Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When Your Toddler is Sick: Pros and Cons

 Guys, having a sick toddler is horrible, for a multitude of reasons:

His last major illness ... guess what the towel is for.

1. It's sad that he's so sad and uncomfortable (motherly sympathy).

2. Cranky toddler=the marathon of motherhood. A marathon where the path is littered with broken glass and puddles of bodily fluids.

3. Despite my tv-free philosophy, I have resorted to the one Disney movie I own in an attempt to distract Graham from his pain. We have watched The Little Mermaid seven eight times at this writing. I can only hope he isn't picking up all the cringe-worthy messages that movie forces upon young minds. I was going to give a few examples of those horrible messages but I can't stop at just a few so I'll let you guess why I hate it (disclaimer: I do know all the song lyrics and love the chef/crab fight scene). Flotsam! Jetsam! (Most recent thought on this movie: If Ariel is okay with interspecies romances, why doesn't she give Flounder a chance?)

"And when I grow up am sixteen I'm going to abandon my people; embark on a wordless, witchcraft-fueled romance; jeopardize the safety of the sea kingdom; and get married! What about you, Flounder? What are your dreams?"

But there is a silver lining to this saliva- and tear-covered cloud:

1. Cuddly toddlers are great. If only their breath didn't smell so bad ... curse you, gingivostomatitis.

2. An excuse to rediscover the glory of Sesame Street via sesamestreet.org videos. Though I have noticed that a lot of the song lyrics are not so clever. And the celebrity guests are awkwardly enthusiastic. And I hate a lot of the new age-y muppets (who is this little fairy tart, Abby??) And why did they get rid of the awesome, animated, talking ball of clay? 


3. While at the grocery store stocking up on ice cream, apple juice, and yogurt, you can stop by the sushi counter and get yourself a freshly-made spicy California roll guilt-free--because you've been dealing with a sick baby for five days--you deserve it! You can also get yourself a three-pack of your favorite Burt's Bee's lip stuff because, hello, it was three for the price of two and you know your husband wouldn't realize that this is a perfect stocking stuffer.

4. When your baby rejects the chocolate milkshake you made him, you get to eat it. Because: Hey! Unclaimed milkshake! Jackpot.

5. If you ask your husband to pick pizza up on his way home from work because heaven knows you aren't making dinner, he'll probably want some chocolate dunkers to go with it ...

Hershey's + Pizza Hut bread sticks = sickly delicious.

Ok, so most of the benefits are food-related. Give me a break, I'm pregnant. But seriously, what kid turns down a milkshake?? What have I raised?
  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When Church is Awkward

Church is great, but people go to church, so sometimes church is awkward.

[source]

1. When the person next to me in class starts crying. I usually don't know why. Sometimes it's not even during a particularly emotional part of the lesson. In fact, it's in the first three minutes of the lesson and the teacher is still in the middle of a telling a funny story about her kids. This has happened to me surprisingly often--probably a sign that I haven't learned the proper response yet. Usually I don't know the person that well, so I just freeze, wondering if the person on the opposite side will know what to do. I'm not a touchy person, so I am loathe to give unsolicited hugs or arm pats or other awkward displays of sympathy ... and it's the middle of class so I can't just say, "Yeah, life is crap sometimes, do you want to go check the kitchen fridge for leftover ice cream and talk about it?" And what if they aren't even sad? What if they just saw an angel? Should I just force my arm to do the pat? Offer a baby wipe from my bag? Start crying myself? Ok, I'm going for the awkward pat.

I'm in the process of defusing my reluctant hand from my lap when the poor woman gets up and exits the room, leaving my stiff, palsied-looking hand poised the grope her now-absent shoulder. Should I follow her? Should I just stay in my seat while others judge me for not doing more to comfort her? Ahhhh, now I need an arm pat.

2.When someone shares false doctrine. We've all witnessed it. That dear brother in the ward starts talking about how he's sure his neighbor was one of the three Nephites because he saw a curelom in his backyard once (and I know this isn't true because all of the three Nephites were my neighbors in Boise). The room lingers in silence for a period before the poor teacher ends up giving a shaky-awkward "thanks for your comment."

