Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
3 cups Vanilla Wafers, ground into crumbs/powder
1 cup powdered sugar
2T and 2t cocoa powder
1/3 cup rum (or whatever you were drinking when you got tipsy and decided to take my cooking advice)
extra powdered sugar in a ziplock bag
Mix everything together and let it sit until it dries enough that you can roll it into balls in your hand. Balls can be any size but I make them about the size of a large gumball. Shake balls in powdered sugar to coat and store in an airtight container. They start out like fudge but dry into a sort of a dense donut hole. And about 3 seconds after you eat one, you'll feel the warmth of the booze. Do not eat these and drive!
Monday, December 27, 2010
See, cause it can be sexual or romantic or both, and when it's only one of those it complicates things. And it's all well and good for gay dudes who sleep with dudes and want to marry dudes to say that any dude who sexes dudes is gay, it's not always that simple. WHat if the dude-sexer only falls for chicks? And all those chicks making out with chicks on the ubiquitous girls gone wild ads, are they ALL bi? I doubt it. I think some of them are perfectly capable of getting aroused by women but are only really into guys. So they're straight, right? Or not. But really, the whole gay or bi or straight based on behavior approach is stupid.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
The same number of boys die from complications of circumcisions every year in this country. Not third world countries with poor sanitation, but right here in the U.S. That's just death, not recurrent adhesion, amputation, disfigurement, or scarring: death. And what are mothers told in the hospital about circumcision? That it's a simple procedure, a small snip, and that it is cleaner and better for the boy. All of these things, by the way, are outright lies.
When I was pregnant 13 years ago, I was planning to circumcise; it wasn't even an option to leave a baby boy looking unfinished and weird. Plus, I had heard that nursing homes were in the habit of circumcising elderly men. Thankfully, I had a girl. Two years ago I had a boy and didn't want to have him cut. However, it was important to me that Tom feel he was an equal parent and that we compromise and work together on things, and he was the one with a penis after all, so I let him make the decision. Two years of complications and my son's pain later, I had another son. I will never forget (or forgive) sitting on that hospital bed crying with my infant son in my arms, just repeating "I don't want this, I don't want to do this to him," and having Tom take him from me and hand him to the nurse at the foot of the bed.
I still cry about it. I cry about it because Tommy has "adhesions", a little-known complication of routine circumcision. Let me say right now that the circumcision was done properly. The doctor did his job well and there were no "complications" to speak of. But the skin reattached at the base of the penis, and then further and further up. We pulled it back like they taught us. We used Vaseline for a month! And it still happened. Still happens, to be honest. Over 2 years later, we still have to forcibly rip the skin back. He cries when I try to change him because of the pain he remembers. He cries at the doctor's because he fears the doctor doing it (it's made him bleed before) more than he fears getting shots. When I change him he cries "I try" and pinches his little penis hard in an attempt to keep me from doing it. I am not doing anything wrong; don't convince yourself that this is my fault for not caring for the circumcision correctly. This is a relatively rare complication but it does happen. In fact, persistent adhesions after circumcision is just as prevalent as phimosis in an intact baby. This is, however, 100% my fault because I signed the consent form to have my baby circumcised. I still wish I'd done my job and protected my sons. I failed them and I will never forgive myself for that. On my death bed I will still be apologizing for it. I will do whatever it takes to convince them never to have their sons circumcised. And if a genie showed up and asked me for 3 wishes the first one would be for my boys to be put back together again.
Oh, and if your husband ever says that it's important for a boy to look like his dad, ask him to describe his father's penis to you. If that argument fails, ask him if he plans to keep his junk shaved all the time, since it's a much simpler way of maintaining a similarity than amputating things.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Someday I would like to have a sewing room. Maybe when the kids are grown I will appropriate a bedroom and make it into my sewing room. I will of course have to redecorate it, and I will do so with . . . . .(drumroll?) . . . . . fake wood paneling. I spent my childhood surrounded by fake wood paneling and I miss it, dammit! Ahhh, to have a sewing machine, a cutting table, bolts and bins of fabrics and notions, all in the warm glow of fake wood paneling. A girl can dream, can't she? And the absolute best thing is, I believe Tom would hang that awful paneling for me. Because he loves me just that much. And it will make him wince to look at, but he will do it nonetheless.
