Friday, March 31, 2006

Beware of feathers

It doesn't matter that I don't live anywhere within 2,000 miles of Philadelphia. What matters is that I'm following rules #1 & 2. Hey, I don't always do what I'm told, but when faced with the wrath of 2,000 people armed with sacks of feathers, I may not get petrified, but I do get giddy enough to follow along.

There are several cool things about this concept. First, it's in Love Park. With pillows.

Second, it's a huge freaking pillow fight! That's, like, a huge freaking pillow fight! There's no analogy that could make a huge freaking pillow fight sound any more appealing than simply calling it a huge freaking pillow fight.

Plain white cotton, pink satin, or Hello Kitty, pick your bag. Your choice defines who you were. Fiberfill, foam, or down, pick your weapon. Your choice defines who you are. Full body, neck, or throw, pick your calliber. Your choice defines who you will be.

Pillow fights are how the world should be.

Pillow Fight Club

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Snakes, plague, and debauchery

So, tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. Way back around 460, this Scottish-guy-gone-green-because-they-hauled-his-butt-there-while-on-a-slave-raid Patrick dies on March 17th, (or whenever March 17th was back before the Gregorian calander and all the various fixes it's endured). Good riddance, I say.

See, this man is said to have rid the Emerald Isle of snakes. First, they weren't snakes, they were Pagans, and I don't like people chasing off Pagans (or converting them), it's just, well, not nice.... in a big way. And second, if you're going to believe the serpent story, why the hell exault someone for chasing off snakes when the Black Death is coming up on you in about 800 years?

Oh, sure, he helped end slavery in Europe. Yah, ok, that's pretty good, I'll give you that.

But driving off snakes? I have fond memories of Mr. Linker, Mr. Linker II, and good ol' Ted, my pet snakes through the years. I've caught many a snake in the wild (and let them loose), gave numerous rattlesnakes a hardy "see ya!" as I jumped out of my skin skipped jauntily to the side when coming across one, and have been known, yes, to kiss a few snakes on their little snakey lips. I couldn't help myself, they're just soooo cuuuuuuuuuute!

Aside from their obvious cute factor, snakes are, well, dead useful at helping keep the bubonic plague at bay.

Tomorrow, there will be all sorts of parades with green beer and drunken frivolity just a few miles from my home and all my copious Irish blood. People fly in from all over the world to be a part of this celebration.

But you know what? Not one of them thinks about the poor snakes. And though they may enjoy a Dionysian romp through the day, maybe just a handful will give a toast to the Pagans lost to missionarial pursuits.

So, I lift my green goblet of, well, I don't actually have any green drink around here... just imagine my Mason jar here is full of something green, wet, and tasty... to all the snakes in the world, the people who love them, and dance a little Celtic gavotte in their honor.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

NOW on the real Mommy Wars

The National Organization of Women has responded to the latest media frenzy about the Mommy Wars*. In an excellent letter to Dianne Sawyer (who hosted a two-day Mommy Wars feature on ABC's Good Morning America, NOW President Kim Gandy discusses what a disservice to Moms and Dads everywhere such baiting and divisive prodding acheives.


I particularly like how Ms. Gandy outlines some very realistic, very acheivable, very helpful suggestions on how to make life as a Parent in this society easier and healthier for the entire family:

How can our society better support mothers and caregivers so that they can choose to work either outside or inside the home—whether it's full-time or part-time—without additional guilt, financial strife or other barriers? How can workplaces, educational institutions, the public service sector and our government make caregiving a more respected and less stressful endeavor? Paid family leave, recognition of the work of caregivers by providing disability and unemployment insurance, Social Security credits, group health insurance, respite care services, public transportation and early childhood education in every community come to mind, but there are many others.

It is also crucial to talk about men's role and responsibility in parenting. Women need to know that they don't have to do it all. For example, men who choose to stay at home with their children are often ridiculed or overlooked, rather than supported.

Double Yay.

This whole Mommy Wars crap is bogus hoopla (HOOPLA!) that just makes us angry at each other because we perceive slights to our worth as Mom, Wife, Woman, Employee, and/or Human. We each have our own realities, each very much a part of ourselves and whose importance to our families is irrefutable. Stop listening to the pundits trying to get a good fight going to sell books and airtime. Listen to the people actually trying to help you, and put your energy towards solving the problem instead of making a problem.

*Following RebelDad's and Imponderabilia's lead, I'm now linking any reference to the Mommy Wars to the bookThe Truth Behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a Good Mother? by Miriam Peskowitz. I haven't read the book, but then I haven't seen the Good Morning America pieces either (I work, remember). I trust my sources who say it is a thoughtful, well-researched piece about Motherhood in our American society.

