Friday, July 27, 2007

Momspit Competition: And the Winners Are

a small bottle of Momspit each, to lace and I am just the Mother. A large bottle of Momspit to Mommyknows. Winners, please email me at crabmommyatgmaildotcom (which I am spelling out to confound the spam robots) and I will have the good peeps at Momspitdotcom ship your prizes to you.

Crabtot and I were dying to give the spit to the commenter who posted as "anonymous" and begged for to be picked as the winner, but fate played a different hand. For those disappointed entrants, Momspit may be offered again in an August drawing. So keep reading and you might find yourself the proud owner of green tea & fig-scented spit before the summer is over!

In other news: after the recent inflamed conversation on this blog about my Crabmusings re. the recent ethnic diversity of Crabtown, some of you may be glad to know that I got my comeuppance at Albertson's yesterday. I went to buy tacos only to be confronted with a threatening mob of angry Eastern Europeans, who had read my blog and apparently understood it (There I thought their English was so bad!). They were pretty angry at what they considered to be ethnic slandering and stereotyping on my part. So they came at me, brandishing kielbasy! And then one of them hurled a jar of beets! I should have brought some tampon wieners to set upon them but I hadn't anticipated the attack.

I ran. Down the aisles. Until I found the one labeled "Hispanic foods." And I grabbed a box of Old El Paso taco shells. They were very stale and hence made quite a good shield, deflecting the various pickled and root-vegetable-based foodstuffs that were being thrown at me.

At a certain point, though, the mob just stopped and then we all just started talking. And I heard them out. And then I explained also that as a South African of many generations my cultural traditions involve a certain amount of ethnic stereotyping and slandering, and I asked everyone to just be sensitive to and cognizant of that fact, and not to attack me for my particular belief system and the ways of my people. And we all nodded and realized that, in fact, we are all alike. We all eat food. We all feel pain. We all have feelings. We all have red blood (even people of color and Eastern Europeans have red blood and so do Red Indians! I mean, Native Americans). Then they invited me to their youth hostel for a party.

As with the Wendy's cowboys, I left Albertson's knowing that new friendships had been forged in the unlikeliest of ways and with the most unlikely people, some of whom had really pretty eyes.

But God knows I'm not going to their party. Who wants to listen to that Slavic rock music! No thanks!

To sum up this episode in Cmom history, dear readers, I have definitely learned something and I hope everyone else has too. I have received a lot of mail about this post. Yes, I have offended some. And yet others feel I should not have apologized. So I thought about apologizing for apologizing. Then I realized that while things get complex and tricky when you are writing satire, you can stick to one simple code: be funny. Thus, my apology stands; I wasn't funny enough in my posting about Crabtown and its European Invasion. The writing was sloppy and not properly contextualized. Mostly, it just wasn't as good as it needed to be. I am certainly sorry for that.

Happy weekend, and thanks everyone for posting your thoughts and reading my blog. You are dang fine people, each and every and all of you. Even those of you from other countries!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

FREE STUFF: July's Momspit Giveaway...and Crabmom Apologizes

In the interests of removing my lame post of yesterday from the main page, I'm going to Momspit again on a fresh post (but I'll take all of the previous post's comment competition entries into account for final drawing, don't worry).

First: I am sorry if I offended with my attempts to be funny yesterday. For the record, I am not xenophobic and I have nothing against Mexicans or Eastern Europeans in Crabtown. Far from it. Sometimes one's attempts at irony do not go over. Sometimes one's attempts at comedy are not funny. It was a weak post. And I am sorry for that.

Now let's get back to Momspit: For once, the free stuff on this site is yummy. At the Momspitdotcom website you can read all about how to remove your toddler's gamey smells and make him smell, instead, like a fig or a cup of green tea, thanks to the good mommies who invented this no-wash cleanser which is "inspired by the original" [spit of a mom]. If you'd like to own some Momspit, put your name forward and we shall have a drawing in the next days. The folks at Momspit are promising 3 bottles, one a giant size, the other 2 each flavored in green tea&fig or lemon&white tea, respectively. There is also the no-scent option. As in, scented exactly like...Momspit.

Put your name in the hat, people!

Monday, July 23, 2007

FREE STUFF! July's Momspit Giveaway

As you know I am the mommy who gives and gives and keeps on giving. I give away sunglass accessories, baseball caps, and possibly one day, even a pen from our local bank. You see, when you give away free stuff, people are more disposed to look kindly upon your blogging ways and to tell their friends and their friends of friends and in this way, the word gets out. But mostly I give stuff away because I like to share my own good fortune.

