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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, July 25, 2014

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Sometimes, mommy feels much better after blowing her stack.
Sometimes, mommy feels much better after blowing her stack.

Top seven mommy guilt trips

I received an interesting e-mail today from about the top seven reasons why moms feel guilt. In fact, according to its survey, 94 percent of the moms polled said they feel guilt or shame over some aspect of their child raising. 

Here are the top reasons why moms feel guilt, according to

1. Feeding your baby formula
2. Using TV as a babysitter
3. Being environmentally unfriendly
4. Feeding your kids junk food
5. Leaving your child with another caregiver
6. Yelling at your kids
7. Not being able to afford all the extras

Susan Firer plans to distribute a version of the letter to her Shorewood neighbors.
Susan Firer plans to distribute a version of the letter to her Shorewood neighbors.

UWM profs call for chem-free grass

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee adjunct assistant professor Susan Firer and her husband, writer / instructor Jim Hazard, wrote a letter to Kate Nelson, the university’s first campus sustainability coordinator, requesting that the university stop using TruGreen chemical lawncare on campus green space.

Firer and Hazard co-wrote the letter after hearing "UWM bragging about its green ethic" on WUWM.

Here is the letter:

Dear Kate Nelson,

I heard on WUWM today UWM bragging about its Green Ethic.  However, the recent spraying of the campus by TruGreen has no place in anyone's Green Ethic. Reliable studies have linked pesticides to a six-fold increase in childhood leukemia (Journal of the National Cancer Institute and American Journal of Public Health), have shown that dogs exposed to lawn pesticides are four to seven times more likely to be diagnosed with bladder cancer (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association), and have demonstrated the link between long-term exposure to pesticides and neuron damage that triggers Parkinson's disease (UCLA study reported in Chicago Tribune).

This glaring contradiction between public relations statements and university actions is a very serious matter, affecting anyone who sets foot on the campus grounds and the surrounding community.  Its effects extend beyond the immediate locale since the run off of pesticides and fertilizers does great harm to Lake Michigan's water quality and contributed to the dangerous presence of E. coli on area beaches: a strange policy given the information to that effect UWM's Great Lakes Water Institute has researched and published.

I hope the university will reconsider this irresponsible social behavior, change its policy toward harmful lawn treatment chemicals, and assume community leadership in this serious public health matter.

Susan Firer and Jim Hazard

"How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight" is one of the featured reads at the next Sprout book club.
"How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight" is one of the featured reads at the next Sprout book club.

Sprout offers book club for kiddos

This weekend, my monthly book club met to discuss "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen -- which, overall, I enjoyed -- and the very next day, I got an e-mail from Sprout about a book club it hosts for kids.

Sprout's next book club meeting is Saturday, May 31 at noon, and it will focus on "How Do Dinosaurs say Goodnight" by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, and "Grandma's Feather Bed" by Christopher Canyon.

It's free, and includes milk, cookies, popcorn and balloons, to boot. Plus, anyone who wears pajamas gets a free gift. This sounds like a lot of fun, although vastly different from my book club, which usually just includes copious amounts of wine.

Subsequent book club dates at Sprout are June 14 and June 28. Check the Web site for more info.

"Sex and the City: The Movie" opens May 30.
"Sex and the City: The Movie" opens May 30.

Excited about "Sex and the City: The Movie?"

When "Sex and the City" aired its last episode in 2004, I was one of those lamenting ladies who felt like she lost four of her best friends. (Did I just write that? Get a life, Edler.)

I completely admit that Carrie Bradshaw, the main character in the show -- played by Sarah Jessica Parker -- led my "path not taken" life. I chose motherhood and Brew City, whereas she picked Manolos and the Big Apple. Not to say I could have made it in New York City, but I certainly never tried, either.

In any case, I am super psyched to be reacquainted with the Cosmo-swilling ladies: Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and Carrie.

When the series ended, Charlotte and her husband were about to adopt a baby from China -- a plotline I am particularly excited about since I, too, have an internationally adopted kid. Also, I am curious about the finally rolling relationship between Carrie and Mr. Big -- whom we found out in the final moments of the finale is actually named "John."

I'm less curious about the whereabouts of Miranda, since in the final episodes she was settled and content (which in TV land translates as boring) with her baby daddy, Steve, and son, Brady.

I am interested to see more of Ann Meara in the film. Meara played the Alzheimer's-stricken mother-in-law. One of the most moving scenes in the final season was when Miranda, who was always annoyed by her mother-in-law, lovingly bathes her after finding Meara's character confused and eating food from a garbage can on the street.

Also, supposedly one of the characters dies in the 2 1/2 hour film. I'm wondering if it's Samantha (she had breast cancer), Mr. Big (he had a heart attack) or the most obvious choice, Steve's mom. I'm hoping Big gets offed, since I was always more of an Aidan gal myself.

Of course, I am prepared to be disappointed by the film after all of the hype. However, despite early, lukewarm reviews, I cannot wait to sneak peek it on May 27 (three days prior to the film's re…