Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A Pyrex Testimonial

I was taking a cake to our friends' house and put it on the top of the Vue while I buckled Miguel into his car seat. You know where this is going and it inspired the following haiku:
Cake pan toboggan
Down the windshield, off the hood
Good cake and no shards
The Pyrex baking dish has some minimal scuff marks on the bottom and the Vue has scuff marks on the hood. It could have been worse - the cake could have been inedible.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Can't get enough of the poncho

After much discussion with others regarding the pesky poncho, I was told by numerous people that the slits are to be used as muffs for the hands. The arms do not go through the slits from underneath but the hands go into the slits from the outside. I was starting to think that my sister had been wrong and, if my sister was wrong about this, my whole world view would be shaken. Friday afternoon, I called and left her a message asking her to call me because I needed to speak to her urgently regarding the matter of ponchos. She called me late Friday evening and we went over the poncho again. She was shocked and dismayed to hear that I had misunderstood our conversation about the poncho slits and was horrified that I had blogged about it and that now all 3 of my readers thought she didn't know squat about ponchos. She was horrified and demanded that I clear her name as soon as possible. So, I'm clearing her name...

My sister NEVER thought that the arms were to go through the slits from underneath the poncho. My sister ALWAYS knew that the slits were to be used for the hands.
Luisa would also like her name cleared because she "knew the arms weren't supposed to go through the slits" but I am not clearing her name because she still said that the slits were pockets and they are not pockets 'cause you can't put anything in them other than hands. I will give her partial credit, however, and her prize is that she gets to apply the poncho to the Small one who Squirms whenever said poncho is needed. As for me, well, I'm so poncho impaired that I should never be allowed near one again.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Puzzled by the poncho

There are times in life when I feel like I must have missed some of the important "girl" lessons. It's not like I wasn't paying attention - I just think those classes weren't offered in my house, my mother being of the El Camino driving/cowboy boot wearing ilk. I had to learn a lot of these things by trial and error. For example, I learned that you don't actually need to press down hard when shaving your legs (especially up the shin) and, even more surprising, you are actually supposed to wear a beige bra with a white shirt. It's all so counter intuitive.

My sister is the girly girl in our family. I know that she knows all the "girl" lessons because she has tried to tutor me over the years about such things as dresses, make-up, curling irons and hot rollers. Of course, my fabulous sister has taught me many more things but, for this entry, we are focusing on the superficial stuff, O.K.?

My sister recently bought Zeca a tiny poncho. It's part of a whole ensemble...yellow knit poncho, jeans with little blue flowers and then a matching yellow turtle neck with blue flowers on the cuffs. The whole thing is cute. I can see the cuteness, really I can. It's the darn poncho part. There were no instructions with the poncho...just the poncho with it's little hood and the two slits on the front towards the sides. I considered skipping the poncho because I knew I could manage the turtleneck and the jeans but I wanted to take pictures of Zeca in the outfit because I wanted my sister to know we really like it and appreciate it. (You see, a few months ago, we had a nasty run in about a certain white tulle dress with various pastel bows randomly applied and I made a tiny little joke about Zeca going to the baby prom and my sister threatened to stop buying clothes for the children. I have seen the ungrateful error of my ways and don't want to make the same mistake. Well, and the kids need clothes, you know.) Anyway, I decided to persevere and I pulled the poncho over Zeca's head. That went well. Then, I tried to put her fat little arms through the slits - they wouldn't go. They only went about half-way up her forearms. I took it off and looked for other slits or arm holes that I might have missed during the initial inspection. Nope, the two slits and the hood. That was it. Where's a good sleeve when you need it? I put it back on and tried to push her arms all the way through the slits once again. No luck. Half-way. And she was annoyed. I took her arms out and just let her wear it more as a cape, thinking that perhaps the slits were decorative. I called Luisa who scoffed at me and said that the slits were actually pockets. I asked how they could be pockets when they were just slits and there was more scoffing and the insistence about the pockets. I maintained that the poncho was faulty.

