Sunday, February 21, 2010

This Blog Has Moved


Well, kids, I did it. I made the jump to my very own domain. From now on, you will find me at www.snarkysquab.com. I've got a fancy new site, and this will give me a little more flexibility in terms of content and organization. I moved all the old posts over to the new domain, so you should be able to find all your Snarky Squab in one handy location. (The comments, alas, could not be ported over, so they'll all end up in the great comments archive in the sky.) Anyway, I hope you'll follow me over to the new digs - it's not worth writing without you to read it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes


So my comments system (Haloscan) went belly up, and I'm using it as an excuse to give this here tired ole blog a bit of a facelift. However, as I am strictly amateur at this interwebz design stuff, it may take a little while to work out all the glitches. Just wanted to let you know that I know the comments aren't working and it will all be good in a few days. Or so. In the meantime, have a bear hug:

Bear Hug!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Just call her Che


So the Hatchling staged a coup at preschool last week. I knew I was in trouble when her preschool teacher (whom we love) came out of the classroom to where all the parents wait in the hallway, and pointing her finger successively at four of us, said, "You, you, you and you - I need to talk to you." We winced and slunk into the classroom while the other parents looked on in sympathy mixed with relief. It TOTALLY felt like getting called into the principal's office, NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW, since I was one of those kids who never GOT called into the principal's office, because my whole aim in life was to please my teachers. Because I'm an oldest kid, and we like to get approval from authority figures. UNLESS YOU'RE MY DAUGHTER. Because apparently nobody told the Hatchling this, and she and three of her favorite little playmates went completely Mutiny on the Bounty on their preschool teachers. Collectively, they refused to help clean up at clean-up time, would not join the group at group time, trashed the reading nook during snack time, and (thus) did not get to go outside and play at the end of the day. As soon as we walked into the room, the Hatchling and the other little girl in the group both started crying; they knew they were in trouble. The little boys opted for the avoidance tactic, and just looked away like they didn't even know any of these people and where were they, anyway? We spent about 10 minutes sternly exhorting our wayward progeny to clean up the mess, pronto, no I mean do it right now, RIGHT NOW, miss, you are going to get in TROUBLE, and now go apologize to your teacher and we are going to have WORDS on the way home. Sigh. Of course, their teacher was horribly sick that morning, so my theory is that they sensed weakness and went in for the kill. Which maybe makes it even worse. Honestly, y'all, I have no template for this. I was a goody-two-shoes all through school. I mean, there were MAYBE two times when I got my name up on the board for talking too much, but lawsy, that alone was enough to just about bring me to tears. I didn't even start THINKING about sticking it to the man until grad school. I am trying to look on the bright side. Perhaps she'll be an inspirational activist type! Or ... a union organizer! Yeah, that's the ticket. Alternatively, she could end up stealing hubcaps after dropping out of school at thirteen. That's parenting! Always an exciting option somewhere down the road!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I write letters


Dear Molars,
You suck. Why you gotta hurt so much coming in? Moreover, why you gotta come in four at a time? That just seems like unnecessary zealousness on your part. Christ, the Sprout is only ten months old. Surely she doesn't need to get ALL of her teeth this month. Take a break, already!

Sincerely,
The Squab


Dear Evolution,
What the hell? How can it be a good idea for it to hurt like hot pokers in your mouth when your teeth are coming in? I mean, what if we were in the wild and the Sprout, distracted out of her little mind with teething pain, was unable to defend herself from ravening predators? THOSE GENES WOULD NOT BE PASSED ON, NOW, WOULD THEY? In related news, teething pain is making the Sprout so unbelievably cranky that I may soon be returning her to the wild, just so the rest of us can get a decent night's sleep. If Child Protection Services want to know who's responsible, tell them to talk to Charles Darwin.

