Apology Expected

This isn’t about freedom of speech. In this country, you are allowed to say what you want to say. You can have any opinion you want, and you are free to express it.

This isn’t about Twitter or social media. I happen to love social media, Twitter in particular, but it does give plenty of less-than-stellar minds an open forum to vomit out their stream of consciousness.

This is about the outrage I feel that Rashard Mendenhall, the running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has apologized for some idiotic comments and not others.

In particular, he has said he is sorry for sounding unpatriotic in some recent tweets about reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death. He has even gone back and deleted the tweets.

Although he has lost an endorsement deal with Champion because of the unpatriotic-sounding tweets, and he has gotten a pass from the media  — and from the Steelers’ front office — because he’s apologized, I’m still struggling with this.

Because what Mendenhall did NOT apologize for were the tweets that made him sound like a misogynist prick. He has also deleted those, apparently, but you can see the full glory of his former twitter stream at That’s Church.

I’m not calling for Mendenhall’s head — pun intended. I don’t want the Rooneys to trade or fire the guy. He’s a football player, not a brain trust.

But I would, as a life-long, diehard, female fan of the Steelers, like an apology. Mendenhall’s comments about what constitutes “respect” in regards to women was appalling. Ugly. Misogynistic.

After taking the stand I took a couple of days ago in relation to how girls are talked about, I can’t just let this go. I am raising two more female Steelers fans, and I’m tired of the bad behavior.

I know team sports is a big old boys’ club. That’s fine. What is not fine is when, as a society, we continue to give the boys’ bad behavior toward women — punching 20-year-olds in the head in public restrooms, beating on wives and baby mamas — a pass.

If we aren’t going to trade the big boys, the least we can do is make them stand up and say their behavior is wrong. The Rooneys have passed along some less than stellar players who got in trouble in public — Santonio “that’s my weed” Holmes and Jeff “Skippy Skeeve” Reed are two that jump to mind. If they want to make the players with anger that manifests itself in spousal/girlfriend abuse take anger management classes instead of trading them, okay. I’ll deal with that.

But an apology isn’t too much to ask. Or demand.

I’ll wait. I suspect I’ll be waiting a long time.

I am emailing this post to Ron Cook of the Post-Gazette, because his article about Mendenhall’s apology is what really, finally set me off. If Mendenhall still has a Twitter account, I’m going to @ him so he sees the link to this post, too. Not that I expect anything will happen, but I have a voice and I need to raise it.

Worse Than Last Year

I had hopes, people. Or at least one small hope. Hope that it couldn’t possibly be worse than last year.

Instead, it has exceeded my expectations for suckiness. And I can’t even write about it — not here at any rate.

Hi, Dad. No one’s dead. The car is fine. Don’t call.

And I don’t even have a farking cigarette to help me deal. If anyone wants to send a pack my way, I prefer American Spirits, the yellow pack (brown circle). Thank you.

Now I really want the Steelers to win today. Because I don’t want to feel worse than I do right now.

(And thanks to M for being there, even on her bowling night.)

Mamma Mia!

Yesterday was a very up and down day.

Up: By 8:15 a.m., I had the house to myself.

Down: The upstairs bathroom really needed to be cleaned.

Up: I plurked most of the morning away.

Down: I had to haul laundry over to my in-laws because DearDR is pretty sure our washer is leaking.

Up: I made a big pot of corn chowder for lunch. It was delicious.

Down — way, way down: I found out someone in my department had been “temporarily” laid off.

Up: I got a car loan.

That’s pretty much how it went.

And then I sat at my in-laws — whose dryer takes much, much too long to dry clothes — and watched Mamma Mia!. I think I was crying by the third (maybe fourth) song.

Maybe it was the ups and downs of the day thus far. Maybe it’s hormones, or stress — or both. But the story really touched me, too. Some of those Abba songs are very poignant.

I cried because I’m a mom, and a daughter, and a mom with daughters.

