. Kids who write violent stories (didn't we all have that notebook and hate the cheerleaders?) are arrested or expelled or both. At first I thought the post-Columbine world would be one which valued conformity a little less, one in which bullies got called out for their actions. But that was all talk and so, ten years later, the high school experience is (from what I've heard) basically the same.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ugh! Neighbors.

I have 2 loud neighbors across the street. One has a drag racing car and he revs it for about 2 hours every Friday. I don't live next to a drag strip so I occasionally forget about the noise and open the windows on nice Fridays. This guy repays my stupidity by occasionally forgetting which day is Friday and revving the jet engine car on other surprise days. The other guy likes to hangout in his garage and play music. Loud music. Louder than the grandstand I live behind ever has. I should go ask him to turn it down but I fear confrontation and it seems to me that playing ten year old country songs on a PA system in your garage is confrontational in and of itself. I can't believe that he thinks the rest of the neighborhood appreciates this, or even that we don't mind. So I'm pretty sure that if I were to walk over there, bowed down into the wind from his speakers, that he'd have an attitude about it. And in my experience, people who sit in their garages drinking beer and being loud and playing ten year old country songs on Sunday afternoons are just begging for fights.

If I ever move, it will be to the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees, with no neighbors to speak of. Ahhh, what a nice dream.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

RIP Lawrence Kutner, etc.

I watched this week's episode of House and it was bad. Kutner killed himself and no one knew why. The guy who played Kutner got a job in the Obama administration so that's all good, but irrelevant to the show.

There's a thinly veiled parallel to reality here. When Kutner was found, everyone was shocked. No one had seen it coming, no one had known to try to help. He hadn't reached out to anyone. But what if he had? What if he'd called everyone he knew over and over threatening to kill himself, for years? What if he had been so filled with self-pity that nothing had helped? What if he had alienated everyone with his abject refusal to do anything more than drink, call people, and cry out, "Why me?" to anyone within ear shot, about common problems he had brought on himself? Kutner had no romantic interest written into the show. What if he'd driven away every romantic interest he'd had until no one would have him? What if everyone he'd known had, for their own sanity, been forced to let him go long before he killed himself? What if instead of, "We didn't know, we never saw it coming, he never told us," it had been that everyone saw it coming, everyone knew, and he told everyone, but nothing had changed? What if every person in Kutner's life had tried to help, had listened and given advice until they had no more to give? How would the writers invent a tomorrow for people who had just had to let him go?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Play nice without God

Invisible friend, invisible man in the sky, fairy tale book, fairy godmother in the sky. In the past few weeks I have noticed a disturbing online trend. Atheists, those folks who choose not to believe in any gods or supernatural powers like fate or whatnot, have become supremely condescending. I get that the whole point is to let logic and science run the show. That you are an intellectual and don't believe in anything that can't be proven. I understand that and I respect it. But can you not at least let the rest of the population believe what they want to believe without harassing and insulting them? Even if you are right and they are all weak-willed sheep who can't think for themselves, as long as they're not hurting anyone leave them be.
I also understand that a lot of people seem to think that religion is hurting people, but I disagree. Religion is a crutch. Even if your one particular belief system is true, it's still a crutch. Religion helps people who can't conceive of their own mortality, who need to believe that they and the people they care about will live on after death. It also helps in uncertain times to feel less alone in the universe if you believe there is some force out there looking out for you. I can't say that there is or isn't, but the belief in it seems to make millions of people feel better. The problem only comes in when a person's belief system tries to claim king of the hill status. No harm comes from "I believe in God," but rather in "My belief is right and yours is wrong and it's my job to set you straight."
Calling religious people weak and mocking their religious beliefs doesn't help anyone./ It's merely the flip side to the same coin they've been using for years. It's bullying, plain and simple. It's saying that what you believe is right and what they believe is wrong and that they need to be set straight. Whether it's Christians saying it to Jews, Catholics to Protestants, or atheists to everyone else, it's still bullying and it's bullshit.
So cut it out, whatever side of the fence you may be on. Let people pray when they want to and keep your prayers to yourself. Believe in whatever god you like but don't tell me mine is any worse than yours or even that I need one. And if you don't believe in one at all, please stop mocking the ones that do believe. Sometimes people who use crutches actually need them.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Stupid things I take from movies (and one book)

