Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's a Tripp!

I am taking my blogging finger off hiatus to report for those few of you who have not yet heard the breaking news:

Bristol Palin and her smoldery genius-lover Levi Johnston have had their baby. And his name is TRIPP. She's a traditional girl, that Bristol, and one can assume the moniker was selected for its classical Palin qualities. Fitting in with uncles Track and Trig, Tripp is the next in a what is sure to be a long line of monosyllabia from Wasilla.

WELL done, Bristol.

For those of you hankering for Crabmommy while she affects hibernation, me and my blogging finger might be ignoring you here on Blogger, but we're still on at the bloglet, as ever, musing on resolutions, family life, and all manner of important trivia, right here and also, neatly summarized by topic as follows:

Girl talk: it's not a snowman, it's a snowgirl chez us.
Super-spouse: behind every competent husband there's an incompetent wife. Or so I've found...

Tonight I will be making New Year's resolutions at the bloglet too, and hoping to be less feeble about keeping them. So far I have only one and it is both astonishingly boring and incredibly challenging for me: I will drink water in 2009.

I hate water. I'm actually allergic to it. Even as I type I am so dry and shriveled that I could rival the ancient packet of raisins I just found in my travel bag which I believe were purchased in South Africa circa 1999. As I type my blogging finger has riven in two, so cracked is it from total dehydration. Said finger is all shriveled and crispy-like, and still I cannot bring my bark-dry lips to drink a cup of water. Until 2009 when I plan to remediate the problem.

Resolutions, you? Any good ones?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Way Happy Holiday Newsletter!

Salutations, one and all:

I regret to inform you that I did not manage to get around to taking and posting any sort of holiday greeting, comprising a snapshot of our family in matching JCrew sweaters chortling spontaneously and giving the impression that all is well at our house.

Happily, I did manage to write a holiday newsletter. Counter to Crabmommy character, it is way positive because even though I frequently write negative self-pitying sorts of anecdotes, I do nevertheless know that I am in an awesome orbit of this thing called life, and when all is said and done I know that I ROCK hugely! And so does everything and everyone whose lives touch mine.

Here's an excerpt:

It's been a busy year in the lives of the Crabfamily. We moved from rural Crabtown to Crabcity, left friends and enemies behind and are busily making new ones. But change is good! Unless, of course, it's bad. In which case it would not be not good at all.

Thankfully we feel much happier in Crabcity, or at least, Crabmom does—and as we all know a happy mommy is the most important part of any family. I love being back in the urban jungle, even if my particular choice of city puts me in touch with the occasional fascist hippie-mama with whom I might tussle in a verbally abusive exchange on a street corner. But all in all I enjoy taking Crabkid out to parks and playgrounds to mingle with a diverse multi-culti crowd and display her talents and charm to a wider audience.

Please go here to read it all and in fact, to read any Crabmommy musings in the next couple of weeks. My blogging finger is going on a vacation. Me, I'm doing a staycation, but my blogging finger is going to Me-Hi-co.

May you and yours enjoy a snippet of snow, a jingle of bells, a crazy-amazing Kwanzaa, a Hanukkah so happy the minora practically levitates off your windowsill—unless you're Bernie Madoff, and if you are I suggest you lie very low and avoid noshing any food brought to you by your relatives, for it may be kosher but it may also be poisoned. Seriously, Bernie. I'd even nix the Wolferman's muffins this year.

And thank you, yes, I will delight in all that Festivus brings to my me and mine.

Your friend, who truly is grateful—without reservation or irony—to have you as my reader,


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Toy Story: Should Safety Really Come First?


I'm freaking over a new measure that will drastically affect all those cute toymaking people at Etsy or in your local craft fair. See my latest bloglet post:

I just learned that on account of a stringent new safety measure passed by the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), our toy-making friends at Etsy and anyone else who makes fantabulous handmade objects of delight for children may soon be history.

The measure is designed to protect us from the freaky stuff in mass-produced toys, after the recalls on Chinese-made products got the nation into a tizzy over safety.

Like any parent with a titch of common sense, I'm all for the banning of lead and those other un-spellable dangerous compounds. I'm all for asking corporations to show us that their mass-produced toys are safe. But the CPSIA Act mandates that smaller handmade, artisanal-type businesses in Europe, Canada, and the US also roll out new tests and comply with an expensive new regulatory process that will drive most of them out of business.

And for what? It all seems a touch absurd, since we haven't had any problems with Waldorf dolls from Wisconsin, Pinocchio puppets from Prague, or wooden teethers from Winnipeg.

Please go here to read the complete story and add your two cents if you so desire. Seriously, I am so over all this safety hysteria in parenting. I just saw on a mommy noticeboard some dufus mother was worried that a Christmas poinsettia would pose a danger to her infant.

Yes, a Christmas poinsettia is going to kill your tot!

I mean, hey. Maybe she has a point. Maybe we need to get some legislation on Christmas vegetation. What if an infant gummed your wreath before you put it up and got a pine cone lodged in his throat! And maybe we need to extend this legislation to include food baskets. After all, it is entirely possible that your toddler could shove a Harry and David cashew up her nostril.

Shall we take action? Want to join me? Shall we write to Obama and ask him to add poinsettias and Christmas cashews to his list of national threats? LET'S!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Swagilicious! Girls' winter jacket giveaway

This giveaway is now over! And the winner is..."The West Coast Elkies!" WCE, please be in touch with me and I will get you your swagilicious jacket! YAY!

Chilly yet where you are? Here in Crabcity we feel positively tropical compared with the Wyoming freezover of our erstwhile home in Crabtown, but it's still dang cold. I mean, Pacific NW cold: wet, dark, damp, like living in an armpit for about six months of the year. Except it smells better.

So yes, we are cold and grumpy. But thanks to my swell friends at Lands' End, I can kit out the kid in this delightful Girls' Weatherly Jacket, and so can you if you win this giveaway, you luckymommy!

Nothing is more depressing and potentially traumatizing to all concerned than shoving a tot into a massive puff of a winter jacket. Which is why I dig Lands' End's offering. It's warm, but not bulky, but with a temp rating of +5°/-15° Fahrenheit, it will def keep your tot toasty unless you plan to take them on some super-extreme heli-ski adventure during a deadly cold snap (and if you're one of those intensivo Crabtown athleti-moms, I know you will)!

Back to the jacket, check the pic and the stats:
* Nylon shell with DriOff® finish: water beads up and rolls off
* Exclusive PolarThin® insulation in body and hood for warmth without bulk
* Sherpa Fleece lining for cozy softness
* Slightly fitted waist with adjustable tabs in back
* Microfleece-lined handwarmer pockets behind exterior cargo pockets
* Rip-grip adjustable cuffs

Available in a range of sizes from toddler through to big girl. Also available in various of colors, but of course Crabkid's is...can you guess?...Yes! You're right! BUT HOW DID YOU KNOW?!

So put your name in the hat, ladies, and the kind folks at Lands' End will send the lucky winner a freebie. And if you don't win, don't feel crushed. The jackets are on sale right now at $49.50, here, and after ponying up major bucks for all the Patagonias in my past, I can safely say this this is a score. It's slim and trim but warm and snug, keeping your bug in a rug-like vibe without the padding. Double-yay!

Rules: Put your name in the comments. No need to be fancy or witty with the comment itself though I always appreciate it if you are. No anonymous comments, por favor. Or at least, if you're anon, put an email contact in there for me. I will run this giveaway through...heck...Sunday night, Dec 14! At 10 Linkpm I will rouse Crabkid from her slumber and have her pick a random winner.

p.s. Looking for deeper Crabmommy musings today? Don't be disappointed! They're at the bloglet. In the latest installment of The Momocrite Diaries I talk about judging other moms and how I jis' can't help myself...Come judge me for judging you!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Shortest Post in Crabmom History

I know it's wrong.
But I feel sorry for O.J.

There. I said it. I can't help it. I just do. I don't know why.

I know he's a murderer. But I always feel sorry for the wrong people.
Anybody else? Or am I a MONSTER?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Swagilicious! Crabby's fabby loot!

