Dance With Me (And Play BINGO)!

It’s official. There is now a YouTube clip of me dancing very horribly. LOL!

I and my co-workers at MomsRising created the clip in celebration of National Women’s Health Week this week:

Among the activities we have planned is a BINGO card of activities to do. We have been posting images of our members on Tumblr and Facebook. Here’s one of me stretching before a run.

Please join us! You can download your BINGO card here. Thanks!


Midday Coffee Break

What’s up?

Once again, funny woman Sandra Tsing Loh has written a jaw-dropping essay for the Atlantic Monthly about how she had an affair and is now ending her 20-year partnership with her husband. She proceeded to write a diatribe against the institution of marriage. What do you think?

Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon wrote a depressing story on how ads, um “applications,” for the sex trade are up even as that work is drying up. No pun intended.

Scientists are looking to develop a pill that would ease the blow to a developing fetus’s brain in the event a pregnant woman binge-drinks, according to the Associated Press. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is spending $1.5 million this year to help children with fetal alcohol syndrome receive care.

Also by the Associated Press: More charter schools are becoming unionized.  

One of the moms in Ari’s class put together this adorable YouTube of our kids ballroom dancing. The guy with the crooked tie — that’s my guy!

In celebrity gossip break: James Jeffrey Archuleta, the father of last year’s American Idol runner-up David Archuleta, was busted for patronizing a prostitute, according to AP.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


British Health Officials Create Shocking Video to Stem Teen Pregnancy

Public health officials in the city of Leicester, England, created a graphic video, which has gone viral on YouTube, about a teenaged girl giving birth in front of all her peers at school, according to the Associated Press.

Organizers said Wednesday that the video, filmed to look as if it were shot on another student’s cell phone, had received more than 250,000 hits.

The video shows a girl in a school uniform screaming in agony while jeering children jostle for a close look, while another girl trying to fend them off is helping deliver the baby.

The video ends with the caption: “Not what you expected? Being a teenage parent might not be either.”

Students who considered the public school system’s sex education “preachy” offered suggestions to help create the video, officials said.

About one in 20 teenaged Leicester girls is pregnant, about 8 times higher than the country average, according to AP.

There are about 50 conceptions per 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 17 in Leicester City, eight more than the country’s average, according to statistics provided by Leicester City public health officials.

verall, Britain’s teen-pregnancy rates are among the highest in Europe and one recent report indicated that they are on the rise, specifically in England and Wales.

The government and educators have been trying to address the problem by distributing condoms in some schools, creating a sex-education program for the youngest elementary-school students and instituting a pilot program to distribute birth-control pills without a prescription.

What do you think of Leicester’s video?


Tuesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Sorry for the paltry post today. But I am still adjusting to Eli’s new childcare schedule and I have back-to-back doctor’s appointments today (dentist and gynecologist). So definitely fill me in on the news!

Here is what I dug up:

Bad Grandma wrote a heartbreaking piece about the impending loss of her grandson who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Via YouTube: A few Massachusetts clergy dismissed three common myths surrounding gay marriage — like churches will be forced to conduct same-sex ceremonies.

In other religion news, the Rev. Alberto Cutie — have any of you caught him on Telemundo? — has admitted to a two-year affair with a woman he was canoodling with on Miami Beach, according to CNN. I was reading about the affair in Spanish magazines abroad and it sounds like most Latinos, who call him “Father Oprah” for his TV talk show, are sticking by him. He has become the poster boy for why Catholic priests should be allowed to marry.  

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


Thursday Open Thread

Happy Thursday everyone! Today I thought I would shamelessly share Maya’s latest cute video. We took lots of videos of her during her first 2.5 years or so, then they dropped off as life got in the way. I forgot how much fun it is to pick up the camera and capture a moment of silliness.

DH is on a strict diet and exercise regimen, and he bought a fitness ball the other day. As you’ll see in the video, Maya has taken a shine to it.

I shot this video using my little Canon digital camera. We also have a Flip camera, but it’s hidden away in a drawer somewhere. Do you take a lot of videos? Prefer photos? Anyone out there scrapbook? I am good about posting photos and videos online, but have yet to start Maya’s scrapbook…

What else is going on? Chat away!


Reason #1,037 I’m Going To Hell

I’m a sucker for viral videos. From the Dramatic Prairie Dog to Chocolate Rain, I always have a minute or two to waste on goofy clips.

The latest viral sensation involves a 7-year-old boy still woozy from a trip to the dentist. He is drugged, confused and barely coherent and OMG– it is HILARIOUS!!

In between guffaws, I started to wonder: how does this little boy feel about becoming known around the world for a less-than-graceful moment? How do his parents feel? Would I have posted this video on YouTube?

My answer: yes. I find this funny as hell. When we lived in Sacramento we posted many YouTube clips of our DD so that family members could see her latest antics for themselves. We never managed to capture anything as hilarious as this drugged-up kid, but if we had, you can bet I would have posted it! For it to go viral would have been a heck of a shock, though.

What about you? Do you post kid videos on sites like YouTube? Do you think this boy’s parents should have posted the video? And what are YOUR favorite viral videos?

Here’s a cute moment my husband captured while home with DD one day. Hope it gives you a chuckle!


Naomi Wolf and the End of America

I had mentioned briefly in a few open threads that listening to Naomi Wolf and Thom Hartmann go back and forth about her new book, The End of America, had freaked me out enough to want to head out and exercise my second amendment rights, just in case. As a person pro constitution but not particularly gun-loving, that’s a huge line for me to cross.

