Babysitters for Rent

I woke up in the middle of the night with this brilliant idea: to do a comparison of the characters in Rent with those in the Babysitters Club books. In my mind, I was like, Ohmygosh, this TOTALLY scans!! Here’s what I had:

Mary Anne / Mark: Because Mary Anne is the club secretary and keeps track of everyone’s appointments and jobs and classes, and Mark sings, “Why am I the witness / And when I capture it on film / Does it mean that it’s the end and I’m alone?”

Kristy / Tom Collins: Because the entire BSC series is based on the idea that Kristy has these big great ideas, and Tom Collins reprogrammed the MIT virtual reality equipment to self-destruct as it broadcast the words “Actual reality – act up – fight AIDS.” Also, it’s his idea to open up a restaurant in Santa Fe.

Claudia / Angel: Because if any BSC member was gonna show up somewhere dressed in a sexy Santa outfit, it would hands down be Claudia, and Ann M. Martin would still find a way to work it into the text that she has long black hair and almond-shaped eyes.

Jessi / Mimi: I think this is mostly because they’re both dancers, although Mimi mentions hearing the Spanish babies cry, and Jessi has a baby brother named Squirt, and I’m almost positive she’s heard him cry.

This is where it starts falling apart, although there’s still something with Stacey / Benny, in terms of elitist New Yorker hovering above it all. And probably Shannon Kilbourne is Alexi Darling? Shannon just gives off that vibe.

As the BSC’s Chief Alternate Officer, a totally made-up and basically pointless role, Dawn sort of reflects a Maureen sensibility, where she doesn’t really have a job but manages to be in the middle of all things. Which leaves Logan and Mallory to duke it out over Roger and Joanne…I’m leaning toward Logan as Joanne, the smart one with a life outside of babysitting/performance art, while Mallory, who won’t stop whining about being the oldest of eight kids, having curly red hair, and having to wear glasses and braces, is sort of like Roger whining about…having AIDS?

So it doesn’t 100% scan. But I bet I know some clever people who could help me sort out the ones that don’t quite make sense…yet.


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In a name

My four-year-old son has developed a new interest: naming things. I don’t know where he comes up with this stuff, but he’s been pulling the most random names out of the air.

I mean, years ago he came up with this imaginary (?) friend (??) named Meemeeout, which was (well, still is) the seam on his comforter.

Since then, he’s named a bridge in Stockton: Mayotoesby

His couple name with his friend Tom: Gertrude McFuzz and Pickles

The eastern span on the Bay Bridge: the Government Bridge

A giant bear given to his sister by her day care provider: Papa Benchie

It’s so cute but weird.papa benchie

Yeah, you got me, this is just a post to show off Papa Benchie. Isn’t he absurd?

Drew called me yesterday right as I was getting home, and I missed the call, but then he called again right after, and it worried me. But when I picked up he just said, “Are you home? Can you come outside? We’re going to be home in like 10 seconds, and I just want you to see how ridiculous this looks.” (See top left picture for visual.)

Four-year-olds, almost-two-year-olds, and abnormally large bears are fun!

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Getting rid of Lularoe

If you don’t know what Lularoe is, it’s this clothing company that sells only online (and some pop-up stores), through MLM, or multi-level marketing, which means they get people to become consultants and then those people buy heaps of clothes and then try to sell the clothes. It’s a little sketchy, BUT they make these incredibly soft, stretchy leggings that actually are totally worth it, if you don’t get a pair that blows out a seam the first time you wear them. It’s happened to friends of mine and to Lula-lovers across the country. (It also happened to my 21-month-old daughter.)

ANYWAY. They suck you in with the leggings and then there are all these dresses and tops and skirts. One day at the end of last year, I was doing some retail therapy and I bought three shirts for myself. This is a big transaction. It was a special treat. I have no idea what I was celebrating.

Anyway, I hated all three shirts. (If you’re a Lula person, it was a Perfect, an Irma, and a Lindsay.) (If you’re not a Lula person, most of their clothing items have people names. I think they’re named after, like, people’s children?)

Everything was just weirdly loose in some places, and then restricting in other places. The Irma was like a tent. It was like they took extra fabric from the Perfect and put it into the Irma, because the Perfect was super short and tight. The Lindsay was huge and shapeless.

I returned the Irma in exchange for a Randy, thinking it would be more flattering. But the Randy has side slits, which means it has, like, a front flap and a back flap, which just looks terrible. So now I had two shirts and one “kimono” (Lindsay) that I hated but had spent a hundred bucks on.

I ended up donating the Randy and the Perfect. The Lindsay is still in my closet, tags on, never been worn. I tried to give it to a friend, but she returned it saying it was too shapeless. (See? It’s not just me.) I saw a photo of another friend on Facebook actually wearing a Lindsay (!), so I messaged her to offer to send it to her for free, but she never responded to me.

