Sunday, December 31, 2006

Remember When the Music

MVY is showcasing its picks for the top 25 albums of 2006. This year they are playing songs from the selected albums over the course of an hour of programming a piece. The songs are interspersed - diluted if you will - between other songs, news, and advertising. In past years the station has played albums in their entirety, from start to finish, with barely a station identification break in the middle.
What's going on here? Is it that we no longer have the attention span to listen to several songs in a row by the same artist? Is it because we can't listen to less-popular songs unless they are precluded, and then followed by, something familiar? Or is it just because the station can't sell advertising around large chunks of uninterrupted music? Is something lost in never hearing an album from beginning to end with the songs in the order the artist originally intended? Do musicians and songwriters even consider the total package any more or do they just strive for one hit at a time, figuring that people are just going onto online and downloading the one or two songs they like.
Whatever the reason, it stinks. Not because I'm a big fan of any of this year's top 25, most of the artists I haven't even heard of, except for Death Cab for Cuties, but I can't actually name anything they sing. I just think it's a sad state of affairs when we can't concentrate on one particular group or musician for a full 40 minutes. No wonder attendance is down at the symphony, who can sit through a whole concerto in D minor?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Cat's In the Cradle

Cats are like children, they always get sick just before the weekend. I was feeling remiss that I didn't bring her in yesterday, since my parents have the kids and it would have been less of on ordeal to not have to load everyone into the car. But there were eagle scouts to interview and drawing classes to attend so the cat had to stay in the bathroom all day. Not to mention I had forgotten the most important thing about taking the cat to the vet - it's more entertaining than anything I could dream up to do with my kids.
This morning I told C that we had to take kitty to the vet after breakfast. He lowered his head and smiled.
"Know why I like to take kitty to the vet," he asked me.
"I like to put her in the little cage and when she's in the cage I can talk to her and when we get home I can open the door and let her out of the cage. It's sad when she's sick and I'm her friend."
Sad for who? I wondered.
Even my younger son was in on the action, down on his belly checking out the cat, who C insisted I put into the cage a full half-hour before her appointment.
There's nothing like seeing the family pet incarcerated, except that is, seeing the family pet get a shot.
"Kitty doesn't even get a band-aid," empathized my son.

song: Cat's In the Cradle • artist: Harry Chapin

Back Door Man

On Wednesday I went out to hang up the laundry and inadvertently startled a hawk that was dining on some dead something-or-other over by the water barrel. It flew off, prey in its claws, pursued by a flock of crows. Incidentally, a flock of crows can also be called a "murder" of crows. Anyway, the hawk flew into our neighbor's yard and straight into one of Jim's large picture windows. It then bounced off the window and flew erratically towards the trees in Jim's front yard; still followed by the crows, still holding onto its breakfast.
Thursday morning I went out to hang laundry and after I'd been outside for a few minutes a fox came out from beneath the bunk house, gave me a disdainful look, and slunk off towards Betsy's yard.
Thank goodness for the laundry or I'd never see any wildlife.

song: Back Door Man • artist: The Doors

Friday, December 29, 2006

Extra Ordinary

Live a life less ordinary
Live a life extraordinary
-Carbon Leaf

When I look back on my ordinary, ordinary life,
I see so much magic, though I missed it at the time.
-Jamie Cullum

So which is it?
MVY has played these two songs back-to-back without eluding to the obvious disparity in their lyrics. Guess they don't want to choose sides.

song: Extra Ordinary • artist: Better Than Ezra

57 Channels

I was describing my Adelphia to Comcast conversion woes to a friend today when I had one of those moments of revelation when you think, "OMG, I'm complaining about my e-mail when there are starving people in the world."
I sometimes have the same feeling when I gripe about there being nothing on cable; that little voice inside my head chides: "you should be grateful you can afford cable television. Rejoice in your comfy bourgeoisie lifestyle and think how lucky you are to be able to watch Scarface every night of the week.
This is what comes from going to church too often.

