Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Another Undeniable Sign I'm Growing Up

I now identify more with the Chez Quis maitre'd from Ferris Bueller's Day Off than I do with the title character of that same film. Why? What brought on this paradigm shift? Well, to be honest, I was never much of a rule-breaker. Want an example? There was one time in high school when I didn't go back to class after a little theater thingy that took place in the middle of the day. My cohorts begged me to stay in the theatre with them, because if I went back for those last precious 15 minutes of U.S. History, then we'd all have to go back to class. I caved to the peer pressure, but I had sweaty palms for the rest of the day.

So Ferris wasn't exactly telling my story up there on the silver screen. The other day, though, I was looking for a friend's MySpace page (for reasons I can't go into here), and I pulled up a whole bunch of teenagers with the same name. Oh, the atrocious spelling errors, punctuation errors, and other crimes against language. And these travesties were just in the names, quotes, and stats that flash up with a MySpacer's picture. I can't imagine the visceral pain that would have been mine had I clicked open any of their pages. And I thought, "I weep for the future," which is easily one of the top 10 quotes for Ferris Bueller's Day Off, spoken by the gentleman at the top of this post.

If this is what I'm like at 32, the neighborhood kids better watch out. All of those basketballs that bounce in my front yard? They are MINE, baby.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Maybe They've Got Cauterwauling in Common?

I thought I saw this on E! News this past weekend! I write that I thought I saw it because I caught some variant of the the ebola virus on Wednesday of last week, and spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning in a fog.

Sidebar: Let it be said that I believe in the benefits of breastfeeding for children, but man, when I can't take cold medication for fear of drying out my milk supply and/or doping my kid, it makes me think twice. Okay, not really, but that was not what I'd call a fun way to spend the weekend.

Anyway, back to this bidness about Ashlee Simpson collaborating with Robert Smith on her new album. How disorienting is that? It's like when I saw my OB/GYN at the mall...I knew the person, I knew the place, but this person and this place just didn't go together in my mind. So, I was mightily confused when I saw Ashlee's California-kissed mug juxtaposed with Smith's pale painted visage in an entertainment story. I thought maybe it was a febrile amalgamation of different stories, but my crafty interweb research proved that a falsity. According to the stories online, Simpson the Younger has been pitching woo at the Grandaddy of Goth for awhile. I dunno...maybe she really digs the Cure, or maybe she thinks it'll earn her some street cred. Or maybe he'll teach her how to work a voice that was not really designed to sing. Who knows?

I will reserve judgment 'til I hear the music. It's tempting to let my former black-tights-jean-cutoffs-Doc-Martens self rip on this pairing post-haste. But I look at my Gap-clad self of today and recognize that you can't decide what a person's music sensibilities really are based on how they style themselves. And Ashlee's only 23, and has been managed by her father for her whole career. Maybe she's gently carving out a path for herself?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Extravaganza

Bestie and I continued our St. Patty's Day tradition of going to Shenanigans in Ocean City, MD. Hubby did not go along as someone had to stay and take care of the Boy and the Girl. To be sure, you might think I'm a wee selfish for skedaddling and leaving Hubby with a toddler and an infant, but he bore the task heroically. AND I GOT TO SLEEP FOR EIGHT CONSECUTIVE HOURS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SIX MONTHS. Glory and hallelujah. Of course, I was about to burst when I woke up at 8:30 a.m., but a quick pas de deux with my hand pump relieved me.

Back to our St. Patty's Day experiences... Since we were without male accompaniment in an Irish dive bar, we were on the receiving end of some flirtatious behavior. I think. It's been awhile, so I can't be sure. When a fella stops to inquire about your necklace, though, then continues to chat with you about your Irish heritage, it could be that he's looking to suss out your dating status. And when he flaunts his claddagh ring, worn in a consipicous way, well, that more or less seals the deal. So there was Claddagh guy. There was also We're-Stuck-Trying-To-Walk-Past-the-Bar Guy, Kilt Guy, and Older-Huggy Guy. All of this while the live music pounded our chests like a bodhrán.

