Thursday, June 30, 2016

Your Baby Will Be a Teenage Runaway Unless You Wrap Him Up in a Giant Tangled Mess of a Sheet and Attach That Whole Fucking Enchilada to Your Body

Remember yesterday when I promised you that next week, I'd tell you all about why wearing your baby tied to your body in a giant tangled mess of sheet that you can neither put on OR take off without throwing an adult tantrum is the only way to make sure he won't become a teenage runaway? 

Well, next week turned out to be tomorrow, and tomorrow is now today. So here we are. 

And today I'm here to tell you what Mayim Bialik from Blossom already knows: you need to wrap your baby up in a sheet and lash him to your body like a mainsail to the mast of a mighty ship, UNLESS you want him to grow up and whore himself out at a truck stop for donuts and rides to the next town where he can find a $10/hour job washing dishes at a gross sticky diner that serves hard boiled eggs and cottage cheese for dinner like that's normal. 

Bonus: if you tie him to your body facing out, he will look like Kuato in Total Recall or a half-formed twin that's secretly been living in your chest cavity for your entire life, but no one ever knew about it up until this whole sheet thing started.

Anyhoo, just because it takes you 45 minutes to untangle your iPhone headphones every single time you want to take Queen Bey out for a run in the nabe doesn't mean it won't be so super easy to peacefully wrap your sweet, sleeping, delicious-smelling baby up in a large piece of cloth and attach him to your body without either of you shedding a single tear in the process!

For it couldn't be easier to take a large, rectangular piece of random fabric vaguely resembling a sheet, lay it out on your bed, and stare at it quizzically for awhile from many different angles as you ask yourself how this is possibly supposed to work. 

As your baby blinks up at you with a confused and mildly concerned expression on his face, lie him down on top of the sheet and start folding random pieces of it around him origami style. You're a self-sufficient mama, so don't ask anyone nearby for help as you hoist one flap of cloth over the other in no particular order, lift your kid up like a sack of flour, herniate a disc in your lower back, and tie parts of the sheet in a giant knot around your neck and waist right as your baby shits up his onesie with a gallon of Gray Popuon that necessitates starting the whole process over again.

But it's totally worth it, because there's all this research that says if you DON'T put your baby in a giant tangled mess of a sheet and attach him to your body 24/7, he will grow up to be a teenage runaway. They now know that in caveman times, this is how the Neanderthal women carried their babies but obvi they used a deer hide instead of a sheet, and it was supes convenient because they could walk around collecting berries and making cave paintings totes hands free! Plus, none of their kids EVER ran away from home. Or cave. 


The point is, if you don't want YOUR baby to grow up to be a teenage runaway who screams "I HATE YOU BITCH!," steals all the money out of your purse, drops out of tenth grade, gets addicted to meth, and then administers anonymous blow jobs in a bus station bathroom in the depressed rust belt of rural Ohio just to scrape up a few more dollars for even more meth, you will wrap him in a sheet as I have described above.

Or you could just put him in a stroller and take your chances, but don't say I didn't warn you.


Achtung Bitches! If This Man is Not Your Plan B You're Doing it Wrong!

Ladies: It's always important to have a Plan B in life. Am I right? And I'm not talking about birth control. I'm talking about that Knight in Shining Armor who's going to sweep you off your feet, ride you off into the sunset after long walks on the beach, and take care of you for the rest of your natural days until death do you part--an eventuality that could arrive sooner than you think if you plan to answer this ad.

If you're single or your current relationship is shitting the bed, then look no further than Cobb County, Georgia, where a 53 year-old single white male posted this ad on Craig's List seeking a wife and/or girlfriend in exchange for free rent, food, and wifi!

Here are some highlights from the ad, as reported by KIRO 7 News in Atlanta:

The retired, self-described "touchy-feely" (YUM) and "witty" (obvi) concert-ticket salesman owns his 1967 brick ranch home free and clear. There you will live with him as his girlfriend "and possibly [his] wife later if you want."

If you want.

He is also going to pull a full-on Richard Gere/straight George Michael, and preacher-teacher/father-figure you into a 2009 Hyundai and some good credit: "If you do not have a vehicle we can find you a good used one. If you have no credit score we can build it pretty quick." He's already talking in terms of "we!" Such a team player/romantic. 

He also has "a pair of 2016 Atlanta Falcon season tickets AND 2017 season tix for both Falcons and Braves at their new stadiums!" And did he "mention [he has] all 8 HBO channels yet?!"

All 8?!? I mean, if he said he only had 7 I'd have to pass, but what woman can say no to ALL 8 HBO CHANNELS!?!??!

One catch: you cannot have "unresolved felonies," implying that if you're a convicted arsonist but served your time and met conditions of probation it's all good. And you "must be honest from day one" about "past issues." He wants to assure you that his criminal "record is clean except for traffic tickets and a V.K.O. [Violation of Knife Ordinance] citation in the 80's." 

What's good for the goose is good for the gander! Buuuut . . . Violation of Knife Ordinance? . . . that's arguably one of those things that makes you go "hmmm." Also, it should be noted that technically, a criminal record is only as good as the crimes you actually got caught committing. It won't reflect all those corpses you have buried out behind your woodshed that a CSI team hasn't unearthed yet. 

Doesn't this sound like a super promising relationship? There is NO better deal out there. "You'll have the whole front bathroom for yourself" and "not have to pay for rent, wifi, power, garbage service, or food!" He also enjoys "photography," which I can only assume is code for interwebs fetish porn. But at least you'll have that "whole front bathroom for yourself" to clean up in afterwards?

So the net-net here is this: You will be an enslaved pet/hooker with access to a roster of amenities that the assistant manager of any Red Roof Inn off I-90 would KILL to be able to advertise. Continental breakfast here we come!

