Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Response, plus "Don't you hate it when...?".

Well, Oh, big-sis-O'-mine, if you ever buy Harem Pants/Shorts I promise to slap you and then burn them in a barbeque grill. Capri pants are one thing-they can be excuted in an aesthetically pleasing/body flattering way, but HAREM PANTS?? Nope. Never. Not Acceptable. No way. Uh-uh!

I AM glad to hear that I am not the only one in our family who hates being told what to do... though I think we can both agree that I am a bit more... comprehensive (!) when it comes to that.

On a similiar note, I have been brewing a post about little things that I find irritating, like Don't you hate it when:
-you are the soberest person in the room? (AKA- you are sober and everyone else is drunk?)
-the grocery store stops carrying your favorite Olives/Chocolate/Pasta sauce?
-you get your seasonal clothes out and discover they don't fit?
- your favorite shoes make your feet smell like Fritos?
- the battery on your camera runs out just as you've framed the perfect shot?
- you realize one bathroom trip too late that you need more toilet paper?
- You have a sharp booger in your nose, but can't just pick it since you're in a public place?
- you get stuck next to a person who chews loudly/ talks incessantly/ has body odor?
- you accidentally smear mascara on your face when your makeup looks really good?

...What? I love those Napa Valley Bistro Almond Stuffed Olives!! I LOVE THEM, I TELL YOU!!!

Feel free to add your own in the comments. I could go on and on, but I think I'll spare you all for now!!

I Hate New Fashion

Today I opened an e-mail, the subject line of which read "The Must-Have for Spring." Already we were off on the wrong foot, since I hate being told what to do and instinctively rebel. Second, I hate it when people who make their living off you buying stuff from them tell you what you need, for the low low price of three payments of $39.95 etc. etc. Thanks but I'll ask someone without a financial stake in it if I want advice.

But all that is prologue to the real kicker, because then I opened the e-mail and saw this:

And all I have to say is, Harem Pants? The, um, coolest shape of the season, as the copy claims? Blecch. Is it just me, or don't these just look like a cut-off version of those '80's "Hammer Pants"?

Of course, saying this brings to mind a memory of driving to work with my husband one day in the late '90's. I observed a woman who was clearly on the cutting edge of fashion walking down the street in capri pants. The essence of what I said at the time was "Ugh, those are so ugly, but give me a year and I know I'm going to want them in three different colors." I believe this was followed by a tirade about it not being enough that designers change the hemlines on skirts from year to year to make us buy new skirts, but now were going to do it to pants, too. Or maybe that tirade came when they brought back "clamdiggers." Or bermudas. Now they're dropping the crotch. What culture remains to rob? Next it'll be the essential loincloth or something.

I'm just a fashion curmudgeon. A late-adopter. So for those of you out there whose job it is to buy them now and convince me by wearing them around for a year or two as I gag, Harem Pants, ho!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Unwittingly Supporting a Neologism

Neologism: ne·ol·o·gism (\nē-ˈä-lə-ˌji-zəm\) n. 1. a new word, usage, or expression. 2. a meaningless word coined by a psychotic. [French: néologisme, from ne- + log- + -isme -ism, 1803] -- ne·ol·o·gis·tic \-ˌä-lə-ˈjis-tik\ adj.

If you've been reading some of my entries, you'll know that my kids on Spring Break, and we certainly are not in Cabo or Daytona Beach. No, we are home. They are home building forts out of couch cushions, having i-Pod dance parties, playing far too much Nintendo DS, biking outside, wrestling on my bed, and inventing new and destructive games usually involving some combination of a ball, swords, Darth Vader helmets, superhero capes and "blasters" constructed out of large toddler Legos. I am home feeding them and feeding them and checking my e-mail far more than is necessary and looking at the clock and wondering in what creative fun way I will feed them again tonight.

See, I had a fledgling idea to go to San Diego for a long weekend, a mere eight hours by car in good traffic. "A road trip!" I said to husband, "load the car with lots of snacks, drinks, DVDs for the kids, trash magazines for the passenger, and just drive at our own pace! No security check, no flight attendants, no smelling like an airplane and praying you won't lose your luggage. We can stop whenever we want! Eat every two hours if it suits us! And after all, the kids will be strapped in the whole time! Come on, let's take to the open road!" He looked askance at me, pursed his lips in a skeptical half-grin and said "You and your road trips." (He is anti, so we've never taken one, despite frequent lobbying by yours truly.)

But when I reminded him we have friends we could stop in with in L.A. for a night, splitting up the trip into just two four-hour driving stints, and then upped the ante by offering to drive THE WHOLE WAY, I could tell I just about had him. "Hmm" he said, with that important upward intonation, "May-be."

And then the accountant called to tell me I could pick up our taxes. Yee-owch. Reality. We have very complex taxes this year, since we just moved back to the U.S. from overseas and own a house we're renting out in another state. Because they don't withhold overseas for U.S. taxes (understandably) we knew we'd owe some, but it still hurt a bit more than expected, especially since California state taxes are high.

