Friday, February 29, 2008

Rock of Piggy Men

As you may remember from previous posts or my old blog site, I have a certain obsession fondness with trash TV, The Girls Next Door to be specific.

I have no explanation for this embarrassing hobby. I can not explain why I feel so drawn to Holly, Bridget and Kendra. Perhaps it is because their lives are so very different from mine. They have butlers and maids, where at my house, I am the butler and maid. They have amazing bodies with perky, perfect breasts (two sets courtesy of Mr. Silicone, but who cares?). I have saggy, stretch marked milk transfer units. They get to wear pretty clothes and gorgeous costumes. I wear yoga pants and stained t-shirts. I spend my day administering to two small, demanding children. They spent their days (and nights too) administering to one old, demanding, kind of creepy man.

Plus, the voyeur in me can't help wondering what exactly goes on behind the doors of Hef's bedroom. Is it a never-ending carnival of sex? Does Hef get it on with all the Playmates? Do the girls pitch for both teams? One wonders....

So, given my love for the Playboy threesome, I was surprised at my recent reaction to another trashy, worthless, sign of the coming Apocalypse show, Rock of Love.

Rock of Love is a "reality show" featuring the lead singer of Poison, Bret Micheals. His lives in a house of honeys who are competing for his affections. It's the same basic premise as the Bachelor.

I happened to catch an episode of the show last week while on the treadmill, my favorite place to indulge in my affection for trash. I don't usually watch it, but there was nothing else on and I had nothing taped.

In this episode, Bret staged a mud ball game for the girls to compete in. The girls were all outfitted in cut-off t-shirts and shorts. bosoms were on display. Bret was clothed in a long-sleeved t with another shirt on top. He explained to the camera how much he loved mud ball games with hot women, the wet environs resulting in body-molding attire. After the game, Bret gathered the girls around to give out the trophy and reward of a private date. Why he was blathering on and on, the girls were visibly violently shaking with teeth chattering. It was obvious they were freezing in their skimpy apparel while Bret was all warm and toasty in his more substantial clothing.

This is when I first started to become a little pissed at the show. The least they could have done was let the girls change first, but no, that would defeat the purpose of having their dripping wet boobs on display.

Then, Bret takes the winner on a private date. A private date to a lingerie store. He has the girl try on and model an assortment of sexy outfits while he sits sipping wine. Throughout, he makes comment after comment about how hot this girl is. He is practically panting and drooling.

After the lingerie show, he and the girl sit down to dinner at a table set-up next to the dressing room. Chickadee is still in one of her new outfits and Bret is obviously checking her out. The girl attempts to talk to him, asking about his likes and dislikes and hobbies and so on. The scene cuts away to Brettreflecting on the date. He complains that the girl was talking to much,asking too many questions, when all he wanted to do was look at her. He doesn't see any sense in all the conversation, when obviously what he likes about her can't talk. He almost eliminates the girl based on her apparently misguided attempt to actually hold a conversation with him. He clearly states that he just wanted her to shut up and look cute.

This sent me over the edge. What a total pig! And who the hell does Bret Michaels think he is anyway? Bono? Las time I checked, Poison wasn't doing much these days. He goes on and on about how a girl has to fit in with his rock and roll life. What rock and roll life??? It's Poison, not the Rolling Stones.

I understand that these women signed up for this and that all this is deliberately staged to be as sexy as possible. I understand that it is not real. But what kind of message does this send to all the teens who watch this show? Women are only as good as their bodies? Women should shut up and look nice? The only worth a woman has is her ass?

Are teenage boys watching this and thinking Bret Michaels is a cool guy? Are the girls watching this and thinking they need to be more promiscuous to hold a guy's attention? Do they compare their bodies to these women and think they don't measure up? It makes me sick to think of Ladybug exposed to this when she is older.

Now, you might say that Girls Next Door does the same thing, and you would be right to a certain extent. I am not defending it and there is no way my children would ever watch it, but there is some difference. The girls on GND are depicted as more than sex objects. Holly is often shown in her job directing photo shoots for Playboy. Bridget is shown studying and going to class (she already has a Master's and is studying Communications). Kendra is shown investing in real estate. And Hef talks with them, plays board games, and is always very respectful of them and supportive of their endeavors. He genuinely seems to care about them as people, or at least he is portrayed that way on the show. Bret Michaels does none of this. He practically says that all he wants is a sex toy.

Even given the differences, I know that both shows are objectionable.

Obviously I could turn the TV off, but ss women and mothers, why do we not demand more from the entertainment industry? Even shows like Cashmere Mafia, which show women achieving in the work world still play up the sexuality of the women. In a recent episode, one of the women, Zoe I think, wore to work a blouse practically open to her navel. It was clearly something no one would wear to an office. Why do we not protest the overly sexual depiction TV? Is feminism that dead?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tipper Gore Would Have My Head--X-rated Music and a Preschooler

I have created a monster, a mummy to be more specific.

Way back in The Time Before Children, Big B and I loved to go see bands. Since he was a bassist in a fairly successful regional band in his younger years and I have a long and sordid history as a Groupie, it is a past-time we both enjoyed.

Big B and I lived on separate ends of the state and did not know each other during our respective rock and roll days. If we had, though, I would have been on him like white on rice. There's something about a guy on stage that really gets me going. My friends and I used to think we could correctly assess a guy's bedroom style, if you know what I mean, based on how he acted on stage. For the most part, we were dead on.

Anyhoo, one Halloween night, Big B and I went to 12th and Porter in Nashville to see Here Come the Mummies, a Nasville funk band. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen, EVER. I have not danced like that in years. It was the best Halloween I have ever had.

Admittedly, they are a little kistcy. They dress up as Mummies and have this whole backstory mythology. They never really talk on-stage, preferring Mummy-speak like "Arghhhh" and "OOOOOOhhhhhOOOOhhh." They have songs like, "Bag of Bones" and "Ra Ra Ra."

Antics like this might seem a little silly except for the fact that these dudes are literally world-class musicians. No one really knows who they are and they deliberately keep it that way, but they are widely known to be Nashville session players. They make a living as studio musicians playing for other big-time artists or making commericals. The Mummy thing is just a side gig for fun.

Unfortunately, now that we no longer live in Nashville and the Mummies don't make it our neck of the woods very often, we don't get to see them very much. However, we do listen to their CD's on a regular basis and therein lies my problem.

Around Halloween, I ordered the Mummies' second CD and the day we received it in the mail, we put it on after dinner. Sweet Pea was entranced. He thinks they are real mummies, after all. In no time at all, Sweet Pea had a favorite song. A song not really befitting a preschooler. A song entitled, "Booty." I didn't think much of it at the time. I thought it would be a passing fancy.

Well, wrong.