Oh, how I pine for the days of dating. Yeah, right. All in all, we really did have loads of fun. And pancakes and bacon the next morning. And an afternoon of shopping. C'mon, you know you're jealous.

Meanwhile, in another memory...

When I was ten years old, I stopped by the camera store that my Dad's managed since 1970-something. It wasn't Take Your Daughters to Work Day or anything progressive like that. It's just that the store was situated halfway between my elementary school and my house, so it was no big effort to drop in and say "hello." Ooh, and it was a Thursday. That meant that there were tasty snacks in the back office. Mmm...sticky buns, poundcake, muffins. How I loved Thursday.

So there I was, munching on a sticky bun, and one of Dad's regular customers bellied up to the counter. Dad, always the social butterfly, introduced the little ragamuffin next to him (ahem, me) as his daughter. Tragically shy as I was, I think I just smiled at him through the pecans and sugar. That's when he said something that struck me as pretty odd:

"She's beautiful. She has the map of Ireland all over her face."

My ten-year-old self smiled and nodded, and my Dad thanked the customer. But I was thinking, "What does that mean? Do I have lines running around my face? Does my face call to mind green pastures? Or famine walls?"

Okay, okay, I wasn't that thick-headed. I knew that it meant that I looked like some kind of Platonic ideal of Irish, with my (then) wavy reddish-blonde hair, freckles, and dimples. The Catholic schoolgirl jumper probably didn't hurt either.

The weird thing is that I happen to look a lot like my mother, who's all kinds of German. Go figure.

And thus we conclude my memory dump of the day.

The Case of the Flaming Minivan

(Image courtesy of

For those with a deep and abiding morbid curiosity: this is not a post about carbecues on any of the highways and byways that I traverse on a daily basis. Having said that...

Normally I avoid blogging about the office, 'cause I like where I work and I don't need to vent about it to prevent personal spontaneous combustion. However, the parking lot is not the office, it's just near it, so I can blog about that all I want. Anyway, there is a fascinating vehicle in said parking lot that I need to discuss. It's an early aughties* minivan with flame decals all over it. I don't think they are magnetic as pictured above. I think someone went to the trouble to paint those flames onto the van permanently, baby. And there are many flaming flames by my count: four on either side, one on the hood, and two on the back.

This combo of soccer-mom-ity and West Coast Customs pimpin' is making me go all Sherlock Holmes. Okay, more like Veronica Mars. Okay, more like a person who drives to work and observes something interesting in her parking lot, but isn't actually going to put any real effort toward solving the answer (to your face!).

The wondering is fun, though. Did someone give her teenaged son the family minivan, and then have to take it back after he'd invested in a new paint job? Is a father trying to deny the minivan-ness of his life? Is this minivan the best that a twentysomething could afford, but wants to make it clear that she is way cooler than your average parent? Does a co-worker have a band on the side? Or is this indeed a soccer-mom's mode of transportation, but she is so incredibly thrilled about soccer that she put flames all over the minivan?

If I ever crack The Case of the Flaming Minivan, I will let you know.

*what else do you call something from the 2000-2009 decade?

Friday, March 16, 2007

No, Please, Chew In My Ear

When I was in 7th Grade, I enrolled in my first foreign language class. And thus, this post shall be written entirely en français to justify the subsequent seven years I spent learning it. Just kidding! Since Hubby refuses to pratiquer the language with me, I am reduced to a few phrases and lots of Franglais. That's like Spanglish, but with French. Anyway, when you are studying a language, one of the best ways to adopt correct pronunciation is to listen to a native speaker, mimic that speaker, and then listen to yourself mimicking the native speaker. How does one accomplish this when one is surrounded by English-speaking 12-year-olds, many of whom are cursed with a Baltimorean accent? Enter the language lab!

