Her Bad Mother

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Mêtêr Politikon - Part II

This is Part II of a two-part (read, breathtakingly pedantic) post. If you haven't already, you can catch up on Part I here.

I will prepare a Father's Day breakfast for Bad Husband while you catch up on your reading.

All caught up? Good. Now that you have been hypnotized by my proficiency in Greek and my food styling talents, I will reveal to you that this post is very, very long. If you're short on time or bored already, you may skip ahead to the conclusion: (Blog) Party Politics According to HBM.

So, as I was saying...

There has been much talk recently about how political the blogosphere can be, and so how like high school it can feel here. But in my humble opinion - and this is only opinion, so feel free to disagree - our corner of blogosphere is not political, where politics is understood to refer to the pursuit of power, influence or status. (Again, see yesterday's post for the background to this argument.)

And it is not like high school.

I don't know what your high school was like, but social life at all of the high schools I attended (we relocated frequently) was defined by tribal politics. The population at each school was divided according to tribal allegiance - usually determined according to such nebulous criteria as whether collars were worn up or down - and the boundaries of these allegiances were rarely if ever crossed. As a perpetual new girl, I was frequently in the position of total outsider: no understanding of the social history of the tribes in any given school, no understanding of the nuances that distinguished members of one tribe from another (jock from prep, art geek from book geek, stoner from rocker), no idea whether collars were supposed to be up or down. So I usually hung on the outside for quite a while, until an art geek or drama geek or book geek or goth chick noticed me cross-legged in front of my locker at lunchtime wearing a Sex Pistols t-shirt (Never Mind the Bollocks!) or The Cure's concert tee and reading The Bell Jar.

I was never admitted to a high-caste tribe until my last two years of high school, when my family moved from Vancouver to Ottawa and I enrolled in a high school that organized its student council according to grade averages. That is, the student government (with the exception of Head Boy and Head Girl) was appointed by the School Powers and the criteria for appointment was good grades (a confused effort, I think, to produce a high school version of the Just City described by Socrates in the Republic. Philosopher-Weenies Rule!) Suddenly, I was in.

And it was political. We all jostled for the plum positions on Council and griped and gossiped and undermined each other. We looked down our noses at students who weren't 'university-stream' and so outside the circle of influence. I was still an art/drama/book geek, but now I was one with power: I insisted that the kids in black get the same concessions for their activities as football players and cheerleaders got for theirs and I won my arguments by disparaging the latter. I thumbed my nose at cliques that I thought were not cool - um, football and cheerleading - and refused, with my friends, to consort with those lesser beings or go to their parties.

I was a cow. I was Tracy Flick in artfully arranged vintage clothing and a serious I'm-too-smart-and-hip-for-you attitude problem. The sort of monster that could only be created by an industrial accident resulting in the personality fusion of a female Duckie Dale and the Shannen Doherty character from Heathers. Which is to say, I became political in the worst way. I had been on the outside for so long that when I got in, I became a tyrant. (Some of my drama buddies called me DBH. Drama Bitch from Hell. I loved it.) I was secretly thrilled at being able to exclude people. And I felt completely morally justified in doing so, because I was excluding members of the tribes that had long excluded me and my kind.

(Having indulged my big pretentious self yesterday by citing Aristotle in transliterated Greek - tho' I did remove the Greek characters because that was just freaky and hard to look at - I will refrain from rambling into a digression on Nietzsche and ressentiment here. You're welcome.)

My point is this: I've been on both sides of the quote-unquote politics of high school. I have been subjected to such politics, and I have subjected others to such politics. I've seen how viewing everything through the lens of politics, how insisting that everything is political, begets - you guessed it - politics. And I've seen how it can get uglier and uglier. I've been part of keeping things ugly. I get it. I know it. I don't like it.

And the blogosphere - or at least, our corner of it - is not it. Not on my watch, anyway.

