Friday, June 30, 2006

New Baby

Olivia Pauline was born on the afternoon of June 27, 2006. Here she is with her big sister, Abigail. My mom took Julian to meet her yesterday and he talked a little bit about the baby. Of course, he talked a lot about Abby.

Once again, I am thankful to Melanie for having a child when she did because it means my extended family's baby lust will be sated for a little longer (when you live in a family where few of the adult "kids" seem interested in breeding, those of us who have shown the capacity to have progeny get a lot of the pressure to do so.) Unfortunately, this will do nothing about my immediate family's baby lust. I just wish Jeff would get married already. Oh, and Jeff turned 31 last Saturday. I wished him Happy Birthday on the phone, but not here, so Happy Birthday Jeff!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Exile in Tubbyland

Apparently all those months I spent not watching television around Julian were for naught as he has developed a deep and profound affection for the Teletubbies. He will say to me, with an excited squeal in his voice "Tubbies" and then proceed to sit, calmly, on the sofa and wait for me to make the Tubbies appear. He watches with deep interest for most of an episode. Those of you who have met the unceasing ball of energy that is my son are probably scratching your heads and wondering if fairies sneak into my home and replace my son with a changeling for the twenty odd minutes we watch the show. The only part where he gets punchy is the little kid video, though he will usually tolerate it for the first run through and only starts asking me for the Tubbies when the second viewing begins. I can't blame him for this. I used to love Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, but really only watched for The Neighborhood of Make Believe. If Comcast Digital Cable had existed when I was a child, I would have demanded that my mom fast forward through all the boring human bits too.

Alright, I exaggerate a bit. He doesn't really sit still for a whole episode. As the episode progresses, and his need for the tubbies begins to wane, he starts to climb up the sofa and jump off again

I only let him watch one episode a day and, really, this is more than enough for him.

I worry about what this is doing to his brain, how he is being trained to see in two dimensions when he really should be viewing the world in three dimensions, how he is being trained to watch TV and seek out television for entertainment, how there is surely more enlightening fare for me to serve up if I have to plop him in front of the TV.

But, on the other hand, I am glad it is the Teletubbies and not Caillou.

The Teletubbies have amused me for years.

Really, there is almost nothing I dislike about the Teletubbies. I do dislike the aforementioned video section, the little bit where the Tubbies get the broadcast from parts unknown and we all get to watch the human children doing something like make bagels, play tennis, or make squishy painting. It's dull, it really teaches us very little, they are classic moments of "don't do something, watch a TV show where other people are doing something", and, on top of all this, the whole thing is repeated. As I said, Julian can almost sit through one, but he starts demanding time with the Tubbies when the whole thing gets replayed.

The only other thing, thus far, that irritates me is some of the production values. I know, you read that and think "Alison, have you never watched Blake's 7?" Yes, it is true, a girl with a penchant for BBC sci-fi has no business expecting decent sets or special effects in her TV shows. The thing is, this is different. Go watch an episode of the Teletubbies and you will see that the production values have evolved since the days when Tom Baker was in the Tardis.

Total sidenote: Has anyone searched the web for the inevitable fan fiction wherein the Doctor visits Teletubbyland? Seriously, this is a piece of fan fiction, or mash up video, which is begging to be made, and I don't have that kind of time, so will someone please do that for me if no one else has already done it? Please?

