Friday, May 30, 2008

Dove Film Parody

Ok - this is pretty funny...

Parody on the Dove film



This is just to congratulate my friend Cindy whose PM Announcement was made this week:

May 27, 2008
Young Adult Cindy Pon's SPIRIT BOUND, set in an ancient kingdom
based on Chinese folklore, myth and magic, to Virginia Duncan at Green
Willow Books, in a three-book deal, for publication in April 2009, by
Bill Contardi at Brandt & Hochman (NA).

How cool is that?

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Thanks to everyone who came and took part in the discussions yesterday. I read every single comment posted yesterday and came away the richer for it. Yes, even the anonymous ones! What a terrific reminder of how diverse and rich our world is from a discussion on such an important issue. I feel enriched and invigorated and I am welcome to the challenge of changing the world, at least in my own house. And so I thank you all for being part of a greater good.

And in keeping with the theme of our discussions, I'd like to leave you with this excellent Dove film:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

** Author Event - The Lolita Effect**

Recently, I was driving to pick up my daughter from preschool and watched as a group of girls in middle school were walking home. They couldn’t have been more than 13 but they were dressed in outfits more suitable for 20 year olds on a night out clubbing. This all brings in to mind the scandal about Miley Cyrus and her racy Vanity Fair photos. Is it appropriate to photograph a 15 year old girl topless wearing nothing but a bedsheet? The photographer and Vanity Fair editors all contend that these are beautiful artistic pictures. But Miley Cyrus herself admits to being uncomfortable during the shoot and even more so in seeing the end result. While the photographer states that she spoke to Miley about the shoot and that her parents were there and all agreed that it was a great way to take her picture, one cannot help but wonder if anybody thought about the appropriateness of showing an underage girl in such a sexy and risqué pose. Did anyone stop and think, hey, she is only 15! Miley is a role model for millions of girls in this country who faithfully watch her Disney channel show, Hannah Montana. But now, she is another aspect of the sexualized marketing geared towards young girls in this country.

Dr. Gigi Durham has a term for this. She calls it the Lolita Effect and now has a new book out by Overlook Press titled, The Lolita Effect, The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What we can Do About It. To understand what she means by the Lolita Effect, we need to dissect the original Lolita by Nabakov and compare it against the contemporary use of the term. Dr. Durham points out that todays usage of the term Lolita is to define a girl who is a walking taboo, an overly sexualized girl who is by legal definition too young for sex. Thus the term Lolita indicates a “deliberate sexual provocateur.” But the original Lolita was nothing like this. She was an innocent girl who was the powerless victim of her stepfather, who was an adult sexual predator. Quite a different meaning from what has become of the term. And so it is similar to the mainstream corporate media construct of sex and sexuality being pushed onto the mindsets of young girls. These images are out there to “serve their own market needs and profit motives, and they are powerfully alluring, especially to the young girls whose vulnerability they exploit…Rather than offering girls … thoughtful, open-minded, progressive, and ethical understandings about sexuality, our media and our culture have produced a gathering of ‘prostitots’ – hypersexualized girls whose cultural presence has become a matter of heated public controversy. This is the Lolita Effect.”

In her book, Dr. Durham criticizes the media for its sexual representations aimed at the young. She states that studies by the Kaiser Family Foundation and other research organizations show that sexual content aimed at children has increased steadily since the 1990s. Think about the rise of MTV, the popularity of Britney Spears and her sex kittenish look, tweens with plenty of disposable income and you can see how this group became a new consumer base for marketers. According to the market research firm Euromonitor, by 2007, 8 to 12 year olds’ consumer spending was $170 billion worldwide.

When asked why she thinks there is so much sexualized marketing towards young girls, Dr. Durham states that it is a growing problem fueled by marketer’s efforts to create cradle-to-grave consumers. She states that “A lot of very sexual products are being marketed to very young kids. I'm criticizing the unhealthy and damaging representations of girls' sexuality, and how the media present girls' sexuality in a way that's tied to their profit motives. The body ideals presented in the media are virtually impossible to attain, but girls don't always realize that, and they'll buy an awful lot of products to try to achieve those bodies. There's endless consumerism built around that."

In her book, she discusses five myths of sexuality perpetuated by mainstream media facing our girls:

1. If you’ve got it, flaunt it – skimpy clothes and the myth that “sexy” means to bare as much skin as they can.
2. Anatomy of a sex goddess – The perfect Barbie body.
3. Pretty babies – tarting up little girls to look sexy.
4. Violence is sexy – the rise of the slasher films and other gratuitous violence against women in media
5. What boys like – the media messages that bombard our girls is all about how to please the boys.

