knitted bikinis on knitted dogs. YEAH!

My Stitch'n Bitchez and I have been snorting over this kitsch knits site for a large part of the day. Among our favorites:

Look at the motherf&**ing CAT. (stuffed?)
and the *$%%^ing DOG! The dog....
and the serial-killer/ventriloqist SPOUSE ("i can seak wi-out novin' ny nouth... u cretty lady. i touch your hair. acrylic nake ne 'xited").

my friend intends to use this concept for her 2006 Christmas Cards. that b'yatch thinks of everything first...

Item 2:

this one's got a nice set of KNOCKER (nice belt accent). i don't even know what to say about this one.... did any one EVER knit it?

Item 3:

See that? That's my boyfriend that is....

For more "my eyes, oh my eyes" experiences, check out the full Museum of Kitschy Knits at Stitchy McYarnPants. they funny.


as if yesterday's sign was not warning enough....

Against my better judgement, I am adding an addendum to yesterday's post about Dragon Tails. Hubs insists on it, even though, errr, well, you'll see...

[14:59] light of my life: your blog readers are coming away
with some very peculiar ideas about me. i think you'd better intercept and give them my lyrics for Noddy: "he'll fight you to the death ... he'll steal your last breath ..."
[14:59] me: i did think about an addendum about how scaly my legs are
[15:00] me: and that my dragon tail was removed at birth
[15:00] light of my life: that won't help. one said i was corrupting ...
[15:03] light of my life: i just think my Noddy song represents me in a friendlier light
[15:03] light of my life: For some reason, i prefer homicidal to horny
[15:03] me: yes, but it's less well-known. [referring to Noddy theme song--perhaps supressing alarming revelation above...]
[15:04] me: but feel free to send me the whole lyrics, and I'll see what i can do
[15:06] light of my life:
make way for Noddy, he'll fight you to the death, he'll steal your last breath.
make way for Noddy, with his sword he'll run you through.
with hatred, and violence, and a penchant for dismay,
Noddy's here to stay!!!!!!

[15:06] me: oh, and THAT"s not going to give people ideas about you
[15:06] light of my life: but it goes so well with the tune. the dragon tales thing was too easy
[15:07] me: i'll get emails for women's shelter contacts
[15:07] light of my life: but if they know Noddy, they will think it's funny
[15:07] light of my life: cuz he's such a pussy
[15:07] me: hmmm. alright, but mainly I need to air out the "I prefer homicidal to horny" declaration...
[15:08] light of my life: don't we all?
[15:08] me: uhm. yes?
[15:08] light of my life: after all, i am a mere caricature in their minds ... one must keep up my representations

No, I'm all right. Really, I'm OK. Seriously.


Serious sign that Daddy needs to back away from the PBS Kids...

...they climbed on the backs of their dragon friends,
Now the adventures neeeverrr END...

Dragon tales, Dragon tales,
Got to get me some Dragon tail....


just because you're delusional doesn't mean you're not delusional

According to the mighty gods of pregnancy manual lore, it is not standard to feel a baby move in utero until 16-20 weeks. That is unless (What to Expect tells me) you are "very, very slim" or maybe in second pregnancy--but only then, at around 16 weeks. "So stop deluding yourself--it's gas... or constipation. Eat some All-Bran already"

Well. I am at 13 weeks, and I am certainly not "very, very slim"--though first-trimester-and-counting nausea has brought me closer to that ever elusive BMI than I have been in several [cough] years. Sad thing is you can't really revel in your rediscovered bone structure, when all you really want is to actually enjoy your fricking food again, and get the hell away from those noxious fumes of foodstuffs like the odious peanut butter or anything resembling a whole grain. Yup, this lady who prided herself on torturing her family with high fiber cereals, whole grain bread, pasta, rice, and all that other healthy shit (producing pre-grocery-visit store pleas of "can we get some normal cereal. Like Cheerios? Please?") well now you'll find me sitting with a bowl of Honeycomb cereal, or grilled american cheese on cheap-ass white bread.

