Her Bad Mother

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Holidays in June

First things first: The whole Dad-Blogger Group Hug, aka Totally Manly Handshake (which, yes, does sound like a circle jerk, Urban Mommy. Which only makes me like the name more), seems to be posing a challenge, insofar as some of you are saying that you don't read many - or, gasp, any - Dad-Bloggers.

(Shocked silence)

There's a Gender Studies thesis here somewhere, I think. Snips and Snails and Daddy-Blog Tales: The Sexual Politics of Parent Blogs. Mommy Bloggers get all of the attention - the conferences, the 'zines, the big-ass corporate-backed community sites and endorsements from Meredith Vieira and Andrew Shue. Dad-Blogs remain a more obscure corner of the blogosphere. Sure, Daddy Types and The Blogfathers are out there proclaiming their fatherhood and making virtual celebration of it. But Dad-Bloggers who don't align themselves with roaming blogger gangs, or openly hang with the chicks, are somewhat harder to find.

So. Evidence of anti-male, anti-father bias in Western culture?

(A warning. If you click the above link, you will be confronted by a flashing fart button that will burn your corneas. And, you will have to ponder what exactly the aforementioned fart button reveals about Western culture. Such as it is.)

Prolly not. More likely that it's just further demonstration that the blogosphere may be like high school (an assessment that I disagree with, by the way). Or in this case, grade school. Everybody keeping to their side of the playground.

But I know that this is not entirely accurate, either. I see Dad-Bloggers - Dutch, MetroDad - mixing it up all over the place. And I see you, mama-bloggers, 'round their parts - no pun here -all the time, too. So maybe the crickets I'm hearin' on the Dad-Blogger Shout-Out has more to do with Post Assignment Exhaustion (not AGAIN, dude. Just finished that Mommy Blogger Post. And got my hands full with figuring out WTF one does for Father's Day at home - more tools? A tie? - never mind in the blogosphere. Give it a rest.) than with anything else.

Whatever the case, I don't want to abandon the Dad-Blogger Handshake. But I will revise it, to make it more accessible. You don't need to write a whole post. (Of course, if you do write a whole post, you will get mad props from me.) Just post a comment here, noting your favorite Dad-Blogger, with a line or two explaining what it is that you like about him. And if you really aren't that well-acquainted with many Dad-Bloggers, go get yourself acquainted, as a special Father's Day gesture.

To get you started, here are some of the Dad-Blogs (including Dad/Mom tag-team blogs) that I read and love:

Sweet Juniper (where Dutch keeps up the Dad-end of the wonderful tag-team parent blog that he maintains with the super-awesome and only sort of intimidating Wood)
Mother-Woman (where P-Man occasionally contributes alongside the incomparable mama that is Mo-Wo)
MetroDad (I somewhat ashamed to admit that I usually only lurk here)
Laid-Off Dad (who is el Grande in la casa of the la fabulosa Moxie)
Dad Gone Mad (whose first post for The Godfathers challenged the Kegel-toned dam that holds back the giggle-pee. You've been warned.)
Cocktails with Kevin (who I only recently discovered, through Mom-101's blogroll, and whose blog you must go visit now. You'll thank me.)
The Blogfathers (roaming street gang of Dad-Blogger thugs who have been known to spontaneously break into dance routines.) (Okay, I made that last bit up. I was thinking of Hot Cops.)

Go, read, laugh. And then come back and leave a note saying why that was such fun. And I'll do a post listing the Dad-Blogs that you like, with lovely little quotations and credits to those who join in.)

Got that? Good.

Now, on the topics of marginalized fathers and street thugs and men who spontaneously break into dance, a story...


Zanta Is Comin' To Town

The other day, WonderBaby and I took the subway downtown. (Mission: find funky onesie to replace famous Mutha Sucka tee, which only has about a week's wear left in it. WonderBaby, she grows. And grows and grows and grows.)

The subway car that we rode in was almost entirely occupied by children between the ages of about 6 and 9. Boys and girls, accompanied by a small posse of teachers, out on a late-term excursion. The girls huddled in their seats and whispered and giggled; the boys jostled and poked and pretended that they were riding surfboards as the subway car rattled and lurched its way downtown. The teachers scolded the boys repeatedly while the girls continued to giggle.