And speeeeeeeeeeeaking of killing, don't worry about that nagging little voice in the back of your head that's telling you this guy is a protege of the BTK killer and a serial rapist who will tie you up to his hot basement boiler in twine from Home Depot and make you his sex slave in exchange for every season of Game of Thrones and Entourage streamed on demand. 

This Pretty Woman meets Deliverance set-up is any woman's DREAM! And since I just happen to be going to Atlanta for a wedding next week, the timing could not be more perfect. 

Don't be jelly, ya bitches! I call dibs!

Image: Craigslist

Image: Craigslist

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Your Baby Will Be a Big Fucking Loser and Possibly a Serial Killer Unless He Wears This Natural Baltic Amber Necklace

My days of having babies are long over (I hope), but I still firmly consider it my civic duty to keep up with the latest trends in baby style and reliably deliver them to my readership. 

And based on what I've seen out in these mean streets, your baby will probably (i.e. at least a 51% chance) grow up to be a serial killer with greasy hair and recycled glasses who collects human tailbones, strings them up like popcorn, and hangs them on a mini-plastic Christmas tree in his basement apartment in Sheboygan that has dirty Linoleum floors and drywall made to look like wood paneling UNLESS you buy this Natural Baltic Amber teething necklace and put it around his neck. 

If you don't do this, your baby will be a big fucking loser--at a bare minimum. 

There's lots of research lately into "adverse childhood events" and I read somewhere that there's like, this teeny-tiny window of time in which your baby's brain is developing and open to not being traumatized. Then I read someplace else that the only way not to traumatize your baby and inevitably turn him into a sociopath is to make sure he never cries. And the only way to make sure he never cries is to make sure he's not a big fucking loser. And the only way to make sure he's not a big fucking loser is to put this Natural Baltic Amber teething necklace around his neck. Also, it helps with teething or something.

You know it's good, because it's natural (whatever that means) and comes from the Baltics (wherever that is) and is made of amber (whatever that is--I think it's a form of ancient petrified sap with mosquitoes entombed inside from the time of the dinosaurs or something?) and secretes something with medicinal properties whatever whatever whatever and makes your baby's whole head smell like a cool breezy pine forest.

Anyeeeeeeeeewaaaaaaaay . . . 

Your pediatric acupuncturist reliably assures you that this piece of baby jewelry is a scientifically sound analgesic miracle that will keep your baby smiling at all times, and hence prevent him from growing up to be the next Charles Manson. 

Meanwhile and quite ironically, your know-it-all bitch of a mother-in-law of all people who buys supermarket brand margarine and Foster's Farms chicken cutlets on sale and drinks Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail with high fructose corn syrup as LITERALLY the second ingredient like EVERY DAY has the nerve to keep screaming that your baby will choke to death and glares at you and forwards you scare emails 24/7 about this amazing necklace that is so objectively fucking necessary! 


Listen. I'm not here to solve this debate for you. I don't care if your pediatric acupuncturist is right or if your mother-in-law is. As far as I'm concerned, they're both batshit crazy assholes who deserve a joint viking funeral while they're still alive. 

All I'm saying is your baby will be at best a big fucking loser without this necklace, and everyone in his Wednesday morning playgroup will make fun of him. And at worst, he will grow up to be the next Hannibal Lecter.

And do you want that? To be the mother of someone who's already a big fucking loser at less than one year of age? Or possibly a serial killer by age 30? Wouldn't you rather he wore this necklace now than that weird metal brown hockey mask thing later? The one Hannibal Lecter wears in Silence of the Lambs to prevent him from eating a cop's face and from which he somehow escapes and goes ahead and eats the cop's face anyway?

I thought so.

Next week: Why wearing your baby tied to your body in a giant tangled mess of a sheet that you can neither put on OR take off without throwing an adult tantrum is the only way to make sure he doesn't run away from home as a teenager.


Entire United Kingdom Runs Away from Home, Forgets Sandwiches and Bus Fare

The United Kingdom voted to run away from home last week, but in the days since storming out of the EU in a huff, Britain's population of approximately 62 million suddenly realized, among other things, that it needs sandwiches and bus fare to survive out in these mean streets.

The EU was pretty surprised to wake up last Friday 24 June to discover that the UK had opened its bedroom door, hopped down the fire escape, and absconded into the night with two hastily-packed duffel bags full of tea and shortbread but not much of a plan. 

Sure they'd been fighting a lot lately over allowance, too many rules, and what Britain considered unwelcome house guests. But while Britain had been threatening to run away from home, the EU never thought that ungrateful, petulant knucklehead would ever do something so impulsive and stupid.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, while obviously concerned for the U.K.'s safety, was not about to let Britain just "enjoy the benefits of [EU] membership while sloughing off its burdens." In other words, the EU told Britain it was not about to keep paying its exorbitant cell phone bill, feeding its pet hamster, and picking its dirty wet towels up off the floor. Also, Britain should not be surprised if the EU goes through its room and gives away all its posters and CDs to its sibling nation-states; and God help them if they find any--and they mean ANY--weed or porno mags in there.

The EU would like Britain to come home, of course; but not if it means taking advantage of them and continuing to complain and not do its part around here, because the EU is done enabling this behavior. They think they can do it so much better on their own? FINE! Let them try! The EU would LOVE to see THAT!

At press time, Britain was seen group-texting Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump, its new BFFs and two ne'er do wells the EU views as an extremely bad influence on Britain, to see if maybe one of them could sneak back into the EU for a minute on Britain's behalf just to grab it an umbrella, a jam sandwich, and a few spare pounds for bus fare.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

These Two Bros Totally Failed to Slay Their Brexit from Civilization Into the Alaskan Wilderness

If it's one thing I've learned from 11 years of living in Alaska, it's a healthy respect for this environment; one which borders on paralyzing terror. That's because I know from personal experience that anytime you set foot in the wilderness here--even slightly more developed sections of the wilderness--you're literally one bad decision away from disaster; even in places you've been hundreds of times before. 

