Breathe In, Breathe Out
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Husband's side pain got worse and he was up and down until about 1am when he woke me to help him get dressed so he could go to the emergency room. Luckily, the hospital is only 5 minutes from our house. Rather than get three kids out of bed, I reluctantly let him drive himself over. Hubs is healthy as a horse, low cholesterol, blood pressure, at a good weight, active and we eat well. This being the case, I expected perhaps he had an angry muscle or some intestinal gas or kink that was working its way through. He called me several times through the night to update me on what was going on until the call at 4am to tell me he had a pulmonary embolism. You're thinking holy shit aren't you, lord knows I certainly was. My husband is never ill, rarely even catching whatever the kids have brought home from school.
For those of you who don't know(I didn't), a pulmonary embolism is when somewhere in your body(usually the legs) a blood clot forms, dislodges and travels through your heart and wedges itself into your lung causing big problems. Oh, and it's sometimes fatal. Oh, and it's the third leading cause of hospital death. Oh, if it goes untreated for too long it can overtax your heart and cause pulmonary hypotension, overtax your heart muscle and potentially cause heart failure, leading to death. Yeah, now you can see why I haven't been around.
We were already a bit stressed in our house from my surgery a month ago and then husband goes and forms a blood clot, thoughtless lout. Actually poor guy spent several days in the hospital on a bevy of blood thinners getting stuck like a pin cushion every few hours. He finally came home and has to take a blood thinner pill and give himself two injections a day for the next week. Superfun no? Needless to say, we've met our deductible for the year.
We have appointments coming up with a hematologist. Given that hubs had none of the risk factors for pulmonary embolism, it is likely a genetic issue. We are both trying not to let our anxiety about this get the better of us but man oh man, there were some tears back and forth as we pondered the 'what-ifs'. I spent several nights alone in our bed and in spite of the ample room to stretch out, I could hardly sleep without him there. He was in the hospital getting poked and prodded, monitored and evaluated. He also had to eat hospital food which given my cooking acumen, amounts to a real punishment. He's home and we are trying to get back to normal, whatever that is. pic
Oh No They Di'n't
Friday, September 26, 2008
Have you ever referred to anything a boy wore as 'panties'? Can't you just hear him saying, "But Mom, I don't want to be a model." I wonder what the rest of this kids life was like. ?Maybe something like this:
Mom: Oh yeah, I think the baby has it.
Child: Daddy, I'm afraid of the monsters under my bed.
Dad: Here honey, take Daddy's gun.
Misty says "I'm tired of being a nitetime soiler, I'm going to end it all."
Hey Good Lookin' What Ya Got Cookin'?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I am a good cook and a terrible baker. Cooking is an art, baking is a science. I learned to cook mostly out of necessity. I was a latch key kid of a single working parent with a very demanding job and frequently had to make my own dinner.
These were the days before Easy Mac. There were no doubt Spaghettios and Chef Boyardee but my mother didn't stock our cupboards with these ready-made meals. The closest thing we had to an instant meal was a can of tuna fish, mayo and bread and though I love them still, a girl can only eat so many tuna sandwiches.
So I started small with things like noodles and butter and moved on to things like omelettes, pasta salad, and stir-frys. Eventually I became an adept cook who could entertain friends with roasted Cornish hen with wild rice crispy pancakes and asparagus with homemade hollendaise and homemade soups so good you'll propose marriage after just one bowl.
I also perfected the best date meal ever, you know the meal you want to look great, appeal to the carnivorous hungry man but not be so complicated that you a) look like you tried too hard b)get stressed or c)spend your whole time in the kitchen. Grilled steer filet(good cuts purchased at the local butcher, expensive but the flavor and tenderness is unsurpassable) with sauteed onions with red, green and yellow peppers, and rosemary and olive oil roasted potatoes. Remember, I don't bake, so I was dessert. This meal hooked 'em everytime.
I couldn't however, use this gastronomic trickery on my husband who was and continues to be a vegetarian. It was one of the few things that made me question if we could work as a couple. What would I do if I couldn't wow him with my steak or seal the deal with a lemon oven roasted chicken or orange-teriaki salmon?
My husband is Italian and the answer was so obvious, it almost hit me in the face. Pizza. During our courtship and marriage, I have become a master in the art of the homemade pizza. I do red pizzas and white pizzas, margherita pizzas and roasted vegetable pizzas. They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach and that's at least half the equation with my husband.
The vegetarian cooking has been more difficult though. Gone are the days I can quickly prep a chicken and throw it in the oven to roast, saute some green beans with a few almonds and dish it up with love. Cooking vegetarian, unless you live on a steady diet of Mac 'n Cheese or bean burritos requires a lot of prep work.
