just you wait, it’s going to be awesome!

Ralph and I are working on a cooking video. Here are some excerpts from film production:

Me: “It should be obvious from the amount of soy sauce and sugar I’m using that these are not healthy. Um… I think? They’re vegan.”

Ralph: “The problem is not filming your boobs.”

Nels (on hearing me say “chicken” on video): “Chicken?! I don’t like chicken. They bite me!”

(That last has never happened. Ever.)

rated PG-13 for language

I watched 300 last night. It was surprisingly non-compelling, albeit – of course – beautifully, beautifully done in many places. I was kind of benefitting less from the “beautifully done” aspect because the plot was like something a fifteen year old boy might write down on a napkin in a burger joint talking to his buddy:”OK, then they go here, but like, the queen? Back home, she has to try to convince the counsel to help, um, you know, support the king.” and etc. I think the film probably could have spent a little more of its (what looks like considerable) budget making a storyline that had a tiny bit more interest.

I always notice the rating warnings prior to the film’s opening. Sometimes it will say something like, “PG for mild peril” and sometimes something very oddly specific: “PG-13 for a written instance of adult language and a brief scene involving teen use of a moderately addictive substance”. If I can remember, I will then look for the offending scene(s). 300 told me the film was “Rated R for graphic battle sequences throughout, some sexuality and nudity.” OK, violence, sure – the film is about the battle of Thermopylae after all. And what’s this? “Some sexuality and nudity”? What does that mean? I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean guys. It doesn’t mean they’ll show a man’s crotch, swinging in the wind or even getting out of the bath. Probably not even a man’s backside and certainly, never, ever, a man’s sexually excited member. So what does “some sexuality and nudity” mean?

Tits. It means tits. We’ll see lots of ’em, or as many as a movie about an all-male battle can possibly find opportunity to do so. Tits in gossamer-thin togas, tits on running peasant girls, tits flopping around on gyrating concubine-whores (because you know those evil tyrant types bring their bitches along to battles), tits in dream sequences of men camped for battle.

I like breasts. They’re awesome. Here’s my problem: why are they treated the way they are? Why are they even seen as nudity these days – something “forbidden” or set aside for adult viewing, yet exploited in every possible way one could think of and in any venue we can bring them? Why are we so disrespectful of the female form yet slaver at any opportunity to bring it into view and pretend it is somehow illicit, wrong, sinful, intensely desirable yet somehow filthy? Standing in the grocery store line my children and I can daily view breasts oiled, bound, deformed, airbrushed, and set on the Versace platters of nubile startlets like a prime piece of butchery – they should put a little frond of parsley and lemon wedge as a broach. Oh look – we got so-and-so respectable TV character to wear a flimsy, wet undershirt and – tee hee! – splashed her with water, later Photoshopping the results to reveal just the right amount of areola! Yay for us! And then yes: now the public can call her a whore for giving up what we begged, cajoled her for, what she’d have to give up to meet her career aspirations.

I’m afraid my children are being raised in a world that employs very sick and sad values about the female body: an out-of-proportion reverence and the coin-flip dark desires to revenge ourselves upon it. Fortunately for me what could terrify or sicken me merely makes me feel merely sad and aware; I just wonder if in my lifetime we will evolve out of what is not merely a Judeo-Christian remnant of simultaneous worship and denigration, but seems a worldwide one that I try very hard no to lay the blame at the feet of men.

The movie delivered precisely the quantity and quality of nudity I expected. I got to see the bare outline of Gerard Butler’s moonlit backside but not even in a way that would be termed “nudity”. And speaking of, I was also surpsied to see not only did the Spartans fight in an efficient battle bikini bottom (with cape, helmet, and big-ass sheild) they apparently all treated themselved to a bikini wax before heading out on the campaign. Those Greeks and their pre-battle rituals.

staying afloat

Our mini-vacation has come and gone. Ralph and I had a great time; our friends Cyn, Paige, and Chris came (along with two guest dogs) and we just ate, swam (yes, Ralph got a water fight – with only one opponent though), cooked (me only), and did dishes (sadly, a necessary evil of that last thing).

Sophie ran and jumped off the dock, swimming back to the end of the pier. She did this four thousand times, but each one I had to watch her swim back to the dock because her swimming still looks spastic and unreliable. I tried to look casual, not as if my heart was in my throat. Nels did not like the water so much; he mostly stayed inside, sometimes stripping nude and eating chips. Both kids got stung – Sophie by a wasp, Nels by a bee. Sophie helped me make Ralph’s birthday cake and suggested pink frosting.