At Pine Grove Middle School (go Panthers!), the language lab comprised about 30 carrels with little tape-recording doo-hickeys embedded into each one. Les étudiants would pop on headsets to listen to both the teacher's instructions and the tape of native French speakers. Le prof would hang out at the front of the room and speak into the microphone to tell us to turn to this page or that page, to press play, and voilà! A Parisien would direct us to la bibliothèque.

In many respects, it was a cool way for a kid in the midst of Baltimore County to pick up on all the guttural emphases that make up the French language. In one respect, it was torturous: our teacher had the unfortunate habit of moistly smacking her lips together many, many, many times. Having that sound RIGHT IN MY EAR made me want to rip off my headphones and stick my fingers as far into my external auditory meatus as they could go. But that was 20 years ago, and the aural agony has faded. Until now.

Oh, Elliot. You're on the air from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. That's 4.5 hours. Can you really not go through a whole shift without eating some gargantuan meal? I can see that you mightn't feel a hunger pang during your pre-dawn commute. So you probably hit a point during your broadcast when all you can think about is food, and have convinced yourself that the show will suffer because you aren't concentrating on your chatter. That point occurs at approximately 8:15 a.m., because that's when all of the lip smacking begins.

Honestly, it sounds like you've stuffed half a 7-Eleven breakfast sandwich in your maw. Even the eating noises wouldn't be so awful if you didn't insist on conducting an interview whilst you masticate. You'll periodically say, "Oh, s'cuse me, I'm eating." Dude! You're a professional radio broadcaster. Professional means you don't do things like stuff your gullet when you're chatting with a Cap. It means that you figure out a way to eat during commercials, or before or after the show, or quietly during Diane's news segment.

Here's the thing: I tune into you for entertainment. I want a little bit of the show to happen behind the curtain, okay? I don't need Saran Wrap-style transparency. Especially when it reminds me of my awkward tween years.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Just Call Me a "Hoya," Please

Each week, my alma mater's (mater, Latin for "mother") alternative weekly sends me an e-version of their paper. Nerd that I am, I try to keep up with Hilltop happenings. Anyway, this headline caught my eye. Maybe I'm looking for inequality where it doesn't exist, but I really, really dislike applying gender distinctions to team monikers.

It all started in high school. Know what my field hockey team was called in homeroom announcements, fundraisers, flyers, programs, newspapers, and soaped-up school bus windows? The Lady Knights. How dumb is that? Lady Knights. Sheesh. Field hockey is a women's sport. There are no men on the field. So if we were just the "Parkville Knights Field Hockey team," I'm pretty sure everyone would've understood that we were girls*.

But there were other sports to consider, ones that had both male and female teams, like basketball, soccer, lacrosse, etc. So, couldn't the school come up with something that was simply gender-neutral, like maybe the Warriors? For the girls' teams, we couldn't just use the female equivalent to Knight, which is Lady, as that would call to mind high-falutin' things like courtesy and grooming. Not appropriate for athletes. Besides, I didn't want a completely different name for the girls, even if it was a powerful one like, say, Amazons, because then we'd have a whole separate-but-equal situation on our hands. Nope -- one school, one team name.

Which is why when I entered those balloon-bedecked front gates during Orientation weekend, I thought, "Aha! Hoyas! Hoyas** are neither male nor female. Sweet." But here we are, calling them Lady Hoyas.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that this distinction is made because success in men's sports brings in more national publicity, more alumni donations, and more student applications. All of this equals more moolah for a staid institution. So, anytime a school crows about its women's athletic prowess, they try to avoid inadvertently stirring up excitement about men's sports. Doing so would pull a mental bait-and-switch in their minds. Because, clearly, it would be dreadful if a dude saw the headline "Hoyas Hold Off Hopkins," got all grinny about his beloved men's lacrosse team, and then realized the article was about women. What disappointment!

Ultimately, my complaint is a stylistic one: don't employ superfluous words. Alright, alright, you've got me: there's a soupçon of feminism tossed in there too. It makes for a tasty dish.

