Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Woman in Black

I finished reading Susan Hill's "The Woman in Black" today at about 4:15 am. I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight either. Or ever again for that matter.

I definitely need to change my pants.

It got me, it got me good.

The movie (starring Daniel Radcliffe) hits U.S. theaters this week. I don't think I can watch it.

I'm dying to know (puns rule) what the long-running London play was like, as in how on earth they managed to prevent the audience from tearing out of the theatre, screaming.

For those of you with excess intestinal fortitude, I'd recommend reading it. For the other 99% of people, not so much. I love me some scary stories, but this book was just too much, even for me. Consider yourselves warned, scary moviegoers!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pod People Infecting Retirees Through Their TVs!!

My Dad retired in December, at age 66. So far he is loving it. He's been writing, spending time with his beloved dogs, and even hanging out at a local senior center (where he's the youngest person by about 15+ years - but he absolutely loves chatting with WWII vets, so it works for him).

He has also started watching more television.

Specifically, more Fox News.

You already know where I'm going with this.

I'm talking to him on the phone yesterday while waiting for DS's martial arts class to end, and then suddenly my dad blindsides me with this anti-Obama rant about how some "administrative law judge down in Georgia heard a case about Barack Obama not being a 'natural born citizen' because his father was not a U.S. citizen, and Obama's lawyer did not even bother to show up to the hearing so now he won't be on the election ballot..."

Birther shizz? Seriously? I thought we were past this.

My response was something like "Dad, I believe this question was settled once and for all when Hawaii released the President's long form birth certificate ages ago. So I really don't want to hear anything more about it. If you don't like Obama's policies, that's one thing - we can talk about that, but these ridiculous attacks on his person are just not appropriate, and I think it's time you turned off the TV."

He took it ok. "Alright, I won't discuss Obama with you anymore."

It was kind of sad. Maybe I overreacted. This is something he's passionate about and I'm basically saying get a life!

But I can't help but think this is precisely what is wrong with America. People perseverating about the wrong damn things, when we have Real Problems. I totally see where the elderly learn their politics. Gah.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Feedback for a Rule-Obsessed Kid

Our local friends have a 10-year-old son, S, and an 8-year-old daughter, I, who are these amazingly delightful young people. So naturally, we are always hitting our friends up for real life parenting advice. They are often reluctant to give it; and they insist they make a lot of mistakes - great parents and they're very humble, too.

They had us over for dinner last night and this anecdote came up about E, their 10-year-old son S's friend and classmate. (E's little sister happens to be in DS's preschool class at Montessori; small world this Podunkville.) Anyway, they mentioned that E has kind of slowly become this mini Persona Non Grata in S's little 5th grade boys friend clique, because whenever the boys play any sort of game with rules, E freaks out about everyone exactly following them and gets kind of yelly, and not so very fun to be around. Subsequently, S did not want to initially invite E to his recent birthday party, but then S later felt bad about leaving E out ( S = an emotionally intelligent kid with a conscience), thought better of it, and invited E all on his own with no prompting from any of the parents. (Gold star for you, S).

At the party, all of the boys played with Nerf guns around these huge dirt mounds where new homes were being built. It was a great time for all, until E started to loudly disagree about the vaunted rules being broken... blah blah blah bottom line: no one wants to play with E anymore, but no one has yet to actually say anything to E or E's parents about why E isn't quite meshing with the other boys, and why more invites probably won't be forthcoming. Which got me thinking about the giving and the getting of feedback in general.

I wonder if E's parents mistakenly think E's being left out is the result of some kind of quasi-bullying.

If E were my kid, I'd like to think I'd appreciate some honest, caring feedback about E's rule-obsessed behavior at play, and how it's making his friends feel and then respond. That being said, imagine being on the receiving end of that kind of a phone conversation. "Hi, your kid doesn't play well with the others." Ouch, but again, stuff I'd theoretically want to hear.

It sounds to (touchy feely, therapy-lovin') me like E could certainly benefit from a couple of sessions of play therapy that would give him a safe space to test out his ideas about rules. Of course, I'd never have the balls to recommend such a thing. Which is a shame, really. E might never get the constructive feedback that could bring him closer to his peers who actually do like him.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I'm currently suffering from blogstipation. But I did want to check in.

Dooce is getting divorced. So are Johnny Depp & Vanessa Paradis, and so are Heidi Klum & Seal. Divorce never fails to shock me, although given the obvious stats, it shouldn't.

Joe Paterno is dead. I shouldn't be happy about that. The brief "tribute" to him that I caught on ESPN the other day was nauseating. It doesn't matter if he was Santa Fucking Claus himself - he knew a child got raped and did nothing about it. If that isn't the very definition of being failure at life then I don't know what is.

I saw the movie "Melancholia" and for the first time ever in my own personal filmgoing history, I don't know if I loved it or hated it. It is very beautiful, very disturbing, and extremely enigmatic. I'd say see it but I'm not even sure that's good advice. DH and I are still talking about it days later, so perhaps it is.

It's nice to hear people say nice things about my children. DD's babysitter's mom came up to me at the ski hill to tell me how smart her daughter thinks DD is... because the last time the babysitter took care of her, DD talked lovingly about her vagina the entire time. (Yep, that's my child alright.) DS's teacher told me he doesn't like a lot of chit chat during his snack time at Montessori. A girl was attempting to talk with him over their carrots and raisins, and DS told her "Why don't we play the quiet game now?"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Xmas Decor Is Still Up

Happy New Year! Now subtract 10 days from today. My life right now is stuck there. I'm behind on everything that doesn't involve work or skiing. Today - 10 days = About Where I Actually Am.

Yep, it's ski season in Podunkville. It is kind of the time sink equivalent of us having another half of a child. In a good way. DS attends ski school every weekend and he loves it. We think this is directly correlated to the service of hot chocolate at ski school. DD will try out the rope tow with us in about a month when we can get and start using her pass for next season when she'll be 3. We all got cute new/handed down ski outfits this year. Yay us.

A local friend's 3-year-old son actually just broke his leg skiing. For some reason I can't explain, I actually used to think small kids were somehow immune to ski injuries like that.

In other news, DH's work had a holiday party after the holidays (great idea, that), but sadly it was at the home of a mean coworker of his, aka Bill Clinton/Don Draper. BC/DD is now dating a 22-year-old employee, who greeted us at the door and showed us all around the house that BC/DD's ex-wife decorated. Even though we'd been there many times before, during the period when she was in high school a few years ago. It was a total Twin Peaks experience. DH and I decided we'd feel like failures if our kids turned out like BC/DD in any way, shape, or form.

This is kind of a scattered post, I know. I promise something more substantive in about T + 15.

How did everyone survive the holidays? Talk to me.