Sunday, April 29, 2007

self esteem

"You are so lucky to have a little Lola! I love myself! I love myself!" Lola said to me at the breakfast table.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

outgeek this

The husband reports that at his software start-up, the new CEO wishes to institute a practice of giving software releases codenames. I suggested naming releases after serial killers (Ng, Ramirez, Gacy) or flavors (Bitter, Salty, and Sour seemed like especially good codenames), but the Sober Husband revealed that he "campaigned hard to name them after Dr. Who villains."

Friday, April 27, 2007

and now, our occasional report of cognitive functioning

This just in: after last week's alarming spate of high mental functioning, I'm back down to idiot level. I have set aside the Friday sudoku, to be possibly attempted again after a caffeine assist. I feel far too stupid to start the weekend Wall St. Journal crossword.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

the Idol of America

Until recently, I had sat out this particular American obsession. I didn't look down on those who were emotionally invested in the various iterations of it. I just didn't join in myself. I'm not up for watching a lot of television (aside from "The Amazing Race", "Survivor", and the occasional episode of "the Simpsons", which adds up to more than enough television for me, not to mention that I keep Lola company during some morning PBS cartoons), and "American Idol" seemed to require quite a time commitment from its fans. Mind you, it's not that I did anything particularly productive with my evenings; I just didn't spend them in front of "American Idol."

However, the first graders in our social ambit are diehard devotees, and Iris was determined to find out what she was missing. Additionally, the pointed observation that "Sarah watches every night with her dad" brought me into line. If the other parents are watching "American Idol" with their respective first graders, who am I to snobbishly sit aside with my Japanese crime fiction?

So now we not only watch, but we must watch attentively. Iris is required to go to bed as soon as "American Idol" finishes, so I have to man the redial button and get her votes in. So far, she -- working through me, her dialing agent -- has voted for LaKisha and Jordin; I voted for Sanjaya a few times in a passive-aggressive manner. (I am thinking of doing a ponyhawk and being Sanjaya for Halloween; the true bonus of that costume is that I would get to burst into song whenever I wished).

When "American Idol Gives Back" rolled around, Iris was practically beside herself. "It's musical history!" she screamed. "It's really important! They said so!" It was difficult for her to understand her parents' apathy. "Sweetheart," I tried to explain, "You are young. You haven't been jerked around by by television the way we have."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I knew getting up earlier was a mistake

Sleep is fragile and precious to me, a chronic insomnia sufferer. Last night I had wretched insomnia, awake from 1:30 until some time after 3:30, at which point I stopped checking the clock. When I finally fell asleep, I was awakened by the 6 AM alarm clock from a dream that I was having sex with Paris Hilton.


If that fucking alarm clock had been set for later, I would never have had to learn what my sick, sick subconscious was doing.

Monday, April 23, 2007

the ongoing case study of hypochondria in a four year-old

"I have a headache, but I can't feel it," Lola said fretfully several times today. (She appears to be jealous of her mother's migraine).

In other corporeal news, Lola has announced that she can cause her blood to move around and collect in different parts of her body. She makes a very intense face and then will point to her thigh or stomach and say, "See! The blood is all there!"

scarily adult

Seven year old Iris Uber Alles has outgrown her traditional bedtime ritual (a story read in bed, and then a backscratch). She breezily announces, "I'm going to bed" and goes off, firmly shutting the door after her. Iris Uber Alles has also outgrown her epic battles to stay up late (I'll never forget those times when exhausted Anton fell asleep putting her to bed and Iris staged an Escape From Bed Island, running out to rejoin me. In a display of crappy parenting, I always rewarded her for outlasting her father by putting on some cartoons and snuggling and giggling with her).

The Sober Husband is less ready for this maturity. "I'm not ready to give up our bedtime," he told me. "I'm horning in on it." He insinuates himself and asks to be allowed to read to Iris, which her majesty sometimes allows and sometimes does not.

I was okay with this evening maturity (I already had my bittersweet moment of mourning Iris's loss of childlike nature in the supermarket. Iris Uber Alles used to argue viciously with me over which supermarkets we visited, insisting we patronize either Albertson's, where there are hybrid shopping cart/plastic trucks a child may drive, or Calmart, where there are child-sized shopping carts with little warning flags, as well as a train which runs around the walls on a mounted track. I, however, want to shop at my beloved Andronico's, land of the amazing yuppie ingredients and fabulous produce. Then the day came when we did stop at Alberston's and Iris had no interest in driving one of the truck carts. I felt teary and sentimental, and Iris was nonplussed. "Should I want to drive one of them?" She gamely offered to get in one to please me, but I wasn't pathetic enough to accept). But now she's pushing my limits: Iris asked that we set our alarm clocks for 6:00 this morning, rather than our usual 7:00. She was tired of rushing out of the house to go to school and instead wanted to "have a balanced breakfast" (she has taken to demanding that her breakfasts be "balanced") and "have time to rest"

Iris was excited about this experiment in early rising. "I'll have a whole hour to rest!" I suggested that sleeping is the very best form of rest, but she riposted, "I'll be able to really rest when you REST IN PEACE!"

