You know when you go to a blog you love and you are totally excited to see what little wordy gems they have strung together for your reading pleasure only to get there and realize that you were basically rickrolled? As you scan the computer screen you realize the blog author has left the keys to the coop to another blogger.

A guest poster. Which leads you with a dilemma. Do you read the guest poster's drivel and pretend to like it out of courtesy, or do you just click away in a huff while muttering to yourself about twatty bloggers?

You should think about that.

Cuz you've been rickrolled (with out the Rick, or really the roll) as Mr. Lady has stamped my bloggy passport to play in her wonderland as much as I want to.

Being the humble and vacation starved chick I am, I've taken her up on her desperate pleas offer and have started rooting through her unmentionables. I'm totally sitting on her couch naked.

It feels good.


I'm totally staring at you from inside her box.

(Which sounds waaay dirtier on paper than it did in my head.)

It's not that Mr. Lady needs a blogging break or anything. Let's face it, she doesn't really do anything other than parent three kids. She spends most of her day time hours in a certain online foot fetish chat room, talking about arches and stilettos, while getting off on bunyon talk.

This is a woman who needs to blog just to remember how to talk to people without asking about their shoe size and inquiring if they've recently painted their toe nails.

However, tragedy has hit Mr. Lady's household.

Her computer bit the biscuit, kicked the bucket, bought the farm, went tits up...I could continue this but I'm sure we all get my point.

Her computer died.

One minute she was happily downloading porn from the net and the next minute she was weeping at the blue screen of doom.


Take a moment to hug your own computers, lest you find yourself staring at the same screen.

Until Mr. Lady and the Donor waltz back into the 21st century with a freshly repaired computer and come back on line, I will be your host.

Floor is open people.

The call is yours. Do we take this time to write odes of love to Shannon?

Do we trash the joint?

Post naked pictures of ourselves er, her for all to ogle?

It's no secret. I'm easy. I just do what I'm told to do.

Keep that in mind.

Oh, and Shannon? Don't worry. I wouldn't do anything you yourself wouldn't do.


(My fingers were totally crossed behind my back. Neener, neener.)

What Rough Beast, Its Hour Come 'Round At Last...

A few people commented yesterday about the lying and how they thought it was worrisome*.  I, naturally, read those comments and nodded my head in agreement, but that idea had stuck with me all day today, tugging at my sleeve, and I'm not entirely sure why.  But I kept thinking about it, and I've come to one conclusion: I'm not worried about it.  In fact, I think I'd be worried if it wasn't happening.

I was at the park the other day with my neighbor and her kids.  She has a 2 year old and a newborn, both *just* their ages.  (Vile betrayer aside: My uterus lept out of my abdomen and made a grab for that newborn.  Stop it, bitch; we've talked about this.  You had your turn.)  Her 2 year old is the poster child for children.  He's the kid you dream about having.  There seriously isn't a better kid anywhere, and I'm totally comparing him against my own.  And, of course, he's two now, so he's suddenly becoming less that desirable company all the time.  At least insofar as she tells it.  I've never seen anything but halos and rainbows coming out of that boy.  Anyway, she was lamenting the passing of "the good kid".  She was telling me about his tantrums and his obstinence and how sad she was about it.  I, of course, was offering her an assload of advice she hadn't asked for instead of really listening, until she said this:

"I just miss how he was.  He was so perfect."

That, I heard.  That, I've said a million times myself.  THAT I actually knew the response to.  Which was this:

"Dude, he is perfect.  He's supposed to be doing this.  He's perfectly two, you know?  He HAS to do this."

And I firmly believe that.  I don't pretend to actually know anything about child-development, but what I've observed over the past decade plus is that kids have to test their relationships with us at pretty precise phases of their lives.  Two is the first one.  Three comes next, and it's just like two but with painfully great vocabulary.  Then there's the school-aged pull-away, and that one's gentler.  They need to do this to gain a sense of who they are and how they're going to relate to the world around them.  They have to separate from us slowly, in phases, and it's got to be hard and confusing at every phase.  OF COURSE they make us suffer.

We take it for granted that they'll walk at this age and talk at this age and cut teeth at this age and potty train at this age.  We stalk those statistics.  We compare them with other kids.  We talk to the doctor about them.  We totally ignore the fact that the attitude is part of that package, and I think it's a pretty damn important part.  It's not what they're doing, it's who they're becoming.