I have temper issues. from a distance, it is easy to say "Just ignore her ranting and fit-throwing and wait the ten minutes it takes her to do a 180 and be nice again," but you don't have to be on the receiving end of my thrown fits. Tom does. And I feel really bad for him because of it. But still, I will lose something and decide that it is because the house is a mess, which is because he moved the table I would have stored my things on, and therefor it is all his fault that I lost my keys. See? So stupid, but he lives with it. And all I do is apologize pointlessly, knowing I will do it again.
I fear my in-laws. Actually, I fear pissing them off and then being forced to awkwardly deal with them for the rest of my life. I feel like I'm a guest and have to be on my best behavior all the time and it makes it real easy for me to panic before holidays. Keep in mind, these are the people who introduced Tom and I, who were my friends before I ever married into their family. So it is completely stupid that I now fear them, yet I do. And every Christmas Tom listens to the same panicky rants he heard the year before. And on years where I am neither pregnant or nursing (so not since 2006) he buys me beer to get me through it. Somehow I'm okay with them thinking I have a drinking problem, but not with them thinking me rude.
He is reading this over my shoulder now and his ego is swelling and pushing me into the desk. I have to go snuggle him and hope he will be home again tomorrow night, because work has been sending him to Missouri and Nebraska, and other far off corners of the world lately. Bad work! Bad!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
When I nursed Ryan 12 years ago I was accused of incest, selfishness, and was told to go nurse in private. I fed her in dressing rooms, cars in parking lots, bathrooms, and in one case the manager's office in a restaurant. I have very little pity for women who choose to formula feed and get comments about it. Aside from the fact that I tend to agree with the comments (You seriously expect no one to judge you for choosing to feed your baby chemicals over milk?), I think the pro-formula side deserves to feel a little of what they made the pro-milk side feel for so long.
I am a stay at home mom. I am told, directly and indirectly, that I am lazy, a leach on my husband, a disgrace to feminism, and that I do not contribute anything to my family. So when I read about working mothers feeling like they're being judged for leaving their kids with sitters, I don't jump to their defense as much as I should. Probably because working mothers are the ones who tend to judge me.
I don't think white people should be passed over for jobs because they're white, or that straight people should be called "Breeders" and run out of certain neighborhoods, or that anyone should be treated unfairly at all. But it's hard to feel sympathy for an oppressed group that has been the oppressors in the past (or even sometimes still are). So I'm sorry for giggling when a man complains about the media putting an unfair expectation of beauty out there. But seriously, after years of airbrushed photos everywhere, guys are suddenly going to whine about the perfect pecs on GQ?! Are you kidding me?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
An awesome Barbie & The Rockers tour bus when I was 11, which I cannot find anywhere on the internet. I gave it to a friend to let her daughters play with my massive Barbie collection and she left everything in her basement to get moldy. Bitch.
A black leather coat with fringe and buttons that looked like Indian head nickels when I was 15. It was awesome and I wore that thing for like ten years, and Ryan pulled the fringe off one piece at a time.
A CB radio when I was 17. I used it a week later to call the cops when my car broke down in the middle of US 30, between towns.
A big box of food when I was 18. I was living at my dad's and there wasn't tons of food there, plus he kinda wanted me to move out, so my Mom bought me a giant box (remember when TVs were 3 dimensional? that kind of box) of mac and cheese, dry rice and pasta, canned and jarred food, just stuff to eat when Dad ate the fridge down to nothing.
An air purifier from my mom/Santa when I was 22. At the time I smoked, but only by the kitchen window since I didn't want Ryan breathing a lot of smoke, and it was freezing to have the window open, so Mom bought me a hepa air purifier for the smoke. The thing must have cost her a hundred dollars, and it's not like she wasn't helping me out financially anyway.
