Thursday, September 30, 2004

It's not easy being a conservative in Seattle, home of Birkenstocks and hippie chicks. But there's no other way to classify me. I'm pro-family, anti-abortion (sorry - years of infertility left me with strong opinions on this one), and I come from a military family. And I am profoundly grateful for the good fortune of being born in America.

And yet.

My definition of "pro-family" means that my gay friends can make lifetime commitments to each other - and their children - that are legal in every way. And although I am anti-abortion, I refuse to impose that opinion or judgment on any other woman. And my family's military service, instead of provoking knee-jerk support for the war in Iraq, only creates more questions for me about whether we're doing the right thing. And it's precisely *because* I love my country that I will vote for John Kerry.

Did he win the debate tonight? Let the pundits argue that one. But he did win my vote.

posted by Marjorie
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Monday, September 27, 2004

Watch out, world - MomBrain is decluttering! Ten points to the person who can tell me why I still have the following:

A Christmas card from my chiropractor in 1981.
A checkbook I found on the street ... two years ago.
A letter from Kenny swearing his undying love to me. I do not remember Kenny.
A letter from Rose thanking me for my sisterly advice. I do not remember Rose.
Twelve thank-you cards I wrote for Christmas 1996 and never mailed.
A broken Timex watch I wore in the mid-seventies.
Twenty-five years of canceled checks.
A ziploc baggie labeled "Submarine Parts."
A broken cordless mixer.
A single pink pump with a two-inch heel.

It is a little troubling, my pack-rattedness. Seven Hefty bags and counting ...
posted by Marjorie
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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Sister K of Random Thoughts has generously pointed out that it's way too easy to type "NonBrain" instead of "MomBrain." She claims she discovered this by accident. She claims it was a simple typo. She claims it was just a simple slip of the fingers rather than a slip of the Freudian variety. Whatever. Mom always liked me better anyway.

While I'm mentioning sisters, check out Sister L's new blog at In the Bread Drawer. Wahoo!!! Now if we could just get Sister N into the blogosphere, we could be a circus act and perform death-defying stunts using nothing but our fingers.

I'm also announcing a new advice column here at MBHQ called "Ask MomBrain." Go ahead - ask me anything! Send me email or post your question as a comment, and on the first of the month the Great and All Powerful NonBrain (oops) will answer your question. Make it a goodie.

posted by Marjorie
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Monday, September 20, 2004

When I took ethics in college, I was thinking about business. It never occurred to me that parenthood would be full of ethical dilemmas. But MomBrain encounters them every day. For example, what would you do in the following situations?

Question: You are at McDonald's buying a Happy Meal for your preschooler, who does cartwheels when he gets the flying G.I Joe toy. The next customer sees it and starts complaining about war toys. His son looks disconsolate. Do you:

A. Agree and rip the toy out of your son's hands, then smash it to itty bitty bits.
B. Shrug your shoulders and mutter something about boys will be boys.
C. Loudly encourage your son to share G.I. Joe with his new friends.
D. Argue with the man, who is 150 pounds heavier and a foot taller. Show him G.I. Joe's blond hair, note that his wings don't look like a weapon, and suggest that perhaps it is our interpretation that is wrong.

Answer: If you picked D, then you are as reckless as MomBrain. You win two points and a complementary set of body armor!

Question: Same place. Same people. Now you are eating your meal when your son accidentally launches a missile that lands in your fellow customer's french fries. Do you:

A. Smash the toy to itty bitty bits.
B. Shrug your shoulders and mutter something about boys will be boys.
C. Smile at the very large man and apologize.
D. Smile at your son and say "Whoa! Good shot!"

Answer: If you picked D, then you are as stupid as MomBrain. You win three points and a personal security detail!

Question: Same place. Same people. When your son trades G.I. Joe with his new friend for a toy motorcycle, do you:

A. Smash the toys to itty bitty bits.
B. Shrug your shoulders and mutter something about boys will be boys.
C. Smile at the boys and undo the trade, trying to explain the problem without using words like "war" and "weapons" and "bad guys."
D. Loudly praise your son for doing a good job sharing.