Going to bed without a story or backscratch. Passing by the plastic truck. And now, looking forward to her mother's demise. She definitely skipped the regular childhood years and advanced straight to teenager.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


My next door neighbor, Brad, just told me that I "drive like Cruella de Ville."

Is that a compliment?

Friday, April 20, 2007

wasted powers

So today I'm in crack cognitive form, as high functioning mentally as I get these days. My personal barometer of neurofunctioning is the daily sudoku, which I whipped through this morning in practically record time for a Friday puzzle; indeed, last week I didn't solve either the Thursday or the Friday puzzle (sidenote for the non-puzzlers: newspapers print very easy sudoku and crosswords on Mondays, and the difficulty gradually ratchets up during the week and then resets the next Monday). Then I turned to the big Friday crossword puzzle in the Wall Street Journal, which is large and difficult and intended to occupy one over the weekend. I did the entire thing in about 45 minutes, which is definitely a record for me (about 50% of the time I pick and poke at the crossword over the weekend but don't finish it; the rest of the time, I solve the entire puzzle, but after a couple of sessions).

Frankly, this is as good as it gets, in terms of Drunken Housewife cognitive ability. If I were still practicing law, I could have cranked out a motion or an amicus brief in short order. So what did I do? I argued with Lola over whether she should wear shorts to preschool today. (I lost). I argued with Iris over whether we should go for a snack before or after her piano lesson (I won that one! Hurray for the middle-aged!). I attempted to defend our performance as "Graduation Assistant Family" at Lola's preschool to the director (this was pathetic). I had a discussion with another parent, who is also very active in animal charities, about how often everyone says you must clean birdcages and how often, in reality, we clean our birds' cages. Between taking Lola to preschool and picking up Iris, I read a novel about zombies.

"Wasted potential": that's the theme of my life. On the other hand, strawberries are in season, and I have it in mind, thanks to "Food & Wine", to infuse a decent bottle of tequila with a pint of strawberries, and my zombie book is really very entertaining.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Japan's lost generation

I've always been somewhat of a Japanophile. To my gaijin eyes, it's the most fascinatingly eccentric culture. I haven't been to Japan myself, although I have had a couple of particularly gratifying layovers at Narita (I ran around that airport manically, flipping through offensive "Rapeman" manga, gawking at unidentifiable snack food, admiring the Pringles can with its kanji logo, and loving every second. I had my picture taken under some sign to prove that I was technically in Japan. Oh, if only I'd been able to get into Tokyo).

Recently I read "Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created Its Own Lost Generation" by Michael Zielenziger. This rather depressing tome caused my Japan-loving heart to wilt.

It turns out that there is a new social disorder unique to Japan: hikikomori. Hikikomori sufferers are intelligent, mentally normal adults who withdraw into their bedrooms and refuse to emerge. Hikikomori can go years without even speaking to their own parents. Although Western agoraphobics are quite social with people inside their own homes, hikikomori refuse to interact with anyone. The overwhelming majority do not even interact with anyone over the internet, spending their days in complete isolation.

The typical hikikomori is a man who was bullied in school. It turns out that in Japan, there are no anti-bullying laws, and parents and teachers alike trust in the judgment of the group. If a child is bullied, clearly the victim drew it upon himself through some fault sniffed out by the group. Some become hikikomori after some form of traumatic adult ostracization: one example in the book was a man who was bullied by his inlaws after moving to a small, rural town.

Hikikomori is seen as a social disorder, not a mental illness. The sufferers are not sick themselves; if they are taken away from Japan, they can function.

Additionally, there is another new trend: "parasite singles", women who choose not to marry but instead pursue a career and live with their parents into their thirties and forties. The roles of wife and mother are so daunting that many educated women are simply opting out. Society seems very inflexible and not allow leeway, for example, in Japan, it is illegal for a married couple to have different last names. (Where is the Japanese Lucy Stoner?) Men are expected not only to work long hours, without taking vacations, but also to stay out late nightly drinking with coworkers, and the result is that childrearing falls entirely upon the mother. After experiencing the exhausting task of caring for a newborn, I can't blame the parasite singles for opting out.

Zielenziger's forecast for Japan is dim. He feels that Japan is not suited to adapt to modern ways, as its schools focus upon rote memorization rather than the analytical thinking needed to excel in the post-internet world (we here in the U.S. with our regrettable "No Child Left Behind" policies are falling into that trap as well). He can't see a solution, just plenty of problems.

