Monday, February 27, 2006

On this day, I be birthed....

So happy birthday to me. Actually, I should say Happy Birthday to Mom. Because of the two of us, I'm sure she was much happier to see me than I was to see her. And while I'm at it... sorry for all the colic.

I believe Curt is out as I type buying my card at the last minute, in the time-honored Casa RiverRocks tradition. And maybe, if I'm lucky, some flowers. No carnations, honey. Mama likes the expensive flowers. But not everpriced red roses kind of expensive. Who likes flowers that bite (physically and financially? Oriental lilly & freesia kind of expensive. Though in truth, I prefer live flowering plants. He knows this. I received a lovely orchid for Valentine's Day. This is a trait we share, thankfully. He received 2 flats of super cheap perennials that aren't quite ready to be planted.

Pop sort of surprised me (Curt tipped me off) yesterday by bringing my grandmother and aunt for a visit to the new house. They brought cake and a lovely winter daphne with strict instructions to plant it by the front door. In this respect my family knows me well. Lets hope it smells as nice as the jasmine I left at the old place. I'd lugged that poor potted jasmine through 4 different moves. He was a staple on my front stoop. Until he fell in love with the particular light and gutter downspout of the front porch of the last house and I let him sink his roots in and start climbing.

Speaking of birthdays. The Monkey's 1 year event will be here in 2 weeks. I suppose I need to start planning my very first kids' par-tay. Mom is coming up, and I told some friends, but this is where being a child of divorce gets a little sticky. I do not want to set a precedent of having multiple parties for each step situation. Mom's a given due to her need to travel. But do I invite Pop & his stepfamily too? They, after all are the ones in town who provide sitting services when needed. So it would be rude to exclude them. OTOH, I want to invite some of the cousins on Mom's side as well.... which means aunts & uncles, too. Damn.

You know what, fuck it. I'll invite everyone, let 'em know who else will be there and they can choose to come/not as they'd like. Luckily, our house can now accomodate more than 2 visitors at a time.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Our darling boy is showing early signs of deviousnes.
The other morning I was in the living room with the Monkeyfish and Curt in the bedroom.  The Monkey decided he had to go see what the Da! was doing and headed down the hallway, babbling "thith thith thith".  I called "He's Coming Your Way!".  Five seconds of silence (which is never a good sign) passed before I heard Curt say "Where's my Monkey?".  In response a gleeful chortle floated up from the stairway.  Oh Shit.  Curt & I met at the top of the stairs where I'd apparently left the gate partially unlocked to find the Monkey halfway down the stairs, proudly laughing his little head off. 
The Monkey, he likes the stairs. But not as much as he loves the remote control.  Toy remotes, or dead remotes to devices we never use will not suffice. It must be the actual remote mommy and daddy use.  The other day he was a might cranky and was determined to get it.  I was equally determined to watch my recorded Daily Show episode in peace and refused to hand it over.  Giving the best nonchalant performance I've ever seen by a toddler, he disappeared behind the couch to his toy box and emerged all smiles with his  popper toy.  He can't quite push it himself, but loves to have Mommy chase him around with it.  Sucker that I am, I put down the remote and caved to the unspoken request. As I ran around one end of the couch, he bolted around the other and made a beeline for the discarded device, then laughed diabolically as he waved it around in victory.  
Guess we'd better start looking for that private South China Sea island to build his evil mastermind lair. I just hope there's room for the Ma!  and the Da! somewhere in his plan for world domination....

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Don't be silly, Sally...

"If Bush gets elected, he won't appoint anti-choice zealots to the Supreme Court.  You're overreacting.  He's a moderate. He's only using those Evangelicals to get into office... they don't really have any influence on him.  And there's no agenda to overturn Roe.  You're being paranoid.  What we really need to worry about are those scary terrorists - and he's my Joe Sixpack dream of a Jack Ryan wannabe who's gonna protect us." 
General gist of an actual 2004 election year conversation I had with someone very dear to me who was blinded by the flag waving into voting for Bush even though he's been a lifelong Dem.
Today: Reshaped Supreme Court agrees to review a U.S. appeals court ruling that declared unconstitutional the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, signed into law by Bush in 2003, because it lacks an exception to protect the health of a pregnant woman. 
Another day where I hate being proved right. 

