Friday, August 31, 2007

Irony is officially dead

I just about drove off the road laughing when I heard this on the radio earlier: the sterling integrity of "World Wrestling Entertainment" has been compromised by steroid use.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Well, that didn't take long

Sooner or later in these GOP sex scandals, somebody comes up with a nice raunchy Dr. Seuss parody. ("I am not gay in my senator pants.") Awesome.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How long until he finds Jesus?

We have a Tom Tomorrow cartoon on our fridge that I just love. In the first frame, over an illustration of a stereotypical fat white Republican guy who happens to be in bed with a man, a woman, somebody dressed as a clown, and a giraffe, it says something to the effect of, "Should we assume that ALL moralizing right-wing Republicans are closet sexual libertines, or just some of them?" And the fat guy in the picture is checking his watch and saying, "Look at the time! I have to give a speech on traditional family values in an hour!"

I thought of this cartoon when I read about poor misunderstood Republican Sen. Larry Craig. What is he, like the 15th such Republican lawmaker caught with his pants down, so to speak? It's so hard to keep track.

Can Craig's discovery of a newfound devotion to his faith--or perhaps a trip to rehab--be far behind? (No pun intended.)

Monday, August 27, 2007


This weekend we got together with my parents to celebrate a couple of birthdays--my dad's 75th, and Mr. Fraulein's Birthday That Shall Not Be Named. We walked around the Mystic Aquarium in the tropical humidity, enjoying the seals and the penguins and the cownose rays and the beluga whale, and I got to thinking about fatherhood and the past.
First, my dad's past. Contained within the man my father is today--leaning on a cane, suddenly--are all the men he's been. The soldier going off to Korea, rakishly handsome, at 18. The hipster grinning out of the old photograph, slouching in his trim suit and skinny tie, a drink in his hand and my mother on his arm (skinny and elegant in a tight-waisted, flared 50s dress) in his 20s. The balding guy with the 5-o'clock shadow, the huge grin, and the toddler in his arms in his 30s. The guy who has spent his whole life in a complicated relationship with his extended family and God, whom he never forgave for taking away my twin brother, his only son, at birth.
I think a lot about the Daddy I worshipped as a little kid (an only child, Daddy's little girl) when I watch Mr. Fraulein with our Peanut.
The Peanut certainly loves me, and she often looks cautiously to me for my approval. She wants me to read to her and sing to her, and last week we had such fun hitting the outlets together (we scored big time at the Carter's and Stride Rite outlets--our first true mother-daughter shopping trip!) But as much as I believe and hope we will always have a special mommy/daughter bond, the place the Peanut holds in her heart for her daddy is sacred.
The Peanut loves her daddy with ferocious abandon. Yesterday we sat eating lunch, post-aquarium, and she asked him a question, but he was distracted and didn't answer right away. She thought for a second that he was ignoring her. She burst into furious tears. But once she got his attention all was right with the world again.
He's her best friend.
When Mr. Fraulein's Significant Birthday approached, I put out cautious feelers about what I should buy him. Getting presents for this husband of mine is difficult under any circumstances, as he never wants anything, but this was a special case. At first I thought maybe I'd throw a party or something. But when my inquiries were met with dark mutterings about walkers and Metamucil, I decided to drop the party idea.
Hopefully the best present Mr. Fraulein will get for this birthday (aside from Alberto Gonzales suddenly resigning!) is the knowledge that his youth is wrapped up in the Peanut's childhood. As long as he's still the dad who acts goofy and makes her giggle, he'll be even more than young at heart.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fashion adviser, age not-quite-3, available for consultations

This morning as I sat eating my bland Weight Watchers CORE plan breakfast, the Peanut walked over and took an appraising look at my outfit.

"Are you wearing that to work?" she asked, aiming a withering stare at my admittedly not very fashionable khaki pants and rayon jacket.

"Well, yeah, I was planning to," I said. "What's the matter -- you don't think I should wear this?"


She won't be 3 until October. God help me when she's a teenager if she already hates my taste in clothing!

Like the way things are going?

Keep voting Republican.

Dirtbag dog murderer to own up to dirtbagginess

Who's surprised? These coddled, overpaid waste-of-space professional athletes are beyond pathetic.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Brilliant post on fatherhood and masculinity

By David Neiwert at Firedoglake here:

It’s impossible, I think, to put into words the immensity of the rewards that come with it: you watch them grow in body and spirit, become real little persons with real minds and dreams and desires all their own, and you bond with them in a way that lasts for life and maybe beyond. I’ve done many good and rewarding things in my life, but none of them — not even marrying a great woman, or publishing three books, or building up a good blog, all of them great things — has meant quite as much as being Fiona’s daddy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Carcinogenic FEMA trailers and presidential politics

So it turns out that those trailers that were supposed to have been supplied to homeless victims of Hurricane Katrina--the ones that were long delayed, and came in inadequate numbers to begin with--were built with materials containing high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde.

Thad Godish, a formaldehyde expert with Ball State University who has acted as an independent expert in evaluating the FEMA trailers, said the formaldehyde levels were very high _ some reaching more than 1 part per million _ in some trailers previously tested by federal regulators.

At such high levels, he said people, especially children younger than 6, are likely to be affected. "You're simply sick all the time," Godish said. "It's basically upper respiratory, nose, throat irritation, headaches, fatigue."

Just add that to the list of the ways the Gulf Coast has been screwed by this administration.

By the way, I've said it before and I'll say it again: those who think that this country--after it turned a completely blind eye to the wholesale, LITERAL destruction of a predominantly black region--is ready to elect a black man to the presidency are kidding themselves. Think about it: after the hurricane, not only was the Gulf Coast never rebuilt, but for the most part the story of the ongoing devastation has disappeared from public view, except for the occasional shameful revelation like the one about the FEMA trailers. The story has evaporated from the news because for the most part, people don't care.

And I believe that what's true for Barack Obama is equally true for Hillary, although for slightly different reasons. If one of them is the Democratic nominee, we are going to lose, and lose big.

We are simply not there yet. Racism and sexism are so deeply engrained into our culture, I personally doubt whether we'll ever be in a place where a minority or a woman could win the presidency. It pains me to admit that this is how it is. With so much at stake, is this the time to risk it?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Overheard in the Pre-K One Room

One of the Peanut's teachers tells me that her aforementioned best buddy C. was heard yesterday to comment, as he gazed at her lovingly, "(Peanut's real name) is so beautiful."

This kid, he still kills me.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday lit. blogging: Last word on "Deathly Hallows"

Am I the only one who thinks it's hilarious that the Minister of Magic (the wizard Prime Minister) who is put under the Imperius curse, performing unspeakable acts at the behest of a sinister group of puppet-masters, is named "Pius Thicknesse"? That ought to be George Bush's Secret Service code name.