Category Archives: Humor

Keep Your Yanni out of my Yoni: Sort of a review of Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth

As Matlida or I may have mentioned before, I will be popping  a lil human out of my vagina in a few months now. I’m sorry, was that an indelicate way to phrase it? Should I have said “I’m going to bring forth life from my sacred womb”? Well, don’t hold your breath, because I don’t fucking talk like that.

Some shameful background admissions: I grew up in Northern California. I was a pot smoking, Birkenstock wearing, Phish listening teenager. I wore jewelry with my zodiac sign on it. I bought books about Wicca. Hell, I even believed that astral projection was possible.

Yes, I thought this was a thing. Stop laughing.

But I still drew the line somewhere. I could never bring myself to completely drink the koolaid. I never went for dreadlocks, for instance. As soon as my armpit hair started growing, I started shaving it. There was a boundary I could not cross when it came to New-age trends and beliefs.  I think the line was most tangibly drawn by the language used by so many of my peers. Or maybe it was the abundant paranoia. Or the stink of B.O. that permeated whole groups of people. Or the constant repetition of unsubstantiated claims being purported by obscure authors who went by exotic sounding monosyllabic names. But I digress.

When I went to college I had the reverse experience that many people have. I became less “open-minded”.  What I actually mean is I learned that I should use rational thought to determine the legitimacy of claims and to only put stock in those that had some semblance of supportive evidence. I learned to remember that I had inherent biases and that the inadvertent confusion of correlation and causation led to a ton of false beliefs. I had an epiphany: Humans can be kind of  morons and we need to take precautions not to completely misjudge the world around us. Believing in auras and telepathy and magic might seem awesome and make the world more like our fantasies, but it doesn’t make those things any more real. Actually, it takes away our focus and attention from the awesome things that are verifiable and beautiful. (Disclaimer: This is not to say I don’t think people are entitled to have unverifiable beliefs if they bring them comfort. But if you have to choose between acceptance of science and your spiritual beliefs, and you choose your spiritual beliefs, then we probably won’t get along.)

Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked. What I wanted to talk about was my experience reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Though I have fully embraced the practice of conventional medicine, it seems there is a trend in U.S. medicine in particular to embrace an over-willingness to intervene when it’s just not necessary. I may be a skeptic, and an agnostic, but I can still appreciate the spiritual and emotional elements of child labor. There is something profoundly beautiful, awe-inspiring, and just frigging amazing about the whole thing. I mean, there is a baby inside me! I’m getting kicked and tickled from the inside right now as I write this!  Childbirth is something I want to experience with a touch of sensitivity, a bit of setting, a smidgeon of solemnity. I get it, ok! Some of it, anyway.

The book itself is very helpful in describing the whole birthing process, from water bursting to final thrusts. It shares a number of women’s birthing experiences and shares their advice on managing and overcoming the pain using mental techniques. Helpful, and yet I was cringing during much of the book. not from the graphic descriptions of the birthing process. Instead, it was from the use of terms like “yoni”,  “plane”, or “spirit guide” (I’m pretty sure that third one was in there somewhere).  One woman shared her method of imagining your vagina is a cave near a ravenous ocean, and the ebb and flow of the torrential tides correspond to the contractions. I think she meant her vagina, anyway. She called it a yoni.

This is a yoni. I don’t have one. I have a fucking vagina.

Is this supposed to be an empowering word? It’s vagina in another language. Or did she mean one of the other definitions of yoni? Like “sacred temple”? How about “stable”? Is my baby a pony? Language like this immediately puts me off. Can’t I use the English words without selling out to the man? Does my desire to give birth in a hospital diminish the spiritual import of my child’s birth? No, damn it. It doesn’t. It’s up to each of us to marry our spiritual side with our clinical or rational side. Ina May has assisted thousands of births. She seems to be  a reliable source for information on the birthing process. But hers is not the only way.

I am going to give birth in a hospital. I realize incense won’t be allowed and there won’t be a drum circle outside the door (I’m not knocking it, that would be pretty awesome). But, the compromise is all the technology, sterility, and know-how that will be there. I’m going to resist unnecessary interventions and have my people know my wishes in case I can’t communicate them.  I completely admire women who opt to have home births. They are braver than I. If they want to chant, have a naked midwife, and blast Enya through cockle shaped speakers during labor, good on them! I just hope they get their children vaccinated or else we’ll have a serious fucking problem.So take from the book what works for you and, if you’re like me, try not to dwell on the shudder-inducing hippy talk.

