So I've been sitting here realizing that there were a lot of new things going on in and about my house this past week. So I figured I would share them:
1) DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR: Spielberg Boy (SB) has informed me that, yes, he is trying to grow sideburns. When I told him that 70s styles are not back in vogue (and, IMHO, hopefully will never return) he explained that they were the beginning of Wolverine sideburns. Now, while I can appreciate Wolverine and Hugh Jackman, I have to wonder when SB's self-preservation instincts will kick in.
I'm thinking we have a ways to go.
2) HOT WATER HEATER: The stupid water heater went last week. And with it, the chimney exhaust sleeve had to be replaced because it wasn't "to code." Accompanying the betrayal of the old water heater, the clothes dryer timer went, the seal around the downstairs toilet failed, a water pipe decided to leak, and the automatic garage door opener busted. Yes. One week. No, you probably shouldn't visit me now, and "no" I don't know what I did to deserve such karma.
We have dubbed him "PITA"
3) INVADER ZIM: Thanks to one of her friends, Energizer Bunny Girl (EBG) became obsessed with a cartoon called Invader Zim. I figured it was stupid...and really, it is ... but there IS an appeal to it. Either that or I'm teetering on the last thread of sanity. Anyway, she draws ZIM and GIR, watches the show, and begs for merchandise. Still, there are far worse things for a kid to suddenly pick up on.
4) ANGEL: A Mother's Day angel from my parents <3
5) CARNIVOROUS PLANTS: I always wanted to get one of these to plant with the kids, but EBG was too freaked out by the idea in the past. So we're going to put the kit together this weekend. Apparently, it takes 6 - 12 months before the trap development stage happens, but eventually we'll be all set if the neighbors decide to start throwing cigarette butts over the fence again. (Hey, I'm an author. I don't need to actually get revenge...I need only imagine it!)
Look out bugs!
Crap ... didn't think about that. Now I'll feel guilty each time the thing eats.
6) SPRING: Thanks to EBG's Girl Scout project, we needed to take pictures of parks. It was so nice to run to one of the parks by us where we were surprised to find settings we never saw before. The bursting colors were especially nice. And ... it's extra-especially nice to see this picture as a reminder of warm weather; yesterday the temp dipped back into the forties!
So I wound up laughing like a maniac yesterday. I swear, the stuff I find on the internet when I'm not looking for it! Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a trending link: "Tiny alien skeleton." I figure that has to be amusing, so I clicked on it. At first, the stories I find are about how this little six-inch-long alien skeleton was found in the Atacama Desert in Chile in 2003. So I'm thinking Ata (they're calling it "Ata") must be something else. I mean, yeah, I write science fiction/fantasy and invent alien races, but that doesn't mean I'm completely nuts. So I read on and found that while many ufologists claim the skeleton to be proof of alien life, scientists claim the specimen is human according to the DNA ... but the genome sequencing has 9% of its genes not matching up. Is it a pemature fetus? Maybe...but scientists estimate it was six to eight years old when it died. A six-inch long six year old? Was it born, then died of progeria (rapid aging disease)? Scientists don't know, just like they don't know why it has 10 ribs instead of 12.
Here are a few links on Ata. Check them out and tell me what you think it is. I'm still finding the whole deal funny. Interesting, but funny. I guess whether Ata is the human result of something in science we don't understand yet, or a descendent of the Great Gazoo (Fred Flinstone) the message is the same: We need to keep open minds on this planet.
Just wanted to share something I happened upon today. There's a non-labeled band based out of New York, called Face the King who encourages bullied fans to write to them and they write back. As well, they're working on a song about the topic. I wound up listening to their music off their website continuously for a while. Think I might need to gather a girl's night to hit one of their New York shows. Anyone in? They have a harder rock ballad sound for the most part (interpret that strange description however you will. Clearly, I'm not a music reviewer!)
...there, I said it. Out loud. Sometimes it's just better to come clean, right? Whew! That was a load off my mind. I mean, if you ask most people who their favorite Star Wars character is, Jar Jar Binks is the last answer you would expect. I mean, I'm one of those people who always root for the good guys and my top ten Star Wars characters will not include one from the dark side just on sheer principle. Still, I'd have to rate Palpatine over Binks.
So admitting my mother's taste in characters is not easy, but I've done it to prove a point. While my mother has no trouble speaking and does not trip over her face, she does share Binks' eternal optimism. And while we might find that trait annoying in Binks ... I mean, even when he screams about thinking he's going to die, he sounds rather cheerful ... you need that sort of optimism in your mom. Maybe it's naive sometimes ("Nope, Mom. My brother and I absolutely did NOT have a party at the house while you and Dad were in England") ... still, eternal optimism is great when life starts falling down around you. And the past year and half has been a doozy for that sort of thing. Still, to hear my mom talk about it, you would think the many blows my extended family has taken is just a temporary setback. She can see happy endings for a variety of ill-fated scenarios. Is it rose-colored glasses? Jar Jar Binks naivete? Or simply that she's a "catch you when you're falling" angel in mom form? Sometimes it doesn't matter that you're probably not going to draw massive crowds as the next JK Rowling, that your husband being laid off is not going to make his former employers regret their decision and suffer without him, that you don't believe every person who ever pissed you off is going to "get theirs" eventually. Sometimes it's just enough to know someone cares enough to believe those things for you.
So we all keep my mom despite her love of Jar Jar. After all, everyone needs a mother's love (and clearly Jar Jar's didn't give him the time of day.) So even though I get to share mine with that insipid doddering creature, I have to remember that adage about nothing being greater than a mother's love. So if my mom can love something like Binks, just how incredibly great is her love? My mom is one special lady. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Did he WANT the negative press to bolster sales? Was he counting on there being more people out there who are as vapid, shallow, and clueless as he is? When CEO Mike Jeffries of Abercrombie & Fitch was asked why A&F doesn't carry clothes for women beyond a size ten, it was the mentality behind his answers that bugged me more than anything else. I mean a marketing plan is a marketing plan. If a business doesn't want to carry sizes behind 10, that's their ... well, business. But have you heard the remarks he has made about why?
Try this comment on for size: “I don’t want our core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing our clothing.”
If that isn't enough, you can read his other thoughts in this meme going around Facebook (I double-checked the comments against other sources to make sure they weren't out of context. I mean, that was my first thought: "Surely, nobody actually said this!")
Again, the problem for me isn't what sizes A&F manufactures. There are plenty of stores with sizes i will never fit into and so I move on. It's the promotion of the bullying, cookie-cutter, cool versus uncool mentality that we don't need more of. In a country where kids have killed themselves over feeling like the odd man out, how dare you propogate such a mentality, Mr. Jeffries. But I have a question for you, because I'm confused: My daughter, who has one of those beautiful, perfect-sized bodies that will probably always be able to fit into your clothes is not one of the cool kids...except in her very tiny group of school friends. She's not one of the popular kids with lots of friends. Now what? Can she still shop in your exclusive stores? Because I can guarantee you, even if you were to give her a personal invite...she won't be doing so.
And Mr. Jeffries? Little hint: If the adults in our society aren't going to stand up against bullying, how do we except impressionable kids to get the right messages?
By the way... if you're a fangirl of scifi/fantasy and want to buy fun clothes and accessories from a CEO who considers all her customers cool and offers her stuff in all sizes? Visit Ashley Eckstein's Her Universe.