Friday, February 17, 2006

Perspective Check

Here's an Interesting article from the Economist I came across while surfing today (I think via Clicked): The Mountain Man and the Surgeon: Reflections on relative poverty in North America and Africa.

The author compares two men making about $500/month each - one a former coal truck driver from Kentucky on public assistance, and the other a doctor in the Congo.

The overall gist seems to be "what are poor Americans complaining about?" and it's definitely slanted to the right (highlighting how the Mountain Man & family take advantage of gov't assistance), but it does provide an interesting "slice of life" comparison. And to its credit, it also highlights the high rate of domestic violence in the Kentucky subjects...

This, however cracked me up:

"How, then, to account for the apparent rise in poverty? It is partly a matter of definition. Some non-cash benefits, such as food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid, are excluded from the calculation. And the raw data must be wrong. Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank, notes that while reported annual income for the poorest fifth of households in 2003 was $8,201, their reported expenditure was $18,492. Nobody can explain this vast discrepancy." Um, HELLO???? Have you looked at the crime rate lately??

Hint to conservative think tanks: Maybe you should try factoring in UNREPORTED annual income: Record Washington marijuana harvest makes it state's 8th largest ranked agricultual commodity. How in the hell else do you explain that "A typical poor household in America has two televisions, cable or satellite reception and a VCR or a DVD player." ???

Which makes me wonder - how much does illegitimate criminal activity such as selling drugs contribute to the legitimate GDP? Which leads to... I wonder if that might not be why we don't crack down more on property/drug crime in this country?? It supports the economy in a sick and twisted way...


It's long past due for a Critter Update, I know.  Though that nickname doesn't really fit anymore.... he's evolved into a walking, almost talking, pushing every button on the TV, eating-everything-in-sight Monkey child.
Besides Da!  and Ma!  He has begun saying "This" when pointing to some item of interest. Only he can't quite make out the sibilant so it comes out more as 'thith'. Which is truly a multi-functional word, when you think about it.  Serves as question, "what is thith?", command "Give me thith!" while reaching agonizingly towards the object of his desire, and all around monologue filler as he mutters adorably to himself while figuring out some new toy "thith thith thith".
My MIL (who has been staying with us for the last 6 weeks, and who we are going to miss mightily when she leaves tomorow) has taught him to patty cake (sort of), and close cupboards (that he opens and pulls everything out of when the kitchen isn't gated) on command.
We call him Monkey because he is SO incredibly curious about EVERYTHING. But I'm starting to think "Monkeyfish" might be more accurate.  He is as quick and slippery as an eel as soon as he notes a crack in the babygate defenses - can dart across the room and slide between your legs and the doorway without your ever feeling it.  Just to get to whatever fascinating activity is making all that noise (Emptying dishwasher?  OOH KNIVES I CAN PLAY WITH!!) or whatever it is you are trying to keep him away from (like toilet paper role in our bathroom ) .  And he communicated very well nonverbally... starts smacking his mouth like a gaping gold fish when he gets hungry before makine a beeline for his highchair.  When he's excited about anything he does this long, drawn inhaled exclamation of joy that I can only describe as a fish gasping for water - much like the scene in Total Recall where Arnie & his girlfriend get sucked out onto the Martian surface and can't breathe.  Only in the Monkey's case, it's a good thing.  Scared the shit out of me the first few times he tried it, however.
Oh, and he gives Da! Gramma, me, the dog and cat all this huge, wide-open, slobbery, wet, dripping kiss when he's feeling particularly generous. But he warns you when it's coming with the cutest little "aaawwww" that any tongue suppressing doctor would be proud of, and that is guaranteed to melt his daddy's heart and forgive any sin. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

