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September 2005

Prayers for the Hurricane Victims

My prayers go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Katrina.  I hope everyone gets the help they need quickly.  It breaks my heart to see people trying to drag their children and elderly to safety through that muck.

On a separate note, I know none of us are supposed to condone looting.  However, after seeing footage of a woman leave a store with nothing but a package of Huggies in her arms, I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same for my kids if I was stuck in that mess.  I say screw trying to save the merchandise and concentrate on getting those folks to safety.  It’s not like the greedy ones are going to be able to cart those TVs out of there anyway.

                        - the weirdgirl


Chronicles of a Bad Mommy

Photo Op

Aw, there’s my little ball and chain.  Two out of four actually.  Of course, I’m probably not supposed to let the cat sleep near the baby like that.  Now, none of the baby care books specifically said “no cats” in the sleeping area the way they said no blankets, pillows, toys, etc. but I’m sure they’d frown upon it anyways as some sort of hazard.  Those baby care specialists get so touchy when you re-interpret their guidelines.

But don’t these two look happy?  And both in stripes, too.

Dsc00408_4   

               

  Chance and Intrepid Jake


The Cape Exception

I need to make an amendment to the no-cape clause posted early.  I completely forgot about superheroes.  Capes work for superheroes.  I don’t know how this slipped past me, but it did.  Though, I notice superhero capes drape much more nicely than other capes; must be something in the construction, so maybe this is why I don’t lump them in with the usual drama kid variety.  Anyways, I just wanted to say for all the superheroes out there (or the wannabes)… capes are OK.  Just so we’re clear, capes are cool for ‘20s starlets, Gwen Stefani, and superheroes.  I’m sure this was keeping you all up at night.

I was thinking it would be fun to go as a superhero for Halloween this year.  I’ve never done the superhero thing.  But then my son is dressing up as a cow so I was also thinking I should coordinate with him.  Like maybe a milk-maid.  You know, just to up the geek-mom factor.  I guess I could combine the costumes… go as super milk-jug girl or something.  Only without the super-milk jugs.  sigh

It’s funny how, in the back of your mind, you kind of know you’re a bit odd but it doesn’t bother you too much or really intrude in your conscious day to day living.  You think, well everyone’s a little odd.  And then something will occur where you really comprehend, wow, I’m not normal.  Halloween did that for me.  Not in a take-it-way-over-board, live every day like it’s Halloween kind of way (though I have a buddy who spent three months decorating his ENTIRE house for Halloween, including drenching the bathrooms in fake blood, and I have to say he had some bitchin’ BITCHIN’ parties!) but in retrospect.  I love Halloween and enjoyed it just like every other kid.  I loved staying out late, running around loose without supervision, collecting as much candy as possible.  And I always wanted to be a witch.  I thought being a witch was the coolest costume ever.  Made me feel like I was really a part of Halloween.  This never seemed odd to me until all of my friends had kids, and every single little girl I knew over the years at some point wanted to be a princess for Halloween. 

Dressing as a princess NEVER occurred to me. 

Even to me, given the vast array of experiential data I’ve seen with these other little girls, it’s a little odd that I never wanted to be a princess.  It seems like a very usual little girl proclivity.  Especially considering how much I like shoes.  You’d think that would be a princess thing.  But witches did have those cool lace-up boots.  And capes.

Shit, this cape thing keeps fucking me up!  Are there any other cool cape things out there that I’m forgetting?                - the weirdgirl


This is Why I Love Halloween

Damn I’m tired.  Spent too much time at a family function, where it was too hot and too loud and I already started with a headache that just got worse.  Ugh.  On a high note, I’ve been perusing the catalogs for the new fall fashions (always a cheerful endeavor) and I’m glad to say longer shirts are coming back.  Yay!  My tummy was tired of being cold. 

