Wednesday, May 28, 2008

israel: a statehood

As many of you know, all of Todd's friends are named Todd. This is by no means relevant to this post, but it has an anecdotal appeal I couldn't resist, especially since the principal character is the son of one of the Todds. Todd F. to be specific.

We used to hang out with the F's and their six kids all the time. This was especially fun for Quinn, since the youngest four F. kids are boys. But he has always been especially close with Israel. In 2004 I had the grave misfortune of discovering that Mama F. is a Bush voter. A lively debate ensued, wherein I basically left nothing but the bones. Well? I couldn't help it, single-issue voters infuriate me, particularly when the issue is abortion. And how was I to know she was completely ill-equipped to legitimize her position? I haven't seen them since. Todd still takes Quinn over to see Israel, but I haven't laid eyes on an F. child since 2003. Cut to two days ago. The Todds, Quinn and Israel had gone out to do manly things like shoot 22s in the mountains, and Rei and I were at home. I was crashed out in bed, and suddenly Todd was shaking me awake to say that Todd and Israel were here and dinner was almost ready. Wiping the crust from my eyes, I was certain he was mistaken. I have long held a dear place in my heart for the impish F. children, and I couldn't believe I was about to see Israel for the first time since 2003. He the cutest, wittiest, shortest little guy, and has been a great friend to Quinn. I tried really hard not to stare at him across the dinner table, and he averted his eyes with the shy smile of a vague familiarity. After dinner I remembered that I had a picture of the boys from when they were little, and I cajoled them into bashfully posing for another so I could compare. I can't believe the difference, though Israel isn't much bigger than he was, lol.

Time really flies when you tell a tongue-tied Bush supporter where she has gone wrong and then don't see her kids for fifty years. Yes yes, in case you're wondering, I learned my lesson, and I'm thankful my tyranny didn't cost the boys their friendship.

Ain't they sweet?

2003 (Israel 5, Quinn 4):

2008 (Israel 11, Quinn 9):

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

come again?

As I was dozing off last night, I remembered a couple things we needed from the store, and scraped myself out of my covers to write them on a Post-it, in case Todd might see them and fetch them on his way home.

Imagine how I felt this morning when I took a gander at the note I left:

Incense incense incense incense incense...

Monday, May 26, 2008

help me

Okay this is really going to take some scraping of those pre-parenthood brain cells. You know, the ones who occupy that microscopic recess in the cob-webbed corner of your brain, hoping to be liberated some day, and burst forth with the vast knowledge they hold?

Yes those.

I'm about to call the mental hospital because I cannot remember a term from my political science class a couple years ago. It was two words, the second being rejoinder. I just can't conjure up the first word. I seems like it was at least three syllables, and my brain keeps leaning towards a c-word, but I'm not sure. The term is borne of a particular aspect of international relations, if that helps.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE someone know this word! I have read two textbook glossaries this morning (over 100 pages), and scoured the internet, which appears to be barren of variations of rejoinders. I pray to God I will not be forced to retake these classes at CCC, for reasons that most of you know. (He is not 87 Brandy!)

I only choose brilliant friends, so I expect a call soon!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


You'd never know it by looking at us, but we love to kill fish. Particularly sweet, innocent, 7-for-a-dollar goldfish purchased by our eager 8 year old, proudly, and with her own money. Our neighbors would tell you we are quiet, and keep to ourselves, and that aside from our egregiously neglected landscaping, we are normal folk. They'd be aghast to know that we have been flushing corpses by the dozen. It all started when Reilly caught some minnows in that sludge, er, pond at Wallace Marine Park, and brought one home. We were forced to house this rags-to-riches fishy, and Todd bought him a sweet little condo outfitted with many accoutrements. For all the lavishing, this silvery ingrate lasted about two weeks. To soothe Rei's ever-animal-loving heart, we bought what she calls, "like these weird red minnows," who also keeled over, one by one. Well, three by three, really. Next up were scads of guppies, too many to name, which is just as well since they were a really dysfunctional lot. The way Reilly remembers it, "Well, the dad died, and the lady at the pet store said it was because the mother annoyed him to death, so I bought another dad and he also died of annoyance. That's when the babies all died." I guess the mom croaked out of loneliness. I know what you're thinking, that we were careless in our treatment of these fish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Todd is meticulous in the maintenance of the tank, the pump, the lights. Hell he probably would have given these bastards full body massages if he could have caught them. It wasn't our fault.

