"Your Mom is So Berkeley" started out as a joke at work. We thought it was funny so I wrote a note for some friends on facebook. They thought it was funny so I made a facebook group. The "Your Mom is so Berkeley" facebook group now has over 2,500 members so I've decided to bring it out to a wider audience. I hope you like it.

Contact us: yourmomissoberkeley@gmail.com
Follow us on Twitter: @yourmomissoberk

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pop Culture I

Your mom definitely preferred books over TV and PBS over cleaning the house.  I remember you as the kid humming the “Mystery” theme song in 1st grade.  Your brother was the one who almost hit a pole while walking down the street reading a book about giants.  But I know it’s not your fault, I blame your mom.

Your mom is so Berkeley…

... she taught you all the proper responses to "Rocky Horror Picture Show"

... that you never had a TV in the house until you were 9, and all of your friends parents knew that you were only allowed to watch channel 9 at their houses.

…all of her kids read while they walk

…she doesn't watch TV ( and I mean ever)

…she had me enthralled by Julia Child by the time I was five. No Brady Bunch for me, just Julia Child on the tv that barely worked

...my mom wrote an article about her for the East Bay Express.

…she's in that movie, "Berkeley in the 60's"

… she wouldn't let us watch the 6 Million Dollar man because the music was too scary.

… she swears the movie Pretty Woman is a subversive patriarchal plot against feminism

… she taught you Walt Disney was a fascist...and then took you to Disneyland anyway.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sex I

Photo by Stephanie Johnson

Let’s just say you didn’t need to wait for “Social Living” in tenth grade to learn about the “birds and the bees.” Or as your mother called them “Sex. Often involving a penis and a vagina but also sometimes two penises or two vaginas.” Example:

My mom is so Berkeley that when I was 7 (in 1975) she told me, "it's okay if you're gay honey." To which I answered, "What's gay, mommy? Can I have my dollie?" Ironically, she was right!

The rest of you:

Your mom is so Berkeley…

...you were conceived at Woodstock and all you know about your father is he was the bus driver and his name was "Moonwalker"

…she left The Joy of Sex and, Our Bodies Ourselves laying around the house. Ok, so maybe the Joy of Sex was for her

… she slept with Mr. Panasenko (of Berkeley high) possibly while underage.

…you were only allowed to have dolls that were anatomically correct (with vaginas and penises) so that I wouldn't get the wrong idea about sex.

…she will keep your boyfriend up all night talking about poets she slept with and leftwing politics

…she bragged that her gay son got his first hicky from a lesbian

…that I used to be afraid that our parents "Women's Group", "Men's Group", "Couples Group", and "Therapy Group" would all get together and have an "Orgy Group".

…you have two of them, and a gay bio-dad.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Story Time

Tie dyed sheets.  Courtesy of Erin Duran

Hi All,

I know it's been a little while since our last post but things have been chaotic here at YMISB world headquarters.  Sick babies coupled with GRE study have conspired to keep us off teh interwebs.  So to make up for it here's an extra action packed post.

Every so often we get posts that aren’t really jokes and can’t be fit into the standard “Your mom is so…” format.  While this flies in the face of YMISB’s founding principles a lot of these stories are too good to discard.  They show the passion people have for Berkeley and for their moms.  You’ll notice, when we find one that fits, we often include these stories in the posts here as a lead in to the standard joke posts.  Today we present a whole post dedicated to people’s stories and introduce some of the categories they seem to fall in to.

Not Berkeley:

Susan Raymond: Well, my mom is not officially "Berkeley", but she did take me to see the original Los Angeles cast of "Hair" at the Aquarius Theater way the heck back when. She also met John and Yoko, and subsequently cut her hair super short, just like J & Y were stylin'. Mother is, however, a princess at heart, so the closest she... would get to Berkeley now is a nice stay in a luxury suite at the Claremont - oh, and dinner at the Chez Panisse. Upstairs or down.