Lavender floral print thong underwear with Winnie the Pooh on them. When I was potty training Ryan I bought her flower print and Winnie the Pooh panties in her favorite color: purple, and I always told her to be very careful not to pee in her pretty flower panties and how much I wished I had pretty flower panties like she had. That Xmas she went with my mom and bought me what she knew would be the perfect gift: purple flower panties with Winnie the Pooh. I don't generally wear thongs, but I loved those panties so much because they showed that she really looked for the perfect gift and not only bought me what she thought was neat, but what I had actually mentioned wanting. Awesome kid, huh?
A Nebraska garden gnome when I was 28. It was Tom and my first Xmas together and I wanted to jump on his bandwagon (that is not sexual) and be a big Nebraska fan so we were looking at websites looking for a shirt I'd like and I found this gnome. Completely pointless and frivolous, but I fell in love. And not only did I get the gnome, but I got the shirt we found, too.
An espresso/cappuccino machine when I was 31. I didn't know you could buy a decent espresso machine for under $100 (Alton Brown said the good ones were expensive, damn him!) but Ryan bought me a Mr Coffee one that has lasted me 3 full years. If we had a water softener, it would still be in great condition, but I think it is getting clogged with calcium or lime from daily use. I hope to get a new one this year.
A zippered tote with yellow butterflies all over it when I was 33. Last year when we were in the mall on Black Friday, after a very early morning up for doorbusters, Ryan ran off to shop for me and a month later, I got multiple gifts but one of them was a zippered canvas tote with yellow butterflies on it. I have used the thing so much the zipper is pulling away and needs to be resewn, and I love it. It was one of the bags I brought to the hospital with me when I had Danny.
A (faux) fur lined hat with ear flaps and a chin strap. My mother bought it for me because I had wanted one for shoveling snow and when I opened it my (conformist) brother laughed at me, but I did not care. The next year, everyone was wearing hats with ear flaps and chin straps. Why? Because it gets freaking cold here and the hats are warm and when you're in danger of losing your favorite appendages to frost bite, fuck looking cool!
I can't think of any more, but hopefully I can come up with new entries to this list in a couple weeks. Feliz Navidad!
Monday, December 13, 2010
I do not consider myself a hypocrite because I smoked for 20 years and still tell my kids not to. I consider myself someone who can tell them with absolute certainty that addiction is guaranteed and it sucks. I had a child out of wedlock, and I try to convince my daughter to abstain. And I can tell her that although having her was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me, it probably could have happened a few years later and it would not have been any less magical. When I hear people say that they can't teach their kid not to smoke pot because they did it in high school, I slap my forehead. Of course you can try to get your kid to avoid your mistakes. That's your goddamned job! You made a lifetime of stupid mistakes so that your kid can avoid them! Then the kid makes all new stupid mistakes and hopefully, somewhere down the line, we end up with a generation that doesn't actually have to screw up quite so much. It's a noble goal; don't fuck it all up!
The first meds my doctor gave me was generic Prozac. I was on that for 5 days when I lost my coordination and had to go off. A coworker asked why I couldn't seem to assemble small pieces and I told him it was the Prozac. He told me mood was a direct result of outlook, and outlook is a choice. He committed suicide 9 years later.
I have been hospitalized as an inpatient for depression. I have been in and out of therapy since I was 4 years old. What I have learned is that depression is very often a physical organic illness which requires medication. Medication helps put a person in a position to benefit from therapy, to learn to seethings from a more optimistic viewpoint and cope despite the depression. That said, some depression is situational and doesn't require medication. Grief, fear, boredom, or addiction can all influence a person's outlook on life. But, refusing (or resisting) meds is not a sign of strength. The people I've heard tell me that are all dead now, of depression, so I beg anyone who is depressed to try whatever it takes, and keep trying new things if the old don't work.
Friday, December 10, 2010
We left the church to find that it had begun to snow. Big fat snowflakes that swirled in the air before landing on every branch and power line in town. And reflected off all those giant snowflakes were colored lights. Red and blue flashing lights from squad cars representing every city in the country, the county, and the state, bouncing off buildings and clouds, softened by the swirling snow, and it made me cry again.