So I get really excited when I come upon a relatively easy recipe that is as well received by the non-veg friends who share our table as the hubs and kids. I'm not usually the recipe sharer because quite frankly, almost none of my friends cook but I know some of you do and I am always looking for delicious, healthy, easyish recipes that my whole family will like.
My aunt shared a recipe with me at the beginning of the summer and I have made it probably once a week since, altering it here and there but it is so good, I think I must share. It starts as a sauce and can morph to a soup. I'm a pinch of this, a little of that so bear with my approximations, the proportions for either do not require precision.
So here you go: Roasted Tomatoes 2 Ways
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes With Linguine
Oven-roasted Tomatoes with Linguine, mmmm. You say oh Formerly Fun, I just boil up some pasta and throw a little Preggo over it. No, no, no, too much salt and too much sugar and though good on the fly, jar sauce at the very least needs to be doctored up. When you have a summer glut of tomatoes, there's really no reason to go with jarred or canned.
8-12 medium-size tomatoes
1 bulb garlic(broken up and cloves peeled)
sugar(I use Sugar in the Raw but regular refined white sugar is fine)
Slice tomatoes into 1/2" rounds and layer in a roasting pan of any size that has been sprayed or coated with a little olive oil. Depending on how much you are making, you may need additional pans. I make as much as I can because this goes quick in our house. Drizzle about 1-2 Tbs per pan, over the sliced tomatoes. Drizzle about 1-2 TBs of the balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes. Toss in a few of the peeled garlic cloves and sprinkle with salt and pepper and about 1 tsp. sugar. You can adjust seasoning later to taste.
Bake in the oven at about 250 for about three hours(check every 45 minutes or so since ovens vary). I know they are done when any liquid remaining in the pan is pretty thick and the tomatoes are getting gooey but not burned. Take them out and transfer to a bowl. I like to use kitchen shears to chop, chop, chop until the tomatoes are piecy but not pureed. Transfer sauce to large saute pan and warm on low while you cook linguine to al dente. You can adjust seasoning adding sugar, salt or pepper as needed. Add cooked linguine to sauce and turn up the heat and saute for 5 minutes or so until pasta had absorbed some of the sauce. It's great served with some shave Parmesan and a little fresh basil on top.
Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup
tomatoes etc. as prepared above
about 1 bunch of basil, like a cup of loose not packed leaves
1/2 c. grated Parmesan or similar hard Italian cheese
1/3 c. red wine(not necessary if you don't already have on hand, hubs and I never manage to finish a bottle so I store leftovers to cook with and it works nicely here but fine without)
whole milk, cream or half and half-I use whatever I have handy and you can adjust this depending on how rich a soup you're making, if the soups for company, I go a little heavier on the cream, if it's for us, I tend to go lighter so it's not so calorie dense.
1/3 c olive oil
Prepare tomatoes the same way, this time empty roasted tomatoes, garlic, drippings etc. into soup pot. It's not necessary but I deglaze the pan I roasted the tomatoes in to get all that caramelized goodness when I make the soup. I use a handblender and puree the tomatoes right in my soup pot, you can also shove all the stuff in a blender but my Kitchen-Aid Hand Immersion Blender is spiffy since I make soups and sauces so much, saves all the transferring from the blender and such, plus blenders are a bitch to clean. Anyhow, I mix fresh basil, tomatoes, cheese, red wine, olive oil and blend all of it until it's pretty smooth. Simmer over low heat, add salt, pepper or sugar to taste.
Sometimes we eat this as is with a little crusty Italian bread, other times I add small cheese ravioli or tortellini already cooked to the soup.
You're Not That Cool David Blaine
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Since when was hanging upside down magic?
Ask Formerly Fun - Mrs. Lonely, Table for One Please
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Dear Formerly Fun,
I don't know if you'll answer this, totally off the topic of waxing but I figured since I live too far from you to come in, get a bikini wax and pick your brain, I'd just email and see if you'll answer without the service fee.
I need some non-judgemental advice, you work on people all day long and I'm sure you've heard everything. I am married and totally miserable. My husband is completely inattentive, unhelpful and in spite of the fact that I make a real effort with my appearance, he never notices me. We have two kids so I really want to stay together for them but it's getting harder and harder. He won't go to therapy, I've already asked. Do I just look for love elsewhere and continue the charade at home? I'm confused and exhausted.
