Saturday, November 17, 2007

Have Dinner With Me and I May Repeat Your Stories

Commenting on the psychological status of the in-laws, a friend told me: "I learned two things from my mother-in-law---how to set a nice, formal dinner table and how to grab someone by the head and shake Satan out of them."

Wonder which came in handiest?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Who Took My Rose Colored Glasses?

Scarlett took the whole Halloween UNICEF job seriously—she didn’t just fill up that bright orange box, she went on-line to learn more. I’m sorry but next time I’d rather she stumble across a porn site. Way easier damage control: “Uh, some people just like to exercise naked?”

The day she clicked must've been particularly dark because the home page offered up rape, child abduction, HIV-Aids, death by homelessness, starvation or measles. Quick, click on ‘Voices of Youth,’ and you’re steered from despair toward cheerful primary-colored pages meant for the younger set. Whew, finally—blogs from HIV positive 15-year olds and fun links like What Would You Do, an “interactive game that explores real life situations with regards to HIV/AIDS.”

Okay, okay—this is clearly meant for teens, but if I’m scraping my fourth-grader off the floor, you know others are too. After all, UNICEF deploys millions of elementary school children as fundraisers every October 31. You can bet more than one went to the web site (and yes, with parental permission).

For those of us lucky to have enough, how much, how soon and to what degree do we let our well-cared for little ones know about the cruelties of the planet? Don’t get me wrong (I stand so far to the left that my heart actually does bleed) I strongly believe that it’s imperative we raise a generation that cares more about peace and social justice than stock portfolios. But if I’m still lying about the tooth fairy and Santa, can’t I lie about the state of childhood, globally, just for a little longer?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sadly, Funny

U.S. Military Wasting All Its Victories On Notre Dame

The Onion

U.S. Military Wasting All Its Victories On Notre Dame

WASHINGTON, DC—As combined American forces celebrate two consecutive football wins against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish while simultaneously marking the loss of the 3,150th soldier to hostile action in Iraq, many are left wondering if the...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I learned something new in the Pioneer Press today. For those of you familiar with that rag, you may now slowly get off the floor.

Turns out that much of the meat available through the regular routes, like ah, grocery stores or SuperTarget, has been treated with carbon monoxide in order to make the flesh stay all squeaky pink long after it should start getting funky and gray. You know, sort of gross-looking, nature's way of saying: "Stop! Don't eat me, I'm rotten."

This trick started five years ago when the FDA deemed the practice "generally recognized as safe" or GRAS, a regulatory category. The carbon monoxide binds a muscle protein in the meat, making it forever, permanently pink.

Without the carbon monoxide, meat starts out purplish-red (right after the animal's tortuous life and death), turns pink after some magical interaction with air and as it rots, brown. Highly inconvenient when you're trying to sell something right up to its expiration date.

GRAS, hmmm.

Or maybe Merrick can just suck on an Elmo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dinner With The Family

Should've shaken their brains soggy when they were babies and I had the chance.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Deft Parenting

John's putting Merrick to bed. The 12 year old baby monitor still works and from the kitchen, I hear Merrick say:

"I'm sad Thurston is dead. I'm afraid to die, Daddy."

Every maternal cell is fully loaded and vibrating. I turn up the monitor. These are delicate times, John. Frail psyches at stakes.

No reply from John.

"Daddy, do you know when you die? Do you know so you can get ready?"

John (seemingly waking up): "Uh, no. Nobody knows when you're going to die. It just happens."

WRONG ANSWER. The correct answer is: you don't have to worry about this for nearly 100 years because you die when you're very very old. And I won't die until I'm very old and I will take care of your forever and ever (because you are now just four and can't handle much Truth about painful issues of existential sort).

Merrick.: "What does it feel like, when your heart stops and you go somewhere else? What does it feel like when your heart stops?"

John: "Dazed. You feel dazed."

I just turn off the monitor and give up.

Anxiety Attack

Remember (if you're old like me) when Ronald Regan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to the Supreme Court?

I was genuinely afraid for my future. The left-wing--and I use that phrase lovingly--rhetoric around O'Connor was akin to Baptists settling in for The Rapture.

The fact that O'Connor went from Satan to moderate swing vote--in fact, a Justice whose retirement even the left bemoaned (and not just because of the timing) really scares me because:

A) our Supreme Court has become so incredibly conservative that simple lack of extremism just made her look moderate or

B) she really like, changed over time and sought to be even-handed and all that good stuff, making me terribly wrong.

But if the answer is B then it's possible, theoretically, that I could be wrong about other strongly-held political beliefs. Maybe Victory is possible in Iraq!

And. . . how lovingly do I use the phrase left-wing? The very first presidential ballot I filled out was for Sonia Johnson! Maybe if she had won we wouldn't have been able to enjoy either person in the video just linked, hmmmm?

The Half Full Glass

The upside to having marshmallow size breasts? That self-examination is more like a pop quiz.

Worth Ten Minutes

Come on -- nobody is allowed meaningful contribution before noon on Monday! Let yourself waste some time with these fun links. Thanks to a friend for the first and to Broadsheet at Salon for the second.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Blethic II

For those naughty few who haven't read every last post: blethic, as in blog ethic. Since the phrase is entirely mine, I'm deploying it in all kinds of ways.

Blethic quagmire ahead --

I run into someone, say at the grocery store, and she asks me how I am. Is it okay to refer her to my blog rather than answer directly? Seems so much more efficient-- and all-encompassing, to boot.

But then, what if I refer her to the blog and she laughs (uh-oh) because she is soooo busy that she has no time to read a (ahem, my) blog, for heaven's sake.

Is it okay to remind her that even though I have a job, more children than she does, two dogs, many wild cats, an immaculate house and a fine-looking behind because I take time to exercise, that I am still able to find the time to write (incredibly clever) blog that she doesn't have two minutes a day to read?