Saturday, December 31, 2005
Anyway, back to the mandolin which I love. One benefit I had not even thought of: it's so light and petite. You can read in the post linked above about "trundling" the guitar around. It really is a burdensome instrument--not as bad as a piano, but close. This doodad comes with a backpacky little case and it's just the perfect size for petite me.
Now I just have to learn to play it. I suppose I'll have to practice and all that. I have tried a couple of crosspicking exercises in a book R. got me, and it's hard to believe it could ever be second nature. But we shall see.
Anyway, I looked back at my list of 14 arbritrary goals and I'm doing surprisingly well
1. Write a book--getting there
6. Landscape our yard so it is (in front) not an embarrassment and (in back) a beautiful private retreat--not an embarrassment, check. Beautiful private retreat, barring financial ruin, slated to happen in the spring.
8. Learn to play the mandolin--now in possession of a mandolin.
So, ergo, check out your list. You may want to slot the unicorn ranch into one of the spots you get to cross off.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Logs on the fire, fill me with desire (uncomfortable caesura)
To see you and to say...
I'm sorry, but for that one awkward moment it sounds like burning logs are a turn-on for her. Which would be fine, but then she does the wholesome "gotcha": she just wants to see her darling, you dirty-minded listeners.
In other complaints, Carly Simon seems to think she can change a whole bunch of the lyrics to "Let It Snow" for no good reason. What was wrong with the corn for popping, Carly? And if the temperature's dropping so much, that actually means it probably won't snow, weather genius. Why aren't you going out in the storm? Because you're the woman? And how do you know how I'm going to feel when you kick me out?*
*I realize this makes no sense to anyone who a) hasn't heard Carly's version of the song and b) isn't a lyrics freak like me.
Pop Christmas moments I do like: every time Gene Autry sings "Santa Claus knows we're all God's children/That makes everything right," it kills me. Kills me. What also kills me, I mean in tears every time and this is really embarrassing? When the chipmunks sing "We can hardly stand the wait..." I also like James Taylor's "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." But I have an uncomfortable feeling that James could sing "Let's Mutilate Squirrels for Satan" and I'd like it.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I love the pin for itself--it's a wooden circle about an inch and a half in diameter, handpainted in black and shades of cream and beige, with a leafless tree and a full moon. A boy gave it to me in high school--the boy I was in love with junior year. He was never my boyfriend, because he was in love with my friend M. From time to time we would do a bit of kissing and then afterward he would be sure to mention that he would never get over M. and of course this did not mean anything had changed between us. After the first couple of times I should have gotten wise--well, honestly, I did get wise and I decided to go with it.
So then this boy went on a trip to England with his parents, and came home with presents for a bunch of us. He gave me the pin. I would say with certainty that his mother picked out the pin except I can't believe she was sufficiently aware of my existence to think I warranted a present. He gave M. a t-shirt from a Peter Gabriel concert in London.
She would far, far rather have had the pin. But I knew which was the "best" present. This boy loved early Genesis, worshipped Peter Gabriel. It was a tremendous coup and a treat for him to have caught this concert abroad. The t-shirt was a hard-won and rare trophy. He assumed that M. shared all his passions and that she would value the t-shirt the way he meant it. The pin--which looked to casual eyes like the more romantic, the more intimate present--meant less.
So I also love the pin because it reminds me of how very little we know the people we love sometimes. And also how well we know them, and what little difference it makes. That at the end of the day we are trapped in this frustrating, terribly human, inevitable psychic isolation. But we keep making loving gestures, we keep trying to communicate anyway. Despite the fact that there is no conversation.
It spends most of the winter on one lapel or another.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Four jobs you've had in your life: department store sales "associate", box office manager, office manager, mother.
Four movies you could watch over and over: Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, Center Stage.
Four places you've lived: Jersey Shore, Princeton, Northern Virginia, New York City
Four TV shows you love to watch: Arrested Development, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, House, My Name is Earl.
Four places you've been on vacation: Italy, the Adirondacks, San Francisco, Disneyworld.
Four websites you visit daily: only four? This Woman's Work, TelevisionWithout Pity, Open Book, About Last Night.
Four of your favorite foods: macaroni and cheese, roast chicken, black beans and rice, noodles with peanut sauce.
Four places you'd rather be: Paris, Copenhagen, summer, childhood.
So why the shallow breathing, short attention span, eyes darting around the room, MomVee?
The only thing I can think of is that my unconscious is so used to being frantic and behind that it's not giving me any credit for the above items. And my mother said something similar to me a few days ago: "28 out of 30 cards done doesn't make me feel any better than 1 out of 30 cards done."
I think they should sell tranquilizers over the counter just between Thanksgiving and New Year's.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
I don't know how your domestic partnership is arranged but part of the unspoken arrangement through which Steve keeps me in mascaras and standing mixers is that I am solely responsible for identifying, locating, acquiring, wrapping, and insuring that all presents for both sides of the family for every birthday Christmas promotion and Filipino-American Friendship Day arrive on time and in good taste.
Which means every few months I look at the calendar and exclaim "Damn it!" and then scurry into Steve's office bleating, "What do you want to get your (father/step-mother/sister/sister's husband) for (his/her/their) (birthday/anniversary/confirmation hearing)?" Steve will always respond with cold silence, which, to be fair, is exactly how I would react if he burst upon me resting in the bathtub one afternoon and shouted, "Quick! Earn something!" From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs, and all that.
"I was thinking about getting your sister H. this beautiful camel-color English schoolgirl hat trimmed with brown velvet. It would look perfect with her coat." (NB I have, in fact, already bought the hat)
"I don't know...does H. have a head to put it on?"
Sunday, December 11, 2005
It's happened. Enough of my high school friends now have children (and not just babies but actual kids) that the Christmas party has a distinctly different atmosphere. Not entirely different. We still tell stories that start "Remember when you were so drunk that...", but we hushed up whenever a child came into the room for boo-boo kisses, DVD help or nourishment.
One of my friends opined that we were actually very good kids for all the naughty secret things we did, and she thinks we should have acted worse. It's an interesting question--if you put morals aside for the moment and focus on the utilitarian. I guess today's results indicate that we were "good kids," since everyone is intact and most of us went to college, own homes, are happily married and have kids. You certainly have to wonder how much more we could have gotten away with before serious cracks appeared in the veneer. And don't come away from this thinking that all the memories that hold us together are memories of debauchery--we had a lot of innocent fun, too.