  1. I can't eat strawberry pie, just in case a gypsy put a curse into it. Thank you, Stephen King's Thinner.
  2. I can't use four pronged faucet handles because there's a chance that Freddy Krueger might turn them into hands and slit my wrists. Thank you, Nightmare On Elm Street 3.
  3. I can't eat shrimp cocktail that's hung around the outside of a cup because it reminds me of the dinner scene in Beetlejuice.
  4. I can't spray myself in the face with anything because the spray bottles in Patricia Cornwell's novel, Unnatural Exposure were laced with smallpox.
  5. I have never once been able to look into a mirror and say "Bloody Mary" three times. Better safe than sorry.
  6. I can't use an automatic garage door opener unless I am safely inside either a locked car or house because of Scream.

. . . to be continued

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Damn You, Sparkly Edward!

My daughter reads Twilight. I am having a very hard time with this. SHe was all obsessed with Harry Potter for a long time, but I think that's almost a generational thing. Then she was searching for a new series and since Twilight is freaking everywhere these days she got pulled in. I was fine with it (I was a vampire fan back in the day myself) but since then I've heard more about these books that worries me.

She read the first book in one day. She got it at 5:00 pm and finished it at 3:30 am. She never read a Harry Potter book that fast and we stood in a Borders for 6 hours waiting for the last one. Then she went to the library her in town and read book 2 in the series and is now eagerly awaiting book 3, which is 3 weeks overdue at the library and which she is third in line to check out anyway. What worries me about these books is not the violence (I'm not an idiot, vampire books by definition have violence in them) but the sexuality. Not that there's sex, because I've been told that there isn't. But they're all passion and romance and "Edward is so sparkly and beautiful." And Ryan reads this and doesn't give a childlike "Yuck!" in response. She doesn't roll her eyes at Bella's melodramatic professing of undying teenage love. She doesn't question a sixteen year old's eagerness to become an undead blood drinker just to be with a guy she's only known a few months. She doesn't declare Edward's angst-ridden passions to be "gross". And that can only mean one thing.

Ryan is turning into a teenager. Not numerically speaking of course; she's not even eleven yet. But emotionally she's entering the years of overreactions and heartfelt hyperbole. My wonderfully delightfully nonconformist daughter is at the cusp of puberty. That means all sorts of sparkly and beautiful Edwards of her own. That means ten household rules broken for every one she gets caught at. That means a first kiss I may never even find out about. It means me getting shut out while all the bad influences get let in. It means carefully hidden shaving cuts on her bony little legs, red and swollen over-plucked eyebrows, and underwear buying based solely on what she sees in the PE locker room.

Ryan will be entering sixth grade next year, and in this town that means junior high. I remember junior high and while I'm sure it's not exactly the same (the AquaNet haze has probably lifted by now) it's probably kept some of the same themes. Boys, pimple-stress, cliques, peer pressure, fashion obsession. And while it was "Like A Virgin" when I was eleven it's "If You Seek Amy" now. (Say it out loud fast.) I am not ready for this. I am so completely not ready for the day Ryan wakes up and puts on a turtleneck in warm weather, convinced that I'm a blind idiot. And what's worse, I will know what she's planning when she picks out a turtleneck while school clothes shopping, and I will buy it for her in a conscious choice to remain ignorant. Probably not anytime really soon, but not too terribly far over the horizon.

I'm not ready for an adolescent daughter. I want my little girl back.

I Said It Wrong

I just re-read my last post and found that I used the term 'gay marriage', which I hate. I often catch myself saying it, which means that I say it all the time and don't catch it. The reason I hate it so much, and would very much prefer that all people use the term 'marriage equality' is more than just semantics. You see, the term gay marriage implies, quite directly, that a gay marriage would be different from a straight marriage. That the actual union would be gay, not just the people entered into it. And that's not true. If you actually sit down and consider it, how on Earth could a marriage be any different just because the people in it are?

