MOVING DAY: Thanks to the kindness of Dave over at Greeblie, we're moving on to better things and the world of Movable Type. You can visit us at our new home http://www.greeblie.com/curmudgeonry. Things are still sort of messy over there, because I've been sort of a dunce of late. I knew there was some reason sleep was necessary...
We're looking forward to our new home as part of the Axis of Greeblie.
CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG: As I've always understood it, "undocumented workers" is just a way to say "illegal aliens" without being "judgemental." "Undocumented workers" are people who are in this country illegally, no matter what words you choose. And if they are in this country illegally, that would mean they are breaking the law. Right? Not apparently to NPR or advocacy groups -- in an article tonight on All Things Considered about the roundup of "undocumented workers" at the Chicago Sears Tower, the reporter talked about the complaints from immigrant groups and noted that the government considered it reasonable to arrest the workers, because (in her words) although most of them are "law-abiding" they might have information about terrorist activities or be easily turned to perform these acts of terrorism. Excuse me? How can someone actively breaking the law by staying illegally in the United States be "law-abiding?" Sure, they may not be murdering, robbing or anything else. They may simply be here working, but that doesn't make illegal immigrants "law-abiding."
GUNS, REVISITED: Though I am not a gun owner (unless you count our Chinese blow-gun) and have never shot anything more powerful than an air-rifle, I still think arming the law-abiding portion of the populace is probably one of the best deterents to crime that there is. I never really hope to convince my liberal friends of this though, but for any of you (and you know who you are) who are interested -- Rachel Lucas, Queen of Guns, gave her class talk on gun control and passed on a lot of information that is worth making note of and taking to heart.
HOW DO YOU ANSWER THAT? "Mommy, what do you call a girl cow? What do you call a boy cow? What do you call a girl sheep? What do you call a boy sheep?..." We have a lot of such conversations around the Adams' household. When we got around to what you call girl dogs, I was rather at a loss. Gregory Hlatky's blog dwells a lot on dog shows and he naturally refers to Miss Lacey as a bitch. That's what she is, after all. But did I really want to tell my three year old that? It isn't something I wanted to hear issuing from his lips during Sunday school or anywhere else -- no matter how appropriate. Fortunately for me, just as George asked the question, the baby started grumbling about the unfairness of her lot in life (or perhaps just because she wanted to nurse) and the distraction spared me from coming up with an answer.
ANY THREE YEAR OLD CAN DO IT: I think most of us have looked at some modern art and said, "Any three year old could paint that," or sometimes, "Any three year old could paint something better than that." Well now I have proof. Here's a picture my son painted at our last visit to ArtQuest at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and I don't think I'm just being a proud mama when I say I think it is as good as a lot of modern art I've seen.
STAGING A COUP: Those of you who come around regularly may have noticed that my dear husband, who started this blog and entitled himself the "Chief Pontificator" rarely pontificates (in print) about anything any more. I can only conclude that if you are here, it isn't to read what he has to say. Therefore, I am, as of now, deposing him from his former heights of illustrious granduer. BWHAHAHAHA! And thus begins my first step towards world domination! Let's see how long it takes before he notices, shall we?
THAT RELIGION OF PEACE: I took the kids to get their dose of culture the other day at the local art museum. The current exhibit is entitled EmpireoftheSultans:OttomanArtfromtheKhaliliCollection and my three-year old son was fascinated by the jewel-encrusted guns, swords and armour. We got a lot of funny and withering looks from the usual suspects, when George kept saying admiringly, "Look at that *huge* gun, Mom!" While we toured the exhibit, I kept wondering why a religion of peace, whose followers our local paper The Tennessean recently described as being "peaceful by nature," were doing with all those weapons. I suppose they must have been used only in self-defense, of course.
I'M JUST A GIRL!: One woman I was in a class with in college thought several of her male professors were hitting on her. Another woman I know complains often that her PhD advisor doesn't take her seriously because she's a short, blonde woman. You read about other women who claim they didn't get the promotion they wanted or the raise they sought because they are women. Feminists often talk about the victimization of women -- they see themselves or others as oppressed, looked down upon or held back by their sex and/or looks. Now, granted I haven't experienced life as a short, blonde woman since I was about six years old and maybe the other girl was really getting hit-on by professors, something that certainly never happened to me, and maybe sometimes women do get passed over in the workplace because of their sex, but it always seems that those who believe most strongly in victimization are always the ones that are the victims.