song: 57 Channels (and nothin' on) • artist: Bruce Springsteen

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Afternoon Delight

Unlike his older brother, my nineteen-month old can spend an entire afternoon in his crib. He loves it in there. He talks to himself: "ball, ball, ball, caw-caw, ball, ball, ball." He looks at his board books and hugs his stuffed animals and then throws them all on the floor, along with his socks. Eventually he falls asleep. When he wakes up it's the same routine all over again.
When I go upstairs to fetch him out he genuinely looks surprised, as if to say, "What? You've come to take me away from all this?"
I could stick War and Peace in there with him and he'd have it read by dinnertime.

song: Afternoon Delight • artist: Starland Vocal Band

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's the Same Old Song

Though he might disagree, I think Ken and I gave each other presents that we ourselves wanted for Christmas. For example, I gave him Johnny Cash's last recording and he in return gave me AC/DC's Back in Black. I did own this on cassette many years ago, which is surprising because I was more of an Air Supply fan then a head banger, but you just can't jog to "All out of Love" like you can to "You Shook Me All Night Long."
I love how new advances in technology have forced us to repurchase the same music we bought as kids. Seems there's something not very technologically advanced about that.
Anyway, just to set the record straight for next Christmas, I also owned Def Leppard twenty years ago but I haven't been pining for "Pyromania" lately. Although, perhaps my husband is.

song: It's the Same Old Song • artist: The Four Tops

You've Been So Good up to Now

So it went pretty well yesterday. Since neither of the kids watches a lot of television or takes frequent trips to the store, there wasn't one particular gift either was looking for and subsequently they were happy with whatever Santa brought. My younger son, at 19-months, would have been happy with just wrapping paper and boxes. My older son is convinced, however, that he got extra loot from Santa because he went to bed on Christmas Eve with a stomach ache and his bucket. A stomach ache no doubt brought on by the anticipation of Santa's arrival, since the first words out of his mouth coming down the stairs that morning were, "Santa's coming tonight!"
It's an interesting hypothesis though - that Santa might grade on a curve. If, say, Billy, wasn't very good during the year but he had a tonsillectomy in December he might still make out on Christmas morning. Not a good theory to publicize though, think of the ramifications. It would be like college students cramming for finals; on the last week of the year hospitals would full of preschool and elementary school children with broken arms and legs. It would be better to convince the kids that what Santa is really looking for is children who can sleep all night in their own beds and not wake up until at least 8AM. That and no guffing at bedtime.

song: You've Been So Good up to Now • artist: Lyle Lovett

Monday, December 25, 2006

We Need A Little Christmas

"For I've grown a little leaner,
Grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder,
Grown a little older,
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder,
Need a little Christmas now."

song: We Need A Little Christmas • soundtrack: Mame

Someone's Looking at You

My son decided that the best way for us to help Santa would be to go to other children's houses and inquire of their mothers whether the children who live there have been good or not. "We could write them down and then Santa would know who is bad."
I sense a career in law enforcement; or maybe bounty hunting.

song: Someone's Looking at You • artist: The Boomtown Rats

Sunday, December 24, 2006

You Decorated My Life

My new creative outlet.

