Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Little man, big man

My little Angry Boy is spending his second straight night in his new "big-boy bed." It was delivered just yesterday, and he loves it. Last night, he cried when we tried to put him down in his crib (because we don't have any twin-size sheets yet!). We wound up putting some full-size sheets on his bed and just tucking them in good.

I'm going to call my mom and see if I can borrow some of my old twin sheet sets I know she still has (we always wind up using them at the shore rental places in the summer). Which means AB can choose between Super Friends (including Wendy and Marvin, remember them?) or Empire Strikes Back (with Hoth scenes).

Then eventually I will really need to find him some dinosaur sheets.

20 Questions

NSAH tonight told me about this story in USA Today about the "Stop Snitching" movement.

Omerta, the Mafia's blood oath of silence, has been broken by turncoat after turncoat. But the call to stop snitching — on other folks in the 'hood — is getting louder.

Is it an attempt by drug dealers and gangsters to intimidate witnesses?

Is it a legitimate protest against law enforcers' over-reliance on self-serving criminal informers?


The slogan appeared in Baltimore about two years ago as the title of an underground DVD featuring threatening, gun-wielding drug dealers and a brief appearance by NBA star and Baltimore native Carmelo Anthony. Anthony, who later said he didn't know the video's theme, told ESPN The Magazine that the dealer-turned-informer excoriated in the DVD "ran our neighborhood. Now he's working with the state and the feds. You can't do that. He turned his back on the 'hood."

Anyway, NSAH read me the following quote in the story:

"The term 'snitch' was best applied to those that ratted revolutionaries like Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Che Guevara. ... Let's not let stupid cats use hip-hop to again twist this meaning for the sake of some 'innerganghood' violent drug thug crime dogs, who've sacrificed the black community's women and children."

And then he asked me, "Who do you think said it?"

APL: Well... obviously not Michael Eric Dyson.
NSAH: (laughing) No!
APL: Is it... a black entertainer?
NSAH: Yes.
APL: Is it an actor?
APL: Is it a rap or hip-hop artist?
NSAH: Yes.
APL: (thinking very hard before the next question) Is this person younger than 40?
NSAH: I don't think so.
APL: Is it one of the guys from Run-DMC?
NSAH: No, but of that general era.
APL: Chuck D!
NSAH: Yes!

Of course, NSAH admitted that if he had to give me a hint, all he'd be able to think to say is "Mr. D." Which is really too big a hint.

I am such the cool mom.

(According to Wikipedia, Chuck D is 45 years old.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

TMDI, Part Deux*

Upon seeing the Post's Style section this morning, I immediately thought, "I'm going to have to write a nice, long post on this Libby Lu thing."

There's a Club Libby Lu in at least one of the nearby malls, and when it first opened I just rolled my eyes and walked on by. This article, though, does a good job hinting at why this store really... and I mean really... creeps me out.

After the makeovers, the club counselors, as they're known, lead the girls [some of whom are as young as 3 and 4] in a dance, teaching them to "shimmy down" and to "shake it, shake it." ... Here, the girls fling one arm theatrically toward the ceiling. The song on the store stereo says: "Wet your lips/And smile to the camera."

It made me think of the South Park episode where all the 9-year-old girls decided they wanted to start emulating Paris Hilton. Especially because the article mentions Hilton:

They come here for the makeover parties, which start at $21.50 per girl, and they stay at least an hour, and they buy. They mix and bottle their own skin- and hair-care products. They head over to the corner known as Pooch Parlor, pick out miniature stuffed dogs, dress them in miniature T-shirts that say things like "The Royal Heiress," and carry them in "couture" dog carriers, just like Paris Hilton.

So, here I was, getting all pissy and starting to yell into the other room at my husband (who was quietly and unobtrusively engaging in his fantasy baseball live draft) about this store and why I will never let our daughter go to a birthday party there.** And then, I thought, that would really be unfair to my daughter if she was invited to a friend's party and I kept her from going. I wouldn't keep her from going to any other type of event. And I probably am odd in that I had no desire to even mess around with makeup until I was 11 or 12. So at this point in reading the article, I was still ambivalent and queasy on the issue of the relative harms of allowing my (non-existent) daughter to set foot in a Libby Lu.

And then I finally came to the end of the article, which inspired the title of this post:

At a table in a corner, a redheaded 8-year-old named Lexy Battista is getting a makeover.

"She made honor roll," says her mom, Megan.

Lexy comes here a lot. She had her eighth birthday here -- 25 girls getting "The Super Star" makeover with hair extensions, at a cost of more than $500. They arrived in a stretch limo: $600.

"It had a disco ball, huh, Lex?" says her mother. "This year you want a Hummer."

Mmmhmmm. $1,100 spent on a birthday afternoon for an 8-year-old girl. These are the people in my neighborhood, in my neighborhood, in my neighborhood, .... What's really sickening is how it's not the girl who is happily and excitedly telling the reporter about the limo's disco ball (and she certainly didn't tell the reporter that her birthday cost more than a cool thou). This mother is standing in Libby Lu, bragging (and there's no other word for it) about the extravagances she is bestowing on her girl. It's the mother mentioning the price tag and the disco ball. And the comment about the Hummer isn't a question posed to her daughter; it's an imperative ("This year you want a Hummer.").

