Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Disney Princesses gone wild

I've been home for the most part these past two weeks nursing a husband with a whopper of a kidney stone. In addition to being way more productive with work stuff while working at home than I have been at work since I can't remember when, I've been exposed to lots of daytime television. Specifically, daytime commercials. The shows are secondary, as we all know.

So, just a few minutes ago, while Diego was saving a beached humpbacked whale, we saw a commercial for a new Disney princess Christmas movie. At the end, the announcer mentioned "This film not yet rated."

Ok. Ummmmm, does anyone think it will be rated anything other than G? I know there's a Sleeping Beauty book out there that could easily rate an R, maybe even X, but that story doesn't quite fit the Tchaikovsky/Disney model, so I don't think that particular Aurora is being animated. Will there be parents out there who will stave off girlish squeals and tantrums to get this movie simply because they're afraid it may be too risque? Frenching at the wedding? Cleavage pushed up too high? Maybe Belle heavily gravid with kittens (or cubs... or whatever the Beast was)? What would the princesses have to do to garner a PG rating?

Well, since Hubby has introduced the girls to Austin Powers, Monty Python, and Glen or Glenda at very early ages, I don't think a particular phallic-looking Christmas tree will keep us from expanding our already voluminous Disney DVD library.

Friday, October 21, 2005


You may wonder why this man is smiling.

DeLay Mugshot

You've got to believe that there were numerous staff meetings about this mugshot of (former-for-now) House Majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) before it was taken. Topics covered must have included what's his best side, should he smile or look serious, how big should the smile be, and how much whitener he should use on his teeth. There must have been several covert agents used to determine which hairstylist and make-up artist could be trusted to put him in his best light. Makes him look just like the smiling, handshaking, backroom politician he is. Must have overlooked that part.

"Hmmmm, Carl, do you think a five-o-clock shadow would give me a more rugged look, or should I look really smarmy and cocky to piss the Democrats off?"

"No, I'm a Texan, I won't wear lipstick. Too metrosexual for me. Well, ok, maybe"

"Too much gum? Gawd, is that spinach?"

Similar discussion must have commenced prior to John Gotti's mugshot*


Notice the similar "I can own your ass" smirks.

All the (assumed) backroom preparation for DeLay's mugshot proves that those of us without teams of handlers should start thinking about how we want our mugshot to look. I mean, if "they" ever find out that I checked out that book on Pagan rituals at the local library, I'm sure to be 'mugged' too.

Since I'm not on familiar terms with any hairstylists willing to visit me in the pokey at three in the morning after the brownshirts bust in my door, I'd best always carry a brush with me, and perhaps a perky little "do" thingy to put up my hair nicely. Practice my best smile, or smirk. Do you think a frown would be best? You know, to show that I really don't think I should have been arrested and I'm angry? It's not like I have the DeLay or Gotti connections to believe I'd actually get OFF for checking out a hedonistic publication, so a smarmy smile is probably not in my best interest to win a jury's heart.

'Cuz, you know, I really don't want to look like Charles Manson*


For sure I'd want to avoid the beard. He did seem to have controlled his usual manic look with his trademark wide eyes. Poor Larry King* didn't spend enough time in front of the camera for that


He really should have practiced more. At least put on a different shirt. Maybe it was the glasses. Now, Billy Gates* had the idea right. Use tinted shades with a boyish smile


Never would have guessed he'd smash independant free-thinking business under his thumb with that shot, eh? I wonder if DeLay asked him for pointers?

Better go pack some floss in my purse....

* mugshots from

Sunday, October 16, 2005

"What did you do this weekend, N?"

"Well, Thursday night I asked Mommy and Daddy if I could sleep in the garage in my sleeping bag, but they wouldn't let me. So instead, this weekend I went camping!"

goin' camping

"Oh, how fun. Where did you go?"

"Valley of Fire. But we didn't get to camp there because the sites were all full."


"Oh, that's too bad. So you came home?"

"No, I convinced my parents to camp near the lake."

"Oh, good. Did you have a fun time?"

