December 28, 2006

I'm Not Dead, But I Kind of Wish I Were

We're still on our holiday vacation, but I finally got a chance to check in and say "This is the worst trip EVER." Ever, ever, ever. Really. Imagine travelling with a baby. On a plane. For 21 hours. And then spending two weeks with 36 different, scary, new, way-too-enthusiastic relatives who all want to hug, kiss, and generally terrify your very shy baby.

And then the baby gets a cold. And then you get a cold. And then your husband gets a cold.

And then the baby decides that this is the best possible time to get her first tooth, and spends six days in screaming agony as it cuts its razor-sharp way through her tiny gums.

That has been my vacation so far. I'll check in again when I have gotten more than three consecutive hours of sleep and my brain starts functioning again.

December 19, 2006

Into the Woods

This is the big day--we're heading off for our Christmas trip. We're heading off to the woods of central Georgia to visit the King's family for a week, then flying to California for a week with my family. It should be fun--the Princess decided that just before 21 total hours of flying time, she would get her first tooth and catch a cold at the same time. Last night she screamed for 45 minutes while waiting for the Baby Tylenol to kick in, every three hours, all night long. We're flying a red-eye tonight. If you see two adults and a baby falling out of the sky over Idaho after being kicked out of a plane without parachutes, that's us.

I'll be out of touch this week, because my mother-in-law has AOHell dialup, and using it gives me hives. But I will try to post when we get to California--undoubtedly there will be much fun to report on the King's cousin, who is divorcing her husband of 20 years to become an evangelical missionary in Africa, and his other cousin, the deer-hunting, bear-shooting preacher man who likes to tell dirty jokes during his sermons. It'll be good times.

See you next week.

December 18, 2006

I Have a Mosquito Bite on My Ass

How did it get there, you ask? The King and I went hiking this weekend. We started at Pali Lookout and hiked down the mountain and then back up again. He carried the Princess down in this fabulous carrier, which I feel terribly guilty about buying from Evil-Mart, but I highly recommend, and I schlepped her all the way back up again.

In between the down and the up parts, we stopped by a lovely stream for a snack and some water. We had carefully slathered sunscreen and bug spray all over our exposed parts, knowing that here in Hawaii, the sun is fierce and the bugs are many.

Then we drank three bottles of water. And had to pee. The King did his thing as men do, standing up and without the slightest bit of awkwardness, difficulty, or nudity. Then it was my turn.

It's been a while since I had to pee in the rough, but I managed to do the necessary without getting any pee on my shoes. But there were mosquitos. And that was when I realized that if you think there is any chance you may need to disrobe so you can pee in a wild mountain stream, you should apply the bug spray before getting dressed, not after.

December 15, 2006

I Was Starting to Think I Harp on Evangelical Fundies Too Much, But Now I Know It's Not Even Close to Enough

"'Convert or die' game divides Christians Some ask Wal-Mart to drop Left Behind"

"Liberal and progressive Christian groups say a new computer game in which players must either convert or kill non-Christians is the wrong gift to give this holiday season and that Wal-Mart, a major video game retailer, should yank it off its shelves.

The Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian Alliance for Progress, two online political groups, plan to demand today that Wal-Mart dump Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a PC game inspired by a series of Christian novels that are hugely popular, especially with teens.

The series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins is based on their interpretation of the Bible's Book of Revelation and takes place after the Rapture, when Jesus has taken his people to heaven and left nonbelievers behind to face the Antichrist.
Left Behind Games' president, Jeffrey Frichner, says the game actually is pacifist because players lose "spirit points" every time they gun down nonbelievers rather than convert them. They can earn spirit points again by having their character pray.
"You are fighting a defensive battle in the game," Frichner, whose previous company produced Bible software, said of combatting the Antichrist. "You are a sort of a freedom fighter."...

