Monday, March 21, 2011

Bullies and Fighting Back

This news story really hits home for me.

I was bullied as a kid. I think most of us get a taste of bullying at some point (even bullies, I bet, get it at home or from other kids). I don't advocate rolling over, though that's what I was taught ladies do - we ignore bullies and internalize the taunts and try hard to avoid actual physical tussles.

We're in California, which is largely one of those freakishly no tolerance zones, so even if you hit someone because he's trying to choke you in the hallway between periods, you'll get bounced for fighting, too. We're in NoCal, in the Bay area, which means we're surrounded by advocates of peace and compassion and granola. I'm a total fan of all of these.

But I'm also a fan of not being a victim.

We're about to head back home to the South, where we know the rules are different. Our wee ones have been so indoctrinated into the Run Away As You Turn the Other Cheek mentality that they're bound to be even bigger bully targets when we get to Virginny this summer.

My elder kid was bullied last year and again for a while this year. He got in trouble for fighting back, for pinching or hitting or kicking a kid who was doing the same to him (he didn't tell on the bully b/c his speech delay made it impossible to convey to the teachers what was happening), and we spent more time coaching him on how to tell the teacher when he was being smacked around than we did on matters of self-defense and when and how to fight back. Plus, there was the issue of him spending hours in the principal's office. As a Kindergartner (horrible teacher syndrome what?).

My younger sprog hid and played away from other kids when one little shit ran up behind him and kicked him in the thigh, leaving a bruise. This was not at school, but he's got the California lessons down pat. Don't stand up for yourself. Don't fight back when someone is clearly going to keep molesterating you because he knows he can. Just run away and hope you don't stay on his radar.

Another lesson they've learned here is that teachers and other adults will not help you if you're being bullied. They'll have stern words for the other shit, but nobody's going home unless there's still an obvious mark where the pinching/hitting/kicking/biting/scratching occurred. And mean words? Well, those don't mean anything to a kid, do they?

Though I have reservations about this (and we've already had issues because of it), we have started with the Don't Be a Welcome Mat lessons. I'm waiting for it to backfire here in California (we already had a minor skirmish because of them, but I hope we've caveated the kid enough that he knows when self-defense is actually self-defense), but I'm hoping it helps alleviate any issues the boys might have when we return to real civilization.

As for the kid in the CNN story, I'm shocked at how far he went to defend himself, but I do applaud him for standing up for himself. I hope everyone--the school staff and parents included--have learned a lesson, but I don't hold out much hope that the little shit who was hitting him won't find another target. After all, that little bully says he's not sorry for his behavior.

Here's the video one of the bully's minions took. Be warned: it's pretty graphic, and the little shit who brought this on is lucky he's not in the hospital.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Japan Evac...What?

Of course, y'all are aware that we have mil-folks in Japan, right? Bestselling author Alyssa Day (her pseudonym) is a milspouse who just moved to Japan and is now awaiting evacuation.

Her tweets have been fascinating.

What is our government doing to get our military families out of harm's way? I'm not sure. I can't tell, really. It's hard to say what's going on outside of an apparent clusterfuck.

I know our folks have their hands full. I know there are a LOT of people who need our help over there. I just don't understand why, if they have decided an evacuation is necessary, the government is failing to get our people CONUS right away.

When terrorists were threatening to kidnap a milspouse/milbrat in Bahrain for the purposes of an on-video beheading to be broadcast to the world, you're damned right they got all the non-essentials out of town post-motherfucking-haste. But I guess that would have been really bad press for our gub-ment at the time considering we were up Iraq's ass and in an Arab country....

What's up? Is it really an issue of not having enough hands to support all the efforts required in Japan right now? Is it a funding issue, now that we're talking about the brink of a government shutdown? Why are military families caught in the center of any of this, though?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Those Westboro Minions of Hell

I hate those fucking fuckers of Westboro Baptist Church. I hate them so much, I've been contemplating an insta-karma spell, and damn the insta-karma backlash I'd get for my efforts. I hate them so much, I wish their god would go to an all-you-can-eat chili and corn buffet, drop trou, and take a dump on the lot of them.

I hate them with the fire of a thousand suns. I wish there were options for those those bigoted hate-mongers protest. But I love the Constitution, too. I've been whining at YodaMan that there ought to be some recourse or pre-emptive strike a protestee could make. I advocated for signs that mock Westboro, and counter-protesters who might (we could hope) shame the Westboro types into leaving. Clearly that's not going to work especially when their Supreme Court success led them to declare jihad on America. How to fight back? This eluded me until YodaMan revealed a quote from the Mistress of Satan, that cuntmuzzle Shirley Phelps-Roper, he heard on NPR. She said their intent was to bring despair to everyone so they'd turn away from their god and land themselves in hell.


