I don't really know what I am musing on these days. It's more like an irregular stream of consciousness thing...it seems to be working.


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w March 29, 2003

Encouraging Apathy

For those of you out there sick to death of the talking heads on the news and the blithering masses in the streets, here is a campy and totally bizarre website that is also entirely compelling. For anyone who has ever taken a plane, I introduce you to Airline Meals.

by Heather Hoffman at 9:32 PM


And Now For Something Completely Different

I had initially intended to post something ranty about the current state of affairs in the world and the world's response, but then I got either apathetic or utterly frustrated with the whole thing. And I state here and now, I am putting my head in the sand in regards to my political opinions and views. I don't want to hear anyone elses, fine, then so too shall I be silent.

A much more personally fulfilling topic for tonight's random huzzah: Bean is truly figuring out cause and effect, as well as finesse. She has this keyboard that lights up and plays music, yadda yadda...usually she whacks at it with open palm or arm. Well, tonight she was lying on the floor and realized that if she sort of flicked her finger against the keys...they would work!

Another favorite toy is this cow toy that is HAPPYHAPPYHAPPY!!! You hit it, it moos, it plays Farmer in the Dell. And Old Macdonald. And Farmer in the Dell. And Old...well, you get the idea. She loves it. We, well, we endure it. But it was on the other side of her tonight, and so we were treated to the gloriously cacophonous mixture of Farmer in the Dell and Brandenburg Concerto #1.

Huzzah. I think.

by Heather Hoffman at 7:30 PM

w March 20, 2003


Since I am a member of the human race, naturally, I feel the need to run my mouth regarding the current war in Iraq. Well, not really...honestly, I hate it when people run their mouth about politics. Sorry, but I do. If you ain't making the decisions, shut up. At least in public, or at work. I teach at a public school, so that kind of covers both bases...and you can imagine the tenor of conversation in our staffroom. I guess I'm kind of a moderate, or, as I have recently decided, a Demican (insert uproarious laughter here), so I just make very non-committal "mm-hm" noises whenever the topic arises.

What I do know is this: I have students who have loved ones (brothers, cousins, the ilk) who are presently...well, we don't know where they are presently. But it's definitely somewhere on, near, or over the Iraqi border. And I find myself in the position of trying to come up with comforting words for a scared thirteen-year-old, while still maintaining a neutral position. Ironically, as a social studies teacher, discussing personal politics is considered rather tacky and inappropriate. Go figure.

And to tell you the truth, I don't really know what my personal politics are on this one. Do I wish there was no such thing as war? You bet. Do I think Hussein is a meglomaniacal nutter? You bet, I remember the first Persian Gulf war well. Do I think this whole war thing was handled well? I don't know. Do I think our troops deserve our moral support, at the very least? You better damn well believe it. If someone is willing to risk their hide so that I can sit complacently in my cozy den, watching them on my nice large television, they are welcome to my unconditional backing. Which is not, let me hasten to assure knee-jerk activists out there, the same thing as backing the current administration or policies.

I do know that military history has always interested me, but more from a social historian's perspective...what is life like for your average grunt, cannon fodder, teenager pulling themselves out of distressed socio-economic circumstances. This particular musing comes back to me full force tonight, as I wonder whether or not the inanities I murmured to my concerned and confused students today did more harm than good; what their brothers, cousins, childhood crushes are experiencing right now; what is going to be the eventual outcome of all this.

Looks like I did end up running my mouth, for which I apologize. But for what it's worth, just remember that there are scared thirteen-year-olds who want their brothers to come home safely. Take from this whatever position you will.

by Heather Hoffman at 8:08 PM

w March 16, 2003

Birthday Bean

Bean turned one today, at 4:18 pm, PST. It was a profoundly odd feeling to keep looking at the clock thinking, goodness, one year ago today at this time I was starting Pitocin/managing contractions/feeling in control of contractions/contractions were in control of me/screaming for an epidural/wanted to know WHERE IN THE HELL WERE MY OB AND ANESTHESIOLOGIST/got through labor without said epidural (sorry, just had to self-aggrandize a bit)/Bean came out/Bean peed on me/I could see my feet again.

We had the classic first birthday party---all adults, wine, champagne, tea sandwiches, etc. However, Bean had her first taste of whipped cream, and lo, she saieth, it was good. We did not let her eat as much as she wanted to, never fret, but we also figured, screw it, it's your birthday, and it's not going to hurt you. The presents/cake/Happy Birthday song were rushed through to try and maximize good humor, and for the most part, it worked. At least we have the picture of her looking perplexed in front of a be-candled cake.

She got a pile of amusing presents, of course. A stuffed palomino pony that seems almost as big as her, a "Fun Ultrasaucer" for entertainment while Mommy tries to grade papers, some new clothes, some active type toys, and LOTS of books. Lots. She literally has enough now to fill a small bookshelf in her room and an entire shelf of our bookcase. Two highlights were the "Listen Peter Rabbit" from my aunt and uncle, in which a noisebox is embedded, and when one turns to the appropriate page, snoring sounds emerge. They're rather loud snores, though, and it caused one guest to comment, "Peter...I am your father..."

The second is a wonderful picture book called "The Day You Were Born", and it sounds sort of crunchy and Berkeleyesque on first reading, but as I reread it, it was poignant and powerful enough to cause me to start quietly weeping. I won't go into the whole text here, or even some of it, but it just brought back so many memories of pregnancy and childbirth, and in particular, caused me to think of a quote I once read that said, in effect, "Deciding to have children is the same as deciding to let your heart walk around outside your body for the rest of your life". Indeed.

A very happy birthday to our sweet and eccentric Bean...may every one be the best ever.

by Heather Hoffman at 7:22 PM

w March 02, 2003

California Baby

Was reading to Bean this morning, and it struck me yet again what a California baby she really is. Which is highly amusing, considering that neither my husband nor I are "real" Californians (at least not according to my best friend, who is a transplanted LA girl). Then again, Bean is the one native Californian in our little family, so I suppose she has a legitimate claim.

Certainly we used soy formula for supplements and cereal...but I nursed her for basically a year, which I would venture to guess is not all that common in many parts of North America. We bought (well, okay I bought) organic baby food because I felt guilt-ridden about not having the time to make my own. However, the biggest indicator of Bean's California Girl status is one of her favorite books (which, needless to say, is one of Mommy's favorite books),
My First Book of Sushi, by Amy Wilson Sanger. The best line in the entire book is "Miso in my sippy cup/Tofu in my bowl".

I don't want to intimate that families in other parts of the country don't know about sushi, or wouldn't find this book charming, but it just kind of makes me laugh that it's on our bookshelf. It also reminds me of a great story from some friends of ours with a three-year-old. They were out east visiting family, and were trying to get the then 18-month-old to eat some potato...and did so by telling him it was tofu. You can imagine the pause in dinner conversation.

We can't wait until Bean is old enough to join us in our sushi feedbag sessions at our local trough.

by Heather Hoffman at 12:08 PM