Still looking for Xmas/ Kwanzaa/ Hanukkah/Festivus prezzies for the loved ones? Perchance I can help!

I spent what felt like 100 hours scouring Etsy for my best $20 and under holiday present picks. Etsy truly is the store of my cheapmommy heart, but it takes a discerning Crabacious eye to sift through some of the MONUMENTALLY ugly stuff up there and find you the treasures. But I did it. Because I'm cool like that.

My fave is probably this "girl with hula hoop" stationery, which is personalized by color and name of your choice and is sweet for a girl or a mom. Go to the bloglet for more, and for a discount on the stationery if you order by Dec 15. Click along, then!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Crabmommy Interview! Check it, yo!

CityMommy has just posted a lengthy interview with the Crabmommy, complete with a real and actual and recent shot of me with my chin perched atop my hand.

Here's a sample of this convo:

CityMommy: You blog, you raise Crabkid, you engage in tampon wiener craft activities, you run a do you do it, Crabmommy?

Crabmommy: Let me tell you a little secret, mom to mom: I never recycle. All those hours that the rest of you moms put into wiping and folding tin foil, scrubbing out plastic trays of takeout vindaloo, and rinsing anchovy jars? I just stuff it ALL into the garbage. Every last bit! What a time-saver!
JK, people. JK. I live in the world capital of recycling. If I didn't recycle the eco-fascists (whom I totally dig and am grateful for) would come and yank me out of my blogging chair and put me into the garbage themselves.

The real and honest and not-ironic interview is here, for those of you who just can't get enough of who, why, what, and how much when it comes to Crabmommy. Real and sincere tips on blogging. Completely candid chat about momhood and writing from the crab POV. It's a rare thing.

You could also skip all that and instead sample this utterly hilarious video, brought to me courtesy of my pen-pal, Libba. Watch it again. And again. Even if you got laid off today I guarantee you will laugh. It's that good.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Yes, it's a letter from Gwyneth of Paltrow on her website, GOOP. I dig this bit:

Many of my friends, or friends of friends, have asked me for "my London" so that when someone is traveling here, or lives here but wants some extra info, it is compiled in one place.
Indeedy, I used Thanksgiving weekend to nourish my inner aspect and get all caught up on the Gwynnie website I've had such fun mocking here and here. Sure, talking smack about Gwynnie-pops is akin to shooting fish in a barrel, but as I said before, Gwyneth personally asked me to mock her, and who am I to deny the call of a shalebritay!

Back to GOOP, one big change to the site is that we now no longer have to wait for the Goopy newsletters to come to us; at last when you go to GOOP there is actually content there. And what content it is!

My favorite is the above, which appears under the tab GO, and is the opener to a travel tip piece on London. Or specifically, on Gwyneth's London. For as she said, many people (friends and "friends of friends") who come to London or even those who live here, can now come to the website and conveniently access Gwyneth Gooping off in one place. Which I guess is why she's doing this. I mean, she's definitely not writing this for us, the plebby strangers, as she makes abundantly clear:
The first installment of this three-part newsletter will include restaurant, hotels and pubs. The hotels are on the pricey side, but my GOOP girls are doing some research into some more affordable places which we will personally try before recommending.
Fewking Gwyn's words are swiftly followed by images of a sumptuous palace called the Blakes hotel, "my home away from home in London before I got a flat." A flat. Perhaps most astonishing in this bit about hotel is the phrase "my GOOP girls." GOOP girls! Who are they? We know they will be responsible for sleeping in some pretty un-Gwynnie-worthy beds to prove to Gwynnie that plebby hotels do exist in Londres. What does it take to become a GOOP girl? I wonder. Do you have to be blonde? Do you have to be British? How do you get the gig? Does it even really exist? I mean, if Gwynnie seriously gave a rat's bum about providing affordable accommodation tips on her trippy website, wouldn't she have found some before she shared this nugget of a so-called newsletter with the general public?

These and other mysteries we shall continue to ponder in what will now become a regular series chez Crabmommy: the GOOP Off! Stay tuned. And thanks to my friend Justin for customizing these GOOP-inspired buttons for my website.
You'll see a lot more of those in future Crabmommy dispatches. ...And hey! Gwyneth, if you're reading this, you GOOP, girl! You really do.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Crabmommy revealed! In her school uniform!

*If you're here to enter the TEDDE giveaway, by all means do! Go here and put your name in the comments. This giveaway closes on Monday, November 24 at 10 PM PST.*

I've never wanted to show my face to you. I always swore I wouldn't flash my fabulous self at you, dear readers, and would instead let my words do the talking. But you can't hide from your fans forever. Sooner or later you have to let them lay eyes upon your visage. And it is for this reason and one other that I reveal myself to you today:Yes, that is me. Maybe fourth grade or so. I continue to maintain fancy bangs. Sadly, that gorgeous frock I'm in is no longer in my wardrobe. For it was my school uniform and though I wore it for TWELVE YEARS in my native country of South Africa, where fascism was ALIVE AND WELL for a very long time as we all know, I have sadly divested myself of it, and of its winter counterpart, a similarly hideous affair, designed in 1922, involving choke collar, strange A-line, and, for a few years (until the moms petitioned it away), matching regulation underwear. Which we had to show to the teachers on demand.

Lovely stuff.

So why, then, would I love for Crabkid to have this dress? I would. I'm being dead serious. I think there is much to be gained by forcing children to wear appalling outfits throughout their school years, and no, I'm not being ironic. I'm a big believer in uniforms. The uglier the better. I draw the line at regulation underwear but a ghastly, never-changing frock is a great thing as far as the Crabmommy is concerned.

To find out why the Crabmommy would wish to foist something this hideous on her one and only and precious and beautiful bairn, please click on this magical link which through the wizardry of modern science will fling you through cyberspace and to a bloglet that will make all clear to you. And as if you need further enticement, let me just say that I saved the better photograph for this page. Same uniform, different hair. Two words: even worse. Two words: acorn cap. Two words: Pontius Pilate. Two words: Julius Caesar.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Swagilicious: TEDDE giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is Elizabeth Stark. Yay! Elizabeth, I will be contacting you!

Let's give the Mormons and exploding pythons a day of reprieve, shall we?
Oh, wait! That's what you're here for? You're a Mormon who wants to give me what-for over my last post, or a gay person who wants to give me some props for my pro-homo work? By all means, go here. the rest of us, however, shall go to a nice weekend giveaway because it's a recession, and free stuff is good stuff, especially when it's good stuff. And hell, we could all use something cuddly right now.

On the subject of cuddly, I've got a teddy for you. I mean, a Tedde. Because the teddy I am talking about comes from Tedde, and these people make alterna-teddies for the modern child. As many of you know, I don't like PRs approaching me with stuff that makes no sense to me or is something my readers wouldn't like, or has anything to do with educational toys. But I do like it when people offer me something I can actually use, or when they offer me something adorable made by human hands.

Now, people, just so you know: I do not require my giveaway sponsors to send me samples of their swag, especially if it is handmade. If it is lovely-looking on the web that tends to suffice for me when it comes to the free stuff. But when these delightful vendors simply INSIST on sending me something, I cannot say I turn away Eric, the mailman, with his package, wondering who Crabmommy is and what the hell I do at my casa.

So I did not decline the sample Tedde that came in the mail for Crabtot. And I want you to know that said sample: he was big and he was ugly and Crabtot adored him instantly and transported him off to a new home she made for him out of a wine box. Ugly in a good way. Because Teddes are sort of the Ugly Doll version of teddies. They are irresistibly not-perfect, with a certain squashy homeliness that can only come from being lovingly handmade. Check out the site, here.

And today, for one lucky reader, we offer a free Tedde, this guy:.Is he not frumpily scrumpacious? Teddes are hand-crafted, sometimes hand-painted, and employ super-sweet techniques like embroidery, hand-stitching, knitting, crocheting and felting … no one Tedde is completely identical to another. Sure, you can get a bear stuffed by a machine, fresh off an assembly line, along with a bunch of others that look exactly like it. Teddes, on the other hand, are intentionally created with individual expressions and personality differences.