Let's diminish the impact they're going for. Instead of leading people into despair and abandoning their god, let's see counter-protesters fight back with signs that support the idea of a compassionate god.

When their signs say:Counter signs should say:
God Hates FagsJesus Loves Fags
Thank God for Dead SoldiersThank God for Freedom
Don't Pray for the USAWe'll Pray For You
Thank God for 9/11Jesus Horses for Everyone!
no, wait
Fags Doom NationsHate Dooms Nations

The next time Those In League With Their Debbil show up in your town, pledge to be there with your own sign. Even if you're not Christian, you'll do everyone a favor if you remind them what that crazy rebel Jesus was really after. It won't stop those cock-eating smegbuckets, but it will at least negate their intent. It might bring comfort to those being protested. And maybe, just maybe, it will drive the Phelps cocknommers to make a tiny mistake, do something illegal, and finally give the rest of us the foothold we need to chip away at their financial and (im)moral foundation.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Great Bath Debacle: Repost

Back in the day, I had a blog elsewhere. It's gone now, and with it went one of the most infamous stories ever told in Casa Snark. Since it came up in convo with an IRL friend today, I'm re-posting it here for all to read and enjoy and laugh and point fingers and thank the gods it didn't happen to them.

From 2007:

I'd like to relay an incident that occurred tonight, which shall henceforth be known as The Bathtub Incident of 2007. But fi rst I need to give you some background. Yesterday afternoon, my kids decided naps are passe and chose to fi ght sleep until after 4pm. I let them sleep for about two hours then made them get up. They were cranky, but after some dinner, they calmed down and began playing.

Later last night, I was trying to get some cleaning and organizing done and lost track of time. The littles were playing quietly and behaving, so it was with some shock that I looked at the clock and saw that it was 9:45. Holy crap! My kids never stay up this late.
I yanked them upstairs, brushed their teeth, changed diapers, dressed them, and put them to bed. After I'd had my daily constitutional and gotten a shower, it was about 10:30. I was only half-done with my own work, exhausted, and looking forward to a long day of errands and cleaning after a repairman visit.

So, ever logical and sensible, I stayed up watching TV and drinking Hansen's for another two hours. Then I went to bed.

My kids woke up at 7am. WTF? They usually only wake up that early (yes, early, shut up and
quit giving me that look) when they've gone to bed at a decent hour and had a decent nap the day before. I crawled my ass out of bed, got them dressed and fed, then took them to daycare, making me the most joyous mother on earth.

Sidenote: I lurve daycare days. I take the sproglets twice a week because my sanity requires it. Even when the husband returns from deployment, they shall continue with their visits ONLY to ensure they still have spots in January when the husband returns to the Middle East. But I shall not complain. I shall continue to lurve daycare days, lick the calendar on daycare days, dance naked and free on daycare days, pretend I sold the kids on eBay on daycare days, drive far, far, far, far away, change my name to Lela Mae, take up waitressing at some remote truckstop ....

Anyway, so I returned from dropping them at daycare and welcomed the repairman into the house.
He had a difficult time fi xing a few of the problems, so I had time on my hands to do things I hadn't planned. I messed a bit with a shelf at the door to the second bathroom upstairs, clearing it o ff, preparing it for newer, bigger, better, 99 % fat free, trans-fat free, no GMO, High Fructose Corn Syrup-free goodness.

I had it mostly cleared by the time the repairman left and it was time for me to go address my other obligations* for the day. After the horrible crafting I had to do - ugh! I loathe papercrafting!! I loathe it, I tell you! - it was time to grab kidlets from daycare. Alas!
I grabbed the spawnlets, who were in rare form and acting as if I were the last person on earth
they wanted to see (hey, poop factories, the feeling's mutual!), and we headed home. After two torturous hours of eating, pooping, spilling, screaming, fi ghting, nosepicking, and booger eating, it was finally time to put them in the bath and get them to bed.

I ran a bath for them, popped some bubble bath in there, and threw them in. They immediately
calmed down and began to play. Woot, thought I. Maybe if they play for a good 15-20 minutes in the tub, it'll be late enough they'll actually sleep until 7:30 or 8 tomorrow. So I let them have at it. I soaped them up, rinsed them down, then went back to the shelf at the door to their bathroom and picked up where I'd left off earlier this morning.

They played for about seven minutes and thirty-two seconds, not anywhere near long
enough, and began to bitch and moan that the bubbles were gone (in toddler-speak, this
means they said: "Nooooooooooooooooo!!!111!! Mamaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! Where bubb-oooos go? Oh no! Help, deese [please]." Actually, that was the older child. Younger child was playing harmony with: "Mamamamamamama! Noooo! Mamamamama!").

