Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ten Favorite Secular Christmas Songs

1. And So This is Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon
2. Feed the World (Don't you love it too? It came out my senior year in high school)
3. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2
4. What Christmas Means to Me by Stevie Wonder
5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, especially by Judy Garland
6. Carol of the Bells by the Bird and the Bee (a newish song that I adore)
7. The Nutcracker Suite by Duke Ellington
8. Anything Wynton Marsalis Puts Out that is Christmasy
9. I'll Be Home for Christmas by Tony Bennett
10. Santa Please by Ella Fitzgerald *

*I teach, pro bono, for a non-profit preschool for low-income children. This is a cause very near and dear to my heart, and the children head to Kindergarten next year....with a wonderful, intensive preschool experience under their belts, that was FREE. Talk to me privately if you are interested in more information. One of the students is not as engaged and easy to love as the others, but he has become obsessed with Ella's version of this song. The teachers had him call my answering machine and sing it to me this week. I can't really comment except to say if someone knows how to preserve this somehow...FOREVER....I would want to know how to do that.

P.S. Lots of my favorite religious songs are sung by popular musicians - but I didn't list those. Do check out Gladys Night & the Pips RIDUNCULOUS version of "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and of course Sufjan Stevens' Christmas music is pretty much unparalleled. I like Sarah McLachlan's version of "Silent Night" a lot - I guess it was inspired by Sinéad O'Connor, but it somehow transcends The Bald One. "Greensleeves" is perhaps secular, and Vince Guaraldi's version is lovely...but it could be called "What Child Is This?". And my erstwhile favorite band Pedro the Lion has a sweet "I Heard the Bells" out there...they are a closet Christian band, like Sufjan.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ten Favorite Carols

I really don't have time to do this, but I want to stay seasonally connected to you, the Internet. Maybe tomorrow I'll do my favorite secular tunes....especially if we have a much-touted snow event!!!!

1. Lo, How a Rose Ere Blooming
2. The Coventry Carol
3. Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella
4. While Shepherds Watched
5. The Angel Gabriel
6. Away in a Manger (KIRKPATRICK melody)
7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
8. I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In
9. Gesu Bambino
10. Angels from the Realms of Glory

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Gone Away Is the Bluebird

Things I love right now are:

Our Advent calendars - three of them - one a magnet on the fridge, one a Westminster Abbey cutout from our London peeps, and one of the classic chocolate calendars with a coloring page on back. The children are sharing nicely.

Method holiday soaps. Just the right colors and festive smells.

Also, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day holiday scent - on sale at you-know-where this week.

Wynton Marsalis' new Christmas album. His first one has been a household staple here for lo these many moons. We met him on our first anniversary, you know.

White fudge-covered Oreos. I was able to withstand temptation for the last three or four years but with the war and the economy and Tiger Woods and everything, a girl's got to have some treats. Also on sale at my home away from home.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The sitter I secured when family couldn't sit for us for our anniversary was available today after 3. So I groomed and preened starting at 2:45 and sat waiting for an hour. I called her to ask where she was - and then checked email - and then realized I never confirmed her.

God love her, she is coming tomorrow so we can go to dinner.

But I somehow screwed up our anniversary night - one we'd been looking forward to for weeks.

Honey, remember all the talk of flaws when we got engaged over 17 years ago? Love me despite of mine.

Happy Anniversary.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

January Jones and Elisabeth Moss from "Mad Men" iTunes Playlists

Mrs. Draper:

Pearl's Dream by Bat for Lashes
Into the Ocean by Blue October
Quelqu'un m'a dit by Carla Bruni (because Jackie didn't record)
Lullaby by The Cure
Cumulus by Imogen Heap
Crabbuckit by K-OS (!!!!!! Love K-OS)
This Woman's Work by Maxwell Now
Quiet Dog by Mos Def (John Slattery also had a Mos Def song)
Father and Daughter by Paul Simon (shout-out for the character?)
Roads by Portishead
Climbing Up the Walls by Radiohead
Break It Down Again by Tears for Fears (WHY NOT?)
Ramalama (Bang Bang) by Róisín Murphy
Wildflowers by Tom Petty (Damn Betty! Love you right back)


Come Fly With Me by Frank Sinatra
The Golden Age by Beck
Hoppípolla by Sigur Rós
Cybele's Reverie by Stereolab
Heavy Metal Drummer by Wilco (my children's favorite Wilco song)
When You Wish Upon a Star (From "Pinocchio") by Cliff Edwards & Disney Studio Chorus
Inside the Golden Egg by El Perro del Mar
Story Board by The Album Leaf
Sing, Sing, Sing (1987 Remastered) by Benny Goodman
On and On and On by Wilco (She seems like so much more than just a Wilco Girl)
All Alright by Sigur Rós (She says they are her favorite band.)
Black Flowers by Yo La Tengo (Good Lord! I need to have these women for dinner!)

There's no way that Joan/Christina Hendricks can top these unless she goes in some very base, punk direction. I'm envisioning X with Dead Kennedys and The Clash.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm still sick.

But back at work, etc. and hopeful that I will get better.

To try and combat the sick, we went to see "Where the Wild Things Are" with the family. My son, who hates matinees (and why not? Why waste daylight? Who cares about the financial aspect? They are kind of depressing, matinees), didn't want to go. Nor did I: I thought I would be a sobbing mess over this thing that was all Spike Jonz and Arcade Fire and Max running away from home.

Not so much. I was completely unmoved. Now, my husband, Child of Divorce, was affected. I can certainly see why this is a film that might appeal to someone who, in the 70s, was dealing with a family breakup. For me, however, there was nothing affecting at all! I did love the crazy fauna-sculpture that the beasts create for Max, and I thought Max, the actor (his name is Max) was terrific. Not since Sally Draper's breakdown over Grandpa Gene have I been so impressed with a child actor.

No Arcade Fire, however! Only Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who are a perfectly respectable but not kid-friendly band. The colors were "not like the book" according to my 11 year-old, and none of us cried. Sorry, Spike - at least two of us cry at movies. My husband may or may not have cried at "The Game Plan" with The Rock. And I was dubbed "Cries at Movies" during an early-90s screening of "Dances With Wolves". WHERE WAS MY CRY?

