June 2009 Archives

To toss this month:

- People who do nothing, contribute nothing, offer nothing, yet have the audacity to complain about progress and/or results.

- People who tell me what I can and cannot write about on my own personal website.

- Having to work as much as I do just to keep my head above water because of what is happening to this economy.

- People who only act like family on holidays or whenever presents are involved.

- The obsession with Michael Jackson. Sure, he was a great songwriter and performer but he also molested young boys so as the mother of sons forgive me if I'm not blaring "Thriller" or crying over the memorial video marathon on the cable stations. I'm mourning for the innocence of those kids.

- Sam's not having lemons yesterday.

- The guilty feeling I got upon finding Liam's Nintendo DS, apparently put away atop a bookshelf weeks ago as punishment, after scolding him for losing it.

- High-maintenance people.

- Not having the money or the time to take a vacation. 

- Silence when there's too much to think about.

- The work that goes into making your kids' childhood idyllic.

- Those who sell synthetic faith.

Things I would not toss:

- The faith my kids have in me.

- The faith I have in myself, when I have it.

- The support of family, friends, and people who read and/or listen.

- When the heat recedes a bit, dips into the 80s, and is joined by a good breeze.

- My hammock.

- Convincing my kids to nap with me in said hammock.

- Watching Ewan get upset because the earthworms he caught are always trying to run away from him, he says.

- Zia's on the Hill who recently treated me to a fantastic chicken spedini meal. I went by myself after a radio appearance for Party at Berra Park at the owners' invitation. I sat by myself in the corner of the room, stuffed my face, and caught up on my email.(Thanks Mike and Kory!)

- My Palm Pre.

- The release I feel after a good venting.

What's aggravating you or lifting you up today?
Good fences make good neighbors. Or something like that.

I took this photo a few weeks ago before all the stuff in our garden went insane. It has nothing to do with this post. My head is literally floating up to the ceiling out of its neck socket, I'm so tired and out of it today.

This is what I feel like about Michael Jackson. As Chris said, genius musician, sucked at being a human.  

I'm exhausted. I had my second radio appearance yesterday, which went AWESOME, and a lot of listeners came out to support, thank you. I filled in for Jamie again this morning for what will be the last time for a while; he's back from vacation on Monday. Sorry it's been light for the past week-and-a-half while I upped my work load for that. 

My children want to see Transformers and go swimming and enjoy summer and I'm going to enjoy some down time with them. I'll be back in full force on Monday.

Happy weekending.  

Mother, interrupted

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Hydrangea

This was the centerpiece for the Father's Day/Chris's birthday meal I hosted on Saturday. Normally I'm not a fan of pink but the swamp-like humidity of summer in St. Louis does something to me. The white hydrangea is my favorite flower on earth because it's so versatile and feminine-looking. I've a hardy hydrangea bush growing in our backyard that thrives in the naturally acidic soil. It's the only plant that Ewan has not hit with his Little Tykes bat because he senses sincerity in my threats, I think. I told him that if he hits my stuff with a bat then I'll hit his stuff with a bat and since that's the currency to which my preschooler responds, I'm rolling with it.

I've been a little light this week as I've taken over morning show hosting duties for Jamie while he's on vacation. Doing a daily show, albeit every other day, isn't easy, unless you're used to dipping into your RSS feeds and monitoring the news to prep. Also, the boys came home completely sunburned after a lake trip with their grandparents, and when I say "burnt," I mean Ewan-had-blisters-the-size-of-quarters-on-his-arm burnt. Normally I'm fascinated by such weirdness but upon removing his shirt in preperation for his baking soda and oatmeal bath, my eyes nearly fell out of my head. In addition to tea compressess, vinegar rub-downs, coating them with aloe, I've had to keep them indoors for the past couple of days so their skin can heal and I've run out of both inside activites and the motivation to do them. It's like trying to keep water in your hands, this job of trying to keep two boys entertained indoors on bright summer days. As Ewan points out, "there's no worms in here to play with."