In A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Francie's Aunt Sissy expresses regret about all the lovers she has had, and wishes her husband Steve had been "the first and only one." Her sister (Francie's mother) says "Woman talks that way...it means she's going into the change of life....If she never had any lovers, she kicks herself around when the time comes, thinking of all the fun she could have had, didn't have, and now can't have. If she had a lot of lovers, she argues herself into believing that she did wrong and she's sorry now. She carries on that way because she knows that soon all her woman-ness will be lost...lost."
And I think something similar is happening here. We're still years away from menopause, but never again can we dip more than a toe into reckless irresponsibility. It's the wonderful thing about parenthood and the awful thing about parenthood--the job you can't quit.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Do you know how hard it is to get pulverized cookie, and I mean completely disintegrated cookie, unrecognizable except for the green crystallized cherry and the fifty million crumbs coating everything, out of the inside of your pocketbook? And off of everything in your pocketbook that can't be washed or rinsed?
Turn it upside down and dump them out? Surprisingly, no. Lint remover? Again no. Laboriously wipe with tape? Very slight improvement.
I think what makes me saddest is the indelible grittiness on the outside of this lip balm, which I got at Whole Foods and love passionately.
...that never wrote to me. Have to give Frost and Dickinson equal time. There are at least 20 things I really should be doing right now other than blogging: laundry, vacuuming, deciding what to have for dinner, helping my kids with their homework, even writing something more lasting (I hope) than a post.
Okay, so yay, links. Now it's time to pick the random items up off the floor, all over the house. I'll be back tomorrow, and with any luck I'll have regained my sense of proportion.
While we were on our non-vacation helping-in-laws-move trip down south last weekend, not-so-little R. was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes (the insulin-dependent or "juvenile" kind).
Do you ever discover that you were dreading something only after it's over? This particularly happens to me with doctor visits. I mean, you would think by now I would recognize that I have...issues...with them, but I am capable of mind-blowing denial.
I've always loved this song, but right now it is so eerily apt. Especially President Coolidge and his emotionally detached comment.
What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
Yesterday the special edition DVD of Disney's "Cinderella" was released. My mother wanted to know if she should get it for M. for Christmas. I said sure, but wistfully:
Sixteen years ago my boyfriend--well, he wasn't my boyfriend at the time, but he soon would be--gave me the VHS of "Cinderella" for Christmas. It was partly that gift that let me know he would soon be my boyfriend.
Just Call Me "Booge"
Don't get me wrong, there are many things I like about Halloween. I enjoy helping my kids with their costumes; I like to wear a little whimsical something myself. I adore candy. I have a compulsion to buy any decorative item that features black cats with their backs arched.
But I don't like answering the door a bazillion times between 5 and 9 pm.
Leslie Harpold's Advent Calendar for 2005 is up, cleverly disguised on her main site as the 2004 calendar. Check it out.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
"Orson's Shadow" is playwright Austin Pendleton's version of what might have happened when Orson Welles directed Laurence Olivier in a production of "Rhinoceros" at the dawn of the British National Theatre. Kenneth Tynan narrates and Vivien Leigh and Joan Plowright, outgoing and incoming Ladies Olivier, take part.
As you might imagine, the play is uproarious, with witty banter and backstage gossip flying furiously. Artistic temperament is definitely on display. One feels a frisson of guilt, of inadvertent voyeurism when Vivien Leigh breaks down. But the truly moving moment is at the very end. SPOILERS (of a sort) BELOW:
The play ends with Welles and Olivier onstage. Joan Plowright walks on and says "Since I'm the only character in this play who's still alive, why don't I wrap things up." She tells of Tynan's death at 53 of emphysema, Leigh's death at 53 of tuberculosis. She describes her life with Olivier and the remainder of his career--ten years of triumphs with the National Theatre followed by movies to provide for his children's future. Then Welles asks eagerly, "What about me?"
"You lived for 25 more years, but only completed one more movie," Plowright says somewhat hesitantly.
"What was it?"
"'Chimes At Midnight,'" she answers with some relief, since his obsession throughout the play has been to finance a film of "Chimes."
She also tells him that despite bad sound caused by a tight budget, "Chimes" is a masterpiece.
She adds that despite the studios' editing butchery, "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "Touch of Evil" are classics.
"Did anything I did ever eclipse the memory of 'Citizen Kane'?" he asks, since that achievement has been his other obsession.
R. and I had tears running down our cheeks. And while readers of this blog know that MomVee's cheeks are not an unfamiliar path for tears, it's considerably less usual for R. to be moved to tears in a crowded theater. It made me think, again, of "Spring and Fall."
I think, too, that it has something to do with Ergo's recent post:
It is a tension of contradictions that life is to be lived in each moment as if every day was your last and also as if you are going to live forever.
What can we do to ensure that our lives will end with minimal regret? Will disappointment, perfectionism, self-loathing, make us give up prematurely? Will we fail to appreciate our own greatest achievements?
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Wegmans has abruptly stopped carrying brown basmati rice, so I had to buy a big bag of some kind of Thai short-grain brown rice instead. When I was scraping the rest of not-so-little-R.'s curry off the plate (and into my mouth) before I put it in the dishwasher, something in the sense memory part of my brain screamed "Sausage Kimchi Bap"! And I knew that I would have to make it myself, because there are no Korean restaurants around here, let alone Korean-Polish restaurants.
I bought a jar of kimchi at Whole Foods today (I looked into making kimchi from scratch and I'm sorry but, it's Christmastime and I have a life). I'm very excited to gaze into a bowl of Sausage Kimchi Bap and say lovingly, "We meet again...."
Friday, December 02, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Spring and Fall
To a Young Child
Márgarét, are you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Last Sunday the Old Testament reading was from Isaiah: "... No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen.." so that sent me right into this poem. Because I am capable of paying attention to anything except the actual Mass. At least I finally achieved my goal of being like Vicky Austin, who can recite "The Blessed Damozel" in her head during church, because I do have "Spring and Fall" memorized (in fact that and "To An Athlete Dying Young" are my only surefire memory pieces).
Tears were absolutely pouring down my cheeks. Why? I mean, we know it's not exactly difficult to open the MomVee faucets, but a navel-gazer like me can't help but stop and ponder this for a moment. Is it because the trees are in fact unleaving right now? Or because I haven't really thought of this poem since I got a Margaret of my very own?
