Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bloggera Obscura

Allow me to bury the lead. Of late I am listening to the New Pornographers' most recent offering. I like it. You should like it too, if you have any sense. They are playing here September 28. You'd go, if you knew what your ears needed, and what they need is... that's right. I will buy you a drink at the show if you have to travel more than 300 km to get there. (And if we make it.)

I have also dug into the Stranglers' back catalogue for this old chestnut. The people who write liner notes say it represented an important thematic shift for the band. I say bring on the nubiles! The one thing this album lacks (ok, one of them) is the song "Nuclear Device." This may be on account of the fact it appeared on an earlier album. I guess that could be it. Why can't the artists I like make an album for me, with the really good songs on it, the ones that I like? I hope one day, before we wipe out our species in some ignominious fashion, humanity can develop a technology which permits people to record all of their favourite songs in one place, and that the listeners can then carry the music around with them and listen to it privately. All I can do is hope. The song, Nuclear Device, is a good enough song to make it onto any such device I would own in this speculative future world. I think it is about Australia.

Which brings me, painfully, to today's subject: Mo Ma. Not the fine warehouse of culture but Mo's ma. I have mentioned elsewhere that this woman irks me. It's a fairly cliched relationship, all things considered. She has this habit, or spastic verbal affect, which involves looking at a thing, say, a nuclear device, and then drawing attention to thing, becoming involved with the thing, and not really (in the case of a 3 year old and one year old child) giving due consideration to factors such as safety, mealtime, naps, bedtime, hygiene. The small stuff with which we parents occupy ourselves.

She had Miss Fancy today and they did something, I am unsure what, because either I don't trust her reports or I am not listening to the breathy nonsense about how my daughter is capable of doing many things (like breathing and eating) of which I was already slightly aware. In any event, she had the girl today, for which I was grateful, but returned in the dinner hour, which was slightly annoying, and led to the following exchange.

MoMa: Look, Miss Fancy, a nuclear device!

Miss Fancy: Let's eat it!

P-man: Listen, don't eat the nuclear device before your dinner. You'll spoil your meal.

MoMa: Ok, let's pick it!

MF: Yeah!

P: Hey, did you hear what I said, no nuclear device before dinner? It's spaghetti.

MoMa: Here's a good nuclear device, nice and ripe. Can you pick it? Oh look, p-man, Miss Fancy can pick a nuclear device! Do you know that? Oh, Miss Fancy, you're incredible!

P-man: Did I mention it's dinner?

Moma: Oh, look, an unexploded landmine! Let's dance!

Miss F: Wheee!

P-man: Out!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007


It had to be done. We needed to update our blogroll for a while.

I never kept a very comprehensive blogroll because I was too lazy. Instead I sort of blogrolled some of my dear loves who kept terrific blogrolls. But once everyone sent their massive recommended titles to a new page I got the message. Seems high time we get it together us Wo-users and stop looking on everyone else's paper.

It's impossible to have a comprehensive blogroll in this wild content rich environment. Instead we have a representative one. A hologram if you will. (emoticon implied)

So here's a crop from the word-mills that seemed right to add.
the cheesefairy
Denver Dad
Rugger Jay

A broad range of new opinion and side-splitting risibility, I promise. Continued thanks are due to all of you who keep all your nice tidy blogrolls upon which we rely heavily.

... not to play favorites but I really do have to recommend the recent post on that blinker tell da cheesefairy, check it out.

And, the new palette? Well let's just say I woke up this morning and decided I wanted to be the chick with the purple and orange blog, what of it? Do you think I ate a few too many pumpkin muffins this week?

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

12 Years

Wow. Our twelfth wedding anniversary today. The internet will tell you the twelfth is associated with linen and silk, or in our case forgetfulness and fatigue. Ah, to be honest we remain tired but happy. And, with a happy note from my Dad as follows a bit smirky in our own rememberances.