An open marriage is fundamentally different from the assumed definition of marriage without a qualifier. It is a marriage without the monogamy that, for better or worse, is culturally implicit to marriage in America. The marriage is open, not just the people. A polygamous marriage is a marriage that involves more than two people. The spouses aren't necessarily polygamous -often the women aren't polygamous at all- but the marriage is.

But terms like "interracial marriage" and "gay marriage" are misnomers. The adjectives apply to the people, not the institution. The marriage isn't interracial; the couple is. All aspects of the marriage are, unless otherwise specified by a term other than interracial, the same as any other marriage. Same with "gay marriage". Two people committed to sharing responsibilities and experiences for a lifetime, to raise children should they come into play, to care for and support each other, to argue over finances and household chores, to lovingly tolerate each other's family, and to mourn when the first one dies. The fact that they both have the same naughty bits does not change the definition of the institution of marriage. The adjective fits the people, not the marriage.

But using the term "gay marriage" is an insidious way for the anti-gays to plant the idea that the marriage would be different. That somehow the definition of marriage would be changed by allowing gays to experience it. That theirs is a fight to save traditional marriage, not to deny equal access to it. Gay people don't want to change marriage; they just want to be able to have a traditional marriage. The weddings might be different. The cakes might have 2 grooms or 2 brides, but watch Ace of Cakes just once and see how different wedding cakes get for straight couples these days. And gays aren't fighting for weddings but for marriage. Don't want gay weddings in your church, don't allow them. Marriage equality has nothing to do with churches. Divorced people can marry as it is but Catholic churches all over the land still deny them weddings. I got married by a judge in sweats; that's about as far removed from a religious ceremony as you can get.

I feel bad when I use the term gay marriage. I feel bad that I use the term gay marriage. And I will continue to try not to use it. But I hope that when I do, that people will point it out to me. Maybe then it will at least spark a conversation on why it's an inaccurate phrase. At least then whoever may have overheard me use the original term might hear the argument against it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

But not like Nixon, the good ones

I like Christopher Moore. I think his books are funny, particularly A Dirty Job. I read Lamb to Ryan once, glossing over the dirty parts, and thought privately how nice it would be if religion could be like that. If you could be Christian without all the sanctimonious bullshit, without the condescension and the "You're going to Hell" crap. I kind of like the idea of Jesus, a rebel who palled around with whores and whatnot. But I hate the idea of Christianity, with all the evangelists and social conservatives. I personally think that Jesus would be all for gay marriage. For one thing, he was pretty much opposite of the Old Testament; OT being all fire and brimstone ant JC being all forgiveness and saving. But also that he was against judging people. The whole message seemed to pretty much boil down to, "You aren't God so don't try to guess what He thinks, just live your life as good as you can and butt out of other peoples'."

I fear I may be becoming a Christian. Not like my family is; they tend to go overboard with religion. But more like the Quakers. I like the Quakers. They talk to God and then they listen real hard to see if he answers. Too many people these days talk to God but not enough of them listen. They claim God speaks through them and all, but they don't ever just shut up and listen. If I were a Christian I think I'd try to listen. Not to the pope or anyone, but for God. Maybe he does just chat people up like in biblical times. Probably not, but maybe. Maybe the Christians of America today are too busy getting into sex scandals to listen. I wish I knew a Quaker to ask.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just to get it off my chest

It is tomorrow, not tomarrow.

It is definitely, not definately. Think finite.

If it's a person, the word is who, not that. "The guy that wrote the book" is wrong. "The guy who wrote the book" is right.

An apostrophe is used to show possession (or contraction, but that's not relevant now), not plurality. Don't address mail to "The Melton's" unless you're actually sending it to something that belongs to the Meltons.

It's a lot, not alot. Lot is a noun meaning a bundle, or large amount. Like on ebay.

When making a plural into a possessive, you put the apostrophe after the s. Example: The Smiths' house is the house belonging to the Smith family. But when it's a singular ending with an s, you still use an apostrophe and another s. Stephens's house is the house belonging to someone named Stephens. Jess's bike belongs to Jess. Jess' bike would have to belong to a bunch of people all named Jess. Why does everyone get this wrong? be continued

Sunday, March 22, 2009

just fucking awesome

Is Red Not Enough?

