July 10, 2007


I'm going to do it. I've been fighting myself about this since last summer, and I can't fight any longer.

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I'm going to buy the family a Wii.

And by "the family," I mean mostly me and The Boy, although the fact that the Wii has Brothers in Arms and a number of good sports games will certainly appeal to Hublet.

See, I'm not an early adopter. I still have the PS2 that I purchased in 1998. I like it, it works, and as long as they continue to make God of War for it I will be a happy woman.

I had feared that the Wii would be too twee (say that 3 times fast), but this past weekend's Best Buy pilgrimage changed my mind. There were games I would enjoy! Games The Boy would enjoy! Games Hublet would play!

And at $250 it was a heckuva lot cheaper than the PS3, for which I see no interesting games. Plus, $600? For that amount I want the console to fix me a damn snack while I'm playing it.

In case you were wondering, I wasn't tempted by XBox, either. Halo is fun, but I can always cajole Family Friend Brad into toting his XBox over to the house if I ever get a hankering to get repeatedly killed by aliens. I kinda suck at Halo, actually.

So, yeah. A Wii.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at 03:32 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

July 09, 2007

Good Guy Death Star. No Girls Allowed.

I tell The Boy two stories each night. The content varies with my level of inspiration and alertness, but occasionally I will hit upon a subject that The Boy will insist on revisiting and embellishing.

And that's how The Boy's Good Guy Death Star Adventure Series began.

The Boy, or Master of the Galaxy, as he prefers to be known in his adventures, asked me to tell him a story wherein he saves the day. So I invented a story about The Emperor and Darth Vader bringing the Death Star to earth, and The Boy being the only thing that could stop them.

This proved a popular tale. So on subsequent evenings The Boy ended up defeating the bad guys and taking over their Death Star.

"Only, pretend that it's a Good Guy Death Star now," said The Boy.


"And, I live there with all my buddies and star wars good guys," he added.


"And pretend that it's only for boys, except you can live there too, mommy."


Then he thought for a minute.

"But everyone needs to know that it's a good guy death star, so we'll put a sign on it."

"What will it say?"

"Good Guy Death Star. Oh, and Boys Only. No Girls Allowed."

"So you're orbiting earth in a death star with a sign on it?"

"Yeah. And it's just a plain gray death star."

"How about some red racing stripes?"

"Okay. And on the back, a picture of me beating up the Emperor with my light saber, so everyone knows it's okay because it's just me."

"Sounds good, son."

Later versions of the tale had The Boy's death star being pursued by a sparkly pink death star full of girls who wanted to play with The Boy's transformer toys. Fortunately a detente was reached before the galaxy was destroyed.

It's times like these that I wish I had some artistic ability - the mental image of The Boy's Death Star--with sign, poster and racing stripes--being pursued by another, pink and sparkly death star - is too good not to share.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at 01:48 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

July 06, 2007

Marching Toward Oblivion

From a course description in Women's Studies, an example of why institutionalized feminism in the US is no longer being taken seriously:

The final set of interrelated questions attempts to think about the great apes—and animals in general—from a feminist perspective. On the one hand, it is interesting to note that the majority of published primatologists are women. In the world of science where women are almost always underrepresented, what kind of story do we want to tell about that fact? Is it the case that primatology is a field ignored by male scientists and so an opening was left for women? Is the connection between women and apes (and all animals?) different, or deeper? How would we talk about this without falling into essentialized assumptions?

Yes, how would we talk about this? I, for one, am left speechless.

Perhaps my essentialized assumption that I neither want nor require a connection between myself and an ape limits my rhetorical feminist potentiality and means that I am merely an oppressed tool of the speciesist (white)man!

Or perhaps I could draw on my inner english major and note that this professor's fascination with women and apes only serves to demonstrate that she has internalized the existential brainwashing of post Civil War anti-miscegenation propaganda and is expressing her (white)womyn's internal turmoil about race, class and gender relations in the postmodern era through the lens of the primate, in the process objectifying and demeaning the very thing she wishes to liberate--proving that the patriarchy is all-powerful, inescapable, and that maybe we should all just take a load off and have a 3 appletini lunch at the local organic whole food commune/tapas bar.

Or maybe I could have a beer and a hearty laugh.

From here.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at 03:00 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

July 05, 2007

Living Out Loud

As Hublet would be only too eager to tell you, I possess the felicitous ability to project my voice at great volume. While this came in handy during my college theatre days, and while teaching large rooms of fidgety freshmen, it has its drawbacks.

Especially when my talent for being really, really LOUD manifests itself in The Boy.

And there's no way to blame this on Hublet, who I like to refer to as Mumbles McGee on the phone. The man isn't loud. Not even when he's trying to be. It's kind of sad, really.

But The Boy? He's at what theatre types refer to as "full voice" all the time. And by "full" I mean FULL. VOICE. The kid is just loud. Really, really, REALLY LOUD. And when I'm the one noticing how loud you are, you're probably in danger of hurting someone with your vocalizations.

Naturally, his loudness is only exacerbated by excitement. Like last night. We trundled up to the top of our road to view the local fireworks display. This is the first year The Boy had partaken of the fireworks, and he was excited. Well, first he was whiny because he didn't get to sit on the top of the car, but then he was excited. REALLY excited.

And while I'm all for the "seeing things all fresh through the eyes of a child" yadda, yadda, whatever stuff, it's difficult to appreciate his appreciation when he spends 20 minutes screaming his every minute observation AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS OMG!

Seriously. We were outside, for crying out loud, and people were giving us the Library Stinkeye.

So Hublet and I are trying to lower the volume without crushing his childish innocence or whateverthell the Self-Help Books O' Blame are calling it nowadays, and keep him from flailing himself into a ditch or into traffic or tipping over the folding chair in his enthusiasm for the fireworks, and finally I just had to put my hand over his mouth and say, "For the love of all things holy, boy, stop screaming your head off!"

Which he found amusing, and kept him quiet.

For about a minute and a half.

But the fireworks were nice.

I'm just glad the kid has inherited some physical characteristic from me. And on the positive side, no one will ever call him Mumbles McGee.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at 04:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 02, 2007

Worst Movie I've Ever Seen

The Fountain.

No, not an Ayn Rand movie, just a load of crap that tries way too hard to be "deep" and to "redefine the genre" and along the way turns a couple of my favorite actors--Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weiss--into weepy, leaking, unattractive and aimless globs of What the Hell?

We got the whole "death as an act of creation" thing about 20 minutes into the film. The film is 1 hour and 36 minutes long. Yeah. By the time the movie's over that dead horse has pretty well been beaten to a pulp.

At least Weiss gets to die. Well, maybe Jackman does, too, but I'm not sure, because the narrative was completely incoherent. Yes, interweaving three stories is fun--when done correctly. This movie doesn't do it correctly.

You know, when your entire reaction to a film is "How did this even get made, much less made with actors well above the straight-to-video-or-Sci-Fi-Channel grade," it's best just to seal the Netflix envelope and move on with your life.

On the other hand, I did enjoy Ratatouille, though Hublet wasn't impressed.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at 10:05 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)