Monday, October 30, 2006

HIV-positive men commonly have unprotected sex with women

Several recent studies have found that a high proportion of HIV-positive U.S. men engage in unprotected sex with female partners who are HIV-negative, revealing a significant danger to women's health and a contributing factor to the country's HIV epidemic.

Three papers in the August issue of the Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine find a larger number of HIV-positive men are sexually active with women than with other men, putting women at greater and increasing risk of exposure. Although many people living with HIV are aware of the harmful health effects of unprotected sex, a significant number still do not follow safer sex practices, such as using condoms. And the studies found HIV-positive men tend to fluctuate in their sexual habits, initiating unprotected sex after a period of consistently safer sex practices and vice versa.

Younger men living with HIV/AIDS and men with a spouse or steady partners were most likely to report unsafe sex, which also increased with the incidence of drug use, problem drinking, homelessness, depression and recent incarceration. Older age, optimism and use of antiretroviral medications reduced the likelihood of an HIV-positive man engaging in unprotected sex.

Based on the findings, the authors of all three papers emphasized the need for prevention initiatives aimed at HIV-positive men.

Source: Nation's Health, Oct2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Say This to Her After Sex


• Just because you've treated your girl to a good time in the sack doesn't mean your job is done (sorry, buddy!), While basking in the afterglow, engaging her in some thoughtful pillow talk will benefit both of you…and it won't take a ton of effort. Try these sexy phrases.

"That was amazing."
You know the boot-knockin' was great, and deep down, she knows it too. (Come on, if she's a Cosmo girl, why wouldn't it be?) Still, she wants to hear you say just how un-freakin'-believable it was. "Women feel performance anxiety too, so she needs reassurance that she's skilled in bed," explains sexologist Gabrielle Morrissey, PhD, author of A Year of Spicy Sex. "The more positive feedback she gets from you, the more sexually confident and enthusiastic she'll be in the future."

"Wow, your body is so sexy."
While singing her praises, play up her hotness as well. "It's always a good idea to let your girl friend know how sexy you think she is, but it's especially important after intercourse," says sex columnist Josey Vogels, author of Bedside Manners. "Intercourse can cause a woman to feel vulnerable and exposed, so praising her beautiful stomach or butt will boost her confidence and make her feel more comfortable naked."

"How are you doing?"
Okay, it's obvious that you guys can't stand those probing, penny-for-your-thoughts questions. That's why she'll be über-impressed if you turn the tables — even if its just for half a minute.

"After sex, she feels more bonded to you, so checking in with her feeds her need to connect," explains Vogels. "When you instigate the dialogue, it shows that you really care about her as a person, not just about getting it on." Sure, it's kind of like slow torture, but on the bright side, your short after-sex convo will have fulfilled your "deep talk" quota for at least 24 hours.

"So, uh, what's your name again?"
We know what you're thinking: Are you people crazy? But hear us out. Clearly, you don't want to use this line on a girl you just met, but if you bust it out on a woman you've been with for a while, she'll get a good laugh.

"Sex is supposed to be fun, not something to take seriously all the time," says Morrissey. "By making a silly joke after sex, you're bringing playfulness and humor into your lust life." Not only will your wisecrack lighten the mood, but it also will make you fee] more bonded because it shows you can get intensely sexual, then truly let loose together.

By: Benjamin, Jennifer, Cosmopolitan, Oct2006

Hooray for DDT's Life-Saving Comeback

By John Stossel, Human Events, 10/9/2006

Who says there's never any good news? After more than 30 years and tens of millions dead—mostly children—the World Health Organization (WHO) has ended its ban on DDT. DDT is the most effective imti-mosquito, anti-malaria pesticide known. But thanks lo the worldwide environmental movement and politically correct bureaucrats in the United States and at the United Nations, the use of this benign chemical has been discouraged in Africa and elsewhere, permitting killer mosquitoes to spread death. 1 don't expect any apologies from the people who permitted this to happen. But I am thankful this nightmare is ending.

DDT was banned by President Richard Nixon's Environmental Protection Agency in the early 1970s, after Rachel Carson's book. Silent Spring, claimed to show that DDT threatened human health as well as bird populations. But some scientists found no evidence for her claims. Even if there was danger to bird eggs, the problem was the amount of DDT used, not the chemical itself.

