Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hey Mommy

My daughter does her best chatting in the car. I liken it to Chinese water torture. She has a Random Thought Generator that just cannot be turned off. Just when you get a good groove going in your head with a good idea for a blog or remember to add something to the ongoing Target list, she will break in with a “Hey Mommy . . .” and there goes whatever train of thought you were riding. She will do this mid-song, mid-conversation, even mid-word. She honestly can’t help herself. During extended car rides, I give her an iPod to keep her quiet, but on the short to and fro’s of daily life, I have been known to start twitching when the Hey Mommy’s start getting out of hand.

The problem is that now she is in Catholic school, the Hey Mommy’s don’t just include the usual assortment of dinner menus, play date requests, schedule questions, and random puffery, but now they tend to be philosophical. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time coming up with a short but sturdy answer to the meaning of life between stop lights.
For example, the other night, I was asked, “Who is God’s mother?” She had me there. In my daughter’s world, mommies make and do everything, and so even though God made the world, somebody still is supposed to have made God. I did the only sensible thing and told her to ask her teacher. She persisted. So, in the time honored tradition of parents everywhere, I deflected. “Well, Jesus has a mother. Mary is his mom.” Then I prayed like hell that we didn’t delve any deeper into the paternity of Jesus, because trying to explain that Joseph was really more like a stepfather was just beyond me.

Then, out of the blue, again in the car a few days later was, “How does God put the baby in your belly?” Now I realize she is old enough for the birds and the bees. We use real vocabulary words for our body parts here, mostly because once I had one of each gender, just calling them “privates” got sort of stupid. In fairness, the boy persists in calling his a “peanut” due to an early aural misunderstanding, but she’s clear on the fact that she’s got a vagina and he’s got a penis and the twain shall not meet. Do I get medical and explain how Part A goes in Slot B allowing the little swimmers to aim for the target and get the hole in one that makes a baby? (Yes, that is the official AMA version.) Or do I go political and make a statement about marriage and how two people who love each other, of any sex, should be able to raise a family? Fearing that the look in my eye meant that I was about to get Biblical, Daddy stepped in and told her that after getting married, the parents pray for one. With a family history of PCOS, she’ll learn the hard way that prayer is probably the least effective way of making a baby, but considering just seven, she’s got a while before that particular lesson needs to be learned.

My son has recently jumped on the bandwagon and we now spend a lot of time sifting through who made what. “Did God make dinosaurs” and I will reply, “Yes, God made dinosaurs.” Or, “Did God make spoons?” and I will reply, “Nope, God made people and people made spoons.” He is always astounded by the whole middle management approach to life. Like, why didn’t God just make the spoons?

The best part about these conversations is that they never extend beyond the car. As soon as we get home, pop our shoes in the closet, and hang our coats on the rack, all their concerns about God and their interest in the mysteries of the universe just disappears. “Hey Mommy, can I have a snack?”

Friday, January 6, 2012

Breaking Down Breaking Dawn

I didn’t get to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part I in theaters on opening night. My viewing partner, JWM was busy, I was busy, and then life just kept getting in the way. However, when I realized that the movie was about to go out of theaters, we mobilized. Last night, for the final showing, with a grand total of seven people in the theater, we finally saw the latest installment of what my husband likes to refer to as, “that dumb vampire movie.” This is not a review. Better and brighter have already written those months ago. Nope, instead, these are some questions I am hoping some of you die-hard Twi-hards can answer for me. To wit:

  • How bad do you have to be in bed that after waiting 108 years to get laid, you wake up the next day and think, “You know what? I can wait to do that again until I’ve turned her into an animated corpse.” He shouldn’t have become a vampire; he should have become a monk.

  • When did practicing necrophilia become acceptable behavior? Let’s be clear, Bella’s honeymoon consists of having sex with a dead person. Bad sex, apparently. Then they play chess. Sign me up for that.

  • When did pedophilia become acceptable behavior? Jacob “imprints” on a newborn child. The movie tries to play it off as Jacob being able to see the woman she will become, but it’s cringe-worthy to think that the man who changes her diapers now is the man who is going to be first in her pants later. However way you slice it, Jacob is overly attached to a child who is not his. It just ain’t right.

  • Why doesn’t Edward sparkle? In the first movie, the man looked like Emma Frost when a shaft of sunlight hit his pale, pasty chest. In this movie, he could sunbathe outside in Rio with barely a pixie dust glow. Bella should have needed sunglasses to look at his reflection in all that sunlight. Instead, the palest non-dead woman in the movie didn’t even get sunburn and the actual undead guy didn’t throw enough glitter for a preschool project.

  • When did Bella become an X-Man? One night, she is completely covered with bruises. The rest of the honeymoon, they are completely gone. Mutant healing powers or incompetent continuity department: you be the judge.

  • Who thought shoehorning in a few scenes from a live-action Disney movie about wolf politics was a good idea? Yes, I know, Jacob needs to break off from the pack, but the whole – wolves talking in their heads to each other sequence – was just moronic. Add in their overgrown size, the weird electronic effect of their voices, and the abruptness of the scene change and I felt like any minute Mackenzie Astin was going to come out and slap a sled on those bad boys and set out to race across Canada.

  • During the birthing scene (which bears no resemblance to reality and I will only nitpick within the Twilight world) wouldn’t Edward ripping her open to bite out the baby (yes, this actually happens), count as a vampire bite and start the turning process? (Thanks to JWM for pointing this out.) In the first movie, James biting her on the HAND was unimaginable agony and she screamed like a banshee until she passed out from the pain. In this movie, Edward bites her STOMACH and UTERUS open to rip out a living child and all she does is thrash and moan a bit while remaining completely aware of her surroundings. That is some shot of morphine that gave her.

  • What do all the vampires do all the time? Carlyle at least goes to work occasionally. What the hell do the rest of them do except stare at Bella? What exactly was Bella’s post-life plan after becoming Edward’s wife? Forever is a mighty long time to sit around on your ass and stare at your husband.

  • Why invite so many witnesses to the wedding of two people who will not age? Gosh, I went to your wedding 30 years ago, you haven’t aged a bit, gee, that’s odd. Um, hello! Did the vamps keep hand warmers in their pockets so they didn’t freak everyone out with their abnormally cold grip every time they shook hands? Does no one notice their eye color? Bella’s dad is officially the Worst. Cop. Ever.

  • Why is Jacob dressed for the entire movie? Sure, there is a throw away scene at the beginning of the film where the fangirls get to hoot and howl at his abs (cough, cough, not me, cough, totally me, cough), but then he spends the rest of the movie wearing at least two layers of clothing. WTF movie? The poor kid can’t act his way out of a bag of puppy chow, and when you give him Kristen Stewart (who can’t close her mouth, like, ever) as an acting partner, he is just doomed to failure. So at least let me stare at his chest while he talks. He’s legal now. I don’t even have to feel guilty.

    1. I’m sure I could go on and on, but what’s the point? The books are stupid. The movies are stupid. There is a whole generation of women who believe that Edward and Bella are the epitome of romance and if that doesn’t scare the shit out of you then I don’t know what will. However, they are also fun, goofy pleasures that I truly enjoy watching because they make me laugh. So bring on the next and final installment, when Bella finally becomes the vampire she’s always wanted to become and I’ll bring my friends, my snark, and my biggest bucket of popcorn.

      Tuesday, January 3, 2012

      Back in Black

      It’s a brand new year. Huzzah.

      So, let me explain, dear readers, where the hell I have been for the past few months. Sadly, I have been in a drug-fueled haze. I’d love to say that I was touring with a band ala Penny Lane, or doing something amazingly cool, but let’s be real; I’m a mom with kids, so I really was just having a truly horrible reaction to prescription medication. Boring, yet true.

      The end goal is weight loss. However, all of my minor medical conditions combine into one monster medical condition that laughs in the face of actual weight loss. Trust me. I spent six full months eating well and going to the gym religiously only to lose exactly five pounds. No one can remain motivated at that rate. It’s just too depressing. Bring on the drugs!

      However, I had no idea that the side effects would be so, well, awful. How exactly could I get to the gym six days a week, when I couldn’t feel my feet or hands anymore? When I spent most days in a fog of exhaustion, barely able to handle the basic functions of motherhood and often took naps with my son in the afternoon just to get through dinner and bath time? The normal SAHM job of laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc., was hard enough, but the additional work of putting the new house together and getting Christmas together made it hard for me to get out of bed some days. (I’d play the smallest violin in the world, but I’m pretty sure I sat on it.) Normally, a member of the book a week club (sometimes two, even three), I couldn’t even follow a recipe. Magazines piled up and it had to be a good day before I could even get through US Weekly let alone TIME. My husband was dethroned as the king of the couch as I couldn’t stay awake past 8, even if I DID take a nap. You would think not being able to read was the worst part. At first I thought it was, but then I realized, it was not being able to write or think that was even harder.

      It took a week or two to notice, but I started having problems finishing my sentences. Everyone has that problem occasionally. You start a sentence, lose your train of thought, laugh it off, and then carry on. The problem was that I wasn’t losing the train; I was losing the station, the people inside, the whole bloody concept of transportation entirely. Sometimes I could picture it in my head, see the steam coming out of it, the black gleam off the tracks, even hear the sound of it chugging along, but could not actually get the word “train” to come out of my mouth. Frustration is a good word but it does not even begin to explain the experience fully. My husband called it a “word balloon” and would just start calling out words like a game show host until he either guessed it or it would come back to me. But it was embarrassing when it happened in public. I knew that I was speaking much slower, using much smaller words, and taking a lot longer pauses between words when I spoke to other people but it was the only way I knew to keep them from noticing that I had lost half my brain cells.

      Speaking was hard, writing was harder. I just didn’t have the words anymore. They were gone. The humor was gone, the snark was gone, the bitchiness was gone. My theory is that when you are struggling just to get any word out, getting a rude one out is just a waste of time. I’d have a thought, or even a paragraph, but never a whole blog.

      But, my friends, I do believe that the clouds have finally broken and the sun is starting to shine again. It may have taken a full three months for the side effects to balance out enough (or for my natural bitchiness to claw its way back out), but the blog has returned. I may not be quite back up to full speed, but I’m at least close enough for it to count. So, bring on the celebriting divorce, the Golden Globes, the reviews of bad movies, and all the other pop culture stuff I have not been able to handle for lack of ability.