With every death I suggested we throw in the towel and get the fucking obtuse tank off of my counter, but Rei would invariably come bounding in with fresh hope in a baggie. This is when she changed course and bought the seven goldfish. First I was really irritated at the arbitrariness of selling seven of something for a dollar. When I finally got over that, I hoped against hope that at least some of these little guys would survive our death chamber. Rei's favorites of these were Click and Fin. They outlived their tank mates by several weeks, but alas, just last Tuesday I found Rei sitting at the counter, by the tank of death, head in arms. Upon closer inspection, I saw that she was drawing a goodbye card for Click, shown above, who had croaked in the night. With tears in her eyes, she dated it and did her best to accept that we kill every fish that swims into our lives. Even the ones we name. We have one left, her beloved Fin, and I am absolutely dreading the moment that Fin becomes Finito. You know? What did we do wrong? We did everything by the book, tried several kinds of fish, food, etc., and still no dice. Did we miss something really obvious, like fish don't thrive in manufactured homes??? Ugh. As much as it's a part of life, and part of nature (in our case, science for the year, lol), I hate seeing Rei well up every other day. She's losing faith. I'm tempted to buy her a pony just to cheer her up. (Yes, of course it would be a Shetland Pony, what with our cramped living room.) Anyway, if anyone has any ideas, p-l-e-a-s-e let me know so I can put the kibosh on this serial killing.

This is Fin, and our tank of doom.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

over the rainbow(s)

It seems everyone is compiling/posting a happy list lately, and while I could never consolidate my master list into something blogable, I have opted to share many versions of one thing that makes me happy. I've loved rainbows all my life. Not necessarily the faint ones in the sky, but tangible items in rainbow colors. Long before I knew the implications of brandishing them, I have been drawn to their cheerfulness. As a card-carrying depressive, very few things in life hold a reliable appeal to me, and rainbows do. Obviously there is somewhat of a polarity in a rainbow's connotation, but I'm just posting a few of the objects which catch my eye each day and remind me that there is always something about which to smile.

My umbrella.

A GUND worm I bought Reilly a long time ago, because I like rainbows, lol.

What's left of a stationery set B got me...

My fabulous earrings that don't go with ANYTHING! Grrr...

A cute variation of the traditional stacking ring toy, minus the head, which Maia lost. :)

A bracelet I made because I HEART the beads.

Oh Sharpies. I could include them in every post. Special nod to Gail and Gab!

A fantabulous silky hangy-thing in my car, which enhances each and every day.

Reilly's socks, which I covet.

And of course, Obama + rainbows = MANIA!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

when the mice are away...

Suffice it to say, we all need breaks from parenthood now and then. And I think I might be scalped if I don't cop to getting more than my fair share of time out, compared to my friends. This is not a rant about needing to get away. This is a strange confession that I am likely to regret. Thankfully, I have a pretty thick callous where shame and regret are concerned. The thing is, I have marginal anxiety about being away from my kids, we all know this. I am hugely fear-driven, and thusly worry endlessly about their safety, plus I just like having my little monsters around. Nevertheless, I do permit them to spend time with others, quite frequently actually, and I do derive pleasure from the chance to do some chillaxin with my grown-up homeys. This is especially true if there is alcohol involved. So I've learned to trust in the kids' security so that I might enjoy my adult time.