First, let me tell you how sorry I am that things aren't going the way you hoped. There's not much worse than being in a marriage and still feeling lonely, it's very isolating. Second, you married this person and you owe them a concerted effort before you throw up your hands and say uncle. This usually involves couples counseling. If your husband isn't willing to go, it doesn't sound like you have a willing participant in the let's see if we can turn this around game. I would make therapy a non-negotiable. If it were my husband I'd say something along the lines of,
"I am not happy about the state of our relationship and I need to do something about it. We had a good relationship before and I'm committed to getting back there again. I need you to be on board with this and attend therapy with me. If you decide not to, I am moving forward without you. I have made an appointment for (specific date and time) and I hope you're going to be there."And please don't look elsewhere, until you figure out what made you choose a mate who withholds love and attention from you, you are just bound to chose the same person over and over again. If your hubs won't go to couple's therapy, make certain you go for yourself. You'll learn strategies for getting what you need from your marriage or a therapist can help you develop a healthy exit strategy for ending this relationship in a way that will leave the fewest scars on yourself, the children and even your husband.
Don't assume divorce is the worst case scenario. I will tell you that most of my friends and I came from divorced homes and the one friend whose parents stayed together for the kids' is the most fucked up of all of us. Kids model what they learn and if you teach them that two people in a relationship interact the way you and your husband do then you are doing them and yourself a great disservice. Good luck.
So it looks like this was sponsored by the Soda Pop Board of America but I think the American Dental Association might have co-sponsored in order to drum up a little biz in the cavity department. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. What came before this? Start your child on Winston Lights in order to enhance their social standing? I'll say it again as I've said it before, this is why you must ignore advertising messages. Does drinking soda really have anything to do with social acceptance and approval? No. Are all the messages we are currently being bombarded with really about being 'green' or buying more shit but not feeling as bad about it? I think at minimum 85% of the 'green' campaigns out there a bunch of jabberwocky.
Ask Formerly Fun - Is my boyfriend a perv?
Monday, September 22, 2008
I have been considering getting a brazilian wax because my boyfriend has talked about it a couple of times. Isn't it weird though since essentially you look like a little girl afterward? I try and do things to keep it fresh in the bedroom but I'm not sure about this one. I figured you do a lot of waxing, what's your take on this? Is it creepy? Should I be worried that my boyfriend wants to see me as hairless as a Sphynx cat?
No one should make you feel like you need to do something like wax your cha in order to get their approval. That being said, I can assure you there is nothing creepy about your beau expressing some interest in seeing you in your full hairless splendor. It's unlikely he's wishing you were prepubescent. Men are visual creatures and the less hair you have, the more they see. You know on those home improvement shows when they talk about trimming your bushes back so as to highlight the architectural features of the house thereby increasing curb appeal? Same thing.
Many men also love the idea that you've prettified the goods for their pleasure, even going so far as to endure some pain to, as I've said before, put the pussy on a pedestal. So if you're up for a little slash and burn and trying to surprise him with a little something different then go for it. Just be prepared for the incoherent mumblings of pleasure and offers of jewelry for you to keep it bald and beautiful.
Her vocabulary is definately improving, she's adding new words all the time. I, however, am still Da. No ma, just Da. Weird bebe. On the subject of weird, given her prediliction for Star Trek, I think I'm going to dress her as a bebe Klingon for Halloween.
So this scruffy guy in his fifties pulls up in a noisy truck first thing in the before seven am and says how much for all of it. I tell him, $300 bucks, about 1/6 of it's original value. I'll give you seventy-five bucks, he says. No, I tell him and go back to laying the rest of the stuff out. You're not going to sell this stuff for much, you might as well give it to me, I'll give you a hundred.
I'll take my chances, it's early I tell him. How about a hundred-fifty he replies. Do you know someone having a baby I ask. Uh, he pauses, yeah. That's when I see all the other miscellaneous stuff piled into the bed of the truck and realize this guy is probably buying up the good stuff at yard sales and reselling it on ebay or craigslist.
Fine, two hundred he says. Nope, the price just went up to four. What? What are you going to do if nobody buys it? Tax write-off dipshit. What a tool. Anyhow, two very nice couples came by, each one with a mommy about to pop and bought up all my stuff at a steal but at least it went to a nice baby-wearing hippy momma and two other first time parents.
Things that make my day
Thursday, September 18, 2008
1.Putting your hair up with a twist and clip and it looking smooth and perfect the very first time.
2.Stepping on the dreaded scale after 3 days of bad eating and being down 1/2#
3.getting the perfect gift that you forgot you wanted
4.a hairdresser that really knows what you want
5.Skin so clear it doesn't need a bit of concealer or foundation
7.Coffee someone else made
8.Your bebe's big, goofy grin
9.Presents in the mail from your mother
10.Shared produce from a neighbor's garden
The Meds Don't Look Like They're Working
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Doesn't look to me like the medication is really working. It looks like she's about to fling some of whatever she's got in that chafing dish right in his face.
