Friday, July 28, 2006

My Son the Feminist

One of the bloggers I read regularly calls herself Redneck Mother. Now, I don't know what her definition of redneck is, but she definitely doesn't line up with my definition of redneck, which would be mostly unflattering with the occasional Jeff Foxworthy joke thrown in for balance. She's one of my favorite progressive Texans, and I'm not just saying that because I covet her rooftop PV system either. Anyway, she does this thing on Fridays where she brags about her kids. Now, normally I'm not much of a braggart because I think my kids are fairly ordinary (Stop laughing! I'm going somewhere with this!) overall, hitting most of the normal milestones in a fairly average fashion. But occasionally one of them will do or say something truly astounding. Which, of course, is the only reason I really have a blog, to help me remember these flashes of brilliance from my progeny.

Okay, so now that proper credit has been given, I'm sure you are all wondering what evidence I have that my son has turned into a hell on wheels feminist. I submit for your approval the following conversational snippet:

Setting: Kitchen Table, Mom & Ebo perusing the Sunday paper

Ebo points to a target ad: Gah! I hate those kinds of shoes!

I remained silent, briefly pondering the rather conservative pumps he was jabbing his finger at disapprovingly. Had he, perhaps, acquired Yo's foot fetish? Despising all shoes that actually conceal the toes he so adores? Bowing at the altar of the strappy sandal in all their faux-feet-in-bondage fantasy fodder? My horrific worst case scenario was abruptly (and mercifully) halted by the continued jabbing of Ebo's finger.

Ebo: Those shoes! Those shoes there? You see those shoes?

Mom: Yes.

Ebo: I hate them and all shoes like them!

Sensing that things might turn blog worthy, I decided to milk it for all it's worth by asking the most obvious leading question I could think of
Mom: Really? How come?

Ebo: They are BAD! They are REALLY bad! These shoes do so much damage! They're bad for your feet! And they're painful! Did you know that these shoes can actually throw off the CURVATURE of your SPINE...and cause FOOT PROBLEMS! Plus they just look uncomfortable! (His face morfs into his most withering sneer.)

This is going well! I decide to play devil's advocate just to see where else it goes.
Mom: Well...I don't know, these wedgies are kind of cute and they're not so bad, they give you more support!

Ebo: NO! They are ALL bad! God, I just hate it when I see women wearing heels! I just want to tell them to stop, you don't have to do this! Why would anyone buy something that causes them PAIN! God, it's like foot binding! They ought to be illegal! (He actually carried on like this for some time, I really can't even do this rant justice, I don't know why I try! I'm pretty sure the laws of physics got mentioned at some point.)

He pauses for breath.

Mom: Well, that's true, they are pretty bad. Some people just don't mind suffering for fashion I guess.

Ebo: See, that's just stupid. That is just, beyond stupid! I think women should wear shoes that make them comfortable. These shoes do NOT look comfortable. Like those shoes you bought the other day! (He said accusingly and sounding more then a little disgusted.) I could not believe you bought those shoes! You can barely walk in them!

Mom: (A little sheepishly, wondering geez, how did he get to be such a feminazi when I'm so lousy at it?) Well, I know, it wasn't what I was looking for. I just needed something quick to wear to the wedding, I didn't really have time to look, I just grabbed something and it wasn't really what I was looking for...

Ebo: I just hate to see you looking so uncomfortable, Mom. Women should be comfortable.

Trying not to gush with pride, I recover my inner snark.
Mom: Well that's a very enlightened attitude son, but don't worry, I won't be wearing them very often. Just once in awhile, for dad... and you can take comfort in the fact that I won't be standing in them for very long.

Ebo: Thank you, I did not need that image in my head. But at least you guys love each other, that's good.

Mom: Well I'm glad we've had this little talk, I had no idea you felt that way about high heels!

Ebo: (directing his withering sneer towards me) Well, duh?! You raised me to be a feminist, what were you expecting?

