Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oy This Day

So, we're quarantined at Casa de Bon. Laney has some flu strain. The H1 part has been confirmed (H1 is the influenza A part. See you learn things here at the Well!), but the strain has not. Could be N1. Of course, it doesn't really matter if it's the pig flu or not. All flu's get treated the same way: fluids, rest, and stay the hell away from other people.

Don and I decided to spend our quarantine fruitfully and commenced an aggressive spring clean. I am proud to say we accomplished a lot toxin-free. We did the windows the old fashioned way (newspapers and white vinegar) and if they're a little streakier than we might have wanted, at least they're dirt and germ free. Baking soda really does work a treat in the bathroom.

Before you know it, Don and I will be wearing hemp sandals and headbands.

No, we won't.

Of course, the really hard part about spring cleaning today was keeping Laney occupied while we did it. We try really hard to keep her from TV, but that was ALL she wanted to do. At around 3:00 we completely caved because we both know that no matter how old you are, when you feel like shit, all you want to do is puddle down in front of the tube.

We finished today's share of the clean and fed Laney some plain spaghetti noodles. She was deep in a medicated sleep by around 7:30. A little later, Don and I were eating, having some wine, and discussing the utter moral bankruptcy of the modern republican party (you know, the usual) when I heard Laney cough. I said to Don, "I bet we're cleaning up some barf soon." A few seconds later the following sounds comes from upstairs:


I cleaned up the floor and the child using environmentally safe methods (this time I used the tried and true environmental method of just not doing a particularly good job) and then the whole Bon family spent the next hour and a half snuggled up on the couch watching The Sponge Bob Movie.

And, really, truth be told, I've had worse nights.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Few Thoughts on Sotomayor

I thought this post over at Pandagon was really interesting:

One of the most fascinating things about watching the identity politics meltdown on the right after Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination is the blithe assumption that men don’t have a gender and white people don’t have a race.

There's this hue and cry across the TV and the internets that Sonia Sotomayor got this nod due in large part to her race and gender. Question begged: did the 84 white male Senators become senators due in large part to their gender or race? If the numbers tell us anything, being white, being a dude and being straight have been real good for a political leg up for a lot of years now.

Second thought: leaving aside the rigorous intellectual dishonesty behind it, I get so cheesed off when white dudes start complaining about "reverse racism or sexism." Acknowledging race and gender is not the same thing as racism or sexism. God.

Sotomayor's experiences as a woman and as a person of color do give her an insight that John Roberts, for example, lacks. Which is precisely WHY it's so important to have a Supreme Court that's not made up solely of white guys.

And, not for nothing, you don't think their experiences as men had something to do with this incredibly stupid and offensive supreme performance?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Emeatist: A Sniglet*

An emeatist should not be confused with a meat eater. An emeatist, rather, is a person who thinks that NOT eating meat is unfathomable, incomprehensible and stupid. An emeatist will make sure you know that he thinks this.

Allow me to present the emeatist in short play format:

Scene: Any restaurant
Time: Dinner

Me (to waiter): Is the vegetable soup vegetarian?
Emeatist: Ha! Not if it tastes good! [laughs uproariously]

The emeatist is an exhausting dinner companion.

*What's a sniglet?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Things We Talked About in the Car This Morning

1. How Laney is going to be in a show and I can't be in it.

2. I can be in it.

3. I can't be in it.

4. I can be in it.

5. How Oprah focuses her awesome powers sometimes on good and sometimes on evil.

6. Faux science.

7. That Oprah is a real person and most people have heard of her. Even Laney's teacher.

8. Anne Boleyn's extra fingers.

Things I learned making links for this post:

1. I will type Oprah's name wrong every time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thoughts on Star Trek and Marriage

So, I was hanging out in the basement, working out (stupid fucking aging... everything makes you fat... ) and doing laundry (stupid fucking never ending pile of laundry... stupid slow ass dryer takes an hour and a half to dry a load...) and I had an old episode of Star Trek: TNG on in the background to mitigate the suckitude of working out and doing laundry (it may have fallen somewhat short).

On this episode, called The Price, Troi finds herself seduced by this entirely creepy one quarter Betazoid negotiator. I don't think he was supposed to be creepy, he was just a terrible actor. Anyhoo, at the end of the episode he goes to Troi's quarters and says (paraphrased) "I once asked you to come away with me. I'm asking again. You make me a better man. Come away with me and be my conscience."

And I thought: wow, what an offer! Come live with me and whenever I want to do anything fun, you can say "Honey, do you think that's wise?" Isn't that just the life every red-blooded gal dreams of?

I wonder if I thought the same thing when I saw that episode for the first time. I would have been 20 or so. Maybe a little older. And, as I recall, I was prone to schmoopy dudes who confused being pitiful with being tragically appealling, a la Byron. So, I probably would have fallen for the old "save my life" line.

Kids, don't get married until you're 30. 30 is a benchmark for emotionally stable, fully developed and entirely disabused of romantic tomfoolery about changing people.
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Liking Stuff and Loyalty

My brother and his wife gave me a wonderful birthday present: tickets to an Evening with Garrison Keillor. On the card, my brother joked that the NoDoz was to follow. My mother tells me she thinks Garrison Keillor is unbearably sentimental.

I love Garrison Keillor.

Which gets me to thinking that maybe there's another reason why we care when people disparage the stuff we like: loyalty.

I love Garrison Keillor. I love his warmth and kindness. I love that he never indulges himself in cynicism or hopelessness or nihilism. I love how he's carved a hugely successful life out of his weird, retrograde passions. I love that he makes books and podcasts of poetry with the aim of exposing poetry as a vehicle for solace or for joy thus doing his part to ease the damage that tens of thousands of high school teachers inflicted on their students by forcing them to memorize Wordsworth.