Curellama? [source]

3. Sick/sobbing kids in nursery. Thankfully my day of reckoning hasn't come and I've never been a nursery leader. But now that my cherub is in nursery, I see that kid-provoked awkwardness can be even messier than the adult variety. Sick kids end up in nursery--this is the truth. Parents should know better, but sometimes we really want two snot-free hours so we foist our goo-caked children into the ward petri dish that is nursery. The nursery leaders are the gate keepers to that petri dish and are tasked with the awkwardness of turning sick kids away. When this happens the parent has a few response options: 1) acknowledge that, yes, they were trying to sneak the little snotty in to infect the rest of the children, and dang it, they got caught, 2) feign ignorance ("Oh? That hacking cough must have developed in the last ten minutes!"), or 3) argue that the kid isn't sick, that the green pus coming from his nostrils is "allergies." All of these options are awkward.

Then there's the separation-anxiety child who clings to his mother's leg like a limpet until she extricates herself and flees to the hallway, leaving him screaming in the midst of the other children, who quickly become upset themselves because there is a banshee in their midst. The banshee will not be soothed, he will not be coddled. No amount of goldfish crackers will appease his need for mother. "But how will he ever learn if I just stay in there with him every time?" the mother says. "But what about the frayed nervous systems of the other children?" the nursery leader pleads. What to do, what to do ... thank goodness I'm not a nursery leader.

A limpet: powerful suction, very slimy, close cousin of the toddler. [source]

4. When someone contradicts me during my lesson. I teach Relief Society once a month, and I love it. This last Sunday, the lesson was on forgiveness. We got onto the topic of emotions ... specifically anger. Without writing an essay on the topic, I think that anger isn't always sinful because there are several examples of the Lord referencing his anger in the scriptures. I'll concede that most of us may not be capable of a perfectly righteous anger and should therefore avoid anger in any form, but I won't say that all anger is always a sin, which was this sister's perspective. Anyway, this sister is the type who knows her stuff, always makes great comments, etc.... so it was disconcerting to be called out in the middle of our discussion. But I disagreed, and I said so, though in a vague-ish-can't-start-debating-anyone-in-Relief-Society-way. But then I felt awkward, and the lesson moved on and later there was a quote about angry feelings being bad ... so I awkwardly referenced the previous disagreement and said I should do more research on anger ... awkward. But then I came home and researched it more and found plenty of support for my theory of the existence of "righteous anger." So I don't feel so awkward now knowing I was at least a little right. But so was she in many contexts. As sisters in Zion!

Even though it's awkward sometimes, you should still go to church. Even if only to hit sacrament meeting then drop your sick kid off at nursery so you can catch a matinee. Just kidding!

What's your most awkward church experience? Was your righteous anger kindled?

Angry Moses about to break some dishes.
 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Poodle Reviews Movie Magic Powers

First off, to explain my lack of blogging ... I blame a horrid thing called "the first trimester." Yes, if you didn't know already, we are expecting child #2 in the middle of next May. Great news, but a sucky prognosis in terms of my ability to eat. While I think I'm starting to feel a better (unlike last time, which was 9 months of Zofran-tamed YUCK), the last few months still tormented my life with nausea, exhaustion, and an unwelcome apathy that crushed my desire to blog, buy healthy food, or do laundry (sorry, Nate!).

So to all those pregnant moms who are crossing their fingers that an actual, potentially-cute baby (sorry, but some babies are funny looking=truth) will result from all the months of puke and sweat pants, I testify that it might, as I've only done it once before. And I salute you. Now go buy some gummy vitamins so you can stop puking while trying to swallow those cardboard-flavored horse pills.

Ok, back to blogging:

I love movies that have any element of magic/super powers. I like some supernatural abilities more than others. Below, I catalog the powers I'd like most from some random movies I love or have seen recently.


Harry Potter: Honestly, the spell I wish I could use the most often is "accio," the summoning charm. I mutter it under my breath more frequently than I'd like to admit. Does this reveal my laziness or lack of imagination? I mean, "avada kedavra" is powerful and all, but "accio" just seems like it would handle more of my day-to-day problems, like getting off the couch to grab my computer or having to walk to the fridge for a Jell-o pudding cup.

YES

X-Men: telekinesis ... so basically "accio" again, but with more direction.


Accio garbage truck!

