Sunday, March 24, 2013

Don't Mess With My Family

I haven't written in a while. I haven't felt like I had anything important to say.

Now, I do.

How dare Ralph Reed think he can criticize my family.

In case you are not familiar, Ralph Reed is a small minded, well funded (and coiffed), bigot with a big mouth here in the U.S. who loves to be on T.V. Today, in defense of the country's ongoing prejudice against same sex couples he made he argument that it is "for the children" saying: "The verdict of social science is overwhelming and irrefutable. And that is without regard to straight or gay. In other words, this applies to one-parent households, it applies to foster homes, it applies to the whole panoply – they’ve looked at them all – that the enduring, loving, intact, biological mother and father is best for children."

What the huh?

First of all, "science" is not a citation. Give me studies, Ralph, give me names. I want empirical evidence here, not just something your buddies heard behind the 7-11 before the latest Westboro protest. And not just one study, I want to see a lot of them. They all better have big sample sizes too. I have seen enough of these "500 hundred first cousins" bullshit surveys to know the difference.

This is my family. 
Also, have you looked at the demographics of the United States of America lately? While you may be living in a "Leave it to Beaver" world, this is definitely more of a "Full House" country now.  I'm not just talking about liberal, commie, granola crunching weirdos either. I am talking about your so-called base of Christian fundamentalists. Families are taking all shapes and sizes, no matter your political or religious bent. No, they may not have two Moms, or two Dads, but they likely will have only one or the other under one roof, and have foster or adopted children as well. Do you really think now is the time to start excluding them from the "big tent?"

Lastly, in your defense of DOMA, and Prop 8, and your attack on families, you are trying to somehow say some are better than others. I agree, some are. But it has nothing to do with demographics; it has to do with love. All families will have good times and bad; whether they share DNA, or live in the same house, or have parents of the same gender. It is how we deal with those times, not the statistical picture, that matters.

I wish any of this would make a difference to him. I know it makes a difference to me. I know that I am raising a child in a world that still has so many prejudices it makes me afraid for her. I want her to know that her family is the one place she is always safe, and never judged. It makes it hard when it feels like people are judging her family.

So, I will fight like a rabid badger until that is not the case.

Come at me, Ralph Reed, and bring all your "science" with you. I will fight you with the love I use to protect my daughter.

The love of a Mother.

Because we are family. And not some discounted family.

The real damn deal.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This is Where I Live

Utah is going to be in the news for the next few days.

No, it isn't because the Sundance film festival is starting, or because we have another Nobel prize winning scientist among us. It isn't even because the Mormon church is making headlines. It's because some idiot decided to go into a store like this.

Yes, that is an assault rifle. Yes, it is perfectly legal for him to be carrying it. Under Utah state law as long as the gun is unloaded, or he has a concealed carry permit, he can take it anywhere he wants, no matter if it makes others around him feel unsafe, or if he has mental problems, or if it is just plain dumb. Yes, the police can stop and question him, but as long as he meets the criteria, he can do what he wants.

Do we all see the problem with this?

Guns are becoming more important than people.

More important than maintaining a civil society.

Don't tell me this is about rights. If this were about rights then the same people screaming about guns would be screaming that homosexual couples should have the right to express their love like all other Americans, and that women should be able to make their own reproductive decisions. After all, don't all "slippery slopes" end at the bottom?

Don't tell me this is about safety. I could quote a millions studies showing how a gun in the home is more likely to get the residents injured or killed than any intruder. How having a gun involved in a  crime raised the risk of fatalities. How most of the people who commit gun crimes own their firearm, don't steal it. However, if you have ignored those studies before, you are going to ignore them now.

Don't tell me this is about hunting, or self-reliance.  That dude is not going hunting at JC Penney. I know they claim to have "killer prices" but I don't think he is trying to take it to the extreme.

What this is about (at least as far as I am concerned) is intimidation. It's about people who feel their way of life is being threatened and so they are figuratively and literally pulling out the big guns.  They feel they are becoming the minority after so long in power, and it's scary. I get that. But the answer isn't to threaten your fellow citizens, even under the guise of trying to protect you and them. After all, I bet if anyone talked to that guy he would say the gun was "for protection."

