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Miscellaneous title here

So what seems to happen when I'm not posting is either 1) I have nothing to say, 2) I'm whining way too much so I refrain (sort of) from spewing it all over the web, 3) there is TOO much I want to talk about and I get all muddled and then nothing comes out.

This has been one of those weeks where there is too much to say.

First, Prop 8... sigh.  Not happy at all.  Also not as surprised as I would really like to be.  I'd be really happy if my cynicism could be proven wrong once in a while.  Or maybe that I could enjoy blissful naivety.  Or something.  I don't know.  However, I am totally prepared to hit the pavement for signatures for another election.  (Probably won't wear my recent shoe acquisitions though.)

Second... I'm going to BlogHer '09 after all!!  Made it off the waiting list.  Hope prevails! 

Third, I have been following much of the blogging/branding conversation, of which Mom-101 has the latest insightful post.  Although I haven't commented much in the tweets and post, I'm going to jump into this conversation, too.  I think we're missing something vital, but it might be just my quirky brain.  More on that later.       

          - the weird (I want my funny back) girl


Because I know you all love my survivalist DIY tendencies

Two things… sometimes I want to be instantly gratified, and sometimes I want to be cheap. (I see no issues with either of these.)

Coming off of two trips where my legs spent a lot of time exposed to the sun (exposure that was earlier in the season than I expected, not to mention the wear and tear of travel in general), I realized that the more I age the drier and less elastic my skin is becoming. Sigh. In times like these my remedy of choice are sugar scrubs for exfoliation and more moisture! Alas, I’ve been out of any sugar scrubs for quite awhile. And sometimes, when you’re in a pinch (like visible evidence of one’s impending age) you just don’t want to go running all over town to track down what you need. (OK, that’s three things.)

Naturally, given the early hippie indoctrination, I decided to try to whip up my own sugar scrub. I mean, it’s sugar and oil, how hard can that be? (Besides, knowing how to make a sugar scrub could be very useful after economic collapse forces Bath and Body Works to close.) After a quick search on the Internet, including this very informative web page, I found out that it was pretty easy – you can basically make a sugar scrub out of any plant-based oil (mineral oil isn’t recommended), sugar, and fragrance – except that many of the recipes asked for lecithin. What the heck is lecithin?

However, after poking through the cabinet to see what ingredients I might have, I found an unopened bottle of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Soothing Oil. Given to new mothers everywhere! And it had lecithin in it! Plus, collagen and other elasticity-building ingredients. Perfect!

So here’s what I did.

1 9oz bottle of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter (that’s travel size)
¼ cup canola oil (I would have used all Palmer’s if I had more)
½ cup of white sugar
20 drops fruit fragrance

I had the fragrance left over from previous soap making projects with Chance. Which, by the way, is NOTHING like making that horrid soap in 5th grade when we had to learn about colonial times so they forced everyone to make hand-dipped candles and wear bonnets and crap and the soap was made from ash and lye. That sucked. And square dancing! Do they even still teach square dancing in school?

Anywho. Nowadays you can get fragrances in any craft store with soap supplies.

In the end, the canola oil was a little heavier than I was used to in a scrub but the result was the same… my skin was smooth and moisturized! I was very pleased and it probably cost all of a dollar (on the high end) to make. I did find that the fruit fragrances couldn’t quite compete with the cocoa scent, so the next time I use Palmer’s I’m going to use brown sugar with some vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. (I’ll smell like cobbler!)

This was so easy I’m also thinking about picking up some almond oil to try it again with a fruity scent.

And for those new mothers out there… now you know what to do with that left over Palmer’s. ‘Cause, really, how much of that stuff did any of us actually use?

          - the weirdgirl


What do Vikings, clams, and my relatives have in common?

They were all at this festival.

DSC03833

Oh, the awesome cheesiness!  That octopus is wearing sunglasses btw.  So were the clams.

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Arrrrgh, matey!  (Did Vikings say "argh"?)

DSC03838 rotated

I don't even know what this is. I think it might be those tuber (anemone?) things we used to yank up from under the dock, cut into green slimy chunks, and fish with, maybe?  Yeah, my anti-gross-out training started early.

DSC03834 rotated

My jaded relations were less impressed with the parade.  Bloody cynics.