I needed resolution on the issue, so, I called my sister. I explained the whole poncho scenario from the morning and mentioned that, perhaps it was me, but it really seemed like a defective poncho. Through hysterical laughter, she told me that the baby's arms should only extend halfway through the poncho slits. What? She repeated that the poncho slit should hit Zeca's arm between her wrist and elbow. Turns out, that is how the poncho is made. Really, it is made to look free-flowing and billowy and yet it restricts movement. Yeah, I still don't get the poncho.

I have never owned or worn a poncho but I have a bad feeling that I'll be getting one from a certain girly girl in Kanasas...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Back from the brink

We are safely back in Minneapolis. I thought I would share with you all (meaning the 3 of you who occasionally read this thing) my list of things that happened (or didn't) that surprised me:
  1. While in Kansas, we were neither stoned nor tarred and feathered...things that my mother once told me would happen if we ever moved there. I guess we just weren't there long enough.
  2. Gigantic neon cowboys advertising lakeside casinos that are not, in fact, actually by lakes can blind you while driving at night. (Terrible's Casino)
  3. Our children were fabulous travellers, even the Small One who Shreiks.
  4. During the two 9 hour car rides, we did not yell and did not leave our children at a rest stop and proceed without them.
  5. When restrained, children can be entertained for 30 minutes with their winter hats.
  6. Our 4-year old can not only smell a covertly eaten Jelly Belly from the back seat, he can also identify the flavor by the smell.
  7. The porcupine was on her best behavior. Quills were not evident.
  8. They actually make knit ponchos in 12 month size.
  9. There was no pointing and minimal staring at the Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park. Perhaps the noise, Bud Light and poolside packaged nachos were too disorienting.
  10. There are families that actually bring their very own Playstations to hotels with indoor water parks, arcades, board games at the front desk and planned activities for kids. I don't get that at all.
  11. Ice dancing isn't really a sport so much as an opportunity to wear the ugliest outfits imaginable.
  12. You can survive your 4-year old telling your Extremely Religious Brother (a Baptist, no less) that he does not believe in God.
  13. My balloon twisting skills are sorely lacking because I cannot make skeletons.
  14. Our 4-year old is very interested in song lyrics, especially to the song Jolene.
  15. You can listen to Jolene on repeat through half of Iowa and not lose your mind.

We had a good time, seriously...a good time. Who knew?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Perchance to dream...

Last night, I had a very vivid dream. You see, Julianna Margulies was an undercover cop and she was in trouble. So, I had to abandon what I was doing (forging a wrought iron balcony railing, if you must know) in order to go save her. I was with some people (I don't remember who) and we all got in the car to drive over to the apartment where Julianna was in distress. On the way, we passed Zeca walking unattended through a cross walk and we stopped to get her. Then, we drove to the apartment and I entered to rescue dear Julianna. I took Zeca with me which, in retrospect, was not such a good rescuing idea. Anyway, the bad guy takes Zeca and gets in the tub with her. At first, I try to be calm because I don't want him to know that I am there to rescue Julianna, that I know what he has done to Julianna. The water level was very high and he was floating Zeca on her back in the deep water. I knew that he was up to no good and I finally snatched her away, saying, "That water is just too high. It is not safe!" Then, I run into the other room to find Julianna nearly naked getting out of a shower. She tells me that he beat her up and not to believe what he says. I assure her that I would never believe him but tell her to be quiet and play along because we need to leave. She has to go back into the bedroom where the bad guy is because she has to get something. I tell her to hurry. She goes in there and he is lying on the bed under a blanket. He is lying on my gym bag and that makes me mad. He is very still and I think he has a bomb or a gun but, still, pull my gym bag out from under his head. I tell him we are all leaving. He says, "I don't think so!" He pulls out a ball point pen and, as I run out of the room, he shoots a bullet right by my head and it lodges in the wall behind me. I run down the stairs, knowing that I botched Julianna's rescue. Oddly, I don't feel guilty because I know that she would understand. As I reach the bottom of the stairs, I see Anthony LaPaglia and I know that he is working on getting Julianna out of the clutches of the madman. I take my baby and run away, breathing a sigh of relief.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Vegan Cookies!