I love you and I miss you, Danny. And so do a lot of other people.
It's not about presents, but it is. It's about giving them; the getting is an unavoidable consequence. And it's not (in my family) about a single birth two millennia ago. It's all the other holidays rolled into one. The sense of gratitude and appreciation that Thanksgiving is, the atonement and forgiveness of Yom Kippur. The happiness and excitement of a birthday or a 4th of July fireworks show. All in one 2 day celebration (I count Christmas Eve). I love Christmas. It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
I know a lot of people disagree with me on how people find their faith. But I have to ask them, can you name 4 main religious texts? Bible, Torah, Quran, then what? I'm not saying that yor faith has to be wrong because your parents or environment taught it to you. I'm just saying that the odds are, someone who grows up in the midwest US will choose Christianity if raised without a religion, because it's everywhere. Why grade kids on memorizing lines about the king of Earth and "a savior is born"? Just stick to Sleigh Ride and Winter Wonderland. They don't undermine anyone's parenting, do they?
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Ryan's Grover, and Gopher, and someday Brownie if we ever find him, are packed away in a box of her favorite baby things. Someday Tommy's blankey and Kitty will go into his box, too, and Danny's Mow Mow. I sometimes wish I had one object that would make me feel secure and safe no matter what. I'd be nice to be able to cuddle a blanket and forget about the credit card bills or whatever. Maybe that's why we get to drink wine.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
If you're not with us, you're against us. If you're against us, you're at war with us. If you decided not to be with us then you started the war. If you started the war, then you attacked us. Oh my gosh, how could you have attacked us when we were just sitting here not doing anything to you!?
That explains the "war on Christmas". By acknowledging other religions and, you know, New Years, you are attacking the people who want to believe that Christmas is the only reason winter and festivity exists. Vicious unprovoked attacks on Christian extremists by blue-smocked octogenarian Walmart Greeters, spouting their violent persecutorial "Season's Greetings!"
By the way, that same circular logic of insanity explains how equal rights for gays persecutes the religious right.
Monday, December 06, 2010
I hate cowl necks. They call them cowl necks because they're hoping you don't notice how much the act of wearing a cowl neck resembles the act of being born, through a very loose and flappy vagina. Seriously, who ever looked at a woman in a sweater and thought, "You know what would make her look better? Knit labia all around her collarbone there." Nobody. Nobody has ever thought that, because it is sick and wrong.
My son has a new favorite movie. For a year now his favorite movie has been Cars. You know what made him change it? Us, buying him a bunch of Cars things for Christmas. Now his favorite movie is How To Train Your Dragon. Crap.
I wonder if I can drink vinegar. I know I can choke down white wine, and that tastes like vinegar. And I do like vinegar and oil on my salads. But could I just do a shot of vinegar before meals. The reason I ask (yes, there is a reason) is that I read that drinking vinegar before meals somehow stops absorption of carbs or something, and people have lower blood sugar after the meal than if they hadn't drank vinegar. So that's good for diabetics, which I may someday be, but it also can help with weight loss. The article I read said that people lost up to 4 pounds a month just by doing this. I wonder if I can drink vinegar.
Why is the verb "absorb" and the noun "absorption"? I always want to use a 'b' and type "absorbtion" and spellcheck is always there with it's haughty red underline. Damn elitist spellcheck.
I don't like hunting. I don't like Sarah Palin. But I exponentially hate Sarah Palin's defense of hunting. Not because she's wrong about why it's okay for Alaskans to hunt but because she thinks people who hate hunting hate it for Alaskans. See, there are lots of parts of Alaska where you only get groceries every few months, due to the nearest store being 400 miles away. And those people live off dry goods and frozen food. So sometimes they have to hunt just to get food. Which is no big deal. It is not only no big deal, but it is world's apart from the guy who lives behind a Super Walmart and takes vacation time off work to soak himself in deer pee and go sit in a tree for 5 hours hoping to kill something for fun. I don't care if that guy eats it or not; he's killing it for the thrill of the hunt. Why is it that a kid stalking and killing feral cats in an alley is sick but a middle aged guy stalking and killing deer in the woods is fine? Is it better if the kid eats the cats? No, but it is if he's in the middle of freaking Alaska and the next pontoon boat full of bagged rice and Spam isn't due for another 3 months. So STFU Sarah Palin.
