Sunday, May 31, 2009

instant fishinger

My Yahoo made that little *POP!* noise, and here is what ensued:

unchangingsalmon (1:42 PM): Today is suicide awareness day! Were you aware that suicide is always painless, and some people say often quite pleasurable? You should try it? SUICIDE AWARENESS!
d (1:43 PM): well, that's different.
unchangingsalmon (1:43 PM): Who this?
d (1:43 PM): if you don't know, why did you message me? stupid fish.
unchangingsalmon (1:44 PM): I never did


Anyway, if you know "unchangingsalmon", please stage some sort of intervention.

That salmon CLEARLY needs to change.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

W.B.I.N.T.W.A


WBINTWA = What Blossom Is Not To Wear Anymore, because Mayim Bialik was the newest tortured plaything of What Not To Wear's Dynamic Duo of Dshopping for Dfashionable Dclothes.

To catch you up to speed, Mayim Bialik was America's darling as TVs "Blossom" in the early 1990's. She was a quirky girl who did spastic dances while wearing sassy, colorful, often mismatched clothing, and she had a penchant for ridiculous hats riddled with ridiculous flowers. That photo up there pretty much says it all.

When her TV career drew to a close, Mayim did what every other popular TV actress did-- she went to college, got married to a pudgy guy, and earned her PhD in Neuroscience with a minor in Hebrew Studies.

Then she had two children and was photographed in public like this:

Needless to say, I feel a kinship with the girl.

And that's why I'm so very upset to have missed the last 30 minutes of the episode. I want to know if her style is better than Blossom's. And since she doesn't wear pants or leather, I'm curious if anyone suggested leather pants. And I have no earthly idea what outfits she chose, how Nick did her hair, whether she cried when he did his patented "here's your pony tail, hippie, now CRY" trick, and how Carmindy made her gorgeous by putting makeup all over her bony little hands and then applying it to someone else's lips.

I just get creeped out when she does that. I mean, what if she recently did makeup for Tommy Lee or Kid Rock and transferred some leper juice?

In any case, i'm assuming it went something like this.

BEFORE:


She looks like Colonel Mustard's niece, Dijon von Houndstooth.

*
*
*

AFTER:

WHOA!

Just kidding. That's Joey Lawrence, who played Blossom's brother. Remember when cute guys on TV weren't shaved, tanned, plucked, and six-packed? And they actually had scraggledy waggledy chest hair and wore necklaces made of soda pop tops?

Me, too.

Those were the good old days.

As i'm seriously unable to find a single "After" shot of Mayim's makeover, i'm going to have to hope for the best and keep my eyes on the DVR prize. I think I know exactly how she felt, watching two weeks' worth of footage of her frump. Every defense she made of her style-- i've made it, too. I only wear shirts that are nursing accessible and tummy defensible. I wear pants that disguise my reconfiguring middle. I wear the same shoes every day because they slip on without requiring hands. I generally have a 20 pound person strapped to my chest, shielding whatever i'm wearing from too much scrutiny.

Mayim, you're my new TV best friend. Let's put on our Ergos and grab some chai, and you can tell me all about how you secretly hope your kids will wear lots of funny hats.

Friday, May 29, 2009

hit FACE with BOOK.


Things I learned on Facebook today:

* Some friends were doing something fun without me.
* The guy who raped me in high school said something pithy in response to a status update by a girl to whom I haven't spoken in over 13 years.
* An acquaintance is an Aquarius and actually took a quiz to tell them so.
* My friends have received virtual Bling, Relaxed Smiles, and Girly Drinks today. No mention of VD, oddly.
* Most of the people I knew in high school still can't spell worth a damn and have horrible grammar.
* Someone threw up, someone feels like Wonder Woman, and someone says "BLAH" when encountering ants.
* Someone hates their mother.
* Several people want me to vote on whether or not the current president is doing a good job, LIKE IT MATTERS until we vote again in 2012.
* A guy I dated in high school recommended a movie that I would like, except that it's completely unavailable to purchase or download and probably doesn't really exist.
* Someone was passive-aggressively threatened with an Edward icon. He can always make you. Ooooh, that works both ways! Bada-bing!
* Everyone is eating much more exciting things than I am.
* Blah blah blah American Idol blah blah Taliban blah blah dog in a duffel bag blah blah blah thankful for crap.
* People in Atlanta can apparently neither drive nor park, and they also own every manhole in Roswell, which may or may not be a conspiracy to steal our water and send us feces.
* Everyone loves cake and Cake, including me.
* There are about 4 people that I have never met among my Friends, and I have no idea why, but they are very anxious to tell me very personal things. Like about constipation.
* Someone thinks they're a hobbit. Or that they *should* be a hobbit.

....and don't even get me started on what I learned via Twitter, aside from the fact that I don't really like Twitter, but I do enjoy having that ridiculous badge to Follow Me on Twitter over there on the right, so I give a token update every now and again.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

in soviet russia, shark jumps you!


I hereby offer you a list of things that have officially jumped my mental Jaws.