My son now routinely asks me for the "Booty" song and sings alongs at full voice. His favorite line is "It's the time of day for sniffing like a dog." I am just waiting for him to start singing about booty at school or the grocery store. His second favorite song is "Dirty Minds."

I am going to hell.

I have amazed myself by managing to upload the song and you can listen to it here.

If you want to see a short clip of the Mummies in action, here you go.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sexism or Hillaryism?

Last night was perhaps the last Democratic debate and of course we watched it. We've seen almost every one; I don't know what we will do when this is all over!

If you have been following the political news, you have probably heard criticism aimed at the media for their coverage of all things Obama. Some people, many of them in the Clinton camp, have chastised the media for the supposedly easy ride they have been giving Obama. In the debate last night, Hillary herself noted that in these debates she has been asked to field the first question more often than Obama. And she is correct; MSNBC reported she has been asked the first question in 6 out of the last 10 debates. Hardly a huge majority, but it is a majority.

This morning while folding laundry, I happened to watch the first 20 minutes or so of The View. The ladies were discussing the debate and the question of media bias. Joy Behar stated that she believes the media bias toward Obama is a reflection of sexism. She quoted some lines from Chris Matthew's that were indeed very negative and could be construed as sexist.

I do think that the media has shown some favoritism to Obama, and perhaps some of it can be attributed to sexism, but I do not believe that is only what is driving the media coverage of Hillary. There are likely many reasons why Obama has enjoyed more favorable coverage. Some of it is probably sexism. Some of it is because Obama is an exciting, charismatic person. Some of reflects the desire of people for change. Some of it simply makes for good TV. But I believe a great deal of it is because of Hillary herself.

if you do some reading on Hillary, you will find that she has never been a friend to the media. She has made it no secret over the years that she holds the press in contempt and views them as her enemy. This is not something that started after all the problems in the Clinton presidency. She was angry at the press from the beginning of Bill Clinton's career, largely over the attempts by some journalists very early on to uncover the persistent rumor of Bill's affairs. She viewed any negative coverage as part of a conspiracy to thwart their joint agenda and goals. She is known to demand loyalty and is intolerant of dissension, so once she began to see the press as working against her, she wrote them off.

One of the very first things she did when she got in the White House was to attempt to greatly limit the press' access to the Oval Office. She literally closed the hallway that had traditionally given them access to the West Wing and planned on moving them out of the White House entirely. This was viewed as antagonistic by the press and set the tone for her relations with the national media. She never attempted to harness the power of the media and work with them. It became a case of her against them, and that match-up persists today.

So, I don't think it is only sexism at play here. I think Obama may receive more favorable coverage because the press dislikes Hillary, not because she is a woman, but because she is Hillary and she has always worked against them and been critical of them. If another woman were running in her place, I doubt that the press would be as hard on her as they supposedly have been on Hillary. I am not saying there is no sexism involved. But I do think that Hillary's personal and historical record with the press has deeply influenced the way they are treating her now.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who Can Explain the Mind of a Three Year Old?

Lately Sweet Pea's favorite activity is being a Daddy to his stuffed dog, Mr. Stinky. Sweet Pea likes to dress him up in old baby clothes and pretend he is a baby. He has arranged a whole little house around our play kitchen. He feeds Mr. Stinky, reads him stories and then puts him to bed. It is very endearing.

On Sunday, I noticed that Mr. Stinky had a companion in his bed with him, a cute little blond in pink pajamas.

"Who is this new baby, Sweet Pea? Is she a friend of Mr. Stinky's?"

"Yes, Mommy. This is Mr. Stinky's friend. "

I could make a joke here about how Mr. Stinky seems a little promiscuous, but that is not the point of the story.

"What is the new baby's name, Sweet Pea?" I asked.

"Name?" asked Sweet Pea.

"Yeah, what's her name? Are you going to give her a name?"

Sweet Pea thought for a minute and replied, "Goose."

"Goose? The baby's name is Goose?"

"Yes, Mommy. This is Goose."

Meet Goose:


Important note for preceeding post--Man in question is 25. Woman is 34.

Cougar Territory

One of my best friends from college, Toodles, sent me an email yesterday with a special request from you, dear blog readers. No, Toodles is not her real name; it's the nickname our friend Bob Frawg gave her back in college. Did you all ever give people nicknames in college? We had a nickname for everyone from friends to professors to cafeteria workers. I digress.

Toddles is a 34 year old single woman. Of course I am biased, but I think Toodles is quite a catch. She is smart and accomplished. She has a PhD and is a university professor in a very tough scientific/medical discipline. She is outgoing, athletic and likes to have fun. She is also very petite and cute, something which guys always seemed to like back when I was in the meat market trenches with her. She really has everything going for her.

Like us all, though, she has had her share of dating mishaps. She has had several serious relationships, but they have not worked out for one reason or another.

She emailed me last night because she is in a dating quandary. She has entered unknown territory: Cougarville. I only know the sketchy details, as another one of her qualities is being sketchy about details, but apparently, she is dating a younger man. A MUCH younger man. I don't know the age difference but it must be big if she wouldn't fess up to it. She did say that the boy toy does not know who the Brat Pack was and has never seen or heard of The Breakfast Club. You do the math.

She did say that the guy is "awesome" and they get along "fabulously." And since she hasn't given him his walking papers yet, there must be something to really like.

So, her question is this: can a relationship between two people with a large difference in ages work? Should she continue on or should she stop it here?

I say go for it. My sister is married to a man who is nine years older than her (I think it's 9 years). They are very happy and I have never witnessed the age difference causing a problem.

I also say go for it because if you guys are happy, why end things? If you can put up it, why not?

What do you guys think? And do you think that the woman being older is a problem? We know men do it all the time. Does it make a difference if the older person is the woman?

She wants your input. Comment away!

Leap Year Cake Note

I am preparing to make the Leap Year cake and I just looked at the recipe I posted yesterday and realized I neglected to mention that part of the recipe is missing. I guess you figured that out. I assume you just combine all the ingredients in a cake-like manner. We'll see.

Hand Update

1 new keyboard pad: $17.00
1 box of Ben-jay: $3.99

1 new mousepad: $12.00

1 not-very attractive wrist guard: $15.00

The end of my excruciating hand pain: Priceless.

Let's see if it works!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Margarita Monday Leap Year

This isn't totally appropriate since the 29th isn't until Friday, but for your Margarita Monday treat, I found some Leap Year suggestions.

First of all, if you are feeling daring, you can try to make this Leap Year Cake. The recipe came from a 1906 cookbook. I think the frosting sounds kind of disgusting, but the cake is probably fine. I may even try to make the cake this afternoon. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Leap Year Cake

Take 1 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup of butter, whites of 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of sweet milk, 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoonfuls of baking powder, and 1 teaspoonful of vanilla.