I’m not particularly comforted by the following youtube clip of Naomi giving a synopsis of the book, either, but I feel a bit more informed. It’s long, but completely worth it, IMO. 42 minutes of it are simply scary, but the last 5 give you hope. I thought I’d post and see if anyone else had read the book or went through the clip and either share the fear (you’re welcome, I guess) or at least start a discussion. That said, I’ve most likely just put myself on “the list” by passing it along, but such is life in these times. If anything, I understand the need to be a patriot now.

Obama/Biden 2008


one fun hour (talking politics)

It’s been a rough winter (here in Australia) with DSD. But this week I had one fun hour: DSD asked me who Stephen Colbert was!

The only time she ever actually learns anything from us is when SHE asks. Not when we try to tell her! Details below…and I’d love to hear if any of you have had this kind of fun recently.

DSD’s health and schoolwork/grades/behaviour are all in crisis. She’s seeing a trainer and being tested for a learning disorder that may be related to some of her birth defects. She’s fighting with her friends and her dad (and his partner) and both of us, and we’re fighting with each other. I am at peace with the reality that she will never love me – only tolerate me most of the time and respect me about one hour in every six months.

And she doesn’t appreciate the life that we knock ourselves out to give her. I asked whether she’d like her and me to go along on one of her mom’s business trips during the next school holidays and she said, “I’m not interested in any travel unless it’s overseas.” Sometimes. Wish. To. Strangle. (& Failure of Ecological Examples Too)

BUT this week I had a fun hour that I want to tell you about.

As a background, DSD is following events in the US (at least the YouTube version) and quite some time ago she researched Obama and started urging me to support him. (I am tempermentally a Hillary supporter but in late Oct I will be traveling back ‘home’ to vote for Michelle’s stompin’ husband in the swing state where my parents live.)

The fun: maybe because I had him on TV, the other night DSD asked who Stephen Colbert was. I explained about how brave he was at the Correspondents’ Dinner, and before I knew it, she had found the YouTube video. She watched the whole thing and paused it quite frequently and asked me to explain anything she didn’t understand. So I got to tell her about the dinner and how it works most years, who Helen Thomas and Valerie Plame are, what I think is wrong with the Bush White House and the big media outlets (see: Glenn Greenwald), who Colbert was parodying, etc. She said, “It sounds like they’re scared to laugh…” At the end she asked, “Is he on every night? Let’s watch him more!”

Interestingly, one of the best ways we can get through to her is using a chat program, either from far away or from the other room. Her mom (whose job requires lots of travel) was just caught in Hurricane Gustav and it was very comforting for DSD to chat with her from a windowless ballroom where 100 hotel guests were huddled together. All safe now & keeping our fingers crossed for Cuba and Louisiana.

Thanks for reading! – Maddie


Cartoon phooey

There’s a new superhero hanging out at my house, and it’s not Batman or Spiderman or even Kung Fu Panda. It’s Hong Kong Phooey.

(I’d post a picture but I’m having a hard time finding one that will work.)

Now, I know we’ve got a lot of young ‘uns that hang out here who may not remember Hong Kong Phooey. So for those of you who might need a little help, I direct you here. Why, you may ask, am I posting about him? Well, it turns out that my strictness about commercial television has taken a turn I didn’t expect.

My relationship with TV has never been a comfortable one. As a child my parents restricted my viewing but put the TV in my bedroom because they didn’t want it in the living room. I did read a ton but also spent a good bit of time watching Happy Days (absolutely forbidden by my mother) with the sound turned off. It has left me with a kind of love-hate relationship that has carried over into my parenting and as a consequence, I have pretty much banned commerical TV from my house. We have cable, but all the kids get to watch is PBS, with an occasional foray into the Disney Channel.

Problem is I now have a six year old who isn’t interested in the “babyish” programming he’s been offered up to now. I do let him watch Sponge Bob, but unfortunately it’s not always on when I permit him to watch TV (usually in the morning or evening).

DH lets me set the rules, but he has a much less complicated attitude. He knows there is no possible way that our children will even come close to watching as much TV as he did, and he’s not really worried about it. So naturally, he was the one who came up with the idea of showing them TV programs from his childhood on the computer.

It started with Looney Toons, which I heartily endorsed, as I have many a fond memory of watching Foghorn Leghorn at my grandmother’s house (more fun there – she had a color TV, which my parents never owned).

Then it was Scooby Doo, another favorite of mine. I got a little uneasy though at the level of devotion to Scooby that both children displayed. They talk about the characters like they are real, even referring to them as “the gang.” My youngest is still apt to burst out singing the theme song at inappropriate times (i.e., church) and always at high volume (he has patiently explained to me many times that it is supposed to be loud).

As you can probably guess, we have now landed on their latest passion: Hong Kong Phooey. I am now subjected to my younger child singing this vaguely offensive song, often multiple times before breakfast.

I will actually admit that it’s been fun to see how eagerly the two of them sit in a desk chair and peer at cartoons from the 1970s whose production value can’t even come close to those of today. Or to hear the belly laugh elicited by Scooby Dum (who I never liked especially). Or even to laugh myself at Pepe le Pew (while sitting in a Parisian apartment no less).

Do any of you have old favorites that you might share with your children? I realize for some of you the vintage might be much more recent. But please, do share.

DH is threatening Underdog next.