I hope this doesn’t sound too angry. I’m really a happy, sympathetic person. Just keep the Yanni out of my yoni. (And vaccinate your kids.)

This is a Yanni. I don’t have one. I have a fucking vagina.

 

 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Family Life, Humor, Misc

A Culinary Point of View™: My Next Food Network Star Application

We all want to be this “Guy”


Has anyone else been watching the Next Food Network Star and thought, “hell, I could do that”! Oh, everyone? Ok. Well that’s because the Next Food Network Star is a culinary competition in which culinary prowess, knowledge, or experience are not required. What do you need to win? A Culinary Point of View™ and some guidance from one of the Food Network’s top-notch mentors, Iron Chef and probable adulterer Bobby Flay, rumored nymphomaniac and real-life bobble-head Giada De Laurentiis , and my favorite crabapple, Alton Brown.

The esteemed culinary mentors

But as we’ve seen from season after season of the show, finding your own Culinary Point of View™ isn’t that easy. Because your Culinary Point of View™ has to simultaneously reflect your “true voice” and be “responsive to criticism” from Bob and the Sooze. And what Bob and the Sooze want depends on the week, the season, and possibly whatever chemicals are laced in their self-tanner.

For example, while Bob and the Sooze loved Ippy’s authentic Hawaiian style at the beginning of the season, now they’ve decided that he’s too “laid-back”. Isn’t that like accusing someone from Minnesota as being too nice? That’s what Hawaii is about, guys. That’s called Hawaiian style. Oh, you want him to be his authentic self, but in a more frenetic way? That’s helpful, thanks.

Ippy’s got too much Aloha

Or how about when they eliminated previous favorite Emily for having a mediocre week and kept Giada’s “fiery hot Latina” Martita? The same Martita who finished her promo 30 seconds early and instead of trying to fill the time smiled wide-eyed at the judges for 30 Seconds. Of. Dead. Air. Oh, you didn’t want them to even try to do the challenge this week, Bob and the Sooze? I’m sure if you had told Emily what you wanted she could stand in awkward and confused silence for even longer than 30 seconds!

Martita, pretending like nobody can see her. And it worked!

The rampant discrepancies and conspiracy-like eliminations are almost making me think that winners and losers are decided by a complicated calculus of Network need, focus groups, demographic pull, and the aforementioned toxic self-tanner, instead of the actual challenges themselves. There, I’ve said it. The Next Food Network Star may be rigged.

This isn’t going to stop me from applying for next season. As some of you already know, I like to cook. I make salad dressing from scratch! And bread! And I soak my own beans! In Food Network parlance, I’m not a occasionally better than average home cook- I’m self-taught with a unique Culinary Point of View™. And the fact that I can’t tell you the difference between a hollandaise and béarnaise doesn’t matter. Because my ignorance is relatable! Who wants to learn how to cook from someone who knows interesting information about food when I can add a pouch of powdered ranch dressing to a casserole and tell stories about my Nan? That’s right, nobody.

The following are real questions from the Next Food Network Star application. I can’t make this stuff up.

Complete this sentence: If I were an ingredient, I would be…….

How can I answer this without it becoming a sexual innuendo? Um, salt? Because it’s in everything? Damn it, that doesn’t work. Okay, how about tomatoes? Because of the way their taut skin bursts in your mouth? Never mind. Breadcrumbs? Because they are getting old? They make everything crunchy when submerged in hot oil? Ugh, I give up.

Is there a non-perverted way to answer this question? People aren’t food, after all.

Unless……if I were an ingredient I would be Soylent Green. Because Soylent Green IS PEOPLE! IT’S PEOPLE! And there’s nothing sexy about that.

What is your unique Culinary Point of View™?

I’m not sure what to put here. I’m guessing that my real Culinary Point of View™, food that your kids won’t want to eat isn’t going to fly with the Food Network. And shows about Healthy! Delicious! Organic! Foods! That your kids WILL eat! are often a joke. (Case in point, when Nikki served a “kid-friendly Kale smoothie” to a group of gagging 10 year olds.) Kids are crazy. Some things they like, some things they don’t. Sure they are often more picky than many adults, but their list of likes and dislikes are impossible to generalize. My son loves Kale chips and hates pizza. My daughter could eat Fettuccini Alfredo for every single meal of her life but will not drink a glass of chocolate milk. She likes cashews, he likes almonds. See what I mean? It’s a boring show idea, because there is no “kid food” and that’s why these contestants never win.

