Not exactly the happy reunion I'd hoped for, I suppose. I know having
a baby around is hectic, but come on! Throw me a bone! Anything!
For example, you say something like: "Hello, how are you! The last
movie I saw was Wild Hogs, it is now my absolutely favorite piece of
cinema ever in the whole world. I have enrolled in a PhD program
recently and will be writing my thesis on the relationship between
John Travolta and William H. Macy in Wild Hogs and how that compares
to the migratory habits of North American seagulls. What have you
been up to?"
I might reply something to the effect of, "Wow, Dan, that's really
impressive. There were a lot of messages in that film. It was dense
and mutlilayered like an onion. I'm so glad to find someone so
inspired by it. Unfortunately, I prefer John C. McGinley as a
spitfire doctor and not a loserly cop, so I must give Wild
Hogs two thumbs down. Have fun writing your thesis! Cordially,
Am I close?
Thursday, March 29, 2007
My crack detective skills at work once again:
- The closest thing to real news I have to report: Look for a July 2007 release of Liam's record, which may or may not be titled I'll Be Lightning. I'd also like to think I know his record label, and that it's a U.S. label (Hello tour!), but I'm not confident enough on this front to really say anything yet.
- Due to a recent message on Betchadupa's website, I no longer believe that they are completely kaput. I'm going to think of it as more of a Justin-Timberlake-keeping-the-rumors-of-an-*N Sync-reunion-alive kind of a thing. (Yes, I just compared Liam Finn to Justin Timberlake. No, I have no idea what that means. I do feel compelled to note however that while I did find that "Bye Bye Bye" song kind of catchy, I do not own any *N Sync or JT solo albums. I do however think Justin Timberlake was a great SNL host and yes, really foxy. I mean, the man brought sexy back!)
- Oh right, the message (dated 17 March 2007):
1st message of the year and only 3 months in, i think we're getting better...
liam has been very busy indeed making his first solo record over summer in nz. he's putting the final touches on it as we speak and it should be out sometime mid year. check his myspace page for shows and album updates. get excited!!!
we're all almost back in london now so there may even be a few dupa shows along the way.
keep your eyes open
- Also, this rather amusing message is worth reading. Was it written with a brilliant sense of irony, or perhaps it was fueled by drugs and/or alcohol? You decide.
Posted by the a is for annie at 8:53 AM
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Because I love a full inbox and have no friends, I give myself a good lashing now and again and sign up for some service which promises to send me at least half a dozen pointless emails a day - emails which are not quite spam but which I will delete before even opening them anyway. This means I get that momentary thrill in the morning when I see that I've got 24 new messages waiting for me, but without the pesky annoyance of actually having to read them. Is Amy coming for a spontaneous weekend visit? Have my adoring legions of fans started writing me love letters and offering me money? Has Matt finally bought the new of Montreal record and wants to apologize for being such a dolt and not listening to me when I told him to buy it months ago? Is Liam Finn finally ready to proclaim his undying lust for me?
Listen, that kind of gratification is for people who like things easy. As anyone who knows me will tell you [Since most of you don't know Annie: what follows is sarcasm. --ed.], I prefer the road less traveled. And that road, strangely, is littered with sales at the Gap, dessert ideas from Nestle, and notifications of myspace messages from users who have been deleted by the time I check my myspace inbox. Delete delete delete.
Recently, Adam convinced me to try this MyPoints thing. You slowly build your number of points over time and if you want, you respond to their offers for even more points. Eventually, you turn in your points for gift cards. In a nutshell: You sign up. They send you several emails a day. You click on the red button contained in the emails and earn 5 points. Sounds like it might take forever, right? That's because it does. However, there is little or no work going into this on your part. It takes me about 5 seconds every morning to click on the little red button and earn 5 points. Anyway, I'm not going to go on and on about this service, but if you want more information, you are encouraged to leave a note in the comments, and I'll email you an invite (yes, I get points for that).
The reason I bring up my inbox whoring and specifically MyPoints is because this very morning, I received an email offer from them which may prove life changing. I clicked on the red button to earn my 5 points. I glanced at the window that had opened up for the service they were trying to sell me: The Literary Guild. As you might imagine, they are purveyors of fine literature and condescension. The intelligentsia! The sharpest minds in the world today debating the existence of god, solving the crisis in Iraq, listening to NPR!
Or that's what it should have been. "The Literary Guild" is apparently your one-stop shop for books online: Five books for $2! Tell me more! What classics, what great tomes of literature might I find here to expand my knowledge, to shake the very cores of my belief systems?
Sorry, friends, no existentialist theory here. The first books listed on the page are by Mary Higgins Clark, James Patterson, and last but not least Danielle Steel. Not looking for a novel? How about Montel's psychic pal Sylvia Browne? Oooh! Rachael Ray! Don't you just LOVE her? Don't you just want to squeeze her until her eye balls pop out and her circulatory system busts through her skin?
Hmm... 5 books for $2, and that's 5 authors up there. But one of them is going to have to go. I just found out The Literary Guild is selling... The Secret. You know The Secret, right? Oprah won't shut up about it - it's the law of attraction, the power of positive thought.
I feel like I was drawn to this book. Like, I was thinking to myself months ago, "I need to know The Secret." And The Secret made it happen. The Secret told me to whine to Adam about wanting free stuff. The Secret told Adam to invite me to join MyPoints. The Secret waited patiently. The Secret wanted to make sure I was really ready to let The Secret in.
The Secret proudly boasts on its website that it will usher in A New Era for Humankind. One person at a time, my friends. Today, The Secret has availed itself to me for the low, low price of 40¢ (plus the extra $1.60 for the other four books and the cost of shipping as well as The Literary Guild's membership requirements).