I think it was a matter of 1. figuring out the too-cool-for-school Dave Eggers plot conceits too early on (the beasts are Max's people in his world, his mom is trying and he finds out how hard her job is, she can protect him so much but he's out in the world now) (oh and PLEASE on the birth imagery - I actually laughed out loud at the blatant rebirth scene) and 2. the fact that the beasts were totally whiney and unappealing. They had fun for about a minute. The wild rumpus was promising and then....stopped. No joy, nothing. I was not awed. And I was really, really wanting to be.

We're holding out hope for "Fantastic Mr. Fox". Come on, Wes....move me!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Well THAT Sucked

Sick. Broken arm. Minor procedure. Sick kid.


$350 for the arm
$60 for the procedure
$150 for my sick
$25 for kid sick

Missed a major middle school field trip, big meeting, Sunday services (and thus, some paycheck fluff), school, and being a helpful wife/mom.

It was probably H1N1 but NO ONE WILL TELL US FOR SURE.

On the mend, trying not to be too crabby.

Now to address the rash. And to hope the other two don't fall ill.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Quick pop-culture check-in:

MUSIC: NEW ARCADE FIRE???? Also, Spike Jonze was inpsired fully by their album "Funeral" when he made "Where the Wild Things Are". Somehow, just by watching the trailer, I could feel the influence of the music.

LIVE MUSIC: A free sitter coincided with a local band, Lost in the Trees (I featured them on my sidebar not too long ago), collaborating with Daniel Bernard Romain who is a...jazz/funk/fusion violinist? Anyway - great locale, tasty drinks, and pretty, soaring stuff.

WORK MUSIC: Ah, Mozart's Requiem. Fire, confounding the righteous, eternal, perpetual light...it's got it all, mostly in minor keys! What's not to love?

FILM: We finally rented, on many people's recommendation, "Happy-Go-Lucky" (thanks Lynn). And...I loved it. I kept waiting for something bad to happen. One of my friends admitted that she even googled the plot mid-movie to make sure there was not going to be a horrible death. But no, the movie is about someone who tries to stay happy. Who is positive. Who keeps her chin up. Who is maybe in serious back pain, in danger from a stalker, is unlucky in love, is witness to child abuse...and it looks like she'll be ok. She may even find more happiness...there might be newer, happier things coming down the pike! Everything and nothing happens and there is fine acting and beautiful shots of dear London (especially Camden Lock). Thank you Mike Leigh.

BOOKS: I need glasses real bad. Still, I'm reading "Girl With a Dragon Tattoo" and getting into it! Sweden! Who knew???

CABLE: We saw the new BBC version of "A Room With a View." Um, no. No, Andrew Davies, you may not f*ck around with E.M. Forster that way and make him all Ian McEwany!!

MORE CABLE: We've made our children "Top Chef" addicts. Not. good. Still, if Robin doesn't go home this week, I'll...I'll...oh, I'll keep watching.

AND...MORE CABLE: Ok people, I tried. I tried to watch "The Tudors". Jonathan Rhys-Meyers has nice lips, there's a lot of boobage, JEREMY NORTHAM for God's sake....but yeah no. If anything, the opening sequence would do me in every night we put in the DVD. It reminded me far too much of a far better period piece, and not in a good way.

Satans Alley Trailer - Watch more Funny Videos

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

2 cups whipping cream (I used light cream)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar (I might add a bit more - maybe 3/4 c.)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I would cut this to 1 1/4 tsp or even less)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
Gently heat the cream, milk, sugar, spices and salt over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
Stir warm cream into the pumpkin along with the vanilla.
Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until cold.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Because I'm trapped in the house with a sick child, and I already cleaned for 10 minutes and made dinner, I surfed around the Facebook and laughed at how I had something like 75 invitations to various causes and fan groups, etc. I joined 1/3 of those, and then did some Twittering, because guess what, I got chosen to test a new Twitter tool and I am feeling very Twitter-snobby about it. Then, natch, I went on YouTube. And I found something that I had no idea the rest of the world treasured, besides my husband and me. It was a great Internet day.

There was once a television show called "Just Shoot Me" - it wasn't even very good, and I don't know why we used to watch it! In one episode, they had a bizarre story line involving a special needs friend or relative of the star (who, now that I think of it, was in "Sex, Lies and Videotape", a movie I really loved, and now I know why I watched "Just Shoot Me".) and the story was maybe somewhat humorous? However, the guest actor, David Cross, was very humorous. And he uttered a line that, to this day, is uttered in my home maybe twice a week MINIMUM. And apparently in homes across this great world of ours:

I had the pitch wrong. I am still glad to see this again. The children won't believe it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

She Wolf Appraisal

My son in particular loves this song:

My husband in particular loves Shakira. For obvious reasons (her ass).

I love the video for her amazing isolation skillz, and I love the song for its excellent potential to be on this year's version of our "Spooky Toones Halloween Mix" cd.


(not BUTT).

But she is IN A CAGE. And her "wooooo" wolf howl is weak and kittenish. Shakira! You have a lasting relationship with a powerful, important man! You danced with Beyonce and held your own! You continue to put out hits and have been at it for a while! YOU USED THE WORD LYCANTHROPY IN A SINGLE. So don't demean all these accomplishments by dancing in a cage and humping.

I won't be showing the children this video. There's a feminist in the closet...let her out so she can breathe.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oh hai! Where have I been? Oh, just around here, tending to various life events. Daughter's in a cast, son is upset about it and getting stressed from the pressure of his football position and the boredom that is 4th grade after a wonderful 3rd grade year, and husband and I are too tired to hang out.

Plus, our little date nights* are officially over now that daughter can't play soccer.

*We had little date nights - literally an hour - for a few weekends there. One drink, one app. It was blissful, reasonably priced, and really maintained the marriage. Daughter went with us on the last one and it was....not the same. I mean, she's interesting company, but...

On the good times front, we had a visit from our baby niecelet this weekend and enjoyed her very unique view of the world. That kid is something else - funny, smart, and her own girl. PLUS THE CHEEKS.

As Wife of the Year, I dropped my husband and son off at the Alma Mater's homecoming football game en route to the ER when daughter's arm needed attention.

BAW birthed a baby!!! On a dime!!!

And this weather, oh, this weather. A cloudy, windy day yesterday...cold, and with tinges of color and with a scent of sap and smoke.

Fall, you challenge me, but I am not blind to your charms.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Brand Loyal: Detergent

I have a rash. It is very bad. It will not go away. And it might mean the end of my brand loyalty with The Finest Laundry Detergent, Gain.