Where was I? Oh right, the production values. Almost everything is perfect in Teletubbyland. I love that they have diaper bums. I love that the Noo Noo (their pet) is a sentient vacuum cleaner. I love the gigantic bunnies and the styrofoam flowers which sometimes have conversations of their own. I love that their bowls are spirals of clear tubing and they suck the bright pink Tubby Custard through the piece of tube left sticking out at the top. The only thing which REALLY rubs me the wrong way (aside from Tinky Winky and Dipsy, but that is another story) are the bibs they wear when making and eating Tubby Custard. Actually, the bibs that Lala and Po wear are fine, they are roughly the same color as their bodies and it makes perfect sense that Lala would wear yellow and Po would wear red. But, what is going on with the bibs chosen for Tinky Winky and Dipsy? Tinky Winky is purple and Dipsy is lime green. So why is Tinky Winky's bib magenta and Dipsy's a deep aqua? What, the budget for the show was too little that your costume designer couldn't find bibs which matched the characters? I'm sorry, it is ugly, it smacks of laziness, and every time I see it, I know that even if people aren't plagued with my desire for order, they are probably feeling a sense of dissonance whenever they see these two Tubbies in their bibs. Are they trying to say something about men, because these are the two Tubbies who are referred to as "he", something along the lines of "men are colorblind and can't find something that matches their entire bodies even when they are all one color"? Did anyone who thought Tinky Winky was some gay icon because he was purple and carry a purse even watch the show? Because I can't think of any self-respecting gay man who would pair that color purple with that shade of magenta. As I said, it is shoddy workmaship.

But really, as complaints go, that is all I can think of. Not bad, eh? As I said, it could be so much worse.

Maria used to say that if you put people in colored unitards in a black box and had them recite the Teletubbies transcripts, it would be German Expressionist Theatre.

Two girls on stage, PO and LALA. PO, wears a red unitard, LALA wears a yellow one. LALA is holding a gigantic pink ball, a ball so large she is almost having difficulty maneuvering it.

Lala throws the ball to Po.

Lala throws the ball to Po.

(LALA throws the ball to PO. It hits PO and knocks her over. Rolls offstage. After about three seconds, the ball rolls back onstage. PO collects the ball.)

Po throws the ball to Lala

Po throws the ball to Lala

(PO throws the ball to LALA. The ball bounces over LALA's head.)

I think she may have meant Bauhaus Theatre, but you get the idea.

Like Maria, I have always felt that there was a lot more to the Teletubbies than meets the eye, or rather, there is some seriously disturbing stuff happening in Teletubbyland. You have these lovable creatures living their lives in an idyllic paradise of bunnies and flowers. Their home is a space age type dome. They can get Tubby Custard poured into bowls by pressing buttons. The Noo Noo is around to do the tidying up.

Sometimes, without explanation, an object just appears and they get to play with it for awhile. The social order is disrupted slightly. Then, also without explanation, the object vanishes, and they are left to deal with the consequences.

There is a constant voiceover presence which tells the Tubbies what to do. It is disturbing to watch. You can see the Tubbies attempt to rebel against their powerful overlords, but it is ultimately too much for them and they must submit. (This is most noticeable at the end when they say "good-bye" and go away, but then reappear in the hopes that they may not, in fact, have to say "good-bye" to the television viewers after all. "Please don't leave us alone here in Tubbyland, you have no idea what happens once the TV goes off!")

Where exactly is Teletubbyland meant to be located? What are the producers attempting to convey? For awhile, I thought it was meant to make reference to science fiction. I thought it took place in the future, or in a land far away. Specifically, I thought of Edmund Cooper's Overman Culture. However, the episode entitled Animal Rhythms is making me rethink this.

In the episode, the Tubbies get the signal (the windmill spins and pink sparkles are sent through the air) that they all must report to the meeting place. They do and proceed to bump into one another. Then, they see, in the distance, a procession. It's a parade of animals, marching two by two. Tigers and snakes and flamingos and butterflies and giraffes and frogs and elephants and turtles (I may be forgetting an animal or two) all go by, two by two, oblivious to the Teletubbies. The animals are obviously CGI and not terribly well done CGI at that. But it is a strange sight to see and the Tubbies seem stunned. I was stunned. What does it mean? Are the producers suggesting that the Tubbies lived in the Biblical time right before the flood and that they were witnesses to the animals heading towards the Ark, and, perhaps most disturbingly, Noah failed to include them? Was God angry with the Teletubbies or were they just innocent bystanders?