The drive home was easy and our newly-stung boy fell asleep before we reached the end of the driveway (I watched him carefully; he had the tiniest bit of swelling on his finger and it went down within 12 hours). We capped the weekend with only a brief stop home before heading to see Ratatouille. Then home to mountain of towels and vacation laundry.

Ocean Shores Cinema, Sunday Night

started out assy and kept along in that same vein

Today while relying on public transportation I was let down. As in, an entire bus went missing and the kids and I stood waiting for about forty minutes. Forty minutes isn’t that long but forty minutes is a long time when you’re expecting a bus any minute. Forty minutes lost meant I dressed in workout clothes for naught; when we got to the Y there wasn’t enough time for me to get my exercise in before Sophie had her lessons. By the way, she’s swimming quite well and today told me she wants to be a swimming teacher “when [she] grow[s] up”.

After lessons it was a walk back to the bus stop; unpleasant and muggy. Then to my parents’ where I am feeling oddly uncomfortable, never knowing if I’m showing up too much for my sewing work (isn’t it nice with FOO you get to guess how the feel about you?).

On the happier side, my family has discovered “Spongebob Squarepants” (rented on DVD) – finally. We held out for a long time before checking into it, as most kid cartoons really irritate me. But it turns out the hype is earned. It’s a funny show, reminiscent in many ways of old school “Ren & Stimpy” but non-violent and not nearly as gross. Impressive!

"Oh yeah, ’cause we all sell apples ’round here, don’t we?"

Today my day started out like this:

This morning I’d looked forward to a half-day trip with my parents and my children to Olympia (hereon out called ORLY) [ that’s good! ]. Instead I get an eleventh-hour bailout from my mom [ that’s bad! ]. I mean, I don’t want to get too personal or TMI but she basically had some sort of shitstorm going on that meant she couldn’t be more than ten feet away from a commode. So suddenly I find myself with my mean ole dad and my son, and no Mom nor the pleasure of her company nor the gravy-train Visa card of hers for lunch, and no help wrangling The Boy, on my way to a more-than-half day errand which I have to run because my dad has fainting spells so it’s not safe for him to drive himself.

I sure hope she had fun on that crapper this morning. Oh, and to be fair; she retained Sophie and took her to school and afterwards too.

Tonight I got a date I’d looked forward to; I went out with a girlfriend for dinner and a movie – dinner at Ocean Shores’ Galaway Bay (a caesar salad and Fish Tail Ale for me), the movie Hot Fuzz. I laughed so damned hard during the entire protracted ending, which achieved levels of satire combined with heart in a way I had previously never seen. I would have re-watched the movie instantly afterwards and I can say I haven’t really felt that urge before. I can’t wait for Ralph to see it.

And speaking of Ralph – he sent me this article today (in part of his effort to write a Father’s Day editorial, an idea he stole from a friend of mine). I have always loved Carolyn Hax and this is just more evidence. I almost got teared-up reading what she wrote. And yeah – “That’s good!”

"someday all this will be yours."

I really enjoyed taking tickets tonight for the 7th Street Theatre’s* showing of Monty Python’s Holy Grail; in doing so I briefly recalled Julia Sweeney’s fascinating narrative on ticket-scamming her job to the tune of hundreds a night. I know if / when I work again as ticket agent this won’t be happening for several reasons: one, I am not a thief; two, the theatre doesn’t seem to make much more than a few of those hundreds gross per weekend; and three, it was fucking hard to do and I even messed up a bit! Yes, I had one of those embarrassing moments where someone gives me money and I’m in the middle of giving their change back and they suddenly push some more back at me and claim a confusing number of extra tickets they wanted. I know there is that whole “start over” possibility but there were ones and fives in the ticket booth in a pile and a press of customers waiting and finally I accepted the customer’s word – not that he would be deliberately dishonest (in general, Little League coach-looking dudes in Grays Harbor aren’t into grift) but I certainly didn’t have my math brain there to help back him up.

Whoops. I did the best I could and documented my mess-up. My mistakes will result in the cash being higher than the book amount so at least I don’t look like a goddamned criminal.

Ralph and I biked home – it was so fun to have a date, albeit a short one! – and upon arrival my mom, flushed with wine, told me a success story of spanking Nels after he threw something at the cat. It was a “success” because it bothered him and he cried and cried and felt remorse. Oh, if anyone wants to ask me, please don’t spank my kid(s). They get enough terror at home.

