Random mix

1. If you're at all interested in the Wikileaks/Julian Assange rape charges issues, read this post that says what I wish I'd worked out in my own head. So many really important issues to sort out and Liz teases them all out in a really straightforward way.

2.This just blew my mind about feeding kids of all ages: Why Some Kids Should Spit

3. I'm having a Mary Kay online party with my friend (and Mary Kay lady) Jenny, who is one of my personal heros of taking a really bad divorce and creating an amazing new life for yourself. Stop in and buy Satin Hands for your grandma (Satin Hands + a bottle of nail polish + coming over every other week to do your grandma's nails: priceless) or the new illuminating liquid (it's what we use to create that glow on the cheekbones) or some eye cream (which won't make up for the lost sleep but will make you feel better about not looking like you lost all that sleep). Through Wednesday: http://bit.ly/e08koT

4. I am fascinated by The Biggest Loser. I hate the show itself and loathe Jillian but love Bob, which doesn't make a ton of sense, and love and hate the contestants at the same time. It's a Horatio Alger story, and a prison break, and consumerism and commodification and low self-esteem and shaming and victory. I wonder if anyone else is as confused but drawn in as I am.

5. My throat still hurts, but I am extremely grateful that my chance of dying from strep throat is small. Hooray for antibiotics.


Disease vector

I have strep throat. Again!

I figured out why I've been sicker this year than any other non-pregnant year in memory, though: My younger son is in his first year of public school. He was in private preschool for two years, but that was only a few days a week with a small group of kids. Now he's in a school of 600 kids all day every day, so it's just a cauldron of illnesses.

My younger son himself was sick last week, and he even infected his dad. In the 12 or 13 years I've known his dad, I can remember exactly one time he was sick enough to stay home from anything, but last week the elementary school illness felled him.

So I thought we could all talk about illness in general (cold and flu illness, not serious conditions or chronic illness) and strengthening immune systems, and how we cope.

I try to make sure we're all eating a lot of vgetables and fruits, and taking extra vitamin C, and getting enough sleep and enough exercise. For colds I like the homeopathic cold tablets and the neti pot. For strep throat I like antibiotics.

What are your tips or laments?


Updated: I also put up a post on this on When The Flames Go Up about logistics when we're sick and how it seems easier nnow that we're divorced.

Oh, and the Musical Advent Calendar is still updating daily here.


This is an ad-hoc guest post from Amy, because I really don't know anything about the topic so I can't add anything. Her email speaks for itself:

"Can we talk about PMDD? I've been suffering for a while, but couldn't recognize what was happening. My family has a history of depression, so I knew to be concerned when I started having symptoms (hopelessness, irritability, anger, fatigue) but then I'd get my period and feel better in a couple days, so I figured it was just PMS. But PMS by itself doesn't make you completely stop functioning. I finally figured out something was wrong when I had to cancel a social event, but a friend called me up and made me come over, ostensibly to drop my son off so I could have a break. But I wound up staying at her house for over six hours because I was too afraid to go home by myself–I knew I would just sit on the couch sobbing. I finally figured out that maybe this was linked to my period and looked up PMDD. I had pretty much every symptom except mood swings (as my husband said, I wasn't experiencing any of the ups for a mood swing). I wish I had put two and two together months before I did. I wish I had listened to my husband when he asked me to go see a doctor and get help, and I wish I hadn't listened to myself when I told myself that since I only have one child there must be something wrong with me because I had problems coping for part of the month.

I just think that if the word got out more about PMDD more women who suffer from this would be able to identify what the problem is and know that A: this is NOT normal PMS–no one should have to suffer like this and B: there is help out there."

Let's talk. Does anyone have PMDD? Is anyone reading this going, "Oh, crap" and sensing an explanation for something that you've been experiencing?

Musical Advent Calendar 2010

I started doing a song a day for Advent (November 28 this year through Christmas Eve) and then the 12 days of Christmas (Christmas Day through Jan 6) on Twitter (http://twitter.com/AskMoxie or just read my tweets as they feed through the right side column here). I'll update here so you can see the entire list of songs.