Side note: I am quite short. I can't see anything below the solar plexus on the kids when I'm
standing at the bathroom door, so I could not confi rm the loss of bubbles as I cleaned. I merely took the kids'words for it. As I am the most bath-savvy mom ever, I raced to the rescue with a fizzy ball. You know, the ones made with citric acid that go all Mentos-and-Coke when they hit bath water. This one was made with some kind of calming something-or-other which might once have been lavender from the scent but had long since faded to a kind of au lait color. Turns out it didn't matter.

Instant. Hit.

They played and played and played and played, and I cleared and cleaned and cleared and cleaned. And lo there was giggling. And lo there was cleaning. And lo it came to pass that the fizzy had dissolved, but I was close enough to the appropriate hour to begin prepping them for bed. Woot, thought I. Just one more minute cleaning and clearing.

And that one more minute is what did us all in.

My elder sprog had begun informing me that the fi zzy was "broken," which I knew meant that it
had stopped fizzing. Then he said it was "all gone gone," which obviously meant it had dissolved into mere molecules of once-sudsy happiness. But then he said: "Oh, there it is! Uh oh, Mama. Fizzy broken!"

I thought nothing of this, so intent was I on imminent success. I fi gured the fi zzy hadn't quite faded into nothingness and had hidden in some toy or body part and reemerged just when the kids thought it was gone for good.

Oh no. Not so.

The elder insisted I come investigate the fi zzy because it was "broken!!!!!!!!!!!" So I took that two steps into the bathroom from the door and looked down. He held it out, and I thought, "Hmm, it must have really dissolved and put itself out. But why does it look bigger....?"

I blame the lack of sleep last night. Totally. Because even when I took it from his hand and felt the texture of it, then looked at the bathwater that had gone even more cafe au lait-colored than it had been, I still didn't clue in. It wasn't until I'd taken a step towards the toilet that a primal scream bubbled up in my throat, held back only by the vomit that was racing to beat it to my mouth.

My younger spawn had SHIT in the bathtub.

Oh my fucking gods.

I was holding SHIT in my hand.

I took up the spider/snake/scary bug dance, threw the murky turd in the toilet, danced and screamed to the sink, danced and screamed while I scrubbed my hand. "Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god!"

"Mama?" said my elder.

"Poo poooooooooo!!!!!!111!!!!!" I said.

The look on his face then was classic. As scalding water and bubble gum-scented barfi licious soap coated my hand, he looked down at the bathwater that had, in the last twenty seconds, sprouted about four more "fi zzies" and some not-entirely-digested broccoli relics from dinner the night before, and developed a look of pure horror as he attempted to vault out of the tub.

Meanwhile, my younger child sat there with a shit-eating grin on his face, and all I could think, as I dashed to keep my shit-coated three-year-old in the shit-infested water was, "Oh PLEASE tell me he didn't actually eat any."

Side note: I inspected his breath and have concluded he did NOT sample his poo. All hail baby Jesus.

What followed need not be mentioned. Suffice to say, the kids are now clean, I am divested of everything I ate today, there are no more poo chunks in the bathtub or in the bathtub plumbing, a pile of laundry awaits a sanitizing cycle in the washer, and a pile of bath toys awaits a trip to the trash.

I am forever changed. I shall never be the same person again.

Before I return to the snarkage...

I'm ramping up for the PCS, which means I'll be full of snark soon enough. But for now, I've been having a blast hula hooping.

Can you believe that shit? Me? Hooping. That's right, bitches.

I've been fascinated by hoop dancers (not the original Native American types, who are way too cool for my ass, but the born-again hippie types) for over a year now, and as I watch shit like this:

it gets me as excited to join in as shit like this does:

So in addition to bellydancing, I've started hooping. I initially tried using the piece of shit semi-radioactive lead painted toxic BPA plastic kid hoops from WalMart or Target or wherever the hell we got them. When I couldn't keep the damn hoop up for more than two revolutions, I gave up while I researched adult hoops. Since they're freaking expensive, I took a trip to Home Depot and got some PEX tubing, an insert connector/splitter, and some tape. Now I have a purty black and purple hoop that's all BLADOW on my waist. I went for about ten minutes straight last night. Freaking fabulous. Also, hooping can burn anywhere from 360-600 calories per hour.

WHAT? That's right.