I can't think of a single time in life when my gender held me back or that some man got ahead of me, because he was a man. Have I just been oblivious or so beaten down by the white, male oppressors that I no longer can see my degradation? I don't think so. I don't set out with the idea that people are out to get me, stop me from reaching my goals or belittle me for being a woman, I assume that I have the same chances that every one else has. Some people might stand in the way of my accomplishments because they are jerks, but not because I'm a victim.
As my daughter grows older, I hope she will not buy into the feminist line that she'll be oppressed or victimized because she's a girl. For all the strong woman garbage that feminists talk, they often seem to be the weakest of creatures -- victims of everyone. Sure, I want my daughter to be able to do anything her brother can do, but how far is she going to get if she's always watching out for the guys trying to hold her back?
And now to leave you with a few lines from that other Addams family:
Blonde Snotty Girl: I'll be the victim. I'll be the victim.
Wednesday Addams: All your life.
BLOGGING ABOUT THOSE YOU LOVE: It can be a dangerous business to blog about friends and family, an article from yesterday's NY Times notes. I know several of my friends read this blog, but I thought I was safe from ticking them off by blogging about them since I try not to say things here that I wouldn't say to them in person and I also have never tried to hide the fact that I might occasionally use our conversations as fodder for my posts. However, I guess that never works. In blogs I generalize and become more hyperbolic than I am in person and even when a friend might know there is a slight potential that what they say might show up over here, seeing their thoughts and ideas ripped apart is never pleasant. So, I'm wiser now (and fortunately not friendless), but I really have not disavowed blogging about friends either. I will be extra careful to edit closely and play fair, should I chose to go that route though. (Link via yourish.com)
GOD'S SECRETARIES: THE MAKING OF THE KING JAMES BIBLE: Jonathan Yardley's review of this book by Adam Nicolson makes me want to break out my KJV again and dump the New English Bible (although I will say in its defense that it is infinitely better than the NIV).
GUN MANUFACTURERS -1/ NAACP -0: The NAACP apparently sued several gun manufacturers in New York for causing violence among minorities through their marketing tactics. The jury, which played an "advisory" role in the verdict, deliberated for 5 days before determining that Glock and Colt were not liable. They weren't able to reach a conclusion regarding Smith & Wesson, but the judge'll sort things out. Now how the heck did the NAACP get standing to bring such a ridiculous claim?
CHILDREN UPDATE: Since Amanda is blogging about interesting stuff, it is time for an update on the kidlets. It is hard to discipline a kid for impudence and defiance when you are rolling on the floor laughing. The other day I asked George to put some things away. First he told me that he "didn't think that would be fun" and suggested that I do it instead. When I declined, he sang, "This is the way I won't do it, won't do it, won't do it. This is the way I won't do it, because I won't." (To the tune of Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush) Today at story time, when sang a song that we sing every week about making a rainbow. George always likes to add his favorite color to the rainbow -- today that was maroon.
And Philippa? She's disgusting. She tries to eat anything and everything. I caught her with dried bird poop in her mouth today. The early ability to crawl has not exactly been easy on me.
But aren't they cute?
8 MINUTE DATE: A trend in the "desperately single" world is the 8 minute date phenomenon. This link is a clever description from a "been there" reporter. It seems kind of crazy to me. But then again, all the guys lingering in the local produce aisle are gay...
Poll Shows Most People Cannot Name Any Democratic Candidate for 2004:
"(CNSNews.com) - A public opinion poll taken by CBS News shows that two-thirds of the American people are unable to recall the name of any Democrat running for president in next year's election. "So far, many voters have not yet made up their mind who to vote for in 2004," CBS reported. The poll contacted a random sample of 910 adults nationwide who were interviewed by telephone May 9-12, 2003. With the primaries almost a year away and 18 months to go until the election, the Democratic candidates for president are "not yet well-enough known for most respondents to volunteer any of their names. Only 34 percent of people can offer the name of at least one of those challengers - including only 36 percent of Democrats who say they can." The candidate most frequently recalled was Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), who ran for vice president in 2000 and was remembered by about 10 percent of the individuals polled."