Day 20: "Angels We Have Heard On High" by Committed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55A8YGoPI9A Best group on this season's The Sing-Off, and this arrangement is crystalline and beautiful. 1:25 is gorgeous. 

Day 19: "Dominick the Donkey" by Lou Monte. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik_kznmI324&feature=related Best Xmas novelty song ever. 

Day 18: "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXQViqx6GMY You know you want to sing along. 

Day 17: "Love Came Down At Christmas" by Jars of Clay. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIr5th0d44Y&feature=fvw Hilarious video featuring a flying Christmas taco.

Day 16: "Must Be Santa" by Brave Combo.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnc076s4jt4 The video is just too funny. If you can get all the way to 1:00 without thinking this is the best version of this song ever, then I will never buy you a Jaegermeister shot. 

Day 15: "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" by Take 6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWMmIzk4onw I've loved Take 6 for years. Their vocal harmonies are incredible, and their whole "He Is Christmas" album is a classic.

Day 14: "Sleigh Ride" by Andre Kostelanetz. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPwalrOSB3I This version was on some random Christmas collection record my parents had when I was a kid, so the fast pace and horse whinny at the end (along with that huge countermelody in the last verse) WAS the song "Sleigh Ride." For years and years I searched for this version, and now here it is on YouTube. A Christmas miracle.

Day 13: "La Peregrinacion" from Ariel Ramirez's "Navidad Nuestra." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdHKuT3WW5U This whole piece is amazing, but this song in particular really affects me. I wrote a piece years ago about the lyrics: http://tinyurl.com/22rqg4m

Day 12: "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" by Mahalia Jackson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Uh4U0VPASE This is the Christmas album of my childhood, and it feels like Christmas is really coming when I play this song.

Day 11: "We Want To See Santa Do The Mambo" by Big John Greer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTONwTXTtwg Really. We want to see Santa do the mambo. 

10: "Put The Lights On The Tree" by Sufjan Stevens. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gKzXlqsOeE A sweet, whimsical, lovely song that goes crazy worshipfully chaotic in the middle.

9: "Es Ist Ein Rose Entsprungen" by Nana Mouskouri. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-prg5D-bJo December 6 is German St. Nicholas Day, and this is my favorite German carol. In English it's "Lo, How a Rose Is Blooming."

8: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" by Fernando Ortega. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wl4u8lnDQs This song is sad and eerie and beautiful, and Ortega's performance is reverent and simple and lovely. I really love his whole awed, worshipful Christmas album.

7: "Holly Jolly Christmas" by Burl Ives. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sooHzHHh4kM Just classic. This whole Burl Ives Christmas album is awesome and fun for kids and adults.

6: "This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj1mVUEHeUE I have many comments about this song: 1) See, George Michael? It DOES get better. 2) Someone in the comments of the YouTube video called it "The Black National Christmas Anthem" and that made me crack up. 3) Chris Brown and Trey Songz and their lame covers can bite me. 4) No, really, why would anyone try to redo this? Donny Hathaway : This Christmas :: Mel Torme : The Christmas Song. Everyone else go home. 5) Maybe I'll make a mix called "Sexy Christmas" and put this on it every other song.

5: "Last Christmas" by Wham!. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gmARGvPlI "But if you kissed me now I know you'd fool me again." Yeah.

4: "Gabriel's Message" by Sting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF2BzUDeTkY Wow, what a creepy, intense, mysterious song. And completely fitting. How else to tell the story of a big scary angel visiting an ordinary teenager to tell her she's pregnant with a divine baby and asking if she'll accept? This is the mystery of Christmas.

3: "Little Saint Nick" by The Beach Boys. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSynDh_K0EE Just plain fun. Does it really matter that it's really "Little Deuce Coupe" with Xmasfied lyrics? Not to me.

2: "Blue Christmas" by Miles Davis (not the Elvis song). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-dPUXSWoew This song is so Miles, so blue, and so perfect for getting perspective in the middle of uber-consumerism.

Advent Day 1: "O Come O Come Emmanuel" by Joan Baez. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wq3Tv3c20I This is the simplest, most reverent version of the song I've heard. Joan's Christmas album is gorgeous, and was my mother's favorite when I was growing up, so this song has always meant the start of Advent to me.