Monthly Archives: July 2011

Saturn Returns

Now, i’m gonna talk about astrology here, and if you don’t like it or think it’s hokum, i don’t care.  As a precurser, let me say i don’t hold to any daily drivel published on newsprint or generic uselessness that could apply to anyone.  I do however feel that the stars and planets play a part in our lives–observable or no.  There is a reason these beliefs transcend many cultures, and some of it can be eerily correct.  Example:

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about Amy Winehouse.  Like many creative folk, she died at 27.  Which astrologically actually has some significance.  You see, this is the time in your life (the late 20′s) that the planet Saturn returns to your chart.  Saturn is the bringer of change–and not just, “oh, i’d like to wear blue instead of purple” but rather a slap upside the head, hit rock bottom, grow up OR ELSE call that many of us have lived through.

Think back to your late 20′s.  Did anything happen to change your life?  Any major changes?  Did you find out your boyfriend of umpteen years had been cheating on you?  Did you dramatically lose weight?  Decide to teach in an area far away so that you could start your life over?  You might say i’m familiar with Saturn’s MO.  And i suspect many of you are as well.

For many people the return of Saturn marks a dramatic change.  And if you fight that change, it can be detrimental.  just ask Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison.  Oh, wait.

Yeah.  Where their counterparts made it past this difficult time to grow and mature, these artists met the ultimate change, by choice or by accident.  but even those “accidents” happened because of poor choices.

Growth is tough.  People always say they want to grow–but if they knew the steps they’d need to take to grow, they might change their mind.  But think of the times when you really grew as a person.  I’d be surprised if it was the result of a good time…

So goodbye Ms Winehouse.  I’m sorry this life didn’t give you better choices, and i’m sorry Saturn dealt you the ultimate blow.  Perhaps your next go-around will be different, and you’ll be ready when he rears his ugly head again.

and btw–Saturn returns more than once.  It’s about every 28 years depending on your chart.  So even if you were lucky enough to survive his first visit, i suggest you prepare yourself to see him again in your late 50′s.  and if you’re even luckier, your early 80′s as well.  I hear he likes bologna.  And yoo-hoo.  I’d just set out a buffet if i were you–he likes to stay a while…

Mama’s Losin’ It

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The Peasant Revolts.

OK lady.  I’ve kept the mocking tone and eyerolls to myself for some time now, but today you touched my kid.  Consider it ON.

So, there’s this mom…

Her son is in my son’s summer school class.  Cute kid.  Adorable curls.  Wide eyes.  Now, i’ve walked near this woman a number of times, sat near her on the bench watiing for the class to show up.  I’ve had a great deal of time to observe her–as she is anti-social–which i don’t hold against her, says the “why the fuck are you talking to me?” playground grump.

She is Russian, i believe, or a member of one of the myriad union states that developed after the break up of the Soviet Union.  The language is definitely slavic, so, let’s call her Anastasia, because if i didn’t know any better i would swear she is lost member of the Romanov family (and if you don’t get that reference, well, too bad)

Anyway, she’s a helicopter mom. I get it.  Everyone’s got their style.  While playing on the giant play structure at the school, many of us are of the “well, just don’t fall off” mentality, and while we keep one bleary eye on the kid, and another on our coffee, we know that kids need to learn to fall, and share space, and try new things, even if some risk is involved.  We also know our kids can walk it off.

Then there are moms who hover around the structure like the LAPD over by the crackhead fat burger (and the adjacent donut shop–just sayin) over by my house.  Ok–being a member of the Russian royal family, perhaps lil Alexi (not his real name, since she has never spoken to me nor introduced her kid) is a hemopheliac without a Rasputin to cure his ailments.  I get it.    This is why i have chosen not to mock even though MYRIAD dialogues/monologues have wrestled in my head on a daily basis.

Nor have i chosen to attack her fashion sense, which strikes me about 15 years too young.  Look–i am hardly one to critique fashion, as my wardrobe looks increasingly like pajamas, having decided i must have been a Bedouin or Morroccan trader in my past life.  Tight and me are NOT friends.  That and if you haven’t noticed, it’s HOT.  So, I have kept my feelings about her mini skirts revealing 40 year old thighs and knees, shirts that tend to creep to reveal a not-so-svelte belly and hair that may be the exact reason the Russians invented the babushka.  Seriously–conditioner.  USE IT.

