Friday, April 28, 2006

Vroom Vroom, Putt Putt, Sputter...

I know, I know, it is all too easy to complain about gas prices, but my friends, I must. My gas light came on when I was driving Viva to school, so after I dropped her off, I stopped to fill up my tank. At $3.25 a gallon. For REGULAR UNLEADED, 87 OCTANE. Yes, I am screaming (figuratively), because it cost me $50.01 to fill up my sedan -- and that's only because I stopped pumping. My cost actually could have been higher, but when I hit $49 and change, I stopped letting the gas run and just tapped the handle a few times, as one would if one wanted to "top off" a full tank. Except my damn tank wasn't full.

Yesterday, at the northeast corner of Melrose and Highland, the Union 76 station had these prices advertised:

$3.32 REGULAR (87)
$3.43 MID-GRADE (89)
$3.53 PREMIUM (91)

Yikes. Time to buy a bike.

In related news, I found reports of a new trend on SoCal freeways, thanks to Franklin Avenue. Apparently, there is a publicly-funded patrol that rescues stranded motorists who have run out of gas (or have other automotive problems). They will bring you a free gallon of gas. Now, due to the escalating gas prices, there are allegedly people out there who are deliberately driving the freeways on "E" and then stalling out and waiting for their free gas.

Wow. And according to the owner of one of the freeway patrol companies, "I think it is going to be more drastic when the price of gas is closer to $4 a gallon." Well, yeah. You can read the article in its entirety here, if you care to.


And, belatedly, in follow up to one of my commenters who asked about the veracity of the Planned Parenthood story I posted about: I have received a response from PPFA (the national arm of Planned Parenthood) that they have indeed confirmed the veracity of the story, but are not releasing details like name and specific location due to the age of the girl involved. This is pretty much what I suspected, since she is under 18. If anyone is looking for proof at that level, I don't know how they could actually prove it, since they would be violating her privacy to do so. That would be a further violation of her trust after all she has evidently been through already, so I do not expect them to budge on that, and quite frankly, I would be horrified if they did.


That's it for now, kids. See you in the funny pages!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Easy Prey for Low-Flying Surveillance Planes

I have a job interview next week! Holy shit.

More to come.


Oh, and check out these cool Websites: is all about, well, photobooths -- including where to find them. Sweet William and I have a special affection for these, since one of our favorite things to do when we were dating was to stop by the Beverly Connection Rexall and take photostrips, which we would then frame and display our nauseating goofy smoochiness for all to see. Since the Beverly Connection is all under construction now, and has been seemingly forever, we never yet have gone to take a family photobooth portrait with Viva. I'm thinking Christmas cards '06 already...

I love public art, street art, anything that transforms urban areas into something unexpected and/or beautiful. Check out 50mmLosAngeles, which features L.A. graffiti art. Sweet.

Okay, back to my writing. Love and kisses!

Sup at the Trough of Suburban Satire

It's quiet here on the Blah Blah blog -- not a whole lot of blah blah-ing going on -- and I think that is less because I have little to say and more that I fear if I start typing, I won't stop, and it will mostly be negative. I am going through a rough patch, where people's incivility and thoughtlessness seem to be magnified times ten, simply because there is so much of it.

Why empty that out into the Internet? On some level, I am a big believer in "what you put out, you will get back," but if that is true then that must mean I am a pretty shitty person, considering what I have been getting back lately. I don't think I am that bad, but you never know.


Moving on, because I'm boring even myself with this post: Let me add here a plug for the Showtime series, Weeds, if you haven't seen it. The premise of the show is that a woman's husband has died and, suddenly widowed in the San Fernando Valley with no other means of support*, she turns to selling pot to keep her family in the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed. Of course, many funny and not-so-funny situations ensue as a result. But the show is clever, and different, and I kind of like it.** I must also mention that it has one of the best opening sequences/theme songs ever --unlike one of my other new favorite shows, Big Love, whose opening credits force me to leave the room.


I think I mentioned that Viva got a bike for her birthday. Here you go:

I know that she is not actually riding the bike in this picture -- it may, in fact, look like she's making off with someone else's bike -- but I can assure you that this is indeed her pride and joy, upon which she tears up the sidewalk with gusto.

I tried for three seconds to come up with a segue from the bike to church, but I lost patience, so I'm just rolling into it. Viva is now obsessed with going to church, since her Best Friend went on Easter and reported back.