So I posted it on Facebook Marketplace, where I’ve dropped the price twice, but still no one wants it.

I’m putting it here, just because, you never know. I just want it out of my closet and I’ll stick it in a donate bag as a last resort, but someone might be really excited to have it, because it seems like people really love this Lularoe stuff. I’ve decided I’m sticking to the leggings. (But I refuse to buy into the Lularoe culture of calling them “buttery soft.”)

So seriously. It’s light blue, a light, kind of sweater-y material. It’s really pretty. I think if you’re tall and willowy it might look really nice on you. It just looks stupid on me. But that might not be the Lindsay’s fault. Does anyone want this. Anyone. It might make a good blanket if you live somewhere cold.

FullSizeRender (4)


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Dental Antics

B had a dentist appointment, a checkup, and even though he has a good track record at these appointments, and it’s a pediatric dentist and they’re good at this, and they have TVs on the ceiling showing movies so the kids have something to distract them, I had to take him on my own, with H, so I was worried that it could be a disaster.

There was a bit of a scuffle in the (boring, adult) lobby, where they were crawling under a table and just making too much noise (I thought), and when I snagged him to stand him up, he yelped laughter and it was just too much and we had a whispered argument about decorous dental behavior.

But once we got into the pediatric section, it was great. H settled right down to watch Frozen on the TV in the waiting area, hugging a 2-foot-tall Elmo, and B went over to the chair with the hygienist. She had me stay in the waiting area.

First of all, the chair was upright, but when he climbed into it (while the hygienist’s back was turned) he lay down in the bottom part, so his head was where his butt should go. She turned back and laughed, and was like, “No, here, sit up and I’ll put the chair back.”

Then I was listening to them make small talk. His small talk is getting pretty nuanced. This is what I caught:

Her: How old are you?
Him: *folds thumb down* I’m four.
Her: Oh wow!
Him: I’m turning five this year.
Her: Do you go to school?
Him: Yeah. It’s in San Bruno.
Her: Which school is it?

Then he told her. (I’ll leave that detail out.)

A little later, he told her he has a toothbrush with minions on it.

Then the final one:

Him: I have Star Wars shoes.
Her: Oh, cool! My husband and my son love Star Wars.
Him: Oh, where is your husband?

That cracked me up. She came over and told me his teeth looked good, we should probably just keep helping him brush (we help A LOT), and that he doesn’t have a lot gaps so we should floss him “as much as possible.” Then the dentist came and checked him out, and then he came over and told me everything looks good.

He put up B’s x-rays from his last appointment in October, and said, “Do you have any questions?” And I was like, “Okay, not about this, but so…when do adult teeth form in your face? Like how early?” Drew and I have been debating this, because there’s this picture on the internet of a skull of a child, and it has the baby teeth in the mouth and the adult teeth in the skull above them, and it’s so creepy.

So the dentist said that the adult teeth start forming between ages 1-2, so that means H probably has some adult teeth growing in her face already too, EWWWW. Anyway, below are B’s x-rays, and you can see some of the adult teeth there. Gross.

Anyway, the appointment went well, except we did have another scuffle when I made H put Elmo back down, and she cried “Elmo! Elllllmoooo!” on the way out, and the women at the front desk laughed and said she was cute, which she is, except when she’s not. But I’m grateful for the two of them holding it together (mostly) and me holding it together (!) and no cavities and we got out of there unscathed.

It did take us about 10 minutes to get from the office on the second floor, downstairs to the front door, because H insisted on going down the stairs herself, but she has to go down on her butt, very slowly, and then they had to stop to talk to these other kids who we had seen upstairs in the office…and then right when we got to the door B realized he lost the head off of a little plastic Olaf figure he had had, and he wanted to go back, but I couldn’t face that, so I just made us leave. Ah well. Sorry Olaf’s head. You live at the dentist now.

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Unfriending in 2017

I remember, not so long ago, when political disagreements could easily come to a “let’s agree to disagree” conclusion. You could stay friends with someone with different beliefs than you, because it’s all just a spectrum anyway, and just because one person leans more right and one leans more left, that doesn’t mean you can’t be cool.

I feel like that has changed, though. Is it because the arguments are less abstract? Probably they were never abstract, so is the answer that more of us are less naive? Is the left leaning further left and the right leaning further right?

When someone disagrees with me on women’s rights or LGBTQ rights or immigrant rights or children’s rights or health care…I don’t feel like I can be like, Eh, that’s fine, we can just not talk about it anymore. Because it’s become abundantly clear that people are being harmed by far-right approaches to these issues. So if someone tells me that they believe in suppressing these rights, that immigrants should all go home and women’s access to health care should be restricted and everyone should have free and open access to guns, then I have one of two thoughts: either I need to speak up and try to make you see my side…but probably that’s never going to happen, in which case I don’t really see where to go from here but to part ways.

