Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hair, Hair, Hair

I'm fairly interested in hair -- the phases and changes women go through with it (long, short, when, why), how women think about, how women think men think about it, more importantly, how they think other women think about it -- the whole thing. And for black women I get that hair is even more complicated. Which is to say I enjoyed watching these clips of Chris Rock and Oprah for a lot of reasons, though I don't think smart Chris is right -- I think men really care about hair.


When I first heard that Roman Polanski was arrested, I was all, "What?" But, honestly, I couldn't remember exactly what he had been accused of in the first place. Now that I know it's drugging and raping a thirteen year old I think he deserves to be arrested. Here's The New Yorker on the case:

"Why is Polanski different from Alex Kelly, the Darien rapist who dodged prosecution for years by hanging out in Europe? If the answer is that Kelly was a suburban jock who skied away his time on the lam, while Polanski made lovely movies, it’s not sufficient. Talent does not afford impunity, and shouldn’t, any more than money or prettiness or a great fashion sense should—does that even need to be said? An Oscar is not a get-out-of-jail-free card (much as it looks like it belongs on a Monopoly board)."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicken Stories

Lately, I've grown tired of chicken. Really, really tired. I would like to go a month without the stuff, but I don't know if I can unless I just embrace being a vegetarian, which I might. Or maybe not. Maybe all I need is a good dare. In any case, apparently, there's both chicken excitement and fatigue afoot and I enjoyed reading all about it. Here's the link in case you would, too.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Real Problem

OK. Did everyone already read Paul Krugman today? I won't sleep tonight for reading it, but, still, we all need to read what he has to say about climate change.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Smells Like Twin Spirit

Late last night I found myself on Lemondrop after following a link from Go Fug Yourself. Before I could say, "Shut Down Now," I had happened upon an article about a woman in Arkansas who got pregnant when she was already with child. In it, there's this gem: "She and her husband are now expecting two children, but they aren't twins. It's called superfetation, and it's incredibly rare. Fortunately, the difference in the two fetuses' ages is so small that there shouldn't be any developmental problems if the first one is carried to term." (Emphasis mine.)

OK. So. There are these two babies in the same uterus at the same time and the difference in their gestational ages in negligible, but they "aren't twins?" What gives? I know the line is mostly just gee-gosh -darn isn't that weird and cool. But also I'd suggest that saying these kids who will pass through their lives in developmental lock step aren't really twins speaks to some deep-seated notion of authenticity in child bearing. That is, there's this smell of something in our culture and in this time of scientific meddling with reproduction that suggests there is some greater reality in childbirth. If you've been meddled with, your conception is less than real. If your twins aren't conceived at the same time, well, then they're not really twins.

I know blogging about this is defensive on my part. After all when my twins (who measured three days apart in gestational age for the first 11 weeks of my pregnancy and who were probably conceived at different times -- one in a laboratory and one, shall we say, spontaneously) were three months old a visitor came over and said, "So, are you going to tell them that they're not really twins?"

Why are people so eager to assign a category to what makes one thing really real? What are the criteria for being real twins anyway? What makes any conception, pregnancy, birth authentic? As little medical meddling as possible in conception and birth? A certain kind of timing when it comes to twins?

What could make two children who have been together since the womb less than twins? My pregnancy was sure treated as a twin pregnancy and so will that of this woman in Arkansas. When I nursed, I have two brand new infants clamoring for my breasts -- so will she. And when we had to get our kids to sleep, there were two with two very different temperaments to try to teach at the same time. I bet if I were to talk to that Arkansas couple in a year, we'll be able to bond on that one.

All this to say I just wish we could get over the whole really real thing about making babies and families. Once the babies show up, they're pretty darn real.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A New York Moment

I was on the Eighth Avenue Local this morning. It pulls into 42nd Street and a grizzled homeless man pretty much out of central casting stood at one of the doors and said, "Would you hold the doors for me? I'm just going to run out and get a cigarette and a cup of coffee." Someone on the train answers, "No problem, we'll be here."

You gotta love this town.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

So 80s

I'm not a huge fan of the 80s revival in fashion. I didn't like huge shoulder pads and neon back in the day (well, maybe the shoulder pads), and I'm not wild about them now. And skinny stretch jeans? With Reeboks? Don't even get me started. But today, I got a manicure with my daughter. She got a coat of lime green with sparkles on top. Me, I got red. Like, supa-red, cherry red, Ann Taylor 1985 red, red, red, red, red red. That red. My nails are now short and red, the veins on my hands stand up as they've done since I was pregnant (no one ever talks about how your hands change after pregnancy, but they do, at least mine did), and now my hands look something like my mom's did when I was in high school. College, too. Granted, my mom's hands are much more elegant than mine. Her fingers more tapered, her nails always longer and better cared for, but still, I got totally 80s nails clickety clacking on this keyboard and they look -- you know -- familiar. Turns out 80s nostalgia can mean more than just neon and shoulder pads.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


And now, let's take a minute for what really matters. Madonna!