All this to say I'm on a new fitness trip. I've decided to stop forcing myself to do exercises I loathe. Occasionally, I'll do a spin class because I forget between them how miserable I am during and concentrate on how great I feel after. Otherwise, I'm burning some serious calories with hooping, working my muscles and flexibility with belly dance, sweating to Dance Central, or doing a bit of strength training (which I love, but for going to the gym, which I loathe).

And I've decided to focus on making a percentage of my meals raw. I'm already doing about 50% raw each day with fruit for breakfast and a gargantuan greens salad for lunch. I'm aiming at 75%, so I eliminate any soup I might have with/instead of the lunch salad, and increase the portion of raw veg I have at dinner.

And to show you that raw can be yum, check out this amazing recipe I go back to when I have a hankering for pudding but don't want to consume bone marrow to get my fix. If you live in SoCal, drive up to North County, get a bag of fixin's for $5, and make enough for your whole street. Also note that I made it the first time with pomegranate vinegar, and it was OMG FUCKING AMAZING.

So that's all I have as far as woot and vigor. After this, I'll be back to my good ol' bitchy self.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Awesome LIFT and Saucy Prizes

First, go read this post over at Left Face about Like It For Time, an effort to get Time Magazine to recognize the military family as the 2011 Person of the Year (prompted by Zuckerberg getting that title for 2010).

Then go here and print out the letter (of which I've taken a snippet below) and mail it. It's worth the stamp, I promise. Even if the military family doesn't get recognition in the form of PotY, I would hope they'd take the time to dissect the military family experience in more than just a brushstroke-feel-good-aww-happy-homecoming bit of barftasticness. Not that I'm at all pissy about this twatwaddled, exploitative, irresponsible fuckpile of a show. Ahem.

Anyway! Here's the promised snippet, which I found full of win and awesomesauce:

Regarding the military family’s effect on the world, Rudy Giuliani was chosen for Person of the Year following the September 11 attacks because he “embodied what was really most important, what we learned about ourselves, which was that we could recover,” explained a TIME editor.

The military family embodies what is most important after a decade of war and multiple deployments: a resilient and unifying force even as the families grow weary of being separated – sometimes permanently – year after year, those years apart filled with agonizing anxiety and uncertainty about the future of their families. That resiliency speaks volumes about who we are.

And here's the mailing address:
TIME Magazine Letters
Time & Life Building
Rockefeller Center
New York, NY 10020

And behold! A random prize! Here's what I'll do.
  1. Leave a comment here that you've printed, stuffed, stamped, and mailed a letter to Time. I'll not only take your word for it, but I'll enter your name in the very random drawing.
  2. Tweet this: "Support the Military Family for Time's 2011 Person of the Year! @snarkynavywife" and leave a second comment here that you've tweeted this effort. That will be a second entry.
  3. Like the LIFT effort's Facebook page. Leave yet another comment here that you've done that. It will be your third entry. Be sure to leave comments here that you do this, and be sure to separate them. I'm going to do a completely lazy drawing method, and you need to have separate comments for me to make full use of my laziness.
What will the random drawing produce? A prize! A prizetastic prize. My book is coming out soonish, and if the winner is willing to wait, I'll send either an e-book version or a print copy. Alas, the name on the book is my *real* name. So the lucky winner will know my sooper sekrit identity. I'm sure you're psyched.

If my book is delayed, I'll send a friend's book instead, and since I have several published friends in a couple of different genres, there will be OPTIONS. Options galore, I tell you.

This here push begins now (March 8) and ends Friday (March 11) unless I get shitfaced on Friday (entirely possible since the book I'm writing now is trying to break up with me; YodaMan's two-year-old cough, care of his time in Afghanistan, lately sounds more like he has the plague than an irritation, so I'm preparing myself for the Navy docs to say, "Holy shit! How did we not see that half your lung was chewed away by the burning human poo and tires during your IA?!"; this house is trying to drown me in my own hives and snot; I only have a month and a half to get ready for this PCS; and the Navy sched plus a family wedding have already fucked with my chi, so I can't attend a single one of the writerly events I had looked forward to this year), in which case I'll close comments when I stumble away from the pool of saliva under my cheek Saturday morning. Then I'll draw a winner.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A video! For old time's sake!

I know it's been a while since I ran across something so utterly WTF that I just had to post it here. In fact, it's probably been long enough that I could repost some of those oldies (but goodies). But wait! I have a new one. It is absolutely, completely NSFW, NSFS1, NSFP2. Once you're home and the room is clear, enjoy!

No, it's not the Benny Lava song, but it's pretty damn awesome. I mean, it's a COWBOY for fuck's sake! How the hell did someone look at that toy and say to him/herself, "Self, this here ought to be called a COWBOY! Yee haw!" It just does not compute.

1 Not safe for sprogs.
2 Not safe for pets.