Me blog pretty (and a bonus)

By Mir
March 31, 2008

I did my second stint as a guest speaker in a journalism class this morning, and I am once again reminded that there is no greater privilege than shaping young minds.

Wait, what? Geez, I’m sorry. Sometimes when I haven’t had enough coffee, a large LOAD OF CRAP falls out of my mouth (fingers). It sounded nice, though, didn’t it?

Oh, I love college students. LOVE THEM! I do. Except for how they’re so young and I feel like a senior citizen when I’m around them. And how they come to a 9:00 lecture and take a nap in the back of the auditorium.

Yes, I saw you. And you, too. I know it’s Monday, but there’s this awesome thing I encourage you all to check out—it’s called SLEEPING. In your BED, at NIGHTTIME. Try it, you might like it!

Here’s the thing about these sorts of appearances, for me: I always feel a little bit like they’ve got the wrong person. I mean, I get introduced as a professional and an expert and I’m always sort of standing there thinking, “Wait, what was I supposed to be talking about? I wonder if my hair got all puffy on the walk over here. Is my fly zipped?” It just seems like I should FEEL more professional than I actually do.

Furthermore, I sort of feel like Methuselah, standing there talking about blogging as “new media” to kids who can text entire novels over their cell phones before I can even remember how to turn mine on.

Oh well. Most of them pretended to pay attention, and a few of them asked intelligent questions, and no one burst into flame or snored loudly, so we’re going to call it good. At the very least, we are going to call it OVER, and now there are only fifty-nine pressing public appearances I have to make this week, left. (Oh, fine. THREE. But it FEELS like more.)

A small part of me very much wants to come to one of these things in my pajamas. You know, just to be all truthy and what not. And also because I am five.

[Digression, except not really: Otto helped me make some slides last night, and he made a title slide for me that says “Mir Kamin: Blogger For Hire” and I told him I was going to need a fedora, a trench coat, and some fishnets to go with it. He did not find this nearly as amusing as I did. Because I found it VERY AMUSING.]

[Also: Dear Georgia, ENOUGH WITH THE HUMIDITY, have you not HEARD of the DROUGHT? Back it up, bitch. Love, Mir’s Hair.]

* * * * *

I meant to include this on my last post, but I guess I saw something shiny and got distracted, but it all worked out because Hey! I don’t have anything else to say about this morning, so I’ll put it here.

Earlier this week we were driving home from somewhere with the kids, and as we drove down the main drag we passed a building claiming to be the “Happy Spa” where the descriptor “ramshackle” would be generous and the windows are all soaped to block a view from the outside in.

Me: Is the Happy Spa still open?
Otto: I think so, why?
Me: Because it just looks… you know… like the sort of place that isn’t a spa, but is a “SPA.” Where you go to get “HAPPY.”
Otto: Well, yeah, I’m sure it is.
Chickadee: What do you mean, Mama? What do you mean, not a spa but a “SPA?”
Me: Nevermind.
Chickadee: Tell me!
Me: Ummmmm… well… there are places that use being a spa as a front for something else.
Chickadee: Like what?
Me: *at this point I was looking to Otto for help, and he was staring straight ahead at the road, a determined “you got yourself into this and I am not involved” look on his face* Uhhhhhh, well, OTHER things. Things that men like, mostly, that maybe they shouldn’t be paying people for. Special massages, and stuff.
Chickadee: I don’t get it.
Me: That’s okay.

He was so triumphant in his exclamation, we all turned to look at him. He had a sly little smile and you know, nothing gets past this kid, so I didn’t doubt that he might have figured it out.

Me: Really? You do?
Monkey: Yes! I do!
Chickadee: TELL ME!
Monkey: Can I tell her?
Me: Uhh, sure, go ahead.
Monkey: They do things like put hair gel IN-BETWEEN THEIR TOES!

Yes. That’s what they’re doing at the Happy Spa. Putting hair gel between their toes like the PERVERTS THEY ARE.