Here's what she's thinking,
"Jim, so help me, your boss had better stop looking at my boobs and if he doesn't shut up about his divorce and how women should have a best if used by 30 sticker on them, I swear to god I am going to dump this tuna casserole all over him and tell him where he can stick his limp, old... And by the way, why are you shoving your plate in front of me, after thirty years together, you can't fix your own goddamn plate, I swear to god, if I wasn't a god-fearing Catholic woman, I'd kill you both."
Battle of the Sexes
Monday, September 15, 2008
My husband is exceedingly helpful around the house, this is especially true since my appendectomy a few weeks ago. He's cleaned the kitchen, cooked good food for all of us, brought me 7Up and did loads of general tidying. Still, there are a few tasks you will never find him doing.
2. Putting the toilet paper on the holder(we have had standoffs on this and I always lose).
3. Reorganizing any drawer that isn’t in the garage.
4. Hand washing anything.
5. Spraying linen spray on our sheets.
6.Ironing our cloth napkins for a dinner party.
1.Before I got married, I rarely changed my oil, that hasn't changed. Same for any other thing even vaguely connected to the cars, including DMV appointments.
6.Scary noise investigator.
(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water,
(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery.
It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything.
(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard.
Gloria and I
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I was getting a little tired of Maggie, over at Okay, Fine, Dammit thinking she was the only one who had met Gloria Steinem. Every time we'd meet for coffee, she was all like, "Did I tell you about the time I met Gloria Steinem?" Yes, Maggie you did.
Some weekends, Maggie would take me cross-country skiing and she'd be all like, "Hey did I tell you about the time Gloria Steinem and I went skiing at her cabin in Aspen?" Whatever Maggie, why don't you just stick your pole in my eye already.
The last straw was when I invited Maggie to go see The Women with me and she said she couldn't because she was already going with Gloria Steinem. That stung.
I don't like to be competitive and all but I am getting a little tired of Maggie running around like she's the only one who's met the feminist icon of our time. So, I'm posting this. This is Gloria Steinem and I after a day of lunch and shopping. Oh, and girl talk, I mean women talk, 'cause, like, don't call us girls. I know my chest and outfit look suspiciously like something Jane Fonda would wear but I assure you, I am completely in love with cream, iridescent leather. So there.
I Love These 50's Ads, Makes Me Nostalgic
Friday, September 12, 2008
Hey honey. Hubs? Are you reading this? Just wanted to make you aware that I'm not "store-testing" for fresher coffee. Really, I'm not. I was hoping you wouldn't find out, but, oops, the cats out of the bag on this one. Does that make you want to put me over your knee. Uhm, okay, fairs fair.
Where Were You?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I was sitting in a beautiful, old hotel in Portland, Oregon on that strange and sad day. My habit when on the road working was to leave the television on to help me sleep. So when I woke up that Tuesday morning I thought it was a movie that I was watching on the screen, I must have left the channel on HBO, I thought. Then I changed the channel looking for some local news and almost every channel had the same images, over and over. I watched in disbelief, this could not be real and yet it was. I was stuck in Portland, all the planes were grounded. I wanted to be home. Not my southern California apartment but home, back in Wisconsin with my mom and the rest of my family.
My hotel phone rang. "Do you have your tv on?" asked my boss who was in a room at the same hotel one floor down.
"Yes," I answered shakily.
"Are you ok?" he asked.
"I think so, I don't know, I don't want to be here."
"Have you spoken to Lisa?"(his wife and a flight attendant)
"Yes, she wants me to come home."
The executive coffee suite was on my floor, just around the corner from my room. I didn't bother to get dressed but put a hotel robe on and wandered out to get a cup of coffee. The room had coffee and bakery, chairs, couches and workdesks and the room was filled with business people who didn't want to watch these events unfold alone.
My boss came in, got a coffee and we went back to my room and sat on the edge of the bed watching for another hour trying to figure out what we do next. We had meetings and sales presentations planned at the Portland radio/tv stations. None of which could happen today given the events. You can't call people and ask them to come to a tv pitch meeting when they had just watched people throw themselves from a burning building.
We went to our clients offices. We watched the ten plus monitors in their newsroom with feeds from all over the country. We were overloaded with images and talking heads. Some of us cried, some of us didn't. I chewed my fingernails down to the nubs, something I hadn't done since I was seven, the year my parents got divorced.
We were still there working when they tentatively opened the airspace to some craft, though not regular commercial flights yet. I was on my computer in an empty boardroom working. The boardroom had a big open skylight and when a plane flew overhead I gasped and covered my head. The skies had been busy with air traffic in the days before that day, then nothing. The sound of an aircraft ahead after all that quiet was jarring.
