Musings and Mirth

About Me

I spend way too much thinking about me. This is the blank space where that paragraph should be.

Funny Thing About Kids

Kids. They drive you crazy until they’re gone from you and then your life feels suddenly empty. I know for some it’s a relief. Half the time for me it’s a relief but half the time, more of the time, it’s not. You miss them. You miss them. You miss them. Emma and her cousin just flew out of here for a sleepover and that means I get some time to just do stuff. Why, I could go to a movie. I could go to a bar. I could just watch TV and sleep. I could go to a night yoga class. But here I sit, missing my kid, who just blew out of here in a whirlwind of teen magazines, overnight sleeping clothes, unbrushed hair, flip flops she barely found and stuffed her feet into and the excitement that only comes when she gets to go off and do something away from here. Off she went. It leaves a hole. It always has and it always will.

On a more happy note, a good friend, an old friend, an ex-boyfriend, just became a father. His wife is Chinese and they had a little girl they named Martha. He wrote me about it because he was the one person, aside from another good friend and my best friend, who was in the delivery room with me when my daughter was born. He was such a good sport, held my hand through the whole 18 hour ordeal. He was like a guardian angel to Emma and me and then after she wasn’t quite a year he was gone. We’ve remained in touch here and there through our various relationships and career dramas and here he is now, finally a proud papa. His little girl is lucky to have him. There aren’t many men out there who are man enough to be good fathers. I’m not even sure most men are cut out to be fathers in the first place. They’re much better at finding a mate in which to plant their seed. They make great sons and wonderful hunters and bosses. Some of them make great fathers despite the fact that they’re not inclined to be fathers. Some of them, like my ex, are born to be fathers. They’re the ones you want holding your hand while you’re having a baby. A virtual cigar for my friend Andrew. In a nine years from now his little one will be flying out the door too and he’ll be missing her even though he’ll suddenly have time to do whatever he wants to do.

Loving Me Some Kelly

Okay, so I wasn’t much for the Kelly Clarkson of the American Idol birthing machine – McSingers with their McSongs were not so McDreamy to me. But Kelly stepped outside the box after some rat bastard broke her heart to write and produce her own personal album. Because it had no ready-made hits she was offered a buy-out, or some kind of deal whereby she would sing the songs the hitmakers wrote for her in order to maintain her success. She said she’d rather do this. And she’s paid the price for artistic expression. Her concert sales suffered as a result. We are lemmings, hear us roar. So she cancelled her concert tours, or so I read. Now she’s trying to make her new album sell when it is released on June 26. I will be first in line to buy it because I believe in what she’s doing. She gives up perhaps what Gwen Stefani has or Jessica Simpson or the rest of the pop stars who give the lemmings what they want but she gains respect from those of us out there who still believe in singer/songwriters so few and far between these days. More power to you Kelly. Rock on.

Her appearance on The Tonight Show is here.

The Whole Food vs. Wild Oats Debacle

I don’t know why I find this story so funny, perhaps because being a So Cal girl all of my life I watched the rise of Wild Oats, followed by the advent of Whole Foods and the subsequent monopoly of it. The CEO of Whole Foods John Mackey was, for years, posting under a typical forum “handle”, which was his wife Deborah’s name spelled backwards. It wasn’t that he posted on a Yahoo finance message board it’s what he chose to post there. He all but tried to crush Wild Oats by sabotaging its stock value. One guy on a message can’t do a lot of damage but the fact that it was THIS guy, and that Whole Foods then bought Wild Oats, is what the hoopla is about. It cracks me up though because here are these two harmony and crystals health food stores where all of we liberal lefties go with our cloth bags to buy our teas and organic produce and hormone-free meats and all the while sinister goings-on were underway.

For the record, Wild Oats appears to have been the innocent “little guy” in all of this. Frankly, Whole Foods didn’t need “harobed” in the forums because they were, simply, a better store. Wild Oats has the elite part of the Westside and the best locations and didn’t seem to draw as big a traffic nightmare as Whole Foods does. I liked them. They were a fine establishment. I used to frequent the one on Montana when I lived in Santa Monica. I loved their coffees and water selection. No, they weren’t Whole Foods but they were the prototype for Whole Foods. There is certainly room for both Whole Foods and Wild Oats in Santa Monica. Trust me on that one. What that city needs in another Von’s. The person who comes up with a less expensive way for citizens to buy whole foods will win the day in the end. The Walmart of the organic market.

Here is the guy’s defense:

Once this practice became public, Mackey quickly defended his actions in a blog posting. It’s worth reading. Here are five of the seven points he makes.

“1. I posted on Yahoo! under a pseudonym because I had fun doing it. Many people post on bulletin boards using pseudonyms.

“2. I never intended any of those postings to be identified with me.

“3. The views articulated by rahodeb sometimes represent what I actually believed and sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes I simply played ‘devil’s advocate’ for the sheer fun of arguing. Anyone who knows me realizes that I frequently do this in person, too.

“4. Rahodeb’s postings therefore do not represent any official beliefs, policies, or intentions by either Whole Foods Market or by me.

“5. At no time did I reveal any proprietary information about Whole Foods on Yahoo.”

