Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Something about a '60s throwback shirt

makes you want to play air guitar and defy authority.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Start of the Fourth Wave?

How does a kid rebel against rebellious parents? Is she left with no option but to embrace the straight and narrow?

My biggest fear (aside from bodily harm of course) is that, in a frantic effort to individuate and distinguish herself from me, my daughter will grow up to be hopelessly constricted and traditional in her beliefs. Mom's a pantheist? I'll become a fundamentalist fill-in-your-religion. Mom didn't change her name upon marriage? I'll change mine upon engagement! Mom got a PhD? I'll resist even going to college. Mom waited until her career was established before having me so she could maintain her professional identity? The moment I see that little blue line I'll quit my job and call myself My Kid's Mom, a la Dr. Laura. Mom calls herself a feminist? Eww, I don't use the f-word.

What will I do? When I was a kid in the '70s I didn't think it was possible that Progress could be KO'd by Regress, but here we are. There's a very real possibility that my daughter will come of age during a time that's even more *gasp* retrograde than what we're seeing now.

Clearly, this calls for action.

Let the inoculation begin.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Three new discoveries... the last 24 hours:

(1) waving bye-bye
(2) drawing with crayons (style: abstract)
(3) my genitals!

All in all, a grinner of a day.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you when...?

It was the day after my father's 60th birthday. I woke up, went for a walk (beautiful morning), showered, and put on a pair of dark blue bias-cut jeans and a black short-sleeve shirt. Then I turned on the TV to catch the weather.

It's amazing what you remember 5 years later, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Turning Verbs into Adjectives

It's a risky business.

I've been observing these pregnancy/breastfeeding/parenting web boards for over a year now. I know they're not good for me but I keep coming back. It's a sick fascination.

I've become intrigued by the dynamics of these boards -- in particular, the way board members choose to represent themselves.

One of the boards I visit allows members to post avatars, tickers, and other words and images to signal Who They Are. Every time someone posts a comment, her signature automatically appears below her words. A signature is like a collection of virtual bumper stickers, and usually just as political.

Here's a typical signature: "Baby-wearing, 'sposie-using, breastfeeding, Jesus-loving, co-sleeping Proud Mommy." Translation: "I am a female parent. I worship in the Judeo-Christian tradition. I wear my baby in a sling and let her sleep in my bed. I feed her with my breasts, not a bottle. When it's time to change her I use disposable diapers. I am proud of this."

I have to wonder how much of the individual angst and collective bullying I've witnessed on these boards has to do with this tendency to turn verbs into adjectives. If you have difficulties that necessitate the cessation of one of these habits -- say, if the need to take a certain class of antidepressants disqualifies you from breastfeeding -- then the resulting change in behavior becomes a change in identity. Those are some very high stakes.

I bought into this ideology soon after my daughter's birth. When I had to supplement with formula, I became One of Those Women Who Supplement with Formula. It all seems so ridiculous now, but at the time it really felt like a threat to my identity, a threat to the person I wanted to be. It wasn't even about my daughter's health. It was about me.

I have to wonder how many of the people who breastfeed until their child can ride a bike are clinging to an identity they're not ready to give up. The party line is always "It's about what's best for the baby." But really, is it?

As for bumper stickers, I have one on my car: "I love Key West and its chickens." Because, I mean, who doesn't?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Next time you're playing a gig...

...try not to get drunk. A good buzz feels great while playing, but it messes with your performance, rendering you slow and off-target.

Frustration from missing beat after beat... way to debilitating nausea.

Best to stay sober during the performances that matter and save the boozing for karaoke.