Educating Daddy

Posted on 2/22/2009 12:01:00 PM
Dormouse: "One time Angela said a bad word at school. She said the F-word and the S-word."

KingofHearts: "That's not good."

DM: "Do you know what the F-word means?"

KoH: "Yeah. I know."

DM: "Do you know what the S-word means?"

KoH: "Stupid?"

DM: "Right."

My thoughts: 

A Horse is a Horse, Of Course, Of Course

Posted on 2/21/2009 07:01:00 AM In:
Meet Mr. Edless:

I believe I've made it apparent through this blog that I'm not your candy kisses and roses Valentines' Day gift type, but I do give memorable gifts. He may not have "always wanted" what I give him, but at least he gets my sense of humor, which is pretty much the best thing about being married to The KingofHears.

Mr. Edless was my Valentines' Day present to The KingofHearts, created by the lovely and way-more-talented-than-me,
Beth. I found the pattern online and knew immediately that it was over my head, so I begged her to make it for me. I only realized after Beth sent it to me, though, how much more work it was that I originally thought. How incredibly intricate that pattern was, how difficult it must have been to execute, and how she really, really undercharged me. Now we just have to convince her to put some of her knitted items in her etsy shop - or maybe to do a decapitated horse head stained glass Christmas ornament.

And yes, I put Mr. Edless in The KoH's bed to surprise him. Because he loves romantic scenes from old movies as much as I do.

After I gave it to him, however, one of his friends suggested that the only thing that would have made this gift better is if I had gotten a craft music button that plays the Theme from the Godfather to put inside Mr. Edless' ear. Where were you back in October, when I hatched this idea, John?

My favorite thing about this stuffed animal is the exposed vertebre and arteries at the base of the neck. Now that's detail. My other favorite thing is that The Caterpillar looOooves it and walks around the house hugging it and saying something that I'm sure translates from baby babble into English as, "I will love him and pet him and hug him and squeeze him and call him George."

For future Valentine-type holidays, I plan to make him every one of these things. And when I say, I plan to make, what I really mean is Get your needles ready, Beth!

My thoughts: 

And She's Broad Where a Broad Should Be Broad

Posted on 2/20/2009 05:59:00 AM
Conductor explaining why he doesn't know where the cuts are in the piece we are playing:

"I've tried to contact the soloist about this, but she hasn't answered me. Right now she's abroad, so I don't know when I'll be able to learn about the specifics of this piece.


"She's in England, by the way; that wasn't a pun."

My thoughts: 

Craggy Tree

Posted on 2/19/2009 05:55:00 AM
While we were driving around in Burkittsville the other day, I made us stop by the side of the road to take a picture of this really cool tree. There's a similar tree that I see every time I get on the freeway near my house and I'm fascinated with it. However, it's so mired amidst the overgrown, mini forest that's flourishing in between the exits, that I've never bothered to even attempt to photograph it. I know it will get lost in all the background. This tree, however, could very well have been planted just in that spot so it would make a good photo seventy or eighty (perhaps more? I'm no arborist) years later.

I love the crow who roosted in the very top just as I prepared to take the photo and then turned sideways to give me a perfect silhouette. (click to embiggen and you'll get a better view)
Crows are so photogenic!

I also like that this could have been a photo taken in a completely different era... just take away the color, run a filter or two and
voila, Craggy Tree in the 19th Century.

My thoughts: 


Posted on 2/18/2009 04:19:00 AM
I made The KingofHearts go buy me this edition of the Frederick News-Post last Saturday when we were having lunch in Frederick, mostly because I am a font geek and I noticed immediately that the weight and point size of "Congress Passes Stimulus" was exactly the same as size as "Dog Dies." Also, because the dog's name was Bubba and Bubba got his picture in the paper when congress didn't and that, I find funny.

Getting this paper purely for blog post fodder proved to be problematic because The Dormouse (who now Reads. The. Paper. [!!]) read the entire article and then spent the next hour and a half in the car moping about how sad she was to hear about Bubba's death. So let that be a lesson to all you who have very young children: Never let them learn to read.

My thoughts: 

Another Hapless Victim of the Economic Downturn

Posted on 2/17/2009 06:45:00 AM
Another sight we saw on our trip to Burkittsville. This was not really Burkittsville, but downtown Frederick, which is actually a place I'd only driven through on the freeway before. We had quite a nice time kicking around here (although trying to find a movie theater is like looking for a needle in a haystack.... if that needle had been closed ages ago but was still advertised on Google maps) and the historic downtown area was really fun just to walk around. Then as we neared the more modern business area, we saw this guy reminding us that there were income tax services within mere feet of where he was standing.