No, i’ve kept these inner hate-fests to myself, because she is the mom of a special needs kid, and in my book, *usually* off limits. But today, that changed

Now, as summer school is being held at my kid’s ( i really need a good nickname for him…) home school, we don’t get the bus this time around, so i have to schlep his pull-up laden arse to the school each day and wait at the lil playground for his primarily bussed class to get there.  Often, i wait alone, but sometimes Anastasia and her prince join me.  ANd by join, i mean sits on the bench furthest from me, and spends her time isuuing royal decrees in a language i think i am happy to not know.

Today, her lil prince and my lil cossack were riding bikes.  My son makes a circuit of the playground so that he can go down this slight incline and scream like it’s a roller coaster.  cute but deafening.  Anyway, his majesty did some sort of prat fall off his bike and just lay there–not crying, not fussing.  Just lay there like it was a tempurpedic mattress.  And my son was approaching SLOWLY on his bike.  Not aimed at the kid, but angled in such a way that he MAY have clipped the now riderless tricycle.  (and honestly i knew he wouldn’t, because he has a tendency to turn away from stuff like that

last minute)  NOW, Anastasia was not privy to my knowledge–i get that.  But as he was not barreling down like David Carradine in Death Race 2000, i didn’t imagine it would be a problem.  Until she reached down with her vulture like grasp and grabbed his arm to push him away, screeching  “STOP! YOU VILL HOOORT HEEM!” and then proceeded to chew him out in Russian while she guarded her little prince from what was obviously a red guard soldier.

really lady?

I stood up to interject myself (as i am obviously a communist) but Ben backed away and rode off in the other direction, unfazed.  Well–sorta. He began to cut the corner and avoid this woman on his circuit, giving her what can only be called the pinko stink-eye.

See?  this is why they stormed the palace, lady.  That and the whole starving thing.

And of course, before i could release the words building in my maw, the teacher and class arrived and  we all had to put away back packs and make polite conversation.

On our way out of the school, i noticed she was hoofin’ it pretty fast.  Obviously afraid of the possible cossack raid that may have come her way if she had even LOOKED at me.  ( which isn’t really true.  I probably would have just given her the stink eye as well, and turned away from her in a rude fashion.  It wouldn’t do to release my inner revolutionary on her in front of a bunch of kids.  That, and i dislike confrontation with people whose English is spotty at best.  I think we both know it would have been a waste of my time)

So, now that i feel completely justified in mocking her, i may do so on a regular basis.  Thank you lady.  In your own way you have become my Lenin–liberating my my proletariat tongue to lash out at your czarist tendencies.  I’d start looking for Rasputin if i were you…

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Blog Gems

This Blog Gem’s theme is COOL.  So here is my sort-of homage from my old blog about the coolest person i can think of (and no its NOT Arthur Fonzarelli).  Or, perhaps a better explanation is that this is a post about what to do if you lose your cool…

http://thissideoftypical.blogspot.com/2011/03/perfect-weapon.html

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Hater Humpday #11


So it seems the world has lately decided to pile on the Special Needs community with absolute nonsense in an atttempt to distract us from the current Debt-Ceiling debate.  Well, it’s not going to work Universe.

Ok, maybe a little.

I mean, I don’t even read GQ--so that hasn’t proven much of a distraction until this morning where i have already read 5 posts on the topic.  If you don’t know (like me 20 minutes ago) some asshat wrote an article about Boston’s lack of fashion style, saying: “Boston suffers from a kind of Style Down Syndrome, where a little extra ends up ruining everything.”  And in the first edition of that story (since changed) there was a reference that this was due to fashion “inbreeding.”

REALLY?

I mean, really?  I realize that Boston is not a fashion mecca–but isn’t fashion a little overrated anyway?  I mean, who really cares about clothes only skinny girls get to wear?  Ok, i admit, i care a little.  But not so much to degrade and ENTIRE GROUP OF PEOPLE, including my niece,  because the people of Boston don’t give a wicked fart that their shoes don’t match their pompadour.  Unless, of course, they mean, like Dr Brian Skoto pointed out, that the people of Boston, when it comes to fashion are the most determined, tenacious and loving of anyone in the fashion world.  But somehow, i dont’ think that was their original intention.