Frosting: Beat the yolks with 15 teaspoons of pulverized sugar. Ice while the cake is hot.

Leap Year must have been a big deal in the early part of the 20th century because I also found a drink recipe from that era.

To wash down your cake, you can mix this traditional Leap Year Cocktail, which was supposedly invented in 1928 by a bartender at the Savoy Bar in London.

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
Twist of lemon peel

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.

Finally, tradition has it that Leap Year is the one day on which women are allowed to propose to men. Supposedly, St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait too long for men to propose. St Patty fixed this by stating that women were allowed to propose on Feb. 29. This was even made into law in Scotland, along with the addition that any man who refused the marriage proposal had to pay a fine. What do you want to bet that Scottish men were nowhere to be found on Feb. 29?

So, ladies, if you aren't married and want to be, Friday's your chance!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Injury on the Field. The Blogging Field.

Blogging has become hazardous to my health. No. Really.

On Friday, I woke up to an extremely sore and stiff right hand. Well, actually it is just the middle finger on my right hand. It hurt to straighten it and curl it. It really, really hurt when I tried to grasp something and put force on it. I mean shooting needles of pain so bad that I had to stop what I was doing immediately and recover for a moment.

Yesterday I was sitting at my computer reading something and my right hand became numb and tingly. I looked down at my hand and had an ah-ha moment. My mouse is up on my desk, not on the keyboard tray, to keep it out of reach of little hands. Little hands that like to destroy things. Without thinking about it, I have been holding the mouse while propping my wrist on the edge of the table and often times sort of leaning on it.

Turns out that this is not good for your hands. Big surprise, huh? I have been putting some much pressure on the inside of my wrist that I now have inflamed and swollen tendons, hence the hand pain.

I have moved the mouse back to its proper place and and trying to rest my hand.

Who would have thought you could hurt yourself blogging?

Introducing Sue Katz

One of my favorite things about blogging has been the opportunity to connect with people who I would never otherwise meet. That is one reason I was so intrigued by Neil's Great Interview Experiment and it delivered what it promised. Below you will find my interview of Sue Katz, author of Sue Katz:Consenting Adult. Her blog is an interesting blend of commentary on culture and mature sexuality. It's good reading--go give it a look.

You are a professional writer and contributor to a variety of publications. What made you decide to start a blog?

I first started my blog on the advice of my literary agent as a tool to demonstrate to potential publishers that there is interest in the subject of my manuscript – the intersection of ageing and alternative sexualities. I continue with my blog because it is the perfect forum for me as a writer with eclectic interests who enjoys doing short pieces. In fact, if I didn’t have to scrap around for a living (paid journalism is dying), I’d love to blog daily.

One of your key interests is mature sexuality. If you could give one piece of bedroom advice to women over 50, what would it be?

Keep the lube flowing, use pink bulbs in multiple nightlights for a flattering rosy milieu, keep tables on both sides of the bed to easily stash your bifocals, and initiate/negotiate activities that will make all of your sexual dreams come true. If not now, when?

In terms of sexuality, what do you see as the biggest issue facing young women today?

Young women need to control their own bodies and establish mutuality in their relationships if they’re to feel they can get a grip on the world. Since Bush has been president, access to birth control and abortion has been restricted world-wide, alternative sexualities have been under attack, and impotent “abstinence-only” sex education has replaced the real thing.

You describe yourself as a rebel. Were you rebellious as a teenager?

I had a miserable time as a teenager. To put it diplomatically, my mother and I did not get along. I started my life-long political activism at age 13 – against the bomb and for civil rights – in a rather segregated industrial town. I fell in love with another girl at 15, with eventual disastrous consequences when we were caught – in those days homosexuality was considered a mental illness and was widely illegal. But whatever was going on, I kept my grades way up, knowing that a college scholarship was my ticket out of Pittsburgh.

It looks like you've lived in quite a few places. Which was your favorite and which was your least favorite?

Luckily, I’ve never felt the need for a national identity. For me, “home” is the place you run away from. That said, every country has its cons and pros – the most important being close friendships. I lived in Israel for 14 years and London, England for 10 years before returning to the States in 2000. Life in Israel is very intense, very passionate and Tel Aviv is the most cosmopolitan city I’ve ever been in. But Israel’s brutal occupation of the Palestinian people is a constant distress of life there and the summers scorch. In London I found privacy, incomparable museums and a location from which it was easy to travel the world. But foggy England is also an elitist, colonial-minded and cold social environment. Luckily London itself is far more diverse than the rest of the country and I found friends from around the world. As for the States, I’ve never really felt comfortable here, although I’ve always adored the shopping. Now that I know more about the exploitation of foreign workers being at the bottom of all those low prices, it’s not so much fun.

What drew you to martial arts and do you still practice?

I began the martial arts in the late 60s after seeing a woman (Jayne West, one of the first women black belts) defend another woman from an attack by some drunken men trying to pick them up. The idea of being able to protect myself and my girlfriends was intoxicating, and my subsequent immersion in the training gave me an endorphin rush I’ve never since been able to do without. I never anticipated that I’d own and run my own championship gyms for 18 years. No, I no longer train. Ballroom and Latin dance replaced the martial arts as my endorphin source in my 40s and sex with my lover does it for me since my mid-50s.

Do you have a favorite candidate in the 2008 Presidential Election? Is there a topic you would like to see addressed by the candidates?

My favorite candidate, Dennis Kucinich, is no longer in the running. Now I prefer the unknown Obama over the hawkish Clinton. I’ve never been hugely engaged by electoral politics, and my list of “demands” would run the gamut from stopping the USA’s role as world bully, economic justice and the end to the government’s reach into our bedrooms. Total social transformation would be nice, and while I’m at it, I’d like Jay Leno’s job.

Has the U.S. made strides in gender equality in the last 20 years? What do you think still needs to be done?

I was involved in one of the very first feminist collectives in the late 1960s and have written about gender issues ever since. While I have lived through some of our profound gains, I’ve also seen these grossly eroded, particularly in the last seven years. Over the decades, I’ve noticed how women are erased from the public eye in war situations. The dominance of fundamentalism, no matter which religion, is always bad news for women and queers. May I mention my pet peeve? Why oh why must women newscasters on American TV wear those massive teased, bleached hairdos?

Describe one defining experience in your life.

Leaving home and supporting myself at 17 was a biggie; coming to gender and class consciousness allowed me to make sense of the world; and leading my brilliant London dance partner Brian in the rumba was heart-stopping. When we impacted foreign policy through out anti-Viet Nam war movement and then later opened up options for women through feminism, I got my first we-can-change-the-world buzz, which I have only lost in this new millennium.

