Thursday, March 29, 2007
So no blogging for a bit here.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
And then someone started smoking a cigar over by the sandbox, so that was it, we packed it in.
But as we drove across the valley, back toward our end of town, I did have a revelation -- all of Pork Smith is blooming, and the hills are full of redbud and dogwood and some sort of bright yellow blooming tree I don't know but I bet the Other Liberal Professor does, not to mention daffodils* and the new grass is everywhere, bright green. "Ah," sez I. "Look at that."
"What?" said the kid.
"It's like a giant Easter basket, in't it?" I said. "That's why they do it up in all those colors."
"Oh," the kid says. "Yeah."
Well, if she had grown up in Metairie she would not be so blase I bet.
* mr. delagar didn't know they were daffodils, btw. "What are those little yellow flowers there?" he asked, because they are blooming everywhere this year, with all the rain -- they hadn't, the past few years, b/c of the drought, or not like this. I glanced at him a few times, sure he was playing me, but he was serious. "The daffodils?" I said. "Those? Those are daffodils," I said. "Like in the poem? You know. And then my heart with pleasure fills/ and dances with the daffodils?"
"Oh!" the kid cried in delight from the back seat. "That's in my poem book! I love that one!"
Friday, March 23, 2007
I mean, once in a while I cook dinner. Not often, though. Because when the muse is riding you hard, dinner (and laundry and vacuuming and remembering to get the recycling out and every other small detail) gets left by the wayside, most of the time. I believe I mowed the lawn twice last summer.
But here during Spring break, the kid and I have been spending time together, when I'm done writing for the day. We go to the library. We make corn muffins. We read books in the white chair. We fold laundry. And? I make dinner.
Which led to her comment last night as I was clearing the table.
Wistfully, hopefully, just *like* Oliver Twist, she asks, "Are we going to eat dinner again tomorrow night?"
You can send the Bad Mother awards this way anytime.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
I haven't decided who to go for yet. I've liked a lot of things Edwards has said, though. This is an interesting move, I have to say.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
"She's pregnant," he said.
"Oh?" I said.
"She was eating a poptart for breakfast. I yelled at her," he said smugly. "I took it away and gave her my apple instead."
"Ah," I said. "Well."
He looked at me over his laptop. "That was a *good* thing to do," he insisted. "She was pregnant! She needs to eat right!"
"Uh-huh," I said. "And how old is she again?"
He got a grumpy look on his face. "This is going to be another patriarchy lecture, isn't it?"
"You're her lit professor, not her daddy. Or her nanny. Do you think she doesn't *know* she's pregnant? Do you think she doesn't understand basic nutrition?"
"You don't get to tell her what to do with her body. It's her body."
"But the baby!"
I sit back in the chair and look at him. "You haven't heard a word I've said for the past fifteen years. Have you?"
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Anyway, this reminded me of my conversation with the therapist (I loved the therapist, by the way, I'll say that up front), who we saw back when the kid was having trouble dealing with her trauma after Katrina. The therapist asked, during our intake session, what I did -- I said I was an English professor, and the kid said I wrote novels. The therapist told me, firmly, that this was a good thing: that I should keep writing novels, that it was good for me to have something of my own. I remember looking at her, astounded. Like, had she been thinking I was considering giving it up?
Only, yes, because we do live in a Red State, and no doubt many women in my position, with a kid who was, at that point in the middle of a major melt-down, *would* have been considering surrendering their own lives to devote themselves wholly to their child. It never once entered my head. I did, mind you, deal with the situation -- I found a therapist, I got the kid help, we figured out what to do. I did not quit my job and stop writing and become My Kid's Mom.
And now? Kid is fine, or as fine as the overly-intelligent neurotic little bug is ever likely to be. (She has just read Harriet the Spy and decided she wants to be a writer and is going about writing eveything in her notebook. My favorite line -- "There is a bird in our backyard saying "Diego Diego White white white!"
mr. delagar, speaking of neurotic, is deeply alarmed by this development. "What are we going to do about this?" he demands. "We're not just going to let it happen, are we? A writer! She can't be a writer!" "Oh," I say, "film-maker was fine with you? Painter was cool? English professor, even? But writer is right out?" "You are damn straight," he snaps. "She is *not* going to be a writer!" "Well, what do you suggest we do about it?" I ask. "Take away her pencils?" He considers. "Yes," he says. "Tonight. While she's asleep.")