Finally, I got to go home.
Travelling got much more difficult after that. You had to go much earlier, everything took longer, everyone was nervous, hostile, paranoid, nobody wanted to make a mistake. Those first few weeks after the planes resumed normal-ish flights, the bulk of the people on them were business travellers who had to fly and people finally making their way home after being stranded somewhere else.
It was fucking grim. Nobody said much, everyone still looked shell shocked. It didn't get much better from there. All of a sudden no boxcutters(not a problem for most people), we had to take our shoes off, much more extensive searches, sometimes inappropriate searches, watch lists, mothers not being allowed to bring their own breast milk, it got really wierd there for awhile. I remember stopping to eat lunch during a layover. The only thing they had was Chili's and I had a two hour wait so I sat down and looked over the menu. When the waitress came, she informed me of the few choices that were available. Why just these I asked. They had stopped serving anything off the menu that might require a knife, even a plastic knife.
On September 11, 2001, my husband and I had not yet met. We have since shared with each other, as I'm sure many people have, exactly what we were doing on that particular day. I don't know anyone who doesn't remember. It's odd for me to think that I can talk to nearly anyone and we can place ourselves exactly where we were at the very same moment in time.
Those events have come and gone. The visceral anguish is gone for most. The open wound has faded to leave in it's place an angry, red, raised scar.
No one left that morning thinking they would not have the afternoon or evening. No one kissed their children aware that it was the last time. People rushed out the door, to work or school as they did every other Tuesday, unaware that this day would be wholly different.
For my son, today is a history lesson, a day to wear red, white and blue, a careful conversation with parents and teachers. For my husband and I, it is a reminder to cherish every moment of every day, to make sure to always say I love you and never leave angry because you never know when it is going to be your day.
Has Anyone Seen My Soapbox?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I usually try and stay out of political debates with people, funny given that I majored in Political Science. I grew up a Wisconsin liberal in a family of conservatives save for my wonderfully progressive, Democrat grandparents.
My mom did and still does manage a group of radio stations including a conservative talk station featuring Rush Limbaugh. I was told during a number of political "discussions" with my mother not to forget that Rush Limbaugh feeds me, and Rush Limbaugh clothes me-- given that my mom's paycheck came in part from selling ad time on his show.
So, I learned to stay quiet. In part because no matter how much I disagree with you, I believe absolutely that you are entitled to your opinion and perhaps your life experience has been different than mine and that has coloured where you stand on the issues as my own experience has coloured mine. I also think that it's a rare person who's mind is open enough to be changed when it come to politics anyhow, so what's the point.
I'm a feminist, I vote for candidates who support a feminist agenda. Being a feminist means I believe in equality for women. I also believe that having reproductive freedom is a major component of said equality. It's nice that the Republicans put a woman on the ticket but as Gloria Steinem recently wrote in the L.A. Times,
"Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere."Sarah Palin's stand on a myriad of issues is simply not good for women.(Or animals, or the environment, or kids trying to learn about science...)
If you don't believe these things, you simply cannot vote for her.
Palin: wrong woman, wrong message
Sarah Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.
By Gloria Steinem September 4, 2008
(reprinted from the L.A. Times)
Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.
But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.
Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."
This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.
Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."
She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on "God, guns and gays" ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.
So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.
I don't doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.
So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.
Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest.
Republicans may learn they can't appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women.
And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.
This could be huge.
Gloria Steinem is an author, feminist organizer and co-founder of the Women's Media Center. She supported Hillary Clinton and is now supporting Barack Obama.
Don't Be A Douchebag
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Here's the copy since it's a little hard to read:
“Held in a web of indifference...”
Day after heartbreaking day I was held in an unyielding web...a web spun by my husband's indifference. I couldn't reach him any more! Was the fault mine? Well...thinking you know about feminine hygiene, yet trusting to the now-and-then care, can make all the difference in married happiness, as my doctor pointed out. He said never run such careless risks...prescribed “Lysol” brand disinfectant for douching—always.
“But I broke through it!”
Oh, the joy of finding Tom's love and close companionship once more! Believe me, I follow to the letter my doctor's advice on feminine hygiene...always use “Lysol” for douching. I wouldn't be satisfied now with salt, soda or other homemade solutions! Not with “Lysol,” a proved germ-killer that cleanses so gently yet so thoroughly. It's easy to use, too, and economical. The very best part is--”Lysol” really works!
Couple of things I want to comment on. First, since when was a good shower not good enough? Second, you don't need to disinfect your vagina. Third, I'm glad we only use Lysol on our floors now.