  1. Stephanie

    I know what you mean about feeling old. Oy!!
    Gel between the toes. Ha-ha! I’d go there.

  2. Megan

    I’ve given blog lectures but mostly to really intense and serious English major types who sit around in graduate seminars and discuss changing the world with truly meaningful haikus and stuff. Best moment was when I started flashing through a whole selection of “type” blogs and came to the sex blog one at which point one little rabbit burst out, “but that’s the template I’m using on MY blog project!” I’m pretty sure she had to go out and wash her hands. And then change her blog template.

    Oh, and one of our stranger family sayings is, “yoghurt between my toes,” said in a dreamy, contented sort of way. It’s a long, long story.

  3. becky

    hahaha! that monkey is so funny.

    and also, i love working around college students, too. most of the time. except when they’re on my porch. damn kids!

  4. juliness

    Thanks for a great Monday morning laugh!!

    BTW, that kid that fell asleep? Probably jaywalks in front of cars too.

  5. liz

    You know the reason your hair’s frizzy, right? Not because of the humidity, but because Monkey’s been stealing your hair gel and putting it between his toes. You just WAIT for a call from the teacher on that one.

    Teach McTeacher: Mrs Otto? No, nothing’s wrong exactly. I just wanted to let you know that Monkey’s toes, well, they’re slimy. He took his shoes off to show everyone. Apparently he’s got a fetish? It involves toes and gel? I have to admit, that’s a new one on me.

  6. Sue

    I just laughed a WHOLE! BUNCH! of belly laughs! Thanks! (And sorry about your hair. Again.)

    You reminded me that we drove by a hair salon recently and my 7-year old said “Hey mom, that store back there does hair, nails AND gets the wax out of your ears.” I’m glad it’s wasn’t one of those non-spas… Monkey handled that really well. Gotta love that kid for getting you off the hook!

  7. Zuska

    I totally love Monkey, even if he IS going to grow up to be someone who goes to Happy Spas and demands that people kiss in front of him while others put hair gel between his toes. He’s A-OK in my book!

    And thank you for reminding me to avoid the phone calls of a professor who has been after me to guest lecture this semester. Not sure I really want to do it!

  8. Chris

    I hear you – every day, as I struggle to figure out what to wear to school, I ask my husband “Why can’t I just go in my jammies? Half of my students do.”

  9. Lori

    Don’t ‘cha know that the reason the kid fell asleep in class is because class is quieter than listening to his roommate having hair gel put between his toes in the next room all night long?
    (run on sentence much?)

  10. SoMo

    This may give the total wrong impression of us, but oh well. My husband has ATMs in these type of establishments, because hey when guys think I want some happy they forget the cash and we get a huge surcharge. You know a convience fee. LOL!! Anyway, one of these places has models in the name. Hubby had to take pictures of his machines and when he came into this place with a camera the owner went crazy. “You no bring cameras in here!!” Hubby was cool about it and just told the guy he was there to take pictures of the models. Owner not happy, but we got the picture of the machine we needed.

    You may want to keep your little Monkey away from New Orleans, we have tons of places where they will put gel between your toes and whatever else you are in to.

  11. Mom24

    He is too precious. What a great story. I’m sure he will greatly appreciate having it recorded here for posterity in about 10 years too! Happy 3 more appearances.

  12. Flea

    You were disappointed that no one burst into flames? You’re not REALLY a five year boy, are you? Now I’m disappointed.

  13. EasyDiverChris

    I had a similar experience as a youngster. My parents were having the same kind of discussion in the front seat about a popular song of the day involving a green door – and what’s behind it. I piped up to say I knew what was behind the green door: A Vice Nest.

    They hooted and carried on as though I’d said something very funny. I didn’t understand wny because I’d heard that same phrase on the news earlier in the week and decided it was some secret, naughty kinda place. Didn’t it fit? Was I right? I never found out.


  14. Damsel

    I burst out laughing at that last bit! Good thing my classroom is empty.

