If Music Be The Food Of Love, Play On

I was driving my kid to school today, listening to the only decent morning radio I've yet to find in Houston, and heard that the new Angels & Airwaves album is free to download today. Also, if you leave a donation, you get a bonus track. The bonus track is epic. Just sayin'.

Anyway, I got to thinking (and subsequently emailing that morning radio show. Because I'm 12) that, though their target demographic is NOT 12 year olds, or boring old moms, this time it maybe should be. Because Britneyesque teeny-bop makes my brain bleed, and how many parents know the alternatives? My buddy in Denver got his kid hooked on the Who at the ripe old age of 5, which was clever but The Who is mediocre at best *ducks* and kind of hard to find on anything that doesn't involve David Caruso and his Sunglasses of Doom.

And speaking of brain bleed, do you know how many licks it takes Raffi to get to the center of your brain? Neither do I...my kids got Paint It Black sang to them every night at bedtime, because it's the same looping melody and way more interesting than Baby Belugas.

So here's my Public Service Announcement o' the Month: There are alternatives to glorification of premarital gang sex or date rape, people. Here are a few:

Dexter's Hip Hop Experiment. The soundtrack to the best cartoon ever written by man. Artists include Will. I. Am., Coolio and Prince Paul. PRINCE PAUL. He kicks ass, I don't care who you are. The whole CD is based off the cartoon (scientist 8 year old kid Dexter, rainbow-shooting-unicorns humping sister Dee Dee). It's funny and geeky and hip-hoppy. I listen to it WAY more than my kids do.  If techo is more your speed, you can get the Power-Puff Girls soundtrack on Amazon as well, also by actual, real musicians.

Weezer: Any of it. I was late on the Weezer train. I only found them 10 years ago, and I honestly don't know how I made it than long without them. If you don't know Weezer, start here. But right after, listen to this. Every single member of this house, from the four year old to the 37 year old, loves Weezer. And they don't cuss, ever, not at all. They sing about Buddy Holly and hanging out with their girlfriend at her parents house, having family dinner. But they, at the very same time, make you want to get on your knees and thank god for the invention of the electric guitar. We took our kids to see Weezer once, and sat 13 rows from the stage, and had our minds bah-lown. They are funny, they are nerdy, they are 100% safe for work, and they inspire children to love, not like but love, music.

They also inspire children to torture their parents. Bygones.

Say It Ain't So from Mr Lady on Vimeo.

Punk in DrublicAngels & Airwaves and Blink 182, which I unfairly lump into the same pile, though they are two different beasts. A&A is a "side-project" group for Blink 182, but they go hand in hand. Blink is more punkesque, A&A is more stadium-emo-rockish. They are both most excellent. Blink 182 drops the occasional f* bomb, it's true, and can sometimes be a lot like reading Basketball Diaries to your kid, but the fact of the matter is that your kid is already saying Fuck, and in much better context than you, and there is something to be said for reading your kids Basketball Diaries. At the same time, they're writing songs about Jack and Sally. Angels is less edgy in subject matter, and a totally different style of musicianship. But both bands offer something you are hard pressed to find in Top 40 music....musicianship. We've taken our kids to see Blink 182 twice, and Angels once, and we will again every single chance we get. Their shows are grown up. They aren't humping the stage, and they aren't spouting off about drugs and chics, they just play. Very, very well.

*Aside: Am I saying you should let your kids watch their videos? HELL NO. Their videos are for moms and dads and Robert Smith. But a burnt copy of the cd will do nicely.

Devotchka: A little band of tuba-playing, violin-wielding gypsies from Denver, who you may or may not know from the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack. Devotchka is, um, well, errr...they're kind of hard to describe. They're, like, Burlesque meets Beethoven. Their music is most likely way over your kids heads, but it's good. It's soulful. It's complicated. It's MUSIC. And if you ask them pretty please with a cherry on top, they'll play your kids school fundraiser. Which will turn into your 3rd grader getting to play his flute on-stage, in concert with them. You know, if you ask real nice and one of their kids goes to your school.  Your kid isn't going to listen to their album straight through, not at first, but they'll play this until their cd player breaks, for sure.

There are more, loads more. The Foo Fighters, The Killers, They Might Be Giants, Jeremy Fisher, Radiohead....I could do this all day. But I won't. What I will do is make 5 kid friendly cd's for 5 random commenters and then probably never mail them out because I suck at mailing things out and even when I do they never seem to make it to where I've mailed them, because the US postal service hates me and wants me to cry. Ooooh, the Postal Service. Another fantastic band you and your kids would both love.