Now, for your viewing enjoyment, The Secret Riches Visualization Tool:
I don't know about everybody else, but I am totally going to start visualizing myself a genie in a bottle. How cool would that thing be at parties?
Posted by the a is for annie at 11:54 AM
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
This really is shaping up to be the best music year in recent memory. I should start keeping a list now so I don't leave anybody out in any end-of-year lists I see fit to make. Anyway, this just in:
Rufus Wainwright will release his fifth album, Release the Stars, on Geffen on May 15. Pet Shop Boys singer Neil Tennant executive produced the Want Two follow-up, which is Wainwright's first self-produced album. Producers Marius DeVries and Andy Bradfield mixed the record, and it features contributions from Richard Thompson, Joan Wasser (Antony and the Johnsons), and actress Siân Phillips as well.(Ok, never heard of Siân Phillips before right now, but I am delighted and relieved to tell you all that she is of no relation to Bijou. Siân appears to be a now-elderly Welsh actress who was once married to Peter O'Toole. Why she's on Rufus' new album remains to be seen.)
The album cover...
And finally, a link to the good news so you can see for yourself.
Posted by the a is for annie at 8:17 AM
Saturday, March 24, 2007
A Texas legislator wants to give you $500 to give your child up for adoption rather than have that abortion. Yeehaw! Half dozen or so of those things and I'm gettin' me one of them teevees you hang on the wall.
Hey, speaking of selling babies, some morons tried to sell their toddler for $3000 and an SUV. This isn't surprising to me because (a) stupid people are everywhere, but (b) more importantly, it took place in Owensboro, KY, across the river from where I grew up.
While we're brushing up on the laws in Kentucky, I thought it would be nice to remind everyone, what with Easter fast approaching and all, that the dyeing of baby chicks, selling of dyed baby chicks, or owning of dyed baby chicks is totally illegal. So don't do it.
Posted by the a is for annie at 2:16 PM
Friday, March 23, 2007
Suddenly I've overcome with cool sites and news, so here's a run-down of stuff worth sharing:
- Great googlymoogly, the new Rosebuds album is available streaming in its entirety here. In addition, it is available for pre-order now - otherwise you can wait until April 10 to have a walk down to your favorite record store. If you don't know The Rosebuds, they're sort of guitar DIY-ishness except not as lame as my description made that sound. Although listening to the stream now, it sounds like they've mixed things up a bit this time around. You can listen to four of their songs on myspace too if you'd like.
- Came across this chart entitled Religion and Sexual Ethics online today, republished as it originally appeared in the SF Chronicle in 1994. Notice how the Buddhists are down with just about everything and, say, the Catholics are down with NOTHING.
- Umm, GodTube. It's like YouTube, only for Christians. Behold, the banana, the atheist's worst nightmare. Dan Savage offers a comparison:
But... hmm... what else has a point at the top, for ease of entry, and is just the right shape for the human mouth? And is sometimes curved toward the face to make a whole other process even easier?Guess we should all be thanking the Lord for that as well. Well, not me personally. I'm a girl.
- Finally, Neal Pollack relates the questions his little boy asked while Dad tried to teach him to play Millipede:
Heh. I can't wait for my son to start talking.
"Daddy, why are there bugs?"
"There just are."
"Then why am I shooting them?"
"Because they want to kill you. In this game. Not in real life."
"In real life they want to suck my blood."
"Some of them do."
"Or eat poop."
"Again, some of them."
Posted by the a is for annie at 2:19 PM
I have seen some good shows in my day. Shows where I was there not only for the main act but the opening band as well. Rufus Wainwright opening for Tori. The New Pornographers opening for Belle & Sebastian. Bic Runga opening for The Finn Brothers. Epic freaking nights for someone like me.
Also, I can think of at least two occasions where I didn't know the opening act but enjoyed their performances nonetheless: Jonathan Richman opening for Belle & Sebastian and Angela McCluskey opening for The Finn Brothers (two nights in a row!). I even went out and bought Angela's album after that. So I've had my fair share of good shows, and I shouldn't be complaining now.
But I'm going to anyway. Connan & the Mockasins are opening for I'm From Barcelona! March 27th! 4 days from now! In London! And I? Am not in London.
*pout* I casually and unreasonably toss the evil eye at my hometown for the crime of not being within driving distance of London.
Posted by the a is for annie at 10:43 AM
Or, why I should have been thinking about how no one ever deposits a million dollars into my bank account
Not 20 minutes ago I was reading the Slate Explainer column on whether Mormon athletes wear their temple garments under their uniforms (short answer: no). After I finished the article I was chiding myself, "See, Annie, Mormon underwear is weird, but they're just Christians like all the other Christians, and they get a bad rap, and for that matter, all Christians get a bad rap. They're really just nice people, and it's the whack jobs who get all the press." And that, I believe, is the truth. I also thought to myself how weird it was that I hadn't had anyone proselytizing at my door lately (probably due to the cold weather), when I-shit-you-not I-am-not-making-this-up I heard voices outside and my doorbell rang. I don't know what denomination they were, but they wanted to leave me a pamphlet, which I refused. I would have taken their pamphlet before telling them I wasn't interested, but it would have been a waste of paper because I would have immediately thrown it out. So I helped save the earth today!
Anyway, I came away from this encounter shaking my head in disbelief going, "I am so blogging this," so I sat back down at the computer and started typing. Then I found myself clicking through the links in the Slate article, and one led me to Mormon-underwear.com. Hoping they might have a picture of these mysterious undergarments, I explored the site. Eventually I wound up on their "Common Misconceptions" page. Wanting to not be an ignorant person and eager to more understand my fellow human beings, I read them:
I'm not sure why a popular misconception of Mormon undergarments is that they contain nipple protectors (protection from chafing, maybe?). Maybe it has to do with the fact that they're expected to be worn under a bra (according to the Slate article). I'm not sure how that would work (or could ever possibly be comfortable), but I'm sure they've worked that out.