Please do not plague me with your stinking food of nutritional value. Please pass the Cheeze-Its. And let me say I love my doctor, who, when I mentioned that I was eating like shit because I felt a bit like shit, said "Aww poor thing, you are just wanting the safe and bland food of childhood. Of course you are. Don't even worry about it..." These are words I treasure safely as I watch Honey We're Killing the Kids and chomp through a family-size box of Jujy Fruits. (And then I wonder why I feel a bit sick....) (sidenote: who the hell gets a family to shift to "eating more fish" by producing squid on the first meal?)

So maybe it is constipation. But I don't think so. Since 11 weeks, I have been feeling something.

Sproglet is on the move....

Yes, I am pretty sure of my dates, because unlike the first one, this pregnancy actually was precipitated by a little planning on our parts. And now, at 13+ weeks, and I sit and type this, there is something distinctly Bo-Jangly going on down in these here parts, and I am thinking we might end up birthing a magnum-sized baby (goodbye pelvic wall!) with impressively long arms and legs. Either that, or he/she is of the acrobatic, athletic sort (which produces pleasing image of in utero Cirque de Soleil, but without the fetishism)

Anyway, Sproglet, you are a mover and a shaker, and like your gorgeous brother, don't much pay heed to what the manuals say. Welcome to the loving chaos that is your family, and don't get any ideas about the Jujy Fruits. Jujy Fruits, Jelly Bellies, and Dove Bars are the special things that mummy eats when pressed fertively between the food cupboard/fridge doors. It's apple slices and raisins for "treats" when you hit that age 'K?

Addendum to "poor me, I am nauseaus" pity-party. Have just returned from lunch with friend, where I managed to ram an alarming quantity of california rolls and green-tea icecream down my gullet. Goodbye cheekbones, and heLLO Ms. fatty-fat-fat. I've missed you, baby.


someone let me dirty up their blog

Today you'll find me over at Motherhood Uncensored regaling Kristen's readers with details about the sad and sorry state of my pelvic wall.
"Is there no length to which Joy's stunning intellect cannot extend??" you ask.
Well, m'darlins, we'll just have to see...


i really shouldn't be writing this....

I've just spent some time bitching to co-workers about having WAY too many things to do. Instant messaging husband over "having hideous, hideous day. WAAAAHHHH!" I am sick of hearing myself complaining about having too much to do. Yes. I really should just get on with my jobs. Yes. I should. But first an iddy-biddy blog entry.

Like many of you, I got my pithy Momsrising.org Mother's Day card via email yesterday. It's luverly:

M is for maternity leave when she made me..... [right on!!!]
O is for the open, flexivble schedule she needs [yes, i neeeeeed that...!]
T is for the T.V. from which she saved me [HUH? Wha?]
H is for my health care free form greed [yeah!!!]
E means excellent child care with love-light shining [yes, all entitled to that]
R means realistic wages in her job so she doesn't need three [too right]

I know. I know. Kids do need saving from t.v. in many ways. Childhood obsesity epidemic. Alarming statistics about how t.v. is used too much as babysitter. Unstemmed tide of advertizing and submiminal messages about sugar = "part of this balanced breakfast" and all that....

But I was chatting with my friend over lunch yesterday, and both of us confessed to how television is a vital and much revered component of getting one's shit together after work/daycare, when at 6pm--although you need to be spending quality one-on-one time with your kiddy, you also need to be doing other things, like preparing something for them to eat. Or sitting with a stiff cocktail as you stare blankly at Berenstain Bears.

We both cracked up as I recounted to her how, the evening before, a neighbor had stopped by at around 6:30 and for bloody once, instead of seeing my son absorbed in Sprout, he was with me in the kitchen and we were drawing pictures and cutting shapes... And I felt so smugly proud that he had happened to stop by at this juncture.

