Friday, May 05, 2006


No pants, maybe she should have kept her pants on, and I need pants with more give in the knees

Aren't we due for a Friday ramble? I sure hope so, because I've got a few things to tell you.

First, as soon as I read this article I knew I had to talk to you about it. It's about Hewlett Packard's new digital cameras, which come equipped with an editing tool that allows you to look up to 15 lbs slimmer. It works by compressing the centre of the image while stretching the outside border. You can then download both the original photo and the edited "new, slimmer you" version to your computer or for printing. (Oops, sorry - the Citizen article is subscriber only, but you can read about the camera on Gizmodo, too.)

Isn't that simply awful? I mean really, that's got to be one of the most offensive things I've read this week. Do they have a fattening feature, too, so you can plump yourself up? Yah, I know, maybe I should lighten up, but this just rubbed me the wrong way. HP is being pretty careful in their marketing, too - the 'slimming feature' isn't even mentioned in the product specs on Best Buy. What do you think?

Moving right along, you can always bring your new, slimming-feature-enabled camera along with you if you are celebrating international No Pants Day today. Yes, my trouserly-encumbered friends, today is the day you can officially shed those constricting chinos and show off your beautiful boxers to an appreciative (or maybe not so much) public. You know, I simply could not make up better material than this. Ours is a strange, strange world.

And finally, I could not resist getting your thoughts on this news feature either. Seems a woman in Britain is set to give birth to her third child, at the tender age of 63. Nope, not a typo - the woman is sixty-three years old. You know, I fear I am tending toward the curmdugeonly because this bugs me almost as much as the slimming feature in the camera. I mean, you know I am a huge advocate of reproductive technologies and the right of any woman to bear a child, but this is really pushing it. No matter how fresh and frisky she's feeling, I don't think anybody over 60 is going to have the same ability to cope with the demands of a newborn and a toddler as someone twenty years their junior. Now the fact that they've hired a PR firm to deal with the 'leak' of the news of the pregnancy tells me that they'll probably have plenty of cash to hire a nanny and maybe a household crew to help raise the baby, but I can't help but feel sorry for this woman's child when she's the only kindergartener who's mother is receiving both a baby bonus and an old-age pension.

Now, just to show you I'm not all rants and bile today, let's finish on a lighter note with anecdote from earlier this week.


Wednesdays are long days for me because Beloved works late, arriving home before bedtime but after dinner, and this one particularly so because I worked at the mental equivalent of a dead run all day at work, trying to catch up on various projects that are being neglected while I dedicate part of my week to language training.

I pick up the boys at daycare and tug them home in the wagon. It's about a 25 minute walk, and they seem twice as heavy as their combined weight of 70 or 80 lbs. Tristan wants to ride his bike when we get home, so we wander to the mailbox and back, and but it's a half-hearted and rather listless walk/ride because we're all succumbing to the late-afternoon heavy-lidded dozies.

We make it into the house and when the boys ask if they can watch a video, I've just finished ordering a pizza and can't be bothered to mount an argument against it. I change Simon's diaper as Pingu begins to play on the TV, and when I stand him on his feet to pull his sweatpants back up he stands for only the briefest moment before plopping himself with comfortable aplomb into my lap. It isn't long before Tristan has found a space for himself in my lap, too, and the three of us sit on the floor, bathed in the glow of Pingu's antics.

It is, I realize rather unsuddenly, a moment worth noticing. The boys are quiet and still in my lap, neither twitching nor fussing nor jockeying for position. They are actually touching each other, legs tangled with arms resting against backs sprawled in my lap, somehow immune to their usual hyperawareness of physical contact. I can barely believe my luck, this congruence of my own desire for a moment of peace and the boys' willingness to tolerate cuddling not only with me but with each other. There won't be many moments like these.

It is, in fact, a perfect moment. Except for the excruciating pain arching down my legs.

My boys are heavy. Ridiculously heavy. Heavy like small neutron stars, an entire galaxy of denseness in each soft-skinned, touseled-hair package. I'm trying not to shift to much, as I truly don't want to taint the magic of this affectionate moment, but my hips are hyperextended into an unnatural posture any yogi would covet and I can't feel anything below the middle of my thighs. I list to one side and then the other, a squirming ship of dazed preschoolers, trying to aleviate the pressure. The boys, obliviously to both my bliss and my discomfort, eventually snap to attention and realize there is mischief to be made elsewhere in the house and lift out of my lap with uncanny syncronicity, both rolling to their feet in opposite directions in a simultaneous move that I couldn't choreograph with a week of practice.

I am left sitting on the floor, legs relieved and arms empty, savouring the moment.