Thursday, January 31, 2008

Supah Tuesday

This is cross-posted at New England Mamas.

Whatever about the Super Bowl, I can't wait until Super Tuesday. I've already informed my husband that I shall be monopolizing the television that day. All day. MSNBC is going to start election coverage at, like, 6 a.m.. I may have to fight my toddlers over this - they are little Noggin addicts - and pray that they take a nice, long nap. I'm going to be in political geek heaven. It's too bad I don't know any other like-minded people or I'd have a primary party.

The endorsement of Barack Obama by Ted Kennedy was interesting to see. According to several sources, including The Huffington Post, Kennedy really gave Bill Clinton an earful, saying his comments were inappropriate for a former president. I couldn't agree more. Those few days when Bill Clinton was out there making remarks made me lose a lot of respect for the man and he was someone that I really liked and respected. It's disappointing and I'm sick of being disappointed by the Clintons.

When the New York chapter of N.O.W. said that Kennedy's endorsement of Obama was a betrayal of all women, I cringed. I don't know how his endorsement is a betrayal of anything. Am I betraying all women by voting for Obama? I don't think so. I'm not going to vote for someone just because she's a woman. If I don't like her, why should I vote for her? Shouldn't I base my vote on issues, not on gender or race? It seems to me that N.O.W. is endorsing Hillary Clinton simply because she is a woman, not because of anything she's done for women. I won't vote for her because she voted for the war in Iraq, plain and simple. And now she's saying that she didn't expect Bush to use the use of force resolution to go to war. Um, duh. Jesus. I know she's not a stupid person, but man, that sure makes her seem like one.

My other beef with Hillary Clinton is that she stayed with Bill after he left office, not out of any love for him but for purely political reasons. It was cold and calculating and I think she would have scored more points by leaving him and then going on to be elected to the Senate. She has relied on his good reputation and the fondness that people still have for him to boost herself politically. She's ridden his coattails into the Senate and now on to the Presidential primary. It annoys the shit out of me. If she wants to be a strong woman, she should stand on her own two feet and prove that she is capable of being president, that she doesn't need her husband to get her there.

Here's hoping that something gets decided on Tuesday. I don't know if my nerves can take much more of this.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Not Nerdy, But Definitely Not Hip

I am nerdier than 30% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

I think I'm too old to be hip.

But wait, there's more! In response to the above test, Floreksa posted this one: says I'm an Uber Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

Yes! Validation! And the only time I will ever be called uber cool. About anything.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me

I have been feeling so sorry for myself for the last couple of days. I don't seem to have a real reason for it, I'm just bummed.

I took the girls to play group today and I felt like a big schlub. All the other kids looked so cute and put together and my kids come in with flyaway hair, looking like they just rolled out of bed. I felt harried and rushed and annoyed with life in general. I sat there, watching the girls play and felt like crying. Boo was grabby and bossy. The Bug just wandered around happily, trying to play with the bigger kids but mostly being left behind. It didn't seem to bother her, but it bothered me. I'm not really sure why.

I hate it when I get this way. I don't know why I feel so sad some days. It's been coming on for a few days - I can always tell when I'm going to slide down into this pit because I spend the day or two leading up to it in a foul, foul mood. I've been snappy and cranky and generally unpleasant to be around.

I don't know how to cope with this when it comes up. It's kind of unpredictable and always takes me by surprise. I can't exactly sit in a corner and feel sorry for myself, although that's all I want to do. I wish I could just drive off and sit somewhere and be mopey by myself. Instead, I have to push it down and deal with life. I can't really talk to TCBIM about it because he just doesn't get it. He thinks that because I'm on an anti-depressant, I should be fine and that if I'm not, then I'm just being selfish and whiny. And maybe I am. I know that I annoy myself when I'm like this and I would like it to stop. I just wish I knew how.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Don't Make Me Turn This Car Around

"Mom, she hit me."

"Did not."

"Did too."

"Mom, he's being mean about me."

"Am not!"

"Are too!

"Stop touching me!

"No, you stop touching me!"

"Ok, you two! Knock it off right now or we won't go one foot further. I'll turn this car around and we'll go home."

My interpretation of the recent debate and subsequent speeches given by Clinton and Obama. Seriously, doods. Cut the shit. I hate that crap. Grow up, suck it up and stop taking these petty, stupid swipes at each other. It's not making either of you look smart or like you're the candidate for change - which, by the way, I'm going to puke if I have to hear one. more. time. It's making you look petty and small and like every other politician out there. If there's one thing that doesn't epitomize change, it's these stupid, juvenile squabbles.