Hattip to RebelDad for bringing my attention to the letter by NOW.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Like mania from Heaven

Last night was cold. Really cold for March in the desert. I thought, maybe, perhaps, wouldn't it be cool if it snowed?

And guess what? It DID!


Laugh if you must, snowbound people. But snow in my part of the world means run outside and play in it before it melts. NOW! Wake up the kids! Make snowmen! Have snowball fights! Have hot chocolate!

Which we did.


Of course, all snowmen need a scarf:

snowfamily with scarf

For scale reference:


It was fun while it lasted. By 8:30 am, it was all over.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Kneel, Knave!

Did you know I'm royalty? Oh, yes, very much so. And not through some hedonistic marriage rite, being related to royalty simply by tagging along with my choice in husband, who, according to my mother-in-law, is something like 14,238.6th in line for the throne of England. Oh, no, I'm much more regal than that, and frankly, feel a bit sullied having such a commoner share in my majesty.

I have no pedigree that can prove this, of course. Posh, those are for sovereigns who are not confident enough in their nobility. Irrefutable evidence comes from my monarchial behaviour lately. Hark! Twice in the past two days, I have found myself amongst the peasants sans children. This, aside from when I'm at work, when I hole up in my cave and talk to NO ONE (safest way to avoid such nastiness as boorish office politics... too egalitarian for me), is highly unusual. My serf husband is quite happy to let me take the kids with me on any errand, nay, rather, adamant that I take them with me on any errand, so I rarely pick a zucchini without at least one princess in tow.

But yesterday was different. I thought I would pick up dinner on the way home from work, alone, instead of hurriedly cleaning the kitchen and attempting to combine brown rice and lettuce into something the kids will eat and graciously give the staff the night off. Since Burger King is a knave, I stopped by the grocery store for some already-prepared chicken. The market was rife with provincials, and I often had to ask for passage. But, instead of saying, "Excuse me," I would repeatedly ask, "Excuse US." How positively Victorian of me.

I did the same thing this morning after dropping off the Crown Princess at school and navigating my way past the nannies.

This certainly has nothing to do with the fact that I'm used to saying "us" because I'm always out with my royal progeny. No, I must be coming into my own and accepting my role as Sovereign, who must always use the Royal We when talking about matters of State, or space, as the case may be.

Excuse us, now. We must practice our Royal Wave.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Finally, a balance of work and home

Direct from The Onion (albeit several months ago, and I've been putting off enlightening the rest of you), proof I can be a spiffy mom and orthorectify at the same time:


What's that? You didn't get it? Look at #4. See? Babies AND geodetic processing can go hand-in-hand.

Whew. What a relief. And here I was starting to feel all unworthy of my uterus thanks to Darla Shine.

Now, if I can only get Jack Dangermond to handle getting dinner on the table, I'm set.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Friday Fancies: Underwear

I cannot get into a bad car wreck.

Oh, not because I may have kids in the car, or my family depends on the income I make, or because I just Looooo-ooooove my '95 Saturn. No, it's my underwear.

If you are to know anything about me, it's that I hate shopping, with few exceptions. I really dig toy, craft, home improvement, and book stores. I still hate all the machinations it takes to get to them, and for some reason within five minutes of entering the store I have to reeallllly go visit the restroom. Maybe it's a holdover from my childhood. After all, anytime I go shopping with the kids (is there any other way?), they have to use the restroom, too. It must be genetic.

Hmmm, I realize that I may be giving you a false impression. My need for restrooms while consumerizing is not why I can't get into a car wreck because of my underwear. That whole self-reflection gig was just for color, and to impress on you that I don't like to shop.

Particularly clothes shop. OH MY GOD is it depressing. For some reason, they don't make clothes to fit the frame of a woman just over five feet tall that has a chest that makes Dolly Parton look waifish. I guess there aren't many of us out there to make us a lucrative demographic. But, I really don't see all that many 5'8" size four 36AA chest women around, either, and they sure make enough clothes off the rack for THEM! Ahem. At times, I see someone like me on the street, and I get the impulse to accost her and ask her where she buys her clothes, and especially where she gets her bras. But I chicken out resist.

Since I'm still in the throes of post-partum-depression, I keep my visits to heinous haberdasheries limited lest I relapse. Which brings me to my underwear.

