What every conversation sounds like at our house

Rob: Babe, are you making dinner, or should I--

Norah: Mama, would you like to read a story with me?
Me: Ub, ask Daddy. I dod't doe if I cad right dow.

(This is her new thing, "Would you like...XYZ?" Mama, would you like to make me a snack? Daddy, would you like to carry me upstairs, or would Mama like to do it? Mama, would you like to DRILL HOLES IN YOUR FACE SO THE CONGESTION CAN OH PLEASE DEAR GOD FINALLY BREAK? Yes, precious, yes I would.)

So disgustingly sick. Will return at a later date.

Like the president of Duke needs something else for people to laugh at him for

I mean, come on, his name is Brodhead, for lord's sake.

Seriously, though. The worst possible outcome of the Duke lacrosse rape case has come to pass:

DURHAM (WTVD) -- More than three dozen members of the 2006 Duke University men's lacrosse team and members of their families filed suit against Duke University, its President Richard Brodhead and other officials, Duke's medical center, and the City of Durham and city officials for emotional distress and other injuries in connection with false rape charges and a corrupt police investigation against team members in 2006. (more story here)
I'm frustrated, honestly, and I'm really sorry that this is happening. I went to a university where one did NOT mess with lacrosse. The students only cared about one sport (guess which one), the ROTC only drilled during the national anthem during one sport (c'mon, try harder) and the cheerleaders only cared about making it with one team (right, well, maybe not this cheerleader, but you know what I'm saying). Speaking of, did I ever show you this?

Heh. That's me, seven years and about a kajillion doughnuts ago.

Anyway. After graduation, I joined the adminstration of that university, albeit as a peon, and no one who made decisions like "Let's cancel the team's season because of this rape thing! Yeah!" But I still got to see some inner workings of the bureaucracy, and I know which side the school's bread is buttered on, so to speak in old-people-ese. And athletics is a big, big slab of that butter... especially lacrosse.

Lacrosse brings in money from ticket sales, merchandising, and concessions. Alumni who played, their wives who have to suffer through endless retellings of the 1965 championship or whatever, their kids who want to honor Dad's contribution to said championship season, even if he was the waterboy - these people give money, and lots of it. Cancelling an entire season - God, cancelling a single GAME - is a move that NO ONE at a major lacrosse institution wants to make. And now people are all pissy with Duke because that's what they had to do, cancel a season to protect themselves, the school, and even the team members who are now biting the hand that kept the big bad accuser away.

Of COURSE Duke had to investigate the accusations. Let's just use a little sense here - if someone accused your kid of rape, you'd want to know the truth, no matter how much it hurt and how vehemently you believed your kid's innocence. Of COURSE they worked with the police, even when the police investigation turned out to be seriously flawed. (And by "seriously flawed," I mean "this wouldn't even happen on the most ridiculous Law & Order ever, even the ones that start out with that 'the following is based on a true event, so it's totally ridiculous!' warning.") If the police came to your house and said, "Hey, your kid might be a rapist! Let's see what we can find out, shall we?" you'd go right along with their questions and their probing, if for no other reason than to prove that your kid didn't do it.

And of COURSE they cancelled the season.

People are saying that they did it to protect themselves, as if the provost and the president were somehow involved in the rape and wanted to save themselves from a DNA culture or something, and not letting the boys play their sport would break every cotton swab in the southeast. I wonder if those people ever stopped to think that the admins, in whatever way they could, were trying to protect THE BOYS. The story made Newsweek, every major network's evening broadcast, and who knows how many talk shows - did the men on the lacrosse team ever think that there were people all over the country who thought they did rape that girl? And those people live near other universities where lacrosse is played... and would likely show up at their games... and would begin by threatening them during visiting games and possibly end by hurting them in ways they can't imagine? What about the Duke students who went along to support the team at their away games - wouldn't the condemners go after them too, claiming that they were hiding rapists and supporting criminals?

Yes, it was a flawed investigation and a horrific story that I wouldn't wish on anyone, even the most Neanderthalish of jocks. Yes, those three boys who were actually indicted have had their lives flipped, trashed, and essentially ruined. However, I don't think they can blame Duke for acting in the way they thought would protect the majority of those involved, even on the periphery. And these 38 other team members, I have nothing to say about them. We all need someone to blame when things go horribly wrong, and I'm sure that having their season cancelled and the world's eyes on them (and consequently, the world's attention during their, shall we say, not-so-shining moments) was probably the least fun way to spend their college years.

But don't go after Duke. Why would a university exist if not for the good of its students? Why bother raising money, and growing a stellar reputation, and working incredibly long hours (okay, maybe that was just us peons) if the kids won't be all right? It was a volatile and confusing situation, and no one - except for the accuser, who created the whole mess, and those sneaky characters who wanted to gain from her messmaking - deserves to be condemned for being confused, and acting in the way they thought would protect those under their care.

Speech over. Now back to your regularly scheduled mommyblogging and discussion of really important things like throwing up, and the Backyardigans (you gotta love that neurotic little Pablo!)

Sunday night, our house: Frat boy edition

8:59 PM - Having put Norah to bed after a rare napless day, Rob and I are perched on the couch, eating mint chocolate chip ice cream and surfing the TV Guide channel.

9:00 PM - Rob gets sly, I-wanna-be-sneaky expression and reaches for the remote. Fearing an attempt at switching to Fox News, I lunge for same remote. Am defeated. The channel is changed to...

9:01 PM - NBC? Maybe L&O? Maybe this isn't so baaa---- ack ack ack. It's Knight Rider.

9:05 PM - Mysterious dangerous-looking fellows, including Stereotypical British Accent Guy (see National Treasure for reference), ravage scientific lab, where undoubtedly serious, globally-significant - and yet, unnamed - experiments are going on.

