Monthly Archives: February 2007

irony

You may have noticed that I’m a Democrat. So is my husband. Our cars are plastered with stickers promoting liberal causes. What we think of President Bush, his war, and his policies is mostly unprintable. Among other things, my husband, who is president of the local teachers’ association, despises W’s “No Child Left Behind” education plan.

Now, guess who’s coming to town on Friday and speaking at one of the elementary schools in our school system, to promote NCLB? And guess who’s been invited to attend the event, to represent local teachers?

I wish I respected W even slightly, so I could be excited about the prospect of being married to someone who may very well be personally introduced to the POTUS. I wish I wanted to be there and wanted to take my kids to maybe see W enter or leave the building. Instead, I feel only the irony that my husband, who disagrees completely with NCLB’s approach to public education, is being asked to represent 600+ teachers, most of whom also disagree with NCLB, at an event that promotes the plan’s supposed success.

Of all the presidents… why does he have to be the one to come to town?

song of life

last night we sang
        jazz
        blues
        be-bop improv
                cool grooving moves with
                swaying hips and
                snapping fingers

unfortunately
we jumped to the Apollo beat
confined in a Catholic church
        dead center under the
        gaze of a
                skeletal
                crucified Christ.

I opened my door to
glorious song
        averted my eyes from
        manifested tortured death
                gave over my
                whole self to
            music
            that suffused the air with
        infinite patterns
    of
life

paradise by the dashboard light

https://i2.wp.com/ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/0756624614.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgSlide into the driver’s seat, grab the gearshift, and get ready for a smooth ride with Carma Sutra: The Auto-Erotic Handbook. Here’s the publisher’s description:

Unbuckle your seatbelt for this, the first-ever manual of sex positions for in-car entertainment! Fully illustrated and packed with helpful, practical, model-specific advice, this glove-compartment-sized guide contains everything readers need to rev up their sex drive!

the man who should have been President

It was heart-wrenching to watch Al Gore on the Oscars last night. He was all the things I wish he’d been during his campaign: relaxed, funny, articulate, cool.

As he left the stage, I said aloud, “Damnit, he should have been president!” And my husband replied, “The world would be an incredibly different place.”

Indeed.

back home again, in Indiana

https://i2.wp.com/www.psa-newmember.org/image_evaluation/pictorial_images/AngryChicken.jpgWelcome to Indiana, my home state, where we always vote for the Republican presidential candidate, 19% of pregnant women smoke, and, apparently, a state law is required in order to stop people from shtupping the nearest livestock:

Sexual relations with animals would be a crime in Indiana under a bill designed to toughen penalties for animal abuse.

A House committee on Wednesday unanimously approved the bill, which was introduced after a man was charged with stealing a chicken and killing the animal while having sex with it in northwest Indiana. …

The provision would create a uniform standard for the state. Some cities and towns outlaw such acts, but the state does not.

“I think our constituents would be surprised to learn that bestiality is not a crime in state code,” said Rep. Eric Koch, R-Bedford.

The legislation would make sex with animals a misdemeanor in most cases but a felony if the animal “suffers extreme pain or death.”

Image from here.

free time

https://i0.wp.com/www.wonder-shirts.com/images/life%20is%20sweetweb.jpgWhat would you do if you had 4 completely free, uncommitted hours by yourself, to do whatever you wanted?

I got to answer that question last weekend. I travelled with my husband to an out-of-town meeting (leaving the kids with their grandmother). Friday evening, after dinner, he went off to talk about fascinating insurance and budgetary information. What to do?

I didn’t want to watch TV. The hotel didn’t have easily accessible high-speed Internet access. I was very tired, having gotten up earlier than usual several mornings, so I considered crashing really early. But I’d brought a book, so I decided to lie down and read for a while.

Four hours later (just after midnight), I finished the book, just about the same time my husband returned from having a post-meeting beer in the hotel bar.

I don’t know the last time I’ve just read, and read, all I wanted, with no reason or requirement to stop and do something else. (It reminded me that my son gets this from me — he reads, and reads, and reads, just as I did when I was his age.)

It was wonderful.

(Oh, yes: If you’re wondering what book, it was Silence of the Lambs, by Thomas Harris. I hadn’t read it for years, and I’d forgotten what an astonishingly good book it is. If you think the movie is incredible — which it is — you should read the book, too, because it gives you added insight and detail into the characters and plot. You may find that, like me, you can’t put it down.)

my son, the author

My 11-year-old son and I are big fans of the web site MoviePooper.com, and its sibling site, TheMoveSpoiler.com. Personally, I don’t choose to waste my time and money on movies where my favorite characters die in the end. I’m much happier if I know in advance that, as we say in my family, “they all go to the seashore.” These sites provide the try-before-you-buy info that I want: I can find out how a movie ends, or read the entire plot, and then make an informed decision about seeing it. (Yes, I usually read the ends of books first, too.)