We were just approaching Bathurst Station when one of the teachers, having had, presumably, her last teacherly nerve frayed to the breaking point, shouted down the aisle at the junior Kelly Slaters riding the transit waves:

What we did we say about CORRECT SUBWAY BEHAVIOUR this morning?!? What DID WE SAY?!?

And then, just at that very moment, the subway doors opened and this character leapt onto the car:


That towel, I'm guessing, is in case he needs to do any inter-galactic hitchhiking...

And immediately flings himself to the floor and commences push-ups, like Jack Palance on meth, steroids and in flame shorts. Shouting I'm not Santa I'm not Santa!!!!

The children fall totally silent.

Dude jumps up.

I'm Zanta! With a Z! Santa is spelled with an S! Zanta with a Z! Z! Z! Yes yes yes.

He swings his towel over his head. Then, drops the towel and grabs the overhead handrail and begins swinging.

Zanta with a Z! Yes yes yes! Yes yes yes!

A little girl begins to cry, softly.

He drops to the floor. It's OKAY! I'm not Santa! I'm Zanta! I've been doing push-ups LIKE THIS (falls into push-up position) WITH MY KNUCKLES since my wife took my daughter away and I'm gonna keep doing them 'til I get her back!!! Yes!

I'M A SUPERHERO! GOOGLE ME! ZANTA!

Begins striking bodybuilder poses.

THE COPS TRY TO STOP ME BUT I KEEP COMIN' BACK. I'M A SUPERHERO. THERE'S GONNA BE ACTION FIGURES! AND COLOURING BOOKS!

Lunges forward in fencing-strike pose.

AND YOU CAN COLOUR LIKE THIS!

Makes stabbing motion with one arm.

OR LIKE THIS!

Makes punching motion with other arm.

I'M ZANTA WITH A Z THEY CAN'T STOP ME GOOGLE ME!

HBM cannot contain herself any longer. Asks if she can take a picture.

TAKE MY PICTURE! PUT IT UP EVERYWHERE!

Strikes some bodybuilder poses.

Got that? How 'bout this? Or this? Got it? This is a good one. Got that?

Got it.

And then, in a flash - yes yes yes! yes yes yes! - he was gone. Just like that.

Once the subway doors were safely closed, the children - with one or two exceptions choking back muffled sobs - burst into the loudest gale of laughter that I have ever heard.

WonderBaby (who slept through the whole thing) and I had overshot our destination by three stops. But it was worth it. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but it was worth it.

Here's to you, Zanta. May push-ups restore your sanity, and, courts willing, your family to you. And may your Google dreams of superherodom come true.

And, boys and girls, I hope that you now all better understand correct subway behaviour.

******

We have another visitor hangin' in the Basement. Bring your cookies and give her your support...

44 Comments:

Blogger L. said...

Dear god -- you guys up north have all the fun.

All we have down here are flashers.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Mother Bumper said...

You got to photog Zanta? I'm so jealous. The one time I got on the train with him, Bumper started to cry and he wasn't even doing his whole Jack Palance bit (she's such a fuddy duddy sometimes). Sweet story HBM and my contribution to the Totally Manly Handshake (makes me giggle) is Chag at Cynical Dad (http://cynicaldad.blogspot.com/). He's a rockin' Dad to two little ones and somehow he manages to watch them, work and blog some really funny stuff. Sorry no time to make the link in this here comment because Bumper just pulled down all the shoes off the shoe rack so... gotta go!

2:10 PM  
Blogger L. said...

I`d like to plug the men of Rice Daddies:

http://ricedaddies.blogspot.com/

Also, speaking of Fathers` Day, Kara at Cape Buffalo is putting out the call for another "Bloggect of hers, open to all who want to participate:

http://capebuffalo.blogspot.com/2006/06/dads-rock.html

2:27 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

That beats the pants off anything I saw on the NYC subway (and I rode it for five years).

That subway surfing you mentioned? Some grown men (I won't name any names) still do it. I've also seen a grown man (one whose name I don't know) do it on a bus, which stopped suddenly, sending him into an involuntary somersault.