9:08 PM - First look at the new Kitt, and let me just tell you that those Carl's Jr. ads with Paris Hilton and the soapy car wash weren't as blatantly oversexed. Rob sees the hubcap and starts surreptitiously sweating.

9:09 PM - Kitt revs up and rolls out, after hefty CGI effects moment wherein bullets strike car and magically leave no marks. British Guy and other henchmannish guys growl and say threatening things as Kitt purrs off into the sun(rise? set? I'm not sure). Rob is no longer able to stand up.

9:11 PM - And look! The molecular scientist who is lecturing on some random and probably improbable molecular structure thingy is super extra hot! Now THERE'S a surprise!

9:15 PM - Scene cut, and Oh JESUS. Not only is the hot surfer a cop with a penchant for sunrise showers on the beach, she is also a lesbian with a hot naked blonde in her bed. AND she knows how to cock a pistol, badass-style. (Although, like Ms. Hot Molecular Scientist, she is rather small-breasted. I am surprised, since this movie is geared toward pubescent boys and also men who think like pubescent boys, and so wouldn't you think there would be boobies? Big ones? Rob, however, is not entirely concerned, as DIDN'T YOU SEE IT THAT HOT BLONDE GIRL IN THAT BED WAS SO NAKED RIGHT THERE!)

Side note: hot lesbian cop is apparently played by Sidney Poitier's daughter. Sir must be spittin' nails.

9:21 PM - I stop paying attention and start up computer, preparing to blog-bust Rob for having mislaid his brain, his maturity, and his desire to sleep somewhere other than the couch tonight.

9:27 PM - I look up Knight Rider in IMDB to see if the black guy is Delroy Lindo (he's not - I am relieved). The trivia section has only one fact: "Will Arnett was cast as the voice of KITT, but was replaced because he had done commercial voiceovers for General Motors and the show uses Ford cars, creating a conflict of interest." Although I'm sure I should know who Will Arnett is, I don't, and am surprised to see that they replaced him with Val Kilmer. Am confused - doesn't it kind of seem like, even though he's apparently gone native and moved to God-knows-where and gotten all fat and beardy, Val Kilmer should have been a first choice for a movie part? Poor Iceman.

9:29 PM - Random movie guy (I don't know who he is, I quit paying attention, remember?) listens to random movie girl talking about molecular scientist girl and how awesomely awesome she is at science. Guy responds with "But is she hot?" I throw up a little.

9:oh, the hell with it - I think I have to go to bed before I start growing peach fuzz and my voice cracks a la Peter Brady. See, I can't update my blog more often, because I'm busy watching crap fine films like this, and feeling my brain cells deplete.

Cheap-- I mean, carefully handmade! - baby present

Here's what I've been doing on the nights when Rob is out (when I'm not whining about Michelle Pfeiffer or how bored I am). He's on call every third night this month, which is probably good because I had time to get this done:

I did this for two reasons - one, because I needed to come up with a good baby present for Jasmine, who's having her third kidlet in a few weeks, and we're brokeish. I had all the material (Adrienne, remember, we bought it at that Joann's in Columbia to make Nono's nursery stuff?) so I just needed a few notions here and there, and ta-da, instant affordable present! And two, because people like Adrienne and MB make me all inspired to sew beautiful things like they do, and I needed to do a project that didn't involve glitter glue or kittycat stickers.

I tried to think of all the things I liked about my own diaper bag* (messenger style, elastic end pockets, flap top) and all the things I didn't (biggish, bulky) and put them in or leave them out of Jasmine's. Thanks to a somewhat modified Craftster tutorial, I got to put everything together the way I wanted it to be, and I think it came out fairly well.

Strap attachments and keyring buckle:

Inside, with a pink sweatshirt stuffed in to hold it open and show off that snazzy pocket:

I want to make more! Who else is having a baby?

Just me and Miss Baltimore Crab

Thing that is not fair: Rob's at a "liver rounds" meeting tonight. Liver rounds are also known as "several hours at a local bar, where they will be bitching and moaning about how hard their lives are, while drinking on the department's tab." I'm home, listening to Norah snore over the baby monitor. On the up side, though, Hairspray jumped off my Blockbuster queue and into my mailbox, so I'm doubly occupied with wondering exactly how Michelle Pfeiffer still looks like that at the tender age of Older Than Jesus, and playing Spot That Baltimore Landmark. (Patterson Park, I'm talking to you.)

Norah's cold is finally easing up, incidentally, and I think we owe it all to the miracle that is saline nasal spray. The pediatrician pushed it on us when Rob took her in on Wednesday, and our first attempt was nothing short of hellish. I had to hold her down with every limb of my body while Rob squeezed the bottle up her pert little nose, and then God help us all, poked an "apsirator" up there and sucked the nasty out. And now? Now she does it TO HERSELF. And she sleeps through the night again, without hacking up any major organs. Yee-haw.

I particularly appreciated the sleeping thing last night, after I stayed up into the wee hours playing Find 851, some online insanity that I discovered thanks to the Oceanic Air commercial aired during Eli Stone. (And by the way, ABC, don't think you fooled me with that "two hour premiere event" crap. I know a clip show when I see it, and that first hour of Lost was in fact a clip show, in all its Ben-narrated semi-glory. You're just lucky I forgot what happened last season, since last season was what, four years ago.) It's geeky, but it's definitely one of those things that can suck you in if you're not careful. Plus I'm totally impressed with the website - how many extras, how much production time and money, programming skills, props, scenery, went into this thing? Lost is clearly a cult, and I think I may be first in line for the Kool-Aid.

Seriously, how cute is Nikki Blonsky? And how much do I wish I could dance like that? Dang.