Sunday, November 30, 2008

GOOP Off!

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 un.be.lie.vable. 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:
I THINK THAT IS WONDERFUL WHEN YOU CAN BE HONEST IN ANY ASPECT OF LIFE WE NEED TO BE VERY HONEST WITH OUR CHILDREN ,THEY NEED THAT SOMEONE THEY TRUST AND CAN RELATE TO.
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 reproducing...how 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.

Sincerely,
Crabmommy

Anyone else want to plug their biz?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obamanic!

"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

Hodgmania!

During such tense times I find myself riveted to the news, unable to stop myself from reading the very latest breaking stories...as 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!