I was so clueless:

Anna Moyles: So many of these rang true for me. I was also the college freshman who had to be taught how to use the dryer, the microwave, and the cable box. I went to Dairy Queen for the first time and asked where the frozen yogurt was.

SO Berkeley:

Kim: My mom (love her!) doesn’t wear jewelry, makeup, a bra. She doesn’t watch TV. She is skeptical and slightly paranoid, she only shops at thrift stores, she cuts her own hair. My mom is awesome :)

Molly Moore Mccoy: My Mom is so Berkeley that...We hitchhiked to Altamont to see the Rolling Stones in concert,when I was 5. I hitch hiked to Bolinas by myself to see friends when I was 13.

Adi Benveniste: My mom is so Berkeley that she met her best friend (Elly Matsumura 's mom) in 1978 in the women's locker room at the Berkeley YMCA because they had matching Birkenstocks and accidentally went home in the other's pair of sandals and then had to meet to switch back.

Wandering Rants:

Wendy Rothenberg: My mom is so Berkeley, I can't tell what's Berkeley since it all seems so normal - memorization of co-op# 47289; first bra was a hand-me-down; bat mitzvah in our living room; ethnically diverse group around our Passover table; an annual New Year's 1-4a.m. alcohol-free pancake party for 200+. Seems normal and oh so wonderful to me.

Miwa Soto: My mom is so Berkeley that I was born at home on homemade tie-dyed sheets, I didn't have anything other than a birth name until I was 6 months (so she could get to know me), I took the public bus in first grade from Walden to the YMCA for swimming--by myself, she made and sold homemade bread out of our home, married my dad who was wearing overalls and had long hair and a full beard at the ceremony and then had the reception at her ex-husband's house, she *still* doesn't wear underwear or a bra (let alone make-up), we had a vegetable garden, chickens and bees, we didn't have a TV until 7th grade and I didn't eat fast food until I was in high school. Need I go on? My mom is so Berkeley; she is the best mom on Earth! There are so many more, but those are what I can remember right now. Oh, and I dressed myself out of the "freebox" down the block. We took the red wagon up to the Co-op to get old lettuce to feed the chickens--we lived walking distance away.

Misti Walty: Oh the memories, this group is fantastic! I totally remember the coop peanut butter, the carob chip cookies, sesame honey sticks were a 'treat'. I added jam to plain yogurt in desperation! I always went to my best friends house, because she had Barbies, and her parents gave her Happy Meals, or bologna & cheese sandwiches on white bread as an after school snack. I don't think I ate grapes until well into my teen years. I loved the Pickle Family Circus in Glen Park. And 'mom' was a title not a name, so I've always used her first name. Long before Burning Man became fashionable, we went to the Black Hills Survival Gathering, and everyone danced naked. I’ve been at demonstrations since I was an infant in a backpack. My mom is so Berkeley, and so is my other mother - that we still celebrate Christmas together even though they separated 17 years ago.  Oh and my sister's mom totally did that thing of 'correcting' pronouns in Dr. Seuss books!


Name Withheld: My mom is so Berkeley she still doesn't own any cloths that aren't brightly colored and don't come from desperate and underpaid starving people in third world countries. This however makes for great garage sales that I have when she doesn't want them anymore. I figure I deserve it, since being dropped of to school by a Jewish lady in a dashiki is fairly traumatizing.

Eds Note: See I don’t get it.  Your mom shops at Wal Mart and then you sell her clothes when she tires of them but it’s OK because she wore a dashiki?  Huh?

“Foreign” Berkeley Moms:

Nicole Moore: My mom was so Berkeley that she started the first city-wide recycling program in our town. My mom was so Berkeley that she read me Seth Speaks and my classmates at school told me I was going to hell. My mom was so Berkeley that instead of celebrating the bicentennial, we went to fight for passage of the ERA. Too bad I grew up in the bible belt and not Berkeley

Monday, May 10, 2010

More from Jane Stillwater

Instead of a normal post, today I bring you more from this weekend's guest poster Jane Stillwater.  Jane has her own blog where she has written her own riff on the "Your Mom is So Berkeley" theme.  So please click over and check it out.  It's good reading.