As my friend cracked: it was a "Take my picture now. I am a good mommy..." moment

So Happy Mother's day, folks! And remember, take those pictures ONLY when you are engaged in interactive play with wooden dolls or homemade play-dough or somesuch. It's the law.


a tale of two mommy sites

When confronted, in the doctor's office waiting room, with the choice of reading Good Housekeeping or The New Yorker. Let me confess--I'll go with GH each and every time. I will skim over the table of contents and target the stories on make-overs (all the better with a dramatic weight-loss component, thank you very much) and fitness/diet tips (all the better if they produce miraculous results with little-to-no effort, thank you very much). Mostly I will flick through and look at pictures of home decor and brownie recipes... Much in the same way as our monthly subscription to Bon Appetit is much more about getting my fix of mouthwatering food-pic-porn than any really practical advice over blanching and preserving my home-grown crop of Meyer Lemons.

I don't subscribe to any conventional "women's magazines" (unless you count, Brain, Child--which is far from conventional in terms of this genre) but this does not stop me from leering over all the glossies that tempt me as I wait in line at the grocery store, or grabbing any issues that grace a friend or relative's coffee table, and becoming enchantingly antisocial as I devour every issue available. In my saddest moments, I call this "maintaining cultural literacy" (the same argument for using t.v. as babysitter--you should try it!) Fact is, I am disturbingly fascinated with Julia Robert's life with twins and penchant for knitting. Oh, and a copy of US or People or National Enquirer in your bathroom? Please feel free to start drinks without me, I'll catch you much, much later on...

And there's me, veteran of the gender studies seminar, and one-time professor of women's studies. In my classes such magazines are excellent and easily available fodder for discussing the social construction of gender, and "the ideology of body-image." My students and I go to town on comparing the messages of Shape, and Self, and Woman's World, as opposed to GQ, and Men's Health, or even Wall Street Journal. And while I do not indulge (too much) in simplistic preaching of ALL MEDIA BAD; we are oppressed by MEDIA; MEDIA made me bulimic, I do sit back and smugly enjoy when female freshmen, who had not given it a moment's thought before, ask themselves "why the fuck DO commercials for fabric softner contain talking teddy bears??? And why does inclusion of teddy bears tell us subliminally that this ad is not for the men-folk?"

Such is my mighty intellectual power to teach and mentor... (Lock up your daughters!!!)

So (as she maneuvers a whiplash transition) am I getting to a point here?? Well, all the above cultural-whorishness taken into account, one of the most significant attributes of the mommy-blogging phenonenom is that finally there is a place where you can hear (cliche alert) "the real voices of women..." In fact, when Sweetney was questioning the fate of feminism a few weeks back, I used mommy blogging as an example where the times they are achangin'.

Yes, we talk about diets, and celebrities, and domestic purgatory/bliss, and our kids, and getting them to eat/speak/think right, but the terms in which we talk about these things--they are so wildly different from the glossy "true-life" stories we are presented with via conventional media: If you pick up a copy of this week's Good Housekeeping you'll find that Christie Brinkley at 52, "gives a straight talk about being and older mom and how she's facing up to a family crisis..."

And while we might empathize with some of the shit our uptown gal has had to deal with over the years (Billy Joel and Chuck Norris infommercials notwithstanding) we all know how that article will play out. "I've been through a rough and tumultuous time, but now I am coming through to the other side by seeing the joy in life, and treasuring the gift of my children.."
We turn to these mags when we want our Motherhood Censored (devoid of all swear words, spitting anger, snorting laughter, and ambivalence....)

Swear words do not mommy-blog realism make, don't get me wrong. But stories about nocturnal boob-leakage, really juggling a career and parenting, or how we feel about our bodies once they have become baby-making devices, well we can find them now via these blogs. And we can engage other writers by shouting support or relating our own experiences. And that is why for me blogging is both a supreme form of procrastination (coz, we're just shooting the shit, right?) and also a powerful form of expression, communication, and dare I say it--feminism.