Just finished a round of antibiotics - nada. Applying steroid cream daily - no effect. Thinking about giving up Gain - can't do it.

It smells right. No, I don't buy the "Island Tropical Breeze" scent, just the basic happy laundry goodness. Our old house is kind of stinky, but the laundry smells good. And when you are doing as much laundry (football) as I (soccer) do (hand-me-downs out the butt), you want to have some kind of heightened sensual experience.

Also? Powder, not liquid.

I can tell that this is a moment in time that I may always remember...I know I must switch to some eco-freako hypo-allergenic unscented brand.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Brand Loyal: Halloween Treats

Mellowcreme Pumpkins. Brach's ONLY. I laugh that there is a Wikipedia entry, and better yet, a picture there with the caption, "a candy pumpkin". Check it out. Better yet: a mellowcreme pumpkins blog. I understand, I do! They are so creamy (cremey) and tasty. I tried to wait until October 1st to buy them but the fracking Harris Teeter put them on sale.

Boy, I've really shot my wad with this brand loyal meme by doing Halloween this early.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Brand Loyal: Face Cream

I am brand-loyal.

I try to buy organic and paba-free and high fiber, etc. but sometimes I just stick with the brand, no matter what.

In the case of Yes to Carrots, however, I get something I like + something that doesn't have whatever evils are in facial creams. The product I get, C Through the Night, is more expensive than almost anything else I buy for my skin care regimine. But it smells nice, doesn't make me sneeze, and has a lovely texture. Plus, when my husband gets in bed he can ask me, "Did you say Yes to Carrots?" and I can say, "Why, I sure did!".

Have I noticed a difference in my face? Well, I do get compliments on my skin a lot. Though I still struggle with seborhheicceia dermatoititsiscis, the unspellable disease that I have, there does seem to be a nice even tone most days.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My poor parents and my poor in-laws all experienced flooding in Georgia this week! What a mess. I am hoping for quick clean-ups and no repeats.

We had quite the deluge ourselves the other day, but today is hot and dry and boy did that make me cranky during carpool. I refuse to run the a/c during my somewhat brief carpool wait.

Though I did run the a/c during piano lessons, and that resulted in a dead battery. I did what any self-respecting suburban wife and mother would do and called Triple A. I love Triple A. Thank you, Triple A! I have never waited longer than 30 minutes for AAA to arrive and save me. I could make some analogy to AAA being like the sexy boy toy you always wanted, but my heart isn't in it because I am too hot.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dr. Horrible Wins Emmy!

It's long. It's kind of sad. It's worth your time. Thanks, Jimmy!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Representative Joe Wilson, Serena Williams, and Kanye West. These folks? Reminding me how NOT to be.

We all know I have mixed feelings about organized religion and faith in general, but if there is one thing that church does each week it is that it reminds me. Reminds me what being a good person is all about, reminds me to take care of my fellow man. I want to be about love, kindness, support, and forgiveness. I fail at it hourly, daily, yearly, but that's what I work towards.

I will close this uppity post with a letter my friend's dad wrote her.

Dear Daughters,

Perhaps the past few days' events will prompt America to re-examine its "me first" behavior, which seems to dominate these times. First, a supposedly well-mannered Eagle Scout from America's most mannered city (Charleston, SC) heckles the American President on the floor of our Capitol. Then Serena Williams threatens to stuff a ball down the throat of a line judge who called a foot fault (which Serena does all the time!) and did so to the tune of 2 F-words and the brandishing of her metal racket (her 2nd; the first had been broken to smithereens by a previous display of temper and foul attitude!).

Both have stimulated condemnation. But both have released an avalanche of supportive commentary, heavily sprinkled with vitriolic anger - racial, religious, stereotypical name calling, etc. Where have we come from? Moreover, where are we going?!!!!!! We seem to have become a society of spoiled brats who speak before we think. Anger is a proud badge. It's always someone else's fault. We all need to bring this home...and think. More is wrong than an questionable line call or an imperfect health plan.

We need help!!!


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Do you grow tired of NY Times links? Um, too bad for you.

For here's one of the Times critics talking about "All About My Mother" which was my favorite film that year, and still ranks in my top five of all time. The video is only a few minutes long but it speaks in large part to what is amazing about the movie.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Every day this week has featured a crisis. Some pretty big, most small. At what point do you just call the week a wash and pretend it's over? Cause I'm at theoretically AT that point, and it's just Thursday afternoon.

Today's crisis was not immediately taken care of, as I was in a meeting and didn't listen to my friend's message on my voice mail. But when I did, my meeting partner and I rushed to her aid.

She had seen a rat.

Now, it turns out that the rat was in her yard, dead. Her dogs may or may not have killed it. (Good one, pups!) The rat was smallish. And though the day was hot and thus smell-inducing, we arranged quickly for someone to not only come remove the rodent, but to come and bait traps in case he/she had little friends.

Still. A rat is a rat. And we live in a well-appointed (infested) neighborhood and my friend cleans a lot, and it rocked her world. The house reeked of Clorox when we arrived to save her.

But truly: what is really rocking all of us suburban moms' worlds is the start of school. The start of schedules, logistics, juggling, negotiating, fretting, celebrating, shopping, paying, fundraising, emailing, typing, talking, talking, talking, socializing, meeting, driving, driving, driving, and waking (up early). My friend with the rat happened to have just sent her oldest to college, her middle to high school, and her youngest to middle school. IN ONE WEEK. No rat can compete with that horror.

So my meeting partner and I went over and consoled, and remembered the dead rat whilst simultaneously rejoicing in his/her demise. We all said a mantra over a jar of roses (from a perfect neighbor's yard)....to wish our children well, to help us relax and enjoy this wild life, to have rat-free homes, and to thwart the tropical storm currently brewing off the coast of our state.

And then we all left to drive carpool.

Monday, August 24, 2009


My daughter could not be any more excited about middle school, which starts tomorrow.

My son is also excited, and he's got great friends in his class, and his buddy Ytwo K is in there too (I KID YOU NOT), and I was told that we "won the lottery" in terms of teachers.

My poison ivy is even clearing up.

Oh, and OMFGMFJCGDG is Mad Men off to a ridiculously good start or WHAT?

I finished my depressing-as-hell book and am enjoying the mindless pleasures of another one.