And then there is Allen Francis, former editor of the the DSM-IV who claims that the sharp rise in autism diagnoses in the past decade is because–wait for it–its the new “fad diagnosis.”   Like teacup chihuahuas and skinny jeans.

W.T.F.

I mean, sure.  The diagnosis is on the rise.  But its not as if its being hawked on TV like some sort of new chamois cloth that would even clean up hooker blood.  I don’t see Neurotypical parents eyeing my kid’s meltdown at Ralphs with some sort of envy.  Its not like Parents Magazine is knocking on my door wanting to document how my son’s anxiety can turn everyone in this house into a crazy person–dog included.  I don’t see TMZ lurking in the bushes snapping photos of our trip to the therapist.

But like any cynic, i’m still waiting for the third installment of this national side show.  Who’s gonna get picked on and dehumanized next?  Cause that’s whats happening here.  When you pick a group of people, and refuse to take their situation seriously, you take away their humanity. 

Look, i’m not saying that there isn’t a place for comedy in the world.  Lord knows i pick on stupid people more often than naught.  But the stupid can change their label.  Someone with Downs or Autism CANNOT.

My husband once told me there used to be an unspoken rule about roast/insult comedy.  You picked on a person’s actions–not on things they cannot help or change.  You know, like David Hasselhoff’s acting career, or Charlie Sheens’ cocaine hobby.  Or like some journalists’ ability to think through their fucking statements.

so who’s next, universe?  The paralyzed?  cancer victims?  Hunchbacks and kids with cleft palates? Cause, if you drop one more on us, i believe an economy sized can of whoop ass with your name on it is gonna get opened up…

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seriously?

So, the Old Man and i went to a comedy show last night.  And for the second time, this club totally disappointed me.  You know the “how soon can we leave without looking like douchbags and fulfulling the 2 drink minimum” feeling you get when the dork on stage is about as funny as my aunt Czarina.

[yes, i had an aunt Czarina--great aunt really--and yes, that was her real name.  Funny story--she once made meatloaf for the family reunion that looked like brownies.  Word did not get around fast enough...]

Now, i am not saying that i could get up on stage and do a better job.  I get it–lights, people lookin atcha, not enough liquor in your system–and that’s just sittin in the audience.  But let me tell a story.  I used to work at a failing school–you know, the kind Republicans are always bitchin about?  Yeah–that was our school.  And my principal would always have to attend all these stupid meetings to discuss how NOT crappy we were doing.  You know who she always brought along?  ME.  Because i could couch a serious message in humor and lighten the mood in a room.  yes.  I could MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH.  And this would be a room of people who were  a) not there to laugh and b)sober.  So, and i feel i’m justified here, i get annoyed by so called “professionals” who can’t make a rowdy crowd of drunks laugh harder than a chuckle.

Now one of the comics had a funny bit, and i give him props.  You know why?  Old Dude.  Been doin this a while.  Prolly been telling those jokes for a while now–same 10 minutes in a million different towns for a few years now.  He knows what works.

But the host was a dick.  And let me tell you why.

1.) Mumbler.  Look–i get it.  I’m a mumbler myself.  except when it is necessary to enunciate–like when a mike is in my face.  and i don’t mean the guy down the street.  although i have to enunciate to him from time to time to get him to respect the restraining order.

2)  same joke told a millions ways.  Dude. we get that you were poor. the first time your bit was funny.  The fifth, not so much.

3.  Homophobic jokes.  its 2011.  the 80′s called.  They’d like their jokes back.

4.  (the real reason i disliked this guy) “Retard” jokes.  Not many–but enough to piss me off.  ANd i’m not being PC here–i get that there is a whole genre of jokes about people who are different–and BY people who are different.  And I’m not saying they don’t have their place in the comedy world, even if they don’t really make ME personally laugh.  But usually they are the in the realm of the insult comic, who has honed his or her craft to pretty much pick on ANYONE, and make people laugh at the same time.    But this isn’t what i’m talking about.  No–this was the classic bit one might witness in say GRADE SCHOOL making fun of someone with a speech impediment and physical handicap.  classy.  WHy not throw in a few racist jokes on top of that?

