Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hmmmm, what rhymes with "surge"?

While nursing ALB very late last night, I was listening to public radio, which we have playing in his room all night. The folk music show "Traditions" was on (sadly its last airing, I'm guessing), and host Mary Cliff indicated she'd heard that Tom Paxton might be rewriting his song "Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation" to bring it into modern times with our modern war-not-really-a-war-because-we-won-dontchya-know. As I listened to the original, I realized how apt it is today (lyrics obtained from The Blue Voice):

I got a letter from L. B. J.
It said this is your lucky day.
It's time to put your khaki trousers on.
Though it may seem very queer
We've got no jobs to give you here
So we are sending you to Viet Nam

[Chorus:]Lyndon Johnson told the nation,
"Have no fear of escalation.
I am trying everyone to please.
Though it isn't really war,
We're sending fifty thousand more,
To help save Viet nam from Viet Namese."

I jumped off the old troop ship,
And sank in mud up to my hips.
I cussed until the captain called me down.
Never mind how hard it's raining,
Think of all the ground we're gaining,
Just don't take one step outside of town.


Every night the local gentry,
Sneak out past the sleeping sentry.
They go to join the old VC.
In their nightly little dramas,
They put on their black pajamas,
And come lobbing mortar shells at me.


We go round in helicopters,
Like a bunch of big grasshoppers,
Searching for the Viet Cong in vain.
They left a note that they had gone.
They had to get down to Saigon,
Their government positions to maintain.


Well here I sit in this rice paddy,
Wondering about Big Daddy,
And I know that Lyndon loves me so.
Yet how sadly I remember,
Way back yonder in November,
When he said I'd never have to go.


Dumb people got no reason to live

Supporting my latest theory that many people are completely oblivious to the transparency of the Internet--a theory I've been forming in my head in response to reading this post over at KLee's--I present you with this:

A man is facing felony drug distribution charges after an investigation that police said started after his brother used his MySpace Web page to boast of their homegrown marijuana crop and the frequency with which both men use marijuana, police said.


Friday, January 26, 2007

My baby is scared of me

So I was nursing ALB. Everything was going fine. I was watching "The Simpsons" with him on the boppy pillow, just eating away. Then I felt a tickle in my nose. So I turned my head to the side, closed my eyes, and sneezed once. Feeling better, I turned my head back to look down at the baby.

The baby was staring at me, eyes wide. Then his lower lip turned down and out, he scrunched his eyes, and .... WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apparently, my single sneeze frightened the hell outta my poor baby! Only time I've heard him cry like that was when he was in physical pain. It was so sad. And so funny! And the worst part was, he would start to calm down and I'd think he was OK. But then he'd look me in the eye again, and then the lower lip would turn out again and ... WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't know what to do, so I kept trying to offer das boob. While I was trying, Angry Boy offered this wisdom:

"He's not afraid of the booby."

Thanks, babe. I'll take it from here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sometimes I hate the Post

Yesterday, the Washington Post printed this letter:

Regarding the Jan. 13 letter by Jatrice Martel Gaiter, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, about mandatory vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV):

Perhaps instead of vaccinating young people to prevent a disease transmitted by (promiscuous) sexual relations, or promoting artificial birth control and abortion to alleviate the problem of unwanted pregnancy due to promiscuous sex, Planned Parenthood and the District government should promote abstinence programs, whose main side benefit would be respect for the dignity of young women.

Dear God. HPV isn't transmitted by "promiscous" sexual relations--it's transmitted by sexual relations. Someone needs to inform this woman that, like pregnancy, only having sex one time is enough. In other words, a woman can remain abstinent (and dignified, according to the letter-writer) and not have sex till her wedding night, and still contract HPV!

