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March 2007

*The Cool Police

Shopping at Play (which I couldn’t find a reference link for, but trust me, it has lots of “cool” clothes for kids)

Mom Shopper, walking up to a store clerk: “Hi, could you help me? I’m looking for some cute shirts for my son and…”

Clerk: “Um, I’m sorry… this store is for hipster parents… you can’t shop here.”

Mom Shopper: “What? What do you mean?  I’m hip!”

Clerk, looking Mom Shopper up and down: “Mmmmm…”

MS: “I am!”

Clerk, pointing: “You’re wearing a sweatshirt.”

Mom Shopper, looks down at her clothes: “Well, I used to be.  This is just an off day! Look, don’t I get points for wanting to dress my child cool?”

Clerk: “I just don’t think this store is right for you. And it is rather expensive.”

Mom Shopper: “Oh, don’t even go there. I drive a Hummer.”

A young dad comes in pushing a stroller. Clerk looks him over.

Clerk, distractedly: “Yeah, this just doesn’t seem your parenting genre. If you really want to drop some cash you can go over to St. John’s and buy yourself a patriotically sequined cardigan?” The clerk turns to the other patron.

Clerk:  “Excuse me, sir? You’re too hipster. You can’t shop here either.”

Dad Shopper, belligerently: “What are you talking about?! I can shop wherever I want!”

Clerk: “Did you buy that jacket at a vintage thrift store?”

Dad Shopper: “Yeah.”

Clerk: “Those ratty shoes, too?”

Dad Shopper: “Yeah.”

Clerk: “That shirt?”

Dad Shopper: “No, I dug this out of my grandfather’s closet and then added the patches myself.”

Clerk: “Yeah, you’re way too hipster. Sorry. But here is a pile of old receipts with our logo on them. Why don’t you make your child a papier-mâché ironic romper displaying your disdain for mass consumerism and protesting the fall of hand-made goods?”

Dad Shopper, face brightening: “Oh wow! OK, thanks!”

Mom Shopper: “OK, listen…”

Clerk: “Oh, you’re still here?”

Mom Shopper: “YES, I am!  You know, I may not look it now but I was hip! I followed Morrissey cross-country on tour in college.”

Clerk, considering: “Hmm, did you sleep with him?”

Mom Shopper: “Hello?! It’s Morrissey!”

Clerk: “Oh… right…”

Mom Shopper: “I did make out with a roadie, though.”

Clerk: “Well… in that case, you can browse… but only the Paul Frank stuff.”

*Because the whole hipster vs. non-hipster parent **controversy is STILL going on! Which, frankly, when it first started just made me roll my eyes (because seriously, who fits into any box definitively?) but now it’s just turned into fodder for my own twisted humor. Yes, I do find it all faintly ridiculous. I mean, this is America, the land of mass production, ***I don’t care what your style is… if you can buy it at the MALL then it’s really not all that alternative, is it?

**BTW, I’m pretty sure this “controversy” was purposely created by online journalists (on either side) because it’s a slow news season and they like being snarky.

***There is also an inherent joy in buying stuff you like, wearing clothes you like, celebrating the things you enjoy, be it music, shoes, sports, minivans, or icons from childhood.  Life is short, do we really need to squash each other’s enthusiasm?

- the weirdgirl


There is oddness in the air

I meant to write another post yesterday to make up for my Britney mutilation squawk but, I don’t know, yesterday (and maybe today too, we’ll see) was one of those strange dreary days that sap the energy out of you before you even begin. It was just all around odd and seemed to hit everyone. Chance was having an off day. I fell asleep for an unplanned hour and a half (so, yeah, there are several checkmarks missing from my ToDo list). Keen was tired. Just weird. Those weird times seem to happen in runs.   

Speaking of which, I got an email this morning about a job position (wanker “sales” pyramid scheme, that is) with a mention that they “saw my resume on hotjobs,” and my first thought was, “I have a resume posted on hotjobs?!” I checked and sure enough there it was… from 2002! (zoinks)  According to that resume I am still working for my last startup that folded in… 2002. I must have posted it before the shut-down occurred. Maybe it’s time to update that. (And in another five years I might get another emailed job offer. Woo hoo! What a system!)

I guess this was a good semester to take off from school. (Oh yeah, did I tell you all that I’m a grad school drop out? At least temporarily. I’m “finding myself” this semester and finally writing that novel. Slacker.) According to this news article faculty members at our State Universities might be going on strike over (mainly) salary disputes. Frankly, I don’t blame them. Our state system has a really bad history of hiring a lot of the teachers as part time contract positions. This keeps costs down for the university but the teachers lose out on security, benefits, hours, etc. About half of the faculty earn less than $43,000 a year. Which is probably fine in most other states but here? Well, you all have heard me bitch about the housing market. (Here’s a story one of my professors dished: my alma mater at one time had the privilege of having Adrienne Rich, the poet, as a faculty member. She wanted to teach in the state university system. Eventually they lost her to Stanford because my school simply would not hire her full-time so that she could receive medical benefits. What a frickin waste.)