Environmental Hysteria Huge amounts of the chemical were sprayed in America. I've watched oid videos of people at picnics who just kept e^ing while trucks sprayed thick white clouds of DDT on top of them. Some people even ran toward the truck—as if it were an ice-cream truck—they were so happy to have mosquitoes repelled. Tons of DDT were sprayed on food and people. Despite this overuse, there was no surge in cancer or any other human injury.

Nevertheless, the environmental hysteria led to DDT's suppression in Africa, where its use had been dramatically reduc ing deaths. American foreign aid could be used to finance ineffective alternative anti-maiaria methods, but not DDT. Within a short time, the mosquitoes and malaria reappeared, and deaths skyrocketed. Tens of millions of people have died in that time. DDT advocates pointed out that the ban amounted to mass murder. But they could not move the rich, white environmental dogmatists who rcflexively condemn all kinds of chemicals and presumably lost no sleep when millions of poor African children died.

But now this has changed. Last month, the WHO announced that it supports indoor spraying of DDT and other insecticides "not only in epidemic areas but also in areas with constant and high malaria transmission, including throughout Africa." "The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment," said Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah. WHO assistant director-general for HIV/AIDS. TB and malaria, "DDT presents no health risk when used properly." WHO now calls DDT the "most effective" pesticide for indoor use. Some environmental groups have also changed their anti-DDT tune, including Greenpeace, Environmental Defense and the Sierra Club. Last year, Greenpeace spokesman Rick Hind told the New York Times, "If there's nothing else and it's going to save lives, we're all for it. Nobody's dogmatic about it."

Blood on Their Hands That's easy to say now. But what about all the people who died when groups such as Greenpeace dogmatically refused to budge on the ban? Might an apology be in order? Junk-science debunker Steven Miiloy. an adjunct scholar with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, wonders why the environmentalists took so long to change their minds. "There are no new facts on DDT—all the relevant science about DDT safety has been available since the 1960s," Milloy says.

Miiloy adds: "It might be easy for some to dismiss the past 43 years of ecohysteria over DDT with a simple 'never mind,' except for the blood of millions of people dripping from the hands of the WWF [World Wildlife Fund], Greenpeace. Rachel Carson, Environmental Defense Fund and other junk-science-fueied opponents of DDT."

Miiloy reminds us that the same people who spread DDT hysteria are now pushing the global-warming scare. "If they and others could be so wrong about DDT. why should we trust them now?" That's a fair question. For now, let's celebrate the coming elimination of malaria in Africa.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Lowdown on Loveaholics

The only thing that may be worse than a guy who avoids commitment is one who is lost without it

You probably know the type — in fact, you may have dated him a dude who moves from one megaserious relationship to another without taking a breather. If this brand of love behavior had a poster boy, it surely would be actor Chad Michael Murray. He split from his wife of five months, Sophia Bush, last September, and by April, he already was engaged to 18-year-old Kenzie Dalton. Ben Affleck, Tom Cruise, and Brad Pitt's romances have also had a 0 to 60 trajectory. Cosmo decided to get to the heart of why some men seem to have a hopeless addiction to love.

Surprisingly, experts say, love has little to do with it. "Some men are codependent and insecure and need the personal affirmation and stability that comes with being in a relationship," explains Jay Carter, PsyD, author of Nasty Men. More often though, serial monogamists are thrill seekers who get off on the rush of new romances. "They get caught up in initial feelings of lust and infatuation…and put their partners on a pedestal," says Carter. When reality sets in and they realize their new mates have flaws like everyone else, these guys can't get out of the relationship fast enough. Then they leap headfirst into yet another union to keep their romance high going.

While in hot pursuit of this early-love buzz, these guys don't take the time to measure their true compatibility with a partner. And worse, when the relationship inevitably falls apart, they don't pause to figure out why it didn't work.

So what do you do if you fall for a guy who has all the signs of a loveaholic? Bob Berkowitz, PhD, author of What Men Won't Tell You but Women Need to Know, says to tread carefully. "If he's had a slew of back-to-back serious relationships, there's a good chance you'll end up being another one on that list."

After a relationship ends, these guys don't pause to figure out why it failed.

By: Rotchford, Lesley, Cosmopolitan, Oct2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

Attention! Your Contention . . . Please

By Terry W Sako

The onlookers are restless; the stall in the action has made them fidgety. They shift uncomfortably in their chairs, and their disgruntled murmurs echo from the walls of the confines. The air, electrically charged from the tension, seems to hum like a dynamo, and hangs heavy like swamp fog.