Just a note to say, as best we can
To the two of you, mo-wo and p-man

That we want you both to know
When we think of this day twelve years ago

We wish you now as we did then
Happiness over and over again

And for all the many years to come
Love for each other and of course from

Mom and Dad

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

There's just an empty space

So what is it that has me thinking my life is as gay as a pack of Phil Collins lyrics?

Well I'll tell you what. After a day of an exhaustion too crushing to leave me able to reassemble the blender and thus walking away from the whole kitchen. And after a weekend of varied parental ruin resplendent with cheap discipline and poor or no napping, 100% nitrate based nutrional solutions... After all that I was given this tonight!

Ah, the Fresco. A robust replacment for the five-year-old Bonjourno I had to retire last month. The beloved oh-so-barely-out of the doghouse p-man took it upon himself to pick this up for me today as a postscript to his workin' man barista -based interlude circa 10:25.

Bless you, husband.

You know for a week or so I have been pretty deep in the 'what am I doing here?' I miss work. I miss the opportunities to kick butt and be heard. I miss my old latte for breakfast, latte for lunch, followed by a sensible dinner routine. I think it was when the Bonjourno gave out that was the straw that broke this camel's back. While I can persist in this imp driven impatience-o-vision universe it is less rosy without the comfort of fuzzy milk.

Honey, you're the only one who really knew me at all.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Camping With Curry Postscript

I took a call on the evening of the previous post from Ms. Person's Name of Thai Food Manufacturer. She was eager to give me my prize. "I'll bet she's hot, I mean, generous" said I to Mo. "Grgghh," said she as she inserted BBQ tongs in a place where only the most foolhardy customs officials dare to visit.

The next day Ms. Person's Name attended at my place of business to provide me with my prize which consists of:

- one slim cooler, manufactured by the latex maid
- ten frozen Thai entrees, by the Thai Food Manufacturer
- one camping set which includes a tent, two sleeping bags, and two chairs.

I didn't even have to establish that I own a credit card, let alone provide it to the generous Ms. Person's Name upon meeting. It's legit: I won a contest. Knock me down with a sprig of lemongrass.



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Thursday, August 16, 2007

But I Never Win Anything

That's not entirely true. Once, in 1981, I won a copy of the Who's first post-Moon LP by being the 14th caller. Go CFUN. It had been a long dry spell until recently when the following glorious email arrived, ostensibly from a local Thai food manufacturer:

Hi p-man,

I would like to extend my congratulations to you in winning PUD and Thai Food Manufacturer's “Take a Curry Camping” Contest. Your prize consists of a camping set, complete with tent and sleeping bag, and a cooler filled with delicious Thai Food Manufacturer's Curry entrées. Thank you for entering and I look forward to awarding your prize. I can arrange to drop your prize off to you, or you can pick it up here. Please let me know what works best for you.

Person's Name Here

Person's Name
Sales Account Manager
Thai Food Manufacturer

The thing is, I don't recall entering any contest which would have me cavorting in the local undergrowth with a steaming hot red curry in one hand and a buck knife in the other. Perhaps I will call this person and find out if she wants my credit card number first.


Lululemon Bag Pearl of Wisdom for the Day:


Oh wise bag, do what now? What? What? What?


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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Amazing Mermaid Diet

Last night Miss E and I discussed mermaids. I don't know how the subject arose. I don't know why little girls are fascinated by these creatures. I can understand dads having a mermaid fixation. (I don't. I didn't raise the topic, E did. Shut up!)

Me: So what do mermaids eat, Miss E?

Miss E: Seaweed... and concrete.

I thought they ate seamen. Hm.

P-man out.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Child care search #4: two posts in one

Ok. I have shied away from admitting it til now. I know plenty of cool parents with happy experiences so what is wrong with me.

But rationalize no longer.

I hate nannies.

I want to like them. I want to get a good one. But once bitten twice shy.

This time two years ago I was enjoying my 2nd week back at work. My third week with our new nanny. I came home to the following. "I have good news and bad news." In fact it should have run more like the inimitable words of Kumar, in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, "I have bad news and worse news."