We might end up in all variety of social clusters here, but those cluster are not tribes. In my experience, no one excludes anyone else because they aren't wearing their collar properly or lacking the requisite scrunchy. I've never seen - and if you read Mrs. Chicky's recent post, you'll see that I'm not alone in this - a mama or dad blogger get nasty about another blogger, and I've never seen gossip or back-biting. (I'm excluding blogtards here.) I've seen some discussions get uncomfortably spirited, but I wouldn't - for the most part - characterize those controversies as political in a social sense. Even when those discussions get uncomfortable, I would still say that they are political in the classical sense (again, see my last post for the background here) of demonstrating the human need for discursive connection and exchange. And there is, always, in those cases, a host of voices calling for everybody to calm the fuck down and speak to each other nicely.

Yes, we cluster. But again, not tribally. Our clusters are fluid, dynamic. They're the clusters that form in really big, really good parties. Parties where there's a fascinating mix of people who are meeting for the first time but who know right away that pretty much everyone in the room is fascinating. This corner of the blogosphere, it's like a big ole salon-cum-symposium-cum-agora-cum-playgroup. Large clusters form around some people more than others, but people still keep moving. There's much conversation, and some dancing. Some people wander off in small groups to smoke illegal substances in the bathroom and giggle at urinals. But everybody ends up making the rounds in some way or another. Even the really popular folks. Everybody mills about, telling their stories, and listening to other stories.

Yes, we check out each others' dance cards (blogrolls). We're flattered and pleased when we get on dance cards. We look to see (check our sitemeter) who is listening when we tell our stories. We check the group that has gathered around us and notice whether or not the person whose story we were listening to and commenting upon the other day is among the listeners. We wonder if they'll turn up and say something (comment) about our story. We look at everybody gathered 'round and wait for a response. We hurt a little bit if nobody comes to listen, or if a small crowd gathers 'round but stares at us blankly.

Periodically someone starts a party game (meme) - a round of I Never, anyone? - to shake things up a little. We're secretly thrilled when someone asks us to join in. A lot of efforts are made to make everyone feel welcome. Some of us suggest topics for discussion and invite everyone in. Or we do rounds of introductions, of a sort. We applaud each other. A lot.

We form friendships. We develop crushes. We get excited when someone new walks in the room and tells a story that makes us laugh or cry or remember. We thrill when one of the more popular party-goers listens to and comments on one of our stories, or - be still our beating hearts! - mentions us in one of their stories. We get angry when some jealous tard crashes the party and throws plastic cups (snarks) at our friends. We cry when someone who we've come to know - or even, sometimes, someone that we hadn't noticed before, or someone who is protecting themselves behind a party mask - suffers. Or disappears into the night.

We offer support. Lots of it.

We ((((hug)))).

We get close.

The thing about this grown-up party: it's a party full of people that we like - a lot - or will like or could like or maybe would like if they stopped swearing so much (someone said this of me in a comment to one of the Mommy Blogger Love-In Posts.) We have the most important things in common. We love our children. We love to write. We are smart and funny. We love our children. And so a strange intimacy develops. We share more with each other than many do in their real life friendships. We make meaning together. For better or for worse, we're close.

And so we're able to hurt each other. Not in the sticks-and-stones way, or the high-school-politics way, but in the way that friends and would-be friends and intimate strangers do. Accidentally. By forgetting or overlooking or neglecting. It stings a little when someone you like stops coming 'round. It's uncomfortable to turn up at a party and not be noticed. It sucks to tell a story, start a conversation, and get no response.

That stuff feels bad. But it's not politics. It's the natural discomfort that comes from being in community, from interaction and discourse and friendship. Community is great, but it's not going to make us feel great all of the time. That's life.

And this is probably true to an even greater extent in this community - this life, it's the writer's life. We're all here because we're (yes) writers. We want to be heard. We want audience. If we didn't we'd just be keeping personal journals. So, for us, it stings a little more bitterly to not be heard. We entered this community of writer-parents to find community as parents and as writers. And although being in community is, as I said in Part I, all about discourse, this is nowhere so true as it is in a writing community. We are making our meanings here as writers and as parents and that, for us, requires speaking and listening and being heard.