I can relax today....finally. I have fulfilled my Valentine's Day responsibilities as a parent. Yes, as a parent - forget about being a lover and partner. Those things come second these days.

Valentine's Day is big at my son's school...the parents make Valentines for their children and they are all displayed in the foyer of the school (the Valentines...not the children). A lot of these parents are overachievers with assets and the Valentines can get a little, shall we say, elaborate? If the school allowed, there would probably be numerous multimedia installations saluting some of the children. The teachers have tried to put some limits on the size of the Valentines but I did notice, this year in particular, that the limits were ignored by many. There is at least one Valentine that is about 5 feet long. Yeah, bigger than the child it celebrates because - keep in mind - these are 3 to 6 year olds. They are small children and maybe, just maybe, their Valentines cards shouldn't be that big. So, the trick (in my mind) is to create a Valentine that is not too big and not too small, not too ornate but not too plain, not too wordy but not too succinct - a Valentine that my son will enjoy and that I won't be too embarrassed to hang up for all of the other parents to see. We finished our Valentine for Miguel on Sunday and tacked it up in the foyer with some of the others. Miguel was so excited to see me hang his Valentine. He picked the place...down low, where he could really look at it. It was SO exciting and then, this morning, he ran right through the foyer and ignored it completely.

We also have to do Valentines for his classmates because they exchange cards today and then have a big party with an ice cream sundae buffet. Last year, Miguel wanted to make all of the Valentines for his classmates. I thought this was so cute and clever and I basked in the glow of his genius. Have you ever helped a 3 year old with limited drawing and glue application skills create 28, count 'em, 28 individual Valentines? It's terribly unpleasant for both the child and the supervising adult...there was nagging and prodding and bargaining. He laughed, I cried and gritted my teeth. This year, I did not want to put either of us through that so when Miguel told us that he wanted to make his own Valentines again - we had to come up with another plan. I didn't want to buy the cheap character Valentines at Target. We all know how I feel about the character thing (Did you not READ Abating Batman?). What to do? I had an idea...have Miguel make one Valentine, scan it into the computer, put 4 on a page and then print them out on card stock and cut them...mass produced with a conscience! Sometimes, my great ideas do actually work out!

And then, sometimes - not so much. Since we were doing all this stuff for Miguel, I felt that we should do something special for Zeca and her teachers for Valentine's Day. There are some little issues at her day care center right now...little, like they are being asked to leave the space they have occupied for 27 years. The staff are a wee bit stressed. So, I decided to make them a Valentine and some treats. The problem is that one of her teachers is a vegan. Yummy treats and the word vegan don't often occupy the same sentence. Still, I was undaunted and I thought, "Hey, I'm no stranger to carob and unbleached flour! I can make vegan cookies!" I got a recipe off the internet for Happy Vegan Cookies that had received good reviews. Turns out that if you have to call your cookies "Happy" chances are that the people eating them won't be. Let's just say that there is a stench permeating my home right now...a stench that can only be described as one of sugar coated burning hair. It looks like I can't make vegan cookies after all:

The pictures actually makes them look good. I have never been so horrified by a baked good. Fortunately, Luisa ran to the neighborhood bakery (The Mayday Cafe) and got some truly fabulous baked goods, including a vegan scone. As usual, Luisa saves the day or at least saves me from my own, overreaching, visions.

As for the Valentine for Zeca's teachers, I wanted to do a little handprint on a card but I forgot and then she was in bed. It is really hard to get a child's handprint while they are sleeping in a crib. There are the slats and the child moves around and the child gets ink all over the sheets. The sheets are Valentine's Day red and it looks like Zeca had some sort of horrible accident in her bed...like maybe she was run over by a trike. This morning, at 6:30 a.m., Zeca woke up and I whisked her downstairs and dunked her sleepy little hand in a big plate of paint and she had made her very first Valentine before she even knew what had happened.

