Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Theory of Relativity

May 25, 2012

With the fine weather today, the crew was able to prepare for an early start. The short journey from base camp to the observation site was quick and largely uneventful. We arrived at about 11:30am, leaving just enough time to get settled in before the daily rush of dinnertime activity began. As is usual for this site, the smell was overpowering - a small olfactory price to pay to be able to witness such a hotbed of fascinating interactions for this species within its natural environment.

For reasons unknown, the observation site was particularly active today: approximately fifteen juvenile males and four juvenile females were observed. I was unable to ascertain the number of adults present, as most of them remained hidden out of sight (and, presumably, earshot - my word, was it loud!). It seems laughable to presume they could be so like us, but perhaps they needed a break from the kids - don't we all sometimes!

Thanks to these large numbers being present, we were able to make great strides in understanding these unusual creatures. Several distinct parenting styles became apparent during the course of today's observation; so distinct, in fact, that I was struck by the possibility that we may in fact be witnessing the interaction between several subspecies. How they came to develop remains unclear - one can only assume some geographic or social separation may have taken place in the past - and how they came to be reunited in this single place at lunchtime is another mystery, but I wish to describe here my preliminary observations and thoughts to begin the scientific discourse:

The first subspecies I've tenderly dubbed Homo sapiens ssp. helicopterus for their predilection toward mercilessly hovering over their offspring, constantly reprimanding, correcting and preening them, to the apparent chagrin of the young themselves. They were certainly the tidiest-looking and least injury-prone bunch, but they didn't seem to be having much fun or really socializing with the other juveniles. Conversely, a good number of the juveniles had no interaction whatsoever with an adult during the entire one to two-hour timeframe; these I've called H. absenteeus. There was a great deal of pushing, dog-piling, chasing, leaping and climbing amongst the unsupervised juveniles, all accompanied by exuberant screaming and laughter, and - not occasionally - tears. These youngsters also appeared most likely to be leaking snot, possibly hinting at physical rather than simply behavioural differences between the subspecies? Certainly a titillating prospect that warrants further study.

Perhaps it is only my personal perspective creeping into these observations, much akin to the way in which everyone driving slower than oneself is an idiot and everyone driving faster is a maniac, but the final prospective subspecies, H. moderatus, I hold dearest to my heart for their middle-of-the-spectrum approach. These juveniles had little apparent snot and were relatively well-behaved while still seeming to enjoy the company of others - in turn, the parents seemed to be enjoying their mealtime break, yet occasionally still appeared from the periphery of the observation area to correct unsanitary or unsafe behaviours. 

Regardless of whether these speculations and musings are later deemed to be true, I continue to be fascinated by these interesting and diverse creatures. My life's work in observing and analyzing them remains thrilling; I learn something new every day.

We will return to the Burger King play area observation site again in future, and perhaps venture further afield to the McDonald's PlayPlace site in the following weeks; weather permitting, we will also continue our work in the neighbourhood parks and playgrounds.

Good night.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Ol' Razzle Dazzle

Today's official subtitle is Don't Shoot the Messenger. Just sayin'.

As if women don't have enough stupid shit to worry about, someone, somewhere decided at some point that vaginas just weren't good enough for them. That they needed improvements.

That's not to say that I'm against trimming the hedges now and again; it seems like a pretty reasonable courtesy to extend to your esteemed guests. Varying degrees of defoliating the grounds, well, if that's your thing, have at 'er. But, um... this?

Kinda weird. They have other colours as well. The orange one seems totally legit to me, but purple? Green? Brown? Who'd'a thunk it?

And then there's this...

Yes, that says "Vajazzle". As if vaginas weren't interesting enough in the first place, and high-impact signage was the way to fix the issue. Like it's frigging Vegas down there or something. Next thing you know we'll have twinkle lights, maybe with a handy 12V cigarette lighter adapter that you simply pop in to the nearest available "socket" - wouldn't that be the invention of the century.

And then... then it starts to get really weird. Then it starts to get all misogynistic and oppressive and plain sick, and I start to get really pissed off. To think of my beautiful daughter thinking of herself as anything "less than", simply because the so-called standards of beauty in our society are so goddamn photoshop-anorexic-fucked-up-impossible, just kills me. How on earth did it come to be that now she's going to grow up faced with beauty standards for her vagina? Brazilians and Malibu Betty and Vajazzling are just silly crap - but what about genital lightening treatments? You know, if you're not... I'm not even sure what. White enough? Or labiaplasty, for that pencil-thin-and-straight look like so many pencils, but really not all that many vaginas, have. You have got to be shitting me.