Regards,
The Squab

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

An earful


Mr. Squab and I both had chronic ear infections as children. When I was three I even had my adenoids taken out, and I think I had tubes in my ears more than once. So I just sort of assumed that our kids would be equally susceptible, and was pleasantly surprised when the Hatchling made it through the first three years of her life with only two mild ear infections to show for it.

Then we had the Sprout, and the Hatchling started preschool, and I don't know if either of those facts are relevant, but LORD, we cannot escape the ear infections this year. If it's not one kid, it's the other, and often both at the same time, and while the Sprout just gets kind of cranky and doesn't sleep well with hers, the Hatchling just completely disintegrates. She won't show the first sign of being ill until the pain is so bad she can't cope, and then she has a complete and total meltdown. The first time it happened was on a weekend, so the Hatchling was able to parasitically attach herself to me until the antibiotics kicked in. This time, no such luck. She started melting down yesterday afternoon and kept pathetically asking me to "sit wight here and snuggle wif me," which I mostly could not do because the Sprout is, you know, a BABY, and has not yet mastered the art of self-entertainment.

But the real pathos kicked in today. After an early doctor's appointment this morning, we went to Target to fill her prescriptions. She immediately requested to ride in the cart (unusual); did not want to get out to peruse the toy section (uncommon); did not want to get a treat while the prescription was getting filled (unprecedented); did not want to get McDonald's for lunch (unheard of); and then ASKED to go "night-night" at 11:45 am, after only about 15 minutes of Return of the Jedi (completely wackadoo). She didn't even stir when I went in to put the Sprout down for her nap a few minutes ago. She is, in fact, a pathetic specimen of a Hatchling, and I wish we could win the lottery or something so we *could* both be home and I *could* just hang out with her in the rocking chair all day. (Also, because: LOTTERY! FREE MONEY!) But alas, that winning ticket eludes us and I can only be thankful that she's passed out in her bed and not wailing for me to comfort her while I'm trying to change the baby's diaper. Speaking of which, I believe I'll go try to pass out on my own bed for a few minutes while both kids are unconscious. Here's hoping those antibiotics kick in soon!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

While we're at it, I'd also like a chalet in France


Recent conversation with the Hatchling:

The Hatchling: Mama, I want some CAKE.

Me: We don't have any cake, honey.

The Hatchling: But I want SOME CAKE.

Me: Honey, you only want some cake because you just saw it on Sesame Street. And we don't have any!

The Hatchling: But I NEEEEEED some CAKE! Can you get me some cake?

Me: Well, I need a million dollars. Can you get me a million dollars?

The Hatchling: TEN million dollars.

Me: Sure, that would be even better! Can you get me TEN million dollars?

The Hatchling (walking up to me, putting her hand on my shoulder, and looking at me solemnly): Now, Mama. Do you really think that's a good idea?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Well, hello.


My mom says I have to put up a new post because every time she checks the blog she gets depressed about my anger issues. Fair point. Also ... uh, how is it that I haven't blogged in a month and a half? That was a longer-than-intended break! I guess traveling for Thanksgiving, hosting two Christmases (Christmasses?), traveling for New Year's, cooking a ton, making a veritable shitload of gifts by hand, shopping, finishing up classes and grading, celebrating five family birthdays, hosting out-of-town guests ... yeah, I guess I can see where the time went, after all. Anyhoo: Happy New Year! Does it bug anyone else that 2010 is being treated as the first year of the new decade rather than the last one of the old decade? No? I mean, I guess it doesn't bother me THAT much. We're not talking misusing-borrow-and-lend levels of bother. Just, you know. It's wrong. That's all. And how are you opting to pronounce the new year? Me, I'm going for the "twenty-ten" option. Goes more trippingly off the tongue.