This fall there are lots and lots of really rich-looking clothes with a few different “looks”, such as classic chic, baroque, Russian peasant, etc.  Lots of velvets and brocade and rich colors.  It’s like the whole fashion world is following Anthropologie’s cue.  Now you have to understand, I’m not normally a “run right out and buy the new trend” girl.  I’m more of a “classics that fit well” kind of chick, with a few special items thrown in to spice things up.  You know, because sometimes, let’s face it, the trends don’t work, don’t fit, don’t look good, or are impractical.  (Did I cover all the bases?  Oh wait, there’s also emotional knee-jerk reaction. I forgot that one.)  However, I am LOVING all the fall clothes!  I wasn’t sure why they were so appealing, they just were.  Some of them weren’t even things I would buy.  Then it clicked… I love them because they remind me an awful lot of the clothes I had in my dress-up trunk when I was a little girl.  I loved playing dress-up then, and I still love it now.  Who doesn’t like to play dress-up?  It’s so much fun, you get to be someone different with every outfit (even if it’s only in your head).  And now that we’re adults, we can do it every day if we want to!  OK, every day is a little hard, but “sometimes” if we work at it (and sometimes just for survival’s sake).  I’ve already been plotting to get my hands on a few key pieces and the destinations to wear them out to.  Now I only need a job.  “Mom” doesn’t pay too well, darn it all.

Oh yeah, remember that “emotional knee-jerk reaction”?  I also noticed CAPES were featured.  That’s definitely a no-go.  No matter how luxurious the cape might be I could never wear one.  It reminds me too much of the drama kids from college – but not the cool drama kids who were outrageous and flamboyant and really fun.  No, capes were always worn by the drama kids who took themselves way too seriously, who liked to sneer down their noses at anyone who mentioned theatre (such as, Hey great performance!), and muttered continuously about Shakespeare as if they had a personal relationship with him.  And besides being unpleasant they also just looked dumb.  There, I said it, they looked dumb in capes.  I’m sorry, but the only people who can pull off capes are starlets from the 20s… or Gwen Stefani.  That’s it.

So that’s it, no capes for anyone, no Blue’s Clues, and… um… well, the list will continue.  Next time anyone sees me I, hopefully, will be wearing velvet and tweed, trying to look inconspicuous as I hide from the KGB.  That’ll be my story anyway.  With maybe some brocade heels.  And a fedora for the kid.  Yeah, that’ll do it.

-       the weirdgirl


Chronicles of a Bad Mommy

Episode 5

The other mommies are making fun of me again.  Most days they just snicker quietly as I walk up to the Mommy corner.  (That’s where all the stay-at-homers meet for walks.  The Nannies meet at the park, and the rest of us (meaning me) wander around by ourselves.)  They think I can’t tell what they’re doing but I know.  They’ve been making comments about my clothes.  And lately they’ve said some of them out loud.

It’s not like I’m wearing anything much different from what they’re wearing.  Comfy pants, knit tops… they’re all very similar.  I can’t help it if I like colors and tailoring.  They already disapprove of my parenting philosophy – mainly because I don’t have one and didn’t research any while I was pregnant or read any of the parenting philosophy books.  And I heard the chorus of snide remarks when I stopped breastfeeding.  They got downright snippy when they found out my son scored nine on the Apgar test even though I never gave up caffeine.  But they really, really disapprove of the fact that I’m still buying clothes for myself.  They find problems with everything, especially the shoes.

The Mommies:

“Well, aren’t you spiffy today. That’ll look better with a few stains on it.”

“Those aren’t very practical, are they?”

“You can’t run in heels.  What if your child needs you?”   

“I heard about a little boy who tripped over shoes like that and the heel sliced through his jugular.”

I try to explain to them, “Sure you can run.  You just have to practice.  And the heels will break off before they slit anyone’s throat.”  But they won’t hear it.  I just don’t know what to do.  I had no idea clothing could affect the well-being of my child.  I’ve already given up my legion of black tops (shows formula terribly you know – once I tried pinning a brooch over a formula stain but they said I might put out the baby’s eye).  Apparently the only acceptable clothes are sweats and athletic shoes (I seriously have not owned a pair of athletic shoes since 12th grade gym), with the occasional twin-set thrown in for a special occasion.