*I think it's OK to say "girls" instead of women because I am referencing a team comprising 14-18-year-olds.
**A Hoya is not some exotic word for a bulldog. Georgetown legend states that a canny student combined some Greek and Latin to nickname the school's formidable baseball team, the Stonewalls, "Hoia Saxa," or "What Rocks." So, G.U.'s teams' names are steeped in linguistic nerdliness. And we call ourselves the "Whats." Great. That's...specific. I'd love to start a movement where we call ourselves Saxas instead, because at least rocks are things, but I don't think it would get very far. Hmm...other Hoyas are going to think I'm not a loyal alum. So to that I say...I bleed Hoya blue! That's right! I just quoted a gift shop bumper sticker!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Only in Maryland

Last night I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to pick up some Playtex Drop-in Liners. Since I am Super Mommy, I make sure the Girl has all of the advantages in life. Like, you know, being able to eat.

Anyway, there was a delightful aroma wafting throughout the store. Silly MCV, you might say, of course there was a delightful aroma. It's a grocery store. They sell food there. But this was a cooked-food smell, and I wasn't anywhere near the prepared food section of the store. It was making my stummy churn in anticipation. And when I turned the corner from the baby supply aisle to the seafood counter, I found the source of the deliciousness:

Yep, steamed shrimp. But these delicacies weren't hanging out behind the counter, waiting to be weighed up and sold to a salivating customer. Oh no, that'd be boring. The powers that be at my grocery store generously set out a platter for customers to sample.

Let's think on that. Seafood. Just hanging out on a table in the middle of a grocery store.

There are two very, very wrong things going on here. First, should seafood ever hang out without the benefit of refrigeration or constant heat? Probably not. Second, this is not a terribly convenient item to enjoy on-the-go. Lemme 'splain: Maryland steamed shrimp are coated in a thick seasoning, and are still in their shells. So if you want a sample, you would have to:

1) Hover over the sample tray;
2) Set down your basket of goods;
3) Peel the shrimp;
4) Toss the shell in the ratty paper grocery bag that the management thoughtfully placed near the platter ("Please place shrimp shells here" was scrawled on the side);
5) Pop the shrimpy goodness into your mouth;
6) Wipe your hands down with a dry paper towel.

Ewwwww, man, I'm shy about dipping my paw into a communal candy bowl, so I'm definitely not going to pluck up a shrimp from a platter that's been handled by the masses. Since the platter looked like it'd been decimated by angry Viking hordes, though, I'm guessing that I'm in the minority on this.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What Was 'On Golden Pond' S'posed to Teach Me?

MalnurturedSnay pointed out this article from last weekend's Baltimore Sun. As a movie buff (or movie fanatic, if we're being truthful), I celebrate the article's implicit justification for all of the time I've spent watching movies in my 31 years. That's not the point of the piece, but that's one of the things I'm taking away from it.

Susan Reimer, who penned the article, explains that we can use movies to explain concepts and historical events to younger folk. She cites a book by Ty Burr called "The Best Old Movie's for Families: a Guide to Watching Together." Frankly, I think this is about as reliable as using Wikipedia for source material in academia. But then Susan and Ty go on to explain that these old movies can spark an interest in literature, or actual historical texts. Well, duh. Kids are like that. They get mad focused on one topic at a time. I have a nephew who decided that the solar system was pretty neat, so he checked out every space-centric book that he could from his school library. This lasted for about six months. Then he moved on to Yu-Gi-Oh! I'm sure his parents were thrilled.

Know what I think? Parents just want to share whatever has deeply moved them, be it "My Fair Lady," or Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. You can couch it in educational opportunities if you want. But the truth is you want your kid to thrill to that kiss at the end of "Sixteen Candles" like you did, or feel the visceral longing of Lloyd Dobler when he's holding the radio over his head, because maybe, just maybe, if they understand those moments, they'll understand you.

For what it's worth, I'm prepared for the disappointment that'll come when I say, "I want my two dollars!" and the Boy stares at me blankly.