If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I’ve traveled extensively and there are many places I’d like to return to, not the least Kenya and Peru. But for a vacation, I always love visiting my dear friend Jaya Schuerch, a marble sculptor ( who lives atop a mountain in Tuscany, Italy, in an ancient converted wine-making house among the vineyards and chestnut forests, with a view down to the Mediterranean Sea.

Is there anything you would like to do in life that you have not yet done?

Oh my gawd, the list is as long as this election primary season. There are many travels to complete, unknown sexual thrills to seek, a PhD to earn, more dance to be done and, most of all, books to be written and a revolution to foment.

What is your favorite book? Magazine? Movie?

My favorite authors are Jane Austen, Richard Schweid and Primo Levi. My favorite magazines are “Colorlines” and the Vermont Country Store catalogue. And my top movies are “Monsoon Wedding” and, despite its title, “Twelve Angry Men.”

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Great Interview Experiment

A few days ago, I stumbled across Citizen of the Month and The Great Interview Experiment. Neil, author of Citizen of the Month, had the brilliant idea to start an interview chain based on his belief that everyone is someone and deserves to be interviewed. You simply place a comment on his blog and are placed on the interview list. You are then interviewed by the blogger listed ahead of you and you in turn interview the next person to sign up. Then you post the interviews on your blog. He already has hundreds of bloggers signed up.

I was interviewed by Marge at Marge in Real Life and I really lucked out because she authors a great blog which I have added to my daily reading list and she asked fabulous questions. Go visit her.

So, here is my interview. It's kind of long. It may offer you
enough reading material for the next week. Sorry, apparently I like to write about myself. Who'd a thunk it?

I have interviewed another very interesting blogger, one whom I or my readers would not be likely to find on our own, and I will post my interview with her this weekend. Stay tuned--she's a pretty cool lady.

Your writing is amusing and unguarded in Not In Front Of The Children. How has online writing affected you personally?

Your question actually reflects on of the things I have learned about myself through blogging. I have never thought of myself as a very funny person, so the occasional humor in my writing has surprised me.

The whole blogging experience has given me the sense of fulfillment that I had been seeking. I have really enjoyed the daily writing and have been particularly excited to connect with other women bloggers. I especially love the dialogue through comments. They always spark new post ideas. I also am thrilled that people other than my friends and family read my blog!

What options did you consider in addition to blogging as a means to stave off your desperation as a housewife?

You mean aside of the obvious choices of martini lunches, bong hits and running off with Pablo, the pool boy? Nothing really. This was it. Do, or die a death of boredom.

You seem to have a regular readership. Do you try to provide catharsis for your readers or are your posts more of an outlet for your emotions?

Both, but using it as an outlet for my emotions can be dangerous sometimes and
I don't like to make everything about me, me, me, so I edit myself.

Do you consider your teaching career to be a passion or is there some other field that piques your interest?

Teaching is definitely a passion, but not my only one. In fact, teaching is something I decided to do to pursue a larger passion, which is interest in social equality and justice.

When I was a child, my mother took my sisters and me shopping one Friday afternoon and we stopped at Krystal’s on the way home for a quick dinner. She ordered the usual 2-3 of the little hamburgers and fries for each of us. If you have ever been to Krystal’s or White Castle, you know that the little hamburgers are perhaps a third of the size of a regular burger. One is definitely not enough, so we usually each had two or three.

As we were eating, an African American family, a mom, dad, and a couple of children, came in, ordered and sat a few booths down from us. As we got up to leave, we passed their table and I noticed that the father was cutting a little hamburger in half for the two children. There were only two other little hamburgers on the table and one box of fries. The children looked eagerly at the meal and I could tell that this was a special treat for them. I was concerned and confused though about why the children didn’t have their own hamburgers and fries. I just didn’t think that was fair and didn’t understand why the parents hadn’t ordered more for them.

As we walked out of the restaurant, I asked my mother why the children didn’t have their own meals. Why did they have to split the hamburger and why was there only one box of fries for the family? My mother replied that perhaps they could not afford more than that. This was Friday, the parents had probably just been paid and it was a special treat, even if they could only afford three burgers and one box of fries.

This did not seem right to me. It did not seem fair that those children, who were around my age, had to split a burger while my sisters and I had more than we could eat. I asked my mother if she could buy the children some more hamburgers so they could have enough. She told me no, that they might not appreciate that. I did not think that was a good answer and if it had been up to me at that moment, I would have bought them more food. Of course, now, I understand her point.

Although I had this experience at a young age, it really was a defining moment for me. It was my first realization that other people in the world were not as fortunate as I was and I wanted to change that.

I also became interested in people different from me through extensive travel as a child and because I attended very diverse schools. Many of my friends were from other cultures or were other races. Furthermore, my mother was an inner-city middle school teacher and I saw the dedication and love she had for her students and her intense desire to impact their lives for the better.

When I was in high school, I developed a love for writing and a deep interest politics as a means to change the world. I wanted to combine my writing talent and interest in social issues and politics with a career in journalism as an op-ed writer. I initially attended to University of Missouri to major in journalism, but transferred to Rhodes College, where I majored in political science because they did not offer a communications degree.

Somewhere along the way, I got waylaid and after much thought, decided to pursue teaching. I love learning, I love children and I believe it is one of the most important jobs in society. It offers me a hands-on way to change people’s lives through education. I am especially interested in teaching in an inner-city environment, though it looks like I won't be next year.

If I were to choose another career, I would choose to be a professional writer and political commentator or work for a non-profit serving minority and lower socioeconomic communities.

How do you define your “comfort zone” in life and what activities have you considered that might fall outside of it?

Actually, my life right now is a little out of my comfort zone and I would like to get back in it!
I am not very comfortable not working and I am not very comfortable living in our current location. I don’t necessarily dislike where we live, but it is not what I would prefer. Without divulging too much, it is a small, very homogeneous southern city which is very conservative politically and religiously.

In fact, I have never lived in such a small city, or such a homogeneous city. We moved here from Nashville, which is three times as large and a gazillion times more diverse. Before living in Nashville, I lived in Memphis proper, where as a white woman, I was in the minority. My favorite city of all is New Orleans, due to its diversity and blend of cultures. And I also lived in San Francisco for a year or so as a child. My current local is about as far as you can get on the other end of the spectrum. It is definitely outside my comfort zone.

What subject(s) do you teach? In light of the coming election, have your teaching experiences influenced your political views?

Well, currently I teach the ABC’s and how to wipe your bottom, but when I go back to work this fall, I will teach middle school reading and language arts, as I have in the past.

My teaching experience absolutely informs my political views. On a national level, I always examine a candidate’s stance on education and it is a deciding factor in which candidate I choose to support. I want someone who believes in the value of public education and is willing to work hard to improve it. I dislike much of the NCLB legislation and would like to see it dropped or changed drastically. I also am not in favor of school choice or voucher systems and I would like to see a candidate who can maintain a good working relationship with the NEA (more important on a local level than national).