So I’ve become more liberal (ha!) with the unfollow and unfriend buttons on Facebook, even if, as I do it, I’m solidifying the echo chamber I live in 90% of the time. There’s a right and a wrong side to history, and while it’d be great if as many people as possible could be on the right side, I’m not going to waste more time than necessary on that second group.


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Dad(dy long legs) jokes

I was brushing my teeth tonight when I looked up into the corner of the bathroom, where there has been a daddy long legs spider residing for the last couple weeks. He was still there, hanging out, in a compact but comfortable web that somehow clings to the smooth, damp, post-shower walls.

I am not a fan of spiders. I am really not a fan of spiders. I have had some run-ins with spiders that have resulted in lines of raid sprayed liberally across walls, rolls of toilet paper crumpled into baseball-sized masses, and once, memorably, a large decorative glass bowl filled with Jim Beam, into which I expected a spider to drop from the ceiling and drown – but what I hadn’t expected, what I hadn’t thought about, was the fact that even as I stood on a chair and held this really oversized bowl an inch away from the ceiling, I would see through the glass as the spider fell from the ceiling into the Jim Beam, and I would jerk away in fear, and splash Jim Beam all over the kitchen floor.

That was in college, before I had a guaranteed spider-killer around.

(Just now, I thought about saying spider-catcher, to pretend like around here, we trap them and safely let them outside, but the truth is, I’ll put crickets and ladybugs and moths and butterflies outside…but sorry spiders.)

Anyway. Daddy long legs spiders have always been different. They were around a lot growing up, they don’t seem to move as quickly or scarily as other brands of spiders, and they mostly live up in the corners and eat bugs. Or so I’m told. (Probably by paid daddy long legs PR reps.) So the daddy long legs in the bathroom can stay, as far as I’m concerned. At this point, it’s kind of nice to know it’s THERE, so I know it’s not SOMEWHERE ELSE.

So tonight I glanced at it and was like, Hi again, and then I thought, What is it living on? The bathroom can’t be the best place to set up a web. There aren’t any flies or gnats or anything in here.

And then clear as a bell I heard my dad’s voice in my head: I guess that means –
Me: Dad no
Dad: – he’s doing his job!

Dad jokes are not just for dads anymore.

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A Day Without A Woman

Today is International Women’s Day, and it’s also #DayWithoutAWoman, which is kind of a followup to the Women’s March and #ADayWithoutImmigrants.

To support A Day Without A Woman, we’re supposed to wear red and not do any shopping, except at women-owned businesses. Ideally all women are supposed to take the entire day off from all paid and unpaid labor.

Taking the day off from all paid and unpaid labor is a tall order. It’s been the cause of a lot of conversation over the last couple weeks – both with my coworkers, and with friends who have kids. As far as work goes, tonight is the first preview of our next show, plus my boss is out of the office all week, so it feels like a bad time to just take a day off. As for kids, I might consider it if they were at daycare or school (although both of those are run by women, so that would feel weird). But they’re with Drew’s parents today, so it also feels wrong to drop them off, and then go home and watch TV.

I realize that inconvenience is a part of the point of this day. Ideally all the schools would shut down because all the teachers are women, and the substitutes are all women, and so kids would have to stay home, but moms would all be going to hang out with their women friends and patronize women-owned businesses, so the fathers would have to work it out. I guess.

But the issue here is that I just don’t think that, for the most part, women are willing to commit to inconveniencing a bunch of other people – especially when it seems like kids and other women are going to be hit hard. Like we all stood around in circles saying “Well, this really isn’t the best day for it” and then in the very next breath “AND I KNOW THAT’S THE POINT BUT STILL.”

Additionally…I wish there was a very specific and quantifiable thing that this day was about. In Lysistrata, the women were very specifically saying “Stop this war.” (They were also really only inconveniencing the men.) There was an achievable outcome. But raising awareness for women’s rights, while vital (especially right now), feels like too vague a cause. And saying it’s just for one day basically just means that whatever I don’t buy today, or get done today, I’ll shop for or do tomorrow.

I’m so conflicted. I mean, I’m going to work. But I feel guilty about it. I’m wearing red. But I should be doing more. I’m patronizing my favorite woman-owned business at lunchtime. But I wish I could speak more eloquently and persuasively so that I could really make a case for the importance of women’s rights, and to the point of this day.

I fear that we, as women, won’t be able to create the kind of impact necessary with this type of protest. And I fear that men (particularly those in power) will read that as weakness or passivity, and not as the responsibility and love that it really represents.

I’m tired of all the happy men who rule the world
They grow—of that I’m sure
They grow—but don’t mature
I’d like the chance to hide in that world
I’m listening as these men who aren’t quite men yet,
but aren’t boys
Make noise and throw their knives
Their toys are people’s lives
They fight too hard and play too rough
They sometimes love but not enough
My heart will beat at will, but still…

-“Trina’s Song,” Falsettos, William Finn

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