So, yeah, it sucks when we're not getting as much of that as we might like. But that's life. That's the writer's life.

So? Suck it up. Turn it around. Do something about it.

Yeah. Suck it.

So, herewith: (Blog) Party Politics According to HBM (or, How We Rock It In Her Bad Hizzouse.) Feel free to adopt these principles as your own.

1) Everyone's invited. Except blogtards. If you're a meanie and you know it, stay away.

2) Introduce yourself. If this your first time to this blog, say so. Make sure that there's a link back to your blog so that I can come over and say hello.

3) Try to not be hurt or offended if I don't come over right away. This is a pretty busy party and there are a lot of discussions going on and stories being told and I have short attention span. And, I'm packing a baby. A squirmy baby. Approach me again, remind me that you're out there. (And, don't automatically assume that I've forgotten you. I read, like, ten thousand blogs. I can't always comment. And sometimes I forget where and when I've commented. I get disoriented easily at parties. Be patient.)

4) Be social. Let everyone know that you're here. Join in on party games and celebrations and support circles and the like. And don't be shy about proclaiming your stories. Let's banish the term 'link-whoring' right now. Or rather, let's embrace it and be unashamed blog hussies and hustlers. Got a story that you want me to hear? Let me know. E-mail me, leave a comment, say it loudly - COME READ THIS. Ask me to link to something that you've written and I'll do it, happily (aforementioned restrictions on meanness apply here).

5) Don't get too caught up in how many comments you're getting. We all love getting feedback - it's one of the things that keeps us writing in this forum. But whether you get 5 or 10 or 20 or 100 comments on your posts, appreciate the feedback that you do get. And remember that comment numbers aren't necessarily commensurate with writing talent or how loved you are. Girl's Gone Child only gets a fraction of the number of comments that Dooce gets, but she - Rebecca - is a phenomenal writer (one of the very best, on-line or off) and a brilliant humorist and is much, much loved.

6) Try to take blogrolls with a grain of salt. They're often not fully representative of a blogger's actual activity at the pary. I, for example, am disgracefully lazy about my blogroll and rarely update it. So my new policy is this: blogroll is going to go on a separate page. And, like Izzy and others, I'm making it a voluntary, self-inclusive blogroll. Wanna be on it? Let me know and I'll put you there.

7) Take a time-out if you need it; partying hearty can be draining. Step outside for some air. We'll still be here when you get back. But if you step outside for a long while, let us know when you're back.

8) Enjoy the party. And if you're not enjoying it, give some careful consideration to possible reasons why. If you realize that you want a quieter corner, make that happen. If you'd like to be more involved, attract more people to your stories, just do it. But if you're frustrated about not being the centre of attention, reconsider your reasons for being here. We'd all love for our writing to bring us attention, requests for ads, paying gigs, and the like (I'll be honest - I certainly would. Mothering doesn't pay well. But I curse like a sailor and am incapable of writing succinctly so it's probably a very long shot.) But if that's the primary reason that you're here, you'll probably end up frustrated and disappointed. Blog because you love blogging, because you love writing, because you love writing about your children, because you love community with other writers who love their children. Write about what you want to write about, tell the stories that you want to tell, and enjoy this great community while you do it.

Enjoy it. Through good times and bad. Embrace the crazy politics that is making meaning and becoming human through community.

And remember that high school is in the past.


Now bringing the party live! Any Toronto mamas out here who want to start getting together from time to time? Daytime, evening, weekend? Park with babbies? Bar without babbies? Both? Sunshine Scribe's recent post about how tardish some real-life moms can be got me thinking that it really is INSANE that we subject ourselves to boring playgroups or hostile competimommies when we know that there are lovely, literate, funny ladies lurking out there.

Leave a comment or send me an e-mail with your preferences and I'll organize something and announce it on the blog...

The Best of Men

Part II of Mêtêr Politikon will go up tomorrow (Sunday), after I have made my guy a really nice breakfast and then passed the child off to him. Catch up here.