I for one like the idea that the mommy-blogosphere is one place where, in years to come, people will turn to see what women were up to at the turn of the 21st century, and not the manicured profiles of women in mainstream magazines. (and boy I hope those guys read my zit post!!!).

It's very interesting to me that in the space of just a week, two largescale websites devoted to us mommy-types have taken the mutha' blogosphere by storm. The most widely touted in the circles I have seen is ClubMom, which is providing some of the most talented bloggers out there (amalah, sweetney, kirsten--to name but a few) with the venue (and cash money) they need to blog for us on a much more regular basis. And we thank them.

The other that is surfacing along with a general raising of fists, "about-blooooody-time" sentiment, MomsRising.org, a site that is overtly more about generating mother-activism and a shared sense of outrage and goal-setting over the fact that (though some may deny it) mothers and primary caregivers in general need to fight-FOR-THEIR-rights to PARENT in an equitable environment.

What's also interesting about these two new ventures is how much they contrast at a glimpse. ClubMom's interface has all the hallmarks of a well-manicured women's magazine, with its typical headlines alerting us to diet and fitness tips, recipes, hobbies and crafts. We've got tasteful and relatively unobrusive ads for minivans and weight-watchers snacks, and Meredith Vieira graces us with a soft-focus smile, reassuring us that she brings to this venture all the professionalism and down-to-earth "you know it, girlfriend" of The View ("finally I get away from that b'yatch, Star..."). Now don't get me wrong, I like a recipe for low-fat-fries-with-all-the-taste as much as the next lassy--but I also like my representations of motherhood deeply flawed, messy, and argumentative, and on first look, ClubMom looks a little too groomed and level-headed for my more raucous taste in bloggery.

But then how did I get to ClubMom? How did any of us? It's via that chick who is gracing the bottom left corner--our own Amalah, who the producers of ClubMom were savvy enough to enlist as part of the whole By Moms, For Moms principle... And yes, Amy can't curse here (because I am sure that Swiffer might have something to say about that) but she can nonetheless bring her own inimitable voice to this thing in her Best of Mom Blogs daily entry. And today, that gal is fighting the good fight with her "I am a mommy blogger, hear me roar" post.

In a nation where the job of caring for children is grossly undervalued, for both moms and minimum-wage daycare providers, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that non-parents (and I've stumbled across a daddyblogger or two who regularly use the word with the same sexist venom as a four-letter word) assume that women who write about their children are not doing anything worthwhile. That we've let our identity completely vanish beneath the motherhood label. That we have nothing to say that could possible interest anyone besides other mothers. Because we only write about our children and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE.

Amy's sardonic flipping off of the whole mommyblogger-bashing thing going on out there, well it helps us all flip off those who denegrate mothers, and it creates a swell of righteous indignation--a political swell, the basis of action. And that's exactly where MomsRising starts from--channelling indigination over the subordination of women, especially mothers, and putting that groundswell to good use. A site that is much more old-school in its articulation of that battlecry, MomsRising is explicitly about promoting activism (although careful to make this about "parents' and "childrens' rights") Invoking all the rhetoric of the women's movement, complete with Rosie-the-Riveter design theme, and pithy M.O.T.H.E.R. acronym for citing the core principles of the Mother Manifesto, the site is commercial-free, save the fundraising touting of t-shirts, and uses the vastly powerful model of online organizing used by MoveOn.org (and one of the site's authors is also MoveOn's cofounder).

In addition to the organizing tools, the site also provides a forum for sharing stories.--not of political reawakening, but of anecdotes detailing the good, the bad, and the ugly (and I don't seen any "no swearing" rules, which means I might be able to submit a line or two myself!). The lead story right now should be read by any of us who have "pumped in style" in the workplace, I tell you. (Or, eh, those who have a breast- pump fetish. And who doesn't?)