Oh, and as for the title of this post. When I was nine years old and furtively reading "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" for the fifth time, my Dad begged me to put it down so I could watch a movie that was coming on during prime time. I was intrigued. My parents never encouraged me to stop reading in favor of TV. What was that movie? "On Golden Pond."

Now, I'm not really sure what my parents thought I'd get out out of this flick at the tender age of nine. My Dad and I have never had a turbulent relationship, per the film's plot, but maybe he thought we were headed in that direction? Not likely, since I'd cry at the thought of parental disappointment. Maybe he figured either he or my Mom would fall prey to Alzheimer's and wanted me to peruse a primer on how to handle it? Eh, knowing my Dad, he was just a big ol' fan for Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn. All I really remember was Henry Fonda's frowny face, Katharine Hepburn's slight palsy, and Jane Fonda's angry dive into a lake, so I'm sure I didn't appreciate it like they did.

Hmmm...the lesson in all of this, I think, is that I should reconsider my plan to foist Judy Blume upon the Girl.

Getting There Is Half the Fun

It's always interesting to see how my tens of readers get to Ye Olde Blog. There are some mysterios out there who get to LtW just by typing in the blog's url, which means (gasp!) some of you INTEND to come to this page. I humbly thank you. And I especially humbly thank you for not commenting on the numerous grammatical and spelling errors. Blogger's spell check is not all that it's cracked up to be. Then again, if I didn't insist on crafting my own snarky slang, it might catch more of the errors. Ah well.

Anyway, a few of the search terms made me laugh, so I thought you'd enjoy seeing them too. Does this mean that my own life is not producing blog-worthy events? Bite your tongue! Or, your brain if you didn't actually give voice to the thought. There's stuff aplenty happening in my life. Like, um, work. And new recipes. And laundry. The tales I could tell about laundry ALONE would inspire you.


1.) College student narcissism
My Gen X heart and former university-working-schlub self cackles with glee that someone else is researching (i.e., googling) college student narcissism. Whoo-hoo, I'm not the only person who's all kinds of cranky-pants about Gen Y!

2.) Multi-stall bathrooms
Man, you do one post on toilet paper dispensers, and you're branded.

3.) Why do we need to clean
Good luck arguing the other side, Monsier-I-Need-Evidence-that-I-Don't-Need-to-Scrub-the-Toilet.

4.) Ridges in fingernails toddler
Nothing to make fun of here, though I would think that if you are researching info on your kid, you'd consult a pediatrician or WebMD or something.

5.) Female loving authority
This person really, really came to the wrong spot. Hopefully s/he enjoyed the Wonder Woman post.

6.) Words that start with m.
Holy Generalizations Batman! How did this person select LtW from the avalanche of weblinks that Google returned?

7.) Met-art
Sheesh, I thought I was pretty G-rated, but the R-rated material occasionally sneaks over the transom. And by "sneaks," I mean, "I wrote it and put it out there." Once upon a time I submitted LtW to a blog search engine, and then I realized that this blog search engine specialized in adult websites. I thought this was kinda funny, so I blogged about it. And now people get to my site because of links from that post. At first I thought this search term was about THE Met, as in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But it's not. (Do you like my shady attempt to class up LtW by mentioning the Met? Art! Culture! Opera! Theater! Now let's see who wends his way toward my ramblings...)

8.) Why doesn't anyone remember
What? Someone expected this phrase to bear web fruit?

9.) Henna hair
Again, disappointment must've abounded when someone hit my page and I have exactly ONE sentence that references henna.

And that's pretty much all I've got to say about that. Next up: my enjoyment of the ads that Google AdSense deems a good fit for my blog. Today's ads: and the new Justice League Unlimited DVD. Hubby would be so proud...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Dancing with Tears in My Eyes

HA HA HA HA HA! Okay, you'll think I'm a Luddite because I just now, this very evening, downloaded iTunes onto my laptop. What? I don't own an iPod, so it's not like having iTunes was as necessary as breathing or anything. But I've been hearing samples of some really excellent music lately on a local "we're so very, very hip" college station, and it's totally whetted my appetite for new grooves. I'm talkin' Amy Winehouse, the Gossip, Regina Spektor, etc. And how much does it rock that these are all chicks (or are bands fronted by chicks)?