So this week is a bit slow; however the site overhaul is coming along and will melt your face soon enough. And OMG Ewan just brought some FREAKY looking bug in here.
Last night was the big grand opening party for Chris's studio and I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who came out. The place was packed; there was something like nearly 600 people in attendance and it was a huge success. It was wonderful for everyone to finally see the fruit of his hard labor and to congratulate him on the physical realization of his dream. Our friends came out, people whom I love dearly, people who can always be counted on and who've always supported us in all we do, people whom we've always supported as well. They are like family to us and the night would not have been complete without them. There are many people to thank so if you're one of them, I thank you - also Monster Energy Drinks, Vitamin Water, Benton Park Cafe, Hodak's, for their part in making the night so successful.

That the opening took place right before Father's Day and his birthday was apropos, I thought. When we we exchanged vows almost nine years ago, I never would have foreseen us on the path we are now. For better or for worse, it's been an extraordinary ride and I'm so grateful that I get to share it with my best friend. Who is also a fantastic father. And has an incredible backside. Which isn't related to being a father, except maybe in an obvious way, so it bears mentioning. Ahem.

Chris joined Danny and a few of the Momversation men for a special episode on dads for Father's Day. It's sweet to watch these men open up their hearts and profess just how much they love their children and how, YES, they WILL BE OK solo with the kids. I think dads are under-appreciated in our society, underutilized, under-loved. Whenever I read things about how men aren't performing up to women's expectations in the home these men will forever stand out to me as more than just an exception to the rule, but possibly proof that the rule itself is false. These men want to share the joy of raising children, they want to help out their wives and maybe if we women recognized that and gave them the credit they deserve we would find our own burdens relieved. It's just a thought.



Happy Father's Day to all the men in my life, to all the men out there., and happy birthday to the man in my life. You are so loved.
Love this man

Growing up Elvis

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My cousins surprised my Great Aunt Able with a birthday party on Saturday night. It was held in an American Legion hall, one of those delightful little faux-wood paneled rooms that remind me of my childhood growing up in the 80s with remnant 70s decor. The 70s have such a Kubrick glow.

Elvis7

Elvis36

I wanted to take a photo of every single person at the bar. They all look like they had such stories to tell. One man said that he saw me on television and I can only imagine that I had a bullhorn in my hand so I ducked my head and slipped past him on my way to the bathroom.

Ladies

We all converged in a back room; table after table of family members, even one whom I've chosen to estrange myself after some drama-familia episodes. It's inconsequential considering that this was a celebration for the closest thing we have to a matriarch in our family ever since the death of my grandmother four years ago.

Surprise!

My Aunt Able has fire-engine red hair and is one of the most straight-forward people I know. She could have been Popeye in another life. Her husband nicknamed her "Red" early on, both for her hair color and her temper. When my mother left the country for the big city, she stayed with Great Aunt Able in her small south city home and caught the bus to the five-and-dime where she worked as a cashier. She soon got an apartment of her own but she never very far from Great Aunt Able, with whom she and the rest of my aunts and uncles have regarded as a backup parent. I've always admired how what you saw is what you got with my grandma, Aunt Able's oldest sister, and Aunt Able herself. The pair were close and made frequent pilgrimages to their own little Mecca, Graceland, as lifelong Elvis devotees, and took pictures of the same things every visit. I know those photo albums by heart: 70s-yellow Polaroids and snapshots of them standing in front of the gates with my younger aunts; Able and Grandma in front of Elvis's grave; Able and Grandma at the museum, in Elvis's living room, with various Elvis impersonators. Aunt Able shared my Grandma's obsession with Elvis, though I don't think it went to the extent where the Elvis photos in her home outnumbered the photos of her grandkids, as they did in Grandma's house. Still, when grandma died, Able inherited the bulk of Grandma's Elvis memorabilia, including the gigantic velvet Elvis painting which Grandma hung so it could be seen from the toilet with the door open.