My lazy, hedonistic style of mothering would not be possible in Japan, as it relies heavily upon the labor of the Sober Husband, who is actually better than me at brushing children's hair and making them go to bed (by the end of the day, I'm exhausted and tend to let Lola run roughshod all over me). I would surely have opted to be a parasite single there. Let us all raise a glass (preferably with a Hello Kitty logo) to the hardworking mothers of Japan, admirable, non-lazy women (and also to the parasaitos, may they be forever fabulous in their cutting edge couture).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


"I am NOT human," four year-old Lola informs Iris Uber Alles. "I am a vegetarian."

a day of sorrow, and a cynical co-opting thereof

My heart goes out to everyone at Virginia Tech in the aftermath of the horrendous mass murder there. What a senseless act of horror, destroying so many lives.

And then we have U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who, according to today's Wall Street Journal, flew to the scene to assist the investigation, thereby neatly avoiding dealing with those pesky Congressional hearings today about his controversial firings of eight U.S. attorneys. The Sober Husband nearly snorted his coffee out of his nose when he read this little snippet. We were both appalled at Gonzales's appropriation of this tragedy for his own use. What the hell use is he going to be on the scene? He is an attorney, not a police officer! His major experience is cranking out legal memos as one of the White House attorneys, NOT interviewing witnesses, bagging evidence from crime scenes, running fingerprints, hunting down suspects, performing autopsies, or doing anything else which could be remotely useful to the local authorities. What is he going to do, write a memo for the campus police explaining how much torture can be used on any suspects?

linkalicious love: blogs of readers & commentators

As part of the Celebrating A Year of Drunken Housekeeping, I compiled a list of blogs which link to the Drunken Housewife. Check out these readers:

Commentator 2am is in search of a new job and maybe even a new life.

A blog about SM sex which lists me under "Vague Mutterings." That's actually sort of offensive, but eh, I'll take what I can get. I used to be listed under something more flattering, but somehow I got demoted.

It's the holder of that august title, Mr. Drunken Househusband, although in reality he's sober.

The Freewheeling Spirit blogging mostly about bicycling (he's on hiatus... for no good reason that I know of. Come back, Freewheeling Spirit.)

Incisive political analysis from a liberal perspective... in Maine of all places. It's Jim, our marathoner-in-training.

More incisive political analysis, but with tits.

It's our Grand Prize Winner, Jack's Raging Mommy! She is the only mommy I know who reads as much as I do, and she has a great rack.

The thoughtful Susan has a more conservative viewpoint to offer and two of the world's cutest little boys.

A spunky Texan I'd love to go drinking with.

Liminal musings: She's smart, as you can tell by the use of the word "liminal."

A cutie who does a lot of Sudoku.

A thoughtful personal blog, with an aging parent and some good politics.

Another fine drinking woman.

She likes cats, palm trees, and books: great taste all around.

A blog written by a mother who is much nicer than I am!

Bikecentric blogging with a sense of humor.

A European living in the U.S., with a thoughtful perspective.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

oh how I CAN wait to hear the details

I've never really been in analysis or therapy (depressing sidenote: I did go for three visits of short-term therapy to deal with the suicide of my nephew, which was very helpful because I was trying to keep a stiff upper lip around the children). Indeed, I like to say I have the Good Housekeeping Mental Health Seal of Approval, as twice I had the experience of doing couples' counselling with therapists who ended up stating that I did not need any therapy but my significant other did. (This is despite a lifelong off-and-on struggle with severe depression, which my delightful personal physician has diagnosed as genetic in origin and an easily remediable quirk of biochemistry. Viva la Paxil! Schizophrenia and agoraphobia are also in the family, so I'm lucky to have gotten off with just depression. Let us all take a moment to savor whatever genetic luck we have had).

Probably because I haven't experienced it myself, I love therapy memoirs, a quirky subniche of the mental illness autobiography field. Probably the best therapy memoir ever written is "The Day I Went Missing" by Jennifer Miller, which I reread lately. God, I love that book. I would love to know the acerbic and brilliant Jennifer Miller (a Los Angeles writer, maybe the tireless Hughman can track her down for us), survivor of one of the strangest analyses ever.

Even more recently I read "Group: Six People in Search of a Life" by Paul Solotaroff. The concept of group therapy makes so much sense to me: misery always does love company, and it can be highly motivating to get stuff done if you know you'll have to report to a group, all those judgmental eyes looking at you as you stammer out your lame excuses. Solotaroff was a lonely failed writer suffering from panic attacks when he joined a group facilitated by a charismatic Manhattan analyst. He attributes this group therapy with changing his life, giving him the ability to become a successful magazine writer with a happy marriage. Years later, Solotaroff was granted access to a new therapy group to write about what would presumably be a life-changing experience.

As a therapy memoir, this one was okay, gripping at times but irritating or boring at others. Some of the group members did transform their lives, but it's not clear why the group experience was so valuable for them. Others were unchanged and unaffected.

