Le monde entier tressaille d’espérance

From Cantique de Noël come some of the most beautiful words ever written.

Le monde entier tressaille d’espérance

En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur.

Merry Christmas.  I wish you only Peace.

Joyeux Noël.  Paix pour vous !

Posted in Beauty. 1 Comment »

What’s New

I don’t want to talk about Obama and Wright anymore.*  I just don’t.  I’m letting it go for now – November is a long way away, it’ll keep.  I refuse to go through all this angst, strain friendships, and give bomb-throwing partisans reasons to fire away,over something that I can’t do anything about right now anyway.  So, I’m done with it, for now.  Y’all do what you’re going to do.

 In other news, my children are turning my world upside down. 

 My son decided to follow in my daughter’s footsteps, and got in trouble at school for bullying ad fighting.  Y’all must think I’m the worst parent ever.  Anyway, after getting his story, his friends’ stories, the stories of two different teachers and one principal, I have come to the conclusion that Zaphod gave into peer pressure.  He is very vulnerable to it – he has always been overly concerned with “what his friends think”.  Doesn’t excuse what he did, but it does explain it somewhat.

He’s also way behind in taking accelerated math quizzes, which comprise most of his grade in math.  The kids are expected to take them on their own, and they are judged on how many skills they master.  Because he hasn’t been taking the tests, the best he can do is a “C”for this six weeks.  Neither of my kids have ever gotten below a “B”.  I can hear you laughing now, but it’s not the grade that upsets us, it’s the lack of effort.

My kids also have begged me NOT to take them to Disney World next year.  This breaks my heart.  They would rather go to California.  They want to pan for gold, then maybe go to Disneyland.  Gold country is in northern California, right?  I keep telling them, California is a huge state – you can’t see the northern part AND the southern part in one trip.  Maybe they have some kind of gold panning in southern California.

One thing I know for sure: we have to do SOMETHING Disney next year.  I have a Disney Visa, and my points I’ve built up over the years expire in 2009.  Maybe I’ll find a way to sneak away with Lintilla to Epcot. 

Trillian wants her own bathroom now.  No big surprise, really.  She’s been trying to steer us to remodel, and we keep telling her we can’t afford it. 

This post from Aunt B really, really brought home to me the awesome responsibility I have.  And I don’t mean to my daughter, I already feel the full weight of that.  At my “other gig”, I do entertainment and celebrity reporting.  I won’t talk about how large my readership is, let’s just say it’s beyond my wildest dreams.  (Amazingly, I’m still the slacker in my channel).  Most of my readers are young women, from about 15-25.  Let’s just say there are a LOT of them.

I can’t sit and complain about how the media portrays beauty, I am the media.  I am required to post red carpet photos and the like.  The photos I choose to display, the comments I make about those photos, and my commentary all have an impact.  The show I write about is probably the only body-positive show on television today, so at least I have a head start.

I can only hope and pray that I have the wisdom to always do the right things for these girls and women.

*Those of you who only read me here might ask, “When did you talk about Barack Obama?”  I haven’t here, but I’ve been all over the comments at other folks’ blogs.

This Makes Me Smile

I know that what we’re looking at is a rich man who was given a chance to do something almost all of us only dream about because he has money and connections.  Nevertheless, watching this at bat by Billy Crystal just sends shivers down my spine:

 That he represented his generation well should be respected.  Heck, he looked better than Michael Jordan did.  Did I ever tell you that I was at the game at Greer when he came to town?

Anyway, if God ever came to me with an offer to exchange a major league at bat for a year of my life – I’d have to think seriously about it.  Happy birthday Billy!

Zero, Not My Hero

Y’all know I don’t regularly read a lot of feminist blogs besides Aunt B .  It’s not because I’m such a misogynist pig (that remains to be seen) , but because I am an ENFJ personality type, and in order to be who I am, I need a real human being to interact with.  It’s hard to do that navigating through manifestos and shock material.  If I can’t read your blog and see a little of you in your opinions and theories, we really have nothing to talk about.

One I do enjoy very much is So Sioux Me.  Tracee and I “met” because we have the same blog-ployer, and she linked to something I wrote at Ugly Betty News.  I’ve been reading her personal blog ever since. 

Anyway, she’s posted the most fascinating theory about why women starve themselves :

Do you remember the old feminist theory that women crossed their legs in the feminine way to take up less space because they felt unworthy of it?

What if girls today feel they don’t even have a right to exist, let alone take up more space?

Who takes up less space on the planet, or in a room, or on a couch, than a size Zero girl?

Perhaps the first step to preventing poor body image and extreme thinness and misperception of our bodies is to teach daughters they have a right to exist.

Now, it’s very tempting to dismiss this theory as just another womyns studies pointy-head mental exercise, but Tracee hits on something that has always perplexed me: why do women WANT to be a size zero?  I know it’s not to be attractive to men, because no man I’ve EVER known likes women that skinny.  In fact, the “perfect” size for my wife, the size at which she has to constantly fend me off with a broomstick, is size 12.

I’ve had this conversation with many men before: where do women get the idea that having the body of a 14 year old boy is something they should strive for?

I don’t think this one can be blamed on men.  When most of us see a size zero, our first impulse is to buy her a cheeseburger.

