Category Archives: Baggage

Let’s Talk About Sex Baby

 “So, how did you get a baby in your tummy, anyway?”


Of course.  So.  I told Roan I would answer him as soon as we had lights out, after books and brushing teeth.  I wanted to find out if he was really curious, or if he was just delaying bedtime.  I have to admit – as cool or progressive or open minded or NOT MY MOM AND DAD as I think I am, I was spinning a little.  I didn’t really know what he should know, if there were aspects that would freak him out rather than enlighten him, or even if he would remember to ask me when we had lights out and of course yes he remembered to ask me.


So my approach was this: start broad, and wait for his questions.  I felt more comfortable letting him decide how many details he wanted.  So I started out saying that when a mom and dad decide they want a baby, they use their bodies, together, to make one.  Starting nice and easy, I felt totally cool but he jumped up a few levels by asking “What about a mommy and a mommy?”


So, off to the reproductive system I went.  I touched Roan on his tummy and told him a female has a reproductive system here, and it has eggs.  A man has a reproductive system in his testicles (met by a “Noooooooo!!” then giggling) and he has sperm.  When the sperm meets the egg, a baby is made.  So if there are two men that want a baby or two women who want a baby, a doctor can help them, by using machines medicine and science to make it happen, but still with these same two parts.


He took that all at face value and moved on.  Clearly the next piece is how did his dad’s sperm get to his mom’s egg?  I went ahead and got my science voice on and said that the man uses his penis in the woman’s vagina and that it is only appropriate for adults to do and definitely not kids and not even appropriate for teenagers.  I heard myself and realized that in one 2-minute conversation my son, he had turned me into a right wing, abstinence only, sex is for procreation caricature.  That was weird. 


He seemed like he was unscathed by our conversation thus far, and as he ramped up for his next question, I promised myself to try and be more myself, less uptight and started relaxing about answering correctly, thinking about how truth really isn’t going to hurt him.  But here’s the thing – I never had this talk with my parents.  I was so naïve and unquestioning that until about 4th grade I believed a woman got pregnant by asking God for a child and God agreeing that it was a probably a good idea and then presto the baking began.  When a classmate started talking about sex I was wide-eyed, horrified and so forth and really thought she was a mess for making this kind of thing up. 


And so.  Calm and cool and returning back into my own skin, I heard Roan begin with “Mom….?”


“I will never….”




“Change that babies diaper”


Fair enough, we’d leave it to Dad, I said.  And then one more,


“Mom?  What’s it called?  When you’re making the baby?”

“Uh, yeh well it’s called sex or doctors say intercourse and some people say making love….”

Which spawned his best line to date, “Making BABY love!”  Nice.  Can’t wait for him to break that one out for his classmates.  To the entire collective of parents of Roan’s friends:  you’re welcome for adding “Making BABY love” to the lexicon of the first grade class.



Keep it Cosseted or Crack is Whack

Photo via What Pushes My Buttons.  No really, this isn’t staged.
In the vein of Public Service Announcements, it’s time for me to put my identity as an Award-Winning and Award-Seeking (ahem, did you vote for me today?  Yesterday?  Howzabout right now?  Click here.) blogger to good use.  When I began Pistols and Popcorn, my brother zoomed this text to me:

Mommy Blogger.” 

I’m thinking he was giving me the snark.  Shocking, I know, as he’s usually quite serious.  But truthfully,   there are many moms who are reading this.  Also, there are many dads.  Dads – this is written for you though you’re going to have to find your own way to communicate this information to your baby mama.  It could be tricky.  Moms: this is for all of you.  Even the ones who think maybe it doesn’t apply. 


Crack is whack.


More specifically, when I’m on the playground and you’re bending over, crouching down, sitting criss-cross-applesauce or any variation on these here themes, when you are not standing vertically, more often than not mothers, you are exposed.  I don’t think you mean for it to happen.  But it happens oh so very much.


In these times of a crashing economy (totally unrelated) and low-rise jeans (totally relevant) how does one escape showing their thong-th-thong-thong-thong to the entire Kindergarten?  (Did anyone catch that “Thong Song” reference?  If so, congratulations, you and I would totally have hung out in High School.)  I’ve come up with a few ideas of my own, but I don’t think they’re the be-all end-all.  My go-to answer is the long tanktop under t-shirts plan.  The tank tucks into the pants and usually will not reveal the fact that I’m wearing Granny Panties.  Um.  I mean Agent Provocateur’s latest $200.00 pair of Luxury Knickers.  Also, can’t you just do a quick touch test when sitting down?  If skin plus even a mildly gaping waistband is combined, most likely any passer by is going to get an eyeful of the good stuff.  That’s right the really really good stuff.  Stop yer snickering.


