I think it says a lot about one's psyche when you're driving and a vehicle in the other lane flashes its lights and instead of slowing down for the speed trap that must be ahead you assume instead that you've left your purse on top of the roof of your car.
Last week, along with bananas, cukes, and potatoes on the day old shelf at Jack in the Beanstalk were several bags of marshmallows. I asked the clerk how on earth she knew they were past their expiration date.
This little episode is timely considering last week people wouldn't be caught dead admitting they ate Twinkies and this week people are stock piling them.
It makes sense in a way. The Mayan calendar predicts Dec. 21 will be doomsday and Twinkies are the perfect bunker food.
While I'm at it, I might go back for a few bags of discounted marshmallows.
Orphan protagonists in children's literature are as common as mold spores in August. So common that one might assume that in order for a child to have any type of adventure at all, they must first become orphaned. Harry Potter is certainly the most popular orphan hero at present but orphaned children have an extensive literary history. Tom Saywer lived with his long-suffering Aunt Polly, Anne of Green Gables was an orphan, as were Heidi, Oliver Twist, Pollyanna, Dorothy Gale, and Mary Lennox of the Secret Garden. Well of course there were more ways to loose one's parents back then, cholera, typhoid, the plague, twisters; so maybe adventurous orphans were easier to come by, but the present day has plenty of parentless protagonists as well: James and the Giant Peach, the Lemony Snicket crew, the kids in the 39 Clues, the Boxcar Children, the Mysterious Benedict's Society, Hugo Cabret. Heck even Frodo Baggins is an orphan. I expect they'll go into his upbringing in depth in the upcoming sure-to-be-bloated three-part movie adaptation of The Hobbit.
Then you've got your kids who aren't orphans per say but might as well be since either they've got absentee parents (Pippi Longstocking) or such miserable parents they'd be better off as orphans (Matilda, Huckleberry Finn, those kids in Flowers in the Attic)
We assume that the reason kids are drawn to orphaned heros and heroines - or that authors are drawn to them - is that it does in fact free kids up for adventure. I mean really, how can you save the world from the Dark Lord if your mom's reminding you to grab a sweatshirt on the way out the door because, "it's going to cool off later on."
But actually, the reason authors write about kids who've lost their parents is that kids are obsessed with death. I know this because my kids are obsessed with death. My twins at least.
And whose death are they obsessed with?
Well - not me exactly but they've killed off their "other mom"and their "other dad" in a million assorted ways.
S & N have had an "other mom" for a while now. You see, instead of imaginary friends, the twins have imaginary parents.
For well over six months they've discussed their other mom, who she is (sometimes she's a stranger, sometimes she's a family friend, once they said singer Bill Harley was their "other dad"), where she lives (sometimes near their grandparent's house, sometimes in Maine), and how she behaves (sometimes she eats candy all day). I'm okay with them having an "other mom," except I'm afraid that the preschool teachers might think Ken and I have divorced and remarried.
Lately though their other moms and dads have been facing up to their own mortality. This might have happened about the same time they announced that George Washington was their other dad (that's right folks; he's not just the father of our country…). They said this and then asked if George Washing was still alive. Went they found out he wasn't they started in on talking about how they used to have an other mom but she died. Sometimes they go through two or three other moms and dads in a single car ride to town. Sometimes they killed of their other parents in comedic fashion, "my other dad slipped on a piece of pizza then he fell in the toilet and got flushed and died." Sometimes it's frighteningly real, "my other mom was at college and a bad guy was there and shot her and she died." Sometimes it seems like there's some real parenticide one-upmanship going on in the back seat.
And while its a little unnerving to have my kids bopping off moms and dads nonchalantly and then, after killing off one easily getting another one, "I had to get a new mom, 'cause my other mom died." "I used to have two moms but one of them died…" I can partly see where it's coming from.
First I think it's common for five year olds or in our case almost five year olds to suddenly latch on to the vague idea of death and to develop, if you can pardon my pun, at the very least a morbid curiosity about it.
As to their penchant for dead parents. It could just be that from what they see there are a glut of mothers and fathers to dispatch with, big whoop if we knock few off. Go to the library, there are moms all over the place. Preschool pick up? Moms and dads galore. The playground? Ditto. Moms and dads are a dime a dozen. Naturally it stands to reason that if one set died you could easily get yourself a new pair.
And if you couldn't at least you could be guaranteed a starring role in an upcoming children's novel.
After yet another note home about lice in the elementary school I ordered up a bottle of lice preventative shampoo from Fairy Tales Hair. From what I can see on line there's no real evidence that any lice preventative shampoo works (hence the company name), despite the exclamation-point-laden testimonials, "lice free for three years!" Buying a product just means you've done something, anything, to acknowledge the threat. It's like filling the bathtub with water prior to a potentially loss-of-power-inducing hurricane.
There was that and then the cat threw up all over the kitchen today. I mean she's not even a year old yet. I feel that a brand-new cat should come with a warranty, much like a new car - no hairballs or retching on the hardwood for at least three years.
If only I'd gotten her in Japan I could expect a recall notice in the mail any day now.
Some Halloween photos for Liz.
Good thing I was better at finishing the costumes on time than I was about getting the Halloween photos posted on time.
I may be late with this and with Halloween crafts (yesterday S & N made q-tip skeletons), BUT, I have already ordered Christmas cards.