And how unfair - WonderBaby goes to sleep at a time when you can't catch a nap yourself but must take pictures of local color instead.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Motherhood Uncensored said...

Now I really want to move to Canada, damnit. I LOVE the pic. Awesome. Too bad he didn't have baby onesies.

As for the gender issues, for me, I see it in gender stereotyping - men must be strong, willful creatures - therefore any profession (i.e. nursing or mine music therapy) or activities (i.e BLOGGING) that don't highlight that are seen as more feminine.

BALONEY. WHATEVER. However, I do think the bias is out there - curious to hear from SAHDS.

Anyhoo, ricedaddies.blogspot.com is where it's at as well.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous dutch from sweet juniper said...

I think 90 percent of my commentors are ladies. I don't think there is anything inhernetly unmasculine about blogging, but the whole community aspect (which HBM has taken to another level) and the reciprocation seems like something women are more comfortable with.

Also, I get so "precious and sentimental" sometimes I was obliged to turn my testicles over to the U.S. department of masculinity a few months back because I just wasn't using them. Partly because I hate sports.

If you really want to get the men fired up, turn this into a competition. Ask your readers to vote for *sexiest dad*; *most loving father*; *dad with best parenting gear*; *funniest dad*, etc.

But you'd have to make it fair and allow no votes for Pierre, the Korean superdad.

3:15 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Great pics. Characters like this is one of the things I like about the city.

3:33 PM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

I've been so Grade Seven about the whole daddy-blogger thing; if I stumble upon one by accident I click away hurriedly, thinking, "I can't read you, you're a boy!" Which is so absurd, because when I do read, I'm so moved by these dads' unabashed absorption in their children (having been raised by a father who considered parenting to be a spectator sport).

The one dad who has managed to get past my radar is Freezio over at...

http://turnintostone.org/

...husband to the lovely and eloquent Emily at Didn't Think I'd Turn Out This Way. He writes riveting and funny posts about his infant daughter and very demanding and intelligent son.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

I know a fair number of bloggers who are dads, but they don't blog about fatherhood. They usually write (and write and write and ...) about politics or religion.

But ONE daddyblog I like is the DaddyPlace.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Binkytown said...

There I was, formulating deep thoughts about daddy bloggers before I got stunned by Zanta- I seriously can't remember what they were. Surprising and fun! Can't wait to see the new onsie when you find it..

3:45 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

ohmygod. i have just updated my roll, and just realized the complete dirth of daddy-blogger types on there. But here are a few of the chaps I enjoy:

The Mike Stand: http://themikestand.blogspot.com/
(canadian, likeyerself)
The Sneeze:
(ok, part daddy blogger, but the stuff on his kids is freaking hilarious--aliong with every single word he writes)

and Bobo and Joey
http://bobobanjoey.typepad.com/

(I need to add him to my roll)

From a purely academic perspective, I would be interested if the unspoken protocols and politics of blogging/commenting/networking are the same for the guys.


I'll definitely check out some of the lads you mention.

3:47 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

I had my own encounter with Zanta back in 2004 before he created his alter ego. It too was on the subway and he professed his love for his daughter, distaste for his ex and then sang the theme to "The Big Comfy Couch" as loud as possible. Damn I chalked him up as some drunk guy but it looks like I caught the tame version.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

Don't listen to that Dutch guy. He knows damn well that he's my favorite Daddy blogger. Not only is he a ridiculously great writer but he's also a fantastic father. I wish I were that mature when I was his age.

As for the whole daddy blogger phenomenon, I like the fact that there are so few of us. It feels more community-oriented, something that I feel is integral to the blogging (reading AND writing) experience. It's also interesting due to the fact that it's more of an extension of the fact that men are taking a more active role in parenting these days. And that, as always, is a good thing.

Don't be a lurker, bad momma!

4:21 PM  
Blogger DD said...

I wonder if Zanta has a blog? He most certainly should also have his own onesie that comes as an all-in-one set complete with fake goatee and santa hat for the little one.

4:38 PM  
Blogger hautemama said...