Please, if I ever get to the point where I have to do this to make ends meet... just buy me an old van and I'll go live in it down by the river.

The photo doesn't do it justice, but this guy looked like he should have been fixing your HVAC system, not standing on the side of the road holding a store sign. He clearly had not yet found the humor in the situation nor a way to enjoy the task like those guys in downtown DC who hold signs and dance like a monkey for your entertainment. So when we turned around and drove past him again, this time with The KingofHearts hanging out the side of the car with a camera pointed at him, his look read, "THE STATUE OF LIBERTY IS GONNA KICK ALL YOUR HUDDLED ASSES YEARNING TO BREATHE FREE."

My thoughts: 
In my travels around the interweb a few days ago, I somehow stumbled upon the concept of Gravity Hills and went off on a tangent researching them. I do that every so often -- start by following a link in a blog or an email and click on another link, then another, then another until before you know it I've gone from look at this cute picture of a kitten to a video of kittens in outer space who are eating the brains of Martians to stay alive. The internet always knows how to make a topic more interesting.

If you haven't heard of a gravity hill before, it is a place where if you drive to the bottom of the hill, stop, put your car in neutral and take your foot off the brake, you will roll, unaided by any combustion engine whatsoever,
uphill. No kidding.

I'd heard of them in the past but I was surprised to learn that there are thirty three of these places in the United States and one of them is actually within a hundred miles of my house. Who knew? So on Valentines' Day we loaded up the car and headed out to Burkittsville, Maryland, home of The Blair Witch, and went in search of Spook Hill. It took us a little while to find it... it's not marked in any way and we actually drove over and past it several times before we figured out how to understand the directions I'd pulled off the web. But eventually, we identified Spook Hill and experienced the phenomenon for ourselves.

I've seen explanations for these sites run the paranormal gamut of thinking and they tend to have names like "Haunted Hill", "Mystery Hill," "Magnetic Hill", or "Anti-gravity Hill."

In 1862, Union troops forced Burkittsville residents to flee as the Battle of Crampton's Gap commenced which led to the Battle of Antietam. Burkittsville homes were used by the Union Sixth Army Corps for hospitals and shelter.
Not surprisingly, since Burkittsville is a small, sleepy, historic village located between two Civil War battlefields, the story behind this gravity hill involves the Civil War and it's metaphysical staying power. Local legend says that ghosts of dead Union soldiers are still pushing cannons up the mountain and, since your car is in their way, and I guess since they can't ask nicely for you to move, they just push you too.

Here's our gravity hill experience, recorded for all posterity.

Please to ignore the sorry state of my car, the gloves that have been sitting unused on my dash for months (I have like three pair in the car right now), the (as my Grandmother used to say) "shird bit" on the windshield, and the napkin-wrapped pancakes from our breakfast at IHOP that morning that we saved for The Caterpillar to eat in the car. I suppose I could have cleaned all that stuff off before making a video to share with the Interweb, but this isn't a George Lucas production or anything. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

And in case you're clamoring for more and can't live without a second shot at living vicariously through us, here's one more crack at it:

In case you're the type who can't stand for anyone to let a tiny bit of mystery lie unfettered, I also found this website, so here's the skeptics' explanation:
Fortunately, one of the Enigma Project's local associates, Mike Gilbert, was a surveyor by profession and we wasted little time in getting him to assess the anomaly. Mike examined the road with a transit and carefully marked it off, making notes all the while. When finished he presented us with a drawing of his survey, the results of which were quite surprising. The road's slight "rise" was, in fact, a "fall." Yes, contrary to what the eye perceived, Gravity Hill was actually a decline. Summarily, we learned that it was not a place where Nature's laws go awry, but rather, a unique location for an optical illusion. Evidently, the lay of the land, the sway of the trees, and so forth set the stage for an unusual, though not mysterious, error in visual perception.
Sure it makes more sense but way to take all the mystery out of it, killjoys.

P.S. Any guesses as to the origin of the title of this post, my dweeby,
science-fiction friends? Scott?

