Wednesday, June 28, 2006

How's It Going, Maggots?

I got an email today that almost brought a tear to my jaundiced eye:
Subject: Thanks, Sarge!
This running thing, it is addictive. This is the first time in my Krimpet-fueled existence that I have exercised FOR FUN. And, after less than a month, I can already see my body contouring a little bit. It's a slow but very gratifying process; sort of like ordering a car in the mail and having a new piece arrive every few days.
It made me so goddamned proud. And it got me wondering how the rest of you have been doing. Are you remembering to take it S-L-O-W? Especially in this heat.

[Updated to add: and if you want to find out what happens if you don't follow the instructions, look here.]

A few other heat-related tips:
  • Go with the wind the first half of the run, so that when you're coming home you have the breeze to help cool you off.
  • Remember that drinking too much water isn't good for you. Eat a little something salty (unless you have high blood pressure) and drink a glass of water before you head out, and then have a glass of water when you're done. And sports drinks don't do much for you.
  • Think it's too hot to run? Well, it's not. Get your butt out there.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm With the Band Now

I have to round in the hospital and take calls this weekend. The prospect is making me intensely crabby, so I'm laying low.

HellBoy, however, has been in a great mood ever since I broke down and bought him his one true heart's desire: a GIT-ar.

This thing makes him so happy, it's frightening. What's weird is, he's never seemed like a particularly musical kid. I think he must already know the secret: the guy with the guitar can always get girls, even if he sucks at playing it.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Build a Better Mousetrap and Your Daughter Will Become a Slut

Good news: the FDA has approved an HPV vaccine. This means there now exists a vaccine that prevents cancer (not to mention abnormal Paps and the followup treatments that have the potential to impair a woman's fertility). What a great invention! What a marvelous advance! What a wonderful opportunity to improve the condition of women in the world!

Except, wait. Apparently some people believe that this isn't a good thing at all. Because, don't you realize, the threat of death by cervical cancer is one of the things that keeps good girls from, you know, doing it. HPV shouldn't be vanquished; it's a wonderful, natural chastity belt!