So put your name in the comments and Crabkid will randomly select a Tedde winner by Monday 10pm PST. Also, please visit our gracious sponsor and think of these hard-working human hands when it comes to selecting your one-of-a-kind holiday gifts. These craftastic peeps are my idea of recession-fabulous, supporting themselves with their nifty stitching talents. O, come let us adore them! I already do. And might I add that there is also a more conventional-but-still-original ted on their site that will please those of you needing something slightly less wacked out for your tot.

So, the giveaway: No need to be fancy in your comments. Just say that you want in on the Tedde and your name is in the hat. No anonymous comments please (or if you choose to sign is as anonymous, pls leave an email contact).

p.s. please stop by the bloglet for "Crocking Out", an encore of my crock pot love confession. Also next week I will be telling you about the craziest turducken in the global history of turducken, and I will be following that up with an astonishing surprise for all readers of this blog: two words: 80s, photo).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dear Mormons

What do Mormons and gays have in common with exploding burmese pythons? Why, for that you must read on!

There were two noteworthy headlines in the paper this past week: "Mormons Tipped the Scales in Ban on Proposition 8". According to the New York Times, Mormons raised $5 million in a matter of days, right before the measure to outlaw gay marriage in California, thereby tipping the scales and defeating those sexual deviants by a hair!

In an equally explosive national moment, a Burmese python in Florida recently ingested an alligator, and then blew up. Biologists suspect the alligator may have chewed the python's stomach from the inside, causing it to burst.

So I don't want to rehash tired explanations for why gay people should have the same legal right as the rest of us. I don't want to remind the Mormons that church and state are meant to be separate in our country and that it serves them well that this is so. I don't want to remind the Mormons that not so long ago (and currently, in certain Fundamentalist polygamist quarters) they had a pretty funky take on marriage themselves, so it seems a bit rich to be getting so peppery over a union involving two people who just want a decent tax break and a committed monogamous partnership. I don't want to irk my Mormon readers by once again making fun of Mountain Dew, invoking the name of John Krakauer, and otherwise being saucy. I mean, I wouldn't want to seem intolerant. Because, you know, we all have our rights—as everyone reminds me whenever I get cheeky about theirs.

Except that some of us still don't have those rights. And the thing of it is, Mormons and everyone else against gay marriage, you are not going to win this war for long. Sooner or later when you try to swallow the alligator it will be too big and too aggressive and you will damage yourselves instead.

So, why not be smart and skip to the punch line? Let gay people get married. Letting them get married doesn't have to reflect on your own marriages, Mormons, just as Warren Jeffs and his child bride unions don't represent mainstream Mormon marriage—a point you are understandably eager to reiterate whenever the subject comes up. Saying yes to gay marriage doesn't make you deviant and queer and gay and stuff. Unless you're already gay and are just hiding it in your heterosexual church-ordained union. As one gay protester said, "We can't all marry Liza Minelli." The point is, you don't have to believe in gay marriage any more than I as an atheist believe in the angel of Moroni. Nor do you have to like it. But as Americans in search of tolerance yourselves, you have more in common with these other Americans than you think. "Momo" and "homo": see? You even rhyme with each other!

The bottom line, Mormon church, is that you're fighting a losing battle because California will eventually sanction gay marriage, and one day your children and/or their children will see nothing wrong with giving legal rights to all members of our society because my children and their children will be at school with yours. So, why not be pragmatic? Be the Christians who don't have to blow up over this issue. Be nice to the alligator, for he shall rise from the swamp again. And as we all know, it's never smart to bite off more than you can chew. Linkp.s. On a chirpier note, go to the bloglet today for incredibly swanky and festive and cheap-ass Thanksgiving delights. It's recession-fabulous! (Gwyneth Paltrow, take note: if GOOP sourced me a set of letter-pressed funkalicious Thanksgiving place cards for $3, I'd be digging you too.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dear Gwyneth, It is I: Your Sensitivity Chip

Dear Gwyneth,

If this letter ever finds you please know that I am looking for you. Yes, I know it's odd to receive a letter from me, but as I am missing, and would very much like to be found, I'm reaching out and doing something very unconventional—sending you a letter on the internet. It seems everyone is on the internet these days—even you! So maybe you will find me! But until you do, I remain lost, and holy mackerel, so are you!

Maybe you will recognize me when you see me again, maybe not. But it would be a very good thing for you and all of motherhood and womanhood at large if we were reunited. You see if you had me with you wouldn't be getting yourself into all this GOOPy muck. You wouldn't have tossy plebs like Crabmommy fulminating all over you and calling you a trollope on her bloglet for rubbing her nose in your beautifully nourished couture-clad life.

Gwyn, you have always come off as a bit of a snit. But now that you've decided to be a slut for celebri-smugness, I feel ever more compelled to find you and plaster myself to you and never let you go. Now, naturally I know you are very posh, and jolly well-dressed and classy and refined, and you can't help that, but a lot of people also think you're a twit and some of that is entirely your fault.

Hey, have you noticed I'm using all these British words to describe you? Mackerel. Posh. Twit. Jolly. That's because you live in the UK and I know that makes you quite British and all like your BFF, Madge, and you gals play tiddly-winks in your parlors and so forth in a decidedly English manner. And I'm cool with that and so I am speaking to you in your own vernacular and appealing to your British sense of restraint and to what I thought was your natural good taste. Come on, who didn't enjoy The Talented Mr. Ripley? You were so great in it! I mean, so super! But ever since you started smearing your beautiful life in the haggard economy-ravaged serf-y faces of the world's women via your GOOPy newsletters and your Oprah workouts and whatnot, you're starting to seem a bit ugly.

Seriously, it's bad enough that you send newsletters discussing the important and rigorously edifying art shows you attend, as well as delivering recipes (no doubt for lobster with peasant-echalotte sauce or some barney inflected by your drunken bashes with best bud Batali)—dispensing said recipes like crumbs from your hand-hewn Nakashima-designed one-off table—but now you've got us all in a tizzy over astonishing spreads of you dispensing fashion advice and demonstrating the pieces of your wardrobe that best suit your rampantly perfected bodaciousness, and reminding all the gals out there to save up for a Chanel dress because it never goes out of style.

But Gwynnie-pops, the thing about "nourishing your inner aspect" is that when it's really nourished it all stays in there. It doesn't get out for all the world to see, all the world to envy, and all the blogworld to parody.

So please, take my advice: stop telling everyone about having the cleaning staff clean out your spaces while you travel to the Costa Brava in your Balenciaga flip-flops to BUY, GET, BE, LOVE, DO. By all means eat clams like the natives and with the natives to illustrate that while you are above the natives you can still get down with the natives in a natural and native way! By all means go to ponce-y art shows with Madonna where the two of you actually understand and converse in the language of the signifier and the signified, because you are high-low and all shades in between of sophistication! Do it! Of course you should. Everyone would if they could. And by all means think really important and humbling thoughts in the apple orchards of your country house in the Hamptons. For goodness' sake, you absolutely must. Just, you know, have a little mercy, my poppet, and zip your pretty little Estee Laudered lip. At least until the recession is over in a decade or three.

You think you want to help others, but I know I can help you, so keep your eye out for me.

With best regards,
Your sensitivity chip

p.s. stupid, yes. But I'm feeling stupid. And hey! Look out for my new Crabmommy web design. Its going to have all these GOOPy buttons: PANIC. WORRY. FRET. COMPLAIN. ARGUE. DISS.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Grammarmama Takes Umbrage!

Pompous though it may sound, there are pitfalls to having one's commercial blog gig syndicated by Yahoo. Far be it from me to bite the hand that feeds me, but there are moments here at the Crabmanor when I sit in my purple blogging robe, stare at the screen, and wonder how much farther I can plunge myself into the rank armpit of mass culture.

One doesn't expect major brain power to be drawn to a blog about motherhood appearing at a Yahoo women's channel called Shine, for God's sake (and this is where my Cookie bloglet is now syndicated), but when I read the comments my posts elicit, I am almost impressed by how low it can go. Witness the sort of thing that accompanied my admittedly ho-hum post about that tiny living Nepal goddess:

This is there culture and what they believe. But if this was done in America it would be called child abuse. I won't pretend to understand this, this is a three year old child who will tossed away when she starts to menastrate.
Good point, "Necee"! Indeed, we can all feel sorry for a menastrating three year old.

