mommy drinks because you LARP

MMORPing? I think.

I come home and my living room is full of a huge table, five laptops, a projection screen, and five HUGE GALLOPING NERDLETS all playing a game where they’re pretending to be in charge of a spaceship. Ralph said a few words and now they’re really loudly pretending they are actual like, space soldiers. I am sad I am not sitting on the couch with my beady-eyed dad, making snarky comments. I’m hiding here on my computer, away from those other computers.

Off now to buy some ultra-slutty red hairdye.

friday links: the garden of your imagination

Today: Hutch was invited to be the official newshound of Grays Harbor Down. Pretty cool stuff!

 
Someone’s cutting onions up in here.

“Letter to a Teacher from an Aboriginal Parent (1977)” – if you’re a human being, you should read this.

The trouble with kids today. OK, there’s so much to love about this post. I cringe-laugh at the Connery interview. I know I shouldn’t feel bad for him, publicly airing his ignorance and fear, but I kind of do. And it’s ironic our macho, best Bond (well, I like all the Bonds, but got a soft spot for Mr. Connery) is in reality a frightened person, who hits and then justifies hitting as making sense. But I really liked all the quotes at the bottom. “Get off my lawn”, the world is going to the dogs, “kids today”, et cetera. Good stuff.

Some comments on the MSM’s depiction of Mr. Holmes, who last week murdered people in a theater in Colorado.

A piece on Spiritual Bypass; a concept I’ve been thinking about a lot, lately. Good stuff.

Who Gets To Be A Geek? Anyone Who Wants To Be by John Scalzi – a great piece (except for the obligatory hipster-diss – what is UP with that?). ANYhoo, a wonderful takedown of Peacock’s crap.

& finally: NEVER FORGET

Logical Awesome

wishin’ for a Friday night with the ragtop down

Friday links, better late than never!

Parenting
Furor over the supposed superiority of Chinese mothers! This little WSJ article got people rather fired up. And it should. I first heard mention by Jim Lin on Twitter – entirely pissed at anyone claiming they can “speak for the entire Chinese Am[erican] population”.

Other criticisms and responses followed; here are two I enjoyed:

“Tales of a Chinese daughter: On the superiority or not of Amy Chua’s Chinese mothers” by Elaine Chow. Some sobering realities of pushed-to-perform Chinese adult children.

“I’m Not a Chinese Mother (Obviously!)” at Rational Jenn’s blog. Are “Western” and “Chinese” methods really so different at heart?

Human Rights & Heartbreak
Hm, is this Lego depiction of Stephen Hawkings “wrong”? Or is it a very-well executed likeness (like so many others) of someone who should be not pitied or laughed at for his physicality and existence? TABs, check your shit!

“The Agonizing Last Words of Bill Zeller”. A rape victim speaks out and speaks his last. Deeply devastating to read; trigger-warning, obviously.

Ladyness
“Women Laughing Alone With Salad”
Not since YOGURT has there been something so fucking fan-lady-tastic as virtuous salad-eating!!!!

Informative (Sorta)
“Mass dying of animals plotted on Google map”

Media
The Great Gatsby in 3D. For real? Perhaps. Ta-Nehesi Coates’ take.

“I miss Patrick Swayze”. Me too.

Make/Craft
Felt Hot Pads at The Purl Bee

Men’s shirt sewalong at Male Pattern Boldness, starting February 1st. I have this pattern. Any readers want to join?

Super-Special Adultist Roundup Bonus Edition!
“The Unspeakable, in Its Jammies” by Michael Chabon
A father edits Huck Finn whilst reading aloud to his children and writes about it (in what appears to be a self-congratulatory and patriarchal way but – perhaps I am reading into it) and people puke in their mouths about how awesome a dad he is. Yes, predictably the commentstream is full of glowing praise that may be at least partially (or like, lots) inspired by a darling-status afforded the author by the neo-progressive literati blah-blah.

Make no mistake, and I do realize the previous paragraph represents a slight binge of as-disavowed-during-2011 snark, sharing one’s love (of literature, of the arts, of sport, of fishing, of political history, of engine rebuilds on giant Ford trucks) is an awesome prerogative for parents/carers; we grownups also have the responsibility to protect our children when needed and to share our values with them (although they are not always learning the values we think we’re teaching). I pass no particular referendum on Chabon’s parenting choices as expressed but rather I am disturbed by the response and the template this response furthers. Namely, that of a “progressive” and adultist parent’s agenda: good literature (if it’s so good why do so many think they need to force it on children and tell them what to think? Our efforts are needed in nurturing children so they can choose and ingest from an authentic and whole place), “teaching”, and values lectured into your kids’ faces – because kids aren’t smart or complex enough to form their own opinions AND (this part bugs me most) kids don’t need to be asked for their thoughts, and listened to – before a discussion commences. Notice the rather lengthy lecture directed to a seven and nine year old who apparently sit rapt on daddy’s knee, or if they don’t, at least not one person in the commentstream besides myself suggest value in asking what the children’s perspectives were on race, social order, and class at conversation outset (make no mistake, children have perspectives) because these things are formed top-down (one comment: “Seven year old recognizes “Injun” as offensive but needs an explanation of “nigger”?” Yeah, I wondered about that too.).