NaMoBlo is going horribly! I've posted less than usual this month instead of more. I was good to go before November began too. And up till the end of last week things were going okay but then I read about the Sabbath Manifesto wherein joiners agrees to disconnect, in ways that you get to define, from technology for one day a week.
I realize the manifesto is likely aimed at people who are far more plugged in than I; people who, for example, own smart phones. But I get as off track obsessing over Site meter, checking my three e-mail accounts, and lurking on Facebook, as the next guy. I especially hate it when I walk into the computer room for some other reason entirely - like to feed the fish - and I wind up checking the computer, you know, because it's there. I also hate it when I sit down at the computer for a specific purpose and then after scrolling through the usual suspects I forget what I sat down to look up. It's the computer equivalent of climbing the stairs and then forgetting why you needed to be on the second floor in the first place.
Embracing the Sabbath Manifesto was easy. It was if I was looking for an excuse to keep the computer off for a day; for someone to say, "go ahead, take a break, Facebook will still be there when you get back." There were some times on Saturday when I was tempted but overall - since we were out at soccer practice for most of the day - it wasn't that hard. Then, since Saturday went so well, I decided to try for a second day. And since Monday was a holiday - why not make it three?
So there you have it. But it wasn't as easy as I thought. I did want to turn on the computer. And on Sunday and Monday I did turn it on only I made a conscious effort to limit my viewing time and not to perform my ritual scroll through of all my favs. The whole experiment felt pretty good. Leaving the computer off eliminated one distraction at least, freeing my up to focus on the distraction that is my family.
The Sabbath Manifesto in and of itself is an open-ended agreement that's open to a lot of interpretation. One woman is quoted as saying she uses her computer down time to catch up on tv shows she's been missing. Exchanging one technology for another could be seen as missing the point but if the point is to relax and not be beholden to your devices than go for it. At least the television is one of the lesser-demanding of devices we now collectively all own.
As for NaMoBlo - I think I could write up and then schedule ahead a few posts on Friday night.
Santa's going to have his hands full this year.
H said he's asking for a magic wand, "that really works," and for an instruction book so he can "learn how to use the force."
He also said that his friend Robert was asking Santa for "a girl that likes him."
I asked H if he wanted to ask Santa for a girl that like him too and he said no - adding that he thought that was a "dumb thing" to ask Santa for and that he told Robert he should ask Santa for something else.
The twins have invented a new word: lasterday.
Lasterday is a cross between "last night" and "yesterday" and it appear to be a synonym for "the other day" when we use that phrase to mean some span of time in the past that could be anywhere from one week to 20 years go.
For example: "Lasterday, when the power was out, we had to use our flashlights."
Or: "Lasterday, when I was in college, you could ride the subway for 60 cents."
Good grief. I'm already a day behind on NaBloMo. How did this happen? Stupid Frankenstorm? Holiday gift guide deadlines? PTO volunteering? Pick your excuse. I'll write two today and even do some penance in the form of finally, finally, responding to a NaBloMo prompt - albeit it yesterday's prompt.
And here it is: Tell us your favorite quotation and why. Just one? I got a million of 'em although I hate it when people post quotes to Facebook. Say something original will ya? But words to live by? Sure. It's good to be reminded of a few axioms. Here are two favorite quotes that get repeated (at least by me) around our house:
The things you own end up owning you - Chuck Palahnuik Toffee for breakfast, toffee for dinner, toffee for tea - W. S. Gilbert
It's great to have a few good quotes as guiding principals in our lives. What is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," but a great little biblical sound bite. A good quote (like a well-written children's book) also reminds us that we don't have to be wordy to get our point across. Both of these quotes seem perfectly obvious to me - what's the point of a pity quote if it needs explanation? But, since NaBloMo is asking I'll follow up by saying that the Fight Club quote (go on - you recognized it!) reminds me that if we become slaves to our stuff, or to the idea of acquiring stuff - we loose what's important in life. There are hundred's of other quotes in the same vein; Thoreau is saying the same thing with his simplify trifecta, and Saint-Exupert too in the Little Prince when the fox reminds us "we become responsible forever for what we have tamed." It is in our own best interest then to simplify, simplify in order that we tame the right things instead of the wrong ones. The second quote is less well known. It's from the musical Patience written by the british team of Gilbert and Sullivan. In the scene a duke explains to an assembly of military men why he finds the constant flattery and adulation that accompanies dukedom so tedious. "Tell me, Major, are you fond of toffee?" he asks Major: "Very!" Colonel: "We are all fond of toffee" All: "We are!" Duke: "Yes, and toffee in moderation is a capital thing. But to live on toffee - toffee for breakfast, toffee for dinner, toffee for tea - and to have it supposed that you care for nothing but toffee, and that you would consider yourself insulted if anything but toffee were offered to you - how would you like that?" Colonel: "I can quite believe that, under those circumstances even toffee would become monotonous." So you see, toffee for breakfast, toffee for dinner, toffee for tea is a way of saying too much of a good thing is not so good. Sometime I wonder what's the point of blogging? Is there anything new under the sun to be said? Sure, there are clever, funny, moving ways of saying things but aren't we all mostly relating to the same issues the Greek philosophers ponders centuries earlier? Perhaps blogging is mostly about the quotes that we choose to live our lives by and then writing that daily check in on how well we're doing.