Katie Holmes. Ugg boots. Clever Twilight shirts, especially ones that include the word "Team". Swine flu. Coach bags, especially ones covered in C and made of plastic. High-heeled ankle booties. Any fashion phrase that includes "is the new black". Tube tops.

The fact that organic fruit and vegetables are prohibitively expensive yet normal fruits and vegetables are frankenplants that will give my great-grandkids gallbladder cancer. Grocery store cashiers or baggers who refuse to bag my groceries because I bring reusable bags. The fact that it costs $150 to adopt an adult cat from the Humane Society. The fact that cat food companies want us to believe that cats need cranberries and alfalfa in their diets.

Madonna's arms. Mischa Barton's cellulite. Angelina Jolie's anything. Lady GaGa's existence. Those Jon and Kate people and the fact that America is surprised that fame and nagging are tearing them apart. The fact that my grandmother watches news just to hear about Kaylee Anthony, even though everybody knows she's dead and her mom did it.

Rising health care costs. The utter lameness of all forms of birth control. Getting older. Finding jeans that fit. This year's collection of sandals, which are modeled after either gladiators or Pocahontas. The Notebook. Yes, it's old, and it still bothers me. Figuring out what to do with all the leaves that fall in autumn. Credit card companies. Trash companies. Blogs with hundred of followers that are utterly boring, poorly written, or both. Dooce. How smug Colonel Sanders looks.

Traffic. Cars so small that I can't see them in my mirrors. Cars so big that they can't park. People texting while they drive. The term "sexting". How hard it is to lose weight. How many calories are in brownies. Consumer debt. War. The bias and lameness of cnn.com. Leg shaving. Hot weather. The fact that every time a LOLcat makes me LOL, my first thought is, "I could have come up with that."

Ahhhhh.

Catharsis.

I love blogging.

Jump higher, Katie-- you're gonna lose your Uggs!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

twigs n' berries


I'm going to make it quick, because I am exhausted.

But, seriously, how many kids' toys look like genitalia?

Surely the designers are aware of this epidemic.

And don't even get me started on popsicles.

***

First of all, we have a new toy passed down from some wonderful friends. We call it "Whack-a-Noonie", because our family has replaced horrible epithets with the phrase "Noonie Birds".

As in, "That noonie bird can't drive worth a noonie!"

As in, "Should I worry that my child likes this toy so much?"

She runs around, smacking the poor little... things... and hollering WHACKANOONIE-WHACKANOONIE-WHACKANOONIE!!!

And they... um... they pop in and out of holes. In a bed.


It's so blatant that I felt dirty trying to put my usual words and scraggly arrows on there.



And then we have our favorite kids' flatware from Ikea.


I know it's not quite as bad... but why on earth does a spoon need testicles?

Does it impregnate whisks while I sleep? Does it enjoy spooning out the yogurt a leeeetle too much? Can I honestly watch my child eat with this spoon tomorrow, after sharing these thoughts with you?

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

sound and fury signifying pancakes

Because he was eating bananas for the first time, and they're related to platanos, which are plantains, and Gwen Stefani sings that song,
and am I just talking to myself here?



Let me give you a little object lesson in anger management.

I have a toddler. Therefore, I have anger issues.

It's simply a part of parenthood.

When you're young or pregnant or naive or all three, you think, "Wow, I get to help a little person explore their world and learn and grow. I'm going to teach them, and they're going to gaze with wonder at the beauty of life. Kumbaya!"

And then you realize that "exploring their world" involves a tube of blue toothpaste, an overflowing sink stopped up with paper towels, and 7 different pairs of pants a day. They don't listen. They don't have impulse control. They can't focus. They don't respond immediately to words like "no" or "stop" or "the power of Christ compels you".

They are constantly moving, gnawing, asking, singing, drooling, booger-picking, egocentric little monsters with the emotional understanding of a pissed off porcupine on meth.

And that's okay, because that's how they're wired. That is, in fact, how they learn.

But for the parent, it's intensely aggravating.

So the Biscuit's latest interest is the bathroom sink. She can finally hoist her little body up far enough to turn the knobs and wash her hands. And while I know that water exploration is very normal for toddlers, I don't really like it when she puts the stopper down and floods the bathroom while i'm nursing a sleeping baby.

So today, I thought i'd try something different. I planned to get LOUD. When I heard the sink running, I yelled from 20 feet away under the (instantly awakened) baby, "GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM, NOW!!"

So she closed the door and kept playing.

I had to get LOUDER if I was going to get her attention.

So I picked up the howling baby, stomped to the bathroom, turned off the sink, hollered, "GET! OUT! NOW!", and slammed the door.

And then all the artwork fell off the bathroom wall, the ceramic bird shattered, and the fan cover fell off the ceiling.


Yeah, that got her attention.

Her face was immediately a snot-covered, tear-spurting mess, and she howled, "That yelling hurts me!" like I had put a foghorn to a bullhorn to her hearing aid.

Did she actually connect this painfully loud display with playing in the sink and how she should totally not do that? I have no idea. But I have a broken objet d'art, and this lovely consequence of my own clever parenting.


A little chunk of ceramic bird stuck in my hand, making me bleed all over her strawberry shirt.