I'm starting to think about giving my vote to Edwards. I really can't stand to listen to much more of this crap. It's bugging the hell out of me that Bill Clinton is doing a lot of the sound bites. I can understand him campaigning for his wife - that's his right. But to continually smear Obama somehow diminishes him. He was the president. Maybe I'm being naive, but somehow, it seems a president should be above that type of campaigning. Bill Clinton is such a wonderful and persuasive speaker, I don't think he needs to sink to those levels.

I hope to hell this stops soon. I can't take another couple of months of this crap. I already listen to this from a couple of toddlers every day. I don't want to turn on the TV and see it there, too.

(In a total aside, did you see that Johnny Damon endorsed Rudy Giuliani? Way to jump on to another sinking ship, there, Johnny boy.)

(This is cross-posted at New England Mamas.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Real Women DO Have Curves

Rachel, over at Tales Of My Thirties, posted a link this morning to a New York Times article about fat acceptance. This, of course, got me thinking. It's never pretty when I think before coffee, but here goes.

I am constantly dissatisfied with my weight and with how my body looks. I avoid looking at myself in the mirror, clothed or naked. I can barely meet my own eyes when I have to put on makeup. I have to steel myself, to say "Ok, I'm just going to look at my cheeks while I put on blush, only at my lashes as I put on mascara." I cannot bring myself to look at the whole image reflected there or I immediately start to viciously rip myself to shreds. It doesn't matter if anyone is standing there to hear me or not - I can't seem to stop myself. I've horrified my husband on more than one occasion with the nastiness of the words coming out of my mouth.

It's been this way for as long as I can remember. In fourth or fifth grade, I remember being teased about my butt. I wasn't heavy then, but my butt stuck out a bit because of a weird curve in my spine. Nothing severe, just enough to make my butt more prominent than those of all the white, flat-butted girls in my Catholic elementary school. I spent most of sixth grade being tormented by a seventh grader named Anthony, who christened me Bertha Butt and would holler said epithet across the playground at every opportunity. Needless to say, I was very ashamed of my body.

But this article made me think. Yes, I need to eat better, something I've been working on for the past few weeks. And dropping some of this excess weight I've been carrying around would be a good thing. But maybe I don't need to strive for 125 lbs. Maybe I should appreciate that I am a curvy woman and that even if I was 125 lbs, I'd still have a butt that sticks out. I'd still have a hard time finding trousers that fit (because I did when I weighed 125 lbs). I'd still have a hard time finding button up shirts that wouldn't gape open over my boobs.

So I think that I will still join the Y and I will still eat well, but I think I'm going to try to stop beating myself up and comparing myself to every twiggy little 16 year-old I see. I'm sure I'll fall down at times and start listening to that vile voice in my head, the one with the nasally tones that sound remarkably like that little fuck Anthony, but maybe if I start reading the blogs mentioned in that article and start listening to my husband, who says I look great no matter what my size, I can drown that voice once and for all.

Here's one eye-opener for you. Check out Kate Harding's BMI Project slide show.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Fine Line Between Self-Control and Self-Abuse

O's relationship with her father is strained at best. At the beginning of November, O got a phone call from her step-grandmother, informing her that her dad and stepmother were splitting up. Again. Her dad didn't bother to call her about this for another month. Her step-grandmother, meanwhile, has kept in touch with O vial email and the occasional phone call. She's even made a couple of trips out here to take Olivia out to lunch and hang out for a couple of hours. Her father has made no such effort and aside from a five minute meeting to hand off some of O's diabetes supplies, it's been over a year since she's seen or spent any time with her father.

The run up to this break in relations was stormy and coincided with us moving about an hour away from him, when we bought our house two years ago. They saw each other infrequently during that time and it was usually fraught with tears and hollering matches. There was an idyll of about 6 weeks, when her father and stepmother split up the first time around, but they soon reconciled and O was out in the cold again. She had no desire to spend time with her stepmother and I wasn't exactly anxious either. K, the stepmother, had been needlessly cruel to O over the last year prior to the first break up, at one point even locking O in her bedroom when she thought O had been snotty towards her. Now, O can be snotty with the best of them, but locking her in her room is excessive. And dangerous, considering O has type 1 diabetes. Being locked in a room for a couple of hours, with no access to juice to treat a low, could have turned into a bad scene. Thankfully nothing happened, but still. Who the hell locks a kid in their room? Talk about epitomizing wicked stepmother.

