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3 kittens

Forever with a slope of one.

Posted on 2014.08.17 at 09:49
"What's inside here?" asked Hokey Pokey.
"Those are your testicles, inside your scrotum," I said. We've been talking a lot about reproductive organs again, what with being pregnant.
"That's where the sperm is made?" he asked.
"Not yet," I said, "not till you hit puberty. But that's where it will get made when you grow up."
"No," he said. "Mine make sperm. Because I'm a SUPERHERO. So I have sperm in my testicles."
Isn't that great? We called him Sperm Boy! and Pokey Sperm Boy! and he was totally on board. (We also reminded him that this was a private conversation and that he should not be Sperm Boy at school.)

"What's your superpower?" we asked.
He struck a Spidey pose, palm out as though shooting a web: "The power of BUG SPRAY!" he declared. "I kill mean bugs."
We all agreed that that was a really great superpower.
"Not bees and wasps, because those are scary. And not nice bugs. But mean spiders and mosquitoes." That would be a really great superpower, no contest.

This summer Hokey Pokey has discovered the world of little boy toys, and he is joyfully beside himself. "They are turtles! They're ninjas! And they fight bad guys!" It's all more amazing than he ever dreamt.  Superheroes in particular are really ringing his bell.

Remebery foam

I am 27 weeks pregnant. (I stopped and counted.) My back and hips basically feel...fine. It's amazing. I attribute this to the memory foam mattress pad and to the strength training of crossfit. Aren't you used to me complaining? Isn't this nice for a change?

The memory foam is hot. To compensate, we turned our ceiling fan up to "wind tunnel". I had no idea it had a destructively powerful wind tunnel setting, but it does, and I love it. I actually feel comfortable and not-hot at night. More amazing not-complaining!

Banalogy Ann

Unfogged has an analogy ban, instituted probably six or seven years ago.  You are not allowed to argue by way of making an analogy. The reasoning was that the discussion gets derailed on the aptness or flaws of the analogy, and is no longer on the actual topic.

The analogy ban has made me work much harder to find words to say what I mean. I'm much more rhetorically skilled as a result. I used to use analogies as "This situation reminds me of another, clear-cut situation, and so I'll just stop now." Now I have to identify what the resemblance is, and translate it into the context of the actual discussion, and sometimes it falls apart in this process. Saying stuff is hard.


One of my best friends came to visit. It is the type of friendship where, mid-discussion, you say "Where's our list of topics? I just thought of a few more things for us to discuss, but let's finish this first." We do keep such a list, starting a week or so before the visit.

She convinced me to hit up a GNC-knockoff type supplement shop, after I complained that I have no energy. There may not be anyone else alive who could get me to buy $90 of powders to mix in a concoction and pretend it tastes like a creamsicle. (It doesn't. Maybe a gross creamsicle.) The reason why is that she operates from the premise that this is all placebo and any normal person would also roll their eyes, but isn't it fun to experiment on yourself? Won't this be ridiculous and fun? This is also the approach you should use if you want me to drink more alcohol than I was planning on drinking.

This concoction of three powders - protein powder, veggie extract, and fuel blend - was originally prescribed by her chiropractor. It has thirty-two grams of protein, and all sorts of thousands of percents of recommended daily allowances. Honestly, I am not sure about this. At 27 weeks pregnant, the baby is pretty damn developed, but still. I seem to get a burst of energy for a few hours, but it hasn't affected the crashing-and-needing-to-urgently-nap routine.

For funsies

This is a graph I made:

August 17, 2009 (1)

It shows the average age of Geebies over time. So, from April 2009 to November 2010, we had just Hawaiian Punch. All of a sudden, Hokey Pokey was born, and the average plummeted from 1.5 years old to .75 years old. After growing steadily for 2.5 years, the average plummets once again with the birth of Ace, in April 2013. We now move into the future, anticipating the plummeting arrival of New Baby in November, 2014. After that, the moving average will grow linearly with a slope of 1 year per year, forever (god willing).


