Friday, October 30, 2009

Don't dress as a Buzzkill for Halloween

It's Halloween time again. Time to dress up, trick or treat, torch cars, get white Pan-cake makeup smeared all over you from drunkenly making out with someone dressed as Dead Michael Jackson, or whatever creams your Twinkie. (I DON'T JUDGE.)

For us parents, it means watching our kids go out into the snow (yes, SNOW) as, say, Captain Kirk and the cutest little ladybug princess EVAR and come home with a queen-sized pillow case full of sugary goodness. Before the night arrives, I would like to make a proclamation:

If you are a parent who lets your child have one piece of candy and then makes them throw the rest of it out/give it to the homeless/sell it to the dentist for a buck a pound/burn it in a Christian bonfire--


(And don't try to deny it. I saw that dentist on Channel 2 this morning. She cleared like 500 pounds of candy from kids turning in hard-won goods last year. That's at least a couple hundred really bummed out little Spider Men, by my count.)

Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you have to be an asshole, too. Yes, the bag of candy weighs more than your children do. Yeah, it's more candy than they need to eat in a year by a factor of four. Yes, it'll rot out the inside of their head IF THEY EAT IT ALL. But they won't. Unless, of course, you tell them they can't have it. Then they'll eat it all and then snort all the granulated sugar in your house as a chaser. Have fun with that.

Here's how we rock Halloween, Polito-style. On Halloween night, I tell the kids: For this night only, it's a free-for-all. That's right, take that bag and stuff as much candy into your piehole as will possibly fit. And they try, oh yes they do. But you know what? They usually can't eat more than 10 "fun-size" pieces of candy anyway before they start to ache.

On November 1 and thereafter, they get one piece of candy a day. That lasts a week, maybe 10 days. And then you know what they do? They FORGET ABOUT IT. That's right. They get all caught up in time off for Thanksgiving and the tidal wave of booty they're going to get in December and they say, "Halloween candy, wha?" And then it's done. And you toss the candy. And they don't spend the rest of the year thinking about what a dick you were about the Halloween candy because you had to go all Alice Waters on their asses.

Try it. Trust me. And there are plenty of other opportunities in parenting to be the Buzzkill. Don't make it your permanent Halloween costume. Embrace the candy, and make it a fun-size evening for everyone. Thank you and good night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ahnold the Ahsshole

Every once in awhile, someone acts like an asshole. But they are so brilliant in their assholishness that you just have to genuflect in their direction and say, "You sir, are the king of all assholes. Let the wild rumpus begin."

Today, Arnold Schwarzenegger wears that crown. Soon after being told by Tom Ammiano at a Democratic fundraiser that he could, and I quote, "Kiss my gay ass," the Governator issued this very pointed veto of Ammiano-sponsored legislature that was clearly meant to be read vertically:

(Thankfully, it was a fairly low level bill--something about creating financing districts in SF. Bill 1176 did not advocate same-sex marriage or puppy rescue or organic food for poor babies or anything like that.)

On boingboing, they're arguing the likelihood of this being intentional, versus just a happy accident of nature. Oh come on. How much more intentional could this be? Someone clearly worked painstakingly to create this masterpiece. It's not THAT hard to carefully choose words to make things line up in just such a way. It's a skill most of us learn in junior high, right after we learn to spell BOOBLESS on the calculator.

Yes it's immature. And no, I really don't want to give props to some smartass little fucker in the governor's office who was probably laughing his ass off while writing this letter and is probably the toast of all his little entitled white boy buddies now. But admit it, it's kind of awesome. In fact, it's something I would probably do if I were bored and pissed off enough. I always assumed that's why I am not governor or some other fancy job, but obviously that's not a dealbreaker!

Tune in next week, when Governor Schwarzenegger puts a whoopie cushion on Mark Leno's seat in the state senate session.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hooray for journalism.

David Rohde's series in the Times about being held hostage in Afghanistan by the Taliban for seven months is truly outstanding. It gives me chills. I'm impressed with his ability to take his memories and the translations from his Afghani counterpart and synthesize them into such a riveting account of not only his experience, but the state of things over there as he observed it. Bravo.

Oh, and the Times is cutting 100 newsroom jobs.

What's wrong with this picture? And is there anything we can do to make it right?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Really people? Really?

Thank you, Cindy, for keeping this blog alive.