What drove me insane about this book was the philosophy of the therapist. Parents, it would seem, are to blame for just about everything wrong with a person, because we mold our children to meet our approval. It turns out that mothers harm the authentic personality of their children as babies and implant "false story" in them:
False story begins in the first year of life, when we learn that doing 'X" gets Mom's attention. . . . Soon, though, we discover that there're two kinds of attention -- Mom's approval and Mom's disapproval. She likes us when we're quiet and eat all our peach sauce, and allow her to get us changed without a battle. But, oh, she's angry and withdraws her love when we wake her for the fifth night in a row, or hurl that nice, new bowl from Mikasa halfway across the kitchen from our high chair.
A mother who takes a negative tone "when things go wrong" will "pollute" her child's identity. I found this profoundly irritating. So, when a child breaks something or misbehaves spectacularly, if I, the parent, respond with irritation or, god forbid, anger, I am polluting her identity and implanting "false story'(but imagine the authentic monsters I'd produce if I never reacted with disapproval to bad behavior).

But yet the therapist himself, without irony or awareness of his hypocrisy, enlists the group to pressure one of the members to fit into a particular mold. Rex, a wealthy financier with a major bad boy streak, is in therapy as part of a marital treaty after his wife's discovery that he had been supporting a stripper in an apartment and taking her on European vacations. He's torn between being a dutiful husband and church-attending father and his secret life of cocaine and strippers. Lathon, the therapist, enlists the group in pressuring Rex to pick the life of a family man: "Yes, it's true he's been on his best behavior lately, but his language tells a different story. It says that, underneath the piety, he's got a foot in each camp, and is having a hard time making a choice. So over these next months, I want you to press him on it, and don't let up till you've got an answer. Because either way it goes, that answer's going to mean a lot to" Rex's baby daughter. What if Rex's true personality is that of a skeeze? Isn't the therapist polluting Rex's identity?

So, as far as I'm concerned, this therapist is a mother-blaming hypocrite, but it is all fodder for thought. What scares me is that inevitable day in the future when the ever articulate Iris Uber Alles comes after me with her laundry list of ways in which I'll have fucked her up. I have a cousin who, urged by her therapist, wrote her parents a 23 page letter detailing all the wrongs they committed against her. Sadly no one in the family is circulating that gem (my uncle, who told me about receiving this letter, just gazed off into the middle distance and fell silent as he recalled reading it). I'd pay to read that letter... but I'm not looking forward to getting my own.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

hard work for a change

I've been feeling stressed the last few days, with the obligations of the stay-at-home parent mounting up. I had to work a day at Lola's preschool, despite having Iris Uber Alles about on spring break. I volunteered to bring a meal to another family who just had a baby (and if you know me, that always ends up being a bit of a deal. I can't bear to just bring over one thing or something too plain). Another family asked me to look after their daughter one day. Plus, it was our little friend the Baby Violet's birthday, and I had it in mind to make a present for her. On top of this, it's kitten season, and we got the call yesterday that there was a litter waiting for us. Amongst this mix, there was Lola's ballet class and Iris's piano lesson (a new addition to our busy schedules and a new regular expense, plus now there is a rented piano ruining the feng shui of our living room but in theory bringing culture and music into our lives), and I had a long-standing movie date with my beloved hairdresser.

The end result: one normally indolent Drunken Housewife transformed into a paragon of industry. I was up until midnight working last night, by turns sewing (I made chicken and egg appliques for a sweatshirt for the Baby Violet), feeding kittens (three week old kittens are horrifically messy, and they require frequent feedings. I fed them at 11:00 p.m., 5:30 a.m., and then 10:00 a.m. again), and cooking. As I worked feverishly, I was interrupted by Iris chasing her naked friend through the room. (Evidently the Sober Husband averted his supervising gaze for two minutes, during which time the friend not only stripped, but also drew all over herself with markers. Iris decorated the friend's back). Today I managed to pull it all off, getting the meal delivered (caramelized onion & endive frittata with Gruyere, a rice, cucumber and mint salad, and marinated potatoes), the present handed over, the kittens fed over and over again, and a load of cat-related laundry done.

Now I'm at loose ends, able to plunge back into a spot of indolence, but feeling unsettled. It's just not in the natural order of things, working that intensely.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

jokes of our lives

Iris Uber Alles had a huge hit in pre-k with this joke (which we gleaned off a cereal box): Where does the penguin keep his money? In a snowbank! If you're ever struggling for conversation with a five or six year-old, you might want to break that one out.

Lola is currently in the knock-knock phase, and her biggest hit to date has been Knock knock! Who's there? Lo. Lo who? Lola! Lola is the only family member with original material. She slayed her mother at age three when she interrupted her mother's matutinal coffee moment with a request: "I need coffee.... COFFEE ICE CREAM!" The child is a comedy natural, with rhythmn and timing.

