First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Friday, August 27, 2010

Who's the hot chick? Your 8 year old daughter.

I've mentioned that the Peanut starts school next week.  I'm coping.  That thought startles the breath out of me only a few times a day now.

Besides, things won't get really hairy until 2nd or 3rd grade.  Because that's when puberty makes it's leering entrance.  Like I said, hairy.

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has been making the rounds recently.  It says that 10 % of white girls and 23% of black girls are showing signs of puberty as young as seven years old.  And then I stopped reading because I had clawed out my own eyes with a back scratcher.

Seven year-old girl boobs, people.

The study goes on to suggest (My wife read it out loud over my eyeless thrashing and wailing) that obesity may play a large part in the early onset of puberty.   Exposure to environmental chemicals has been considered but no large scale studies of said chemicals have been done in the U.S.

One thing that the numbers do strongly suggest; thought there are increases at different class levels, there is definitely a socio-economic relationship.

Poor, fat, menstruating 3rd graders.  Fantastic.

Puberty.  It's elementary.  Elementary school.

Picture this: A teenage boy hits on your daughter.  You have to grab him by the collar and say, "whoa dude.  She's nine."

If anyone needs me, I'll be out back rubbing my brain in the dirt.


Links to articles in the L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, and msnbc as well as a discussion fron Cornell University about the known effects of hormones and chemicals used in meat and milk.

The Ny Times article rejects outright the possibility of factors other than obesity while the msnbc article discusses it.  The L.A. times article is the long but I think it's the best of the three.   I'm not positive because half-way through I stopped to choke myself into unconsciousness.  

This is not cool.  


Additional links:


3 pieces from Pediatrics.  One.  Two.  Three. The second one is nice because it discusses some of the other articles out there.  There are a lot of them.  



Your bearer of bad news,

Homemaker Man


This post brought to you by Fatherhood Friday at dad-blogs.com 


Update

Vote today and for the next 5 days. They're in 2nd place. Need to stay there or climb to third to win 250,000 in grant money to cure jm.



Meme Girls



I got this award from Cheryl over at Deckside Thoughts.  She's possibly a nice woman who spends most of her time careening around the internet leaving behind haikus and pictures and alphabet related musings.  And drinking a lot.  I can't verify that last one with any facts or evidence but, sufficeth to say,  it's probably true.  I just read it somewhere.

So I've gotta write seven things about me that I haven't written before.

1.  Despite what some people may think, I'm against dolphin on human sexual assault.
2.  I really used to like Mel Gibson movies.
3.  I think I would've liked being an opera singer.  If only I hadn't thrown out my voice singing Soundgarden tunes while I had a cold.
4.  I've never been able to really hold my liquor, but for a long time, that didn't stop me.
5.  I Love Top Chef and Top Chef masters.  I think I would've liked being a chef if only I hadn't thrown out my palate eating doritos with tobasco sauce while I had a cold.
6.  I'm positive Big was Tom Hanks' best work.  And also Bachelor Party.
7.  I love poetry.  I think I would've liked being a poet if only I hadn't thrown out my talent trying for 80 minutes to come up with dirty rhymes for the Name Game other than Chuck.  While I had a cold.

I'm passing this along to Paul Blanchard at Dog in The Water Pipe because it may make him squeamish.

That is all.

HM



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Home Body







Hi everyone.  We're back from The Great North Woods.  

We walked in the door to a reasonably clean house and only one dead creature.  A tiny frog in the fish tank.  Otherwise, all of our elderly cats seem fine and they chose not to litter the kitchen floor with mouse carcasses.  And the vomiting was kept to a minimum too. 

I have a long to-do list.  Oy, such a list.  I have to register for classes, my wife needs to get ready to go back to work, and we need to complete the Peanut's first ever round of school shopping.  She still needs one more pair of pants, a lunch box, and a toddler-sized tazer.  Who gets the good markers?  The Peanut does, bitches.  

My bloggy to-do lists includes finishing one meme, starting another, telling stories from our trip, and one completely random post.  

Continuing the now ancient meme from Sara at Sara in Le Petit Village.  The question is: If you could talk to an animal, which animal and what would you say?

Probably, I'd talk to a dolphin.  I wouldn't talk to my dog or my cats.  The dog is a moron and the cats are, well, cats.  I might've talked to my cat Xiu Xiu the eldest if it were 6 years ago.  Now, she'd just complain about how the kids are noisy or the bed is too high.  

I could pick a chimpanzee.  They're smart.  However, as we all know, chimps are "so much like us." Who needs that crap?  

So . . . dolphins.  If I could talk to a dolphin, I'd ask it to map the oceans, how they evolved, and most importantly, what is up with the cross-species sexual assault attempts?     I quote from the linked article: "male dolphins may become aggressive toward a human female when they sense the hormones that are released in the female human body prior to menstruation. Out of the 24 reported cases of "dolphin aggression" in the last 5 years, 22 were directed toward females that were of an age to experience monthly menses."


What the fuck, dolphins?  No means No.  

Not only that, dolphins, when aggressive, are generally bullies.  Again, I quote from the link: "• Women and children are most often the targets for aggressive dolphin behaviors."


