Friday, October 31, 2008

Things Kids Don't Want In Their Halloween Candy

Ok so I could go with the obvious here like razorblades, drugs or poison, but honestly when are we all going to let those urban myths just die. While it's always going to be a good idea to take a good look at candy your kids get from strangers, any strangers, it's just sad that we insist on believing that our neighbors secretly want to poison our children. Especially since it's never actually happened. (Don't believe me? Look it up on, which is a web site that investigates urban myths, and a damned good one, too.)

Anyway don't give these things to kids who have taken the time to dress up and come to your house. If you do, you deserve the toilet paper:

1. Toothbrushes - please no not-subtle moral nudges, this is supposed to be a fun activity.
2. Dental floss - goes double.
3. Sugar free hot chocolate - not cute, and oh yeah, nasty.
4. Pennies - don't be cheap, if you don't want to give candy, give nickels at least, quarters even.
5. Apples - tradition, blah, blah, blah, whatever. No.
6. Any fruit, for that matter - and no raisins are NOT just like candy.
7. Religious pamphlets - why waste the paper?
8. Those weird strawberry candies - no kid likes those things.
9. Peanuts - seriously, no.
10. Cigarettes - it's not funny, it's tacky
11. Matches - ditto
12. Coupons - uh... trick or treating does not equal grocery shopping. Moron.
13. Excuses - have candy or just turn out the porch light.

And despite the irritation of some uptight parents, yes it is funny to dress up and try to scare the kids silly before you give them candy. After all, you should have some fun, too.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Voices I Would Steal if I Could

In no particular order:

Madeleine Peyroux
Joss Stone
Amy Winehouse
Lauryn Hill
Etta James
Leona Lewis
Alicia Keyes
Christina Aguilera
Nikka Costa
Mariah Carey
Nelly Furtado
Ingrid Michaelson
Keyshia Cole
Sheryl Crow
India Arie
Nina Simone
Norah Jones

There are certainly more I would happily wear in a little sea shell around my neck like the witch in The Little Mermaid. I would take Traci Chapman’s voice if I didn’t have to sing depressing pseudo-folk music with it, or Whitney Houston’s voice pre drugs and Bobbie Brown. I go back and forth on Mary J. Blige. It might be more attitude than talent that I admire in her case. Not that she’s a bad singer.

It’s hard to tell if I’d want one of the single name performers voices (Rihanna, Ciara, them folks) since if I’m going to get into vocal larceny, I want some serious power, depth, vocal range, all that stuff. Considering that thought, I think Mariah Carey is on the top of the list. Because let’s face it, that voice is totally wasted on her.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Reasons I Should Break Up With My Boyfriend

So I've been in this relationship for a long time, and at some point I got really comfortable, or no not comfortable, maybe just tired and despondent and a little cowardly. And the truth is that it's not going anywhere, and hasn't been for years. And I managed to complicate it unbelievably by having a kid, too. So I'm doing a little free therapy here, trying to convince myself that it's time to make a graceful exit (or past time):

  1. He still doesn't know if he wants to marry me after 10 years.

  2. He doesn't like chocolate.

  3. He doesn't have a job, or a car, and doesn't have immediate plans to get either.

  4. He's over 30 and has never moved out of his parents' house.

  5. I want to have sex more often than once a week.

  6. He thinks that relationships should just magically work themselves out.

  7. Everyone else is more important to him than I am.

  8. I feel sad and lonely when we're together.

  9. We don't have the same priorities in life.

  10. I hate making all the decisions about what to eat or, where to go or what to do.

  11. He thinks coming to the table for family dinner is optional.

  12. There's never a good time to talk to him.

  13. I shouldn't let my relationship decisions be dictated by a child, even mine.

  14. He's never happy to see me.

  15. I'm never happy to see him.

  16. We don't have the same taste in furniture.

  17. I want him to (X-rated content here) and he's not interested.

  18. I also want him to (more x-rated content) and he does, but so infrequently it's not worth it.

  19. He likes big, boxy houses, and I like old Victorians.

  20. He doesn't understand the difference between doing things with me and doing them for me.

  21. He thinks he understands me, but he doesn't.

I think that about covers it. Will I break up with him? Probably not. I've wasted my best years on this story, I think I'm entitled to see how it ends.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Things my mother has said to me at really bad times

I don't know if I have enough storage space for this list, so let's start with just a few:

1. "This is terrible! How did this happen?" Her immediate comment on finding out that I was pregnant with my first son. I did take a lot of pleasure in trying to explain to her how it happened, although you'd think she'd have figured out how babies come about by the time I was in my twenties.

