Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Up until this past weekend, Halloween was my favorite holiday. I love to get creeped out. I love to get dressed up. I love candy, and parties, and carving pumpkins. Love. It.

And then I had one of those moments in parenthood where you get a little glimpse into the future and it scares you more than the boogeyman ever could.

We were attending a fundraiser that just so happened to be taking place right next door to a high school dance. (The dance was at the Old Idaho Penitentiary. It’s a museum now, but still pretty creepy. Cool place for a Halloween dance, don’t you think?) Both events ended about the same time, so the shared parking lot was filled with costumed teenagers.

My husband and I stood slack jawed as we watched a stream of barely clothed young ladies getting into cars with equally slack jawed young men. Hey…now that I think of it, maybe I should ask M why HE was slack jawed…

Anyway, when did “Hooker” become the costume of choice for teenaged America? I’m talking butt-cheeks-hanging-out, fishnet stockings on garter belts, thigh high patent leather stripper boots, bare midriffs. The works. Stuff that I would KILL to have the body to wear for just one night. And those girls looked hott. With two T's. Of course they did, they are 17. They have no body fat, and they can use enough makeup and hairspray to make themselves look 25. There isn’t a 25 year old on the planet that could have pulled off those costumes with the same success. You have to have the skin and body of a girl-child, Wonderbra does the rest.

It’s funny how the girls can look so grown up, but the boys all look 12 years old. Complete with bad skin and arms that hang too close to their knees. I rather felt sorry for them. They looked like puppy dogs on little strings. Panting around after HOOKERS.

The moral of this story is that Sweet Pea will never know what it is like to attend a dance without her parents chaperoning. She may even have to learn to slow dance with her shotgun toting father standing in between her and her date.


Monday, October 30, 2006

It’s so totally unoriginal to be anti-politics. And even less of a statement to say that you don’t like political advertising. I know this. And so instead I’m going to tell you a leetle political story.

I’m in Idaho. And ‘round these parts we don’t trust nobody who doesn’t introduce themselves as a Republican. Them damn East Coast Liberals is tryin’ to steal our horses and our wimmins. We’d just as soon string ‘em up as look at ‘em.

Then along came Bill Sali.

Butthead Bill is running for a congressional seat here in Idaho on the Republican ticket. Only, even the R’s don’t like him much. It’s been fascinating to watch these events unfold really. You can practically see the angst in the eyes of some republican leadership. I mean, Dubya is counting on Idaho to keep filling those seats with some conservative, morally superior, blue blooded Republicans. I mean, Idaho = potatoes and Republicans, right? But this guy is a FREAKSHOW. What to do? What to do?

My personal take on how we got here is this: During the primary in May, the most qualified of the 5 candidates battling it out for the Republican spot was a pretty blonde lady with loads of experience at the state level. (Her name is Sheila Sorenson.) People genuinely seemed to like her. I thought she’d win. So I was shocked when I heard one of my politico friends – a woman even - saying things like, “Can you just see her teetering into a saw mill or a rancher’s association meeting in her Prada pumps? She’s not going to be able to get the job done here.” Read, “We don’t like her because she is a she.”


I always vote on the Republican ticket in the primary, and I was all prepared to let go a chad for good old Sheila. But alas, we recently moved into the wrong district. It obviously didn’t matter though, because there had to have been some money coming out of Washington DC to make sure that she didn’t win. I think they were hoping to put forward this other guy who was kind of an unknown. But it didn’t work. And now here we are with Butthead. (Who, when asked what three things he would focus on in Washington, answered: “I promise to only drink bottled water.” Huh? I think that was supposed to get the Mormons all excited. But I think they are scratching their heads too.)

Butthead has been a member of the Idaho Legislature for some time now. And he’s most famously known for making a direct correlation – during the session – between abortion and breast cancer. One member of the Idaho House of Representatives actually left the floor in tears because he essentially said that if you have breast cancer it’s likely your punishment for having had an abortion. She was in chemo.

What the?

Anyhoo…There is a pretty vocal movement of Republicans here in Idaho who are supporting the Democratic Party candidate, Larry Grant. The Grant campaign recently released this ad:

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD2u3U1MlJw"

  • using quotes from those Republicans – although some of them may have been from the primary. It’s hard tellin’.

    I think its brilliant! I mean, politicians spent all spring convincing us that Butthead Bill was, well, a butthead. And now politicians afraid to lose a Republican seat in Congress are trying to take it all back. Or hoping we won’t remember. Or counting on the fact that people in Idaho don’t take time to actually educate themselves, they just vote R, R, R, R, R right down the ballot.

    They might be right about that last part, sadly. But I’m really hoping that Idahoans will remember what we learned about Bill Sali from his own party.

    Or just vote for Larry Grant because he has the best ads.


    ****** These are my private opinions as a voter in Idaho. I'm not affiliated with any party or candidate. And I make stuff up too. **********

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    I’m not really a germaphobe. BUT. You knew there would be a “but” didn’t you? I mean, there has to be. Because why would I just throw that out there? “I’m not really a germaphobe. In fact, right now I’m licking the soles of someone's shoes. The End.”

    Anyway, I’m not. Public restrooms, for example, don’t cause me undo amounts of stress. I mean, I wash my hands. I use the little paper seat thing-o’s. But I don’t spend the entire visit trying not to touch a single surface, and hovering over the seat in a squat that would strain the quads of a veteran Cirque de Soleil cast member. (Because I’m lazy. Duh.)

    I do have exceptions though. Like the ladies room in the Alaska Airlines terminal of LAX is just gross. I figured that has something to do with volume. I mean, there have got to be a couple thousand people in and out of those stalls every day. So, natch, it’s gonna be a little oogy.