I am extremely conservative with this to the point of being boring, inhibited, and very annoying, since my #1 goal in life is not to end up as one of the all-too-common headlines in the Alaska newspapers, either as rescued, missing, or dead. I don't know anyone who doesn't have at least one terrifying story of outdoor peril here.

I'm really careful about where I go, who I go with, for how long, and with what gear in tow. I try to follow all the usual rules: tell someone your plan and when you'll be back, don't go alone, bring a GPS or some sort of charged cell phone/satellite phone/means of communication, bring inclement weather gear and food and water even if you'll only be gone a short time (since sometimes a short time accidentally turns into an unexpectedly long time).

Oh. And of course, don't make a Chris MCandless pilgrimage, like these two mid-20's bros from South Carolina and Georgia did by attempting to Brexit the safety of a parking lot at Denali National Park only to need Alaska State Troopers and federal park rangers to rescue them. According to the above-linked Alaska Dispatch report, the duo attempted an ill-advised short-cut that had them paddling for their lives in the swift, chest-deep current of the Teklanika river. 

In short: Alaska kicked their asses, as it has so many asses before theirs. Fortunately, they told someone where they were going and had some basic provisions, hence enabling their rescue. Seriously this is (almost) my worst nightmare, and I'm glad they were found safe and sound. Next time though, they should follow O.H.M.'s additional rules of neurotic Alaskan outdoor recreating:

1. Find someone more competent than you to venture out with, and grill them on their outdoor know-how until they dis-invite you from the trip.

2. If the trip involves an ocean, lake, or river, thoroughly inventory your collection of PFDs (Personal Flotation Device) and then use your PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) to buy a brand new one because you don't trust the shitty ones you have.

3. If the trip involves an open skiff, make sure you're not 17 weeks pregnant lest you hit rough water and spend an hour riding waves like a bucking bronco, positive you have dislodged your growing fetus from the security of its uterine home which then results in a night of pannicked Googling upon return to civilization.

4. If the trail or ski route is not well marked, make sure you go with someone who has been to that trail or ski route recently, and when you get to the super sketchy part, keep asking them over and over again if they think you're lost until they get really mad and yell at you to STFU.

5. Bring along an automatic defibrillator for the inevitable sighting of a black lab or porcupine that you will be 100% positive is a black bear or a bear cub.

And there you have it. Just follow O.H.M.'s simple rules for enjoying Alaska's wilderness and MAKE IT BACK ALIVE, people! Make it back alive.

6 Times You Wanted to Punch Madison's Mom in the Crotch and Force Feed Her Cheetos

1. That time Madison's Mom signed Madison up for dance class on time: "Heeeey!" Madison's mom said cheerfully at school drop off. "Did you know yesterday was the last day to sign the girls up for the next session of Bee-Bop Hip-Hop Dress-Up Dance Jamboree?" No, no you didn't. You did not know that. Too late for your kid now. Sorry, Madison's Mom.

2. That time Madison's Mom remembered to pack Madison a lunch for the zoo field trip: "What did you pack for her lunch?" asked Madison's mom. Um . . . you thought lunch was provided. "That's Okay, smiled Madison's Mom with a gleaming laser-whitened smile assisted by Invisalign. "Madison would be more than happy to split her all natural crunchy almond butter and organic banana on wholegrain ancient farro bread sandwich, wouldn't you, Madison? Otherwise I think the teachers might have Saltines or something."

3. That time Madison's Mom won an award for most funds raised in a wrapping paper sale for a swim club you didn't even know existed: "Check it out!," said Madison's Mom while leafing through a catalog during swimming lessons. "We've already raised over $500 for the swim club in this awesome wrapping paper sale!" Oh. You didn't know this thing happening in the pool right now even was a swim club, let alone that you were supposed to sell wrapping paper to promote it.

4. That time Madison's Mom bought the last doll house at Costco: "Heeey," waved Madison's Mom. "Costco has this awesome sale on doll houses right in time for Christmas! I just got Madison one for her room!" When you told Madison's Mom the next day that Costco was all out of those doll houses and the only thing you came home with was a bag of half rotten avocados, she made a pouty face and said, "Dang it! We must've snagged the last one!"

5. That time Madison's Mom dropped Madison off at school with a tray of cupcakes for Madison's birthday after a 5:00 a.m. Pilates class: "Ugh, sorry I'm all smelly and disgusting," apologized Madison's mom gratuitously in her Lulu Lemon Capri yoga pants, Athelta Spandex tank top, and little ankle socks with Saucony sneakers. "But that 5:00 a.m. Pilates class reeeeeeeeeeeeally helps me get my day started off on the right foot, especially when I only have an hour to make three dozen free-trade 100% cacao cupcakes for Madison's birthday!"

6. That time Madison's Mom asked if your kid got into the advanced math and reading group for next year: "So are you guys doing the advanced reading and math group next year?" asked Madison's Mom hopefully. "We JUST found out that Madison got into it and want to make sure she's going to have friends there."  


Birkir Bjarnason Shall Sire My Next Litter of Babies, and I Don't Care That I Can't Pronounce His Name

Attention readers, I have an announcement: Birkir Bjarnason shall sire my next litter of babies, and I don't care that I can't pronounce his name. 

Have you heard of something called genetic diversity? It's very important to the healthy perpetuation of any species, especially humans, and it's something the tiny Nordic country of Iceland struggles to achieve in its isolation.

That's where I come in. 
I, with my Semitic roots in the great course black hair belt of Eastern Europe and in the equally swarthy and hirsute Mediterranean climes of Turkey and Spain. 

I first met Birkir at a bar in Juneau, and by "met," I mean watched him on a flat screen TV as he kicked a soccer ball around to much acclaim while my head was buried in my second of two margaritas.

