Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Do! (And Do! And Do! and Do!)

I have not watched Sister Wives. I have seen clips of the “cast” on The Today Show and I’ve seen various commercials. And while I firmly and strongly believe that what happens between two consenting adults in their own bedroom is their own business, the whole concept of polygamy grosses me out. It’s like sloppy seconds to the nth degree.

Let’s talk about sex (baby). So the one husband has to put out enough to satisfy three women. That part doesn’t seem all that difficult. How long does the average middle-aged guy take anyway? He could hit all four rooms and still be sound asleep before the nightly news. It does appears that he only has to hit one room per night, which seems more hygienic, but infinitely more problematic. What if one of the women has her period? Does she get a bye night, like in football? If he is gone one night, does that woman get skipped in the rotation or does it pick up where it left off, like in school schedules? Does he only have to tuck in children from that particular mother? Do all the wives sit around and compare notes when he isn’t around? Does he ever call out the wrong name? I assume since they are very religious, the standard “Oh God” might be a commandment breaker. (But to be honest, I’m not sure polygamist Mormons follow the Ten Commandments. Taking the Lord’s name FTW!)

In an effort to be a bit more informed on this issue, I watched some of the clips posted on TLC. What I learned is that this husband has more wives than brain cells. Instead of buying say, a small apartment building, he gutted his house and built three distinct apartments (containing bedroom, kitchen, and living room). The fourth wife is still waiting for her addition. Why not build one huge McMansion and everyone can actually share cooking and cleaning it? Plus, not that I think the Dugger’s are the shining model of family normalcy, but at least they cook for all 19 children at once. If I only have the possibility of getting laid every fourth night, then I damn sure shouldn’t have to cook on the other three.

I also learned that while they learned how to merge many of their different family traditions, such as birthday rituals or Tooth Fairy rewards, they were not willing to compromise on their own individual Christmas celebrations. Instead, Christmas lasts for three full days as each wife gets to do it her own way. Jesus Christ indeed. Throw in the fourth wife and her traditions and that newborn king will be walking before the wrapping paper is even cleared away.

It’s all just very odd. Wife number two is excited she finally has a toaster. A plain, non-descript two-slice toaster. Not even a bagel toaster or one that burns Mickey Mouse or Hello Kitty into the bread. Just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill toaster. Now, I know they live in middle America, but do they also live in the middle ages? Who doesn’t have a toaster? And why is he driving a Lexus (which probably comes with a built-in espresso machine) while she is trying to toast bread in an oven?

The fourth wife is the newest one. She’s only been around one year to the others 13 years. Which really begs the question, is she high? Most women I know don’t even want to join a book club that has long-standing members, let alone a family. The best part is the first wife is the one who sent her husband on the prowl. It’s like every guy’s fantasy, “Hey hon, that girl is hot, wanna bring her home?” Except in this case, they kept her.

Now let’s talk about the inner, thornier issue of why any woman should accept just one piece of the proverbial man-pie. What sad, misguided, and delusional part of her thinks that the best she deserves is one-quarter of this guy’s time? I’ve seen the guy. He isn’t on anyone’s Top Five. He wouldn’t even make the annual hot Polygamist Calendar. If I have to share my bed with three other women (without the Sapphic overtones which would at least make it more fun for those who swing that way), then the guy I am sharing it for better be “hot like Tyson Bedford with the charm of Robert Redford.” And this guy? Looks like an overgrown puppet from Avenue Q. Why should they all accept one night out of four? Why should they accept a “marriage” with is actually a third-degree felony? I don’t particularly care if the marriage bed contains two men, two women, or one of each, but I’m pretty sure it should be limited to two. Why? Because I believe every one person deserves to be the sun in someone else’s sky, not some minor moon on a rotation.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gleek is the Word

The second season of Glee is about to begin. This makes me happy. I watched every episode of last season the way other people watch porn – in the dark, in private, rewinding all the good parts. And there were always lots of good parts. Sure, the writers often seemed to forget who was dating whom and opened and closed secondary storylines completely at random. Sure, Sue Sylvester and Mr. Schu seemed to fight the same battle over and over again and yes, his hair does probably smell like cookies. But all that is beside the point. It’s fun. It contains a character whose sole purpose is to just play the piano. (How does he always know what song to play? Why doesn’t he ever need sheet music? Is he a voice-activated robot? Does Principal Figgins know about him? Curious minds want to know.) I may not let my daughter watch it, but I play (most) of the songs for her the next day.

I read somewhere that many people like the show better when they are not singing. iTunes couldn’t disagree more. I love when they sing. It’s the singing that makes the show. While I am not totally lame and have not bought every Glee album, I have created a playlist of all my fave showstoppers, some by the original artist, some by the cast. It’s long, it’s odd, and it manages to contain both KISS and Barbra Streisand, which just can’t be right. But that is the beauty of Glee. It brings all sort of disparate genres together. It has also helped me to overcome my severe and utter hatred of Journey.

So, to get you all hyped up for tonight’s season premiere (and to keep you interested during a week where major life changes, illness, and new schedules have kept me from blogging), here is my Glee playlist in no particular order. I should warn you that I lost my musical taste somewhere in the 90s, around the time I attended my last concert. The list:

4 Minutes – Madonna and Justin Timberlake
You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones
Take A Bow – Rihanna
Single Ladies – Beyonce
No Air – Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown
My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson
Loser – Beck
Keep Holding On – Avril Lavigne
It’s My Life/Confessions – Glee Cast
Hate on Me – Jill Scott
Halo – Beyonce
Gold Digger – Kanye West
Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects
Don’t Rain on My Parade – Barbra Streisand
Defying Gravity – Idina Menzel & Kristen Chenoweth
The Boy Is Mine – Glee Cast
Beth – The Rolling Stones
Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going – Jennifer Holliday
Don’t Stop Believing – Glee Cast Version
To Sir, With Love – Lulu
Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Sadly, my bonus video by Mark Salling singing about why he loved working on Glee had to be removed due to copyright infringement. You'll just have to seek it out on YouTube.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back in Black

The headline was, "Diner Burns to Ground in South Jersey." Make your own jokes, I’m too tired. You see, when the fire alarms started ringing in every town within earshot (and several I had previously thought were out of earshot), I thought I was dreaming. Why, I thought, are they running the sirens before dawn? Are we under attack? Am I in Camden? ‘Nam? My windows were open to take in the first real breeze of the season so the sound carried over hill and vale (or in this instance, brick and mortar) to my bedroom. I swear I could hear each individual firehouse light up and get going. I could even follow their drive through town based on how the sirens varied.

Too lazy to get out of bed (which I had already done three time during the night in service of my son and my bladder), I hunched under the covers and tried to go back to sleep. When that didn’t work, I tried to figure out what target the terrorists would want to hit in my area on the eve of September 11th. The sirens were going in the opposite direction of the local bridges, which also eliminated them going to Philly, and there isn’t a nuclear power plant or government base anywhere close. Finally, I realized that terrorists couldn’t find my town with a map and compass (which would oddly prove to be true of local newscasters as well) and drifted off into a fitful sleep.

Twenty minutes later, I woke again, this time to the sound of a helicopter hovering above my roof. Funny, I didn’t know I had a landing pad up there. Sure, Santa finds it every year but I don’t remember extending the invitation to the local aviation industry. I have never heard such a cacophony of noise in my life (and I've been to Gymboree). It was a form of aural torture that was like trying to take in a wall of sound. Think of the loudest point in any professional sports game, when you are surrounded by thousands of screaming (and in Philly, bloodthirsty) fans. Multiply that sound by ten, expand it so that it lasts for a full hour, and then pinpoint it directly above your head. I actually had to go outside my home and look up to find the damn thing it was so close. Not close enough to curse them roundly, but close enough to discover it was my usual nemesis at play: Fox News. This is when I was finally able to see the smoke billowing into the sky mere blocks from my home.

Obviously wide awake now and curious, I turned on the television. I flipped channels a bit while I waited to get a clear shot of what the hell was so important that they had to get a news copter out to record it when I finally uncovered the truth – a diner had caught fire. In New Jersey. Good lord people. There are more diners in Jersey than guidos and mobsters combined. In fact, before they even named the diner, I was trying to figure out which one of the four within a one-mile radius it could have been. And yes, it is devastating to the owners of the property, the employees, even the regular customers, but did it deserve a news copter? Are we really still at the caveman stage where we have to stand around a fire and say “ooooohhh pretty?” If so, can you stand a bit to the side? I can’t see around you.

It must have been a big f’ing fire if only because the diner apparently stretched across three separate towns. That’s a lot of cheese fries. Now, I know South Jersey is just one, continuous, traffic-clogged road that leads down the shore for most people, but there are individual towns here. Fox News got the name of the town wrong. ABC got the name of the town wrong. Philadelphia is a large metropolitan area with multiple media outlets. They employ a lot of people. If they can afford a chopper, they can afford a freakin’ fact checker.

And so, I did not have a good morning. Obviously, the owners of the diner had a far worse one and the brave and noble volunteer and professional firefighters had a rough one as well putting out the blaze and keeping safe. I’m sure they will all need an extra cup of coffee or a Red Bull this afternoon. And for those people, I feel sorry. But for the mothertrucker who decided that X marked the spot on my roof and used it as his (or her) fixed location for filming – I wish dark and evil thoughts unto you. Involving rotor blades. And wind shear.

(Fun fact: never post "read about me trying to build a ground-to-air missle out of Legos" on the anniversary of a terrorist attack on Facebook. It will get pulled.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In The Beginning

And so it begins.


I sent my daughter to kindergarten today. Sure, the morning started out with happy smiles and lots of shouting, but the closer we got to school, the quieter she became. Our neighbor’s daughters walked with us, and my daughter switched back and forth between Daddy (holding up the rear with a coffee cup) and Mommy (leading the procession with the stroller.) There was more hand-holding this morning than at a fifth-grade dance. She was brave and did not cry. (Neither did I, although my husband did have a somewhat suspicious allergy problem.) She didn’t smile, but she didn’t cry. Once the children went indoors, the parents rushed to the windows like tourists at a zoo to see how the little people behaved. I watched as my daughter found her cubby and coat hook, found her spot at the (severely overcrowded) table, carefully analyzed each person already sitting at it, then sat down. She looked outside, blew me a wave and a kiss, and then seemed to dismiss me from her mind entirely.

The drop-off was immediately followed by a welcome PTA tea. There were no familiar faces, excluding one: the mother with the ugly kids about whom I have previously written (http://thepantlesswonder.blogspot.com/2010/05/ugly-duckling.html.) Karma is a bitch. Otherwise, the environs and fellow participants were as unfamiliar to me as they were to my child. There were, of course, the usual stereotypes: the parent who already declared that she does not give her child flu shots (and thank you for giving me even more reasons to get my child vaccinated), the pregnant mom, the anxious grandparents, etc. Then there were a few new ones: the visibly and numerously tattooed, the hangover helmet, and the too-short leopard print dress (and that one was on a child.) Toto, we are not preschool anymore. Obviously, I have nothing against the tattooed (having some myself), tying one on, or animal prints (as long as I’m not wearing them), but it being the first day of school and all, I sort of expected all the kids (and parents) to be scrubbed and wearing their best. One child looked like he had been slapped awake just minutes prior and was still wearing yesterday’s clothes. Obviously, I’m being a judgmental be-yotch here as everyone with a small child knows that fighting over clothes is a losing battle, but a little cold water and a brush never did anyone any harm.

Strangely enough, it is her brother who seems the most upset at the change in routine. The victim of her crimes, the tortured and abused younger child was really sad this morning. He screamed, he cried, he refused to put on his shoes, and kept asking where she was going. After the PTA tea (where no tea was served) he wanted to know why we were leaving his sister behind. He was one very unhappy child. However, once we arrived back home and he realized it was just the two of us, he cheered up considerably. I’m sure he’ll be even happier when he realizes that his naptime is all but forgotten as well as his sister’s pick-up time cuts directly into it. Lose one kid, gain the other.

And so, I don’t have to pick up my daughter until almost three o’clock in the afternoon. Even her longest day at preschool was two-hours shorter than her first day of kindergarten. I can't wait to hear all about her day and her new friends. It's a toss-up if she'll go stealthy and silent, keeping everything to herself as she processes it all, or if she goes wide and loud and not only tells me every detail, but insists on calling both sets of grandparents and her father to share as well. Also up for debate is whether she is excited about returning tomorrow. Only time will tell - lots and lots of time. Hours and hours of it before she's back home with me. I bet she'll get used to it quicker than I will.