It made the next bit, when the weird speaker raises out of the ground and the voice over calls out "Time for Tubby bye bye, time for Tubby bye bye" especially ominous.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk

Julian began walking at 10 1/2 months and hasn't sat down since. This really shouldn't be a surprise. Of course I would have a son who is physically active. Of course Fred would have a son who is physically active. Fidgety, jittery me and the boy who spent most of his childhood either running away from disaster or in a body cast (because, sometimes, you just can't outrun disaster.) Ever since Julian touched the oven at 11 months, we have known that our lives would be one very long chase scene, with us playing the role of the boring authoritarian trying to cramp the style of the dashing young hero who just wants to fling his body off of tall objects.

So that's what he does with his body.

Recently, he has been surprising us with what he is doing with his voice. He is talking. More than that, he seems to be going through what people would describe as a language explosion. He seems to understand everything and every single day he surprises us with the words he says to us.

When I told Kristen about this, she suggested I post the rapidly expanding list here. I hesitate to do so, for fear that some may perceive this as bragging. Then again, Sir Talks-A-Lot will soon be able to brag for himself and I would hate to miss my window of opportunity.

Names of people:
Mom, Mommy, and Alison (me), Dad, Daddy, and Fred (Fred), Miny (Simon), Soph (Sophie), Mai and Jo (for my mom, Jo, his Shamai), Pai and Bob (for my dad, Bob, his Shapai), Pabob (for Fred's dad, Bob), Lila (for Fred's mom, Lila), Aushra (Aushra), Abby (Abigail), Reen (Maureen), Lanie (Melanie), Les (Les), Kris (Kristen), Allie (Allie), Annie (Annie), Hilary (Hilary), Grace (Grace), Jules (himself), Big Bird, (big Bird) Ernie (Ernie), Tubbies (Teletubbies)

Names of animals: Dog, Cat, Duck, Cow, Frog, Toad, Sheep, Bunny, Monkey, Fish

Animal sounds he makes when asked what sound the animal makes: woof woof, meow, quack, ribbit, cock a doodle doo, moo, ah ah ah (for monkeys), whoo whoo (owl), tweet tweet, caw caw

Sounds he makes for non animal objects: wooooooo (kettle), choo choo, beep beep, ch ch ch ch (teeth brushing), sss sss sss (spraying water)

All other words and phrases: Car, Bar, Ball, OUTSIDE, Inside, Truck, Nuk, Flowers, Knock knock, TV, Milk, Book, Balloon, Water, Cheese, Toast, Up, Down, Open, Cosed, Cup, No, Noo noo (noodles), Nummy, Bear, Dabu (for this DW doll), All Done, Bump, Hat, Miss You, Bye, Hi, More, Please, Thank you, Walk, Park, Bowl, Toes, Eyes, Ear, Door, Nap, Hug, Slide, Cold, Hot, Shovel, Boy, Sweep, Soap, Chair, Stair, Hot dog, Seuss, Bed, Nurse, Garbage, Poop, Pillow, Socks, Slippery, Shoes, Laundry, Cheerios, Keys, Lock, Uh Oh, Toast, Top, Wow, Hug, Nap, Slippery, Sticky, Naughty, Happy, Me see (for "let me see" when he is looking for something), Yes, Shall we ("yes" as a response to Fred when he asks "shall we?"), Me sleep, Yet yet (said as disagreement when told "not yet"), I poop (said as a joke since it is rare for him to actually have pooped when he says this and he thinks it is hilarious), Oopsie Daisy, Banana, Avocado, Blue (for blueberries), Strawberries, Cherries, Spoon, Yellow, Pink, Buckets, Jump

Now I am sure my mom will read this and say I have forgotten some words that he says when he is with her. I am sure there are words which he has said once or twice which I have missed. That wasn't the point of this exercise. The point is to show that he is talking a blue streak. This, like his physical development, should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. My mother called me "Motor Mouth" when I was younger and my love affair with the English language has not ended yet. Maybe he will end up like our friend George's brother who just won the Senior Spelling Bee (He said that part of the reason he did it was to see if it was possible to learn the whole dictionary...I can totally see Julian doing this. Heck, I can totally see me doing this. I have 16 years to train.)