I really wish that we could all just talk about this. That I could say to someone "I fear that guns are becoming so prevalent that I want background checks on the parents of all of my daughter's friends" without being told I am a liberal fascist (yeah, I know, but I have seen the term used). I am sure that gun owners want to vent their fears of inadvertently being painted as criminals because they are exercising a constitutional right.

That won't happen though -- at least not right now. So, maybe we could all just agree not to be total assholes. At least not in ways that makes everyone else in the state have to explain to their friends why exactly it is we live here again. We can only extoll the beauty of the mountains, and the not so weird liquor laws, so many times.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Mighty Pen(manship)

I have horrible handwriting. My husband describes it as "serial killer-esque, if the serial killer was always in a hurry."

Wait, that probably doesn't give you the full effect.

That's better. See what I mean? It is not good handwriting. It's the reason I try to type almost everything. Of course, there are some things you just can't type, like thank you notes, and funny personalized messages on Christmas cards. Every time I have to write one I wonder if this will be the time the person receiving the note will think "enough is enough, the nightmares about Libby keeping my head in her freezer with a poorly scrawled label are not worth this" and cut off contact. So, about November I decided it was time to work on my penmanship, and make it a little less creepy.

A little less scary, but it kind of looks like what they teach in serial killer kindergarten to get them to blend in with society.

But I think I need to take meth to keep that up.

Yeah, you don't want to know how long it took me to write that. It would take me ages to just make a shopping list. And I know it's not correct, because my Mom and my sister both write beautifully in cursive. I just speak beautifully in it. (Get it? Cursive? Like swearing? Man, I am clever.)

I think it's less scary, but still kind of casual. No, it doesn't give me a reason to handwrite my blog and just post a picture of it, but I think it will also stop people from screaming "oh my eyes" when they open a heartfelt letter from me. At least they won't feel like I'm yelling at them. Yes, I am capable of heartfelt letters.

Of course, Ryan has pointed out it may be more serial killer-esque to try to change my handwriting and appear more friendly, than just keep my old handwriting.

I guess only time will tell on that one.


I mean, work on on my penmanship.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I Miss Santa

Before I had a kid I used to say things like "I don't think we'll perpetuate the Santa Claus myth," and "I don't see why I should have to bribe my child to behave well with some imaginary specter." 

God, I was an asshole. 

As the mother of a 3-year old who has just come through the holiday season I am hear to sing loud and proud: Santa Claus is the greatest invention ever. Better than sliced bread. Better than indoor plumbing. Don't tell it I said this, but possibly better than wine. 

Just the mention of Santa's name is enough to stop a full fledged toddler fit -- which I think we all know have been scientifically proven to be all but unstoppable. His name gets food eaten. It gets bedtimes observed. It brings moments of blissful quiet in times of chaos brought on by too much time in the car, too much time between meals, or too much excitement. It's powerful enough that the words don't even have to be said, that just the thought needs to be present. Meg actually started self correcting behavior before I could say anything, aware that "Santa is watching." She would be on the verge of a meltdown, and then go silent. The only sound from her? The soft singing of "Santa Claus is coming to town." It was half prayer, half warning -- and it filled my heart with Grinchy glee.

Now though, Santa is gone. The world is dark and cold again. 

I tried summoning him, saying that "Santa is still watching," three days after Christmas when Meg painted her toes -- not toenails but entire toes -- with nail polish from her much coveted "Hello Kitty" make-up kit. For a second I thought it was going to work, until she looked up at me with the eyes of an expert and said "he's resting after Christmas, Mom." 

Then later she painted her fingers. 

I was thinking maybe there could be some other seasonal figures to be employed in a similar Santa matter. I know the Easter Bunny is the obvious first choice, but it just doesn't jibe for me. I can work out a rationale for Santa bringing presents on Jesus' birthday. After all, birthday = presents. However, I just can't make sense of a large rabbit bringing candy and goodies to commemorate a mob murder. Yes, I know the ending is positive, but still... 