At some point in time I might like to thoroughly deconstruct this conversation. I'd like to ramble on ad nauseum, telling how I've tried to raise my son with feminist values, how I've always tried to be a "good enough" parent, how I've worried that I was failing miserably; covering up my apprehension with the toss off at attempted humor "The jury's still out on my parenting skills!" But today, I just want to leave it right here, in this space, at this time. I just want to freeze this moment so I can replay it again and again and again. I want to shout it from the rooftops! My son is a feminist! He gets it! He really gets it! WOOHOO!!!

Damn, he makes me proud!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Summer Vacation 2006, Part Two
The Quest for Poutine

In the last (only) installment of our obligatory summer vacation essay, we found our sunburnt and mosquito bitten travelers on the verge of uproar and dangerously close to mutiny.

Ebo: But, but, that’s tomorrow already! If were leaving tomorrow, are we going out to eat tonight?

Beth: Out to eat, what are you talking about? TG has plenty of food here…

Ebo: But we must have POUTINE!

Beth: Oh, right, the Pooh Teeeen… (makes gagging motion.)

Yo pipes in: Yeah! That’s the only reason I agreed to come on this vacation was because you promised Poutine!

(Oh please, you know damn well it’s because I promised him he could get more Glenfidditch at the Duty Free store!)

But it was settled, pile we did into the Highlander Hybrid, all 5 of us and set off for the illustrious Pine Valley, home of the Pine Valley Poutine Appreciation Society and the best waiter EVER! Mr. Matt!
Why, you may ask, is Mr. Matt the best waiter ever? I'll tell you, we have not been here since December and yet when Yo ordered Liver and Onions with a side of Poutine (Ugh! There goes that gag reflex again.) Matt looked at him and said, "I think you ordered that last time you were here!" Which, in fact, he had. But only the best waiter in the world would remember that over 6 months later.
Pine Valley Poutine with elbow and red cream soda.Poutine Purists will note the distinct lack of curds. Indeed, this is not the connoisseur’s poutine, no, but at least they had the decency to use white cheddar instead of something truly horrifying like Velveeta. I guess it’s the gravy that throws me off the most. I’ve never really been a gravy girl.

Bliss on a plate. Or so I’ve been told.

The picture I left you with in the Gone Fishing post was taken right after TG had her cabin remodeled. This parting shot is from last week. I like what she’s done with the place!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Oh, Canada!
(Summer Vacation 2006, Part One)

Our Canadian home in Eastern Ontario is the same general location my grandfather Claude started going back in the 30's. I can tell you many stories about my grandfather, but were not going to get into that just yet. For now I'll tell you that he was a firefighter and an avid fisherman.

One year he and his friend Bill drove up from Cleveland on the insistence of another friend of Bill to find the ultimate Canadian fishing paradise. (Yes, he was also a "Friend of Bill" as a matter of fact, but that's not part of this story either, stop distracting me!) Anywho...they all started coming up every year and bringing their families and we all became friends, all us yankees from the states there. (Some of my more delicate Southern readers might take offense at being referred to as a "yankee." Fear not, to a Canadian redneck, all US Americans are yankees and therefore worthy of spite, if not contempt.) We also made friends among the locals, but the bond among the former Clevelanders was forged in the shared trauma of the 18 - 20 hour drives and of course, being from Cleveland. (A traumatic experience to which I can attest, having been born in Cleveland myself in 1963. Fortunately my parents immediately remedied the situation by moving to Detroit when I was 6 months old, where I was immersed in Motown till I was 3-and-a-half. But I digress.)

Claude had three children, including my mother. TG was the only one of her siblings to produce offspring. Fortunately, Bill had two daughters, both of whom started reproducing right about the same time. Thus I was part of the third generation where you still see me today, or rather last week.

This photo is not complete in any way. These are all the daughters, the three brothers are missing. Those who know us will probably be able to identify everyone in these pictures. If you don't know us, I guess you don't need to know, I will do you the favor of letting you know that we are arranged by age, L to R youngest to oldest. I'm the fat chick. Also, four of the women there are sisters, the other is a cousin.