Tonight, we interrupt regularly scheduled blogging for a Very Special Father's Day post...


My Men

Her Da.

Who I love beyond measure. To whom I am oh so grateful - for us, for her, for this family, for this life. For love.

I love every inch, every ounce, every breath, every moment of you. From baby to boy to man to father and beyond, I have loved do love and ever will love you.

Beautiful son (eternal gratitude to your father, for, with your mother, raising such a son)

Beautiful boy (with, already, a glimmer of the man)

Beautiful father (your heart now beats outside your chest)

Beautiful heart

My Dad.

Who was and is the first man in my life. Who has and will always have my heart. Who I love forever.

Who has always given me his heart

Whose heart I have always and will always cherish

Whose heart she will always cherish.

I love you both, best of men. We love you both. Always.


Friday, June 16, 2006

Mêtêr Politikon - Part I

(Mêtêr Politikon: Political Mother)

I swore up and down to myself that I was not going to do any more posts about blogging. This week, anyway. Between Flickian angst and CHBM-MOW celebrations and Dad-Blogger blogging, it's pretty much been a week of bloggy navel gazing. With an occasional break for sleep-deprived rambling about gods and penises and stories about Zanta sightings.

But I can't help myself. I cannot resist temptation. And, since it is my blog, why should I resist? It's my blog and I'll navel-gaze if I want to.

Both Izzy and Nancy wrote this week about the frustrations of the blogroll. Kristen wrote about the politics of commenting the other week. Scarbie wrote about her frustrations with blog politics some weeks ago. And earlier this week I wrote about my worries about being perceived as a blogger who plays politics. A common theme? That the blogosphere - that corner of it that is occupied by parents, in any case - is political. That it sometimes seems a lot like high school.

It was while reading Izzy's post - and rambling on in an excessively wordy comment to that post - that it suddenly occurred to me what was bothering me about the arguments concerning blog politics: the assumption that politics is a bad thing. Commenters to the above discussions tended to break into two camps: those who are really bothered by blog politics, and those who try to avoid being bothered by blog politics (I situated myself in the latter category.) In both cases, however, the same assumption: politics is a bother. Politics is bad.

I didn't question this assumption (shame on you, political scientist!). I totally empathized with everybody who said that they had had moments of frustration with the norms and mores of the blogging community. I nodded silently when 'high school' and 'cliques' were invoked. I didn't think twice when the word politics was used again. And again. And again. But even as I nodded, I was a little bothered. I understood and appreciated everything that everyone was saying. But I was bothered, discomfited. Was it because it was all hitting too close to home? (My big fear for a few bloggy moments, especially after Scarbie's post: that I was, or would be perceived as, big ass-kissy Tracy Flick of a politicker in the blogosphere. Then, after some self-interrogation and reflection, I confirmed for myself that I was not, and fuck anyone who thought otherwise.) No. So if not that, what?

Then, while commenting on Izzy's post, and wondering again why I was so bothered by the topic (not, I should stress, by Izzy's treatment of it), it hit me. I DISAGREED.



I do not think that the blogosphere, or our corner of it, is political. Or, to be clearer, I do not think that it is political in the sense that people mean when they use the term 'political.' I think that to whatever extent the blogosphere is truly political, that politics is nothing to be unduly bothered by.

And I do not think that this little community is like high school.

I'll explain why in a sec. Which is to say, in the next post. Tomorrow. (So, if you are, because of wrinkles in blog time, reading this tomorrow: in a sec.)

But first, I need to go all POL 101: Introduction to Politics on your asses. And, once again, sickeningly rah-rah.

Politics on a level with politicians is generally and understandably understood to be somewhat unseemly. Calling someone a politician has never been a compliment. Describing a social situation as political is usually shorthand for 'socially difficult.'

High school, it is often said, is political. There is much jostling for social position and forming of alliances. There is exclusion for the purposes of defining the boundaries of such alliances, the better to demarcate circles of power and identify outsiders. It is competitive. It can be brutal. It is political. But it is only political in the narrow sense of the term, as it refers to the pursuit and maintenance of power, to the practices associated with the acquisition and/or exercise of power within a social body or organization.