I cried for the friendships between the three older best friends, which reminds me of the relationship with my two best friends. I cried because I don’t get to see them enough, and if I were Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, all that the two best friends did for her in that movie, N & M would do for me. In a heartbeat. And I for them.

And, you know, there’s the whole “a year older” thing. And the fact that I cry over just about anything, including Puff the Magic Dragon.

My birthday plans: I got to go have dinner with the Burgh Moms (and two dads!) last night, which was a treat, as usual. Hang with my girls at home; if it’s nice enough, play in the snow. Do a little more laundry next door. Go out to dinner as a family. And then tomorrow, I will get to see the Steelers play in the Super Bowl. And, I hope, see them win.

A sixth Super Bowl for the city would be the best birthday present ever.

Well, that and some really good green beans.

Lost Day: “Jughead”

My theories of the week: Charles Widmore moved the island once. That’s why he’s no longer on it. I think I mentioned that last week.

My Widmore/Charlotte theory may have taken a hit, with Widmore’s impassioned pleading to Desmond to just take Penny away again. But we’ll see. And whose address do you think he gave Desmond, really?

I feel like everyone is lying in the episode, about one thing or another. Maybe the writers are giving us a lot of misdirection? That would be par for the course.

I thought the same thing Doc Jensen thought: Daniel blurted out that he loved Charlotte to try to become her constant. But Charlotte’s not really time traveling in her consciousness, so I’m not sure that’s going to work. I tend to think along the lines of some of my co-Losties, that Charlotte is actually disappearing from the past (as one of them called it, “Marty McFly Syndrome”).

I liked “Jughead” especially for its humor (“How old is Richard anyway?” “Old.”), but I am not pleased about the introduction of the gun-toting new character “Ellie”. Because, let’s face it, Lost does not need new characters. Although, of course, Ellie is possibly someone whom we’ve already met, only 50 years younger. The mysterious Mrs. Hawkins? Or maybe she’s Penny’s mother — whom we haven’t met, have we? Or both.

Finally, I know everyone’s all oogy over Des and Pen naming their boy Charlie, but remember, Pen’s father is Charles, too.

And I’m not sure anyone noticed, but Charlie (Dominic Monahan) died the way Desmond said he would, but Claire didn’t get on any helicopter and get rescued. Where is Claire?

Don’t forget to check the pros and the wiki. They do synopsis and everything!


Side note 1: And now DearDR thinks my washer is leaking. Wait, didn’t I count three things already? Somebody’s changing the rules.


Side note 2: Good things: I have Friday and Monday off. The Steelers are in the Super Bowl, and I have a babysitter. And, finally, it’s the day of the Burgh Mom’s dinner. Thank goodness!

Surviving the Game II: Some Good Advice

Last time I was on my own to watch the Steelers playoff game, it was difficult. But we all survived, and I did discover some strategies to mix toddler management with watching football.

This time, for Sunday’s game, I decided to see if Misfit Hausfrau‘s advice would work. She suggested a slumber party in one of the girls’ rooms (see the comments from Surviving the Game I). I called it movie night instead, and we held it in Monkey’s room.

I couldn’t find the in-laws’ portable DVD player, so I unearthed my 13″ television with a built-in VCR player, purloined some VHS tapes from next door, and set the girls up in Monkey’s room, complete with a kid couch and snack delivery (during commercials).

Monkey was so excited to have a TV in her room, watching movies was like gravy. She kept jumping up and down: “I have a TV in my room. I have a TV in my room!” She wanted to know who bought it for her (no one, I said, it’s an old TV of Mommy’s), and if it was going to live in her room from now on (no).

After I got both girls bathed and in pajamas, I put on “Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown” — as an aside, DearDR picked out the VHS tapes, and I’m not sure I would have made the same selections: Mulan, the aforementioned Charlie Brown, The Little Mermaid TV series on VHS, and a Christmas sing-along video.

Monkey was captivated, and although she wanted me to watch with her, she seemed resigned to letting me watch the Steelers.