Did anyone make any New Year's resolutions? I blow hot and cold with them. On the one hand, I hate setting myself up for failure. On the other hand, it is kind of nice to take stock once a year and think about where you want to go. This year I decided against concretely measurable goals (Read a book a week! Exercise daily! Try ten new foods!) in favor of more, uh, abstract pursuits. Basically I have one resolution, if you can call it that: to become more Zen. By which I mean, essentially, to chill the fuck out about things generally, and be kinder to myself, and be more present in the moment. Frankly, making a resolution to be more Zen is a bit oxymoronic if not just flat out moronic, but there it is. I've always been interested in Zen Buddhism and Taoism, in particular, but haven't had much time for it lately. But our pediatrician, who is this great guy with a sarcastic sense of humor and not at all the kind of person you'd think would be into eastern philosophy, is an unlikely Zen devotee, and once he found out I was also interested he started throwing vaguely Buddhist catch-phrases at me when I freak out about parenting things in our appointments. "Expect nothing" is one of his favorites. Like, when I'm all "the girls are going to have to share a bedroom and I don't think it's going to go well and they're just going to wake each other up and none of us will ever get a full night's sleep again but we don't have enough bedrooms for them not to share and what should I do?" He's all, "Expect nothing." And I'm all, "Blink." And he's all, "Just do what you need to do, find out what happens, and respond accordingly." Expect nothing is difficult for me, y'all. I EXPECT THINGS. Mostly baaaad things. Mostly in advance. And not just for myself - I can expect bad things for anyone. And WORRY about it. But I'm really trying to catch myself when I get into trouble-borrowing mode and remind myself to "expect nothing" and just do what I need to do. We'll see how it goes, but I feel like it's a resolution I can manage, that might also improve the quality of my life and the lives of those poor souls who have to live with my anxiety-ridden ass.

So ... is this post less depressing than the previous one? I better throw in a cute baby picture just in case. LOOK! A CUTE BABY!

What a ham! (closeup)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Parenting FAIL.


I have a terrible temper. No, really. I'm a pretty patient person, so it takes a lot for me to lose my temper, but when I do ... it's not pretty. I don't know if it's my Prussian forebears or just my own personal inadequacy, but it's a fault I've been working on for years and years. I'm a person of intense feelings, which can be wonderful when you're talking about joy or love or empathy, but when it comes to anger I have a difficult time regaining control once I've lost it.

I come from a family of yellers. Our anger doesn't usually last a long time (I have a hard time sustaining it longer than 30 minutes) and we're not passive-aggressive, thank Maude, but in my family, when you're mad, you yell. When I was a teenager, I had some doozies of yelling matches with my parents - fights that have gone down in family legend and probably caused all of my younger siblings to experience some level of PTSD. We all survived it, but looking back I wish we'd been able to find a way to manage those years with less screaming on everyone's part. However, we didn't, and so - like a lot of you, I'd imagine - my model of parenting consisted of spanking when young and yelling when older. I don't blame anyone for that, mind you - like most parents, my mother and father did the best they could with the tools they had available to them, and, hey, I turned out OK. I just wonder if there was another way, sometimes.

It's something I've really been trying to come to terms with as I parent my own kids. The spanking thing has been pretty easy to avoid. Not that I don't understand the impulse, but it's something we decided not to do a long time ago, and the social pressure against it (at least in our parenting and peer circles) reinforces that decision. The yelling/losing of temper issue has been much more difficult. It wasn't until sometime this last year that I even seriously considered that it might be possible to parent (mostly) without yelling. Not in a repress-your-emotions-and-go-insane kind of way, but in a head-it-off-at-the-pass kind of way. I do know that yelling is rarely effective for me. I do know that I hate to see the Hatchling mimicking my or Mr. Squab's angry behavior (with her dolls, for example). So I've been thinking about it, and trying some different techniques, and seeing what I can do about controlling my epic temper, particularly in the area of parenting.