song: You Decorated My Life • artist: Kenny Rogers

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Waiting in Vain

There wasn't any preschool this week, nor is there any next week. I understand the teachers need a vacation but my four-year old does not. Especially the week before Christmas. What's worse than having to wait for Christmas when you're four? Not having your usual routine which gets you out of the house two mornings a week and makes time pass quicker. Instead he's stuck at home with his mom and younger brother, waiting and waiting for it to be Christmas, or staring at the Christmas tree and announcing infractions which will cause his little brother not to receive any toys from Santa.
"H is throwing his toys. Let's leave Santa a note and tell him he shouldn't get any presents."
Even with the Advent calendar to help count down the days, he's still asking me, "when will it be Christmas?" I tell him I'd like to know myself.
We watched "Santa Claus is coming to Town" the other night. Ken bought the DVD (along with Frosty the Snowman) but I told my son they were from the library so we wouldn't have to be watching them in April. He didn't seem to get the underlying concept of the movie, he kept asking: "why is that Chris Kringle guy dressed up as Santa Claus?"
He's painted some wooden ornaments that I need to put strings on and we've made a new construction-paper chain which wraps around the entire tree. When I'm totally out of ideas, there are always cookies to bake. We've made about twelve-dozen of the world's most unhygienic cookies this month. I can get him to wash his hands before we start but then we're rolling out cookie dough and he's wiping his hands up and down his sweater, or rolling the dough right off the wax paper onto the countertop, or blowing flour off the rolling pin so forcefully he's spitting across the counter. Then we go out and give the cookies to unsuspecting friends, neighbors, and our librarian friends. My coworker said not to worry, they were cooked after all, but I don't know, having witnessed what goes on behind the scenes, I suggest folks should be wary of kids bearing cookies. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

song: Waiting in Vain • artist: Bob Marley

cleanliness lament (a couplet)

Why is it my children would rather stay grubby
than get in the bathtub and take a tubby?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Beautiful Dreamer

Twas a few nights before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. That's because the mouse was dead - I heard the trap spring. As dead as a door knob. As dead as Jacob Marley to use a seasonally-appropriate metaphor. To be specific, the mouse was in the trap with a probable broken neck and Ken, who was not in his cap, wouldn't get up to go downstairs and remove it's lifeless body from the kitchen so his wife could sleep peacefully with visions of sugar plums, and not rodent carnage, dancing in her head.

song: beautiful dreamer • artist: Stephen Foster

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Can't Find My Way Home

OMG! It was on AMC again last night - Scarface! It's December 20th, shouldn't they be showing reruns of It's a Wonderful Life? I don't know about you, but the Cuban mafia doesn't put me in the holiday spirit.
The word of the week at our house is camouflage. I don't even know how it came up but C's fixated on pointing out things that are camouflaged. The flounder at the Woods Hole aquarium on Monday, the green M&Ms on top of the green sprinkles on the cookies he decorated at the library yesterday, and this morning it was my yoga mat and block.
"No wonder you couldn't find that gray block Mommy, it was in the back of your closet behind all your black clothes. It was camouflaged."

song: Can't Find My Way Home • artist: Eric Clapton

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

insomnia (a list poem)

is the heat turned off
who do i hear cough

where's my cat
am i getting fat

is this a caffeine rush
i feel i must be flush

what will the next supplement stories be
does anyone take me seriously

will those water jugs freeze in the car
how has my life turned out so far

are you still awake
am i making a mistake

i can't believe it's two o'clock
did i check the front door lock

where did my son leave his sippy cup
maybe i should just get up


The movie version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer features the island of misfit toys. At our house we have the "shelf of broken Christmas tree ornaments."
There's a snowman that H pulled an arm off of and a second snowman who is missing his banner which reads "joy." I was thinking of gluing the little letters back on out of order, have it read "yoj" instead.
Then there's the "please don't play with that glass bird ornament because it's a fragile," now missing its head, and a "woof woof" in a Christmas stocking that H took off the tree for closer inspection one too many times.

song: Brokedown • artist: Slaid Cleaves

Out of Touch

It has been a long, and mostly useless, day trying to transition from Adelphia to Comcast. Things are not going well. So far the mail goes out but does not come in and may not be coming in for another 24 to 72 hours. It's difficult to be a Mac user in a PC world.
I'll keep you all posted, knowing as well I know, that the only thing more boring than reading about someone else's children, is reading about their computer problems.