I am such a girl. For years I was in denial about it. I sat like a guy and walked like a guy, answered to Chuck. In fact, when Tom and I were first dating I used to hate it when he'd call me girly, which is the main reason he did it. But lately, since I've calmed and mellowed with age, I realize that it's true.
I want a blender. I don't know what's wrong with ours. It seems like the blade doesn't turn, even though it does. When you try to make a milkshake you get two inches of milk shake underneath ice cream; it never gets that tornado thing going on that sucks the top stuff down. So I want a new one. Not too girly in and of itself. But when asked what kind I'd like, this is my answer:


I have no clue how many speeds I want or what features I need. I'd like it to be able to crush ice if need be, and to be easy to clean. But other than that "red" is really all I have to go on. So I started looking up blenders and you know what I've found? I don't understand them at all. Fourteen speeds one of them has. Plus pulse. I like pulse, but what would I need with fourteen speeds? How different can chop and grate be? And why would I need a blender that grates anyway? Do people really put cheese in a blender? I already own a food processor and a mini food chopper, plus a box cheese grater (for latkes. yum) so I don't think I'm going to be grating with my blender any time soon.

So I think, if anyone asks me what kind of blender I want, that my answer will now be this: Red, but with pulse.

Also I made chocolate chip scones today. Yummy! I need to find a recipe for raspberry jelly scones. Those would be even deliciouser.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Arrogant Repub Governors

I am getting so sick of Republican governors turning down stimulus money because of the condition that the state offer unemployment benefits to part-time employees. I've heard the argument made that there is no reason for the state to pay unemployment to people who are unwilling to work a full-time job. How easy it must be to say that when you work such a cushy over-paid job as politics. But are those governors able to see from the windows in their ivory towers that sometime full-time employment isn't possible?
I am very glad that Illinois pays unemployment to part-time employees. I know plenty of people who work part-time jobs full time. Thirty hours at Walmart and twenty more waiting tables is a lot of work for having no benefits. Almost all retail jobs are classified as part-time, mainly to avoid paying out for health insurance. It's not that people are unwilling to work full-time, it's that it's so much cheaper for employers to offer only 30 hours a week to more people than a full forty to fewer. By keeping employees under a certain number of paid hours they can avoid offering benefits, vacation time, paid holidays, even certain federal employee protections*. College students earning tuition, the uneducated, unskilled, or untrained. These are the people who are being told that they are unworthy of state protection when their governors refuse to pay unemployment to part-timers.

*The Family Medical Leave Act only applies to full-time employees, as defined by the average number of hours worked in the prior year.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

A Reply From The Discovery Channel

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

An Email To The Discovery Channel

Dear Discovery Channel,

I don't know if you choose what commercials air or if that's the dish provider, but I would like someone to tell me why, at 2:45 on a Sunday afternoon, my 10 year old daughter is hearing about improved male size and pleasure in the "you know where" while watching what is supposed to be an educational family channel. The commercial was for Exta-Max and my daughter just happens to be too old for it to have gone over her head and too young for it to be appropriate for her to see. On the off chance that this was a provider decision, do you have no say over it at all? I'm going to have to block the Discovery Channel if this keeps up. I expect these ads at 2am, but not on a Sunday afternoon when children are expected to be watching TV. This happens to be one of the few channels I approve of my child watching and now I'm afraid it's become inappropriate.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Brains! Ikea!*

I can't watch horror movies. ANY horror movie. When I was in high school I watched the Elm Street series, and I tried to act like I was fine, but I outgrew the lie and now I don't watch them any more. I've tried to, with poor results. I saw "I Know What You Did Last Summer" when it first came out on VHS and for 3 years I swore I could see a fisherman in my hallway whenever it was dark. I would make trips through the house to avoid the dark. Walk from living room to bedroom, turn on bedroom light. Walk back into the living room to turn the light off, then run really fast across the hall into the lit bedroom, high-stepping it so nothing could grab my ankles.

I am not kidding.

Tom likes horror movies. He doesn't make me watch them anymore because I literally make him go to the bathroom with me. He has to walk through the hall with me to protect me, then stand by the tub while I pee, then walk back to the couch with me after. I make him stay in the potty with me because I don't trust him not to yell "BOO!" when I come out.