Anyway I can't justify dropping $15 on a CD that will likely contain two tunes that I want, so iTunes in all of its selective glory seems like it would fit my consumer needs. After I downloaded and installed the hub of all things iTunes, the program offered to seek out and organize existing muzak on my machine. I forgot that I'd loaded some tracks from some random mix discs that I have. Ah, the days of yore when ripping one's own CDs was an art form...

I set the iTunes to Party Shuffle, 'cause I like to party, and THIS treasure bleated from my 'puter speakers:

I LOVE this song. Not because I actually dig the tune all that much, but it epitomizes the silly angst of the '80's. It's sick how much this amuses me. I don't know that I've ever been so overwrought that the only solution was to dance, to dance my little heart out, and allow my pain egress through tears.

I really, really do love the '80's. VH1 better give me a call soon, yo.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Woman Woman!

That's what my nephew thought they were singing in the theme song for the 1970's "Wonder Woman" TV series. He'd run around in a circle in my sister's living room yelling "Woman woman!" whenever an episode came on the local UHF station. What does this have to do with anything, you ask? Well, I needed a lighthearted introduction to my imminent treatise on the stalled film adaptation of Wonder Woman. Didja enjoy it? No? Really?

As a former owner of Wonder Woman Underoos and as a current fan of Joss Whedon's, I was disappointed to learn that he'd cut ties from the forthcoming picture. The relationship was apparently sacrificed to the god of Creative Differences, which could mean anything from...well, anything. Wonder Woman's pretty much the only female superhero who can go toe-to-toe with any of the DC pantheon of male superheroes (this includes Superman and Batman, yo). So I care about what happens to her and how she's portrayed on the silver screen. Color me geeky, but I do.

So, where does a girl go to get info on movies if she doesn't have a subscription to Variety? Well, the Internet Movie Database, of course. Fine, there are like a billion movie biz websites out there, but this is where I go because I like the comments feature. And, man alive, I had me a laugh at the Wonder Woman comments section. It's fascinating that the vast, vast majority of ordinary folks out there are pleading with the producers to cast this or that Hollywood twiglet as the mythic Amazon. The pin thin (and vertically challenged) candidates don't exactly fit the comic book character's 6', 165 lb. build, so I'm guessing they aren't making the short list. Har har.

Here's the thing, though...

While I respect the desire to see someone appropriate play the part, I'm more curious about the plot, the setting, the villain, and all of that blah-dee-blah-blah. So what gives with the dearth of narrative curiosity from other Wonder Woman fans?

Mainly, I think Wonder Woman's biggest appeal to the masses is that she looks pretty hot whilst kicking villainous azz. Face it, the iconic image of Wonder Woman revolves around a pretty fetishized get-up. What do I mean by fetishized? Well, let's see... Bustier + Bloomers* + Knee high boots = Dominatrix. Honestly, if Wonder Woman's articles of, ahem, clothing were black instead of their customary red, white and blue glory, she'd look more like a denizen of an S&M club than a Princess. To wit:
That's a shot of Angelina Jolie playing a hitwoman who's gone undercover as a dominatrix in 2005's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." Tell me her wardrobe for that scene doesn't bear a striking (again, har har) resemblance to Diana Prince's workout gear. Go on, I dare ya! If you read up on creator William Moulton Marston, you'll find that he was a feminist who believed that women's notion of freedom "leads to an ideal state of submission to loving authority." No great surprise, then, that he looked to bondage gear as inspiration for his Feminine Ideal's every-day-wear.

Wow, huge digression. Sorry. All of this blather is a chunk of ineloquent scaffolding for this point: the Wonder Woman screenplay could be the most elegantly designed tale since Homer waxed poetic, and the public, including women, would mostly be interested in the physical appeal of the actress.

