Monday, August 31, 2009

In the Summertime

Weather wise, this summer could be called the summer that wasn't. Nationally, this has been the summer that baby boomers have spent navel gazing over their collective memories of Woodstock. It's been the summer that generation xers have spent mooning (or moon walking), over Michael Jackson.
Two years ago I duped it the summer of the barley salad at our house because I spent half the summer trying to perfect that recipe in order to use up all the radishes I was growing just to give my kids something to pick in the garden. The remainder of the summer was spent perfecting tabouli.
Last summer has come to be known, at least in my head, as the summer of the chicken salad.
This summer is definitely the summer of the Boxcar Children mysteries. From what I can see there are 138 Boxcar Mysteries, C has read 89 of them and there's still one more days till school starts. And it's not just me. H, when listening to “Mr. Putter and Tabby Write the Book,” turned to Ken and said that "Mystery of Lighthouse Cove," (the book Mr. Putter was planning to write before he got distracted by food, naps, and baths) "sounds like a Boxcar Mystery."

song: In the Summertime • artist: Mungo Jerry

Nothin' But A Good Time

You gotta love being a mom. Today, after convincing C that even pilgrim boys had them, I got to make a corn husk doll.
Then H proposed to me.
Later the twins vivisected the doll and H told me he was going to marry William instead.

song: Nothin' But A Good Time • artist: Poison

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Funeral for a Friend

So, I was trying to tune into NPR this morning and all I could get was some religious station broadcasting Bible readings. 
I was getting all aggravated thinking the religious right was taking over local airwaves and now I couldn't listen to NPR anywhere but on the internet.
Finally I realized it was NPR and they were providing live, no pun intended, coverage of Senator Kennedy's funeral.

song: Funeral for a Friend • artist: Elton John

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The twins dropped tubes of acrylic and oil paint into the toilet today. I had to don a rubber glove and fish them out. The incident realistically sums up my artistic aspirations for the future - down the toilet.

song: Landslide • artist: Fleetwood Mac

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

(Just Like) Starting Over

Every night I pick up the living room. Note that picking up is different from cleaning. I never clean the living room. I'm too tired from picking it up.
I stack the wooden rainbow stacker, the plastic cups and the cardboard boxes (what I can find of them), I put the wooden puzzles back together: shapes, around the farm, under the sea, and the dump truck. I put all the soft blocks back inside the truck road way that folds up into a storage container when it's not in use. I put all the pieces of the noisy barnyard back inside the pack 'n play. I pick up all the match box cars which the twins shouldn't be playing with anyway. I put away any CDs s & n have wrangled out of the audio stand. This way, in the morning, they can deconstruct the living room all over again.
What if, every morning when they lurch into the living room, their first thought is, WTF! it's all been put away again! What kind of sick place is this? Every day we work hard on taking those things apart and every morning all our work is null and void. I thought today would be the day we would start learning calculus, but no, we have to start all over with the stacking cups, puzzles, and CDs.

song: (Just Like) Starting Over • artist: John Lennon

Monday, August 24, 2009


OMG, I just folded up the co-sleeper. That thing is the anti-christ. I think it's pretty safe to say that if we'd had to pack and unpack that beast between each baby (instead of covering it with a blanket and hauling it up to the attic still set up) we definitely would have stopped after one.

song: Centerfold • artist: J. Geils

Only Wanna Be With You

Don't you just love to see daddies out with their children? There's something about a daddy and a baby that's heartwarming. I suppose it's because it's not the norm. Usually if you see a daddy he's part of a mommy and baby three or foursome.
I met a lovely dad with a beautiful 10-month old daughter today in the coffee shop. He asked me about local playgroups because he was looking for ways to socialize his little girl with other children. I searched my often useless brain and offered to forward him the UCFN's newsletter which includes playgroup listings.
I didn't think of it then and even if I had I wouldn't have spoken up - who am I to offer advice, except on my blog with only about eight people read - but at 10 months I don't think she needs to be interacting with other children yet. Sure she was interested in N and S, but mostly she wanted to check out their stroller and their snacks. She's happy, and lucky, just to have her daddy to play with.

song: Only Wanna Be With You • artist: Hootie & the Blowfish

Sunday, August 23, 2009


If you can believe it, in my youth I always dreamed that one day I'd be able to quit my job and spend my time perusing farmers markets for fresh vegetables to feed my family. Miraculously, now I do more of less just that. But how does my family react when I make delicious ratatouille using local ingredients?
"Momma, can I have some plain pasta?
This sauce came from planet stinky."