Stupid girl quit. 1 weeks notice.

Let's just be clear I always prefered daycare for us. I'd settled on a nanny when our daycare spots didn't queue up on time. I let this parasite walk out my door that day never to return. We came up with a new space in a week after all. But where going in I had been lukewarm on nannies ... after that ... I sort of hate them. Certainly, I don't trust them.

Right now I am hedging on the good daycare space I have for E. since I have nothing for A. when I go back to work. E. tried and liked pre-school last month and a number of things scream Nanny! Nanny! Nanny! Do it, Nannies can be good.

But there is something inside me that can't do it. I find the whole nanny profession so underated and unstable that I don't wanna play along. I have deep fears of a scenario perhaps worse than the last. A turn where someone forms a bond with my kids and then bolts. I perceive of nannydom as a pass-thru for other career goals and as such you sort of have to put your own family out there knowing that the better/best interests of the individual can cut you off at the knees without warning. Add to this that the branding of cultures for parenting surrogacy really drives me to drink.. "Oh you simply must get yourself a Filipino, they are so loving.", says my MIL. Gag. I see women keeping nannies for 10+ years and I sit in judgement that their families lack something and that the purchase of the service well into school years is wrong.

My head is spinning. Ta-da!... Behold my overall unease with the topic of my absence from the family home, for work. Yes, it's true. I am no Iron Mommy. I feel guilt that I go to work but I will. In January, or sooner, I will be back where I can kick butt and kick back. To punish myself first I will avoid the major responsibility I have before to do that. I will delay, ignore and avoid decisions in the circus of choices available. I will layer irresponsibility on irresponsibility and knit one guilt to another. Then maybe I will have some luck and forgive myself, again

Expect over the coming weeks we will once again wrestle with our least favorite activity. Trying to find good childcare. Our next installment daycare v. preschool. Discuss

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Pic It

As we've said a good reason we haven't been so up on the blogging is the work we all need to keep up with in the garden. Get to work, gnomes!


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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Oh, MetroDad, We Still Love You!

Did you read MetroDad today? (Of course you have.) Poor guy. Mid lifing it? I don't know.

What can you say about the guy that the legions of readers (from creepy to sharp) have not said? Nothing. I should end the post now.

Like I said, poor guy: hugely popular, insanely funny, blessed with the ability to observe acutely and render his thoughts clearly. We should all be so lucky. Possibly he is in a wee crisis. He is apparently concerned he is not the asshole he used to be, or wishes to be. Please visit his site and let him know he is still a real asshole.

This request is a "Do As I Say..."-type request. I went to his site today. Did I tell him he was an asshole in an effort to make him feel better? No, I did not. What kind of fake internet friend am I? Hmm? That's right, I am an asshole. So, Mr. MD, who is the bigger asshole now? Hmm? Ok, maybe me, but you, MD, you are the better one.

Happy Anniversary,



Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fuck You Lulu Lemon and the Downward Dog You Rode In On

I would like to make some comment about Lululemon ("Lemon"). Lemon is a company of local origin which has hit it big. Lemon is a purveyor of yoga clothing, yoga accessories, and yoga living through the purchase and public wearing of yoga clothing and accessories. I have some Lemon wear and I can assure you my fucking chakras are all ajingle with merriment every time that hot spandex garb touches my loins... or other parts... it doesn't matter.

The point remains, Lemon sells Spandex. Spandex. There was a time when some sense of moral rectitude still existed in this heathen land and spandex was banned. Bandex. Now it's traded on the Nasdaq Index. The end times are upon us. Is there any hope?

This is not a quibble with the success of this purveyor of a lifestyle based on the implementation and overly broad application of clothing made from a synthetic stretchy fabric which most of us ought not ever apply to our bodies. Bully for Lemon and all that. The issue is the re-usable shopping bag I received with my last purchase. "What's wrong with a re-usable bag? Your wife is getting greener all the time," I pretend to hear you say, in some lame rhetorical exercise. The issue is not the handy planet-saving bag nor the fact I now advertise for the Lemon and have paid for the privilege.