So really, I guess the best question to ask them is, "Who is your press agent, dolphins?"  

Then I would say, "you might've fooled everyone else, but you haven't fooled me, dolphins.  I see through the haze of press clippings and strategically placed "dolphin saves drowning human" stories that make up the current dolphin zeitgeist.  You guys aren't the Atticus Finches of the animal kingdom.  You're the freaking Eddie Haskells.  

And then I would ask them to jump through a flaming hoop and take me for a fun ride.  They really are pretty cute.  

Video evidence.  Not for the faint of heart











Also a quick note to the Aunties of Maine.  


We love you, we miss you, you're awesome, and happy 19th bday to one of you.  19.  This is a good age.


VOTEVOTEVOTE













Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cure JM. Those crazy upstarts could win the whole thing!

Shhhh!  I'm posting from vacation in Maine.  If they catch me, they'll make me camp or something.  Just quickly wanted to lay down the fact that I just did my daily JM vote and I noied it's ranked second.  The causes that finish 1st and 2nd get 250k.  By my math, that means CureJm is winning or tied for winning or coming in second to the winner which also means winning. So go vote!


 
Also, I got meme'd by the lovely Cheryl @ Deckside Thoughts She'l get her's.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jumpin' Jesus it's time for school

Well, we got the news today.  Our three year-old daughter is starting school in the fall.  Bryn Mawr.  "American Studies" major, whatever that means.  Either that or pre-school, I can't remember.  Because i've blocked it out.  This is simultaneously so exciting and so terrifying.

I know.  Many of you are saying, "What's the big deal," or "get over it all ready," or "big whoop."  Hopefully you're all thinking the last one because I like to imagine you all as having the vocabulary and emotional maturity of 6th graders.  Then we're at the same level.  

But for us, it's a big step.  She's never been away from us in that sort of environment before.  That sort of savage, winners talk-losers walk, biggest kid gets the Curious George doll environment.  And she's such a tiny Peanut.  

I'm handling it pretty well, overall, I think.  I'm drinking whiskey from a coffee mug(it's black and big it has the white silhouettes of a moose and some pine trees, and it says "Maine, The Way Life Should Be" on it.  Which makes it a perfect vehicle for anxiety/celebratory based drinking, I think.),  listening to Salsa music, and cleaning the house at 11 pm.   I've got it together.  

Get this.  We even know the teacher.  Pretty well, too.  She's the long-time, live-in, significant other of my wife's cousin.  They were over for dinner two weeks ago.  We wrote a letter to the school principal to make sure our daughter got into her class.  My wife the High School English teacher wrote it.  She used all kinds of educator lingo in it.  The gist of the message being "My daughter gets in this specific class, or I come down there and twist off your intellectual nuts."  Have I mentioned I love her? 

The woman who teaches the class is great.  She gives homework!  Thrice (I said it) a week.  By the end of the year, she expects her students to write their name, know their address and phone number, and be able to do some reading.  

I had to quit reading the toddler milestones online because I freak out a little if my kids aren't meeting all of them or surpassing one or two.  Imagine my reaction to the above expectations.  Actually don't, here's a brief synopsis:  In the last two weeks, the Peanut has learned her address and to write the shortened version of her name.  The reading and spelling we've been working on for awhile.  I am such a broken motherfucker.  

Honestly, we don't have a lot of money, so the one leg-up we can give our kids in this crazy, mixed-up world is an education.  And good looks.   The latter in spades.  

But, I know.  I over-react. 

Alright-y.  That was a long, mildly soused post.  I hope you all appreciate it.  And by "appreciate it" I mean "forgive me."


With highest regards,

Homemaker Man


Oh yeah.  Don't forget to vote.  They're still in fourth place.  Let's help'em bring it home. 







Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beach day


We had beach day today.  The beach is in a harbor and it’s scooped out of the rock.  There are huge boulders tumbled together.  They reach like muscular arms into the water and they make a 20 ft high wall behind us.  A rocky hug.  If you were to scramble up that boulder barrier to the rear you come to a field of grass and trees that grow right up to the edge.  One old oak spreads it’s branches protectively above the soft sand, providing shade for a third or more of the beach. 

There are nooks and crannies to explore and big, pitched, boulders slippery with sea-water to slide down. 

We swam and stumbled in the cold Atlantic and threw rocks into watery crevices and collected shells.  Sand castles were built and destroyed and half-way built and destroyed again. 

Knees were scraped, bruises were acquired and nobody pooped where they shouldn’t.

The kids were so sandy it chafes me just thinking about it.

I don’t know if the beach was dug out by glaciers or worn by the ocean or both. 

No punch line here.  Just a fucking really good day. 


Homemaker Man

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Please keep voting to cure JM.  This plucky, cheeky, spunky,  band of not-for-profit fundraisers has a little known disease in 4th place with a couple of weeks to go.  They'll get 250,000 thousands dollars and organizing help from a nonprofit expert.  You'll get a case of the warm fuzzies and Always Home And Uncool will come to your house and take out your trash naked.  It's in the fine print.  






Friday, August 6, 2010

Some might call it silly, I call it totally kick-ass brave.