"Well, yah, I guess so. But it took a few campsites to find anywhere to put up our tent. That took so long Daddy had to set up the tent in the dark. And the wind didn't help with that, particularly when the stakes wouldn't go through the caliche layer without a lot of words Mommy and Daddy tell me not to use."

moonrise over VofF

setting up camp at sunset

"Oh, dear."

"Mommy got a fire going right away, but half the hot dogs rolled off the grate into the dirt. And while Daddy sat down to scarf down his one hotdog for dinner, the battery in the car died from having to light up the tent so Daddy could put it up."

"Oh, my. I bet you all slept really well after a day like that, didn't you?"

"I did. I did find myself perpindicular [yes, she does know that word, LOL - or, at least, can pronounce it.] to how I went to sleep. We stayed up late telling silly ghost stories, and just as I nodded off, the people across from us drank a lot of beer, and Daddy says probably a bottle of Vodka each, and they stayed up really really late talking really really loudly about things that Mommy and Daddy were glad I was asleep for so I didn't hear."


"But it rained on them, and most of them didn't have a tent to sleep in, so Daddy was kinda smug in the morning, and didn't complain when A and I got up at the crack of dawn and started talking really loudly about how much we like camping, or how much we had to pee."

happy tent

"Did you have a good time after that?"

"Oh, yes. S crawled all over the tent - she's just started crawling, and really likes it. After we packed up, we headed to Valley of Fire and we got to climb a lot of rocks and look at petroglyphs, and have ice cream, too. Next time, though, Daddy says we have to camp somewhere with softer ground."

happy baby


"I bet you're glad to be home."

"No, I wanted to stay and climb a bunch more rocks. I think A did, too, but she was getting really cranky. She's asleep on the living room floor now. She collapsed there right after she walked into the house. S is playing with A's legs, seeing if she can wake her up (even though Mommy put her across the room from her big sister), but she's not budging."

Monday, October 10, 2005

The things we do for our kids

Salad tonight has stale pearl onions, sharp cheddar cheese, raw potato, and honey nut toasty-os (for croutons), ala N.


Antacids for dessert.

Star Gazing

Hubby is an avid amateur astronomer. He bought his first real telescope with some proceeds from the sale of our first house - a 12.5" Meade dobsonian. Yah, that was pretty much Greek to me, too. Actually, his list of equipment might as well be Betelgeusian now. On a forum he visits, he lists his equipment as:

Meade 12.5" Starfinder w/Telrad, modified w/ hinged dust cover/stop-down mask/white light filter holder/light shield, electric ducted mirror scrubbing cooling system, tube cooling fan, Orion focuser, curved 3-vane spider, flocking paper and baffles, locking wheel dolly. My best all-around telescope from Moon to DSO. 110 Messier objects, Lunar Club | KonusMotor500 modified w/flocking paper and Orion tube rings, refigured OTA end ring, 90mm white light filter holder. Good rich-field views and my best white light solar telescope. Lunar Club | Coronado PST sits on top of Konus or on binocular mount system. Very nice when used with Konus-1000 Oaks system. | Orion 30x80 MegaView Binoculars w/Paragon Plus mount & red-dot sight. Simply outstanding observing equipment from Moon to DSO. Star Watch, 110 Messier objects, Lunar Club | Meade ETX90 EC w/90 & 45 prisms, Autostar controller & Galileo CIR Finder | Starry Night Pro 4.5.2 w/upgrade packs | 1988 Toyota 4x4 Pickup Truck "Meade Mule" w/ODS bumper sticker | Light Wedge | Orion Green Laser Pointer | Meade S. 4000 UWA 2"/1.25" EPs 14mm, 8.8mm. Top grade EPs, outstanding viewing. | Celestron Power Tank 17 | Meade S. 4000 Filters #12, #58, #23A, #80A, Nebular-Broadband | Parks ND 25 Filter | Lumicon OIII Filter | Lumicon Hat to hold my Astronomy League pins | 1000 Oaks 90mm White Light Filter Used on Starfinder & Konus | Lumicon Universal Digi-Cam Adapter

He even includes his hat on there. I suppose he could have worse hobbies. Listening to him talk to his star-gazing buddies, I might as well be at a car show. I expect the latest scope to have dual overhead cams or something.