My thoughts: 

Needing a Little Less Help Around the House

Posted on 2/15/2009 08:03:00 PM
The Caterpillar has recently decided that it's great fun to help me clean up and put things away. I know I may sound ungrateful for saying this, but I'm thinking that maybe it'd be nice if she'd just find a nice toy to play with instead of trying to help me so much.

My thoughts: 

Cupid Has an Oral Fixation

Posted on 2/14/2009 05:58:00 AM
Happy Valentines' Day everyone!

My thoughts: 

Spelling Police

Posted on 2/13/2009 08:56:00 PM In:
It's Friday the 13th. That means it's time for another installment of 13 Things.

Thirteen Words I Cannot Type Correctly the First Time

It's not that I don't know how to spell them all... this is just what my fingers type almost every time I type these words. Let's hear it for muscle memory.
  1. Definately Definitely
  2. Marraige Marriage
  3. Therpay Therapy... problematic because I am a therapist.
  4. BWT BTW
  5. teh the... yeah, that one's a real problem
  6. occaision occasion
  7. committment commitment
  8. My maiden name... of course no one else could spell it either, so I wasn't alone there
  9. everytime every time
  10. comittee committee
  11. mispell misspell... ironic, that
  12. alot a lot
  13. aright alright... this one just makes me look like a rap artist poser

My thoughts: 

Dr. Love... One Year Later

Posted on 2/13/2009 11:28:00 AM In: ,
Last year, I posted an interview I did with The Dormouse about love, Valentines' Day and all things love-related. It was an idea completely ripped off from late night talk show hosts, I fully admit, but I'll wager that it wasn't their idea either, so I think I'm okay with the plagiarism police.

Since August, when she started kindergarten, this child has aged about six years. She rivals teenagers in moodiness, sass, and just generally being a pain around the house. I've actually started several posts disguised as l
etters to Age Five to tell it how I feel about it. Nearly all of them go pretty much the same way:
Dear Age Five,

I hate you.


The Dormouse's Mother

It's possible that I could flesh out my feelings a little more on this subject but my time has been consumed with yelling at my daughter that it shouldn't take twenty minutes to put on one sock.

It's not that I don't love my daughter and who she is right now. It's just that she's become more of a handful. Issues that were previously resolved with a three minute time out and a good explanation, now return over and over (and over and over), the truth has become more slippery than a greased eel around here, and if I have to yell at her to wipe, flush and wash her hands after using the bathroom one more time, I'm going to just record it and play it on a loop in the house during all waking hours. Sure, ages There and Four weren't picnics,
but the things that we were trying to teach her back then seemed less important. If we screwed up teaching her how to put her pants on properly, for example, she'd probably figure it out eventually. The things that we're trying to teach her now on the other hand, are things that seem more consequential if we get it wrong... sticking to a task from beginning to end, telling the truth, not taking things that don't belong to her. As far as stress level and catastrophic mistakes one can make go, ages Three and Four were a heck of a lot easier than Five has been so far.

I thought it would be fun to ask The Dormouse the same questions I asked her last year and see what new funny things she'd say.
The level of maturity to these answers this time floored me. I was hoping for some more gems like after you get married you paint the house and you should know someone for twenty years before getting married so you don't forget their name. What I got instead were the answers of a girl who is really starting to see the realities of the way relationships work and looking out for her own self interest... maybe too soon for my tastes. Growing up is a part of the deal. I know that. I just have to adjust to the differences in her answers to these questions only one short year later. It just seems like it's all happening too fast.

What is Valentines' Day?
It's a day that you give things like make valentines and give valentines

Why? Because if you want someone to give you something, you have to give them something first.

How do you know when you love someone?
When you give them hugs and give them kisses.

What is love?
Love is a kind of thing that... has plenty of things inside it. And if you love someone, it means you have to give them a gift. And they give you a gift.

What do people do on a date?
They go some places like to the movies or go out for dinner or they go to a ball and dance or something.

What would you do on a first date that didn't turn out so well?
I'd just run home.

Why do people get married?
Because they love each other.

How old should you be when you get married?
Eighteen and higher.

Where do you want to get married?
In the temple.

How long should you know someone before you marry them?
First you have to get someone that you want to marry. The next day after that you can marry them. Because the other day was the date.

How many people should come to your wedding?
Twenty or thirty.

What song should they play at your wedding?
Pomp and Circumstance.

What's a honeymoon?
It's somewhere you go water skiing.