So, while I was feeling ambivalent and torn about my non-existent daughter going to Libby Lu, now I feel strong in my convictions that she must stay away, if only to avoid women like this (at least until she's old enough that Mommy can explain why there is something so very very wrong with them).

* My previous post on the TMDI (too much disposable income) phenomenon is here.

** For those who haven't heard, I am currently living up to my moniker 100% again. Don't know whether it will be a daughter or a son, but if television has taught me anything, the order goes boy, girl, boy, etc. (See, e.g., "Growing Pains," "Mr. Belvedere.")

Friday, March 24, 2006

Carla Martin taking the Fifth?

This case just gets more and more interesting every day. I don't know if any of my blogbuddies are following it, but most of the lawyers I know in the D.C. area (especially those who practice in the E.D. Va.) are following this case even more enthusiastically than they're following the NCAA tournament.

Speaking of:

Go Mason.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wee bit evil

Tonight was another repeat of reading alone in bed. I'm loving this. (Much better than last night's 10:30 p.m. pukefest. Poor boy.)

As seen a while back at Chicago Mama:

You Are 34% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Leave me alone."

It was said with a big smile, and not in a petulant way. It was said every time I went into his room from 7:30 until 8. Tonight, for the first time, my boy asked to be left in his bed (i.e., his crib) while he read (i.e., looked at the pictures within) his book.

At 7:30, I finished reading to him and started getting him into his PJs. While I was changing him, he was holding onto a "new" book that I brought home for him. (I love when coworkers bring in their old kids' books, and I always take home at least one.) He started saying, "I go to bed?" I told him he had to brush his teeth first, and so we did that. But then he went right back to his room and walked over to his crib. I asked him if he wanted to read in bed for a little while, since it wasn't bedtime yet. He said yes, and so I helped him into his crib, turned on the reading light and turned off the overhead. He smiled and kept looking at me.

I asked him,"Do you want me to stay here while you read, or do you want me to leave you alone?"
"You leave me alone, Mommy?"
"Sure, sweetie. I'll clean up some and then check back on you in a little while."

I straightened up the living room. Some of that entailed taking stray toys back into his room to put them away. Whenever I walked into his room, he'd look up from his book at me and giggle, and say "leave me alone?" I'd excuse myself and give him his privacy.

It was wonderful. I wound up helping Not So Angry Husband repair one of our kitchen cabinet doors that had fallen during the day. We had a long, relaxing, quiet talk in the kitchen while NSAH nuked popcorn and I poured myself some Gatorade and had a handful of almonds.

Finally at 8, we went in for hugs and kisses goodnight. He cried a bit when we took his book away and turned off the light (but he's quiet and fine now). I think he would've liked to fall asleep with a book and with the light on.

Monday, March 20, 2006


The dino-crazies, they have hit. Big-time.

AB has always liked dinosaurs. When I asked him what he wanted on his sheets when he gets his big-boy bed, he answered "dinosaurs." When I ask him which shirt he wants to wear to school, he answers "dinosaurs." (Unfortunately for us, he has only one dinosaur shirt, and we can't send him to school wearing it every day lest the school call CPS on us.)

But this weekend, he went to the toy store with my mom. She bought him some plastic dinosaurs. He. Is. Enthralled. He has learned all of their names (even the hard to pronounce ones, like Parasaurolophus). At first, I thought his favorite was "the Rex dinosaur," but apparently it's Spinosaurus.

I remember being obsessed with dinosaurs when I was a kid, so I figure it's something lots of kids go through. Better dinosaurs than other obsessions, I suppose. Or so I've heard.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Lousy Smarch.

No, not really. So what if my brackets suck donkey?

Go Mason! (The only "local" team I can really root for. Can't bring myself to root for GW or Gtown.)

UPDATE: And go State! (N.C. State, that is.)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

That's my boy!

AB and I are stuck at a traffic light on the way home from dinner with Grandma (love that chicken from Popeye's!). He remarks that the light is red as we wait with about 5 cars ahead of us. The light turns green. His immediate response:

AB: Go, people.

He is so my child. I start cracking up as we slowly drive through the intersection.

APL: [AB], I'm so proud of you.
AB: I'm proud of you, too, Mommy.
APL: (cracking up some more) I love you, [AB].
AB: I love you, too, Mommy.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My life, the musical

Via Scrivener.

Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see me?
"Jackie's Strength" by Tori Amos (cool!)