The fact that (relatively) unfiltered story-telling by mothers is a centerpiece for both these sites, well it makes the procrastinator in me rub her keyboard in sweaty glee, and it makes the feminist and english lit. professor in me feel all puffed up and proud. Under the polished veneer of ClubMom (and it is that polished veneer, after all, that gets in the advertisers, and gets our gals paid) are the voices we can come to count on to represent some of those messier and sometimes anger-inducing aspects of motherhood.

Because we all know that when her time comes, sweetney isn't going to be feeding us links to coupons of personalized "your child here" photo-mugs vendors, don't we?

(unless it's subversive personalized photo-mugs, of course...)


Note to "Mature Slut" Self....

It's only 11am, and so far today's events have confirmed that the "*spamments" I have been receiving that invite me to "network" with some Mature Sluts or Blonde MILFs--well, they might be onto something.

Before deciding to go "Casual Friday" for a day at the office, first check one's calendar for potential meetings with clients and grant partners before opting to don one's Stitch N' Bitch t-shirt, jeans-with-frequent-propensity-to-come-unzipped, and sneakers....

Even the savvy hubs questioned whether I should be so "in your face" with the BITCH t-shirt for work this morning, "s'OK," I replied. "Got no meetings, an' it's Friday"

SO. Just spent a delightful hour with a fellow Brit to discuss partnering on a big-money project for something involving fly mutation images... (and you thought my job wasn't glamorous). It was my task to convince this guy that we're the ones to partner with due to proven track record in...blah blah blah. Not so easy to do with a big ole BITCH on your t-shirt. But, by gum, I managed it. Even with the additional faux pas of asking the guy which graduate program he was in (because he looked about 12 to me) and being told "Uhm. Actually, I'm faculty..." I managed to clinch that goddamn fly mutation contract. Ha! I need to be careful, because the power is going to my head.

But I've apparently got another meeting with faculty partner types this afternoon, and am weighing options in wardrobe department here at work (i.e. garments sitting on the coat rack that have been there for 4 years and no one claims to own).
Choice 1: beige, oversized cardigan with attractive grossly mis-shapen shoulders where wire hanger cuts in. (nothing says professionalism like a mishapen granny cardi)
Choice 2: U Marching Band varsity jacket. (sizzlin')
Choice 3: Wear own trench. ("No, no, I'm just a little chilled" [cough])
Choice 4: Big ole BITCH t-shirt. (enough said)

Weigh options carefully, especially as you soon planned to go to Boss with "why I am invaluable, deeply professional employee, and how I conduct work commensurate with male colleagues in department, and why I need a substantial pay raise forthwith." Is BITCH t-shirt best option?

*"spamments" coined courtesy of neva. clever lady.

Note about spamments. I should probably turn on word verification, but am I the only one who finds having to reproduce one of those word-verification thingies disturbingly challenging at times? Yes, yes, i know i need to go typepad...


Of Cognitive Blah Blah Theory, Snail Reproduction, and Marx's theory of Alienation

I like to think of myself as an intelligent creature. I've got m'self a Ph.D., and although (like most academics I know who will actually 'fess up on this) I suffer from a healhy dose of imposter syndrome, there is something about learnin' and thinkin' that still engages me, and (at times) keeps my brain from feeling dead. Actually, the two--the syndrome and the non-braindead thing--go hand in hand for me.

One reason I have been rather quiet on the blogging front lately is that I have felt completely paralyzed with interia. Or what feels like inertia (mental inertia peppered with frantic working as if you know what you are doing). This paralysis stems from having way too fucking much to do and not quite knowing where to start (oh, that's only me, right?) and specifically the fact that somehow I have become one of the lead lackeys people in organizing the content sessions for a workshop to establish the research agenda for an federally grant-funded Center for Social Science Learning.

(Oh, my degree is in English folks, and though I fancy myself more a Cultural Studies than a Literature type who can spout Foucault and other theorists that deconstruct the epistemological basis of THIS, and the ontological standpoint of THAT, blah blah blah, the stuff I am reading right now, well it's making my head spin. Where are Foucault and Derrida and Butler to help me now? Nowhere, mates. This stuff covers neuroimaging, and brain patterns, and cognitive flexibility theory, and uses real, honest-to-goodness human subjects. Not books! Research is expected to yield tangible and empirically verifiable results!!!