I’m just saying.  We’re not 17-years-old anymore and it isn’t that cute to have your bum hanging out (a surprisingly high number of mothers appear to be going sans undies – comfort first?  Laundry day is every day?  What’s up?) It’s particularly not that cute when Roan is around wide-eyed and giggly that he can see a bum.  Really, that is the penultimate titillation for a child.  The ultimate?  Accidental farts, of course.  But I digress.


Am I missing something?  Anyone have input on his or her own technique for remaining cosseted while sitting down?  Please – let’s open up this dialogue, for the children.  The More You Know……(da-dun-de-dum).

Power Songs

Out on the streets, that’s where we meet

You make the night, I always cross the line

Blah na ble blah….blha nah nah neah….




With love we’ll find a way just give it time


What comes around goes around, I’ll tell you why (echo: why why)


Ok citizens I know that Monday may or may not be the best day to revisit the brilliance of Ratt and the 80’s.  But I need your help. Right now, to my chagrin, this song by Ratt is my Power Song.  That’s right – I’ve been running on the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, through China Town and the Bowery singing this thing.  I’m not sure how it ended up on my play list.  But the point is that what’s done is done, it is on there and I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I don’t love running while singing to this thing.  I know full well the consequences of liking such a dorky song.  It may implicate me as a dork.  But in the past I’ve had better songs.  Such as:


Kanye:  Stronger (I can’t hate him even though I want to)

Santogold:  Unstoppable (still a favorite)

Arctic Monkeys: Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (because obviously I do)

Scissor Sisters: Take Your Mama Out (always a good idea to listen to disco-y goodness)

Sex Pistols: Pretty Vacant (because I was hard core back in London, er uh Grand Junction)

Melissa Etheridge: I Run for Life (had to stop because I’d always be running with tears streaking my face on this one)


Ok, so you see I am all over the place here.  But right now I’m in Ratt Hell which is different than Normal Hell because Ratt Hell demands that you acknowledge that you are inspired by a guy that wears spandex, has kind of gerry-curl long hair complete with shiny headband, and is likely playing County Fairs for the price of a Corn Dog/Curly Fry combo meal. 


So: what do you listen to that gets your go on?  Give me your suggestions and I’ll let you know if they get me there.  Clearly: the bar is set pretty low, so don’t be shy.

Group Think Hysteria

[Here She Goes Again Message From Jodi:  Ok so I just found out that Pistolas has been nominated for Best Local Blog in Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Picks Website.  I’m stoked.  What can I say, I love it, I want to win.  I have the taste and I want more! If you can support my new habit of vote mongering click here – you don’t have to register and you can vote every day until July 15th.  I’m sorry you have to see me like this, but you know.  That’s why we’re friends.  Thanks!]

Group Think Hysteria

I get all worked up about certain things.  I guess.  For instance, it bugs me when people are late.  Mostly it bugs me if I’m late.  And I don’t like it all that much when I’m walking down a crowded sidewalk and someone stops in the middle of it for no reason.  But you know, for the most part I’m just kind of floating on.  So it’s hard for me to relate to people that get worked up over things.  I’m not suggesting they’re wrong or I’m right (but obviously let’s just go ahead and admit that I think I’m right otherwise you know, I wouldn’t be writing this) but I just cannot believe the level of hysteria that people arrive at.


A small example: today I was at my bank begging with wide eyes for them to reverse an overdraft fee because I’ve had this account for 16 years and have never overdrawn it and PLEASE explain to me the logic in subtracting more money from an account that is already more than empty?  Is that even possible?  But that’s not the hysteria.  An older woman bolts in through the front doors panting and wide-eyed saying, “The ATM took my card!  It won’t give it back!”  I seriously raised up both of my eyebrows as high as they could go with my mouth in the letter “o” in response to how freaked out she was.  She freaked me the freaky freak OUT.  I thought grandma was going to pull out a weapon and call it a day as she was shouting, “I have so much to do today!  I don’t have time for this!”  It was hysterical but not funny.