Where would you like to go on your honeymoon?
I would like to go on my honeymoon to Hawaii (pronounced ha-why-a).

After the honeymoon, what do you do?
Get married.

Didn't you get married before the honeymoon?
Actually I'd go find a house.

Why do men give women flowers or chocolate?
Because men love them.

The women or the chocolate?
The women

What do you think about kissing?
It kinda makes me cry.

Why? Because it's so sweet.

Is it better to be single or married? It's better to be married.

How do you decide whom to marry? You have to look for a boy who's really handsome.

When you get married will you have children?

How many kids will you have?
I think I wanna have two.

What will you wear
when you get married? A wedding dress.

What will your husband wear?
Kind of a little church clothes and a tie and a black shirt over the white shirt.

How can you tell your parents love each other?
By seeing them kissing and hugging... like you and Dad always do, Mom. *snickers*

What do you think your mom and dad have in common?
They both like Diet Coke.

When is it okay to kiss someone? Only if you're married to them.

What do you want to get for Valentine's Day? Some bracelets and a necklace.

I'm starting to see that some day she will grow up and become her very own person and I won't have nearly the influence in her life I've enjoyed up until now. The control freak in me really hates that. Also that I need to go pick up some jewelry for Valentines' Day tomorrow because it doesn't look like the candy hearts I was planning on are going to cut it.

My thoughts: 

Brainwashing in Kindergarten

Posted on 2/12/2009 07:46:00 PM

Dormouse: "Being the principal is a biiig job."

Me: "Who says that?"

Dormouse: "The principal."

My thoughts: 

Helping Hands on the Hudson

Posted on 2/09/2009 10:37:00 PM In:

On January 13, 1982, I was fourteen years old and thousands of miles away from Washington, D.C. I'd never been there before and I had no connection to the city at all. But I sat on my living room floor glued to the television, watching news reports out of Washington as rescue efforts tried to save the passengers of Air Florida Flight 90.

I have no idea why this event is so indelibly etched in my mind. It didn't affect me personally. No one I knew lived in the area. But for some reason, I hung on every word about the disaster... from the survivors, to the traffic problems it caused in the area (which further exacerbated the gridlock and thwarted rescue attempts) and the Metro's first fatal subway accident (which also happened that day - the city couldn't get a break), to the "sixth passenger "and the early speculation about who he might have been. I remember watching as Lenny Skutnik dove into the water to help that woman who couldn't hold onto the rescue line. I remember as President Reagan introduced him at the State of the Union address a couple of weeks later and a couple of years later when the inevitable tv movie came out (Because that's what we did after a big disaster in the 70s and 80s. To deal with the tragedy, we immortalized it in film.), my family set aside the evening to watch. It didn't hurt that one of my favorite actors, Richard Masur, played Roger Olian, one of the first bystanders to jump into the water from the road to try to help.

I've often reflected on that event over the years. When I was in my early 20s and I came to Washington on a sightseeing trip with my family, we biked across the 14th Street bridge and I thought of that plane and those people, just yards away from me. Now I live a mere handful of miles from that spot. I've spent a lot of time downtown but to this day, I have never driven across that bridge without silently considering the ghosts there for at least a moment or two.

As a young teenager, this was my first awareness of America's lust for a tragedy... and it was tragic. But I think what stayed with me was the heroism... and the disappointment that, after so much heroism, only five people from the plane survived. Though I know it's impossible, I still desperately want to open up a paper and find that they made a mistake. They miscounted on the flight manifest or somehow found more survivors who managed to get out of the water and were routed to a different hospital or picked up by a passing motorist. It's now twenty-seven years later, so when I say it stuck with me, I mean it stuck. with. me.

This has been on my mind the past few weeks as I've learned more about the the crew and passengers of Flight 1549 (hey look, there's already a Wikipedia entry) and watched some of them make appearances and talk about their experiences.

In the hours after the plane's ditch into the Hudson river, I happened to see one of the passengers interviewed in the hospital on a local New York news station. He was lying on a gurney, wearing a white shirt with pilots' bars on the shoulders and talking about the pilot and how skillfully he landed the plane in the water. Then he described how the pilot ensured that every last one of the passengers and crew had gotten out the door by walking the length of the plane multiple times to make sure no one had been left behind. The reporter gestured toward the pilots' bars on the shoulder of the shirt the man was wearing and said, "Are you a part of the crew?"

