Happy Halloween

Halloween is MomBrain’s favorite holiday, not least because she gets to wear her fuzzy kitty ears in public. Plus there’s the spectacle of Amazing, Never Before Seen Crazies, some of whom are wearing fuzzy kitty ears. Today was no exception. Some of the things we saw:

Spiderman, half asleep and sucking on a pacifier.

Two priests holding hands.

Cat Woman, doubling as our waitress at Johnny Rocket’s. She was lithe, Asian, young, and poured into shiny black leather. Snaps to the Big Guy for not staring, but I can’t blame him for noticing.

The Incredible Hulk in a screaming red-faced meltdown fit because his red balloon was floating away. The Hulk’s daddy promised to buy him a new one.

Bush and Cheney in jail suits.

John Kerry wearing a waffle.


In the beginning was the virus. And the virus had dominion over all living creatures, great and small. And the prophet said, “Behold. There is a great sickness upon the land.” And MomBrain said “No duh.” And the Little Guy said “Ha Choo.” And the Big Guy said “Hack Hack.” And Kitty said “Beow Beow.”

And thus it came to be that the Angel of Death passed over the land and smote the firstborn child of every family that did not have a pumpkin on its doorstep. And so MomBrain, in her own death throes, schlepped to the grocery store in her PJ bottoms and found a scraggly pumpkin in the picked-over pumpkin patch; a veritable Charlie Brown pumpkin. And it was good.

Rites of Fall

At last, the Hunt for Red October has ended. Does it mean anything that the Red Sox won on a night with a full moon and a full lunar eclipse? I know not. But the devil is buying ice skates, and the pigs are flying sometime today.

To whoever called me at the bottom of the ninth with two outs, I am sorry I did not answer the phone. The Holy Grail was more important.

Favorite post-game quote: “I don’t believe in curses. You make your own destinations.” (Manny Ramirez)

And can I say it just one more time … I LOVE TIVO!!!

Since we’re discussing Rites of Fall, I would like also to file a complaint with the Parenting Department, please. Digging through my winter coats used to be a guaranteed lottery ticket. I never found less than $5 in the pockets, and once found almost $30. But here is what I have found so far this year: One fire truck with working siren. One Playmobile garbage man, sans hat. James’ much missed coal tender. One half of a petrified Nutrigrain bar, suitable for self-defense. Many, many dead Kleenex-brand facial tissues. But not one penny.

I have issues with this.

Beyond Good and Evil

As the election draws near, I am more anxious than I have ever been about an event that I cannot control. Even the Red Sox in October don’t inspire this much angst, although perhaps that dead horse has been flogged so many times it’s just getting tiresome.

It scares me that the Republican Party has been hijacked by right-wing nutjobs and Pharisees.

It scares me that Bush and his followers think he’s the mouthpiece of God.

It scares me that Republican politics is about nothing more than abortion and gay rights.

I fundamentally do not understand how a person can vote for George Bush only because he is against abortion and gay rights. Those two facts alone are enough to win him millions of votes and possibly the election, regardless of the lies, the unnecessary deaths, and America’s crumbling reputation (and therefore power) throughout the world.

Please, people, I beg you: THINK. I am not asking you to vote for John Kerry. I am not asking you to NOT vote for George Bush. I am asking you to cast your vote thoughtfully. Yes, consider the moral issues. But consider, too, the economic, political, international, and social issues. Is your life better today than it was five years ago? What about the lives of the people you love? How much do you pay for health insurance, if you have it at all? How much do you pay for prescription drugs? Are you happy with your child’s public school? Does your social security income cover your cost of living? If you are a woman, are you paid as much as your male colleagues? Have you or someone you love lost a job? How is the stock market treating you? Will your son or daughter be eligible for a military draft in the next four years?

This political rant brought to you by an overcaffeinated, insomniac MomBrain.

The Human Stain

Book Review: I finally finished “The Human Stain” by Philip Roth. Verdict: Literature with a capital L, brilliantly written, a disturbing story of tragic characters and tragic consequences. My big takeaway was how our lives are stories that we tell ourselves; stories whose ends can poetically mirror the beginnings. I like that idea, that my life is a story I’m writing as I live it, that there are loose ends to tie up and questions to answer before the end of the story.

On to “Power and the Presidency,” a collection of essays written by authors I admire, including David McCullough and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The Key to Women

The Da Vinci Code – handbook to all that is true – tells us there are five stages in every woman’s life: Birth, Menstruation, Motherhood, Menopause, and Death. MomBrain is here to remind you that The Da Vinci Code was written by a man, and AS USUAL the man has it all wrong.

