The prevalence of female vanity is legendary and, like most legends, largely fictional. Counterpoint stories of men going to extremes to make their boy-selves attractive – or caring about such at all – are viewed as anomalies, despite data and anecdotes to the contrary. As per the latter, of the four Parnell offspring (three girls and one boy) constituting my Nuclear Family ®, the only one of us who ever stayed home from school because of a perceived bad hair day was my brother. 
Yep, there’s a point I’m getting to. Or rather, yet another anecdote.
Dateline: yesterday morning. Returning from my am walk, I passed a group of four Hispanic boys who were walking down the middle of the street, headed toward the nearby junior high. They were talking loudly amongst themselves in spanglish – loudly because one of the boys was about forty feet ahead of the other three. The lone/lead boy turned around, crooked his arm and called back to the group, urging them to catch up with him. One of the three replied in English, “I don’t want to run because it’ll mess up my hair.”
It was all I could do to stop myself from turning around to get a look at the no-mess-worthy hair, and say, Kid, you don’t know it but you’re gonna be the star of my blog.
Most famous for her strident anti-ERA/anti women’s rights agenda, Schafly was the creepiest kind of conservative: one whose blinkered, religion-tainted world view made her guilty of what is, IMHO, one of the worst of human errors: ingratitude. Schafly profited and benefited from the work of feminists – women and men who fought the fights so that a woman could, as Schafly did, attend college and law school and be taken seriously (and earn money) as a political activist, commentator and author – and then devoted her professional life to dissing feminism and feminists.
On the bright side, ’tis possible that the self-loathing misogynist jibberish rhetoric of Ms. Schafly created more women’s rights advocates than the writings of Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan and bell hooks combined.
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Department Of What’s Your Favorite Not My
A couple of friend and I were recently sharing stories of what had been, for each of us, one of the surprise benefits  of becoming a parent. Mine was this: once I had children I found myself rarely irritated or offended by being in proximity to other people’s children misbehaving in public. The kid throwing a tantrum in the grocery store or restaurant; the toddlers going ballistic on a flight as the place begins its landing descent – it just didn’t bother me the way it had in my pre-parenthood days.
I was flummoxed the first few times it happened – the first time I realized that, instead of being annoyed by the boy who’d just howled bloody murder and made a Frisbee of his personal size pizza, I felt something like…could it be…liberation?. By the fourth or fifth time, the aha moment sunk in. I realized that my lack of irritation was in small part due to my empathy for the child’s parents (IF I felt they were handling the situation correctly ) and in large, gigantanormous part because it wasn’t my kid acting up and thus I was relieved of the responsibility of dealing with the situation. As I put it to my friends, “Not my monkey; not my circus.”
“Paging Ringling Brothers, aisle three, come get your monkey.”
The morning after that conversation, I awoke with this thought on my mind: Why have other Not my… scenarios not attained a recognized shorthand for the you-don’t-have-to-fix-everything meme?
* Not my parish priest; not my sexual abuse settlement.
* Not my RMS Titanic; not my Trump-for-President campaign.
Someone else handle this, please.
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The Tomatillos Are Calling
Now there’s a sentence I’ve heretofore not written. Nor even imagined, I imagine (no, wait….). But there it was, on a continuous loop or so it seemed, from late Saturday night through Sunday morning.
I tried to blame my insomnia on the mundanities of life…but it wasn’t the concern for the surfeit of produce from the week’s CSA bag (aka, what-am-I-gonna-do-with-all-of-these-tomatillos?) that had me waking up every two hours with those wretched, what did we miss/what could we have done? thoughts.
Don’t blame us, lady. Not your tomatillos; not your salsa.
Instead, it turns out that pesky subconscious mind o’ mine was ruminating on the approaching one year anniversary of A Very Dark Time Of Fear And Sadness ® for our nuclear and extended family, which included but was not limited to the death of MH’s beloved father.
Just get past that dayhas been my mantra for this past week; thus, the relative brevity of this week’s post. For which there may be much rejoicing in the blog-reading world.