A much-anticipated Netflix DVD arrived. HA HA hahaha HA HA! (spoiler alert)

Check with me next week to see how I'm holding up....but for now, I think I can hang with the best of them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sorry no posting... the following all decided to go nuts this week: PTA, work, children's sports, and the dust and dirt in my house. But I didn't want to let the monumental event of the summer go unnoticed:

Mad Men premieres season 3 on Sunday night!!! AMC is a great place to visit, and they even have an iPhone app.

Jon Hamm's publicity tour has been a great success, apparently. Perhaps you enjoyed his mad baseball skillz....

Have you Mad-Menned yourself yet? Men'd?

Here's my daughter (notice the doughnut):

Also, which character are you - a quiz. At first try I was Roger Sterling. Then, Betty Draper. But don't we all want to be Joan?

Finally, those of you in the city - why not go watch in Times Square, with a brooch and some kitten heels? (can you believe this marketing campaign??)

I leave you with the Fug Girls, who always say it best:

"Ahhh, yes. That's the stuff. I feel SO MUCH BETTER. I'll take one of each. "

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Salad Days

My children always wrote "Salad" as mom's favorite food on those preschool quizzes (they also wrote "jazz" as my favorite music and "wine" as my favorite drink, and "be a mommy" as my favorite thing to do).

Salad is truly one of my favorites, and I'd be a hell of a lot better off if I ate it more exclusively. Not so hard to do this time of year. As I eagerly anticipate the Nora Ephron film "Julie and Julia", based on Julie Powell's blog that I used to read fairly faithfully, and Julia Child's life that I have admired from a distance, I find my thoughts moving towards slower, fresher food. It's easier to prepare and plan for such meals in the summer. Come fall, we'll be scrambling to boil pasta water, but for now, we're debating which salad we'll mix up using the heirloom tomatoes my husband picked up at a local market yesterday.

Nora, by the way, attempted Julia's salade nicoise on Good Morning America. YUM.

Our tomato debate is between the following from The Minimalist at the New York Times and his 101 recipes for summer salads:

2. Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing.

19. Mix cooked cannellini or other white beans, chopped cherry or grape tomatoes and arugula or baby spinach. Lightly toast sliced garlic in olive oil with rosemary and red pepper flakes; cool slightly, add lemon zest or juice or both, then pour over beans.

44. Make a crisp grilled cheese sandwich, with good bread and not too much good cheese. Let it cool, then cut into croutons. Put them on anything, but especially tomato and basil salad. This you will do forever.

45. Halve or quarter cooked artichoke hearts (the best are fresh and grilled, but you can use canned or frozen) and combine with cherry tomatoes, bits of feta or Parmesan or both, olive oil and lemon juice.

(If you click through to The Minimalist's article, do not miss the video on salad dressings. He advises adding a tablespoon of honey to a balsamic vinaigrette, and I love it!)

Also, a great salad blog post from Mighty Girl. Maggie Mason loves Oprah and while I don't, really, I liked the O magazine salad chart included in handy pdf form linked in this entry.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I feel like Tipper Gore. Because my son has been watching....SportsCenter. The last three reports have been about murder, gangs, and drugs, and here we are on the cusp of September! Truly, is there nothing else to report?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mountain Mix

Any other suggestions for our trip soundtrack? My brother told us he'll think of us fondly on our trip, whilst tuning up his banjo and practicing his pig squeal.

Magnolia Mountain by Ryan Adams

If It's the Beaches (again - has mountain reference) by The Avett Brothers

Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake

Find The River by R.E.M.

The River In Reverse by Elvis Costello (especially appropriate for the New River, which, FYI, flows South to North)

Watching The River Flow by Bob Dylan

The Mountain by The Stills

Wolf Like Me by TV On the Radio

Walk On by U2

Tippecanoe and Tyler Too by They Might Be Giants

The View from the Afternoon by Arctic Monkeys

Hummingbird by Wilco

Picture to Burn by Taylor Swift

Here's That Rainy Day (Koop Remix) by Astrud Gilberto

I Was Zapped By the Lucky Super Rainbow by The Flaming Lips

Just a Ride by Jem

Sweet Baby James by James Taylor

Black Sheep Boy by Okkervil River

Campfire Song Song by Spongebob Squarepants

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beach Music

Lots of kids' songs - you could leave those off and include songs by, say ROGUE WAVE (get it?) or "Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood" by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, or "Island in the Sun" by Weezer. I love that song, but it was ruined for me when used as the theme to the tween movie "Aquamarine". Or any song by Islands. Or, the Decemberists classic "The Island: Come & See/The Landlord's Daughter/You'll Not Feel the Drowning" - though be forewarned of its 12 minutes+ length. And I purposefully left off PJ Harvey's "Down by the Water" because it gives me nightmares, in a good way.

Ok, I'll stop. Here's the list as it stands:

Lime in the Coconut by Sugar Beats

Octopus's Garden by The Beatles

Playa Azul by Los Amigos Invisbles

Oceania by Björk

Wouldn't It Be Nice (Stereo Mix)by The Beach Boys

Cheeseburger In Paradise by Jimmy Buffett

High Tide or Low Tide (Jamaican Version)by Bob Marley & The Wailers

Ocean Of Noise by The Arcade Fire

SpongeBob Squarepants theme by Avril Lavigne

Beachball by R.E.M.

If It's the Beaches by The Avett Brothers

Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride by Lilo and Stitch

All at Sea by The Libertines

Weird Fishes/Arpeggi by Radiohead

Slippery Fish by Charlotte Diamond

Swimmers by Broken Social Scene

Swallowed In The Sea by Coldplay

Rock Lobster by The B-52's

The Ocean by U2

All at Sea by Jamie Cullum

Seagulls by PJ Harvey

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


My appreciation of attractive politicos knows no partisanship. But check out the new 'do!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I use this blog as a gratitude journal. Kinda. So if you are ever annoyed about my life and doings, which really are pretty darn good, then just know that I try to stay positive. On here.

Negatively, there has been a lot lately. It's harder than it looks, this staying with your children every waking hour deal. And there's always the real life, and the jobs, and the everyday sadness of existence.

And the fact that, in one week, a. my son broke my daughter's toe with his BARE BOTTOM, b. hit a lovely chip shot that just missed a window, so though he got off easy on that one he was in huge trouble already because he and my daughter had already c. smashed a glass in our front door causing blood and pricey repairs.

OK! Got that out of the way.

We head out on vacation soon...first a date night, because we haven't had one in a month and we are about to have so much quality time with the kids. We'll maybe go to the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, or back to Coquette, or to see a flick. Not sure.

