Monday, April 30, 2007

Grab Your Tiger

My latest anthology has arrived...ok, the whole anthology is not mine, but at least one story in it is. Yay, me! At some point, I will read the rest of the stories. Today, though, I only peeked long enough to see what the editor did with it, and to note that I am on page 31.

Not that that means anything.

So, ignore the cheesy cover art and visit

Hiding in Plain Sight


Necessity is the Mother****er of Invention.

I swore to my husband that I would save him enough leftover khao soy to enjoy when he got home from work today. But Son #1, otherwise known as the Insatiable Food Consuming Teen, loves khao soy, too.

Guess where it is? Yes, Hubby, you will find your fine snackables in 3 containers tucked into a giant salad bowl.

Ooh, I'm an underground force of nature

I found out today that someone read one of my recent blog posts aloud to a group of parents working to form a charter school. I feel...special!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Would you believe....I'm working?

I have spent the past week looking at my computer and barely chipping at my big writing project for the month. It is starting to make me want to panic. The thing is, every time I sit down, I either am consumed with thoughts of the laundry that needs folding (or whatever else needs to be done around here) or the thoughts in my head are drowned out by boys talking at/to/around/over me.

I need the damned Cones of Silence.

Mixed Feelings

Today while sitting in the lobby of the local high school, I saw:

A trophy for the school's "Academic Top Dawg" Champion.

A girl (14? 15?) coming to school with a Dora the Explorer backpack...and an infant.

I just, um, well, I...

Like I said, my feelings are decidedly mixed.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm just here for the comic relief, folks!

I made my son's principal laugh, tonight.

The school was scheduled to have a "lockdown drill" this week. It had been on the schedule for quite some time. And then the Tech shootings happened, and it seemed, on the one hand, especially important that they practice the procedures for responding to a violent attack. On the other hand, it was, well, perhaps a bit too timely, for some parents.

The basics of the drill are: Lock your classroom door, and have all students huddle in the corner out of the line of sight of the one window that faces the hallway.

It occurred to me that this is exactly the sort of behavior that got people shot, at Tech, when they couldn't keep the doors closed. And also that it is better, and somehow more American, to jump the attacker and pummel him, instead of cowering in fear.

After the drill, Son #1 said that it went pretty well, although his classroom cowered too slowly. They were informed that they'd all be dead, in the case of an actual emergency.

Tonight was a "principal's forum"--a chance for parents to talk to the principal about what's going on at school. I went, and there were less than 20 of us, including staff. So she sees me coming a mile away. Which is OK, mostly. The forum was informative and helpful. But then the subject of the lockdown drill came up.

The principal apologized for holding the lockdown drill. Some parents, it seems, felt it was too soon after the Tech shootings. I guess there are two ways to look at it.

The other night, I was discussing the Tech shootings with Fiddlin' Writer. My thoughts are, generally, that what we need are people with a strong sense of self-preservation. People who, also, are equipped. With a handgun. Having a licensed, competent shooter in those classrooms would have stopped Cho after just one or two killings.

I'm not saying that everyone needs a gun. Just that, there are some people who, if they had a gun, would be able to save the rest of us. And those people should be free to carry their weapons. Big, burly guys who love to hunt and target shoot. Men (and women) who are confident in their ability to act swiftly and surely. People like that. Every group has them, and there are about 1800 people in that school, every day. Gotta be a few teachers (and maybe the occasional 18 year old senior) who would qualify, and who would get together regularly for target practice, right?

So, I asked, at the forum tonight: Has there been any discussion of arming some teachers?

She just laughed, at first.

And then, when I told her I was serious, she laughed again.

"No. None."

OK, then. Hope all goes well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Easy Care, or Dry Clean Only: The Test

Not sure if your clothing item is "dry clean only"? The Total Waste of Time Gang has found a foolproof way to decide.

Place all or part of the item on the floor.


If it stays clean and dry, it is machine washable.

If the dog pees on it, you've got to go to the dry cleaner's. Like, today.

Ya know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Society.

Dad always used to say that "women civilize men". I thought this was bullshit. Pure, unadulterated bullshit. And then, I saw women stop trying.

Women today don't want to make men play our game. We want to play THEIR game. So we have stopped insisting they treat us like ladies. We have stopped insisting they behave like gentlemen. We dress like skanks. We dress our DAUGHTERS like skanks. We curse. We drink until we puke. We flash strangers--and coworkers--for cheap, plastic beads. We declare ourselves bisexual, at 14, even though we're not interested in kissing our supposed "girlfriend", because being bisexual is cool. We go on Girls Gone Wild. We work the pole.

And then we wonder why men don't treat us like ladies. Like people, even. God, we are stupid, if we can't see what we've done. We thought we were fighting for equality. What we got was just degradation. And the cads still get the last laugh.

Our big "wins" all seem to be wins for the men. And not even decent men. We've worked hard, as women, to make being a woman harder and being a crass bastard completely acceptable. The pornification of society just keeps rolling, and it bugs me.

Women may not civilize men, anymore. But that just means that we are de-civilizing, ourselves. Sorry, Dad, you were right, again. Must suck, being right all the time.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lessons Learned From My Kids: Don't keep checking the rules!