So here I am, and while excessively checking my e-mail this week I have stumbled upon a neologism not once but twice from different sources: "staycation." It appears that this is the new term for what I am doing: spending my vacation at home instead for economic reasons. You know it's getting established when Wikipedia has an entry for it, to wit: Staycation.

Yuck. I am a linguistic curmudgeon, and furthermore am anti-trend, linguistic or behavioral. Additionally, staycation seems a particularly inelegant new construct. It reminds me of "stagnation." I am not enjoying "staycating" and I certainly didn't ask to be a part of a tacky neologistic and economic trend. Boo hoo. Take me to San Diego!

I'm checking last night's lottery drawing numbers now. Come on, mama needs a vacation!

Convince me I'm wrong!!

Okay, Internets:

I have a dilemma. Well, not a dilemma so much as a need for answers. Here's the Problem:

My Daughter, being our first and only child, has managed to accumulate quite the menagerie of stuffed animals. Naturally, she is only really aware that about five of them exist, but we have at least 20-30 in rotation through our house at the time, and about 20-30 in a Rubbermaid bin in the basement. So...

In my ideal world, she would pick the five she couldn't live without and we would give the rest away to charity. But, of course, anytime she is asked to identify the ones to give away to children who don't have ANY stuffed animals, she wants to keep them all, and then when I find them all a "place" to live in the room, she sees them all lined up nice and neat and immediately has to play with them. All. So the stuffed animals end up two days later back in the regular spots- between the bed and the wall, behind/under various pieces of furniture, or piled in a pile and forgotten for a a few months until we start the dance all over again.

Now, I have never understood the importance of stuffed animals. I never slept with them and I never took them everywhere I went. By the time I hit middle school I had two stuffed animals which were kept more for my mother's nostalgia than for mine. I told all my boyfriends that they were never to give stuffed animals at any approaching gift-giving occasions. So now I feel equally ambiguous toward all but maybe two of the stuffed animals my daughter owns, and I would really like to not spend any more time shuffling them from place to place. I also should note that The Girl has never become especially attached to any one of them, nor has she ever even noticed whether or not we take one when we travel.

So, do I just do the surreptitious mommy-cleaning-while-kid's-away routine and make them all disappear one by one? Or should I find a way for them to live with us until the girl is old enough to move them out by her own decision and/or manpower? And most importantly, if I'm keeping them... HOW?? What are your best ideas for stuffed-animal storage that keeps them out of the floor but accessible/visible for playing??

I need your help, Internets. You're my only hope!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Strange Things I Find in My Purse

So it's Spring Break around here, which means I have three rugrats under my feet all day every day, arguing, waking the little one up early from his nap, demanding sandwiches, and spilling yogurt on the reasonably new yellow couch.

Which means the weather turned unseasonably cold and windy (and I don't just mean a strong breeze, I mean the kind that makes men with combovers run for cover and creates an obstacle course of blown-over empty garbage cans and lids on garbage day).

Which means it's amazing that I made it to Wednesday before we had a session at the McDonald's PlayPlace down the road.

Which means Happy Meals. THREE Happy Meals.

Which means germs, countless germs, but we won't think about that any more now, will we? After all, I did make them wash their hands afterwards. It was sanity wersus a potential cold, and sanity wins every time.

Which means I came home with a purse full of three identical forgotten useless Happy Meal toys that should consider their days numbered until they are chucked into the garbage or donated to Goodwill. Really, I want to know the percentage of landfill clutter nationwide that McDonald's Happy Meal toys are responsible for creating.

Anyway, as I took them out of my conveniently mommy-sized purse, I remembered some blog tagging thing I saw on a MommyBlog I followed a couple of years ago where you were supposed to blog about the weirdest thing you had in your purse at that moment. Clever. I know for a fact that since I've become a mother, my purse is, at any given time, home to quite a number of things I don't know about. So I thought I'd look into it today, and since I know you are out there clamoring for more details on my fabulous life, I thought I'd share the results with you. Aren't you just the luckiest!

Now let's not count the basics. You know, wallet, phone, sunglasses, keys, lipstick, various receipts, supermarket lists, scary-old-looking emergency-use feminine products and loose change. Those are just commonplace. Instead, let me dwell on the more random.

- A Bible verse puzzle made by my son in Sunday School
- Three bobby pins (whaa? no idea when I last would have used bobby pins)
- Chocolate chip cookies (in a bag, thankfully, which is not necessarily a given)
- One (1) tic-tac
- A lollipop (not surprising, really)
- Two pair of 3-D glasses (saw Monsters and Aliens Saturday night with the fam)
- A halogen book light
- A nametag with my name on it
- A nametag with hubby's name on it
- One Hot Wheels car (surprised there weren't more)
- A projectile made to look like ice from some past Happy Meal toy
- Valentine's sticker sheet with most of the stickers gone
- Neutrogena sunscreen
- The muzzle part of a foam cow mask from my middle son's early March class play
- Program from same
- One dark chocolate bar (56% Cacao)
- One tube of Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick, still in semi-smooshed box
Wonder what MacGyver could do with all that. And I'm not cleaning it out, either. No way, you never know when I might need one of those things to save the world from destruction (or at least save me from any one of a number of ravages of toddlerhood). Yup. That's just how I roll. (*Blows on knuckles, shines them on lapel*)

Since I know you're wondering now, yes, my purse is the size of a small suitcase. I have quite the developed right shoulder. It's a wonder small animal nests and garden gnomes didn't come tumbling out of it.

