Tag Archives: Wonderful Thing

Touchy Feely

What is it about pregnant women that makes most of us feel like we have the right to just come up to them and start rubbing on their bellies?

No, seriously.

I saw something like that the other day and it got me started thinking about it. I was in the library when a very, very pregnant woman came inside near where I was sitting. She greeted another woman, but you could tell from their stances that they weren’t actually close friends. There was a definite, visible reserve there.

The non-pregnant woman then pulled her youngish dude (maybe six or seven years old) over to them and just thrust his hand onto the pregnant lady’s belly. She was shocked. Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open a bit, but the non-pregnant mom and her son were completely oblivious to the pregnant woman’s distress. They then said good-bye and moved on.

The pregnant woman just stood there for a little while before shaking her head and moving on.

From experience, being around a pregnant woman for a long, long time on three separate occasions, I’ve seen this happen again and again. People would walk up to She Who Must Be Given Her Space and, with the barest of pauses to get any kind of permission, start fondling her belly.

Is a pregnant woman’s belly community property or something?

I really don’t think so. But there’s something in our culture that says pregnant women get to endure this unique form of annoyance.

I know it’s a wonderful thing, a wanted pregnancy that’s going to produce a wanted, loved child. Many pregnant woman do have almost a glow about them from their healthy bodies and their excitement about the growing life (when they’re not suffering from hemorrhoids or swollen ankles) and most people do want to share in that kind of joy. It makes us feel good.

But, seriously, dudes and (mostly) dudettes. Don’t just automatically assume that a pregnant woman wants you to feel up her belly, just because she’s showing. And if you just can’t help yourself, ask for permission first and actually — I know this is a bit out there, but go with me here on this one — wait for permission before you get all touchy feely.

I know I’m not talking to the dudes out there all that much on this one, because we’ve been pretty much conditioned against just randomly touching people we meet in the street. Still, I’d like to see a little thought here, folks. It actually is her pregnancy, not ours.

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More Google-Eyed Gazing, Of A More Earth-Bound Nature

It’s picture time again, dudes.

This time, though, I’d like to thank the fine folks at National Geographic for the beautiful eye candy we’re about to start drooling over. I’ve loved National Geographic magazine for a long, long time and it wasn’t just for the pictures of the naked tribeswomen that sometimes ran between the covers.

Yes, I know it’s a cliché, but they only get like that because they’re true. Hey, they didn’t have the internet or VHS tapes when I was a young dude. We had to make do.

Anyway. Back to the topic of discussion.

It’s National Geographic. For decades, the magazine has been the place to go if you wanted to see awesome photography. And that hasn’t changed. Just check some of these.

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Gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s a stunning photograph of a climber named Cory Richards. He and his fellow climbers made their way through winds strong enough to be classed as a hurricane and shivered through temps as low as -50°F just to reach the summit of Gasherbrum II.

It’s only one of the many spectacular photographs that are on the National Geographic website and are part of a series of photos called The New Age of Exploration.

Basically, the contention of this photo series is that mankind has been bred to see what is over the horizon, what’s around the next bend, and what’s at the top of the highest mountain. We just can’t help ourselves. It’s who we are.

And, to prove it, National Geographic went out and collected some of the most amazing photos from around the world to document our love of exploration. Of course there are photographs from the various moon landings and pictures of the Earth as seen from Mars, but there is so much more.

The wonderful thing about this is that it gives us a chance to see just how amazing and beautiful our home really is. We constantly are surrounded by astonishing beauty, vistas to blind the unwary eye, and all sorts of stupefyingly outrageous things on both the micro and macro scale.

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National Geographic goes everywhere. I got the picture to the left from a gallery of Exploring the Deepest Recesses of the Planet. That’s Fangtooth, a fish found deep in the ocean, 6,500 feet deep in the ocean. That’s a long, long way down.

So if you’ve got a few minutes, why not head over to the National Geographic site and just flip through. I guarantee you will find something to astonish you, something you will just have to share.

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Ook, Ook To The Monkey Boy

by Richard

Look out, world. Today is the day Zippy the Monkey Boy turns 18.

It’s the day he’s been looking forward to for a long, long time. He likes to think that, just because the law considers him an adult now, that he’ll be treated like an adult here at Casa de Dude.

His mom and I don’t like to disillusion him* about stuff like this, but he’s really not going to be treated as if he’s a house guest. Okay, we’ll probably not cut up his food and wipe his mouth for him, but he’s still a kid in our hearts.

At least until he’s the one who pays for dinner when we go out, but that’s a separate thing entirely.

Today, we come to praise Zippy the Monkey Boy, not to bury him.

With a name like Zippy the Monkey Boy, you’d think he was the one who was always running around, knocking things over and flinging poop all over the walls. He was. But that wasn’t why he got the name. He got the name because he took to climbing like greased-up pigs take to sliding.

He never did learn to crawl. Instead, he kept low crawling until he could stand up and walk. He wanted the extra height, you see.

Once he got up on two feet, it was only a matter of time until he started seeing the fences and stuff we’d put up around the play area, not as a thing blocking his way so he’d better turn around, but as another toy, something we put there so he could have fun climbing and dropping.

That was what we listened to when he was a baby. That thump. We’d hear it and know he’d found his way over another obstacle and we should be expecting his arrival any moment. Diapers were a wonderful thing for Zippy the Monkey Boy. Great cushion. Of course, if it were already a full diaper before he climbed and dropped, we got to clean a lot of flung stuff after.

He’s kept it up. One of my favorite pictures of him shows him high up in a tree, screaming out his triumph for having climbed that high. He was 15 when we took that picture. He likes to climb is what I’m saying.

His other most distinguishing feature through the years has been his love of animals. This is a little dude that has wanted to be a zoologist since he knew someone could actually tell people he was going to study animals all his life and people would be okay with it. Now he’s going off to one of the best marine science schools in the country so he can make the study of sharks his life work. If nothing else, it shows he’s able to find a goal and stick with it.

Zippy the Monkey Boy is getting ready to head off to Wilmington to try his act out down there, along the beaches, among the co-eds and out on his (metaphorical) own. Sure I’m worried.

But only a little. I have the feeling Zippy the Monkey Boy is going to keep on climbing, always reaching for something just out of his reach and finding a way to get it and then seeing the next thing just a little higher up.

It’s been an adventurous 18 years. I can’t wait to see what the next 18 bring.

Ook, Ook, Zip.

*no, that’s a lie. We love disillusioning him. It’s such fun.

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