All of these myths are based on media reinforcement of emphasizing the importance of looking sexy and hot. In our media oversaturated environment, how can we combat these myths? Dr. Durham discusses the implications of these myths and offers strategies to help girls analyze and challenge them.

I read Lolita Effect in one sitting, nodding my head in agreement and shaking my head in disgust. It reminds us of all that we have to fear for our daughters but it also provides smart advice and information on what we must do to combat the problem. The time is ripe now for all of us to make a change. We have a responsibility to speak with our daughters, our sons, our grandchildren, with our students and our friends, and talk to them frankly about healthy sexuality. We must do something to combat the harmful messages of the media and corporate marketers. Dr. Durham has sounded a call to arms. We have a responsibility now to educate our girls, debunk these myths and empower them with new, healthy views of themselves. Today Dr. Durham is here to answer your questions. To start it all off, she was kind enough to answer a few of mine first:

Ello: Hi Dr. Durham. Thank you so much for being here today and agreeing to answer questions from our readers. One of the things that really struck me in your book is that you discuss the issue of the Disney cartoon heroines being so scantily clad like the Little Mermaid walking around in a sea shell bra and Pocahontas in a scanty buckskin dress. Comparatively, the male counterpart is always fully dressed. You further state that in general, you can see that Disney princesses all have large breasts, tiny waists and long legs. Just like Barbie dolls. On top of this, I heard in an interview that you mentioned that little girls watching a movie like Cinderella would have lower self esteem after watching it then a movie like Fantasia that had dancing hippos. This is troubling to me. What we are hearing is that it isn’t just the MTV videos and the Bratz dolls but something as classic as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty that can cause self esteem issues. It is easy to point to Britney Spears or the girls in the MTV videos and say why it their clothes are inappropriate. It is less easy to do for a Disney princess. When every little girl wants to be a princess, what can we as parents do to combat the underlying negative message?

Dr. Durham: The best thing we can do as parents is give girls a multidimensional view of girlhood. Because of our culture and the media emphasis on the "princess" model of girlhood, every girl is infatuated with princesses. Rather than make that a taboo, our job is to broaden their horizons so that they realize that girls can be astronauts, forest rangers, and poets, and that princesses belong in fairy-tales. There are wonderful books and movies that explore alternative possibilities, from the fabulous Dora the Explorer to the long-beloved Pippi Longstocking to films like Akeelah and the Bee for older girls. In addition, we can discuss the princess imagery with our girls, asking questions like, "Wouldn't it be hard to ride a horse in a long gown like that?" Or, "Wow, she's so skinny. Could anyone in real life have a waist that small and still breathe?" (My own daughters understand clearly that cartoon bodies are nothing like real-life ones!) Finally, we should compliment girls on things other than their appearance, praising them for their intelligence, artistic abilities, athletic skills, and other aspects of their personalities. It's important to make it clear that the "princess" image is not one that works for real-life girls, and to make them feel really good about their real-world attributes and capabilities.

Ello: What about the boys? A lot of what you say in your book about helping girls understand the exploitation of media and the unrealities of the Barbie body is excellent advice, but as you point out, it is also an important conversation to have with boys. But society has long had a double standard on how boys and girls are treated. Is discussing these issues with boys enough? What can we do change the double standard?

Dr. Durham: Staying in dialogue with kids and sharing your values is the best thing you can do to sensitize both boys and girls to these issues. But talking back to media corporations is a good move, too. Demanding alternatives to violent video games, for example, or challenging the highly gendered imagery in advertising can bring about positive changes, in time. (Game makers are now realizing that nonviolent games like the Nintendo Wii are highly profitable!) Male activists like Jackson Katz and Byron Hurt conduct workshops for teenage boys and young men about confronting harmful concepts of masculinity, and their websites are terrific resources for parents of boys: and

Ello: In connection with the issue of the double standards of boys and girls, you raise an issue of violence against women that has been rising in recent films and that boys and men are the targeted audience for these slasher films. And you raise a valid point that it isn’t that these films are increasing violence against women, but that it is reinforcing the environment of violence that already exists. What else can we do to help protect our girls?