    After yesterday, I think I’m going to have to apply that volume = ickyness theory to the entire city of Los Angeles. At the risk of sounding really small-town-Idaho, I am just gonna lay this out there – that place is NASTY. And it’s such a bizarre juxtaposition too. There is the beautiful horizon that should be sitting in front of a blue sky backdrop, but the sky is hazy brown. There are gorgeous palm trees, mango trees, tropical flowering shrubs and thick green vines growing everywhere. But the sides of the roads are piled high with garbage. Graffitti is everywhere. They have to put razor wire around street signs to keep little thugs from climbing up and spray painting all over.

    So my day in LA begs me to ask the question – WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?? California is gorgeous in all the places where people haven’t screwed it up. It’s really sad. I can’t wrap my brain around why anyone would intentionally ugly up the place where they live.


    Monday, October 23, 2006

    Friday, I was logging into my IM and saw a headline in the news portal that I misread as, “President Bush talks to his Genitals about Iraq.”

    Heh. Heh. Heh. (and then Ewwwww…and then more Heh. Heh. Heh.)

    I was in the middle of emailing my very own Aunty M when I read it, so I shared. She responded by telling me about a Real Sex episode on HBO about a talking penis. And her email has the distinction of being the first not-actually-spam email to be blocked by our new office filter.

    I think she should win a prize. Perhaps a genitalia inspired finger puppet would be apropos? I’ll have to get shopping.

    Hmmm…oddly enough, a quick Google for “Penis Finger Puppet” did not return any merchandise. And I thought you could find everything on the Interweb.


    Ok. So, when you need a cosmic sign, where do you turn? I asked for one about a week ago, and have received several mini signs in the form of anecdotal encouragement from some smart wimmins/dear friends. And then I got this by way of my husband’s horoscope (he needed the sign too):

    "When you get to the end of all the light you know and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly."
    ~ Edward Teller

    Thank you Rob Brezny. May light and fluffy blessings fall upon your head. MWAH.


    This weekend we were parking lot camping/tailgating with some friends of ours. (GO VANDALS!) Sweetpea was having a ball discovering the joys of motor home life, but she failed to take into account the spatial issues that occur when your kitchen is also your living room is also your bedroom. (She walked into a table.) So she has a bruise that could maybe be categorized as a black eye. That girl was so TOUGH about the whole thing though. I mean, she yowled for about a minute, but then she was fine. Wouldn’t even let me put ice on it. And I was kinda proud of her for shaking it off – because I’m a huge wuss and I would still be crying about it today. Anyhoo…when we got to school this morning I was all, “Tell Miss Justine what happened,” so as to illustrate her tough girl-ness. And in typical Monday-morning-pretend-to-be-shy mode she said, “I went bonk on a table!” And then buried her head in my shoulder. At which point I realized that it sounded like I’d been having her rehearse that line. So I am fully anticipating the Child Protective Services people to be there when I pick her up in 15 minutes.

    So if you don’t hear from me for a while…

    P.S. If you know anyone looking for a wickedly funny and perhaps a little bit naughty Halloween T-shirt, you simply must send them to the Muffintucker site.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    I put a lot of stock in Self Awareness.

    It seems to me, to be one of the best personality traits any person could hope to possess. Short of becoming an enlightened being. In fact, I tend to think that Self Awareness’ power to do good can actually cancel out – or mitigate the effects of some not-so-great personality traits. For example, if a hypothetical person were to possess certain characteristics such as…oh, say, stubbornness, a quick temper, a need to always be right, control issues, a touch of OCD, pathological lateness, shallowness, and just a touch of paranoia – and yet she was also Self Aware, then she (or he, you know, hypothetically) wouldn’t be totally annoying. Because she would totally Get. It.

    Everyone follow? Hypothetical girl doesn’t expect the entire world to treat her like she’s normal. She knows she’s weird. She’s embracing her weirdness.

    Self Awareness rocks.

    And so, I spend a lot of time trying to cultivate and fine tune my self awareness. I guess you could say I love to learn more about me. So yesterday, I was just DE-lighted to stumble across a little exercise that I think furthers my quest. It was in Real Simple magazine. Which I simultaneously love and loathe. I love it, because it teaches you how to live your life Just So. And I loathe it, because who the hell needs that kind of pressure?

    But this was good. It was an article that talked about how times in your life where you feel totally vulnerable and without material/financial security are actually jumping off points for new and grand adventures and opportunities. What have you got to lose? The exercise asked you to draw three concentric circles. In the smallest circle you put your experiences. In the next circle you put things you’ve always wanted to try. And in the largest circle you make notes about your potential.

    Isn’t that a great visual? All that potential just sitting there waiting for you to move it into your little circle.

    I’d probably be really skeptical of that whole notion if I were reading the article in say, 2002, when I found myself feeling exceptionally vulnerable and financially insecure. But now, with a little hindsight, I can honestly attest to its truth. My husband getting laid off, and us being totally dirt poor for about 2 years was the best thing ever to happen to us. He finally had no excuses – he had to follow his bliss and start his own company. And we learned a lot of valuable lessons about money when we didn’t have any of it. It made us feel like we could weather anything.

    So now here I am. I’m the one who took the leap, quit a totally stable job with a nice paycheck and cushy benefits to become part of our family business. Thanks to my brilliant and sexy husband, I’ve got a lot bigger of a safety net than he did. He pays me even though I’m sitting at my desk writing this blog entry instead of billing hours. But still…it’s kinda scary. And I’m impatient. I want to have some clients and some projects RIGHT NOW.

    I’ve felt pretty timid about putting myself out there and going after new business. But that article reminded me that I really have nothing to lose. So today, I’m going do something fabulous. I have no idea what that will be. But it will be great. Stay tuned.