Then off to the beach to reconnect with Georgia family. My children can revel in their baby niece, the obsession with whom has reached epic proportions. The adults will enjoy a lovely retreat, good talk and good times. After that, my little core group will go camping, biking, hiking, and canoeing. Because I am so totally outdoorsy. I actually really am, sort of, but I hope the nice beach house will shore me up for all the nature.

Next entry I'll try to remember to highlight the Beach Music mix I made for our trip to see family - I pulled it together in under five minutes and it may be my favorite themed mix ever.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Like, So Much More Awesome Than Obama Killing That Fly

May I present the estimable Jon Hamm? Mad Men premiere: August 16 on AMC.

Monday, July 13, 2009

In No Particular Order, and With No Reason or Sense

From Pop Hangover, my daughter's favorite image of late:

And from an email I received yesterday from a friend, who is also a writer, who also - well, you be the judge:

Okay so the Obama family has just swept through the continent of Africa, making a poignant visit, awash with irony and turning of tables, to the unendingly impoverished region of sub-Saharan Africa. The Obama daughters, by God, partial descendants to slaves and current Kenya walked right through the Gates of No Return made infamous in the Slave Trade and then.... Returned. This watershed event, this turning of the tides in world history, racial relations, HUMAN HISTORY, may have gone relatively unnoticed due to the debut of the winter gown fashion scene: Perhaps even Michelle has turned a curious eye on the latest creations. What woman wouldn't want to look like she's evolved out of a carpet? Or sprouted very tiny wings on the tips of her shoulder joints? And imagine all the very serious conversations you could have with any number of savvy intellectuals if you were wearing head gear reminiscent of rhea or flightless bird evolution?

That is all.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Finally - lazy in high gear, nightsuit worn more than day clothes, brain is mush. So, what to do this week? OH, WAIT, I KNOW:

Ok, besides that. We have committed to playing every game in our game closet, finishing up various books, running in the sprinkler, making pesto and something else homemade, and learning how to run laundry loads. We also have a surprise for our baby cousin up our sleeves, and we will finalize vacation plans. Working a few hours here and there gives structure to the weeks, and I do try to keep everyone eating things that aren't pure corn syrup or pork fat. Summer is so desperately important for me and our clan. I hope you can find a little summer in your day today.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

You Asked For It

Here's how I feel about recent events:

My mom's retirement: Well, she seems to be in a good mood. The fact that she survived falling out of the raft on the Tuckaseegee and no children were injured in the process is probably a good sign and bodes well for a successful transition to not working. Spending five days with my entire family was taxing for me, but it was not about me after all. I survived with maximum complaining (that I did in private). Also, I enjoy my new white noise iPhone app, which made everything that much nicer.

Governor Sarah Palin's retirement: Bottom line - she brought more attention to herself and by trying to bury it during the 4th of July and MJ hoopla, made America more suspicious. I don't believe we women hate her because she's a woman. I don't believe she's capable of being President. Yet. And I certainly don't believe she should step down mid-term.

The South Carolina debacle: My husband paid me a high compliment last week when he told me that "I love you like Mark Sanford loves his Argentinian woman."

Michael Jackson's death: I feel completely neutral. That said, I am digging that all his music is being played everywhere. Since I work at a church, I tend towards the organ tribute:

Summer in general: I got to sleep until 10 a.m. on Monday. I have ridden my bike...a lot. I saw elk. I am keen to try some fruity drinks (and am planning a blog post with some friends' favorites soon). We got a cheap-ass patio set and have been dining al fresco. The children are playing together nicely. Everybody is dirty and tan. A friend had a baby in the midst of some other friends' tragedies and these weighty national events. Another friend is pregnant and we anticipate her daughter's arrival. And I've found that Rimmel nail polish works nicely on me!

Summer reading: Not happening. I am working through "Dubliners" but am eyeing the latest Sophie Kinsella because it is already post-Independence Day.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I Love This

And not just because it reminds me of "Flight of the Conchords".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

He Signed My Son's Shoe at Camp Last Night!

Hey BAW! We're loving your school right now.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Camp Week

Both children are at camp. I am hopeful, eager, worried, nervous, anxious, proud, and exhausted. Between working in the mornings and getting in much-needed exercise, I plan to clean their rooms and go out with my husband.

We are planning to try out some new restaurants in town so I'll let you know about those, perhaps via Twitter. And maybe see The Brothers Bloom. If only our childless nights had come later in the summer....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

IF I were to blog today, I would write about an amazing week.

No Doubt! A near-perfect concert experience, with children!

Graduation...somewhat emotional, exciting, exhausting.

Sending both children off to spend a few days with friends. At major water sources.

And worrying about the above, because of a child who drowned on Wednesday. At a pool we had swum in hours earlier. With many, many of my friends and their children witnessing the whole thing.

Today is the funeral and I am fervently wishing peace for all.

But today was a bike ride to the book store with my daughter, and there will be rain for the plants, downtown lunch with Daddy, and a menu planned and executed by those guys (i.e. not me). Hi, Summer.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I'm always the one who gets sick.

I laid in bed for two straight days on a beautiful weekend with no soccer and an open pool. By the time I figured out something was bad wrong, I had to go to an urgent care and miss work. And at the urgent care, they said "chest xray" and I had a panic attack.

Not pneumonia. Not swine flu!

But dang I feel like crap, still. So back to the doc today. I sometimes wonder how much of it is in my head...I've had the worst illnesses since my children arrived, although I've never had the easiest time of it health-wise. That's another story for another time.

The bright side of this disease, as it was during the Salmonella Outbreak of Ought-Six, is that my husband is truly there In Sickness. He was sweet, patient, not annoyed by my all-night coughing, tender with the children, creative with meal and activity planning, and generally wonderful. I daresay I would not be near as kind if the tables were turned...and let's hope that theory does not get tested anytime soon! So thanks honey.

Off to the doctor.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Since I'm not getting my children cell phones anytime soon, I'm not really worried about the sexting craze, or the immense phone bill we'll have, or what constant communication does to a teen.

But it's coming, so I'm paying attention.

Here's a list of sexting acronyms all parents should know.

