Attack of the 80s

A while back my friend Sarah posted an idea on Facebook of having an 80s themed sleepover for her kids, showing them all the great (terrible?) movies we grew up with, and feeding them lots of flashback junk (fruit punch and twinkles, anyone?). Awesome idea, and I totally immediately stole it- although I’m going to limit it to my children only, and I probably won’t feed them anything terribly horrible (bye bye twinkies) or that is likely to stain (bye bye fruit punch).

But still, awesome idea!

Then I started trying to think of all the great movies out there- which was surprisingly hard. Seems like when you sit down to try and think of something, you never can. Or maybe that’s just me and my Swiss cheese memory.

Anyway, last night, Sarah’s husband brought up the topic again, asking for a list of great PG 80s movies. And the suggestions were flying! It was suddenly so much easier to remember all of these thins when other people were throwing out titles too. I may or may not have stayed up embarrassingly late thinking if new ones. Here’s the list we ended up with: (possibly these are not all PG. And some are definitely from the 90s. Whatevs)

Short circuit
Star Wars
Neverending story
Back to the future
Cloak and dagger
Princess bride
3 men and a baby
Karate kid
Flight of the navigator
Space camp
Indiana jones
Ferris bueller
Girls just wanna have fun
Adventures in babysitting
Honey I shrunk the kids
Mrs doubtfire
Mighty ducks
Incredible shrinking woman
Uncle buck
Home alone
Hocus pocus
Inner space
Stand by me
Loose cannons
Spies like us
Pure luck
Freaky Friday (Jodie foster version)
9 to 5
Who’s Harry Crumb?
Can’t buy me love
Weird science
Money pit
Better off dead
Turner and hooch
Three amigos
Christmas vacation
Three fugitives
Superman (Christopher Reeve)
Great outdoors
Harry and the hendersons
Ferris bueller’s day off
Peewee’s big adventure
War games
Weekend at Bernie’s
Hello again
Mr mom
Outrageous fortune
Troop Beverly Hills
Blazing saddles

I also threw out some tv as well, for good measure:

Who’s the boss
Punky Brewster
Small wonder
Family ties
MORK and mindy
Laverne and Shirley
Family ties
Cosby show

Now, I’m happy to say that my kids have already seen some of these, so their entertainment education is already off to a good start. But clearly we have a lot of work to do! And yes, a lot of these are not entirely kid appropriate, but I saw them as a kid and I turned out fine. It’s funny, because I always considered my parents to be on the stricter side when it came to movies and tv, and I figured I’d be so much more relaxed about it with my kids. But now I look back and see all the movies I watched as a little kid and the adult topics they mention and it’s like “oh. I guess they weren’t so strict.” But I figure if the grown up humor went over my head, then it will go over my kids’ heads too. Or I’m setting myself up for some awkward conversations. Either way, I think my Amazon instant viewing and iTunes accounts are about to take a hit.

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Where’s The Ignorance Vaccine?

Last night, a friend of mine sent me a lengthy message about an article on scary mommy that I had posted to Facebook, saying that vaccinating your children is not a choice. She has previously been somewhat vocally anti-vaccine, so I can’t say that it came as much of a surprise. And she was not aggressive or hostile with me- she wanted to explain her personal situation (turns out her child became seriously ill after receiving a vaccine and so they have made the decision to not continue vaccinating), and ask me to consider more than the black and white of do or don’t vaccinate.

Now, I will say that while I agree wholeheartedly with the scary mommy article, I don’t consider it to apply to all people everywhere all the time. Obviously there are circumstances that affect whether or not you are able to vaccinate your children (no, I do not believe your religious preference is one of these circumstances). Where my friend is concerned , I don’t think the decision to not vaccinate her child is even worthy of discussion. Let’s see, possible death or not getting vaccinated? Yeah, that’s not a choice.
And I understand that vaccines have some potentially harmful ingredients, and that they carry the risk of serious side effects or even a fatal reaction. So does peanut butter.

Vaccines are a preventative medicine. They exist because in most cases, people react appropriately and develop antibodies to dangerous diseases that might otherwise do them grievous harm. Diseases, which before the invention of vaccines, killed, disfigured or otherwise permanently damaged VASTLY more children than any injection. Vaccines are not a magical, 100% foolproof cure. Neither is my seatbelt, but I still fucking wear it.

In my opinion, instead of jumping on the propaganda train, people in my friend’s situation should be the biggest proponents of vaccinations. Due to uncommon sensitivity, her child will remain unprotected, and so can only benefit from being surrounded by other kids who aren’t likely to pass along measles or whooping cough. Children who for whatever reason can’t fight these diseases on their own are exactly why vaccines were invented in the first place!