Batman: Yeah, yeah, technically he has no super powers ... except for money (counts in my book). But the power of Batman's that I wish for the most is the awesome soundtrack to his life. Hans Zimmer--please come compose my score. I just saw the third Batman ... it is now my favorite movie, half because of the awesomeness of the music. Awesome Batman + awesome music = Celestial Kingdom in a non-blasphemous way.

Oh, Hans, you sly devil!

Snow White and the Huntsman: Disclaimer: I knew going into this movie that there would be serious flaws, because in any production where the person making decisions thinks that in any universe Kristen Homewrecker Stewart could be fairer than Charlize Theron ... there's going to be a lot of other problems. And there were. Most of them were connected to Snow White's perma-grimace, which perhaps had something to do with how fifteen years of her life were spent in near-solitary confinement--her only behavior during that time depicted as reciting the Lord's prayer while fiddling with two little voodoo-looking doll characters I'm sure meant to represent her dead parents ... which would have been great if the religious theme was referenced in any way throughout the rest of the movie. But it wasn't, so I would have rather seen some Batman-esque prison workouts to the tune of "when (not if) I break out of here I'm going to rip Charlize Theron's gorgeous head off to atone my lustful father who was dumb enough to have a one-day engagement to a crazy lady he found in the back of a cart" (insert montage of pull-ups, push-ups, the like). Except in the end there was no ripping off of heads ... this movie had the most anticlimactic villain death scene ever. I kept waiting for the evil queen to revive so Snow White could really do the job ... but she didn't. But what I am I talking about? The super power I want from this movie: the ability to charm magical white reindeer, because really that's all she had going for her. Or else I would want the Huntsman's axe skills ... or else Charlize's milk bath.

"Will you help me conquer the queen??" "Not really, but I've got branches for antlers so that's cool."
 
What movie magic/super power do you want most?
  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

MasterChefMomNinjaHostessIdolWife Wars

I watch this great cooking competition show called MasterChef. Unfortunately, the couple of times I've fangirled in public about it, no one knows what I'm talking about. It's kind of a mix between Chopped/Hell's Kitchen/Iron Chef. It's an amateur/home cook competition, which I like because there isn't nearly as much melodrama as other reality shows because these are just regular people who love to cook (of course there are a few dorks included but they never win). And the dishes are more accessible to someone like me, whose favorite dessert list includes a home-invented concoction of pudding from a box over cheap ice cream. I feel like I can relate to the regular joe contestants ... at least until the last few episodes when the carefully braised and seasoned wheat emerges from the freezer-aisle chaff and they start making jello with vegetables in it and not in a "get your kids to eat veggies" way. Gross.

Screen shot from the last episode ... notice the travesty that is carrot and asparagus jello.

Then today, as I was trying to prepare lunch for my sick, screaming, snotty child, I had a brilliant idea for a new reality cooking show: MasterChefMomNinjaHostessIdolWife Wars.

Here's the premise:

Contestants are faced with challenges typical of cooking competitions ... BUT then you add children to the mix! They have to make a culinary masterpiece for the judges while a grundle of toddlers clings to their legs, begging to be picked up. To add some variety, there could be different "types" of children assigned to each contestant at random. Also, the "motive" of the dish could be variable, ie "dinner party," "romantic dinner," "dessert for a vegan," etc.

Mad little sous chef.

So you could get paired up with a helpful yet overzealous ADHD eight-year-old and be tasked with preparing a sushi platter, or you could get stuck with the surly, emo teenaged boy who actually has a deeply-secreted passion for food, and you bond over your shared love and he blossoms under your tutelage as you work together in culinary harmony to compose the most moving chili trio the judges have ever tasted. He goes on to own his own restaurant and names a mocktail after you.

"High-maintenance toddler" and "breakfast for a queen"

I would watch this show. It would be a true feat of multitasking, especially for those unlucky enough to pull "18-month-old twins with separation anxiety" and "venison risotto" from the hat.


Friday, August 31, 2012

The Ward Volleyball Roster: A Moral Dilemma

Instead of watching Romney's convention speech last night, I went to ward volleyball. I slammed a few spoonfuls of chocolate pudding before I left, counting on the sugar to fill in the gaps of the super healthy homemade chicken noodle soup I had for dinner.

Pudding!!!

