Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Volcano

Out there somewhere is a doctor who saved the life of a patient today; but my magnum opus was creating a baking soda and vinegar volcano out of H's plastic Dairy Queen cup. A darn good volcano too. My original plan was that this was going to be the day I finally cleaned the Christmas greens out of the front door window boxes but it looks as if a sparrow's built a nest in there - again - this year.

song: Volcano • artist: Jimmy Buffett

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Eyes Without A Face


The Once-ler and my son - separated at birth?
This picture, the one not by Dr. Seuss, is from the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester. Highly recommended for little Lancelot enthusiasts.

song: Eyes Without A Face • artist: Billy Idol

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blue Period


How Picasso got started.

song: Blue Period • artist: the Smithereens

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Anything You Can Do

The Globe printed another letter to the editor from yours truly. If you're so inclined you can follow the link and read the article to which the letter references.
And just for the record I typed this post while nursing a baby as well - so there!

song: Anything You Can Do • musical: Annie Get Your Gun

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Stay Up Late

I've never been one, but I imagine nursing a baby is a like being a ventriloquist. You sit down with this rag doll-like small person on your lap, and drinking a glass of water is usually part of the show. Nursing two babies is like being a ventriloquist who gets invited back for an encore performance.
I was using the breast pump last night (a beastly thing if you've never had the pleasure) and everything went fine until I detached it and went to put it down on the table. There was some milk left on the rim and it dripped onto my computer's speakers. Great. I'll be the only person who has to bring their laptop in for service because it's had breast milk spilled on it.

song: Stay Up Late • artist: Talking Heads

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Color My World

Here's the earth day report. It's eco everything these days isn't it? According to the Boston Globe, the Clear Conscience Cafe in Central Square calls its waitstaff "environmental stewards." Sorry guys, John Todd is an environmental steward, your server at the Clear Conscience, despite the organic coffee, is not.
Cotuit is having an ecofashion show this weekend. The clothing aren't actually eco friendly, the event raises money for a company which supports renewable energy and environmental education programs. I hate to bring this up but real ecofashion means darning (remember darning?) old socks and wearing the same clothes this summer that you wore last summer.
Our grandmothers were environmentalists.
Speaking of grandmothers, my Nana Briana used to force me to color with my left hand. Well force is a bit extreme, she didn't tie my right hand behind my back or anything. The reason she gave for wanting me to learn to color with my left hand was in the event that I ever broke my right (which, remarkably, did happen) I'd still be able to color. Later I decided that the real reason my Nana wanted me to color with my left hand was because we were sitting side by side on the couch and if I colored with my right hand I would be elbowing her. That's the kind of thing you don't figure out until you become a parent for yourself. Instead of saying to a five year old, "stop elbowing me," you propose, "for fun, let's color with our left hand today shall we?"
But now, I think the real, real, reason she wanted me to be ambidextrous was so that years later I'd be able to hold a nursing a baby in my right arm and still be able to function moderately well, typing, eating dinner, or jotting down the date and time in a nursing chart, with my left hand.

song: Color My World • artist: Chicago

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Undercover Angel

The CC Times is asking Mariah Carey fans to contact them for an upcoming story. Their blurb states that Ms. Carey has recently surpassed Elvis in number one singles. Most likely, the paper included the comparison in order to put Ms. Carey's accomplishment into perspective. Elvis died over 30 years ago. I'll bet if the paper ran an article tomorrow asking Elvis fans to contact the paper, plenty of people would call in. Who's going to remember Mariah Carey 30 years from now?
On the other hand, some people need only one hit single to attain musical immortality, at least in certain circles.
Last week, in perhaps my biggest brush with greatness since I met Cheryl Wheeler in the bathroom of Christine's Restaurant during a power outage, Alan O'Day left a comment on my poetry blog.

song: Undercover Angel • artist: Alan O'Day

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's My Party

On Friday I purchased the perfect present for Will. After C informed be about Will's penchant for chasing the girls around the playground and scaring them, he coughed up this more helpful information, "get something with cheetahs or pirates." He added that, "pirates would be easier to find."
I found a build-your-own pirate ship kit and a small cheetah figurine to tie onto the top of the wrapped present. I thought I'd done pretty well considering I'd again waited until the last minute (the day of the party), to buy a gift.
Unfortunately the party was cancelled when Will came down with a fever, proving that the gods laugh at the best laid plans of mice, men, mostly stay-at-home moms, and five-year-old birthday boys.
The next preschool birthday party is on May 3rd. My only hope is that Brady also covets cheetahs and pirate ships.

song: It's My Party • artist: Lesley Gore

Friday, April 18, 2008

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

I've been reading the book Eat Pray Love for the past two months and counting. You know the story, divorced American woman travels to exotic locales to find herself. Her first stop is Italy. In between each of Elizabeth Gilbert's chapters, there's this symbol. I thought at first it was a meat ball. It looks like a meat ball. She's in Italy right? Well, I didn't just think it at first, I thought it for the first 39 chapters. Finally I reached the second third of the book and our heroine is in India but the meatballs remain. Then I realized they're not meatballs, they're suppose to be prayer beads, one single prayer bead between chapters.
I may not be on the way to enlightenment but at least now I'm not getting hungry every time I pick up the book

song: Scenes from an Italian Restaurant • artist: Billy Joel

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Always Something There to Remind Me