song: Out of Touch • artist: Hall & Oates

If You Could Read My Mind

Book club is reading Richard Russo's Straight Man for January. I'm trying desperately to finish though it's nearly 400 pages and I still haven't finished the Omnivore's Dilemma which I started in July. I've never read Empire Falls, Mr. Russo's most well-known work, though I'm enjoying his self-deprecating writing style. It's how I would wish to sound if I were to attempt to write anything longer than six paragraphs.
I sometimes wonder if everyone has at least one great novel in them. How many excellent books by first-time writers are out there which are followed up by mediocre second novels if they're followed up at all?
Mark Hadden's second book only received a fair review in Sunday's Boston Globe. Mr. Hadden's first book for adults, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is the town pick for Year of the Reader 2007. Happily we read it in book club last year so I'll be able to discuss the book and appear well read without having to actually squeeze in an extra read - as if it would be possible.
On a related note H's favorite book is Wheels on the Bus, the interactive version illustrated by Paul Zelinsky. It's the book I'm most frequently requested to read through his toddler pantomime - he hands me the book then pats the couch - I am suppose to sit down and read. His second favorite is Helen Oxenbury's Tickle Tickle, because he anticipates the big climax - the tickle, tickle - on the last page.
His big brother's book du jour is The Case of the Dumb Bells by Crosby Bonsall; part of a series of I Can Read detective novels by the same author. The book's copyright is 1966 which might explain why the overweight kid is inappropriately nicknamed Tubby. I'm a little disappointed in Ms. Bonsall, I think she should have known better.

song: If You Could Read My Mind • artist: Gordon Lightfoot

Tannenbaum Tercet

Our Christmas tree,
Decorated randomly.
Plainly suits me.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Silent Night

Top Ten Least Favorite Secular Holiday Songs
(There are so many, it's hard to know where to begin)

1. We Need A Little Christmas - by Percy Faith. It's so watered down compared to the Angela Lansbury version from Mame.
2. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. I hated this song long before my son started asking me uncomfortable questions about it.
3. All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth. Not even having children of my own can convince me this song is cute in any way, shape, or form.
4. Santa Baby. Don't like it when Eartha Kitt sings it, like it even less when Madonna sings it.
5. Any tear-jerking holiday song which exists only to make you sad at Christmas. Examples are that song about the Christmas cat that had Canadians in tears a few years ago and that one about the little boy who wants to get his dying mother a new pair of shoes for Christmas. If you want to be depressed about the holidays just read Hans Christian Andersen's Little Matchstick Girl.
6. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Maybe it's just me but I find this song to be as irritating as I find Frosty endearing.
7. Little Saint Nick - the Beach Boys. Misguided holiday classic wannabe. Radio stations should stop playing it.
8. Destination Christmas songs like Christmas in Killarney or Christmas in the Caribbean do nothing for me. Maybe if I were Irish or taking a cruise this Christmas (like some people I know!).
9. Any Christmas song by the Chipmunks. Again, not cute!
10. If I were a Carpenter - by Bobby Darin. What's that you say? This isn't a Christmas song at all? Then why is it on my "Crooners at Christmas" CD? It's not even the last song on the album, a space filler as it were, no, it's number seven!

song: Silent Night

Don't Stop the Music

There's this war going on in Iraq with no end in sight; people being massacred in Sudan, and global warming threatening to sink half the Cape, but what's got everyone all up in arms and spewing out letters to the editor?
The possibility of piped-in music on Main Street.

song: Don't Stop the Music • artist: Yarbrough & Peoples

Dancing With Myself

They put ivy wreaths on their heads, held onto a long scarf, and folk danced in a circle around a lantern and then around a hat. My son held the circle scarf in the wrong hand causing him to have to side step through the entire first dance. Lots of parents and grandparents took videos. Afterwards there was cider and cupcakes.
"Was that my first time dancing in front of other people?" he asked when we got home.
The boy who can remember every face-down card in a game of concentration isn't sure if he's been in other preschool dance performances or not.
Guess that's why there was so much video taping going on.