I am competitive. This isn't a new insight ... but I think I'd fooled myself into thinking that motherhood had mellowed me somewhat, making me immune to the seductive allure of being the best. Because how can I be the best when I'm wearing a cotton-poly t-shirt crusted in hummus? And motherhood isn't a competition blah blah blah mommy wars blah blah breastfeeding blah blah gifted child blah blah organic.

But do you know what is a competition? WARD VOLLEYBALL. And I'm not that great at it. I played a little in middle school, and my family always had a net up in the backyard in summer, but I'm untrained in the ninja arts of spiking, setting, and blocking. I'm a good bumper and I serve really well, but tactically I'm about as useful as a jar of peanut butter on the court. Despite my lack of legitimate skills, I still want to win. I'd like to think I'm scrappy and athletic. I don't want the weak sauce girls on my team. I grimace when someone swats at the ball with both hands like a deranged river otter. I mourn the neglectful parents who failed to provide an opportunity for their now-grown daughters to develop gross motor skills.

This may come as a surprise to you, but I cannot, in fact, play volleyball.

I started to wonder about the purpose of Relief Society volleyball. If it's about sisterhood and fellowshipping, then the game just got a lot less fun. But if it's about providing an outlet for all our latent stay at home mother rage, then sign me up.

(Sidenote: I hate when kids try to join adult volleyball games at parties/picnics/the like. It ruins the game. They can't serve, they can't bump, and they cry when the Amazon on the other team spikes the ball into their jello-covered face. I'm all for letting the kids squirrel around with the ball and net while everybody else is eating their burgers and potato salad, but come game time, they better be gone. Parents, take note, and get your spawn off the court.)

The stake tournament is in a week in a half. Word is that our rival, the Sugar Land ward, practices year-round and stacks one of their teams.

I was waiting to rotate in last night when the girl in charge of setting up our ward's team beckoned me over. Let's call her June, for confidentiality's sake.

"I've got a question ..." She takes a seat on an empty chair dolly.

Like this.

"Yeah?" I say.

She looks around clandestinely. "Sit down. Let's powwow."

"Ok." I'm excited to be invited to the inner circle ...

"So there's this thing with the Sugar Land ward ... they stack their teams."

"They put all their best players on one team?" I wonder. We have enough girls signed up to make two teams ... I'm watching the cogs turning in June's mind.

"Yeah! So I'm wondering if we should do the same ... but I don't know how we could do it ...."

I think of the potential for hurt feelings. "That could be tricky ..." I'm sure some of the girls on our team think they're better than they are and wouldn't like getting stuck on the crap team. What if I'm one of them?!?!

I cannot do this.

Fast forward an hour later into practice. We're scrimmaging the girls from the singles ward and we're floundering. My petty consolation feeling is that at least we have husbands --ha! Then I notice they're all svelte and childless and full of giggly energy because their Thursday night consists of flirting at institute while mine involved making crappy soup and wrangling my toddler into bed. So whatever, we're even. But our teams aren't ...

I catch June's eye. "Yeah, I definitely think we should have an A team and a B team."

June nods. "That's what I was thinking."

Then I wonder again if I'd be "A" or "B" material. Probably A- ... at least I hope so. Because being on the B team would most assuredly mean quick and embarrassing defeat at the stake tourney. And if that happened to me I'd be ticked because the stake center is over a 30-min drive away, and I don't want to road trip to Loserville.

Should we stack one of our teams to have a chance against Sugar Land? Or should we just "play for fun"? Katie, what do you think?
 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Freedom Chowder: Bacon, Potatoes, Corn

I have this theory that if I could get Fidel Castro,  Hugo Ch├ívez,and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over to my place for dinner, I could convert them to democracy by feeding them an awesome American meal. I've already decided on the side and dessert (red pretzel jello and cinnamon rolls, respectively, recipes forthcoming), and today I think I finally settled on the soup course.

It looks like this. I thought this photo was classier than one I would have taken of the leftovers in a Tupperware in my fridge.

This recipe comes from my good friend Rebecca Walsman. She had us over for dinner a little over a year ago, and she served us this. Then she gave me a bunch of baby stuff, including the bouncy chair that would allow me to shower for the following months.

This chowder is just danged good. It's best with bread of some kind.