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
My opinion began to change when I saw a Johnny Cash tribute on TV (not the recent one, but a 1999 TBS one) on which June Carter Cash--70 years old and gorgeous--sang "Ring Of Fire" and accompanied herself on the autoharp. I got more interested when I read Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone? and learned that Sara Carter played the autoharp. I decided I would get one, especially since I hate playing electronic keyboards and that was my only possible accompaniment when I lead music activities at school or Scouts. Then I found out that autoharps are really, really expensive. In the meantime I realized that schoolkids and Scouts don't know or care if you are playing D, G and A7 (works better than C, F and G7 for my voice and hands) on every song and I started trundling the guitar around.
I didn't forget about the autoharp, though--it has a special sound that's different from a guitar and it really has a place in Appalachian music, which interests me. (I also have a yen to learn mandolin but talk about expensive. A friend of ours bought a cheap mandolin and warned me away.) So I mentioned it to a friend who is a music minister and she said her church had a closet full of autoharps gathering dust. I got one on permanent loan. The only problem was it was really, really out of tune. I tried tuning it with every socket wrench head in the basement, and then with a combination of pliers and a crescent wrench. Painful and not entirely successful. The autoharp sat in the corner of the sunroom for a couple of years.
And then last week I thought, there has to be a tool for this. Froogle search for "autoharp tuning tool" turned one up at an Amazon affiliate for $2.99. Of course it should be a national law that one of these tuning wrenches is inside every autoharp case but what can you do?
So now my autoharp is tuned and I am practicing strums and singing "This Land Is Your Land," "Who Knows Where I'm Going," "Good Night Irene" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" Only 6 years after the first vague stirring of autoharp lust.
If there's something you need to move your life forward, do me a favor and find out if it only costs $2.99 plus shipping. You'll be glad you did.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
So I've been listening to "Born To Run" a lot, with all this 30th anniversary hype. R. and I have discovered that we can never do anything original: whenever we do something like get an awesome new turntable or rent five Roy Rogers movies there's an article in the Wall Street Journal the next day saying "Audiophiles Turn Back to Vinyl" or "Three cities feature Roy Rogers film festival this week." So I've decided to just consciously go with the flow. Thus I've been listening to Born To Run (on vinyl, of course).
I bought this album as a Christmas present for my father in 1979, the first year I saved up my money and bought Christmas presents for my friends and family. He gave me "Keep On Doing" by the Roches, and for several years we listened exclusively to each other's presents, perfectly content. Now I own both of them, which I think is emblematic of both my aesthetic development and my father's boundless generosity. For the first 20 years I played only side one, because it features "Born To Run," which you have to like if you're from New Jersey; "She's The One," which has suggestive lyrics that fascinated me as a ten-year-old; and "Jungleland," which I think I can safely say is the most beautiful Bruce Springsteen song.* You can tell because side one is somewhat scratchy and poppy but side two is still pristine. And what I have discovered in the past 5-6 years, since I saw Bruce in concert, is that I was cheating myself out of "Thunder Road," which is almost as gorgeous as "Jungleland."
So we were playing the album this weekend and I was singing along with Jungleland and not-so-big-R. asked, "What is this song about?" It stopped me in my tracks. Here was Mr. "I never know the lyrics to songs or even the characters' names in a movie," asking Ms. "I will do a close reading of anything, hand over that poem," what a song was about and I had no idea and had never thought about it. I cleared my throat. "Um, gang war?" "But what's this about flashing guitars just like switchblades?" "I don't know," I mumbled. "I like the part about the opera out on the Turnpike."
Right now, in the quiet of the morning, if I had to write a timed essay about it I think I'd go with the transcendent nature of art. But do you have any ideas, constant readers?
*Not necessarily my favorite Bruce Sprinsteen song, because there's also "Hungry Heart," "Glory Days," and "Rosalita." I was explaining to R. that I always think of "Rosalita" at Thanksgiving because these two lyrics make me feel hopeful and trimumphant in exactly the same way:
"So from the beginning/The fight we were winning/
Thou, Lord, wast at our side/All glory be thine." (We Gather Together)
"And your papa says he knows that I don’t have any money
Tell him this is last chance to get his daughter in a fine romance
Because a record company Rosie just gave me a big advance." (Rosalita)
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
More spookily, Grammie hated the song "Kookaburra." R. and S. love it, and we frequently sing it as a round at bedtime. But one of M.'s first sentences was a passionate, "No! No gum tree!"
The other day, sitting in traffic, I reflected on how much I hate white cars. Then I thought about how my grandmother loved white cars. When her stepfather bought her her very first car, they couldn't find a white one, so he bought a maroon one and had it painted white (that must have taken a lot of coats). So I idly asked, "M., what color cars do you like?" She sat up, took her finger out of her mouth, and said firmly, "White."
Sunday, November 13, 2005
I've been doing a lot of redecorating lately because my extended in-laws are coming for Thanksgiving. I say my extended in-laws because my mother-in-law and father-in-law have been here many times and have already formed an opinion of my decor for good or ill; but not-so-big-R.'s grandmother is coming for the first time ever and for some reason this is making me insane. Anyway, I haven't done anything as drastic as painting or wallpapering, but I have: framed and/or hung a whole bunch of pictures that were hanging around for years; put new knobs on the kitchen cabinets; literally kicked(or at least pushed with my knee, part of the time) our particleboard entertainment center to the literal curb (and inadvertently damaged the phono preamp in the process, sigh); and made new kitchen curtains.
You're wondering about the new game. Basically, while I do these things, and especially as I scan with my eyes the things I cannot change about my house by Thanksgiving, I write random lines from the magazine article about my decor:
"In addition to choosing an antique-look Waverly fabric for her kitchen curtains, MomVee added to the country effect by sewing radically wrong rod pockets, subsequently ripping out the old seams and leaving charming random threads, snags and tiny holes in the material."
"Although she replaced the particleboard entertainment center, MomVee chose to keep the particleboard corner TV cabinet.'We think it's important for the kids to remember their roots,' MomVee explained. 'And I think it's a touch of early-marriage, new-homeowner style that keeps our decor lighthearted and fun.'"
"MomVee always keeps a heaping basket of unfolded laundry somewhere in the main living area. 'It helps demonstrate that life--what takes place in the living room--is composed of work and play. Besides, I love all the different colors and textures in a basket of clean laundry.'"
Try it at home!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
VIDEOS brought to you by Amazon.com: No items match "shot glasses." These results are for "stott."