At a table sit we two, а la Russian roulette—bright, blazing lights overhead. Nervous sweat drips into my eyes, and my hand trembles as I take large gulps of water to slake my parched gullet. Every tendon in my body strains with the inflexibility of steel cable, in turn bunching my muscles and making them cramp. I strive to ignore the pain in my keester from hunkering in the hard wooden chair.

I’m gettin’ to old for this.

I gaze at my opponent, trying to get a line on her, but she is about as readable as the Rosetta Stone.

Then I scowl at her, trying to intimidate—to bend her will to mine—but no inch is given. Ominous, drab tombstones materialize out of the depths of her eyes—my name etched on the slabs—then fade away.

Finally, the showdown continues, and the crowd breathes a collective sigh.

I drum my fingers on the table, trying to break her concentration, and she flashes me a look of defiance. I sigh deeply and look down to the floor, the classic fake out of giving up, in a last-ditch attempt to throw her off.

Then, at that very moment, I look back up and meet her eyes, blazing fires burning in my pupils.

She grins at me, feral. I am predator, she conveys. You . . . are . . . prey.

I mentally implode, humbled by the swell of her confident vibes. Knowing what is coming next, I want to jump up and flee the scene. But I instead remain to accept my karma.

And as I hear my granddaughter Desiree’s dreaded utterance, my body wiggles like a worm on a hook.

"Go fish, Grampa!"

Funny Photoshop

Funny Photoshop (Photo)

Funny Photoshop (Photo)

Funny Photoshop (Photo)

Funny Photoshop (Photo)

Funny Photoshop (Photo)

Funny Photoshop (Photo)

Funny Photoshop (Photo)

Funny Photoshop (Photo)

Funny Photoshop (Photo)

Blogs Put Businesses on Web Search Map

Hunting for ways to boost revenue, a growing number of small businesses are adding another weapon to their marketing arsenal: blogging.

A blog lures more traffic to a company's website because it improves chances the site will reach the top of search-engine results. Blogs are easier and cheaper to update than conventional sites. And they encourage customer feedback on new products and services.

"Every company needs a blog,'' says Brian Brown, a self-employed blogging consultant at Pajama Market in Janesville, Wis., who has reviewed dozens of small-business blogs.

There are now millions of blogs, with an estimated 70,000 created daily.

Short for "Web log," blogs are online diaries with links to other websites and blogs. Most allow readers to post comments, making them more interactive than traditional websites, says Andy Wibbels, author of Blog Wild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging.

Sign-maker Joseph Iles, 37, has been blogging for two years at his Lincoln Sign Co. in Lincoln, N.H. And he's already seen a payoff. Iles attributes $33,000 in sales last year, or about 10% of total revenue, to customers he found through his Signs Never Sleep blog.

"If you can send an e-mail, you can do a blog," he says. "It's simple."

--- New small businesses spotlight products and get customer feedback

Blogs that got high marks from small-business blog consultant Brian Brown of Pajama Market in Janesville, Wis.:

Freewheel Bike, Minneapolis

Bike retailer founded in 1974, with 10 to 40 employees, depending on season. Blogging for two years.

Blog address:

What Brown likes: Variety of entries is good, with stories about employees and items on fixing bikes.

What Freewheel says: General manager Mike Roering and four other employees write entries showcasing the store's special bicycles. Customers have ordered bikes they saw on the blog. An employee attending this year's Tour de France wrote about the experience.

Lincoln Sign Co., Lincoln, N.H.

Sign shop started in 1972. Six employees. Blogging for two years.

Blog address:

What Brown likes: Generous number of photos. Headlines are among the best-written Brown has seen.

What Lincoln says: The blog lets customers see how signs are made. Plus, co-owner Joseph Iles says writing about his shop caused him to think more about bolstering customer service. He writes all entries and takes all the photos, spending an average of 30 minutes a day on it.

Mani's Bakery Cafe, Los Angeles

Bakery started in 1988. About 40 workers. Blogging for 14 months.

Blog address:

What Brown likes: Frequent and varied entries such as recipes, diet advice and stories about employees and customers. It's well-organized, with easy-to-find search box and a place for readers to leave comments.

What Mani's says: Eight employees write entries, taking turns on a weekly schedule. The blog boosted revenue. But it was mostly created to give customers a place to offer feedback, says co-owner Carl Avery. --- 4 QUESTIONS What software do I use?