Misconception Explanation mormon underwear has knee protectors and nipple protectors Mormon garments do not have knee protectors, or any other type of protectors. Members of the LDS church who are engaged in activities requiring physical protectors of any sort would have to use them just like anyone else.
Sure, this makes sense. I'm glad to see that Mormons recognize that daily life does not always lend itself to the wearing of impractical undergarments.
Misconception Explanation you have to wear mormon underwear for life Since mormon garments serve as a reminder of promises made in the temple, members of the church choose to wear them at all times when it is appropriate. If they didn't it wouldn't serve as a very good reminder! Obviously at times when you wouldn't wear normal underwear (such as bathing or swimming) mormons wouldn't wear their garments.
Yeah, young boys don't wear the undergarment - they haven't been to temple. Duh. Also, underwear is the LEAST effective way of teaching the immorality of masturbation. My body is a temple, not a funhouse. Glad we cleared that up.
Misconception Explanation mormon underwear helps to discipline young boys against masturbation
First of all, young boys wouldn't be wearing garments. Garmets are only worn after attending the temple (see FAQs). In addition, while mormons believe that masturbation is not an appropriate activity, they learn this in their church classes, not through their underwear.
See? Why is everyone so suspicious at the prospect of Mitt Romney becoming President? Maybe they're just jealous because they've got to shop at Wal-Mart for their drawers.
Still, I suppose I won't be joining the Latter Day Saints for any church picnics this summer.
Posted by the a is for annie at 9:09 AM
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The New Pornographers are promising updates on the new album soon exclusively to those who sign up for the band's mailing list.
Regardless of your true and conflicting feelings for A.C. Newman, you know what you have to do! Go! Sign up now!
Posted by the a is for annie at 2:25 PM
I uploaded something to YouTube! Something that's not a 3-minute video of my kid laughing! Something that hundreds, if not dozens, of people will want to see!
Be among the first! The only! Watch a gorgeous, visually interesting video (and not just Liam's beautiful bearded face) from a great but probably defunct band!
 Seriously, though, I don't mean to come across as all gloom and doom. It's just the way I am. (Just ask my spouse after watching, umm, any television show with me. I tend to make Pronouncements.) I really hope Betchadupa stays together and continues to rock my world. I'm just calling it like I see it. Still, Liam Finn solo album, yay, yum, etc.
Posted by the a is for annie at 10:12 AM
The list of cds I want is growing too rapidly. Ordinarily this isn't a problem, but umm, with no amoeba nearby and no cash money in the pocket anyway, bleh. Below is but a sampling:
Let's Get Out of This Country
Sneaky Sneaky Dogfriend 7"
Connan & the Mockasins
Let Me Introduce My Friends
I'm from Barcelona
Joan as Police Woman
Execution of All Things
The Hunt Brings Us Life
Samuel Flynn Scott
Living with the Living
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
Posted by the a is for annie at 7:54 AM
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Several months back I was talking to this girl Marisa, a friend of my brother-in-law Matt's, and somehow it came up that she had been to New Zealand. I, being the spaz that I am, made several pronouncements about how jealous I was and probably also that I officially hated her (but in a good way). Then I'm sure I got around to the reason why I was so jealous and why I love New Zealand so much: the music, of course.
Forget about Lord of the Rings, who cares about the sailing, fuck the sheep (actually... nevermind) - all of my favorite things about that part of the world revolve around music. It all started with Neil Finn nearly 10 years ago and branched out from there. Hearing that I like NZ music, she told me that while she was there (over New Year's Eve several years back) she saw this band... and the band was fucking Fur Patrol.
Ok, remember earlier when I said went all spaz-tastic just because she'd been to New Zealand? Yeah, well, by this point I was jumping all over the room pulling on my hair. Not only did I not have to explain who Fur Patrol are, I didn't have explain how good they are either. She saw them live! I don't remember exactly how she came upon the show - she and a friend stumbled upon the show while, I don't know, I think maybe they were ditching some drunk friends or something. I didn't care as much about that part of the story.
And why am I telling you this? So that you too may know awesome-osity that is Fur Patrol. I'm really bad at describing music (and generally hate most music descriptions, in fact), so here's where you really have to trust me on this one. In a very general way, we're talking about a four-piece indie rock band with a girl singer. To me, they're all of the things that Garbage should have been but never quite lived up to. Here's the rather sadistic video for "Precious":
When you're ready, you can get their albums - Pet and Collider - from smokecds.com in New Zealand. (Shipping isn't bad at all, and with the US dollar stronger than the NZ dollar, it works well in your favor. Trust me, I've done this a lot.) In the meantime, enjoy some more of their videos on You Tube and have a go at their myspace page to listen to the new demos. I think they even have some of the tracks off Collider streaming on furpatrol.com.
Soon you'll want to go to New Zealand too.
Posted by the a is for annie at 1:06 PM
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
And I was not. Subterranean was though, and they saw him. They even blogged him. (They also mention in an earlier post that rumors of a Betchadupa break-up are "swirling around the Internet." Did I do that?)
Liam himself blogged his adventure in pictures, and you can view them all here.
Also at SXSW were The Rosebuds, interviewed here.
And if I had two tiny wishes, it would have been to see The Rosebuds and Liam Finn play SXSW. I wouldn't have taken up anymore seats after that. Or maybe I would have, but I'm small, so you wouldn't have noticed me. Actually, thinking about it, I think I'll have more opportunities to see The Rosebuds what with them being an American band and all, but Liam? Needs a passport and probably a visa, etc.