Bun, as per usual, was a different story. Are you sensing a trend with Bun? It used to be that she would do anything Monkey would do. With the exception of the They Might Be Giants DVDs, watching television has never been big on her list, though. And I guess she didn’t feel like hanging with her sister. Not when she had Mommy and Daddy all to herself downstairs!

I don’t think Bun was upstairs for five minutes. When I lured her back to Monkey’s room with snacks, she announced “Eyeont like it, Mommy” referring to the video. She came back downstairs again, and stayed for the rest of the first half. (Both girls went to bed at halftime.)

Both girls, as a matter of fact, “watched” the final two minutes of the half. They decided to put some of their toys to bed, so we turned off the light. Bun actually shushed me when I clapped for a Steelers’ sack of Flacco. “Shhh, Mommy,” she said. “Baby shleepin’.”

It was okay, though. Monkey did fine in her room. I did watch a little of the Little Mermaid with her toward the end of the first half. Daddy actually played with Bun during the game. And Bun didn’t bug us to turn the game off or put something else on the television.

The results were mixed, but for the most part it was a successful strategy, and I will be using it again, although not for Super Bowl XLIII. Because I have a babysitter, and a plethora of outside-the-house viewing options.


When Does the Madness End?

Monkey has clearly become bored with all of the children’s DVDs we own. She’s been dithering over her nightly decision of what to watch before bed. The other day, she said, “I want to watch a DVD that we got from the library.”

We hadn’t been to the library in two weeks.

“We don’t have any videos from the library, Monkey. We’ll go this weekend.”

Saturday morning found her, at 7:40 a.m., about two inches away from my face. I usually get up before my children, even on the weekends, because I like to shower. But the night before I hadn’t gone to bed until about 2 a.m. because we were bottling homemade wine (a post for another day).

“Mom,” she whispered — I think she was whispering, all I know is she startled the crap out of me — “it’s time to get up and put on clothes. Can we go to the library now?”

It’s been a long time since I have ventured forth from my house without taking a shower — something I take a bit of pride in. But Saturday was a definite low for me. When I finally got superficially pulled together, and wrangled the kids into the car, it was about 10:30 a.m.

I was running on five hours of sleep, a bowl of oatmeal, and three cups of coffee. I hadn’t put in my contact lenses, and I was still wearing my pajama top under a hoodie. At least I had put jeans on and wasn’t running around in my (very festive) flannel pajama bottoms. Oh, and I brushed my teeth. But between the mood swings I was undergoing (hormones + lack of sleep = more fun than usual) and my lank hair, I was pretty scary.

But I figured I was just going to the Big Bird and the library. At the Big Bird I was only getting two things I needed for a recipe (dip I was taking to a party later that day). And, you know, the library often is populated by unshowered moms and their kids. Or mine is at any rate.

They were having a party at the library. Cookies and punch, a gingerbread house display, kids crafts, a friggin’ trio of violins playing Christmas carols (high school kids, but still). I would have been mortified to run into someone I actually knew.

Monkey decided on four books (and ended up with five, I think) and two DVDs (ended up with three). I just wanted to bolt, but my girls were fascinated by the musicians (which is being generous) — until they noticed the cookies, at any rate. Bun managed to eat two in about 20 minutes. The DVDs: Scooby-Doo, a Strawberry Shortcake Very Berry Christmas, and some Wiggles.

Aside from the Scooby Doo, which she won’t even watch because she’s so scared of it, the other two make me wish heartily for sharp pointy things to drive into my ears. And in two days, she has viewed the Strawberry Shortcake at least four times (DearDR is primarily responsible for that) and the Wiggles DVD three times.

As a matter of fact she asked about every second of the Steelers game Sunday to “watch the Wiggles now please”. Sometimes, “please now”. By the second half she was only asking every other second, and DearDR finally snapped, “If you don’t get that DVD out of my face, I am going to throw it outside.”

To which Monkey tearfully replied, “Please, daddy, don’t throw it outside. I don’t want the chipmunks to eat it.”

And I hastily retired to the kitchen to giggle madly.