Both kids are at school with their related Valentine's Day paraphenalia. I am at work eating conversation hearts. Life is good...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Bubble Wrap

Most of the time, I don't really think too much about being a lesbian. Sure, it's a huge part of my identity but I don't go to Starbucks and think, "Here I am, a lesbian, having a coffee at Starbucks..." I don't go grocery shopping and think, "Hmmm, where's the salad in a bag for lesbians because that's what I am - a lesbian looking for salad..." When I am out and about, if people point at me or stare, I assume that I am having a bad hair day or that my pants are unzipped - not that the sight of me, an obvious dyke, is noteworthy. I do get called "sir" on occasion but that surprises me only because I still have Nursing Mother Boobs and I don't take it as any comment on my sexual preference. I realize that I am lucky that being a lesbian can be the non-issue that it is and I do take that for granted to a certain extent. Then, I leave Minneapolis and go other places and, oh, how I am reminded of the bubble in which I live. The bubble will be bursting again this Thursday. This week, we are going to Kansas City.

Everyone notices that we are lesbians when we go to Kansas City - even stray animals seem to stop and stare at us. Before we had children, we would get the occasional once over but didn't get overt stares and comments unless we were holding hands or kissing. Once we had children though, it seemed more obvious that we were "together" and not just two lovely friends with short hair and men's clothing taking a nice little road trip together. We drive to KC through Iowa and, because there aren't a lot of culinary highlights going south on I-35, we make the inevitable stop at McDonald's. As we manage baby food and Happy Meals, diaper changes and potty breaks, it is obvious that we are both the parents of the children. You relate to your children in a certain way and there is no doubt that we are two women with their two children. I know that it is obvious because of the pointing and rude comments. The comments have never really bothered us because we don't have any hang ups about being lesbians. We're good people and good parents and are certainly not going to be shamed by Iowans in a fast food restaurant. That said, our son is getting older and I can't help but wonder when he will begin to notice the stares and whispers and inappropriate comments. He lives in the same bubble we do. When will the bubble burst for him? While Luisa and I are able to process and handle the shit we may get from strangers, how will he handle it? Will it hurt him? Confuse him? Anger him? I just don't know. I do know that when the bubble does finally pop for him, his parents will be there for him and we will all survive. No parent wants their children to be hurt and I wish that our children would never have to be exposed to the hateful people in the world. I know they will, though, and so we can only hope to equip them with the tools they need to handle it all. If we are really lucky, we'll also teach them to be proud, to speak out, and to be agents of change.

On Thursday, we will hop in the Saturn and make our way to KC. Along the way, we will stop at McDonald's and rest stops and gas stations. We will sing songs in the car, we will eat Skittles, we will occasionally ask Miguel to stop poking his sister and will ask Zeca to "Please just stop crying honey - we are almost there" and we will definitely be hoping that they fall asleep. We are also going to a place called the Great Wolf Lodge which is a giant hotel/water park where I'm sure we will be the only lesbian family to have passed through its door. We will go down big water slides and play in the arcade and eat at the Camp Critter Bar and Grille (yes, with an "e"). Yes, we are Scary Lesbians With Children and we are a threat to the very fabric of this country.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

You can't cuddle a porcupine

There is not a word for fearing your mother. There is no maternaphobia or matriarchaphobia. I know, because I searched for those words and they don't exist. People aren't supposed to fear their mothers - it goes against the archetype of the loving, nurturing, protective mother. Intellectually, we know that not all mothers fit that mold because we read the stories in the news of the horrific things that some mothers do to their children. Still, those are exceptions. Most mothers love their children and want the best for them. They may not be perfect but they are doing the best they can. We hope that is true, so, we believe that it is.