Here is where my friend and my opinions differ: she obviously views her decision as a choice. I do not. She made the call as a parent to vaccinate her child, tragically learned that it was more of a health risk than benefit, and stopped the protocol. There’s is no choice there- that’s adapting to the situation as a parent, and looking out for the best interests of your child. The people who have no right to make the choice not to vaccinate are the ones with perfectly healthy children, who have just decided on a whim, or because it’s trendy in the news right now to sensationalize the horrors of side effects, or because Jenny McCarthy told them to. Peanut butter probably has a higher incidence of critical interactions, but you don’t see a coalition of moms joining together to have it stricken from the national diet, and you don’t see people with zero history of an allergy refusing to buy it just to be safe.

The supposition that the medical industry is ganging up on us, forcing us to accept more and more exceedingly dangerous vaccinations so they can line their own pockets, is absurd. Health professionals are not members of some nefarious syringe wielding cabal. Sure, the drug manufacturers are in business with the aim of turning a profit, but if anything, that is just going to manifest in the prices charged. The scientists who develop these vaccines, and the doctors who recommend them, do so out of the knowledge that the diseases they prevent are MUCH WORSE.

In any endeavor there is an acceptable amount of risk- and it absolutely sucks that in this situation the risks involve children. There is good justification to continue developing better options- vaccines that don’t contain some of the more reactionary inert ingredients. But to abstain based on fear or the arrogance that reading a few internet articles makes you more qualified than someone who has dedicated their life to studying viruses and their effects, is ludicrous. Being a parent makes you an expert on your child’s needs- it does NOT make you an expert in the the field of medicine. I don’t see a lot of doctors or nurses in the front lines of the anti-vaccination movement, and to suggest that you know better than someone with the education to fully understand the ramifications of your “choice” makes you not only a fool, but a menace to society.

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Racing Time, Racing Thoughts

It’s already the 5th week of school! I can’t really figure out how that is possible- I thought for sure it was about week 4, but then I counted up pages I’ve been signing in Izzy’s weekly assignment booklet and nope, week five.

Crazy town.

I haven’t even gotten into a routine yet! Well, that’s not exactly true- I’ve been highly enjoying my naptime hours spent reading or burning through the dvr, but that’s not really my end goal for that time, so it doesn’t count. I’ve spent the past week trying to finish up my requirements for my yoga certificate- I did 6 observations last week (plus I took a workshop ALL weekend), I have 6 assists scheduled this week and another 4 before next Wednesday. But then I’ll be finished- well, except for taking another 15 classes. But I’d do that anyway.

It will be nice to wrap up the 200hr requirements so I can focus on getting into a normal weekly routine.

Beatrice, on the other hand, is in for a rude awakening when I finish up and she doesn’t get to go play at camp grandma everyday anymore. Every morning we drop the kids off at school and she says “papa’s house?” expecting me to take her over there. And unfortunately, most of the time
I do because I have to get to a class, so she’s really not learning that she can’t go over there all the time when ever she wants. I’ll have to take her to the zoo again a few times to ease the transition back into just hanging out with me all day. Boring old mommy is not nearly as fun- especially when she is doing exciting things like scrub toilets and vacuum.

This is a very common time of year to feel pulled in all directions (I will not bore you with all the Ayurveda stuff I learned this weekend!), and I’m certainly feeling the effects. Too bad knowing they are there doesn’t prevent them from making you batty. It is interesting knowing there is an ancient branch of science backing up why I get completely crazy every fall and always want to clean out all my closets and start a million projects. And also why I usually never really get around to it. I’ve got a giant pile of outgrown baby clothes to sort into donate/consignment just sitting in my bedroom because I can’t quite motivate myself to actually do the work of going through it. I hate to give up the chance to get a little money back (since they all need new clothes for sure!!), but we’ll see if it’s better for my sanity to just dump it in a goodwill bag and call it a day.

Ok. This post is fully an example of my scattered thoughts and racing ideas and completely untethered brain. I’ll think I’ll quit while you still think I’m reasonably sane.

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Society Exposed

There has been lots of talk lately about the recent hacking and subsequent release of multiple celebrities’ private photos. People have opined that this type of act goes beyond simple invasion of privacy and into sexual assault territory. People have suggested that everyone who seeks out and views these photos is complicit in the crime. People have wondered why the hell so many celebrities have naked pictures of themselves (seriously, what is up with that?).

I essentially agree with all of these points, and I’m not going to completely rehash them now. Yes, I think there should be an extremely harsh punishment for someone who not only breaks into a private cloud account, but also publicizes the information. There can be no purpose behind that besides humiliation and degradation if another human being, and whether it is done in person or through technology shouldn’t really be a factor.

No, I do not agree that asking why someone has naked pictures of themselves is akin to victim shaming. Obviously, having private photos of yourself on your own personal device is not a tacit admission that you deserve to have them exposed. Everyone deserves privacy, even those who out themselves in the public eye. However, in this day and age it is simply a fact of life that if you don’t want something out there to be seen, you can’t put it on the internet. Even in a private account. Isn’t that the entire plot of the movie Sex Tape? It’s a sad truth that nowadays you just don’t have the room to be silly and foolish and young- we’ve had talks with our kids about how even the most innocent post to social media can be taken out of context and used against you for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, it is just an aspect of our current technological abilities, that you have to approach every photo and tweet with the acceptance that it can never truly be deleted, and it may be seen by a far wider audience than you ever intended. (I personally have some “before” bikini shots on my phone that I took before I started my yoga training, in the hopes that someday I will have impressive “afters” to compare them to. I would be embarrassed beyond belief if they ever went public, not only because they are supremely unflattering and highlight every lump and ripple, but also because of the hysterical blindness that would strike down anyone who accidentally saw them.)