It’s like Nixon and the Watergate tapes. There is a part of them that wants the public to know just how dirty they could play the game. Meanwhile, the LA Times asks, “Should Whole Foods unplug John Mackey’s computer”

Whole Foods now has to sell all of its Wild Oats stores. Its evil plan didn’t work!

20 Worst Ways to Die

So, it occurred to me that I should form an official list. That way, I won’t have to think about it anymore. It’s not like I do think about it all the time but it occasionally drifts into my mind while behind the wheel or contemplating airplane travel. And I occasionally think of it while sleeping at night, walking around town, even shopping. And yeah, cooking and/or eating in restaurants. Why the morbid obsession? If you think about it you are lulled into believing you have some control over it, which you do not. To a degree. I do think not all deaths are equal. The fear factor is a big component in judging overall awfulness of one’s death. I’m leaving out improbable ways of being murdered, say, sliced all over your body with a razor blade until you bleed out. And I’m leaving off all methods of medieval torture, like the the notorious Pear or the Catherine Wheel. Unless you count episodes of CSI, those kinds of things are less likely to happen than, say, a nuclear bomb going off in Los Angeles. Speaking of which, I think we are living in an era when a bomb could go off, even a nuclear one. So here goes. The top twenty, to my mind, worst ways to die.

1. Terminal disease. Not only do your loved ones have to watch you die but you have way too much time sitting around contemplating your past, what might have been your future and, god forbid, your children’s future. It’s so awful a thought I can’t even go there.

2. Plane Crash. I definitely would be putting this as number one except for the fact that I’m now a mother and terminal illness would be by far a worse way to go. But a plane crash would only be made better if it were an instant fireball. I imagine the ones that happen right at takeoff or landing are terrifying. The ones while you’re in the air and there’s engine failure, the worst. In case you’re interested, here is a rundown of the 100 worst in history. Good news is that plane crashes are EXTREMELY rare. The odds against it happening are staggering. Still, it’s terrifying.

3. Being locked in a hot car until you can’t breathe and you overheat.

4. Drowning by being locked in a car or flooded in a confined space.

5. Murdered and tortured by a serial killer. You’d think this would be higher but at least you have the option of fighting back – and I know I’d rather die fighting than just die.

6. Suicide. Horrible in any way, shape or form. It has got to suck to be that sure.

7. Attacked by wild animals, including sharks and grizzly bears. Bears in particular seem to be terrifying but then again, I’ve heard that you basically go numb so it isn’t so bad. Anything that makes you lose consciousness immediately isn’t so bad by comparison.

8. Suffocating. Either by someone putting a pillow over your face or by having something heavy fall on you like your roof.

9. Fire. Dying in a fire would not be fun. Again, I don’t even think about my own death so much as how it would involve my kid. Once you become a parent your first thought is always – how would I save my kid?

9. Death by flying object, like a spinning ceiling fan, a steel object off of a truck or a really fast baseball. But these things might be so fast they wouldn’t be that awful.

10. Starving to death. I should think would be higher on the list. Maybe by the time you get to the death point it’s almost a relief though, where starvation is concerned. I think about the Holocaust. That would be, hands down, the worst way to die but since we are not confronted by camps like these I have to leave it at starvation.

11. Being tortured and beheaded by Islamic terrorists. I guess this should be higher but what the hell.

12. One of those flesh eating things where you die in like 24 hours.

13. Mad Cow Disease.

14. Punched and beaten to death.

15. Car crash. It’s low on the list because it’s almost so instant as to not matter that much.

16. Nuclear bomb. That one you could probably see coming so again, should be higher on the list.

17. Injected with painful liquids like bleach.

18. Being pushed off of a building.

19. Dying of thirst. A whole different animal from starving to death and has to be ten times worse.

20. Shot.

The best way to die? In your sleep, of old age, peacefully. Or in an instant.

Sorry for the morbid post but it was on my mind and I had to blog about it. 🙂

Adventures in Parenting – The Good

t’s easy to sink back into complain mode about how hard parenting is. There’s no doubt about it; it’s tough as shit. It’s a lot of work and your kids end up hating you anyway, at least through the teen years but oh, there are those moments. Even though I had to bribe her to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with the offer of buying her a new sketch book and pencil, it was fun using our free membership to the museum. LACMA has made it their mission to interest kids in art. So much so that they offer a program that gives any kid that goes to the museum a free pass until they’re 18. They get to bring one adult along. So today, for free, we checked out the new Flavin exhibit. The museum is undergoing renovation so there was no modern art to check out except Flavin.

Emma had a great time looking at how the light coming off of his florescent light installations made the atmosphere change from room to room. It was a magnificent experience to walk around with her, all of nine years old, and be there at the moment when going to a museum becomes an actual experience for her. She wasn’t just being dragged along by me – she was looking at it with appreciation and awe. It’s like the first time they take a step, make a joke, laugh at one of your jokes. It makes it oddly worth it, even when they whine about being hungry and tired twenty minutes later.

Oh, and don’t bother taking pictures. It’s apparently disrespectful to do so and not allowed. A museum volunteer was hovering and pointing moments after these photos were snapped.