I've been having a particularly difficult time with it this autumn, as all of our tempers have been tried by the ridiculous cycle of illness we've been experiencing, in addition to which the Hatchling is clearly entering into a "disequilibrium" phase and is trying my patience to the utmost on her bad days. This afternoon was a real nadir. Both the Hatchling and the Sprout woke up from their naps in absolutely foul moods, which in the Sprout's case manifested itself in nonstop cranky fussing, and in the Hatchling's case manifested itself in vicious temper tantrums approximately every five minutes. EVERYTHING was wrong and EVERYTHING was my fault. Make her ask for things politely? TANTRUM. Give her the snack she just asked for? TANTRUM. Ask her to pick up the toy she just threw at your head? TANTRUM. Turn on her favorite movie in the hope that it will calm her down? TANTRUM. You get the idea. Lots of "NO!" and "IT'S NOT FAIR!" and general "AAAAAAAAHHHH!" And I just ... Could. Not. Take it. I tried patient reasoning. I tried calmly giving her options. I really, really tried. And then I started yelling. And then I found myself in the kitchen, slamming the stainless steel coffee pot on the counter to relieve my feelings. And finally, I put on a jacket and put the Sprout in her warm fleece and told the Hatchling that we were going outside to wait for Daddy and she could come if she wanted. And when she started pitching a fit about getting on her shoes and jacket, I just took the baby, and walked out to sit on the back steps.

We were out there for all of about five minutes, and I left the doors open so I could hear what was going on. But oh, it felt like failure. I was sick to my stomach afterward and I still feel totally deflated and defeated. Because, you know: SHE'S THREE. Of course she's going to have bad, tantrum-y afternoons. And I know it's just because she's going through some kind of mental growth spurt, and this is how it works, and in a few weeks or (ack) months I'll have my happy girl back on a more full-time basis. She's three: she gets to act that way. Not without consequences, sure, but three-year-olds get a pass on losing control of themselves occasionally. Thirty-eight-year-olds, not so much.

Why is it so hard? What can I do to get better? I know you'll tell me to cut myself some slack, and I do - I'm not interested in being anything like a perfect parent, even if that were possible. But I really don't want to lose it again like I did today, or, god forbid, even worse. (I mean, if a three-year-old can punch my buttons this hard, what the hell will I do with two teenagers?) There has to be a better way. Anyone have any tips?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Srsly. I am not even kidding.


So I was all set this morning to post something a little cheerier and, uh, less purgative (HA!) than the previous post, since all of us seemed to be well on the road to recovery after our hellish session with the zombie death flu. Mr. Squab went off to work and I was just going to take the girls for a quick check at the doctor's office to make sure there were no major secondary infections (both girls had been pretty stuffy with a nagging cough).

Turns out the Hatchling has an ear infection in her right ear.

The Sprout has a double ear infection.

And to top it off, while we were over at a friend's house for lunch trying to ignore said ear infections and enjoying the amazing weather in her backyard, the Sprout barfed - repeatedly - all over the patio. So when we thought that she had gotten off with a lighter version of the bug? Yeah, not so much.

The kicker is that while the Sprout was puking on herself, me and the patio furniture, my first reaction was not, Christ, here we go again or Oh, poor baby, or even Why does the universe hate us? but rather Hey! we're outside where we can just hose everything down! Maybe our luck is finally turning!

Y'all: when your eight-month-old ralphing on your friend's cobblestone pavers is the best thing that's happened to you in a week, you know you have seriously hit rock bottom. We are officially at the point of absurdity. Anything else is just grist for the mill.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Getting a Sick Day


So remember back when I was bitching about how the suckiest part of being a SAHM is no sick days? Well, little did I realize that we, too, can have them, just by following these few simple steps:

  1. Catch your three-year-old's vicious stomach virus, which turns your entire insides into liquid.
  2. Spend evening from 5 pm to 11:30 pm violently retching every 15 minutes, incidentally scaring the bejeezus out of said three-year-old. (Hard to reassure someone that you're OK when you're puking your guts out. Hatchling: Mama, oh no! What's wrong, Mama? Me: BLAEAHHEHGHRHG. (brightly) Mama's fine, honey! Mama just feels a little sick! BLOURHGEAHRGHG. Hatchling: Mama!! (crying hysterically) Me: It's ok, honey, Mama's ok! Can you hand Mama the wipes?)
  3. Get up approx. every 45 minutes, all night long, to, um, well, basically vomit from the other end, if you know what I'm saying.
  4. Pray frequently for death or at least coma.
  5. Spend next day in bed with intense body aches, a fever, and a fear of solid foods, too tired to even read. (Which, if you know me, is like being too tired to breathe or something.)
See? Just five easy steps and your longed-for sick day can actually come to pass. Though frankly, if I'm being honest, I gotta say it's not really worth it.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sunday Recipe Blogging


Things are better. I'm almost totally healthy, Mr. Squab's foot is on the mend, and the Hatchling and the Sprout are vastly improved. Plus, my team won today and I invented a really yummy soup. As a cook, I'd say that soups and casseroles are my forte - I'm a one-dish-meal kind of gal - but usually I'm working from some kind of recipe even if I alter most of the steps. This is the first time I've ever actually created a recipe from scratch, so I was quite pleased that it turned out. I loooooove pumpkin dishes, especially in the autumn, and I'm a sucker for a nice, hearty soup. Trust me, this one will definitely fill you up. Another bonus: it would be just as delicious as a vegan soup as it is with meat, so it's nice and versatile. See what you think:

Curried Pumpkin-Lentil Soup

8 cups broth (chicken, veggie, whatev.)
1 c. lentils
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 c. sweet potato, diced (about 1 medium sweet potato)
1 1/2 c. carrots, sliced
2 15 oz. cans pumpkin
1 lb chicken breast, cubed (optional)
2 T curry powder
1 T powdered ginger
1 t garlic powder
1 T Sriracha or other hot sauce (to taste)
Sour cream for garnish

1. Put broth and lentils into a crock pot on high.

2. Saute onion, carrots, sweet potato, 1 T curry powder and 1/2 T ginger in the olive oil on medium heat until soft. Add to crock pot. Add both cans of pumpkin.

3. Toss chicken breast with remaining spices, garlic powder, and Sriracha. Saute over medium heat in the pan left over from the veggies. Add additional oil if necessary (I didn't need to, but I was using a nonstick pan.) When chicken is fully cooked, set aside.

4. Once lentils are soft, or an hour or so before serving, use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it is fairly uniform in texture. (If you don't have an immersion blender, use a potato masher - the soup will be chunkier, but that's OK. Or, you know, get an immersion blender. Seriously! They are awesome!)

5. Add chicken to pureed soup and reduce heat to low. Cook at least 1 hour or up to, I dunno, all day?

6. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and crusty bread on the side. SO. GOOD.

**Vegetarian/Vegan option: Use veggie broth; add all the spices and hot sauce to the onion/carrot/sweet potato mix instead of dividing them between the veggies and the meat, and if you're vegan, skip the sour cream or use a vegan substitute. Easy Peasy.

**Quick option: do it on the stovetop instead of in a crock pot - bring the broth and lentils to a boil, then reduce heat and let them simmer for about 20 minutes while you prepare and cook the veggies. By the time the veggies are done, the lentils will be soft and you can puree at will, and add the chicken as soon as it's cooked.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Clearly, we're having some karmic problems here


So I've been sick for basically the last three and a half weeks, much of the time the kind of sick where you're really only fit for lying on the sofa and drinking hot tea. (I'm still not completely over it, but I have returned to functionality.) Now, usually when I get sick, I like to cut myself some slack for a few days, rest up, push fluids and recover, and then get back into the swing of things. This works pretty well for your average 5-7 day cold. Not so much with a three week fucker of a virus. This past month, even when I've been feeling my worst, I've still had to take care of the girls, ferry people around to preschool and playgroups, run errands, teach classes, go to meetings, etc. I've canceled when and where I could, but my life is currently arranged such that there's not a lot of wiggle room for cancellations. I have, in other words, been "pushing through" and "soldiering on," even though I am really not a "soldiering on" kind of squab. More of a "civilian-ing off" kind of one, actually.