Dr. Durham: This is a huge issue. As the writer and activist Jackson Katz points out, girls are not causing the violence. He focuses on helping good men take a public stand against violence against women. We can try to raise these issues in schools so that boys are as aware of the problem as girls are. We can develop community-based responses to violence, similar to Neighborhood Watch programs. We can make sure girls take self-defense classes so that they can protect themselves in the event of an attack. We can boycott the "gore-nography" that symbolically brutalizes girls and women. But the problem has social roots that will take a long time to address and change. We all need to be active in this effort.

Ello: Yes I completely agree. In fact I enrolled my girls in tae kwondo classes for this very same reason. I think my last two questions point us really towards a call to arms so to speak. We as a society should rise up together to battle the media conglomerates and big businesses for the sake of our girls and boys. For by helping our girls, we teach our boys to be better men. Do you think it can be done? Do you think we can effect change?

Dr. Durham: I truly do believe this can be done. The first step is recognizing the problem, talking about it publicly, and developing a consciousness that will lead to widespread action. This is how all major social movements have happened: if people hadn't believed in change, there would have been no Civil Rights movement. There would be no polio vaccine. I do believe in the human spirit as a force for change; as the anthropologist Margaret Mead (one of my heroes) said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Thanks Dr. Durham! We are now open for questions. Dr. Durham will start answering and responding to all questions and comments posted today. She will begin in the morning and will take an afternoon break from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm for her class. She will be continue to answer questions through the night so please don’t hold back! And thank you all for coming by today for this very important discussion.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Another failed dieting day

I should preface this by saying I had 4 days of smart and healthy eating choices before I crashed.

Yesterday we had ourselves a big old family barbecue at my house. Short ribs, spicy pork, steak, hot dogs and vegetables all went on my grill. Yes my grill. I am the griller in the house. Da Man does not grill, unless you consider burnt things barbecued. Weirdly enough, I love to grill. Something about standing in front of hot flames watching your food cook is very satisfying to me. And the taste, muy magnifico!

But when you invite a whole lot of people to your house, they usually show up with extra stuff, like fruit salad, wine, beer and dessert. And the rule at a barbecue is that you eat until you explode. And yes, I exploded. I started with a nice Corono light to drink as I grilled, I ended in a food coma on my sofa.

I tried talking to my stomach.

"Now Cupcake! (my girls named my stomach pooch, Cupcake) I need for you to behave! You only need that one plate of food."

Three plates of food later, I'm wrestling Cupcake away from the chocolate covered cream puffs that Da Man bought to torture me with.

Now let me explain. My plates of food are nowhere near as full as other peoples plates. Because I cannot have different types of food touching on my plate. Fruit cannot touch my meats and veggies. Dessert must be on a separate plate. Condiments must stay in their perfect little corners. Bread must be unsoggy and protected from all other items on my plate. And God forbid if some pickle juice taints any of my other foods! However, it is amazing how much food I can pile into discrete non-touching piles.

Angered by my forcible separation from the dessert table, Cupcake started hitting on the chocolate covered cream puffs telepathically.

"Hey little babettes of chocolate covered goodness, why don't you roll on over here so I can lick some of that creamy goodness all over my belly."

The cream puffs giggled coquetishly all the while exposing their rich chocolate glazed silky smoothness.

In alarm I tried to have an exorcism, "Evil Cupcake, foul beast! By the Power of Christ, Begone Wretched Eating Demon!"

Cupcake just looked up at me and said, "Bitch, get your fat ass over to those cream puffs and feed me some of their luscious goodness before I have to give you some serious intestinal pain."

Round 2 to Cupcake. Tomorrow I shall institute a truce of some kind. But today, we are battling Round 3 over the Carvel ice cream cake currently sitting in my freezer.


*** Don't forget to come Wednesday for a discussion and Q&A session with Dr. Gigi Durham, author of The Lolita Effect, The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What we can Do About It.***

Friday, May 23, 2008


On Wednesday, May 28th, 2008, Dr. Gigi Durham, the author of a new groundbreaking book entitled The Lolita Effect, The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What we can Do About It, will be here for a Q&A session to talk about her new book. I hope you will spread the word and bring many others to interact with Dr. Durham on a very important issue that affects us all, but most particularly parents of daughters.

As a mother of three young daughters, it is extremely important to me that my children grow up into strong, bright, independent women. But how can we do so in an age where our media and the world around seems to promote the oversexualization of women and they aim these messages at younger and younger ages? Please join us on the 28th to discuss what steps we can take and what needs to be done for the sake of all our girls. Dr. Durham will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

M. Gigi Durham, Ph.D., is a professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Iowa. Her research on adolescent girls and media has appeared in Youth & Society and Critical Studies in Media Communication, and she served on the editorial board of The Encyclopedia of Children, Adolescents and the Media. A passionate advocate for children's rights and social justice, she lives with her husband and two daughters in Iowa City.