Freedom Chowder
(or Potato Bacon Chowder if you're not hosting a peace summit at your Ikea dining table)

- 1/2 lb bacon, chopped (Ahmadinejad can pick out the bacon)
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 2 heaping cups cubed potatoes (I didn't peel my potatoes and it was still delish)
- 1+ cup water
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 and 3/4 cup of milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup of frozen corn

Fry bacon in large saucepan until crisp.  Add chopped onions.  Saute for 2-3 minutes.  Drain off excess fat.  Add potatoes and water.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer 10-15 min, until potatoes are tender.  Stir in soup and sour cream.  Gradually add milk, salt, pepper and then corn.  Heat to serving temperature.  Makes about 8 cups.
 

I'm still searching for the perfect appetizer, salad, main course, and drinks for my Freedom Dinner Party.

Hey, Katie, what would you serve the axis of evil?
 

On San Pellegrino and Soybeans

I'm sorry, world, but there will never come a time when I can drink sparkling mineral water without feeling ironic in my poserism. Do you know when I drink sparkling water? When I accidentally push the soda lever instead of the water lever at Smashburger. It's disgusting.


I know I'm not posh, and my lack of taste for sparkling water reveals this. My version of classy water comes from my PUR filter pitcher, gently cooled by ice from my automatic maker (I was a tray cube girl until moving into this house--I'm moving up in the world).

Yes, please.

Forgive me if I don't want to pay $2 for 750 ml (too good for ounces, I see) of San Pellegrino. Those two bucks can get me so many other more-awesome things like 1) a week of Netflix, 2) a 2L of A&W--a beverage for real people, 3) 57% of a Sprinkles cupcake (ack! So expensive ... at least a Sprinkles cupcake is a delicious overpriced food item), or 4) a new song from iTunes. Or maybe I could gag down a glass of fizzy water and set my $2 bill on fire.

If I washed my hair with this would my curls come back?

Speaking of posh food ... I had edamame for the first time this weekend. I was at a get-together with some ladies from church, and there was a little buffet of food on the kitchen island. There were cookies, brownies, watermelon, and two bowls of what looked like withered, hairy green beans. I avoided the beans because they scared me.

Goo. (source)

I ate my cookies and brownies, eying the mutant beans with suspicion. Then I mustered enough courage to try them. I took a few from one of the bowls. First I tested one with my teeth, expecting the crisp snap like when you bite into a pea pod. Instead it was like biting a hairy piece of leather. I abandoned that idea, and then inspected the interior of the pod, wondering if I was just supposed to eat the peas or whatever they were from inside. It was empty. Awkward. Who serves defective beans? And in two bowls? ................ Then I realized I'd chosen my beans from the "discard bowl" where empty pods had been thrown. Edamame fail.

So I discretely took some non-empty pods from the other bowl, snapping them open to find green, plump little beans. They were delicious.

Kimber: What are these?

Other guest: Edamame.

Kimber: Ooooh, soybeans, right?

Other guest: Well, yeah, but not really. They're edamame.

Because soybeans are symbols of Frankenstein agriculture, emasculating phytoestrogens, and culinary weirdness, we call it edamame instead of what it is: boiled soybeans. It's pronounced Ed-uh-mom-ay, in case you're like me and thought it was Ed-uh-mame for a while ... ahem. Apparently it means "twig bean" in Japanese.

Say edamame. Doesn't it sound cool? Pretty much all Japanese words sound cool, because you're pretty much speaking ninja. Except guess what the Japanese word for chocolate cake is? Chokoreto cakey (listen to it here). They just Japanified the English word. Love it. Love edamame. Hate sparkling water.

When they start corking root beer, I'm buying this little "Hootch Owl." Cutest thing ever.
What yuppy food do you hate? What do you buy at Walmart instead?
 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bugs in Houston, Episode 1: Drug Mule Mosquitoes and the Spider that Eats Them

When we made the decision to move to Houston, I knew there would be some bugs involved. Mosquitoes outside, cockroaches inside (despite my most fervent housekeeping efforts ... ha!), and cute little jumping spiders on my window sills, the gargoyles of our seventy-year-old keep.