What do kids need? Parents, obviously. Parents who care about them, but -- and this bit is important -- happy parents, with rich lives, who can model how to have happy rich lives, so that the kid can know how to live a rich, involved, successful life herself. (And by rich, obviously, I don't mean anything to do with money here. I don't need to point that out to y'all, I hope. Though I don't spit on money when it shows up, mind you. But, as Plato said, it's the means to a good life, not the end, and only a fool gets confused about that.)
Monday, March 19, 2007
and read the story on the soldiers in Iraq getting raped and sexually harassed by their fellow soldiers.
Then head over to Twisty, for more on the story!
(Don't I love Twisty?)
Friday, March 16, 2007
by Taylor Mali
First of all, it's a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you're walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain't no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn't like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don't you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you're all wound up and can't move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.
If you're going to stay home and watch TV, then fine, believe what you want. Be ignorant. That is your right as an American and this here is a free country, yap yap yap.
On the other hand, if you are going to arm yourselves up and start laying about with laws, or social policy, or whatever, you know, if you are going to start involving yourself in this world and begin trying to shape how other folk should live our lives -- well, that is when your right to live in ignorance of actual fact and reality stops.
This comes to mind due to that previous post down there, those Quiverfull people, but I am surrounded by it -- this morning, for instance, another appearance of that statistic, the "half of all marriages end in divorce" nonsense. The same student also claimed that divorce rates were rising and had been for years. When I asked for a citation to support this, he gaped at me.
Then in class last week, when I asked my students, who were claiming that we needed to crack down on kids today, because of how "out of control" kids today were, and how crime rates and pregnancy rates were "soaring," if they had evidence to support that, I got the same stare.
You'll be interested and not surprised to know, of course, that divorce rates are nowhere near 50% of all marriages, that they never were that high, not even in the evil sixties, that they have been been dropping since 1980 (when they were at the all-time high of about 41%), and are at about 31% now and holding steady.
Also? Feminism is not a cause of divorce. College-educated women are less likely to be divorced. (Can I just add d'uh?)
Faith is not a substitute for knowledge.
What I've heard, what I'm told, what I believe, common sense, everybody knows, that just makes sense -- none of this is a substitute for finding out what is actually so. Thinking it is leads to error. When you create the world in your (wrong) image, that's an error. It's hubris. It's hamartia. The Greeks knew what that led to, and we'll find out.
They are equally ignorant, btw, I was pleased to learn, on the subject of why Rome fell:
[A Quiverfull woman] recounts the "seven stages of decline of the Roman Empire" as illustration: from men failing to lead their families to God, through adultery, divorce, homosexuality, barrenness, atheism and then, in the end, an invasion of barbarians from abroad.
Right. Nothing to do with the corrupting ruling class sacking and pillaging the state (and every other state they came across), stripping away what resources their shrinking middle and working classes still held, and murdering one another like the vicious thugs they were. Nah. It's cause they were faggots and they slept around and used birth control -- probably because they let their bitches own property, too, no doubt. That's the ticket!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I went in. "What? What, sweetness?"
She tumbled into my arms. "Why is every show I like oppressed by the patriarchy?"
Dear heart, I say to them gently, if you are not looking for a job that will make you happy, most of the time? Boy, are you fucking up.
Here's my favorite bit of Amanda's post:
"If we embraced pleasure as a positive value in a very real way, how much would the popular discourse benefit from it? I suspect quite a bit. There are some people who already make a point of arguing for pleasure and leisure time, but not enough. Conservatives know and fear the power of the pro-pleasure argument; as Dan Savage details in his book Skipping Towards Gomorrah, a number of them have fallen into the habit of implying that the American trinity is “life, liberty, and property” instead of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
(My links! My links! Why WON'T my links work from this computer? Help me, mouse!)