Okay, so in the past we know I've given away some crapola items. But I have something far better for the 3 lucky prizewinners. It is Momspit.

At first I didn't get the reference to Momspit because I am slow, but in the words of its makers, it's a cleaning agent "inspired by the original." As in, when you use saliva to clean off that kiddie face. Instead of using your own momspit, if you're a lucky winner today you can walk away with either a Fig & Green tea flavored Momspit in 7oz or a Lemon & White Tea flavored Momspit in the same size. And for one winner, a deluxe-sized Momspit in the flavor of choice will be given gratis by the good moms over at Momspit. Pack your Momspit handily in your purse and soon, like Crabtot, the kid will ask for a spritz of it too. Thus, instead of smelling like wet dog or burnt toast, your toddler will smell like green tea and figs. Yum!

Basically it's a rinse-free cleaning agent that smells dang fine.

So let's a comment if you want it and I will have Crabtot pull 3 winners from a hat. The winners will email their details to me at crabmommyatgmaildotcom and presto! Momspit in transit!

Meantime I hope all are enjoying a delightful July. Mine has been noteworthy. For example, I saw some Mennonites this week going down our alpine slide. This is a luge which, in summer, you go down on little seats with wheels. Usually it is your standard tourist fare wheeling it down, but last week I was most astonished to see a bonnet squad signing up. There they were, Mennonites going up the chairlift, their men with bowl cuts and oddly happy-go-lucky expressions, the women obviously more modest but still heading down that slope, bonnets filling with air! I stared boldly, disapproving. I mean, isn't it against their religion? First, there's the technology of the chairlift that seems wrong for these techno-shunning peeps, then there's the question of enjoyment. Are Mennonites allowed to have fun? Tell me what you think and I will factor it into the Momspit results.

In other news, Tot and I have been spending time at a local swimming pool connected to Crabgrandpa's vacation condominium. At this time of year Crabtown is infested with young Eastern Europeans who come to work the hotel industry and take over the jobs formerly reserved for Mexicans. This means the pool towel guy is a chap with thin legs in weird shorts, who plays sort of Gothy Polish rock circa 1990s around the pool while his various friends call out to each other, Alex! Igor! and throw their heavy consonants into the alpine air.

Also, this means the deck chairs are likely to be taken up by young girls with heavy Eastern Euro makeup, shiny bikinis and a desultory manner as they take a swim break between shifts of cleaning luxury condos. Also it means the Albertson's grocery store workers are no longer just Mexican but now also from the Baltic climes and they have badges saying "Mariana, Latvia" or somesuch and when you ask, 'Excuse me, do you know where I could find the sauerkraut?" the say, "What is sauerkraut?" and then dismiss you with a disgusted look. Sorry, but I thought Eastern Euros would know about sauerkraut. Don't they know everything there is to know about pickled cabbage-like strands in their zone?

Always with the Albertson's Europeans I feel as though I am interrupting them on a break.

Such are the tribulations of Crabmommy in summer, in our vale of wealth and comfort! Get out of my deck chair, Zlata! Honestly. Life can be tough.

Okay, so if I have been mean and roundly stereotyping, I hereby take it all back and will make it up to you as follows: If you are an Eastern European with Mennonite connections I will guarantee you a bottle of Momspit if you apply.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Naked Cowgirls...Stuff is Going Down!

It's been a hectic month in the development of Crabcorner neighborly relations. As you all know from my previous post, a friendship was forged at Wendy's. Now we are ready to take things a step further.

Aaron the neighborly cowboy and goat-wrangler is taking us to the rodeo as his personal guests.

We will even get to go backstage. Or what I think is backstage. I mean, back behind the bulls. Bull's-back-end or whatever it is called. You know, behind those gate things. If I understood Aaron correctly and hot damn if I'm not sure I did.

When will this event go down? When Crabsis comes out from South Africa in the next weeks. On the occasion of her arrival (hi, Aunty Phill!) the peeps in the compound are going to break out their complimentary passes and get us up close and personal with the scene down at the rodeo grounds. Total access granted to Crabmommy... into the inner circle, the sanctum sanctorum of rodeoically-inclined cowboy-klatches. Me right there and getting dang personal! DO YOU DIG IT MADLY?

I promise to reveal all when the event happens...Stay tuned, and within a few weeks the report will be out.

Meantime, these cow-people of Crabtown, they continue to do weird things on my lawn. Check out this butt-naked one that I managed to snap cruising across the grass in front of my house, no doubt looking for forks!

Monday, July 16, 2007

You Won't Believe What Just Went Down!