song: Fresh • artist: Kool and the Gang

Passionate Kisses

It's humor befitting a musical comedy that the only criticism the Times could find in this week's performance of HMS Pinafore by CLOC was a lack of believable passion between the secondary leads. Heck - the romance between the two lead characters culminates in one kiss, a peck really, just before the show's end. The only thing the captain and his love interest could have done, in order to show less emotion than the lead pair, would have been to give each other a firm handshake. All kissy face aside, we're talking about Gilbert and Sullivan here; collaborators known far more for laughter and merriment than for believable love scenes. G&S, in fact, are known for their "topsy turvy" or unbelievable plot lines and twists.
Take Pinafore for example. As soon as one can do the math one starts figuring it out. If the captain is really Ralph, and Ralph is really the captain - that means they are both the same age. Assuming the captain was at least 20 when his daughter was born, and that Josephine is now of suitable age to marry, say 17, then that would make Ralph, her beloved, 20 years her senior - a man of 37 trying to woo a girl of 17. Not that that's anything hollywood hasn't thought of already, just cast Ralph as Harrison Ford and CLOC's all set. What troubles me is that Ralph is described by his messmates as "the smartest lad in all the fleet." Why, then, if he is so smart, has he not been able to advance his station in 37 years? Couldn't he have at least risen to the rank of second officer? Worse than being a man of low rank, he seems to be a man of little ambition.
Now try to follow along here and let's suspend our belief a little longer. If Little Buttercup practiced baby farming, "a many years ago," when Ralph and Captain Corcoran were young enough for her to have "mixed those babies up," we have to assume that she was at least 18 at the time, making her 18 years the captain's senior - a woman of 55 being wooed by a man of 37.
If we can forgive all that I think we ought to cut the actors some slack in the romance credibility department.
It seems that in a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta it is only gross disparities of rank and station that prevent one from gaining their heart's desire. Age discrepancies are no obstacle.

song: Passionate Kisses • artist: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Friday, August 21, 2009

Going Up The Country

It's so hot that if someone were to grab me my sweaty arms would slowly slip free of their grasp.
It's a good day to commit a robbery.
H refilled my energy drink can with water yesterday and walked around the house all afternoon sipping it. I don't know what was more disturbing, seeing a four year old who already has more energy than his mother knows what to do with, drinking from a can of Red Bull or him telling C that he was drinking beer and then having C report back to me: "Why is H drinking daddy's beer?"

song: Going Up The Country • artist: Canned Heat

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


A decade from now, how will the media top its coverage of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock? This walk-down-memory-lane love fest celebrating three days of peace, love, and mud has been going on for so long I'm beginning to wonder if anyone knows the actual dates of the concert or was everyone too stoned to remember? How many articles do we need detailing which artists have stood the test of time (Joan Baez) and which have not (Ten Years After)?
H was naming his stuffed animals over the weekend. I don't know if he lacked imagination or was just being practical but he named all of his stuffed dogs Silo, and all his stuffed cats Rufus. Then he came to his stuffed squirrel, of which he only has one, and declared that it would be named Butterfly Band Aid Gartner.
Now that sounds like the name of a band that might have played on Max Yasgur's farm.

song: Woodstock • artist: Crosby Stills Nash & Young

Monday, August 17, 2009

Drive My Car

Baby You Can (Not) Drive My Car

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Close Every Door

Red neck baby proofing

song: Close Every Door • musical: Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I don't understand Siruis radio's 70s on 7, how come "Rockin Robin" is in their "jute box of cheese" and Leo Layer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" isn't? For that matter I don't understand why they are playing Gilbert O'Sullivan's rather depressing "Alone Again Naturally" on Kids Place at all.
Some songs can remind me of an entire school year. I'm thinking specifically of the song "Centerfold" by J.Geils - the song that pervaded eighth grade and was played at those painful junior high dances where no one danced. The song's lyrics painted a picture that was in stark contrast to the Bermuda bags and wide wale pants with the skinny interchangeable belts that also defined those years. There didn't seem to be any middle ground. One could strive to be either a preppy or a pin-up. Luckily Cyndi Lauper arrived on the scene soon after and provided me with an appropriate role model.

song: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun • artist: Cyndi Lauper

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Black Coffee in Bed

Not surprisingly, the knitting store at the four corners in North Falmouth went out of business. Its departure provides the empty store front I've been hoping would open up. Now will somebody please move in and establish a coffee shop within walking distance (stroller distance really) of the library, ball field, and playground?

song: Black Coffee in Bed • artist: Squeeze

Magic Bus

Round trip bus fare from Bangor to Boston: $69
Total distance: 480 miles
Round trip bus fare from Falmouth to Boston: $50
Total distance: 140 miles
What gives?
I hope the Peter Pan Bus Line is giving out fairy dust to its passengers as a travel perk.