... I wonder how many people will be able to come up with the name of the SNL actors who do the best caricature of the Democratic candidates...
ANTI DEMOCRATIC DEMOCRATS: I suppose as "Bush Country Correspondent" it is my obligation to comment on the flight of the Democrat legislators from Austin this week in order to avoid voting on congressional redistricting that would likely strip some of them of their legislative responsibilities altogether during the next election. Besides being antithetical to their oath of office, and the entire concept of representative government, the bill to the taxpayers will be about $2M if the governor has to call a special session to get the legislative work finished this year. If you'd seen my tax bill this year you would forgive me a little whining. If only they'd just stay permanently in Ardmore, Oklahoma. You know what they say -- Oklahoma is OK.
STOP RUINING IT FOR THE REST OF US! Stephen Joseph, a lawyer out in California is trying to get Oreos banned from the state until Kraft stops making them with trans-fats. We all know that trans-fats probably aren't great for us, but then we all should know that processed foods aren't great for us. That's why one's diet shouldn't be founded on chips, cookies and things like that, but why shouldn't we be able to eat a few indigestible, fatty foods once in a while? Though I usually prepare almost everything from scratch and try to eat a diet of unprocessed whole foods, I, for one, am sick of the health nazis telling me what to eat and what not to eat. If I want to go on an Oreo binge and stuff myself full of trans-fats, I should be able to without the nanny state looking over my shoulder. When I wind up weighing 500 pounds, I think I'll sue Stephen Joseph for creating the unique mental anguish that caused me to gorge myself.
MONEY: The Treasury is going to be adding color to the twenty-dollar bill. I know that it is necessary to make changes to our money to keep ahead of counterfeiters, but the stodgy, curmudgeonly part of me really hates to see our money start looking more and more like the "play money" they have in the rest of the world.
UNFAIRNESS: When I opened up The Tennessean this morning, I saw depicted in full color photography the face of evil, or rather a face of evil, Karen Lynn Lovell, mother of a three-year-old son, holding a gun to his head. She had escaped from county prison, abducted her son at gunpoint from her sister, the legal guardian, and had finally been cornered after a car chase in which she ran down a deputy sheriff. She put the gun to the child's head and told the police she would shoot him if they didn't back off. Fortunately, a deputy sheriff shot her instead, in the temple. The police caught her son, spattered with blood, as she crumpled to the ground. Amazingly, she survived, for now.
I have a three year-old boy too. I love him and hug him and play with him and make him sit in the corner or whap his backside as necessary. He's a good kid, and I often marvel at how lucky I am to have him and just to know him and watch him grow. And I fret about the days when I'm not perfect and I lose my temper too quickly or I can't find the time to do the umpteenth puzzle or whatever game he wants to play. Tonight I read him a story and we had our usual cuddle and talking time after the lights were out.
When my son complains that I won't give him a second doughnut, toy, story, puzzle, whatever, I tell him that life isn't fair. That's how safe and comfortable our lives are; my son has learned the concept of "unfairness" by our unwillingness to give him what he wants, which of course isn't unfairness at all. Yet somewhere else in Tennessee another three-year-old is going to bed knowing his mom pointed a gun to his head, got hurt very badly, and is now now lying in a hospital. That little boy has learned unfairness not just from his mother's unwillingness to give him what he needs, but her willingness to harm him.
I'm thankful some days, when I know I haven't been the perfect mommy, that three-year-olds' have fuzzy memories. For this little boy, I pray simply that he can forget, because I don't see how else he, or anyone else, could survive learning such a cruel lesson.
RANDOM GARDENING THINGS:
(1) The calla lilies I planted and then found un-earthed and gnawed on by the evil bunny are actually coming up. I'm very excited and hope they bloom well.
(2) I know with all the devastation that some people have been through with these recent storms that this petty, but the heavy rain has really beaten down my plants. My snapdragons are so bedraggled and I have very little time to play in the garden. My daughter seems to be a mosquito magnet and even if she has a good protective layer of repellent on, she still speed-crawls to the nearest plant, uproots it and stuffs it in her mouth.