In local politics, I want a candidate who will support local schools no matter what the political cost, even if it means raising taxes.

And of course my broader interest in social justice means I always support a Democratic candidate.

When parenting the young ones becomes a hassle, where do you go to find escape (beside your blog)?

I read, exercise, and occasionally go to dinner with friends.

I also am embarrassed to admit that I have affection for television. I often like to just zone out. My guiltiest pleasure is The Girls Next Door. Don’t ask me why. I can’t explain it.

Your literary hobby is befitting of a teacher. Which book would you choose to represent your preferred genre and writing style? Why?

I really can’t choose a book to represent my preferred writing style, because the only writing I am any good at at all is journalistic in style. I could not write fiction to save my life. I guess some book of essays would best reflect my writing style.

I also read a wide variety of stuff and am never without a book. My favorite books are Another Country, The Color Purple, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, The Secret History, and Pride and Prejudice, and The Road.

Recently you courageously shared very personal photos of your house its natural “lived in” state. Is your home a reflection of your family and the love that lives there? If money were not an object, what would you want your home to say about you?

If love is defined in mess, than yes!

If I had unlimited funds, I would fill my house with artwork that I truly loved and with pieces I had picked up during our travels. Each piece would be chosen for its beauty or as a remembrance of a location. I would love to furnish it with eclectic, one of a kind furnishings, and wonderful hand-woven rugs. The house would have to have tons of bookshelves to house our ever expanding library. I would also choose to live in an older, remodeled home full of character and architectural details.

All of this would reflect a person who is connected to the world around her and who values diversity and its manifestation rather than mass consumerism and the artificial beauty of a showroom floor. It would be evident as a thinking person’s home, not the home of someone who is the blind acceptor of what pop-culture deems fashionable or important.

That sounds a little pretentious, doesn’t it? It’s not meant that way.

What legacy do you hope you and your posts will leave for bloggers and readers in the future?

I don't expect to ever have a blog important
enough to leave a legacy, though I can always dream!

More Money Than Brains

When your bottom deserves the very best.

The Isis, handset with Swaroviski crystals. $75,000.

How'd you like to clean this sucker?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My Hillary Problem

A few weeks ago, before Super Tuesday, I was in quite a quandary. It's no secret that I am a huge Obama supporter, so much so that I have been volunteering for his campaign. However, when it seemed that Hillary might very well win the nomination, I was struggling with what I would do if she were the nominee. Don't ask me why I was worried about this months and months before the general election. I guess I was just on election overload.

A couple of years ago, if you had asked me if I would support Hillary in a presidential bid, I would have answered unequivocally yes. These days, though, I am not so sure. I am concerned about her electability. I believe she would have a very difficult time getting things done due to the animosity the entire Republican Party seems to have for her (and vice versa). Her condescension turns me off. I believe we need a fresh start and break from the past. And I really, really do not like the way the Clintons handled South Carolina.

In an effort to help quell my unease with Hillary, I started reading Carl Bernstein's A Woman in Charge. This biography is reputed to be one of the fairest and unbiased ones out there. After all, it is Carl Bernstein.

The book is an incredibly rich and detailed portrait of Hillary's life. It is extremely well-written and easy to read. I am only about 2/3 of the way through, but it is hard to put down and I expect I'll finish it in the next couple of days.

The problem is, the more I read,the less I like Hillary. For the first third of the book, she is very much a sympathetic character. That changes though, once she and Bill launch his political career. And it gets steadily worse the deeper in you get.

On the bright side, she comes across as very, very intelligent, genuinely interested in bettering the country, and a devout person of faith. On the downside, she is controlling, tunnel-visioned, rigid, paranoid, deaf to criticism or dissention, and willing to do whatever it takes to protect and further her career and her husband's, even if it takes something of moral or ethical ambiguity.

The one thing that really bugs me, though, has to do with how she has handled his affairs and what that says about her view of women. Even before she and Bill got married, she knew of his wandering eye. She thought long and hard about marrying him. She chose to marry him because she loved him. It seems she thought the pay-off would justify the risk. That’s her choice and if she is willing to put up with it, who am I to fault her?

What I dislike is the way she handled the affairs, even from the very beginning. Once Bill began running for office in Arkansas, his extramarital affairs became a real issue. Very early on, she chose a stance on the issue and has stuck to it throughout their entire political career. She chose to publically vilify the women involved, depicting them as women beneath her, women of questionable character who were just out to make a buck.

The issue came up during the very first campaign Bill launched. When Bill ran for Congress (and lost), he had an affair with at least one staffer. It was well-known by everyone in the office and other staffers served as accomplices by ushering the woman out the backdoor when Hillary pulled up. Of course Hillary found out about the affair and Bernstein writes this,

“Hillary made it know that she thought women from Bill's past, and by implication any other still in his orbit, were intellectually from another world than her Bill's, and thus represented no serious competition. This would be her condescending assertion through many an election season, the degree of venom and how publically she expressed it often dependent on the commensurate political danger to him and embarrassment to her."

From this point on, she had to deal with the issue of Bill's women, who were numerous. Bernstein writes, "The question of Bill's other women would become a prominent feature of the Clinton electoral landscape and, when raised by opponents or when the women themselves surfaced, Hillary would set the strategy of response: to attach the women as gold diggers and lying opportunists trying to capitalize on her husband's prominence."

Hillary's stance is all the more important because she truely ran his campaigns. So when she set a position, that is what the campaign took.

What bothers me is that Hillary is supposedly a voice for women and yet, she would publically disgrace the other women and not her husband, when she knew he was as guilty as they were. Yes, the women were wrong in having an affair with a married, but she married him knowing who he was and knowing it would not stop. Doesn't that say something about her too?

I would expect her to be angry at the women, but it seems hypocritical to me for her to bash them and not her husband, in fact bashing them to help her husband get ahead. In her campainging, Hillary directly appeals to women, but it seems she is ready to throw us under the bus when it would benefit her.

In addition, she apparently feels she is somehow above the rest of us too. Does she really respect and want to help women, or does she just use us to get what she wants? The whole thing just bugs me.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Apparently I am very in tune with the universe. Yes, that's right. I am a veritable Shirley McClaine. I use her as an example because a long, long time ago, I read one of her books about her enlightenment and she told this story about how she spent the night in some hut in the Himalayas and only had one nasty yak hide or something to over up with, but she stripped down to her birthday suit and used her connection with all things holy to warm herself. She claimed it was the spirit or something that warmed her. Other explanations could be she had a little too much yak milk toddy before bed or that the yak herder hottie in town slipped in bed with her. Who knows.