The nature of this confessional is that I am almost completely incapable of being in my house without them. So consumed with nerves when faced with having the house to myself, I go to absurd lengths never to be in that position. Sometimes I'll come home from errands and Todd will be loading Quinn and Reilly up in the truck to go bike riding or something, and they'll screech away before I have the chance to ask if maybe I could strap myself to the ski rack. So my eyes well up and I mope my way inside. I swear this time I will revel in the silence, take a hot bath, read, listen to my music, loud, with no guilt. Alas, I pace. I turn on iTunes, and immediately every tear-your-own-throat-out David Gray and/or Tracy Chapman song will play. Even though I put it on shuffle, it only plays songs that test my will to live. You know it's bad when Elton John's Sacrifice affords a little lilt. You're probably thinking one of two things: A) Shut up you fucking bitch for getting the house to yourself, or B) Shut up you fucking bitch for getting the house to yourself; why don't you just leave? I never leave because I always think this will be the time I can appreciate the moment. Typically I crank up some of my suicide prevention playlists, and start cleaning. Yes, when I follow my bliss, as Gabrielle puts it, I always end up holding lemon-scented Lysol. Now, if I truly follow the bliss, I might drink some of it, but that's a whole different post.

So I'm scrubbing away (things that are already clean, B will tell you), and my heart is racing because my kids are gone. The house isn't quiet, it's empty, and deafening. I'm okay laughing at Starbucks with you primo ladies, but stick me in my house with nary a soul and I am liable to freak right out. Invariably, B calls to ask what I'm up to, and I tell her I drew the short straw and wound up alone at home. She pauses (undoubtedly to curse the stupid ungrateful bitch who refuses to appreciate the time alone), and then gives thoughtful, helpful suggestions, such as, "Turn off Tracy Chapman, go to Borders, or come over." I'm usually too immersed in disquietude to understand her, and refuse all reasonable ideas in favor of scrubbing the bathtub, all the while knowing I am one second closer to my kids coming home to me.

Is this weird? I think it is.

Last night Quinn and Rei spent the night at my mom's, and for the first time ever, I awoke to an empty house. No competition for the shower (Quinn), no requests for cartoons (Reilly), no nothing. At first I was really panicked, but it occurred to me I could slip some flip flops on and drive to Starbucks, which I never do because, as you may have noticed, I would ever leave my kids for ten minutes. So I kicked off my solitary confinement with an Americano and a scone. Not too shabby for an unappreciative bitch, right? I proceeded to languish online, not something I'm prone to doing, fold nine (count 'em nine) baskets of laundry, clean the kitchen, post this blog, all the while blasting my music. Shuffle was decidedly kinder to me today. Not that Tracy doesn't hurt. She does.

So that's it. I just wanted to vent this, another oddity in the sea of oddities that is Cheyenne. I'm also curious if anyone else has a problem being home alone? I pose the question, in spite of fearing the onslaught of readers chomping at the bit to put me in my place. But go ahead. My music is too loud for me to hear you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

stupor sonic

I haven't had my coffee yet, so I'm just going to put it to you straight: If you have the choice of eating at Sonic or contracting gonorrhea, go with gonorrhea. I mean, at least you get to have some kind of sex to get it.

Due to my pathological aversion to hype, I have avoided Sonic like the proverbial plague for almost a month. Nothing, and I mean nothing, ever lives up to that kind of ballyhoo. Except for Jacob. He truly is all that and more.

But my kids have really been wanting to try it, and I was kind of a harsh mom yesterday, so I cajoled a very resistant Todd into taking them there. Oh. My. God. Every diagonal slot was full, there were swarms of teeny-boppers skating to and fro, the parking lot was all cordoned off, and the blasted line went clear into the parking lot of the second business over. And there was no sign of movement. Ever. The chosen were all too content to peck at their leisure, and even the 8th grader directing traffic (the unmoving traffic) just shook his head. Well, true to form, I was just pissed. Half of me wanted to leave screaming obscenities out my window (because I possess lots of self-control, like Sherri Chamness). The other half of me was determined to shoehorn my way in somehow. Not to be beat by their haphazard circus, we managed to park and and walk up to a very disconcerting ordering system, reminiscent of Back to the Future 2. The tables were laid out in such a way as to make it nearly impossible to reach the speaker/menu-thing, and there was no clear way in which to form a line. So we stood in clusters, and were immediately divided into two groups: the polite, "No you go aheads," and those who just assume it is their turn, regardless of the fact that you've been standing there since jelly shoes were en vogue...the first time.