    Thanks for sharing!

  15. donna

    The first question my friend’s boyfriends asked when she told him about me and my career, he asked if I gave ‘happy endings’. She always laughed at him, because forever after that, when she talked about me, he would interrupt for confirmation:
    “the massage therapist who doesn’t give happy endings?”

    I know some who would be insulted, but I thought it was funny. I may be professional and don’t give happy endings, but I’m not uptight!

  16. Leandra

    Also, Georgia? What’s up with the cold? Would you please make up your freaking mind!

  17. All Adither

    And mousse in their ears.

  18. ImpostorMom


    and Happy Spa, ewww. I’m always so surprised that place doesn’t have a covered parking garage as well.

  19. jennielynn

    Oh! We had a place like that here called the VIP Spa and everythime we’d drive by, I’d say to Mr. Clairol, “If that’s a spa, I’m a supermodel.” He NEVER believed me until we saw a story about it being raided since it was full of a buncha PROSTITUTES! I looked at Mr. and said, “Wow, they must have given a wicked pedicure.”

    Sorry for all the caps. I’ve discovered the magic that is Go Girl and I am very energetic this morning.

  20. MomCat

    That Monkey is hilarious… Wonder where he got that idea? Doesn’t have anything to do with you and Otto being newly married, does it??

    My 13 year old is completely mortified if my hubby and I kiss, touch each other or make eye contact too loudly. And that’s when we are all at home, alone. In public, she’s worse.

  21. Jenine

    Dear Mir,

    Please tell your hair to think about not to using the word “bitch” as a casual slight. It just sticks in my craw. I know that marks me as old, but so be it. Your standards are higher, and your hair’s standards should be too! (Despite the serious provocation of southern humidity.)

    Nice punchline. I love it when I absolutely don’t know what my children are going to say next. It seems that they either enjoy saying the same thing over and over forty times or coming out with an entirely new wacky worldview.

  22. tori

    I think your son would fit in well at my house because that sounds exactly like something one of my kids would say…complete with the absolute positivity that they had figured it all out.

    My daughter asked what strippers were the other day. For some reason I am the designated sex educator in our house, so I spent a while explaining what a banana hammock is, what strippers are and what lap dances are (damn kids on the bus!) And then I went and washed my mouth out with soap because it seemed so wrong to explain to a 10 year old!

    P.S. I really appreciate the other day…you made me feel so much better about things. He now has two ear infections, but at least he’s eating a bit.

  23. Sheila

    Monkey has just given us all valuable insight into the mysteries of the male mind.

  24. daysgoby

    Yes! But did you rock the house with your fashionista self?

  25. Lulu

    Hmmm. The things I’m learning here…gel between the toes? and the comment on a banana hammock?? Somehow I’m thinking I don’t want to google that while I’m at work…

    When we’d gross out our preteen with smooches, we’d grab him, reel him in, and cover him with smooches and a big group hug. He’s now 22 and bigger than both his parents and really likes the big family hugs.

    Oh, and when the group hug went over badly because _someone_ was just too grumpy/hormonal/tired/whatever? Let ’em go with a quiet “I love you anyway” and they melt (some times later, in private they melt, but it’s still good).

  26. pam

    ‘I told him I was going to need a fedora, a trench coat, and some fishnets to go with it. He did not find this nearly as amusing as I did. Because I found it VERY AMUSING’ because you’ve grown up some and now you’re 12.
    I often don’t feel like the grown up I’m dressed like. Like they’re gonna bust me for impersonating a business woman.

  27. Denise

    OK I’m troubled ’cause our 12 year old read this over TW’s shoulder and said “it’s a brothel”. sheesh.

  28. Lisa

    YES! The happy spa. That place, despite my wishing it were otherwise, is an honest-to-god-HAPPY-spa. I just graduated from the rather large university in that college town you happen to live in (which, parenthetically, we should have totally gone out for coffee or something sometime, and joshilyn could have met us because I borderline stalked her on her blog after reading “Between” and she was so sweet and invited me to meet her at a book signing in that there town, about which I promptly forgot, what with between…all of the studying and everything. ahem.)

