Saturday, September 09, 2006

Searching For a Cure

Jim The Small Child Nephew harbors some very dangerous food allergies: peanuts, milk, eggs, everything fun. Like his godmother's OCD, it's not curable, only controllable. Everywhere he goes, a dose of Epinephrine we hope we never have to use tags along in a little red bag-- and even then, the shot will only buy us just enough time to rush him to the emergency room in the event of a reaction.

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network promotes awareness, emotional support, and information for families of those with severe food allergies. Recently it teamed up with GoodSearch, which, in conjunction with Yahoo!, will donate to FAAN every time the site is used.

So the next time you do an Internet search--such as I just conducted on my upcoming scientific study on whether or not there is some sort of federal mandate dictating that all quarterbacks must be hot-- please use GoodSearch, and enter FAAN in the "I'm Supporting" blank. It's a great way to help without, you know, actual effort, so go ahead... be awesome and make the site your homepage.

Thank you, The Readers. I appreciate it. So does Jim and his confused immune system. Maybe someday he'll be able to shove his face into a birthday cake not involving soy.

savor your research at:

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Will The Baby Nephew has a swing. It is an automatic one, with a mobile and a mirror and nature sounds and a tinkly lullaby function. You plop him in, and turn it on, and many minutes later he'll still be quite happily rocking out, a human metronome that pees itself every couple hours.

Jim The Small Child Nephew
enjoys the swing perhaps even more than his brother does. Before Will arrived, you may recall, he would plop Naked Baby into the seat and shove it into a near 180-degree arc, yelling, "Wheeee!" Now that an actual baby rests there, he likes to point and update us on Will's activities. "Baby wheeee," he announces.

The swing has about ten speed settings. I've only been witness to the first two. The first is Barely Moving, but the second is Nuclear-Powered Slingshot, which Will seems to enjoy between the spewing.

Every now and then he hangs out in this weird lounge chair that has a seat belt. A seat belt. For a chair. That's not going anywhere. So now we're not only ratcheting our babies into car seats like NASCAR drivers about to motor into a deep sea diving expedition, we also buckle them in for the highly dangerous sport of... lying there. I predict in-utero saftey harnesses by the time Will hits preschool.

Will was swinging when I first met him. I crouched down and swayed along; "I am your aunt," I said as he passed back and forth before me. He was not impressed.

I do not have a mobile and a mirror and nature sounds and a tinkly lullaby function, but the next time he cried, I scooped him up and slung him back and forth. Jim ran for Naked Baby and held him in a similar posture. "Baby wheeee! Goooo, baby!" he said, swinging his doll the way I rocked his brother. My arms began to ache as Will dropped to sleep, but I held him anyway, watching his brother spin, the four of us moving together.

go baby at:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Teachable Moment

I apologize to those of you who may have had problems accessing the site yesterday, but I received a humbling amount of traffic from the article on Steve Irwin and the server had trouble finding enough seats at the table.

The Croc Hunter enjoyed teaching people, so this week I put his picture on the screen of my classroom wall and remarked on what an excellent communicator he was. What made him a good communicator, class?

The conversation went about the same in all five sections:

STUDENT: He talked funny!
ME: Okay, that's called an Australian accent. Anybody else?
STUDENT: He said "Crikey!" a lot!
ME: Yes... yes, he certainly did. But let's look a bit broader. What made people want to listen to what Steve Irwin had to say?
STUDENT: He had steel balls!

Eventually, though, usually from the back, a hand would inch into the air, followed by a tentative "He... he liked what he did?"

That's a good part of it.

make your passion your profession at:

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Welcome readers

If you're new to BlondeChampagne, I'm so sorry we had to meet under these circumstances.

But I'm glad you're here.

UPDATE Have a look at the current MSNBC figures on the article. This is astounding:

-First in "Most Viewed'
-Second in "Top Rated"
-First in "Most Emailed"

My writing accounts for maybe .000000001% of the credit for this phenomenon. It's not about me and my words; articles concerning the Croc Hunter have had shown these numbers all weekend. It's about the tremendous outpouring of emotion for Steve Irwin. I think what many of us are feeling is surprising even ourselves.

Many thanks to all of you for clicking your way here. I am blessed to be a small part of remembering this remarkable man.

hoisting a shiraz toast to stevo at:

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crocodiles Rocked

I was awake when the news broke: The Croc Hunter is dead. It was a stingray barb--entirely fittingly--directly into his heart.

This sucks. I'm honestly upset here. In my tech writing class, when I lecture on job-hunting skills, I single him out as someone who truly made his passion his work.

Moral of the story? If flinging yourself on top of sharp-teethed, angry reptiles is what makes you happy in life, go and God bless. You just might make a difference while doing so.

crikey at:

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