Ohhh...kay. What if everyone started doing this? "MomVee, this is not-so-little-R.'s teacher. I've never heard of this book The Fellowship of the Ring, so I graded his book report as if it were on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Or, actually, "I graded his book report as if it were on Snarfblatt," because last time I checked "stott" was not something a lot of people were searching for.
*All right, I was searching because Not Martha linked to someone who said that Target has candy cane shot glasses in the dollar bins, and I foolishly thought maybe dollar bin merchandise would be online. Also from Megan, the Charlie Brown pathetic tree. The irony of commercializing the Charlie Brown pathetic tree is making me dizzy. Leave it to Urban Outfitters.
Speaking of irony, not-so-little-R.'s teacher did tell me she knew immediately what kind of child she was dealing with when his "what I did this summer" composition included the word "ironically." Apparently that's not a typical usage in fourth grade. She also told me he needs to get over his bad attitude about group work. I managed not to share my feelings about group work.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Type your name with the word "needs" after it into a search engine and see what comes up.
Vera needs your help. Defending human rights in Malawi.
Vera needs to find out the cost.
Vera needs sugar. She wants her name in peppermint frosting.
Aloe vera needs dry and arid conditions so it's best grown in a pot where control over the conditions can be achieved.
Since Vera needs a reliable car, she asks her bank about auto loan rates.
VERA needs to develop an effective. mechanism for gathering learning;
all Vera needs is some warmth and acknowledgement
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Back in August, I ordered a wedding present from a Target registry. Soon after, I learned to my distress that the couple in question had moved to a completely different city some time before and had not bothered to update their registry address.
I have been engaged in a rapid downhill correspondence with Target ever since. The first e-mail exchange was promising:
MomVee: blah blah blah present blah address
Target: No problem, the people who live there now will probably send it back (I doubted it); but if they haven't done that by September 19th, go to this link and let us know and we'll refund your money anyway.
So after September 19th:
MomVee: It's now past September 19th and as per your e-mail instructions pasted in below I'm letting you know blah blah blah
Target: I see that the items in order #!@#$%$&%$*%& were delivered on August 4th! You can track your order blah blah blah.
MomVee: No, no, no! Relevant passages from old e-mails, plea to actually read mine.
MomVee: Hey, are you ever going to do anything about this situation? Explanation, explanation, plea to look at all customer service messages about this order number for more info.
Target: (actual text)
Greetings from Target.com.
Thanks for letting us know that this package did not reach your
recipient because of a problem with the shipping address. If a
package can't be delivered, the shipper should return it to us. When
we receive the returned package, we'll issue a refund to your credit
card and send you an e-mail confirmation.
Friday, November 04, 2005
|Oliver O that your highness knew my heart in this!|
|I never lov’d my brother in my life.|| |
|Duke F. More villain thou.|
I use this line (in my head) all the time. Also my own private variation, "More idiot thou."
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Don't get me wrong, there are many things I like about Halloween. I enjoy helping my kids with their costumes; I like to wear a little whimsical something myself. I adore candy. I have a compulsion to buy any decorative item that features black cats with their backs arched.
But I don't like answering the door a bazillion times between 5 and 9 pm. If you are a mother, or certainly if you are I (grammar?), between 5 and 9 pm you are helping people put their costumes on, making dinner, straightening up the living room, checking homework, fielding phone calls, putting children to bed...often simultaneously. I have to keep reminding myself that I will get to see the adorable children in their costumes and give them my carefully chosen treats (carefully chosen to be totally unappealing to me so there will be any treats left by nightfall).
Winners last night: twin Marilyn Monroes.
Throwing Stuff Away Update
Last year Santa (nudge nudge, wink wink) fell in love with some inflatable Tiki heads at the dollar store. Both R.'s and Uncle S. got them in their stockings and were distinctly underwhelmed. They floated around the house for a while. Then in my current frenzy I went through not-so-little R.'s desk and threw away with joyful abandon.
On Sunday, before the parade, I thought R.'s Indiana Jones costume could use a finishing touch, in addition to the hat, jacket, whip and gun. An idol, like the one he takes at the beginning of "Raiders"! The tiki! I went upstairs with a heavy heart, hoping against hope that I had not thrown away the tiki, but it seemed likely, especially since it was a painful reminder of a failed gift.
But no, at least one tiki was still kicking around (in not-so-big R.'s study, where things go to stay alive forever)!
Now I can toss it. I think.
How Siblings Can Differ
Last night, in lieu of a truly spooky story, I read my children Stephen Vincent Benet's The King of the Cats, one of my all-time favorites. It has an extremely elevated vocabulary and arch style, and I wondered about a quarter of the way through whether they were getting it. Being polite children, they didn't interrupt. M. fell asleep. When I finished, S. said, "That was a great story," nestled into the pillow, and was heard from no more.
Not-so-little R. was completely terrorized, afraid to go anywhere in the house alone, and asked me to please never say "Then I'm the King of the Cats!" ever, ever again.
And Now For Something Really Scary
M. has her every-nine-months cardiologist appointment today. I could use everyone's psychic help in remembering to breathe while driving there.
Friday, October 28, 2005
1. Vintage suede jacket--from The Antique Boutique on Broadway in the Village, I believe still extant, unlike Unique, my other big hangout. Starting when I was 13 I was allowed to prowl the city with a friend, but my parents usually arranged to be on the same island. In the era before cell phones, I'm not sure what this really accomplished except to make them less reachable in the event of a crisis. Then when I was 14 or 15 I could take the train and be truly on my own, which I did as often as I could. I still own this jacket, wore it yesterday. It's a kind of mahogany color, lined with iridescent greenish rose acetate (looks better than it sounds) medium length, somewhat boxy cut. It had a self belt which I tossed long ago, and now I'm kind of sorry.
2. Lavender Indian cotton sundress--this dress was one of those mysterious successes Nancy Hale writes about in A New England Girlhood: "Certain dresses had a cosmic importance in my wardrobe. There were dresses in which I always had a good time and those dresses, as smart or smarter, which seemed to possess no magic." Although I was not a Boston Brahmin debutante in the 20s, I did have this magic dress, which I bought at "$5-a-bag-day" at the Friends of Animals thrift shop. It was lavender, a color I have always loved, sleeveless and trimmed with eyelet and coarse lace; the bodice buttoned down the front and it had a slightly flared skirt. It actually fit me rather poorly, the waistline hitting neither at my natural waist nor at any other convenient spot; but boys fell all over me when I wore this dress.