It reminded me of the level of unwarranted panic surrounding the Swine Flu.  This thing is out of hand.  Citizens are getting so aggressive about sneezes and coughs and such.  Parents have kept their kids home from school because they’re nervous about it.  I had a friend even tell me that she was really panicky on the subway because “A Mexican group of guys were on it and they were sneezing and coughing.  I covered my face with my arm, but I don’t know if that helps.” Really really for real?  First, you cannot be my friend anymore because what you said just made me stop liking you.  Second.   No, actually no second.  It’s just too much.


The sun will shine and the rain is going to pour and I suggest we all just take it in.  I get it- I do – that we have to be careful and that life is dangerous.  But these frantic crusades to protect ourselves are bananas.  (Also: turning some of us into racists.  Just sayin’.)  I think the dangerous nature of group-think is taking over and maybe that’s what we should be getting worried about.


Or maybe we should just go outside and enjoy the day.  That’s my uprising against all of this.  I will continue to enjoy this filthy dirty infected world because it’s beautiful to me.  

Quiet Weirdos in Public

[Special Note from Jodi: A friend sent me this link over the weekend.  I had no idea this picture was taken.  I do read this person’s blog but don’t know her so I’m kind of stoked that she paparazzi’d Roan and me.  Check it out here.]

Quiet Weirdos in Public

I got an interesting email this weekend.  A story about trying to do the right thing, when the right thing to do could be a little dangerous, a lot scary, and isn’t actually even all that obvious if it is the right thing to do. 


It begins this way:


“So I was on the train today going into the city and a few stops on, some people got on including a guy about 40-45 or so and a girl anywhere from 17 to 22 (it’s hard to say) she had on jeans and a jacket & scarf and lots of eye shadow, but not too different than any other young Spanish girl. The guy sat next to me – she sat across from us. He had a new iPhone and I glanced over -I thought he was watching a video. Turns out he was taking a picture of the girl. I was really uncomfortable about it and I stared at him with a scowl on my face. He turned and looked at me and started playing with other features of his phone.
I was steaming and I didn’t know what to do, he kept staring at her and I thought “It’s not illegal to take a picture, but WTF, why was he taking her picture (umm, yeah)?!? I knew I would be mad at myself if I didn’t say anything and if he got off after her, what then?”


Let me ask before you read further: what would you do?  Think of your answer before you read on.  Do you confront him, do you warn her, or do you remain quiet and scan the news later that night for the resolution of the story?  Clearly this guy is creepy as hell.  But do you intervene? Should you?


She goes on:


“We got into Manhattan and he put on the camera again. He sneakily held it up to take her picture and I said, very loud ” Do you know her?”  She looked at us and he quickly turned off his phone. I said “Why are you taking pictures of her?!?” He said “I’m not, who the [redacted] are you?” and I said, “You’re a [redacted] pervert, get off the train!!!” He said “No way!” and I took his picture – he waved and smiled for the picture and said – “Here what you want MY picture for?” I said “To give the police so you are a known pervert!” The girl told the guy “You freak get the hell out of here!” he wouldn’t go. I screamed, “This guy is a pervert!” – and pointed at him. He sat there and I was shaking.
The girl thanked me and we acknowledged that no one else seemed to care and she got off the train. I got off at 6th and he did too but went the other way. As soon as I got off the train, I called [my boyfriend] and sent him the picture in case anything was to happen.”


I think it’s easy to read this from the safety of my couch and imagine the things I would have done.  I’d like to say that I would have helped to protect the girl in some way.  It probably would have been a less aggressive way, because I’m scared of weird men. Truthfully if Roan were with me, I’d have done nothing.  If I were alone, I don’t know.  It’s possible that I still would have done nothing and chalked it up to self-preservation. 


But I do respect where this reader was coming from, and what she was trying to do.  She’s not self-righteous about the event, and knows that it could be that she shamed an innocent guy.  She asks at the end of her email, “What if… just what if… I was wrong? And I screwed that guy’s day up real bad?  I am still angry and I know it’s silly… what do people do in that situation?”


I don’t know the answer.  Do you?  What if the girl being photographed was your daughter/wife/sister?  Does that change your answer?

So, What Did He Get You for Your Birthday?

This is Anson at the Sin Sin Leopard Lounge where the bartender rubbed cherry juice all over his belly, and shot olives out of his navel, all for me, as a birthday gift.  Clearly, Anson found his happy place.

My birthday was this past Sunday.  Anson has a terrible time leading up to holidays and special occasions where gifts are exchanged.  He frets about getting the wrong thing, is aware of his propensity to procrastinate long enough that he actually buys nothing, and looses sleep over what it all means to the person.