To be sure there are some perfectly smart responses in the mire at Yahoo (and many of them come out when you least want anyone to actually think about the drivel you've written), but a fair number of these comments are quite spectacularly atrocious. And MANY APPEAR IN CAPS:
Or just in plain lowercase, caps be damned:
thats weird i just told my five year old mommys got a baby in the belly and his first responce was "how?" i wasnt ready for that. lol, but hes happy, he wants a little brother.
I know it's just an online forum and all, but I can't help the fact that I have elitist tendencies that no amount of shock therapy has been able to erase.

I am also amazed by the avatars people choose for themselves in these settings. Indeed, the online handles are often utterly Byzantine and involve long series of numbers and misspelled nicknaming: MommakityAngelcakes567498. Okay, so I made that one up, but you get the picture. It's also hard for people to stick to the point sometimes. You write about mommy manners, or lack thereof, and you get this:
I appreciate your topic. This very nice to say. Do you like hot black singles? Manys peoples finding love on thes site. I hear Mariah Carey is going there.
Anyhoo, things have definitely improved over at the Yahoo comments of late, and there are certainly more appropriately directed readers coming over to the Crabmom...but I remain enchanted by the peculiarly, spectacularly warped sentences sprinkled into the mix. Thankfully I am very popular at Yahoo. Here's what one unfortunately quite articulate reader had to say about me after I admitted to—gasp!—not being able to recognize my baby in the baby nursery:
Seriously? you shouldn't be breeding; poorly written, poorly thought out, arrogant, narcissistic, whining b.s. all rolled into one-seriously, the saddest part is not that you're so unworthy of praise for your writing and parenting, it's that you've diluted the gene pool of our species even further by sad. time to tie those tubes up, for the sake of humanity.
If you're so inclined, please go over to the bloglet today for more "narcissistic, whining b.s.": Only this time it isn't from me; it's from Gwyneth Paltrow. And, yes, Crabmommy tries to avoid writing about shalebritays, but I'm afraid the slender golden Paltrow begged me to, and even I can't resist a begging shalebritay. Last, for those of you asking what's become of my commitment to banishing my postpartum tummy flub, also known as the mom-flap? Read about my harder-than-sushi-knives abs right here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Blogger Bailout Plan?

Dear Federal Government,

Now that you have been Baracked I know that you are going to totally rock at saving this economy. Or at least, you're going to do a way better job at attempting to save it than Jenna's father's crowd. I don't doubt that this is an entirely sucky way to start off the new administration, and I am sure it's way hard to figure out who to help and who to diss when it comes to bailing out the various industries in peril. In this regard I just want to put a little plug in for a sector or two that you might otherwise miss when it comes to selecting candidates for white-collar handouts.

Since you guys are considering propping up Ford with a few billions and are pumping all those other billions into the banks and mortgage lenders (and probably even bloody Abercrombie & Fitch 'yo), I want to make a case for two sectors that are very near and dear to my heart, are seriously imperiled, wouldn't cost you a whole bunch to help, and have done nothing greedy/ immoral/risky/stupid to bring any of this misery on themselves.

The first is the blogging sector. I know that Bush probably doesn't know what a blog is and McCain definitely had never heard of blogs which is part of why he completely ate dirt on election night. Barack, however, not only knows about bloggers but has been boosted by them and supported by them and basically, we all know the internet has done a whole bunch to bring about change. Just look at Crabmommy, herself normally so utterly incapable of doing anything to promote anything or anyone whatsoever. Government, I was MOVED to add my two cents to the Obama campaign and I pushed the agenda as earnestly and constructively as I knew how—by making fun of people in a petty manner! Did I not mock Sara Palin's breast pump rhetoric in a most inflammatory and traffic-inciting way? Did I not try to get the mom vote for Barack by appealing to something moms feel strongly about (baby names)? Did I not write a personal letter to Bristol's baby daddy, referencing his lookalike—my ex-boyfriend who went crazy, smoked truckloads of pot, drew compulsive pictures of horses, and became a still-photogenic racist? (Okay, so maybe that's a tad beside the point, but.)

Government, the point I am making is that we bloggers have been blogging our blog fingers off to promote a new order in the universe but now we need your help. Barack gets it, I think, and I am heartened to see that he has even placed Google CEO Eric Schmidt on his panel of economic advisers. And Google is in fact the host of this blog, and of all Blogger blogs. See? We're all on the same team. That is, until many of us are forced off the team.

Sadly, Crabmommy does not know how long I can remain on this team and I am sure there are many others in my shoes. You see, blogging takes up a wee bit of time and it is a labor of love, also known as non-revenue-producing. Also known as a terrible habit that generates little to no money for the vast majority of us. And in order to waste our potentially revenue-earning hours on the computer, we depend on other sources for mon-ay. But in my case at least, the revenue is looking decidedly dodgy. The company that hosts my revenue-producing bloglet is getting Condé Nasty on itself, cutting staff, salaries, and whatnots across the board. And then there is the small matter of my husband's job, which is a big part of my ability to write piffle and swiffle on this blog whenever I so choose. As an architect, Crabhubby is deeply and woefully embedded in that scary thing called the building sector. Big layoffs are happening at his firm and everyone else's in our city. All of which leads me to ask you, Government, to consider boosting the two professions that comprise the Crabfamily's channels for rustling up shekels. But it's not just about us. I want you to know that by helping us you'd be promoting things you care about deeply; namely change and productivity. Here's how:

A BESP (Bloggers' Economic Stimulus Package) would help the laid-off nation find things to do with its free time. Instead of a) attacking employed strangers on the street, b) mugging homeless people for drinking money or c) lying on the couch and crying into their Cracker Jack, the nation's jobless could be at their computers reading piffle, swiffle, and generally feeling edutained, which is good for morale, an essential component of human productivity. I think a slender $30 mill would help enormously in this regard and could easily be divvied up among those whose blogs do not focus on the amusing antics of the family cat, the importance of Christian homeschooling, or the lives of celebrities. I would be more than willing to offer myself up as judge for disbursing the BESP budget; serving my country as a blogger is important to me, so please do not hesitate to call me in when it comes to the process of assigning checks to the most deserving.

An AESP (Architects' Economic Stimulus Package) is a little harder to sell. When no one is building there is little point in keeping architects at their jobs. But may I just say that many of these dang architects like Crabhubby are good and long-suffering and civic-minded people who have studied long and hard but don't earn much, and many have not in fact contributed to the rash of building projects that can be tied to greed and mismanaged mortgage products. Like the peeps at my hubby's workplace, who are building libraries and schools and stuff. But they can't do that when they're all getting shafted. And so, I entreat you to prop them up. If they don't have any work, let's at least pay them something to sit around making houses out of Eames cards. Look, just take it from me: you don't want these people at home. You want them all in one building together, contained, micro-adjusting the lighting, reorganizing their hair-thin pens, and speaking passive-aggressively to one another.

Seriously, Government, bloggers and architects are major casualties of what is happening right now. But no one talks of helping them. We are hard workers. We are educated. We didn't sell anyone anything they shouldn't have bought, and we are really, really good at living on a budget. So what do you say to tossing just a few mill our way?

Don't answer immediately, dear economic advisers to Obama. Mull it over. Hang out and chat about the matter over asiago bagels in the conference room, or whatever. Just, please, entertain the notion of "change" as it pertains to selecting sectors of American industry that need—and dare I say it—actually deserve, a boost.


Anyone else want to plug their biz?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


"Even though Crabmommy is a US citizen (though raised in South Africa), I didn't vote in this election. Being a busy mom, I just forgot, until it was too late. And now I'm feeling as guilty as all get-out..."

To read on, go to the bloglet.

*Disclaimer: the opening line of this post may or may not be misleading.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


During such tense times I find myself riveted to the news, unable to stop myself from reading the very latest breaking they pertain to John Hodgman and his new book. With his offering aptly titled More Information Than You Require, the American comic helps me feel secure in an insecure epoch, because I know that if I buy this book I can rest assured in the knowledge that I will have more knowledge than I require.