Our order was fairly simple. Todd and Rei ordered theirs with nothing special, I ordered a cheeseburger with no mayonnaise, and Quinn ordered a double patty hamburger with ketchup, mustard, and pickles only. Now, I realize that to a troglodyte in a dinner rush, this may be very difficult to grasp, but most hamburgers come that way, so we were optimistic. The food came, served by a very pleasant Kaneeishia. (I wondered how many more vowels we could squeeze into that name. Maybe go Hawaiian? K'nalei'sh'lei?) Anway. Todd's $7 popcorn chicken had exactly eight pieces, Quinn's HAMburger was dripping with cheese, and I literally bit into ice in my burger. So I flagged down Dinyil and complained, which, contrary to my causticism and forked tongue, I don't relish. I explained that hamburger means no cheese, that's what cheeseburgers are for, and that mine hadn't thawed. She whisked them away apologetically and Quinn and I sat, oh so accustomed to our orders being wrong. (You'd be amazed at how "NO mayonnaise or I will die" translates into "Extra mayonnaise PLEASE" through the intercom.) So then Kaneeishia reappeared with my new burger, as well as Quinn's, which, tah-dah! was another cheeseburger. We realized all four of us were having a simultaneous nightmare. As they were bringing out Quinn's THIRD cheeseburger, I bit into another frosty burger. There was no use. Dinyil explained that it was impossible to to get orders right at mealtimes, and my friend Kaneeishia said she would never work in food again. Now, we all know one can only complain so many times before the cook hawks a loogie into your food. So I ate the frozen burger and prayed that Quinn's fifth one would be correct. Lo and behold they got it! To borrow from the Jabberwocky, Callooh Callay!

Still, the entire operation was suspect, the particular lot they bought is way ill-equipped for this amount of traffic, the layout is confusing and the fries are shit.

That's why I'm telling you, go with the gonorrhea. It's one shot, and no frozen patty.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

she slices, she dices, she juliennes...

When Mama got whacked, Quinn and Rei were on the case. They cleaned, they kept my rice pack hot and my water bottle full, and they tried to fight at a slightly less audible level than normal. (Operative word being slightly.) Reilly has always been much more capable than we've given her credit for, but this week she has blown me away with her ability to anticipate my needs, prepare my meals, and generally kick ass. She brings me a menu every three hours or so and leaves a blank section at the end for special requests. I'm not kidding. For instance, she'll offer soup, a frozen entree, or quesadillas, but I am welcome to request a pb&j. Kapeisch?

This kid. She makes me tear my hair out, but she also brings me to my knees, weeping with joy at the miracle of being her mom. It's the same with my Quinny. (More on him soon. Getting misty-eyed.)

Today she made me quesadillas with zucchini, four to be exact, a soda with the all-important pink straw, napkin, and the oh-so-essential mealtime accoutrement, my phone.

And, in case you're wondering, yes she can spell quesadilla.


After an exhausting, soul-crushing, faith-testing, teeth-gritting month, the surviving babies are finally home, and Reilly got to hold her beloved Kate in her arms. B's mama bunny had her babies circa Rosie's appendectomy, and managed not to kill two of them. They were seriously failure-to-thrive, and B shipped them to Maria's so they could be in the foster care of a mama not as apt to starve her young.

So just last weekend Rei got the call that Kate was en route. She was trembling with excitement. Pacing like a proud father. Squealing like a ... well, girl. On the way to B's, Rei identified every landmark and estimated how many minutes were left to drive.

"Blockbuster! Six minutes!"

"That cafe that's always empty! Three minutes, right Mom?"