Um, ok, are you seriously still taking photos?


An Elvis impersonator surprised her; he was fantastic and performed all the hits and I shocked myself when I did some impromptu background vocals with my mom on "In the Ghetto."

Elvis20

Aunt Able hasn't had the easiest life; she lost her husband and her sister irelatively close together. I remember all of my cousins and I circled around her as they lowered Grandma into the ground. She was crying and we told her that she didn't have time to cry; she just inherited 30-some-odd grandchildren. She laughed.

I love her expression

It's weird. When I was young the only thing I wanted to do was go out with my friends and turn 21 so I could get into the clubs and get my own car and every other way to get away from my family but now all I want to do is be with my family. Even the ones who did me wrong; they still look like me and they still have known me since I had pigtails down to my calves and wore little cowboy boots with all my skirts.

Elvis23


So we celebrated Aunt Able's birthday. These events with the old guard are few and far between anymore and I was glad that we went.

Aunt Able

Some shots I love (click to enlarge):

The pictorial representation of their relationship Elvis8

My granny would be proud Disbelief

Full photo set here.

Keeping a gun in the home

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A hot-button topic that was fun to do with The Ladies. The topic for this week's episode of Momversation is kids and guns: Do you keep a gun in your home?



Because of time constraints, points are always unfortunately left out and I want to address a few of them here right quick:

- More kids die every year from accidents involving space heaters, drowning, bicycles, et al. than from accidents involving guns. We should protect our kids with education and awareness.

- There are a variety of gun safes available which allow a person to access their gun quickly but also serve as a deterrent to children obtaining them, i.e. biometric safes. Personally, I'll settle for the set up the Green Arrow has in "Smallville."

- As I said in my full-length video, I also think women should be able to defend themselves physically. I came from the Ozark School of Self Defense in which the motto is "kick arse now, ask questions later" for crying out loud. However, as a child who was raised in a home where I witnessed domestic violence regularly, as a woman whose close, kick-boxing friend from college was raped by three men, none of that matters because the bottom line is that most men are stronger than women. Unless it's a teeny tiny little man. I don't think it's a sign of weakness; just the women I mentioned simply reached the limits of their physiology or were outnumbered. I think it's great to make a point about female power, but at some point it becomes about survival in such instances where your life is threatened.

- I rely on myself for defense more than I rely on the police. We have alarms, et al. but I don't want to chance my survival on the window of time it takes for the police to arrive; furthermore, not many people know that the police are not legally obligated to protect your life (a Supreme Court case!), thus leaving you as your own last line of defense (which I think is pretty feminist, too).

- Nothing frustrates me more than irresponsible gun ownership - irresponsible anything, be it automobiles, pools, child neglect, etc., pet ownership, wardrobe choices, it's a big list. We need more firearm education and safety courses; even if a family would elect not to keep a gun in their home there is the old adage that those who do not live by the sword can still die upon them blah blah and it's good for kids to know enough to keep themselves safe (if you see a gun, stop. Don't touch. Tell an adult) at the very least.

I can totally appreciate and respect someone not feeling comfortable with a gun in their home and I would never force them to own one just as I appreciate others respecting my desire to own firearms. Every family does what they think is best for their family unit - it's also a great lesson in diversity for kids, too. Hugging out our differences. It's the American way!

So what are your thoughts? Even if you, personally, would not own a firearm, what do you think of educating kids about gun safety; what do you think about guns for self-defense?    

Weird things kids draw

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Weird things kids draw

This particular piece owes its beauty to Ewan, who took to the dry erase board while his brother played a math game on the computer. I love the way a child's skill translates what they see in their mind - or the way their young mind interprets what they see. It always comes out looking like it was processed through some Mad Hatter filter and I enjoy watching it; it's one of my favorite things about parenthood.

