Pretty Obvious Conversations in the Kitchen

Posted on 1/29/2013 12:17:00 PM In:
I have a label for posts titled Bewildering Conversations in the Kitchen.  Maybe I need a new category for this one.

Scene: I'm sitting at the kitchen table, sifting through a pocketful of receipts I need to submit for reimbursement to multiple entities, tax forms I need to keep and other receipts I don't need but shoved into my purse because I didn't want to litter -- each into its appropriate pile.  Children are doing their homework at the kitchen table alongside me.

Dormouse: "You know, I don't really think I want to become an adult."

Me: "Why is that?"

Dormouse: "Too many little pieces of paper to keep track of.  I could never do it!"

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Minutae, Vol. 15

Posted on 1/27/2013 07:00:00 AM In:
Here's another round of random photos left on my hard drive and posted with no continuity whatsoever.  Enjoy the sense of accomplishment I feel from emptying out my photos folder.  


 
She's helping them fix the fireplace... with all the sass she can muster.


We had some excitement at work recently where they wouldn't let us leave the building and then we got to watch out our office window while a police robot detonated what turned out to be a backpack left in a nearby fast food restaurant.  I've really got to find a new planet to live on.

This photo taken in the bathroom of my gynecologist's office.  Remember, the question is not, why was I taking photos in the bathroom of a gynecologist's office? but rather, how many "incidents" were there before they felt the need to put up this sign?


The Small Child is obsessed with folding pieces of paper in half and cutting out random shapes to see what turns up when she opens it.  A sort of reverse Rohrshach test.  Personally I think she failed this one.


There is not much that skeeves me out more than a kid with an orange smile.  It reminds me of a sock monkey's butt. *shudder*


I wanted to buy this book in the grocery store because Healing, Blessings, Freedom AND MAGIC seems like a fanTASTic combination.


Objects on a recipe blog are more difficult to reproduce than they appear.


When you ask for "whoop cream" in this house, you should be more specific about where you want it.


Just call him Abby. Abby Normal.


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Soup For You

Posted on 1/26/2013 06:15:00 PM
When we were in New York last month, we stayed up the block from this:


The Soup Man was made famous by a Seinfeld episode though he's been quite vocal about the fact that he is extremely offended by the whole thing. But he's made a heck of a lot of money from the press Seinfeld brought him and he now has a chain of restaurants and a brand of products.  This is the original location, which was closed in 2004, but then reopened a couple of years ago.  Even though we'd pretty much eaten our way through New York City and no one was hungry that night, we stopped for soup regardless.

I ordered the medium Lobster Bisque.  

I got bread. 

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Inaugural Dawgs

Posted on 1/22/2013 10:09:00 PM In:
The KingofHearts had to work yesterday but The Shortlings and I had the day off. And because I am notsosmart, I decided to take them downtown with me for the inauguration. I figured it would be crowded. I figured it would be cold. I figured we probably wouldn't get close enough to hear much, if anything. I figured that was all fine with me because if you go in with low expectations, it's hard to be disappointed, right? Mostly, I just wanted them to experience a little bit of history, to be able to say they were there that day, even if they didn't really get to see the actual event up close.

Making memories! (I just didn't realize how many.)

Thirteen things I did on inauguration day:

  1. Steal a tank of gas from a government worker. 
  2. Buy a tank of gas for a government worker. 
  3. Get free Slurpees from the Exxon station owner because I did not make it hard for them to fix the fact that they took a government worker's cash for gas and put it on a pump she had not parked anywhere near and how was I to know that anyway when I had put my card and my zip code into the machine and then machine no one told me not to? (Seriously, who pays for gas before they pull up to a pump?!?) Also: Cannot confirm this until I get my monthly statement, but I am reasonably certain I paid for both my tank of gas and the government worker's. 
  4. Go back into station twice. Once for bathroom because of course no one mentioned they had to go until the second I got back into the car and turned the key to go, and once to clean Slurpee off Small Child, who spilled it all over herself seven seconds after walking out the door. Exclaim loudly that I would ONE DAY LIKE TO LEAVE THE EXXON STATION, PREFERABLY BEFORE THE END OF THE PRESIDENT'S SECOND TERM.
  5. Nearly get killed by out of control hook and ladder truck coming at me sideways on street in front of fire station. Declare that the universe does not want us to live to see the inauguration. 
  6. Drive approximately one half block down the street after narrowly missing death and flattening by fire truck, then stop in road for blind man wandering in the middle of street in traffic. Apparently the universe does not want him to live to see it either. 
  7. Pull my car across two lanes of traffic when impatient people behind me who were angry they had to wait for the fire truck earlier decide to whip around my car and then nearly kill wandering blind man in road. 
  8. Throw on emergency brake, hazard lights, scream at Shortlings to DO NOT MOVE A MUSCLE!, then get out of car and escort blind man to sidewalk; suggest he walk here instead of in the middle of a busy D.C. street. Leave him with another helpful motorist who also got out of his car to help, but didn't leave small children in his unattended vehicle in the street. 
  9. Give up dream of going to the Mall; instead go to Ben's Chili Bowl to watch inauguration on big screen TV. Because there's very little aggravation a chili dog can't fix. 
  10. While standing in line, nearly trip well-dressed man as he walks past me to leave restaurant; suddenly realize that well-dressed man is Nick Cannon. Agree with fellow restaurant patron who chased him out the door for a picture that, OF COURSE she was very cool and smooth, not like those other groupies who get all excited and stuff around celebrities. 
  11. Decline being interviewed by "German live TV" news crew at Ben's Chili Bowl. Instead listen to them interview group at table next to me and ask guy to repeat his answer five different times because they didn't like his inflection the first four time he said it. "Live" must mean different things to different people. 
  12. Laugh with restaurant patrons when Large Child loudly announces that the Vice President "is about to take the Oath of Awesome" 
  13. Applaud along with restaurant patrons and staff after inaugural address. Remember again why I love this very big city with a very small neighborhood culture so much.


I totally think if Joe Biden had a choice he would call it the "Oath of Awesome" too.


Listening intently to the Presidential Oath of Office to try and catch me being wrong -- because she asked me what he would say and I repeated the Oath of Office word for word.  Even I didn't know I knew that.  My 6th grade elementary school teacher would be so proud.

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So You Know German? No Wonder You Don't Like Fun Things

Posted on 1/18/2013 08:24:00 AM
This week I took both Shortlings to the dentist for their bi-annual check-up.

Aside: do your kids love the dentist as much as mine do?  I was never afraid of the dentist when I was a kid per se, but it was no great honor to go either.  I'm a little surprised by the squee of joy every time I tell these kids they have a dental appointment scheduled.  Not that I want my kids to develop dentophobia, like fourteen percent of the American public, but they actually get excited when they have cavities because it means they get to go see the dentist more than twice a year and I'm a little worried about the precedent this sets.  They're either going to grow up with really weird fetishes or a mouthful of silver.  Maybe both.

/digression

Anyhoo... while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist's office, one of the girls picked up a book. This book


Spain: I tuck my tooth under my pillow. While I am asleep, the little mouse called Ratoncito Perez will take my tooth and leave me money or candy in return.

It's an adorably illustrated book about quaint traditions children follow in different countries around the world when they lose their baby teeth. 


Denmark: I put my tooth under my pillow at night and wait for the Tooth Fairy called Tand Feen to take my tooth and leave me some money.
England: When I go to sleep, I put my tooth under my pillow and wait for the Tooth Fairy to come.

I started reading about the convention of throwing your upper teeth on the roof so a new one will grow straight down and burying your lower teeth in the ground so a new one will grow straight up. 


France: I put my tooth under my pillow.  A mouse, La Petite Souris, will come to take it and leave a gift for me.

Or a legend about a magical mouse who will take your tooth and leave money in its place. 


Greece: I throw my tooth on the roof for good luck and make a wish so that my teeth will grow in strong and healthy.

And sweet poems that are repeated while feeding the tooth to an animal to help kids grow from childhood to... well... older childhood.


Sweden: I put my tooth in a glass of water.  In the morning my tooth will be gone and a coin will be in the glass.

I flipped through page after page of myth, legend and lore meant to alleviate children's fears about losing teeth and establish cherished customs those children would one day pass on to their own children.  

And then, there was this: 


Germany: I don't do anything special with my tooth.

There's a point to be made here, but I'm not sure I have the courage to do it.



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Not a Taxidermied Cat, I Promise

Posted on 1/17/2013 07:00:00 AM In:

This is just how she sleeps:


Don't worry, Angry SuperKitty will save you:


Zombie SuperKitty, however, will ignore you and try to pretend you don't exist:



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Stained Glass and Light Fixtures

Posted on 1/16/2013 05:19:00 PM In:
Even The Shortlings enjoyed the stained glass at the National Cathedral... well at least one of them.






 


 

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Cathedral Grounds

Posted on 1/15/2013 07:00:00 AM In:
Well, not all of them are outside, but you get the idea.