See John Hodgman on BoingBoing TV discussing knowledge and its dissemination below, in the link that I just embedded (and very clever of me if I may say so! Go Techmommy!). And if the clip is too long for you and you feel you are not sufficiently enlightened or amused, skip ahead to just past 2 mins 30 for his unforgettable rendition of the "Happy Birthday" song.

I had such a chuckle. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Grammarmama: Get Your Preposition On!

It's been a while since I began Grammarmama, intended to be a mini-series to help you help yourself speak gooder by teaching your tyke how to talk proper. I know I've been sluggish in following my lay/lie post, but prepositions have brought me back.

I'm a tad sensitive to prepositions, a touch tweaked by them when they aren't used correctly. They are small but they can hurt; a little splinter in the sentence if you will.

And no, I'm not talking about stuffy grammar rules requiring people to murder their own tongues in order to avoid ending sentences with a preposition, e.g., "Crabkid, this behavior is the sort up which I shall not put," to borrow from Winnie Churchill. I'm not some fuddy-duddy pedant. I can be sententious. When I'm not using words like "sententious." Meaning this grammarmama has no beef with easy talking and writing. But some things, prepositionally speaking, do grate, like the following exchange, at bath time:

Mom: "Why did you just pour [a giant pitcher of] water onto the bathroom floor?"
Crabkid: "I did it on accident."
Mom: "By accident."
Crabkid: "By accident. I just poured it on accident."

Now "different from" and "different to" is something one can actively convo about, but "on accident" just plum don't exist, people. And so when Crabkid does these sorts of things she gets away with other things, like pouring water directly onto the bathroom floor, because I just can't get past the prepositional offense.

On the same token, there's something else that really gets me all kinds of unreasonably peppery when I hear it. Almost got you there, didn't I? On the same token! Sneaky Crabmommy! It's by the same token. NPR, are you listening? I hear you on your token all the time, but you're actually off it by two letters. Speaking of NPR, Terry Gross, can you please stop saying "you-man" when you mean "human"? It gets me all twitchy-like beneath my seatbelt.

If there's one thing I will teach my daughter it's what really counts and by God, if she ever falls in love with a youman who says "on the same token" I will just have to dispense with creature, whoever s/he is and I will do so by telling him/her all kinds of embarrassing claptrap real and invented about my child and our family. And if that doesn't work I will behave as crabaciously and ridiculously as possible, which is astonishingly easy for me, thereby sending the young grammatically challenged suitor far from the fold.

When Crabkid asks me why I did it, why I shunned her true love through my appalling behavior, I will feign total surprise! "I'm so sorry I ruined your relationship, darling! I did it on accident."

*Related segue: As a South African who came to the USA in my early twenties I have had to grapple with and learn to understand what appear to be American prepositional faux pas if you are coming from the outside in. For example, Americans love to double up on preps: "off of the train"; "outside of the house." And they like to add a prep where none is needed: "Listen up!" And yet, Americans can be mysteriously economical in their use of articles: "Get in back of the car" sounds quite odd to those of us used to "in the back of."

All that said, squashing snobbery in language is a good thing and I am a strong believer of the "When in Rome" approach to English, if and only if it doesn't contradict a fundamental grammar rule of American English. Not sure how many people really know this, but there are, in fact, numerous differences between American and Commonwealth English that extend far beyond the dropping of the "u" in "colour"; for example, American punctuation is significantly different from British punctuation and as a writer and editor and teacher I have had to learn those diffs dang well. So, you won't catch me living in the US but consulting the Oxford dictionary to orientate myself properly in this heathen land. I am happy to orient myself with Webster's, just so long as nobody asks me to get my token on.

Got any grammar beefs for me?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Let's Face It

Word to the PRs who contact me to hock new products: never send me a promo email starting with "Let's face it, times are tough." And then go into some spiel about why it is that I should get behind your new Mommy Calendar website to facilitate my multi-tasking mommy life or whatevs.

Times are tough? Says who? Personally, I spend my days--once Crabkid is dispatched to preschool--lying on the floor in my purple blogging robe, masticating large handfuls of the licorice candy Good 'n Plenty while playing Mine Hunt on my ancient Palm Pilot. Speaking of Palm Pilots, PRs, can you get me an iPhone? Heck, even a Blackberry would be be a step up from my ancient Palm Pilot. Bristol Palin's soulmate Levi Johnston has one, and I wrote about it, so right there you can see intelligent product placement if you've got a spot of intelligence yourself.

PRs and random stuff-hockers: it would also help if you could tell the diffs between a blog and a concrete, physical locale. So when you offer some sort of peculiar mommy-centric faxing services to the "guests" of my "hotel" you've rather missed the mark as far as my venue is concerned.

And now let us come to the pesky recurring matter of educational products for children. For those of you with websites promoting educational toys, where on Crabmommy did you ever see mention of educational playtime? Oh, wait, was it here? Or maybe here? If you know and like my blog as you say you do, you'll know that edutainment and Crabmommy do not mix.

Ditto if you have a product that just plum don't make sense. I hate to call out individuals but I gotta give the award on this one to a company called Emotes who emailed me to promote their new product. Emotes are "cyber-beings with human-like emotions" that live inside the internet in the land of Emotia (this is all intoned in flat robot voice on their website). Robots teaching children about their feelings? Crab. Mommy. Does. Not. Get. It. (intoned in robot voice)

Don't know about the rest of you bloggy people, but I prefer the emails that offer me stuff I really can get behind. I have my readers to think of and authenticity and consistency are key for them. They don't go to Crabmommy looking for an endorsement of your new digital Time Out station or a flashcard game that teaches children how to make good choices. They come to me looking for zero edification whatsoever. And maybe for a Dollar store pregnancy test or two.

So, send me your special soaps for washing out kiddie potty mouths. Send me your cruel-to-be-kind portable child prison. Fine, call it something cute like "Safe Station." Just make sure it has a lock and soundproofing. Send me cookbooks for my crockpot. Better yet, send me a crockpot. I think my "high" setting is still too low. Send me vacations. I can get behind those. Even if it's a timeshare in a subdivision in El Paso. If there's a pool and you can score me some JetBlue passes, I'm yours because staycations are even worse than the word "staycation" itself.

Send me art supplies. Lots. I loathe cracking out the shekels for that stuff. Send me tampons for making wiener dogs. And another tip: if you claim to love my blog and know me like the back of your hand, spell my name right. Crabmommy: one word, not two. In summary, dear random hockers who blast my inbox frequently, here's the most important thing you can do for both of us: First see if product placement is remotely likely before you get in touch with the mommyblogger. It's PR 101, no? I know I'm not the first to talk about this (I remember Queen of Spain doing a good rant about this once), and I am surely not the last. If you come here, offer me something that makes sense, something I would actually dig.

Like lip balm. I can talk about lip balm until the end of my days. Indeed, when I am on my deathbed and the family leans in for last loving words, I will likely be croaking about my favorite lip balm (currently, that's Bigelow). I also really, really like sunblock and can get very, very involved in any discussions of sunblock, utilizing such fancy words such as "helioplex" and "broad spectrum." And I like well-designed, useful things for children and parents. Such as cashmere onesies for the entire family.

If you're in doubt, here's something I can place any time of the year: send me money. It's worked remarkably well in the past and Crabmommy is likely to be captivated by it in the future and will heavily endorse it for you--and sincerely too!

Last, to those who email me announcing that I have been selected to be on the blog roll for your new entirely unknown site called MomConnected or MommyIsASuperhero or MomsRockOutSoBigTime or whatever the frock, please understand that while I am incredibly grateful for the rare privilege of a spot on your roster, Crabmommy doesn't have the space to embed your stupid widget into the sidebar of this blog. But thanks anyway! I wish you all good fortune in your venture. It sounds totally awesome!

p.s. Fans of Pippi Longstocking: New post today on "Thing-Finding" at the bloglet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's a Gender Blender?