It’s interesting that he has this heightened state of anxiety around gift giving.  It’s interesting because I am absolutely convinced that truly, Anson is off the hook.  I don’t want him to buy me gifts.  It isn’t that I’m a martyr or that I don’t appreciate nice gestures.  And I do enjoy receiving presents.  But when the holidays roll around, including my birthday, our anniversary and everything else, I prefer that he not get me anything. 


The reason is simple, though I haven’t convinced him that it’s in earnest.  The life we have together is a pretty big gift.  Now before you start rolling your eyes at me and envisioning greeting cards or posters with hearts and “I Wuv You!” and kittens and glitter and rainbows and unicorns, hear me out.

In my wildest dreams, I never thought that I would be able to take time off from work and live my life.  I always have had a job.  Sometimes I’ve had a few at a time.  But I don’t now – not really.  I have time to volunteer at Roan’s school, and I have time to be there at drop-off and pick-up.  I am lucky enough to be Roan’s companion to the park, and his competitor when we get home on the Wii.  During the day I have time to teach Muay Thai Kickboxing, and write.  Most importantly, I am answering to no one but myself, and that is profoundly liberating.

Anson works hard every day, even on his days off.  He is always pushing himself to do more professionally, to be better and to work harder. The reason he is so driven is that he wants to provide for me, for us.  And to have a person do that for me, for us, is pretty amazing.  I don’t expect it to last because it is too good to be true, but every day I can walk outside with free time on my hands, that is Anson’s Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, Columbus Day, Valentine’s Day and Groundhog Day present to me.  I value it more than anything he could buy from a store.


So do me a favor, when you see my husband.  Don’t ask him what he got me for my birthday.  Or Christmas.  Or Valentine’s Day.  Tell him he’s doing just fine.  Maybe if he hears it from someone besides me, he’ll believe it.  Until then, I’ll admit that I do like every gift he’s given me, and Roan’s choice this year – the Wii Fit, is actually pretty awesome.  But the best part about it is that I have time to use it.  As much as I’d like.  That is what’s truly awesome.  And it is good to have another year tucked under my belt.

Scandal and Betrayal! On a Monday!

Without divulging too much – I know, shocking that I try to use discretion – but without divulging too much I have to tell this story that’s got my head spinning.  I learned this week that a friend of mine had an affair.  Let’s call him Bob.  No no no let’s call him Joe.  No wait I’ve used that fake name before and it isn’t the same guy so: John.  John is this wildly creative guy who has more charisma than most people.  He has a marriage, which looks on the outside to be fun and rock solid.  His wife is cute as can be, and when they are together they look like they should be posing for an advertisement for love.  He has children, and they are hysterical and stylish, cute and carefree. 

John has historically been a solid figure, and more people look up to him than don’t.  I know how relationships go.  I’m not so naïve that I think you can tell what’s really happening in people’s lives from all the outward appearances.  I knew John and his wife had their share of problems but I never believed that he would ever take things so far.  I never thought he could be that dumb.  Because when it comes down to it, it is just dumb.  A person can be tempted but it takes true stupidity to lay your marriage and the lives of your children on the line for something you’ve been warned by Oprah about a million times.  These feelings and the passion tend to burn out as quickly as they fire up right?  Is it worth it?


Well John was that dumb, and his wife found out.  In my view of things, I do not believe an affair is anything I could ever work past.  I’m too much of a grudge holder, and for the rest of our lives every wrong thing ever done would be wrong to the tenth degree.  I couldn’t live such an angry life.  I would never wish that much anger into anyone’s life that would live with me.  But John’s wife has decided to work through it. They’re trying to make it work, for the sake of their family.   I haven’t been there, so I can’t say it’s a mistake or it’s enlightened.  It’s just a messy situation, and it makes me so sad for them.


And also, somehow I’ve taken this affair personally.  It doesn’t really have anything at all to do with me but it has created a change in me.  I don’t want to see John, and his opinions about things are no longer important to me.  I know it’s juvenile and possibly shortsighted of me, but for now, John cannot be my homie.  His brand of selfishness isn’t something that I want in my life.


But I offer this question – am I being too judgmental?  Am I being close-minded?  And is it even my place to feel so betrayed when it really has nothing to do with me?  I’m wondering if anyone has had experience, on one side or the other, that maybe would make me look at it differently.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.