Though, I am kind of hoping that if there is a strike there will be a “call to arms” to the students so I can go down and support my teachers. (It’s that closet socialist part of me.)

I also have to get back into the house-hunting swing. It feels like all I’ve seen lately are great houses in the wrong areas or “nice” houses that aren’t family friendly (i.e. bedrooms converted to living space that can’t be converted back easily). Still waiting on a crop of new houses to come up but I know it will be soon. Will you all keep your fingers crossed for me? I am really burnt out on open houses.

Here’s hoping any oddness passes you by.         – the weirdgirl

P.S. Is it just me or are Laurie Berkner's songs starting to suck?


5-Second Soapbox

I wasn’t even going to touch the whole Britney thing because, you know, ew, but then I ran across this quote:

"This girl is out of control," Joy Behar, a co-host on ABC's "The View," said Monday. "And, she's in a lot of trouble. A lot of people feel this is self-mutilation."

Has the whole world gone mad? Seriously.  It’s HAIR! I’m not saying she doesn’t need some help, especially considering the partying while she has kids at home, but it’s still… just… hair. 

There are more important issues, people. 

(Re-commencing my life now.)         - wg



Makeover!

So... I gave my blog a makeover!  Can you tell?  No, really, it's updated.  It's all new-like and everything!  I added a tagline and swapped out Chance's picture!  See?  More importantly there are new updates to The Things They Don't Tell You in Lamaze list!  Check it out!  And I even got around to updating my various blogrolls over there to the right.  (Lookee, lookee!)

OK, so I'm not one for big changes.  I mean it took me forever to come up with this layout/theme and  I'm perfectly happy with it (it's RED!) so why change?  Of course, I see other people change the "look" of their blogs fairly regularly so I suspect that improves visitation to the site or something.   And I have to admit my visits have only been steady due to the large number of dirty swimsuit seekers.  Maybe I should think about adding technorati tags or doing some search engine optimization stuff?   Meh.  I have more fun creating t-shirts or bootlegging Little Einstein images for upcoming birthday parties (um... more on that later... but if anyone needs files I'll probably have you covered).

I DID try to add a textured background to my blog, in red of course, but there seems to be no "edit" function for that in typepad.  Is that one of those things that requires HTML?  (Damn technology!)  Oh, and I see there is a new function where you can make these cool pop-up windows.  How the heck do they do that?  (Hey, techies, a little help?)

Ah well.  Eventually I will get to updating my categories like I keep saying I will or adding some extra spiffy functionality to the ol' blog.  But for a long weekend like this I think the old combo catch-up-but-still-be-lazy works just fine.  Signing off the babbling (for now)...   
            - the weirdgirl


Valentine Aftermath

You know, I’m not one of those gushy, place the state of my whole love relationship on the weight of one day, Valentines means everything kind of girls. Neither am I in the hates the over-commercialized, trumped up holiday with a burning passion camp. I actually have some warm and fuzzy feelings for Valentine’s Day. Mainly because of nostalgic memories from grade school – excitedly decorating shoe-boxes with stickers and paper lace, then going through the cheap drugstore cards, carefully reading each one – yes, I think it’s all a little sweet. Seeing a child’s scrawled handwriting on a Valentine’s day card… that gets me every time. (What? I can be sappy every once in a while!) It doesn’t hurt that mine and Keen’s first date anniversary falls in early February, too. And yes, we did celebrate it (don’t gag – we “lived in sin” so long before getting married it was the only anniversary we had) but we always wrapped it in with Valentine’s Day and (at least in recent years) kept it pretty low-key. I get chocolate, Keen gets sour candies, nice dinner, swap “I love you’s”, etc. etc.

But there is, however, ONE THING I have never understood about Valentine’s Day. I fully acknowledge that it is a made-up holiday. I actually don’t have a problem with that. (It’s kind of like Secretary’s Day – there are some folks who just need a little nudging.) But why, OH WHY, would Hallmark pick February, smack in the middle of cold and flu season, for its holiday?!

Commence Valentine snuggling…

“Oh baby, I love you…”
Kiss kiss smooch… cough
“Oh yeah, honey, right there…”
“You know how I like it…”
Kiss…. COUGH! hack cough cough
“Have I told you how hot you are?”
Kiss, snuggle
Cough cough cough
“Wait, I need a cough drop… hi, I’m back!” 
kiss kiss smooch grapple
“Oh, oh yeah baby…” 
“Hey, can we flip? I think I’ll be able to breathe better if I can drain.”
Smooch snuggle… haaa-aack cough cough
“I’ve been thinking about you all day…”
Kiss kiss grapple grapple grapple
Cough cough…AaaacKKK! 
“Are you OK?”
“Yeah, I just choked on my cough drop.”