(Anonymous) at 2014-08-17 15:01 (UTC) (Link)
Do I noticeably use analogies more than most at Unfogged? I always thought of the analogy ban as a running gag rather than anything that people observed -- I'm certainly not consciously avoiding them. I'm not sure if I'm out of step with the zeitgeist, or if I just don't use analogies much anyway.
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-17 15:02 (UTC) (Link)
Dammit, that was me not signing things again.

heebie_geebie at 2014-08-17 15:10 (UTC) (Link)
Do you ever use analogies over there? I was just noticing how awful the surgeon-to-cop analogy was going over, and thinking the behavior had been pretty much extinguished.
(Anonymous) at 2014-08-17 22:18 (UTC) (Link)
That's the thing, I don't know. I don't purposefully avoid them -- like I said, I always thought of the ban as just a joke -- but maybe I spontaneously don't use them much?
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2014-08-17 21:45 (UTC) (Link)

Analogy BAN

In my fiction writing class, I long ago banned my students from using similes and metaphors, partly because they are so awful at them, and partly because (IMO) writing that depends upon them is so awful.

I have a whole rant I do whenever students turn in writing filled with metaphors or similes. "Don't say what a thing is LIKE," I shout at the workshop. "Tell me what it IS. Don't say the river is LIKE a silver ribbon of silk sliding endlessly and silently through the FUCKING depths of the CHRISTLY THIGHS of the VERDANT VALLEY, JEEZUS PLEASE don't. It's a shining river in a gorge. Tell me THAT."

It really does improve their writing 190% when they can't fall back on the crutches of sappy metaphors/similes.

Also: I cannot tell you how much I love that you make graphs of your children's average age. That's just wonderful.

heebie_geebie at 2014-08-23 17:55 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Analogy BAN

I remember SO VIVIDLY struggling to find the most perfect metaphor or simile, in my college creative writing classes. I may have tried to fit as many as possible in my writing, under the false impression that it helped, like a child stuffing their toys in a toychest. Like a squirrel stuffing nuts in a tree for the winter. Like an administrative assistant stuffing attachments on a email. God, I really really loved my creative writing classes.
Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2014-08-23 19:31 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Analogy BAN

Some of my students get so upset when I ban metaphors / similes, because they have been assured by every teacher so far (I think?) that this is how you make writing excellent. Or that this is what lovely writing is? So if they strip away the metaphors and similes, then what is left but the writing?

(Which is my point, I shout at them. LOUDLY. I probably do too much shouting in my writing workshops. I definitely do too much cussing.)

Others act as if I have liberated them.

Occasionally someone will try to slip a metaphor in. "That's a metaphor," I will point out darkly in workshop.

"I know," the student will say. "I couldn't help it. I took it out twice. But I just really think I need it."

"Okay," I said, very very darkly. "This ONE TIME. We'll let it pass. Don't try it again."

mistersmearcase at 2014-08-19 16:55 (UTC) (Link)
(We also reminded him that this was a private conversation and that he should not be Sperm Boy at school.)

Parenting is weird weird weird weird weird.

I wish we had a wind tunnel ceiling fan but I probably would not get to use it. Temperature is turning out to be one of those weird little couple disconnects that you watched other people have when you were a kid but didn't exactly realize you might have. WB dislikes air conditioning. I LOVE AIR CONDITIONING because I'm (sort of) from Texas. Car trips are going to require some conversations to be had.
heebie_geebie at 2014-08-23 17:59 (UTC) (Link)
Obviously you're right because air conditioning is the best and WB is wrong. The point is to feel cold enough to wrap up under blankets (but I can't actually bear to run the AC cold enough to cause that in the summer, what with fiscal responsibility and all.)

Anyway, parenting is very weird, you're right. The thing is, in this context we're just protecting other kids' hypersensitive parents, which is galling and obnoxious, but we do it rather than make waves.
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