Ooh! Liam should tour with The Phoenix Foundation when they tour the U.S. now that they have an American label. Would that also require Liam to get a U.S. record deal? I have no idea how these things work.
Posted by the a is for annie at 8:19 PM
According to Oprah's Bra Revolution, 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, and people, I am one of them. My back often hurts (like right now), and I'm constantly tugging on the band or pulling the straps back up on my shoulders. I have gained and lost over 40 pounds since high school and have nursed a child over a year, yet I'm still wearing the same 36C I was then. So this afternoon I set out to discover my "true" bra size, and what I've learned is that I am more confused than ever.
- Hanes.com has a bra size calculator. I started here because I like the new commercials with Jennifer Love Hewitt, and I want my boobs to look like hers. Following their instructions, I measured first under my bust around the rib cage (32"), and then around the fullest part (37.5"). Unfortunately their calculator won't allow you to do a half-inch, so according to them I'm either a 36A or 36B.
- Figleaves.com doesn't deal with pesky measurements in their advice on how to find your true bra size. Rather, they want to you think about how your current bras fit and adjust from there. My back band rides up, and I think my cups are too big, so according to them I should try a 34B. I think. I'm not comfortable with guesstimation, especially when ordering online (and potentially having to mail things back).
- BareNecessities.com illustrates their measuring process with this helpful image. Assuming I measured properly, I got 36" in Step #1 and either 37" or 39" inches in Step #2, so that makes me either a 36A or 36C. Great, but now I have that song from The Jungle Book stuck in my head.
- Victoria's Secret, my least favorite lingerie store of all time, uses the same measuring instructions as Hanes (measure rib cage, then fullest part of bust). This is worth visiting if only for the "seductive" way the model wields a tape measure. By Victoria's Secret's calculations I'm either a 36E or a 38D. They suggest I try both sizes and pick the one that fits best. (That's the best advice the inventors of "Secret Embrace Technology" can offer me?)
- GapBody instructs me to first measure around my rib cage (32") and add 5 to that number (so 37). Next subtract that number from my bust measurement (either 37", 37.5", 38", or 39", depending on how I measure--yeah). The difference (0, .5, 1, or 2 inches) means I'm, um, a nothing, a nothing and a half, an A cup, or a B cup. Wait, what was my band size? They don't sell a 37". It can't be 32" because that would indicate my Gap dress size is somewhere between 0 and 4, which it is not. Looks like I won't be buying a bra from them either.
- Intimacy, the store owned by Oprah's bra guru, has a lot of information on bra size and women who wear the wrong one, etc. Their bra fit questionnaire is three questions - current band size (36), current cup size (C), and current blouse size (8-10). And their answer? "You should be wearing a 34D size based upon your body frame and current cup size." This, I am promised, will keep my straps from falling down, the band from riding up, provide maximum lift and support, maximize definition and increase protection, and make me more comfortable. And well, that's what I'm looking for in a bra. If I could afford to shop at Intimacy, I would head over there for a professional bra fitting and buy two or three bras, but I can't, so.
(As an aside, while trying to think of a clever title for this post, I came up with "The Hunt for Red Octo-bra," which is, uh, a bra with 8 cups? and is not what I am looking for.)
Posted by the a is for annie at 3:25 PM
The Postal Service (no, not this one, the actual one) is raising its rates effective May 14 to 41¢ for first-class postage. They just increased the postage in January 2006 - I remember because I was mucho pregnant at the time and wanted to buy stamps for baby announcements. I never did send any announcements, but I did buy several sheets of Muppet stamps which the USPS quickly made obselete without the aid of a two-center.
Anyway, I could care less about the price of a stamp honestly - what I want to know is what Star Wars has do with anything?
Posted by the a is for annie at 2:26 PM
Monday, March 19, 2007
Included in Amy's fan-fucking-tastic blog redesign is her portfolio, featuring some her fan-fucking-tastic art. You know how cool it would be to have a real live painting in your house? You know you're always telling yourself how you should support the arts, etc.? Now is your chance:
View from the Milwaukee Art Museum
Amy VanDonsel 2007
I know I'm her friend and all, so I'm biased, but this is gorgeous in a way that I don't even have words for. But before you feel too sorry for me and my complete and utter inability to buy original pieces of art, I should note that I do own at least one Amy VanDonsel original, proudly displayed in my living room:
This is one of my favoritest things in the whole world, and I find myself just looking at it at various times during the day. It's a collage of found items all arranged artfully behind the glass. (If that looks slightly less than stellar, it's because of my reflection against the glass as I took the picture.)
Hurray for art! Hurray for Amy!
Posted by the a is for annie at 11:55 AM
Serious kudos to Amy who introduced me to DailyLit, which is this totally bitchin' website that lets you choose from all kinds of books and then emails them to you in tiny little doses. Sure, that means Dracula, which I am currently reading, is broken up into 187 parts. BUT I can also have the next part emailed to me right away if I've got time or whatever. In fact, $10 says I have it finished before I finish my actual physical current read, Anansi Boys.
Oh, also Amy has a fancy new design for her blog of which I am totally jealous. Go look!
Posted by the a is for annie at 11:41 AM
You know how kids do what their parents do? Like, if you sit around on your ass and watch tv all day, your kid will grow up sitting on his or her ass watching tv all day? Because you're teaching them how to do Life, and the life they're learning is ass-sitting and tv-watching. And probably several bags of Doritos thrown in there for good measure. Anyway, that's one of the reasons I keep my tv OFF during the day at home with my son (the other reason is that there is NOTHING on worth watching). It's not always a bad thing - kids learn the good and the neutral things you do as well. (Example: I grew up hundred of miles from my grandparents. Thus, growing up very far away from one's grandparents is a very normal concept for me. My husband, on the other hand, grew up a few blocks from his grandparents. Our son growing up hundreds or thousands of miles from his grandparents, as he currently is, is kind of weird for my husband. Get what I'm saying? However you grew up is what is normal to you. I'm not saying you can't wrap your mind around other ideas because obviously we do that all the time, and sometimes we do the exact opposite of how we learned from our parents. This too can be good or bad.)