Sigh.

I'm not going to go into my feelings about discipline. I've never been an angry person, and i've never had a reason or a need to express this sort of anger before. I honestly don't think i've ever done anything as difficult and as frustrating as raising a toddler.

So why did I share this story with you? Because it's funny and sad and totally normal. Because I want to offer up my anger to the ether, to find catharsis in writing it and remembering it. And to let you know that even after a scene like that one, we were hugging and playing hide and seek 5 minutes later, and eating pancakes 20 minutes later.

If nature made toddlers the most frustrating creatures on earth, it also made them the most forgiving.

A pancake covered with syrup helps.

Monday, May 25, 2009

and the winner is....


#32 DEBBIE!

Please email me at delilahpaints [at] yahoo [dotz]com with your address.

Thanks to everyone who entered! It's been so much fun to visit new blogs and hear about the art that brings you joy. I plan on offering some smaller watercolors as giveaways on this blog and occasionally another wooden one, whether pears or bellies.

And special thanks to SITS for mentioning the giveaway. If you haven't been to SITS before, it's a great networking site for female bloggers and crafters.



Method: Winner was chosen by assigning a number to every entry, then using www.random.org to select a number.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

unruly review: true blood


WARNING: In this review, THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

And not like "Daniel Day Lewis walking around like a rusty coathanger with a mustache buying up oil rights to weird background music". I mean that True Blood is an HBO show about blood, sex, and drugs, and even my random and unspoiling review must take the inborn depravity of the show into account.

Now.



True Blood is HBO's adaptation of the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, which are bloody good fun. It's basically vampires + rednecks + murder + sex + drugs + serial killers + bar + voodoo + there's actually a character named "Catfish". Can you imagine anything better?

First there's Sookie, pronounced with the same oo in "book", and when Vampire Bill says it, it makes your knees go a little weak, even though he's not all that attractive when he's not saying "Sookie".


Sookie's a telepathic southern girl who lives with her grandmother in Louisiana, and Vampire Bill is the kinda dirty, pale dude who shows up to gaze creepily at her window while drinking synthetic blood. He also occasionally visits the bar where she works with her boss, Sam, and her best friend, Tara, who is a bit of a walking, drawling stereotype.


Then there's Sookie's brother, Jason, who gets in a lot of trouble, including a raging case of eggplantish priapism. Go look that one up. There's a needle involved.


And then there's Eric. Like many of the characters, he's not quite what he was written to be. But still not horribly disappointing.


I don't want to spoil too much for you. There are several different plot lines, and it's really a very rich tapestry of southern vampire horror. I definitely recommend reading the books first, because they're delightful, and then watching the entire series at night when the kids are in bed. Even the title sequence is brilliant.

But it's very bloody. And it involves maggots, baptism, and an axolotl.


And there are all sorts of boobs and tight little bottoms and general face slurping.

There's even a sort of naughty vampire bar called Fangtasia. You can get a t-shirt!


How bloody and not-child-friendly is this show?


Even Dexter wants in on the fun.

Too bad, non-sucker!

So, if you like vampires, sex, blood, humor, murder mysteries, and laughing at southern accents, I wholeheartedly recommend True Blood. I've loved these books for 5 years, and I get all giddy when a new one comes out. It's like Twilight for adults who don't mind getting a bit dirty, and you can get it at Target for $35.

And if your husband won't watch it with you, let me give you 2 words: Rogue's boobs.

That's right. The chick who plays Sookie was Rogue in X-Men, and she lets the owls out to fly, if you get my drift.

Laissez les bon temps roulez, y'all!

Friday, May 22, 2009

unruly soapbox: say anything


I played blogscotch this morning and landed on a blog i'd never heard of before, by someone i've never met to whom i'm not going to link. But she's in the "funny mom" genre and has loads of followers and comments, so she's apparently well-liked and respected.

But one post just irked me.

The post in question was about "Woman as a Second Language" and had several "translations" of what a woman says vs. what a man hears, the sort of thing to which other moms are supposed to shake their heads wryly and say, "Yeah, girl, that's so true!" But it reminded me more of watching Married with Children and trying to figure out who you hate more, Peg or Al, and deciding that they just deserve each other.

For example, and to paraphrase:

You say: I'm going to the drugstore to pick up some "supplies".

He hears: I'm going to spend an hour laboring over which feminine hygiene products I need to adequately stem my horribly bloody flow that makes me into an untouchable.

What you really mean: I'm going to Starbucks to enjoy a grande skinny caramel latte and an almond biscotti while you unknowingly watch the kids.

Here's what I say to that: barf.

***

Here's a novel idea: SAY WHAT YOU MEAN.

If men are hearing the wrong thing, perhaps it's because you're not saying the right thing. You're not being truthful. You're not trusting that your spouse, in this instance, is prepared to understand you and meet your needs. And you choose to spend your life with this inconsiderate moron, and possibly bear his children?

Here's what I say: I need to go to Starbucks and sit by myself with a chai latte and a vampire book for an hour before I lose my mind. Could you please watch the kids?

See how easy that is?

