Thursday, May 31, 2007

real women

This bothers me.

Classic Knits for Real Women by Martin Storey & Sharon Brant

"The projects in this book are for real women: busy, hardworking women who want to enjoy life to its fullest. This book's purpose is to provide great patterns for women with real proportions. The simple, clean designs are accented by amazing details. Pattern sizes: 14-24."

I hate...hate...hate it when plus-size fashions are described as being for "real" women. Yeah, they're real women. I'm not denying that. But I wear a size 4-6. Am I not a real woman, too?

Excuse me for keeping fit and eating mindfully, and excuse me for having a small frame. (Have you seen the size of my wrists? Tiny!) I'm small. I can't help that. Am I supposed to gain an unnecessary 30 pounds just to be considered a "real" woman? Breastfeeding isn't enough? Giving birth isn't enough? Having two x chromosomes isn't enough? For the love of all that's good and holy!!

Yes, some women are small because they're anorexic. And some women are naturally ridiculously thin and tiny. And yeah, our culture does tend to make women who aren't that small feel badly about themselves. But we're all "real" women!!! And referring to plus-size women as "real women" just encourages negative feelings towards women who are smaller. ("I don't have to feel badly about not looking like her because she's not a real woman like me, the skinny bitch!") It's the same thing, in my opinion, as thinking that discrimination against white people couldn't possibly be racism.

Just because somebody belongs to the group that is considered "ideal" by our society - whether it be white, or skinny, or blonde (don't even get me started on the blonde thing) - that doesn't make it okay to hate them because of who they are, or because they're something you're not. If I can't call you a fatty fatty boombalatty, then you can't call me a skinny bitch. Make sense? (Not that I'm skinny!! I have a mummy tummy! I'm just trying to make a point.)

It reminds me of something that bothered me a lot when I was pregnant. People were always saying to me, "No! You can't be that far along! You're so small!!!" As if all women magically become the same size once they become pregnant? Never mind that I was actually measuring ahead throughout most of my pregnancy.

One woman who said this to me was about half as far along as I was and much bigger (not her belly, just her whole self). I didn't know what to say, other than "I'm just a small person, I guess." Because, well, I am. And if you were a size 12 before you got pregnant, and I was a size 4, I am never going to get as big as you will. Why do people have such a hard time understanding that?

Monday, May 28, 2007

a rant, with video clips!

I read a rant in somebody's blog once (I don't remember whose) about racial stereotypes on Little Einsteins. It talked about how the white boy is the leader, and Quincy is basically a minstrel. (I don't really remember what they said about the girls.)

I, also, see racial stereotypes in the characters, but I have a different take on it. June (vaguely Asian) has an enormous vocabulary - she's always using (almost comically) big words. ("We're miniscule!!!!") Quincy is a very talented musician - he can play every instrument you can think of, ridiculously well. And the white kids? Annie's a singer who can't carry a tune, and Leo is a conductor who can't keep a beat. And this is pro-white and anti-minority? Puh-lease. (For the record: Brandon loves this show but I think I might like it even more than he does. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is his favorite.)

I have more to say about Playhouse Disney. Lots more.

How about those Imagination Movers? Why do I have the feeling that I went to high school with these guys? (Not these exact guys, but guys like them.) And I don't mean my performing arts high school. I mean, these were the jokers in the saxophone section in 9th period band class. It's like they were sitting around one Saturday night, taking turns inhaling marijuana through a gas mask and watching The Wiggles (which I can only imagine is much more interesting when you're high), and one of them said, "Hey, man, we could totally do this." And the guy next to him took a big hit and said, "Nah, dude, we could do it better. We could wear coveralls. Like movers, man!!"

Speaking of people who obviously did a lot of drugs in their youth: Lou & Lou Safety Patrol. So these parents have a daughter named Lulu. They then have boy/girl twins and name them Lou and Louise. Then they get a dog and name him Louie. Come on, people!! How f'ed up is that???

And you cannot tell me that that Ralph guy isn't on some serious hardcore illicit drugs. I swear to you, if I ever see him on the street, I will smack the crap out of him. SHUT UP ALREADY. You suck. Get a haircut.

And what is up with Higglytown Heroes? Are we really calling people heroes for doing their jobs, now? Or like Brian suggested, are they so frickin' dimwitted that anyone who has a clue is a hero to them? One of these days I'd really like to see an episode where instead of saying "Well, gee, that's one humdinger of an idea, there, Twinkle, but...", Fran says, "Twinkle, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul." Or maybe not a word-for-word quote from an Adam Sandler movie, but something to that effect.