In The Lolita Effect, University of Iowa professor and journalist M. Gigi Durham offers new insight into media myths and spectacles of sexuality. Using examples from popular TV shows, fashion and beauty magazines, movies, and Web sites, Durham shows for the first time all the ways in which sexuality is rigidly and restrictively defined in media—often in ways detrimental to girls’ healthy development. The Lolita Effect offers parents, teachers, counselors, and other concerned adults effective and progressive strategies for resisting the violations and repressions that render girls sexually subordinate. Durham provides us with the tools to navigate this media world effectively without censorship or moralizing, and then to help our girls to do so in strong and empowering ways. (Overlook Press)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why I'm back on my diet

So the other day I am brushing Angus's hair in the bathroom when she sticks out her belly and announces that she is so fat.

"No you are not and don't say such things in public because it can be offensive."

"What do you mean?" Angus asks.

"Well if someone who is really fat were to hear you, they might be hurt," I said.

Angus puts her hand on my arm and looks up seriously at me and asks, "Mommy, did I hurt your feelings?"

I have been sulking for two days now. Can't believe my 6 year old thinks I'm fat. Sheesh, I'm not fat, I'm just overweight. I mean just because the girls have named my tummy pooch "Cupcake" does not make me fat. Just because I'm 3 sizes my pre-pregnancy size does not make me fat. Just because my Mom likes to borrow my jeans, put them on, pull the waistband out and laugh about how she can stick another person in with her, does not make me fat. Like Youngest says, "Mommy, you are not fat, you just have smushy parts!"

I could blame the media and the toy and fashion industry for their unrelenting obssession with being thin, but I can point to something else closer in proximity. My friends and other skinny ass moms from school. Were I to sit on them, my size 10 butt would snap their size 2 frames in half. I don't get it! My friends who didn't have babies, I can easily discount. After all, pregnancy ruins your body. But these skinny ass moms had just as many babies as I did. That is so wrong!

Talking to them is painful enough.

I never eat desert.
Salads are my favorite thing to eat.
Crazy Bitch.
Oh I can eat anything I want! I never gain weight.
Die, Bitch, DIE!!

So I had a recent conversation with another Mom from Youngest's school. A lovely lady who has 2 strapping boys and yet has managed to maintain her pre-pregnancy figure of a size 4.

Skinnyass - I'm so bad. I've been grazing on snacks all day long!

Fatass - What kind of snacks?

Skinnyass - Oh you know, granola, nuts, carrots, celery...

Fatass - Hey I didn't know they made celery flavored Doritos!

Skinnyass (laughing) - Oh E you are so funny!

Sheesh, I wasn't kidding! But apparently when she meant grazing, she really meant it. I equate snack with tasty and it takes a lot of ranch dressing to make celery tasty.

So I'm back on my diet again. The second day and once again I have failed miserably. Today it was not really my fault. We had an all day long faculty meeting and one of the professors brought in a box of pastries. I tried to hold out but the pastry started talking to me.

Hello Ello! The cheese danish said. At which point I promptly ate it. Because as you all know, it had me at Hello.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Guest Post - from the Da Man

Da Man demanded his own blog entry with dire consequences to me if I were to alter his post in anyway. So here it is, warts and all:

Da’ Man is Back!

To those who doubted, distrusted, or otherwise disbelieved in Da’ Man (the “Dissenters”), I say “boo” to you (as in the most rabid Yankee fan taunting the Red Sox at a home game – Ello should appreciate this).

Anyway, I am back from lonely troll land in all of my glory and regalia so let the world know that Da’ Man has returned! So I say “HA!” (or “Ha Ha” or even “Ha Ha Haaaa”) to the Dissenters!

As for sleeping on the floor these past few nights, it’s actually been a pretty good deal as Angus and youngest still like to creep over in the middle of the night to crowd Ello all the while pushing me to the edge of the bed. Moreover, [ELLO SPOILER ALERT – the following is an Ello Spoiler, i.e., #3326 from list of things you don’t want to know about Ello. Stop reading lest your misguided faith in the Ello be dimmed], Ello does cut a mean . . . snore (admit it, you thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you) from time to time, and on those occasions if you can put some distance between your ears and her nose, you would be wise to do so. Consequently, I won’t say she snored every night of my banishment, but I will say I am a well rested soul.