Isn't it funny how some things that you wouldn't expect take you straight back in time to your childhood. Because it was on sale, Ken recently bought iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce! Who knew they were even growing iceberg lettuce anymore what with mesclun and field greens being all the rage. Iceberg lettuce was a staple of the 1970s at least in our house, right down to the special Tupperware you could buy for it with the bump in the lid to accommodate the head. Growing up, we always had iceberg lettuce in our fridge. It lasted forever and never went bad. Must have been the special Tupperware. Strange though, I remember having iceberg lettuce in our house, but I don't remember ever eating any salad.
Maybe next week Ken will bring home Shake 'n Bake.

song: Always Something There to Remind Me • artist: Naked Eyes

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Girl Happy

There's another birthday party to go to this weekend. This one's for Will. As I still haven't found the perfect universal gift for five year old boys, I'll be making another trek to the toy store and wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles. I asked C for some ideas.
"What does Will like? Does he like dinosaurs? Cars?"
"You know what Will really likes, Momma"
"No. What?"
"He likes to chase the girls around and scare them"
Great. Perhaps he'd like a DVD copy of Alfie.

song: Girl Happy • artist: Elvis Presley

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Why I Don't Know

Technology is making us stupid that's for sure. Now that we have GPS, no one needs to know how to read a map. We don't have to remember phone numbers that are programmed into our cell phones. We don't have to recognize a friend or a relative's voice on the phone either since - knock, knock - caller ID tells us who's there.
The mini van came with Sirius satellite radio. Now, instead of learning something about the world by listening to NPR while driving around, I can turn the dial to the all-Broadway all-the-time channel and play name that musical with myself.
But, even though I'm rotting my brain with Oklahoma revivals, It hasn't completely atrophied.
Case and point, C caught a ladybug last week at Nana and Papa's house which he brought home to live at our house in a jar. Yesterday he told me he was going to put some wood in the jar for the it.
"Why would the lady bug need wood?" I asked.
"Lady bugs eat wood."
"Lady bugs don't eat wood."
"Yes they do, the lady at the pet store said so."
I told him that the lady at the pet store might know about snakes eating mice but that I was pretty sure lady bugs do not eat wood.
"How do you know. You don't work in a pet store."
Later in the day we went to the Spring Fling program at the library. After the naturalist was finished talking about frogs and turtles I told C to go ahead and ask her if lady bugs eat wood.
That's pet-store employee 0, mommy 1.

song: Why I Don't Know • artist: Lyle Lovett

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor

On Friday H and C spent the afternoon with my dad at the Independent Mall pet store watching a snake eat a mouse.
They told me all about it:
H: Momma, snake should not eat a mouse.
C: So whenever the mouse takes a breath, the snake squeezes it harder.
Then they went off to bed. You'd think they'd have had nightmares about it. I wasn't even there and I think I'm going to have nightmares about it.

song: I'm being swallowed by a boa constrictor • artist: Shel Silverstein

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cruisin

C wants to go on a cruise. Not just any cruise either, the other day he asked me when we could go on the Queen Mary.
I don't know where he even heard of the Queen Mary. The only cruise ship we ever talk about, is the Titanic.
"Isn't the Queen Mary the boat they made into a restaurant in California?" I asked my five year old; because if anyone could tell me, it would be him. He didn't know about that but any boat turned into a restaurant sounded appealing to him, "when can we go on that?" he wondered.
Later I told him about the Queen Elizabeth II. Why settle for the Queen Mary I told him. Then came the bad part. The price starts at $2,000 per person, plus we would have to get home from London once the cruise was over.
"So that's $12,000 for all of us," he announced with breathtaking accuracy.
"Yep."
"I'll give you $2 of my money," he offered after some consideration.
Woah, a two-dollar discount? Southampton here we come.