I think Zanta is on meth LOL. Hmm think I'll have to check out some penis blogs!

5:33 PM  
Blogger hautemama said...

I think Zanta is on meth LOL. Hmm think I'll have to check out some penis blogs!

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

don't forget this fine man:
http://croutonboy.typepad.com/cheekys_hideaway/
So this is Cheeky's Dad, a hilarious guy and sweet dad.
And thanks, Bubandpie, for giving my husband props: http://turnintostone.org/
I think MetroDad is right, it's kinda cool with the exclusivity these guys have. It seems like my husband 'knows' all the guys. I only wish I could know all the ladies.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous krista said...

Um- where on earth did you get that picture, and seriously, if you tell me that YOU really took it, you will be my new hero.

Is that the character from Train 48 who was from from Barrie?

Hmph, here I am posting the poetry I saw on the subway, and you post that you saw Zanta! What subway are you on sister?

Zanta.

Seriously. Too much.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Thanks all for the great suggestions. Some I already knew but had forgotten... (shame shame)

Krista - yes, I took that picture. I spent some time trying to surreptitiously sneak a photo of him, then realized that I was chicken (and freaking out the little girls near me who did NOT want to attract his attention). SO I just asked. And he was DELIGHTED to pose. And pose. And pose again.

Dutch, I'm so sorry for what happened to your testicles. If it helps, I laughed so hard at this news that WonderBaby stopped trying to remove my breasts with her gums to shoot me a WTF-is-so-funny look.

And, I may take your advice on calling for a competition. But instead of just taking votes (so passive) I think that I would call upon the men to dmeonstrate their manhood through feats of blogger strength. I'm just not sure what those feats would be. Once I figure it out, though, you know it's gonna happen.

MetroDad, I will de-lurk immediately. But I was intimidated by your claim, on your last post, that Anna Wintour's name appears on your social calendar. So intimidated that if I were a guy, my testicles would have totally retreated north. (In which case, Dutch and I would have to start a whole new blogging sub-genre of ball-challenged girly men...) But I'll get over that. You'll see me there soon.

7:08 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

That's as good as Times Square's Naked Cowboy!

12:16 AM  
Anonymous chelle said...

HAHAHAHA That is so #536 Reason to come back to Canada ASAP, to see ZANTA!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!

ps I hope you found the perfect T!

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

Zanta! The hotness! Oh boy!

And the Daddy bloggers rock. I read a bunch of them. My faves are Chag of Cynical Dad, Dutch of Sweet Juniper, Tony from Creative Types, Chris from Rude Cactus and the incomparable MetroDad.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

This gives new meaning to that age old expression, "WTF?!"

This is also one good reason why a blogger should always have a camera on her!

And finally, this is one time that I am reeeally glad that you live in a different country than I do.

P.S. I’ll give the props up to Moobs for the daddy bloggers. I’ve visitied him a couple times and I really like his blog.

3:22 AM  
Blogger Bahar said...

I need to see more WonderBaby pictures! I am an addict! Please, please! I need my dose of cute-big eye-baby girl pictures....

11:48 AM  
Blogger soleclaw said...

My fave male blogger who happens to also be a daddy is Rick...husband of itsokaysweetie!
http://rcrowley0307.blogspot.com/

Not all his entries are about his daughter or daddyhood, but he is friggin hilarious!!

11:54 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Oh, I am so jealous. You got to meet Zanta. Just think of the fun him and I could have if we could get together.

It's not fair. All the good crazies, I mean, superheros live in the east. Maybe that is why the west always feels so neglected!

As for Daddy bloggers, I have always had a soft spot for William over at:
http://www.poopandboogies.blogspot.com/
and his brother, the LawnWhisperer over at:
http://www.dadvsdad.blogspot.com/

12:07 PM  
Blogger Pattie said...

I would have cried, too... :=0

12:17 PM  
Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

HBM haven't I told you that I already have TOO MANY blogs-I-can't-live-without to keep up with? You must stop doing this to me.

But oh my god I'm so glad I found "Cocktails with Kevin," I had to clean coffee off my laptop five sentences in...