In regard to that big ol’ diamond Ello keeps referencing, I would like to take this opportunity to say I too am waiting for that big ol’ 24 foot center console with twin Mercury outboards. But do I complain? No. For I understand that patience (and a good agent) are a virtue, and that in time Ello will realize (and have the royalties) to make Da’ Man an even happier Da’ Man.

Finally, thanks to those who believed in Da' Man and urged an end to his exile (more commonly known as the "Enlightened"). Your support is always appreciated. As for that self-folding laundry machine everyone keeps wishing for. Ello actually had one long ago in a galaxy far, far away. It was called “Da’ Man.”

Da’ Man

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Aerin got me

With another meme. This one is of various things so here goes.

A Meme about Various Things

What were you doing ten years ago?

I'm supposed to remember 10 years ago? I can't remember what I had for dinner last night. Sometimes I can't remember if I closed my freaking garage door as I turn the corner from my house!! I've been known to pull out a diet coke, open it, take a sip. Then go back to the fridge and pull out another diet coke and open it before realizing I already had one! 10 years ago? Sheesh, let me go ask the Troll.

Ok apparently 10 years ago, I had left public broadcasting to join the production side of National Wildlife Federation. My friends were all laughing because my idea of protecting animals is to keep them as far away from me as possible. And my idea of loving nature is buying an Ansel Adams calendar. I don't like zoos. They depress me. And the smell, OMG! Between the farm and the zoo I find myself half gagging on my own vomit.

What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

1. Work on WIP
2. Answer whiny emails from students asking for reconsideration of their grades. HA HA, No.
3. Laundry. I am the Queen of the Neverending dirty laundry. It is the bottomless pit of dirty laundry. I hate laundry. I hate folding laundry. Why can't they build a machine so that when clothes are dry in the dryer, they come out already folded? I would pay big money for that.
4. Nag the Troll about his list of neverending things he has been procrasting on forever. He steam vacced half the rugs last night. I might give him an extra pillow for the floor, where he shall continue to sleep for the time being, if he finishes it up.
5. Keep working on WIP - seriously, I am getting close and it feels so good.

What are some snacks you enjoy?

- Chocolate
- kettle corn
- ice cream
- chocolate
- mangos
- potato chips
- chocolate
- pistachios, sunflower seeds with dried cranberries
- chocolate
- blue doritos
- coffee cake
- chocolate
- apple tart (only the one I make cause I make the best apple tart)
- chocolate

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

First I would fill my very large bathtub with dollar bills and I would bathe myself in money.

Next I would go buy myself that big ass diamond I have been waiting nearly 15 years for already.

Then I would hire a great chef and a personal shopper so that I never need to cook or shop ever again.

Then I would buy a Barnes and Nobles franchise so that I can have every book I ever want whenever I want it forever and ever.

Then I woud hide all the rest of the money in the Cayman islands and tell the kids and the Troll that all the money is hidden away for their own good because it is not good to spoil your children or your husband. This is for their own good. Builds character. But if there were very very good and did everthing I said, they would get some kick ass presents at least once or twice a year.

What are three of your bad habits?

My dad said it best here

What are five places where you have lived?

Brooklyn, NY
Queens, NY
Washington, DC
Bethesda, MD
Atlanta, GA

What are five jobs you have had?

1. Producer
2. Lawyer
3. intern at the city morgue
4. Waitress
5. Editor

I'm changing Aerin's last question because I can't remember books I've actually finished lately because I haven't been really able to. I've started several and not finished any because I've been so busy. So instead I shall answer a different question.

What are my favorite lines from a movie? I shall list the lines. Let's see how many of you can name the movie it comes from:

1. "I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."

2. "Every time I put my line in the water I said a Hail Mary, and every time I said a Hail Mary I caught a fish."

3. "He has a wife, you know. You know what she's called? She's called... 'Incontinentia'... Incontinentia Buttocks"

4. "Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped."

5. "Our first bachelorette is a mentally abused shut-in from a kingdom far, far away. She likes sushi and hot-tubbing any time. Her hobbies include cooking and cleaning for her two evil sisters. Let's hear it for Cinderella!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rotten Egg

Da Man had a bad day Tuesday. He woke up in a bad mood and took it out on everyone. Yelling at every single one of us and making all the girls cry right before school. He was supposed to go to work late and attend Youngest's cute little muscial concert that morning, but he was so foul I told him he didn't have to go and HE BELIEVED ME!!! And so he stomped off to work like the nasty ass Troll he had turned into. I took a whimpering Youngest off to her concert where she perked up in time to turn in a terrific performance which I taped but have not yet shared with Da Man who shall henceforth be referred to as the Troll.