What about Martin Luther King Jr.? It's a birthday celebration, and maybe he "has a dream" children will behave? Or what about arbor day? Maybe trees bloom presents for children who eat more than three bites of dinner without Geneva like negotiations. 

Neither one has the same panache though. Nothing does. Let's face it, if anyone could come up with another enforcer as good as Santa Hallmark would have capitalized on it by now. 

Now I just have to sit and wait. Use my patience. Hope that if I am a good enough Mom come November once again Meg will fall under the spell of the man in red. If I'm bad, she may not believe again next year, and end up hucking coal at my head. 

Wait! I've got it! Flag day! 

Okay, so I'm still kind of an asshole. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

That's Not Entertainment

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel should be ashamed of themselves.

Apparently, at their wedding, a friend gifted them with an "inside joke" video of homeless and transgender people wishing them well, under the guise of being "friends" who "couldn't make it"to the couple's lavish nuptials. Timberlake later apologized for the video, and he should have. It was in poor taste. It made light of the lack of money, education, and health care many Americans deal with every day. It harshly delineated the differences between the "haves," the "have nots," and the "have even mores." Really, who partakes in that kind of "entertainment?" 

I mean, other than millions of Americans every day. 

No, I am not saying that most Americans bring home a homeless person to make fun of as they throw pennies. Maybe the Trumps, but not most Americans. However, I know that at least three million Americans are indulging in something similar: "Here comes Honey Boo, Boo." Oh, and that doesn't count the ones that don't watch the show, but still mock her and her family on various websites. 

I know, you're saying "this is sooo not the same thing." Isn't it? No, the viewers and their friends didn't go to Honey Boo Boo's house and film her and her family. They left that to the "professionals" at TLC.  However, they are still tuning in to watch them and laugh at their "antics" so they can feel better about themselves. You know, their antics that include a lack of education, money, and health care. Their antics that would make them not welcome at the tables of their viewers, or a Hollywood wedding. Their antics that make it somehow "acceptable" for grown adults to go as a 7-year old girl for Halloween. 

She's a kid. Not a punchline. 
Now you're saying "but they're being paid." Okay. Great. So, you can laugh at someone if you give them some cash? Because money is more important than dignity? Than humanity? If that is the argument being made then we are on a very slippery slope as a society. 

Maybe we are already going down that slope. After all, while "Honey Boo Boo" is the most visible example, there are plenty of other programs centered on laughing at the protagonists: "Hillbilly Handfishing," "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding." Pretty much if it's on TLC or the "History" channel, it's one of the genre. 

How can we, as a society, be so anti-bullying, and yet let our "entertainment" choices be programmed with little other than bullying. Are we saying that if a bully throws a kid a buck and says it was a "god show" after calling him "fag," it's okay? I know that sounds extreme, but is it really far off? 

Or should we all be ashamed of ourselves? 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I really wish Joe Biden would stop emailing me. 

Not just him, either. I'm tired of getting emails from Barack. And Michelle. And Bill Clinton. And even -- no, I can't believe I am saying this -- Beyonce. I want them all to stop with the emails. 

First of all, they really shouldn't be concerned about my vote. If I could have "bleeding heart liberal" tattooed somewhere on my person without using ouchy needles to do it, I would. There is no way I am voting for Mitt Romney. He could fly through the air on a golden unicorn, tossing down hundred dollar bills and birth control, then land and perform a same-sex wedding ceremony, and I still would wouldn't vote for him. If President Obama is one hundred percent sure of one vote this year, it's mine. He doesn't need to keep sending me little "Hey" messages to remind me he's running. 

Okay, so the emails are probably about money. The campaign needs it. I get it. What I don't get? A large paycheck. If I did, I would probably be voting for unicorn boy (no, I wouldn't). I am a local news producer, married to an educator, trying to put a kid through an independent school. The fact we gave anything at all shows just how devoted we are to this campaign. 