That was the question Crabkid asked me that this morning en route to school, as a winsome gender-neutral radio voice announced "Gender Blender!" a new show focused on helping gay and bisexual and polysexual and transsexual kids bump up their self-esteem. I thought I was on NPR until I realized I'd switched away from talk radio yesterday during a squabble with Crabkid, and had instead dialed into a local station whose African drumming music had drowned out the back seat back chat wonderfully well.

Returning to the gender blender question: I like to think I'm supremely tolerant and broad-minded but if anything is a yardstick for your truest values, it's parenthood. And while I tell myself I will be quite fine with any gender blending my child might one day be drawn to here in the epicenter of liberalism, the fact is I think I'm really only just capable of surviving lesbianism or bisexuality (the Lindsay Lohan sort please, with lipstick involved) and even then the concept of a lesbian/bisexual daughter gives me a slight vasovagal feeling, which is a cardiological term for feeling faint. If Crabkid starts walking around in a breast-binding shirt, shaves her head and listens to whatever future equivalent there is to Ani di Franco, I'll have to join a support group. And if Crabkid one day wants to be a full-on gender-blended Thomas Beattie, it may be too much for my socialized Victorian ways, ways inculcated in me by growing up South African during the 1980s, which in American years is like being a child in the 1930s. Seriously, in the land where races couldn't even blend, gender blending wasn't even a faint notion on the horizon. There were no gay people ever in South Africa when I lived there, not a single one. And the ones declaring themselves queer now? As far as I'm concerned it's just a phase they'll grow out of. (Cousin Paul, are you listening? SNAP OUT OF IT!)

So...what is it that makes me cool with the concept of a gay male child but uncomfortable with the idea of a lesbian/gender-blending daughter? I understand and relate to homosexuality and bisexuality on a conceptual level and as an atheist have zero religious or otherwise ideological issues with any of it. I can even see how I am just an unevolved human who has not allowed herself to branch out on the great sexual continuum because of my background and upbringing and a certain prudishness that is nothing to be valued.

Still, I'm not digging the possibility of a lezbo daughter even if some of my best friends are lesbians! Yup, we're all tolerant until we're proven hypocrites.

Crabkid, if you're older and you're reading this and you are by some chance gender blending, just remember that Mom loves you no matter what, but she's just a bit hysterical over that macho key chain thing hanging off the back of your flubby man-jeans. She'll get over it, but you have to give the dinosaur time.

Back to this morning, when my 4-year-old asked me "What's a gender blender?" my mind raced ahead to the many uncomfortable questions parents have to face whether they're ready for them or not. But obviously a 4-year-old doesn't need to know that Mom finds the question tricky. What she needed was a simple answer, so I told her the truth, which is to say I told her the first thing that came out of my mouth and that I thought sounded convincing:

"A gender blender is a very special type of coffee machine."

p.s. If you missed it, big competition happening this month with major cashmere involved!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Snowballs! Cashmere! Free vacay in Montana!

Who wants to go to Montana and spend a week frolicking in the snow without paying a dime?

Who wants to bathe in a sea of cashmere?

Rhetorical questions. Which is my I am giving you the following news bulletin from our friends at Lands' End, who have given to the Crabmommy swagilicious backpacks and other assorted delights for your delectation.

Lands’ End is giving readers a chance to win a family get-together for 7 nights for up to 12 people at
The Resort at Paws Up in Montana! Entries at through noon October 30, 2008. Prizes include:

    • Grand Prize: A get together for 7 nights for up to 12 people at The Resort at Paws Up in Montana, which includes round-trip airfare, meals and four half-day wilderness adventures per person and also includes a new waterproof Windfall outerwear package
    • Second Prize: Cashmere Great Get Together package with Lands’ End’s high-quality cashmere sweaters and scarves for the family
    • Third Prize: Fleece Great Get Together package with cozy fleece jackets and accessories for the family

Now obviously that main prize is heavenly, but me, I almost prefer second prize: cashmere for the whole family! I can already see that family holiday photo with everyone from tots to grandparents decked out in all manner and hue of cashmere from pastel tones of Jordan almond to bolder Lego-toned statements for the men...carefree laughter on everyone's faces as we offer holiday salutations to one and all!!

Seriously, I so wish to bathe my family in cashmere. I am not being remotely ironic. I have often fantasized about living my entire indoor life in a cashmere onesie, with snaps up the front and footie slippers attached. Imagine blogging in that? As opposed, say, to the Crabmommy's standard purple blogging robe.


So how do you win? Go here, enter your details and submit a 300-word essay on your most memorable family get-together, and a photo of the clan yukking it up on vacay.

I am still working on my essay. It's hard for me to remember a truly hands-down Lands-Endy perfecto vacay in which the entire massive clan that is my family cozied up in a fog of goodwill and exemplary behavior all round. Many a memorable vacation do I have in my past, yes, but a lot of them involve combustible scenarios in which sisters fight over bathroom time and my father ends up barking with rage at being surrounded by women. Now, if we were head-to-toe in cashmere it would all be different, wouldn't it? This is the question that may, indeed, become the hook for my essay...

So go here and good luck for the big one but back off my second-place sweaters, k?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's On My Mind

On a more serious note than usual, I just can't stop thinking about the news today, of what I have just tried to digest on the front page of the NYT.

The cruise ship the QE 2 is about to be retired and turned into a floating hotel in Dubai.

Yup, after 40-odd years of transatlantic travel, the Queen Elizabeth 2 just made its 701st, and also its last, appearance in New York City's harbor. And I feel cheated. I always wanted to go on the QE2. It seemed only a matter of time. My grandparents were always going on the QE2! (Okay, maybe just once or something but you know, it's family tradition!) Going on the QE2: I just assumed it would happen, you know? When I retired! On my non-existent 401k.

Now I have to be content with sitting on a stationary QE2 in Dubai and frankly that's not the same thing. For one, where's the British hospitality? It just won't be the same to take my Earl Grey and crumpets from a stewardess in burka.

Bloody bad times indeed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dear Levi Johnston

Dear Levi,

I know the whole world has been telling you this, but it never hurts to hear it again: you really are very cute, which is a good thing for the baby of Bristol Palin since she is herself very cute as is her mother, and all that cuteness will help your kid out when you guys can't deliver in the more cerebral departments.

You also do very cute things. Like when you lost the "promise ring" that, in a twist on tradition, your budding feminist Bristol gave to you, and you decided instead of a ring you'd just tattoo Bristol's name on your ring finger. I know a lot of people who will think that is cute. People like Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee and a bunch of others who dig that whole tattoo-instead-of-ring thing. I myself don't find that very cute, personally, but I can understand how it might be deemed as cute by others and how it will definitely seem refreshingly cute if your mother-in-law makes it to the White House. The tattoo, paired with your dropping out of school to become a rigger or a jigger or whatever it is they call oil people, can be cast in quite a cute light: it's that whole down-home Wasilla in Washington thing.

I really did enjoy reading more about you today over at ABC News. Like, this part:

The soft-spoken teenager discussed his relationship with Palin and how life has changed with fatherhood fast approaching. He agreed to talk despite the presidential campaign's advice in the days following Gov. Sarah Palin's nomination to avoid the media.[...] "They're not telling me anything right now," Johnston said as he checked his Blackberry. "It's pretty chill."

I just love how you check your Blackberry! Levi Johnston is a busy man! Seriously cute. And I love this part too:

Johnston hinted he's expecting a boy, but he declined to discuss baby names.

"I'm looking forward to having him," he said. "I'm going to take him hunting and fishing. He'll be everywhere with me."

I love how you didn't give the gender away. Very artful of you, my cute young friend!

Another reason I probably find you cute is that you remind me of an ex-boyfriend of mine who was terribly cute. I mean, really devastatingly handsome. You can't maybe tell in this mug shot I'm about to show you but trust me, handsome as all get-out, like you, Levi.