I am not, however, angry at the letter-writer. I assume she is woefully misinformed/ignorant precisely because she herself received abstinence-only education. No, I am angry at the Post for printing a letter like this without comment. Surely this woman was not the only one to write in opposing the HPV vaccination and promoting abstinence-only education. So why did the Post choose to print a letter with lies? Instead of worrying so much about "balance," the Post should be calling bullshit.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Opposable thumbs would help

Continuing our household's tradition of the males having odd eating habits (Angry Boy prefering vegetables to almost everything else, NSAH enjoying black jellybeans), I offer this:

Small Dog loves edamame. If he could shell it himself, he'd be all set.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Frivolity

This actually works out pretty well (if you know your Marvel comics):

When she was good, she was very, very good:

You Are Jean Grey

Although your fate is often unknown, you always seem to survive (even after death).
Your mind is your greatest weapon, literally!

Powers: telepathy and telekinesis, the ability to project thoughts into the mind of others, communication with animals

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And when she was bad, she was horrid:

Your results:
You are Dark Phoenix

A prime example of emotional extremes: Passion and fury incarnate.

Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz

(Thanks to DaniGirl for the link to the Supervillian quiz.)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The damage

I shopped at Costco for the first time today (well, first time with my own membership card, when I wasn't just someone's guest).

I think I did pretty well, actually. I tried to abide by your advice. The hardest part was not buying any DVDs. There were some really good ones for less than $9 a pop (The Princess Bride, for example, which we own on video but not DVD). I also was theeees close to buying Angry Boy a book/magnet/toy, but I refrained. Kind of. Here's what I bought (keep in mind that the only thing I needed to get at Costco were dog biscuits):

  1. Dog biscuts. Unfortunately, not the size we normally buy, but we can easily break them in half for Small Dog. $7.99.

  2. Ziploc Sandwich Bags. I intend to take my lunch a lot when I go back to work--it's healthier and cheaper. Got an assload of bags, which will probably last us through Angry Boy's first year in elementary school. $7.49.

  3. Whole wheat pasta. Easy decision to buy this (6 regular-sized boxes packaged together). We only eat whole wheat pasta now, and we usually have it once a week. $5.65.

  4. 36 cans of V8. This is kind of a splurge. I usually buy the bigger bottles of the stuff at our regular grocery store, but I honestly think that being able to grab a cold can of it out of the fridge will make me drink it more often. I apologize for the excess waste I'm creating. $12.49.

  5. 4 Cars-themed sippy cups. Okay, this was somewhat unnecessary. But then, I thought, we're still using the same sippy cups that we got for AB when he was 1. It's okay if we get some new ones. $4.97.

  6. Sleeper PJs for ALB. It's getting butt-cold this week, so it doesn't hurt to have another fuzzy-warm sleeper. $7.29.

  7. PJs for AB. Ditto. Plus, he's outgrown the hand-me-downs he got from Muffin Man (we still let him wear them when it's not too cold, 'cause he likes the designs, but the pants now look like capris). $8.79.

  8. A book of Disney stories. You got me. Totally unnecessary. In fact, AB just got two new books when he went shopping with his grandma earlier this week. But I had so much fun reading to him last night--I think we read 8 books--that I wanted to get another one. Plus, it's got some stories he hasn't heard before (Peter Pan, for example). I consider it my one needless splurge. $9.99.

  9. Lightbulbs. Can't have too many. I got a dozen. $4.89.

  10. Eclipse gum. Don't even know how many packs I got, but it's NSAH's favorite gum. And it's so much cheaper than buying it at the checkout of our regular grocery store. $6.89.

  11. 5 packs of Glide floss. We floss a lot. $10.99.

  12. New York strip steaks. These look really good. I'm going to wrap them individually and freeze them. $23.63 for 3 1/3 pounds.

  13. Dried fruit mix. Angry Boy is always asking for "nut mix," which is my homemade trail mix. I usually toss some dried fruit into whatever nuts we have around, and he loves it. This is a pretty big bag, bigger than I can get at our grocery store. $7.39.