The Sober Husband's best joke was one he used to tell after we came back from spending a month in Israel: "I'm Jewish enough to tell Jewish jokes. There's a town with only three Jews living there. How many synagogues do they have? Three: one for each Jew to attend and one for them to boycott." This was usually followed by remarks such as "and it's so true." We either read this one in the New Yorker or heard it in Jerusalem. I'm a WASP, so it's not for me to tell.

I'm not much for canned jokes, but this one is my all-time favorite and really killed when I told it soaking in the nude hot spring at Saline Valley years ago with a bunch of strangers under the stars: "Why can't the vacuum cleaner reach Nirvana? Because it has too many attachments."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

but think of the children!!!

Our esteemed commentator, Jim (of the Borrowed Suits blog, where he covers politics from the perspective of an independent-minded, liberal from Maine), has chosen, as his prize in the First, Possibly Annual, Readers' Photo Contest, to guest blog here. And now, without further ado, I present Jim:

Greetings to all my fellow barflies at the Sign of the Drunken Housewife. Having placed fifth of five (Drunken Housewife's note: First Runner-up is not exactly fifth of five! Also, I gave him the chance to retroactively move up to Grand Prize Winner, but he chose not to make an attempt at that lofty title) in the First, Possibly Annual Drunken Housewife Photo Contest, I have been gifted the opportunity to bring my blogging skills to you, denizens of this estimable forum. To wit, may I present:

The Adventures of Fat Man and Chubby, a parable of hope and charity.

I'm on the run. No, really.

I've gone and entered a half-marathon. This is a scary deal for me because I am woefully out of shape. But no matter if I finish or not, some good is going to come of it. Introducing:

The Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Half Marathon (aka "let's see if Jim can get his round butt into shape by August and finish the thing before the sun goes down and his little sister starts taunting him").

The Children's Hospital at Dartmouth depends upon this kind of fundraising to meet the needs of kids throughout the upper Connecticut Valley region. Like all healthcare in the US, it's expensive. Also like all healthcare in the US, it's underfunded: CHaD loses about $9 million a year. Starting last year, they sponsored this half-marathon to help raise money. You can read more about it at the link, above.

Why you? Because you have a few bucks you can spare for a truly worthwhile cause.

Why me? Because I'm bang out of shape. My sister and I were mutually moaning about that fact when she dropped the hammer on me: "I'm going to run the CHaD. You want to do it with me?"

Pride, people. Pride will always lead you astray. Resist its sneaky pull.

I was in shape once, briefly. I am now round.

My goals are these:

1. Raise $1000 to benefit the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth.
2. Finish the race.

Please help me meet my funds goal by donating online. Click the link here, or visit my webpage and click the link on the right (under the CHaD logo).

It feels good to give! I'll update my training progress periodically and I promise a full-on post with pictures after the race is run. (By which time they may in fact put me in the running for the Grand Prize. In. the running, mind you. I make no claims to stardom, only a layman's portion of fitness.)

If you visit my website, you'll see that my sister has offered a title to this extravaganza: The Adventures of Fat Man and Chubby. So be it. Further updates on the Adventures of Fat Man and Chubby will be forthcoming there – don't miss an episode. It's a long way to August 25th and many pitfalls lie in wait:

Can Fat Man and Chubby complete the race? Will they reach their fundraising goals? Can they conquer the hills of the Connecticut Valley, or will the heat, cinnamon dust and Volvo fumes all be too much?

Stay tuned…

And the Drunken Housewife says: awww, what a good cause, and what a sweetheart Jim is to use his prize to promote a charity. He really is too good for us, isn't he? Let's help him reach his fundraising goals! I will make a small contribution myself.

Monday, April 09, 2007

fallout from the First, Possibly Annual, Readers' Photo Contest

Don't hate me because I am beautiful; hate me because I'm rude and bitchy. Heh. Keep in mind that not only do my commentaters write tongue in cheek, so do I:

Given that the First, Possibly Annual, Photo Contest definitely has some entertainment value, I think we'll definitely do it again (Celebrity Guest Judge Hughman and I like to make some little bit of fun for ourselves when we can). However, there has been a bit of controversy stirred up.

First, esteemed commenter and First Runner-Up Jim says it is "bullshit" that we didn't print the racy photos of Grand Prize Winner Jack's Raging Mommy. Jim, if Jack's Raging Mommy gives me permission, I would show the pictures, but only if she gives permission, which we won't cajole her or browbeat her into doing. After all, Jack will hit puberty and take up searching the internet for racy pictures at some point, and we don't want to be responsible for his getting excited over some pictures and then realizing, "Oh.. my ... God, I'm looking at pictures of my mother. I'm going to hell."

