Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Every Day is a Winding Road

The theme of this weekend's This American Life episode was "starting from scratch." It's was a repeat that I've heard before so I guess it takes me two times through to make a connection.
Starting from scratch is what I do every day. It's the best I can do really. Better at least then rolling backwards. You make dinner - they eat dinner. You wash clothes - they wear clothes. You hang up the St. Patrick's Day decorations - it's March 18. You file a bunch of entertainment stories, it snows and everything's cancelled.
Who needs keeping up with the Jones's when you're busy keeping up with the dishes, the bathroom, the wet towels on the floor, the lunch boxes, the homework, the overdue library books, the Legos, the Playmobil, the cobwebs, the stuff that's going bad in the fridge, the influx of Skittles that come home with H from the speech teacher, the crumbs on the bottom of the toaster, the dirty mice cage, the pod casts you downloaded last week, the letter you owe Christine, and the cookies you want to make - from scratch.

song: Every Day is a Winding Road • artist: Sheryl Crow

The Old Songs

They play entirely too little Barry Manilow on Sirius's 70s on 7 station.

song: The Old Songs • artist: Barry Manilow

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ice Ice Baby

Our house is on a dirt road and in case you weren't aware, dirt roads thaw much more slowly than asphalt ones. So, when all the other roads in town are clear of snow, ours still looks like Nanook of the North might be stopping in for tea (better set aside some salted herring and crackers).
As I was walking my kids across the still-frozen tundra that is Hidden Village Road I was reminded of Oscar Wilde's story of the Selfish Giant which is a sweet little tale with a religious message underlying it that seems a bit out of place in the Oscar Wilde canon. In the story spring won't come to the selfish giant's garden because he build a wall around it and kicked the neighborhood children out.
So I am left to ponder who kicked a kid out of our road - and why didn't they kick out one of mine?

song: Ice Ice Baby • artist: Vanilla Ice

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Easy Money

Today the washing machine gave me $1.25.
Kids with allowances and shallow pockets.
You gotta love it.

song: Easy Money • artist: Billy Joel

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Early in the Morning

The irony for my kids, because they are at the beginning of the route, is that they can miss the bus and still be early for school.

song: Early in the Morning • artist: Vanity Fare

Friday, March 13, 2015

Don't Fear the Reaper

Today is Friday the 13th.
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the name of the condition suffered by those who fear this date.
Dendrophobia is the fear of trees.
Lutraphobia is the fear of otters.
Syngenesophobia is fear of relatives (presumably your own).
Macrophobia is the fear of long waits.
Chronomentrophobia is the fear of clocks.
Bolshephobia is the fear of the Bolsheviks.
Aulophobia is the fear of flutes.
There are long lists of obscure and bizarre phobias but I don't see a name for my particular phobia, which is the fear of having a highway sign fall on my car as I drive under it (hey, those suckers a big!).
I think I'll name it Flat Stanleyaphobia.

song: Don't Fear the Reaper • artist: Blue Oyster Cult

Here Comes the Sun

I feel that ice is slowly melting.

song: Here Comes the Sun • artist: The Beatles

Maybe This Time

The garbage men have given up the pretense of even trying to keep to a weekly schedule. It's a crap shoot if, and when, they might be driving down our street.
They showed up out of the blue on Monday (our usual day is Friday). Most of the street had left their trash cans out for three days either because they didn't care if animals tried to tip them or more likely, because they'd frozen to the snow. But a few of the neighbors had to run behind the truck to catch it like supporting child actors chasing down the Wells Fargo wagon in the movie version the "The Music Man."
You puts your trash out and you takes your chances.

song: Maybe This Time • musical: Cabaret

Monday, March 09, 2015

Parenting is ...

when the day's only accomplishment is finding the list library book.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Everybody's Talkin'

Usually when you meet a neighbor on the street or an acquaintance at the supermarket you poke around a bit for something to say that's of actual interest, something specific to the person like how their spouse, kids or job is going. We only start talking about the weather as a last resort. When we've run out of interesting things to say. 
But we've all given up that pretense. Now we're completely unashamed to talk about the weather. To open actual conversations with it. Even my kids talk about the weather. All there is is the weather. Really. Is there anything left except for the weather? 
That four foot high mound of dirty snow outside the garage is no longer the elephant in the room. Now it's the guest of honor.
The guest that won't leave.

song: Everybody's Talkin' • artist: Harry Nilsson

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

This Wheel's on Fire

Courtesy of Science Friday: Pigeon plumage. 
Say it ten times fast.

song: This Wheel's on Fire • the Byrds

Monday, March 02, 2015

Stuck in the Middle with You

It's a good feeling when you remember to bring your travel mug into the coffee shop thereby saving one paper cup and plastic lid from the landfill, but a bad feeling when your kid spills his hot chocolate on the floor and you end up using 10 napkins in order to wipe it up. #balancingthedharmawheel.

song: Stuck in the Middle with You • artist: Steelers Wheels

Sunday, March 01, 2015

She Blinded Me With Science II

At the science fair you can tell the science parents from the non-science parents in a heartbeat.
The science parents are all floating through the event confidently, engaging with students, and asking meaningful questions.
The non-science parents are all clutching their cups of coffee, looking overwhelmed, and having traumatic flashbacks to 10th grade chemistry class.
If I judged the science fair I would choose the winners the same way I choose bottles of wine at Kappys, by the poster (or in the case of vino - label) design.
And as a graphic design major, I think that would be entirely appropriate.
I think the science fair, with a running time of two hours, is a good metaphor for life.
So much to see. So little time.

song: She Blinded Me With Science • artist: Thomas Dolby