Unlike you he actually came from a top-notch blue-bloody family but he went a bit bananas. I remember it as the big tragedy of my early 20s, where I met this lovely cute person whom I thought I could have babies with and then one day he just stopped coming out of his bedroom. His roommate called me and told me he had locked himself into his room with pounds of pot, and was maniacally drawing pictures of horses, which he would slide under the door. The horses were sort of a bad sign I guess, but I was in my 20s so I ignored the sudden equine obsession and continued to throw myself at him in a fog of adoration. Then he went more nutso and druggy. Luckily he was very rich and managed to purchase his own crack den down south. Sadly it all came to an end when he was had up on rape charges. And I know it's bad and all to say but, in spite of the bad lighting in that mug shot (which I Googled) and the drugs that have ravaged him since we were young, I still think my ex looks a little bit cute know, maybe the alleged victim sort of got lucky? I'm sure your mom-in-law would agree with that one!

Anyhoo, I suppose I'm getting a bit off-topic here, Levi, not that you would know about that since you probably didn't get to the whole 5-paragraph essay bit in school. I guess I just wanted you to know that, like a lot of people, I think you are dang cute! And I sincerely wish for your baby that you and Bristol will really resist tradition when it comes to that baby name and just go with something like Jane or William. So that's my advice. And, you know, stay away from the drugs! Because when you're a rigger or a jigger or whatever, there can be temptations! Of the meth-y sort! So just, you know, just say no! If you can't keep your pants on, at least keep your nose clean.

I guess that about sums it up for Crabmommy advice, Levi. All best to you, your bride, and the fruit of your loins...How cute will that baby be? Forget it! I almost can't stand to imagine the level of super-cuteness about to debut. The future for all of us in America may be uncertain, but experts are predicting a landslide of cuteness in that scrumpulicious new Wasillian you've been working on. So, high five on that!

All best,
p.s. Readers: acorns. Do you love acorns? I bloody love acorns.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's All About Me

"That song's about me?" Crabkid asked this morning as we listened to the radio en route to school. I'd switched from Voice of Doom NPR to some oldies thing and the song was "She's My Lady." You know that one:

Well she's all you'd ever want,
She's the kind they'd like to flaunt and take to dinner.
dum di dum di....blahdiblah...She's a winner.
She's a lady. Whoa, whoa, whoa, she's a lady.
"Why's he talking about me?" Crabkid said, all huffy-like in the back.

So I'm wondering if a) she's just a natural narcissist (Gosh! Not my gene pool!), or if b) she's simply relating to the song because her dad used to refer to her as Baby Lady.
She's a lady. Whoa, whoa, whoa. She's a lady.
Talkin' about that little lady, and the lady is mine.
Crabkid grew progressively more annoyed by the song. "Why's he calling me that?" she huffed. "Why's he call me his lady. I'm not his lady." So I'm thinking it's b) above, by this point. But then, the kicker, proving definitively a) over b): "Why isn't he calling me by my name in that song."

In an only weakly related segue...please go here to weigh in on what it's like to be a little girl who really has the world revolving around her. As in the latest newly anointed living Hindu deity. The little tot has to spend a night alone in a room full of goats heads to get the job. Yeah, yeah, cultural relativism and blah-di-blah, but it must really suck to be a goddess.

I beg of you, wade into the mire via the comments button and weigh in. Or just stopp by. Even just clicking for a nanosecond. You see, my Cookie blog job (or as I like to call it, the bloglet) depends on readership. Which means that I depend on you. And this here original unauthorized, steamy, and salacious version of Crabmotherhood and rando-whatnot bloggery also depends on you. Because without you there is no point to any of it. And without Cookie paying me to sit in my robe and call it a job, there can be no waffling on about various claptrap and bloglicious ephemera here at Blogger. And these are tough times, and Cookie's parent company is going to get lean and mean and Conde Nasty on me if I don't drum up some peeps, ai-aight? Do you see the interconnectedness of it all? Do you see how my proverbial back is against the wall, albeit cushioned by several deep inches of plush purple blogging robe?

And also there is incentive for you to read my professional giglet. Oh, yes indeedy! Every one of you who visits my bloglet will receive a check in your bank account! So completely not kidding! I will deposit $56 into your very own PayPal account just for having you read the bloglet. And if you send another person, preferably of the mommy persuasion to my bloglet, I will add another $56 into your PayPal account!

You can't beat that! Just don't forget to drop me a note after you've visited the bloglet, with your full PayPal information contained in said note (including passwords) and my personal banker in Lagos will make an immediate deposit into your account.

Shweesh! I've never linked so much to myself in a single post. My blogging finger is on fire!

Sooooriously...I have a number of most excellent upcoming posts for you here, involving among other things the much-promised and long-delayed return of Grammarmama as well as Randomommy (Notes from the Domestic Frontier). And, for those who subscribe to the Crabmommy Premium Package™, a comprehensive analysis of my school uniform from 1980s South Africa, the country of my birth. That post necessitates the first ever Crabmommy photograph published on this here blog (not including my sulky mug in my banner). If you want to see cultural relativism at its finest, you need look no further than the image I shall soon be presenting to you. Of me in my apartheid-inflected, fascist-inspired school uniform, a getup I wore every single day for 12 years.

Thanking you for your patronage. And how's your 401k doing? Is it doing as well as mine? I haven't lost a dime. Because I never had a dime in there to begin with. Har har har. We laugh, but evidently I have very sound fiscal policies. Matter of fact I might just take that to a mini-series in which I give financial advice on this very blog: Your Two Cents: Ask Crabmommy.

Really, ask me. Ask me anything.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Because Other Moms are Funnier

I think we're all a little tired of me and my Sarah Palin satires. I'm finding myself a smidge dull and obvious at present, so I'm going to send you elsewhere instead. Here are 3 nice linkies to amuse:

1. Blogger Sugar and Snails talks of how she found a velvet Jesus painting at a thrift store...and through the miracle of bribery, managed to wrest the artwork from another shopper. Read it here.

2. See this most excellent entry from blogger Suzanne Broughton's 6th-grade yearbook.

3. If you aren't already watching Season 2 of Motherhoodlum over at Offsprung then shweesh, get on with it already! Readers may remember Emily and Marty from when I first wrote about them here...they "J-vibed" on Jdate, got together, had a baby and now Ems is navigating mommylife...getting kicked out of eco-mommy groups ("Oh my God, she's only two and her carbon footprint is huge!"), inveigling herself into a single-moms group in a desperate bid for sisterhood, almost making out with her sleazy ex-boyfriend in an alley while out taking the baby for a walk, and trying to figure out how to keep the flame between her and Marts. If you haven't seen the show, start here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Palinoscopy: Exclusive Crabmom-Sarah Palin Interview!

I am goshdarn excited to tell you that while Sarah Palin hasn't granted many media interviews she agreed to let me interview her candidly for my motherhood blog, so long as we avoided the topic of motherhood altogether and did not mention baby names even once. Here follows a transcript of that session:

Crabmommy: Ms. Palin, you only got your passport last year. But you have spoken of being able to see Russia from Alaska.

Sarah Palin: It's just right over the border.

C: Does seeing Russia sort of count as having traveled to another country? You know like "I've seen other parts of the world"?

SP: Absolutely, yup, yup.

C: So how do you see Russia—

SP: Well, Crabmommy, you just don't blink!

C: Because if you blink then you can't see it anymore?

SP: Absolutely!

C: If you make it to the White've got your Blackberry, your breast pump, and your nuclear button. How do you know which button to push at 3am?

SP: "All of 'em, any of 'em. You just don't—

C: —blink?

SP: Absolutely.

C: Do you feel qualified to make decisions about your own hairstyles as a VP?

SP: I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me: what is it exactly that the VP does every day?

C: What do you think of the race thus far? How confident are you?

SP: It is a very long race. Iron Dog is the longest race of its kind in the world. But Todd has won four times and as a family we are committed.

C: Seriously, things aren't looking so hot for you guys at the moment. How exactly is your team going to win?

SP: On a snowmobile. Iron Dog is like Iditarod, without the dogs.

C: With regard to dogs, if you had a pit bulls would you put lipstick on them, and if so what color?

SP: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.

C: So you think raped women should pay for their own rape exams?

SP: Absolutely, yup, yup.

C: Do you think raped women sort of brought it on themselves then?

SP: Absolutely, yup, yup.

C: So what do you do if a rapist is coming at you?