I have been blogging for, oh, two years now. Oh wait, NEARLY FOUR? Holy crap. I don't check in as much as I used to, admittedly, to the disappointment of my VERY large fan club (hi mom). In that two (er, four) years, I've managed to write about a lot of stuff. I blog about my kids. About the weird shit I see from day to day. If you read this, you've been through my ups and downs, fights, life changes, kid trouble, knee trouble, and lots of talk about poop. I occasionally write about current events, most recently about our President. I have thoughts. Deep thoughts.

So when I check my analytics, what is the most common entry page for my blog? What are the keywords that bring people here every week?

Four words.

Cindy Crawford. Stretch marks.

Yes! It's true! Ages ago I wrote a blog post about my outrage at bitchy bitches snarking about Cindy Crawford's poor stretched out tummy, something that even we hottest babes have to deal with after popping out a few babes of our own. Little did I know that would be the post that brings 99 percent of the eyeballs that feast on this blog. It gets searched on EVERY. DAY. (in fact, I just went there myself! DAMMIT, tricked again.) Seriously. Of all the things I have poured out to you people, you just gotta have my opinion on supermodel stretch marks.

So tell me--I have to know. Why? Are you perverts? Stomach fetishists? Are you just dying to know who gets stretch marks? Are you Cindy Crawford? WHAT? I just don't get it.

Maybe someone can enlighten me. In the meantime, please realize this whole post is just an elaborate ploy to get my hit count up. Thank you for obliging. If there's anything else I can write about Cindy Crawford and her abdomen, just let me know.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Difference Between Noble and Nobel

There is no one on this planet who is a bigger fan of Barack Obama than I am. I love him soooooo much. Its kind of embarrassing, really. Every time I see him, or hear him or think about him, I feel all happy and hopeful inside. Not in a stalker-y way (back off, Secret Service.) He inspires me.

But I don't think that merits a Nobel Peace Prize. Apparently, the Nobel Prize Committee disagrees with me.

My first reaction when I heard the news this morning was, "Huuuuh?" My second reaction was, "Omigod, give it BACK." I hate that that reaction puts me in the company of teabaggers and Joe Wilson and other assorted troglodytes. But I have my reasons why I think that Obama, as much as I luuurv him, should respectfully decline this honor, at this time.

About a year ago, I wrote a post about a box of donuts and low standards.

In a nutshell, I talked about how sad it was that our standards were so low that people at my office treated a gift box of donuts like it was a million-dollar check. And how, similarly, we were so starved for truly exceptional leadership that Sarah Palin's not acting outright retarded in a debate counted as a stellar performance in the eyes of the media. Mud certainly fills a vacuum.

Well, Obama is a damn sight better than mediocre, but it's the same thing today. Our president isn't doing anything phenomenal for the peace process--he's doing his fucking JOB. Just because George Bush failed to do his for 8 years doesn't mean the next president gets a medal for being something more than a total shitweasel.

Again, that is not to detract AT ALL from Obama's overall awesomeness. But come on, when the wrong thing has been spelled out in capital letters in blinking neon and shouted from the rooftops for so long, it's pretty fucking easy to do the right thing. I don't think anyone deserves a prize for not being George Bush. If that's the case, we're all winners. Buy something purty with your .08 cents.

And really? There's not someone out there doing something truly exceptional to promote peace in 2009? There's not some relief agency head down in Sub-Saharan Africa keeping thousands of kids from being slaughtered? There's not someone on the ground in Afghanistan sticking it to the Taliban? There's not someone somewhere putting Glenn Beck through a four-mile spanking machine? SOMETHING? I think it would be quite noble for Obama to say, "C'mon, this is silly" and give the prize back, some worthy cause out there could surely use the dough.

But aside from that, this whole prize plays right into the other thing about the Obama juggernaut that scares the crap out of me. He is a superior human being. He is wonderful. He has potential for greatness. That's right, POTENTIAL. He is doing his job--let's let the man DO HIS JOB. We as a world have such an inclination to pile so many accolades on Obama, we put so much pressure on him he can't POSSIBLY succeed in the end. We are lifting him to such a lofty perch, and there's no oxygen up there. As with, yes, again, the donuts, we are so desperate for something, anything, that we are pouring all of our hopes into one man. And one man can't detangle this cluster. Hope is no substitute for hard, hard work, for action, for the time you need to allow to let things work.

I hope the Nobel Committee is right about Obama. I hope this award is prescient. But we are so not there yet. And I don't want to see the flip side of feverish adoration and high expectations--the irrational anger and the defeated man who's only human. Because Obama of all people doesn't deserve that. That's when nobody wins.