(3) The weeds are, unfortunately, not bedraggled. I can't believe how fast they can start to take over.
GIRL'S NIGHT OUT: Tonight, I left the kidlets with Daddy and went to "Girl's Night Out" with some of the other moms from the playgroup I theoretically take the kids to. Theoretically, because while we attended frequently when George was a baby, we've only been three times in the past two years. But I decided like it might be fun to have a break from the kids, so I headed off for a few hours of conversation and a scrumptious chocolate dessert.
I had a great time doing something out of my usual routine, but I never cease to wonder why I, the fundamentalist, right-wing, ultra-conservative that I am, wind up in circles made up of hippie, communist leftists. These moms I met through La Leche League and we all breastfed long-term, but that really never seemed like a political thing to me. I don't see why one would have to be a leftist to breastfeed. So how come I never met any Republicans at the meetings?
The women from my playgroup, not friends exactly -- I suppose they are really more on the level of good acquaintances, are all very nice people, but ultimately people I have little in common with. If we ever discussed anything deep, I'd probably have to loathe them because they believe in things that are fundamentally at odds with all my beliefs. I suspect also that if I ever discussed politics or religion with them, in depth, they would either find me rather loathsome because my views are so opposed to theirs -- or because they hold to a very live and let live sort of philosophy perhaps it wouldn't bother them at all. At yet somehow these are also the people who seem to draw me and those I am drawn to. Am I giving off liberal vibes? I find it very odd. Perhaps I need to bring more politics and religion into my casual conversation and see what happens. Or maybe it is better just to let the kids play and bash each other and for me to enjoy the occasional night of light banter with the girls.
NYQUIL, HOW I MISS YOU! Growing up I rarely got medicine of any kind. My mom was the type who believed in letting illness work itself out. Then I went to college and dorm and cafeteria life hit me hard. I caught everything that came down the pike and many things that nobody else got. I quickly discovered Nyquil, the miracle drug. I loved Nyquil when I was sick. I only used it when I was sick, but what a wonderful thing it was then -- it did all the ads promised and I would usually wake up feeling much better.
Since college I haven't been sick all that much, but when I do catch something I long for Nyquil. Unfortunately for me, I've been pregnant or nursing for the last 4 years straight now, so no drugs for me. Yesterday, I woke with a fever and a cold that had turned into a sinus infection. It would have been the perfect day to take my beloved Nyquil, but no such luck. The baby doesn't need to be getting any drugs passed on to her and besides we spent most of the day co-sleeping so I could get more naptime and I didn't want to be too out of it lest I roll over on her or something. Someday I know I'll be done with having babies and nursing though, and when that time comes and I get sick -- please pass the Nyquil.
SELF-AWARENESS, PEOPLE! PLEASE! Warm weather is here in the South and as usual this means people wear fewer and fewer articles of clothing and the clothing they do wear is skimpier and skimpier. While such items really seem hardly appropriate for anyone, do the heavier-set among us really think that it is a good idea to show off those extra layers of folds and fat? I don't particularly enjoy seeing teenage girls with perfect bodies exposing their bellies and most of their chests, nor do I like them parading in front of my husband, but most people (even teenagers) don't have perfect bodies and it would be nice if they recognized that fact. Instead we see women carrying an extra 50 pounds and several years past teenager-hood dressed in tube tops and those little exercise shorts with writing across the rear that make even size 0 women look like their derriere is huge.
And less men think to escape my wrath on the subject, why do so manny think we want to see most of them uncovered when they run? Sure the women in swimsuits or bras are bad, but I don't want to look at men's chests either -- especially not the hairy, ape-like ones who seem desirous of showing off their manly chest and back-hair. Put on a shirt and some decent shorts, folks, and spare the rest of us the view!
BEST FRIENDS: These days it seems like almost everyone has some sort of story about friendship and the internet -- either a love they met on the web or a long-lost pal they found again. I have two groups of good friends that I've now known for over 4 years, most of whom I've never met. They are my best friends. We "talk" daily.