Jane Stillwater's YMISB inspired post.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day Bonus

OK, so I know I said we don't post on the weekends but I just got this via email and it's too good to hold on to.

My daughter is so NOT Berkeley!

One of my daughters was raised playing under the table at the Med in the daytime and sleeping under the table at the old Freight & Salvage at night while I made the brownies, sold the coffee and flirted with band members.  And even despite all this wonderful upbringing, my freaking daughter rebelled and became a Yuppie when she grew up!  It broke my heart.

Thank goodness that the rest of my children turned out okay.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Moms on Moms.

Every so often a mom posts about what she thinks makes her “so Berkeley.”  For Mother’s Day we’ve decided to give the Berkeley moms a chance to talk about themselves.  I know Mother's Day is on Sunday, but we don't post on the weekends so here's an early start to your Mother's Day weekend.  Hope to see you all tomorrow at the Your Mother's Day is So Berkeley picnic in Tilden Park.

 Here they are:

I am so Berkeley…

When my daughter graduated from BHS, I gave her a round trip ticket to Cuba. What was I thinking?

Oh no, these sound so much like me. And I've never even lived in Berkeley.

I am so much a Berkeley mom that my son tells everyone he was the only guy at Cal to be chastised by his mother for having his hair too *short*!

I am such a Berkeley Mom that I joined this group to see what my kids are saying about me!

Yes, my sons joined and I can laugh. Hey, I still live in Berkeley. And I probably painted some of your faces.

I'm a Berkeley mom and proud of it. I tried (unsuccessfully) to make my child wash used produce bags!

Daughters tell me I am so Berkeley cuz Grandpa told me to "stand in the back, don't get arrested, and don't tell your mother." I guess they're right.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Religion and Holidays I

 Photo courtesy of Regan Haines

Dude, I don't even know where to start with some of these.  Dude, what's up with your mom?

Your mom is so Berkeley...

… she has an emergency stash of dreamcatchers. Just in case. 

… she thought the Palistinians were Jews.

… she had you lay on the floor while she smudged you with burning sage and called in the 4 directions before every airplane trip.

…she tells you all "Quick hide! We're not home!" when religious people come to your house to talk to you.

…she made it a point to bring you to parties where everyone danced around the maypole.

…she forbade you to date your first crush because you were incompatible with a Sagitarius and she had the charts to prove it

…when you was three she let me go trick or treating but she didn’t tell you that you could eat the "shapes" that they gave you

… she and ur pops let you go trick or treating, but made you give the candy to the "halloween witch" who left you a toy instead

…she handed out raisins and sticks of Carefree gum on Halloween

…she is a firm believer of 'mercury in retrograde' and warns of bad astrology forecasts =)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cars I

Photo courtesy of Anna Kolb

Here’s the thing about your mom’s car, it’s either hella old or hella new and it’s not American.  What else?  Ask reader Anna Moyles,

“Now I'm remembering my mom knocking the muffler off her Volvo 240 by going up too steep of a driveway... she picked the smoking hot thing up with a towel from the backseat, chucked it into the back and we continued on our way.”

Your mom is so Berkeley…

... she's never owned a car that wasn't a VW or a Volvo.

...she drives a Volvo older than you or better yet she upgraded to a bio-diesel Mercedes

…I swear she invented the term, "double park".

…she let me fall out of the back of the VeeDub bus when I was 4 yrs old and didn't notice for 2 miles

…she painted a giant dragon on the family truck (I guess because the rhinocerous painted on the other side didn't stand out enough?)

…she didn't learn how to drive until her sixties because she could take the bus and walk everywhere.

… she drives an electric car.

…you had to drive the old 1967 volvo to pick up your prom date

… she's got 50+ bumper stickers on the back of her car...

…even her Prius drives a Prius