That's when I knew it was fate. It was meant to be! This Icelandic, hot AF soccer-playing Jax Teller doppelganger who is literally nicknamed "Thor" and I were destined to do humanity a favor, and I was supposed to have my next litter of babies with the 28 year-old soccer phenom. This, I knew, was probably my last chance ever to realize my true potential as a certified cougar and my only chance to do something Truly Great for the entire human race. I intend to make good on the promise of the future. 

There's only one remaining problem: How do I get to know all of his friends and ingratiate myself with his family and my babies' future uncles and grandparents when his team is composed of the following individuals whose names are so very impossible to pronounce?

Gylfi Sigurosson, Elour Guojohnsen, Kolbeinn Sigporsson, Hannes Halldorsson, Alfreo Finnbogason, Ragnar Sigurosson, Birkir Mar Savearsson, Theodor Elmar Bjarnson, Ari Freyr Skulason, Ogmundur Kristinsson, Haukur Heiroar Huaksson, Runar Mar Sigurjonsson, and Gunnleifur Gunnelifsson?

I'm afraid I'll never be able to pronounce or spell any of their names, and frankly I need a special Icelandic keyboard even to type them. But at least I have some guidance on what to call our future babies. I'm just going to slam my forehead onto my non-Icelandic keyboard for inspiration.

Here we go . . .  Aaaand . . . I can't wait to meet sweet little Ahsdfoiawejrsdafladj and Kwrouildgfgvnb!

By the way, do you think Birkir knows Bjork?  I'd also love some front-row tickets to a Bjork concert at some point.

Fans tuning in to watch England and Iceland face off on Monday night may find themselves swooning over Birkir Bjarnason, the Nordic hunk with Viking good looks who could help put our boys out of the competition

Monday, June 27, 2016

And Now Please Stick a Speaker Up Your Vajizzlejazzle So Your Fetus Can Listen to Vivaldi

Of all the cockamamie consumables marketed to women (especially women who are expecting babies) Babypod (TM) takes the baby shower cake.

Please set aside what I assure you is a moment well spent to peruse the website for the "Babypod" and its self-proclaimed "revolution," which almost (but yet not at all) makes me want to get pregnant with a third child. 

Yes, pregnant again, JUST so I can shove this little round pink speaker into my vajayjay and ensure my fetus becomes a first chair cellist in the New York Philharmonic. 

"The difference between music via the vagina and via the abdomen. The only way the music can really reach the baby is vaginally," the Babypod website advertises in questionable English (the device appears to originate from Barcelona).

It goes on to profess: "Babies learn to speak in response to sound stimuli, especially melodic sound. Babypod is a device that stimulates before birth through music [sic]. With Babypod, babies learn to vocalize from the womb." The online logo boasts that the device is "recommended by gynaecologist" [sic].


The only sound I'm hearing is the loud "BEEP BEEP BEEP" of BACK THE FUCK UP, because no matter what this sketchy website and its specious "research" purport to conclude, the last thing I am doing is sticking a FUCKING SPEAKER IN MY VAGINA HOLE, PEOPLE!

I mean, why stop there? 

Let's shrink down a PhD student in Mandarin or French and insert him into your uterus so he can start teaching a foreign language to your child at 24 weeks gestation! Or better yet, do the same to an SAT tutor! 

Maybe you should shove a chess rook and three knights up your snatch, so your fetus can learn how to pull off a knight to king's bishop 3 or checkmate in two moves before it's even born? 

Or insert a little poster of David Beckham for your future soccer star to post up on your uterine wall and stare at for 40 weeks so your baby is ready to take the field as a starting forward the moment it emerges from the womb and has sufficient motor skills to stand on its own?

Seriously you guys. The Babypod is next level ridonks.

Measuring Up

The older Paige gets, the more I continue to reckon with a "problem" that is not really a problem to anyone but me, and to people whose opinions don't matter. Hopefully it won't be a "problem" forever. 

I want to get to the point where I no longer worry or care about my daughter's weight, or think of it as problematic. This is an incredible struggle for me, which in part is why I write about it frequently, and why I hope Paige reads everything I've written about all of this someday.

Paige is a big girl. There's no doubt about that. She's 8 and a half, and already 4"6 and almost 100 pounds. This is her genetic blueprint, as much as blue eyes, straight hair, and freckles are. She is incredibly active with healthy (if enthusiastic) eating habits, and my number one goal in parenting her is to make sure she stays that way.

I don't want her to end up like me: Weighing herself every morning, bringing a bathroom scale on a three-day business trip, criticizing and hating her body at every weight, enduring a chorus of criticism from within her own household, thinking about every calorie she consumes to the exclusion of far more consequential thoughts, spending her 20's struggling to overcome two different eating disorders.

I don't want any of that for her. I won't contribute to it. This is like a mantra I have to keep repeating to myself in order to stay the course.

I refuse to let adults criticize Paige's weight--to her face or behind her back--without intervening and objecting. I want them to understand what I've come to know is true: that Paige's weight is her weight, like her height is her height. They should be able to see that anyway just by looking at her brother, who is growing up in the same household with the same genes, yet has the opposite body type. 

This weekend I took Paige to a friend's house to help get measurements taken for an upcoming wedding. My heart sank as my friend read the numbers out loud off the tape measure. Those numbers told me this was all going to get worse before it gets better. That life was going to be "hard" for Paige, especially later in her teen years when she inevitably gets even bigger, and figures out that society won't let her wear the same clothes as her peers. 

I see her look in the mirror every day with so much confidence, but it's already almost impossible to find her clothes that fit. She already worries a little bit about being fat. She already talks about it in slightly anxious tones, like a dismal gray storm cloud preceding an emotional thunderstorm. 

Years and years of pain associated with this shit built up behind my eyes as I jotted down numbers. I started to cry and tried to hide it. Then I stopped myself, and I hated myself for worrying about this. I told myself the same thing I do every time these thoughts creep into my mind. 