One of the really fun things about having little girls is their underwear (oh, damn, that phrase earned me more child porn google visits). So I lied, I like toy, craft, home improvement, book, and little girls' underwear stores. Well, if they had such things. They are so cute, with little monkeys or pigs or princesses or whatnot on them. I could go ape in a little girls' underwear store. Thankfully, there are no such establishments that I know of. So I end up at KMart or wherever to buy them after putting it off for far too long. And I go so happy with size 2 underwear purchasing, I run out of bladder control for my clothing needs (have you SEEN a K-Mart restroom? Do you really expect me to use it?). I'm not going to waste my urinary tract health looking at dowdy, plain, no-pigs-or-monkeys-to-be-seen-on-them Mom underwear. It's either those huge granny panties, a very few interesting colors on Hanes Her Way, or lacy underthingies that I don't want to have to explain to my daughters just yet.

So, it's been years since I've purchased any netherregion clothing for me, and they are worse for the wear. I've taken to using Hubby's boxers when I'm desperate.

Try explaining that to the ambulance driver.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

No tree huggers here

Today is Dr. Suess' birthday. Happy birthday, Theodore! Our family's claim to fame? My dad once cleaned the carpets at Dr. Suess' house. Yep, that was us. Let me tell you, all those beetles battling in bottles can leave some mess, and let's just not discuss what happens to a poodle when it eats noodles, shall we?

In honor of Dr. Suess and one of their favorite Suess books, Fox In Sox, the girls came up with a new tongue twister, and it's a doozie. Baby booger burgers. Baby booger burgers. Baby booger burgers. Geesh, just typing it gets my fingers in a tizzie.

Anyways, it's also Nevada Reading Week. The kindergartners in N's school celebrate this week by dressing up paper dolls as a character in one of their favorite books, preferably something most kids know. Shhhhh! It's a secret what character you make! The dolls are hidden away in these very-oversized envelopes, and we write three clues to help the class guess what character it is. At the end, the doll is revealed to much ooohing and ahhing (in the parental mind) over how creative is your child.

The character N picked was a great character. I was very happy with her choice. The dress-up would be easy but creative. Everyone will know THIS character, and they'll just go gaga over the crocheted mustache that N made*. My mind raced with wicked Suessian clues, N came up with ideas, it was an exercise in excitement.

I volunteered in the classroom the day they did her doll.

First clue: "My fish couldn't hum and my birds could not sing, so I sent them away on their fin and their wing."

Not a kid raised his or her hand to guess. Huh, well, it was rather cryptic, and the first clue was supposed to be the hardest.

Second Clue: "My barbaloots are hungry, they don't need a Thneed, what they really dearly want is a truffula seed."

Some kid guessed Sleeping Beauty. I'm starting to panic - N is doomed to the nerd clique.

Third clue: "I speak for the trees! I speak for the trees! Which everyone, everyone EVERYONE needs!**"

The teacher prompted the class, saying it was a Dr. Suess character. A FAMOUS Dr. Suess character. Another kid guessed the Cat in the Hat.

Sigh. Apparantly no one cares about the Lorax 'round here. A childhood hero of mine, gone the way of his swammee swans, barbaloots, and humming fish. I nearly expected the school walls to be emblazoned "UNLESS" on my way out the door. I was crestfallen, my dear daughter would now be antagonized by people asking her what kind of leftist drivel does her mom read her.

N? She was thrilled she stumped the class.

It's all about perspective, I guess.

* Yes, she did (help) crochet the mustache. She loved it so much we now have regular mom-and-N crocheting time. It would help if I remembered more than a simple chain stitch, but that's ok, the chains are difficult enough for her.

** If you can't guess this by now, then what are you doing at this blog? Shouldn't you be seeing what Pat Robertson has to say today?***

*** Ok, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have reprimanded you. Some people have bad days. I have days I can't remember to open the garage door as I back out onto the driveway. It's ok. Hey, maybe you never read The Lorax. That's ok, too. We can't read all the great literature out there. But, seriously, you need to get out more.

The Lorax

Wednesday, March 01, 2006



Hubby turns the magical age of 42 today.

I think this birthday is hitting him hardest of any of them. I think it's because he doesn't get to play with Pink Floyd today. I tried to book the band, but they regretfully declined, citing some problems with the pigs getting out and flying everywhere. Of course, it doesn't matter, really, since Hubby can't play the guitar.

Among the shared whacky sense of humor, there are many dissimilarities between Hubby and Douglas Adams: fame, fortune, height, close friendships with various Pythons, musical talent, being quoted all over the world or perhaps the galaxy. Hopefully, other dissimilarities will extend to not dieing at an all-too-young age.

This seems to bum him out. Because, you know, apparantly everyone else who turns 42 gets to share the stage with David Gilmour.

Ah well. I've learned to live with dissappointing those I love. No pony for the girls, no riff with Floyd for the Man in my life.

Happy Birthday, Hubby. Here, have a carrot.

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