Viva: I'm going to go to church, right?
Mama Blah: Yes, we'll go this weekend.
Viva: What do they do at church?
Mama Blah: Well, a whole bunch of people come in and sit down and there's music and then the minister stands up and talks about God and how we can all be better people.
Viva: What?? That's not what [Best Friend] said!
Mama Blah: Well, that's basically what it is.
Viva [furiously]: NO!
Mama Blah: Okay, what did [Best Friend] say you do at church?
Viva: You PLAY, and they have SLIDES, and you can color!
Mama Blah: She must have gone to Sunday School. She didn't mention anything about Jesus? Or -- did they tell any stories, maybe?
Viva: NO. You PLAY.

Okay, so evidently from what she's heard, church is practically akin to LEGOLAND. I have a feeling she's going to be sorely disappointed.

And here we go from the care of the soul to the care of the body (who says I can't segue): last Friday, Viva had her 3-year check-up at the pediatrician. She is again right about average for height (37.5 inches) and weight (29.5 pounds), but her head circumference is off the charts. I'm pretty sure it's because she has such a gigantic brain. Anyway, our regular pediatrician wasn't available, so we had a new one, and in between all the other normal questions she was asking, she asked, "And is she your birth child?" I answered yes and she moved on to the next question before I realized that whether Viva came out of my womb or not had nothing to do with anything. To me, it is pretty obvious that Viva and I are related. I think some of our features are similar enough that people could tell she is biologically mine. But because I am so light-skinned and she is quite brown, some people assume she is adopted. (Not if her daddy is with us, but I digress.) Will that affect whether I see this doctor again? Hell, yes.


I just had a bowl of tomato soup and tortilla chips and I feel like I am going into sleepy food coma. Must. Carry. On.

Aw, screw it. Catch you on the flip side.


* Since I am a latecomer to the show, I don't know why she has no other means of support. She must have been a stay-at-home mom whose husband had little to no life insurance. And she has no formal education or job experience ever? Whatever, I guess one has to suspend one's disbelief and just watch the show, but if anyone out there has been watching it and knows the answers to these questions, holla back in the comments.

** Although Sweet William makes the point that if the main character (who is white) were a black woman doing the same thing, this show wouldn't even be on the air -- if the pilot even got made, the public outrage would kill the show out of the gate. You may not agree, but I'm putting it out there as something to think about.

*** That subheading doesn't sound quite right. It makes me envision some sort of electrical adaptor with VIVA! written all over it in some kind of wacky font. Or some weird sex toy, which, considering this is actually about my kid, is the ultimate in gross squicky-ickiness.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Snappy Dialogue, Happy Feet

This morning, Viva got out of bed, came into our room, and after waking me up yelling for her daddy (who was in the shower and perturbed by all the yelling), got into bed with me and snuggled for a minute. But she couldn't get comfortable and kept shifting positions. Finally:

Viva: MOM-ma! Stop it!
Mama Blah: Stop what?
Viva: You're breathing on me, on my neck.
Mama Blah: Baby, I have to breathe to stay alive. You're just going to have to deal with it.
Viva [after a pause]: IT'S NOT FAIR! Breathing is no fair!


Viva woke me from a dream I was having, in which I had accompanied my father-in-law, Wash, to the mall so he could audition as an opening act for a dance troupe which was holding a performance there. At the mall. "Well, I can see you have all the moves," the woman who was holding auditions said. "How much are they going to pay me?" asked Wash. I was thinking to myself, wow, this is cool, how about that?

But Wash can't dance. In the real world, he has one move. And yet, he married into a family of dancers. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and Sweet William are all ridiculously good dancers. They have a natural talent for it. I used to think I was a pretty good dancer considering all the white blood on my side of the family*, but these three have to be seen to be believed. Actually, when I met Sweet William, one of the things I found interesting about him was that he was taking a salsa class in his spare time. I'm pretty sure he was doing this as a way to meet women**, but it was still interesting.

Viva, as you may have guessed, has inherited the love of the dance. She will pretty much dance with wild abandon at any opportunity, much like her father. I love to dance with her.


* Lighten up, it's just a joke. Hey, you know, some of my best friends are white! (I think that's a different post.)