Granted, my kid isn't quite 11 yet, which may seem young to be hitting this next phase, but the sad truth is that he's right on target.  Like it or not, this puberty thing starts a hell of a lot earlier than it did for us.  (You'll thank me later aside: Bookmark that link.  You're going to need it someday.  It's the best resource I've ever found for kids on puberty.) He may not have the armpit hair just yet for his troubles, but good lord you should smell him.  He's been slouching towards puberty for several years now.  OF COURSE he's lying to me.

He's trying to find his own footing in the world right now.  He doesn't tell me how his day was anymore, he doesn't ask for my help with his homework anymore, I have to force a 5 second cuddle out of him at night, and he's got a PhD in eyerolling.  I am no longer cool.  AT ALL.  I am no longer funny or pretty or smart.  I am his mawwwwwm.  I am something he doesn't really want a whole lot to do with anymore.  Sure, he still seeks me out in the crowd at his basketball games, but god help me if I wave to him.  Sure, he still wants me to help out in his classroom, but only while he's at gym class.  He wants to know I'm around, he just doesn't actually want to see me.  And I have no doubt that he wasn't *this* much glad I'd busted him, for two reasons.  One: He had proof that I was looking.  Which means I care.  No matter how annoying that is for him, just like at his games.  Two: I got the message loud and clear that he's interested in moving on to the next level, the one where he can take over some of the choices I'm still holding on to for him, and he didn't have to talk to me about it.

Does it make any sense at all?  Hell no.  Does any adolescent child make any sense at all?  Hell no.  When I was barking right down his throat, I asked him, "Do you think your father and I were your age so very long ago that we can't remember doing this same sort of thing?"  And then I realized that no, we weren't his age so very long ago that we can't remember doing this stuff.  I totally remember doing this stuff, the little lies, the small deceptions.  It was important to me, to my self esteem, to my image of myself to be able to pull off the small victories.  I needed to carve my own path, you know, and so does he.

So maybe it's time to loosen the leash a notch or two.  Maybe he's ready for the next step, whether or not I am.  I wasn't ready for him to walk, either, but he sure had to do that.  All I've hoped for with these kids is that they'll grow up to be humble, to be kind, to be sensible and to be their own men.  I don't want them to be "my sons" forever, I want them to go into the world and do something, be something, of their own making.  I want to be the foundation of their lives, not the walls.  And that's beginning, my role is starting to shift.  Just so long as he knows that I know, and that I'm watching however silently, I think we'll get through this phase just fine, as well.  That, and a parental controls blocker set to DefCon 5.

Because really?  I see porn on my laptop once, and someone goes to military school.

*You gals don't mind that I'm replying to you comments with another post do you?  I sure hope not.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

My son is a moron.

Well, more precisely, he's in the throes of adolescence, but still. Idiot.

My boys are all about the online games.  The 8 year old likes, and I don't hate it because there aren't popups.  And the games are like crack.  Bygones.  The 10-almost-11-he'll-have-you-know year old likes more "sophisticated" games, like Runescape.  Runscape is WoW Jr., in case you don't know.

Now, I did not take this "kids on the internet" thing lightly.  If I had it my way, we'd still have an avocado rotary phone hanging in the kitchen with an extra long curly cord any shade but avocado attached to it so that I could put my kids in the corner under the phone but then walk really far away from them to talk to my friend and totally forget they're in there while they shuffle their feet and moan about being tired or hungry or something.  You know your mom did it, too.

Anyway, my point is that I still have a great amount of fear of technology.  Maybe 'respect' is the right word.  I just don't think that I trust the internet that much just yet to hand my kids over to it.  They, of course, think I am some barbarian because I boil water rather than microwave it, so there's that.

I think we've found a nice compromise, however.  I have to know of and approve of the sites they visit.  I have to be the one who registers them for use of any sites.  They can only be on the computer in the living room, and they are so afraid that someone is going to reach through the monitor and kidnap them, they'll never ever chat online with anyone.  I'm not above scaring the crap out of them to get a job done.  My side of the deal is that I am open-minded and that I actually let them have internet time on occasion.

2of3 wanted me to get him signed up for since he's started in on those cards and dear god if something starts to smell over here it's probably my dead, bloated corpse decaying under the mountain of abandoned Pokemon cards.  Help? and the thing kept telling us his email was already in use.  1of3 had registered an account about a week ago, so I asked him if maybe he'd set another one up under his brother's email.  He said he hadn't.  Okay.  I logged into 2of3's email to see if there were any email notifications from Chaotic and oh my, were there.  I actually couldn't figure out why it wouldn't accept 2of3's email, but what I did find out simply by logging into my 8 year old's email was that my 10-almost-11-he'll-have-you-know year old had set up several different Chaotic accounts for himself and used his 8 year old brother's email address as the parent's email.