Yes, there are five stages in a woman’s life. But they are all about attention from men, and they go like this: I Love You Too Daddy (ages 0-11), Do You Really Think I’m Hot (ages 12-25), Shut Up Jerk (ages 25-39), Thank You for Making My Day (ages 40-90), and Peas Are My Favorite (90+). MomBrain is squarely in stage 4, as evidenced when I batted my eyes at the Dump Guy.

I make a dump run about twice a year, and the Dump Guy always says exactly the same thing; “What’s a beautiful girl like you doing in a dump like this?” I die laughing every time, even though I suspect he says it to every woman with a car full of garbage. This time there was a new Dump Guy, though, a Mr. Reggae Mon with dreads and beads and probably some chicken blood in his thermos. I asked him where I could put a propane tank, and he said “Has anyone ever told you you’re beautiful and should be worshipped every day?” Dear Readers, I am ashamed to say I actually giggled. A lot. I drove home smiling and feeling pathetic at the same time. I mean, really, the Dump Guy? But when you’re in Stage 4 you gotta take it wherever you can get it, even if it smells bad, wears a breathing mask, and charges you $14 for the privilege.

Pretzel Mama

MomBrain has joined a yoga class, and I have only one word to say about it: OUCH. I am sorry, but the human body was not designed to do yoga. At least not my body. My body is shaped like a question mark, and for good reason. My body was designed for sitting in a comfy chair with a fleece throw, a cup of tea, and a stack of books. It was not designed to twist like a dishrag while supporting my knees on my elbows and drinking Coke through my nose.

I will say the spiritual lessons of yoga may be useful. In fact, I learned the first spiritual lesson at the very beginning of my first class: “Things are not always as they appear.” That is because I was so relaxed, sitting on my cute little blue mat, in my bare feet, wiggling my pedicured toes and waiting for the instructor. And how happy was I when Santa’s Elf appeared? A little twinkly man with gray hair and rosy cheeks and squinty blue eyes. How hard could this be? MomBrain was happy happy happy. Then Santa’s Elf wrapped his kneecaps around his ears and morphed into the Yoga Nazi. My toes stopped wiggling. Fear froze my spine. I may have even stopped breathing. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOGA IS ABOUT. I AM SUPPOSED TO BE RELAXED AND HAPPY DAMMIT. Santa’s Elf was not a nice man. Santa’s Elf seemed to be enjoying his domination. Santa’s Elf has Issues with frightened, inflexible women. I may have to stop celebrating Christmas after this.

Things I Have Seen Today

Witnessed Today:

A very tall, very buff black man going for the whole Morpheus look. Leather trench coat, combat boots, major shades, and the ‘tude, man, the ‘tude. He was swimming in a sea of white people at the local suburban shopping mall, and all kinds of security folks were just sipping their coffees in a fifty-foot radius. I had that whole white guilt thing going on, kind of feeling miffed on his behalf. I mean, jeez, can’t a guy just stop at McD’s for a Coke? On the other hand, no one dresses like that unless they want to A) attract attention, and B) scare people. He succeeded on both counts.

A human pretzel who kicked my butt in yoga, and also happened to weigh about 250 pounds.

A middle-aged Scout Master in full scouting uniform, buying six bottles of Washington merlot and a case of Miller. Party on, dude!

How to Win Friends and Influence Voters

Does anyone else think this video looks like Johnny Carson doing a bad impression of George Bush?

The Little Guy watched part of the presidential debate with us, in hopes that it would turn into a cartoon. Which it sort of did, just not the Looney Tunes he was hoping for. (Hm – let me rethink that …)

Anyway, here was our conversation.

Little Guy: I want to watch a cartoon!
MomBrain: No, honey, Mommy and Daddy are watching this right now.
LG: But it’s boring.
MB: But it’s important. That’s President George Bush. And the other man is John Kerry. All of the grownups are deciding whether George Bush will keep being our president, or if it’s John Kerry’s turn.
LG: I wike George Bush!
MB: Well I like John Kerry.
LG: (starting to cry) But I want President Bush!
MB: Why do you like George Bush so much?
LG: (crying in earnest) Because his wast name is Bush. And that reminds me of bwueberry bushes. And I wike bwueberries!
MB: I know you like blueberries. But doesn’t John Kerry’s last name remind you of your best friend Carrie?
LG: (cheering up) Oh yeah! I wike John Kerry!