Friday, November 22, 2013

Fill Me Up

Confession: sometimes I cook dinners that I know my children won't like just so there will be more leftovers for me. Ah delicious leftover pad thai, you're all mine.

song: Fill Me Up • artist: Shawn Colvin

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What I Am

Spill over from yesterday's post - otherwise known as "wait, wait, there's more!"
So then there you are juggling six items in your arms as you walk to your car because you refused a bag at the supermarket because you have the reusable shopping bag in the car but you didn't bring it in because you only went in to get one item - the other five were impulse purchases - and you're passed by the lady wheeling a shopping cart that's filled to the brim with groceries packed three or four to a plastic bag. And honestly you think to yourself, "why am I bothering?" And I guess the answer is that I just don't know any other way to be.

song: What I Am • artist: Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Shame on You

On Sunday I took S & N to the coffee shop except that I didn't buy myself a cup of tea because I'd forgotten my travel mug at home. I think I could have asked for a mug instead of a paper cup but when you're traveling with five year old twins you can't always guarantee that you won't have to leave in a hurry.
I wonder if there's a scientific name for green guilt, or how many people suffer from this phenomenon. How many people are denying themselves a cup of tea because they left their stainless steel travel mug at home, or encouraging check out clerks to stuff their purchases into their pocket books and then emptying it all onto the floor of the cars because they forgot their reusable bags?
Or - to take it a step further, how many people are almost unable to shop at department stores because of the almost crippling certainty that the product they need already exists and that they could buy it used rather than new if they just looked a little harder.
Who wouldn't buy a Cub Scout handbook for their eight year old without first trying to find one on Freecycle. Who can scarcely comprehend purchasing new clothes? Who thrifted a $2 electric hand beater, bought a $25 bike off Craig's list, and got a vintage pencil sharpener on Freecycle?
Green guilt is the nagging feeling that you really ought to make everything from scratch because that's the only way to avoid a plastic bag around your bread or BPA in the tin can lining of your stewed tomatoes.
I don't think I've gone completely over the line yet but when you start having a hard time living your life because you're thinking about how your every move might effect the environment, it's not just green guilt, it's paralyzing green guilt. It keeps you from buying something you need. It's the equivalent of the Catholic guilt described recently on This American Life where people were constantly confessing sins that weren't actually sins, or worse, people where unable to live normal lives because they were sure that everything they did or were about to do could be construed as a sin.

song: Shame on You • artist: Indigo Girls

Monday, November 18, 2013


It really doesn't matter what we name the pet mice. Scabbers, Stewart, Al, Martin, Lucky, Phoebe, etc., etc.; they all wind up as Tubby in the end.
Which just goes to show that running incessantly on a squeaky wire wheel doesn't burn as many calories as one would think.

song: Blues Traveler • artist: Run-Around

Saturday, November 16, 2013

That Old Black Magic

There's a chicken bone on the rug in S & N's room.
Could it be that my twins are voodoo priests?

song: That Old Black Magic • artist: Johnny Mercer

Friday, November 15, 2013

Parenting is ...

noticing that there's still an electrical plug in the playroom with a child protective cover over it and feeling nostalgic.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Looking Out My Back Door

Raking leaves in our yard is like undertaking an archeological dig.
Today I turned up six tennis balls, two Nerf footballs, and a street hockey stick.

song: Looking Out My Back Door • artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cry, Cry, Cry

The twins asked me to come in to school and eat lunch with them today so I said I would.
Seeing me having lunch with the twins made a little girl in their class miss her own mommy and she started crying.
When it was time to leave S decided he wanted me to stay and he started crying.
I felt like by the time I left I had have the kindergarten class in tears.

song: Cry, Cry, Cry • artist: Johnny Cash

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Candy Everybody Wants

The twins had their first dentist appointments last week and in case you are wondering - they LOVE going to the dentist. At least so far. They are even remembering to brush their teeth in the morning before school.
And while we were at the appointment I got to ask the burning question - what DOES a dentist give out at Halloween? The answer: candy. And not even the secret sugar-free-but-still-decent-tasting-so-your-house-doesn't-get-egged candy that only dentists know about. Just plain old candy.
I was more than a little disappointed.

song: Candy Everybody Wants • artist: 10,000 Maniacs

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dixie Chicken

It's amusing when chicken companies advertise their products as 100% vegetarian fed.
Your advertising company couldn't come up with anything better to say than that?
It's about as creative as saying, "Chicken breasts. Contains chicken."
Vegetarian diets. Duh. What else would you feed chickens - steak? Chicken?
Maybe that's it. If you fed chickens chicken then you could advertise them as cannibal chickens.
Now that's a marketing slogan.

song: Dixie Chicken • artist: Little Feat

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jump Back

Have you ever plopped down some wet cat food only to have your beloved kitty come over, take a sniff, and physically jump backwards as if recoiling in horror?
It would be funny if it wasn't the same reaction I get every night from my kids when I put (a perfectly delicious) dinner on the table.

