Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Three R's: Redecorating, Renaming, and Resignation

Cover your ears while I scream.


I had the loveliest blog template for years. It took me quite awhile to find and then when I did find it I yelled Ureeka like I had discovered the secret to making kids wash the dishes.

When you find something that works you hang on to it. Forever.

Only it stopped working.

I went to my webpage yesterday and discovered that the background was missing. No amount of uploading the template made it look the way it was supposed to.

It was gone. What I had left was the sad little skeleton. And although skeletons have become cool for some odd reason, I'm not a fan. I don't like zombies or vampires either.

So it was back on the hunt for a new blog template.

I found this one. A bench by the ocean with books and suitcases. I love the ocean. I love books. I love to travel. I love to sit. Yes, this was me. I could do this.

It required moving all my gadgets around.

And it involved something else that I wasn't planning. Once the template was in place my title "Real Women Don't Wear Bikinis" didn't look right anymore. Now I had to create a new title.

So here it is. "Postcards From a Gypsy Packrat".

Now if I could actually go somewhere.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Does Disney Hate Mothers?

Why does Disney hate mothers?

Think about this, Snow White’s mom—dead. She had a wicked step-mom instead—in fact a wicked witch of a step-mom.

Pinocchio didn’t have a mom, just a lonely wood carver that created him.

Bambi’s mom got killed so he had to look up to a father that was never around—but in the end it turns out that he was a good father in spite of never being around.

Cinderella didn’t have a mom either, just another wicked step-mother with two bratty daughters. Her father picked well on his second marriage.

Sleeping Beauty’s mom gave her away. And it wasn’t like she was some poor teenage mother, she was a queen. Aurora was sent away from her grand palace to live in the forest in a little hut with three batty fairies. She wasn’t even told who she was.

Dumbo had a mom. But they put her in prison for being a mom and protecting her baby.

Jasmine, no mom. No mention of a mom. Maybe her dad had a harem and so her mom wasn’t that important.Where were all those women in that harem anyway?

Come to think of it, Aladdin didn’t have a Mom either and there’s no mention of his mom. He just had a monkey that got him into trouble.

Belle didn’t have a mom. She had a lunatic father. And in spite of living in town where everyone knew her, there didn’t appear to be any women who stepped in to be a mother-like figure. Like the lady down the block who bakes homemade cookies, or the seamstress that helps teach sewing. No women, nadda.

Simba had a mom, but it appears that she played no role in his upbringing since the whole story surrounded his dad and how much he looked up to his dad and how he wanted to be like his dad. I guess his mom only gave birth to him.

Mulon had a mom who only cared about marrying her off and what kind of impression she made. Mulon sacrificed everything for her father.

Tarzan’s mom was killed by a tiger. Sure he had an adopted gorilla mom who loved him and his gorilla dad wasn’t nice, but his real mom still got killed.

Ariel, again no mother in sight. There’s a lot of kids in that family though. I guess merpeople don’t need mothers. However Ariel did turn into a nice mother, but then I guess Disney couldn’t kill her off. That would be too traumatic. Can you imagine if they had started “The Little Mermaid II” off with the murder of Ariel?

Lilo has no mother, just a sister whom Lilo drives nuts.

Nemo’s mom gets eaten by a shark before Nemo is even born. Why couldn’t it have been Nemo’s dad that gets eaten by the shark and Nemo’s mom be the one to have to find Nemo?

Rapunzal's Mom stole her from her real mom and kept her a prisoner in a tower.

Sure, there are a few moms scattered here and there. The Aristocats has a mother, 101 Dalmations has a mother, and there is a mom on Treasure Planet. And there's a real mom on The Incredibles that all moms can be proud of. I watched it thinking “Finally, a Mom. And a really cool Mom too! I wish I could be that flexible.”

But still, the pickings have been slim. It’s like they go into a room and think “Mom’s just get in the way. They don’t let you go on adventures and they tell you to eat your spinach and put on clean underwear. Let’s kill them off.”

Admittedly, many of the Disney stories come from fairy tales and the Brothers Grimm are responsible for killing off a lot of moms, such as Snow White’s and Cinderella’s. And some stories like Tarzan come from famous novels where the writer has killed off the mom.

But really, does every mother have to suffer the fate of death? And does every step-mother have to be wicked? And why is it that the bad fathers in Disney stories are not really bad, but just misunderstood, or they come around and realize that they’ve been unfair and all is forgiven.

Where’s the fathers that run away and don’t send child support? Or the wicked stepfathers who brew up potions to kill their step-children? I mean, lets have some equal opportunity badness here.

In Disney’s world most families are one parent families with the father being the main caregiver.

Of course, no one has ever accused Disney of presenting real life.

But it does make me wonder, why do so many Disney executives hate their moms?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

While I Am Sleeping or Why Can't I Have the Shoemaker's Elves

Do you remember the story of the shoemaker and the elves?
The story goes that there was a very poor shoemaker (it seems that all shoemakers were poor which makes you wonder why they went into the business in the first place. Do shoemakers even exist anymore? I guess they must to make specialty shoes).