My mantra.

I remember a great book I read that encouraged me to overcome my own body bigotry in service of parenting my "overweight" child successfully. I remember a This American Life podcast I listened to, in which successful women like Lindy West celebrate being fat and insist their bodies aren't just temporarily deformed weigh stations, so to speak, en route to being the thin woman (read: sexual commodity) they were always meant to be.

Paige is not meant to be thin. I know this in the way I know she's good at math and a great friend. She is about so much more than her body. She measures up in so many ways that matter, and in this one way that doesn't matter at all. She will not be a one-dimensional sex object always striving to meet society's paradigms of beauty.

That is my mantra, and I am in perpetual search of the courage to truly believe it. 

Courage to overcome my own entrenched body issues, shame, and stigma, and to keep reminding myself, every day if I have to, that I will not let Paige's weight dictate the measure of her worth. 

Not in my eyes anyway, and not in hers.

I don't always do a good job of this. Sometimes I fail miserably and wonder if I've just undone all my careful work. Sometimes I lose control, and accidentally criticize Paige for eating too much, or insist that she wear something that fits her better because her belly is sticking out and I am secretly embarrassed for her, even though she's blissfully unaware that there is anything "wrong" with her body; because of course there's not. 

She's so much smarter than me in this way. She knows better. I hope she forgets and forgives me these lapses.

It's easier said than done to reverse 38 years of female body shaming and break the cycle of that bullshit once and for all with your own daughter. But I have to do it, because I know that Paige's happiness and the sanctity of our relationship depend on it. This is too important for me to screw up.

The quality of our relationship and the level of Paige's self-esteem. Those are the only two measurements I should care about.

I'm trying. I really am.

Mornings With Boy

"The strongest, loudest fight there is is a fight between Daddy and Paige," Isaac told me as I was putting him to bed last night.  "I don't like to get in the middle of that fight. In fact, I don't like fights at ALL. They're too LOUD."

I found Isaac's pacifist bent comforting, if not arguably inconsistent with what happened the very next morning. I was getting ready for work when I heard my son yelling enthusiastically in the other room:



His "penis," it turned out, was one of the "devil sticks" you see Isaac standing on in this picture. 

It was propped between his legs and sticking straight out. When I walked out of my bedroom to determine what my child was doing to his private parts (this time), I saw him marching up and down the hallway with the non-tassled stick propped between his legs, and using the other two tassled sticks to whack his "penis" from side to side.

He was dressed for the day in his long underwear, a.k.a., his "ninja suit," and I asked him to please stop "banging on his penis" for a minute so he could brush his teeth. At first he refused (as per usual), but then I had a brilliant idea:

"You know," I whispered in a conspiratorial tone, "part of ninja stealth is fresh breath. There's nothing that gives up a ninja like bad breath. In order for ninjas to succeed in their secret stealth missions, they need to brush their teeth really hard, otherwise the enemy can smell them coming from a mile away."

Isaac's eyes lit up, and I handed him his toothbrush with the toothpaste already applied. He began brushing vigorously, dropping his "penis" to the ground in order to free up his hands for ninja oral hygiene.

Mornings with Boy. Gotta love 'em.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Best. Sign. Ever.

I was at a kids' birthday party at a playground in downtown Juneau trying to get my kids out of my personal space bubble (PSB). My PSB seems to be shrinking with each passing year, despite the fact that my kids are getting older, not younger, and you would think my PSB would be growing, not shrinking.

Anyhoo, both of them were hanging off either side of my body like little Styrofoam packing peanuts adhering to fabric by static electricity. I tried peeling them off. I even gently shoved them, only to have them swing back into my orbit and revolve around my torso in small concentric circles, as though I were Jupiter, and they were living, whiny moons begging for cake and ice cream and claiming they didn't "know what to do," despite the fact that we were on a playground with 30 kids and 20 different pieces of playground equipment.

I was just about to scream "BYE, FELICIA!" to get them the fuck up out my face, when I spied the best sign ever courtesy of the City and Borough of Juneau Parks & Rec. Department. It was so good, I actually walked back to my car to get my phone so I could take a picture of it for blogging purposes.

The detailed explanation of why dogs are not allowed on the rubber playground surface is genius: "Dog feces and urine are incompatible with children's play area on rubberized playground surface." 

This, of course, implies that there's something in the universe with which dog feces and urine are "compatible." 

What would that be, exactly? Juneau is definitely balls deep in dog shit. There's no doubt about it. Dog shit is pretty much the 11th biblical plague of urban Alaska. It causes a bit of an ongoing, cold culture war between dog owners, non-dog owners, "responsible" dog owners, and "irresponsible" dog owners, all of whom have opinions ranging from "I hate dogs and no one should own them" to "I don't care if your kid literally falls face first into my dog's shit in their own driveway."

Landing squarely in the middle of that spectrum (i.e., loving dogs but unable to own one due to allergies and not wanting to due to their shit and general maintenance), I found the assertion that their shit and piss are "incompatible" with a "children's play area" rather amusing. 

Because again, I put to you the simple question: With what, exactly, is "dog feces and urine" ever "compatible?" I guess maybe with garden fertilizer, at best? Being someone who can't keep a cactus alive, I'm not even sure of that much. As far as I know, dog piss and shit are incompatible with everything, not just rubberized playground surfaces; but I'm open to being educated on the subject.

Either way, this is a bit of a Socratic conundrum, one I doubt the author of this sign adequately considered. They could have just written: 
Dog shit and piss are fucking disgusting anywhere, but especially on a surface made of little pieces of rubber tire that can never absorb them, and camouflages them to the point that anyone who sets foot on a rubber tire playground surface with dog shit and piss in it won't realize they've done that until a bunch of little shards of brown, shit-covered rubber end up in their hallway at home tracked in by their toddler's Stride Rites. And that would rightfully enrage that person and make you an inconsiderate asshole. So please refrain from letting that happen. Thanks!
That would have been a more direct way to state the obvious, methinks. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Really? Who Does This Shit?