  14. Edamame. I may be the only one in my family who likes this. AB's had it on occasion, but he's not that into it. It was so cheap, though, that even if I only eat half of it, it'll be worth it. I think I can eat it all, though. Such a yummy snack, and easy to make. Plus, I get a kick shelling the edamame. Maybe not as relaxing as popping bubble wrap, but still fun. $3.99.

  15. 10 boxes of Kleenex. It's winter, and we have a preschooler. 'Nuff said. $12.59.

  16. Thank-you cards. Something I'd been meaning to buy for a while but kept forgetting. These are really cute, too. $9.39.

  17. 48 AA batteries. This might last us through next Christmas. Or maybe just the boys' birthdays. We shall see... $9.59.

The damage? With tax, about $160.

As I was browsing the aisles, I was trying to decide if I'll keep the membership for more than a year. Basically, I asked myself, "Will we save more than the $50 membership cost?" I think I'll really make out like a bandit around Christmastime (all those DVDs, and cheap books and CDs, too). And maybe if I start buying the store-brand diapers, rather than what we buy now. Honestly, I think it might be too close to call this year.

That being said, I can definitely see membership being worth every penny when both boys are older and (1) I need to pack their school lunches (snack bags galore, some of it even healthy!) and (2) they start eating us out of house & home. Angry Boy has already made it his mission to annoy us by chanting "I'm hungry" at least 10 times a day, or until NSAH starts calling him a "hungry, hungry hippo," at which point AB forgets his hunger long enough to assert that he is, in fact, not a hippo.

Monday, January 15, 2007

From the "holy crap!" department...

Ignacio Suarez would say we have a plethora of pinatas!

In other words, I was watching Three Amigos for the millionth time today (thank you, American Movie "Classics"), and it struck me that the character of Jefe looked familiar in a different way this time. Checked on IMDB and, sure enough, Jefe (Tony Plana) is Ugly Betty's dad!

I know it's a minor thing, but it had me cracking up all afternoon. (Severe lack of sleep may be coloring my view of things...)

Somebody get the President a dictionary, Pt. II*

scapegoat: noun; One that is made to bear the blame of others.


From the Baltimore Sun:

Bush acknowledged that some of the administration's steps contributed to Iraq's instability and said any mistakes should be laid at his feet. "If people want a scapegoat, they got one right here in me 'cause it's my decisions," the president said.

Mr. President? You're not a "scapegoat." You're not bearing the blame of others. It's "[your] decisions," so it's your fault. You don't get to call yourself a "scapegoat." The blame rightly lies with you.

* For Pt. I, go here.

UPDATE: Just because I wanted to post it before Quinn or Neel or NSAH beat me to it:

Kwik-E-Mart Guy: Apu Nahasapeemapetilan, you have disgraced the Kwik-E-Mart Corporation.
Apu: But, sir, I was only following standard procedure.
KEM Guy: Ah, true. But it's also standard procedure to blame any problems on a scapegoat or sacrificial lamb.
Apu: Uh huh, and if I can obtain for you these animals?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Speaking of "ugly assumptions"...

I usually enjoy reading the columns in the Post by Courtland Milloy, even when I disagree with him. Today's tongue-in-cheek column, however, rushed right past "thought-provoking" and veered into nutbar territory.

The subject of the column (headlined "District's HPV Proposal Tinged With Ugly Assumptions") is a proposal being considered by the D.C. Council to require the new HPV vaccination on its schedule of required vaccinations. Specifically, the proposal would require sixth-grade girls to receive the vaccination.

Milloy's column suggests the oddity of schools requiring a vaccination for a sexually transmitted disease (as opposed to the already-accepted requirement of vaccinating against diseases like measles and chickenpox, which are transmitted by casual contact and thus can easily spread in schools). He also points out the racial context in which this proposal is being made: two white city officials proposed the bill, which would apply to the city's predominately black school population.

But then Milloy goes further and suggests that the HPV vaccination is dangerous, associating it with the Tuskegee experiment and suggesting to readers that it (and other vaccinations) may cause autism, diabetes and MS.

