Pop-culture: January 2009 Archives

Different

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Tomorrow morning the Quaker people (the company) are coming to my house as they are sponsoring an inaugural viewing party which I am hosting. Every time I say this people are all "WTF? You?" And I'm all "Oh, you think that because I'm of a different political persuasion it means I am incapable of showing the kind of support you showed our last president when he took office."

(beat)

Fifteen bloggers across the country were asked to host viewing parties and I've invited a few close like-minded friends to watch the festivities, wave farewell to Bush and remember his eight years of service, and usher in a new era. I try not to light this place up with the same level of political discourse that I am paid to do elsewhere, but I do want to take a moment to say that political differences should not be dividing issues amongst people and I always feel badly for those who are unable to connect with others on a deeper level and thus shun anyone who doesn't agree with them lockstep. There is so much to life and to people in general; we all have the same goals just different means. That's diversity. Please remember that this week.

Liam knows what's going on tomorrow and in the past couple of weeks he's grown ridiculously interested in presidential history. One evening I let him watch a documentary on George Washington, who Liam thought was cool because of his blue coat, and he's been all about GW ever since, reading several YA books about him, including a new one he started late yesterday afternoon. He'd asked me why people were talking about Lincoln and I couldn't get him away from reading about Washington and the revolutionaries long enough to properly answer.

**I'll be on NBC affiliate KSDK Channel 5 at 5 and 6:30 p.m. tonight; a reporter, Ryan Dean, came to the party and filmed and interviewed a few of us. (Good on KSDK and Dean for a balanced report.)

*** I've uploaded photos to Flickr. I love this photo of Kristie holding baby Natalie. All she's missing is a cape:
 
Chris, Kelli, baby Natalie, Kristie watching history

****Michelle and Kelli both posted about the day.

Plastic surgery: pro or con?

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I had a lot of fun taping this particular episode of Momversation (also featuring the lovely Mindy and Daphne) because I find it hysterical, the whole idea of youth-worship. Also! I drew you a diagram! Several things that you don't know based on this video alone (because, obviously, timeliness! They can't be three hours long):

- The women in my family are, ahem, um, well-endowed. All I'm going to say is that all the women in my family were jocks in school and we all required at least two sports bras just to reign it all in. In the past I wanted a reduction. After having children I've learned that motherhood can sometimes shrink things, so it's all good. Sweet jeebus I feel uncomfortable now so MOVING ON.

- Really, I would never get a facelift, Botox, eye thingermajibbers, a tummy tuck, lipo, or any of that jazz. It's just not me, plus, I am terrified at the sight of my own blood and, as I said in a part of the video that was cut out, I pass out every single time I've given blood, I've passed out just at my weekly pregnancy exams (though, if you me had to go through what we do, you'd pass out, too). So I would not take well to the needles, knives, or blood. While I wouldn't do it, I wouldn't get in someone else's business and tell them that they couldn't.

- In another edited-out bit, I explained that unless I have enough money to wipe my butt with dollar bills or swim around in it like Scrooge McDuck, it ain't happening.

- I think there is a wondrous inner strength in aging on your own terms and bucking against Hollywood's warped definition of beauty. The women who do that: Sophia Loren, Jamie Lee Curtis, Diana Ross, etc. are a million times more beautiful to me.

- Chris finds me attractive even when I wake up with my hair a knotted mess, sticking every which way. I'm content with how I look, he's content with how I look, so in my opinion, there's no one else I care to impress.

Of course if my chestal region becomes such that I have to tuck them into my Converse, well, maybe a little something here or there to wind them back up to at least my stomach. Otherwise, I'd rather spend my money on yarn and Apple products. What do you think?

P.S. In the beginning you can hear me mention Jocelyn Wildenstein. I Googled her for you.
 


On a smoke-free St. Louis

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Over the Christmas holidays we got together with family, as people are prone to to during that time of year, for a meal at an area restaurant after church. It was Chris's family, and I can safely say that they are louder than my family which is a near impossible task as my family will laugh riotously for hours on end at fart jokes. I have video for blackmail, even. Yes, myself included, whatever. I have two young boys: if you can't beat them, join them.

Anyway, the restaurant that was chosen by the majority is one that allows smoking inside. It seems weird to me that people can still smoke inside. As this restaurant wasn't particularly big a "non-smoking section" was futile, as are many. You were going to be exposed to smoke nonetheless, regardless whether you were the one creating it. Our party was a large one and the thought was that we'd fill the place up, which we did, save for one table that was later occupied by a small party with children.

Despite having smoked a short time in my younger, childless days (I stopped when I saw what my grandfather underwent when he had a lung removed due to smoking-induced cancer) I am one of those ridiculously annoying nags when it comes to cigarette smoke because hi, my 7-year-old has asthma and someone else's cigarette smoke could provoke in him an asthma attack which ends up costing us $75 in emergency room fees, costs for both the inhaled and oral steroid medication he has to take to help with his recovery, plus doctor's bills. It's happened before. That's what the pro-smoking-in-public people don't tell you about when they talk about their "freedom" to smoke wherever they want; it's free for them, it costs people like us.

So we're all in this restaurant, the only one convenient for everyone that could take us at that time, we're eating our lunch and as I go to take a bite of my chicken sandwich the flavor is marred by the horrid stench of burnt ass emanating from the table next to us - the party with small kids. The smell was even more offensive than the word I just used. I glanced at Liam who was sitting across the room with his cousins; the smoke hadn't become so bad so as to cloud the room ... yet. I stood up, took out his rescue inhaler, and shook it furiously while dramatically fanning the air all around me because I figured that doing so was more polite than cramming the cancer stick down the guy's throat. As he sat next to his toddler. Seriously - WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, who smokes right around a toddler? While eating? It's like eating a turd with your meal.

Chris's cousin also noticed the smoke and began fanning the air around her toddler and preschooler. Both of our tables were right by the smoker's table. As soon as the smokers got a load of my crazy they politely extinguished their cigarettes and went back to eating. I stopped windmilling my arms and slipped Liam's inhaler back into my purse.

I know some people will think I'm beyond rude for doing what I just told you but seriously - it's thrice as rude to light up a carcinogen and force the people around you to share the habit. Sure, we could leave, but so could they. And as we weren't the ones polluting perfectly good air with a substance that is illegal for minors to purchase but apparently not illegal for them to unwillingly imbibe secondhand, I think the smoking party should leave. I'm also a bit aggravated that I can't do things like take my kid bowling (he's never been) because of cigarette smoke and I shouldn't have to drive nearly an hour out of my way to find a rare smoke-free type of establishment.

There is a movement here in St. Louis to make establishments smoke-free, which I whole-heartedly support. A person has every right to pollute their own home, their own air, their own health; their right ends when their activity encroaches on the health and well-being of others. To simply say that the issue is about individual freedom is both intellectually dishonest and ignores the plethora of evidence proving the dangers of secondhand smoke (not to mention the increase in insurance costs for all) and rights of other individuals. If they want the liability for the health problems that arise - like paying for a little kid's hospital bill, medicine, and suffering as a result of a health issue brought on by their actions - then we can have that discussion.

No one is telling a smoker that they can't smoke, just that they can't compromise the health of others with their smoking.  

I just feel that if you're unable to limit your habit's damage to just yourself, then you maybe should keep it in private. Don't you?
 
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