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 www.landsend.com/greatgettogether 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.

THAT PRIZE MUST BE MINE!

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 so...you 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,
Crabmommy
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 House...you'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.

Homelessness

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.