5.  a few racist jokes thrown in for fun.  Look–if ANYONE know how funny white people are, it’s me.  I’ve survived comedically off the “white people suck” card for a while now. But you have to hone those jokes so that you don’t just sound angry and bitter–unless that’s your bit AND it’s funny.  Note the AND there.

So after a hour or so of this, we bailed, and felt the better for it.  There’s only so much $5 beer you can drink before you start to get belligerent.  And the funny thing?  WE laughed more AFTER we left than we had all evening.  I’m not saying we belong at open mike night.  But i’m thinking of a few people who could benefit from  a room full of pissed off education administrators…

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He’s got his moments…

what i woke up to sunday morning… Just when i start getting stabby, he goes and does this.  Smart man, this. (and yes, the signature is an uncanny likeness)

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Hater Humpday #10

Seriously–it’s like this town just LOOKS for a reason to act ridiculous.

It turns out, this weekend is  Carmaggeddon.  For construction reasons, or the whim of the traffic gods, the 405 will be shut down between the 10 and the 101.    That’s a big stretch on on of the busiest interchanges in the country.

Yes.  This will cause some traffic issues. Yes, one might expect delays.  But–and call me crazy here–i don’t see how this will be the end of the world as we know it.  Hell, the LA marathon is a bigger nightmare.

Ok, i’m jaded.  I can count on one had the number of times i’ve driven on the 405  WITHOUT being stuck in traffic.  I mean, moments where we have to remark:  “i dont’ think ive ever driven this fast on the 405 before.”  I mean, when i get directions to a place, and it tells me to get on the 405, i go OUT OF MY WAY to find an alternate route.  The only thing that will willingly put me on the 405 is a trip to the airport–and even that i try to get a car or shuttle for.

But people here are talking of hunkering down and no going more than  a mile from their house this weekend.  to which i say GOOD!  it might be nice for a change to not have to deal with all your crazy fucks on the road.

You see, i view this not as carmaggeddon, but rather KARMAggeddon.  That’s right.  This weekend is for all you shitty drivers who don’t use turn signals, tailgate, steal parking spots and generally act like you own the fucking road.  This is for all the dumb people who choose to do the follwoing actitivies while they drive:

  • talk on the phone or texting
  • put on mascara or any eye make-up
  • eat pizza
  • dancing to “Days Go By” by Dirty Vegas
  • reading
  • giving or recieving oral (or other) sex
  • singing off key
  • listen to Justin Beiber
  • checking their hairdo or adding hairspray (you hear that SOuthern Hair?)
  • Picking up ugly hookers
  • Giving good samaritan rides (ala Eddie Murphy)
  • ignoring homeless folk
  • diapering your six year old
  • breastfeeding
  • Forcibly smoking crack with Wayne Brady
  • making belgian waffles (seriously–are you not aware of the obesity problem in this coutnry?)

To all of you i give a resounding Eat It!  and while you are hunkered down afraid that the zombies/communists/Black Panther party is taking over, I’m going to enjoy a quiet weekend, using mass transit and laughing at all you stupid fucks on the road.

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Hater Humpday #9

Am i supposed to be outraged?  Because i’m not, really.

Yes, i know. The fact that that little girl is dead is chilling.  It’s gruesome.  It makes me wanna put my kid in a protective bubble and lock all the doors and declare foolish things.

I am in no way declaring her innocence or guilt.  But let me say this.  The justice system is set up in such a way as to protect the accused.  And it was the job of the prosecutor to prove his/her point.  Obviously, they failed.  Because whether she is guilty or not, her case was not perfect or airtight.  Doubt resides.

What i am a fan of is not incarcerating innocent people–as we are wont to do in this country. We even execute them.  INNOCENT people.  Call me crazy–but i would rather see her walk if there is any doubt in her case, than see her in jail if there is the slightest chance she is innocent.  Do i want murderers and rapists walking the streets?  of course not.  but you know what?  they already do–and always will.  But i do not want to live in a world in which my rights are chipped away because of fear.

Yes, it means i could be attacked.  Yes, it means that terrorists may once again mar our history.  Yes.  it makes a world that isn’t perfectly safe.  But what if it were your loved one, or even yourself accused?  Would you want fair trial, or one based in the laws of fear.  There is a reason the mob does not rule–that the law is above all else.  If you doubt it–just look at the crazy shit people are writing about Casey Anthony today.