So yesterday, I caved.  I thought, well maybe if I wear some loungewear they will finally let me walk around the block with them.  I wasn’t going to change my shoes though, you have to draw the line somewhere.  I pulled out my best cashmere hoodie and running pants with the kitten-heeled mules, an outfit that coordinated beautifully with the romper my son was wearing I might add, and trotted down to the corner.

They looked at me like they wished I would die.


Another Old Day

So I thought, when I finally broke down and agreed to do a blog, that I’d choose a dark background as a sort of spoof/homage to all the dark websites that proliferated the web a few years ago when the only people who had blogs (before they were called blogs) were the artistic techno subversive types that could do their own coding.  Then it occurred to me that probably no one would get that I was trying to be funny.  That seems to happen a bit… I think I’m being wittily ironic and I either get taken seriously or else I get a blank stare.  I guess some humor is just so subtle it ain’t funny darlin’.  I should repeat this to myself periodically while staring in the mirror.

I might have to scrap the dark background though. I don’t think my eyes can take it.  Maybe they could have back when the websites weren’t called blogs and they were all black (when mine, if I had built one then, would have been light and colorful with bunnies or some shit just to stand out – OK, maybe not bunnies), but they can’t anymore.  The sad fact is I’m getting old.  My eyes are going, my body is going, and my mind is starting to show those tendencies that characterize old people.  I see now that the girl in weirdgirl is just a desperate delusion for some clinging remains of youth.  I really am hideously old. 

For example, just the other day I discovered hair growing in a place it has never grown before.  I won’t say where but let your imagination wander to some of the more horrifying places hair can grow.  (You’d think I would have gotten use to this during pregnancy but I think the hormones dull reactions you would normally have.)  But it’s OK, I used a Micro-touch and shaved it off.  Then I realized that I owned a Micro-touch.  I looked closely at my drugstore items and also saw: Mylanta and Tums and Pepto; heavy duty, spackle-it-on anti-wrinkle cream; LOTS of tweezers; talcum powder; and Poise pads.  Hmmm.  I also find that I am irritated when I see teenagers wearing t-shirts with logos or slogans from a decade they couldn’t possibly remember, seeing as they hadn’t been born yet.  And I have to suppress the urge to quiz them about their t-shirts.  See.  Crankiness… another sign of age.

However, this is when it really crashed home… I went to Walgreen’s to get some more Mylanta and there was this woman in line wearing cargo capris, a slinky tank top, and with her hair in ponytails.  It was very trendy.  It also looked terribly wrong.  She was too old for the style and looked like she was trying way too hard to hook a hottie she couldn’t get.  It honestly just made all her wrinkles stand out.  I pitied and smirked at her.  I felt sadly superior for all of two minutes.  Then I caught a glimpse of myself reflected in the glass doors and I was wearing THE EXACT SAME FUCKING THING!

delusions delusions                - the weirdgirl


DGM!!

Behind schedule today, damnit.  But I had to take a moment to share this site with you: www.dadgonemad.com is hilarious.  I pee myself every time I read it (literally, my bladder control is shot now; I’ve gotten to where I hate to sneeze).  Especially check out, “God Dammit, Daddy! I Said Talk To Barney! Now! Before I Shit My Clothes Again!  I also really like how he refers to his wife as HOT WIFE.  I wish somebody would call me that.  (hint hint)

More later…


Chronicles of a Bad Mommy

Episode 4

I know it’s all my fault.  I drank caffeine, you know, while I was pregnant with him.  No alcohol, mind you.  I waited until he popped out for that (except, of course, for that unfortunate trip to the wine country before I knew I was pregnant.  But boy, was THAT fun!).  But I definitely had caffeine.  And sugar.  Caffeine and sugar were my friends.  It’s not like I consumed copious amounts of caffeine, just a few cups to wake me up.  OK, now, the sugar sometimes got a little out of control, but I was eating for two for god’s sakes!  And lactating!  The type of things that just require the high energy of sugar.  The caffeine was just comfort food.