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Here you go.
It's Mike Adams over there at Townhall, and he's been thinking about Coulter and the faggot uproar, and this is his conclusion -- and my God is it dumb:
The first thing Ann should not do is heed calls that she apologize for using the term “faggot.” The last time I heard that word, I was helping move a friend into his new house in downtown Wilmington. The next door neighbor, who happened to be gay, had us over to grab something to eat and drink.
When someone asked our host the name of the style he used to decorate the living room, his reply was “Early 20th Century Colonial Faggot.” He made the joke partially because he had a few too many drinks before his guests arrived. But he also did it because many homosexuals have never really aspired to the goal of making everyone feel as comfortable as they feel they have a right to feel at all times.
Yes, Mr. Adams. That's exactly what was happening there. Coulter was using the word exactly the way your friend's neighbor used it. Coulter, as a white het, had exactly as much right to use the word as your friend's neighbor did. Yep. No difference there!
Mike tries to cover himself, knowing what we're thinking: Gay persecution does not rival black persecution in the annals (I could not find a better word to insert here) of American history. Any assertion to the contrary is simply too queer to take seriously.
Annals -- get it? Har har. Queer. Get it? He's a kidder! And gay people aren't persecuted, so shut up!
Tell that to Matthew Shepard.
(And see also:
But here is where Adams really loses his shit:
But enough about what Ann ought not to do. Here’s what she should do immediately:
1. Start a website called “Global War on Fags” today.
2. Begin writing essays calling for the cleansing and purification of society via the mass murder of homosexuals.
3. Distribute videos on the website showing the actual murders of homosexuals.
4. Circulate instructions on how to bomb gay bath houses in San Francisco.
5. Circulate a “battle dispatch” to give people specific information on America’s most notorious bath houses.
6. Apply for a job at Kent State University.
At first, the cries for Ann Coulter’s imprisonment will be loud. But once Kent State gets wind of the story (and possession of her job application) a happy ending will soon be in sight (not incite). In fact, I predict that Ann will soon be a professor at Kent State University with good retirement benefits, a health plan, and tenure.
Forget that this isn't funny -- because none of this stupid essay was funny -- this doesn't even make sense. What's Adams trying to claim here? What's his point? Hate speech will get you a job in the Leftist University system these days? I thought the whole Conservative Rant was exactly the opposite? Or is his point that Coulter should go on the offense and -- what, exactly? Why would that get her a job at Kent State? Why Kent State? Because she'll scare us chicken liberals? Does he have a point? Has he been eating too much undercooked beef lately?
Maybe he always was an idiot. It would explain the conservative POV, certainly.
"Yeah, him," mr. delagar said, since he knew that professor too. "He did hate you. I don't know why. He loved me."
I cast a glance at him. "Because I talked back," I said, in a tone that added, you idiot, anyone knows that one. "He didn't like women who talked back."
mr. delagar grinned. "Oh yeah."
"He liked women told him he was brilliant and right all the time. I talked back and told him he was wrong. Which he was wrong," I added. "He didn't like me saying so, either. Women aren't suppose to tell men they're wrong, are they?"
"I told him when he was wrong," mr. delagar noted. "That didn't make him mad."
"You have a penis," I pointed out. "You can tell him he's wrong. Girls can't. It's a certain kind of guy can't get past that."
mr. delagar brooded. "I'm not like that, am I?"
"I wouldn't be in this car with you if you were, dude."
All of this reflects, interestingly, on where I am in Chaucer these days: the Wife of Bath, and about to start the Clerk's Tale. I put these two tales back to back in my Chaucer class because they always make such a nice conjuction. (Same reason I always teach the Miller's Tale and the Reeve's tale back to back.)