song: Dancing with Myself • artist: Billy Idol

Friday, December 15, 2006

Not Fade Away

After several months of saying we would, I finally got together with a high school acquaintance last month. We had a lively and heartfelt conversation about the kinds of feelings a twentieth reunion inspires - what we've accomplished in the past twenty years, what's worked out, what hasn't; and what things, try as we might have in high school, we could have never predicted would happen.
In the past year, in addition to this pleasant meeting, my class reunion and this blog have led me to be in touch with some other people I'd since lost contact. Prior to this, I'd made the observation to another friend that it's sad to no longer be in contact with the people who were once integral parts of your life. The people who were there when formative memories were made. Without those people to share the memory, I surmised, it's like the event never happened. This, I suppose, is why people of specific generations gravitate towards other people of the same age. There's shared memories, even if the people didn't know each other or didn't even live in the same proximity when they were growing up. They still share the same popular music and can relate to the same historical events. In my case I could approach anyone who graduated in 1986 and ask them where they were when they heard about the Challenger explosion. I was in the school library. Amy came in and made an announcement to that affect but no one paid her any mind, she always did have a flair for the dramatic.
What I've realized this past year, however, is that even the people who were closest to you at the time may not remember the significant events that you remember with the same intensity that you do. Incredibly, they may not remember them at all.
Extrapolating on this theme I could ask my husband what specifics he remembers about our wedding day. Granted there are probably some things he and I both remember, seven years isn’t that long ago; but there are, no doubt, things that I remember that he has no recollection of whatsoever, and vice versa.
In a like manner I think about all the memories I now have of my sons, things that we’ve done together. Since when do my parents play a starring role in any of my childhood memories? A few family vacations but that’s about it.
What it comes down to then is the memories that are special to you really are yours alone, regardless of how many high school or college friends you still keep in touch with. Which isn't to say you shouldn't reconnect, happily it may lead you to a memory you had previously forgotten. Just be forewarned and don’t be too disappointed when what seemed pivotal to you at the time, barely registers on someone else's radar.

song: Not Fade Away artist: Buddy Holly

Do You Hear What I Hear?

My top ten list of favorite secular Christmas songs:
1. We Need A Little Christmas - Angela Lansbury. From the soundtrack to Mame, not the lame Percy Faith version with half the lyrics left out.
2. Father Christmas - Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. I love the last line, "the Christmas we get, we deserve," no sugar coating there.
3. Merry Christmas Darling - The Carpenters. I know it's corny but I can't help it.
4. Blue Christmas – Elvis. of course!
5. Same Old Lang Syne - Dan Fogelberg. Like Father Christmas this is yet another bitter-sweet holiday tune, must be the cynic in me.
6. Frosty the Snowman - Jimmy Durante. I wish I had Frosty’s positive outlook on life.
7. Do They Know it's Christmas? - Band Aid. It's so 80s!
8. Happy Christmas (War is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko Ono. Even though, as I’ve been told, “the 60s are over.”
9. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft. You're a crooked jerky jockey, and you drive a crooked horse, Mr. President. (Opps, I mean, Mr. Grinch!)
10. Christmastime is Here - Vince Guaradli. This is the theme from a Charlie Brown Christmas for anyone who might know the music but not the actual name of the piece.

song: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Name of the Game

Some parents have been known to debate the pros and cons of purposefully allowing their children to win at board games; should they or shouldn't they?
Anyone with this concern, and a deck of cards, can rest assured - if you play concentration with a four-year old, you will legitimately lose at least fifty percent of the time despite your best efforts.
No matter how hard I concentrate, my concentration doesn't last long enough. When it's his turn he takes his time, and time to him is not a concrete concept to begin with. He'll start telling some unrelated story, or requesting a Kleenex, skillfully trying to distract me while I sit there thinking "hurry up! I can only remember where that queen is for another five seconds!"
Not only will you lose but then you'll have your nose rubbed in it in a way that only a four-year old can accomplish by repeating phrases like: "I really cleaned up, didn't I, mommy?" or "I thought it would be a tie but then I was the winner. I had thirteen pairs and you only had twelve (we have cards missing from our deck.)"
Even worse, after they mention their incredulous thirteen-to-twelve-pair win five or six hundred times, they'll ruminate on the final plays of the game leading up to the big win: "First I picked up those tens, then I picked those two fours, then I got the nines, and then the queens." How the heck did they remember that?
Your only real chance at the game is to initiate it just before their bedtime.