So anyways, the little guy has just mastered sitting up all by himself, no boppy or anything, and I catch him rocking back and forth.  Rocking like a madman, rocking like he was a Deadhead too stoned to stand up twirling around in circles at the concert any longer.  He was even drooling a little and looking a little gleefully manic.  Rocking.  I know it was the caffeine.

Mommy and Me is no longer returning my calls.


Anal-retentive Control Fantasies

So my nails changed when I was pregnant.  I didn’t notice at the time, but after I gave birth I noticed this tiny line across each of my nails at about the same place, like a little ridge.  The changes left over from my pregnant body were growing out; the pregnant nail was a little thicker and shiny, the post-pregnant nail was a little duller.  (That sounds like each nail is going to spew forth little babies, doesn’t it?  Bizarre.)  So anyway, I’ve been watching these little lines on my nails grow out slowly and it’s finally gotten to the point where they’ve grown out enough that the next time I clip them all traces of pregnancy will be gone. (Well, except for the c-section scar and the stretch marks – any chance those will grow out?!)  And though pregnancy SUCKED (don’t let anyone snooker you into thinking differently), I’m actually feeling a little nostalgic. 

But then I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if your nails worked like that all the time?  Like you got a line every time life changed direction on you?  A new job, going back to school, a new love life?  The good, the bad, the ugly.  Kind of like how palm-readers say the lines on your hands function, but you can accessorize your nails.  You could paint over them if you didn’t want to see the line.  You could add jewels.  Or leave them bare and proud (or defiant).  You could cut them short or grow them out long.  (How great would it be to clip a bad boyfriend out of your life?)  The line stays as long as you go through that period and when that segment of your life was over the line grows out.  Your nails could be a metaphor for… well, not for life, but definitely for the dysfunctional coping mechanisms we use every day!  How cool would that be?! 

Sigh… sometimes my anal-retentive control fantasies just take over.

                 - the weirdgirl

                        


Shampoo

Oh my.  I’m having a brain-deficient day.  You know, some days I’m all together and other days I’m just not there… probably thinking of better things than whether or not I’ve already brushed my teeth today (did it twice) or shampooed my hair (also twice, regardless of what the instructions say).  I am the dork-girl, coo coo ka-choo.  By the way, I solemnly vow that if I’m ever the head of a large pharmaceutical company I will NOT put “repeat” with the instructions on the bottles of shampoo.  I mean, come on, I know we’re American idiots… but that’s just stupid.   

Plus, I find that the problem isn’t that we need explicit written instructions, simplified so we can wrap our tiny brains around applying them, it’s that a lot of people don’t read the instructions at all.  Here, a story… an unnamed relative of mine bought herself a foot file, meant to rub the calluses off your feet.  She then proceeded to try to exfoliate her face with it, even though it says “FOOT file” on the handle and is even in the shape of a large foot.  Of course her face ended up scraped raw, red and hurting, and she gave it to me, saying, “My skin is too sensitive for it but maybe you can use it.  If it doesn’t work for you there might be something wrong with it.”  She had thrown away the packaging which I have no doubt had instructions all over it, because god forbid that the company get sued for lack of instructions – they need to cover their butts, after all.  And God forbid she actually READS the instructions before applying abrasive materials to her face.  But she’s family so I still have to love her.

At least my dinginess doesn’t involve abuse of instructions or lack thereof.  Time to go wash my hands twice in a row.             - the weirdgirl

   


Chronicles of a Bad Mommy

Episode 3

I took  the baby shoe shopping today. I made him sit in the stroller the whole time while I tried on shoes.  I showed him the shoes as I tried them on; explained the difference between slingbacks and mules and other pertinent information.  He was quite patient and he loved the turquoise sandals with the rhinestone buckle.  I know he did.  He smiled at them.

At one point while I was pregnant I couldn’t fit into any of my shoes any longer.  I was actually wearing my husband’s flip-flops.  And then I heard the horror stories… about women who could never again fit into the same size shoes they wore before they were pregnant.  I was crushed.  I couldn’t imagine… after all the time I spent patiently building up my shoe collection, to have it brutally ripped from me and to have to start all over again… it was almost too much.  Thankfully my feet did shrink, but I did miss a whole season of footwear.  Well, you can understand the shopping spree was really a celebration; probably beneficial for the baby to witness.