But seriously, I have no idea what this is supposed to be. A dog? Zero from "Nightmare Before Christmas?" A ghost? Montauk Monster? I like it, whatever it is.

*Ewan finally told me (after laughing and saying nothing) that is was a crocodile. Makes sense. 

Congrats are in order ...

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Master control room

Chris's studio, Shock City Studios, was one of 16 in the world chosen by Mix Magazine for their Class of 2009 coolest new studios list. So proud!

The studio was a lifetime dream and some people may have thought he was crazy, others thought he was a genius, I just wanted him to be happy and have the opportunity to do what he loves and share his talents with others.

More photos here. The studio is having its grand opening the evening of June 18th from 6 - 8 p.m.; information is here about the fête along with RSVP information.

Lesson in the dirt

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Ewan is at the age where I can still trick him into thinking that helping me with chores around the house is an awesome, big kid thing. He's eager to help, to prove himself. Liam, meanwhile, has reached the age where my elementary parlor tricks no longer work on him.

The other day I combined yard work with a science lesson - plus the bonus of the boys preparing the seeds for some inpatients and pansies that their grandmother had given them.

Cracking the top

While Ewan chipped away at the ceramic eggs in order to get to the seed mixture, Liam wisely eyed the ten bags of mulch I had lined up beside the garden beds.

"I'm tired of helping."

Whereas Liam looked at weeding and mulching as work, Ewan saw an opportunity to terrorize ants and push around dirt.

Watering with a fast food cup. FTW.

They also learned about soil, photosynthesis, and we made Ewan say "photosynthesis" a few million times because it sounded adorable.

I love their gardening gloves

They later dug their gloves into the dirt and we studied an ant colony. Which was gross, but they enjoyed it.

Ewan's "mean smile"

Fleurs in eggs

Now that the seeds are planted, let's see what germinates. Much like education.

Life and death

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I was mulching the garden over the weekend and right before I emptied a bag of Black Forest mulch on the ground I happened to notice what looked like a piece of mold on the ground. As I looked closer I saw the mold move.

It was a baby bird.

Nestling

It's little face was buried in the ground and it was moving its flimsy little pink wing nubs in a lame effort to right itself. Its eyes were nothing more than swollen purple lumps beneath a flimsy slip of skin. What I thought was mold was actually its feathers. In all reality, it looked like a giant wart with a beak.

Minutes earlier I had heard birds squawking and I found a broken nest on the ground just feet away from where I found the baby bird but at the time I thought nothing of it. 

Baby things get me because I see my children in every other child or baby critter and it's just, well, disturbing.

bird2.jpgI told you. Disturbing.

I scooped the little dude up into my gardening glove and showed the boys before calling wildlife rescue - who weren't open and accepting animals until 9 a.m. the next day, so the boys and I made it a priority to keep the baby alive until then. Chris shook his head sadly as we gathered leaves to fix the broken nest and caught and mushed up earthworms with which to feed it. I ascertained that the bird had fallen three stories to the ground as I'd seen birds going to a nest on the top of our house earlier. The bird's neck was all weird so I wasn't sure that he was going to make it anyway, but I couldn't leave the bird there to just die on the ground.

We told both boys that the bird may not make it, so do not be surprised if, when they go to check on it in the morning, the bird is dead.

"Well, at least we tried and I think God would be happy about that," Liam said, doing his best Benjamin Button impersonation.

We tried to feed the bird the mashed up worm concoction to no avail. I gently laid it in its nest and set it back in the spot where I found it originally, hoping that the mama bird would come back, else I was going to call DFS on her. I went to check on it once and I thought I saw a swallow on a fence across the street. Not wanting to impede a reunion, I left the bird alone.

I checked back on it around midnight and it was dead and already covered with jerk ants. Sometimes I wish nature had a bit more courtesy or I a bit more balls, but whatever.

