March 31, 2011

-image-nosy thursday-almost-friday survey: titles

I don’t know what else to call this survey but “titles.”

So I’ve come up with a series of questions about the titles we have in one another’s lives: mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa. You know, just …. titles. I have lingering questions regarding “titles” in my life and the lives of others and I want to get some opinions. Or maybe I’m just a weirdo who thinks about these things and no one else really gives a rip. Who knows?

(And actually, only one of the scenarios below applies to me. Others have happened to people I know.)

Instructions (as usual): Copy and paste questions into the comment box.

1. Agree/Disagree: I think it is okay to call people who are not actually my aunt or uncle by the title “Aunt” or “Uncle” So and So.

2. Agree/Disagree: I think it’s okay for my children to do the same thing.

3. T/F: My kids actually do call — or I would let them call — my friends by the title “Aunt” or “Uncle” So and So.

4. If you answered True, do/would these titles apply to all your friends? If not, why not?

5. If you answered False to #3, why don’t/wouldn’t you allow your kids to call your friends “Aunt” or “Uncle” So and So?

6. If you allow — or would allow — your kids to call your friends “Aunt” or “Uncle,” would you let them do this in the presence of their real aunt or uncle?

7. A step-parent scenario: Is is appropriate for a kid to call a step-parent “Mom” or “Dad”? I’m asking. I really don’t know.

8. Another step scenario: Your wife died. You’ve remarried. You have adult daughters who call your wife, their stepmom, “Mom.” There is less than 10 years’ difference in age between your new wife and your daughters. Calling her “Mom” — appropriate or not?

9. Does it dishonor your dead spouse to have your grown kids call your new spouse “Mom” or “Dad”?

10. What about younger kids? Is it okay for them to call your new spouse “Mom” or “Dad” if your first spouse is deceased?

11. Who decides what a step-parent is called? The bio parent or the step-parent? Or the kids??

12. A grandparent scenario: Your grown kids have no kids. You’re not a grandparent. You allow the kids of other people to call you “Grandma” and “Grandpa” in front of your adult childless kids. You really want to be grandma or grandpa, so is this okay or not okay?

13. Another grandparent scenario: Same parameters as above, but you list these same non-related kids as your “granddaughters” or “grandsons” on your Facebook page. Okay or not okay?

14. What is your philosophy of “titles”? I mean, who gets to call who what when there is no actual relation? (Horribly phrased, forgive me, but I think you know what I mean.) And who decides?

15. If a “title” hurts anyone in the process — and if you know it does — is that enough to stop using that title or is the title more important?

Thanks for taking another Nosy Friday Survey, pippa. I’m eager to read your thoughts.

March 29, 2011

-image-update on my bil

I wanted to mention to those of you who prayed for my BIL that he recently had his 6-month PET scan for his stage III oral cancer and as of right now, he is CANCER FREE! The last six months have been harrowing, yet at the same time oddly touching as you see your loved ones and their kids face issues of life and death head on. In most ways, I’ve never felt so helpless. You’re brought to your knees and that’s just where you stay.

My BIL will likely have permanent side effects from the pinpoint radiation to his tongue. Saliva for one. You never think about how much you need it until you don’t have it, he says. He has a 7-inch scar on his neck from where they took the lymph nodes, but we just joke that he looks like he came out on the winning side of a knife fight in TJ. My nephews have been amazing almost-men standing stalwart for their dad and niece Piper, as you all know, is a love. The sweetest girl in the world. Her compassion and sensitivity are just unusual — beyond what you’d ever expect — in a 10-year-old girl. My sister is a rock. I can’t even talk about her without bawling. A rock.

But thank you, thank you, thank you, pippa. Thank you for the emails, the offers of help, the prayers, your true blue hearts.

You really can feel when people are praying.

March 27, 2011

-image-i love paper!

Gorgeous concept dresses made from newspaper.




Look at those silhouettes. The ink all over your body would be totally worth it.