Believe it or not, when you ask kids and really listen, and ask a bit more? You can learn a lot. Up to and including some humility and a little less developed role of self-importance.

Quotable
“Children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.” – Alfie Kohn

Random Awesomeness

I’ve been watching more “Reno 911!” (very sad the newer season I’m watching changed actors; now women are significantly less represented on the cast). It’s pretty impossible to pick from all the excellence but I did find a Terry clip I thought I’d share.

Awesome.
Logical Awesome

i’m kind of sick but also excited

I’m working up a new recipe.* Listening to Dean Martin’s “Forever Cool”. You know, he has me at Track 01 (“Ain’t That A Kick In The Head”). Damn, that man packed some sex appeal in his crooning.

Tonight Cyn sends me a link. I kind of laughed, then I started looking around. And it turns out this is the loneliest, and I mean the loneliest thing I have ever seen. More lonely than the geekiest D&D nerds with their 12-sided die, drinking Mountain Dew all night. More lonely than that dog turd half-squished on the lawn. More lonely than the stale half-donut in the bottom of the box after the Insurance Benefit Primer Workshop at a Community College.

* ETA: we had it for dinner; ’twas amazing!

"It’s not that simple, Orco."

We’re watching a lot of “He-Man” on YouTube around these parts. Guess what? It’s really shitty. Ralph and I were appalled because as children TV viewers* He-Man was heavy, dramatic grist for our idealogical mill.

If He-Man can’t entertain Ralph and I with compelling storyline and rich explorations of the dichotomy of good and evil, he sure can deliver an excellent PSA:

Do you think anyone ever had the gall to touch He-Man on his bathing suit area? Perhaps when he was merely a shy, awkward Boy Adam. And I can’t help but think the last qualifier is made all the more awkward when it’s your rabbi or minister who’s doing the inappropriate touching.

* I grew up without a TV; I can only imagine my He-Man viewing was either at the grandparents’ or with friends – but I do remember my brother and I watched some. Billy? Do you remember? Was it in the back of that van where that man touched us in the way He-Man is talking about?

a new lifestyle and a new television love

Last night for about forty minutes I had the odd circumstance of having “the neighbor girl” over. Where we lived before there were very few children in our neighborhood and even fewer children our own children’s ages. Having Sophie invite our next-door neighbor’s child, and having the kids run around in our fenced yard and the childrens’ bedrooms, with little interaction between the actual adults of the two households… honestly, it was pretty cool.

Also:

Arrested Development: Which Bluth Are You?


You are GOB. You’re the first born, sick of playing second fiddle, always third in line, tired of finishing fourth, being the fifth wheel. There are 6 things you’re mad about and you’re taking over.
Take this quiz!


Quizilla |
Join

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

HAWT.

“Macaroni – let me finish – salad.”

best. game. ever.

Today as my son slept the last bit of his nap, and my daughter decidedly did not nap, I – on the computer, as I often do during their naps, am attempting to get some peace and my daughter talks to me from the bed mere feet away. I open a Word document, font Times size 112, turn my screen to her, and type:

GO TO SLEEP

My daughter is reading very well for her age; she is intrigued by my game and reads each word. “Me?” she asks. I nod my head, type:

OR I WILL SPANK YOU

She is officially delighted. A few more phrases, “Mama loves you”, etc. Type a word, pause. She goes back and reads them in series. Soon:

MAMA NEEDS A KISS
ON THE CHEEK

Amping it up a bit:

DINNER TONIGHT IS ENCHILADAS
Sophie continues to amaze me by reading every word, slowly, but gets stuck on the last on this particular missive, of course. I allow her a few times of sounding it out and once she gets what it says, she wrinkles her nose: “I don’t want enchiladas! I want a quesadilla!”

NO DINNER FOR YOU THEN

And so on. I feel kind of sinister. She loves it. Communicating without speaking – by sign language, reading, drawing pictures, or making animal sounds – is a thrill for her.

"Do you have to use so many curse words?"

For the second time I find FM transmitter technology just isn’t cutting it for the enjoyment of my iPod. Oh sure, sure – it’s lame I’m even buying something so chintzy with a weird, cock-like appendage and an even weirder, cock-with-elbow-like secondary extender. After all, there are classier, more expensive ways to put your massive iPod music library in your vehicle. However, the well is not bottomless, and even though my iPod was this year’s sole Kelly expendeture from the Hogaboom coffers – well, I am looking for a more reasonable solution. After returning original FM doohickey (and vowing to hate radio technology, despite the lovely and informative article on the cellular phone I read in last edition of Invention & Technology magazine, P.S. I am not kidding, I really do read that magazine) today I find out from an IM conversation, innocently enough, that a simpler and more mechanically-based adapter is available in town. I rush my daughter and I out early for our date so I can hit the store in question and grab it up (and a quarter the price of FM device).