So, to recap, Julian is learning to talk. Hooray. Now if only he would learn to sleep (alright, that isn't fair, he sleeps, I can even prove it with pictures. But not nearly as much as he should.)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bike Me!

For awhile now, I have been thinking that there had to be a way to take Julian on the bicycle.

I used to ride my bicycle everywhere, back in the day when was not responsible for the care and safe transport of a very small human being who had a desire for movement, but couldn't be depended upon to reach the pedals of his own bike or to follow me.

It is frustrating that almost every trip we take must involve the car, unless we have the time and it is within walking distance, in which case we may or may not enlist the stroller. There have been some beautiful sunny days, days in which our only destination was within three miles from our home, where I have to strap Julian into a car seat.

I was not interested in those trailer tent devices because they seemed better suited to bicycle only paths and they made me a bit nervous when I thought about riding on city streets. The bike carriers which I recalled from my own childhood seemed unsafe and I couldn't imagine Julian would enjoy staring into my back for very long.

So you can imagine my excitement when, a few weeks ago, Joel and Julie showed us the bicycle seat which they had purchased for Grace. It mounts in between the handlebars and the seat. Not only is your child able to watch the world go by and conduct conversations with you, the central location of the seat means that the added weight has less of an impact on one's ability to control the bike. I was speechless. Such a device would change my life. I had to have one. We went home, ordered the seat and received it within seconds of hitting the confirm button. I am not even sure they waited for our credit card company to approve the sale.

Unfortunately, despite such lightning speed on that end, we were poky in getting a helmet for Julian. So today, we had to tear ourselves away from the Netherlands-Portugal game (we saw the goal) and trekked on over to the bicycle store where we each purchased a spiffy new helmet--Julian has been shredding the interior foam of our old helmets, which were hanging off the handlebars of our bikes in our bedroom. This would have annoyed me and spurred me to take action like, say, moving the helmets to a difficult to reach location, but we needed new helmets anyway and I figured Julian was really doing us a favor by making our old ones unwearable, but I digress. The saleswoman was very impressed by Julian's interest in bikes as he pretty much tried out every small bicycle in the store as soon as we got his helmet on his head. If he could really reach the pedals and figure out the movement, this post would probably be about how we walked in to buy a helmet and walked out with another bicycle. But Julian will probably have to wait until next summer for a bicycle all his own. For now, he is strapped to mine.

We got home in time for Fred to watch the last five minutes of the game and then he figured out how to attach seat to the bike. Then we took it out for a test drive. Julian loved it. We rode to Wicker Park, home of what seems to be the best playground in all of Chicago, where Julian played on the slides and met another little boy named Julian, or so I was told. We hadn't brought our keys with us, so someone had to guard the bikes. The ride home was less fun as Julian wasn't thrilled about leaving the slides and he was hungry hence his less than ecstatic demeanor in the pictures. I, on the other hand, can hardly contain my glee.

Oh, WeeRide Kangaroo, where have you been all this time and why are you not mentioned on every mother's blog? Why have the other mothers at school, Kindermusik and Gymboree not told me of your existence (or, to put it in more exact terms, why do all those other mothers not know of your existence?) I want to shout your name from the rooftops for all environmentally conscious parents to hear.

So, Joel and Julie deserve a gigantic thank you. And since Grace's birthday is coming up, feel free to send a gift.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Another Pin-Up Quiz (or four)

Pin up queen, or not?

Bettie Page

Fun, sweet, sexy, and unassuming. I'm so jealous of you. Everyone is.

Take this quiz!

Yes, it is another Pin-Up Quiz, this one I found by way of The Kitchener Bitch.

For those of you keeping track, I have come up as Bettie Page twice and Lily St. Cyr once. I imagine these things multiply like rabbits, so I will probably never manage to take them all and have a final number by which we may determine precisely which pin-up I most resemble (though we all know Bettie is the one I have the most in common with physically. After all, there are not a lot of curvy brunettes in the pin-up hall of fame. I wonder if the retro fascination in Bettie Page which has occurred over the past decade or so will change that.)