If she did it, i hope justice will find her.  And with the way i view the universe, i know it will.

But if she didn’t?  well.

What matters, is the Rule of Law. It is the thing that defines a civilized nation–it is what our founding brothers & sisters were fighting for–that the LAW rules.   It may cold and unfeeling, but better blind justice rule than the passions of the unstable mob.

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The Puke Fairy–or how my son does NOTHING half-assed.

I’ll give my son this–he rarely gets sick, but when he does, game ON. Usually its fevers. He seems fond of sitting in the “should we go to the ER?” zone longer than i would like, and he’s a pro at giving me the pathetic face and snuggling up to me in an effort to make me just pity him and his situation. But’ it’s always been fevers and colds. He’s never had a pukey sickness.

UNTIL NOW.

I realize how lucky i have been, not having had to deal with the Puke Fairy that much–oh there’s been the occasional “i shoved too much food in my mouth” upchucks (gotta LOVE those in public places), but never an illness. But i think we can now say my vomit cherry has been deflowered.

Poor lil guy had some sort of virus (“it’s going around”–seriously, you went to 8 years of medical school for that lil tidbit?) that had him puking on the 45 minute mark, every hour. seriously. I could practically set a timer. Even in THIS the boy had a routine.

I can’t tell you how many times i stood gobsmacked, trying to figure how to deal with the messy boy and three different puddles of ick, wondering where to start.  The Puke Fairy really put this rookie through the paces.

So i had to learn the hard way that changing the sheets and putting him back to bed = BAD IDEA. When i was running my 3rd load of laundry and muttering, “i’m running out of fucking blankets”, i said fuck it, threw a waterproof pad on the couch, rolled up the carpet and camped out in the living room watching Wall-e and Kung Fu Panda.

We eventually had to head to urgent care because he hadn’t peed in 12 hours and frankly, holding my sobbing boy in the bathroom for the upteenth time broke me. He hadn’t slept all night, he was tired of puking and i was tired of cleaning. His PCP said go get the shot to get him to stop puking so he can keep down some gatorade and sleep–preferably in that order.

So, after a few sips of gatorade, we head to urgent care. Ben is lethargic but not pukey, and the waiting room is FULL of people in varying degrees of urgency. No Tuberculin coughs though, so it wasn’t too cringey.

Unfortunately for Ben though, the doctor there didn’t want to give him the shot because he was holding down the two sips of gatorade given to him @ an hour before. awesome. They should just have a box outside urgent care that says “put your $$ in here and keep doing what you’re doing at home.” At least, this is my pediatric experience.

I realize Ben getting sick puts me in some wierd zone–like i said he NEVER gets sick, so when he does, it’s on. But i’m telling you i wanted to cut a bitch after that first trip. Yes. FIRST TRIP.

Ben actually napped that afternoon, and woke up to more sips of gatorade, only to start the puke parade again and we took him BACK to urgent care so i could do my best Shirley McClain Terms of Endearment “GIVE HIM THE DAMN SHOT!” impression.

Luckily my son is so cute–and looked so pathetic that they didn’t charge us a second copay, got us in right away, and the doctor immediately prescribed a pill that would make Ben stop puking. Luckily it was a dissovable pill, even though my son just chomped it up with that face that said “really? I’ve been puking for 24 hours and you give me THIS piece-of-shit-tasting pill?” Then we got to hang out for 15 minutes to make sure it wasn’t gonna make him freak out and die i guess and they sent us on our way.

I am happy to report we have been sans puke since then, although i am still flinchy with every burp and cough (thanks Puke Fairy). But last night he was dancing around watching the fireworks (we can see a number of shows right from our front porch) and having a good ol’ time. Saltines have been consumed and continue to stay down. Food is being requested at such an alarming rate that we are battling a little becuase i refuse to let him gorge himself, even though i know he’s hungry. I have a feeling today will be one continuous snack train. Maybe tomorrow too.

I feel like a real parent now. I’ve done my time with the Puke Fairy and won. Not that she won’t be back some time. But right now, that bitch is homeless.

[UPDATE:  yeah.  I spoke too soon.  That fairy is a fuckin BIOTCHNIT.  Back to panicky "DON'T EAT THAT!" mode.]

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