To say that my mother is a presence in my life is like saying that Mount Vesuvius spit a little ash. My mother has always been the presence in my life. I have sought to please her, to make her proud, to pacify her, to protect her and, often, to excuse her. My childhood was not tragic and my mother was not a monster but she was no June Cleaver either. Hell, she wasn't even Bonnie Franklin from One Day at a Time. Mom wore black cowboy boots, western shirts and blue jeans. She drove an El Camino and chain smoked Viceroy longs. She listened to country music and lived the life that cried out for a Tammy Wynette cover. Mom drank, swore, had a quick temper and a long memory. You just didn't cross mom. Even as a child, I knew that she was different from other mothers. I thought that if she just wore more pastels or the occasional applique sweatshirt, she would be that other kind of mother - the loving kind. I didn't expect her to make cookies for class parties or to go on field trips, I just wanted her to cuddle up with me and tell me a story. All of my needs were met except for that one...the need to feel safe and loved. Yeah, I know...that's a pretty big one. Despite all this, I loved my mother fiercely.

I tried very hard not to disappoint her...perfect grades, no adolescent rebellion, reasonable and good mannered friends, college. I toed the line. She adored me in that she was proud of me. I adored her in that I cared what she thought of me. There is really no Hallmark card for that kind of love. When a relationship is built this way, it is bound to come tumbling down and ours did because I stepped out of line. I came out. She freaked. There was crying and gnashing of teeth and when I wouldn't agree to change, she threatened to disown me. That is when I made the painful discovery that my mother didn't love me so much as love the idea of me. She loved the perception that I was perfect. She loved that I had lived my life exactly as she wanted me to live. She didn't want what was best for me. She didn't want me to be happy. She wanted me to do what she wanted no matter how it made me feel. Our love affair ended and, like all juicy breakups, the aftermath is still felt today.

My mother didn't disown me but only because I was determined to have a relationship with her. I don't think I'm giving myself too much credit - ask anyone that knows the story and they will tell you that I deserve some type of medal of honor. I took the high road and brought my mother along, dragged her along really. I would like to say that we now have a genuinely loving and honest relationship but we don't. I tiptoed through my childhood and, now, I find myself still tiptoeing...after all of these years. I'm 37 years old with children of my own and I am still doing everything possible to keep my mother happy. We are driving to Kansas City to visit her next week and I am already doing the Don't Upset Mom Waltz. I'm so tired of the dance, so tired of forcing Luisa to be my partner in it, so afraid of my children having to keep the beat as well.

My mother once told me that there is no such thing as unconditional love but I know that isn't true because of the fierceness with which I love her. I know it isn't true because I know that I will love my children even if I don't always love the choices they make. The other night, I told my son to go to his room because he pushed his sister down and was being a tyrannical 4 year old. He was sobbing when I went to him to talk about things. Tears were pouring down his face and he croaked out, "I'm afraid that you don't love me!" I looked him in the eyes, trying to burn what I was about to say into his heart - "I will always love you, no matter what." I know it is true and I hope that he will believe me. You can love someone even when you don't like something they have done. It's a difficult distinction for a 4 year old. Apparently, it is a difficult distintion for a 71 year old too. I then held him close to me, hoping that he would soak up all the love I felt for him at that moment. I cuddled him...that's all, just cuddled him. Sometimes that feels revolutionary. Those moments give me hope that I can give my children what they really need and heal myself in the process.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Abating Batman...

My son recently had a growth spurt which means that we spent a lot of money on groceries and his clothes look like they shrunk in the wash (a better image is that he looks like Dooly at the end of Dooly and the Snortsnoot but you can't get that book anymore and I don't want your curiosity to get the best of you)

So, we told him that we were going to get some new pajamas and he said, "I want Batman pajamas". We are not a Batman kind of family. Our kids don't really watch TV, just a movie on rare occasions. We know that he hears about all this at school, all the "man" characters - Superman, Spiderman, Batman - and I don't like it. I miss his innocence. I miss his love of Hello Kitty which is no better but at least non-stereotypical. In my cheeriest mama voice and I said "We'll see!" Batman pajamas - no way!