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I realize I haven't done a vacation recap... despite having two basically in a row. Well, Disney is officially the loudest place on earth, which was a bit hard on a kid with sensory issues, hearing being the primary one.  (I mean, that place was working MY nerves.)  Most of the rides were also loud, in dark tunnels, and gave the impression of lots of objects/lights shooting towards you out of nowhere... so, again, those didn't go over too well with the kid.  On the other hand, Chance LOVED meeting Mickey and his friends, and the Star Wars Jedi Training Academy and the Disney Playhouse shows, so some good, some bad.  Lots of walking, lots of SoCal heat.  

In comparison, our second getaway was much more relaxed.  And it still had rides, walking, people dressed up in costume, and too much sugar.  (I love sugar.)  Plus, a cool dog named Lucy.

DSC03858

It also turns out that my facetiousness is totally hereditary!  From grandma all the way to cousin.  I mean, I probably knew that deep down, but it had been so long since I'd been around my family en masse that I'd sort of forgotten. 

We are hilarious.  (At least, to each other.) 

Still, it's nice to be home.  
              - the weirdgirl


Out of my head, she sang

We're off again. I wasn't sure we'd be able to do this trip, what with Chance being sick and all the swine flu scares and all, but it's on, baby!  Chance, my mom, and I are flying to Seattle to visit family.  Chance gets to meet his great-grandparents and assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins!  Cool, huh?  We've only done one other trip up there since he was born and I think he was too little to remember much.  They are also having a Norwegian festival up there this weekend.  Uff da!  (Only the Norwegians should be offended by that.)

So anyway, it'll be quiet around this old blog again until we're back. Which is probably fine considering I've done nothing lately but rant and rave like I'm a Tyrannosaurus Rex on the rampage.  (Which would be really unfortunate because they have those tiny arms and could you just imagine trying to get clothing to fit properly?!  No wonder they're cranky. Plus, I imagine all that meat eating really stains the clothes.) 

In keeping with my fashion self... I'll be sure to take some pictures of us wearing viking hats while we're up there.

Stylish!

Take care              - the weirdgirl



Cynical Dad's Twitter Show!

A quickie note (heh - she said quickie)... I have the honor of being the guest host of Chag's nameless twitter radio show tonight!  Yeah!  Which means I got to pick the theme and some of the songs.  (Bwa ha ha!  The power!) 

If you don't know about Cynical Dad's twitter show, well, you really should experience it.  He's quite the DJ for a magical progression of videos.  Plus he takes requests!  And puts up with our comments. 

The show is Tuesday nights, 10:00 - 12:00 eastern, 7:00 - 9:00 pacific. 
You can follow the show at http://twitter.com/CynicalDad

Now without further ado, the theme is... Animals!

Please direct any complaints back to Chag.   

(Hey, be glad I didn't go with my first instinct, "Songs you'd like to beat a clown to".  (That was kind of a rough week.))
              - the weirdgirl


Just a minor educational rant

So I was going to try to do a Mother's Day post yesterday (Happy Mother's Day!) which I didn't get around to, partly because I read this instead and it left me more disturbed than I thought should be appropriately transferred to the Day of All Moms.  (Please stay tuned for a general spewing of personal and possibly incendiary opinions.)

Basically, this article details a local PUBLIC school who has been discouraging disabled students from attending because the school has high test scores and didn't want them compromised.   

I mean, seriously, what the fuck?!

First off, it's a public school.  It's your job to educate the public.  That means all of the public.  Second, why the fuck are you beating on the disabled kids?!  Because, in general, that's considered pretty low.  And if you're OK with that you're certainly not going to have a problem beating on any other kids that don't fit your standard either, at least eventually.  (Start with the extreme cases and then start whittling down, right?  What's this civil rights thing you keep talking about?) 

Third, (and I know this is the one people will get mad about because it should be the least disturbing point made) I'm not convinced that solely "teaching to the test" is a long term benefit for our kids. There!  I said it!  This is an opinion formed completely from personal experiences and anecdotal sources but I still believe it's true.  Sources such as hearing my husband bitch year after year of interviewing kids out of school who've got great grades but rudimentary-to-zero social skills or common sense.  Basically, kids he won't hire!  I've seen situations where schools/teachers seem more concerned with teaching the academics than with the children learning those academics.  I've heard (though I haven't read any yet) there are studies out now showing the to the test method isn't exactly providing students with other often deemed necessary life skills.  And frankly, seeing the stress put on kids to pass all those tests - especially considering that they may not get hired after all their work - I think that stress is rather unfair to the children.