My first boyfriend and I had a little routine in which he would say "I like your dress," and I replied "That's because it's a dress." (var. also for "skirt") It was more than that, though. In high school my skirt day/pants day ratio was higher than it ever will be again but not every skirt was magic. I especially enjoyed revealing the thrift shop origins of the fawned-over dress--rather than explaining the $5 bag I would just say it cost $.50, based on how many items I thought I had bought--and the boys would exclaim, "And thrifty too!" It was like "Kind of Woman" from Pippin.
Eventually fell apart in the wash.
3. Tattered Jeans--Another bulk thrift find, these from a loft kind of place in Cambridge where you could buy clothes by the pound out of random piles all over the floor. I was visiting friends living there for the summer, in between sophomore and junior year of college. I spotted these very worn jeans, already with significant holes in the knees, picked them up and held them in front of me. They looked about the right length, so I stuffed them in my garbage bag. As it turned out they were boy's button-fly Levi's and they fit me perfectly. To paraphrase Barbara Mandrell, I was low-rise when low-rise wasn't cool. These jeans had a magical quality not unlike that of the lavender dress. I particularly remember one time when my roommate said, "You know, if you had described that outfit to me (vintage suede jacket above, ecru lace blouse, the jeans) I would have said no. But you look awesome."
One sad day they had to become shorts, and then...I don't know what happened to them. On the same trip I bought a wide-brimmed black straw hat in Quincy Market, which I left on the airplane coming home.
4. My wedding dress--it was exactly what I had in mind, the first dress I tried on. (I took three off the sample sale rack. The salesladies made me try on number two, but I refused to bother with number three.) My mother-in-law was recently reminiscing about all the family wedding dresses, and she said "You looked beautiful in your dress. Like Grace Kelly." Mission accomplished! It was a ballgown with a tulle skirt (sweep train) and silk satin bodice with a portrait neckline, appliqued all over with beaded Alencon lace. I'd love to wear it again. Sigh.
5. Three hats--a hat lover like me can't pick just one. Two hats I bought for my sister-in-law's wedding in 1998 (I always buy the hat and then get a dress to match. It's easier than the other way.) Both are fine straw with tulle studded with tiny roses around the crown. I wore the pink and white one to the wedding, and I have worn the taupe and white one to every Easter ever since. The third hat is a huge black straw with big black crepe roses and veiling around the crown. I get to wear it tonight as part of my Holly Golightly costume!
So, to sum up: three vintage items, all having waistline issues. The remaining two rely heavily on tulle.
I tag ergo.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I keep hitting 3 on the little stereo remote over and over so I can obsessively listen to this catchy chorus:
"If you want to run/I'll pack my suitcase/
And if you want to stay,/I'll make a front door key/
and if you need space/To fly free,/
take all the sky you need"
I liked it better before I checked the liner notes and understood that a woman was speaking, because although it is very nice to give your partner of any sex some space, I'm more impressed when a man does it for a woman. Others have written this song before, notably Todd Rundgren, perhaps the underrated musical genius of the 20th century; but good themes bear repetition.
On the same album I'm liking the very catchy and upbeat (unusual for me to obsessively repeat an upbeat song)* "Alice's Champagne Palace," despite this incredibly cheesy rhyme:
"Alice will pour you a cold one,/You go ahead and ask her,/if you're running away to Alaska."
It actually makes you start to feel that it would be fun to run away to Alaska and work in a cannery...unless, of course, you had three children a marriage and a whole life on the East Coast. Yeah. Also, and this seems so unfair, even when I was footloose and fancy free, for a woman (and especially a woman from a family like mine) something like running away to Alaska never seems to be on the list of options. Anyway, to redeem itself the song also has this great line:
"I guess sometimes you gotta go/to the end of the earth/just to turn yourself around."
And sometimes you just have to get the youngest kid off to school. :)
*Edited to say: actually not so unusual, thinking about it. About two years ago I was obsessively repeating "I Don't Know What It Is" and "14th Street" from Rufus Wainwright's "Want One." They are still awesome. Too bad "Want Two" pretty much stank. I really prefer my music's sexual content to be sufficiently veiled that I can play it in front of my children. Is that wrong?
The bright side is I always maintained that pseudoephedrine made me feel way too high even for cold medicine, and now I feel vindicated. Apparently my body is so sensitive it can perceive even the ingredients of a recreational drug.
Monday, October 24, 2005
There's the rub. I'm 35 years old and I can't get used to this idea, that we get credit for what we actually do, not what we could do. I really need to work on that.
*And when the teachers do briefly comment, in person, about how intelligent a child is, there's always a qualifier: "He's very bright, of course, but he's going to have to learn that..."
I propose a ban on all Christmas decorations that represent wrapped gifts. It's this specific product that set me off, but I have been noticing more and more gift-shaped decor in recent years, not to mention the rolls of wrapping paper I saw in the posh stationery store last year that depict skinny women shopping in high heels. Maybe I didn't get the memo, but I thought we were all, at the very least, trying to keep up the fiction that this is not all about the presents? It's not like the holidays are devoid of symbolism or iconography, or our decorating motifs are so impoverished that we are forced to display what seem to be presents but do not, in fact, even have a carefully chosen token of someone's affection inside.
I have a slight sick feeling that this is a misguided response to complaints that trees, Santas and (although I haven't encountered this one) stars are somehow offensive. I have certainly noticed the proliferation of snowmen and while I don't go hog wild on the snowmen they don't offend me. At least they have to do with cooperative creative effort and making the best of a dark and cold time of year; at least they represent living beings and not dollar signs. I fear, though, that someone complained about the snowmen and thus we have the ultimate decorative "So there."
Friday, October 21, 2005
What I wanted to mention specifically here was a little moment towards the end *SPOILER ALERT DO NOT READ FARTHER ETC. ETC.*
...when the history buff/treasure hunter hero and history buff/national archives bigwig heroine are in peril on a rotting spiral staircase way beneath Trinity Church. At a quiet moment the hero takes the heroine in his arms and says, "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry I dropped you, but I had to save the Declaration of Independence," and she says, "That's okay! I would have done the exact same thing!" He does this great double take, says, "You would?" and obviously goes through the thought process of hey, that's not okay, you're a woman and my romantic interest and you should...but if it's the right thing for me to do, then it's the...actually, it's kind of hot!
I think it's an awesome, subtle, feminist moment.
When I was carrying my babies, I had nothing so trendy and cool as a bump. It had no name except maybe a belly. But mostly I just felt that it was the same abdomen I always had, except with a (sometimes huge) baby underneath, and everyone else seemed to also.