Jim speculates that his lack of cleavage stopped him from being declared a Grand Prize Winner, and a number of commentators have urged Jim to submit some racy pictures of his own. If you think you have Grand Prize Winner material to show us, Jim, we here at Drunken Housewife Industries will be happy to provide you with a forum in which to show your stuff. We'll upgrade your title retroactively if the pictures are stirring enough, and you'll make our Vermont correspondent, among others, happy. (Adding joy to the lives of hard-drinking housewives: what could be more uplifting?)

Next, our delightful commentater Susie Derk wonders why her picture was left out. Because you didn't send it to me until I was literally in the act of declaring the winners, honey. And, not to be a whiner, but it took me some time and effort to get the layout to work reasonably well, fitting in all those pictures, and with all the resizing and adding text and moving things about, I was in no mood to add more work for myself. But in any event, I present to you the charming Susie Derk, with our very own Celebrity Guest Judge, Hughman!

Awww, aren't they cute?

Finally, our Drunken Househusband, Silliyak, is suddenly quibbling because he doesn't drink and doesn't feel that title is appropriate. Oh, Silliyak, after all this time you suddenly tell us you neither drink yourself nor admire the practice in others? We know you can't cherish the joys of glutenous foods (and if you ever came to our home, we'd pick up some treats in the gluten-free section of our yuppie supermarket; we did entertain a little celiac friend of Iris Uber Alles here before without sparking any medical crises). But not drinking? And dismissing the sweet, sweet joys of alcohol, our dear companion? You're not even a caffeine man. Say it isn't so.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

heard today

Seven year-old Iris Uber Alles, a propos of nothing as we were strolling along the neon-lit boardwalk of Santa Cruz: "Mom, are you interested in internet safety?"

Anton, singing to himself, "I am forty, going on forty-one" (after watching part of "The Sound of Music")

"D'oh! D'oh! D'oh! D'oh!" loudly said by Lola to herself as she skipped along. "It sounds like a slender Homer Simpson is about," I observed, and she corrected me. "I AM Homer Simpson."

"I wish the television was in charge of me," said Iris earnestly. "I would really go to bed when it told me."

Friday, April 06, 2007

off to indulge in some art

This afternoon we're driving to Santa Cruz, where we'll be staying a block from the boardwalk. The main purpose of the trip is for me to take a workshop with Roberta Lee Woods, an artist I've admired for ages. The Sober Husband will be escorting the Fashion Girls to the boardwalk while I do some art.

There's another trip on the horizon: we got the notification yesterday that we won a spot at Camp Mather, the dacha for the middle class of San Francisco. The city owns a parcel of land up in the Sierras, where our Hetch Hetchy reservoir is located, and the little cabins built for the workers who constructed the railroad and dam were long ago dedicated to summer visitors. City residents can enter a lottery and win the right to pay for a week's stay. Last year we spent the happiest week of Lola's life at Camp Mather, where the Sober Husband and I made asses out of ourselves by leaving a cooler to be mauled by a bear and bitched about the overwhelming wholesomeness of it all. This year the ever-ebullient Joyce and her toddler, the Baby Violet, will be there the same week (also presumably her Kyle McLachlan lookalike husband). My plan: drink nonstop all week, and Joyce has signed on to this. The children were so excited to hear about the return to Mather that their screams of joy must have been audible in the well-appointed, tasteful homes of gay men for blocks around. Iris Uber Alles is lording it over her little sister mercilessly because Iris is old enough for that immensely consequential Camp Mather coming of age, graduating from donkey rides to horseback rides. The Sober Husband is not ready to sign onto the constant mild intoxication plan and has not yet formed a coping strategy for this week of wholesome family fun and fresh air.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

felicitations to each and every one of you

I received multiple emails today wishing me a Happy World Rat Day. Just in case no one wished you, Dear Reader, a Happy World Rat Day, here you are:

the winners of the First, Possibly Annual, Reader Photo Contest

This blog can be such a great toy at times. I can write some ridiculous crap here requiring people to send me pictures, and many of you will actually take and email me amusing pictures! God, I love the internet.

The esteemed Hughman, our Celebrity Guest Judge, has kept a stern eye on the proceedings. For example, he adamantly disqualified the following entry:>
on the basis that giving a prize to my own husband would smack of nepotism. A nice photo, nonetheless, featuring the Sober Husband himself, distinguished in a silk smoking jacket, with a fabulous Fashion Girl and a background of books. This could have been a winner, if not for the ethics and morals of our Celebrity Guest Judge.