So anyway, this basic principle (monkey see, monkey do) has me thinking about all kinds of things that I do that the monkey sees. This morning, it was my coffee. I drink a lot of coffee (my mother drinks a lot of coffee, my aunt drinks a lot of coffee, my grandmother drinks a lot of coffee, my cousins... you get the idea), and guess-who has noticed. Well, he hasn't noticed that it's coffee in there because he's never had coffee, but he knows that I'm always carrying around or reheating a mug of something, and so like everything else I have, he wants that something.
This morning he was squealing and reaching for my mug, so I quickly gulped down what was left and gave it to him. He entertained himself for almost an hour, picking up the mug, putting it down, bringing it to his mouth, putting it down, picking up his sippy cup and placing that inside the mug. Listening to his own babbles echo inside the mug as he held it to his mouth and laughing more at how silly it sounded. It was adorable.
Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, let me repeat that the mug was empty. I am not giving my 14-month-old child any more coffee than the small amount that was clinging to the sides of the cup, which was not even enough to cause a drip out of the mug as he turned it upside down and waved it around.
So my son is learning to drink coffee or that coffee drinking is what adults do or something. I have no idea how he's processing this information at this point. When he finally gets over how excruciatingly disgusting coffee is (somewhere in the teenage years), he'll start drinking coffee too. The coffee growers of the world should be thanking me for ensuring their continued business.
Posted by the a is for annie at 9:15 AM
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Ok, other bloggers need to stop talking about stuff that I think about. This time it's Star Wars.
Many times, Jake and I have discussed what it would be like to watch Star Wars without knowing Luke's true paternity. I mean, how shocking must that have been to be sitting there in the theater in 1980, eating your popcorn, watching Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker battle it out, and then? Vader's big announcement!
Fuck, man. That must have been really fucking cool. I just wish I could experience that thrill once, but alas, I think I've just always known.
If I can't live it myself, I will live it through my child. Yes, he's only 14 months old now, so give me a couple years. To all of you who know me in real life: please do not tell my kid that Vader is Padme's babydaddy.
Posted by the a is for annie at 11:11 AM
I haven't actually seen Little Children yet. It's on my list. I hadn't even heard of it until Kate Winslet was nominated for the Oscar for her performance, but then one day I found myself on the movie's website watching the trailer, and I wanted to see this movie.
And now I want to see it even more. That's a really well-written essay about what it's actually like to be a mother and have ambitions outside your children's lives. I am recently discovering a whole contingent of people whose feelings on topics like staying home to raise your kids are similar to mine. Should I stay home or go to work? I've often thought to myself that if I had a career to go back to, I'd be at work in a heartbeat.
Unfortunately my lack of an attention span has prevented me from finding a niche for myself in the working world (I could write a book on all the careers I've considered, but I'd lose interest two paragraphs in), and now I am at home with my beautiful, amazing son. It's a little soul-sucking at times, honestly. At other times it's mind-blowingly awesome. Listen, I'm not trying to get deep here. Most of the time it's just normal everyday life. I'm not depressed or miserable, and it doesn't mean I don't love my son. I am perfectly normal, and what I'm trying to say is that I bet even those "perfect moms" hate their lives some days. If you don't understand what I'm saying, I encourage you to read the essay I linked to up there (which is of course why I linked to it in the first place). Bottom line: it's not an all-or-nothing proposition - a woman can be happy and be a mother and love her child and at the same time sometimes long for something different, whatever that may be. More women need to admit this to themselves and to each other, and if they did, a lot of moms might not feel so bad or so alone about whatever choices they've made.
Posted by the a is for annie at 10:48 AM
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
This is Garrison Keillor "stating the obvious." By obvious, he means grossly offensive and ridonculously hypocritical.
And this is Dan Savage actually stating the obvious, which is that Garrison Keillor is grossly offensive and ridonculously hypocritical. Dan did a spectacular job of sticking it to Keillor's grossly offensive and ridonculously hypocritical ass, so I most highly recommend you read that. I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about The Good Old Days.
From Keillor's article:
Everyone had a yard, a garage, a female mom, a male dad, and a refrigerator with leftover boiled potatoes in plastic dishes with snap-on lids. This was before caller ID, before credit cards, before pizza, for crying out loud.Umm, not everyone had a yard, a garage, a female mom, and a male dad. Case in point: my maternal grandfather lost both of his parents by the age of 9, was raised by his older brothers, and lived in an apartment in Brooklyn. I'm betting there wasn't a yard or a garage. Ok - but he was the son of immigrants, and you know how we feel about immigrants in this country. Fine, let's look at the other side of the family: my white, English-speaking, Midwestern-American-born grandfather? Yeah, his dad ran out on the family. From the time my grandpa was old enough, he was helping to support himself and his mother. Is that the traditional family to which Keillor is referring?
Keillor's article makes me so mad my head is going to explode. Not just because I support gay rights, gay marriage, gay families, gay people, etc., but because I hate the good old days. I hate Tom Brokaw and his greatest generation cock-sucking. If you really want to ruffle my feathers, start talking about how great life was before the age of pharmaceutical giants and cell phones and drive-thru windows. And the way kids dress today! To talk to these people, you'd think nothing bad ever happened prior to 1975.