Fourth, when looking at all of the current ads for cellulite cream and wrinkles and yes, even feminine "care" products, and weight loss and deodorant, and fashion and even ads about stuff for kids and food, remember. Remember that making us feel bad, creating a fear that we smell if we don't douche, are unattractive if we have cellulite, unfeminine if we have small breasts, bad parents if our kids don't have certain things, is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to creating a need for a product that you really have no need for. That and having a doctor tell you it's important.
What ads are we going to look at fifty years from now and shake our heads?
Shake Ya Ass Watch Yourself
Monday, September 8, 2008
Typically, I eschew processed food, not that I always eat healthy or don't indulge, I just prefer my food to be, well you know, food. Still, every now and then, I will completely go off track and eat something that I know has no business being in my body.
For instance, though we eat vegetarian in our household, when I was pregnant and past the morning sickness phase, I ate at least two McDonald's Sausage McMuffins every week, much to the chagrin of my husband who hates McDonald's and all that they represent. I don't know what it was but I couldn't stay away from them, I blame it on the bebe. You couldn't pay me to eat one now.
So yesterday, once again, I delved into the realm of questionable “food” and came home with a couple of real winners. My lunch consisted of reduced-fat Pringles with low-fat french onion dip. Just what a girl needs as her hormones shift into high gear, loads of salt and food that's slogan should be better living through chemistry. I know, not a lunch that's designed to provide me with all the fuel I need to run around after three kids. I probably shouldn't even call it lunch, more like one of the Seven Deadly Sins of Snacking.
I grab a stack of Pringles and the dip and chomp, chomp, chomp as I read the can. On closer inspection, I realize that the Pringles are lowfat because they contain Olestra. Remember Olestra? Remember any of the nifty side effects that go with Olestra? Anal leakage, fecal urgency, sharts(you know, you initially think it's just a fart, and well, it's not.) I start thinking that the Olestra side effects sound eerily similar to the new over the counter diet pill Alli.
So off I go perusing the web trying to find out if the base ingredient is the same because Pringles are way cheaper at a buck a can than the Alli starter pack which will set you back fifty bucks. Maybe the people buying Alli for weight loss can just get a couple of cans of Pringles instead. I get to the Alli website and all I can say is I don't even have to exaggerate it because it's awful all on it's own.
According to Allie's official website,
“The active ingredient in Alli attaches to some of the natural enzymes in the digestive system, preventing them from breaking down about a quarter of the fat you eat. Undigested fat cannot be absorbed and passes through the body naturally. The excess fat is not harmful. In fact, you may recognize it in the toilet as something that looks like the oil on top of a
First, I try not to recognize anything in my toilet or anyone else's. I'm a read, go, wipe, flush, wash hands, done kind of girl. I don't spend much, well, any time peering in the bowl afterwards testing my innate pattern recognition capabilities looking for something or someone familiar.
Second, it would not please me at all to see what looks like a mini version of the Exxon Valdez spill in my pristine white bowl. Third, and this is a request to all companies, if you are referring to fecal matter of any kind in any form, don't ever, ever, under any circumstances try and favourably compare poop to food. Telling me my crap is going to look like something that floats on top of a slice of pizza brings me no comfort. Frankly, it makes me nauseated and I don't need one more thing to sully that toilet bowl of mine.
The folks at Alli™ are also kind enough to inform us about what to expect when you take this wondrous diet drug.“The (non absorbed)fat passes out of your body, so you may have bowel changes, known as treatment effects."
Treatment effects. Doesn't that sound safe, perhaps mildly uncomfortable and routine? These treatment effects include"gas with oily spotting, loose stools and more frequent stools that may be hard to control."
Seriously, oily spotting on your unders and a possibly uncontrollable urge to shite yourself?
“pick a day to begin taking Alli, such as a weekend day so you can stay close to home if you experience a treatment effect. Getting ready to travel or attend a social event, hold off on starting with Alli until the event is over."Know why?
"You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work. You may not usually get gassy, but it's a possibility when you take Alli. The bathroom is really the best place to go when that happens."Seriously, I love how they refer to this stuff as treatment effects. I haven't heard of any other medications that suggest I wear dark clothes, stay close to home and make sure I'm over a toilet if I get the urge to pass gas, just in case. I've never taken a drug where they pull a Tim Gunn and start telling me what to wear.
I'm thinking that unless you're hundreds of pounds overweight and don't leave the house anyhow, making it not at all inconvenient to stay close to home, maybe one should avoid this Alli and just eat less and exercise more
Rassles, Vegas & Pornstars Oh My
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I just posted a comment over at Sometimes I Make Lists where Rassles wrote a very funny post about an NC-17 family trip to Vegas. It jogged my memory about a pornstar who comes into the spa to get waxed so remind me to tell you about her(the pornstar, not Rassles-two different people just to be clear) because I'm too tired right now.