Since her father and stepmother have split up again, O has been making an effort to talk to her father. He moved back in with his parents, so she calls there. Most of the time, her dad isn't home and so she chats with her grandparents for a bit and leaves a message for him to call her back. This rarely happens. She's disappointed, but resigned to the fact that her dad is like this.

This past weekend, she saw her step-grandmother again, for lunch. When O came home, she was a bit down and I asked her how things went. She told me that P, her step-grandmother, had finally told her why her dad and K split up - that it was all because of alcohol. That K was an alcoholic and that her dad was, too. That instead of paying the bills, they were spending all their money on beer and at the bars. And that her dad and K hadn't planned to split up, but when they got evicted from their apartment, her dad said they could live with his parents. On the day they were supposed to move in there, he told K that his parents didn't want her there. She moved in with her mother, but they still talk and still see each other.

I was sad for O, but not surprised. This is the same reason that he and I split, lo these many years ago. He drank away the rent money and got us evicted from three apartments in the space of 16 months. The third eviction was the final straw and I moved out and never looked back. He admitted at the time that he was spending the rent money at the bar and that he had a drinking problem. When I tried to get him some help, he didn't want to hear it. Since the marriage was on its last legs anyway, I didn't push too hard.

But it seems nothing has changed. He's still a drunk, he's still getting evicted from apartments and not paying his bills. But this time, he has his parents to fall back on and they keep letting him move in there, allowing him to spend all of his money on booze.

I talked to O about all of this and told her that's what broke up our marriage, too. She can't understand how he can prefer alcohol to her and I couldn't really help her because I could never understand how he could prefer it to the little family we had either. I know alcoholism is a sickness, but for some reason, I don't have the capacity to be forgiving about it. Maybe that's a failing on my part, but I honestly don't understand how you can wreck two marriages and your relationship with your only child and not realize that the booze is controlling you rather than the other way around.

I'm not quite sure what to do for O at this point. I don't know if Al-Anon would be helpful for her or not. I don't want her to make excuses for her father and I think she has every right to be furious with him, but I also don't want this to make her bitter. I don't want her walking around angry at the world because of her father's failings.

I could kill him, though. With pleasure. I don't deal well with this sort of thing. I find it to be weak, like he's looking for a crutch, an "Oh, I can't help myself, I'm an alcoholic." Not that he'll ever admit that. Nothing is ever his fault, it's always someone else's fault, someone's always out to get him, to screw him over, to throw him under the bus. He refuses to see that his actions have consequences and he refuses to take responsibility when he fucks up.

It's just a shame he can't see that he's also fucking up his daughter, causing her pain and creating irreparable rifts in an already-rocky relationship.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

I've been trying to be more environmentally conscious. It seems to be the thing to do these days. Everyone, even Wal*Fart is jumping on the green bandwagon (although I will not be buying anything from them, green or not green. It's against my religion.) I buy those cute, curly light bulbs and as my incandescents go pop, I replace them. I got a couple of big tote bags from Whole Foods (for a dollar, whatta bahgin!) and try my best to remember to take them with me when I leave the house. I recycle everything I can.

Where I've fallen down, until today, was in the water-bottle-and-to-go-coffee-cup department. I've been pricing them. Kleen Kanteens are stainless steel (I don't want aluminum) and have interchangeable caps. They also start at about $20 a pop. Ouch. Sigg only makes stainless steel in a Thermos style, which I don't want. And all the other ones I've seen that meet my not-aluminum requirements are only available in a wide mouth design. And while I definitely have a big mouth, I also seem to have the manual dexterity of a two year-old, as evidenced by my vast collection of shirts with little shadow stains down the front. I really should wear a bib.

In the coffee cup front, things are slightly less expensive. A stainless steel mug, one that will fit in my Honda's dinky cup holder, is $15. Starbucks, another store I don't like to patronize, charges $19 for theirs. I thought I had found the solution when I saw that Pottery Barn had $10 coffee mugs and water bottles. The mugs are ceramic, which is definitely doable, even if it is also very breakable. But their water bottles, although pretty, are aluminum.

I don't understand why it has to be so expensive to be green. Why do I have to spend half again as much to buy local (local!) and/or organic produce and foods? Why can't a company make less expensive water bottles? It can't be that the market isn't there for these things because I hear about being green from everyone, from politicians to the pizza guy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pinch His Tits

I seem to be completely incapable of coming up with anything to blog about these days, so I'm swiping content from my friends. 'cause that's the kind of chick I am.