For those individuals, a sampling of bad things that happened prior to 1975, just off the top of my head, in no particular order:
- The Holocaust
- World War I
- World War II
- The Kennedy assassination
- The Spanish Flu
- The sinking of the Titanic
- The Great freaking Depression (sigh, bread lines just aren't what they used to be)
I'm not trying to say life was a living hell back then and it's a wonder anybody made it through. Some really great things happened pre-1975. I don't have to list them for you. The bottom line is that life isn't any worse today than it was before. Despite all the technology and other sundries of modern living that so irk the older generations, life is pretty much the same, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is full of shit.
By validating the warm fuzzy feelings old people get by complaining about "kids today," people like Garrison Keillor are cheapening MY life, which despite the fact that I have a child, is not over (an assertion which, bizarrely, bugs Keillor as well). Both my son and I have a lot of great things to look forward to, but for now, I'm really into 2007.
Besides decrying gay families and fondling the good old days (no, not a typo), Keillor also briefly rails against immigration ("Only about six kids looked anything like the kids I went to school with, and of those, three were Croatian."). This guy gets air time on NPR? WTF? Have I completely misjudged NPR listeners? Do they split their time between All Things Considered and Rush Limbaugh?
I should note that not all old people are Old like Garrison Keillor. My husband's wonderful, beautiful, totally awesome grandma enjoys a trip down memory lane as much as anybody, but I have never once heard her say anything about "kids today" or complain about technology taking over the world. She was an oops baby, so her mother would have been older than her friends' mothers. When I asked her if her mother ever seemed old, Grandma said to me, "No, she wasn't old. She was, you know, she was like me!"
And that's the kind of old person I want to be.
Posted by the a is for annie at 3:11 PM
The snow is finally gone. Last Friday there was over 18 inches of the stuff, dirty and disgusting, taking up space in the streets to park, reminding us all just how miserable the weather has made us.
Over the weekend, as many of you around the country surely noticed, there was a warm-up, and now the snow is gone. The baby actually got to go outside for the first time in months. He laughed at the breeze on his fuzzy little head, and then laughed some more at the sound of his voice echoing outside. He twisted his whole little body around to watch as each car drove down our residential street. He wrapped his tiny little hands around my index fingers, and we walked down our sloped driveway to the sidewalk. He liked the puddles, but soon realized that more fun than dragging mom through puddles was making me hunch over him and hold his hands while he walked up the hill of our driveway... and back down again. And up... and down. More than once I had to stop him because my back had locked up and I wasn't sure I was able to stand up straight anymore. But I didn't mind. He was having the bestest time ever in, well, in his whole entire life. Being 14 months old and getting to experience spring after being cooped up for months has got to be the greatest thing ever. I have a feeling we'll go through the same experience next year as well. It's pretty cool stuff.
Also new this spring? Daffodils! Or maybe those are tulips. I don't exactly remember where we planted what, but I'm told daffodils come up first, so as far as I know, they're daffodils.
Beautiful as that tiny little bud is, it's causing me a bit of grief. There's a lot of them, including a whole row of them along the side of the house, and tomorrow night, it's supposed to freeze. Which means I have to find an old sheet or something to protect them, and I'm probably going to have to do this nearly every night for at least the next month.
Still, it'll be totally worth it to watch it grow bigger and taller and eventually bloom! Last spring, I remember taking a lot of walks with the baby and admiring all the daffodils and tulips people had planted. This year is my year! This year my house will have lots of pretty flowers too!
Posted by the a is for annie at 1:44 PM
It's not often grammar and punctuation make it into the news, so as a grammar geek, I feel compelled to blog when it does.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you ... the Arkansas legislature! That's right, kids - it seems back in 1836 when Arkansas was granted statehood that no one could decide exactly what the possessive form of the state was. Ordinarily in the cases of words that end in "s," I recommend a lone apostrophe be added to the end of the word. However, the "s" at the end of Arkansas is silent. The legislature (170 years later) has decided that an apostrophe and an "s" be added to the end of the word, and I am inclined to agree.
And now that my opinion is out there, I'm sure Arkansas's legislature is breathing a little easier.
Posted by the a is for annie at 10:15 AM
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I bought a bottle of delicious zinfandel today. I also bought bananas, peanut butter, cream cheese, bagels, and a brownie mix, but there aren't laws concerning my right to purchase those things, so they're not important to the story.
Let me say that I really, truly, honestly do not mind when the cashier asks for my ID. It can be a little tricky with the baby trying to climb out of the cart or out of my arms, but nevertheless, it doesn't bother me. Today's experience, however, was an exception to that rule.
I have no idea what this cashier's problem was. She didn't just ask for my ID. She stuck her nose in the air and slowly spelled out her orders, all while I was still unloading my shopping cart (while holding a squirming baby). I ignored her until I was finished, pushed the cart ahead of me to the bagger, and pulled out my wallet. I fished, one-handed, underneath a debit card to retrieve my ID, handed it to the cashier, and pulled out my credit card (I put everything on credit to get the points and pay it off each month). I ran it through the credit card thing and put it away (all one-handed!).
She was still studying my ID. Ok, I get it. I'm 25. Since the rule is that everyone who looks under the age of 30 should be carded, I expect to be carded. Like I said before, I don't mind being carded. But this woman? I don't think she quite believed it was my ID. She sniffed and asked to see my credit card.
Are you fucking kidding me? I've got a baby on my hip seconds from meltdown. The photo on my ID was taken 6 months ago. The glasses are the same. The hair is essentially the same. Yes, it's a crappy photo, but they're all crappy photos. One-handed, I pulled my wallet out of my pocket. One-handed, I sat it on the counter. One-handed (and while fending off the baby who at this point wanted to play with the wallet), I pulled my credit card out. She looked at it. She turned it over. She looked at it some more. She looked at me.