Do you see the outrageously simple elegance of honesty?

I mean, I guess he has the option to say "no", but then I would counter with, "Okay, that's fine, but how can you help me decompress after a day with these monsters? Can you handle dinner and bedtime? Or maybe you could take them out early tomorrow so I can get time to myself? I really need just an hour."

I suppose compromise is never perfect, but I would be embarrassed to admit that I had to lie about tampons just to get an hour to myself.

I guess I just don't believe in using little lies to get your way with the one person who should always be on your side, supporting you. And if you're not at a place with your spouse where you can equably discuss eachother's needs from the kitchen to the bedroom, maybe you should have a little talk about that instead of making up lies about why you keep buying expensive status bags. Address what's missing in your life that needs replacing. Find out why you need dishonesty when honesty would work even better.

I'm sure she was edging into hyperbole for a laugh, as all humor bloggers do. I mean, I know a blue and red toy dinosaur didn't eat my cupcake. I don't shout "Bring it on down to Omeletteville, JT!" during intimate moments. I may occasionally ham it up for my own, and possibly your, amusement.

But I think that much of what that blogger wrote, including lying to her spouse about buying bags, getting coffee, personal upkeep, looking at other women, going to the salon, and weight and attractiveness of both partners, is utter bullsh*t of the sort that makes all women look bad.

Much like Peg Bundy makes all women look bad.

And, at the same time, it assumes that men are idiots, incapable of understanding women or seeing through their petty lies. I, for one, would not want to be married to some gullible pansy who swallowed such utterly lame stories with open heart and wallet.

So, to step off my soapbox, I implore women everywhere to say what you think and feel to the man in your life. Ask for what you need and want in plain language without manipulation or guilt or anger. It took me years to figure it out, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

unruly review: robinson crusoe


To further cement the understanding that I only watch TV shows that you've never, ever heard of, let me tell you about Crusoe, aka New TV Boyfriend.

This review should be random and disjointed enough to defy spoilers, but, honestly, every episode is so transparent that it won't make a difference.

Apparently, the original image of Robinson Crusoe just wasn't cool enough.


So they really wanted to glam it up with attractive people and witty repartee. They turned Crusoe into a sort of 19th century McGyver relentlessly pursued by the emotive C-level cast of Pirates of the Caribbean, and the public was overwhelmingly underwhelmed.

And then I found it on the shelf of Target for $19.99, and our next adventure began.

First of all, there's Robinson Crusoe, who has been trapped on The Island for 6 years.


Can I get a HUBBA HUBBA?

This guy is 4 years younger than me, which makes me feel well-preserved and cougaresque at the same time.

Then there's his buddy Friday, whom he rescued from cannibals.



Gee, who thinks the cannibals might show up again? Wouldn't that make for riveting TV?

Anyway, they live in this totally awesome treehouse with all the comforts of home, including clever methods of travel, water collection, and defense. Of course, you can't defend a treehouse from fire.


Gee, who thinks the treehouse might be threatened with fire repeatedly?

The island has loads of dangerous pitfalls, from man-eating crocodiles to piranha-infested rivers to haunted temples. Somehow, although they've been there 6 years and can run across the island in a day, they still manage to find new things they've never seen before in pretty much every episode.


Gee, who thinks the writers really liked Lost?

And throughout all of their adventures with pirates, sailors, transvestites, cannibals, tribal royalty, and snotty enemies, there are these poorly done flashbacks of Crusoe's former life that tell the story of how he grew up, was utterly screwed over by life, and made repeated mistakes that generally involved trusting the wrong people.


Gee, who thinks they know who the big bad guy might be?

Not this guy.


Not the beloved, helpful, generous uncle who looks evilly off into the distance while wearing flashy black capes.

Not him.

Oh, and then another chick shows up.


And, sadly, although it's interesting and fun, it simply wasn't good enough for a second season. I liked it, and I still know there's not a chance.

Dangit, Crusoe! You trusted those guys at NBC, didn't you?

You always trust the wrong people!

When they ask you to be in Major League 4, please say no.

Anyway, for $20, it made for several nights of entertainment. Even when we were complaining or making fun of it, we were having fun.

I mean, he ain't the Goblin King, but he'll do.

Especially when running down the beach without a shirt.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

i'm serious about the killer bees


I fear things, but I often fear all the wrong things.

I'd rather handle venomous snakes than drive on certain highways. I'd rather eat raw eggs than introduce myself to a stranger. I still have a lurking fear of killer bees, thanks to an 8th grade research paper.

Seriously, just you wait. They're making their way up here like yellow-striped furry beach balls with machetes for butts.

And now, thanks to Facebook links, i've got two new fears: GMOs and bra underwires.

Take those innocent little muffins up there. I made them a) to feed to a pregnant friend, b) to feed to my toddler, and c) to use up food before the fridge officially died. And they're chock full of healthy ingredients, from steel cut oats to flaxseed to whole pumpkin and loads of spices. Yes, they're iced with a spontaneous mixture of powdered sugar, butter, and granulated sugar, but that wasn't for me. That was for Christine. Honest.