The Sons are downstairs, playing with a neighbor. This neighbor is particularly legalistic. The Sons are, well, generally not. It is a clash of cultures, every time this kid visits. I am never sure how it's going to turn out, but my rule for the Sons is: You don't have to invite him over, but if you DO invite him over, you have to be nice.

Today being a rainy, cold one, they have opted for a game of Monopoly.

With every move--his own, or one of the Sons, Neighbor Boy says, "Let's check the rules." It is driving the Sons completely insane.

Moral of the story: rules are great. But it's also important to be able to cut loose and play the darn game.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Anna! Anna! Anna!

So, they have determined that Larry Birkhead, the photographer, is the father.

"I hate to be the one to tell you this but, I told you so," Birkhead, a Los Angeles photographer, said outside the court in Nassau. "Nothing's really determined except parentage and I'm the father."

"I'm going to the toy store," he said.

What do you want to bet "toy store" is a euphemism for "Porsche dealership"?

Monday, April 09, 2007

My Kind of Easter Miracle

Mom insists my sister and husband and I hunt Easter eggs, every year. When we explain that adults don't DO that, she gets all whiney and teary and shouty and insistent. We do not get to eat dinner, until we have gone through this. It is degrading, and ridiculous, and annoying as hell. It pretty much makes me dread Easter.

For the past few years, hubby and I have told the Sons that if they can find our "adult" eggs, they can keep them. The Sons have enjoyed this--the adult eggs have a bit more money in them (though, no, it is still not so much cash that we are blinded to the fact that we are adults, playing a child's game to make my mother happy).

This year, Sons #1 and 2 are old enough to feel silly, hunting eggs. I told mom that they would not be hunting. She complained, briefly, and then let it go.

Yesterday, Sons #3 and 4 hunted eggs with their small cousin, and had a good time. The rest of us stood on the sidelines, and had a good time. Nobody had to act like an idiot. Nobody yelled at us for being "no fun" until we toed the Easter line.

It was awesome. Thank you, Jesus.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Don't Steal Music

Son #1's iPod was broken, so we sent it back to get the screen fixed. Today, it arrived. With a big sign on the front, saying "Don't steal music".

I'm sorry, but your assuming I am a thief makes me want to go out there and steal music, right NOW.

Thank you, Universe, for explaining to my son...

why we require him to leave his High School Language at school.

Son #1 has started talking like a public school student. I accept that as part of the deal we have made--we send him to get an education, and he damn well gets a motherf--king education, bitch. Well, ok, he doesn't take it that far, but you know. It is a bit shocking.

I constantly am reminding him that, A, he kisses his mother with that mouth, and, B, he has younger brothers who don't need to hear that language yet, especially from a big brother they respect and admire.

For those of you who are laughing hysterically at your keyboards, NO, the fact that I tend to swear like a sailor the minute the Sons are out of earshot is totally immaterial. Because, duh, Out of Earshot.

This drives Son #1 nuts. "EVERYBODY talks like this, Mom. I'm not saying anything unusual." Which is absolutely true. But, I still reserve the right to require a little self-censorship, in the interest of domestic civility.

Anyway, this back-and-forth has been going on for months, with Son #1 mostly catching himself before I shoot him The Look, and occasionally arguing for more linguistic freedom. Then, yesterday, he spent the day at a friend's house.

He came home and asked me if his voice "sounded gay".

Knowing this had nothing to do with tolerance of alternative lifestyles, and everything to do with what some kid must have said about his evolving manliness, I replied, "No, your voice sounds like a normal voice, what do you mean?"

"Some little 10-year-old girl rode by on her bike and told me my voice sounded gay. Then she started saying all this other stuff, cursing at us, and stuff. I asked her where she learned to say all this stuff, and she said, her sister."

Son #1 then gave me the sweet, innocent, boy-I-love-with-the-long-eyelashes look, and before I could even start in with "See, I told you so!", he said, "Yeah, Mom, I know what you mean. I don't want them talking like that."

Sunday, April 01, 2007

19, 19, 1985

Sometimes, synchronicity is the only explanation.

I am in full-on, nearing 40, stay-at-home mom, midlife crisis mode. I am having a hard time seeing any value in the way I spend my time. And I just want to sleep. It's not a great way to go through your days...distractible, cranky, frustrated; it's hard to shake, and on days when I can't shake it, I get hardly anything done. And on days when I've gotten hardly anything done, I feel...

You get the picture.

Son #1 and I have been engaging in a playful give-and-take in musical education. Youtube is great for this--you can see music videos that haven't been on MTv in decades. So last night Hubby and I introduced him to Rush--which he appreciated, which is cool. He says none of his friends at school would ever like it, because they are all into death metal and rap. But HE liked it.

Earlier in the evening, he asked me about Bowling for Soup. Now, I have never been really good about knowing what band performed which song. I have loved songs for years before realizing they were performed by the band that performed OTHER songs I loved. I just never make the connection. So I had no idea who Bowling for Soup was.

Then he played it for me, and it is my theme song:

She was gonna shake her ass
On the hood of White Snake's car
Her yellow SUV is now the enemy
Looks at her average life
And nothin', has been...
all right since

Springsteen, Madonna
Way before nirvana There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she's uncool
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1985

He was surprised to find that not only did I know the lyrics better than he did, but that I also graduated high school in 1985. We sang and danced in the kitchen like a couple of dorks. It made me feel better. Son #1 is a good kid.