Can we talk about Choo Choo Soul? "Everybody got they own style and rhythm." W. T. F. ??? This is children's programming, aimed at preschoolers - young children, just learning to talk. Can we at least try to teach them proper grammar? Please?

And I'm PO'd that they put Tigger & Pooh on during Johnny and the Sprites' time slot, and pushed Johnny back by a half an hour. Brandon loses interest, I seize the opportunity to turn the TV off, and I don't get to watch a really cute show that's the closest thing to musical theater I've been exposed to lately. (With a theme by Stephen Schwartz, people!)

Friday, May 25, 2007

how we met

This week the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas carnival topic is: “How did you meet your spouse/partner?”.

Brian and I met in college, in Chamber Singers. I believe the first thing I ever said to him was "Holy crap, that's the biggest locker I've ever seen!" Instrumentalists (he was a guitar major) had lockers big enough to fit their instruments in. Theater majors had lockers approximately large enough for a notebook and a sandwich.

A couple of weeks later he sat down at the piano before class and improvised a song about me. I'd like to say that he still does this, but mostly it's been the same songs for the last five years. Not too terribly romantic, these songs are, but they're funny. (Mostly they're about body parts and eating chicken.)

Anyway, I, being the scatterbrained dufus that I am, forgot to bring my sheet music to the concert. (I actually forgot to bring my clarinet to a parade once when I was in marching band!) So I asked if anyone wanted to walk back to my apartment with me to go get it (it was only a couple of blocks, but I was embarrassed to walk around the city in a long black velvet gown in the middle of the afternoon). Brian volunteered to walk with me, looking quite dapper in his tuxedo.

A few days later he called me and said that he was going to grab something to eat, and did I want to come with him? (Fellas: that is the best way to ask someone out. Truly. It takes the pressure off of both of you and it really does work.) At the end of the date, he told me to call him. (He later told me that he had decided that if I didn't call him, he wasn't going to call me.) A few days after that, I called him and invited him over to watch Friends. The rest is history.

I think too much about Muppets

Muppet Babies. WTF is up with them? Where are their parents? What exactly is going on there? The easy answer is that Nanny was a daycare provider. But I distinctly remember at least one episode where they were going to sleep at night. Was this some kind of interspecies puppet orphanage or something?

And what's up with Skeeter? What exactly happened to her when they grew up? Did she die of some horrible childhood disease? Did Scooter disown her when she turned out to be a lesbian? WTF??? How are you going to add new characters to a prequel??

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

iPod hog

I've spent all day so far ripping Brandon's DVDs so I can put them on my iPod. It feels great to know that while I'm on a plane for 12 hours or so, I won't be able to listen to any of my music because Brandon will be hogging up my iPod, watching Little Einsteins and the Wiggles and the Muppets. But hey, if it keeps him quiet and sitting's all good.

Maybe I'll commandeer his sleepy-time-music iPod Shuffle. Hmmm...

Monday, May 21, 2007

and this week's paycheck went to...

...Oyin Handmade. I decided to try the Funk Butter (Coco Mango scent) on the recommendation of a friend, and while I was at it I also ordered the Cuppa Joe, Stick o' Joe, Black Soap & Honey Gentle Cleansing Foam, and the Shine & Define. I don't know why I'm mentioning this now; I just placed the order this morning so it'll be a couple of weeks before I get this stuff. I hope it's awesome. I'll let you know.

just lovely!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing a mongoose devour a cockroach on my back porch. Right in front of the sliding glass door. Fabulous.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

at least I didn't suggest Brenda

A conversation yesterday, about potential names for the future baby #2:

Me: Dylan is a nice middle name.
Brian: (laughs)
Me: What?
Brian: Brandon and Dylan?
Me: I see your point.

I didn't even watch 90210.

Sunday, May 13, 2007



Here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...

Opening Credits:
Little Red Corvette (Prince)

Waking Up:
Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
If I could start every day with this song, my life would probably be a lot more fun.

First Day At School:
Here, There and Everywhere (The Beatles)

Daughters (John Mayer)
sniffle, sniffle

Falling In Love:
Take it From Here (Justin Timberlake)

Fight Song:
It Was a Very Good Year (Frank Sinatra)
That's one mellow fight!