But today, after reading that article on GMOs, here is how I see them:


They're like tiny little spicy time bombs.

Which is great for my diet.

But it just makes me wonder what the future is going to look like, when you can't even trust an apple. An innocent, red apple. Because I adore apples, and I have to admit that the regular ones taste so much better than organic. Crunchier, sweeter, bigger. And full of pesticides and killer bee eggs and heaven only knows what else.

On the other hand, when I went to shuck an ear of corn today and found worms/maggots/aliens crawling around under the husk, I suppose I knew that there weren't too many pesticides involved.

Death or bugs? Not my favorite trade.

And so, to soothe myself of my fears that I gave myself gallbladder cancer by eating a box of Jolly Green Giant frozen vegetables for dinner, I'm going to go watch the Rhymenoceros vs. Hiphopopotamus video for the third time today, because it's totally stuck in my head, and i'm fairly sure it doesn't cause cancer.

Hey! Ho!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

art giveaway


It's belated, but I want to give away a piece of art from my Little Worlds show.

This is one of my pear paintings in chalk pastel and acrylic on wooden board. Measures... maybe... 3.5" x 7", with a little hanger on the back. Here you can see 'er frolicking with all her curvy sisters at the show.


These pears need love. Out of all the pears in the world, the voluptuous Bartlett and Modigliani-esque Bosc found each other and bonded over their striking resemblance to the gravid female form. They were chosen by an artist to be painted, over and over, and they basked in their good fortune.

Then they were cut into pieces and eaten by a small child.

Life is cruel.

***

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment answering this question:

What's your favorite piece of artwork?

It can be something in your home, something you saw in a museum, something from Art History 101, or your kid's hand turkey from preschool. We ain't picky.

Here are the rules:

1. Continental US only. Because I have to pay to ship you a piece of wood.
2. Contest ends Monday, May 25 at 10am EST.
3. To enter, leave a comment.
4. For another entry, blog about the giveaway, and leave a link to your blog post in the comments.
5. For another entry, Follow me, if you do not already.
6. For another entry, force... or... coerce... or... recommend that a friend come here and Follow me, and then have them comment that you sent 'em.
7. For 3 entries, mail me a cupcake. No chocolate. Not joking.
8. Winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and posted at 10am Monday.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you win! I love knowing my art has a good and loving home.

Monday, May 18, 2009

the thong show


I don't think of myself as an uptight or controlling person.

Except that I kinda am.

I have all these tiny rules that make no sense. Cabinet doors must be closed. Left sock before right sock. Sensible shoes for children. Don't call a flip-flop a "thong" unless it makes your blog title catchy.

But i'm learning to let go.


My child loves shoes and especially craves flip-flops. Recognizing that there are very few shoes worse for the anatomy of the human foot, and because they remind me of John Mayer, I had forbidden them. Hence last week's jumbomegatantrum.

And then yesterday I realized that I couldn't explain why I was so against buying my child a pair of flip-flops. It's not like she's going to wear them to run marathons over thumbtacks. They're not inherently evil or prohibitively expensive. I had made up this arbitrary rule based on my own feelings and practicality and was ruling with an iron orthopedic shoe.

Why fight a fight for no reason with a toddler?

So I bought her some flip-flops at Old Navy. $3.25, and she has been a sweet and helpful joy for two days now. Lord, she loves those flip-flops.


And then I promised her that she could wear them today after preschool. But I neglected to bring them in the car.

Bad move.

She pitched a fit. "I don't want to play with my friend, I don't want to go to the park, I just WANT TO GO HOME AND PLAY WITH MY FLIP-FLOPS! AND YOU PROMISED!"

Caught in a broken promise by a toddler. Ouch.

Rather than turning around and driving 24 miles round trip to retrieve the flip-flops and avoid the bad karma of promise-breakage, I stopped at Old Navy and bought another pair of flippy floppy flops.


I still don't like them. But I no longer see the harm in them. I'm the parent, and I can control where she wears them. She thinks of them as a toy, not a sensible shoe for hiking the tundra. I was fighting the flop fight for nothing.

Thus am I learning to be flexible, trying to be a better parent, stopping to examine my decisions and pick my battles. When I look back at myself in my early twenties, I realize that I did not have this capacity for self-examination, criticism, and growth. Everything was black and white. There was no room for flip-flopping.

So how was I able to find the maturity and humility to reach beyond myself?

Most of it came from Dr. Krog, with whom I ritually sliced and devoured a bleeding groundhog on this day in 2002.


Dang, that was one tasty groundhog, y'all.

It's our 7th wedding anniversary today, and I can't help but think of our journey together as people, as spouses, and as parents.

He taught me the value of compromise.

The way to say, "I may not be right, but I don't think you're right, either."

He taught me that loving someone means swallowing your pride, apologizing when necessary, respecting someone's feelings more than wanting to be right yourself.

He helped me learn that it's okay to flip-flop, that beliefs are not carved in stone, but fluid with time and age and experience. And that anybody who disagrees with my beliefs can pretty much suck it.

I still don't like flip-flops, really, but I value the simple happiness they bring my child.

Just like I don't like thongs, really, but I value...