There are dozens of programs, says Andy Wibbels, author of Blog Wild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. Google and others offer inexpensive, sometimes free, versions, including Blogger, TypePad, Movable Type and WordPress.

Who contributes to the blog?

The author can be the owner, an employee or several employees. In any case, contributors must write well and -- most important -- show they care about the company.

"It's that passion that wakes people up," Wibbels says. It tells readers: "There's a real person on the other side of the world who works there."

Some companies assign the blog to the marketing department or an outside publicist. That's risky if the writer fails to create the more casual tone that blog readers expect.

Consultant Brian Brown estimates that of the 80 small-business blogs he's reviewed, 80% are written by one person, usually the owner.

What should I write about?

A little bit of everything. A restaurant chef could reveal how she created a new dish. A dog trainer might write about a customer's frustrations living with a new puppy.

Good blogs are varied in subject and length of entries. "It's this crazy idea that maybe you should talk to your customers like your friends," Wibbels says.

How often should I write?

A new entry, or "post," each day would be terrific. If that's too ambitious for business owners juggling multiple responsibilities, Brown recommends at least three posts a week. Readers are more likely to return to a blog if they find fresh material. Plus, one of a blog's main functions is adding pages to a company's otherwise static website. Sites with lots of pages and many incoming and outgoing links are more likely to appear near the top of search-engine results.

Small Business Connection

It's a monthly series about managing small companies. Earlier installments at Got an idea? E-mail USA TODAY's Jim Hopkins at

Join the conversation about small-business management on our Small Business Connection blog at Posts you'll see this week:

"We have considered starting a blog, and undoubtedly will within the next six months or so. I recognize the value of blogs to help people find my website."

--Suzanne Hetts, co-owner, Animal Behavior Associates, Littleton, Colo.

"A blog would have to be tremendously entertaining for our customers or employees to bother reading it."

Source: USA Today, SEP 20, 2006

Super Success Stories

Erin Matson, 25
Youngest president of a state chapter of the National Organization for Women, Minnesota

TAKING ACTION: At age 7, she advocated for her first cause: whether or not to declaw the family cat. "I've always [taken] action for things I believe in. I went on to write articles about sex discrimination for my high school newspaper."

SECRET OF SUCCESS: "I set my alarm clock on weekends. Yuck!"

Liz Funk, 17
Youth organizer

TAKING ACTION: When Liz couldn't find a group in her school that promoted a positive body image for girls, she started one. This group went on to help her stage a successful protest of MTV in Times Square in New York City. Ironically, the protest was aired on MTV.

SECRET OF SUCCESS: "I don't watch TV, and I study like a maniac."

Amita Kulkarni, 18
Youth Council chair, American Red Cross of Northwest New Jersey

TAKING ACTION: "Through my volunteer work with the American Red Cross, I've become passionate about [preventing] measles and HIV/AIDS. I [now] want to pursue a career in medicine. I've learned that people my age really can make a difference:'

SECRET OF SUCCESS: "I prioritize everything I do. And if I don't have time, I won't commit."

Matthew Axelrod, 25
Country director, North Africa and Egypt, U.S. Department of Defense

TAKING ACTION: Axelrod credits his high school public speaking club for helping him develop the skills he uses daily in his job.

SECRET OF SUCCESS: "I help other people out. That way, they're more likely to help me if I need it."

Source: Career World, Sep2006

Working with tiny things offers giant opportunities for almost everyone

Suppose you are so inspired by the article you are about to read that you decide to devote your life to nanotechnology. You go into this exciting new field and work for more than 30 years. Finally, the day comes when you retire. You look back with pride on a remarkable body of work---and everything you worked on fits inside the period at the end of this sentence.

The things that nanotechnologists work on are small--so small they're measured in nanometers, Or billionths of a meter. How small is that? Well, take a look at the model car on the next page. It's made of just one molecule, 3 to 4 nanometers across. A line of 26,000 such "nanocars" would barely stretch across a human hair.

But small doesn't mean unimportant. Just ask the U.S. government, which has poured more than $5 billion into nano research since 2001. "Because of nanotech, we will see more change in our civilization in the next 30 years than we did during all of the 20th century," says Mihail Roco of the National Science Foundation.