Does the bump taking on an identity of its own have philsophical implications? And if so, what are they?
But today I don't have to make any phone calls, and it is my particular pathology that a phone call hangs threateningly over my head all day, torturing me with its possibilities of conflict, ridicule and rejection.
So when I don't have any phone calls to make, the whole day opens up invitingly in front of me.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Want to know something even worse? It crossed my mind to give my father the thing for Christmas, then go over to his house and read the Salinger stories.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I was going bathroom
I was going bathroom
I was going bathroom
We are young.
I won't deny the tune owed a lot to "The Bear Went Over the Mountain," but I really like that Pat Benetar touch at the end.
In other news, S. continues to riff on Dental Arts long after the concept has lost its freshness for everyone else in the car.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
In Holidays In Hell, which I am too lazy to go upstairs at look at for a copyright date (and the Internet is failing me, but let's just say the 80s), P.J. O'Rourke recounted his visit to Heritage USA, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's theme park in South Carolina, noting "The Bibles themselves
had names like A Bible Even You Can Read..."
So today some helpful person hung a flyer on my doorknob advertising the availability of "The Recovery Version: A Bible You Can Understand."
"On Sunday, President Bush called on Congress to consider a larger role for U.S. armed forces in responding to natural disasters..."
I'm sorry, did he miss the, oh, twelve years of school when they tell you about the balance of power? And how the redcoats could do whatever they wanted and how much it pissed off the founding fathers? This guy is from the party, supposedly, of states' rights and smaller government.
And yes, I know the story is a week old. Thank this morning's NPR commentary for bringing it onto my screen.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled mommy/cultural blogging.
Monday, October 17, 2005
|You Are Apple Cider|
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
2. I have a really really bad, drug-resistant headache.
3. Last weekend I felt bad because I threw away our safety dartboard, although we were down to a single dart. And a few months ago I felt bad because I threw away 2 or 3 remote-control vehicles that people gave not-so-little-R. as gifts when he was WAY too young for them, like 7 or 8 years too young, and they had bent antennas or missing remotes or just generally made me feel like killing myself and were never played with. And then yesterday NSLR received a magnetic dartboard and an RC stunt car for his birthday and I decided I am never feeling guilty for throwing something away again. I am going to throw away a ton of things.
Monday, October 10, 2005
The situation is not helped by people who respond with blatant lies ("Oh, it didn't say RSVP." That one left me actually speechless for a moment.)
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I thought it would be easy to find a fedora hat and find (or make) a bullwhip, but I'll admit I was a little concerned about the leather jacket.
So I went to the thrift store looking for the hat today and found (drumroll) an awesome leather jacket in NSLR's size! It's even somewhat worn around the corners, as Indy's would naturally be.
This doesn't mean I won't be able to find a hat, right? Right?
Before we leave for preschool, M. and I both use the bathroom.
M: Now our bwadders are empty!
M: What is a bwadder?
MV: Well, it's kind of like a balloon inside your tummy, full of wee-wee.
M: (gently) Except when it's not full.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Sixteen years ago my boyfriend--well, he wasn't my boyfriend at the time, but he soon would be--gave me the VHS of "Cinderella" for Christmas. It was partly that gift that let me know he would soon be my boyfriend. At the time, that was more than one might be expected to spend on a platonic friend. (As I recall, I gave him the soundtrack of "The Little Mermaid" on cassette. Yes, we were hiding from adulthood, and yes, he is now out of the closet. Irrelevant to this story.) But more than the price aspect, the fact that he picked that movie suggested that he understood me, not only knowing it was my favorite Disney movie, but that "Cinderella" is my personal iconic fairy tale. (I have small feet and like surprising people with my heretofore unnoticed qualities.)
Two years later, I was full of angry and bridge-burning feelings, but somehow this tape survived the purges. I kept it, and all three of my children have watched it countless times. The box is yellowed and brittle.
I feel very funny about getting rid of it.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
*Only a really good show is worth that kind of ceaseless eye-rolling.
Monday, September 26, 2005
1) Sing solo in public again
2) Learn to surf
3) See Paris
4) Publish a novel
5) Have grandchildren
6) Drive cross-country
7) Become an authority on something
7 things I can do:
1) Write a good thank-you note
2) Sight-read show tunes on the piano
3) Read really fast
4) Make dinner out of whatever's on hand
5) Find and buy a black-tie dress that fits in under 30 minutes (recently tested)
6) Remember obscure and useless facts about movies I have not seen
7) Make (and in some cases pack) five breakfasts, three lunches, one snack and two caffe lattes, pack two backpacks and comb three heads of hair between 6:45 and 7:30
7 things I cannot do:
2) Remember the rules of card games
3) Hit a ball of any kind with a stick of any kind
4) Lie without blushing
5) Sleep sitting up
6) Control my tone of voice
7) Notice how, in item 7 above, I did not comb my own hair? A sadly regular occurrence.
7 things I say most often:
1) You may not speak to your brother (sister) that way.
2) Two things:
6) I'm sure you will not be surprised to learn that...
7) You must be high.
1) Vincent D'Onofrio
2) Andrew McCarthy
3) Hugh Grant
4) William Hurt
5) Colin Firth
6) John Cusack
7) (new) Jason Lee
Friday, September 23, 2005
I have so been there, in so many ways.
1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
With the Coach-Families! From Been a Long Lonely, Lonely, Lonely, Lonely, Lonely Time.
Not-so-big-R: Hey, I like the new, non-stained throw pillows.
MomVee: M., why are you putting on your pajamas at 3 o'clock in the afternoon?
M: (with a look of infinite patience) They're my pretend soccer uniform.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
1. No matter how beautifully you mitre the corners, your child's teacher will not send a congratulatory note home or mention it to you at Back To School Night.
2. When you find a store that has clear Contac paper, go ahead and buy four large rolls. You will use them--if not this year, then next year. Making multiple Contac runs throughout September stinks.
3. Practice makes perfect. Or at least better.
4. Yes, that is another damned book. Try to remember it is not your child's fault. You want your child to have schoolbooks. The school does not want them to fall apart. Be zenlike in your acceptance of the ongoing Contac task.
5. Once covered, books with textured surfaces look better than glossy ones.
6. Don't bother to smooth out the little bubbles, etc. No one cares.
7. You will eventually be finished with this job. Until next year.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
"Do you sell the red containers for putting used needles in?"
The human pharmacist leans out from farther down the counter, catches my eye, and shakes her head no. "Thank you," I say to the human pharmacist, while the robot pharmacist says, "Take them to the hospital."