The biggest issue I’ve seen with this discussion is the constant blame places on our society. “Society creates the demand for paparazzi photos and encourages people to go ever further in search of exposing, embarrassing, or invading celebrities’ lives.” “Society always places blame on the victim, whether it be for having naked pictures or wearing a short skirt after dark.” “Society dehumanizes women, placing value on their physical appearance rather than their minds.” Because here’s the thing: society is a myth. There is no Society, deciding things and setting boundaries for behavior. There are only a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand individuals each making the personal choice to judge, or shame or defend. Every single person who viewed a naked photo of Jennifer Lawrence chose to view her as an object whose privacy was less valuable than their own curiosity. Every single person who looks a woman and thinks “nice outfit, slut” is perpetuating a stereotype that revealing clothing contributes to loose morals.

Society doesn’t judge. We do. One at a time, every day, when we allow negative thoughts about another person to overshadow their humanity. I’m guilty of it. I took a photo of a woman recently who was very heavily overweight and squeezed into too small clothing for the purpose of texting my husband and making a joke at her expense. Just because she will never know, does that make it harmless? No. Because I allowed my distaste for her physical appearance to outweigh the fact that she is a human being with feelings and the same right to respect as myself.

The label ‘society’ makes it all too easy for us as individuals to step back from our responsibility to show simple consideration for each other. Society didn’t click the link for naked photos- you did. Living in a culture that is obsessed with celebrity doesn’t excuse
you from making the personal choice to participate in an invasion of privacy through your computer screen. One person set up the ladder to peek through those windows, but one by one people lined up to climb it.

I’ll admit my first response is curiosity. But I can’t bring myself to perpetuate the degradation of another human being solely to assuage a moment’s boredom. I’ve found my opinion of anyone who has seen those photos (either by choice or by accident) definitely lowered, and my standards for my own behavior have been raised.

My decisions and my actions are society’s decisions and actions. The tail doesn’t wag the dog.

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Is Nowhere Safe?

The spiders are taking over. We’ve always had a number of spiders in our front bush, and around this time of year it gets festooned with spiderwebs. Like DIY Halloween decorations. And after 5 years I’ve finally made peace with this, and can even walk right past the bush without cringing. And because what little time I spend outside is confined to the backyard or walks around the block, I had so far been spared the knowledge that the spiders actually string webs from their bush to the giant pine tree in the center of the yard.

Until I walked face first into one.

If you don’t declare it on social media, it didn’t happen

Fine. I can make peace with my front yard being booby trapped by tiny, eight-legged fiends and their tickly, sticky webs of horror. Forewarned is forearmed, so they say, and my ego can take the public flailing necessary to traverse this canyon of doom.


But that isn’t enough for the spiders. They just HAD to go and violate my personal premises, and enter the first bastion of human domain: the garage. Last night, with cruel intention, a demon spider decided to spin it’s web between my car and the wall of the garage.

That sucker is giant!

I now fully believe in a higher power, because nothing short of divine intervention could have saved me from blindly walking out of the house on autopilot and straight into that nightmare- I stopped mere inches away from actually TOUCHING that thing, and therefore having to set myself on fire. As it was, I stood there frozen for an embarrassingly long amount of time debating how to solve the problem and get into my car.

If you take your eyes off them they get you, you know.

Obviously, walking around the car the long way and getting in was probably the best option. But backing my car out of the driveway would untether the web, causing the spider to fall, and of course disappear to who knows where, lying in wait for his next chance to get me. But breaking the web myself ran the risk of having it stick to me and actually pull the spider CLOSER; a concept almost unthinkable.

After mustering my courage and pointing out the spider to my kids (who were wondering what the hell I was doing just standing there), I managed to knock the web down and eliminate the threat. I wish I could say that I safely and gently removed the spider back outside to his rightful place, but no. I stomped that motherfucker. (I did apologize and tell him “namaste” first.)

I like spiders. I appreciate the job they do eating all of the other horrible insects that populate this world. And I recognize that it isn’t their fault they are terrifying rather than cuddly. But I specifically told them that they are more than welcome as long as they don’t show themselves, but if I see them, I have to kill them. That’s just the way things work. (Seriously. I actually announce, out loud, the terms of this deal whenever I move into a new place.) They reneged on the deal.

Unfortunately, the damage has been done, and I am now thoroughly traumatized and afraid to go back into the garage. All morning I was concerned there were spiders actually IN my car, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before something drops onto my head from above.

Stupid nature.

Posted in Creepy crawlies, fear, whining | Leave a comment