I don't have nightmares or anything. I just fear the dark, and behind and under the furniture, and behind doors, pretty much everywhere a monster or psycho could hide. And right now, on the TV behind me, is a zombie movie! Of all the horror movies ever made about anything, zombie movies are the worst. Probably because I grew up a block away from a cemetery. It was where we rode our sleds in the winter and played in the summer. But when it started to get dark I hauled ass back home because the cemetery, in case you don't know, IS FULL OF FREAKING DEAD PEOPLE! Zombie movies use this fact to make people who grew up near these corpse collections wet their pants.

And now Return of The Living Dead is on behind me and I can't turn around. Literally, I am too scared to move, lest I see some zombie tearing into someone. I mean, I'm not pretending to be anything but weak here. The Thriller video scared me, and that was before Michael Jackson got scary!

*it's from a book about zombies.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My ex, the jackass

My ex is a jackass, which he is required to be by law. Because he is an ex. No one ever says, "My ex is a saint." Not if they have children by the man, they don't. But my ex is an over-achiever when it comes to jackassery. He is the bar to which other jackasses must measure up. He hasn't seen his daughter in over 2 years. So the other day, when he messaged me on yahoo, I decided to fuck with him. Because it amuses me.
I told him that Ryan is now goth, which is kinda true. She likes to wear skulls and she does envy Abby Sciuto, but she is by no means a dedicated 24-7 goth kid. But I told him that she is, and I sent a photo of her from Halloween as proof. I also told him that she has hot pink hair now. He says he will come see her when he gets his license back, which he claims he lost due to a DUI. That's interesting, because one lonely DUI will not lose you your license in Illinois, not all by itself. He is a lying jackass. See how well he does at that?
When I think about my ex I always marvel at my husband. Not just because he is a freaking god compares to the jackass, but because the jackass proves that I have no trustworthy judgment when it comes to men and therefor it is complete dumb luck that I ended up married to a decent guy. A more than decent guy, he is as close to perfect as anyone who is endlessly amused by his own gas can be. I am so lucky that he is the one who finally fell prey to my marriage nagging. I'd be a suicide statistic if any of my other boyfriends ever had.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bob The Builder Blows

The house I rent belongs to my mother. I have lived here since she bought the place almost 12 years ago; she has never had to deal with a tenant who didn't care about her in a deep and familial way. She planned, at the time of purchase, to tear down the dirt floor garage and put up a nice 2 car one, and then to add on and make my tiny 4 room house into a 3 bedroom, 2 bath family place. Due to financial constraints and the human tendency to procrastinate, neither of these things got done. But now she has a much better paying job and so she is adding on to the place. She made this decision last year, spurred on (I think) by my pregnancy and the fact that we would be moving to a larger house soon. So in June she called the local construction guy and asked him for an estimate. He said the whole thing could be started in July and over by September.

Fast forward to today. The plumber piped it, most of the way. Yes, at only 5 months overdue and $26,000 over budget, the addition is almost done. Now all we need is one more day from the plumber, a return visit from the electrician, and then we will be ready for drywall and tile! Yay!!! Hopefully when it's all done Tommy will be able to tell me, in complete sentences by then, what color he wants his bedroom painted.

At this point, with contractors and subcontractors who rarely show up and who, when they are here, make my house smell like cigarette smoke from the other side of my bedroom wall, Bob the Builder can kiss my ass. I am sick of this and have vowed to NEVER have a home custom built, or even added on to again. This shit is ridiculous!

If your junk got swapped. . .

So if you had a sex change, or if you somehow woke up tomorrow in the other sex's body, what would your name be? I think if I were a guy, despite being named Chuck now, I'd go by Dave. In high school they used to call me Dave and I think that'd be what I'd go by now. I just have always wondered how transsexuals pick their new names, those who don't go for something similar that is. I'd be Dave. What about you?

When did I miss this?

Why do couples move in together after only a month or two of dating? I know lots of women who have moved entire families in with a guy after only a few weekends. I know one woman who moved herself and her two kids in with a guy the day she moved them out of the father's house. Now, I have special objections to the whole living together with kids scenario, but in general when did living together become a casual thing?