I like lima beans. I also like asparagus and brussels sprouts. But I never cook them because no one else likes them and faint gaggy sounds emanate from Ryan's chair at the table when she sees them. And I really like them. I should make them but it's just not worth the hassle of cooking an extra dish and then packing the leftovers into the fridge to mold in a Rubbermaid box.
I'm pissed at the people who stock Walmart. One tiny thing, and I'll just get it out of the way here, is that they can't tell thin spaghetti from spaghetti so when I go to buy spaghetti, the section for thin spaghetti is full of thin spaghetti, but then so is the section for regular, slightly thicker spaghetti. And since that space is full, no one ever orders the damn regular spaghetti! It seems like a simple thing to just buy the thin kind but the thin kind cooks faster than the regular kind and I mix my spaghettis half white and half wheat so they both have to cook the same. I buy bulk spaghettis and then mix them all up in a Tupperware box and it wouldn't work if I just up and added 7 minute spaghetti to my 10 minute spaghetti box just because some illiterate stockboy can't read the shelf tag. Also, they don't stock shit for little boy's clothes. Tons of stuff for girls but boys only get play clothes with trucks on it or geeky 3 piece suits. He's not in a wedding; he just needs something to open presents in and then spit up all over. A red sleep'n'play with a reindeer on it would suffice. But nope, nothing but dump trucks and church clothes, in a sea of red velvet girl clothes.
The absolute best way to get poop out of baby clothes (probably any clothes but I haven't crapped myself yet to check) is Irish Spring Icy Blast hand soap. Just scrub the clothes in the bathroom sink with a bar of soap (yes you have to touch the slimy orange poop for this to work) and even a white onesie can be saved. I don't know why, but it works better than Shout or Spray 'N Wash or Oxy Clean.
My husband tries to win arguments with reality. Do all men do this? He insists that the dishwasher should, by virtue of its name, actually wash the dishes, no matter the state they're in when he loads it. So if he puts in a frying pan full of grease and cooked on bits of blackness, he is absolutely shocked when he opens the dishwasher to find grease and bits of blackness inside all the glasses. I think that somewhere in his head, amid the reels of porn and football statistics, is the belief that the dishwasher is a machine which hums and makes sloshing sounds all while an army of tiny men with toilet brushes come out to scrub the dishes, look them over, and then scrub them again. The fact that it's basically just an out of control fire hose spraying scalding water in all directions inside a sealed box with no regard for how clean anything gets in the end, just never sinks through his head. It's insane, and it drives me insane.
A Vicks Vapor Inhaler, when put through the full laundry cycle, will come out only slightly less meth-tastic in the end. Its main ingredient is levmetamfetamine, which is chemically very similar to methamphetamine, which is why I call it my meth stick. I've been calling it that for 3 cold and flu seasons now and no longer think anything of it, until I ask Tom to go grab me a new meth stick in front of strangers at Walmart. Oops.