Never mind. My mom reads this blog.

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart! Here's to many more fine years!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

on a lighter note, there's gary

While I was falling asleep last night to the charming sound of my husband the Evil Overlord commanding his minions to put the smackdown on some XBOX succubi, I apparently rolled over and said,

"I have the perfect name for a bird. Gary."

"That's the stupidest name i've ever heard," he supposedly said. But I didn't know that at the time, because I was happily dreaming.

I dreamed that I had a cockatiel named Gary, and I taught him to whistle and talk. And he sounded just like Norm McDonald. And he told me that he knew of a really great apartment for rent, so we went to see it. It was lovely-- airy, bright, in this crazy Aztec temple covered with vines. There were pools and restaurants and aviaries on every floor. So I signed up and moved all my stuff in and had this awesome 4-poster bed with drapey fabric that swished in the breeze, and I said, "Thanks, Gary. You were right. This place is perfect."

And then I remembered that I had a husband, kids, and house, and I had just signed a lease and moved all my stuff, and who the heck was watching my kids all this time?

The moral of this story:

Gary is the perfect name for a bird, and
never trust a cockatiel.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

meditation: i'm feeling grande

In a Starbucks world, things are no longer small, medium, and large. Nor are they medium, large, Biggie, and Extra Biggie, and i'm talking to you, Wendy. I now think of everything in terms of tall, grande, and venti.

And right now, in the sphere of my skin, i'm moving from venti back into grande.

Whenever I blog, I always do a final read-through before posting to streamline things and I try to take out any references to weight, clothes fitting, or dieting, because I find women who speak constantly of such things... well... boring. But it's constantly on my mind, because I am a woman, because I am an American, because I am exposed to "the media", and because size is simply an issue. And I despise the fact that it's so heavily on my mind.

My own experience. I was an athletic kid who ran to pudgy when I abandoned athletics for the arts. The arts, and Pixie Stixx, and late night Krispy Kreme runs. In high school, I was "curvy", and my drivers' license said 130 and 5'4". Whether or not that's the truth, I have no idea. My family didn't own a scale. But I remember that size was always an issue. The only thing I wanted more than a horse and a Johnny-Depp-lookalike-boyfriend was to fit into my best friend's size 4 GAP shorts.

I was 0 for 3 on that list.

When I was 16, a guy told me that I was "a woman of very definite curves", and I took it as a compliment. Years later, remembering his previous girlfriend, a size 2 bulimic, I wonder if I was a bit optimistic about his feelings.

In college, I wore men's jeans and steel-toed boots and baggy shirts and horrid glasses, but I was still never lacking for male company, so I didn't give my body much thought. My only workout was running to the bus stop in the rain, an asthma-inducing 100 yards. In hindsight, I was blissfully unaware of my body, and I was mostly banking on the fact that anyone lucky enough to see me naked wasn't going to complain.

And then the real world struck. I had to buy "office casual" clothes for my first job, a terrifying experience. My mother had never dressed this way, and What Not To Wear was not yet bombarding the populace with shrill sound bites about neutrals. I was stylistically bipolar, bouncing from a frumpy linen dress and jacket to a stretchy miniskirt and tank top. Funereal on Monday, strip club on Tuesday. I had to seriously start thinking about my body as an adult and all that it represented professionally and personally.

Unfortunately, when a woman tries to learn about fashion and dressing in America these days, she's almost always in for a rude awakening. Unless she's a size 4 Jennifer Aniston clone, the news is generally bad. Magazines, TV shows, movies, advertisements-- they bombard us with unrealistic images of beauty and size and fashion, and very few women have the mental, physical, and financial means to keep up.

The good news is that I learned much about proper nutrition and exercise. Through diet and drinking water, I solved 75% of the health problems that had plagued me all my life. I was able to comfortably and happily go from 150 pounds to 135 pounds, and I was healthier than ever. I also learned how to buy jeans that actually fit, apply makeup, and wear accessories.

Yes, I know most women learn these things at 13, not 23.

I was a late bloomer, dammit!


But the dirty secret is this: I've never actually been happy with my body since then.

I'm 5'5", average build, curvy. I have vascillated from 126 when nearly starving myself to 177 on the days each of my children were born. I'm happiest at 140. I'm currently 156 and on a diet and nursing a baby. I'm intelligent, passionate, happy, quick to laugh, confident, creative, and practical. I know how to eat healthfully, and I know the effect of genetics. I'm freakin' enlightened and meta and self-aware, and I know the lies behind Photoshopped celebrities and personal trainers and LA chicks barfing up lunch in the posh bathrooms of restaurants. I know it all.

And still, i'm never happy.

I see the faults. The effect pregnancy has had on my body. My scars and scrapes. The ravages of aging at the ripe old age of 31. I see the scar from my daughter's birth. I see sun damage. I see a pudgy stomach that has been a lifetime disappointment to me every single day that I was not pregnant and tautly spherical. There's something weird about my neck. I have great legs and bad thighs. I'm just this heaving, sweating, hair-growing machine, and sometimes I despise myself for never living up to my own hopes and for having such artificially high hopes in the first place.