I thought that moving in together was supposed to be a big step, a sign that things were getting really serious. Like, the next step is marriage sort of serious. But it seems to have become the norm now. If you're dating and it's exclusive, you live together. And if you have kids, well the theory seems to be that children need two parents so much that it's better to rush into finding a replacement than to wait and make sure the replacement will be a permanent one. So what you end up with may very well be a 12 year old who has already gone through four or more "dad's".

Tom and I lived together for about 2 weeks before we got got engaged, and I'm slightly ashamed of that fact. Why did I expose my daughter to a father figure without the commitment that would have (and eventually did) make him and actual step-father? Now, in my defense he probably only spent 3 or 4 days actually living here before we married, since he was driving over the road at the time, but I still don't know why I allowed it.

I don't bring this up because of any one couple but rather because I notice a trend with celebrities and in real life where couples don't wait for the shine of new romance to dull and instead they jump in with both feet, all while under the influence of first-kiss endorphins. But why? Why not wait and make it a big step?

Friday, February 13, 2009

I heart Valentine's Day

Today is Friday the Thirteenth, which means that Tom will be in a romantic mood tonight, as gruesome horror movies have an aphrodisiac effect on him and every fucking channel we have (with the exception of the Food Network) is showing gruesome horror movies tonight. But also . . . . . . . . tomorrow is Valentine's Day!

Some couples have decided that Valentine's Day is a Hallmark Holiday, a scam fueled by florists and chocolatiers to make a profit. The people have a very valid point. I am not one of these people. I am one of the people who stopped getting Valentine's Day gifts and cards after teachers stopped making kids give something to everyone. Once I outgrew the class party , complete with manila folder full of character-themed valentines ("Does Wes really like me just because he gave me the Optimus Prime card with a stick of gum in it?"), I succumbed to the fate of the social pariah. When I was 15 I got a balloon from a guy. And that was it, until I got married. I would like to say that I am now confident enough that Valentine's Day has lost it's appeal, but I'm not. I have never become so pragmatic that romance has lost it's appeal. No matter what our budget, we have always exchanged cards and gifts. Last year we even went out to dinner. This year, with a baby and all the costs that that entails, I'm not sure.

**He made me dinner and chocolate covered strawberries! How did no one snatch him up before I got to him?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Stimulus Schmimulus

Maybe I'm just stupid, and certainly I'm no economics expert, but wouldn't a better stimulus plan be to revamp and fix NAFTA? Maybe bring some of those manufacturing jobs back to the US? I mean, as opposed to spending a billion dollars or whatever on furniture for a new government building. I really was, and I still try to, hold out on Obama being the great fixer of all the Bush fuck-ups. He was Bobby Kennedy and the second coming all in one. And now his stimulus seems to be just a list of earmarks justified only with the claim that people will have to be hired to work on the projects, which means jobs. In that case, I want them to stimulus me a new house, a big one. And it'll help the economy by paying construction crews to do it all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

It's an end, and it's a beginning too. Something is over, done with for good, and something wonderful is starting at the same time. The closest experience I can compare it to is a graduation. Except a graduation day is kind of sad because you'll be leaving people behind and you know you'll miss your old friends. But this isn't like that at all, because no one who was in the White House yesterday was a friend, nor have they given us any reason to miss them. So this is more like a parole, I guess. Freedom and sunshine and the ability to now pick out your own clothes might be a little scary, but it's heaven compared to the large, angry, and flirtateous cellmate that has been the Bush administration.

Now remember, the conservatives are scared today. We should be nice to them, and speak in soft gentle voices, so they don't see their shadows and hop back into their holes.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It's Ba-aack

I try not to act superior. I realize that I can be a little judgmental, that I tend to correct people on subjects they have no interest in being correct about. But I truly don't try to be "better than" anyone else. In fact, my biggest turn-off is condescension. That said, I cannot stand American Idol. I cannot even stand that it exists. I feel that it, like most other reality shows (except Project Runway) cater solely to the lowest common denominator in society. I feel that it is the televised equivalent of plastic lawn flamingos. Everyone knows they only go in trailer parks and that they merely prove a complete lack of sophistication, yet somehow they sell. And I simply cannot fathom how people who enjoy this guilty pleasure aren't even sufficiently guilty about it!