It's one thing to question the public policy of mandating that girls receive the HPV vaccine. It's another thing entirely to dissuade those parents considering the vaccine by using ridiculous scare tactics.

Should I or shouldn't I?

I was on the DMV website looking at license plates, and apparently, no one else in my glorious state has claimed:


Should I get it? If I did, I'd probably have to get a Sox sticker to put on the back of my car, so folks would know where my loyalties lie.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hey, big spender

This was going to be an email to Liz at MysteryMommy, but it was getting soooo long, I thought: POST! (And I know she'll see it here, anyway.)

Anyhoo, Liz and I were emailing back and forth about going to Costco. I just got a membership and was asking for tips from Liz, the seasoned professional Costco shopper. She advised in part:

It's really easy to get seduced into buying more than is actually useful for your household. Beware of the great deals on, say, ketchup. You will never, ever use enough before it expires. On the other hand, if you have enough sealed storage containers, you can buy their 25 lb sacks of rice, sugar, and flour.

I think NSAH would kill me if I came home with 25 pounds of anything (unless it was 2 his 'n' hers bowling balls).

(And even then, he'd look at me funny.)

Thanks for the tips, Liz. I'll need to steel myself, I know. For example, I went to Target this afternoon with a 4-point list:

1) diapers for ALB ($20)
2) extra nipples for baby bottles ($8)
3) diet soda ($4.50)
4) instant oatmeal ($3.50)

This was a $36 trip. I got out of there $110 lighter.

I wound up buying everything on my list. Plus:
  • a dozen washcloths (on sale for $3 total)

  • a new dayplanner (hey, I'd been using the same one since I was a junior in high school--I was due!)

  • dated inserts for said dayplanner

  • snow boots for AB (thus ensuring we will get no snow this winter)

  • four pairs of sweatpants for ALB... at just 98 cents a pair! How could I not get those?

  • a magazine holder (a cheapo $2 one for AB's room)

  • a Beatles shirt (on clearance) for AB

  • some breastmilk storage bags

  • some (admittedly expensive) dog treats for Small Dog

Lord help me in Costco.

Bathtime jollies

Overheard last night, as I was in the bedroom feeding Angry Little Baby and NSAH was in the bathroom drying off Angry Boy after his bath:

NSAH: (noticing that I'd finally removed a Band-Aid AB had been wearing for 3 weeks--he wouldn't let either of us take it off for the longest time) Hey, your Band-Aid's gone. (singing) On the 12th day of Christmas,* we took your Band-Aid off...
AB: (singing) [unintelligable] Ten daddies [unintelligable]...
APL: (singing from the bedroom) Nine mommies laughing!

* * *


NSAH: Why do you always leeeeeean on me?!
AB: Because I looooooooooooooove you!

*I never pay attention to what day of Christmas it is. NSAH is the one who keeps track of these things.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Gor. Juss.

I am loving this el Nino stuff. It hit 72 degrees here today. The perfect day for a trip to the zoo. Everyone was in short sleeves. And I have now added the zoo to my very short list of public places I've breastfed a baby. (Does it count if I did it in the parking lot, in the car? I had to keep the door open because the car had been baking in the sun all morning.)

The weather not only brought out us two-legged animals in droves: almost every animal was lying out in the sun. I've been going to the zoo since I was a little kid, and I've never seen so many of the animals before. It's like they were all saying, "Hells yeah, let's soak up some Vitamin D before the cold weather hits again!" It was also our first hike on the zoo's new Asia Trail, which was awesome. Wide paths, decorative rocks, interactive displays. NSAH got some great pictures of the pandas, elephants and cheetahs. And, though Angry Boy whined some, he was well-behaved enough that his daddy bought him toy mama-and-baby chimpanzees. Or, as AB kept calling them, his "Two Panzees!"

Now the baby is sleeping in his room, and the two older boys (AB and NSAH) are at a hockey game. And I'm sitting here with Legally Blonde on basic cable. Gorgeous, wonderful day. Absolutely gorgeous.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Well-adjusted or boring? You be the judge.

