25 November 2006

I imagine this is the same with diapers

Can anyone provide me answers to the following questions:

Why does the dog have to poop in the yard 3 minutes after I have cleaned up all the poop piles?

What do you do with a brillo scrubber once you have used it once and it is there all damp and threatening to get rusty? Is this a one-use item?

What do you say to strangers who want to give you stupid advice about your dog (or child)?

You know there's a story about the last one, don't you?

Goldie and I got in the Subaru Forester of LoveTM to go to the bank and then the beach. Sunroof open. Sunroof is about 18 square feet of open space (huge!!) but leaves the dog in the shade.

Parked at the bank for 30 seconds, filling out deposit slip.

"Excuse me" I hear someone say in a kind of peevish tone.

Oh, crap. This is the bank where lots of vagrants hang around the bushes. I look up at a nervous looking red-haired woman.

"Can you roll down your window so you can hear me?" she says, looking mad.

Dude. No. I am not in the habit of opening my car window for random parking lot women.

"I can hear you through the sunroof," I said.

"I'm a veterinarian and your dog is going into heatstroke. He is shaking and panting. It is very important that you give him some air."

Me: blank, hateful look.

"You REALLY NEED to give him some air if you care about him."

Me: blank, hateful look.

Normally I'm a lot kinder and more engaged. It's not that I don't appreciate the concern. Well, yeah, it is - I don't. And I especially don't appreciate the tone. And I didn't think she was a veterinarian or she wouldn't be making random, blanket statement every time saw a dog sitting in the back of the car panting after 5 minutes in the car on a 63 degree day with a huge sunroof open.

Goldie trembles. In the car. That's what she does. I have spoken to her about it and she will not stop. Going in the car sets off her trembling device and there is no way to short-circuit that.

And she pants. She pants about 80 percent of the time in the car - day, night, raining, freezing, whatever. The car is an exciting place for my girl. But when she goes by the beach where we walk almost every day, she pants like a divorcee on a date with George Clooney. Ok, maybe not that much. But a lot.

The upshot? The check got deposited. Goldie got her walk by the beach. And I talked to the stupid red-haired woman in my head all the way out to the point and back.

Update: I forgot that I should have simply pulled out my Air Book and written her advice down. Silly me.

23 November 2006

Crap on a cracker

**UPDATE: Because of all the spam comments, I have lost access to my food blog until blogger can determine that it is not a spam blog. Do I need to try and express how happy it makes me to be cut off from posting on MY OWN blog because of &*%$#@! spammers??

I wasn't sure what I was going to do tonight. I was just hanging around the house, so I decided to go post at my long-abandoned food blog Snackish for the first time in six months.

I tried to publish and it took forever. Then I got an error message.

I started looking at comments, and even with comment word verification turned on, every single post since April of last year had become infested by spam comments. Spam comments consisting solely of thousands of links, literally thousands, mostly to p00rn-looking sites (ana1 f1sting, anyone? or 1llegal t33n sex acts? yuk.)

It felt icky and dirty just looking at it, like my dear little recipe blog had become polluted.

So I spent the evening deleting p00rn spam. Fun. Assholes.

One more time

I realize that I forgot to tag anyone for that meme, but I think you could see my heart just wasn't in it. What kind of meme has questions like "Name a word that rhymes with Door"? Yawn.

It was perhaps my weirdest Thanksgiving ever.

Weirder than the one in high school where my BF's charming aunt announced as we were doing dishes, looking at me - "We have a guest here, so we will have to count the silver"?

Personally, I think accusing someone of thievery takes you out of the running for Hostess of the Year, right? Klassy with a k, that one.

Was it weirder than the one where my housemate Curt disappeared next door for an hour? It wouldn't have been so bad except the only two guests were my loud, opinionated, liberal, brash attorney BF Keith and my housemate's reserved Midwestern ladylike mom.

The minutes passed in a crawl as I tried to referee conversation. Or make conversation. Or just keep breating without descending into a full-blown panic attack. Time has not passed that slowly since my high school algebra classes.

Finally I went to see what was keeping Curt and found him sprawled on the neighbor's couch, a victim of the kind of California Thanksgiving-day hospitality that involves the offering of a huge bongload of sticky icky green bud. He was baked and had totally forgotten to come home.

Ok, maybe not that weird. But there was no turkey, no fake turkey, no mashed potatoes or yams and certainly no famous fennel chestnut confit. There were squash enchiladas at my parents' house, just the three of us.

Mr Stapler is in Napa and my sibs won't arrive til tomorrow. Mom said she is sick of turkey and didn't want to make a fuss, thus the low-key lunch.