"Yah, my Orion has a sweet double-headed octogentric pseudofiber spotting scope with dual overhead spelunkdinks and a quooble for extra storfing. Froody."

Anyways, as I was saying before I typically tangented, he bought his first real telescope with some house proceeds, under the excuse that he's buying it for the kids. N was maybe four months old at the time.

Well, he's living up to his excuse. To get an idea how big a 12.5" dobsonian telescope is, take a peek at S, 8 months, hanging out in the base:

sedona dob

Just like kids like the boxes better than the toys, she's really digging the base, forget the "oh my gawd Mars is so big it has to be hurtling towards us" scope that goes on it.

N appreciates a good peek, though. Of course, she can STAND, so that helps. Can't fault S for that, right?

natassia pst

That's her looking through the solar scope. It's like looking at the sun with peril-sensing sunglasses. It doesn't have to be big because, well, who in their right mind wants to magnify the sun?

A appreciates stargazing too, although she appreciates the rocks and lizards more than the celestial objects when we head out, but hey, someone has to watch out for rattlers, right? Alas, I don't have a picture of her with a scope, but I'll close with a classic result after I asked "A, go get a pillow and meet me in bed so I can read you a story" pose:


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

October: A month to remember

Since 1988, October has been National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month here in the USA. On or about October 15th is when most organizations associated with these losses commemorate the month, those gone beyond the veil, and those left behind with empty arms.

Despite there having been seventeen previous PILA months, both resources available to grieving family and friends, and commemoration ceremonies during PILA month, are not widely advertised. I only found out about the support group in my area, run through Resolve Through Sharing, by dumb luck - most docs and hospitals around here don't tell their patients about it, despite RTS constantly trying to get the meds to do so.

So, if you are one of those affected by the loss of a pregnancy or an infant, search around in your area to see if there is something going on where you can attend. Call your doc's office, local hospitals, maybe the library or funeral home. My past experiences with PILA events has been warm, cathartic, and very teary. There's something about being around people who get it, you know? No stupid comments, no averted gazes, a place to talk about your children like they're still here. Because they are, if only in our hearts.

RTS doesn't have a website that I can find, but SHARE, another organization that provides support for these losses (but not in my area), does. Visit
SHARE locations for locations hopefully near you.

Monday, October 03, 2005

When will I learn?

Never start a home improvement project on a weekday night. Even one that should take, tops, 45 minutes.

I thought when we moved from our house built in 1942 - with its aluminum wiring and lead paint, studs 8" apart, swamp cooler, and washer and dryer in the kitchen - we'd be in hog heaven with standard everything. Need to replace a light fixture? No problem. Replace the garbage disposal? Piece of cake.


Crackerbox tract housing SUCKS!

Right now, Hubby has the Sawsall out to cut out the nasty-grubby-moldy-leaking lavatory fixtures in the front bathroom. No other way to take the m-fers out.

How are we going to put the new ones in?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Barbie vs. Sleeping Beauty

Barbie and Sleeping Beauty shared my bath today, along with N. As is the custom, whether in a bath or not, they were disrobed. I was able to look at them with an analytical eye and compare two toy designers' ideas of Ultimate Female Form (the UFF factor).

Now, I know this is like asking who would you rather have for President: Bush Jr. or Cheney. Neither UFF is realistic, and neither should be used as a goal for anyone's body type. But I'll tell you this, Sleeping Beauty can kick Barbie's ass.

Barbie vs Sleeping Beauty

Look at that chest! My god, she's got a set of lungs on her. And I mean lungs, not those large glands over them. Sleeping beauty, along with inhumanly sized doe-like eyes, has a linebacker's chest. And hips, for that matter. Aside from stick arms and legs sure to snap in the first scrum, she could start for any NFL team. Ok, maybe just the Bengals, but she'd have a decent shot.

Barbie, in comparison, looks positively human. Hips, waist, median breast-height diameter of more normal proportions. Her UFF in comparison to the Princess' made me almost think Matell had listened to outraged moms trying to convince their anorexic daughters with poor body-image that they, indeed, were more UFF than any doll.

Maybe the Disney designers have the idea - make the look too unsapienesque to be taken remotely seriously.

Either way, don't mess with Sleeping Beauty. She'll whoop your ass.

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