song: Jump Back • artist: Steve Windwood

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Parenting is ...

fishing toilet paper tubes out of the office trash can to take home for your son's pet mice.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Dear Mr. Fantasy

I'm so pleased that drivers have completely dispensed with the use of blinkers.
The unnecessary formality of alerting other drivers to what my car is about to do next was so taxing.
I'm was also happy to see one of our town DPW trucks parked outside of Jack in the Beanstalk with the engine running (guess in that case perhaps it wasn't actually "parked" at all) while the truck's two occupants were inside getting their lunch.
Having to turn off your car's engine is such an effort.

song: Dear Mr. Fantasy • artist: Traffic

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Still Crazy After All These Years

Really? Dunkin Donuts has an energy bar? Because you can't get enough of a jolt from eating a jelly doughnut with frosting?
I was at Dunkin Donuts twice recently and as I was entering the store around 1 PM there was a woman exiting who was wearing pajama bottoms.
I blame the pajamas-as-acceptable-clothing-to-wear-in-public trend on the 1980s when we all started wearing sweat pants as everyday clothes. Going out in sweatpants can be interpreted in two different ways. Either a person is trying to give the impression that they are either on their way to, or coming from - the gym, or people are just wearing them for the comfort factor.  From these two camps it was a slippery slope which diverged into two seperate fashion statements. Everyday workout clothing or yoga clothes as fashion statements and pajamas as acceptable clothing because who can argue with the comfort factor. The only thing more comfortable might be wearing your pajamas and a sleeping bag with holes in the bottom for feet.
I may be guilty of wearing the same outfit three days in a row (the underwear's clean I swear), but to misquote Paul Simon, I would not be convicted by jury of my peers, still crazy enough to wear pajamas outdoors after all these years.
At the elementary school on half days, the kids can wear their pjs to school if they donate $1 to the PTO. I think adults who go out in public in their pjs (with the exception of to their own mailboxes or to the bus stop), should be fined $1. This would go a long way towards fixing the country's debt crisis.

song: Still Crazy After All These Years • artist: Paul Simon

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Transendental Blues

C made a replica of Thoreau's cabin!
In Mindcraft.
Funny. I don't remember Walden Pond being so pixilated.

Transendental Blues • artist: Steve Earle

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Can't You See?

C noted today that, "whenever we can't find a book, it's always in the bathroom."
This is pretty much true although I'm not sure I want all my favorite librarians to know it.
C also noted that if his twin brothers got their library cards (they are old enough to be eligible), between everyone in our family we could check out 300 books at a time. "Way to do the math," I said - now figure out late charges at a nickel a day per book for 300 books and maybe you'll be on to why S & N don't have their own cards yet.

song: Can't You See? • artist: Marshall Tucker Band

Monday, November 04, 2013

I Call Your Name

My son C is writing a letter to a player on the varsity basketball team via a pen pal program initiated by one of his teachers. His opening paragraph is about his name, what it means (faithful, in Hebrew), and why his parents chose it (named for great, great uncle).
This leads me to wonder if a good naming story is important. And if it is important - how import and is it? Does a good name story build you up and give you confidence while a haphazard one, a "Mommy and Daddy just liked the name," is  just downright dispiriting. 
Though I don't tap strangers on the shoulder and brag about it - I have a good good name story and when the occasion arises I parade it about. Even my sister, who was named after my grandfather, has a pretty good story - not as good as mine, but that's one of the many advantages of being first born.
All of my kids have name stories except one and of the three with name stories all three are different, it's not like all three were named after relatives or movie stars or Disney characters. or something One was named for a relative, one for a local whaling captain, and one for the son of a friend. Actually my fourth son does have a name story but it goes like this - "we needed a name that would sound good with the name we'd picked for your brother (they are twins)." 
A story like that might be even worse than having no story at all.

song: I Call Your Name • artist: The Beatles

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Rikki Don't Lose the Number

C dismantled an old laptop a while back and S retrieved a rectangular piece of metal from the pile of scraps saying it was his cell phone. He was walking around with it the other day and I asked him who he was calling he answered, "I'm not calling anyone, I'm playing video games."
I found this to be both imaginative and disturbing.

song: Rikki Don't Lose the Number • artist: Steely Dan

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Suspicious Minds

You'd think I'd be happy, but really I resent it when the cashier tells me that there's a coupon as part of my sales slip. I figure that it's a sinister ploy to get me to hang on to my BPA-laced store receipt just a little bit longer.
Yep, I'm pretty sure Stapes in trying to kill me.

song: Suspicious Minds • artist: Elvis Presley

Friday, November 01, 2013

Give a Little Bit

When I suggested you give some of your Halloween candy to the bus driver, I didn't mean the Kit Kat bars.

song: Give a Little Bit  • artist: Supertramp