To tell you the truth, I kind of miss the fuss.

Public service announcement: Dear Friends,

Now that Thanksgiving is over and you are on to the Christmas season, please consider your annual holiday photo card.

You have been my friends for years. So why do I get a holiday photo card with JUST your children in the photo? I know you love the precious little darlings, but does their existence erase yours? They look so cute in their holiday outfits, but to tell the truth, I am actually more interested in you than them, difficult as that is to believe, given their absolute perfection.

So sit your butt down with the kids and hand the camera to a responsible adult. And smile. No, not like that, a REAL smile.

Thank you. You look marvelous.

22 November 2006

Dang you, Ventura Mom!

There is a sweet post up just in time for Thanksgiving over at Linkateria

VenturaMom tagged me for THE WORLD'S LONGEST MEME!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? Bedhead!
2. How much cash do you have on you? Too much to count. Joking, all you would-be robbers who read my blog.
3. What's a word that rhymes with "DOOR?" This is confidential information.
4. Favorite planet? Jupiter. It is so big.
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? Landlord. I am only saying this because I am too lazy to get up and look.
6. What is your favorite ring tone? I use one that goes ring, ring, ring. It came with the phone.
7. What shirt are you wearing? Stripey short sleeved sweater.
8. Do you "label" yourself? Goddess-in-training
9. Name the brand of the shoes you're currently wearing? Have I mentioned that some of these questions are kinda stupid?
10. Bright or Dark Room? Bright.
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? She is amazing and a great mom and local, too.
12. What does your watch look like? It is the Hamilton that Elvis wore in Blue Hawaii.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping!!
14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? "I paved the driveway - don't park on it." Except it took 5 minutes to say that one thing. Bless my landlord's heart.
15. Where is your nearest 7-11? Downtown. Why, are you looking for a slurpee?
16. What's a word that you say a lot? "Right!" "Okay!"
17. Who told you he/she loved you last? Steve. In a friendly, Thanksgiving holiday kind of way.
18. Last furry thing you touched? Goldie dog.
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? Does Gin count?
20. How many rolls of film do you need developed? One. And it only has one picture on it.
21. Favorite age you have been so far? 45. I am 45.
22. Your worst enemy? "Your enemy is someone whose story you have not yet heard." That, and the guy with the boom car in the next block.
23. What is your current desktop picture? They rotate every 5 seconds. Nature photos from Flickr.
24. What was the last thing you said to someone? Have a great thanksgiving.
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? Flying
26. Do you like someone? Are you implying something?
27. The last song you listened to? Something by Bob Marley that my neighbor Jay is playing right now.
28. What time of day were you born? 2:00 a.m.
29. What's your favorite number? 23. No, 9. No, 23.
30. Where did you live in 1987? Central California.
31. Are you jealous of anyone? I am possessed by jealousy but I try to deny it by making fun of those I am jealous of.
32. Is anyone jealous of you? Only of my beauty and brilliance.
33. Where were you when 9/11 happened? Getting ready for work. GandhiRules called me.
34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Shake it. Talk to anyone nearby.
35. Do you consider yourself kind? Absolutely.
36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? Tattoos make me queasy.
37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Espanol, por cierto.
38. Would you move for the person you loved? Yep, did it in ‘02
39. Are you touchy feely? Yes.
40. What's your life motto? Life is too mysterious. Don't take it so serious.
41. Name three things that you have on you at all times? There are no three things. But usually wallet, cell phone, work badge.
42. What's your favourite town/city? Ventura dude, home is where the heart is. (This was VenturaMom's answer and I totally agree. But I would take a whack at Sevilla to see what it is like.)
43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? DVD rental
44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? One to my Women For Women sponsored sister.
45. Can you change the oil on a car? Yea, but it is too icky.
46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? Hm. How big of a first love are we talking?
47. How far back do you know about your ancestry? Great grandparents on both sides.
48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? Fancy? Me?
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now? Everything. Dude, I am old. (See question 21).
50. Have you been burned by love? Marius, this one is all for you. But I love you now, man, and always will.

21 November 2006

Thanks for being a feminist

I just deleted someone from my bloglines for proudly saying that she is not a feminist (no, not Jennster or Julie - people I love can get away with anything!). In this case, it was just my latest indication that this particular blogger was kind of a dunce.

I just had heard it one time too many..."I'm all for equality, but I'm not a feminist!" I think it is just inconceivably stupid and short-sighted.

I know women who don't like to associate themselves with feminists. They don't want to get dragged into the fray with those noisy, pesky, messy trouble-makers. Oh, no, they're much nicer than that. They think we have already achieved everything that needs to be achieved and they did it all by themselves. Because they are so smart! And clever! And they never needed anyone to give them anything!