Here is another one which categorizes pin-ups by type. Yeah, I am a bit of a glamour girl.

Which pin up are you?

You are The Glamour Queen
Take this quiz!

And this one, well, I have no idea what it is doing, but it definitely picked up on that "sexy bookworm" persona I have been carefully crafting over the years

What Pin Up girl are you?

You are the smartie pants!
You're very intellectual and love to read and write.
You'll be successful later on in life!
Take this quiz!

And yet another one says I am Bettie Page (and it is the first with a picture showing actual nudity):

Which Pin-UP girl would you most likely be?

You are Bettie Page!

That divine pinup girl from the '50s era! She was the purrrfect mixture of naughty and nice ... innocence and delight.
Take this quiz!

I am pretty fascinated by the whole online quiz thing in general (as if you couldn't tell.) It's like we all want to know how to define ourselves, in what category we may place ourselves, and we have this means of doing so pretty quickly. So I, as a stay-at-home-mom/actress/writer, am looking to these websites for some form of validation of my general sexiness. None of these quizzes actually ask the important "what sort of pin-up would you be" questions regarding height, weight, and measurements? Though maybe that would be more of a "could you be a pinup at all?" line of questioning, and where is the fun in that? Of course, if they did ask such a questions, I would still probably end up being Bettie Page (although I am shorter and my waist isn't what it once was...pregnancy will do that to a girl. But really, we are talking an inch or two off in the waist area and I make up for it with the nursing breasts...what? Did I say I was looking for validation? For what? My incredibly massive ego?) OK, so maybe I am just flocking to these websites to confirm (to myself, at least) that I am a hot chick, regardless of the waist measurement.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Fred

Happy Birthday Fred!

I wish I had something witty to say, but you have already left work and won't be reading this until tomorrow. So this should read "Happy day after your birthday, Fred!"

Julian is a lucky boy to have you as a dad. And I am a lucky girl to have you as a husband.

I love you.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I have had to cancel my credit cards and report the theft of my driver's license more times than I care to count. The last time was when in August 2004 when I left my purse in the Jimmy Johns on Chicago Avenue (I blame pregnancy brain. Also, the general yuckiness of Jimmy Johns' sandwiches, as I am sure that I was distracted by how unhappy my meal had made me.) The time before that was when the keys to the car fell off the keyring in the Village Thrift store on Lawrence. Before that was when someone nabbed my wallet from my backpack (which was on my back) on a crowded Red Line train. And before that was when someone stole my wallet from my coat which was hanging in the backroom of the cafe at which I worked. That would be four times over the course of twelve years (there were a few experiences previous to my graduation from college, but I won't get into those at this time). On average that is once every three years. While it doesn't necessarily sound like much, each time it occurs, it causes me more distress than the previous time.

Clearly, I am a victim of petty theft. In terms of the sorts of crimes to which one may fall prey, I should consider myself lucky. It seems clear to me that my own carelessness brought about every incident, that if I had been more responsible or alert, the theft would not have taken place. I say this and try to take back control, try to convince myself that I could have prevented the theft from occurring. I say this to try to make myself feel better. But when it happens, I am inconsolable.

Of course, I know that I have unresolved issues stemming from the two worst thefts of my entire life. The first didn't happen to me, exactly, it happened to my Dad when I was eight years old. We were driving home from visiting my grandparents in New Jersey and we stopped for the night in Cleveland. When we went on road trips, my dad would go to bars or diners (after we went to sleep) to meet the local people. Well, he went to a diner, came out, and was held up by two men who stole the car full of our stuff. The next morning, when he told me what happened, I remember I didn't believe him and then I got really angry with him. I couldn't quite believe that he couldn't have prevented the theft from occurring and, being so young, I couldn't imagine how enormous and terrible the experience of having someone point a gun on you must have been. I think I was an adult before I even realized how close my father was to death that night (a few weeks later, the same guys pulled the same thing at the same diner and, if I recall correctly, they shot a security guard.) I know I was still a child, but I feel shame for my insensitivity at the time.

