Friday, July 23, 2004

I don't like these commercials. I also don't feel the need to hear voice cockpit recorders, as some folks do. Too much reality, being shoved in our faces. I hear petty shitty things all the time, why should I have to hear someone else's despair, horror, frustration, or ignorance about changing a flat?

Today I heard something pretty shitty. And petty. One of my fellow stay-at-home moms gave me the business for not having been her sidekick this summer and for my son not being her son's playmate. During the berating, I slammed my hand on the sink, rolled my eyes, changed the subject. I did wonder a few things, such as - how much time with you would be enough to get you off my back? Or, if I told you the truth, would you be happy that you got what you wanted or would you be pissed off at me because I told you I don't like you?

I wonder.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Our new chair cannot come soon enough. I just love to veg out downstairs in front of a dvd with my cocktail...and currently there is nowhere to sit. The ancient recliner given my husband by his grandmother finally fell completely, irreparably apart. My husband "disposed of" this chair, in some "undisclosed" location.

I wanted a chaise lounge. I really, really did...and I found one I liked. Actually, I found three I liked. One by one, over a period of months and months, these chairs were ruled out, and not by me. My husband was kind, supportive, interested...but not excited and the wallet stayed in his pocket.

But in we walk to the La-Z-Boy store. Recliners wall-to-wall. Ugly, unfashionable chairs with upholstery that I thought had been retired (or outlawed) all over the place. The wallet came out. I was in trouble.

Still, I had known this might happen. A man and his recliner...even if his wife usually sits there, well, its a cliche and for a reason. It was my idea to go to Recliner Wonderland. They have Todd Oldham-designed stuff now and hell, these are some comfy chairs.

Our new recliner doesn't really look like one. We got the one with enough back support for World's Longest Torso and enough fluff for me to see our minute telly screen whilst fully extended. The chair was relatively cheap. We're happy. It better come soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Wahoo! Can't wait! I'm sure I'll see this one alone, at noon, with a can of seltzer and some snacks.

For all my intellectual inklings and artsy tendencies, I do love a summer blockbuster. Instead of seeing the correct movie this summer, I've instead seen all the incorrect ones. The only movie lacking in my list of checked -off must-sees is "Anchorman". I've enjoyed "Azkaban", "Dodgeball", Spidey Deuce", and even a late entry showing at the second-run theater, "Mean Girls". That Tina Fey - what a fun, throwback two hours that was! I think Lindsay Lohan is adorable. So does my husband, for obvious

I have so many good memories of seeing summer blockbusters - my first movie at age 4 or 5("Song of the South - in a bleak, tiny theater in middle Georgia), my discovery of Nick Cage in the classic "Valley Girl", which I saw three times in the five days it showed in my town, and my first realization of the power of Hollywood casting (Jack Nicholson as The Joker circa 1989).

Getting away to a movie is a great thing for a mom who stays home - you get a break, you expand your mind or at least bite your lip from suspense, and you don't spend $150 at certain retail meccas.

Good times. Love it. And I'll see YOU, Mr. Matt Damon, next week!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Michael Stipe endorsed this so of course I checked it out. I like that it seems non-partisan and supportive of our amazing process. So here's the link.

Today was a primary election day in our fair city. When I voted, 25% of the registered voters in my precint had been in to cast the ballot. I knew two of the people running for two different offices, which made me more apt to show; obviously no one else gave a damn.

So much work goes into making voting so easy for us. What horrible jobs these must be. Can you imagine designing ballots? Keeping up with who filed for what office? Finding middle-aged women to work all day at the polling places? Loading those big machines in your minivan to drag them across town to some fire station? But people do this, and for not much salary I'd assume, and sometimes as a volunteer gig. All we have to do is show up and color with markers and stick our paper in a slot. And we don't.

I hate people who are single-issue voters and I despise those who vote based on where a candidate goes to church or what the guy has said publicly about their Lord and Savior. But it seems downright criminal to not take five and go be a square in the American quilt. If only it were more of a requirement, not a right or priveledge! We could lock up those who don't vote. Now that would be a job I might enjoy!

Sorry for the soapbox! I recycle, I read Harry Potter, I write letters with pen on paper, I buy flavored waters, and I vote. It's a Bobo thing.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Um, why?
Take A Nap

Ok, I've got to call those people. Obviously, they have never heard of my national advocacy group for nappers. Sure, the movement is small and maybe even unpopular, but with some money, attention, and press, I think that Metronaps and I could make beautiful love together. Or music. Or whatever. We could work together.

My organization is currently called N.A.P.S. That's: National Association of People for Siestas. (I've got another name that doesn't have the brevity of the first. It is: S.L.E.E.P. Siesta Lovers Everywhere Engaging People. You, the reader, may vote for the name you prefer.)