In The Land Of Milk And Oprah

A cautionary tale of love in the time of methadone

You can make a bomb out of any old thing you’ve got lying around the house, really, so long as you’re bored enough and have the right teachers in school.  Like my ½ of 11th grade chemistry teacher, who was my older brother’s full-year grade 11 chemistry teacher, who actually was such an brilliant fucking genius that he was compelled to teach a depressed, bored, impoverished and abused adolescent how to make exactly such a kitchen-sink bomb, and that adolescent went on, ironically enough, to just about blow the entire damn kitchen up one day with a dollar bill, a splash of rubbing alcohol and some ovaltine.

That very teacher also supplied my brother with an impressive stash of contemporary art magazines, highlighting the wonders of the female form and calling into question everything we know about physics and the elasticity of the human ligaments.  That fact came to light after one over-zealous younger brother dared to traverse the dark abyss that was our attic, distracted only momentarily by the 'Red Hots Candies Trap' cleverly laid out at the entrance to said attic, and by Red Hots candy I, of course, mean 'Huge Fucking Pile Of Sudafed'.  Said little brother came to eventually and ratted his brother out.  Dirty, drugged out snitch.

This information is quite important to keep in the back of your head before you travel. Especially on a budget. Because you just never know when someone is going to give you credit for being a whole lot smarter than you are and totally fuck you in the process.

Like if, say, you're coming home from a long weekend away from the family and you decide to go with your two best friends in blog out sightseeing and to pick up some trinkets for the family.

There Was No Way We Could Have Resisted

And you get so lucky as to find your way into Trader Joe's for the first time in your life, and you see the Mecca of Wine Racks that you've waited five years to see, ever since one night on an apartment stoop with an unforgivably cute boy who first introduced you to Chuck and his $2 glory

And The Clouds Parted....

And so you pick up a bottle for old times sake and then grab a 6 pack of DogFish Head which is brewed in Milton, Delaware, so no one carries it but Trader Joe's does and then you stop at Walgreens to get your kids their snow-globes. Because every time you travel, you get your kids snow globes. It's an important tradition, like forcing unsuspecting men to take numerous photographs with you against their will. Or circumcision.

Oh, Wait, There He Is....

So you gather yea rosebuds and American booze and inexpensive tokens of your everlasting love and devotion and head to your airport of choice to fly home, this time bearing only photocopies of your immigration papers because Canada knew something you didn't and tried to tell you to stay home, but you never listen, even when it sends Donald Sutherland to tell you for it.

In Case There's Any Confusion

And then you get to the airport, late, because, well, nature called.

A Thing Of Beauty

That counts as nature, right? You get there late and the machine won't let you check in at the kiosk so the very tall and disinterested in you entirely airport attendant asks you to see the lady behind the desk, but the lady behind the desk doesn't want to see you, so she doesn't. For a really long time. Like, excessively long. And then she finally takes your $20 and lets you check in, and THEN she tells you your bag is overweight. And you're totally going to miss your flight. So you take out the fastest, heaviest items and she slides your bag through and as you try to re-pack them in your carry on you realize that Two Buck Chuck and DogFish head are both made of liquid and shit, you're hosed. So you give the attendant your booze and wish her a happy day. And then you cry.

But you still have your kids presents, right? Right. Until you go through security and you totally get The Dreaded Bag Inspection and the guy comes up to you and says, "Ma'am, we have a problem." And oh, how the tears begin to flow. Because he called you MA'AM and you're thirtyfuckingfour for Christ's sake, but whatever. He'd totally hit it. And that's when he tells you that
Snow globes cannot, for any reason, come through security, because we have no way of knowing what's in them.

And you think, um, well, Chicago is in those, moron, but you're so over it that you, between poorly suppressed sniffles, say, "Oh, just take them already." And then the security dude, thinking that maybe he has a chance or something, says,
I'll make you a deal. I'll keep the big ones, and you can have the little one.