Then there was India, when our bag was stolen. The bag which had a camera, some jewelry, our plane tickets home, and MY JOURNAL inside of it was stolen from a bus in Udaipur as we waited to leave for Jaipur. We realized the bag was gone just before we left the station and I spent the next ten hours crying (and the bus stations provided my story for the most horrifying bathrooms I have ever seen or had to use, but I digress.) Everyone on the bus felt sympathy, and they all assumed I was bemoaning the loss of the jewelry or the plane tickets, but of course, it was the loss of my journal which caused my anguish. I still feel the loss. What kills me, what makes me want to grab every single thief and kick their teeth in with steel toed boots, is the fact that the people who stole it probably thought they were getting this great prize, the bag of an American, and when they opened it they would have been so disappointed. Everything was probably thrown out immediately. They would have fared much better if they had just held my bag for ransom. So they ended up stealing something which has no value for them and immeasurable value for me, something they don't even want, but which I cannot replace.

So now, every time something is stolen, I flash back to my issues regarding my shame at my own behavior and the personal value of what is stolen. I break down and sob, "what is wrong with people that they think it is alright to take something which isn't theirs?" For days.

Years ago, the ballet school where I tool classes had a poster on the wall with a list of life philosophies. One of the thoughts said something along the lines of "There are no mistakes, only lessons. You will continue to be confronted with the same lesson until you learn from it."

I believe this to be true. We do constantly make the same mistakes until we figure out what is wrong with us and stop making them (only to move on to other mistakes, ones which we had not yet made because we were too busy with the earlier ones).

I have started to wonder if the same can be said about being a victim of crime. That we will continue to be a victim of a particular sort of crime until we figure out what makes us such an appealing victim to predators, at which point we cease to be targets for one group and become targets for another. Ideally, one would hope to get to a point where one was no longer a victim of crime, but I think this is some utopian worldview. There will always be someone out there who wants to steal, someone who wants to take what is not theirs, someone who wants to hurt others either to redress some wrong (real or imagined) or for sport. Clearly, life in Chicago has made me suspicious with regards to the inherent goodness of all human beings. I have no idea why people think theft is acceptable, but I don't kid myself that social programs or education or bridging the gap between rich and poor will solve anything. Some people are thieves, plain and simple, and really, the only thing anyone can do is hold a mirror up and say, "See how you are!"

Which is precisely what this guy in New York has done with these people who stole his friends Sidekick. This website (with the pictures these people took of themselves, obviously they didn't know that the Sidekick would send the pictures to his friend) is one gigantic mirror with which he hopes to shame these thieves into doing the right thing. I don't have a lot of faith in it working, I have far more faith in the police arresting their butts and I expect the thieves to feel that they are the ones who have been victimized, that it is unfair of someone to not just accept their victimization lying down. Still, I applaud this guy's efforts.

As for me, I am trying to be less careless. But in the unlikely event the people who took my journal are reading this, you can always do the right thing and return it to me. I wouldn't mind getting that year of my life back and you can't possibly find all my mindless ramblings interesting. And think of the benefit that such an act will do for your Karma.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup 2006

I find it hard to believe how disinterested most Americans are about the World Cup.

I know we are a nation that has little interest in soccer as a spectator sport, that for most it is just a way for many children to run off a lot of their excess energy. I know that until fairly recently, America has not had teams worthy of notice or mention (1994 was the first year America fielded a team in the World Cup, and that was because we were the host country) and we don't like paying attention to (or even participating in) arenas where we have no hope or prayer of success. I know we are a country so arrogant and so self-centered (or maybe just clueless) that we don't even call the sport by it's rightful name of football, instead using that word to describe a game wherein the ball is rarely kicked.

But still.