At last their epic reunion was at hand, and Reilly was finally able to behold Kate in all her peeing, scratching glory. (Though in Kate's defense I am told neither of these things occurred--I'm just thinking back to my own rabbit.) Anyway, here are some shots of Proud Mamas Reilly and Rosie (with Champion):

This is NOT Adam dutifully building a hutch in the dark, it is someone else.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

no concussing

For those of you who weren't summoned Monday, we had all the King's horses and all the King's men here to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. (In case there is any doubt at all, I play Humpty in this--and pretty much every other--scenario.)

Early that morning, I had bent down to kiss Quinn good morning on the bottom bunk, and when I stood, I cracked my head on the top bunk, and down I went like the twin towers. (A tribute to my cherished fellow heathens Brandy and Adam, who love a good 9-11 joke.) Quinn says I blacked out for a couple seconds, and when I came to, I could hear them trying to figure out whom to call. Ultimately, (surprise!) they called B, who was home with a gaggle of children and no car. And yet, I assure you, she was the logical choice. So after some logistics the likes of which I will never comprehend (I just know it involved passports, syphoning gas, and I think robbing a convenience store), B arrived to save the day, which, sadly, has become second nature for her. I insisted I was fine, but uneven pupils, slurred speech, and vomiting gave me away and she called the EMTs. Obviously this 20-man brigade staring down at me brought out the absolute best in my confidence level/ability to speak, to say nothing of the fact that I hadn't showered or put on a bra that day, so I was trying to pretend that I looked the same in my cami and yoga pants as (insert cute popular actress) does. Sigh. We refused the deluxe $900 ambulance ride and B drove me instead. Meanwhile, we had more children running around than that compound in Texas, only with less supervision. We immediately set out (and by "we" I mean B) to determine which of our friends we would saddle with this brood, and we ultimately settled on Karen, who I suspect will never answer her phone again. She arrived in 2.5 seconds, and I swear she screeched into the driveway in a cartoon car, ready to be of service, and dressed to the nines, natch. (Please let's not forget that, true to my injury tradition, I was unshowered, mostly undressed, with no make-up, and not even a morsel of wit with which to compensate for my pitiful state. So thanks Karen, for having just gotten your hair done, and for having perfect mascara (which I noticed with my one good eye), and for having the girls nicely displayed, as my own were splayed out all over the floor, much like an octopus' tentacles.)

We were well-advised to go the Silverton Hospital, where a nurse was waiting for us upon arrival. I was in a room within five minutes, and talking with the doc within ten. Mind you, I have no idea what he said, except that I "really got (my) bell rung," lol, and had a major concussion. Then B and I had a misunderstanding about getting a burger, and we headed home in record time to relieve Karen of her zoo-keeping duties.

Meanwhile, it had become unexpectedly sunny and B had a rabbit frying outside so she needed to pack up and leave too. never take my own injuries very seriously, and I always assume I am exaggerating because when I tell stories, I generally go heavy on the hyperbole. You'd think I would have learned when I got cut in half, but I didn't. When B left I started sweeping the floor, and Karen got all authoritative, which I must confess, has changed the dynamic of our relationship, and told me to sit. She made me promise to rest blah blah blah, and enlisted my kids in her Nazi regime, and bid us adieu.

Later that night I went to B's so she could keep an eye on me, which I felt really bad about because she hasn't been feeling so hot herself. I kept her awake the entire night with all my twitching and repeatedly asking if she has a car. She got no, and I mean NO, sleep. I slept the entire day, which was really a slap in the face to B, who hasn't slept since 2005. I'm still really dizzy, and if my speech was a Scrabble hand, my tiles would be blank, except for one B. Maybe a G. And I would just put the on the board all by themselves, unconnected, and hope that you would know what I meant. Sweet sweet B, she knows what I mean. Her text to me this morning was, "Good morning, you little rung bell." Hee hee.