The Optimist

Sullivan has this incredibly optimistic note on the growing popularity of health insurance reform. (The optimism is in his vision of 2010, not the numbers themselves.) Personally, I think so much of the coverage and discussion of this has been bezerk, but I'm gratified to learn that only 21 percent of those polled approved of the Republicans handling of the issue. The party of "no" and no ideas can't win this one. It's just too awful to think they could. I might not be thrilled with the transformation of health reform into health insurance reform, but something has got to be better than nothing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The ScanPan

A few weeks ago, I bought a ScanPan. It wasn't nothing, dollar-wise, but every time I use it, every single time, I am glad. The pan is genius.

The Frog Project

I'm still having trouble getting a hold of my schedule. The computer is better, but finding the groove is no easier. More to the point, I haven't re-established a writing schedule, which means I'm just not writing as much period, which means it's even harder to sit down and blog. But, I can report on a quick trip to the Museum of Natural History (it's right next to my son's school) yesterday where we saw the frog exhibit. I was hesitant to go because I know that species of frogs are disappearing every day and I didn't want to end up weeping over pictures of misshapen frogs legs and having to explain it all to my kids. Luckily, as per usual, the exhibit was all about how interesting frogs are, with real, live, excellent frogs on display. (OK, one or two looked a little sad to be on display, but still.) Then, at the end, there was information about the frog crisis and a movie featuring a scientist from a project called Amphibian Ark that collects endangered frogs from around to world until their habitats can be saved. I have to say, after seeing all those tiny blue and yellow frogs and the horn-eyed frogs and the African toad and American bullfrog, I ready to climb on board the ark to save the frogs.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

As It Sits Dying

My desktop is dying. I hate to write that, because I don't want to anthropomorphize my machinery, but that's what's happening. It's crashing when it falls asleep, it can't connect to the web, it's slowly grinding to a halt. I'm annoyed about this. It's not just the fact that soon I'm going to have to buy a new desktop--it's that the desktop was probably programmed to stop working within a certain time frame so I'd go out and buy another one. Enforced obsolesense or some such, which means unnecessary garbage, because if the computer kept on working, it'd keep on doing most of what I needed it for. What do I need it for? Babar on You Tube, Etsy when I should be asleep, Ravelry when I'm trying to stay away from Etsy, obssessive email checking, occassional blogging. I don't really need all that. In fact, without all that stuff I do on my computer at night, I'd read and sleep more and that would be fantastic. So I don't know what I'll do about the clunker in my bedroom. Maybe if I sleep on it, I'll come up with the perfect solution.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Staggering Towards a Schedule

Today was the day. My daughter finally started school, our sitter would be in, I'd have hours, hours, during which I could get nothing, absolutely nothing done except maybe hop around online with that familiar and vaguely pleasant tension in my back that says: "You should just sit and read something. Anything. Start to finish. Don't click that link. It'll mean you won't finish what you're reading. Remember you couldn't even start Daniel Deronda in June because the opening scenes involved gambling and that made you nervous? You should get over it. Right now. Get up. Go home, start Daniel Deronda again, and then blog about it, because you've got nothing to say about Max Baucus' health care plan, which Rachel Maddow said was full on concessions to Republicans who wouldn't vote for it anyway and who are you to argue with Rachel. And you have even less to say about Joe Wilson, because everyone else has said so much, none of which you've read because you followed that link. You've got nothing but time and Daniel Deronda."

But in truth, I've had no time today, I'm not going to restart Deronda, and now I'm about to be late. So it goes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm Not Very Good at Being Back

My schedule is still unsettled, my daughter hasn't even started school yet! And so, today, the challah dough for Rosh Hashannah will have a very long first rising and my blogging will be very short. Hopefully, tomorrow, time will bloom.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Back!

OK. I'm back. I'm sorry! I was away for so long and even now I can only post a little bit, at least right now. Since vacation (the granola vacation), I've had precious little help with the kids and school started late (Helen hasn't even started) and in general, it's been a strange weird time where I'm hardly at home, never read the paper, and fall into bed in heap at the end of it all.

I did read Fun Home, a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. It was really moving, and I recommend it. I've been seeeeeeething over the coverage of the three health care reform protesters. And right now I'm looking forward to being back. Thanks, everyone --I really appreciate your welcome back. More soon!