Anyway, just yesterday I was mooning over everyone else's bloggy bling and awards. I was feeling a jealous because I am so very blingless and awardless. Would I ever be one of the cool kids?

Well readers, I am giddy, positively giddy I tell you, to have been awarded my very first award by my blog friend Missy over at The House of Flying Monkeys.

If you haven't been to her blog, go check it out. She's always got something interesting to say.

As the recipient of this award, I have been charged with the responsibility of passing it on to ten of my favorite blogs. Here's my cool kid list:

Derfwad Manor Mrs. G is absolutely hilarious and a very talented writer. She's gained a huge following in the short time she's been blogging and is kind of my idol.

Blonde Mom Blog Sweetly funny and she lives in my hometown.

Rima Rama Mama Drama Also always good for a laugh. Can you tell I need some laughs in my day?

Don't Touch the Cactus. Cause she's a bad-ass and also my sister-in-law.

Poot and Cubby Another cool mama.

Thursday Drive I so wish I had written her Super Wash post.

Oh the Joys Serious and funny all at once.

Ms Teacher She's a middle school teacher and an Obama supporter. We could be the same person. Hmmm.

Bad Mom Love the name and the blog.

Mommy's Dirty Little Secret. Just found her a few days ago, but I might be in love.

Now go spread some joy. Thanks Missy, you made my day/week/life.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Poop Tornado

This morning, I was changing Ladybug's ritual after-breakfast poopy diaper while Sweet Pea played tornado. He was pretending that a huge pile of couch cushions was his house and was running around yelling, "Mommy, Mommy, a tornado is coming. Come in my house!"

Note to self: turn off the news. You think they aren't paying attention, but apparently they are.

Back to the story, the smell coming from Ladybug was so bad that I swear I could see those little squiggly lines over her bottom, like in the old Pepi le Pue cartoons.

As I was turning blue in the face from holding my breath and attempting to keep a death grip on Ladybug's flailing legs, which threatened fling poop across the living room, Sweet Pea came over to us, leaned down, and yelled in Ladybug's face.

"Ladybug! Tornado coming! Tornado coming to blow your poop away!"

Ah, if only that were true.

If Only It Was August

This morning I was reminded of one reason I can't wait to go back to work.

I have been a stay-at-home mom for the past 3.5 years. When I got pregnant with Sweet Pea, I took a year's maternity leave from teaching, expecting to go back at some point, but not really sure when. We knew I would try to get pregnant again a year or so after Sweet Pea was born and it didn't make sense to try to go back to work in the interim.

While I have enjoyed life at home, I have not been totally happy doing it. Some women are great at it, and others are not. I am not. There are many reasons why I don't love it. I miss teaching and my students. I get bored and lonely at home (the reason I started blogging). I miss adult interaction and the children try my patience, even on the best of days. The biggest reason I don't like it though, is that I don't like the box it puts me in.

I don't like that as a stay-at-home mom, I have taken on the mantle of housewife with all the things that the term implies. It's not the being with the kids all day that I dislike. It's the rest of it.

I don't like that I feel responsible for all the housework. I don't like that, in my mind and to some degree my husband's, my worth is now tied up in how clean my kitchen is or how nicely my laundry is folded.

It's not that I think housework is beneath me. It's more that I resent having it feel like my sole responsibility. And I resent that, despite all my other talents and accomplishments, my role now ultimately boils down to scrubbing floors.

My husband does do a lot to help around the house, but I really think that someplace in the depths of his mind, when he sees the floor in need of a mopping, he gets irritated at me for not doing it. I hear it in his voice when he makes some comment about the house. He'll swear up and down that this is not so, but I really think it is.

When I was in therapy last year after Ladybug was born, my therapist urged me to go back to work. Not only would I be happier, she said, but she thought my husband would be happier. She thought that some men, perhaps my husband, lose some respect for their wives when they see them in the role of housewife every day. Their wife moves down a notch or so in their mind. It makes sense to me.

For men who are attracted to their wives for their intelligence, accomplishments, and independence, as I think my husband was initially attracted to me, it makes sense that when the wives are thrust into a role where their most difficult decision of the day is whether to play Chutes and Ladders or Candyland, the husbands' lose a little bit of the appreciation they had for their wives. They begin to feel a little superior.

This morning I made a comment about how one of Ladybug's push toys has scratched the hardwood floor. Big B replied that he thought the floors looked 100 years old, they looked so bad. It wasn't so much the words, as the tone that bugged me. This was also right after I was queuing up Diego in the Media Center and he came over, unasked, and took over although I am perfectly capable of doing it myself. It just irritated me.

These might not seem like big transgressions. It's not a big transgression when he closes doors behind me that I left open because I am about to turn around and go right back out or when he turns out lights after me that I left on because I am about to go back into the room. Or when he turns down stove top temps or turns on the fan over the stove. Or when he says he is going to vacuum after the kids go to bed. It all just seems a little condescending to me.

I am not faulting him for my feelings on this. I think my feelings are a combination my feeling a a bit degraded in my role and his slight loss of respect for what I do everyday. I am hoping that these feelings disappear when I go back to work and I think they will. I think he will see me in a different light and I will feel better about myself.

If not, we may just have to hire a housecleaner!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Margarita Monday

Back in the days when I was a pretty young thing with a taut stomach and no responsibilites other than getting myself home from the bar/apartment/car/riverbank/parking garage floor/Metairie bus where I had spent the night, I used to wait tables at a Mexican joint called Molly's La Casita. I have a post waiting in the wings about Molly's and promise to deliver it soon. (And no, that's not where the nom de plume, "Molly," came from.)

Anyway, the big night at Molly's was Margarita Monday. We were filled to the brim with folks thristy for a discounted buzz. And I do mean filled. People didn't just sit at tables. They perched on rails, clogged the stairs and aisles, and even drank in the bathrooms.

To add to the carnival atmosphere was the diverse clientele we drew on Margarita Mondays. Just behind Molly's was a popular gay bar so we became the pre-party locale for all the boys headed to karoke night.

I spent my time sloshing margaritas hither and yon, delivering drinks bought for the stud at table 41, or slipping table 11's phone number to the drag queen at the bar. The most exciting night was the night a 6'3" man in a leopard print dress, pink heels, and a bad weave almost punched me. I was saved by our bartender and a baseball bat. Oh, those were the days.

These days, I don't get to many Margarita Mondays, which is too bad since it was a fun way to usher in the work week.

In honor of Margarita Monday, I have decided to throw a little love your way each Monday and post an idea or two to make your slide into the week a little more fun.

Since today is President's Day, I have some patriotic suggestions.

First, for dinner, you can make President Bush's Mexican Mound. (His name for it, not mine!) It's easy and kid-friendly.