Inside the car I begin tearing at the packaging like a monkey (“That’s a little bit awful,” observes my biscotti-eating child-date watching me scratch at the vacuum-sealed sarcophagi), finally breaking the seal thanks to my keychain swiss army knife (yes! I’m a dork. But who’s laughing now?!?), plug the “cassette” in, mash everything on the face of my iPod (Sophie requests Starsky & Hutch‘s “Two Dragons” for our maiden listen), only to have the stereo readout tell me in its fuckspeak: “c | n ” – a code meaning either, “Please clean your tape deck” or, “I will never work again”. Don’t know which yet and get to find out.

Once again, no instant gratification for yours truly.

Oh, tonight’s movie; Eragon. Don’t see it. Billed as “Lord of the Rings Light“, I’d phrase it “Lord of the Rings LITE (TM) with ‘artificial meat flavors’ and Miracle Whip“. Why do I watch this crap? Oh yeah: because I have a daughter, and we go on dates, and I refuse to watch kiddy films. This movie works for her because she has a huge affinity for anything scaly (and an even huger affinity for anything huge and scaly). And even SHE was bored by the end. Your average crap fantasy film: a young boy’s turn to manhood and the loss of loved ones (you can predict exactly when they’ll go); evil badguy (with repetitive idle threats toward his minions that remind me of so many parents on the playground and their errant toddlers, and John Malkovitch enough already and retire please), his really evil-henchman (whose makeup inexplicably gets re-creepified 2/3 of the way through the film, but I still find Robert Carlyle cute only when he’s playing a psycho); token buff warrior dude with obligatory horrific mulletude (P.S. Hollywood, I want my Djimon Hounsou served up in a loincloth, gladiator toga, ass-cheeked thong, or half-nude in a period drama, thank you!), blah blah. It actually started to get better by the end, especially when I realized they were going to save some of the typical storyline for, yes! another film. P.S. I think something sexy was going on between the boy dragonrider and his dragon. Or maybe it was just my feverish, bored mind casting for something to enjoy. I gotta admit, it was kind of hot.

So in looking up links for the last paragraph I stumbled upon the fact I have seen two movies in one week with a main character named “King Hrothgar”.

Um… look. I’ve watched a lot of movies in the last few days, people. No really… I’ve been sick and had nothing else to do. Wait, don’t leave …

I’m going to go hang my head in shame now.

because, you know, you all GIVE a shit about what we eat.

I am feeling duty-bound to report occasionally following up my grocery opus from the other day (thanks to those four people who actually trudged their way through that one, by the way!). So far we are well-fed, our fridge is tidy, and I have bought nothing – not even a cup of coffee or one roll – from a store since Sunday.

I am devoting less time mentally (and yes, emotionally), physically, and financially to food, without sacrificing the quality of what we eat. Yet, I have to reorient myself in small ways. Today in my two-hour break between being home from playschool and leaving on a trip with a friend, I had to cook a lunch (broccoli from Sunday night’s dinner with homemade ceasar dressing, hardboiled egg, and cheese cubes), then rinse and soak beans for tonight. I also made up fresh biscuits, slathered mustard and stuffed with corned beef, and prepared carrot sticks (for Sophie and I on our trip). These food errands while juggling kids, doing dishes, washing and folding laundry, helping my children clean their room, serving lunch, cleaning up after lunch and putting my son to bed, and assimilating freshly-washed hand-me-downs into their closets while winnowing out the grow-out for other families. I ain’t saying it wasn’t fun; it was. But the food preparation and cleanup this entailed when I normally would have grabbed a sandwich from a deli (and while I was there, bought a Vietnamese coffee. and some spicy pepperoni. and…) required an adjustment.

There have been only a few hiccups in our meal plan. Tonight my husband does not succeed in cooking the beans for dinner long enough (I had left instructions but somehow he didn’t get it) so at 7 PM they still needed another hour and we were already late for dinnertime (read: kids were gnawing on the table legs and, occaisonally, each other). Normally we have canned refried beans so to graduate to dried-and-soaked ones is still new. However! I had one large can in the pantry (as he pointed out) so those were heated while the whole ones were cooked and preserved in the freezer for a dinner next week.

Tomorrow we have enough dinner to invite a friend; I do. She’s bringing fresh, delicious beer from our favorite brewery. For now: a cuddle with my daughter and Season 2 Disc 2 of NBC’s “The Office”.