I picked up the girls from school and as they ran to the car, Youngest shouts, "First one in the car is a rotten egg!" as she runs into the car first.

"No silly! It is last one in is a rotten egg!" Oldest says.

"I mean, last one in is the rotten egg!" she corrects herself.

"Mommy's the rotten egg!" Youngest shouts with glee as I drag myself into the car.

After everyone is buckled in, Angus has apparently been mulling over the rotten egg business.

"You know, Mommy really isn't the rotten egg in the family," she says quite thoughtfully. "Daddy should be the rotten egg cause he yelled at all of us, even Mommy, I heard him!"

"Yeah! He yellded at me too!" Youngest says.

"And me," Oldest sighs.

"I know!" Angus says. "When Daddy comes home we'll all ignore him and not talk to him, ok?"

They all agree eagerly. I don't say anything because I have already made up my mind that I was not speaking to the Troll for the rest of the day. All afternoon, the girls are giggling about how they are going to ignore Daddy when he gets home. When finally they hear the door open and Daddy comes upstairs, they quieten down right away.

"Hey," the Troll says as he looks around the room.

Oldest and Youngest studiously ignore him. I turn my back on him. But Angus takes one look at him and screams, "Daddy you are the Rotten Egg in the family!!!"

And with that the girls fall down like a house of cards as they explain to him how he mean he is and what he has to do to make it up to them. As the Troll apologizes profusely to them and tries to avoid actually giving into blackmail involving new DS games and pokemon cards, he tries to apologize to me. I ignore him. The girls become suddenly aware that Mom has turned into an Ice Queen. They are now watching fascinated as the Troll tries to hug me and extort my forgiveness. For the sake of the kids, I give him a half-assed pat on the back and subject myself to his hug. Satisfied, the Troll heads upstairs to change and I turn back to washing dishes. Behind me I hear Angus say, "Mommy is still mad at daddy." Oldest agrees and says, "I think Daddy is sleeping on the floor again."

Oh yes, my girls are smarter then their Daddy cause the next morning, Daddy was in a bad mood again, but this time from sleeping on the cold hard floor. HA HA!

Congratulations to Stuart Neville aka Conduit!

Blogging buddy and exceptionally talented writer Stuart Neville, whose pieces of short fiction have left me speechless in amazement, has landed himself an agent. Uber agent Nat Sobel of Sobel Weber Associates, New York. You know the guy who represents James Ellroy and Richard Russo? He is now representing Stuart Neville among his list of elite writers and let me tell you, Stuart can hold his on there, that's how talented he is.

Congratulations Stuart! I had no doubts that you would get an agent and I am so thrilled for you!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Random Funny Things My Kids Say - Part 10

A close friend of mine who likes to lurk on my blog, has threatened to rat me out so I shall beat her to it and admit defeat myself. Although technically the bet was only for how long I could go without posting about bodily functions. I never actually said I wouldn't TALK about it, cause anyone who knows me knows that is virtually impossible. They don't call me the BurpEllo for nothing you know!

So I was out to dinner with my friend and both of our youngest daughters and I relayed her a funny Youngest story when she casually stated that she had read my blog post and so she would probably have to delurk to tell everyone that I had lost the bet. Damn. And yet relief as I now no longer have to hold back. And special thanks to all my Facebook Friends, the low down bums, who were taunting me all week by sending me Poop and Fart buttons for my flair board.

So here is the story that busted me,although I had only told her part of it at the time:

Youngest comes home and says, "Mom, I know how to do a Fart Roll!"

"A what?" I reply.

"FART ROLL! I learneded it at school from Mr. D!"

I'm smiling and shaking my head. "I don't think it is called a Fart Roll."

"Yes it is, just watch. I tumble and land on my butt with a big bounce."

Oldest, who has been listening, interjects in a highly superior way. "That's a forward roll, silly."

"No it isn't! It's called a Fart Roll! Cause when you land on your butt, sometimes it pusheded out a fart! Watch me!" Youngest does a Fart roll and sure enough a little toot sneaks out. Angus is cracking up and insists on trying this with Youngest. Pretty soon, fart rolls abound with and without accompaniment.