Which does you a fat lot of good, seeing how you have THREE kids, but whatever, and what, are you saying I can blow something up a little bit? Grrr. So you take your one little non-threatening snow-globe and you go to replace the gifts. With $20. For two kids and a spouse. And you don't have more than $20 because in Canada, you can only withdraw so much currency in one day or they lock your account and you had to pay for a hotel room and a cab ride and lunch and makeup (because you totally thought you'd done so well budgeting and shit, yo) (also, NORDSTROMS) and you couldn't take out any more. At all. Period.

So you go home to your children with the 2 for $20 t-shirts they had at the Hudson News store that are not only hideous, they're the size of Shaq, and nothing more than empty promises of laundry folding and blow jobs for your spouse, when in reality you won't fold laundry for at least another month and as for the other thing, yeah, you're spent.

Getting Crazy With The Cheese Whiz

But the kids love the shirts anyway and your husband loves that you thought enough about his feelings to lie through your damn teeth about sex and housework just to make him feel better and even though you lost your phone and your really good makeup brushes on the airplane so you can't even use the new Trish McEvoy compact you've waited TWO YEARS to buy, you didn't lose your BlogHer swag bag and guess what? Fuck the naysayers; that shit saved my ASS.

Ms. Potato Head

Neener, neener, indeed.


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.


Things I just found out today:

  • My mother in law is coming.

  • In 8 days.

  • And is planning on staying with us.

  • For two and a half weeks.

Help me?

No.  Well, here's someone you actually can help, who really needs it.  My friend Tiff @ Three Ring Circus, she has a little girl and....oh, who am I kidding?  Veronica @ Sleepless Nights said it best; I'll just cut and paste.  Read on, take a minute, sign the petition if you can.  Which, if you don't think those things make a difference, they do.   The CEO of the International Pemphigus Foundation found Veronica's post, forwarded it to the blistering Specialist that Ivy saw way back in January, who just happens to be on the board of the Pemphigus Foundation.  These things work, they make a difference, they may just help a beautiful little girl and her family.  (Edited to note: From the time I hit publish and went to bed until the time I got up this morning, the petition worked.  She's getting the treatment. Thank you all so so so much.)

Cut and pasted from Veronica's blog, with consent and thanks...

Ivy is beautiful and Ivy is sick. Ivy is only 2.

And yet, at age 2, Ivy has seen the inside of a hospital more times than anyone should have to. Ivy has a rare immune deficiency IgG. Because of that, she has Pemphigus which is an autoimmune response to the IgG  [please note, these are photos of Ivy's pemphigus blisters and they may be a little graphic for some people].

These are horrible conditions that no adult should have to deal with, let alone a child.

Ivy is currently on Prednisone and Mycophenolate to help control her symptoms and blistering; however, these drugs suppress her immune system, on top of the deficiency.

Ivy’s mum says “…she was never good at mounting a response to infection but the meds make it worse.”

She frequently ends up in hospital on IV antibiotics, just to help control the infection in her ears that never seems to completely disappear. She cannot be exposed to a simple virus in fear that it will land her back in hospital for days at a time.

She can’t go to the playground to play.

She can’t attend playgroup.

She can’t head to the supermarket with her mother.

She might never be able to go to regular school.

She is only 2.

However, there is a treatment that would give Ivy a good chance at normal life.

It’s called IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) and it is a transfusion of immune cells that would bolster Ivy’s own immune system and help her fight infections in a normal way.

Think about it, a chance at a normal life. A life that doesn’t involve frequent hospitalisations.

Unfortunately, the officials at the Australian National Blood Authority have denied the request for Ivy to have this treatment. This treatment that could very well keep her out of hospital. So far, all appeals have been in vain.

As Ivy’s Mum says on her website:

“My little girl is going to have a life of hospital admissions and illness, some chronic, some life threatening, because some guy in an ivory tower decided she could survive without this medication.”

How is this fair?

What if it was your child? What if it was your sister’s child? Do the rules change for daughters of the officials? How come someone with a big stamp gets to say yes or no to this little girl’s chance at a normal life?

It shouldn’t be like this.

All I am asking for is 2 minutes of your time. If you could just head over here and sign our petition, we might be able to get enough support to convince the National Blood Authority officials to change their mind.

Ivy is only 2. She deserves a chance to be normal.

Please, a minute of your time could make all the difference for Ivy.

Sign the Petition

Tomorrow, maybe, we can talk about my mother in law.


Due to the management's complete, absolute inability to work within a system requiring an IQ higher than her shoe size, the very witty, terribly comical post written for today complete with corresponding photographic evidence will be postponed until this evening.