song: The Name of the Game • artist: Abba

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Who Loves You Better

Here is a photograph of our Christmas stockings. I present the photograph not so you'll be jealous that my family has hand-knit stockings with our names stitched into the tops, courtesy of my mother, but to point out the large discrepancy in stocking size.
I know what you're thinking, does size really matter? Get your mind out of the gutter! It's a Christmas stocking, of course size matters! It matters in the other respect as well, who are we kidding, but this is a family blog so let's just move on.
As mentioned, my mother created these stockings. Mine is the oldest of the group, and as you can plainly see, the smallest. Ken's is at least seven years old and, while larger than mind, not nearly as large as the two that belong to our children.
My mother claims to have used the same instructions and the same size needles on all four stockings and yet has no explanation for the obvious size differences. I have to call it like I see it and it looks like blatant favoritism to me; not to mention that I'm left to stuff these gargantuan socks for my children.

song: Who Loves You Better • artist: Lyle Lovett

Paperback Writer

Okay, I know I just made fun of that jewelry ad, so I realize it's ironic that I'm going to make this sales pitch - but - if you're looking for a gift for a friend who just became a mother, or even a friend who has been a mother for a while, I recommend a subscription to Brain Child. This is assuming of course that said mother has time to read but even if they don't have time for an entire book, a magazine can be stuck into a bag or left in the car to be read while waiting to pick up a kid after school or during Spanish lessons.
Brain, Child contains a great mix of fiction and non-fiction articles written about the experience of parenting. Yes, they are mostly written by moms, but dad's can and have contributed. Unlike mainstream conservative parenting magazines, every issue does not contain an article promising to help parents save money for that dream trip to Disney World; and unlike mainstream liberal parenting magazines, every issue does not contain an article about the moral highroad of home birthing.

song: Paperback Writer • artist: the Beatles

Travelin' Man

In October we got C one of those placemats with a map of the United States on it. Remarkably, he knows at least 95% of the states. He tends to forget Iowa and Idaho, but really not much is happening in either of those places so what's the loss. Now when we're eating he says seemingly odd things like:
"Mom, there's some yogurt on Montana."
"There's a piece of dirt on Nebraska."
"Put my bowl of cereal on Texas."
To which I respond:
"Put my bowl of cereal on Texas, please."

song: Travelin' Man • artist: Ricky Nelson

Trim Up the Tree

There's this cliché about kids decorating Christmas trees. That all the ornaments are hung off one bent-over branch, half-way up the blue spruce; and that chains of construction paper look as if they were haphazardly thrown onto the tree or blown there by an unexpected wind.
Except that it isn't a cliché.

song: Trim Up the Tree • artist: The MGM Studio Orchestra

Material Girl

I was all set to mock the radio commercial about the woman who tells her husband, Stuart, that she wants jewelry for Christmas. She goes on to tell Stuart (he is obviously a dim bulb) which jewelry store to patronize because of their reputation as "jewelry experts;" her rationale being that if she were going to buy him a set of wrenches she would of course seek the wise counsel of the "wrench experts."
It occurred to me that Stuart was getting the short end of the stick. How much is a wrench set, fifty dollars tops? No doubt he would be shelling out considerably more than that after his visit to the "jewelry experts." But then I did some research on line and found Stuart's dream wrench set for $479.89, which ladies, if you order it now, is on sale for $241.62.
So yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus; and yes, there is a wrench set that's the monetary equivalent of a jewelry purchase. Although if you recall, the woman in the ad doesn't actually promise Stuart she's going to the "wrench experts" for Christmas, she merely uses it as an analogy. She's probably going to the "tie experts" again. I wonder what the world's most expensive tie costs?

