choose this

the barista-grunts at the local corporate coffee drive-thru have changed their greeting recently, and it bothers me. instead of the usual "welcome to badplace...," they're now greeting me over the tinny speaker with "thank you for choosing badplace, how may i blah blah blah".

i object. i don't choose the badplace. i want to tell the cafeclone strapped into hir wireless headset, "i didn't choose this badplace any more than you chose to make six bucks an hour without benefits working for a standardized lifestyle product vendor that profits of the sweat of third world peasants," or something.

technically, no, i did not have to drive up, order, and pay for that double grande mocha no-whip thingamaccino this afternoon, but in reality it was either that or 1) go cold turkey, 2) park, get two sleeping babies out of the van - one of whom is nursing a sinus infection - and either load them into the double stroller or get popeye into the snugli and try to carry or walk a sleepy/screaming tank into the store, in which case i would've gone somewhere locally owned and with better coffee, atmosphere, and staff, or 3) make some tea instead. i'm all out of black tea, and i didn't feel like green or oolong and that's what.

so just stop with the illusory "choice" marketing already. it's not helping.




been overwhelmed with parenting and a family-wide cold for the past week. just had to post this before the nyQuil kicks in:

the "great game", the wars over central asia, have been played for the last century or so without an overt winner, although the power elites that profit from exploiting the region have alays been the actual winners all along. but anyway - it's like a big chess game, with a seemingly endless supply of pawns.

so dubya's speech at the UN last week was like the opening move (or maybe the first offensive move, the previous few weeks' or months' yapping and posturing being akin to the opening defensive setup ... or something) in the latest match. and iraq's ploy of allowing weapons inspections was a brilliant counter.

but seriously, can anyone picture george wanker bush playing a real game of chess with anyone more intelligent than a toaster ? he'd get his moron ass wiped across the board in under ten moves every time. so there's got to be a hidden roomful of old bulgarians watching the game from upstairs, fleshing out his possible moves on two dozen boards up in the eaves somewhere, feeding him his next move over a hidden earphone. but the transmission gets garbled sometimes and, well, just listen to one of his stump speeches and you'll see the results.

kinda scary that the queen might be carrying a suitcase nuke, tho'....



what i will and won't (and might) do today

  • i won't watch tv. i normally don't watch tv at all except for baseball games and the occasional cave-in to Nick Jr. for the kids, but today i'm making a point of it (besides, the Mets have tanked for the season and the kids watch too much tv already). i'm not listening to the radio or reading the local crapass corporate newspaper (except for maybe the comics).
    last sept. 11 i spent too much of the day in front of CNN. so today, no news, and certainly no commentary or punditry trying to spin my emotions or tell me what i should think.
  • instead, i'm going to write, even if it is in this little blog-vacuum. i'm going to dissent, even f no one listens or cares. i'm starting a letter to the editor of the local crapass corporate paper which i'll copy to my senator-and-a-half (one actually listens, the other doesn't give a shit about little people like me), my congress-robot and her Democrat opponent, as well as the independent media. at least NM Indymedia will let me post it, although if any human other than myself will read it is unlikely. but i'm writing it and sending/posting it anyway. today i will dissent, and if anyone tells me i can't i'm going to dissent some more, and louder.
  • i'm also going to work on a new site, a parody of the department of homeland security. the DHS has gone from being a compelling, timely, and neccessary idea to a classic example of government ineptness, bureaucratic muddle, and propagandism. so i'm going to fuck with it today in the only way i can, making my own.
    some might say i'm being flippant and disrespectful in light of today's anniversary. flippant, perhaps. disrespectful? it disses the memory of those who died in the attacks one year ago today that our alleged commandeer-in-chief still won't call for and investigation into what happened and what went wrong that day. it pisses me off that he's more concerned with starting a New! Improved! Pointless! war while the job in Afghanistan - and Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia in particular - remains unfinished. Osama is still out there. Mullah Omar is still out there. The ISI training apparatus is still out there. The School of the Americas is still out there. and Saddam (remember kids, he's "madass" spelled backwards)is undoubtedly a complete shithead but he's not in any position to nuke us, gas us, or even throw spitballs at us.
  • once i finish this post, i'm gonna get off my soapbox for a while. but just a little while.
  • today i'm going to stretch, play qigong and as much tai chi as i know how. i'm going to change dipes and wash clothes (my version of Chop Wood, Carry Water). i'm going to play with the babies and make silly noises and pretend to chew on their feet when they get cranky. i'm going to try to remember just how fucking awful it felt one year ago when i heard The News. i'm going to call my family back east and read poetry to their answering machines. i'm going to breathe and pay attention to it if i can remember.
  • but today, the tv stays off.