"No," the man said, "when I was standing on the wing of the plane, I said I was cold, so the pilot took his shirt off and gave it to me."


I just watched the 60 Minutes interview with pilot Chesley Sullenberger thanks to the wonders of the digital video recorder, and was fascinated by his deep blue eyes, perfectly chosen words and calm demeanor. And I'll admit, the cynic inside me reared its ugly head and I couldn't help but think to myself, Is this guy too good to be true?

We want our heroes to be heroes, but in order to really play the part, they also have to eschew the role and avoid the spotlight. Because if they don't, in our minds they just become one of the scads of media whores we're so used to seeing on the airwaves (I'm looking at you, Joe the Plumber). If they do manage to stay out of the public eye, we clamor for more. It's an all but impossible balancing act, and Sullenberger seems to have managed it. Check out these last words of the interview:
Katie Couric: "You've been called a hero by a lot of people; how do you feel about that?"

Sullenberger: "I don't feel comfortable embracing it, but I don't want to deny it. I don't want to diminish their thankful feeling toward me by telling them that they're wrong. And I'm beginning to understand why they might feel that way."

Couric: "Why is that?"

Sullenberger: "Something about this episode has captured people's imagination. I think they want good news. I think they want to feel hopeful again. And if I can help in that way, I will."

It's tricky stuff, this heroism. Sully and his crew are heroes, but watching them at the Superbowl and in other cameos they've made in the past weeks, I'm struck by the idea that they all looked like they wanted to return to their lives and just go home -- which makes them even more heroic, at least to me. And I can't help but think that Arland Williams is watching and feeling proud.

My thoughts: 

Sweets for the Sweet

Posted on 2/07/2009 11:39:00 PM
The Dormouse came home with a note from her teacher yesterday explaining the Valentine's Day party the classroom is going to have next week. In the note, there was this clause:

"In lieu of a total sugar packed celebration, we are asking that our menu include: fruit salad, cupcakes, cookies, cake, candy, candy hearts and juice box drinks."

Gee, I'd hate to see what a sugar packed celebration looks like.

My thoughts: 

Homeschool Advantage

Posted on 2/05/2009 07:05:00 AM
I'm a member of our local freecycle group and yesterday someone posted an offering of some Hooked on Phonics tapes and books. I've seen commercials for the books and tapes for years and have always been curious, almost as curious as I am about those Your Baby Can Read dvds. But like the Your Baby Can Read Dvds, which I'm reasonably sure is a government plot designed to brainwash your children into becoming Clockwork Oranges, I was never willing to pony up the dough for a couple hundred dollars of sets just to quell my curiosity. And come on, what will they be hawking next? DVDs designed to teach my baby to trade stocks? Although maybe in this economy, it's not such a bad idea.

So when the opportunity presented itself and someone in my area offered the sets on freecycle, I decided to take it.

Freecycle is a cool way to recycle items and reduce the watsefullness I'm sometimes guilty of. Lots of things are still good and can be used by others, but I just don't know whom. I'm always working on decluttering my house of stuff I've only used once in the last ten years so as a concept, I dig freecycle. But there are drawbacks. One of the things that bugs me about freecycle is when you offer something and there's a great rush to claim the item but the person you promise it to can't be bothered to come get it. Recently I had a floor cleaner sit on my front doorstep for two weeks before I finally got sick of waiting for the person who wanted it to come by. I emailed to ask if she still wanted it after a week and she was all "Yes! I totally need it. I'll be by today!" and another week went by. I finally just told the next person to come get it. If you don't want it badly enough to actually go get the item, don't ask people to save it for you.

The other thing that bugs me is that people act so sanctimonious about it all. "You posted that you have a memory stick? Will it work with my camera? I have a Kodak 823E and I only want it if it will fit my camera. Also, I really want to make sure it's error proof, can you please run a diagnostic on it and tell me what the results are? Oh and I'll only take it if you put it in a water proof box because I don't want the rain to get to it and make sure you put my first name on the box so no one else will take it, oh and by the way, could you get me a purple one?" Dude, you're on the internet. You have as much access to Google as I do. Pick up the thing if you think you want it and check it for yourself. If it doesn't work for you, you can pawn it off on someone else, or worse, *gasp* throw it away like I was going to do. If you don't want to go to at least a little effort in finding out if the thing will work for you, then stop picking through my trash.