* Wow! Who made that sharp-looking website?

reading . listening . watching

If I had a cooler blog, there’d be all these need badges and audioscrobbler add-ins that would be impressing you. Well I don’t, and there aren’t, so here you go:

Listening to:
Muse’s Origin of Symmetry – love it!
(Recently purchased):
Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning – hmm. not sure yet how much I like it. I only bought it a couple days ago.
Air’s 10,000Hz Legend (which I’d owned but lost somewhere along the way) – excellent!
Arctic Monkeys’ Favourite Worst Nightmare – Ralph and I really enjoy it.

Watching:
“Arrested Development”, still. I only get an episode or two a week in. This show is very, very funny and amazingly clever. I am just starting the third (and last) season now.

Clerks 2. Ralph rented this and is begging me to watch it. I saw a couple minutes while he was burning it and I was irritated. But I will watch it because I love watching movies with Ralph – he so seldom wants to slow down to do it.

Want to watch:
Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto. I will be the last person on earth that still likes that dude (OK, I like his MOVIES anyway, and tons).

Downloading:
Super-secret project I can’t talk about yet because a CERTAIN PERSON reads my blog a lot.

Eating:
I had half an apple for breakfast and of course, coffee. I’m heading out for a smoke soon. Last night I went to my mom’s to use her serger (a $1600 beauty Husqvarna courtesy of my grandpa) and I had Ralph stay home to make homemade calzones. I am “making” him cook more. He is enjoying it and I think it’s reinforcing not only his ownership of the house but also his appreciation of how much work cooking is.

Reading:

Last week I finished Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. Well, I loved it. LOVED it. I think I’m going to have to read some Bret Easton Ellis now, since he was her benefactor and friend and wrote similar stories of the elite morally vacuous world.

A couple days ago I finished Patricia Cornwell’s Portrait of A Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed. I found it very interesting. She claims to have identified the murderer. I knew nothing about Jack the Ripper before I read this book. I really enjoyed it but it was also a very creepy read.

Currently reading Caleb Carr’s The Italian Secretary, a Sherlock Holmes story. I loved two of his books, The Alienist and Angel of Darkness. And I have read everything Sherlock – or at least all Arthur Conan Doyle’s stuff plus The Seven Percent Solution by Nicholas Meyer (which I loved). But this book is borrrrrrring.

Next up: my mom gave me a copy of How to Make An American Quilt by Whitney Otto. I don’t like chick books much and it’s going to be borrrring to read this after all that murder. But maybe I need a break from grisly stuff.

"Oh, King of the Castle, King of the Castle, I have a chair!"

I’m in a black mood today. Correction: I was in a black mood.

This morning as my children and I came downstairs, me with a huge pile of laundry on one hip and a wailing Nels holding my other hand, I heard the distinctive sound of my daughter vomitting on the floor. You know, you know what the sound is split seconds before you identify it? For a confused moment you’re thinking, Did my child pee her pants? but you already know the answer is “No”, so your mind then moves on to … damnit. Puke.

Luckily we taught Sophtie to be a champion puker long ago so she was straightened out in no time (a quick bath, two pigtails so she could vomit unhindered). And life continued on, badly. It seemed stuffy and unwelcome in the family home – like my parents no longer want us (specifically, me) here; like we all need to get out of the house but they really don’t all that much so I do (sick child and all) – a visit to the library, not so bad.

Other lowlights: trouble with Ralph. Making playdough for my children’s school. This fucking sucked. My brother – saintly – helped me. It involved a lot of mess and a lot of kneading and I didn’t even get anything to eat out of that. Oh, and of course my daughter puking, again and again. This afternoon as I dispassionately hold back her hair, “Yeah, that looks like your ice cream and peanut butter.” She pukes in the car while waiting for drive-through coffee – “luckily” in my husband’s coat.

On the other hand, this evening my husband, mom, and I watched Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and during the naked hotel / fight scene my mom and I were laughing so hard, and for so long, it was painful.

Let’s hope tomorrow continues on in that vein. Okay?

"Do you have to use so many curse words?"

For the second time I find FM transmitter technology just isn’t cutting it for the enjoyment of my iPod. Oh sure, sure – it’s lame I’m even buying something so chintzy with a weird, cock-like appendage and an even weirder, cock-with-elbow-like secondary extender. After all, there are classier, more expensive ways to put your massive iPod music library in your vehicle. However, the well is not bottomless, and even though my iPod was this year’s sole Kelly expendeture from the Hogaboom coffers – well, I am looking for a more reasonable solution. After returning original FM doohickey (and vowing to hate radio technology, despite the lovely and informative article on the cellular phone I read in last edition of Invention & Technology magazine, P.S. I am not kidding, I really do read that magazine) today I find out from an IM conversation, innocently enough, that a simpler and more mechanically-based adapter is available in town. I rush my daughter and I out early for our date so I can hit the store in question and grab it up (and a quarter the price of FM device).