For cocktail hour, you can mix up:

The Patriot

1/3 oz. vodka

1/3 oz. Blue Curacoa

1/3 oz grenadine

Pour grenadine slowly into a shot glass. Slowly pour the Blue Curacoa on top of it, making a layer (some people like to pour it over the back of a spoon to disperse it and insure it layers properly). Slowly add the vodka on top.

Remember that time in college when you did 6 lemondrops in a row at the ATO house, made out with a guy in the bushes while his girlfriend was inside and then passed out in the dorm social room at 10 pm?
You are not in college anymore. It is a known fact that your shooter tolerance decreases by 75% when you hit thirty and is down to nil if you have given birth. Be careful.

While enjoying your drink(s), you and your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/dog can take this Presidents Quiz to see how much you remember from the 5th grade. On second thought, you might want to take this before the shot.

Finally, if you really want to shake things up and start an arguement with your significant other and then reap the rewards of making up (bow chica bow bow), you can go to this quiz to see what political party you belong in.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Blazing Saddles

Hell, if no one knows who I am, I can post stuff like this. I have no shame.

Dear Lady Hoping to Revive Her Sex Life,

I saw you standing in the feminine product aisle of Wal-Mart this morning.
You were carefully studying the, ahem, intimate products. You looked to be about 107 thirty-seven and had three screaming banshees kids in tow. I recognized the look of a desperate housewife immediately, because I am one myself.

I can fully sympathize with your desire to spice things up. I was in your position just the other day. I had been doing my usual grocery shopping and noticed a new gift pack of KY Lubricant and Massage Oils, prominently displayed for Valentine's Day. These might be fun, I thought to myself. After all, it's the one day I guess I'm expected to put out.

On the big night , I donned a "fun but flirty" new nightie from Tarjay and presented myself and the gift pack to my hubbie as he walked in the door. As he is usually greeted by a cacophony of wails coming from our daughter and "play with me, Daddy," from our son, this was a nice surprise and he jumped on me it.

When it's been a while, things get going fast, you know, and we didn't bother to examine the gift pack of goodies in much detail. The bottle titled "Fireside" was the first one we grabbed and away we went.

Well, I will try to put this as tastefully as possible. We were on fire, but not in a good way. It was a subtle burn for the first few seconds but it quickly turned to a barn blazer after a minute or so. We both hightailed it to the bathroom and poured water over our nether regions. If there was ever a time I wished for a douche, it was then. It took a good 30 minutes for things to cool down, and by that time, so had our va va voom.

If we had bothered to read the bottle, we would seen the disclaimer, "Not a personal lubricant". Silly old me just thought since the stuff was manufactured by KY that it would be safe for intimate activity. Turns out it's just a massage oil. A massage oil to be used externally.

So, sex-starved mommy in Wal-mart, if you are thinking of bringing home that box of not-so-delightful delights, read the fine print and be careful where you put them. Just a helpful hint.


One Hot Mama

Act 2

Once upon a time, there lived a woman who needed something in her life. Something was missing. She searched high and low for an new activity and finally, tentatively, dipped a toe in world of blogging.

The virgin blogger was hooked like a fish on a line. She loved the daily writing and the instant feedback. Delusions of fame and fortune soon took over. Virgin blogger thought that maybe she could make a career out of this. Perhaps she could write a book!

With visions being a guest on the Oprah Show dancing in her head, the virgin blogger foolishly put her real name on her blog. Her husband tried to protest and suggested she think on it for a while, but the blogger, who had always been impulsive, brushed away his fears like a gnat on a summer day. Who was he to question her creative genius?

Everything was going along swimmingly, when, thanks to local media, her address and name was distributed to the world at large. Everyone had it, friends, enemies, family, in-laws. Virgin blogger began to think perhaps she had been foolhardy.

Then the virgin blogger made the fateful decision to go back to work in the fall. Virgin blogger was paralyzed by fear that her future employers and colleagues might find her blog. She didn't think she wanted them reading about her saggy boobs and flagging sex life. In her line of work, she is expected to be a role model. She began to feel very restricted in what she could blog about. It just wasn't fun anymore if she always had to be careful.

So, virgin blogger, now older and wiser, decided to start a brand new anonymous blog. She would adopt a nom de plume and once again feel the freedom to air all her dirty laundry. Watch out world, here she comes. Again.

Welcome to virgin blogger's Act 2. Just don't out her, OK?

Friday, February 15, 2008

I Am No Martha Stewart

My knees are knocking as I write this post. My palms are sweaty. My heart is pounding. I am about to write the most embarrassing post to date. You might think that all my posting about my postpartum issues might have been a wee bit embarrassing, or that my post about my down-to-my-waist boobs might have caused me to blush. Oh no. This is the big scarlet A. I am going to share pictures of my house. My very, very disheveled and undecorated house. Now I will freely admit I am not the world's best housekeeper, but try to look beyond the mess and focus on the lack of decorating.

For the past few years, I have gone into other people's homes and felt a twinge of jealousy. These homes are decorated in what I call "furniture showroom style." The scent of new leather perfumes the air. Lampshades and throw pillows are festooned with beads, jewels and feathers. Walls were decorated with scrolled mirrors, ironwork, or manufactured prints. Generic doodads are scattered artfully across coffee tables and bookcases. Mantles hold faux greenery, candles, and bronze sculptures of horses or elephants. Bed are dressed with matching bedding and have pyramids of pillows placed just so. Windows are draped in puddles of curtains. Dining room tables are set with a service for 12 and a massive fake floral arrangement spiked with feathers and other oddities anchors the table. The home literally looks like the owner went in to a furniture store, pointed to the little room arrangements they have displayed and said, "I'll take that. All of it."

I am not jealous of the actual decorating because furniture showroom style is not my taste. But I am jealous that these homes are decorated with something at least, as opposed to the very little decorating going on in my home.

We are lucky to have very generous family members who have given us furniture, which is fantastic because Lord knows how we would have bought it ourselves in these years of me not working. And the furniture is great stuff and I am very grateful for it. Unfortunately though, we haven't added much to these gifts and we have some nice furniture interspersed with Tarjay junk and stuff from our single-days apartments.

On top of that, I have no talent for choosing all the other little stuff that would make the house look more put together. I see stuff in stores and it just doesn't do much for me. I never know which candle holder to get or which knick-knack would look good where. I never feel inspired.

I also am a wee bit of an art snob. I admit it. I just really don't like mass manufactured art. I would rather display original or limited prints of real artwork and I would rather my geegaws be things picked up on a vacation or at an arts and crafts fair or someplace with a meaning connected to it (kind of like my Christmas tree philosophy) or at least be so gorgeous I can't stand not to have it. Unfortunately, these things are usually more expensive than the generic vase at Tarjay and my art budget is well, nonexistent.

Let's play a game. Compare the pictures below and guess which ones are my house and which ones are from Southern Living. Don't worry. It won't be difficult.