If you read this blog regularly, you know there are certain principles from which I never retreat, and that I view as very black and white. One of those principles is the unequivocal and unconditional support of the LGBTQ community. 

As long as I draw breath, type words into sentences, and post them on this blog, I will use my voice to denounce bigotry and violence of all kinds. I don't have patience, and I mean NO patience, for this kind of shit.

Look at this shit right here. This photo was taken at a Pride event in Anchorage. Someone I follow on Twitter posted it, and the person whose face you can see is trying (in vain, I assume) to talk sense into two assholes protesting gay marriage and presuming to speak for Jesus Christ Himself.

Now, let's ask ourselves what kind of person does this. What kind of person wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, "Hmm. I think I'll go out in public not two weeks after the Orlando massacre and provoke a bunch of LGBTQ people--because they don't get enough of that of course--in one of the only spaces truly meant just for them and their allies, and get up in their faces about religion and a Supreme Court decision that's a fait accompli."

Seriously? Who does this?

Now I'm also unequivocally pro choice, but even abortion protests are more understandable and less offensive than this. I can see how people get worked up about unborn children, when they become children, how there is real balancing to do with the life of a child versus the life of a mother. It is possible to have real, philosophical debates and questions about life and death on that subject.

Not so here. Not at all.

Not so with LGBTQ people, their marriages, or anything else about their lives. What kind of person decides to spend their time thinking and worrying SO much about gay sex or transgendered people that they are literally flying up from Texas (as these two were rumored to have done, though they also might be local, but whatever) to wear provocative, offensive, and decidedly UNCHRISTIAN T- shirts and get into people's faces about their lives? People whose existence, by the way, objectively has ZERO fucking impact whatsoever on them?

A very sad person. That's who. 

The Twitter user who posted this picture reported that the individual arguing with these two wingnuts gave up trying to reason with them and just said "y'all are crazy." But really, it's more than just crazy. It's sad. 

Sad that this is their idea of Jesus and the Bible. Because of course Jesus had a documented stance on this topic. M'kay. Sad that they themselves might be victims of institutionalized homophobia or transphobia and hate themselves, so they turn their self hatred outward. Sad that this is how they need to engage the world. To me someone like this deserves sympathy in equal measure to scorn.

But when I'm done feeling a little sympathy, I'm back to scorn and rage. Because really, showing up to Pride in T-shirts like this and trying to justify your prejudices to the LGBTQ community is just fucking pathetic and wrong. 

They should be ashamed of themselves and relieved no one can see their faces.

Friday, June 24, 2016

"Closer to Fine" by the Indigo Girls Has All the Answers When You're a 19 Year-Old White Girl in College

This song was my JOINT when I was 19. I mean, I felt like this song UNDERSTOOD me. It was like some sort of musical version of Eat, Pray, Love, but from the 90's and way less annoying, or equally annoying but in a different way.

I blasted that shit from the tape deck of my janky Honda Civic:

"I'm tryna tell you something 'bout my life, tryna give me insight between black and white and the best thing you ever did for me, was to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life after all, yeah."

Yeah! It's only life, after all! Thank God! It's all gonna be okay! Wait. Who is you? Whatever two-bit dirt bag or shit head I'm pining over today I guess? Anyway. Here comes some INSIGHT into those gray areas of LIFE, people!:

"Well the darkness has a hunger that's insatiable, and the lightness has a call that's hard to hear. I wrap my fear around me like a blanket, I sailed my ship of safety til I sank it, I'm crawling on your shore."

Holy shit. This is so DEEP right here. I ALWAYS wrap my fear around me like a blanket! My fear is like a leopard print snuggie! I don't know where this ship to shore safety metaphor is going exactly, but it is my whole fucking LIFE right now, described to a tee! It's so hard to find the LIGHT sometimes. Am I right!?

"I went to see the doctor of philosophy with a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knees. He never did marry, or see a B-grade movie. He graded my performance, he said he could see through me I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind got my paper and I was free."

Oh My God. I have no idea what they're talking about but this is SPEAKING TO ME. It's either college, which I am in right now and hate for so many reasons, or it's an ashram in India and I need to keep working at this hamburger and omelette joint a little longer so I can save enough money to buy a plane ticket to Southeast Asia and enlightenment.

"I stopped by the bar at 3:00 a.m. to seek solace in a bottle or more possibly a friend. I woke up with a headache like my head against the boards, twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before and I went in seeking clarity."

Ahhh!! I want to eat shrooms with the Indigo Girls immediately! This is like my LIFE every weekend, like, for REAL. But the chorus? I mean, it's like Emily and Amy are INSIDE MY HOPES AND DREAMS:

"I went to the doctor, I went to the mountain, I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain, there's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line. And the less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fiiiiiiiiiiiiine yeah!"

YES! THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT EMILY AND AMY! These two are on a serious mission for Nirvana and I want their itinerary. Is the doctor a therapist? God I hope so. Where is this? The Peace Corps? I should really join the Peace Corps instead of wasting another year in a dorm room. Why can I not get my shit together and be like, on my way to Nepal by now?

Whatever, it's all good. There's more than one answer to these deep questions, people! There's more than one answer! So deep! I'm not some kind of CONFORMIST. I'm on a CROOKED LINE! My journey is VERY profound. I love this song!

Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" is the Official Theme Song of Brexit

Leaving the EU
You said it's the right thing to do
How can we
Ever change things that you feel?

If we could
We'd show you you're screwing the world
But how can we
When you don't even know what the fuck happens now?