I am going to go out on a limb here and presume that it is primarily for the benefit of men that women consider aesthetic alteration of their vuvuzelas. But here's the real, true, honest-Ernest scoop on the matter, based on an unspecified (yet, I assure you, defensible) sample size: straight men love vaginas. L-O-V-E them. And straight men HATE decorating. H-A-T-E it. Ergo, if there is a man trying to impart fashion improvements on your ladybits, HE IS CLEARLY HOMOSEXUAL. Stop. Do not pass the CelaBright. Do not incur personal debt in the name of vaginal "rejuvenation" surgery. Kick that silly bastard to the curb and find yourself someone who can love and accept you for you, in all your myriad ways, and for all your 2000 parts.

Preferably one who doesn't need twinkle lights and Swarovski signage to realize the party in your panties is a darn sight more fun than Vegas in the first place.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bad Captain

Mother's Day takes a lot of preparation: the kids had to make weird crap out of clay and macaroni, DH had to find something to buy me at Superstore the night before, and I had to scramble to do all the housework and laundry on Saturday so the Fam could very magnanimously "give me the day off" on Sunday. Whew! Yup, Mother's Day is tough on everyone.

I'm kidding, of course. Mostly. In reality, I celebrated Mother's Day this year by leaving the dreaded whites load for someone else to fold (hehehe, suck-ah); planting my vegetable garden; and the ancient art of blending shit with coconut rum and getting hammocked in my hammer.

Wait... what? Never mind. The point is, who gets drunk on Sunday afternoon? No one, right? That's right.

At some point in the day I came down with a serious hankering for strawberry shortcake. Being a respectable German girl and all, I already had whipping cream on standby in the fridge, but darn it I was fresh out of strawberries. And, you know, shortcake. So I lurched gracefully out of my hammock, dusted the larger clods of garden soil off of myself and hopped in the car. 

Remember that time I said that no one gets drunk on Sunday afternoon and you agreed with me? Right. Well. This is the precise sort of cognitive sloppiness by which I came to be stranded, on Mother's Day, beside my perfectly operational vehicle in the Co-op parking lot, covered in dirt and clutching a quart of strawberries. It simply didn't occur to me until that point that I probably shouldn't have driven anywhere in the first place. Very goat-and-cabbage, except in this case the boat totally had enough room to get everyone across the river in one go, if only the damn captain hadn't been marinating herself in Malibu all afternoon.


Anyways, I eventually made it home, ate the Strawberry Shortcake of Secret Shame, and while I'm confessing I figured I should say one more thing: Hi, Amy. Your bottle of Malibu rum elected to stay at my house on Friday night. I was going to bring it back to you but it, um, got all empty somehow. Hope you don't mind.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

The Fam watched Ghostbusters on Friday night. It came out when I was about six so you can't blame me for not quite remembering how scary some parts were - luckily, it seems as if Small Fry hardly even noticed. He was quite taken with it, actually. The past two days he has been all about calling The Ghost Bustards:

'Hey, who would you call if you saw a ghost?' 'Ghost Bustards!'
'Who would you call if you saw a monster?' 'Ghost Bustards!'
'Who would you call if you saw a zombie?' 'Ghost Bustards!'

He talks big but in reality, if there's something weird and it don't look good, this is more along the lines of what actually goes down:

'Moooooooom! Come wipe my buuuuuuuutt!' 

Law of averages and all.

Really, what interested me the most about Ghostbusters wasn't that Small Fry is immune to fear - lawd help us, we already knew that - but that there was quite a bit of, er, "language" in the film, and I could judge by Medium Fry's reaction which terms she was familiar with and which ones she wasn't. All manner of things (I admit!) I routinely let slip didn't warrant so much as an eyebrow raise from her, but there were a few unique phrases in there as well at which she would whip her head around to see if I had heard that she had heard what she thought she had heard - if you hear what I mean. For instance, it's apparent that I don't say "dick" as much as Bill Murray does.

At one point a while back I considered all the most useful things I had learned from my parents, in order that I might pass them on to my kids in turn. Of all the handy skills I picked up as a child, I distinctly remember having the best vocabulary in grade one, as demonstrated during the swearing contests we held under the big red slide at Oman School. That earned me a lot of street cred among the other six-year-olds. (I almost don't want to name names here, but I'd also hate to deprive anyone of their rightful honours so close to their special day so... thanks, Mom!) Thus, when Medium Fry came home one day confused by why other kids thought the word "wiener" was so funny I immediately thought to myself: I really need to be more vulgar around the house. If you happen to be striving to achieve similar parenting goals, I found Ghostbusters to be a pretty accurate gauge of my progress on that front.

In summary, the primary conclusions reached during the most recent Fam movie night:

1. You might as well resign yourself to the fact that your children are going to have a wildly different view of their upbringing than you are;

2. I guess I'll have to try working creative synonyms for male genitalia into conversation with my 11-year-old a bit more; and

3. Who ya gonna call? Probably your mom.