1:41 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oh Zanta, thank you so much for reminding me why I am so very glad I am no longer practicing family law. Not sure his counsel would approve but glad he was good for a laugh.

I too think there is so much thesis fodder in the blog world. Must. Resist. Urge. To. Go. Back. To. School.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

What? I didn't comment yet? I guess I was too busy googling Zanta. Oh yes I did.

Public healthcare and Zanta - two very good reasons to move to Canada.

Shoot, Emily got to my favorite daddy first. I dig that Crouton Boy over at Cheeky's Hideaway. Even if he is high in carbs.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous wendy boucher said...

Too hurried to read all the comments but everybody should check out Jeff over at www.ViewFromTheCloud.blogspot.com. He's become one of my daily reads.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Matthew said...

I'm pretty sure no man reads my blog.

I have a reputation for making people cry so maybe that's why.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I totally think Zanta should have a blog. Especially if he's a dad. It would just be so entertaining with the muscle flexing and scaring small children.

I am glad you changed the criteria on this one a little (phew!) 'cause I don't regularly read dad blogs. It's kind of like what Bubandpie said -- even though I'm not adverse to guys in real life, it's like 7th grade in the blog world.

Not that I try to avoid male bloggers. Gah. Moving past awkward moment...

The two dad bloggers I am most familiar with are Dutch and Metro Dad. I don't read either regularly, but I have enjoyed their posts. J.D.'s blurbs on Blogging Baby always make me chuckle, especially when he tries to get people all fired up. Love that. And I have to give props to MetroDad for this post of his, which made me split a gut.

Rock on, righteous blogger dads!

10:10 PM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

Dude, I am pissing in my pants over Zanta. Seriously, that's some funny/scary/traumatizing shit.

Okay, Dave just walked in the door with our dinner. Yes, it's after 10pm and we haven't eaten yet. Everyone in this house is sick except the baby and well, that means dinner's gone to pot. So I'll come back once I've eaten and give shout-outs to my fave daddy bloggers, okay?

10:14 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

I found this doc online about ZANTA
http://www.robotomedia.com/zanta/

10:32 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

I found this doc online about ZANTA
http://www.robotomedia.com/zanta/

10:32 PM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

I'm back with a belly full of Chinese...

The dads I love to read are Odd Mix, Rude Cactus and occassionally Blurbomat (Heather Armstrong's husband). I read Odd Mix and Rude Cactus on a regular basis and I really enjoy their blogs. I especially love how dedicated they both are to their families. It's very very cool to read from their perspectives.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Okay, I'm in.

Whew! That took forever. I looooooooooooove the Daddy Bloggers.

(Let me know if it's too late to show some Mommy Blogging love too).

4:23 PM  
Blogger bunmaster said...

mr. nice guy got me through my pregnancy laughing so hard I almost lost my "snot cork" a couple of times. He's part of the Blogfathers & just saw Prince for free!!
Adventure Dad up in Sweden is pretty cool too.

Rebel Dad has lots of daddy links to fill you heart's desire.

Defective Yeti
noodad = good manuals....

There are a couple more but I can't seem to find them at the moment. Oh & I'd like to invite Zanta on our annual Santa Claus Pub Crawl. He looks like he can handle his liquor. ;)

5:36 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Oh I'm so glad you're liking Kevin! He found me somehow, when he was just a nervous dad-to-be, and now he's a full on daddyblogger who totally rocks it. I love him.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous LOD said...

Hi HBM: D-lurking to say thanks for the shout-out. Thanks also to bunmaster, who gave Mr. Nice Guy the kudos he richly deserves.

12:02 AM  
Blogger petite gourmand said...

I have seen Zanta many-a-time on bloor st.
That guy completely freaks me out.
you are one brave gal for snapping his picture.
I would have been hiding behind all the school kids...

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bloggers and Others

I found a great site on goal setting. It is located at http://purposesetting.com/sitemap_1.html.

4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zanta Sold out his daughter to prove the system is all messed up.

He wouldn't wear a suit to court but will wear one to cry to the police chief to leave him alone.

He is nothing but a dead beat DAD.

Don't cheer for him tell him off.


Here is a site

www.anti-zanta.ca

9:54 AM  

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