SP: I just say "thanks, but no thanks."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If You Are Homeless

It's been serious, sincere, and heavy over at Crabmommy of late. And it's about to get worse. Because as we all know a crisis is afoot. And while I usually traffic in claptrap and whatnot and randomommy trivia, I feel compelled to talk about the current crisis. I cannot ignore the grim realities of day-to-day life in America. And I know you all want to know what I think about what's going down in our country today. And many of you have written to ask me how I'm managing and how my 401K is doing and the answer is very well! I have taken ZERO losses there. Because there was NEVER ANYTHING IN IT TO BEGIN WITH.

Anyway, it's true that we're in trouble right now. And facing tough times. I myself worry every day. About the big stuff. Like how to re-register my car with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

As some of you may recall, I moved recently, away from the rodeos and Polish poolboys of my former resort town in Wyoming...and ever westward to another state where the rain falls freely and the Teva sandals are as abundant as the congenial lesbian dogwalkers and micro-brew-drinking men sporting Devendra Banhart-y folksy facial hair and Maasai earrings.

But this is a state also very interested in one driving a law-abiding smog-checked car. And apparently I have very little time to get my car tested for smog output before I will be sent to a special jail reserved for the most criminal of offenders: those who don't recycle properly and whose SUV's are belching unconscionably into the fine misty air.

So I have been going to our state's website. And reading about emissions checks and re-registering of licence plates and such. And I came upon this incredibly fine and sweet and oddly touching thing that I must share with you. Check out this section at my state DMV website, on proving residence:

All documents submitted must be acceptable to DMV. DMV has the discretion to reject or to require additional evidence to verify your residence address.


Individuals that are homeless may use a descriptive address such as "under the west end of the Burnside Bridge."
Nice to know that if the economy is going to screw Crabhubby, Crabkid, and me out of our rental home (and it actually, jokes aside, might), we are welcome to domicile ourselves under one of Crabcity's bridges, so long as our car burns clean.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Milking It: Manipulating Motherhood on Planet Palin

Seems quite a few women are incensed to see the "sexism" abounding on the net (and here at Crabmommy) when it comes to questioning Sarah Palin's ability to run the White House, should she be so required if McCain kicks the bucket or spontaneously combusts in a fit of his trademark ire.

Many of you agreed with me when I said--saucily, people, as is my wont--that anyone breastfeeding her babe shouldn't have a finger near the nuclear button; others found my post anti-feminist and offensive. I find it hilarious and stupid in equal measure that we are even having a conversation about empowered mothers, women's rights, and shattered glass ceilings when the person in question is totally against women's rights and reveals herself to be quite a questionable mother at best, not to mention a believer that the road to smart women begins with teaching Adam and Eve in school.

Some thoughts:

  • If Sarah Palin were a great VP candidate we would not be talking about motherhood.
  • If Sarah Palin were a great mother we would not be talking about motherhood in the White House because she would not be politicizing her children for her own ambitious ends.
  • If Sarah Palin's camp thinks it's unfair for her attackers to talk about her children and pontificate on her ability to simultaneously be a mother and a VP, then Sarah Palin's camp ought not talk about her newborn, nor parade her knocked-up child on stage for all the world to see in a grand fallacious gesture of "walking the talk" of family values.
The irony, the hypocrisy. It's so funny, it's turned me serious.

In spite of the Palin freak show we continue to engage in absurd conversations in which people say such things as "If Obama had a baby no one would ask him how he planned to juggle it" etc. etc. Similarly, several comments here and elsewhere suggest that if Obama had a young baby then we too should question him on how he would cope. Puh-lease.

Me, I don't ask the same questions of Obama or McCain because neither man has a babe attached to his bosom, nor does he traffic in talk about juggling breastpumps and Blackberrys and "soccer mom" hoo-ha. If either man were the primary caregiver of an infant I might idly question how that kid would get shafted (though it wouldn't play a role in my vote), but that's not the case here, is it?

This convo is so ridiculous in its bending-over-backwards attempts at political correctness. For one, Obama isn't grandstanding about family values while parading his pregnant teen onstage like a circus animal and speaking proudly about stepping up to grandparenthood. Nor would Obama in power ever do anything to reverse a woman's right to choose whether she wants a family at all. Obama is not a mom and he's not running as a Supermom while also attempting to stop moms from making their own decisions about family and career, so I'm not asking him to show me if he can handle being a mom and running the country at the same time.

As for Palin "walking the talk" let's hear some of the talk and then see if she's really "walking" it. On abortion: we all know Palin is pro-life, even if her own daughter were raped, (and on the subject of rape, as we now know Palin thinks raped women should pay for their own rape kits). As for the pro-life/pro-choice question, I believe we are meant to see Palin's Down's baby, the unfortunately named Trig, as the living example of Palin's truly "walking" her own talk. I dare say that's a major insult to anyone with a Down's child: comparing Palin's circumstance with Trig to one in which a person is raped and falls pregnant is offensive beyond all measure, yet that's what's actually between the lines if anyone considers Trig proof of Palin's "walking" her pro-life talk; i.e., that the decision to have her child proves her to be a woman willing to go all the way when it comes to her beliefs on life vs. choice.

I believe that everyone has the right to abort or keep any baby, healthy or not, but I don't believe that Ms. Palin's decision to have her Down's baby is something for which anyone should be congratulating her, much less a signifier of the beautiful courage of the pro-life position; Palin's decision to have her son is her personal choice in a personal and individual case, a case with far more opportunity for a mother's optimism than, say, the case in which a fetus has a disease or a congenital defect that would cause it unbearable suffering and/or certain death were it to be born. A Down's kid may have health complications, but there are, quite obviously, way worse diagnoses than that. And then there's rape, Ms. Palin.

To reiterate, babies are a matter of personal choice in my book--the mother's choice. That Ms. Palin *may* exhibit courage in the matter of choosing to have Trig is irrelevant to me and should be irrelevant in any political campaign. But it's not, for Palin and her team and supporters have mined and distorted this narrative of so-called personal courage in quite the twisted way, when you look at it closely. As for poor naughty knocked up and unfortunately named Bristol, again Palin is not walking her talk because it's not hers to walk: it's Bristol's, whether Mom wields the influence or not. And, to be blunt, this daughter cannot either be touted as an extension of Palin's particular pro-life position because this daughter has not been raped, though apparently if she had been, Mom would still push her to have that baby. Nice!

Whatever happens, America will get what America asks for. And so many Americans right now think Palin is, at the very least, is a woman we should all take great pains to view as capable of both motherhood and governance, because any other stance is sexist and backward and redolent of double standards! Slap on the wrist, Crabmommy, and anyone else who dares to suggest that her particular circumstances as a mother might cloud her ability to run the country.

To the various self-proclaimed feminists who have come over to this blog and declared me and my supporters to be sad disenfranchised victims of patriarchy: keep talking your PC talk and we may all soon become sad disenfranchised victims of GOP patriarchy, only this time disguised in a skirt.

Yet the tedious argument grinds along: whether we dig Palin's issues or not, we ought to respect her right to go for the VP role untainted by pesky sexist questions. After all, party affiliation aside, she's still a role model, right? She's still punching at that glass ceiling while pumping her boob with the other hand! She's still a woman with career and yet devoted to family, juggling furiously and getting it all done! And even if she does have some kinks as a mom, who are we to judge...right? I mean, it's not our business.

From a moral or political perspective I don't care if Palin is a bad mother, which I think she is. Being a bad or good mother or father is a non-issue for me among the issues I do care about when it comes to this vote because I don't particularly care about the candidates' children: I happen to believe the personal lives of politicians have nothing to do with me or my interests. (I also don't give a royal fig who the candidates sleep with; nor do I give a rat's bum whether they're cross-dressers or porno-watchers or wear purple drawstring pants in their spare time.)

I don't care if Palin's a bad mother, or a good mother. But I do care that a woman running as a mother and using her specific family circumstances to further her campaign is not allowed to be criticized as a mother. That's where the double standards come in. If you raise the subject of motherhood in your campaign, Palin, then so can we all. And for my money, you can be any sort of mother you like, just not in my White House (where all that late-night feeding might distract you).