The Rev. Tim Simpson, a Jacksonville, Fla., Presbyterian minister and president of the Christian Alliance for Progress, added: "So, under the Christmas tree this year for little Johnny is this allegedly Christian video game teaching Johnny to hate and kill?" ...

In Left Behind, set in perfectly apocalyptic New York City, the Antichrist is personified by fictional Romanian Nicolae Carpathia, secretary-general of the United Nations and a People magazine "Sexiest Man Alive."

Players can choose to join the Antichrist's team, but of course they can never win on Carpathia's side. The enemy team includes fictional rock stars and folks with Muslim-sounding names, while the righteous include gospel singers, missionaries, healers and medics. Every character comes with a life story.
When asked about the Arab and Muslim-sounding names, Frichner said the game does not endorse prejudice. But "Muslims are not believers in Jesus Christ" -- and thus can't be on Christ's side in the game.

"That is so obvious," he said.

Plugged In, a publication of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, gave the game a "thumbs-up." The reviewer called it "the kind of game that Mom and Dad can actually play with Junior -- and use to raise some interesting questions along the way."

Frichner said that is precisely his company's ultimate goal in offering the game: to bring parents and kids together to talk about the Bible. He said most teens are playing video games, so it was natural to turn the books into one."

December 13, 2006

At Least None of Them Are Gray Down There

I was recently brushing my hair in the bathroom one evening. I was thinking about coloring it, so I was inspecting it closely in the mirror. Suddenly I saw something awful. I shouted, "Aah! Honey! I have a gray hair!"

From the bedroom, my husband yelled back, "What are you talking about? You have LOTS of gray hairs!"

December 12, 2006

A Cross-Shaped Pentagon?

In the latest news from the "What separation of church and state?" front, you can now attend prayer meetings on Wednesday mornings in Washington, DC, held by an evangelical Christian group.

So what? Of course you can. But these ones are special: They're inside the Pentagon. Specifically, they are held in the Executive Dining Room of the E Ring, a dining room reserved for only the most high-ranked and important people in the Pentagon, such as the Secretary of Defense.

This evanglical group, the Christian Embassy, has gotten permission to turn this taxpayer-funded dining room into a prayer hall once a week. They've even convinced military officers to appear in uniform in their advertising videos (which is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice).

If you find this somewhat totally terrifying and completely illegal, listen to the story on NPR's website.

December 11, 2006

At Least I'm Not the Only One

Recently, my sister called for a chat. She is eleven years older than me, so I often tease her about her advanced age. However, our most recent conversation focused on my age, instead:

Me: I totally hate it, I'm starting to get wrinkles! I have these little lines around my eyes, they're awful.

My sister: That's ridiculous. How could you have wrinkles? I'm way older than you, and I don't have any wrinkles!

Me: Are you sure?

Her: Of course! Hold on, I'll go check...

[clomp, clomp, clomp] I hear her walk to the bathroom.
[thwick] I hear the light switching on as she peers in the mirror.


Her: Aaahh!!! What happened to my face?!!

Me: [hysterical laughter]

December 10, 2006

Maybe She Can Do IVF Instead

The King: You're such a good mom. Princess, you're so lucky to have such a wonderful mommy!

Me: Aww, how sweet.

The King: Too bad the baby's not going to be able to be a mom herself.

Me: Huh? Why can't she be a mom?

The King: Because she's not going to be allowed to have sex. Ever.

December 08, 2006

My Kid Can Play With Small Appliances if She Wants To

I just got a haircut; it was only my second one since the Princess was born 10 months ago. Whoo hoo! Of course, she was fussy the entire time, but I celebrated and got an actual hairstyle, as opposed to just saying, "Chop off two inches, all the way around. Sure, use a bowl. Why not?" Of course, being the style maven that I am, I got a Rachel cut, which is approximately 12 years out of date, but it was still an improvement.

Because the Princess was fussing while I got all beautified, the stylist gave her a curling iron to play with. Not plugged in, not hot, just a plain old curling iron that was sitting on the table near her. She was having a ball waving it around and examining it.