I met my neighbors.

Now to those of you new to my blog, this might not seem like a big deal. But to those who have long followed the events of Crabcorner cowboy-infested compound, this is HUGE! Mysteries are about to be revealed in this here post! The whys, hows, and whats are at last to receive their answer. No more shall questions surround the log-slum across the street. Names will be mentioned and the cloak of secrecy surrounding it all is, at last, to be flung off.

We were at Wendy's.

There, I said it. Were it not for the proceedings that happened at Wendy's I would never owned up to going to Wendy's. But the whole truth must come out here, and come out it shall:

Crabtown in summer, it is thick with tourists wishing to see our nonchalant bison and to frolic in our chilly lakes with their peevish kids. So on the rare occasion when the Crabfam needed a quick restaurant bite before picking up a friend at the airport, we tried 3 spots to find the lines 1-hour deep. Hence, I capitulated and went to one of Crabhub's digs, the trusty Wendy's, where the man gets a Biggie Fry and Burg—a number 5 or something—every week, between his more rarefied finicky Crabhubby meals, for God knows a Crabhub doesn't eat out of a tupperware, but that's another story.

After dropping the words "chicken nuggets" close to the Crabtot ear, Crabhub ensured no substitute, and thusly did we go to a ghastly 70's-era brown sheetrocked Wendy's. It honestly looks like a square turd. In such moments it does not help to note that one buys only organic chicken for the home. You just get the nuggets and your spicy chick sand, and off you go to the greasiest table in the Platonic sphere of Greasy Tables.

So we are noshing on our hormone-permeated grub when I smell an intense and particularly sharp wafting scent of manure. Over my shoulder I see 3 cowpeople— 2 cowboys in hats, 1 cowgirl quite stunning and thin as a bean with a giant belt buckle the size of Wyoming and sort of Joni-Mitchellesque jangly turquoise earrings. They look...very familiar. And I am not positive, but I am almost sure that they are part of the scene across yonder Crabcorner way. They are not the frat boy cowboys pictured in earlier postings. They are the other ones that lurk in yonder trailer. Then, Crabtot says something cute and they smile at us.

The moment is ripe.

"Do you guys live on TK drive?" I ask, and they answer "Yes, right across the street from you." (Evidently my photo-snapping moments weren't as surreptitious as I thought. There was total recognition in their eyes.) For a brief moment I thought they might ask me why I catalogued their every move for my blog; for a brief moment I wondered whether anyone would produce my missing Ikea fork. Instead, something worse happened. The absolutely smelliest possible hand extended toward me for a shake. "I'm Aaron."

I closed my eyes and shook as jovially as I could under the circumstances. And wondered how I could go from that goat-and-horse-scented paw to my chick sand, and then I realized it was all of a piece really. Then the hand extended over to Crabhub. And I saw my man desperately trying to look nonchalant (a man whose fastidious, soft, white-collar hands have known little in the way of manly work) as he clasped the chapped, red, aromatic cowboy claw.

"Was it you wrangling a goat in the middle of the night a few days ago?"

Aaron and his pals were delighted that we had noted the goat. You see the goat-roping is practice for them. They work at the local rodeo. And do trail rides from the ski village. And otherwise engage in touristic western activities. And they live on the property of a man who is apparently a legendary old guy about town, one of the slummy rich horse-peeps that have been here long enough to make trillions in real estate and slummy horses, a geezer who owns a touristic western activity outfit employing these summer-job-seeking horsemen and allowing them to crash on his property in his various hovels and cabins. They spoke of him with deep affection.

I have to say, they were just the nicest sort of itinerant guys. They promised to bring the goat around often and encouraged us to come over with Crabtot to see him get roped. They asked us if they were ever too loud in their drinking and meth sniffing (well, something like that was implied), or in their goat-wrangling or post-rodeo games of horseshoe on the old weedy plot where the cabin used to be before it upped and went away. Of course we protested "not at all!" and "not loud enough!" and so on (and in truth they really aren't very loud and anyway the rodeo drowns them out in summer). They insisted that if they were ever loud, we should just come right on over and they would tone it down. And then Aaron got wistful about the burned cabin and spoke of many summers spent happily in it and I thought that perhaps I shouldn't ask if he had set the fire that brought the whole thing down and caused it to fly away. Plenty of time for that question later, perhaps over a fire in an old can next to the brown rusted trailer at the far corner of the compound, all of us chewing baccy and drinking from paper bags and looking into the distance sometimes, like we've seen a thing or two in our time, while Crabtot grubs beside us in the dirt with her goat.

