March, 2009

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Mother’s Finest

I have been loving the Internet this week, you guys. Despite the latest hideous Facebook makeover (do they even have a QA process?), it’s continued to be a great tool for finding long-lost people whom I adore, and also for finding out that my friend Scott should totally move to the country. Over on Twitter, an application that would be perfect if it offered a little more control, someone’s engineered a little more control with TwitterSnooze, which allows you to stop following someone for a limited amount of time – an ability whose usefulness may escape you if you don’t, say, follow a person who liveTweets three Wednesday night TV shows that you don’t watch.

Also using the Internet, I was able to track down a store in the greater LA area (Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park) that carried dairy-free chocolate bunnies so I don’t have to order that crap from Portland with dry ice and such to give my allergic child a happy holiday. And yes, my kid DOES have to have a chocolate bunny at Easter; we’re not religious, but we feel very strongly about inexplicable people and animals who show up your house to bring you junk.

But here is where I had the most fun. If you have had the misfortune to be cornered by me on the subject of American Idol this season, you know I kind of like contestant Adam Lambert. Like, to the point where I wish all those other people would quit interrupting The Adam Lambert Show with their singing and whatnot. One of the reasons I like him is that he is a big ol’ record geek; not like I’m short on those people in my world, but I don’t know many who are 27. And what really surprised me was that we share a favorite completely obscure band, Mother’s Finest. Here, watch Adam talk about them with the fevered eyes of the true believer:

Yeah. I was happy to find out about the Germany thing, because I, who could technically be his mom, am too young to know about Mother’s Finest; I spent my youth hanging out with a bunch of musicians about 10 years my senior, some of them from the South. That’s my excuse. And I’d wondered what his was.

Say Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan and Led Zeppelin formed a supergroup. You’re kind of close to what they sound like. You cannot imagine how dynamic they were (I assume still are) live. I have been to approximately one gazillion concerts – most of them by people who are considered great performers – and nobody touches MF. You can’t squeeze that kind of power into the space of a YouTube video, but here’s a track from what I believe is the concert Adam described seeing:

So, back to my point about loving the Internet: People much younger than I, possibly younger than Adam, are seeing that first video on YouTube, looking up something very much like the second video, going, “Hey, this band is great! Why haven’t I heard of them?” I’ve been helping some people out with collections of MP3s available on Amazon that make a good $10 introduction.

So: Because a kid who is a frontrunner on American Idol in 2009 turned on a television in Germany in 2003 and mentioned it on a clip that was only available on iPhones and on YouTube, one of the most underrated bands of the early ’70s gets a new burst of life.

That’s just cool.

Identity crisis in the medicine cabinet.

I am not, you’ll be fascinated to learn, a brand loyalist when it comes to deodorant. I don’t have any unusual needs in that area, so I buy what’s on sale and doesn’t smell perfumey.

Just a few weeks back, I noticed that Degree was rather nicer than the others, in that it does not feel all pinchy going on. So that’s it, thought I, I am buying Degree from now on.

Wouldn’t you know, within minutes of my making this decision Degree went all gender-segregated. While I’m more sympathetic for the consternation this might cause my acquaintances who aren’t exactly straight down that M/F divide, even I as a clearly delineated woman have problems with this.

You know what Degree Men does? It protects men who takes risks. BAD ASS. If you are human-flying it up the side of a skyscraper and you lose your grip, Degree Men’s Action Fumes(TM) will suck you back to safety like a huge magnet. At some point in that story, I started making shit up, but it was a tiny bit later than one would hope.

At this point, I’m pretty stoked, as you can imagine. What will Degree Women protect me from? Maybe I can have another baby now without all that pesky hyperemesis and Restless Leg Syndrome and whatever that thing that made me itch until I wished I were dead was! Let’s take a look at Degree Women’s tagline – oh my!

Dare to Feel.


Dare to feeeeeeeeeeeeeeel.

Yeah. Somewhat ironically, I’m not feelin’ it.

My simple, clear-cut consumer plan now contains a spanner in its works. Because it’s going to be embarrassing going to the drugstore and buying that. And yet – not pinchy.

So I did it the other day. I looked at the array of different Degree for Women varieties and yeah, they were just as sexist and eyeroll-inducing as you’d think. EXCEPT. There was one style that came in the girl-deodorant equivalent of a plain brown wrapper – pale-blue with the word “Women” on it in a discreet light gray. I bought it, naturally, but couldn’t help wondering if it hadn’t been the result of a meeting on how a lot of women were going to find this “Dare to Feel” thing embarrassing, offensive, or both – so let’s throw ‘em a bone. Is it worse if they KNOW they’re being condescending? I’m not sure.

The next day, I saw another deodorant in our bathroom from an angle I usually don’t, and learned this: “If you don’t know whether or not you have an iron, you are a Mitchum Man.”

You guys.

I’m a Mitchum Man.

You know what this means, don’t you?

Had I seen this two days earlier, I could have been protected while I took risks.

Sometimes life’s just not fair.

I hate cigarette smoke as much as the next guy does.

And quite possibly more than most. Being honest here. HOWEVER.

I would like to state for the record that I had NOTHING – N-O-T-H-I-N-G – to do with the fact that, when we’re outside somewhere and my child spots a smoker, this is what he does.

[freezes, points]

AHHHHHHH! OH NO! OH NO! Somebody’s smoking! What can we do, Mommy? Where can we go to be safe? QUICK! RUN!

In real life, I’m trying to settle him down on that issue. In blog life, it’s kind of hilarious.