"She wants a container," the human pharmacist explains as I walk away.
Next I tried the mom and pop pharmacy. "Do you sell sharps disposal containers?"
"Just a second."
"I'm sorry, we're just out of them. Do you have to have it today?"
"No, but as long as you're going to reorder, I want three."
"Okay. We'll have them tomorrow. Let me get your name and number..."
When we were all done she said, "Don't run all over looking for something. Just call us. We can always get it for you."
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Monday, September 05, 2005
What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river have busted through clear down to Plaquemines
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline
They're tyrin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away
President Coolidge came down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a note-pad in his hand
The President say, "Little fat man isn't it a shame what the river has
To this poor cracker's land."
Monday, August 29, 2005
--two-cycle motor oil
--2-inch trailer hitch shaft
--ice cream scoop?
I would venture to say, only while on vacation at a remote lakeside cabin.
I was also informed of the problem of wax drippage from the picturesque chandeliers on the screen porch, and when I suggested small hurricane glasses, was told they do not exist. Subsequently located lantern glasses of the exact right size in the general store; unfortunately there were only four in stock. Obviously the Internet can solve this problem if the store buyer won't. I feel that I did not receive enough credit for this discovery. While I'm complaining, I'll just say that I expected a little more praise for actually locating a trailer hitch shaft of any size in an unfamiliar area. But hey.
We canoed downstream with my father-in-law and picknicked (sp?) on a big rock overlooking a waterfall. That was awesome, and I am extremely proud of my new paddling skills. That was on my birthday (thanks for the greeting, ergo) which no one remembered until we got back to the camp and my mother-in-law said sheepishly, "your parents called to wish you a happy birthday." But that's okay. And actually the kids remembered, when I got out the cupcakes at the picnic, but I shushed them because at that point it had become an experiment. Again, only on vacation.
On Saturday night my in-laws had a party and everyone had too much to drink and told a lot of jokes on the theme of male anatomy.* Only on...well, you know.
*Two guys are walking across a bridge and feel the need to relieve themselves. They walk over to the side and er, arrange themselves over the railing. One says "This water is awfully cold," and the other replies, "Yes, but it's not very deep."
Friday, August 19, 2005
Whenever I think of the word "hiatus" I think of the horrible Dr. Hicks from the early seasons of ER, who suggested that Peter Benton go on hiatus because of his many personal problems.
"While there is little 'plot' to speak of..."
So, I get all this "Be a secret shopper" spam. (Note: a secret shopper is not one who cuts the tags off her purchases and hangs them in the closet in hopes that her husband will not notice. A secret shopper buys things with someone else's money and then fills out surveys about how nasty the sales associate was.) My question is, would I have to wear that shirt? Because the purpose of those flower appliques is, presumably, to technically cover the nipples. I cannot help feeling two things, though: 1) Those appliques look like some kind of horrible skin condition and 2) They really call attention to what they are meant to conceal.
Also, notice that this young woman cannot even point without her male companion's assistance.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
I think this is my favororite:
44. I cut my head open with a sharp knife while trying to kill a housefly with that same knife.
Although I also like number 85: I once made 100 phone calls in a day to a guy's house when I was in junior high school. Just to hear him answer the phone. The police came. The family didn't press charges.
Link thanks to Terry Teachout.
Monday, August 15, 2005
I must say, though, that S. proved to be a good little shopper, and as much as some of you reading this may guffaw, it was a learning experience and an exercise in choice and restraint. We got this bed, since the only bed for American Girl Today dolls (the kind S. has) costs one hundred and sixty dollars and weighs forty-five pounds. ("we usually recommend that people have it shipped" the sales associate said. Yeah.) The only purchase I would have quibbled with was the red white and blue gymnastics outfit, but you know, not my doll, not my birthday outing. Well, also the hair care kit, but I recognize that most little girls enjoy styling hair.
The show was awesome--S. and I were singing the songs (quietly) on the train coming home, and the production values were modest but ingenious. At the end they have the audience stand up and sing the American Girl Anthem ("I can be brave, I can be true/I will do the best that I can do") with the cast but unfortunately I was sobbing too hard to sing most of it. Luckily the mother next to me was similarly incapacitated.
Afternoon tea in the cafe, also awesome. We had nine things to eat, about three bites of each, which is my favorite kind of meal. The decor is perfect, black and white stripes and polka dots with hot pink accents. They had a harpist playing Beatles songs, and a little box full of questions to ask each other when conversation lags. And, of course, a special seat and dishes for your doll. Absolutely everything--the seat, the dishes, the aprons, the green glass flowerpots the chocolate mousse comes in--is for sale right outside. (We resisted).
Brilliant marketing, I recognize that. But also, truly a wonderful ready-made day's outing for a girl and her mother.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Saturday, August 06, 2005
So I decided to buy Pet Sounds on CD, high time because Wouldn't It Be Nice, God Only Knows and Sloop John B are probably my top three Beach Boys songs. And I have always thought Brian Wilson was a genius, if not actually a deity. Yet the only Beach Boys recording I owned was a weird vinyl "Beach Boys Live in London."
Well, it's that good. And this morning while I was listening to the gorgeous unmistakably Wilsonian harmonies, the deceptively adolescent lyrics, the brilliant musical effects I can't even name*, I was also reading this, in Ian McEwan's Saturday:
"There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they've ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative or technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything you have to others, but lose nothing of yourself."
Or, as Tess Gallagher would say, "Then something else happens."
*For instance, incredible use of percussion, which I usually don't notice much. Like the single authoritative bass thump that ends the intro of Wouldn't It Be Nice, or the oddly stirring snares of God Only Knows.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Ryan Adams "Cold Roses." Every song on this double album is good. Singable. Excellent for playing one of our household's favorite games "who/what does this sound like," with such varied answers as the Dead, Dire Straits, U2, seventies television theme song...which brings me to my other hearty recommendation,
Josh Rouse "Nashville." Same thing, every song is good. And in the "what does this sound like" department, how many singer-songwriters these days are sounding like The Smiths, which Rouse does in "Winter In the Hamptons"? As I was listening to "Streetlights" I said, "Not-so-big-R., this guy must be our age. Who else would allude to Journey by mentioning "streetlights people" in a song?" And he said, "Oh, I don't know, I think that's a common expression." But apparently these critics agree with me. And ol' Josh was born in 1972 (title of his last album), so I say bingo.