Or... they offer something and then immediately extend their hand to allow you all to kiss their ring. Some make the people who express interest in the item jump through hoops ("you can only have it if you can be here between 4:00 am and 6:00 am on the second Sunday of the month") or compete with others to get the item. ( "Weeeeellll... another person asked for it first but he cannot come until tomorrow; if you can come get it today before 2:00 pm and can do so without parking in my driveway, it's yours.") Come on, people! How hard is it to put the thing on your doorstep and tell a person to pick it up whenever? It even saves you the effort of dragging it out to the curb for the trash men.

This latter category is the one into which the Hooked on Phonics person fell. But, whatever, I was at work and it was easy to pick up the thing on my way home at the time she wanted so, no skin off my nose. After trading about six emails and finally "winning" the Hooked on Phonics throwaways, I stopped off on the way home from work yesterday and picked them up. Break out the champagne, I'm a winner! Woot!

Usually, I drop a brief email to the person to say thanks after picking something up, but after the contest this person put me through, I didn't bother. Later that night I got an email from her. Here it is, verbatim and sic:

Dear Alice -

Thank you for picking up on time.
hope your family benefit from it, my homeschooling kids love to play the tape and follow in the booklet, its inprove there reading, my 6 years old can read all the booklet without any help.

I think they need to change their catchphrase to Hooked On Phonics Worked For Some!

Or maybe I should just bring the tapes back.

My thoughts: 

And Just Like That... She Yanked it Away

Posted on 2/04/2009 11:18:00 AM
There are some big changes being made to The Dormouse's school next year and I went to a PTA meeting last night to get briefed on them. Every time I even say something about what the PTA is doing, going to the PTA, the word "PTA," etc., The KingofHearts laughs at me. He also thought it was super hilarious the day my PTA membership card arrived in the mail. I'll admit that being a card carrying member of the PTA is something I never aspired to in my life, but look at it this way, last weekend a friend offered to babysit for free and the only thing he wanted to do was go see a movie without animation, fart jokes or funny voices. We were home by 10:30 pm because he was tired and unable to think of anything else to do with our evening of freedom. In fact, one of the options for what to do after the movie that was floated around in the car was to sneak in the back door of the house while the baby sitter was there and go to bed. So I'm pretty sure this is not where either of us expected our lives to turn out.

One of the most vitriolic items at the meeting - at least among the parents - is the possibility of the kids wearing uniforms next year. There are some really angry parents who think it's akin to a communist society and other really angry parents really angry at the anti-uniform parents who think that uniforms will solve every problem that exists in the public schools. Try as I might, I cannot develop an opinion on this matter. I don't really want to go out and buy uniforms, make sure they're washed every day, that kind of thing, but that kind of just affects me so I'm trying to look at the big picture and develop an opinion based on more than just a resistance to change or what will inconvenience me. Anyone have an experience with school uniforms good or bad? I don't have a really compelling reason to want them or hate them and I'm curious about whether anyone can sway my thinking.

In general, I'm fascinated by the parents in the PTA and how they seem to make decisions, which maybe, deep down is the reason I make time to go: blog post material. The most vocal and outspoken of the parents there always seem to be taking every issue as a personal affront to their sensibilities and almost every issue ends up being about themselves rather than the kids. When discussing extra curricular activities that may or may not occur at the school next year, one mother was incensed that her fourth grader might not be able to participate because, "I don't get off work until five and I have to pick up my dry cleaning before I get home and if you don't have Latin club then it's going to inconvenience me." No mention of whether or not her kid WANTS to go to Latin club or the education he may be missing out on because he'll be deprived of Latin club activities and experiences, just: it'll be a pain in her ass if he doesn't go. Sure, I think it'd be nice if the school district asked me to personally submit my weekly schedule, preferences and habits in writing before they come up with any policy that will affect almost a thousand other children in attendance, but I'm not completely sure that's a realistic possibility.

I haven't figured out if my apathy is more about the fact that my kid is in Kindergarten and by the time she'll be old enough for any of these proposed changes to affect her in any way, they will probably all have been changed again, or if it really just doesn't matter to me in the slightest and I'll go with whatever the flow turns out to be. Or maybe it's about the fact that they are desperately seeking someone to head up their fundraising committee and I'm afraid if I make too much noise, they'll talk me into taking that over. And personally, I'd rather eat fiberglass insulation than work on any kind of fundraising committee. So maybe I'll just keep my opinions to myself until they are really desperate for someone to head up a committee I'd like to serve on... like the Play With Kittens Committee, or the Pie Taste Test Committee.