Breaking Up:
Unchain My Heart (Ray Charles)

What Would Brian Boitano Do? (DVDA version)
I'm guessing he would go to prom with a gay guy? Which is what I did.

Brick (Ben Folds Five)
I did write a play based on this song.

High School:
Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N Roses)

Into the Groove (Madonna)

Mental Breakdown:
Moonlit Town (Dan Zanes)

Asleep at the Wheel (Bloodhound Gang)
I don't even have to comment on how appropriate this one is. "I-95 EIGHT LANES WIDE!"

West Side Story (LFO)
YES, I'm a big dork who likes turn-of-the-millenium pop music.

Getting Back Together:
This ‘n’ That (Music Together)
This is a latin rhythm dance song from the music program I teach.

Unskinny Bop (Poison)

Birth of Child:
Every Breath You Take (UB40 remake from 50 First Dates)

Final Battle:
While the Music is Playing (Dan Zanes)
My final battle is almost as mellow as the earlier fight. Nothing like a final battle staged to a tuba bassline.

Death Scene:
Wander in the Summer Wind (Dan Zanes)

Funeral Song:
Without You (John Legend)

End Credits:
La Resistance Medley (from South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ergo to the rescue, again

We were having a typical afternoon. It's pretty warm out, so we were hanging out inside. Brandon was about halfway through The Muppet Movie, and I was at the computer working on our itinerary for our trip back East next month. I got up to get something from the kitchen (can't remember what) and saw an ENORMOUS COCKROACH climbing up the cabinet doors. The thing was seriously at least 2 inches long - 5 or more including the antennae.

Bugs don't usually bother me that much, but this thing freaked. me. out. It scurried on top of the refrigerator. I stood there, wondering if it was going to stay there, or scurry down the back of the fridge and back through whatever hole in the wall let it in here, when it LEAPED OFF OF THE REFRIGERATOR AT ME!!

I screamed, which of course freaked Brandon out. I ran into the living room, scooped him up, jumped up onto the couch, and sat up on the back of it, holding him, both of us shaking. The darn thing was so BIG that I could hear it moving around. I don't mean that I could hear it brushing against papers or whatever - I mean I could actually hear its legs moving. Groooooossss.

Eventually I calmed down enough to let Brandon back down onto the floor. He walked towards the kitchen and stopped, staring at something. I walked over to him and saw what he was looking at - THE ROACH! He wasn't afraid of it. In fact, he was just a little bit too curious for my comfort. So I did what any mother in her right mind would do - I brought him upstairs to put him in a fresh diaper, then packed him into the Ergo carrier and left the house.

When I grabbed my keys on the way out the door, I saw the roach lying on its back in a corner of the kitchen. I didn't trust for a second that it was actually dead. I was sure that it had merely faked its own death, to get me to let my guard down. I knew that as soon as I tried to pick it up, it would leap back to life and go for my jugular. So out the door we went.

I had been trying to figure out how I was going to test out the Ergo to decide whether or not I would be able to use it extensively as a stroller alternative while we're on "vacation" (I put that in quotes because visiting family is NOT a vacation as far as I'm concerned). I have to admit that I ended up with some pain between my shoulderblades, but to be fair, I was already pretty tense when I put it on. Also, Brandon is a LOT heavier than he was the last time I carried him for any length of time, and no matter how comfortable the carrier is, a 27-pound toddler is still a 27-pound toddler. I will say that I had considerably less discomfort with a 27-pound Brandon in the Ergo than I did with a 17-pound Brandon in a pouch sling. I should also mention that the chest clip was a little uncomfortable, because it was brushing directly against my skin (I was wearing a tank top). Overall, though - it was great. Seriously. The verdict? I'm still bringing the stroller with me but I'll be using the Ergo when we take our day trips into the city (cities).

I carried Brandon down the hill to the drug store and back up again (overall, probably close to an hour), and then I let him out to play at the playground. He wasn't terribly interested in playing, though, and we walked home. When we got home, I put his movie back on and grabbed a flyswatter to take care of the roach.

It was still where it was when we left. I was fairly, although not completely, convinced that it was actually dead - plus I was just too tired and hot to be scared anymore. I started to scoop it up with the flyswatter - and its legs started flailing. So I put a gladware container over it, slid the flyswatter under it, took it out the front door and dumped it on the grass, legs flailing away.