And when I asked him, he denied it.

And when I asked him if he'd like to rethink that answer, he denied it again.

And when I turned the laptop around and showed him the five emails from Chaotic to 2of3, his parent, and asked him again, he denied it.  In the end, the most I got out of him at the end of it was an emphatic, "Iuhnoh."

I can't decide which is worse, that he was so amazingly stupid, or that he thought I was.  Either way, he's grounded.  For, like, ever.

Steal My Sunshine

3of3 does a little work for, and by "work", I mean "she gets followed around by her mother with a camera for a whole day or two and she gets really cute outfits for her troubles."  It's really a win/win situation.  This weekend we had a new outfit to shoot, and oh-my-god-the-sun-is-still-shining-here, so we spent the better part of two days soaking it up and getting the right pictures.

Which totally didn't suck for her.

Day #1: Park with the neighbor kids for 3 hours. Not the RIGHT pictures, but fun ones all the same.





Day #2: Riding the ding-dong* downtown and back for no good reason at all.  (I edited each of these with a different tool in, because I have a million other things to do and I don't feel like doing any of them right now, that's why.)

This one's just Vibrance.

This one is using Focal Soften.

This one uses Boost and 1960's.

Lunch break. Or: Take out your dentures....

I crush your heads!

This one uses CinemaScope and then Sepia at about 50% strength.

This little piggie got none. Nothing. I loved it just the way it was.

This one uses Lomo-ish, also at about half-strength, give or take.

This one uses Boost at around 25% and then Black and White effect painting in reverse.

And that's it for me. See all of Lotus' Weekly Winners here, and join me next week for Basketball Jones, or White Men Really Can't Jump So Much After All.

*The ding-dong is the bus or the SkyTrain, which is like the el through the city, if the el had magic powers that transformed it into a subway at certain key points along its route. Anyway, I think ding-dong is a much better word for them anyway; it's what they say and all. Kind of like fluflubee, but that's another story.**

**Anybody else suddenly have the urge to watch the Neverending Story?


I have two tattoos and 19 piercings.  My husband hates them, every one.  Most of the piercings happened before I met him and involved me, a safety pin, a bathroom sink and a heavy dose of neurosis.  The rest of it involved some very sneaky dealings.

One evening, many years ago, baby 1of3's' godmother watched him for a few hours for me while The Donor was at work, and when he came home, I had a tattoo on my back.  He was less than thrilled.

I know it's a crap picture. You try taking a picture of your own back.

One Sunday afternoon, the boys and I piled into the car and went out "to run errands."  We came home that afternoon with two cases of post-traumatic-stress-disorder and one nose ring.  He didn't look at me for a week.


One night many years ago, we decided after long negotiation that we weren't having any more children and The Donor gave me the okay to get my tubes tied.  The following Saturday night, while the two boys were at Gramma's for an overnight, I snuck out and got my family tree tattooed on my right arm.

Family Tree
It's not the whole family, just the ones I'm willing to admit I'm related to.

Two weeks later I was pregnant with 3of3.  Karma's a bitch.

Odds are pretty good that while I'm in Chicago for BlogHer, I'll be getting a new tattoo.  Odds are I'm not the only one.  It's my one weekend away from my kids this year, and a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  Luckily for me, for all of us, I found someone willing to accommodate a sea of women of questionable levels of sobriety for the weekend and humour us while we relive our youth, just with much better shoes.

tattoo factory

The Tattoo Factory in Uptown Chicago has agreed to hook us all up that weekend.  They've offered everyone attending BlogHer a 20% discount over the entire weekend on tattoos or piercings and have arranged to provide us a free drink after our work, and then some drink or dinner special after.  (We're not quite there yet with the details).  They are Chicago's oldest continually running tattoo studio, they have something like 24 different artists, and best of all, they aren't scared of a bunch of cougars conventioneers descending on them for a weekend.

More details to come (we're still hammering out the details) but if you're heading to BlogHer this summer and thinking of getting some blog ink, go see what they have to offer.  I'll let everyone know when this thing goes live so we can start in with the reservations.

And honey?  Consider yourself forewarned this time.