So what do you think?  Do these women do this because they feel unworthy to take up space?

Will You Watch The “New” Miss America?

I watched all four episodes of “Miss America, Reality Check” as part of my duties at Ugly Betty News.  Michael Urie, one of the stars of UB, hosted the reality show on TLC.

The premise was simple: Miss America is hopelessly out of date, the whole pageant world does not represent real women, nobody cares anymore, and this show (MARC) was an attempt to change all that.  Instead of hair and makeup that made the girls look like they were 40, new, fresh, “it” looks would be crafted for each contestant. 

Some of the makeovers were stunning.  Miss Alaska basically cut off 90% of her hair.  The short cut really fit her vibrant personality.  Miss New Mexico went from that plastic look to a kind of beauty a man can’t take his eyes off of.  What they did with her, and a few of the others, was a stark change, and for the better.

Apparently, the pageant is undergoing even more changes than to superficial things.  If the broadcast tonight follows the same pattern as the reality show, gone will be the “world peace” type Q&A.  For instance, in last night’s episode of MARC, they posed a surprise question to Miss Washington about gay marriage.  She then coolly revealed that she had two daddies herself.  (Being a reality show, of course it was pre-planned, IMHO).  But, can you imagine this kind of discussion in the Miss America pageant?  There might be fireworks!

Even the choosing of the contestants themselves seems to have changed. Miss Utah is a soldier, and to be honest, the least feminine of all the contestants.  Yet, I found myself cheering for her . 

One disappointing thing, Miss Tennessee, Grace Gore, might be gorgeous, but the reality show made her come off as a jackass.  I have no idea if she’s really a jackass – reality shows have a tendency to distort reality through creative editing.  She really seemed to have a problem with the very outgoing, silly, and brash Miss Alaska.  But that was probably just editing.  You can read this profile and see she’s no idiot.  But, you never know;  she may still be a jackass.

Anyway, since they are apparently trashing all the old conventions and who knows what the heck is going to end up happening tonight, are you interested enough to watch the pageant on TLC tonight?  We’ll be watching, at least.

Squeals Of Delight

Trillian decided to have a sleepover/slumber party/whatever-they-call-it-these-days tonight, to celebrate her birthday, which is this Sunday.  Our youngest is going to be 10.  Damn.

She bought her first CD that she chose herself, with no input from either parent.  Hannah Montana 2, of course.  But, SHE came to me, plopped the money on my desk, and asked me to order it for her.  She is developing her own tastes, making decisions on her own, paying for things with money she earned.  This is happening way too fast for me.

But back to today.  Annie is here, along with many of Trillian’s other classmates (but not all – another choice she has started making).  They are on the trampoline, and I can hear squeals of delight through the window.  Don’t worry, I’m keeping an eye on them.  They are also practicing some routine they are working on for the school talent show (Hannah Montana, again).

I love their energy, love for life, and general excitedness.  Yes, its noisy here, but I wouldn’t trade this for the world.  Yes, Trillian is growing up too fast.  But, although I adored her as a baby, cherished her as a toddler, loved her as a preschooler, I can tell you that she is a pure delight at this age.  Sure, things are about to change, but every age that children reach brings different joys and challenges.

So, I’ll just get some earplugs and enjoy the ride.

Merry Christmas To All From Shoot The Moose!

I pray that each and every one of you receives joy and peace.

You know, I’ve always swore I’d never become one of “those people”, the ones who, when asked what they want for Christmas, reply “I don’t want anything – I’ve got everything I need.”

Well, I’ve become one of those people.

This is a weird Christmas; because of the events of the last month, we’ve been unable to go to any parties, or shop for surprises (we’ve had to be together while we shop this year), or any of the other usual stuff at Christmas that stresses us out. 

And I swear, this Christmas, with minimal (but heartfelt) decorations, and a lot of time spent just at home with one another, appears to be turning out to be one of the best ever.

Lintilla’s prognosis is good; it sounds corny, but how could I want more? Jimmy Stewart once said that Frank Capra made you pay for your happy endings.  Well, had it not been for the end of November and early December, I’d be complaining and stressed out about this crazy Christmas.

Instead, I am filled with a joy that is hard to describe.

Yesterday, at church, we dressed the kids up as much as we could without things coming to blows (Trillian is much more cooperative), and went to “big church”, the traditional service.  The tween kids were to read passages in between verses of “The Friendly Beasts”, which the little kids were singing.  All of them were adorable.

Zaphod came to his podium (our church has the two-podium setup), and read his lines flawlessly.  I was so happy, because he’s balked at doing things like this before, and I was afraid he’s say something crazy or roll his eyes in front of the entire congregation.  But, he gave me a wonderful gift by just showing how articulate he is, and not showing out for his friends.

Later came Trillian’s turn.  She stepped up to her podium, and I swear, at that moment, the sun streamed through the stained glass and bathed the left side of her face. She literally looked angelic.  Her soft, sweet voice read the lines (the hardest of the bunch) beautifully.  I was struck to the point of tears.

As she stepped down and the little kids began singing again, I looked at the cross between the two podiums, and thought to myself:

Thank you.

I am living a life I certainly don’t deserve. and have been given the gift of an even better eternal one.

I want to say that I thank God for each and every one of you.  You really are a gift that few men ever receive.