Here's a NY Times article that declares that adolecsents who text constantly aren't separating from their parents well and aren't having sufficient down time to discover their true selves.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I could not love Mimi Smartypants' blog any more than I currently do. The latest post reminds me of how inept I am at writing, and how edgy and funny she is, and also that Wheat Thins really do have ridiculous marketing. To wit:

The back of the Reduced-Fat Wheat Thins box curiously depicts a lovely-looking home office setup, all seafoam walls and beige linen organizer boxes. There is a vintage-style wall clock and a charming little green ceramic pitcher being used as a pencil cup. Also: a full cup of coffee, a clothbound book with a blurry one-word title that looks a lot like a personal journal, and a bulletin board with post-its saying "Lunch @ 11:30" and "Call Corinne." And the box of Wheat Thins, of course. So we can deduce that this person likes Wheat Thins, is probably female (based on the Pottery Barn-ness of the desk accessories), and that she doesn't work too terribly hard.

Then there is the box copy. Tagline: "My space, my snack." Below: "You don't compromise in your daily life; you shouldn't have to in your snacks. Reduced Fat Wheat Thins are the best of both worlds: Full of crunch and the amazingly delicious taste of Wheat Thins---all with 35% less fat than Original Wheat Thins Crackers"

a. Yes, there is no end punctuation in the original. Odd, especially since someone bothered to use a semicolon correctly.
b. MY SPACE, MY SNACK. Well! You go, girl! Own those low-fat crackers!
c. Could this be more blatantly chick-targeted? You've got the luxurious Real Simple-styled desk scene. You've got the me me me, my space, my snack, perfect for that whole "time to myself" marketing focus. Which strikes me as particularly ironic because the woman with that perfect-looking office---who has lunch dates and who apparently keeps a journal in longhand---probably has no trouble whatsoever with the time-to-herself thing.
d. The more I think about that first line, the more it makes me laugh. "You don't compromise in your daily life; you shouldn't have to in your snacks." Who is this take-no-prisoners, make-no-compromises snacking woman? A combination of Martha Stewart and Chuck Norris? Damn it, no! I will not compromise my snacks!
e. I have not investigated yet, but I doubt the full-fat Wheat Thins box is this conflicted. I buy the low-fat ones because they are saltier, and nothing is salty enough for me except maybe a salt lick garnished with French olives. I did not expect the box to have all this baggage about compromise and claiming one's space.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

LOST Season Finale - with spoilers

From "Sister Carrie", whose comments are always amazing and literary (and have a whiff of the insider about them) on Whitney Matheson's LOST discussions, Jacob's pronouncements:

To both Sawyer and Locke: I’m sorry this happened.
To both Kate and Sun/Jin: You’re NOT going to steal anymore, are you?; DON’T take your “special love” for granted.
To Sayid: I’m lost and need directions.
To Jack: I guess it just needed a push and by “it” I mean “you, Jack”!
To Hurley: You’re blessed and not cursed.
To mankind: It’s your choice.

Good Lord, between this and the Hurricanes and the Cruel Month of May, my heart can't take it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Downtown Day

I recently spent a whole day in downtown Raleigh. Now, I used to LIVE in downtown Raleigh, but that was before it was really kind of nice and metropolitan, as it is now.

My friend and I rode the R Line - a pleasant, cool, free, hybrid bus ride. This after we took in a Symphony concert that was SRO. Believe it! Yes, most of the patrons were either a. ancient or b. homeschooled...still!

And finally, the day ended with a beer at an outdoor bar with a bunch of very stylish 20 and 30ish folk...who ARE they, and why are they living in my town so happily?

Pretty fun how the burg is coming on. Oh, and GO CANES!

Friday, May 08, 2009

For all my Mommy Peeps


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My daughter, it seems, has finally hit the 5th grade wall. Her friends are emailing mean things to one another, and about their teacher, whom she loves. Her visit to the infamous Poe Center to learn about OUR CHANGING BODIES is imminent. Her day of reckoning with soccer grows ever closer as she must decide to get serious or play for fun a little longer. Add to that her very serious illness last week, and having to take giant horse pills for 14 days, and an upcoming piano recital and graduation ceremony, and her parents' busy work lives, and it's just a little much.

I feel for her...but I also love her unique take on things and trust her strength to carry her through this challenging season. Her brain works a little differently than mine, perhaps more like my husband's. She has found solace at the piano keyboard, and with her books (and more books) . But nothing soothes her more than hours and hours of bouncing a playground ball back and forth on our paved sidewalk and driveway.

She has always been a bit repetitive and focused in her play. Used to be, she would ride the zip line for hours (oooo the calluses!). Then, she blew out three scooters in a row on the path now used for ball-bouncing (the white scrapes on the concrete from her turns are still there). The playground ball that Santa brought exploded in protest after the 800,000th bounce, so Grandma graciously bought a new one during a visit. And the sound again echoes off of our brick house, over and over again.

I think she thinks, and sings, and imagines, and maybe even goes blank a bit when she's bouncing. Brother is not allowed to play with her during this time, although if a neighbor is over with him, she seems to just go on with her thing. Truly, she will do this for hours at a time....it is pure play but maybe the best kind of mental break and meditation.

I hope she can find something similar to relax her mind for years to come. The excitement and scariness of middle school is upon us...and she'll need an outlet. Perhaps I should spring for the value pack of balls.

Friday, April 24, 2009

You Knew Flannery was Key

From Variety Season Pass:

Q. What works may have influenced you?:
You’re obviously huge fans of Stephen King… I was wondering how the ending to “The Dark Tower” informs yours. (Simplevincent)… I have read that “The Stand” is very influential to the mythology of “Lost.” (William) Are you guys fans of Irish literature as “Lost” seems to have similarities to a number of famous Irish stories, including of course ‘Ulysses”? (Brian) … The “Star Wars: Episode 4” influences are on display. True? (.35) … I have wondered if one of your big influences came in the form of a wicked British children’s show called “Children of the Stones,” particularly with time and cycles. (Spymunk and JimK). I am struck by the similarities in scope and tone between “Lost” and “The Prisoner.” (Jeanette) Of all the books referenced in the show, which fathered your show’s structure the most? (Mischa)
Are any of these, indeed influences and are there others not mentioned here?