This got me thinking about other useful inventions in an entirely different light. Because once you start to really think about it, many other seemingly helpful and benign things might also have the potential to make sluts out of innocent girls. For instance, here are a few products that I have been singing the praises of that on second thought could lead a maiden down the primrose path:
  • Softpaws. Now, these are a terrific invention. They keep people from having the tips of their cats' fingers guillotined, they help save furniture, and they look adorable. But if you examine it carefully, this product may not be so innocent. Think about it: what kind of pets do unmarried women tend to keep? That's right, cats. And soft-hearted young women are less likely to sign their kitties up for declawing. But this means that they have to keep a close eye on Mrs. Fluffy or risk ruining the nice afghan they've crocheted for the hope chest. But once they've slapped on a set of Softpaws, they can go gallivanting off into the night worry-free ... and soon they're fallen women.
  • Champion Double-Dry Seamless sports bras. Once I discovered these, I wanted to pitch all my old running bras. These don't chafe, don't pinch, keep you cool, and most important, eliminate The Bounce. What more could a girl want? Well. I don't think I need to tell you that anything that makes it more comfortable to run around in public half-naked is a one-way ticket to losing your precious flower.
  • Puffs Plus (or other lotion-impregnated tissues). How did anyone survive before these were dreamed up? Two blows with regular tissue, no matter how soft, and I already have the beginnings of two scaly red stripes running from my nose to my upper lip. Besides being uncomfortable, this is unacceptably geeky, and I have enough geeky tendencies to want to avoid any more. In addition, using these for wiping my son’s nose means that he has no bad associations with the project and I don’t have to chase him across the room. You may dislike the oily residue left by this product; you may have accidentally used these to attempt to clean your glasses and been left with temporarily smeared vision; but these are small objections to what would seem to be a benign and helpful product. But Puffs Plus are actually risky to the chastity of young girls everywhere, becauseonce you start thinking about things that are dry becoming lubricated, well ...
  • Odor Xit. On account of BadCat, I looked long and hard for a product like this, and almost despaired of finding something that actually worked. I don't know what's in it, and I sure don't let HellBoy take swigs from the jug, but I love, love, love it. But how could this stuff turn good girls bad? Well, remember that single girl with cats? Even once she's got the Softpaws on Snowball and Sooty, there's another line of defense keeping her virtue intact, and that is her anxiety over the fact that her modest efficiency apartment with the cute bubble shades and doilies has an unfortunate and distinct odor of cat. Odor Xit, by eliminating the evidence of elimination, means that this nice girl will feel less inhibited about bringing men up to her place. And we all know what those filthy men want.
  • Dermablend. This stuff is designed to cover up scars and tattoos and other Angelina-type inconvenient marks, but it rocks as a blemish cover-up. I've never come across something that covers pimples so effectively and lasts so long. Dab this on in the morning, and you're worry-free the rest of the day. You might think that this is no more dangerous to a young girl's virtue than any old makeup (which certainly can be problematic in itself), but you'd be wrong. Here's what happens: thirteen, fourteen and fifteen year old girls who try to conceal their pimples in an attempt to pass as being much older are often betrayed by the premature failure of their coverup product, and are thereby saved from deflowering by guys who really believed they were over eighteen, man! With Dermablend, the deception will not be revealed until it's tragically too late.
  • Marsona white noise machine. My life was immensely improved by one of these devices. No more kicking poor TrophyHusband all night, no being woken up by the skateboarders heading down the street for their midnight extreme boarding. Perhaps sleeping peacefully in one's own bed seems unlikely to result in a girl's downfall. True, if you're talking about the girl. But what if it's her mother who uses it (as is most likely, after all)? This is clearly a recipe for disaster. Because if a girl knows her parents can't hear her climbing out her bedroom window, what's to stop her from doing so? Next thing you know, she's servicing all the boys on the block while her parents slumber on unawares.
  • Braun Silk-Epil Epilator. I adore this thing. I expect that women of a hairier phenotype find it less dreamy than I do, but I've always been a total clod when it comes to shaving; I cannot avoid cutting myself. This baby yanks the hair right out by the roots, like waxing but without the mess. Sure, it's not entirely painless, but it's a lot better than those early prototypes, the sadistic Epilady contraptions. You might think you know where I'm going with this—that a girl who feels sleek and hairless will also feel sexy. Perhaps true (and certainly suggested by the picture), but the real problem with using this product lies in the fact that is is painful (especially when used in the bikini area. You could go full Brazilian if you really had the guts, but I don't recommend it). And once girls get used to facing up to the pain of depilation, the next step is losing their virginity. Because if fear of cervical cancer is keeping women from having sex, fear of the pain of popping your cherry must be a pretty potent deterrent too.
What wonderful underrated inventions have you adopted? And do they encourage bad behavior?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Diaper Dyslexic

Some time ago a friend of mine discovered my blog, and said that she hoped I wouldn't feel like I had to censor myself if I ever wanted to complain about her. Now, she happens to be wonderful—kind, generous, brilliant, gorgeous—and I not only would trust her with my life, I did trust her, with mine and HellBoy's, since she was the one who dragged his ornery person into the world. So I said, "Don't be ridiculous! Why would I ever want to complain about you?"

Well, I'm afraid it's happened. Sweetie, although I do appreciate you putting up with HB's antics last night, and giving him a bath, and reading him bedtime stories, blah, blah, blah ....

The diaper tabs, they go in the front.

If you put a diaper on backwards, cosleepers will find themselves in a rapidly spreading puddle at 4 am. And if you wake HB up to change his pajamas and the bedsheets at 4 am, he is not ready to go back to sleep. He is ready to par-tay.

I'm thinking we need a handy rhyme to help you memorize diaper orientation, so that when you are faced with your own (eventual) new one's bare butt, you'll be ready. You know, something along the lines of righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.

How about:
You put the tabs in back? You must be smoking crack.
(You know we love you, and that I'm only teasing, right? Have a great time surfing. We'll miss you. Send postcards.)