and speaking of bad taste...

he's been quiet for a few weeks, but there's new stuff up from Herb. and this stuff is raw from the man's mouth.



questionable taste

i've been debating for a while whether or not to post the details of Tank's potty training. We weren't planning on trying to train him until he seemed ready - he'll turn terrible Two this month - but a cliche crisis (i.e., danger plus opportunity) has started us on that path.

if yr squeamish, or have just eaten, or lack masochism, or are just sane, this is the part where you stop reading. really. i'm planning on getting excruciatingly descriptive.

(as Shrek said, "this is the part where you run away")

are they gone yet? good. now it's just me, the experienced parents, and the rest of the nutjobs.

parenting three "high needs" boys has been more of a challenge than i'd ever expected. i missed out on Bink's early years while wandering in the wilderness of stupidity and tequila (okay, it was texas), and taking over as Tank's and now Popeye's primary caregiver started as part new adventure, part atonement. two years in and i think the atonement is paid with interest; as for the adventure, let's just say i've realized the alleged chinese curse of "may you live in interesting times".

(seriously, if you've wandered this far there's still time to get out before i give the horrid, fetid, unseemly, and all-too pungent details)

about three months after Tank's first birthday, the whole familia came down with some sort of intestinal bug. In my nearly 39 years i've suffered from food poisoning or "stomach flu" a handful of times, but since moving to sunny smoky and driving blind drunk New Mexico i've had such joyful distress four or five times in a little over two years. sanitation and other luxuries of public health are still difficult concepts for this state to grasp, so i'm not surprised.

Bink, with his intestines of iron, barely noticed he was ill. Mama and i had our two day bouts of incapacitation, thankfully in non-overlapping intervals. Tank had one bad day of bursting at both ends (hey, i warned you this was gonna get ugly) followed by a few days of low grade digestive ickness.

since then the by has only been ill once or twice, and briefly at that. but he's had chronic constipation that hasn't been alleviated by laxatives, dietary changes, or other drastic measures that even i am not low enough to descibe here. over the past few months it seems to have gotten worse, and we've tried homeopathic treatment, massage, and have had to resort to all-too-frequent enemas (last warning, this is getting into Herb territory from here on in) just to get his insides cleared.

we finally found a description of his condition online (don't have the URL handy but i'll post it later for anyone still reading) - it turns out his colon's gotten distended and needs to stay relatively cleaned out before it will regain muscle tone and return to its normal size. hence the frequent fun park ride of turning a squirmy toddler on his side, sticking a babylax into his butt, holding him in The Position for a minute and then placing him on the potty, and finally watching in awe as he passes a stool the size of my forearm.

(your remaining speck of sanity is screaming at you to GET OUT! GET OUT NOW! it's like the amityville horror, but with an anus...)

tonight Tank was doing his patented PoopFoot routine, in which he sits and crunches up while grabbing one foot in an attempt to squeeze one out. this results in one of two outcomes: he either succeeds, or we assist as above. tonight we were going to break open a new box of babylax and get his unloaded yet again, when i decided to let him try the potty without the harsh intervention. it took a few minutes of nearly blowing out an O ring, but this little tyke lost a good unhappy pound at the end of it. if i'd had to pass this brick i'd have hurt, and i'm six-five and a good 215 lb. imagine a baby pushing out a chunk like that and cringe.

he's happy again - in fact, he ran around the kitchen and plucked a plum from me after we washed up - but i think we're onto something. all this time we've tried to find ways to force his bowels to work again, and all he really needed (or what he's reached now) was the encouragement to do it himself. we'd thought Tank would be as hard to potty train as his big brother (who didn't get it until he was four), but now i think we might start trying it. not forcing him to use the portable plumbing, but letting him play it as a game. as i watch him having his pre-bed nightcap of magnesia-spiked milk, i'm thinking of showing him how to play Sink this week. you know, throw a few cheerios into the toilet, unzip, and teach him how to aim ....