1. My husband told me this afternoon that the Gerber Cheese puffs I got the baby are a gateway drug.
3.I couldn't sleep for the last three nights finally culminating in a good night sleep last night and I finally realized why I haven't been sleeping well the last few weeks. I was all worried about the three different 1st days of school, girl child's pre-k and a new part-time nanny hire that I was just praying would show up as she said she would and all her background checks(I found her on craigslist) would come back clean(they did). My third grader made it to on time, we took pics and apparently it went smashing, my daughter started her new amazing, wonderful, can't say enough good things pre-k after the Childtime Learning Center Giant Suckfest Debacle and the new nanny, amotherofsevenohmygodhowdoesshedoit? and I was home all day in case she needed anything and so I could check her out and she rocked the casbah. So finally, a girl can get some rest around here 'cause you know, it's not like I just had surgery or anything.
4.My husband gave my son a haircut on Tuesday for school, he's seen me do it and wanted a crack at it(I think he thought he could improve on it). I was game, I had plenty to do and it was, after all the boy child, we could always shave him down if things went awry. Well, first mow in with the clippers, I hear my husband say, "this is harder than it looks," and I knew we were in trouble. In the past I kind of gave him a bowl/skater boy cut long all around but short at the neck, well, hubs, left the back 'bowl' part but cut the front real short and it didn't totally come together. When he was done, it was kind of mushroom like and hubs said he looked like something I am not allowed to repeat here per an official directive from the husband. Anyhow, hubs took him to this new more super than supercuts for men and boys only place that fixed them both up real good and pretty cheap
5. I'm glad, for them and for me, that the kids are back in school. It was a great summer but I'm over it.
He Said, She Said - 8
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Conversations With My HusbandAs I stare at our broken kitchen faucet with a towel tied aound it so it doesn't shoot a giant spout of water straight at the ceiling.
Me: This sink has been broken since before we left for WI. Seriously, am I going to have a broken faucet forever?
Him: It's not my fault, they shipped me the wrong piece.
Me: But what are you going to do about it?
(He rubs my shoulders, kisses my neck and steers me in the direction away from the sink.)
Him: What sink?
As we drive in the car and I wistfully contemplate our upcoming anniversary, how I treasure this life we've created for ourselves, how much he meets my needs as a person and as a woman and how deep my love has grown for this man.
Me: After all this time, I still feel like newlyweds.
Him: You're gonna feel like a newlywed in Hawaii because I'm gonna chase you around and bang you the whole time.
He's been complaining for a few weeks about his back, how our bed and the bebe have wrenched his neck. I'm laying in bed as he strips while he's telling me how our crummy bed has wrenched his neck. Once naked he puts his hands on his hips and juts out his pelvis.
Him: Yep, I'm feeling a bit stiff.
Ok, nothing too exciting here but a few things I'd like to remember for posterity: 1. that look on her face, the pursed lip thing, she does that all the time and it's one of those things that's so ugly, it's cute. 2.She growls at her toys all the time too, even the ones that don't growl at her. I only hope in time, she'll growl at the boys too.
This Old House
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
When we first moved into our home there were a few things that needed to be done right out of the shoot, our bedroom was not one of them. Three walls are a light puttyish brown with one wall a claret red, beigy carpet, white shutters and closets and nice white crown moulding.
Not colours I'd pick but passable enough to leave while we tended to more pressing decorating issues like repainting the beautifully tiled but horridly painted master bath. The bath was amazing but the previous owner had chosen to paint it a dark, iridescent, blue against a black and beige tile and dark cherrywood cabinetry. The blue was the colour of a teamster's custom bowling ball. So I am thinking about where I want to go with the bedroom because it doesn't feel like us and I'm stuck. We may add a closet for my husband in an area of dead wall space and I want to add some functionality with storage, and I know I want to get rid of the dated popcorn ceiling but as for the colour palette and what I want out of the room, I'm just not sure.
So here is what I'm looking for, a little inspiration. Give me some ideas, what's your favourite thing about your sleeping space and what would you change if you could? What's it missing, besides Johnny Depp sprawled across the bed? What can't you live without? There are no wrong answers because even if your ideas are a far stretch from my tastes, I promise it will get my creative juices flowing.
Thanks much, your pal,
Chris/ Formerly Fun.
This morning my son was asking about my surgery. Did it hurt? Wasn't I scared? Why did I do it anyway even though I knew it was going to hurt?
Hubs, a die-hard sci-fi fan, started telling him that after surgery, they use a Neuralizer on you(like Men in Black) to wipe your memory clean so you don't remember the pain.