My organization's purpose is clear: napping for all. I nap. My children nap, or at least one of them does on a regular basis. Our lives are great. Why do people have to work so hard all day and eat dinner early and then go to bed? Why not have a nap then have fun things to do until a late dinner? My friends and neighbors down the street keep European hours but school has cut into their fun. Bummer! If only N.A.P.S. could champion their cause! They could be the poster children for N.A.P.S! I'm sure ours would be a contentious battle, but one clearly worth waging.

I have been in Europe, in particular Mediterranean Europe, and the Siesta thing was rocking. We tourists loved it for the peace and quiet between 1 and 3, and also for the yummy huge lunches. Still, there was no denying the appeal of the siesta schedule. Give me a month and I can have all of us workaday Americans on a different, more relaxing schedule that includes a nap.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Dang. I'm still pretty bummed about it all. There's an article by Scott Turow in the Times that portends to be an argument for her jail time, so I'll go read it to get a balanced perspective. My currently unbalanced perspective is sad that for 10-16 months we'll have Labor Day with no insights on the white shoe debate, Halloween without a new rollout of plastic crows and ravens (this is arguably Martha's favorite holiday), Thanksgiving AND Christmas for God's sake....gosh, it just boggles the mind.

The Congress has stated that they are going to make an example of Martha and other corporate evil-doers. As a woman, I sometimes wonder exactly what example is being made. I guess Martha is as good a choice as any to send away - at least she is not a CEO whose children are still in day care and whose husband resents her power and prestige.

I hope they at least find a spot for her here.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

New to blogging? Or, new to blogs? I find that many folks I know have no idea what a blog is, much less how to blog. If you read magazines or even the paper, maybe a weekly independent rag, if you work, or if you surf the Internet for very long periods of time, you are bound to find out about blogs. Or at the very least happen upon a blog.

My husband is a blog addict...his favorites being more political or politically funny than the ones I like. I found many of my favorites by searching for information on knitting. Novice knitter that I am, I am extremely well-versed in Knit Blogs, and perhaps having that knowledge makes me the crafty equal to a master yarnsman in some circles. If you don't have a hobby, if you only email and check in on E! online, if you have two children under age 4 at home, if you don't work, well, you may still be in blog darkness.

There are blogs that are devoted to violent anti-abortion protests and there are ones about the daily life of a North Chicago teen whose iPod is full. So why the lack of widespread knowledge? Why aren't they mainstream? Is this what the Internet and email circles were like in 1990? What is going to happen when everyone has a blog? Will the cream still rise to the top? Will online life become very specialized and compartmentalized? Lots of blogs aren't "there" anymore...lots of bloggers have gone on to find life in the real world. So what's next? Is the Internet passe and over? Is it now the Encyclopedia Britannica with a keyboard?

I'm just wondering. Online, on a blog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Save Our Summers

The front page of our fair city's rag is about a bill that made it through committee in the House yesterday - the bill would add a few days to the school calendar's summer break.

Disclaimer: I'm ALL ABOUT this!

I understand the need for local school boards' autonomy and for exams and semesters to have appropriate scheduling.

Again: I'm really, really excited!

I understand, too, that teachers do not need a decrease in pay. Heck, my voting record in local and state elections often reflects a keen understanding of this need. I'd be interested in hearing from a teacher about the effects of ten fewer workdays.

Still: How wonderful that we may not start in early August next year!

Our current calendar is not, in my humble (and uninformed) opinion, weather-friendly. Schools in our county begin in early August, which is a decent introduction to Hell around these parts. Schools get out in late May, which is a decent introduction to Nirvana. Maybe the argument could be made that children and parents would prefer to enjoy the outdoor Nirvana, but it has to be expensive to operate facilities during the Hellish months and I do feel for the children who can scarcely stay concious whilst outside for their alloted play moments. Not to mention my sporty neighbors, who this very minute have begun soccer practice. Ouch!

So: Change the calendar and make us happy!

I'll keep you posted as House Bill 1464 makes its way to the floor.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Baudelaire Three vs. Potter

Several folks had tried to get me to read Lemony Snicket before I actually did. Two in particular are among my smartest friends. (She thinks it is great, as does perhaps my most well-read friend). I've just started reading again - due in some part to my new book club member status and in large part to my son leaving toddlerhood. There is no denying, though, that seeing this moved me along.

Of course one wants to read the book before the movie comes out. One often ends up reading the book even after seeing the movie, but that delicious intellectual smugness is not near as omnipresent as when one can say, with firm and really honest conviction, "I preferred the book."

I have preferred the book on many an occasion. Maybe even all occasions - but there are some treasures in movie adaptations. Long ago, I sent out an online poll to my Austenesque friends asking them to rank the Austen movies and books. The results were funny and very differing. I, for one, would put "Mansfield Park" near the top of both lists, whilst Lynn rated "Pride and Prejudice" (the BBC miniseries, which is not officially a studio release but perhaps more cool and worthy of smugness) her favorite.