"That's enough!" I shout. "Enough with all the farting!"

A particularly loud and disturbing sound fills the air as suddenly Youngest jumps up and races off to the bathroom shouting, "I gotta go POTTY!!!"

"Me too!!!!" Angus squeals as she too races for the other bathroom upstairs.

"Your children are disgusting!" Oldest says as she stalks away.

So if you are ever constipated, try a fart roll. They are apparently very effective.

And if that story wasn't gassy enough for you, try this fun little video.

How Women get away with Farting

Friday, May 9, 2008

Random Housekeeping

Sorry that I do not have a Forgotten Friday book today. It's been a little too chaotic for me to do anything overly substantive. So today is some random housekeeping notes. First of all, I noticed that my blogroll has been a little off lately. I've got lots of blogs I've been visiting that aren't even on my sidebar and some links that have gone bye bye for some reason. If you would like some linky love, please drop your linky to me.

FYI - I have asked Da Man to provide a guest post and put down the challenge that he couldn't be half as funny as I am. To which he responded that he is thinking of a post on "Things you don't (want to) know about Ello." But he is lazy and I think it will take him a year, if ever, to actually write the post. For example, we had broken ceramic tiles on the kitchen floor that every single one of us kept cutting our feet on except for Da Man whose troll like leather feet can't be penetrated by anything but athlete's foot. He wouldn't let me hire a handyman to fix it because he was too cheap and he kept putting it off and putting it off until a year passed and I threatened to take all ten of his fishing rods and reels and run them over with my van a couple of times. A year and two months from when the first tile broke, we finally got new tiles in our kitchen. So am I worried that he will tell you all my dirty little secrets? Puh-lease.

So have you noticed I am still reSTRAINING myself from posting anything on the subject of the last post's bet. I am MOVED by everyone's bets on how long it will take to break me. BUT I am a Taurus and as all people know about the bull, we are very stubborn and have great CONSTITUTIONALS. It is too bad because Youngest told me the funniest story which I cannot share with you. Too bad. Hey, GAS is so expensive these days, huh?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

HA HA!!!!

Since I have told you all that my maiden name is Ha and my married name is Oh, it is time to talk about the power of having an Interjection for your name.

Yes, the laughs and the sorrow, ha ha, and oh no.

Yes, the disbelief, "Your name is an exclamation?"

Yes, the jokes, "Ms. Ha? So where's your brother Mr. Ho?" "Your family reunions must be a barrel of laughs."

Har, har. Note - not HA HA. For Har connotes sarcasm. HA connotes humor. HA HA means I laugh in your face you stupid cow. Seriously, only a true Ha can HA HA someone with real true force. Anyone else that HA HAs is HA HAing without having any backing. But if you are a Ha, your HA HA has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. It's in our blood. No other HA HA is like it. Except for Nelson Muntz from the Simpsons, that kid is good. But all others, bow down before the master, and I'll show you the proper way to HA HA. For example:

1. So I am standing here watching as your bratty kid smushes all the Kit Kat bars and Reeces Peanut Butter cups in the grocery aisle while you stand and watch indulgently, never once admonishing her to stop mangling the wares that someone else now cannot buy. What a little turd. I mean you, not the brat. Awwwww, poor thing just hit her head walking like a dumbass into the corner of my shopping cart that she was standing next to the whole time and now she is screaming her head off like I do when I inadvertently catch Paris Hilton on cable pretending to act. Oh yeah, that painful. You don't look so snooty arrogant anymore. You don't look so indulgent anymore. In fact, you look as if you have really bad hemorroids and haven't been able to take a crap in a few weeks. And no matter what you do, the little drama queen won't stop shrieking and everyone is looking at you like you are the worst mother of the year. I feel it coming. I really do. I can't control it... HA HA! Sucks to be you!

2. Hey, look at you multi-tasking as you are driving. Don't you have such a crick in your neck from holding your phone like that? And is that the largest size Starbucks coffee drink you could get? The Vexme? The Vanity? Or some shee shee poo poo sounding Italian term like that. Yeah, I never use those frou frou terms. I'm a peasant and the sizes are small, medium or large not Tall, Grounday, and Vendreday. Hello! The light's green. You can go now......... Any day now. I'd toot my horn but it is such a wimpy little thing, I'll let the big mac truck behind me blast his instead. I'm covering my ears. WHOOOOOHOOOOOOO! That was loud. Did that startle you? Did you spill your Vexme all over yourself? HA HA! (Here I pull around the driver to make eye contact and exaggerate my mouth and point my index finger so you know I'm laughing at you even though you can't hear me.)