We drove to a shamelessly large retailer that I should be ashamed to shop at and there were no long sleeve pajamas at all. It was 20 degrees here in Minneapolis and there were only shorts, t-shirts and shorty pajamas as far as the eye could see. There were no Batman pajamas, so, I figured we were in the clear. Then, as we were walking out of the kid's clothing section, he saw it - a plain, black Batman t-shirt. He ran to it and said, "Oh mama! I want this!" I looked around for Luisa for consultation but she had already fled with the baby. He picked it off the rack and was holding it to his little chest, the same little chest that used to sport anything and everything we picked out for him to wear. His eyes pleading, his little hands clutching at the t-shirt - he looked at me with so much hope and I new that I had the power to grant him or deny him his heart's desire (well, his heart's desire at that moment). I said "no" and started to leave but he begged, "PLEASE, PLEASE, mama..." So many thoughts raced through my head at that point. I don't like the whole character thing, partly because of aesthetics and partly because of some high-horse principle that I can't even understand myself. Still, I couldn't help but wonder if I was taking a stand on something that mattered very little. The intellectual part of me kept saying "Hold firm - today it is a character shirt but tomorrow it will be character everything" but the emotional part of me kept saying, "It's just a Batman shirt - what's the harm?" In the end, I hedged, saying that it wasn't time for t-shirts yet. I still broke his heart.

Where do we draw the lines? Characters are o.k. for pajamas but not for school or the outside world? What do we do when he wants to spend the money his grandparents gave him for clothes on Sponge Bob t-shirts? How do we balance our values with his right to make some choices in his life? What do we do with the inevitable character adorned birthday gifts?

I honestly don't know the answer to these questions but we better figure it out quickly...he still needs pajamas and his memory is long.

Monday, February 06, 2006

My Blobby, My Self

The feelings have been lurking there for awhile...you know, the bad body image, feelings. It was only a matter of time because:
  1. I have a history of these sorts of feelings
  2. I have had two babies and, well, my body shows it
  3. You can't be hyperthyroid forever
  4. I'm heading towards the end of my thirties
  5. I like to eat - a lot
  6. I have a 4 year old and 4 year olds are honest to a fault

Recently, my son was sitting on my lap cuddling with me. He was stroking the underside of my chin and I was rubbing his back and I was thinking, "Aww, this is so sweet...this is one of those moments you dream about when you imagine having children..." The air was filled with thoughts of smiling cherubs, I could almost hear an entire orchestra playing an ode just to us, the room seemed to glow with the incredible light of love when he said, "Gobble, gobble, gobble". Yeah, you heard me. GOBBLE fucking GOBBLE. I took a deep breath and asked him what he meant by that and he said, "You have a gobbler mama. It's so soft and silky". Now, because I am an evolved lesbian feminist mother who fancies herself co-matriarch of a peaceful family, I did not toss said child from my lap and stomp on him. I allowed him to stroke my neck for about a minute longer before telling him that it was time to go to bed...never mind it was 5:30 in the evening.

But wait, there's more.

Two days later, I was sitting on the bed in my boxer shorts, nursing the baby, when the 4 year old came into my room. I had my legs outstretched and he pushed one of them. Then, he pushed it again. He then said, "Mama your legs are sooooooo wobbly." I said, "My legs are very big and strong" to which he responded, "And soft and wobbly". He continued to poke my legs and watch the resulting quivers much like kids do with the lime jello in their lunches. I tried to be evolved. I tried to act as if I didn't care. I tried to laugh. After 5 full minutes of poking and jiggling, though, I snapped. Through gritted teeth, I smiled and said, "You know, honey, people don't like to think about being fat or having their bodies wobble." He said, "Really? Why?" So cute, so bright, so oblivious. I know that he was talking about my fat legs just like he might talk about my blue eyes. I was hearing, however, "Geez, mom, you are a fat slug who really needs to get some exercise. Aren't your pants getting a little tight? Really, what will it take to make you give up the chocolate?" Ah, why is that pesky higher consciousness so elusive?