2. "I always wanted a boy." When my son was born. This is more easily understood if you know that I am an only child.

3. "My god, how will you live?" When she found out that I lost my job. Notice please the utter lack of support or encouragement. And take into account that this was the high point of the conversation.

You know what, this list is not therapeutic like I thought it would be. I think I will just leave it at these three and start posting on Craigslist for a new parent. Should that be in the jobs section or the social section?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rotting Plants in My Fridge

I keep buying organic fruits vegetables and herbs, in an effort to eat more healthy things, but I'm just letting them go to waste. Here is a sampling of what's been turned into very expensive fertilizer now:

1. Califlower
2. Red Pepper
3. Collared Greens
4. Spinach
5. Mixed salad greens
6. Ginger
7. Basil
8. Asparagus
9. Tomatoes
10. Limes
11. Kiwi
12. Potatoes
13. Onions
14. Yams
15. Peapods

I think there is some more stuff too, but some of it is no longer identifiable, and these are the ones I keep encountering when I open the bin for something to eat. There is also some broccoli in there, but it's still reasonably fresh so I'm not counting it. The sad thing is that I started with six things, and then just kept remembering more. I've got to learn to say to myself, "You need to either eat these things or quit buying them!" But the truth is I like the idea of being healthy so much more than the reality of cooking all this raw stuff. Why can't organic vegetables come diced and ready to be added to stirfry?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Things the Nazis Made Jews Into

I was watching a special recently, and I've decided that history just needs to be less obfuscated. What the Nazis did during World War II was heineous and for some reason the average documentary doesn't really catch it. Even those pictures of bodies at Auchwitz seem somehow sterile and removed from everyday experience. Here are some uses the Nazis found for their Jewish victims, living or dead:

1. Sex slaves
2. Stationary targets
3. Moving targets
4. Felt (from hair)
5. Lampshades
6. Wallets
7. Medical Experiment
8. Knive Cases
9. Forced Labor
10. Art objects (as in shrunken head paperweights)

I am sure this list is not exhaustive, but really, isn't that enough? I believed that soap also belonged on the list but it turns out that there's no real evidence that the Nazis ever rendered the fat of Jews into soap. The lampshades might also be a myth, but there's enough evidence that I'm leaving it on. Also an argument could be made that Jews were used as fertilizer, but I don't know if I think that's particularly heinous, as many people then and now paid large sums of money to be used as fertilizer, as the green lawns of many cemetaries will attest.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The People Who Showed Up to Wednesday Night Writing Group

Hmmm, this is technically just a list, nothing horrible about it really. On a personal level, I think it's kind of horrible that I'm not self-motivated enough to be able to write without finding a group of perfect strangers to do it with, but you know, maybe I need to accept myself for the lazy, disorganized, unmotivated piece of human flotsam that I am. That way I can focus on more important things.

1. Nina - the organizer of the event, who doesn't own a car
2. Pamela - the first person that I met, who was there early like me
3. Monique - very shy and possibly religious and came with Marlise
4. Marlise - how cool is that name?
5. Catie - who has an excellent sense of humor
6. Elizabeth - who I don't remember now at all
7. Beth - not the same as Elizabeth, who sat across from me, next to Pamela
8. Olivia - who speaks very quietly
9. Diana - who didn't want to use the prompts because she is a rebel, maybe
10. Anya - who showed up late, and sat at the other end of the table.
11. Me - crowdpleasing showboater and writing group snob.

I think I made a very good impression. Stay tuned for more writing group-related posts.