The Bible is against it, it's bad for children to witness, it's sexually selfish, and it weakens marriage. It's . . . . (drumroll please) . . . . divorce! I would LOVE to see pastors on TV railing against divorced people and divorces and the travesty of churches welcoming divorced parents. I want to read a headline about a Catholic school that expelled a kid after it learned her parents were divorced. I want the Defense of Marriage Act rewritten to prohibit the federal government from recognizing divorce regardless of state laws. I want divorced senators to get as much crap as Barney Frank gets for being gay. I want cities with large divorced populations stigmatized the way San Francisco is. I want Fred Phelps to wave a "God Hates Exes" sign at his next funeral protest. It's still a gross generalization which unfairly judges large groups of unrelated people, but at least it makes a little more sense. As it is now the studies don't back up any of the anti-gay claims, Christians routinely ignore the rest of Leviticus altogether (know a lot of kosher Baptists?), and the whole anti-gay stance seems to boil down to "I can't help but picture them having sex and it grosses me out," which could be said about a lot more than just gay people.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
I understand that people who are open to opportunity are more likely to notice it than people who are busy bitching and whining about the need for opportunity. But I do not believe that the Universe treats positive people any different than it treats negative people. I don't believe the Universe treats anyone any way. I don't credit the Universe with intent. Things happen because of logical cause and effect or because of random coincidence. You can cover your car and house with pink ribbons and smile in the chemo room or you can cry and scream and hate cancer for infecting you, and your survival rate won't be any different. And I don't believe that the people who smile and wear color-coded ribbons like badges of honor are happy to have cancer, or even that they're less mad about it. I think they're hiding their anger, denying it, and thus wasting whatever support system they might have by not actually seeking support. All because Oprah or Dr Phil or some new age motivational speaker convinced them that a positive outlook will help cure them. It's a myth. It's been debunked.
I feel bad for people who never get mad in traffic, who never allow themselves a moment of self-pity or sadness or anger. The same way I wouldn't want to go through life feeling only negative emotions I wouldn't want to feel only positive ones either. I enjoy living life to its fullest, and that includes being pissed off and sometimes just letting myself cry and feel sorry for myself. People who can't bring themselves to do that are missing out on a big chunk of life.
Friday, December 03, 2010
How to Really Love a Child
Say yes as often as possible.
Let them bang on pots and pans.
If they’re crabby, put them in water.
If they’re unlovable, love yourself.
Realize how important it is to be a child.
Go to a movie theater in your pajamas.
Read books out loud with joy.
Invent pleasures together.
Remember how really small they are.
Giggle a lot.
Say no when necessary.
Heal your own inner child.
Learn about parenting.
Hug trees together.
Make loving safe.
Bake a cake and eat it with no hands.
Go find elephants and kiss them.
Plan to build a rocket ship.
Imagine yourself magic.
Make lots of forts with blankets.
Let your angel fly.
Reveal your own dreams.
Search out the positive.
Keep the gleam in your eye.
Plant licorice in your garden.
Express your love.
Paint their tennis shoes.
Handle with caring.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mean that there isn't a god, or gods, or intelligent design. I mean, that we have, as a species, solved enough mysteries that we can know how things happen without attributing them to a god. There might be a God, but our faith in him is now dependent more on actual faith than on a need to explain things. We can believe because we believe, on faith, and no because we need some explanation for sunsets and rainbows and babies.
I recently got into an argument with a Christian (not a poster child for all Christians, just one person who was a Christian) about evolution. And she said the same thing I hear all the time that drives me crazy. She said she believes a species can adapt, but not evolve. If one species could evolve into a different species, why don't we see transitional species all over the place?
Oh My God. That is evolution! I don't know who is running around telling people that evolution is cats becoming whales or whatever (Sarah Palin?) but it's not. It's a species adapting in tiny ways until, after a million years or so, those tiny adaptations add up enough to warrant calling it a different species than its ancestor. And, since species are always adapting, every single species alive today is a transitional species. People are, on average, taller than they used to be, with smaller jaws and shorter pinky toes. And in a million years we may have a whole different face shape, be ten feet tall, and have only 4 toes on each foot. And a whole bunch of other things, too. And then we will cease to be homo sapiens and be homo somethingelses instead. Evolution, made up of adaptations. There is no crocoduck.
I do not, despite all evidence to the contrary, have a problem with religion, Christianity in particular, or Christians. I do have a problem with people who believe something without knowing what or why. This woman I was talking to actually did believe in evolution, but she had been told not to so she thought she didn't. She had been told that evolution meant some cow walked to the beach, decided to swim, and then became a whale. Now, she can refuse to believe in evolution all she wants, but I think she (and everyone else) should know what it is and then choose not to believe it if that's what she wants. I can't explain what made life start, where the spark came from, and it very well could have been a god. But to say that a cow's inability to swim out to sea disproves evolution is just lunacy.