We told the boys later on that morning and they took it in stride. Things die, things happen. A message easy to understand with a baby bird, but whether it will translate to a building block for trials later in their lives, who knows.

In search of a nap

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My gentlemen

The boys have been with Chris's parents for the past two days because of the charity event that Chris helped plan and because I spoke yesterday about netroots to a roomful of politicians and politicos. A man with whom I had slightly disagreed in the past by way of a third party was in the audience and it's always fun when two people who know that they don't particularly care for the other lock horns, albeit mildly, in a public setting. I was disappointed that he didn't stick around to chat.

It's been a long week and I've missed my boys. The house feels weird when they're not whooping and hollering through the halls and throwing stuffed animals down the stairs. Since they've outgrown the toddler tent I got them a few years back, they've asked me to construct them a new one in the backyard because they have "planning to do." It sounds ominous. So I'm off to the backyard with blankets and string and, if I get my way, they'll let me take a nap in the middle of it.
California Do-Nut
Unrelated photo of a closed donut shop.

Tonight my friends (and Chris, who is on the board) are hosting the St. Louis Epilepsy Foundation's Bowl-a-Rama, a charity event in conjunction with a horde of St. Louis Rams players. You actually get to be teammates with a Rams player, which is pretty cool, yet intimidating because football players are the size of Redwoods.

I am one of the worst bowlers known to mankind. What I do to a bowling is a crime against the sport. I'm not going to shock you with my average, just know that it is the lower two-digits. It's so bad that last year, one of the Rams players laughed at me and asked me what on earth was wrong with my arm. I keep my arm straight, but maybe my forearm is curved, heck, I don't know, because whenever I throw the ball it juts wickedly to the left and makes for the gutter. Every. Single. Time.

Also, I entertained the idea that maybe the Rams players wouldn't be all that great at bowling, either. I mean, they're professional athletes, but maybe they spend all their time on football, or maybe God looked down and was all "OK, YES, I gave these guys an inordinate amount of talent to play football, sigh, fine, they can suck at other sports." Oh no. They practically bowled perfect games and I think one of them wasn't even looking at the lane, I think he was talking to someone and just threw the ball behind him. SO NOT FAIR.

So in advance, I would like to apologize to bowling, the entire sport of it. If you attend tonight (info here, my radio show has its own lane, FTW!) please ignore the curly-headed brunette lying in the gutter because she couldn't get her hand out of the ball in time when she threw it.
This definitely goes into the trebuchet.

Saturday afternoon we took the boys to see the new Pixar movie, "Up," as the kids had begged to see it since the film's promotion first began. We went to the Wehrenberg Ronnie's 20 Cine, the same theater I have gone to since I was a teenager. My parents used to drop off me and my gangling friends in our tight-rolled pants at the front of the theater (when it was only eight rooms instead of 20, gawd I'm old). I've never had a problem with Wehrenberg Ronnies, until Saturday.

We bought our tickets in advance and arrived 45 minutes early and because we knew that it would be a full house as it was the film's opening weekend. We stood in the first part of the line and the boys were very well behaved, mostly because they knew that they could eat all manner of sweet in the darkness of the theater and neither Chris or I would stop them.

When we walked in the first thing I noticed was that the first several very long rows were roped off with a sigh which read "RESERVED BIRTHDAY PARTY." The rows were the best seats in the house, front and center. It wouldn't have been a huge issue except that after we scaled the steps, we found it impossible to find four seats together. People were filing in, saving seats, and the largest number of seats together that we saw were three all the way up at the top and to the left. That meant that either Chris or I had to sit alone and let the other manage both children. It wasn't just us: other families were also struggling to find seats. One man was audibly angry, he remarked that he didn't spend the amount of money he did on five tickets to discover after purchase that a good portion of the theater was reserved. We looked to one of the ushers who sort of shrugged his shoulders and pointed to the seats in the very first row. The seats that would require my four-year-old to practically break his neck just to see the blurry screen. We did not spend $50 on tickets for that. Liam started to get upset.