So the doc said I could feel dizzy for a few weeks, and have the blurred vision that long too. I'm taking a gorgeous vicodin/oxycodone cocktail for the pain, and once again, I am so extraordinarily blessed to have my people around me, offering everything they have. (Getting emotional) It wasn't so long ago that I had the emotional/social aptitude of a rock, and valued relationships right up there with compost. These days, I am surrounded by the highest quality men and women friends an old stone like me could ever hope for. Seriously. You guys bring tears to my eyes. (Perhaps in part because I'm listening to Air Supply.) I'd be some shivering rock (with a concussion) without my primo posse. So thank you guys, from my sedimentary core, and my rung bell.

Jesus I may have gone overboard on the vicodin...ya think?

Friday, May 2, 2008

idk, rofcrying?

I'm just going to say it: Internet lingo and text-ese are beneath me. That is to say, I am too good to speak that way. Aside from the occasional "lol," you will never get a text from me that says, "c u soon" or "plz dnt be l8." I shudder to think of just how low the bar has dropped since cell phones and computers have become so ubiquitous.

This is not to say I am not aware of this vernacular, spreading like a rash. I don't like getting "w/e" any more than the next guy, though "j/k" has brought relief from time to time. Lately though, the language seems to be escalating from abbreviations to full-on phrases, represented by a letter or sound. Adam recently showed me a series of online skits that revolved around Gen-Xers speaking solely in this fucked-up verbage, and while the grouchy grammarian in me slit its throat, I wound up laughing until I peed on their couch, shrieking, and begging for more. Amidst shouts of "first," "false," and the supremely entertaining demonstration of "roflol," my personal favorite, and the cause of the faulty bladder, we kept hearing what sounded like "poned." Being that all three of us are too good for this form of "speech," we had no recourse but to look it up. It's actually "pwnd," a derivative of "owned," which means, quite logically, to get the better of someone. So we began teasing each other with random (until it wasn't random) interjections of "pwnd!"

This charming little trend bled over into a few nights later when B and I had dinner with some friends, one of whom was our beloved Jacob, whom we "pwnd" until he became a trifle less friendly. The next morning I was instant messaging with Jacob, using my correct English in all its luster and glory. Suddenly Jacob typed, "POWNED!" I laughed so hard. Quinn walked over and totally laughed, mostly because he thinks he's the one cool enough to have an inroad into this scintillating world of broken down junk speech. He is at once endeared to my knowledge of such things, and disturbed that I think I can pull it off. Anyway, he fully appreciated that I got owned by Jacob, and walked away laughing.

Cut to this morning, in the very wee hours, when I moved Quinn to his bed after finding him on the living room floor. As I tucked his covers around him, he raised his head all wobbly-like, eyes closed like a newborn mouse, and said, "Mama? Can you please tell Jacob pwnd is spelled p-w-n-d, not p-o-w-n-e-d?" Dear God. "Okay honey, I will tell him." I mean really, does a mother laugh or cry at that? On one hand, this child, whom I struggle everyday to educate, knows about pwnd. On the flip side though, he cares that it is spelled correctly. Part of me thinks he'll benefit from being so versatile, that he'll have the best of both worlds. But truthfully, there is no "best" in that junk heap world, and I want both my children to rise above it. Jacob calls me a "Nazi bitch," which I take a compliment.

When it comes to language, I've been owned by propriety...or is it ownd?

(Adam? Can you hook us up with the link? I couldn't find it anywhere.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

surreality tv

I read a statistic that said something like 35% of battered women return to their abusers. Well, I've done nothing to put a dent in this figure. After six months of freedom, I made my way back. First I began seeing my ex at the gym, and would try not to make eye contact, but invariably, I'd end up engaged in some witty thing that was said, and before I knew, I was seeking out interaction. Ultimately, Wednesday morning, we made a full reconciliation. Now, I don't expect you to understand, and I know it will nauseate most of you to learn that we are quite happy, and that things will be different this time. For those of who have not met my companion, who's really a home body, here's a picture:

Come on, tell me you can't see the allure:

Six months ago, when I was on the verge of setting fire to the production lots of the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, I knew it was time for a clean break. So we disconnected our cable, and I immediately felt myself ascend to a higher rank of parent. After initial protests about the cruel inhumanity of it, which lasted like a day, my kids adjusted fine, and the quiet in the house was orgasmic. No more 12 year old bitches like, totally dissing their families, and like, no more of that flippy wanna-be surfer shag haircut that all the boys are wearing. Unfortunately Quinn got caught in the snares of that one, and we tried letting him grow his hair out, but ultimately, I was starting to love him less so we cut it. Anyway, no TV was working really well. My mom was recording my beloved Jon & Kate Plus 8, and Lost, and we were getting serious mileage out of our Netflix membership (watching, what else? Lost reruns!)

But then the election crept up on us, and I quickly came to realize that the internet wasn't really cutting it. I like to be saturated in coverage. Every sound bite, every speech, every pundit weighing in, and all the crawls along the bottom, letting us know how many bombs went off in Jerusalem that day. While CNN was a great motivator to get to the gym, one can never count on getting a TV to his/herself, and I was frequently stuck watching Law & Order and/or fucking golf. So the seed of getting reconnected was planted.

I suspected that convincing Todd would be of greater difficulty than climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, so I chipped away slowly, patiently. Finally, with Oregon's primary looming large, I blurted out one day, "I have to have the TV back. I just have to." To which he replied, "Hey, if we can come up with a way to keep the kids from Disney and Ickalodeon, go for it."

Sweet sweet success.

Wednesday was the magic reunion. I instantly fantasized about wrapping up in my magic blanket and watching TV for a week, but immediately realized there was nothing on worth watching, just like there wasn't six months ago. The commercials are so fast they're like an assault. Animal Planet had the same anaconda as it did last October. And the "kid" shows, well, they're the perfect primer for a future on Jerry Springer. The guy eating snakes and sparrows and giant lice was fascinating until I vomited in my mouth, but all in all, TV is only worth it in election years, and, some would argue, Olympics years.

We did encounter one program, following the palate-of-steel idiot, called Nanny 911, akin to Super Nanny, which I love. We watched three children, er, spawns of satan, biting, kicking, scratching their parents, each other, while screaming, "I hate my mommy and wish she was dead!" The wispy, pansy-assed feather-haired, soft-spoken, chi-seeking, mealy-mouthed, LOSER of a husband would just go for a bike ride whenever the climate in the house started rising, which was every ten minutes. Needless to say, he was in great shape. But the poor, ineffectual mom got no breaks. These freaks were of the mindset that they were there to allow their children to be who they are, to find their own light, their own mystic purpose. Or some bullshit like that. I'm telling you, the only light in these kids' future was the explosions they were certain to cause someday soon. As the scenes played out, and the tension rose to a crescendo, to illustrate just how badly this family needed Nanny Stella, Quinn buried his face in my chest, tears streaming down his reddened face. "What happened honey?" "I HATE THOSE KIDS MOM! I HATE THEM!" Todd and I shot each other a glance and instantly realized we had no cause to complain about our kids every again. Seriously. These kids were murderers in the making, making all of our kids honorary angels.

I'm very wary of the TV becoming our default activity, so I'm kind of a Nazi about it. When it is on, I am really unaccustomed to the noise of it. It seems absurd. A complete and total waste of our time. Except to watch my boyfriend, Barack Obama. He's literally the reason we're shelling out 55 clams a month for this mind-numbing bullshit. And he's worth every penny. But we're making some real changes too. We're locking all the kids' channels, restricting their use to one (combined) hour a day, and of course, my most rigid rule: no TV in the daytime, unless you have vomited.

So judge me if you must for going back. I expect a certain amount of scorn. "What about the kids?" you'll ask. "Won't you be breaking it off again in six months?" Maybe, but in six months I will be so elated about President-Elect Obama that I'll be too busy singing in the streets to watch Nanny 911.

(PS--Brandy is considering turning her TV too, so nanny nanny nanny.)