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May you rejoice in the true mundanities of life; May you be entitled to use (but never abuse) the occasional bad hair day defense; May you remember to act when it is your monkey/your circus; …and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 My mother confirmed this, a long time ago when she confided in/complained to me about why my brother was staying home from high school that day – he was faking illness (she’d gotten him to admit this), because he didn’t like the way his hair looked. And this was not the first time he had done so.
 That is, a plus or perk which you totally did not anticipate.
 And if they were not, well then, I could self-righteously participate in that most American of pastimes: judging other people’s parenting skills. So, win-win.
 Yep, that word has been added to my dictionary.
And another interesting piece of news to go along with this is that evidently there is an erotic novel series called The Mighty Quinns… And so when you search “The Mighty Quinn” on Amazon or B&N, your book gets lodged right in the middle of some saucy covers. Not the most ideal placement, but perhaps we’ll just suggest people search your name instead.
Where is a deep, protracted, “Oh, myyyyyyyyy” when I need it? Oh, yeah, right here.
But of course, I had to do my search and check out the source of those alleged saucy covers. I found Harlequin Blaze a certain publishing imprint, which describes itself thusly:
You like it hot! (Our) stories sizzle with strong, sexy heroines and irresistible heroes playing the game of modern love and lust. They’re fun, flirty and always steamy.
Ah, as in, Lifetime Channel aficionado core porn? Excuse me for using the p-word; the genre prefers to call itself Erotic Romance, or Romantica. And, indeed, the series cover “art” features various square-jawed, pectorally-enhanced men, most of whom seem to be battling (but not too successfully) the genre-specific, shirt-be-gone malady.
Boat restorer Marcus Quinn is not going to sleep with the infamous Eden Ross he tries his best to ignore her topless sunbathing and blatant teasing. But when that fails, what else can he do but give her exactly what she’s asking for–frenzied, brain-numbing sex?
is reason enough to send me into frenzied, brain-numbing my Happy Things file, and confer a Pretty Purple Toe to…well, to me. And to The Mighty Quinn. Singular, please.
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Whaddya mean, there’s nothing to celebrate this weekend?
Notable birthdays on October 26 include
– Leon Trotsky, Russian revolutionary and founder of the Red Army, 1879
– Mahalia Jackson, “The Queen of Gospel” singer and civil rights activist, 1911
– Felix the Cat (the wonderful, wonderful cat), 1917
– Wheel of Fortune host and Vanna White’s drinking buddy, Pat Sajak, 1946
– Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State and world-renowned texting-maniac, 1947
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Smarter People Than Us Said This
– The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. (Gloria Steinem)
– If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. (Anatole France)
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It’s been quite the week, both personally and politically, and no rallies for wisdom or reason or common sense in sight. One of the few things I find more relaxing and sanity-restoring than doing Tai Chi, reading a good book or contemplating the diverse criteria for categorizing farts is the bestowing of the Asshat of the Week award.
So many worthy recipients come to mind. Nominees include:
-The conservative/Republican/fundie/non-uterus bearing Indiana senate candidate who attempted to justify his grievously mistaken notion that what goes on in a woman’s uterus is any of his bid-ness by proclaiming that even a pregnancy resulting from rape is something his god “intended.”
About the r-word. After Anne Coulter’s spew, a mutual friend of MH and moi posted a FB link to an article that addressed how most people still don’t get the gum-flapping about using “retarded’ as an insult. That night MH and I had a rumination-worthy dinner conversation about the subject. In that calm, trying-to-appreciate-the-issue way of his, MH dared to postulate that people (in particular the teens, including our own, we’ve heard rib friends about having, say, a “retard” idea) never envision an actual, mentally retarded or developmentally disabled person when they use the word to tease a friend. MH rhetorically wondered/wanted to understand why other people find it hurtful, or claim insult for another person or category of persons, when the word is not directed at them.
Earlier that day I’d read a commentary about the incident on a British newspaper’s website. The article began “… it should come as no surprise to anyone that Coulter used terms that were idiotic and offensive.” Well, now, I said to moiself. I’d bet that many people, even those who decry using retarded as an epithet, would not hesitate to declare that a politician who preaches about divinely intended rape pregnancies is an idiot, and his ideas moronic. And they’d likely do so with nary a thought as to the origins of the labels.
