the little that we get for free
Children’s Books I Will Immediately Throw Out If Received As Gifts

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Oh. my. god. WEEP.


(This has not happened yet, btw. Only lovely, non-upsetting books have been received. I’m just assuming a 60% chance of my biological child sharing my excessive childhood sensitivity.)

1. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs - TOO FUCKING SAD

2. Love You Forever - TOO FUCKING SAD

3. The Runaway Bunny - TOO FUCKING SAD


5. The Velveteen Rabbit - I CAN’T EVEN, SHUT UP

My personal brand? “Internet Crank”

Twitter makes you stu… no, I don’t really think that.  But here’s a a thoughtful discussion of the issue. (Even if I do want to get all up in the comments with a bullhorn to yell, “Attention, men!  Please learn some social skills so that you’re not so likely to be mistaken for arrogant assholes!  Thank you, The Rest of The World.”  But then, most comment sections make me want to do that.)

I very much like the author’s observations about oral culture and Twitter, though my personal use of Twitter skews pretty heavily in the service of written language.  (That’s because I’m one of them there overeducated elitist types.  It’s okay; I’ve accepted it.)  But I think one of the non-elitist things that distinguishes Twitter from oral culture is the degree to which commercial speech is also insinuating itself into the conversation.  It’s a conversation, but one that’s often interrupted and fragmented by someone who’s trying to sell you something.  Which most of us would find unbearably obnoxious in a face-to-face conversation, nu?

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You know what kids have nightmares about? DEATH. You know what they DON’T have nightmares about? GAY MARRIAGE.
C_Webb OWNS THE INTERNET this morning in re: rapture.
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine).
Really? And here I thought girls were only supposed to doodle hearts enclosing a boy’s name. Apparently food items, ballerinas, frog princes, and unicorns are okay, too.

Really? And here I thought girls were only supposed to doodle hearts enclosing a boy’s name. Apparently food items, ballerinas, frog princes, and unicorns are okay, too.

unless we can build a movement that Chuck Schumer is as afraid of as John Boehner is of the tea partiers, we’re going to get compromised down the river every single time.
Once again I save the world with my fearless consumerism!

Grumble grumble grumble family simchas. When MB got home, I told him, “The good news is that we all now have something to wear to this bar mitzvah. The bad news is that you are now a LOT poorer.”

Okay, no whining, because most of that money was spent to outfit me, delicate Victorian flower that I am. But at least I will probably wear the just-purchased clothes more than once. (Okay, every time for the past 20 years that I’ve bought a little black dress I’ve sworn that I will be able to wear it to stupid events for the rest of my life. However. This time I REALLY MEAN IT. I’ll be able to wear this dress to stupid events for the rest of my life… or at least until such time as all the cousins in this generation have been bar mitzvahed, after which I WILL NO LONGER HAVE TO DRESS UP FOR STUPID EVENTS.) (Okay, yes, someday some of these children may get married according to their orientations and preferences, but BB has already informed me that if/when she gets married, it will be an “Ugly Clothes” wedding, and no one will have to look pretty, and tuxedos will NOT BE ALLOWED, unless someone really, really wants to wear a tuxedo, in which case she will shrug and say, “Hey, whatever.” And LG swears his wedding will be a picnic at which guests will wear jeans.)

So, okay, all that quality merchandise I bought for myself is going to get lots of wear, right? But then there’s LG’s new jacket. While I was disentangling it from the three layers of wrap in which it was interred, LG interrupted himself in the middle of a bitter monologue about jackets and events you have to dress up for to boggle at the price tag.

"EIGHTY DOLLARS?!?! For something I’m going to wear ONCE?"

I agreed that it was stupid, and admitted that I could have spent less money if (a) I had comparison-shopped, devoted some forethought and planning to it, or left myself enough time to not need extra-expensive rush shipping on teh internets (none of which I did, because, hello, passive-aggressive attendance at family simchas!); or (b) gone to Target.

"Oh, right," he said. "Because we don’t go to Target anymore, because they gave money to people who hate gay people."

"Exactly," I said.

"Well, in that case, it’s like you just made an $80 donation to not-hating gay people. If you look at it that way, it’s not that expensive at all, right?"

Uh. Yeah! Right!

Oh, internets, help me parent

So, uh, BB has decided that she wants to be like her “favorite movie writer,” Miyazaki.  More specifically, she has decided that she is going to make her own animated film. According to the press release she has already written:

[BB will make] an animated movie called The Big Ones.  It is about a mom and a dad that have two hundred and forty babies! These people cannot pronounce the “S” to make a word plural. This is supposed to be a very funny movie that all parents may show their children. The movie can be shown if possible on July 13, 2013. The show is not until some L O N G time because it takes some L O N G time to animate a movie.  Thanks for your support.

Right. So. Can anyone recommend animation software or instruction or how-to books or anything for kids? (She’s six.) I mean, I’m Googling and all that, but if anyone has a personal recommendation, it would be MUCH appreciated. Because I know nothing about anything when it comes to animation. All I’ve got for her is my copy of Madame Winger Makes a Film.  Which may very well turn out to be my survival guide to the 21st century, at least if BB really goes through with this.  In which case you can all consider yourselves invited to the premiere.  Mark your calendars now.



This is very disturbing, and very unreported: Have you heard about the plight of Jennifer Rexford? The Gulf resident and BP cleanup worker has been documenting on YouTube and Twitter the health issues she and others have faced in the wake of the Gulf Oil Spill.

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Also worth checking out: Al Jazeera’s report on the BP oil spill, which features a quote from Jennifer Rexford.

Coakley has failed through past legal efforts to get the NRC to budge, and she has limited legal options now, but she is hoping to bring pressure to bear on the NRC.

Coakley warns on spent fuel rods, Boston Globe, 21 March 2011

(Right.  As I was saying.  Sigh.)