CC: For both Damon and me Stephen King’s “The Stand” was the most influential model for “Lost.” Because “Lost” is not the tenth carbon copy of a medical, legal or cop show there wasn’t a clear roadmap for how to make it work for 100 episodes by looking at other TV shows. So instead we turned to “The Stand,” a 1,000-page novel with a high-concept idea at the core: most of the world’s inhabitants have been killed by a super flu. What we loved about the book was that what sustains the 1,000 pages is not the mythology of the super flu but the stories of the characters. The mystery of what was happening on this island had to be secondary to the mystery of “who are these people?” In terms of creative inspiration we owe a debt to many other sources: the Bible, “Twin Peaks,” “The Prisoner,” the Narnia Chronicles, and of course “Star Wars” and all of its mythological antecedents, Kurt Vonnegut and Flannery O’Connor.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Nice to Gays" is Written on Your Forehead

The title of this post is an actual description of me made by a boy who asked me to marry him - should it not work out with anyone else -
when we were 30. Obviously, he's gay, and much happier now without me as a wife. And yes, my real-life situation was also an actual "Will and Grace" plot line.

So no one need be surprised at my current fascination with Little Edie, given her status as icon in the queer community. And because out-of-town soccer tourneys mean free HBO (oh, and so much more for the soccer player and the family, I know, I know) not only did I get to see "#1 Ladies Detective Agency" (the most positive, uplifting HBO thing I've ever seen) but I got to see "Grey Gardens" as they premiered.

My friend Lynn has always had a huge crush on Drew Barrymore. Let me say now that I understand. Unequivocally. The joy! The accent! The costumes! The cabaret show! I loved it all.

The cast featured Jeanne Tripplehorn, who is luminous, and the great Malcolm Gets. He's delicious in the movie and plays piano as beautifully as he sings and acts.

I am feeling on top of things culturally. Now, if I could just get the family and house organized before May hits, all will be well.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

From Mo Dowd's Easter article on Iowa, the new California:

Max Mutchnick, the co-creator of “Will and Grace,” who married the entertainment lawyer Erik Hyman in Beverly Hills just days before Proposition 8 passed last November — theirs is among the 18,000 or so marriages now in legal limbo — was tickled by the idea of Iowa as the new California.

“Will we see David Geffen rollerblading in the Des Moines skywalk?” Mutchnick mused. “Will paparazzi chase after farmers looking for candid shots? Will Ashton and Demi be BlackBerrying friends from their corner table at Applebee’s? Will there be a new line of Kiehl’s products for goats?”

Mutchnick, who is raising twin girls with Hyman, frets that President Obama may be behind the country on this issue, and that the Obamas do not have enough gays around them.

“If more homosexuals were in the Obamas’ lives,” the writer said, “there is no way Michelle would have worn a twin set when she met the queen.”

Nah, I think she looked great. But that's funny anyway. Back to the sofa for Sunday at Augusta!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Happy Easter/Passover/Freakish Cold Snap/Modified Spring Break

A little indie pop to get you through your weekend.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Happy Birthday, Little Sir!

A full weekend of fun. Lots of farting and burping when two friends spent the night Friday. Also the cussing? "Crap" and "damn" were about the worst, but...ok, I did it when I was their age, too. Just when I was about to lose hope in nine year-old humanity, they decided to watch "Curse of the Were- Rabbit" and I was reminded that they are, after all, little kids.

All the favorite foods: chocolate chip waffles, cupcakes, pizza, PR, and Chubby's. All the asked-for gifts: assorted balls and jerseys, and a Slim Jim. Plus some soccer in the sunshine.

He's a good boy, and a complete charmer. It's a miracle he hasn't broken a limb yet. He's ill-dressed at all times, has too much hair, is stinky and dirty, and I couldn't be happier that he's mine.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Library on a Rainy Afternoon

I never tire of giving blood, if only for the love and respect shown me. I've posted before that I am O negative, thus universally beloved and desired. My iron is better lately, and I have extremely lovely veins of a sky-blue hue. Today's donation, organized by my do-gooder husband, was up in the skyscraper of his office, so I was nervous that the altitude might affect me (that or giving next to a bunch of lawyers). Best to shore up one's iron with a Charburger. Oh so tasty and greasy and yes, I did have the fries as well.

At some point during my rapid donation (I also give really quickly and boy, do they heap the praise on that quality!), I started grimacing. Several nurses attended...but I was only worried about my husband. Across the way, he was getting stuck multiple times and was moaning and groaning. Apparently lack of hydration can make your veins not as supple as, say, mine. And Mr. Dark Magic every morning had already had his coffee and then some. Poor guy. They finally got the needle in but not without a lot of poking.

I saw my friend Dean at the blood drive. He said he was there because "it's all about the snacks". Hear, hear. I skipped the options due to my earlier beef-fest, but was very interested in the icing-filled oatmeal cookie and the Orangeade. High fructose corn syrup plays a prominent role in our society, especially within the blood donation community.

Ok, I must go rest my point of entry in my heaving, buxom veins and pamper myself the rest of the day.

Tomorrow, after all, I'm going to Williamsburg with the entire 5th grade for the day. I doubt I'll feel any love nor respect on that trip.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

If I Were at SXSW...

I would have gone to see The Thermals. Nice review.

Also, a friend of mine is in a movie that just won a couple of lovely awards there! So I would have gone to see that. "That Evening Sun" was filmed in the Blue Ridge Mountains, FYI.

But I'm not in Austin, I'm here in bustling Raleigh, which shows record growth and steady housing prices and new restaurants. For my birthday, we went to Jibarra...very nice, very spicy. My husband had made a chevre, tomato and leek crepe for breakfast...so we weren't terribly hungry. Just tried some small plates. Tonight includes mystery plans made by my boss, and including my husband...and surely involving Duke basketball, another hallmark of Raleigh (and of course Durham). The Dance is usually part of my birthday celebration, and fine by me.

Here's to 41!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

For Your Netflix Queue

I found this on Twitter, so don't accuse me of reading GOOP (though I have, occasionally, gone on there...it seems less busy than Oprah's web sites).

Gwyneth's friends' top five movies to see...including Sofia Coppola and Stephen Spielberg.

Of course, our five-day rain has ended, so perhaps no one will be renting movies. We ourselves are trying hard not to read anything about the ending of Battlestar Galactica, since we still haven't completed season 2. Oh, and we gave up on 24. After EIGHT. YEARS. That's harsh. I thought I was a completist.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Heavy Scent of Hyacinth, and Cherry Blossoms in Bloom

This will be the 20th romantic March 13th I've spent with my husband.

He reminded me of this last week.

Him: Hey, it's our dating anniversary!

Me: Hmmmm.

Him: What?

Me: It wasn't technically a date. More like a hook-up.

Him: Twenty years does not a hook-up make.

