Thursday, October 30, 2008

All the news you could use...

I had a dream I awoke from about an hour ago in which Scooby Doo and Shaggy were being chased by a Frankenstein-like monster. Besides the fact that Hanna-Barbera clearly cleaved significant in-roads into my psyche at a critical time in my life, this is notable for the fact that it was a truly scary dream.

Which reminds me that when I was a child, I had an aspiration to "program" my dreams, much like a Tivo: each night before I went to bed, I would tell myself, "First, I'm going to watch a Banana Splits episode, then The Flintstones, then Zoom!, then The Jetson's..." As the last vestiges of the Scooby dream faded from my unconscious mind, I realized that I had finally achieved what I had wanted all those years ago. Better late than never! Now I've got to work on that second dream: being the lone female member of the Monkees. I will probably need a time machine for such an endeavor, but, whatever. (The Monkees was (were?) in reruns when I was a child, but that didn't stop me from my indulging in my fantasies. I wore a yellow pajama top around the top of my head as my long, blonde hair and watched on my parent's good color TV after school with the door shut. One day, my brother and one of his friends busted in on me, sitting rapt on the shag carpet with the pajama top on my head - he must have said something to the effect of, "My sister watches The Monkees with a pajama top on her head. Come on, I'll show you!" - and that was the end of my innocent but bizarre habit. Still, I cannot hear Daydream Believer without feeling the elastic neckline of my pajama top around my head.)

What else? We're getting ready for Halloween around here, and my son has broken out his spinosaurus costume about fifty times since the beginning of October, when John first constructed it (out of all the actively discouraged camouflage* my mother keeps buying for my pacifist child - seriously: a sweatshirt, pants and a t-shirt) and I'm just trying to hold that poor safety-pinned creation together for two more days. It has marinara stains on it and the tail has certainly seen better, more jubilant days, and I'm pretty sure that, if challenged, that costume could pretty much go trick-or-treating by itself at this point but we and it will soldier on, in true camouflage-y spirit.

I'm always a little conflicted about the whole candy windfall that occurs for my son every Halloween. (Of course, we separate out the non-vegan candy and he understands this ahead of time so it does not cause any sort of meltdown.) I understand the parents who take all the candy and leave a nice toy in its stead, but, really, no really, that would not work for my son, not without resentment and a subsequent memoir detailing our various misguided cruelties toward him. In raising a vegan child, you have to juggle what you are willing to accept from mainstream culture and what you absolutely cannot abide. It is important for my son to participate in certain activities and I am fine with Halloween being one of them. Nearly all our decorations have been DIY and it's been a fun and creative experience for him to contribute his ideas and craftiness this year. Though Halloween means junk of epic proportion (corn syrup, artificial dyes, and all that other garbage that is verboten the rest of the year), I remember how exciting and thrilling trick-or-treating was for me as a child and I cannot deny him that. Exchanging his candy for a toy would have worked when he was three, but not now that he's six. We all do what works best for our children, and allowing one evening of purely bacchinalian excess a year is something that I can accept. We've got our organic lollipops for giving out - we had fair trade dark chocolates, but, sorry, we ate them all as they were like the size of 1/4 a square each - and we're set to go.

On a different topic, I think we're going to do early voting tomorrow because I just can't put it off any longer. I cannot wait to cast that ballot (although I think doing it the day of the election would also be fantastic). I got a very heartfelt message from a friend who voted earlier today and wrote of how historic and meaningful and, yes, emotional it felt. I feel it in my bones that things will turn out wonderfully for us next week, and, like the Munchkins after Dorothy's house landed on the Wicked Witch of the East, we will be celebrating out in the streets, especially, perhaps, here in Chicago. We'll be watching the returns from my friend's condo in the South Loop, which is very close to Grant Park, where the officially sanctioned Obama celebration will be taking place. Moments after it was announced that it would be an event requiring tickets, my husband responded and was put on the waiting list. Fifty thousand tickets had already been claimed. Ah, well. It is certain to be a boisterous night all around, so I'm not disappointed.

Off to bed...

Shalom, everyone.

*My son rather likes camouflage because he is into dinosaurs and evolution and natural selection and all that other godless, science-y stuff. I, on the other hand, know of it's association with war and violence (furthermore, aesthetically, it's ugly) but I don't really want to explain all that to my very innocent boy. He does have this particular pair of camouflage pants that somehow ended up in one of his drawers (from my mom, of course, but I can't figure out how it wasn't intercepted by me) and he calls these his "fossil digging pants," which is really what he wears when he digs for nautiloids and such. The problem is that he likes to wear them other days as well and though he does so without knowledge of the dark side of camouflage, I know that to the average lefty he probably looks like some violent, TV-addled miscreant. What is an anti-war, progressive mama to do?

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