Secrets of the Small
Hold on. Isn't everything made of atoms and molecules? What's so special about buildingwith tiny components? What's special is that never before have we been able to control things precisely at that level. Until now, manufacturing nano products has been "like trying to make things with LEGO blocks while wearing boxing gloves," says Ralph Merkle, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. "You can push the LEGO blocks into heaps, but you can't really snap them together the way you'd like." Now nanotechnologists are learning to snap them together--and finding that nano stuff has surprising characteristics.

Consider the carbon atoms that make up pencil lead, for instance. Roll those same atoms into nano-size tubes and you get a material 100 times stronger than steel. Someday you might find such carbon nanotubes in bulletproof uniforms for soldiers or an elevator that ascends into space. You might find nanotubes in power lines, because they're exceptional conductors of electricity, and in hydrogen-powered cars, because they seem able to store hydrogen like a sponge.

Already you can find nanomaterials in certain products--in some sunscreens, scratch-resistant eyeglass coatings, and premium tennis rackets. But scientists are still figuring out the nanoworld. So in general, nanotechnology is still something you find in a lab. According to the National Science Foundation, however, so many companies will begin making nano things in the next 15 years that, together, they will employ 2 million people worldwide.

Getting a Nano Life
By the time you finish school, you will most likely have a broad choice of nano careers. You might, for example, design minute crystals called quantum dots, which convert sunlight into electricity, or computer chips that hold billions of transistors (the best today hold about 100 million). Have a flair for fashion? You might work with nanoclothing, now that researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with a nanofiber that changes color when zapped by an electric current.

How can anyone prepare for so many options? "Take math and a lot of science," advises James Tour, a professor of chemistry at Rice University in Houston. "In the past, biologists spoke a different language than physicists, who spoke a different language than chemists. The beautiful thing about nano is that it unites all of these subjects."

Following that advice might lead to a career as a research scientist with an advanced degree. But suppose your strengths lie elsewhere? According to employment experts, the field will soon have room for just about everyone. A born leader, for example, might get a business degree and oversee production teams. A detail person might work in quality control. A good arguer might become a lawyer, protecting his or her company's rights and inventions. And writers will certainly be needed to tell potential customers-and the world in general--what's going on in the field of nanotechnology. Community colleges train the experts who operate, maintain, and repair the incredibly precise equipment that controls nanomaterials.

Whatever path you take, stick with it, and you might eventually get to work on some really amazing stuff. Experts predict that by mid-century we may have nanorobots that patrol the bloodstream, fixing damaged cells. The future may hold nanocomputers made of biological molecules like DNA and even nanomachines that assemble themselves.

Does that seem unlikely? Well, how did you start off? You began as a single cell--a nanomachine--that assembled itself into a person.

Without nanotechnology, there would be no iPod. Sales of products that use nanotechnology may reach $2.6 trillion in 2014.

If a nanoparticle were the size of a soccer ball, then a chicken wound be the same size as Earth.

Source: Wellcome Trust

As The Table Turns

By Deborah Russell

I closed my gallery and studio, in Salisbury, Maryland, in order to become a stay at home mom for my two grandsons.

I was tired of being stressed over the quality of daycare, and having to constantly wonder, if the personnel was educated enough to handle the responsibility of caring for pre-school and school aged children.

Instead of dressing in my work clothes or gallery reception finest, I decided to wear the “mom’s” uniform, become the family “martyr” and raise my energetic, loving and creative grandsons.

Maintaining a household and raising two rambunctious boys began to seem like a daydream, compared to the overwhelming amount of energy and work it takes when organizing exhibits, meeting public relations deadlines, attending numerous meetings each week, coordinating arts related events and providing “equal” wall space for thirty six visual artists.

My “job/career” of motherhood was just coming to an end, like the light at the end of a tunnel, my youngest daughter was fourteen and the decision did not come easy, to give up what I enjoy and love, to return to the role of super-mom.

I thought about the pros and cons for nearly six months before taking the final plunge. Since my strongest work background was “motherhood”, I felt my experience would make the job easier this time around. I would learn that thought could not have been further from the truth.

Like most stay-at-home moms, I had become “the home-maker” that I always dreaded. I was like a mega Betty Crocker; cook, maid, chief bottle washer, taxi driver, disciplinarian, nurse, playmate, mediator, counselor and tutor - twenty four - seven.

I admit, motherhood has its glorious and wonderful moments and had it not been for those sweet, precious moments (usually while they were asleep) I might have “jumped ship” and swam to the nearest tropical island. But, I stuck to the helm and battened down the hatches… and yelled, “Steady as she goes!”