song: Magic Bus • artist: The Who

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rock The Boat

CLOC's choice to performing both "Titanic" and "HMS Pinafore" this summer got me thinking if it would be possible for the company to do an entire nine-week season of nautically-based musicals.
Let's see - there's the aforementioned "Titanic" and "Pinafore." "Anything Goes" comes to mind right away as does last year's "Show Boat." I seem to recall one titled "Dames at Sea," and "Gondoliers" is a bit of a stretch but a gondola is a boat and we have to include two by Gilbert and Sullivan if we're to have a proper College Light Opera season. After that it gets somewhat trickier. New Moon is of course the name of a boat in the musical of the same title and in South Pacific there must be a boat because that's how Lieutenant Joe and the Frenchman get to the island where, as you surely recall, Joe meets with a tragic end.
Damn, that's only eight. Surely there's one more. Candide. There must be a boat in Candide. They do all that traveling; Candide, Cunegonde, and the woman with only one buttock.

song: Rock The Boat • artist: Hues Corporation

I'm Looking Through You

Six foods to feed your baby in order to make diaper changes more interesting (and freak out the babysitter):
blueberries (in season)
grapes (cut into interesting shapes)
any food item containing poppy seeds

song: I'm Looking Through You • artist: The Beatles

Monday, August 10, 2009

Born to Run

Road races are one of the only sporting events in which beginning, intermediate and advanced participants all compete together.
Most competitions are broken down into categories and you have to move up through them in order to compete with those of higher caliber. For example in figure skating, those of us who've only mastered the waltz jump don't get to compete against skaters who can perform triple lutzes.
But not running. Runners who just laced up their Nikes for the first time last week can fill out an on-line application and tow the line with four-minute milers. If you qualify for the Boston Marathon, or kowtow to the right authorities in order to score a coveted waiver, you can traverse the same course through Hopkinton, Natick, and Newton as the winners will - only minutes, probably hours, later.
That said, and with due respect to all you finishers of the Falmouth Road Race, when runners talk about running it really is the most boring thing ever.
There's no opposing team, no goal posts, no extra point, no sudden death overtime, no penalty shots, and no unscrupulous German judges wildly scoring the short program portion of the competition. Because most runners are only competing against themselves, there's little to make their stories interesting.
And yet runners can (and do) go on and on and on - well past the point where even people who are married to - and consequently understand some runner lingo - lose interest.
If you must talk about running let the stories be anecdotal such as the time you broke someone's nose at the start of the Brewster Road Race or the time in high school when you pulled down your warm-up pants in front of a female teammate prior to a race and were surprised to find yourself standing in your jock strap. There's the time you ran through a blizzard to win the Nantucket marathon only to be presented with the ugliest piece of pottery you'd ever laid eyes on. Later you learned the piece was created by a world-renowned potter, which made you sorrowful when it tumbled off the mantle and smashed into tiny pieces.
Amusing stories are worth telling, and even more importantly, worth listening to.
But instead we've encouraged navel gazing, in road racing and in life. Radio stations position runners to report from the back of the pack, the Times has a front page story - not about Tilahun Regassa - but about their sports editor who ran ten-minute miles. Maybe the reason for taking the focus off the winners is to keep them from getting a skewed sense of their accomplishments, just ask Carolyn Bird about the year she met Alberto Salazar and he stretched out his hand to her as if she were supposed to bend down and kiss it. It's a race, friend, not a coronation.
So save those stories about your PRs, your chafing, and how you tossed your cookies (again!) coming up the hill in the Heights or you'll inspire your friends to run all right - away from you.

song: Born to Run • artist: Bruce Springsteen

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Long and Winding Road

song: The Long and Winding Road • artist: The Beatles

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I Can't Go For That

Message to the Chart Room restaurant in Cataumet: stuffed quahogs should come inside a real quahog shell - not inside a cardboard facsimile. This will only led to mass confusion when all the tourists who take them home to line their driveways begin wondering why quahog shells fall apart in the rain.

song: I Can't Go For That • artist: Hall and Oats

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I'm Walkin

One new walker staggers about like a tiny Frankenstein reincarnation.
Two new walkers evoke a scene out of Night of the Living Dead: Revenge of the twins.

song: I'm Walkin • artist: Fats Domino

Monday, August 03, 2009

Happy Together

Overheard at Sunday's pinata-free birthday party:
(beaming child holding up newly unwrapped gift): Daddy, Daddy, look!!
(attentive Daddy): That's marvelous honey! What is it?
(exuberant birthday girl): I don't know!!

song: Happy Together • artist: The Turtles

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Shake Your Grove Thing

Isn't it ironic that August - the month when we can purchase delicious, locally-grown corn - is also the month when salt petrifies into one solid lump and the bottom of the shaker?

song: Shake Your Grove Thing • artist: Peaches & Herb