The unpleasant side-effect of this unwonted stoicism has been that I've been madder than a wet hen pretty much all month. I mean, ANGRY. Angry about everything. Angry that I can't get un-sick, angry that the weather is so damn cold and wet, angry that we don't have any money and the kids need winter coats and boots and none of my shoes fit since the baby and all my clothes are cheap and ill-fitting, angry that being tired and sick all the time makes me an ill-tempered and impatient parent, angry that I haven't gotten any writing done in weeks and months, angry that I don't get any sick days, angry that I feel like I'm half-assing everything I do, as a parent, as a wife, as a teacher, as a friend, angry that I'm being whiny and annoying all the time, angryangryangry. And I guess maybe anger is a better response to crap than depression, but not by much.

So as I usually do when I'm having a problem, after stewing on it unproductively and no doubt alienating my friends with my bitching, I talked about it with Mr. Squab. "I'm angry all the time," I said, "and I know it's not fair, because you're already doing more than your share, and I feel terrible about that all the time too, but I can't keep being angry like this." And we talked about ways that I could get some kind of break if I really need one, and things to do to make me feel less crazy, and Mr. Squab said all the things that truly superior partners say and I felt like, okay, I can make it through this. I can't be sick forever, and things will be all right.

The next night (Friday) Mr. Squab sprained his ankle trying to avoid stepping on the cat.

Saturday the Hatchling had a complete breakdown while we were at an out of town birthday celebration, and we spent two hours at a local urgent care clinic diagnosing a raging ear infection.

Today I woke up with the entire right side of my head stuffed up, and the Sprout is either coming down with something or teething.

Breaks. I would like one.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Poetry Blogging


Halloween's coming ...

Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I
by William Shakespeare

The three witches, casting a spell

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I write letters


Dear Minnesota,

WTF, Minnesota? Really? Snow TWICE before the first two weeks of October are up? That's how you're gonna play it this year? It wasn't bad enough to have one of the coldest summers on record, you gotta fuck up autumn, too? You KNOW autumn is everyone's favorite season. Don't give me that look. You know exactly what you're doing. You like making me crazy, don't you? Last winter nearly killed me what with the pregs and the toddler and ALL THE FUCKING SNOW but I thought, hey, this coming winter is supposed to be mild! Surely this godforsaken state can give me a goddamn break just ONCE in the weather department. But no. You've made your position plain. There will be no breaks. There will only be cold. And snow. And freezing winds. And chilling damp. You don't want me to live here, do you? I'm getting your message, loud and clear: MOVE SOMEWHERE ELSE, BITCH. Well, you know what? Right about now, nothing would make me happier, but financial reasons prevent me from making it so. Also, I happen to have a lot of wonderful friends and family members here and a great moms-network and ties to the local theatre community and I will move on MY OWN TIME, not yours, you stupid arctic tundra of a has-been territory. So knock it the fuck off, or so help me, I will CUT YOU.

Sincerely yours,
The Squab

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Poetry Blogging


In honor of autumn:

These Green-Going-to-Yellow
by Marvin Bell

This year,
I'm raising the emotional ante,
putting my face
in the leaves to be stepped on,
seeing myself among them, that is;
that is, likening
leaf-vein to artery, leaf to flesh,
the passage of a leaf in autumn
to the passage of autumn,
branch-tip and winter spaces
to possibilities, and possibility
to God. Even on East 61st Street
in the blowzy city of New York,
someone has planted a gingko
because it has leaves like fans like hands,
hand-leaves, and sex. Those lovely
Chinese hands on the sidewalks
so far from delicacy
or even, perhaps, another gender of gingko--
do we see them?
No one ever treated us so gently
as these green-going-to-yellow hands
fanned out where we walk.
No one ever fell down so quietly
and lay where we would look
when we were tired or embarrassed,
or so bowed down by humanity
that we had to watch out lest our shoes stumble,
and looked down not to look up
until something looked like parts of people
where we were walking. We have no
experience to make us see the gingko
or any other tree,
and, in our admiration for whatever grows tall
and outlives us,
we look away, or look at the middles of things,
which would not be our way
if we truly thought we were gods.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cats, man. Cats.