The woman to my left is my oldest friend in the world, KC. I think that's a safe nickname for her. When I met her she spoke mostly Japanese. She is a woman of many stories that we are also not here to tell today. However, I should tell one on her because she is a wild woman. She had a class to teach on Saturday morning so she drove up on Wednesday and went back on Friday! Insane! That's like a nine hour drive! Good thing she had help!

Here we are making our monster faces!
I think I like this one best! I should point out that this picture was taken *after* the pictures of the 4th generation below. So we had recently engaged in some practice making our monster faces.

The 4th generation.
All the children of the women above plus a couple extra for good measure because you can never have too many kids around, so we like to bring in reinforcements!

At this point, they’re starting to drift off; even Miss Lu is giving me a look. Enough with the camera already, Mom! Let’s go back to the lake!

So we did!

Here's M, making a face for the camera.
Thanks for playing “Funny Faces on Vacation,” M!

Later on I got a picture of this stud-muffin! Humina, humina! He looks like his name should be Hans and he should talk with an accent like the guy on the VW commercials, doesn’t he?Oh sure, he's hot! But remember Ladies; he has one speed and it's mosey. This is why I? Do all the driving. Ahem.

At some point we wisely decided to copy our friends and leave a day early. Something about having that one day to chill between vacation and work really appealed to us. When the early departure plans were announced, uproar ensued!

To be continued…

(Editors note: I’ve been trying to upload the photos for this post for over a week! Blogger is very annoying! This, and only this, is the reason this post needs to be continued. Apparently I need to divide it up. Humph!)

Friday, July 14, 2006

The first week after vacation is always the longest.

You know what I mean? Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to put in a couple of hours Sunday night, that made Monday morning significantly more bearable! I was really busy the first part of the week, which probably helped me get back into the swing of things. Took me till yesterday to extricate my cranium from my gluteous maximus though, but I finally managed to get enough done so that I could knock off early today. Woohoo! The first weekend after vacation is always the sweetest!

Of course it's summer, so unscheduled weekends are few and far between. This weekend my good buddy Alwen's brother is getting married so were looking forward to meeting his English bride tomorrow. Their Mom (who will be working circles around us when she's 90!) is no doubt running around like crazy trying to get everything done so I'm going to head over there tonight and tomorrow morning to see what I can do to alleviate some of the pressure! (Alwen, your mom needs a nickname and right now Taz comes to mind so I'm going with it for this post.) Taz was kind enough to make both my cake and my dress for my wedding. The cake was delicious, the dress, well, it needed more cleavage to be delicious but that's not the point. The point is Taz went out of her way to try and make my wedding day special. She has always been like another mother to me and I'll never be able to pay her back for that. All I can hope to do is occasionally be on hand when she might need me. This I intend to do.

I'm sorry vacation is over but we did have a wonderful time, I took lots of pictures, we had a safe drive, no real problems at customs, so that was nice.

Then? People were seen! Water was involved! Hijinx ensued!

Not really. Not much in the way of hijinx anyway.

I impulsively attribute that to the fact that a certain She was missing from the festivities but, what's to be done? Drama happens sometimes and one just has to cope even when one's friends are desperately trying to get in touch and offer their shoulders, cars and bail money. Sometimes one must go it alone. But the less said about that the better, on to the photo essay!

Okay, here's the deal, I was going to give you a photo essay, but blogger wants to be weird about letting me upload pictures, maybe because I'm too chatty? I don't know. But it's irritating to be sure. Guess I'll try that again later. All I could upload was this one and it was supposed to be a bonus. Here she is, just for you, She. You were missed, hope I hear from you soon!

Miss Boo, cursing the inventor of screens.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Gone fishing... back mid-July!

Perhaps I'll try blogging from Canada, probably not, but I'll let you know if I find any wireless hotspots! I wonder if they have that at Tim Horton's?
Marriage is love.