Hacking up a lung. SO not sexy.

(Don’t worry, it ended well.)

Happy Love and Commitment Every Day.   - wg


Rolling With Elmo

In the recent furor over which kind of parent is cooler, more obnoxious or better able to sling vicious insults I’ve heard one phrase repeated over and over. This phrase might be heard within an article, found in a comment, or just heard in casual conversation but it is always said with sneering disdain, clearly setting it on its own small island amidst the sea of turbulent debate. This phrase? “Elmo and minivans.” I’m confused by this phrase as well as its vilification. Does it indicate a less than ethical cross-sell marketing campaign? Is it a cautionary term, perhaps to warn people about minivans built by underage puppets in third world countries? Can you dislike minivans and still like Elmo or are they always inexorably entwined?  And what does this have to do with parenting?  To get to the bottom of this and other burning questions I went right to the source. Here is a transcript of my intriguing interview with Elmo.

Me: Elmo, thanks for meeting with me.       Elmo
Elmo: My pleasure! Lattes yummy!
Me: So Elmo, there has been some indication that you have an ongoing relationship with certain minivan manufacturers. Can you tell us a little about that?
Elmo: What you mean?
Me: To be blunt, do you have a partnership deal with Dodge?
Elmo: That silly! Hee hee hee! Elmo no drive. Elmo too little. 
Me: So you don’t have any deals with any minivan companies? No endorsements, commercials, kickbacks? 
Elmo: What’s a kickback? Is that on bike?
Me: No, Elmo, that’s a kickstand.
Elmo: Oooohhh! Hey, hey, guess what?
Me: What Elmo? 
Elmo: Guess where Elmo going tonight?
Me: Um, I don’t know… where?
Elmo: Killers concert with Telly!  Elmo so excited! 
Me: Wow Elmo! That’s pretty cool! I like The Killers, too!
Elmo: Yeah yeah! Dave Keuning rocks! Yay!
Me: Cool! Where are they playing… um, never mind.  Back to the question at hand… can you tell me why you are repeatedly lumped in with minivans? And how does that make you feel?
Elmo: Who say that?
Me: Well, hipsters for one and…
Elmo: What are hipsters?
Me: Oh, you know, people who like certain cars, music, clothes…
Elmo: Clothes? Like Elmo’s vintage Vans with flaming skulls?  Elmo got them on eBay! 
Me: You bought those on eBay?
Elmo: Yeah yeah! On computer, with allowance.  Elmo got allowance for doing chores! Hee hee hee! Ooh ooh, look! Flames match Elmo’s fur!
Me: Yes, they do, Elmo. Yes, they do.
Elmo: YAY!!!

There you have it. Sometimes uttered along with “Elmo and minivans” is also a mention of Costco. Next stop, an interview with their CEO to ask… why are they no longer carrying those tasty bumbleberry tarts? Darn it, those were good.

 - the weirdgirl 


Comments You Just Don’t Want to Hear When You’re Sick

A phone conversation (this phone call may be recorded for quality control purposes)

*Unnamed Older Relative: Well, Keen told me that Chance/you had a cold but he didn’t tell me that you were sick!

Me: Ummm, yeah, fever, mucus, fatigue, racking cough… those aren’t the same at all.

UOR: Why is Chance (you, Keen, insert name of associate here) getting so many colds?

Me: Well, it might just be due to my horrendous diet and slovenly housekeeping, but I’m pretty sure it’s because of the germ warfare capsules I keep releasing into the house.  The government should be coming for those study results any day now.

UOR: Are you sure it’s not allergies?

Me: Yes, the raging fevers have killed all the allergens, thanks.  Besides I don’t think they could make it past the snot encrusted nose and swollen throat anyway.

UOR: Well, I hope Chance outgrows this before he starts school.

Me: I’ll be sure to tell the viruses to stop mutating. We’re tight like that.

*The monitors of this study realize that UORs and other elderly acquaintances speak solely from a desire to see young toddlers within their normal and strictly held schedule and the thwarting of such desires may occasionally cause temporary inanity, but still… get off the phone. Mommy needs her Nyquil.


Responsive? (Not So Much)

Ah, it seems like everyone is suffering in the same environs as I… sick families, lack of sleep, stuck indoors, maybe even a little brain dead. I feel your pain!  Below are responses to the topic suggestions and general comments from yesterday.