Oh, and did I mention my thin, muscley husband who could eat lard with a spoon all day and maintain his perfect physique? And he doesn't even like birthday cake. Blasphemy.

It's just impossible. Sometimes, I want to burn all my magazines in a bonfire and dance around it naked and smeared in blood, holding a machete made out of digital scale components and howling at the fat lady in the moon. Sometimes, I want to throw out all the poorly fitting clothes I hate so much and buy an entirely new wardrobe of pretty things that actually make me feel beautiful, and get a pedicure and a manicure and a completely different haircut. Lots of the time, I just put on whatever jeans make my ass look good and a shirt that currently fits, sigh deeply, and pretend that the world has put me on hold until both of my children are walking independently.

Why did I start this meditation? And where is it going?

And why isn't it funnier?


I have no idea. I just feel like I should be above the body issues that plague womankind, that I should be able to transcend them. But I don't know how. For my daughter's sake, I have to find a way to love my body more, to give her a role model free from this horrible self-hatred. Right now, I feel like if I can just get into my favorite size 9 jeans, it'll all be better. But I don't know yet if it will.

I apologize for the lack of teh funny. Got serious on this one. May erase it later. Do I really want to crack my head open this much for you guys? Can't I just Photoshop some thought balloons onto my kids and call it a night? Do I really want my days to hinge on the numbers on a scale? Is life without cake worth living? Is the Loch Ness Monster real?

Friday, May 15, 2009

guilty pleasures

After a long day battling the blind and deaf appliance gods at Frigidaire for the immortal soul of my refrigerator, I was ready for a nice, cold drink. Sadly, there was no friggin' ice, because my 2-year-old fridge has a busted start relay, to the best of my internet sleuthing skills. Curses! Boiled again!

Luckily, Dr. Krog responds well to requests that begin with "I've got tequila, could you bring ice?" Or even just "I've got tequila". So he brought ice and mixer, and I mixed it all up and salted the rims, and we sat on the back porch and enjoyed the evening.

And it occurred to me that all my "guilty pleasures" as admitted on this blog are of the gustatory sort. The edible ilk. The masticatable mien. Which is to say that I adore food. But you know that.

So I thought i'd mention my favorite TV shows, which I watch at my parents' house, which is the way-station of my life. Their home defies physics by being halfway between my house and anywhere. Now, these are not the shows that I buy on DVD and watch repeatedly. They're not even the shows I discuss in public, with real people. No, these are truly "guilty pleasures" that I enjoy only when I am alone with the baby. Because t.rex doesn't judge.


1. You Are What You Eat on the BBC.


An insane little golem of a woman takes control of obese Brits and forces them to undergo all-celery-juice diets and workouts. The best part is when they (or a tortured and sadistic loved one) keeps a food diary for a week, and Gillian shows them the entire week's worth of fried goodies and pastries at once. Very good for making one feel nutritionally superior.*

2. What Not To Wear on TLC.


A gay man and a Jewish midget accost innocent people with bad taste, insult all their clothes before throwing their closet in the trash, and give them a fabulous makeover and $5000 shopping spree. The fun part is that I know all the rules by heart, but I still dress like I do. Jackets, slacks, and kitten heels just don't cut it for a nursing mother with a baby strapped to her chest who has to climb 3 stories up a play structure to rescue a toddler who's just had a potty accident. But one day, i'm going to pull a Stacy and Clinton on myself and come out the other side looking fabulous.

One day.**

3. America's Next Top Model.

I gave 'em nicknames. Click on the pic to get it big enough to ridicule. It's worth it.

That's right. You heard me. America's Next Top Model.

I know.

Shut up.

I caught part of a marathon for "cycle 10" and couldn't look away. It was like a nature show where giant stick insects battle each other for.... uh.... whatever insects want. It doesn't really make sense to me. But it's just surreal how these tall, insecure, manly-looking chicks get a little bit of hair and makeup and lighting and are suddenly bizarre, beautiful, fierce origami cranes.

I don't even know if the spastic flamingos up there are from the right cycle-- they don't look like actual people. But I can still make fun of them.

Other embarrassing favorites include Nanny 911, Whose Wedding Is It Anyway, anything on Food Network involving fabulous cake, Hotel Inspector, or The Show Where the Fancy Hairdresser Swaps Jobs With the Redneck Gay Guy and Hair Pandemonium Ensues.

Shhh. Don't tell anybody that I have bad taste in TV.

You know how easily i'm embarrassed. ***

***


* I know it's still food related. And I know that I shouldn't be judgmental. But, honestly, my Five Guys burger and fries tastes sooooo much better when I see that table sagging with curries, pastries, biscuits, and McVitie's Death Slabs.

** Dr. Krog can't wait to get rid of my pajama pants and ugly shoes. Unfortunately, he has no idea how much it actually costs for a woman to look put together and wear nice shoes. I think it's going to make him cry.

*** Not easily, at least about my bad taste.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

like honey for creepazoids


I should be creep repellant. I wear my wedding ring. I have two kids. I nurse in public. If i'm alone, there's a big ol' book in front of my face. And when i'm confronted with a creepy guy, or anyone annoying, I put on a stony demeanor that Dr. Krog lovingly calls Bitchface.

