Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Lousy Job?

I've been trying to think creatively about work. What jobs really are recession-proof? And more important, what jobs is this writer-mom qualified to go into to pull an income in troubled times? I have some writing work right now (more on that later) but I'm looking for something enduring and hourly, something I can do on a flex sched, 'cause my blogging butt has become extremely used to working on my own time in an ugly robe, looking like crap, and conducting a business life that involves zero co-workers. So what to do? Ladies, I think I've found it.

Nit-picking. Professional nit-picking. That's right; it is a real job. As the Times reports, unsqueamish ladies are making a tidy hourly rate "laboriously picking through people’s hair for lice and nits, or eggs — for a fee, of course."

I am heartened to learn that if you don't mind combine critters off the scalps of other people's tykes, you will find yourself a ready clientele, since "services as a professional nitpicker are more in demand as the tiny pests are showing up on schoolchildren’s heads with continuing regularity."

Since Americans tend to be a tad more freaked by bugs than most, it is only fitting that pro nitpickers have come to be, and as a wannabe-nitpicker I'm hoping even the recession hasn't caused American moms to do their own dirty work in this regard. Crabkid hasn't yet had lice, but I'm sure she will soon enough and I'm equally sure her curls will prove both a cozy home for lice and a challenge to the nitpicker to unsnarl. But it doesn't faze me. I'm not too bugged by little bugs.

What does faze me, though, is the notion of wearing a shower cap while at work. And you'd have to, right? Otherwise the lice would hop onto your scalp as an occupational hazard. Shower caps. Hmm. That's worse than a head lamp, surely. But hey, every job has its cons.

What do you think? Would you send your kid to a nitpicker if you could or would you save the $40 and DIY?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

BPA, B.S.

It's been a while since Ive managed to make fun of GOOP, Gwynnie Paltz' lifestyle schmagazine. Sadly, Gwyn has developed a touch of sensitivity as regards being perceived to be a spoiled, patronizing tit; either that, or she's simply hired a publicist to help squelch the damage. The resulting GOOPy letters are filled with bonhomie towards the plebs and innocent content involving detox regimens that even plebs can afford, or sweet little cookie recipes that can make a mom on unemployment pretend she is Gwynnie for a day.

It's disappointing, from a satirical perspective, to see the vanilla flavor of Gwyn's newsletters. But in a recent eco-fabulous-themed newsletter filed under the subtly themed GET section of GOOP, Gwynnz dissed the BPA bottle, proffering some sort of water bottle called a "KOR hydration vessel" that is made without those terrible toxins. And of course is slender, minimalistically mod and design-y, and costs a pretty penny.

All of which reminded me that I have yet to rant against the BPA b.s. that has filled the mommy airwaves over the years. (So many rants! So little time!) Sure, none of us like to have our wee tots drinking from the noxiously perfumed plastic water bottles that come with their Hello Kitty lunchboxes direct from Guangdong, China. I too have bought into the pricey SIGG bottle scene. But equally, new info shows it won't kill our little muffins to drink out of something aside from a (very pricey) SIGG water bottle, or schmantzy baby bottle, for those of you with infants. As a mother who has newly invested in a $22 SIGG water bottle for Crabkid's summer camp, only to have the dang thing go missing in a week, it is heartening for me to learn that this whole BPA brouhaha is just a storm in a teacup.

Or at least, from one perspective.

Read this and also, this, a far chunkier essay. Both links came to me courtesy of George Mason University's STATS, a marvelous entity devoted to dispelling spurious scientific claims. Of course anyone speaking out against the BPA freakout gets an onslaught of attack, so the author of the second article has also written up a quite interesting Q&A.

And on the subject of junk science and the culture of parental fearmongering, I was most impressed by this breathtaking piece by Shannon Des Rochas Rosa at BlogHer, on autism cults. This comes from someone who experienced it from the inside. It's great to see more moms speaking out against cult websites like Generation Rescue, who profess to doing good but do so much harm. Vaccinate your children, you bunch of crazy culties.

Rant over. The monkey bars call (or rather, a certain someone is calling for Mom to take her to them).

This is the part where I ask you what you think of non-vaccinating or BPAs....but it's actually unnecessary b/c of course if you have a strong opinion, you will share it with me in the comments, as well you should, my lovelies!