** That's not how we met. And we've never danced the salsa. I think Sweet William owes me one.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sisterhood is Powerful

This is outrageous. The latest from Planned Parenthood:
Sound the Alarm: Fake "Clinics"

When a 17-year-old Indiana girl walked into what she thought was a Planned Parenthood clinic, her mother and boyfriend beside her, she never imagined that it was a trap — a deceitful setup by anti-choice zealots, who then came to her high school and humiliated her.
Apparently, some "pro-life" extremists are setting up and advertising these "crisis pregnancy centers" across the country. They advertise as if they offer a full range of reproductive health care, but when patients arrive, they are met with anti-choice propaganda, intimidation, and in extreme cases (as above), harassment.

You can take action and read more about this sickening practice by visiting the Planned Parenthood Action website -- they're asking people to contact their elected representatives to support the passage of HR 5052, "to direct the Federal Trade Commission to prescribe rules prohibiting fraudulent advertising of abortion services." There's a more comprehensive article here, which I urge you to read if you can.

Whew. I need to sit down. Wait, I am sitting down. Why is the room still spinning?

Edited to add: Oh my God, how much do you need this??

It's called "Bud the Silver Naked Trucker bumper sticker," and you can buy one at One Angry Girl designs. This blog is nothing if not educational. And a bit consumerist, but there you go.

Sign O' The Times

Seen Wednesday, April 19, 2006 in West Hollywood:

One billboard. Black background. Big white type:

6 + 6 + 06


And over at the Tomkat Theater, the marquee:


Is someone trying to tell me something?

At any rate, yesterday started out well and then began to suck. I got my early errands done and even got a pedicure, and was home by 11 AM, where I discovered I had a client message asking me if I could do a quick turnaround assignment by 4 PM. I replied that I could, and he sent me the materials around 12:30. At 3:57, I was composing an e-mail and attaching the document I had managed to write in 3.5 hours, and I went back to double-check the document for errors before sending it -- and half of my edits were gone. The hardcore writing I had done from about 2:00 on was not saved. I don't know what the hell happened, but I was panicked and enraged, and I knew he would be in deep shit with his client (he is subcontracting stuff out to me) because the client was expecting to get the document that day.

Ugh. I ended up holed up in my bedroom for an hour and a half after picking up Viva, reconstructing the document while Sweet Dub ordered takeout Lebanese and managed our child's periodic breakdowns. It was my night to put her to bed, so pretty much right after finishing my assignment, I went straight into mommy night-night mode. And Viva already knows how to exploit the guilt. She acted like I had shot her in the face, a la Dick Cheney, by being home but not spending time with her.

Viva can really get you. She has been asking recently about sisters and brothers and what the difference between them is, and I explained that if Mama and Daddy had another baby, that baby would be her sister if it were a girl or brother if it were a boy. I explained that a sister or a brother is someone who has the same mommy and daddy as you.

"If you have a baby, it will be my sister or my brother?" she says.

"Right," I say, "Depending on whether it's a girl or a boy."

"Where does the sister or brother live?" she says.

"With its family, baby. See, if we had another baby, the baby would live here, with us. Because we are its family, just like you and daddy and I are all a family."

There is a pause while she processes this, and then, "But where would I go?"


* I did actually look this up on Ye Olde Internets, and I found the usual portents of impending doom. I hate to encourage this kind of thing, but it fascinates me in a sick way.

** Not their best. But kind of appropriate considering Tom and Katie just announced the "birth" of their "baby." If only they'd made their announcement in front of the Tomkat Theater. That would be hot.

Edited to add: Oh, my gosh, my golly, please please please click here for a fabulous deconstruction of TomKat's baby's name. I'm so Suri!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Because it is Bitter, and Because it is My Heart

Hello and welcome to Mama Blah Blah. Please remove your shoes and any metal items on your person and place them in the bin.

First off: my Easter was so horrifically bad that it made me feel like this:

I can't say any more except that being around my family (not the cute little Blah Blah family comprised of Sweet William, Viva and myself, but my family of origin--particularly my mother) has become something akin to Chinese water torture. After every visit, I spent days being alternately pissed off and depressed about the visit, and what fun is that? Hence, no more visits. Whoever wants to see me can--well, not see me. I'm done.