As seen at The Republic of Heaven:

You scored 31 anxiety, 48 awkwardness, and 37 neuroticism!

You scored low in all categories--so there's no need to worry! Not that you were worrying, anyway. You are so Well-Adjusted that I almost feel the need to worry for you.

Your low anxiety score implies that you are able to relax, can enjoy the here and now, and have a healthy amount of self-confidence.

Your low awkwardness score implies that you are socially capable, are personable and charming, and probably go to parties and have fun.

Your low neuroticism score implies that you don't exhibit subtle neurotic behaviors--your nails are probably an acceptable length, your pencils aren't covered with bite marks, and your bookcase isn't arranged alphabetically by genre. Congrats!

Link: The Neurotic Test

Although I scored low on awkwardness, it doesn't change the fact that there are only a few parties I enjoy rather than dread (it helps if I know more than 2/3 of those attending). But I hide my social whatever-it-is (phobia is too strong a word) very well. I like the phrase "socially capable." I'm going to continue to use that.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Loving the Logue

I love Donal Logue. No, really, I looooooooove Donal Logue. I am having so much fun watching him on The Knights of Prosperty, even though he's basically playing the same goof-off character he's played in The Tao of Steve, Grounded For Life, and ER. I think he's probably surpassed teh Piven as the Unattractive Famous Guy That I'm Inconceivably Attracted To. (Yes, I know that, thanks to Entourage, Piven is now thought of as hot, but I had a thing for him back in his flabby, receding-hairline P.C.U. days. So there.)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

No, you don't know me*

LawMummy tagged me for a meme: I have to list 5 things you don't already know about me. I think I've already divulged everything remotely interesting about me on this blog already, so here are 5 uninteresting things I haven't told you before:

  1. I dated a recovering drug addict who lived in a homeless shelter. While I was in high school. He was 18, I was 14. He was very nice and never pressured me to do anything I wasn't ready for, despite every single adult's warnings to the contrary. I broke up with him after about 3 months. The girl he dated after me? He got her pregnant. He dropped out of high school and they got married... and, shortly thereafter, divorced.

  2. I can play harmonica.

  3. I can't really dance, but I know one tap move: the double time step. I had to learn it for a musical I was in once. That was 16 years ago, but I still remember it.

  4. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot without using my hands, a la Audrey from Twin peaks.

  5. I finished only one book in 2006. That's right, just one. I continued reading 2 books I'd started in '05 (Reading Lolita in Tehran and the no-longer-new Alexander Hamilton bio), but I tired of both of them. The one book I did finish I started on Dec. 28 and finished on Dec. 30. It was Lewis Black's Nothing's Sacred.

*Love this Ray Charles song, used in two of my favorite movies: Groundhog Day and Postcards From the Edge.

Monday, January 01, 2007

First day of 2007

Started out wonderfully. Although Angry Little Baby was up a lot last night, after his 7:45 a.m. feeding, I fell back asleep... for 45 minutes! NSAH and I didn't wake up until my mom called to confirm her morning date with Angry Boy. I couldn't believe both boys let us sleep till 8:45! It was great. I hurried to feed and clothe AB, and he was ready to head out with my mom to see Charlotte's Web.

I went to the gym around 11 a.m., and I was the only one there. I had the Penn State-Tennessee game on the big TV, and Hoosiers on the little TV over my eliptical trainer. Yay for sports! Go Lions! Go Gene Hackman!

When AB got back from his date with Grandma, he conked right out and slept for 2 and a half hours. ALB slept for a long time, too (longer than his usual 45 minutes). I was able to be productive around the house... before AB woke up and wanted to watch Monster's Inc. AGAIN.

NSAH went out and got us dinner from the local burger place, which was very yummy. But the evening took a downhill turn when ALB refused to stop screaming for about 45 minutes. Hope he doesn't do a repeat performance later this evening. I'm too beat.

Hope everyone had a fun New Year's Eve.