You all know the Wife's Tale, no doubt -- well, first the Prologue, where the Wife sounds off about the care and management of husbands, how you have to nag them into submission, and then if it turns out you can't it's fine to (maybe? I guess?) poison one or two of the troublesome ones -- but husband number five, who turns the tables on her, who scolds her into a frenzy, and smacks her around in the bargain, and whom she may have had to murder as well, to get out from under him, he's too much for her to handle...this was a bad husband, she admits. In her tale, she tells us what a good husband would be like. Something like her fifth husband, in that he would be young and pretty like her fifth husband was, but, like her first three husbands (who were old and ugly) he would be wholly under her control -- yeah! That's the ticket! That's what we want in our spouses!
I recollect when I was a young thing, back in graduate school, taking Chaucer from my (male) professor, being told that the Wife was a medieval feminist. I remember being cheered by this. Yay, I remember thinking. Feminism, finally! A woman's voice, finally! Now I'm reading the notes written in the margain of my text, the things that professor told me about Chaucer's intent and what the Wife meant, and yikes, my lovelies. Worse? I remember agreeing as I wrote them down.
Now don't get me wrong. I do think Chaucer speaks for women, and I do think he is a feminist voice -- finally. But I don't think that is what he is doing with the Wife of Bath. Though possibly she is (finally) speaking feminist issues. Just not with this prologue and this tale. Because what does she say with that tale? As the Clerk, with his tale of Patient Griselda, easily points out?
His tale, after all, is the same tale as the Wife's, only with the genders reversed and the situation made slightly more extreme -- Walter, obviously, is more wicked than the old women in the Wife's tale because he has the power of class and wealth behind him; and Griselda I cannot forgive for her blatant sappy stupidity in allowing her husband to usurp all of her power -- which she does allow it, the story makes that obvious, it is her free choice -- so all the characters in this story are morally bankrupt, not just sweetly stupid, as they are in the Wife's tale; but that's the Clerk's point, he's removing the shadows to make the moral positions clear: having this sort of power over other people's souls is evil, no matter who you are. It doesn't matter if you're their husbands or their wives or their preachers. Free will was given to us for a reason: so we could make our own moral choices. When Griselda surrenders her moral decision making power to Walter, she's fucked, and that's that. When the Wife says her husband should surrender his to her, it's the same thing. No one, male or female, has the right to ask anyone to submit that to anyone else. (Which is the basis of that illegal order deal in the military, in case anyone wants to go there.)
This is a long post, so I'll stop there, but I just want to add, what a clever dude that Chaucer was, and what one of my best professors, John Locke, who was shot in his office a few years ago by a whacked-out student, told me: it's all already out there, isn't it? All the wisdom, it's already known, it's all already been said. We already know everything. We just have to listen to each other. I don't know why we won't.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Y'all know how much I love that Wikipedia, I imagine? Well, those Conservatives (no shock here) don't. Guess why?
It's too liberal!
They don't favor American Spellings!
They (gasp!) think evolution makes sense!
And other shocking details even worse! Like (I know this might alarm you, so hold onto your hat!) they have articles on MUSIC! And POPULAR CULTURE! And? And? And?
OCCASIONAL TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS on SEVERAL PAGES!
One can't have that -- um, I mean, one cannot have that on a respectable publication, can one?
So Conservatives, homeschoolers, have started their own very charming site, attempting to rival that evil liberal site, and it's called
Go have a look, some day, if you're bored. Because, I have to warn you, it's not really funny at all. It's stupid and it's boring. I wish conservatives were funny. They used to be funny. Now they're just getting tedious, banging the same old drums over and over.
(See also: http://creationwiki.org/Main_Page)
Here she is writing on the trouble with talking about the misogynistic nature of our fucked patriarchal culture -- well, the trouble with talking about it when men are about, which is that men get angry when women do that. (And you know we can't do things that get men angry. That's not allowed, annoying the fellas.)
...Outraged dudes get their backs up and make with the “I for one don’t hate women you are wrong you must have been abused as a child you stupid cunt” argument. Women in relationships with men assume a defensive posture; perceiving that I have impugned the integrity of the doted-on patriarch, they loyally wish to enlighten me as to their husband/boyfriend’s sterlingness (”he does the laundry!”), an exception who surely disproves the rule.