A few days ago my son talked his grandmother into taking him to see The Messengers — a things-that-go-boo scary movie that has gotten lousy reviews but is still eminently satisfactory for people like them who like that sort of thing. (I don’t. This is why it’s lucky that my mother and my son have such similar taste in films.) We already had determined that no spoilers were posted for the movie, because I’d been trying to find out exactly how scary it was and how much violence it included before letting him go. So, when he got home, he sat down and wrote a plot summary and emailed it off.

And what do you know? This morning, to his vast excitement, he found that he’s been published. You can find his spoiler here and here (scroll down the left and click “The Messengers”). Some day when he’s rivalling J.K. Rowling or R.L. Stein for book sales, you can say that you read his stuff way back when. 🙂

you say it’s your birthday

No, actually, I say it’s my birthday. I am no longer the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything; now I’m just the nondescript number 43.

The schools were on a delay today, so I got to sleep late; I was awakened at 8:45 by my husband and kids bringing me breakfast in bed. My 11-year-old son makes a killer cheese-and-bacon omelet, let me tell you. It was a very lovely way to start the day. 🙂

https://i2.wp.com/ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/158234423X.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgMy mom got me a marvelous book: a collection of cartoons by one of my favorite artists from The New Yorker: Roz Chast. Much of my birthday evening will be spent in front of the fireplace enjoying her strange and hysterical takes on the world.

But probably the best laugh of the day came when I finally got out to my computer this morning and found a card my son had made and propped against the monitor. It has lively drawings of cake, candles, and balloons, and inside, features the following poem (with his emphasis and spelling):

Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue,
Sugar is Sweet,
And your past 42!

Who could ask for anything more?

…Therefore, God exists.

https://i1.wp.com/growabrain.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/jesus_is_coming.jpgMany, many thanks to Ben in cold and snowy Chicago, who has been keeping himself warm by investigating the possibility of the divine. (As opposed to the possibility of the Divine, who died, tragically, in 1988.) This post describes a site offering Hundreds of Proofs of God’s Existence.

A few of my personal favorites for your edification:

TYLER’S ARGUMENT FROM JESSICA ALBA
(1) Jessica Alba is a friggin’ goddess!
(2) Therefore, goddesses exist.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM JOHN LENNON
(1) John Lennon once said that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
(2) I didn’t like that.
(3) Somebody killed him for saying that.
(4) Obviously, God didn’t like him saying that, either.
(5) Therefore, God exists.

7th ANGEL’S ARGUMENT (CONDENSED)
(1) Is are five when lemon fell purple left thinks acrophobe sticks.
(2) For sharp king jigsaw white roll quick double; quality bunny done press highly.
(3) Therefore, God exists, and it all makes sense.

ARGUMENT FROM FLUFFY CATS IN SUNLIGHT
(1) A cat basking in sunlight smells good.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM PULP FICTION
(1) God CAME down from heaven, and stopped those motha-fuckin’ bullets.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM SPOUSE
(1) If you are still on that damned computer, God help you!
(2) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM AMERICA, a.k.a. GEORGE W. BUSH’S ARGUMENT
(1) God bless America.
(2) You’re either with us or against us, remember.
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM FORCE
(1) [argument from Atheist]
(2) [Theist shoots Atheist.]
(3) Therefore, God exists.

ARGUMENT FROM META-SMUGNESS
(1) Fuck you.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

tattoo voodoo 3

I watched the last half or so of Thank You for Smoking with my son, who’s probably about the same age as the lead character’s son. Toward the end, the lead, Nick Naylor, who lobbies on behalf of Big Tobacco, is being questioned at a senate hearing. He speaks strongly about parental responsibility when it comes to educating kids about the dangers of tobacco; and he says that when his son turns 18, if the son wants to smoke, he (Nick) will buy his son his first pack of cigarettes.

My immediate reaction to that statement was general disgust (although, judging from Nick’s face when he left the hearing room, he may not have been entirely truthful when he said it). How could any parent buy their child cigarettes, even if the child had become an adult?

But then I remembered a promise I’ve made my daughter (and will also extend to my son, should he wish): When she turns 18, if she wants a tattoo (and as of now, she does), I’ll go with her to the tattoo parlor, and I’ll probably get one along with her.

I have the feeling that, for reasons I don’t understand, there are many parents out there who’d prefer to see their kids hooked on nicotine than decorated with permanent ink. And yet,

A 2006 a study done by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that’s almost one in four. And the survey showed that about 36% of Americans age 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo!

By the time my kids are my age, the non-tattooed are likely to be in a minority. I wonder what my grandchildren will have to do, to be considered daring?