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Hidden Corners

Posted on 1/14/2013 07:00:00 AM In:
If you troll around long enough in the National Cathedral, I would imagine you could see everything theoretically, but I haven't lived here long enough yet to do that.  Here are a few treasures I discovered on my last visit.

Memorial for Francis Bowes Sayre who was a longtime Dean and iconographer of the Cathedral

Woodwork on the pews in the Great Choir - the lion and the lamb

Stone from the Appian Way

A wolf in sheep's clothing in the Great Choir

Stone from Mount Sinai, where Moses is said to have received the 10 Commandments
 
All the pews have handmade needle work for the cushions

I liked this bas-relief because after Mary had the baby in Bethlehem, they had to leave the stable and get home for Joseph to work Monday morning, right?


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I Can't Put My Arms Down!

Posted on 1/13/2013 05:32:00 PM
The weather this week has been unseasonably warm, which I'm sure is consternating to those in the West who are dealing with unseasonably cold temperatures.  So, of course, my children have decided now is the time to start wearing their winter coats.  Where was that desire when their teachers were writing notes home last month telling me flip flops and shorts weren't befitting attire for recess and could I please dress them appropriately for winter?


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Tranquility

Posted on 1/13/2013 07:19:00 AM In:
This week has pretty much sucked big brass donkey balls (I don't even know what that means).  I can't really even point any fingers of blame, except maybe at the person who broke into my office building and stole a bunch of stuff we use to work.  Clearly he/she/they didn't stop once to consider or appreciate how much extra work this would cause me/Me/ME.  Pretty much everything you've seen posted on this blog this week was pre-scheduled and today is the first time I've really come up for air.  

I still have a few more photos from the National Cathedral to post.  This one seems rather appropriate for a Sunday... and my serenity.




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Stoic

Posted on 1/12/2013 06:53:00 AM In:
On Christmas Day, while out foraging for Chinese food, we stopped by the newest memorial downtown.  Back in August 2011, when the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was scheduled to open I had taken the day off to go to the ceremony.  Then the whole thing was postponed due to a cranky hurricane and rescheduled for a day when I couldn't get down there.  It's hard for me, the person who used to spend every single weekend on the mall, to believe that it's been more than a year since I had a chance to get back there.  Yeah, I've driven around it a lot of times, but it just never worked out for us to get out of the car and walk through. One time, we were actually IN the parking lot and The Caterpillar was having a meltdown, so we literally "turned this car around" and went home. Every other weekend opportunity has been consumed with chores, shopping, lessons, activities and other events that are part of The Children's busy social calendar and that eclipse my need to be a part of what is happening downtown.

Kids are trouble.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, however, is pretty cool.  Let's not let another year go by before we see each other again, shall we?








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The Great Organ

Posted on 1/10/2013 09:00:00 AM In:
I'm not typically a lover of organ music nor am I accomplished organist, but I'd have given vital parts of my anatomy to sit down and play this.



The National Cathedral's Great Organ was installed in 1938. The original instrument consisted of approximately 8,400 pipes. It was enlarged in 1963 and again between 1970 and 1975, during which time more than half of the original instrument was removed. Currently it has 189 ranks (or a set of pipes) and more than 10,600 pipes. It is the largest organ in the city of Washington and one of the twenty largest organs in the world.


For a brief period, there was a movement to de-ornamentalize the organ.  The idea was that the more fancy the building and the things in the building, the more that took away from God.  Simple was better.  So often the fancier of the furniture and sculptures in cathedrals at that time were removed -- or at least what was added was done for function only and seldom were very elaborate or elegant.  During that time many of the more intricate pipes were hidden from view or taken out and replaced by these very simple pipes.  Then during the most recent renovation, most of the fancier pipes were replaced.  This is the only set of simple pipes left.  I find the starkness of the pipes an interesting juxtaposition against this very ornate light fixture.

 


Occasionally, I play the organ in church. I have a terrible time making my feet do something different than my left hand and I'm not fast or accurate enough with my feet to play exactly what the left hand plays.  I had to play Hark The Herald Angels Sing for the church Christmas program and finally I just surrendered and quit trying to play about three quarters of the foot work.  I'm sure that ninety percent of my problem is not having enough time with the instrument to practice, but I'm here to tell you If I had to figure out how to use all these stops, AND play with my feet, I would pull all my hair out.






When we were there, there was a organ demonstration and the Assistant Organist played some pretty complicated stuff. Lots of people were impressed with his musicianship and his skill.  Me?  I was just impressed he wasn't bald.

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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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