song: Cruisin' • artist: Smokey Robinson

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Shades of Gray

These are some color descriptions from the Land's End summer catalogue. Close you eyes an picture: island lime, vivid yellow, rich red, leaf, white, and admiral blue. One could wonder about leaf, is that a leaf in spring, fall, or winter; but since it's the summer catalogue, picturing a green leaf is a safe bet.
Now, close your eyes and try to picture some of the colors described in two of my earthy-crunchy outdoorsy catalogues: silt, charcoal, ash, moss, mud, acorn, rust, sand, coal, surf, granite, dirt, fern, yam, clay, salamander, flamingo and stone.
I appreciate a little creativity but this is going too far. Like a child mixing paints who just can't seem to stop until everything turns to brown, these catalogues need to quit before they get either too confusing or too ridiculous. It's as if they are trying to outdo each other in "green" color descriptions. Not only is it confusing, some of it's down right unappealing. For starters, what kind of salamander are we talking about? The black ones with the yellow spots that are getting all kinds of press lately? The little orange ones we've seen in Four Ponds Conservation Area? Frankly, salamander just makes me think slimy thoughts, not something I want to think about when I think of new clothes. And how about mud? Mud makes me think of what my kids clothes look like after it rains and they've been out playing in the - well - mud. Again, not how I picture new clothes.
There's a skirt I was thinking of ordering but I can't choose between dirt and fern. I should probably go for dirt, that way, when it gets dirty, no one will notice. Yams aren't a vegetable I want to eat much less wear. At this stage in my life yams remind me of baby spit up and I have that on my clothing already. As for coal, isn't coal a dirty, non-renewable pollutant?
A lot of the colors are all just the same color. A sweater for example that comes in henna, mud, and rose. I'm having a hard time choosing because basically they're all brown.
When the earthy-cruncy catalogues aren't coming up with 50 different mud-based ways to say brown they have another way to say it: coffee. There are sweatpants in espresso, t-shirts in coffee, pants in java, a reversible cardigan in latte, and a skirt in hazelnut.
I finally decided on some tunic pants. In black.

song: Shades of Gray • artist: The Monkeys

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My Hometown

I'm not saying any of this ever happened to me - but here are some things that could happen to you if, as an adult, you still live in your own home town.
1. You might give directions using landmarks that no longer exist as in, "the parking lot for the bike path is just after Lil' Peach."
2. You might have to skip the cereal aisle at the supermarket because you can hear that your loud-mouthed ex-boss from a decade ago is conversing there. 2a. You might spend 10 minutes in the supermarket locked in conversation with someone whose name you can't remember.
3. Your sons might end up attending the elementary school behind which you and your high school boyfriend did unspeakable things.
4. You might run into a former classmate in line at the coffee shop and when he asks you "what's new," you blurt out rudely, "in the past 20 years?" instead of the more appropriate, "not much."
5. You might realize that you are now older than all your teachers were when you were in high school and junior high school.
6. You might run into those same teachers at bars.
7. You might segway straight from being paranoid that all the cool kids in high school are talking about you, to being paranoid that all the cool moms at preschool are talking about you.
8. You might run into the good friend of an exboyfriend and tell him his little boy is adorable. Then he'll tell you that's his daughter.
9. You might run into people who still, after 25 years, insist on adding an "a" to the end of your first name.
10. You might run into people who say, "I know you, you're (insert your own younger/older sibling here) sister."

song: My Hometown • artist: Bruce Springsteen

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Monday, April 07, 2008

I'll Never Find Another You

C met the girl of his dreams the other day at the Children's Museum. She likes to hide and he likes to count. It's a hide-and-seek match made in heaven.

song: I'll Never Find Another You • artist: The Seekers

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

867-3509

C has been typing e-mails and sending them back and forth to me and Ken, first on one computer, then on the other. It's cute, I get all these e-mails that say "I love you mommy" since that's all he knows how to type. The problem is that I feel guilty putting them in the trash, they're cute, but I'm not sure I need to save all 20 of them.
Sometimes he includes our phone number in the message since he knows that as well as "I love you." Then the e-mails start to look a little like porn spam directed at someone with a mother fixation, "I love you, but you know you need a spanking, call me at this 1-800-number, your momma."

song: 867-5309 • artist: Tommy Tutone

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pillow Talk


The Boppy has always reminded me of the thneed. The thneed is the seemingly useless object the Once-ler makes out of truffula trees in my favorite Dr. Suess book, The Lorax. Like the thneed, the Boppy is a "fine something that all [babies] need." It offers, according to its website, "ergonomically correct support" for expectant mothers, nursing mothers, babies in need of tummy time, babies who just need a little help sitting up, and, the family cat.

song: Pillow Talk • artist: Doris Day

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Greatest American Hero

Being the mother of two-month old twins, or teeny tiny twins as the woman at the post office called them today, occasionally has its advantages. One is that people's expectations of you are really low. If I can drag myself and the boys out of the house, even if I'm wearing the same clothes I've had on for three days people, still tell me that I'm incredible. A woman in the toy store the Friday before Easter told me I was nothing less than "remarkable," and when I told one of the mother's at the preschool pot luck that I was nursing the twins she said, "you know you're a superhero don't you?"
So that's what it takes to be a superhero. And to think that on Friday I was happy just to be a mechanic.

song: The Greatest American Hero • artist: Joey Scarbury

ps. It seemed easier to put the poem of the day on its own website so that's what I did. Click here for today's poetry fix.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ode to National Poetry Month (a couplet)

In honor of April being National Poetry Month, in addition to my usual incredibly witty banter, I propose to publish an original poem every day, and, (thankfully for you), some prose by a real poet.

Ode to National Poetry Month (a couplet)
to rhyme one line
takes little time

Because I didn't acknowledge March as Women's History month (just wait till next year), this first poem is by Dorothy Parker.
 
One Perfect Rose
A single flow'r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet -
One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret;
'My fragile leaves,' it said, 'his heart enclose.'
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.