I don't want all this body image stuff hanging over me and certainly don't want it hanging over my children. I want them to grow up healthy, proud and strong regardless of the number of pounds the scale shows. I know that society will bombard them with messages about what their bodies should look like and I want them to have the strength to love themselves as they are. I think there is hope for them, though not much hope that I might feel the same way. For now, I have to act "as if"...as if my body is perfect just the way it is. Yeah, that's likely...

Friday, February 03, 2006

If I'm Grumpy, where is my pickax and my 6 jolly friends?

Baby Z woke up this mornin' with a very snotty nose...again. I know it's a virus because she is still on antibiotics for ear infection #139. Is there no end? No, really...I'm expecting an answer. She followed me around the house with her sick baby eyes, complaining as best a child of her age can - she grimaced, she screamed, she threw Cheerios on the floor, she tried to climb into the open refrigerator. She's 10 months old and she actually got into fisticuffs with my 4 year old over a banana...and won. That means that there was squealing, pushing and the end result was 4 hands smeared with banana and a broken banana on the kitchen floor. She did take her antibiotics willingly, the taste so familiar that it's become her comfort food. "Good morning Baby Z, here is your Augmentin smoothie." Still, antibiotics alone are not enough so I gave her a Motrin chaser. She still held on to my pant leg as I moved through the house but at least I had the illusion that I had taken some action.

I don't like seeing my children sick but, I have to be honest, sometimes I look at their flushed faces and mucousy secretions and I envision all the subtractions in the check register. We will survive the viruses but the copays and first dollar deductibles are going to kill us and we are a family with "good" insurance and financial resources. There are so many people who have neither and I keep trying to figure out when access to health insurance and health care became privileges. Right now, we in the middle class can look at the the poor and uninsured and say, "Wow, this whole health care thing is really hard. What do we do about this mess?" We can "tsk" and lament the current political climate and put bumper stickers on our cars calling for health care reform but I don't think we will have that luxury much longer because, my friends, we too will be scrambling to pay our health care costs...and soon. Those of us fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to work in public service positions have seen our salaries frozen for the past couple of years while more of our monthly income goes to pay for our insurance, while our copays increase, while we face significant deductibles for the first time. My parents pay over $500 per month for medical insurance and it still doesn't cover all of the costs of their medications and care. Still, they are lucky - they don't have to choose between food and their meds, at least not yet.

So, let's get to work people. Let's solve the health care crisis...and, by the way, can we do it quickly because the damn groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter and that's a lot more breeding time for the viruses and a lot more copays for me.


Grumpy and her alter ego, Cynic

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Blogging is Contagious

Hi, my name is Vikki. I can almost hear all of you saying, "Hi Vikki" in wonderful Alcoholics Anonymous fashion.

I'm really not sure what I am doing with this. My good friend Kristin started blogging recently and suggested that I write up a little somethin' myself and I said, "Nah", and she said, "I wouldn't think you were copying me" and I said, "Nah" and then she dropped it. No more encouragement, nothing - dropped it just like that. So, how is that I am am writing this...well, I was trying to post a comment on her blog and had to register and I couldn't figure out how to do it without registering and then blah blah blah.

So, here I am. I haven't really thought much about this post (which I'm sure is shocking given the life altering content so far). For today, I will just share a poem that I wrote and I will see if I can come up with something better another time. Really, though, who are we kidding? What can be better than poetry about vegetables?

Ode to a Baby Carrot
by Vikki Reich

Your're little and orange and tasty to boot.
Why am I troubled that you are so cute?
I am guilty and ashamed that you're all alone-
Taken from your mother, stripped from your home
Yet I sit here and gnaw and chew you to bits
Being a carrot is really the pits.