Read the comments, too, of course. Comments always worth it at Twisty's blog.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I subscribed to it and to Asimov's a few years ago, having decided they were the best of the print mags out there, and I think maybe they even were at the time. Or maybe I was delusional? Who knows. Asimov's is still not bad, but Analog?
I read it cover to cover on Saturday, because I was trying desperately to get through my midterms, and that is the only way I can do that, by reading something else between each exam, and Analog was handy, but shit, can I just say?
(1) No women writers published. This does not surprise me. Women hardly ever make it into Analog. Cause girls can't write, I guess.
(2) Beyond that, though, no women in any of the stories -- well, wait. Here was a woman. One. The astronaut's wife. Waiting, prettily, at home, doing nothing at all while she waited at home, in Texas, for him to return from Mars, and being an Heroic Sex object for our 15 year old POV character (male) to yearn for in the meantime and to lead him on to be a Brave Astronaut Himself (so he can have an Astronaut's Wife himself one day, of course). Otherwise? No women anywhere. Not even among the aliens. Even the aliens are all male. Even the future ambassadors and techs and etc on voyages into the future etc -- all male. Women don't exist in the Analog world.
Now what century are we living in again? Because I am confused.
And worn out, can I just add.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
On the other hand. Committee meetings.
Because, and someone should do a formula for this I think, the more academics you get into a room, the less you can EVER POSSIBLY GET DONE.
One of us in an office alone by herself? Mountains get moved.
Two, and we can still knock over boulders, so long as one of us is clearly in charge, or willing to take charge.
Three, and we enter swampland territory.
I'm on a committee with fourteen people on it, from all over campus. We spent, and I kid you not, two and a half hours trying to decide how we would *vote*. I mean just the basics of the vote -- would it be a anonymous or a show of hands? Paper ballot or email? Should the votes be ranked? Was 1 high or was 5 high? Now you know me, I lean toward the far left side of socialism, but by the end of the second hour of this, I was ready to take up the fasces and start laying about. No fucking shit.
And I've been in committee meetings all week, which means none of my midterms got graded.
My poor thumping head.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
But here's a link I took from Diane, over at Dees Diversion
which I hope makes you feel as bad as it did me.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
This one is still irking me because I've been scouting the rightwing wonkospehere, and more and more of that side is supporting Coulter's comment.
Here, for instance, at Whirled Views --
And that site's early post on Coulter
Read the comments. A few posters seem to think it's not so good to insult gay folk, but most are fine with it, and those that do have a problem with calling a fag a fag, well, their issue isn't that Coulter was wrong, per se, it's in how the evil liberals are able to take advantage of this fumble. (You know how evil we liberals are -- always looking for a chance to make good Christians like Ann look bad!)
From what I can tell, as much time as I've been able to stomach on the Right, this is, in fact, how they are reacting to Coulter's comment. Not that she ought not to say it, and heavens not that she ought not (or they ought not) to actually think that way -- but that it surely is a shame that Good American Christians have to watch their mouths so close these days, thanks to those PC Liebral Language police! Now in't it?
Re the blogstorm going on with the Coulter/Faggot/Fellas-who-don't-Get-It.
I'm trying to discuss this last night with the kid and mr. delagar, the whole blogstorm event, and why I love Twisty so much, and how interesting I find the reaction on the blogosphere, and of the liberal fellas so much and --
Who I do love and like that. Let me say.
Says, "I've heard about enough of this patriarchy shit."
And can't understand why I'm so angry at him.
Monday, March 05, 2007
My links aren't working (again), but head on over to I Blame The Patriarchy, and Pandagon, not to mention Sadly, No, where things ARE popping. It started with Coulter/Faggot brouhaha, but some otherwise apparently decent enough fellas who can't help it (they fellas) got offended because Twisty noted they were pushing the misogyny, ain't they, not *by* calling out Coulter, but in the *way* they were calling out Coulter (basically, attacking her for being an ugly old woman who isn't fuckable enough), and instead of stepping back and saying, yikes, you're right, that *wasn't* very progressive of us, we *are* supposed to be liberals, our bad, they attacked Twisty and her crew for being such mouthy bitches. Who did they think they were, speaking up to their betters that way?