    ANYWAY. Honest, as God is my witness, my professor’s wife refused to heed his warnings about that place and actually WENT THERE, and didn’t turn tail and run until the “masseuse” kept asking really pointed questions about what sort of massage, precisely, she wanted. Cross my heart and hope to die.

  29. Scottsdale Girl

    Toe jam is now replaced with Toe Gel.

    Are you gellin?

    Like a felon!

    (I did not read to see if anyone “went here” before me so SORRY if you had to deal with it twice..or more)

  30. Zee

    LOL.. OMG, that’s the funniest thing I’ve read all week. That Monkey, he kills me. :) (Here’s hoping his mouth is nearly back to normal and he’s eating again!)

  31. mama speak

    Please, please, please wear your PJs next time! And take pix! I’ll bet they don’t blink an eye (mostly cause they’re closed while they sleep/listen to you.)

    And I’m sort of scared to ask, but just HOW does Monkey know about gel between the toes? Hmmmm?

  32. Liza

    Two things:

    1) I am a little in love with Monkey. I hope my son grows up to be just like him.

    2) Dear Mir’s Hair, I’m sorry. It’s only going to get worse between now and say September, and it won’t actually get better again until October or November. Even the drought couldn’t conquer me. love, The Georgia Humidity

  33. Caution

    This is my life! Since I banned cell phones, ipods, and foreplay in my classes, the students now come to class and immediately go to sleep. I guess there’s nothing better to do. But God bless those 40 year old women who sit in the front row, take notes, and think I’m interesting.

  34. Liza

    Oh, one more thing. Tori, um, could you explain in gentle euphamistic language what a banana hammock is? At least the hammock part? I’ve got a guess on the banana.

  35. Aimee

    Oh yes. I know what Monkey’s talking about. The hair gel! Between the toes! It’s dirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrty.

  36. Shannon

    LOL. I love Monkey. That is awesome.

  37. Ben



    *hiding my toes*

  38. Deva

    Oh my god Monkey made me shoot Naked juice out my nose.

    I was one of those college students who sat in the front row, took lots of notes, and did my best to participate in the conversation.

  39. Zeynep

    He heee! This WHOLE post made my day!

    T, my 4.5 year old, getting up from bed and upon seeing a french kiss in progress (not me, something on tv!!) said, “I know what that is – teeth cleaning!”

    Yes. And no teeth cleaning until you’re … like 25. or 30.

  40. Laura

    Okay, first of all? Monkey slays me. I swear, the stuff they come out with. My 8 year old daughter loves Project Runway (except she can’t bear to see anyone eliminated or have their feelings hurt, so she watches the design process, then the runway show and calls it a day.) On one episode one of the contestants refers to another’s design as something for “Tranny Ice Capades” and Emma turned to me and said…”What’s Ice Capades?” Oh, so the Tranny you’ve got down, but the Ice Capades reference eludes you? My work as a mother is *clearly* done…

    Also, and this clearly speaks to my maturity level and the fact that I have flagrantly disobedient curly hair, but the ‘Back it up, bitch’ thing freakin’ killed me.

  41. Astrogirl

    Ah, yes, the delights of the male mind. You’re a braver mom than I, trying to actually explain a little about why the Happy Spa is just so “Happy”. If it were me, I’d have lied like a rug (sex talk? wha-huh? Can’t they just learn about that stuff on the bus, from their friends, like we did?).

    And I feel a bit of your pain – Bunker Monkey is at the age (4) where he keeps asking me to read signs to me. I dread the day we drive past the “gentlemen’s club” here in town and I have to explain what that bright neon pink sign says, the one with the pretty lady with no clothes on it…(I may steal Monkey’s idea about the toes and the gel – beats the truth, hands down).

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