How to Get More Sex From Your Wife

*UPDATED 8/11/08 Who knew this would be such a popular post? Just for you guys who try the following advice and still feel shafted (or not, as the case may be).. I've put together some recommended reading/viewing. MustangSally's Marital Recommendations.  Or hire your wife a housekeeping service for cripe's sake!

or.. "Blow Jobs for Bowl Jobs" . Now Here's some brilliant advice just in time for Valentine's Day.
"I will tell you how to have more sex immediately.
You will clean up the kitchen.

But I hate cleaning up the kitchen! Can't I just whine for some ass and get it?


Awwww! Dammit!

Sorry. However, when you have finished cleaning the kitchen, you will have whatever you want sexually and you will have a clean kitchen, and that will make you The Richest Man in Bedford Falls, George Bailey.

I was recently reading the online ravings of a very depressed Internet friend who is entirely dissatisfied with her life, her marriage, and everything. She can barely get through the day. She's on Prozac. She feels worthless, sucked dry from raising her kids, unproductive. She asked her husband to clean up the kitchen one evening. "I'm too tired," he said.

Jackass, you walk right back in there and clean the kitchen. I don't care how tired you are. You clean the kitchen. If I can't convince you to clean the kitchen, and she can't convince you to clean the kitchen, then perhaps your dick will convince you to clean the kitchen.

Hey, wait a minute. Are you suggesting some kind of sex-for-cleaning exchange? Doesn't that kind of logic turn people into commodities?

No, I am not. See, here's the funny thing. Women want to have sex anyway. We like to do that stuff. And we want to have sex with a useful person who has cleaned a kitchen or otherwise contributed to the basic maintenance of the household (instead of sitting on the couch playing X-box and scratching himself). Because people who can clean kitchens are hot. People who cannot or will not clean kitchens are not hot.

Some kinds of attempts to initiate sex are not hot. I once had the terrible misfortune of living in a very crappy apartment in Boston with these tiny thin walls, and one day as I was reading somebody's Sunday Times--okay, it wasn't actually mine--I could hear the guy next door whining, "Oh, come on. It's my birthday, dammit." That is not hot. I was tempted to put down my coffee and pound on the wall: "Hey, man! That approach isn't going to work! Quit bugging her and go clean the kitchen!" When your partner is a mother and small people are always whining at her, that approach will keep you from having sex for an extended period of time. If you are lucky, she will hand you a piece of string cheese to shut you up. She will not fuck you. I repeat: She will not fuck you. By acting like a toddler, you have killed whatever passion still exists inside your woman. She might put you in time-out. She will treat you like a child because you are acting like one. She will say, "I'm sorry, but I can't understand you unless you use your big-kid voice."
Gentlemen, let me testify. Nothin' makes me reach for the silk teddy quicker than coming home to a clean kitchen. The sight of laundered underwear freshly folded by my sweetheart creams mine every time. My darling husband is a genius and figured this out himself a very long time ago. The man not only cleans my kitchen, takes care of the toddler, cleans the toilets and mends my clothes. Needless to say, he's usually the one telling ME "No, not tonight honey..."

Monday, February 06, 2006

Who cooperated with the NSA?

Something I was not aware of with the whole NSA spying scandal:  "Under federal law, any person or company who helps someone "intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication"--unless specifically authorized by law--could face criminal charges. That means any telecomm company who cooperated with the NSA could be criminally liable if it is determined that Shrub did not have the legal pwer to authorize warrantless wiretapping."  Though no company is admitting cooperation, there are plenty willing to confirm they did not cooperate.  Check the sidebar to see if your cellphone company is one of them.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I'm taking pity on Roni on her sick day and breaking my no-Meme rule. 
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often or don't really know each other) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you!