Ain't we got fun now?
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Well, I've been out trolling the blogs of our buds on the Right -- and partly this is encouraging, since more than you would expect are at least atempting to distance themselves *slightly* from Miss Ann (saying things like, "Well, she's brilliant, obviously, and USUALLY right and -- but THIS time she's gone too far, she's giving THAT EVIL LEFT grounds to say we're hateful when everyone KNOWS we're good Chrustians and it's them fagg - - I mean sinners who need to be hat -- I MEAN PRAYED OVER!") but lots of them, and as a professor of language this cracks me up, lots of them are defending her on the grounds that what she SAID doesn't actually *mean* that, you know.
No, really. You can look it up!
Faggot means a bundle of sticks!
Their dictionary says so!
So, so, so -- Ann was just calling Edwards a bundle of sticks!
Or it's just a generic insult for wimp, that' all! Which everyone knows who knows anything, and just because a bunch of fagg-- um Gay Rights people decided it meant something else doesn't mean it magically does! It's always just meant wimp! Since I was a kid! I remember! Honest! You can ask my mom! So she wasjust saying Edwards was a wimp! Which he IS! And why can't we ever call a spade a spade in this PC country, I ask you?
It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
Friday, March 02, 2007
This is over at Tbogg's site. He's been reading wingers again, comments from Conservatives who got all compassionate over that child who died because his mother was uninsured, and sounded off about in online.
I warn you, it will make you ill.
This story hits home for me because the kid had a tooth that abscessed last year -- and I HAVE dental insurance. But we didn't go to the dentist right away either, even though we have insurance, even though we have a dentist, because of all the reasons mentioned in Tbogg's comments: because even WITH insurance, dental work is pricey, because you tend to hope, when there is NO extra money in the budget (and there ain't, in ours) and it's something pricey like dental work, that it will go just away -- and it usually does, you know, with a toothache. Usually it's just a bruised nerve or whatnot. Only this time not. Same thing for this kid's mother. Only she didn't have a dentist she could call at seven a.m. on a Sunday morning like I could and say, uh, listen? This doesn't look too good. She was fucked. And so was her kid.
And so, frankly, is our health care system. Why SHOULD I have to play that kind of game with my kid's health? Why should any mother? (I'll tell you why I *am* -- because my health insurance costs me nearly $500 dollars a month and still covers almost nothing, that's why. Because my health care costs are eating up some reprehensible amount of my income, for which I am getting, as you can see, very fucking little, except the privilege of feeling more desperate each year.) Something needs fixed. And it is not the attitude of that child's mother. I'll tell you that for nothing.
One (1) tiny baggie of sunflower seeds, already shelled.
One small green apple (Granny Smith).
One (1) tiny baggie of Coco Puffs.
She gets milk from the school. We pay by the semester.
When I got home, at six p.m., after an interminable meeting, she was running around the house in her teeshirt and underwear beaming in delight with a hunk of year-old aged cheddar in her hand. "Did I miss Aikido? Did I? Did I?"
"Where is your Daddy?" I said balefully.
"He's asleep! He's been asleep for HOURS! Did I miss it?"
"You so missed it," I said, and dumped my briefcase on the white chair. "What are you eating?"
"Cheese and cookies," she said, gleefully. "And trail mix."
She was cutting up the cheese with a giant bread knife. Seriously. As long as a sword.
We are such good parents.
But she's not dead or damaged. Not even nicked. So, well.
"What did your teachers think of your lunch?" I asked, later, with some apprehension, b/c Montessori school is VERY strict about lunch. You wouldn't believe the grief I get over the fluffernutter sandwiches.
"Oh, well," the kid said. "They're not as bad as Polly's lunches."
"Oh?" I said, hopefully. It's always nice when someone else is doing a worse job than you.
"Yes. Her mama is in Iraq. So her daddy has to pack her lunch."
"He sends Yugi candy and candy-covered almonds and--"
"And that's REALLY DIFFERENT," I said hastily. "Come on. Let's see what we can make for dinner, why don't we?"