"There isn't any place to sit!" He said. "I can't sit there, mom. I won't be able to see the movie. Maybe they'll let me sit on their stairs?"

No one was helpful. I finally asked to see the manager. I could instantly tell that she had no interest in actually hearing our concerns; we explained the seating problem, how we did not pay such high prices to be separated, how we were unhappy that we were not told that so many rows were reserved, how Wehrenberg did not give us the courtesy of informing us that immediately we would not have access to the center middle rows in the theater.

I tried telling her that we could not find four seats together at which point she literally held up her hand and interrupted me and said that yes, there were enough seats in that showing. That's when I began to get upset because I did not appreciate the woman's implication that I was just lying through my teeth about the entire situation and that the problem was my inability to just see.

The Wehrenberg manager nor any Wehrenberg staff offered to go into the theater at any time to help any patron find seats. The Wehrenberg staff, at no time, offered to transfer our purchased tickets to another showing of the film. I finally got huffy with them after tiring of the way in which they spoke to us, the way in which the manager held her hand up to my face, and after she and another employee seemed to roll their eyes at us. I demanded a refund and I think today or tomorrow that $50 will be back in my account, finally.

We weren't the only family that asked for a refund either and we weren't the only family that Wehrenberg refused to assist.

My boys were upset and began crying as we left the theater. Thanks, WEHRENBERG!

As it was explained to me by the manager and Wehrenberg, the rows were reserved because someone paid a premium price to reserve those seats. That's fine. My problem isn't that someone reserved rows, my problem is Wehrenberg's failure to inform their customers that they did not have access to the best seats and may not be able to sit together.

I wrote the company and informed them of the entire ordeal; they basically wrote back and said "so what." Since there is a privacy disclaimer on the correspondence I can't post it fully here and will respect their wishes on it, however, I will post my email.

Hi Lxxxx,
Thank you for the speedy response.

I understand that the theater was not "oversold," however it was impossible for us and other families to find seats together and absolutely no effort was made to assist us or the other families.

I neither asked or expected free tickets; I did expect the theater to be up front about seat availability. Patrons were not told in advance that so many seats were reserved and that we would lose out on choosing seats or the opportunity to even sit with our children. Had we known this we would have simply purchased seats for a different showing or perhaps another theater. The burden of communicating this to patrons belongs to Wehrenberg. It's unfair to
not inform patrons of such an occurrence, to allow them to waste time and purchase tickets unaware that they do not have the same chance at getting a good seat as others - especially when they arrive nearly an hour early before the crowds. If another party paid a premium price, that's fine - but you have a responsibility to inform your customers when this happens so they can decide for themselves if they would rather see another showing. That's just good business.

Those front row seats were
exactly the only seats available for larger families and it's frankly ridiculous to expect small children (such as ours) to crank their necks up to stare at a screen that their eyes will have trouble adjusting to at such close range or to have them sit alone.

Thank you for explaining Wehrenberg's policy more fully. Because I'm not sure exactly what to expect when I walk into a Wehrenberg theater, I will become a regular patron somewhere else.

Sincerely,
Dana Loesch

I think it's amusing that any company would decline to just perform better customer service. Or that the manager at any time thought that my request for such translated into free tickets. Don't worry, Wehrenberg, I'm not asking you to go above and beyond anything.

I think its downright offensive for Wehrenberg to say well hey, snort, there are seats in the front. Yes, the seats where you have to do a backbend to even see the screen. Explain to me how this is good for small children? (To say nothing of anyone with a disability.)
I also was offended by how Wehrenberg tried to make their lack of customer service my fault. It was our fault that our family and others couldn't find seats together, it was our fault if we were dissatisfied with how they did not tell patrons about the limited seat choices - yet still charged the SAME price for their tickets.