3. So I am walking to the Target counter with my one item and you happen to see me and decide you need to rush past me to the one cashier that is open with your overflowing cart of scented candles, throw rugs and cheap household products. You immediately started unloading your tremendous load of crap as I stand behind you with my one single freaking item cursing you for the selfish miserable turd that you are for cutting in front of me instead of giving me the courtesy of going first. Oh look, your total is over $200.00. Wait, did your credit card get declined? I'm beginning to smile. Here goes credit card number 2. It got declined too?! Don't look at me and explain about your husband giving you the wrong cards, I don't give a crap. Here comes the Amex card. Ok, there is no limit on that sucker so that should work. WTF? It doesn't work either? You have to leave your stuff behind? Aw, too bad, so sad. HA, HA! (This is most effective behind your back as you walk out trying to look dignified.)

4. I am at the movie theaters trying to enjoy the movie, but you won't stop talking loudly and laughing, even during a dramatic scene. My loud hushes only cause you to talk louder and what the hell is that smell? Did you just sneak a squeak? Oh, no you took off your stinking shoes and is now your stank ass foot near my head. Fortunately, I carry a large safety pin in my purse. I surreptitiously fold my arms and stab your foot with the pin in a quick jabbing motion. Before you begin to scream obsenities, I throw the pin onto the ground and kick it several rows ahead. When you do attack me, I scream for help and have the ushers come and usher you away. As you are leaving, I let out a loud HA HA! This causes the audience to cheer in delight and also join in the HA HAing.

This concludes our lesson on HA HAing for today. Remember, if you are not laughing at someone, then someone is probably laughing at you. So beat them to it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Random Funny Things Other People's Kids Say

I was at Nordstrom's Department store buying shoes for the girls when Angus needed to go to the bathroom. As I waited outside her stall, I heard the sweetest cutest little voice talking in the stall next door. She must have been 2 or 3 tops and she was chatting away to her Mother. I could even see her little black Mary Jane shoes walking back and forth on the floor under the stall door. I wasn't listening to her talking as I was impatiently waiting for my own kid to finish up when all of a sudden I heard her announce something loudly.

"Good job Mommy! You went poo poo in the potty!"

Oldest and Youngest, who are standing next to me begin to snicker. Youngest says, "Ew, yuck!" a bit loudly.

The Mommy is hushing her child but I can't hear what the little girl says because all of the sudden loud flushing. She rushed by in an embarrassed flurry as Angus also comes out and we all head over to wash our hands. The little girl beams at us as we come to the sink next to them and announces to Youngest, "My Mommy did a big poo poo in the potty!"

"How big?" Youngest asks.

"Really, really, really big!" Little girl replies.

"Ew! That must be stinky!"

"Yeah, really stinky!" They both began to shriek with laughter. I am biting my lips trying not to crack up and I glance over at the Mom wanting to give her a sympathetic look but the poor Mom looks absolutely mortified and quickly leaves with her daughter.

I feel for her. I do. Kids say anything. But you gotta laugh about it. Wish she hadn't run off so quick. I'd have been happy to tell her about the time Youngest informed everyone that Mommy's legs were scratchier and hairier than Daddy's cause I hadn't shaved all winter. Or when Angus used to mistakenly call a woman's private area the tushie. And scream out "You've got a hairy tushie!" at the locker room of our local pool. Oh yeah, kids say the craziest things.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Overlooked Book Club Edition 2

Here comes another edition of Patti Abbott's Friday Overlooked Book Club. This time I have to thank my buddy, the incredibly talented writer Sarah Hina who reminded me of one of my favorite books, Silk by Alessandro Barrico. Technically it isn't a novel but a novella. And yet it is so rich and satisfying, you will not be disappointed in its lack of pages. It is a love story unlike any that you have ever read.

From the inside book flap, you get this excellent description: In 1861 French silkworm merchant Hervé Joncour is compelled to travel to Japan, where, in the court of an enigmatic nobleman, he meets a woman. They do not touch; they do not even speak. And he cannot read the note she sends him until he has returned to his country. But in the moment he does, Joncour is possessed.

I feel I cannot say more without giving away too much of the storyline, but I can assure you, this book will captivate you with its simplicity and elegance. And at 144 pages, it will not take long to read. Let Barrico transport you to nineteeth century France and Japan and envelope you in the feel of Silk.