Favorite Indoor Toddler Activities (not involving poop) - (Airwick)

When Chance, or any of us, are sick I have a few standbys that are tried and tested and STILL do not keep the kiddies (or parents) occupied for very long. Oy vey. We play blocks, cars, read, color in the coloring books. I ply the kiddo with favorite foods and yummy liquids. And TV, lots of the favorite educational programs. Yes, I totally cheat. I allow my child to watch more than the recommended amounts of television when he’s sick (bad mommy!). Sometimes all he wants to do is sit on the couch and watch the movie Cars one more time. Just like the ‘rents.

I also pull out toys he hasn’t seen in a while. Yes, I “hide” his toys (mean mommy!). Look, sometimes a rotational method works out perfect for emergencies, like when you get stuck in the house for too long.

OK, and now for my final desperate tactic… when Chance has been in the house too many days in a row, even if he’s still sick he starts bouncing off the walls. (And So. Do. I!) When he gets to that point where he probably still shouldn’t be around other children but he feels well enough to make life in the house really unpleasant… I take him to the pet store. There is a PetSmart right around the corner, there isn’t ever a lot of people for him to infect (especially other germy kids) and yet there are lots of animals to look at, even if they’re just fish. Works like a charm.

On the Issue of Sleep – (Airwick and Lisa)

I know there are many parents who have it worse than I with the early toddler wake up. I just have an opposite sleep cycle to many people I know, so the six am wake ups knock me for a loop. I’m a light sleeper so I have trouble getting to sleep in the first place and I wake up a lot. Even if I go to bed early I will not fall into any sort of heavy sleep pattern until after 2:00 or 3:00 am. Then I would happily sleep until 9:00, or at least 8:00. 7:00 is doable (and the reality every day) but I’m a bit tired. 6:00 am or earlier and I’m toast.

I had a job once that started at 6:00 in the morning. I used to get up at 4:30 every day. Everyone said that I would get used to it and adjust. They LIED!

Poop and Other Parental Crap – (Peter and the Phoenix) (bonus combo response)

You know, if someone had told me my life (or the blog) would someday revolve around poop jokes I would have sneered… What am I, 12? (yes, apparently) And poop? That’s disgusting! (meh, not so bad)

I know it’s strange but I actually feel like a stronger individual now for being able to wade through whatever river of bodily fluids comes at me without retching. That sewer scene in Shawshank Redemption? Ptsshhh! See, a dad? A dad wouldn’t have had to stop and throw up halfway through.

What About the Pope? – (ktjrdn)

I really like his shoes!

Pope_shoes

            - the weirdgirl


Six Hours

I promise not to discuss anything fecal today. *cough*

um…

ummmmmmm…….

I’m having some difficulties getting the creative sparks flying this morning. Chance has woken up at 6:00 am the last couple of days. I find this patently cruel and charge the universe with the persecution of a poor, undeserving-of-such-foul-treatment mother. True, Keen was the one to get up with Chance over the weekend. But as he is one of those crazy people who get up that early anyways, I don’t think he has felt the weight of such an unfair turn of events as heavily as I. (whimper)  To be fair, I’m not sure anyone in this household is getting really good sleep at the moment. Is it just me or does it seem like this cold season WILL NOT END?!

All coughing, sneezing, and interrupted sleep cycles aside I’ve got a touch of post-block. So time to mine the fruitful soils (snicker) of my audience (all two of you who haven’t been chased away by all the poop). Someone out there, throw me a line, a phrase, a subject topic… and we’ll see what sticks. (I’m sorry, I’m sorry!)

*Scooby snacks! - wg

 

*In weirdgirl speak this means “thanks”. See it evolved like this: the typo of thanks is “thnaks” (which I used to type all the time) which makes me think of “snacks” which turned into “Scooby snacks” when I want to say thanks. So there you go. Not that I’ve actually used this in conversation out loud, but I use it in my head all the time!


Me and My Poop KARMA!

GODDAMNIT! I know this is because I was looking at pictures of shit!  I jumped in for a quick shower while Chance was distracted by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, with the door open as usual so he can wander in and out as needed.  And what does he stroll in with?  A fucking cat turd!  A FRESH cat turd!  In his hands! So of course I'm freaking out (but trying not to scream so I don't freak him out)... well first I had to lean in REAL CLOSE to see it because I don't have my glasses on in the shower... AND he's making those "umm" sounds like when he's EATING so I was thinking it was a piece of muffin or something... so I grab it, throw it into the toilet, grab him and start washing his hands with antibacterial soap, all the while trying to smell his breath in case he put it in his mouth! Can you feel the multiple layers of freakout here?!  In the meantime, I don't even know where he got it as the catbox is still safely behind a baby gate so I start running around the house (while toweling myself off) trying to find a pile of steaming cat poop.

I couldn't find a damn thing.  It must have been a dingleberry that broke free from the cat's butt.

Usually for the 15 minutes I'm in the shower I'm just freaking out that Chance will fall or hurt himself.

Eww, I still feel ill.