March 23, 2011

-image-Protected: maybe it’s just me

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March 22, 2011


We are suddenly indignant, a daily occurrence.

ME: Yeah? Well, here’s my wall!
(a gesture to a body part)

HE: Yeah? Well, here’s MY post!

ME: You know what? YOU can post on my wall!

(We call this foreplay at our house. Thrilling, huh?)

March 20, 2011

-image-facebook weirdness

I had a weird issue with a friend on Facebook today. It was minor, but irritating.

The issue? Friend got annoyed with me because I don’t let people post on my Wall. I tried to shuffle and joke my way out of it, all the while feeling like an ass simply because it’s my choice not to let people post on my Wall. They can comment, sure, but not post. It almost felt like she took it personally and it’s not personal. It’s not about her. I don’t make this option available to any FB friends, so it’s even Steven on that score.

And isn’t this personal preference? Can’t I set up my FB page the way I want? Aren’t those choices made available by FB so that people can, uh, make them? So is this what happens? FB people nag you about your choices because they’re not the same as theirs?

Life’s too short, pippa.

My FB enthusiasm, on life support to begin with, may be unplugged really soon. It feels like yet another place to have misunderstandings online.

March 18, 2011

-image-banshee boy

Yes, I do know how to hold a baby. Yes, his head is perfectly supported with my arm right in the crook of his neck, but I tell you true: this was his preferred position. He fussed and fussed with his head held more upright — you know, the way normal people hold babies. But the Floppy Baby position combined with the gentle twisting of my upper torso? Well, pippa, that boy was suddenly off on some crazy baby acid trip. Whenever I held him, he squirmed his way into this position. We had a symbiotic thing going on. “Tee Tee, I’m flopping my head. Do the twisty thing.” “Okay, kid.”

Here, he’s about to fall asleep, but moments before, I was standing near the window gently twisting while he was gazing wide-eyed at an upside down world. Thrilling when you’re 50 days old. So basically I’m creating a spatial genius is what I’m doing. Or a mentally impaired child. We’ll see.


(Look at the precious flop of that jowl, though. The face says so adorable. The diaper says SO offensive.)

March 17, 2011

-image-“giant very close veins”


I am Baby Banshee. Tee Tee let me draw on her foot with pens and now I’m drawing on mine. Mom and Dad will be thrilled, we’re pretty sure. Tee Tee takes crummy cell phone pictures, but in her defense, my 7-week old baby brother just spit up on her. It was gross. You should see Tee Tee’s pasty white calf. I covered it with swirling blue pen marks. She said they looked like things called “giant very close veins.” Uncle Beloved agreed. I don’t know what those are so I said, “What are giant very close veins, Tee Tee?” But she just sighed.

I think it looks pretty.


Gorgeous installation by Gerda Steiner and Jorg Lenzlinger.

Falling Garden
San Staƫ church on the Canale Grande
50th Biennial of Venice, 2003

This is so magical to me.

March 13, 2011

-image-my scary movie project

I’ve given myself a scary movie project. Not that the movies themselves are scary — at least not on purpose. They’re scary because they’re so horrible, but they’re not scaaary scary.

All I’m saying for now is that I’ll soon be reviewing a ridiculous, somewhat infamous trilogy of movies from the late 70s and early 80s.

Here’s a screenshot from part 1 of this trilogy. (Sorry for the play arrow. I screwed it up.)


That tooth. What is the deal with that tooth? Seriously, it’s like some horrible stubborn weed sprouted up amid the enamel hedge of his teeth. It’s like the teeth around it are having their honeymoon ruined by the overbearing mother-in-law tooth. It’s like having a permanent booger hanging out of your nose only it’s in your mouth.

Why did his momma hate him so much to leave him this way?

Also, please know that this fellow with the tagalong tooth is a person of some authority and knowledge in part 1 of our ridiculous trilogy.

See what I mean by scary?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, pippa. Or, uhm, tooth.

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