Thankfully after some discussion we agreed upon our winners! So, I present to you our Mrs. Drunken Housewife, our Texzmissy! This photo has it all: the feet are up, the cleavage is on display, and there's a drink and a book. All that is missing is a cat and a visible tattoo. In a way, there is even a Fashion Girl here, as the picture was taken by one of Missy's very own Fashion Girls, a ballerina at that. As Hughman says, "Missy got my vote for originality, inspired as she was to create a real life tableau based on the DH's blog artwork. It's like those great works of art thingys where everyone pretends like they're in The Last Supper! Only drunker! And with books! Way to go Missy!" (Incidentally the Drunken Housewife is having some real estate envy here over the gorgeous pool with waterfall and palm trees).

And next, we turn our attention to declaring our Mr. Drunken Househusband: It's the one and only Silliyak, racking up another win (he previously won the Give Iris A Nomme Du Blog contest, which was quite a heated contest at that). Silliyak attempted to drop out of this contest, but the adamant judges would not permit such frivolity. If my house ever catches on fire (and it was nearly set on fire last year when our resident pet recovering alcoholic started a kitchen fire), I will want the stalwart Silliyak nearby to rescue the cats and booze! Hughman sez, "Silliyak was the only contestant to use photoshop and cleverly included DH-ish props : the cats, the wine... and fireman things! Who doesn't love to stop at a fire and stare at the firemen? Anyone? OK. Still a great pic."

We also have a Grand Prize Winner, Jack's Raging Mommy. However, although I hate to be a callous tease, we're not going to show the hottest of Jack's Raging Mommy's pictures which won the prize. Instead, we present to you this Safe For Work Version. JRM treated us to some amazing pictures which we could showcase only if we hid her identity, and we felt it would get figured out, and indeed we do try to keep things safe for our dear working readers here. In summary, let's say that if one got Jack's Raging Mommy liquored up enough and Jack himself is soundly enough asleep, one might be in for a real treat. A devoted mommy with a raging sexuality and tits to die for: my kind of woman! Hughman says, "JRG - It's hard to get hotter than this and I say that as a Certified Gay Man. The pic reminds me of some famous painting but I can't remember which one. Oh yeah, the one where the woman has the awesome rack. Boo-ya!"

First Runner Up goes to Jim, for a great picture showcasing my twin loves, booze and books. Hughman sez, "Props also to Jim for actually looking humorous in his pic. We knew ya had it in ya." Bonus points for (accidentally) including a book by someone who has been on my To Read List for years, Exley, and for being in the state of Maine, although we'll just have to take your word for that.

And here's our next runner-up, the formidable Lemonjuicer (gin and tits, a winning combination! I'm sure this picture will win her many fans!) We would have had another runner-up, our beloved Susie Derk (who submitted a picture of herself with the actual Celebrity Guest Judge, Hughman, very clever!), had she not (a) submitted her entry so late (I actually received it WHILE I was composing this paean to our winners and (b) disqualified herself from prizes modestly on the grounds that she had an unfair advantage in using Celebrity Guest Judge Hughman as a prop.

The prizes: our Mrs. Drunken Housewife, Mr. Drunken Househusband and Grand Prize Winner may select one of the following at their discretion: a post of their own choosing (they dictate the subject, I write it) OR an autographed photo of the Drunken Housewife and a book from her library (Their choice may well hinge upon their comfort level with giving out their mailing address. It's safe with me, as I'm far too lazy to stalk anyone successfully). Our runners-up, Lemonjuicer and Jim, may either write a guest post OR may request a post on a subject of their choosing.

Thank you, everyone, for playing!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

happy anniversary to meeeeee: bear with me for some solipsistic meta-blogging

It was one year ago today that I started the Drunken Housewife blog, and I don't know about you, but my expectations have been exceeded. I've had more fun with it than I expected.

At first, I didn't tell anyone I'd started the blog -- not even the Sober Husband -- and I didn't give out the URL. I wanted to build up a respectable enough body of posts before I asked anyone to read it. After a while, I gave the URL to some friends. Then people started reading it who came across it by chance. I think the first person to write a comment who didn't actually know me was the Freewheeling Spirit. I assumed he was a woman, a fellow mommy, heh. Indeed, probably the biggest surprise was that the most enthusiastic followers of the blog have been men. Although I didn't set out to write "a mommy blog", I figured that since I am a stay-at-home mother at present, whatever I had to say would primarily appeal to other mommies, but that was not the case.

One of the highlights of the year was when Iris's "I am a rockstar and I pee everywhere with my penis" lyrics were picked up by the Daily Kos and Wonkette (via the Freewheeling Spirit) the day after the last elections. I loved the fact that across the country, so many politicians and their hacks were reading the major political sites for analysis and were brutally accosted with the rock and roll gospel of my seven year-old diva.

I've had a lot of fun with the readers who write comments. Thank you to each and everyone of you --- even the one who flamed me (only one flame in a year!) and the one who posted the signs of binge drinking.

Thanks also to everyone who has posted a link to my blog on their site. Everytime I run across someone's recomendation of this blog as a decent way to pass a few minutes as we all march towards the grave, you bring a smile to the aging visage of a middle-aged sot.