My Lord in Heaven, what an afternoon.

it DOES live up to the hype

Brandon woke up from his nap in a pretty rotten mood. I don't think he was ready to wake up, but apparently he rolled over and got his foot stuck between the crib slats. Few things make him more upset and scared than when his foot gets stuck.

Luckily, my Ergo carrier arrived in the mail on Monday (I ordered it Tuesday night of last week - gotta love quick shipping!). I've used it a few times in the back carry position, and it amazes me how comfortable it is. I can barely tell that I'm holding him at all.

When he woke up, though, he was cranky and cuddly and I thought that maybe the front carry might be a good idea. Yes, that's right, the front carry position with a 27-pound 17-month-old. Try doing that in a Bjorn. (You can't!)

I put him in the carrier (MUCH easier on the front than on the back, btw - we're still getting the hang of it), walked to check the mail, then sat on my big pink exercise ball and bounced. Basically, I did exactly what I used to do with him in the wrap carrier when he was tiny. (The wrap carrier, btw, was great when he was small.) The happiest, most peaceful look spread across his face and he rested his head on my shoulder.

After about five minutes, he happily and calmly requested to be let down. Overall, a MUCH more pleasant experience than the usual 30 minutes of whining (often leading to a full-blown tantrum) that often occurs when he wakes up before he's ready.

Thank you, Ergo.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

i was voted...

..."Most Likely to Never Leave the Dance Floor". It was a four-way tie.

It's funny because at my wedding, I never left the dance floor. Everyone thought I was drunk. I wasn't. (I had two drinks to get me through the portraits but that was it.) Brian had to literally drag me off of the dance floor to make sure we got around to all of the tables.

So whoever voted for me, good call.

reason # 52 why a baby is like a puppy

When Brandon wants to go out in the backyard, he lets me know by bringing me his boots and/or bug spray.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Today is Virtual Prom!

If I was 17 again, I might wear something like this:

And why the heck not, Ferragamo shoes.

Seeing as how I am now 9 years older, I would probably wear something like this:

With my fabulous ballroom dancing shoes that I already own:

Tara, let's dance!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

my toddler is a bilingual babbler

For a long time, one of Brandon's favorite phrases to babble has been "ah, seeeee!"" I don't think it necessarily means anything, but we usually take it to mean "I see", and we respond by asking, "what do you see?"

For the last couple of days, he hasn't said "ah, seeee!", but he has been saying "kai" (like "kite" without the t) a lot. And it occurred to me..."kai" is Hawaiian for...wait for it...


I just blew my own mind.

Friday, May 4, 2007

not sure it's worth $30.50, though...

It's hard to see it in this picture, but these pants say "Baby Got Back" on them. In rhinestones. It is beyond ridiculous.

I want them.

(But Good Lord almighty...they're available in children's sizes. That is so wrong that I literally have no words.)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I like having a job and being able to buy things!

I ordered an Ergo carrier last night. I am so frickin' excited I can hardly see straight. I want it here NOW. It just shipped this morning, but it's all I can do not to go check the mailbox and see if it's gotten here already. Ridiculous, I know.

I've honestly never heard a single negative thing about the Ergo carrier...I hope it lives up to the hype. They have a 30-day return policy so there's very little risk, but still, I would hate to be disappointed after getting so excited. What I'm really hoping is that it's super comfy for me, and that Brandon loves to be in it, so we can use it for hikes around the island and trips into the city (cities) when we come East in June. Because really, who wants to bring a stroller on public transportation? I don't!

mo' money

Today's Carnival topic is "What do you wish you were taught growing up?"

When I was growing up, I was taught, both through indirect implication, and literally word-for-word in school, that if you want to get a good job and make a lot of money, you go to college. And if you want to get an even better job, you get a Master's Degree. I grew up believing, quite naively, that if I went to college and got a degree, I would automatically get a good job and make a lot of money.

Naturally this turned out to not be true. Of course it didn't help matters much that I got a degree in Musical Theater. But I know people with no college degrees who make a LOT more money than people with Master's Degrees. The statistics that say that more education = more money are just that - statistics. If you get a degree, you are statistically likely to make more money - but it isn't an entitlement - just a statistic.

This seems like such an obvious thing now, but it took a while for it to really sink in - and when it did, it took even longer for me to really digest it and be able to accept it. It was like my whole view of the world was backwards. I'm still mad at my elementary school teachers for perpetuating such bs.