Friday, December 11, 2009

fancy bloggers

Ok, I'm just going to say this briefly. Wealthy bloggers sort of make me crazy. Yes, I would love to try your salmon recipe. Salmon has been off the grocery list for almost a year ($6.99 a pound!?!). I sure love the precious wooden toys made from renewable forest wood. But I won't pay $40 for them. Those are the cutest shoes ever, and quite a steal at $300. A tremendous amount of disposable income (and being able to justify $300 shoes) have never been part of my lifestyle. Some blogs are really like lifetyle magazines or Restoration Hardware catalogs: shiny representations of a sort of luxurious meta-world to which few Americans can likely relate.

Nicholson Baker describes the sort of scene one is likely to see in catalogs (and now catablogs, yes I just coined that term but it isn't that clever):

In one of the latest J. Crew catalogs, there is a literary interlude on page 33: a man in shorts and plaster-dusted work boots, sitting in a half-remodeled room — on break, apparently, from his labor of hammering and gentrifying — is looking something up in what close inspection reveals to be a Guide Bleu to Switzerland, probably from the forties, in French.

That's from his essay, "Books as Furniture" in The New Yorker, June 12, 1995.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

is it bedtime yet?

Oh, how I loathe the morning routine. Not because my sleep has been incredibly erratic lately (2 days ago I went to sleep at 5 am, today I woke up at 5 am), not because my day now starts 1 hour earlier than it used to (the nephew I babysit arrives earlier than before), not because the bathroom floor feels like an ice rink when I head in there to brush my teeth.

Today I encountered the normal irritants ("Super Q, sit down and eat." "Super Q sit down and eat." "SUPER Q SIT DOWN AND EAT!") ("Flash, did I just ask you to come up and get dressed?" "Yes." "So why are you in bed reading Harry Potter?")

The problem with today is it is our first REAL snowy day. Like snow on the roads, 25* outside. Visions of the VW wagon spinning on black ice dance through my head. I'm terrified of driving on snow and ice. Grew up in Arizona, recently moved from Texas, no real winter driving experience. Which leads me to the last straw this morning.

After 5 solid minutes of sheer bedlam in which no one could find their mittens or backup shoes and socks or any number of other accessories required to go to school on a snowy day (including the daily healthy snack mandated by the school which cannot be goldfish or popcorn but must be cut-up fruit or vegetables) we finally pull out of the driveway... v e r y s l o w l y. And drive to school in the same manner.

The whole way Flash is critiquing my driving. His chief complaint is that I am driving too slow. I explain that I have very little winter driving experience but I have been told to just TAKE IT SLOW and you'll be fine. The child will not let up. "But you're going SO SLOW! Look, that guy is going fast!" Etc. Ad nauseam. I continue to respond in a somewhat sane fashion and then suddenly lose it. Every cliche Mom phrase rushes out very loudly. I definitely said, "I wish I were 10 and had all your wisdom." I might have said, "After all I do for you..." The children exited the car in silence. The 7 year old came back for a kiss. The 10 year old did not.

Would it add to his mortification if I affixed a large, brightly lit sign to the back of the wagon?