And, lo, the great Mississippi shall turn to blood

I always think some of the funniest stuff to come out around election time are the “Do you really want to vote for someone crazy enough to want the job?” jokes.

Especially this year, I’m just grateful that anyone is willing to take on the job (and the blame) of leading us through recession, war, pestilence, and frogs.

And whatever else President-elect Obama is able to accomplish, the absolute highest hope I have for his presidency is that, God willing and all the stars aligning, my friends, The Express will be the last movie EVER MADE to feature a newly-integrated sports team triumphing over bigotry, failed quizzes, athlete’s crotch, and small-town blonde girls in leftover poodle skirts.

But I wonder if our President-elect might not be rethinking his ambitions. Apparently, the president is not allowed to email or text or instant message. Obama is hoping to have a laptop in the Oval Office, and if he succeeds, he would be the first American president to ever have a laptop on his desk.

I have a laptop on my desk IN MY KITCHEN.

Who knew that being a stay-at-home mom had advantages over being president of the United States?

What do you think? Would it be worth technological annihilation to preside over 300 million back-seat strategists?

Jane

Things That Must Go

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I first flew outside the United States when I was nineteen, and since then I’ve taken every opportunity to see more of the world. My greatest dream (besides happy, healthy children, blah blah blah) is to see everything else.

BUT. I gotta say that I love the United States. I’m guest posting next week at Politics for Mom, so I’ll save the rest of that spiel for then. I just want you to know that I’m happy to be an American, and that I have never pretended to be a Canadian, even when that seemed a more diplomatic option. (And even though I would love to be the same nationality as L.M. Montgomery).

One of the great things about America is the freedom we enjoy on the internet. Freedom from government censors. Who knows? Maybe the government is censoring things left and right; maybe “they” have taken down a website that would tell me how to build a cluster bomb in my garage. Maybe I should be picketing some agency about that and about the Patriot Act. Of course I don’t know everything the government does (and if I did, I’d probably be upset).

BUT, I do know that I have more internet freedom than the people in Egypt and China (for example), and for that I am grateful.

Also, I have the freedom to write whatever I want, which is why this post is now going to segue quite abruptly into Things That Must Go.

Things That Must Go

1. Tight black jeans and emo hair cuts. Just stop. Please.

2. The Fight The Ugly ads that are supposed to be anti-smoking. I can’t find an image online to save my life (Aaack, the internet has failed me!). Have you seen these? They have the word “Allure” or “Lover” or “Charm” and then an image of a cigarette positioned in the middle of the word. Do “allure” and “lover” have negative connotations that I am unaware of that somehow make this ad convey the message that cigarettes are bad?

3. Cheating, lying, and hypocrisy. Nobody’s perfect. I get that. I am very, very far from perfect. Still. Just don’t go there.

I’m sorry to say there’s no giveaway this week. To be honest, I’ve spent a lot of time and emotion in the past couple days on something that has left me with a very sour taste in my mouth about blogging, and especially about viewing blogging as a business. I don’t ever want to be in a position where making money or increasing my blog’s traffic or promoting my blog is more important to me than sharing my thoughts and experiences with anyone kind enough to read.

So I hope you’ll share your Things That Must Go this weekend, but only if you really want to. Not because there’s a prize to win (there isn’t) or because it’ll make you famous or rich (it won’t), but because you just want to share what’s been bugging you in a way that’ll maybe make us laugh or make us think.

Catholic Church asks The DaVinci Code Author to be Goodwill Ambassador

Not really. Or if they have, I didn’t hear about it. But Dooce is running ads for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). I am a Mormon, and I love Dooce. These things are not incompatible in my little world, but only because I am complex like that.

Does the church know who Dooce is? Does Dooce remember who the church is? I am SO confused.

I told you I needed therapy; I just didn’t know it would be for Internet Dissonance.

Fun with Dick and Jane

Every day people tell me they don’t blog, they don’t blog about their children, or they won’t let their children blog, because they’re worried about internet predators. I say Internet Predators, BRING IT ON.

Just kidding. I want to protect my kids and respect their privacy, but at the same time, I think everyone (even moms! and kids!) should blog.

As a parent you have to balance risk and reward. Do you let your kids ride in a car? Probably you do. Do you make wearing a seatbelt a condition of riding in a car? I’m sure you do.

So, I say blog, but blog wisely.

For me, today, that means switching to fake incredibly clever fictional names for my kids and husband.

(It’s harder than you think to come up with incredibly clever fictional names. Naming them in real life is nothing compared to choosing the names that will be immortalized once What About Mom makes it big).

And I have to be honest. Terms like “Princess” or “Monkey” or “The Boy” or “Big Sister” sound a little too precious — especially the royalty ones or the “Little Man” stuff. Of course my daughters would love it if I called them Princess Ruby, Ariel, and Mean Guy, but I told them we fought a whole revolution to get rid of those Disney Princesses.

Then — what’s a good name for your better half? I tried to think of a Monopoly name for the Man, but June snagged the best one for Marvin Gardens. At Rocks in My Dryer, Shannon uses two great names — Hubs and Mr. Dryer. So I thought about Mr. Mom, but I wouldn’t want to give the impression that my husband has any clue where the vacuum cleaner is (or the grocery store, for that matter).

And then there’s my love-hate relationship with pearls and pot roast. I want a theme for our names, but what? Who or what are we? Who am I? Basically, though I call myself a “writer/editor” when I’m feeling perky, or a “homemaker” when I’m feeling righteous, I’m basically a 1950s-style housewife.

Not a glamorous desperate housewife with a big house and a small body, but, really, a June Cleaver-type without the pearls and high heels (or the bra, usually).

Inspiration came, as it often does, from a book — this time one my daughter was reading. Even if she did resist my diligent reading instruction for the first six years of her life, she can now READ. Last week she read a few Dick and Jane books, et Voila! We are now the Dick and Jane family. I know Dick and Jane were brother and sister, but I am not the first to conceive of them as marrieds (see the Jim Carrey movie!).

Beyond the obvious appeal of being able to refer to my dear, dear husband as Dick legitimately, it’s just a simple and elegant solution. My three daughters will now be Sally (6), Susan (3), and Spot (1). Dick can’t get too mad about his name, knowing that Spot is named after the dog. (What’s more, President Hinckley calls his son Dick).

I’m curious to know what (if anything) you do to blog safely. In the meantime, I’ll keep posting pictures, because while sticks and stones may break my bones, the photoshopping of images will never hurt me. (I hope).