I’m cleaning the bathroom.  The shower curtain is in the laundry.


“Listen," my wife says, "when you put the curtain back, you keep putting the toy basket on the outside of the curtain.  It was to go on the inside.”

“Why?”  I ask.

“Because then you get in the shower and you see the bath toys and you pick up the toys and then you put them in the basket.”   My wife is standing in the open tub and she’s performing an elaborate pantomime of these actions as she’s describing them.”

I admit I needed the demonstration. 

I lost her at “pick up the toys.”  Just zoned right out.  I get in the shower and see the bath toys and I leave them in the tub.  I like them.  They make shower time more festive.  And more dangerous.  Most household accidents happen in the bathroom, and I’m a thrill junky.  I’m the Evel Knievel of mundane household daredevilry.  The other night I jumped over 4 remotes and a phone.   Sometimes, I sit 3 inches from the tv.  I once jumped my bike through a ring of still warm bundt cake.  Last shower, I shampooed with one eye open.  I used baby shampoo, but still, it’s uncomfortable to get all that water in your eye.   I went to bed without flossing.  Once.  That shit drove me crazy. *

I finally answer my wife.  “Ohh,” I say noncommittally.

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Can charity be annoying?  Absolutely.  Especially so in the hands of a master.  I am that master.  First, go vote here again:



That’s not too bad.  You should be conditioned to do it by now.

Second, now go and vote here (Kohl's Cares For Kids) for Carmel Elementary School in Hesperia, CA. to be awarded 10 million bucks so they can buy school supplies.  Like those fancy paper word-holder thingy’s that they use to make with the readifyin’ and the writificatin’.  And probably the mathimecation too.   I'm not supposed to reveal who asked me to post this.  Here's a hint:  Starts with K, ends with nuckleadhumor.com.  I haven't voted, but you're better than that.  Annoyed yet? 

Good.  If you’re not it means you don’t really care.  At least, that’s how they ran things in my family.


*In the interest of full disclosure, I have indeed attempted all of these feats of derring-do.  Or at least I will soon.  I’m all about blogging and household daredevilling integrity.  Take that to the bank and cash it and use it to buy groceries with a little left over to treat yourself to a passion fruit mojito because hey, you deserve it.

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Finally, "Hey Prop 8, what's on your chin?  Deeez Nuuuts!"

And please Prop 8, fuck you and the horse you rode in on and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.


Good afternoon,

Homemaker Man

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eff Paul McCartney. I've got the Pumpkin Man.

We use Beatles songs as lullabyes here.  Not terribly original, but pretty, effective, and comforting to everyone involved.

The other day I was watching PBS.  I said it.  Does that make me better than you?  More erudite?  More serious about our world?  More likely to get way too involved in an episode of Super Why only to wake up two hours later watching old people television?  It's a question for the ages.

They were running this show called In Performance at the White House.  Paul McCartney was receiving a special award from the president for being the last surviving Beatle.  Zingo!

Lots of great artists played.  Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, The Jonas Brothers.

The Jonas Brothers were really there.  They have the greatest agent ever in the history of agents.  "Hey Jonas's.  It's Artie.  I gotcha a great gig.  In front of the President.  The President.  Of the United States.  Yeah.  It's the Gershwin award ceremony for (Sir) Paul McCartney.  McCartney.  From the Beatles.  The Beatles.  Right.  They have a game on Rock Band.  Right.  No, you guys are better.  And cuter.  Much cuter.  This is mostly because he's old. I promise.  We'll get you guys one next year.  Right. "

The best thing about the show was that all of the artists were at the top of their respective games.  No one wants to mail it in in front of the President.  Even the Jonas Brothers.  Who still kind of sucked, but they tried hard.

One performance that stood out for me was Corinne Bailey Rae and Herbie Hancock playing Blackbird.  Here is a song we've all heard a thousand times, but they managed to elevate it.  You could feel even through the tv, that something special was taking place.  The artists and the audience were swept up in it together.  We were being treated to one of those moments when art bonds us all together and reminds us of how beautiful a thing it is to be human.

This was especially meaningful to me because Blackbird is one of the songs we sing to our kids.  I dvr'd the show.  When the kids got up the next morning I fed them, and then I plunked them down in the living room, turned on the tv and went directly to the performance or Blackbird.

They were rapt.  Completely engrossed.  Then the P-Man turned.  He looked at me.  He opened his mouth and brayed "BACKBIRD FIE!!  BACKBIRD FIE.  BACKBIRD FIE!  EBAHDAKLEKLENB NIIIIE!

Like being serenaded by a tone deaf crow.  It.  was.  Awesome.

I should mention that my bloggy friend Monica at And I'll Raise You 5 stole this idea and blogged about this first.  She's a telepathic plagiarist.  She recommends Dave Grohl's cover of Band On The Run.  It's really good.

This is the link for the entire show.  Blackbird is somewhere near the 27 minute mark.  If you come in on  Faith Hill giving a laborious and well-meant but ultimately crappy performance of The Long and Winding Road, you're getting close.

Also, keep voting for grant money to cure JM.  They're in 4th place and only need to finish 2nd to get the money.

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