Also, I have to say the emails kind of insult my intelligence. Do they really think I believe the President, or even Biden for that matter, was sitting at his desk, worried about the campaign and thought "I know who can help! Libby! I mean, her blog alone reaches tens of people on a yearly basis! She will save the day!" 

I don't. Oh, and I've read all the articles about how using my name in the email will supposedly make me more likely to read it. I guess they haven't read the ones about how everyone knows about cut and paste. 

I think it would be even worse for the President if I actually did believe he and his high powered political friends are sitting around sending these emails out. They're supposed to be running a campaign and the country but they have time to email me? Even the ridiculously stupid version of me would see that's a bad use of time. 

I am glad to see though that the Obama campaign isn't the only one abusing the power of email though. According to Politico Romney is spamming the people who, like me, thought supporting their candidate meant handing over an email address. I can only imagine what's in those emails -- and it's definitely not money and free birth control. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-changes. Or not.

This weekend I slapped on a pair of Spanx, slathered on some BB cream, tried to remember how to use a curling iron, and headed off for my 20th high school reunion. 

Yes, I graduated high school when I was 8. No, wait, actually, I was 6. 
I know what you are thinking.
Yep, my hair was that awesome.
Oh, and it made me 5'8".
I was actually pleasantly surprised to see my classmates. Yes, the one mean spirited boy who liked to target insecure girls is now a mean spirited man who picks the same targets, but this insecure girl is now more willing to let it roll off her back. For the most part though, we've all remained pretty nice people. And, know what's weird? I don't think any of us look that different. 

I mean, we have to. It's been 20 years. We've all gotten older, and our hair has greyed or thinned. Some of us have put on weight. When I looked at these people though, some of whom I hadn't seen since the day we graduated, I still saw who they were. And then I wondered why they were married to people who are so much older than they are. 

Maybe time is like beer. It gives you goggles. Maybe when you know someone in youth you will always see them that way, no matter what the years pile on. After all, no one ever really changes. Sure, they go to medical school, or they develop new world views, or pick up veganism, or decide that an English accent suits them better, but at the core something constant remains. Voices still sound the same. Jokes are told in the same manner. Body language is still familiar. And it's comforting. At least to me. 

It's nice to know that if I still see youth in these people, maybe they still see it in me. Because, really, I don't feel any different than I did 20 years ago. I'm stronger, and I'm more confident, and I pay my own bills, but I know that spark I had in me at 17,  I mean at 6, is still there. The kid in me isn't disappointed in who I became, because she is still there, and telling me that the game isn't over yet, that there is still more to do. 

She's also telling me Spanx are absolutely ridiculous. But she doesn't really want to go to the gym either. 

See? I'm still the same. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lessons With Libby

There are so many things I like about Meg starting school. Watching her run, not walk to her classroom every day. Hearing her talk about her school friends and how none of them like to share. Watching her become more confident, and more compassionate with every day that she is in class. Realizing that maybe we haven't done a half bad job raising her.

Yep, all of those things are really great.

My favorite thing though?

It's given me an absolutely fabulous new way for me to mess with my husband.

For those of you just joining us, my husband is a high school administrator. For years I have listened to his stories about the overprotective parents, the parents who push their kids too hard, the parents who do not pay attention to what their kids are doing, the parents who think their kids can do no wrong, the parents who are waaaay too permissive, and the parents who are just all out nightmares.

And now? I get to pretend to be all of them.

The other day Meg came home with sand in her hair. She told me a little girl in her class had thrown it at her, and that she had then been made to apologize and help Meg clean it off. Okay, no harm, no foul, move on. That's how I reacted internally. This is how I reacted when Ryan got home:
ME: We need to call the Millers (not their name).
RYAN: Who are they?
ME: Their daughter threw sand at Meg today. I think we need to call them and discuss the situation.
RYAN: Libby, please don't be this person.
ME: Do you think it's because she's black?
RYAN: For f@*k's sake lady! Are you serious?!
See how much fun it is? Okay, okay. So, the classroom has this stuffed bear that goes home with one of the kids every weekend. Meg was VERY disappointed that it wasn't her turn yet last week. We sat down and talked about it; how her turn will come eventually, and laid out some preliminary plans about all the things we will take "baby bear" to do. Then Ryan got home.
ME: Meg didn't get to take baby bear home. Miller (again, not the name) did.
RYAN: Well, she'll get a turn eventually.
ME: Maybe we could call and see if we could just "visit."
RYAN: Are you doing this again?
ME: Or maybe we could just go over and take it.
RYAN: Please stop.
ME: They haven't met us. We could pretend to be Jehovah's Witnesses. Then BAM, we bust in and grab the bear.
RYAN: Can I at least get in the door first before you become that parent?
ME: OH! And then all the kids in class will be mad at Miller. And then Meg can say she found baby bear in a trash can and she'll be a hero!
RYAN: Wasn't there a vow about not doing this at our wedding? 
I'm kinda giving it a break now, because I want there to be an element of surprise. After all, if I use up all the crazy now he'll get immune. And then what kind of reaction will I get when I ask about SAT prep courses at Parent Teacher conferences? Or ask if we should throw a rager after 3 Pre-K graduation?

It's gonna be a great year!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bad Kitty

As the mother of a toddler I have seen my share of bad or insipid television. I have also seen your share, and your uncle's share, and your cousin's, sister's landlord's share.* For the most part though, I have kept my thoughts about the shows to myself (and Twitter) and reminded myself that they are not scripted for me, but for my daughter.

When I wanted  to set glue traps for "Angelina Ballerina?" I just smiled and thought of how she teachers Meg about dance.

When I wanted to take the "Wonder Pets" to the pound? I thought about how they teach co-operation.

When I wondered if there is a glue factory in "Pony Land?" Yeah, I couldn't think of anything they really teach, but I was happy that they cam keep her quiet while I make dinner.

I have finally reached the end of my rope though.

I have found the show that has no redeeming value, and is so annoying that when Meg asks if we can watch a movie I reply "anything but that one."

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you "The True Story of Puss in Boots."

No, I am not talking about the Dreamworks movie with the voice of Antonio Banderas. That's "Puss in Boots" and looks like "Hamlet" with Sir Laurence Olivier compared to this nightmare.

This "Puss" is a bad English overdub of an even worse French animated film, which I am sure was made just to trick Europeans (and suspecting Americans with Netflix) into seeing a movie they thought starred Zorro. Instead? We got William Shatner.

Yes, that William Shatner. Actually, this is an even worse William Shatner than the one you are familiar with. This one is devoid of any of Shatner's blustery charm, and instead is imbued with a mincing, smarmy, bad John Waters as a cat impersonation. There are fingernails on the chalkboard and then there is this: fingernails on your soul.

And Shatner's cat isn't even the worst part. I can't even believe I just wrote that, but it's true.

The "human" characters are the stuff of nightmares. A drunk queen and king. An "evil" counselor. An ogre. A princess and her "dancers."

After watching that I feel I should ask you to show me where on the doll the video clip hurt you. You should thank me the quality isn't better. It makes it slightly less creepy.

And there's more.

There is one character with what can be considered a "black" accent. He's "from Jamaica."

It's this one:

Yeah, that's right HE'S A FUCKIN' MONKEY! You know, because we are such a post-racial society that it's okay.



I think you can see why this movie, or, for my Canadian friends, film, makes me start Googling "Old Priest/Young Priest combo SLC."

But Meg loves it.

I mean LOVES it.

It's what she wants to watch when she has "been really good." When she has "eaten a good dinner." When she has "won the nobel prize."

Okay, maybe not the last one, but a Mom can hope.

Like I can hope Meg will embrace the artistry of "Breaking Bad." Because that's what I want to watch.
But then THAT makes me a bad Mom.

At least Gus Fring isn't a sterotype.

*Apologies to Denis Leary

Sunday, September 16, 2012

An Open Letter to the Person Who Hacked My Pinterest Account

Dear Idiot,

Yes, I feel that we are close enough that I can call you Idiot. After all, I don't know your real name, and you feel we are close enough to share a Pinterest account. That's right, I know you hacked it.

Now, I am guessing you are new to hacking. Why am I guessing that? First and foremost, because you hacked a PINTEREST account. Is this your first time on the web? Has no one explained Pinterest to you? It is  a website where most women and five men look at pretty pictures and procrastinate about making good food and redecorating their homes. Yes, occasionally we pin things about budgeting and self-improvement, but that's just so we don't look like shallow jerks. Really, the only website that would have been less productive to hack would have been "Club Penguin."

Actually, "Club Penguin" probably would have been better, because they store credit card numbers.

Now, I know, you're saying "but everyone is on Pinterest, and all tubes on the interwebs have to lead to some valuable information." That's cute. Really, it is. I just want to pinch your little hackery cheeks. Let me just clue you in right now: Pinterest is as far away from "real information" as "Honey Boo Boo Child" is from "quality programming."

Sorry. I didn't mean to be so direct. But, otherwise, when will you learn?

I really enjoyed those pins you posted for me though. I am sure my 105 (yep, not a lot, you really picked an influential account to hack) TOTALLY believed I want them to check out "amazing work from home occupations." You know, because that's so me. Because that's so ANYONE who doesn't have the middle name "ponzi."

In closing, I would just like to wish you well in your hacking, and hope you get better at it. Maybe you can get tips on Pinterest. Probably not though, so maybe you can find a recipe for a good low-fat, Paleo spinach dip.



P.S.  Pinterest is really good at letting members know when their accounts have been accessed remotely. Just in case you needed a bit more help.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cup O' Trouble

Over the years I have been, for the most part, lucky enough to work in close proximity to people who don't make me want to poke out my own eyes. The women, and men, I have had to share space with have had few bad qualities and have somehow not found my bad qualities that objectionable. Either that or they just haven't had the balls to say anything. Both are a win in my book.

Currently, I share seven feet of desk space with a woman named Molly. I don't like to play favorites, but Molly is in the desk mate top ten out of all the people I could possibly share a desk with in the whole wide world. Oh, and I actually love playing favorites.

Molly and I are both theater drop outs with wicked senses of humor fueled by mean streaks neither of us like to admit we have and try hard to conceal. When I write that out it makes us sound bad, but really, we're a lot of fun.

Life isn't all snarky remarks on Twitter and critiquing the "Today" show though. There is a darker side to getting along so well with someone at work. A side few people like to talk about.


No, not cocaine. We work in television news, not high finance. We can't even afford cocaine knock offs. No kokane for us. Ours is a much cheaper, yet just as bloating addiction: Cup O'Noodles.

Molly and I each blame the other for bringing this salty, chicken flavored, oh so delicious scourge from the mini mart downstairs to our desk. I guess it doesn't matter who started it any more though.

When we started it was just when we really needed a pick me up, or on special occasions. Soon though, it was every day. We made excuses to head to the mini mart. Breath mints. V8. To check if the cottage cheese cups had finally expired. We knew why we were really going though. And each time, whichever one of us went made sure to bring back two. After all, it's easier to do something so wrong if you aren't acting alone.

We've gone on like this for month. Pretending we just really like water. Like our fingers are swollen because of the heat. Like the three freeze dried peas are a serving of vegetables.

I knew it was a real problem though today, when I went into the grocery store and this sight almost brought me to my knees:

Okay, not just the sight of it. The fact my first thought was "how many do we need." You know, because one case definitely wouldn't be enough for two women over 30 searching for hypertension.

I have to tell Molly it's over. We have to stop chasing the MSG dragon, or go ask Alice for some diuretics, or look for Nissan Anonymous. There have to be 12 steps for this. I'm guessing at least one is admitting "just add water" is not the answer to all problems.

We'll just have to take it one day at a time.

It's either that, or eventually co-workers will find us under our desk, snorting salt right from the shaker.

Then both of us will definitely go on the "do not sit by" list.

Monday, September 3, 2012

5 Things I learned while celebrating my 39th Birthday on Catalina Island

I am letting Tara guest post today because: 1. It was her birthday and I didn't get her anything. I am hoping I can convince her this is her "gift." 2. She posted this on Facebook and it really is too funny not to share, even though admitting she may be as funny, if not funnier, as I am makes my blood boil with rage. 


5 Things I learned while celebrating  my 39th Birthday on Catalina 

1. Take the Dramamine. Even if you think you don't need it, you 
know what? Just take it. You won't be sorry.

2. There is no happy hour special worth walking 3/4 of a mile while carrying a 28 pound toddler.  There is a reason those tacos are only a dollar. Let it go.  

3.  Sweaty, shirtless old dudes with beer bellies standing in the sun listening to crappy Santana covers... they're on Libby's team (my apologies to any sweaty, shirtless old dudes who may be reading 
this. I didn't mean you...yes I did.)

4. Dogs should not ride in golf carts. They are clearly humiliated.  And not just by the fact that their owner is wearing a "Wastin' away in Catalinaville" t shirt.  A dog driving a golf cart, however, is fine.

5. Catalina Island is very beautiful and we had a great time and now it can be added to the list other things I need never do again. Like rock climbing, nudist weekends and watching Lars von Trier movies. 

Just kidding-I've never watched a Lars von Trier movie.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Office Politics

I work for a company that can only be called "conservative." Many people have called it many other things, but for our purposes, let's just leave it at "conservative." If you have ever read my blog, or my Twitter feed, or been within a 50 mile radius of me (even if I am just flying in a plane over your general area) you know that I am anything BUT conservative. I am a Godless, commie, bleeding heart, tax and spend, any other negative epithet you want to throw at me liberal.  

Still, I like my job. My job seems to like me.

I figure discussing politics in the workplace is never a good idea no matter where you work. I figure that my co-workers, many of whom I am sure disagree with me ideologically, are polite enough not to bring it up, so I am as well. I figure no one agrees 100% with everything their company does. I figure where I work is only a part of who I am, not the sum total. I figure anyone who knows me, will know that. 

People who randomly call my office? They obviously don't. Take for example the call I took this morning:

          CALLER: I'm sick of you trying to push your conservative agenda on me. 
          ME: Excuse me?  
          CALLER: Oh, don't try to pretend. You right wing, Christian conservative bigot! 
          ME: Sir, do you have something specific you want me to address? 
          CALLER: Specific? How about the fact you think you can step all over people's rights!
          ME: I don't think that in the least, Sir. I voted for Obama. I give money to the ACLU. To Planned Parenthood. To the NAACP. 
           CALLER: You have no right!
           ME: Sir, I don't know what right you are talking about. How can I help you? 
           CALLER: By not trying to silence liberal views. That's what Hitler did.
           ME: Sir, I'm sorry you feel that way. Try reading my blog. There are some liberal views for you. And the Hitler card? REALLY? 
           CALLER: You just don't get it. 
           ME: I don't know what you want me to get. 
           CALLER: You and all your Romney supporting buddies. Only worried about your money. 
           ME: Silence. I wouldn't vote for Romney if I were strapped to an ant hill covered in honey. And money? Honey, I got none. 
           CALLER: I hope you're happy. 
           ME: Alright. Have a nice day.  

That isn't the first call like that I've taken. It won't be the last. I know there are some who think I am being untrue to myself, and my beliefs by not speaking up, by not asserting myself. Maybe I am. Or, maybe I just know the time and place to do it. 

And I know it's not my office. 

No matter how many names I am called. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pack Rat

What a difference a month makes!

Meg is growing up so fast. She starts school in two weeks. Her vocabulary is exploding. She sleeps in her own "big girl" bed. Potty training is done. Her tastes are turning from Disney Princesses (disturbing) to Alvin and the Chipmunks (annoying).

Oh, and she is turning into Navin R. Johnson.

You know, the Steve Martin character from '"The Jerk."

I'm not saying this because she was born a poor black child. I mean, the black part, yes, but her circumstances really don't qualify for less than "lower middle class."