This morning, over breakfast, The KoH and I were discussing what went on at the meeting and I was explaining some of these brilliant thoughts and others. (Come on, you wish you were married to me, don't you? Such fascinating meal time conversation to which no one else has ever been privy.) I was yammering on about after school sports and The Dormouse, as usual, tried to butt her five-year-old self into our thirty-five year old conversation:

"Daddy, when I grow up I want to be an athlete."

We have a longstanding war in our house between the creative types and the athletic types. I am the advocate of all things musical and artistic parent and he is the you'll make me proud if you learn to wield a sword by the time you're six parent. Not that we fight about it; we both want the girls to be exposed to a variety of activities and hobbies, but we each clearly have our focus and it's always like a little victory when one of the girls is more interested in My Thing rather than the Other Person's Thing. And since we have girls, it's often hard for The KoH to experience those little victories.

The KoH started beaming and I could see him mentally putting a little check mark in the That's One For Me column that exists solely in his head as he said, "Well, that's great honey! You can do whatever you want to do. What kind of sport do you think you want to participate in?"

Dormouse: "I want to do that sport where you get a spoon and put and egg on it and try to walk to the end of the row without dropping the egg or the spoon. Either that or the one where you try to eat forty-two eggs in a minute."

So maybe I'll work on the PTA committee that is over bringing Egg-Related Sports into our schools. Because that one seems like a relatively low commitment level that would also irritate my husband at the same time. Win for everyone!

My thoughts: 

You'll Hate Me For Sharing This With You

Posted on 2/03/2009 04:11:00 PM In:
Or at least the family and friends whom you will ignore for days while playing these games will hate me.

may never leave my home again.

My thoughts: 

Five By Five

Posted on 2/02/2009 06:40:00 AM In:
Five Yummy Things:
  1. Dulce de Leche (and not the dulce de leche flavored items they're trying to push in the states... the real deal from South America)
  2. This recipe for sweet potatoes
  3. John Cusack
  4. Ice cream... any time, any flavor (I have this pet theory that the manna that's spoken of in the Old Testament was actually ice cream. Think about it: it was white, it was sweet, it was comparable to hoarfrost, and they had to collect it before it was melted by the heat of the sun. No wonder the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, I'd delay my arrival too if it meant I didn't have to cook and could eat ice cream for breakfast.)
  5. Avocado milk shakes (Seriously, I'm not pulling your leg... they are good.)

Five Songs I Know By Heart:

  1. The first and second violin parts to Leroy Anderson's "A Christmas Festival"
  2. The "Scooby Doo Theme Song" (This version, of course, as any Scooby aficionado will tell you is the only true and complete version that exists.)
  3. "Theme from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (Shut up. I know.)
  4. "Let George Do It." (I auditioned for my elementary school production of this musical when I was in fifth grade and was horribly disappointed to not get one of the leading parts like Martha Washington or Betsy Ross. Instead I got the part of the Narrator. Yawn! What I didn't know at that point was as it turned out the narrator was the biggest part in the play. I was the only kid in the school who sang a solo, had to memorize more than three lines, and/or was on stage for more than ten minutes. I was still disappointed by the whole thing because I didn't get to wear a costume and a wig. My performing career has been all downhill from there.) Edited to add: My father just sent this photo of the aforementioned musical. Apparently, I was allowed to wear a hat. But as you can see behind me, all those kids wore period costumes. Clearly rendering my solo and crappy straw hat much less cool.
  5. Bruch's Violin Concerto in G minor. I studied this piece for six months with one violin teacher, then transferred schools and got a new teacher who decided I needed to study it with her... and we worked on it for a year. I loved the piece but even Max Bruch would have gouged his own eyes out with a violin bow and filled the empty sockets with rosin cakes if he'd have had to play it over and over again for a year and a half.

Five Places I Would Like To Escape To:

  1. The bathroom - without two pairs of small eyes looking at me through the door
  2. Aruba
  3. Jamaica, ooo I wanna take you to
  4. Key Largo
  5. Montego, baby why don't we go
(Perhaps there should be six songs noted on the previous subject.)