Finally she handed both cards back. She finished the order, I scribbled my name on the signature pad, and we left.
I was a cashier in high school. My dream was to actually deny somebody cigarettes or alcohol, to one day catch somebody who was too young. It never happened. Oh well.
Posted by the a is for annie at 2:21 PM
...and you thought only you hated family gatherings.
Posted by the a is for annie at 2:07 PM
Digging up all this genealogical goodness over the past week has been a lot of fun. For now, however, I seem to have hit several brickwalls. Overcoming them means (a) requesting documents (none of which are free!) from various counties in several states and/or federal agencies; or (b) traveling to various counties in several states visiting libraries and cemeteries. There is a third option, but it involves learning several languages (none of which are French) and traveling to several central and eastern European countries, which would be WAY fun, but is at this juncture at least a little impractical. So, in no particular order, the things that I have learned:
- Before settling in New York, my great-grandfather first tested the waters in Rio de Janiero. After deciding that wasn't for him, he went back to Italy, picked up my great-grandmother, and the two of them made their way over here.
- My great-great-grandfather was from Poland or Germany or Russia or... somewhere. Ok, this is one of the brickwalls I've hit. We don't know exactly where he was from or what his name was. The theory is that he left the country and changed his name to avoid conscription. As for what country he was from, well, Poland moved around a lot during the 19th and 20th centuries, and it all depends on what town he lived in, and oh forget it.
- That same great-great-grandfather couldn't read or write. According to my grandma: on their wedding day, my great-great-grandmother gave him a prayer book as a wedding gift. She realized then he was pretending to read from it when she saw the book was upside down.
- The 1930 census taker was a lazy jerk who didn't bother writing down that my grandma and her parents were living in the same house as my great-great-grandparents. Jerk.
On the bright (and totally free) side of things, the federal government doesn't charge veterans or their next of kin for their military records. However, since I'm not technically my grandpa's next of kin, I have to run over to my grandma's house to have her sign this form before I can get the papers. I much prefer instant online gratification to mailing and waiting and driving places and communicating with people. Pfft.
Posted by the a is for annie at 11:29 AM
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina vagina.
Arm arm arm arm arm arm arm arm arm arm arm arm arm arm arm.
I fail to see a difference. I did say arm like twice as many times as I said vagina. However, I do have twice as many arms as I do vaginas, so.
Can people just grow the fuck up already?
Posted by the a is for annie at 3:06 PM
The other day Jake was searching online for various family names but kept coming up with the same couple of guys (a Confederate general and a beverage inventor) who he already knew about. I think probably he was hoping for a Union general or something, somebody who wasn't a complete bastard or isn't responsible for the rotting teeth of America's youth.
Anyway, he got bored and started typing in random names from my family tree, and lo and behold, he totally found something! A very nice woman named Debi apparently has spent quite a bit of time piecing her family tree, and it turns out I'm on it. Or technically, my grandpa is on it. She didn't have anything after him. If I calculated correctly, I think she's my third cousin once removed, or some such relation so far off we're not even related anymore.
So I've spent the past few days entering each person in her tree into my Family Tree Maker program. She offered to just email me the file, and I probably will eventually ask her to do that to fill in anybody I've missed (I'm nowhere near done, and my family file has gone from just under 400 people to over 1200). I am having so much fun though entering each person individually though. She's got biographical information on many of them. For example, two of my great-great granduncles fought for the Union at the Battle of Vicksburg, kicking the ass of Jake's Confederate General who was also there. There was also a guy who fought in the Revolutionary War. I haven't gotten into him much yet, so I can't say for certain yet whose side he was on.
The most tragic stories came from my great-grandmother's family. The short version is that her brother poisoned himself with strychnine, and a few days later (the reason for which remains sort of unclear) her brother-in-law shot himself in the head with a revolver. This all happened about 13 years before my grandpa was born, and my dad said he'd never heard anything about it. I wonder if my grandpa knew about it at all - that's the type of thing no one talked about back then. Plus, the whole experience must have been horribly traumatic, and my great-grandmother may have just not wanted to go back there.
Entering all those names with their birth dates and death dates, I've been wondering a lot about who these people were. I've been thinking about all the funerals my grandpa must have attended - for old people and young people alike. My favorite factoid yet? My great-great grandmother (that's my grandpa's grandma) was still alive when my father was born in the fall of 1944. She died the following spring at the ripe old age of 95, but I really like to think she was thrilled at the news of her newest great-grandchild. It's fun stuff.
Posted by the a is for annie at 10:49 AM
Monday, March 5, 2007
Howdy kids! Hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was fantastic, thanks. Not only has the baby started walking, he's been in a great mood (perhaps due to the fact that he finally figured out the whole walking thing). On Friday night my cousin and his wife came over for dinner (hand-shredded chicken and personally deep-fried tostadas, thankyouverymuch). We drank a lot of wine, which was great because I hadn't had any wine in a while. Saturday morning I was not so happy with myself, but Jake made a scrumptious breakfast of bacon, scrambled eggs, and hash browns, and that made me feel better. I decided my head hurt too much to read or blog or listen to music or do just about anything besides... a puzzle!
Let me just say that I have been thinking about doing a jigsaw puzzle since before the baby was born. I've got over a dozen of them (a couple unopened) in the basement. Trouble was, while I was pregnant I didn't have the stamina, and afterward, well, if you've had a baby, you understand why afterward I just couldn't. Anyway, so I went downstairs, picked out a lovely 1000-piece puzzle of the Golden Gate Bridge and set to work on the dining room table. I finished it Sunday morning and jonesing for more, I this time chose one of the unopened puzzles - a fancy one (you know the kind with the sturdier pieces) of Van Gogh's A Sower at Sunset. Since yesterday morning, I've got the man and the tree basically finished:
Really, what this all serves as is a distraction from this UNENDING WINTER. No snow for today (thank god), but 1-2 inches expected by the end of tomorrow (sigh).