Two tewtelly ass-ome cat videos, introduced to me by my students.

Munchkin Cat. OMG teh cutes will killz u.


Kittens Inspired by Kittens. This is totally something I can see the Hatchling doing in about a year.


There. YOU'RE WELCOME.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Preventing sexual assault: Tips guaranteed to work!


Love this.

Please distribute this list. Put it up in your place of work, in your university’s library or wherever you think they might be read:

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

Via. (h/t to my mom)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bedtime Stories


Last night. Bedtime. Had battled various bugs in the bedroom earlier in the day and Mr. Squab had to get rid of a spider on the ceiling right above the bed just before we got in. I have a bug phobia.

Me: Can I snuggle with you? (Mr. Squab lifts arm to make the snuggle niche available.) Ummmm ... can you tell me a story?

Mr Squab: (rolls eyes) What are you, five? Why?

Me: I don't want to dream about bugs!! I need some other images in my head!

Mr. Squab: (pause) Once upon a time there was a little boy named Harold who liked to poop in people's yards ...

Me: (snorting with suppressed laughter) What the hell kind of story is THAT? I don't want to dream about poop, either!

Mr. Squab: You asked for a story.

Me: (pause; can't help self) Well, what happened with Harold? Why did he poop in people's yards?

Mr. Squab: If he liked you, he'd leave a log in your yard.

Me: But what did the neighbors say?

Mr. Squab: They didn't say anything. (long pause)

Me: But ... that's not a story! What happened after THAT?

Mr. Squab: Harold died.

Me: Of what?

Mr. Squab: Constipation.

Me: (nearly helpless with laughter, as is Mr. Squab) Oh, my god. That is the worst story ever. There is something wrong with you.

Mr. Squab: Sweet dreams.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Poetry Blogging


There was a time, both on this blog and on past efforts, when I regularly posted a poem on Fridays. Cos I like poetry, and it's fun to share my favorites. I think I stopped from sheer inertia, but today I was going through some boxes of old stuff and found the book eWAC made for me for my 18th birthday, which has a lot of great poems in it, so I thought I'd maybe start up again. The poem below is posted in honor of our dear Governor Tim Pawlenty, who indicated in a conference call yesterday that he may invoke the 10th Amendment to prevent any of Obama's healthcare reforms from taking effect in MN. Glad to know you, Tim.

Go West Young Man
by James Laughlin

Yessir they're all named
either Ken or Stan or Don
every one of them and
those aren't just nick-
names either no they're
really christened like
that just Ken or Stan or
Don and you shake hands
with anybody you run into
no matter who the hell
it is and say "glad to
know you Ken glad to
know you Don" and then
two minutes later (you
may not have said ten
words to the guy) you
shake hands again and
say "glad to have met
you Stan glad to" and
they haven't heard much
about Marx and the class
struggle because they
haven't had to and by
god it makes a country
that is fit to live in
and by god I'm glad to
know you Don I'm glad!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

File this under "Things That are Awesome"


Picked up the Hatchling from her second day of preschool this morning (verdict: still loving it), and as soon as the Sprout saw her big sister, her face totally lit up with a HUGE grin. Then they spend virtually the entire ride home just looking at each other and laughing, while the Hatchling kept saying, "I so glad to know you're here!"

Hoo. That's the good stuff. Now here are some cute pictures:

The First Day of School
First Day of School

She just at a lot of cookie dough. Sugar high?
Manic!

I find that having two small girls on the counter is a real aid to cookie-baking
Ellie gets to lick the spatula

Here's a little video of the Sprout in her bouncing contraption. MAN, I wish they made these for adults.

video