You can go your own way 
Go your own way 
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way

Tell us why
Everything turned around
Packing up
Shacking up with far right wingnuts is all you want to do

If we could
Baby we'd give you the world
Open up
Everything's waiting for you

You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it
Another lonely day
You can go your own way
Go your own way

Brexit Vote Proves Having British Accent Not Necessarily Proof of Intelligence

Brexit has rocked the European continent, upending the EU in a shocking wave of populist isolationism that scholars and journalists are calling the biggest upheaval in the west since the Second World War.

But one less-discussed consequence of Brexit is the dismantling of the theory, which until yesterday was all but gospel in the Americas and on television, that having a British accent automatically makes you a genius.

"This is perhaps the greatest unspoken--if you'll forgive the pun--consequence of Brexit," said Anne Smith, a political scientist and linguist at Oxford.

"Up until yesterday, it was axiomatic that saying 'Cheerio!' as a greeting (versus a breakfast order) and pronouncing 'can't' as 'cahn't' automatically bestowed on the speaker 50 additional IQ points. Now that's all been called into question."

Somewhere in Oklahoma, a white dude in a "Make America Great Again" Donald Trump baseball hat could be heard whooping and hollering, "YEEEEEHAW!" at the top of his lungs and through a belch.

Everyone Always Thinks the World is Ending

That's what my mom claims anyway. She's turning 71 next week, and sometime around age 23 or so, I started to realize that I actually didn't know everything. So I started voluntarily seeking pearls of wisdom from my elders. 

Donald Trump. ISIS. Brexit. The NRA's unholy union with Congress. Syria. Venezuelan famine. Recessions. The whole MIddle East shit show. Climate Change. Racism. Sexism. Xenophobia. Homophobia.

Undeniably, the world seems to be in bad shape; maybe worse than it's ever been. But is that really just a matter of perspective? My mom seems to think so. 

"Seriously, Mom. Is this the worst it's ever been?," I asked on her last visit here. 

"Nah!" she exclaimed optimistically. "It's always been this bad! It's just that when we were kids, we worried we'd get polio and become paralyzed, and had to hide under our school desks preparing for a hydrogen bomb to drop on top of us."

I tilted my head to the side, trying to decide the implications of this for our current dilemmas. 

Sensing my skepticism, my mom offered helpfully: "Look. Eveyone always thinks the world is ending, but it never does. It always just feels like it will. And people will always feel like the world is about to end. But it won't. Not in our lifetimes, anyway."

In case you were wondering, this is the closest we get to unbridled optimism and sentimentality in my family. 

Thanks Mom!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Keebler Elf Stops Baking Homemade Cookies, Starts Making Homemade Bombs

This fine citizen is William Keebler, age 57, who was criminally charged in a Utah federal court this week after attempting to detonate homemade bombs at a federal Bureau of Land Management building in Arizona. 

The sociopathic-looking Keebler Elf was pissed about the governmint (chocolate chip) mismanaging public lands; a position he reinforced in Oregon through his support of the Bundy-led militia also known colloquially to an amused internet as "Vanilla ISIS." (Recall that Vanilla ISIS begged for snacks, and now we know who provided them).

All appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, Keebler is of course not a terrorist hell-bent on destroying Our Way of Life, because, well, just look at him! He is a Good Christian Soldier, and his improvised explosive devices planted on federal property are just meant to prove a point about bad government policy and actually restore our way of life.

Get it? 

But that's not why I'm covering the fascinating story of Mr. Keebler. What I'm most interested in is the answer to this question: 

Why did Keebler leave the lucrative and delicious (lucralicious?) cookie business to pursue militia-based activities?!

The Keebler Elves, as we all know, "bake their cookies the old-fashioned elfin way, in magic ovens in Hollow Tree. Filled with scrumptious smells and alive with the industry of baking, the tree is the very hub of elfin activity." The elves also have a "creed":  "We pledge to pursue our goal of baking cookies, crackers, and snacks that are, by whatever measure one chooses to apply, Uncommonly Good."

Sounds like a backwoods cookie militia/bomb-making operation to me!

No other member of the Keebler Elf family could be reached for comment, and calls to Hollow Tree were not returned. However, O.H.M. has it on good authority that none of the other Keeblers endorse William's switch from baked goods to IED's.

It is unknown whether E.L. Fudge, scion and patriarch of the Keebler dynasty, or Ernie Keebler, E.L.'s heir apparent, will post the bail required to free William from jail pending trial, since the federal prison system insists on being paid in dollars, not M&Ms. 

Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, however, our sources tell us that Mr. Fudge is likely to revoke Keebler's elfin cookie-making privileges for life, as elves who use the facilities at Hollow Tree to cook up illegal explosive devices tarnish the Keebler family's good name. 

Up until now, the Elves' only controversy has been undeclared peanut residue due to a flour supplier recall. Now we're talking nails, wires, and timers. Wow. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


Jon Bon Swayze, Hot Felon, Fuckable Felons, and a Public Service Announcement

If you haven't heard of "Hot Felon," you've been living under a rock for the past year, and all I can say is you're lucky I'm here to school you on Jeremy Meeks

Jeremy Meeks, a.k.a. "Hot Felon," (Fig. 1, left) is a . . . um . . . 32 year-old felon from Stockton, CA whose mug shot went viral in 2014 due to his objectively perfect skin, eyes, lips, and bone structure. (I won't mention his teeth, but suffice it to say there's a reason his mouth is closed in every pic). Anyway, it wasn't long before Hot Felon, recently released from prison after serving a 27-month sentence on gang-related weapons charges, found an agent, graced the cover of GQ, and will presumably put at least some of his modeling proceeds toward cosmetic dental work.

Hot Felon came up in conversation during a bar (booze, not lawyers) outing with several MILFs, while we were doing what MILFs do best: Cackling like hyena hags into our $12 cocktails about things like fuckable felons and Jon Bon Swayze.