I'm so done that I called my mother-in-law and apologized for not having Easter with her and my father-in-law. Let me say that my in-laws treat me like their own, and visiting them is not a painful experience akin to poking forks in one's private places, but a laid-back, enjoyable occasion. In contrast, my mother and her posse have been treating the Blah Blah family as if we are a piece of garlic-and-crap-flavored gum stuck to her shoe (in case I haven't mentioned it, two weeks ago my mom missed my child's birthday for the second year in a row--and by the way, did not call to say she wouldn't be showing up, did not even call to wish her a happy birthday. And then just yesterday she gave my nephews Easter baskets, but not Viva). You can fuck with me, but not my kid. Shame on you. I am done.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.


Moving on: After the horrifically bad Easter experience, what a pleasure it was to come home, let Sweet Dub put Viva to bed, and collapse onto the couch to watch what has to be one of the best episodes ever of "The Sopranos." (I don't think I reveal too much here, but if you haven't watched it yet, you may want to skip to the next subheading.) Let me reiterate my ongoing admiration for the show's writing team. The reveal of Vito Spatafore's secret life--along with the varied reactions at varying levels of The Family--has been fascinating to watch. Hat tip to the San Francisco Chronicle* for catching this:
Paulie was among the most furious at [learning that] Vito [is gay], which could suggest an interesting subtext: Perhaps Paulie, portrayed throughout as a never-married mama's boy, protesteth too much.
This truly has to be one of the best-written shows on television. Even the secondary characters are fully realized and very emotionally complex. And my television-watching was, thanks to my darling husband, accompanied by ice cream. Sweet.


Where is the hope for public education when the principal can't read? From the wires, via Salon:
A principal trying to prevent walkouts during immigration rallies inadvertently introduced a lockdown so strict that children weren't allowed to go to the bathroom, and instead had to use buckets in the classroom, an official said.
Apparently, the principal in question mis-read the LAUSD handbook and "ordered a lockdown designed for nuclear attacks."

I'm kind of sceptical that the principal did this by mistake. Because 3rd graders who want to go fight for their rights are just as scary as any kind of nuke-yoo-ler event. Believe it!
* "Vito on the Lam, Aching to Live Free," in today's online edition. Click here to read the whole story.

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Dash of This, A Smidge of That

Not posting so much this week, but that means less for you to read. And sometimes that's a good thing, right?

As for me, I'm still getting caught up on my blog reading. Horrified to come across this article, via Bitch PhD -- evidently now some pharmacists are refusing to fill women's prescriptions for vitamins and antibiotics due to their religious beliefs. I can't believe how crazy this world has become.

Speaking of which, I just finished reading T.C. Boyle's A Friend of the Earth, which is a truly terrifying vision of our environmental future which may just scare the shit out of you, if you're into that kind of thing. For the most part, I prefer to bury my head in the sand about stuff like global warming, mainly because I feel like I can't do a thing about it, but nonetheless, I'm glad I read this.

In other news, Viva now likes to take off all her clothes and dance and sing naked. Yesterday after her nap, she treated me to her version of "Rhubarb Pie (Hot Commodity)" by Laurie Berkner, complete with full-on naked rump shakin'. Sweet William likes to think she will grow up to be an artist. At this point, I'm thinking she has a good shot at performance art and/or interpretive dance.

Aside from that, now that Viva's birthday is over and vacation is coming to a close, I'm back to dealing with all the usual questions, to wit:
  • Why can't we find a house to rent for less than $3,100 a month*?
  • Why is everyone in our building/on our street/in our universe so fucking loud?
  • Where is my magical second freelance job/when will it materialize?
  • Is white the new black for spring?
  • Who do I contact when I notice continuity problems on Viva's favorite TV programs?
  • Why are all my writing projects swirling around in a vortex, rather than sorting themselves out and allowing themselves to be written?
  • Are low-rise jeans finally out? And a related question: can America please for God's sake please collectively cover its ass? Because I'm sick of seeing everyone's ass/thong/boxers hanging out of their pants. Please, put it away.
  • Is anything funnier than Go Fug Yourself? Because I don't think so. Can we talk about John Corbett? What happened to him?

* And for those of you that are saying, "3,100 bucks a month?! That's a mortgage payment!" I say to you gently and only mildly scornfully, "No, my friends. It's not." Not here in Southern California, from whence I shall never move, so I am pretty much shit out of luck.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Time Off for Good Behavior

So behind on my blog reading, but if I don't write something (anything) I am going to feel like a rat in a cage and probably start chewing on my own leg.