1. If you're going to allow reserved seating, be courteous and inform your customers BEFORE THEY BUY THEIR TICKETS so they can make the informed choice as to whether or not they want to see a different showing or go to a different theater. It seems insanely rude to charge them the same high price when there is limited choice to seating. It would be considerate to offer a discount on ticket prices to patrons who purchase tickets for showings with reserved seats.

2. When you are told by a slew of customers that they are having trouble finding seats, believe them. Don't argue with them and refuse to help. They're not asking for red carpet treatment, they just want to sit with their kids.

3. This is a novel idea, but stick with me: actually HELP customers find their seats! I know, right?

4. The burden of good customer service is on YOU, the business, Wehrenberg. Don't, in a roundabout way, tell your customers to go service themselves.

So yes, I will not be going back to any Wehrenberg because I like to know what I'm getting myself into when I drop $50 on movie tickets. The reason that I'm writing about it is not to be ignorant, but because I hope to save you from the afternoon that I had with two crying children and a rude theater manager who rolled her eyes at me and stuck her hand up to interrupt me when I tried to ask for help.

This did end on a happy note! I mentioned the situation on Twitter and there were some incredibly nice people who were very generous with museum passes, pool passes, discounts on hotel rooms with pools, theme park discounts; it was very kind. Kids being kids, mine were still upset about the film and I was told about the new Great Escape theater in Fenton. I didn't even know that Fenton had a theater. So we went to see "Up," the ticket prices were a bit cheaper, the staff was courteous, and the entire place smelled like a brand new car. The seats were leather and they rocked. Like, literally, they rocked back and forth. One of their staff, when I relayed our experience at their competitor's, replied "Yeah, they should tell people when they do that."

Lastly, no spoilers, "Up" was fantastic, sad, and hysterical. The first twenty minutes made Chris sob so hard that an older lady seated nearby whispered to her friend "That man is crying."

What do you think? Wouldn't you like to know in advance if seats are reserved, especially a large number of them? Is that too much to ask? What is your worst and/or best customer service story? I'd really like to know, I want to keep a catalog of places to definitely go and places to avoid. Advance thanks!

I sang some Tom Jones

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On Friday night we went to a little neighborhood bar for some karaoke. I did not karaoke until I married into Chris's family, people who pull a trailer filled with professional karaoke gear across two states for a family reunion and will make you sing regardless whether or not you want to or have the ability. I sing, but mainly in church or after a glass of adult nectar when suddenly, standing up in front of people and a husband who produces music for a living (and is also pitch-perfect) doesn't seem like a complete nightmare.

Ladeez


It was an enjoyable evening despite the bartender not having any pants. And here I thought I'd seen everything. Afterwards we went to play shuffleboard at a different establishment and later saw some dude roughhousing his girlfriend and drama ensued.

I wasn't going to say anything about this until a guy (who sat nearby with friends and surveyed the scene) told us afterwards that hey, we didn't know the circumstances, who knows, maybe the woman did something to provoke the guy, and it was all I could do to stop myself from saying "maybe this is why you are middle aged, still single, and still scoping out chicks in bars. Just sayin." But he apparently took a hit while helping the girl and it was nice that he assisted her, so I can't be too harsh on him.

There is no excuse for a man to EVER physically handle a woman in such a way, unless perhaps when acting in defense of his life or if recreating an epic scene between Ike and Tina from "What's Love Got to Do with It." This whole BS notion that female abuse is no one's business, especially if it happens in public, is the exact reason why for so many years no one helped my mother.

It amuses me that anyone, especially a man, would use the whole "maybe the woman provoked him" line because it presupposes that the man is a giant blockhead who is not yet evolved enough to control his emotions or body. Whereas sexism usually condemns a man, in this case, it's used to exonerate him. Of course, it's sexist against the woman, too, being that it underscores the "nag" stereotype. A universally sexist defense! I feel like I'm one step closer to having seen everything.

So! There was that.

Tomorrow I'll share how Wehrenberg Theaters made my kids cry.
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