But the baby did have to sit in the stroller for quite a long time, just hanging out.  He had a set of plastic keys to play with and would doze off occasionally when he wasn’t helping me evaluate shoes.  Still, someone asked if I thought he felt lonely when he was in his stroller, and I had a sudden horrified vision of my son, years from now, in therapy because he had always felt abandoned and unloved.  His place at the center of my universe usurped because of a pair of strappy sandals at 30% off.

They were really cute sandals though. 

Bad mommy, baa-aad.


Elitist Dog II

This was sent to me anonymously.  I’m not saying it’s evidence, I’m not saying it’s even true… I’m just saying my belief in the educational system is a little more shaken than usual right now.  sigh

Oh yeah… can you find the fish?                          - the weirdgirl

Blues_incriminating_photo_1 


Chillax: the Confusion

I’ve been hearing the slang term “chillax” an awful lot lately.  I have to tell you it’s really getting on my nerves.  I don’t think I’ve ever had such a strong and immediate dislike for a slang word before.  I think it’s because the word sounds more like “ex-lax” to me than “relax”.  So instead of encouraging someone to calm down or chill, I think it sounds like its saying, “You need to take a laxative right now.”  Now wouldn’t that just piss you off?

It seems like a lot of things are getting on my nerves lately.  But I think that I’m mainly confused.  Deeply confused, by lots of things.  And that, of course, translates to anger.  Because anger IS much more productive (or at least much more entertaining, in a preoccupying sort of way that keeps us from thinking about our confusion) than confusion.  See, when you’re angry you feel like you’re doing something, even when you’re doing nothing, because anger uses up a lot of energy.  So you can sit on the couch, angry, just steaming about whatever is pissing you off lately, flipping through the channels, not even really watching TV, and still feel fairly productive because you’re simmering while you’re sitting there.  It’s an exercise… simmering while sitting.  (Or simmery sitting… or sitting simmery?  Eww, that reminds me of ex-lax again.)  Anyway… the point is, anger makes us feel good.  It probably even burns calories.

However, I’m watching some anime – and normally I’m a big fan of anime – and suddenly one character confronts the other character, I mean, really breaks out into an impassioned monologue, and I’m having a hell of a time following it. There was something about “are you  trying to prove your existence” (?!) and pride and manliness and cowering (but they were all conflicting statements) and then it concluded with a “I guess I didn’t need to say all that for the situation we’re in” kind of lame-apology thing.  (It was really a rather accusatory monologue for characters who had just met.)  And THEN breasts started popping up everywhere, and robots, and robotic breasts.  Which I didn’t see the point of, really, except to underline Japan’s obsession with sexual appendages.  And it was at that point that I realized, “Wow, I am really fucking confused.” 

But at least I was doing something.                     - the weirdgirl

            


Chronicles of a Bad Mommy

Episode 2

OK, I confess: I stopped breast feeding.  The La Leche League is out to crucify me.  I’ve been afraid to leave the house because I see them circling their mini-vans when I look out the window.  I’m considering going into a witness-relocation program.  I found a whole generation of women my mother’s age willing to hide me.  They’ve been terribly supportive, giving me comfy slippers, teaching me the secrets of Benadryl.  Even encouraging me to let the baby sleep on his tummy for naps if that’s what he really wants to do.  He keeps flipping over in his sleep anyway.


Conversation Overheard in a Restaurant

I am so-o ready to escape.  There are moments when all the little irritations and hassles and ball and chains overshadow not only the fun stuff but the basic day-to-day mediocre stuff too.  I probably sound bitter but I’m not really, I just refuse to sugar-coat reality.  But I have an out coming up… suffice it to say I will be oiled up by strange men and enjoying every minute of it!  Bwa-ha-ha!  I’m counting the days.