Dining rooms

Living rooms




How did you do? Yeah, pretty sad isn't it? We are obviously in need of a home makeover. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Just don't tell me to clean up. That's like battling a force of nature. A 16 month old and 3 year old can put any tornado to shame.

Just in an effort to redeem myself, I will share the three pieces of real art that we have:

Willie by a Nashville artist and friend of my sister and TC.

Robert Johnson's Last Gig by a Nashville artist

My parents gave us this as a wedding present. It's by an artist in New Mexico.

Did I Read That Correctly?

Yesterday as I pulled out into traffic after picking up my son from preschool, I got behind a pick-up truck with this logo blazed across its rear end, minus the steel erectors-crane service box.

Gives a new meaning to the term "handyman," don't you think?

What To Buy When You Have More Money Than Brains Day!

Have you been buying that regular old Perrier or plain Aquafina bottled water in those horrid plastic bottles? Or worse, do you just drink the city tap water? Why lower your standards by drinking the same water as the plebian masses when money can buy you the finest exact same thing in luxury sparkling water: Antipodes.


This water is bottled from the tap a ground source in New Zealand and its delicious taste has won water awards. (How do you get into that field? I can taste some water with the best of them.)

And with this superior beverage, you don't have to worry about a tacky plastic bottle ghettoing up your look: the minimalist bottle has been especially designed to compliment your table.

A generous 24 bottles of Antipodes can be yours for only $70 plus a very reasonable shipping charge of $40.75, bringing the grand total to a low $110.75. Just $110.75 for 24 bottles of water.

Better get on this right away. They may sell out, it's such a great deal.

A Boy and His Purse

Remember the Cookie magazine I posted about the other day? Well, the latest issue has this article about a mother's struggle with whether or not to allow her son to wear a dress to preschool.

Well, folks, we are having our own little gender-identity bobble here too.

Today, as I was wrangling the two kiddos into coats and hats to make a trek to Tarjay, SweetPea stopped in his tracks, yelled "Wait Mommy, I got to get my purse!"

"You have to get your what?"

"My purse, Mommy. Wait"

Ummm, ok.

So he runs to the living room toybox (yes, I know it defies all rules of decorating, but hey what are you going to do?) and he gets out a little giveaway Clinique bag that I had given Ladybug to play with.

He then goes to my desk and selects a post-it note. His "list" he says.

He puts his list in the bag.

"Ok, I ready Mommy. I got my purse and my list."

I decide to just go with it and we head to Tarjay. In the store, Sweet Pea trails along beside me, carrying his purse and checking his list to make sure "we got ebryting, Mommy." He also wants to put all our purchases in the cart and to load the bags into the car.

He was quite the little helper.

It really was very cute. He did garner some odd looks, but of course they were all from insecure, homophobe men and teenage boys. All the little old ladies and other mommies smiled at us and told me he was cute.

I told Big B about Sweet Pea's new accessory when he got home and he was a little lukewarm on the idea. I reminded him that Sweet Pea is only three, for God's sake and he just wanted to be like Mommy, heaven help him.

Here he is with his purse. Maybe I should get him some little play heels and a dress to go along with it, just to really freak his Dad out. (Oh, his head is not in the shot because Daddy is wary of posting pictures of them.)

What To Buy When You Have More Money Than Brains Day!

It's Tuesday and therefore it's What to Buy When You Have More Money Than Brains Day! Anyone read Cookie? It's a parenting magazine that covers "all the best for your family." We had a bunch of frequent flyer miles on Delta that we will never use and so we ordered a bunch of free magazines. Unfortunately the selection was a little limited.

I have only received two issues of Cookie so far, but I can tell you that this magazine doesn't really speak to me. For example, one of its feature stories was how to visit Paris with children. No, not Paris, Tennessee. Paris, France. Apparently I am short-changing my children and myself by limiting our vacation plans to the Redneck Riviera. Silly me. I'll just add Paris to my list of vacation destinations, right alongside Tokyo and Milan.

One article proposed a Valentine's Day dinner that you could make for you hubby after the kids have gone to bed. First course--caviar and blinis, darhling. Second course--Chateaubriand. Dessert--Champagne Poached Pears. Now all this does sound delicious. However, I might have a little difficulty feeding the rest of the family that week if I went this route. Oh well, I guess we could make do with macaroni and cat food. That's cheap, right?

You get the picture. It's a little, OK a lot, upscale. It should come as no surprise then that I found this week's insane purchase in the gilded pages of Cookie. Here it is:

The Mooney Flat by Marc Jacobs. The shoes in the magazine were black, but I could not find a picture online of the black pair, so here is the silver pair. Have an extra $209 floating around? Yes? Then your deserving daughter can have her feet shod in designer shoes. Never mind the fact that you haven't had a new pair of shoes in months or that your shoe purchases are made in the aisles of Tarjay. Your daughter deserves nothing but the best. Suck it up, Mommy and shell out the cash.

I agree that these are adorable, but seriously, spending $200 on a pair of children's dress shoes seems a little crazy to me, especially when they will outgrow them in a matter of months.

I know many parents like to give their children the best of everything. Many a teenager gets a fancy new car. I have seen quite a few young ladies at the mall sporting $300 handbags. Some kids' bedrooms resemble Circuit City with the number of fancy electronics they have. Overindulgence of our children seems to be pretty commonplace. But is it a good idea? I don't think so.

I have had friends whose wealthy parents gave them their heart's desire. These people didn't turn out so well. They had difficulty adjusting to life on their own. They were so used to buying whatever they wanted, that when they had to try to live within their own budget, they couldn't. Parents had to bail them out when their credit card bills stacked up. Were they thankful? Of course not. They believed they were entitled to enjoy a better lifestyle and it was Daddy's job to provide that. They were spoiled brats. They had no comprehension of how many, many people struggle to make ends meet every day. They didn't care. All they cared about was themselves.

I have also had friends whose wealthy parents forced them to work to buy their first cars and who told them a resounding "No" to many of their requests for the latest fashion or gadget. Upon meeting these people, you would never know that they came from a very wealthy family. They were very down-to-earth, well-adjusted people who displayed none of that sense of gimme- gimme-gimme- I-deserve it nonsense. They were compassionate towards others and did not believe that they were the center of the universe.

Some parents overindulge their children because they can and because it makes them feel good. Many do it because they feel guilty about not being able to spend more time with their children. Others do it because it makes them feel superior to other people who can't afford to do it. Others try to buy their children's love or try to cover their own sins under a blanket of gifts, hoping the child will overlook their transgressions. In the end, it only hurts the child.

So, no I won't be buying Ladybug any mouse shoes. Even if we could afford ten pairs of mouse shoes, I would not buy them. The cost, monetarily and psychologically, is too high.