Answer: If you picked D, you are as insensitive and oafish as MomBrain. You win four points and a free pass into the witness protection program.

posted by Marjorie
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Saturday, September 11, 2004

MomBrain has discovered her true nature as a fire-breathing dragon. What else can explain how I have frightened away my teenage niece? She sent me an essay she wrote about appearance vs. reality, and of course it was fabulous. But I couldn't stop with a mere compliment - oh no - I wrote a treatise on Aristotle and Plato's differing views of reality and tried to connect it to horses and Britney Spears. And now this poor innocent child has disappeared into the ether. Now, some might quarrel with the terms "innocent" and "child" - she's 14 after all - but she has not emailed me back or answered my questions about whether, indeed, Britney Spears is real. (Anyone? Anyone?)

posted by Marjorie
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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Today is a sad day. My friend K has died. I don't know how or why - only that it was sudden, and at 42, unexpected. I know and love many people, but I think only a handful genuinely make the world a happier place - and K was one of them.

I called him Garth. He called me Dolly. Dean Koontz novels were our shared guilty pleasure. We were writing buddies and musical wannabes, co-conspirators and gossip queens. More than anything, we laughed. Hard. We should have had a morning DJ show together, although I'm not sure anyone else thought we were that funny. But we could riff off each other for hours.

I will think of K every time I see spoons in a drawer, read Dean Koontz, hear Garth Brooks, drive on the Renton S-curves, and eat stuffed tomatoes. He was one of my favorite people, and I am bereft.
posted by Marjorie
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Saturday, September 04, 2004

Long time readers of MomBrain already know of the Little Guy's fondness for the Chicken Dance. Yesterday he showed true leadership potential while chicken dancing in the middle of JC Penney with his shirt pulled up over his head. Another boy began to imitate him and soon an entire gaggle of children were chicken dancing in the boys underwear section. Puk puk puk AWE!!! I wonder if this is how George Bush started?

And speaking of chickens, there are two of them pecking away at the parking strip down the street. In the middle of Seattle, mere blocks from two major highways. Are they chicken farm refugees? KFC escapees? I do not know. The Little Guy asked if they were the kind of chickens we eat, and I quickly said no (despite the risk of my pants catching on fire). "Right, because they're not dead!" he yelled. Hoo boy.

This week I have been rejected by REAL, More, ePregnancy, Skirt, and the Christian Science Monster. La la la! I am celebrating by taking an impromptu trip north to the 51st state of Canada, where I plan to drown my sorrows in very bad iced tea. Then perhaps I will do a little chicken dance just so we can call it an international phenomenon.

posted by Marjorie
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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Oh my darlings, how lovely it is to see that I have been missed! To respond to the commenting legions, I am not circling Planet X, my brain is (sadly) not the size of a watermelon, and I have not moved to Europe or adopted an alternative lifestyle. I have simply been eaten alive by the busy-ness of summer in Seattle. I have logged in, though, to report on the following absurdities.

First, if I was driving a brand new Jaguar at full speed on a highway, I would probably not attempt to eat Chinese food at the same time. With chopsticks. And yet this is precisely what I saw yesterday on the 520 bridge - some rich old bat careening down the highway in her Jag and digging into the take-out carton with her chopsticks. And did I mention she was also smoking? It was hard not to stare - I mean, the acrobatics this required! Truly, this should be an Olympic sport. The judges gave her a ten, plus a fortune cookie. "Confuscious say wise man eat noodles with fork."

Second, it is a little known fact that the old priests who translated the Bible were tired by the time they got to Revelation. Many mistakes were made, the most disturbing of which concerns the "swarm of locusts" that prophesies the end times. In fact, this is mis-translated. In the original Greek, it is actually a swarm of fruit flies, and I am here to tell you that the plague is now swarming in MomBrain's kitchen. Because we are responsible citizens and care about the future of mankind, we are in strict lockdown mode. The fruit is in the fridge, the garbage is covered tightly, and the counters are sterile. We put coasters on top of the wine glasses, lifting them half an inch to sip from the glass and then slamming them down before the critters can breed another generation. Dinner is eaten from bowls with saucers on top, again lifted only enough to get a speck of food out. Even the little guy has taken to eating yogurt from tubes. I am expecting to hear hoofbeats at any moment.

Third and finally, I find it entirely unfair that my writing queries have been rejected time and time again by SELF Magazine, and yet the Big Guy's research will be profiled in the October issue. Damn. Damn again.
posted by Marjorie
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