Moron and idiot are/were rankings on the Binet Scale of Human Intelligence ,and indicated intellectual deficiency based on IQ score ranges, with the respective orders of moderate and profound.
Perhaps, MH speculated, it is just too recent in history that retarded was both a medical description and an insult, but idiot and moron have been out of the medical lingo long enough not to ruffle feathers in the same way.
Yet again, I digress. The business at hand:
I’d read the excerpts in online newsmags about a certain cartoonist blogging his endorsement of a certain presidential candidate. Surely, they must be wrong, I thought. Had to go to the source to discover that no, Toon Guy wasn’t quoted out of context. And the context, yikes.
In a recent blog post Scott Adams spends a good deal of time enumerating President Obama’s failure on what seems to be the key issue for Scott Adams.
We grapple with increasing world population growth and climatologically induced natural disasters and extricating ourselves from ill-planned wars and a possible nuclear Iran and the continual rumblings of other conflicts in the Mideast and around the world and a tenuous economic recovery and the burgeoning social, cultural, political and economic divide both abroad and here at home…and the deciding factor for Adams? The Obama administration’s upholding and enforcement of existing Federal laws governing medical marijuana dispensaries.
“So while I don’t agree with Romney’s positions on most topics, I’m endorsing him for president starting today.”
Uh….yeah. Because nothing says rational decision-making like voting for someone you think is wrong about most topics.
And so, with a lusty, pungent inhale, asshat bong-head of the week goes to Scott Adams.
* * *
With all the hoopla-doodle-doodery as Armageddon the election approaches, I yearn for a combination sanity/humor break. Has it really been two years since the The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear took place at the National Mall in D.C.?
The rally, as those of you who were sober may remember, was co-led by The Daily Show host Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (who stayed in-character as his Colbert Report conservative political gasbag analyst). The purpose of the rally, besides being a send-up of a certain, prevaricating talk-radio show host’s ironically titled “Restoring Honor ” rally, was to have some fun promoting the idea of civil, reasonable social and political discourse — you know, the kind of dialog favored by most intelligent, thoughtful, good-natured folk, in contrast to the fear-mongering and irrational shrillness of the more vocal and extreme political voices which manage to dominate the news.
After the rally I remember spending more than a few I-should-be-workinghours minutes perusing the online photo collections of people who’d attended or covered TRTRSAOF. Revisiting the list of homemade signs carried by (and/or t-shirts worn by) the rally attendees still brings a smile to my cynical heart, and will do the same, I hope, to yours. It is in that spirit I share some of my favorites:
Use your inside voice
I Disagree With You But I’m Pretty Sure You’re Not Hitler
Make Awkward Sexual Advances, Not War
I scare Juan Williams at Airports (sign carried by a Muslim woman)
ALL CAPITAL LETTERS MEANS I’M SERIOUS
Down With Zippers
I Masturbate And I Vote (But Not Usually At The Same Time)
Facts Are Like Opinions Except They’re True
Reality Has A Well-Known Liberal Bias
We Disagree But I Still Understand I Mustn’t Stomp Your Head
 Okay, Sarah Palin remaining silent on any issue, for any reason, should be a cause for unilateral rejoicing
 However, Coulter really was directing the “retarded” at developmentally disabled voters
 The scale has been revised several times since its inception, with moron, imbecile and idiot replaced with words deemed more descriptive of a scale of intellectual deficiency, such as Beck, Coulter and Limbaugh.
Dilbert comic strip creator and infamous internet sock puppet, who seems to enjoy nothing better than (a) to warn readers of his blog that they are going to misunderstand what they read and (b) issue condescending apologies for confusing readers with his cogent blathering proclamations. Because, you know, people are too obtuse to appreciate his genius.
 Why is it always the lying, slandering, chickenhawk Glenn Becks of the world who loudly squawk about “honor”?
 I think Stewart in fact denied that particular motivation for the rally. But, really.
Active, reliable, sarcastic, affectionate, bipedal, cynical optimist, writer, freethinker, parent, spouse and friend, I am generous with my handy supply of ADA-approved spearmint gum and sometimes refrain from humming in public.