Well, hello! How are you?

The Blah Blah family has been (and continues to be) on vacation this week. It is Viva's Spring Break from school, and we drove down to Carlsbad, CA on Monday afternoon so as to be up with the dawn on Tuesday morning for the real purpose of our visit: to wit, LEGOLAND. (I write it in all caps because I think it is actually trademarked that way, not because I want to scream it with enthusiasm.)

At any rate, were I a bit more together, I would actually upload some photos of our visit to LEGOLAND, but given that it is Day Four of our vacation week, I think I am lucky to even remember how to type my own name. Nonetheless, I have to say, Mama and Daddy Blah Blah went in with very low expectations for our trip, and we were pleasantly surprised. We found a very family-friendly hotel right on the beach (without a reservation), two exits away from LEGOLAND, and since we had brought Viva's new bike with us, we were able to ride on the beach before the sun went down, and we were able to walk to a local pizzeria afterward, pick up a large pie, and gorge ourselves like little piggies in our hotel room before putting Viva to bed. The only down sides were (a) the excessive garlic on the pizza and (b) trying to get a 3-year-old to sleep between us in a king-sized bed the night before her first ever visit to LEGOLAND.

Oh, LEGOLAND -- how to describe the experience? We literally rode planes, trains, and automobiles all in one day -- oh, and helicopters. Oh, and a boat ride. Viva was giddy with exhaustion, thrilled with everything, and completely breaking down by mid-afternoon, when we packed her back in the car and she slept all the way back to L.A.

So, Wednesday. The Blah Blah family gets up, consumes some sort of cobbled-together breakfast, and goes to Travel Town Museum. Please note: when a museum offers free admission, it probably means you aren't going to be there very long. I think we were there for less than half an hour. The main attractions at Travel Town are the old locomotives, which you are supposed to be able to go inside and look at, and the train ride. We were only able to get inside one car of one of the old locomotives -- the rest of the train was off-limits. I guess you are supposed to just look at the exteriors of the trains and be happy in some sort of dimwitted way, but I thought the purpose of the museum was for kids to be able to explore the damn trains inside and out. Well, it matters not -- Viva was pleased as punch with the train ride, and I have to give a shout out to Howard, the engineer, a sweet old guy who really seems to enjoy his job. From there, we went to Shane's Inspiration to run around and play. Sweet William tried to teach Viva how to fly a kite, but the wind kept giving out. Nonetheless, a fun time was had by all.

I have to say, I am thoroughly pleased with our vacation thus far. We are all just enjoying each other, and it's been great. Viva has had a few ugly moments, but for the most part, she has been happy, sweet and affectionate. It's been nice to hang out with one another for an extended period of time.

And that's all she wrote. Viva is up from her nap with a vengeance!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Nearer My God to Thee

You know those taboo subjects you aren't ever supposed to talk about for fear you might offend someone? In the U.S., those subjects appear to be sex, money, politics, and religion. I may be missing one, but you get the idea. I am not interested in offending anyone, but I thought I might share an experience that Sweet William and I had over the weekend. Sometimes in a relationship that has gone on for some time, you need to up the ante -- shake things up a bit, add a little spice. You know what I'm saying.

Yesterday, Sweet William and I -- for the first time ever -- went to church together.

We are not big on church-going, and this is an ongoing discussion with us, because we both believe in God -- perhaps not the exact same one -- and we wonder if we are failing Viva in some way by not giving her a religious education. We went to our church in the interest of taking Viva with us eventually and perhaps getting her into a Sunday school program at some point and maybe even ultimately getting her baptized, as we have fallen down on the job in that regard. My main issue with this is that I don't want to be a hypocrite. I have not been baptized either, and ideally we would find a church that we like where both of us could do this. But I don't want to be baptized just for the sake of being baptized; I want to be baptized because it has meaning for me. This is a much longer and more serious issue that I don't want to get into now because we are leaving town on vacation this morning and I have maybe ten minutes left on the laptop before I have to go into hyperactive feed-my-family-and-pack-up-the-car mode.