Then this little old woman with freshly colored blue hair walked up to us and grabbed the curling iron out of her hands. As the Princess waved her arms for it, about to start shrieking at the loss of her new toy, the old woman spit at my stylist, "I saw the baby playing with this, and I was SO WORRIED! You know, she could wrap the cord around her neck and DIE!" She threw the curling iron on the table and stalked off, pausing only to shoot me an evil look, clearly thinking, "You're the worst mother ever, you neglectful cow."

She almost got that curling iron in a very unexpected spot, and I don't mean the flat area her stylist missed on the back of her bitchy, blue head.

December 06, 2006

Holiday Greetings from Your Proctologist

The Princess's pediatrician is at a clinic at the local hospital. We were there for a checkup, and I saw that they've put up their holiday decorations. On the walls are large, hand-painted signs, wishing you Merry Christmas from each department.

For instance, there is a sign that says "Merry Christmas from Pathology!" It shows Santa bent over a microscope, presumably inspecting a slice of enlarged prostate, or perhaps a cheery holiday cyst.

Then there's "Happy Holidays from Human Resources!" It shows holiday elves, delivering pink slips and warning letters with sleigh bells a-jingling.

And my favorite: "Season's Greetings from the Emergency Room!" I imagine the ER Santa, ho-ho-hoing at drunk driving victims, people with tragic nail gun injuries, and those clutzy souls who have managed to fall off a ladder while hanging the Christmas lights.

Merry Christmas, indeed.


Some women complain about being objectified by men. "He always stares at my tits!" they cry. "I have eyes, you know!" (Myself, I was always rather fond of objectification. It makes for better sex, in my opinion.) But these women don't know a thing about being objectified--just wait until you breastfeed.

A breastfed baby doesn't give a crap about any part of you except the bits where the milk comes out. This is a snippet from a breastfed baby's thoughts:

"Tits tits tits tits tits Up, Mommy! Tits tits tits Cracker! Tits tits Again! Again! Tits tits tits tits tits Ooh, a bug!"

And babies aren't sexist. They objectify their dads just as much, only it's generally the arms they want, not the boobs. For instance:

"Up, Daddy! Hold me rock me walk me hold me bounce me Again! Again! AGAIN! Up! Hold me rock me walk me hold me bounce me Again!"

I'm fairly certain babies don't get over this kind of objectification until they're old enough to start asking for money, and then all they want is your wallet.

Tact, Anyone?

For the love of God, if Person A says to you, "My daughter is ten months old, and she still can't wave or clap her hands. I'm starting to get a little worried," do NOT say to her:

"Don't worry, my son couldn't wave or clap until he was fourteen months old..."

[Person A: huge sigh of relief]

"...but of course, he's mildly retarded."

Apparently My Genes Are Weak

I was terrified of roller coasters as a kid; I didn't ride one until I was 17 years old. In fact, I am afraid of all things remotely dangerous--sky diving, bungee jumping, improperly cooked chicken.

My daughter's favorite thing to do in the entire world is be flung out of my arms, shooting skyward, until her head snaps back and she falls back to earth. The higher and more horrifying, the better. She hasn't smacked her head on the ceiling yet, but that's only because I threatened the King with a knife that if he ever threw her that high, I would eviscerate him.

Mexican food is my favorite food ever, ever, ever, and applesauce looks like beige glop to me. The Princess thinks refried beans are a pox designed to make her throw up, and applesauce is the forbidden fruit, puree style. She can't get enough of it.

I'm starting to think maybe the King had a little fling with our mailwoman.

December 04, 2006

Disease-Ridden but Smart

I let my daughter play with other kids so she'll get socialized and not grow up to be a serial killer. But now that she's had three colds in six weeks, the serial killer thing is starting to look really attractive.

She has also learned some new tricks recently: put my hand in the toilet, empty the trash can onto the floor, and pull the fishtank over. Yay!