(Which brings me to my rant, and you knew it was coming: RIGHT ON, BOB!)

(O.K., I can't just say one thing about that. She is TOO YOUNG and TOO LANKY and NOT RIGHT! Yes indeed, LilMissCabbie!)

So back to my post's title and presumed subject: Lemony vs. J.K. They are different, for sure. But they are similar, and the movie looks and feels like an American Potter enterprise (Jim Carrey=Alan Rickman, Meryl Streep=Maggie Smith). "A Series of Unfortunate Events" may have started as vocabulary lessons for tots - and maybe an introduction to sorrow and horror. H. Potter gets more sorrowful and horrific as one delves further into the series - a fact we Potterites have accepted and even respect. Both books feature the plucky heroes and heroines we crave and they both have moments of laugh-out-loud humor. At this point I am only in book 2 of "A Series" so I must stay with it....volume one was quite slim....but I know I don't care for the Baudelaire orphans like I care for Harry. Not yet.

It would probably be quite un-American of me to prefer Potter, but most of my stances seem to be un-American anyway.


Friday, July 09, 2004

John Edwards is the pick. I wish I had blogged my prediction - made months ago and truly, both my husband and friend Lynn can attest to this - that Kerrey would choose him. Instead you'll have to take my word for it.

For me, the choice means a few things - that my town will be in the spotlight, that my daughter has a major claim to fame since she went to daycare with the second daughter (perhaps soon to be the First Daughter?), that my dearest friend might skip town in early 2005 for a political appointment. With such personal ramifications, I find it hard to be excited about Tuesday's events. One needs to be completely detached, or maybe completely involved, to get jazzed about this kind of thing. I guess.

The Dems needed some buzz and some bumps, and Edwards seems to have given it to them. I for one would have picked Elizabeth, but she comes with him, so its all good.

There is a rally tomorrow and I really should go - someone said it was "history in the making". But when one has two little ones and the heat index is going to be rather uncomfortable,one might be excused from making said history. I do plan to do my best to support my friend who is right there in the middle of this situation. Sometimes getting too close to the action can be right scary.

Friday, July 02, 2004

My daughter knows all of the words of "You're A Grand Old Flag" and she's known them since she was around 2ish. It is a cute, cute thing to hear her sing this song. I feel much more patriotic when she is wearing a spiffy flag-motif dress and singing than I would otherwise.

I hope this holiday will be terror-free. Seems like every holiday since 9/11 has been fraught with anxiety; but the horrible things happened on normal, uncelebrated days. Perhaps our collective grief is heightened on holidays, much like survivors' grief. And the media feeds on that and gets us jumpy. Or maybe the media is innocent and the government is trying to scare us. Or maybe the government and the media are trying to make us more careful and aware, because we let our guard down when we are having fun and enjoying ourselves.

I hope its the latter. I plan to let go of my war angst and just focus on my bizarre family issues for the holidays. The issues are complex enough for my brain to focus on, I truly don't need anything else. There will be good times, too, though: swimming with my children, they in their otherworldly goggles; lots of cold American beer swilled; fresh fruits and vegetables grown on an honest-to-goodness farm eaten. We've seen the obligatory holiday weekend blockbuster. Even gas prices have dropped some. So all is well and a happy Fourth of July should be had by all. Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Last night we saw the world premiere of an evening-length modern dance piece. My obsessive/compulsive side was restrained fairly well, and I did not yell out "BORING" during some quiet bits. I also did not hiss at the woman behind me who a. rustled her program incessantly, b. ripped out bits of hard paper to put in her mint which she c. unwrapped at the most silent moments of the performance.

This woman's behaviour was bad enough, but when one considers that Mr. Jasperse's dance involves powerful lawn tools, one wonders if the woman was, like me an obsessive/compulsive. Instead of unwrapping, wiggling, and ripping during the mind-blowingly loud sections of the dance, she knew she could satisfy her inner demons by waiting for the right time.

The dance itself vexed. My dear, dear friend was there...he is on the faculty of the dance festival where the work was premiered. And he hated it. "Self-important", "waste of major funding", and "abstract bullshit" were some of the most choice words he used in our post-dance discussion. Husband, friend and I all agreed that the company was lovely and in sync in mesmerizing ways, the set was beyond cool (very Gehry), and the images created were eye-catching. But the thing was excruciatingly long and the control of the dancers, while admirable, was not interesting to watch.

The soundscape (not music at all, really) of the piece seemed to fit nicely with the dance and set, but never did the elements create the pleasing whole that I expected. Even a disturbing, upsetting whole would have been nice.