Yes, I think education is important (and if you knew me in person you would know how passionate I am about continuous learning and education) but I'm more an advocate for a happy, well-rounded child with great self esteem than I am for pushing extreme academics. 

And I know that opinion is not going to give me an in with the legions of parents who are on preschool waiting lists because they think that's the right road for their child to get to Stanford.

I am seriously concerned about a mindset, be it from a teacher, a school, or other parents, that is so concerned with test scores they are willing to push other children out.  I mean, yeah, I kind of expect that from some private schools, but if this is trickling over into the culture of the public system?   

It just brings me right back to this.

I feel compelled to research what it takes to get a charter proposal together.  I just cannot sit around and be at the mercy of this crap without trying to do something.             

             - the weird (yeah, I got some fucking opinions) girl

P.S. I never took the SATs and yet I not only went on to college but also to graduate school.  (Didn't take the GREs either.) 


How the swine flu swooped in and saved us all. Or not.

First off, I would like to say that I am occasionally too much the good citizen.

Thursday night Chance gets sick.  Spiking fever, throwing up.  So, since all the papers say to go to the doctor if you have a high fever and flu-like symptoms and, again being the good citizen, feeling like it's probably my civic duty to help get ahead of this swine flu thing, especially since we just came back from the happiest place on earth (a.k.a. kiddie germ fest), and not to say that I wasn't worried about the sudden fever, etc. because I was, we take him in to the walk-in clinic.

There are a lot of people with flu-like symptoms at the walk-in clinic.

Normally, - and I know because I've done this before - Chance gets in the exam room, he's hyper (because he's hyper even when he's sick) the doctor goes through the usual "ah's" and "deep breaths" now, and then I'm told "He certainly looks lively!  It's probably a cold," take tylenol, humidifier, blah blah and bring him back in the morning if he's worse.  (Actually, normally, I would have weathered the night and taken Chance to his regular doctor the next morning but you know... good fucking citizen.)

THIS TIME he got...

a urine test

blood taken (twice. SO not pretty)

chest x-rays

double shots of antibiotics

all this over the course of 4.5 hours!

It turned out that Chance's white blood count was super high so they knew he had an infection but they couldn't figure out what (viral? or bacterial?) (but definitely not swine flu). So, you know, it was good we went to the clinic.  However, they started talking about going to the hospital and I immediately thought "Oh god, can we please stop traumatizing my child and just let him go home and get some sleep?"  Because, you know, sometimes sitting up half the night taking tests - especially sharp, pokey ones - isn't going to help a kid get better.

The next morning we did a follow up with his regular doctor where Chance got blood taken... again!  Ah, the trauma.  (At least this time he didn't throw up on me from being so upset.)  Duration of visit: 1.5 hours.

This morning another follow up to the doctor... with a breathalyzer!  Woo hoo!  ('Cause, yeah, the only reason I was ever truly worried about the swine flu thing is because of the whole respiratory aspect.  Chance isn't considered asthmatic... yet... but this is the third time he's had labored breathing from being sick.)  Duration of vsit: 2 hours.

Total time logged with doctors: 8 hours.  Total trauma and potential therapy fodder: high but mitigated by lollipops and hot wheels stickers.

Although, except for the small diversion of sickiness, I'm pleased to say that I am almost entirely caught up on everything!  (*cough cough cleaning doesn't count cough*)  Yeah, sure, there are other items that could quickly become the new To Do list but those are all nice to haves.  (*cough cleaning cough*)  I guess catching up just naturally happens when you're up half the night.  And... BONUS!... I have this theory that the day you finally catch up on everything... that's the day you stop aging.  Yeah, I know, right?!  I've developed this airtight theory through a complicated formula of space-time equations and strings and um quarks and stuff.  Seriously, I am almost 99% positive this is true.  It's just never been attained yet, do you see?  Or maybe it has and that's why moms like Heidi Klum look so good.  (Damn you...)

Anyways, I even managed to whip these up.  Just for my favorite girl crush FADKOG.

Venting you slut cup  

Camel toe cougar

              - the weirdgirl