Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This is not what I mean by new reproductive technologies

I'm not quite ready to talk politics yet, so I'll give you this - from the New York Times - instead:
Fertility help has gone mobile. BabyCenter, a parenting Web site, said it would introduce on Thursday the Booty Caller, a series of 18 ovulation alerts sent via text message. Sample message: “Your fertile window opens today and lasts 5 more days. Heat kills sperm so keep your mate away from the hot tub.” The service is free at

Monday, November 03, 2008

Be warned, students!

I just came across this on a syllabus for an undergraduate class. Freaking awesome.

I will prepare a challenging pop quiz for every single lecture of the fall quarter. Incorrect responses to these quizzes will deduct points from your overall course grade. I will only administer the quiz, however, if a cell phone, Blackberry, laptop, or any other electronic device rings, vibrates, or otherwise disturbs the class during lecture. This caveat also holds true for those of you with uncontrollable email, text messaging, and FaceBook addictions. If you and your classmates cannot discipline your use of electronic peripherals for less than three hours a week, then you should be prepared to take pop quizzes on a regular basis.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Day in the Life

I thought things were going so well when the kiddos slept until after 7:00 - new time - and then had a good morning before heading out for bagels and errands. Things went downhill from there:

1. The people at the next table at the bagel place were, apparently, evangelical anti-choicers. And vocal. And then they paused to pray for a while. Out loud. There's more, but I'll spare you all.

2. We tried to go do early voting because we like to vote together and bring the kids, but the line was about 4 hours long. Seriously. So we'll squeeze it in on Tuesday, separately and without the kids. I was both excited to think about all of those people who wanted to vote so much that they'd stand there for 4 hours and afraid for the people who found that overwhelming. I'm actually really terrified about this election. It's not so much the national stuff, but there are a couple of statewide initiatives that are really close.

3. I don't know if it's the time change or what, but the kiddos did not nap. At all.

4. J is swamped with school and some community projects, and it's like he's trying to do two full time jobs at once.

It's not all bad, of course. It's just easier to vent than to rave.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Magic and Memory

The year after I graduated from college, J and I lived in a big house* with several of our friends. In some ways, that was the best place I've ever lived. There was always something going on, or someone to talk to, or something to do, or something to eat** but we had enough space that we could always get away, too. It was a great, grand old house with tons of character, on a street adjacent to an urban center that is still in the process of gentrification.

For Halloween, we cut paper to make the upper windows glow like eyes, and I spent hours carving pumpkins and foam gravestones and arranging lights and cobwebs on the grand front porch. And then some stupid teenagers came by the house in broad daylight, days before Halloween, and smashed all of our decorations. I was home, and I came down and shouted at them, and filed a police report, and lurked near the windows for days after, scanning the neighborhood for them. They lived just around the corner someplace, I think.

But still, that Halloween was magical. It was a great house for a party, and our many overlapping groups of friends came in costume and we decorated inside and greeted the kids that came trick-or-treating. Harry Potter costumes were big that year, I remember.

I love Halloween - magic and mystery and fall all rolled into one. But since I don't like to carve my pumpkins too early anymore, I rushed to finish the pumpkin I'd planned for weeks during dinner, before we took our little Ladybug and Pumpkin trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. (Pumpkin picture to come, just as soon as J gets the pictures off the camera.)

* That house is currently on the market, and even though we now live about 3000 miles away and those kids probably still live there, I want it I want it I want it. Plus they still have the curtains I picked for the living room.

** One roommate worked at Whole Foods, and regularly brought home bread and sushi at the end of the day. Mmmm, free sushi.