Friday, June 13, 2008

LELO's new "pleasure object" for techno-lovers.

"Swedish sex life accessory label" LELO has a new product that should appeal to the technorati. MIA is a lipstick vibrator that you can re-charge using your computer's USB port. What will they think of next?
According to the press release, "MIA is a discreet pleasure object carefully designed to combine versatility and convenience, intended for private enjoyment at all times. She nestles seductively in the user's handbag, her size and chargeability making her available whenever needed, whether on a long intercontinental flight or during a break on a busy day."

I really like LELO and its products, so I don't want to tease them too much. But I'm picturing some gal sitting in Business Class on that SFO-to-JFK redeye trying to surreptitiously use the MIA under her airline-issued blanket. Without attracting attention from the half-drunk consultant in the seat next to her. And then re-charging it from her laptop while she works on a PowerPoint presentation. It's a seductive image, but I'd probably wait until I was settled at the Hyatt before relaxing with my MIA.

Still, the MIA is cute, compact and well-priced. And it has an "intuitive interface" and "four stimulation modes allow total control in the midst of ecstasy," which means that it will appeal to Type-A gals (like your author) everywhere. All LELO products come in a beautiful gift box; these folks really know how to do classy packaging. I should know: I still have two gorgeous LELO products that are still in their packaging (see my June 9 post for hints on the reason), although I do plan to review them any day now.

So check out the MIA. And if you do manage to get it past the TSA and onto your flight for your "private enjoyment," let me know how it works out.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Who says we're not reading?

I belong to a group of women writers. Once a month, we meet at someone's house to eat, drink wine, and talk about "the craft." We try not to discuss "the industry," but inevitably, the talk turns to marketing and publishing, and how horrible the situation is. (Then we drink more wine.) This past Sunday, when the talk turned to the supposedly dire state of the publishing industry, someone in the group announced, "No one reads anymore!" Cue chorus of agreement.

But I disagree. While I can understand where my fellow (fella?) writers are coming from, I think people are reading. How else do you explain the popularity of book groups, and conferences like Book Group Expo dedicated specifically to people in book groups? How do you explain the fact that every week, I get an invitation to a new book-related social networking site? I now have my lists on GoodReads and Shelfari, to give a few examples; I've gotten to the point where I can't even keep my virtual bookshelves up to date.

There's something else I wanted to tell my writers' group. From the time our children were blastocysts, almost every mother I know has been inundated with the importance of reading to her child. My niece has belonged to a book-of-the-month club since she was about 3 (she even picked out her own books). I could swear to you that I remember hearing a suggestion that I read to my son while he was in the womb as a way to get him used to the sound. I didn't do that--although I was reading The Apple's Bruise by Lisa Glatt when my water broke--but I did read to him from about the time he was born.

Here he is thumbing through his book collection at 15 months, looking for the good parts:

He's now almost 3, and yes, I was thrilled beyond words when one of his preschool teachers termed him "the class bookworm." He also likes to watch trains on YouTube, but he still loves his books. I have now read Where's the Poop more times than I would like to count.

Granted, I will admit that I'm part of an overly educated demographic. You could call our kids "Generation 529," so concerned are we about getting our kids into (and being able to pay for) good colleges. When I lived in San Francisco, I belonged to a mothers' group where women were frantic about getting on preschool lists before their children were actually born. Every family I know has shelves of children's books in their home. I realize, of course, that many families are not so fortunate.

There seems to be a disconnect between the dire predictions about American education, and the fact that many colleges have to turn away qualified applicants. Stanford received 24,000 applications for its Class of 2011--a record high (but accepted 10.3%--a record low). A "a significant fraction" of those accepted, says President John Hennessy, are "prepared to do Stanford-caliber study." Test scores and GPAs are higher than ever.

How can that be, if no one's reading? I'm curious to know what you think. Like I said, I realize that I'm part of a particular demographic, and that the picture isn't so rosy for a large segment of the population. How can we instill a love of reading in all children, regardless of income? And I don't think the answer is more computers in schools or access to the Internet. But we shouldn't throw up our hands and say "no one is reading," either.

It's not going to stop writers from writing, anyway.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Parenting and sex (and the lack thereof).

Spot-on post today on's "The Poop" blog about parenting and sex. Or the lack thereof. The comments are almost as good as the actual post. I particularly like the M&Ms solution used by one parent.

But what if your problem is not lack of time (say, for example, your son is reliably asleep by 9pm for the rest of the night), but...well...sheer exhaustion?

If after a full day of work, daycare pickup, dinner and bedtime routine, all you want to do is flop on the couch with your TiVo remote? Would it be any wonder if one's libido was MIA?

Not that I'm naming names.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

BlogHer '08 in San Francisco

Just signed up for the BlogHer '08 Conference, July 18-20, in San Francisco. I'm pretty psyched. I attended Web 2.0 Expo in April (seems like it was just yesterday), and really enjoyed it, but women were a definite minority.

BlogHer has several breakout sessions devoted to "MommyBlogging": I'm not so sure I'm crazy about the term (I haven't seen many references to "DaddyBlogging"), but I'm very interested in the topics: "Is MommyBlogging Still a Radical Act?", "Public Parenting and Privacy," and "Mirrors: Ours, the Media's, Our Cultures' and Our Kids'."

And there's also a session on infertility: "When the Road To Motherhood Is Anything But Smooth: Infertility, Adoption and Miscarriage Bloggers."

Oh, and there are even birds-of-a-feather sessions on "Sex and Relationships" and for "Entertainment Bloggers." So it looks like I'll have all my bases covered, no pun intended. And you thought I was just indecisive in my choice of blog topics.

If you're going to BlogHer '08, let me know!