Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Is it just me or do bad things seem to come in eights these days? TheOcto-Mom controversy, the latest "Jon & Kate + 8" tabloid crazy, and of course, Prop-effing-8!

I think it goes without saying that the California Supreme Court decision to uphold Proposition 8 was a bad judicial decision and, more than that, codified discrimination in the state constitution.

But the Right is always so much better than the Left on spin. Less and less do we hear about "protecting traditional marriage" and more and more, anti-equal marriage activists proclaim that the will of the people - that is, the people who voted to invalidate gay marriage - must be affirmed. In other words, Californians voted last year to amend the constitution to redefine marriage as the union between one dude and one broad and deny gay couples the right to marry, and the act of voting is sacred (see the way conservatives have framed the EFCA debate), so it must be upheld.

Yet very few people on the Left have pointed out that the people who voted yes on Prop 8 are homophobic idiots. Instead there are claims that the Mormon Church and conservatives ran such a well-funded and rabid campaign that the poor, foolish voters of California fell into their trap. Puuuuhhlease. There are lots of victims out there, but the Left loves to fetishize victimhood and turn adults who make dumb, bad, racist, homophobic, sexist decisions into pawns in a game played by two opposing political positions. Of course, to some extent, it's true. Big money and advertising work on voters (because so many voters are dumb) and the Yes on 8 campaign worked on many California voters (because so many voters are dumb and homophobic). But perhaps the No on 8 campaign would have been more successful had it raised more money and done better organizing. Just a thought.

And when did the concept and act of voting become so process-focused and detached from the results? I've never understood this position. Voting in and of itself is not good. When voters do bad things, like invalidate a minority group's (icky phrase. sorry) rights, that's not democratic action. It's just the opposite. When I see some old guy at the polls wearing an "I Voted!" sticker and carrying a handmade sign of a fetus kissing Jesus and holding a rosary or something, I don't think, "What a wonderful world full of diverse opinion! America is a rainbow!" I think, if only someone had knocked this guy down and broken his hip on the way to the polls, we'd all be better off.

So listen up you brilliant Californians: the next time gay marriage is on the ballot, it's your duty to knock over a few homophobes on the way to the polls!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Parenting Advice, Complete with the Barnes & Noble Guarantee

My baby is turning two next month and it's getting time to wean. I'm not ready to put breastfeeding in the past because of some arbitrary deadline, but because there's nothing like a semi-sleeping baby kneading your belly fat to make you want to take up binge drinking! In short, it's getting annoying. Not always, but sometimes. And the nursing can go on for hours, especially at night or early in the morning. She's not sleeping very well, I'm not sleeping very well, and when I do, visions of bras without snap-openings are dancing in my head.

So it's time to start the ball rolling in the direction of weaning.

But the thing is, despite my utter failure to nurse my baby into early adolescence (see Norma Jane Bumgarner's Mothering Your Nursing Toddler if you want to know how having a career and weaning your baby are the surest ways to leave her feeling neglected), I want to be very careful not to make her feel rejected or abandoned. I'm not going to start shouting at her to be a "big girl" or that nursing is for babies. I'm not going to hang a "Closed for Business" sign over my chest and let her cry it out. So, as with other things, I thought it would be useful to get a book about weaning geared to children her age to help her understand the concept.

Like this one for bottle-fed babies:

Thing is, finding a weaning book for toddlers is next to impossible. So when we were near a Barnes & Noble on Friday, I thought, why not check. And while FD & Ruby were reading books, I asked a salesperson in the kids' book section about such a book. After a few minutes of perusing the shelves and checking the computer, she told me they didn't have anything in stock.

Then she told me this:

"I think that once a child can go outside and play and then come in and ask for it [nursing], they're ready to stop."


Unsolicited parenting advice from bottle-feeding, anti-sling, pro-cry-it-out, anti-feminist, pro-yelling parents generally pisses me off, but when a broad at a bookstore tells me to quit nursing my kid, I see red (and not just the lipstick on her teeth).

Unfortunately, there's not a great ending to this story. I didn't pull some sweet Billy Blank Tae Bo moves on her, or give her a verbal dressing down. I didn't talk to her supervisor (blasted union background!) or even reply with the classic, "Old bag!" Instead, I think I breathed out a long "Uhhhhhhhhhh . . . yeah . . . ?"

Then she told me how, when she had her son many moons ago, she couldn't nurse him because she had no milk and he was "just fine!" Part of me thought she was making stuff up (and that her kid probably had a limp and a tick at least!), but the other part of me felt badly for her, and decided that maybe the reason she thought it was appropriate to suggest my kid's too old to wean is because she never had the chance to nurse her own baby, which I imagine is rather difficult if it's something a woman wants to do.

In other words, maybe this woman's lack of choices made her feel powerless and the only way she can deal with that powerlessness is to criticize other women's choices.

Fine, I'm a little bit of a sucker. But now I feel prepared for the next time someone decides to give me BS tips on raising my baby. I just have to practice: Old bag!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back by Popular Demand (sort of)!

Here's a job posting FD suggested might be right up my alley:

We are looking for a female to cook hamburgs ($2) and hotdogs ($1)on our outdoor grill . This will be once a week on Wednesday's from 5-8pm. You will be working for $3 an hr plus tips. Starting June 17th, every Wednesday throughout the summer we will be hosting a Bike Night in our parking lot. Looks and personality will go a long way As the night becomes popular your tips will grow. Could be a good way to make a little extra cash. If interested call me at 413-586-3315 to schedule an interview Bill

I couldn't resist emailing this Bill fool:
This ad is offensive, sexist, and discriminatory. And wow, $3/hour...that's a living wage around here, right? Cook your own goddamned hamburgers.

If you have any thoughts, you can email Bill too: or just give him a call at the number above.