And yet.

My life is peppered with Close Encounters of the Creep Kind. Not nice, normal guys with pleasant openers or silly one-liners. No one ever says, "Hi, what's your name?" No, i'm the girl who gets approached with, "If you could kill one person in this bar, who would it be?"

He didn't get my number.

My favorite though, is what I call The Perambulator. Let's get out my Writing Box and traipse down Memory Lane, shall we?



I was in Barnes and Noble one day when I was 23, and this dude approached me. Late teens/early 20's, short, looked like a gamer geek type. I suspect my dark hair, librarian bun and dork glasses caught his eye like a nerd lure flashing in the sun.

"My lady, a word," he said in his most courtly voice.

Amused, I responded, "Perambulator".

He wasn't expecting that.

"I'm sorry?" he said, confused by my response to a line he'd probably rehearsed for 20 minutes behind the calendars.

"You asked for 'a word', so I said 'Perambulator'," I replied.

"But what does it mean?"

"You're in a BOOKSTORE. Look it up."

"I'll be back," he said, and disappeared to the Dictionary aisle.

2o minutes later, he returned, handed me this paper, and left.


Here's how it goes. Misspellings, capitalization, spacing and grammar are all his.

Parambulator

Beginnings and Ends,
fascinate to no...end,
as it were...

But each moment is both,
to the knowing mind...

I am not yet of that constant
exultation...

A moment of two of grace, I have
from time to time, however...

Helped by the occaisional
end between the beginnings,
I realize that perhaps the cause
of my error...

Remembering that time
where joy still graced me with it's
presence...

Remembering the wonder
of love,
Whether it be that lay between others,
or that which began before the sojourn in a
Parambulator.



***

I kept a straight face, thanked him, and hightailed it out of there. I Photoshopped out his name to protect the geekily innocent, but not before Googling him and confirming that he is, in fact, a confirmed RPG gamer geek to this day. Not that i'm knocking that (she says, as Dr. Krog commands minions on his XBOX). But would I have responded more favorably if he had been cute? Maybe. But the misspelling of the original word was definitely an enormous strike against him.

Why do I bring this up? Because I was approached by a creep today, at a coffee shop created especially for mothers and children, while nursing my baby and reading.

It was surreal.

This guy sat down in the reading chair next to mine. Mid-twenties, dark hair and glasses, black sneakers with velcro, not at all cute in any form, not even if the Queer Eye guys adopted him for a day. I nursed t.rex to sleep and enjoyed my book, holding it up between me and this dude, just in case he wanted to chat or sneak a peek at the ol' bosoms. He played on his laptop with his enormous headphones on for about an hour, then the following discussion occurred.

him: Excuse me, ma'am. I am sorry to bother you. But can I ask you a question?
me: (inwardly groaning) Um, I guess...
him: Can you recommend some music for me? What kind of music do you like?
me: Oh, um. I like Ben Folds, Weezer, The Cure, Guster, Deathcab. Mainly alternative stuff.
him: Have you ever heard of PANTERA?
me: Yeah, not my type of music though.
him: PANTERA is AWESOME. What about SLAYER?
me: Heard of them, don't really like 'em.
him: Do you like any bands like that?
me: I like some older Metallica, black album and earlier.
him; METALLICA ROCKS. What about AC/DC?
me: Eh.
him: What about METALOCALYPSE?
me: Nope. (book creeps upward to halt this ridiculous exchange)
him: Do you know any other bands like that?
me: No, but you could always go to pandora.org, type in Pantera, and see what it recommends.
him: I'm on LiveWire. I love LiveWire.
me: Well, you should try Pandora. It's called the Music Genome Proj-
him: I'm on LiveWire!
me: Oh, that sounds nice. (book is firmly planted in front of my face)
him: But do you like PANTERA? Or GODS OF WAR?
me: Oops! I hear my daughter calling! Good luck with that!

And then we left. Luckily, it was time to go, anyway. But honestly-- does this guy just not get the whole ring-kids-book-utter-disinterest thing? I wanted to be polite, but I just don't want to spend my "me time" listening to a catalog of heavy metal bands by a guy who gives off a creepy vibe. And likes Pantera.

In any case, I find it really amusing that i'm attracting the same sort of creeps in my 30's that I did in my teens and 20's-- socially confused gamer geeks.

I begin to suspect that I may be some sort of Helen of Tron

beware me


I woke up with a pink, irritated eyeball and eyelashes glued together like Aeon Flux on a fly farm. The above image was taken by government scientists after the careful application of a hot, wet paper towel. Until then, I just squinted, and my toddler asked if I was a pirate. Two points!

As you know from previous posts, there are only 3 possibilities.

1. I've yet again forgotten my allergies,
2. There is/was something stuck in my eye, or
3. I'M A ZOMBIE.

In any case, it's Thursday, so i'm off for my weekly brain latte.

I mean chai latte. Chai, not brains. Never brains.

Never sweet, luscious, delicious, scrumptious brains.

Really.