Our esteemed Celebrity Guest Judge, Hughman, and I are close to making some awards for the photo contest. The problem is that we have a number of fabulous entries, and we aren't agreeing upon a clear winner or even two clear winners. (Also, to be honest, it's been a rough few days and yer old Drunken Housewife has had offline life issues to contend with, not to mention that I'm on level 67 on Pirate Poppers). We'll be sharing some photos and announcing some winners soon.

And in closing, a major shout-out of love, ah glorious love, to the patient Sober Husband, who, although not exactly a devoted fan of the blog, has never complained about anything I've written about him here and who has, upon occasion, devoted quite a bit of time to writing entries when I've inveigled him into answering reader's questions. He's brilliant, he's handsome, and he has a sense of humor, not to mention that he is fascinatingly eccentric. He has held my interest for a decade, which is more than anyone else has ever done. (So stay tuned for another year of me complaining about his lofty intellectual antics).

Monday, April 02, 2007

saving time with the Sober Husband

The Sober Husband is a man with a keen, albeit unique, sense of efficiency. When he microwaves, he uses only one digit, say, heating food for 3:33 or :44, to save the time and effort of moving his index finger amongst the various numbers. Once he shocked a dental hygienist by firmly stating that he had no intention of taking up daily flossing, as instead he could just have his teeth cleaned an extra time a year and avoid wasting all that time and effort on daily flossing.

Nowhere is this passion for efficiency more noticeable than in his gasoline habits. He feels strongly that only a fool would waste time by unnecessary trips to the gas station. Any sensible person will wait until they can barely coast up to the pump on those last fumes of gas. Imagine the time savings over a lifetime!! Indeed, he once laughed, petting me on the head as one would pat an earnest puppy, as he looked at "all the funny little charges for gas" on my credit card statement. However, I would contend that the time I waste at gas stations is less than the time he spends trudging to a gas station, can in hand, when he has run out of gas.

And, of course, this calculus of saving time should take into account ALL THE YEARS THAT WILL BE LOST WHEN HIS HOMICIDAL WIFE SNAPS AFTER HER CAR WAS LEFT GASLESS ONE TOO MANY TIMES. We've had a number of heated little spats over this, when he parked my car and I was unable to start it again. The Sober Husband is not fazed by being out of gas (having grown accustomed to it over the years). He has a technique of coasting down the hill upon which we live, coasting almost all the way to a gas station. However, this closest gas station lies just beyond the intersection of Market, Castro and 18th Streets, the very epicenter of all gayness, and as befitting its eminence, this intersection is always clogged with traffic and pedestrians, including strollers who are far more interested in checking one another out than monitoring such tedious things as traffic lights, crossswalk perimeters, and the progress of gasless cars coasting desperately towards the gas station. (Incidentally this very same gas station is also noted for its exorbitant prices, charging usually over 30 cents more a gallon than my usual station).

Now, the Drunken Housewife is not exactly a demure, softspoken sort of spouse, and one would think any sensible husband would wish to avoid the sort of outspoken, candid exchange of views which inevitably follows her discovery of a gasless car. That has not proven to be the case, however. Evidently the time saved by avoiding tedious visits to the gas station is so valuable that it outweighs the loss of time spent being harangued by a rabid car-owner.

last chance for the photo contest! & horrible, terrible, no good very bad day

Photo contest deadline extended (but not forever, so procrastinateth not)So tonight I was going to confer with our esteemed Celebrity Guest Judge (Hughman!) and decide on the prizes, but eh, it's been such a horrible day I can't focus. Also, I have it on good authority that several readers (slackers! procrastinators! but beloved readers nonetheless) are "working on" getting their entries together, so my horrible day is your gain, as the fabulous prizes may yet be in your reach! We've had some great entries to date, although I am surprised that only Silliyak has featured a cat (or indeed any form of animal).

Horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day: It's so whiny and distasteful to go on in detail, so here's the summary: Insomnia. Sleep deprivation. Car left out of gas by spouse, discovered by moi at hour of driving child to school. Accountant informs us of massive tax liability. Giant tantrum by Lola en route to swimming class. Informed by husband that he, the official Softball Parent, needed me to drive the softball carpool (note: carpool driving includes supervising children for one hour before commencement of softball practice). Iris and a friend of hers bully Lola, resulting in me decreeing no videos, television, iPod, or other electronic delights for Iris for evening. Had to entertain tired, cold, cranky Lola for over an hour during idiotic softball practice. Discover that during the melee of unloading the carpool, sending children back into car for sweaters and soothing Lola's crying, I moronically locked keys in car. Cold, tired, hungry, thirsty, angry, (and broke! damn the IRS!), your faithful correspondent hit rock bottom.