Inside the car I begin tearing at the packaging like a monkey (“That’s a little bit awful,” observes my biscotti-eating child-date watching me scratch at the vacuum-sealed sarcophagi), finally breaking the seal thanks to my keychain swiss army knife (yes! I’m a dork. But who’s laughing now?!?), plug the “cassette” in, mash everything on the face of my iPod (Sophie requests Starsky & Hutch‘s “Two Dragons” for our maiden listen), only to have the stereo readout tell me in its fuckspeak: “c | n ” – a code meaning either, “Please clean your tape deck” or, “I will never work again”. Don’t know which yet and get to find out.

Once again, no instant gratification for yours truly.

Oh, tonight’s movie; Eragon. Don’t see it. Billed as “Lord of the Rings Light“, I’d phrase it “Lord of the Rings LITE (TM) with ‘artificial meat flavors’ and Miracle Whip“. Why do I watch this crap? Oh yeah: because I have a daughter, and we go on dates, and I refuse to watch kiddy films. This movie works for her because she has a huge affinity for anything scaly (and an even huger affinity for anything huge and scaly). And even SHE was bored by the end. Your average crap fantasy film: a young boy’s turn to manhood and the loss of loved ones (you can predict exactly when they’ll go); evil badguy (with repetitive idle threats toward his minions that remind me of so many parents on the playground and their errant toddlers, and John Malkovitch enough already and retire please), his really evil-henchman (whose makeup inexplicably gets re-creepified 2/3 of the way through the film, but I still find Robert Carlyle cute only when he’s playing a psycho); token buff warrior dude with obligatory horrific mulletude (P.S. Hollywood, I want my Djimon Hounsou served up in a loincloth, gladiator toga, ass-cheeked thong, or half-nude in a period drama, thank you!), blah blah. It actually started to get better by the end, especially when I realized they were going to save some of the typical storyline for, yes! another film. P.S. I think something sexy was going on between the boy dragonrider and his dragon. Or maybe it was just my feverish, bored mind casting for something to enjoy. I gotta admit, it was kind of hot.

So in looking up links for the last paragraph I stumbled upon the fact I have seen two movies in one week with a main character named “King Hrothgar”.

Um… look. I’ve watched a lot of movies in the last few days, people. No really… I’ve been sick and had nothing else to do. Wait, don’t leave …

I’m going to go hang my head in shame now.

gearing up for Halloweiner

This morning I awoke amidst the three others in my family, burrowed under blankets on a large mattress Pangaea on the floor of my kids’ room. These measures are necessary because we are currently having our house interior painted and sleeping in a freshly-painted room is, well, kind of gross and scary. That’s OK because I am secretly (or not-so-secretly) a big fan of family-sleeping. So last night I was only too thrilled to move a TV into the kids’ room and watch a movie (a “conventional but entertaining sports flick” indeed – I’m coming to believe the Disney sports films – The Rookie, Invincible, etc. – are my version of other women’s romantic comedies – which I don’t watch – perhaps because they are always well-crafted, contain a good period soundtrack, and are comforting, formulaic, and only mildly emotionally moving), a late-night snack, and all-night family snuggle.

This morning I disentangle myself from the litter and start coffee; Ralph and Nels soon follow in waking up and while I shower Nels lays on the floor whinging as Ralph washes breakfast dishes (apparently being hungry for ten minutes in the morning is an existential nightmare for our son). After getting dressed I snuggle next to my daughter’s sweet body and we lie in bed quietly for a while. Then she starts talking, whispering to me of a purple dragon, a dragon “that saves people”. She sits up cross-legged and holds her hands in front of her, meshes the fingers to cup someone gently, and tells me the creature has long claws to hold people, as she talks she is gazing off, remembering. “The dragon had a very friendly face,” she breathes, her smile beatific.

Today has been a near-madhouse of activity, mostly including family events – playschool responsibilities, Halloween costumes, trick-or-treating – and significantly hampered by having the house torn apart for painting. But yes, I got all my Halloween sewing done, easy. And don’t think I’m not thrilled that I have had emails asking me to post photos! And you would think I’d get to breathe a breath of relaxation now the Halloween sewing is done. My last day of my sewing workshops is tomorrow, however – so I have to prepare for that. Zippers. Funsies.


Nocturnal animals in my car, from the other night’s late-night grocery run. Which I and the kids enjoy. Note Nels’ many layers of scarf, which he wore all night without even toppling over.