I'm not saying this because she has a fascination with the phone book. Hell, I don't think she would know a phone book if it came up and bit her. We, like most Americans now take the phone book(s) straight from the porch to the recycling bin, stopping maybe to take off the crappy magnet on the front. Meg may eventually get excited about a school directory, but definitely not a phone book.

So, what is it about Meg that makes her so "Navinesque?"

She has to take everything with her.

Every morning, as Meg leaves the house, she picks up things she just can't do without. Why can't she do without them? Because she saw them as she was leaving the house.


It started slowly at first.

A stuffed animal.

A blanket.

An extra pair of shoes.

A coloring book.

Then, before we knew it, Meg was heading out the door with two dolls, every stuffed bunny in the house, two pairs of princess high heels, three pacifiers, a box of fruit snacks, a DVD of "Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang" and a child sized plastic chair.

I like to think the chair is an homage to the movie.

This morning was a bit better, but her Dad still couldn't get her out without her musical stuffed seahorse, a kazoo, a magnifying glass, and several strands of Mardi Grad beads.

Now, I know some of think Meg must be taking these things with her because she wants to take a long the comforts of home as she heads out into the big, cold, cruel.

Yeah, no. We don't drop her off at the Greyhound station.

That "big, cold cruel world" is her grandmother's house -- otherwise known as the kid Hilton. Oh, and when she's not there she's with my aunt, otherwise known as the kid Hyatt. Seriously, what she is doing is like packing up the lamps at the Motel 6 so she has something to amuse herself while she's waiting for room service.

Maybe it's our fault. Ryan and I are notorious over packers. On our recent week long trip to Big Sur  we took three suitcases. No, we probably didn't need our scuba gear, but we were on the coast, and it is 2012, and you can't be too careful. Also, I packed all of those ziplock bags because you don't know what you might encounter outside of Utah. After all, in California they sell wine in the grocery store. 

Whatever the origin, I am hoping this "Jerk" phase leads to bigger and better things. A love of Cyrano perhaps, a love of art collecting, a devotion to bluegrass music, or maybe even several SNL hosting gigs. Hopefully not a love of movies that bring Bonnie Hunt from a feminist comic icon to a schlocky punch line.

And if none of those things happen?

Well, at least she isn't emulating "Smokey and the Bandit."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cemetery Visit

I love cemeteries. It's strange since the very thought of my death, or the death of anyone close to me, or death in general, can send me spiraling into a panic attack. Strangely enough though, whenever I am in a cemetery I don't really think about death. I don't even think about Morrissey. I just enjoy the quiet.

When we were in Boston I had one day completely to myself when Ryan had a conference. First, I was planning to do a total day of pampering: get my hair cut, get my nails done; all the things I can't do with a toddler hanging from my wrist. Then my "tourist's guilt" got the better of me though, and I decided to hit the sites. I was going to go to museums, and maybe see the Freedom Trail for the thirtieth time in my life. Then I remembered something very important about myself: I don't like crowds, especially when I am alone in the middle of them. Unfortunately I didn't realize it until I was stuck in the middle of people dressed in colonial dress, and people in tourists wearing "Bah-stan" t-shirts, but I did realize it before I starting involuntarily yelping and swinging my arms. I got out my phone, and googled "hidden Boston." At the top of the list was my destination: Mt. Auburn Cemetery.
That girl? Over there? She was the only other person I saw there for three hours.

Tons of wildlife. I tried to get a good picture of these wild turkeys, but didn't want to get too close in case I became the "woman who went to a cemetery and then was ironically killed by turkeys."

A fresh one. I didn't step on it in case a zombie hand was waiting.

Hawk eating a squrriel. Once again, didn't get too close.
I figured the turkeys not killing me was favor enough for the day.

It looks even weirder in person.

Seriously, if you are ever in Boston, you need to check Mt. Auburn cemetary out. It's gorgeous, and it fulfills the requirement of seeing historic sites -- without having to deal with anyone wearing a tri-cornered hat. Oh, and it's free...

Remember, though, don't get too close to the turkeys.