However! We went to church yesterday, and the church we go to (where we have both been before, but separately) is a progressive Protestant church. It is a "welcoming community of faith," and what this means is pretty much anyone who wants to come can come on in. This translates into a congregation with a wide diversity of age, race, income, and sexual orientation, and makes for pretty interesting people-watching -- for one, the six-foot-three transgendered woman who was greeting parishioners in a pretty pastel outfit. While we were waiting for the service to begin, Sweet Dub and I watched with fascination as a black woman wearing a black and white track suit with a neon green headwrap swayed down the aisle, looking from pew to pew. She turned around and came back up the aisle looking for a seat, and that is when I saw that she was carrying a white babydoll and a weary madness in her eyes. I was certain that there was going to be some Crazy Shit Going Down (Going Down! Up in the Church!), but unfortunately for the purposes of this story, she found a seat on the other side of the church, sat quietly through the entire service (including the very loud Passion play, since this was Palm Sunday), and as we were processing out, it appeared she had fallen asleep in her pew, still holding the baby doll.

And in the end, that is one very good reason to go to church. To give you a wider perspective, and bring you a little bit of peace and comfort.

Be well while I am gone. I'll be back on Wednesday.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

As Yet Untitled

Perhaps you, unlike me, do not live in a community where wearing one's religious beliefs on one's sleeve--or, even better, on one's car--is of vital importance. Perhaps you do not regularly see, as you go about your daily business, vans and trucks and cars with bumper stickers or even window transparencies that scream in large capital letters:


or, alternatively:


As I say, perhaps this is not a daily occurrence for you, so perhaps this next bit won't be funny. But yesterday, as I was driving Viva home from school, I saw the following bumper sticker:


And that struck me as really frickin' hilarious. Perhaps this is also because I had a vigorous classical education as well, but whatever. I laughed wholeheartedly when I saw it. Wholeheartedly, I say!


Viva is really into what they call "imaginative play" these days. That is, if you go to a toy store or a kids' toy website and look at the stuff she's into, that's where you would end up. It strikes me as kind of an odd phrase, because isn't all play on some level, imaginative? I dunno.

At any rate, she has her firefighter dress-up clothes* and toy fire engine, and she has fake jewelry and scarves, and she has the play kitchen and the play cash register and the play housecleaning set (toy-sized broom and mop, gift from her great-grandma), and now, since her birthday, she has a doctor's set.

"Come on, Mama," she says. "Panda [her monkey] is sneezing, achoo! achoo! We need to take him to the doctor."

"Oh. Am I the doctor?" I say. "Or are you?"

"I'm the doctor, you're the mama," she says.

"Okay," I say. "Well, doctor, we're here to see you today because Panda's got a little bit of a cold--"

"Can I see your insurance card?" Viva says.

"Sure, here you go," I say. I take Panda out of his stroller and place him on the examining table. "You can see that he has a little bit of a runny nose--"

"I'll need you to fill out this paperwork," Viva says, handing me a stack of forms.

"Okay, um--and he doesn't have a fever, just this really persistent, raspy cough--"

"Mrs. Blah Blah, your insurance company tells us you won't be covered for this visit because it's out-of-network, and this is a stuffed toy monkey," Viva says. "So we have to ask you to pay up front. Just hand me your wallet there, that should do it--"

It doesn't seem terribly imaginative to me, but there you go.

* Sweet William and I each separately purchased firefighter dress-up sets for Viva for Christmas, and while mine was all PC because I bought it at Lakeshore Learning, his (bought at either a local drug store or Big Lots or something) was decidedly not so. I say this because the one he bought included a plastic axe (!?! honestly, what rocket scientist decided that was a good idea for a kids' toy?) and a firefighter helmet with a label that said, "Mr. Fireman" on it. Since you know I'm not down like that, it shouldn't surprise you that I took a Sharpie and wrote "MS. FIRE CHIEF" over it. That's right, fuck the patriarchy and all that. It's been thirty-plus years since "Free to Be You and Me." Somebody needs to get with the program.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Push a Little Harder, Dig a Little Deeper

Viva and I have an ongoing disagreement about the Sly and the Family Stone song, "You Can Make it if You Try." Rather than seeing it as a positive song of encouragement, Viva interprets it as some nasty cosmic joke. She insists they are singing, "You CAN'T make it if you try," and she gets really pissed when I try to explain that that is not the point of the song. It's a little early for this nihilist attitude, wouldn't you say? I wasn't expecting this until at least, say, age 6.