song: Material Girl • artist: Madonna

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Hole in the Bucket

While my son was sick last week he became quite proficient at throwing up in a bucket. For two days he carried the bucket around with him everywhere he went. In fact I sent him and his bucket off to his grandparent's house on Tuesday afternoon, which I know is kind of terrible of me, but I had a lot of work to get done.
On Wednesday he seemed better. No throwing up in the middle of the night. No throwing up after breakfast. So I suggested we all go to library story time at the recreation center.
"Okay," he said. "I'll bring my bucket."

song: A Hole in the Bucket • artist: German traditional

Sesame Street

Christmas on Sesame Street.
Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Bethleham?

song: Sesame Street • artist: Joe Raposo

Thursday, December 07, 2006

limerick for Christine

Thinking Christmas in Bratislava quel drag,
A certain teacher thought she might visit Prague.
Though her roommate objected,
Said she might get arrested,
For discussing porn with underage grads.

All Shook UP

My older son has had the stomach flu for what seems like eternity. Perched on the edge of his bed all night waiting to hand him "The Bucket" has given me pause to reminisce on my own ghosts of throw up's past.
I kept him home from preschool on Tuesday though I think he might have been okay if only he had been satisfied with toast and hadn't wanted everything his brother was having for breakfast instead. I didn't want to send him prematurely and have him end up branded as "the kid who threw up at school." I never threw up at school but I vividly remember the kids who did.
Once, in elementary school, I had to escort a girl who was not feeling well from the lunchroom to the nurse's office. While waiting for the nurse, the girl threw up on my shoes.
I was not the kid who threw up during our fifth-grade class trip to the National Seashore – that was Alison. I still have a photograph of her, taken when we first arrived. She's on the top bunk unpacking her suitcase, blissfully unaware that her week is soon to turn sour.
In Ms. Lawton's seventh grade English class, it was Tim, the boy who sat directly in front of me, who leaned over his desk one afternoon and let go. He was so subtle about it that no one knew it had happened except for me, the girl with the front-row seat for the main event. Afterwards we got to go outside for the remainder of the class while the room was cleaned and aired out.
I was, unfortunately, the girl who vomited on a girl scout ski trip to Vermont. I had to go home early with one of the chaperone dads; a car ride which I now realize was equally as uncomfortable for him as it was for me.
My other throw up memory in which I play the starring role happened during my freshman year in college when I threw up into my roommate's wastepaper basket. It's not what you think either, I was legitimately sick. Stephanie wasn't in the room at the time and I thoroughly washed the trash can afterwards but I don't think she ever quite got over it. She moved out of our room soon after, taking her trash can with her.

Song: All Shook Up • artist: Elvis Presley

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Play Me

I like the tag line for this product: "Hours of Fun." What they don't tell you is that it's hours of fun in ten-minute increments. That means the amount of time it will take you to set up and clean up is considerably longer than the total amount of time your child will be engrossed in play before he decides what's really fun about clay is bunching it up and throwing it at his brother.

song: Play Me • artist: Neil Diamond

Friday, December 01, 2006

Something Stupid

My son and I went to Gallo Ice Arena for public skating yesterday. We were lacing up our skates to go on the ice while a woman who had finished skating was taking hers off. She looked over at me and said, “he’s wearing the wrong kind of skates.” My son has black figure skates - she was wearing hockey skates.
So, to recap, a women in hockey skates is telling me that my son shouldn’t be wearing figure skates. Is there no end to the irony? Should I have told her that in fact she was wearing the wrong kind of skates as well and if she can play hockey why can’t my son wear figure skates?

song: Something Stupid artist: Frank Sinatra