Anyway, this shoemaker didn’t make specialty shoes, he just made ordinary shoes at a time when you couldn’t go to Walmart and pick out a pair for 14.99 which sounds like a good deal until you realize while you’re in Walmart that you need a new set of sheets, and a broom to replace the one the kids broke while they were playing Harry Potter, and you notice a really cute purse, and while you’re there you might as well pick up a cheap movie to watch for family night and a, okay I’m rambling…

Anyway, this poor shoemaker was struggling trying to get his work done and one night he went to bed and when he woke up in the morning all of his work was finished.

See, it wasn’t about him having a lack of work, it was more about supply and demand and he couldn’t keep up with the amount of work that he had which is bad since then you get the reputation of not being reliable and you end up losing business and so instead of hiring someone to help him retain the business he had he decided instead to do everything himself. I guess he was the “I can do it all” kind of guy and he didn’t like to ask for help and he definitely didn’t like to pay for help especially for something that he could do himself. Only he couldn’t do it all himself and he was falling behind but he wouldn’t admit it. Just like a man.

Where was I?...Oh yeah, he woke up and all his work was done, which was great for business and it continued to happen night after night until he wasn’t poor anymore.

Then he decided to find out how his work was being done. See if it had been me, I would have been wondering the first day but this guy waited until he was well off before his curiosity kicked in. I know I would have been wondering, “How did those shoes get finished?” and then I would have asked all over the place and then I would have seen if it happened again and then when it did I would have done a stake out like in the movies.

Which is what he ended up doing. He and his wife stayed up all night waiting to see what would happen. Nowadays we would just put a hidden camera in a teddy bear but they didn’t have them back then (cameras or teddy bears) so they made some popcorn and curled up in a corner hiding and waiting for the show to start.
I know these elves aren't naked but I couldn't put
 naked elves on my family blog

Suddenly these naked elves appear and start fixing all the shoes. These elves can make shoes but they can’t tie a piece of cloth around themselves and call it a toga. Nowadays there would have been a big blur or dot put in strategic places but since this was live and had no 10 second delay, there was no big blurs or dots.

So the next day his wife decides that she can’t have naked elves in her house and decides to whip them up all new outfits. Now anyone who sews knows that it’s almost as much work to make something little as to make something big.

She designs them little outfits and figures out what size the elves are (I guess she mentally measured them while watching) and she sews up all the clothing by hand since they didn’t have sewing machines back then and she has them all ready by nightfall. Which makes me wonder, if she was able to design, fit, and sew so quickly why wasn’t she helping her struggling husband by taking in sewing from rich people?

Or why didn’t he teach her how to make shoes because she could have had a dozen pairs made up to his one and then they wouldn’t have needed the naked elves.

They laid out all the clothes and made some popcorn and hid in a corner to watch the show.

The elves came, tried on all their clothes, danced around in happy delirium and left never to come back and make any more shoes.

I don’t know what the moral of this story is. If you pay someone they will leave you. Or elves can only make shoes when they’re naked. Or if you don’t ask for help someone will come and give it to you anyway. I don’t know. None of this sounds right but that isn’t the point.

I don't get elves that help me like the shoemaker did. I get the other kind of elves.

While I sleep, elves enter my home and steal single socks, hide my keys and put dishes in my sink, both clean and dirty dishes, which make the clean dishes dirty.

They overload the garbage, make the cordless phone disappear, and take all the batteries out of the remote controls that I can find. Of course there are the remote controls that I can’t find.

Elves play on my computer and store files in odd places, change my desktop, download weird programs, and put in sneaky little viruses and worms that confound my virus scan. They also make quadruple copies of spam email. They empty the ink from my printer, hide all the 100 pens that I keep on my desk and rearrange all my papers.

In my bathroom, they go into my linen closet and throw sheets on the floor, soak towels in the bathtub, make toilet paper streamers, put toothpaste on the mirrors, unwrap and wet down several bars of soap and take all the papers off of the band-aids.

In my fridge, they loosen salad dressing lids, knock over ketchup bottles and jump up and down on them, hide my leftovers so that I can’t find them until my nose does and they add chemicals to my vegetables to make them rot faster than they normally would.

While I sleep, in my room they mix my clean clothes with my dirty ones, hide the latest book I’m reading, and change the time and alarm on my clock. In my closet they shrink my clothes, tangle up my hangers, and separate my blazers from the matching skirts and pants.

In my children’s bedrooms they throw all the clothes on the floor, break all the toys, scatter legos, undress dolls, and spill nail polish on carpets.

They like to take all the movies and either mix them up in the boxes or hide the boxes and throw everything on the floor.

On my bookshelves they place Stephen King next to Louisa May Alcott.

They put strange appointments on my calendar and hide my important phone numbers.

They call my phone number and leave wierd messages or no messages at all.

I often wonder why I didn’t get the kind of elves that make shoes. I could use some new shoes. Especially since my elves hid mine.

Maybe if I made them little clothes they would go away. Of course they could always wear the clothes that they take off of the dolls.

I wonder if I could trade my elves in for house fairies. I hear they're pretty nice to have around.