This made me howl with laughter. Stolen from Elizasmom.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Joy Nash

Totally awesome.

Swiped from my friend over at Talesofmy30s.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Body Drama

This is a MotherTalk book review.

Body Drama by Nancy Amanda Redd is the book I wish I'd had when I was a young teenager. It discusses the things you don't want to even think about when you're 12, 14, 15 years old and it does it in a down to earth and friendly fashion. There are photographs galore and they aren't the airbrushed things you find in fashion magazines. They're of real young women with real bodies who have real issues and problems.

Read the rest of the review here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Middle Place

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan is ostensibly a memoir about a young woman's battle with breast cancer. In reality, it is that and an ode to her family, to her irrepressible father, her pragmatic mother, to her husband and their two young daughters.

I'm often torn about whether I should read books like this or not. They knock at my heart and drag some of my darkest fears into the light where I'm forced to examine them before locking them away until the next time. But this was a book I was glad to have read.

Read the rest of the review here.

Like A Kid At Christmas

I'm cross-posting today.

In about 2 hours, the New Hampshire primary returns are going to start rolling in. I've been pumped about this all day, checking the clock, clicking on CNN and MSNBC obsessively, leg jiggling, waiting, waiting, waiting for those numbers to start coming up on the screen.

I was watching Hardball last night and heard Joe Scarborough invoke that K word in reference to Barack Obama - you know the one. Kennedy. Not Jack but Bobby. Scarborough said that not since June 1969 have people been this hopeful about a candidate. I wasn't around for the whole Kennedy era, so I don't know if this is true or not, but I have never felt this excited about a candidate. Not even when Bill Clinton ran and I was pretty excited about him.

The only thing I can chalk this up to is that people are really fucking sick of George W. Bush and his idiotic, ill-advised war, not to mention the litany of other issues - Valerie Plame, Scooter Libby, Alberto Gonzales, The Axis of Evil, the plummeting economy, the high unemployment really never ends. For the longest time, I felt like I was one of a small minority of voices hollering into the howling void, demanding that something, anything, be done about King George and his minions.

Slowly, slowly, things have started to change. People are questioning, openly, sometimes loudly, what is going on in Washington. People are sick of politicians, angry with Republicans and Democrats alike, and this energy and excitement that surrounds Barack Obama seems to be a direct answer to that anger.

So what is it about Obama that has people mesmerized? He is charismatic, definitely. He is not a Washington insider, which definitely is in his favour, considering how sick and tired the country seems to be of politics as usual. Obama seems to breathe a hope that people haven't dared to feel until now, to exude some mysterious something that makes people really, honestly believe that he is The Guy.

It's almost uncanny. I have admired Obama since 2004, when he gave the keynote at the Democratic National Convention. I thought his speech was inspirational without being grandiose. I thought his voting record in the Senate was pretty good and I thought he'd make an excellent candidate. I never thought it would happen though and now that it has, I don't quite know what to do with myself. I never back the front runner. I'm a Red Sox fan, fer chrissake.

But, y'know, the Red Sox have won the World Series. Twice. So maybe, just maybe, this is, once again, my year, and not only have I been cheering for a championship baseball team but I'm cheering for the future President Of The United States.

It sends chills down my spine.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Oh, Hi! How've Ya Been?

I didn't really intend to take a blogging break, it just sort of happened that way. I haven't been reading any blogs either. Things here have kind of gone all to hell.

Christmas was nice, but the next day, The Bug started puking. She'd had a cold for a few days prior to Christmas and I think the coughing is making her throw up. It's still disgusting, though. And the whole not sleeping thing is even worse than before.

Two days ago, I started feeling punky. Slightly nauseous, muscle aches and an annoying headache thing. Lightheaded. Just weird. Last night, Boo started puking. It was a fantastic start to the New Year.

The not sleeping thing is wearing me out. I am so not enjoying being a parent right now. They seem to always be crying about something. Not just crying, screaming their fucking heads off. They never just call for me, it's always "Mama! Mama! Mamamamamamamamamamamamamamama!" over and over and over again until I want to start screaming myself. Boo has these full-on, foot stomping temper tantrums and The Bug just shrieks herself into a quivering fury. Her face gets red, her veins stand out in her neck. I wouldn't be surprised to see her turn into the Hulk one of these times.

I just want to fast-forward thru this crap. I hate that I don't want to be around my kids, but right now, I really don't. Some days, I just want to run away.