I've probably lost you by now, so let me explain.

The subject of Hot Felon begs a philosophical question--a sort of "Scruples Junior," if you will: What makes for a fuckable felon? Well, in addition to being physically attractive, a fuckable felon's fuckability is largely determined by the nature of his felony, with the consummate example being the fictional Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy, as I discussed several days ago. 

Jax (we learn early on in the series) has a deep, principled, and instinctive reverence and respect for women and children. He gently cradles babies, makes sweet sweet luuuuuuuuuuuuurv to his #1 bae, and is extremely solicitous of his mother. All his felonies relate either to guns, drugs, and dirt bags. Not in a million years would Jax even dream of doing violence to anyone except another adult male criminal who 100% deserved it, and yes, he's caught up in thug life, but reluctantly. 

From everything I can find on the internet--which is always 100% reliable and accurate except for on April Fool's Day-- Jeremy Meeks is the closest thing out there to a living Jax Teller with respect to his felonious fuckability. And bonus: They're both from Cali!

Anyhoo, this was the consensus our mini-MILF crew had drawn, when we spied from the corner of our collective eye a waiter/bar-tender with man-highlights who was definitely rocking a style perhaps best described as a cross between Jon Bon Jovi and Patrick Swayze. 

He was wearing his hair down, at which point he resembled Bon Jovi circa 1989. Later, we noticed he'd pulled it up into a pony tail, at which time he was more reminiscent of Patrick Swayze in Point Break or Road House (no one can touch Swayze in Dirty Dancing). He was also wearing black, leather, and/or black leather. It was hard to tell from our vantage point.

Either way, Jon Bon Swayze's style game was tight, and it made us wish there was an app like Shazam, which identifies songs, except for people--like you could take a pic of someone's face and instantly pull up their Instagram and Facebook accounts. 

We had to know who Jon Bon Swayze really was!

Men whose attention to their clothes and hair is sufficient to inspire a blog post are not exactly a common sight in Juneau, so I assume it's only a matter of time before Jon Bon Swayze is officially outed. Accordingly, I will end with a PSA and a promise:

Jon Bon Swayze: If you are reading this and your sense of humor is as good as your hair, please get in touch with me so I can interview you for a special O.H.M. "Style & Fashion" feature. I will prepare a list of burning style questions that you can answer and I will re-post--in your own words--as a special guest style blogger.

Jeremy Meeks/Hot Felon: if you're reading this, please confirm (for my own peace of mind) that you are truly a fuckable felon as defined above.

Thank You and GOOD DAY, SIRS!

Fig. 1: Jeremy Meeks (a.k.a. Hot Felon) and Jon Bon Jovi circa 1989

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The New York Times Wedding Announcement Feature is a Fucking GOLD MINE of Satire Masquerading as Reality

It takes a certain kind of person (not to mention a certain amount of money and connections, I assume) to submit and have published the story of your courtship and marriage--complete with photo slideshow--in the "Vows" section of the New York Times. The kind of person who is either actually insufferable or fine with being made to appear that way.

I've written about this before. How you cannot possibly submit your wedding story to this feature and not expect the entire internet to troll, excoriate, and downright CRUCIFY you mercilessly--and with good reason--FOREVER AND EVER AMEN!

I started this post intending to profile a hipster named Nathaniel, whose Vows piece was over-the-top even for Vows, and thus has rightly been traveling under the internet troll bridge highway at warp speed ever since it saw daylight last week.

Nathaniel is the grandson of the real-life Von Trapps (as in The Sound of Music). According to the story and photo essay of their wedding, Nathaniel, who was raised on Martha's Vineyard, likes to "sing aloud" (opera) while walking, "chases life like a golden lab chases a tennis ball," is "the kind of person who wants to wear bright orange shoelaces in his very fancy dress shoes," and is "often seen in a bow tie or some kind of hat." He also speaks fluent Latin (useful!), and is "fond of three-piece suits." 

His wife, Jane Sloan, a PhD student in theology, is psyched, because the confidently and presumably heterosexual Nathaniel knows how to bake biscuits and "taught her how to cross-country ski on the trails outside the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT." Nothing could stand in the way of their love, not even their first "disaster weekend" at Nathaniel's family home on Martha's Vineyard where Jane's "hat blew off while [they] were sailing." But whatevs. They went back to reading Shakespeare and P.G. Wodehouse on a picnic, so all was well. Now, Nathaniel feels like he's "wading into a pool of joy" and does not "know the depth of the joy yet." 

Side bar: I frequently experience that same exact feeling, only the pool is a margarita glass, the joy is being shit-house drunk, and the depth of the pool is 6 ounces of Patron. In my perusal of photos of Jane and Nathaniel's "wedding meadow," however, I also came across many other noteworthy FUCKING GEMS from Vows!

For example, the marriage of a "successful money manager"/one-percenter to a "shockingly beautiful" yoga instructor and former beauty pageant contestant, who wed at their very own Greenwich, CT mansion in March. 

Or this pair, "a straight-A student and track star from Staten Island and the grandson of [] a New York Mafia Boss," and "an art student and dancer descended from a long line of Ohio dentists" who married at the Harvard Club of Manhattan. 

Or these two woke AF feminists, whose "first big excursion was to the Great Wall of China" and who had a classical guitarist perform "In My Life" by the Beatles at their wedding at a "former cotton-gin factory turned creative hub" in Atlanta. The groom wore "a three-piece tailor made suit from Trio, an Atlanta custom clothier and a light blush tie made by Pearl Beach Treasures."


I know, I shouldn't be judgmental, and far be it for me to begrudge these couples their happiness and good fortune. But sometimes you have to be a hater. You just have to be, and give people just a tiny smidgen of what they deserve: some light-hearted mockery that they brought on themselves for no apparent reason other than to show off.

Photo: Jacob Hannah for the NYT