The classical understanding of politics is much broader. Man, Aristotle said, is a political animal. (ho anthropos physei politikon zoon, Polit., 1253 a 2). To say that man (and woman) is political is to say that he (or she) requires interaction - rational, discursive interaction - with other human beings in order to fully develop as a human being. Unlike other social animals - ants, bees - human beings make meaning through speech. We reason through speech (the ancient Greek word logos (λογος) refers to both speech and reason.) We require community with others if we are to exercise, and so develop, speech and reason. We do not live in community simply to survive. We live there to thrive.

When we talk about high school being political, we are not thinking of politics in the classical sense, in the sense of that human dynamic by which we - through discourse - thrive. But that is exactly the sense of politics that I think of when I think about the politics of blogging.

I do not think about the exercises associated with the acquisition of status and power. I think about logos.

Tomorrow: why mommy-blogging is not Heathers, with special reference to the incomparable Mrs. Chicky, and blog politics according to HBM. And, a call to Toronto mamas about finally getting the fuck together.

And then, on Tuesday, she will stage a blog-production of Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae. In Greek.

My post of yesterday was my 100th post. Was I supposed to attach streamers and balloons to it? Or something?

This week's edition of Mrs. McFeely's Weekly Squeeze will appear as part of the Dad-Blogger Shout-Out, to be posted early next week.

There's another visitor in the Basement tonight. Please go visit with her and offer your support. BYO cookies.

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!


Begins striking bodybuilder poses.


Lunges forward in fencing-strike pose.


Makes stabbing motion with one arm.


Makes punching motion with other arm.


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


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...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cupcakes for everyone!

Big things afoot! Exciting things! Read On!

(However, if you hate award shows and self-indulgent navel-gazing, then you may want to skip through to the baby pics and the Big Announcement below...)


In my dark moment of Flickian anxiety, made worse by sleeplessness (am I a desperate over-achiever who wants too badly to be liked? Or am I just tired and INSANE?), a light shines through. Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Member of the Week!

Class president and prom queen rolled into one! And after all that big talk - I don't need to be class president I don't need to be CBHM-MOW I don't need no Andrew Shue I don't care- can I just say one thing? Those were stupid things to say.

I like this. This feels nice. This tiara looks purdy on my bulbous head.

(weird little twirly dance.)

You all are so singularly awesome for voting for me. I love you.

(Blows kisses.) Mm-wah, mm-wah.

(There are no spit stains down my front right now, are there? Good. And the nursing bra, and the titties, they're all tucked away? Great.)

Where was I? Right - I am so touched and so honoured and this means so much because it's from YOU and not some stuffy old academy. I'd like to thank WonderBaby, for making this all possible, and Husband, for giving me the big one, and all of my bloggy friends...

(Orchestral music begins to swell.)

No, no, no! Don't rush me! I need to thank all of my bloggy friends...

(Orchestral music fully swollen. Emaciated spokesmodel in trashy Versace gown pulling - weakly, mind you, she only had a carrot and a Marlboro Light for lunch - at my arm.)

Wait! ...um... (frantically uncrumpling tattered napkin with 80 URLs scrawled out in eyeliner pencil...)

(Time and blog space have run short. Fine. I would say check the sidebar for full credits, but I haven't updated in a while and so many links are missing. So check this. All the Mutha Bloggahs in the house say YO-oh! Yo-OH!)

Oh, and? Thank you to everyone who kept the crickets at bay by reading and commenting on last night's exercise in sleep-deprivation-blogging. You are true friends to have listened patiently to my manic ramblings on gods and penises and Martin Luther and Tara Reid and Augustine and Judy Blume and the Ancient of the Days and gods and carrots and penises (oh my) - complete with links and disturbing pictures - and to have laughed with appropriate tolerant enthusiasm and patted my head and said shhhh now, sleep...

Made a girl feel almost, I dunno, sane.

But of all the posts to be up on the day that I get CBHM-MOW and new blog traffic, it had to be this one, with all the penises and Classics 101 talk and over-the-top cursing. It's like - as I said in my e-mail to Kel when I did the interview - having the lottery people turn up at your door with a big ole check and CAMERAS and you answer the door naked. Which, really, is a lesson in making certain that you always have your clothes on when you answer the door (but which, as all nursing mothers know, is sometimes challenging. Yes, I have come close to answering the door with titties hanging out. Too close.) Or making certain that you don't blog about penises in a sleep deprived state (which, again, all new mothers know, is sometimes challenging.) Anyhoo. Lesson learned.

But I can't promise that it won't happen again.

I'm still working her. She'll do it again.

Now, on to what was going to be today's post before I was showered with accolades and awards and gosh darn done lost mah head (when's the Vanity Fair party, BTW?)...


I hereby announce the first annual Great Dad-Blogger Love-In. A bit girly, yes, but better than the Great Dad-Blogger Back-Patting-Circle. No? Okay, how about Great Dad-Blogger Totally Manly Handshake Round?

Whatever. In honor of Father's Day, I want to do a Love-In Link List for Dads, to run alongside the Great Mommy-Blogger Love-In List.

So, as with the Mutha Blogger Love: This is a summons for shout-outs to your Dad-blogger friends, to the Dad-bloggers who make you laugh, who make you think, the guys-with-babes that you think are awesome. Sometime between now and Father’s Day - or, as with the Mutha Love, anytime that you like - write a post about the men in the blogosphere that have made some difference in your world. It doesn’t have to focus on just one Dad-blogger, but you absolutely must single out the objects of your celebration and give them lots of linky love. When you’ve posted your Ode to Amazing Dad-Bloggers, let the object(s) of your affection know. And then send the link to your post to me, and I’ll put all the links together in a Big Honkin’ Dad Love post in honor of Father's Day. (Oh, and spread word of this around. As I recently pointed out here, I am not an supah-stah or even a comet or even a random piece of space junk, so word won’t spread if we rely solely on HBM traffic. Talk it up!) The point of this is to make this week the week that Dads get to be Crazy Hip Blog Superheroes of the Week. This week is their week. Make it so.

(Yes! I am commanding! Am drunk on CBHM-MOW power! Am uncontrollable! Mwah ha ha ha!)

Lovin' her Da


Thanks so much to everyone for visiting the Basement and hanging out and lending support to the chicas who have been spilling their guts there. All of our posters so far have said that you're all helping immensely. Sistahs are doing it for each other. Mad love.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The gods must be crazy

**NOTE: Husband says that this post is evidence that my mind has snapped from lack of sleep. And, he is very alarmed by picture of carrot. For the record, I have gone only slightly insane. And will almost certainly not go Bobbit on anyone.


Normal fun blogging will resume once I have had some sleep.


In which I am going to babble nonsensically and to no interesting end about theology and mythology and the like. Yes, it is heretical. Yes, I am probably going to hell. You might too, if you laugh. You’ve been warned.

I'm probably going to hear crickets on this one. I understand. But I need this rant. I'm viewing it as a counter-balance to the Flickian enthusiasm that seems to pervade everything else that I write these days.

And, am tired to the point of disassociation. Cannot resist operating heavy machinery.

Last week, in writing about the challenges of caring for an irrepressibly ambitious baby, I invoked the gods. Accidentally. Sort of. In a nice way. I thought.

I said that it was a small mercy from some divine force – God, Nature, the gods, whomever, whatever – that WonderBaby, who no longer sleeps for any significant stretch of time during the day, sleeps through the night. (Mercy, divine forces! I said mercy! I was THANKFUL!)

Maybe it was that I didn’t single out the appropriate divine force (I know, Mr. God – I should have no other gods before thee), maybe it was that I referred to their mercy as small (size matters, I guess, among the divinities), maybe there is some obscure commandment against taking God’s name in blog. Whatever. Somehow, I pissed someone off, and now they’ve taken away my night-time sleeping privileges.

WonderBaby is busy during the day. WonderBaby is busy during the night. WonderBaby has commenced round-the-clock ass-kicking.

(And, chomping - CHOMPING - the boobies. To demonstrate her will to power. Which, WonderBaby, if you're reading this - and I know that you are, late at night, after you have sucked me dry and left me collapsed on the floor - I GET IT.)


(Now, am pissing the gods off more, no doubt, with the cursing.)

(But how much more challenging can they make this, really? FUCK.)

Now, I have my suspicions as to who’s behind this. God - Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Israel and Judy Blume, Father of the Christ, etc, etc - is much too important and busy to have been bothered by my ungrateful bleatings about an over-functioning baby. So I’m pretty sure that the mercy of night-time sleep was neither extended nor withdrawn by God. The miracle of life, yes, I’m pretty sure that he’s behind that. But the sleep habits of infants, along with the outcomes of the Superbowl and FIFA games and deciding who gets to bear Brad Pitt’s children? Prolly not.

In any case, I suspect that God – and I’m sure that the old theologians, like Martin Luther and Augustine of Hippo , and the theistic and theosophic poets, like John Milton and Michael Landon, would agree with me, were they alive to see the 21st century – is off somewhere playing Texas Hold ‘Em with Mother Nature and the Holy Spirit and the prophets and their entourages. Leaving the world to spin and tilt and boggle and run askew.

And I think that they’ve left things in the hands of the Greek Gods. Who are bad mo-fos, yo. Bad. Not to be trusted with babysitting the world while the ‘rents get their game on. Was nothing learned from Homer? Please. It’s like leaving your children in the care of Courtney Love, Hunter S. Thomson and Jerry Springer. And then suggesting that they invite Tara Reid and Lizzie Grubman over for checkers. And maybe Ron Jeremy, too. You know, to pass the time.

Anyway. The chaotic state of the world as evidence of divine absenteeism is a topic for another day. My current concern is me, and how the gods are screwing me over. Or, at least, how some of the gods are screwing me over. Most of them are distracted at the moment by So You Think You Can Dance. (Which, Hephaestus, you can not. It's sad. Stop, before you become the William Hung of Olympus.)

It's tempting to point the finger at the goddess of goddesses, the goddess of marriage and motherhood: Hera, long-suffering wife of Zeus and reputed tormenter of mortal women. But I don’t think that Hera is behind my suffering. Hera gets a bum rap. You’d be a miserable old bitch too if your husband kept shape-shifting for the purposes of getting off on Greek women. And in any case, I think that Hera, aka old Bopis, has a soft spot for other big-eyed creatures, and WonderBaby has the whole cow-eyed thing down.

So, although Hera is the goddess of maternity and reputed to be something of a meanie, I don’t think that she’s to blame.

I’m calling out Hestia here. Sure, everybody loves Hestia, all sweetness and light, keeping the homefires lit and all that. But that girl’s got issues. Issues with penises. And here I’ve been chattering all over the place about penises and carrots (which may have also pissed off Demeter, but I’m reserving judgment*), penises and dolphins and penises and camels. And invoking Priapus, with whom she has a traumatic past. So I don’t think that it’s beyond the realm of possibility that she decided that she’d had enough of the penis talk and priapic invocation and got together with her buddie Hypnos to pull the curtain on HBM sleep by making WonderBaby even more wakeful. Thereby, presumably, putting a stop to all of the penis talk

*(I’m thinking, however, that Demeter, she of the wet-nursing gone horribly wrong, might be responsible for the nipple-chomping. So whatever I did to piss you off, Demmie, I’m deeply and profoundly sorry for. Now please make it stop.)

So, I concede defeat. I am helpless before the gods. I will cease all penis-talk immediately. And will make the necessary sacrifices.

Now, can I get some sleep? Please?

Cue music: The Sound of Silence...

Rest, Mommy...

... for I have need of PLAYTIME.

So, um, gods? Are you there, gods? It's me, Bad Mother...