It probably stems from my last job. I sat there day in and day out listening to women who still wore blue eyeshadow talk about American Idol, and it's inbred aunt sister: Fear Factor. Who had done well, who hadn't, who had gotten kicked off and various conspiracy theories on how that guy had managed to go while worse contestants had stayed. These women were positively enthralled with the show, a show I had absolutely no interest in seeing at all. So I probably hate American Idol in some part because it was just one more topic of conversation I couldn't jump in and chat about.

Or, it could be because the show SUCKS! For one thing, it's on non-stop. Sure, it's weekly for a little while, but then it preempts normal Fox broadcasting every night. And it's pandering to sadists. It's all about humiliation, about finding the people who can't sing but who really want to, getting them to put it on the line in front of the cameras, and then humiliating them on national TV. Then it's a couple months of voting, and the same viewers vote for the same people every weeks so it's really just a mass experiment in the nation's speed-dialing capabilities. Then the Idol Gives Back show that they shamelessly plug in commercials for the full week leading up to it. I don't know what Idol is giving back to, but I can' only assume it involves some charity that none of the well-paid producers actually give any of their own money to. then the finals! Who will it be? Hot chick, hot guy, average guy but with a great voice, or the guy who sucks who gets the internet joke votes? Then finally, it's over. And someone won! Yayyy. But unless it's a young hottie, no one will ever hear of them again. Carrie Underwood, fine. Kelly Clarkson, she did okay for a while. But the rest of them went bye bye long ago. And yet they still continue to preempt House with this shit!

And now it's coming back. How many seasons can they do this for? How long until someone realizes that Simon isn't witty - he's just an asshole, Paula's on something, Randy acts and sounds like he's taken a skillet to the back of the head, and Ryan Seacrest isn't pretty enough to be that dumb and that successful. He's like Tori Spelling but without the rich daddy.

Why do people watch this show? And why don't they have the decency and pride to be ashamed of it?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Stock Saturday

As I said in my last post, I am sick. It's just a cold but it's kicking my ass. Usually I just get 2 or 3 day colds but this is one of those 7-10 day colds that just doesn't get any better or worse from one day to the next. So, I have been making myself chicken noodle soup. I do it because it tastes good, it's folk medicine, and it's easy. I just take a baggie of chicken stock out of the freezer, cut it out of the baggie and dump it in a pot, boil and add noodles. But the other day I ran out of stock. So now I had the perfect excuse, still being sick and all, to make more stock. And that's what I did today. Tom let me sleep in and I woke up at the crack of noon to make stock.
I don't cook chickens a lot so I usually use packages of chicken wings for my stock (wings are the best part of the chicken for stock since they have the most bones and collagen) but this time I just used a whole 4 pound chicken. Ever poke a whole chicken after it's been simmering in a pot of water for 5 hours? It's mush. I have actually found separate vertebrae that just sort of floated through the chicken and out into the water. So when the bones got to the point that they crumbled when I tried to snap them, I enlisted Tom's big muscles and we strained the stock (twice) and now the pot is sitting outside, covered, in a snowbank to cool. You can't put a big pot full of hot stock into the fridge or you'll heat everything else in the fridge before you cool the stock, and you can't keep it hot because it's nutrient rich bacteria-bait that way. This is why I always make stock in the winter, for the snow.
So, I will bring the pot back inside once it's cool, and then I will leave it in the fridge overnight and then bag it up for future colds and chicken soup. I may hate being sick, but I do love making stock. I can remember when my mom used to make stock when I was a kid. Boiling chicken necks for a whole Saturday; I thought she was crazy. Now I know that she was, but making stock is still a nice way to spend a winter Saturday.

And congratulations Dawn. My only faithful reader spawning new faithful readers. It's a wonderful thing.

Magical lotiony menthol goodness

I'm sick. I've been sick for a week. And today Tom brought me these magical tissues with vap-o-rub in them. These are the bestest tissues ever. Even Tommy thinks so. He tries to eat them, vap-o-rub and all. But I don't let him. No, he has to suffer with regular Puffs Plus for his runny nose. Some things you just have to wait until you're a grown up for, and magical lotiony menthol tissues are a fine example of that.