Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The ultimate purple issue

It seems that Americans on both sides of the cultural divide have found a common enemy: the TSA. No one wants to be groped or back-scattered or microwaved in the name of airport safety. We'd prefer to have dogs sniff our bags -- and we'd probably rather have them sniff our crotches than have our nether-regions grabbed by TSA hacks.

San Francisco progressives and Midwestern conservatives seem to agree that the government has gone too far in the name of safety, without actually making us any safer. Nothing like a common enemy to unite the persecuted masses!

The problem seems to be that the powers that be on both ends of the rainbow are too far above the fray to be affected. They charter their own flights or get a pass through security and don't have to be frisked or fried.

Something's gotta give here. The only possible winner? Amtrak.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Veggie tales

Feeding my kids has always been the single biggest source of stress to me as a parent. As an infant, my oldest didn't nurse well and I didn't make enough milk, and I had bought into the breast-feeding propaganda about how your baby would be ruined for life if they got formula from a bottle. (Luckily I managed to figure out that it wasn't that big of deal and was able to relax with my second one.)

Then when they were eating baby food, it was still me being personally responsible for every ounce of nutrition that went into them. I nearly had a nervous breakdown packing for a cruise when my youngest was 6 months old. What if I didn't bring enough rice cereal and pureed sweet potato? But at least then they ate veggies.

Now my oldest has it as a point of pride that he does not eat veggies. But it might be getting better. At a parent ed program recently the topic was nutrition, and I was inspired to try putting those veggies on his plate at least once in a while. Our weekday schedule doesn't provide a time for "family meal" (at least not with the whole family) but on weekends now we're all eating the same thing.

One night it was chili. "Are there vegetables in chili? Next time you make chili you should not put any vegetables in it," says the five year old. The three-year-old will try anything. The five year old complained some and only ate the meat. But the week before that we had risotto and he threw a full-on screaming rolling-around-on-the-floor fit about the onion in the risotto. Maybe we were making progress.

Then last night I cooked up his favorite food item: ravioli. He asked me what was in the ravioli. I said, truthfully, butternut squash. He started on a 20-minute fit that at one point became so overblown and dramatic I had to stifle laughter. Mercifully I was relieved by my husband to go to a parent ed session. The change of authority figure presented the proper setting for consumption of the food, apparently. Dad convinced him it was edible. Progress takes many forms, I suppose.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Slackingest blogger ever

Why can't I get myself back in gear here? The idea of writing something is a good one. But the something is the sticking point. When I read “Where I Was From” on a plane a couple months ago I wished for a computer to type at and get out all my thoughts. I scribbled out some thoughts in my travel journal about asking my mom about our ancestors and writing about my thoughts on the Donner Party and Yosemite Valley and HH Valley and my parents and parenting. Of course now that all sounds uninspiring. I wonder, if I just keep typing, will something interesting come out?

“Manic Monday” and “Top Five Friday” seem to get me to blog semi-regularly, when I'm thinking about it, though that's not really writing. Maybe if I pick a few themes for my writing and assign one to each day of the week, then when I have time I’ll be able to just write. And if I can manage to jot down those ideas that come to me when I’m driving or reading or watching TV then I can expand on them later.

I do feel a tiny push of motivation when I get yet another comment on my favorite of my blog posts, which continues to be the top hit when you google "Terry Gross Sucks," as I did the other day.