Can someone start bailing out the water, because I think I am sinking. Oh, and if there is a Complete Idiots Guide to Faking it as a Ph.D. in Social Sciences, can someone send me the reference? Subliminal audio material would also be a bonus here. Oop. Hang on, that type of learning would be "passive encoding" and not "active encoding" of knowledge. See, I am learning. Maybe all those bullshit teaching philosophies I had to develop in grad school ("I approach the classroom from a constructivist perpsective, with an pedagogy that privileges student-centered leeeeearning..." Blink.) well maybe they weren't so bullshit after all. Maybe one person's constructivism and student-centered leeeeearning is another's Cognitive Flexibility Theory.

***cue belabored panting sound*** (Yeeees. That's right, Joy. Now back awaaay from the ledge. Easy does it.)

ANYWAY. Let me pull away from this spewing forth of insecurities for a moment, and bring you to the main point of this post. Me= Highly Educated Woman (if convincing faker at times) and so for the following interchanges between myself and three-year old preschooler, I should be ashamed (and remember, I am gestating right now, and this is what has prompted this onslaught of questioning):

Boyo: Where do cars come from?
Me: Uhm, factories. Like in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Boyo: OK, so where do bikes come from?
Me: Err. Factories
Boyo: Where do doggies come from?
Me: Ah! From their mummies's tummies [familiar theme, you see]
Boyo: Where do worms come from?
Me: pause... "Hm. From their mummies tummies?.. ????"
Boyo: Where do snails come from?
Me: Uh. From their mummies' tummies? Uh. Eggs?

So there you have it.

A) By telling my son that everything manufactured is magically spewed forth by "factories," and thereby deftly eliding the relationship of local auto-workers and bike-makers to their products,
I have initiated my son's true passage into capitalist society and his own eventual alienation from the mode of production.

B) I really had no fucking clue how worms OR snails reproduced, and actually had to google it at the first opportunity. And no, I am not telling you. Look it up yourself. Oh.... Like you KNOW.

Someone bring in Child Protective Services and get me arrested! And strip me of my educashunal daplomas...

"I'm a simple man with a simple mind..."

"Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

I'm a simple man with a simple mind. I hold a simple set of beliefs that I live by. Number one, I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there. I feel that it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I strongly believe it has 50 states. And I cannot wait to see how the Washington Post spins that one tomorrow. I believe in democracy. I believe democracy is our greatest export. At least until China figures out a way to stamp it out of plastic for three cents a unit."

I am completely pillaging this from a post by the much-more-with-it i-obsess (currently "dating" Colbert;-) from her I learned that they let Steve Colbert do a speech in for the White House Correspondent's Dinner--IN FRONT OF THE PRESIDENT. Was I the only person on earth not to know this???
And evidently "W" Was Not Amused.
No. Fucking. Shit. Surely Not??

Read it here

And watch it here

(p.s. this post is devoted to my hubs, who i know will appreciate this more than anyone i know...)


i don't read blogs without pictures....

My stitchin' bitchez have cajoled me into gracing this post with photographic proof of our prowess (see post below), so I bring to you the knitty ones, some still adorned with knitted headbands, and all of us wringing wet:

The one in the middle is Sparty, and he always remains in character. And by this I mean, always walks around making primitive "shake fist in air to signify victory" gestures to all and sundry. Often frightens small children. It's awesome.

The one with her gob open yelling at the photographer. You guessed it, that's me. (Where's the bushy hair? I got it summarily hacked off the day before. So there.)

From left to right you also have Lis (creative genius of knitted headbands, and winner of sexiest running shirt); Corinn, creative genius behind Dago-Fest 2006, Sheila, who made us all do it, and Jen, designer of this little gem for the t-shirts: