xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm too stupid for parenting, part 1

I say "Part 1" even though I don't have any more of these stories right now because I think we all know that there will be more of these....

Child 2 is playing a video game, it has something to do with planting plants or something, I don't know (who monitors this kind of thing, anyway?). He's all excited and is running into the kitchen every 45 seconds while I'm making dinner to make a report on his progress. Here's how the last one went:

Child 2: Mama Mama! It was SO cool. The plant gave off seeds and the seeds grew into new plants all by themselves! I didn't know plants and seeds could DO that!

Me: Oh, yeah, that's how plants work.

Child 2: How?

Me: UHHHhhhhhh......... (SHIT! Why isn't your father home??!?!???) I'll tell you when I'm done with dinner.

Child 2: OKAY!   runs away, all excited to come back and learn about plants

NOW what do I do??

Quote of the Day

"So everything bad that happened during the Bush administration was Bill Clinton's fault, and now everything bad during the Obama administration is Bill Clinton's fault who, by the way, was played by John Travolta in "Primary Colors," who was in "Carrie" with Piper Laurie, who was in "The Faculty" with Jon Stewart, who is banging Kevin Bacon."

- Jon Stewart

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A whole day to myself

Everybody's off to the beach again today. My house is a total disaster (imagine that) so I'm using this day to be SUPER AWESOME MOTIVATED to clean and fix things up. I'm making a big pot of iced coffee to keep me moving. Let's see how it actually goes, shall we?

12:30 Family sunscreened and out the door. Let the cleaning begin!

12:31 Launch iTunes. Check various message boards, comment on friends' blogs, Facebook, blog site stats, Huffington Post, iGoogle headlines, reddit.....

12:43 Start this blog post while calculating in head the likelihood of actually getting anything done that I'd like to do. Wonder what movies are On Demand. Go get coffee started! That should help.....

1:02 Text from my cousin. Do I want to go to Pride? Yes, actually. Yes I do. I really do because Pride is fun and it only happens once a year. But I'm determined to be productive today. I assure her I will be productive for the gays. FOR THE GAYS!!!!

1:13 I don't have any fucking ice! How am I supposed to make iced coffee without any ice? That's just cold coffee and cold coffee is GROSS. However, in the time it took me to realize that I've unloaded and started the dishwasher. I deserve a reward, don't you think? Oh, look, iTunes is still going. Let's check Facebook. No, I will NOT "like" Michael Moore, I think he's annoying! It doesn't matter if I agree with his politics, he's a pain in the ass. Why does he have to harass the secretary or security guard who work at the business he's trying to get into? It's not their fault, they're doing their fucking job, leave the peons alone, dammit.

1:31 Can no longer ignore massive pile of laundry immediately to my right. I think it's starting to talk to me. It's saying "come ON, you lazy fuck, at least get a load started while you sit there! Yeah! That's what SHE said!"

1:33 Look what I found in the laundry room: it's a Mr. Potato Head with no parts, just a body, eyes and feet. Do I need to keep this? I'll ask Child 2 when they get home.

1:42 The squares of water in the freezer have not yet turned to ice. Fuck. Maybe I should just screw the whole plan and take a nap.

2:21 A CRAZY fucking burst of productivity (for the gays!) Do you know what's so awesome about doing this shit when nobody else is here? I can throw away anything I want, as long as I empty the trash before they get back. A HA HA HA HA HA HA!! Enjoy the beach, SUCKERS!!!!!!!! Time to reward myself for my mini burst of productivity.

3:00 Okay, I just spent the last 40 minutes trying to figure out how to embed an audio file here so that you can all enjoy this beautiful Avett Brothers song. The problem, it turns out, is that Apple just won't let you. I guess you can do it with an mp3 but not an m4a (TWSS). Fuckers. Please enjoy this live video, instead. I would SO love to see these guys live.

3:12 HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!! I never actually pressed "start" on the washing machine. I win at laundry!!!!


3:28 I'm starting to lose interest in this project. I wonder if I need anything at Target?

5:54 Well, it turned out that I did, indeed, need a few things at Target. But first, I needed to spend an hour... an HOUR.... A FUCKING HOUR..... looking for my keys. I turned the entire fucking house upside down and got more and more pissed off with each passing minute. You know those thoughts that go through your head in a time like that? I was sure they had been in one of those garbage cans I had just emptied (who's the sucker now, huh??) Somebody was going to have to pay for this and it wasn't going to be in the form of me hunting through the fucking trash. Well, I found them eventually. I won't even make you guess where they were, because you never will. I'll just show you pictures.

Hey, check it out, it's Child 1's cute, kitschy lunchbox from Target. (Jon Waters would be so proud of us). It would be silly to look in here because why in the world would my keys be inside of Child 1's cute, kitschy lunchbox from Target?

ONE... HOUR.... LATER....

Oh. Oh, I see. There's also a plastic funnel of some sort, a matchbox car and a panda bear in here. Looks like somebody was helping me clean. THANKS, KIDS!! THAT'S REALLY REALLY HELPFUL. NO REALLY. I MEAN IT.

5:55 Okay, back to cleaning.

6:13 I'll get up in 7 minutes.

6:20 10 more minutes

6:41 Uh-oh, hubs just called and they're all on their way back. GO! GO! GOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6:47 HA HA check out the Pride cheer my cousin came up with: "We're here, we're queer, it's San Francisco, no one cares!" LOL

7:15  I'm doing 6 months' worth of filing of PTA financials. It's funny how your standards change as you go through a process that you want to finish quickly. At this point I'm saying to myself "Put checks in chronological order? They're in the same fiscal year; close enough!" (you accountants will like that one!)

8:00 Everybody's home, my experiment in procrastination is over. All in all I'd say I did pretty well; I hope I made the gays proud. Here's my desk now!

I realize that an after picture is pretty useless without a before picture, in which case... bite me, fuckers, I didn't take one!

8:01 Off to wash off all the sunscreen and the sand and put the little dudes in their rightful places. Bed, that is. I mean bed..... Why, what did you think I meant?

UPDATE: Okay, I guess when you spend an entire day writing one post you're going to lose some versions of what you write. I added the 7:15 entry after the fact.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Great Moments in Parenting

Tonight at dinner Child 2 was complaining about having to eat chicken (don't ask). He was saying something about how he wanted me to trust him in the area of chicken eating; not entirely sure what that was about, but it was one of those moments that required some careful negotiating because the tears were welling up and he was having a "want to be a grownup" moment involving chicken, and right then I moved my hand in a weird way, I guess, and accidentally spilled his water glass (ice included) all over the front of him.

I win at parenting today.

NT kids are trippy

First of all, NT = Neuro Typical, although if you're reading this there's a really good chance you already knew that. It's just a short-hand way of describing any person who doesn't have autism. Professionals use the term "typically developing," and I've always thought "NT" was meant to be a little disparaging, usually because it's used in the context of "things those NT kids can do that my kid can't." I've heard the term "uber-NT" before, which is meant to describe a kid who is so far from being on the spectrum it makes you a little nauseous; like "I hate that fucking uber-NT neighbor kid, I wish he would stop asking so many inquisitive and creative questions. He makes me sick!"

Anyway, Child 2 is, without a doubt, uber-NT. Man, I would have hated him if he belonged to somebody else when Child 1 was that age. But what's so weird to me about NT kids is this odd phenomenon called "having friends." Child 1 has never had a friend; he's never wanted to play with anybody, never wanted to go to somebody's house, never talked about another child, never shown an interest whatsoever. I've come to accept this as a normal thing that kids do, and it always surprises me just a little bit when I see kids playing together and laughing and having fun. Is that what kids do? That's weird. VERY weird!

Yesterday Child 2's best friend H (the one who can run faster than a cheetah), H's brother C and H's awesome mom who is awesome came over for a playdate. It was REALLY WEIRD. This is the first "friend" that's ever been to our house, it's the first "friend" we've ever had, actually, so it was all totally new for me. They were here for about 4 hours and Child 2, H & C ran all over my house and laughed and played and made up games and had a fantastic time. Child 1 was here, as well, and completely ignored them for the most part (which is what I would EXPECT a child to do in that situation!)

Now Child 2 is playing with his cousin (Child 1 is sitting in the room with me whispering to himself). They're outside talking about cars and friends and trucks and possibly even dinosaurs and I don't have to prompt anybody or force them to stay in the same room or offer a reward for saying "nice to meet you" or anything like that.

It's weird. NT kids are weird.....

Friday, June 25, 2010

I spend too much money at the iTunes store

But how can I not when songs like this exist??!?!?!??!!?!?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Key of awesome #1!!!!!!

h/t The Weiner Queen (check out her buns!!!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why bother with responsible parenting when this lawsuit will take care of that for you?

This one: McDonald's Threatened With Lawsuit for Pairing Toys With Happy Meals

Here's a snippet:

The Center for Science in the Public Interest announced Tuesday that it will file a lawsuit against McDonald's, calling the practice of marketing toys with junk food "illegal" under consumer protection laws in Massachusetts, Texas, the District of Columbia, New Jersey and California. 

"Dangling a toy in front of a kid to try to get them into your restaurant is unfair and deceptive, because it's targeted at kids who are what? Four years old? Six years old? Who don't even understand the concept of advertising," Michael Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, said in an interview with ABC News' Yunji de Nies. 

"It's not just a meal. It's the technique you're using to get kids to buy a meal," he said. 

Yes. It's the technique you're using to get kids to buy a meal. You know, that four year old (OMG MY kid is four! HE'S IN DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANGER!!!!!!!!!!!) the one who can drive a car and can count out his own money; he's always taking my car and going to McDonalds because of those goddamn crack/happy meal toys. He's just an innocent child, fer crissakes, a VICTIM who doesn't understand the concept of advertising; and here I am, his mother, HELPLESS against the illegal marketing practices of Evil McDonalds, which dangles toys in front of him and makes him fat. FAT!! MY KID IS GOING TO BE FAT AND THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT. DAMN YOU, MCDONALDS. DAAAAMMMNNNNN YOOOOUUUUUUUUU !!!!!!! *violent fist shaking*

Okay, you're probably seeing my point here. I should tell you straight out that we go to McDonalds; every Friday after school, that's what we do. They get the Chicken Selects (do I get royalties for mentioning those? I'll go look in my mailbox and see if there's a check there) and the little one even dips his in ranch dressing! We call it "getting chicken and french fries," even though we never actually get the fries, because if there are fries in my car at any time I will eat every last one of them, so it's best to keep them away. From me. We don't get the happy meals, though, usually because they come with french fries (see previous) and also because they're the McNuggets, and not the Selects, which just aren't as good according to my picky children. But, you know, the reason we go to McDonalds and not Jack in the Box (which doesn't have happy meals!!!) is because McDonalds has the good coffee, and if I can't get coffee during this excursion, I'm just not interested in the entire process. But I digress.... Yeah, we go to McDonalds. I should get that bias right out there in the open right away.

Child 2, my four year old (the one AT RISK here) is the kind of kid who will see an ad on TV and immediately want it. It's how we ended up with that fucking Zhu Zhu Pet (did you know those things moo'ed? Why does a guinea pig toy moo?) So, if he were to see an ad for a happy meal, and it was something that interested him, he would probably want it. But, you see, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, yeah, I'm talking to you now, that's kind of the part where I come in. No, he doesn't understand advertising, and yes, he's interested in pretty much every shiny thing that passes his field of vision, but it's my and hubs' responsibility as his parents to teach him how to eat properly and to take care of himself in the long term so that all the advertising in the world will pass by his field of vision and still allow him to grow up a healthy and happy adult (unless it's one of those Sham-Wow infomercials, I mean, I'm only human, I can't protect him from everything). But what you're doing here with this lawsuit is saying that not only am I powerless as a parent to teach my child how to eat right, but that it's not actually my responsibility, anyway. I can just let go of all of that, and if my kid ends up fat and unhealthy, LOOK! I have somebody to blame! It's totally not my fault, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest SAYS SO.

Seriously, what's wrong with us? Can't anybody take responsibility for anything? This article might as well be from the fucking Onion, but it's NOT. It's not a joke. Somebody really thinks Happy Meal toys should be illegal in the state that I live in. Because kids today are fat. And that, apparently, is where their argument ends, and they're not even joking! And countless number of parents will probably agree with them, too. They're probably the ones with the fat kids.

Monday, June 21, 2010

It could be an illusion but I might as well try, might as well try

Child 1 likes to go to the nursery; they have long aisles with hills and fountains and he can run up and down them and watch the plants fly by out of the corner of his eye. It's kind of a bummer, actually, because I have a "problem" when it comes to buying plants. It's like an addiction, the way some people buy shoes or gamble; I like to buy plants. I don't necessarily like to plant them or take care of them or keep them alive or anything, but I REALLY like to buy them and shop for them.

Today I just took a picture, though. I guess I'm working my way through the 12 steps.

Well I ain't always right but I've never been wrong
Seldom turns out the way it does in the song
Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"I hate autism"

"I love Scarlett but I hate autism." That's a quote from Xuan “Linda” Peng, who was convicted of killing her 4 year old daughter and was just released from prison after serving 5 years. Apparently she "snapped" and drowned her in the bathtub after a really bad day. I can't imagine losing control like that, but I do know what hating autism feels like.

Yesterday was Child 1's last day of 2nd grade. I went to pick him up and his class was on the yard playing and waiting for parents to come. I was talking to his aide and I looked over and saw him surrounded by a group of girls. They were talking to him and I could see that he had his hand over his mouth which is what he does when he "recites" something. I was too far away to hear what was being said, but I pointed to them and asked the aide "what's going on over there?" She assured me that they were playing and having a good time, "he's okay, don't worry," she said (she's awesome). I joked about how I was so used to seeing him surrounded by a group of kids who wanted to be his friend only to have him turn and run away from them (I've been watching him do that since he was able to run.) But I didn't like the way they were crowded around him, it didn't look right to me. Were they making fun of him? Was he saying "Coming up next on Sprout, the Good Night Show!"? And then all the girls turned around and looked at me, saw me staring at them, as if to say "What? We're not doing anything!" It felt wrong, I wanted to go over there and smack them all. But then the moment was over and the crowd around him dispersed.  He saw me and came over to say hi, and he didn't mention the Good Night Show at all. Then he went back to drawing roads in the mulch around the play structure.

I remember once when Child 1 was about 4, saying to a parent with an older kid on the spectrum, "it's all just cute now, but at what point do the other kids start to figure out that something's not right here? When will the teasing start?" He told me around 3rd grade. I remember thinking how far away that seemed. Maybe by that time he'll have made so much progress that it won't be an issue? That would be awesome, I won't have to worry about it. I think they started to figure it out this year, actually, because I've gotten some comments and questions from the other kids ("Did you drop him on his head when he was a baby? Is that why he's like that?") but I've always held 3rd grade in my mind as the year that everything will change.

Our IEP team is changing next year. We're losing our beloved Speech Therapist as well as the Inclusion Coordinator at the school, and a beloved after school tutor is moving to LA. Lots of changes, lots of uncertainty. I don't know who his teacher will be, I don't know how to prepare him for what he's apparently about to face. 3rd grade scares the shit out of me, and here we are, right up against it. He hasn't made enough progress and his differentness WILL be an issue. He doesn't know what he's in for. I'm not sure I'm ready.

I find these things on reddit.com

There's a series of these. Ellen DeGeneres hooks Dennis Quaid up with a hidden mike and cameras and makes him go and embarrass himself. It's REALLY funny.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes III

I'm picking up the kids this afternoon, Child 1 and I are at Child 2's school and we're ready to go. Child 1 has been playing in the dirt so I asked him to go wash his hands before we leave. His response: "Mama, you just tell me what to do and I'll do it." He's so awesome, isn't he? I was really impressed and proud so I stopped a random teacher who just happened to be standing there and I told her what he said. She thought I was talking about Child 2, though, and since she works there, she knows better, and she didn't believe me. She said "HE said that???" pointing to Child 2. I said, "oh, no. His brother said that!" She said "that makes more sense" at which point Child 2 pipes up with "Mama, you just tell me what to do and I'll do the opposite."

That sounds about right.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes II

Me (reading): Spider monkey, spider monkey, what do you see?

Child 2: What's a spider monkey?

Me: It's a kind of monkey, it says "oo oo aa aa."

Child 2: But does it shoot spiders?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A REAL parenting dilemma

If you have a kid in preschool, or daycare, or even Kindergarten, you KNOW what I'm talking about: WTF do you do with all that artwork they bring home?

It's a brilliant use of the blue and the purple hues, isn't it? Yeah, I have FORTY of these.

I'm not talking about actual, nice drawings of things you can recognize, things that literally make you say "AWWWWWW" and then burst into tears, running out of the room before anybody can see you, and afterwards you go to Target (naturally) and buy a frame and keep it forever......

See, this is obviously a bear. You can tell because it says "A Bear" right there at the bottom. *sniff*

... I'm talking about the hundreds and hundreds of finger paintings, blobs of color, random scribbles, cotton balls glued to construction paper, that come home in the backpacks in droves. What do you do with those? You can't throw them away, this is the beautiful artwork that your darling child, your own flesh and blood, made with his own elbow grease and probably more than a little spit. You need to keep these forever, pulling them out at night to cherish their beauty while your darling child sleeps, and one day you'll be able to look at them, when your child is all grown up, and remember those long ago days of preschool when he was so small and he depended on you and he loved you unconditionally and the worst name he ever called you was "poo-poo face."

He has such a mastery of the glue-work!

Every time I get one of these things I think "Oh, crap, what am I supposed to do with this? I can't throw it away, I just can't. But do I really need another one? And it looks just like the last one, so what does it matter if I just throw away one? But doesn't that make me the absolute most horribly worst parent in the entire world, throwing away my child's precious, precious artwork?

I think here he was expressing the challenges of being a preschooler in a post-industrial, technological era. He's saying "in today's electronic world, we so rarely speak to each other face to face, we spend all of our time communicating via electronic device in lieu of the human contact that keeps us alive. What kind of future are we creating for our children ... for ourSELVES ... by choosing to live our lives in such a manner?"

When Child 1 was in preschool he had a home program; therapists would come to the house and work with him and every day he would produce artwork and our wonderful, fabulous therapist who worked with him every day was in charge of making this decision for me. I would say "Do I have to keep this?" and she would say either yes or no, and when she said no, she would take the paper from me so that I wouldn't be the one who actually threw it away. I miss her.

It's so much easier when other people do your thinking for you.

So, what do I do with all this stuff. Yeah, I keep it all; of COURSE I keep it all! I have boxes, one for each child for each year. Child 1: Kindergarten. Child 2: Preschool, etc. And those boxes are piling up in my various storage areas, waiting for them to grow older so I can pull them out and we can look at them together and say "Why the fuck did you keep these, Mom?"


Friday, June 11, 2010

For the love of all that is holy will somebody shut that kid up??

My neighbors' 6 month old baby has been going OFF for the last 1/2 hour or so. It's that blood-curdling, holy-shit-they-really-are-trying-to-kill-me-I'm-not-kidding-this-time kind of scream that only a baby is capable of. You know what I think when I hear something like that? That's right, I think "HA HA! TOTALLY not my problem!!"

It's nice, actually. I've got the door open.

Funny to follow on Twitter

"MMS approved 13 new BP deepwater wells! We'll be sending a really nice cocaine and whores gift basket."


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Do you know why cheetahs are so fast?

Because they cheet.

True story. Child 2 told me. He also says that his best friend H is faster than a cheetah and he knows this because he saw him run a million times.

I wish I was 4.....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I and Love and You

I've just discovered the Avett Brothers. The genre, I believe, is called Alt-Country, although that Wiki entry calls them folk-rock. They've been around for a while so I have a rather large discography to get through, but I've started with the one I heard on the radio (Yay KFOG!) and it's so good it literally gives me chills. OMGLISTEN!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The double burden of being a Jewish Bookkeeper

The worry; Jews have cornered the market on the worry. Not only is it my responsibility to make sure the books are in order and the money is flowing properly, but when the money doesn't flow IN properly, then I take that worry home with me.

I'm very picky about who my clients are (probably why I only have 5 clients). I won't work for anybody who isn't cool; I use my instincts as my guide and I'm always right. If I ever don't trust my instincts I will always come to regret it later. As a result, I have a bunch of really, really cool clients whom I adore and care about. But when business is bad I worry for them. I've been checking the bank balance of one of my clients a lot lately, even though I'm not on the clock, and I'm worried about what's going to happen. Not because I'm worried about losing a client, but because it would really suck for her if things didn't work out. Because she's so cool.

So, there you have it. My double burden. Anybody need a bookkeeper? The worrying is free, but I charge for all the rest.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pwnd by a 4 year old

I'm getting the kids dressed to go to the beach this morning, and the t-shirt I put on Child 2 has a penguin on it. He was really excited that there was a penguin on his shirt. I said "cool, a penguin, perfect for the beach!" I said this, apparently, because I'm really stupid, and Child 2 says "no, Mama, penguins live in the South Pole."

Yeah. Okay. Whatever. Show off.

Friday, June 4, 2010

This week in unnecessary censorship

You don't have to be a Lost fan to appreciate this, but it helps to understand the special awesomeness of Locke possibly telling Michael "I fucked your son's dog."

h/t hubs

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Real musicians have day jobs

WTF does that mean?? This bumpersticker has been haunting me for years now. I figure it means one of two things:

1. Being a musician IS their day job, so stop telling them not to quit their day jobs, or

2. A real musician is too cool to make money from being a musician, so playing music is what they do at night and during the day they work at Fed Ex/Kinkos.

Please. Somebody help me out.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bookkeeping humor!

IF there was a period of time throughout the entire history of the company when record keeping was sketchy, when there was a transition and things got lost, and

IF that period of time was just long ago enough that you can't get those records online anymore, and

IF all the people who work for the company now were not there during that period, then

THAT will be the period of time that the IRS will want to audit.

A HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! Oh, you know what, fuck you, I think it's funny.....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Want to kill some time? Like, say, 5-6 hours?

Go here: http://members.iinet.net.au/~pontipak/redsquare.html

I made it to 15.237 seconds and then I threw my computer across the room.