Saturday, July 29, 2006

Cool parents

For some reason, we got our Sunday Post inserts on Friday (they usually come on Saturday afternoon), so I got to read Marc Fisher's feature on "toxic parents" last night. The "toxic parents" he refers to are desperate to be thought of as "cool parents," so much so that they will cave in to all their kids' wishes, throwing parties with alcohol or looking the other way during co-ed sleepovers.

The odd thing is, among my friends growing up, we all agreed that my mom was the "cool mom." And my friend A's dad was the "cool dad." And it's not because they plied us with alcohol (we never would've even asked). And it's not because they were hands-off about our whereabouts (I always had to let my mom know exactly where I was, and she would always call the parents of the kids whose parties I was attending to make sure they'd be there, supervising).

But still, she was the "cool mom." She took me and my friends to concerts. She took me and my friends to soccer and baseball games (as did A's dad, which is partly why he was the "cool dad"). She took me and my friends to amusement parks (and let us wander off by ourselves, so long as we met back at a designated place and time). She let me and my friends go downtown by ourselves for the afternoon.

Did she let me drink while I was in high school? Occasionally. She and I both like the taste of good beer, and every now and then she would offer one of her beers to me with dinner (this was not till I was 17, as I recall). I would never ask, but if she offered, I would sometimes accept. I drank because I liked the taste, and definitely not to get drunk. (At my dad's house growing up, we would all occasionally drink wine with dinner on special occasions, but I hardly ever finished my glass--still not a big wine drinker today.)

I don't know that there is one tried & true solution for parents of teens. I think a lot of it depends on the teen, and how much responsibility he or she has earned. My mom gave me and my friends a lot of freedoms, as I saw it, because we were good kids. We did well in school and, more importantly, didn't abuse what freedoms we had. We didn't stay out later than our curfews (and if we were running late, we always called). We didn't try to sneak alcohol at parties (well, one party excepted, but that was a blip on the radar, and we were all so paranoid about being caught that no one got drunk).

I fully intend to be the same kind of parent. When AB goes over to friends' houses, I will be speaking to their parents ahead of time. I will not be providing AB's friends with alcohol at my house. If I smell marijuana or alcohol on my child, you can bet your ass I'm not going to shrug and say, "Kids will be kids."

Despite my good parenting role models, though, I am still apprehensive about what the future will bring for my kid(s). I know that there's really only so much I can do. I cannot always be there to supervise, nor would I want to be. I realize that I can only stick to my plan, and then pray that everything works out OK.

Those of you who have raised teens (YT, jo(e) and others), have you had to deal with "toxic parents"?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

These people suck

The husband and I are watching VH1's World Series of Pop Culture, and the category is Saturday Night Live trivia. We have swept the category. Meanwhile, the contestants have only gotten three answers right.

And neither knew that Mr. Pibb and Red Vines = crazy delicious. Losers.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I blame the pregnancy

I used the word "funner" today. I wasn't trying to be stupid or ironic, either. I actually uttered that word in a sentence. Right after it came out of my mouth, I shuddered. I have never used that word before. And I mean never--not even when I was a kid. I distinctly remember hearing other kids use it within earshot of my mother, who rapidly told me that we say "more fun" instead of "funner." So I have no idea where it came from today.

On an unrelated matter, my son has decided that if we have a baby girl, she needs to be named "Lion." So I hope we have a boy.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Where does the good go?

(That song is playing on my TV right now as I try to collect my thoughts after a hectic week.)

I am tired.
I need more fiber.
I am too tired to think about ways to sneak more fiber into my diet.
I should be working.
I am too tired to work.
We'll be having company over the weekend.
Tomorrow night I have to clean the house, and shop for birthday presents.
I am too tired to clean and/or shop.

I'll stop grumbling now. It's really not so bad. Aside from the whole tired thing, that is.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I freakin' love this weather

Today on the drive home, the external thermometer on my car measured 98 degrees. Wish I could've spent more time outside. I think I like this crazy ass heat so much because it's one of the few things that slows my typically frenetic mind. In normal conditions, I tend to think too much and my mind wanders all over the place. In really oppressive heat, however, all I can do is just sense the heat and survive. It's great.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

There's always next weekend

Crappy weekend, in that many fun plans had to be canceled. The things that made me feel better:
  • Watching "The Great Muppet Caper" for the first time in about 20 years

  • Eating my new favorite flavor ice cream that NSAH bought me from the store

  • Hearing AB laugh his head off as Small Dog went to town, licking the boy on his arms, legs, feet and face as if he were made of the aforementioned ice cream

  • Knowing that we have sweet, sweet neighbors who will come through for us in an emergency

  • The fact that I'll be watching "Reno 911!" later tonight

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

We built this city on really, really cheesy songs

The responses to this post have inspired me to collect and expose to you all what I think are the most embarrassing songs in my iTunes collection (I am not including songs purchased or otherwise uploaded to my computer for the purpose of entertaining my son--although I would maintain that his musical taste is quite sophisticated.)