How can Americans not care about the World Cup? How can anyone fail to be moved by the political changes brought by soccer success in the Ivory Coast? How can we remain indifferent to a competition where the competitors exchange jerseys at the end of every game? How can we not be filled with as much enthusiasm for these next three weeks of sport as we feel for the Olympics?

Is it something as depressing and simplistic as the analysis offered on The Daily Show the other night by John Hodgman? Hodgman asserted that the world loved soccer because it serves as a metaphor for war, Jon Stewart asked why America couldn't also appreciate that, and Hodgman replied, "We don't need a metaphor, we have war."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

How Old Am I?

I found this quiz and, of course, I had to take it. As you all know, I'm a sucker for the online quizzes.

You Are 28 Years Old
You Are 28 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

I don't know how I feel about this. I mean, I definitely appreciate being told I am six years younger than I really am. But this is not my real age, or how old I look, but how old I behave. Am I so vain that I don't mind being called immature by a piece of technology just so I can also be told by the same piece of technology that I am over half a decade younger than I really am?

Well, obviously I am precisely this vain because I posted it here for all of you to read. Did you see? The blogthings quiz says I am 28! While I am not sure something like preferring tiramisu to creme brulee should really make a difference in terms of my age (either actual or "at heart") I am going to revert to the age old beer commercial response to these matters; why ask why? It says I am 28. How old are you?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Another Classic Pin-Up Quiz

What Classic Pin-Up Are You?

I'm Lili St. Cyr!

I think I got this one because I said my dream was to direct and star in my own Broadway show. Oh, and the batik dresses and tandoori chicken probably didn't hurt either. Otherwise, I think she probably was a good deal more bold and cold than I ever have been. While I can totally appreciate a woman who once said, "Sex is currency. What's the use of being beautiful if you can't profit from it?" we all know I've never been so level headed when it comes to matters of the heart or flesh. Then again, I think it was sheer brilliance for her to include taking a bath in her stage act. Talk about perfect multi-tasking.

Friday, June 02, 2006


A pregnant woman in England is begging the hospital to induce childbirth because her due date is June 6 and she doesn't want to risk giving birth to the anti-christ.

My very first reaction was, "who gives birth on their due date anyway?" I liked's Scanner's take on this: "Given that he's already going to grow up with a psycho mom, maybe it is better to play it safe." However, cynical girl that I am, I can't help but wondering if this is just some really clever marketing ploy, trying to generate interest in the remake of The Omen.

Before I even heard about the remake, I wondered if ANYONE named their baby Damien anymore. So I went to the social security adminsitrations website and learned that "Damien" was ranked 199, while "Damian" was ranked 156 (out of the top 1000 names) As a point of reference, "Julian" was ranked at 74 ("Julien" was 642), Fred was ranked at 877 ("Fredric" did not make the top 1000, "Frederick" was 450, "Fredrick" was 919) and "Simon" was ranked at 254.

What is wrong with people that they would choose a name which is synonymous with "devil spawn", even for those of us too terrified to actually see a film like The Omen? I mean, have you seen commercials for either the original or the remake? How could that name not be forever tainted for you? Are these parents thinking something like "oh, if we name him Damian, he can't help but turn out well, whereas if we name him Jesus, well, we will just be tempting fate, won't we?" (not that I am advocating naming one's child Jesus, I'm just saying...)

I feel really sorry for all those kids named Damien (or Damian if you prefer) in the last decade or so because, well, there's a remake and the anti-christ can scare the pants off of a whole new generation.

It reminds me of something Tracy mentioned a few years ago. She was involved with a mother's group and there was a mother whose sons were a bit out of control and a bit violent with the other kids. One of these boys was named Draco. That poor kid is going to spend his entire life forever having people calling him "Malfoy." Add to that the fact that his mother hasn't taught him social graces (like not hitting your playmates) and, well, he is going to grow up pretty embittered.

Of course, as Nicholas Cage and Julia Sweeney demonstrated in the classic skit on Saturday Night Live, picking a torture proof name is pretty difficult, isn't it?