It just makes me want to start screaming at their stupid little ungrateful idiotic selves. Their sense of privilege makes the fur stand up on my neck.

Let's take a little trip down feminist memory lane.

How bad were things for women before feminism? Try this on for size: when former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor graduated from Stanford Law in the 50's, no one would hire her. Because she was a woman. She took a job as a legal secretary.

Sex-segregated want ads were legal until 1968. There were many jobs that were just not open to women. There was no recourse. No one to appeal to. And that was okay.

A married woman who wanted to establish credit in her own name usually could not. It wasn't until 1974 that a US law prohibiting discrimination in lending was passed.

Spousal rape was legal. The first law in the US prohibiting spousal rape was passed in 1976. Until then, if you were married, your body was your husband's to do with what he wanted.

But now everything is better, right?

Right now in 28 states it is still legal for employers to ask about your marital status and whether you have children or not before they hire you. Is that right?

Women have made wage gains, but still only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. No big deal?
Over a lifetime of work, the 23 cents-on-the-dollar we're losing adds up. The average 25-year-old working woman will lose about $455,000 to unequal pay during her working life.

And because we're paid less now, we have less to save for our futures and we'll earn smaller pensions than men. Half of all women with income from a pension in 2002 received less than $5,600 per year, compared with $10,340 per year for men.

I know, boring statistics. Always complaining, those icky rude feminists. Why can't they be more positive??
Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for all the gains women have made. Women are outpacing men in getting university educations. Law and medical schools all over the country are filled with female students. Opportunities are better than they ever have been for men as well as women.

But there is a long way to go in our country and an even longer way to go in other parts of the world. If you think things are fine as a woman here, just take a look around and lend a hand to our sisters somewhere else. Female genital mutilation. Sharia law. Domestic violence. Rape. There are plenty of things to stand up and shout about.

Because we have gained so much from their efforts, I think we owe early feminists a debt of gratitude that can only be repaid by continuing their work. Only when every woman and man is treated with equality, dignity and respect will our task as feminists be done.

20 November 2006

What Thanksgiving?

I have been hearing a lot of whining about Thanksgiving. People don't like the food their family prepares. Or they don't like the hellish travel. But mostly, they don't like to spend time with their family members.

It has all become one big bloated food fest, where people gather for a few miserable hours, stuff themselves, nod off in front of a football game, then pack up to face the horrible holiday traffic on the way home.

Super Suebob is here to rescue your holiday from total drudgery and meaninglessness. I have a few suggestions on how to put some Thanks back into Thanksgiving.

For the repressed and WASPy among us (like my family): Tape a big sheet of butcher paper on the fridge. Butcher paper because it does not bleed through. Or regular thick paper if that is all you can find. Write "What We Are Thankful For 2006" at the top, and let people write or draw what they are thankful for as they wander into the kitchen to get drinks or snacks. You can save these and show them in future years.

Slightly more interactive: Get some pieces of paper or cards. Have people write or draw what they are thankful for. Take their picture as they hold up the signs. Make a flickr set. Share.

To keep the kiddos out of your hair, if you trust them with the digital camera: assign them to take photos of what they are thankful for. Upload the photos between dinner and dessert. Make a digital slide show.

And if you aren't a shy bunch and don't mind talking to each other: Place five kernels of dried corn on one side of each plate. If you can't find dried corn, use popcorn. This is to remind us that, during the first winter when they were dumbasses, the pilgrims got down to the point where they had only 5 corn kernels a person to eat. During the meal, go around the table, having people hold one kernel and say one thing they are thankful for. Go around five times, once for each kernel, so people will have given thanks for five things.

I hope this helps. I hate to think of everyone out there miserable, dragging themselves through a hated holiday. I think a little meaning can go a long way.

Thanksgiving Week

When I take the trash out and I turn around and see my tiny house with the light in the window and the banana leaves arching over the driveway, my heart just squinches up with happiness and I gasp at my good fortune.

My house. I don't even own it, but it makes me so happy to have this little haven on earth.

I can smell the ocean from here. I can hear my neighbors playing happy Mexican norteno music. I can walk in and see my dog sleeping on the couch drumming her big feet in time to a doggy dream.

A roof over my head. A cozy bed. A big old 1940's gas stove.

I am thankful for this particular spot on the planet. I make my life here, and I appreciate every day of it.

19 November 2006


I am so cranky due to a combination of Blogger and Bloglines problems that I have gone to bed early.

Question: Why, oh why, do the genuises at Blogger keep their status page on the same server as everything else?

*As Ali G would say
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