Though, more often, I would be the odd one, in a crowd, that would say, “Isn’t motherhood the most rewarding and satisfying experience any woman could dream of having?” (Humm, not that I believed it entirely, but some say if you lie to yourself, enough, you start to believe the lie.

Why is it that career women put ambitions, careers and earning potential on hold to care for their husbands, children and grandchildren? What moves them to do this? They aren't the ones missing a chromosome, so it makes no sense...

Personally, I wanted something more for my grandsons, I wanted them to learn family responsibility, family ethics and to learn the home is the center of the universe and the table is the heart of the home.

And what a crock, that turned out to be. The general concept may be realistic and mostly true for the first few years, but believe me, that table turns quickly into a battlefield for homework, for the first and last word, and even for the last piece of any dessert.

So, in my “dream of motherhood”, instead of reviewing slides of paintings, sculpture and photography, I found myself checking small mouths, which grew to large mouths, to see if teeth were brushed. I became a connoisseur; taste – testing boy friendly vegetables and meals and became the head inspector, checking the consistency and depth of muddy socks and dirty underwear on bedroom floors.

I was no longer approached with resumes, publicity photos or promotional material, but with salamanders, unusual bouquets, pinecones, fishing nets and totally “boy”, 101 riddle and joke books.

The reality is, taking on the responsibility of motherhood is an experience that causes deep emotional attachment but, at the same time, you might strangely find yourself dreaming of the real glamour of life; data entry, answering phones, meeting clients and meeting PR deadlines to arts councils, news media and businesses.

One thing becomes evident, the gains do not seem to equal the loss. Motherhood is a full-time, terribly difficult job, which makes constant demands on your time and energy. There is no longer a question of what should be prioritized, because the obvious answer is always “children first”.

The nights you dream your husband will come in and sweep you off your feet with a bottle of wine, a fire, in the fireplace, and soft, romantic music become non-existent. He no longer knows who you are, nor does he care.

Your nights are filled with making dinner, doing dishes, last minute homework assignments, dirty clothes and a multitude of children’s activities; ie: music lessons, riding lessons, PTA meetings, chaperoning school trips, dances and organizing social calendars around school, holidays, birthdays, family deaths, injuries and dental and doctor appointments.

There is no time for the person you were (and inside, still was) because that person does not exist in the mystical realm of motherhood. Makeup becomes a luxury and when you have time to wear it, everyone becomes suspicious and wants to know where you are going, why and when are you coming back.

There is no money for pedicures, manicures, getting your hair done, so often you have three or four shades of blond, brown to sun-bleached red with about a ј inch of black and grey roots - you have given up on beauty secrets to divulge the “real” you: baggy eyes, tight lines around your mouth and lots of ugly, ill fitting clothes.

Your diet becomes ridiculous; you eat Oreos, dozens, out of the bag and over the sink between taxi rides to and from school. You eat macaroni and cheese (the nasty kind in the blue box that kids love) by the small Pyrex bowlfuls, without heating it in the microwave. You eat smores cereal instead of having that delightful, mixed green salad with Raspberry-Pecan vinaigrette that you so loved. In other words, the beauty of motherhood is non existent and it does nothing for your complexion or figure.

Motherhood is not glamorous, endearing or even rewarding, especially after the children become ten, eleven years old and decide that not only are you unattractive, your hair is fuzzy and your jeans are outdated, you are the most stupid person they have ever met. Really, how uncool is that?

Oh, did I mention killing the ego??? Well motherhood is notorious for teaching us that women are merely the fly specks on the screen of the home front. By age 12 and 13, the mother IS the family’s best kept secret.

Mom is no longer allowed to drop the kids off at the front door of the school, but can drop them off one-block away, if she promises (and crosses her heart, three times) to leave ASAP. She also must walk two aisles away when ever they are in a store together, or better yet; is “allowed” (by unanimous decision) to go to Starbucks while they trek off to the arcade and game room.

I’ve decided that all my worries, for their “formative years” being destroyed and defined by a stranger, were for nothing. They would have been better off raised in the wild by wolves or at least by one of those mythological creatures they were so fascinated with.

Hindsight tells me, childcare would be a wonderful and probably the best decision for any child, when they reach the middle-school years.

By the way, I think I have finally reached the age where I’d be a little embarrassed to be seen with them, but I’m still willing to take that chance.