Indian director hopes to cast Paris Hilton as Mother Teresa

No, seriously. And that's all I have to say.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mindless Self Indulgence

I have been trying to post a selection of photos for your viewing pleasure, but alas and alack, the Internet gods have seen fit to mess with me once more and I can't seem to get the photos to come out even remotely the same size. Since it is a comparative photo exercise, this is pissing me off. The original photos are all the same size, but Blogger seems to be resizing two of them to teeny tiny postage stamps, and the other two are normal. A pox on all things technological!


The rain may have changed our party plans, but Viva still had a great time. We ended up with eight kids between the ages of 2 and 9 rampaging around my living room, along with Poppy the Clown. Now, I know some kids are afraid of clowns, but Poppy was a sweet little clown and pretty much everyone except my youngest nephew was totally cool with her -- and even he didn't freak out. He just told his mom he didn't want to watch the clown and he went into Viva's room and played with all her toys. (He did come out for food and to get a balloon animal later.) Viva is still talking about her party, to wit: "You know what my favorite part of my birthday was? When I was holding two bunny rabbits and everybody said HAPPY BIRTHDAY VIVA MAGIC, POOF! and then there were LOTS of bunny rabbits and my daddy said Oh my Goodness, how did you do that and that was my favorite part!"

That was part of the magic show.

Perhaps equally as magical: we said farewell to the baby monitor and the bedrail this weekend. We are no longer parents of anyone even remotely resembling a baby. She wears underpants, for God's sake. And let me just stop right there for a minute, because there is nothing weirder than being used to your kid having the giant duck ass created by the bulge of a diaper under her clothes, and then having her switch over to underpants and looking like she has lost five pounds. And she is only 29 pounds to begin with. Whenever I see her in just her panties and realize what a string bean she is, I have to sit down because my heart is palpitating.


So, some time ago, Sweet William was channel surfing, and he came across Namaste TV. Perhaps he thought it might have something to do with yoga, which is one of his passions, or perhaps he didn't even realize what it was. But God love him, and God love our fake TiVo, because Namaste TV was playing videos, and the second he saw this particular video*, he hit "record" with great quickness. He says, and I quote, "As soon as I saw it, I knew you would love it."

I wish I could describe to you the beauty -- the sheer fabulousness -- of this video. I fell in love with the singer the instant I saw her, because she is just so fucking fabulous you just can't NOT love her. It is one of those things I keep in my emergency mental file cabinet in case I am feeling bummed out. Sadly, I had no idea who the singer was/what her name was. But that was okay. It was enough that she existed and made this incredible video.

However! Today I was doing some research for a freelance gig, and I came across the home page for Carnegie Hall -- and oh my God, there she was! And I am not alone, because apparently she is hugely popular and has been called the "Elvis of India." And well she should be, because, and I don't think I can say this enough -- she. Is. FAB.U.LUSS. A Bollywood legend. And she is now (I believe) 72 years old. And yes, still (you guessed it) fabulous.

That made my day. Simple pleasures (for the simple-minded, I guess).

* Which I can't find a link for. Why must the Internets deny me?


So, at Viva's party this weekend were some friends we hadn't seen in a while. Sweet William has two friends he went to law school with and we were all pregnant at the same time and all had our first kids within a few months of one another. Well, at the party, we found out that one of these friends is expecting again. The other friend lives up in the Bay Area. I asked Sweet William if he had heard from this other friend and what was up with her. He said he was wondering the same thing.

I guess he called her, because he just called me to tell me that she is pregnant too -- a little girl, due in June.

"Don't you come near me," I said to him.

"I was gonna come near you tonight, too!" he said.

"Don't even breathe in my direction," I said.

What is going on? Is money raining from the sky for everyone but us?


I still haven't seen this movie, but props to Losanjealous for keeping on top of the late-breaking news all over the Southland. If it weren't for them, I would probably be wasting my time watching a high-speed freeway chase right now.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm Still Here, But Barely.

Since we ended up having to move the party inside, all the last-minute changes (including having to clean my apartment from top to bottom) kept me away from my blogginess. I'm still recuperating from the craziness of party preparation and clean-up. Plus, I have a freelance assignment and deadline today.

Well, it was all worth it. Look at this face:

She had a blast.

More tomorrow, I promise.