Will I have a happy life?
"Wondering Where the Lions Are" by Bruce Cockburn (I take that as a "yes," given the lyrics)

What do my friends really think of me?
"Round of Silence" by Blue Yard Garden (I can be quiet sometimes, I suppose)

Do people secretly lust after me?
"Goodbye Caroline" by Aimee Mann (Hmmm, not sure what that means. I asked again and got "One Way or Another" by Blondie)

How can I make myself happy?
"Au Fond D'un Reve Dore" by Nada Surf (I can't make those French accents aigue et circonflex. Damn. Anyway, given the lyrics--originally written by Francoise Hardy--I think this means I can make myself happy by staying with NSAH.)

What should I do with my life?
"Winter" by Tori Amos. (Huh? I asked again and got "Runnin' With the Devil" by Van Halen. Kickass.)

What is some good advice for me?
"Dance the Night Away" by Van Halen. (hahahahaha.)

How will I be remembered?
"Wise Up" by Aimee Mann.

What is my signature dancing song?
"El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" by Simon & Garfunkel (These keep getting funnier and funnier.)

What do I think my current theme song is?
"Think Too Much (a)" by Paul Simon (Actually, that was my theme song in 12th grade. Not so much anymore. Having a baby took all the think-too-much outta me.)

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
"Jump" by Kriss Kross ('cause I'll make ya Jump! Jump!)

What song will play at my funeral? (Nothing will beat Scrivener's answer)
"Cocoon" by Guster. (Hmm.... I don't think so.)

What type of men/women do I like?
Men: "I Need Love" by Sam Phillips
Women: "The Rhythm of the Saints" by Paul Simon

What is my day going to be like?
"W.M.A" by Pearl Jam (Huh. So, I guess the police are going to stop my brother tomorrow. Maybe I should call up my step-brother, just in case...)

What one thing could I not live without? (I just added this, why not?)
"Shame" by Stabbing Westward (Hahahahaha. OK, now I'm wishing I hadn't added this question.)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Anger issues

Check out the comments on this post from Leslie Morgan Steiner's Post blog. Yowza, and I thought I was angry. The most puzzling posts are from an anonymous individual who keeps going on and on about a woman landing a husband through "trickery." I keep picturing someone dressing up in a Halloween costume.

WOMAN: "Ha ha, you fool. I got you to marry me, but I'm not really a sexy maid." (whips off costume to reveal normal human being)

MAN: "But... but... Trickery!"

So I wasn't the only one thinking it

From today's Post chat on the NCAA selections:

McLean, Va: Cincinnati vs Air Force? Cincy has better RPI (by 10), better SOS (5 vs 158), better non-conf SOS (22 vs 273) - - - which team should be in the NCAA tournament? Also, Cincy's biggest win was over LSU. Air Force's biggest win was over Miami, FL.

Eric Prisbell: When Air Force popped on the screen, I turned to the woman next to me and said, "Well, we're in a war, right?" This wasn't calculator vs. common sense. This was more like patriotism vs. common sense. In 17 years following the tournament closely, I can't remember a more curious at-large selection. In the last four games, Cincy lost by two to Nova, beat WV and lost by one to a just-getting-hot Cuse team. When you ask, "Which team is dangerous?" the words Air Force aren't uttered among the top 80 schools.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I love March

Our office--like many others, I'm sure--had basketball on the community TV all afternoon. I got to watch the end of the Syracuse-UConn game. Wowza. And with Florida State losing to Wake, it's looking more definitely like the ACC's only going to send 4 teams (I thought if FSU made a good run in the ACC tourney, they'd get a spot).

Oh, and y'all were quite sweet in your comments to yesterday's post. I'm actually quite fine. Just a sore throat and a slight runny nose. I'm in perfect health compared to my poor boy, who's been coughing ever since the weekend and now is beset with a stuffy/runny nose. When I picked him up at school today, his entire face was red and chappy and blotchy--I guess from having snot rubbed off his face all day. I always worry a bit about him because of his past health issues. So we used both the Pulmicort and the Albuterol tonight. He sat quietly with the nebulizer and watched "Between the Lions." Good boy. I kept telling him, "I'm so sorry, AB." And he would reply with one of three phrases:

"I'm sorry too, Mommy."
"I'm stuffy."
"I'm sick."


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Know what cures a sore throat?

My first choice would be this (in strawberry), but I drove past the McD's before I knew what I was doing. So I settled for my second choice: this.

Throat feels much better now. And I've got Diamonds Are Forever on the TV, so all is right with the world. I may even sleep some tonight (was kept awake all night by aching back, neck and shoulders).

Sunday, March 05, 2006

No fair

My son has seen 2 Oscar-winning movies (Wallace & Grommit and March of the Penguins), and I have seen none (yet).

UPDATE: BOO! OK, so I have seen one: Crash. It was the only Best Picture nominee I was able to see before the awards, and I must say, it is not Oscar-worthy! BOO!

Back to life, back to reality

Hectic, wonderful week is over. Thanks for all your great comments on the last post.

Now it's back to the (ordinary) grindstone, but hopefully I'll be doing so in a more relaxed manner.

Anyone watching the Oscars tonight? I think I will watch, even though I've seen embarrassingly few of the nominated films. I really hope Jon Stewart does well.