His words sound on my ear like the words of a friend.

Garrison Keillor is like Augustus McCrae or Lin Brehmer or Dorothea Brooke. I'll never meet any of these people (a couple of them don't even exist). But they feel like friends. And when you scorn or belittle them, I feel compelled to defense. And, seriously, I will NEVER meet any of these people. The whole thing is kind of weird.

My friend, Adrian, commented on my last post that "...the things we profess to like say something about the way we want other people to perceive us." Totally true. But wouldn't it be great to be so secure that you see another person's disparagement of the stuff you love as THAT person's damage, and not your own? I wonder how many people are.

Regardless, even if I did get to be that kind of person, I'd still fiercely defend Garrison Keillor.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Liking Stuff

I've been working on improving my behavior vis a vis liking stuff. If all goes as plans, I'll end up a wise, centered paradigm of equanimity. If someone rolls their eyes at my Star Trek verve, I won't care. I'll channel the wise and wonderful Tim Gunn and say, mildly, chacun a son gout.

So far, I'm not even close. If someone tells me they think Shakespeare sucks, I take it personally. If they tell me baseball is, my god, so boring, I get offended. If someone tells me that Star Trek is stupid, I want to punch them.

Why is this? Does the stuff we like say something about our character? Ayn Rand and The Real Housewives of Orange County both leave me hankering for a Silkwood shower, but I love people who love those things.

So, what do you think? Does the stuff we like say something about who we are as people?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


You know, in general, I am a teary motherfucker. But, lately, my GOD, I am constantly crying! I'm so irritated with myself, I've thought about punching myself in the face. Except, of course, that would make me cry.

This is not the person I aim to be. I fancy myself a wiseacre. I mask my emotions behind a shallow facade of snark (or a facade of shallow snark... I can't decide). And this facade is very hard to maintain when I'm bursting into tears at random moments.

I think it's because of the stress. These are parlous times we live in with the Layoff Sword of Damocles is hanging over the Bon household. Neither of us are laid off, but, shit, it could certainly happen. And instead of savings, we have debt. And lots of it. We've now paid off the amount of money we borrowed for Laney's adoption about threefold, and owe barely less than we originally borrowed. Fucking evil credit card motherfuckers. If I were Maude, I'd tell them all that God will get them. But, I don't believe in God. I wish Bea Arthur would get them. Better yet, Barack*, when you get a second, can you switch ownership of Congress away from the banks and back to, you know, us? And then can you get the carcinogens out of my kid's shampoo?

You know, thinking about all the stuff Obama has to deal with makes me even MORE disgusted by the fact that I can't stop crying over a little bit of debt. We should all take a lesson from No Drama Obama. Maybe smoking is the answer.

Perhaps now is a good time to turn to Garrison Keillor, who wrote in the preface of my bible:

Perhaps you are imprisoned in a character you created for yourself who seemed smart and cheerful and virtuous and now feels like a wooden costume, heavy, clunky

I do, Garrison! I feel like that all the time! Got a poem for me? How about one by that great American poet, Anonymous:

Carnation milk is the best in the land
Here I sit with a can in hand

No tits to pull, no hay to pitch,

You just punch a hole in the son of a bitch.

Ahhh.... I feel better now. Seriously, no snark, shallow or otherwise. That little ditty always cheers me up and restores my focus.

* Seriously, Google, "Barack" is still flagged by your spellchecker?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Today my Dad would have turned 70. It's weird how I always remember his birthday, but can never recall the exact date he died. I used to worry that that meant something about me; some sort of sad carelessness of memory. But, now I think it's just that I spent so many years remembering his birthday, trying to think of things he'd like or just to call. And, besides, birthdays are so much better to remember than death days. Death days suck.

I thought I'd commemorate this day by posting my favorite picture of him. The picture was taken about a year before he died and I've always loved it. It looks like Dad. Bourbon in his hand, in the middle of a chuckle about something. Dad was a funny guy. A kind guy. A generous guy. I think you can see most of that in this picture. The scan quality is pretty shitty because the print is. After he died, I drank too much and ended up mauling the picture in some weird fit of grief. Perhaps I'll give this picture to one of my photog friends and ask them to clean it up.

Anyhoo, he was a wonderful man and a wonderful father and, like I've said again and again, while it's truly the suck that he's gone, weren't we lucky to have had him at all?

Happy birthday, Dad. I'll always remember it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sad, Stupid Science Fiction Cliches

This annoyed me on so many different levels. On the one hand, it annoys me because I love science fiction. And, I feel loyal to it. And it pisses me off when it's reduced to nothing more than a girl replacement for zit-faced social retards.

On the other hand, holy frijoles, how long can you pound on the same joke? I mean, it was funny on SNL when Shatner did it like 30 years ago. But, now, it's along the line of "orange you glad..." Just done and dusted, man. Move on.


Is it Real?

I sort of think it is... it's a real furniture store... it looks too real to not be real. I'll let you be the judge. And, real or not, I think we could all appreciate the valuable lesson contained therein: furniture knows no race. Praise jeebus. And h/t Shakespeare Sister.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday in Rogers Park with Megbon

It's a spring day so perfect here that Cat Stevens songs pop into your head. Flowers are blooming, sun is shining, people are smiling, dogs are gamboling.

I took mine for a walk, exchanging smiles and pleasantries every few minutes. On the first nice Sunday in Chicago, everyone leaves the house. Everyone is out. Everyone is in a good mood.

I passed a small white car, parked, with all the windows up, Ride of the Valkyries blasting from at full volume.

Which was really weird.