  1. "Lonely Boy" by Andrew Gold

  2. "Break Stuff" by Limp Bizkit (for when I'm a really angry pregnant lawyer)

  3. "Who Let the Dogs Out" by Baha Men

  4. "Tubthumping" by Chumbawumba

  5. "Superman (It's Not Easy)" by Five for Fighting

  6. "Underneath It All" by No Doubt (this song is just horrible, though the rest of the album is quite good)

  7. "Your Body Is a Wonderland" by John Mayer

  8. "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" by Baz Luhrmann(?)

  9. "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees

  10. "We Built This City" by Starship


In my defense, let me state that most of these songs appear on my computer because they were on compilation CDs.

This was actually a fun but difficult exercise, because while I assume there are some people who would consider other songs in my collection (e.g., Sanford & Townsend's "Smoke From a Distant Fire" or Supertramp's "Goodbye, Stranger" or Little River Band's "Reminiscing") to be quite embarrassing and shameful, I would fiercely defend those very songs and their inclusion in my music collection.

So now it's your turn: what are the most embarrassing songs you have on your iPod?

To you Blogger-literate folks out there

Why is the comment page to my previous post not coming up? For two days now, I've clicked the link to no avail. I know there's a comment from Corndog, followed by a response from me.

Anyone have any suggestions? Or are the wit and widsom of Corndog and myself now lost forever?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday Night Discovery Random 10

Haven't done one of these in a while... happily, because I haven't been up too late working recently. But I am tonight, so here's what I'm listening to:

  1. "Back Where I Was," The Hereafter

  2. "Wait For Jane," Tammany Hall NYC

  3. "I'll Be You," The Replacements

  4. "Cars Are Cars," Paul Simon

  5. "The Sweetest Drop," Peter Murphy

  6. "Vineyard," Jackopierce

  7. "Use Me," Bill Withers (from my Corndog-created mix CD, I'd like to brag)

  8. "Universe & U," KT Tunstall

  9. "Think of Laura," Christopher Cross (What? Shut up.)

  10. "In My Place," Coldplay


And on that note, I'm going to enter my time and then hit the hay.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

So happy

Reno 911! is back. Huzzah.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy birthday, USA

I so do not want to go back to work tomorrow. I've enjoyed the (sort of) long weekend too much. It was a weekend of bloggy playdates, pool time, brats on the grill, World Cup watching, hanging out with family, and trips to the farm.

While AB was napping today, I watched Finding Neverland. Dear Lord, it was all I could do not bawl my head off. Also, I've decided that I could listen to Johnny Depp speak with a Scottish accent. All. Freakin'. Day. Fabulous, fabulous movie. Hike it to the top of your Netflix queue.

Now my Jackass Neighbors (just one family--most of my neighbors are wonderful) are setting off fireworks. I think our local fireworks will start in about half an hour, but those are farther away than the JNs, so not as loud. Maybe one of the JNs will lose a finger and then the "pyrotechnics" will be cut short.

Happy 4th.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I cannot get my head around it, baby*

Saw Aimee Mann tonight. She was awesome as usual. Looking around at the crowd, I couldn't help but notice what a conventional middle-class, mostly-middle-age, regular-joe type crowd we were. Aimee's fans all looked so normal, whereas she... well, is not. So then I wondered how many people in the audience were casual fans, those who just appreciated her music on a superficial level. (Hell, even just on the surface, her songs are enjoyable.) And then I looked around and wondered how many people there were secretly fucked up? How many people heard her dark themes and felt them resonate within? Maybe not the addiction and drug use themes, but the recurring themes of self-loathing and ineptitude in relationships. And then I had what, to me, was a comforting thought: maybe most of us are secretly fucked up in some way. See, I often have the conceited notion that I am the most screwed up person in any room--but the idea of "screwed up" as being part and parcel of the human condition made me feel at ease during the concert, I have to admit.

Oh, and to the woman sitting at the table next to me: I didn't shell out the ticket price to hear you sing Aimee Mann songs. So shut it next time. Seriously.

*Aimee didn't perform this song, unfortunately.

Or is it just me?

Whenever I watch the English soccer team play, and they play the national anthem, I find myself singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee." (Yes, I know it's the same tune.) I realize that doing that is kind of a slap in the face to the English, so I do try to fight the urge. It was really embarrasing when I did it in public at a DC United-Newcastle game a few years back. Caught myself singing, and then stopped, red-faced.

Does anyone else do this when they hear "God Save the Queen"?