Besides, life IS beautiful in its absurdities.  Case in point…

Actual Conversation Overheard in a Restaurant

While we’re slobbering down our steak and lobster, I can hear the conversation in the booth next to us.  It’s an older couple, at that age where they’ve already started to shrink; grey hair, 60ish.  I got the definite impression that this was a date.  There was that air of exclusivity and intense conversation when two people are just getting to know each other.  What caught my attention was the woman’s voice was rather loud and carrying, whereas the man, who was sitting closest to us, was barely audible.

Woman:  “Yes, I absolutely believe it.”

Man: “mumble mumble”

Woman: “And credit cards, too.  That’s how they get you.  The government keeps records of all of it.”

Man: “mumble mumble mumble”

Woman: “That’s why I never use the Internet, either.”

Man: “mumble mumble”

Woman: “Exactly!  It’s traceable!  It’s ALL traceable!”

Ah, paranoid hippies in love. It’s so cute.

-         the weirdgirl    


Elitist Dog

I was watching Blue’s Clues today (don’t ask) and they had a game where you had to find the fish in the art piece.  I couldn’t find the fish.  And these art pieces were really sophisticated, like an impressionist painting, a mosaic – I thought this show was supposed to be for pre-schoolers?!  Nothing will make you feel stupider (yes, I know it’s not a word) than not being able to compete on a game designed for the 3-year-old set. Seriously. 

I suspect that damn snooty dog is of the “Einstein-ian baby” philosophy.  You know, start ‘em off early with classical music and logic problems (which color block goes next) and by the time they’re five they’ll be doing SAT studies and advanced geometry.  Well I say, my kid doesn’t need to study that early in life!  Aint there enough pressure?  Play with your toys kiddo.  There’s something to be said for dreaming and screwing off as a kid… builds creativity, not just memorizing facts!  And you can get a lot out of life when you’re creative.  You know some of us managed to weasel out of taking the SATs and still went on to graduate school! (Didn’t take the GRE either, so HA!)  I don’t want any children of mine turning into those little pressure-cookers, locked in their room studying all the time when they’re not doing 10-million extra-curricular activities, worrying that they won’t get into college because they got a 4.2 GPA instead of a 4.3.  I’m stopping it here!  No Blue’s Clues for anyone.  Screw that dog!  It’s all really just a paranoia conspiracy started by the elitists who run those education-for-profit programs anyway, like tutoring and phonics and… and…

Dumb fish.   


Chronicles of a Bad Mommy

Episode 1

I’m obviously not stimulating my baby enough.  I haven’t made up any new songs for him today or read him any Shakespeare.  He did get to play with his interactive toys, designed by educational professionals and child psychologists to best stimulate his growing mind. But I did not play with his toys with him, I did not encourage him in his exploration or point out the next step of play in his development.  Nope, I plopped him down in front of the TV, turned on Nogin, and let him play.

I read two whole chapters of my novel uninterrupted.

Subsequently, I've been banned from the local Mommy and Me playgroup.  Damnit, those were my best drinking buddies.


Top Ten Dream Jobs

1. evil marketing executive at Cartoon Network (oh, the minds to warp!)

2. professional student (if only someone would pay me!)

3. burlesque dancer

4. subversive muckraker (this is probably more a lifestyle than an actual job)

5. carny

6. “intellectual terrorist” – Note: this is not an endorsement for terrorism; this is an actual quote from literary criticism to describe deconstructionists.  (Academics or academicus sapiens, are a highly-passionate breed who exhibit the signature characteristic of taking things a little too seriously in their field. This often leads to extensive and dramatic feuding among the breed’s written “essays” – a demonstrative form the species uses to display vocabulary primacy, thus securing the best mating partners. Sadly, their passionate nature notwithstanding, the academics are dying out due to shrinking budgets affecting their natural habitat.  In particular the sub-species academicus smartaleckus, less passionate and prone to pointing out the inconsistencies in theory, is dying out in droves, often beaten to death by the shoes of the greater species before securing tenure.) 

7. comic book anything

8. “eight… eight…. I forget what eight was for”

9. buyer for Target’s stationary department

10. novelist