The dirt on high fructose corn syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup

HFCS: the evil sugar

Like most horror stories about environmental or nutritional bogeymen, I half-listen and just try to veer toward natural products and food–emphasis on “try” and, let’s be honest, not all that hard actually. It’s A LOT of work. But, when someone does all the work for me and presents a compelling and clear argument, I listen. Of course, I listen. I’m not willfully ignorant, just tired.

So, thanks to the folks at, for doing the legwork on high fructose corn syrup. I mean, we did switch our tonic to one that didn’t include hfcs, after all. See how committed to healthy living I am? Check this out:

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OTHER Outrage of the Week: Funeral for a Swing Set (via FreeRangeKids)

No, no, no. Come on!

OTHER Outrage of the Week: Funeral for a Swing Set Hi Readers — Those clever folks at KaBoom, the playground people, have created a “virtual funeral” for the swingsets of West Virginia’s Cabell County. The sets died an unnatural death, after a painful lawsuit brought by the parents of a boy who broke his arm jumping off a swing. In a response worthy of Greek tragedy, the county responded by murdering all its swings. They will be missed.  — L. Pictured here: A child in hideous danger. … Read More

via FreeRangeKids

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Yet another reason to play video games

Just figured out how I’m going to inspire the kids to take up a musical instrument. It turns out, Super Mario Brothers rocks on violin.


BUT…then I thought of PacMan, which I remember as having a really grating sound. Surely that wouldn’t hold up to musical interpretation on…say, the piano? But sure ‘nuf, it does! Check it out.

I’m already checking video games off my list of things to feel bad about. Thank you, Lord Internet. You are most awesome.

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Mad dog



Our dog, Django (pr. jang-o), is a 3 year-old yellow lab/ridgeback (or something) mix. He’s also an asshole. Today, he thought it would be fun to shove his way out the door as the kids were leaving for school and then sprint around the neighborhood for half an hour.

His favorite sport is to wait for me to get within 10 feet and then take off. Over and over and over. Funny stuff. Finally, a neighbor had to bring him home. Plus, he knows he was being a jerk. Look at him. He can’t even make eye contact.

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Today’s definition: Stranger

Stranger [streyn-jer],

Anyone you don’t know well enough to share a secret handshake with. Can be assumed to have evil intentions toward your child(ren). May attempt to engage in horrible acts with you or your loved ones, such as smile, talk, make fleeting eye contact, offer assistance, etc. All such actions should be met with suspicion, stiff body language, and icy stares. Strangers must be made to seem monstrous and scary at every opportunity.

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Onions are evil

Yesterday, while helping me with dinner, Vince was overcome with tearing in his eyes from the onions I was chopping. He complained briefly about the dreaded vegetable, then moved on to discussing garlic, which he apparently finds much less offensive. This is news to me, since I can count the number of vegetables (or other contaminants, in the form of any non-meat chunks) he will allow to pass his lips on zero hands. After, a thoughtful pause during his contemplation of onions and garlic, he concluded (and almost made me pee my pants):

Onions are like garlic’s mean friend.

Well put, my friend.

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Can parenting really be screamfree?

Just finished screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool by Hal Edward Runkel. The verdict? I was frustrated by some of the areas that felt a bit like Runkel was revving up to his main points and took a while to get there—a ruthless, er…talented, editor could have done him a great service.

BUT by the time I finished it, I felt like I’d really learned some things that would help with the scream-y, yell-y culture we’ve fallen into around here at Chez Kookamunga (as I write this, three of the kids are yelling at each other. I’m sure they’ll work it out, right?). Continue reading

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