But is that the only reason that people aren't caring about the story? Nah. Wonder Woman is s'posed to be perfect, and boy howdy, nothing kills a dramatic arc like a lack of dynamism in a character. If your character's already perfect, where do you go from there? Very, very few places. There was an interesting spin in Greg Rucka's run in which Wonder Woman breaks the thou-shalt-not-kill coda of the DC hero universe, but it was for a Good Reason. She did it to prevent a master of mind control from using Superman as a devastating and unstoppable puppet. (Wow, did I ever just overdraft on my cool kid cred.)

But is Machiavellian moral relativism a good hook for a popcorn flick? Methinks not. You could go the route of the 1978 Superman and show the origin story, plus one of the first encounters with a big bad guy. Even that wouldn't really work, though. Superman's origin is rife with tragedy (hello, orphaned scion of a destroyed planet!), and humble beginnings (hello, America's breadbasket!). And there's the whole parallel drawn between Superman and Christ. Nope, you just can't go wrong with a good savior angle. Ooh, and everyone knows that Superman's arch enemy is Lex Luthor, and seeing those two battle wits and weapons satisfies the gooey pop culture part of our souls.

Wonder Woman, on the other hand, can go home to her island utopia any old time she wants to and hang out with her Mom. Oh, and she's a princess. With a polytheistic bent. And she doesn't have an iconic enemy that really gets under her skin. Hmph.

She's actually a lot like a girl I knew in college who was incredibly attractive, bright, gifted, and kind, who would vacay with her wealthy parents when she was a little stressed. Which wasn't often, because you know...she's was also incredibly competent, patient, and capable. Which superhero do you think your average American relates to best? A loner farmer? Or a princess with a wide network of support?

My guess is that the film will ultimately have to be one of those "Heavy is the head that wears the crown" deals. With lots of smashing. And Victoria's Secret product placements.

*You could call them panties, but I think she's pretty athletic so I'm going to go with what I had to wear under my field hockey uniform in high school.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's Really Tricky to Say Any of These in Casual Conversation Without Sounding Completely Obnoxious

Following is the Top 10 list of things I have heard in random chatter that (a) made me feel like my passions are the proverbial other man's trash, and (b) made me realize that there are some people who actually operate per the prescription of "live your best life" books and articles. Who knew? There's nothing particularly wrong with these statements in and of themselves. It's jus that those who share them tend to do so in a rather sartorial manner. For what it's worth, I hesitated to put this list together because it says more about my insecurities than it does about others' egos. I am a bit of an exhibitionist when it comes to my foibles, though, so on with the list!

1.) "I don't own a television."

2.) "I pay my balance off in full at the end of every month."

3.) "I get all of my news from newspapers."

4.) "I don't eat fast food."

5.) "I never take out less than $200."

6.) "I don't read fiction."

7.) "Having a vacation home can be frustrating because I never remember which clothes I've left where."

8.) "I was contemplating an amber-colored beverage."

9.) "I can't imagine not working out every day."

10.) "I really only go to the movies for foreign films and documentaries."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Darn It! (Get it?)

Wanna know what doesn't boost my self-esteem? When two buttons in as many days drop off of my winter coat, my new winter coat, like overripe fruit. Now, there's every chance that shoddy stitching is the only culprit here, but the loose threads where my buttons used to be give me pause. The kind of pause where I wonder if maybe I shouldn't run around the park with the Boy now that Spring has sprung.

In the meantime, I'll be exercising the mad sewing skillz I learned in 7th grade home ec. Holla Pine Grove!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Cleaning Closets

This post's title might lead you to believe that it's about catharsis. Sorry. This post is actually about cleaning closets. Who says I'm not the mayor of Thrillsville?

This morning I had to evict a bunch of the Girl's too-small clothes from her closet. Because I have many generous people in my life, she's got a wardrobe that would rival Liberace's. In volume, people, not in style. I don't dress my baby like a Vegas performer. Sequins, ostrich feathers, and rhinestones, in my humble opinion, don't belong on an infant. Lord help you if you think they do.