So there at Wendy's, something truly went down. In the unlikeliest of places, friendships are born. We left with more handshaking and good wishes and the Crabfamily rushed home to set about scrubbing ourselves with antibiotic handsoap.

And so begins a new chapter in this series. Will it be as interesting to have these neighbors now that I know their names and can witness the goat-wrangle for myself as an invited guest? Skulking and spying has generated so much intrigue for me...and judging by the readership I receive in the Something's Going Down posts, spying on these nabes has fascinated many more than just the Crabfam. But let's hope that closer relations will show new truths and produce intimate Crabcorner revelations that will knock our collective sock right off.

Meantime, I have done much waving and "how's it going?" with Aaron and his peeps since. They listen to their cowboy music from their cars and hold up a Bud and Tot and I hold up our hosepipe and wave at them while watering the herb garden. And I am very glad there is no fence between us, because, as I am sure you will agree, in this case, good fences would never have made good neighbors. I mean, I'd never have been able to see in.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Crabmommy Goes Yogic

She who eschews exercise pontificates on the dubious benefits of yoga today, over at the bloglet.

In other news, at 3am last night something REALLY was going down on Crabcorner! Someone pounded on our front door! We were too terrified and groggy (how can you be terrified and groggy at the same time? Well, you can) to answer the door until it was too late and the pounder had disappeared. ...Someone from Crabcowboy-corner-compound, perhaps? Did they think we'd stolen their goat?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Are You Happy?

Crabtot, sassy little muffin that she is, has cottoned on to a new way to infuriate me.

When I am especially angry or in a pre-meltdown moment she quietly asks, "Mommy, are you happy?" And because this drives me nuts, and because I have little self-control, this results in answers such as, "No, I am not happy! Because you are not listening to Mommy and this makes me very cross and sad!" Then I stop around and shout some more. And she repeats the phrase in her soft, maddening little voice.

"Are you happy?"

"Are you happy now, Mommy?"

Now you know I don't like parental braggery. But really, is quite amazing and infuriating that she has the wherewithal to produce this line whenever I am at my most challenged.

And of course this challenge from a 2-yr-old should shame me into pulling myself together. And yes, I have tried and occasionally succeeded at composure in my responses. "Yes!" I say in a falsely bright tone. "I'm happy." Or "Soon. Soon I will be happy. If you stop asking me about being happy and start behaving properly."

But mostly I just want to bite off my own finger when I hear this question. Because it goes right to the heart of my MADNESS and LACK OF CONTROL. When I feel the frustrated Mommy-rage building in me, that one little question is enough to send me over the edge. It's like stubbing your toe: a mix of anger and pain and plain old irritation. As in, how could I be so stupid as to stub my toe? As in, how could I be so stupid as to lose my cool over something a 2-year-old is doing? Yet whatever it is this 2-yr-old is doing becomes only more irksome when paired with that soft, insistent, bloody right-on question.

Or maybe I am misinterpreting and my prescient 2-yr-old is in fact prying into something far more existential and big-picture-ish. Maybe she isn't commenting ironically on my hyper-flapped and fussed present-moment state but is instead prodding me on my overall negative gestalt, a quiet rebuke underscoring her otherwise innocent tone.

In both cases, Tot, my answer remains the same. No. I am not happy. And if you ask me again there will be no Gummi bear today. And then we shall all be very unhappy. :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4 and Top Tips for a "Safety First" Summer

Happy 4 July, Crabfriends. I am always filled with benevolence and optimism on this day, and this year I forgot my habitual disdain for Crabtown and felt a citizen's pride in the local parade.

As the cowboys clip-clopped down the street, the dude ranchhands tossed candy to the townsfolk, and the local Crabtown beauty queens did that weird half-wave from their chariots, Crabmommy, Crabtot, and Crabhub clapped and cheered. Tot, however, did not enjoy it when a friend atop a Framer's Market float recognized her and they heaved us up onto their cart to help them toss corn to the masses. She sobbed and begged to get off and did not want to be separated from her dad on the pavement (so much for Independence Day). Participating in the summer harvest celebrations just isn't her bag. In spite of a childhood spent amid nature's bounty, she hasn't forgotten that she was born in Manhattan... Indeed she really didn't enjoy pretending to be a farmer, even for a day. Those ears of corn and boys in suspenders sent her into a serious downward spiral.

May you all enjoy yourselves today and may your children be less peevish than mine. If it's as hot today where you are as it is here, please do not hesitate to hotclick it over to you-know-where for some smashing tips on summer safety. Enjoy! Responsibly, I mean. Now off you go and read it. I may just save your life today.