Five Things I Would Never Wear:

  1. Apricot fruit leather
  2. A string bikini
  3. A politically themed t-shirt
  4. The wide-eyed look of innocence and optimism
  5. A size 4

Five Favorite TV Shows:

  1. Normally, I would say CSI, but I'm currently going through Grissom withdrawal and not sure how the whole Lawrence Fishburne thing is going to pan out. So far it looks disappointing.
  2. Leverage (this is my favorite new show on television... I love this show so much I want to marry it and have lots of syndicated children-shows.)
  3. Ace of Cakes - it makes me want to get my practice marriage over with so I can plan another wedding and order a really cool cake.
  4. My boyfriend's show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
  5. Anything that features behind the scenes stuff in a factory, How It's Made, Unwrapped, How Stuff Works, etc.

Five Things That Really Drive Me Nuts

  1. Spending hours cleaning up the house only to turn my back and find someone in my family has, in five seconds, undone it all.
  2. People of another generation who constantly feel the need to tell me how much harder they had when they were raising kids.
  3. News pundits - political or otherwise.
  4. Falling asleep at 9:00 pm and missing most of the most exciting Superbowl in history. (ordinarily, I'm not must of a football fanatic - but I do love a good nail biter and I was rooting for the underdogs here.)
  5. Being itchy.

Five Favorite Toys:

  1. My my daughter's Easy Bake Oven
  2. Lincoln Logs.
  3. This thing my dad gave me ages ago where you could run circuits on a board and power a small light or a radio or something. Coolest. Thing. Ever.
  4. iPod
  5. Eco-sphere

Five Things I Was Doing Ten Years Ago:

  1. Singing the tune from
  2. Making El Niño jokes ("Yo soy El Niño. That's Spanish for... The Niño!")
  3. Torturing my cat with a laser pointer.
  4. Just beginning my collection of fifty state quarters
  5. Making plans to mitigate the impending disaster that would take down life as we then knew it and turn our world into a post-apocalyptic stereotype from a Mad Max movie. (Also known as Y2K.)

Five Things On My To-Do List Today:

  1. Get an extended weather report from the sleepy, inconsistent, sciurid subject of a tongue twister.
  2. Manage to get dressed before three p.m.
  3. Try and get through the day with no temper tantrums... and keep the children from throwing a temper tantrum too.
  4. Shower. (I like to set the bar low... then I feel more successful at the end of the day.)
  5. Brush my teeth twice. (This however, would be ambitious.)

Five Things I Would Do If I Were A Millionaire:

  1. Sleep in a bed made of nachos.
  2. Get my own roads.
  3. I would not quit my job... I would just hire someone to do my job. And then watch in secret when that person shows up sitting at my desk and explains that situation to my boss.
  4. Offer someone a million dollars to sleep with her husband. Then say, "Psych!"
  5. Find that melodramatic reporter guy on the NBC channel local news and force him into early retirement.

Five Places I've Lived:

  1. In a converted hotel.
  2. In a car.
  3. In a chair in front of the television while nursing a child - for months at a time.
  4. In an apartment where the walls didn't go all the way to the roof.
  5. On the grounds of a mental hospital.

Five Jobs I've Had:

  1. Singing waitress.
  2. Professional orchestra part eraser (as in the person who erases the parts).
  3. Playing piano for a Tri Delta rush week skit performance. ("Delta, Delta, Delta can I help ya, help ya, help ya?")
  4. Weekend suicide prevention watch director.
  5. Steel drum band member.

Five People Who I Am Tagging To Fill This Out:

  1. Eliza Dushku (someone please tell me you get the relevance to the title of this post)
  2. John Cusack (John, if you don't want to post this on your blog, you can just come to my house and whisper it in my ear.)
  3. The guy on the street who begs for a dollar and then runs to the corner store to buy lottery tickets with your money
  4. Five (the band)
  5. Pentaphobics

My thoughts: 

Mucinex In. Mucus Out.

Posted on 2/01/2009 03:24:00 AM
*Stocker in the grocery store notices The Caterpillar looking at him as we wheel our cart down the aisle.* "Oh... what an adorable baby. She's such a cutie!"

Me: "Yeah, but I'm thinking she'd be a whole lot cuter without all the snot running down her face."

Him: "Oh don't worry about that. That's just all the cute leaking out."

My thoughts: 

Me in 3 Seconds

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Washington, D.C. Metro, United States
Married, 40ish mom of two (or three, or four, depending on how you keep score) who stepped through the lookinglass and now finds herself living in curiouser and curiouser lands of Marriage, Motherhood, and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

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