It was a beautiful spring day, the woman who wanted to date my husband was conveniently out of town, we borrowed his mom's Miata, and I bought new sunglasses. I also took off work. Leaving the office, my co-workers said, "You're going on a date." No, no I said. Not a date, just hanging out with my friend. We drove around, had dinner, saw a movie ("Enemies, a Love Story"), drank some wine. My cat (yes, Wissy...even then) overturned a bowl of fruit on my dining room table at my turn-of-the-century apartment.

Twenty-four hours later we were a couple.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Daily U2 Report

I love the opening hymn, uh, song: "No Line on the Horizon". I think, but am not sure, that some reviewer I read said that the song was about the muse. But I was reading on the treadmill at a 10.5 incline so who the hell knows.

I love "Breathe" and "Stand Up Comedy" thus far. The slower-tempo songs haven't grabbed me yet.

Note to contemporary Christian musicians: You can use cryptic, poetic language, and guitar work that isn't strummy strummy, and your voice in a less pained manner, and still get across a message of love and hope.

But I probably still won't listen to you.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The sick child thing is hopefully over, and boy did it get old fast. Trapped. Bored. Emotionally drained. These things come to mind.

Lost has been on a roll and how. I teared up during last night's epi. How can you not when Mssr. Le Fleur is aching?

Also, that statue looked like...um...hold on, let me check the Internets...

Ah, the Egyptian god Anubis, said to be protector of the dead, and able to revive them to life. OH REALLY?

In other cultural news, the new U2 is fun thus far...but I need to give it a good listen. It sounds like synthed-up "Boy" at times.

The soccer tourney was canceled due to lingering snow in Richmond. And no, we did not get a hotel refund. Note to self, and you people: Read the fine print. Dammit! Oh well, an early birthday present - a hotel room for a night without us in it!

I'm reading "The Senator's Wife" and find that I am bored silly. Yet, I can't stop reading it. This is a good thing, right? A mental break? An escape from worry? A blink during the economic and educational staredown that is my day-to-day life? "Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice" was a challenge (though written so well that the bizarre subject was clearly drawn and the mysteries about her clearly examined), but completely gripping. I identified strongly with Gertrude Stein...and not just because she was a lesbian Jew in France during World War 2.

Seriously, I might have to wade through her crazy prose because she was compelling as hell. Her books yes her books and even the poems and why not the poems I think yes the poems and the books, the books of war and lives and Alice B. Toklas. Then again, maybe I'll just read more Janet Malcolm.

And I can not let today pass without mentioning that in San Francisco, judges are debating Prop 8. Having seen "Milk" last week, I feel more galvanized than ever...gay people deserve the same benefits, protections, and community support in their relationships that straight people do. I have tried and tried to understand arguments against gay marriage, and I just do not get them. Not sure how much harder I will try, when I see friends who are being completely maligned for being in love. In this season of Lent, I feel like some couples are enduring their 40 days in the wilderness...may they find the strength and bravery to come out of it unscathed.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Linky, linky

Best thing written about Jennifer Aniston. EVER. Thank you, thank you, Fug Girls!

Is everyone sort of catching on that the Octuplet Mom is trying to be just like Angelina Jolie, by the way? OH. I guess so. Did TMZ really need to give her this nickname? Ew.

Blackbeard's skull!? Arrrgh!

From a great NY Times article:

"Also, teachers often punish children by taking away recess privileges. That strikes Dr. Barros as illogical. 'Recess should be part of the curriculum,” she said. “You don’t punish a kid by having them miss math class, so kids shouldn’t be punished by not getting recess.'"
RIGHT??? As y'all know, I don't often raise a ruckus at school, but the few times recess was taken away -- for any reason (too cold? WE LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA) -- I was all over it. Here's some nice ammo if it happens to your kid.

And now I must sign off...I'm cutting down on computer time and dialing up my yoga time. I miss it, my knees are healthy now, and one can only Twitter, blog, or surf so much in each day.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Business in the Front, Party in the Back

My niece has a mullet. We tried to trim up the back. Bad idea: she's one, she's wiggly, we were at my mother-in-law's farm after a late night...you get the idea.

After thinking it over, though, we decided we all like the Kentucky Waterfall, especially after it has been combed nicely. For you see, my niece is PERFECT. And you may not change one thing about her!!!

Or else I shall sick the Goat of Beelzebub upon you, and He shall devour your very being with his Demonic Desires, of which there are no End.

Stop! Stop looking into its all-encompassing Eyes!

Stop, son! Do not feed it: it's hungers are not for earthly food, but for your inner Light!

Daughter! Do not attempt to cajole this beast. His heart hungers for your thoughts and ideas, not the morsels you offer.

The Goat of Hell hast wrought His wrath upon us....and you thought this was going to be an Oscar post!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

As I'm sure I've written before (but am far too lazy and disorganized to find out for sure), my friend M.K. Allen has sponsored an Oscar contest for 14 years or more. I won once. Lots enter, with a $1 entry fee, so the award money is fun. The tiebreaker question is always random. I usually get at least 3 right, and in recent years (when, strangely, I rarely see the movies) I've been getting five of the six categories correct with regularity.

This year I'm going with:

Slumdog Millionaire
Stephen Daldry, Director of The Reader
Penelope Cruz
Heath Ledger (natch)
Frank Langella
Kate Winslet

But Nate Silver, of FiveThirtyEight, has different ideas than I do - see his predictions at NY Magazine. Obvs he has gotten other marquee contests right in the past.

I'll stick with the dark horses (Langella, Daldry) and the red-hot Spaniard (Cruz).

If I win, I'll take you to lunch.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy VD

Chocolate Pots de Creme
(From an ancient Better Homes and Gardens cookbook)

1 cup light cream
1 4 oz package chocolate, chopped (we used a local chocolatier's dark chocolate bar)
1 tbsp sugar
dash salt
3 beaten egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla (I was out of Mexican vanilla, but think that might be right tasty)
Garnish: mint sprig, whipped cream, frozen raspberry, strawberries, etc. We used powdered sugar and homemade VD cookies from Lynn.

In a heavy small saucepan combine light cream, chocolate, sugar, and salt. cook and stir over medium low heat till smooth and slightly thickened. Gradually stir about half of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks; return all to saucepan. Cook and stir over medium low heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into 4 to 6 pots de creme cups or individual sherbert dishes (WTF?). Cover and chill several hours or overnight till firm. Garnish and serve - 4 to 6.