What did the dietician say? All good things. "Wow, you guys have already got a handle on this!" "I have to say, anyone who makes her own granola probably doesn't need nutritional advice." "No, his cholesterol is fine, the RNP is on crack, look at his HDL/LDL ratio." (She didn't actually say the RNP was on crack.)
As we were walking to the car, not-so-big R. said, "So we're still winning," which is totally, sadly, the way we relate to this. And everything. We married each other because we're both like Scoop in The Heidi Chronicles (shout out to ergo), grading everything and keeping track of points.
Friday, July 22, 2005
*Side note: I also discovered that Jon Cryer of Pretty In Pink and Two and a Half Men is Gretchen Cryer's son! You can imagine how dirty my house is right now with this kind of internet mining going on.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Two years ago when book 5 came out and I devoured it in two days, I felt like an addict--hangover from reading until after midnight, damaged relationship with my visiting mother-in-law, regret when it was over so soon and no more books on the horizon.
Just wanted to mention, though, that I am falling deeply in love with Albus Dumbledore. That's all I'll say right now.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
The way it works is, you post something you want to get rid of, and someone else wants it and you arrange for them to pick it up. Or you post something you want, and someone else has it and wanted to get rid of it and you go pick it up. Etc. So far I got rid of an oddly-behaving boombox and a full-size metal bed frame by the first method, and a stack o' potty seats by the second.
But the best? Last weekend my area Freecycle had its first seasonal "Free-For-All": spread your stuff out on the ground and then go scout everyone else's stuff. No cash, no bartering, just take what you want provided you brought something. I scored a bedside carafe (with the little glass that covers the top) a food scale (much needed in this new regime of carb-counting) and--drumroll--
matching shabby chic light fixtures, painted metal floral chandeliers, one big and one small, to replace the one big and one small hideous teak-brass-and-giant-light-bulb seventies fixtures in my bedroom. Hooray!
"There are many tears in the ballai."
R. and I like to say this quite frequently in a heavy French accent. I think a hand-rolled cigarette clutched in the corner of one's mouth would add to the effect.
Anyway, it has definitely acquired the status of a family aphorism.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
I don't deal well with bureaucracies, and medical ones are my least favorite kind.
Also, although I feel confident that my friends and family would tell you I really am a nice person at heart, they would also feel constrained to agree that I am really terrible at controlling my tone of voice and facial expressions. So the anxiety and, let's face it, hostility that I bring to, say, a conversation with an insurance company (or today, a pharmacist) help make the bureaucratic hell a foregone conclusion. Which came first, the red-tape chicken or the MomVee bad-attitude egg?
And there is so, so much more of this to come.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Anyway, then this guy walks over to the pizza-eaters and yells heartily, "So, you guys getting SMOKED OUT here? Looks like you're getting SMOKED OUT!" They shrugged, shook their heads and tried to continue eating their pizza, but this dude continued to shout his favorite phrase about 12 times, until he finally convinced them to move to the upper deck. Then when they got up there he loudly said things like, "This is much better, you're not getting SMOKED OUT! Boy, you can really get SMOKED OUT down there."
Now, normally in a situation like this R. would be sanguine and I would be writhing with humiliation. But I broke through some kind of wall and roles were reversed. So while R. finished cooking the steak, I stood next to him whispering things like, "Gosh, I hope we didn't smoke those people out." And while we ate I said things like "You know what, honey? Tonight after the kids go to bed? We should smoke some people out." When I could say it, because I was laughing until the tears ran.
And now I can't stop. I told a lot of our friends, so now whenever R. sees someone he hasn't seen in a while, they say, "Hey, smoked anyone out lately?"
Sunday, July 10, 2005
If I had a shiny gun,
I could have a world of fun
Speeding bullets through the brains
Of the folk who give me pains;
Or had I some poison gas,
I could make the moments pass
Bumping off a number of
People whom I do not love.
But I have no lethal weapon-
Thus does Fate our pleasure step on!
So they still are quick and well
Who should be, by rights, in hell.
Yeah, have I mentioned how much I hate doctors?
I'm in the anger stage now. Clearly.
Friday, July 08, 2005
Not-so-little R. will be 10 in September, so...
1. Roll on your side down a grassy bank--check.
2. Make a mud pie--well, he's definitely played in the mud
3. Make your own modelling dough mixture--yes
4. Collect frogspawn--no. Today's kids don't do nearly enough roaming around town, and we live in a swampy, creeky town so there's really no excuse. I never did it either, though.
5. Make perfume from flower petals--no.
6. Grow cress on a windowsill--no, but we've grown other things.
7. Make a papier-mache mask--no.
8. Build a sandcastle--many.
9. Climb a tree--many.
10. Make a den in the garden--no.
11. Make a painting using your hand and feet--yes.
12. Organise your own teddy bears' picnic--no. I'm sorry, but some of these are just more girl things than boy things.
13. Have your face painted--yes.
14. Bury a friend in the sand--yes, buryer and buryee.
15. Make some bread--yes.
16. Make snow angels--yes.
17. Create a clay sculpture--yes.
18. Take part in a scavenger hunt--no.
19. Camp out in the garden--well, at the beach club.
20. Bake a cake--yes.
21. Feed a farm animal--yes.
22. Pick some strawberries--apples.
23. Play Pooh sticks--yes.
24. Recognise five different bird species--and how.
25. Find some worms--yes, although only S. will touch them.
26. Ride a bike through a muddy puddle--you betcha.
27. Make and fly a kite--make no, fly, yes.
28. Plant a tree--no.
29. Build a nest out of grass and twigs--probably.
30. Find 10 different leaves in the park--maybe not quite 10.
31. Grow vegetables--yes.
32. Make breakfast in bed for your parents--still waiting, dude.
33. Make a mini assault course in your garden--I don't even know what this really means, but it sounds like a boy thing. I'm sure he'll get right on it.
Link courtesy of Dawn
Thursday, July 07, 2005
For some reason this picture really spoke to me. Unfortunately I can't find the bigger frame version, in which I swear he was carrying an umbrella. Anyway, he makes me think of Mr. Banks from Mary Poppins, and he looks like Mr. Banks--stoic but a tad overwhelmed, as if the world is too much with him.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
I may or may not write more about it later--if I forget, remind me to tell you why I am so angry at one Dr. J. of our pediatrics practice--but right now I'm just done. We managed to get home last night and spent most of the day with doctors, but avoided hospitalization.
A whole new life of finger-sticks and injections lies before us.