Anyway, the whole experience is wildly bittersweet. I smile at all of the cute, but I know that she'll never wear it again, that she'll never be this small again, and that time is flowing by too rapidly for me to savor her cherubic glory. So I blink back the bitter, and I think of the sweet: as she grows she'll learn to walk, talk, giggle, sing, clap, hug, kiss, and dance.

The Boy has mastered all of those skills and then some. Now if we could just get him interested in the potty...

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Kiddo Report

First, the Girl. Last night I had a giggle fit because she's trying to sit bolt upright, and her failed attempts tickle my funnybone. Accomplishing a sit up from a prone position without using your arms is possible if you are blessed with Abs of Steel. But my squishy babe is not Hercules, and her determined strain is a double helix of heartbreaking and hysterical. She resembles one of those Fortune Teller fish when it's just starting to curl in your palm, but doesn't make much progress beyond that. I know I shouldn't laugh at my children, but sometimes it's impossible.

For instance...

The Boy is officially the youngest narcissist that I know. I mean this in the honest-to-goodness Greek myth way. He's transfixed by any reflective surface -- mirrors, the TV when it's off, the glass in the oven door, the spigot in the bathtub, a shiny piece of plastic -- and will watch himself moving, making faces, talking. Second to getting jiggy with the Wiggles, this is his favorite thing to do.

A couple of nights ago I hooked the video camera up to the television so he could see himself on TV, and I think I blew his mind. He would get really close to the camera so the only thing you could see on screen was his eye, and the run all the way across the room so that he appeared to be a tiny blip on the screen. Then he'd ask, "Where'd me go?" Eventually, he tuckered himself out enough that we could plunk him into bed.

To combat this shameless catering to his whims, I am pleased to say that I've made cleanup into a game that he enjoys. The past couple of nights, the Boy has "helped" me with the dishes. I know he's only two-and-a-half, but if he enjoys it, who am I to argue? We pull a stepstool/chair that I inherited from my parents over to the sink so that he can climb up and down at will. As I rinse plates and load the dishwasher, he smacks the sponge around the counter like a hockey puck. Given this, I don't plan to turn the chore over to him any time soon. I'll wait until he's at least five. But I was thrilled yesterday when I kissed him goodnight and he said, "Ma? I love doing dishes with you."

Victory! Chores are fun! Now, hopefully this attitude will remain intact for the next sixteen years that he lives in my house.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Just Call Me Britney

(this is what I looked like before the Girl was born)

You probably think I'm making up this whole post partum balding thing, right? Well, today I had the delightful experience of watching one of my co-workers quietly pluck a hair from his notepad and drop it on the floor. Oh MCV, you might say, that's silly. It was probably one of his own strands. Since he's an African-American with close-cropped hair, I can safely claim ownership. Fantastic. It's like the hair is actually springing off of my head and making a break for it. Thank goodness I went through this once before. And thank goodness that my sister had it worse than me. How's that for a selfish thought?

You've Got (Really Boring) Mail

A coupla months ago my e-mail service introduced a crazy efficient spam-blocker. So, while I miss the frequent communiqués from those generous Nigerians and the good-hearted medical folks who want to help me enlarge body parts I don't have, I am excited that my Inbox now contains honest-to-goodness notes to yours truly. What a thrill when I log in, and I see that I have 25 unread messages! I am silly popular!

Oh...wait...22 of them are e-newsletters about my children, order confirmations, or product/software update bulletins. Friends and family send the occasional e-mail, but most of us are chatty phone people, so the written word kinda falls by the wayside, and here I am with nothing to entertain me except strangers' blogs and online newspapers. Hmmm...I guess this is inspiration to tap out a couple of missives, eh?

Cripes, I just realized I sound like an octogenarian who woke up on the wrong side of the adjustable mattress. Never mind! Never mind! I take it all back!