Even though my eight year old is the smartest, most logical and analytical kid I know, he is a complete sucker when it comes to stuff like this, mostly because he wants to believe it's true. He'll look you in the eye, trying to discern whether you're pulling his leg or not. He'll question you, decide your messing with him but even as he walks away, the wheels are still spinning behind his eyes.
Recently we were all walking and he chucked a caterpillar he saw on the sidewalk into a bush. My husband was a bit miffed at his treatment of the caterpillar and told him, "you didn't touch that caterpillar did you?"
"No," replied the boy.
I chimed in, knowing where hubs was going with this one(we're synched up like this),"Oh, thank god, because that was the Australian Venomous caterpillar."
"Your mom's right, that's the Australian Venomous Caterpillar, they're a real problem here, good thing you didn't touch it."
"What happens if you touch it?" he asked.
"You didn't touch it did you, oh I hope you didn't" said my husband.
"No, but what if someone did touch it, what then?"
"Well," replied my husband,"you have to wash your hands within ten minutes or the venom invades your central nervous system, it isn't pretty, I hope you never have to see it.
"Hmmm," I say as we're ambling up our driveway coming to the end of our walk, "looks like we ran into that caterpillar about 8 minutes ago, good thing you didn't touch it, that venom would be almost irreversible at this point."
"What's the hurry boy?" my husband asks.
"I have to go to the bathroom," he says and I can read his face it's so easy it's almost criminal.
"Are you sure your not going to wash your hands?" Sometimes being a parent is really fun.
So back to my surgery and the Neuralizer. The boy argues with us, "they can't do that stuff to you, it's illegal to neuralize people."
"Well, not if they consented to be neuralized," replied my husband.
"Mom, you consented to being neuralized?"
"Of course, I don't want to remember the surgery or pain, just waking up to seeing your dad there. Your dad and I use the neuralizer all the time."
"Yes, you don't remember all of the spankings we've given you do you?" asked my husband, running with it.
"What spankings?" asks my son.
"See," I said, satisfied like that explains everything.
"When you do something that's made us angry enough to spank you," said my hubs," we just neuralize you when we're done so you don't remember."
"And do you remember the puppy we got for you a few months ago?" I ask, taking it even further.
"See. You weren't taking care of it like you told us you would but when we took it back you were so sad we just decided to neuralize you, no point in you walking around here all mopey."
"Your kidding, I know your kidding. Right?"
"I don't know, are we?" asked my husband.
And here's one of the the things I love about our eight year old. He is still in that magic place where he understands science and logic and proof and plausibility but he also still believes in monsters, and ghosts and venomous caterpillars and neuralizers.
We feed his imagination a bit, no different that Santa or the tooth fairy, perhaps just a bit darker. And really, a fairy coming to trade your teeth for money, that's a bit grim isn't it?
These are the ways hubs and I add a little spark to our daily parenting. He's starting to catch on a bit so we don't have much more time with him. We'll have to turn our demented wranglings toward the girls. We convinced our 4 year old that her sister was a baby vampire. "Watch her at night and you'll see her climb down her crib to play with your toys when your sleeping, don't let her get too close, if she bites your neck, you'll be a vampire too." "Nooooo," she exclaimed laughing but there was still wonder on her face. For now.
Dude Talks Like a Lady
Monday, September 1, 2008
Matt: No problem, it's all yours, as long as I can borrow those FMO(fuck-me-oxfords) Cole-Hahns you got when we were shopping last month.
Matt: Then I'll just take a Diet coke please.
Waiter: And you sir(motioning to Gary)?
Matt: Oh no, if you bring it out, we'll just eat it, you know, a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips...
Gary: Probably bulimic. Anyhow, oh my god, I spent my whole paycheck at Sephora this afternoon, I totally splurged on the new Laura Mercier afteshave, it was expensive but Madeline is going to just eat me up when she smells it so like, totally worth it. Then I got this new Bumble & Bumble shampoo, it's got volumnizer built in to give me more texture, really show off my highlights. I had a hard time picking between antioxidant face-firming serums but finally decided on the pore-minimizer. God, I hate my pores.
Gary: I don't know, what are you going to order?
The waiter comes over to take their order.
Gary: So what are you going to wear?
Matt: Well, something that says I'm secure but approachable, that I'm a good guy but not a "nice" guy. Something that doesn't make my ass look flat or my shoulders look slumpy. God, I hate my shoulders.
Matt:Yeah, but isn't that false advertising? What happens when we start getting amorous and I take my jacket off and she sees it's all pads?
Matt: What are your plans this weekend?
Gary: My mom's in town and we're going shopping.
Matt: I know, my mom will not stop hinting that she's ready for me to get married.
Matt: Don't apologize, I know.
Waiter: Would either of you care for dessert?