Bob and the Sooze: The Orange Masterminds

Okay, here’s another idea for a Culinary Point of View™. How about The Boozy Chef? I’ll focus exclusively on recipes requiring the hard stuff and drink the leftovers as I cook. How about Grand Marnier French Toast, or Hooch strawberry salad dressing? Or what about potatoes two ways? I’ll just put some potatoes in the oven to roast and drink some vodka. I have a feeling the Sooze is going to love this one.

Unfortunately, I drank so much prepping my recipes that I can’t pull it together to fill out all ELEVEN pages of the application. So nobody will ever know what kind of role I generally play in groups, what topics are off limits to me at a dinner party, or other highly relevant food-related information. Maybe I’ll work on finding my adaptable authentic voice in the meantime.

What’s your unique Culinary Point of View™?

2 Comments

Filed under Culinary, Humor, TV shows

How to (Not) Support Your Partner Upon His Vasectomy: A Step-by-Step Guide

So, he’s going to get the big V! You’ve debated about it for hours, days, or years and finally decided that his swimmers are getting kicked out of the pool for good. For my husband and I, it was less a rational discussion and more of a battle cry oft repeated through a complicated third pregnancy. L’Shana Haba’ah Vasectomy! Although our dedication to sterility waned a bit immediately after our beautiful baby was born, a few months later we looked again at our three children under five, our inability to save or find me a job to cover the cost of daycare, and our seemingly unending future of sleep deprivation torture, and decided to do the snip.

The Vasectomy: This time it’s HIS turn

Assuming that your partner has been like mine, a true mensch and a source of support and (most of the time) assistance through long pregnant days and sleepless newborn nights, you’ll want to extend the same courtesy to him for what is a psychologically daunting procedure. Men do seem to care a great deal about their balls. I don’t understand it, but I can be there for him. That’s why I’ve created this simple step-by-step guide- your partner will be so thankful.

1. Act Casual

It’s not a big deal, this whole thing, right? In fact, you should be like me and model such excellent nonchalance that he’ll think that you actually forgot about it. And that you didn’t schedule a babysitter or actively plan to be at his side. Okay, maybe you did do that, but you did make some last minute calls when he asked why you didn’t plan to come to his (minor!!!) surgical procedure. That counts!

2. Express Support and Concern

When he does seem like he wants to discuss the upcoming procedure, be there to hear his concerns. And voice your own, of course. About his health, and about the fact that you won’t be able to have any more babies any more ever, and doesn’t he think that the timing is a little crazy and that this decision is a little rash, after all? Why make it permanent? Sure, you don’t plan on having more children- but what’s wrong with condoms for the next 12-15 years that you remain fertile? They don’t bother you!

3. Document the Process

Even though he might be feeling apprehensive and a little irritable, make sure to take pictures of the process to document it for your blog. He’ll thank you later, I promise.

This is not annoying at all

4. Encourage Recovery

After the procedure, go ahead and leave him and the three kids at home while you rush to the pharmacy to pick up his Vicodin prescription. If there happens to be a long line, feel free to sit and wait in the lobby area. If there are a few new US Weekly magazines to peruse while you wait, no problem. He and the kids will be fine.

5. Maintain Comforting Routines

After a traumatic incident, it’s often best to keep up with your normal routines. If he regularly wakes up at dawn with the kids on Saturday while you sleep in, why change that now? That icepack he was up changing all night long was sure to keep down the swelling.

6. Help Transition Back to Normalcy

Although taking narcotics post-procedure is helpful, your partner might need you to suggest backing off of the heavy-duty stuff or transitioning to Ibuprofen instead. Even if he had what his urologist called “a bleeder,” for safety purposes he should ease off the Vicodin. Because he’s got to save some for you! (Note: I’m just kidding!)

Houston, we have a bleeder

7. Harness His Other Sources of Support

Make sure that others can also support him by letting all of them know. Is he walking a tad funny? Point it out in a loud and clear voice so that they don’t have to worry. Does his bulge seemingly protrude? Assure everyone that’s it is just an icepack from his recent vasectomy! No cause for alarm!

8. Be Authentic to Your Own Emotions

As carefully as you’ve handled his concerns and fears, you must find the space to share your own to preserve the balance in your relationship. So if he forwards you a birth announcement from an acquaintance four days after the procedure, feel free to let those tears flow. You’ll never have another newborn, after all. At least not with him.

Estimated Cost of Family Planning/Creation Procedures:
You- $78,000 (3 births)
Him- 35 bucks

1 Comment

Filed under Family Life, Humor, Mondays, Random