The issue is what is on the bag. I can get over the innumerable thumbnail photos of yoga people getting extremely yogic in a variety of yoga places and non-yoga places rendered yogic by the performance of yoga and so on, all while garbed in Lemon and doubtless thinking Lemony thoughts as they consider the depth of the truths contained in the life-improving exhortations the bag offers on the text side (such as "Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain", or maybe "DANCE, SING, FLOSS AND TRAVEL") because these sayings have truly enriched my life and those of everyone I know who has been exposed to the bag. Truly.

I can overlook the fact that a bag is telling me how to live. No, really. But there is one statement I cannot forgive. It goes like this: Children are the orgasm of life.

Ok. Grab a kleenex. (To be fair, the bag contains an expansive statement to follow this little bit of wisdom but I do not believe the statement is capable of rehabilitation.)

Rather than rile myself up further in consideration of the impugned statement, allow me to say this:

Dear Lemon,

Wherever you are, either here on earth or flying yogically through the spheres like some seriously deranged crane, you have transgressed an unwritten rule of propriety. By that I do not refer to those spray-on pants I have casually observed on the rumps of women throughout the city of Vancouver. In some rare instances, when I have caught myself looking at the said posteriors, accidentally and with great guilt, I have supported your cause. But no more! There are two words on your handy little tote which ought never be in the same sentence. One of the words is "children." The other is "orgasm". What were you thinking?

Yours transcendentally,


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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Post-Modern Mothering: Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

I tread the path between two rows of beating drums. One row says 'don't make my mistakes' and the other smugly chides me for enjoying it at all. It commands instead for me to resist every urge to take joy in what might, in fact, be a 'bland and futile woman-trap.' I hate this stuff. This is what makes parenting suck and blow as we used to say. It is a scratch at the multi-layer power politics of parenthood.

My source for the crud is my mother and my MILs, for I am blessed with two. In addition I can sometimes count on random strangers to offer it up and then there are a handful of the aunties and etc. etc. Men are not immune, only less effective. All the defeatist claptrap. Isn't this hard enough without all that?

This past week I attended a vacation to my MIL's which was steeped in the propaganda. My own little family living and re-living every resented road trip of my husband's childhood. We worked pretty hard to schlep our way the 6 hour drive to partake of all this so I am a bit piqued just now. I despair at times our imperfection and the dismay over our version of family life from such a key family member.

Am I alone?

I have heard it from others, too. Worst for me is the dialogue of mothers and mother-daughters. Sometimes it is called a sad, uneasy, or tense relationship we feel our predecessors had with being mothers. A hesitancy in the giving, or was it more some regrets, of lives interrupted. As a teenager my mother told me that being a mother ran a weak third to her existence as a worker or friend. Being the sensitive over-thinker I am haven't I reflected on that news about 500 times.

A couple weeks back similar patter was put out around here. I believe what I said to my Mom then was "Could you get some new material?" I didn't have anything so pithy for my MIL who concluded our recent visit with the following: "See I told you so. The family vacation is never any vacation for the mother." I mean 'good to see you too' just didn't seem to cut it. So I stood eyes downcast muttering, "Yes." and "Of course you did." Complicit. Co-opted. Thinking about what others have said already.

I feel there is an overwhelming urge on the part of most parents to mentor. To mentor those who come after. I just don't want these mentors. I prefer the energy from the parenting community online we are more collegial and a measured boosterism is inate here. More in keeping with the unconditional support I crave in my parenting.

I think from here on in I will press myself to forget asking my mother how she ever did it. I will instead think to my grandparents experiences and those before. Those at some distance from the parenting machine that characterised my own upbringing. I am sorry that it sucked for my Mom or p-Ma. I just don't really want to hear it anymore.


In other news.. Thanks everyone for all the great input on the bibliography. I hope get to work on the annotations shortly.

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