Aight, I'm out. I think it's Pizza Night. More good nutrition for the shorties; I'm really having a banner day here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Children's Programming: the Stupid and the Sublime

Okay, so as a parent of three successive children and having logged almost nine years on the journey now, I thought I'd seen it all in the way of children's programming. Especially with my unfazeable know-it-all tendencies.

IMHO (or maybe not so "H"), there is a definite spectrum, ranging all the way from "that's pretty cute," such as the Wonderpets and Little Bill, to "end my misery now," such as Barney or Max and Ruby. There are also some shows that are too smart, like Ni Hao Kai Lan, too dumb, like Wow Wow Wubbzy, or just a bit too weird for me, a la Yo Gabba Gabba or Oobie (um, "grandpoo?").

I have also found that many kid's shows divide: some adults love Barney and hate Elmo and some feel exactly the opposite. (In fact, some people who might otherwise represent themselves as being in their right mind actually disagree with the categorizing I've done above. Gasp!)

If you want to see kid's shows divide, you just need to hang out with my family when the youngest (two and a half) tries to watch The Wiggles or anything on Playhouse Disney. The walls reverberate with groans and "come on Mom!"s from my two older ones (ripe old six and nine year olds).

So imagine my shock when I stumbled upon The Upside Down Show on Noggin (a channel that, I might add, is usually otherwise rather unremarkable). Long story short, it's a uniter, not a divider. The Upside Down Show's main characters are two Australian guys who are known Down Under as a comedy duo called The Umbilical Brothers, and it is simply the most original kid's programming I have ever seen. In certain ways it reminds me of Sesame Street, but is closer in spirit to The Muppet Show, perhaps. We all love to watch it, adults and kids alike. It's just hilarious.

You'll get a kick out of the following outtake from the "Camping" episode, where Shane and David discover camping because they can't find their bedroom (the show is set in their living room and the rooms behind the doors leading off of it are an always-changing variety, e.g., the Very Hairy Room, the Wind Room, the No Fun Room, the This Way room, etc.). Before they find themselves in this conundrum, though, they help some of their friends, the Schmuzzies and Puppet, get off to sleep, as follows:

Puppet's lullabye -- and especially his reaction to it -- are some of my all-time favorite bits on this show. If only bedtime was that easy! Incidentally, Puppet's lullabye always makes me think of my brother-in-law, The Irreverent One's husband, since I think that, if he could, it's just the kind of lullabye he'd sing to their monkey. He may just try it now.

Sidenote: Unbelievably, it was cancelled after one season, thirteen episodes, in 2007 (sob). We have it on DVR, but some episodes accidentally got deleted (note to self: lock 'em down!) and now I find that Noggin isn't even showing it anymore. Boo. Bad form. Way to not live up to your name, Noggin.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Egg-stravaganzas

So, being that I am the Irreverent One by title around here, you may count on me for some Irreverent thoughts/happening regarding Easter.

"Jesus is a zombie, let us celebrate by impersonating a freakishly large Bunny who distributes candy and chocolate to our children." - Me

I decided to skip the floor-show known as Easter-sunday church and sent my daughter along with the Grandparents to show off her $30.00 dress bought specifically for this one day in her life. My Agnostic Hubby decided to go with them to "see" the church that the Grandparents like to take the girl to on Wednesday evenings. Once they arrived there, I received the following text-messages from Hubby.

10:38am- "Kill me now. There are Disciples and Centurions in the lobby*."

*Um, I believe the correct religious term is Foyer ( often pronounced a-la-midwestern-francais "Foy-YAY")

10:53am- " I think they're gonna crucify somebody. These cats are hardcore!!"

Note: There was apparently no children's church or nursery offered during the service today, so that all the kids could experience the gruesome spectacle of Jesus' crucifixion followed by his resurrection, complete with Gold-glittered beard. Apparently the afterlife has Bling.

I keep evaluating the occasional pangs of guilt I have had today for skipping the whole church thing, but the fact remains that I do not attend church the rest of the year, so I felt the most truthful thing to do was to carry-on as usual. I know how to do the dance and sing the songs and talk the lingo, but that carries no meaning for me anymore and I'm kinda proud that for once I had the Balls to just be who I am.

And the $30.00 dress is going straight into the dress-up area- not like she's gonna need it again before she's outgrown it, so I may as well let her get my money's worth out of it!