Where is the warm weather that Punxsatawney Phil promised us? Stupid lying groundhog.
Posted by the a is for annie at 9:49 AM
Thursday, March 1, 2007
You know who you are. If you are going to search the internet for "virginity pic," searching Blogger is a really weird place to start. (Actually, who am I to assume it's a start?)
Also, not to get all judgy, but: ew.
Posted by the a is for annie at 4:11 PM
Did you know that March comes in like a lion? In case you didn't believe that, let me just mention that I woke up this morning to a snow storm and now 9 hours later, it is raining really hard. It's washing away the snow on the driveway, so that makes me happy.
Know what else makes me happy? My awesome new yoga pants! They're actually the right length! (Meaning they're only like an inch too long. :)) And they were a two-pack deal at Sam's Club - yes, I got two pairs of yoga pants that not only fit but are stylish as well for like $19 and change. Wanna see a picture? I bet you do!
Ignore the idiot expression on my face, "casual" arm placement, and bad posture and instead gaze upon how freaking thin I look! And they make my legs look longer? That's not a camera trick, people.
One of the best things (ok, the only nice thing) about maternity pants is the fold over waistband many of them come with. I have several times longed for the cute foldover waistband of maternity pants in my regular pants. And now! Look! That light blue area on my hips is a foldover waistband! I love everything about these pants. (Caveat emptor: I am 5'2". If you any taller than, say, 5'3", I don't recommend these pants unless you're looking for capris.)
So in taking the above picture, I learned to use my camera's self-timer function. Very handy. For your viewing pleasure, below is a slightly less lame picture of moi. (Hey, what a great looking shelf that is...)
Posted by the a is for annie at 3:39 PM
Blogger should have trackback technology, folks. I feel dirty blogging someone else's blog without notifying them via trackback. But I'm gonna do it anyway:
While perusing my friend Georgy's livejournal friends page (I was bored, it was a "came from" link in my statcounter), I came across this blog entry by one of her friends.
I don't know this person and won't be a jerk and steal that person's pictures, but you really must go look at them. Apparently once upon a time in New Mexico some crazy people scrawled their craziness on a 20-foot wall and called it a Shrine to Virginity.
Such was their crazy that they did not believe in PROCREATION. A favorite quote off the wall: "Blessed are they who do not bring children into this world etc." Etc.? What, were they too tired to finish that particular thought? Because given the rest of the crazy on the wall, they really didn't seem like they were the types to just assume we're capable of filling in the blanks.
Thank you for sharing, friend of Georgy and person who I do not know!
Posted by the a is for annie at 11:29 AM
Or, Reason 482 why I've just about lost my patience with TV.
Is it just me, or is everyone else who watched Lost last night demanding an hour of their lives back? I'd ask for my money, but that shit was free. If you really hate yourself, you can watch it here.
I'll give them one more week, but if they pull that crap again next Wednesday, I'm done. Hurley had some flashbacks about his daddy issues, his crazy mama, and his curse. He found an old VW bus with a dead guy inside (he was rather glib about this - NOT the Hurley from previous seasons, but hey, maybe he's grown or become desensitized or whatever) and decides that he must get it started. Just 'cause it's fun, which is fine, but Hurley, if you want people to join in your fun, yelling at them and throwing a hissy fit isn't the way to do it.
Kate and Sawyer return to the beach, and everyone's happy to see them except me. I don't understand why Kate won't just die already. Her stupid impulsive one-track mind is going to get her killed one of these days, or at least I can dream. Sawyer, plied with beer, helps Hurley with the white whale, err, bus.
Kate leaves the beach as soon as she's gotten there (thank god), telling Locke and Sayid that she's going to get Jack, and she's heading into the jungle to find the only person on the island who can help her. They act all, "Wha??? Who could she possibly be talking about???" I don't like it when writers treat me like I'm stupid. Kate, who is stupid, doesn't realize that Locke and Sayid have been following her. She has a torch. They each have a torch. And they've somehow managed to hide from one another in the pitch black jungle with fire held high above their heads? Anyway, they see each other. Sayid appears not to know where in the jungle they are. Uh-huh. Yeah, he seems like the absent-minded type who forgets things like that. Rousseau appears (hey, look, we're in Rousseau's neighborhood! What an awesome coincidence! Wait... I think maybe Kate was heading here the whole time!) and makes like to shoot the three of them. *sigh* Sayid reminds everyone (because they've all got their guns drawn) that they've all met before and shouldn't shoot one another. Good plan. Kate tells Rousseau she thinks Alex is her daughter. The announcement is made all dramatically as if the audience watching didn't already know. Blessedly, the episode ends.
So that's it. There were some commercials, not that I paid attention to them, and Jake and I had ice cream floats. The ice cream was a little frostbitten. Oh well.
Let's end this bitter post on a high note, though. In no particular order:
- I hung a shelf yesterday, people.
- I got in contact with an old friend from high school. It's funny how people change and yet don't.
- I browned several tilapia in butter, then made a sauce from butter and lemon and poured it over the fish. Then I sprinkled on some pepper, salt, parsely, and red pepper flakes. It was hella good. The baby liked it and the asparagus. He played with the rice. It was cute.
- I got another 50 or so pages read of Anansi Boys.
- Ryan Adams is releasing a new album this year!
Posted by the a is for annie at 9:45 AM