Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Driven

I drive. I am driving. I am driven. It seems that's all I do these days. I drive to work, I drive to school, I drive to the in-laws to foist my kid on them for a few hours of adult conversation with my husband. And when I do get those few kid-free hours? I feel driven to make them count. To not squander them on mediocre food and an insipid rehashing of my oh-so-boring day at work. I feel compelled to be witty and charming (two things I constantly aim for but rarely achieve). Inevitably, though, I'm reduced to a gibbering mass of idiocy with nothing more insightful to say than, "Mmm..this is a good salad."

I am driven to find a deeper meaning in my life than just getting from Point A to Point B. I've seen all the platitudes slapped onto the backs of fuel-chugging SUVs like "Life is not a race to the finish," "Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly," and "No Jesus, no peace; know Jesus, know peace." Frankly, I've never read a bumper sticker yet that was so profound that it made me want to rethink my existence -- and if I ever do I've ordered my husband to shoot me dead because if that happens it means there's an alien life form chewing on my brain stem plotting world domination.

So where does one find meaning? In a fortune cookie? I just don't trust them like I used to before they started printing "winning" lottery numbers on the back of the fortunes. Should I go on some Buddhist retreat? Spend a wad of cash for some short, bald fucker to tell me to listen to the silence of my mind and let it guide me? No thanks. I've already wasted about 12 hours of my life watching all the Star Wars movies. I think the little green guy with the big ears and the speech impediment covered most of that.

I guess I'll just have to muddle my way through this existence and hope I don't come back as a cockroach in the next life. That would suck.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Memory

I remember a time when I wasn't worried about the color and consistency of anyone else's snot. I remember a time when I didn't know there were at least 5 different brands of diapers but only one brand that would be able to contain the aftermath of a dinner of grapes, mangoes, and pizza. I remember being able to sleep soundly until 10 or 11 am.

I remember a life that seems so long ago now but in reality was mine until 3 years ago. Looking back I don't know how I spent all of the hours of the day. Did I waste them in decadently selfish pursuits such as reading (for pleasure - not for class)? Figuring out that chili-cheese fries - no matter how compelling - are never the answer after a night of drinking cheap beer? Or traveling through Eastern Europe by train leaving Prague at night in a dense fog that seemed right out of a film noir?

Now, I find my days and nights filled with worry over green snot, the availability of said super-diapers at my local grocery store, and my inability to sleep past 5:30 am. I am a mom, mama, mommy, nose-wiper, diaper-changer, ear-wax cleaner, Cat In the Hat-reader, label-checker, bottle-washer (turned sippy-cup-washer), and cartoon-critic-extraordinaire - and so much more.

What will the next few years bring as I become less and less of a caregiver and more of a role model (gasp!)? As this tiny person I helped create takes on more responsibility for his daily maintenance?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Springtime for Hitler!

Alas! Only Mel Brooks has the ability to make the Holocaust funny. I, on the other hand, am lucky if I can make it through this semester without stabbing my eyes out in despair. (editor's note: the writer of this blog has been known to exaggerate in order to get a few pathetic laughs -so don't start sending me those icepicks yet.)

Seriously, though if you haven't read the following books - and you are not taking any unauthorized anti-depressants - I highly recommend them to you. No study of the Holocaust would be complete without them:

Anything (start with Survival in Auschwitz) by Primo Levi
Night by Eli Weisel
Mendelssohn Is on the Roof by Jiri Weil
The Last of the Just by Andre Schwarz-Bart
The Sunflower by Simon Weisenthal
The Journey by Ida Fink
Jacob the Liar by Jurek Becker (the book - NOT the movie)
...and any poetry by Paul Celan, Dan Pagis, Nelly Sachs, Miklos Radnoti, or, of course, Primo Levi.

Read, discuss amongst yourselves, and write 5 page response papers to turn in to me by Monday.

Monday, November 07, 2005

That New Car Smell!

Sitting in traffic the other day brought to mind one of my biggest pet peeves: super-giganto SUVs -- namely Hummers.

I loathe them and their drivers. There's just something about the whole "fuck you" attitude coming off the typical Hummer driver that infuriates me. I can just tell that they're driven by trophy wives or the guys who married the trophy wives who are now screwing their secretaries in between 3-martini lunches and hair plug surgery.

The only thing that I remotely enjoy about these fiberglass behemoths is their name. Hummer. I get the Beavis and Butthead giggles every time I hear it. Personally, I think more automobiles ought to be named after sexual activities. In fact, I nominate myself to head the next concept-car marketing team...

"Introducing the brand new, fully-customizable... Ford Fellatio!
Come, take it for a test drive and feel the power of the Fellatio's 2 strapping engines as they crank out 300 hp! Plus, you can customize your ride with any number of strap-ons (oops!) add-ons!"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Does Victoria's Secret Know About These?

This has got to be the best news story - EVER:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Quaker Maid Meats Inc. on Tuesday said it would voluntarily recall 94,400 pounds of frozen ground beef panties that may be contaminated with E. coli.
I'm not sure what ground beef panties are - but I'm almost positive they're illegal in at least 17 states.