Woah (source)

Those jumping spiders are the border patrol. They kill anything that gets in and anything that tries to get out. This makes me feel better about the stupid mosquitoes that somehow get inside and then wait until nighttime to lurk into my bedroom and bite my legs while I sleep (I keep a tube of cortisone by my bed because this happens so often), because I know that, after harvesting my blood, those mosquitoes are going to want to get outside to lay their spawn in the rain-filled seat of the camp chair on my front porch.


Mosquito nursery.

I know those mosquitoes are going to encounter the enchanting mirage of my front window and spend the rest of the night buzzing over the windowpanes, looking for a way out. But the search will be futile, and come morning, their little wings will be weak, their beady little head will be sore from smashing against the window all night like the ball of a paddle toy, and the unsuspecting mosquito will settle onto the window sill to rest, racking it's little brain (yes, mosquitoes have brains! Thank you, Google) trying to figure out why it can see outside but not be outside (didn't say it was a big brain).

While the mosquito works through this existential dilemma, my little guard spider, the panther of the Arachnida, lurks across the window sill, watching, waiting. He sees the mosquito's tight, ruby-colored abdomen, proof this perp is trying to transport stolen goods across the border. He makes a note in his little spider detective notebook, deducing that the goods were probably acquired during an assault.

Here he is! He took some time off from his patrols for a little photo shoot.

Then our little hero lets some venom drip from his little fangs while he calculates the trajectory necessary to apprehend the smuggler. He hums Bob Marley's "Bad Boys" to psych himself up. Then he launches himself across the expanse, his heart filled with adrenaline and the glory of justice, and he lands as any raptor would, sinking his whetted fangs into the mosquito's thorax. The mosquito experiences enough pain for justice to be appeased, and then the border patrol spider injects a lethal dose of rapid-acting venom, mercifully ending the mosquito's sad life of violence, theft, and bootlegging. Mosquitoes cannot be rehabilitated.


Does it bother me that my border patrol agent spider acts as judge, jury, and executioner? That he's a bit of a vigilante? That even a ladybug in need of directions would merit his wrath? Not in the slightest. I let him live on my windowsill, and in return he destroys anything with an exoskeleton that passes his way. Maybe that ladybug should get a GPS.
  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Social Strategems

How to sound like ...

1 ... someone brilliant: Declare things "brilliant." Because to be able to identify brilliance, you must know what that is, and to know what brilliance is, you must possess it, right? Just try it. You'll even fool yourself. It's a brilliant idea.

2 ... someone artistically-minded: Declare things "stunning." Same reason as above. You'll feel hip and invested in culture. It's hard to contradict someone who calls  something "stunning" without feeling like a complete Philistine, even if that something is an empty light mayonnaise container glued to a piece of plywood. Dibs on that idea, btw. It's okay to sound deep even if you aren't.

This is what I imagine when I want to have stunning nightmares.

3 ... a good parent: In public, loudly ask your bratty-acting kid, "What is with you today?" By emphasizing the "today," you imply that on all other days, your sticky little likes-to-fart-on-girls cherub is usually reading Homer, meditating, or cultivating his hydroponic garden.

What is with you today, Graham? Oh wait, you're this flipping cute every day. This is just the day your mother failed at making homemade finger paint, instead concocting some sick clumpy gel for you to smear around. What a sport.

4 ... you care about the environment: Name-drop "organic" like it's your best friend's husband's famous cousin. While you'll be deliberately using the vocab in casual conversation, you're communicating that the organic vs. conventional choice is completely automatic for you. Of course you used organic heirloom (bonus granola points for this) tomatoes for your caprese salad.

I like how they say it's a "market." So earthy that way.

5 ... you're not judging: Use the phrase "just not my style" when you're actually thinking "omHeck, what a horrible mother/driver/Mormon/non-organic baker/Klingon you are!" Yes, this phrase condones a certain level of relativism, which in some cases is not okay. Ex: Oh, you water board your child when he raids your chocolate chip stash? Good for you, but that's just not my style! Child abuse aside, this phrase communicates disagreement without attacking another's right to be an idiot. There are a lot of things that don't matter, or shouldn't matter. Or they really do matter and tick us off but the circumstances aren't right to verbalize our judgments. This is also a great phrase to use when people give crap advice. Because choices are like caftans; more often than not, somebody else's is just not my style.

Oi.
Good luck finding the organic cotton caftan of your dreams.